Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bernie Sanders slams Israel for not sending COVID vaccines to Palestinians

 https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/bernie-sanders-slams-israel-for-not-sending-covid-vaccines-to-palestinians-660136

 As Israel began its vaccine rollout late last year, some activists and foreign media outlets criticized Israel for not including the Palestinians, arguing that under international law, Israel is the “occupying power” and must vaccinate them.

Israel, has pointed out that the internationally recognized Oslo Accords state that the PA is responsible for its population’s healthcare, including vaccinations.
Regardless of legal matters, the government has already sent thousands of doses of coronavirus vaccines to the PA and facilitated the entry of Russian donations of the Sputnik V vaccines.

NBC pulls episode of show which smeared religious Jews

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/297474

NBC on Wednesday pulled an episode of the show Nurses from its digital platforms amid criticism over a scene that has been widely condemned as anti-Semitic for the way it portrayed a Hasidic patient who refused a bone graft from non-Jews, an Arab or a woman, Fox News reports.

The scene in question appeared on a February 9 episode of Nurses and featured a Hasidic Jewish patient who needed a bone graft from a deceased donor in order to treat a serious leg injury. The patient’s father then chimes in, "A goyim leg. From anyone. An Arab, a woman?"

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

SNL libel gone wrong? 2/3 of Israeli Arabs already vaccinated

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/297361

 

After spat over Trump support, Young Israel council replaces entire board

 https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/after-spat-over-trump-support-young-israel-council-replaces-entire-board/

 The National Council of Young Israel replaces its entire executive board, a stark move away from its vocally pro-Donald Trump leadership, whose statements have led to controversy in the Orthodox synagogue association.

Rambam - does he agree with Ramban about sexual lust?

 Moreh Nevuchim (3:08): Some consider all wants of the body as shame, disgrace, and defect to which they are compelled to attend: This is chiefly the case with the sense of touch, which is a disgrace to us according to Aristotle, and which is the cause of our desire for eating, drinking, and sensuality. Intelligent persons must, as much as possible, reduce these wants, guard against them, feel grieved when satisfying them, abstain from speaking of them, discussing them, and attending to them in company with others. Man must have control over all these desires, reduce them as much as possible, and only retain of them as much as is indispensable. His aim must be the aim of man as man i.e. the formation of ideas, and nothing else. The best and sublimest among them is the idea which man forms of G-d, angels, and the rest of the creation according to his capacity. Such men are always with G-d and of them it is said, "You are princes, and all of you are children of the Most High" (Tehillim 92:6). This is man's task and purpose. Others, however, that are separated from G-d, form the multitude of fools, and do just the opposite. They neglect all thought and all reflection on ideas, and consider as their task the cultivation of the sense of touch,--that sense which is the greatest disgrace: they only think and reason about eating and love. Thus it is said of the wicked who are drowned in eating, drinking, and love, When man possesses a good sound body that does not overpower him nor disturb the equilibrium in him, he possesses a divine gift. In short, a good constitution facilitates the rule of the soul over the body, but it is not impossible to conquer a bad constitution by training. For this reason King Solomon and others wrote the moral lessons; also all the commandments and exhortations in the Pentateuch aim at conquering the desires of the body. Those who desire to be men in truth, and not brutes, having only the appearance and shape of men, must constantly endeavor to reduce the wants of the body, such as eating, love, drinking, anger, and all vices originating in lust and passion; they must feel ashamed of them and set limits to them for themselves. As for eating and drinking in so far as it is indispensable, they will eat and drink only as much as is useful and necessary as food, and not for the purpose of pleasure. They will also speak little of these things, and rarely congregate for such purposes. Thus our Sages, as is well known, kept aloof from a banquet that was not part of a religious act. Wine may be treated as food, if taken as such, but to form parties for the purpose of drinking wine together must be considered more disgraceful than the unrestrained conduct of persons who in daylight meet in the same house undressed and naked. For the natural action of the digestive organ is indispensable to man, he cannot do without it; whilst drunkenness depends on the free will of an evil man. To appear naked in the presence of other people is misconduct only according to public opinion, not according to the dictates of reason, whilst drunkenness, which ruins the mind and the body of man, reason stamps as a vice. You, therefore, who desire to act as human beings must keep away from it, and even from speaking of it. On sexual intercourse, I need not add anything after I have pointed out in the commentary on Avos(1: 17) how it is treated by our Law, which is the teaching of pure wisdom--no excuse whatever should induce us to mention it or to speak of it. Thus our Sages said, that Elisha the prophet is called holy, because he did not think of it, and consequently never found himself polluted with semen. In a similar manner they say that Jacob had the first issue of semen for the conception of Reuben. All these traditional stories have the object of teaching the nation humane conduct. 

 

Rambam (Issurei Bi’ah 21:11): Our Sages were not pleased with someone who has a lot of sexual intercourse and he is constantly with his wife like a rooster. He is very defective and this is an act of coarse people. Rather whoever minimalizes the amount of intercourse is praiseworthy. However that is only if he doesn’t nullify his obligation to his wife – unless it is with her consent. The only reason that the Sages introduced a decree that a person cannot read the Torah - after a seminal emission until he went to mikve – is in order to minimize intercourse.

Moreh Nevuchim (3:33) It is also the object of the perfect Law to make man reject, despise, and reduce his desires as much as is in his power. He should only give way to them when absolutely necessary. It is well known that it is intemperance in eating, drinking, and sexual intercourse that people mostly rave and indulge in; and these very things counteract the ulterior perfection of man, impede at the same time the development of his first perfection, and generally disturb the social order of the country and the economy of the family. For by following entirely the guidance of lust, in the manner of fools, man loses his intellectual energy, injures his body, and perishes before his natural time; sighs and cares multiply; there is an increase of envy, hatred, and warfare for the purpose of taking what another possesses. The cause of all this is the circumstance that the ignorant considers physical enjoyment as an object to be sought for its own sake. God in His wisdom has therefore given us such commandments as would counteract that object, and prevent us altogether from directing our attention to it, and has debarred us from everything that leads only to excessive desire and lust. This is an important thing included in the objects of our Law. See how the Law commanded to slay a person from whose conduct it is evident that he will go too far in seeking the enjoyment of eating and drinking. I mean "the rebellious and stubborn son"; he is described as "a glutton and a drunkard" (Devarim 21:20). The Law commands to stone him and to remove him from society lest he grow up in this character, and kill many, and injure the condition of good men by his great lust.

Maharal (Be’er HaGolah 05:04): Unfortunately there are many scholars [e.g., Rambam More Nevuchim 3:49] - i.e., those who investigate the world with the power of their intellect – who claim that sexual relations are inherently disgraceful, shameful and an embarrassment to man. In fact these scholars unequivocally believe that the sense of touch is inherently shameful to us. The purpose of this gemora is to reject their claim. In fact it is totally incomprehensible that the foundation of all, the basis for sustaining the world i.e., propagating mankind – is built on something which is inherently disgusting and shameful. Even more problematic is that it is not respectful for G‑d that the foundation of the world is a shameful and degrading matter. As is well known if the foundation is rotten then the structure built on it will collapse. Therefore it is important to reject this view because there is nothing in the sexual relations of a man with his wife that is the slightest degrading. This positive view of sexuality is in fact Daas Torah – the view of the Torah. Bereishis (2: 25) says, And both were naked… and but they weren’t ashamed. Thus we see that there is nothing degrading about this at all because if it were degrading why shouldn’t they be ashamed? If you want to answer that they weren’t intelligent at that time –such an assertion is simply incomprehensible. We know that Adam was incredibly intelligent because he was able to profoundly understand the nature of each creature and give each creature its correct name (Bereishis 2:20) – so how can it be claimed that he was lacking in intelligence? This assertion about Adam was refuted by the Rambam (Moreh Nevuchimn 1:2)… One cannot say that before Adam sinned he lacked intelligence and after he sinned he acquired intelligence and wisdom! So obviously the matters is as we have said – there is inherently absolutely no degradation is this matter at all. Whatever is degrading is the result of man focusing on his lusts and animals desires – from that aspect it is shameful. Therefore before the sin of Adam, man merely had some inclination toward lust and desire - and there was no absolutely nothing shameful. It was only shameful when desire was no longer external but fully entered him and lust became part of his physical nature. But even then it was only shameful because of the aspect of his lust. 

 

 

Rav Yitzchok Issac Sher ( Kedushas Yisroel #1 page 5-6) You need to understand that the Ramban is well aware of this problematic understanding of the nature of intercourse, that the pious have erred in their understanding in this matter.because they are relying on the apparent meaning of the Rambam who seems to disparage lust. He strongly warns to distance oneself from such an understanding which results from following the view of the Greek philosopher which contains heresy.The truth is that the Rambam agrees with the view of the Ramban which is the genuine view of the Torah. The Rambam’s disparaging of lust is only used to explain the reason for certain of the mitzvos in which the Torah  wants to distance Jews from lust in general and certain sexual lusts to an extreme degree. For example Rambam writes about the mitzva of circumcision that it’s purpose is to weaken sexual lust in Jews. He also writes in Moreh Nevuchim ( 3:33) that the reason for many of the mitzvos is to avoid lust and degrade certain acts and to minimize their occurrence to avoid them as much as possible. Look at Rambam (De’os 5:4) where he says to learn to conduct oneself with holiness. In Rambam (De’os 5:5)) says All who conduct themselves with holiness not only sanctify their souls and purify themselves and correct their thoughts but when they have children they will be beautiful and shy and open to wisdom and piety. These words are very similar to those of the Ramban in Igros Kodesh and there are simply no differences between them. In sum everyone agrees that concerning the mitva of sexual intercourse that when done with the appropriate sanctity, sanctifies a man’s soul and purifies him and causes him to merit children who are wise and pious. And if he does it not for the sake of Heaven but for the sake of pleasure from lust then the Ramban also rejects it absolutely and totally as he states explicitly at the end of this chapter.  The words of the Greek philosopher that the Rambam cites are also regarding lust which is lowly and animalistic because he also denigrates the desire to eat in that essay. In fact if you examine the Ramban carefully you will see clearly that he is talking about lust itself and says it is not spiritually impure as the lust for eating is not spiritually impure. Lust is simply a natural energy as are all the limbs and powers that are in man and it is like all mundane matters man has the ability to sanctify or defile them.

 

Inside a 'Patriot Party' rally where Trump loyalists search for a path forward

 https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/23/politics/patriot-party-trump/index.html

The "Patriot Party" is somewhere between a meme and a movement of Trump loyalists.

 In the last days of his presidency, Donald Trump floated the idea of starting a new party, CNN has reported. The Wall Street Journal reported he wanted to call it the Patriot Party. Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller then told CNN that Trump is not currently considering launching a third party.

But some of his followers are trying to do it themselves. The Trump campaign had to file a notice with the Federal Election Commission that it had "no affiliation" with a Patriot Party that had claimed in its own filing to be working with Trump's campaign.

Fox News Lies About the Texas Blackouts as GOP Lies About the Election: A Closer Look

CPAC chairman explains why they're giving Trump a platform

A chasid is similar to a maniac -Rosh HaGivah by talmid of Gra https://hebrewbooks.org/21346

Rosh hagivah by yadmoshe on Scribd

https://hebrewbooks.org/21346

Donald Trump's other, tragic big lie

 https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/22/opinions/trump-covid-big-lie-reiner/index.html

 The January 6 attack on the United States Capitol was a vivid demonstration of the havoc that can result when a really big lie is repeatedly injected into the body politic.

 But there was another big lie in 2020, also propagated by former President Donald Trump, involving the coronavirus pandemic. It was a lie that systematically downplayed the severity of Covid-19 and the utility of face masks. It very likely resulted in the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Response to Michael Che's SNL joke is unreasonable

 https://www.jpost.com/opinion/response-to-michael-ches-snl-joke-is-unreasonable-659839

On the most recent episode of NBC’s popular American television show Saturday Night Live, comedian Michael Che dropped a stupid joke about Israel and the coronavirus vaccine: “Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population,” Che said. “I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.”
It was a bad joke, an insensitive joke, a joke that not only distorted reality but played into all the ugly antisemitic stereotypes about selfish Jews caring only about themselves. It’s a joke that would have been better off left unspoken. It was also completely wrong. All Israelis over 16 are eligible to receive the vaccine, and that includes seven million Jewish citizens and two million Arab citizens.
 
But still, a little proportion is in order.
Did the American Jewish Committee really have to issue a statement, organize a petition, and demand an apology?

Supreme Court allows release of Trump tax returns to NY prosecutor

 https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/22/politics/supreme-court-trump-taxes-vance/index.html

 The Supreme Court cleared the way for a New York prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump's tax returns, dealing a massive loss to Trump who has fiercely fought to shield his financial papers from prosecutors.

The documents will be subject to grand jury secrecy rules that restrict their public release.
The ruling is a bitter loss for Trump, even if the tax records are shielded from public disclosure, after he consistently argued that the subpoena issued by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was overbroad and issued in bad faith.

Trump to tell CPAC he is Republican 'presumptive 2024 nominee' – report

 https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/22/trump-cpac-republican-presumptive-2024-nominee

 Donald Trump will reportedly tell the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida this week he is Republicans’ “presumptive 2024 nominee” for president.

 Trump will address CPAC on Sunday, his subject the future of the party he took over in the 2016 primary then led from the White House through four tumultuous years. On Monday, citing anonymous sources, the news site Axios reported his plan to assume the mantle of challenger to Joe Biden – or another Democrat, should the 78-year-old president decide not to run for a second term.

Saturday Night Live under fire for anti-Israel joke

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/297243

The popular comedy show “Saturday Night Live” is under fire for a joke that suggested Israel is vaccinating only its Jewish citizens against COVID-19.

“Israel is reporting that they’ve vaccinated half of their population, and I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half,” said Michael Che on this past Saturday night’s show.

The joke sparked outrage by Jewish groups which have demanded that the show apologize.

Former New York State assemblyman and head of Americans Against Antisemitism tweeted, “Unsurprising coming from SNL as they have a long record of antisemitism.”