Thursday, September 20, 2018

A Michigan professor supported a student’s study-abroad application — until he realized Israel was her destination

He sees his struggle in the tradition of the grass-roots fight for divestment from apartheid South Africa, as well as the American civil rights movement. Some critics see him as anti-Semitic, or else as allowing his political bias to undermine the education of his students.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women


Have you ever been harassed in the street? Received a crass message on a dating app? Had a coworker make a comment about your appearance that just didn’t sit right?
You’re not alone.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Blessing Before Yom Kippur

Rav Soloveitchik on the Avoda of Yom Kippur

The Two Voices: A New Perspective on the Meaning of Teshuvah

Israeli official colluded with Manafort in anti-Semitism scandal

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday that he has asked Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to ask US officials for clarification on the identity of the Israeli official who assisted President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to slander the opposition candidate in Ukraine during the Obama administration.

An indictment submitted against Manafort said that he acted, together with a senior Israeli official in order to discredit the leader of the opposition in the eastern European country, Yulia Tymoshenko, and to label her as an anti-Semite.

According to the indictment, Manafort and the Israeli official colluded to ensure that Israel would publish a statement against an anti-Semitic comment made by one of Tymoshenko’s supporters.

Two Prominent Jewish Republican Donors Cut GOP Ties Over Trump

 Two prominent Jewish donors to the Republican Party announced over the past days that they are cutting their ties to the GOP because of U.S. President Donald Trump. The two donors, Seth Klarman and Leslie Wexnner, have both contributed millions of dollars to Republican groups and candidates in recent years. They are both also known as major Jewish philanthropists and supporters of Israel.

Wexner anounced his decision last week following a visit by former U.S. President Barack Obama to Ohio. Wexnner, who in 2012 gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to groups supporting Obama’s Republican election rival that year, Mitt Romney, said he now misses Obama’s humility and candor. He then stated, speaking at a philanthropic event: “I’m no longer a Republican.”

Newspapers in Ohio made headlines from the statement, describing Wexnner as the largest Republican donor in the state prior to last week’s announcement. In the current election cycle, Wexnner and his wife have donated $2.8 million to “With Honor,” a political action group that supports both Republican and Democratic candidates who have served in the military and who promise to 
engage in bi-partisan legislation if elected to Congress.

The Columbus Dispatch quoted Wexnner as saying: “I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party. I’ve been a Republican since college, joined the Young Republican Club at Ohio State. I’m an independent now.”

Sharia court in Israel places Jewish girl in Arab custody


An anti-assimilation group in Israel says it has challenged a decision issued by a state Islamic court in Israel which awarded full custody of a Jewish girl to her Arab grandmother, despite the objections of the girl’s mother.
According to the Yad L'Achim organization – which works to counter efforts to missionize Jews in Israel and to combat assimilation – a state Sharia court which serves Israel’s Muslim minority population awarded custody of a two-year-old Israeli girl, named Yasmin, to her Arab grandmother.
Eight years ago, Yad L’Achim officials say, the girl’s grandmother moved to Israel, along with her three children, after the head of the household had passed away.
The family moved to a mixed city with a significant Arab population. The family had a difficult time adjusting, and found itself in dire financial straits. One of the three children soon dropped out of school, and eventually married a local Arab man.
Two years ago, the young woman, gave birth to a daughter, Yasmin, who was raised at first by her Jewish grandmother.
After her Jewish grandmother died, however, the young woman’s Arab husband urged her to let his mother care for Yasmin. The young woman agreed, and her mother-in-law cared for Yasmin while she could recover from the loss of her mother.


Thousands gathered to mourn Ari Fuld from late Sunday night into early Monday morning in Kfar Etzion, a religious kibbutz in the West Bank.  

Fuld, 45, left his home for a routine shopping trip and became a national legend for the way he shot a terrorist after he himself was mortally wounded by the Rami Levy supermarket in the Gush Etzion junction.

The father of four, was the grandson of a Holocaust survivor and had miraculously dodged a bullet while serving as an IDF soldier in Lebanon.

“If there is one word to describe my brother, it was a hero,” his brother Moshe told the mourners who surrounded the small chapel on the edge of the Kfar Etzion cemetery just after midnight on Monday.

“Who else could manage upon sustaining a fatal [stabbing] injury, to draw his pistol, jump a fence and shoot his attacker to make sure that his attacker would not hurt anyone else; only my brother, only my brother,” Moshe said

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Trump officials reportedly angry at US Jews for not cheering embassy move


The Trump administration is reportedly frustrated with the American Jewish community for not embracing the US president more warmly after he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem.
new report released Sunday by the Jewish People Policy Institute, a branch of the Jewish Agency, quoted a White House official who alleged the president’s predecessor, Barack Obama, would be beloved for doing the things Trump has done.

women as Jews and why exempt from mitzva of Torah study Rav Feinstein

igros moshe oc 4 #49

שו"ת אגרות משה אורח חיים חלק ד סימן מט

איברא דאיכא רשות לכל אשה לקיים אף המצות שלא חייבתן תורה ויש להם מצוה ושכר על קיום מצות אלו וגם לשיטת התוס' רשאות גם לברך על המצות וכמנהגנו שמקיימות מצות שופר ולולב וגם מברכות שא"כ גם על ציצית שייך לאשה שתרצה ללבוש בגד שיהיה בצורה אחרת מבגדי אנשים אבל יהיה בד' כנפות ולהטיל בו ציצית ולקיים מצוה זו. ורק להניח תפילין כתבו התוס' עירובין דף צ"ו ע"א ד"ה מיכל דצריך למחות בידן משום דתפילין צריך זריזות מרובה בגוף נקי ובהיסח הדעת שמטעם זו אף אנשים שמחוייבין בתפילין נמנעין מלהניחם כל היום אלא רק זמן המועט דתפלה בשחרית, וכן איפסק ברמ"א או"ח סימן ל"ח סעי' ג', ובתרגום יונתן על קרא דלא יהיה כלי גבר על אשה איתא לא יהי גוליין דציצית ותפילין דהינון תיקוני גבר על איתא לא סבירא להו לתוס' זה, ופשוט שהתוס' סברי שאינו מתרגום יונתן. אבל פשוט שהוא רק בחשקה נפשה לקיים מצות אף כשלא נצטוותה, אבל מכיון שאינו לכוונה זו אלא מצד תורעמותה על השי"ת ועל תורתו אין זה מעשה מצוה כלל אלא אדרבה מעשה איסור שהאיסור דכפירה שחושבת דשייך שיהיה איזה חלוף בדיני התורה היא עושית גם במעשה שחמיר. 

ושנית צריך לדעת כי אין זה בשביל שנשים פחותות במדרגת הקדושה מאנשים דלענין הקדושה שוות לאנשים לענין שייכות החיוב במצות שרק מצד הקדושה דאיכא בישראל הוא ציוי המצות וגם לנשים נאמרו כל הקראי דקדושה בין תחלת תנאי קבלת התורה והייתם לי סגולה ואתם תהיו לי גוי קדוש שנאמר לבית יעקב אלו הנשים ותגיד לבני ישראל אלו האנשים, ובין ואנשי קדש תהיון לי שבמשפטים והייתם קדשים דשמיני וקדשים תהיו והייתם קדשים שבפ' קדשים וכי עם קדוש אתה לה' שבפ' ראה ובכל מקום שנמצא ענין קדושה דישראל נאמר גם לנשים, ולכן גם הנשים מברכות בלשון אשר קדשנו במצותיו כמו האנשים אף על המצות שלא חייבתן תורה, ורק שהוא קולא מאיזה טעמי השי"ת שרצה להקל לנשים כדלעיל ולא מצד גריעותא ח"ו, ובהחיובים בין איש לאשתו איתא חיוב הכבוד על האיש לאשתו ועל האשה לבעלה בלא שום חלוק, והרבה מהנשים שהיו נביאות ויש להן כל דיני נביא שבאנשים, ובהרבה דברים נשתבחו בין בקראי בין בדברי חז"ל עוד יותר מלאנשים, וליכא שום זלזול בכבודן ובכל דבר בזה שנפטרו מלמוד התורה וממצות שהזמ"ג וליכא כלל שום סבה להתרעם כלל, וזה יש לכתר"ה להסביר בכל פעם ופעם ולהיות תקיף וחזק בדעתו שהוא כדיני התורה למחות באלו הנשי שאחר כל זה יעמדו בדעתן האולת והעקושה שלא לשנות שום דבר ממנהגי ישראל הקדושים. 

Igros Moshe (O.C. 4:49): ...It is necessary to know that it is not because women are inferior in their level of kedusha (holiness) to men. Concerning kedusha, women are equal to men regarding the aspect that the obligation of mitzvos is only because of holiness.. Also we see that all the verses regarding kedusha apply equally to women. Whether it is in regard to the beginning of the receiving of Torah when the Torah says, And you will be to Me a treasure and you will be for me a holy people. Or when G‑d said to speak to Beis Yaakov – which means the women and tell Bnei Yisroel – which means the men. Or when the Torah says, You shall be holy men to Me – in Mishpatim. Or in Shemini, You shall be holy or in Kedoshim, And they will be holy. Or in Re’eh, Because you are a holy people to me. In all these verses where kedusha of the Jewish people is mentioned, it also applies to women. This equivalence of halachic kedusha is why women say the same beracha – “who has commanded us with His mitzvos” - when they do mitzvos as men say. This is true also even when they do mitzvos that the Torah doesn’t obligate because of various leniencies that G‑d has for women not having to do certain mitzvos. Their exemption from certain mitzvos is certainly not the result of being inferior, G-d forbid! And concerning the obligations between husband and wife, the husband is obligated to honor his wife and the wife is obligated to honor her husband – without any difference. Furthermore there were many women who were prophets and they had exactly the same laws of prophets as the men. In addition there are many things that women are praised more than men in Torah verses and the words of our Sages. There is absolutely no degradation of their honor or anything else by the fact that they are exempt from studying Torah and time bound positive commandments. Thus there is no reason to complain at all. Consequently it is necessary for you to explain this each and every time. It is necessary to be determined and strong in these views which are like the laws of the Torah and to protest against those women who stubbornly insist on clinging to their foolish and distorted [feminist ideology]- in order that no change should be made to any aspect of holy Jewish practice

Friday, September 14, 2018

Elizabeth Smart pleads with officials to reconsider release of kidnapper

SAN FRANCISCO — Elizabeth Smart pleaded Thursday with authorities in Utah to reconsider releasing one of her kidnappers. Smart was held captive for nine months in 2002 when she was just 14.
Smart says the release of 64-year-old Wanda Barzee, years earlier than expected, was a shock.
In 2002, Smart was 14 years old when she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City bedroom. Nine months later she was discovered.
She had been held captive by a onetime street preacher, Brian David Mitchell, and his wife Wanda. Smart says Mitchell raped her almost daily with Barzee's help.
"She is a woman who had six children, but encouraged her husband to continue to rape me," Smart said Thursday.
In 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison. In June, the Utah parole board set Barzee's release date in 2024, but last week announced it had miscalculated credit for time served in federal prison. She will now be set free Sept. 19.