Thursday, August 31, 2017


The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Do Gedolei Haposkim agree with Rav Shmuel?

Received email today which clearly indicated that the voice of opposition to this phony divorce has been deliberately suppressed amongst major Poskim

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trump’s Anti-Obama Eclipse Meme Doesn’t Make Scientific Sense

President Trump is the best moon in the entire solar system. He has the greatest craters—beautiful, beautiful craters—and the softest lunar dust. The journalists who cover him don’t have such soft dust. Sad!
You may never have thought of Donald Trump as the moon—a huge, heedless mass, forever doomed to repeat the same cycles day after day, year after year. OK, maybe you have. But either way, Trump apparently thinks of himself just that way. In the middle of a 56-minute Tweet squall this morning, the President retweeted this image, showing his smiling, full-color face slowly eclipsing a grim, black-and-white image of former President Barack Obama. The caption on the picture reads, “The best eclipse ever!”
— Jerry Travone �� (@JerryTravone) August 24, 2017

It’s never terribly easy to parse Presidential tweets. This one is even tougher than most, since there are so many different approaches you could take. There’s indifference: Trump’s retweet finger is a finely honed instrument, designed for speed, not discernment. He sees it, he likes it, he retweets it. The man is busy, after all.
There’s exhaustion: The eclipse? The eclipse? We’re now politicizing the eye-widening, soul-stirring, kumbaya-fest that was the total solar eclipse? Feel free to go lie down in a darkened room if you’d like. The front desk will call you in 2020.
Then, of course, there’s the scientific—and this is perhaps one Trump should have thought about a little bit more than he apparently did. Eclipses happen because every now and then, in predictable but still primally unsettling cycles, a warm, bright, life-giving object is obscured by a dark, dead, insensible rock. The rock is tiny—400 times smaller than the big, bright thing. But it’s also 400 times closer, so it appears much bigger than it is—its size and importance a mere illusion of proximity.
This surely isn’t where President Trump wanted to go, but hey, once you invite science to the dinner party, you don’t get to ask it to leave just because you don’t like the jokes it’s telling. So let’s consider too that it is during an eclipse that the sun in some ways shows itself most brightly. It’s not the black disk that the moon creates at the moment of totality that transfixes us so—that’s just a hole in the sky. It’s the brilliance of the solar corona—the veil of incandescent gasses that stream millions of miles into space. Try to look at the sun at any other time and it’s an exercise in pain and gaze aversion. Look at it during an eclipse, and it’s the hidden object—in this case Obama—not the obscuring one, that knocks your socks off.
The President’s opponents are not above just this kind of semiotic misfire. The eclipse meme Trump retweeted echoed a more slapdash entry from his opponents, with a smiling Obama moving in front of a snarling Trump and text that read, “The only eclipse we really wanna see.”
The only eclipse we really wanna see
— Eli McKenzie (@EliiMckenzie) August 22, 2017

No matter the particular meme, both sides should remember that it’s possible to go too far down the science-as-metaphor road. Start talking about the quantum entanglement of lifting the debt ceiling and building the border wall, or the Newtonian action of passing Obamacare giving rise to the equal and opposite reaction of trying to repeal it, and you’re definitely going to lose the room. (The one exception to this rule: Feel free to call anyone or anything at all a boson. Bosons are always funny.)
All the same, unlike most presidential tweets, there’s something to be learned from Thursday morning’s little offering, provided you look at it the right way. Science is a slow, patient, iterative process, in which serious people work very hard to arrive at elusive truths and meaningful results—results that often make the world a much better place. Politics, done right, ought to be the same thing. In a White House that has become the governing equivalent of a basement lab, it might be time for a little of the rigor the real scientists apply every day.
Jeffrey Kluger is Editor at Large for TIME magazine and the author of Apollo 8.

Response to defamatory RCA statement

From: Shalom Chaim Spira
Sent: August 14, 2017 12:39
To: Saul Emanuel
Cc: Michael Whitman; Rabbi Shmidman - LMS
Subject: Response to defamatory RCA statement
Dear Rabbi Saul Emanuel, shlit"a, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal
Please note the defamatory and slanderous statement from the RCA issued three days ago, falsely claiming that students of Jewish law such as myself who challenge the halakhic validity of the 1993 Beth Din of America prenuptial agreement (which - as already communicated to the Jewish Community Council of Montreal on several previous occasions - was used to coerce my own brother Dr. Avrum Elliot Spira to a get his wife) "threaten women".

Pursuant to the Gemara, fifth chapter of Berakhot, which derives from the righteous Hannah (mother of the prophet Samuel) that when an Orthodox Jew is wrongly suspected of sinful behaviour, the Jew should explain himself to vindicate himself, I am now responding to this accusation by the RCA. With all due respect to the RCA, I reject the accusation of the RCA that I "threaten women". Rather, I actually rescue women by clarifying the Halakhah of what constitutes a valid prenuptial agreement and what constitutes an invalid prenuptial agreement, as publicized in my essay on the subject at .
To express my dismay over this mistaken statement of the RCA, I am carbon copying the Yoshev Rosh of the RCA Beth Din for conversion in Montreal, R. Michael Whitman, shlit"a, as well as the heir to my revered teacher R. Joshua H. Shmidman, zatza"l, his son (yibadel le-chaim) R. Avraham Yerucham Shmidman, shlit"a, of Lower Merion Synagogue in Philadelphia. Let us work together to help agunot by finding real solutions (as identified by my essay), not the (well-meaning but unfortunately) disqualified solution of the RCA has fabricated.
Thank you and ktivah va-chatimah tovah,

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Destroying Students’ Potential and Destroying Their Lives

We have all read about the incredible tragedy of Malky Klein. While there is always going to be unknown information about these and other similar cases, such that people will claim that we lack the full story, this and other alike occurrences should set off the loudest of alarms.
Judge Ruchie Freier wrote a must-read essay on the subject, and I have little to add. What more can be said?
All I can contribute to this heartrending discussion is that the issue of yeshiva and day school exclusion should perhaps be addressed on a broader scale. When children are boxed in (or out) and conspicuously labeled due to their abilities, they can get badly bruised and also unfairly pigeonholed and sidelined for life.
When a yeshiva or day school refers to the more rigorous or high-level Torah learning or secular studies track as the “masmidim shiur” or “honors program”, how are those not enrolled in these more advanced programs to view themselves? What message do these yeshivos and day schools send to these students? That they are not masmidim or honors material; they are lower; they are lesser in achievement and academic quality. And that is how many such students will hence view themselves and act upon the de facto labels that these schools have conferred upon them.
I am all in favor of more advanced Torah learning and secular studies tracks, but there is a sensitive and sensible way to market them.
When a child legitimately needs to be expelled from a yeshiva or day school, such as when as the child is a really damaging force there, or the child’s presence at the specific yeshiva or day school is very much not for the child’s benefit, the expulsion needs to be done in a manner that is sensitive to the child’s long-term needs, coordinated so that the child has the opportunity to transition into the yeshiva or day school that is best for him.
A true story:
Aharon was acting out in yeshiva, and was the most frequent occupant of the principal’s office other than the principal himself. Aharon was not doing anything “bad” in the acute sense (nothing criminal, lewd, etc.), but he was all too often calling out in class and was involved with some disruptive pranks. A few weeks before the close of the school year, Aharon’s parents, who had already registered him for the coming year, suddenly found out that Aharon was not being “invited back” for next year. 
Aharon’s parents frantically appealed to the yeshiva, arguing that it was not fair that they were given no advance notice of the expulsion, and that unless another yeshiva would somehow agree to accept their child so extremely late in the year, he would end up having to stay home or “on the street” next year. These appeals were rejected.
With Hashem’s help, including the intervention of a loving rebbe and great exertion by Aharon’s parents, he was accepted into a different yeshiva, where he was shown warmth and was given more personal attention, and where he matured and flourished. He is now at the top of his rosh yeshiva’s shiur and has established excellent academic credentials.
How many boys and girls are subject to expulsion that is executed with insensitivity and capriciousness, whereupon their parents are sent scrambling without ample opportunity to arrange for transition into another yeshiva or day school? How many children feel shamed that they are not labeled as masmidim or honors students, with their view toward their role in Torah learning and school achievement thus substantially narrowed and lowered? How many students like Malky will suffer at the hands of unloving and uncaring principals, who are slaves of elitism and who sacrifice children in its service?
There obviously must be standards, accountability and a drive for excellence, but there is way to do it and a way not to do it. Furthermore, sensitivity and love for each student, with his welfare and success being the priority, must be the goal; external factors of reputation and social standing are irrelevant.
Please read Judge Freier’s essay and think about what was, what could be and what is at the many yeshivos and day schools that are led and governed with compassion and true wisdom, and consider what we can all do to harness the good and bring about urgently needed change.
Read in my

Yakov Horowitz


My Dear Friends As you may know, my heart is deeply troubled on many levels about the goings-on in our great country and I wrote a post here which generated quite a bit of "churn." Upon reflection, I realized that the tone of my writing was far too harsh, generating heat and very little light, and as a result, I deleted it. To all of you, I offer my sincere apologies. There are serious discussions that we need to have about what is transpiring in our great country, and I hope Hashem will grant me the wisdom in the coming weeks to present them in a manner that will sooth the divisions and strife and not add to them. ------ About 14 years ago, I began to realize what a terrible problem we had in our community regarding child abuse. I spent a few years begging people to listen and often writing about this topic in great frustration. After a few years of that, I decided to work on positive solutions to this problem and started to develop the child safety books that are b'h in over 50,000 homes. I would like to similarly channel all of this negative energy in a positive way along the lines of the Barb-Q dinner we will be hosting view link next Thursday. In the meantime, I wish you all a meaningful and enjoyable Shabbos. Yakov

Thursday, August 17, 2017

צרת רבים חצי נחמה

שו"ת הרב"ז ילקוט החנוכי סימן לא
צרת רבים חצי נחמה [פתגם שגור בפי כל]. 
הפתגם הזה שגור בפי העם בשם מאמר חז"ל, ולא נודע מקומו איה. וכל העובר ישתומם על המאמר אשר שמו פלאי! הכי בצרה שלא תבא צרעת ממארת לכל באי עולם, יפיג בזה צערו עד שתהיה בעיניו חצי נחמה? אין זה כי אם רע לב וקנאת איש מרעהו! 
אמנם יש להמתיק הפתגם הזה כי דעת שפתם ברור מללו. כי הנה כבר אמר החכם מכל אדם (משלי י"ב כ"ה): "דאגה בלב איש יַשְׂחֶנָּה" לאחרים (כיומא ע"ה ע"א), ופירש רש"י: "ישחנה לאחרים, שמא ישאוהו עצה". ו"הערוך" (ע' שח ו') פי': "כדי שיבקשו עליו רחמים. וגם פירוש "הערוך" נכון הוא, כי כן אמרו רבנן בשבת (ס"ז ע"א) "דצריך להודיע צערו לרבים, ורבים יבקשו עליו רחמים". ובזה יעלה ויבא על נכון דברי חכמז"ל שהליטו דבריהם במעטה מליצתם: "צרת רבים חצי נחמה". כי אם רבים ישתתפו בצרת יחיד, ובצרתו גם להם צר, בטח מעתירים בעדו בעתר מאמרות ומבקשים עליו רחמים. כי חלילה להם מחדול להתפלל בעדו, כל שכן אם תלמיד חכם הוא צריכין שיחלו עצמן עליו (כברכות י"ב ע"ב). וגדולה תפלה יותר ממע"ט (שם ל"ב) ותפלתם זאת תחשב לו לצדקה לחצי נחמה, כמאמרם: "תפלה עשתה מחצה" (ויק"ר פ"י - ה'. עי' רש"י עקב ט' - כ'). 
כעת מצאתי זכר למאמר כזה ב"מדרש רבה" (דברים פ"ב - י"ד): "מהו בצר לך, אר"י בשם ר"ע כל צרה שהיא של יחיד צרה, שאינה של יחיד אינה צרה" יעוי"ש ב"מתנת כהונה". הלום ראיתי בספר "מלאכת מחשבת" (להגאון הפילוסוף האלהי ר' משה חפץ ז"ל, בפרשת תבא) שהביא מאמר הלזה צרת רבים חצי נחמה בשם "משל הקדמוני" והוא ז"ל הבין את המשל ומליצה פשוטו כמשמעו, ובאר בזה כמה כתובים, יעוי"ש טהורים אמרי נועם. 

מהרש"א חידושי אגדות מסכת גיטין דף נח עמוד א
וע"ד צרת רבים חצי נחמה 

באבן כספי לאיכה, עה"פ מה אעידך וגו', שכתב לשון הלז [צרת רבים חצי נחמה].
ועי' עוד בחינוך מ"ע של"א שכתב ג"כ בזה"ל: צרת רבים נחמה. 

ספר מגיד מישרים פרשת מקץ מהדורא בתרא
והיינו דאמר ר' יוחנן דין גרמא דעשיראה ביר, דודאי איכא למיתמה דהוה מנחם לבני נשא על דרך צער רבים חצי נחמה, והאי לאו נחמה דחכימי כוותיה איהו, אלא רזא דמילתא דלא הוה אמר הכי אלא לאינון דהוו צדיקייא ולא אתגלגלו אלא לאשלומי דרא, והוה אמר להו דלא ליצטערון דלית להון צורכא דבנין כמה דהוה ליה דמתו בנוי ולא מצטער עלייהו דלא הוה צריך לון, ומאי דקאמר דין גרמא דעשיראה ביר למירמז דמעשר ספירן יניק הוה וכלהו אשפיעו ביה ולא מתו אלא משום דלא הוה צריך להון: 

פלא יועץ ערך נחמה "ויש עוד מין נחמה אחרת, כמאמר רבותינו ז''ל (חינוד מצוה שלא) צרת רבים חצי נחמה. ויתן אל לבו כי רבים שתו ובארזים נפלה שלהבת, וכמה גדולי עולם אנשי חיל עברו על ראשם המים הזידונים רעות רבות וצרות מינים ממינים שונים, דק ותשכח, שכל מיני יסורין שבעולם נפתחו בגדולים ולא טוב הוא מהר:"
אך בערך אהבת רעים וכן בערך תשובה כתב צרת רבים נחמת שוטים.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Democrats in Congress to explore creating an expert panel on Trump’s mental health

hree congressional Democrats have asked a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine to consult with them about forming an expert panel to offer the legislators advice on assessing President Trump’s mental health.
Yale’s Dr. Bandy Lee told STAT that over the last few weeks members of Congress or their staff have asked her to discuss how members might convene psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals “to review the president’s mental health, and review it on a periodic basis.” The closed meeting is expected to take place in September, she said.
The request came from three current congressmen and one former member, she said. She declined to name them, saying they told her they did not wish to be publicly identified yet.
The invitation comes as 27 representatives, all Democrats, have co-sponsored a bill to establish “a commission on presidential capacity.” The commission would carry out a provision of the 25th Amendment, which gives Congress the authority to establish “a body” with the power to declare a president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Under the bill, H.R. 1987, eight of the 11 members of the commission would be physicians, including four psychiatrists.
STAT contacted the sponsors’ offices, which either did not respond or declined to comment.
Trump has not released his medical records beyond a brief summary from his physician last year. He has said he never sought or received a mental health evaluation or therapy.
But since his election and, increasingly, his inauguration, a number of mental health experts have spoken or written about what Trump’s behavior and speech suggest about his cognitive and emotional status, including impulsivity and paranoia, with some offering formal diagnoses, such as narcissistic personality disorder.
In a book scheduled for publication in October that was edited by Lee, 27 experts offer their views of what Lee calls “Trump’s mental symptoms,” including his impulsivity, “extreme present focus,” pathological levels of narcissism, and an apparent lack of trust that is a sign of deep paranoia. The book is based on a small meeting Lee organized at Yale in April on whether psychiatrists have a “duty to warn” about any dangers Trump poses because of his psychological make-up.
If members of Congress form an expert panel like the one Lee has been asked to advise on, psychiatrists who participate would be at risk of violating a decades-old ethics rule imposed by the American Psychiatric Association on its members. Called the Goldwater rule, it prohibits APA members from diagnosing the mental health of public figures whom they have not examined. (Sharing such a diagnosis of someone they have examined would, of course, violate a different ethical rule, on patient confidentiality.)
In March, after growing criticism that the Goldwater rule was essentially a gag order that prevented the public from hearing from experts, the APA not only reaffirmed the rule but extended it. Now, in addition to the prohibition against suggesting that someone might (or might not) have a specific mental disorder, APA members are barred from “render[ing] an opinion about the affect, behavior, speech, or other presentation of an individual that draws on the skills, training, expertise, and/or knowledge inherent in the practice of psychiatry.”
While there is an exception for court-ordered evaluations and for consultations even without personally evaluating someone, there is no explicit exception allowing psychiatrists to tell elected officials, in public or in private, their views of a public figure’s mental state. Last month, the American Psychoanalytic Association, another psychiatrists group, sent an email to its members reiterating that they are not bound by the APA’s rule.

Lee, whose academic research focuses on prison reform, recidivism, and the causes of violence, said she “kept with the Goldwater rule’s original conception of refraining from making diagnoses, but speaking to dangerousness and the need for an evaluation.”

The expert panel that Lee was asked to discuss convening would have several members, she said, but it remains to be worked out who would serve, how and by whom they would be chosen, what their mandate would be, and how and when they would offer their opinions to Congress, should the proposal even get off the ground.
On Friday, Lee and four other psychiatrists sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate and House arguing that Trump exhibits “severe emotional impediments that … present a grave threat to international security,” and asking Congress to “take immediate steps to establish a commission to determine his fitness for office.” The letter signers are staunch Trump opponents and believe his presidency should end.
The letter echoed one that Lee and a slightly different group of colleagues sent to Congress in July. The most recent one came in the wake of Trump’s reportedly ad-libbed statement last Tuesday that if North Korea carries through on its nuclear threats, “they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.” On Thursday, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un threatened to bomb the American territory of Guam, Trump said, “Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”
Lee and the other signers of the new letter, including Dr. Lance Dodes, recently retired from Harvard Medical School, argue that Trump’s “alarming patterns of impulsive, reckless, and narcissistic behavior — regardless of diagnosis … put the world at risk,” posing an “imminent danger” that psychiatrists are ethically obligated to warn about.
“The role of honor or, rather, perceived humiliation is often overlooked as a powerful stimulant of international violence,” they write, adding that the “president may not have the capacity to consider an array of possible choices, due to his own emotional needs.” They ask Congress to “take immediate steps to establish a commission to determine his fitness for office.”

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Israel: No More Fines For Using Another Person’s ‘Rav Kav’

August 8, 2017 10:30 pm

yeshiva world

Since the implementation of the Rav Kav transportation smart card in Israel, the Knesset’s Ombudsman’s Office has received many complaints from people fined for using a Rav Kav that belonged to someone else. That is to say, they paid for their travel, but the card they punched belonged to another person.
It should be pointed out that commuters are aware that regulations prohibit using a smart card that is not one’s own.

The Knesset Ombudsman Committee discussed the matter and decided it is absurd for a commuter to receive a 180 shekel fine for using another person’s card when the fare is paid in full. Citizens who were fined and complained to the ombudsman’s office question the justification of the fine when the fare was paid – seeking to understand why it matters who owns the smart card.
In addition, families with many children often do not purchase a card for each child, or at times, and not infrequently, a child loses his/her card so a parent instructs him/her to use a spouse’s card.
Head of the committee, MK Yisrael Eichler, raised the matter in Knesset after receiving hundreds of complaints. In addition, he contacted the Transportation Ministry, seeking to eliminate fines for use of another’s Rav Kav. Eichler succeeded and inspectors are being informed that one is no longer to be fined for using a Rav Kav belonging to another person. There are exceptions, which include a Rav Kav with a monthly ridership (חדשי חופשי) on it and a Rav Kav with reduced fares for the elderly.
In the case of students; if a student uses a card belonging to another student, which is a discounted fare, inspectors have the right to use discretion regarding a fine. If a fine is given, the rider has the right to appeal to the Transportation Ministry and if s/he can prove s/he is a student, the fine will be canceled.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis, Activists Take on Pedophilia in Public Rally


Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:11 am (PDT) . Posted by: 

"Dorron Katzin" dakatzin

*Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis, Activists Take on Pedophilia in Public Rally*

*Religious leaders take on the issue at rare public gathering in Haredi
town of Bnei Brak, dismiss rumors of ‘cult’ hunting children on street*

Aaron Rabinowitz (
795882) Aug 09, 2017 12:55 AM

• Jerusalem men held on suspicion of sexually abusing children -
• Breaking Israel's ultra-Orthodox taboo on discussing sexual abuse -

In a rare gathering that took place Saturday night in Bnei Brak,
ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) rabbis and activists spoke publicly for the first
time on the issue of pedophilia (
israel-news/.premium-1.710150) in the community, providing a glimpse into
how attackers and victims are dealt with.

The assembly was convened following a wave of rumors about a “missionary
cult” that was snatching children, sexually assaulting them, inciting them
against their parents and even threatening to murder them. These rumors
were making local parents hysterical, especially since dozens of children
had complained in recent months about strangers who approached them,
grabbed them and sexually assaulted them. An in-depth examination, however,
showed that the panic was apparently unjustified; although there had been
cases of children being assaulted, these attacks had been perpetrated by
pedophiles acting alone and not as part of any network or cult.

The story is also rooted in cases that took place earlier in Jerusalem. In
2011 a number of suspects were arrested in a series of attacks on children
in the Nahlaot neighborhood. Residents believed there was a wide network of
pedophiles in the area who had attacked dozens of children, but an
intensive police investigation uncovered no evidence of this, although
there had been a few individual instances.

A few years later there were rumors of a similar network operating in the
Jerusalem neighborhood of Sanhedria. In August 2016 police arrested a
number of people suspected of spreading the rumors about a “missionary
cult” and using them to extract hundreds of thousands of shekels from
people who contributed to help stop the imaginary cult.

After similar rumors started in Bnei Brak a few months ago, activists and
rabbis who intervened determined that these were groundless and that a
significant number of the children’s reports could not be proven
sufficiently or were outright lies.

As the Saturday assembly was called to calm frightened parents, the
phenomenon of pedophilia was discussed. At the start of the conference,
however, Rabbi Shlomo Levinstein, who is active in this area because of his
position in the Mishmeret Hakodesh Vehahinukh (“Guardians of Holiness and
Education”) organization, said, “For reasons of modesty, questions to the
rabbis will be allowed only after the gathering on a private basis.”
Teenagers were ordered out of the hall.

During his address, Levinstein said, “When we know who the attacker is,
there is sometimes an option to deal with it in the community. We know how
to do this, either through the Mishmeret Hakodesh or through Rabbi Chananya
Chollak [chairman of the Ezer Mizion aid organization]. We have ways of
sending people for treatment and we do so with a waiver on medical secrecy.
When we don’t know who did it, we call the Israel Police.”

He added, “Our community has all sorts of sensitivities that don’t exist in
other populations. When police are called, the detectives don’t know our
language and can sometimes ask things that a child wouldn’t know what they
want of him. Sometimes we arranged to have children questioned in Rabbi
Chollak’s office, and that’s acceptable to the police. But the first thing
that must be done is to protect the children – that is, to warn them not to
speak to strangers and that you are the sole proprietor over your body.”

*Nothing new*

Chollak also addressed the gathering, saying, “Unfortunately, assaults on
children are nothing new. Almost every week there’s an incident, in our
community as well, to our great regret. There was a story in Bnei Brak a
while back. Twenty-eight children were assaulted within 10 days, three of
them girls who were hospitalized. I couldn’t sit in my office and I went
out on ambushes with the police.”

Rabbi Yehuda Sillman, a senior rabbinic court judge, told the gathering,
“This story started in the Nahlaot neighborhood in Jerusalem, where there
were evil people who did terrible things and they’re sitting in jail.
There’s no doubt that in various instances you have to go to the
authorities, but in the current case [the rumored missionary cult in Bnei
Brak] it’s clear the story isn’t credible. Hysteria and imagination work
overtime in these cases and cause even worse damage – people who won’t
leave their homes, children who aren’t permitted to play in the park, and

Sillman added, “If there have been cases of assaults on children, they
should be reported to the police, in coordination with the rabbis and
activists to make sure the attackers indeed get punished and that there’s
oversight so that the complaints are checked in a manner suited to the
Haredi community. But there’s no need for exaggerated panic.”

In conclusion, the rabbis instructed the parents to repeatedly tell
children that they shouldn’t approach or talk to strangers, and that they
must explain to them that only they have say over their bodies.

“There are a lot of question marks in this case,” said Eli Schlesinger,
crime reporter for the website Bechadrei Haredim, who has been continuously
covering the issue of sexual assault in the community. “One city resident
collected the information and gave the rabbis a document with 30 instances
of assault. Rabbi Yehuda Sillman investigated but could not find evidence
of a cult operating in the city.”

Yisrael Cohen, a journalist for the Kikar Shabbat website, which divulged
the recordings from the Bnei Brak gathering, told Haaretz, “The rabbis and
the Haredi activists work in cooperation with the police, who in certain
cases look away and allow treatment within the community. The police
understand that the advantages of cooperation with Haredi officials
outweigh the disadvantages.”

Thursday, August 3, 2017

US video against PLO state a huge hit in Israel

Mark Langfan's appearance on CBN explaining strategic danger of 'Two-state solution' a viral sensation, with 500,000 views.
by Gil Ronen


A 5.5-minute video in which Middle East strategy analyst Mark Langfan explains the dangers on the "two state solution" has become a viral hit in Israel, more than three years after it originally aired on CBN.
After being featured in November on a Facebook page created by grassroots Zionist activists called Kol Ha'am ("The People's Voice"), the Hebrew-subtitled clip has garnered 367,000 views to date, which – combined with its views elsewhere on social media, puts it at a total of about 500,000 total views, most of them from Israelis.
In terms of views per population, this would be the equivalent of 33 million views for a video targeting the US audience. It is currently shooting up at over 20,000 views per day.
In the video, Langfan, a New York-based attorney, pro-Israel activist and media analyst appears on Erick Stakelbeck's show, "The Watchman", to clarify what could – and probably would – happen, if Israel were ever to allow Palestinian statehood in Judea and Samaria.
Using a three dimensional map of Israel, a few pieces of colored Plexiglas and a lot of old-fashioned common sense – Langfan demonstrates the ease with which Arab control of the mountainous Biblical heartland would place 70% of Israel's Jewish populace and 80% of its industrial base within the range of truck-based chemical weapons of mass destruction.
The clip's success runs counter to commonly held views on social media marketing, according to which the short attention span of the modern audience prescribes that only extremely short and fast-moving videos stand a chance of success. To the contrary, it seems that the Israeli audience appreciates precisely the in-depth, low-snazz analysis that Langfan provides.
Some of viewers' reactions – most of which seem to be from people in their 20s and 30s – compliment the video for showing what Israel's left-leaning educational system and media do not, and for providing a solid, fact-based rationale for rejecting the "two-state solution" that has been accepted by Israel's leadership.
shortened version of the nine-minute segment on Langfan's Youtube account.
Langfan chairs Americans for a Safe Israel and is a regular contributor to Arutz Sheva.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Rabbi YY Jacobson: When Religion Becomes Toxic and Full of Lies

Published on Mar 16, 2017

AMUDIM Awareness Event in Forest Hill, Queens, NY, March 4, 2017. This was in response to many an overdose in the Jewish community. This is a "strong" speech in response to the terrible crisis of youths losing their lives to addiction and despair.

Brooklyn, NY - My Message For Tisha Ba'v: Judge Ruchie Freier: Reflections From The Bench On Judging Our Children

Published on: Yesterday 11:45 PM
By: Ruchie Freier

Brooklyn, NY -  I remember seven years ago when I first met 14 year old Malky Klein a”h.  She was sitting across me in the Seforim Room in my home.  She pensive yet pretty, wearing a long skirt and dressed B’Tznius.  Malky was wearing the uniform of the school that had expelled her because she was hurt and ashamed and did not want anyone to know that she had no school. 
Her parents were worried as she was experiencing challenges; no high school wanted to accept her.  Since Malky’s passing, many people are coming forward attacking the “system” and warning us of the dire consequences.  What people don’t know is the missing piece to this story.  
During the early years of my community service, I began advocating for kids at risk and formed B’Derech focusing on adolescent Youth at Risk, primarily boys in the Chassidish Community. 
My previous articles appeard here on VIN share my early experience. 
One night, in late 2010, my aunt, Miriam Schwartz, called me.  “Ruchie, you must help me get my good friend Rifka Klein’s daughter into high school.”  My aunt explained that she knows this girl and her family for years and they were wonderful people. She explained there was a meeting tonight at a certain high school that Mrs. Klein was afraid to attend because if the other mothers see her, they would protest.
After meeting with Malky and her parents, I had several conversations with their Rav, the Krulla Rebbe of Williamsburg.  He was concerned and supportive and offered to assist me in helping the Klein family with whom he was close with. 
I pleaded with the principal, a kindhearted and righteous person, who was opening a new high school to accept Malky.  She was reluctant because there was negative information out there.  
I advocated and ultimately the principal acquiesced.  But, it was only after she quietly told me that several mothers were calling her exclaiming that if Malky Klein is accepted, they will take their daughters out of the school.  
In fact, the principal said that one of the mothers explained that she was related to the Kleins and thus had first hand information of what transpires in their home and strongly urged the Rebbetzin not to accept Malky.  This required my investigation which revealed that no such cousin existed.  This is merely one example of the exaggerated and/or false reports that were made by mothers in the class.
While Malky was truly grateful to be accepted into the school, she longed to be with her friends and dreamed of joining them.    When Malky completed 9th grade, she was still hopeful that if she worked with tutors and tried harder, and got better grades in 10th grade, she would be able to transfer for 11th grade.  
Malky personally wrote letters to other school principals and begged to be given the chance, all to no avail.  Alas, despite all her efforts she cried to her parents “What it takes girls in my class seconds to learn, takes me hours. If this is what it means to be a good girl, it’s not for me!” And that was the beginning of the tragic end for Malky.  A sweet girl, who was so misunderstood and hurt, despite the unconditional love of her wonderful parents.
As we reject more children, the death rate goes up.  The Chazon Ish said that a decision to expel a child is Dinei Nefoshos and halachically requires a Bais Din of 23 members.  
The Torah relates that a Bais Din that killed once in 70 years was considered a Bais Din of murderers.  Yet our system has resulted in approximately 70 deaths in less than one year due to rejection, despite the fact that so many sources do not support this policy.  
In the Gemara, Bava Basra (21a) R’ Shmuel Bar Shilas, an Amoira who was an educator in his time, stated that the student who does not study or behave appropriately, should not be tortured or expelled.  Rather, he should be kept together with the other students for ultimately he will turn around.  
The Rishonim, such as Nimokei Yosef, use even stronger language saying that it is prohibited to send off such a student, even on the possibility that it will set his heart in the right place.  The Maharsha (in Ruach HaKodesh) writes that keeping the child where he is, will be a big benefit for the other students. 
The Michtav Eliyahu by HaRav Dessler, asks why Noach did not send his wayward son, Chom, during the mabul, to check what is happening outside?  Why did Noach send a bird?  He answers that when there is a mabul raging outside you do not throw someone out even if he behaves badly.  So what happened in our community; why have so many of our children been cast away – thrown overboard into dangerous and troubled waters? see full articleHERE