Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Though Trump said Wednesday that "100%" of ISIS had been defeated, forces on the ground suggest otherwise. An August report by the Pentagon estimates that ISIS is “resurging” in Syria and has as many as 18,000 militants there and in Iraq. And although its threat had dissipated in recent times, it has not disappeared. On October 11, the group claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a popular restaurant in the Syrian-Kurdish city of Qamishli, which killed at least three civilians.

Special report from Syrian-Iraq border: ‘For sure, the Islamic State will take this opportunity to come back,’ warns one Kurdish fighter, while U.S. coalition commander says: 'The mission against ISIS has been undermined

Though Trump said Wednesday that "100%" of ISIS had been defeated, forces on the ground suggest otherwise. An August report by the Pentagon estimates that ISIS is “resurging” in Syria and has as many as 18,000 militants there and in Iraq. And although its threat had dissipated in recent times, it has not disappeared. On October 11, the group claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack on a popular restaurant in the Syrian-Kurdish city of Qamishli, which killed at least three civilians.

Trump walks back claim of defeating ‘100% of the ISIS caliphate’

 the president told a different story on Monday during a speech to law enforcement officers in Chicago ahead of two fundraising events at a hotel he owns in the Windy City.
He told the officers that once the U.S. military — which had help from Kurdish forces Trump recently allowed to be attacked by Turkey’s military — had eliminated “70 percent” of the so-called caliphate, “I said, ’Let’s go home.’”

Killing Americans - "Mind, Body and Spirit:"

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

*  The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.

Parshas Noach, 5780

29 Oct. '19

Elections in Focus: Assisted Suicide supporters running for re-election in NJ:

Previously, the Jewish Press published a psak Halacha regarding Assisted Suicide legislation, including a statement relevant to elections:

"Thus, when voting for any public official, this issue must be considered as top priority, certainly overriding financial considerations, government programs, etc. By voting for people who support these laws, we become accountable for their actions. This ruling would still apply even if these laws were to be passed, we would still be forbidden to vote for legislators who voted for these laws. This is the most important way to fulfill our obligation."

Some of the rabbanim who signed the psak are Rabbis
Eliyahu Ben-Haim, Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff, Yitzchok Cohen (Yeshiva University), Shmuel Kamenetsky (Talmudical Academy of Philadelphia), Benjamin Yudin (Shomrei Torah, Fair Lawn, NJ), Steven Pruzansky (Bnai Yeshurun, Teaneck), Simcha Bunim Cohen (Khal Ateres Yeshaya), Dovid Schustal (Bais Medrash Govoha),  Avrohom Yaakov Nelkenbaum (Mirrer Yeshiva).

Legislators who represent Orthodox districts in NJ, and who voted for assisted suicide - and are  thus included in the category of those candidates for whom it is forbidden to vote - include:

Lisa Swain, Christopher Tully  (Bergenfield, Fair Lawn, Paramus);

Gordon Johnson,  Valerie Vainieri Huttle (Englewood, Fort Lee, Teaneck, Tenafly);

Clinton Calabrese (Passaic):

Jamel Holley, Annette Quijano (Elizabeth, Union); 

Louis Greenwald,  Pamela Lampitt  (Cherry Hill);

Mila Jasey, John McKeon (Livingston, Maplewood, West Orange);

Annette Chaparro,  Raj Mukherji  (Jersey City, Union City);

Angela McKnight (Jersey City, Bayonne).

After years of deceptive campaigning, Assisted Suicide passed in NJ a number of months ago, by a single vote in each house of the Legislature. Thus, technically, each and every legislator is responsible for its passage.  By demonstrating what our values are, we help preserve them, especially in states where Assisted Suicide still poses a real and present danger, especially N.Y. By ignoring the Halacha, and voting for those who ostensibly throw government money at us to buy our votes, we not only perpetrate Chillul HaShem, but we aid and abet those who threaten the lives of some of our most vulnerable.

It should be mentioned that in that last vote, much of the Orthodox community was intentionally kept in the dark about the need to be extra vocal in our opposition to Assisted Suicide legislation in NJ. For example, one community leader, who had a detailed conversation with the lead activist of an Orthodox lobbying organization, had no idea of the need to reach out to a key legislator in his own district, even just a few hours before that fateful vote. That particular Assemblyman voted yes, technically providing the one vote needed to pass it in the Assembly, thus making it law.


Part 2:

Educational "Crusader" running for D.A. in Rockland County:

In a high profile, three way race in Rockland County, NYS Supreme Court Judge Thomas Walsh, pro-LGBT, pro-abortion Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, and Attorney Michael Dietrich are running for D.A.

Mr. Dietrich has made multiple public statements (on social and in print media) threatening to prosecute Orthodox Jewish individuals over our choices of how we educate our children. His posted statements, when objectively examined in context, would terrify any Biblically oriented parent, and deeply concern anyone concerned about safeguarding constitutional liberties - in the realms of religious, educational, and parental rights - from unconstitutional government intrusion, and,  ultimately, from the unrelenting LGBTQ indoctrination agenda permeating public education nowadays.

Tellingly, he also calls for leaving one's religion out of the voting booth, as if voting on antireligious values is somehow preferable to voting on the basis of one's religious values.

He claims that the lack of secular education in many ultra Orthodox institutions would be prosecutable as endangerment of the welfare of a child. He singles out several large orthodox communities for critique, including Lakewood NJ. Meanwhile, indisputable harm to children is being perpetrated in his own backyard. For example, the NYC school system, as reported in this column not long ago, has been subjected to new Guidelines, in the form of draconian transgender policies. If he is concerned about child welfare, where is his concern over that, which is being promulgated with the blessing of the NYS Democratic Establishment?  

He complains about indoctrination by Yeshivos that teach secular subjects in a manner consistent with the Torah, as if our religious values and perspective must be restricted to religious studies. 
As AG Barr wisely noted recently, the problem Americans face is not religious indoctrination, but antireligious indoctrination, especially in the arena of Education.

The very focus, on the part of Mr. Dietrich and his ilk, on the  prosecution of Yeshivas and Bais Yaakov girl schools - while ignoring the systemic pro-LGBTQ indoctrination of the public schools system - raises a red (or pink) flag.

It's crucial to clarify that, to an extent, the concerns Orthodox Jews have over outside influence over education extend to all segments of the Orthodox community (all of which would be branded "ultra-Orthodox by pro-immorality propagandists). Additionally, these threats to educational independence pose similar dangers to all children, particularly those in religious schools. Once religious schools are targeted for maintaining their educational independence, in this LGBTQ permeated societal milieu, no school, family, or child is safe.

Mr. Dietrich reveals his assimilationist missionary agenda darkly in another posted statement. He intones that if ultra-Orthodox students were educated on secular subjects and basic American values, he claims, we wouldn't be a separate community, as in Lakewood (and, we'd add: Monsey, Wesley Hills, and Flatbush...) - but rather "one unified community" in which "almost every child" would be in the Public School system. 

Mazel Tov. And every child would be entitled to the opportunity to be compelled to restrain himself from using the restrooms all day, to avoid the transgender bathroom incidents currently victimizing NYC Public School inmates. And every child could partake of the spectacle of being educated by teachers who (at least pretend to be) unaware of basic anatomical distinctions defining male and female, and who genuflect to 67 genders of the Equality Rainbow culture. Furthermore, the children would be taught from textbooks celebrating same gender "marriage," recognition of which, Chazal exhort us in Beraishis Rabba 26:5/10 on Ber. 6:2, and in VaYikra Rabba on ViYikra 18:3, triggered the Great Flood detailed in this week's parsha.

These people not only are bereft of authority to address our religious needs, they don't even begin to speak as authorities on Education altogether, because they clearly have no idea of what it is.

What Is the “Highly Anticipated” FISA Report That Conservatives Keep Talking About?

To those outside the conservative news bubble, “the FISA report” might not mean much—let alone be “highly anticipated,” as the story described it. But those who watch Fox News have been primed to think of this report as something that will show that the FBI and Justice Department were reckless, or even acted illegally, in their efforts to undermine Donald Trump. Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on Fox News on Sunday to promise a public hearing as soon as the report is available. Lou Dobbs complained on Fox when he learned the report had been delayed. Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett promised viewers that the report would mean “harsh judgment” and a possible criminal referral for former FBI Director James Comey. And it’s not just Fox. The larger conservative media world has focused on the report. (The New York Times and the Washington Post, by contrast, have covered the report’s existence, but they haven’t hyped it as a possible game-changer.) The Daily Caller, for example, called the report “much-anticipated” and reminded its readers that “a lot is riding on the report.”

Racial Profiling, or Pure Antireligious Discrimination?

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

* The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.


1 Cheshvan,5780 °° Oct.30,'19

The extent of corruption in the government handling of the case of Ziva bas Mazal is coming to light. Individual instances of mismanagement can theoretically be attributed to other factors, but a pattern indicates intentional corruption, and, in light of a previously articulated Army agenda, discrimination. Some of the "anomalies" include:

1. Ziva (and her family) is clearly religious. Nevertheless, had been hit with a whopping 31-day military prison sentence [since completed] for ostensibly submitting her religious exemption documentation late.

2. Even if the Army's claim of late submission would be accurate, lateness is clearly no excuse for intentionally drafting or imprisonment of a religious girl, denying her religious rights.

3. There is no reason to doubt Ziva's claim that she sent in her religious certification early.

4. Nor is there reason to accept the ubiquitous Army claim that they never got the her religious certification in the mail. Those involved is assisting girls avoiding military service hear of this claim by army officers frequently, too frequently to be credible.

5. As noted previously, this claim has even less credibility because of an intentional government refusal to enact a simple exemption confirmation process, so every girl would know if she is exempt or not. The government chooses to keep the girls in the dark, and at the same time keep claiming that the government cannot reliably deliver critical mail -- to itself.

6. Ziva's initial attorney, a government-provided public defender, reportedly indicated to Ziva that Ziva's case was a low priority for her.

7. Ziva's interview with Maitav "Vice"-Commander Avner Lotati technically should have addressed the core issue ostensibly under question, being her religiosity. It did not; she was not asked any questions about her religiosity per se. Furthermore, in Lotati's report recommending Ziva be drafted, Lotati failed to provide any rationale for rejecting her claim of religious observance (for good reason - because there's absolutely nothing to question about her religiosity).

The concatenation of this sequence of mistreatment indicates intentional discrimination. Is it only because Ziva is religious, or is it also because she's Ethiopian, and at somewhat of a disadvantage because of that?


Some previous posts on this ongoing scandal:

To check for updates throughout the week please visit ("Updates for Cheshvan" at: )

Trump’s False Claim about Syrian ‘Safe Zone’

In his press conference, Trump said he was “glad” he “was able to help” Turkey establish a “safe zone” — but, in doing so, he made his false claim about deaths “from that safe zone.”

Trump, Oct. 27: Turkey has taken tremendous deaths from that part of the world. You know, we call it a safe zone. But it was anything but a safe zone. Turkey has lost thousands and thousands of people from that safe zone. So they’ve always wanted that safe zone, for many years. I’m glad I was able to help them get it.

Three experts we interviewed said the president is wrong.

“President Trump specifically said they have been fighting in the ‘safe zone’ area that he gave to Turkish control,” Aydıntaşbaş said. “Again, no recorded history of that ever. Turkey has not ‘lost thousands of people in that safe zone.'”

Henri Barkey, a professor of international relations at Lehigh University and adjunct senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, was blunt: “This is complete nonsense. He is making things up,” Barkey said.

Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, didn’t say Trump was “making things up,” but rather “conflating” Turkey’s ongoing fight against the PKK in Turkey with the perceived threat from the YPG across the border in Syria.

“Turkey has long been fighting the PKK. Estimates that appear frequently in the press and reports are that 40,000 people have died as a result of the fighting between the Turkish state [and] the PKK,” Sloat said, referring us to a Sept. 13 story in Al-Jazeera about a roadside bombing that killed seven in southeast Turkey. “So the ‘thousands’ who have died are in Turkey as a result of fighting with the PKK, not in Syria as a result of fighting with the YPG there.”

The CIA also reports that the conflict in Turkey has resulted in 40,000 deaths.

But, Sloat said, “PKK (in Turkey) are linked to YPG (in Syria),” and “Turkey has long wanted a safe zone.” She said Erdogan since 2013 has been calling for a safe zone “in Syria to push the YPG off its border and to prevent them from connecting several cantons and creating an autonomous Kurdish region, which he believes would threaten Turkish security.”

That threat, however, has not resulted in “thousands and thousands” of Turkish deaths in northern Syria, contrary to Trump’s claim. Those deaths occurred as a result of a decades-old conflict inside Turkey’s borders.

'Trump FACES A STORM After He Attacks On Vindman Trigger Backlash

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman told House impeachment investigators Tuesday that multiple important words and phrases were not included in the memo of the July phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, despite his best efforts to have them recorded.

The New York Times cited three people familiar with the testimony who said Vindman—the National Security Council's Ukraine expert who sat in on the phone call and raised concerns about it to an NSC lawyer—told representatives that two of his attempted changes to the memo were not made.

Vindman—an Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient—said some of his suggestions were incorporated into the memo released last month, but that omitted portions included Trump claiming that there were recordings of 2020 rival Joe Biden discussing corruption in Ukraine.

During more than 10 hours of questioning, Vindman also said that at one point, Zelenskiy mentioned the Burisma Holdings energy firm which employed Hunter Biden as a board member and around which the corruption allegations against the Bidens center.

The released memo used ellipses to indicate where some speech had been excluded, raising concerns that the White House is hiding more damaging details of the call. The memo had three sets of ellipses during stretches where Trump was speaking.

Combat Veteran Who Was On July 25th Call Testifies In Impeachment Inquiry | Deadline | MSNBC

Trump Impeachment Update: Vindman’s Explosive Testimony | The Daily Show

Energy Secretary Rick Perry Defends Urging Trump to Make Ukraine Call, United Arab Emirates) — Outgoing U.S. 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Saturday that he asked President Donald Trump to make the phone call at the center of the impeachment inquiry because it was “important” for the country’s energy needs and had nothing to do with former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter.

NSC official's testimony appears to contradict Rick Perry Ukraine claims

Testimony from a senior White House official on Tuesday appeared to contradict Energy Secretary Rick Perry's ardent denials that he ever heard former Vice President Joe Biden or his son Hunter discussed in relation to U.S. requests that Ukraine investigate corruption.

In his opening statement, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a National Security Council official overseeing Ukraine policy, told House impeachment investigators that he objected to EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland's comments in a July 10 White House briefing — attended by Perry — requesting that Ukrainian officials investigate the 2016 U.S. election, the Bidens and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma that had employed Hunter Biden.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


Lawyers for alleged pedophile Malka Leifer informed the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that she would refuse to cooperate with a new psychiatric panel which is scheduled to convene and evaluate her mental fitness for extradition.

Leifer’s lawyers added that they were requesting that the court issue a ruling immediately on whether or not Leifer is mentally fit to stand extradition trial without a determination from the panel.

This would then give them the opportunity to appeal such a decision to the Supreme Court, should the judge decide to proceed with extradition hearings.

Manny Waks, a campaigner against sexual abuse in the Jewish community, said that Leifer’s lawyers were again trying to drag out the case to prevent their client from being extradited and facing justice in Australia.

“They’re trying to prolong this case as along as possible,” said Waks. “It’s a publicity stunt. There is no genuine grounds for this step, and ultimately the court will see through it and hopefully will compel Leifer to participate in the process.”

White House official testifies on Ukraine call concerns, as president blasts 'Never Trumper witness'

"Why are people that I never even heard of testifying about the call," Trump tweeted. "Just READ THE CALL TRANSCRIPT AND THE IMPEACHMENT HOAX IS OVER!"

He also tweeted: "How many more Never Trumpers will be allowed to testify about a perfectly appropriate phone call when all anyone has to do is READ THE TRANSCRIPT! I knew people were listening in on the call (why would I say something inappropriate?), which was fine with me, but why so many?"


Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council staffer set to deliver dramatic testimony confirming that President Donald Trump sought dirt on a political rival from Ukraine, is a Jewish refugee from that country when it was part of the Soviet Union.


Amid a sudden wave of criticism and questions about Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman's loyalty to the United States, the No. 3 House Republican, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, came to the defense of the top Ukraine expert on President Donald Trump's National Security Council, who is testifying Tuesday before Congress.

In the hours leading up to his closed-door testimony, Vindman faced a barrage of insinuations about his motives and loyalty from Trump allies, as well as friendly cable news hosts. It was revealed Monday night Vindman would testify that he believed Trump's infamous July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart—a conversation that Vindman heard in real time—tried to undermine America's national security.

Cheney, the House Republican conference chair, labeled the attacks against the Iraq War veteran and Purple Heart recipient as "shameful" and said the questioning of his patriotism needed to immediately cease.

"I think that we need to show we are better than that as a nation," Cheney told reporters at a press conference. "Their patriotism, their love of country—we're talking about dedicated veterans who have put their lives on the line, and it is shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation, and we should not be involved in that process."

A White House National Security Expert Heard Trump's Ukraine Call and Reported Concerns. Read His Planned Testimony

A White House national security official who listened to President Donald Trump‘s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to tell Congressional investigators he was so concerned after the exchange that he notified his agency’s attorney.

According to his draft statement, Vindman will tell investigators and lawmakers that he brought concerns about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine to the National Security Council’s attorney, John Eisenberg. The first time Vindman says he reported his concerns was after a debriefing following a meeting with Ukrainian official Oleksandr Danylyuk, when E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland stressed the need for Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, Burisma—the gas company where Joe Biden’s son Hunter previously sat on the board—and the 2016 election. He felt compelled to report concerns again after Trump’s phone call with Zelensky.

House Democrats to Vote on Resolution Laying Out Next Steps in Impeachment Inquiry

Pelosi came under fierce criticism from Republicans for failing to hold a formal vote authorizing the inquiry, even though nothing in the Constitution mandates that one take place. While the idea was debated in a closed door meeting two weeks ago, opposition was fierce and Democratic leadership ultimately decided not to proceed. That decision was recently affirmed by the Judiciary; in a ruling on Friday, Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell wrote that arguments basing the legitimacy of an impeachment inquiry on an authorizing vote are “fatally flawed.”

As Pelosi outlined in her letter, this resolution is not a vote to authorize the inquiry, but to outline the procedural steps going forward. The text of the resolution had not been released as of Monday evening. But House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who has largely been helming the inquiry in conjunction with the committees on Foreign Affairs and Oversight and Government Reform, said in a subsequent statement that the resolution will lay out how his committee will conduct the open hearings, and how they transmit any evidence to the Judiciary Committee.

Since Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused the power of his office to prevail in the upcoming presidential election, multiple current and former administration officials have come to Capitol Hill to testify. But the President’s most inner circle has declined to cooperate. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry have all failed to comply with requests for documents, even when they were issued under subpoena.

Monday, October 28, 2019

revisionist history

Rav Shmuel wasn’t alone for another reason; he had a partner in the other rosh yeshivah. Rav Elya Svei had been a fellow talmid in Lakewood when the yeshivah in Philadelphia opened, and Rav Shmuel felt he would be the right choice to serve as a rosh yeshivah.
“Rav Elya was a mechanech. He really understood,” Rav Shmuel tells me, and as he remembers Rav Elya, there is a flash of what appears to be sadness, a cloud over the rosh yeshivah’s sanguine features.
Other yeshivos have also had two roshei yeshivah at their head. Not always is the partnership successful, and even when it is, not always does the arrangement work as fruitfully as this one did.
Rav Shmuel must feel like there’s an inherent compliment to him in my comment, so he just shrugs and spreads his hands apart. “It worked.”
But why? I persist: What was the secret?
“You want the secret?” The smile is back. “The secret is that mir zennen gevehn gutte chaverim, we were very good friends. But people see things differently, that’s inevitable, so we agreed early on that if we ever had a real difference of opinion, we would go together and ask.
“The Rosh Yeshivah was gone, and my father was a karov, so he couldn’t decide for us,” Rav Shmuel says, “so we made up that if we had a disagreement, we would go to Queens, to speak with Rav Zelik Epstein. He was a klugge Yid.”
Then Rav Shmuel adds a few more words. “Lema’aseh, we never had to go.”

bitul kiddushin

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Bitul Kidushin Meeting - in Lakewood

Was Koheles always smiling?

In the last few days I have encountered learned and frum Litvaks who claimed it was essential to be happy and smiling all the time And that truth didn't have any significance!

my simple response while that is the core religion of the present generation it is a major deviation from the Mesora

In what [sense] is the plain meaning of the text70 to be understood?71 — When R. Dimi came72 he explained: The congregation of Israel said to the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Lord of the Universe, wink to me with Thine eyes,73 which [to me will be] sweeter than wine, and shew74 me Thy teeth which will be sweeter than milk’.73 [This interpretation] provides support for R. Johanan who said; The man who [by smiling affectionately] shews75 his teeth to his friend is better than one who gives bins milk to drink, for it is said in Scriptures, And his teeth white with milk,70 read not ‘teeth white’ but ‘shewing the teeth’.76

Cultural differences

while smiling is perceived as a positive emotion most of the time, there are many cultures that perceive smiling as a negative expression and consider it unwelcoming. Too much smiling can be viewed as a sign of shallowness or dishonesty.[9] In some parts of Asia, people may smile when they are embarrassed or in emotional pain. Some people may smile at others to indicate a friendly greeting. A smile may be reserved for close friends and family members. Many people in the former Soviet Union area consider smiling at strangers in public to be unusual and even suspicious behavior,[10] or even a sign of stupidity.[11]
Systematic large cross-cultural study on social perception of smiling individuals[12] documented that in some cultures a smiling individual may be perceived as less intelligent than the same non-smiling individual (and that cultural uncertainty avoidance may explain these differences). Furthermore, the same study showed that corruption at the societal level may undermine the prosocial perception of smiling—in societies with high corruption indicators, trust toward smiling individuals is reduced.
Tanach - Ecclesiastes Chapter 1

1. The words of Kohelet, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2. Vanity of vanities, said Kohelet, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
3. What gains a man from all his labor at which he labors under the sun?
4. One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides for ever.
5. The sun also rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to its place where it rises again.
6. The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; it whirls around continually, and the wind returns again according to its circuits.
7. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; to the place from where the rivers come, there
they return again.
8. All things are full of weariness; man cannot utter it; the
eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9. That which has been, is what shall be; and that which has been done is what shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
10. Is there any thing about which it may be said, See, this is new? It has been already in the ages before us.
11. There is no remembrance of former things; nor shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those who shall come after.
12. I Kohelet was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
13. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven; it is a hard task that God has given to the sons of man to be exercised with.
14. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.
15. That which is crooked cannot be made straight; and that

which is wanting cannot be numbered.
16. In my heart I said, Behold, I became a great man and acquired more wisdom than all those who have been before me in Jerusalem; and my heart has seen much of wisdom and knowledge.
17. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; I perceived that this also was a striving after wind.
18. For in much wisdom there is much grief; and he that
increases knowledge increases sorrow.
    CHAPTER V Berachos


    GEMARA. What is the [Scriptural] source of this rule? — R. Eleazar said: Scripture says, And she was in bitterness of soul.15 But how can you learn from this? Perhaps Hannah was different because she was exceptionally bitter at heart! Rather, said R. Jose son of R. Hanina: We learn it from here:
But as for me, in the abundance of Thy lovingkindness will I come into Thy house, I will bow down toward Thy holy temple in the fear of Thee.16 But how can we learn from this? perhaps David was different, because he was exceptionally self-tormenting in prayer! Rather, said R. Joshua b. Levi, it is from here: Worship the Lord in the beauty
of holiness.17 Read not hadrath [beauty] but herdath [trembling]. But how can you learn from here? perhaps I can after all say that the word ‘hadrath’ is to be taken literally, after the manner of Rab Judah, who used to dress himself up before he prayed! Rather, said R. Nahman b. Isaac: We learn it from here: Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.18 What is meant by ‘rejoice with trembling’? — R. Adda b. Mattena said in the name of Rab: In the place where there is rejoicing there should also be
trembling. Abaye was sitting before Rabbah, who observed that he seemed very merry. He said: It is written, And rejoice with trembling? — He replied: I am putting on tefillin.19 R. Jeremiah was sitting before R. Zera who saw that he seemed very merry.
He said to him: It is written, In all sorrow there is profit?20 — He replied: I am wearing tefillin. Mar the son of Rabina made a marriage feast for his son. He saw that the Rabbis were growing very merry, so he brought a precious cup1 worth four hundred zuz and broke it before them, and they became serious. R. Ashi made a marriage feast for his son. He saw that the Rabbis were growing very merry, so he brought a cup of white crystal and broke it before them and they became serious. The Rabbis said to R. Hamnuna
Zuti at the wedding of Mar the son of Rabina: please sing us something. He said to them: Alas for us that we are to die! They said to him: What shall we respond after you? He said to them: Where is the Torah and where is the mizwah that will shield us!2

    R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Yohai: It is forbidden to a man to fill his mouth with laughter in this world, because it says, Then will our mouth be
filled with laughter and our tongue with singing.3 When will that be? At the time when ‘they shall say among the nations, The Lord hath done great things with these’.4 It was related of Resh Lakish that he never again filled his mouth with laughter in this world after he heard this saying from R. Johanan his teacher.

THE CIRCLE DRAWER etc. Once it happened that the greater part of the month of Adar had gone and yet no rain had fallen. The people sent a message to Honi the Circle Drawer, Pray that rain may fall. He prayed and no rain fell. He thereupon drew a circle and stood within it in the same way as the prophet Habakuk had done, as it is said, I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower etc.3 He exclaimed [before God], Master of the Universe, Thy children have turned to me because [they believe] me to be
a member of Thy house. I swear by Thy great name that I will not move from here until Thou hast mercy Upon Thy children! Rain began to drip and his disciples said to him, We look to you to save us from death;4 we believe that this rain came down merely to release you from your oath. Thereupon he exclaimed: It is not for this that I have prayed, but for rain [to fill] cisterns, ditches and caves. The rain then began to come down with great force, every drop being as big as the opening of a barrel and the Sages estimated that no one drop was less than a log. His disciples then said to him: Master, we look to you to save us from death; we believe that the rain came down to destroy the world. Thereupon he exclaimed before [God], It is not for this that l have prayed, but for rain of benevolence, blessing and bounty. Then rain fell normally until the Israelites [in Jerusalem] were compelled to go up [for shelter] to the Temple Mount because of the rain. [His disciples] then said to him, Master, in the same way as you have prayed for the rain to fall pray for the rain to cease. He replied: I have it as a tradition that we may not pray on account of an excess of good. Despite this bring unto me a bullock for a thanks-giving-offering.] They brought unto him a bullock for a thanks-giving-offering and he laid his two hands upon it and said, Master of the Universe, Thy people Israel whom Thou hast brought out from Egypt cannot endure an excess of good nor an excess of punishment; when Thou wast angry with them, they could not endure it; when Thou didst shower upon them an excess of good they could not endure it; may it be Thy will that the rain may cease and that there be relief for the world. Immediately the wind began to blow and the clouds were dispersed and the sun shone and the people went out into the fields and gathered for themselves mushrooms and truffles. Thereupon Simeon b. Shetah sent this message to him, Were it not that you are Honi I would have placed you under the ban; for were the years like the years [of famine in the time] of Elijah5 (in whose hands were the keys of Rain) would not the name of Heaven be profaned through you?6 But what shall I do unto you who actest petulantly before the Omnipresent and He grants your desire, as a son who acts petulantly before his father and he grants his desires; thus he says to him, Father, take me to bathe in warm water, wash me in cold water, give me nuts, almonds, peaches, and pomegranates and he gives them unto him. Of you Scripture says, Let thy father and thy mother be glad, and let her that bore thee rejoice.7

    Our Rabbis have taught: What was the message that the Sanhedrin8 sent to Honi the Circle-Drawer? [It was an interpretation of the verse], Thou, shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee, and light shall shine upon thy ways etc.9 ‘Thou shalt also decree a thing:’ You have decreed [on earth] below and the Holy One, Blessed be He, fulfills your word [in heaven] above. ‘And light shall shine upon thy ways:’ You have illumined with your prayer a generation in darkness. ‘When they cast thee down, thou shalt say: There is lifting up:’ You have raised with your prayer a generation that has sunk low. ‘For the humble person He saveth:’ You have saved by your prayer a generation that is humiliated with sin. ‘He delivereth him that is not innocent:’ You have delivered by your prayer a generation that is not innocent. ‘Yea, He shall be delivered through the cleanliness of thy hands:’ You have delivered it10 through the work of your clean hands.

    R. Johanan said: This righteous man [Honi] was throughout the whole of his life troubled about the meaning of the verse, A Song of Ascents, When the Lord brought back those that returned to Zion, we were like unto them that dream.11 Is it possible for a man to dream continuously for seventy years?12 One day he was journeying on the road and he saw a man planting a carob tree; he asked him, How long does it take [for this tree] to bear fruit? The man replied: Seventy years. He then further asked him: Are you certain that you will live another seventy years? The man replied: I found [ready grown] carob trees in the world; as my forefathers planted these for me so I too plant these for my children.

    Honi sat down to have a meal and sleep overcame him. As he slept a rocky formation enclosed upon him which hid him from sight and he continued to sleep for seventy years. When he awoke he saw a man gathering the fruit of the carob tree and he asked him, Are you the man who planted the tree? The man replied: I am his grandson. Thereupon he exclaimed: It is clear that I slept for seventy years. He then caught sight of his ass who had given birth to several generations of mules;13 and he returned home. He there enquired, Is the son of Honi the Circle-Drawer still alive? The people answered him, His son is no more, but his grandson is still living. Thereupon he said to them: I am Honi the Circle-Drawer, but no one would believe him. He then repaired to the Beth Hamidrash and there he overheard the scholars say, The law is as clear to us as in the days of Honi the Circle-Drawer, for whenever he came to the Beth Hamidrash he would settle for the scholars any difficulty that they had. Whereupon he called out, I am he; but the scholars would not believe him nor did they give him the honour due to him. This hurt him greatly and he prayed [for death] and he died. Raba said: Hence the saying, Either companionship or death.


Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said Thursday that Republican complaints about the "secrecy" of closed-door impeachment hearings don't hold water because the process is "consistent with the rules" that a "Republican majority" signed into law.

Trump and his Republican supporters have repeatedly argued that the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry has been conducted improperly because the testimony of witnesses has been carried out in close-door hearings. On Wednesday morning, a group of GOP representatives, some of whom did not serve on the investigating committees, stormed one of those secure depositions, chanting "let us in." This delayed the hearing, but it eventually went forward in the afternoon with only the Democrats and Republicans serving on the relevant committees permitted to attend.

"As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors...they are consistent with the rules," Napolitano, who previously served as a New Jersey Superior Court judge, explained during a segment of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends.

"When were the rules written last?" the legal expert asked. "In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner [the Republican speaker of the House]. And who enacted them? A Republican majority," he asserted.

Thursday, October 24, 2019


Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said Thursday that Republican complaints about the "secrecy" of closed-door impeachment hearings don't hold water because the process is "consistent with the rules" that a "Republican majority" signed into law.

Trump and his Republican supporters have repeatedly argued that the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry has been conducted improperly because the testimony of witnesses has been carried out in close-door hearings. On Wednesday morning, a group of GOP representatives, some of whom did not serve on the investigating committees, stormed one of those secure depositions, chanting "let us in." This delayed the hearing, but it eventually went forward in the afternoon with only the Democrats and Republicans serving on the relevant committees permitted to attend.

"As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors...they are consistent with the rules," Napolitano, who previously served as a New Jersey Superior Court judge, explained during a segment of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends.

Outrage Upon Outrage

Parshas Beraishis, 25 Tishrei, 5780 °° October 24, '19

By Binyomin Feinberg, Contributor to The Jewish Press*

* The perspectives and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the ownership or management of The Jewish Press.


For Giyus Banos updates throughout the week, visit:


Ziva bas Mazal, the religious 19 y/o Ethiopian girl who languished for four weeks in Israeli military prison ( ), was apparently sentenced illegally. Now that Ziva B"H has her own lawyer, courtesy of the Shalheves organization, the facts of the case are becoming clearer.

1. Firstly, we had reported, based on military court documentation of her plea-deal sentence of 31 days for "draft dodging," that she is fully religious, but simply submitted her religious exemption certification late. Apparently, that plea-deal insinuated a lie. Since then, it's been revealed that, in reality, Ziva reportedly sent in her religious verification MONTHS early. It is only the IDF who claimed who they never got it. This same claim has become so common - regularly employed to deny religious girls their legal rights to exemptions from military service - that it's simply lost all credibility. There's no reason why an ostensibly first-rate military cannot ensure that they get their mail.

Furthermore, it is the government that must bear the burden of proof to establish failure to receive what's sent to them. That is because it is the government that intentionally perpetuates a draconian, third-world-style policy of specifically NOT confirming that the exemption applications for religious girls were properly received and processed. That backwards policy invites corruption - and the latter takes up the invitation with alarming frequency, when it comes to religious girls' rights to avoid being forced into the immoral, exploitive IDF environment.

2. Secondly, Ziva's new lawyer just recently obtained the case-file from the government appointed advocate. There is no apparent legal reason for government's denial of a religious exemption in Ziva's case. EVEN IF she would have submitted her documentation late, as the government wants us to imagine, they failed to establish one single reason for denial of her religious exemption. Yes, the report of her interview with Maitav Vice Commander Lotati mentioned that her brothers served in the IDF, as an underhanded wink to the Judge to deny her exemption claim. But legally speaking, Lotati came up empty.

[Additionally, we're informed that, pursuant to current IDF protocol, the very fact that the Army instructed Ziva to appear for an interview indicates that she has the right to an exemption as long as she is religious (again, even if she would have submitted her documentation late).]


Why is all of this so important? Because not only does it exonerate Ziva and implicate the government in yet another female-draft travesty, it appears in the context of a declared IDF objective to target Ethiopians, particularly the disadvantaged. The term attributed to IDF Manpower head Ornah Barbibai (now a leftist MK) was Ethiopians "in absorption centers" - i.e. easy targets (see aforementioned link). Thus, the pre-existing antireligious agenda of targeting disadvantaged Ethiopian girls is most likely a primary motivation operative behind this gross abuse of power. And it must be emphasized that this is not a Jewish or even a secular agenda, but an antireligious one. Such discrimination against black Jews not only flies in the face of everything Judaism stands for, but also fails to find support among the large majority of non-observant Jews. However, it is well rooted in the elitist mentality of the small number of deeply antireligious mullahs who have dominated Israeli policy-shaping from the establishment of the state.


As things stand now, Ziva was released from military prison Erev Yom Kippur, where she endured considerable physical hardship. However, she never received the military exemption to which she's entitled. Thus, she had been hounded by the IDF to enlist - or face up to sixty days in military prison, as per the plea-deal into which she had been forced [in the absence of a private lawyer]. In fact, reportedly, one IDF officer verbally threatened Ziva with the bizarre spectre of an entire year in jail over her steadfast refusal to sacrifice her religious and her personal modesty by enlisting.

B"H, as reported by those in regular contact with her, Ziva is withstanding all this pressure, and has repeatedly stated her absolute refusal to enlist in the military, and her willingness to endure yet additional incarceration if need be, insisting on securing her religious exemption. She still has an upcoming enlistment date early next week, after her current temporary extension ends. G-d willing, the efforts of her lawyer will complement the public pressure, and she will receive her full exemption. The question is how much torment her elderly/ ailing parents have to endure until then. In addition, the fact that the family had to endure all of this needless torment throughout the holiest days of the Jewish year speaks volumes of the fortitude of the family, and reveals the callousness and lawlessness of those in positions of power who were complicit in these human rights abuses, actively or passively (see Talmud tractate Shabbos 54b, bottom).

Another point needs to be made here - irrespective of this case. The very notion of allowing nonreligious - or non-Jewish girls to be drafted is anathema. But in the case of Ethiopian girls, the very claim that some are less religious than others should be emphatically rejected as irrelevant to the Israeli draft. That's because it's precisely because of Israeli policies that there is such a phenomenon altogether. In Ethiopia, they were generally all religious, according to the way they understood Judaism. The antireligious elements in Israel help rob some of them of religion - and then draft those they claim aren't religious enough.


This week, acting Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu just reqested four BILLION dollars for upgrading Israeli missile defense systems against an escalating threat of cruises missiles from Iran. Increasing attention has been given to such threats, including drone swarms overwhelming limited anti-missile batteries, especially in the wake of the Sept. 14th attack on Saudi oilfields (e.g. Defense News (Sept. 26,'19), by Seth Frantzman, Such airborne drone tsunamis could overwhelm air defenses by sheer volume, and wreak havoc on military, medical, power, communications, transportation, fuel, water, and other vital infrastructure.

Nowadays, wars could conceivably be completed in a matter of hours. One figure quoted is that after 20% of a population is eliminated R"L, the populace loses it's will to keep fighting - if they are even given the choice. Contemporary developments in warfare provide insight into statements of Gedolim who've spoken about Milchemes Gog U'Magog lasting only a matter of hours (as alluded to by "Shalosh Sha'os Hoshiah Nah") - even minutes (as quoted from the Vilna Gaon). The spectre of waves of precision-guided missile and drone swarms - making cities deadly target zones R"L - shed new light on predictions of Jews seeking refuge in "Midbar Ha'Amim" immediately prior to the arrival of Moshiach.

Given such existential military threats, why is this "right-wing" government expending needed resources on an antiquated citizen-draft, when the IDF would be more effectively run as a professional army, for far less money, allowing proper funding of genuine and urgent defense needs? The IDF admittedly does not need all those draftees, and even has a surplus, as announced on Galei Tzahal radio several months ago. They actually are contending with the need to figure out how to release thousands of unnecessary servicemen. [This troop surplus applies even to non-religious men; how much more so are girls (especially religious girls) not needed for military reasons.]

In truth, the drafting of all citizens, and especially the women's draft, is not for national security, but rather for social engineering, with all that includes. In the case of the declared IDF objective of targeting religious women for military service (Av 5773), there are additional specific desires of government and military leadership that are operative, none of which have any positive relevance to military readiness or security (ha'maivin yovin).

Moreover, in the current geopolitical environment, we must ask: isn't the irrational insistence on maintaining the "citizens' army" actually coming at the expense of the very national security it's purportedly protecting?

It is in this context that the government has been expending considerable resources - and political capital - to target religious girls for the military, and to persecute righteous Refuseniks who refuse to violate the law of G-d to comply with the laws - or [more often] lawlessness - of men.


A splinter group headed by Shaul Alter, cousin of the current Gur grand rabbi, has broken away from the mainstream community and begun the process of establishing new institutions

Trump's Syria Victory Speech Has People Saying 'Wow'

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


US Syria policymakers had a tendency to believe their own words over evidence on the ground, creating a feedback loop of self-deception that eventually led to humiliation and failure in the last few weeks in Syria. A Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday laid bare a stinging indictment of America’s confusing and changing goals in Syria. US policy was one of setbacks since president Barack Obama’s administration first sought to support Syrian rebel efforts against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Later, an anti-ISIS offensive was so narrowly tailored that it ignored many of the people liberated from ISIS and eventually handed over their areas to Russia, Turkey and the Assad regime, allowing them to be bombed and murdered in the process.

The US is withdrawing from most of Syria now, changing its policies once again to “secure the oil,” a blatant disregard for its own stated goals of defeating ISIS and removing Iran, which has become part of an overall US role that has diminished American prestige and led to questions about whether the US will continue to play a role in the Middle East.

The American president didn’t consult his own key adviser on Syria policy, US envoy James Jeffrey revealed to the Senate on Tuesday. Furthermore, Jeffrey, who is also the anti-ISIS envoy, doesn’t seem familiar with aspects of the Pentagon’s role or plans in Syria. At each step, it appears that the US government coordinates few of its activities in Syria, largely abandoned the civilians in eastern Syria and paid only lip service to concepts such as “stabilization” or opposing Iran and the Assad regime. It isn’t even clear how seriously the White House takes the anti-ISIS campaign, proclaiming again and again that it has accomplished a mission even though its own officials say there are up to 10,000 ISIS detainees and more than 14,000 active ISIS members operating in Syria and Iraq. America’s top diplomat on Syria even told the Senate that as a diplomat, he simply doesn’t have all the tools needed to deal with the mission at hand.

THE SHOCKING unraveling of US Syria policy gives a window into US policy breakdown that seems more systemic than unique to Syria. Policymakers at the State Department not speaking to the Pentagon or CIA; no one coordinating at the White House; people waging private campaigns without discussion from superiors or those at their level in other parts of government; little to no interest in the areas that US policy is supposed to affect; lack of basic understanding of the consequences of US actions; and lack of planning, process or monitoring.