Thursday, December 31, 2020

Trump's Push for $2,000 Checks Flops as the GOP-led Senate Won't Vote

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all but shut the door Wednesday on President Donald Trump’s push for $2,000 COVID-19 relief checks, declaring Congress has provided enough pandemic aid as he blocked another attempt by Democrats to force a vote.

The GOP leader made clear he is unwilling to budge, despite political pressure from Trump and even some fellow Republican senators demanding action. Trump wants the recent $600 in aid increased threefold. But McConnell dismissed the idea of bigger “survival checks” approved by the House, saying the money would go to plenty of American households that just don’t need it.

IAF Commander opposes US sale of F-35 to UAE

Amikam Norkin, Commander of the Israel Air Force, on Wednesday commented on the deal to sell F35 aircraft from the United States to the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking during a discussion at the Weizmann Institute, Norkin said, "We want to maintain our qualitative advantage. We have no quantitative advantage."

"I feel a deep American commitment, that was also agreed upon with the Minister of Defense two months ago, to the qualitative advantage. It is not so good for us to have advanced aircraft in the region," he added.

Poll: 78% of Haredim back health rules, 60% broke them to send kids to school

A majority of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox believe in the importance of lockdown restrictions to curb the coronavirus, but a majority of the community also sent their children to school in violation of the rules, according to a survey published Wednesday.

The survey said that 78 percent of ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, Israelis believe there is “great” or “moderate” importance to adhering to the Health Ministry’s rules during the pandemic.

Trump's ridiculous exit strategy

Behold the crackpot presidency nearing its end.
After years of conspiracy theories, lies, and rage, the President seems to be turning the Oval Office into a stage set for the final scenes of a Biblical quality drama -- and more specifically, the tale of the super-strong Israelite warrior Samson, who declared "Let me die with the Philistines!" and in toppling the temple, died along with his enemies. 
Trump isn't Samson. America isn't a Philistine temple. Thank God there are still people around the President who resist the ridiculous drama.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

GOP senator to delay affirming Biden victory by forcing votes on Electoral College results

Rep. Mo Brooks, the Alabama Republican spearheading the effort to object in the House, said earlier this month Republicans were considering objecting to six states that Biden won, meaning as much as 12 hours of debate that would turn the process into a political circus and could spill into a second day of debate.
The last time the chambers voted on an objection was in 2005, when then-Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, joined with then-Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat, to object to Bush's Ohio win. Hawley cited the objection in his statement Wednesday.
But Boxer told CNN earlier this month the circumstances of the objection were starkly different to the GOP efforts to overturn Biden's election win.
"Our intent was not to overturn the election in any way. Our intent was to focus on voter suppression in Ohio," said Boxer, who has retired from the Senate. "They're talking about the vote that the presidency was stolen from Donald Trump. It's not even a close comparison."

Vaccines Are Safe, No Matter What Bobby Kennedy Says

As a doctor, and as a member of the Kennedy family, I feel I must use whatever small platform I have to state a few things unequivocally. I love my uncle Bobby. I admire him for many reasons, chief among them his decades-long fight for a cleaner environment. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong.

Though his Facebook post linked to a dubious source — a website aligned with the Children’s Health Defense organization that publishes conspiratorially tinged stories on “Big Pharma” and “Big Food” — the basic premise was correct: two U.S. health care workers did suffer allergic reactions, one anaphylactic, the other more mild, to the Covid vaccine.

Shaking hands with women

Igros Moshe (E.H. 04:032.9):Shaking hands with women as greeting. It is obviously prohibited as I have written previously (O.C. 113) because of concerns for sexual arousal and pleasure. However I wrote (E.H. 56) that if you see religious Jews who are lenient to judge them favorably and assume that they are relying on the absence of sexual arousal and pleasure but I also wrote there that it is difficult to rely on this. I don’t see any inconsistency between prohibiting shaking hands but permitting riding on buses (E.H. 2:14) since there is no affection involved there for almost everyone

What We Know About AstraZeneca’s Head-Scratching Vaccine Results

Surprisingly, the vaccine combination in which the first dose was only at half strength was 90 percent effective at preventing Covid-19 in the trial. In contrast, the combination of two, full-dose shots led to just 62 percent efficacy.

Fewer than 2,800 volunteers got the half-strength initial dose, out of the more than 23,000 participants whose results were reported on Monday. That’s a pretty small number of participants on which to base the spectacular efficacy results — far fewer than in Pfizer’s and Moderna’s trials.

How the Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Works

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is based on the virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein. But unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which store the instructions in single-stranded RNA, the Oxford vaccine uses double-stranded DNA.

The researchers added the gene for the coronavirus spike protein to another virus called an adenovirus. Adenoviruses are common viruses that typically cause colds or flu-like symptoms. The Oxford-AstraZeneca team used a modified version of a chimpanzee adenovirus, known as ChAdOx1. It can enter cells, but it can’t replicate inside them.

PA Lt. Guv Trolls Republicans on Voter Fraud: Trump Got ‘100% of the Dead Mother Vote’

Democratic Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman on Monday night trolled Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other Republicans over Patrick’s offer of reward money for proof of voter fraud, pointing that the only documented fraud cases in the Keystone state involve President Donald Trump.
Last month, in an effort to support Trump’s attempt to overthrow President-elect Joe Biden’s decisive victory, Patrick offered up $1 million for evidence of fraud during the Nov. 3 election. Patrick’s reward offer, however, essentially revealed that Republicans had no proof of systemic fraud and that he was hoping the money would entice someone to produce evidence.
Fetterman has spent weeks now throwing Patrick’s proposal back in his face, relentlessly hounding his Texas counterpart to pay up after highlighting a handful of individual instances of voter fraud. Fetterman really began ramping it up over the past few days after a Pennsylvania man was charged with registering dead relatives to vote for Trump.

Trump’s latest — and final? — voter fraud Hail Mary

Until Tuesday morning, the claim was promoted mostly by credulous websites that did nothing to fact-check it and the conspiracy-theory site Gateway Pundit. But Newsmax is now citing the release, and Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” made a brief mention of it Tuesday morning, and Trump and his campaign quickly seized upon it.

The apparent explanation for this is actually rather simple, and it’s the same as many of Trump allies’ claims about supposed voter fraud and allegedly inflated coronavirus death tolls: It’s based on incomplete and lagging data.

UK is 1st to approve use of AstraZeneca’s cheap, easily stored COVID-19 vaccine

 Britain on Wednesday authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the “vaccine for the world.” The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and Cambridge-based British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Trump lashes out at Republicans after they override his veto

President Donald Trump's ability to scramble American political lines continues even from the golf course, with House votes Monday showing that his feverish hold over the GOP -- and US government -- is hurtling toward a humbling end.

But be warned: Following along could induce some whiplash.
The House of Representatives took a pair of votes Monday night with mixed results for the President: Conservatives joined Democrats in voting to increase coronavirus stimulus checks, but they also joined forces to override his veto of the massive defense spending bill, a solid rebuke and sign of his waning power.
In a series of Tuesday morning tweets, Trump simultaneously called on the Senate to uphold his veto of the National Defense Authorization Act while claiming that "Weak and tired Republican 'leadership' " will allow the legislation to pass as-is.
If it were to pass, Trump said it would be a "disgraceful act of cowardice and total submission by weak people to Big Tech," a stinging criticism of his Republican allies.
In another tweet, Trump called on the Senate to expand stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000, a measure also passed by the House Monday.
Trump attacked Republican leadership without naming names, saying, "Republican leadership only wants the path of least resistance. Our leaders (not me, of course!) are pathetic."

The Post says: Give it up, Mr. President — for your sake and the nation’s

Mr. President, it’s time to end this dark charade.

We’re one week away from an enormously important moment for the next four years of our country.

On Jan. 5, two runoff races in Georgia will determine which party will control the Senate — whether Joe Biden will have a rubber stamp or a much-needed check on his agenda.

Unfortunately, you’re obsessed with the next day, Jan. 6, when Congress will, in a pro forma action, certify the Electoral College vote. You have tweeted that, as long as Republicans have “courage,” they can overturn the results and give you four more years in office.

In other words, you’re cheering for an undemocratic coup.

You had every right to investigate the election. But let’s be clear: Those efforts have found nothing. To take just two examples: Your campaign paid $3 million for a recount in two Wisconsin counties, and you lost by 87 more votes. Georgia did two recounts of the state, each time affirming Biden’s win. These ballots were counted by hand, which alone debunks the claims of a Venezuelan vote-manipulating Kraken conspiracy.

Joe Biden: 'Enormous damage' to US security agencies by Trump

Mr Biden said his team was not getting the information it needed, including from the Department of Defense, as it makes its transition to power.

He spoke after a briefing by national security and foreign policy aides.

Mr Biden takes office on 20 January but President Donald Trump has refused to accept defeat in November's election.

For weeks after the 3 November election, Mr Biden was blocked from receiving key intelligence briefings, an essential and normally routine part of a presidential transition.

Monday, December 28, 2020

New York State Probes 'Fraudulently Obtained' COVID-19 Vaccines, Criminal Investigation Opened

 A hyperlocal Orthodox Jewish news site, BoroPark 24, published a story on Dec. 21, saying ParCare had received a shipment of Moderna Inc.’s vaccines, and showed boxes of the vaccines in what appeared to be a refrigerator. It also had what appeared to be a copy of a ParCare advertisement touting availability of “The Newest Healthcare Revolution!” on a “first come first serve” basis.

Gary Schlesinger, chief exeuctive officer of ParCare, was cited saying people who are a “health care worker, are over 60, or have underlying conditions” can register online to get a vaccine. That differs from state guidelines, which allow only frontline health care workers, or staff and residents of nursing homes, to get the first batch of vaccines.

“We take this very seriously and DOH will be assisting State Police in a criminal investigation into this matter,” said Zucker in the statement. “Anyone found to have knowingly participated in this scheme will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Trump got nothing

WHAT A BIZARRE, embarrassing episode for the president. He opposed a bill his administration negotiated. He had no discernible strategy and no hand to play — and it showed. He folded, and got nothing besides a few days of attention and chaos. People waiting for aid got a few days of frightening uncertainty.


Trump chooses chaos with delayed signature of Covid relief bill

President Donald Trump is driving the country through chaos from behind the wheel of his golf cart.

Over the Christmas weekend, he was the only man with the power to forestall a government shutdown on Tuesday, restore jobless benefits to millions of laid-off Americans and prevent further economic calamity in the days ahead.
Trump appeared interested in doing none of that until Sunday, when days after receiving it, he reluctantly signed a Covid relief and government funding bill his own administration helped negotiate and that his own aides claimed he'd approved days ago.
But his Sunday night signature was too late to prevent unemployment aid from lapsing.


Sunday, December 27, 2020


 The Ramban explains that there are two types of Nevuah - (a) classic prophecy of the Nevi’im which is seen throughvisions; and (b) Nevuah of the Chachamim, which is ‘through wisdom’ whereby the truth speaks to them through an inner‘ruach hakodesh’.

The Halacha Corner: Appointing Students as Mentors

 The Dilemma

In yeshivot no less so than in other schools, teachers of elementary grade classes occasionally leave the classroom for brief periods. When that occurs it is common for the teacher to leave an assignment and to appoint a student monitor to supervise performance of the assigned work and to assure that discipline is maintained. It is the monitor's duty to record misbehavior and to report occurrences of inappropriate conduct to the teacher when he/she returns to the classroom. The question that presents itself is whether the appointment of such a monitor and charging a monitor with such duties is prohibited by halacha. In reporting negative information regarding his/her classmates is the monitor guilty of transgressing the prohibition concerning lashon ha-ra or improper speech?

The issues raised by this question serve to illuminate aspects of the technical prohibition of lashon ha-ra but also highlights the concerns that accompany an educator's responsibility to mold character as well as to impart knowledge.

Trump's wrecking ball of a transition

 But we have learned once again just how much leeway there is within our political system for Presidents to misuse their power and create immense instability. Even if Congress doesn't shorten the transition period, there are safeguards it can put into place. This transition has given us more than enough reason to revisit our election laws, provide more clarity about the Electoral College certification process, and rein in the executive power that a lame duck President can wield.

Trump continues to block pandemic relief package as shutdown looms

 “And maybe he sees this as the crowning achievement as he leaves office, where he is defeating Congress and his own party,” he added. “He’s probably more resentful toward members of his own party than he is the Democrats … He’s a hurt creature and he’s going to make all the other creatures hurt.”

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Prophesy ended?

 Our Rabbis taught: Since the death of the last prophets, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachai, the Holy Sanhedrin (11a) Spirit [of prophetic inspiration] departed from Israel; yet they were still able to avail themselves of the Bath-kol.13 Once when the Rabbis were met in the upper chamber of Gurya's14 house at Jericho, a Bath-kol was heard from Heaven, saying: ‘There is one amongst you who is worthy that the Shechinah15 should rest on him as it did on Moses, but his generation does not merit it.’ The Sages present set their eyes on Hillel the Elder. And when he died, they lamented and said: ‘Alas, the pious man, the humble man, the disciple of Ezra [is no more].’

       Once again they were met in the upper chamber at Jabneh, and a Bath-kol was heard to say: ‘There is one amongst you who is worthy that the Shechinah should rest on him, but his generation does not merit it.’ The Sages present directed their gaze on Samuel the Little. And when he died, they lamented and said: ‘Alas! the pious man, alas! the humble man, the disciple of Hillel [is no more].’ Samuel the Little also said shortly before he passed away: ‘Simeon16 and Ishmael17 will meet their death by the sword, and his friends18 will be executed; the rest of the people will be plundered, and many troubles will come upon the world.’ The Rabbis wished to use the same words of lamentation for R. Judah b. Baba;19 the troublous conditions of the time, however, did not permit it, for no funeral orations were delivered over those who were martyred by the [Roman] Government.20

       Our Rabbis taught: A year cannot be intercalated unless the Nasi sanctions it. It once happened that Rabban Gamaliel was away obtaining permission from the Governor in Syria21 , and, as his return was delayed, the year was intercalated subject to Rabban Gamaliel's later approval. When Rabban Gamaliel returned he gave his approval with the result that the intercalation held good.

Psak is different for post-Talmudic authorites who lack ruach hakodesh

from Daas Torah - translation copyrighted

Kuntres HaSefekos (5:3): It seems to be me that Tosfos and the Nemukei Yosef are talking about a dispute between Tannaim and Amoraim as can be seen from their language. In such a case the judge does not need to struggle and find proofs to the validity of the different opinions. That is because it is impossible for us to refute the view of a particular Tanna or Amora with decisive proofs – because ruach hakodesh is manifest in them. Our Sages have already said about Talmudic sages, “These and those are the words of the living G﷓d. Therefore the judge must decide based on what makes sense to him – but he can’t prove or disprove whether a particular view is correct. In contrast the Rosh was describing the post﷓Talmudic situation and wrote that when two gedolim are in disagreement about a matter then the judge needs to look for proper proofs to decide between them. That is because from the day that the Talmud was closed – the fountains of wisdom have been sealed and therefore each person has the right to disagree with his predecessors with what he considers proof. Thus in the post-Talmudic world it is within the realm of the possible to decide between views by bringing proofs to the reasoning of one side over the other. We see this in the books of the Achronim where they refute the words of their predecessors with clear proofs.

Rep. Kinzinger swipes at Trump, fellow House GOP for denying election loss: 'It's sad'

 "My God. Trying to burn the place down on the way out because you can’t handle losing," Kinzinger tweeted. "No evidence, nothing but your temper tantrum and crazy conspiracies. Embarrassing. #RestoreOurGOP."

Kinzinger got backup from Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell, who is "disaffiliating" with the GOP over Trump's ongoing election fraud claims. 

"It is a scam of epic scale -- hundreds of millions raised," Mitchell tweeted of Trump's continued fundraising. "And if you look at the fine print -- little going to @realDonaldTrump  legal fund the majority to his new PAC. And a non-profit has been formed to employ others of his minions. SCAMS!"

The Secret Is Out

A few months ago, Senator Ted Cruz said, “If it ends up that Biden wins in November… I guarantee you, the week after the election, suddenly all those Democratic governors, all those Democratic mayors, will say, ‘Everything’s magically better. Go back to work, go back to school.’ Suddenly, the problems are solved; you won’t even have to wait for Biden to be sworn in.” Cruz — who knows a thing or two about conspiracy theories, having been a victim of one in 2016 — was actually just parroting a theory advanced by his erstwhile victimizer.

But it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. We’re six weeks past the election and the pandemic is still very much with us and being treated as such. But that’s the great thing about conspiracy theories: They can just be trotted out to suit one’s political purposes, and when, with the passage of time, they turn out to be baseless, no one even remembers them, and it’s on to the next wild imagined conspiracy.

Remember this one? “Joe Biden is a mere puppet of the radical left to be used as a tool to burn down the suburbs and impose atheism on America.” During the campaign, his opponent referred to him regularly as a “Trojan Horse for socialism.” When asked by talk show host Laura Ingraham who Biden’s being controlled by, he helpfully clarified that it’s “people who you’ve never heard of, people who are in the dark shadows,” and “people who are in the streets, people who are controlling the streets.”

But being a conspiracy theorist means never having to say you’re sorry even when the theories turn out to be baseless. So if it turns out Joe Biden is no one’s marionette, no big deal. After all, didn’t you hear? He’s not actually the next president since he stole the election.

Although grounded, reality-based people tend to downplay the gravity of conspiracy theories because they’re just so outlandish, when their prevalence reaches a critical mass in society, they become a deadly serious issue indeed. And they have reached that point, as Kevin D. Williamson writes in National Review:

When I first started writing about QAnon, some conservatives scoffed that it wasn’t a significant phenomenon, that it had no real influence on the Republican Party or conservative politics. That is obviously untrue. Rather than ask whether conspiracy kookery is relevant to Republican politics at this moment, it would be better to ask if there is anything else to Republican politics at at this moment. And maybe there is, but not much.

For the uninitiated, QAnon, which been identified by the FBI as a domestic terror threat, is a complex, mutating theory centered around the belief that the outgoing president is a heroic savior secretly battling to save the world from a Satanic cult of pedophiles and cannibals connected to prominent Democrats and Deep State denizens. The president has publicly welcomed its support and has retweeted scores of its supporters’ posts; dozens of its supporters have run for office and two were just elected to Congress, with Republican Party help; and opinion surveys show over half of Republican voters believe its central elements.

Read those lines again. Five years ago, a novel or movie script based on this would’ve been rejected as too implausible to attract an audience; today, we’ve acclimated to it emerging from the Oval Office, from the same fingers that are on the nuclear button.

The out-of-control spread of conspiracy theories is a grave enough danger to the health of the nation, but for Jews it is a mortal threat. It is perilous for us in physical terms, given the fact that conspiracy theories have been at the very heart of Jew hatred during the entire history of our people.

And it is equally ominous for us spiritually, because our very existence as the Am Hashem depends on holding fast to truth, rejecting falsehood, and insisting on the highest epistemological standards for discerning between the two. Every Jewish heresy has trafficked in part or in whole in wildly fantastical or conspiratorial theories, from false Messianic movements, to Bible critics’ fever dreams of a fabricated Torah, to contemporary Orthodox feminism’s baseless delusions about a women-subjugating rabbinic cabal. If you think entertaining outrageous political conspiracy theories at the Shabbos table is harmless fun that doesn’t risk corroding the exquisite sensitivity to emes and sheker that our young people need to subscribe to ikarei hadas — think again.

In recent weeks, however, things have risen to a dangerous new level. Yuval Levin, senior scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, writes at The Dispatch:

For our political culture, the Trump era is ending much as it began — in a hail of delusion and fantasy. Throughout his term, the president has invented stories of his own victimization and heroism, demanded the acceptance of lies as tests of loyalty to himself, and elevated baseless theories from the depths of various internet cesspools. His opponents have often responded in kind….

Our affinity for partisan conspiracy obviously did not begin with this presidency…. But the fever has clearly grown much hotter in the Trump era. We’ve seen not only the party out of power easing its pain with myths of victimization by shadowy forces but a sitting president actively blurring the line between fantasy and reality. It should be no surprise that he is now concluding his presidency by insisting the election was stolen and beckoning his supporters down a rabbit hole of unreality and grievance.

And anecdotal indications are that among those going down that rabbit hole are more than a negligible number of members of our own community. Our history is replete with a country’s Jews being the victims of blood libels, but now we face the prospect of something at least as chilling: Jews, a tiny, vulnerable minority in a country already riven by partisan hatred and fear, publicly identifying with those promoting a libel aimed at delegitimizing the country’s rulers.

We can hope that the conspiratorial fever that has seized millions of Americans these last six weeks will yet break. But if it doesn’t, the potential implications for Jews are frightening.

Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 841. Eytan Kobre may be contacted directly at

Another Trump hater? NO EASY ROAD TO TRUTH

A recent column, "Get Thee Gone," critical of President Trump's post-election behavior, attracted a fair amount of criticism. I learned a good deal from that criticism, including something about myself — to wit, all things considered, I prefer praise to criticism (about which more later.)

As far as most — not all — of the critics were concerned, any column that mentions the president is either pro-Trump or anti-Trump. And anything that is not 100 percent pro-Trump is, by definition, anti-Trump. No further analysis of the points made is required.

The columns I have written praising the president — for breaking with the conventional wisdom on Middle East peace-making, the plight of the working class, the Chinese threat, and campus due process, to name a few — availed me not. No criticism can be brooked.

That Manichean view of the universe, especially with respect to the president, strikes me as inimical to religion. It elevates the president to a stature that he cannot bear. A number of Christian conservatives have written about how pro-Trump boosterism has corrupted many evangelicals. And what they have written applies with equal force to elements of our own community; just substitute Orthodox Jews for evangelicals.

"Some evangelicals in the last four years have clearly made Trump their god and MAGA their religion," a recent Washington Times editorial opined. "It is perfectly possible to vote for Trump, his judges, for his tax cuts, without becoming an obeisant loyalist.... Yet many signed their souls over."

Trump's mind is elsewhere as unemployment benefits run out for millions of Americans

A day before unemployment benefits for millions of Americans were set to expire, President Donald Trump had a different insult in mind: his former-model wife has yet to appear on the cover of a fashion magazine as first lady.

"Fake news!" he complained on Twitter from Palm Beach, concerned for Melania's social station on Christmas as Americans hunkered at home, enduring a holiday diminished by pandemic, darkened by the prospect of an imminent government shutdown and shaken by an eerie explosion in Nashville that authorities said was intentional.
A day later, as those jobless benefits for gig workers and self-employed Americans were lapsing, Trump was issuing a string of angry messages about his own perceived injustices: the election he falsely claims was stolen from him and the growing roster of people he's upset won't help him reverse it.

Trump is destroying his own party on the way out the door

 This holiday season, President Donald Trump has wreaked havoc on Congress, our democracy and our judicial system by pardoning political associates and convicted murderers. But Trump has saved a special kind of Grinch-like behavior for the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia who are headed for runoff elections in January and for Senator Mitch McConnell, whose fate as majority leader depends on the GOP winning at least one of those races.

10th of Teves Alert: Making LGBT Exploitation Legal [Again] in NJ

Asara B'Teves, '81 / Dec. 25, '20
By Rabbi Noson Shmuel Leiter, Executive Director, Help Rescue Our Children
The Chassam Sofer (Toras Moshe, Drashos for 7th of Adar) explains that today, the Tenth of Teves, is the  day on which a Heavenly Tribunal is convened every year, to determine if the Bais HaMikdash will be rebuilt that very year, or, alternatively, whether we will R"L suffer the opposite: it's virtual re-destruction. Chazal (Our Sages) teach us that any generation in which it's not rebuilt is as if it's [re-]destroyed. (Perhaps it's also decided today under what conditions it will be rebuilt, including how much prerequisite difficulty we'll need to endure.)
Therefore, it behooves us to think about what some of the pivotal issues are, to combat the types of rishus ("wickedness") that are  perpetuating our bitter Exile. Undeniably, there are multiple problems to address.  Here we focus on just one of many.
Chazal  exhort us (Mishna Sotah 48a), that "z'nus" and "keshafim" (sexual immorality and sorcery) "eradicated everything." Sexual immorality bebases society and brings down Divine Wrath in the form of collective retribution, in which good people also die, as the Medrashim discuss in relation to the Great Flood (see Rashi Ber. 6:13; Beraishis Rabbah, beginning of Noach).*
*[Every iota of suffering is meted out with a deep calculation, and is truly just. However, in certain situations, G-d judges us with far less mercy than the usual generous measures thereof.] 
Furthermore, the Maharal on Chullin 92b observes that the most severe of the forbidden sexual relationships, which are enumerated in VaYikra (Lev.), chapter 18, is the act of sodomy. Indeed, sodomy is branded an abomination even amongst all of the abominations listed there.
This all holds true when sodomy is committed as an individual aberration. However, when society legitimizes a sin - even a small sin - that's worse than even a grave transgression committed as an aberration (Akeidas Yitzchak, Parshas VaYaira, 20).  How much worse is the societal legitimization of the worst of all sexual sins, sodomy.
Nowadays, throughout much of what's superficially known as the civilized world, we have exactly that - a toxic blend: societal sanction - even celebration - of the ultimate abomination - Sodomy. This collective mania even goes to the extreme of celebrating same-gender "marriage" - recognition of which triggered the annihilation of the world by the Great Flood, as our Sages teach us in VaYikra Rabbah 23, on VaYikra 18:3. This contemporary societal sanction is backed by all sorts of LGBT legislation, mandating government enforcement, with all the tyranny that that entails.
Although child molestation is a separate (albeit related) topic, beyond our ability to properly address within the limitations of this article, it must be noted that the apparent escalation of child molestation clearly cannot be disconnected from the moral free-fall of society. When society eradicates almost all taboos, there's almost nothing left for those who gravitate specifically towards that which is taboo.
Furthermore, unfortunately, we have in our midst so-called leaders who arrogantly enable confirmed, recidivist child molesters to roam the streets with impunity. (One prominent example is one "Moishe" Turner of Monsey NY, first arrested by Ramapo Police on Hoshana Rabbah over seven years ago.)  No, those enablers don't explicitly vindicate child molestation. However, by their enabling actions they do in fact help establish child molestation as a perverted kind of communal "norm" (because now recidivist molesters know that, even if they get caught, they need only seek legal refuge on Highview, in the new "Ir Miklat"...).  Sending that type of lethal message is tantamount to societal sanction for child molestation; actions often speak louder than words. See Yechezkel (Eze.), chapter 34, for a  prediction of the types of self -serving leaders we will suffer from prior to the Final Redemption, which we strive to expedite on this Fast Day.
To the extent that Torah observant  individuals lead the charge against these anti-Torah outrages, we can hope to reap immense reward, based on the principle "Midah Tovah Merubah." Divine Compassion manifests even more powerfully than Divine Judgement. ("If we can destroy, how much more so can we build.") If z'nus can help destroy all that we had - how much more so would  combating the worst forms of sexual immorality help merit the restoration of what we lost.
In that positive sense, we present some valuable opportunities to help do our humble part in fighting contemporary evils - the likes of which perhaps have never been seen before, quite like this. Let's turn our attention to a very practical matter facing New Jersey residents right now.  We also need bear in mind the assurance cited by the sage Rav Yeshaya HaKohain OB"M (published at the end of one old print of the venerable work "Tonoh Devei Eliyahu"). He writes (on the very last page there) that if an individual does all he is expected to do to ensure that he personally is not impeding the Final Redemption - i.e. he ensures that his "personal portion in the Bais HaMikdash" (Shel Ma'alah) is indeed "rebuilt" - then - even if the Jewish People aren't yet on the level to merit our national Redemption - that individual will merit his own personal, individual redemption. Practically speaking, he'll be granted the ability to serve HaShem (G-d) without the standard encumberments of the pre-Redemption epoch.
»» LGBT Legislation Stalled in NJ Until January:
Thank G-d, in the wake of vibrant profamily vigilance, including the work of some prominent Orthodox Jewish activists, NJ residents have been granted more time to stop two particular dangerous LGBTQ bills from becoming law, S2781 /A4454 (Education), and S2545 (Healthcare facilities). At this point, concerned citizens have at least two weeks to publicize the dangers of these bills, to ensure they are stopped before the Legislature returns from vacation.
NJ Legislative Info For Senate & Assembly:
v: 609-847-3905 or (800) 792-8630 
What's important now is (1) to alert the public about what these bills actually would do, if enacted, G-d forbid, and (2) to escalate pressure on all of the legislators to oppose these bills, and anything remotely similar.  We must leverage the fact that the entire Legislature is up for election in less than a year. Specifically, Passaic Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D) needs to to told in no uncertain terms that he'd better kill both of these bills, especially after voting for one of them (see further), and previously supported similarly outrageous LGBT legislation two years ago.  He's in a powerful position, which is an advantage to be used precisely for these types of monumental spiritual threats threatening our most precious resource.
A.)  A4454: Making Hellenism "Educational" Again
We've already posted repeatedly about the "Education" bill* (e.g., 
{* A4454 2R: (Kindergarten version passed by the NJ Senate);}
Some Dangers Of A4454:
This bill advances the inroads the LGBT lobby had previously made into NJ public education two years ago. For example, one dangerous proposed modification to existing Education law in this "Education" bill would be to require public schools, K-12, to  indoctrinate children against "unconscious bias against" LGBT. This threatens to radically transform the entire worldview of every normal child in regards to sex, family, marriage and morality. This is truly a form of state-mandated psychological child-molestation.
Another change this bill would make is as follows: even school districts that until now had been able to avoid incorporating LGBT - where deemed "not appropriate" -would no longer enjoy the same latitude, under this new legislation. This bill omits "where appropriate" as a criteria for teaching LGBT.
Realize that generally legal challenges to schools will wind up before left-leaning judges. The U.S. Supreme Court is no solace. Even seemingly conservative Trump Supreme Court nominees have demonstrated serious weaknesses, in varying degrees, specifically on LGBT issues (e.g. as in the devastating "Bostock" decision this past Summer).
We need to identify the source of the problem here. (Before doing so, we refer the reader to Sefer Chofetz Chayim, I:8:5-8, for starters, and the Gemara in Avoda Zorah 17a, regarding Minnus (heresy) as indicated by pronounced laxity towards prohibited sexual relationships.) In part, our problems are within.
For just one example, on Oct. 29th, Passaic Assemblyman Gary Schaer voted for the earlier version of this LGBT propaganda bill, A4454, on the Assembly floor. This is after he was publicly criticized about two years ago for supporting a similarly outrageous LGBT propaganda bill.  Why would someone who is ostensibly Orthodox, and who ostensibly represents a heavily Orthodox district, vote to indoctrinate youth (high schoolers, in that early version) into LGBT dogma?  Furthermore, the fact that he could get away with that absurdity demonstrates how utterly unreliable the purportedly Orthodox Jewish Establishment is, including Aguda. If it wouldn't be for their dereliction, the Orthodox community would be alerted to act decisively to stop this lunacy once and for all. And they would do so.
Moreover, N.Y. State Jewry is in the midst of an unprecedented existential struggle against Schaer's fellow travelers in the N.Y. State leftist Establishment, who seek to force us to teach LGBT propaganda to our own children*. Nevertheless, Schaer voted to advance said LGBT propaganda in NJ. He did so knowing that every gain for the LGBT movement not only victimizes public school children and families immediately, but also invariably enables the LGBT movement to lurch ever closer to its goal of controlling religious schools. 

* (See 

Additionally, not only is Aguda silent, but they import their own domestically-grown LGBT advocate, Yechiel Mark Kalish, to moderate an Aguda Convention forum on political matters. Kalish, operating as a legislative appointee to the Illinois legislature  (who filled the seat of a fellow leftist), voted for the LGBT indoctrination bill HB 246, among other gems (including a drug legalization bill). HB 246 requires Illinois public schools teach LGBT propaganda to children. It also afflicts religious schools, limiting government funding for textbooks to those books that their pro-LGBT overseers deem "non-discriminatory." 

By showcasing Kalish, who exposed the tens of thousands of Aguda Convention listeners to a bizarre dose of LGBT propaganda, Aguda signaled the LGBT Mafia that the ostensibly Orthodox Jewish Establishment remains open for business (undoubtedly for the right price, of course). Simultaneously, Aguda is purportedly standing up against the threat to Jewish Education in N.Y. State. That threat is primarily from the pro-LGBT leftist Establishment. So they can't be truly fighting those to whom they so flagrantly cave.  If we are to win the war against those intent on indoctrination of our children into LGBT dogma, it won't be by relying on Aguda or associated groups. And when it comes to a war for our very survival, we have no room for errors as grave as dependence on the unreliable.

Passaic Assemblyman Gary Schaer - and his enablers in Passaic and Aguda - bear heavy responsibility for the monster they've created, by impeding Gedolei Yisroel and Bnei Torah from properly identifying, publicizing, and countering the threats posed by the LGBT movement, and the role that pro-LGBT turncoat Jews like Gary Schaer and Yechiel Mark Kalish play in advancing the goals of the radical homosexualist Jew-Haters. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Jews should never allow someone to be singled out for wrong doing? !

 Sanhedrin (11a) It once happened that Rabban Gamaliel said: ‘Send me up seven [scholars] early in the morning to the upper chamber[for this purpose].’ When he came in the morning and found eight, he asked: ‘Who is he who has come up without permission? Let him go down.’ Thereupon, Samuel the Little arose and said: ‘It was I who came up without permission; my object was not to join in the intercalation, but because I felt the necessity of learning the practical application of the law.’ Rabban Gamaliel then answered: ‘Sit down, my son, sit down; you are worthy of intercalating all years [in need of such], but it is a decision of the Rabbis that it should be done only by those who have been specially appointed for the purpose.’ — But in reality it was not Samuel the Little [who was the uninvited member] but another; he only wished to save the intruder from humiliation.

       Similarly it once happened that while Rabbi was delivering a lecture, he noticed a smell of garlic. Thereupon he said: ‘Let him who has eaten garlic go out.’ R. Hiyya arose and left; then all the other disciples rose in turn and went out. In the morning R. Simeon, Rabbi's son, met and asked him: ‘Was it you who caused annoyance to my father yesterday?’ ‘Heaven forfend that such a thing should happen in Israel,’ he answered.

       And from whom did R. Hiyya learn such conduct? — From R. Meir, for it is taught: A story is related of a woman who appeared at the Beth Hammidrash of R. Meir and said to him, ‘Rabbi, one of you has taken me to wife by cohabitation.’ Thereupon he rose up and gave her a bill of divorce, after which every one of his disciples stood up in turn and did likewise. And from whom did R. Meir learn this? — From Samuel the Little. And Samuel the Little? — From Shecaniah son of Jehiel, for it is written, And Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam answered and said unto Ezra: We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women of the peoples of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.And Shecaniah learnt it from [the story told of] Joshua. As it is written, The Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up, wherefore, now, art thou fallen upon they face? Israel hath sinned . . . ‘Master of the Universe,’ asked Joshua, ‘who are the sinners?’ ‘Am I an informer?’ replied God. ‘Go and cast lots [to find out].’ Or, if you like, I might say that he learnt it from [the incident with] Moses, as we read, And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep My commandments and My laws?

Trump Warns Republicans Who Didn't Back Election Fraud ... I will NEVER FORGET!"

I saved at least 8 Republican Senators, including Mitch, from losing in the last Rigged (for President) Election. Now they (almost all) sit back and watch me fight against a crooked and vicious foe, the Radical Left Democrats. I will NEVER FORGET!.

President Trump Golfs as COVID-19 Relief and Government Shutdown Hang in the Balance

 After tossing a grenade that threatens to blow up a massive COVID relief and government funding bill and force a government shutdown in the midst of a pandemic, President Donald Trump spent his Christmas Eve golfing in Florida.

Failure to agree on the bill could deny checks to millions of Americans on the brink.

Trump had no events on his public schedule on the first day of his winter vacation Thursday, but traveled to his Palm Beach golf club, where he was spotted by CNN cameras on the links. Reporters were given no details of his schedule for the day, but told that, “As the Holiday season approaches, President Trump will continue to work tirelessly for the American People. His schedule includes many meetings and calls.”

The bipartisan compromise had been considered a done deal and had won sweeping approval in the House and Senate this week after the White House assured GOP leaders that Trump supported it. If Trump refuses to sign the deal, which is attached to a $1.4 trillion government funding bill, it will force a federal government shutdown, in addition to delaying aid checks and halting unemployment benefits and eviction protections in the midst of the most dire stretch of the pandemic.

Controversy erupts around Health Ministry plan to vaccinate on Shabbat

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein announced on Thursday that he had ordered an expansion of the coronavirus vaccine operation to 24 hours a day, including on weekends.

"The State of Israel is in a health campaign unlike any other since the establishment of the state. In recent days, mutations that infect at a rapid and irregular pace that we had not yet encountered were located and we are in a race against time," said Edelstein's office. "The more citizens we vaccinate quickly, the more we will save lives. Therefore, the Health Minister instructed the director-general of his office to act to provide vaccines 24/7, to recruit manpower for this purpose, and to reach a rate of more than 100,000 vaccines a day. The coronavirus endangers us all, the vaccines will save us all."
A senior United Torah Judaism official responded to the Health Ministry's statement, attacking the minister, saying, "Edelstein is violating his commitment to the head of the ultra-Orthodox sector. Vaccines on Shabbat are contrary to his commitment to us!"
In addition, Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau also addressed the issue, noting that he sees great importance in giving vaccines to the general public and has even been vaccinated in public to encourage the public to get vaccinated. The chief rabbi stated that he "believes that as long as there are vaccinations during all hours of the day and night during the week, which in practice indicates urgency to vaccinate as quickly as possible, it will be possible to consider allowing vaccinations on Shabbat as well. At this stage, even on weekdays, vaccinations are still not performed at all hours of the day and night, but at reception hours, so at this stage there is no permit for breaking Shabbat."

גדולי ישראל על התחלואה: "מי שלא נזהר - חב לאחרינא

בשל העלייה בתחלואה בקורונה במגזר החרדי, קוראים גדולי ישראל להתחזק בשקידת התורה ולשמור על כללי הבריאות ומתריעים כי מי שלא עושה זאת "חב לאחריני"; ויש פניה לבעליה שמחות

Rambam - Women and evil

Moreh Nevuchim (2:30):  It is important to know the following Medrash our Sages say that the Serpent had a rider Samael (Satan), who was as big as a camel and he was the one who seduced Eve. We find in a number of places that Satan wanted to cause Abraham to sin. And prevent him from sacrificing his son. As well as persuading Yitzchok to disobey his father. We see from these remarks about the Akeida that Samael is Satan. .Our Sages also say that when the Serpent came to seduce Eve that Samael was riding on it and G-d laughed at the camel and its rider. It is important to note that the Serpent did not approach or speak with Adam but all his efforts were directed at Eve. It was only through Eve that the Serpent was able to harm Adam and cause death. Therefore the greatest hatred exists between the Serpent and Eve as well as his descendants and hers which are also Adam’s.  When the Serpent had intercourse with Eve he injected her with filth which was removed when the Jews received the Torah at Sinai. However the idolater who were not at Sinai did not have it removed