Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Bill Cosby is a free man after Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturns sex assault conviction

The panel of Pennsylvania State Supreme Court judges said in their opinion that the former Montgomery County district attorney's decision to not prosecute Cosby in 2005 in return for his deposition in a civil case was ultimately used against him at trial, the judges said.
"In light of these circumstances, the subsequent decision by successor D.A.s to prosecute Cosby violated Cosby's due process rights," the judges wrote.


Dov Hikind: Why won't Dem leaders denounce Ilhan Omar?

 In response to a Tuesday CNN interview in which Minnesota Democratic rep. Ilhan Omar doubled down on a controversial comment comparing Israel and the United States to the Taliban and Hamas, Jewish activist Dov Hikind took to social media to voice his outrage.

"Ilhan, the criticism you’re receiving is NOT about being a woman; NOT about being a Muslim; NOT about skin color. IT IS about the hate emanating from your mouth continuously!” he tweeted. “And the Dem leadership that’s enabled you to spew ignorant vitriol that fuels anti-Jewish violence!”

Plurality of QAnon followers think Jews plotting to rule the world 

A recent survey reveals that almost half of all supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe that Jews around the world are using liberalism to undermine institutions and gain world domination.
The fringe theory is centered on the belief that former U.S. president Donald Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a devil-worshiping child sex trafficking ring.

ליצמן: בנט שיקר לי, לא אלחץ לו יד - הוא רפורמי כמו קריב

 טעיתי, טעיתי בזה שבנט נתן לי יד שעוד פעם הוא יעשה את הטעות הזאת שילך עם לפיד, כך הוא אמר לי, אני הראשון שהלכתי איתו בזמן שאחרים לא. אני חושב שזו בושה וחרפה לשבת בקואליציה שכזו.

"אני לא חושב שמה שאסור לחטוא בפומבי - מותר לחטוא בסוד, מה שאסור לחטוא אסור לחוט, לא בפומבי ולא בשקט".

Police, Palestinians clash as Israel demolishes East Jerusalem shop

 Israel demolished a Palestinian shop in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Tuesday, triggering scuffles between police and protesters who accused authorities of discriminatory enforcement of building permits in the holy city.

The shop was razed to make way for a national park to connect the City of David to Jewish heritage sites in Silwan. 
The municipality had given Palestinians until June 28 to dismantle the structures themselves.

Israel’s COVID vaccination rate soars again as teens flock to shot centers 

 The number of adolescent getting vaccinated against the coronavirus has risen sharply in recent days, raising hopes that a large portion of the country’s minors eligible for shots will be protected against COVID-19 in coming weeks.

As of Tuesday morning, nearly 32 percent of Israelis in the 10-19 age bracket had received at least one dose of the vaccine, up from around 23% a week earlier, Health Ministry data showed.

Authorities launched a renewed drive to vaccinate teens aged 12 to 15 last week, responding to mounting numbers of new cases, many of them attributed to the fast-spreading Delta variant of the virus.

Daycare assistant reported abuse - and got a criminal record

 Or Yahya, the daycare assistant who exposed the abuse by daycare operator Carmel Mauda, worked for over two weeks with Mauda at the "Baby Love" center in Rosh Ha'ayin. During that time, she was exposed to severe instances of child abuse, and she recorded Mauda, went to the police, told the investigators what was happening, and even reported that the daycare had closed-circuit cameras which recorded the events.

The investigators found the horrific footage, and Yahya testified in Mauda's trial, helping the judges convict her. She also testified in the trial of daycare assistant Liraz Natan, who was also convicted.

Israel Hayom discovered that despite her report of the abuse at the daycare center and her testimonies in court, the Prosecutor's Office ordered the police to interrogate Yahya under warning, on suspicion that she was guilty of not reporting. Recently, the case against her was closed, but not due to lack of guilt, which would have allowed her to request its erasure. Instead, the case against Yahya was closed due to lack of public interest, leaving her with a criminal record which may influence her job prospects in the future, certainly if she wishes to work with children

Israel digs in heels on Gaza, demands captives' release

In three high-level meetings this week, Israel has insisted on linking the rehabilitation of Gaza with the return by Hamas of the remains of two soldiers and the release of two captives.
President Reuven Rivlin raised the matter with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday in New York and with US President Joe Biden on Monday in Washington.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett raised the matter during his first phone call with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi since taking office earlier this month.


Chief Rabbi Yosef: Science, math are nonsense, study in yeshiva instead

Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef described Israel’s school core curriculum studies program as “nonsense” and said pupils should study in yeshivas instead where only religious studies are taught.

Yosef’s comments sparked criticism toward the Sephardi chief rabbi, who was accused of promoting dependence on government handouts and charitable donations instead of advancing self-reliance.
“There is nothing like the holy Torah, the Torah is above everything,” said Yosef in a recent synagogue address, first reported by the Kikar Shabbat news website.
“If a pupil is asked where do you want to go, a yeshiva high school [where religious studies are taught together with the core curriculum] or a holy yeshiva, there is no doubt, a holy yeshiva, there is no doubt,” declared the chief rabbi.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Pfizer, Moderna COVID vaccines produce ‘long-lasting’ immune response — study

The Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna coronavirus vaccines produce a continuing immune response, a study has found, indicating that they offer long-lasting protection against COVID-19.

 The study, published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, found that the vaccines “induce persistent” production of antibodies “enabling the generation of robust humoral immunity.”

In addition, the vaccines were found to produce high levels of antibodies against three known variants of the coronavirus, including the Beta variant first detected in South Africa. There was an even stronger antibody response to the variants among those who were vaccinated after already previously being infected with COVID-19.

Supreme Court Declines to Hear School Bathroom Policy Case in Win for Transgender Man

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a case over the right of a transgender man to use the school bathroom that aligned with his gender identity, handing a win to Gavin Grimm, the man at the center of the case, and ending his yearslong legal fight over the issue.

Grimm sued Virginia's Gloucester County School Board in 2015 after it enacted a policy barring him from using the men's restroom at the high school he attended and instead offered only the option of using a single-stall bathroom. Last August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled 2-1 that the school board had engaged in sex-based discrimination and violated the 14th Amendment.


Ultra-Orthodox rabbinic leadership: 12-year-olds must get vaccinated

Two of the most senior rabbis in the ultra-Orthodox world, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, have called for all children 12-years-old and over to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


Yeshiva teacher suspected of sexually blackmailing his teenage students

Police say they have arrested a teacher at a Chabad yeshiva in central Israel on suspicion that he sexually blackmailed male students aged 14-15 using the Hangouts messaging app.

The teacher allegedly contacted the boys, presented himself as a fellow teenager, and after a while asked them for nude photos and sexually explicit videos, sometimes in exchange for money. He then threatened to publish the footage if they didn’t send him more material.

The suspect was arrested on June 16 and has been in custody ever since. He is accused of molesting a minor, blackmail and possession of obscene material.


Monday, June 28, 2021

At Home With... Rabbi Bulka

The WHO did not reverse its position on kids and COVID-19 vaccines

 If Your Time is short

  • Social media posts falsely claimed that the World Health Organization recently reversed its policy and said children shouldn’t be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The posts were referencing an actual WHO webpage, but the guidance was originally posted on April 8 and reflected the organization's stance that vaccine supply is limited in some countries and children shouldn’t be prioritized over other high-risk groups because COVID-19 disease is milder in kids.
  • The WHO updated the guidance for children on its webpage on June 23 based on a recent scientific advisory meeting in which the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found to be safe for those ages 12 and up.

COVID: Was Israel wrong not to vaccinate children ages 12-15 right away?

 Also on Sunday, the Israeli Pediatric Society published a new position paper reiterating their support for the vaccine, and addressing the issue of possible side effects.

Prof. Tzachi Grossman, the head of the organization, and its colleagues wrote that the risk for a child to develop a severe form of COVID if infected – which stands at 1:3000 – outweighs that of developing a myocarditis – which according to US data for ages 12-17 stands at 1:16,000 (according to Israeli data for the age group 16-19, the occurrence was 1:6,000).

COVID-19 Vaccine: What Parents Need to Know

 Should I consider getting my child vaccinated for COVID-19?

Yes. Although COVID-19 in children is usually milder than in adults, some kids can get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The virus can cause death in children although this is rarer than for adults.

Honig: Don't buy Bill Barr's latest story about the Big Lie

 Barr spoke to the Atlantic about his post-election turnabout, which culminated in his December 1, 2020, public statement to the Associated Press that "to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election." Barr tells of how he stood up to Trump, invoking Trump's wrath during the frantic post-election weeks when Trump tried desperately to overturn the election's results.

But Barr conveniently omits the crucial fact that, for months before his endgame turnabout, he had been relentlessly parroting and amplifying Trump's most dangerous lies about election fraud throughout the runup to the November 2020 election.

Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump 

 Donald Trump is a man consumed with grievance against people he believes have betrayed him, but few betrayals have enraged him more than what his attorney general did to him. To Trump, the unkindest cut of all was when William Barr stepped forward and declared that there had been no widespread fraud in the 2020 election, just as the president was trying to overturn Joe Biden’s victory by claiming that the election had been stolen.

Theodor Herzl vs. Rabbi Kook

The notion that there is an intrinsic contradiction between Theodor Herzl’s Zionism and that of Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook, first chief rabbi of Israel, is prevalent in many national-religious circles. Indeed, Rabbi Benny Lau asserts in “Statehood and spirit” (Magazine, August 30): 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Bennet and his Arab "supporters"

But there is an additional price to be paid. To grasp the real total that Naftali Bennett paid for Ra’am’s political support, you need to take a trip south to the Negev Desert, where vast areas have been swallowed in recent years by illegal Bedouin building. Aside from chairmanship of the Knesset’s Interior Committee and of the Arab Affairs Committee, Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas secured a clause stipulating the legalization of three Bedouin villages in the Negev as well as a review of the status of 11 others.

Schumer Intervening in Fixsler Case

 U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer is intervening in the case of Alta Fixsler, a brain-damaged, 2-year-old Jewish girl in the U.K. at risk of being removed from life support by a hospital in Manchester against her family’s will.

Alta’s family has waged a battle to keep his daughter alive. Her mother is an Israeli citizen, and her father an American. If Alta is unable to remain on life support in the U.K., the family is hoping to at least be able transport her to Israel or America for treatment.

Jewish activists have been working on getting the Israeli and U.S. governments involved in the case, to either pressure the British to keep Alta on life support or transport her to one of those countries.


Friday, June 25, 2021

Can Vitamin D Help Protect against COVID?

 Given the results of Neale’s large-scale study and the modest benefits found in Martineau’s latest meta-analysis, it seems unlikely that vitamin D will prove to be a critical ingredient in fending off COVID-19 or modulating its severity. But these and other new trials may find it is useful in certain doses for certain populations. As Neale points out, “there is data that is suggestive” and enough smoke to indicate that you don’t want to be vitamin-D-deficient in a pandemic.

NYC mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa said Orthodox Jews are trying to take over the city

 Video from 2018 surfaced this week of Curtis Sliwa, the Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, describing Orthodox Jews as a drag on the tax system.

“We’re not talking about poor, impoverished, disabled people who need help, we’re talking about able-bodied men who study Torah and Talmud all day and we subsidize them,” Sliwa says in the video. “And then all they do is make babies like there’s no tomorrow and who’s subsidizing that? We are.

“So are we the shmucks and putzes? Yes.”

Same-sex marriage in New York: A milestone a decade in the making

 Marriage equality is one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s earliest achievements, arriving at the end of the first legislative session of his first term, on June 24, 2011. Cuomo brokered the passage, convincing four Republican senators to cast votes of conscience to pass the bill.

The vote was a nail-biter. Not until Sen. Stephen Saland, R-Poughkeepsie, rose and gave his support was passage assured.

Israeli embassies fly the rainbow flag for pride month

Israel’s embassies around the world have raised the rainbow flag today in accordance with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s directives, including in London, Oslo, and Vienna.

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem raised a rainbow flag last Tuesday, and Foreign Minister Lapid said: "For the first time ever this morning, I ordered the Foreign Ministry to fly the pride flag for pride month events. The Foreign Ministry and its employees carry a message of tolerance and freedom."

It should be noted that Yair Lapid's deputy in the Foreign Ministry, Idan Roll, belongs to the LGBT community and lives with his partner, singer and songwriter Harel Skaat.


This is what we know about those missing in the Miami condo collapse

 Jewish community members missing, rabbis say

Some members from The Shul of Bal Harbour synagogue are among the 99 people unaccounted for, Rabbi Sholom Lipskar told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.
"This is something that transcends our capacity for understanding," Lipskar said about the collapse. "It's a reality, we accept it and we have to learn as we do in our culture of resilience to move forward."
The outpouring of support has been unprecedented, Lipskar said.
"There are way more volunteers than we can use. Our synagogue big hall, which is a giant space, is filled with blankets, pillows, microwave ovens, chargers, food. It is an extraordinary outpouring and it's real and it's sincere," he said.
"The only thing that helps in these times is kindness and empathy and togetherness, because you can't take away the reality," Lipskar said, and for each family member waiting for news from a loved one, there are about five or six community members with them, giving support.

Temple in Jerusalem

In his novel The Old New Land, depicting the future Jewish State as he envisioned it, Theodor Herzl – founder of political Zionism – included a depiction of a rebuilt Jerusalem Temple. However, in Herzl's view, the Temple did not need to be built on the precise site where the old Temple stood and which is now taken up by the Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, which are very sensitive holy sites. By locating the Temple at an unspecified different Jerusalem location, the Jewish state envisioned by Herzl avoids the extreme tension over this issue experienced in the actual Israel. Also, worship at the Temple envisioned by Herzl does not involve animal sacrifice, which was the main form of worship at the ancient Jerusalem Temple. Rather, the Temple depicted in Herzl's book is essentially just an especially big and ornate synagogue, holding the same kind of services as any other synagogue.

Dr. Theodor Herzl & Building the 3rd Temple

Yesterday marked the commemoration of the 17th of Tammuz, a day of fasting and reflection and the start of the “three week” mourning period culminating in the somber day of remembrance Tisha BaAv, the Ninth of Av. In addition to the other misfortunes which befell the Jewish people on this day, traditionally the 17th of Tammuz is the day when the walls of Jerusalem were breached in 69 C.E. leading to the destruction of the 2nd Temple 3 weeks later on the Ninth of Av. Throughout the centuries, the Jewish people have used this time period for both personal as well as national introspection. For the vast majority of people the Temple and its destruction, is only used as an instructive teaching platform for broader moral lessons. For many the questions and introspection focuses on the following: What was the root cause of the destruction? How can we make sure to not fall prey to it again? Do we see similar trends in the Modern State of Israel, and if so how should we combat those trends? However, regrettably, there seems to be only a small minority of the Jewish people who ponder and contemplate the need for the actual physical rebuilding of the Temple. What purpose did the Temple serve, and what meaning and insight would its rebuilding hold for the Jewish People Today?

Health Ministry official: 'No surprise' that the fully vaccinated are contracting Covid-19

 He added that, “We weren’t surprised to discover that people who were fully vaccinated are among those contracting coronavirus now. Around the time when we emerged from the third wave of the virus, there were hundreds of vaccinated people contracting Covid-19, and some of them even died. So of course we're seeing that again now.”

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Israeli Pfizer official: COVID vaccine effective against Delta variant

 The Pfizer-BioNTech  vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19, a Pfizer official in Israel said on Thursday.

First identified in India, Delta is becoming the globally dominant version of the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization.
"The data we have today, accumulating from research we are conducting at the lab and including data from those places where the Indian variant, Delta, has replaced the British variant as the common variant, point to our vaccine being very effective, around 90%, in preventing the coronavirus disease, COVID-19," Alon Rappaport, Pfizer's medical director in Israel, told local broadcaster Army Radio.

Government admits that half of new Covid-19 cases in last month were fully vaccinated

Head of Public Health Services, Dr. Sharon Alray-Price, revealed the disturbing facts at a media presentation on Wednesday. According to her data, of the 891 cases of coronavirus confirmed in the last month alone, half had received both doses of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine.


אלפי ישראלים נסעו ל'מדינות אסורות' ולא נבדקו ל'קורונה'

 חלם: ישראלים טסים למדינות אסורות דרך מדינה שלישית. בשובם, איש לא בודק דרכונם • משרד הבריאות: "המשטרה אחראית". המשטרה: "מנהלת ההגירה אחראית"

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

New COVID cases top 100 for 2nd day; virus czar: Masks may soon return indoors

As new coronavirus cases rise in Israel amid an outbreak of the Delta variant, virus czar Nachman Ash said Wednesday that health officials would present the government with possible actions to curb the pandemic, including a potential imminent return of the indoor mask mandate.

Ash spoke as the Health Ministry said another 110 new coronavirus cases were identified in Israel the previous day, taking the number of active cases to 554. Tuesday’s new cases included 64 children and teens, and 14 individuals entering the country from overseas, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

“We’ll determine when to bring back the obligation to wears masks in closed spaces,” Ash told 103FM Radio. “It could be tomorrow or the day after.”


A New Theory of Western Civilization

 Could a marriage policy first pursued by the Catholic Church a millennium and a half ago explain what made the industrialized world so powerful—and so peculiar?

 One culture, however, is different from the others, and that’s modern WEIRD (“Western, educated, industrialized, rich, democratic”) culture. Dealing in the sweeping statistical generalizations that are the stock-in-trade of cultural evolutionary theorists—these are folks who say “people” but mean “populations”—Henrich draws the contrasts this way: Westerners are hyper-individualistic and hyper-mobile, whereas just about everyone else in the world was and still is enmeshed in family and more likely to stay put. Westerners obsess more about personal accomplishments and success than about meeting family obligations (which is not to say that other cultures don’t prize accomplishment, just that it comes with the package of family obligations). Westerners identify more as members of voluntary social groups—dentists, artists, Republicans, Democrats, supporters of a Green Party—than of extended clans.

Chief Rabbi: ‘Exhume Christian missionary from Jewish plot’

Chief Rabbi David Lau has said that “every effort” should be made to exhume and rebury a Christian woman and covert missionary who was recently buried in a Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem.

The woman in question was buried in a multistory burial chamber above a Jewish woman, since she was believed to be Jewish at the time.
Jewish law prohibits Jews to be buried alongside non-Jews, and since the woman’s husband refuses to allow her to be exhumed and reburied, questions have arisen as to how to handle the situation. Amanda Elk was the wife of covert missionary and Messianic Christian Michael Elk who together posed as ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill for at least five years.

Senate Republicans block Democrats' election bill 

 The huge bill - which sought to make it easier for Americans to vote - ended up deadlocked 50-50 along party lines.

Mr Biden said the issue was the "fight of his presidency", but some Democrats accuse him of not fighting hard enough.

Advocates say the bill would have been the most far-reaching election measure since the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

It comes as Republican-led states advance proposals - which Mr Biden has depicted as racially discriminatory - to tighten election laws, and as former President Donald Trump, a Republican, continues to peddle unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

The Democrats' For the People Act passed the House of Representatives in March in a near party-line vote, with one Democrat joining all Republicans in opposing the bill.

Chief rabbi: Missionary’s remains should be moved from Jewish Jerusalem cemetery

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau suggested in a letter on Tuesday that the body of a Christian missionary who posed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew should be removed from a Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem.

“In order to respect all the Jews who purchased a plot of land with the knowledge that it is a cemetery of Jews and were buried there based on this belief, every effort must be made to remove [her] to the area of non-Jews,” wrote Refael Altman, the head of Lau’s office, in the name of the chief rabbi.

The letter suggested that if it is not possible to remove the body, “then a fence… must be built between the plot and the Jewish deceased” surrounding the grave.


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Lapid orders pride flag displayed at Foreign Ministry, sparking ire on far-right

 Foreign Minister Yair Lapid ordered the pride flag to be displayed outside the Foreign Ministry office in Jerusalem on Monday in honor of Pride Month — but not everybody was thrilled.

What the Delta variant could mean for Covid-19 in the United States

A coronavirus variant first spotted in India is poised to become the dominant one in the United States, where infectious disease modelers say it could cause a "resurgence" of Covid-19 later this year.

And it may already account for 1 in every 5 infections nationwide, experts say.
The Delta variant, as it's now called, has swept across the UK, all but replacing the Alpha variant first identified there late last year. 

Two New York City kosher restaurants send Pride emails, then apologize

Restaurants say emails offering Pride Month discounts sent out by external marketing and promotions company, vow to ‘educate’ them.

Israel pushes vaccines for teens as fast-spreading Delta variant stokes fears

The Health Ministry on Monday urged rapid vaccination for teens and began working on measures to curb COVID-19 infections linked to international arrivals, amid signs that the extra-contagious Delta variant is spreading in Israel.

Ministry officials strongly recommended that 12- to 15-year-olds get vaccinated against COVID as soon as possible. The vaccine has been available to that age group for several weeks, but until now the ministry stopped short of recommending teens receive the shot.

Ra’am MK says party will vote against the Palestinian family reunification law

Without the backing of Ra’am and several MKs from the left-wing Meretz and Labor parties, the coalition currently lacks a majority to extend the law. Most lawmakers in the opposition also back the legislation in principle, but many have indicated that they will nevertheless vote against it to undermine and embarrass the new coalition.

 A source within the coalition told Channel 12 that the only potential solution to the impasse would be to offer Ra’am something significant, such as a freeze of demolition orders in Arab communities, in exchange for their votes.

'Shabbat Driver' found to be missionary targeting haredi women 

 Following reports of missionaries targeting the haredi community in Israel, the Yad L'Achim anti-assimilation organization has reported that a non-Jewish woman who drives expectant haredi women to the hospital on the Sabbath is in fact a Christian missionary.

The problem came to light last week when a yeshiva student in Jerusalem called Yad L'Achim asking for help. His wife had seemed worried and distracted for several weeks and finally revealed to him that she was on the verge of converting to Christianity.

When he pressed for details, he learned that a Christian missionary by the name of Jan Comeaux had taken advantage of his wife's distress and fragile condition in the wake of recent trauma to get her to convert.

הרב הראשי: להוציא מהקבר את גופת המיסיונרית שהתחזתה

בהמשך לסערה שהתעוררה לאחר הגילוי כי משפחה באחת השכונות בירושלים התחזתה ליהודייה, הורה הגר"ד לאו לעשות כל מאמץ להוציא אותה מקברה. "מדובר באשה שאינה יהודייה שהתחזתה לחרדית והייתה מסיונרית ואף ניסתה להעביר על דת ישראל"

Amusing Ourselves to Death | Apr 8, 2013 | Appel Salon

Neil Postman - The open mind Interviews (1985-99) Education, politics, Language, narratives

1984 vs Brave New World ► Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death [Orwell & Huxley]

Neil Postman - Foreword to Amusing Ourselves to Death

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t, thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another—slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.

My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it's not Orwell, he warned, it's Brave New World

The central argument of Amusing Ourselves is simple: there were two landmark dystopian novels written by brilliant British cultural critics – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – and we Americans had mistakenly feared and obsessed over the vision portrayed in the latter book (an information-censoring, movement-restricting, individuality-emaciating state) rather than the former (a technology-sedating, consumption-engorging, instant-gratifying bubble). 

 Unfortunately, there remained a vision we Americans did need to guard against, one that was percolating right then, in the 1980s. The president was a former actor and polished communicator. Our political discourse (if you could call it that) was day by day diminished to soundbites (“Where’s the beef?” and “I’m paying for this microphone” became two “gotcha” moments, apparently testifying to the speaker’s political formidableness).

Weil Gotshal Files Federal Lawsuit Against Fort Lee’s ‘The Colony’ Over Religious Discrimination 

 Plaintiffs and other Sabbath observant residents of the building, most of whom are elderly and/or physically handicapped, are religiously prohibited from operating the building’s elevators on the Sabbath, and have relied on building staff for assistance for more than 16 years. In May 2019, shareholders of the building voted in favor of a Sabbath elevator program, which operated in the service elevators only, and allowed the Sabbath-observant residents greater independence and dignity.


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Covid-19 outbreak: Health Ministry orders even those already vaccinate to isolate

Case identified in Beit She'an is woman who recently traveled to Dubai. Fears of partially vaccine-resistant Indian mutation mount.

 The so-called Indian mutation is known to be partially resistant to coronavirus vaccines currently in use. According to a report from Reuters, antibodies in blood from people who received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine were found to be between three and six times less potent against the Indian mutation than against other common variants, including the "South African" mutation, according to a report posted on the website bioRxiv.

Hershey Fried - Israeli psak


Hershey Fried

החלק של הרשל פריד בנפרד by yadmoshe

Troubled US teens left traumatised by tough love camps\

 Natsap's website today says it and the industry have changed over time. It emphasises that it has ethical standards in place and requires members to be licensed by their appropriate state agency or a national accrediting body and have therapeutic services overseen by a qualified clinician, though it does not accredit facilities themselves.
Campaigners argue that current levels of oversight are not enough. They say the lack of cohesive national monitoring has allowed bad actors to move around the industry and can enable facilities to rebrand under new names and distance themselves from complaints.
In online networks they have built, people who identify as survivors of the industry connect and offer support across the country - pooling information and resources to track alleged abuses and a revolving door of programmes and staff. One Reddit forum on the topic has more than 20,000 members alone.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

UK chief rabbi axes educator after she receives Orthodox rabbinic ordination

A recent graduate of the Yeshivat Maharat Orthodox egalitarian rabbinical school in New York has been banned from teaching at the London School of Jewish Studies (LSJS), whose president is UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

The disqualification of Dr. Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz, who has won praise across religious denominations for pursuing her rabbinic studies, brings to the fore an ongoing controversy about Orthodox semicha, or rabbinical ordination, for women.

An increasing number of those in the Modern Orthodox community would like to see recognition of women rabbis, while those on the religious right continue to maintain that it is against tradition. At the same time, the coronavirus pandemic has tempted some Modern Orthodox Jews to join Progressive congregations that offer options such as Zoom services on Shabbat — something prohibited by Orthodox law.


Huge billboards outside Bennett's home: Keep your promises!

The billboards, which were hung at intersections near the Bennett family home in Raanana, display a quote from the new Prime Minister who in November 2019 called to "eliminate the Hamas leadership in Gaza.” Also prominent on the billboards is a demand of the new government to enunciate and enact a new policy toward the terrorist organization, as well as the words: "The people demand victory!" The aim is to remind Prime Minister Bennett of his promises every time he leaves and returns to his home.

In addition, a video has been published on social media featuring Prime Minister Bennett’s past statements and other promises from recent years, such as: “The entire security concept of the State of Israel over the past 20 years is based on a lack of understanding that we are in the Middle East vis-à-vis Hamas,” “Hamas must understand that it will pay a massive price for any harm to Israeli citizens,” “The State of Israel must not give in to Hamas' threats,” and “I will deal with Hamas.”

Former US Pres. Donald Trump: American Jews don't love Israel enough

"I did the Heights, I did Jerusalem, and I did Iran. I believe we got just 25% of the Jewish vote. It just doesn't make sense."

Jews with homosexual tendencies are eligible for aliyah la'Torah

 In his reply to Zamir, Rabbi Eliyahu wrote: “I heard your question, and the answer is clear and self-explanatory. It is forbidden to discriminate against any Jew in the matter of aliyot la’Torah due to his sexual orientation. (Of course we are not talking about people who actually engage in behaviors that the Torah forbids.) Anyone who is struggling with such an inclination and is trying to live a holy life is of course eligible to receive an aliyah without any reservation.”

Bank and "pride"


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

More than a Year In a Cheirem and Still Living it Up

 Mr. Hermann Fried (Known as Hershey Fried, 66),a Viznits Chosid, after being in Cheirem for more than a year, is still refusing to grant a divorce (Get) to his wife Susi. Surprisingly there are still few synagogues and Rabbies that don't fully respect the Cheirem in several ways and the the refusenik finds his way around Shuls and Shiurim, hiding the truth and giving over twisted versions of the case. The background story is as following:

Why balloons strapped to explosives are the latest flashpoint in Israel-Hamas tensions

The Israeli military launched airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza overnight after militants floated dozens of so-called "incendiary balloons" over the border fence into Israel.

Officials said at least 20 fires were started Tuesday by the balloons. Palestinian media reported the retaliatory Israeli strikes caused material damages, with no casualties reported.
More balloons were launched Wednesday, starting at least four more fires, Israeli fire and rescue authorities said.
While militants have been sending balloons into Israel for years, the Israeli military's response of airstrikes in Gaza is a new escalation. Israeli officials said it was part of a message to Hamas that any provocation will be met with force.


Smotrich: Bennett is the Left's useful idiot

“I split with Bennett when he himself signaled that his goal was replacing Netanyahu, making him a friend of the Left.”

“I am a big critic of Netanyahu, but the hatred against Netanyahu is pathological. There is nothing holding this new government together besides this. Bennett is serving as a useful idiot. I can’t complain about the Left, people can think differently from me, everyone is doing what they think will help Israel.”


Why Biden's Justice Department Is Backing Trump-Era Positions

Take the DOJ’s defense of religious exemptions to anti-LGBTQ discrimination laws. Title IX, the law banning discrimination on the basis of sex in education, includes an exemption for religious beliefs. The job of the DOJ is to defend the law as it stands. And as journalist Mark Joseph Stern recently argued in Slate, in defending Title IX as it is written, the DOJ may be trying “to prevent a Christian organization from taking over the defense and mounting extreme arguments that could lead to a devastating subversion of civil rights law.” In a possible acknowledgment to the backlash from LGBTQ advocates, the DOJ amended it’s June 8 filing a day later, removing the word “vigorously” and making it clear the Department of Education’s review of the policy was ongoing.


IDF strikes Gaza Strip after incendiary balloon fires

The IDF struck a number of military sites belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night in response to 20 fires sparked by incendiary balloons earlier in the day.

"The IDF is prepared for all scenarios, including the resumption of hostilities, in the face of continued terrorist acts from the Gaza Strip," said the IDF Spokesperson's Unit in a statement.

Hamas responded to the strikes on Tuesday night, calling the strikes "a failed attempt to stop our people’s solidarity and resistance with the Holy City, and to cover up the unprecedented state of confusion for the Zionist establishment in organizing the so-called 'Flag March.'"


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rabbi Gestetner's Refutation of the Lies of Jacobson & Kahan Explained Part1

Health minister to remove blood donation restrictions from gay men

While gay men usually see higher rates of infection from HIV and AIDS due to HIV’s higher transmission rates through anal sex – a statistic which initially led the ban to go into effect in the early 1980s – their rates have been dropping consistently over recent years.
This drop in cases is coupled with a drop in the disease’s severity. Due to improving medications, HIV was redefined in 2015 from being considered a fatal illness to being considered a treatable, chronic disease.

Rabbi Weintraub on sexuality in marriage


Rabbi Dov Lipman ousted from World Confederation of United Zionists

The World Confederation of United Zionists, one of several groupings within the World Zionist Organization, let go of its secretary-general, American-born Rabbi Dov Lipman, citing his dispute with two women who say he sexually harassed them.


Israel drops indoor mask requirement Tuesday, as daily cases near zero

The Health Ministry announced that from Tuesday the requirement for masks to be worn indoors will be lifted, marking the end of one of the only major coronavirus restrictions remaining in Israel.

The Ministry said there were three exceptions. Workers or guests who have not been vaccinated or recovered at welfare institutions, long-term care facilities or homes for the elderly, individuals en route to quarantine, and travelers on a flight.


Mansour Abbas: We will demand to address the 'historical injustice'

"I have therefore stated several times in the past that the coalition agreement, although it includes key and burning issues for our society and unprecedented achievements and budgets, is the starting point and not the end point, and therefore we must continue to work to achieve all our society's demands and address the historical injustice that has been our lot for years due to discrimination, based on a clear vision and long-term strategy," Abbas explained.


Naftali Bennett’s Broken Promises and the Betrayal of the Right

 Those words are now hauntingly prophetic. Naftali Bennett of June 2021 seems to have not only betrayed many of his right-wing voters, but also his own words and right-wing principles…

Monday, June 14, 2021

Bennett tweets photo of prayer with tefillin, quotes from priestly blessing

Meanwhile, Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett tweets a photo of himself praying with tefillin ahead of his expected swearing-in as prime minister. We assume the photo is from today.


He ‘won the lottery’ of Israeli politics. But Naftali Bennett remains an enigma

 Bennett still wears a small yarmulke, or skullcap — in Israel, normally a signifier of devout Orthodox Judaism — which clings to his bald pate in a precarious manner that even admirers sometimes lightly mock. But his degree of religious observance is sometimes described by Israeli observers as “modern Orthodox lite.” His wife, Gilat, a high-end pastry chef, is reported to be secular but a keeper of the Sabbath.


The Big Eyes and the Small Kippah

We saw that this past week. We saw how he was even willing to sell out the very public who voted for him. His voters, virtually all right-wing, even more right than the Likud, relied on him as a heretofore unabashed representative of the right, of not selling out to those leftists who want to make “peace” with the Palestinians at any cost, not selling out to Lieberman who wants a completely secular country, and not including unreliable Arab parties who might be closet members of the Muslim Brotherhood. He repeatedly promised that he wouldn’t during the previous election…but he did! He sold out.

Why? Ambition trumps all. As Rav Ovadiah prophetically saw, “his eyes are bigger than his kippah.”



'For about two years I didn't wear a kippah' 

Bennett corrected Dayan's assertion that he experienced a crisis of faith. "I never felt like I was having a crisis - I simply removed my kippa," Bennett asserted.

Bennett said that he returned to religion after witnessing the anti-religious sentiment that was rife in Israel after Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin was killed in 1995 by an Orthodox Jew. "I was already a Company Commander when Rabin was assassinated, an admired commander I would say," he recalled. "There was a very difficult period after the murder. It was as if the entire religious world was blamed for it."


Antagonism during Bennet speech ugly preview of things to come - analysis

By the way, that is not something new. The last Netanyahu-Gantz government was also pilloried when presented to the Knesset last May, and Lapid – then head of the opposition – said that government was born in sin and vowed to bring it down as swiftly as possible.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

In speech before swearing-in, Ra’am leader vows to ‘reclaim expropriated lands’

Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas, whose support provided the key backing needed for the incoming change government’s majority, vowed to reclaim land in Israel that was “expropriated” from Arab Israelis.

“We will reclaim the lands that were expropriated from our people, this is a national cause of the first degree,” Abbas said in Arabic in his speech before the Knesset plenum Sunday evening.

Switching to Hebrew for the end his speech, Abbas noted that “we come from different nations, different religions, and different sectors. There is one thing that connects all citizens of Israel and that is citizenship.”

 The coalition deal signed between Ra’am and Yesh Atid includes the formal recognition of three Bedouin communities in the South, as well as extending the freeze of the Kaminitz Law — which cracks down on on illegal construction — until the end of 2024.

Israel's new prime minister is sworn in, ending Netanyahu's 12-year grip on power

 After touting his accomplishments throughout his years in office, Netanyahu assailed his rivals.

"You call yourself the guardians of democracy, but you are so afraid of democracy that you are ready to pass fascist laws against my candidacy -- the language of North Korea and Iran -- in order to maintain your regime," he said, referring to speculation that the new government would impose term limits or make it illegal for someone who has been indicted to be Prime Minister.
Warning that the new government would not stand up to Iran, Netanyahu warned his internal rivals and outside enemies, "We'll be back soon."

Naftali Bennett sworn in as Israel's prime minister, ends Netanyahu's reign

 Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking term as prime minister ended on Sunday night when the Knesset voted to approve the new government formed by Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid.

The new government passed at 8:55 with the support of 60 MKs, while 59 opposed it. Ra’am (United Arab List) MK Saeed Alharomi abstained.

United Arab List chief: We will return state land to our people 

Abbas also vowed, in Arabic, that his party would "return the lands which were appropriated from our people."

"This is a national act of the highest order."

Religious Zionist Party chief Bezalel Smotrich responded to Abbas' comments, saying: "So Abbas is once again putting on a spectacular show of hypocrisy, with a nationalistic speech in Arabic in which he says the truth; a speech full of soothing words in Hebrew intended for Jewish listeners who are blind and deaf, especially those who make themselves so."


Australian court rejects appeal to jail killer of Israeli student for life

A Court of Appeal in Australia dismissed a challenge by prosecutors to extend the sentence of the murderer of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe to a life sentence on Friday, keeping the murderer's sentence at 36 years with a chance for parole at 30 years, according to Australian media.

Codey Herrmann was sentenced to 36 years for murdering Maasarwe in Melbourne in 2019, as she was walking home after a night out with friends. Maasarwe was an Israeli-Arab from the city of Baka al-Gharbiya in northern Israel.

The Dark Side of the Elightenment by John V Fleming – review

 But these aren't the lines that Fleming returns to. Instead, he quotes the much less well-known opening sentence to Kant's magnum opus, the Critique of Pure Reason, published in 1781. "Human reason," Kant wrote there, "has this peculiar fate that in one species of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which … it is not able to answer."

Friday, June 11, 2021

Formation of new government completed

 The Yamina and Yesh Atid parties have on Friday signed a coalition agreement ahead of the formation of a unity government for the State of Israel. The agreement concludes the work of assembling the new government, which is set to be sworn in this coming Sunday.

All coalition agreements were submitted to the Knesset Secretariat. The agreements, along with the new government's core principles, are open to the public and can be reviewed.

Prime Minister-designate, Naftali Bennett (Yamina) commented, "The signing of these agreements brings to an end two-and-a-half years of political crisis. We are faced with great challenges, and all the citizens of Israel are looking to us with hope."

"The government will work for the *entire* Israeli public - religious, secular, haredi, Arab – without exception, as one. We will work together, out of partnership and national responsibility, and I believe we will succeed."

Wave of Chareidi-Led Protests for Religious Female Refuseniks Jailed by Israeli Army Show Us The Way

Wave of Chareidi-Led Protests for Religious Female Refuseniks Jailed by Israeli Army Show Us The Way/

 Sivan, 5781 °° Parshas Korach °° June 10, '21 

This Sunday, another religious Israeli Jewish girl was arrested in wake of her refusal to enlist in the Israeli military. [Women serving in the Army is prohibited according to all leading Rabbis, from across the spectrum.] Today, Thursday, she was released, after serving a five day sentence in Military Prison. Her name is Loren B., known as Loren bas Miriam. She's a 19-year-old Israeli Bucharian Ba'alas-Teshuva*.  She had been languishing in Israeli Military Prison Ten, the newly constructed, one-thousand-bed jail in the Netanya area. She is to be married shortly, G-d Willing. In the early afternoon of Sunday June 6, the Israeli Army took Loren B. into custody, possibly after tracking her to the home of her future in-laws, whom she happened to be visiting at the time. While Loren was in their home, Israeli Police arrived with a search warrant, found Loren, and took her into custody. Subsequently she was incarcerated in Military Prison 10. Communication with those incarcerated in that jail is quite difficult. *(It appears from initial reports that Israeli Military officers involved may have seriously violated her rights to communication with family members, something perpetrated against other draft-refusenik girls.)


It's important to mention that, until recently, the Israeli Army understood that Bucharian girls simply do not serve in the Army, however religious the government considers them to be. Unfortunately, recently, the Army attitude has been changing, along with other forms of Draft Office escalation. This is yet another result of the silence of the political and media establishment of religious communities, in face of ongoing escalation of Army Draft Office tactics and strategies.


The public reaction was fast and furious. Multiple demonstrations were held on behalf of Loren on Sunday night outside Prison Ten, to encourage and strengthen Miss B. - and others being incarcerated there, who  endure the additional emotional deprivation of anonymity. Demonstrations were also held on Monday, including by the Tel HaShomer military base and holding facility where she had a hearing.  Furthermore, yesterday, a large demonstration, with hundreds of attendees, was held, with leading Rabbis speaking.


It's known that the emotional support provided by even a small contingent of the concerned public is vitally needed by these girls. The military prison authorities often try to break their will to resist the dictates of the Army Draft Office. The demonstrations often change that.


These demonstrations teach the world a vital lesson. Even when confronted with a dominant leftwing government, and a fraudulent opposition party (e.g., the many RINOs dominating GOP leadership), individuals can and must band together to intelligently take a stand for the individuals suffering the brunt of government- mandated / perpetrated travesty. Evil cannot long prosper when properly exposed.


This protest-benefit phenomenon is a source of potentially immense merit for protesters, as well as a tremendous obligation incumbent on those able to participate in any manner whatsoever. If our own communities can send tens of thousands to Meron, and if thousands demonstrate against antireligious affronts against religious neighborhoods (e.g. the Light Rail in Yerushalayim), why don't we see a hundred thousand Jews standing up against foundational assaults against the next generation of Jewish mothers, or against LGBT parades? ONLY because corruption within political leadership seeks to keep the large majority of the religious and  Chareidi public blinded by ignorance, and, perhaps more so, avidly distracted by battles and issues far less important than those two existential threats (the broad LGBT agenda and the female military draft). The past few days, and their vibrant demonstrations for this one girl - and other unknown incarcerated girls languishing in military prison -  highlight how much more the religious communities would protest these Israeli Army outrages if only properly alerted and guided to do so.


In previous posts we've addressed some specific details of the legal evolution of this particular case.

However, that's all secondary. Fundamentally, the Israeli government has no right to force any girl or woman into the Army, as we explain below. "Legalizing" the mass-travesty of the female military draft doesn't mitigate the decades-long crime-wave involving the IDF drafting hundreds of thousands of potential Jewish mothers -- it compounds it manifold.


In addition, a primary reason that most of the girls that the Army drafts aren't "religious" enough for the secularist Draft Office mullahs is because of the of the educational brainwashing perpetrated by the Israeli Establishment.  The largely antireligious Israeli Establishment rendered the preponderance of these girls "non-religious" - via their flagrantly anti-Torah [non religious/ anti religious] Education System - and then proceeds to force these same girls into their immoral "Mizron Tzahali" military paradigm, on the pretext that they're not religious. "Rotzach'toh ve'Gam yorash'toh."


Another issue is: According to the Army, precisely what avenue is available for a non-observant girl to rediscover her religious Heritage - a heritage intentionally stolen by the pervasive, dominant hedonism and secularism of the antireligious Israeli Establishment -  if she happened to have already started the enlistment process, in compliance with Israeli law?


Invariably, some will argue that the Army Draft Office must ferret out "fakers," who "falsely" claim to be religious. Firstly, even according to the religious Zionism to which the government pretends to pay a veneer of homage, the Israeli government has no right to draft ANY girl into the military - religious or not.


In truth, the very establishment of a religiosity criteria for exempting women from the Israeli Army is an incontrovertible abomination from a Torah standpoint. Additionally, from a pragmatic perspective, the very compromise of allowing the Army to prey on non-religious girls poses the gravest threat facing religious girls now. That's because the Army has been carefully escalating its assault against traditional - and even very religious girls - precisely by exploiting and abusing the religiosity criteria established in the draft law for girls.


Furthermore, it's a travesty of justice even from a secular perspective (Lehavdil) to draft any female into the military. One needs to go no further than the February 16, '21 report by Lilach Shoval in "Israel HaYom '' (a venue not known for "ultra-Orthodox" tendencies). She writes about the IDF's own report on an alarming jump in reported cases of sexual harassment and abuse in the military over the past year. By what right does any government arrogate the license to force any women into an Army, which by nature subjects innocent women and men to a multitude of hazards of illicit relationships?


Secondly, even assuming for argument's sake the mythical "right" to draft non-religious girls, who precisely is to determine the religiosity of a girl?  The antireligious Army Establishment? Secular and secularist draft officers? Self-hating "religious" officers? "Open-Orthodox" types (a-la "Yamina" leftist Naftoli Bennet), who see no incompatibility between their imagined contortion of Judaism and the promiscuous Army environment?


Thirdly, by what right does the Israeli government have to argue against "fakery" in claims of religiosity - while the entire female draft is predicated on one massive fraud after another? These frauds include the myth of the "need for women," while the true goals of the female draft have more to do with immorality than any national security need.*


(* unless, of course, we are unaware of the threat to Israeli national security posed by the apparent deficit of Bucharian girls in the IDF, in which case we apologize to the esteemed human-trafficking professionals of the Israeli Army Draft Office)


Remember, the Brisker Rov OB"M was even more opposed to the drafting of non-religious girls than religious ones, inasmuch as the former were in jeopardy of falling further and faster than the latter.



“Nothing is to be more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.” — John Adams, 1812

° Some of these girls are being or had been blackmailed into submitting to a "Rayon Dat," a Religiosity Interview/ Interrogation. For these girls, that's not only prohibited by Torah Law, and practically hazardous; it's also inherently self-contradictory.  For girls who follow the historically mainstream Rabbinic position that a Rayon Dat is prohibited, the Army forcing them into one (a) constitutes antireligious coercion, and (b) is also legally incoherent - if not downright Orwellian --demanding these girls "demonstrate" their religious values by contravening them.



°  We ought never forget that the merit of these heroic souls, and those who assist them, is truly incalculable - "L'fum tza'arah agrah" (Avos 5, end). And for that reason it's all the more incumbent on us to raise awareness to stand by those noshim tzidkaniyos (righteous women), in whose merit so many Jews are very possibly being saved from missos meshunos and untold tzoros.


See further: 


"Divine Restraint"

(Posted Mar.12, '20) 




The Israeli Army forces its female draft-age citizens to serve in the military. It's been doing so in flagrant violation of Torah law, for about 70 years. All leading Rabbis from across the spectrum prohibit girls and women from enlistment in the military. Leading Rabbis have even deemed refusal to enlist as "Yai'ho'raig v'Al Ya'avor," a prohibition we're obligated to sacrifice our lives to avoid.

The Israeli Army is also known for its flagrantly anti-Torah, exploitive and abusive treatment of women and girls, for decades (e.g. see Sexual Exploitation - Via Escalation of Religiosity-Interrogations: 

(11 Shevat, 5780 °°  Feb. 6, '20)).



We hope, G-d willing, to post updated information if need be. Please check the update link below for the latest posts.


Here's the update link for the month of Sivan, 5781/ June, '21: 



Some may try to dismiss the facts of the Israeli Army crusade against religious girls by pointing to the almost total public silence of some ostensibly Chareidi political interests within politics and media, who only speak up about the female draft on rare occasions (usually in the wake of an arrest of a girl from their types of social circles). To the extent that their overall silence plays a role in enabling the Israeli Army to continue to draft more and more girls, the following holds true:


"Simply put, thousands of Jewish girls are being subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation, and otherwise engaging in prohibited immoral acts in the Israeli Army, in great measure due to ostensibly Chareidi political "leaders" enjoying government power and money."


Self-focused "leaders" like these (exemplifying Yechezkel 34) never belonged in the Israeli government to begin with. Perhaps one lesson of the devastating Meron tragedy is that these  ostensibly Chareidi MK's must go. The mantra their defenders employ - that the Army isn't targeting "our girls" (namely, girls from families within their social circles) - is antithetical to the Torah. In fact, according to the aforementioned, world-renowned "Brisker Rov" OB"M, the very prioritizing of saving religious girls over non-religious girls is incorrect, inasmuch as non-religious girls are at greater risk in the immoral Army environment than are religious girls (see sefer "Yeled Sha'ashuim," p. 350).


The aforementioned faux-Chareidi stance of silence, enabling the drafting of traditional girls, and religious girls on the social/ political periphery, is reminiscent of the dark era of the Russian Czar, when young, pre-teenage boys were drafted into the Russian Army - for decades at a time. Some wealthy and influential families used to exempt their own boys from this horrific draft by arranging for the boys from poor / peripheral families to be taken away instead. The same dynamic is at play now, but in a more organized manner, led by false leaders in our midst, who seek to vindicate their evil by a transparent veneer of religious rationalization.


Another Wake-Up Call from BDS?


We all know that G-d isn't happy with our communal stance of overall apathy toward the ongoing drafting and persecution of girls, religious and otherwise, by the Israeli Army. We continue to live our lives and make money as if all is business as usual. Well, apparently it's not business as usual for everyone.


"Hundreds of anti-Israel BDS protesters prevented the unloading of an Israeli container ship from Asia at the Port of Oakland on Friday, with the cooperation of the local longshoremen's union, which refused to unload the vessel. The protest was sponsored and organized by a pro-Palestinian BDS group." (VINnews, June 6)


Is THIS new development about the ongoing economic war being waged internationally against Israeli businesses perhaps a wake-up call on this issue? I really don't know. It may be a wake-up call regarding other issues perhaps more specifically reflected in that BDS situation, as per Rashi on Brachos 5a.  Regardless, the aforementioned communal iniquity in ignoring the plight of all of the Israeli girls languishing in military prison is one that cannot ever be ignored. Further delay in repentance certainly won't gain us Heavenly protection from Divine Retribution. On the other hand, sincere repentance, even by individuals, and even if very limited, has a broad positive impact. May we all merit it soon.


"... And if someone, like Pinchos, is one among a multitude, and every man is against him when he dares to speak out for truth and to fight for the Law -- the more lonely his stand, the greater the number of his adversaries, the more powerful is his word, the mightier his deed."

--  Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch OB"M (1808-1888), (in "Judaism Eternal," vol. 2, p. 293, writing on Pinchos, and those who follow his lead)



Previous Posts of Interest:


°° (BeShalach, 5780, Thu., Feb.6,'20)

°° Religious Exemption Without Religious Capitulation: (Wed, Feb 5, 2020)


°° (Feb 14, 2020, Yisro,5780)

°° (Wed, Feb 12, 2020)



For another view, we copy an edited form of a report from "The Sentry," of June 7:

"In the summer of 5773 the government passed a “Hachlatas Memshalah” ["Governmental Decision"- BF] (#638, paragraph 64), which is a form of law that demands of the Military to increase the enlisting of religious girls. And ever since, the military has tightened its scrutiny when issuing religious exemptions. Sometimes they refuse an exemption based on a microscopic legal snag. Other times they refuse the exemption without any legal basis, betting that many girls won’t have the strength and resources to fight the military’s bureaucracy. While many times, the fallout of this law goes unknown, here is a current story.

On Sunday afternoon, a group of military police descended on the town of Yahud. They were on a mission to the home of a bas Yisroel who was susceptible to the army draft. When they did not find her at home, they continued on their “vital mission” until they found and arrested her. Loren [bas Miriam] is a nineteen year old baalas teshuvah, who is engaged to be married in two weeks. The army has been hounding her for the past while, and now came to arrest her. 

The Ga'avad of Chug Chasam Sofer Rav Yosef Meir Altman shlit"a traveled with a group from Bnei Brak, to stand outside jail #10 and protest the incarceration. Just a few months ago, a chareidi girl from Beitar was arrested at the airport on her way overseas. [BF: The Israeli Army claimed then, apparently quite falsely, that her paperwork to receive an exemption was never filed.]  When protests were quickly held outside the jail, and threats were issued over additional massive protests, she was swiftly released. An officer revealed [what has become obvious to many -BF] that it was the protests that were indeed responsible for the release.``

To view this discussion on the web visit