Saturday, July 31, 2021

The Ben & Jerry’s Fiasco: A Tale of Ice Cream in 3-D

They might highlight the inconvenient fact that more than 30 of the BDS National Committee’s leaders are themselves actual violent terrorists, including, for example, Muhammad Sawalha, a longtime Hamas operative and the former military chief of their operations in Judea and Samaria, and Leila Khaled, a senior PFLP member who hijacked not one but two commercial planes. (After she was released as part of a prisoner exchange for captured civilians, Khaled also went on to plan a terror attack on Jerusalemites in 2011, and continues to coordinate between PFLP command centers in Syria and operatives in Jerusalem, in addition to her BDS work.)

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Start of the Jan. 6 Insurrection Inquiry Shows Its Stakes—And Its Shortcoming

 The insurrection was an act of political violence that grew from the conspiracy theories and lies promoted by the Trump campaign about the election outcome. “It’s not a secret that it was political. They literally were there to ‘stop the steal,’” said Officer Dunn. “When people say it shouldn’t be political, it was, and it is. There’s no getting around that.”

Outside the room, the GOP was proving Dunn’s point. In a press conference organized by GOP House leadership, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney in that role thanks to her embrace of Trump’s election fictions, promoted a bizarre claim “that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as Speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on January 6.” This is false: the Speaker does not control Capitol security, and it was Trump, not Pelosi, who exhorted the mob to march on the building.

 Other Republicans spun different delusions. As the officers testified in Congress, GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar held a competing press conference outside the Justice Department, demanding updates on so-called “political prisoners” arrested in the aftermath of the Capitol siege.

Losing daughter or bashert through prayer

 תוספות מסכת סנהדרין דף כב עמוד א
ארבעים יום קודם יצירת הולד - ומ"מ מועיל תפלה בתוך מ' ימים להופכו או לזכר או לנקבה כדאמרינן בברכות (דף ס.) מ' יום קודם יצירת הולד אדם מתפלל על אשתו שתלד זכר אפילו זווג ראשון מתהפך בתפלה כדאיתא במועד קטן (דף יח:) אין נושאין נשים במועד אבל מארסין שמא יקדמנו אחר ברחמים.

New report shows vaccine effectiveness dropping over half a year

A preliminary report on the Pfizer vaccine indicates that its effectiveness at preventing infections -96% at its highest, some two months after the second dose - can fall by more than ten percent by the six-month mark. The study found a decline of roughly six percent per month, meaning that it could be less than 50% effective within two years.

The report emphasizes that these findings are strictly regarding the levels of infection; serious symptoms and hospitalization are still reduced by over 90% even well after the vaccine.

According to MSN, the manufacturers claim that a third "booster" shot of the vaccine would provide significantly increased protection, including against the new and more virulent Delta strain; antibody levels in those 18 to 55 after a booster shot were found to be five times higher than those in a patient who had received only two vaccinations.


Watch Morning Joe Highlights: July 28th | MSNBC

Watch Morning Joe Highlights: July 29th | MSNBC

Ghana poised to vote on ‘worst anti-LGBTQ bill ever,’ advocates warn

Draft legislation in Ghana would make identifying as gay or even an ally to the LGBTQ community a second-degree felony punishable by five years in prison — with advocating for LGBTQ rights punishable by up to 10 years.

Same-sex conduct is already a crime in the West African country, with violators facing a three-year sentence, but the new Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill seeks to criminalize identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, nonbinary, queer, an ally “or any other sexual or gender identity that is contrary to the binary categories of male and female,” according to a version of the bill leaked online.

Advocating for the rights of anyone in those categories — through speech, printed material, electronic media or other means — could result in an even steeper sentence of up to a decade in prison.


Justice Department allows lawsuit against Rep. Mo Brooks for January 6 remarks to proceed

The Department of Justice has decided that Rep. Mo Brooks was not acting in his official capacity as he delivered remarks at a rally with former President Trump on January 6. This means he is not shielded for a lawsuit brought against him by Rep. Eric Swalwell for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot. NBC's Pete Williams has details.

The DOJ Won't Defend Rep. Mo Brooks In Court Against Claims He Incited The Jan. 6 Riot

 The Justice Department says Brooks was engaged in campaign activity when he participated in the rally. That is not within the scope of his duties as a member of Congress, so he doesn't qualify for legal immunity for his actions, the department said.

"The Department has declined to issue a certification because it cannot conclude that Brooks was acting within the scope of his office or employment as a Member of Congress at the time of the incident out of which the claims in this case arose," the Justice Department explained in a court filing.

Trump Under Oath In 2021? New DOJ Ruling Rattles Trumpworld

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Watch The Beat With Ari Melber Highlights: July 27th | MSNBC

Reassessing Rav Kook - Tzadik hador

While being an administrator was not his strong suit, Rav Kook was most generous in his rabbinic duties to help the needy. He spent a lot of time visiting the sick, regularly giving away his own household possessions. One of his disciples, Rabbi Ya’akov Moshe Charlap, a native Jerusalemite, regarded him as “Tzadik HaDor, the saint, who in Kabbalistic and Hasidic doctrine, takes upon himself the uplifting of his time, and whose soul challenges God’s energies into the world.”

Tzadikei hador are G-d's beis din

 ספר צדקת הצדיק - אות פז

פז) אין גזירה יוצאה מפי הקב"ה אלא בהסכמת צדיקי הדור [שהם בית דינו] כמו שמובא (אידרא רבא קמ"ב ע"ב) סוד ה' ליראיו ועד דלא אסכימו לא נחתין דינין לעלמא. ואיך יהיה זה והלא הם אדרבה מתפללים בעדם, רק שהוא בענין אחר הדומה לו כענין שהיה בדוד המלך ע"ה בכבשה [וירמיה היה בבני ענתות, וגלות עשרת שבטים היה ישעיה בשבנא, ואברהם אבינו בסדום הוא במה שהפריד לוט מקודם וכן הכל ואין כאן מקום להאריך]. ולכך צריך שמירה בזה שלא יצא לעולם דבר רע מפיו ולכך הצדיק נתפס ובהדי הוצא לקי כרבא ובודאי הכל במשפט רק שהוא כנזכר לעיל מפני שהסכים והוא גרם לפורענותם ולכך ממנו מתחיל כדאיתא בבבא קמא (צ"ב.) כענין מדה טובה שאמרו (שם) במתפלל על חבירו וכו' נענה תחילה. ולא היה צדיק שניצול מזה לגמרי רק משיח ואין כאן מקום להאריך עוד:

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham mocked the harrowing police testimony about the Capitol riot with snickers and a 'best political performance' trophy

Carlson responded: "Actually, what happened on January 6, according to the video we do have, does not look a lot like Iraq. It's not Fallujah." He played footage of a relatively quiet segment of the Capitol invasion, with people milling peacefully about the rotunda.

Extensive footage of much more violent moments exists.

Fanone also excoriated the "indifference" shown to officers who defended the Capitol that day. "I've been left with the psychological trauma and the emotional anxiety of having survived such a horrific event," he said.

Carlson outright laughed at this:


Jared Kushner set to move away from politics and launch investment firm 

Jared Kushner, a top adviser to former Donald Trump, plans to launch an investment firm in coming months, a move that will take him away from politics for the foreseeable future, sources familiar with the plan said on Wednesday.

Kushner, the former chief executive of Kushner Companies, who served as the Republican president’s senior adviser in the White House, is in the final stages of launching an investment firm called Affinity Partners that will be headquartered in Miami.

Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is also looking to open an office in Israel to pursue regional investments to connect Israel’s economy and India, North Africa and the Gulf, said two people briefed on the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Terrorist who stabbed Jew handed 15-year sentence 

 Despite a demand by the Military Prosecutor's Office that Maslama receive between 19-25 years in prison, the judges decided on a lighter sentence, accepting the claim that the terrorist found the knife by coincidence, and therefore did not plan the attack early enough, Yediot Aharonot said.

"We need to take into account that the accused found the Exacto knife used in the attack by happenstance, and did not intentionally arm himself with it ahead of time, as in other cases. Indeed, the accused's actions were done after prior thought, when he ambushed his victim after noticing him, but this is a 'short-term' pre-planning, in my opinion," Judge Rani Amar wrote in his ruling.

PM set to back 3rd vaccine dose for older Israelis after nod from expert panel

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to announce his support for older Israelis to receive a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine after a government-appointed panel of health experts gave a nod to the trailblazing initiative on Wednesday evening.

The panel’s position will be presented to Bennett and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz during a Thursday morning meeting, after which the prime minister is expected to announce his backing for Israelis above the age of 60 to receive a third dose of the vaccine.

The vote by the panel was not unanimous, according to Hebrew media, but a majority supported booster shots for older Israelis, against the backdrop of the rising number of seriously ill patients in recent weeks.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Surprise! Trump’s ‘election fraud’ fundraising is not what it seems

Officer Fanone Walks Through His Bodycam Footage From Capitol Riot - but republicans say it was just a bunch of tourists!

Trump and DeSantis clash with Biden as the mask wars roar back to life

Only two months ago, the CDC said vaccinated people didn't have to wear masks indoors with the pandemic apparently in retreat. But on Tuesday, with the highly transmissible Delta variant raging, the top public health agency said that even vaccinated people in areas of "substantial" and "high" transmission of the coronavirus should mask up. And it said that everyone -- staff, kids and visitors -- should wear masks in K-12 schools when the summer break ends.
The decision was taken in the context of new data showing that vaccinated people infected with the Delta strain can play a limited role in transmission, even if their chances of getting seriously ill and dying are still very low.
The announcement that masking is back for many Americans came as a devastating blow to morale and could have significant political implications for a White House that made ending the pandemic this year its signature goal.

Knesset nixes vote on bill to decriminalize cannabis

A bill to decriminalize the use of cannabis will not be brought for a vote Wednesday, after the coalition leaders failed to garner a majority supporting it.

The bill, put forth by New Hope's MK Sharren Haskel, was brought down mainly by opposition from the United Arab List (Ra'am) party.

The bill would ban smoking cannabis only in public areas, similar to the laws regarding smoking cigarettes. In all other places, police officers would be banned from conducting a body search, detaining a suspect, or arresting someone smoking grass.

Health Ministry to begin offering third coronavirus vaccine dose - next week

During a Wednesday morning interview with Galei Zahal, Professor Eli Waxman of the Weizmann Institute of Science called on the Health Ministry to approve the provision of a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

"You need to understand that we don't have time," he said. "We need to immediately approve the third dose of the vaccine against coronavirus, to start the campaign - and to vaccinate, at the end of the day, the entire population."

"We have proofs that the efficacy of the vaccine drops after six months," he added


Tzadikim- Ohr HaChaim (Bereishis 6:3)

 ויאמר השם לא ידון רוחי. G'd said: "My spirit will not abide in man permanently." This verse needs someone to explain it. Our sages have given numerous explanations to it without explaining the plain meaning of the verse. It appears that the Torah wishes to tell us that a change occurred in G'd's dealing with man. During the lifetime of Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel, G'd personally had rebuked man for any misdemeanour. When man's deeds became increasingly repulsive to G'd, He decided not to deal with them on such an intimate basis. 

The word רוחי in our verse therefore means "My Presence." Man had forfeited the privilege of proximity to G'd's Presence. G'd's Presence withdrew from man in direct proportion to his deeds. As long as G'd had confronted man directly whenever He had reason to rebuke them they were on the spiritual level of prophets. When man began to profane himself (meaning of החל in 6,1), he no longer enjoyed that status. In the course of time outstanding individuals, צדיקים, appeared on earth. These individuals succeeded in restoring a closer relationship between man and G'd. After the destruction of the Temple there were no more prophets; the most that remained were individuals who possessed a degree of what our sages describe as רוח הקודש, a measure of holy spirit. Ever since Israel's eyes closed, we no longer have even ריח הקודש, a holy fragrance, not to mention רוח הקודש. The absence of this line of direct communication from G'd is the greatest misfortune for those of us who thirst for at least a fragrance of the holiness of our Father in heaven in order to revive our spirits. The curse we speak about originated with the generation of the deluge. G'd supplies the reason for this in our verse. בשר בשגם הוא, man added to his abominations by adding the sin of בשר, adultery to his other sins. G'd hates sexual permissiveness more than anything else. As a result G'd resented having to communicate directly with such people.

 The characteristic of the righteous is that they refine the body to give it spiritual content. The characteristic of the wicked is that they do the reverse. They degrade the spirit making it the tool of the body. This leads to the destruction of the universe. G'd referred to this when He said: "My spirit will not find satisfaction in them forever more," not even in the world of eternity. This is because they have turned even their spirit into a tool of the flesh. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 108) states that the people who were destroyed by the deluge do not enjoy a life in the Hereafter.

COVID: Bennett vows decision on 3rd shot is near as cases top 2,000

 More than half of the current cases and two-thirds of patients in serious condition were fully vaccinated, the Health Ministry reported.

The rise in serious morbidity has been relatively limited compared with general morbidity. At the beginning of June, out of fewer than 200 active cases, about 20 patients were in serious condition. Today, with more than 13,000 active cases, 145 patients are in serious condition.
Health officials and experts are concerned that the protection granted to the most vulnerable sectors of the population who were vaccinated first has been waning. Most of the vaccinated people in serious condition today are elderly.
Most of the experts advising the Health Ministry support the move in principle, even though the debate has been very heated, since a third shot has not obtained the authorization of the US Food and Drug Administration or any other major health authorities, Hebrew media outlets reported.

In a major upset against a candidate backed by Donald Trump, Jake Ellzey wins runoff for Fort Worth-area congressional seat

Gov. Greg Abbott, who had stayed out of the race, issued a statement congratulating Ellzey on his "hard-fought victory."

Ellzey wins US House seat in Texas in closely watched race

 Jake Ellzey, the Texas Republican, won a special congressional election against Susan Wright, the widow of late Rep. Ron Wright, who had the support of former President Trump

"The Trump candidate goes down in TX special That’ll give folks something to chew on!" David Axelrod, the former senior adviser to President Obama, tweeted.

The Trump factor played out on the periphery during the contest. In 2016, he won the district by 12 points, and lost some ground to candidate Joe Biden in 2020, after securing only a 3-point win there. Political insiders say the race between Ellzey and Wright was a litmus test for Trump in Texas and perhaps a gauge of his influence in general.

At least 50 academics resign from CUNY over anti-Israel resolution

Paper accusing Israel of 'massacring Palestinians' introduced in wake of latest Gaza conflict and stirs uproar among faculty; 'you have chosen to support a terrorist organization, Hamas,' Jewish professor laments

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

World Jewish Congress to Jewish CUNY profs: 'We have your backs' 

 The appeal to faculty to resign from the union was launched by Yedidyah Langsam, chair of Brooklyn’s College’s Computer and Information Science Department, who said in a letter to James Davis, president of the union, that the resolution made “many Jewish faculty and students uncomfortable with being associated with Brooklyn College and CUNY to the point of fearing for our safety.”


The pandemic is 'spiraling out of control' due to unvaccinated people, Trump administration official says

For anyone who loves freedom and hates mask mandates or remote learning, Dr. Jerome Adams has a blunt message: Get vaccinated.  \

 "And it's coming because this pandemic is spiraling out of control yet again. And it's spiraling out of control because we don't have enough people vaccinated."

Reform movement: Min. Kahana's kashrut reform insignificant, preserves rabbinate monopoly

 Noa Setat, director of the Reform Center for Religion and State, responded on Twitter to Minister Kahana's proposed reforms in the kashrut certification marketplace:

"Minister Kahana's kashrut reform is indeed a small step in the right direction, but when one examines the intricacies of the law one realizes that this is an insignificant step, when in practice it perpetuates the discrimination of a large non-Orthodox public.

Are Chassidic Rebbes Avoda Zarah?


'Sellout’: Anti-vax conservatives come for DeSantis

The Republican governor has come under attack from the medical community and Democrats as the Delta strain of Covid-19 sweeps through Florida, turning it into a national coronavirus hotspot. The state recorded more than 73,000 infections last week — four times as many as the start of July — leading to overcrowded hospitals and more than 300 deaths in the most recent seven-day period. Florida is now home to one in five new cases of Covid-19 in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 But as DeSantis encourages vaccinations — he said “vaccines are saving lives” — he is facing a backlash from the anti-vaccination wing of his political base. It’s the same group that praised him and helped thrust him onto the national stage for his hands-off approach to the virus. DeSantis, with 2024 presidential ambitions, has to walk the line between keeping his conservative base satisfied and keeping his state from becoming more of a disease hot spot.


CUNY professors quit union in protest over anti-Israel screed

At least 50 CUNY professors have resigned in protest from their faculty union after it passed a one-sided resolution condemning Israel for recent attacks on Palestinians and threatening to support the movement to boycott and divest from the Jewish state, The Post has learned.

The controversial resolution approved by delegates of the union, the Professional Staff Congress, outraged many professors — some of whom are descendants of Holocaust victims and have relatives in Israel.


CUNY union claimed 'Israel massacres Palestinians,' professors resign

 Over 50 professors from CUNY have resigned from their faculty union, Professional Staff Congress (PSC-CUNY), in protest of the passage of a resolution condemning Israel, the New York Post reported Sunday. Multiple professors were very upset by the controversial resolution, according to the Post.

“With the PSC-CUNY resolution you have chosen to support a terrorist organization, Hamas, whose goal (`From the River to the Sea’) is to destroy the state of Israel and kill all my relatives who live there,” one professor wrote in his resignation letter, according to the Post.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Part 4: Rabbi Gestetner's Refutation of the Lies of Jacobson & Kahan

Religious Zionists' attitude toward non-Orthodox is slowly evolving 

In June, the Mekor Rishon newspaper hosted its first International Diaspora Conference, online, and with that, held a session about common denominators between Jewish communities around the world under the title “Shared Purpose: Who’s afraid to talk?”

That session was moderated by Prof. Gil Troy, an expert in the Diaspora and a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, and his two panel participants were Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, a religious-Zionist leader from the more conservative wing of the sector, and Rabbi Delphine Horvilleur, a female French Reform rabbi.

Religious Zionist rabbi: Let Reform have mixed services at the Western Wall

 A senior Religious Zionist rabbi has called on the authorities in charge of the Western Wall Plaza to accommodate Reform and Conservative prayer groups at a separate section of the wall designated for egalitarian prayer.

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, chief rabbi of the Samaria town of Har Bracha and dean of the local yeshiva, penned a piece on Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website Thursday arguing that non-traditional prayer groups should be given accommodation at the Western Wall.

Kahana’s kashrut reforms get rabbinical backing

Last week, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, a respected arbiter of Halacha, expressed support for Kahana’s measures, according to the Religious Services Ministry.

Har Bracha Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Melamed: Reform Jews Entitled to their Mixed Services at the Kotel

 Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshivat Har Bracha near Shechem, wrote in Arutz 7 on Thursday that Conservative and Reform Jews must be allowed to pray at the Ezrat Israel section of the Kotel, and the Rabbi of the Kotel must take care of all their needs, including providing them with a Torah scroll (הרב אליעזר מלמד: תפילת הרפורמים בעזרת ישראל).

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The German Experiment That Placed Foster Children with Pedophiles

 Kentler’s career was framed by his belief in the damage wrought by dominant fathers. An early memory was of walking in the forest on a spring day and running to keep up with his father. “I had only one wish: that he should take my hand and hold it in his,” Kentler wrote in a parenting magazine in 1983. But his father, a lieutenant in the First World War, believed in a “rod and baton pedagogy,” as Kentler put it. Kentler’s parents followed the teachings of Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber, a best-selling German authority on child care who has been described as a “spiritual precursor of Nazism.” Schreber outlined principles of child rearing that would create a stronger race of men, ridding them of cowardice, laziness, and unwanted displays of vulnerability and desire. “Suppress everything in the child,” Schreber wrote, in 1858. “Emotions must be suffocated in their seed right away.” When Kentler misbehaved, his father threatened to buy a contraption invented by Schreber to promote children’s posture and compliance: shoulder bands to prevent slouching; a belt that held their chest in place while they slept; an iron bar pressed to their collarbone, so they’d sit up straight at the table. If Kentler talked out of turn, his father slammed his fist on the table and shouted, “When the father talks, the children must be silent!”