Sunday, October 31, 2021

Accused left-wing Capitol activist John Sullivan facing new charges

 John Earle Sullivan, the left-wing activist who was charged in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in Washington, is facing three additional charges, according to reports on Monday.

An ‘Apolitical’ Rabble-Rouser Is at the Center of a Right-Wing Campaign to Blame the Capitol Riot on the Left 

 ‪Prominent Trump supporters, including the President’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, have seized on Sullivan’s prior involvement in protests for racial justice to claim that “antifa” and left-wing groups infiltrated and steered an otherwise peaceful protest toward violence. (The FBI has said there is “no indication” that antifa took part in the U.S. Capitol riot.)

“A known antifa member” dressed as a Donald Trump supporter “and caused the Capitol riot” on Jan. 6.

  • Activist John Earle Sullivan, who has often posed as a journalist to record protests, joined supporters of Donald Trump in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol and is charged with crimes for his participation. 

  • Sullivan extensively recorded the riot and he can be heard in his footage cheering on the violent acts as he followed rioters through the Capitol.

    We found no evidence that he is a member of antifa, or that he caused the riot.

Fact check: Misleading claim about 'antifa member' at Jan. 6 Capitol riot

 The claim: A "known antifa member" was paid $70,000 for his video of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

Court documents show news outlets paid about the listed amount – $90,000 actually – to use Sullivan's footage, which captured the shooting death of protester Ashli Babbitt. But Sullivan is not a "known antifa member" – and antifa activists weren't behind the Capitol insurrection, as the post makes it seem.

Yamina drops to zero seats in latest poll 

Latest poll shows the Likud with wide lead - but still short of a clear path to a 61-seat majority government.

Agunah Allowed To Remarry Without Get, Über Haredi Rabbis Lash Out

But many of the more normative haredi rabbis, especially those living in Israel, are reticent to directly challenge Sternbuch and Edah Haredit’s top rabbi, Moshe Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, for butting into their business, in large part because Edah Haredit followers are notoriously violent and neither of Edah Haredit’s two top rabbis – especially Weiss – has done much to limit that bad behavior, and Weiss is even thought to encourage it.

Supreme Court declines to block Maine vaccine mandate

  Dozens of health care workers have opted to quit, and a hospital in Maine’s second-largest city already curtailed some admissions because of an “acute shortage” of nurses.

But most health workers have complied, and Maine residents in general have been supportive of the vaccine. The Maine Hospital Association and other health care groups support the requirement.

Dutch Reform rabbi says COVID-19 policies remind her of Nazi Germany

 Those involved in enforcing COVID-19 public health measures “have the best intentions,” Benima added. “But as a Jew, what happened in Nazi Germany is a warning to me. Those in power all had the best of intentions. Also when they declared Jews a danger to ‘public health.’ Also when they declared a war against the ‘virus’ of those times. So don’t play with fire by setting aside people in our society as ‘a danger to public health,’ as Health Minister Hugo De Jonge regularly does.”

Shaked apologizes to Gantz over leaked recordings

 In the recordings of Shaked, published on Channel 12 News this week, she was heard criticizing Alternate Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, and saying that "Lapid is a superficial person - every week he carries out an attack and Naftali rescues [him], and no one knows [about it].

Democratic lawmakers ask Biden to stop Jerusalem consulate move

So far, efforts to prevent the consulate from opening have only been on the Republican side. Last week, 35 senators from the rival party initiated a law to ban the administration from opening a consulate in Jerusalem. Their attempt to recruit Democrats to support the law have failed. This will be the first time senior members of the president's party have spoken out against the opening of the consulate.


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Latest Fact-checks of Tucker Carlson

 "In Texas, the power companies have automatically raised the temperature of people's thermostats in the middle of a heatwave without their permission."

Tucker Carlson Goes Full 1/6 Truther in New Fox Doc

Tucker Carlson faced widespread condemnation from media figures, Republican lawmakers, and even one of his own Fox News colleagues after airing a trailer for his upcoming project that seemingly portrays the January 6 Capitol riot as a “false flag” operation orchestrated by the government. The promo for Carlson’s documentary series, titled Patriot Purge and airing next week on the Fox Nation streaming service, features one voice suggesting the U.S. government is waging a “domestic war on terror” against “half of the country.”

The trailer, which opens with onscreen text that reads, “The true story behind 1/6” and “The War on Terror 2.0 and the plot against the people,” includes interviews with a man who claims “the left is hunting the right” and “sticking [American citizens] in Guantanamo Bay…leaving them there to rot.” Later in the promo, a woman asserts that “false flags have happened in this country. One of which may have been January 6.” A man is then shown firing a rifle at a shooting range as a narrator states “We are dealing with an insurgency in the United States," before the ad cuts to Joe Biden giving a speech in which he describes white supremacy as “the most lethal threat” in America. 

Tucker Carlson condemned over ‘false flag’ claim about deadly Capitol attack

 The conservative Republican Liz Cheney and the chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League led condemnation of Fox News and Tucker Carlson, after the primetime host announced a series about the supposed “true story” of the deadly attack on the US Capitol on 6 January.

They denounced Carlson for spreading dangerous conspiracy theories in the latest scandal to engulf a man whose popularity belies his record of racist and untrue statements on issues from immigration to racial justice.

“Fox News is giving Tucker Carlson a platform to spread the same type of lies that provoked violence on 6 January,” tweeted Cheney, a Wyoming representative on the dwindling anti-Trump wing of the Republican party.

Jonathan Greenblatt, of the ADL, wrote to Lachlan Murdoch, chief executive of Fox Corporation, to demand the series be shelved.

“Clearly Carlson has the right to make outrageous claims,” Greenblatt wrote. “But freedom of speech is not freedom of reach. You have no obligation to validate his views with airtime on your platform and, I would argue, a moral responsibility not to do so.”

Fox News' Tucker Carlson problem

 Fox News is not officially commenting on the record, but it seems the right-wing talk network is quietly trying to distance itself from Tucker Carlson's 1/6 trutherism.

That's the takeaway from this story by Daily Dot's David Covucci. He wrote on Friday that after his outlet published a story on Carlson's 1/6 special series, titled "Patriot Purge," the Fox News PR department reached out.

Terry McAuliffe Seeks to Turn Virginia Governor Election Into Vote on Trump

 Youngkin has appeared to keep his distance from Trump. The former president hasn't campaigned with the Republican candidate and Youngkin didn't attend a "Take Back Virginia" rally on October 13 where Trump phoned in.

 At that rally, attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance in front of a U.S. flag that the hosts said had been carried during a Trump rally in Washington, D.C., on January 6. The action was condemned by McAuliffe and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat.

Youngkin issued a statement saying he had "no role" in the event.

"It is weird and wrong to pledge allegiance to a flag connected to January 6. As I have said many times before, the violence that occurred on January 6 was sickening and wrong," Youngkin said.

A Fox News poll conducted from October 10 -13 showed 53 percent of likely Virginia voters had an unfavorable opinion of Trump, while 44 percent took a favorable view of the former president.

Angels? Abarbanel to Bereishis 6:2

אברבנאל פרשת בראשית
(א) ויהי כי החל האדם לרוב וגומר עד וירא ה' כי רבה רעת האדם בארץ. כבר ידעת מה שכתבו במדרש ושנו בפרקי רבי אליעזר ומשולש בגמרא בענין בני האלהים שהיו מלאכים ואם באנו למלות הכתוב אין ספק שיתישב בו הדעת הזה היטב אבל לא יתיחס לענין הפרשה כלה שאמר וירא ה' כי רבה רעת האדם בארץ וינחם ה' כי עשה את האדם ויאמר ה' אמחה את האדם שכל זה א"א שיתישב במלאכים גם כי הדעת ההוא מהנמנע שיש להם טבע קיים רוצה לומר שישוב טבע הנבדל להיות חמרי. ודברי חכמינו זכרונם לברכה באמת יש להם סוד ואינן כמשמעותן כמו שלקחום האומות. ולכן ראוי שיפורשו הפסוקים האלו באופן מסכים עם המושכל לא באופן אחר

The Abarbanel says thes verses can not be talking about fallen angels - despite citing three sources from Chazal that say it does mean angels


Most of the classic commentators also say it is taking about man  not angels. However Non Jewish sources strongly claim this is about fallen angels also this is also the view of the Zohar even though the medrash quotes the Rashbi as cursing those who say these verses are not referring to man

 Bereishis Rabbah (26:5) 5. THAT THE SONS OF GOD (BENE ELOHIM) SAW THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN, etc. (VI, 2). R. Simeon b.Yohai called them the sons of nobles; [furthermore], R. Simeon b. Yohai cursed all who called them the sons of God. R. Simeon b. Yohai said: If demoralisation does not proceed from the leaders, it is not real demoralisation. 

Devarim Rabbah (10:11) Thereupon the soul replied: ‘Master of the Universe, two angels, Uzah and Azael, came down from near Thy divine Presence and coveted the daughters of the earth and they corrupted their way upon the earth until Thou didst suspend them between earth and heaven. 

    Yoma (67b)   Another [Baraitha] taught: Azazel, i.e., the hardest of mountains, thus also does it say: And the mighty [ele] of the land he took away. The School of R. Ishmael taught: Azazel — [it was so called] because it obtains atonement for the affair of Uza and13 Aza'el.[(13) This is a reference to the legend of fallen angels, based partly on Gen. VI, 4 and also on foreign lore. V. Jung, L. ‘Fallen Angels in Jewish, Christian and Mohammedan literature’.] 

 Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer (22:4-9) Rabbi said: The angels who fell from their holy place in heaven saw the daughters of the generations of Cain walking about naked, with their eyes painted like harlots, and they went astray after them, and took wives from amongst them, as it is said, "And the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all that they chose" (Gen. 6:2). Rabbi Joshua said: The angels are flaming fire, as it is said, "His servants are a flaming fire" (Ps. 104:4), and fire came with the coition of flesh and blood, but did not burn the body; but when they fell from heaven, from their holy place, their strength and stature (became) like that of the sons of men, and their frame was (made of) clods of dust, as it is said, "My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust" (Job 7:5). Rabbi Zadok said: From them were born the giants (Anakim), who walked with pride in their heart, and who stretched forth their hand to all (kinds of) robbery and violence, and shedding of blood, as it is said, "And there we saw the Nephilim, the sons of Anak" (Num. 13:33); and it says, "The Nephilim were on the earth in those days" (Gen. 6:4). Rabbi Joshua said: || The Israelites are called "Sons of God," as it is said, "Ye are the sons of the Lord your God" (Deut. 14:1). The angels are called "Sons of God," as it is said, "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7); and whilst they were still in their holy place in heaven, these were called "Sons of God," as it is said, "And also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them; the same became the mighty men, which were of old, men of renown" (Gen. 6:4). Rabbi Levi said: They bare their sons and increased and multiplied like a great reptile, six children at each birth. In that very hour they stood on their feet, and spoke the holy language, and danced before them like sheep, as it is said, "They cast their young like sheep, and their children danced" (Job 21:11). Noah said to them: Turn from your ways and evil deeds, so that He bring not upon you the waters of the Flood, and destroy all the seed of the children of men. They said to him: Behold, we will restrain ourselves from multiplying and increasing, so as not to produce the offspring of the children of men. What did they do? When they came to their wives they spilled the issue of their seed upon the earth so as not to produce offspring of the children of men, as it is said, "And God saw the earth, and behold it was spilled" (Gen. 6:12). They said: If He bring from heaven the waters of the Flood upon us, behold, we are of high stature, and the waters will not reach || up to our necks; and if He bring the waters of the depths against us, behold, the soles of our feet can close up all the depths. What did they do? They put forth the soles of their feet, and closed up all the depths. What did the Holy One, blessed be He, do? He heated the waters of the deep, and they arose and burnt their flesh, and peeled off their skin from them, as it is said, "What time they wax warm, they vanish; when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place" (Job 6:17). Do not read thus ("When it is hot," בחֻמו), but (read) "in his hot waters" (בחמימיו).

Getting rid of Bennet through vetoing buget

The Knesset Finance Committee approved on Wednesday night the 2021 and 2022 Budget Laws for the second and third readings in Knesset.
After 6 hours of marathon debates, which included several hundred objections out of about 30,000 objections submitted by United Torah Judaism, Shas, the Joint List, the Religious Zionist Party and the Likud, a motion was made by committee chairman MK Alex Kushnir to reach a compromise with the opposition parties.
The compromise included about NIS 70 million in additional funds allocated for projects supported by the opposition, including funding for yeshivot, NIS 5m. to renovate hospitals in the periphery and NIS 3m. for development in the Galilee and Negev. There was also an agreement to amend legislation to reduce National Insurance payments for Israeli students studying at institutions abroad.
All of this infighting comes as the coalition nears the deadline to pass a state budget. The legislation needs to pass by the middle of November otherwise, the government falls and Israel heads to another election. In the background is of course Netanyahu and his Likud Party which are actively trying to disrupt the government’s work and peel away defectors to prevent the budget from passing.

Friday, October 29, 2021

ADL Asks Lachlan Murdoch to Cancel Tucker Carlson's Jan. 6 Documentary on Fox Nation

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is the latest entity to slam Tucker Carlson's new Fox Nation series Patriot Purge for statements made in the documentary.

The documentary series, which is available for streaming on November 1, focuses on the January 6 Capitol Riot. In an October 28 letter to Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch, Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO and national director of the ADL, encouraged Murdoch to cancel the show over claims about the insurrection.

The letter argues that Carlson and a number of other "disinformation artists" who were interviewed for the piece made suggestions that the insurrection was a "false flag" and that the "Left is hunting the Right, sticking them in Guantanamo Bay ... leaving them there to rot."

Israel's President asks forgiveness

 On Friday, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited the Arab-Israeli village of Kafr Qassem and addressed a memorial to the victims of the Kafr Qassem Massacre.

In that event, which took place on October 29, 1956, on the first day of the Suez Campaign, forty-nine people were killed.

Speaking at the memorial ceremony, Herzog said, "I am standing here before you today with my head bowed and my heart pained, on the sixty-fifth anniversary of one of the saddest events in the history of our country - an event whose gravity has never been in question. For it is clear to all of us: the killing and injury of innocents are absolutely forbidden. They must remain beyond all political arguments!"

Israel to ban unvaccinated US tourists, even if they had COVID-19

Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last six months and wish to enter Israel under the government’s new tourism outline will not be allowed to unless they have a digital recovery certificate, the Health Ministry said Thursday.

This means travelers who do not have access to such documentation will not be able to enter Israel. Only recovered patients from about 45 countries that are participating in the European Union’s Digital Passport Program will be recognized as recovered and meet the criteria for entry.
Individuals who recovered more than six months prior will still need to receive at least one shot of a verified vaccine.

Biden administration won’t prevent settlement expansion, says source close to PM

Official says Americans ‘don’t care that much’ about recent move to approve 3,000 West Bank homes; Bennett government doesn’t believe the US will reopen consulate to Palestinians


Thursday, October 28, 2021

Greene, Gosar and Brooks Face Growing Scrutiny for Jan. 6 Insurrection: A Closer Look

What is a Tree?

 The Chazon Ish (Orlah 12:3) is dissatisfied with both of these approaches because there is no source in Chazal for this definition of a tree. However, he agrees that eggplants are not prohibited because of orlah for a very different reason. He contends that orlah can only ban the produce of a tree for its first three years but cannot ban the species completely. Therefore, a species that produces fruit for no more than three years cannot be a tree whose fruit is orlah. Instead, we must conclude that this plant is not a tree and therefore its fruit is not orlah.

Israeli military court convicts French-Israeli settler's killer

 An Israeli military court on Wednesday convicted a Palestinian man of the December killing of a French-Israeli citizen in the north of the West Bank.

Esther Horgen, a 52-year-old mother of six, had gone out jogging but did not return and was found dead in a forest near the Tal Menashe settlement.

Pfizer Vax Immunity Waned in Israel, Regardless of Age

 Immunity against the Delta variant from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine waned after a few months across age groups, Israeli researchers found.

Not surprisingly, rates of infection in July were higher among adults ages 60 and up who were fully vaccinated in January compared with those who were fully vaccinated in March (rate ratio [RR] 1.6, 95% CI 1.3-2.0), reported Yair Goldberg, PhD, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, and colleagues.

'RINOs Stole Election, We Steal Lives': Pennsylvania GOP Commissioner Details Death Threats

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, the official responsible for overseeing the 2020 election in Pennsylvania's biggest city, made the remarks while testifying at a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on Tuesday. He said that supporters of the former president labeled him a "traitor" and a RINO, short for "Republican in name only," for correctly counting the votes.

 Schmidt then read a message that demanded he "tell the truth or your three kids will be fatally shot." The threatening message also contained Schmidt's home address, the names of each of his children and a picture of his house.

Other threats included the phrases "heads on spikes, treasonous Schmidts," "perhaps cuts and bullets will soon arrive at [Schmidt's address]" and "RINOs stole election, we steal lives." The alleged threats admonished Schmidt for supposedly having "betrayed" the country by not backing Trump's false claims and warned that "cops can't help you."


Hamas head urges Sheikh Jarrah families to reject compromise

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has urged families from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to reject a compromise that would allow them to remain in their homes for 15 years.
Earlier this month, the High Court of Justice presented the compromise to four Palestinian families facing possible eviction from their homes, which were owned by Jews before 1948.
According to the proposed compromise, during the time that the families remain in their homes, the issue of land ownership could be adjudicated, but in the interim, the court would recognize them as protected tenants and the Jewish Nahalat Shimon Company as the owners of the property.


US State Dept confirms: Israel would have to authorize Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem

 The State Department confirmed that it could not open a consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem without Israel’s authorization, in a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), who proposed a bill this week to ensure that the only American diplomatic entity in Jerusalem would be the embassy to Israel, asked Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon about the matter in a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“President [Joe] Biden’s proposal to open a second U.S. mission in Jerusalem would begin to reverse the recognition of Jerusalem, and it would divide Israel’s eternal and undivided capital city,” Hagerty said.  “I just want to confirm something on the record. Is it your understanding that, under US and international law, the Government of Israel would have to provide its affirmative consent before the United States could open or reopen the US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, or does the Biden Administration believe it can move forward to establish a second U.S. mission in the Israel capital city of Jerusalem without the consent of the Government of Israel?”

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


 We just had a sweater checked for shatnez in Jerusalem -it was claimed that every fiber was shatnez

We donated it  to a Shatnez checker in NY who displays these garments    - he checked it and said not a single fiber of Shatnez in garment.

 Obviously they both can't be right

I surveyed a number of stores and they claimed never having found shatnez

It seems wool and linen are rarely used together since synthetic fibers are stronger and cheaper.

 It would seem that following the concept of rov there should be no need to check? Comments?

U.S. voices opposition to Israel's plans for new West Bank settlement homes

The United States voiced strong opposition to Israel's plans to advance thousands of settlement units in the West Bank, saying these moves were inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and were damaging to the prospects of a two-state solution that Washington has advocated.

ראש הישיבה הסביר וזעק: זו הסיבה לגזירות של הממשלה

ראש הישיבה הגאון רבי גרשון אדלשטיין, התייחס הערב (שלישי) בשיחתו השבועית, בפעם ראשונה, לגזירות ממשלת בנט-לפיד-כהנא על הציבור החרדי וזעק בכאב: "איך יהודי מסוגל לעשות גזירות על יהודים?".

ראש הישיבה דיבר בכאב על הרצון של חברי הממשלה, לגרום ביטול תורה ולהצר את צעדי הציבור החרדי וקרא לציבור להתחזק בדברים הצריכים חיזוק, כדי למנוע את הגזירות.

ל'כיכר השבת' נודע, כי ראש הישיבה הורה בימים האחרונים לחברי הכנסת של דגל התורה, לפעול בכל הכח למנוע את הגזירות וכעת קרא לציבור להתחזק כדי להציל את עם ישראל מהגזירות.

Leading haredi rabbi asks: 'How can Jews make decrees against Jews?'

 Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, head of the prestigious Ponovezh yeshiva, on Tuesday evening responded to the Israeli government's new "decrees" on the haredi public, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

In his weekly class, Rabbi Edelstein questioned, "How could a Jew be capable of making decrees on Jews?"

Kikar Hashabbat was informed that Rabbi Edelstein recently instructed MKs from the United Torah Judaism's Degel Hatorah faction to fight the decisions with all their might. Now, he has called on the public to increase their care in order to save the Jewish people from the "decrees."

Contruction on park near Arab graves sparks widespread outrage

Despite the claims by Palestinian media of bones being uncovered and graves being disturbed, Justice Daniel Mordechai Dembitz ruled in a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court on October 14 that not enough clear evidence had been provided to prove that this was the case and that there was evidence that the claimants had even violated previous court rulings and given false testimony.
  Dembitz stressed that the court was provided with photos of a few bones that appeared to be human and not organized in the position of burial or as part of a full skeleton. The photos also did not include any concrete notes nor any clarification about who took the photos.

Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff

 As the House investigation into the Jan. 6 attack heats up, some of the planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent. 

Rolling Stone separately confirmed a third person involved in the main Jan. 6 rally in D.C. has communicated with the committee. This is the first report that the committee is hearing major new allegations from potential cooperating witnesses. While there have been prior indications that members of Congress were involved, this is also the first account detailing their purported role and its scope. The two sources also claim they interacted with members of Trump’s team, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who they describe as having had an opportunity to prevent the violence.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Yeshiva deans ban students from donating blood until 'normal' version of forms is restored

In Har Hamor Yeshiva, Mitzpe Ramon Yeshiva and several other Zionist yeshivas, students have been told to refrain from donating blood via MDA until the original version of the documents which ask for "name of father" and "name of mother" is restored.

In recent months, several organizations have been altering official documents, replacing "father" with "parent 1" and "mother" with "parent 2."

Usually, a Magen David Adom (MDA) van arrives at Zionist yeshivas once every three months, in order to enable the students to donate blood on site.

Danger! Missionaries in your home!

These things need to become clear to all Jews regardless of their level of observance or non-observance. To have warm and fuzzy feelings for Christian Messianic Evangelical groups, colleges, individuals, preachers and their online programs just because they are "Zionist" or "Jewish" or can spout chapters of the Bible, is a mortal danger to the present and future of the Jewish people, no less than the rockets and terrorists of Hamas and Hezbollah.

Abracadabra: Israel Museum exhibit explores Jewish magic

What separates religion from magic? How is the Jewish world connected to magic and why did certain prayers become associated with protective rituals?
A new exhibition at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem attempts to answer these thorny questions.
Titled “Hear, O Israel: The Magic of the Shema,” the show hones in on the Shema, an important Jewish prayer that has been recited for millennia. The first verse of the Shema – “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one” – comes from Deuteronomy and expresses the centrality of monotheism to the Jewish faith.
 But as the exhibition at the Israel Museum demonstrates, the prayer was also incorporated into Jewish amulets since ancient times.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Lectures on Genesis, through IX

Based upon Rabbi Robert Blau’s notes taken at Bernard
Revel Graduate School in the late 1940s.

Edited and Annotated by: R. MEIR TRIEBITZ

The Human and Social Factor in Halacha by Rav Aharon Soloveitchik

Illustrations apart, however, the cogency and legitimacy of a "human"approach to pesak, appears, to many, problematic. They would have us believe that the ideal posek is a faceless and heartless supercomputer into whom all of the relevant data is fed and who then produces the right answer. Should ths standard not be met, the shortfal is to be regarded as a failng, the lamentable result of human frailty-in Bacon's terms, a manifestation of the besetting "idols" which hamper and hinder the capacity for reasoned judgment. On this reading, the process of pesika,properly conçeived and executed, bears no semblance to an existential encounter between seeker and respondent. It entails, rather, the application of text to problem, the coupling of code and situation. This conception does not necessarily preclude reckoning with the specific circumstances of the question and questioner, as these may very well bepart of the relevant objective data. The prevailng tendency, however,would be to dwarf this factor; and as to the human aspect of the meshiv, that would be obviated entirely. He, for his part, is to be animated by the precept that "we do not have mercy in judgment," and hence, to pass on the merits of the issue with imperviously stony objectivity


 Within the context of this paper, all of this has meant the growth of right-wing or "sectarian" Orthodoxy-the "yeshiva world" is, overwhelmingly, the world of right-wing Orthodoxy-and the growth of the perspective which is more punctilious and stringent, both in terms of psak and in terms of observance. To clarify and demonstrate this point, it is now necessary to distinguish between two types of Modern Orthodoxy. One may be called philosophical, while the other is more appropriately characterized as behavioraL. Within the category of philosophical Modern Orthodox (or "Centrist Orthodox") would be those who are meticulously observant of halakhah but are, nevertheless, philosophically modern. Within this context, being modern means, at minimum, having a positive perspective on general education and knowledge and being positively disposed to Israel and religious Zionism. 

 The behaviorally Modern Orthodox, on the other hand, are not deeply concerned with philosophical ideas about either modernity or religious Zionism. By and large, they define themselves as Modern Orthodox in the sense that they are not meticulously observant. In many ways, their definition of themselves as Modern Orthodox has the same basis as did those whom Marshall Sklare found to define themselves as Conservative. That is, when asked, "What do you mean when you say you are Conservative?," the responses were, typically: "Now-I'd guess you'd call it middle of the road, as far as (not) being as strict as the Orthodox, yet not quite as Reformed as the Reformed," or ." . . I don't like the old-fashioned type, or the Reform. I'm between the two of them. "28 Similarly, most of those who define themselves as Modern Orthodox do so in reference to right-wing or "sectarian" Orthodoxy, and they define themselves as modern in the sense that they are not as observant. As Heilman and Cohen put it,

Horowitz donates blood after Israel repeals ban on gay blood donation

 Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz donated blood on Monday following Israel's repealing of the ban on gay blood donation.

"There is no difference between blood and blood," Horowitz, who is gay, said during his blood donation at the Magen David Adom compound in Jerusalem. "The ban on gays donating blood was the remnant of a stereotype that should be left in history."
Horowitz had pushed to remove part of the blood donation questionnaire that barred gay men from donating blood.

Israel okays $9 billion plan to fight gaps between Jewish and Arab citizens

 The government approves a far-reaching plan that allocates NIS 30 billion ($9.4 billion) over five years to fight persistent gaps between Arab and Jewish Israelis.

Now passed by the cabinet, the proposal will head to the Knesset, where it is set to be passed alongside the state budget next month.

The plan includes NIS 9.6 billion (nearly $3 billion) to improve education in Arab cities and towns; NIS 5.2 billion ($1.6 billion) for Bedouin Arabs in the southern Negev desert; NIS 650 million ($202.7 million) to bridge health gaps between Arabs and Jews; NIS 2 billion (some $624 million) to improve Arab communities’ crumbling infrastructure, and more.

Facebook Yanks Jair Bolsonaro Video Claiming COVID-19 Vaccines Cause AIDS

 RIO DE JANEIRO — Facebook and Instagram have removed from their platforms a live broadcast that Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro delivered in which he said people in the U.K. who have received two coronavirus vaccine doses are developing AIDS faster than expected.

Facebook’s press office confirmed in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that the content was removed Sunday night because it violated Facebook policy regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

“Our policies don’t allow claims that COVID-19 vaccines kill or seriously harm people,” the statement said. The company didn’t respond to AP questions regarding why three days elapsed before the much-criticized content was removed nor whether language barriers played a role, as Bolsonaro was speaking in Portuguese.

Objectivity and choosing an unbiased rabbi and hashkafa

It seems every Halachic authority I consult is biased towards his particular sect’s hashkafa. How can I find objective advice?
Kudos- for your fantastic question (as usual!). Without a doubt, there is an overlapping between a rabbi’s hashkafa (world outlook or philosophy) and his halachic decisions. This isn’t “bias” but it is the very definition and part of the beauty of the Oral-traditional process, where we view the “70 different faces of the Torah” which complete and “harmonize” each other, as something positive. In other words, machloket (argument) is not only inevitable when people (especially Jews, and even more so, rabbis!) are involved, but it’s actually found on every single page in the Talmud, and is exactly the Oral process which God formulated in His eternally relevant Torah!

Just Say No’ And Its Effects

 Years after the start of Just Say No, numerous studies in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s looked at the effects of anti-drug marketing efforts and found that they weren’t as effective as they sought out to be.

'Kissing disease' among teens could trigger MS - study

 Results show children and teens contracting mono between the ages of 11 and 19 have a significantly higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis as an adult.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Six-year-old Survivor Kidnapped From Italy to Israel Must Be Returned, Court Rules

 Six-year-old Eitan Biran, who survived a cable car accident near Lake Maggiore this summer that killed both his parents, will be returned to his aunt in Italy, an Israeli court ruled on Monday.

The boy's paternal aunt, Aya Biran Nirko, filed a civil custody suit following the abduction by his maternal grandfather, 58-year-old Shmuel Peleg, in September, seeking his return to Italy. 

The judge who made the ruling on Monday rejected the grandfather's claim that Eitan's usual home was in Israel, as well as the claim that he generally lived in both Israel and Italy. The judge noted that Eitan had moved to Italy with his family when he was only a month old. She also rejected Peleg's argument that special consideration should be given to the boy's parents plans before they died to move to Israel.

Kafr Qasim massacre

 Following public protests, eleven Border Police officers and soldiers involved in the massacre were charged with murder in a military court. The trial was presided over by Judge Benjamin Halevy. On October 16, 1958, eight of them were found guilty and sentenced to prison terms. Malinki received 17 and Dahan 15 years imprisonment. The court placed great emphasis on the fundamental responsibility of Shadmi, though the latter was not a defendant. Shadmi was subsequently charged as well, but his separate court hearing (February 29, 1959) found him innocent of murder and only guilty of extending the curfew without authority. His symbolic punishment, a fine of 10 prutot, i.e. a grush (one Israeli cent), became a standard metaphor in Israeli polemic debate.[17] The fact that other local commanders realised they had to disobey Shadmi's order was cited by the court as one of the reasons for denying Dahan's claim that he had no choice. None of the officers served out the terms of their sentences.[18]

The court of appeal (April 3, 1959) reduced Malinki's sentence to 14 years and Dahan's to 10. The Chief of Staff further reduced them to 10 and 8 years, then the Israeli President Yitzhak Ben-Zvi pardoned many and reduced some sentences to 5 years each. Finally, the Committee for the Release of Prisoners ordered the remission of one third of the prison sentences, resulting in all the convicted persons being out of prison by November 1959.[19] Soon after his release, Malinki was promoted and put in charge of security for the top secret Negev Nuclear Research Center. In 1960, Dahan was placed in charge of "Arab Affairs" by the city of Ramla.[20]

Left-wing parties demand recognition of 'massacre; in Kafr Qassam

 With just weeks to go before the state budget must pass if the government is to survive, yet another threat to the stability of the coalition has emerged, again from its left-wing parties, already furious at the decision to go ahead with the reestablishment of the Samarian town of Evyatar as well as last week’s decision by Defense Minister Benny Gantz to declare six “humanitarian” organizations to be terrorist entities due to their affiliation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Now Kan News reports another bombshell thrown into the government ranks – MK Aida Touma Suleiman of the United Arab List (UAL) is about to introduce legislation that would make learning about the massacre that allegedly took place in Kafr Qassam in 1956 part of the regular school curriculum. The UAL and Meretz coalition parties have already indicated that they will promote this bill with all the parliamentary influence they can muster.

Meanwhile, both Yamina and New Hope may be expected to oppose the legislation, and they could also be joined by Benny Gantz’s Blue & White party.

Little-Known Facts About The Chofetz Chaim – On His 86th Yahrzeit

 Interestingly, the Chofetz Chaim only cites two contemporary gedolim in his Mishnah Berurah, namely the Or Someach (Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk) and Rabbi S. Z. Hirschowitz, a lesser known rav in Latvia. The Chofetz Chaim and the Or Someach had serious differences on the question of whether the rabbinate in Czarist Russia should be secularly educated and the Chivat Zion movement, yet he did not hesitate to cite this gadol.

In several Russian rabbinical conferences, the Chofetz Chaim aligned himself with the fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom Ber Schneersohn, and Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk in strongly opposing any secular education for Russian rabbanim.

Why is Trump running for president again? To stay out of jail

 And there, no matter how the legal wrangles turn out, lies the answer to a persistent question about Trump: What makes him run?

Ego, surely, in part. A desire to take revenge on his adversaries too.

But two practical reasons, as well.

One is money. Political contributions may be the most reliable revenue stream the Trump family enterprise has at the moment.

The other, equally important, is to bolster his legal defense. As long as he’s running (or even sort of running), Trump can denounce every inquest and subpoena as just another part of a political vendetta. It’s a way to hold his troops together — and to make every prosecutor think twice. 

 He’s notching up another presidential first: He’s running for reelection to stay out of jail.

Former Meretz head Zehava Gal-On to national camp: Get out of here, racist animals

In Gal-On’s opinion, those in the political center should stop trying to pander to the right-wing: “The answer to give those on the right is simple: Listen, you piece of racist animal, you homophobe, you other-hater, you misogynist, you who want to drag us into a Taliban regime – we’re not afraid of you. We have values – equality, love of our fellow man, freedom, harmony. So, get out of here before we deal with you the way we dealt with the original fascists.”

Massive allocations to Israel's Arab sector here to stay - Abbas

 Ra'am (United Arab List) head Mansour Abbas took credit for more than NIS 30 billion allocated to the Arab sector at a Knesset press conference on Monday.

Abbas said the allocations would have an immediate positive impact on all parts of Arab, Bedouin and Druze society.
"There is a new agenda for Israel and Arab society," Abbas said. "We are taking responsibility and initiative. These plans implement the vision of Ra'am."

Mishne Berura: Status & Nature

I received the following letter - as a response to my recent posting of the Chazon Ish's letter - with permission to publish it.

I had written:   Chazon Ish: The paradox of majority rule & Daas Torah

So far have found this is the view of Get Poshut,Sheilas Dovid, Shach, Maharetz Chajes, Rav Moshe Feinstein, Minchas Chinuch. It is probable that the Mishna Berura disagrees. This is rather odd since it seems the majority view is that they need to meet and discuss it so how could the Mishna Berura disagree?
It also seems that the Chazon Ish didn't hold by Daas Torah ie the view of the Gedolim or even majority of Gedolim - but rather that of the local rav.

Chazon Ish [i](Beginning of Kelayim): [[It is well known that the requirement to follow the majority applies only to a beis din which is in session, but regarding scholars holding different views who lived at different times or in different places, the question of majority or minority is not relevant. In a particular area where most of the Torah derives from a particular rabbi and his disciples, and the disciples' disciples, it is correct to follow their rabbi even in a matter in which the majority (of authorities) holds a different opinion.[...]

The respondent - who wishes to remain anonymous wrote the following:

I have b'Mesorah from 3 different sources that the Mishne Berura's approach was a departure from normative:

1) My Zaideh - a contemporary of Rav Yaakov and Rav Aharon (actually even though the same age he arrived in Slabodka 3 years before they did) who was a Rov in Europe and in Chicago told my father who told me that the Mishne Berura was NOT accepted in Europe at all. The Aruch HaShulchon was considered the Posek (Sefer) to consult

2) Rav Schwab told me that when he visited R. Chaim Ozer and he shared that he had just been by the Chofez Chaim. Rav Chaim Ozer responded to him, "Un vos zogt de Ba'al Habo'os!"

3) When I was a young Yeshiva Bochur in Washington Heights and we would come with the Mishne Berura's conclusion as an objection to the accustomed Hanhogo of the Kehila, Rav Breuer would give us a knowing benevolent smile and say, "The Minhogim of the Kehilla predate the Mishne Berura by a couple of hundred years"
The popularization in our day that the Mishne Berura is "Posek Acharon" is the result Of Rav Aharon and Rav Yaakov's strong support but others were vigorously opposed to the whole approach. See also Chazon Ish (Igros 1:32) on the use of newly uncovered manuscripts to modify standard Halocho
The position of the Chazon Ish below is a gemoro in Horoyos 2b. ie that someone who is Higiah l'Horoyo is responsible for his own Halachic decisions and cannot just "cave in" to Daas Rabim of Talmidei Chachomim. If he does he is considered To'eh b'Mitzvo Lishmoeh Divrei Chachomim.. This is paskened Halocho l'Maaseh in Rambam Shgogos. and brought by Ramban in his Hasogos to Sefer HaMitzvos Shoresh 1 on Lo Sosur (pg 14 of old editions).. only if the Sanhedrin convenes and votes down his position must he capitulate. otherwise he is obligated to follow his own understanding and conclusion even if runs contrary to the majority. The Ramban cites Rabi Yehoshua & Rabon Gamliel concerning Yom Kipur

Trump's stolen election lie is on the ballot in 2022, thanks to these candidates

 The future of U.S. elections is on the ballot in 2022, largely because former President Donald Trump can’t let go of the past.

“The single biggest issue — the issue that gets the most pull, the most respect, the biggest cheers — is talking about the election fraud of 2020’s presidential election,” Trump said last week at a rally in Iowa, again pushing the lie that a second term was stolen from him and that Joe Biden is not the legitimate president.

In next year’s races for governor and secretary of state, for Congress and all the way down to state legislative seats, Republicans eager for Trump’s support have embraced these baseless claims. Democrats, eager to rally their base in a potentially unfavorable political climate, have branded GOP candidates as propagators of “the Big Lie.”

‘Down the rabbit hole’: Arizona GOP goes full fringe

 Just when it seemed Arizona Republicans couldn’t make more of a spectacle, they found another way.

As the party hardens around its fealty to former President Donald Trump, the GOP is filling up its midterm ballot with a roster of conspiracy theorists and extremists that could threaten the party’s prospects in a state that’s drifted leftward in recent elections.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Tens of millions of filthy, used medical gloves imported into the US

 Trash bags stuffed full of used medical gloves, some visibly soiled, some even blood-stained, litter the floor of a warehouse on the outskirts of Bangkok.

Nearby is a plastic bowl, filled with blue dye and a few gloves. Thai officials say migrant laborers had been trying to make the gloves look new again, when Thai health authorities raided the facility in December.
There are many more warehouses just like it still in operation today in Thailand -- trying to cash in on the demand for medical-grade nitrile gloves, which exploded with the coronavirus pandemic. And they're boxing up millions of these sub-standard gloves for export to the United States, and countries around the world amid a global shortage that will take years to ease.
A months-long CNN investigation has found that tens of millions of counterfeit and second-hand nitrile gloves have reached the United States, according to import records and distributors who bought the gloves -- and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Criminal investigations are underway by the authorities in the US and Thailand.

מרן הגר"ח קנייבסקי נשאל: מתי הולכים אחר רוב הפוסקים?

 הרב טיגר: "עכשיו רציתי לשאול את הרב כמה דברים, הרי הרב זוכר שאני עושה את ה"דרך איש" הזה, את הכללים של ה"חזון איש", רציתי לשאול את הרב כמה דברים שמאד מפריעים לי, יש את ה"חזון איש" הידוע (ריש כלאים) שאומר אין כח רוב אלא במושב בית דין, סתם ככה אם יש רוב בפוסקים לא מחוייבים לפסוק כמו רוב הפוסקים, ככה הוא האריך פה, ובמקום אחר הוא כתב, וזה נדפס ב"חזון איש" עצמו (קובץ אגרות ח"ב סי' כ"א), אם רוב הפוסקים קבעו את ההלכה והחולקים בבחינת יחידים הלכה זו הלכה קבועה היא, הרי הוא כתב מפורש שזו לא הלכה קבועה, אין פה כח רוב"

Testing Abraham: Justice in Sodom Before Loyalty in the Akedah


Abraham’s dilemma illustrates a calculus of ultimate concern. Only through the confrontation of one’s two primary concerns can one ascertain which is ultimate. Abraham’s top two commitments were loyalty to God and loyalty to justice. Heretofore, they had converged one reinforcing the other. God constructs a test to see which will emerge supreme. The test makes God appear unjust to see which way Abraham sways; unwavering commitment to justice or unwavering commitment to God. Paradoxically, by siding with justice Abraham validates his election by God. Thus, the story of Abraham testing God’s commitment to justice turns out to be also a story of God testing Abraham’s commitment to justice.

Roger Stone Claims COVID Vaccination Has 'Injured or Killed Millions of Americans'

 Roger Stone falsely claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine has injured or killed millions of Americans while speaking at a large gathering for anti-vaccine advocates on Saturday.

While speaking at the "Truth About Cancer" conference in Nashville, Tennessee, Stone, a prominent ally of former President Donald Trump, accused Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of lying about the origins of the COVID-19 virus.

He also asked when "29 FBI agents" will storm Fauci's house.

Rambam - why some peoplw should be killed

 ספר מורה נבוכים - חלק ג פרק יח
 ואחר מה שהקדמתיו מהיות ההשגחה מיוחדת במין האדם לבדו משאר מיני בעלי החיים, אומר, כי כבר נודע שאין חוץ לשכל מין נמצא, אבל המין ושאר הלליות דברים שכלים, כמו שידעת וכל נמצא חוץ לשכל אמנם הוא איש או אישים. וכשיודע זה יהיה נודע גם כן שהשפע האלוהי הנמצא מדובק במין האדם - רצוני לומר, השכל האנושי - אמנם הוא מה שנמצא מן השכלים האישיים, והוא מה ששפע על ראובן ושמעון ולוי ויהודה:
 ואחר שהוא כן, יתחייב, לפי מה שזכרתיו בפרק הקודם, כי אי זה איש מאישי בני אדם שהשיג מן השפע ההוא חלק יותר גדול, כפי הכנת החומר שלו וכפי התלמדו, תהיה ההשגחה עליו יותר בהכרח, אם ההשגחה נמשכת אחר השכל, כמו שזכרתי; ולא תהיה אם כן, ההשגחה האלוהית בבני אדם כולם בשוה, אבל יהיה יתרון ההשגחה עליהם כיתרון שלמותם האנושי זה על זה. ולפי זה העיון יתחיב בהכרח שתהיה השגחתו ית' בנביאים עצומה מאד ולפי מדרגותם בנבואה, ותהיה השגחתו בחסידים ובטובים כפי חסידותם וישרונם - אחר שהשיעור ההוא משפע השכל האלוהי הוא אשר שם דבר בפי הנביאים והוא אשר ישר מעשי הטובים והשלים חכמות החסידים במה שידעו. ואמנם הסכלים הממרים, כפי מה שחסרו מן השפע ההוא, היה ענינם נבזה וסודרו בסדר שאר אישי מיני בעלי החיים, "נמשל כבהמות נדמו"; ומפניזה היה קל להרגם, אבל צווה בו לתועלת. וזה הענין הוא פינה מפינות התורה ועליו בנינה - רצוני לומר, על שההשגחה באיש איש מבני אדם כפי מה שהוא:

 HAVING shown in the preceding chapter that of all living beings mankind alone is directly under the control of Divine Providence, I will now add the following remarks: It is an established fact that species have no existence except in our own minds. Species and other classes are merely ideas formed in our minds, whilst everything in real existence is an individual object, or an aggregate of individual objects. This being granted, it must further be admitted that the result of the existing Divine influence, that reaches mankind through the human intellect, is identical with individual intellects really in existence, with which, e.g., Zeiḍ, Amr, Kaled and Bekr, are endowed. Hence it follows, in accordance with what I have mentioned in the preceding chapter, that the greater the share is which a person has obtained of this Divine influence, on account of both his physical predisposition and his training, the greater must also be the effect of Divine Providence upon him, for the action of Divine Providence is proportional to the endowment of intellect, as has been mentioned above. The relation of Divine Providence is therefore not the same to all men; the greater the human perfection a person has attained, the greater the benefit he derives from Divine Providence. This benefit is very great in the case of prophets, and varies according to the degree of their prophetic faculty: as it varies in the case of pious and good men according to their piety and uprightness. For it is the intensity of the Divine intellectual influence that has inspired the prophets, guided the good in their actions, and perfected the wisdom of the pious. In the same proportion as ignorant and disobedient persons are deficient in that Divine influence, their condition is inferior, and their rank equal to that of irrational beings: and they are "like unto the beasts" (Ps. 49:21). For this reason it was not only considered a light thing to slay them, but it was even directly commanded for the benefit of mankind. This belief that God provides for every individual human being in accordance with his merits is one of the fundamental principles on which the Law is founded.