Saturday, September 24, 2022

Convicted sex offender Eliezer Berland allowed to fly to Uman

 https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-716637

Thursday’s court ruling granting him the right to travel was especially shocking because Berland has fled Israel in the past to avoid law enforcement. It took years to catch him and eventually extradite him back to Israel in order to face justice.

The court did require Berland to post a NIS 650,000 guarantee, of which NIS 200,000 is cash.

דרמה בגבול רומניה: האוקראינים חסמו את כניסת הרב אליעזר ברלנד למדינה

 https://www.kikar.co.il/hasidism/428045

מנהיג קהילת 'שובו בנים' קיבל אישור מיוחד לצאת מגבול ישראל, חרף ההרשעות שיש כנגדו. בליל שישי, הוא ניסה להיכנס יחד עם חסידיו לאוקראינה, אך הוא נחסם על ידי חיילי צבא אוקראינה 

Annulling Vows on Erev Rosh HaShanah

 https://torah.org/learning/integrity-wrongturns/?printversion=1

Since women cannot be part of the beis din for hataras nedarim, should they do hataras nedarim for themselves altogether? Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach would not require women to do hataras nedarim on erev Rosh HaShanah, but would rather have them rely on the annulment that is done during Kol Nidrei, at the beginning of the Yom Kippur services (Halichos Shlomo 1: 10).

In order for the hataras nedarim of Kol Nidrei to be effective, a person must be present in shul and say the words together with the chazan (Mishnah Berurah 619: 2). If a woman’s hectic routine does not allow her to be in shul, her husband can act as an agent to terminate her vows (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 234: 56). Even though one normally cannot appoint a shaliach to cancel a neder, based on the principle “ishto kegufo” (a man’s wife is like himself), a special exception is made (Shach, ibid., 70).

Party Switcher Data Doesn’t Lie, but It’s Easy to Misinterpret: Alarm & Optimism in Key States

 https://themessinagroup.com/alarm-optimism-in-key-states-for-party-switchers/

So, has there been a notable rightward shift post-2020?

Based solely on party switching, no, I don’t think the data point to a dramatic shift, and I think the AP’s claim that “More than 1 million voters switch to GOP in warning for Dems” is flawed.

Based on the data, the Democratic Party continues to lead total voter registration by a wide margin, but the system — the Senate and the Electoral College — favors Republicans.

Looking within states, the trends vary depending on the local political and cultural context. There is cause for alarm in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Florida. But there’s also hope: states like Maine, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Colorado may trend bluer over time if current trends continue.

So, should Democrats be worried about the fall? Of course, but not because of a relatively small number of party switchers.

Voters switch lopsidedly to GOP, in warning for Dems

 https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-biden-covid-health-presidential-e50db07385831e67f866ec45402be8b9

A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of suburban voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains in recent years are becoming Republicans.

Across 31 states, about two-thirds of voters who have switched their official party registrations in the past year have switched to the Republican Party, according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. The phenomenon is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump.

Nowhere is the shift more pronounced — and dangerous for Democrats — than in the suburbs. Over the last year, far more people are switching to the GOP across suburban counties from Denver to Pittsburgh. Republicans also gained ground in counties around medium-size cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Des Moines, Iowa.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Evil has power -Ramchal

 Derech HaShem (Part 3) Regarding sorcery: And so in this way, just as He brought about a way for man to acquire emanation, understanding and the holy spirit in a supernatural way beyond the physical; so too was it necessary to bring about the opposite of this great good, such that man could bring down darkness, murkiness and a spirit of impurity in a supernatural way. And this is the matter of the impurities of sorcery and the seeking out of the dead from which the Torah distanced us. And its content is the bringing down of the influences of impurity and pollution by the mentioning of words under given conditions - which is really the greatest distancing from Him, may He be blessed, and truly the opposite of cleaving to Him. And the thing is brought down from those forces of evil that we mentioned in Part I, Chapter 5 (On the Spiritual Realm 8), upon which He, may He be blessed, decreed names through which given levels of impurity would be brought down in a supernatural way. Accordingly, supernatural acts can be done through them, like the acts of the Egyptian magicians and others, according to what is placed into their hand to act within the limits that were placed upon them. Likewise can they do acts like this through demons, according to what is given to them within the specific limits governing them. And so - within the measure allowed by their ability to act - the Master blessed be He, decreed that they push away the appointees over nature that preserve the matters of the world in their natural state and all of the angels that bring influences according to the arranged order. And about them, they, may their memory be blessed, said (Chullin 7b), "Keshafim (Sorcery)? It is [an acronym for] makhchishin pamalya shel ma'alah (they diminish the heavenly entourage)." However that is only within that measure and no more. And even within that measure, it is yet possible that they be pushed off by a force more powerful than them, and that their action be prevented by His decree, may He be blessed. And about this they said, "There is none like Him, and even in the case osorcery." And they explained that this is for [a person] who has great merit, such that they will save him and push off those who want to do bad to him, from the Heavens. And this is what is written, "Rabbi Ḥannina is different, because his merit is great." 

Arizona’s Blake Masters’ claim of open borders and Democratic amnesty plans

 https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2022/may/16/blake-masters/factchecking-arizonas-blake-masters-claim-open-bor/

On the day that the murder of 10 people in Buffalo, New York, led to an online racist tract that spoke of people of color replacing white people, Arizona U.S. Senate Republican candidate Blake Masters tweeted his opposition to what he described as Democratic immigration policies.

"The Democrats want open borders so they can bring in and amnesty tens of millions of illegal aliens — that’s their electoral strategy," tweeted Masters May 14.

Acosta to DeSantis: Don’t use kids to ‘own the libs’

Tribe Predicts Whether AG Merrick Garland Will Indict Trump

Trump Could Now Lose Everything Including His Freedom

Thursday, September 22, 2022

What you need to know about the complex legal challenges to Ron DeSantis’s migrant flights

 https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/3654803-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-complex-legal-challenges-to-ron-desantiss-migrant-flights/

But the flights have elicited uproar on the left and among immigration advocates. Some of the migrants have filed a class-action suit against DeSantis, other Democratic politicians have implied he has committed crimes, and even a Texas sheriff has gotten involved. 

DeSantis appears adamant that there will be more flights. 

Here are the main legal issues. 

Trump Wanted to Bus Murderers to Democrat Cities—Former DHS Chief of Staff

 https://www.newsweek.com/trump-wanted-bus-murderers-democrat-cities-former-dhs-chief-staff-1744773

"In January and February of 2019, Donald Trump directed us to go and take immigrants from the border and quote, 'bus and dump them into Democratic cities and blue states.'"

But Trump was "much more specific," Taylor added.

"He wanted us to identify the murderers, the rapists, and the criminals and in particular, make sure we did not incarcerate them, and we put them in those cities."

Appeals court allows DOJ to resume review of classified records in Trump case

 https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/3654893-appeals-court-allows-doj-to-resume-review-of-classified-records-in-trump-case/

A three-judge appeals court panel on Wednesday granted the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to continue its review of classified documents seized in an FBI search as part of an investigation of former President Trump’s potential mishandling of the information.

The judges, two of whom were appointed by Trump and one of whom was appointed by former President Obama, also indicated in their opinion that there appeared to be no evidence that Trump declassified the documents while he was still president and that his legal team “resisted” in providing any evidence that he did so using officials channels.

They also questioned why Trump would “have an individual interest in or need for any of the one-hundred documents with classification markings.”

Trump claims presidents can declassify documents ‘even by thinking about it’

 https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/3655062-trump-claims-presidents-can-declassify-documents-even-by-thinking-about-it/

“There doesn’t have to be a process, as I understand it,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “If you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying, ‘It’s declassified.’ Even by thinking about it.”

“There can be a process, but there doesn’t have to be. You’re the president. You make that decision. So when you send it, it’s declassified,” Trump added. “I declassified everything.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: 'The man running for Senate is not Dr. Oz'

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/360226

“The man running for Senate is not Dr. Oz. This person is unrecognizable to me,” Boteach told Rolling Stone. Oz, he said, has become an “election-denying, genocide-denying caricature of an extremist.”

Who is 'Orange Jesus' and why is he trending? Spoiler alert: It's Trump

 https://www.jpost.com/omg/article-717648

The choice of phrase is humorous in and of itself, as it references how many people consider Trump as being "orange" in color, as well as his position of power and influence among Republicans. However, it also reflects what many consider to be a serious problem among the GOP.

DOJ can resume criminal probe of classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, appeals court says

 https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/21/politics/appeals-court-mar-a-lago-criminal-classified-documents/index.html

A federal appeals court is allowing the Justice Department to continue looking at documents marked as classified that were seized from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home and resort.

The emergency intervention upends a trial judge's order over those documents that had blocked federal investigators' work on the documents, and is a strong rebuke of the Trump team's attempt to suggest without evidence that materials were somehow declassified. Trump's options to block the criminal investigation are now dimming with one of his only remaining possibilities being an emergency request to the Supreme Court.

The ruling was issued by a three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals -- two of whom were nominated by Trump.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Why is Earth spherical?

 Ohr HaChaim (Bereishis 2:1) Heaven and earth were completed. I have heard from Torah scholars (who were my teachers) that the reason G'd made the earth spherical is to enable its various parts to endure with equal ease. The rabbis meant that of all the desires, urges and feelings of love in the universe nothing matches in intensity the urge of the spirit which has recognised the light of G'd and its desire to cleave to G'd's light. Every living soul which has been fortunate enough to recognise even a small amount of that light longs to behold visions of the pleasantness that is G'd. Know that G'd has endowed each category of His creatures with a two-tiered intelligence. One tier is the power to perceive, the other tier is the power to analyse. Human beings, i.e. creatures who are endowed with the power of speech, as well as all lower forms of life or even the inert part of nature, all received a degree of intelligence commensurate with their status in the universe which enables them to recognise their Creator. By means of this intelligence we know that the globe continues to exist without faltering. G'd has revealed some of this secret to those who revere Him and by means of these explanations these facts became translated to our senses  The force holding up the globe is G'd's beautiful and all-embracing light which surrounds the globe in equal measure. Every section of the revolving earth derives additional strength from the power of the fiery urge that burns within it urging it to cling to the manifestations of G'd's spirit. This is why the globe remains in its position in the universe. 

Holy people transcend and can change Nature

 Sefer HaIkkarim (1:21) We do find that the devotees of the Torah came into such close intellectual union with God that they were able to change the laws of nature, cause the latter to do their bidding and perform miracles against the laws of nature. Thus we find that the prophets proposed and God carried out their proposals. Elijah caused fire to descend, which is contrary to its own nature. He said, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven …, and it was so. He also divided the waters of the Jordan. Elisha cured Naaman’s leprosy and brought a dead body back to life during his own life time and also after his death. Many such incidents happened to him and the other prophets. The same thing is true of all believers. Pious men, even if they are not prophets, can change the laws of nature by prayer. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah were cast into the fire and were not burned. Rabbi Hanina the son of Dosa and Rabbi Phinehas the son of Yair made certain temporary changes in the nature and conduct of the world.

Sefer HaIkkarim (1:21) This shows that one who believes in God and in His Torah is above nature and not subject to natural law. On the contrary, the laws of nature are subject to him, and he can change them as he pleases. 

Q&A from the Bais HaVaad Halacha Hotline

 https://baishavaad.org/qa-from-the-bais-havaad-halacha-hotline-103/

Finally, a pruzbul can only be written if the borrower owns land, rents land, or has a room and board agreement; he must have some connection to land. A young bachur, for example, may not have one, so some pruzbul texts include a clause wherein the lender gifts the borrower a tiny piece of land.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Miracles and Nature (2)

 https://outorah.org/p/49755/

This teaches us a profound lesson regarding the way in which Hashem wishes to bestow His blessing on the world. Although there are times when Hashem has performed miracles for the Jewish people, these do not represent the ideal way that He wishes to run the world. Rather, it is the rules of nature, ordained by Hashem, that contain within them the capacity to provide for the needs of all life-forms. If the Jewish people follow the Torah, then the medium of nature will be maximized to produce plenty and fulfil all their needs.

Nature and Miracles

 https://etzion.org.il/en/philosophy/great-thinkers/rambam/nature-and-miracles

           Aristotle maintained that the world is eternal, with no beginning and no end. Some of the Sages of Israel were of the opinion that the world had a beginning and will have an end. Maimonides thinks that that it had a beginning, but that it has no end. So too he believes that the world's natural order is permanent, in accordance with the principle that the world follows its natural course. Within that order, however, miracles that deviate from the natural order are possible for a limited period of time. Thus, it has been established that the world is founded on Divine wisdom, but despite the natural order the revelation of Divine will is possible. On a deeper level, this deviation does not contradict the natural order, but rather is in accord with it, for the world thereby becomes "the best possible world," as befits the work of God.

How Judge Cannon broke with conservatives in Trump documents case

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/20/how-judge-aileen-cannon-broke-with-conservatives-00057647

“I think there’s a division there,” the liberal professor said. “Of the Federalist Society professors I follow and I know, the vast majority think this is incredibly wrong. Kudos to them.”

Trump team resists special master’s request to explain declassification of Mar-a-Lago documents

 https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/3651209-trump-team-resists-special-masters-request-to-explain-declassification-of-mar-a-lago-documents/

Former President Trump’s legal team on Monday night resisted a request to elaborate on his claims around declassifying the documents recovered last month from his Mar-a-Lago home. 

In a filing to the court-appointed special master that Trump requested, his attorneys said the “time and place” for making such a disclosure would come in a motion in a criminal trial as an effort to recover his property. 

A Lesson From the Past for Ron DeSantis

 https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/09/18/reverse-freedom-ride-south-desantis-00057339

Earlier that year, council members in New Orleans and Little Rock dreamed up a public relations stunt: They would offer Black Southerners bus fare and relocation costs to undertake “Reverse Freedom Rides” to Northern cities, where, they told their victims, good jobs and housing awaited them. The idea was to embarrass and expose the hypocrisy of Northern liberals who cheered the real Freedom Rides, but whom, they suspected, would blanch at receiving thousands of Black transplants in their own communities. Harris was just the first of roughly 100 Black Southerners whom the councils shipped to Hyannis.

New York yeshiva asks transgender teacher to leave amid uproar over her identity

 https://www.timesofisrael.com/transgender-teacher-leaves-ny-yeshiva-high-school-after-uproar-over-her-identity/

A transgender woman left her teaching position at an Orthodox Jewish New York City day school this week, after an uproar over her identity.

The teacher, Talia Avrahami, has faced widespread harassment in the past week over the issue and agreed on Friday to leave her position at the Magen David Yeshivah in Brooklyn.

Doubts rise over whether DeSantis had budget authority to fly migrants

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/19/desantis-immigrants-marthas-vineyard-venezuela-00057673 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has defended flying nearly 50 mostly Venezuelan migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in part by saying that Florida lawmakers gave him $12 million for such transports.

Yet the transports, which triggered widespread outrage from Democrats and launched an investigation by a Democratic sheriff in Texas, sparked ongoing questions about whether DeSantis had carried out the program as the Republican-controlled Legislature intended.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Malbim - fossils

 Malbim (Berishis 7:23)

וימח. אחר שמתו כולם כמ"ש ויגוע. נמחו גם גופותיהם שלא ימצא למו שארית על פני האדמה, ובזה היה בהפך שגוף האדם נמחה תחלה, כי הוא מצד הרכבתו חלוש יותר מגופי שאר הבע"ח ואח"כ גוף הבהמה שחזק יותר, ואח"כ רמש ועוף שגופותיהם הקטנים נסתרו בקנים ובמערות ונתקיימו יותר, ומבאר וימחו מן הארץ, שהגם שהרבה נשארו עצמותיהם החזקים כמטילי ברזל ולא נמוחו, בכ"ז נמחו מן הארץ כי ע"י שטף המים הובלו הפגרים לתוך העמקים ורובם נבלעו בעמקי תהום, אשר האדמה פצתה את פיה מעומק תהום רבה וירדו כמה אלפים אמה לעמקי שאול, עד שבצאת נח מן התיבה לא מצא שום רושם מפגרי בע"ח ועצמות הענקים ובע"ח הגדולים שהיו קודם המבול. ועדות ה' נאמנה מחכימת פתי להשיב דבר לחכמי הגעאלאגיא, שחופרים בעמקי האדמה ומוצאים עצמות גדולות מענקים ובע"ח גדולים שנאבדו מן הארץ ואינם עוד מימי המבול ואילך, והם מוכיחים מזה קדמות העולם כי יחשבו את האדמה שעשויה מינים מינים, שבכל עומק ידוע יש מין אדמה אחרת, ויחשבו לפי איכות האדמה שימצאו העצמות שם, ולפי חשבון כמה היה צריך עד שיולדו שטחי האדמה שהעולם קדמון מרבוא שנים, ושכבר היו בע"ח מימי קדם קודם לזמן היצירה שלנו. וכ"ז הבל וריק, כי בעת המבול פתחה האדמה את לועה ע"י הרעשים שבאו מעומק שאול ותהום רבה והפכה תחתונים למעלה ועליונים למטה והורידה פגרי הבע"ח עמוק עמוק, ונבקה חכמת הדורשים והחופרים לדעת איכות המהפכה הזאת אשר עשתה נפלאות במשך ק"ן יום של עמידת המים, עד שכל הסדרים שסדרו למו החוקרים מאיכות האדמה בכל שטח וכל חשבונותיהם בזה נתבלבלו אז וכל השערותיהם ודמיונותיהם ישא רוח יקח הבל, ולו חכמו ישכילו זאת ויראו מעשי ה' ונפלאותיו במצולת שאול איך מחה את כל היקום מעל פני האדמה ויטביעם בשאול תחתית עדי אובד:

Malbim (Berishis 8:22) עוד כל ימי הארץ. הנה התברר לחוקרי הטבע שכדור הארץ שינה מקומו בזמן מן הזמנים, באשר החופרים במעמקי האדמה בארצות הקרות מצאו עמוק עמוק באדמה עצמות פילים וקופים ויתר ברואים שלא יחיו רק באזור החם, וע"כ שהיה עת שעמד האקלים ההוא קרוב לקו המשוה, וזה עדות שבימי המבול התמוטט כדור הארץ מדרום לצפון והמדינה שעמדה עד העת ההיא תחת קו המשוה באה רחוקה מן המשוה לצפון ונעשה שם אזור הקר, והשנהבים והקופים שחיו באקלים ההוא מצאו שם קבר. וזה אחד מן ההשחתות שהיה לארץ, שהארץ החמה שגרו עליה כל בני האדם אשר השחיתו את דרכם נעתקה מנגד השמש, ותחת מגד תבואות שמש נהיה שם קרח וקפאון ושממות עולם. זאת שנית בארו חכמינו כי קודם המבול לא נטה השמש במעגלו השנתיי כ"ג מעלות מן המשוה לצפון ולדרום כמו שהוא עתה, רק מסלול השנתיי היה אז ג"כ על קו המשוה או סמוך לו, וע"כ חיו בני אדם חיים ארוכים, כי לא ידעו מנגעי התקופות ושנוי העתים שזה סבה לשנוי האויר ונגעי בני אדם ומחלותם, והעתק הזה שנעשה בכדור הארץ במצבו נגד השמש שנה את האויר והפירות והחליש תוקף האדמה וכחה בהשקף על חיי האדם ובע"ח אשר עליה, וכמ"ש במד' שקודם המבול לא היה חלי בעולם, וספרו מגבורות בני אדם וכחם, וששלחו כצאן עויליהם וילדיהם ירקדון כבני צאן בהולדם, ושהגשם לא ירד רק א' למ' שנה, והיו זורעים בעת ההיא והי' די למ' שנה, וכ"ז נשתנה אחר המבול לרוע, וכ"ז נולד משנוי מצב הארץ נגד השמש. וזה הודיע ה' לנח השינויים שיהיו מעתה, ואמר עוד כל ימי הארץ זרע וקציר, שכבר התבאר אצלי שיש הבדל בין ימים סתם שהם מכ"ד שעות ובין ימי הארץ שהם שנים. שכל שנה הוא יום אחד מימי הארץ, כי סיבוב השמש בכל יום ממזרח למערב בכ"ד שעות הוא יום סתמי, וסבוב השמש בכל שנה ממערב למזרח הוא יום מימי הארץ [כמ"ש בחבורי התורה והמצוה (בהר סב) שלכן נקרא שנת השמטה שבת שהוא יום השביעי שבת לה' בימי הארץ], ולכן יאמר לפעמים שם ימים על השנה כמו ימים תהיה גאולתו, ועתה יש בכל יום מימי הארץ זרע וקציר, ר"ל שבכל שנה זורעים וקוצרים. וקודם המבול לא היה זרע וקציר בכל שנה רק אחד לארבעים שנה, ועתה בכל ימי הארץ היינו בכל שנה ושנה יהיה זרע וקציר. עוד שנוי ב', שעד עתה לא הי' שנוי התקופות כי השמש הלך תמיד על קו המשוה ולא היה לא קור וחום ולא קיץ וחורף, שעתה שנטה השמש במסלולו במהלכו השנתיי ללכת על עגולת המזלות נוטה מן המשוה כ"ג מעלות וחצי, יהיה קור וחום, קיץ וחורף, ושנוי האויר והמזג בעת התקופות יחליש את הגופים ויכניעם בל יוסיפו להשחית כמו קודם המבול, וע"ז אמר במדרש שמ"ש קור וחום הוא מיני חלאים שפי' שממנו יצמחו החלאים וחלישת הגוף. עוד שנוי ג' שיום ולילה לא ישבתו. שהארץ לא תתן פירותיה בנקל כמו קודם המבול, ויהיו בני האדם מוכרחים לעבוד את האדמה תמיד להוציא לחמם לא ישבתו ממלאכה, ועי"כ לא יתגברו עליהם ציורי התאוות אשר הם זונים אחריהם, ומזה אמרו חז"ל דב"נ אסור לו לשבות, כי רק לבני ישראל התיר וצוה לשבות בשבת אבל ב"נ נשאר באיסורו כמקדם:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/parshat-noach-fear-of-fossils/


Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Wisser (March 7, 1809 – September 18, 1879 — better known by his initials as “Malbim”) explains that fossils are not evidence of creatures that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, but were actually animals that were destroyed by the flood, which we read about in this week’s Torah reading.

He writes in his commentary to Genesis 7:23 that not only were the prehistoric animals all destroyed in the flood, with only their fossilized bones remaining, but also the ground was disturbed so that scientists, who date fossils based on the layer of rock in which they are found, are misled by the effects of the flood.

Walker downplays debate with Warnock: ‘I’m not that smart’

 https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3650306-walker-downplays-debate-with-warnock-im-not-that-smart/

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Walker was asked what kind of preparation he was doing for the debate.

“Talking to the voters, talking to you. You told me I gotta prepare, so I’m preparin’,” he said to the reporters. “I’m this country boy, you know, I’m not that smart. And he’s that preacher. He’s a smart man, wears these nice suits. So he going to show up there, embarrass me at the debate, October the 14th. And I’m just waiting, you know, I’ll show up and I’m [going to] do my best.”

Meron tragedy - dispute between Amoraim

 Pesachim (64b) THE FIRST DIVISION ENTERED etc. It was stated, Abaye said: We learned, ‘They [the doors] locked themselves’(Or, were locked-miraculously, without human agency.); Raba said, We learned: THEY LOCKED. Wherein do they differ? — They differ in respect of relying on a miracle. ‘Abaye said, We learned, They locked themselves’; as many as entered, entered, and we rely on a miracle.( That the doors should shut themselves when sufficient had entered) Raba said, We learned, THEY LOCKED, and we do not rely on a miracle. 

Yeshiva University suspends all student clubs as it appeals case against LGBTQ alliance

 https://www.jta.org/2022/09/16/ny/yeshiva-university-suspends-all-student-clubs-as-it-appeals-case-against-lgbtq-alliance

Rachael Fried, a Y.U. alum and the director of Jewish Queer Youth, an organization that has been supporting the YU Pride Alliance in its bid for recognition, criticized the latest move. “Stern afforded me the opportunity to serve as president of the student body in a shomer Shabbos and Torah environment — I certainly would not have been able to do so in another university,” she told the New York Jewish Week, using terms meaning religiously observant. “I do not believe I would have attended YU undergrad had there not been student council or student clubs in which I could participate.”

“To postpone all student clubs, leadership, and essentially all student-led initiatives on campus in order to avoid allowing queer students to create community and share pizza in a dignified way is wrong, cowardly, and shameful,” Fried said.

Miracles - is a Jew required to believe in them?

 https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/332555/jewish/Maimonides-13-Principles-of-Faith.htm

Belief in miracles is not one of the 13 principles of faith. If a Jew rejects miracles is he a heretic?

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Who's being cruel? Politicians debate use of migrants as pawns.

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/18/migrant-buses-adams-desantis-abbott-00057350

Adams criticized Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas for not coordinating with his staff on the matter when Abbott directed busloads of migrants to New York.

“Coordination in crisis is something that we must do together,” he said. Adams added on ABC’s “This Week” that he reached out to the Abbott administration for organization, without success.

The Republican governor has sent thousands of migrants to New York, Washington and Chicago over the last few months to call attention to what he sees as an immigration crisis. Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a Republican, has also done so, though he hasn’t come in for the same level of criticism because he has worked more closely with other officials.

Ramban's view of nature?

 The Ramban is widely believed to view that there is no nature but everything is a miracle. Is this true?

Ramban (Devarim 13:16) ”Through the great open miracles, one comes to admit the hidden miracles which constitute the foundation of the whole Torah, for no one can have a part in the Torah of Moses our teacher unless he believes that all our words and our events, [as dictated in the Torah], are miraculous in scope, there being no natural or customary way of the world in them, whether affecting the public or the individual. Instead, if a person observes the commandments, His reward will bring him success, and if he violates them, His punishment will cause his extinction. It is all by decree of the Most High, as I have already mentioned. The hidden miracles done to the public come to be known as is mentioned in the assurances of the Torah on the subject of the blessings and imprecations,

וכשאנו מעיינין יפה, אנו רואין, שאין לאדם חלק בתורת משה רבינו ע"ה עד שיאמין שכל דברינו ומעשינו כלם נסים, אין בהם טבע ומנהגו של עולם, שהרי יעודי התורה כלה נסים ומופתים גמורים הם... (תורת ה' תמימה, וראה שם עוד)

Ramban (Vayikra 26:11) Now we have already that all these blessings are miracles, for it is not natural that the rains should come in their due season, and that we should have peace from our enemies, and that they should have faintness of heart so that a hundred of them flee before five, as a result of us observing the statutes and commandments of G-d, nor that everything should be the opposite i.e., that none of these things should happen because of us planting in the Seventh year [which we are forbidden to do]. But although they are hidden miracles, for they are brought about by means of the natural events of the world occurring according to their habit, yet the Torah mentions them separately because they come to be known as miracles because of their constant and continuous occurrence in the whole Land. For if one righteous man lives and G-d takes away sickness from him, and he lives out his days, this also happens to some wicked people and is thus not acknowledged as miraculous. But when an entire land and a whole people always have rains coming in their season, and plenitude, security, peace, health, strength and defeat of their enemies, in a manner unparalleled in the whole world, it becomes known to all that this is the Eternal’s doing.. Therefore He said in connection with these blessings And all the peoples shall see that the Name of the Eternal is called upon thee, and they shall be afraid of thee.. And the opposite of this will occur because of the curses, when punishments will come upon the whole Land, just as He said, and I will make your heaven as iron,. and punishments of sickness, as He said, and sore sickness, and of long continuance,. meaning that the food will be spoiled and bring about sickness, and thus the miracle will be made known to all because of its continued existence amongst the whole people. Therefore it is written, And the generation to come, your children that shall rise up after you, and the foreigner that shall come from a far land, shall say when they see the plagues of that Land, and its sicknesses.. For they will not wonder at that [single] man upon whom all the curse that is written in this book shall lie. for it happens many times in the natural order of the world, among all nations, that bad happenings come upon a certain individual. It is only with reference to that Land that they will wonder, and that all the nations will ask, Wherefore hath the Eternal done thus unto this Land? for all will see and understand that the hand of the Eternal hath done this. And [by way of reply] they will say, Because they forsook the covenant of the Eternal, the G-d of their fathers.In general then, when Israel is in perfect accord with G-d, constituting a large number, their affairs are not conducted at all by the natural order of things, neither in connection with themselves, nor with reference to their Land, neither collectively nor individually, for G-d blesses their bread and their water, and removes sickness from their midst, so that they do not need a physician and do not have to observe any of the rules of medicine, just as He said, for I am the Eternal that healeth thee.. And so did the righteous ones act at the time when prophecy [existed], so that even if a mishap of iniquity overtook them, causing them sickness, they did not turn to the physicians, but only to the prophets, as was the case with Hezekiah when he was sick.. And Scripture states of Asa, king of Judah, by way of rebuke, Yet in his disease he sought not to the Eternal, but to the physicians.. Now had the practice of consulting physicians been customary among them, why should the verse mention as a sinful act Asa’s consulting the physicians, since his guilt was only because he did not [also] seek G-d? But the verse can be compared to someone saying: “That person did not eat unleavened bread on the Festival of Passover, but instead [ate] leavened bread.”. For he who seeks the Eternal through a prophet, will not consult the physicians. And what part do the physicians have in the house of those who do the will of G-d, after He has assured us, and He will bless thy bread, and thy water, and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee,. whereas the physicians are concerned [mostly] with food and drink, warning [the patient] against [eating] certain foods and commanding him [to eat] others. Thus also the Rabbis said: During all the twenty-two years that Rabbah reigned [as head of the Academy at Pumbeditha], Rav Yoseph did not call even a blood letter to his house” as he, being a righteous person, was protected directly by G-d and needed no physicians, and they also say by way of proverb “A gate which is not open for the commandments i.e., a house wherein the commandments are not observed is open for the physician.” This is also the meaning of their saying: “People should not have to take medicaments, but they have become accustomed to do so.” That is to say: had they not accustomed themselves to taking medicines, people would become sick according to the degree of punishment corresponding to their sin, and would be healed by the will of G-d, but since they accustomed themselves to medicaments, G-d has left them to natural happenings. This is also the intent of the Rabbis’ interpretation: a. “And he shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. From here [you deduce the principle] that permission has been given to the physician to heal.” They did not say that “permission was given to the sick to be healed” [by the physician], but instead they stated [by implication] that since the person who became sick comes [to the physician] to be healed, because he has accustomed himself to seeking medical help and he was not of the congregation of the Eternal whose portion is in this life,. the physician should not refrain from healing him; whether because of fear that he might die under his hand, since he is qualified in this profession, or because he says that it is G-d alone Who is the Healer of all flesh, since after all people have already accustomed themselves to seeking such help. Therefore when men contend and one smites the other with a stone or his fist. the one who smote must pay for the healing,. for the Torah does not base its laws upon miracles, just as it said, for the poor shall never cease out of the Land, knowing beforehand that such will be the case. But when a man’s ways please the Eternal, he need have no concern with physicians.
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler: There is no difference between miracle and nature. Everything is nature! The entire world exists only because of Hashem's will, and His will is His doing and leadership. Since everything that He wills manifests itself. What we call a "miracle" are simply the manifestations of Hashem's will that we are not accustomed to, and therefore that novelty is viewed as a miracle from our point of view. What we call "nature" are things that Hashem's will is consistently manifesting and we are accustomed to...

It is an ultimate test for man. The "nature" is a "miracle" in disguise. Everything is Hashem's direct will, and "nature" is an optical illusion, in order for man to have free will and have a place to make mistakes and choose the true path.


Trump attorney told National Archives boxes at Mar-a-Lago held only news clippings: reports

 https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/3647649-trump-attorney-told-national-archives-boxes-at-mar-a-lago-only-held-news-clippings-reports/

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee who is presiding over the case, has blocked the Justice Department from accessing the classified documents until Dearie completes that review. The department appealed the decision on Friday.


Martha's Vineyard: Liberal outlets boast about progressive compassion toward migrants at Massachusetts enclave

 https://www.foxnews.com/media/marthas-vineyard-liberal-outlets-boast-about-progressive-compassion-toward-migrants-massachusetts-enclave

Despite the immediate show of support from the residents of Martha’s Vineyard, local homeless coordinator Lisa Belcastro said the island simply does not have the resources to help the migrants long-term, and they would eventually have to travel "somewhere else."

DeSantis said the negative reaction to the migrants being sent there in the first place showed liberal "virtue signaling" on the issue was a "fraud."

Navy should rename warship that honors Confederate victory, commission recommends

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/13/navy-rename-warship-confederate-uss-chancellorsville-00056487

An independent commission is recommending the Navy scrap the name of a guided-missile cruiser that honors a Confederate battlefield victory, part of a broader effort to scrub the names of Confederate leaders from Defense Department property.


Ron DeSantis, Republican Stuntman

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/09/15/ron-desantis-republican-stuntman-00057055

 Daring to exploit exhausted and traumatized immigrants — children among them — as human pawns in a political game would terrify a normal politician. No matter your views on immigration policy, imagine being treated as political refuse that’s dumped to own the libs. Pulling a stunt like this required the heart of a reptile and the ambition of a Genghis Khan, although the comparison might be unfair to skinks and geckos, which feed primarily on insects, fruit and the occasional mouse. That DeSantis performed his cruelty on migrants not even residing in his state tells you all you need to gauge his status as a scoundrel. It’s hard to decide which horrifies most, that DeSantis, Yale undergraduate, Harvard law, U.S. Navy, would squat this low or that he thought it would charm his followers.


‘Huge mistake’: DeSantis’ migrant transports could undercut support in South Florida

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/17/desantis-migrant-transports-south-florida-00057337

The move by DeSantis dominated the radio and television airwaves in South Florida — where large swaths of Hispanic voters live. One Spanish radio host loudly denounced the move and even compared DeSantis’ actions to that of deceased Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, who relocated Cubans in the early ‘60s.


Florida Paid over $12K for Each Migrant Flown to Martha's Vineyard: Records

 Florida Paid over $12K for Each Migrant Flown to Martha's Vineyard: Records

"If migrants were defrauded, and if this fraud was intended as a vehicle for anyone's material gain including that of an elected official, then there is a case for investigating it as trafficking," Polaris, an anti-human trafficking organization, said in a statement released Friday.


Saturday, September 17, 2022

DeSantis Tries to Prove Liberals Hate Immigrants As Much As He Does, Fails Borrowing a tactic from the White Citizens’ Councils.

 https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2022/09/desantis-tries-fails-to-prove-liberals-hate-migrants-too.html

To acquire the bait for his stunt, DeSantis apparently deployed staff into Texas to mislead the targets. “The migrants said a woman they identified as ‘Perla’ approached them outside the shelter and lured them into boarding the plane, saying they would be flown to Boston where they could get expedited work papers,” reports NPR.


You would think this response would have humiliated DeSantis, whose imagination had no room for the possibility that anybody could act so humanely. Instead, conservative media simply responded as if rich liberals had acted in the way Desantis anticipated. The Federalist gleefully reported that liberals were “melting down” as if they were angry at having to accommodate immigrants, rather than at DeSantis’s abuse of immigrants. It became a “fact” in the conservative media that Martha’s Vineyard was responding to the immigrants with terror:

Migrants detail ruse as lawyers, advocates explore possible criminal violations

 https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/09/16/metro/immigration-lawyers-advocates-explore-possible-criminal-violations/

“What happened to our clients is akin to human trafficking, false imprisonment, or kidnapping,” said Oren Sellstrom, litigation director for Lawyers for Civil Rights, a Boston-based organization whose attorneys have spoken with many of the migrants. “Those are all the types of crimes that federal and state law-enforcement authorities must investigate.”

According to Sellstrom, the undocumented migrants consistently report they were induced to board the planes in San Antonio with false promises of work in Boston, educational opportunities, and help with immigration paperwork. They initially believed they were heading to Boston, he said, and were told only in midflight that their destination would be the Vineyard, an island that many of them had never heard of.



The migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard have been voluntarily taken to a military base for support, officials say

 The migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard have been voluntarily taken to a military base for support, officials say

The migrants had been flown from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday in arrangements made by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – part of a series of moves by Republican governors to transport migrants to liberal enclaves to protest what they say are inadequate federal efforts on southern border security.

Martha’s Vineyard had not been expecting the group, and DeSantis’ move was sharply denounced by the White House, migrants’ advocates and Democratic officials.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Donald Trump offered Israel's West Bank to Jordan's King Abdullah in 2018 - report

 Donald Trump offered Israel's West Bank to Jordan's King Abdullah in 2018 - report

In a conversation with an American friend, the Jordanian king said he "thought he was having a heart attack" when presented with the offer by the former US president. "I couldn't breathe. I was bent doubled-over," the king was quoted as saying in the book. Trump reportedly thought he "would be doing the Jordanian king a favor." 


JWST’s First Glimpses of Early Galaxies Could Break Cosmology

 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/jwsts-first-glimpses-of-early-galaxies-could-break-cosmology/

The most startling explanation is that the canonical LCDM cosmological model is wrong and requires revision. “These results are very surprising and hard to get in our standard model of cosmology,” Boylan-Kolchin says. “And it’s probably not a small change. We’d have to go back to the drawing board.” One controversial idea is modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND), which posits that dark matter does not exist and its effects can instead be explained by large-scale fluctuations in gravity. JWST’s observations, so far, could support such a theory. “MOND has had a lot of its predictions come true—this is another one of them,” says McGaugh, who is one of the idea’s leading proponents. Others remain unconvinced. “So far everything that we’ve tried to test MOND hasn’t been able to really provide a satisfactory answer,” says Jeyhan Kartaltepe, an astrophysicist at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.


The Durham probe isn’t turning out how Donald Trump said it would

 https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/15/politics/john-durham-russia-probe-donald-trump/index.html

After then-Attorney General Bill Barr appointed attorney John Durham in December 2020 to look into the origins of the FBI investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, Donald Trump insisted that the probe would uncover widespread wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton and Democrats.

“What they did was so illegal, at a level that you’ve rarely seen before,” Trump said in November 2021. “Now, in all fairness, it looks to me like this is just the early building blocks.”

By February of this year, he was going even further. “It looks like this is just the beginning, because, if you read the filing and have any understanding of what took place, and I called this a long time ago, you’re going to see a lot of other things happening, having to do with what, really, just is a continuation of the crime of the century,” Trump told Fox News. “This is such a big event, nobody’s seen anything like this.”

All of which makes the news that the Durham probe appears to be wrapping up its work all the more impactful. CNN reported that one of the top prosecutors working with Durham has left the Justice Department for a job in the private sector. And The New York Times reported that a grand jury empaneled by Durham has expired, with no plans for another one to be revived.

Trump warns of 'problems' like 'we've never seen' if he's indicted

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/15/trump-warns-of-problems-like-weve-never-seen-if-hes-indicted-00056911

Former President Donald Trump said Thursday the nation would face “problems ... the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents after leaving office, an apparent suggestion that such a move by the Justice Department could spark violence from Trump’s supporters.

The former president said an indictment wouldn’t stop him from running for the White House again and repeatedly said Americans “would not stand” for his prosecution.

Tobacco companies obstructed science, history professor says

 https://news.stanford.edu/pr/2007/pr-proctor-021407.html

Proctor has used poll results stretching back to the 1940s to show that in fact some people were ignorant of the risks. "Millions of people in the '60s, '70s and '80s didn't know that tobacco caused lung cancer or heart disease," Proctor said. "An increasing number knew, but not everyone knew. And not everyone knew because the industry was manufacturing doubt, fomenting ignorance. Industry executives created a climate of untruth that people bought into and died from."


Cigarettes were once ‘physician’ tested, approved

 https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20120325/cigarettes-were-once-physician-tested-approved

For a long time, physicians were the authority on health. Patients trusted in their doctors' education and expertise and, for the most part, followed their advice. When health concerns about cigarettes began to receive public attention in the 1930s, tobacco companies took preemptive action. They capitalized on the public’s trust of physicians in order to quell concerns about the dangers of smoking. Thus was born the use of physicians in cigarette advertisements


Judge's Ruling in Mar-a-Lago Probe Slammed as 'Stupid, Profoundly Partisan'

 https://www.newsweek.com/judges-ruling-mar-lago-probe-slammed-stupid-profoundly-partisan-1743486

"I thought she would take the off-ramp DOJ provided her; I was wrong. This latest decision is both a stupid and profoundly partisan piece of work," Andrew Weissmann, a veteran DOJ attorney who served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, wrote on Twitter.


Roberts and Kavanaugh Issue a Surprise Warning Shot to Conservative Lawyers

 https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2022/09/roberts-kavanaugh-lgbtq-yeshiva-shadow-docket.html

The Supreme Court divided 5–4 in a clash over religious liberty and LGBTQ equality on Wednesday, forcing Yeshiva University to stop discriminating against a gay rights group on campus. But the majority’s order had little to do with this culture war skirmish. It was, rather, a rebuke of Yeshiva—and specifically, its overeager lawyers—for racing to SCOTUS after losing in the lower courts because of their own errors. Chief Justice John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh did not side with the three liberals against the university because they think gay students deserve equal treatment. They did so because Yeshiva brazenly abused the court’s shadow docket on the assumption that it would get special treatment. It was an understandable gamble. But it failed.


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Democrats Propel MAGA's Don Bolduc to Victory Over Mitch McConnell's Morse

 https://www.newsweek.com/democrats-propel-magas-don-bolduc-victory-over-mitch-mcconnells-morse-1742578

Democrats sought to boost Bolduc in the primary in an effort to help Hassan have what they viewed as an easier matchup. The Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC released a TV ad this month highlighting Morse's ties to McConnell, who remains unpopular with many Trump supporters.

Paul clashes with Fauci over child vaccinations

 https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/3642890-paul-clashes-with-fauci-over-child-vaccinations/

Fauci has become a political lightning rod and a villain in the eyes of many on the right. Conservative media has painted him as a scapegoat for many of the nation’s missteps over the pandemic. He has served in government for more than 50 years and is stepping down at the end of the year. 

Nature vs supernatural

 Derashas HaRan (12) And it is stated further: "If a bone lodged in his throat, let him bring the same kind, place it on his skull, and say: 'One-one-down; swallow-swallow-down; one-one'; and this is not in the category of 'the ways of the Emorites.' If a fish bone lodged in his throat, let him say: 'You prick as a needle; you are locked up as in cuirass; down-down.'" None of these are dictated by reason, and, according to the view that "this is not in the category of the ways of the Emorites" applies to all of the things listed until the end of the chapter, there are many things among them that would seem to belong in the classes which the Rambam ascribes to the category of witchcraft. Furthermore, the Rambam states in Sefer Hamada (Hilchoth Avodah Zarah 11): "All of these are vain, empty things pursued by ignoramuses, and they have no foundation in fact whatsoever." This statement is to be greatly wondered at, for the sages stated (Chullin 7b) in relation to the woman who tried to get some soil from beneath the feet of R. Chanina [in order to kill him through an incantation pronounced over the soil]: "R. Chanina is different, for he possessed great merit" [the implication being that such things are effective against those who do not possess such merit]. Also, if these things are entirely unfounded in fact, then why did the sages permit some of them and forbid others, when they are all outside the realm of natural cause and effect? And they also permitted [for curative purposes (Sabbath, Ibid)] the egg of a chargol [a king of locust], the tooth of a fox, and the nail from a stake. Now none of these are dictated by reason or by natural cause and effect. The answer: All things act in one of two ways: naturally or phenomenologically. The phenomenological also acts through nature, the difference being that the natural is dictated by reason whereas the phenomenological is accepted by reason but not dictated by it. An example of the natural is the tendency of cold objects to generate cold and of warm objects to generate warmth (whether or not acted upon by the affected bodies). This tendency is dictated by reason. An example of the phenomenological, which is accepted by reason but not dictated by it, is along these lines. It is well known that the perfect properties are found in bodies not given to change and that the imperfect ones are all found in bodies highly susceptible to change. So that the celestial bodies, not being subject to change at all, are the most perfect, and the elements, being the most changeable of things, are the most imperfect. It follows from this that the compound is superior to its simple component elements to the extent that the combination diminishes and repels change. It is for this reason that the most perfect composite will possess the greatest perfection. And there are some composites which acquire perfection in themselves by virtue of the very fact that they are composites, although their component elements remain distinct, and others that acquire it by means of the fusion of elements within the composite. Some composites give rise to the vegetative élan and others to the animal élan, and others, such as man, become predisposed to the acquisition of a human soul — all of these properties and perfections being acquired according to the compositions and natures of the composites.

NY Times report, ACLU reaction to report on Hasidic schools spark fierce debate

 https://www.foxnews.com/media/ny-times-report-aclu-reaction-report-hasidic-schools-spark-fierce-debate

The New York affiliate of the ACLU, stoked outrage and debate this week after suggesting that funding for yeshiva schools is taking money away from students of color in public schools, based on an extensive New York Times report.

"For years, district leaders in East Ramapo have extracted resources from public schools, which are almost entirely attended by students of color, in order to lavishly fund yeshivas attended by white students," the NYCLU tweeted Monday, with a link to a New York Times report.

Supreme Court declines to block order requiring Yeshiva University to recognize LGBTQ student club

 https://edition.cnn.com/2022/09/14/politics/supreme-court-yeshiva-university-lgbtq-student-club/index.html

In an unsigned order, the Supreme Court noted that the New York state courts had yet to issue a final order in the case, and that Yeshiva could return to the Supreme Court after the New York courts have acted.

“The application is denied because it appears that applicants have at least two further avenues for expedited or interim state court relief,” the court said.

Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett, dissented from the court’s order, noting that the lower courts could take “months to rule.”

“I see no reason why we should not grant a stay at this time,” he said.

Noting that the school objected to recognizing a group that would have implications that are not consistent with the Torah, Alito said, “The First Amendment guarantees the right to the free exercise of religion, and if that provision means anything, it prohibits a State from enforcing its own preferred interpretation of the Holy Scripture.”

U.S. Supreme Court requires Yeshiva University to allow LGBT student club

 https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-supreme-court-requires-yeshiva-university-allow-lgbt-student-club-2022-09-14/

Conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett dissented. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor had temporarily blocked the judge's order last Friday while the justices considered the university's request. read more

Supreme Court sides with LGBTQ group at Yeshiva University

 https://nypost.com/2022/09/14/supreme-court-sides-with-lgbtq-group-at-yeshiva-university/

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the court’s three liberal justices on Wednesday in a 5-4 decision that lifted a temporary hold on the state court order and denied the university an emergency request for relief.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Trump faces new legal problem in DOJ pressure allegations

 https://thehill.com/homenews/3641681-doj-pressure-allegations-lead-to-newest-political-quagmire-facing-trump/

Former President Trump is facing a new political quagmire as Senate Democrats open an investigation into allegations he pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate his political opponents. Former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman wrote in a new book that the Justice Department under Trump pushed his office to pursue criminal cases against former Secretary of State John Kerry and others viewed as political opponents of Trump.

בית שמש: בור ענק נפער בחנייה, וגילה חריגות בנייה, בנס לא היו נפגעים

 בולען בגודל 5 על 3 מטרים נפער בחניה של בניין | לפניכם תמונות בלעדיות מהבנייה הלא חוקית שבוצעה לכאורה בקומה מינוס 2 | מפקח הבנייה בעיריית בית שמש דוד די קסטרו: הסיבה לכך שהחניה קרסה לתוך שתי קומות מתחת לאדמה נובעת כתוצאה מעבירות הבניה שבוצעו שם | מנכ"ל העירייה יוחנן מאלי: אני מגלה אפס סובלנות כלפי עברייני בניה | מנהלת פיקוח על הבניה אירה ריצ'וטין: ביום שני נגיע עם צווים מוכנים מבית המשפט ונעבור דירה דירה.


בפעם השניה בתוך חודש: בניין מגורים הוכרז כמבנה מסוכן

 https://beitarillit-online.com/4308/

תושבי בניין ברחוב פחד יצחק בו נעשות עבודות בנייה ללא היתר ופיקוח, הכוללות עבודות חציבה וחפירה בסמוך ליסודות בניין המגורים, קיבלו אמש צווים החתומים על ידי ראש העיר המכריזים על הבניין כמבנה מסוכן, המקרה נחשף לאחר שבאחת מחצרות הבניין נפער בור, אשר בעקבותיו ביצעה העירייה ביקורת בה התברר שבוצעה חפירה מתחת לבניין, שחשפה את כלונסאות הבניין מהנדס העירייה הוציא חוו"ד שהמבנה מסוכן לשהייה ובעקבות כך, רה"ע חתם על צווים בהתאם.





Illegal and unsafe building in Israel

 As is common knowledge - it is often difficult to obtain permits for changes to an apartment in Israel and as a result much is done without permit or concern for safety

It is also common knowledge when buying an apartment to check what is legal and what was added illegally.

It is also common knowledge that there is a severe housing shortage and thus strong financial incentive to create illegal apartments.

Problem aside from the illegality and possible need to demolish structures is the question of safe building practices being ignored.

Example you have new apartment buildings built to proper safety standards which are ruined by the owners on the ground floor who excavate large areas extending from their apartments. They destroy support pillars of the building as well as physical support for the building bt removing rock or soil.

There have been cases of collapse and damage to the building as well as the new construction.


Anyone complaining against theses illegal structures is labeled a moser.

One case I know where the new construction collapsed. One neighbor was suspected of telling the government and was ostracized by the entire building while the one who actual caused the real damage is viewed as a tzadik.


While it is nice to attack secularist etc for picking on our community The frum world is doing nothing about this dangerous reality. In other words if the community doesn't supervise itself it has no justification for complaining about government involvement

Missing years (Jewish calendar)

The Missing 160 Years

https://www.torahmusings.com/2019/10/the-missing-160-years/

In a recent lecture, Rav Hershel Schachter says that there are great sages (“gedolim”) on both sides of the issue — some who accept rabbinic chronology and some who modify it in one way or another. He points to the Maharshal’s (Rav Shlomo Luria, 16th cen., Poland) comment in Chokhmas Shlomo (Sanhedrin 52b) in disagreeing with the Talmud’s conclusion that he should not be considered like someone who disagrees with the Talmud because there is no current practical implication to his view. Similarly, there is no practical implication to disagreeing with the Talmud on chronology. Rav Schachter also points to Rav Zerachiah Ha-Levi (12th cen., Spain), known as the Ba’al Ha-Ma’or, in his commentary to the beginning of Rosh Hashanah where he explicitly disagrees with the Talmud about the list of Persian kings (and his colleague, the Ra’avad, says that this is against our tradition).


Fixing the History Books

 https://www.simpletoremember.com/other/History166.htm

Rather than dismiss the Greek tales altogether, Dr. Heifetz has recognized that folklore often contains much truth, even if it cannot always be taken at face value. Just as the Greek stories about Assyria an extra Darius and Cyrus. Had and Babylonian are interpreted by modem scholars in the light of inscriptions, Heifetz takes the traditional view of this period as given in Seder Olam as his framework, and reexamines the Greek tales within this framework. In doing so, not only do many of the Greek stories make better sense, but an entirely new dimension is added to the Jewish picture of history.


The Kings of Persia and the Missing Years

 https://www.etzion.org.il/en/tanakh/ketuvim/sefer-ezra/kings-persia-and-missing-years

The differing chronologies, moreover, carry major consequences for the dating of Purim. Having so dramatically shortened the Persian empire’s span, the rabbis place the Purim story before the Second Temple was built. According to modern scholarly consensus, however, Purim did not take place until some fifty years after the Second Temple was completed. As Rabbis Yoel Bin-Nun[4] and Menachem Leibtag[5] have suggested, this difference might have profound implications for the meaning of Esther. If the narrative unfolded decades after the Temple had been rebuilt, we might be more likely to view the Megilla as a satire castigating the Jews of Shushan for remaining in the Persian capital instead of returning to their own capital Jerusalem.


Missing years (Jewish calendar)

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missing_years_(Jewish_calendar)#:~:text=The%20traditional%20Jewish%20date%20recognized,as%20the%20"missing%20years".

It has also been posited that certain calculations in the Talmud compute better according to the academic dating. Two possible harmonizations are proposed by modern rabbis:

Shimon Schwab points to the words "seal the words and close the book" in the book of Daniel as a positive commandment to obscure the calculations for the Messiah mentioned within, so that the true date of the Messiah's arrival would not be known.[28] However, Schwab later withdrew this suggestion for numerous reasons.[23]: 281-285  [24]: 66–67  [25]: 67–68, 93 

An alternative solution suggests that the sages were concerned with the acceptance of the Mishnah. There existed a rabbinical tradition that the year 4000 marked the close of the "era of Torah". The authors of the Ḥakirah article propose that the sages therefore arranged the chronology so that the redaction of the Mishnah should coincide with that date and thus have a better chance of acceptance.[25]: 67–115 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Simonim

 Horious (12a) R. Ammi said: He who wishes to ascertain whether he will live through the year or not shall, during the ten days between the New Year and the Day of Atonement, kindle a lamp in a house wherein there is no draught. If the light continues to burn he may know that he will live through the year. He who desires to engage in business and wishes to ascertain whether he will succeed or not, let him rear up a cock; if it grows plump and fine he will succeed. He who desires to set out on a journey and wishes to ascertain whether he will return home again or not. let him station himself in a dark house; if he sees the reflection of his shadow he may know that he will return home again. This, however, is not a proper thing to do, lest his courage fail him and he meet with misfortune in consequence. Said Abaye: Now that it has been said that omens are of significance, a man should make a regular habit of eating, at the beginning of the year, pumpkin, fenugreek, leek, beet and dates.

New York Passes Regulations Giving State Control Over Secular Studies Curriculum in Private Schools

 https://hamodia.com/2022/09/13/new-york-passes-regulations-giving-state-control-over-secular-studies-curriculum-in-private-schools/

The State Board of Regents voted Monday to approve new regulations on secular-studies in private schools, requiring each school to prove to state officials that their curriculum is “at least substantially equivalent” to that offered in public schools. Passage of the regulations transforms the relationship between government and private schools in the Empire State, and caps a years-long battle over what secular education each child deserves and whether it should be determined by parents or governmental authorities.

Do religious Jews have a right to reject basic secular education?

 https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/do-religious-jews-have-a-right-to-reject-basic-secular-education/

As much as it can be a mistake to generalize about conditions in these schools and as much as the Times' motives and reporting are suspect, the willingness of many Jews to reflexively circle the wagons around them and to defend the resistance of the ultra-Orthodox leadership to even minimal scrutiny or accountability for their failures in secular subjects is not merely a mistake. It's consigning a large and important part of the Jewish community to a future of poverty that would be indefensible if we were describing any other group.


For Jews, paths to and away from secularism led to the same place

 https://www.thejc.com/news/all/for-jews-paths-to-and-away-from-secularism-led-to-the-same-place-1.512598

In any case, secular studies were normally incompatible with traditional Judaism. Training in medicine was impossible without breaking Jewish law, especially the dietary laws, the Sabbath and festivals.


The Yeshiva as a Political Institution

 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265771667_The_Yeshiva_as_a_Political_Institution

This insular approach mirrored the greater Haredi world and its strict binary opposition of tradition and modernity. The newer model of the yeshiva, however, not only challenged secular hegemony but also sought to reshape Orthodoxy into a community responding proactively to the secular critique of religion. Yeshivas following this model became political institutions — political because they sought to transform the Jewish world by direct action and presented a religious alternative to the hegemony of secular political forces. The founding of Tomchei Tmimim in 1897,3 the first political yeshiva in imperial Russia, was an attempt to create a shift in the constantly retreating battle of Orthodoxy with secularization and assimilation. In the late 19th century, the relationship of Jewish communities with the Imperial regime had drastically deteriorated, giving particular urgency to an emerging discourse about Jewish secularism and nationalism.4 Initial attempts at forming a constructive Orthodox response in the political arena were a major failure.5 Reforms in Jewish religious education reached into primary schools, vocational training, and post-secondary education.

New documentary tackles debate over secular education in New York City yeshivas

 https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-documentary-tackles-debate-over-secular-education-in-new-york-city-yeshivas/

“Most graduates of ultra-Orthodox schools… are happy with the education they receive and they have no desire to leave,” he said. “But those that do want to leave their communities, they feel imprisoned by the education they never received.”


Orthodox Judaism: Yeshiva

 https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/yeshiva

The new trends in the spiritual life of the Jews of Russia found an echo among the youth in the yeshivot. In many places the masters endeavored to keep the students from any contact with secular literature, and in Slobodka in particular there was strict supervision. The movement toward acquiring general culture did not touch the ?asidic yeshivot at all, perhaps since most of them were in small towns far from the cities. Money for their maintenance was collected by emissaries who were at the same time wandering preachers. Apart from the large yeshivot there existed in several localities small yeshivot for the local youth supported by the community and the neighborhood. Since married students were not accepted in the yeshivot and the codes were not studied in them, those married students of the Talmud who wanted to become ordained for the rabbinate would unite inkolelim . Such kolelim existed in Volozhin (in a branch of the yeshiva), in Eishishok, Minsk, Vilna, and other places. An exceptionally high standard was attained by the Perushim kolel in Kovno headed by Isaac Elhanan Spektor (d. 1897), which in the 1890s had more than 200 students. Both the members of these kolelim, whose studies lasted from three to four years, and their families, were adequately supported.


What message is DeSantis sending with religious ‘full armor of God’ rhetoric?

 https://www.tampabay.com/news/florida-politics/2022/09/12/what-message-is-desantis-sending-with-religious-full-armor-of-god-rhetoric/

“We have the responsibility to make sure that the students that come out of our school system understand what it means to be an American,” DeSantis said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “They need to understand that our rights come from God, not from the government.”

Rubio added that ultimately it is a decision about “what is good” and said America has been on the right path for more than two centuries for one reason:

“And that is the belief that every single human being has rights that come not from government, not from leaders, not from the Constitution, not from the laws,” Rubio said. “They have rights, natural rights, that come to them from their Creator, from God.”

Outrage at New York proposal to force yeshivas to teach public curriculum

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/359708

Orthodox leaders in the state of New York are protesting a new measure that would force yeshivas to teach a curriculum equivalent to that of public schools.

A vote on the regulation by the New York State Board of Regents, which overseas education in the state, is taking place on Tuesday.

The proposal is widely opposed by the Orthodox community. On Monday morning, some stood outside the State Department of Education in Albany to voice their concern, News Channel 13 reported.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Filmmaker Boruch Perlowitz Fights Back: “I’m a Victim of Hasidic Yeshiva Education”

Air pollution cancer breakthrough will rewrite the rules

 https://www.bbc.com/news/health-62797777

Researchers say they have cracked how air pollution leads to cancer, in a discovery that completely transforms our understanding of how tumours arise.

The team at the Francis Crick Institute in London showed that rather than causing damage, air pollution was waking up old damaged cells.

One of the world's leading experts, Prof Charles Swanton, said the breakthrough marked a "new era".

And it may now be possible to develop drugs that stop cancers forming.

Trump fights back against DOJ in dispute over classified records

 https://www.politico.com/news/2022/09/12/trump-fights-back-against-doj-in-dispute-over-classified-records-00056129

“In what at its core is a document storage dispute that has spiraled out of control, the Government wrongfully seeks to criminalize the possession by the 45th President of his own Presidential and personal records,” Trump’s attorneys wrote in a 21-page filing.

Among the more aggressive arguments in Trump’s brief is a suggestion that he could deem records personal under the Presidential Records Act, even if they were classified.

Beats Me - guest post Joe Orlow

The New York Times recently had an article about some Jewish schools in New York.

This blog posted an article from HAMODIA in reference to the New York Times article. The HAMODIA article included this:

======

“Antisemitism is on the rise in New York and the number of hate crimes targeted at the Hasidic community have increased in recent years,” Connolly writes. “[Tzedek] believes that your article will contribute to the negative perception of the Hasidic community and in turn fan the flames of antisemitism.”

Similarly, Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel of Agudath Israel recently wrote to Shapiro and Rosenthal, “The timing of this article is terrible. Hate crime statistics, specifically crimes targeting Jews, are spiking dramatically — and most of these crimes are being directed against Hasidic Jews...."

=======

The New York Times article included this:

=======

Still, virtually all of the dozens of parents of current students interviewed by The Times said their sons had been hit at least once. Several said they had sought to protect their children by “tipping” their teachers, usually about $100 a year.

=======

 don't know if this is true. But let's assume it is, and explore the implications.

Parents generally are charged tuition to send their children to private schools. In one or more of these schools under discussion, one or more teachers hit some of the kids some of the time.

The purpose for hitting the kids is presumably to advance the education of the kids. So here we have a case where parents are paying tuition to have their kids educated and on top of that they are paying extra money to not have their kids educated? That is, a teacher might argue that the hitting has educational value. But the parents are paying the teacher not to to hit their kids -- not to advance their kids' education?

This situation reminds me of how gangsters operate.

"Be a shame if anything happened to your kids while they're in my classroom, wouldn't it? You tip, we make sure your kids are safe while they are with us."

Now let's examine the statements that mention "antisemitism" and "hate crimes."

Well, I think a teacher hitting kids to the point where parents feel compelled to bribe the teacher to not hit their kids is not in line with the Torah and is violence against Jews.

And that violence may be on a larger scale than anything some bad stuff non-Jews may be doing to Jews in America at the moment. Jewish kids aren't being beaten on the streets in America on a daily basis -- but they do seem to be getting whopped regularly in one or more classrooms.

All I've written, of course, is on the assumption that the New York Times article got it right in the quote from the article above.

What can be done to help these children getting hit who don't have parents paying protection money?

We can tell the children to swarm an attacking teacher. That is, a four year old alone defending himself from a beating may not discourage an adult teacher to cease beating his students. But thirty kids defending one of their own might give a beating teacher pause.

We can also create a "Beat the Beatings" fund. The purpose of the fund would be to end the classroom beatings. Children being beaten could apply for grants from the fund that would be paid directly to the beating teachers.

Again, I have no idea what goes on within the schools under discussion. But it beats me how some Jews that are up in arms when a non-Jew hits a Jew can suddenly clam up when the violent attacker is a Jewish teacher hitting a student to the point where parents are led to pay off the attacker.

The 3 Laws of Medicine—Law #1: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test (Qualy #65)