Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Shaked pushes back on Liberman's plan to cut yeshiva subsidies


Two coalition lawmakers vowed to block plans by Finance Minister Avidgor Liberman to cut funding to yeshiva students.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked and Mk Nir Orbach, both members of the Yamina party, toured Zichron Ya’akov Tuesday, visiting local state religious schools.

During their visit, Shaked and Orbach said they would not permit Liberman to cut payments to married yeshiva students in the 2023 budget.

“This coalition government is built on agreements, and we will do our job to care for Torah scholars and ensure that they won’t be harmed,” Shaked declared.

“We, in Yamina, recognize the value of Torah study,” Orbach said, “and we know that Torah scholars dedicate their lives to the people of Israel and do so with great self-sacrifice. Together, we will God-willing protect the Torah world.”

On Monday, Liberman mocked haredi yeshiva students, accusing them of “idleness,” and urged the government to cut stipends to yeshiva students.

Shul supporting Tamar is Rav Schacter also supporting her?


Hallel Rosh Chodesh

 Taanis (28b) Rav happened to come to Babylonia, where he saw that they were reciting hallel on a New Moon. Unfamiliar with this practice, he thought to stop them, as he assumed that they were reciting hallel unnecessarily. Once he saw that they were omitting portions, he said: I can learn from this that they are maintaining the custom of their forefathers, i.e., they know that it is a custom, not an obligation. 

Tuma and kedusha often similar Talmid of Gra


Yeshivas send thousands of letters pushing back against draft state oversight rules


“We have done a magnificent job in educating our children,” Aaron Twerski, a Brooklyn Law School professor and Yeshiva parent, wrote to state officials. “They are deeply religious, highly disciplined, hard-working and industrious.”

He continued: “What you propose is an assault on the Orthodox and Chassidic. Your oversight is not needed and is not welcome.”

Monday, May 30, 2022

Time to fully embrace the Strictly Orthodox


In response to this, I would venture the following two arguments. First, we spend far too long sequestering ourselves into ever smaller boxes and labels. Instead of a Jew is a Jew, we look to split, divide and further sub-divide a people which altogether constitutes a mere 0.19 per cent of the world’s population. On a number of occasions I recall the late Rabbi Sacks, of blessed memory, refer to his personal distaste at attaching any appellation to “Orthodox” – whether of the “ultra” or “modern” variety. He felt that “Orthodox” should suffice as a broad enough definition of Jewish identity, without the need to categorise it further. Adopting this attitude means that the success of any part of a people is a success of the whole — and one we should celebrate.

Miracles are built into nature

 Rambam (Shemoneh Perachim 8) This occasioned the sages to say that all miracles which deviate from the natural course of events, whether they have already occurred, or, according to promise, are to take place in the future, were fore-ordained by the Divine Will during the six days of creation, nature being then so constituted that those miracles which were to happen really did afterwards take place. Then, when such an occurrence happened at its proper time, it may have been regarded as an absolute innovation, whereas in reality it was not. The Rabbis expatiate very much upon this subject in the Midrash Koheleth and in other writings, one of their statements in reference to this matter being, (Avodah Zarah 54b) "Everything follows its natural course". In everything that they said, you will always find that the Rabbis (peace be unto them!) avoided referring to the Divine Will as determining a particular event at a particular time. When, therefore, they said that man rises and sits down in accordance with the will of God, their meaning was that, when man was first created, his nature was so determined that rising up and sitting down were to be optional to him; but they as little meant that God wills at any special moment that man should or should not get up, as He determines at any given time that a certain stone should or should not fall to the ground. The sum and substance of the matter is, then, that thou shouldst believe that just as God willed that man should be upright in stature, broad-chested, and have fingers, likewise did He will that man should move or rest of his own accord, and that his actions should be such as his own free will dictates to him, without any outside influence or restraint, which fact God clearly states in the truthful Law, which elucidates this problem, when it says, (Genesis 3:22) "Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil". The Targum, in paraphrasing this passage, explains the meaning of the words "mimmenu lada'at tov vara". Man has become the only being in the world who possesses a characteristic which no other being has in common with him. What is this characteristic? It is that by and of himself man can distinguish between good and evil, and do that which he pleases, with absolutely no restraint. Since, then, this is so, it would have even been possible for him to have stretched out his hand, and, taking of the tree of life, to have eaten of its fruit, and thus live forever. Since it is an essential characteristic of man's makeup that he should of his own free will act morally or immorally, doing just as he chooses, it becomes necessary to teach him the ways of righteousness, to command and exhort him, to punish and reward him according to his deserts. It behooves man also to accustom himself to the practice of good deeds, until he acquires the virtues corresponding to those good deeds; and, furthermore, to abstain from evil deeds so that he may eradicate the vices that may have taken root in him. Let him not suppose that his characteristics have reached such a state that they are no longer subject to change, for any one of them may be altered from the good to the bad, and vice versa; and, moreover, all in accordance with his own free will. To confirm this theory, we have mentioned all these facts concerning the observances and the transgressions of the Law.

Chasam Sofer : Criticizing Gedolim when they deviate from what is viewed as the accepted halacha

 update - finished the English translation

Concerning the ongoing discussion whether it is proper to question and criticize gedolim when they deviate from what is viewed as the accepted halacha. I just received the following from a well known posek and dayan.
Rabbi Eidensohn,

I believe the attached story with the חת"ס, (who's Yahrtzeit is today), gives people like us the authority to question, attack, and condemn the (mis)deeds of those supposed Gedolim.

If you feel it could be a תועלת in the ongoing מערכה to protect the last vestige of קדושת ישראל please publicize it as you see fit.

יישר כוכחם
 Summary of the Chasam Sofer:
The Chasam Sofer is saying that the Mesora is from father to son ( as does the Ramban). That there is an inherent rejection - even of gedolim - who deviate from that Mesora.

He is saying the saying thing as the Shach. If a Rabbi, gadol or rosh yeshiva wants to deviate from the accepted Mesorah learned from father to son - he has the obligation to explain himself.

Thus the Chasam Sofer is saying that the preservation of the Jewish people is the brazenness to reject anyone - including gedolim - who go against what is understood to be the Mesorah. This mechanism was chosen by G-d to preserve the Jewish people. That is why he chose the most brazen of nations to receive the Torah.

Obviously the Chasam Sofer knew the criticism of him was wrong - but he was happy to see that the mechanism of criticizing deviation from the mesorah was in place - even if it went against a gadol such as the Chasam Sofer.
The following is from  חוט המשולש
 page 64-65 http://www.hebrewbooks.org/29069

Once when my grandfather [the Chasam Sofer] was visiting the community of Yergin a distinguished person pressured him to be a guest in his home. He agreed. It was a very nice dwelling. However not many days later he learned that his host was spreading lashon harah and  slander against him concerning his piety. The Chasam Sofer asked his shamash about this but the shamash did not want to describe with his mouth the disgusting things he had heard said about him. The Chasam Sofer was forced to order the shamash to tell what he knew. The shamash had no choice but to reveal what their host had said about him. After hearing the nature of the slander the Chasam Sofer requested that the Rav of the community make the host to take an oath and to confess that he had said bad things about the Chasam Sofer. Surprisingly the host readily admitted that he had said bad things about the Chasam Sofer and was not the slightest bit embarrassed about admitting this. The Chasam Sofer then asked him what was the basis of his saying derogatory comments about him? The host replied that he had been behind the Chasam Sofer's door on Shabbos day when the Chasam Sofer had sat down to have his meal and he noticed that the Chasam Sofer had not made kiddush (My grandfather had the custom of making kiddush on bread in the morning and then at the seuda of the day he just made a beracha on wine - which is the actual din of kiddush during the day). The host demanded to know - what type of Jew eats a meal on Shabbos without making kiddush?

The Chasam Sofer was astonished and thought to himself - what sin have I done to warrant this punishment of lashon harah and slander in my old age. It then occurred to him that by being a guest in the rich man's house he had violated the statement of Chazal that a talmid chachom is not to dwell with even a pious ignoramous. But that explanation still did not satisfy him because he didn't understand how he forgot about this warning of Chazal at this time?

But as he thought about the matter he suddenly became very happy that this degrading event had happened to him. He had always been bothered by the possibility that false and corrupt leaders would arise over the Jewish people and they would lead the people astray from Yiddishkeit and that eventually that would lead to the destruction of the Jewish people. He realized that by this incident G-d was showing him that he was mistaken.

G-d in fact had given the Torah to the most  brazen of the nation. He thought to himself, "Here I am an elderly rabbi the head of a large community - nevertheless this Jew had no problem speaking very disgraceful things about me when he thought I had done something wrong. This Jew had seen from his ancestors that they made kiddush during the day meal - and he thought that I didn't. Therefore I see that those faithful to G-d do not pay attention to their leaders to do something they view as wrong. That is because the true  foundation of their faith is what the children receive from their parents. This is in fact what the Ramban said. The Jewish people - even if they themselves are not prophets - they are the offspring  of prophets.

**) כשהי׳ זקיני זצ׳׳ל בעיירות קטנוה הללו הי׳ דרכו לדור בבית נכרי ופעם :א' כשבא לישב איזה זמן ביערגן הפציר בו איש נכבד שישכין שכינתו בביתו ואחר ההפצרה נענע לו ראשו והי׳ לו שמה דירה נאה׳ לא עברו ימים הרבה והקול נשמע שבעל הבית הוצא לישנא בישא ומלשין מאוד על זקיני זצ״ל ר״ל והדבר מגיע לאזני זקיני ז״ל שהבעה"ב מלשין עליו ושאל למשמשו אודות זה, אבל הוא לא רצה להוציא דבר מגונה כזו מפיו על רבו וגזר עליו זקיני ז"ל להגיד אשר נודע לו, ובהכרח סיפר מה שבעל האכסניא אזמר עליו וזקיני ציוה לקרוא רב העיר והשביע את האיש בפניו לאמור אם אמת הדבר שאמר עליו דברים מגונים האלה והוא הודה ולא בוש ושאלו מה זה ראיה ממני עד שאני נהשד בעיניך על זה ואמר יען ראה מאחורי הדלת בש״ק לסעודת צהריים ישב אל השולחן ולא קידש היום (דרך זקיני הי׳ לעשות קידוש בפת שחרית ובסעודת צהריים בירך על כוס יין שהוא עיקר קדושא רבא) ואיזה יהודי אוכל בלא קידוש?  כן השיבוהרהר זקיני זצ״ל מה חטא עד שעלתה לו לימי זקנותו שיוציאו עליו לשנא בישא ושיאמרו עליו כן ונפל בדעתו אולי משום שעבר על דחז״ל ע״ה חסיד אסור לת״ח לדור בשכונתו׳ ועדיין לא נח דעתו איך נעלמה ממנו הלכח זו לשעתא ולמה לא הזכרהו ה׳ עלי׳ ואח״כ נתן שמחה בלבו על שאירע לו כן כי תמיד הי׳ מצטער בחשבו הלא יעמדו לישראל מנהיגי אליל רועים אינם נאמנים ואם כן יהיו המנהיגי׳ אזי ח״ו לא יזכר שם ישראל עוד כי חעם יוסיפו אשמה להיות רעים והטאים אבל עתה הראני ה׳ שטעיתי והקב"ה נתן התורת לעזין שבאומות וראה אני רב זקן ויושב בישיבה בקהלה גדולה ואפ״ה אמר האי איש עלי דבר מגונה מאוד מפני שהוא ראה מאבותיו שעושין קידוש בצהריים ואני לא עשיתי כן א״כ הנאמנים לה׳ לא ישגיחו על מנהיגיהם להרע כי העיקר ושורש אמונת אומן מה שקבלו הבנים מאבותיהם כמ״ש הרמב״ן והנח להם לישראל כי בני נביאים המה:

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Arming teachers is hard, even in gun-loving Texas


Texas’ top law enforcement official proposed new efforts to arm educators after a rifle-toting gunman killed 19 children and two teachers inside a local classroom this week. State statistics suggest most teachers aren’t interested.

For more than a decade, state laws have allowed teachers to go to work empowered as armed school security — or the last line of defense against an active shooter.

But Texas, a state with a fabled gun culture, has allowed teachers to sign up as campus “marshals” since 2013 through a program signed into law after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The initiative has seen fewer than 300 educators sign up across 62 school districts, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, even after some restrictions around the program were loosened following a deadly 2018 mass shooting at a Houston-area high school.

Neo-Nazi who worked for US Navy convicted of storming Capitol in Jan. 6 riot


A former US Army reservist described by prosecutors as a Nazi sympathizer was convicted Friday of storming the US Capitol to obstruct Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, who worked as a security contractor at a Navy base when he joined the pro-Trump mob on January 6, was also convicted of disorderly conduct and other misdemeanors.

Hale-Cussanelli took the stand in his defense and claimed he didn’t know that Congress met at the Capitol building.

“I know this sounds idiotic, but I’m from New Jersey,” Hale-Cusanelli said, according to WUSA-TV. “In all my studies, I didn’t know there was an actual building that was called the ‘Capitol.’ It’s embarrassing and idiotic.”

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Republican House primary candidate goes on antisemitic rant


Greg Raths, former mayor of Mission Viejo and Republican primary candidate for California's 40th Congressional District, went on an antisemitic rant on Thursday.

"These politicians go where the money is, unfortunately. The Jewish community is very well organized in the US and they control a lot of politicians," Raths stated. "That's why the foreign aid is so large and is going to Israel. The Jewish community has never given me one dime so I'm not beholden to them at all."

R Nota Greenblatt - A story


The Tenth Man

Rav Nota’s concern for the chinuch of Jewish children extended well beyond his hometown. Impressed by the success Rav Nota achieved in Memphis, in 1958 Dr. Joseph Kamenetzky of Torah Umesorah asked that Rav Nota work his magic for the community in Kansas City. Although it was home to a large number of Jewish immigrants, it had no Hebrew day school.

Rav Nota arrived in Kansas City at the beginning of the week, ready to give it his all. His first stop was the rabbi. Rav Nota approached him and asked his permission to recruit families for a potential Hebrew Day School. The rabbi looked at him and laughed. “The parents want nothing to do with the old country,” he said. “They want their sons to be American boys, with a proper education.” Rav Nota stood his ground, though, insisting that it was worth a try.

Finally, they came to an agreement. “Get ten families to sign up for the school by Friday, and the school is yours,” the rabbi said. “Anything less than that is not a school.” Rav Nota had one week to recruit ten families in a foreign city to commit to sending their children to a Hebrew day school that did not yet exist. He went from door to door, begging, pleading for the families to send their children. Many laughed at him. Undeterred, he continued, barely eating anything.

By midday Friday, he arrived at the rabbi’s home, famished and exhausted, but triumphant. Waving a sheet of paper at the rabbi’s face he proudly declared, “I have your ten applications!” The rabbi, who didn’t want the school to become reality, turned white. He began going through the list, name by name. Suddenly, he stopped.

“This family, Blumenthal, doesn’t count,” he said fiercely. “They live on the other side of the tracks, in the poor neighborhood; they don’t even have a floor in their home. He doesn’t belong with the other children.”

Rav Nota left broken. He asked his wife if he could be buried with these ten applications when he passed away, to show the Ribbono shel Olam something he did just for Him, with no possible personal gain.

Years later, when Bill Clinton was elected president of the United States, Rav Nota read that one of his cabinet members was a fellow by the name of Blumenthal. After doing some research he determined that this was, in fact, the Blumenthal child that would have attended the Kansas City school had it been allowed to open.

When relating the story, Rav Nota would begin to cry. “You know what potential this child had? From a home with no floor to Clinton’s cabinet? Who knows what a gaon he could have become? But he didn’t have the opportunity. Why?! Because of the rabbi. That rabbi! Even in Gehinnom there’s no place for him.”

Friday, May 27, 2022

Trump joke

A British doctor says: "In Britain, medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man's liver, put it in another man, and in 6 weeks, he is looking for a job."

The German doctor says: "That's nothing, in Germany we took part of a brain, put it in another man, and in 4 weeks he is looking for a job."  

The Russian doctor says: "Gentlemen, we took half a heart from a man, put it in another's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for a job."  

The American doctor laughs: "You are all behind us. A few days ago, we took a man with no brain, no heart, and no liver and made him President.

Igros Moshe on Kollel Income


Furthermore it is my opinion that those "Mischassidim" from the side of the Rambam's opinion is advice from the yetzer hara in order that they interrupt their learning and engage in labor and commerce and the like until ultimately they forget even the little which they already learned and aren't relaxed enough to fix even a small amount of time for learning Torah.

Since if the Rishonim were like melachim and said that it was not possible to engage in Torah and become wise in it while engaged in labor to sustain themselves by the work of their hands, certainly in our generation...........it is not possible for anyone to boast that he is able to engage in labor and become wise in Torah. Therefore do not let the thought arise in your mind that advice of the yetzer hara that with a stipend from learning in Kollel, being a Rabbi, teacher of Torah, or Rosh Yeshiva there is any sort of sin or lack of middas Chassidus, since it is only to instigate one into separating from the Torah.

Lauren Boebert on Gun Control: 'When 9/11 Happened, We Didn't Ban Planes'


When 9/11 happened, we didn't ban planes, we secured the cockpit," Boebert said.
"And of course, leave it to Barack Obama to make this issue more divisive instead of allowing the nation to come together, mourn and heal," she added in an apparent reference to the former president's tweet linking the shooting in Uvalde to the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Israeli security officials demand 'immediate' explanation


Security officials in Israel are reportedly livid and demanding explanations from the United States about a leaked New York Times report regarding the recent assassination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei.

The report cited an intelligence official briefed on the communications said to be a secret channel through which Israel updates the Americans on its operations in the Islamic Republic.

Israeli officials are fearful that the leak will increase Iran's desire to stage a revenge operation.

According to the report, the Israelis told their American counterparts that the killing was meant as a warning to Iran to halt the operations of a covert group within the IRGC’s Quds Force known as Unit 840, tasked with abductions and assassinations of foreigners around the world, including Israeli civilians and officials.

Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 246


Shulchan Arukh, Yoreh De'ah 246

REMA: A person should not think to engage in Torah and to acquire wealth or honor with the learning, for one who ventures to think such a thought will not achieve the crown of Torah. Rather, one should make his Torah fixed and his work contingent, and should reduce business and engage in Torah. He should put aside temporary pleasures from his mind and do work all day for his livelihood if he does not have enough to eat, and the rest of the day and the night he should engage in Torah. And it is a great quality to generate one's sustenance from the work of his hands, as it says, "The product of your hands you shall surely eat" (Ps. 128). Anyone who puts in his mind occupying himself with Torah and not working, but supporting himself from tz'dakah, behold, this one desecrates the Divine name and dishonors the Torah. For it is forbidden to derive benefit from words of Torah, and any Torah that does not have work along with it, it attracts sin and he winds up robbing people. And all of this applies to one who is healthy and can engage in his work or in a profession a little and provide for his livelihood. However, an elder or a sick person is permitted to derive benefit from his Torah such that they will provide for him. And some say that it is permitted even for a healthy person.

And therefore the practice in all Jewish communities has been that the Rav of the city has an income and provisions from the other people of the city, so that he will not have to engage in work in front of other people, so that the Torah becomes degraded in front of the multitude. And [this applies] specifically to the sage who needs it, but for a wealthy person it is prohibited. And some are more lenient, saying that it is permitted for a sage and his students to accept subsidies from those who donate in order to strengthen the hands of those who study Torah, since in this manner they can engage in Torah in affluence. Nevertheless, one who is able to provide for himself well from the work of his own hands and to engage in Torah, it is a pious quality and a gift of God, but this is not the nature of all persons, for it is impossible for everyone to engage in Torah and to become wise in it and to provide for himself by himself....