Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Stop the lie: Israel never ethnically cleansed Palestinians

Moreover, according to a research report by the Institute for Palestine Studies, an Arab-sponsored research institute, the majority of the Palestinian Arab population was not forcibly expelled and 68% of the Palestinians left without even seeing an Israel soldier. 

Clip of Lindsey Graham Saying 'Russians Are Dying' Misleadingly Edited

But as the backlash against Graham escalated, it soon emerged that his comments were misleadingly edited in the short clip, which conflated different comments.

A longer version of the conversation, which was released by the Ukrainian government and published by Reuters, among others, shows that the two remarks—framed as part of the same comment—were in fact unrelated.

In the first part, Zelensky thanks the United States and allies for their "bipartisan support" of Ukraine, stating that America's support since the start of the invasion exceeded "$38 billion."

To that, Graham replies: "The best money we've ever spent," adding that this is "467th day of a war that was supposed to last three days." The latter comment appears to hark back to Putin's alleged pre-war goal of "taking Kyiv in three days."

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Republicans have a serious antisemitism problem. It isn’t Ilhan Omar

 Republicans have a serious antisemitism problem. It isn’t Ilhan Omar

In case it’s not obvious, let me state it plainly. Today’s Republican party has a serious antisemitism problem. The easy acceptance and amplification of all sorts of anti-Jewish hate that party leaders engage in emboldens all the worst bigots, raving racists, and far-right extremists across the globe, all the while threatening Jewish people here and everywhere.

Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, an architect and guardian of Haredi-secular relations

As the celebrated spiritual leader of Ashkenazi Haredi Jewry, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, who died Tuesday at the age of 100, was a major advocate for compromise and coexistence at a time of growing estrangement between religious and secular Israelis.

Hate in the Sunshine State: Extremism & Antisemitism in Florida, 2020-2022

Florida is home to an extensive, interconnected network of white supremacists and other far-right extremists. This network, which often collaborates in planning and executing propaganda distribution campaigns, banner drops and in-person demonstrations, includes the White Lives Matter (WLM) network, the antisemitic Goyim Defense League (GDL), the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA), NSDAP (named after the Nazi Party of Germany), the neo-Nazi Sunshine State Nationalists (SSN),  NatSoc Florida (NSF) and the National Socialist Movement (NSM). Many of the individuals in this network, which includes dozens, attend events organized by multiple groups giving each group an outsized appearance.

Yad Yisroel English published by Amazon - Available now

700 pages soft cover $17 introductory price

Price rise in June

Monday, May 29, 2023

Medicine and G-d

 Chaya Adam (65:1) A person about to be bled for medicinal reasons should first say “It should  be G-d’s will that this activity should bring about a cure for me because  You are a free Doctor.”  Similarly prior to eating or drinking anything for medicinal purpose he should say this prayer and not think that something is curative without G-d’s involvement. Therefore by means of this prayer he puts his trust in G-d and asks from Him that this should cure him. After the procedure he should say  "Blessed art Thou King of the World who cures the sick."

Chanuka & Philosophy - Philosophy is Jewish

In the discussion of Chanuka and philosophy - it is important to realize that there are solid Jewish sources that philosophy originated with the Jews. The following sources are taken from my Daas Torah page 140

Kuzari(2:66): Shlomo spoke—with Divine power and his great intellect and natural talents—concerning all types of knowledge. From the ends of the earth, people came to him to hear his knowledge and to transmit it to the world—even as far as India. In truth the root of all wisdom and its principles was copied from the Jews—first by the Chaldeans and afterwards the Persians and Medes. Afterwards this knowledge went to the Greeks and Romans. However, because these events are distant in time and the many intermediaries in the process it has not been mentioned in the books of science and wisdom that it was taken originally from the Jews. These books mention only that they originated in Greek and Roman sources. …

Rema(Toras HaOlah 1:11): In truth all the wisdom of philosophy and intellectual analysis originated from the Jews. All the secular wisdom is in fact contained within the Torah as the Rambam demonstrates in great detail in the Moreh Nevuchim that all philosophical wisdom is found in the medrash and aggados of our Sages. You should know that I saw a very ancient document that described the development of all philosophy. It stated that Socrates was considered the first philosopher. It also says that he obtained this wisdom from Assaf and from Achitofel. It also says in the Paths of Faith that the philosophy of Aristotle was stolen from the wisdom of Shlomo HaMelech. When Alexander the Great captured Jerusalem, he gave control of Shlomo HaMelech’s library to his teacher Aristotle. Whatever good things he found there he wrote his name on it and then added some of his own incorrect thoughts such as the world had no beginning and the denial of Providence. This was done in order to conceal the fact that his material was in fact stolen from the wisdom of the Jews. Alternatively, it is possible that whatever he found that did not have clear—cut proofs in the works of Shlomo he simply did not believe. We see however that the basis of all wisdom hangs from this vine. In truth, every Jew should believe in this system and not to give a pride and glory to strangers—the wise men of the gentiles. In fact, Shlomo was praised for being able to speak to the cedars of Lebanon and the hyssop growing on the wall. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the basis of this wisdom was stolen from him, there would be nothing praiseworthy in Aristotle and those that came after him…Therefore it is proper to believe in these things. Just as we have written that is the way it is.

כוזרי (ב:סו): אמר החבר: ומה דעתך על חכמת שלמה כי הוא דבר בכח אלוהי וברב שכלו ובכשר טבעו על כל החכמות ומקצוות העולם היו באים אליו לשמע חכמתו ולהעבירה אל האמות עד להדו ועד בכלל. ובאמת שרשי כל החכמות וכלליהן העתקו מאתנו אל הכשדים בראשונה ואחרי כן אל פרס ומדי ואחרי כן אל יון ואחרי כן אל רומא אך מפאת רחק הזמן ורבוי המעתיקים לא הזכר בספרי החכמות כי העתקו מעברית הזכר רק כי העתקו מיונית ומרומית אולם יתרון העברית הוא גם מצד עצם הלשון וגם מצד תכן הענינים הכלולים בה:

[iii] רמ"א (תורת העולה א:יא עמוד י"ג)...כי באמת כל חכמת הפילוסופי' והחוקרים בא להן מישראל. וכל חכמתן כלול בתורה כמו שהאריך הרב המורה להורות שכל החכמות הפילוסופי' נמצא במדשרי חז"ל ואגדותיהן. ודע כי ראיתי בספר אחד ישן מאד והיו מצויירין בו כל הפילוסופי' בצורתן וחכמתן איך המציאן והיה כתוב בו שב' אקרוט שהוא שקראוהו הפילוסופי' סקרא"ט האלהי להיותו שהוא המציא בראשונה בפלוסופיא שיש נמצא נבדל: ואחריו נמשכו הפלוסופי' האחרי' וכתב שם שהוא קבל החכמה מאסף הקרחי ומאחיתופל. ועוד כתב בשבילי אמונה כי כל עיקר חכמת ארסטוטליס גנוב' מחכמת שלמה ע"ה. כי כאשר כבש אלכסנדרוס מוקדן ירושלים השליט לאריסטוטלס רבו על אוצר ספרי שלמה וכל דבר טוב שמצא בהן כתב שמו עליו ועירב בהן מקצת דעות רעות כמו קדמות העולם. וכפיר' השגחת כדי לחפו' עליו שלא ידעו הבריות שבאו אחריו שגנב החכמה מיהודי ואפשר שכל דבר שלא מצא עליו מופת חותך בדברי שלמה לא האמינו. ומכל מקום נתבאר שכל החכמות תלויים בגפן זה ובאמת שכל בר ישראל ראוי להאמין אמונה זו ולא לתת תהלתינו ותפארתינו לזרים חכמי הגוים. והרי הכתוב שבח שלמה ע"ה שדבר על ארז בלבנון ועל האזוב אשר בקיר ואי לא היתה עיקר חכמה זו גנוב מאתו מה היתה מעלתו על אירסטוטלוס והבאים אחריו שחקרו על כל טבע וטבע כמו שנתבאר בדבריהם לכן ראוי להאמין בדברים האלה כמו שכתבנו כן הוא.

Rav Moshe Sternbuch - Kiruv for non-Jews

Medicine and bitachon - Ramban vs Chovos HaLevavos

 אמת ליעקב פרשת בחקותי

(יא) ונתתי משכני בתוככם.

עיין רמב"ן כאן שהאריך בענין מדת הבטחון, ודעתו היא שעל פי האמת אסור לו לאדם לשאול ברופאים אלא ישליך על ד' יהבו, וסיים כי ברצות ה' דרכי איש אין לו עסק ברופאים, ועיי"ש שביאר באריכות. והנה החובת הלבבות [עיין שער הבטחון פרק ד'] סובר שעל האדם להשתדל עד כמה שיכול להרפא בדרך הטבע, ועיי"ש. והנה נדמה בעינינו כי לדעת חובת הלבבות צריך הוא האדם לסייע כביכול להקב"ה - שעל ידי הסיבה הזאת יוכל לפרנסו, וכן מבינים רוב בני העולם ודומים הם כי הרמב"ן הוא המחמיר בנדון זה. אבל המעיין בחובת הלבבות יראה כי הוא הנהו המחמיר בזה, אלא שהוא סובר כי כל ענין ההתעסקות הוא מפני יישוב העולם1 והרי זו מצוה ככל מצות שבתורה, ולפיכך כותב הוא שהאדם לא ישנה את מלאכתו ואף שרואה הוא שאינו מצליח במלאכתו זאת. אבל לדעת הרמב"ן אדרבה - אם האדם אינו בתכלית השלימות נמסר הוא למערכות הטבע ואז צריך הוא לעבוד באמת כדי להתפרנס על ידי זה, כי כן כתב לענין רפואה שאחרי שבא אל הרופא הרי הרופא צריך להזדקק לו כי הוא נמסר להנהגה הטבעית, וכדמצינו בשלהי ברכות [דף ס' ע"א] דהמתפלל אחר מ' יום שיהא זכר ה"ז תפלת שוא, ואעפ"כ האמהות התפללו2 מפני שלפי הנהגתם הנס היה אצלם לטבע ונשתנה דינם, ודו"ק3.

Emes L’Yaakov (Vayikra  Bechukosai 11) The Ramban’s view is that in truth it is prohibited to use doctors but rather one should rely entirely on G-d and that is G-d’s will. In contrast the ChovasHalevavos (4:4) says a person needs to make efforts in a natural manner to obtain a cure . It seems that the Chovas Halevavos is saying that it seems that a person  needs to help G-d in medical and financial issues and this is how most people understand his view and view the Rambam in contrast as taking a stricter theological position regarding bitachon/ However a careful reading of the Chovas HaJevavos reveals that he is the one with the strictest position He actualy is asserting that a person needs to be involved in the development of the world which is a seperate mitzva and is not addressing the issue of bitachon. Consequently he says a person should not change jobs even if he is unsuccessful with his present job. In contrast the Ramban says that a person needs to work in nature and thus needs to change from an unsuccessfuk job until he achieves success. It is the same with medicine – he needs to follow nature. Our Sages have a similar view [Berachos 60a ] They say that a person who prays 40 days after conception for a male child is saying a worthless prayer in contrast to the Matriarchs  for whom the miraculous was natural, 

והנה לפי דברי רמב"ן אלו יש לפרש מה דמצינו בגמרא במסכת יומא [דף פ"ה ע"ב] שנחלקו כמה תנאים מנא לן שפקוח נפש דוחה את השבת, וכל א' הביא מקור אחר לזה, וכגון מעבודה וממילה וכדומה, ועיי"ש. ולעיל בפרשת כי תשא [ל"א פט"ז] ביארתי מדוע בכלל צריך פסוק מיוחד לזה - הא קי"ל וחי בהם ולא שימות בהם, ועיין מש"כ שם להלכה. אבל בדרך הדרוש י"ל לדעת הרמב"ן דעל פי האמת לא היה האדם צריך להתעסק ברפואות כלל, ולפיכך היה עולה על הדעת שמצות שבת תחייבנו להעמיד את הענין על אמיתו ולא נדחה את השבת, וע"ז באו התנאים האלו ולימדו שאין זה דחיית איסור בלבד אלא מצוה ממש וכמו מילה ועבודה שדוחין את השבת, ודו"ק.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Texas House votes to impeach Trump ally

Texas' Republican-run House of Representatives has voted to impeach state Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who is accused of bribery and abuse of public trust.

ChatGPT: US lawyer admits using AI for case research

"Six of the submitted cases appear to be bogus judicial decisions with bogus quotes and bogus internal citations," Judge Castel wrote in an order demanding the man's legal team explain itself.

White House raps Republican who said its antisemitism strategy targets conservatives

Rep. Lauren Boebert retweeted a news post about the strategy’s release, which stated that “Biden says US government agencies will take over 100 ‘bold and unprecedented’ actions to ‘fight hate’ and antisemitism.” In her retweet, Boebert wrote, “When they say stuff like this, they mean they want to go after conservatives.”

“Their tactics are straight out of the USSR’s playbook,” she added.

Texas House votes to impeach AG Ken Paxton

And former Trump aide Stephen Miller wrote on Thursday that “few in America have done more to advance the conservative legal movement, stop the lawless Biden executive onslaught, and defend our shared values” than Ken Paxton.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Price rise

 All my books on Amazon will have a significant price rise as of June 20, That is because Amazon will be charging more to publish them. So if you were thinking of purchasing them, do it before the price increase.

My English Yad Yisroel is awaiting approval and that too will have increased price as of June 20

Rambam and Shavuos

 It was interesting researching what Shavuos is in the prime sources

The Rambam apparently ignored the topic

The Torah describes it as a Harvest holiday which is one reason for reading Ruth

The Shulchan Aruch descibes it as the 50th day of the omer

Shulchan Aruch (O C 494) The fiftieth day of the count of the Omer is the holiday of Shavuot.  The prayer service is like the holiday of Passover, rather we say "the Holiday of Shavuot, the time of the giving of our Torah".  We say full Hallel.  We take out two Torah scrolls and read in the first one of five [sections] from "The third month" until the end of the order.  The Maftir is read in the second scroll, "On the day of the first fruits".  As Haftorah we read the chariot of Ezekiel, and end with the verse "and the wind took me up." 

Notice it says it was the time of the giving of the Torah to which the Magen Avraham famously notes that we hold that the Torah was in fact given on the 51rst day of the Omer 

There seems no mention of the Rambam concerning this day

A possible explanation is the following

Rambam (Hilchos Melachim 9:1) 

Six precepts were commanded to Adam:

a) the prohibition against worship of false gods;

b) the prohibition against cursing God;

c) the prohibition against murder;

d) the prohibition against incest and adultery;

e) the prohibition against theft;

f) the command to establish laws and courts of justice.

Even though we have received all of these commands from Moses and, furthermore, they are concepts which intellect itself tends to accept, it appears from the Torah's words that Adam was commanded concerning them.

The prohibition against eating flesh from a living animal was added for Noah, as Genesis 9:4 states: 'Nevertheless, you may not eat flesh with its life, which is its blood.' Thus there are seven mitzvot.

These matters remained the same throughout the world until Abraham. When Abraham arose, in addition to these, he was commanded regarding circumcision. He also ordained the morning prayers.

Isaac separated tithes and ordained an additional prayer service before sunset. Jacob added the prohibition against eating the sciatic nerve. He also ordained the evening prayers. In Egypt, Amram was commanded regarding other mitzvot. Ultimately, Moses came and the Torah was completed by him.

In other words Rambam views the giving of the Torah basically as an extension of the 7 mitzvas given to Noach  This seems to be a minority view

Mishpacha Magazine promotes a secular Israeli Fox News wanna be television channel

The channel, set out to model itself after Fox News, has a clear right-wing orientation, which is quite a shock to the country’s left-leaning public who have always assumed the media has their back. While it’s no secret that secular Israeli media is agenda-driven, that didn’t stop then-interim prime minister Yair Lapid from petitioning the Central Election Commission to declare Channel 14 an “activist body” dedicated to boosting the Likud vote. (The commission rejected Lapid’s petition.)

Thursday, May 25, 2023

US envoy: Abbas’ claim US wanted to rid itself of Jews deeply offensive

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s accusation that America backed Israel’s creation to expel its Jews is outrageous, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said on Wednesday as she denounced antisemitic and racist rhetoric fueling Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Thinking can be harmful

 Rambam (Idolatry 02:03) Were a person to follow the thoughts of his heart, it is possible that he would destroy the world because of his limited understanding.What is implied? There are times when a person will stray after star worship, and times when he will wonder about God's oneness: Perhaps He is one, perhaps He is not? He might also wonder: What exists above, in the heavenly realms? What exists below them? What was before time? What will be after time? Similarly, one might wonder about prophecy: Perhaps it is true, perhaps it is not? And one may also wonder about the Torah: Perhaps it emanates from God, perhaps it does not?Since he may not know the guidelines with which to evaluate ideas that will lead him to the truth in its fullness, he may come to heresy. The Torah has warned about this matter, saying "Do not stray after your hearts and eyes, which have led you to immorality" - i.e., each one of you should not follow his limited powers of understanding and think that he has comprehended the truth.Our Sages [interpreted this warning]: "After your hearts," this refers to heresy; "after your eyes," this refers to immorality. This prohibition - though severe, causing a person to be prevented from attaining a portion in the world to come - is not punishable by lashes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Anti-Vaccine Calls and Halacha - view of Lubavitcher Rebbe by Rabbi Shlolom Shuchat

 update see Wikipedia - vaccine controversies
Collive  By Rabbi Sholom Shuchat - dayan and arbitrator with the Agudas Harabonim - Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the USA & Canada

With the recent news of a measles outbreak in NYC, and the resurgence of the Anti-Vaccine movement in Crown Heights, it is important to step back and take a look at our guiding light, the Torah and the Rebbe's opinion.

Often, during an argument between pro and anti-vaccine, the anti-vaccine proponent will state that studies have found links between vaccines and autism. Said "study" has been debunked countless times by many medical journals, but the claim still lingers among many, specifically among religious Jews who have only jumped on the bandwagon in recent years, leading to the infamous outbreak of mumps a few years ago.

As Lubavitcher Chassidim, we must look at the Rebbe's writings for clear directives regarding what we should do. The following includes a sampling of the Rebbe's directives regarding this matter, leaving no place for doubt or question, and stating clearly what the Halacha is regarding these matters


Regarding obeying doctors, the Rebbe writes the following:

"Surely I need not remind you that the Torah granted “permission to the healer to heal,” and thus this directive is of Torah [and not Rabbinic] origin.

It is not similar to those who mistakenly say that if someone is G-d-fearing, he need not listen to the instructions of a doctor [— when the doctor’s instructions seem to interfere somewhat with his religious conduct—] and may act as he understands. Indeed, the opposite is the case."

Similarly, in another letter, the Rebbe writes:

"I have received a report that allegedly you are not — G-d forbid — obeying the doctor’s instructions. If this report is true, [that you are indeed not obeying the doctor,] then you will surely begin obeying him properly and will do so at the earliest opportunity, particularly as this is an explicit law in Shulchan Aruch — and may you convey glad tidings."
(Healthy in Body, Mind and Spirit - Volume I, Chapter 4) 

Regarding vaccinations, the Rebbe's view was clear, as stated in the following letter:

"Regarding your question about inoculations against disease:

I am surprised by your question, since so many individuals from Eretz Yisrael have asked me about this and I have answered them in the affirmative, since the overwhelming majority of individuals do so successfully.

Understandably, if there are inoculations that are produced by various drug-manufacturing companies, you should use the ones whose safety is tried and proven."[...]

Conservative movement rules: Permissible to eat at non-kosher vegetarian, vegan restaurants

In practice, the ruling’s target audience is small. Most Jews who eat only in certified kosher restaurants are Orthodox and pay little if any attention to Conservative opinions on Jewish law. According to a 2020 survey by the Pew Research Center, 17% of Jews identify as Conservative and only a fraction keep kosher at home. Even fewer adhere to the strict dietary laws when they dine out. 

Knesset approves 2023-2024 budget in all-night vote, patching coalition rift

Demonstrators similarly criticized the budget for funneling billions in grants to the ultra-Orthodox community, while allowing men in that community to avoid employment and military service.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Saddled with Trump, unpopular policies, GOP toys with tanking economy under Biden

Fox News runs with fake story about migrants displacing homeless veterans

Lawrence: Why does Clarence Thomas’s billionaire friend own ‘the garden of evil’ & Hitler’s teapot

Homeless vets displaced by illegal immigrants

Honoring an abusive parent

 Recently met someone who had a dilemma. We all know honoring parents is a critical mitzva. But is it required to be observed even if it causes pain and anguish?

In this case the parent was not only abusive physically and emotionally but was not only non observant but strongly and ideologically opposed to Judaism, The issue was whether to say kadish for his Yahrzeit. Halachachically there is clearly no requirement to say kadish but he wanted to say kadish even though it caused him great anguish. Is he doing a mitzva by saying kadish?

One posek responded

"He can say kaddish and is also doing a mitzvah"

Netflix Doc Exposes the Enraging Pattern of Turning Rape Victims Into Suspects

As made clear by the infamous 2006 Duke lacrosse case, there are legitimate instances of false rape accusations. Nonetheless, Victim/Suspect persuasively maintains that law enforcement also conducts itself in a highly questionable manner when faced with such contentions. For example, in the case of Mannion, law enforcement withheld video evidence that directly corroborated her narrative. Worse, in initial interrogation-room conversations with Mannion, they stated that they had security camera footage of her making out with her attacker and willingly getting into a car with him—an assertion that, once de Leon received said footage (via a lawsuit!), proved to be a complete and utter lie.

Ted Cruz on Ukraine 'blatantly interfered' in 2016 election

During a television interview, Cruz said that "Ukraine blatantly interfered in our election."

Cruz’s claim is based on the existence of two social media posts and one op-ed from 2016 written by different Ukrainian officials criticizing Trump. He also highlighted reports about efforts by some Ukranians to discredit Paul Manafort, then Trump’s campaign chairman. 

However, multiple intelligence officials said there is no evidence Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. 

We rate this claim False.

A scholar sees a common root for antisemitism and racism: ‘Christian supremacy’

 Other writers and scholars would note how antisemitism shaped white nationalism. But Teter, professor of history and the Shvidler Chair of Judaic Studies at Fordham University, saw something else: how centuries of Christian thought and practice fed the twin evils of antisemitism and racism.

Russia says Zelensky heads ‘Nazi regime’ with ‘blood ties to Israel’

“The president of the Nazi regime in Kyiv has blood ties to Israel. He came to an Arab political event and not only lied outrageously about the roots of the conflict but also dared to condemn the neutral Arab position on this issue,” the embassy tweeted Saturday, referencing Zelensky’s attendance at the Arab League summit in Jeddah.

CNN's Amanpour publicly apologizes for saying Dee family was killed in a 'shootout'

In her on-air apology, Amanpour said: “On April 10, I referred to the murders of an Israeli family: Lucy, Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee. I misspoke and said they were killed in a ‘shootout’ instead of a shooting. I have written to Rabbi Leo Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”

Monday, May 22, 2023

Russia Goes After Donald Trump's Enemies

Most notably, they include Letitia James, the state attorney general of New York who has launched a civil business fraud lawsuit against Trump and his company.

In February 2022, the former president hit out at James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg—who are both Black—saying two New York investigations into his businesses were "racist" attacks against him. "After five years of constant bombardment, this political and racist attack must stop. Look to the murderers, drug dealers and rapists instead," Trump said in a statement.

Also on the list is Jack Smith, the Justice Department special counsel who has launched an investigation into Trump's alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election result as well as his handling of classified documents post-presidency.

The Girl Who Told the Truth

The bottom line was, if you believed Gabby, Shelby, Hunter, and Carly, you thought justice had been done. If you didn’t believe them, you tended to agree with longtime local defense lawyer Bobby Mims. “In my thirty years of practice,” he told me nine years ago, “I’ve never seen anything like that—an absolute, honest-to-God frame-up.” (At the time, Smith County assistant DA Murphy denied this claim. “There was no type of frame-up in these cases,” he wrote me.)

So Glenn Beck Calls George Soros a Nazi Collaborator? Marty Peretz Said It First

Here’s some of the material that’s missing from the Fox-Beck transcript of the first show. Notice the scary music with the kettle drums and the screaming mobs as he takes us back history to the birth of George Soros. Note, too, that he provides a list of countries where Soros “collapsed” the regimes, without once mentioning that they were dictatorships in the former Soviet Union and communist Eastern Europe. He makes the $600 billion that Soros spent over the last 30 years promoting democracy and human rights in the former communist world sound like a conspiracy to subvert democracy and establish himself as some sort of emperor. It would be almost funny if it weren’t so outrageous.

The Troubling Truth About The Obsession With George Soros

Without question, there is a place for disagreement with any one individual’s politics, and Soros should not be immune to criticism. But the animosity against Soros goes far beyond criticism of any other billionaire funder of political efforts, and perhaps beyond all of them put together. The truth is there is only one sordid reason for why attacks on George Soros are constantly trending, and it is not because of his money or his politics.

It is because he is Jewish.

'Dripping with poison of antisemitism': the demonization of George Soros

“If you can take people’s anger at the people in power, take people’s sense of being beaten down and ripped off, take people’s sense that the economy is screwing them over, that their sense of entitlement is at risk, and blame it on the Jews or certain wealthy Jews, then that’s very helpful for deflecting people’s anger away from the actual systems of power.”

The Vilification of George Soros In Israel

the accusation that a Hungarian-born Jew who escaped the Holocaust was a Nazi was beyond reason. Whether or not they knew it, the people who applauded were echoing a vicious lie likely invented in the 1990s by known anti-Semite and conspiracy-spinner Lyndon LaRouche, Jr.

Did George Soros Help Nazis Confiscate Jewish Property?

George Soros did not help Nazis confiscate Jewish property. During the World War II, he was given a false identity to avoid Nazi persecution of Hungarian Jews. A man who was paid to pretend that he was Soros' godfather, and helped hide the then-14-year-old boy, was on one occasion ordered to take inventory of a Jewish aristocrat. Soros was brought along but was not involved in the confiscation.

Social media users falsely link George Soros and the Nazis

Soros and his family, who are Jewish, escaped persecution during the Holocaust by using false identity papers. There is no evidence Soros aided the Nazi regime, which ended when he was 14. 

False claims about George Soros

Reuters debunked a false claim that a photograph shows a young Soros in a Nazi uniform (here). During the time Nazis were active, Soros would not have met the age requirements to be in the Schutzstaffel. Soros and his family were Hungarian Jews who lived in Budapest during the war, disguising their identities for safety. In 1947 at the age of 17, Soros moved to London to attend university (more  here). 

By the time Soros was 17, the fall of Nazi Germany had already happened. Soros could not possibly have been involved in the Nazi party which was active between 1920-1945. He is also a Hungarian Jew, further disproving this theory. In a 1998 60 Minutes interview ( Soros says his father forged his family’s identity to protect them. Soros, as a teenager, was placed under custody of a government official with the premise of being his godson. During this time, Soros witnessed (but did not actively participate in) the confiscation of Jewish property (here). In the interview, Soros says he doesn’t feel guilt looking back at these events, mentioning that he was a child at the time and that he was a “spectator” to something that would have happened regardless of his presence.

The Sex Scandal That Shook a Texas Town Was All a Big Lie

If that weren’t disheartening enough, though, How to Create a Sex Scandal then addresses the question why Margie went through all this trouble in the first place with the most depressing answer imaginable: money. Which just serves as a reminder: When greed and God get together, look out.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Turns Out New York Post Story of ‘Vets Kicked Out for Migrants’ That Fox News Pushed Is False

A New York Post story claiming that 20 homeless veterans had been kicked out of hotels in upstate New York to make room for migrants and was later spotlit on Fox News turned out was a lie.

Without fact-checking the story or reaching out to the accused hotels for comment, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham highlighted it with a chyron that read “New York City Puts Illegals Ahead of Veterans,” while Republicans raged at Biden, with Nikki Haley calling it “liberal insanity at work.”

Longtime advocate lied about vets getting kicked out of NY hotels for migrants: pol

An upstate New York lawmaker is calling for an investigation into a well-known veterans advocate — accusing her of lying when she claimed ex-military members were getting booted from hotels to make way for the flood of migrants up north.

New York lawmaker connected to nonprofit accused of lying about homeless vets being pushed out of hotel for migrants says he’s no longer affiliated with foundation

On Friday, CNN reported two homeless men said they were part of a group of 15 who were offered money to pose as veterans and say they were asked to leave the Crossroads Hotel in Newburgh, New York. They claimed Sharon Toney-Finch, a nonprofit leader who houses the homeless, was the person who allegedly offered the money and never paid up.

Laura Ingraham Has ‘No Clue’ Why Vets Group Made Up Story Fox Ran Wild With- fake news from Fox 

Offering up a “little update” on Friday night, Fox News host Laura Ingraham admitted that the story of homeless vets being displaced by migrants was a hoax, adding that she had “no clue” why a group would make up a story her network stoked days of outrage over.

This time, every Jew is with George Soros

Soros, for his part, could indeed be tactless. As this column argued last decade (“By George,” 14 July 2017), promoting Muslim immigration into Hungary without living there was both unfair and unwise, and such was also Soros’s claim the previous decade that antisemitism “is the result of the policies of Israel and the United States” (“The sorrows of George Soros,” 21 November 2003).

However, such criticism cannot license denying Soros’s philanthropic greatness, as maverick carmaker Elon Musk just did in a tweet that claimed Soros “hates humanity” and that his endeavors are designed “to erode the very fabric of civilization.” 

The New York Times Takes Another Shot at Orthodox Jews

Yet this is not the narrative captured by the New York Times, which this week took yet another shot at the Orthodox community in the U.S. For years, the Times has justified and even perpetuated antisemitism in the form of disdain for the most visibly Jewish Jews. Its latest effort is a documentary, “‘It’s Still an Emergency’: The Vulnerability of Queer Orthodox Jews.” The nine-minute video portrays Orthodox Jewry as a sad, solemn world, where life is bleak, everyone looks the same, and the culture is oh so primiti — I mean, “homophobic.” The opening music of the film recalls The Twilight Zone, and the victim of the community’s homophobia sits down in a dimly lit room as though he’s about to recall interrogations at Guantanamo Bay.

Stop the demonization of Israel's haredim - editorial

To a certain degree, this was to be expected. As the judicial reform legislation is paused and negotiations over various proposals take place under President Isaac Herzog’s auspices, some of the passion that fueled the protests is inevitably fading. As a result, a new issue – though tangentially related – is needed to reignite passions and keep momentum alive. And the issue that has emerged is the ultra-Orthodox.

A house divided: New book explores roots of the rifts between Israel’s many ‘tribes’

She dissects letters written by founding prime minister David Ben Gurion to poet Haim Gouri in the 1960s in which he compares his foe Menachem Begin to Hitler, calling the future prime minister “distinctly Hitlerite: Racist, ready to destroy all the Arabs for the sake of the integrity of the land, sanctifying all means for the sacred goal – absolute power.”

Candace Owens Lashes Out at Volodymyr Zelensky—'Ultimate Criminal'

In a fact check conducted by Newsweek, it was found that the short clip was missing a lot of context. Zelensky's remarks were in response to a wider question about opinion polls in the U.S. that indicate a growing number of Americans believe the Biden administration is providing too much support to Ukraine.

GOP senators unsettled by DeSantis’s escalating fight with Disney

“DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney,” Trump posted on his Truth Social platform, using a derisive nickname for the Florida governor.

“His original P.R. plan fizzled, so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face. Disney’s next move will be the announcement that no more money will be invested in Florida because of the Governor,” Trump wrote.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

'The Origins of Judaism': Finding how far back rabbinic tradition goes - review

This extensively researched, clearly written book is thus an interesting read, but one needs to be able to think for themselves and enjoy the information while being healthily skeptical about the author’s conclusions. 

Friday, May 19, 2023

How to be a man? Josh Hawley has the (incoherent) answers.

What is a man, anyway? Hawley’s various answers are not very illuminating. Men are dependent (“a man cannot be who he is meant to be on his own”) but also independent (“dependence is in fact a temptation to every man, in every age. It is the temptation to let someone else do it for you”). Men do not “blame someone or something else,” such as “society,” or “the system,” but men do, apparently, blame “Epicurean liberalism” for almost everything that ails them. “Manhood is real and biological,” but some of the central masculine virtues “can be learned,” and the venerable Greeks and Romans “held that manhood was a vocation that each man must struggle to assume. … Boys were born as males, but not yet as men. One became a man only by acquiring certain character traits.” A man is a rugged individualist who figures things out for himself, but he also relies on how-to guides to teach him how to exist.

Workplace AI: How artificial intelligence will transform the workday

The technology is far from perfect, but can currently lay the foundation for workers to see outcomes and solutions outside their personal experiences, opening up opportunities for impartiality and inclusion across myriad fields and sectors. And experts say the AI will only get better at this. 

Whistleblower Rights and Protections

Wrongdoing Defined

Violation of any law, rule or regulation;

Gross mismanagement;

Gross waste of funds;

Abuse of authority; and

Substantial and specific danger to public health or safety

Authorized Audiences

For all disclosures, classified or unclassified, an FBI employee is only protected if the disclosure is made to:

(A) A supervisor in the direct chain of command of the employee, up to and including the head of the employing agency;

(B) to the Inspector General;

(C) to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department of Justice;

(D) to the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

(E) to the Inspection Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

(F) as described in section 7211;

(G) to the Office of Special Counsel; or

(H) to an employee designated by any officer, employee, office, or division described in subparagraphs (A) through (G) for the purpose of receiving such disclosures

Texas professor flunked whole class after ChatGPT wrongly claimed it wrote their papers

Agriculture professor Jared Mumm sent students an email Monday informing them that he’d put their homework through the application and the AI chatbot incorrectly determined they’d all used it to write the assignment, according to Rolling Stone.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Who Are the Three FBI Agents Having Security Clearance Revoked Over Jan 6?

Three FBI agents have had their security clearances revoked over their positions on the January 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a letter to House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan.

Jim Jordan's FBI Whistleblower Hearing Descends Into Chaos

"Each committee shall keep a complete record of all committee actions, which shall include, in the case of a meeting or hearing transcript, a substantially verbatim account of the remarks actually made during the proceedings subject only to some technical things," Democratic Representative Dan Goldman read out loud. "Such records should be the property of the House and each member delegate and the resident commissioner shall have access thereto."

Democrats had already cast doubt over the legitimacy of the witnesses before the hearing. In a March report, House Democrats said that two of the three witnesses had previously been paid by Trump adviser Kash Patel and "put forward a wide range of conspiracy theories" in the past.

הפוסק על החולדות בבני ברק: "חילול השם שכך נראים הרחובות"

עמוד ההוראה הגאון רבי יצחק זילברשטיין התייחס למגפת החולדות והעכברים בבני ברק, ותולה את הדבר בלכלוך וההזנחה בחצרות הבניינים | הרב מזהיר כי זה "חילול השם שכך נראים הרחובות" | ומה הפתרון שהרב מציע?

Rabbi Yitzhak Zilberstein referred to the plague of rats and mice in Bnei Brak, and blames it on the dirt and neglect in the courtyards of the buildings | The rabbi warns that it is "blasphemy that the streets look like this". And what is the solution that the rabbi offers?

Thousands march through Bnei Brak against Haredi ‘pillaging of the public coffers’

 Thousands march through Bnei Brak against Haredi ‘pillaging of the public coffers’

Thousands of anti-government demonstrators marched through the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak on Wednesday night to protest against the government’s plans to allocate large sums of money to the ultra-Orthodox community — a move that has drawn criticism from within the Finance Ministry for being unsustainable in the long term.

When older parents resist help or advice, use these tips to cope

“It’s hard when you see an older person making poor choices and decisions. But if that person is cognitively intact, you can’t force them to do what you think they should do,” said Anne Sansevero, president of the board of directors of the Aging Life Care Association, a national organization of care managers who work with older adults and their families. “They have a right to make choices for themselves.”

Republicans Pull Off Face-Saving Gambit to Keep George Santos in Congress

Republicans say they’re simply following “due process.” Democrats say they’re trying to do right by voters and Congress. And all the while, as the two sides bicker, indicted Rep. George Santos (R-NY) will remain in Congress.

After Republicans turned a long-shot motion to kick Santos out of Congress into a vote to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee, Democrats were quick to cry foul, complaining that Republicans were just using “due process” as an excuse to keep Santos in Congress indefinitely.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Health through Torah

 Rambam (Avoda Zara  11:12) A person who whispers an incantation over a wound and then recites a verse from the Torah, who recites a verse over a child so that he will not become scared, or who places a Torah scroll or tefillin over a baby so that it will sleep, is considered to be a soothsayer or one who cast spells. Furthermore, such people are included among those who deny the Torah, because they relate to the words of Torah as if they are cures for the body, when, in fact, they are cures for the soul, "It is, however, permitted for a healthy person to read verses from the Bible or chapters from Psalms so that the merit of reading them will protect him and save him from difficulties and injury.

Healing and faith in G-d

 Chovas HaLevavos (04:04) Regarding health and sickness. A man is placed under a duty to trust in the Creator in this, while working on maintaining his health according to the means whose nature promotes this, and to fight sickness according to the customary ways, as the Creator commanded "and he shall surely heal him". All of this, without trusting in the means of health or illness that they could help or hurt without the permission of the Creator. And when one puts his trust in the Creator, He will heal him with or without a means, as written "He sends His word and heals them It is even possible that He will heal him through something that is normally very harmful, as you know from the story of Elisha and the bad water, that he healed their damaging properties with salt 

Josh Hawley and the ‘left-wing attack on manhood’

Hawley goes on to say that because men have been so badly treated – he calls it “the deconstruction of American men” – they’ve started to misbehave and suffer. “Can we be surprised,” he asked in that same speech, “that after years of being told … that their manhood is the problem, more and more men are withdrawing into the enclave of idleness and pornography and video games?”

So what’s the connection to porn, as Mike Allen asked him on “Axios on HBO” on Sunday?

Answer: “You’ve got 16 million men … who are idle, who don’t have anything to do. Now, partly that’s their own responsibility, but also partly it’s because jobs have dried up.”

Another leftist plot, like Covid.

Manhood review: Josh Hawley, moraliser, neo-Confederate and Tucker Carlson of the US Senate

Josh Hawley is a neo-Confederate at war with modernity. A Republican senator from Missouri, he opposed renaming military bases honoring rebel generals and was the sole vote against a bill to crack down on anti-Asian hate crime. After the supreme court ruled that federal law protects employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation, Hawley bemoaned “the end of the conservative legal movement”. That the decision was written by Neil Gorsuch, an arch-conservative, was irrelevant.

Josh Hawley Needs to Learn a Thing or Two About ‘Manhood’

Real family values are about providing a healthy alternative to the toxic masculinity Hawley is offering. The disconnect between men and the economy or society isn’t happening because men are failing to achieve some weird idea of what it means to be a man. The core of this crisis is the fact that men without a college degree have seen their relative earnings fall by 30 percent since 1980.

Yad Yisroel English index to Mishna Berura soon available

 My English index to Mishna Berura has been unavailable for a long time

I will be publishing it again through Amazon in a few days

Russia redux: Trump hails Durham report, media call it a nothing-burger

Trump is by far the leading candidate for the Republican nomination. Any time he’s asked about Russia in a debate or other forum – or even if he’s not asked – he’ll say the investigation was utterly discredited by John Durham. For him and his supporters, that’s case closed.

Even Steve Bannon Blasts ‘Clown Show’ John Durham’s ‘Epic Failure’

Former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon tore into Special Counsel John Durham on Tuesday over his failure to secure any major criminal convictions during his four-year probe of the FBI’s Russia investigation, describing Durham’s final report as an “epic failure.”

World Leaders Consider Trump a 'Laughing Fool,' Says John Bolton

During Wednesday's CNN town hall, Trump said that the war in Ukraine wouldn't have happened if he was president when it began in February 2022. Trump wouldn't say who he wanted to win the war before stating that he could end the conflict in 24 hours. When moderator Kaitlan Collins pressed him on how he would resolve the conflict so quickly, Trump said he would find a solution by meeting with Putin and Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelensky.

"I have been in those rooms with [Trump] when he met with those leaders, I believe they think he's a laughing fool," Bolton said on CNN This Morning. "And the idea that somehow his presence in office would have deterred Putin is flatly wrong."

Celebrating the Siyum on Sotah: Managing Brain Dead Patients by Rabbi Shalom C. Spira

 Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 328:2 rules that one who delays in treating a dangerously ill patient on the Sabbath is virtually considered to be shedding blood. Mishnah Berurahse'if katan 6, adds that  for this reason  a talmid chakham must proactively publicize the laws of piku'ach nefesh, so that the community will respond with alacrity on the Sabbath when a lifesaving opportunity arises. Accordingly, I will take this opportunity to argue in favour of medically treating brain dead patients on the Sabbath, and show how this question interfaces with Sotah, whose siyum is being celebrated today in the Daf Yomi. 

      The halakhic sources which include a brain dead patient within the ambit of safek piku'ach nefesh [such that his/her medical treatment necessarily overrides the Sabbath] are elucidated in my online essay at <> . However, in a recent addition to its website, the Rabbinical Council of America  through its affiliate organization Ematai  counter-claims that everyone should agree that medically treating the brain dead patient represents an act of "futility." [See <>, section entitled "Orthodox Jewish approaches to respiratory-brain death," italicized note after paragraph 2.] Presumably, then, the RCA would forbid doing any melakhah on the Sabbath on behalf of a brain dead patient. 

      Apparently, one of the sources for the RCA's conclusion is R. Hershel Schachter, Be-Ikvei ha-Tzon, no. 36. [I hypothesize so because another page on the Ematai website acknowledges that Rabbi Schachter reviewed the text of that organization's policy. See endnote to <>]. While Rabbi Schachter considers a brain dead patient to be doubtfully alive [such that he forbids harvesting organs], he interprets the Gemara, Sotah 46b [regarding the senior citizens of Luz – a city which was immune from the Angel of Death – leaving the urban precincts when those residents became tired of life] as grounds to engage in passive euthanasia. Namely, Rabbi Schachter believes that  like the golden agers of Luz  no brain dead patient would relish continuing to exist in a comatose state, and so it is appropriate to passively withdraw medical care. 

      However, I can respond to Rabbi Schachter (be-mechilat Kevod Torato) by pointing to R. Eliezer Yehudah Waldenberg, Teshuvot Tzitz Eliezer 18:48, sec. 3, who raises three alternate possibilities how to interpret Sotah 46b: (1) perhaps the senior residents of Luz did not voluntarily leave the city, but were rather miraculously expelled [analogous to the residents of Kushta described in Sanhedrin 97a]; (2) perhaps Luz was not a real city but was rather a metaphysical concept; (3) perhaps the residents of Luz were not Jewish and were not following Halakhah. According to any of these three possibilities, there could still be a mitzvah of safek piku'ach nefesh to treat brain dead patients. 

      To the latter effect, it is important to appreciate the full context of Sotah 46b. The Gemara is reporting that the Angel of Death was denied entry into Luz in reward for the mitzvah of levayah [accompanying strangers on the road] that was fulfilled by the founder of that locale. And the reason this is being discussed in the context of eglah arufah [the subject of the final chapter of Sotah] is because the Mishnah on the previous page (Sotah 45b) declares that if the elders of a city [who are obligated to bring an eglah arufah] would have failed to provide levayah, then those elders would be virtually guilty of bloodshed. R. Shlomo Yosef Zevin, Ha-Mo'adim ba-Halakhah, chapter on Aseret ha-Dibberot, envisages this Mishnah as a source for the principle that even passive euthanasia constitutes murder. [While not mentioned by Rabbi Zevin, this would then serve as a support for the aforementioned Shulchan Arukh Orach Chaim 328:2, as well as a parallel codification in Shulchan Arukh Yoreh De‘ah 336:1.] Arguably, then, the Mishnah in Sotah 45b actually teaches that we may not practice passive euthanasia on any patient, brain dead or otherwise. 

      R. Moshe Feinstein, while never invoking Sotah 46b by explicit reference, writes as follows in Iggerot Mosheh, Choshen Mishpat 2:75, sec. 7:  




"Regarding an exceedingly senior patient who becomes ill, for sure we are           obligated to heal him as much as is possible, just as with a juvenile patient.            And [this holds true] even if the senior patient does not want, saying he is             disgusted with his life. And it is forbidden to even raise as a consideration             these matters, even if its exponent is a great physician. And even with respect          to triage priority, it is logical to assume that one should not calculate this." 


      Seemingly, Rabbi Feinstein [or whoever wrote this responsum on his behalf, given the outstanding debate that surrounds the provenance of that seventh volume of Iggerot Mosheh with his comment about "senior disgust for life" co-existing in harmony with the mitzvah obligation of piku'ach nefesh – interprets Sotah 46b like Tzitz Eliezer. 

      Thus, it is not surprising that R. J. David Bleich [Bioethical Dilemmas, Vol. 1, chs. 3-4; Be-Netivot ha-Halakhah, Vol. 3, pp. 161-178] does indeed demand medically treating a brain dead patient at all times, including on the Sabbath, in order to comply with Leviticus 19:16. To that effect, at a 2021 conference of Agudath Israel of America [in a rare speech by a lady], Mrs. Leah Horowitz (care navigator for the Chayim Aruchim affiliate of AIA) describes how – when a patient is pronounced brain dead and the attending medical staff wishes to terminate treatment – she will work urgently to find another hospital to which the brain dead patient can be transferred for medical care [on the Sabbath no less so than on weekdays]. The latter speech is available online at <>, commencing at 32:40 into the recording. 

      Let us hope that this halakhic dialectic  which underscores the preciousness of human life [as per the Mishnah, Avot 3:14]  will be noticed by Russian President Putin [whom I have already addressed at <>], and he will appreciate the moral benefit of withdrawing his army from Ukraine, so that world Jewry can embark upon the next tractate of Daf Yomi in an atmosphere of tranquility. 

Rabbi Spira works as the Editor of Manuscripts and Grants at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research [a Pavillion of the Jewish General Hospital] in Montreal, Canada.        

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

John Durham is wrong’: McCabe responds to FBI-Russia report

John Durham Owes the American People an Apology for Wasting Their Money

What Durham did do was aid and abet the killing of a lot of trees by producing a 300-plus page report that reads like a plagiarized version of the 2019 report by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General, in which Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI properly opened the Russia probe—code-named Crossfire Hurricane—and found no evidence of political bias by the FBI. The OIG’s report contained a meticulous analysis of the Russia probe and offered criticisms of the FBI’s then process for utilizing FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, warrants that resulted in reforms undertaken by the FBI.

Confronting the Unknown: How to Deal with Halakhic Uncertainties

One of the most basic rules for deciding among disputants in a halakhic controversy is to rule in favor of the scholar who is gadol be-ĥokhma u-va-minyan (b. Avoda Zara 7a).4 As this rule is generally understood, there are two criteria for according one scholar greater authority than

Reacting to Scandal

Yet, Dr. Eidensohn’s book is what really makes me want to do something. It inspires the passion that is necessary to change our communal practices. It elicits the appropriate level of outrage. It is a J’accuse against the bumbling efforts of Jews unwilling to make hard choices to save our children, incapable of admitting mistake, and failing to learn from the collapse of the Catholic Church over precisely this issue.

Dr. Eidensohn’s second volume is a remarkable encyclopedia of Jewish sources related to issues of abuse. He collects and translates hundreds of post-talmudic texts, organized by subject or author. In particular, his chapter on wife abuse puts to lie the canard that Judaism allows such treatment. Overall, this book is an indispensable guide to the halakhic sources on abuse.

Bombshell Durham report confirms FBI, Justice Department had these radical motives

The FBI was instrumental in perpetrating the Russia hoax. The bureau never had any plausible evidence or verified intelligence when it wrongfully launched a dilating and damaging investigation of Donald Trump. Nothing was ever vetted or corroborated. Indeed, the FBI knew it was a pernicious lie from the outset. That is the conclusion to be drawn from Special Counsel John Durham's final report released to the public on Monday.

The above is not an accurate summary of what the Durham Report concluded but an attempt to make lemonade from a lemon

Once again, another dud by John Durham

Biden complaint informant has gone missing, says GOP Oversight Committee chair

Scarborough mocks GOP lawmaker over ‘missing’ Biden informant

“What do you and [special counsel John] Durham, like, do you guys have tea parties every weekend? That talk about how you can destroy your reputation and your career … Durham tried this, remember? He chased conspiracy theories to try to prove that the FBI was corrupt and rigged the 2016 election, he made a fool of himself time and time and time again,” Scarborough said. “And now we have lost informants, in fact, the informant, that this entire charade was built on.”

Republicans Rush to Defend Trump After Durham Report: 'Outrageous'

Dozens of Trump's allies and prominent GOP figures on Monday referred to him as a "crime victim" and urged him to sue the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI for "violating the Constitutional protections" of the former president, who is seeking the 2024 Republican nomination.

Durham's newly released report on his investigation into whether Trump and Russia conspired to influence the 2016 election dealt a blow to the FBI. The report found that the bureau had no "actual evidence of collusions" when it initiated Crossfire Hurricane. Durham was appointed in October 2019 after Trump pressed former Attorney General William Barr to investigate the FBI probe.

Uncovered Beverages

 In the time of Chazal there was a concern that one should not drink water,1 wine, milk,2 and honey3 that was left uncovered because of a snake whose venom might have gotten into the drink and it will cause the person danger. Today, snakes are not commonly found and therefore, most of klal yisroel are not concerned for this halacha (except for Kiddush, see below).4 However, there are some poskim who says that even today one should be careful with this.5 Some say even for those who are lenient, if the beverage was left uncovered all night one should be stringent.6 The Gr’a7 and the Chazzon Ish, among other gedolim, were stringent with this. It is said that the Chazzon Ish was concerned about leaving yogurt uncovered as well.9 Some say if one is careful with uncovered beverages he will not have foreign thoughts while davening.

Shulchan Aruch (YD 116:1) Exposed beverages were forbidden by the rabbis because they feared that snakes would have drunk from them, and left behind venom. But now when snakes are not found amongst us, it is permitted.

The Gemara (Avoda Zara 30a) discusses the laws of giluy (beverages left uncovered). Chazal forbade drinking certain beverages that were left uncovered, due to concerns that venomous creatures, such as snakes or scorpions, might drink from the beverage and leave behind some of their venom. Tosfos (Avoda Zara 35a: Chada) writes that in the countries where we live, this concern does not exist, and beverages left uncovered may be drunk. Ordinarily, once Chazal issue a gezeira (decree), the gezeira remains in force even if the reasoning no longer applies. This case is different since the original gezeira was only enacted for places where snakes were common. Accordingly, Shulchan Aruch (YD 116:1) rules that one may drink a beverage that was left uncovered. However, the Pischei Teshuva (116:1) writes that the position of the Vilna Gaon and the Shelah Hakadosh is not to leave drinks unattended. The commentaries to the Maaseh Rav explain that the Vilna Gaon held that there are secondary reasons for Rabbinic decrees that apply even when the primary reason is no longer relevant. Common practice is to follow the position of the Shulchan Aruch, though some adhere to the more stringent opinion.

Curing through Avoda Zara

  Yerushalmi (Shabbos 14:4)  One heals with anything except pagan worship, uncovering nakednesses, and spilling blood. Rebbi Phineas asked: So far if he said, bring me leaves from pagan worship, and he brought him. If he said to him bring me leaves unspecified and he brought him from pagan worship? Let us hear from the following: Rebbi Jonah had a fever attack. They brought him from the penis of Dori and he drank. They brought to Rebbi Aḥa and he did not drink. Rebbi Mana said, if my father Rebbi Jonah had known from where it was, he would not have drunk. ....It happened that Eleazar ben Dama was bitten by a snake and Jacob from Kefar-Sama came to heal him in the name of Jesus ben Pandera, but Rebbi Ismael prevented him. He told him, I shall bring a proof that he can heal me. He could not bring proof before he died. Rebbi Ismael said to him, you are blessed, ben Dama, that you left this world in peace and did not tear down the fences of the Sages