Sunday, December 31, 2023

Age of sex education

 Novominsker Rebbe once said to me

"this was about 40 years ago after he gave a  gemora shiur I asked him about sex education. Noting that Rav Yaakov told my brother that education in these matters should be at age 16

"Eight year old children today know more about these issues than I do."

Daas Torah om Marriage


I just republished my sefer on Marriage. I was told the previous title was not politically correct and some found it inappropriate to have in their home

Tucker Carlson: Ben Shapiro, other pro-Israel voices don't care about America

Tucker Carlson, the populist pundit who led Fox News’s evening lineup until his ouster in April 2023, said in an interview this week that Ben Shapiro of the Daily Wire “[doesn’t] care about the country at all,” accusing him and other pro-Israel voices of being “focused on a conflict in a foreign country as their own country becomes dangerously unstable.”

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Freed hostage Mia Schem: ‘I experienced hell. There are no innocent civilians in Gaza’

“It’s important to me to reveal the real situation about the people who live in Gaza, who they really are, and what I went through there,” she told Channel 13 news. “I experienced hell. Everyone there are terrorists… there are no innocent civilians, not one,” she said. “[Innocent civilians] don’t exist.”

Friday, December 29, 2023

Eilu V'Eilu by Rabbi Hershel Schachter

The Talmud, as well as later rabbinical literature, is replete with halachic disputes. The halacha has had to decide which opinion should be followed. Should we assume that the rejected view was mistaken and simply incorrect? The Gemara (Eruvin 13b) states regarding the many disputes between Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel that, "eilu v'eilu divrei Elokim Chaim - both opinions are the words of the Living G-d." although in the overwhelming majority of cases we have not accepted the views of Beis Shamai, this does not mean that they were wrong; one who spends time learning the views of Beis Shamai is in fulfillment of the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. Beis Shamai were also basing their opinions on middos she'ha'Torah nidreshes bohein; they were following the principles and the rules of the Torah She'b'al Peh, just that they came to a different conclusion than Beis Hillel. Therefore learning their opinions would also constitute a proper fulfillment of the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. To use the terminology of Rav Soloveitchik, their views also constitute a cheftza shel Torah.

Standardization of the Chareidi mind

 I was reading about Sinclair Lewis and his concern with conformity in middle America. I realized the same dynamic applies to the Chareidi world.

You probably noted that from Tanach through the Rishonim the most obvious feature is the constant disagreement and variety of opinions about everything. This has famously been pointed out by the gemora that concludes Ailu v'eilu. All views are correct as the word of G-d

Rav Yakov Kaminetsky decided he wanted to go to learn in Kelm. Instead of simply asking permission from the Alter - the masgiach of Slobodka so he simple deviated from his normal behavior. He took a different path to the bathroom. That deviance was enough for the Alter to call him over and tell him to go learn in Kelm where he would acquire consistency.

Someone raised a question in a gemora shiur from a tosfos which directly contradicted the rebbe's hypothesis. The rebbe responded "There is no such Tosfos!" His students asked him whether he in fact knew every Tosfos. He replied I don't know every Tosfos but i I know Tosfos doesn't think that way it had been claimed

Institutional education attempts to provide a standardized mind - the core curriculum

However Rav Hutner noted that the ideal is not yeshiva learning but father to son learning

My rebbe once said that he thought most creatively when he had to commute from Williamsburg to Far Rockaway. His mind was free while he was driving. 

Today the ideal is to listen 24/7 to shiurim or reading a sefer

Today we use Ramchal and Maharal, Artsroll. Daf Yomi, Bina magazine and Mishpacha Magazine to ensure a standard way of thinking. Apparently, a large part of the content is from Mussar and Chassidus

The Raban and Shulchan Aruch are major tools for standardization.

The Gerrer Rebbe once chastised some chassidim who had sinned. "I  am not criticizing you for sinning since you are human beings with a yetzer harah. I am upset that you had the spare time to sin!

Rav Kook noted that each individual needs to develop his own haskofa from the variety of views while Rav Dessler noted we have an inner voice to listen to for guidance.

Bottom line is whether to strive for standardization or individualization.

A Call for Hamas to Surrender by Rabbi Shalom C. Spira

          .The Gemara, Eruvin 45a, establishes that the Sabbath must be desecrated in order to defend the borders of a Jewish state from enemy incursion. That casus belli standard was [more than] adequately met this past Oct. 7, 2023. Hence, as elaborated by R. J. David Bleich, Be-Netivot ha-Halakhah, I, pp. 77-84, the Israeli Defense Forces enjoy moral authorization to wage a war termed “ezrat Yisrael mi-yad tzar” (rescuing Israel from the oppressor, a termed coined by Rambam, Hilkhot Melakhim 5:1). This means there is no guilt whatsoever for collateral damage caused by the IDF in its legitimate war of self-defense against Hamas. 

      In my opinion, Rabbi Bleich is supported by TosafotYevamot 114b, s.v. zimnin, who write that it is the nature of war for projectiles to be launched from a large distance, with the combatants not knowing who will actually be hit by those projectiles. Ergo, we can extrapolate from Tosafot that once the Torah authorizes the Jewish army to engage in ezrat Yisrael mi-yad tzar, it means that the Jewish army is granted immunity from guilt over collateral damage. [And that which the Gemara, Gittin 56b, speaks of “removing the threatening snake with tongues while protecting the barrel of honey” is specifically referring as a critique against Vespasian’s invasive attack on the Temple in Jerusalem, a fundamentally different situation.]  

      In an effort to verify that my proof from Yevamot 114b is dispositive, I touched base with posek ha-dor Rav Bleich. On Nov. 18, 2023 [after havdalah], he responded by e-mail as follows: 


“The reference in the Gemara is to milchamah ba-olam. That doesn’t sound as if there was Jewish involvement. If so, Tosafot is describing conduct of non-Jews before the Geneva Convention.” 


      Nevertheless, even granted Rabbi Bleich’s caveat, the bottom line is that Tosafot seem to demonstrate that the nature of warfare is to precipitate collateral damage. Ergo, while warfare may well be forbidden to Noahides [as per my previous article at <>], when the same concept of warfare is suddenly authorized for Jews under the rubric of ezrat Yisrael mi-yad tzar, collateral damage should presumably become justified. 

      It is true that Siftei Chakhamim to Genesis 32:8 comments that Jacob was distressed at the prospect of defending himself in war against Esau, lest Jacob execute collateral damage. However, there the issue appears to be emotional discomfort experienced by the patriarch, rather than identification of moral transgression. Assuredly, any war represents a monumental tragedy, and so Jacob desperately yearned to avoid it. But it remains the case that a military campaign of ezrat Yisrael mi-yad tzar – once necessitated by enemy attack – is ethically correct. [And see R. Chaim ben Atar, Or ha-Chaim to Genesis 34:31, who comments that it would have been collective self-endangerment for the family of Jacob had it failed to rescue Dinah from Nablus.]

      Furthermore, in my capacity as the author of [what appears to be] the only halakhic prenup that is actually effective in [at least somewhat] alleviating the agunah problem [as recently publicized at <>], I contend that it is wrong for Hamas to prolong this conflict and thereby risk creating agunah cases among the wives of IDF soldiers. Rather, Hamas should recognize that “wisdom is better than weapons of battle” (Ecclesiastes 9:18), and surrender. 

            In attempting to appeal to the conscience of Gazans, the key issue at hand is how to properly channel the spiritual yearnings of Gazan society in a halakhically correct way. Rambam, Hilkhot Melakhim 10:9-10 rules that Noahides must not invent their own religion. Rather, Noahides are commanded by the Holy One, Blessed Be He, to observe the Seven Commandments identified by the Gemara, Sanhedrin 56b. If a Noahide seeks further spiritual enrichment, then he is welcome to choose to volunteer to perform any additional mitzvah [that would normally be directed to Jews alone] that he seeks, and he will receive reward as a volunteer for that mitzvah. The only exceptional mitzvot which Noahides cannot volunteer to observe are Shabbat and Torah study, as per the Gemara, Sanhedrin 58b-59a. [If a Noahide truly desires to observe even the latter two mitzvot, he enjoys the option of applying to a qualified Beth Din for consideration for conversion to Judaism.] 

            Now let us halakhically analyze the ways of many religiously fervent Gazans. They reject idolatry, insisting instead on worshipping the One and Only Master of the universe Who revealed Himself to Abraham. This represents a most impressive achievement, because it fulfills one of the Seven Commandments. Gazans also pray with devotion in Arabic, perhaps as much as five times a day. That’s wonderful, because prayer is a mitzvah that Noahides are either obligated or at least allowed to observe [-see Encyclopedia Talmudit, s.v. Ben No’ach], and prayer can be performed in any language, as per the Mishnah, Sotah 32a. Furthermore, when Gazans pray, they announce that “the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Is Great.” Well said: the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Is indeed Great, as per Deut. 10:17 [-a verse incorporated into the first paragraph of every Jewish amidah prayer for the past 2,400 years, as per the Gemara, Yoma 69b]. And the way that a Gazan should show that he truly recognizes that Greatness, is that the Gazan should observe the Noahide Code. Keep it at that, and thereby keep the peace.  

            Some confusion appears to have arisen from the fact that Gazan married ladies are scrupulously diligent to perform the mitzvah of kisui rosh (head covering). This may have led Hamas to the regrettable (mis)impression that it can therefore attack Jews. [To that effect, a recent statement by Agudath Israel, dated 17 Kislev, 5784, specifically asks all Jews (in the Hebrew version, though not directly translated in the accompanying English version) to strengthen themselves in kisui rosh. See <>.] 

            The reality that Arab civilization excels in kisui rosh was already known two millenia ago to the Sages of the Mishnah, as recorded in Shabbat 65a. Actually, the mitzvah of kisui rosh is primarily directed to Jews [as per the Gemara, Ketubot 72a-b], although one could hypothetically argue that it has bears a measure of relevance even to righteous Noahides, regarding whom we have an oral tradition that following the Deluge, they accepted upon themselves an enhanced dimension of respect for the sanctity of marriage. [See Rashi to Genesis 34:7 and Numbers 22:5, as well as Maharsha, Chiddushei Aggadot to Yevamot 63b, s.v. limsokh. And see Eruvin 100b which seems to indicate that Eve covered her head.] In any event, even if Noahides are not formally commanded in kisui rosh, a Noahide who volunteers to perform an extra mitzvah will certainly receive reward [as per the aforementioned Rambam, Hilkhot Melakhim 10:10], and so the Gazan married ladies deserve congratulations for their kisui rosh. Yet, at no time does the Talmud suggest that Arab civilization can therefore persecute Jews. On the contrary, Arab civilization – like all of humanity – is expected to seek spiritual excellence by specifically observing all commandments of the Noahide Code, and these commandments include refraining from murder and refraining from kidnapping.   

            Arguably [and as possibly reflected in the aforementioned Agudath Israel statement], there may be room for Jewish improvement regarding kisui rosh. Although R. Moshe Feinstein, Iggerot Mosheh, Even ha-Ezer, II, no. 12 allows a wig, his responsum is challenged by a lengthy monograph of R. Nehorai Yosef Ohana, Zahav Levushah (Jerusalem, 5774), available online at <>. To summarize the hundreds of pages of refutation: Rabbi Feinstein claims that since a gentlemen can presentably groom his face with a scissors-like kosher shaver [despite his thereby becoming visually indistinguishable from someone who grooms his face with a forbidden razor], therefore we should extrapolate that a married lady can also don a wig [despite her thereby becoming visually indistinguishable from a single lady.] Alas, the extrapolation is questionable (with all due respect to Rabbi Feinstein) because the two cases are dissimilar in terms of how they apply in situations of life-preservation. Specifically, piku’ach nefesh indeed allows a gentleman to shave with a normally-forbidden razor [as famously occurred, for example, to R. Michoel Dov Weissmandl and the Stropkover Rebbe when they were hiding in a Bratislava bunker during the Holocaust; see the cleanshaven photos of them in Artscroll’s The Unheeded Cry, ch. 13]whereas even in a situation of piku’ach nefesh, a gentleman has a mitzvah to look away from a lady [other than for a purely functional recognition], as per the Gemara, Sanhedrin 75a. Ergo, it is logical to surmise that kisui rosh should operate with a more rigorous standard [and not be fungible with a wig], so as to visually distinguish the married ladies from the single ladies. Nevertheless, even granted this argument against Rabbi Feinstein, the forum for implementing this improvement is the Beth Din system which supervises conversions to Judaism [and hence can make a demand of prospective converts to accept upon themselves kisui rosh, as one can discern from <>]. That is to say, this argument against Rabbi Feinstein [while valuable in its own right] does not exempt Gazans from their paramount obligation to uphold the Noahide Code, which includes refraining from murder and refraining from kidnap. 

            My late mentor R. Joshua H. Shmidman (previously showcased at <>) would introduce the recitation of the sacrificial order within the Yom Kippur mussaf service with the following insight. The spilling of blood in animal sacrifices, when orchestrated in the manner prescribed by the Torah, serves as a kosher outlet for the worshipper to escape the inclination to spill human blood. As such, I would recommend for Gazans to read R. Binyamin Fuss, Torat ha-Bamah (Jerusalem, 5766), available at <>, a detailed Noahide Code treatise on how all humans [other than Jews] can bring animal sacrifices today. In other words, although Jews are barred from offering sacrifices until the Temple will be rebuilt in the messianic era, Noahides can indeed offer sacrifices today as a matter of practical Halakhah, following the guidance in this publication. This will afford Gazan society [and indeed any other Noahide society that so opts] an opportunity to spill animal blood as part of religious observance, without ever engaging in violence against human beings. 

      May we indeed see humanity embrace the Noahide Code, and thereby usher in an era of global harmony. And the first step in that direction is for Hamas to surrender. 


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

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Democratic Rep. Torres: 'Antisemitic to compare Israelis to Romans who murdered Jesus'

Critics blasted New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for a Christmas message comparing Jesus to the Palestinians, with at least one saying it invoked the historic charge that the Jews killed Jesus.

Drawing parallels between Jesus’ persecutors and present-day Israel, Ocasio-Cortez claimed in an Instagram post on Sunday that Jesus was born in “modern-day Palestine” under a government carrying out “a massacre of innocents.” According to the New Testament, Jesus was a Jew who lived within the modern borders of Israel and was killed by the Roman forces ruling the territory at the time.

“He was part of a targeted population being indiscriminately killed to protect an unjust leader’s power,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Thousands of years later, right-wing forces are violently occupying Bethlehem as similar stories unfold for today’s Palestinians.”

State of Orthodoxy in America? - A sample of one

I was sitting on a bench in the local shopping center yesterday when I was approached by a young man who obviously wanted someone to talk with. After he asked me in English how long I was living in the neighborhood. He then started smoking a cigarette. He apparently was a new worker at one of the local businesses and this was his break time. He then stated he was from a modern Orthodox community in New Jersey. " Even though the Rav is a well-known figure in the Modern Orthodox world the congregation is basically Conservative Jews, some even drive to Shul on Shabbos. He had gone to YU for a year. Had been introduced to drugs by a roommate. Another roommate had committed suicide. Furthermore, his father was a drug addict who provided no emotional support to him. He personally was now working on being more religious since he came to Israel. He then excused himself saying he needed to get back to work.

While this is a sample of one - Does it reflect the reality of America? Whatever problems we have in Israel - pale in comparison to this nightmare he described.  

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Eyewitness was blind: Chicago man freed after twelve years in prison for murder

Darien Harris, a resident of Chicago, spent more than twelve years of a 76-year sentence in prison for murder due to a witness testimony that connected him to the crime.

According to CTV, Harris was released this week when it was clarified to the judge that the key witness in the case was blind.

At the age of eighteen, Harris was arrested on suspicion of murder in a gas station which happened while he chanced to be walking along a nearby street. The sole evidence for his conviction came from a security camera, which showed an unidentified man exiting a vehicle and shooting the victim, and testimony from one Dexter Saffold.

Red Cross refused to give medicine to Gaza hostages, Netanyahu tells families

An International Committee of the Red Cross representative refused to bring a box of life-saving medicine to Israelis taken hostage in Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in a Monday address to the Knesset plenum.

"I met with the Red Cross; I handed them a box of medicine for some of the hostages shown here. Some of them really need it...I told a representative to take this box to Rafah; she said no. It was a difficult conversation," he told a special Knesset session attended by families of hostages, who were heard shouting "Now!" at the prime minister as he explained the return of all hostages would take time.

Monday, December 25, 2023

Harvard president’s corrections do not address her clearest instances of plagiarism, including as a student in the 1990s

Jonathan Bailey, a plagiarism expert who runs the site Plagiarism Today, told CNN that instances of plagiarism are often followed by calls for a harsh rebuke.

“People tend to want to paint plagiarism with a broad brush as something that should be immediately cause for termination or immediately cause for the strongest action,” Bailey said. “But that’s just not how it works in the real world. A lot of factors are looked at and considered when deciding how to respond to it.”

“This is a nuanced case, and that nuance is kind of impossible because of how politically charged it is right now,” said Baile

Sickened by the Chilul Hashem?

Here’s an idea to consider. Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz has written urging the rest of the Torah community to stand up without equivocation and combat the unspeakable primitivism of many of the Yerushalayim protesters. He takes most of the media accounts seriously. He points a finger at “askanim” who are really in charge, and not Gedolim whom others presuppose are in charge. He cites approvingly the statement of an American philanthropist that he will withhold his sizable donation to a favorite yeshiva until its Rosh Yeshiva publicly condemns the form of the demonstrations. (Note: he does not – and I would not – urge us regular folks to withhold money from the yeshivos that are the lifeblood of Klal Yisrael.)

Hishstadlus What is it?

Having spent many hours on the texts regarding parnossa. I have been amazed at the lack of clarity regarding  hishstadlus. It is rarely mentioned in primary sources such as Tanach or Talmud. It is mentioned with regard to another unclear concept bitachon. Yosef is punished for too much hishstadlus. The most direct discussion I have found is in Mesilas Yeshorim 21. I also could not find it in Rambam

Mesilas Yeshorim (21:07) However, that which can protect a person and save him from these detriments is trust in G-d. Namely, that a person casts his burden entirely upon G-d, knowing that it is certainly impossible for a man to lack what was designated for him, as our sages taught: "all of a person's sustenance [for the year] is fixed for him from Rosh Hashana [to Yom Kippur]" (Beitzah 16a). Likewise, they said: "no man can touch what was prepared for his fellow even to the extent of a hair's breadth" (Yomah 38b).

Mesilas Yeshorim (21:08) A person could have sat idle and the decree would have been fulfilled (his designated portion would have come to him), had it not been preceded by the fine imposed on every human being: "by the sweat of your brow shall you eat bread" (Gen.3:19), whereby a person is required to make some effort for obtaining his livelihood, for thus the exalted King decreed. 

Mesilas Yeshorim (21:09) This is like a tax imposed on the human race which one cannot escape from paying. Therefore, our sages, of blessed memory, said (Sifri 15:18): "I might think one can sit idle, but scripture says (Devarim 28:20): 'in all that you set your hand to do' ".

Mesilas Yeshorim (21:10) Only that it is not the efforts (hishtadlut) that help. Rather, the efforts are necessary, but once one has put in some effort, he has already discharged his obligation and there is place for the blessing of Heaven to rest upon him, and he need not consume his days in exertion and labor. This is what king David said: "For not from the east or from the west, nor from... but it is G-d who executes judgment, [putting down one and lifting up another]" (Tehilim 75:7-8), and king Shlomo said: "Do not weary yourself to grow rich; cease applying your understanding" (Mishlei 23:4).

Mesilas Yeshorim (21:11) Rather, the true path is that of the "early Pious ones", who made their Torah primary and their work secondary, and succeeded in both (Berachot 35b). For once a man does a little work, from then on, he need only trust in his Master, and not be distressed by any worldly matters. Then his mind will be free and his heart ready for true Chasidut and perfect divine service.

Duties of the Heart (Bitchon 3:36)  Secondly, if a man were not forced to exert himself in seeking a livelihood, he would kick (become defiant) and chase after sin, and he would ignore his debt of gratitude to G-d for His goodness to him. As written: "And the harp, and the lyre, the timbrel, and flute, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the L-ord, neither consider the work of His hands" (Yeshaya 5:12), and "But Yeshurun grew fat, and kicked: you are grown fat, you are grown thick, you are covered with fatness; then he forsook G-d who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation" (Devarim 32:15). And the sages said "it is good the study of torah with working for a livelihood because the toil in both removes thoughts of sin, and all torah study without work will in the end be abandoned and bring to sin" (Avot 2:2). And all the more so for one who has no share in either torah or work, nor directs his attention to any of these pursuits.

Netanyahu, Gantz assail Barkat for saying IDF tactics endangering soldiers

Barkat, seen as a potential future rival to Netanyahu as leader of the Likud party, told ministers, “The number of air force bombardments has fallen dramatically. Soldiers are being sent to booby-trapped buildings like [sitting] ducks.”

Netanyahu responded, “The fact that you keep saying this doesn’t make it true. There are operational considerations.”

Netanyahu, justifying his policies, said, “There are countries [whose positions] we have to take into account. If we don’t do that, eventually there’ll be a UN decision to impose a blockade on us. The whole world will be against us.”

Asked about Barkat’s criticism, the IDF Spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said later Sunday that “any IDF force on the ground that requires air support, for any mission, gets the necessary protection.”

Netanyahu rejects 'untrue' WSJ claim Biden halted IDF attack on Hezbollah

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as “erroneous” a Wall Street Journal report that the IDF halted plans to preemptively attack Hezbollah in Lebanon in the first days after the start of the Gaza war in October.

“I have seen erroneous reports to the effect that the US prevented, and is preventing, us from operational actions in the region; this is incorrect. Israel is a sovereign state,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.

‘You no longer represent us’: New Jersey Muslims mobilize against longtime congressman over Israel stance

“I can’t control the politics of Israel,” he said, according to a video of his remarks obtained by POLITICO. “But they have every right to protect themselves and defend themselves. Case closed.”

While Arab Americans are an important constituency for Pascrell, they make up a relatively small bloc in a district that includes two dozen towns in heavily Jewish Bergen County. That’s made it impossible for the representative to please the entire Democratic base.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Praying for Israel

 השבוע ערך הגאון הגדול רבי אהרן פלדמן ראש ישיבת 'נר ישראל' בבולטימור' ומזקני חברי מועצג"ת של אגודת ישראל בארה"ב, ביקור במעונו של מרן פוסק הדור הגר"מ שטרנבוך שליט"א רחוב קצנלבוגן 4 בירושלים.

במהלך הביקור שאל ראש הישיבה את מרן פוסק הדור באיזה נוסח להתפלל בימים אלו, "האם להתפלל להצלחת המדינה".

מרן פוסק הדור השיב בדברים נחרצים: "יש להתפלל ששמו של הקב"ה יתקדש בעולם, וששום יהודי לא יסבול".

מרן פוסק הדור הוסיף: איי.. איך זה יכול להסתדר יחד, התשובה היא שאנחנו לא אפוטרופסים על זה, ואין אנחנו צריכים לדון או לענות איך לסדר את זה.


Our 7 best tips to build an exercise habit

1. 11-minutes of brisk walking makes a big difference

The biggest gains in exercise come when we just start moving a little. Walking for at least 11 minutes every day could lower your risk of premature death by almost 25 percent, according to a major study of 30 million people. Those 11 daily minutes of exercise also dropped people’s risks for heart disease by 17 percent and for cancer of any kind by 7 percent. For certain cancers, including myeloid leukemia, myeloma and some stomach cancers, the risk fell by as much as 26 percent.

A catatonic woman awakened after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry

 New research suggests that a subset of patients with psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia may actually have autoimmune disease that attacks the brain

Markx and his colleagues discovered that although April’s illness was clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia, she also had lupus, an underlying and treatable autoimmune condition that was attacking her brain.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

How Iran used social media to stoke tensions between Israelis

Last January, a video showing demonstrators with pride flags burning the image of Rabbi Chaim Drukman, one of the leaders of the Religious Zionist community who had passed away a week earlier, quickly spread on Facebook, X, WhatsApp, and Telegram, circulated by real users and fake accounts alike. Right-wing users and media could not contain their anger. "Do not absolve yourselves of the heavy responsibility for this demonstration of anti-Zionism and antisemitism," wrote Menny Asayag. Yair Netanyahu, the son of the Prime Minister, was quick to respond: "Remember what they did to Jews who defaced an image of Arabs at a wedding? Arrest and indictment... not that it interests the police, of course." Channel 7 also reported on the incident with the headline "Rabbi Chaim Drukman's image burned in left-wing protest."

They, along with many other users and journalists, were unaware that they had fallen victim to a trap set by a foreign entity, likely Iran, and not only in this case. An investigation by the organization Fake Reporter reveals that since 2021, a foreign influence network connected to Iran has been operating in Israel, spreading lies, incitement, and hate to deepen the rift among Israelis, and to use them to extend its influence beyond the virtual world.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Jack Smith Gets Hold of 'Incendiary' Evidence Against Donald Trump

In a ruling on Tuesday, Chief U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said that more than 1,600 communications sent from Perry, including texts and emails, can be handed over the Special Counsel Jack Smith's office after rejecting the argument they fall under the U.S. Constitution's "speech or debate" clause. The clause states that members of Congress can't be questioned in criminal investigations on matters relating to their legislative duties.

Perry, the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, had his phone seized by the FBI in August 2022 as part of the investigation into the attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. Perry is alleged to have been in frequent discussions with Trump as part of the plot to install Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark as attorney general to support the false claim the 2020 election was rigged in the final few weeks of Trump's presidency.

Haredi rabbi: This is why yeshiva students don't visit injured

"And at any rate, those who come and claim, 'Why do you not go to visit the sick and help with the war effort,' can be considered insane, since the yeshiva students and Torah sages cause that there be no need for a spear or a shield, and they cause that we should not need more tanks or fighter jets to protect ourselves, because they themselves are protecting us from the brutal enemies. And essentially, that they sit and invest in their studies, they fulfill the greatest [commandment] to visit the sick that there is, in their own way, since they are adding merits so that there will not be any more ill in the nation of Israel."

How does he explain the following?

 Gittin (62a) the Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 5:4): One sustains poor gentiles along with poor Jews, and one visits sick gentiles along with sick Jews, and one buries dead gentiles along with dead Jews. All this is done on account of the ways of peace, to foster peaceful relations between Jews and gentiles.

Who said this and what year? - Trump or Desantis?

He   summed up the major issue of the time ‘as a struggle between “the great mass of Americans of the old pioneer stock” and the “intellectually mongrelised Liberals.”’‘We are, ‘of the plain people, very weak in the matter of culture, intellectual support, and trained leadership. We are demanding, and we expect to win, a return of power into the hands of the everyday, not highly cultured, not overly intellectualised, but entirely unspoiled and not de-Americanised, average citizen of the old stock…. This is undoubtedly a weakness. It lays us open to the charge of being “hicks” and “rubes” and “drivers of second-hand Fords.” We admit it.’

Trump Disqualified From 2024 Presidential Primary Ballot, Colorado Supreme Court Rules

Donald Trump can’t appear on the 2024 presidential primary ballot in Colorado because of his actions surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.

The first-of-its kind decision sided with a group of Colorado voters who argued in a lawsuit that the Republican front-runner was disqualified under a clause in the 14th Amendment. Enacted after the Civil War, the provision disqualifies from public office those who swore to defend the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the U.S.

“President Trump incited and encouraged the use of violence and lawless action to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power,” the Colorado Supreme Court said in a 4-to-3 ruling.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Double standard for bitachon

As I go through the classic texts regarding parnossa I have noted a double standard
We are constantly told that G-d runs the world and therefore bad things are an indication either of punishment for sins or a test to provide a chance for spiritual growth and reward if we pass the test. This includes such things as illness or lack Parnosa. or being held captive by Hamas We just need to have bitchon. As the Chofetz Chaim explained why people should not leave Europe where they were starving and go to America - Because G-d provides the parnossa a person deserves, He can do it in Europe as well as in America

On the other hand, when it comes to the sick or poor or kollel- we are not to tell them that they should repent or have bitachon and G-d will provide. Instead, we are instructed to provide what they are lacking - even to provide luxuries to a rich man who lost his wealth. There is even an arrangement call Yissachar Zevulen - Rav Moshe says this is to provide peace of mind to learn Torah and it must be a long term relation since security for a short time doesn't eliminate worries and we are not to say to the talmid chachom to have bitachon that G-d will provide what he needs. Rav Moshe also notes that a person in Kollel should not refuse kollel payments claiming that one should not benefit from Torah study - He goes so far as to say this is the advice of Satan

So why do we need to have bitachon for our problems, but we can't tell others that they need greater bitachon or repentance?

NYC police tell Elisha Wiesel to put away Israeli flag at anti-Israel protest

Police in New York City “insisted” that Elisha Wiesel put away an Israeli flag on Tuesday, as Weisel, son of the late writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Weisel, attempted to counterprotest a hundreds-strong pro-Palestinian demonstration in the city’s Penn Station, Wiesel said on X.

The protest was organized by Within Our Lifetime, an activist group that has led near-daily protests since October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel’s south, initiating the ongoing war between Israel and the terror group that has controlled Gaza since 2006. 

Within Our Lifetime expressed support for the attack, defending “whatever means necessary… with no exceptions and no fine print.” 

Gaza hospital director describes how Hamas uses hospitals for military purposes

Ahmed Kahlot, the director of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalya, Gaza, confessed to the Shin Bet that the Hamas terrorist organization used his hospital as a military facility.

During his interrogation, Kahalot describes how Hamas uses hospitals for military purposes, including hiding its operatives, carrying out military activity, moving around Hamas members, and even bringing a captured soldier to the hospital.

"They hide in hospitals because for them a hospital is a safe place. They won't be targeted when they are inside a hospital," Kahalot said.

Judge Engoron Tears Donald Trump to Shreds

While rejecting Trump's argument to rule in his favor, Engorn highlighted some of the "fatal flaws" in the former president's defense, including the testimony from one of their expert witnesses in the trial, New York University Stern School of Business research professor Eli Bartov.

During his testimony, Bartov told the New York court that there is "no evidence whatsoever" that Trump or his family committed fraud with their financial statements. It was later revealed that Bartov was paid $1,350 an hour for his services to defend the former president, putting his total at $877,500.

IDF suspends several troops for singing Hanukkah songs into Jenin mosque loudspeakers

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday suspended several soldiers who appeared on video singing Hanukkah songs over the loudspeaker system in a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin.

The incident came as the military continued a three-day operation in the city, a hotbed for terrorism, during which troops detained hundreds of suspects and seized weapons.

Footage circulating online showed the soldiers singing Hanukkah songs and the Jewish prayer “Shema Yisrael” (Hear, O Israel).

Edah HaChareidis Rabbis denounce journalists who praise soldiers

Rabbis of the Edah HaChareidis, a conservative haredi organization with anti-Zionist views, published a strongly worded letter yesterday against haredi journalists they believe to be promoting nationalism and combined enlistment of men and women. The Rabbis were led by Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, a member of the organization's rabbinical court.

The Complicated Relationship Between Screen Time and Depression

Dr. Ramsey Khasho, chief clinical officer at Children’s Health Council in Palo Alto, who works with youth in crisis, argues that it’s reductive to begin and end discussions of mental illness among youth by talking about smartphones and social media. According to Khasho, one of the reasons we see a rise in youth hospitalizations for mental health is because we’ve increased awareness of mental illnesses, making it more acceptable for parents to access treatment for their children.

Nearly half of British Jews considered leaving UK due to antisemitism

Nearly half of British Jews have considered leaving the UK since October 7 due to antisemitism, according to polling data collected by the Campaign Against Antisemitism. Four out of five Jews surveyed identified as Zionists.

The polling was conducted from November 12-17 among 3,744 respondents.

Based on the CAA survey data, 69% of UK Jews agree (40% of them strongly) that they were less likely than they were before the October 7 massacre to show visible signs of their Jewishness, such as wearing a Star of David or kippah. Another 15% disagreed, and the rest did not say.

Think Strategy, Not Tactics

Both sides are driven by total objectives. For Hamas, this is nothing new: In its 1988 covenant, it committed itself to the annihilation of the state of Israel, and then and since, to the extermination of as many of its citizens as possible. Like most extreme Islamist movements, it distinguishes only loosely, or not at all, between Jews and Israelis. This objective justifies in its view the ultimate in violence, all of which was horrifically on display in the October 7 massacre, accompanied by the murder of children, rape, torture, beheading, and kidnapping. Behind its strategy is a long-term theory of victory: that such attacks, coupled perhaps with strikes by Hezbollah and Iran, or the risings of Palestinians in the West Bank, will cause Israel to collapse. In Hamas’s view, Israeli counterattacks on Gaza, which will inevitably kill many civilians, contribute to its objectives because they undermine support for Israel abroad, and inflame its many enemies.

Is rape and sexual assault part of the Hamas tactic of war?

In the Israel-Hamas war, the horror of the act of rape grips us and shocks the consciousness. The idea that these mass rapes were not simply the spoils of war but a tactic intended to instigate the current Israeli response must be realistically considered. Hamas has shown itself to be capable of playing a deadly long game and proven itself implacable, cruel and single-minded. As Hamas seeks to crush Israel from the river to the sea once and for all, it draws Israel into the predictable response that will see tens of thousands of Gazans killed. Hamas appears willing to make that sacrifice. The undecided question is whether Hamas will rise out of the rubble that remains of Gaza, however miserably, by this “risk it all” bet. 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Hamas, Gen Z and the 'River to the Sea'

The majority of young Americans are the only age group where the majority does not want a two-state solution, which is heavily favored by older Americans. More than half of 18- to 24-year-olds want Israel to be ended and given to Hamas and the Palestinians, while 32 percent favor two states.

But the poll also showed there were strong anti-Hamas and pro-Israel sentiments among Gen Z, suggesting the conflict is much more complicated than simply siding with Israel or Palestinians.

Trump Doubles Down On Anti-Immigrant ‘Blood’ Slur—Despite Widespread Criticism He’s Quoting Hilter

Earlier Saturday at a rally in New Hampshire, Trump said illegal immigrants were “poisoning the blood of our country,” a phrase that closely mirrors one used several times in Hilter’s “Mein Kampf” to describe the “influx of foreign blood” as “poison.”

Trump on Saturday also quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin and praised dictators Hungarian President Viktor Orban and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump said “even Vladimir Putin” says that President Joe Biden has led “politically motivated prosecution of his political rival.”

An Antisemitic Occupation of Harvard’s Widener Library

My thoughts then turned to Harvard undergrads. Imagine if you were an 18-year-old Jewish or Israeli student, or even a pro-Israel Catholic like me, and you wanted to study for your chemistry final in the Widener Reading Room on a Sunday morning. Imagine being confronted by this protest, obviously condoned by Harvard’s leadership and commandeered by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the group behind the notorious statement that holds “the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence” in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 attack.

U.N. Calls for Investigation of Deaths at Hospital That Israel Says Was Hamas Command Center

United Nations officials called for an investigation into an Israeli military raid on a Gaza hospital during which patients died and the armed forces said they detained scores of Hamas militants and recovered a trove of weapons and other military equipment, some of which officials said was hidden inside an infant incubator and a resuscitation station for newborns.

Israeli forces withdrew from Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza on Saturday after entering the facility on Tuesday. The U.N. Human Rights Office said it was calling for an investigation of what transpired during the raid, citing allegations from medical staff that patients had died because of the conditions in the facility.

How One Jewish American Family Wrestles Over Israel

Emanuelle Sippy, a 20-year-old junior at Princeton University who heads the campus’s Alliance of Jewish Progressives, came to believe in recent years that Israel is an apartheid state guilty of committing human-rights abuses. The war in Gaza has reinforced her views, and she has responded by participating in vigils, walkouts and other actions demanding a cease-fire.

Sippy’s father, David Wirtschafter—a Reform rabbi in Lexington, Ky., who attended rabbinical school in Jerusalem—aches when he hears some of her harshest criticisms of Israel. And Sippy’s grandmother, Carol Wirtschafter, who lived with her husband and children in Jerusalem during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, laments that Sippy has lost hope for the country.

“I think she’s given up on Israel,” she said. “That makes me sad.”

Language – At a Loss for Words

Among the casualties of the war are the very words used to describe it. As the words get repeated, the meaning drains out of them. Even words like brutal, heinous, horrific, monsters and atrocities have become anemic, feeble, lifeless …

Psychiatry Won’t Solve Our Mental Health Crisis — Only Politics Can Do That

In a New York Times op-ed titled “Mental Health Is Political,” anthropologist and historian of neuroscience Danielle Carr asked, “What if the cure for our current mental health crisis is not more mental health care?” Carr argued that the conversation about mental illness frequently elides and displaces politics, ignoring the collective social and economic decisions that give rise to mental phenomena like anxiety, paranoia, and depression. Often the prevailing mental health discourse “puts the focus on the individual as a biological body,” writes Carr, “at the expense of factoring in systemic and infrastructural conditions.”

GOP senator: Israel must accept two-state solution to normalize ties with Saudis

Arab countries will not agree to normalize ties with Israel unless Jerusalem agrees to a two-state solution, Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Sunday.

The comments amounted to a rare recognition by a Republican lawmaker that Palestinian statehood is a condition for the expansion of the Abraham Accords, a series of US-brokered normalization agreements between Israel and Arab states negotiated under the administration of former US president Donald Trump. They came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was weeks into a public post-October 7 campaign in which he has vowed to block the strategy.

The Crazy Conservative Scheme to Make Trump Look Normal: Rehabilitate Nixon

“If we can rehabilitate Richard Nixon in a balanced and fair manner — or even if we can just create questions in the public discourse about Nixon and about Nixon’s presidency — then I think, by way of analogy, it will provoke similar questions about Donald Trump,” said the conservative activist Christopher Rufo, who published a lengthy defense of Nixon earlier this year for City Journal. “It will give us the kind of template, it will give us the precedents, it will give us the skills, where we can more effectively defend a conservative president against these kinds of attacks.”

Rambam and Agada

 The Toldos HaPoskim notes that the Rambam does not differentiate between halacha found in halachic discourse in Talmud and readily decides halacha based entirely on Agada or midrashim

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Friday, December 15, 2023

Maharal against Azaria de Rossi:The other side of skepticism.

Not until the Renaissance, however, did the subject of Judaism’s critical attitude to its own traditions lead to an open dispute, when the Mantuan scholar Azariah de’ Rossi, also influenced by the thinking of Christian contemporaries, dismissed the Aggadot as unreliable, considering them an invention, whose significance was primarily ethical. Azariah was of the opinion that the Aggadot could not be considered history and ought not to be taken literally since they consisted of “fabricated conjectures.” His opinion, however, was reached on a basis of a comparison between pagan, Christian and Jewish sources.

The Maharal: His Approach, His Innovations and His Position as a Teacher of Posterity

The central point of his approach: interpreting the words of the Sages must be done in a similar manner to the way the Sages themselves formulated their statements. And since their words are very deep, and were not derived through an ordinary process of evaluation, they should be interpreted in a similar manner, with understanding and deep contemplation, and not through axioms. This principle is mentioned many times in Maharal’s works.

The Moral Decline of Elite Universities

Thirty years from now, Americans will likely recall a witness table of presidents—representing not top corporations in one single sector, but the nation’s most powerful educational institutions—refusing to speak plainly, defiantly rejecting any sense that they are part of a “we,” and exhibiting smug moralistic certainty even as they embraced bizarrely immoral positions about anti-Semitism and genocide.

100 years later, Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s hawkish Zionism sounds like a formula for peace

One hundred years ago, in November 1923, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, one of the greatest leaders of the Zionist movement and definitely the one with the greatest foresight, wrote in Berlin a seminal article in the Razsviet (Dawn, in Russian) newspaper, titled “The Iron Wall (We and the Arabs).” His main argument was that in order for the Zionists to succeed in settling the Land of Israel and persist in living there, they must create an “Iron Wall” that will thwart Arab ambitions to eradicate the Zionist enterprise. It is worth quoting him at some length:

This is bigger than COVID: Why are so many Americans dying early?

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf recently took to X to mourn the “catastrophic” decline in U.S. life expectancy. 

But his post, which hit on smoking, diet, chronic illness and health care, ignored the obvious: People are dying in abnormally high numbers even now and long since COVID-19 waned. Yet public health agencies and medical societies are silent. 

Harvard forces Jewish student group to ‘hide’ menorah at night for fear of vandalism: rabbi

Harvard forces a Jewish student group to hide its menorah each night after its lighting over fears of vandalism that “won’t look good” for the Ivy League school, the rabbi of Harvard Chabad said.

“On our campus in the shadow of Widener Library, we in the Jewish community are instructed, ‘We’ll let you have the menorah, you made your point, OK. Pack it up, don’t leave it out overnight because there will be criminal activity we fear and it won’t look good’,” Rabbi Hirschy Zarchi said at a Hanukkah lighting Wednesday night.

U.S. Presses Israel to Begin Winding Down Gaza War

National security adviser Jake Sullivan pressed Israeli leaders to shift from a reliance on airstrikes and ground assaults in Gaza toward targeted military operations and warned that a protracted conflict would make the Palestinian territory harder to govern after the war, U.S. officials said.

Sullivan’s meetings with Israeli political and military leaders Thursday seemed to have made little headway addressing the growing rift between the U.S. and Israel over civilian casualties, the length of the conflict, flagging international support for Israel’s campaign, and the future governance of the Gaza Strip.

The U.S. is undertaking a full-court press in the region for the Israelis to begin to wrap up the conflict. U.S. officials have said privately the U.S. wants to see the fight end in weeks, not months, though the Biden administration continues to support Israel’s campaign to destroy Hamas’s ability to wage military operations or govern Gaza.

Putin Admits Russia Has Suffered Huge Losses in Ukraine

Despite the figures from Matveev, it is not clear that Putin was admitting to 363,000 lost soldiers. However, the figure does come close to the 315,000 claimed Russian troop casualties that were revealed in a leaked declassified U.S. intelligence document this week.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine claimed in a Facebook post on Wednesday that Russia had lost 342,800 troops since first launching its invasion on February 24, 2022. The U.K. military also estimated in mid-November that 302,000 Russian personnel had been lost.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

The Nordic way: why the alternative Finnish approach to psychosis is going global

In the 1980s, Finnish psychiatrists developed an approach to treating mental illness that dramatically improved outcomes for those in crisis. As a five-year study of ‘open dialogue’ nears completion in the UK, Alex Riley – whose family has seen our mental healthcare system at close quarters – meets the doctors who believe the results could revolutionise treatment of mental illness in Britain, and beyond

Mother wrongly jailed for 20 years over the death of her four children has convictions quashed

An Australian mother who spent two decades in prison after she was wrongly found guilty of killing her four children had her convictions formally quashed Thursday, as her lawyers called for legal reform and “substantial” compensation.

Kathleen Folbigg was pardoned and freed in June on the recommendation of retired judge Tom Bathurst, who re-examined all the evidence put to her 2003 trial and found “reasonable doubt” as to her guilt.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Maharal was ignored for centuries - Why?

 The fact is that the Maharal was ignored for centries

There are two explanations given

1) He was overshadowed by the Arizal until the Chassidic world realized his true value and actively promoted and republished his works

In his letter of approbation to Rabbi Hartman’s work on Nesivos Olam, the late Rav Shmuel Auerbach attributes the relative eclipse of the Maharal’s writings to the appearance in Europe of the astounding new kabbalistic insights of the Maharal’s younger contemporary, the Arizal, which were brought from Tzfas to Europe by the Shelah Hakadosh. Though there is no indication that the Maharal knew of Lurianic Kabbalah, legend has it that the Arizal said on his deathbed, “There is another like me in the West,” referring to the Maharal.

2) He is not part of the Mesorah, his Rebbe is unknown, and he presents a mixture of Kabbah Philosophy and ideas he made up - many of which are hard to understand

Rav Shlomo Fisher wrote

ציטוט מכ"י של רבינו זצוקללה".

(ודרך המהר"ל בזה בס' פירושי האגדות שלו דרך תמוהה ומסוכנת. ולא לחינם לא נדפס ספר זה עד דורנו ונשאר בכת"י, ודע עוד דהמהר"ל אינו מחכמי הקבלה המוסמכים, וכל דבריו דרך סברא בעלמא.)

Maharal: A healthy religion doesn't silence critics but answers them

from Daas Torah - translation copyrighted

Maharal (Be’er HaGola #7): [Concerning the questions raised by those of other religions concerning Judaism and in particular the Talmud] This is also true concerning what they have written regarding religion also.  It is not proper to hate their words but rather they should be brought close. If this is not done and the words of those who disagree are not accepted lovingly but rather are simply rejected – it definitely indicates that one’s religious views are weak and that is the reason criticism is rejected. That is because someone with the weak indefensible position can not withstand opposition. Consequently it is not correct to reject out of hand any views which are opposed to his – especially those which are expressed not out hostility but out of genuine interest in his religion. Even if these question are against his faith and religion he should never say, “don’t speak!” or “shut your mouth!” If he did so than there is no clarification of religion. Rather his reaction to these types of religious questions should be “Say whatever you desire to express.” He should not leave the opponent saying, “If I could I would say more.” Because if he simply silences critics and questioners he is simply showing the weakness of his religion. 

Thus what I am advising is the opposite of what some people think. They believe that when they refuse to speak about religion this strengthens the religion and gives it greater power. This is simply not true because avoiding the words of one’s religious opponents is simply nullifying and weakening his religion especially when he says “shut your mouth and don’t speak about these matters!” Thus the ancient sages, even when they found things in books which were against their religion they didn’t simply reject them. The intellect requires that one not react to criticism – especially concerning religion – by simply silencing the opponent. One needs to keep in mind that what is published in a book is typically for the sake of knowledge and is not meant to destroy. Therefore don’t reject and block out criticism. We do not find that in previous ages that people prevented and rejected discussion of religious issues at all and there was no dissent from this attitude.

Leib Tropper

On 14 February 2010 Tropper was to be summoned to a meeting in the Yeshiva Bais Mikroh of Monsey where the Rabbonim were to demand that Tropper resign all his posts and leave Monsey. Before the meeting, Tropper signed an agreement which stated “In not fulfilling the requirement of Shulchan Aruch that a leader be 'Pirko No’eh' (פרקו נאה), the undersigned is relinquishing his position.” Tropper also stated that he "released all rights and severs any connection he has to his former Yeshiva in Monsey and withdraws forthwith as a trustee of the organization." Tropper also stated his agreement to move out of Monsey within a few months.[13][14]

Biden says Netanyahu must change government, Israel losing global support

US President Joe Biden warned Israel that it was losing support for the Israel-Hamas war and called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to change the membership of his coalition which is largely opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Biden Sends a Warning to Israel

U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is "starting to lose support" and that changes need to be made considering the mounting death toll in Gaza.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Israel security chief in letter to the world: 'Do not interfere'

"This is the time to remind you, Mr. Secretary-General, that Yahya Sinwar himself was sentenced to five life sentences in Israel for murdering Palestinians – not Jews. Gaza should be freed from Hamas, not from Israel. Hamas is ISIS."

Ronen Bar continues: "Out of respect for the thousands of lives that have already been lost, and in order to save many more lives, please help us remove the rule of evil from the Gaza Strip and restore faith in the most basic human rights, human dignity and the value of human life, as written in the UN Charter. Help us restore the belief in equal rights between men and women, Palestinians, Israelis, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others," he implored.

‘Bud Light moment’: Stefanik forces a reckoning on the left

But it is the movement against the university presidents from a chorus of Democrats that suggests a possible realignment of a traditional political alliance, one that could see bipartisan pushback against the elitism of the ivory tower.

BIDEN ECONOMY facts vs Fox News

Hasmonean kings were sinful

Ramban (Bereishis 49:10) In my opinion, the kings from other tribes, who ruled over Israel after David, went against the wish of their father Jacob by diverting the inheritance of Judah to another tribe. Now they relied on the word of Achiyah the Shilonite, the prophet who anointed Jeroboam, who said, And I will for this afflict the seed of David, but not forever. But when [the ten tribes of] Israel continued to crown kings one after another of the rest of the tribes, and they did not revert to the kingdom of Judah, they transgressed the testament of the ancestor, and they were accordingly punished, just as Hosea said, They have set up kings, but not from Me.

This was also the reason for the punishment of the Hasmoneans, who reigned during the Second Temple. They were saints of the Most High, without whom the learning of Torah and the observance of Commandments would have been forgotten in Israel, and despite this, they suffered such great punishment. The four sons of the old Hasmonean Matithyahu, saintly men who ruled one after another, in spite of all their prowess and success, fell by the sword of their enemies. And ultimately the punishment reached the stage where our Rabbis, of blessed memory, said: “He who says, ‘I come from the house of the Hasmoneans,’ is a slave,” as they were all destroyed on account of this sin. Now although among the children of Shimon, there was cause for punishment on account of the Sadducees, all the children of the righteous Matithyahu the Hasmonean were deposed for this only: they ruled even though they were not of the seed of Judah and of the house of David, and thus they completely removed “the sceptre” and “the lawgiver” from Judah. And their punishment was measure for measure, as the Holy One, blessed be He, caused their slaves to rule over them, and it is they who destroyed them.
It is also possible that, [in addition to the Hasmoneans having sinned for assuming royalty when they were not of the tribe of Judah], they sinned in ruling on account of their being priests, who have been commanded: Guard your priesthood in everything that pertaineth to the altar, and to within the veil; and ye shall serve; I give you the priesthood as a service of gift. Thus it was not for them to rule, but only to perform the Service of G-d.
In Tractate Horayoth of the Jerusalem Talmud I have seen the following text: “We do not anoint priests as kings. Rabbi Yehudah Anturya said that this is on account of the verse, The sceptre shall not depart from Judah. Rabbi Chiya the son of Rabbi Abba said [that Scripture states concerning the king], To the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel. Now what is written afterwards? The priests the Levites … shall have no portion.” Thus the Sages have taught here that kings are not to be anointed from among the priests, the sons of Aaron. Now at first the above text explains that this is out of respect for the tribe of Judah since sovereignty is not to depart from that tribe. Therefore, even if Israel, out of temporary necessity, raises a king over itself from the other tribes, he is not to be anointed so that the glory of royalty should not be upon him. Instead, such kings are to be merely as judges or officers. The reason for mentioning “priests” [when the same stricture applies to all tribes other than Judah] is that even though the priests as such are suited for anointment, we are not to anoint them as kings, and the moreso the rest of the tribes. It is as the Rabbis said in the Gemara: we are to anoint only the kings of the house of David. And Rabbi Chiya the son of Rabbi Abba, [who in the above text from the Jerusalem Talmud based the law upon a verse in the book of Deuteronomy], explained that anointing priests as kings is forbidden by a law of the Torah, which says that the priests the Levites, even all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion nor inheritance in royalty. This comment is a matter which is fitting and proper.