Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Teaching children about sin

 The gemora Shabbos (149b) states that it is allowed to lend money to one's children with interest in order to give them the experience of usury

Shabbos (149b) One may lend to his sons and household on interest, in order to give them experience thereof.

Rashi explains that it is not actually usury  since the father owns the money lent and that used to payback

Rashi (Shabbos (149b) to give the experience of usury – so they will know how difficult it is. However since everything belongs to the father it is not actually a sin

GOP Blames Biden for Border Crisis That GOP Refuses to Solve 

Republicans are clearly taking their marching orders from Trump at this point, and are counting on voters to punish Democrats for border issues—and just trust that Republicans, if given the opportunity with Trump, would do something about the issue, even if they previously placed politics before policy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

UNRWA school students in East Jerusalem say 'stabbing Jews brings respect for Palestinians'

In a video from 2022, uncovered amid the current storm over UNRWA due to participation of its employees in the October 7 massacre, watch students at a UN agency's school repeat horrific things they are taught: 'I am ready to carry out a suicide attack'; Education Ministry launches investigation

Here’s Why Donald Trump Doesn’t Have to Register as a Sex Offender

In New York, where the verdict was reached, only those who are incarcerated or on probation or parole may be placed on the sex offender registry. And if you’re hoping that a federal registration requirement kick in, no dice there as well—the offender must have been “convicted” of an offense.

Competition - teachers only use the best teacher!

 Bava Batra (21a) If we have a teacher who gets on with the children and there is another who can get on better, we do not replace the first by the second, for fear that the second when appointed will become indolent. R. Dimi from Nehardea, however, held that he would exert himself still more if appointed: the jealousy of scribes increaseth wisdom.

Shulchan Aruch (YD 245:18) If there is a second teacher who is better than the first We replace the first teacher with the second.

Chazon Ish (Emuna u Vetachon chapter 3) uses this as an example that Halacha tells us what is ethical not whether something appears unethical

This apparently applies only teaching children. Not to community rabbis or roshei yeshiva or any other profession such as doctor or politician

Competion in Business- hassagas Gevul

 Why are there many halachas against economic competition when at the same time we have the widespread belief that is expressed in the gemora that a person only gets what G-d has decreed?

Yoma (38b): By your name you will be called, to your place you will be restored and from what belongs to you will you be given. No man can touch what is prepared for his fellow and One kingdom does not interfere with the other even to the extent of one hair's breadth.

Bava Basra (21b)  If a resident of an alley sets up a handmill and another resident of the alley wants to set up one next to him, the first has the right to stop him, because he can say to him, ‘You are interfering with my livelihood.’ May we say that this view is supported by the following: ‘Fishing nets must be kept away from the hiding-place of a fish which has been spotted by another fisherman the full length of the fish's swim.’ And how much is this? Rabbah son of R. Huna says: A parasang?’ — Fishes are different, because they look about for food.

Chavos Ya'ir (Teshuva 42) King David praises one who does not enter his fellow's trade.(Sanhedrin  81a)  David considers this trait a sign of piety precisely because it is technically permitted (as long as one is a local resident). David commends one who refrains from competing with his friend for going beyond the letter of the law.

Divrei Hayyim (CM 56) The custom of prohibiting the purchase of books from any printer who encroached on the rights of another printer "was based on the words of the geonim who preceded us," and was conditional upon a significant rabbinical figure having agreed to the publication by the first printer. He added that this prohibition had acquired the status of a custom, and was therefore valid even if it was contrary to the laws of the Torah.

Igros Moshe (Choshen Mishpat 1:38) A number of congregants of a particular shul formed a ‘breakaway shul,’ whose popularity soon exceeded that of the original shul. Most of the members of the original shul joined the new shul, denying the Rabbi of the original shul the income he had been making from membership fees. The Rabbi in question had bought the shul property some three years prior, and the breakaway shul had caused him serious financial harm.In spite of the congregants’ claim that the liturgy of the original shul confused them, and that it was hard for them to cope with the Rabbi’s angry outbursts, Rav Moshe rules that the congregants were not allowed to break away from the shul. Citing from the Chasam Sofer and the Aviasaf, he explains that the severity of the prohibition of cutting off somebody’s income cannot be offset by the congregant’s claims. It is important to note that a number of congregants did remain in the original shul, and therefore the income of the Rabbi was not entirely ruined. Nonetheless, Rav Moshe writes that “because the congregation has become so small, so that the income is insufficient for his needs… this is certainly a prohibited case of ruining another’s income.”

Nida (52b) Job blasphemed with the mention of tempest and he was answered with a tempest. He blasphemed with the mention of tempest, saying to Him, Sovereign of the world, perhaps a tempest has passed before Thee, and caused Thee to confuse "Job" with "enemy"? He was answered with a tempest: Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said to him, Most foolish man, I have created many hairs in a man's head and for every hair I have created a separate follicle, so that two should not suck from the same follicle, for if two were to suck from the same follicle they would impair the sight of man.

Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch (Teshuvos Ve-Hanhagos 1:800) It is permitted for somebody to open a rival restaurant next to an already existing restaurant . However, if prices are much lower than those of the rival restaurant, so that the existing restaurant will be unable to compete, it would be forbidden to lower prices, and drive the existing restaurant out of business. The prohibition will not apply when only a number of items are sold at the lower price.

Sanhedrin (81a) What is meant by, neither hath defiled his neighbor's wife, indicating that he did not competitively enter his neighbour's profession;

Shelah (Shavuos 183:2).: "It is a great principle to report sayings in the name of those who said them, and not to steal sayings from those who said them, for such theft is worse than stealing money… How great, in my eyes, is the sin of a person who cites an interpretation that has been published in a book, or which he has heard, and fails to mention the name of the original maker or writer of the interpretation" 

Sifrei (Devarim 188) "You shall not move back (into his own land, thus broadening your own, the boundary marker of your neighbor." Is it not already written "You shall not rob"? What, then, is the intent of the above? We are hereby taught that one who removes his neighbor's boundary marker transgresses two negative commandments. I might think (that the same holds true) also outside of Eretz Yisrael; it is, therefore, written "in your inheritance that you shall inherit in the land." In Eretz Yisrael one transgresses two negative commandments. Outside of it he transgresses only one.

Tosefta (Nidda 2:7) Marrying a pregnant woman or one nursing another person’s child is prohibited because of  hassagat gevul 

Yerushalmi (Sotah 4:3) A man should not marry a woman pregnant by another man or nursing another man’s child, but if he did marry her, the verse says about him: “Do not remove the eternal boundaries and do not enter the orphans’ field.” He who marries a woman pregnant by another man or nursing another man’s child has to divorce her and should never retake her, the words of Rebbi Meĩr, but the Sages say, he may separate from her and take her back later

Monday, January 29, 2024

Intelligence Reveals Details of U.N. Agency Staff’s Links to Oct. 7 Attack

At least 12 employees of the U.N.’s Palestinian refugee agency had connections to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and around 10% of all of its Gaza staff have ties to Islamist militant groups, according to intelligence reports reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Six United Nations Relief and Works Agency workers were part of the wave of Palestinian militants who killed 1,200 people in the deadliest assault on Jews since the Holocaust, according to the intelligence dossier. Two helped kidnap Israelis. Two others were tracked to sites where scores of Israeli civilians were shot and killed. Others coordinated logistics for the assault, including procuring weapons.

Of the 12 Unrwa employees with links to the attacks, seven were primary or secondary school teachers, including two math teachers, two Arabic language teachers and one primary school teacher.

Why countries are pulling funding from the U.N. agency for Palestinians

A rapidly growing list of countries suspended funding to the U.N. agency for Palestinians in Gaza, following allegations from Israeli authorities that some employees of the organization were involved in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

Leaked documents have detailed some of Israel’s accusations against U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East employees, either during the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7 or in the days after. One of the dozens of UNWRA workers named was said to be a teacher who housed an Israeli hostage in his house, according to a report in Israeli media.

UN aid agency members supplied Hamas with RPGs, took Israeli woman hostage during Oct. 7 attacks, damning intel finds

The United Nations aid agency staffers accused of taking part in Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel included some who provided rocket-propelled grenades — as well as others who actively killed and kidnapped Israelis, according to a damning dossier of intel given to the US.

At least 10 of the 12 fired last week by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were active members of Hamas, while another was affiliated with the Islamic Jihad, according to the dossier obtained by the New York Times.

Effort is source of Success?

Devarim (8:17) and you say to yourselves, “My own power and the might of my own hand have won this wealth for me.” 

Devarim (8:18) Remember that it is your God who gives you the power to get wealth, in fulfillment of the covenant made on oath with your fathers, as is still the case.

Chovas HaLevavos (3:64): One should not think that his livelihood depends on a particular means and that if these means fail, his livelihood will not come from a different means. Rather, trust in the Al-mighty, and know that all means are equal for Him. He can provide using whatever means and at any time and however He so wishes, as written "for with the L-ord there is no limitation to save with many or with few" (Shmuel I 14:6), and "But you must remember the L-ord your G-d, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is this day." (Devarim 8:18), and "Not by might nor by power, but by My spirit, says the L-ord of Hosts." (Zecharia 4:6). 

Ramchal (Daas Tevunos 36:05)The third belief, is the belief of many people, that think that the matters of this world follow rules of nature that were established by the creator in the lower worlds, and it is their efforts and pressure that helps and their laziness that does harm as in (Deuteronomy 8:17) "My strength and vigor of my hand achieved this success" and they say further, all is dependent on luck, and it is happenstance for everyone equally, and there is nothing other than the natural way, no more, whether for the good or for the bad: 

Ibn Ezra (Devarim 8:17) BUT THOU SHALT REMEMBER. This means if the thought My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth should enter your mind, then remember the One who gives you power.

Or HaChaim (Devarim 8:17) "You shall remember the Lord your G'd, etc." Moses means that we must remember that the source of all the good we will experience is G'd and we must never forget it. If He had not imbued us with strength we could never have achieved what we imagine we have achieved with our own power. Whenever people turn away from religion, if ever so slightly, it is because they forget that their achievements are not truly their own. Such a path leads to a person's eventual destruction. This may be the reason this verse is immediately followed in the next paragraph by the dire warnings about what will happen when Israel "forgets" its G'd deliberately. Once you forget that G'd is the source of all the good you experience, you will eventually forget that you have a very exclusive G'd altogether. Once that happens, you will seek out other deities. Not only will you contemplate idol worship but you will engage in it actively. Not only will this be some kind of loosely defined service, but you will even prostrate yourself in front of such images. Sanhedrin 60 teaches that if one prostrates oneself in front of the idol Markolies one is guilty of idolatry even though this is not an accepted form of worship for that idol. 

Rabbeinu Bachya Devarim (8:17) “and you will say in your heart: “My strength and the power of My hand, etc.” Moses says that possibly your arrogance will become such that you ascribe your affluence to your horoscope. ‘My strength’ would refer to influences from outer space, astrological in nature, the ‘power of My hand י would refer to sub-terrestrial influences, demons resident below earth. 

Hebrew College bars founding dean Rabbi Art Green from campus over accusation of sexual misconduct

The rabbi, who is widely considered a leader in neo-Hasidism or Renewal Judaism, admits to being bisexual and inappropriately kissing a male faculty member several years ago, but denies allegations of a recent similar 'interaction'; 'I consider myself a victim of the extreme ‘Me-tooism’ that has come to plague our society'

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Fox Reacts to Trump Defamation Verdict: ‘Staggering!’

Cavuto later turned to John Yoo, a controversial former Justice Department lawyer during the Bush administration, who questioned Trump’s lawyers’ ability to get him to “stop attacking” private citizens.

“The whole point of this—the enormous damages, unprecedented damages now—is to tell Donald Trump to shut up! If you can think of it this way: every time Donald Trump wants to insult E. Jean Carroll, he’s going to have to write a $40 million check for each sentence. That’s how bad this is,” Yoo said with a laugh.

“I can’t believe his lawyers haven’t succeeded in just telling him, look: campaign for president. Run for president. Make your accusations about a two-tiered justice system, but leave this alone. Stop attacking people who are no longer public citizens. Stop attacking people. You’ve already lost and the court has already said what you’ve done is liable. Because every time he insults her again, he’s going to have to cut a $30 million check.”

Yoo added that Trump should stop disrespecting not only Carroll, but “the justice system.”

Defending Israel or Endangering Jews?

In the shadow of the tension ahead of the announcement of the court in The Hague on South Africa's claim against Israel, the official newspaper of the ultra-Orthodox community, Kehala Kadisha, launched an unprecedented attack today against the Chief Rabbi of South Africa, Dr. Warren Goldstein, who went on a propaganda campaign against the local government "which brings the Yishuv The Jew in South Africa is in danger" according to the newspaper.

The newspaper reporter points out that while 'Zionist circles' in South Africa are copying the fire of hatred and war to the streets of Johannesburg and Cape Town, which puts the entire local Jewish community in danger, much to the alarm, the local chief rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein also joined and went on a propaganda campaign against the local government, while that he drags the entire local community into a terrible danger of life.

The newspaper adds and asserts that already about two months ago the chief rabbi published all over the world his order following the anti-Zionist behavior of the South African government to remove the blessing for the government and its ministers from the prayer for the peace of the country in the synagogues. In an interview with an Israeli newspaper, the chief rabbi Warren Goldstein does not hesitate to declare that "the South African government is The layman is useful in the hands of Iran", Goldstein seems to be quite enjoying the publicity and is interviewed by every possible media outlet in Israel and around the world and attacks the local government at length.

"Even in the ultra-orthodox press," the newspaper's reporters complain, he receives a wide platform for spreading his lost views, but the worst of all is that his actions endanger the local community, and many in the local community sit in grave fear of the future, and according to them, "Rabbi" Goldstein, with his actions, pours fuel on the fire of hatred of the Muslims and their numerous supporters in the country, and instead of acting to calm the spirits in Johannesburg, he is acting forcefully to ignite the arson that will be followed by who will be saved."

Trump May Face Liquidity Issues After E. Jean Carroll Verdict, Lawyers Warn

Glenn Kirschner, a former assistant U.S. attorney and frequent critic of Trump, took to MSNBC host Joy Reid's podcast on Saturday to discuss the damages the former president faces and pointed towards the amount of money and possible use of his properties it would take to get an appeal bond.

"In order to get an appeal bond, he would very likely have to put up most of or all of the $83 million so that there is a pot of money that can be paid to E. Jean Carroll at the end of the appeals process. He'll have to put it up either in cash, and wasn't he just bragging that he has $400 million on hand, I'm betting he doesn't or he'll have to put it up in unencumbered property. I can only wonder how much equity he actually has in some of the properties he owns," Kirschner, who is also a legal analyst for MSNBC, said.

This is not the first time some have pointed towards issues involving how much Trump will need to pay out.

Jury Orders Trump to Pay E. Jean Carroll $83 Million for Defamation

Her lawyers asked for about $12 million to repair her reputation, at least another $12 million for emotional distress, plus unusually high punitive damages intended to stop Trump’s derogatory comments about Carroll, which he has continued to voice on social media and in campaign appearances while the proceedings were ongoing.  

“How much will it take to make him stop?” Robbie Kaplan, a lawyer for Carroll, asked the jury.

Jurors ultimately awarded Carroll a total of $18.3 million in compensatory damages, $11 million of which was for repairing her reputation. The panel awarded her $65 million in punitive damages after finding that Trump acted maliciously.

UK says it has ‘considerable concerns’ about ICJ ruling, rejects genocide accusation

The British government said Saturday it had “considerable concerns” about a ruling by the United Nation’s top court that Israel should do everything it can to prevent any acts of genocide in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Friday handed down its first judgment in a case brought by South Africa that also ordered Israel to allow humanitarian access to the Palestinian territory, but did not call for a ceasefire.

“We respect the role and independence of the ICJ. However… we have considerable concerns about this case, which is not helpful in the goal of achieving a sustainable ceasefire,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

UK and Finland pause funding to key UN agency

The United Kingdom and Finland on Saturday announced they are temporarily pausing funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) after allegations that 12 staff members were involved in the October 7, 2023, attacks by Hamas in Israel.

The United States, Australia, Canada and Italy have already announced they are suspending funding.

George Conway Reacts to E. Jean Carroll vs. Donald Trump Payout

On Friday, Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $83.3 million in damages and compensation in a verdict he condemned as "absolutely ridiculous." In an earlier case, a jury concluded Trump had sexually abused Carroll in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store during the 1990s, then defamed her when she went public with the allegation. The earlier jury found him liable for $5 million in damages. 

ICJ badmouths Israel for 35 minutes, then Israel wins

For 35 minutes, the International Court of Justice bad-mouthed Israel, but then it surprised the Jewish state by not issuing any practical orders against the IDF.

There was no order to cease the war and there was no order for the IDF to withdraw from Gaza.

The most troubling practical item in the ruling for Israel is the need to report back to the ICJ in one month, something which leaves the door open to a more serious order at that time.

Israel wants UNRWA out of Gaza after staffers fired for involvement in Oct. 7 onslaught

Israel will seek to stop the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees from operating in Gaza after the war, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Saturday, after UNRWA fired several staff members for their alleged involvement in Hamas’s murderous October 7 onslaught on southern Israel.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Trump’s push to deny Biden border victory aggravates lawmakers

“But the reality is that we have a crisis at the border, the American people are suffering as a result of what’s happening at the border, and someone running for president ought to try to get the problem solved as opposed to saying, ‘Hey, save that problem. Don’t solve it. Let me take credit for solving it later,’” he told CNN’s Manu Raju.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Israel Offers Hamas 2-Month Ceasefire In Exchange for All Hostages

Israel offered Hamas a two-month ceasefire in exchange for the return of all hostages—and the bodies of any hostages who may have died—as part of a deal brokered by representatives for Egypt and Qatar. Axios reported that Israel and Hamas would also agree how many Palestinian prisoners would be released per each Israeli hostage, who would be separated into categories based on gender, age, medical condition, and military service. According to the proposal, Israeli hostages who are women, men over 60 years old and the critically wounded or infirm would be released first. Israeli officials who spoke with Axios said the proposal includes plans to move some of its soldiers out of main population centers and allow for a gradual return of Palestinian civilians to Gaza City and the north of the Gaza Strip. They made it clear that Israel will not agree to end its offensive or to release all 6,000 Palestinian prisoners it holds, as Hamas has demanded.

Russia and Ukraine Agree on Trump

Russia and Ukraine have reached a rare point of agreement during the 23-month-long war: neither side believes that former President Donald Trump could bring an end to the conflict.

Trump has repeatedly claimed that Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine would have never happened under his presidency and has promised to bring the war to an end within "24 hours" if reelected in November. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has invited Trump to Kyiv on two different occasions to deliver on his promise, although the Ukrainian leader has publicly doubted the former president's ability to find a peaceful end.

While speaking to reporters on Monday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow agrees they have "no understanding of how" Trump could end the war, adding that they have had no contact with the former president about such negotiations.

Hamas causes buildings to collapse - 21 IDF soldiers dead, several injured

Hamas forces fired a rocket-propelled grenade on multiple adjacent structures, along with landmines that the IDF forces had collected and brought into the buildings, which caused a total collapse that killed 19 soldiers and injured several others on Monday.

Trump Has Another Gaffe While Defending Cognitive State

Former President Donald Trump appeared to briefly forget that Republican Congressman Ronny Jackson no longer serves as White House doctor while insisting that he is "a lot sharper than" GOP presidential rival Nikki Haley.

Trump, 77, has recently raised eyebrows over a series of blunders that have included slurring his words during campaign speeches, seemingly suggesting that former President Barack Obama is currently in office and most recently appearing to confuse Haley with former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Denial of Hamas' October 7 massacre spreads in US

According to The Washington Post, the number of massacre deniers in the United States is currently small, but growing. Some claim the IDF carried out the massacre to "justify genocide in Gaza," while others believe some hostages were kidnapped by Israel. Some are even confident that the United States is behind the attack.

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Caged cells, mattresses, child's drawings found in Khan Younis tunnel

Accessed from inside a home, tunnel suffocating and humid, tunnel believed to hold 20 hostages at various times is booby trapped in anticipation of troops

Israeli Army Photos Reveal Alleged Hamas Hostage Cells in Gaza

New images released by the Israel Defence Forces show what they said was a network of underground tunnels in the Gaza Strip with cells where Israeli hostages were believed to have been held.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza still hold more than 100 of the over 230 hostages they seized during their unprecedented October 7 raid into Israel in which 1,200 Israelis were killed. That raid was followed by Israel's biggest offensive into the Gaza Strip, with air strikes and ground attacks that have killed nearly 25,000 Palestinians, according to health authorities in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

The tunnel where Israeli forces believe hostages were held was more than 2,700 feet long and 65 feet deep, according to an IDF statement sent to Newsweek. There was no immediate comment from Hamas or independent confirmation as to what the video and photos released by the Israeli forces showed.

The IDF said they had been recorded in the city of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip.

"This tunnel was part of a branching underground network, dug by the Hamas terrorist organization, under Khan Yunis," IDF said. "At the end of the examination, the tunnel was destroyed."

Trump pushes back on claims of mental missteps

During his rally on Friday, Trump appeared to have mixed up Haley and Pelosi while talking about the insurrection in the Capitol, to which the former U.N. Ambassador responded by saying that she was concerned to have somebody whose “mental fitness” is questioned while serving in the Oval Office. 

“The concern I have is, I’m not saying anything derogatory, but when you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this,” Haley said. 

During the Saturday rally, Trump continued the defense of his mental acuity, stating that he will let people know when he “goes bad” 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Your Healthspan Is as Important as Your Lifespan—and It’s Declining

Americans are living longer, but spending less time in good health.

The estimated average proportion of life spent in good health declined to 83.6% in 2021, down from 85.8% in 1990, according to an analysis of the latest data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease study, a research effort based at the University of Washington.

The decrease of time spent in good health is partly because medical advances are catching and treating diseases that once would have killed us. But it is also because of the rising prevalence, often among younger people, of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and substance-use disorders.

For most Palestinians, October 7’s savagery is literally unbelievable. Blame the TV news?

No Israeli civilians were killed in the October 7 onslaught on communities near Gaza, Palestinain diplomat Abdullah Abu Shawesh claimed matter of factly to Al Jazeera last week. Accounts of rape and other atrocities “were lies,” he said, dismissing the overwhelming evidence that Hamas’s slaughter of 1,200 people in southern Israel included indiscriminate massacres and sexual violence.

Netanyahu pushes back on report he told Biden he isn’t ruling out Palestinian state

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed back Saturday against a report that he’d told US President Joe Biden he has not ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state.

The rare statement put out by Netanyahu’s office on Shabbat came after CNN, citing a person familiar with the conversation, reported that Netanyahu told Biden that the public comments he had made a day earlier — in which the prime minister appeared to reject the idea of creating a Palestinian state — were not meant to rule out that outcome entirely.

Pizza Hut Faces Boycott Calls for Feeding Israeli Soldiers

Pizza Hut is facing boycott calls after it supplied Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) with pizza.

The restaurant chain's Israeli Instagram account reposted a story of two IDF soldiers holding stacks of branded Pizza Hut boxes, and it has been widely shared online. Originally posted by a user with the handle @alex_shults, the two soldiers can be seen smiling and dressed in uniform. Newsweek has as yet been unable to verify where the image was taken and contacted Yum Brands, the parent company of Pizza Hut, for comment on Saturday via phone call.

Jews died in plague of Darkness because they were being frum

 Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky (Emes L’Yaakov Shemos 10:22) Rashi states, “Why did G-d bring about the plague of Darkness? Because the Jews in that generation were wicked and did not want to leave Egypt and therefore thousands died in the three days of darkness.” So even though that in reality that entire generation were not considered righteous (tzadikim) as we see the angels claimed that both the Jews and Egyptians were idolaters – so why kill the Egyptians to save the Jews. In other words the angels could not see the slightest difference between the Jews and the Egyptians and thought all should die. And thus the Jews that died were apparently killed entirely because they were preventing the other Jews from leaving Egypt because they had a tradition that the Jews must remain enslaved in Egypt for 400 years and since the time had not passed they were afraid that they would suffer the fate of the Ephraimites who left prematurely.

 They thus did not believe the words of Moshe and the Elders that G-d's calculation was based on the merit of their forefathers. Therefore G-d killed only those but not all the Jews even though in the eyes of the angels they were all idolaters. Only G-d was able to distinguish Jews from the Egyptians and know that the Jews would eventually be capable of accepting the Torah at Sinai  This inner nature of the Jews was not noticed by the Angels and G-d had to prove it by showing the Angels Yosef’s coffin [Bereishis Rabbah 7:8] that Jews were inherently different. [See my previous comments to Shemos 13:9]..[to be continued]

Nazis and Chamas received miraculous assistance

The survivors of the massacres of the First Crusade in 1096 and Chmielnicki’s pogroms of Tach v’Tat undoubtedly engaged in shtadlanus to try to ensure that they were never butchered again. But first and foremost, they remembered the Heavenly source of their troubles.

So too, as the dust settles on the aftermath of Simchas Torah 5784, we face a fork in the road. One way is to go back to business as usual, forgetting the sense of cataclysm that enveloped us after the attack.

But miracles are meant to inspire a sense of wonder; to force us to take notice of the giant wheels turning according to a Heavenly plan. And in their own terrible way, the astounding events of October 7 are equally wondrous.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Transgress Torah prohibition because of Aiva?

 Igros Moshe (Orech Chaim 4:79): Concerning the case where a Jewish doctor must be on duty in a hospital or he is an established doctor – even if his office is closed on Shabbos and yet a dangerously ill non‑Jew comes to him – he is forced to treat the non‑Jew even if it involves a Torah level violation of Shabbos. And surely it is required  if there is some accident that happens close to his house where they call the closest doctor. That is because the excuse that Abaye gave in the gemora is not accepted in our country. Therefore his refusal to treat the ill person creates an actual physical danger to him from the relatives of the sick person. And even if the doctor is certain that there is no danger to him personally by not treating the non‑Jew on Shabbos, nevertheless there is a real concern that great danger will be caused by the reaction of other  non‑Jews in that country and perhaps also from the government itself. Thus one has to be concerned with the great likelihood that physical danger will result to Jews as the result of his refusal to treat a non‑Jew on Shabbos. Even though Tosfos expresses surprise that it is possible to permit the violation of a Torah prohibition because of aiva – however the reality of our country in modern times presents the real concern for great danger even when the government permits every Jew to conduct themselves according to the laws of the Torah – but it won’t tolerate a refusal to save another person’s life. Thus  the words of the Chofetz Chaim (Mishna Berura 330:8) are astounding. He writes that this that even the most observant doctors travel distances on Shabbos to treat non‑Jews and to prepare medicines by themselves and he concludes that these doctors are complete Shabbos violators who transgress willingly even though there is aiva produced if they don’t comply. The fact is that in Russia in the small villages where there is only a single doctor for the entire area it is quite obvious that if the doctor doesn’t treat the non‑Jews there is no question that he would be killed because he caused their family member to die etc. It is obvious that if the doctor were killed under these circumstances that the judge would at most provide a light punishment. Besides they might kill the doctor secretly. It is obvious that the Chofetz Chaim was well aware of this physical danger because he put a note in the Mishna Berura that his ruling in this case was only applicable to idolaters in India. If there wasn’t great danger to  the Jewish people then he would not have had to write  this. Even if this concern was only a distant possibility – but we are lenient in the life threatening cases even for low probabilities. Thus is also the view of the Chasam Sofer (Y.D. 131). The Divre Chaim (O.H. 25) after he writes that aiva is not a reason to transgress Torah prohibitions on Shabbos concludes that the practice of doctors is to be lenient and he heard that it was an official rabbinic decree to permit it. But this seems problematic – how can there be a rabbinic decree against a Torah prohibition  - so therefore he must mean that even if someone doesn’t think that danger result from not treating a non‑Jew on Shabbos nevertheless one should not protest against the doctors who are lenient because it is really not clear that there is no danger. Even if in the immediate area there is truly no danger but it simply adds greater hatred towards Jews, but you should know that there was a decree not to protest against  doctors who were lenient so that no one will err and be stringent in places where there is genuine danger… In fact we find many times in the gemora that an action is prescribed now to prevent a problem later. So surely in this case where there is also an immediate problem since it is fairly common to find sick non‑Jew so the decree that the Divrei Chaim mentioned is not a rabbinic decree but it is simply the halacha in this case…Especially today where there is widespread publicity through the newspapers so that events immediately become a problem in the entire world and this can readily lead to incitement to increase hatred until it can produce a great massacre. Therefore it is obvious that in modern times it should be treated as a definite danger if the doctors doesn’t treat the non‑Jew and it is permitted when this situation occurs.

Trump Team’s New Courtroom Argument: E. Jean Carroll Is Lucky He Defamed Her

Donald Trump’s ongoing rape defamation trial once again veered toward parody on Thursday, with defense lawyers pressing witnesses with questions that suggested the journalist he sexually assaulted and later relentlessly trashed might just be better off now that she’s more famous.

“Your reputation, in many ways, is better today, Ms. Carroll?” defense attorney Alina Habba jabbed at the advice columnist.

“No. My status was lowered. I'm partaking in this trial to bring my own reputation and status back,” E. Jean Carroll responded.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Hasagat Gevul: Economic Competition in Jewish Law

This area is particularly complex, as it depends on both many unresolved halachic disputes and changing business conditions. It is thus important to present all cases to dayanim who are Torah scholars and who understand the intricacies of business (see Aruch Hashulchan, C.M. 15:6). It should not surprise people to find that different batei din rule differently in these matters, considering the many unresolved disputes involved.

Donald Trump Suffers Double Polling Blow

Joe Biden has a slim lead over Donald Trump in a potential presidential contest between the two according to two recently released U.S.-wide polls, a stark improvement for the Democratic incumbent following the release of three national polls putting him behind the Republican frontrunner.

The surveys, from pollsters Ipsos and YouGov, gave Biden a lead of between one and two percentage points, though a Newsweek analysis released earlier this month suggested Trump is on track for a second White House term due to his stronger performance in key swing states.

Halacha and Bean Counting

Question is would Reb Yakov advise having Jewish girl friends with the likelihood of sexual relations even though it would result in kares rather than have non Jewish girl friends?

In other words do we approve  a secular Jew sacrificing his soul to preserve the Jewish people?

Halachic consequences of probable outcome

 While it is widely known that in the case of the Rebellious Son - that he is killed because it is likely he will become a murderer

There are a wide range of halachos based upon anticipated outcomes

For example Rodef a person can be killed if he is percived as a likely assailant

A robber who breaks into your house can be killed because it is assumed he will also kill

An abortion can be done if it evaluated that the embryo is a likely danger to mother's life

The police can be asked to arrest a pedophile or unlicensed driver to protect against their anticipated actions

Hatzala members are allowed to return home after saving someone because otherwise people would not join Haztala

A goy's life is saved on Shabbos to ensure the well being of Jews


All of this goes against the medrashim which state that G-d judges according to the present not the future.

Pakistan Attacks Iran

Pakistan has launched missile strikes into Iran less than two days after Tehran said it had attacked terrorist targets in its neighbor.

Islamabad said Thursday's strikes had hit "terrorist hideouts" in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province, whose deputy governor Alireza Marhamati said killed three women and four children. "At 4:30 a.m. explosions were heard in a border village," Marhamati told state television. Another explosion took place near the city of Saravan, but there were no casualties, he added.

Pakistan said the strikes were part of an operation called "Marg Bar Sarmachar," which loosely translates to "death to the guerrilla fighters," and that a "number" of militants had been killed "in highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes."

Hassagat Gevul

HASSAGAT GEVUL (Heb. הָסַּגַת גְּבוּל), a concept which originally had specific reference to the unlawful taking of another's land; later it was extended to embrace encroachment on various economic, commercial, and incorporeal rights of others.

Competion in Commerce Laws of Hasagas Gevul

The prohibition of being yored le-umanus chavero, literally “descending to another’s profession,” or, in more simple terms, illegal competition, is derived from two distinct verses. The Gemara in Makkos (24a) derives the prohibition from the verse “he did not perform evil with his neighbor” (Tehillim 15:3), whereas the Gemara in Sanhedrin (81a) derives the same idea from the verse “he defiled his neighbor’s wife” (Yechezkel 18:11).

The Chasam Sofer (Choshen Mishpat 79) writes that the prohibition is a full Torah injunction, basing this on a number of earlier sources. Although the Beis Yosef (Choshen Mishpat 156) writes implies that there is no Torah prohibition, but only a rabbinic prohibition enacted as a tikkun olam (regulatory law), the Chasam Sofer writes that after the Sages enacted the prohibition it involves a full Torah transgression.

Certainly, the prohibition is a very grave sin, to the degree that Rabbeinu Tam (Sefer Ha-Yashar 741) even compares it with murder! As we will see, poskim treat the prohibition with appropriate stringency.

Scarborough says Iowa victory ‘bad news’ for Trump

“The fact that Donald Trump has 50 percent of Republicans not voting for him, and as Steve Kornacki said, one-third hating him in the state of Iowa, in the state of Iowa … I gotta say for people who actually want to win general elections, that’s not good news,” Scarborough said.

Freed Israeli hostage says she was held in Gaza hospital with dozens of others

It has been more than 50 days since Hamas militants released Sharon Aloni Cunio and her twin three-year-old daughters, but she remains haunted by her time as a hostage - most of which she says was spent in a Gaza hospital - and longs for her husband who remains captive in the Palestinian enclave.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024


Compounding the mystery is the high regard in which this gaon and tzaddik was held by all who knew him personally. One of the last eyewitnesses alive today who met Rav Tzvi Hirsch and was amazed by his tzidkus and toil in Torah is the revered posek Rav Moshe Sternbuch. In fact, Rav Sternbuch frequently mentions Rav Tzvi Hirsch in his shmuessen as a prime example of how total immersion in Torah was a reality not so long ago. Most recently, Rav Sternbuch spoke before thousands of yungeleit at a siyum held at the Mir in Yerushalayim, about the time Rav Tzvi Hirsch stayed in the Sternbuch home in England. He described his extraordinary hasmadah and tzidkus as a model for all bnei Torah to strive toward.

Tradition is reliable

Shabbos (85a) And from where do we derive that when the Sages have an accepted tradition it is a substantial matter, meaning that the tradition is reliable? Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “You shall not cross your neighbor’s border, which they of the old times have set in your inheritance that you shall inherit” (Deuteronomy 19:14)? It means that you shall not cross the border that the early generations set, establishing the parameters necessary for each plant. The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of the phrase: The early generations set? Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: What is the meaning of that which was written: “These are the sons of Seir the Horite who inhabit the land, Lotan and Shoval and Zibeon and Ana” (Genesis 36:20)? And is everyone else inhabitants of the heavens, that it was necessary for the verse to emphasize that these inhabit the land? Rather, it means that they were experts in the settlement of the land, as they would say: This tract of land that is the full length of a rod is fit for olive trees; this full length of a rod is fit for grapes, this full length of a rod is fit for figs. And the members of this tribe were called Horites [ḥori] since they smelled [heriḥu] the earth to determine what is fit to be grown there. The allusion is based on a transposition of the letters ḥet and reish. And in explanation of why the early inhabitants of Seir were called Hivites [ḥivi] (see Genesis 36:2), Rav Pappa said: Because they would taste the earth like a snake [ḥivya] and determine what should be grown there according to the taste. Rav Aḥa bar Ya’akov said that they were called Horites [ḥori] because they became free [benei ḥorin] of their possessions when the children of Esau drove them from their lands. Their primary name was actually Hivites.

Haley says US has ‘never been a racist country’

In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Haley whether she thinks the GOP is a “racist party.”

“No. We’re not a racist country, Brian.  We’ve never been a racist country,” Haley said in response.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Rabbinate delays divorce of a woman it helped wed but now says may not be Jewish

In its ruling from December 26, the High Court of Justice ordered the Rabbinical Court of Ashkelon and the Chief Rabbinate to stop investigating the woman’s Jewishness and promptly dissolve her marriage.

The case of the woman, who asked that her name be withheld citing privacy issues, is part of a growing tendency on the part of rabbinical courts, which in Israel act as family courts and are therefore under the High Court’s authority, to conduct background checks whose scope exceeds the issues brought before them, and which critics say are invasive and inappropriate.

Complete Heated Exchange between Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci

Monday, January 15, 2024

סופר הסת"ם יצא לתרבות רעה; הרבנים פרסמו את שמו והורו להחליף את המזוזות

סופר סת"ם חרדי חרדי שמכר ספרי תורה, תפילין ומזוזות בקהילה החרדית במשך שנים, יצא לתרבות רעה, אך המשיך למכור כלי קודש ללקוחות • כעת הרבנים מפרסמים את שמו ומזהירים את הציבור שלא להשתמש בפרשיות שהוא כתב

Anti IDF female draft Ad in



5 Shvat 5784


This past week, Help Rescue Our Children took out a full back-page ad raising awareness about the Israeli female draft (

In one response, we were asked about the "indignities" against young women to which the ad refers. Here is one reply.


-What are the indignities to which you are referring in the ad?

-What are your concerns with girls joining the military?


Said indignities include - but are by no means limited to - sexual exploitation and abuse in the Army environment. Any Army environment lends itself to such problems, especially in mixed-gender scenarios.

The Israeli and American armed forces are no exceptions to that rule. Such problems have been documented by a variety of sources, from secular Israeli media, to The Jewish Press, to, a pro-Israel advocacy organization. Additionally, an established and esteemed American organization, Center for Military Readiness, has complied extensive information on the hazards of drafting women into the military.

The risk of mistreatment and sexual abuse if captured by enemy troops is, undeniably, another monumental concern, as brought into unforgettable relief by the unspeakable horrors of the Oct. 7th pogrom, and the agonizing, ongoing aftermath.

Female soldiers captured by the enemy lose the natural advantage of female captives, applicable to civilian women taken prisoner, and are often in graver peril of sexual abuse and death due to their status as female soldiers, especially in situations such as that in the Holy Land.

Clearly, even from a secular perspective, no woman or girl should be forced or pressured into enlisting into any military. 

Indignities also include languishing in Israeli military prison, over refusal to be drafted, be it in compliance with the Torah prohibition against female enlistment into any Army, or for other reasons.

Concerns also include, for example:

* Female soldiers risk being specifically targeted by the enemy (as a female US special forces vet testified on CSPAN before the Heck Commission several years ago).

* The ability of military superiors to make life-and-death decisions affecting recruits under their command contributes to a relationship acutely endemic to exploitation of those female recruits under their command.

The recently published letters in also convey a sense of what our concerns are. Please see our letter to the editor (Letter vs. Israeli Military female draft: p.16, 18, Parshas Shemos 5784) published about a month after our previous letter on the same subject (VaYishlach, p.14).


When considering the above, it becomes evident how this cause truly involves both Pidyon Shevuyim and lifesaving imperatives.

Please call us at 771-215-8892 to share with us how you could take part in this holy work.

May the unimaginable merit thereof stand by you at all times, especially when you need it most.

Rabbi Noson Shmuel Leiter,

Executive Director,

Help Rescue Our Children


Direct: 771.215.8892

Israeli Helpline: 03.721.3337

Tomim Tih'yeh: Presentations on New-Age dangers: 605-313-6831 ext. 2


Tomim Tih'yeh:


About Help Rescue Our Children:

This work against drafting innocent young women into the Israeli Army - or any military environment - is a direct extension of the work on which Help Rescue Our Children was initially founded about twelve years ago, namely combating local child-molestation, from a Torah-true perspective, in cooperation with a range of leading Rabbinic authorities - ever since the arrest of admitted child-molester Moshe Turner well over ten years ago.

Rabbi Leiter

First Temple destroyed even though they had Bitachon

 Yoma (09b) Why was the first Sanctuary destroyed? Because of three evil things which prevailed there: idolatry, immorality, bloodshed…They were wicked, but they placed their trust in G-d. For it is written, The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord and say ‘Is not the Lord in the midst of us? No evil shall come upon us’.

Troubles caused by Judges of Israel

 Shabbos (139a) If you see a generation overwhelmed by many troubles, go forth and examine the judges of Israel, for all retribution that comes to the world comes only on account of the Judges of Israel, as it is said, Hear this, I pray you ye heads of the house of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, etc. They are wicked, but they place their confidence in Him Who decreed, and the world came into existence. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring three punishments upon them answering to the three sins which they cultivate, as it is said, Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest. And the Holy One, blessed be He, will not cause His Divine presence to rest upon Israel until the wicked judges and officers cease out of Israel, for it is said, And I will turn my hand upon thee, and thoroughly purge away thy dross, and will take away all thy tin. And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning, etc.

שו"ת משנה הלכות חלק יד סימן קעא

וכבר כתבתי בדרך אפשר וחשבתי דרכי איזה חטא מעכב ביאת משיח צדקינו, אחר שעברנו כל הצרות הגדולות והחורבן הגדול באבדון ששת מיליון מאחב"י וראיתי שהחטא היותר גדול בישראל הוא ע"ז ח"ו וכל המודה בה כופר בכל התורה כולה ואפי' מקיים מצות בכל פרטיה ודקדוקיה ומודה בע"ז הרי כופר בעיקר ואינו בכלל ישראל והחטא המסתעף והדומה לו הוא הליכה בערכאות של גוים שהוא מאבזרייהו דע"ז וכמ"ש חז"ל (גיטין פ"ח) והובא ברש"י פ' משפטים שהמביא דיני ישראל לפני ארמיים (גויים) מחלל את השם ומיקר שם האלילים להשביחם שנאמר (דברים ל"ב) כי לא כצורנו צורם ואויבנו פלילים כשאויבנו פלילים זבו עדות לעלוי יראתם. ולפי שבאו אנשי כנה"ג ובטלו יצרא דע"ז (יומא ס"ט ע"ב) מ"מ נשאר יצרא דע"ז לגבי ערכאות של גויים ומשפטיהם בעונ"ה. 

ובגמ' (שבת קל"ט ע"א) תניא רבי יוסי בן אלישע אומר אם ראית דור שצרות רבות באות עליו צא ובדוק בדייני ישראל שכל פרעניות שבאה לעולם לא באה אלא בשביל דייני ישראל שנאמר שמעו נא זאת ראשי בית יעקב וקציני בית ישראל המתעבים משפט וגו' (מיכה ג') אמר רב פפא אי בטלי יהירי בטלי אמגושי אי בטלי דייני בטלי גזירפטי ופרש"י בטלי דייני רשעים מישראל שמטין דין, בטלי מעל ישראל גזירפטי, נוגשי שוטרי עובדי כוכבים ע"ש. ונראה פשוט דקאי אדייני ישראל אשר הם המתירין ומזרזין ללכת לערכאות של עכו"ם ולכן שוטרי עו"כ ונוגשיהם שולטין עליהם בעונ"ה כמו שראינו בדורינו בעונ"ה שכל בית ישראל חרדים לדבר ה' ושומרי התורה וכשיש להם מו"מ בין אדם לחבירו וצריכין לדון ביניהם או בין איש לאשתו הולכין מיד לערכאות ולבית משפטי העכו"ם וכיון שהם חרדים הולכין לאיזה ראביי הקורא עצמו דיין ומתירין להם הליכות בית המשפט ש"ג ועי"ז שוטרי העכו"ם ושופטיהם משתלטים על בית ישראל וצרות רבות באות עליהם. 

והנני כותב זה מפני שעיני ראו כמה זה הקילו במצוה זו וקלקלו דוקא הרבנים והדיינים שהם מחמירין ומקפידין על דבר קטן, ולהתיר ללכת לבית ע"ז ונאמר אלך ואעבוד ע"ז זה מדברים הקלים והקטנים אצלם, ובעונ"ה כבר באו דברים לידי מעשה אשר ראו עיני בשביל דברים אלו עברו על ע"ז וג"ע ושפ"ד מתחילה התירו לאשה ללכת לערכאות שהוא ע"ז ואח"כ התירו ג"ע שהשופט הכריח את הבעל ליתן גט לאשתו בע"כ הן ע"י החוק שחקקו להכריח והן ע"י עונשים שמטיל עליו ומטיל עליו תשלומין אשר אין בידו לעמוד נגדן ובע"כ נותן לה גט פטורין והוא מן הדין לא חייב לגרשה והו"ל עשוי ליתן גט ע"י עכו"ם שלא מן הדין הרי התירו עריות שהוא גילוי עריות, ואח"כ לא הי' לבעל לשלם את כל ההוצאות שהטילו עליו התירו לה ללכת לערכאות שנית בהסכמת הרבנים ולא עוד אלא שאחד מהם בא להעיד לפני השופט שיש לבעל כסף אלא שאינו רוצה לשלם והשופט צוה להכניסו לבית האסורים ולהסגירו בבית האסורים בתוא מכמר לששה חדשים שהוא בכלל רציחה ממש ושפכ"ד. והנני כותב זה ומעיד שכן כבר קרה בכמה מקרים, אוי נא לנו כי חטאנו ונתקיים בנו ויתערבו בגוים וילמדו מעשיהם בעונ"ה. 

Chazal's source of knowledge

  Megila (18a) Rosh HaShanna (26b) In a certain place which Levi happened to visit, a man came before him and said , So-and-so has kaba'ed me. He did not know what he meant, so he went and enquired in the Beth Hamidrash. They said to him: He wanted to say to you, has robbed me, as it is written, Will man rob God? Raba from Barnish said to R. Ashi: Had I been there, I should have said to him, How did he kaba you, in what did he kaba you, why did he kaba you, and so I should have found out from his answers. Levi, however, thought that he meant some kind of offence. The Rabbis did not know what was meant by serugin till one day they heard the maidservant of Rabbi's household, on seeing the Rabbis enter at intervals, say to them, How long are you going to come in by serugin?The Rabbis did not know what was meant by haluglugoth till one day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi, on seeing a man peeling portulaks, say to him, How long will you be peeling your haluglugoth? The Rabbis did not know what was meant by salselehah and it shall exalt thee. One day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi say to a man who was curling his hair, How long will you be mesalselwith your hair?The Rabbis did not know what was meant by we-tetethia bematate of destruction, till one day they heard the handmaid of the household of Rabbi say to her companion, Take the tatitha [broom] and tati [sweep] the house. The Rabbis did not know what was meant by Cast upon the Lord thy yehab and he shall sustain thee. Said Rabbah b. Bar Hanah: One day I was travelling with an Arab and was carrying a load, and he said to me, Lift up your yehab and put it on one of the camels.

Chazal learned from an Arab

 Gra (Kol Eliyahu Rosh HaShanna 26b): “Our sages did not know the meaning of the verse (Tehilim 58:23): Cast your yahava on G d… Raba Bar Bar Channa was carrying a burden and an Arab said : Place your yahava on my camels.” This seems astounding. How is it possible that our sages did not know the meaning of yahava and the Arab did? The explanation is that they had had a doubt concerning bitachon as to whether a person must first act with his intelligence and then have bitachon that G d would provide that which is good for him or whether it is totally unnecessary to rely at all on one’s own deeds and intelligence. They said that of course a person should make intelligent efforts first and also have bitachon. But this understanding seemed to contradict the verse in Tehilim (58:23) which should have said needs instead of yahava. However this was resolved when they saw that an Arab had asked Raba Bar Bar Channa to place his burden on his camel without charge. Normally Raba Bar Bar Channa should have had to pay the Arab to transport his burden. Therefore since the reverse occurred, they concluded that if it is decreed in Heaven then the service is not only free but the service is offered without being requested. Therefore the word yahava - which means something which normally is paid for - is appropriate. Thus one should rely on G d for everything and it will be provided without pay or effort.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Exclusive Torah Study is not for everyone - Mishna Berurah

 Biur Halacha (156:1): Torah study without work becomes lost & causes sin -  The seforim write that this rule is addressed to the masses since not everyone is able to have the merit to exist on the high level to be involved exclusively with Torah study. However, there are always individuals who are in fact able to devote themselves totally to Torah study. [This is what is mentioned in Berachos 35b, “Many did like R’ Shimon Bar Yochai and they were not successful in Torah. That means that the masses were not successful in exclusive Torah study – but there were individuals who were]. And G d will surely provide them with a livelihood as the Rambam (Hilchos Shemitta chapter 13) wrote, “And not just the tribe of Levi alone…”  And it is obvious that if there already exist men who wish to support them in order that they devote themselves to Torah study that this directive to combine work and Torah study is not relevant. The proof for this is provided by the Yissachor-Zevulun relationship.

Canada distances itself from South Africa's lawsuit against Israel

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada believes in the importance of the ICJ but that does not mean it supports South Africa’s case against Israel.

Saturday, January 13, 2024

'South Africa is Iran's useful idiot'

Goldstein contends that South Africa is Iran's "useful idiot" and that everything that has happened since October 7 is not related to the Palestinians or a Palestinian state. Instead, it is tied to Iran's aspirations to destroy the State of Israel. 

According to him, "South Africa is a tool for Iran or a willing participant in these malicious plans. Allowing Hamas offices to operate freely in Cape Town is not just a betrayal of Israel and democracy but also an affront to Christians in Africa. What Iran is doing is spreading global jihad in Africa, causing more killings and suffering than anywhere else in the world."

"African Christians are being murdered simply for their religious beliefs, and this is not just a media story. Israel is at the forefront of defending the forces of good, and if we abandon it, it will usher in a dark period of barbarism and irrationality. This South African government that supports Iran is part of a pattern of behavior that turns its back on biblical values."

Biden Strikes the Houthis, at Last

One misguided criticism of Mr. Biden’s use of force is the claim from the Congressional backbenches that he’s violated the Constitution. “The President needs to come to Congress before launching a strike against the Houthis in Yemen and involving us in another middle east conflict,” Rep. Ro Khanna tweeted, to take one example.

He’s wrong. Presidents have used force to combat threats to American commerce and citizens since Thomas Jefferson sent Marines to fight the Barbary pirates. The Houthis have endangered U.S. sailors and ships—as have other Iran proxies some 130 times across the Middle East.

The Constitution gives the Commander in Chief broad authority to respond to such attacks without having to get permission from Mr. Khanna. If Congress wants to contribute to restoring global order, it would pass a resolution supporting Mr. Biden’s strikes and increase the defense budget.

Trump ordered to pay $393,000 in legal fees for NYT, reporters

Donald Trump must pay nearly $400,000 in legal fees to The New York Times and three of its reporters, a judge ruled Friday.

The former president unsuccessfully sued the Times, along with reporters Susanne Craig, David Barstow and Russ Buettner, over a 2018 Pulitzer-winning story on the Trump family’s wealth and tax filings.

Why no real magic today or demons?

Rav Kaminetsky (Emes L’Yaakov Shemos 7:22) And the Egyptian magicians did the same with their spellsConcerning the question why are there are no true magicians today or demons or spirits (dybuk) that our ancestors told us about? Similarly there are many types of knowledge that we don’t have or know about. The answer seems to me  that this is the result of a case of measure for measure that G-d arranged to ensure  that we have free-will and not err. That is why as explained by the Ramban  (Shemos 14:21)  G-d had a strong wind blowing during the Splitting of the Sea so the Egyptians could err and say it was happening because of the wind and therefore they could also cross the sea  as the Jews had. Consequently when there were prophets who performed miracles  to persuade them to do G-d’s will, if they didn’t also have real magicians who could do these miracles then they would have had no free-will like what happened to Pharaoh. Even though with the plague of lice the magicians acknowledged that it was the finger of G-d. Pharaoh said in his heart that was because the magicians were lying  in order to conceal that Moshe was a greater magician  than they. Therefore as long as there  was prophecy there needed to be real magic. Afterwards since they still had bas Kol there were also  invisible spiritual forces like demons. As long as there were people who could do amazing signs and wonders  there were demons which were manifestations of hidden dark spiritual powers. 

However later when no one was able to do miracles and everything was purely material and only intellect and desire   were involved that is why our Sages have stated that no one as great as Moshe will ever occur again. amongst the Jews  though it is possible  amongst the Babylonians, it is possible  to have someone like Bilaam. In order to allow free-will, That is why in the time of Moshe  it was necessary to have Bilaam.  This is a general rule This explains why Yosef responded to Pharoh when he said “I heard  that you interpret dreams.” By saying it is not his knowledge but rather G-d’s concern for Pharoh’s welfare Similarly with Daniel, Nevuchadnezer said to Daniel  “can you tell me what my dream means?” Daniel answered that the meaning is not obtained with esoteric knowledge since only G-d can reveal it, Daniel was thus denigrating this esoteric knowledge which had created a barricade between man and G-d’s providence. This is expressed by the statement that these esoteric arts were considered the epitome of knowledge and understanding in the eyes of non-Jews,

It would seem that this idea can also be used to justify the view of the Rambam that demons don’t exist and that they are not real. There are many who have criticized him and pointed out that demons are mentioned many times in the gemora so how does the Rambam explain these gemoras?...

However according to what I have written it is possible that the Rambam  believed that in the time of the gemora since there were Amoraim who had the power to resurrect the dead and perform other miracles therefore of necessity it was needed to have  the dark  spiritual powers such as demons – in order to have a balance for free-will.  So therefore only in modern times when true spiritual powers are hidden will will there be a corresponding concealment  of the dark forces such as demons

And I remember that when I was in Kelm, that Rav Ekchonon Wasserman  wrote in the name of the Chofetz Chaim “that the famous event of a dybuk that occurred in his lifetime was likely the last appearance of this type. That was because that to the degree the power of Torah and true spirituality is reduced the power of the dark forces of impurity are likewise reduced.”

However it is possible that even today that in the places where there are still Jews with  pure faith and act properly that they also have an extra measure of the dark spiritual forces – in order to maintain a proper balance. Think about this deeply!

Israel denies genocide accusations at top UN court, says war in Gaza is self-defense

Israel concluded its hearing by asking the court to refuse South Africa’s request for provisional measures, since it said these would constrain Israel’s ability to defend itself while allowing Hamas to continue attacks.

If “resort to force in self-defense against an enemy hiding behind civilians can be portrayed as genocide and trigger provisional measures,” then “an inevitable tension will be created between the genocide convention and states defending themselves against the ever-increasing capacities of terrorist organizations,” argued Gilad Noam, an Israeli lawyer.

The Big Lie Is the South’s New Lost Cause

Speaking in the South Carolina church where a white supremacist gunman killed nine people, Biden likened the Confederates who embraced the “lost cause”—that the war was about state’s rights, and resisting federal power, as Nikki Haley recently suggested, and not about slavery. “Now, we’re living in an era of a second lost cause,” Biden said, citing the 2020 election and those “trying to turn loss into a lie.”

Friday, January 12, 2024

Bnei Torah Who Work – A New Hashkafic Emphasis

 However, in the past twenty years, it has become clear that it is no longer possible for all avreichim to learn for their entire lives even in Eretz Yisroel, as Harav Aharon Kotler, zt”l mentioned regarding the general population of Klal yisroel. Obviously, there are those who need to be involved in other aspects to earn a living, etc.

Although initially there was no special focus on these individuals, and many fell between the cracks. However, today, this matter has expanded, and although Baruch Hashem the great majority of the Bnei Torah population remain within the category of “והייתם לי סגולה”, likewise, there are those who also work and are unable to engage solely in Torah study for their entire lives.

It is imperative, however, that our attitude toward them should not be that they are balei batimwho merely have a connection to the Torah, rather, our attitude must be the exact opposite:

Jews barred from shops amid Turkish antisemitism

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was no different from Hitler, and that the Israeli strikes on Gaza were akin to Nazi persecution of Jews in the Holocaust, he was reflecting sentiments of his countrymen as antisemitism in Turkey is reaching new heights. 

Israeli flags have been laid on the ground in markets around the country for people to step on as they entered to shop. An effigy of Netanyahu was hung off a bridge in the city of Afyonkarahisar and in Istanbul, signs outside shops say Jews are not permitted to enter. In Ankara, a giant banner shows Netanyahu with a swastika and the face of a pig and the words "Israel murders babies," written on it.

Texas Independence Plan Suffers Major Blow

The Texas Supreme Court has refused to take up a case filed against the state Republican Party after it rejected a petition calling for a vote on Texas independence to be included on its March primary ballot.

The case was brought by the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), a group campaigning for the state to leave the United States and become a fully independent country. On Wednesday, the TNM's petition, with 139,456 signatures, was denied outright, sparking an angry response from secessionist campaigners.

Swedish alarm after defence chiefs' war warning

Oscar Jonsson, a specialist from the Swedish Defence University, said that while war was a possibility, it would require several factors to fall into place: Russia's war in Ukraine coming to an end, its military having the time to rebuild and rearm its fighting force and for Europe to lose US military support.

All of which were within the realms of possibility, he added.

Huge ancient city found in the Amazon

While we knew about cities in the highlands of South America, like Machu Picchu in Peru, it was believed that people only lived nomadically or in tiny settlements in the Amazon.

The city was built around 2,500 years ago, and people lived there for up to 1,000 years, according to archaeologists.

It is difficult to accurately estimate how many people lived there at any one time, but scientists say it is certainly in the 10,000s if not 100,000s.

Thursday, January 11, 2024


In this chapter, we will discuss the age-old philosophical problem of how prayer works. The question of the efficacy of prayer has plagued philosophers throughout the ages. The philosophical question is often posed as such: if God is perfectly wise and omnipotent, then He knows, in His divine wisdom, what is best. If so, then how can we, when we pray, ask God to change His mind and do something else?

 If we are asking Him to do something He was planning to do anyway, then the prayer is in vain. And if we are asking Him to do something which is the opposite of His will, then why would He change His mind?[1]  If He has already, with His perfect divine wisdom, willed to do what is most perfect, wise and just, why would He do something less wise or less perfect or less just, simply because we have asked Him to? And if everything God does is for the good,[2] why would we want Him to change His mind?[3]