Tuesday, 21 October 2014

BETHANY S. MANDEL: A "Bill of Rights" for Jewish converts

A bill of rights for Jewish converts

«Much of what is written about conversion is from the perspective of born-Jews and rabbis. Few converts are willing to speak out. We are afraid. We are victimized. We are threatened and judged. Which is why I've decided to make for myself and other converts a Bill of Rights. These are the things I deserved during my conversion and deserve now, afterwards, but have been too afraid to demand.»
«8. The conversion process for those of Jewish heritage should be accelerated and unique. I was born to a Jewish father and was raised Reform. I didn't know I wasn't halachically Jewish until a college Birthright trip (thank you to my tour guide who gently explained that inconvenient truth to me). While in the process I was treated with the same unacceptable dismissiveness and disdain afforded to girls who were converting for marriage. Intermarriage is the biggest threat to Jewish life in America. Help those of patrilineal descent, many of whom try to convert Orthodox, correct the mistakes of their fathers. They should be welcomed back into the Jewish people, not turned away like mutts at a dog show»

A bill of rights for Jewish converts | Bethany S. Mandel | The Blogs | The Times of Israel

Kol Tuv,

Priestly Temptation - Torah Musings By Rabbi Barry Kornblau


«R. Blau's reply to me was direct: "Barry, I'm not worried about you." Incredulous, I asked him why. "It's simple: the very fact that you're asking me these questions and that you're self-aware, as well as aware of the pitfalls in this area, means that, while I certainly can't predict your future, I'm not particularly concerned. It's the people who are not self-aware, who are not concerned about the issue, and who are not asking my advice about this topic who concern me far more."

A few short months later, a woman sat in my office at the shul where I then served, seeking my assistance with a personal matter. She told me how, one night, a rabbi who had been previously been trying to help in this matter appeared at her apartment where she lived alone. Invoking a fictional 'halachah', he implied that he could better assist her ...»
Kol Tuv,

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Shabbos Project

Courtesy of KAJ, NYC.

Here is the link to Rabbi Kamenetsky's remarks.


Kol Tuv,

Where the Soul of Goebells lives Nowadays

Essay: The 'Radical Traditionalist Catholic' Movement | Southern Poverty Law Center
«With more than 100,000 followers in the United States – famously including actor Mel Gibson and his father Hutton Gibson – the radical traditionalist movement embraces a host of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. It has significant financial and publishing resources, and, in a growing number of cases, is interacting with white supremacist and Holocaust denial extremist groups. Leaders of the growing, energetic movement routinely pillory the Jews as "the perpetual enemy of Christ" and worse. 

Also known as "integrism" or Catholic separatism, radical traditionalism is largely unknown to mainstream Catholics. Radical traditionalists are also unrelated to the many Catholics who call themselves "traditionalist" because they prefer the ancient Latin Mass, though radical traditionalists also prefer their liturgy in Latin. The official Roman Catholic Church condemns radical traditionalists for their anti-Semitism. In turn, radical traditionalists generally reject the modern Roman Catholic Church and its universalistic theology» 

Kol Tuv,

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Oreo Cookies - Dairy or Parve?

Oreo Cookies - Dairy or Parve?
Read the answer in "Black-and-White"

In Daf HaKashrus 22.9 (August 2014) the OU had an update on Oreos.

See: http://oukosher.org/publications/latest-oreo-cookies/

At the present time, most varieties of Oreo Cookies contain dairy ingredients, with three notable exceptions. Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies, Oreo Double Stuf Sandwich Cookies and Mini Original Oreo Sandwich Cookies do not contain dairy ingredients, though they are manufactured on dairy equipment. The equipment is not necessarily cleaned before the production of these three cookies, and there may be a small amount of dairy residue present. Nonetheless, the dairy component would be minimal, and from a Halachic perspective, the dairy residue is nullified (botel bishishim) and of no consequence.

The bottom line of all this is that these three cookies may be consumed after meat and poultry, but not simultaneously.
Please bear in mind that the manufacturer may choose in the future to reformulate these products and add dairy ingredients. Since these products already bear OUD symbols, formulation changes would not be reflected in the OUD logo.

As such, we recommend that consumers check regularly with our office to confirm the status of these items.

Kol Tuv,

Time for Prohibition?

Drunk on Simchat Torah - The Jewish Standard

«Local yeshiva high schools send joint letter urging celebration but also restraint

The principals of six Jewish high schools serving northern New Jersey sent a joint letter to parents urging vigilance in the face of teenage drinking on Simchat Torah, "to guarantee that this special time of holiness will not degenerate into the opposite kind of experience for anyone."

Nobody is sure how alcohol consumption became a tradition of this holiday, which celebrates the completion of the yearly Torah-reading cycle.»
Kol Tuv,

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Mussar: Kiddush Hashem

Derech Emet:

Rav Soloveichik taught -

That returning a lost object to a Jew is a fulfillment of Hashavat Aveida, but returning a lost object to a non-Jew is a fulfillment of Kiddush HaShem, which is one of the highest and loftiest of all mitzvot.
SOURCE: Halakhic Positions of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R.Aharon Ziegler 2014/5/15
In other words, returning a lost object to a Gentile could be even more important than returning a lost object to a Jew.


Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveitchik [born 1903 CE, died 1993 CE] served as Rosh HaYeshivah of RIETS, Yeshivah University,

Kol Tuv,

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Media / Public Double Standard

«The recent war in Gaza spawned anti-Semitic riots across Europe, demonstrations in the United States, and the publication of malicious blood libels all over the world.  There were civilian casualties to be sure, but the numbers reported by Hamas were inflated and included many terrorists falsely identified as noncombatants.  Though the loss of civilian life is regrettable, it occurred in Gaza because of Hamas's strategy of using human shields and launching rockets from schools, hospitals, mosques and residential neighborhoods. 

Time Magazine recently ran a video report claiming..that the IDF was harvesting the internal organs of dead Arabs.
As usually happens when Israel defends herself, she was falsely accused of human rights abuses and war crimes.  Her detractors were mute, however, when Hamas deliberately targeted Israeli civilians»
Why Are Those Jews So Assertive? - Op-Eds - Arutz Sheva

The answer to the question seems simple

Political Correctness Trumps Truth, Facts, and Objectivity.

Kol Tuv,