Was Obama's "no-veto" an act of defiance? Defying Israel and it's lobby?
Guest blogger: Rabbi Shlomo Appel
In response to the many requests that we have had, I am happy to announce that Ktav has just reprinted my father (Z”L)’s work on the Sefer HaChinuch, “A Philosophy of Mitzvot.”Below is a blurb from the Hirhurim Blog from when this edition was originally published by Yashar.Hirhurim blogFriday, April 11, 2008New Book: A Philosophy of MitzvotBy: Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel
What divine purpose do the mitzvot, the Biblical commandments, serve? What moral and spiritual goals do the mitzvot envision? In a book made newly available to the reading public, Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel presents a comprehensive view of the structure and meaning of the Torah’s commandments.
The Sefer ha-Hinnukh, one of the principal works in Jewish ethical and halakhic literature, is a primary source for ta’amei ha-mitzvot, the reasons and purpose of the divine commandments in the Torah. In A Philosophy of Mitzvot, originally published in 1975 and revised for this second edition, Rabbi Dr. Gersion Appel sets forth the Hinnukh’s objectives and his approach to revealing the religious and ethical meaning of the mitzvot.
In this wide-ranging study that is ideal for school courses, the author presents a comprehensive view of Jewish philosophy as developed by the Hinnukh and the classical Jewish philosophers. The Hinnukh emerges in this study as a great educator and moral and religious guide, and his classic work as a treasure-trove of Jewish knowledge, religious inspiration, and brilliant insight in the molding of human character.“Appel’s study is a definitive evaluation of the Hinnukh’s approach. But, more than this, it is an exploration of significant perspectives and new directions for further studies of the meaning of the commandments. The book is comprehensive, informative and authoritative. It is a work of immense scholarship and deserves to be widely read.” —The Jewish Law Annual
Table of ContentsIntroduction: The Mitzvot: Their Nature and Import in Jewish Philosophy
- The Taryag Mitzvot
- The Quest for the Meaning of Mitzvot
- The Divine Purpose
- The Preamble of Faith
- A Rationale of Mitzvot
- Man's Ethical Duties
- The Individual and Society
- Man's Spiritual Dimension
- The Service of God
- The Divine Imperative
- Perspectives on the Mitzvot
- Conclusion: The Continuing QuestExcursus: The Sefer Ha-Hinnukh: Authorship & SourcesOther books published and edited by Rabbi Appel include Torat Ha-Mitzvot Be-Emunat Yisrael, The Concise Code of Jewish Law: Compiled from the Kitzur Shulhan Aruch and Traditional Sources, Sefer Ha-Neyar: A Thirteenth Century Code of Jewish Law and the S.K. Mirsky Memorial Volume: Studies in Jewish Law, Philosophy and Literature.
"Then-Congressman Donald J. Irwin of Norwalk, a delegate, lent him his badge.Mr. Irwin said he thought that the Senator was just going to make a nominating speech, and he didn't like what he heard either. The next morning, he angrily confronted the Senator at a reception, called him a ''creep'' and said his remarks at the convention were ''contemptible.'' His parting shot was ''I hope they Mace you.''''Even to this day, I really can't believe he used that kind of language,'' Mr. Irwin said of the Gestapo reference. ''It was a time of very deep passions, yet people could have used some restraint.''Mr. Ribicoff said Mr. Irwin's criticism ''went in one ear and out the other.'' He added, ''what I said was the truth and that was it.''Ribicoff And Daley Head To Head - NYTimes.com
Randy Levine's criticism of his sensitive star Dellin Betances seems to have aroused a lot of ill-willHow Yankees' Randy Levine ripped Dellin Betances' request | NJ.com
We would like to blog Rabbi Eliyahu Safran on the parsha. Hope you enjoy
Baltimore Jewish Life | Parshas Mishpatim: There Are No "Alternative Facts"
"Verify, Verify, Verify!". LOL
As published by the Jewish News Service - February 16, 2017
//www. jns. org/latest-articles/2017/2/16/ jewish-leaders-applaud-trumps- focus-on-palestinian-incitemen t#.WKXtvRIrLVo=JEWISH LEADERS APPLAUD TRUMP'SFOCUS ON PALESTINIAN INCITEMENTBy Rafael Medoff/JNS.org
"The United Nations stated that by the end of April 2014, 8,803 children had been killed, while the Oxford Research Group said that a total of 11,420 children died in the conflict by late November 2013. By mid-December 2016, the opposition activist groupSyrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the number of children killed in the conflict had risen to 15,948, while at the same time 10,540 women were also killed.
Where Judaism Differed: An Inquiry into the Distinctiveness of Judaism https://www.amazon.com/dp/0876689578/ref=cm_sw_r_apa_b6mKyb2A0NMV2
Guest BloggerRav Dov Fischer
This afternoon, the United States Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
Are Germany's Immigration Policies Ripping at the Seams?
Guest BloggerAs published by the Jewish News Service - January 24, 2017http:
//www. jns. org/latest-articles/2017/1/24/ jerusalem-schools-synagogues-w ould-be-shut-if-un-resolution- is-implemented#.WIdtm7GZNE4=Jerusalem Schools, Synagogues Would be Shutif UN resolution is ImplementedWASHINGTON—The human consequences of implementing the recent United Nations resolution about Israel would be devastating, say American representatives of Israeli schools, synagogues and other institutions in parts of Jerusalem that Israel captured in 1967.U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted Dec. 23 with the U.S. abstaining, asserted that all “Israeli settlement activities” in “the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” are “a flagrant violation of international law.” It stated that Israel must “immediately and completely cease” such activities and also take action to “reverse negative trends on the ground.”A number of major Jerusalem neighborhoods are situated in what the U.N. calls “East Jerusalem,” which is the area that Jordan occupied following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Nineteen years later, those sections of the city were reunited with the rest of Jerusalem as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War.One of those neighborhoods is French Hill, a major urban area located in the northeastern part of the city. “I live in French Hill,” award-winning Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi told JNS.org. “So the recent U.N. resolution has criminalized me and my family as occupiers.”“I’m not illegal, and I’m not a ‘settler,’” said historian Maurice Roumani, a professor emeritus at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev who resides in Armon HaNetziv (East Talpiot), a neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem with a population of 14,000. “These artificial definitions by the U.N. do not reflect reality.”Teenage ‘settlers’ with disabilitiesThe institutions that could be adversely affected if the U.N. resolution leads to international boycotts or other actions include the Ilan Residential Home for Handicapped Young Adults and the Beit Or Home for Young Autistic Adults, both of which are located in the Gilo neighborhood; forests and housing projects sponsored in and around Jerusalem by the Jewish National Fund (JNF); and portions of the Hebrew University campus. Even the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives might be affected.“My grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents, going back seven generations, are buried on the Mount of Olives,” Washington, D.C.-based attorney Alyza Lewin told JNS.org. “Does the U.N. propose to ban Jews from using the oldest and largest Jewish cemetery in the world? The notion that Israel is violating international law by burying its dead on this sacred spot is unthinkable.”Could members of the British family find themselves accused of fostering the “illegal occupation” of eastern Jerusalem? Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, is buried in a small Christian cemetery at the foot of the Mount of Olives. A number of British royals have visited her gravesite over the years, including Prince Charles during his trip to Israel last October.There also are Arab residents in a number of across-the-line Jerusalem neighborhoods, including Givat HaMatos, Gilo and Neve Yaakov. “Some of my neighbors [in French Hill] are Arab Israelis,” Halevi noted. “Are they occupiers too, or is it only the Jewish Israelis? Now that I am officially outside of the law according to the U.N., I imagine that anything can happen.”Effects across denominational linesPossible international action against those sections of Jerusalem would cut across Jewish denominational lines, affecting Orthodox and non-Orthodox institutions alike.The Masorti movement—the Israeli branch of Conservative Judaism—sponsors a school and synagogue in French Hill, a school in Gilo, and synagogues in the Ramot neighborhood and the Jerusalem satellite community of Ma’ale Adumim. “The U.N. resolution is indiscriminate and historically obtuse,” said Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, who is one of the most prominent Conservative rabbis in the U.S.Wolpe told JNS.org, “Many of the areas the U.N. purports to ‘return’ are historically and by rights Jewish territory recognized de facto by the parties themselves. For the Masorti movement in Israel, enacting such a resolution would have terrible consequences religiously, economically and to the spirit of religious pluralism in Israel.”The Women of the Wall group, which demonstrates for egalitarian prayer rights at the Western Wall, is operating in an area that the U.N. has designated as “occupied territory,” the Old City section of Jerusalem. Hypothetically, even the Orthodox Union’s Yachad program of sending pizza to Israeli soldiers could be jeopardized, since some of those soldiers are stationed in post-1967 sections of the capital.The religious Zionist social service organization AMIT is planning a “Yom Yerushalayim Mission” to Israel in May, which will include a number of events and activities in post-1967 parts of Jerusalem, including the Old City area. AMIT Executive Vice President Andrew Goldsmith told JNS.org the U.N.’s action will not interfere with his organization’s work. During the past century, “we have witnessed many different political statements and efforts, none of which have had an impact” on AMIT’s work, he said, adding that the U.N. resolution “will not have an impact on our ability to serve our students.”‘Oom-Shmoom’Venerated Zionist institutions could also be affected. There are JNF-sponsored forests or housing projects in various Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 1967 lines, such as Neve Yaakov, Givat HaMatos and Ammunition Hill, as well as in nearby Ma’ale Adumim. Portions of Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus, including one of its dormitories, likewise are located in the post-1967 areas of the city. Spokespeople for JNF and Hebrew University declined to comment on the matter."David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s first prime minister) coined a phrase which accurately sums up how most Israelis feel about the United Nations," said Mordechai Nisan, a professor of Middle East studies at Hebrew University. "The phrase was ‘Oom-Shmoom’—‘Oom’ is how the abbreviation for the U.N. is pronounced in Hebrew, and ‘Shmoom’ was Ben-Gurion's way of dismissing its relevance.”Nisan, who resides in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot Bet, parts of which are beyond the 1967 lines, toldJNS.org, “Nobody is going to chop apartment buildings or streets in half in Ramot Bet or any other Jerusalem neighborhood. More than 250,000 Jews reside in parts of Jerusalem past the 1967 lines, and they are here to stay. The supporters of the recent U.N. resolution are delusional—they are living in their own little echo chamber, with no connection to reality."Hoping for a new positionUnder the Obama administration, the U.S. took a position similar to that of the U.N., branding the post-1967 parts of Jerusalem as “occupied territory.” Many observers are hopeful that U.S. policy will change under President Donald Trump. “It's hard to imagine any American government being less favorable to Israel on Jerusalem-related issues than the Obama administration,” Yossi Klein Halevi said. “I expect the new administration to be better—perhaps significantly better.”Alyza Lewin said it is “imperative” for the Trump administration to “promptly recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem.” Lewin and her father, Nathan Lewin, were the attorneys in a recent suit by a Jerusalem-born American citizen concerning his request to have his passport state “Israel” as his place of birth, instead of “Jerusalem,” which has been the State Department’s practice because the U.S. does not recognize any part of Jerusalem as being in Israel. The Supreme Court turned down that request in 2015, on the grounds that the American president has the exclusive authority to recognize foreign sovereigns.“Since that is the position of the Court’s majority,” Alyza Lewin said, “President Trump should use his authority to promptly recognize Israel's sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.”
A number of months ago, the OU posed two questions to a panel of its leading poskim:1) Is it halakhically acceptable for a synagogue to employ a woman in a clergy function?2) What is the broadest spectrum of professional roles within a synagogue that may be performed by a woman?Recently, the Rabbinic Panel provided their Responses to us to these questions. At a meeting of the OU's Board of Directors yesterday, the OU adopted the Responses of the Rabbinic Panel as a statement of OU policy. In addition, the OU has prepared a Statement, commenting on the Responses of the Rabbinic Panel.To view the Responses of the Rabbinic Panel, and the accompanying OU Statement, please click on the links below:
Statement from the OU
Allen I. FaginExecutive Vice President / Chief Professional OfficerOrthodox Union
Courtesy of Rabbi A Gordimer
The 70-year-old Muslim ban that no one protests
British PM slams Muslim countries for banning entry by Israelis
You also may be interested in hearing this as well, also from Britain
Today, the Museum issued the following statement:
The Museum is acutely aware of the consequences to the millions of Jews who were unable to flee Nazism, as noted in our November 2015 statement on the Syrian refugee crisis. The Museum continues to have grave concern about the global refugee crisis and our response to it. During the 1930s and 1940s, the United States, along with the rest of the world, generally refused to admit Jewish refugees from Nazism due to antisemitic and xenophobic attitudes, harsh economic conditions, and national security fears.
In our view, there are many legitimate refugees fleeing the Assad regime’s sustained campaign of crimes against humanity and the genocidal acts perpetrated by ISIS against the Yazidis, Christians, and other religious minorities. American policy should fully address national security concerns while protecting legitimate refugees whatever their national or religious identity.
A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.