Sunday 30 June 2013

Da'at Torah and the InterNet

«Rabbi Ginzberg focused on why even people who had respect for gedolim in the past, such as those of the stature of Reb Moshe Feinstein, now seem to have wavered, and why questioning daas Torah has become more widespread, particularly on blogs.»

The 5 Towns Jewish Times » The Mesorah Of Chesed


At some point people realized that Jaobitinsky's vision of the impending Holocaust was purer than many "G'dolim" of that era. I think this served to undermine confidence in Da'as Torah as a reliable barometer and led many to question "what's it all about."

Also the Internet has dismantled authority in many cases - especially when the ruling powers are abusive or disingenuous.

Best Regards,

My Mom Ruined My Wedding Day

"You're turning my daughter into a Jew!? She's your problem now!!!" This was merely ONE of the rapid-fire quotes to come out of my mother's mouth, aimed at my husband-to-be's family, minutes before I walked down the aisle. A little background...

Mobile link:

Best Regards,

Bank of Israel Governor Warns of Secular Decline

«"We have a demographic challenge. If the current growth rates continue, the secular population will become a minority within decades, and the process in which a segment of the population characterized by a low rate of participation in the labor force becomes the majority cannot continue if we are to maintain the rise in the standard of living," said Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya's Economic Conference yesterday. "I am pleased that we are already seeing changes in this area," he added. »

Fischer: We'll have secular minority within decades - Globes

Best Regards,

Saturday 29 June 2013

Mussar: "Sorry, Not My Table!" said the Waiter

R Eliyahu Safran -
«The cab driver continued, "Rebbi, do you know that as a result of that incident my friend Yigal became a baal teshuva! Today, he is frum with a beautiful religious family. They keep kosher, his wife covers her hair and his kids all go to cheder."

Rav Levenstein responded, "That's amazing." He paused for a minute and then suddenly asked, "and what about you?"

"Me?  Oh no," said the cab driver, glancing away from the road. "It didn't happen to me.  It happened to him."»

Do As I Say - Judaism - Israel National News

Best Regards,

Friday 28 June 2013

Who is the Best Baal Teshuvah?

This post was a result of a discussion on Philosophy, and I think it ports well to Judaism

Three Young men named Al, Bob, and Chuck swindle an old man named Vic.

Later on, the three youths decide to become Virtuous and Ethical people.
All three succeed, and adopt a highly ethical lifestyle. All three work out some kind of compensation for their victim, Vic.

So far all are the same. Here comes the emotional component.

Al feels guilt-ridden and depressed. Like MacBeth, he simply cannot remove his "stain", and it haunts him until his dying day.

Bob goes through a period of self-flagellation, seeing the error of his ways as leading him to the pinnacle of saintly conduct. His period of intense guilt is followed by a release. He then feels OK.

Chuck chucks out his past.  He has an immediate epiphany and turns over a new leaf, re-starting from scratch as a virtual newborn. He feels no need to be weighed down by past misdeeds that are tied to his old persona. He just moves forward.

Who makes the Best Hozeir Bitshuvah?

Best Regards,

Hareidism vs. Centrism V

Q: R Wolpoe, if you had to have in your power to change just ONE thing in the Hareidi world what would it be?

RRW: I would give Hareidism a large dose of Eilu vo'Eilu thinking, more Ahavat Yisrael, more tolerance and empathy for positions with which they disagree or, even, outright reject. In pop-psych we'd call that "I'm OK You're OK" thinking.

Instead of "Wronging" a bar plugta, just disagree with him/her.

Best Regards,

Thursday 27 June 2013

Nochree vs. Goy

Why didn't Hazal use the "L'shon Hazal" of "Goy" and chose "Nochree" here instead? Or is "Nochree" also L'shon Hazal

[I realize that different editions regarding Gentile have been tampered with by censors...]

Talmud edition:

דף יג,א משנה  שחיטת <עובד כוכבים> {הנכרי} נבלה ומטמאה במשא:

Aku"M mamash is impossible because that would have triggered an issur hana'ah instead, which is rejected [Bartenura]

Mishnah Edition:

מסכת חולין פרק א

א,א  הכול שוחטין, ושחיטתן כשרה--חוץ מחירש שוטה וקטן, שמא יקלקלו בשחיטתן; וכולם ששחטו, ואחרים רואים אותם--שחיטתם כשרה.  שחיטת הנוכרי--נבילה, ומטמא במשא.  השוחט בלילה, וכן הסומא ששחט--שחיטתו כשרה; השוחט בשבת וביום הכיפורים--אף על פי שהוא מתחייב בנפשו, שחיטתו כשרה.

The Bartenura etc. uses "Nochree" as well.

Best Regards,

Egotism and Divisiveness in Orthodoxy.

It's sad to post on these topics. I wish that every faction would take more mature and "menschlich" posture.

«A rabbinic group criticizes those who are pained by the sight of women cloaked in male garb, mocking prayer at the holiest place in the world, without condemning the blasphemers. The same group scoffs at those who fear the Israeli government's war on religion and religious people, yet offers nary a word about what the government has done and is doing to negate the role of Torah and halacha in the Jewish state. They do precious little to stem the growing flood of unorthodoxy emanating from their circle.
Jewish politicians in Israel, schooled in public relations and armed with glib slogans and code words, have set into motion changes that they hope will destroy the Torahway of life in their country.»

 My reaction? This is what it reminds me of:
«What are you fighting about? What's your goal when you call each other names? Is it worth trashing your children's harmony? Can you even remember what was so important last week that you were willing to trample over your children? What "victory" were you looking for? Is it worth it? Do you think your kids think it's worth it?»
Dr. - Advice - Stop Fighting In Front of the Kids

Orthodoxy is seemingly eating itself up and beginning to implode over a battle of egos. 
Torah - Mah T'hee Aleha?

Best Regards,

Can Our Different Communities Work Together for Our Common Good?

"United we stand, Divided we fall." ~ Patrick Henry and Many Others

"We all do better when we work together. Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more."
~ Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton Quotes (Author of My Life)

The Torah Community has had subdivisions since the 12 sons of Yaakov formed 12 separate Shivtei Koh. Yet at Sinai the Torah states "Vayichan" we were as ONE. Similarly after the great divisiveness of the Eigel, we reconvened as United to build the Mishkan. We have unique communities but a common mission.

Se let us:
"Honor Our Differences, and also Transcend them for the Common Good!"

"We all do better when we work together. Our difference communities do matter, but our common Torah Legacy matters more."

Best Regards,

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Orthodox: Avoid Temptation Of Internet On Cellphones

Russian Patriarch Kirill To Monks: Avoid Temptation Of Internet On Cellphones
"Many monks act, in my view, quite unreasonably. On the one hand, (monks) leave the world in order to create favorable conditions for salvation, and on the other hand, they take their mobile telephone and start to enter the Internet where, we know, there is a large number of sinful and tempting things."
Huffington Post

Best Regards,

Bill Clinton: No alternative to two-state solution

Bill Clinton: No alternative to two-state solution
No matter how many settlers you put out there, the Palestinians are having more babies than the Israelis,' former US president says ...

Best Regards,

Jerusalem - Rabbi Dov Lipman: Time To Tell The Truth

«Prior to the election, I had met with current Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron, and we discussed the need to be anchored spiritually despite the busy schedules we would experience as members of Knesset.  Minister Piron chose to begin every day by reading the "Igeres HaRamban."  I decided to start every day with Mesilas Yesharim.  In Chapter 11, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto writes: "'The righteous hate a false thing (Proverbs 13:15)."  And it is in relation to this that we were warned 'Stay far away from a false thing.'  (Shemot 23:7)  Note that we do not have 'Guard yourself from falsehood' but 'Stay far away from a false thing.'  This is to awaken us to the greatness of the extent to which one must withdraw himself and flee from falsehood.  …Our Sages of blessed memory have said (Shabbat 55a):  'The seal of the Holy One Blessed be He is truth.'  Indeed if the truth is what the Holy One Blessed Be He selected as His seal, how abominable must its opposite be to Him… 'Truth is one of the pillars upon which the word stands (Avot 1:18).' Speaking falsehood, then is comparable to removing the foundation of the world."
The false and inaccurate depiction that Rosenblum related above is not the only one in his column.  The following are his other false claims, followed by the accurate facts.»
Jerusalem - Rabbi Dov Lipman: Time To Tell The Truth --

Best Regards,

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Getting a Get with Mayim Bialik

«A get is the legal way of releasing the husband from his contract. Historically, men could marry several women, so the main point was freeing her from the union. A get is a written document that has to be composed by a sofer (scribe) in the presence of a Beit Din (court of Jewish law). Ironically, men are the ones who grant a get, even if a woman is the one who initiates it. This has led to the circumstance of countless women being "agunot" or "chained women," not allowed to be released from their marital contracts and, thus, unable in religious circles to remarry or have children without their children being deemed illegitimate if their husbands don't want to let them be free. It's a mess, and I actually narrated a documentary about the lengths some women go to get a get. It's called "Women Unchained" and it's a very good documentary.

Anyway. There are ways to protect yourself from becoming a "chained woman" and many Orthodox rabbis are creating halakhic prenuptials so that this situation does not happen. But let's say you are not a religious woman. Why should you care about a get?»
The Jewish Divorce: Getting a Get with Mayim Bialik | The Official Mayim Bialik Blog at Kveller

About Mayim
Mayim Bialik is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

Best Regards,

What does an Orthodox woman’s ordination certificate look like?

Best Regards,

Avoiding Dogmatic Language

Theologians often seem to "pontificate" using dogmatic absolutes. Can this practice be reduced or avoided? Albert Ellis and others think so.

«Bourland and other advocates also suggest that use of E-Prime leads to a less dogmatic style of language that reduces the possibility of misunderstanding and/or conflict.[3][4]»
E-Prime - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Best Regards,

Monday 24 June 2013

Kol Korei: Public Fast declared for this coming 17th of Tammuz.

Due to the Terrible Tragedy of the Burning of our Holy S'farim, a Public Fast [Ta'anit Tzibbur] has been declared universally for all Jews, this coming 17th of Tammuz.

It seems that this tragedy is perhaps the most serious assault to our Holy Books since the Evil Burning of our Holy Talmud around the end of the 13th Century CE.

We will be fasting and reciting S'lichot, and mourning our great loss and pray that our acts of T'shuvah will find favour with HKBH.

Shloymie: Which S'farim were destroyed during this latest tragedy?

RRW: I've been told that it's the 5th Cheilek of the Shulchan Aruch that has been [almost?] completely wiped out. It is hardly even a memory anymore!

Best Regards,

5 Reasons Jews Gravitate Toward Buddhism

«As Jews continue to explore Buddhism and its practices, more JuBus will be able to discover the "OM in ShalOM," creating a rich and fruitful spiritual path. Both traditions have much to offer and boast a rich legacy of dialogue and thought provoking debate to cultivate both wisdom and compassion and a whole lot of JuBulation!»»

* * * * *

What is current Torah Judaism Missing?

Best Regards,

83 years Later, What Else is New?

«Upon learning of this order, the Jewish community in Baghdad held a service of thanksgiving at the Great Synagogue, at which gratitude was expressed to the King and Prime Minister for their intervention.»

Jewish Community, Baghdad, Succeeds in Persuading King to Oust Chief Rabbi | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Best Regards,

Sunday 23 June 2013

Just What is Orthodoxy Anyway?

Question to consider

Is R Avi Weiss's move to ordain women any greater break with tradition than R YD Soloveichik's move to teach Gemara to women?

There are many approaches to resolving this question, which is what makes this a fascinating topic?

«Not that Rabbi Rothstein needs my approbation, but this article is spot on. Thinking it through to the next level, the question will be whether this school (along with other schools, synagogues, and individuals with a similar approach to Judaism) will continue to call themselves Orthodox, or whether they will find another name to be more appropriate. The other possibility is that mainstream Orthodox will find a new name for themselves (after all, the term Orthodox isn't written in stone).»
Yeshivat Maharat And Orthodoxy | The Jewish Week

Best Regards,

The Tzaddik Bleibs A Tzaddik 1

Some/Many people seem to think that -
When a Gadol commits a faux pas that either
The Gadol either must lose his status
That we need to jump through hoops to make him right.

Rav Nachman of Breslov has an oft-quoted saying about a Tzaddik, which may equally apply to a Lamdan or Gadol too, namely: When a Tzaddik errs -
The Tzaddik Bleibs (remains) a Tzaddik [K'vodo munach]
The Error remains an Error.

The Tzaddik does not lose his status. The Error is not whitewashed, either.

I then went to seek help from a chaveir to see if this concept may be found in classic literature outside of Breslov. B"H he helped me identify about 3 more cases that fit this principle.

Those 3 case will follow soon BE"H as part of a short series.

Best Regards,

Hareidism vs. Centrism IV

Rabbi Avraham Edelstein
To MK R Dov Lipman:

« I still felt that you would engage the Haredim in dialogue, ...

Now I know that that is no longer the case. From the first missed opportunity during your opening speech in the Knesset, you have relished your newfound role in certain circles as being the brave hero who says unpopular things to, and about, your own. Your new friends generously provide you with hourly confirmation that your positions are correct.
The problems you express regarding the lack of parnassa in the Haredi community are real and admitted to by every intelligent Haredi leader. But, as I shared with you when we met, solutions to these problems were being executed even as we spoke. Haredim were going to work in increasing numbers. In fact, last year alone, there were five thousand Haredi males engaged in courses and degree programs that represented a full range of careers. The mainstream Haredi communities no longer stigmatize those men who go to work.»
An Open Letter to MK Rabbi Dov Lipman | The Jewish Press

Best Regards,

Saturday 22 June 2013

Mussar: All's Well that Ends Well

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate B'rachot, end of Folio 60b, top of 61a

A man should always accustom himself to say, 'Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good', [as exemplified in] the following incident.

R. Akiba was once going along the road and he came to a certain town and looked for lodgings but was refused at every place. He said 'Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good', and he went and spent the night in the open field. He had with him a cock, an ass and a lamp. A gust of wind came and blew out the lamp, a weasel came and ate the cock, a lion came and ate the ass. He said: 'Whatever the All-Merciful does is for good'.

The same night some brigands came and carried off the inhabitants of the town. He said to them: Did I not say to you, [it] is all for good?

Best Regards,

Friday 21 June 2013

Rema O"Ch 90:18, Hachamim Hizaharu b'Ma'aseichem

Rema O"Ch 90:18 says that someone who has the status of "Torato umnasso" should not regularly learn in the Beit Midrash at the expense of going to Minyan lest "shelo yim'mdu Ammei ho'oretz memenu v'yitbatteil mibbeit Haknesset"

Thus the Rema feels that people might learn the wrong lesson from a Talmid Hacham. But why not give the Talmid Hacham the Benefit of the Doubt?

The Mishnah B'rurah answers: #57 "kee lo y'denoohoo lchaf z'chut litlot b'torato"

Thus we see
1. A Talmid Hacham is held to a Higher Standard
2. He needs to be aware lest others emulate his shortcomings, EVEN when technically permitted to do so.

Shalom, RRW

Why Peace Plans with Muslims do not Work

Can two competing value systems have a meeting of minds?
* * * * *

Guest Blogger: R David Willig
Why peace plans will not work
It may not be fair to take Mr. Savir to task for his column reporting the views of his former boss, Shimon Peres, but there is one sentence that illustrates the basic misconception that lies at the root of their dangerous policies. "He understands that our neighbors, too, seek a better economy and a place in the globalized world." Unfortunately, but demonstrably, wrong. Our neighbors are not motivated by economic values, else they would not be suicide bombers. No one kills themselves. and others, in the hope of economic gain. There are two value systems, and socialists, like Mr. Savir and Mr. Peres only understand the set of material values. "How many divisions does the Pope command?" was Stalin's famous question. But the Pope, and all true religious leaders, understood that man does not live by bread alone. Zionism, at its best, was and is a spiritual movement. Its value, ultimately, is the survival and success, not of the individual Jew, but of the Jewish people. One does not have to be halachicaly observant to be committed to this ideal.

Our neighbors are not motivated by economic interests. If they were, Egypt would be encouraging tourism, rather than allowing an 80% vacancy rate in their hotels. They would rather have empty hotels than allow tourists in bikinis. The Sunnis and the Shiites would not be fighting in Iraq and in Syria if the fight was about economic interests, Material goods can be divided, shared, compromised. Our neighbors are motivated by spiritual goals, by religion, and their view of Allah allows them no room to compromise. We in the West have grown up in a culture that allows for religious  freedom. The majority do not take religion seriously. Until we realize that in the Islamic World the common man takes religion very seriously, is willing to kill, and die, for their religious beliefs, we cannot understand our neighbors. Mr. Peres and Savir think economic opportunity will entice the the Arab to make peace. The Arab laughs at them, and us. And we Jews, of all people should understand. How easy would it have been for us to have abandoned our beliefs. Some, like Heine, did, but most Jews were, and are, made of stubborner stuff. Unless we address religion as the basis for this conflict we are deluding and endangering ourselves. 

David Willig 

Best Regards,

Thursday 20 June 2013

The Rise of the Neo-Cons

R Steve Pruzansky:

«Collectively, they refer to themselves as "Open Orthodoxy," but at what point does the "openness" so predominate that it ceases to be Orthodox?
Consider: Whatever semantic games are played, the ordination of women as Jewish clergy shatters one of the demarcations between the Torah world and non-Orthodoxy. Even Rabbi Saul Lieberman, the great scholar who taught for decades at JTS, publicly opposed (in writing) the ordination of women, such that JTS waited for him to pass from this world before it ordained its first women. Of course, the charade – Rabba, Maharat, whatever – is conducted in order to avoid an open break, even as it smacks of dishonesty. But it is what it is, and we are foolish to play the games and ignore the reality. The titles, job descriptions and current subterfuge presage the day when these groups will boast (and I mean boast) synagogues whose spiritual leader is a woman, something considered anathema – for a variety of reasons grounded in Jewish law and thought – by the aforementioned Rabbi Lieberman, Rav Soloveitchick and every recognized posek faithful to the Mesorah. Even Nechama Leibowitz would cringe in revulsion and horror at this obvious deviation from Jewish law and tradition. (I was her student, and she was scrupulously traditional, and humble to a fault. And she did not live with grievances against the Torah.)»

The Rise of the Neo-Cons | Rabbi Pruzansky's Blog

Best Regards,

Support Those Who Support Israel

Pro-Israel companies.
Courtesy or R Elchanan Poupko
Here is a list of 18 companies that we should go out  of our way to support and the reasons why.
1. The Chairman and CEO of STARBUCKS , Howard Schultz, is an active Zionist. In 1998, he was  honoured by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah with 'The Israel 50th Anniversary  Friend of Zion Tribute Award' for his services to the Zionist state in 'playing  a key role in promoting close alliance between the United States and Israel '.  At a time when other businesses were desperately pulling out of Israel,  Starbucks decided to help Israel 's floundering economy and invest in Israel .  It has been revealed that Starbucks still continues to support Israel by  sponsoring fund raisers for Israel .
2. THE  LIMITED STORES , Express, Lerner New York , VICTORIAS SECRET and BATH  & BODY WORKS: The Limited, Inc. was founded by Leslie H. Wexner in 1963 in  Columbus , Ohio . Includes: THE LIMITED STORES, Express, Lerner New York ,  VICTORIAS SECRET and BATH & BODY WORKS, and employs over 115,000 people. Its  founder, president and CEO Les Wexner is a Zionist. He is on the board of  directors of Emet, the Pro-Israel Media 'War Room' whose function is to ensure  that all media in the US stays biased in favor of Israel . In 1984, Les Wexner  who is one of the world's 200 wealthiest people created the Wexner Foundation.  Its mission statement is 'strengthening Jewish Leadership in North America and  Israel .' One of the programs the Foundation runs is the Wexner Israel  Fellowship Program which annually brings up to ten Israeli have participated  thus far. The Wexner Foundation sponsors 'Birthright Israel ' - a program that  pays for young American Jews to take free indoctrination trips to Israel . It is  also a long-standing supporter of Hillel - the bastion of Zionism on  campus.
3. THE  HOME DEPOT : Its founder and co-chairman of the Board is an active  Zionist. He created the board of directors of Emet, the Pro-Israel Media 'War  Room' whose function is to ensure that all media in the US stays biased in favor  of Israel .
4. DISNEY : Walt Disneys Millennium exhibition at the Epcot Centre in Florida depicts Jerusalem as the capital of Israel . Of the 8 million dollars it cost to set up the exhibition, Israel contributed 1.8 million and worked with Disney to  develop its content.
The buy up of Israeli  company Mirabilis, creators of ICQ (internet chat program), for $287m in 1998  forms part of AOLs investment in Israel .
In 1998, Mr. Ted Leonsis, CEO  of AOL studios (a business unit of AOL) received the Jubilee Award by the  Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by  the 'State of Israel in recognition of those individuals and organizations that  through their investments and trade relationships have done the most to  strengthen the Israeli economy.
6. COCA COLA : From 1966 onward Coca-Cola has been a staunch supporter  of Israel . In 1997 the Government of Israel Economic Mission honored Coca-Cola  at the Israel Trade Award Dinner for its continued support of Israel for the  last 30 years and for refusing to abide by the Arab League boycott of Israel .  In contrast, Pepsi abided by the Arab League boycott of Israel which ended in May 1991, after 1992 Pepsi is also trading in Israel . In 2001 <tel:2001> the Coca-Cola World  Headquarters hosted and was the main sponsor of the American-Israel Chamber of  Commerce Awards Gala. It has been revealed that Coca-Cola Israel sponsors  training programs for its workers on subjects including the Israeli-Arab  conflict. The course content is created by a company funded by the Jewish Agency  and the Israeli government. In July 2002 <tel:2002> , it has been announced that Coca-Cola  is to build a new plant at Kiryat  Gat.
7. ESTEE  LAUDER : Estee Lauder's chairman, Ronald Lauder, also one time chairman of  the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, is the  current president of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) - Ronald Lauder is an ardent  Zionist.
8. SARAH LEE . (Includes Hanes, Playtex, Leggs, Champion). This is  also not to be confused with the frozen snacks company. This is in regard to the  clothing giant. Sara Lee owns 30% of Israel 's leading textile company Delta Galil. Sara Lee is the world's largest clothing manufacturer, this opens the  worlds markets to Israel , with cloths originating in Israel and being sold around the world under one of the many famous Sara Lee brands.
In 1998,  Mr. Lucien Nessim of Sara Lee Personal Products received the Jubilee Award by  the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded  by the 'State of Israel ' in recognition of those individuals and organizations,  that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to  strengthen the Israeli  economy.
9. FOX  TELEVISION, FOX ENTERTAINMENT : The News Corporation Limite is one of the  world's largest media companies with total assets as of September 30, 2005 <tel:2005> of  approximately; US $58 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US $18  billion. News Corporation's diversified global operations include the production  and distribution of motion pictures and television programming; television,  satellite and cable broadcasting; the publication of newspapers, magazines and  books; the production and distribution of promotional and advertising products  and services; the development of digital broadcasting. News Corporation is the  world's leading publisher of English-language newspapers with operations  worldwide. The Company publishes more than 175 different newspapers, printing  more than 40 million papers a week.
Murdoch's News Corp. invests heavily  in Israel . Murdoch News Corporation was one of three US companies that was  lauded for their support of Israel at the America-Israel Friendship League  Partners for Democracy Awards dinner (25th June 2001 <tel:2001> );Murdoch himself co-chaired  the dinner. News Corp.'s digital technology company based in Jerusalem, called NDS, has grown from 20 to 600 employees in the past  decade.
10. NESTLE : The Swiss company owns 50.1% of Israeli food maker Osem  Investments. In Dec. 2000 <tel:2000> , it announced it will invest millions of dollars to  operate the new R&D centre in Israel . In 1998, Mr. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe  on behalf of Nestle, received the Jubilee Award by the Israeli Prime Minister  Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded by the 'State of Israel ' in  recognition of those individuals and organizations, that through their  investments and trade relationships, have done the most to strengthen the  Israeli economy.
11. OVERSEAS ADVENTURE TRAVEL : Company is based in Massachusetts , is  known for their many world tours and relatively cheap group travel. The company  donates money to over 50 countries in which it operates in to help fund schools,  food aid, etc. and averages between $5,000 and $25,000 per country. However,  Israel received a flat $1,000,000 from Overseas Adventure Travel, as it's  president is a  Zionist.
12. IBM : IBM invests heavily in Israel . IBM senior vice-president and  general counsel, Lawrence Ricciardi, who noted that his company employs 1,700  people in Israel, said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, 'This wedge of  land and the huge ideals it represents are very important to IBM.' IBM was one  of three US companies that was lauded at the America-Israel Friendship League  Partners for Democracy Awards dinner ( 25th June 2001 <tel:2001> ) hosted by Sharon. In May  2002 <tel:2002> the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce awarded IBM the Ambassador's Award'  in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the development of the Israeli  high-tech industry and to advancing trade between the U.S.and Israel. IBM  established operations in 1949 and was the first large American company with a  wholly owned subsidiary in Israel , introducing computers to the  country.
13. KIMBERLY-CLARK : (Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex) In 1998, Mr. Robert P.  Van der Merwe, chairman of Kimberly-Clark Europe received the Jubilee Award by  the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is the highest tribute ever awarded  by the 'State of Israel ' in recognition of those individuals and organizations,  that through their investments and trade relationships, have done the most to  strengthen the Israeli economy. Kimberly Clark Corp owns 49.9% interest in  Israeli company Hogla (6/96) through America-Israel PaperMills  $49.9m.
14. RIVER  ISLAND clothing chain, ISROTEL and IBROTEL HOTELS in Spain and Portugal ,  BRITANNIA PACIFIC PROPERTIES. (This one probably relates least to any of us) - a  diversified international investment company, with headquarters in London ,  England . They said to be one of the largest real estate owners in the  Sacramento Metropolitan area. It appears that the British based Lewis Trust  Group is one of the companies developing hotels in the Aqaba Region. David  Lewis, the Chairman of the company, is a prominent supporter of Israel . Mr  Lewis's activities have included the raising of money for the Jewish National  Fund. He is also a member of the Israel-Britain Business Council. This  organization is dedicated to the development of the Zionist State , by  channelling British capital to the occupied territories for the benefit of the  Zionists and the exploitation of the Palestinians.
15. NOKIA : Nokia has started to invest heavily in Israel . Nokia  general manager Lars Wolf said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post (4 March  2001 <tel:2001> ): 'We are really focusing on Israel from all perspectives, because we have  an internal project called 'Project Israel ' which means we are looking at  Israel from a networks perspective, from the perspective of Nokia Ventures  Organization, and also from the perspective of Nokia Research Center.' Nokia  Venture Partners, a branch of Nokia Ventures Organization, launched a new $500  million fund in December 2000 <tel:2000> and allowed that a 'disproportionate' amount of it  would go into Israeli companies. Nokia Research Center is on the lookout for  Israeli start-ups with which it can  cooperate.
16. TIMBERLAND : (clothing, shoes, boots, jackets, etc.) Timberlands is  a $1.1 billion footwear, apparel & accessories company. Its President and  CEO Jeffrey Swartz is an active Zionist. In a recent 'solidarity visit' to  Israel, where he made it clear he was speaking as the CEO of Timberland, he  suggested sending 100 IDF soldiers to the US for a week as ambassadors for  Israel. Although Timberland is a publicly traded company, his family holds  approximately 47% of the stock and has approximately 81% of the voting  power.
17. DESERT EAGLE : Desert Eagles are the only firearms that Israel does not buy from the US or other countries. However, many of the parts of these  firearms are imported from other countries and they are merely assembled in  Israel . Regardless, Israel takes pride them as their own, and it is strictly an  Israeli company.
18. CATERPILLAR : Caterpillar is a company based in Illinois that  manufactures large construction equipment such as bulldozers, tractors, various  demolition equipment and has a line of 'tough guy' clothing apparel. Caterpillar  happily supplies Israel with all of its current fleet of D9 and D10 bulldozers,  some of the largest armoured bulldozers in the  world.


Best Regards,

Hacham Ovadyah Yosef, attacks R Stav

[Hacham Ovadyah] Yosef, in his weekly sermon on Saturday night, said that Stav was "a wicked man," someone "dangerous to Judaism" who had "no fear of God at all." Electing Stav would be like "bringing idolatry into the temple," Yosef added. "He is not worthy… this man is dangerous to Judaism, dangerous to the rabbinate and dangerous to the Torah."
[Hacham Ovadiah] Yosef, in his weekly sermon on Saturday night, said that Stav was "a wicked man"

What would the Torah World look like if no Torah Jew demonized any fellow Torah Jew?
What would the Jewish World look like if no Jew demonized any fellow Jew?
What would the world look like if no human demonized any fellow human?

Best Regards,

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Question re: Changes to Nusach T'fillah

Did the massive radical changes to Nusach Hat'fillah during the 18th Century, by Hassidim et al, serve to open the "can of worms" of radical changes during the 19th Century by Reformers?

Best Regards,

Rallying to Defend R David Stav

«Jewish groups have called for civility in the campaign for chief rabbi of Israel after candidate Rabbi David Stav was harassed at a wedding and labeled "a wicked man" by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League were among the groups this week that came out against violence and asked Israeli leaders of all stripes to promote respect among the factions.

The Rabbinical Council of America and the International Rabbinic Fellowship also supported Stav, the head of the Tzohar organization for religious Zionist rabbis in Israel.»
U.S. Jews call for civility in chief rabbi race after harassment of Tzohar's David Stav - Jewish World News - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper

Best Regards,

Jewish Tribune -- Selling Israel to our youth?

A new video on YouTube promoting Israel, entitled "Tel Aviv - There's Room for Everyone", has created quite a stir with its promiscuous implications. We may ask: Is this an acceptable way to present Israel to the world? Given that the video was produced with Federation backing, this question is even more pertinent. In my latest Tribune article I address this question.

Please see Selling Israel to Our Youth?.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Tuesday 18 June 2013

“A Sad Shabbos in New York State”

«... How did this tragedy/travesty in New York happen?  It's really rather simple.

No one likes to be on the outside looking in.  No one wants to live a lifestyle that society considers aberrant and sinful.  Therefore, it's not sufficient to live that lifestyle privately in the face of the rejection of others.  Rather, you must force society to endorse and celebrate your lifestyle and pretend that it is acceptable.

You must redefine standards of morality and call a sin an "alternate lifestyle."  You must redefine words, such as the one that used to mean "happy." (There should be no gaiety in undermining G-d's will.)

That is why politicians march in parades ...»
CHUKAS (Numbers, 19:1-22:1) — "A Sad Shabbos in New York State" | Torah Talk
- R Y Seplowitz

Best Regards,

Interview with R Moshe Meiselman Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Toras Moshe, Yerushalayim - "Our society demands that we be more than observant secularists."

«In what way was the army to impact the culture and atmosphere of the country?

The army served the purpose of allowing Ben Gurion and the Zionists to impose their anti-Torah lifestyle, philosophy and ideology on the thousands who would serve in Tzahal. One must understand that being in the army means that soldiers must totally subjugate themselves to the rules and orders of their superiors. This enables those running the army to create a new social identity.

This was the reason that the gedolim leading the chareidi community insisted very strongly that bnei hayeshivos not go to the Israeli army. They rejected the new social identity that the Zionists were trying to impose on the residents of the country.

Was this the reason that the gedolim felt that joining the army at the time was "yeihoreig ve'al yaavor"?

Indeed. We can now understand the famous story of the Brisker Rov zt"l refusing to sign a statement that sheirut leumi was yeihoreig ve'al yaavor. The Brisker Rov said that if he would sign it, it would sound like only army service/sheirut leumi for women was yeihoreig ve'al yaavor, but not army service for men. --> "In fact, the Brisker Rov felt that even for men to go to the Israeli army was yeihoreig ve'al yaavor. We can now appreciate why this is so, as the Israeli army was meant to create a new social identity to replace any commitment to Torah life, and it would therefore be yeihoreig ve'al yaavor.

How effective was Ben Gurion's plan?

It is important to realize that Ben Gurion's plan was, in fact, successful to a large extent. Thousands of previously religious immigrants were successfully indoctrinated with Zionism through the army and ultimately lost their commitment to Torah. Even those who remained shomer mitzvos were given a new identity that was antithetical to true Torah values and a true Torah lifestyle. Our society demands that we be more than observant secularists. Torah is also a whole outlook on life that encompasses the whole personality.»
Yated Newspaper - "The Identity of the Israeli People is at Stake" - Understanding the Current Situation in Eretz Yisroel

Best Regards,

Monday 17 June 2013

Cute Quote

The original Author is unknown. At any rate, R Yerachmiel shared this with me:

«My daughter is expecting # 3 Bshaah tova umutzlachat.  When she holds her son's hand while pushing her daughter in the stroller, they are:
Uvizman kariv. 

Best Regards,

Hareidism vs. Centrism III

«Israel - Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox protesters gathered in Jerusalem and in Bnei Brak on Thursday to support the right of Ashkenazi Hasidic parents to keep their children in classes segregated from their Mizrahi peers.

Ultra-Orthodox officials made a last-ditch effort on Wednesday to keep parents in the settlement of Immanuel from being arrested and jailed for refusing to implement a High Court of Justice ruling requiring the Ashkenazi and Mizrahi girls to study in the same classes. ...»
Israel - Tens of Thousands of Charedim Rally for Right to Segregated Education [photos] --

A case of Austritt in that it calls for separation from even fellow Orthodox.

Best Regards,

Sunday 16 June 2013

FDR and The Holocaust

«In 1923, as a member of Harvard's Board of Overseers, Roosevelt became concerned that, as he put it, "a third of the entering class at Harvard were Jews." He helped institute a quota to limit the number of Jews admitted to 15% of each class. Even many years later, FDR was still proud of doing that–and said so to Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., in 1941.
In 1936, he characterized a tax maneuver by the publisher of the New York Times as "a dirty Jewish trick." In 1938, FDR privately suggested to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the era's most prominent American Jewish leader, that Jews in Poland were dominating the economy and were to blame for provoking antisemitism there.  In 1939, Roosevelt expressed (to a U.S. senator) his pride that "there is no Jewish blood in our veins."  In 1940, he dismissed pleas for Jewish refugees as "Jewish wailing" and "sob stuff." In 1941, President Roosevelt remarked at a cabinet meeting that there were too many Jews among federal employees in Oregon.»
The Truth About FDR and the Jews | The Louis D. Brandeis Center Blog

Must Read for every American Jew:
"While Six Million Died"
by Arthur Morse. 

Best Regards,

Yated Newspaper - The RCA and The Women Of The Wall

«Sadly, it seems that, in some way, things have not changed since the 1950s. At that time, a significant number of the Orthodox rabbis in the RCA could not bring themselves to show proper deference to the roshei yeshiva who represented the lion's share of gedolei Yisroel and leading poskim of that time. At that time they showed that they despised the most cherished religious ideal for which those senior Torah sages stood. Today, as well, sadly, whether it is regarding the Women of the Wall, the issue of drafting bnei yeshiva or the campaign of hatred by Yesh Atid and its token "Uncle Tom," Dov Lipman, things have, tragically, not changed.»

Best Regards,

Father's Day: What It Means to Be a Father

By Rabbi Daniel Cohen.
«...I took her aside, placed my hands on her head and invoked this timeless blessing.

The experience so touched me that as I left the airport, I felt the urge to begin blessing all of my children every Friday night. Yet, I had a challenge. Jewish tradition teaches that we abide by the custom of our parents. My father's tradition was to bless us only once a year.

I called my dad and shared my dilemma.

I will never forget what he said:...»

Best Regards,

Friday 14 June 2013

Hareidism vs. Centrism II

 The first entry in this series is at Hareidism vs. Centrism I
* * * * *

"You (written in the plural) deserve a big Yasher Koach on your activities to save the Torah world, and your vigilance to protect and defend the principles of Yiddishkheit in Eretz Yisrael against those trying to limit our ways," Rav Auerbach is quoted as saying.

Rav Shmuel Auerbach Commends Both Satmar Rebbe's For Organizing Manhattan Protest [UPDATED] | Yeshiva World News

Best Regards,

Thursday 13 June 2013

WoW Fights Back

«You want long-standing tradition? Look at the Jewish tradition regarding disputes — the written word; civil, if passionate, debate. Our tradition demands that we debate on the merits instead of denigrating our opponents. Hillel and Shammai embodied Judaism very differently, but both views were valid.»
The Kotel is for Us, Too –

Best Regards,

Protests against Israel

Published 6/13/13, 11:59 am.
You don't need to be an Arab to Demonize Israel!

Best Regards,

Wednesday 12 June 2013

RCA Condemns Ultra-Orthodox Anti-Israel Rally

Originally published 6/12/13, 7:07 pm.
«The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest Orthodox rabbinic group in North America, deplores the attempt of a small but vocal group to undermine the image Americans have of strong, unshakable, wall-to-wall Jewish support of Israel. Two chassidic communities well known for their rejection of a Jewish state have agreed to a joint rally in Manhattan on Sunday, June 9.»

Best Regards,

The Lubavicher Rebbe

Originally published 6/12/13, 11:17 am.
In honour of 3 Tammuz

«Pinchas Hirschprung

Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung, Chief rabbi of Montreal, who shared a very close relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and served as Rosh Yeshiva at the Chabad yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Montreal, wrote a lengthy letter about Chabad Messianisim to Baruch Frishman, executive director of Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS), in response to efforts by some Haredi rabbis to decertify Oholei Torah/Oholai Menachem (a major Lubavitch yeshiva in which the messianist belief is proclaimed) from this organization (see below). In the letter Hirschsprung wrote that there was no shadow of a question in halacha about (the permissibility of) the singing and proclaiming of the Lubavitcher Rebbe as the messiah, that it was based on clear passages in the Talmud, Zohar, and Kabalists whom the Jewish people all rely upon for contemporary halacha. He also pointed to the fact that the Rebbe himself used such references on his father in law Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn, and that he himself was someone to rely on. He also praised the efforts of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and his followers in the task of bringing Jews closer to Judaism, saying "who knows this work better than them".[74]»

Chabad messianism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Best Regards,

Tuesday 11 June 2013

Did WOW occupy the Kotel with Police Protection?

Originally published 6/11/13, 7:07 pm.
«Rav of the Kosel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz said, "Police had turned the Kosel into a closed fort in order to allow Women of the Wall to engage in their provocative activities. Such actions are shameful. Police set up barricades among those who had come to pray, kept the bathrooms closed, and prevented worshippers from even coming to the Kosel, causing great damage to the principle of equality that the site is supposed to represent."»
Unprecedented Police Closure Keeps Thousands From Kosel - Hamodia

Best Regards,

 Israeli Haredis View their American Counterparts with a Measure of Condescension

«The "Primacy of Torah" was an apt phrase for the motto for the azkarah, as it hints that there is something else that serves as a necessary supplement to the study of Torah, namely, making money. The pragmatic approach of Lakewood stands in stark contrast to that of the Lithuanian Haredi community in Israel, where the prevailing ideology is one of, "Only Torah." Yeshiva students there are expected to devote their entire lives to the study of Torah; secular education and jobs are actively discouraged. According to Dr. Benjamin Brown, a Hebrew University lecturer whose research focus is Orthodox Judaism and Haredi society, Israeli Haredis view their American counterparts with a measure of condescension: The bourgeois lifestyle of American Haredis may be acceptable "for them" in America, but not in Israel, where the Haredis hold themselves to a higher, less compromising, and more austere standard. Torah study itself in America is also considered by Israeli Haredis to be on a lower level, which Brown believes is supported by the fact that "American bochurim [unmarried yeshiva students] come to learn in Israel, not vice versa." The same perspective was shared with me by Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer, a Haredi religious court judge in Jerusalem. According to Pfeffer, the "mainstream" Israeli Haredi "looks upon his Lakewood counterpart as being part of the American experience of affluence and luxury and generally believes that Torah greatness cannot emerge from America—even from Lakewood."»
More From. Tablet Magazine

Best Regards,

Monday 10 June 2013

How Lakewood, N.J., Is Redefining What It Means To Be Orthodox  in America

By David Landes
June 5, 2013--Tablet Magazine
«...The much-repeated theme of the many encomia to the yeshiva's late founder was that Kotler, a refugee from Eastern Europe, fundamentally changed what it meant to be an Orthodox Jew in America. Kotler insisted that it was possible to establish in the treife medina—a social environment inhospitable to the values of Torah study and Orthodox Judaism—a community of scholars whose purpose in life would be the study of Torah "for its own sake," without concern for livelihood, and at the level of the great yeshivas of Eastern Europe destroyed in the Holocaust. But for the arrival of Kotler, the narrative goes, serious Torah study could never have developed in America.

The small yeshiva Kotler founded with 14 students in 1942 is now a mega-yeshiva with 6,600 students and satellite institutions spread throughout North America and beyond. ...»
Tablet Magazine

Best Regards,

A Sarah by any Other Name


See for yourself...

Best Regards,

Sunday 9 June 2013

R Eliyahu Safran -Reflections on the Uniform of the IDF

«Much of Tzaurger's motivation is political – his proclamation was in response to the IDF's rescinding of the policy allowing soldiers to be exempt from wearing their uniforms which he stated had the purpose to "transmit the message that military service has become the norm" and make it easier to draft hareidim. He claimed that the IDF's strategy was working and that he wanted to put an end to it.»
Reflections on the Uniform of the IDF - Op-Eds - Israel National News

Best Regards,

We Believe What We Want to Believe

«The question that begs to be answered at this point is: How is it that the world fell for this? How come it took 13 years for someone to yell, "The king has no clothes." These were years of ferocious anti-Semitism, of an isolated Israel and of Jewish guilt for something that we didn't do. The answer to this troubling question is the same as the answer to so many other questions in life: We believe what we want to believe.»
Lessons to Be Learned From Case That Damaged Israel's Image | Jewish Exponent


People don't just see things and become Anti-Semites


They become Anti-Semites first and then look for corroborating evidence....

Best Regards,

Saturday 8 June 2013

Mussar - לא תחמוד ותאוות בצע

ביהדות, הדיבר האחרון מעשרת הדברות, לא תחמוד, נוגע לאיסור על התאווה שבלב. אם כי פרטי ההלכות אינם תואמים לגמרי איסור על תאוות בצע. תוצאות נגררות של תאוות ממון נאסרו בהלכה באיסורים עצמאיים, כמו גזל, גניבה, שוחד, עושק, הונאה, רמאות, הסגת גבול, ריבית וכדומה. בעל ספר משלי מגנה את התכונה כשלעצמה (משלי א' י"ט, ט"ו כ"ז), ואף הנביאים במספר מקומות מגנים את ישראל בשל תאוות הבצע שלהם (ירמיהו ו' י"ג, ח' י'). במקרא, יתרו יועץ למשה למנות שופטים שאחת מתכונותיהם היא שנאת בצע (שמות י"ח כ"א). בספר שמואל מסופר על בניו של שמואל הנביא, השופטים שהיטו משפט בשל רדיפת בצע ולקיחת שוחד ועל כן העם מאס במשפטם וביקש לו מלך (שמואל א', ח' ג').

משמעות המילה בצע לפי התרגומים ורש"י היא הנאת ממון, ואילו לפי אבן עזרא וספורנו - תועלת.

תאוות בצע – ויקיפדיה

Best Regards,

Friday 7 June 2013

Shof'tim, Shofeit and Shofetet

What does Shiftu mean here?

Isaiah 1
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

JPS 1917
1:17 Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Does Shiftu mean "judge"? How does Judging the Fatherless help them?

I humbly suggest shiftu in this context might be better understood as "champion"

1:17 Learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, "champion" the fatherless, plead for the widow.

If that works:
Then the word "Shoftim" in Sefer Shoftim might also mean "Champions" as in Champions of the People of Israel.

Then the role of Devorah as Shofetet would simply mean champion and would not mean judge in the sense of a justice in a courtroom.

ישעיהו פרק א
יז לִמְדוּ הֵיטֵב דִּרְשׁוּ מִשְׁפָּט, אַשְּׁרוּ חָמוֹץ;
שִׁפְטוּ יָתוֹם, רִיבוּ אַלְמָנָה

Best Regards,

Thursday 6 June 2013

Hareidism vs. Centrism I

Which ideologies separate the Hareidi Hashkafah from the more Modern or Centrist Orthodox Hashkafah?

1. Autonomy

Hareidim think that authority trumps autonomy. Forcing people to comply is OK, and koffin oto ad she'omeir Rotzeh Ani is normative.

Centrists see a more autonomous nature as ideal. Authoritarianism is dangerous. Power tends to corrupt.

This might parallel the same issues that divided the Roman Catholics from the Protestants.

This is lav davka black and white, just a trend in thinking.

More Later BE"H

Best Regards,

Is Torah Under Attack in Israel?


I received this email From KAJ (Breuer's) before R"Ch Tammuz -
«Following the exhortation of the Gedolim in Eretz Yisroel and America regarding the anti-Torah attitude of the current government in Eretz Yisroel, the Rabbinate calls on our members to join in:
Yom Kippur Kotton tefillos, Thursday evening, 
June 6.
Mincha will begin at 7:40 (there will be no 8:15 Mincha).»
Best Regards,

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Mesorah, Minhagim, Maharat

R Avraham Gordimer
« The Rav demonstrated that all classical minhagim are in truth reflective of ancient and authoritative halachic and hashkafic considerations, and he was adamant that minhagim be kept and that one adhere to the minhagim of one's father (with a few rare exceptions, in which there is a dispute among minhagim, and one of the minhagim in dispute presents halachic objections). R Hershel Schachter has elaborately presented this in his three-part sefarim series about the Rav.»
What About Mesorah Do You Not Understand? | Cross-Currents

Best Regards,

Huffington Post: Why Should Terrorists Obey Our Criminal Code?‏

In my latest blog on Huffington Post-Canada, I respond to the statement made by an accused terrorist that he is not bound by the Criminal Code of Canada as it is not holy. My initial response to his statement was that it was too bad for him, in this country he is still bound by it. In the blog post, I investigate whether that argument is enough.

My original title for the post, btw, was 'The Challenge of Holy' but it was changed by the editors.

Please see

Please feel free to comment here or there. The article on Huffington has already received much attention so please feel free to join the discussion

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Tuesday 4 June 2013

JVO: Gelatin

Jewish Values Online is a website that presents the Jewish view on a variety of issues. Some of these issues are specifically Jewish, and some relate to the world around us --  then presents answers from each of the denominations of Judaism. Nishmablog's Blogmaster, Rabbi Wolpoe and Nishma's Founding Director, Rabbi Hecht, both serve as Orthodox members on their Panel of Scholars.

This post continues our series on the Nishmablog that features responses on JVO by one of our two Nishma Scholars who are on this panel. This week's presentation is about one of the questions to which Rabbi Wolpoe responded.

* * * * *
Question: Is gelatin kosher?

At first glance, any Gelatin made with strictly Kosher ingredients would be considered as Kosher by almost everyone.
However, Gelatin made from Unkosher ingredients falls into a certain Gray Area.
Unkosher ingredients usually cannot make for a Kosher Product. The exceptions could include when the Unkosher ingredient has been completely "denatured" beyond being edible.  At the point that it is no longer edible, it is no longer considered to be food.  Later on this product, having lost its identify can be reconstituted as Kosher.
Thus, Gelatin - made even from Pork Products - may indeed become acceptable by this logic, namely that its original form has been lost or destroyed.
The problem with this approach is that one is not allowed to purposefully make a non-Kosher product into a Kosher one.  Thus, if a result of an accident, a "denatured" product could indeed be used, but it is problematic to make this happen intentionally.  So a plant carrying supervision could well fall into this category of intentionally making Unkosher Products Kosher.
On the one hand, the leading rabbinic authorities in North America EG R Moshe Feinstein, have opposed using Gelatin derived from Non-Kosher sources. On the other hand, many mainstream rabbis in Israel are inclined to permit it.
Google can be a helpful resource because many articles have been written on this very topic:
«Normally Gelatin is not considered Kosher but certain Kosher companies produce specially made Kosher 
Gelatin.According to Rabbi Dr. David Sheinkopf, Gelatin IS kosher. »
«How is gelatin made?
"The production of the gelatin starts w/refinement of collagen-bearing tissues of ANY ANIMAL that has raised and slaughtered for food purposes. ....These materials are carefully soaked in alkalies and/or acids and washed in clean water to remove almost all non-collagen constituents, including meat. During this soaking period the collagen is converted to gelatin. The treated materials are then cooked gently in pure water to extract the gelatin, which is further refined by filtration....(Contrary to common belief, gelatin is not manufactured from horns or hooves or meat of animals, for these do not contain the necessary collagen).
"It is interesting to note that during manufacture of gelatin, chemical changes take place so that, in the final gelatin product, the composition and identity of the orignal material is completely eliminated. Because of this, gelatin is not considered a meat food product by the United States government..."»

Pikuach Nefesh

See this first - Aspirin and Heart Attacks, then read with a grain of Aspirin :-). Some of this may help you. Some may not.

Mayo Clinic

How many folks do you know who say they don't want to drink anything before ...going to bed because they'll have to get up during the night!!

Heart Attack and Water - One never knows all of this ! Interesting...

Something else most don't know ... The Doctor explained why people need to urinate so much at night time. Answer from the Cardiac Doctor -
Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and forth) seeks level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. This then ties in with the last statement!

We know you need your minimum water to help flush the toxins out of your body, but this is news.
Correct time to drink water... Very Important. From A Cardiac Specialist!
Drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body:
2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack
Also add to this... A Physician said that water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps. Your leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

Mayo Clinic Aspirin
Dr. Virend Somers, is a Cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic, who is lead author of the report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Most heart attacks occur in the day, generally between 6 A.M. and noon. Having one during the night, when the heart should be most at rest, means that something unusual happened. Somers and his colleagues have been working for a decade to show that sleep apnea is to blame.

1. If you take an aspirin or a baby aspirin once a day, take it at night. The reason: Aspirin has a 24-hour "half-life"; therefore, if most heart attacks happen in the wee hours of the morning, the Aspirin would be strongest in your system.

2. FYI, Aspirin lasts a really long time in your medicine chest for years, (when it gets old, it smells like vinegar).
Please read on.
Something that we can do to help ourselves - nice to know.
Bayer is making crystal aspirin to dissolve instantly on the tongue. They work much faster than the tablets.
Why keep Aspirin by your bedside? It's about Heart Attacks -
There are other symptoms of a heart attack, besides the pain on the left arm. One must also be aware of an intense pain on the chin, as well as nausea and lots of sweating; however, these symptoms may also occur less frequently.

Note: There may be NO pain in the chest during a heart attack.
The majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep did not wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.

If that happens, immediately dissolve two aspirins in your mouth and swallow them with a bit of water.
Afterwards: - Call 911. - Phone a neighbor or a family member who lives very close by.
- Say "Heart Attack!" - Say that you have taken 2 Aspirins. - Take a seat on a chair or sofa near the front door, and wait for their arrival and ....DO NOT LIE DOWN!

A Cardiologist has stated that if each person after receiving this e-mail, sends it to 10 people, probably one life could be saved!
I have already shared this information. What about you?
Do share this message. It may save lives!

"Life is a one time gift"

Best Regards,

Monday 3 June 2013

For Sale: A Portion in Olam Haba

«So all in all I think my Chelek in Olam Habaah is definitely worth a pretty penny. Don't be a cheap Jew, and fork it over like it's Maftir Yona. Remember - you're bidding on an eternal reward in heaven!The winning bidder will receive a signed contract, guaranteeing my timeshare in Shomaim, and an additional signed contract guaranteeing that I will not become a bigger Baal Aveira than I am now, and that if I become a Baal Teshuva (don't bet on it), I will pay the fair market value for the return of my Olam Habaah.If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at

Thank you, and happy bidding.

Best Regards,

Yo'atzot vs. Maharat

Shloymie: how does the ordination of the Maharat's differ from the confirmation of Yo'atzot?

RRW: Quick answer:

Yo'atzot = Evolutionary
Maharat = Revolutionary

Best Regards,

Sunday 2 June 2013

The Times they are a-Changing - Orthodox Shul opens door to Female Spiritual Leader

«"In contemporary modern Orthodox synagogues, women fill many roles that would have been unheard of just a few short decades ago," Rabbi Barry Freundel of Orthodox Kesher Israel Congregation, in Washington, said in a statement. "Women speak from the pulpit (offer divrei Torah), teach any and all Jewish subjects, respond to questions of Jewish law from within our sacred sources, provide pastoral guidance to congregants, serve in leadership capacities up to and including synagogue president and more. Even though some of these remain somewhat controversial, there is a strong body of Orthodox rabbinic opinion that supports and encourages these developments. Some synagogues who are able to do so have employed women in positions whose job descriptions include many, if not all, of these items. Nonetheless the Rabbinical Council of America, the world's largest Orthodox rabbinical organization has publicly indicated that ordaining a woman or having her serve in a position that reflects ordination is beyond the legitimate halachic (Jewish legal) limits of our tradition (mesorah)."»

Orthodox shul opens door to female spiritual leader -
Washington Jewish Week - Online Edition - Rockville, MD

Best Regards,

Rhode Island and Religious Tolerance

«Williams did not differ with them on any point of theology. They shared the same faith, all worshiping the God of Calvin, seeing God in every facet of life and seeing man's purpose as advancing the kingdom of God. [He was a frum Puritan]
But the colony's leaders, both lay and clergy, firmly believed that the state must prevent error in religion. They believed that the success of the Massachusetts plantation depended upon it.
[The Puritan Fathers thought that they were G-d's Policemen.]

Williams believed that preventing error in religion was impossible, for it required people to interpret God's law, and people would inevitably err. He therefore concluded that government must remove itself from anything that touched upon human beings' relationship with God. [Let Gid watch out for Himself.]

A society built on the principles Massachusetts espoused would lead at best to hypocrisy, because forced worship, he wrote, "stinks in God's nostrils." At worst, such a society would lead to a foul corruption—not of the state, which was already corrupt, but of the church.»
God, Government and Roger Williams' Big Idea | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine

Best Regards,

Saturday 1 June 2013

Mussar - Good Netiquette

Originally published 6/1/13, 9:56 PM, Eastern Daylight Time
Donald Robertson wrote on FB:

Seneca on participating in internet discussion forums:

"In that discussion you spoke too aggressively: do not, after this, clash with people of no experience; those who have never learned make unwilling pupils. You were more outspoken in criticizing that man than you should have been, and so you offended, rather than improved him: in the future have regard not only for the truth of what you say but for the question whether the man you are addressing can accept the truth: a good man welcomes criticism, but the worse a man is, the fiercer his resentment of the person correcting him."

(On Anger, 3)


A good person appreciates Mussar.

A weak person tends to detest hochochot.

Be ware of how one treats others on the Net.

Best Regards,