Monday 31 October 2016

The Rothschild Conspiracy

From RRW

"There is no longer any such thing as a monolithic House of Rothschild with connections to any significant number of all the scores of today's independent Rothschild business ventures. The closest thing is Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG, a Swiss company that manages interests in many Rothschild-founded institutions. There are no longer any Rothschild family members on its board (the last having retired in 2011), though about eight Rothschilds are believed to own stakes in it (like many holding companies, it's privately held, so its records are not public). Its other owners include Rabobank and Hong Kong based Jardine Matheson Holdings. The Rothschild funds it manages now focus on mergers and acquisitions. Make no mistake, it's a large and successful company; but with billions in assets, it's a relatively small fish in the sea of world financial institutions with trillions in assets, including Deutsche Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, HSBC Holdings, BNP Paribas, Japan Post Bank, Crédit Agricole Group, Barclays PLC, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and many others.Anyone trying to point the finger at the scattered Rothschilds as "controlling" world banks has an awfully tall order. That little factoid is about 100 years out of date.‎"

Thursday 20 October 2016

Teki'ah At Ne'ilah - Tur O"Ch 622-623

From RRW

Q1: What is the earliest source for blowing‎ at the end of Ne'ilah?
Q2: What does the Te'kiah accomplish?
Q3: When is it sounded‎?
Q4: Which notes ares sounded?

A1: I'm still not certain, but it seems to be post Talmudic

Several reasons are "proferred" in B"Y
A. Related to Yoveil - Mordechai
B. So as to co-incide with silluk haschinah. - Hagahot Maimoniyyot
‎C. Tosafot - to indicate it's nightfall. Arguably a good reason to blow after night "mamash" and perhaps to delay until after Arvit

Several options are mentioned:
A. ‎Yeish Nohagin Miyydad after Ne'ila
B. Some before "sheimos"

Opionions differ
A Tashrat
B. Te'ki'ah
Bottom line, there is not a rigid consensus at the end of the Rishonim as to how this‎ works.
EG The Bach‎ does favor as close to Ne'ilah possible, but this appears to be a preference not an absolute because he characterizes it as "adif t'fei"

Friday 14 October 2016

Ha'azinu: "He Measured the Seas in the Hollow of His Hand"

With the reading of Ha'azinu, we encounter the artistic and poetic within Torah. It is with specifically this in mind that we direct you to the following article on our website.

Thursday 13 October 2016

On Conflating the Personal Life with the Publlic life

From RRW
JFK And Women: Was John F. Kennedy a Feminist?
Perhaps the biggest lesson here is that questions like “was Kennedy good for women?” are misleadingly simplistic. They unintentionally conflate the personal with the professional, and require more than one word to answer (more like 1,400 words, at current count). Kennedy was good for the women of the nation, bad for the women in his immediate vicinity, and that’s probably about as close to an answer as we’re ever going to get.

Monday 10 October 2016

Putin's Puritan Piety: The Ideological War against the West

Here is how this article from the Gatestone Institute is introduced:
  • Russia is one of the few countries in the Western world in which religion is becoming increasingly important and not less.
  • To establish his authority on the Russian society, President Vladimir Putin has shaped a doctrine mobilizing the entire Russian society against a perceived Western "decadence". He has declared that Russian traditional family values are a bulwark against the West's "so-called tolerance -- genderless and infertile."
  • The first Cold War was a clash between Western democracy and the Soviet dictatorship of the proletariat. The new Cold War is a one between Western liberalism and Russian conservatism.
 What do you think? The full article is at

In considering this issue, I would remind one of the position of Rav Moshe Feinstein in response to the question of how to respond to the political question of whether to support the Pro Life position or the Pro Choice one. Rav Moshe contended that, since the Pro Life position could include viewpoints that would bar abortion when halachically mandated, we should support the view that a woman should be able to make her own decision in concert with her religious guide -- essentially a Pro Choice stand. Albeit that this does truly reflect the Torah viewpoint on abortion (a law that, through the Noachide Code, also applies to non-Jews), this position will ensure that a Jewess in such a position will be able to fully practice her religion. This is the overriding value of the concept of Freedom of Religion.

What this development in Russia would seem to raise is the issue of whether any movement towards stricter moral standards, motivated by specific religious aspirations, raises a question for Jews, even as these standards may be more in line with Torah teachings. Of concern is the possibility of the development of further religious impositions that may actually limit our practice of Torah.

We look forward to your comments.

Rabbi Ben Hecht

Friday 7 October 2016

Levush on Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Hoshana Rabba

How did it come about that Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Hoshana Rabbaare ALL Days of Judgment?

The Levush addresses this very question. He gives a very insightful answer that I would like to share.

The Jewish calendar has a major Lunar component and a minor Solar component. Furthermore,when it comes to the flood of Noah, and perhaps OTHER pre-Sinai events the traditional solar 365 days make a full year

Let's say that in Year 1 [or is that Zero?] God created the Heaven and the earth on Tishre 1 What is the corresponding solar Date? Let's arbitrarily say September 30th.

In Year 2 Tishre 1 is the Lunar Rosh Hashana. let's say it is 10 days earlier and falls on Solar Sept. 20th. When is the SOLAR new year? Why it is again Sept. 30th. This is due to the usual loss of 11 days which has been rounded off to 10 days. Sept. 30th is Yom Kippur in year 2 and the Solar Rosh haShana

In Year 3 Tishre 1 is the Lunar Rosh Hashana. let's say it falls on Sept. 9th in the soalr calendar. What then is Sept. 30th or Solar anniversary? Why, it is Hoshana Rabbah!

What about year 4? We get a 13th month and recycle the cycle.

Thus whilst 1 Tishre is ALWAYS the Lunar New Year, Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah are pinch hit Solar New Years as needed. Thus, they also obtain the status as Days of Judgment!


Tuesday 4 October 2016

Competing Images of Rosh Hashana

What imagery does"b'nei Maron" evoke?

Are we to be compared to sheep being reviewed by the shepherd?
Are we better compared to a Ruler reviewing his loyal troops?

Are we to be "Bent over and subservient"?
"Erect and dignified"?

More later