Dec 2, 2016

Shlomo Katz Live at The Jerusalem Theatre - Shabbos Kodesh (video)







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Dec 1, 2016

Rosh Chodesh Kislev With Reb Lipa (video)

this is absolutely fascinating, as Lipa sits with the Holocaust Survivors Band and then with Dudu Fisher. They talk in Yiddish but there are English subtitles..





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Bar Mitzvah Boy Spends All $25000 of His Gift Money On Shoes

Mazel tov to Drew Frank on his bar mitzvah, and kudos to making an amazing kiddush hashem...

from OnlySimchas.com:
Drew Frank, 13, recently had his bar mitzvah. In lieu of gifts, he asked for cash donations. What he did with that cash is what has everyone talking.
When Drew tallied up all of his gifts, he had $25,000. He didn’t keep any of that money for himself. Instead, he donated it to a charity to give away shoes. A lot of shoes.
In collaboration with the Braden Aboud Foundation, he purchased 800 pairs of Nikes and 800 pairs of socks. Over 400 pairs of those shoes were donated to a public elementary school in a lower-income neighborhood. The other shoes will go to a local orphanage and a YWCA transitional living center for women and children.
[...]
While most boys keep their bar mitzvah gifts for themselves, Drew is happy he was able to share his.
“I’m giving sneakers to these kids who may otherwise not have new sneakers,” he says. “They just get shoes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I just wanted to give back to these kids who are less fortunate than me.”




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Israeli on a Dog Sled (video)

here is a video as part of a Facebook post... an Israeli who wants to go compete in some dog sled challenge in the North Pole... kind of reminds of the Jamaican Bobsled team that competed in the Olympics..




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if Trump can become President, anybody can.. (video)

hilarious..






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TBEX Jerusalem Bloggers Press Trip 2016 #tbexjlm (video)



We brought bloggers from all over the world to Jerusalem for a press trip in advance of the TBEX Conference, which will take place in the city in March 2017. Their reactions to the city, its culture, and its history is worth everything.





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4,000 Rabbis Attempt The #MannequinChallenge In Crown Heights (video)

didn't work out too well, but kudos for the attempt..






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Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song Part 4 (video)

Sandler's latest version of his Chanukka song that he introduced last year..





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Nov 30, 2016

tour the Beit Hamikdash

Interestingly, you can now take a tour of the Beit Hamikdash using Google Maps..




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[Yaakov] Eichler on the Light-Rail train (video)







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Bat Ayin: Episode 3 - The Settler (video)








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preparing for winter, in Jerusalem (video)







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Micha Gamerman - Bezochrenu Et Zion (Official Music Video)







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Nov 29, 2016

Proposed Law: Kotel area to run according to halacha

Minister Aryeh Deri is proposing a law, that probably won't pass, that he thinks will "solve" the conflict at the Kotel with the demands for accessibility by the Women of the Wall.

Deri's law will prohibit the Women of the Wall from praying in the main plaza of the Kotel but will give them their access in the southern section that has come to be known as the "Reform Kotel".

While the order and decorum at the Kotel was put into a set of regulations dating back to 1981, it was never actually set into law. This means that while things normally function smoothly, at times there is conflict. Deri therefore wants to put the regulations into actual law that will organize and set the rules for prayer service in the prayer plaza of the Kotel, while protecting the status and holiness of the entire Kotel area.

The law, if passed, will define what the Kotel area includes, the rav appointed over the Kotel area, the customs of the place, and what actions are prohibited in the area.

According to the proposal:
the Kotel area would include the Kotel itself and the plaza, along with any structures and pathways, above and below ground, who's access is via the Kotel plaza.
The rav would be the rav appointed by the Minister of Religious Services with the agreement of the Chief Rabbis of Israel.
The customs would be according to din torah as determined by the rabbinical courts and as established by the rav appointed over the Kotel.
The prayer plaza would be the area delineated on the map as the plaza of the Kotel and the prayer section of the Kotel.
Prohibited behaviors and actions are also delineated in the proposal, such as desecration of Shabbos and partitions between men and women, among other things. It would be prohibited to perform any ceremony, religious or otherwise, that does not follow local custom and is harmful to the sensitivities of the public praying there. As well, any such ceremonies that might disturb the prayers of those praying there. In the women's section any ceremony including the use of a Torah scroll, blowing of a shofar, and wearing tallis and/or tefillin, would be prohibited.

Punishment for anybody breaking this law would be subject to 6 months imprisonment or a 10,000nis fine.
source: Kikar, Walla News, INN, TOI

This proposal, as of now, is not expected to pass. Moshe Kachlon already said he opposes it and will fight it. Others will as well. UTJ is very good at threatening to get their demands met, but Shas hasn't been so good with that recently, and this is a Shas initiative.

A point that seems strange to me is that after they came up with the Kotel deal giving the Reform and Women of the Wall access to and control over the southern section, the Haredi MKs retracted their approval (for various reasons) and spoke very harshly against it and against giving what would become de facto recognition of the Reform in Israel. And Deri's law would do just that as well. So it is getting hard to keep up with all the flip-flopping about how they deal with the Reform.

Another interesting point to me is that Women of the Wall have responded saying that this is another step towards turning the State into a Halachik State, and would lead to running the entire State in old-fashioned ideas while erasing human rights and democratic rights from others. This is interesting to me because it seems by using the warning of "halachik state" they are admitting that their actions are against halacha while until now they insisted that they were within the bounds of halacha even if not within the bounds of current custom.

A concern of mine, or perhaps a curiosity, would be that pretty much every ceremony taking place at the Kotel disturbs the prayers of the people there. Army induction ceremonies with thousands of people in the plaza, State ceremonies (such as on Yom Hazikaron among others), yeshivas and hassidic groups that go there and have gatherings or make dance circles, even the nightly daf yomi shiur could be thought of by some as a disturbance, the bar mitzva ceremonies with darbuka drums,   among many others that happen on a daily basis, and even ceremonies such as the public menora lightings on Chanukka, could all be seen to be disturbing the prayers of those at the Kotel - will they all become illegal? Would the law get shot down because of this as people would appeal that some disturbing ceremonies are being allowed while other are not?





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Rabbanut going down the rabbit hole

Rav Avraham Yosef, Chief Rabbi of Holon, has spoken out against singers who officiate at wedding ceremonies, calling for them to be arrested and brought to trial.

Rav Yosef does not like the trend of people hiring performers for their weddings and have them also lead the services of the wedding chuppa. It is illegal, as they are [often] not certified by the Rabbanut to perform weddings, and they should be prosecuted for this..

Rav Yosef also suggested a public campaign to inform the public that it is illegal and that people present at such affairs or aware of such affairs should inform the Rabbanut and then the Rabbanut should begin legal proceedings against the offenders.
source: Kikar

1. maybe Rav Yosef is just looking for a cellmate for when he goes to jail. Rav Yosef was indicted for breach of trust for abusing his power as City Rabbi to benefit the private hechsher (Bet Yosef) of his family.

2. Rav Yosef might be going down the rabbit hole here. What they are doing is illegal, and he is right about that. But once it goes to court and becomes a public issue, who is to say that this will not be the start of yet another anti-establishment, anti-Rabbanut movement claiming that the Rabbanut is once again just using power to enforce its monopoly. The kashrut industry has been shaken up ever since the Rabbanut went down the path of chasing down people with private hechshers and is not yet sure what will happen when it arrives on the other side. Who is to say that this won't happen with life-cycle events in the same way, with the courts establishing that it is time to open up the market to other service providers besdies for the Rabbanut?




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Facebook Status of the Day

Meir Kalmanson is so kooky...




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