As per the article here, it is 777 years after the infamous and horrendous burning of the Babylonian Talmud, as well as other, precious Jewish Manuscripts in Paris.
The huge turnout for the funeral exceeded almost everyone’s expectations. It was indeed larger than other great Rebbes’ funerals from the past generation. The question begs – Why? What did people see or feel, that brought forth this outpouring of grief, taking from their time to come to pay their last respects? To be honest, in his lifetime, The Skulener Rebbe did not have this level of commitment from Chassidim, nor did he have people flocking to his Tish or his Simchas. (more…)
This game is perfect for all situations and fosters a health competitive atmosphere.
The rules are as follows:
Two people decide which one will begin the match. This game is best played with the winner being the one who succeeds in 2 of 3 matches.
The player who begins will start by saying a Base Jewish name. Within >3 seconds, the second player must respond with the original base name and a new Jewish name.
The first player then responds with the previous names, tacking on a third Jewish name, within the >3 second time frame, of course.
The game continues until one of the players either misstates the full name (all previous names), reuses a name that was listed prior, or takes too long to respond.
Sample Base Names: Katz, Klein, Cohen, Berg, Stein, Fein, Feld, Green, or anything short (and Jewish) really 🙂
The following is an example of a match:
Player One: Katz
Player Two: Katzberg
Player One: Katzebergstein
Player Two: Katzbergsteinfeld
Player One: Katzbergsteinfeldwitz
Player Two: Katzbergsteinfeldwitzenheimer
Player One: Katzbergsteinfeldwitzenheimerer (Yeah it’s a cop out but we allow it)
Player Two: Katzbergsteinfeldwitzenheimererblatt
The winner of 2 out of 3 matches wins the set and can proclaim his or herself Jewish Name Game Master or the immediate area, until he or she is dethroned by another challenger.
Generally, after 6 or 7 names the game is generally lost and won. Although, between legendary players, some matches have been known to go for over 10 names! Or so the epic tales have it.
The game is also known as the Jewish Name Suffix Game (but that’s a bit wordy).
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This stuff is great! And I can only assume it will get better as they develop!
If you loved Zach Galifinakis’ Between Two Ferns, you will love this show!
The paladins of our current regressive society–from Joe Scarborough to Chris Mathews (video) –say that Trump is Hitler. It is in fact become a standard piece of leftist rhetoric, in the past couple of years.
Is Trump Hitler?
Immediately, some similarities spring to mind. Hitler did not drink alcohol. Trump doesn’t drink alcohol. Hitler did not smoke. Trump doesn’t smoke. Hitler liked military history. Trump likes military history.
Eleven Jews Were Murdered.
As is widely known by now, eleven Jews were murdered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States. They had been worshiping on Shabbos in the Tree of Life Synagogue (Eitz Chaim) when they were brutally gunned down. The names of the vicitms are: Daniel Stein, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal,Bernice Simon, Sylvan Simon, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger.
Rose Mallinger was 97 years old. Think on that. Ninety-seven years old.
Reb Fishele learned under the Maggid Reb Ber (Mezritch) and then with Reb Meilich of Lizensk. Later, he went to the Chozeh (seer) of Lublin, where he met the Yid Ha’kodesh and the Kotzker.
One day, sometime in the first quarter of the 19th century in the town of Strykov in central Poland, the Chasidisha court of the revered Rabbi Ephraim Fishele Shapiro, known as Reb Fishele Strykover, was thrown into turmoil. Without warning, Reb Fishele had withdrawn into his room and would not see or receive anyone (similar to what the Kotzker did for the last 20 years of his life). His Chasidim were dismayed. No longer could they go to their Rebbe the righteous one, for guidance or consolation. After much pleading and begging, still the Rebbe Reb Fishele did not want to leave his room nor speak to any of his Chasidim. For him it was over and done with, he is no longer a Rebbe!
In an immaculate display of sheer intelligence, raw understanding, and intimate insight into the religious world, Chaim N. Saiman, Professor of Law at Villanova University, broaches an unexplored topic that is the true nature of Halacha, in his new and groundbreaking book: Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law.
In his work, Professor Saiman astutely delineates the difference between Jewish Halacha and the normative law usually found in societies around the world. Using keen insight into the Frum Jewish sphere, Saiman provides valuable insight and provokes deep thought on a ubiquitous aspect of our lives, a topic that isn’t normally broached in yeshiva circles. Never has a work delved so deeply into the nature of Halacha, to force the reader to take a step back from everything they were taught and led to believe, in order to gain a true understanding of the very construct that governs our everyday lives!
To merely read Professor Saiman’s chapters on Halacha as Non-Applied Law (plainly: that much of Halacha is written, taught, and learned in a way that makes it nigh impossible for it to ever be realized in actuality), or the chapter on Halacha in relation to its current state and previous transformations throughout the ages (from Gemara to Tur, etc.) warrants the purchasing of this book.
This book truly frames Halacha in a novel light and allows the reader to observe something they have known all their lives in a whole new light. The book first seeks to truly define what Halacha is and then moves on to explore its history and application. Saiman explores the many aspects of Halacha, such as: Halacha as Torah (Revelation on Sinai, learning for G-D), Halacha and Governance (Enforcement of Halachos and the legal system), Halacha as Theology (addressing laws of prayer and Shabbos), and Halacha as Education (how Halacha works in relation to human interactions with one another). In just a few hundred, well written pages, Saiman is able to present this familiar concept in a novel way to help the reader think as few ever have.
I will not delve any deeper into the contents of this seminal work, as I fear, at worst, misrepresenting Professor Saiman’s message, and at best, depriving another reader of enjoying this epic journey on their own.
Click the image below to check out this amazing work and discover a world beyond everything you’ve been taught to believe!
After the recent and horrific events this has never been more important!
It is far beyond worth the 5 dollars it costs to purchase! The ideology and message expressed within should be promulgated to every Jewish household!
The ongoing issue regarding the education debate in the American Chasidish community is one that has many people scrambling to take sides in. Although there will be exclusive Thinking Yid articles dressing this situation posted in days to come, the following article, written by Rabbi Avi Shafran, hits the nail on the head. His eloquence and careful word selection easily conveys an important message to all those who support Moster’s (at best) misguided efforts.
There are report in Israeli media that Iran is preparing to attack Israel. Jerusalem Post, “Iran is preparing a barrage of missiles to launch against Israeli military positions from Syrian territory”.
Is always a good idea to pray for the Jews in Israel, but news like this should spur us to greater prayer. No matter the outcome, a short or pronged hot war between Iran and Israel will be costly to Israel.
This is the prayer we say every Shabbos (if you don’t, ask yourself why not):
“Our Father in Heaven, Rock and Redeemer of Israel, bless the State of Israel, the first manifestation of the approach of our redemption. Shield it with Your lovingkindness, envelop it in Your peace, and bestow Your light and truth upon its leaders, ministers, and advisors, and grace them with Your good counsel. Strengthen the hands of those who defend our holy land, grant them deliverance, and adorn them in a mantle of victory. Ordain peace in the land and grant its inhabitants eternal happiness.
Lead them, swiftly and upright, to Your city Zion and to Jerusalem, the abode of Your Name, as is written in the Torah of Your servant Moses: “Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the world, from there the Lord your God will gather you, from there He will fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you to the land that your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your fathers.” Draw our hearts together to revere and venerate Your name and to observe all the precepts of Your Torah, and send us quickly the Messiah son of David, agent of Your vindication, to redeem those who await Your deliverance.
Manifest yourself in the splendor of Your boldness before the eyes of all inhabitants of Your world, and may everyone endowed with a soul affirm that the Lord, God of Israel, is king and his dominion is absolute. Amen forevermore.”
How often do we hear/use this phrase?
We don’t even realize it, but this is a huge assumption. By saying this, one assumes that both, yourself and the other person, will be around later. This is bold reasoning when one considers the wide array of things that can occur and end either or both lives abruptly. We also use this line of thinking when we do something that we know is not good for our physical or spiritual self that we assume that we will fix at a later time. It is important to realize that no one leaves this world having completed their “to do list”. This does not mean that we should give up and stop trying! Quite the opposite. We should try our best all the time and prioritize what is important to us. Have parents? Make sure to spend time with them and tell them how you feel. Even if ‘they already know.’ The same goes with your friends, try to make time for them even if it’s for a few minutes.
Treasure the people in your life whom you care about and who care about you because in this life, nothing is for certain and very often we forget about that until it’s too late. So, love your family and friends, say it and show it. If you care about something show it, if you want to make a difference, do something. So many people don’t do anything and wait for tomorrow, not realizing that tomorrow is not guaranteed. One of the biggest issues we have especially in today’s society is how fast paced everything is. Everyone is busy all the time and we push things off thinking we will get around to it ‘later.’
Avoid this pitfall and make everyday count, live life to the fullest. Talk to your family and friends, let them know you care for and appreciate them.
I wanted to update you on the situation in Germany, and draw your attention to this video. I had previously touched upon Germany in this article, entitled, “MUSLIM BAN: A JEWISH OUTLOOK” dated 2/13/2017. Discussing the settlement of Muslims in Europe, I wrote,
“Some markers I thought to be of interest…In Germany, in December, a terrorist drove a truck into a crowd of people at a Christmas Market. There were also several other planned terror attacks against Germany in that period. The unrivaled Mark Steyn, who has been prophesying and chronicling all this, writes: “The Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition dating back to the Middle Ages: Munich’s is over 700 years old. A society that can only hold three-quarters-of-a-millennium-old traditions behind an impenetrable security perimeter is a society that will soon lose those traditions.” There are some 5,000,000 Muslims in Germany.” (more…)
Israel’s Independence Day: Yom Ha’atzmaut
First a quote about Independence Day:
Death of Rabbi Akiva’s Students
The Shulchan Aruch, basing himself on the language of Tur, writes in Orach Chaim 493:
סעיף א נוהגים שלא לישא אשה בין פסח לעצרת עד ל”ג לעומר, מפני שבאותו זמן מתו תלמידי רבי עקיבא; אבל לארס ולקדש, שפיר דמי, ונשואין נמי, מי שקפץ וכנס אין עונשין אותו. הגה: מיהו מל”ג בעומר ואילך הכל שרי (אבודרהם ב”י ומנהגים).
It is customary not to marry a woman between Pesach and Shavuot until Lag BaOmer, because in that time, the students of Rabbi Akiva died. However, to do “erusin” and “kiddushin” (engagement and betrothal) is fine. And even for “nisuin” (marriage), if someone did so, we do not punish him. Rema: however, from Lag Ba’Omer onwards, all this is permitted (Abudraham, Beit Yosef & Minhagim).
A land where there is more Torah learning today than ever in Jewish History. A new Jewish baby is born in Israel every four minutes. Biblical prophecies have come to life. Towns where our forefathers lived, such as Chevron, Beth El and Shilo, are replete with children, Shuls, mikvehs and thousands of fruit trees. A Jewish army has been established – the first in 2000 years to protect its citizens. 97% of boys receive a bris. Most fast on Yom Kippur. 90% have a Pesach seder. Perfect? Not by a long shot. We know the country is rife with religious differences and difficulties. But deserving of praise and gratitude to our Father who gave us this special gift? Definitely!
The following excerpts were written by Zachariah Schwartzberg zt’l. A survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and the concentration camps.
“I have never seen any conflict between the love of Judaism and the love of the State of Israel. I know too well what happens to defenseless Jews. The historical circumstances of the rise of a sovereign Jewish country, coming as it did in the immediate wake of the Holocaust – the culmination of endless persecutions, was as clear an indication as could be that there is a G-d in charge of the world, a G-d who directs our destiny and orchestrated the stunning miracle of Israel’s resurrection from the ash heap of history. To those like me who had seen firsthand the hatred of our enemies – the new reality of soldiers soundly defeating our enemies was a healing balm unlike any other to both heart and soul. I watched the awestruck expressions of the young soldiers at the kotel as they listened to the sounds of the shofar. I couldn’t help but recall the faces of the Jewish boys I’d known in Poland who could never EVER have imagined such a scene and never lived to see it. How different things would have been in the 30’s had there been an Israel. In July 1976, when Israel mounted the Entebbe rescue that shocked the world, I was besides myself with gratitude to Hashem”.
We must never forget the horrors of the past – always focus on our numerous blessings as we pave the way for our ultimate redemption, speedily in our days.
There has been another reporting of a child being hit by a school bus in Monsey!! Enough is enough!!
Please be extra cautious around them (as a driver and as a passenger).
The writers at Thinking Yid are working to raise awareness of this growing issue. The sheer madness must stop! No one should see a massive school bus barreling towards their car at 50 MPH in 5 inches of snow!! But they do!!!
It’s bad enough that the days of children walking to school bus stops and buses not stopping on main road is now over, but not only do buses rule the roads now and just stop and create traffic wherever the driver pleases, they also speed and ignore the basic conventions of the road.
If you’ve observed (or have a recording) of a school bus in Monsey committing a traffic violation or driving unsafely, please forward it to Notarebba@gmail.com
For even more videos than what is posted below, check out this account dedicated to posts about the rampaging Monsey School Buses!
MONSEY SCHOOL BUS RUNS OVER CHILD!!
Rt. 306 and Maple!
I said this once and I’ll say it again! Until People Die NO ONE WILL DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE RAMPANT BUS SITUATION IN MONSEY!!! Buses in monsey need Dashcams (inaccessible by the driver) and GPS Monitoring speed at all times!! The Drivers are beyond RECKLESS! Why do people need to be maimed or killed until we do something about monsey school buses?!?
MONSEY SCHOOL BUS BLATANTLY BREAKING THE LAW!!!
To dress up, or not to dress up? That is the question.
While studying the source of “dressing up on Purim” and along with some reasoning and deduction, I came to a conclusion as to how the custom came about. To begin, I will make this disclaimer: I do not want anyone to think I am 100% positive as to the accuracy of this theory, because no one can be completely sure how it started, since there aren’t any reliable sources focusing on this question. Please keep in mind, should one show where I have gone wrong, I am always ready and open to reasoning.
This new idea just presented to our community, while understanding the meaningfulness of trying a new system, in reality will do more harm than good. No one can deny there is a huge problem with singles, especially the older girls. Whose heart does not bleed for the parents of an older girl or boy doing everything and anything, going through embarrassments, agreeing to fork out their life saving, and not have to quietly watch their child keep suffering trying to find their shiddach. (more…)
A plan to help our singles in the community:
Gather together all of the best shadchanim and hire them as full-time employees. Regular, 9-5 employees. Pay them a salary, whatever makes sense, say, 65k to 80k per year. Give the shadchanim office space, phones, computers, give them all the tools they need to succeed in shidduchim. These shadchanim will be considered regular employees, they can even be assigned quotas and have goals set to determine a certain amount of dates per week they must “set up” etc. Let them work solid week after week to help marry off the singles in our community.
If these shadchanim make a successful shidduch and the parents want to pay them for the shadchanus, great! Let them pay! But it isn’t required, as they are already being paid by the caring wealthy people (and supported by the rabanim, of course) of our community! Paying these salaries should not prove too difficult for the outspoken wealthy families in our community. Hopefully. I am certain that others would be more than willing to donate money to such a lofty cause.
If more money is donated to this cause? Great! Hire more full-time shadchanim! The more the merrier!
A program like this not only ensures that there are top shadchanim working tirelessly to aid our community, but it also ensures that:
The Bottom Line:
Hire full-time shadchanim and pay them regular salaries. If others want to donate to the cause, let them, but it cannot be required of them.
Myth: There is a Megillas Maccabees for Chanukah, just like there is a Megillas Esther for Purim. (more…)
Myth: The war was won very quickly. This, it would seem, is hinted at by the very name. Chanukah. חנו כ”ה, which means that they rested on the fifteenth.
Myth: The Hellenic Seleucids only waged war on the soul of Judaism. They were only trying to convert us to their pagan, hedonistic, Greek ways, and were not interested in hurting us physically. Rabbi David Addato writes, “It’s amazing that the Syrian Greeks never tried to kill us physically, they never even considered exiling us from the Land of Israel…” Rabbi Joshua Bitton writes, “Their threat was not a physical one. It was an ideological aggression.” He writes further, “There was no physical threat to the Jewish people.” (Both of the aforementioned rabbis wrote articles in the paper “Veshinantam”, which is where the quotes are from.) (more…)
Bonus Myth: The Yevanim were the mightiest empire in the world at the time. (more…)
So let’s grow together and get it straight, don’t get our husband to shop or do anything really, for Wifey to be truly happy. For sure shopping stories are a plenty but 3 times 3 = 9, and 9 isn’t a lucky number which rhymes with nein (the word is from Yiddish meaning no). (more…)
Te Deum laudámus. Praise be to God. Donald Trump, in his capacity as president of the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Candidate Trump had of course promised to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but so had candidate Bush before him, and so had candidate Clinton before him. In 1995 congress passed a law to that affect. Hitherto, a waiver embodied within the law was routinely exercised, rendering the law a dead-letter. (more…)
Yesterday I unwittingly became entangled in a political demonstration. No worries, I am safe and sound. It wasn’t Fascist Nazis or Fascist anti-Nazis. It was run-of-the-mill leftist protesters holding signs, and even waving the American flag. Would they accost me if they knew I was to the right of Genghis Kahn? I don’t think so, but I didn’t test it.
As can be seen in the video that I took, the crowd is protesting Trump’s proposed tax cuts. They were claiming that it hurt the poor and helped the rich. (more…)
The Biale Rebbe is a Chasidic leader who has gained in popularity in recent times. This is evidenced by the many people, some of whom are decidedly not Charedi, who turn to him for advice and guidance. He, like other Chasidic Rebbes who travel around, visit a city amidst great fanfare. Part of that is the posting of advertisements to announce and showcase the Rebbe. Enclosed is one of these advertisements. In case you have difficulty reading the picture, let me type the blurb: