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).
“Earlier today, a religious IDF soldier was driving his car through that neighborhood [Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet] when he was assailed by stones. He lost control of his car, crashed into a post, and had to be hospitalized.”
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…)
Myth: The Jews fought a war against the Yevanim, who are the Greeks.
Bonus Myth: The Yevanim were the mightiest empire in the world at the time. (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:
Ambassador Danny Danon at the JRC
I had the honor to meet briefly Danny Danon at the Jewish Republican Coalition yesterday. Danon is Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, a post to which he applies his considerable energy and strength of will. Those qualities, and a good sense of humor, were on full display last night at the event. He gave a lengthy speech, thanking the audience for their support of the state of Israel, as well lambasting Obama for his abandonment of Israel, especially at the UN.
All that was excellent. But he also devoted considerable time informing us about the progress Israel is making at the UN. From the way he was telling it, Israel is transitioning from being a pariah-nation on the level of Apartheid South Africa to being a respected nation, gaining friends and admirers at every turn. (more…)
Headline from Israel National News: “Report: Trump’s team drafting peace plan”. Further: “According to the report, the plan is intended to go beyond previous frameworks offered by the American government in pursuit of what the president calls “the ultimate deal.”’
Also detailed in the story in the goal of implementing the two-state delusion, or as some people call it, the two-state solution.
No. Let’s not go down this path. There is no pot of gold at the end of it. There is no happy ending to this story. Mainly, because this is not a fairy tale. This is reality. A cold and brutal reality.
Must your wife cover her hair, her elbows, and her knees to be in accordance with Jewish law? Is it a fact, as I have heard since I can remember, that a married lady must, according to all opinions, cover all that and more. Indeed, the reaction of many is—woe to the woman who doesn’t cover up to a great degree, for she will be considered in breach of halacha. She will be considered to be dressed immodestly, if not promiscuously.
The preliminary answer—and this a preliminary piece—is no. Your wife needn’t.
You see, it all comes down to the idea of Daas Yehudis (Jewish Practice). “What is Daas Yehudis?, and why have I not heard of it before?” you may ask. And even if you have heard of it, you may not know it’s full significance. If you want to read at length on the issue, read Rabbi Michael J Broyde on the subject. If you aren’t interested in reading a document with 101 footnotes, read on here. (more…)
Editor’s Note: The following is in response to this article by Eitan Gross.
Dear Eitan Gross,
I am writing to you in respect to your recent article on Modern Orthodoxy in the Times of Israel. I must congratulate you on a job well done. Your piece is very interesting. I hope you have not had so many responses that you won’t find time to read mine.
What is more, I probably don’t disagree with a single thing therein, pro tanto. I would just like to address what I consider the fundamentals of it all.
How is your argumentation positioned? Is it in context or in isolation? I mean to ask: are your criticizing this and that aspect of Modern Orthodoxy, in and of itself, or in contradistinction to other forms of Orthodoxy that are out there. By way of metaphor, one can criticize poverty under capitalism on its own, or in relation to other systems. The latter is foolish; any other system, such as feudalism or communism, produces more poverty. But, there is of course some poverty in a capitalist system. One could criticize it in isolation. (more…)
Some fascinating developments have recently occured. Moreover, the press, always eager to tar and feather Israel, Zionists, and Likud/Revisionist Zionists/Irgun at the drop of a hat, barely covered it. (more…)
Should Jews Take Sides in the Charlottesville Chaos?
Since I was a very young boy, the number one thing that I have heard in regards to any political issue was always the question, “Is it good for the Jews?” The US has declared war against Iraq; fine, but “Is it good for the Jews?” Congress is trying to pass welfare reform; fine, but “is it good for the Jews?” So on and so forth. (more…)
I would like to begin by asking how are we to react to the events of the past week? How are we to react when we see our enemies celebrating after they killed some Jews, and after they embarrassed Israel. (more…)
Imagine a peasant who was brought up in some far-out rural village in ancient Egypt, disconnected physically and mentally from the unrivaled grandeur of Egyptian civilization with its impressive edifices and royal splendor. If he were to be blindfolded and transported to the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza, would he have any inkling of what stood before him? Would he have any notion that towering above him was 481 feet of the tallest man-made structure in the world (a title it would keep for some four millennia), an incredible testament to human genius and labor–and imagination and willpower? Would the blindfolded man be able to believe that before him stood a remarkable structure comprised of some 2.3 million blocks of stone, for a total estimated mass of 5.9 million tonnes? No. (more…)
With the election of President Trump, a man named Jared Kushner is gaining prominence. Jared is Trump’s son-in-law. He is also Trump’s advisor, thus making him one step removed from the most important man in the world. Jared is also Jewish.
The UN Votes to Condemn Israel
Just in time for Chanukah, the holiday of Jews fighting off oppressive regimes, Obama just abandoned Israel in the UN. Traditionally, the UN Security Council– which is the small group of countries that have whatever real “teeth” the impotent UN possesses, is not as effectively anti-Israel as the larger, amorphous UN General Assembly. (more…)
Donald Trump has just announced his intention to nominate David Friedman to be the US ambassador to Israel. The press release signaled a dramatic change in US-Israel relations. Friedman is quoted as saying that he wishes to strengthen the relationship between the two countries “from the U.S. embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem”. What a delight! (more…)
Jews, in the words of Tolkien (he of Lord of the Rings fame), are a “gifted people”. John Adams was fulsome in his praise. “They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a Bauble in comparison of the Jews. They have… influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily, than any other Nation ancient or modern.” Mark Twain: “His contributions to the World’s list of of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.” (more…)
Who should Orthodox Jews vote for in 2016? (If you are non-Jewish you may skip to the end of the article entitled Final Note.)
Trump, of course. (more…)
There is an article from Rabbi Michael J. Broyde on showering on Yom Tov. The usual rules about not making halachic decisions based on what you read on an internet website apply. But I feel that there is a tremendous lack of up-to-date knowledge on the subject. To rectify that you can read Broyde’s article, complete with 89 footnotes, or you could just continue reading this. (more…)
Sep 26, 2016 was when the Republican and Democrat candidates debated for the first time this cycle. While the candidates were arguing inside Hofstra University, the Neturei Karta had a protest outside. Rabbi Weiss, who is one of the chief agitators of the gang, gave an interview. I thought I would provide a point by point rebuttal to the drivel. (more…)
The Alternate Right
The Alt-right is a nascent political/cultural movement in the US (and also the West generally). Literally, the Alt stands for Alternative. It is the alternative to the normal (establishment) right wing political echelon. Why are we talking about the Alt-Right? (more…)
Zionism: Defeating the Slave Mentality
The Prophets of old inspired the Jewish people: speaking of pursuing justice, admonishing kings for their sins, and exhorting their listeners to drop their evil ways and pursue Godliness and righteousness. It is with some interest, then, that we read the book of Nachum (Nahum), which deals primarily with the non-Jewish Assyrians and their capital, Nineveh. The Assyrians had been brutalizing and subjugating Israel for a long time, culminating in the reign of Sargon II, when the Northern Tribes of Israel were expelled from the land. (more…)
Recapturing the Spirit of Zionism
How to discuss Zionism? The apathy among Jews on the question of Zionism is a listlessness that has spread throughout the Jewish people. Few could even remember of the tremendous energies and passions that were the hallmarks of Zionism just some decades ago. Perhaps there is no longer a need for remarkable energy and passion in our support of Zionism. (more…)
“Right is Left and Left is Right”: A Rebuttal
In the “About” section of Acher’s Musings Blog, https://achersmusings.wordpress.com/about/, it says thus:
“Many people are… fooled into believing that they cannot think for themselves. They need a Rebbeh, a Gadol to think for them and to get them closer to Hashem. That is diametrically opposed to the views of Judaism. We believe that each… person has the ability to connect with Hashem on their own. They can look to others for inspiration but…”
How to square the circle? I am referring to what is called Daas Torah. (more…)
Yerushalmi: Hc Svnt Dracones
In ancient times, writers would draw monsters, dragons, and all manner of fearsome beasts at the edge of their maps. This often signified that there was no knowledge of that darkly unknown area, and thus it was frightening to go there, or even think of going there. There was even a term for this in Latin (more…)