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.
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…)
The past few weeks have been kind of rough. I have spent much time worrying about what will be and how things will turn out in the end. Money is always a concern for most people. How much we have? How much we make? How much we are going to make? How much are we spending and on what? Can we buy the stuff that we want? (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…)
Are you a young bochur thinking about marriage to your bashert but unclear how to go about finding one, especially in our era of the Shidduch Crisis? (more…)
What is wrong with people?
I am asking this as seriously as I can. I am not referring to the “Shidduch crisis” that currently “plagues” our community. An achievable solution has already been formulated, albeit, not put into action. I digress.
I was recently at a Shabbos sheva brachos, and the chosson and kallah arrived almost 45 minutes late to lunch after deciding to go home after kiddush. As a friend of theirs, I met them outside and mentioned that I understood they are the chosson and kallah but it is not correct to make more than 50 people wait to start the sueda. The kallah responded, “We are the chosson and kallah, there are cheshbonos”. I was shocked by that response. (more…)
There must be many thousands of Jews in the United and States and elsewhere who get their news from chareidi websites. I confess to reading these websites myself throughout the day. About a week ago, a story of a “Kiddush Hashem” appeared on a well-known chareidi website. It concerned the Korean Ambassador to the United Nations and his daughter who worked for a well-known Agudah leader. (more…)
I thought long and hard before writing the following words. For a couple of years, I dithered and I paused. For many months, I questioned whether I had the right to be critical of those seeking our assistance. But events that happened recently in Eretz Yisroel convinced me that some things had to be said, regardless of their sensitivity. (more…)
The following is not a joke, it actually was recorded on their hotline
On Friday night in the big Shul in Square Town, the gabbai (sexton) called out “everyone must go out and vote for Hillary Clinton”. Since it was announced in Shul it was with the Rebbe’s guidance. When Trump was the winner, a rumor started that the Rebbe really knew (a Rebbe knows everything) Trump was going to win (more…)
With this latest conviction of Rabbi Berland, where he admitted to several counts of groping woman and kissing them. Let us not kid ourselves, this was a plea bargain where at these things, the perpetrator admits to lesser charges as to avoid more jail time. It is now clear to us, that with his admission of “just” fondling and kissing, we see that these claims by all the other women of what he did to them are completely true. (more…)
The Jewish people arose as a nation many millennia ago. From the dawn if its birth, at the time of the Revelation at Mount Sinai, events occurred that influenced the march of its history and were indeed the hinges that changed the course of our nation. At these junctures, people arose who became, sometimes unwittingly, the instrument of those historical changes. (more…)
Now that the bitter and nasty fought election are over and there is a new President, we should all pray for his success. Still many are frightened, concerned, and some angry enough to take to the streets. This fear by so many is not that the “Right wing” won and there will be more conservative policies over next few years here, the fear is a totally different fear. The Republican agenda is much closer to my thinking then the Democrats, but I stayed home and did not vote this year, as I felt we were left with choice of either a macshefa (nasty person) or a mishugana (a nut job). (more…)
This Shabbos we had another Shabbos Inspire. While it is a beautiful thing and definitely a praiseworthy effort for all that participate, why can’t we take this into the rest of the week? (more…)
They’re finally here!!
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…)
Something that always irked me but I never really spoke about was the current state of Simchas Torah in our community. To me, Simchas Torah was represented by the usual assortment of rowdy individuals, many of whom picked up a Gemara* maybe 12 times this year, dancing in a raucous crowd of giddy, inebriated, and puerile adults.
I must admit, that as each year passes, on Yom Kippur at the Chassidsha Shul where I regularly daven (pray), it got more and more “less enthusiastic”. As I get older, it seems the schlepping (drawn out), screaming of the chazzan, hitting the bimah (lectern) got the better of me. I know Yom Kippur is a time for intense praying, and many people are indeed inspired by this way of praying. However, people are not the same (more…)
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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…)
On Erev Yom Kippur 5772 I was drowning. Maybe in the figurative sense as well, but I was actually drowning in the Atlantic Ocean. (more…)
Each year Yom Kipper night before Kol Nidrei in many shuls, including ours, we ask forgiveness from each letter of Hashem’s name. Many people don’t understand the significance of each letter and think it is some secret prayer for forgiveness. The following is a little better understanding of what we are saying.
People write about pet peeves all the time but I couldn’t call this issue a pet peeve. Firstly, the very word “pet” connotes something beloved, cherished and possibly furry. When I think of this matter, that if I wouldn’t care about my blood pressure, would have me exploding all over the place, the only furry thing I see is Bigfoot – the most apt description I can think of when trying to describe the crude, humorless, uneducated, unkempt, “chossid”. (more…)
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…)
Welcome to The Thinking Yid, formerly known as Acher’s Musings.
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…)
The torah tells in Bereshis 49:14 Yissachar Chamor Gorim – Yissachar is a strong-boned Donkey. Rashi explains this is referring to a Torah Scholar, as bearer of the yoke of the torah. Rovetz Bein Ha’misfasayim – Crouching down between the Boundaries. Rashi further explains; just as a donkey broods along day and night merely crouching down to get a brief rest between the city limits, so is the way of the Torah Scholar.
The Chofetz Chaim, based on this verse write – The way of a True Torah Scholar is, he wearies day and night in studying Torah, (more…)
Why do we whitewash the lives of our gedolim? Why is that we feel that if we say a gadol made a mistake, or wasn’t the smartest person in the room, or wasn’t always ecstatic that it in some way takes away from their greatness? Why does every gadol story go something like this: He mastered chumash by age three, Mishnah by age five, and Shas by age ten. He never was unhappy a day in his life. (more…)
Articles are currently under review for posting! More and more people are being made aware of the opportunity to say what they think and feel! If you are reading this, (more…)
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…)