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Oct 23, 2014

Tzaharons opening at beginning of November!

I was just given permission to post this information. It just became public knowledge. You probably cannot find out this information anywhere else online yet.

Good news for working parents (or other parents who want their kids in tzaharon in the afternoon)!

Before the Sukkos holiday the government recapitulated on its decision to cancel the subsidies for afternoon day care due to budget cuts. They announced that after Sukkos the tzharons would begin with government subsidies.

They have now released the information and sent out the letter with the details. see below. I will summarize the letters first.

Petachya, the official operator of the subsidized tzaharonim, is announcing that the tzaharons will begin at the beginning of November. The programs will have an enrichment program until 3:45pm on Sundays through Thursdays, on school days (not including vacation days). The program will include a hot meaty lunch with a mehadrin hechsher, will have social and educational programming and enrichment programs.

Registration for the tzaharons will take place from Sunday October 26 until Friday November 5th.

Registration will take place only through the telephone hotline at 073-320-0232 between 8am and 6pm (18:00), though the hotline will operate 24 hours a day though with less staffing.

Payment for tzaharon will be only via credit card.

At the time of registration you must have:
1. the official registration number of the school attended by the child
2. all relevant details (names, id numbers, etc..)
3. credit card information

in addition to registering by telephone, you must fill out the form (2nd page below) and submit it to the head of the tzaharon when it will open.





NOTE: I just saw that my daughter in the Eitz hadaas system came home with a similar note today. They are running the registration directly and sent a form to be signed and handed back in to the school. I imagine that through them the payment will be via horaat keva or however the parent already payys the school, rather than via credit card at registration.

So, check with your school to see the appropriate way to register.
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learning Torah takes no vacations

There are a lot of ways people can get inspired or inspire others. Regarding Torah learning, it usually involves seeing unusual dedication to the cause. Here is a story, firsthand, that just happened, that I think is more inspiring than many of the standard-fare stories of yeshiva guys learning through the night or early mornings or x hours per day...

Here goes.

background:
a bunch of guys work all day long, each in his own job, on his schedule. some longer hours, some shorter hours. Some work in more physical labor type jobs, some sit at a desk and do what they do. Every single day, with no breaks - no bein hazmanim at all, just about 365 days a year (or 354 on the Hebrew calendar), these guys get together to learn. They have finished Shas together, finished Shulchan Aruch together. Tremendous dedication over a long time, to learn at night, just for an hour to an hour and a half, after an exhausting day. day in, day out. no breaks. Literally. While all other shiurim take vacations, this shiur does not. While other rabbonim go away for x amount of time and put the shiur on hold, this shiur does not - if the maggid shiur has to go away, a substitute is found.

story:
the shiur is now undergoing some changes. Some major topics were just finished, and a new major project is going to be taken on by the shiur. To plan it properly, the maggid shiur decided to take some time off, just a couple of weeks. The shiur, for the first time in about 15 years, would go on a short vacation, in order to plan the next stage properly.

Before the vacation even began, these exhausted middle-aged men, who should have been excited to get a little time off, time that could be spent with family, going out at night with the wife, doing other things, checking out another shiur or a speaker on an interesting topic, or just resting, approached someone and said they would like him to fill in and give shiur, on whatever topic, during the break. They did not want the vacation. So, they got someone to agree to give  shiur, and these exhausted men who set a daily time to learn, are continuing their regular learning schedule instead of taking advantage of a small amount of justifiable time off.

I know all the relevant parties, and I attest to the veracity of this story.

That's a story that can inspire!.


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A Tour of Israel in HD (video)

this is cool






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Yishai Fleisher on Al-Jazeera: Why is Al Aqsa Mosque Vital to Muslims (video)






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Medical Bike and Another One for One Brave Kid (video)






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Noah, by Bill Cosby (video)

the annual playing of the classic skit of Noah by Bill Cosby, in honor of this week's parsha, Noah...

enjoy




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Malchei Hamelachim - Eyal Golan (Gabriel Tumbak Cover) (video)






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Oct 22, 2014

The surprise of the Sanhedrin conference

Today there was a conference celebrating 10 years of the renewal of the Sanhedrin.

The program of the conference looks interesting.


An Arab posted a response on Facebook, and I am told it was an angry, inciteful, post, though Google Translate makes no sense so I dont actually have any idea what he wrote.



The biggest surprise, to me, of this situation is that the Sanhedrin still exists.

I used to follow the Sanhedrin closely. I have not heard anything from them in a very long time. I thought they just disappeared. That they are still active somehow is a surprise to me.
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Book Review: Reachings

NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.

Book Review: Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber, Mosaica Press


Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber, published by his great publishing house Mosaica Press, was a bit of a surprise for me. I had expected it to be a book on the parsha and Jewish Holidays; a book of nice lessons, vortlach perhaps on the parsha, etc. Reachings is so much more than that.

Reachings bases its lessons on the parsha and in the Jewish holiday cycles but it is far more than just another book on the parsha. Reachings is a book of fundamental lessons about Judaism. They are practical and understandable lessons, and they are reachable and achievable by us, the "common folk". They are not pie in the sky ideas.

Reachings is made up of short essays. It begins with essays cycling through the Jewish holidays, with one or two essays on each holiday. After that it moves to the weekly portion of Torah reading with essays on different fundamental lessons from that weeks portion.

I enjoyed the writing style of Reachings. The essays are written in clear English and are easy to read. The essays are relatively short, each essay is just a couple of pages, and Rabbi Haber gets to his point clearly and quickly. 

The essays are peppered with stories, many of which were heard first hand, and not just classic old Jewish tales. I actually enjoy the stories so much, as they are chosen to enrich the specific lesson and drive home the point and they are all right on target, and have even shared some of the stories (and of course the lessons) with my family at the Shabbos table, and even just on the occasional random evening.

Reachings, by Rabbi Yaacov Haber is now in its fourth printing, with the original printing dating back I think over 40 years! It must be good to have sold out so many times!



buy Reachings on Amazon.com





NOTE: I was not paid to review this book. It is an unbiased and objective review. If you have a book with Jewish or Israel related content and would like me to write a review, contact me for details of where to send me a review copy of the book.


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still no tzaharons despite government decision

A month ago the government announced that it had reversed its decision regarding the cut to the tzaharon budget and immediately after the Sukkos holiday it would return the subsidized tzaharonim, afternoon day care system, albeit with some possible changes. They even stated the date for the reversal to be October 19, the first day of school after the end of Sukkos.

So, October 19 has come and gone and nary a word about any new arrangement for the tzaharons. I have searched far and wide for any such notice, but have yet to find one. I posted the question on Minister of Education Rav Shai Piron's Facebook page asking what the status of the tzharons is, but I have yet to receive a response.

Working parents are still required to pay out a lot of money for private day care, for many rendering the economics of holding a job while paying exorbitant day care prices problematic and not worthwhile.

If anybody has information about this, let me know


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thoughts on the Jerusalem Chief Rabbinate race

thoughts on the chief rabbinate of Jerusalem elections:

 - Rav Moshe Chaim Lau has now lost two chief rabbinate races in just a few months. It is clear the only reason he was imported to the Jerusalem race was because of his family name giving him a chance to win. Jerusalem has plenty of qualified rabbis.

 - to continue that thought, with Rav Lau having now lost two chief rabbi races, will he be marked as a "loser" and end up with no further opportunities? Will his family connections prevent that? Is he "big" enough for this to not happen? Peres was branded a "loser", but that did not prevent him from running and eventually winning...

 - Rav Shlesinger saved himself the loss by pulling out, though that situation was dirty. UTJ should have backed him instead of Lau considering his loyalty to UTJ leadership, his standing in the Jerusalem rabbinate, and his many years of experience and reputation. All this makes the original point clear to me that Rabbi Lau was only brought in because of his name. Perhaps all this was maneuvered in order to save Rav Shlesinger's reputation.

 - the entire method of rabbinic elections needs to be somehow reformed. It is too political, too dirty, and that is not how rabbinics should be determined.

 - the Sefardi situation is just strange, with Shas and Rav Amar's alternating cold and hot relationship.

 - may the winners serve Jerusalem, Israel and the Jewish people with honor and dignity.


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Naftali Kalfa-South Africa TV interview (video)






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IDF Soldiers Educate the Next Generation (video)

sure, teaching Hebrew to new immigrant children is important, but is it "defending" the State?




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Skinning and Cutting of the Olah Sacrifice Korban (video)






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Rabbi of South Africa: This Shabbat, let's Keep it Together! (video)






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Eyal Cohen with Aviv Gefen on The Voice (video)

I am happy Eyal Cohen has done so well..







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