Dec 12, 2017

Zos Chanukah Choir @ Breuers / KAJ (K'hal Adath Jeshurun) (video)








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Facebook Status of the Day

this Facebook post is about 3 years old, but in memory of Rav Shteinman who died this morning, it is worth posting now..




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Minister Bennett on Meet The Press (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Dec. 7, 2017 (video)






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Hanukkah: Celebrating 8 Differences that Make the Jewish People Unique (video)








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Drop the Mic: Kunal Nayyar vs Mayim Bialik - FULL BATTLE | TBS (video)







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Y-Studs - Rise Up - Hanukkah (video)







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Dec 11, 2017

get your VCR now! major tax breaks!

Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon announced today a major tax cut on products such as electronics, cosmetics and toys.

Amazingly, the tax on VCRs is being cut down to a big fat zero! 0% tax on VCRs! Amazing! Forget digital and streaming, DVD and Blu-Ray and whatever else is out there... at 0% tax we should all go back to VCRs and record our memories on VHS tapes!

Does anybody still buy VCRs? Does anybody still sell them?

Anyways, on a more serious note, besides for VCRs, taxes are being slashed on televisions, screens, speakers, headsets, projectors, amplifiers, and more. You can now get that Hungarian chandelier for your bathroom  without paying tax! No customs on refrigerators, heaters, cookers, freezers, juicers and more!

Washing your hair will be cheaper as shampoos get slashed from the tax. Deodorant might now be cheap enough to become more popular. All sorts of clothes, as well as video games, gym equipment, swimming pools and games will all become cheaper!
source: TOI

Let's hope the tax break is passed along to the consumer...

Why couldn't they do this just a couple of weeks ago before Black Friday?






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Picture of the Day


Iryat Bet Shemesh today removed [6 of 8 of] the offending signs in the RBS B, Cheftziba, and Kirya Hachareidit neighborhoods, as per the court order.

I guess now that those signs are not up, women can walk through the neighborhoods dressed as immodestly as they want...

According to the Irya Facebook post on this, they removed the signs at a total cost of 50,000nis. Despite this, in at least one of the locations, the removed signs were immediately replaced with new signs. The police had the Iryah stop trying to remove them because of disturbances in the area. The mayor, Moshe Abutbol, turned to the courts showing that as many times in the past they have tried once again to remove the signs but do not have the power to enforce this complex issue on a daily basis nor to absorb the financial costs. He called upon the police and the courts, who do have the abilities, to enforce the law in Bet Shemesh on these issues.

I want to know how they get replacement signs printed so quickly, or where they store a seemingly endless supply, and how they hang them so fast..




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possible lawsuit against sexual assault victims

this is interesting. I have no idea of the legal issues involved and who has what rights. If thee are any lawyers out there that might offer some insight into this situation, I would appreciate your thoughts..

A couple of years ago Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg was convicted of sexual assault, fraud, rape and sodomy. A plea bargain left him convicted but dropped the rape and sodomy from the final indictment.

Three women who had filed complaints about rape and sodomy, which were ultimately left off the indictment, might now find themselves up a creek. The family of Sheinberg is suing, or considering suing, those three women fro damages. After all, they claimed he had raped and sodomized them, yet he was not convicted of that, making it perhaps a false charge. That false charge contributed, presumably somewhat, to the financial damage they have incurred because of the claims against him and the conviction.

At the time his accounts were locked as liens were filed against his home and any bank accounts he was a signatory on. The rest of the family now lives in a small rented home and basically survive with the financial support of extended family. They say they did nothing wrong yet they are the ones suffering because of those claims against him.
source INN

Again, I have no idea as to the legal issues and who can claim what from whom.

Being that he was indicted and convicted, I would consider it horrible to allow those making claims against him to be open to such suits just because a plea agreement left a few claims off the final charge sheet. It would open up to all criminals room to make a plea and agree to partial charges, when possible, and allow the family to sue for the charges not included. People would be afraid to file claims and would be forced to continuing to suffer in silence.

People should not be making false claims. The law should protect against that and should deter people from doing so. But people with real claims should not be deterred from making them. I hope they decide not to sue, and if they do sue it will be either thrown out of court.

The wife and children did nothing wrong, and they too are victims of Sheinberg and his assault. They are not victims of the women he raped. If he had any money left, they should sue him, not the victims.






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Interesting Psak: Cohen, not Kohen, marrying a convert

A Kohen is not allowed, from a halachic perspective, to marry a convert to Judaism. It turns out that not everyone named "Cohen" is a kohen, though it is pretty common that they are. David Cone, the former Cy Young pitcher, for example, is not even Jewish, let alone a kohen, though he spells the name differently.

Anyways, a fellow named Cohen went into the Rabbanut of Ashdod to register his upcoming marriage to a convert. The beis din obviously looked at the paperwork and the marriage license of his parents and said "no way" - a kohen is not allowed to marry a convert!

Mr Cohen responded that despite his name, he is not a kohen, his dead father had not been a kohen, and his grandfather had not been a kohen. That reminds me of a joke.

Mr Cohen claimed that he had been raised by his grandmother. When she and her son, his father, moved to Israel, she registered their names using her maiden name "Cohen", even though their family name was no longer Cohen but something else. So, grandma was from a line of kohanim, but dad was not.

Throwing a wrench into this was Mr Cohen's brother who admitted that for a period of time he had performed the priestly blessings and taken the first aliyah to the Torah as a kohen, but that was because at the time he had assumed he was a kohen based on the name. He says he stopped when he discovered otherwise. The beis din confirmed this with the gabbai of the brother's shul. Further throwing a wrench into the investigation was the discovery that the brother had tried to marry a divorcee, making the same claim about not really being a kohen despite the name, but the beis din in Tel Aviv did not allow him to.

The beis din in Ashdod got the family records from the Ministry of Interior. This only made it more difficult as the beis din discovered that various family members, including Mr Cohen and Mr Cohen's father, had changed their names a number of times over the years, both first and last names.

A thorough investigation had the beis din accessing old records in Tunisia. There they somehow discovered that the real grandfather of Mr Cohen was not a kohen, though he is not the grandfather listed as Mr Cohen in the grandmother's ketuba. Further investigation revealed some older records in Tunisia.

It seems to be very confusing but it turns out the grandma Cohen is really the father's grandmother, and Mr Cohen's great-grandmother. Great grandma Cohen had been married to a non-kohen and they had a daughter - the mother of Papa Cohen and grandmother of Mr Cohen. Her husband died and she remarried to a Mr Cohen, that was a kohen. When they moved to Israel, she took her grandson with them and registered him as their son, using her current name, Cohen.

At the end of the investigation and halachic debate over the matter, the beis din decided to pasken that Mr Cohen is allowed to marry the convert he wished to, while adding a prayer that God should save them from a mistake about this.
source: Kikar and Kipa

I am impressed that the beis din was able to piece it all together and figure out a complicated situation like that. Perhaps more impressive is that they went through the effort and did not just stop at any point in the middle and just prevent the marriage from happening.

Mazel tov!


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Book Review: My Jerusalem Book

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: My Jerusalem Book, by Barbara Shaw
 

My Jerusalem Book, by Barbara Shaw, is a bit of an unusual book. I am not even sure what category it would be found in in the book store. Is it a tour guide book? A book about Israel, and specifically Jerusalem?

My Jerusalem Book is a book describing the places, sights and experiences available around Jerusalem, but it is not really a tour guiding book at the same time that it is.

Shaw describes Jerusalem by guiding the reader through the city and informing the reader of the different sites to visit, unique and cultural eateries to enjoy, different experiences available throughout the city and the different cultures that mesh together to make Jerusalem what it is. However, My Jerusalem Book is not a replacement for a tour guide. Shaw does not go into great detail of the long and complicated history of the city, or of any specific site.

Shaw's love for Jerusalem oozes out of the pages of the book. One can tell by going through it that the author wants to share her perspective of Jerusalem, and what she loves about it, with others.

My Jerusalem Book offers the reader a look at the hot spots in the city, places the author recommends to visit, restaurants she recommends to eat, and things to do, and each with a list as if it is also a personal notebook or diary in which you can log your visit to Jerusalem. You can check off items from her lists of recommendations and there are places for you to write your own entries in of things you did or places you went to. Shaw describes each site and cultural experience, albeit very briefly - just the basic background.

If you want to just wander around Jerusalem on your own and take in the city, My Jerusalem Book is a good starting point.

You can buy My Jerusalem Book 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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Israeli Frenemies - Dec. 07, 2017 (video)






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Israelis: Should Jerusalem become an International city? (video)







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Nikki Haley on the decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem (video)




and in the United Nations...




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UnderDos: Shul Board Meeting Episode 5: Menashe the Herring (video)

honestly, I didn't really understand this one or find it funny..






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