Jun 27, 2016

Gabby Douglas walks, prances actually, with God

Champion gymnast Gabby Douglas is designing some new leotards for her upcoming competitions at the World Championships.

One of her new leotards has been designed in a way that might very well interest you. It is definitely a curiosity.

From GK Elite: (bold and underline added by me)
 This scoop back gymnastics leotard displays an ombre sublimated bodice printed on shimmering holotek fabric with a mesh top. Unique style lines outlined in Swarovski® crystals add a dramatic touch to this stunning leotard. The Hebrew word “Elohim” (translation: The Strong One) was added to the left sleeve to honor her rich heritage of faith. Her sister, Joyelle “Joy” Douglas, created this custom design and worked with GK to bring this leo to life!
She is using the name of God on her leotard to call upon strength, perhaps to invoke God's strength, or trait of strength. Perhaps it will serve her well. I wonder if her Jewish teammate, Aly Raisman, will be wearing something similar. But why in Hebrew?




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Tweet of the Day





Amsalem calls them the exceptions. Maybe he is right and they are, or maybe he is wrong and they are not. Either way, Amsalem says a group of yeshiva bochurim from the Mir Yeshiva staye das guests for Shabbos on the army base  of Nahal Haredi, and attaches a picture to that effect..

A lot is made of the "Chardak" campaign and every time a Haredi soldier gets attacked by Haredim, so it is nice to point out when Haredim show respect and admiration.

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let the long weekends begin!

The "long weekend" is getting underway, with baby steps.

Yesterday the Ministerial Legislative Committee approved the start of the long weekend, Passing in the legislative committee means chances are extremely high that it will pass in the Knesset voting, but we should not get ahead of ourselves.

According to the first stage that is being approved now, the long weekends (ie. Sundays as a vacation day) are being scheduled for days that most people would likely take off anyway - 2 Sundays in the summer when the kids are on vacation, along with 4 Sundays scheduled through the holidays, specifically being exchanged for days during Pesach and Chanukah vacations. Staring the project off like this means they do not need to retool the school calendar in any significant manner in order to coordinate kids days off with parents days off. Rather, the parents will be getting the days off on days that the kids are already off.

Eventually this is supposed to lead to one Sunday per month, and then eventually to every Sunday being a day off. Israelis work, on average, more weekly hours than other OECD countries, and this will move us more in line with the OECD, thus increasing productivity. In addition, it will improve quality of life, give people time to relax, shop, tour, spend family time and whatever else they might want to do.
source: JPost, Walla News, Kikar

I am all for it. The Haredi media has yet to give its unique perspective on this telling us what the frum perspective on this si meant to be. I wonder if anybody, maybe the Haredi MKs, has asked the gedolim yet. Is it too "goyish", as some claim? is it good, as it will give people time to relax and learn more Torah? should it be encouraged as a way of lessening chilul shabbos? Will it cause more bittul torah as people find other things to do besides being productive or learning?


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Apologies all around

so many apologies today. is something in the air?

Netanyahu apologizes to the Turks.
Erdogan apologizes to the Russians.
Deri says we should all apologize to Rav Uzi Meshulam (regarding the Yemenite children affair)

anybody else? is this the new trend in the Middle East?



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LARK - The Los Angeles Rechnitz Kollel

I am not sure why someone starting a kollel is something newsworthy, but once it is, I feel like commenting.

Behadrei is announcing that Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of Los Angeles is starting a new kollel. This will be a high end kollel and he is sifting through the avreichim of Eretz Yisrael looking for the best of the best, creme de la creme.

Rechnitz is doing this to strengthen the Haredi community of Los Angeles, and he will be paying each avreich $50,000 per year, in addition to paying their housing expenses, child education expenses and other communal expenses they will incur. In addition to their learning, they will be involved in giving shiurim in the community, learning with baalei batim and kids and other communal Torah-projects.

I think Rechnitz  is doing a wonderful thing, especially as he is, once again, putting his money where his mouth is and not making demands of others. It is his money and he can spend it how he likes. It is commendable that he spends nice amounts of it on "divrei kedusha" and supporting projects he believes in.

I feel bad that he is taking avreichim out of Eretz Yisrael for this, rather than finding avreichim in the USA, of which there are plenty, but perhaps these are avreichim that were only planning to stay short-term in Eretz Yisrael anyway and were already planning to leave.


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Quote of the Day

Israel's agreement to transfer 21 million shekels to the Turks constitutes a clear admission of guilt. Even if Israel does not acknowledge it, it is a confession to the murder of nine people, wounding of dozens, kidnapping and piracy in international waters and false persecution. 
There should be more flotillas like the Marmara in order to remove the criminal siege over Gaza

  -- MK Hanin Zoabi (UAL)

I agree with the first part of what she said. As far as the second, it is the natural result of capitulating to terror/blackmail - when it succeeds it foments more of the same. If this deal goes through and it is what it is being made out to be, no matter how the PM "sells it" (i.e. tremendous economic ramifications) it will embolden Hamas and others, as they see that they are able to achieve their goals using terror.



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PM Netanyahu tells the world how to beat Islamic terror. Will they listen? (video)





these speeches of Netanyahu are great and everyone loves to show him as the expert and pass around videos of his talks... but wouldn't it be even better if he followed his own advice, the advice he gives to the world? Instead of war after war after war with Hamas, maybe finally defeat them once and for all? Maybe take your own advice and show the world what to do instead of just telling them?



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Mayim Bialik's thoughts on Science and Religion (video)







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2015 FIDF Western Region Gala Highlight Video (video)








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Buzzy Walters Plays and Sings His Original "Jewish Calendar Song" (video)





(Hattip to JHC)


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Don't Put it Back Together (video)

kol isha..






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Jun 26, 2016

Rabbanut might get out of the kashrut business

The Rabbanut of Israel has announced that it is considering closing up shop on its kashrut department and instead of managing its own system of kashrut certification, becoming a regulator and giving out licenses to other, private, kashrut organizations.

If they do so, they will have the power to fine agencies that do not adhere to the requirements declared by the Rabbanut, to revoke kashrut certifications, and to revoke licenses of private agencies.

This possibility is being discussed justs hortly after the Supreme Court strengthened the Rabbanut hold on the kashrut system and upheld, at least for the next two years, the Rabbanut's position as being the only agency authorized to declare an institution as kosher.
sources: Kikar, Ch10, Kol Hai

I am wondering if this will make it easier or more difficult to control who gives kashrut certification. They have been fighting all sorts of new kashrut agencies trying to break into the market and change the "rules" of the system, such as having weekday kashrut for places that open on Shabbos, having supervision that is cheaper and not as overbearing and controlling on the restaurant, using female mashgichot, etc. Will these agencies, such as Hashgacha Pratit, find it easier to operate under such a new system or more difficult?

Will the Rabbanut have an easier time or harder time keeping out kashrut agencies they do not approve of?

If they allow the various "badatzim", such as Eida, Rubin, Machfoud, Beit Yosef, etc, will they be taken to court the first time they refuse a "modern orthodox" hechsher? What about a Dati Leumi agency that might want to break into the market? What about when they refuse to grant a license to a Reform and/or Conservative organization? Will the list of requirements be taken to court as discriminatory and devised in a way that would keep out anyone they don't like?

Would doing this be opening them up to even more heartache or less than they currently have?

And why now? Why consider this now, right after their standing has been strengthened by the courts? This idea has been suggested many times in the past and always rejected (or ignored) - so, why now?




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Quote of the Day

..one could attack the Brits and question how they could [vote for Brezit], but they made a democratic decision... there is an issue which has accompanied us in Israel for generations, and that is the Palestinian issue. I do not think that the elections necessarily reflected the approach to this issue... we need to ask the citizens of Israel if they want an Israeli-Palestinian state or an Israeli state. The public at large wants an agreement with the Palestinians, knowing that it includes risks, knowing that there are vital security needs. But let us take action - let the people decide and know what it is leaving to the coming generations.

  -- MK Yiztchak Herzog (Labour, Hamachane Hatzioni)

1. before he gets so excited about a referendum he might want to make sure that the results of it are likely to be what he hopes for. If we have a referendum, will he then accept whatever the results turn out to be? Will he promise to resign if they fall out the wrong way, as did David Cameron?

2. plenty will argue with him about the elections. I happen to agree and consider it difficult to consider the elections a referendum about any one specific issue, but plenty of people disagree and will say that the elections are the best referendum, and Herzog already lost that.

3. I am not sure what Herzog is arguing about or with whom about this, and why he thinks a referendum is necessary, Netanyahu himself has publicly embraced the idea of a Two-State solution. One could say that at least most people voting Likud are doing so with the acceptance that along with that comes a Two-State solution. If Herzog would consider this, he might reconsider the need for a referendum.

4. and if we held a referendum and the people overwhelmingly decided that we should have two separate states, then what? Could we then force Mahmoud Abbas to accept the results of our referendum and sign a peace deal?



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Medical Marijuana in Israel takes a major step forward

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman today pushed forward with his new directives for medical marijuana, and they were approved by the government.

From now on there will be more doctors approved to give the approval for medical marijuana usage. Also, the medical marijuana will be sold in pharmacies, rather than by a tightly controlled short list of suppliers.

Despite medical marijuana in Israel being much cheaper, and supposedly better quality, than what is available in most other countries, at this time it will not be approved for export (so the growers are upset). Both the Ministry of Internal Security and the Ministry of Health are opposed to opening it up to exports.
source: GLZ

good news for all you people who need to use medical marijuana. These changes generally mean that it will be much more accessible and more easily attainable.



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security cameras in the mikva

security cameras and mikvas appearing in the same sentence always worries me.

According to a report, the "Mishmeret Hatzniyut" (whoever they are) has decided to install cameras in mikvas around Jerusalem.

The reason for this is the concern for attacks on children in the mikvas.

Supposedly, the security cameras will only be view-able to 3 rabbis with tight security. If a complaint is filed, three rabbis appointed to this task will, together, watch the footage.

The camera system has already been installed in one mikva.
source: Kikar

1. if a complaint is filed, perhaps it is the police who should be given the videos to watch, rather than a group of rabbis. Why are the rabbis investigating?

2. I am not all that much more comfortable knowing three rabbis are scanning footage of a bunch of naked men and children than if it was one rabbi or some creepy mishmeret hatzniyut guy in his mom's basement.

3. who is this "mishmeret hatzniyus", and what kind of authority do they have to wire up mikvas with cameras? and who are they to appoint rabbis with the task of viewing the footage of the mikva cameras?

4. as I said above, "mikvas" and "cameras" are words that should never be spoken in the same sentence. Definitely not in reference to anybody other than the police, and even them....

5. Maybe kids should be kept out of the mikvas





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Haredi soldiers of Givati declare allegiance (video)

my son is in there... the Haredi unit was one of a number of units of Givati at this ceremony..





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