Feb 20, 2017

Interesting Psak: using a blech

What makes this "psak" particularly interesting is that it does not come from a rabbi (though maybe some rabbis are now issuing piskei halacha based on this, in one way or another). Rather, ti comes from the fire and rescue services.

This past Shabbos the fire and rescue services of Jerusalem were called into action to put out a fire in a yeshiva. The fire had originated from the sue of some sort of ad hoc "blech" - a metal sheet placed over a fire. Pots had been placed atop the blech to keep the food hot for the upcoming meals, and draped over the pots were towels, to keep the heat in.

The towels caught fire and it quickly spread. The firemen put the fire out relatively quickly, but much damage had already been done.

The fire and rescue services then issued a statement to the public saying that using an electric hotplate to heat up food for Shabbos is definitively prohibited, but using a blech is 7 times worse and 7 times more dangerous. The chance for a fire catching on the towels and spreading is extremely high and the chances are high for a fatal fire to spread. Many fires and much damage is caused regularly by using such hotplates and blechs, even proper ones, and covering the food.
source: Behadrei

I am pretty sure we hear even more frequently about fires that started from electric hotplates that shorted out or something else happened to that caused an electrical fire.

I'd say to only use hotplates made by reputable companies and to be careful to cover your food without letting towels touch the surfaces of the hot plate or blech, but the rescue services are saying that even that is not good enough and no such method should be used as they are all too dangerous. Unfortunately such a warning in basically a waste of time, as how do they expect anybody to heat up food for Shabbos, if neither a blech nor a hot plate is acceptable? If they really want people to listen and heed their warnings, they should figure out what the safe way is for keeping food hot on Shabbos and letting the public know what is acceptable, and not just what is not. As of right now, people will nto listen with every method they are familiar with being condemned and no alternative being offered.






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Facebook Status of the Day




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but they seemed so normal!


There was some horrible case in Modiin Ilit of serious child abuse that led to the parents being arrested on Shabbos. After a doctor suspected abuse and reported it to the police, an investigation discovered, including supposedly catching serious abuse on camera form both the father and the mother, the abuse and led to arrests. They'll get their day in court, the legal process will move as normal, and they'll get their chance to argue their case and they'll either be guilty or innocent.

Among the articles I read about this, one of them quoted neighbors that are in shock about this and said things such as "we never suspected" and "they seemed like normal parents, we saw no indication of this", and the like.

There often is no clear indication. Abusers often look just like normal people, until they are behind closed doors with the people they abuse. It is the same shock people express when someone they know and never suspected is arrested for fraud, or for sexual abuse or being a pedophile or whatnot. They look like anybody else and often act like anybody else in public. If you do see or suspect something, it is important to check it out or report it to people who can, because it can go unnoticed for so long...



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when a cultural difference says you can ignore psak

the gedolim of Eretz Yisrael have come out many times with statements that concerts and the like are prohibited, even with separate seating and even if the event is only for men.

Kikar reports about a "dinner" on behalf of the Gerrer institutions of Eretz Yisrael set to take place in the USA next week with the main attraction being a performance by Mordechai Ben David, along with some other performers.

Now, they could have explained it away saying that the Gerrer Rebbe never signed on any ban or prohibition but that would not be true as he did sign on such a ban a number of years ago...

So, with the Gerrer Rebbe against such performances (arvei Shira and the like), why is it ok for the Gur institutions to hold such an event with such a performance?

The answer given by the relevant askanim is that the culture in the USA is different so it is ok (even though it is on behalf of the Israeli institutions.

Sounds good to me. Whenever there is a self-defined cultural difference we are now able to ignore the psak of the gedolim and even our own rebbe... many people have said similarly in the past - that a given psak isn't relevant because of x, y or z differences - but now the response has the hechsher of one of the gedolim saying my psak can be ignored for those reasons.






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Rubio questions David Friedman at ambassador to Israel hearing (video)

that's an awfully short answer for an awfully long question





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Knesset is celebrating its 68th birthday - how well do the MKs know it? (video)

MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) is the subject here..






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One on One with Alan Dershowitz - Feb. 16, 2017 (video)







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Arab Israeli warns of 'dangerous' regression (video)








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Elokim by David hababou - official clip (video)







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Feb 19, 2017

a spirit of stupidity entered him

the following sign was posted in buildings in the Ezras Torah neighborhood of Jerusalem:

the sign call son local residents to be aware of someone living in a certain building who complained to the police about an avreich who "a spirit of stupidity entered him" and dealt a bit with children. and now, because he was ratted out to the police hsi life has been destroyed and has ever since bee in deep depression. Instead of going to speak with rabbonim he chose to snitch to the police. The author of the sign then calls out the "impure chardak" to leave the neighborhood and says he has no portion in the world to come and should not defile the neighborhood with his presence.

Very strange sign. his "dealing with kids" was just a moment of stupidity and no word about the lives of those kids being possibly ruined and the depression or other troubles they very well might soon find themselves in. The poor avreich who was busy with kids however is now depressed because his life was ruined over one stupid mistake. The kids aren't important, but the avreich perp is.

Also interesting to me is the use of the term "chardak". Until now that term has only been used in reference to Haredi soldiers in the IDF. there is no other indication in the letter that this person is a soldier, though it is possible - but if not, it is interesting they call him a chardak because he went to the police. So now anybody they don't like who doesn't toe the line is a chardak, and not just soldiers...


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Sean Hannity Full Interview With Benjamin Netanyahu 2/16/17 (video)








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the first exposure of the new Zehut platform (video)








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TurxGate makes waves from Trump Press Conference (video)


TurxGate started off with President Trump misunderstanding a question asked by Jake Turx in his press conference..


Turx himself had an interesting take on the incident..


and then Turx made the prime time.. on the Daily Show and on the James COrden show (and maybe others that I have not seen yet)




I wonder if Ami Magazine subscription numbers have shot up since the press conference..






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We should kiss more often (video)







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Klezmer Concert: Daniel Kahn (video)



Singer/Songwriter Daniel Kahn (Painted Bird), a leading figure in the Klezmer revival movement, performs Yiddish songs, cabaret, and punk folk music. With Jake Shulman-Ment and Psoy Korolenko, a program of KulturfestNYC 2015 from Joe’s Pub in NYC.





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Feb 16, 2017

Cofix raising prices

Cofix has announced they can no longer hold back from raising the prices of items in their shops from 5nis to 6nis.

That is a dramatic increase of 20%. Cofix says they delayed as long as they could but with minimum wage having been increased, along with real estate rental prices and other cost of living expenses increasing in price, they cannot continue to sell their coffee and other items at 5nis. 6nis is where it is at today.

That is a major increase in price. 20%. And they made a big deal about selling everything for just 5nis. But let's not forget that it is now just 6nis instead of 17nis or 20nis that the regular coffee shops are selling their coffee at. It will be just 6nis for a croissant or ice coffee or bowl of cholent compared to the 15nis or 12nis or whatever in the other shops, so people are still getting a great deal.

Better they should raise the price a bit and let the consumer still pay a fraction of what it costs elsewhere than go out of business and then the consumer would have to go back to having no choice but paying the high prices of the mainstream coffee shops...


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