The report listed in the paper was hopeless. It lacked the broader information which has been published everywhere. As pointed out to me by [hat tip BA] they have a religious affairs writer, Yossi Aron who often sits on the fence on every issue. The fact that Aron didn’t write the story (was he even consulted!), and explain it more comprehensively without the supercilious quote from RMG Rabi being laid bare for all to see, is yet another blight on this “newspaper” whose agenda for sensationalism, especially when it involves Orthodox Jewry, knows no bounds, and is an example of very shoddy journalism. Don’t hold your breath on RMG Rabi’s convert story. There’s lots more to it.
Unless a miracle occurs or Hillary stumbles, I can’t see anyone other than Bernie Sanders winning the Presidency. Many have noted that he avoids talking about his Jewishness. It is clear that he has strong socialist views. In my opinion, many of his socialist views are actually Torah views, vis-a-vis Society, Justice, the Poor etc. Notwithstanding that, he potentially will be worse than Henry Kissinger for Israel. Accordingly, I would set him up for an interview which focussed on four or five of his socialist opinions. I would show him that they in fact emanated from the Torah and were Jewish values. I would ask him if agreed with these Jewish values, and whether he had been subconsciously informed by them. Finally, I’d ask him which Jewish values he did not identify himself with. Specifically, I would ask him if he supported assimilation of Jews, such that they would be dissolved among the nations. Does he perform a Pesach Seder,
I came across this beautiful piece of Torah from מורי ורבי, Rav Hershel Schachter שליט’’א, (c) TorahWeb 2008, and think it is well worth sharing. Will the Real Adar Please Step Forward If one dies during the month of Adar in a shanah peshuta (a non-leap year which has only one Adar), when do the children observe the yahrzeit during a shana meuberes (a Jewish leap year which consists of thirteen months, two of them called Adar)? Should the yahrzeit be kept during the first Adar or the second? The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 568:3) quotes a difference of opinion on this matter. The sephardim follow the view of the Mechaber (Rav Yosef Karo) that the yahrzeit should be observed in the second month of Adar, while the Ashkenazim follow the view of the Rama (Rav Moshe Isserles) that it should be kept in the first Adar. The presentation of this dispute in the Shulchan Aruch runs as follows: (I)
I have read noble expressions of welcome for those who identify themselves as LGBT. My question is this: a woman who transgenders into a male, with operations. Is she/he eligible to be called up for an Aliya at Caulfield or other welcoming Shules? Should they sit downstairs with the men? Is her voice Kol Isha? Conversely a male who is lopped and augmented and transgenders into a female insists that since they were born a male, they would like an Aliya to the Torah. Would he allow that? Does that ex-male need to inform females of their change vis a vis use of toilets, change rooms, mikvaos as a spiritual cleansing? As I have written elsewhere, I know many homosexuals at Shule and have to my knowledge never treated them differently to another male. Transgender introduces new problems of ‘welcome’ as outlined above. I know about Tumtum and Androginos. I’m interested to know what all welcoming shule’s Rabbis pasken on
The following story appeared in multiple news outlets. Reform and Conservative will see it as a “victory”. I see it as stupidity if they do: It’s a secular civil matter involving money of the state. As such, Xian, Hindu, and Arabs would also be able to apply to use such Mikvaos for ritual cleansing if they applied and were Israeli Citizens. Melanie Landau might delight in this “equality”, but the difference is that Open, Conservative and Reform versions are simply closer religions to Judaism. That’s all. Their converts are not accepted as traditional Jews any more than RMG Rabi’s are. The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously ruled that people undergoing a non-Orthodox Jewish conversation are entitled to immerse themselves in a public ritual bath as part of the ceremony, striking down a lower court’s decision to the contrary. The justices accepted an appeal by the Masorti Movement and the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel against a ruling which banned non-Orthodox
Bill Appleby, Jewish Care CEO formally responds to an article that has been published in The Age newspaper on February 10, 2016 entitled Yeshivah Centre Abuse Victims Fear Bullying, Intimidation: Last December, we announced that we would assist the Yeshivah Centre in the operation of their Redress Scheme which was established to offer assistance to victims of child sexual abuse. Jewish Care agreed to operate a confidential 1800 number and email address for abuse victims. In addition, our President Mike Debinski was engaged in a personal and separate capacity to oversee the operation of the Scheme. Our Board agreed to assist Yeshivah because we felt that we were uniquely and appropriately placed to offer assistance to the victims and that we have the relevant expertise in the area to most effectively respond to survivors of abuse; ensuring a caring and empathetic initial response to what is no doubt a traumatic disclosure. The Board and I are extremely disappointed with the
I received this by email, however, I have known about it for some time, having heard it from Dayonim in Melbourne and Sydney. In fact, the story gets worse than what is related here. I will leave it to other investigative types to find out what happened after this episode. Again, it confirms my (non Rabbinic) view that absolutely nobody should rely on RMG Rabi’s pseudo-halachic determinations and cosmic inventions. I’ve edited the quote below lightly and added a source. [Hat tip BA] Some years ago a young non-Jewish girl by the name of ### approached the Melbourne Beth Din to convert to Judaism. She was told the standard procedure and was given a list of teachers who were approved by the Melbourne Beth Din. Shortly quite a number of concerns starting coming to the attention of the Beth Din. These issues we are aware of, have had them confirmed, but do not feel we should make them public. Five
Just reminding readers that although some posts, at times, resemble quasi-eulogies, reminisces (see for example 1,2,3 or 4) or halachic quandaries, the main purpose of pitputim is to provide personal catharsis. Hits, ads or any variegation are of no interest. Comments are useful when something is learned, corrections are made, or its ריתחא דאורייתא. Indeed, no “audience” is fine. Spectators are not a motivation. That being said, a record of thoughts, for the benefit of offspring dawned on me more recently. Chaim New ע’’ה was a quintessential, non archetypical, unique, Chasid of Chabad. He would have disavowed such a title, hated that I was writing about him, but that’s how it was. First, a single word: Obscenity — the word may be used to show a strong moral repugnance. What is obscene? I’m referring to the choice of מי יחיה ומי ימות. Trembling, moaning these words, while leading davening as שליח ציבור made them no less awesome or spine-chilling. Each year (at Elwood Shule, where I was prevailed to function as בעל תפילה after the passing of full-time
I know there are many people who feel uplifted by his tunes. However, the Halachic perspective on this controversial figure, needs to be known. I am aware that Vicki Polin had been accused of many things including hyperbole, but it cannot be argued by anyone who has a fidelity to historical fact, that as years progressed he became more “progressive” and there were serious accusations. Reb Moshe Feinstein wrote an opinion in among a section of his writings one would not normally read Igros Moshe, Even HaEzer Vol. 1, No 96. In that, my reading is that until he became more progressive, his songs were fine. After that, they were to be avoided. One Shabbos Shachris, without much forethought, I chose a Carlebach tune for Kel Adon. (Let me say that it is Halachically very problematic to sing Kel Adon in any tune, unless one does this in a form of Aniya (answering). The Chazan says a stanza and the Kahal repeat
The following will be of great interest. There is a project to restore.
Guest post. Copyright Meir Deutsch. כל הזכויות שמורות – מאיר דויטש תורה צוה לנו משה (דברים לג, ד) על פי הדברים האלה כרתי אתך ברית את ישראל בני ישראל מקבלים את התורה והמצווה בנעשה ונשמע. בפרשתנו, פרשת “משפטים”, אחר מעמד הר סיני של השבוע הקודם, בסוף הפרשה, מצווה ה’ את משה שיעלה אליו ההרה. משה עולה בצווי ה’ להר כמו שנאמר: “ויאמר ה’ אל משה עלה אלי ההרה והיה שם ואתנה לך את לחת האבן והתורה והמצוה אשר כתבתי להורותם.” משה מקבל מה’ בהר שני לוחות אבן, “והלחת מעשה א-לוהים המה”, ובנוסף ללוחות, כאמור, מקבל משה את התורה והמצווה אשר כתב ה’ להורות את בני ישראל. הלוחות הם לוחות אבן, לא קלף, לא פפירוס, אלא לוחות אבן כבדים. ברדתו מן ההר עם לוחות האבן שומע משה קולות במחנה. הוא משליך את לוחות האבן ומשברם. מעשה זה של משה משאיר את בני ישראל ללא עשרת הדברים שעל שני הלוחות וכנראה גם ללא התורה והמצווה שכתב ה’ להורות את בני ישראל. לאחר
I noticed an advertisement by a Shule in Melbourne, where a Jewish Federal Member of Parliament (from the Liberal party) was invited to speak as follows: Cholent n’ Chat Kiddush after Shabbat Tefillah With the dynamic and resourceful Federal Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg “Brave New Year: Economic and Strategic Challenges facing Australia” Firstly let me say that this particular Shule does a great job creating interesting programs to attract people to Shule. They are to be commended for that. They are professionally run, and have full pews on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Now, I do not know Josh Frydenberg. I am hoping that he or a relative lives close to the Shule. In the least the Rabbi or a board member should have invited him for Shabbos. If this is not the case, then the creation of such an event serves to potentiate a Halachic abuse of Shabbos. I will assume Josh or his family live within walking distance
He has a white beard and Peyos. That means nothing. He has accusations that he “fiddled” with women in Israel. That means something. He exclaimed that if the Moshiach didn’t come on Tu Bishvat, then everyone would know he is a charlatan. Moshiach didn’t come. He is a charlatan. It is a small step, it seems for a charlatan to oversee a dangerous cult that now issues death threats against South Africa’s Chief Rabbi. In South Africa, don’t hold your breath waiting for him to be arrested and exported to Israel. This is a dangerous man. Whether he is a Rabbi or not, I do not know. Whether he is a Rabbi who deserves that title, I do know. He does not. He is contemptuous and should be deported to face charges. The Mossad have a long arm in saving Jews. The South African Government is anti-Semitic because they erroneously think that the Bedouins in Yehuda and Shomron somehow constitute a latter
The Rabbis are damned if they protest and damned if they don’t. Meir will provide that infamous counterfeit smile and consider this free advertising. Those Jews however who consider themselves genuinely Yirei Shomayim (and not the type who say “a pox on Rabi if he is wrong, I’m just following him”) will take heed. Unfortunately, The Lakewood Beis HaTalmud couldn’t bring themselves to sign. I am sure Rabbi Nojowitz would have signed. Those of you who learn there should ask the current Rosh Kollel why he is missing in action. I’d be fascinated to hear any contorted reasoning for this.
It is well-known that the Lubavitcher Rebbe זי’’ע mounted a major campaign to encourage gentiles to engage in the seven Noahide Laws. The Rambam states that they receive their reward when they do so because they believe in God and perform these as their task. The ultimate question is that Jews have 620 Laws (not all of which can be done anyway). Does this mean that Jews reap a higher reward i.e. 613 Torah + 7 Rabbinic versus 7 Noahide for Gentiles? Alternatively, do we say that there is a peak of a mountain. We are all enjoined to reach the peak of the mountain. Jews have a more demanding path that they must traverse to reach that peak, whereas Gentiles have seven laws that they must keep to reach the same peak? There are also differing opinions about converts. Jews do not proseletise. The Baal Hatanya contends that all converts to Judaism are actually Jewish souls at the time
Everyone wants to (or should aspire to) improve the world. The words “Tikkun Olam” (fixing (sic) the world) though have been exchanged as the task of a Jew. The problem is that Tikkun is not defined, ill-defined, or defined in a virtual partial vacuum of traditional Orthodox Judaism. It has become a catch cry of tree huggers, New Israel Fund supporters, Reform, Ameinu, Conservative, Shira Chadasha and Conservadox. Ironically, none of these groups recite it in the Aleinu Prayer thrice daily. Eating in a “vegetarian restaurant” or sharing “interfaith hands” and more, have become the new flag of a newly defined version of Judaism. Judaism is not defined by Jews. There are halachic formulae distributed at Sinai. These are applied. They are not created. The further we are from Sinai the more careful we must be to check innovations and new decisions with recognised leaders in the application of the formulae. It’s almost laughable that these Tikkun Olamniks will enter into
Firstly, here is a letter from מורי ורבי הרב הרשל שכטר, Posek for the OU and Rosh Kollel at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan. A rough translation follows: My parts are in square brackets] 4 Shevat 5776 (January 14, 2016) In respect of a ben pakuah [a calf that is born alive after its mother has already been slaughtered] (which has been “born” [prematurely] at eight months, before it has completed its normal formation, [ from its slaughtered mother ] one may eat its gid hanasheh (Sciatic nerve) and cheilev (forbidden fats) (YD 64:2) [ which are normally forbidden] and [since it is 8 months old] it is not reasonable for this premature calf to put its feet on the earth [as it it is a mature calf] because it is a “nefel”. If they took this calf and put it into an incubator [to allow it to mature] until it became fully fledged healthy, as if it was born as a nine month
I don’t frequent this Kollel, so there may have been a learned treatise published from its Rabbis which address RMG Rabi’s broad-shouldered pronouncements on grave Kashrus issues. I do know that the Rosh Kollel there takes his Halachic advice from Rabbi Heinemann. I’d like to think that an institution that pays its members to sit and learns all day and is supported by various, actually has an opinion and is ready to publish this somewhere; all other groups have disavowed themselves of RMG Rabi’s Kashrus Business, including the Haredi Adass through Rav A.Z. Beck, Rav Schachter from the OU, Chabad, and leading Haredi Poskim in Israel. There can be no doubt that some of the few who do eat based on Rabi’s supervision attend a Shiur at Beis HaTalmud. If a place of learning is silent and doesn’t publish halacha, then one has to wonder what the value of pilpul that never ends with a definitive full stop is worth? Many Gedolim, such as R’
I saw this on the internet: When The Children Open Their Hearts The Connecting Link… / Meirav Maggeni, Author of Content and Stories in Chemed, the Religious School System For the last few days, the first thing I did when I got home from school was to open my email, but I have been disappointed every time. I don’t understand why Rabbi Chaim, the school rabbi, didn’t send me a reply, like he promised to do. A week ago, I went to Rabbi Chaim and asked him a question about something that really bothers me. “How can it be that the great and mighty Holy One, Blessed be He, who created heaven and earth and is all-powerful, cares about what I do (small and puny that I am) when I wake up in the morning? What difference does it make to Him whether I wash my hands and which shoe I put on first, the left one or the rig
Ben Pekuah is now done and dusted. RMG Rabi, has once more shown his עקשנות but more to the point, his lack of consideration for the advice given by the גדולי הוראה in the world. It’s just a shame that the dismemberment of RMG Rabi’s business has to come from outsiders. In this case, it is Rabbi Yair Hoffman of the five towns. I will reproduce yet another interchange between RMG Rabi and Rabbi Yair. It concludes with a video (we have to resort to videos so that words aren’t twisted and tortuously reinterpreted where R’ Chaim Kanievsky, who whilst not my Posek, is from the Gedolay Horoah, say the words בהחלט … absolutely (not) … in his assessment of RMG Rabi’s investment project and supervision venture with Stephen Bloch and others (who I thought should have realised that they were not backing a winner). The money invested would better have been spent on Charity. The following video of Mori V’Rabbi
I have prepared this essay in honour of my father, R’ Shaul Zelig ben Yehuda HaCohen’s 3rd Yohrtzeit. Any corrections or additions are most welcome. Click below https://cldup.com/vgb_xVA4fV.pdf or via scribd at
This latest post, which can be seen here, is verbatim. The New Commercially-Produced Ben P’kuah Meat (Thursday, January 7th, 2016 10:52 AM) rav chaim kanievsky[By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for the Five Towns Jewish Times] There is a new type of meat, called Ben Pekuah Meat, that is about to enter the kosher consumer market, and it is stirring up some serious controversy, particularly in Boro Park. It seems that the Hebrew language Mishpacha had recently run an article on Ben P’kuah meat and has also published an alleged ruling of Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlita. The Hebrew Yated had also run a piece on it. Two Rabbonim in Brooklyn have brought up the issue to this author, and have asked that the matter be investigated. The meat is coming out of a company in Australia. But questions abound, both on the nature of Ben P’kuah and on the specific company producing it. What is this meat? Who are the people that
ברוב תשבחות לבורא עולם I’m thankful to announce the birth of our newest grandson נ’’י this evening, Teves 12 to our daughter Batsheva and Rabbi Yisroel (Izzy) Goldman. Grandparents שיחיו: Rabbi Yossy and Rochel Goldman (Johannesburg), Isaac and Leonie Balbin (Melbourne). Great-Grandparents שיחיו: Rabbi Shimon Goldman (New York), Rebbetzin Shula Kazen (New York), אימי מורתי Mrs E. Balbin (Melbourne), Dr Ivan & Ursula Cher (Melbourne).
My intention is not to give free airtime to business person and rabbinic authority R’ M.G. Rabi (RMG) of Australia and his newest venture (Ben Pekuah farming) although that is inevitable. Those who follow RMG as their Rabbi did so with his many controversial views and will continue to do so. Good luck to them. It is their right and their choice. In my estimation the majority of Torah Observant Jews will not ever rely on RMG’s decisions especially now for reasons that have been documented in many arenas. On a recent overseas trip to seek agreement from authorities, RMG had many believe that he found approbation from the venerable 87-year-old sage Rav Kanievsky, son of the Steipler Gaon, and universally recognised as a pure Tzadik who sits and learns like no one else. Having heard this, including having personal direct knowledge of RMG’s words with acclaimed Halachists who refused his requests for support, I suspected, that Rav Kanievsky featured on RMG’s marketing and communication campaign. RMG has a habit of
Hi all, I’m taking a break from my blog for a little while. The reason is because I have set myself an ambitious timetable of Torah learning to fit into my other activities, which will push my boundaries time-wise. There is much I could write about immediately. For example, Rabbi Genende of Caulfield Shule’s support for Female Rabbis, Rabbi Dr Nathan Lopez Cardozo wanting to take his Yarmulka off, and much much more, but I can’t fit this into my intended timetable. Many times people have seen me and said “you don’t send me your pitputim”. Well, not only don’t I send them, I don’t even pay attention to who has subscribed. If you want to know when I resume, just enter your email address somewhere on the page where it tells you to, and you will get an email that I have resumed. I will resume, but I need the time at the moment for my timetable. Wishing everyone well,
News agencies tell us 100 Iranians have held a candlelight vigil in front of the French Embassy in Tehran If that alone doesn’t tell the deluded something, they should be sent to Krakatoa. Now, someone, please tell me what Hezbollah has said about this. They have overtaken the “Paris of the Middle East” formerly known as Lebanon. The lefties in Tel Aviv rightly supported the French, but I hope they are consistent with their tree-hugging, and have demonstrations saying that France is forbidden to carry out any operation which might endanger Civilians. Wait, I’ve got a good idea. The French can drop leaflets on Rakkah, warning all civilians to leave, and then carpet bomb the place. But what if civilians stay and become human shields, or D’aesh decide to wear civilian clothes. What do they propose we do, sit down bare footed in Tel Aviv and sing John Lennon songs? That will save the day. I think they call it
It’s triangle K in the States all over except Ralbag is far more respected, yet also not accepted, by Rov Minyan and Binyan of frum kosher consumers and authorities.
I would highly recommend that Open “Orthodoxy” supporters of proffering new titles to learned women, as well as hard left members of the RCV (re) read Abraham’s Journey by Rav Soloveitchik. One is thunderstruck again by his open understanding that the Avos, Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov were a team with their wives and through many verses he makes it obvious that without their wives, the covenantal leadership was significantly reduced. In last week’s Parsha the Rav concentrates on the lack of any description in the Torah, save the burial of Sarah, about the last 38 years of his life. This is a long time. What was going on? Abraham without Sarah, was a “cappuccino without coffee”. There was little to report on or to talk about. If you find that “Abraham’s Journey” is too long and involved, I would also highly recommend the OU’s Soloveitchik Chumash which is a masterpiece in understanding the human side of Orthodoxy, existential reality, and the prime
The following is from Rav Mordechai Greenberg, Rosh Yeshiva of Kerem B’Yavneh. The Rambam wrote about the evil perpetrated by the Yishmaelites towards Yisrael in his “Letter to Yemen.”(Igeres Taimon) He wrote that Yisrael never encountered a more evil nation, adding that even though we accept their oppression without complaining, their hatred for us never ceases. A hint of this was taken from three names of leaders in Yishmael, “Mishma, Duma, and Massa” [Bereishit 25:14], meaning “Listen, remain silent, and accept the burden.” Even though we accept their governmental authority, we cannot save ourselves from their evil. While we continue to wish them peace, they pursue us with swords and war, as David wrote, “I want peace, while they speak only of war” [Tehillim 120:7]. Rabeinu Bechayei comments as follows on the verse, “Your G-d will place all of these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you” [Devarim 30:7]. “Your enemies are the Yishmaelites, those who hate
In a previous post, I mentioned the issue at hand. He has published a response (below) to the RCA resolution claiming it was political and not halachic. His arguments about Deborah and Bruria are well known and existed well before the RCA, so to claim them as proofs for his opinion is rather vacuous. Bruria is brought in a Tosefta in Kelim, but in the Mishna it is brought in the name of Rabbi Yehoshua (from memory chapter 2). Was that a political decision by Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi or was there more to it. Were the Rabbis afraid (despite Deborah et al) to name Bruria? If so, why is that? Was Rav Yehuda Hanasi a slave to social mores or were his social mores determined by Mesora which does not deny the Bruria’s of this world, but does deny them Sroro unless it’s a Horoas Sho-oh. I’m not aware of Rabbi Riskin’s appointment as a prophet, but I’d suggest he
Will the Rabbinical Council of Victoria agree and accept this policy? Oct 30, 2015 — Formally adopted by a direct vote of the RCA membership, the full text of “RCA Policy Concerning Women Rabbis” states: Whereas, after much deliberation and discussion among its membership and after consultation with poskim, the Rabbinical Council of America unanimously passed the following convention resolution at its April 2010 convention: The flowering of Torah study and teaching by God-fearing Orthodox women in recent decades stands as a significant achievement. The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) is gratified that our members have played a prominent role in facilitating these accomplishments. We members of the Rabbinical Council of America see as our sacred and joyful duty the practice and transmission of Judaism in all of its extraordinary, multifaceted depth and richness – halakhah (Jewish law), hashkafah (Jewish thought), tradition and historical memory. In light of the opportunity created by advanced women’s learning, the Rabbinical Council of America
[hat tip Ba] Spread the word on Facebook etc Kraft Heinz Australia is no longer supporting kosher supervision for its range of Golden Circle-branded juices and cordials. As one of the few widely available kosher certified juice companies, this presents a major inconvenience to kosher consumers. Kraft Heinz may well reconsider its position if consumers complain. After all, KH management probably does not realise how important kosher certification is to consumers and that it is simply a good business decision to continue to cater to the kosher market. A petition has been created to present to KH – I urge you to sign it – http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/keep-golden-circle-kosher.html
Anyone who wants to know what divisiveness is, anyone who wants to know what love of a fellow Jew is NOT, anyone who wants to know why Haredim are derided, anyone who wants to remember Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, anyone who wants to know why Al Aqsa isn’t the Beis Hamikdash should read this outrageous, monstrous and contumelious post The haredi Mishpacha newspaper created a social media firestorm on Thursday after it published an opinion article in which the first paragraph, printed in Arabic and in Hebrew, asked that since members of the haredi public do not go up to the Temple Mount “could you please stop murdering us.” The article, written by Mishpacha Magazine deputy editor Aryeh Ehrlich, explained how the haredi community refrains from going up to the Temple Mount since the haredi rabbinic leadership prohibits visiting the site. Almost all leading haredi rabbis and arbiters of Jewish law rule that Jews may not visit the Temple Mount since they may enter areas that are
The following is from the New York Times and is by Daniel Gordis. It says it all. It isn’t about 2 States, it isn’t about boundaries, it isn’t about apartheid, it isn’t about poverty. It isn’t about any of these issues. The following from Gordis says it all. (c) New York Times We have a young language instructor at Shalem College in Jerusalem, where I work. She’s a religious Muslim who wears a hijab, lives in one of the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and is a graduate student at Hebrew University. She’s fun and warm, and a great teacher — the students like her a lot. Late last spring, when things here were quiet, some of the students mentioned to the department chair that as much as they’d spoken with her over the past couple of years, they’d never discussed politics. They were curious what someone like her thought about the conflict in this region, especially now that she was