Monday, July 29, 2013

Does the"coffeeroom" need a hechsher?

This was posted as a comment on a previous post.

The "Coffee room"  on a yeshiva website is also a social network, and even worse, it's misleading as the website is considered "kosher" and "frum."

The website's name implies that it represents the yeshivishe world, and that people from the yeshivishe world can feel comfortable viewing this website because it is kosher v’yosher and free of materials that yeshivishe people want to avoid. But that is very far from the truth. Prominently displayed on the home page of  The site is the “Coffee Room,” which is a very great mich’shol. It looks innocent enough – what could be wrong with networking with others on topics, perhaps for advice or to find out information? And the editors will even exonerate themselves by saying they have a moderator who steps in to stop inappropriate conversations. But it’s a farce! First of all, the very idea of a social networking forum on a yeshivishe website is outrageous! The people who participate in the dialogue on The Coffee Room could be bochurim, single girls, women, men – nobody really knows who one is talking to. And the topics discussed are far from appropriate for boys and girls to be talking to each other about. Some examples of topics that are being “chatted” about between boys and girls, and other anonymous users, are: 

Walking Behind a Woman, Girls wearing boys clothing, Is it untznius for a girl to ride a bike, Wearing Perfume, Divorce Stories, Tznius Support Group – PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, Guys-things that a girl does or says on a date that makes you lose interest, Shidduchim: Girls & Size Zeros, Shidduchim & Weight, Kosher Movies/ Torah TV, Jewish feminism, nail polish, Good Jokes, It's A Man's World, Respected Rabbanim Eating Out, Abused Husbands,  Do Women Need Marriage?

The moderator may step in from time to time, but there should not be an outlet in the first place for boys and girls to chat like this, and certainly not about these topics! And by the time the moderator steps in, so much inappropriate conversation has already taken place! What kind of yeshivishe website is this? It is such a big mich’shol for people who think that the website is kosher and okay to use!
So, in a sense, it's worse than the other social networking sites, which are blatantly inappropriate.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A year since the 12th Siyum hashas of Daf Yomi at Metlife stadium, a year since start of 13th cycle

 This Shabbos, Shabbos  Nachamu, 13 Av 5773   יג אב תשע'ג will mark the first year anniversary since the 12th Siyum Hashas of Daf  Hayomi at Metlife stadium. It was exactly a year ago in 2012 were many celebrated the Siyum and a year since many have joined the machzor for the first time. Its hard to believe that a year flew by (yes there was a Hurricane called Sandy), but for those learning the Daf, they already have learned, maseches Brachos, Shabbos, Eruvin and now in middle of Pesachim. The words of Rabbi Frand echo in our ears "Whats beyond your reach is within your grasp". Hopefully all those who started Brachos are still going strong. We can still join in the cycle. Here is the full video for those who want to relive the siyum experience.

To see photos and video of the 2012 Siyum Hashas click HERE
to order DVD of the siyum click HERE or call the daf Yomi commission of Agudath Israel of America.

Sinas chinom, really? who is spreading the hate.

On the eve of Tisha B'av 5773, 2 letters here and here were posted online, condemning the violence and rhetoric directed at Israeli soldiers and the Dati Leumi crowd and calling for achdus. The truth is these statements do nothing but add fuel to the hate and is sinas Chinom in disguise. 

When Israeli soldiers were attacked at Amona outpost  there was no call by these rabbonim and organizations condemning the violence against the Israeli security forces. When Yair Lapid and co, incite against the yeshiva and Torah world in Eretz yisrael calling charedim parasites, they are silent, not a peep. In fact two Rabbonim who are by far identified as kanoim, Rabbi Yoel schwartz  one of the founding Rabbis of the Nachal Charedi program and Rabbi Zalman Melamed, rosh yeshiva in Beit El, both blamed the campaign against Charedi soldiers as a direct result of the incitement against the charedim by the Left in Eretz Yisrael. 

True, the campaign is orchestrated by extremists who do not listen to rabbonim. However, It is up to the gedolim if and how to respond to the attacks. The Ponovez Rosh yeshiva Rav Gershon Edelstein did condemn the chardak campain, not because the bloggers told him too. These statements ignore the incitement that led to this and blame only the Frum for the behavior of a few.

What these statements have done, is paint the entire Torah world and  frum yidden in Eretz  yisrael as extremists. Lumping them as if they are all in agreement with violence, thereby forcing the Gedolim  to prove otherwise. Sorry, we will not fall for this. When will these Rabbis write letters against the continued incitement against the Torah and frum Yidden in Eretz Yisrael?
In Fact, the very authors of these letters are just as guilty of the very thing they preach against. The RCA has publicly condemned Satmar  for creating a chilul hashem by organizing the protest against the drafting of Yeshiva Bochurim to the IDF. One of the authors of the above mentioned letter, tweeted about the Rally in Manhattan " Look at hate and abusive lang from pro-Weberman, pro-Asifa ppl. That's what hate-filled upbringing produces." Labeling all those who attended and supported the Atzeres as pro child abuse. 
Who is spreading the hate???

Monday, July 15, 2013

Links for Tisha B'av 2013 Live webcasts, shiurim audio and video programs

Live stream videos at Ustream

Below are links for Tisha B'Av 5773 Live webcasts and programs audio and phone hook ups for shiurim Kinus .
Live Video
-Watch the Kosel Live HERE on Kotel cam

- Tisha Bav Video for kids HERE

-OU- Orthodox Union live Video webcast 2013 HERE starts at 9 am Israeli time

-Project Inspire Video HERE

-Live Video speeches all day Tisha bav  Ohr Naava live, HERE Torah anytime HERE July,15-16 all day webcast

-Live strem Kinus Rabbi Zev Leff  HERE

-Video Jerusalem 100 years ago 1913 HERE

Audio Listen Live
 -Project Inspire  HERE  Live radio program begins 7:15 pm Erev Tisha B'av July 15-16

-Rabbi Yitzchok  Margareten camp Agudah midwest Live phone hook up for Kinus in camp
will begin 9:45 AM- dial  712-432-3100 Pin code 881608 for conference.  HERE  Holocaust video HERE

-Radio Kol Berama  HERE  and HERE For Audio all night and day english speeches on Tisha Bav

Halachos, laws for Erev Tisha B'Av 5773/2013

1. After Chatzos on Erev tisha B'av some poskim hold the minhag is not to learn anything which is Assur on Tisha Bav itself. Only that which is Muttar to learn on the 9th of Av. (see below for permissible learning)

2. We do not say tachnun after Mincha on erev Tisha Beav. One may not take a leasurly stroll unless he does it commonly for health reasons.
3. It is prohibited to fast on Erev Tisha bav. We eat a  final meal before the fast, it is called the Seudas hamafsekes סעודת המפסקת the seudah which separates from eating to begining the fast of Tisha b'av
4. It must be eaten after noon and befor shkiah/sunset and no other meal may be eaten thereafter. One may drink water or eat if he did not assume the fast after the seudas hamafsekes.
5.The Seudas Hamefsekes may be preceded by a regular meal the minhag is to daven mincha in between the 2 meals.
6. The minhag is for the seudas hamafsekes to eat only bread and water, and a boiled egg dipped in ash some dip the bread in Ash.
7. The seudah is eaten seated on the ground or on a stool within 3 tefachim, we do not socialize and we it alone and avoid eating three peopel together to avoid a chiyuv of zimun
8. if  One wants to drink water or eat after the seudas hamafsekes untill shkiah it is better if he stipulates his intent verbally to do so before bentching bentching.
9. We may not sit on a chair after sunset. Shoes are to be removed before shkiah.

Torah Learning permissable on Tisha Ba'v

 Click HERE for Artscroll gemara on Kamtza and Bar Kamtza.

- The Book of Iyov (Job) and its commentaries

- The Kinos (Lamentations) said on Tisha b'Av may be studied

- Talmud: Gittin 55b - 58b; Moed Katan Chapter 3 (Laws of Mourning)

- Talmud Yerushalmi: Last Chapter of Ta'anis

- Shulchan Aruch: Laws of Tisha b'Av; Laws of Mourning

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Halachos for Erev Shabbos Chazon 5773

 Erev Shabbos Chazon, one may cut their Nails for Shabbos since it is not shavua shechal bo.

One may polish their shoes only with liquid polish according to most poskim.

One may brush a hat on erev shabbos since it is not considered washing clothes.

Showering is a machlokes if you are allowed kol gufo, the minhag is to be meikel but to use warm water.

Children may eat meat before Shabbos up to 2 hours before the zman according to Rav Moshe Feinstein in Igros Moshe, others (Eliyahu Rabba) hold they may start even from Chatzos.
Chatzos, Midday  this year is 1:02 pm on July 12, 2013

If one makes an early Shabbos on Erev Shabbos Chazon he may eat Meat after the Plag.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rav Shteinman- I'm worried for Klal Yisrael, calls for non stop Torah learning.

The passage of the Giyus law,implementing drafting of Bnei yeshiva to the IDF, Rav Aaron Leib Shteinman was quoted saying in Yiddish " I am very worried what will be with Klal Yisrael".

 Rav Shteinman called on the bochurim of his Yeshiva Orchos HaTorah to follow the advice given by the Ramchal when klal yisrael is faced with gezeiros to learn  Torah continuously for 24 hours uninterrupted for a period of  a few days. The Bochurim have set up shifts for 5 days untill erev  Tisha B'av. There will be special minyanim for those learning the shift during the scheduled tefillos at the yeshiva. With the  zechus of limud haTorah hashem should have rachmanus on us hear our tefillos and abolish the decree.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Millionaire left no will, but his wheels turn Mitzvos for Kars4Kids

                                                                  מגלגלין זכות
A new interesting twist  to the story of a deceased millionaire Roman Blum, a Holocaust survivor who passed away last year leaving a $40 Million estate to no one. The unclaimed estate is the largest in New York history and is in danger of passing into the state’s ownership if no relatives are identified. In a letter to the Editor in this weeks Yated Ne'eman,  Kars4Kids, the charity, were shocked to discover that Roman Blum actually donated a car to them  a few years ago. A 2004 Mercury Sable with a vinyl top. The old brown two tone car is still in use by Kars4Kids today, and has indirectly benefited the thousands of families and their children that Kars 4 Kids assists.

As Mr. Blum lived on Staten Island, 2 Oorah volunteers from Yeshiva of Staten Island came to pick up the car, Mr. Blum asked that the car with low mileage not be sold as is with most donations to Kars for kids, but should be used to help the organization. That car is driven by Rabbi Chaim Mintz the founder and leader of Oorah. He uses it to drive to yeshiva and give shiurim in Staten Island. the car also drives up to Oorah's camp and is used as a kiruv vehicle knocking on doors helping children go to yeshiva. Thousands of miles were put on the car doing mitzvos bringing people closer to hashem. The letter concludes for all his Millions, it may just be his old Sable that will be a zechus in Shomayim.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Agudah calls on Outgoing British chief Rabbi to apologize for remarks about frum Torah jews

Agudath israel of America calls on rabbi Jonathan sacks to apologize for the derision and condescension that, intentionally or not, were embodied in his recent remarks and writing.
Click HERE for remarks by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks at a tribute dinner.
In consultation with rabbinic leadership, Agudath Israel of America issued the following statement:
Public remarks attributed in the media to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the outgoing Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth of Britain, as well as his comments in a recent pamphlet he published, are dismaying, deeply misguided, and harmful to both Jewish unity and Jewish integrity.
The rabbi bemoans “the world of inward-turning, segregationist Orthodoxy.” He portrays the multitude of Jews who came together to celebrate the Siyum HaShas nearly a year ago – an event that captured the hearts, minds and souls of countless Jews, and the reverent wonder of much of the non-Jewish world – as representative of such an “extreme.”
Rabbi Sacks sees Jews who choose to “embrace Judaism and reject the world” as parts of a phenomenon he calls “worse than dangerous” and “an abdication of the role of Jews and Judaism in the world.”
Rabbi Sacks’ sentiments are not only inaccurate but un-Jewish and uncouth.
Portraying the “ultra-Orthodox” world as detached from awareness of, and interaction with, the larger world betrays an astounding ignorance of reality. Not only are charedim in the workplace and the “outside world,” but the charedi universe has played a leading role, if not the leading role, in outreach to the rest of the Jewish community with a wealth of chesed, limud haTorah and kiruv projects. Many charedi-sponsored initiatives touch the non-Jewish world as well. Charedi communities have developed healthy, sophisticated relationships with their governmental representatives and public institutions. Rabbi Sacks appears not to know the world he arrogates to judge.
Yes, the charedi world places great emphasis on shutting out pernicious elements of the surrounding culture. But surely Rabbi Sacks recognizes that such elements have proliferated and intensified in our day. Does he not agree that exposure to the excesses of modern society can be harmful to the Jewish spirit? And does he not recognize that shielding oneself and one’s family from such negative influences is precisely what Judaism asks of Jews?
Most important, Rabbi Sacks seems not to comprehend that the very insularity and intensive focus on Torah that characterize the charedi world are no mere sociological trends. They are, rather, the means to accomplish the ultimate mandate for all Jews: the preservation of our mesorah, and its transmission, in as pure and clear a way as possible, to the next generation and beyond.
The urgency of that mandate intensified in the aftermath of Churban Europe, when the restoration of a Torah-centered Jewish world seemed a distant dream. And it was the charedi community, beyond all, that rose to the challenge, establishing Torah-loyal families, building yeshivos and Bais Yaakov schools, establishing the primacy of limud haTorah throughout the Jewish world – recreating from the ashes with faith and dedication and, b’chasdei Hashem, incredible success.
And so, by deriding the charedi way of life, by characterizing it as some sort of petty and pointless – even dangerous – rejection of the larger world, Rabbi Sacks does a considerable disservice to not only the charedi community but to the Jewish mission of our day. He seems now to have turned his back on the ideals he has ably championed for many years, the promotion of authentic Jewish knowledge and the fostering of true Jewish unity.
We call on him to apologize for the derision and condescension that, intentionally or not, were embodied in his recent remarks and writing.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

What are we buying?

If your the type that has no problem plucking down $25 for the weekly frum Jewish newspapers and magazines you may or may not care about the content. However, many of us can not afford it, yet we buy the papers with a trust that the editors do their utmost to deliver a great paper or magazine. We trust them to deliver interesting featured articles, thought provoking content and assume  they pay columnists to write weekly articles of substance. To a large degree they do so, despite the challenges of publishing a frum paper without the so called "norm" of the secular press, where Lashon Hora, rechilus and shmutz dominate the paper.
However in order to be profitable, they will seek ads from stores, mosdos and organizations to help offset the costs and make a profit.

Recently certain Mosdos, one in particular, have taken over many of the frum papers. They are all great  mosdos and do wonderful work, but, why are we paying to read about them again and again. Their events overtake the front cover story week after week in different magazines and papers. The articles are posted as a news feature while in reality its a paid commercial. The frum papers have become commercialized. The week following the 12th Siyum Hashas one local paper that featured the Siyum Hashas on the front cover was not the one at Metlife stadium where all its readership attended, but of a different one that took place  in Eretz Yisrael. The editor was paid by that org to promote it on that specific week. How insulting is that to the readership.

 I wonder if there is a Gneivas daas on the editors part, knowing they are publishing paid content in the form of a news story. Its OK to write an article once in a while even monthly, but week after week to overtake even the free local weeklies in various frum communities is over the line. Not only are the editors making good money from this, but they charge us to read it too! 

Yes, In today's world unfortunately, the Mosdos need exposure and PR, they have to advertise and it costs lots of money, but, a supplement should do. Why take over the front page week after week? Enough with the branding! give us a break. If you can afford it why not print your own weekly paper or magazine.
 Let us have some Oneg Shabbos!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mishpacha Magazine launches Hasbara campaign for American Torah community on IDF draft of yeshiva Bochurim.

Mishpacha publisher R' Eli Paley has said in an interview he was asked by the American gedolim to come and educate the frum Torah community about the current situation with the Giyus bnei Hayeshivos.
The developments in recent months in Eretz Yisroel have left many of us in the American Torah community confused. In recent weeks, Mishpacha Magazine has made it a priority to conduct a dialogue within the American Torah community regarding these issues, giving the opportunity for people to voice their questions and get solid answers. Inline image 1A pilot event was held in Lawrence, where a candid and compelling conversation equipped participants with facts, figures, perspectives and insights from those in the thick of the discussions.

This week, Mishpacha will be hosting two more such events- Tonight July 2, 2013 at the home of Yitzchok and Devorie Fuchs in Flatbush at 8;00 pm, featuring Mishpacha's publisher Eli Paley and respected columnist  Reb Yonasan Rosenblum, moderated by Eytan Kobre. Tomorrow evening, Wednesday, July 3rd, these two panelists will be in the Catskills, in the Twin Oaks colony, at the home of Rav Aryeh Zev Ginzberg, who will offer divrei pesicha. The event will be moderated by Rabbi Yehuda Heimowitz.
Please join us, and please get involved in a battle which threatens to splinter Israeli society- its one that cannot be ignored, one which a feeling, thinking Jew should be engaged in at some level- even if its only knowing the answers and having a clear sense of what our gedolim want, to be able to give those answers to ourselves.
 We all revere our gedolim- and we legitimately wish to understand the position of our camp. Lets give ourselves the opportunity.

Thousands to visit Kever of Rav Hakollel Rabbi Yaakov Yosef Joseph Zt'l on his 111th Yartzheit

 Have your name mentioned at the Kever for free!
You can submit your name Free of charge for a zechus for( refuah ,shidduch, yeshuah, parnassah, Children) we will have someone davening at the kever  of Rav Yaakov yosef joseph today. email us or post name in the comment section. will not be publicized!

Thousands are expected to attend the Kever of the Rav Hakolel and chief rabbi of New York city, Rabbi Yaakov Joseph Zt'l on his 111th Yartzheit - 24 Tamuz 5773 -July,02, 2013
He is buried in the Union Field cemetery in Ridgewood, NY at the Brooklyn/Queens Border 
close to crown heights and Williamsburg. He was niftar in 1902 (5662). 
Rav Yoel Teitelbaum, the pervious Satmar Rebbe, would encourage his chassidim to pray at the tzion of the Rav Yaakov Yosef. It is reported that many people have found a yeshuah after visiting the tzion.
 Driving Directions to the kever:
Union Field Cemetery
82-11 Cypress Avenue

Ridgewood, NY 11385
 (Path 42, at the corner of Main and Maple Road) It will be open until 7:30 pm
Driving directions to kever of Rabbi Yakov Yosef Joseph:
 From Brooklyn- Belt Parkway to Pennsylvania Avenue exit North on Pennsylvania to the Jackie Robinson Parkway to exit 3 make  a left at 1st traffic light another left at 2nd traffic light onto Cypress Avenue to the Second Cemetery on the right
From Long Island: Grand Central Parkway to Jackie Robinson exit 3 Cypress Hills street go straight to second Cemetery on the right.
From Lakewood, Staten Island and NJ:
Verrazano bridge to the Belt Parkway to Pennsylvania Avenue exit North on Pennsylvania to the Jackie Robinson parkway  to exit 3  follow directions above.
other Gedolim who are buried nearby;
Rav Shlomo Heiman
Rav Reuven Grazovsky
Rav yaakov kamenetzky
The Yampolo Rebbe
The Chofetz Chaim's Rebetzin
Rav Yeruchim  Levovitz Rebetzin
Rav pam
Rav Brus
Rav Henoch leibowitz