Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mishpacha = MEDIA ‘ocricy; A bridge too far

Guest post By Dovid Burton
Insanity is the inability to sort things out. When a popular weekly magazine blurs the differences between people with purposeful intent, that is inequity in real time. Mishpacha seems deserving of this dubious distinction. A storyline on its front cover {Family First Feb 4. } reads, adviceline- My rav made serious mistakes. I’m having trouble trusting a rav again.
Torah accords the rabbinate the highest accolades, witness the “yukum purkon” prayer, before mussaf on Shabbos.
 They are the manhigim- the mentors and stewards of Am Yisrael, and answer to a higher  source. Who has the right to insinuate that the reputation of Chachmei  Yisrael may be tarnished because of someone’s shortfall?
Must teenage girls read this torrid stuff for oneg shabbos ?
 The giyus- army law is the handiwork of Naftali Bennet- Jewish home party; yet at the height of the brouhaha,  Mishpacha put the onus on Yair Lapid instead. To this day the former is a fixture in this periodical as a legitimate player in the memshala.
 Bennet writes off the directive of Gedolei  Yisrael Rav Shteinman and Rav Chaim Kanievsky. He is walking down the same path as another man did 2000 years ago. According to an uncensored version of Talmud Gittin {57a}  that individual, gung ho and recalcitrant, is now “dung ho” in the afterlife,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hamodia- A Hidden Treasure Provides Glimpse Into Past

Hamodia- The Orthodox community worldwide has been amazed and elated by the discovery of a rare film clip containing a crystal-clear image of the Chofetz Chaim, zt”l, and numerous other Gedolei Yisrael at the First Knessiah Gedolah in Vienna in 1923.
Breathtaking as it is, the film has raised several questions in the community. Could it be authentic? Where was it until now? How did such a treasure get unearthed? Is there more to see?
“It is definitely authentic,” said Rabbi Moshe Kolodny, archivist of the Agudath Israel of America. “We knew that there was a film, and the second half, that shows Rav Yaakov Rosenheim, has been around for a while.”
Less than five minutes in running time, the film captures parts of the Knessiah Gedolah of the Agudas Yisrael. It begins with the arrival of Harav Avraham Tzvi Perlmutter, zt”l, the Rav of Warsaw, and Harav Yisrael Friedman, the Rebbe of Chortkov, zy”a, to the Knessiah.

About a minute from the start of the reel, the Chofetz Chaim, head bowed but unmistakably identifiable, walks briskly through the gates towards the building, flanked by attendants. It is most likely the clearest likeness — and certainly the only live image — that anyone in the last two generations has seen of the hallowed tzaddik.

Video of the Chofetz Chaim has special meaning, shown at schools and Yeshivos across the US

The Chofetz Chaim
(photo credit: Fox movie-tone news collection)
The rare video footage of the chofetz chaim is a historic find. People are wondering if there is a significance with this historic find. Why now has this video surfaced? what is the lesson for us to take from it? A Chizuk in shemiras halashon? a sign we should ready ourselves for the geulah as the Chofetz Chaim was instrumental in learning the halachos pertaining to the bais hamikdash. Whatever the message, seeing the holy chofetz chaim has brought many to an awe and inspiring moment. In an era of YouTube videos and nonsense such a treasure stands out above all. Many yeshivos across the US showed the footage to the talmidim. Its ironic though that this was only broadcast and publicized on the internet.
Additionally we never get to actually see the chofetz chaims face in full. It is blocked by someone in the video. Perhaps that was the tzadiks wish.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Statement from Agudas Yisrael of America on NYC Metitzah B'peh decision

The Bloomberg Administration’s regulation of metzitzah b’peh represented the first and only time in the history of the United States that government has sought to regulate an aspect of bris milah.

“Our Gedolei Yisroel felt that this was intolerable, and could lead to other governmental incursions on bris milah, and so instructed us to mount a legal challenge against the regulation.

“It is to Mayor de Blasio’s eternal credit that he recognized how profoundly offensive the regulation was to our community, and worked with us to undo the terrible precedent his predecessor had established.” desicion

Monday, February 23, 2015

Video:Historic rare footage of the Chofetz Chaim Zt"l at the knessiah Gedolah 1923

Historic footage of the Chofetz Chaim Rav Yisrael Meir Hakohen Kagan of Radin walking to the first Knessiah gedolah in Vienna 1923. You can see the chofetz chaim at the 0:56 seconds mark flanked by his son on the right and his nephew rav A. Kaplan. Also seen in the video -Rav Avrohom Tzvi Perlmutter Raavad of Warsaw 0:27 The Chortkov Rebbe at 0:47 Rav Yaakov Rosenheim founder of Agudas Israel 3:15. Admor Sokolov R Yitzchok Zelig Morgenstern.1:47, Rav Yehuda L Tzirelson Chief Rabbi of Kishinev at 2:05, Rav Elchonon Wasserman,2:22, Rav Eliyahu Young, Jewish center of New York, 3:55, Rav Yecheskel Sarna future Chevron Rosh yeshivaY 4:13




videoAlso attending the knessiah were rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky zt'l, Rav Meir Shapira zt'l, Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, The Gerrer Rebbe the Imrei Emes, Chortkov Rebbe, Rav Tzirelson of Kishinev, Rav Moshe MOrdechai Epstein of Slabodka. It was at this Knessiah gedola where Rav Meir Shapiro launched the idea of Daf Yomi


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Klal perspectives the 2015 Winter issue- challenges facing the Ben Torah Baal habayis


In this issue, we shift our attention to the overall mindset and set of challenges faced by the ben Torah baal habayis – the yeshiva graduate who has a home, a family, a job – and a host of responsibilities and expectations.
click HERE to download the Winter issue
By any objective standard, the observant baal habayis is a true hero. In fact, he is remarkable in simply retaining a commitment to Torah and mitzvos while navigating the spiritual perils of today’s workplace, and the external social pressure and influences. But that is only the beginning. The baal habayis also confronts overwhelming demands, while addressing his numerous responsibilities. The financial expectations of the Orthodox home far exceed those of others, in light of the expenses of large families, Shabbos, kosher food and Orthodox community home prices, all in addition to the cost of parochial schools, camps and seminaries. As a committed ben Torah, the baal habayis also faces the pressures of finding adequate time for daily Torah study, davening with a minyan and being involved in chesed and community needs (including attending simchas and fundraising events). And, of course, there are the all-important, yet very time consuming, obligations as a husband and father.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Kiddush Levana advisory for cities in the Eastern US

BJL By R' Eliezer Bulka
Baltimore, MD - Feb. 20 - The custom amongst most Ashkenazim is to wait at least 72 hours after the molad to recite kiddush levanah. The announced molad for Rosh Chodesh Adar  was less than a minute before midnight, Wednesday night. It is once again important to make it clear that this is Yerushalayim (local) time. Therefore, in the Eastern time zone, the molad was really before 5 pm. Therefore, North American Ashkenazim should be able to say Kiddush levanah this Motzaei Shabbos, weather permitting. (Note: According to scientific data, the true new moon occurred at 6:47 pm. If one wishes to wait a full 72 hours from that moment, it might be a close call for cities further east.)

משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

      אמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב: כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה - כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

BD'H petira of Rav Yitzchok Finkel Zt'l son of Mir Rosh Yeshiva Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel Zatzal

Rav Yitzchok Finkel Zt"l
Video of  Levaya at end of article
Hamodia- The Torah world and Yeshivas Mir Yerushalayim in particular was plunged into deep sadness and mourning upon news of the petirah of Harav Yitzchok Finkel z”l, a son of Hagaon Harav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Mir, who passed away after a prolonged illness. He was 43 years old. “He had a real ne’eemus to him and had a palpable affection for other people,” said Rabbi Mordechai Grunwald of Yeshivas Mir. “He carried himself with tremendous simplicity and tznius, but even so, his greatness showed through.”  Reb Yitzchok was a noted talmid chacham and, for several years, led a chaburah in Yeshivas Mir studying Zeraim. Most recently, he was delivering shiurim on Maseches Shevi’is. He was heavily involved in the publication of the sefarim of his illustrious father. Reb Yitzchok carefully reviewed recordings and notes of Reb Nosson Tzvi’s weekly Chumash lectures, preparing them for print. In the tradition of the Finkel family, he exhibited tremendous mesirus nefesh for the study and support of Torah. Over the past year and a half, Reb Yitzchok spent a lot of time in America receiving medical treatments. On more than one occasion, he came straight from the hospital to Mir fund-raising events,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Psak from Rav Shteinman iPhone owner as witness to a wedding

Interesting Psak: iPhone owner as witness to a wedding

Rav Shteinman was asked about the validity of using someone who owns an iPhone for witnessing a wedding. 
Supposedly, his answer was, that there are two different types of prohibitions one can violate that might invalidate him from being a witness; a prohibition that has the punishment of malkus, lashes, attached to it, and a prohibition that does not have lashes as a punishment. 
A prohibition with lashes would invalidate the person from being a witness at a "d'oraisa" level, while a prohibition without lashes would invalidate him but only at a rabbinic level..

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Agudas Israels position whether yeshivos should admit students who have not been immunized

In this weeks issue of AMI magazine a question was sent to Agudas Yisrael of America on its position  regarding the current debate on immunization. Yeshivos and Bais Yaakovs are faced with a dilemma should they or shouldn't they honor exemptions for those who do not wish to vaccinate. While immunization is not mandated  these children may pose a risk to expectant teachers or parents with non immunized infants who are visiting the school
Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel response to Ami- So there should be no ambiguity on the matter, Agudath Israel takes no position on whether yeshivos should or should not admit non-immunized students. The senior roshei yeshiva and the rabbonim who sit on the moetzes Gedolei haTorah of Agudath Israel and on the vaad of Torah Umesorah have not adapted an across the board policy or recommendation on this point, instead leaving the issue to be decided by each individual yeshiva through consultation with its local rabbinic,medical and legal advisers.
As a matter of secular law do yeshivos have a legal right to refuse admission to students whose parents claim a religious exemption from immunization requirements? the answer is in NJ, Yes in NY the law is less clear.

Shas - a- Thon live 2015 entire shas under one roof sponsored by: A Time

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thousands of Bais Yaakov girls to attend event at Barclays center in Brooklyn

 watch video HERE
On March 17, 2015 - 25 Adar 5775 The Barclay center in Downtown Brooklyn will fill up with thousands of woman and Bais Yaakov girls to commemorate the 80th yartzheit of  Sara Schneirer founder of the Bais Yaakov movement. For more info and ticket information call 718-851-2900

Its a Magaifa- Blame charedim and the frum

Charedim dont vaccinate their children, Charedim protect child molesters, Charedim are to blame and are at fault. The OU and RCA issued a statement  urging all parents to vaccinate their healthy children on the timetable recommended by their pediatrician. There is a huge movement out there opposing vaccinations. Its found in the secular world too, as much as it is by the MO and yeshivish crowd. However, the blogs and moms basement commentators, were quick to point out how the frum ultra orthodox are the ones not vaccinating their children. Same with child molestation, the problem exists in all segments of society but they love pointing out and blaming the frum and ultra orthodox for covering up and protecting molesters. Recently Matzav.com which considers itself the online voice of Torah Jewry, has been posting articles about events hosted by JCW a MO organization spreading awareness of abuse. The frum community have their own way of dealing with it.(no not by covering up) It has somehow become more of an issue in the frum world as apposed to other communities. Why is Matzav adapting a MO approach to the issue. A prominent askan who spearheaded a zero-tolerance policy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Yeshiva and Torah world under assault, but we will only prosper and grow

The enemies within are going full force. The bloggers and their ilk are on a all out attack on the charedi and kollel life style. Article after article, blog post after blog post bashing, poking fun of our way of life. From the middle of the road blogger to other "frum" websites our way of life is questioned, ridiculed and mocked.  Let them scream all they want, Torah and yeshivos will continue to flourish, Kolelim are growing in many communities across the US. The havtacha of
לא ימושו מפיך, ומפי זרעך, ומפי זרע זרעך,  is as strong as ever. We must stand up, strengthen and be mechazek the lomdei torah and the supporters of Torah not to have doubts by the detractors, and continue in their avodas hakodesh.

Agudath Israel of America National Board of Trustees Leadership Mission Washington, DC


For more PHOTOS click HERE
Members of Agudath Israel of America's National Board of Trustees convened in the nation's capital to meet with Congressional leaders to advocate on issues ranging from the security of Israel, Iran sanctions, the alarming rise of global anti-Semitism, funding for homeland security and the advancement of school choice.

front row R-L Rabbis- Ralph Rieder, Laibish Becker, Shlomo Gertzulin, Chaim D. Zwiebel, Shlomo Werdiger, Abba Cohen, Leon Melohn, Standing back row L-R Moshe Gold, A.D Motzen, Ronald Wilhelm, Yatty Weinreb, Aron Tessler, Leon Goldenberg, Chaskell Benett, Dr. David Diamond, Hashi Herzka, Chaim Leshkowitz, Shimon Lefkowitz, Duvie Gross, Ralph Zucker, Jan Loeb, Ariel Sadwin,
The Mission opened with a private dinner Tuesday evening in the U.S. Capitol with Senator Rand Paul (R- KY) member Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Ron Johnson (R- WI) Chairman Homeland Security Committee, and Senator Robert Menendez (D- NJ) ranking member Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Holy Rollers

YTK-There’s a new kosher sausage cart launching in midtown Manhattan today — HOLY ROLLERS — both the first Glatt kosher meat cart and the first kosher sausage cart (or truck). Holy Rollers is Glatt kosher certified under the OU. You can order the Judah, Yisro, or the Noah among others.

The main sausages available will be Polish, Cajun, and Sweet Italian, with other menu items available such as Double Dogs, Grilled Chicken, and Pulled Brisket all served inside fresh hoagies.

The menu includes 14 items, which combine a meat choice (listed above) with a combo of toppings, sauces, and veggies that include: chili, pastrami, BBQ sauce, ketchup, garlic mayo, mustard, Sriracha, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, etc. If you can think of any combination of the above ingredients, they’ll make it for you. [Scroll Down for the complete menu options]  The sausages are made by the cart’s owners at a location in NJ.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Appreciating Hatzolah

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to cut down the time it takes for ambulances to respond to emergencies in New York City. The average response time was 6 minutes 50 seconds in 2014, 3 seconds higher than the previous year. City officials said their goal is to cut the average to 6 minutes, 30 seconds. The response time begins not when the call is made but from when the Ambulance leaves the station. Hatzolah has a 4 minute response time from when the call is received these few minutes can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a heart attack R'L.
Top Gear, a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world mentioned Hatzolah's quick response time.

Are MO families more affected by President Barack Obama’s proposed tax reforms than the Ultra Orthodox?

 A report in the Times of Israel claims the proposed tax reforms in the 2015 budget will have an impact on MO families due to the ratio of higher day school tuition coupled with the fact that they are in a higher income bracket than other segments of orthodox Jewry. In truth, the Yeshivish crowd may be just as affected or even more so.

 For Orthodox Jews in the United States, President Barack Obama’s proposed tax reforms present a numbers-crunching paradox: Income he designates as well-off may mean just getting by for large families.
Obama’s 2015 budget, which was introduced Monday, aims to offset economic breaks to upper-income families to help working- and middle-class Americans, a key goal of his State of the Union address. The reforms would fund most tax breaks and social services by increasing taxes on those in the higher brackets. For Orthodox Jews, the fastest growing segment of Judaism according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study of American Jewry, higher taxes for households making more than $100,000 per year can strain finances already challenged by day school tuitions and the burdens of feeding larger-than-average families. The Pew report showed that despite their relatively small population — making up only 10 percent of the Jewish population in the United States — families that consider themselves modern Orthodox reported higher incomes than others in the Jewish community, with 37 percent having household incomes of more than $150,000.

Friday, February 6, 2015

BD''H Rav Sheya Schiff zt''l Rosh Yeshiva Mesivta Bais Shraga of Monsey

 BJL It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Sheya Schiff zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Mesivta Bais Shraga in Monsey, NY. He was 90 years old.  Rav Sheya led Mesivta Bais Shraga with distinction for decades, raising generations of bnei Torah. Rav Sheya was a son of the noted baal habayis, R’ Harry Schiff zt”l, who merited to raise a family of leading gedolei Torah and marbitzei Torah. Rav Sheya’s brother is Rav Yankel Shiff, son-in-law of the Brisker Rov, Rav Yitzchok Zev Soloveitchik zt”l. Rav Sheya’s sisters  married Rav Shmuel Faivelson, rosh yeshiva of Bais Medrash L’Torah of Monsey, NY, and Rav Meir Hershkowitz, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Bais Binyomin of Stamford, Connecticut. Rav Sheya was a son-in-law of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz zt”l, the pioneer of Torah chinuch and Yiddishkeit in America and legendary menahel of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Whose voice are you?

The MO community is giddy- the so called "online voice of Torah Jewry" has published a favorable article about the JCW organization.  The middle of the road blogger quoted-
I have to give Matzav credit. Organizations like JCW have not generally been so accepted in the Charedi world which tends to be reluctant to report suspected abusers to the police. Especially if they come from prominent families. Or if the accused has a longstanding great reputation. The disbelief is so strong that they often turn against the victim – accusing them of lying about the abuse. I would therefore not be surprised if rabbinic leaders would strongly oppose something like the Wall of Shame. bla bla bla...
Does matzav have rabbonim? not that we know of, do they represent the Torah world, NO! any anonymous website no matter how frum or yeshivish sounding represents no one but themselves, but leave it up to the MO crowd to paint the frum Torah community as being pro molesters and so surprised, that Matzav would actually post about JCW.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Origin of the "Tu B'shvat Seder"

Recently many in the Modern Orthodox or kabalistic circles conduct a Tu Bshvat Seder. Some drink 4 cups of wine, recite prayers and eat many different fruits in a specific order. There is a Hagada that some recite from as well. The origin of this costume is attributed to the Ari Z"al. However there is controversy over it and many question the minhag. It is not practiced among The yeshivish crowd or the yeshiva world in general. Rabbi Yaakov Emdin wrote strongly against the Anonymous sefer that first mentioned the minhag in the name of the Ari.

Tu B'shvat, checking dry fruits for insects,

 Following guidelines are from the Star-K Kosher.
When applicable, guidelines apply to produce grown and purchased in the United States. Checking procedures in other countries may be different.
Carob: Break open in several places to check for infestation. If it is infested, white stringy webbing will be visible on the inside. Holes on the outside may also indicate infestation.
Dates: American grown do not require inspection.
For the more stringent, slice the date lengthwise and open. If webbing or seedy material is present, the dates should be discarded.                                                                    
Figs: It is recommended that one open and do a visual inspection on a few out of the container (even if they have a hechsher). If they have no insects, one can assume the rest do not.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

No fundraising dinners on super Sunday for yeshivos and Mosdos

אנו רצים והם רצים
 Look at the events calender in the Yated Ne'eman and other frum papers there are no events listed or scheduled for Sunday Feb 1st 2015. Its unfortunate and sad but the mosdos and yeshivos must be practical. As recently as a few years ago, yeshivos and Mosdos held fundraisers on the same night as the Superbowl. Apparently, they could not draw a crowd and get people to attend these fundraising events when there is a competing game on TV. As the country gears up for super Sunday, many in the frum community have been following or getting swept up with  Superbowl fever.  the Same challengeis for people making simchas and weddings. A baal simcha was quoted as saying that he will have to put up screens for the game at his daughters wedding, or the guests wont show! Is it fair to let down a baal simcha or to not support a yeshiva for 3 hours of enjoyment that has no eternal gain.  Some point out that following sports is a healthy outlet, but does it take precedent over something eternal?

Frum newspapers keep clean of ads mentioning superbowl

In what has recently become the norm during the 2 week build up the super bowl, many frum stores
would advertise Superbowl specials, especially take out stores with prepared menus for the big game.  The frum papers Yated, Hamodia, Ami Magazine, did not post any such ads this year. Credit to the editors for not getting caught up with the Superbowl fever. Super bowl related ads have dominated the frum media lately as the great American culture blends and seeps into our camps.  Although many follow or watch the big game, we still must not forget this is not our culture and way of life. Sports is a important staple of the American culture, professional teams play all sorts of games followed by ardent  loyal fans. As the country  gears up for super Sunday, many in the frum community have been following or getting swept up with  Superbowl fever.  No matter how big it may be, is not our culture and not an event we as frum yidden mark on our calender.