Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chodosh harvest season 2013 to start this week, for those makpid on Yoshon

 The following info is provided by Rabbi Yoseph Herman of  the "guide to chodosh"

 click HERE to view the preliminary Chodosh guide for 5774 2013-2014  HERE

Based on the weekly reports sent out by the US Dep't of Agriculture, and other sources, the Chodosh harvest of the new spring wheat is in full swing  These dates are consistent with most earlier years. The recommended Chodosh cutoff dates would be about 7-10 days after the confirmed start of the first harvests. all info is preliminary.

The following are recommended cutoff dates for this year 2013/ 5774 chodosh season

for Chodosh news  updates call the hotline 718-305-5133 

 Fresh bakery Products such as bread, challas, roles, cakes, cookies, have a cutoff date in the Midwest, August 18  elsewhere August 25
 packaged foods purchase date of September 1
noodles, pasta-  packing Aug 25 purchase date of  Sep 8
oats cereals the chodosh date is october 1 or later all oats
general mills cutoff date is october 1
barley packing Aug 18, purchase date of September 1

To get the Chodosh Guide by Email .send a email to

Monday, August 26, 2013

With three, 3 day yom tov in September, Agudah issues religious rights in the workplace

In anticipation of a potentially challenging workplace situation due to this year’s unique Yom Tov calendar, Agudath Israel of America has released a guide to religious rights in the workplace.
Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succos will all take place during September, requiring religious Jews to take off many work days over the course of the calendar month. Such employees “should be aware of their legal rights to be absent from work for religious observance,” said Rabbi Mordechai Biser, Agudath Israel’s general counsel, “which is why we felt it appropriate to publish this guide at this time.”
According to Rabbi Biser, Agudath Israel has a long history of advocating for the rights of observant employees to have their religious observances accommodated in the workplace. “We helped draft and successfully advocate for passage of laws in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere that require employers to accommodate employees who need to take time off for religious reasons. As a matter of fact, New York State now has the toughest law in the country on this point.” According to the law, employers generally have a responsibility to offer employees a reasonable method of fulfilling their duties that is not in conflict with their religious principles. And while the law states that employers are not required to incur undue hardship for the sake of such accommodation, the burden of proving such hardship is on the employer. The guide includes practical guidance, with a special question and answer section providing legal advice to common questions concerning religious workplace employee rights and obligations.
For those who feel that their employer is not making a good faith effort to address their concerns, the guide also includes a sample letter created by Agudath Israel of America that can be shown to an employer that explains an employee’s rights and the employer’s obligations under the law. Click HERE for the guide
The guide may be obtained, free of charge, by contacting Agudath Israel’s Office of Constituent Services at 212-797-9000, extension 335, or by e-mailing

Calls, to rise up to the challenge at Yeshivas MIr Yerushalayim, Lakewood Dinner.

A overflow crowd gathered  Last night in Lakewood, NJ to show support for the Mir Yeshiva Yerushalayim, at the annual Lakewood dinner. Following words of Chizuk by The Lakewood Rosh hayeshiva Rav Malkkiel Kotler, the Rosh Hayeshiva Rav Lazer Yudel Finkel, addressed the crowd. He spoke how during these difficult times with forces fighting against the yeshiva world and bnei Torah, its time to rise up  and declare מי לה' אלי.

The Rosh yeshiva described the scene of anyone who walks in to the Mir Yeshiva and sees thousands of bnei torah and youngeleit learning and toiling in Torah. They are sitting on every nook and cranny available through out the buildings of the yeshiva. Rav Asher Arieli who has one of the largest shiurum in the world has over 500 Bochurim and youngeleit attending his shiur in a room that only fits 300! They are overflowing all the way up sitting on the steps out onto the street. Why are they doing all this asked the Rosh yeshiva? For one reason only- To hear the Dvar hashem. The Rosh hayeshiva said the answer is to have achdus and be mechazek in Ameilus B'Torah.

On the request of the Rosh hayeshiva noted philanthropist Reb Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz of  Los Angeles attended the Dinner. Due to the Israeli government  drastic new budget cuts, amounting to about 75 percent of what they gave the yeshiva in 2012, there is a  reduction of close to eight million dollars. Besides for the Rechnitz dollar for dollar matching campaign, Reb Shlomo Yehuda spoke at the dinner and called on all alumni to give $1000 to the Yeshiva. He said it is Eis laasos we must rise up to the challenge. He mentioned how Rav Nosson tzvi once asked him for a certain amount and he apologized that he wasn't able to give. Rav nosson Tzvi also apologized and said that he has a Yeshiva and he must raise the funds.
 As we approach the Yamim Noraim there is no bigger zechus than the highest form of tzedaka which is Hachzokas hatorah.

Mir Yerushalayim
5227 New Utrecht Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11219

Sunday, August 25, 2013

ארור מכה רעהו בסתר anonymous comments

We just read in the parsha the prohibition of  ארור מכה רעהו בסתר  Cursed is he who is strikes his fellow in secret. The Pasuk, Rashi explains is referring to Lashon Hora.

 In today's media of  frum blogs and websites, were people post negative anonymous posts and comments, either online or in print, as a unsigned letter to the editor critical of an individual, there is a possibility of violating this לאו.
There are Rabbanim in Eretz yisrael that said about the writers of  anonymous Pashkevillin, that are publicly attacking or undermining a group with no signatures, that they are in violation of ארור מכה רעהו בסתר.

Another factor is, by posting or commenting anonymously the person in reference can not defend or answer the accusation. Perhaps if one left an email address or contact information that would enable the person or group to refute or call you out for slander. By hiding behind your name you do harm and dont give the intended target a chance to respond. If something bothers you best to approach the individual to his face and tell him what you think. As we approach Rosh Hashana it is good to keep in mind -yes the frum Bloggers too (this blog included) of the damage and danger of commenting and posting Lashon hora even with a signed name, May we have a Ksiva vachasima Tova.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Maariv and cholent - Hachnosas Orchim at the Woodbourne shul

As the summer vacation comes to a close up in the catskills, the Woodbourne, NY shul is still hustling and bustling serving the many vacationers throughout their summer stay. Run by Rabbi Jungreis, the Nikolsburger Rebbe, he sees it that everyone who walks in should feel at home. Minyanim for Mincha and Maariv starting every ten minutes till the wee hours of the morning. Its a place where after a long drive up you stop in and feel right at home.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pashkevillin from Eretz yisrael spill over to Monsey and Brooklyn in attempt to spread campaign of bizayon haTorah.

The Bizayon haTorah against the psak of Gedolim in Eretz yisrael has made its way to frum neighborhoods all over the tri state area, Monsey, NY and Brooklyn in particular.  The papers are referring to a construction site in Bet Shemesh that some believe is an ancient Jewish cemetery. The Raavad of the Badatz Harav Moshe Shturnbach, issued a ruling allowing them to dig under the watchfull eyes of mashgichim.  The Gaavad of the Eidah hachareidis Rav Tuvia Weiss and the Asa Kadisha organization are holding protests at the site alleging there are Jewish Kevorim there. What happened is a group of kanoim- vigilantes  took matters into their own hands and were mevazeh Rav Shternbuch and other gedolim. Rav Chaim kanievsky and Rav Shteinman issued letters condemning the attacks and the bizayon against Rav shternbuch.

Embedded image permalinkNot satisfied, these kanoim have now spread the hate to American shores, throwing pashkevillin (Flyers) all over, defacing properties and making a huge chilul hashem by plastering it on public streets, littering roadways in Monsey and boro park. This is an issue in Eretz yisrael and no need to bring the campaign of bizayon hatorah to the US. We are in galus here this has no place here.

See video HERE

Cews from Ramapo cleaning up the flyers in front of Evergrren Supermarket in Monsey, NY

Monday, August 19, 2013

91st Agudah convention 2013- change of location, change of calendar, will not be Thanksgiving weekend.

For latest 2013 Convention updates click HERE
 There will be no Turkey dinner at the upcoming 2013 Agudah convention due to Thanksgiving coinciding with Shabbos Chanukah. It Will take place November 14-17, 2013 at  the woodcliff Lake Hilton, in woodcliff lake, NJ near Monsey.  click HERE for latest convention news Live broadcast and
CLICK  HERE to register. For updated 2013 convention news click HERE
List of speakers and keynote sessions click  HERE and HERE
For Live Broadcasing hook up information click HERE
 Official press release below.
The 91st annual convention of Agudath Israel of America will be held at the Hilton Woodcliff Lake Hotel and Resort in Bergen County NJ, a spokesman for the Orthodox Jewish organization announced today. Located conveniently between NJ Route 17 and the Garden State Parkway in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, the elegant and newly renovated hotel, nestled on 21 acres with an array of convenient amenities, promises a special experience for Agudah conventioneers unlike any before. Mr. Hashi Herzka of  Flatbush will serve as convention chairman.

Due to this year's unusual quirk in the calendar with Thanksgiving weekend falling during Chanukah, the convention dates have been advanced to take place during the weekend of November 14-17, Kislev 11-14.  "It is important for people to mark off those dates, as this year we will be holding our convention two weeks earlier than usual, " says Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, Agudath Israel's Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, who headed up a joint staff and Board site selection committee.  "The date and venue changes have opened up exciting possibilities in planning for the convention. While many locations throughout the tri-state area were considered , this new beautiful spacious hotel is an ideal setting befitting the dignity and excitement of an Agudath Israel convention."

Among the most popular aspects of an Agudah convention are the simultaneous symposium that enable participants to listen and thoroughly examine some of the most pressing issues facing Orthodox Jews in our times. As in past years, the Thursday, Friday, Motzoei Shabbos, and Sunday sessions are open to the public, free of charge. 

"Being that the convention will take place in close proximity to the large frum communities of Monsey, Spring Valley, Viznitz, New Square, and Northern New Jersey, we expect many more participants to take part in our exciting sessions,"  says Rabbi Labish Becker, Agudath Israel's Executive Director "Bringing people together leshem Shamayim to deal with klal yisroel's pressing needs in the presence of Gedolei Yisroel is a tremendous opportunity." 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Video- watch how the Shofar is made, ready to blow.

With Rosh Hashana 5774 approaching watch how the Rams horn is made ready for shofar blowing.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gedolim meet both In America and Eretz Yisrael regarding the assault on the Yeshiva world and Bnei Torah.

Members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah met Tuesday afternoon at Agudath Israel of America headquarters in New York City to discuss pressing matters on the American agenda and the current situation in Eretz Yisrael. (Hillel Engel/Agudath Israel)
Photo by Hillel Engel

The Moetzes gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisrael in America convened this week to discuss the gezeiros against bnei torah in Eretz yisrael, as well as other matters and challenges facing the frum Torah world. In attendance,  Rav Simcha Bunim Ehrnfeld the mattersdorfer Rav, Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky, Novominsker Rebbe Rav Yaakov Perlow, Rav Aaron Feldman, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Malkiel Kotler, Chacham Rav Yosef Harari Raful and newly appointed member to the Moetzes Rav Yosef Frankel RY of Vyalopole.Rav Aaron schechter and Rav Avrohom Chaim Levin were not present and were in touch via telephone.

 The meeting was chaired by Reb Shlomo werdiger chairman of Agudah. Rav Shmuel kamenetzky and rav Aaron feldman who both returned from trips to Israel, recounted their meeting with Rav Shteinman how distraught he is over the draft on giyus bnei yeshivos and he asked that yeshivos in the Diaspora should be mechazek in Torah and Tefillah. Rav Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Rav Shlomo Gertzulin and Rav leibish becker updated the Moetzes gedolei Hatorah on progress within the Agudah.

Likewise, in Eretz Yisrael the ziknei Roshei yeshiva, Rav Shteinman Rav Chaim Kanievsky , Rav Dov Yoffe, Rav Gershon Eidelshtein, Rav Berel Povarsky have gathered at a chizuk event for bnei Torah. They called on all to strengthen the learning of mussar and to do maasim tovim bein adam lachaveiro. Rav Shteinman wished all a happy and healthy new year and  I"yh we will merit to see yeshuos.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Remembering Amalek this shabbos parshas Ki seitzei before a leap year, the Chasam sofer's Minhag.

Why will some pay special attention this week during leining - kriyas hatorah on shabbos parshas ki setzei ? we will read the parsha of zechiras mechiyas Amalek. Since the coming year 5774 is a leap year  it would be 13 months between the reading of parshas zachor of 5773 to the parshas zachor of  5774.

Some Rishonim  are of the opinion that the mitzvah of remembering Amalek must be performed every year.  R. Moshe Sofer, the Chasam Sofer, (Even HaEzer no.1: 119) suggests that the reason for the annual requirement is based on a comment of the Gemara, Berachos 58b, that certain events are forgotten after twelve months. The frequency of mitzvas zechiras Amalek is based on a requirement to prevent forgetting the battle of Amalek.  Therefore, one must remember the battle of Amalek every twelve months.  

 The Chasam Sofer adds that even though in a leap year there is a thirteen month lapse between readings of Parshas Zachor, there is no need to institute an additional reading of Parshat Zachor in a leap year. The reason why twelve months is significant in the context of memory is because over the course of twelve months, a person experiences the entire range of events in the annual cycle. These events cause him to forget experiences from the previous year. In a leap year, it actually takes thirteen months to create this phenomenon. Only after a complete yearly cycle does the human weakness of forgetting take effect.

Nonetheless, the Maharam Schick (Mitzvos, no. 604) writes that the Chasam Sofer himself ordered his disciples on leap years to have intention to fulfill the mitzvah of remembering Amalek with the torah reading of  Ki Teitzei. This ensures that a twelve-month period will not elapse without a reading of the chapter.

Harav Aaron Leib Shteinman, gave a shiur on this topic, he added, that Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid is the Amalek of our generation for his actions in uprooting the Torah from yeshivos and one should also have this in mind when hearing the parsha of  zechiras Amalek. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Elul Zman 5773 begins in the Yeshiva world, Botei medrash get a face-lift, some yeshivos to relocate. new yeshivos open

ELUL Zman,- while we are in midst of Summer vacation, the yeshiva bachurim and Kolell youngeleit are heading back to the bais medrash in their respective yeshivos. Some yeshivos such as Telz Chicago have begun  a few days prior to Rosh Chodesh Elul. Many yeshivos  will recite Yom Kippur katan today on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul.
Yeshiva of Long beach will  spend Elul zman in the Catskills at Camp Morris
Yeshiva of Ocean Township, NJ under Rav Meir Miller will be relocating to the Catskills, on the former grounds of the Tamarack lodge, in Greenfield Park NY.
Rav  Mayer Sender and Rav Asher Wilhelm  opened a Yeshiva for Bais medrash Bochurim in Monsey
Rav Shlomo Feivel Shustal Rosh Yeshiva of  Torah Temimah is rumored to be leaving his position and join with his son in opening a Yeshiva next year in Monsey.
Yeshiva Gedolah Ohr Hatorah for Bais medrash Bochurim opened in Baltimore, Rav Dovid Hoffman and Rabbi Moshe Aharon Rosenbaum Roshei Yeshiva.

During bein hazmanim many yeshivos take the opportunity to upgrade their facilities. In Yeshivas Ner Yisrael of Baltimore they installed a new floor to its main bais medrash and given it a face-lift

New floor in main Bais medrash at Ner Yisrael Baltimore

Murder plot against previous Satmar Rebbe Rav Yoel Z"TL revealed in Der Blatt newspaper

 The following story of a Murder plot against the previous Satmar Rebbe by the heads of state, appeared in Yiddish in the Satmar newspaper Der Blatt. The article was published in the weekend edition commemorating the 34th Yartzheit of the Previous Satmar Rebbe Rav Yoel Teitelbaum Z'Tl. The story is told over by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Grenberg who is one of the last living witness to the affair.

The year was 1958 a decade after the establishment of the state of Israel, in the Mea Shearim neighborhood on Salant Street the city began operating a mixed swimming facility serving the secular population of Jerusalem. Indeed, residents began demonstrations and protests to eliminate the  spiritual decline and have the pool shut indefinitely. The  Satmar Rebbe, decided to help the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and asked to make a big demonstration in front of Israeli diplomatic missions in New - York. At the same time, Abba Eban - who was at that time the Israeli ambassador to the UN, and later served as Foreign Minister in the governments of Israel was planning an impressive gala ceremony on Independence day, near UN headquarters in Manhattan, celebrating the tenth anniversary of the State of Israel. Abba Eban worked for 6 months on various logistical details of the event. When the Rebbe learned  that Abba Eban planed  to conduct a ceremony at the United Nations, he decided to sabotage the joy. The plan was to counter it and hold a large demonstration against the state opposite the United Nations, at theexact time as Ebban's ceremony, throwing a negative light on the state. The demonstration was intended to send a message to the world, that the State of Israel persecutes religion and deny the rights of the minority. 

 Abba Eban, who heard about it - knew the media spotlight may be directed to the thousands of ultra-Orthodox demonstrating, called the Rebbe's residence and asked to speak with him urgently. He was told by the Gabboim that he would not be able to speak directly with the Satmar Rebbe. Instead, he was directed to Rabbi Lipa Friedman - who served as Rosh hakohol of Satmar. Abba Eban, swore he is willing to commit that the pool will be closed immediately and begged that the Rebbe cancel the demonstration, it can be harmful to us. He promised to do all in his power and connections to get the pool closed. Friedman Repeated over the conversation to the Rebbe, the rebbe responded that he does not trust Abba Eban, he is certain that after the cessation of the festivities - if the demonstration is canceled, He would not lift a finger to keep his promise. Still, I'm willing to grant the request and to consider favorably, so nobody could say then, that the Satmar Rebbe is guilty in not closing down the pool because he was offered a swap, eliminating a demonstration for the pool, and he refused the offer. 

Three days  passed since the  ceremony marking the day of Independence. Abba Eban contacted Friedman and apologized to him for not keeping the deal. "I assure you that I spoke with Prime Minister Ben Gurion and anyone who could speak on the issue - but all of them sealed their ears from hearing." When the Rebbe heard that ebben did not keep the deal, he was furious he said "I knew". He would not let Ebben or the zionists get away with it and promised a larger demonstration to humiliate the state. The next demonstration will be double the quantity and we will look at every avenue to bring to the attention of the world the exploits of Zionism, persecuting the Orthodox Jews in Israel. The next demonstration was impressive, it took place in front of the White House in Washington. The President at the time was Dwight Eisenhower. The President agreed to meet with meet the representatives of thousands of protesters, including the late Rabbi Lipa Friedman, the late Rabbi Sender Deutsch, and Rabbi Joel Klein  all Satmar community leaders. They conveyed to the President the cause of the demonstration and the fact that the Zionists  were persecuting Orthodox Jews at every opportunity. The President promised to convey the message to the heads of state and ask them to consider the needs of Orthodox Jews.

  The mixed pool eventually closed. However the ire of the Zionists burned within. They could not bear the humiliation of mass demonstrations organized by satmar and the media coverage it received. Apparently, within the Israeli Mossad they devised a plot. it was decided to eliminate and kill the  enemy which is the Rebbe  rav Yoel Teitelbaum Zatzal, who continued attacking and demonstrating against them.
Somehow, the plot came to the Rebbes attention. Only few in the inner circle were notified and were told to keep quiet. Rabbi Mendel greenberg, rushed to buy a gun and served as a bodyguard to the Rebbe. Being single at the time, allowed him to provide security to the Rebbe around the clock. Meanwhile, the Gabboim summoned an urgent meeting with the secret service and told them about the information received. A plan of action was formulated to provide security. The secret service had 5 members dress up as orthodox Jews. Three of them sat in an unmarked car in front of the rebbes home,  two were stationed in the rebbes house.They were on the lookout for a hit man or suspicious activity. The system worked like this: one of the yeshiva students, dressed in a hat and suit and wearing sunglasses, sat in the reception room of the Rebbe, and recorded all those entering and leaving the house. On the roof of the  five-story building stood another guard, who was equipped with a radio and he too kept track of all those coming and going.Late every day, the 2 guards would  cross check between the lists making sure the number of outgoing and incoming were identical. On the third day, when  Rabbi Yosef Ashkenazi the main gabbai, announced that kabolas kahal was over for the day, the guards compared notes and discovered that one person entered the building and has not yet emerged. The signal was given to close and search the building. Members of the Secret Service arrived as reinforcements  to prevent the escape of the suspect hiding in the building. Guards entered with guns drawn the building, and began to search the five-story, trying to find the assassin. They initially, visited the fifth floor,  and searched house to house. Following a strict and thorough scan they found the assassin hiding in a tank in the boiler room which was located below the basement floor. The assassin was waiting to carry out the mission assigned to him by his handlers. He was arrested and handed  over to the FBI, for questioning. A total news blackout was imposed on the details of this  story, and the Rebbes circle were not informed of any follow up details of the arrest. The secret service personnel informed the Rebbe that life can return to normal. All they were told was that the Israeli Government had a hand in the attempt and were issued a stern warning by Washington. Beyond that, no more details were given that could shed light on the event. Forty-four years later, when all those involved have passed onto the next world,  the last witness, Reb Mendel Greenberg, decided to share one of the darkest episodes of Zionism. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The misconception of Mesiras nefesh

A recent article in the American Yated Neeman proclaimed that today's generation of kollel youngeleit are lacking the Mesiras nefesh of the previous generation. The author goes on to say that the pioneers and first kollel couples in the yeshivos of Bais medrash Elyon and Bais medrash Govoha of Lakewood survived on sardines and bare minimum. The author questions  the youngeleit of today who b'h are in a better financial situation if they have the proper mesiras nefesh for Torah learning. He says so because his premise for mesiras nefesh is false.

In truth mesiras nefesh is a very broad term it does not mean living in poor conditions, Post  ww2 even those who had full time jobs were living on sardines and a shoe string budget. Mesiras nefesh means giving up your life for the sake of  Torah learning and doing the mitzvos of hashem. A baal habbos a businessman who when not at his office, spends his hours learning is also being moser nefesh arguably even more so than a youngerman. The kollel couples of today ARE living a life of mesiras nefesh dedicating themselves totally to Torah learning regardless of their financial decision. More so, there are many youngeleit today who are living bedachkus  its a shame to compare to the nisyonos of the previous generation an say they are lacking mesiras nefesh.

At a time when the Torah world is under attack in EY we should all support the Youngeleit here in America and all over the world and thank them for their mesiras nefesh in keeping up the world.