Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shuls and shtiebles could lose parsonage exemption

A recent ruling by a US District Judge  has Jewish groups across the spectrum protesting the decision. It will effect the residential part of the Rabbi of a local shul.  Agudath Israel of America issued this statement:
It is with great dismay that we greet the news of U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb’s (Western District of Wisconsin) ruling that declares the “parsonage exemption” to be unconstitutional.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rav Matisyahu Solomon calls on American Bnei Torah to refrain and not take sides and get involved in situation in Eretz Yisrael

Despite the attempt by some newspapers and individuals to spread the Machlokes here in the American Yeshiva world. The gedolei Roshei yeshiva in the US are calling on the yeshiva world not to take sides or get involved in the current situation in the Torah world in EY. Mnay youngeleit here in the US are seeking guidance from the gedolim how to understand and react.
Rav Matisyahu Solomon

According to a source, (received via email) the Lakewood Mashgiach Rav Mattisyahu Solomon spoke recently in Lakewoood yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha. The Mashgiach mentioned there are differences of opinion and chilukei daos. B'H it has not penetrated the olam hatorah in America.The mashgiach said, that in previous generations the olam haTorah always went along with the midah of emes vehashalom ehavu even in times of great machlokes we can have chilukei daois but the end result is to respect one another just as was the case with Bais Shammai and Bais Hillel despite their great differences- in some cases a woman would be assur to get married according to bais shammai never the less they did not refrain from marrying each other. They held their own but the end result was seeking the truth and shalom, not who can win.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Jews in the News" Video of session at Agudah convention 2013

Watch All convention Videos HERE
Agudath Israel 91st National Convention Jews in the News: Dealing with the Uncomfortable Spotlight.
Jews in the News from Agudath Israel on Vimeo. For more Convention Videos click HERE

Despite the challenge, sending a child to yeshiva is a simcha

Its that time of year again, when yeshivos open registration for the coming year. After years of investigating and seeking advice, many young couples are applying for the first time to send their oldest child to yeshiva. 

While many have their eye on a particular school, reality dictates that you apply to at least 3 schools and hope you get into one of them. In many communities, especially the tri state area where schools are full and few new slots open, it is a bigger challenge getting accepted. 

During this time, parents go through a rough time, having many sleepless nights and constant worry,  affecting shalom bayis as well.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Tale of Two conventions

With the conclusion of  both the annual  Agudah convention  and the recent Chabad  lubavitch kinnus hashluchim, while each is of a different nature, format and mission,  both have taken steps in reaching out to a broad audience with the help of social media and innovative programs. Live broadcast locations, live streams and updated tweets and emails reporting on the events.

The kinus hashluchim which has been a exclusive chabad event, has recently, drew more attention with much more publicity. Its been followed by many outside of chabad. Credit in large part to social media and online publicity. It got coverage even among so called litvish yeshiva websites that are more in line with Agudah than Chabad. The kiruv nature of it has a broad appeal reaching out to many across the spectrum.

 The recent Siyum hashas, Lefkowitz young leadership initiative, and the publicizing of advocacy and involvement of Agudah on behalf of the klal, has brought a new life and excitement to the convention and helped in reaching out to today's generation.

On to the 2014 Yarchei kallah of Agudath israel of America, will take place in Yerushalayim

Photos and video of 2014 Yarchei kallah HERE

Yarchei Kallah from Agudath Israel (rumors it may be postponed!)
 The 14th Annual Yerushalayim Yarchei Kallahis set to take place: Monday, January 20 - 23, 2014 / 19 - 22 Shevat, 5774 at the Ramada Hotel. This year's Sugya D'Kallah will be: פרק כיצד מברכין והלכות ברכת הנהנין

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Agudah convention Motzei Shabbbos 2013 Keynote session recap and Report -photos

Watch all Agudah convention 2013 Videos HERE of speeches.

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Rabbi Ephraim wachsman at the Agudah convention 2013 Motzei shabbos keynote session
Convention Photos HERE  and HERE Agudath Israel convention videos HERE.  Shabbos at the convention was highlited  with divrei hashkafa from Rav Malkiel Kotler , Novominsker Rebbe, and Rav Moshe Mendelsohn from Komemiyus and "keren hashviis" on the upcoming year of  Shmittah 5775

The Motzei shabbos keynote  session was uplifting and inspiring with powerful speeches about getting involved with the klal and the situation facing the Torah community in Eretz Yisrael. A special guest appearance by Rabbi Noach Muroff whose story made a kidush hashem  in the news recently.
This video was shown about the faces of poverty in Eretz Yisrael.
A special mention about past supporters of agudath Israel and askanim who passed away this year, Rav Moshe Reichman Z'L, Rav,Yisachar Hasenfeld Z'L, Rav Yoel (Julias) Klugman, Rav yosef Friedensohn Z'L.
pictures of convention below. Motzei Shabbos photos HERE general convention pictures HERE

Rabbi Yosef harari Raful
Gave a azkara on chacham Ovadia Yosef Zatzal. He spoke about his bekiyus and yashrus he was a bor sid shein maabed tipah but more so was a maayan hamisgaber. Rav Ovadiah once spoke at the knessiah gedolah of Agudas Yisrael and he mentioned the three important things that the Agudah started. Chinuch atzmoi, Bais Yaakov for girls, Shiurei Torah. He had a ahavas haberiyos which came from his ahavas haTorah.

Guest appearance by Rabbi Noach Muroff- Video of convention speech HERE
After showing the video of his story,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Video at Agudah convention 2013 -Faces of poverty in the Holy land

The Human Face of Poverty in the Holy Land from Agudath Israel on Vimeo.
Presentation was shown at the 91st Agudah convention at the Motzei Shabbos Keynote session. Produced by Kol Rom studios and Hamodia.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Agudah convention 2013 Thursday night plenary session recap- Photos and videos

The 91st Agudah convention got underway, the Thursday night sessions focused on Chinuch.There were other concurrent sessions following the plenary session on various topics and issues. A special kumzitz with Eitan Katz took place with Thursday night cholent attended by the young leadership members. Click HERE for a report on the Motzei Shabbos keynote session- recap
Click HERE for pictures and photo of Thursday night session video shown at convention.
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Rav Mattisyahu Solomon at the 2013 Agudah convention 
Hamodia convention report click  HERE (only reports part of Rav Benders speech)
Rav Elya Brudny- Video of speech HERE
Opened with the convention theme" chanoch lnaar ensuring the future". He said there is no quick fix to ensure the future, but if we strengthen ourselves  and uplift ourselves, our children will see that and continue in our ways. Today we have a nisayon of bechirah  he said over from Rav Hutner zatzal that the kefirah of this dor will be in bechirah. People think there isn't more i can do and we seem to just stay were we are, not looking to gow in ruchniyus and elevate ourselves. If we dont make the effort, our children will say the same thing why should we strive if their parents don't put in the extra effort. We must work on ourselves to be mechazek in our kvias itim latorah, let us have a uplifting shabbos meal with a dvar torah and zemiros. lets take interest when our child shares a vort from their rebbe or morah. Lets take the opportunity to speak to our children and remind them were they come from how yiddishkeit was in previous generations.

If we elevate ourselves and live a life of bemitzvosav chofetz meod we will be zoche to ensure the future for our children and and zoche to bnei banim harei hem kebanim.

Rav Yaakov Bender- Video of speech HERE

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Agudah convention 2013 schedule, Live broadcast and hookup info

updated: For 2013 convention recap and pictures click HERE
The 91st Agudath Israel of America national convention Nov-14-17, 2013
Live video Broadcast locations below, Hook up phone number to listen live by phone 212-444-1323
At the woodcliff lake Hilton. For driving directions type in GPS Address: 200 Tice Blvd, Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677.  near exit 171 off the Garden state parkway Updated schedule below. 
The Tolna Rebbe from EY will not be attending as originally planned.
For a report on the convention, photos and recap HERE and HERE

                                                              Agudah Convention 2013 schedule

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rebbe, goes public with his story that makes a kiddush hashem

Rabbi Noach Muroff
                  שיהא שם שמים מתאהב על ידך
A Rebbe in Connecticut, Reb Noach Muroff, goes public about his story (Video below) after buying a desk on craigslist. Inside the desk they found $98K and returned the money to its original owner. The story was first reported HERE and hopefully will be picked up by the media just as they do with other stories that involve Rabbi's and frum yidden. After discussing it over with Rav Shmuel kamenetzky he went public with his story. Video Below (wtnh.com)  reminds of of the story with Shimon ben Shetach see below:

khanukah kosher knish krinkle- The real Knish shortage

Oy, a Knish shortage! In the news today, a major concern. Knish Kvetching, after a fire at a factory billed as the world's biggest maker of knishes has created nationwide shock and oy for those who can't seem to find the Jewish treats anywhere. The company promises an end to the knish Krunch by thanksgiving which coincides with chanuka.

The real Knish shortage we should be concerned about is

Friday, November 8, 2013

Viral pictures, do Redditors define what is a Kiddush hashem or a Chilul hashem?

Recently, a picture went viral on the internet first on Reddit, of a kohen wrapped in a bag on a plane, it was posted by many frum blogs, websites and picked up by the secular media. The result, people who have no clue what it was about speculating and ridiculing orthodox jews and the Torah. When explained that it was about a kohen not wanting to become impure, many have been poking fun and mocking the Torah and Halachos of Tumah and Tahara and calling it a chillul hashem. Many frum websites joined in calling it a chilul hashem. (Video below of black man sleeping on Jewish guy in the subway)

This past week

Segulah to be makabel shabbos early- especially during short Fridays in the winter

Shabbos is coming!
Rav Ahron Leib Shteinman Shlita relates the following story (see below) and tells people seeking Yeshuos (salvation) from childlessness as well as other troubles to adopt this practice of being Mekabel Shabbos earlier than the “regular” time. This is a tried and true method which has helped many people with children, Parnassah, Shiduchim, health etc. Why must we wait for something to go wrong before seeking a Yeshua? Let’s all decide to be Mekabel Shabbos early today before anything goes wrong!  Let us show Hashem that we are excited about his gift of Shabbos and that we “can’t wait” for its arrival and Hashem will not need to give us any reason to “wait” for any Yeshuos in the first place!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Frum news websites, leave the shulchan Aruch at home.

 The constant Lashon Hora, Motzie shem ra, rechilus and Bizuy talmidei chachomim continues unabated in the so called heimish"" yeshivish" news reporting sites. The recent news coverage on the elections in the tri state area brought out a lot of machlokes and nasty campaigns against frum candidates. The assumption is when it comes to politics the halachos of Lashon Hora do not apply.

   A article "proudly" posted on a Yeshiva website with post election analysis in the Jewish orthodox community, appears to be nothing but pure slander and Gossip . It besmirches individuals and entire chasidish community. The writer points out about someone that he "took our community to a new low in political campaigns ignoring all the halachos of motzi shem rah, richilus and loshon hara along the way". Does that give him a right to do the exact same thing? 

Another Frum heimish news site linked to a recent story published in the NY Post. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Schedule list of speakers for keynote sessions at Agudath Yisrael 2013 convention

  keynote session at the upcoming 2013, 91st National Convention of Agudath Israel of America.
         Thursday night                          Motzei Shabbos                       Sunday Morning
                     Thursday evening- keynote sesion at the 2013 Agudah convention
Chanoch Lanaar-nurturing our children, ensuring our future
Rabbi Elya Brudny Rosh Yeshiva ,Mir yeshiva Brooklyn
Rav Yaakov Bender, Rosh yeshiva Yeshiva Darchei Torah
Rav Matisyahu Salomon, Mashgiach ruchani Beth medrash Govoha, lakewood
Audio visual presentation parenting perplexities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Crossing a red line, crossing the Atlantic

For the most part, the frum News media, mainly the print media papers and magazines in the US made little or no mention of the goings on in the Torah community in Eretz Yisrael. Its seen either as a localized issue that has to do with the Israeli municipal elections and its aftermath. Or, as a issue to big for us to be involved in.  We feel that its not our place to get involved in a machlokes among Gedolim on how to best approach the gezeirah of Giyus bnei hayeshivos. whatever the reason the general feeling is not to report on it and bring it across the Atlantic  to the US.

 Despite the efforts and pressure by certain individuals to spread it here to the Yeshiva community, It has for the most part been kept away. American Roshei Yeshiva have made sure to keep it out of the yeshiva world here in the states and  not to let it spread to these shores.

That was until Mishpacha Magazine published a full editorial HERE  "How the red line was crossed" 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frum Girl quits Coffe room amid doubts in Emunah from fellow posters.

You would think what could be so wrong? the name of the site is yeshivish sounding It must be a kosher site, a frum news website with Rabbonim approving and guiding it. Well that is not what it seems as posted previously HERE. The coffeeroom section is not an ideal place for any Frum yid. A frum teenage Girl who was a contributing member in the Coffee room has posted she is saying goodbye to the ywn CoffeeRoom. Her reason, the posts there gave her doubts in Ikrei Emunah.

"It's been about three months that I've been on the CR, and now it's time for me to go. My emunah is just not strong enough to hear everyone else's doubts and still remain absolutely sure that there is a God in the world and He loves me. One poster in particular raised some doubts that took three solid hours with a rabbi to resolve. This, coupled with some other stuff have made me realize that the internet and I don't go well together. And so it is with regret and sadness that I say my final goodbye to the CR. You guys have helped me through so many trials in my life and I will be eternally grateful for all that you've done. I will miss the informative and funny posts I've seen so frequently''.

The idea of a social networking forum on a yeshivishe website is outrageous! The people who participate in the dialogue on The CoffeeRoom 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. It should be moderated by a well known Rav proudly writing his name. The dangers of theinternet are not only the shmutz but the discussions on hashkafa by amateurs and anonymous commentors pose a great risk.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisroel of America meet ahead of upcoming 2013 Agudah convention

Moetzes Gedolei hatorah of Agudath Yisrael
from BJL: Members of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah met thursday October, 31 2013 at Agudath Israel Headquarters in New York. The meeting was held  ahead of the agudah convention which will take place November 14-17. Among the topics discussed were the current situation and state of the Torah community in Eretz Yisroel, the attack against Bris Milah in Europe, the agunah problem, and dangerous trends in the broader Orthodox community. (Not pictured above : Newly appointed member Rabbi Yosef Frankel Vyelipoler Rebbe)

L to R: Rabbi Dovid Feinstein, Rosh HaYeshiva, Mesivta Tiferes Yerushalayim; Rabbi Aaron Schechter, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin; Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe and Rosh Agudas Yisroel; Rabbi Yosef Frankel, Vyelipoler Rebbe; Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Levin, Rosh Hayeshiva Telshe Yeshiva Chicago (by Tele-Conference); Rabbi Avi Shafran, Director of Public Affairs for Agudath Israel; Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel Executive Vice President of Agudath Israel; Rabbi Ahron Feldman, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshivas Ner Yisroel;  Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, Rosh HaYeshiva, Yeshiva of Philadelphia; Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rosh HaYeshiva, Bais Medrash Govoha; and Rabbi Shlomo Gottesman, editor of Yeshurin Torah Journal. Photo credit BJL