Due to Blogger Format Changes

Due to Blogger Format Changes, Posts Will Be Shortened With LINKS to ORIGINAL NO MORE ANONYMOUS COMMENTS: they will be deleted. YOU MUST USE A NAME OR MONIKER!

31 December 2019

NYT Criticizes Bret Stephens because . . .

he wrote about Jewish-Genius-ness . . .
Because the subject-matter is the Jewish Nation

The New York Times has published an “Editors’ Note,” inaccurately accusing the newspaper’s own star columnist, Bret Stephens, of committing a “mistake” by “uncritically” citing a study that Stephens actually did criticize.  algemeiner

The 170-word note from the unidentified plural “editors” reads in full:
An earlier version of this Bret Stephens column quoted statistics from a 2005 paper that advanced a genetic hypothesis for the basis of intelligence among Ashkenazi Jews. After publication Mr. Stephens and his editors learned that one of the paper’s authors, who died in 2016, promoted racist views. Mr. Stephens was not endorsing the study or its authors’ views, but it was a mistake to cite it uncritically. The effect was to leave an impression with many readers that Mr. Stephens was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. That was not his intent. He went on instead to argue that culture and history are crucial factors in Jewish achievements and that, as he put it, “At its best, the West can honor the principle of racial, religious and ethnic pluralism not as a grudging accommodation to strangers but as an affirmation of its own diverse identity. In that sense, what makes Jews special is that they aren’t. They are representational.” We have removed reference to the study from the column.

The Times editors write that the Stephens column had the effect of leaving “many readers” with the “impression” that he was arguing that Jews are genetically superior. Yet the real “mistake” here was not by Stephens but by those readers.

Plenty of these outraged readers almost certainly never read the whole column, which is behind the Times paywall, but they did read tweets about it or misleading summaries published in other places. Those who did read the full column must have missed or failed to understand the sentences in which Stephens wrote, “the ‘Jews are smart’ explanation obscures more than it illuminates. Aside from the perennial nature-or-nurture question of why so many Ashkenazi Jews have higher I.Q.s, there is the more difficult question of why that intelligence was so often matched by such bracing originality and high-minded purpose.”

To say that something obscures more than it illuminates is a criticism. So it is not accurate to say that Stephens was uncritical of the study. Maybe the Stephens critics are themselves so low-I.Q., as a result of either genetics or environment, that they don’t understand the words “obscure” or “illuminate.” Or maybe their attention spans are so short that they couldn’t sustain the concentration needed to get from the paragraph where Stephens linked to an MIT version of the intelligence study to the sentence just a bit father down in the column where he said that approach obscures more than it illuminates.

Stephens himself has written eloquently and frequently about the threat to freedom of speech posed by what he has called “the siege of the perpetually enraged part of our audience.” Stephens has observed, accurately, that “journalism can only be as good as its audience. Intelligent coverage requires intelligent readers, viewers and listeners” and also that “[w]e cannot expect columnists to be provocative if readers cancel their subscriptions the moment they feel ‘triggered’ by an opinion they dislike.”

The “editors’ note” and the rewriting of the Stephens column post-publication are examples of the Times spinelessly surrendering to the perpetually-enraged faction of its readers. They also are a demonstration that, alas, the Times readership isn’t intelligent enough for Stephens’ column.

Moreover, even if Stephens had made a mistake, which he didn’t, the job of a good editor in these situations where a columnist writes a bad column is not to undercut the columnist or hang the columnist out to dry by publishing a sanitized version of the column, but to defend the columnist. Let me repeat that, because it apparently isn’t clear to the editors at the Times: the job of the editor is to defend the columnist. There are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare — a genuine factual error that needs correction, a truly egregious ethical lapse. Stephens’ column doesn’t approach that.

Every columnist who writes a weekly column lands a dud once in a while (trust me, I know from experience). The good columns aren’t the ones that editors need to stand up for. It’s the bad ones where editors of true character defend the columnist, at least in public. That’s not defensive, circle-the-wagons behavior, it’s just good newspaper editing of the sort practiced by the late, great Robert L. Bartley of The Wall Street Journal, under whom Stephens learned some of his journalistic craft.

Bartley wasn’t a Jewish genius of the sort the Stephens column discussed but he was a gentile genius. It’s that sort of editing that makes columnists want to work for those sorts of editors, and that encourages the risk-taking that is an essential ingredient to good column writing. If an editor wants to edit or kill a crummy column, the time to do it is before the column is published, not afterward.

The “editors’ note” is also a double standard. The Times has published far more egregious columns than Stephens’ latest without appending editors’ notes or publishing bowdlerized revisions of those other ones. A Times opinion columnist named Michelle Alexander, for example, published a column cheering as an example of “moral clarity” the United Methodist Church pension fund’s boycott of the five largest Israeli banks. That’s not a columnist being misunderstood for quoting and then disagreeing with a paper by someone who wants to boycott Israeli banks; that’s an actual Times columnist herself endorsing a boycott of Israeli banks. No Times “editors’ note” or revised and redacted version of that column.

And the Times has published eight op-ed pieces by Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of the terror-sponsoring, Holocaust-denying, political-prisoner executing, Jew-killing, woman-oppressing government of Iran. No “editors’ note” has yet described Zarif as promoting views that go beyond the limits of what is acceptable on the Times op-ed page.

When the Times hire of Stephens was announced back in 2017, I wrote that he would fill the slot left open by A.M. Rosenthal and William Safire and that “his voice will be a welcome addition and corrective to the Times tilt against Israel.” I may have overstated the degree of “welcome” by generalizing from my own views rather than by accurately assessing the Times audience. For a certain segment of the Times readership, and even apparently some Times editors, alas, one openly pro-Jewish, pro-Israel regular Times columnist is one too many.

Ira Stoll was managing editor of The Forward and North American editor of The Jerusalem Post. More of his media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.


The Secrets of Jewish Genius
It’s about thinking different.

An eminent Lithuanian rabbi is annoyed that his yeshiva students devote their lunch breaks to playing soccer instead of discussing Torah. The students, intent on convincing their rav of the game’s beauty, invite him to watch a professional match. At halftime, they ask what he thinks.

“I have solved your problem,” the rabbi says.


“Give one ball to each side, and they will have nothing to fight over.”

have this (apocryphal) anecdote from Norman Lebrecht’s new book, “Genius & Anxiety,” an erudite and delightful study of the intellectual achievements and nerve-wracked lives of Jewish thinkers, artists, and entrepreneurs between 1847 and 1947. Sarah Bernhardt and Franz Kafka; Albert Einstein and Rosalind Franklin; Benjamin Disraeli and (sigh) Karl Marx — how is it that a people who never amounted even to one-third of 1 percent of the world’s population contributed so seminally to so many of its most pathbreaking ideas and innovations?

The common answer is that Jews are, or tend to be, smart. But the “Jews are smart” explanation obscures more than it illuminates. Aside from perennial nature-or-nurture questions, there is the more difficult question of why that intelligence was so often matched by such bracing originality and high-minded purpose. One can apply a prodigious intellect in the service of prosaic things — formulating a war plan, for instance, or constructing a ship. One can also apply brilliance in the service of a mistake or a crime, like managing a planned economy or robbing a bank.

You have 3 free articles remaining.
Subscribe to The Times
But as the story of the Lithuanian rabbi suggests, Jewish genius operates differently. It is prone to question the premise and rethink the concept; to ask why (or why not?) as often as how; to see the absurd in the mundane and the sublime in the absurd. Where Jews’ advantage more often lies is in thinking different.

Where do these habits of mind come from?

There is a religious tradition that, unlike some others, asks the believer not only to observe and obey but also to discuss and disagree. There is the never-quite-comfortable status of Jews in places where they are the minority — intimately familiar with the customs of the country while maintaining a critical distance from them. There is a moral belief, “incarnate in the Jewish people” according to Einstein, that “the life of the individual only has value [insofar] as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.”

And there is the understanding, born of repeated exile, that everything that seems solid and valuable is ultimately perishable, while everything that is intangible — knowledge most of all — is potentially everlasting.

We had been well off, but that was all we got out,” the late financier Felix Rohatyn recalled of his narrow escape, with a few hidden gold coins, from the Nazis as a child in World War II. “Ever since, I’ve had the feeling that the only permanent wealth is what you carry around in your head.” If the greatest Jewish minds seem to have no walls, it may be because, for Jews, the walls have so often come tumbling down.

These explanations for Jewish brilliance aren’t necessarily definitive. Nor are they exclusive to the Jews.

At its best, the American university can still be a place of relentless intellectual challenge rather than ideological conformity and social groupthink. At its best, the United States can still be the country that respects, and sometimes rewards, all manner of heresies that outrage polite society and contradict established belief. At its best, the West can honor the principle of racial, religious and ethnic pluralism not as a grudging accommodation to strangers but as an affirmation of its own diverse identity. In that sense, what makes Jews special is that they aren’t. They are representational.

The West, however, is not at its best. It’s no surprise that Jew hatred has made a comeback, albeit under new guises. Anti-Zionism has taken the place of anti-Semitism as a political program directed against Jews. Globalists have taken the place of rootless cosmopolitans as the shadowy agents of economic iniquity. Jews have been murdered by white nationalists and black “Hebrews.” Hate crimes against Orthodox Jews have become an almost daily fact of life in New York City.

Jews of the late 19th century would have been familiar with the hatreds. Jews of the early 21st century should recognize where they could lead. What’s not secret about Jewish genius is that it’s a terribly fragile flower.

H/T yeranenyaakov where I read one of the articles on his news-roundup, and noticed a reference on their page to Bret Stephens.

The Silent Holocaust No Longer Silent

The beginning of the Rabbi’s shiur covers the alarming Aliyah figures (if they are correct) indicating that over 60-80% (an est.) were NOT JEWISH. The Rabbi explains that in another one or two generations of intermarriage, the majority of secular Israelis will NOT BE JEWISH. Because they care not for “being Jewish”, it only matters that new immigrants become Israelis. The purpose for all this is deliberate, out of fear that the Religious Haredi Jews will become the majority and threaten their way of life. This will bring the total religious in Israel to a minuscule of the total NON JEWISH MAJORITY.

The Enemy of My Friend is Me or The Friend of My Enemy is Me

Regavim: Gafni, Tibi, working together to freeze the 'Kamintz Law'
MKs Gafni, Tibi, working together to freeze law allowing harsher punishments for illegal construction, watchdog says.

Caving to pressure from the Arab MKs, Finance Committee Chairman MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) will hold a discussion Monday morning regarding freezing the "Kaminitz Law."

The Kaminitz Law is the term for the amendments to the Planning and Building Law in 2017, which was formulated following extensive administrative work by a staff headed by Deputy Attorney General (Civil), Adv. Erez Kaminitz.

Earlier this month, the Joint Arab List attempted to force the freeze in a coup just before the Knesset dissolved. After Regavim representatives arrived at the midnight discussion, the right-wing parties decided that in case the Justice Minister wishes to change the law, the matter will be brought before the Finance Committee instead of the Interior Committee, since the Interior Committee does not work during the lead-up to elections.

However, Regavim recently discovered that MK Ahmad Tibi, chairman of the Joint Arab List, is working with Gafni to freeze the law and bring back the previous situation, in which illegal construction went unpunished, especially in the Negev and Galilee. This coup included threats to Justice Minister Amir Ohana (Likud) that if the law is not frozen, the Justice Ministry will not receive the funds - equally dozens of millions of shekels - intended for it.

The illegal construction in question, which the Supreme Court called a "national calamity," occurs in areas not zoned for construction, causes harm to infrastructure and prevents the development of the areas in question.

The Kaminitz Law significantly improved enforcement and provided authorities with effective tools which reduced illegal construction by 50%.

"This attempt at a coup during an election period aims to destroy one of the most significant achievements of the outgoing Netanyahu government," Regavim's CEO, Meir Deustch, said in a statement. "I am sure that the Likud MKs will not be partners in this coup that the Finance Committee Chairman and the Arab parties are trying to lead. The Kaminitz Law is one of the most significant achievements of the outgoing Netanyahu government and I believe that the Prime Minister will not allow it to be forced down the drain.”

Source: arutzsheva

30 December 2019

Sof Ha Chanukah 2019

ZOS CHANUKAH Invitation to “Unity Event"

Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin is inviting Boro Parkers to celebrate at a “unity event” 
the second anniversary of his release from prison, 
which electrified the Jewish world at the time.

Zos Chanuka, the yom tov’s final day, marks two years since President Donald Trump commuted the former slaughterhouse manager’s 27-year sentence, a penalty widely decried as disproportionate to what he was convicted for.

Rubashkin will celebrate the day at a mass gathering Monday night in Boro Park’s Beth El, located at 4802 15th Ave. There will be a live hookup event for women next door at Khal Chassidim, located at 4820 15th Ave. Doors open 8 p.m. and the program begins at 8:30.

The program will feature reflections from Sholom Mordechai, along with song and dance led by Benny Friedman, Avremi G. and the Shira Choir. The women will also hear from Mrs. Leah Rubashkin.

ZOS CHANUKAH: שיחת חיזוק בישיבת אור ישראל במונסי– Rabbi Mizrachi in Monsey Ohr Yisrael

Security vs. “Security”

With all the brave Jewish souls wearing weapons for Security to patrol and defend their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, Monsey could become a ghetto.

The first Jewish Ghetto in America. Would anyone have imagined that this could happen? Could America become a reflection of the European disaster of WWII?

Every Golus has an end. This is the last Golus of Jewish history. We know what follows.

Most of the Jews of Europe did not have anywhere to run. They didn’t have the funds or the connections to escape the inevitable. Many did not know the inevidable. Those who hoped for a miracle, it never came. Some did survive to tell the world. Those who fled had a chance.

It’s now 70 years later. Now there is another option. And many American Jews do have the funds to leave the frying pan. They can also pull resources to help the others, before the economic reality could alter that opportunity.

On Mount Sinai we were given our blueprint for the future. That future instructed the Jews to enter The Land to create a society based on the laws in that blueprint. It’s been thousands of years later and we are at the doorway to the End. HKB”H is beckoning His devoted remnants of believing Jews to heed His blueprint. Listen ONLY to HaShem and come Home to build that society. The Land needs you, before it could be swallowed chv”s by foreigners (a Rabbi Mizrahi shiur). The Land is where to testify to your Yerusha. When you step foot onto the adama you will be concluding the events begun by Adam Harishon.

Why else was the World created? Only for His children, the Jewish Nation.

American Jews are descendants of those who were able to leave before, during and after the ashes of Europe. They have since raised generations. They know deep down what the choices are.

It is not to remain in a foreign land.

HaShem gave you a place to survive and build, to raise another generation of believers. What for? To bring those neshomas back to Sinai and the Land of Eretz Yisroel. Why Avraham Avinu? Why Yitzchak Avinu? Why Ya’akov Yisroel? And why our Imahos?

We are their descendants, we are bnei Yisroel, Yehudim. We belong on the Land to bring belief in HKB”H back into the world.

Our Only “Security” is HKB”H

A Thank You to the Monsey Hero

It’s a Miracle That Others Were Not Injured or Killed
[A] thank you to Yosef Eli Glick.  
He put his life on the line to fight off the attacker and get the license plate number of the murderer.

Yosef Eli Glick, on behalf of Klal Yisroel, thank you. Your courage is exemplary.

29 December 2019

Gov. Cuomo Calls Antisemitism “Domestic Terrorism” UPDATE

NY Governor calls it “domestic terrorism”??
Are we witnessing a pattern (poor Jews, sympathy, mea culpa) 
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenburg Sunday morning, 
hours after an assailant burst into the synagogue 
Rabbi Rottenburg operates and wounded five people, 
including (Rabbi) Chaim Rottenburg.

Cuomo condemned the attack during his visit, calling it a sign of “intolerance”, “ignorance”, and an “American cancer” . . . "This is intolerance meets ignorance meets illegality," Cuomo said. "This is an intolerant time in this country.” . . ."We see anger and hatred exploded. It is an American cancer in the body politic."The governor also called the attack an act of domestic terrorism, adding that he expected it to prosecuted as such. HOWEVER, Authorities have yet to comment on the motives behind the attack, but Governor Cuomo said the stabbings were clearly a hate crime. arutzsheva
NY Gov Cuomo Visits Rabbi Rottenberg’s House – BUT HE JUST SIGNED BAIL REFORM!  YWN notes that Governor Cuomo signed the new “bail reform law” a few weeks ago which goes into effect on Jan 1st. With this new law, NEARLY ALL hate crime arrests will be released without any bail. Think we are joking? Read this YWN article and be SHOCKED. YWN
Germany shooting: Jewish leader criticises police ‘negligence’ (Oct) BBC
Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe, riding a wave of nationalism. How did we forget the horrors of history so fast? At a time when traditionally Jewish areas are seeing a cultural revival, racism and hate are marching across Europe once again. . . . A xenophobic, authoritarian and anti-liberal wind is blowing across the continent and has an appeal among some voters and mainstream parties. independent.co.uk
HATE IN THE UK: Anti-Jewish Graffiti Scrawled Around London
Anti-Semitic graffiti linking Jews to the September 11, 2001, attacks is daubed on many cafes and shops in the London neighborhoods of Hampstead and Belsize Park. “The Met remains committed to tackling hate crimes in all its forms, and we will continue to work with our partners and the public to do so.” Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting CAD 7282/28Dec or the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Israeli Leaders Condemn Monsey Terror Attack 

This is beginning to look very suspicious; Poway, Jersey City, Monsey. How are they linked?
UPDATE: Monsey synagogue attacker identified . . . stabber identified as 37-year-old New York resident who lives near Monsey. Suspect to face 5 counts of attempted murder . . . apprehended with “blood all over him.” 


A Tragedy Darkens The Light In Monsey: Responding Responsibly To Your Family

[helpful information to help any children in shock anywhere in the world]

NEW YORK (VINnews/Chai Lifeline) — A quiet neighborhood in Monsey has been shaken with an attack which one would never anticipate. A family home, a rabbinic home, was entered by a stranger armed with a machete and by time he fled in his car, many victims were seriously wounded, many witnessed the horror, children in shock and a neighborhood imperiled as the police department scrambled to track this monster and capture him.

An assault is always overwhelming to those who hear about it, and exponentially to those who were present, those who are close by, family, relatives, friends. Our Project Chai interventionists from the Monsey area, and from other parts of New York, were immediately mobilized and I am writing these words even as reports continue to come in from our interventionists and team leaders on site.

Tonight’s attack is additionally frightening because our community is still reeling from the Jersey City terrorism. While we daven for the injured and we turn to Shomayim for rachamim, let us address our immediate roles with our children and our families, our students, and ourselves.

It is no surprise and it is entirely understandable that the very words “stabbing victims” are enough to grip people with fright, with nausea, with images of the crime scene, and with worries about safety. It is particularly worrisome for parents in the Monsey area, in view of the fresh memory of another recent attack.

The questions coming in to our crisis hot line are to be expected: “should we not let our children go outside now?”; “what do I tell my child when he or she cries and is scared?”; “how do I explain this to my family, when we look at who these victims are, where it happened, and that it happened at all in the middle of Chanukah when we recall rasha’im b’yad tzadikim?”

First, a word to parents. Remember that the image which you model for your children is key. Your children look at you for encouragement, for the security that you offer them, and they gauge your words and reactions fairly accurately. While it is very normal for your own distress to seep through as you try to absorb and to process what you are hearing and reading, your young ones do need to see that you are calm with them, not irritable, showing them patience and reassurance, and allow them to express their fear, their worry, their sadness, their physical reactions. Listen to them. Sit with them. This is always your most important tool when your children turn to you. Do a lot of listening. Encourage them to vocalize their personal reactions. Do not try to talk them out of thinking their thoughts or feeling their emotions.

Rather, give them perspective by validating that the news is indeed scary, and feeling scared is how we react when we learn of fearful events. If you validate their disclosures, they will open up further, and they will feel trust in your openness, and will then be more receptive as you do offer them reassurance. A mistake we often make as well-meaning parents is when we want to stop the fears, stop the tears, quell the panic yet when we try to comfort a child when he or she is distraught, they feel misunderstood and will either hide their true experiences from parents or their reactions will actually escalate. So, hear them, validate, soothe them with your gentle behavior and affection, then when they seem to be breathing easier, you can address the matter more “practically” with recommendations.

You can offer factual information to a child if that is what they seek, but keep their age, maturity and current emotional state in mind. You do not have to tell every child every detail. You do not have to make up happy endings to placate them. You do want to use reasonable judgment in determining whether or not the streets will be safe, and if a child is clingy at first, wary of going out, show them tolerance and not ridicule.

The schools are likely to increase their watchfulness and security systems, and your child should know this, and should also be reassured that you are looking out for them… and will look out as well for yourselves. At times, especially when an attack has victimized adults, children will worry about their own parents’ safety. Do not brush that concern away, but rather give them reassurance that you are remaining alert and careful.

We and our children are focused, quite acutely, on the hate-crime aspect of these tragedies. Chanukah is actually a good vehicle to discuss this with children, although in measured terms that will not excite additional fright. First help re-stabilize and re-regulate your family. Most people of all ages will be more receptive and will better appreciate a hashkafa focus once they are calm, and of course, once they feel that they are physically safe. Then, it is a good time to address some of the realities of our living in galus, how we have an identity to maintain, and in age-mindful terms which a child can utilize, focus on the importance of tefilla, of mindfulness of our avoda, of drawing on our bitachon at all times. Still, parents must also be prepared when a child is struggling with those lofty concepts at a time like this.

As always, if you feel equipped to hear their struggle and to address them tenderly and appropriately, you are the best person to have that discussion. Getting angry at a child or a teen when they are experiencing conflict is never productive. If you need to turn to someone who is learned and who can address these questions wisely and with patience, give your loved one that gift of arranging time with a trusted rebbe, teacher or relative.

There is always a range of reactions which we see in children as well as in adults. Sometimes, physical symptoms of distress surface. That might be fear of going to sleep, restlessness, sleeping too much, appetite changes, inattentiveness, feeling weak or sick. You can expect some reaction, and much of the time, it will be stress rather than actual physical illness. Usually, stress reactions pass within a few days, but you do want to respect that if the body expresses the fear and sadness, it is not a put-on but it is a real reaction which needs understanding, compassion and gentle encouragement.

Your child will likely respond well, for example, if you sit with them at bed time, speak softly about happier things, tell them an upbeat story, and avoid focus on the tragedy as they prepare for sleep.

This is also a time for cohesiveness in the family. Whether meal time, casual time or somehow creating time for parents and children to ground themselves by exercising the sense that they are safe in their home, that the family is a close-knit caring unit, and that some sense of normal structure is in place, you do want to send that non-verbal behavioral message that you are secure and communicating. For that matter, as soon as is feasible, you will want to restore for selves and family your regular routines, your productive schedules and that sense that personal and family life has a structure.


'I started screaming and ran to the synagogue'
Man who fought Monsey stabber recalls stabbing attack at rabbi's house, says he 'pushed everyone outside.’

arutzsheva: The sexton (shamesh) of the Monsey, New York, (Rabbi Rottenberg) synagogue attacked Saturday night told of the drama which unfolded at the home of a local rabbi.

At least five people were injured in the attack.

Yosef Eliyahu, who fought with the attacker, on Sunday morning told Kan Reshet Bet Radio about the attack.

"A man came into the rabbi's home immediately after the candle-lighting ceremony," Eliyahu recalled. "He walked into the dining room, where the candle-lighting ceremony had been, and started stabbing people. I took the rabbi's grandchildren and walked outside with them."

The stabber's face was covered, he added. "Only his eyes and forehead were exposed."

"He was tall and looked like a black person. I threw a large table on him and he told me, 'Be careful, I'm going to catch you.' I pushed everyone outside, and I began yelling and ran to the synagogue."

According to Eliyahu, the stabber began walking towards the nearby synagogue, but when he understood that the doors were locked, he escaped the scene.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the hate crimes department to investigate the stabbing.


New bail reform is prompting NY judges to release perpetrators of anti-Semitic violence

Suspects arrested in a list of recent anti-Semitic attacks have been released without bail due to new "bail reform" legislation, the New York Post reported. The legislation, under which only physical injury requires bail, officially takes effect only on January 1, 2020.  arutzsheva

Rabbi Rottenberg Speaks About the Tragedy at his Shul

VIDEO: Rabbi Rottenberg Speaks About The Attack At Melava Malka In His Shul

MONSEY (VINnews) — Below is a video of Rabbi Rottenberg speaking at a Melava Malka in his Shul about the attack that took place by them earlier that night.

To view the Rabbi speaking at his Melaka Malka! Visit vosizneias
Rabbi Rottenburg’s Shul is located in the Forshay neighborhood in Monsey.

According to reports, 15 victims were transported to the hospital, but 5 were ultimately hospitalized.

The perpetrator then ran out and escaped in a Nissan Sentra. His plates (HPT 5747) were spotted before he left. Police initially tracked the vehicle to an address located in Greewood Lake. Police have also tracked down the father of the suspect and interviewed him. Police ultimately tracked down the vehicle and stopped it at W 177 Street and 7 Avenue in Harlem.

This attack comes amid a frightening spike in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across New York. Since the beginning of Chanukah alone, there have been at least 5 recorded attacks on Jews across New York, not including this stabbing.


HORRIFIC ATTACK: “Stabbing of 5 With Machete At Shul“ While Celebrating Chanukah

CHANUKAH ATTACK IN MONSEY: Black Man Arrested In Harlem After Stabbing 5 With Machete At Shul

Five victims were stabbed by a black man armed with a machete who walked into Rabbi Rottenberg’s Shul in the Forshay neighborhood of Money and began stabbing people at random. Eyewitnesses tell YWN that the suspect fled in a vehicle and did not say anything before going on his rampage. Hatzolah transported the victims to the hospital – one of them is in critical condition with a stab wound to the chest. At around midnight, the vehicle was located in Harlem, NY, and a suspect was taken into custody.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL, said: "We are horrified by this latest attack in Monsey. ADL staff already on the scene, coordinating with law enforcement and supporting the victims of this crime. We will share updates as they become available."

"After the hateful assaults we saw this past week in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it is heart-wrenching to see the holiday of Hanukkah violated yet again. We are outraged because the answer is clear: the Jewish community NEEDS greater protection.

"Whether worshiping in synagogue, shopping in the supermarket or celebrating at home, Jews should be safe from violence. We need authorities to provide increased protection NOW and ensure that the full force of the law is brought down on those who perpetrate such horrific crimes."

Sources: ArutzSheva and YWN


Vosizneias reports:

This attack comes amid a frightening spike in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across New York. Since the beginning of Chanukah alone, there have been at least 5 recorded attacks on Jews across New York, not including this stabbing.

In the first incident, a 65-year-old Jewish man was standing on East 41st Street between 2nd and 3rd Ave, when he was suddenly approached by a man who yelled expletives at him. When he looked up, he was punched in the face and fell to the ground. His attacker continued to pummel him on his face and torso as he lay on the ground.

The second incident occured on Monday as well. Williamsburg Shomrim and NYPD were called after 2 Jewish children were attacked in front of 99 Wilson Street.

In the third incident, a Jewish man was walking on Kingston Ave in Crown Heights on Tuesday morning, at approximately 2 AM. As he was walking, he was approached by a gang of black youths who proceeded to yell anti-Semitic slurs at him. When he took out his cellphone to film the incident, one of the youths threw his drink at him.

The fourth incident took place in Crown Heights as well. A Jewish man was walking on Union Street from Albany Ave towards Kingston Ave, when he noticed that he was being followed by a group of 8 teenagers. As the victim turned off Kingston Ave, the teens closed the distance and accosted him. One of the teens hit the victim in the back of the head, knocking him down to the ground.

In a fifth incident, a man was attacked Wednesday morning in Boro Park, on 13th Ave near 48th Street. The victim was walking down the street, when he was approached out of the blue by a man who promptly punched him. There were no words exchanged before the assault.

A Step in the Right Direction

Defense Minister: Changing process for building approval 'a step in the right direction'

'ArutzSheva:  Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (New Right) held a series of discussions with professionals in his office, aiming to enact a far-reaching change in how the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria works, allowing the Justice Ministry to be in charge of land issues in that area.

Bennett told those in his office to examine a legal mechanism that will change the working policies, so that residents of Judea and Samaria will be treated similarly to those in other areas of Israel.

In a discussion last week, he also requested that officials in the Defense Ministry's legal department present him as soon as possible with several options for regulating the matter.

Currently, the Civil Administration's Staff Officer for Land Issues is under the authority of the Justice Ministry, but his daily work is essentially under the authority of the Civil Administration - a military body under the authority of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

As a result, Jews living in Area C of Judea and Samaria who wish to construct new buildings must submit a request to the Staff Officer and undergo lengthy bureaucratic procedures, which can sometimes take several years. In addition, the process has led to some of the more complicated appeals regarding ownership of the land, such as in the cases of Netiv Ha'avot and Amona.

Under the Oslo Accords, Judea and Samaria were divided into three parts: Area A is under full Palestinian Authority (PA) civil and security control. Area B is under PA civil control, while Israel controls security. Area C is under full Israeli civil and security control. While Arabs live in all three areas, Jews are confined to Area C only, and accidentally entering Area A presents a risk to a Jew's life.

The new policies are expected to significantly shorten the bureaucratic processes, as well as subjugate the process to the Justice Ministry's Land Registry.

"We are in essence discussing applying procedural sovereignty only," Bennett said in closed conversations. "Full sovereignty is under the authority of the political echelon, but this is a step in the right direction."

"There is no reason that residents of Judea and Samaria should continue being discriminated against. We must stop this. Residents of Beit El and Ariel are no less Zionist than residents of Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv. They pay taxes and serve in the army, and they need to receive the same services from the government."


Defense Minister Naftali Bennett will bring the proposal on Sunday to freeze NIS 650 million. The amount includes an addition of NIS 149m. that specifically goes to the families of terrorists who were killed or injured during acts of terrorism against Israelis.

28 December 2019

Antiochus’ Family Once Truly Respected the Beis HaMikdash

A very Interesting Article 
Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

If we delve into the prehistory of Chanukah, we learn all sorts of interesting new information. When we combine this information with Midrashim – it enhances our understanding even more. Finally, when we unearth lost midrashim – the information can be rather fascinating.

It is a sad fact that over 90% of our Midrashim have been lost. This is due primarily to the seizure of manuscripts and seforim by the Catholic Church in Europe. How do we know that this is the percentage that was lost? The answer is that it can be culled from a statistical analysis of the sheer numbers of Midrashim quoted in the Drashos of the Rishonim that are simply not there. Nine out of ten times that a Rishon cites a Midrash – it is not to be found.

Below we find a Midrash cited by the Bach that can only be found in in Eisenstadt’s Otzar HaMidrashim (p. 93). Boruch Hashem, this one was not lost entirely, but others, unfortunately were. 

The Bach writes (Orech Chaim 670:4):

“That evil one [Antiochus] decreed to abolish the Korban Tamid and he further said to them: They have one particular practice in their hands – if you abolish it from their hands, then they will already be lost. Which practice is it? The lighting of the Menorah – as it states, “l’haalos bah ner tamid – to light in it a constant lamp – there is a drasha the entire time that they will light it, they shall be constant – they shall always endure.

"They then went and made impure all of the oils. When Klal Yisroel returned and did Teshuvah risking their lives for the Avodah – then Hashem saved them. This happened through the Kohanim – those that served Hashem. And then a miracle happened also with the lamps.”


This author would like to suggest that the Midrash fits quite nicely into some of the historical background of Chanukah. Antiochus’s brother was the Seleucid Greek ruler who had reigned before him. His name was Seleucus the IV Philopater. It seems that Seleucus the IV, actually had much respect for the Beis HaMikdash. He gave gifts to the Beis HaMikdash and initially allowed an exemption of his tax revenue – any Korban brought to the Beis HaMikdash. The sources indicate that it was not just him who esteemed and gave gifts to the Beis HaMikdash – his predecessors did as well.

Eventually, Seleucus IV fell under extraordinary pressure. He had lost a war with Rome and had to pay them war debt. He sent his minister Heliodorus to the Beis HaMikdash to collect money out of its treasury. In the years before the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes IV – the villain of Chanukah, Heliodorus succeeded in getting that money out of the Beis HaMikdash treasury. When he returned from Yerushalayim back to Seleucus IV – Heliodorus assassinated him!

Heliodorus then took the throne for himself. Seleucus’ son should have been the true heir, but he was being held back as a hostage in Rome. Eventually, Seleucus’s brother, Antiochus Epiphanes, pushed out Heliodorus and took over the Seleucid Greek Empire himself. He implemented the Hellenization process ever further.

By the way, Antiochus’ original name was Mithridites. He ruled from 175 BCE to 164 BCE – a total of eleven years.


The point is that, initially, his family had some respect for the traditions of the Jewish people – to the point where they themselves gifted items to the Beis HaMikdash and exempted the Korbanos from taxes. The Midrash that tells us how Antiochus was aware of the efficacy of the Korban Tamid as well as the lighting of the Menorah – now further sheds light on the historical context behind the pre-history of Chanukah. We can also see why he may have been especially concerned with Rosh Chodesh, Bris Milah and Shabbos.

The war itself encompassed many miracles of the nature of gibborim b’yad chalashim. When we recite the Al HaNissim let us keep this in mind. Imagine, for example, the New England Patriots playing tackle football with a group of Kollel yungeleit who are masmidim – and that the Kollel yungeleit wipe the floor with them. This is the level of the miracle.


The Chashmonayim first embarked upon a series of guerilla warfare attacks on the Greeks. They then embarked upon a series of seven battles. These battles were: the Battle of Wadi Haramia (167 BC), the Battle of Beth Horon (166 BCE), the Battle of Emmaus (166 BCE), the Battle of Beth Zur (164 BCE), the Battle of Beth Zechariah (162 BCE), the Battle of Adasa (161 BCE), and the Battle of Elasa (160 BCE).

In the Battle of Adasa, General Nicanor was defeated and killed. This day, the 13th of Adar, was declared a special day by Yehudah Maccabee (See Megilas Taanis). Later it was rescinded after the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash.

The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com

27 December 2019

Parshas Miketz – Paro’s Dreams

By Roy S. Neuberger

Dreams play a major part in our history. Yaakov Avinu dreamed of a ladder reaching Shomayim; Yosef dreamed of future redemption. 

Hashem also sends dreams to our enemies. Lavan was warned in a dream not to harm Yaakov Avinu, and, in this week’s Parsha,Paro’s dreams are the gateway to the cosmic events which propelled Yosef to rulership and paved the way for Yetzias Mitzraim.

Paro’s “spirit was agitated” (Beraishis 41:8), because he saw in his dream that his kingdom was destined to collapse. The world’s most powerful empire was in danger from a source beyond Paro’s control. This vision shook him deeply and changed history. 

Sometimes Hashem sends hints of the future. 

Several weeks ago, a terrible attack in New Jersey profoundly affected many people. Clearly (in the words of the Yated headline), Jews were “targeted.” The attackers were apparently wild and brutal people, out of touch with what we like to think are the norms of civilized society. This incident seemed to emanate from a dark place beyond our ability to reach.

The perpetrators were not isolated or lone individuals. There is a dangerous culture which seems to be growing around us. I personally witnessed, at just about the same time, an incident in Borough Park, involving a person who seemed equally out of control. This incident did not result in injury, thank G-d, but the display of ferocious anger was shocking.

Not only Jews, but many non-Jews with whom I have spoken, are concerned about the future course of world and local events.

“Ulla said, ‘May [Moshiach] come, but may I not see him! And so said Rabbah: ‘May he come, but may I not see him.” (Sanhedrin 98b)

We should not be surprised at what is happening. As in the days of Yosef, the dominant cultures of the world are in imminent danger from internal weakness. They have deviated so much from the will of our Creator that dramatic change is almost inevitable. 

What is our source of protection in these turbulent times? 

“Rabbi Elazar was asked by his students, ‘What can a person do to be spared the travail of Moshiach?’ [And he responded], ‘One should occupy himself in Torah and … acts of kindness.” (ibid) We have to take these words very seriously; our lives depend on them. 

We are now at the culminating days of Chanukah. On Rosh Chodesh, a sliver of light will appear in the night sky. Just as Chanukahbegins in darkness and is filled with continually greater light, so it is that, “when the wicked bloom like grass and all the doers of iniquity blossom, it is to destroy them until eternity.” (Tehillim 92)

“The voice of my Beloved …. Behold! It came suddenly, leaping over mountains, skipping over hills. My beloved is like a gazelle or a young hart. Behold! He was standing behind our wall, observing through the windows, peering through the lattices.” (Shir ha Shirim, said during Kiddush Levana)

Yeshuas Hashem k’heref ayin … Hashem’s Redemption comes in the blink of an eye!

Moon and jet trail over Tzefas

*          *          *          *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2019 by Roy S. Neuberger

Rabbi Winston – MiKeitz – Chanukah is the Thread that Unites all of History

And Yosef replied to Pharaoh, saying, “Not I; G–D will give an answer [that will bring] peace to Pharaoh.” (Bereishis 41:16)

CHANUKAH WAS THE last Jewish holiday to be established. Purim had become a holiday 189 years earlier because of the miraculous victory over the Persians, and Chanukah was the response to the miraculous victory over the Greeks. 
The world had changed dramatically during those 189 years though. When Mordechai and Esther engineered their turn of events, prophets still walked the face of the earth. When Mattisyahu and his sons carried out theirs, prophecy was long gone and hester panim—the hiding of G–D’s face—had become quite intense.
The way we celebrate the two holidays actually reflects this difference of realities. Purim is so pro-active, with so much to do within the 24 hours of the holiday: Megillah, Matanos L’Evyonim, Mishloach Manos, and of course, the Mishteh—the Drinking Feast! 
Chanukah, on the other hand, is so passive. You CAN make a seudah, but you don’t HAVE to. It’s a “Mitzvah Reshus.” Basically, the only “real” mitzvah is the lighting of the Menorah, at least once candle each night, and just hang around it, without actually using its light, for about a half-hour. Latkes and sufganiot are purely optional, not even a “Mitzvah Reshus,” AND very high in calories. 
It makes Chanukah seem like a “tag on,” holiday, one that just happened to occur deep in the Greek exile because it just had to. Purim has this biblical feel to it, but not Chanukah. Chanukah barely feels rabbinic, more historic, a mere commemoration of an incredible event. 
But what would you say if I told you that all of history until Chanukah was just to make the holiday of Chanukah a reality? Even Purim was just a build up to Chanukah, and that Chanukah is the main one we hold onto in order to have safe passage to the Messianic Era, when the light of Chanukah will shine every day so that Chanukah can stop being only an eight-day holiday.
Let me suggest an analogy. Let’s say a father wants to give his business over to his son. In the beginning, when the son first shows up at work to start learning the ropes, the father is around a lot. And he also has his employees direct the son and help him whenever he needs help. 
But as time goes on and the son starts to become more comfortable around the office, becoming very familiar with all the intricacies of the business, the father feels less of a need to watch over his son’s shoulder. He deliberately backs off and gives his son space to start acting and feeling more like a boss.
Eventually, the father removes himself altogether, and leaves the entire business in the hands of his son. He may check up on the business from time to time, and perhaps even offer some advice every once and while. But for the most part, the father backs off altogether to let his son do his own thing. 
Hester panim, the hiding of G–D’s face, is always a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows for people to deny G–D’s existence and turn their back on Torah. On the other hand, it affords a person the opportunity to emphasize their belief in G–D and Torah by doing His will at a time that His existence is not obvious.
Likewise, there are two levels on which history can be understood. In the Garden of Eden, G–D’s Presence was inescapable. Even after leaving, he still spoke to people, and that lasted well past half of history, until 3448, or 313 BCE. This is why even the Jewish enemies, will all their idol worship, still acknowledge the reality of the Jewish G–D, and on occasion, even showed Him respect. 
But G–D had been weaning Himself out of history the entire time. One way or another, G–D has made it increasingly more difficult to “see” Him. Today, it is the hardest of all thanks to science, which has done an incredible job of demystifying Creation to such an extent that scientists and evolutionists feel completely confident in their heretical point of views. 
But as Chazal says, a light burns brightest, even a small one, when it is darkest. Like the moon told G–D, what good is light when it is already bright? Now the light of the moon is brilliant against the dark night sky, together with its accompaniment of stars.
We all like to live in light. People get depressed just when the days get shorter in the wintertime. Night is compared to death. People are afraid of the dark, and often rightfully so.
But on the other hand, a person can look at the darkness as a time for their own personal light to shine. Amongst other luminaries, their light might just be invisible. But in the dark, even a small light is noticeable for quite a distance. That’s why the Chanukah rebellion was so small, to emphasize how, during dark times, the few can overcome the many, that is, small lights can conquer great darkness.
That is our opportunity whenever darkness encompasses us on any level, in any place, being it physical darkness or emotional darkness. It doesn’t really matter. Either way it is an opportunity to give off light to a dark world, and make a great difference to Creation and history.
After all, Creation was made for the sake of free will. Free will was given to man to reveal G–D in the world. When he does that, then he earns his reward in the World-to-Come, the ultimate gift G–D made for man to receive. The greater the will, the greater the revelation, the greater the reward in the World-to-Come.
Like the father who runs the business, G–D was very available in the “early years.” It was harder to reveal G–D because He was already so revealed by Himself. Prophecy. Miracles. They all screamed out that G–D was alive and well and functioning in history, so the main test was making sure you served the RIGHT G–D, and in the RIGHT way.
Like the father who gives his business to his son, G–D, in a sense, has given Creation over to man. Oh, He’s always there running things from behind the scenes, because, after all, He’s G–D. How can He NOT be involved in everything.
But He does it in a way that allows people to step forward and make it look as if THEY are the ones revealing G–D in the world. It is OUR job primarily to do that which makes the existence of G–D real for man, so that they can acknowledge His existence, and relate to him. Chanukah made, MAKES that perfectly clear. 
And so do these parshios. Since the Parashas Vayishlach, the world of Ya’akov’s family has become increasingly darker. Things kept going wrong, and becoming worse. Until these week’s parsha, which is perfect for Shabbos Chanukah. This is when Ya’akov Avinu and Yosef HaTzaddik show their family, and future generations, how to illuminate the darkness, and use it to reveal G–D, not further hide him.
After all, Egypt was a VERY dark place, spiritually. And yet Potiphar first, and then Pharaoh himself, the “king of darkness” acknowledged the reality of G–D. They even turned to Yosef because of his connection to G–D, a HUGE Kiddush Hashem. He was a brilliant light anyhow, but Yosef’s light was even more brilliant because of where it gave off light. 
That’s why there are so many important hints to Chanukah in these parshios (which you can learn about in my books, “The Light of 36,” and “Once Revealed, Twice Concealed”). Chanukah is the thread that unites all of history, and it is certainly the light that unifies all of these parshios, and eventually Ya’akov’s family. 
Chanukah Samayach.

Rabbi Kahana – Miketz – Publicizing Hashem’s Miracles

Parashat Mikeitz-Chanukah 5780
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Excerpt from my forthcoming book “Reflections From Yerushalayim”


Pirsumei nisa, our duty to propagate HaShem’s miracles, constitutes a major element in many mitzvot. When reading the Megillat Esther, we publicly proclaim that HaShem saved us from Haman and Achashverosh. At the Pesach Seder, we lean in comfort as we consume our matzah and drink wine to proclaim that we were freed through HaShem’s great miracles in Egypt. Yet there is no mitzvah in which pirsumei nisa is as emphasized as it is at Chanukah.
With other mitzvot, our Sages established the obligation of pirsumei nisa on a single level, whereas regarding the Chanukah candles, they established three levels:
  • The most rudimentary one involves the head of the household lighting a single candle in his home each night.
  • The mehadrin level, for those who want to do more, involves every member of the household lighting one candle each night.
  • The mehadrin min hamehadrin level, for those who wish to do the maximum to publicize HaShem’s miracles, involves each participant lighting an additional candle each night, starting from one on the first night, leading up to eight candles on the eighth night.
Why did our Sages see fit to emphasize pirsumei nisa precisely regarding Chanukah?
I suggest:
The miracle of the flask of oil occurred in a place where only the Kohanim had access – in the Kodesh, the area in front of the Kodesh Kodashim or Holy of Holies. The point was to signal to the Kohanim who initiated and led the war against Hellenism that, despite the painful sacrifices the Jewish people had suffered, HaShem viewed the Maccabees’ rebellion favorably.
A year later, the nation’s spiritual leaders ordained the observance of Chanukah, requiring every Jewish man and woman to declare fealty to the national/religious effort to banish Greece from the Land of Israel and to restore the Torah to its former glory. A single level of publicizing HaShem’s miracles would not have sufficed to express the greatness of that moment when HaShem informed the people that He (and not an angel) stood behind the holy priests. What was required was precisely on the level of mehadrin, or even mehadrin min hamehadrin, in order adequately to express the depths of our gratitude for the grandeur of the miracle.


The most eloquent, articulate speaker could not describe the depth of Yosef’s emotions as his jeering brothers lowered him into a pit swarming with snakes and scorpions, or the helplessness he felt during his years in the Egyptian dungeon, or the suffering of his father during the years he believed that Yosef was no longer among the living.
By the same token, no one could describe the profound despair felt by Yehudah Maccabee and his soldiers when they observed from their mountain perch the thousands of Greek soldiers moving forward in phalanx formation – each phalanx made up of 256 soldiers arranged in a 16 by 16 quad, every soldier wielding a spear 7 meters long – all of them marching together as one entity.
A senior officer in the IDF told me that, in his youth, he studied at the military’s Command and Staff College. There, the instructor drew on the blackboard a formation of two armies at the onset of battle. He repeated the exercise three times, each time with different data but, in any event, it was clear that one side was stronger than the other. The results of the battles were a foregone conclusion to all the officers present. After everyone agreed that the stronger side would win, the instructor divulged that his sketches depicted the three fateful battles of the “weak” Maccabees against the “strong” Greeks and, in all three, the Maccabees won. The instructor, who was not a Torah observant man, raised his hands and cried out, “Without God, the Jews could never have won!”
To the same extent, we must conclude that, if not for Divine Providence, Yosef would never have emerged from the pit alive, and if not for Divine Providence, the Jewish people would long ago have been pushed off the stage of history together with all the other ancient nations. If not for Divine Providence, the State of Israel would never have arisen, neither would it have survived so many attacks by mightier nations.
Yet how many Jews in the galut acknowledge this fact?!
Were there a halachic body possessing the requisite authority, I would recommend passing an ordinance forbidding the celebration of Chanukah in the Diaspora. Why? Because in the awareness of galut Jews the miracle of Chanukah is nothing but stories from the past with no bearing on reality. And one who denies the miracles taking place before his very eyes certainly does not believe in the miracles that were supposed to have occurred to our people thousands of years ago! So why observe Chanukah at all?
Unlike the Jews of the Diaspora, the people who dwell in Zion today have a sense of common nationhood. The Jews of the Diaspora don’t share Israel’s problems or dangers. Their primary language is different, and they rise for the national anthem of a foreign country, not the HaTikvah which expresses the hopes and aspirations of the Nation of Israel. Neither are they ready to lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters.
I learned a powerful lesson from an Egyptian on the day that the Sinai War broke out in 1956. Together with two other yeshivah students, I was attending New York University night school; at the end of the lecture, a man approached me and my yeshivah colleagues (all of us wearing kippot) and asked, “What do you intend to do about the war?” I answered that there was nothing we could do. He then said that he was an Egyptian exchange student and he was about to return to Egypt to fight for his country against Israel. Indeed, we never saw him again.
That individual deeply influenced me. He was a faithful son of his land and a devoted brother of his people, whereas I was no more than a step-brother to the Jews who were fighting at that moment in the Land of Israel. What shame I felt! Truly a strange person to have for a teacher, but his influence upon me was enormous.
And that brings me to the crux of the matter:
Despite what had been done to him in the past by his brothers, when Yosef saw that Leah’s son Yehudah was ready to sacrifice himself for Rachel’s son Binyamin, he understood that there had been a turning point in how the brothers related to one another. Going beyond their maternal loyalties and divisions, they were truly brothers now, and it was then that he embraced them.
Similarly, the ability of the Maccabees to enlist Jews who would be willing to sacrifice their lives in an almost hopeless war derived from the sense of brotherhood of the Nation of Israel dwelling in the Land of Israel. This is what moved HaShem to work miracles for them at Chanukah.
This is what we need now.
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5780/2019 Nachman Kahana

26 December 2019

Rabbi Mizrachi – The Greeks of Today

This is a very serious matter that the Rabbi discuses about the population of Israel. A warning that we should take to heart.

Excellent shiur, full of wisdom for life. 

Klal Yisrael is a Thing by Yisroel Besser

It was a story out of one of their children’s books, but it was happening in real time
by Yisroel Besser

Klal Yisrael is a thing.
I know, because my parents told me so. They told me I was part of it, and they told me stories about what that means. As a child, we delighted in the tangible expressions — stopping on the highway when we saw a car pulled over because “maybe they’re Yidden”; my father’s habit of inviting people with Jewish-sounding last names to come spend Shabbos at our home; being shepherded into the school auditorium one Adar to cry for Rav Yaakov, and then for Rav Moshe, collectively mourning two men most of us had never met, but who with their passing had made us all orphans.

Just over 15 years ago, I started writing for an international frum magazine, meeting Jews, writing about Jews, telling stories to Jews.

It was as “in the cholent” as you could get. I knew the hock and backstory, the magazine having become a clearing house for the accomplishments, heroism, and innovation of the frum world.
But if I got the style of Klal Yisrael, I didn’t get its substance.

That came later, as that first decade of a new millennium neared its end.

My zeide once told me about a great Galicianer Rebbe who had enemies. Before donning his tallis, the Rebbe would swing it around his head with great gusto, giving his rivals an idea. Just before Yom Kippur, someone planted a deck of playing cards in the folds of the Rebbe’s tallis. When he entered the shul for Kol Nidrei, the Rebbe spread out his tallis and started to wave it high… and cards came tumbling out in a humiliating shower.

Nasty trick, that. The einekel of whoever planted those cards likely became a blogger. Back in 2008, blogs were a thing. The bitter guys taking potshots at the rav from the back of the shul had found a new smokescreen, and for a brief period — maybe two years — they were able to do real damage.

I first heard the name Rubashkin from them, a Lubavitcher meat-packer from Iowa arrested, and they said he was guilty, guilty, guilty.
He wasn’t, but I was.
Guilty of allowing cynics to cloud my perspective and make my decisions for me.

Yated said it was anti-Semitism and a blood libel and the blogs said it was a genuine crime. I shrugged and felt bad about the family in distress and went on with my day. The story wasn’t going away. Both sides were growing louder.

Just about ten years ago I flew to Iowa to meet the Rubashkin family in person. It took about five minutes for me to fall in love. Yes, that’s the expression I’m looking for.

I saw ahavas Yisrael, I saw simchas hachayim, and I saw emunah. 
I saw it the way I saw the knee-high grass out back waving against the clear blue sky.

The sentencing came in June of 2010. I remember where I was that night: after an interview in Williamsburg, at Gottlieb’s restaurant. The news broke in middle of my pastrami sandwich and all of a sudden it was Tishah B’Av.

Twenty-seven years. Twenty-seven years!

I wasn’t the only one unable to eat another bite.

The Klal Yisrael that came alive that night was something I had never before seen. This verdict involved a yachid, a single individual. No one was threatening to harm the Jews and no one was outlawing Shabbos or yeshivos.

You know that popular frum camp activity, silent disco? You must have seen videos: people dance to music heard over individual earphones rather than speakers, so that to the casual observer the room appears to be filled with people dancing — in sync — to nothing.

That’s what Klal Yisrael became. There was no shared music over the loudspeaker, but everyone was in motion at once: tefillah, kabbalos, shtadlanus, bake sales, pushkes. Everyone had their own headphones, dancing in their own style to the same rhythm.

Except for the ones who didn’t hear any music. They just thought it was disturbing.

To me, the Klal Yisrael story of the last decade is the story of Sholom Mordechai ben Rivkah Halevi and the nation that joined forces to bring him home. It was when that entity called Klal Yisrael, with its inherited instincts, rose as one.

Like many parents raising young children over the past ten years, my wife and I raised our kids against the backdrop of this story. Sholom Mordechai’s name was present when my wife lit Shabbos candles, it was there on a slip of paper when we visited mekomos hakedoshim. One of my children was once embarrassed in public and he swallowed hard and davened for Rubashkin; on Motzaei Shabbos, the kids would listen as I read the weekly email describing Sholom Mordechai’s “uplifting Shabbos,” his joy at how, baruch Hashem, “the guards let me sing zemiros” or, “there was no minyan for Maariv, but we all said Shema together out loud with as much chiyus as we could. I closed my eyes and pretended I was in shul with all of you.”

It was a story out of one of their children’s books, but it was happening in real time.

It started on blogs and ended in an explosion of images dancing on the filtered phones of Klal Yisrael.
December 20, 2017. The last few minutes of Chanukah. First the breaking news, then the video of Sholom Mordechai leaving jail in that confounding scarf, then the clip of the Shehechiyanu in Monsey, the reunion with his mother, his return to 770…. and then it all blurred into one long livestream and everyone moved on.

To me, it’s the story of a decade in which we used emerging technology — online petitions gathering tens of thousands of signatures in hours — and real-time news releases to stay updated.

Ultimately, ironically, beautifully, happily, the ending came through the oldest method in the world. It wasn’t the legal funds or advocacy or petitions that brought him home, it turned out, but the prayers.

Is there a more Klal Yisrael’dig ending than that?

Source: Mishpacha

Rubashkin Family Plans Event For Second Anniversary Of Their Neis Chanukah

One askan said “With so many people saying how uplifting and moving the evening was and how it pushed them through their personal troubles and inspired them to trust and serve Hashem better, there was no choice but to put in the time, effort and money to make this an annual event. If we shook heaven and earth for 10 years to be mechzek one yid in prison, we should surely make this effort to be mechazek thousands of yidden. Of course there is no charge- this is a family celebration, and all are not just welcome, but honored guests!”

“This miracle wasn’t just a personal yeshuah. It was a reminder to Klal Yisroel about the power of emunah and bitachon,” Sholom Mordechai’s son, Getzel Rubashkin, says. “Ever since his release, gedolim and Jewish leaders around the world have been encouraging my father to dedicate himself to spreading the message of emunah and bitachon, and that is what he has done. ‘Alef, Bais, Gimmel’ has become a household phrase. This event is a moment to loudly and clearly thank Hashem and reaffirm that we got the message – emunah and bitachon will bring geulah.”

The program will feature divrei chizuk and personal reflections from Reb Sholom Mordechai mixed with song and dance led by Benny Freidman, Avremi G. and the Shira choir. The women will also hear a powerful message from Mrs. Leah Rubashkin.

The public celebration will take place on Monday Zos Chanuka at Young Israel Beth El, located at 4802 15th Avenue in Brooklyn, with a simultaneous live hookup event for women next door at Khal Chassidim, located at 4820 15th Avenue in Brooklyn. Doors open 8:00pm and the program begins at 8:30pm sharp.

Overturning the Decree of October 7th Until Chanukah - The Earthshattering Remez of the Bas Ayin

  Rabbi Daniel Glatstein Remez at 10:46 Comments : “I also heard that Teshuva can be done until 8th day of Hannukah? Ba’al Shem Tov??? Not ...