Friday, February 27, 2009

Shabbat Shalom


Actually I would love to stay in Tel Aviv for Shabbat and walk over to Bnei Brak in order to see a great Tish at Vishnitz tonight. They are in the middle of the "Sheva Berachot" after the wedding the day before yesterday.

However, I am going to Jerusalem this afternoon and will spend Shabbat in Mea Shearim.

Although Israel needs plenty of rain, rain on Shabbat is always a kind of a pain, as then you are stuck. The Halacha forbids us using an umbrella on Shabbat and the best we can do is wearing a raincoat.

And, Baruch HaShem, it is raining this weekend. It has already started last night and Tel Aviv is flooded. Windy, cold and rain showers - this is the weather forecast until Sunday.

Have a great Shabbat, Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes and Chodesh Tov, have a great new month of Adar !

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Who is talking Lashon Harah (Gossip) ?

The Great Vishnitzer Wedding


Bus no. 54 from Tel Aviv to Bnei Brak and Kiryat Vishnitz wasn't as full as I had expected. Actually only the regular customers were using it at 4.30pm. Coming back from work and going home.
However, the closer we got to the Kiryah, the more people were flocking in. Obviously Vishnitzer Chassidim wearing their Bekishe and a Streimel. The advantage was that I would know exactly where to get off the bus.

Kiryat Vishnitz is located a kind of on top of Bnei Brak and is a neighbourhood of its own. To say it in simple words: Everything is just Vishnitz. From the bakery to the old age home counselor.

The wedding of Rabbi Shneur Zalman Ernster (Sanhedria HaMe'uchedet/ Jerusalem) and Trante Hager (Monsey and grandchild of the Vishnitzer Rebbe Mordechai Hager / Monsey) took place between the Vishnitzer great Synagogue and different Vishnitzer Yeshivot.

It was very easy to find, as everyone was streaming in. A Vishnitzer Chassid who had told me before that Vishnitz is nice and not as close as the Toldot Aharon was right. "You are too much with Toldot Aharon, he had told me, and you need to see something more "normal".

I don't know if Vishnitz is so "normal" but they are nice people. Women and men arrived together and the signs for the Mechitzah (division between men and women) were so obvious. I knew exactly where to go. First, we women had a look into a kind of yard where all the Chassidim and Rebbes had gathered. Prayers were said and there was singing. However, I didn't rest for too long and continued walking down the road in order to get as close to the Chuppah as I could. And I succeeded.

A building complex served as the Mechitzah and we women had an entire street for ourselves. Everyone including the kids were flocking in while the Chuppah was set up by some Vishnitzer Chassidim. It was already there but some further handy work had to be done. After an hour or so, the groom arrived and a little later the bride climbed on top of the Bimah. She wore a huge white dress and a veil totally covered her face. She lifted up the veil after the ceremony but I hardly saw her face.

Kiddush was said by the Vishnitzer Rebbe Israel Hager and the rest went quite fast. The Belzer rebbe was not under the Chuppah but only family including the old Vishnitzer Rebbe Moshe Yehoshua Hager who was placed on a special chair (the Vishnitzer girls standing next to me called it "Benkel").
It was a nice wedding and you could feel that everything was in the family; people knew each other, as Chussen and Kallah are cousins. The newly couple was very lucky with the weather, as it was nice and relatively warm.

I didn't participate in the Se'udah afterwards but went back to Tel Aviv. Everyone was invited for a meal but when I left I saw many Chassidim not joining but going home.

It was worth seeing the wedding and all the best to the newly married couple !

From Secular to Haredi


It doesn't matter if in Ge'ulah, Mea Shearim (Jerusalem) or Bnei Brak; this poster (for Purim) is hanging on the walls all over the place:

But where does it originally come from ?

The picture was made "MEHADRIN" in order to fit into haredi advertising.

Ponebezh 100 Years Ago


Unique pictures from the litvishe PONEBEZH Yeshiva from 100 years ago:

Today, the Yeshiva is in Bnei Brak.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Vishnitzer Family & The Belzer Rebbe


Due to the great Vishnitzer Chaseneh (wedding) taking place in Bnei Brak this evening, here a special video:
The Vishnitzer Family dancing together with the Belzer Rebbe in Bnei Brak. The Belzer Rebbe Yissachar Dov Rokeach is the son - in - law of the Vishnitzer Rebbe Moshe Yehoshua Hager.
They are dancing around him and the Belzer Rebbe is putting the two sons (Rebbe Israel & Rebbe Menachem Mendel) of Rebbe Moshe Yehoshua together. This is not a daily event, as both sons are at war and fighting over their fathers position.

Who is showing up at the wedding tonight ? The Belzer Rebbi again or even the Gerrer Rebbe ? And is Rebbe Menachem Mendel Hager coming and facing his rival Rebbe Israel ?
A chassidic wedding always means politics and somehow I feel sorry for the couple getting married. Especially for the bride having to suffer through the Mitzwe Tanz.

Tonight, two Vishnitzer cousins are getting married but don't worry, I was told that everything is in accordance with the Halacha.

MAZAL TOV to Rabbi Shneur Zalman Ernster and his bride Trane Hager !

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Hamas in Action

Chaseneh in Vishnitz

Poster announcing the upcoming wedding in Bnei Brak


Tomorrow (Wednesday) several thousand people are expected to participate in the Vishnitzer Chaseneh (wedding) in Bnei Brak (near Tel Aviv).

Here are already some pictures of the OHEL (tent) in Kiryat Vishnitz / Bnei Brak. I am going to participate and I am really excited about it. Thousands of people will be there and hopefully enough space in order to see something. Unfortunately, I will be on the women's site and thus, miss all the prominent Rebbes such as Rebbe Yissachar Dov Rokeach (Belz) and others. But who knows ... Maybe I am finding a good spot.


"The Chuppah where the new couple is getting married.

Simcha in Vishnitz from the past

Yahrzeit in Gur


Tonight, Chassidut Gur is celebrating the Yahrzeit (memorial day) of its previous Rebbe Israel Alter (the Beit Israel), 1895 - 1977.

Just a curious question: Is this the Rebbe who introduced all the extreme laws especially regarding women ? Or was it Rebbe Simcha Bunim (the Lev Simcha) ?

The Beit Israel, previous Rebbe in Gur

Belz is checking Tallitot (טליתות)

Beit Din "Machzikei HaDa'at"


The Beit Din of "Machzikei HaDa'at" called up on every Chassid Belz to check his Tallit, as some Tallitot have been discovered to contain Shatnez.

For Hebrew speakers:

Is your Laundry KOSHER enough ?


A participant of a haredi forum started the subject "kosher laundry" zur Sprache. It would be forbidden to hang clothes for males and females together on one line. Mixed laundry hanging outside to dry would be immodest.
Other Haredim made the remark that there is no official ISSUR (prohibition) for this. Most of them had a good laugh and someone else even added a picture from the laundry of his whole neighbourhood.

Is the laundry too immodest ?

Great topic, as we can see that the halachic mind doesn't leave out anything to question.
Can't people just start living ?

Rabbi Avraham Kahaneman z"l

Rabbi Avraham Kahaneman z"l


The litvishe Yeshivat "Ponebezh" in Bnei Brak (near Tel Aviv) is considered an elite Yeshiva and it isn't easy to get accepted as a student. Those getting in have to accept a rather conservative ideology. Meaning not going to cinemas nor watching TV, as some modern litvishe Haredim like to do. However, Ponebezh has had its ups and downs including plenty of skandals as well.

Rabbi Avraham Kahaneman was the great Rosh Yeshiva of Ponibezh and passed away at the age of 97 yesterday. His funeral is taking place at 11am this morning; starting at Ponebezh.


Yeshivat "Ponebezh"

Ponebezh in Bnei Brak

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rosh Chodesh ADAR


Tonight, tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, we are celebrating the beginning of the new Jewish month of Adar (Rosh Chodesh Adar).

Adar is the 12th and happiest month of the Jewish calendar. Simcha, joy, is the symbol of Adar. Joy to serve G - d and that G - d caused so many miracles to happen for the Jewish people (Purim and Pessach) (see the book "Shaarei HaMoadim" from Chabad).

According to Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), each Jewish month represents a certain letter, horoscope, organ, sense and tribe:

- The letter of Adar is the KUF ק

- The horoscope is the fish

- The tribe is Naftali

- The sense is laughter

- The organ is the spleen

Adar 7th is the birthday and the day of death of Moshe.
In another two weeks we are going to celebrate Purim and here is already the exact holiday schedule:

Taanit Esther - Fast of Esther: 9th March,

Purim: 10th March,

Shuschan Purim (celebrated only in cities having a city wall at the time of Yehoshua Bin Nun, as, for instance, Jerusalem): 11th March.

Chodesh Tov - חודש טוב - Have a great new month ! Adar.

New Committee at the Ministry of the Interior


Due to thousands of Gentiles floating around in Israel and asking for citizenship, Interior Minister Me'ir Sheetrit has established a special committee to discuss the Law of Return. According to the law, one has to have Jewish roots or ancestors in order to make Aliyah and receive Israeli citizenship but nowadays any fanatic Christian thinks that he has a right to be in the Jewish State.
The law has been abused and the shocking fact is that 30% of the residents of Eilat are NOT Jewish according to Halacha.

Now the special committee is trying to work out some amendments to the Law of Return and one option may be that after making Aliyah, every candidate has to show loyalty to the state and speak a certain amount of sufficient Hebrew before receiving citizenship.

The second shocking news:

According to recent Interior Ministry data, approximately 1 million illegal immigrants currently reside in Israel. Among them are 25,000 African infiltrators (only 600 of which are refugees from Darfur), tens of thousands of Palestinian Authority Arab women married to resident Israeli Bedouins,16,000 Arab women receiving Israeli welfare stipends while residing in Judea and Samaria, and 46,000 non-Jewish Ethiopians.

Highest Kavanah at the Kotel


This picture published in an
Israeli haredi forum shows a Chassid praying with high Kavanah (concentration) at the Kotel (Western Wall). The person publishing the photo explains that the Chassid had been praying in the same position for twenty minutes without even moving a bit. Amazing !

Watch Out !!! WOMEN !!!!


I found this picture in an Israeli haredi forum and it actually describes this extraordinary kind of bicycle for the whole family. Well, I thought, that's nice but then I noticed the two white spots in the middle of the photo. I looked closer and realized that there were two females sitting on the bike and due to modesty reasons, the Haredim had cut out their faces.

Photos of women are not allowed in haredi society, as it is immodest and may cause the guys to think of something, well, "immodest" ?
It may give the impression that I am entirely dealing with the modesty issue in my blog but I am actually not. However, these topics and especially this picture with the white spots make me jump.

Chabad. Org in Dire Straits


Almost each of us knows the Chabad.Org site. A few days ago, I received an e - mail from them asking me for donations and announcing that the site is in severe dire straits and may not be able to continue. I find this very sad, as I am using the site quite frequently and also recommend the Chabad holiday explanations to my blog readers.

I know that each branch of Chabad, including the Shlichim (worldwide representatives) are responsible for their own budget and this may be the case with the website as well. Nevertheless, I don't understand why the Crown Heights Headquarter isn't helping. Or maybe they are and we simply haven't heard about it.
Anyway, the site has to continue and maybe someone has an idea or is rich.

The present Chabad support FACEBOOK group:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Separate Seating


Various Haredim were demonstrating and attacking EGGED buses in Mea Shearim last week. The fight for "kosher" buses where male and female sit separately has been going on for years. The American - Israeli author Naomi Ragen regards the whole "separate gender" issue as "racism" towards women. A few days ago, a colleague of mine told me that the Haredim should order buses from Iran and that's it.

I am totally against buses with separate seating. Buses with only haredi population can have separate seating and this doesn't bother me. But why should the entire city of Jerusalem have so - called "kosher" buses ? Why do I have to sit in the back of a bus just because some men cannot behave themselves and get immodest thoughts into their minds ? Is this my fault ? Such men don't need a bus with separate seats but a psychologist.

However, there are haredi women who do prefer such buses and I do understand them as well. Because some male Haredim cannot overcome their Yetzer Harah, they start staring at women on public buses. It doesn't matter if the woman is obviously married or not.
Some time ago, I took bus no. 15 from Ge'ulah to Givat Shaul and the entire bus witnessed a scene where a young married haredi woman had to ask a young haredi guy TWICE to move further away. She shouted it out loud and the guy didn't care, as he moved closer to her again.
With their eyes some male Haredim undress any woman on the bus they can get hold of. Women feel that and are embarrassed. Even more so religious women.

The whole discussion has two sides but I tend more to feeling like second class or even garbage by being seated in the back. It is just like women have a disease and need to be separated and I wonder what our formothers, Beruriah, Devorah, Rashi's daughters or other great women would respond to this.

Lior Shlein and the Vatican


Now Vatican and Pope can breath freely and without having this weird feeling in the stomach. The whole world was accusing them of anti - Semitism due to reappointing a bishop who, as an extreme anti - Semite and Holocaust denier, was just thrown out of Argentina. The pope image went down the drain and it seems like he is climbing out of the gutter now. His advisers tell him to cancel his Israel trip planned in May and we will see if the Holiness is taking revenge.

Who actually cares anyway if the pope is visiting Israel or if he stays at home in the Vatican …

The church has rediscovered the Jews as a scapegoat and even gets help from the Hamas and the Hizbollah. Two terror organizations which consider Christians as heretics. The Vatican must be happy finding so many trustworthy supporters against the Jews. Not really Jews but rather Israeli Jews. Or to be precise: The Israeli David Letterman, Lior Shlein.

Shlein dared to show a sketch where he is making fun of Christianity.. No, Mary was not a virgin but a wild girl and Mr. J. didn't walk on water. This is just fantasy.
In the background the Madonna song "Like a Virgin" was played.

Not that Lior Shlein had such a great rating and he already apologized to the Christians.

For what actually ? Have they ever apologized for their pogroms and false Bible interpretations ?

Is the pope going to demand a confession from Lior Shlein ?

Christian Arabs were demonstrating this weekend and this morning, I listened to a debate on the Israeli radio channel Reshet Beit. An Arab Christian representative accused the Jews of making disgusting jokes about Christian believe. The result was that the radio journalist said that the Catholic church including the pope just rehabilitated one of the greatest anti - Semites and had been killing Jews for more than a thousand years. If the church itself is not disgusting ?
And now only going out of their minds because of a joke on TV ?

I 100% agree with the journalist. What has the church done to the Jews in history ? Killed them although their Meshiach J. was a Jew himself. And lets be honest, isn't it mentioned in the Talmud that Yosef was not J.'s biological father but a Roman soldier called Pandera ?
And this is not a sketch but real because I don't care at all if the pope is visiting our country or canceling his trip.

Yahrzeit in Mercaz HaRav


A year ago, on Rosh Chodesh ADAR, the beginning on the Jewish month of Adar, or according to the worldy calender 6th March 2008, a Palestinian terrorist went into the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighbourhood of Jerusalem and shot at as many Jews as he was able to find. These days, relatives of the victims, Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav and the entire Jewish world remembers the sad event at the Yeshiva.

This year, we Rosh Chodesh Adar this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Emergency call from Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav from 6th March 2008.

David Shapira became a hero because it was him who shot the terrorist running amok in Mercaz Harav. In the video below, David Shapira is giving his first interview concerning the terror attack at Mercaz Harav. Just recently, he spoke with the popular Israel journalist Ilana Dayan.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Jewish Internet Defense Force


Interesting Link but their name somehow reminds me of the Jewish Defense League:

Slonim Sidur


Someone asked me about the Nussach of Chassidut Slonim.

Last night, on Erev Shabbat, I went to the Tisch of the Slonim in Mea Shearim / Jerusalem and had a look at their Sidur called "Magen Avraham". Inside it says NUSSACH SEPHARAD" and when I was having a quick look through, I noticed that it wasn't full of kabbalistic and chassidic additions, as, for instance, the Sidur of the Toldot Aharon. "Magen Avraham" rather looks like a regular Ashkenazi Artscroll Sidur.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Shabbat Shalom


This Shabbat I am going to spend in Jerusalem. Weather is pretty bad and I hope that I can make it to some chassidic Tishes and Synagogues.

Tomorrow morning we are going to face a long and important Synagogue service. Parashat Mishpatim, Parashat Shekalim - as it is "Shabbat Shekalim" and Birkat HaChodesh - the blessing of the new month. Rosh Chodesh Adar (beginning of the new month of Adar) is coming up next week.

Enjoy and have a great Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes - to everyone !

Chaseneh in Vishnitz


A huge Chaseneh in Chassidut Vishnitz (group of Rebbe Israel Hager) is going to take place next Wednesday (Parashat Terumah).

Time: Kabbalat Panim is at 5pm
Location: Kiryat Vishnitz in Bnei Brak

So far, it looks like that I will make it to the wedding. Be'ezrat HaShem because I would really love to see it.

Chassidut Vishnitz in Bnei Brak

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Different Ways" - Children of famous Chassidim abandoning Religion


Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch once wrote a commentary of why Esav and Yaakov turned out in such different ways. As we all know, Esav was a Rasha (evil person) and Yaakov was a Zaddik (righteous). Here, Rabbi Hirsch makes an extremely courageous and unique statement:
If Yitzchak and Rivka (Rebecca) had, at an early stage, realized that each child needs special attention, education and upbringing, then maybe they would have raised Esav in a different way. Whereas Yaakov was the study type, Esav loved to run around in the fields; a rather wild character. And according to Rabbi Hirsch, Esav should have not been forced into the study hall but should have done something more practical instead in order to satisfy his needs. Physical work, sports, etc.

Without criticizing Yitzchak raising his sons, children turn to be out different and not always the same, and a parent should realize the weaknesses and strength of a child and react in a proper way.
The question is if a different education could have prevented Esav from turning out to become a Rasha ? An interesting question, however, although it is unlikely that we get the right answer.

In Jewish history, our forefathers, famous rabbis and sages always had children who didn't turn out too righteous. At least not as pious as their parents used to be. I found some interesting remarks in David Assaf's book "Ne'echaz Basbach" where he, among other topics, describes the crisis in Chassidut. Particularly concerning the sons of different famous chassidic Rabbis.

Chassidut has many positive and admirable sides but, unfortunately, not everything was so great and perfect as it may should have been. Right after the Baal Shem Tov passed away, the first fights among his followers came up and different conflicts started. And, as I already said, having a great famous Rabbis as a parent doesn't mean a guarantee for perfect children.

Already the founder of Chabad, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, 1745 - 1812, had problems with his youngest son Moshe who converted to Christianity.

The son of Israel of Ruzhin, 1797 - 1851, went astray as well. His son Dov Baer of Leove, 1817 - 1876, got already married at the age of 14. His wife was Sheindel, the daughter of Rabbi Mordechai Twersky of Chernobyl, but it was not a happy marriage. After moving to different places and the death of his father, he was taken to Sadigura and some people spread the rumor that he was held as a prisoner by his brother. After Dov Baer came to live in Czernowitz, he declared in 1869, that he "wished to eliminate the foolish customs that have no basis in Judaism and to remove the thorns from the vineyard of the House of Israel". He decided to join the Maskilim (Enlightenment). Until his death he lived in Sadigura, deserted by his wife and ignored by his brothers and his former students.

The next case is Yechezkel, the son Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Kozmir. Also Yechezkel left religion and even changed his name into "Stanilaus Hoga".

The brother - in - law of Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel of Apta, and son of Rabbi Chaim Tirer of Czernowitz, Kalman Kalonymus, became an apikoret (heretic). He started playing cards, ate treife (non - kosher) food, and was eventually forced to divorce his wife Yocheved, the sister of the Apta (Opatov) Rebbe.

Me'ir, the son of the Hungarian Zaddik, Rabbi Yitzchak Eisik of Kalov, seemingly started to become secular after the death of his father.

There are many more other examples and we see that no family in this world is perfect. It may not always be the right / wrong way of upbringing and education; many Jews are looking for something more open - minded and simply have enough of their strict upbringing and all the rules. I am sure that there are different reasons and it is important for us to realize that not everyone is walking into ONE direction or is expressing oneselve in only ONE way. Not every human is the same and it is wrong putting or forcing people into certain societies or positions where they don't belong.

A few months ago, an elderly lady from Karlin - Stolin told me that in Stolin they try to raise the children according to their needs and various characters. However, to strengthen the ways and in order not to let young Chassidim go astray, the families marry them off at the young age of 18. "Then they have a family and don't think about running away anymore", so the woman said.

For some people this may turn out right but for others it might end as a disaster.

"Shovavim" Live Tikun


Today, Thursday 19th February, a mass Tikun is going to take place at the Kotel (Western Wall) at 11pm at night. The prayers will be broadcasted LIVE over the Internet

Here you can find further information !

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Throwing Stones at EGGED


Yesterday afternoon, several Haredim were blocking the main roads in Mea Shearim / Jerusalem and threw stones at EGGED bus drivers. Immediately the cops arrived and tried to make some order.

As I already mentioned, a private "kosher" bus is now providing FREE transportation to the Kotel (Western Wall). An American donor is paying for the new "kosher" bus where men and women sit separate. Although the no. 2 EGGED bus (Route: from Har Nof to the Kotel) is still running, Haredim preferring separate seating or a "non - Zionist" bus are able to switch to something "kosher".

Now, as there is a real "kosher" bus without any Prizut (prostitution), some Mea Shearim extremists try to get rid of EGGED buses in their neighbourhood. The Edah HaCharedit has placed a ban on EGGED a long time ago. First of all because the bus company belongs to the State of Israel and is therefore "Zionist", and secondly because there is not separate seating and as a result of that, there must be prostitution going on. However, "Prizut" here is not to be taken too literally and rather means immodest behaviour.

However, yesterday, Mea Shearim tried to get rid of the "unkosher" EGGED buses.

Yesterday's demonstration in Mea Shearim Street

At Kikar Shabbat, right in front of Mea Shearim Street / Yechezkel / Malchei Israel junction

Zipi Livni and the Zaddik of Stefanesti


The front page of today's secular newspapers are showing a picture of Zipi Livni lighting a candle (Ner Zikaron) at the grave of the Admor of Stefanesti (Rabbi Avraham Mattetiyahu Friedman, 1846 - 1933). Chassidut Stefanesti has its origins in Romania and Rebbe Avraham Mattetiyahu is buried in Givatayim near Tel Aviv.

Obviously Zipi Livni was praying for some support from the upper worlds, as tonight, President Shimon Peres is going to decided if Zipi or Bibi are given the chance of building a government.

However, the haredi forum world gossiped about Zipi Livni being illiterate and see why:

Zipi Livni lighting the candle at the grave but she doesn't pay attention that there is a sign right in front of her saying that lighting candles is forbidden.

Look at the yellow sign from the fire department !

However, Zipi doesn't care about the fire department rules when it comes to becoming prime minister.

Chabad's Anti - Zionism


I am not sure if I have already published this article about Chabad's anti - Zionism or if it was in one of my German blogs. Anyway, the subject is always interesting and concerning Chabad, Rabbi Tzvi Freeman from the New York Chabad sent me a great explanation. An aquiantance of my, a Chassid (NOT Chabad !!!) made some additional remarks below.

But first about CHABAD and its anti - Zionism:

Here's some material I've collected on the subject:

Here is an excerpt from a private audience with students in 1961:

Question: Does the Rebbe recognize the State of Israel?

Rebbe: I write letters to Eretz Yisroel and also receive letters with their stamps. My followers in Eretz Yisroel help guard its borders, pay taxes, serve in the Israeli army, and spread Chassidus. Is that enough to be considered recognition?

Question: What I mean is, Can the State of Israel be considered the "Haschalat Ha'geula," start of the Redemption?

Rebbe: No. It can definitely not be considered the start of Redemption. The Redemption must always come together with Torah and Mitzvos. In the holiday Musaph prayer, we say "Mipnay Chato'aynu Golinu May'artzainu" -- because of our sins we were driven form our homeland - hence, the term Redemption signifies a diminishment of sins -- the more Redemption, the less sins.

Unfortunately, in the Eretz Yisroel of today, we are not witnessing a lessening of sins. On the contrary, there are many Jews who before 1947 were Torah-observant Jews, and after 1947, to our great sorrow, became non-observers. As regards these Jews, it can only be said that they went from one exile to a second one. Also to our great sorrow, we cannot say that in Eretz Yisroel there is an upgrade in compliance with Torah and Mitzvos; rather there is a definite decline. The State of Israel cannot therefore be referred to as the start of Redemption.


From another interview, also with students, in 1963:

Student: Do you think the government in Israel is religious enough to be constitutional for religious Jews?

Rebbe: Are you asking whether the government is religious or not?

Student: I mean to ask whether all religious Jews should emigrate there.

Rebbe: We are now only a few days before the holiday of Shovuoth, the festival of the receiving of the Torah. As a preface to the giving of the Torah, G-d Almighty outlined what He expected of the Jewish people, and one point and highlight which is expected of the Jewish people, is that they should be a "Kingdom of Priests." If we find a proper government for a Kingdom of Priests, including every Jew and Jewess, then this government is fit to become the government of every Jew. The main purpose is to fulfill the Torah's institutions, to make the Jews become a Kingdom of Priests. This is not my own opinion -- it is what the Bible says.

Student: Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the American Jew is confronted with the problem of dual allegiance. Which should have priority?

Rebbe: I don't find a contradiction between them. The main thing is spiritual values, then come the secondary ones -- the army, guarding the borders, and all other things.

One's main purpose must be to become a Holy People and a Kingdom of Priests. Do not be afraid: you can become part of a Kingdom of Priests even if you are a professional or a businessman, an engineer or doctor...


Fin ally,
here is a transcript of an interview with an elder chassid many years ago, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Posner:

No. Incidentally I can tell you something; there’s a little political thing, that the Ramash explained to my father about whether there should be a Medinas Yisrael or not; this happened before there was the Medina. And my father came from Pittsburgh because he had to meet with the Rashag about certain Yeshiva Inyanim so-at that point my brother Zalman and I didn’t eat Shabbos by any Baal Habbatim, there were certain Bachurim we ate in the Yeshiva, we made our own Shabbos, you know, whatever we prepared and that was it, so understandably our father wanted to spend Shabbos with us, not with, he could have eaten by Zeyer Sheyne Baal Habbatim…

So Friday night after Davening everybody went home, you know, and the Ramash asked my father to sit down. So he sat down on a bench there in the Zal and my brother Zalman and I were standing there listening and he was asking my father what’s doing in Pittsburgh, various different things, this that and the other. Then my father had a question for him. The question was: yea Medina or not Medina- then there was going on there was the Shalosh Shavous, Lo Yaalo B’Chaima and so on and there in Pittsburgh they had a very strong Mizrachi, Poel HaMizrachi; the question was what kind of a stand should he take.

So I remember he explained and later on, years later I asked my father if I remember correctly and he said yes I remember correctly, he explained it like this. This has nothing to do with Lo Yaalu B’Chaima, nothing to do with the Shalosh Shavous, nothing, it’s a simple question: There is a Medina in the world Vu M’Harget Yidden. Oib M’Vet Machen Ah Yiddishe Memshala Vet Men Yidden Nisht Hargenen-Iz Faran Ah Shaila In Dem? At that time anytime the Arabs would attack the Jews they would start to fight back so the British soldiers would come, you know, you read about that they would come and take away the guns from the Yidden and then they were stuck without anything, they would shoot them.

The Rebbe said like this: The Gemara says like this that before Moshiach comes Lo Yaalu B’Chaima, the jews are not permiteed to go up with strength, to go up with power to Eretz Yisrael, to take it with power. And there is the Shalosh Shavous-the three vows that we gave that we will not do certain things with Eretz Yisrael; that was the argument against having a Medinas Yisrael, having a Jewish Medina. So the Rebbe said this has no connection with that at all, it’s a simple question. There is a certain country in the world where Jews are being killed and if there will be a Jewish government Jews will not be killed, so is there a question over here? Of course you should make a Jewish government; this has nothing whatsoever to do with the Ischalta D’Geula-the beginning of the Geula, it has no connection with it whatsoever.

So over here in this particular case, over here there is situation as it was at time as I remember it from the papers and so on is that anytime the Arabs would come out and attack the Jews and the Jews would fight back so the British soldiers would come and they would disarm the Jews and let the Arabs go on fighting and shooting and they would get killed, they couldn’t protect themselves. If there would be a Jewish government obviously they would be able to protect themselves.

And the Rebbe continued to say, he explained that this has nothing to do with Ischalta D’Geula, it has no connection with the beginning of the Geula. And we Takeh see later on in later years how the Rebbe said Dos Iz Ah Chosech Kaful U’Mchupal-that it’s such a darkness which never was before so it has nothing to do with Geula, it’s just a way to protect Jews from getting killed, that’s all.

Did he say if that was the Frierdiker Rebbe’s opinion too?


And you were there when the Rebbe explained this?

Yea, I was there when the Rebbe explained it.

How old were you at the time?

How old I was, probably around eighteen, nineteen. See I remember it very well also because at that time it was one of the subjects on the…and then later on I was able to comprehend also the Rebbe’s approach to this whole Inyan of Medinas Yisrael. When there was something to criticize he criticized, he didn’t hold himself back. When it came to support he supported; but the truth is the truth. When you have to criticize you criticize, he didn’t cover over anything, like he himself also said later on that it’s a Chosech Kaful U’Mchupal-that this is a darkness that never was before; Ay, there’s a Medina, that has nothing to do with it.

Let me know if this helps.
-- Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
-- Interactivity-With-People Team

Here are some further remarks from a different Chassid:

I know Zalman Posner well, bear in mind when his brother spoke to the Rebbe Z"L that he wasn't Rebbe yet. It is true that even later the Rebbe Z"L did not consider Medinat Yisroel to be the Aschalta D'Geula and despite the fact that he had changed his views on the Geula, he still did not connect it with the Medinah and he never said that Moshiach was here , He also held that Kibbutz Hagaliyos would only occur once moshiach revealed himself and Shelo Yaalu Al Hachoma means by force not through peaceful aliyah. I also know of a family in England that made Aliyah without asking him and he made them leave Eretz Yisroel and go back to England (but did allow them to leave some of their kids to stay in Yeshiva here)
As for the Rebbe the Rayyatz, I know for a fact that prior to the founding of the Medina, he was against it, but once it happened he accepted it and said it was a done deal and we have to support it.
The Rayyatz did visit Eretz Yisroel, but his son in law never did.Also the Lubavitcher Rebbes never supported a particular political party, not even Agudas Yisroel let alone Yahadus HaTorah. They said to vote for whomever each person felt was suitable at that time. I also remember the Rebbe Z"L threatening many PMs that if they made concessions he himself would personally lead the battle to topple the gvt.
Hope this gives some additional insight into their policies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kosher Kotel Bus


My last article was about the kosher SUPERBUS which now has taken over some former EGGED bus routes. A few hours later, someone announced in a haredi forum the introduction of another kosher haredi bus replacing the no. 2 bus to the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem. A private donor is paying for the transportation and all passengers can use it for free.

The bus is supposed to be "Kasher Le'Mehadrin" - meaning separate seats for men and women. The above poster announced all the details and claims that the state - owned EGGED company is the haredi enemy no. 1, as there is too much prostitution going on in their buses.
When Haredim talk about "prostitution", they actually mean all different kinds of immodest behaviour. Even women wearing pants.

So, be prepared to behave in a non - prostitution way as soon as you enter the free kosher bus to the Kotel. In case you don't behave, you can still go back to "prostitution" EGGED.

The SUPERBUS took over

Is the regular Jerusalem EGGED bus not modest enough or simply too Zionist ?


For years, the Haredim, mostly from Jerusalem, have been demonstrating for kosher buses where male and female sit separate. The state - owned bus company EGGED refused because thousands of secular or national religious people use the same buses and no one wants to force any other society group to go according to haredi demands. However, what EGGED did was setting up kosher buses on entirely haredi bus routes such as Ramat Shlomo (Jerusalem) or the bus no. 402 to Bnei Brak.

The Haredim started looking for an external solution and found the SUPERBUS; a private non - haredi bus company setting up buses to haredi destinations such as Kiryat Sefer or Beitar Illit. Those buses are kosher and separate seating is an obligation. I even heard from some Haredim that they prefer the Superbus, as it is cheaper than EGGED and not a Zionist company as EGGED.

Not all Haredim are really using those Superbuses and many times it simply depends on the destination. Inhabitants of Kiryat Sefer or Beitar don't have much of a choice now but otherwise, EGGED still keeps its haredi customers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coalition Games

Photo: Walla

Netanyahu, Lieberman and Zipi Livni are playing with bricks (government), Eli Yishai (SHASS) is standing in the back and Ehud Barak is playing far away with a tank.


Israel still doesn't have a government and our leading politicians are playing power games with each other. Zipi Livni is against a coalition with Netanyahu, as she is the "winner" of the latest elections. What she doesn't understand is that she doesn't have much of a choice. Either she enters a coalition with the Likud or she is out of the picture and on the back bench joining the opposition with Ehud Barak.

Netanyahu is the real winner but hesitates to go into a coalition with secular porky Lieberman who wants to change the conversion regulations (all Russians are Jewish and everyone can get married to anyone he wants). Benjamin Netanyahu would rather prefer the right - wingers such as SHASS, Ichud HaLe'umi and HaBeit Hayehudi (national religious). The only problem is that he seems to be too afraid of announcing that no more settlements will disappear and new ones are being build. Netanyahu sees Barak Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton coming and demanding to abolish more settlements. Then Bibi will say NO but in the end, a YES is coming out of his mouth.

Today Kadima met with Lieberman and basically agrees to his demands. However, not all Russian are getting Israeli citizenship; especially not all the Russian Gentiles flocking in. This is even too much for Zipi Livni. We are a Jewish country and don't want all the Russian Gentiles who are only looking for their profits in a foreign country. Maybe Rotation ? Just as Yitzchak Shamir and Shimon Peres once did ? Zipi doesn't want the opposition and no rotation. She wants to be prime minister now. No matter what.

As it is late at night, I am wishing a GOOD NIGHT (LAILA TOV) to Zipi and pleasant dreams about her being the new prime minister.
But only in her dreams !



One of the readers asked me to write something about the Malachim, a split off from Chabad. In fact, I have been doing some investigations already and asked a few people if they would kindly sent me their information.
Nevertheless, it is not easy gathering information about the Malachim, especially not because seemingly they don't have their own Mosdot but stick to Satmar.

I would be happy if someone could provide me with further information regarding the Malachim. Also if there are any of them in Israel or only in New York.

The Final Goal of Islam


Nothing further needs to be said or explained after reading the saying of Ayatollah Khomeini.

French Anti - Semitism


French anti - Semitism:
A shirt with anti - Semitic imprint on it.
Most French anti - Semitic acts are carried out by the local Muslim population.

Photo: YNET

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"International Book Fair" in Jerusalem


The "International Convention Center - Binyanei HaUma" is going to open its gates in another two hours. President Shimon Peres is leading the opening ceremony and until 20th February, about 30 national and international editors are exhibiting the latest books. During the entire week, famous authors read from their books: Me'ir Shalev, Amoz Oz (on Monday), David Grossman, Yochai Blum (on Tuesday), Aharon Appelfeld (on Wednesday), Mary Gordon, Me'ir Shalev as well as Assaf Shor (an Thursday).

The entrance is free of charge and the opening hours are:
Sunday (15th February 2009) from 6.00pm - 9.00pm, Mo - Thur from 10.00am - 10.00pm and Friday from 10.00am - 1pm.

Rent in Jerusalem's Haredi Areas


The rent in haredi neighbourhoods in Jerusalem is climbing up without an end. Today renting an apartment especially in Kiryat Belz is as expensive as living in a secular upper class neighbourhood.

A Haredi looking for a cheap apartment in Jerusalem should consider the Neve Yaakov neighbourhood (behind Pisgat Ze'ev) where he can still find three rooms for 3200 Shekels (approx. 800 Dollar) per month. Looking for an apartment of the same size in Kiryat Belz is only affordable for the higher society because three rooms cost 7500 Shekels (approx. 1800 Dollar). Belzer families with less money are moving away from Kiryat Belz, as they simply cannot afford living there anymore. Some of them prefer the cheaper Belz neighbourhood in Beit Shemesh or move to other neighbourhoods in Jerusalem.

Unfortunately, rich Haredim from London, Antwerp, Manchester or London destroy the real estate prices in Jerusalem. People from abroad come with money and think that Israel just belongs to them even if they don't really live here but only visit over the high holidays. A selfish way of thinking because newly married couples are unable to buy apartments and are thus forced to move further away.

Hunting Geert Wilders


Geert Wilders, the producer of the "FITNA" - movie, was taken into detention after his arrival at Heathrow Airport in London. The Brits refused to let Wilders into their country although he had an official invitation from the parliament in order to give a speech about radical Islam. In addition to that, his own country Holland is accusing him of racism and planning to take the producer to court.

Its seems that nowadays, any accusation against radical Islam is immediately considered as racism. Europe in particular, doesn't realize or just ignores the danger in order to avoid Islamic terror attacks on its territory. Rather put someone like Geert Wilders into a dungeon or throw him out of a country but don't upset the local Muslim population. Keep everything calm even if the freedom of speech is temporarily knocked out.

In order to inform the public, I am again giving a link to Geert Wilders movie "FITNA" as well as to a second movie "The Third Jihad".

The movie "FITNA" by Geert Wilders may be extreme but, nevertheless, it shows to what radical Islam is up to.

"The Third Jihad"

Radical Islam's Vision for America

About the infiltration of radical Muslims into the US.
Note that the danger doesn't only apply to the United States but also or especially to Europe !

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Scientology targeting Jews


Someone left me a comment which got lost somewhere in the depths of the world wide web. However, the reader claimed that the "Scientology Church" is NOT targeting Jews.

Let me tell you that especially Tel Aviv has a different experience, as Scientology is constantly arranging events but avoids letting know the municipality its real purposes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Goals in Life


This Shabbat I am going to spend in Tel Aviv. So far, I haven't made any plans whatsoever but I think that I prefer having a quiet Shabbat. Relaxing, maybe go to the Synagogue at Chabad and walk a long the beach and in town.

The past few weeks, I spent in Jerusalem and this always means stress. Running to Rabbi Mordechai Machlis for the meals and going for a chassidic Tish. With a friend I went to the Toldot Aharon in Mea Shearim, as their Rebbe is back from Williamsburgh where he was celebrating the wedding of a close relative. Not to forget the donations he hopefully collected.

I don't know if it is just me but I have the feeling that the Toldot Aharon are growing and growing. Someone from the Toldot Aharon Yitzchak told me that the Toldot Aharon have plenty of newcomers into their group. Especially from the Baalei Teshuva (newly religious) movement.

I myself cannot understand how someone can become a Baal Teshuva and then look for the most extreme. According to my opinion it should be better if someone newly religious would take it slowly and decide about his final goals later. First see how it goes and everything. It can be that I keep on being skeptical because once I tried to be Haredi and failed. I failed because I am totally unable to live in a close society where Rabbis make any kinds of decisions and people watch you all the time. I need my freedom and read normal books, go to the cinema, have a TV, have a computer, in other words something "normal". Whatever "normal" means.
I am not a society person and I don't go with the stream.

Anyway I don't see myself as such a failure but look at it from the positive side. Not everyone is the same and G - d created us for different purposes and with different goals in life. I think that these reasons should be accepted even when it means that I am unable to live within haredi society. I looked for something else and this was, in the end, much more positive than struggling in a society where I don't belong and where I am unhappy. It is extremely important to accept this upon oneself and not to consider oneself as such a great failure because there are other goals and purposes where everyone is able to succeed. You just have to find them.

Shabbat Shalom - Gut Shabbes - to everyone.

Final Election Result


The final result of the elections in Israel (10th February 2009) according to the Israeli daily MAARIV:

- Kadima (Zipi Livni): 28 Seats, Votes: 758,032

- Likud (Benjamin Netanyahu): 27 Seats, Votes: 729,054

- Israel Beitenu (Avigdor Lieberman): 15 Seats, Votes: 394,577

- Labour Party (Ehud Barak): 13 Seats, Votes: 334,900

- SHASS (Haredim, Eli Yishai): 11 Seats, votes: 286,300

- Yahadut Hatorah (Haredim, Yaakov Litzman): 5 Seats, Votes: 147,954

- Chadash (lieft - wing coalition Arabs / Jews): 4 Seats, Votes: 112,130

- Raam / Tal (Arab Party): 4 Seats, Votes: 113,954

- HaIchud HaLe'umi (Aryeh Eldad): 4 Seats, Votes: 112,570

- Mavdal (National Religious): 3 Seats, Votes: 96,765

- Meretz (extreme Left): 3 Seats, Votes: 99,611

- Balad (Arab anti - Israel Party with the only Arab female representative): 3 Seats, Votes: 83,739

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The "Satan" Avigdor Lieberman


Shortly before the elections, the former Sephardi Chief Rabbi and spiritual leader of the SHASS Party, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef called Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Beitenu) "Satan".
Lieberman is an Israeli politician who, without a doubt, hates Arabs. The Palestinians see him as a racist but also religious Jews call him by the same name. Avigdor Lieberman is of Russian origin but has been living in Isreal for many years. However, he never got rid of his Russian accent in Hebrew.

When Benjamin Netanyahu used to be Prime MInister in the 90ies, he partly gave Hebron to the Palestinians and as a member of the Sharon government, he agreed to the pullout out of Gush Katif. Decisions religious Jews, especially the national religious, hardly forgive him. These are the reasons why many Israelis ran over to other right - wing parties; because there is no trust in Netanyahu.

One of the great winners of this election is Avigdor Lieberman who also gained from the refusal of many to vote for the Likud (Netanyahu). However, a few days before the election, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef called Lieberman "Satan". The reason is obvious: Lieberman stands for non - kosher restaurants and civil marriages.
These days, Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to put together a coalition and crown himself as the new Prime Minister. Lieberman is one of the most significant candidates for such a coalition, as he received 15 seats in the Knesset. The Russian knows that he is important and has his demands: Whoever he is going to join in a coalition, either Zipi Livni or Bibi Netanyahu, he demands an important position. Deputy Prime Minister and the introduction of civil marriages.

Since the foundation of the present State of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate (Rabbanut) has been in charge of marriages, and every Jew needed to register there. Those who didn't want to get married according to the Halacha (Cohanim (Temple Priests) with divorced women, or Jews and Gentiles) had to go abroad in order to get married. There are also cases where Jews and non - Jews got a marriages certificate from the Embassy of Paraguay etc. Although the couple has never been to Paraguay, they were sent a certificate.

Lieberman's "satanic" demands fit the Russian population in Israel. The majority in not halachically Jewish and usually hates religious Jews; especially the SHASS party. Today, Israel is flooded with thousands of Russian Goim who, through Lieberman, think to gain power and, on the other hand, diminish the power of the religious. These non - Jewish Russians don't care about Israel and especially not about an Israel with a Jewish identity. All they want is to receive their financial benefits and turning the country into a Gentile identity. Furthermore, a great amount of born Israelis would like to get around the Rabbanut and its strict regulations about Jewishness. Unfortunately, many people in this country want to be just like all the other nations and don't see the point in asking some old Rabbanut Rabbis if they are allowed to marry.

Satan or not, Avigdor Lieberman has definitely a market supporting his demands. Additionally he cries out for revenge against SHASS and Rabbi Yosef.
Sometimes I cannot really see such a big difference between him and the Arab Knesset parties. Both intend to destroy Jewish identity and a Jewish state. Lieberman claims to fight for Israel's existence. The point he doesn't seem to get is that Israel only exists with a Jewish identity and nothing else besides it. If Gentiles feel they should get married, so, go according to the Jewish rules because in a Jewish state and among the Jewish people you are nothing more but a guest. If you don't like living in a Jewish state, go to the Vatican, Moscow, New York or wherever you like. No one keeps you in Israel and in fact, we also don't need or want you.

Spring is right Ahead


Two days ago, it finally rained. Just for one day but we even have to be grateful for that. The Kinneret rose by 3 cm and this is at least something.

However, spring is right ahead although the rain period is not over yet. Today, Tel Aviv is sunny by 20 degrees Celsius. Too warm for the season but many plants have started blossoming already.

"Yahadut HaTorah" reached Goal

Anti - Litzman pamphlet found in the streets of Ge'ulah / Mea Shearim last Friday night. "Don't vote for Litzman, as he wants to rule over all of us (all Haredim). This time, vote for someone else."


Despite all kinds of anti - Litzman campaigns, the "Yahadut HaTorah" party again made it to five Knesset seats. I read in Israeli haredi forums that the Haredim themselves estimate that approx. 40.000 Haredim eventually refused to vote for the "Yahadut HaTorah". The party is mainly run by Chassidut Gur which opposed the Jerusalem's mayor candidate Me'ir Porush last November and thus, made itself plenty of enemies among Haredim.

A week ago, I spoke to a Belzer Chassid and he said that if the Belzer Rebbe was not deciding in favour of the "Yahadut HaTorah", he would prefer voting for the Sephardi - haredi SHASS party. As a matter of fact, many Chassidim and Litvishe seemed to have voted for SHASS and not for the "Yahadut HaTorah". However, Yaakov Litzman and his Gerrer followers succeeded again and reached five Knesset seats.

I don't know for whom the Belzer voted in the end, as he also said that if the Belzer Rebbe decides, he has to vote for the "Yahadut HaTorah". I, on the other hand told him, that he should vote for whoever he likes because only G - d and him know about his choice. "Yes, but you have to understand, our Rebbe is like a King", he responded.

A few days later, the Belzer Rebbe decided in favour of the "Yahadut HaTorah" !

Today, SHASS is thanking all Haredim (and other people) who voted for them. Altogether they received 11 seats in the Knesset. And, by the way, SHASS is not the worst choice, as they actually do a lot for people in financial and social despair.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef and the Women


Years ago, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef used to be the Sephardi Chief Rabbi and now he is the spiritual leader of the Sephardi - haredi SHASS party which just received 11 seats in the Knesset. For the past few years, SHASS had been a coalition partner of Kadima and now, after the recent elections, they try to avoid anything but returning to Kadima.
Why ?

The difference is that now Kadima is run by Zipi Livni and not by Ehud Olmert anymore.

And Zipi (Zipora) is a woman. Rabbi Yosef is not too excited about women and has made some anti - female quotations in the past. "A man going between two woman would be like a dog (or was it a donkey ?) !" Of course, this quotation is from the Talmud but, nevertheless, a wise rabbi doesn't just say anything out loud in order to say something.

Although I am anyhing but a Livni fan, not talking to a woman if she may be the next prime minister is out of place. Being involved in politics means being in touch with the outside world and I have to take into consideration that this job involves talking to woman or Gentiles. Politics and especially the outside world are not my little backyard and G - d created us all to do Tikunim (soul reparation).

On the other hand, I would like to know how haredi women see a female prime minister ?
Maybe it helps them getting more self - confidence. I am going to ask some haredi women but already know what many of them are going to tell me: "Why bother with all that? Isn't having a family enough ?"

Election Results


The results of the elections in Israel are probably known to everyone already. I couldn't believe when they announced last night that Zipi Livni has one seat more than Benjamin Netanyahu. Who could be that crazy and vote for Kadima after all the Olmert scandals and wheelings and dealings ?
However, this is our new reality and both candidates, Zipi Livni and Netanyahu are now searching wildly for coalition partners. Whoever makes it, can become the new prime minister.

Today, Netanyahu met the head of the Sephardi haredi SHASS party, Eli Yishai, and Zipi Livni met Avigdor Lieberman. Livni and Lieberman would fit, as both hate the religious and in particular the Haredim. Lieberman wants non - kosher food, civil marriages and any non - Jewish Russian immigrant to be Jewish. Jewish by an easy reform Giur or something similar.

A colleague of mine who is also not too much pro - Haredi claimed that now the Haredim would take over and force secular Israelis to keep the Mitzwot. Just like the Muslims in Iran, the Jews do now start the same in Israel. I told her that SHASS has been a Kadima coalition partner for quite a while and we are still in Israel and not in Iran. I cannot really relate to the fear of the secular any religious politicians may introduce a haredi dictatorship. Those Haredim who are into politics have, first of all, to deal with all kinds of Jews and secondly, I don't consider them as so holy anyway. As I said before, politics are a dirty business and how do you think those haredi politicians climbed up all the ladder of success ?