Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Search for the perfect Lulav and Etrog


Sometimes it can be a real "pain" being a woman. Not only some chassidic Tishes are inaccessible for females, also many Lulav and Etrog markets are forbidden to them. Just look at Mea Shearim or Bar Ilan Street: Women are simply not wanted due to modesty reasons !
The best example is the huge market at Kikar Zupnik right next to Kikar Shabbat (Mea Shearim / Ge'ulah). Women may watch the scenery from behind the wall around the yard but nothing further.

I heard that the government has allowed importing Lulavim (palm branches) from Gaza because Israelis Lulavim are terribly expensive these days. Let alone the price for a perfect Etrog (citrus).
It goes without saying that someone should fulfill the Mitzvah of shaking the Lulav with great intention and joy but does this always justify the high price for an Etrog ?
Honestly, I don't understand some guys when they go out and buy the best Etrog for several hundred Shekels but their family has hardly any food on the table.

This always reminds me of, I think it was the first Rebbe of Chernobyl, who bought the most expensive and wonderful Etrog and his wife was so upset that she threw the fruit against the wall because the Rebbe had sold the Tefillin he once inherited from the Baal Shem Tov.
This story is being told in different versions and I heard it this way.

Maybe I am like the wife in the story: Extremely practical.
I am sorry but sometimes it looks like that, on those markets, men behave like buying their favourite toy.

Despite only men searching for their perfect Lulav in order to fulfill the Mitzvah beautifully, women are allowed to shake the Lulav as well !
In Jerusalem, Chabad usually has many stands during Sukkot where men and women are able to fulfill the Mitzvah.

Pictures of searching Chassidim:

Live from Germany in 1944

Patrick Swayze Book Out


It has nothing to do with Jewish religion let alone Chassidut and I cannot even say that I was a special fan of the actor Patrick Swayze. I have never watched his famous movie "Dirty Dancing" but did like "Ghost" and "The City of Joy". He and Whoopi Goldberg were THE stars in "Ghost". Forget about Demi Moore and the "bunch of nuns".:-)

What I admired was Patrick Swayze's fight against his cancer. I watched the videos of his interview with Barbara Walters on Youtube and cried. This last interview was very emotional and the Patrick as well as his wife Lisa were very honest.

Although the actor didn't have too much of a chance, he seemed to be a great person and he died with style, as someone just pointed out to me. Compared to Swayze, Michael Jackson was just a cheap junkie.

During his last months alive, Patrick and his wife Lisa Niemi wrote his biography. The book came out only yesterday:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tashlich, Kapparot & Tish in KRETCHNIF Rehovot

FACEBOOK is threatening to deactivate pro - JEWISH Activist Accounts


The "Jewish Internet Defense Force" reports that FACEBOOK is planning to deactivate plenty of pro - Jewish / Israel bloggers, activists, etc. Among others different Chabad -, AISH and even Netanyahu accounts.

The Lelover Rebbe (Bnei Brak) passed away on Yom Kippur

One of the last pictures: The Lelover Rebbe at the Tish before Yom Kippur started


The Lelover Rebbe of Bnei Brak passed away on Yom Kippur. A great tragedy for the Lelover Chassidim and the Biderman family.



Popular subjects among young English speaking Jews


Yom Kippur is over and I hope that everyone of you is going to have an awesome year.
I myself participated, as almost every year, in the AISH HaTorah programme in Jerusalem's Old City. A litvishe service run by different Rabbis and sponsored by Jeff Seidel's Jewish Student Information Center as well as by the Heritage House.

So far the sponsor commercial ! :-) 

I have been participating in this for the past ten years and, although it may sound simple and for beginners, most of the time I enjoyed it. Probably because of various classes given during the service by Rabbi Yaakov Marcus (women's seminary "Neve Yerushalaim") on the top floor of the AISH fleishige diningroom.

Of course, the main purpose of this programme is getting young Jews (mostly Anglos) into religious programmes and some brainwashing is definitely there. Nevertheless, according to what I experience, most young Jews participating are very well able to decide for themselves how far the "washing" is reaching and influencing them.

Last Leil Yom Kippur (Sunday night), after the "Kol Nidre" service and Maariv (evening prayer) we, again, walked upstairs for a "Question & Answer" class. Anyone could ask Rabbi Marcus any questions about Judaism. Not too deep, as the Rabbi has his agenda and topics he knows: Outreach and Brainwashing !

First almost none of the at least 30 participants in the class dared to ask but then someone started with a question about converts to Judaism. I was tremendously surprised how much this subject moved most of the participants who were mainly from the US or Australia.
After a short while, another topic came up: Intermarriage.

What is a kosher conversion ?
Of course, an Orthodox one according to Halacha.
What if a convert later on decides to become secular ? Is he / she still Jewish when he / she had a kosher (Orthodox) conversion ?
Yes, he / she is still Jewish.

Why are Jews not allowed to intermarry ?
Because G - d created Jews and Gentiles with different sould and different purposes in life. When a Jew marries a Gentile, the two different souls are entirely unable to connect ! It just doesn't work although the marriage may be a happy one. However, something is always missing because the two different souls will NEVER get together !

It was very obvious that those young Anglos in their early 20ies were extremely interested in those two subjects and Orthodox communities including Chabad abroad should put lots of emphasis on explaining much more than they may have done in the past.

Simchat Beit HaShoeva in Lelov


I am desperately looking for the Lelov address in Bnei Brak !

Can anyone help and let me know where they are located. So far, I just noticed their Beit Midrash in Rabbi Akiva Street.

Latest Pashkevilim


The latest Mea Shearim Pashkevilim (news posters) besides all the announcements where to buy the cheapest and best Lulavim and Etrogim for Sukkot:

The above Pashkevili demands more modesty.

"Al Chet she Chatanu lefanecha" - this sentence is from the Vidui (Confession) from the Yom Kippur service. On this poster, the sentence is used as an addition in the sense of that we sinned before G - d by using a wig (Sheitel) made of Gentile hair.

Jimmy Carter's Statements

Event in Karlin - Stolin


On Mozzaei Yom Kippur, about two hours after Yom Kippur was finished, Chassidut Karlin - Stolin (Mea Shearim / Jerusalem) celebrated. Their band played and almost all Chassidim were dancing. Also the Stoliner Rebbe was supposed to come from Givat Ze'ev (outside Jerusalem).

I went with a friend and what we found was a completely packed Ezrat Nashim (women's side) of mostly teenage girls. Finally we succeeded in taking a glimpse but the air was pretty bad and too many women were squeezing around. Nevertheless, the band was great.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Zom Kal !


In Jerusalem, everyone is rushing around getting all the shopping done before the shops are closing (at about 2pm this afternoon) and the Fast starts.

I wanted to write much more but now I am in a hurry as everyone else.
What's is left is wishing all of you a GMAR VE'CHATIMAH TOVA and ZOM KAL (an easy fast). I don't feel too well and hope that I can make it.
Seems like every year I am getting weak before Kol Nidre.

Selichot at the Kotel


What an atmosphere ? Last night, thousands of people went down to the Kotel (Western Wall) in order to say the SELICHOT prayers before Yom Kippur. Asking G - d for foregiveness and hoping for a positive New Year.

Many restaurants and cafes in Agrippas Street and Jaffa Road were open throughout the whole night and the customers were streaming in.

Here are some pictures:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For the first time in Israel: A Union for Hightech Employees


The national trade union "Histadrut" is not everything in Israel anymore. More and more job branches organize themselves on an independent basis in order to fight for their rights.

After thousands of Israeli hightech workers have been fired, Bezalel Greenberg got the idea of founding a trade union for the hightech field. So far, no one has ever cared about those employees. Greenberg, 30, says that people working in the Israeli hightech field have to be young. The managers are only between 28 - 34 years old and most employees are under 30 years old. "As soon as you are over 30 or even turning 40, you are old and passed on to other jobs such as teaching the younger staff members".

In the past, Israeli hightech employees earned about 17,000 Shekels a month but now, salaries are going down. Especially when you work per hour. The companies do whatever they want and if you don't agree you are just getting fired.

As most new immigrants, I used to work at the hightech industry as well. This is what many people do after making Aliyah. However, I just earned between 25 - 32 Shekels per hour; depending on the shift. "Customer Service" is what we all did. I was actually lucky, as I didn't work for IDT and I wasn't selling anything.

Every day I went to work but hated this job. The other staff members and the job itself. How the company ripped off the customers who had signed up for making cheap phone calls on the Internet.

The new union is definitely a good idea and hopefully not just a small club of some guys getting together and having a beer.

Yom Kippur in Jerusalem


In Jerusalem, Yom Kippur is starting on Sunday, 27th September, at 4.53pm.

Yom Kippur ends on Monday, 28th September, at 6.05pm.

"Kol Nidre" starts approx. at 5.15 - 5.30pm !

Beit HaTfuzot is going to be reconstructed


The 31 - year - old building of the "Diaspora Museum - Beit HaTfuzot" in Ramat Aviv is going to be demolished soon.
A new building with three floors is going to be build on the same spot. The new building will be called "The Museum of the Jewish People".

I don't understand why the old building cannot just be renovated instead of wasting 24 million Dollar for a new complex. It says the museum is planning to introduce new technology but why can't this be done in the existing building ?

However, the present Diaspora Museum is worth a visit and every Jew should go there. Explaining our history; the very best exhibition shows all kinds of Synagogue models from all over the world. Even the Synagogue of the Vilna Gaon which was destroyed by the Nazis.

Crocs on Yom Kippur ?


Many Rabbis, including the litvishe spiritual leader Rabbi Eliyashiv, support the opinion that Crocs should not be worn on Yom Kippur, as they are too comfortable.

Tomorrow (Sunday night) this year's Yom Kippur is starting and the Halacha is teaching us not to wear leather shoes. Instead those Jews keeping Yom Kippur wear sneakers (made from plastic or artificial leather), or all kinds of plastic shoes. For the past few years, Crocs have become extremely popular in Israel as well and religious Jews love to wear them on Tisha Be'Av and Yom Kippur. Nevertheless, there is a halachic question mark behind Crocs, as they are comfortable shoes and we should be neither comfortable on Tisha Be'Av nor on Yom Kippur.

As the original Crocs are very expensive in Israel (200 Shekels = approx. 50 Dollar), the country found a cheap solution: Faked Crocs only cost 20 Shekels (approx. 5 Dollar) and are sold everywhere. And as they are cheap and almost as good as the original ones, the fakes have become very popular as well.

The question is: Are the faked Crocs also forbidden on Yom Kippur or only the original ones ?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Shabbat Shalom


As usual, I am a kind of in a hurry. Going to Jerusalem this afternoon and spending the Shabbat including Yom Kippur there.

It is unbelievable but countless Jerusalemites have already felt like building their Sukka. Also Etrogim and Lulavim are already being sold at many places.

"Shabbat Shalom + Gut Schabbes" and "Gmar ve'Chatima Tova" to all readers.

Israel's Chief Rabbinate allows Organ Donation


A highly controversial decision:

Not all Rabbis agree to this, as you can surely imagine !

Although organ donation saves life, what about the Techiat HaMetim
(Resurrection of the Dead) ? What if I am being resurrected without a liver or a heart ?

It says in the Talmud metaphorically that those being resurrected are going to be healed by the sun in case they suffer from a missing limb.

Donating organs is a difficult decision and you should have some counceling with our own Rabbi before making such a decision.

Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the UN (24th September 2009).
A great speech but far too diplomatic !

Picture of the Day



A worm is crawling around on TWITTER !

Watch out which FILES you are opening up in your PRIVATE MESSAGES  !


Thursday, September 24, 2009



Nothing against WIKIPEDIA but, as we've already seen on Twitter or Facebook, anti - Semitic and anti - Israel fanatics have been spreading their hate messages. Unfortunately, not every site owner does pay attention or is immediately removing rassist messages from their sites.

By the way, there actually is a German Wikipedia about me calling me a "Rassist".

Well, well, if people don't have any more serious problems ...

Here is a list from Twitter announcing all kinds of hatred towards Israel on Wikipedia !

Emergency Alert for Boro Park


Neonazis are planning a march at Synagogues in Boro Park on September 26.




Every year the same discussion:

Israeli animal - rights activists are running against the Haredim. "Kapparot", the custom right before Yom Kippur is a tragedy for any chicken being used.

Thousands of chickens are being squeezed into small cages in order to await their fate which is "getting slaughtered". The Kapparot where we symbolically transfer our sins into the chicken is a very doubtful custom. Rabbi Joseph Karo as well as the Ramban (Nachmanides) totally rejected the custom and called it "foolish". The Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria), however, saw the Kapparot as something extremely kabbalistic.

It is up to you to decide if you are going to participate in the custom. Either by buying a chicken and getting it slaughtered on the spot or by giving money for charity reasons.

I am planning a more detailed article on the subject but, so far, here is a great video and you can also look at some pictures.

Machon Me'ir & Derech HaMelech


A colleague of mine asked me yesterday to do some advertising for his Yeshiva "Machon Me'ir". :-)

To those of you who don't know Machon Me'ir:
It is a national religious, very Zionist, Yeshiva in the heart of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Kiryat Moshe. Not too expensive, by the way, as it is also being financed by the Jewish Agency.
At least as far as I know.

Machon Me'ir is basically for strengthening Yiddishkeit of Ba'alei Teshuva but does have a conversion (Giur) programme as well. Classes are in Hebrew, French, English and Russian.

I know the environment very well because I used to live in Kiryat Moshe for some years.
Not too far a way from Machon Me'ir, you can find the bigger "Mercaz HaRav" Yeshiva.

The national religious are not my special subject, however, I know some Machon Me'ir graduates. My colleague, by the way, is Israeli and in the middle of his Teshuva process.

A few months ago, I wrote about another Yeshiva who seems to be very special:


Both Yeshivot are for guys ONLY ! 

It is always important to know what kind of a Yeshiva / programme you are looking for and what exactly your study goals are. Whoever doesn't have a clue yet, can enter a general programme and make up his mind later.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don't do to others what other shouldn't be doing to you !

Selichot at the Western Wall (Kotel)


Jews are still saying SELICHOT at the Western Wall (Kotel) before YOM KIPPUR:

All pictures may be viewed here:

Video: Nazi Pogrom in Lemberg


A very rare video showing a Nazi pogrom in Lemberg during the Second World War. The video also shows (for a few seconds) the Bobover Rebbe Benzion Halberstam (1874 - July 1941) shortly before he was murdered.

ADL: Spanish Anti - Semitism on the Rise

Photo + Articel: Jewish Virtual Library


Look what is following the Spanish Inquisition:
The Anti - Defamation League (ADL) is reporting about the drastic rise of the anti - Semitism in Spain. Spanish newspapers publish anti - Semitic cartoons, countless Spanians consider wealthy Jews as the world's only superpower and the Chabad House in Barcelona got attacked.

The question is if Spain stands alone in Europe ?
Definitely not, as anti - Semitism is popular in most Western European countries. The locals have never lost their old anti - Semitic views although they state the opposite. Years after the war, especially Germany, the UK, France, Scandinavia or Spain made the big mistake of letting more and more Muslims into their countries. Not every Muslim is a terrorist but there are countless radical Muslims with a strict terror agenda. Now, Europe is in trouble and slowly slowly recognizes that Muslims have taken over many parts of their country. Look at Edinburgh, Paris, Marseille, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam or Brussels.

Many people love to point out that they are anti - Israel, as they prefer and feel sorry for the Palestinians. Being anti - Israel mostly includes being anti - Semitic as well because many people just justify their anti - Semitism with being anti - Israel. Sometimes no one can figure out anymore who said what against Jews of Israel: The Muslims, the Neonazis or everybody.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So, how is the Teshuva Process going ?


Between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur (beginning next Sunday night), Jews have the opportunity to improve themselves and make a good impression before G - d. On Rosh HaShana G - d is judging the whole world. Gentiles, Jews and our entire universe alike.
The ten days between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur are called "Aseret Yame'i Teshuva - Ten Days of Repentance". Then Jews can show G - d their good will and may change His final decision.

On Rosh HaShana, G - d, literally speaking, has three open books laying in front of Him. Absolute righteous people are being written into the Book of Life. The evil won't have such a pleasant year but most of us are somewhere in the middle of the two books. We are the intermediates and the scales basically show the same amount of Mitzvot and good deeds as well as our bad actions.

How does G - d then decide ?

During the present ten days, we are showing some good behaviour. Our effort makes up G - d's final judgement on Yom Kippur. This is why Jews busy themselves with positive actions these days. Giving charity (Zedakah), pray and apologize to those we feel we have wronged.

Teshuva (repentance) doesn't always mean turning into the "perfect religious Jew". I have been thinking a lot about the future lately. How can I improve and overcome my laziness.
I may sound like an AISH HATORAH commercial, as they teach this concept all over:
Doing Teshuva shouldn't cause anyone pressure let alone transforming into an over ambitious person. Whatever we do, we need to find a balance suiting us. Neither overdo nor miss our potential. G - d provided all of us with a certain amount of individual potential and our job is to use it. Not to look at my neighbour and busy myself with the question "Why he is more religious or pious than me ?"

For me, Teshuva doesn't mean "running around like a madman and showing my entire environment how great I am". My personal Teshuva is quiet and extremely personal. I do it the Breslov way with nature and meditation. Of course, one should act and not only sit in a field, think and meditate. However, if you are looking for a connection to G - d and not only for action, meditation is the best way to start with. Teshuva is an internal process as well as an external. It can be that I am thinking too much but my goal is not ending up with doing plenty of Mitzvot but without any Kavanah (concentration).

Yes, I know: This is the perfect popular excuse of the lazy. Thinking, thinking, thinking and in the end, all opportunities of acting (Mitzvot) are missed out. Nevertheless, I may be thinking too much but I love analyzing everything and do, whatever I do, with Simcha (Joy) and not only because it says so in the Shulchan Aruch.

Another excuse ?
Maybe, but, at least, I am, more or less, happy with myself.

Don't worry, be Jewish !


Who says Israeli youth is not interested in its own religion ?
A recent poll proves just the opposite: Young Israeli Jews do regard their own Jewish religion as important. Many of them separate milchig and fleishig and over 70 %  are going to fast this Yom Kippur.

Being Jewish and religious seems to be COOL !

Usually all kinds of religious Israelis consider the Jews not going according to their standards as secular. And those secular Jews waste their time watching TV, wear immodest clothes, let alone all the immodest behaviour.

Sometimes it makes me sick how many religious Jews in Israel gossip about the secular. The secular may be not on such a high level of knowledge but there are many good people among them. Since I spend lots of time in Tel Aviv, I have learnt a lot about this part of the population and let me tell you: "There aren't only great people in national religious or haredi areas !"

Israeli Police storming Satmarer Synagogue


One of my readers sent me the link to the below video. It shows Israeli cops storming a Satmarer Synagogue because they saw a boy outside setting some trash on fire and walking into the Synagogue.

There actually is a similar video on Youtube showing the police storming the Toldot Aharon Synagogue and causing the same mess. However, I couldn't find this particular video anymore.

Although both videos are at least two years old, the topic still hasn't changed and what you see on the video could happen again at any time.

Aren't those policemen ashamed of themselves running into a Synagogue and behaving like a bunch of animals ?
Even if one of the Chassidim acted against the law, there is no reason for beating up anyone in the Synagogue standing in the way of the cops. The pictures really reminded me of a Nazi pogrom.

Update: Swine Flu in Israel


The 24th Israeli died of swine flu yesterday.
The victim was a 50 - year - old man from the coastal area who passed away in a hospital in Kfar Saba. The man had suffered from breathing problems before due to a problem with his lungs.

Don't forget: Daylight saving Ends !


Israel's daylight saving is going to end this upcoming Mozzaei Shabbat when the clocks will be turned one hour back. Meaning, on Sunday we gain an additional hour and can sleep longer.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Destroying our Planet


The only time I ever watch TV is at the laundry. Busying myself with the self - service washing machines and dryers while watching some National Geographic programmes.

Just recently I watched a whole report on how our planet is warming up and how the ice melts in Greenland. A frightening report and hard to believe that this has been going on for a long time.
Huge parts of ice have already melted and if this is continuing with the present speed, parts of our coastal areas, such as parts of New York, will be flooded and just disappear as part of the ocean.

The more ice is melting, the more water is floating into the oceans and the more the water level is rising. It is unbelievable what we have been doing to our planet, to our atmosphere.
Another interesting point in this report was that the white gigantic ice mountains reflect the sun light. The sun shines with all its power and spreads its rays onto our planet. Without the white ice mountains reflecting this extreme sun light and the incoming heat, we would get on overdoses of heat.

Because the ice mountains have started melting, the sunlight is getting reflected less and thus, our planet is warming up drastically. National Geographic's solution was to reduce the smoke coming out of factory chimneys. Nevertheless, humans love to think of profits first and who is bothered by some melted ice and a higher sea level unless it is not effecting someone personally ?

G - d created the universe and we have nothing better to do but destroy his creation and obviously ourselves.  

Technical Blogger Issue


Two of my blogs were pretty messed up over the past holiday. The reason was my participation in the new Blogger system and that I made a mistake. Who would ever think of using new buttons / commands would cause such a disaster on the blog ? What does a sidebar have to do with breaking up lines ?

A friend of mine mostly says that it is MEN writing new computer programmes and that they just don't think logically.

However, I fixed the mistake. Hopefully for longer !

Picture of the Day

Jewish American soldiers in Bagdad on Rosh HaShana

Rain on Rosh HaShana


For the first time in my life I have seen it raining in Israel on Rosh HaShana.
Usually the rain period only starts in October and, therefore I have seen rain on Sukkot but never ever before on Rosh HaShana.

This year, however, Rosh HaShana was rainy and yesterday, when I came from the prayer service in the Old City, I had to look for shelter because it was raining so heavily.

The early rain this year is like a real miracle and let us hope that the rain is going to continue. The See of Galilee (Kinneret) is almost dried out and Israel deperately needs water.

Technical Problems


Blogspot is facing technical problems at the moment and this is the reason why my sidebar only appears below my articles ! I hope that Blogger is going to fix everything soon, as countless bloggers have already been complaining !!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shana Tova ve'Metuka !


SHANA TOVA VE'METUKA to all readers of this blog !

As the old year is going to find its end soon, I would like to say "thank you" to all readers. Especially to those participating and sending me all kinds of information.

A great, healthy, peaceful and successful NEW YEAR 5770 to all of you !

Boycott Britain !


Israel can state whatever it wants, many people in this world won't believe us anyway. During the times Third Reich, six Million Jews were killed and the world was watching. Why should anyone cry out now and stand up against terror ?

First of all, the world is afraid. Especially England with its thousands of Muslims. A Mayor of London who is asking the inhabitants to keep Ramadan in order to show solidarity with Islam. Secondly, anti - Semitism is just too convenient to be given up completely.

I may be naive but when I grew up, I loved to watch Miss Marple (Margarethe Rutherford) and Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone). Time shouldn't stand still but I miss the good old England with its traditions. Where are all the good old days gone ?

Aron HaKodesh


Great pictures of Torah shrines (Aron HaKodesh) in various Synagogues:

 Chassidut Dushinsky in Jerusalem

 Yeshiva "Ponebezh" in Bnei Brak (nesr Tel Aviv)

Selichot prayers in Chassidut Permishlan


Aron HaKodesh.COM

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Selichot in Premishlan


Selichot in Chassidut Premishlan

Does anyone know where I can find this gorgeous Synagogue ?
I think that Premishlan is similar to Nadvorna. Anyone has any further details, as it only says on the Internet that a former Rebbe died years ago. Where are they located ?

It is really an amazing how many different chassidic groups are out there.

All pictures may be viewed here:

Rosh HaShana is right Ahead


The traditional pomegranates (Rimonim) we eat on Rosh HaShana. The pictures look great. Enjoy and don't think about the high fruit prices on Jerusalem's Machane Yehudah Market.

The letters are, for some reason, upside down !

Bat Israel & Pritzut


A few members of the anti - Zionist umbrella organization from Mea Shearim, the EDAH HACHAREDIT, demonstrated against the misbehaviour of women. In particular, against immodest female clothes: Short skirts and shirts / blouses with short sleeves are forbidden.

What about me in pants ?
No, just joking ! Nevertheless, what bothers me is that all those modesty demonstrations are only against women. What about immodest guys ? Is no one demonstarting against them ?
Maybe I should start such a demonstration.

All pictures can be viewed here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Landing at Ben Gurion Airport


Landing at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv can be extremely emotional. Although I haven't left the country for quite a while, these pictures don't encourage me to leave. Not even for a short vacation abroad.

The video below shows the landing of an ELAL plane coming in from Zurich. At the moment, thousands of Jews from all over the world are coming to Israel in order to spend the high holidays in the Holy Land.
"Welcome, welcome", and, sarcasticall speaking, we Israelis hope that you are going to spend lots of money in our country.

To give you a helpful piece of advise:
Don't get cheated in the Arab Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City. Know what you want to buy and don't let yourself getting convinced to buy more hand - made (in Taiwan) souvenirs. Don't even think about booking a trip to the Dead Sea through the Arabs or you may find your wallet completely emptied out.
Take a regular bus or go on an Israeli tour !

G - d's Promises which have not yet been fulfilled


Sometimes while studying Torah, we obviously don't pay too much attention to every little detail. I particularly came to this conclusion while studying Rambam's "Mishna Torah - Hilchot Melachim u'Milchamot" 11:2.

There the Rambam wrote:

"Similarly, in regard to the cities of refuge, (Deuteronomy 19:8 -9) states:"When G - d will expand your borders …, you must add three more cities". This commandment was never fulfilled. Surely, G - d did not give this command in vain".

As to the prophets, there is no need to cite proofs from the prophetic Books, for all their books are filled with mention of this matter.

The Rambam's intention is not merely to cite another proof that the Meshiach will come, but, rather, to demonstrate that he will enable the Jews to observe Torah and Mitzvot in a more complete manner.

The cities of refuge were for people who, by mistake, killed a fellow Jew. They had to remain in such a city until the death of the present Cohen HaGadol (High Priest). After he died, they could leave the city without expecting further punishment.

"You must add three more cities". - In the territory of these nations in addition to the six established in Eretz Israel and Trans - Jordan (Hilchot Rotzeach 8:4).
This commandment was never fulfilled. Surely, G - d did not give this command in vain. - Hence, we may assume that it is to be fulfilled in the Messianic age.

Rabbi Tuvia Singer: Why the Church rejects the Talmud


The big room downstairs at the "Israel Center" (Orthodox Union) is always filled with people when Rabbi Tuvia Singer speaks about the manipulation of the church and Christian missionaries. Last week, he gave his third lecture and this time, the subject was "Why the Church rejects the Talmud".
Jews and Christians come to Tuvia Singer's lectures but there are people at the OU Center complaining that the Christians don't just come to his lectures in order to listen but to learn and missionize Jews afterwards.

Rabbi Tuvia Singer started with a brief introduction:
Christian theology is entirely based on the letters of Paul (The Book of Romans). The New Testament itself doesn't contain any theologies or laws. According to Paul, only the "belief in J." is important and brings salvation. NO ONE in this world would be able to fulfill all the 613 Mitzvot but only J., the superhuman, could do so.
As I explained two weeks ago, only Cohanim (Priests) were and will be able to fulfill all the 613 Mitzvot, as many of those Mitzvot include the Temple service. The Christian Meshiach J. was NOT a Cohen and thus not able to fulfill all the Mitzvot !

The Book of Matthew (Chapter 23) is a true source of anti – Semitism. There the Jews are being accused of being responsible for all the murders happening in the Torah. Furthermore, the author(s) of Matthew are not ashamed of blaming the "Perushim – Pharisees" for anything bad happening.

We Jews have two tasks:

1. Keeping the Mitzvot.

2. Building a personal relationship with G - d. This is happening through Mitzvot and Prayer !

Only believing is not enough because we are commanded to fulfill G – d's will – the Torah Mitzvot.

Paul didn't know about the trinity because this concept was only introduced by the church during the 4th century. However, Paul stated that any Gentile having a Brit Milah (circumcision) won't find any salvation in case he depends on this particular Brit Milah. Meaning, when the Gentiles does so in order to fulfill a Mitzvah. Paul strictly rejected all the Mitzvot and whoever ran after them would not find salvation.

Why does the church reject the Talmud ?

First of all, we have to clarify what the Talmud actually is:
The Talmud consists of two parts: The MISHNA (Oral Law) which Moshe received directly from G – d at Mount Sinai. At first, those laws were handed over from generation to generation. Many years later, Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi started to write them down in Hebrew.

The second part of the Talmud is the GEMARA (rabbinic discussions) written mostly in Aramaic with some Hebrew sections. Discussions about the laws and how to fulfill them. Additionally, the Talmud also consists of stories and some mysticism. The church hates the Talmud but doesn't get tired of quoting from it when it comes to prove the "viciousness" of the Jews.

Why do the Jews need the Talmud when all the laws were already stated in the Torah ?

The church announced that it doesn't recognize the Jewish Oral Law.
But is this really true ?
What about the Jewish calendar system ? Doesn't Easter mostly fall on the same date as the Jewish Pessach ? And who stipulates the calendar ? The Rabbis according to the Talmud.
Many Christians love to imitate the Jews in various ways. They even use an Etrog (citrus) on Sukkot. But where does the Etrog come from ? The Torah doesn't speak about it.
The Etrog was introduced by the Rabbis.
How about the Kipa some Christians (and the Pope) also like to wear ?
Introduced by the Rabbis.
How about Shabbat candles and Chanukkah ?
Introduced by the Rabbis and mentioned in the Talmud.
In all these cases, the church acknowledges the Talmud but why do they generally rejects it ?

Those of you looking closer at an original version of the Torah, will notice points below the letters as well as other signs. Those signs were added by the Rabbis in order to ensure that the words were spelled right and not mistakenly used in the wrong way. Today even Christians took over those signs stipulated by the Rabbis.
The making of the Jewish calendar is a science only known to the Rabbis.
G – d promised the Jews in the Torah that a certain knowledge will only be given by Him to the Jews and not to the Gentile nations. The church could never figure out the exact knowledge which makes them upset. This is exactly what G – d promised the Jewish people and the church can do as much as it likes, it will never figure out certain Jewish matters. The Talmud was given to the Jews and even anti – Semites like Martin Luther weren't able to decode Jewish issues.

Furthermore, the Talmud gives us all the details about how to fulfill various Mitzvot. Many procedures of Mitzvot are not mentioned in the Torah at all. For instance, how to write a Ketubah (marriage contract), how to do the sacrifices (Korbanot) or what exactly Rosh HaShana means. The Torah only calls this Jewish holiday "a day of blowing" but not "a day of judgement".

G – d makes it very clear in His Torah that the Jews will never disappear. There will always be Jews, as long as our world exists. Even if His people sins, G – d will always be on the side of His chosen nation.
Ezra criticized the Jews of Jerusalem for marrying Gentile (Canaanite) women and commanded them to leave their non – Jewish wives and children. From here we learn that a child is Jewish when his mother is Jewish.

Tuvia Singer explained that Jews should never use the New Testament proving Christian missionaries wrong. Not in the sense of quoting from the Gospels and proving one Gospel wrong because another Gospel claims something else. "Never use an unholy object for holy purposes !"

Those Jews who try changing the Torah and "modernize" it, as the reform movement did, will take a step towards their own destruction. Where are all the Reformers from a hundred years ago ? Where is their offspring ? Many of their descendants intermarried and disappeared in the Gentile world. The only way of telling who is a Jew is telling if your grandchildren are pious Jews keeping Torah Mitzvot.

I didn't really participate in Tuvia Singer's last lecture taking place this Sunday. When I arrived at the "Israel Center", I felt like learning something Jewish and not another page of the Book of Matthew. Soon we are going to celebrate Rosh HaShana and , as a Jew, I don't feel like learning Christian messianic stuff.

What I noticed at a few lectures:

A certain convert to Judaism who had been formerly deeply involved in Christianity seemed to enjoy herself hearing all her old theologies. I have noticed quite a few times that converts to Judaism who were extremely believing Christians in their former lives, still love to discuss Christian topics. As soon as they see a Christian, they sit down next to him with the hope that he may speak to them.
Unfortunately, many converts to Judaism never really loose touch with their previous religion. They simply cannot let go and keep on reading messianic sites. They like to justify those acts by claiming that they are now hunting Christian missionaries but with many of those I am having my doubts.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Assaf Ramon - The Death of a Hero

To the right: Assaf Ramon


Israel loves it's heros; even those who are not yet heros.
Ilan Ramon's oldest son Assaf died in a training accident yesterday. Only about two months ago, he became a pilot in the army. After 47 exercises, his F – 16 jet crashed near Hebron.

The death of Assaf Ramon is not only a personal tragedy for his mother Rona but also a national one. Since his father, the astronaut Ilan Ramon, died more than six years ago, the Ramon's were thought of the perfect family. Every day we read in the newspapers about murder, abuse or theft. We start asking ourselves where our society is going to. Are there any more honest people in Israel ? Where are all the morals, values and where is the respect for each other gone ?
When we looked at the Ramon family we saw all these seemingly lost attributes. Assaf was the perfect caring and successful teenager who walked in the ways of his father. He took care of his other three siblings and mother Rona never made a fuss about having lost her husband. The Ramon family served as a quiet modest example for all of us.

Assaf was not yet a military hero but he was a social one. I hope his mother won't loose all hope by loosing a second beloved family member.



Condolences for Assaf Ramon

The "Nachmans" in Uman


This week, thousands of Breslover Chassidim are gathering in Uman / Ukraine in order to celebrate Rosh HaShana at the grave of Rabbi Nachman. The reason why they go their for Rosh HaShana is that Rabbi Nachman himself commanded them to do so.

Every year there is a controversy coming up: Should a Jew or, in this case, a Breslover Chassid, spend a holiday rather in Uman than in Jerusalem. Isn't being closer to G – d (at the Temple Mount) higher than worshipping Rabbi Nachman in the Ukraine ? Can't the Breslovers travel to Uman during the rest of the time of the year ?

I think that we don't need a medium in order to get closer to G – d. This is exactly the reason why I am not too much into this Zaddik (righteous) concept and couldn't be a member of a chassidic group. I think it was the Peshis'cha movement claiming that every Jew has to work on himself and it was even Rabbi Nachman who stated that everyone has the potential of being a Zaddik.
My favourite place for the holidays is Jerusalem and I wouldn't feel comfortable standing at some grave in the Ukraine; although there may be a great atmosphere due to all the Chassidim.

The following video was made by the Breslover Nanas and is a little freaky. It shows Uman and the Nanas dancing in Tel Aviv.

Pay Pal is reaching Israel


When you look at different websites today, you notice how many site owners love to run after donations. These people can use anything but not any kind of criticism of their sites or the topic they represent. As soon as you say anything negative, the site owners freak out, as they see all their donations fading away. Some of them would do anything for a couple of dollars.

With blogs, it may be slightly different. Those of us who do lots of research and write about special subjects feel that they deserve at least some appreciation. On a blog, readers are able to access anything, a regular website may sometimes ask for your credit card number.

Many blogger try earning some money by letting advertising agencies use their site. In case you decide putting some commercials into your blog, you should be careful. Google, for instance, asks you, where they may put the commercials, other advertising agencies don't bother inquiring. The worst what can happen is that you will find all the banners even above your blog header. It is always worth checking out a contract before signing. Especially the small print. Are the few dollars from the commercials are more important than the design of your site ?

Until now, Israeli banks such as Hapoalim and Leumi, didn't open any Pay Pal accounts for Israelis. Israelis had to open off – shore accounts in order to receive Pay Pal. Now EBay announced that they are planning to introduce Pay Pal on the Israeli market. Already within the coming months, Israeli site owners will be able to use the new system.

Pay Pal seems to me much better than ruining a site with all kinds of flash banners !

Happy Birthday, World !

The Big Bang
Photo: NASA


Today (Monday) is the 25th Elul; the day when G - d started His creation process. As most of us know, Rosh HaShana represents the creation of the first two humans - Adam and Eve (Chava).

Don't only think about Teshuva, perfection or prayer but start appreciating G - d's creation as well !




Sunday, September 13, 2009

Jews top Targets for Hate Crimes in New York State last Year


"Vicious Babushka" brings an extremely interesting article !

MASA – Keep your JEWISH Identity !


Have you ever noticed the upset reaction of Jewish Diaspora communities when it comes to Israel telling them something, let alone, criticizing them ? How Diaspora Jews in the US, Britain or Germany immediately feel offended.

I have to admit that in Israel, we have quite a few sarcastic jokes about Jewish living in the Diaspora. Furthermore, we consider them as living abroad because of money and all the convenient things in life. Not many Diaspora Jews want to "bother" living in Israel because, in their eyes, Israelis are a different race. They are rude, the streets are dirty, new immigrants would have to learn a new language and get used to a different mentality. So, why bother when they make enough money in the countries where they were born instead of running after a Zionist ideology ? The only thing bothering are "those Israelis" starting to remind the Diaspora of Judaism or identity.

The best example is MASA, an Israeli joint venture run by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency in order to strengthen the Jewish identity of Diaspora Jews. Masa even dared showing some commercials and speaking out loud against intermarriage. This made some Jews living in the Diaspora very upset, as, so far, they haven't felt too much criticized by their own communities. Not by the Reform movement. Just the opposite. The Reform movement considers children from mixed marriage (where the mother is not Jewish) as Jewish. Those children are being encouraged to go to the Synagogues.

Today, the amount of mixed marriages in the United States and England is enormous and sometimes I wonder, how many real Jews are left. 50 % or something in the USA. How can the Jews get married to a Gentile ? Do they just go according to love ? Giving up their identity and future generations for a skirt ? And if they do, they immediately start looking for excuses:

"Well, I couldn't find a proper Jewish girl / guy !", etc.

As soon as someone criticizes them, they feel offended by extremists or the stupid Orthodox. Let alone now by the Israeli government or the Jewish agency. In case such couples decided making Aliyah, let alone their non – Jewish children, we Israelis are facing a burden. The burden of having all these non – Jews in our country. People who don't even belong here; due to the stupidity of some Diaspora Jews who couldn't keep their pants up.
The fact is that children from a mixed marriage where the mother is not – Jewish are also not Jewish. In Germany, the Reform movement invented the expression "Father Jews", meaning those children are Jewish due to their Jewish father. However, according to Halacha, there are no father Jews, mother Jews, mother – in – law – Jews ! There are Jews according to the Halacha and this is it. You cannot just rewrite Jewish law the way you want it and the way it pleases you !

If a Jewish man marries a Gentile woman, Jewish future generations from the male Jewish spouse are lost and the children will, sooner or later, vanish in the Gentile (or Christian) world. The only ones saving Judaism from its downfall are Orthodox Jews, in particular Haredim.

Where are the children of the first Reformers ?
They intermarried and the next generation disappeared in the church.

Now Masa is talking about Jewish identity and Diaspora Jews are protesting in order to justify their "convenient" life. But how about all the children from mixed marriages having trouble finding their own identity ? Parents usually don't think about that but rather about themselves !