Friday, July 31, 2009
Being in Tel Aviv and going to Jerusalem this afternoon. My typical Friday routine.
Actually I am glad to get out of TA, as it is extremely humid and during the night, I woke up sweating several times. Even with a fan, you won't avoid a sweaty face and neck. Jerusalem has cool nights and you are able to sleep without further disturbances. At least most of the time.
I haven't been to Mea Shearim for almost two weeks because I have been afraid of facing the tensions. I am not in the mood of being called an evil secular journalist or a police spy.
Mea Shearim has all kind of spy due to the Toldot Aharon mother being under house arrest in her home but no one has to react in such an exaggerated way of accusing any outsider as something.
A Karliner Chassid told me that it isn't that bad but I am not sure. He sees everything from his point of view and he won't have problems with his Mea Shearim "uniform".
I may !
However, the latest news of the famous mother is that she didn't show up at the court last Wednesday. Her lawyer, David HaLevi, stated that she fears evil, as the police is totally against her.
Instead of running against the Hadassah Hospital, Mea Shearim is now running a campaign against the police.
Court and police, however, are quite fed up and say that the accused mother has no right speaking bad about them or just ignore the justice system. She will be taken to court and there is enough proof of convincing the entire country that the mother is guilty of abusing her three - year - old.
Anyway, my main topic is not the mother but Shabbat is coming in soon. I am really looking forward to some rest and spiritual or private thoughts after a week packed with work.
To all readers:
Have a great and meaningful Shabbat - Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes !
Thursday, July 30, 2009
So far, one person has died of swine flu in Israel. A man from Eilat in his thirties who was suffering from a lung disease. Yesterday, eight people were taken to hospital and the doctors suspect that the new patients have swine flu.
It is said that this winter, the swine flu is going to spread in Israel. The predictions are that a quarter of the Israeli population is going to suffer from the disease and about 6000 may die. Especially people suffering from chronic diseases as well as pregnant women are in danger of getting infected.
Now Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders a mass vaccination for all Israelis:
See ARUTZ 7
This morning while riding on a bus in Tel Aviv, a young man got on who was wearing a mask in front of his mouth. Although we have a few swine flu cases, wearing a mask seems far too exaggerated.
Today is Tisha Be Av and, therefore, things go a little slower.
Last night, I worked half of the night at the bakery and had some small drinks in the middle. In the morning I went back to Tel Aviv and the weather here is hot but not as bad as last week.
I slept the whole afternoon and now we still have almost three hours to go until we can eat and drink again.
In Jerusalem shops and restaurants were closing early last night. People ran to buy food from the Machane Yehudah market and later on went to the Kotel (Western Wall) or to their local Synagogues saying Kinnot. I was a kind of upset that I had to work; otherwise I would have made my way to the Kotel as well.
This morning there was a report on the Israeli radio "Reshet Beit". Some journalists were talking about "Sinacht Chinam - baseless hatred" in our society. A sin eventually leading to the destruction of the Second Temple.
And where are we today ? Are we Jews without Sinat Chinam ?
Of course, and sometimes it seems even worse than during Temple times. Especially of what has happened during the past weeks. Haredim throwing stones and some Israeli policemen reacting like madmen and out of control. Not everybody, but there were incidents.
The journalists claimed that there is so much baseless hatred in Jerusalem at the moment: Haredim against the secular and vice versa.
I don't agree. There are tensions when a person not really belonging to Mea Shearim is walking the neighbourhood but I don't see Jerusalem full of Sinat Chinam. Things go as usual and I don't understand what the media is trying to tell us. However, the next sentence was that especially the Haredim should understand Sinat Chinam.
Why "only the Haredim" ? What about everyone else ?
Wasn't this another baseless hatred accusation ?
The guy is talking about Sinat Chinam and does it himself at the same time !
What happened to our society ?
The positive point is that more and more people have started talking and recognizing Tisha Be'Av. If they fast or not, people notice it and some Israeli radio channels play sad music today. I consider this as an improvement. And not only in Jerusalem are many shops closed but also in Tel Aviv.
Enjoy the last hours of the fast - Zom Kal !
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Israeli police, the social workers and the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital are using false accusations against the caring Toldot Aharon mother and her sick child.
In the meantime, the psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Weil changed his mind and claimed that he doesn't know if the accused mother is dangerous to her kids.
The latest news is that two cops came to the house of the mother (in Spitzer Street / Mea Shearim) in order to question her. However, the two didn't even reach the house and were thrown out by some Haredim would had gathered around the police car.
Chassidut Gur made up some new Takanot:
1. No renting clothes for festivities, 2. Reducing presents for the father - in - law and his family, 3. Reducing the costs of a Bar Mitzvah and 4. No more flowers after an engagement (for the Kallah - Bride).
The Gerrer community in Ashdod decided to go against the waste of money for festive events.
Here are some further regulations:
Finishing a Shidduch
Small party at home. No flowers. Not such an expensive watch for the groom / bride.
The Spodik (a Gerrer Streimel) has to be bought by the groom. The bride is responsible for her Sheitel (wig).
Even the costs for the "Aufruf" (Shabbat before the wedding) are being reduced. The women only have a small Kiddush and the festive meal is only for the guys.
In other words, all costs for a wedding are to be reduced !
Here you can find all Takanot amendments.
A great idea reducing all those costs. Honestly, I wouldn't buy any Streimel for my husband. Maybe this is the reason why I am not married yet.:-)
Who in Israel doesn't know BAMBA ?
Even only a few months year old baby already knows its favourite junk food.
Besides the regular Bamba, the manufacturer OSEM also produces Bamba filled with chocolate.
Now the anti - Zionist umbrella organization "Edah HaCharedit" is warning all Haredim not to buy any of those chocolate - filled products, as the package shows on top a blue sign about Israel's 60th birthday ! The sign of the Zionists !
See the blue stripe on top of the package !
By the way, this particular product has a Hechsher (kosher certificate) by the Edah HaCharedit and, therefore, it completely kosher. Nevertheless, the kashrut department of the Edah has nothing to do with the department, placing a new ban on the chocolate - filled Bamba due to the Zionist sign.
This news was published first by the haredi Site KIKAR SHABBAT !
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The of child abuse accused Mea Shearim (Toldot Aharon) mother gave an interview to the Israeli daily MAARIV:
There she was complaining about the terrible behaviour of the police since her arrest.
"I was in the same cell with real criminals, as if I was the most dangerous person. When I finally got home, the Simcha (joy) was unbelievable. My oldest daughter started crying and my youngest daughter asked if I still recognize her. We all cried and laughed together. On Shabbat I had to see a doctors because I was in pain. I felt that G - d gave me the children as a present".
The mother explains that her three - year - old boy was ill and she took him to the hospital where the doctors weren't able to find out what the patient is suffering from. They tried here and there and eventually the mother told them something and complained.
Furthermore she said that the cops were rude and yelled at her that she will be sitting in jail for 40 years.
Tomorrow night (Wednesday), the Jewish fast day "Tisha Be'Av" is starting. Until Thursday night we are mourning the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem. It says that with the arrival of Meshiach and the building of the Third Temple, this day is going to turn into a day of joy.
The right - wing "Women in Green" including the activist Nadja Matar have been organizing a "March around the Old City walls" for many years. Every Tisha Be'Av, Jews from all over Israel are meeting in front of the Jerusalem municipality building, listening to Megillath Eicha and then starting the march. From the municipality, passing Damascus Gate (Sha'ar Shechem), the Flower Gate (Sha'ar HaPrachim) to the Kotel (Western Wall).
I participated in the event many times and enjoyed myself. Especially because of being given the opportunity walking around the Old City walls freely and being protected by the army. Usually the Arabs stare but don't do anything.
The only thing bothering me was the polictical side of the event. Politicians talking, Nadja Matar yelling against the government, etc. It doesn't give me a Tisha Be'Av atmosphere and I think that particularly this day deserves more than "only" politics. Last year I participated in the entire "Aish HaTorah" programme organized by Aish and the Heritage House (free Jewish hostel and brainwashing factory). It was nice but I found the monolog of Rabbi Yom Tov Glazer too exaggerated and Rabbi Shmuel Schwartz tried his best to handle his lecture. I suffered and almost fell asleep if hadn't been sitting on the hard floor.
This year, I am going to try a Mea Shearim Synagogue and see how spirituality and Tisha Be'Av mourning goes there.
A few Tisha Be' Av (5768 / 2008) photos of Jerusalem's Old City.
I had putting the copyright through pictures but a friend of mine obviously loves doing so !The Cardo, a Roman shopping street
Excavations across the Kotel (Western Wall)
Army trip to the Cardo
Western Wall (Kotel)
Men to the left and women to the right - Separation wall (Mechitzah) in front of the Kotel
Against the haredi newspaper "HaModiah" and its silence about the haredi demonstrations (against the opening of the parking lot "Karta" on Shabbat).
Monday, July 27, 2009
Last Wednesday, we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Av (the beginning of the month of Av) and Ashkenazim follow the custom not to do laundry, eat meat, listen to music or take a shower until Tisha Be'Av. However, we are allowed to have wine and meat on Shabbat and to wash ourselves before Shabbat.
In a way, Shabbat breaks some of the rules.
Sephardic Jews do start these restrictions only on Mozzaei Shabbat before Tisha Be'Av. I need to say that there were times when I was so jealous of the Sepharadim only starting after Shabbat ends (before Tisha Be'Av). I once had a flatmate and she strictly kept those rules like not showering until Tisha Be'Av.
In July, where Tisha Be'Av mostly falls, we have the wildest summer heat in Israel. About 30 degrees Celsius (at least 90F) and everyone is just sweating. In order not to bother other people, shouldn't we take showers under these circumstances ?
What if I am sitting on a bus and I haven't showered for the past three days and I simply stink ? The person next to me is closing his nose, holding his breath and moving further away. Is this the purpose and the price of mourning ?
I have to admit that I do shower every day, not on Tisha Be'Av but during the nine days before. Even If I was in a country where it was less hot, I would still take showers.
And here are my excuses: I don't want to smell and here is an even better reason; especially these days: The swine flu.
I need to cleanse myself in order not to get the swine flu. Although I am not in England.
Yesterday I was sitting next to a religious guy and he this the reason why I am writing this. He smelled and I knew immediately that is keeps the nine days of shower abstinence. Maybe next time I am putting a peg on my nose but, honestly, it is not too comfortable sitting next to such people.
Otherwise, in this heat, I do even smell after taking a shower.
Here are some pictures of the latest demonstrations (last Mozzaei Shabbat) against the opening of the "Karta" parking lot on Shabbat. The Jerusalem municipality again opened Karta on Shabbat:
The Jerusalem court has decided that the 3 - year - old who suffered from "starvation" is not returning home to his mother but is being transferred to another institution. If it is a hospital and where - Israeli authorities do neither allow any further publications about the whereabouts nor the name of the son.
Taking the whole issue out of the headlines is a very good idea !
Some interesting details about Chassidut Erloi:
History of Erloi
In the first years following the Second World War, Rav Yochanan did not wear a shtreimel – only several years later did he begin to wear one, and also to conduct tishen. In Erloi, the kehilla as a whole is not makpid to wear a gartel for davening, and the nusach hatefilla is nusach Ashkenaz, according to the custom of the Sofer family, and the custom of most Jews originating from Hungary. This is in contrast to most other chassidic courts, which daven in nusach Sefard. Yet despite these factors, Erloi chassidim have the practice of reciting the entire sefer Tehillim in unison before the Shabbos prayers begin, according to the custom in Skver. In addition, the Admor has adopted the Radziner practice of dying one thread of the tzitzis blue, in accordance with the opinion of the Radziner Rebbe that the creature used nowadays to make the blue dye is in fact the chilazon mentioned in the Torah as the source of techeiles.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
After all my criticism and further reports about haredi society, I am (finally) saying something POSITIVE. Not exactly "finally", as I do write about a lot about the positive sides of Orthodoxy, and especially haredi Judaism. Some people may not see it but I do feel that way.
But here something extremely positive concerning many many haredi women. Especially those from the girl's school "Beit Yaakov" but also from further haredi schools and upbringings. What I very much admire is the fine language of many Israeli Haredyiot (haredi women). I don't mean expressions like "Baruch HaShem" in every sentence; no, I mean a good choice of words and also the tone of the sentences. This is making a great impression on me and I think that one has to be born and grown up that way. The "fine" language doesn't sound artificial at all but those women mean what they say.
As soon as I am talking to such women, I do change my language immediately. I don't think that I am having a bad language but I wish I had their style. Maybe I admire them talking because I hate bad language and curses. I didn't grow up this way, and although I sometimes do use "bad" words, I still prefer being with people limiting their bad language or those not even using it.
Social workers and police want to destroy the Jewish home.
The State of Israel is practicing a "Blood Libel".
The Pashkevili is signed by Rabbis such as: Rabbi Chaim Rabinovitz (Mishkenot HaRoim), Rabbi Moshe Rosenberg (Satmar), Rabbi Avraham Kahana (Spinka) or Rabbi Aharon Brandsdorfer.
The Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital lost the trust of the public
Those of you reading Hebrew can read all the details about the accused mother from Mea Shearim in a new blog:
Those readers interested should know that the blog is pro - mother and denies all the police accusations !
Photo & Article: Haredim
Last Thursday, the question was if the accused Mea Shearim mother is allowed spending her house arrest in her Batei Hungarin home or if she continues staying with Rabbi Avraham Freulich. The Toldot Aharon Rebbe David Kahn gave a hint to the judge Shulamit Dotan and announced that at home, the family members are preparing the Shabbat, as if the mother is coming home. Judge Dotan understood the hint and despite all the rejections from the prosecution, she sent the mother home to her children.
Today, another hearing is taking place at Jerusalem's "Beit HaMishpat HaShalom".
Great pictures showing the Erloi Rebbe praying a "Tikkun Chazzot - Soul rectification at Midnight" at the Kotel (Western Wall). The special prayer took also place due to the Shabbat opening of the municipality praking lot "Karta".
See the haredi "Yahadut HaTorah" politician Me'ir Porush sitting in the front row to the right.
Photos: Chadrei HaCharedim
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tonight and tomorrow (Sunday), we are commemorating the Yahrzeit (day of someone passing away) of one of the most famous Kabbalists: Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (called the ARIZAL), 1534 - 1572.
Rabbi Luria died on 5 (Heh) Av.
A Story of the ARIZAL
The Arizal's Mikweh
The "abusive" Mea Shearim mother was allowed to go home and be with her children. Except for the still hospitalized three - year - old she is accused of starving half to death. Nevertheless, she is still under house arrest.
Tomorrow, Sunday, another hearing is taking place at Jerusalem's court "Beit Mishpat HaShalom" where Judge Shulamit Dotan is going to decide whether the hospitalized son is being transferred to another hospital or whether he is given to family relatives for the time being.
The Israeli TV channel ARUTZ 10 published on TWITTER that the prosecutors are going to publish the proof for the mother being guilty. This publication will shock the Israeli nation !
The prosecution is probably planning to show the video the hospital made of the mother while visiting her son.
Tonight further demonstrations took place due to the "Karta" parking lot opening. It is said that about 500 Haredim demonstrated in front of the parking lot.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Time is running towards Shabbat and I was planning to write more. However, my wireless connection is not the best and I am in a kind of Shabbat hurry.
Therefore only some brief news:
1. The mother is still under house arrest. The Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital is ready to release the child but there is a fight between the hospital and the psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Weil who checked the mother. Dr. Weil confirmed that there is no "Muenchhausen Syndrom" and that the mother is free of any attention desire. Now Hadassah Ein Kerem claims that Dr. Weil was fired from their hospital four months ago and that his report may not be correct. The hospital obviously sees revenge attack against itself by Dr. Weil judging in favour of the Haredim.
2. New Jersey has its scandal withing the Syrian community and some money laundering going on.
3. I don't care too much about anything, as Shabbat is right ahead. Going to Jerusalem in the afternoon but mostly avoiding a Mea Shearim visit, as tensions are still high. I may go to the Belzer Tish, as the Belzer Rebbe is always on.
So far from hot and humid Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv and not "Chutz La'Aretz - abroad" or Sdom and Amora, as some people like to call the "white city" at the coast. Believe it or not, there are actually many good people (Jews) here as well.
Shabbat Shalom to all of you and especially Gut Schabbes to the mother under house arrest. I hope that each of the Markovitz family members is getting some rest and also enough food.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Sometimes I feel guilty because, at the moment, I am mostly writing about one case:
The arrested Mea Shearim mother.
I don't intend turning the blog into a "Mea Shearim Mother Blog" even if it may give you the impression. However, Jerusalem is boiling and wherever you go people ask you:
"So, on which side are you ?"
All kinds of Jerusalemites ask you that question; no matter if secular or any religious. People are divided but, in the end, no one is really sure anyone of what to believe because there are so many different reports.
I apologize for hardly mentioning any other subject ! Nevertheless, see it from this point of view: Through the mother case, you learn a lot about haredi society.:-)
I am always against using children, no matter what the purpose is.
Edah children were demonstrating in front of the house of the Hadassah Ein Kerem doctor and deputy director Dr. Ya'ir Birenbaum (Birnbaum). I think that he lives in the Har Nof neighbourhood (Jerusalem).
Have a look at the entire gallery :
This afternoon, the offical report is going to be published but the state - owned Israeli radio station "Kol Israel" published the news already last night:
According to the psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Weil does the arrested mother NOT suffer from the Muenchhausen Syndrom !
Dr. Weil came to that conclusion after meeting the mother three times.
Furthermore, states Dr. Weil: The woman is NOT a danger to her children and completely healthy !
A new hearing at the Jerusalem court is going to take place today. Then judge Shulamit Dotan is going to decide what is happening next. Where mother and child are going to be.
The family name is Markovitz.
As far as I know the father of the child English but the arrested mother comes from an old Yerushalmi family whose name I won't mention here. The above family name I only mentioned because it says it on the poster !
Against the "Zionist" Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital
Hadassah Ein Kerem is just like Dr. Joseph Mengele. The hospital is practicing experiments on human beings (such as the boy).
The arrested mother has been accused of suffering from the Muenchhausen Syndrom. The accusation, however, has proven not to be true. The psychiatrist Dr. Yaakov Weil treated the mother and stated that there is nothing wrong with her.
There is an opinion that the biggest threat to Judaism in Israel are Christian missionaries spreading around their false ideology. Nevertheless, two days ago, Israel's daily MAARIV reported that more and more Jewish Israelis are converting to ISLAM.
In 2008, 142 Israelis changed their religion. Among those were 112 who converted to Islam. Believe it or not !
Or in other words, they joined the religion of the local "enemy".
How can that be ? Jews in Israel are confronted with daily terror and convert to Islam.
For many years there has been a big problem in Israel and no one seems to be able to solve it: Plenty of young Jewish women marry Palestinians. This is especially taking place in those areas where Jews and Palestinians live together. Places like Haifa or Nazeret (Nazareth), for instance.
Although Jews and Arabs have their own neighbourhoods in the city of Nazareth, many people of the two nations mix. When they go out they meet and get involved. Becoming friends and maybe more.
In Jerusalem countless young male Palestinians walk around yelling after young Israeli girls.
The anti - missionary group YAD LE'ACHIM explained that there are Israeli girls who grow up in a rather poor environment. Some are even getting beaten at home. Suddenly they meet a young guy (e.g. a Palestinian) who is treating them nicely. Making presents like cell phones or jewellery. Someone who is giving them attention and the feeling that they are not useless in this world. Then they marry the Palestinian despite all the hatred within Israeli society towards those Jews marrying Arabs. Mostly the nice Palestinian turns out to be violent once the Jewish woman is married to him. Women are being taken into Arab villages, have to live together with the rest of his family and are being treated like slaves. YAD LE'ACHIM rescued many of those women and their children from Arab villages in order to re - integrate them into Jewish and Israeli society.
In my opinion, this is the main reason making out the figure 112 (Jews converting to Islam). Probably those Israeli women who are willing to marry a Palestinian.
Maybe I am wrong. However, MAARIV also stated that 112 is the official number but how many cases where Israelis convert to Islam are known to the public ? If this could be a security threat ?
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
If anyone interested in listening to the interview I gave (haredi society and demonstrations) a few days ago, here is the link:
However, Rusty Mike hasn't activated the site yet and hopefully does so within the next few days !
Don't faint from my stuttering, as I always hesitated answering because the guy was barely to hear over the phone.
I cannot refrain from saying something personal inbetween:
Not only since the whole affair with the Mea Shearim mother started, I know to which direction I belong. The more I talk, have been talking and probably will talk to national religious Jews (Dati Le'umi), the more I notice the hatred of many of them towards haredi society. The vast majority of the national religious doesn't have any idea about the haredi world but thinks to have a right adding inappropriate comments.
I may not be the best haredi in the world but I am glad that I left national religious society many years ago.
If I should say so before Tisha Be'Av ?
Whoever is asking this question should first look at the hatred of the Dati Le'umi towards Haredim.
The online site HAREDIM is reporting today that the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital changed its mind and is now against the release of the child. At the moment, the doctors are awaiting the court's decision. Then they are going to decide whether the child is being send home or for further treatment at the Shiba Hospital in Tel HaShomer.
The child ten months ago
In the meantime, some representatives of the Jerusalem police met with Rabbi Shlomo Pappenheim in order to calm down tensions on both sides. Rabbi Pappenheim is one of the leading Edah HaCharedit members as well as a member of Chassidut Toldot Aharon.
The police representatives were Bruno Stein, Eli Teier and Roni Cohen. The meeting took place in Rabbi Pappenheim's home where the Edah was represented by Rabbi Yaakov Roth as well as by Rabbi Shimon Weiss. The head of Jerusalem's police Aharon Franco didn't show up at the meeting and he received harsh criticism from the Edah. Franco wouldn't be interested in solving the conflict.
Both sides showed their good intention of avoiding further violations.
Now we are moving to the next online site where we are getting a total different picture:
KIKAR.NET is reporting that the "abusive" mother was abusive at all !
Kikar.Net claims that the Hadassah doctors stopped the child from being fed with a tube. The Kikar further: Four secret papers were handed to the news site stating the doctors decision.
The medical report
Every day we are fed with more and different news. Who can believe whom, what and how much ?