Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rosh Chodesh MENACHEM AV


Tonight and tomorrow (1 August 2011), the Jewish world is celebrating its new month called MENACHEM AV. The month is mainly known under the name AV. 

The Jewish month of Av stands for plenty of tragedies throughout Jewish history and I am always glad when this month is over. The only thing I do during the month of Av is looking forward to Elul. 

It was during the month of Av when the First World War began. The same with Hitler's Final Solution turning into reality.

On the 9th of Av, we are commemorating the destruction of the two Temples. The first time by the Babylonians and the second time by the Romans. Not too long ago, we read the weekly portion of "Shlach Lecha" telling us about Moshe sending out the spies in order to explore the land of Canaan. The spies returned and spoke in a slanderous way about the promised land. The Israelites began to cry and G - d said that there is nothing to cry about but from now on, He will give the Jews a reason to cry on that day. 

Nevertheless, it is up to us turning the month of Av into something positive. It is said that Meshiach will be born in the month of Av. In the times of the future Third Temple, Tisha be'Av is going to turn into a joyous day and we don't need to fast anymore.

Mourning about the Temples on Tisha be'Av

Also on Rosh Chodesh Av we commemorate the Yahrzeit of Aharon HaCohen, Moshe's and Miriam's brother. The day when Aharon passed away is explicitly mentioned in the Torah and the question is why ? Wasn't Moshe much more important than his brother ?

It says in the Torah that when Aharon died, ALL Israelites started to cry. It doesn't say so after Moshe and Miriam died. It goes without saying that the Jews were in mourning when they lost Miriam and Moshe but apparently not all of them. Aharon HaCohen was known for his great activities causing peace between two people fighting. As soon as there was a quarrel, Aharon started his job as a negotiator between the two parties.

The month of Av reaches its mourning peak on the ninth day, on Tisha be'Av. The day has almost the same Halachot as Yom Kippur with the exception that we are allowed to work, cook, go shopping, etc. However, with Rosh Chodesh, we are entering the final mourning period before Tisha be'Av and thus we are keeping additional laws:

1. New clothes should not be purchased during the nine days before Tisha be'Av. However, you are allowed to buy non - leather shoes for Tisha be'Av.

2. One should refrain from doing laundry.

3. Meat and wine are only consumed on Shabbat. At least until Tisha be'Av.

Ashkenazi Jewry is already starting tomorrow: As a sign of mourning, one should refrain from taking showers. A Halacha which almost seems ridiculous when you are suffering through the Tel Aviv heat as I do. :-))) However, in order to enjoy Shabbat, we are allowed to shower on Friday before Shabbat comes in. 

Sephardi Jews only stop taking showers on Mozzaei Shabbat before Tisha be'Av. 

No parties or festivities. No cinema and no music.

This week, on 5th Av, we are commemorating the Yahrzeit  of one of the most famous Kabbalists, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, the ARI.

The Shabbat before Tisha be'Av,  (6th August) is called "Shabbat Chazon".

According to the "Book of Creation" – Sefer Yetzirah", every Jewish month has its own tribe, letter, human organ, sense or horoscope.

The horoscope of the month of  Av is Leo, the letter is TED ט , the tribe is Shimon, the organ is the left kidney and the human sense is hearing. The latter comes from the spies when the Israelites heard their slander about the promised land. At the same moment when we hear something, we automatically differentiate between good and evil.

Although the month of Av looks like a very bad month, we should never stop praying for the arrival of Meshiach.


Chodesch Tov – חודש טוב and have a great successful and healthy new month !!!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Israel: Domestic Violence against Women


Domestic violence against women is a wide - spread problem in Israel.  The same with mobbing, child abuse, violence at schools and violence against teachers. 

A stereotype opinion claims that husbands of Sephardi origin tend to beat their wives more than Ashkenazi husbands. Some time ago, a Belzer Chassid told me that domestic violence in haredi society is mostly found in Sephardi families. 

I am not denying that domestic violence is taking place in all Israeli societies and from all backgrounds, but I do still claim that the percentage is much higher in Sephardi families. A high percentage of violence against women can also be found among Russian and Ethiopian immigrants as well as in the Arab society.

There are shelters for women and Jewish religious women should know about BAT MELECH; a shelter for frum abused women. The haredi press has been reporting about "Bat Melech" quite a few times and doesn't deny domestic violence in haredi families.

The following short movie was produced by Israeli students

Leibby & Baba Elazar: Tisha Be'Av Theories

In Bnei Brak

Photo: Miriam Woelke


When I hate something then it is definitely the question asking whose fault it was. As soon as something terrible is happening, haredi society is immediately starting its theories. Years ago, an Israeli school bus was involved in a deadly accident and a Rabbi made the statement that the there must have been something wrong with the Mezuzot of the dead children.

After Leibby Kletzki's body was found, further theories started. Whether G - d wants to give us a sign and what we should learn from the brutal murder of the child ? If the Jews have been sinning too much and whether little Leibby's fate is supposed to lead us to Teshuva (repentance) ?

The same now with the murder of Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira. All these deadly events happening during the three weeks before Tisha Be'Av. Do we have to do Teshuva ?

It is true that the two incidents happened before shortly Tisha Be'Av but we humans tend to search for answers. A tragedy, we are unable to grasp, happened and instantly people start speculating. Everything comes from G - d and He rules over everything and has His reasons but can it be our task to speculate ? Sometimes even accuse each other of whose fault it was ?

It goes without saying that each of us should view his own actions; especially now because soon we will be entering the Elul period. Even if G - d wants to give us a sign, I don't think that it is our duty to judge other people's behaviour, as everyone of us has enoug to do with looking at himself.

Asher Dahan, the Murderer of Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira

Asher Dahan under arrest.


Whereas the haredi site "Kikar Shabbat" reports about Asher Dahan as if he was a Zaddik, the "Be'Chadrei HaCharedim" remain much more objective. On "Kikar Shabbat", Dahan's neighbours of the haredi town El'ad claim that the murderer has been an important community member delivering great Shiurim.

"Be' Chadrei HaCharedim" calls Asher Dahan a "mad murderer" who went to see Rabbi Elazar several times in order to get advice in relationship matters. Neighbours claim that, lately, Dahan started threatening important community members. He is mentally disturbed, on medication but there has never been a violent attempt hurting anyone. The site also points out that Asher Dahan is a Ba'al Teshuva.

Friday, July 29, 2011

"Baba Elazar" stabbed in Beersheva


The 70 - year - old grandson of the Baba Sali, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira (the "Baba Elazar"), was stabbed in a Yeshiva in Beersheva last night. Baba Elazar was receiving people when someone entered and stabbed the Rabbi four times. Baba Elazar was rushed to hospital but died of his wounds. "Yeshiva World" reports that the murder suspect, Asher Dahan, belongs to the inner - cirlce of the Baba Elazar home. 

"Chadrei HaCharedim" report that two years ago, Asher Dahan has already tried to kill the Rabbi. He is in his 60ies and lives in the haredi town of El'ad.  

Photos from the Scene of Crime:

"Avinu ba'Shamayim" in Toldot Avraham Yitzchak


There doesn't exist a chassidic Tish in Toldot Aharon or Toldot Avraham Yitzchak without "Avinu ba'Shamayim" being sung.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chassidic Parashat Ma'asei


Here you can find plenty of chassidic Parashot on this weeks' Torah Parasha Ma'asei:

Boyan, Chabad, Belz, Vishnitz, Satmar, Biale and many more. There are a few Parashot in English as well as various Sephardic Parashot.

Donkeys versus Jerusalem Gay Parade


I heard that Jerusalem celebrated its Gay Parade today and when this is taking place, it works very different from the same event in Tel Aviv. The parade participants in Jerusalem usually only receive limited space and a few hours in order to march around. And, as in previous years, a counter demonstration took place. Baruch Marzel was on his way and brought some donkeys but I don't think the donkeys were gay.:-)

The donkey comparison drives the gays nuts, as they are too much reminded of their own sexual lifestyle. But do the poor donkeys understand that humans compare them to other humans imitating them ?


Photos from Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter in the Old City

All Pictures HERE !

Civil Marriage Attempt Failed


Another civil marriage attempt was turned down by the Knesset. Most Israelis would not consider themselves as Orthodox or religious. Many not even as traditional. However, there are certain Jewish rites, the ordinary Israeli likes. A Jewish wedding under the Chuppah, many Israeli Jews don't eat on Yom Kippur, the vast majority lights Chanukkah candles and many Israelis keep celebrate Purim and Pessach.

It is pretty obvious that my list doesn't impress a frum Jew and he still thinks that most Israelis are simply "Chilonim - Secular". Once I was invited by a Yemenite family on Erev Shabbat and everything was very traditional. The Sepharadim including the Yemenites love it this way.

The Schabbes table was set, the father of the family made Kiddush, we had Shabbat food. In other words "a great atmosphere". We were still eating when a family member suddenly screamed "Yatzpan" and the whole table just ran over to the TV.

Eli Yatzpan is a famous Israeli comedian (of Iraqi origin) and in those days, his show used to run on Friday nights. Basically our Shabbat was over because Yatzpan took over. I really hated this, as I am not a Yatzpan fan at all and don't consider hims as particularly funny.

On the other hand, the same family wanted their kids to marry Jewish and when one of the sons moved together with a Belgium Gentile woman, especially the mother freaked out. They never accepted this young woman although she was very nice and a good friend of mine. Her and the son of the Yemenite family split and she moved back to Brussels. It didn't take too long and he found a new girlfriend: A South African and she was Jewish.

"Now his mother is happy, my Belgium friend told me. B.'s new girlfriend is Jewish.

The Old City of Zfat / Northern Israel

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Is it allowed to pray while wearing CROCS ?


The halachic question whether it is allowed to pray wearing CROCS is extremely interesting to me. I am a CROCS fan and mainly wear those funny looking shoes.

KIKAR SHABBAT was asking the question if a Jew may pray in CROCS and the answer is YES. A praying Jew may wear CROCS but, at the same time, should also wear socks.

Haredim and barefoot is always an issue. Once a friend of mine was praying at the Kotel (Western Wall) only wearing sandals. She didn't wear socks but was barefoot. A haredi woman came up to her and said that she (my friend) shouldn't be praying liked that (without socks). My friend, however, considered herself as "national religious" and for her, this was excuse enough. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Haredi World this Week


Many chassidic Rebbes are on the road during the summer season. However, the Belzer Rebbe is at home. In fact, he is hardly ever travelling. The Seret - Vishnitzer Rebbe from Haifa went to the Galilee, the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe is in Poland and the Toldot Aharon Rebbe may be in Austria where he usually stays at a hotel in Saalbach - Hinterglemm.

Haredi sites present us various pictures showing the Rebbes relaxing. Nevertheless, summer time also means donation time and most of the Admorim are forced to raise money for their Mosdot.

Ezra Levant on Anders Behring Breivik

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hats of Jerusalem


A very interesting series on Jerusalem Hats

The MACCABEATS performing in Jerusalem


This Mozzaei Shabbat (Saturday night), 30 July 2011, the famous Youtube MACCABEATS are giving a concert at Jerusalem’s Gerard Behar Center in Betzalel Street 11.

Why now during the three weeks before Tisha be’Av when it is forbidden to listen to music ? The mourning of the destruction of both Jerusalem Temples is reaching its peak on 9th Av.

The Maccabeats justify themselves by saying that they don’t play any music at their performances, as every single sound is produced by them.

Where does the STREIMEL come from ?

The Truth about the West Bank

"2083" - Anders Breivik's European Declaration


It is the second time that I am giving a link to the written 1500 page declaration. The Breivik script is available as a pdf file and, many times, has been taken off the web.

The text is available HERE but I don't know for how long. I would suggest that you download the file if you are interested !

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why didn't G – d create Adam HaRishon on day one?


The Gemara (rabbinic discussions) in Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 38 is raising the question why G – d didn’t create Adam (HaRishon) on the first day of creation but only on the sixth day ?

The answer given is that G – d wanted to avoid future generations falsely claiming that He (G – d) and Adam were partners in creation. G – d wanted to make it very clear that it was Him alone creating the entire universe and neither did he have partners nor helpers.

"Abusive" Toldot Aharon Mother gave birth


Do you still remember the Toldot Aharon mother who, two years ago, had been accused of almost starving her little son to death ? The fight between the Edah HaCharedit, the Hadassah hospital, the social workers and the wild demonstrations taking place in Jerusalem ? If you missed the whole issue, HERE you can find all kinds of information.

Last year, the mother signed an agreement sentencing her to three years under house arrest. She is allowed to see her children but only under social worker supervision.

About a week ago, the mother gave birth to another son. Mazal Tov !

 Otherwise we don’t hear anything from her anymore.

Photos: Prague and its Jewish History

See all photos HERE !

The Video Statement of Anders Behring Breivik

Anders Breivik – Knights Templar – 2083 A European Declaration of Independence

Suffering through the Tel Aviv Heat

Photo: Miriam Woelke


A heat wave is conquering Israel today and for the rest of the week. 36 degrees Celsius, meaning something like almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Israel's electric company "Chevrat HaChashmal" has announced not to exaggerate the use electricity like turning on all fans in the whole house. Otherwise the electric system may fail when too many people turn on everything at the same time.

The Tel Aviv beach won't provide you with a cool breeze because of the extremely high humidity. It may be much more refreshing being in Jerusalem this week.:-)

FaceGlat - The Kosher Social Network


Are you looking for a kosher social network where men and women are separated ? Where no one wants to be your friend in order to go on your nerves by sending you sexual messages ?

Yaakov Swisa from Kfar Chabad has founded FaceGlat. A completely kosher network where men and women sign up separately. The reason for the kosher site is not to publish any dirty messages or ads.

I had a look at the site and before you even sign up, you will be separated in male and female. Lets say you are upset and sign up as a guy although you are a woman. This won’t help you because you are unable to connect with the separate gender. No immodest friendships and your spouse you can see at home.

I didn’t sign up and I am not planning to do so, as I don’t like society limitations. As a Facebook and Google + member, I hardly ever get disturbed by perverts. I think I had two cases where a Facebook “Friend” was looking for a relationship and I threw them out. The same with “friends” who go on my nerves with stupid comments. The result was that I threw out many left – wingers and Reform Jews hating Orthodox opinions. On the other hand, I have found many former classmates through Facebook. Male and female !

Of course, their may be Jewish religious women who love to be among themselves and communicate about children, education, kitchen and all their daily stuff but I don't see why they couldn't do so on Facebook or Google +.

No one is only building a site because he wants to help others. Swisa has definitely found a market niche where he can also make money by selling kosher ads. As I said, I wouldn’t sign up because I don’t like the idea of limiting and separating myself. If I don’t like anything on Facebook or elsewhere, there is a way to escape or ignore it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Anders Behring Breivik has been preparing his attacks for the past nine Years


It is unbelievable what is going on: The so - called "liberal left - wing" media has been accusing anti - Islam bloggers of causing the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik to freak out and kill more than 90 people. Breivik hasn't even made an official statement whether articles on the Internet caused him to carry out his two attacks but the left - wing media such as the German "Der Spiegel" (known for its anti - Israel statements as well as for its Jewish religion and Jewish Orthodoxy hatred) seem to know exactly what went on in Breivik's mind. The assassin wrote comments on the WWW and this alone turns all bloggers like FJORDMAN, GATES OF VIENNA or PAMELA GELLER into spiritual murderers. 

It looks like a vast revenge campaign going on. The left is glad that it wasn't a Muslim killing more than 90 Norwegians and now the situation is being used for a hatred campaign against bloggers warning of a global Jihad. Suddenly we are all Nazis and Nationalists and FJORDMAN was even accused of being identical with Breivik.

The latest news from Norway: Breivik has been planning his attacks for the past nine years.
Nine year ?
Who has been blogging nine years ago causing him to get those ideas into his mind ?

FJORDMAN giving a statement against the hate report about him on the German magazine DER SPIEGEL !

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How people in Oslo reacted when hearing the Blast


I recommend watching this video:

People in the Oslo shopping mall hear the blast, are confused, don't know what to do and then panic is breaking out.

The "Oslo Explosion"

The assassin: Anders Behring Breivik

Source: Vlad Tepes


After surfing the WWW, I came to the conclusion that all news reports basically sound the same. The truth is that, at the moment, the Oslo police keep quiet and none of us has any answers. And when people don't have answers, they invent all kinds of theories. 

The world media has nothing new to tell so far but there are some Scandinavian bloggers providing interesting details about the "Oslo Blast". 

As the majority of the media, the British “Telegraph” sees in Breivik a "Christian Fundamentalist". Probably only due to the fact that Breivik wrote "Views: Christian" on his Facebook page. Personally I cannot imagine that Anders Behring Breivik acted as a "Loner". If so, where did he get the massive amount of explosives from ?

In the meantime, the liberal leftist English speaking Blogosphere developed and invented its own Conspiracy Theories . Parts of the left - wing movement spread the ridiculous rumour that Anders Behring Breivik actually is the famous Norwegian blogger FJORDMAN.

Fjordman used to run his blog in 2005 and became famous through his detailed and professional articles about the Muslim World and the dangers of radical Islam spreading all over the world. Later, he stopped blogging but has written many guests posts all over the place, as Fjordman seems to be a real expert.

I just hope that, from now on, not every blogger writing about the dangers of radical Islam and its goals is now considered a "Nazi" or "Nationalist" !

Here are two collections of the FJORDMAN articles: “Klein Verzet” and“Tundra Tabloids” !

A few Oslo eye - witnesses put amateur videos on Youtube but the site took down all live videos due to "too much violence". 
The Scandinavian "Dagbladet" still published an interesting video from minutes after the blast:

Breiviks Facebook Page before it was blocked:

This page cannot be viewed on Facebook any longer !


Friday, July 22, 2011

Did the bell belong to the Cohen HaGadol ?


Archeologists found a rare bell in the City of King David near the Temple Mount. May the bell have been part of the High Priest's (Cohen HaGadol) official Temple clothing ?

But even if, in the Messianic Era, the Third Temple will be built and Levi'im as well as Cohanim are going to continue their Temple tasks. Just like in the past two Temples.

Prizut (Immodest Behaviour) at Jerusalem's Machane Yehudah Market ?


The EDAH HACHAREDIT is really making a fuss about the latest festivals at the Machane Yehudah Market. Musicians and any further kind of culture are leading to Prizut (immodest behaviour). To make it clear: The Edah doesn't mean ordinary people but they worry about their own kind.

Jerusalem's Municipality had been organizing a monthly summer festival at the Machane Yehudah Market. The market is for everyone and not located in any haredi area. Every Monday in June, a cultural festival took place but I am not sure whether it is still going on. The festival was supposed to help the sales people in the market. Increasing traffic and customers. Although the festival is rather boring and just the same as last year, I cannot see any Prizut. Okay, musicians have been singing. Men and women together and the Machane Yehudah wouldn't introduce a Mechitzah (gender separation). On the other hand, I didn't notice any masses from Mea Shearim streaming to the festivals. And even if, it is not the fault of the organizers but every religious Jew has to watch his behaviour. Why stop the events because of some people who cannot overcome their desires ?

Here are some pictures I made two weeks ago when my desire overcame me and I went to the festival:

Copyright / Photos: Miriam Woelke

Jews in Yemen

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Herodium Video Feature

Is actress Gwyneth Paltrow Jewish ?


Normally, I am running this kind of series on "who is Jewish and who is not" on my German Hamantaschen - Blog. German readers definitely love the subject and I am getting plenty of hits on my definitions of which celebrity is Jewish and where their Yiddishkeit is just a rumour.

The “Winnipeg Free Press” has published an article saying that Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow is planning on raising her two children in a Jewish way. The only problem is that only her father Bruce Paltrow is Jewish but Gwyneth's mother Blythe Danner is a Christian Quaker. The result is that Gwyneth Paltrow is not Jewish !

The “Winnipeg Free Press” article is referring to the problem and suggesting that Gwyneth Paltrow can only raise her children Jewish in a very limited way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kiryat Sefer: Woman found her clothes burnt


A haredi woman living in the haredi town of Kiryat Sefer (near Modi'in) found her own laundry burnt. What she had done was hanging her underwear out to dry and some neighbours or people passing by regarded the "public" female underwear as immodest "Lo Zanu'a". It says that last week, the woman received a warning from her neighbours not to hang out her washed underwear in order to dry.

The comments of the forum post are quite interesting. Some Haredim refer to the Halacha that female underwear may cause a man immodest "dirty" thoughts. Others simply call the person burning the underwear a PERVERT.

In case you are planning to do some laundry, think twice were to dry your underwear !!!

A Pastor's Journey to Judaism


Once an evangelical pastor, Yaakov Parisi shares the fascinating story of his lifelong journey to becoming Jewish. Recorded at Chabad of Oxford University.

Haredi population joining the Student Protest


Real estate prices have been skyrocketing and, in case you are looking for an apartment to rent in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or other places, your search will be endless. In particular, when you are looking for an affordable place to live. A reasonable place and not a dump.

Almost a week ago, university students started their protest and built a tent village in the middle of Tel Aviv’s posh Rothschild Boulevard. Setting up tents as a protest has a long tradition in Israeli society and this has been taking places many times. Sometimes without much success but, at least, people did something. 

The students at Rothschild Boulevard get thousands of visitors every day and the goal is to make the government decide to agree building thousands of new affordable apartments immediately. Not only luxury apartments for the rich, as it has been taking place in the past years. 

Now haredi society is joining the protest and some members will set up tents in the haredi town of El’ad today. Further tent villages are being set up all over Israel. Today also in Afula. Some students set up their tents in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park (across the Ministry of Finance). Yesterday a second tent village was set up near the capital’s Old City, at Kikar Zahal. The police tried to send the students away and thus avoid a tent village near the Old City. When I read this I thought of security reasons, as the place is near East Jerusalem. But you know what the cop’s reason was. It is so ridiculous: The tent protest would bother tourists !

 The tent protest near Jerusalem's Old City.

Can you believe that ? What do I care about tourists ? Our country has huge problems and we live here ? What do I care if a tourists sees nice sights in Israel ? We already have too many tourists in Tel Aviv drinking, making a mess, screaming in the streets at night. Even Tel Aviv inhabitants complain about the masses of tourists and many of the visitors behaving like animals. So, what do I care what a tourist thinks ? 

The tent protest in Rothschild Boulevard / Tel Aviv

 Photos: Miriam Woelke  

How to survive the heat in Tel Aviv

One of the best ways surviving the incredible heat and humidity of Tel Aviv: Place yourself in an air - conditioned room or in front of a fan. 

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Despite all the mourning and it truely is extremely sad when a child is loosing its life in such a horrible way: I still have to say that I find all those claims like "Leibby died for our sins" or "He died because the Jews haven't done enough Teshuva (repentance)" very inappropriate. G - d definitely had His reasons but we don't know them and shouldn't judge or follow quick assumptions !

The Lubavitcher Rebbe arriving in America


FRUMLIFE has interesting information on the Lubavitcher Rebbe arriving in America.

Despite all enthusiasm of Chabad members I have to mention that, until today, there are rumours going around that either Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn or the later Rebbe and son - in - law, Rabbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson may have bribed the Nazi government in order to let him / them leave Eastern Europe.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Story of the RAMBAM as Comic


Google Books publishes a book telling the story of the Rambam (Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, 1135 - 1204) in a comic version. The author is Robert Avrech.

Anti - Zionists against BISSLI


The above Pashkevil (haredi news poster) is written in Yiddish and may have been published by Satmar. I am saying "may" but I am not giving my word for it !

The Israeli BISSLI is very popular among kids. Its being produced with different tastes and can be purchased for a relatively fair price. My favourite are the spicey ones.:-)

However, some anti - Zionists have discovered that the famous Israeli company OSEM has been providing its latest BISSLI bags with little stickers saying that from the sale of each bag, a certain amount of money is going to the Keren Kayemet (Planting Trees in Israel). And, as we all know, the Keren Kayemet is a Zionist organisation. As a result of this, the Pashkevil is warning the haredi population to refrain from buying those bags, as the purchase would support the Zionist state. On the other hand, BISSLI has a Hechsher of the Edah HaCharedit. But I am not claiming that the Edeh was informed about the sticker.:-)

News from Gitty Grunwald


Some time ago, I was raising the question whether anyone is able to provide any news regarding the Satmar runaway GITTY GRUNWALD. One of the SHEARIM readers recently sent me a link where Gitty's and her ex - husband's custody dispute for their daughter Esther Miriam is being discussed.

17 Tammuz

Model at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem: 
Jerusalem at the time of the Second Temple.


Tomorrow, Tuesday 19 July, we are fasting from early in the morning until the evening after it has become dark. The 17 Tammuz has been a sad day throughout Jewish history.The most famous event on that day was when Moshe came down from Mount Sinai and saw the Jews dancing around the Golden Calf (Egel HaZahav). He smashed the tablets (Luchot), as well all know. Many years later, our enemies (e.g. the Babylonians or the Romans) were slowly slowly conquering Jerusalem and the First and the Second Temple. With 17 Tammuz, a three - week - long mourning period starts ending with Tisha be'Av (9th Av). On Tisha be'Av, both Temples were destroyed: In 586 BCE the First and in 70 after the begin of the common era, the Second Temple.

Other tragic events happened to the Jews:
On 17 Tammuz 1944, the Nazis destroyed the ghetto in Kovno and sent all the Jews to the death camps.

Fast days have the task to bring the Jews to do Teshuva (return to G - d). We should then study Parashat Ki Tisa (the event with the Golden Calf). We don't just read or study Torah but what we have to do is to internalize the content and Mitzvot. The laws are G - d's will (Ratzon HaEliyon) and by keeping them, we should try reaching a special closeness (Devekut) to Him. The chassidic book "Bnei Yissachar" commentates after the arrival of Meshiach, 17 Tammuz as well as 9 Av are going to turn into joyous days where we will have feasts.

Halachot for 17 Tammuz:

a) No eating

b) No drinking

c) No joyous events

Halachot until Tisha be'Av:

a) No Jewish weddings are taking place.

b) No parties or listening to music.

Why are we introducing the mourning period already three weeks before Tisha be'Av ?
Because the Jews in the days of both Temple destructions, were fighting and many lost their lives. Our enemies didn't let any food into Jerusalem and thousands of people died of hunger.

Let us hope that Meshiach will be coming soon and build the Third Temple.

Zom Kal – Have an easy Fast everyone !

Absorbing the Sanctity of Eretz Israel
Source: "Celebration of the Soul" by
Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook

The more difficult it is to endure the air of the Diaspora, the more one feels the impure spirit of the impure land. This is a sign of the inner absorption of the sanctity of Eretz Israel, of the heavenly mercy that will not abandon one who is worthy of dwelling in the pure shadow of the land of life, even when he is far away and wandering in his exile. The foreignness felt in the Diaspora ties all of one's inner desire to Eretz Israel and its sanctity of the Land bores deeper and deeper. 
When the depth of the holy yearning of love for Zion, the memory of the Land and all its preciousness, wells up in the soul of the individual, it flows like a spring for the entire collective, for all of the thousands of sould bond to Him. The sound of the Shofar heralds the ingathering of the dispersed and great mercy abounds. Israel's hope for life glitters, the blossom of G - d flourishes, and the light of salvation and redemption ramifies and spreads like the dawn spreading over the mountains.