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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘approval’

Rabbinate Lifts Restrictions on Tzohar Rabbis Officiating at Weddings

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has agreed to lift restrictions on rabbis from the Tzohar organization conducting weddings.

Under the agreement inked Thursday, Tzohar rabbis who meet certain criteria will be able to marry couples. In return, Tzohar pledged to withdraw a lawsuit against the Rabbinate and try to stop legislation that would have taken away the Rabbinate’s hegemony over who conducts marriages (See “New Knesset ‘Tzohar Law’ to Curtail Chief Rabbinate’s Control on Weddings Passes First Reading“).

The criteria include taking a test in the Jewish laws of marriage, the approval of three head municipal rabbis and a certificate of ordination from the Rabbinate.

Until now, community rabbis and yeshiva heads not officially employed by a local religious council needed special permission from the rabbinical council to officiate at weddings.

Tzohar helps to involve non-religious couples and their families in the wedding ceremony, marrying about 3,000 couples a year free of charge.

A Jewish couple must have a religious ceremony in Israel in order to be recognized as married. Many Israeli couples travel to the nearby island of Cyprus to marry in secular ceremonies.

JTA

Israeli Anti-Nausea Pill for Cancer Patients Passes Clinical Trial

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Israel’s RedHill Biopharma announced success last week in a major clinical trial of a new drug to prevent nausea in cancer patients.

The once-a-day pill RHB-102, which has now passed a trial corresponding to a Phase III clinical trial, will compete with leading anti-nausea drug Zofran, made by GlaxoSmithKline, which is taken several times a day.

Redhill will apply to the FDA for a pre-New Drug Application hearing for market approval in a few weeks.

Anti-nausea medications are estimated to be worth $2 billion around the world, according to a report in Globes online business news.

Malkah Fleisher

US: Israeli Settlements Not Constructive for Peace

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

According to FOCUS Information Agency, the United States said Wednesday that Israel’s settlement activity was not “constructive” for Middle East peace after a committee approved a plan for at least 500 new homes in Judea and Samaria, and legalized the outpost of Shvut Rachel, which had been unauthorized. Officials said the committee gave legal status to around 195 existing homes and gave the go-ahead for some 500 new ones.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he was not familiar with the latest approval of settlements but reiterated that the United States opposes such moves. “We don’t believe it’s in any way constructive to getting both sides back to the negotiating table,” Toner told reporters.

Jewish Press News Briefs

EU Reportedly Agrees to Iran Oil Embargo

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In a move certain to intensify pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program, European Union ambassadors have agreed on a plan to institute an embargo on Iranian oil exports. “The principal agreement on the ban for the Iranian oil imports was reached,” a senior EU diplomat in Brussels was quoted as saying. The decision must now get formal approval from the EU’s foreign ministers.

According to sources, the embargo would be implemented gradually, with all imports to terminate completely by July 1, 2012.

Jewish Press Staff

Title: Power Bentching

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Title: Power Bentching


Author: Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss


 


 


   Expressing gratitude to Hashem for all the bounty He provides us is a Biblical mitzvah that is incumbent upon men and women when they finish a meal. We call this “bentching,” most commonly known as “Grace after Meals.” Unfortunately, for many of us it has turned into the “Race after Meals.”

 

   Why have we become so insensitive in our gratitude to Hashem? Perhaps, the reason is because this mitzvah is done so frequently. Perhaps it is because we know the bentching by heart or perhaps it is because bentchers aren’t always nearby. Still, to say the least, this precious mitzvah is being neglected.

 

   A new sefer has been released which has the ability to reawaken within everyone and lead us to the proper fulfillment of showing gratitude to Hashem though our bentching. Power Bentching, written by Rabbi Moshe Meir Weiss, rav of Agudas Yisroel of Staten Island, is a guide for how to do this mitzvah properly and enjoyably.

 

   Power Bentching reveals the blessings and benefits bestowed upon those who bentch slowly, and reading audibly these precious words found within the bentching. Rav Weiss also uncovers many meanings of the sacred words and opens for us the possibility to tap into the power of blessings that bentching releases. Indeed, each word is explained, many with myriads of explanations from sources in Tanach, Talmud, midrashim, as well as commentaries by sages of Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Chassidic traditions.

 

   Tales from our rich past, halachic disputes, down to earth examples and fascinating parables, surprising gematriyos and hidden roshei teivos (commentary based on numerical or letter representations) abound. Also, there are many nuances of meanings as well as subtle variations in the grammar that are explained in a clear and concise manner.

 

   There is something for everyone – scholars, yeshiva students and Bais Yaakov girls, rebbeim and mechanchos, fathers, mothers, and even young readers will all gain new insights. Whether by learning a few pages daily or making this sefer part of your Shabbos and yom tov table, Power Bentching is bound to be a family favorite.

 

   Power Bentching can be the source material of mini-lessons or part of subject matter taught in yeshivas, Bais Yaakovs, day schools and summer camps. It can be learned privately or in a group setting. It is no surprise that Power Bentching has won the approval and praise of Torah Umesorah.

 

   Rabbi Weiss’s writing style is very pleasant and inviting. Sources are given for all the commentaries. Translations of words and phrases in Hebrew have been rendered into English with great precision. Each page is designed in such a way that you can concentrate on the word being discussed and at the same time not lose track of its place within the bentching. This is accomplished in part through multi-color print and the graphic talent of Sonnshine Design.

 

   Rabbi Weiss also deals with deep and difficult topics in an exciting way. What is the history behind each blessing? How can a human “bless” (so to speak) Hashem? What are some deeper meanings of the four-letter Name of Hashem? How does that Name of Hashem differ from the Name Elokim? What are some of the reasons the martyrs of Beitar are mentioned each time we bentch? How does bentching impact important matters such as emunah, bitachon, or parnasah?

 

   Power Bentching has rabbinical haskomos (approbations) from leading gedolei Yisroel. They have blessed the author that his sefer find its way into the hearts of all Jews to bring them closer to our Father in Heaven. They have expressed the idea that bentching is a mitzvah that needs to be elevated and kept in an honored manner by all. Indeed, the author of one of these haskomos states that he read the entire sefer and that his own bentching has been elevated.

Breindy Reiss

Slurpees Make Aliyah to Israel

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

            Hashmonaim is a community in central Israel blessed with wonderful neighbors, and lovely houses and greenery. However, it has few commercial enterprises. It is a typical bedroom community, and most of those with jobs drive out each morning and return home each evening. Some commuters even get on a plane Sunday evening and do not return until the following Thursday or Friday. Yet, those who remain behind each day enjoy some of the most wonderful experiences available. The community is warm and friendly, with a strong social support system. Many families share meals on Shabbat and rotate between the many invitations available each week. The children practically live in each other’s homes and enjoy the community almost as much as the adults do.

 

            Recently, those of us who live here realized that not only does our community have everything, but we now also have Freezees. Besides a wonderful bakery and a well-stocked grocery, we have a delicious pizza shop that installed a Freezee machine. In America, Freezee, an ice-cold, thirst-quenching drink, is known as a 7-Eleven Slurpee – a frozen, slushy carbonated drink that comes in 153 flavors.

 

            It is not surprising that our relatively small community has installed a Freezee machine, because the person who brought Freezees to Israel happens to be a resident and a member of our local governing council. Our neighbor, Joe Offenbacher, assisted by his energetic wife, Aviva, imported the machines, syrup, cups, unique spoon straws and dome cup covers from the US, and they have already managed to distribute several machines around the country.

 

            Joe, Aviva and their family came on aliya in 2004. Joe is a Yeshiva University graduate with a Masters degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He also has 20 years of business experience in the US and he needed his psychology degree to deal effectively with the local red-tape!

 

            It was not easy to start a food business food in Israel. A US factory supplies the Mehadrin-Kosher syrup. Importing flavors into Israel is a major undertaking. Each flavor needs to be registered and approved by both the Ministry of Health and the Rabbanut. The manufacturer produces each lot specifically for Israel and it is not easy to decide which flavors to import. The most popular flavors are cola, cherry and raspberry. Yet, some only want lemon-lime and will travel long distances for that flavor.

 

            The syrup is purchased from a plant in the US under the supervision of the Star-K. Joe reports that Rabbi Tzvi Rosen of the Star-K has been wonderful in answering his questions and those of the Israeli rabbis, assuring that the product will be able to pass the most stringent Kashrut standards. In Israel, each flavor needs to get the approval of the Rabbanut of Israel’s import division. Then, it needs Ministry of Health approval. Once the basic approval is given, additional Mehadrin kashrut approval is requested for each flavor so that Freezee machines can be placed in additional locations. Rav Leff of Matityahu, a respected local English speaking Rav, helped Joe get certification in Modiin under the supervision of Rav Lau. It was not easy and took many visits to Rav Leff’s office. Since Joe’s office is in Hashmonaim, he also applied for the Mehadrin certificate of the Judea and Samaria Regional Council. 

 

      Talks are now being help to acquire Badatz certification. Acquiring this next level of Hashgacha will require a huge expense because the Badatz does not trust anyone but its own supervisors to visit the plants and check everything personally. This may ultimately prove to be too expensive.  

 

            Freezee sponsors an American Flag Football team. The players wear the Freezee logo, and right before every game, they chant the rallying cry, “One, two, three – FREEZEE!”  Frezee also has a Facebook page, “Freezee Israel.”

 

             The most successful machine is in a pizza parlor in Efrat. The owner had the machine for about a week when he called and asked if he could buy the machine because it was doing so well, it didn’t pay for him to rent it. In Ramat Beit Shemesh, a wine shop, Win Vino, dispenses Freezees. Whenever a machine is put into one business, calls come from neighboring businesses that also want one. 

 

            Today, there are ten machines in Israel, in Efrat, Netanya, Jerusalem, Hashmonaim and Modiin. Another four machines are on order and that number may be upped to ten as more and more requests are received. Wherever there are concentrations of former Americans, a Freezee machine has been installed. Now Joe’s job is to teach the Israelis how good his product is. Joe is in the process of acquiring secured loans backed by the machines in order to expand.

 

     “It would be great,” he mentioned, “If we could find someone to donate a machine to install in an army base.”

Dov Gilor

The ‘Older and Improved’ Me

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

If you look at an ad or a commercial, more often than not the hype will be about the “new and improved” version of a product. The emphasis is on the fact that it’s “newer” and thus better than the “earlier” version.

Maybe that works for products, but as far as I’m concerned, if I had to promote myself, “older and improved” would be the selling point.

You read right – older and improved. With a birthday coming up three days before Purim, I will be a year older, and in my eyes that is a good thing. Many of my generation view an approaching birthday with the same enthusiasm as they do an upcoming root canal. Birthdays – and the increase in their years of life is a reality they reluctantly view as an annual occurrence they have no choice but to get through – like Tisha B’av. Just as in the case of the fast day, the morning after a birthday brings a ripple of relief that they don’t have to deal with this unwelcome herald of aging for another year.

I beg to differ. I am delighted that with the arrival of my birthday I get a year older. Older is good – because with age comes the wisdom of experience; the smarts that come from having “been there and done that” – or not.

In other words, I relish getting older because I feel I get less stupid. I gain more clarity, more sechel and the price is cheap – a few wrinkles, a slower metabolism, walking rather than running to catch the bus – a real bargain when you weigh the pros and cons.

I would not trade places with my younger, naïve, gullible self for any price – not even for the beauty, energy and vitality that is the domain of the young. I’m so much more comfortable in my “old” (more mature) skin, than I ever was in my “old” (read young) skin because introspection bestows life-enhancing insight. I know who I am and with that no longer elusive knowledge, there is sweet self-acceptance and approval.

When I was young, I let others tell me who I was. I let the opinions of significant – and insignificant others, whose journey intersected with mine, influence my opinion of myself. I allowed both friend and foe – sometimes they were the same entity, to define who I was. I listened to them. I believed them. My younger self did not know that the only opinion I should have heeded and taken to heart was my own. But I didn’t have the confidence that is the byproduct of experience.

I was too trusting of others and not trusting enough of myself. Those days are long gone and will never hold sway over me again.

While there were some positive voices, there were many that were unrelentingly negative. At some point I would have welcomed “parve” opinions – at least they did not hamstring my spirit and make me question my worthiness – but those too were rare. It took a very long time before I realized that many of those who were so critical were themselves so saturated with self-directed negativity that it seeped from their pores. With time I understood that they projected their own overwhelming feelings of inadequacy onto me – not because they were malicious or wanted to hurt me, but because that is all they knew to give. Someone who, for example, has only tasted pepper, does not comprehend sugar and thus cannot offer it.

With age comes an enhanced ability to reflect, analyze and assess. This introspection can lead to understanding and eye-opening answers to the long ingrained “whys” that gnaw at your soul. With many questions resolved, the “emotional potholes” that tripped you can be repaired and you can move forward on the journey you were detoured from.

With the passing of time, those in your younger years who in your naïve eyes were giants, actually shrink, get smaller, and shrivel; and eventually a light bulb goes off in your head and you realize that they were flawed and human, like yourself.

This amazing awareness leads to forgiveness, the emotional catheter that allows life-threatening resentment, bitterness and regret to drain out of you. It also inoculates you from further hurt; it is a shield that deflects any unwarranted, unjustified negativity, blocking crippling self-doubt from infecting you.

I have learned to avoid those who are have been or are or will be “toxic” to my well being. I may understand why they are the way they are, so there is no anger. But I will not let them undermine the “new” and improved me. I’m too old for that.

Happy birthday to me.

Cheryl Kupfer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/the-older-and-improved-me-2/2010/02/17/

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