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May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ashkenazi’

Haredi and Hard-Core Right-Wingers May Help Elect the Left

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A new poll on Friday showing the possible demise of Shas should make Sephardi Rabbi Chaim Amsalem and right-wing Otzma leader Michael Ben-Ari think twice about running the elections, but their egos probably will seal their ears.

If each of them insists on running in their own independent parties, they are unlikely to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset and will waste tens of thousands of votes that otherwise would go to the Jewish Home and the other two Sephardi parties.

That means the other parties, particular those on the center-left, get a bigger slice of the pie and could end up with enough votes to form a coalition government, thanks to those who are dead-set against it.

It will be tougher for a party to enter the Knesset this year because the new threshold has been upped to 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that a party needs approximately 125,000 votes to win representation.

In the last election, the threshold was only 2 percent, but Otzma still missed being elected.

Ben-Ari is known to support the Lehava anti-assimilation group, whose leader Bentzi Gupstein and nearly a dozen others were arrested this month.

Ben-Ari is a true ideologue. He compares Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, both of whom are left-wingers in his opinion. He calls himself the real “right wing,” a label Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon claims for himself in his campaign to defeat Netanyahu as party chairman in elections next week.

As for taking votes away from the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party and ending up with zero seats in the Knesset, Ben-Ari apparently has no answer. When asked by Channel 20, “Aren’t you afraid of wasting right-wing votes?” he simply blamed Yisrael Beitenu for raising the threshold, as if blaming someone else for the likely result justifies his being the reason.

Ben-Ari’s anger at right-wing politicians who compromise in order to stay in power is absolutely correct but also proves why he should not be in politics. There is an old expression, “Would you rather be right or be president?”

In his case, he would rather be right, in both senses of the word, a position that could help Herzog and his sidekick Tzipi Livni become the rotating prime ministers.

Rabbi Amsalem’s Am Shalem party, like Otzma, failed to enter the Knesset in the last elections, and he is not likely to fare better this time around.

That did not stop him from meeting with supporters this week to discuss tossing his kippa into the political ring again and splitting up the Sephardi religious vote that already is divided between Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri, and Eli Yishai’s new party.

And now for today’s poll released by Panels, rated as one of the most accurate election campaign polls.

Shas would not win enough votes to enter the Knesset, and Yishai would win only four, which is marginal, compared with nine Shas MKs in the Knesset that disbanded this month.

That means votes for Shas are wasted.

The poll was taken before Ben-Ari announced his intentions to run and it gave the Jewish Home a very impressive 18 seats in the Knesset.

The Otzma party could easily cut that down to 16.

Here is the lineup if elections were held today, according to Panels:

Labor-Livni – 24;

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home -18;

Arab parties – 13;

Lapid (Yesh Atid) – 11;

Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah (Ashkenaz Haredi) – 7;

Meretz – 6;

Yisrael Beitenu – 6;

Eli Yishai – 4.

If Amsalem enters the race, he could take away enough seats away from Yishai to leave the three religious Sephardic parties with zero.

2 New Chief Rabbis Elected for Jerusalem After 10-Yr Hiatus

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The holy city of Jerusalem finally has its own Chief Sephardic and Chief Ashkenazi Rabbis, after a hiatus of ten years.

The previous Jerusalem Chief Rabbis both passed away in 2003, leaving the positions vacant until now.

Former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar of the State of Israel has been elected to the Jerusalem office with 28 votes.

Rabbi Aryeh Stern, at the Halacha Brura Institute, has become Rabbi Amar’s Ashkenazi counterpart, with 27 votes. He vowed to represent all the people in Jerusalem, a statement reflecting his roots as a student of the late Israel Chief Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook.

The 48-member Jerusalem City Council had to whittle down a list of 9 candidates (the original list had been 19) for the positions on Tuesday, beginning at 4 pm.

Polls closed at 7 pm sharp, and results were announced within the hour, just before the 8 pm deadline.

Former Chief of Staff’s Oil Well a Colossal Flop

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Investors are screaming their heads off at Shemen Oil Co. and its CEO, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, after the company announced Monday that its Yam 3 oil well, off the Ashdod coast, is dry, despite indications a month ago it would reap a bonanza.

A final report will not be known until the equipment is taken out of the bore hole, leaving a “small chance that there was a breakdown in the production tests in the upper sections of the borehole,” Shemen stated.

The company said in September that there were signs of high quality oil in the well, into which was poured $175 million of investors’ money.

The company’s stock plunged 90 percent on Monday, prompting several investors to demand a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange investigation into the possibility that the announcement in September was made in order to allow insiders to sell their holdings at a profit, at the expense of an unknowing public.

In any case, Ashkenazi is not a big loser. He received salary of more than $1.5 million the past two years as Shemen CEO, not including high-class travel and four-star hotels, all at the expense of the company.

Ancient Jewish Ritual Takes Over Dieting World

Friday, June 14th, 2013

As the Ashkenazi observant Jews among our readers know, after the pilgrimage holidays of Passover and Sukkot, we pray for the health and well being of those who fast on the B’hab days—an acronym meaning Monday-Thursday-Monday. On the month of Iyar, following Passover, and on the month of Cheshvan, following Sukkot, some Ashkenazi Jews observe three fast days on the first and second Monday and on the first Thursday.

There are still many synagogues out there where they say a special set of Selichot (supplications), for the protection of those who fast B’hab.

There are several sources for this minhag (custom), some recall the fast of Esther and Mordechai, others suggest that since the pilgrimage holidays are a time of great merriment, it’s possible that the pilgrims may have committed sins for which they wish to atone with fasting.

None of the Jewish sources have suggested that fasting on Monday and Thursday and eating all you want the rest of the week is a great diet recipe. But it appears to be taking over the world.

The 5:2 diet, or the 5/2 diet, involves severe calorie restriction for two days a week and normal eating the other five days. It originated and became popular in the UK, and spread to Europe and the USA, and, most important – it is claimed to promote weight loss and to have some additional beneficial effects on health.

“The Fast Diet” is the brainchild of TV medical journalist Michael Mosley and journalist Mimi Spencer. It allows dieters to eat anything they want for five days, but only 600 calories a day on the other two.

Mosley’s choice for his two weekly fast days? You guessed it – Monday and Thursday.

Their book, “The Fast Diet: The secret of intermittent fasting – lose weight, stay healthy, live longer,” has topped bestselling book lists in Britain and the United States this year, with more than a dozen reprints.

Mosley said the diet is based on work by British and U.S. scientists who found intermittent fasting helped people lose more fat, increase insulin sensitivity and cut cholesterol.

He tried this eating regime for a BBC television science program titled “Eat, Fast, Live Longer” last August, when his own cholesterol level was too high and his blood sugar was in the diabetic range. He says he was stunned by the results.

“I started doing intermittent fasting a year ago, lost 8 kgs (18 pounds) of fat over 3 months and my blood results went back to normal,” Mosley told Reuters.

Mosley attributes his diet’s success—an average loss of a pound a week for both women and men—to psychology. “The problem with standard diets is that you feel like you are constantly having to exercise restraint and that means you are thinking about food all the time, which becomes self-defeating,” he explains.

“On this regime you are only really on a diet two days a week. It is also extremely flexible and simple.”

The Shulchan Aruch suggests that Monday and Thursday were picked to be the two days of fasting because these are Yemei Ratzon (days of grace). It points out that Moses went up a second time to Mount Sinai to receive the Torah on a Thursday and came down on a Monday.

There are no supplications being offered along with the Mosley diet plan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ancient-jewish-ritual-takes-over-dieting-world/2013/06/14/

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