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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Bnei Brak’

Hamodia Calling for Independent Haredi Autonomy within Israel

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

If you ask me, this is the real redemption: Haredi anger over the new government’s attitude towards their interests is increasing every day, and so the Agudat Israel newspaper, Hamodia, published an extensive article calling for the first time to establish a Haredi autonomy within the State of Israel.

The author attacks the behavior of National Religious leaders who have chosen to cooperate with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, despite the latter’s anti-Haredi stance.

Then he refers to the philosophical differences between the Haredi and Religious Zionist approach to the state – one sees it as an outright danger to the Jews, the other as marking the start of messianic times.

At this point, Hamodia offers a revolutionary idea: “Led by the media and the High Court, which are nourished by left-wing organizations funded by anti-Semites, they choose to deny the hard earned status quo in the relationship between the religion and the state, breaking all conventions by approving fictitious conversions, civil marriage, and interference in the life of the Haredi sector.”

Hamodia threatens: “If there is no turn in our favor, there is an option of last resort we should consider – to establish a Jewish autonomy in Eretz Israel.”

Note the “last resort” thing. Possibly because establishing an autonomy requires work?

“An autonomy means independence in governing our domestic affairs, without political sovereignty, overseeing our own constitutional independence, economics and the police, but without an army and foreign policy,” declares Hamodia.

“If we were able to establish Bnei Brak, Elad Modi’in Ilit, Laniado hospital and Ezer M’Zion, we will also succeed in setting up an electric company, roads, and whatever else is required,” it adds bravely.

The Aguda paper believes that the benefits of the new autonomy would be economic as well, since the Haredim would be able to work and earn a decent living without the need for academic degrees and without modesty issues.

And the Haredi autonomy won’t be wasting public funds on sports, “delusional” Western culture, prisons and rehab centers.

Man, are they in for a couple wakeup calls, at least regarding the prisons and rehab centers, where Haredi folks comprise a nice portion of the population. Turns out Hamodia is perfectly capable of being delusional without the benefit of Western culture.

Incidentally, why would the requirement for academic degrees be such a bad thing? In New York, both Touro College and Yeshiva University are turning out thousands of Haredim with academic degrees who later excel in the professions an in business. Is it because the Hamodia staff are afraid of being replaced by better qualified, eager Haredi journalists?

The Aguda paper promises further that “using wise and prudent management, we will succeed in budgeting one hundred percent of our educational institutions, kollel students will be the darlings of the public (yakirei hatzibur) and will receive respectable scholarships, and we would take care to offer housing at reasonable prices.”

Oh, please God, do it, do it now, don’t hesitate, you’ll be great at it, don’t wait. If you ask me, this is the best Atchalta d’Geulah news I’ve heard in a year.

Hareidim – N.I.M.B.Y.

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Hareidim – obviously they’re worse than the Settlers. Who wants them? Worse, who wants them next living next door to you.

For a supposedly open-minded and tolerant society, some Israelis are very intolerant of Hareidim. So intolerant that they don’t want them as neighbors, while simultaneously complaining about Hareidi neighborhoods being enclaves of intolerance and isolation.

In Friday’s (Jerusalem Post) In Jerusalem, the paper went on its usual rant about Hareidim (legally, mind you) acquiring more property in Jerusalem for their growing needs.

In this latest story, the (secular) residents of Ramat Sharett, who share a border with (Hareidi) Bayit V’Gan woke up nearly too late to stop the “machinations” that put them on the “forward position on the frontlines of the ongoing haredi-secular battle in Jerusalem”.

But luckily these secular residents managed to block the legal hareidi acquisition and construction, and reach a “compromise” with the city, thus acquiring one of the two plots in question for themselves, keeping it out of Hareidi hands who had legally already won it.

This of course follows up with their previous articles on Hareidim making inroads into Kiryat HaYovel, and other “last bastions” of secularism in Jerusalem, to the dismay of the less primitive and more open and tolerant secular residents.

But don’t be concerned, all these people say that Hareidim deserve to have a place to live, just not in their back yard.

But what happens when it’s not in their back yard?

Not surprisingly, it turns out these tolerant secular open-minded progressives don’t want Hareidim to have a place to live there either.

In the Jerusalem Post’s weekend magazine, they interviewed Brian Lurie, the new president of the New Israel Fund (NIF) and Naomi Paiss, their VP of public relations.

There’s so much disgusting stuff to talk about in that article, but one particular paragraph caught my eye.

As you may have guessed from above, there are so few communities that want to let Hareidim in, for fear of them taking over.

As a result, the Hareidim have been working on building in their own towns and cities (one in the Negev, one in Wadi Ara), where they can let their hair down, and not worry about bothering secular Jews with the threat of encroachment.

But, the NIF and other progressive group don’t like the idea that Hareidim should build all-Hareidi towns for themselves. And so they try to block it.

The Jerusalem Post quotes Naomi Paiss, NIF’s VP for public relations,

“…the NIF was involved in a campaign to change what was set up to an all-haredi 50,000-person city placed in the Harish wadi area [JS: think Baqa Al-Gharbiya and Umm el Qutuf] between a regular middle-class town of ordinary Jewish people, a kibbutz down the road and an Arab village up the hill.”

Paiss says the new city would have ruined an area where pluralism is working by artificially throwing in a new ghetto.

She says she has no problem with Hareidim moving into the new development, but the NIF is proud it has suceeded in making the new development open to all.

So let’s analyze her statement, down the road is a left-wing kibbutz ghetto. Up the hill is an exclusively Arab village ghetto (Baka Al-Gharbiya – Arab population 32,000+, Jewish population: 0). And somewhere nearby is a ghetto of middle-class ordinary (presumably secular) Israelis (who would of course welcome in Hareidim with open arms to their town).

So despite all those other ghettos nearby, a new Hareidi ghetto would have ruined the pluralism of the the area. Really.

I don’t know about you, but the hypocrisy is just reeking.

And perhaps there’s something else that Paiss isn’t actually telling us either.

This area, Wadi Ara, is actually an area overwhelmingly populated by Arabs, and not Jews, though it appears to me that she wants you to think otherwise by mentioning a kibbutz and Jewish town alongside and Arab village.

If I were a suspicious fellow, I’d wonder if perhaps the NIF fears that Hareidim moving in, with their high birth rates, would Judaize the Wadi Ara area. While a “pluralistic” town, “open to all” would prevent that from happening.

But I’m not a suspicious fellow, and I’m sure that wasn’t a consideration, even if she implied that there was only a small Arab village nearby, and not a few, including one with over 32,000 Arab residents.

Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I do not question the sincerity or intent of HaGoan Rav Chaim Kanievsky. As a religious Jew I agree that Torah protects Klal Yisroel from harm. From YWN:

Rav Kanievsky told the hundreds who inquired to simply remain in Bnei Brak, for the Torah city may rely on the words of the Chazon Ish ZT”L, that there is nothing to fear in Bnei Brak due to the zchus of the limud Torah and bombs will not land in the city.

All well and good. But I have to question why he did not mention the great Hishtadlus of the Israeli government that with the help of the United States created the “Iron Dome.” Which in large part has aided in that objective.

For those who haven’t been paying attention, Israel has in place an anti-missile system that seeks out and destroys those rockets from Gaza that are aimed at population centers. So far it has been 90% effective, although unfortunately 3 people have been killed by rocket attack, it would have been a lot worse without it.

The problem with these kinds of pronouncements is that it makes it seem like there is no Hishtadlus needed. One need not be concerned and be careful about bombs as long as one lives in the holy city of Bnei Brak.

Really? Is Bnei Brak immune from attack? …or any other evil that may befall it just because of the Torah learned there? I don’t think so. The great Yeshivos of pre Holocaust Europe were also great M’komos of Torah. The city of Vilna where many of them were located was called the Jerusalem of Lithuania. We all know what happened to them.

One might answer that the Holocaust was an exceptional circumstance where God carried out His heavenly decree which overrode the protective seal of the Torah. But I must ask, how can anyone today know that this is not the case once again?! …God forbid!

There were also similar statements by many Gedolim in Europe during the Holocaust telling people to stay put. We all know what happened to them as well, Rachmana Litzlan.

Rav Kanievsky is not a Navi.There is absolutely no Nevuah today. But there is something called Ruach HaKodesh. That is when one becomes imbued with a non specific heavenly spirit that helps guide them in making decisions. But I do not recall Rav Kanievsky ever making any such claim. His father in law, Rav Elyashiv, actually admitted that he did not have Ruach HaKodesh to Rav Nosson Kamentesky when he jumped the gun on banning his book, Making of a Gadol.

In times of trouble like these, it behooves us to remember a phrase made popular in song after the attack in Pearl Harbor during World War II. A phrase that speaks to Hishtadlus: Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. This certainly holds true today. We indeed must pray for God’s protection but must also make the maximum effort to do whatever can physically be done to protect ourselves and defeat the enemy.

I also wish he had mentioned the contributions of the IDF. Do they deserve no credit for protecting Bnei Brak’s residents? Many Israeli soldiers from the most secular to the most religious (Zionists… and these days even Charedim) are poised and ready to go into battle for their countrymen. Which includes the residents of Bnei Brak. These young men are literally putting their lives on the line for Klal Yisroel. Why not mention that when speaking of the Torah’s protection? Does he not recognize their contribution?

I’m sure he does. I wouldn’t even be surprised if he and other rabbinic leaders have called (or will call) for a mass prayer rally for the protection of our soldiers. But it would have been nice if he had mentioned it here too. Hakoras HaTov to the IDF is better expressed before the fact than after the fact in my view. Because that would give Chizuk – strength and encouragement – to all of our fighting men as well as to their worried families back home.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Daf Yomi

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

For Appearance’s Sake
‘Moving Forward At The Word Of G-d’
(Shabbos 31a)

When the umbrella was invented, poskim debated at length whether it may be used on Shabbos. The core of their debate was whether opening an umbrella is considered making an ohel for protection from the rain or sun. In practice, the prohibition against using umbrellas has been universally accepted among all Jewish communities. As the Chafetz Chaim, zt”l, writes, “One who guards his soul should utterly refrain from their use” (Biur Halacha 315, s.v. tefach).

However, when the Chasam Sofer was first informed that a great posek considered opening an umbrella to be an issur d’oraisa, he pointed to our sugya as proof to the contrary (Teshuvos O.C. 72).

As is well-known, the 39 melachos are defined and characterized by the activities that were necessary to construct the Mishkan. For example, because curtains were sewn for the Mishkan, sewing is forbidden on Shabbos. Because rams were slaughtered for their leather to cover the Mishkan, slaughtering is forbidden on Shabbos. Because building was necessary in constructing the Mishkan, building is forbidden on Shabbos.

In Talmud Yerushalmi, amora’im debate whether one may construct a temporary building. In other words, may one build a structure on Shabbos that one intends to soon demolish?

On the one hand, one can argue that doing so should be forbidden. After all, the Mishkan itself was a temporary building. When Bnei Yisrael camped, they assembled its parts. Before they traveled, they dismantled it. Since the issur of meleches boneh is based on what happened in constructing the Mishkan, temporary building should be forbidden on Shabbos.

Temporary Building

On the other hand, though, one can argue that temporary building does not fall under the category of meleches boneh since it is unimportant, and unimportant building is not considered real “building” when it comes to the laws of Shabbos. It’s true that the building of the Mishkan was also temporary, but that was by no means a sign of its unimportance. Bnei Yisrael assembled and disassembled it by Hashem’s command. Even if the Mishkan only sometimes stood for a short period of time, the command of Hashem made it as important as any permanent building.

A Permanent Umbrella?

An umbrella is a temporary structure. As such, it is subject to the debate in Yerushalmi. Though the Yerushalmi does not resolve this debate, the Chasam Sofer argues that our sugya reaches a clear conclusion on our question.

Demolishing is one of the 39 melachos if done in a constructive fashion. In other words, one may not destroy for the sake of building. For example, one may not demolish an old building to build a new one in its place. Our Gemara wonders whether one may demolish for the sake of building in a different locale. One can argue that doing so does not fall under the category of forbidden demolishing since there seemingly is no connection between the act of demolishing and the act of building.

The Gemara suggests a proof that doing so is forbidden based on what happened in constructing the Mishkan. When the Jews dismantled the Mishkan, they did so for the sake of building it in another locale. Since the construction of the Mishkan is the very source of the 39 melachos, demolishing for the sake of building elsewhere should therefore be forbidden.

The Gemara rejects this reasoning. It states that the dismantling of the Mishkan was done at Hashem’s command, thus making the dismantling extremely significant. It cannot be compared to the demolition of mundane buildings in order to build them in a different place.

The Gemara accepts this argument. Demolishing on Shabbos in order to rebuild in a different place is not the biblical melachah of demolishing even though it was performed in the Mishkan.

The Chasam Sofer and the Umbrella

We can extend this line of reasoning to temporary building. This act was also done in constructing the Mishkan but cannot be compared to ordinary temporary building. In the Mishkan, temporary building was important because it was done at the special command of Hashem for the purpose of traveling in the desert. The same cannot be said of ordinary temporary building.

Daf Yomi

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Triple Pray?
‘If He Did Not Say He Must Repeat’
(Shabbos 24a)

Our sugya is the source for some of the most well-known laws in hilchos tefillah: those dictating what a person should do if he forgets to say ya’aleh v’yavo in Shemoneh Esreh on Rosh Chodesh or Chol Hamoed (Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 422:1).

If he notices his mistake before beginning Modim, he should recite ya’aleh v’yavo immediately. If he notices any time between the beginning of Modim and the end of Shemoneh Esreh, he must return to Retzeh and proceed from there. If he is accustomed to reciting petitions such as “Elokai netzor” at the end of Shemoneh Esreh, this is considered part of his Shemoneh Esreh and he may still return to Retzeh. If he only realizes after completing the entire Shemoneh Esreh (even if he has not yet taken three steps back), he must return to the beginning of Shemoneh Esreh.

A Different Mistake Each Time

What about a doubly forgetful person – someone who repeats Shemoneh Esreh because he forgot to say ya’aleh v’yavo and then realizes after his second Shemoneh Esreh that he accidentally said “morid hagesehem” in place of “morid hatal”? Does he need to say Shemoneh Esreh yet a third time?

Did He Or Did He Not?

At the heart of this question lies another one: How do our Sages view a tefillah that lacked ya’aleh v’yavo or any of the other insertions whose omission requires one to repeat Shemoneh Esreh? Do they see it as almost “non-existent” – as if the person had not davened at all? Or perhaps they do consider it a tefillah, but nonetheless, the person must repeat Shemoneh Esreh in order to recite the omitted insertion.

If we take the view that the tefillah is essentially “non-existent” or “worthless” (as if he had not davened), then the person who forgot ya’aleh v’yavo and confused morid hagesehem with morid hatal must daven a third time. However, if we take the view that the Shemoneh Esreh without ya’aleh v’yavo, for example, is still a tefillah, then the person need not daven a third time since each tefillah completed what the other one lacked. (The person did not confuse morid hagesehem with morid hatal in the first tefillah and did say ya’aleh v’yavo in the second tefillah.)

Leading poskim throughout the generations have debated this issue. Many rule that the person in our case need not daven again (Gur Aryeh Yehudah O.C. 17; Mekor Chaim 108; Birkas Habayis 17:29) while others rule that he must (Mateh Efraim 582:21, Magen Giborim 104, Elef Hamagen s.k. 9; Resp. Likutei Tzvi 10; Resp. Maharshag O.C. 1:52; et. al.).

Will This Time Be Any Better?

The author of Yagel Yaakov (O.C. 23) presents a different argument. Even if we were to consider both tefillos invalid, he writes, we should still not instruct this person to daven a third time since if he erred twice, he will most likely err a third time. Only if he is confident that he will certainly not err this time should he daven again.

Contemporary poskim (Levushei Mordechai Tinyana, O.C. 12; Resp. Har Tzvi O.C. 1:54; Minchas Yitzchak 10:40) suggest that a person should daven a third time and make a condition that if he is required to daven again, this Shemoneh Esreh should fulfill his obligation, and if he is not required to daven again, his tefillah should be considered a voluntary tefillas nedavah. All opinions are thereby satisfied.

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters, in Hebrew and/or English, are available for simcha and memorial dedications and are distributed by e-mail, dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Pomp And Circumstance
‘Endeavor to See the King’
(Berachos 58a)

Our Sages composed two berachos to say upon seeing a king. We say, “Blessed are You Hashem…who apportioned from His honor to those who fear Him” upon seeing a Jewish king and “Blessed are You Hashem… who gave from His honor to flesh and blood” upon seeing a gentile king.

The Gemara states that a person should always run to meet kings of Israel, or even kings of other nations. That way, when Moshiach arrives, he will be able to discern the difference between the honor of kings in this world and the far greater honor and greatness of Moshiach. He will then see the great reward for those who observe Hashem’s mitzvos (Magen Avraham, O.C. 224, s.k. 7).

A Queen?

There are certain circumstances under which one should not look at a king. For example, it is forbidden to look at the face of a wicked person. Therefore, one should not look at a wicked king.

Some poskim also say one should not look at a queen who has the halachic status of a king if she rules a country in place of a king. One should say the berachah, but looking at her directly is immodest, these poskim explain.

The Entourage

Under certain circumstances, a person might recite a berachah upon seeing a king’s entourage, his marching band, or a ceremony held in his honor, yet not when seeing the king himself!

How so? Poskim conclude (see Responsa Shevet HaLevi 1:35) that in situations where one is proscribed from directly gazing at a monarch, it is sufficient to contemplate the honor that is shown to him or her by the assembled crowds and their gazes of admiration in order to recite the berachah. The impression upon encountering royalty (see Shaarei Teshuvah 224:2) can be realized simply by looking at the entourage and ceremonial procession.

On the other hand, a person who sees a king without the fanfare that usually accompanies him does not gain this impression. In such circumstances, therefore, he should not say the berachah (Kaf Hachayim 224; see Shevet HaLevi ibid.; and Responsa Betzeil Hachachmah 2:13).

Melech HaMoshiach

Based on this, we can understand why Rebbi Yehuda HaChassid rules (Sefer Chassidim 950) that a person only needs to interrupt his Torah studies to see a king once. After he has already seen a king’s honor once, he can compare it to the honor of Moshiach and the Jewish people in the future. He need not trouble himself to see a king again unless the king makes an appearance with even greater ceremony and honor (see Machatzis HaShekel 224 on Magen Avraham ibid.). He then will see that even the greater honor shown to the king is nothing compared to the honor of Moshiach, may he come speedily and in our days.

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English are available for simcha and memorial dedications and are distributed by e-mail, dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

Daf Yomi

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Kerias Shema Twice At Night?
‘When One Reads Shema’
(Berachos 8b)

Our Gemara develops a most interesting halacha. The fixed times for kerias shema in the evening and morning are clearly defined. Opinions differ as to the time limits for the mitzvah. Our Gemara explores whether a person who could not recite the evening shema in its proper time can say it later, until sunrise. The Gemara also wonders whether a person who will not be able to recite the morning shema in its proper time can say it earlier, starting at alos hashachar (see Mechaber Orach Chayim 58:4). It thus appears that the time between alos hashachar and sunrise is acceptable for both the night and morning shema!

Rishonim discuss whether a person who is unable to recite the evening and morning shemas in their proper time can say both of them between alos hashachar and sunrise. The Mechaber rules (O.C. 58:5, see Mishnah Berurah, s.k. 21) that he may not. He writes: “Since he made that time night [by saying the night shema after alos hashachar], he is now unable to make it day.”

Saying The Night Shema While Wearing Tefillin

Everyone knows Ulla’s statement (infra. 14b) “that he who recites shema without wearing tefillin is as though he bears false testimony.” This only pertains to the morning shema as we do not put on tefillin at night. But what if someone says the night shema after alos hashachar? Should he put on tefillin to avoid bearing false testimony? Or perhaps, since he’s saying the night shema, which if recited in its original time is not accompanied with tefillin, he should not.

The Or Sameach (Hilchos Kerias Shema 1:10) leans toward the opinion that he should not wear tefillin while the Mareh Kohen rules that he should.

Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters are published by the Sochachover Kollel of Bnei Brak, led by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Kovalsky. Meoros Hadaf Hayomi Newsletters in Hebrew and/or English are available for simcha and memorial dedications and are distributed by e-mail, dafyomi@hadaf-yomi.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-37/2012/08/09/

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