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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘majority’

Ahead of Vote, Liberman Video Touts Importance of Equal Service Law

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

On Monday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s party Yisrael Beytenu released a video stressing the importance of passing a law mandating equal service for all Israelis. The video shows, through dramatic graphics, how in 1948 the vast majority of Israelis served their country whereas by 2020 the majority of Israelis will not be serving.

Titled “One Citizenship. One Obligation. One Opportunity. One Vote,” the clip was released ahead of the planned vote on Yisrael Beytenu’s IDF, National, or Civilian Service Law Proposal this Wednesday in the Knesset.

The bill seeks to establish several principles, which other, similar proposed bills do not necessarily share:

The promise of equal sharing of the burden of service among the State’s citizens.

The establishment of a system in which every citizen, men and women alike, will serve in the army, or perform national or civilian service (in effect, the civilian service in this bill will include today’s national service).

The recognition of Torah study in yeshivas as an important value in the State of Israel and the establishment of a program that combines learning and service – but certainly not with the huge number of yeshiva students who today avoid the draft.

The recognition of equal burden-sharing as an important value in the State of Israel.

The establishment of a state service option, taking into account the nature of the various sectors in Israel and assuring the ability to maintain the provisions of various religions and their customs while serving.

“We promised we would bring our bill no matter what,” declared Liberman on Monday, adding, “We have no choice. We waited until the last minute to see if they come to any reasonable compromise or a satisfying solution to both the Haredi and Minorities draft. Because there is no such solution, we put up our bill to a vote.”

Regarding sanctions against those who would not serve, the Israel Beiteinu chairman said he prefers economic moves. “By putting someone in prison, we’d be playing into their hands,” he explained. “If we take someone and put him in jail, we will make them a martyr, which is what they’re looking for. But once yeshiva boy knows that he’s not getting his support and his scholarship, and the yeshiva, too, will know that it does not get their benefits, that’ll be the most effective thing. Minorities, too, if they realize they won’t be eligible for unemployment and other benefits – they’ll come around.”

As things stand on Tuesday, the chances that the bill will pass on its first reading in the Knesset are low.

Click on the CC button at the base of the screen for English subtitles.

Tibbi Singer

UPDATE: New Motion: Presbyterian BDS Vote to be Reconsidered – Failed Again

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Update #2: Motion to reconsider – Failed


Update #1: A motion to reconsider the BDS divestment from Israel vote has been made and seconded at the Presbyterian General Assembly.

Now it only needs a simple majority.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rov Or Chazakah: Which Is Better?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The beginning of this week’s parshah discusses the halachos of a parah adumah (red heifer). The red cow is shechted and burnt, and its ashes are sprinkled on one who is tamei meis. The individual thereby becomes pure.

The Gemara in Chullin 11a asks: Where in the Torah is the source for the halacha that one may follow a majority found in nature or tendencies (ruba d’lessa kaman). One answer that the Gemara suggests is that it is derived from the parah adumah. The Gemara explains that the pasuk says, “veshachat vesaraf – and you shall slaughter and burn it,” from which we learn that just as a cow must be whole and intact when it is slaughtered, so too the cow must be whole and intact when it is burnt. The Gemara says that since the Torah refers to the parah adumah as a chatas, it must not be a traifa. The Gemara asks: How can we be certain that the cow is not a traifa, since if it must be intact we cannot check its insides to determine whether it is a traifa. This is proof that the Torah intended for us to rely on the fact that the majority of cows are not traifes.

Tosafos (Chullin 11a, d”h minah) quotes from the ba’alei Tosafos Rabbeinu Chaim that we learn from parah adumah another halacha concerning following a majority (rov). He says that we draw from this that in a situation where there is a rov and a chazakah that states the opposite, we follow the rov. This is known as ruba v’chazakah, ruba adif. We see this because there is a chazakah here that stands against the rov, yet the Gemara says we follow the rov. The chazakah is that the individual was certainly tamei prior to the sprinkling of the ashes, but now a doubt arises as to whether the cow was a traifa and fit to be a parah adumah. The chazakah of the person indicates that he should remain in his current status, namely to remain tamei. However, since there is a rov that says that the animal is not a traifa, we follow the rov – and the person is tahor.

Tosafos uses the opinion of Rabbeinu Chaim to answer the following question (after a quick review) that he has on the Gemara: The Gemara asked for the Torah source on the issue of following a rov. Tosafos asks why the Gemara did not derive this from the pasuk that teaches us that we may follow a chazakah? Since ruba v’chazakah, ruba adif indicates that a rov is better than a chazakah we certainly may follow a rov. Tosafos at first answers that according to one opinion in the Gemara, we do not obtain the halacha that we may follow a chazakah from a pasuk. So in his view the Gemara is asking what the source is for the halacha that we may follow a rov.

Tosafos then says that according to Rabbeinu Chaim the question does not apply. This is because according to Rabbeinu Chaim we do not logically know that a rov is better than a chazakah; rather, we only know it after we learn from the pasuk that we can follow a rov. Therefore the Gemara is justified when asking what the source for following a rov is, even if we know the source for the halacha that we may follow a chazakah. This is so because we do not know that a rov is better than a chazakah until we know that we can follow a rov.

It seems clear to me that the two answers in Tosafos disagree as to whether the rule that we follow a rov over a chazakah is based on logic or if it is a divine decree that exists out of logic. The explanation in logic as to why we would follow a rov over a chazakah is because the two halachos work entirely differently. A rov is a tool that can be used to clarify the unknown. For example, in the case of whether the animal is a traifa, the rov can clarify that it is not a traifa. Chazakah, on the other hand, is not a clarifying tool but rather states that things must remain in place until we know for certain that they have changed. The Torah only said that we should rely on a chazakah when we do not know how to determine the unknown. But where a clarifying tool is available, i.e. a rov, we know the unknown and have no need to remain in the status quo. This is what Tosafos held in his question and first answer, when he said that the Gemara is only asking based on the view of the one who said that there is no pasuk from which we derive the halacha that we may follow a chazakah. Tosafos held that this logic dictates that a rov is better; thus if there was a pasuk to teach us that we may follow a chazakah, we would then be able to conclude that we can certainly follow a rov.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

June Bride, 1951

Friday, June 15th, 2012

From “Jews in Minnesota,” by Hyman Berman‏ and Linda Mack Schlof:

“The wedding of Clarice Sherman and Mel Zuckman at Tifereth B’nai Jacob in North Minneapolis, 1951.

“At a Jewish wedding, the bride and groom stand under a chupah or wedding canopy symbolizing their future home.

“As long as Jews remained in the compact geographical areas where they were a dominant majority, they continued to attend Orthodox synagogues while moving away from the strict requirements as individuals. American secular life increasingly challenged the rigid traditionalism of Orthodox Judaism.”

Jewish Press Staff

Demolition Babies

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Israeli children playing in the Ulpana Hill neighborhood of Beit El in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli government is looking for ways to sidestep a ruling by the Supreme Court to demolish Ulpana before July 1, following a land ownership dispute between Arab sellers more than a decade ago. The proclivity of Israel’s leftist legal system to inflict harm on the Jewish settlement movement may have reached a point here where the vast majority of Jews on either side of the green line would reject it.

Yori Yanover

When Is A Single Witness Believed?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

At the end of parshas Metzora the Torah discusses the halachos of when a woman becomes a niddah. The Torah says that a woman who becomes a niddah must count seven days from when she stops seeing blood, and then becomes tahor by immersing in a mikveh. The Gemara in Kesubos 72a says that a woman is believed when she counts the seven days on her own. Tosafos in Gittin 2b says that this is the source from the Torah for the rule that eid echad ne’eman b’issurim (one person is believed concerning issurim). Rashi in Yevamos 88a says that the source for this halacha is due to the fact that if the aforementioned rule was not so, no one would be able to eat from his fellow or even from his own household (and apparently that is not possible).

Testimony of two witnesses is always believed, even when it contradicts a chazakah – a halachic rule that states that when there is an unknown we should assume that everything remained status quo. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether the testimony of one person is accepted when it contradicts a chazakah. For example, a live animal is prohibited to be eaten since it is not shechted. If one person will testify that it was shechted, his testimony will contradict the chazakah that it was not shechted. Tosafos, the Rush, and the Mordechai hold that one witness is not believed against a chazakah. The Rashba believes that one witness is believed, even when contradicting a chazakah.

The Shev Shmeitza 6:7 asks the following question: the Gemara (Yevamos 119b) says that when determining a doubt one should follow the rov (majority) over a chazakah. This is known as ruba v’chazakah, ruba adif. Mathematically, since a rov is greater than a chazakah and a chazakah is greater than one witness (according to some Rishonim), we should infer that a rov is greater than one witness. Therefore if three pieces of meat get mixed up (two non-kosher and one kosher) and one witness says that he knows which is the kosher piece, he should not be believed. Since there is a doubt as to which piece is kosher and the halacha of following the rov is telling us that the selected piece is from the majority (non-kosher), one witness cannot contradict the rov and testify which piece is kosher. But today’s norm dictates that this is not the correct halacha. Why? Because it is common for marketplaces to contain a majority of non-kosher meat and only a minority of kosher meat, and the seller is to be believed when saying which pieces are kosher.

The Chelkas Yoev writes that there is an explicit tosefta in Pesachim at the end of the fifth perek that says that one witness is believed over a rov. The Pnei Yehoshua (Kiddushin 63b) also says that one witness will be believed over a rov. He explains that the rule that one witness is not believed against a chazakah only applies when the chazakah is foolproof. However when the chazakah is weakened prior to the testimony of the witness, the witness will be believed. The Pnei Yehoshua adds that a chazakah that is not weakened is even stronger than a rov. Based on this there is no longer any indication that a rov is stronger than one witness. Thus in the case of the marketplace that contains a majority of non-kosher meat, one witness will be believed.

The Shev Shmeitza disagrees with the Pnei Yehoshua and offers another suggestion. The only case where one witness is not believed against a chazakah is when even according to his testimony, the item was forbidden at one point and he is attempting to remove it from its current status. However, if according to his testimony the item was never forbidden, his testimony is not considered contradictory to the chazakah and thus he is believed. The same would apply when one witness testifies about a case that has a rov. As a result, in the case of the pieces of meat that were mixed up, the witness testified that he always knew which piece was kosher; therefore, according to his testimony, there is no mixture and thus there is no rov. If the pieces are not mixed, a rov does not apply since there is no doubt. Therefore his testimony is not contradicting the rov. Hence he is believed.

If a single witness would testify that he found an animal to be treif, his testimony would directly contradict the rov that states that the majority of animals are not treif. He may be believed on a different merit but, according to the Rishonim that say that a single witness is not believed against a chazakah, he would not be believed against a rov as well.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Meretz Chief’s Anti-Semitic, Anti-Brooklyn Slur Gets Pass from Media, ‘Anglos’ Are Enraged

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Earlier this week, Meretz Chairperson MK Zahava Gal-On had a severe case of hoof and mouth disease when, while speaking to the Army Radio, she said it would be intolerable for Israel’s future to be decided by a bunch of “Yehudonim from Brooklyn.”

“Yehudon” was accepted by early 20th Century Hebrew translators as a proper literary substitute for the Polish slur “Zhid.” Over the years, as the culture expanded and Palestinian and later Israeli Jews wished to express contempt for Diaspora Jews, “Yehudon” took its place in the living language in the context of a court Jew, a weakling Jew, a money-grubbing Jew – but from a very particular, Sabra, point of view.

Over time, the left in Israel began to use the term “Yehudon” to express their loathing for the ultra-Orthodox (settlers have been dubbed “Mitnachlon”), reawakening the original, anti-Semitic roots of the word.

At the same time, there have been references – especially in stormy online forums – where the right has been naming Israeli leftists “Yehudonim,” depicting them as gutless servants of the EU. The somewhat pathetic members of the Neturei Karta sect serving the Palestinian cause have been getting the Y-bomb from both sides.

Gal-on’s unfortunate use of the Y-word came during a discussion of new pending legislation, which the right is hoping to use in restraining Israel’s hyperactive high court. The current version requires a majority of 65 members of Knesset to overturn a Supreme Court decision. Gal-On was outraged.

First, on the eve of Yom HaShoah, she equated the possibility of a future right-wing majority overturning a Supreme Court decision with the Nazis’ method of wielding a thin, but oppressive parliamentary majority to enforce mob rule.

Then she really stepped in it.

“If 10 Knesset seats are enough to change how Israel decides whether to go to war with Iran or not, organized groups will come from Brooklyn and get the right to vote. All the decisions about life and death here, whether to evacuate the territories, whether to authorize outposts, those people sitting in New York or Brooklyn will decide for us?”

And here is where she kind of lost it: “Groups of Yehudonim…” and a quick fix, no apology: “Yehudim, organized in the Diaspora, will decide how we live here?” Gal-On proceeded, perhaps concerned that whatever she had said that day, right or wrong, would be ignored to make media room for the faux pas.

Israel’s mainstream media didn’t make much of the incident. Perhaps they were too busy destroying the career of an IDF officer who was caught on YouTube restraining a crowd of pro-Palestinian trespassers.

The Meretz MK was quick to come up with the conditional apology, the modern politician’s way of saying she did nothing wrong, but if anyone decides to feel hurt, she’s sorry for them. “I don’t know how it happened, and I corrected myself immediately,” she stated. “If somebody was hurt, I apologize. Don’t analyze this or start to give it any hidden meanings.”

A spokesperson for Yisrael Beytenu Anglos – supporters of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s party – told The Jewish Press that it actually makes sense to try and assess those hidden meanings, because, as that renowned ‘Zhid’ psychiatrist Freud said, there’s no such thing as a coincidence.

“As Anglos in Israel we are outraged by Gal-On’s disgraceful comments. These type of comments should not pass without strong condemnation and we call for a complete retraction and full apology, especially when our friends and relatives in the Diaspora are disparaged in such an ugly manner. Furthermore, the lack of outrage by Gal-On’s ideological compatriots demonstrates the abject hypocrisy of those who constantly try and stifle the Nationalist Camp’s freedom of expression while ignoring the incitement amongst their own.

“In addition, her invocation of the Holocaust for political point-scoring is unacceptable and should not be part of acceptable discourse. These comments, taken as a whole, reflect very badly on Gal-On and her party and should be remedied immediately.”

Nevertheless, we hardly believe Gal-On’s poor offensive words would cost her even one vote among the readers of this website…

Yisrael Beytenu Anglos is the division of the Yisrael Beytenu party for the English-speaking community in Israel. Their Facebook page is www.facebook.com/beytenuenglish

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/the-knesset/meretz-chief-anti-semitic-anti-brooklyn-slur-gets-pass-from-media-but-some-anglos-are-enraged/2012/04/20/

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