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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ultra Orthodox Jews’

T’shuva Starts at Home!

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

In today’s blog, we are going to take a short hiatus from the writings of Rabbi Kook and look at a different aspect of t’shuva. In last week’s Torah portion of “Ke Tetze,” we find the following:

When your camp goes out to fight against you enemies, then keep away from every evil thing. If there be any man among you who is not pure by reason of the impurity that chances by night, then he shall go outside of the camp, he shall not come within the camp; but it shall be when evening come on, he shall immerse himself in water… for the Lord your G-d walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He shall see no unclean thing in you, and turn away from you (Devarim, 23:10-16).

Unlike the claims of “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews of today who negate, and even denigrate, participation in Israel’s armed forces, there are several commandments explicitly written in the Torah which deal with Jewish soldiers and our wars against our enemies. The holy heroes of our Biblical past, whether it be Avraham, the sons of Yaacov, Moshe Rabeinu, Yehoshua, King David, the Macabbees, or Rabbi Akiva, who gladly carried the weapons of Bar Kochva out to battle, were also fierce military warriors.

A reality in conquering and settling the Land of Israel, the Land where Hashem commands us to keep the Torah, then as now, is the need to use the military capability that G-d gives us. One of these mitzvot is to keep our army camps holy, not by dodging our share in the war effort, but in working to insure that the proper level of holiness is maintained, which would certainly be the case today in Israel if all of the “Ultra-Orthodox” Jews would enlist alongside their brothers. However, this is not the subject of this blog.

The commandment to guard our holiness applies to our communities and homes as well. Our Sages tell us that “keeping away from every evil thing” means keeping away from sexual transgression and from gazing at women (Avodah Zara 20A). The continuation of the verse is clearly referring to the unintentional spilling of seed in vain which is wont to occur when a man gazes at immodest images. Engaging in this wasteful act deliberately is even graver, and is considered one of the severest transgressions in the Torah (see Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, 23:2). The Torah informs us that as a result of the spiritual impurity which this causes, the Shechinah flees from our presence, making us vulnerable to our enemies. No other sin triggers such an extreme reaction. The Midrash teaches that the Holy One Blessed Be He is slow to anger in regard to every sin, except immorality (Bereshit Rabbah 26). “Rabbi Simlai taught that wherever there is sexual immorality, indiscriminate destruction comes to the world and kills the good with the wicked” (Ibid.) This is the reason why we are called upon to keep our camp holy, to insure that the Shechinah, which guards over Israel, never leaves us prey to our enemies, G-d forbid.

Today, the “evil thing” in our communities and homes is the onslaught of immodest websites and images on the Internet. For example, a while back, every time I punched in the words “Jewish Press” on my search engine, an ad for a website called “Hottest Jewish Girls” would show up right next to it on the page. Now a man has to be an absolute tzaddik, or have the strength of Superman, or have downloaded a reliable filter, not to be tempted to look. Unfortunately, the evil inclination often wins out, and the result is that our homes become polluted with a terrible spiritual pollution which drives the Shechinah away, leaving ourselves and our families exposed to terrible consequences, may G-d have mercy!

On the eve of Yom Kippur, to enter into a mood of repentance, many congregations recite the prayer called “Tefilla Zaka,” which begins:

Almighty, Father of mercy and forgiveness, Whose right hand is extended to accept those who return in t’shuva, and Who created man to bestow goodness upon him at the end of his days, and Who created in him two inclinations, the good and the evil inclination….

From Ammunition Hill to the Surface of Mars

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

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Yishai and Malkah kick off by talking about their life in Jerusalem and a recent trip around town and to Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem and the amount of Ultra-Orthodox Jews present at the Six Day War battle site. They move on to talk about attacks on Israel from terrorists in the Sinai and finish the segment by talking about the Mars Rover Curiosity and its landing and deployment on the surface of Mars and how even it relates to Judaism.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Haredim in Green

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

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Yishai talks further about the integration of Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces. To elaborate, Meir Eisenman, who as one who comes from a Haredi background gives a unique perspective to the situation, joins Yishai. They talk about all aspects of integrating Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the IDF and how it affects both sides of Israeli society. Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: From Shavuot to Asifa

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

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With Shavuot over, the Managing Editor of Jewish Press Online, Yishai Fleisher and his wife and co-host Malkah discuss their experiences in Jerusalem during the holiday and the importance of both Shavuot and Ruth to the Jewish People. Yishai moves on to talk about and elaborate on Asifa, which was a recent meeting of Ultra-Orthodox Jews in New York City to examine the challenges of the Internet and in what context it fits into the Jewish world. The segment wraps up with Yishai and Malkah further mulling over solutions that can allow the Internet to be useful and Kosher at the same time.

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Mass Rally of ‘Jews Against the Internet’ to Pack Citi Field in May

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Tens of thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews will participate in a huge rally to be held on Sunday evening, May 20, at Citi Field in Queens, New York, to combat the evils of the Internet and the damages caused by advanced electronic devices.

The NY Mets will be playing in Toronto on the same day.

The website JDN cites one of the event organizers who said: “This will be a mass rally never before seen in the history of Orthodox Jewry in the U.S. It will be a gathering of  unity of all the Jews living in the U.S., a gathering to disseminate information and a prayer rally for the success of Klal-Israel’s war on the Technology which threatens the sanctity of the homes of Israel.”

The “Gdolei Israel” (leading sages) behind the conference have specifically ordered to schedule it for the eve of Rosh Chodesh Sivan, a day which is considered particularly fortuitous when it comes to children’s education, since the goal of their campaign is to save the generation from the ravages of advanced technology.

The following has been published in the Haredi press, regarding the upcoming event:

A Letter from our Masters the Great Men of Israel Shlita In Preparation for the International Conference in the U.S. Against the Scourge of Technology

It is well known that in recent times through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt. And since this touches almost everyone, we must assemble together to protect and be protected, and we hope that through this gathering in search of ideas we will be helped from Heaven to save the many, and may it be that we will be successful in encouraging the public not to stumble over this obstacle, and the Lord will guide us in a truthful path. And note that sometimes the suspension of Torah is the very way in which it must be kept.

The letter is signed by Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, Dean of Ponovezh Litze’irim; Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a highly regarded Bnei-Brak posek; and Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, Chairman of the rabbinical court of Bnei Brak.

According to JDN, the event’s production costs of some $1.5 million were raised from private philanthropists.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mass-rally-of-jews-against-the-internet-to-pack-shea-stadium-in-may/2012/04/26/

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