Showing posts from November, 2010

Of Tarts and Rapists

Two high profile cases in Israel have spotlighted the issue of proving sex crimes. Judging such cases is a challenge which has existed for thousands of years, and is discussed in the week’s Torah portion (Vayeshev).
Major General Uri Bar-Lev is a top candidate to be Israel’s next Police Commissioner, the top dog in the Police hierarchy.
This career move has been challenged, and probably successfully torpedoed, as a result of allegations against Bar-Lev of sex crimes, brought by two women, one of whom has gone public – Dr Orly Innes.
Lurid narratives have been published pointing to Bar-Lev’s alleged rape of Dr Innes, and of a still-anonymous second woman (“M”). On the other hand, Bar-Lev’s defenders have alleged these relationships were consenting – indeed a ménage a trois. Meantime, the spotlight is also returning to the lingering case of ex-President of Israel, Moshe Katsav.
After two years of scandal and allegations, Moshe Katsav's trial on two counts of rape and other sexual offenc…

Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

REPORT ON CITY COUNCIL MEETING The city council met on Sunday evening.The following is a review of what transpired at the meeting:
*The council approved the half year budget report.City treasurer, Aryeh Bardugo, reported a deficit of 2.5 million NIS which he attributed to expenses related to purchasing water from the new water company.Bardugo then said that the third quarter report would be released soon which will include the national government providing 17 million NIS to make up for the budget shortfalls.Opposition members were quick to point out that this means the deficit had really reached 20 million NIS while coalition members responded with praise for the Mayor's ability to get makeup funds from the government.
*The council approved 18 million NIS of government funds to improve the city's older neighborhoods.There was some controversy regarding how the funds would be used and the fact that the residents have not been consulted regarding how to best use …

What IS The Middle East Problem? - in 6 minutes

Dennis Prager makes a complicated issue, crystal clear, in just six minutes.... 

Lema'an Achai Newsletter

Republished here by kind permission of Lema'an Achai
To receive the monthly newsletter directly to your email box, please email:

We hope that you enjoy our latest edition of Lema'an Achai News. As always we thank you for your interest and generous support in our battle against poverty.

As we approach the end of the year please consider Lema'an Achai in your tax planning.

It has been a most difficult year for Lema'an Achai as we received an unprecedented number of requests for help. This,coupled with the turbulent world financial situation, has put Lema'an Achai into a financial squeeze. Our extremely low overhead means that budget cuts will affect direct assistance to our families. Your generous contributions will enable us to continue to help people on the highest level of charity.

Thank you in advance for your care and concern for the families of Lema'an Achai.

Warmest wishes for a Chanukah Sameach!

Rabbi Avrohom Leventhal
To Donate Onlin…

Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

CITY WIDE POLL RESULTS The local magazine, Shopping Mekomi, commissioned a poll to get a sense for the city's satisfaction with the local government upon the completion of Mayor Abutbol's second year in office, with an eye towards the elections in 3 years as well. The questions were asked to samples in all of the city's communities. The following is a brief summary of the results: 
1)Are you satisfied with the education in the city:
Not satisfied at all - 15 % Satisfied - 6.7%
Not satisfied - 21.7% Very satisfied - 10%
Somewhat satisfied - 46.7%

2)Are you satisfied with city's cultural programs:
Not satisfied at all - 48.7% Satisfied - 10%
Not satisfied - 11.7% Very satisfied - 10%
Somewhat satisfied - 21.7%

3)Are you satisfied with the city's youth programs:
Not satisfied at all- 61.7% Satisfied - 6.7%
Not satisfied - 11.7% Very satisfied - 0%
Somewhat satisfied - 20%

4)Are you satisfied with commerce/shopping in the city:
Not satisfied at all - …

Desperate Plea

I am passing this email along, as I received it. Get your wallets out.

I know times are hard, but I appeal 2 you 4 help for a man who just got engaged. His life has been one of great tragedy. Parents divorced & when he was 15 his mother died in a car crash. Thru no choice he joined the army. Now at 28 after many years of hardship he has finally found his beshert. I trust you won't turn him away in his time of great need. Please send donations to: Buckingham Palace, London.

New Website in Israel - Names Names of Pedophiles

A new website has been published in Israel, by a private group "Besheket" ("quietly"), which lists names of suspected/arrested, charged, and convicted pedophiles.

The data base has apparently been collected from public sources, such as newspapers, court documents and other websites.

In Israel, there is no public data base of pedophiles available from official sources. This is unlike the situation in the USA, for example, where further to Megan's law, convicted sex offenders are listed on the internet by the authorities on a searchable database. Or in the UK where a comprehensive sex-offender data base is maintained by the authorities (although is not accessible by the public).

Besheket is going significantly further than the US Government system, in that Besheket is also naming pedophile suspects - rather than solely convicted perpetrators. A private Jewish-based organization in the USA, The Awareness Center, has operated a similar extended data base for severa…

Jerusalem Post: Child Abuse Underreported

Child abuse is underreported throughout country

Percentage of sexual abuse cases reported are higher in Jerusalem; the 33,751 child abuse cases reported in 2009 “only the tip of the iceberg.”
The percentage of reports of physical and sexual abuse against children in 2009 were much higher in Jerusalem than in other parts of the country, although overall, child abuse remains underreported in every region, a new study published Wednesday by the Haruv Institute shows.

Based on the number of reports filed with the social welfare services in each district nationwide, the Haruv Institute researchers found that reports of sexual abuse in the Jerusalem area made up 25.5 percent of all reports of child abuse in the region, while 47.4% of the reported cases involved physical abuse.


"Child & Domestic Abuse" by Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn

I am pleased to announce the publication of Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn's ground-breaking and authoratative book "Child & Domestic Abuse" - of which I am also a minor but proud contributor...

"Child & Domestic Abuse" is a two volume series.

Volume One comprises of a series of 25 articles written by experts in abuse to provide a 3 dimensional understanding of this difficult issue.Thus the dynamics of psychology are connected with Jewish law (halacha) as well as the sociological and secular legal concerns.

The second volume is an extensive survey of Jewish Legal/Halachik Sources on this important, though still controversial topic.

You can order this right now from Amazon, $25 a pop per volume:
or directly from the author at:

The best way to give you a flavour of this remarkable and courageous book is to peruse the Table of Contents.



Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

CULTURE HALL SAGA TAKES DRAMATIC TURN  Mayor Abutbol declared at last week's city council meeting that there were no official documents stating that the new culture hall should be built on the lot between Nachala Umenucha and Migdal HaMayim and, on that basis, he established a committee to determine the best location for this center.  Opposition members objected to the establishment of the committee since the location for the culture hall was established years ago and the Mayor is reacting unfairly to objections raised by a Rav in Nachala Umenucha.  This past week, city councilman Shalom Lerner (B'yachad, pictured) produced a document from the national authorities that this land can be used for a culture center and nothing else.  This would seem to bring an end to any thoughts of building the culture hall anywhere else in the city or not building it at all.  Councilman Natan Sheetrit (Likud) explained that the culture hall is not a chiloni vs. chareidi issue …