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Showing posts from March, 2010

Passover Tradition "Unhelpful" Says Obama

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Passover Hagaddah Conclusion “Next Year in Jerusalem” Deemed Unhelpful by Obama Administration (Satire)
Guest Post by Andrew  Bloom (thanks also to Frum Follies)——–March 23, 2010 By The Associated Press  Shana Habba  (AP White House Correspondent)

(AP) — An unidentified Israeli official has confirmed that private discussions between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu included a strong request from the President that the upcoming Passover holiday not include the familiar refrain of “next year in Jerusalem”, citing the passage as provocative and unhelpful for future peace talks.

The Administration suggested replacing it with “next year in peace” or “next year in Israel”, but leaving the final wording up to both the Israelis and Palestinians.
Netanyahu is said to have balked at the request, indicating that the refrain dates back well before the UN Partition of 1947.  The Prime Minister reportedly attempted to diffuse the situation by noting that the declaration la…

Mah Nishtana Kimche Depischa?

What makes Lema'an Achai's "Kimche DePischa" different from All Other Kimche Depischas??
Answer: Because This Pessach, many of the families who need our help are *Different Families* than Last Pessach.
Many organizations hand out Kimche Depischa aid to the *same* families year after year - even generation after generation.
Not at Lema'an Achai - where your donation actually helps families *solve* their problems.So that these families can achieve independence and won't need charitable help any more.We call this unique solutions-oriented approach - "Smart Chesed".
For example, we have just received this email, which (with permission of the anonymous writer) I share with you:
"Dear Avraham,
XXXX and I thank Lamaan Achai most sincerely for the assistance which we have received.
However as a result of this and especially through the support and advice, given so freely by Motti Wiesner [Lema'an Achai Financial Counsellor] and mostly through Hashem…

Hagadah - In Six Minutes

What Can Parents Do To Prevent Sexual Abuse?

Magen, a new, local organization dedicated to helping children and families who have been affected by abuse, will be providing a series of public information announcements to help educate our community about child sexual abuse.

What can parents do to prevent sexual abuse?

While not all abuse can be prevented, these are things parents can do to make their children less vulnerable to sexual abuse, and to increase the chances that children will tell their parents if they ARE abused:

Teach children that some parts of their body are private.  Tell them that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless it’s you, your spouse or their doctor in order to take help them in some way (to see if they have a rash or injury, take their temperature, or other age-appropriate examples). If a doctor needs to touch them in those private areas, a parent should be there too.

Teach children that if someone tries to touch those private areas or wants to look at them, or if some…

Frummer Than The Pope

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Since the Boston Globe first revealed some of the abuses of minors by Catholic Priests in the Boston Diocese in 2002, the wave of allegations has spread.
In the months following the series of Boston Globe articles, other complaints surfaced and diocese throughout the USA came under scrutiny. Court cases against the Church itself have so far run into billions of dollars in settlements and penalties.

Major scandals have also subsequently erupted in Ireland, Australia, Canada, and most recently in the European mainland, including in the Pope’s own previous dioceses in Germany. This week, the German church suspended a priest who had been allowed to work with children for decades after a court convicted him of molesting boys. In 1980, Archbishop Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) had allowed the priest to move to Munich after allegations of abuse.

Although the full extent of the abuses and the management of those abuses by the Catholic Church is still not known, and by the nature of the ca…

Rabbonim Defending The Indefensible

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YNet has published a copy of a letter (above), supporting alleged child abuser Elior Chen, apparently signed by leading rabbonim, including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky.



“Rabbi” Elior Chen was recently extradited from Brazil, where he had fled child abuse charges in Israel. Chen is accused of running a cult-like operation, based in Beitar, and instructing/participating in the systematic torture of eight children, who were apparently possessed by demons. This torture, including beatings and burnings, led to one of the children now being in a permanent “vegetative state”.

The letter obtained by YNet, is signed by leading rabbonim, reads:

קוראים אנו בזאת לכל מי שרוח טהרה בקרבו לרחם ולעורר רחמי שמים ולהטות שכם לעוסקים במסירות בהקמת קרן לפדיון שבויים עבור האי גברא יקרא, הר"ר אליאור חן ני"ו, מתושבי עירנו, אשר כל ימיו עסק בתורה ויראה והרבצת תורה ואשר נימוק בבית האסורים כבר שנתיים ונתהפך עליו הגלגל בעינויים קשים ומרים. ולא עוד, שמש…

Still Screaming - Is Anyone Listening?

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[This important and powerful article was published in The Jewish Star, and an excerpt is published here with their kind permission.]

By Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman, Rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Israel in Passaic, NJ.

In 1893, Edvard Munch a Norwegian painter, created the iconic painting The Scream. It has been seen by millions of people and elicited much praise and emotion. Who is the person in The Scream and what is he screaming about?


Obviously, the greatness and the appeal of the painting is that it says something to everyone. Everyone in their own way is able to have The Scream speak to them on their level and in their personal emotional state.

Who is pictured in The Scream, according to me? Who is this unidentified individual whose impassioned scream is still being heard all over the world, according to Rabbi Eisenman?

Welcome to my world and to a lesson in art appreciation by an Orthodox rabbi.

The Daf Yomi is now learning Masechta Sanhedrin. I cannot properly describe in words th…

Warning Signs of a Child Abuser

Magen, a new organization in Bet Shemesh/RBS, dedicated to helping children and families who have been affected by abuse, will be providing a series of information announcement to help educate our community about child sexual abuse.

By Miriam Friedman, MSW, 
"Magen", Ramat Beit Shemesh

Recently, people in our community have started becoming more aware of the issue of sexual abuse in schools. While this is very important, it is also important to know that most sexual abuse comes from a family member (such as a cousin or uncle), or a family friend or acquaintance, (such as a neighbor or a classmate’s father).

Because sexual abuse is a crime of manipulation and intimacy, the “Stranger Dangers” we teach our children don’t apply. Pedophiles know their victims. Slowly and methodically, over time, they develop the child’s trust, and the parents’ trust too. This process is called “grooming” the victim, and creates a relationship where the child is more likely to comply with the abuse.…

How Many Genocides?

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On March 4, 2010, a US congressional panel narrowly voted that the massacres of Armenian civilians between 1915-17 by Turks were indeed "genocide"; within minutes the Turkish government issued a statement critical of "this resolution which accuses the Turkish nation of a crime it has not committed" and withdrew their Ambassador in Washington, back to Ankara for consultations.

It does seem unusual that, almost a century later, the US Government is still in the throes of deciding the nature of the events which are estimated to have taken the lives of between one to one-and-a-half million Armenians, during the period of the First World War. These civilians were allegedly systematically murdered in forced marches, concentration camps, mass burning, drowning and mass executions.

It is also peculiar that the current Turkish Government should care so much – as these horrific events were carried out under the Ottoman Empire; therefore the Turkish Republic, which was esta…

Shocks and Aftershocks

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The Importance of Process Post the Takana Proclamation

By Special Guest Writer: Professor Joshua Werblowsky M.D.
The writer is a clinical psychiatrist living and practicing in Jerusalem.


When a beloved leader crashes, the fallout is not confined to him and his immediate family. There will also be serious consequences for those who have aligned themselves with him and his worldview.

During the 35 years I have practiced clinical psychiatry, I have worked with individuals, communities, VIPs (very important persons) and with what I call VVIPs (very, very important persons), dealing with the aftereffects of trauma, including the “fall” of leaders who influenced broad Jewish communities.

In that context I have presented communities with an educational plan to accept the “fall” of their leader and to take responsible action with regard to the aftereffects. The essence of this plan is awareness of the nature of the necessary process. Attention must be paid to all feelings and statements in orde…