Showing posts from February, 2011

Rabbis For and Against Moshe Katsav

On 23rd February, several well known National Religious rabbis sent a letter of support to ex-President of Israel, Moshe Katsav.

Katsav, who resigned from the Presidency in scandal, was subsequently found guilty on two counts of rape, obstructing justice and other charges on 30th December 2010. Katsav is currently awaiting sentencing, which is widely expected to include a prison term.

“To our country’s former president, fear not because the truth will come out,” the letter begins. “And even if it takes it’s time, it will be revealed, and all those who pursue lies will be ashamed, the rabbis wrote. “All of the people of Zion are sighing and groaning under the burden of the poisonous media, waiting for the return of pureness to our public life and hoping for the day when the injustice will be removed and the truth will come out – and then many, many people will be redeemed and rejoice with you.”
 The letter was signed by Rav Shlomo Aviner from Beit El, Rabbi Zvi Tau, dean of Yeshivat…

Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

POLICE SIGN DEAL TO BUILDACADEMY IN BET SHEMESH It is now official.The Israel police force will build its new police academy in the western industrial zone of Bet Shemesh, across Route 38.The complex will be built on 230 dunam and will include classroom buildings, housing for staff, athletic and training rooms, and more.Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich declared at the signing ceremony that "This is a historic day, with 1.5 billion NIS from this ministry, around a tenth of its budget, going towards this important project."Police Inspector General Dudi Cohen explained that this is part of a long term major overhaul of the Israeli police and will greatly improve the police force, consolidating 20 smaller academies throughout the country into one cohesive unit.Mayor Abutbol announced his plans to work towards a new neighborhood to house members of the police force who will want to live close to the academy. ----------------


QOTD - No Riots in Lebanon

"The Arab world is on the streets to topple their governments, but us, we don't even have one." Mohammed Askar, 23 year old political sciences student in Lebanon.

Shifting Paradigms in the Middle East and Ramat Bet Shemesh

The seismic shock wave of political revolution which started with a Tunisian immolating himself, has spread through North Africa to the Middle East, and is dominoing around our region faster than the CNN updates can keep track of.

Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, Algeria...who knows where next?

It’s clearly not us, here in Ramat Bet Shemesh

Although these events are alarmingly close to us geographically, they seem worlds away politically. These regimes are tyrannical – and our Israeli democracy is thriving. We overthrow our governments via the ballot box, or they implode in coalition debacles, far too frequently for discontent to build up.

It has been fascinating watching the evaporation of paradigms in the events around our region.

For example, the European Community recently put out a statement that one should not allow the events in Cairo et al “to distract us from reaching a resolution of the Palestinian conflict”. This is using the Old Paradigm that the big problem in …

Mall Night in RBS!!

Lemaan Achai is hosting a Mall Night showcasing local businesses and services.

The fair will take place this Sunday night, February 20, from 7:00p.m.-10:30p.m. at Beis Tefilla, 34 Refaim in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

Everyone is encouraged to attend and support local businesses!

Rabbi Motti Elon, Takana, and the Rule of Law

It has recently been reported that Rav Moti Elon will be indicted for sex crimes against minors.
This follows a year long police investigation, which was sparked off by the announcement in February 2010, by a then little-known organization Takana, alleging that Rav Elon had behaved inappropriately with male students.
This has subsequently raised questions regarding Takana itself.
While the public has been generally appreciative of the courage of Takana to ‘out’ Rav Elon, probably the most charismatic and popular rabbi in the National Religious camp, even with his own radio and national TV shows, it was questioned whether Takana themselves had actually covered up his alleged crimes for too long?
Takana’s mandate is to investigate allegations of inappropriate and abusive behaviour by rabbonim and teachers within the National Religious camp. Where the investigation shows the allegations to be substantive, corrective measures are recommended and implemented.
In the well publicized case of R…

Protest for Lema'an Achai

Last week's public protest in support of Lema'an Achai was remarkably successful.
The issue of zero municipal funding for Lema'an Achai received more attention in the week of the demonstration than for the whole previous ten dry years! 
There was also extensive coverage in the past weekend's local press - as a counterbalance to the Council's approval of the 2011 Budget.
Here is a selection of photos of the occasion (pictures courtesy of Daniel Gilad):

Protest Organizer Rabbi Dov Lipman

Demo Organizer Rabbi Dov Lipman (Left) with Zvi Wolicki from Chen Party 

R.Dov Lipman with Councilor Shalom Lerner (Beyachad Party)

R.Dov Lipman with Natan Shitreet (Likud Party)

R.Dov Lipman with Councilor Motti Cohen 

Councilor Meir Balayish (sent out of the Budget meeting to address the crowd by Mayor Moshe Abutbol)

Smashing Success! Demo For Lema'an Achai

Thank you to everyone who took the time to come to tonight's demonstration which was a smashing success by all definitions.  We raised the awareness level regarding the issue of Lemaan Achai and the city budget to level it has simply never reached.   The fact that a not so well liked Deputy Mayor felt the need to come out to face the crowd and address the issue or was sent out by his boss showed that it was a tremendous success.  The Mayor absolutely took notice and the resulting heated discussion/debate in the city council meeting showed how the Lemaan Achai left out of the budget issue is one they cannot ignore.  Thank you to those who wrote on the city's facebook page about this.  The city spokesman came over to me after the city council meeting and told me that they were on shock and that the Mayor was being updated with how many people wrote on there.  Therefore, please please write a message on the following link:…
Tonight at 5pm there will be a protest to support Lemaan Achai against the Iriya.
Rav Haber and the Vaad support this protest, and if you can participate in some way, it is highly recommended.
For further information, there is an email below from Dov Lipman.
Thank You. KSY Vaad
----- Original Message -----
From: Dov Lipman Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2011 1:36 PM Subject: The Lemaan Achai protest is ON

It was a morning full of negotiations and back and forth between city representatives and the demonstration organizers and, in the end, we are moving forward with the demonstration this evening.  It was obvious that the demonstration has thrown many at City Hall into panic mode, clearly showing the effectiveness of the demonstration, but they did not offer enough to make us back down.  Anything short of official recognition of the role which Lemaan Achai plays in the city and making it a formal and official line in the city budget is not acceptable to us. Please make the effort to come to City …

Important Announcement: Demonstration Wednesday!!


Dear Friends, On Wednesday, the city council is voting for the 2011 budget.  The budget includes hundreds of thousands of shekalim for worthy chesed organizations but zero money for Lemaan Achai because extremist elements have instructed the Mayor not to give Lemaan Achai money.  Lemaan Achai provides all the social welfare services for Ramat Bet Shemesh including social workers to the point that the city's welfare department simply refers everyone in RBS to Lemaan Achai and the city does not have to expend resources there.  The city's welfare department is receiving 46 million NIS in the budget and not one shekel of it is set aside for Lemaan Achai.  We are protesting this injustice and the Mayor's caving to the demands of extremists elements this coming Wednesday at 5:00p.m. at City Hall.  Please come and join us at this very important event.   Thanks, Dov Lipman

Bet Shemesh Weekly News

By Rabbi Dov Lipman
Mayor Abutbol is presenting the 2011 municipal budget to the city council for a vote this coming Wednesday evening at 6:00p.m.It was not an easy process and there is still significant controversy surrounding the budget.
Issues include: A line which reports income of 133,000 NIS with the headline "meat and fish."200,000NIS for the "Foundation for City Success," a foundation with which city reps are not familiar.Projected income of 1.8 million NIS from parking tickets when in the first 9 months of 2010 there was only 400,000 NIS income from tickets.An increase from 100,000 NIS to 150,000 NIS for "Help for newborn mothers" when in 2010 only 13,000 NIS was actually spent for this cause.400,000 NIS to Yad Eliezer which is a national chesed organization and zero to Lemaan Achai, a local organization which was promised funding by the Mayor and was even part of the coalition agree…

Powerful “Magen” Child Abuse Awareness Event

Dr David Pelcovitz at "Magen"

Sunday, January 16. 8:15 PM, Genesis Center, Beit Shemesh
The newly formed Magen organization has had its first child abuse awareness conference.
Magen is filling the need for services in the area of education, prevention and treatment of child abuse; judging from the head-count at the Magen event, there is a large interest in these services.
Despite being on a school night, the limited advertising, and that fact that Magen is a new organization, the conference was attended by over two hundred people, the vast majority of whom stayed late into the night to hear all the presentations.
The audience consisted of parents, who gathered together to hear the well-rounded program:
Rabbi David Spektor, Chief Rabbi of Givat Sharett gave introductory Words of Torah, as well as his personal praise and encouragement for the new Magen initiative.
Dr. David Pelcovitz, the renowned psychologist, speaker and author, delivered a powerful and informative lecture, whic…

Joke: Trapped on Desert Island

Abe and Esther are flying to Australia for a two week vacation to celebrate their 40th  anniversary.Suddenly, over the public address system, the Captain  announces,  "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid I have some very bad news.  Our engines have ceased functioning and we will attempt an emergency  landing.
Luckily, I see an uncharted island below us and we should be able  to land on the beach. However, the odds are that we may never be rescued  and will have to live on the island for the rest of our  lives." Thanks to the skill of the flight crew, the plane lands safely on the island. 
An hour later Abe turns to his wife and asks,  "Esther, did we pay our charity pledge check to Beth Shalom Synagogue  yet?" "No, sweetheart," she responds.Abe, still shaken from the  crash landing, then asks, "Esther, did we pay our United Jewish Appeal  pledge? "Oy vey, no! I'm sorry. I forgot to send the check," she  says. One last thing, Esther. Did yo…

The Domino Effect in the Middle East

The impact of the Tunisian popular uprising and the ouster of President Ben Ali on 25th January, 2011, was quickly followed by popular demonstrations and riots in Egypt, bringing Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year regime to its knees.
Commentators around the world are now predicting a domino effect of regime changes throughout the Middle East.
After Egypt - Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, maybe even Syria are on the likely-candidates list. Spontaneous demonstrations have indeed been reported in each of these countries over the past weeks.
The “domino theory” was first popularized in the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union. American politicians justified their intervention in far away lands, to fight the Red Peril of Communism. In 1954, President Eisenhower said: Finally, you have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the "falling domino" principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty th…