Showing posts from May, 2011

Obama's Great Joke

Obama's speech to the combined Houses of Lords and Commons at Westminister Hall yesteray in London began with a truly great one liner. "The previous three speakers who have spoken here in Westminster Hall were the Pope, Her Majesty The Queen and Nelson Mandella - which is either a very high bar, or the beginning of a very funny joke." For those who want the full version, here's the BBC recording....

Proud of Bibi

I was immensely proud of Bibi Netanyahu, as I watched him live on CNN, speaking to the Joint Houses of  Congress. His perfect English (with American twang), composed professionalism, swinging eloquence, and ability to connect on an even playing field with this prestigious and powerful audience - was only matched by the open adoration of those Congressmen for Israel, and for Bibi our Prime Minister. Dozens of standing ovations; aplause for everything and anything he said... I doubt Bibi has been so rapturously received anywhere else on the planet. Certainly not in the Kenesset, his home turf; even in the Likud Party Conference. The unconditional love and support from Congress was astounding. Kol Hakavod Bibi!! Way to Go!!

The distorted self-serving view of halacha at Sunday's Agudah conference

This is a timely article from Rav Daniel Eidensohn's Daat Torah blog , about the seious limitations of the publicised advances in the orthodox community, at this year's Agudah Convention in the USA, on how to best handle allegations of child abuse.  By Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn (published here with his kind permission) I listened in dismay to R' Shlomo Gottesman's presentation [at the Agudah Conference in NY]  of halachic issues of child abuse. He picked a very narrow perspective in answering the question of whether halacha allows going to the police to report abuse. The presentation involved snippets from the collection of teshuvos found in volume 15 of Yeshurun. He concluded that it was in fact permitted to go to the police but   only   if a rabbi had established that there was some - deliberately vague - level of evidence  called raglayim ledavar and that this was for tikun olam (improvement to society). It was asserted that both these conditions could only be det

Leading Rabbi: "Go Straight to the Police!"

(Photo for illustrative purposes only) This is a 'reprint' of an article that Rabbi Blau kindly wrote for Tzedek-Tzedek in September 2009. Rabbi Yosef Blau is the mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva University and its affiliated rabbinical school Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchal Elchanan. Rav Blau has been active in trying help survivors of abuse in the Orthodox community. Rav Blau has kindly agreed to offer his insights on Tzedek-Tzedek into the question of Rabbinical involvement in child abuse cases in the orthodox community. ----------- By Rabbi Yosef Blau  My experience is with the Orthodox community in America but from what I have heard the situation in Israel is similar. As in many other personal areas, Orthodox Jews, when they are informed about abuse, instinctively turn to their rabbis. Unfortunately the rabbis (with the exception of young rabbis recently trained in modern Orthodox rabbinical schools) have no training and are not equipped to evaluate the accusations. When the

How To Talk With Your Children About Child Abuse

In light of current events in Ramat Bet Shemesh , it is an opportune time for us all to review and act upon the important advice of Dr David Pelcovitz. Here is the article/summary by Magen, published after Dr Pelcovitz presentation in Bet Shemesh for Magen in January this year:       Dr David Pelcovitz - How to Discuss Child Abuse with Your Children  Dr. Pelcovitz spoke at Raishit about protecting our children from abuse, specifically sexual abuse. He emphasized that talking to our children about these points is not an "event" but a "process." This should be an ongoing dialogue and attitude about personal safety. He said we should talk about personal safety, the same way we talk about fire safety or safety crossing streets...It does not have to frighten children. He offered five important guidelines for parents to share with children. 1. No matter what you do or what you tell me I will always love you. I want to hear about the good and the bad. (

Dov Lipman: I am standing for Knesset!

(I know this is long but I ask you to take just a few minutes to please read this and respond - Dov) Dear Friends,   I wanted to inform you about a recent exciting development in my life and ask for your help  - help for me personally but, even more importantly, for am yisrael.   For the last few years I have had a growing feeling that Israel is headed in a disastrous path. We have been so consumed by our enemies all around us that we have let ourselves decay from within.  The secular are becoming even more secular with almost no Jewish education.  This, of course, hurts who we are spiritually as a nation and as a country.  The more religious aren't training their sons for professions which is creating an economic crisis for the country and also cuts them off from the rest of the country.  Both extremes lead to frictions and tensions between populations and generate lack of unity.  That lack of unity will only increase in the coming years as over 300,000 Russian immigrants who ar

Hamas and Osama Bin Laden

Amidst the international celebration of the successful assassination of Osama Bin Laden by US special forces, the official response of Hamas has all but been ignored by the major news carriers (such as CNN and BBC). It is commonly understood that the attack on the Twin Towers, and the subsequent Al Qaeda bloody attacks on (mainly Muslim) targets throughout the world, including Indonesia, Iraq, Bali, Spain and England…leaving literally tens of thousands of innocent murdered victims, was so utterly evil, that therefore the assassination of Bin Laden was clearly a victory for civilization… However, this is not the way Hamas and their supporters view it. A decade ago, when news of the 9/11 Twin Towers atrocity reached Gaza, the Gazans spontaneously danced on the roof tops, in the streets and handed out candies to kids to celebrate. And now, in response to Bin Laden's assassination, the following statement was reported from Hamas: The Hamas prime minister of the Gaza str

Which Rebellion Next?

  The speed and scope of rebellions across North Africa and the Middle East has been dizzying. Absolutely no-one seems to have predicted this current and dramatic tidal-wave of unrest and even regime change. Tunisia , Egypt , Bahrain , Libya , Yemen and now Syria … Commentators have been guessing where the axe will next fall. The Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News has predicted that the Kurds of Turkey are ripe for revolt. “The Arab Spring may lead to a Kurdish Summer”, they have suggested. There are estimates between 14-20 million Kurds in Turkey – approximately 15-20% of the country’s population. There are also some 1 million Kurds in Syria , and 2 milion in Iran . The hostility of the Kurds to the Turkish Government is long standing. Revolts go back at least to 1925, and include a major rebellion by the separatist PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) which started in 1978, and overflowed into Kurdish northern Iraq . Over 40,000 Kurds are reported to have been killed in these