Showing posts from June, 2013

Homosexual Marriage - Good/Bad for the Jews?

US President Barack Obama has warmly greeted as a "victory for American democracy" the US Supreme Court ruling that is is unconstitutional for the federal government to define marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. The decision does not grant marriage rights across the US but gives gay couples in the 13 states that allow same-sex marriage equal standing to their straight peers.

Whereas this ruling is only a partial endorsement of homosexual marriage, the trend is clear that full equality of homosexual marriage in the USA, under Obama's leadership, is only an issue of time.

A brief history of homosexuality goes something like this:

1. Homosexuality is outlawed as sinful by the world's three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam).
2. It was criminal according to most legal codes around the world.
3. It was categorised as a mental disorder under the The American Psychiatric Association - and was removed in 1973; the rest of the world follow…

Lema'an Achai - Really Cool Video!

Enjoy this really cool Lema'an Achai video - and remember to make a donation: 
If you are interested to help with Lema'an Achai's building program - please contact me!

Retirement Policy for Gedolim

President Shimon Peres is an exceptional man.

It is clear from Shimon Peres' 90th Birthday celebration that, despite his age, Israel's president still has his faculties.

Look around the Western world, and you will see that Peres is the only statesman of his age who still holds public position.

According to the Economist there is a consistent trend in Western democracies electing younger leaders.
The average age for Prime Ministers is now around 51.

Even Pope Benedict broke with centuries of tradition, and at age 86 became the first pope to resign before he died  - because he believed that his advanced age was no longer compatible with the requirements of his demanding position as leader of 1.2 Billion members of the Catholic Church.

It seems to be universally recognised that in a fast-moving 21st Century world, our leaders require agility and youthfulness to keep up with the times and take quality leadership decisons.

In the chareidi world, however, there is no retirement opt…

Money In, Money Out

Israel has 'shepped naches' (taken pride) in the sale of home-grown navigation app Waze to Google for a stunning $1.1B.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called Waze owner Noam Bardin saying:

“Congratulations, you reached your destination! You put Israeli technology on the global map! You are also contributing to state coffers, which is welcome at this time. I am waiting for your next start-up! You have done exceptional work.”

In the same week, with a lot less razmataz, Teva, Israel's leading pharmaceuticals manufacturer, conceded in court that they had infringed Pfizer's patent on the Protonix drug, which is for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Together with fellow patent infringer, Sun, Teva settled for a total fine of $2.15B, of which Teva is required to pay $1.6B.

So, in Bibi's terms, the net "contribution to the State coffers" of the two mega-buck Israeli deals - looks to me like a minus.

The pride, and the shame.

"Jerusalem Lights" Show - Good Clean Cheap Fun Night Out!

My family visited the Jerusalem Lights Show in Jerusalem last night.

It really was a lovely evening, starting 8pm with nightfall, and we left around 11.00pm.

It was an easy stroll around the Old City with regular attractions using light to dramatic effect.

Although there were thousands of people participating, there was no feeling of being squashed in.

More info here:

To give you a flavour, here's some stunning photos I took along the way:

The Obscene "Graffiti = Terror" Law

 Yediot Achronot, a leading Israeli tabloid, showed two photographs.

Graffiti on a wall, which it labelled as "Jewish Terror".

And a bombed-out bus, labelled as "Arab Terror".

The article was a straight piece describing the new (and draconian) powers being given to the police to investigate, arrest, interrogate, try & severely sentence Jewish youth suspected of "Price Tag" crimes - mainly graffiti.

The new laws will ensure that these kids may have their communications freely bugged, be summarily arrested on pretexts, held for weeks without legal counsel, tried in military courts, sentenced to long prison terms, and forever tarred-and-feathered as Terrorists.

The outrageous comparison of the two photos - and of the acts they portray - seems to have been lost on the journalist and editors of Yediot. And probably on much of the readership.

It certainly seems to have been lost on our Government which is intent on passing this law.

The moral and legal equi…

Who Is Turkey's Yair Lapid?

The current demonstrations in Turkey are not parallel to the Arab uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and Syria.

Turkey is a fully-fledged Western-style democracy. (Well, all right, a Western Democracy Minus).

The end-game is not overthrow of dictatorial regimes or civil war.

A better analogy would be the social justice ("Housing" "Tent") demonstrations in Israel 2011.

In Israel, the spark which ignited the hundreds of thousands of participants in these protests was unafordable house prices.

In Turkey, it was the demolition of trees and of a park in Istanbul for a new development.

In both Israel and in Turkey it is predominantly the educated secular middle classes who have taken to the streets.

In both countries, this historically 'quiet' sector had reached the point of despair about a political establishment which had overlooked their needs and interests - effectively disenfranchising them.

A point of difference is the way in which the police tactically responded …