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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Christian Pastor in Iran May Be Executed Today, Refuses to Convert To Islam.


Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who maintains he has never been a Muslim as an adult, has Islamic ancestry and therefore must recant his faith, an Iranian court determined, or face execution as early as today.

Hatzolah running scared, accusing Dov Hikind and Ruchie Freier of running to "Goyish Media"

The Yeshiva World Blog


An unsigned op-ed piece in todays The Yeshivaworld blog accuses Attorney Ruchie Freier of complaining to the "Goyish Media" about the fact that she would rather have women respond to all calls to Hatzolah to  assist women giving birth! The absurd letter says that Daas Torah is against women joining Hatzalah. This is of course a blatant lie, since there is no one frumer than the people of New Square, and they actually require women to respond to women giving birth.
Attorney Ruchie Freier
Here read the outragious letter:


The massive chilul hashem that I warned about last week here on YWN, has come to pass. Sadly, despite outrage by rank and file Hatzolah members and a very clear statement by the CEO of Hatzolah that this proposal is absolutely forbidden based on halchic rulings by our gedolei hador, Attorney Ruchie Freier and Assemblyman Dov Hikind are continuing their crusade to force women into Hatzolah.
Even more disturbing, they have apparently enlisted the help of New York’s secular newspapers to do so. Earlier this week the New York Post, which has a circulation of over 500,000, splashed an article in its paper with the salacious headline: “Jewish ‘Siren’ Ladies” chock full of quotes by Ms. Freier and Mr. Hikind. (Crain’s Business Magazine also had an article) The story had a preposterous exchange where Hikind proclaimed, “I’m sure Hatzalah will listen and consider [admitting women into Hatzalah].” Of course, to no one’s surprise, the story continues: ‘But Hatzalah CEO Rabbi David Cohen said it’s a non-issue. “This was discussed years ago by the rabbinic board. They said not to do it, and that’s pretty much where we stand,” he said. “It’s not on the agenda. There’s no reason to put it on the agenda.”
The obvious question is how dare Hikind tell the New York Post that he was “sure” that Hatzolah will consider going against Das Torah? What’s more, as a member of Hatzolah, I know for a fact that the leadership reached out to Hikind immediately after his radio show to make it clear to Hikind that Hatzolah’s rabbanim are against this proposal. What chutzpah does Hikind have to continue to promote his agenda after the leadership of Hatzolah reaffirmed directly to him that the gedolei hador are oppose to this proposal?
Mr. Hikind, it’s not too late. You have a few hours to do teshuva before the start of Rosh Hashona and publicly renounce your support of forcing women into Hatzolah. Or at the very least, identify the Daas Torah that instructed you to go against the Gedolei Hador that ruled for reasons of tznius women may not join Hatzolah. Unless that happens, Mr. Hikind, you will continue to be responsible for the massive chilul hashem. And Chas V’Shalom if this blows back on Hatzolah and hurts this life-saving organization in any way, I shudder to think what kind of achrayas beis din shel mayla will assign to you.
Sincerely,
A long-time New York Hatzolah member.

Monsey Mother of 2 Falls to Her Death in Williamsburg



Newyork state buff reports that:
Williamsburg Hatzolah responded to 555 Flushing Ave Brooklyn NY, for reports of a young mother that fell from the 6th floor of a residential apartment building.

It now turns out the victim, Frimet Lichtenstein, a 25 year old female fell into the shaft on the 6th floor down to the 2nd floor where she was spotted by a neighbor who immediately called Hatzolah.

The victim is reported to have 2 Children and was pregnant. She lives in Monsey and was in Brooklyn to visit her parents.

She was transported in Traumatic arrest to Brooklyn HospitalWhere she was pronounced dead. Chesed Shell Emes responded to the scene.
Police are investigating the incident.

Anti-Israel Los Angeles Times Re-writes Movie History, Makes Jewish Hero of Ben Hur, a Palestinian





Charlton Heston as Judah Ben Hur, the Jewish hero—

notice the Star of David necklace—of Ben Hur, 1959.


by Robert J. Avrech
The Los Angeles Times is, like the NY Times, a reliably anti-Israel newspaper whose liberal/progressive/leftist slant often veers into  support for the Jew-hatred that is the foundation of Palestinian terror.
Even their entertainment articles frequently marinate in a radical ideology that extends to an ignorant and vile denial of Jewish, not to mention literary history.
In this brief announcement of an anniversary release of a Ben Hur DVD, the Charlton Heston character, Judah Ben Hur, is referred to as a “Palestinian nobleman.”
In the book and in all the movies Judah Ben Hur is a Jewish merchant.
This charade of so-called Palestinian history is a replacement ideology, Jewish history erased by faux Palestinians, a post-modern construct with zero historical basis.
I might add that this is also a fabrication of movie history.
This is a classic example of the big lie that was used by the Nazis to persecute and ultimately commit genocide against the Jews. This strategy is being used by the Muslim world, Arab, Turkish and Persian, to demonize the Jewish people and create an environment where the murder of Jews is not only acceptable but necessary.
Remember, The Los Angeles Times withheld the video of footage showing Barack Obama celebrating with PLO terrorist spokesman Rashid Khalidi. Apparently the Jew-hatred rampant that evening would have destroyed Obama’s presidential aspirations.
The Los Angeles Times is an enthusiastic partner in jihad.
I’d like to thank my friend Yisroel Medad of My Right Word for bringing this stealth piece of Jew-hatred to my attention.
William Wyler‘s 1959 epic, “Ben-Hur,” which dominated the Academy Awards in winning 11 Oscars, including best film, director, actor (Charlton Heston) and supporting actor (Hugh Griffith), is getting the superstar treatment in Warner’s 50th-anniversary ultimate collection edition arriving Tuesday in both regular DVD and Blu-ray.
Based on the novel by Lew Wallace, the period drama revolves around Judah Ben-Hur (Heston), a Palestinian nobleman [bold font by Big Hollywood] who is enslaved by the Romans, engages in one of the most thrilling chariot races ever captured on screen, and even encounters Jesus Christ.
The film was restored frame by frame from the original 65-millimeter camera negative and digitally remastered. Among the extras on the three-disc set are the new feature-length documentary “Charlton Heston & Ben Hur: A Personal Journey,” written and directed by the actor’s son, Fraser C. Heston; highlights from the 1960 Oscar telecast and the 1925 silent version starring Ramon Novarro.

"Chillul Hashem" Lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum attacks Freedom of Speech

“I invented this business,”  Lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum

In an op-ed piece in the Crownheights.com blog the self righteous lawyer Maimon Kirschenbaum attacked people writing negative comments about his atrocious actions against
treif restaurants. 
Read his sorry letter than read some of the comments he doesn't appreciate
First see original article in Dus iz nies

Dear Crownheights.info Readers:

As many of you have probably seen yesterday on this website, the NY Post ran an article about me and my business. The article certainly portrayed me and my business in a less than positive light. But I can live with that. My business is very controversial, and I have brought lawsuits against some very wealthy and powerful individuals. Therefore, it was no surprise when one of the defendants in my lawsuits succeeded in having a tabloid run a story about me containing many extreme exaggerations and misrepresentations regarding me and my motives, in an effort to clear his name in the press rather than in a courtroom, where law and reality govern. But the underlying merits of the article are not the subject of this letter.

I found it extremely difficult this morning to explain to my coworkers, colleagues, and clients why on a website geared towards members of my own community there are comments attacking me more viciously than in the general public. In all fairness, they were few as compared with quantity of comments on some of the other “hot button topics” addressed in this website. Nevertheless, over the years, I have seen too many community members, including shluchim, rabbis, and regular businessmen be viciously disparaged by commenters on the various websites. Given that I was the target this time, I will take this opportunity to share my feelings on the matter.

Rabosai, this has to stop. There is an astounding lack of perspective evident when people in a community anonymously sell out their own community members in a public forum. It is especially shocking when it happens in our beautiful community. The Crown Heights that I know is filled with people that would do anything in the world and have each other’s back at all times. Of course, there is machlokes in our community unfortunately, but on an individual level, we are a group of people with very strong loyalty to one another. Tzedaka and good deeds are the hallmarks of Chabad both in Crown Heights and throughout the world.

The negative vicious comments targeting our own people go directly against the grain of what we are. It is downright ugly. I am no spiritual authority, but from my perspective, the “negative internet comment crisis” is at least as troubling as the other crises lamented on this website. We are hurling cheap insults at our neighbors, families, friends, etc. Where on Earth does this come from, and how is not too disgusting to be allowed in our community? If there is some tenet of Chabad philosophy that supports this behavior, I personally request that a Rov or Mashpia explain it to us. Because, as far as I know, it goes against all that is Chabad and all that is Jewish.

I have very thick skin, and I am not very insulted by the comments. I am also very proud of my work, BH. I feel no need to apologize for my lawsuits, and I can handle this relatively negative publicity. In terms of the insult, we know what the Alter Rebbe said about David Hamelech and Shimi Ben Gaira, “For Hashem told him to curse me”. So I probably had it coming. But that doesn’t change that the people that engaged in bad behavior engaged in bad behavior.

There is a time, place and manner for everything. If someone disagrees, or wants to ”give me mussar” for what I do, it should be rather simple. Come sit down with me at a farbrengen and tell me your thoughts. My information is pretty easy to locate on the internet, and you can find a way to reach me and tell me what you think. This is the case with everyone else that you are thinking about anonymously lambasting in your comment. If you are simply too cowardly to voice your opinion directly and to stand behind it, you probably should not be making the point.

In short, there are several reasons to refrain from anonymous comments attacking members of our community: (A) Some people are deeply hurt by these comments; (B) You are letting the world know that you are willing to sell out members of your community (most of whom would never do that to you) for the cheap thrill of writing something nasty on the internet; and (C) It is cowardly to make a statement that you cannot stand behind with your name.

I would like my children and your children to grow up in a community where they know that everyone is looking out for each other. This will provide them with sense of security and confidence. They will in turn have a strong desire to remain part of the community. There is so much discussion about what causes children to drift, R”L. Please stop and think about what kind of effect open negativity and nastiness has on our community and what message it sends to our children about their community.

“Hareini mochel l’chol mi shehichis osi oh shehknit osy.” If there is one good thing I can do for my wonderful community this year, let it be to encourage people to stop trashing each other on the websites!

Ksiva V’chasima Toiva, and much success to everyone b’gashmiyus ubrichniyus. Barchenu avinu kulanu k’echad, as one!


Maimon Kirschenbaum



Comments from the crownheights blog



 Huh? wrote:

What a leftist weasel!
Instead of answering the allegations against him, he goes on to attack freedom of speech.

fact #1 - the workers in these restaurants were not chained to the tables. they were obviously happy to work for what they were getting.

fact #2 - kirschenbaum saw an extortion opportunity, based on his family's experience in the restaurant business, and convinced these naive workers to sue the hand that feeds them.

fact #3 - the restaurant cant afford the legal fees, and settles for a huge amount which forces it to close down. now the workers find themselves unemployed, with a little bit of money that wasnt pocketed by kirschenbaum, who is laughing all the way to the bank.

fact #4 - all the hard working productive people: the family that built the restaurant up from the ground and the employees (all of them, not just the waiters) are all penniless. the UNproduvtive parasites: kirschenbaum, sit on a pile of gold they did not earn.

MR. KISCHENBAUM: THE NY POST IS RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG!!!!
YOU ARE A BLOODSUCKING PARASITE. YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM. YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF HARD WORK. YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF PROSPERITY.

GET OUT OF CROWN HEIGHTS KIRSCHENBAUM - YOU ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ALL OF US.


ANONYMOUS wrote:


This letter is a sorry and pathetic attempt to cover up a massive Chillul Hashem! Mr. Kirschenbaum, you are hurting the community you say you are part of. You have hurt many people and businesses through your work. You need to take a good long look at yourself and ask yourself the following question: “am I a good and proper Jew and is my livelihood coming from a good and proper source?”


-ANONYMOUS (I fear both for myself and my family your legal retribution, because knowing you, you will not peacefully sit down and discuss this at a farbrengen).


A concerned chosid wrote:


Maimon with all due respect to what you wrote, I feel that the “business you invented” is a dangerous business for many or perhaps most employers.


we live in a country where we are competing with china where workers get paid an average of $20 US dollars a month!


Additionally most workers in this industry would NOT work for only 40 hours a week, for that would give them a a gross pay of $290 a week and after taxes social security and medicare they are left with about $195 per week. So these workers ask their employers to give them more hours and don't expect their employer to pay them overtime.


They are happy with getting more hours, for without it they would need to work at another location which would also pay them minimum wage without overtime. And these workers won't be able to pay their rent in this expensive city.


If the food industry would have employees paid overtime wages you would be paying $3 for a small yogurt $5 for a half gallon of cholov yisroel milk and $9 for a tuna sandwich !


That being said I feel that you are doing a great injustice to our standard of living by pushing and encouraging people to take court action against an employer who has been there giving them work year after year. Remember, these workers were not forced to work there and were not forced to work overtime hours, they were simply happy to have a job and happy to have more hours at the same location.


By encouraging this behavior you will make the cost of living in this city go up, small business owners to close up shop and have these immigrant workers stand on the street on Fort Hamilton ave to look for work.


Although I would hope that you haven't gone after people in “Our Community”, your behavior and publicity will hurt other ehrliche yidden who are just trying to make a living and pay their bills.


Just like you display your concern for the sake of our community, it would be nice to see that your concern shows as well where it affects your business and the business of thousands of frum yidden in NYC


A Ksiva V'chasima Toiva


P.S. I wholeheartedly agree with you that there should be positive comments posted for the sake of our community and our own sanity. It would be nice to see achdus.

A concerned chosid #2 wrote:

In addition to what I wrote above, I would like to point out something else. many small business owners don't have the finances to hire a lawyer to defend their case against workers who don't have any skin in the game, for they don't pay the lawyer unless they are successful and then pay them a fee from their winnings.

As a result most mom and pop shops that are faced by litigation, the kind of which your firm practices, they throw in the towel, file bankruptcy or worse.

In our very own community there was a very successful supermarket owner, the first one to bring s a proper supermarket to Crown Heights, had a lawsuit filed against him by a group of his employees who wanted the “get rich quick method”, they together with their lawyer have single handedly put him out of business, he lost his house and all.

yes he could of hired lawyers to fight for his rights, but it would of costed him hundreds of thousands of dollars up front without any guarantee of success.

All I want to point out is that we must be careful with our mouth and our actions. you never know who you are teaching to do what. case in point Turkey's air force was trained by the IDF.

I wish you would of taken your profession to a place where youd help your own and not C"V the opposite.

A Gut Yor

Fed Up! wrote:

Just remember that it is muckrackers like Maimon Kirschenbaum that got Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin into trouble.

The difference is that those activists did what they did out of a misplaced sense of idealism (leaving out some of the real anti-Semites).

Maimon Kirschenbaum wrecks other people's hard-built businesses for GELT for himself. A clown like Maimon cost B and H Foto Electronics 4 million dollars that they earned more honestly than Maimon ever earned a penny in his life. I wonder about restaurants in his family and how he would feel if the clown who took on B and H took on his family's restaurants - or his legal practice.

And then he writes this sniveling, self-serving letter on CHInfo when he gets the kind of comments he deserves.

Maimon is a SHAME and a DISGRACE who should shave his beard and get rid of his yarmulke. He is another Roy Cohn, a true stain on the legal profession.

CH Resident wrote:

Maimon,

With all due respect, you have chosen law as a profession and more specifically shaking down businesses. Whether it's justifiable, I don't know, because I don't know the specifics of this case, but how can you assume that you can shake down a small business (we aren't talking fortune 500 businesses, we are talking restaurants which struggle for survival as most eventually fail) for many millions of dollars and be immune of disdain?

I don't think it's jealousy, because people seem to celebrate Ben Federman's immense success because he isn't hurting anybody as his means of earning his not so modest living. Perhaps it's the epitome of hypocrisy that you take on people struggling to take care of their families by offering a service (i.e. food service industry), and then when people get disgusted by that, you lecture people that they lack the decency to shut up. Do you not realize the thin line you walk, that you can be a savior to an abused class of people, or you can be the sleaziest scumbag shakeartist shaking down people for financial gain? You chose a career that tests your character every day, perhaps sometimes you fail to make appropriate judgement in which case to take and which case to reject?

I hope you were in good judgement in taking on this case, yet I think instead of knocking people who speculate on your job, perhaps you should demonstrate your case to the media on why your' pursuing this case was just. You can't expect to undertake a 30 million dollar lawsuit without people noticing and chattering about the case's merits or lack thereof. There really is no accountability of ethics of attorneys other than in the media. If that reality escapes you, is it possible you have chosen the wrong profession?

I do give you the benefit of the doubt so long as you don't plead the fifth and refuse to address the grievances of the middle class frustrated with the plethora of legal vultures. At this point I assume, hope and pray that you aren't one of them.

re # 2 wrote:

How dare you write this letter trying to make us feel bad about writing a comment! As the saying goes, “don't do the crime if you cant do the time”!
It is people like you who go after the essence of a community like ours. You write, you have ONLY gone after the “big boys” and now they got someone to write an article in a tabloid. But I read that tabloid and I know what’s next, we all know what is coming next….
Marmelsteins!!!!! Yes all the lawsuits to date were just a prelude of the one you really want, it was not good enough that you shut down the most important landmark in our community, the heart of what we stand for, the Moshiach Deli, no you now will go after our soul as well, and for that I cannot sit back and let you get away with it.
And to those that now want him to run in a leadership role, do you understand what a man like this is capable of, it is possible that he would go after a department that would then change the face of 770 itself, what if he actually decides that garbage should no longer pile up in front of 770, what would we do during weddings when there is no longer a smell, how will they take pictures when they can take of all sides and not only one direction???
In closing, we must keep the pressure up and talk bad about people on these websites, it is our essence, our being, and no one should try to take it away from us, because next they will tell us to allow old people and rabbonim to have our places in shul our macome kavuah, and not to step over people when climbing on benches. And g-d forbid anyone should tell us to make way or give up a seat for a pregnant lady. What a thought, it brings horrors to my being!
Chaim Light

Communist Raider wrote:

Nice try…but doesn't impress me.

Respect is not earned with pleads, but rather with virtuous acts. “The business I invented” is not a business but rather racketeering and robbing in the name of the law aka abuse of the law.

I would respect you, Maimon, if you practice Jewish Law and run a restaurant. Yes, go try to open a restaurant for a change, than pay your earning to a Shyster for the crime you not really sure you committed. But keeping in mind Sholom Rubashkin, you rather settle than deal with the US Court.

Communis dullards in the US Socialist Government (Larger than in late USSR) enact nonsense regulations that impossible to meet without going into bankruptcy. Than comes around a Shyster, or worse - Federal Agent and turns you into “Rubashkin Case” ignoring “presumption of innocence”.

The Law in this country has become a farce due to nice guys like Maimon turning the Law into “business invention”.

This is why C-Sections in this country way higher than in Europe (CS is a legal protection) and medications cost is astronomical (since the price includes potential settlements). This is why a lot of research is outsourced to India (since researcher don't take any chance with 150 pages regulations and how it will be interpreted by Shysters). And so on.

In summary, I have no respect for what you are doing, Maimon

Far Side of the Moon wrote:

Would Maimon's own immigrant mother ever have been able to start her business had she been faced with the kind of laws that Maimon now “enforces” and the constant threat of a predatory lawyer suing her out of existence? I wonder why she only operates as a caterer these days - could be the economy, competition or her own personal reasons, but she also has fewer health, safety and yes, labor regulations to deal with now.

Times were different back when Maimon's mother started (I know his parents quite well), and going back to those times as far as labor relations are concerned would force Maimon into using his entrepreneurial zeal and creativity to contribute to the economy rather than sapping its strength.

Regardless of whether it is legal, taking someone's business away and wrecking the very fabric of society under the guise of worker's rights, a guise that did so much physical and spiritual damage to Yidden for decades, is the very definition of a chilul Hashem and “naval birshus haTorah.”

And then to complain that people are criticizing him! If you can't stand the heat, stay out of restaurant owners' kitchens!

Saudi Woman to Receive 10 Lashes for Driving Car


Saudi activists say a court has sentenced a Saudi woman with 10 lashes for defying the kingdom's ban on women driving.
Activist Samar Badawi says Shaima Ghassaniya was found guilty Tuesday of driving without the government's permission.
No laws prohibit women from driving, but conservative religious edicts have banned it.
The ruling comes just two days after Saudi King Abdullah announced that, for the first time, women have the right to vote and run in the country's 2015 local elections.
Najalaa Harriri, who is also facing court for driving, told The Associated Press she needed to drive to take better care of her children.
Tuesday's verdict is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. Other women were detained for several days, but had not been sentenced by a court


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/09/27/saudi-woman-to-receive-10-lashes-for-driving-car/#ixzz1ZDvxnO7f

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy New Year


R' Menashe Klein, One the the Greatest Prominent Poskim of Our Time Passes On, Permitted the Boro-Park Eirev


New York - Right before Rosh hashana of 5772, Rav Menashe Klein was niftar.  He was a remarkably prolific writer, having penned two entire series of Teshuvos, numbering into the thousands.  He carried on correspondences with the Steipler Gaon zatzal, who had enormous regard for him.  Rav Elyashiv too, gave him tremendous respect whenever Rav Menashe went to visit.
He was born in 1924 in Europe.  Originally hailing from the town of Ungvar in what was then Czechoslovakia and what is now the Ukraine, Rav Menashe survived the Nazis, Yimach Shmam.  In the DP camps as a young man he strengthened people and he taught Torah.  He strengthened shattered men and women, and encouraged them – fortifying them with the means to continue.  To the older boys he taught Chumash and Rashi.  To the younger boys, orphans, he taught Aleph Bais.  One of them later grew up to become the chief Rabbi of Israel – Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau Shlita.  Recently, I asked Rav Lau about Rabbi Klein.  He remembered him vividly and fondly, asking me to send regards.

Rav Menashe’s love for his fellow Jews was profound, one could tell it in his eyes.  Once a couple experiencing enormous distress on account of their son went to see him.  Rav Menahseh spent hours with them comforting them, strengthening them and inspiring them.  They left his presence recharged, and since them, I have never seen them down.

He would cry with parents whose children were on the verge of an intermarriage.  He would daven fervently for anyone who was sick or ill, and of late, whenever Bnei Torah would come to visit him, he would ask them to have him in their Tefilos – giving them his name and that of his mother.
He studied under the Ungvar Rov Rabbi Yossef Elimelech Khan and then after the war he came to the United States.  He considered the Klausenberger Rebbe zatzal his Rebbe Muvhak.  He received his mehalech in learning and in Psak from him.  He learned in the Klausenberg Yeshiva when it was in the Bronx, after the war.  It was called Yeshiva Sheris HaPleita. 
His hasmadah was legendary.  He would write responsa well into the wee hours of the morning.  He knew Shas and reviewed it constantly.  He had an explanation of virtually every Tosfos on the tip of his tongue.  One can see from his responsa his grasp of the Talmud.  His Seforim are filled with innovative, insightful, and brilliant chiddushim. 
He wrote Seforim on Chanukah, Yevamos, and numerous other topics as well.
His responsa dealt with almost every issue one can think about.  Often Rav Menashe is the only Posaik that will discuss an esoteric halachic subject. He carried on a halachic discourse with numerous Poskim and luminaries.  The Lubavitcher Rebbe carried on halachic conversations with him, as did numerous others.
He also had a warm and genuine laugh, a twinkle in his eye, and a good sense of humor.  Once I had asked him about whether there was any stringency in changing a baby with the same hand that one wraps the Tefillin straps.  He responded, “By unzer, it is the froi who change babies, so it is nisht ken Shailah.  He laughed and then answered the question based upon the various textual variations in the text of the Gemorah.
He loved Kollel Yungeleit and Bnei Torah.  Once he saw a Ben Torah who could not afford Seforim but showd interest in what he wrote.  Rav Menashe piled him with Seforim before the young man left.
He carried on conversations and discussions with others as well, many holocaust survivors.  Indeed, he even carried on a chevrusashcaft with Elie Weisel for a number of years.
Rav Menashe would type his responsa on a computer well into his 80’s.  He inspired many others to learn computers as well, at an advanced age.  I had once convinced Rav Dovid Kviat zatzal to learn how to write his Chiddushim on the computer.  When he heard that Rav Menashe had done so, he did as well. 
Rav Klein zatzal was an Anav as well.  Once I argued with him about the position of the Mishna Brurah in a halacha in Krias HaTorah.  When I got home, I was shocked to hear a message on my answering machine, “Reb Yair, I looked at the lashon of the Mishna Brurah – you are right, Ich gemacht a tooas.  Yasher Koach.”
He allowed his responsa to be published in Bar Illan’s Responsa project and was very generous with allowing the reproduction of his Divrei Torah. 
Many of his positions of course were remarkably conservative in halacha too.  He did not hold of translations of Shas.  He disagreed with rendering rulings over the telephone – especially if the Rav did not have a phone number to call back.  What will the Rav do if he realizes that he made a mistake? 
His halachic positions were certainly innovative too, if not also controversial.  He never recited a bracha on tovelling dishes for fear that the manufacturers were really Jews.  Even if there is a majority, how do we really know?
Some of his other positions were even more controversial.  He held that giving blood may be a violation of Chovel B’Atzmo.  He was the first to argue with Rav Moshe Feinstein zatzal about an Eiruv in Brooklyn.  Many a Yeshiva bochur disagreed with his position about street lights acting as a legal type of fence, but all admitted that it was innovative.  He also held that Mitzvos cease after one’s death and one does not have the right to give away organs – even if it is Pikuach Nefesh.
Rav Menashe would spend many months out of the year in Eretz Yisroel in Kiryat Ungvar in Ramot. In America, his Yeshiva and Shul was at 16th Avenue and 52nd Street in Borough Park.  He was a warm, loving Posaik, who inspired tens of thousands with his hasmada, his dedication to Torah and his steadfastness in halacha.
Within the past year and a half he handed over his Yeshiva and Shul to his son, Reb Amram, a tremendous Talmid Chochom and Baal Middos too.  May he be a Mailitz Yosher for all of Klal Yisroel.
The author can be reached at yairhoffman2@gmail.com 

Herman Cain Leads Republican Field In Zogby Poll



A new Zogby poll puts Herman Cain at the top of the Republican field, as the top choice of 28% of poll respondents.  (IBOPE Zogby International says the polling sample consists of “all likely voters and of likely Republican primary voters.”) 
Rounding out the top three are Rick Perry at 18%, and Mitt Romney at 17%.  Fourth place goes to Ron Paul at 11%.  Paul’s the most solid performer in Zogby’s polling history for the 2012 GOP race – his 11% might as well be chiseled in stone.
Interestingly, this poll was conducted after the Orlando GOP debate, but before Cain won the Florida straw poll.  It’s a huge surge for Cain, who was polling at 12% just two weeks previously, and was floating at a campaign low of 8% two weeks before that.  Aside from that bitter 8% number, Cain has generally done quite well in the Zogby poll, usually good enough for second or third place.
On the other hand, Rick Perry’s numbers in the Zogby poll have cratered, falling 19% in just two weeks.  His debut last month was also his high-water mark thus far, when Zogby had him at 41%. 
Michelle Bachmann has also been slipping steadily, chugging in at 4%.  That puts her just below Jon Huntsman, which is the same way she finished the Florida straw poll.  Bachmann was actually the leading candidate in Zogby’s polling from June 21 through July 25… then she plunged to 9% in the next poll and continued sliding down from there.
Romney’s been holding fairly steady in the Zogby poll.  He bounces a few points up and down, but seems to hover in the 15-17% range. 
Zogby’s also got President Obama’s approval rating at 42%, with 57% disapproval.  That’s actually a bit better than his September 5 low of 39-61.  His poor approval numbers seem to hold fairly steady, while his disapproval bounces around.
As always with poll news, the usual caveats apply: it’s one poll, it might be an outlier, Zogby’s accuracy has been questioned in the past, et cetera.  Still, these numbers reflect the general shape of the race pretty well: Perry started big but fizzled fast, Romney’s been playing a careful game built around damage control, Paul’s got a loyal following but can’t reach beyond it. 
 I’d have guessed Cain would rank a bit lower than his Zogby numbers until now, but he had one of the best weekends a candidate could ask for in Orlando, and Zobgy’s poll is telling us the same thing the Florida straw poll did.  It will be interesting to compare the first batch of polls from various sources to reflect that straw poll, and Cain’s reaction to it.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wildlife photographer captures lion rescuing helpless cub from falling to its death .Photos


Stunning photos shot by a wildlife photographer in Kenya capture a mama lion rescuing her cub from plummeting to its death.
The tiny cub had strayed from its pride in the Masai Mara game reserve and slipped more than 12 feet down a steep cliff before becoming stuck, according to news agencies.
As the helpless cat clings for dear life above a ravine, a group of five lions gather at the cliff's edge, the photos show.
Finally, the mother cub begins to slowly edge her way down the sheer slope.
Just as the little lion appears to lose his grip, his mother snatches him in her jaws and claws her way back to the top.
After arriving on level ground again, she gives him a loving lick on the head.
Wildlife lensman Jean-Francois Lagrot captured the dramatic scene in Maasai Mara, a giant game reserve in southwest Kenya





Lakewood Yeshivas using Jewish Children "as pawns"



The following copy of a letter written to a Lakewood activist is being circulated around Lakewood. The letter addressed to Hershel Herskowitz, who ran for city office against a Lakewood lackey, threatens to throw his two daughters out of school unless he first asks the opinion of the Lakewood Roshei Yeshivah before he does anything that benefits the Lakewood Community! 
Get it?
I don't!

King of Gaffes: Obama confuses Jews with Janitors



Now listen to Rush Limbaugh's take on this:
RUSH:  Okay if asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew janitor.  Now, is he attacking Jew janitors, or is he pandering to 'em?  Well, no.  I'm serious about this.  Everybody's in there laughing themselves silly.  And I understand, I'm a naturally funny guy.  But I'm serious about this.  I think this is an unguarded moment.  If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax as a Jew -- a janitor.  Folks, when you mean to say janitor, who in the world says Jew?  I don't know how many of them there are, but if there are some Jewish janitors out there, they're not a huge voting bloc
The point here is, is he pandering to 'em or is he attacking 'em?  Is there some vitriol here?  'Cause remember we know he's got vitriol against billionaires, particularly those that don't donate to him, so if asking a billionaire to pay the same tax rate as a Jew... Jew what?  Remember what the Washington Post is telling us he's doing here.  Here, listen one more time.

You Can Now View The Dead Sea Scrolls Online


Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online in Israel Museum Project With Google
The Dead Sea Scrolls, so ancient and fragile that direct light cannot shine on them, are now available to search and read online in a project launched today by the Israel Museum and Google Inc. (GOOG)
“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful,” said Yossi Matias, managing director of Google’s R&D Center in Israel.
The people who wrote the scrolls hid them in caves along the shore of the Dead Sea, probably about the time the Romans destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and are generally attributed to an isolated Jewish sect that settled in Qumran in the Judean Desert. The manuscripts were discovered between 1947 and 1956.
Sections of the scrolls are on display at Israel Museum’s Shrine of the book and rotated every three to four months so as to minimize exposure. Only a facsimile of the Great Isaiah Scroll is on display. The Google tool on the Israel Museum website makes entire scrolls accessible and allows browsers to zoom into the text as well as read its translation in English.
“This gives you a way to understand the beginning of biblical history,” said museum director James Snyder. “Nothing could be more important.”
The project follows a Google project that went live in January and put online an archive and search function for photos from Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. The world’s largest Internet search engine is also working on a project in collaboration with the Israel Antiquities Authority that will make available on the Internet fragments of the scrolls so they can be studied by scholars.

Cultural Opportunity

“The opportunity is amazing here for culture and heritage information,” Matias said. “We are trying to expand this and address these historical and heritage archives and there are great things that can be done here.”
Five of the eight scrolls housed at Israel Museum since 1965 have been digitalized, including the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Temple Scroll and the War Scroll. The Great Isaiah Scroll can be searched by column, chapter and verse, including the famous “and the wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” It is accompanied by an English translation tool and includes an option for users to submit translations of verses in their own languages.
“For us, the Dead Sea Scrolls couldn’t be a more important iconic cultural artifact,” said Snyder. “Any opportunity for us to bring them to the widest possible public audience and offer the opportunity to really begin to understand what these amazing documents are all about is something that we embrace.”
Google’s Chief Executive Larry Page is pushing into new markets such as mobile and display advertising, while trying to preserve the company’s leadership in search, an area that generates most of Google’s revenue. Shares of Google have dropped 0.3 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 1.1 percent decline of the S&P 500 Index.
Both Israel Museum and Google declined to say how much the project cost.
To contact the reporter on this story: Gwen Ackerman in Jerusalem at gackerman@bloomberg.net