Thursday, August 31, 2017
The body of Malka Lebo (Lebovitz - Einhorn) who jumped from the Bear Mountain Bridge in April was recovered in the Hudson River Wednesday night after the occupants of a cabin cruiser passing through the area spotted the body and notified police.
The woman is a 22-year-old resident of Rockland County.
The Westchester County Police Marine Unit responded and recovered the body from the river, O'Leary said.
The remains were transported to Riverfront Green Park in Peekskill and turned over to the Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office, he added.
Her death has been ruled a suicide by the Medical Examiner’s Office, O'Leary said.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Ukrainian authorities are preparing for a record pilgrimage by tens of thousands of Jews gathering in the city of Uman for Rosh Hashanah.
Authorities are expecting up to 40,000 Jewish pilgrims ahead of the Jewish New Year, which this year falls on Sept. 20, the Ukrainian Government Press office told the ZN news website Tuesday.
In previous years, local authorities estimated that the annual pilgrimage brought 25,000 to 30,000 visitors to Uman — followers of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, an 18th-century luminary whose gravesite is the focal point of the celebration. Rescue forces are carrying out exercises at the main congregation points of the visitors to be able to respond effectively to any emergency, the Unian news agency reported Tuesday.
Authorities in Ukraine have improved access to Uman in recent years, with plans underway for reopening a disused military airport near the city for direct flights. Uman is located in central Ukraine, 150 miles south of Kiev and 200 miles south of Odessa.
The synagogue is part of the Ohel complex built near the gravesite of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.
According to a recent study from the University of Queensland, facial fuzz can protect a man’s face from 90 to 95% of harmful UV rays from the sun.
This means that a large portion of a man’s face is protected from being sunburnt – which can help prevent skin cancer.
Dr Adam Freidmann told the Independent: “Sun exposure is the primary cause of photo-ageing and skin damage, so it makes sense that if your face is covered by a heavy beard, it may well protect your skin from the signs of ageing.
“This means fewer wrinkles and a reduction in age spots (liver spots) commonly found on the face.
“People with a thick head of hair do not tend to get skin cancer or photo ageing on the scalp until they lose their hair. So we can see that there is a UV protective effect.”
However, these findings are only applicable to men who have a full beard – patchy stubble doesn’t count.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
|The "capo" Ezra chapping Shrayim|
There were Jews like Ezra "The Capo" Friedlander who openly backed the Obama administration's Iran Deal.
Ezra who is now pushing for a Congressional Medal for Anwar Sadat, so that he can continue to shnoor for his failing Friedlander Group, previously wrote an Op-Ed in Theyeshivahworld blog, addressing holocaust survivors, asking them to vote for Jerry "fats" Nadler, even though he voted to hand nuclear weapons to the Iranian terrorists who have vowed to destroy the State of Israel!
It turns out that the Obama administration was hiding the real facts about Iran so he could muster enough votes to supply Iran with nuclear weapons!
The Obama administration hid information about Iran illicitly ferrying militants into Syria on commercial aircraft in order to promote the landmark nuclear deal and foster multi-billion dollar business deals with Tehran's state-controlled airline sector, according to lawmakers and other sources familiar with the matter.
The Washington Free Beacon first disclosed last week that congressional leaders are calling for an investigation into Iran for using its state-controlled air carrier, Iran Air, to ferry militant fighters into Syria, where they are taking up arms in defense of embattled President Bashar al-Assad.
Photographs provided to Congress show Iran using Iran Air to ferry these soldiers between 2016 and 2017, in part when the Obama administration removed sanctions on Iran Air and promoted multi-billion dollars sales between the carrier and aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which is seeking to provide Iran Air with a fleet of new planes that many suspect will be used to carry terrorist fighters and weapons into regional hotspots.
This behavior violates international laws governing the nuclear deal and has now led lawmakers and others to accuse the Obama administration of downplaying Iran's illicit activity in order to promote the nuclear deal and ensure Tehran receives a new commercial fleet.
Multiple senior Obama administration officials, including former secretary of state John Kerry, traveled the globe to promote trade with Iranian companies, including Iran Air, at the same time Iran was found to be ferrying militants into Syria. Lawmakers and others suspect the Obama administration either hid or downplayed this information in order to preserve the nuclear deal.
"The Obama administration lifted sanctions against Iran Air as a political concession during nuclear negotiations with Iran, not because of any change in its activity," Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), one of the lawmakers calling for an investigation into Iran's use of commercial aircraft for military purposes, told the Free Beacon.
"Using social media and public flight tracking websites, any person with a computer can document Iranian military transports to Syria on commercial jets," Roskam said. "The Obama administration undoubtedly knew Iranian airliners were being used to fuel Assad's atrocities in Syria, but the administration officials who were globetrotting as Tehran's chamber of commerce trying to shore up the nuclear deal didn't care."
"Iran Air continues to support the Iran-Assad war machine to this day, and the Trump administration must hold the airline accountable and work to stop them," the lawmaker said.
Roskam and a delegation of other Republican congressmen petitioned the Trump Treasury Department last week to investigate photographic evidence showing Iran using Iran Air to ferry militants into Syria.
"Iran's use of commercial aircraft for military purposes violates international agreements as well as Iranian commitments under the JCPOA," or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the lawmakers wrote, according to a letter first obtained by the Free Beacon. "We believe these photos mandate a thorough investigation of these practices and a comprehensive review of Iran's illicit use of commercial aircraft."
The lawmakers demand the Trump administration freeze all licenses that would permit the deal between Boeing and Iran Air to move forward.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a vocal opponent of the Iran deal who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration ignored evidence of Iran's illicit military activity in a bid to appease Tehran and forward the nuclear agreement.
"As the Obama administration was shipping palettes of cash to Iran, the mullahs were sending militants to wage jihad in Syria," DeSantis said. "The Obama administration turned a blind eye to this and other transgressions because it was so intent on delivering major sanctions relief to the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism, the Iranian government."
The Treasury Department did not respond to multiple Free Beacon requests for comment on the matter.
The Treasury Department has vowed in the past to consider and investigate any new evidence revealing Iran's illicit use of commercial aircraft, but it remains unclear if U.S. officials are actually following through on this promise.
Administration insiders have expressed confusion over the matter, saying they are unsure where Trump officials stand on scrapping the nuclear agreement.
Multiple proponents of ending the deal were recently removed from the White House's National Security Council and it appears that those officials supporting the deal currently are now the majority voice. This includes Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.
Administration insiders say the Obama administration's aggressive efforts to promote trade with Iran and lay the groundwork for massive deals such as that formed with Boeing placed the current administration in a complicated position.
Boeing says the deal would create scores of U.S. jobs, but those opposing the deal say American workers should not be aiding Iran's illicit activity.
"The Obama administration actively politicized and downplayed intelligence about Iran to preserve the deal," said one veteran congressional adviser working on the issue. "They had State remove references to Iranian terrorism, had Justice ignore Iranian sanctions-busters and proliferated, and even had Energy buy off Iranian deal violations. So of course they had Treasury look the other way while the Iranians were facilitating Assad's mass slaughter."
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, said champions of the Iran deal had knowledge of Iran's illicit behavior, but downplayed this information to push the nuclear agreement forward.
"The Boeing deal is where corruption meets national security. One of the biggest proponents of the Iran deal was Thomas Pickering, a former ambassador whom the Obama administration brought in to assuage Congress and re-up its talking points in the media," Rubin said. "Pickering never acknowledged, however—even to Congress—that at the time he had a lucrative consulting gig with Boeing in order to enable that company to profit off any Iran deal."
Iran is seeking to purchase from Boeing a fleet much larger than its domestic needs require, another sign that points to the regime's desire to use these commercial aircraft for military purposes, Rubin said.
"What the heck did the Obama team think Iran would do with its Boeings? If they tallied up Iran's annual air travel with the capacity offered by Boeing, they'd find that Iran was purchasing planes representing triple what Iran needed for its civilian transport," Rubin said. "Frankly, the Boeing deal should have resulted in as many red flags as if Iran said it wanted to purchase high explosives and rocket engines. But, national security and reality were far down Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry's lists of priorities."
The Coalition for Jewish Values, a public policy institute representing hundreds of Orthodox Rabbis, today rebuked Jewish clergy who publicly announced their refusal to participate in an annual conference call with the President preceding the Jewish High Holy Days.
Rabbis from four non-Orthodox Jewish organizations said last Wednesday they would not hold the annual call with the president, claiming that his response to racist violence in Charlottesville was "lacking in moral leadership and empathy."
The CJV noted that the Union for Reform Judaism was recently identified as the most consistently liberal American religious group in a survey of the party registration of religious leaders -- and suggested that Reform and associated clergy were judging Presidents by a double standard.
Rabbi Aryeh Spero, a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the CJV, dismissed the Rabbis' statement as "left-wing politics masquerading as rabbinics."
"For eight years," his colleague Rabbi Professor Dov Fischer explained, "these rabbis raced to participate in New Years' phone calls with a President who worked vigorously against Israel, snubbed and shamed its democratically elected leader, and who called Jewish homes in the Jewish homeland 'illegal.' They have not suddenly found their consciences.
Is liberalism more important to them than Judaism?"
The CJV also challenged the claim of liberal Jewish leaders to represent Jewish rabbinic opinion.
"Despite their arrogated prominence," said Rabbi Avrohom Gordimer, also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow of the CJV,
"the liberal denominations now represent a minority of Jewish clergy. The great majority of American rabbis revere Jewish tradition, including our responsibility to show respect for government officials and to work amicably with them for the physical and moral betterment of all."
"President Trump has proven himself a great friend of Israel and the Jewish People," he concluded.
"Any rabbi should be honored to receive High Holy Day greetings from the leader of the free world, especially when we owe him thanks for the many things he has done on our behalf."
The Coalition for Jewish Values (CJV), directed by prominent rabbinic leaders and representing hundreds of rabbis across North America, articulates an authentic Jewish perspective on current events, and promotes Jewish values through writing and teaching derived from traditional Jewish thought.
Monday, August 28, 2017
See here the direct connection between the "Reagan Battalion" and the anti-Semite George Soros
The Reform and Conservative movements have made an about-face on the Western Wall, telling the Supreme Court that they will no longer agree to the 'Western Wall Compromise', which would have expanded the area allotted for non-traditional prayer services at the southern end of the wall near Robinson's Arch, and that they now seek guaranteed rights for mixed-gender prayer services inside the existing Western Wall Plaza area.
The non-Orthodox movements also demanded representation in the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which controls and manages the Kotel, Yisrael Hayom reported.
In a lengthy 27-page legal brief filed Monday with the Supreme Court ahead of an decision on the matter, the Reform and Conservative movements said that they had only agreed to accept the Western Wall Compromise because the area designated for mixed-prayer was to be included as part of the Western Wall itself.
"The petitioners capitulated on their demand for a pluralistic prayer space at the existing wall due to their understanding that the new Robinson's Arch would be part of the larger Western Wall area, with equal and public access points" read the missive.
The non-Orthodox streams said that that Robinson's Arch was not viewed as part of the existing Western Wall, noting "the complete physical separation between the prayer area located in the Robinson Arch area and the Western Wall site."
They noted that "the regulations regarding holy places define the the Western Wall as the northern plaza, and not Robinson's Arch."
The Reform and Conservative movements also told the court that they seek representation at the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, the group entrusted with managing and controlling the Western Wall, saying that "it is incomprehensible that the group which plays such a large role in the Western Wall's operations represents only the Orthodox, and not all other streams of Judaism."
In June, the government froze a plan which included moving the entrance to the mixed gender prayer section to the other sections' entrances and allowing representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements to be on the Kotel Committee.
The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision on the matter in the upcoming days. The Rabbinate says that Israeli law does not allow the Supreme Court to decide on matters which involve religion or holy places.
Thousands of Jews from all over Israel arrived at Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Hacohen Kook's grave on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives, commemorating 82 years since his passing.
Among the thousands of visitors were Beit El Yeshiva Dean Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, Har Hamor Yeshiva Dean Rabbi Tzvi Tau, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home), and other rabbis, students, and yeshiva deans. Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, dean of Merkaz HaRav yeshiva founded by Rabbi Kook is a cohen forbidden by halakha to enter a cemetery. The yeshiva had a memorial evening in Beit HaRav Kook in his memory.
Born in a village in Latvia in 1865, Rabbi Kook received received rabbinical ordination from Rabbi Yechiel Michal HaLevy Epstein, the author of the Arukh HaShulchan at the young age of 19. That same year, he became engaged to the daughter of the Aderet, Rabbi Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim. She gave birth to a daughter, but died just a few years later. Thereafter, Rabbi Kook married her first cousin, daughter of the Aderet’s twin brother; she bore him two daughters and a son, the famed Rabbi Tzvi Yehuda Kook.
Rabbi Kook was Israel's first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, as well as a rabbinic authority, kabbalist, and philosopher.
He founded Israel's Chief Rabbinate, as well as the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
|Harav Dovid Stav Shlitah|
Chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization Rabbi David Stav responded this morning to comments made by Minister Aryeh Deri against a number of senior religious Zionist rabbis within the context of their struggle with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Speaking with Reshet Bet, Rabbi Stav said,
“I don’t think that you expect that, at the beginning of the month of Elul, the month of forgiveness and mercy, a rabbi heading an organization of hundreds of rabbis working day and night to sanctify life would react to the words of any activist convicted of criminal offenses who dares to slander an entire public and a rabbinical organization numbering hundreds of rabbis. We didn’t convene for the sake of responding to convicted criminals.”
Deri was convicted of a felony in the past, but served the sentence meted out by the courts. He is being interrogated currently for alleged misuse of funds.
Rabbi Stav called to address essential points, saying that “the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization has struggled against the Conversion Law, whose beginning and end were an act of deceit by that same activist.”
“We all want to prevent the possibility of Sudanese refugees and others from immigrating to Israel under false pretenses. [Deri] tricked government ministers, telling them that he was proposing a law to prevent this possibility, which we all share a desire to prevent.”
"The [Conversion] Law doesn’t talk about the Law of Return or about foreign workers,” Rabbi Stav explained, “but stipulates that the state of Israel will not recognize any conversion undertaken in Israel if it is not carried out within the system of that activist (referring to the Chief Rabbinate, ed.).”
Regarding the assertion that the activity of Tzohar rabbis resembles that of the Reform movement, Rabbi Stav said, “This is ignorance of a man who doesn’t know his right from his left, neither in Torah, halakha [Jewish law], nor in the Reform movement.”
On Monday, Deri had said in a closed conference, "Even those with knitted skullcaps (religious Zionists), in very large communities, are already on the edge of the Reform Movement.”
"Anyone who knows how the synagogues and prayer services are run there...there are really big changes. True - there are more kippot and they are more Israeli, but they are on the edge of the Reform (referring to some groups within liberal Orthodox Jewry, ed.)."
Minister Deri's recording of the conference was broadcast on Channel 2 news.
He also referred to the conversion law and said that "the greatest fighters against this law were Tzohar rabbis, together with the Reform movement, because they knew that the goal was to destroy. They enjoyed the tolerance of others, in order to slander the rabbinate and to look for all the faults."
The Shas chairman attacked the Tzohar movement. "Everything is free (referring to Tzohar's performing marriages without charge, ed.), with a smile, with a bright face, when we all know the truth."
|Cheli Heller after becoming Modern Orthodox|
A flood of ugly rumors were the final straw that pushed Yisrael Heller to flee the strict, ultra-Orthodox community with his family, in the dead of night. The Hellers are part of a wave of Israelis who are severing ties with the Haredi world.
Evening was beginning to fall on the playground that one sees from the balcony of the Heller family home in Beit Shemesh. Six-year-old Pini entered the house excited, his cheeks flushed. “Mom, I played with the ball,” he declared, speaking in Yiddish. There was an unmistakably triumphant tone in his words.
Yisrael Heller and his wife, Rachel “Cheli” Heller, exchanged a quick look. They were sitting at a table on the balcony, their 1-year-old baby cavorting between them. It looked like another ordinary day, as though a boy coming into the house holding a ball was an everyday event. In fact, it was one more sign of the revolution the family is undergoing.
In the closed Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, community in which the Hellers lived until not long ago, children only came home from school at this time of the day, playing with a ball was beyond the pale and Hebrew was the language of the “Zionist heretics”:
To speak it was strictly forbidden (other than as the holy tongue).
A few months ago, the Hellers and their four children left Ramat Beit Shemesh, a Haredi neighborhood within Beit Shemesh, a city between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They stole out from their apartment late at night, without telling family or friends. Their move had been preceded by an ugly wave of rumors, accompanied by pressure that pushed them into a corner and made their lives intolerable, until they were forced to leave ignominiously.
The target of the firestorm was Yisrael, head of the household and a man of power in the community. He had trimmed his beard and had gradually started to deviate from the community’s stringent dress code, referred to as the Yerushalmer [that is, "Jerusalemite," which is also the name of the sect] style. The members of the community are quick to spot the slightest change in shirt style or hat size; such behavior is considered a gross infringement of the rules and traditions to which it adheres.
“Within a single day, rumors spread that I was becoming a ‘questioner’ [giving up the religious life],” Heller relates now. “That I was studying ‘The Guide for the Perplexed’ [a forbidden text even though it is by Maimonides, the 12th-century Torah scholar].
In Jerusalem every Sabbath eve, that men and women attended the tisch [a gathering of Hasidim around their rebbe] I went to, where I was playing a musical instrument. I started to receive threats, questions from functionaries. I realized that I was under surveillance.”
In their former small, insular community, identified with the most extreme sects of Haredi society, the disappearance of the Heller family is perceived as desertion, the crossing of a red line. Still, everyone expected them to return. Within hours, all 12 employees of his consulting firm resigned. Heller was not surprised: The move was intended to signal him that his livelihood would be harmed if he didn’t return to the straight-and-narrow. But he did not yield, nor did he beg for mercy.
“There is a great deal of fear. But after you contend with it, you feel good,” he says, a thin smile on his lips.
Brave new world
Monday, August 21, 2017
Among the eclectic throng of demonstrators in Boston on Saturday, a supporter of President Trump found himself surrounded by protesters who yelled profanities at him.
A man wearing an Israeli flag as a cape can be seen in a video shared by Univision's Jessica Weiss, walking through a crowd of protesters. One person rips off his "Make America Great Again" and throws it away.
"You shouldn't be afraid to go outside and say you're conservative," he added "And it's pretty sad that things like this happen."
Thousands of protesters descended on Boston on Saturday, including a "free speech" rally organized by some right-leaning groups. These groups were reportedly far outnumbered by groups of counter-protesters.
Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News editor-turned-White House strategist may be out of the Trump administration, but he has far from given up on influencing President Trump’s policies.
Last week, the White House announced that Bannon was leaving the administration, after just seven months as White House Chief Strategist.
"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve's last day. We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement quoted by The Hill.
There are conflicting reports over who was ultimately behind the push to oust Bannon, with the Daily Mail claiming Sunday that it was President Trump’s daughter Ivanka who led the effort to remove the firebrand whose support for populism and economic nationalist frustrated Washington insiders. Breitbart News, however, cited a White House aide who said the claim was “totally false”.
Inside the Trump White House, Bannon clashed with the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, leading the president to order the two down to Mar-a-Lago for a meeting to iron out their differences.
Following his ouster, Bannon remained defiant, saying that he would be “going to war” for President Trump.
Sources close to Bannon told Vanity Fair that the 63-year-old former naval officer planned to continue his struggle with Kushner and other administration foes from the outside, looking to influence President Trump externally – perhaps via Breitbart News.
Bannon allies cited both personal disagreements as well as a series of substantive policy differences between Bannon and Kushner.
According to the Vanity Fair report, Bannon, among other things, advocated strongly for a pro-Israel approach in the Trump White House, pushing for the president to make good on his campaign promise to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and to take a tougher line on the Palestinian Authority’s support for terrorists jailed in Israel.
In May, a photograph of Bannon’s agendadrawn up on a white board in the White House also suggested his support for the embassy move.
Sources cited by Vanity Fair claimed that while Bannon pushed the embassy issue, it was Kushner who blocked the relocation.
No fewer than three sources close to the former White House senior strategist also said it was Bannon who pushed for a hardline against the PA, including PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, while Kushner and other White House officials opted for a maintaining a more cordial relationship with the PA leader.
The three sources claimed Bannon refused to attend the White House meeting with Abbas this past May, saying he preferred to stay home rather than meet with “that terrorist”.
“I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon reportedly texted a friend.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
Missed out on snagging a pair of solar glasses needed to watch the first total solar eclipse of the 21st century without the naked eye?
Well, considering wearing protective eyewear to view the eclipse is a must, you may think you're out of luck.
Actually though, you do have a couple of options.
First, TV and the Internet. The eclipse will be broadcast and streamed live on numerous outets.
Second, there's a trick you can do.
Turn your back to the sun and moon, raise your mobile phone in selfie position and watch the eclipse through your phone. You can even snap some photos. But there are also important safety tips if you go the selfie route you can read by clicking here. Experts also warn aiming the lense of the phone at the sun for too long a period of time may damage the lens.
On Monday, Aug. 21, everyone in the continental United States, in fact, everyone in North America -- plus parts of South America, Africa, and Europe -- will have at least a partial solar eclipse. The thin path of totality will pass through portions of 14 states.
Weeks of anticipation have been tempered by a big variable: the weather forecast and whether the possibility of cloudy skies might prevent Hudson Valley residents from seeing it.
Now though, there is no uncertainty.
The forecast for Monday calls for sunny skies and warm temperatures, with a high in the mid- to upper-80s.
Though New York will not be one of the 14 states seeing the full total eclipse, for an animation of what you may see from your Hudson Valley location on Monday, click here.
The eclipse will be visible starting at 1:23 p.m. Monday with a partial eclipse. Peak viewing time with about 71 percent coverage expected will be around 2:44 p.m. The event will wrap up at around 3:59 p.m. with a partial eclipse.
The sun will disappear behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, and leading to a quick plunge in temperature before streamers of light streaking across the sky around the moon's silhouette.
It will mark the first time a total solar eclipse will be visible from the mainland United States since 1979.
How long ago was that? Well, consider this. Jimmy Carter was president and 63 Americans were taken as hostages in Iran shortly after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Tehran after nearly 15 years of exile.
"A total eclipse of the sun belongs on everyone's bucket list," said Hudson Valley resident and renowned astronomer and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson of North Salem.
The eclipse will also be the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918.
Given all that, excitement is building. You can check out a website devoted just to the eclipse -- eclipse2017org -- by clicking here.
After Monday, the next total solar eclipse is due for April 2024.