Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ramapo Judge impounds votes on "Ward System" ... No Results until OCT 10

Breaking News:
Too much fraud going on in Ramapo ...so Judge impounds all ballots.... and says no results until Ocober 10..

Amid petitions filed by local activists over absentee ballot deadlines and chaos at multiple polling stations over who was, in fact, allowed to vote, a New York state Supreme Court Justice ordered that all ballots in Tuesday’s referendum election in Ramapo be impounded until the court has had time to sift through legalities.
LOHUD.com (http://lohud.us/1vsbXg7) reports that Justice Margaret Garvey issued the order following a chaotic day in Ramapo that saw a heavy voter turnout in the town in the election that could swing the power and size of the Town Board.
Voters were being asked to decide on whether the Town Board should be increased from 4 to 6 members, and if they were in favor of dividing the town into 6 wards, a proposal that as drawn sharp criticism from the town’s Orthodox Jewish and African American communities.
The controversy began on Monday when it became clear that unregistered voters 18 or older would be allowed to vote as long as they could prove U.S. and local residency.
This action caused local activists Michael Perietti and Robert Romanowski to not only file a petition with the court seeking clarification, but to ask as well that the court clarify the cutoff date for absentee ballots.
Typically, absentee ballots are counted as long as the they are postmarked the day before the election.
In this case, election administrator, Town Clerk Christian Sampson announced prior to the election that only absentee ballots arriving at the Town Clerk’s office by 5 p.m. on Tuesday would be counted.
In accordance with Garvey’s order, all ballots have been transferred to the Rockland County Board of Elections until the court has a chance to rule on the petitions.

Why I fast on Yom Kippur

Mayim Bialik
by Mayim Bialik
Several articles have been posted in the past week discussing the Jewish New Year, with a few focusing specifically on the issue of fasting for Yom Kippur. Many people don’t like the concept of fasting, and many people don’t see any religious or spiritual value in fasting. I happen to be a person who likes the concept, and who sees and reaps a tremendous amount of religious and spiritual value from fasting. I also have fasted throughout two pregnancies and through nursing babies and toddlers on demand all day and all night.
Am I better than you for fasting while nursing and pregnant? No. Do I work hard to accomplish this? Yes. Here’s why I put in the effort:
1) Fasting is an important religious and spiritual exercise. Fasting and “afflicting ourselves” on Yom Kippur is described in the Torah, which is my personal guidebook for life. I have made a commitment to find a way to apply the wisdom of thousands of years of history and tradition to modern life and it works for me.  Praying, singing, chanting, meditating, and spending time away from work and cell phones and cars and electronics is what we Jews have the opportunity to do every week on Shabbat. On Yom Kippur, doing these things while fasting takes it to a different and much more intense level. As it should be: this is the day our year is, in part, determined. It’s a heavy day and fasting sets it apart as intense and meaningful in a special way.
2) Fasting is symbolically important. By peeling away the material parts of our existence through refraining from the sustenance we live by daily, we get to see what’s left over. Without the rhythms of meals, what drives my day? Without snacks to keep my hands busy or to calm my anxiety, what can I do? Look what we think we need, and look what we literally can go without.
3) Fasting makes us angelic. Last Yom Kippur, as the 25th hour of fasting was coming to a close and we were all exhausted and starving and ready to go home, our rabbi said with a huge smile on his face, “I wish this didn’t have to end.” And through my exhaustion and hunger, I felt it too. There is a “high” you get when focusing so much on fasting and praying and just being in your head. Fasting makes us like the angels, they say. We make ourselves literally “above” the need for mortal sustenance. On Yom Kippur, we draw near to a different way of existence and it’s heavenly.
4) Fasting is groovy. While we are discussing the “high” you get from fasting, I want to mention that we have access to different parts of our brains when we refrain from food and drink and it makes your brain a little bit loopy but also very free. Our glucose storage is emptied out by the end of the day, and we are running on adrenaline and a lot of mental strength. It’s a healthy exercise, and it’s one that our Prophets employed to encourage transcendental experiences. A lot of religious observance is about finding what works for you within an ancient framework, and I love that my fasting makes me feel connected to thousands of years of Jews who have fasted too. It’s just plain awesome.
5) Fasting is not going to kill you. If you have medical reasons not to fast which are confirmed by a doctor, of course, don’t fast. We are instructed to live by the Torah, not to die by it. The health of human beings is always valued over and above any religious proscriptions. Rabbis are trained to answer all sorts of questions about fasting, and there is no charge to ask a rabbi a question. Try your local synagogue, JCC, or even a Chabad. They love answering questions!
6) Fasting and nursing can co-exist. If you are nursing, consult with a lactation consultant and your pediatrician about fasting. My personal experience both as a nursing mom and a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor is that during the first three months of nursing, when milk supply is being established, you want to be very careful about supply, and babies will often want to nurse a lot the day AFTER a fast to pull up milk supply that may have dropped from a day of no water and no food. Fasting is so important to me that I put in my best effort to keep it going: I step up my fluids the day before I fast, and I take it super easy: no elaborate walks, no active playing with the kids, and nothing involving too much effort at all. I make simple snacks for my boys and I explain to them that mama is tired and hungry (and grumpy) because she is fasting, so let’s have an easy day. Sometimes a new toy or book helps fasting days go more smoothly. I think it’s important for my kids to hear why I fast so that they can learn the value and see that commitment in action.
7) Fasting can be modified. Depending on your religious proclivities, there are established modifications that allow you to fulfill the obligation to fast, should you so choose it. Traditional guidelines about eating small portions of food (less than something called a kazayis) throughout the day can be explained to you by a rabbi, and it works for a lot of people. The idea behind fasting is to shift your consciousness, to shift your pattern, and to shake your life and head up. I recommend the following suggestion to anyone on the fence or just plain grumpy or skeptical about fasting whether you go to synagogue or not: try your own modification as a self-disciplinary, spiritual journey this year. Try eating smaller portions. Or eat only “simple” foods without sauces or jams or sweets. Skip dessert and decadent foods, or only drink water instead of juice, soda, or coffee.
Judaism is not a cafeteria religion; I am not saying to just pick what you like and leave the rest. But it’s okay to try out aspects of observance – such as fasting – and see if it strikes something in you. Each mitzvah we do is independent of every other mitzvah, and it counts. It counts if we light Shabbat candles even if we go clubbing after. It counts if we bless challah, even if we put bacon on it after we bless it. Every thing we do counts. It does make a difference in this world. We are all “good Jews,” we just practice differently. Just like we are all “good parents,” even if we practice differently.
Every year holds tremendous potential for personal growth, change, and self-discovery. Fasting has the potential to teach you a lot about what you need, what you don’t, and what you can accomplish. Whatever your Yom Kippur looks like, may you have a blessed year full of only what you need and nothing you don't

Monsey Silent Majority wants you to Vote "Yes" to the "Ward System" Defying Agudah who decided to meddle in

by Jacob Kornbluh
A referendum that could decide the future of the Town of Ramapo is turning out to be as heated as the one conducted last week in Scotland.
On Tuesday, September 30th, voters in the town of Ramapo will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ whether to increase the number of Town Board members from four to six, and whether to separate the town into geographical districts (wards) to elect a Town Board member from each district.
Currently, four Town Board members are elected in a popular vote and don’t represent specific areas of the town. The four board members are representatives supported by the Hasidic community in Monsey, New Square and the surrounding neigbrohoods.
As the vote nears, the Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County is divided, with both proponents and opponents of the ward system reaching out to the Hasidic community voting bloc.
Opponents of the ward system, said to represent a majority of the Hasidic community, claim the new system would weaken the political influence of Orthodox Jews in the town by permitting them to vote only for candidates from their immediate neighborhood rather than the town as a whole. In that case, only two seats up for grabs would represent the Hasidic community.
Furthermore, they argue that the referendum was put forward solely to target Hasidic Jews by the Preserve Ramapo group. As of such, supporters of the ‘NO’ vote, asserted in several interviews with JP, that while the ward system is generally proposed to help minorities who can’t win townwide or citywide elections, in this case, both the black and Hasidic communities would be concentrated into their own districts – 2 out of 6 seats. This would make it unlikely for either group to retain the same level of representation they enjoy under the current system.
In a statement issued last week, Agudath Israel of America urged the Orthodox Jewish community to vote “no” vote in the upcoming referendums. “This is classic minority vote dilution, only this time the victims are Orthodox Jews. A minority is being intentionally shoved into a small district to limit its ability to affect the outcome of elections in the community at large,” the statement read. “Efforts to inhibit the voting power of any minority group, including Orthodox Jews, are simply intolerable. They must be firmly denounced and resoundingly defeated.”
The Ramapo Republican Committee, Assemblymembers Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) and Kenneth Zebrowski (D-New City), as well as Chris Day, the Republican congressional candidate in the 17th District, have already endorsed the ward system.
In a pamphlet distributed over the weekend in Yiddish, and obtained by JP, Hasidic activists urged community members to go against the establishment and vote ‘YES’ in the referendum in an expression of unity and peace.
The brochure, written by activists claiming to be the “silent majority” of the Orthodox Jewish community, urged voters to support the ward system and bring an end” to this irresponsible behavior that only benefits the pockets of a numbered few greedy developers who unfortunately have the money and power to maneuver Rabbis and scare members of our community to come out with the truth.”
“We believe that enforcing the Ward System is the best thing that can happen to this town, and we see it as the only means to the ultimate end, which is to restore the harmony and neighborly peace this blessed corner of the world was once known for,” they write.
Speaking to JP, Spring Valley resident Yoel Falkowitz said, “We’re basically the silent majority. Most people are afraid of the developers who have the money and control our politicians in every way that benefits their agenda. The people of Rockland county are decent people who want peace and quiet. It’s the developers who are making it sound like we’re in a battle.”
“We’re here to say ‘enough is enough, we don’t want to fight. We want to live in peace and have everyone’s needs represented properly,” Falkowtiz added.
The referendum will take place, as noted above, on Tuesday from 6am to 10pm.

Paula Abdul wants you to keep Shabbos

Lady Secret Service Agent couldn't overpower knife-wielding White House intruder

by Debbie Shlussel

We now know that knife-wielding White House intruder Omar Gonzalez got as far as the East Room. And we know that he got there in part because he easily overpowered a FEMALE Secret Service Agent. Shocker.

Julie Pierson, the Chickie Poo, Obama hired to head the Secret Sevice
Last week, I told you that the ongoing problems–failures!–at the U.S. Secret Service at the White House can be directly attributed to Obama’s affirmative action police: he hired a woman to run the agency based on her sole qualifications of past ability to ovulate(though only her gynecologist knows for sure if that once existed) and Billie Jean King’shaircut from 1982. Now we know that women in the Secret Service are part of the reason for its failure, not just at the top, but in its midst.
The man, 42-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez, ran unobstructed for 70 yards across the front lawn of the White House before entering through the North Portico. On the way, he brushed by a Secret Service officer with a drawn gun, sources tell CBS News’ Bill Plante. Gonzalez then proceeded to run through the entrance hall to the cross hall of the White House, past the staircase that leads up to the first family’s residence. He was confronted by a female Secret Service agent, who he overpowered, and made it all the way to the East Room, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told CBS News, citing whistleblowers.
Are we really surprised that women are physically weaker than men and in most cases can be overpowered? 
Is this some new Einsteinesque, rocket science info? Really? 
This is a predictable result, not shocking in the least. Not even to feminists who pretend that a woman can do whatever a man can. 
And we will see the same thing in the Marine infantry and Army Rangers programs where women are being pushed into positions for which they aren’t qualified. The standards for women in federal law enforcement are lower than those for men. Successful female Secret Service applicants who become agents don’t have to run as fast, do as many push-ups, or shoot as well as the men. And that only breeds the situation that Omar Gonzalez encountered.
When you make vagina-based affirmative action, rather than ability and uniformly strict standards, the mission in your employee recruitment, hiring, and retention, this is what you get. A bunch of incompetent minorities and, frankly, a bumbling group of agents in the majority whose morale and own standards have been lessened as a result. 
As I told you a few months ago, this is the policy of the Obama Administration for all law enforcement, as Obama’s “Justice” Department is suing the Pennsylvania State Troopers for having uniform physical standards that weed out only a tiny portion of female applicants(70% of the females still make it into the PA Troopers).
What’s also predictable–and notable–is that much of the media coverage of the SecretService agent being overpowered at the White House, left her genderless. 
Yes, many of the media stories, including one in the print version of today’s Wall Street Journal, fail to mention that this was a chick agent who was overpowered. They don’t want you to know the truth. They want you to think that all Secret Service agents are equally competent . . . or incompetent, when her inferior strength as a female is the key fact to the story.
Most private sector bodyguards are male . . . for a reason. As I noted last week, for all the negative press Blackwater (later named, “Xe,” and now called, “Akademi”) got, the organization NEVER lost a dignitary it protected in war-torn Iraq or Afghanistan. And if you look at the company’s rolls during that time, it was almost entirely male. In fact, I’m surprised we didn’t see any Obama EEOC gender-based lawsuits against the company. The fact is that in jobs focused on security and protection, men are physically more suited than women. Not everyone applying is a brutal lesbian WNBA lookalike. Most aren’t. And even those “women” are generally weaker than the average man. It’s just a fact of nature.
And it won’t change, no matter how politically correct and affirmative-action-driven the U.S. Secret Service becomes. When security and protection become secondary to affirmative action, armed or weapon-girded intruders will get to the East Room of the White House. And further. And Presidents and their families will eventually be harmed. The slippery slope is greased. And the agency slid to the bottom.
New Motto: The U.S. Secret Service . . . Did someone break a nail?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey Rushed to Hospital

The Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, Rav Mordechai Hager, was hospitalized today at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. The 92-year-old admor, who leads his chassidus in Kaser Village in Monsey, NY, had been feeling unwell. He was reportedly suffering from dehydration and other ailments.
On Rosh Hashanah, the Rebbe participated in the tefillos with his Chassidim and joined them for a neilas hachag yesterday.
This morning, he felt extremely weak and was taken to Mount Sinai, where a series of tests are being conducted and he is receiving medical treatment.
The Rebbe has battled various ailments over the last few years.
All are asked to daven for a refuah sheleimah for Rav Mordechai ben Margolia.
Meanwhile, the Rebbe’s great-grandson, Reb Sruly Hager, is still in serious condition from injuries sustained in a car accident last week.

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz Leaves Satmar Lifestyle Becomes Rabbi in Progressive Synagogue

By Rukhl Schaechter

He grew up among the ultra-Orthodox Satmar Jews in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, in a childhood with rules so strict that playing Frisbee at summer camp was considered a radical move.

Today he serves as the spiritual leader of a small, relatively young, progressive Orthodox synagogue where women are allowed to open the holy ark, carry Torah scrolls around the women’s section and lead the congregation in some contemporary prayers. In the context of Orthodoxy, these, too, are radical moves.

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz’s gradual, sometimes painful but ultimately successful journey from one end of the Orthodox spectrum to another is a rare example in which a former Hasid is eagerly sharing with non-Hasidic Jews the deep knowledge he gained in the yeshiva world. Katz’s transition could provide a model for disillusioned ultra-Orthodox Jews who long to engage with the modern world without losing their religious identity altogether.
“Rabbi Katz is one of those rare individuals who comes from a world of Torah study and diligent learning, was recognized as a brilliant mind from a young age, yet chose to marry that incredible skill set with a progressive [worldview] within halachic Judaism,” said Jonathan Reich, 34, an attorney and president of The Prospect Heights Shul, which hired Katz after a six-month search.

Katz, 46, is a talmudic scholar raised in the Satmar yeshivas of Williamsburg, and ordained by Satmar Rabbi Yechezkel Roth. That’s a far cry from where he lives now Jewishly: 

He is the head of Talmud studies at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, a left-leaning Orthodox rabbinical seminary in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and a leading voice in the delicate process of carving out halachic decisions for progressive Orthodox synagogues like The Prospect Heights Shul, home to about 50 couples and young families.

As Katz takes the helm of the synagogue, he will remain on staff at Chovevei and will continue to live on Manhattan’s Upper West Side with his wife, Sharon Flatto, who is a professor of Jewish studies at Brooklyn College, and their two young sons, Avi and Gavriel. His work as a pulpit rabbi at the Prospect Heights Shul will, in the meantime, remain part time.

Katz says he is excited about his first job as a pulpit rabbi. Sipping a hot decaf in a sleek Midtown Manhattan coffee house recently, he said that his greatest joy will be sitting with his congregants and learning Talmud. “My plan this year is to delve into the laws of shmita,” Katz explained. Shmita, the sabbatical year in the seven-year agricultural cycle mandated by the Torah for the land of Israel, includes laws pertaining to remitted debts and how fruits can be deemed ownerless and therefore picked by anyone

“I’d like to explore not just how each of these laws plays itself out theologically, but also its ramifications for social justice. V’akhlu evyoni amkho, there should be enough for the poor to eat, too,” he explained.

The progressive values of The Prospect Heights Shul, including the emphasis on helping the poor and on giving women a greater role in the service, are close to his heart, and quite a distance from his formative years in Williamsburg. As a child of a Satmar father and mother who hailed from a different Hasidic sect, called Pupa, young Ysoscher spent every winter and summer in Satmar schools and camps, except two summers when he was sent to a Puppa camp.
“That was considered modern because they let us play Frisbee,” he said, chuckling.

Katz loved learning, and he excelled in his studies. But the more he learned, the more he began to see religious Satmar texts as simplistic and lacking nuance. 

In the early 1980s, other Satmar yeshiva students were becoming similarly disillusioned and had begun reading more mystical texts from the Lubavitch movement. “Lubavitch was considered by us to be the most sophisticated, creative and courageous of all Hasidic groups,” Katz said.

He began studying the Tanya, the Chabad approach to mysticism, hoping he could keep that a secret from his yeshiva rabbis. But he couldn’t.
“They found books missing from the yeshiva library,” Katz explained. “I had a reputation for being a bibliophile, so they thought I might have stolen it. They broke into my dorm room, looked all over. Didn’t find what they were looking for, but instead found the Tanya under my bed.”
Horrified, the rabbis immediately expelled Katz from the yeshiva. His parents, though supportive and loving, were crushed. They sent him to Jerusalem to study at the Brisk Yeshiva — an odd choice, since that institution was affiliated with the historical Misnaged movement, which for centuries had opposed the Hasidim. 

After a year at Brisk, Katz came home, was married off and returned to Jerusalem with his new wife to continue his studies. In comparison with his theological disappointment with Satmar, Katz found himself much happier at Brisk, as he took on the yeshiva’s stringent approach to life. “I became very diligent in following the law: no compromises, basically more fanatic,” he said.

The couple eventually returned to the United States and had three children. Katz learned daily in a kollel, a yeshiva for married men, and began leading a daily Talmud class in Brooklyn’s Boro Park for men who work all day. The class grew very popular, attracting 80 to 100 participants from all Hasidic groups and occupations, ranging from financial brokers to gefilte fish purveyors.
At the same time, though, Katz’s marriage began to fall apart. “She was happy, but I wasn’t because it was obvious that we were mismatched,” he explained. “I began to realize that the Satmar system was at fault, because it didn’t value compatibility as a factor in a relationship. Everything we’re supposed to do, including marriage, is in the service of the bashefer [Creator]. The rabbis refused to accept that we are all just human beings.”

Their troubled marriage opened the floodgates for Katz; soon he began to doubt all the other assumptions of the community. “Once I discovered that little crack in the edifice, it all began to crumble,” he said.
It was a painful time. “I was frightened, because leaving the community was a terrifying thought,” he said, especially the possibility that he might lose his three children. “I began feeling suicidal.”

Katz also started noticing the way the Hasidic community viewed its women. “I felt uncomfortable that among us seven siblings, my brothers and I had optimal access to the holy texts, while my sisters and mother, who are all incredibly smart, had no access,” he said.

By age 29, Katz was ready to take his first steps out of the community. Telling no one but his wife, he registered at a teacher education program and then got a stint teaching at an Orthodox high school for girls in New Jersey. Katz was thrilled about the opportunity, but was careful to make sure none of the participants in his Talmud class found out about it. “They would be horrified to know I was teaching women,” he said.

Finally, Katz told his wife that he wanted a divorce. She was devastated. Although she was a Satmar woman, she called on the Skulener Rebbe, a popular figure even among Jews who are not Skulener Hasidim. The rebbe asked her if she had been shaving her head, and she said no. “Then why are you surprised?” he asked.
“When she told me this, I was furious,” Katz said. “First of all, if he knew me at all, he would understand that shaving her head would make things worse, not better, and secondly, how incredibly insensitive it was to make her feel that it was her fault the marriage wasn’t working! Wasn’t she in enough pain already?”

It was then that Katz finally made the break from his community, stepping out into the “wilderness” to find his path as a modern observant Jew.
“Of course, my parents were very upset and we all suffered a lot,” he said. Yet, they never cut off relations with him. “Today they all live in Boro Park. They’re more ‘enlightened’ now.”
Whenever he and his new family visit them these days, they treat them warmly and respectfully. “Of course, when we’re there for Shabbos, I always put on my Satmar wardrobe,” he said. And despite the fact that he is no longer part of the Hasidic world, he is still asked to teach at one of the local Satmar synagogues every time he visits.

Although his first wife has remained Satmar, his three older children are not.

Katz hopes that his transition from Hasid to Modern Orthodox Jew will inspire others contemplating the same path. He and Levi Brackman, a formerly Chabad rabbi in Colorado, founded a website for those who are “Orthodox and stuck” (www.frumandstuck.com), where they offer help to those wishing to leave devoutly observant Jewish communities.
“Honestly, the ghetto walls have collapsed,” Katz said earnestly. “Another prohibition here, another ex-comunication there, the rabbis are trying everything but they know that nothing can stop it. That’s why I want to do whatever I can to help those people who are seeking a different path.”

A version of this story appeared in the Yiddish Forward

Gedolim Daven at Kosel Just Hours Before Rosh Hashanah, Ignoring and defying Satmar Ban!

The Gedoile Hador of our generation are "fifing" (whistling)  at the R' Yoel Teitelbaum's (first Satmar Rebbe) ban to go to the Kosel, and came in mass to be mispallel at the Holiest Jewish Site! People are starting to realize, finally, that the "shita" is totally irrelevant and want to take our religion back from the fanatics that scream at holy people that do not hold from the shita, "Koifrim" "Apikorsim" "Yemach Shemo" etc etc... 
During these 10 days of Awe, let us all side with Gedolim that advocate love of every single Jew!
This gathering of Gedoilie Yisroel Erev Rosh Hashona at the Kosel, thumbing their fingers at the "haters"  is a message to all of us and is a great start!
G'Mar Chasima Tova!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Sweet New Year

Wishing all of Klall Yisroel
Health and Wealth and Time To Enjoy Them!

Monsey – Great Grand Child of Viznitz Rabbi Critically Hurt In Accident

A 23 year old man a great grand child of the Viznitz rabbi from Monsey is in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle Monday night.
Shortly after 10:00 pm Hatzolah responded to a call for a pedestrian struck on route 306 and Phyllis Terrace and found the man laying on the road unresponsive, after treating him on the scene they transported him to Westchester Medical Center where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
Investigators from the Ramapo police department responded to the scene shortly after the accident and closed off the street for the Investigation.
After hours of investigation Police determined that the driver of the vehicle struck the pedestrian who was walking in the roadway and caused the pedestrian to suffer injuries to the head and face
The family asks the public to be mispalel for the speedy recovery of Yisroel ben Shifra.

Israel kills the 2 cowards that murdered the 3 yeshiva boys

soldiers surrounded the building of Hamas suspects in Hebron, Sep 23, 2014.

The two wanted Palestinians who have been suspected of kidnapping and murdering three Jewish teenagers in Gush Etzion earlier this summer, were shot and killed by the IDF in an exchange of fire on Tuesday morning.
Before dawn on Tuesday, soldiers surrounded the building in Hebron where Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, the two main suspects in the kidnapping and murder, were holed up.
Both terrorist suspects had been hiding out in a carpentry shop in Hebron when security forces, led by the Counter-Terrorism Unit, reached them overnight between Monday and Tuesday. Security sources said the suspects were armed with automatic weapons, and fired on security forces upon sight, who returned fire. The suspects were killed in the exchange of fire.

Brig.-Gen. Tamir Yadai, commander of the Judea and Samara Division, said, “We have been pursuing Marwan and Amar since June 20. This has been a long and complex operation involving the Shin Bet, the IDF, and the Counter-Terrorism Unit. Yesterday evening we located their hiding spot, and since 1 am we surrounded it.”
Security forces received intelligence information about the hideout over the past week, he added.
The IDF surrounded the home, where the two were hiding in a pit located in the basement. “At a certain stage, they came out and opened fire,” Yadai said. “One was killed on the spot, and one into a pit and I assume he was killed,” Yadai added. The body of one terrorist has been identified.
One of the suspects was armed with an M-16 and the second came out shooting with a Kalashnikov.
The Counter-Terrorism Unti threw grenades into the area where the second suspect fell, and the army is searching for the body

Palestinians inspect the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar AwadPalestinians inspect the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
“They did not hide in this location for the entire time. We believe they were there over the past week,” Yadai said. The carpentry shop is located south of the Al-Danadi hospital in Hebron, and i near a Kawasme family-owned complex.
A number of arrests occurred in addition to the raid, targeting members of a terrorist infrastructure who assisted the kidnappers and murderers, Yadai added.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz spoke with OC Central Command, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, and congratulated him on the successful operation on Tuesday.
Palestinians try to put out a fire at the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar AwadPalestinians try to put out a fire at the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
“On the eve of the New Year, Operation Brother’s Keeper, which began on June 13, and lasted throughout this time with determination, ended.”
The IDF promised the families of the victims that they would reach the kidnappers, and kept the promise, Gantz said. “There is no comfort for the families in their heavy mourning and pain, but I hope they have a little relief in the knowledge that we got to the murderers of their sons,” Gantz added.

Kidnapping and Murder
Yeshiva students Gil-Ad Shaer,16, Eyal Yifrah, 19, and Naftali Fraenkel, 16, were kidnapped by terrorists late at night on June 12 from a hitchhiking post in Gush Etzion. They were found dead over two weeks later on June 30.
Palestinians gather at the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar AwadPalestinians gather at the scene where Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians, Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
In June both Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha were identified as suspects by the Shin Bet added, which added that both were wanted as soon as security forces learned of the kidnapping.
Marwan Kawasme, 29, a Hamas member and son of a family of Hamas members, had been arrested multiple times in the past for terrorist activities, including most recently in 2010, after being identified as a member of a Hamas terror cell which carried out an attack near Bet Hagai in 2010, in which four Israelis were murdered.
Amar Abu Aisha, 32, a Hebron-based Hamas member and son of a family of Hamas member, was in Israeli custody from 2005 to 2006 on suspicion of being involved in terrorism.
Israeli soldiers and border policemen take position during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar AwadIsraeli soldiers and border policemen take position during clashes with Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron September 23, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
In August the homes of suspects, Amar Abu Aysh was demolished by combat engineers supported by Border Patrol officers. Security forces also sealed off a home belonging to suspect Marwan Kawasme.
Additionally, security forces arrested overnight Basher Kawasme and Ta’ar Kawasme, who are the sons of Arafat Kawasme, himself under arrest since July 14 on suspicion of assisting the murderers to hide after killing the three Israeli teens.
“In recent days, a number of Hamas operatives suspected of abetting the suspects have been arrested and taken to Shin Bet questioning,” the intelligence agency said. Two months ago, the Shin Bet arrested Hassam Kawasme, a Hamas operative who confessed to acting as the cell commander and securing the funding for the kidnap and murder from Hamas members in the Gaza Strip.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hershi Pfeiffer stabbed in neck by his employee

30 year old Hirshi Pfeiffer an Orthodox man from Bayswater Queens was stabbed in the neck this afternoon in Brooklyn Heights in what police are calling a dispute over money.
The victim, Hershi Pfeiffer, an NYPD clergy liaison, was sitting in traffic in his white Dodge Ram pickup truck on Montague Street when the attacker, a male in his twenties, came up to the driver’s side window and stabbed him in the neck.  According to reports the stabber was employed by Pfeiffer.
Eyewitness Avi Navon told The Brooklyn Eagle  that the attacker was 5’10 with black hair and that he argued with Pfeiffer before the stabbing occurred.
The attacker fled the scene, plowing through the lunchtime crowd, knocking one bystander to the ground. Navon called on those nearby to catch the attacker.
Gowanus resident Joseph Washington managed to tackle the attacker as ran towards Court Street.
“I see him running up the block right here on Montague Street,” said Washington.  “I chased him in front of the bank. I put his hands behind his back and…I took the knife out of his pocket and put it in my back pocket.”
Navon told The Brooklyn Eagle that the attacker confessed to the stabbing, saying he had been working for two weeks for Pfeiffer and hadn’t been paid.
Police could not confirm how many times the victim had been stabbed.
The suspect was apprehended by the NYPD in front of 181 Montague Street and remains in police custody.  The knife used in the attack was recovered by the NYPD.
Pfeiffer was transported to Lutheran Medical Center where he underwent surgery.  
The public is asked to daven for Yaakov Tzvi ben Chana.

Watch your kids in Monsey, Abraham Widenbaum is on the loose

A 25-year-old man is accused of attempted sexual abuse after he allegedly used candy to lure a 6-year-old boy into a room inside a synagogue, Ramapo police said Monday.
Abraham Widenbaum, a resident of a group home for the developmentally disabled on Hillside Terrace, faces felony charges of first-degree attempted sexual abuse and luring a child, as well as a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child, police said.
The boy was standing in his front yard at 6:28 p.m. Wednesday when Widenbaum is accused of offering him a box of candy to come with him, Sgt. Brian Corbett said.
Widenbaum walked the boy to a synagogue on Harriet Lane, Corbett said, and took the child into a vacant room.
Police didn't detail what happened, if anything, inside the room, but Corbett said Widenbaum asked the child to bring a friend back to the synagogue. The boy left the shul and told his father about what happened, Corbett said.
Police located Widenbaum walking along East Willow Tree Road at 5:50 p.m. Friday.
Widenbaum was arraigned in Wesley Hills Justice Court on Friday and remanded to the Rockland County jail in in New City on $75,000 bail. He is due back in court Tuesday.
The group home is run by Yedi Chesed, which provides services to people with developmental disabilities. It is an affilate of Bikur Cholim of Rockland, which provides health-related services. A message was left for Yedi Chesed officials seeking comment.

Israel sticks it to the Europeans: Exports to Russia will continue, regardless of sanctions

Finally, Israel is standing up for herself telling the Euro-pishers to go shove their boycotts, where the sun don't shine!
European Union sanctions levied against Russia for its mini invasion of Ukraine won’t stop Israel from exporting produce to Russia, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir reportedly told Russian media earlier this month, Ha'aretz reported.
It won’t matter if Israel is pressured by the EU to stop exports to Russia, Shamir added.
Shamir – the son of Israel’s former right-wing Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir – said Israel was taking this position because of the EU’s boycott of produce produced by West Bank Jewish settlements.
Russia stopped importing EU produce in response to EU financial sanctions levied at Russia over the Ukraine invasion, and Shamir told Russian media that Israel was interested in filling that void.
“First of all I don’t feel [pressure] and I don’t see it. Take into account that lately the Europeans have been putting some boycotts on our products. So [is that] how it goes? They put a boycott on us and we will not help somebody else? They can’t. They can’t on the one hand stop [Israeli] sales to Europe, and on the other [ask us to] stop sales to Russia. That doesn’t work together. They have to decide,” Shamir reportedly said.
Shamir also called the EU sanctions against Russia an opportunity for Israel, and reportedly said Israel is ready to triple its agricultural exports to Russia.
Israel now exports $325 million in produce each year to Russia and would like to raise that to $1 billion annually.
“If [the EU would] come to us and say, ‘Well, we will not do any boycott [of settlement products], then maybe we can negotiate. But I don’t think the Israeli government will go for that. Even if the sanctions [on Russia] are reduced, I believe our products will continue to flow into Russia. It will be easier to deal with us, it will be cheaper and more stable, and with no political price tag for what you do and what you don’t,” Shamir said.
Shamir’s was interviewed by RIA Novosti, but his remarks were also published in English on the Russian government’s own news agency’s website. They were seen by senior EU officials in Brussels, who reportedly raised the issue with Israeli diplomats.
Israeli envoys in Brussels discussed Shamir’s remarks and the irritation they caused with senior Foreign Ministry officials Jerusalem. In turn, they met with senior Ministry of Agriculture officials and “told them that because of the sensitivity of the Ukraine issue and the ongoing talks with the EU about boycotting settlement products, it would be best to avoid such comments in the future,” Ha’aretz reported.
Shamir’s office issued a statement that essentially said Shamir would ignore anything the Foreign Ministry said about the situation and would continue to push produce sales to Russia despite its attempted rape of the Ukraine.
“The minister did not express an opinion, nor does he intend to intervene in the dispute between Russia and the European Union. The minister works to expand agricultural exports to Russia, just as he does in other markets to realize Israel’s economic potential. And he will continue to do so on a commercial basis, not on a diplomatic basis,” the statement reportedly said.