Monday, April 28, 2008

Haveil Havalim #163 Is Up

Tzipiyah plays host to the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival this week.

Next week's edition will hosted at Simply Jews. Don't forget to use the handy-dandy on-line submission form, if you would like to contribute.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Think Big

Isru Hag haPesah 5768

Rav Dawidh Bar-HayimI am not sure why I have not yet posted this article by my rabbi and teacher, Rabbi Dawidh Bar-Hayim. Rafi G., Tamar Yonah, and Akiva did, as did Arutz 7 (Israel National News).

Many people have commented on the article, and have ask me and other students of Rabbi Bar-Hayim various questions about it. My response to their questions is the same response to anyone who is reading the article for the first time here on my blog:

E-mail him at

The title of this article is "Think Big," suggested by the Arutz 7 editor Nissan Ratzlav-Ka"tz. Unbeknown to him, this was already on Rabbi Bar-Hayim's list of possible titles.

Yet, the original title was "Clueless Leaders: Going Nowhere Fast." I think you will see why, when you read the article below.


Think Big
by Rabbi Dawidh Bar-Hayim

Revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky once illustrated his criticism of mainstream Zionism with the following analogy: "I saw a man limping down the street, using only one leg, even though it was apparent that nothing was wrong with the other one. I turned to him and asked: ‘Why don't you walk on both legs?' He replied: ‘Is there something the matter with the one that I am using?'"

Jabotinsky's analogy referred of course to the policy of "one more dunam, one more goat", in which the Zionist Establishment focused on building up the land in piecemeal fashion and living from day to day. The most fundamental issues--what kind of state the Jewish people were demanding, the location of its borders, and the time frame in which it was to be achieved--remained elusive. Jabotinsky's insight was that the leadership preferred it that way, like a man who opts to limp on one leg rather than walk properly using two.

Thus the typical Zionist spoke fervently of the Jewish people's right to the Land of Israel but could not explain, where those borders lay or why. The philosopher Shabtai Ben-Dov observed that it was the acceptance of the 1948 armistice lines that "clarified" the boundaries of the Land of Israel for most Zionists. It was only "logical" that the former Education Minister Shulamit Aloni referred to Hebron--the city of the Patriarchs and where King David first ruled--as "Hutz Laaretz" (overseas).

On a political level, Israel lost its way not in 1967, but in the 20's and 30's before there was even a State of Israel. Our nation's leaders were guilty of thinking small, refusing to see the big picture, and of denying the Jewish nation its destiny. In short, they chose mediocrity over greatness.

A Vision of Exile or Redemption?

The same can be said for much of the Orthodox Establishment. Have you ever noticed how some religious Jews refer to themselves as "Lithuanians"? Or that there is a Jerusalem suburb named "Poland Heights"? These Jews remain unfazed the reality of over 5 million Jews living as a sovereign nation in the Land of Israel and see our presence in the Land of Israel as merely as a continuation of our baneful existence in Dvinsk, Minsk or Pinsk. They insist that all Jews in the Land of Israel must continue their customs and Halachic practices as if they were still in Warsaw, Sanna or Marrakesh.

Last year, the Beth HaWa'adh beth din (Jewish court) of Machon Shilo announced that all Jews in Israel could consume kitniyot (rice, corn, legumes etc.) during Pesah. While some thought that Machon Shilo was motivated by convenience, it was actually motivated by Halacha.

So what's the big deal about kitniyot and why would Machon Shilo even care? The problem is that the abstention from kitniyot focuses people's attention on a non-issue, a "little thing". And as more and more meaningless Pesah stringencies are promoted--such as avoiding quinoa and other things that merely look like kitniyot--the more Judaism loses its focus.

Human beings are limited. We cannot be two different people at the same time. We can either behave as if we're still in Exile or as if we've returned to our Homeland. We can either concern ourselves with maintaining our Exile-based identities and root out kitniyot or we can beseech Hashem to let us soon bring a Pesah sacrifice and work to actualize this goal.

Unfortunately the Orthodox Establishment is similar to the Zionist Establishment: it does not know who and where we are or where we are supposed to be headed. It is hesitant and uncertain and prefers the familiar comfort of the downtrodden, Exilic version of the Torah rather than the majestic, vibrant and uplifting Torah of the Land of Israel, of Abraham, Moses, David and the Maccabees.

Indeed it's not so incomprehensible to understand why the Rabbinical establishment had nothing to say when Jews regained control of the Temple Mount in 1967-other than to forbid all Jews from ascending to this holy place. They probably even breathed a collective sigh of relief when Moshe Dayan tossed it back to the Moslem Wakf like an unwanted bone.

Judaism lost its way not in 1967, but nearly 2500 earlier when the Jewish nation in Babylon declined the offer by the Persian emperor Cyrus to return to the Land of Israel. They were guilty of thinking small, refusing to see the big picture, and denying the Jewish nation its destiny. In short, they chose mediocrity over greatness, Galut over Geulah.

Today nearly a majority of the Jewish People has returned to the Land of Israel. And the choice is before us: we can think small--and be seen that way by our enemies--or we can think big and achieve greatness in the eyes of Hashem, in our own eyes, and in the eyes of the whole world.


Cross-posted on Stop Raping Israel.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More On Qitniyoth

5 d'Hol HaMo'ed Pesah 5768

QitniyothIt was told to us that a few years ago, the Rabbinuth HaShomron (Samaria Rabbinic Council) was asked to inspect a factory which produced salads, the primary ingredients of which are qitniyoth. The owner of the factory desired a kashruth certification for Pesah. After the Rabbinuth's thorough inspection was carried out, one problem was revealed. A wheat seed or two was found while sifting through the dried ingredients. The rabbis involved explained that this is highly problematic, but that excellent technology was now available which allows the sifting of varying sizes of seeds, preventing the wheat [or other mahmitz] from getting into the mixture, and eliminating any hashash (concern) of a hametziq product from being produced.

(I am not sure how many times the sifting of each set of seeds was required even with such refined machinery.)

The factory owner bought the special equipment, and was granted kashruth certification from Rabbinuth HaShomron.

The factory then advertised this special stringency it was taking, and as a result, it made a killing.

Other kashruth groups were up in arms, and actually called to threaten the Rabbinuth HaShomron for instituting such stringencies, that they did not have. The Rabbinuth HaShomron held its ground, and would not be intimidated.

Neighbors proclaimed to me, "See?! This is why we don't eat kitniyot!"

My response?

Sounds to me that the Rabbanuth HaShomron's excellent reputation for strict standards of kashruth certification is well-deserved.

Leil Seder Pesah 5768

4 d'Hol HaMo'ed Pesah 5768

Hesh at Frum Satire, brings up a very important point about the Seder Pesah: Many people dread it.

Check out his post, Why do Pesach Seders Suck So Much? (my best seder of all time)

The Seder PlateHesh's post inspired me to give you a brief recap of my Seder here in K'far Tapu'ah, and my 10ag about the Seder in general.

Rabbis often ask themselves, "Why are Jews turned off by Torah?" Hello?!

But, watering things down, being overly creative, making it up according to your feelings like the so-called "liberal Jews" are none of the appropriate answers for combating this attitude.

When you look at the halachah, and see what is actually required in the Seder, you'll be surprised. It's just not that long. See the Nusah Hagadah of the Ramba"m, for example.

Like Hesh, I was worried this year, too. Appropriate or not, I expressed my fears to my host the week before, when I found out that my Shabbath/Seder options were limited, and that I was "stuck" in my yishuv instead of being able to go to Jerusalem, my first choice.

Fortunately, I was at the right Seder for me. Here are the reasons why:

1) There wasn't any "suffering."

2) Qiddush was said very soon after tefillath aravith (evening prayer)

3) There were not any posers trying to outdo each others divrei Torah.

4) There were not any symptoms of starving to be seen at the table, while waiting for the shulhan orekh (main meal), and thus...

5) There was not any constant checking of the page number in the Hagadah to see how much farther we have to go. 6) Several interesting divrei Torah, medium and short, mostly during the meal.

7) Great food.

8) There was a focus on the misswoth of the day INCLUDING Simhath Yom Tov (experiencing the joy of Yom Tov), which unfortunately sometimes gets forgotten, albeit unintentionally.

The Temple HagadahAlso, toward the end of the shulhan orekh host also said, once someone who wasn't feeling well made a mezumin, bench when you want, and say Hallel and Nirtzah according to your custom, and come and go as you please, discussing Yitziyath Missrayim (Exodus from Egypt) all night if you like.

We ended up singing together anyway, but this statement sort of took the pressure off. It was one of my favorite Seders, and certainly one of the most meaningful.

It was me, and few single guys, two divorced guys, and some kids. Yet, it felt like being with family.

A public thank you to my hosts for having inviting me to join them.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Important Pesah Public Notice

2 d'Hol HaMo'ed Pesah 5768

I have asked our local pashkivil expert Rafi G. at Life In Israel to translate the following notice to the public which has suddenly appeared all over the Shomron.

I expect to add his translation here, or to see it soon in the comments section.

Related links:
The Minhag of Qitniyoth: Anatomy of an Error

Summary of a Psaq Halachah: Permissibility for all Jews in Eretz Yisrael to eat qiniyoth during Pesah

Hag Kasher weSame'ah.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Haveil Havalim #162 - Pesah Edition

Mossa'ei Shabbath Qodesh Parshath Messor'ah 5768

Founded by Soccer Dad, Haveil Havalim is a carnival of Jewish blogs -- a weekly collection of Jewish & Israeli blog highlights, tidbits and points of interest collected from blogs all around the world. It's hosted by different bloggers each week and coordinated by Jack. The term 'Haveil Havalim,' which means "Vanity of Vanities," is from Qoheleth, (Ecclesiastes) which was written by King Solomon. King Solomon built the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and later on got all bogged down in materialism and other 'excesses' and realized that it was nothing but 'hevel,' or in English, 'vanity.'

But first, a few words from our sponsor...

1) A number of bloggers do a tremendous job of submitting posts. However, our fearless leader, Jack, would like to remind you not submit more than three of your own posts, please.

2) We are still looking for more hosts.

"It is fun and exciting." -Jack

3) The deadline for submission is Friday. Yes, it used to be Saturday night, but no longer.

10ag4) Apparently, someone did not get his waffles for hosting, and is now Stalking Jameel. This behavior will NOT be tolerated! Please stop stalking Jameel! And, Jameel, no one deserves to be stalked, but maybe NOW you'll think twice about making promises you have no intention of keeping. Hmm....?

And, now we go back to our regularly scheduled program....

As usual, the posts you submitted could be categorized all sorts of ways. The following is what I came up with, focusing on Pesah. I have noticed that submitters and other readers, appreciate clarity, as do I. One of the perks of hosting is that I get to provide commentary, my version of an annotated bibliography. (You'll get to do this, too, when you volunteer to host!) I admit that this can clutter things up. But, like I said, it's one of the perks of hosting. To compensate, I hope that the color-coded, embedded links are easy to spot, in case you wanted to skip the commentary.

But why would anyone want to skip my commentary?



The Rebbetzin's Husband presents his Shabbos haGadol Derashah: Celebrating Shattered Assumptions and New Visions, and shares about his matzah-run in I Got The Motts [-ah].

The ominous task of cleaning for Pesah receives coverage from Daled Amos in How to Clean for Pesah and Enjoy the Seder, and from Batya at Me-Ander in Confession!.

Laws & Customs

Machon Shilo reminds us of the permissibility for all Jews in Israel to eat qitniyoth during Pesah. Machon Shilo receives a great deal of response, both positive and negative, to it's annual press releases and audio shi'urim. However, the negative responses almost never contain any halachic (Jewish legal) arguments with sources, just expressions of feelings. If you can come up with an halachic response, why not contact them? You may also want to ask about the bringing of the Qorban Pesah.


KCCA Mother In Israel is hosting the "Pre-Pesah" Edition of the Kosher Cooking Carnival. Check it out for some traditional and some new recipes to make your Pesah extra special!

The Seder

Some of you will be shocked by Batya's post Better a Traif Seder Than None At All. It's cross-posted on the Arutz 7 Blog. Check out the different kinds of "comments" which appear on both venues.

Daled Amos presents a great game for kids at the Seder in Who Wants to be a Pesach Millionaire?


Phyllis at Ima On (and Off) the Bima provides her recommendations for holiday music albums in Passover Musical Adventures! This is a clever way to educate our kids and get them and ourselves into the Pesah spirit!


Soccer Dad presents the cover of this year's edition of The Goshen Gazette. Be prepared never to look at the 10 Plagues in the same way.

Ben-Baruch, creator of the Shabot 6000 comic strip, invites you to Join The Seda' Club. When I first saw this a couple of years ago, I thought it could be used as a clever educational tool. Then I listened more closely, and was taken aback and speechless. You'll have to judge for yourselves. I'll just say this. I read his comic strip regularly and although we don't always agree on various "issues," we are both bound together by something greater than "all that." We are both avid BSG fans. So check it out, and support this nice [single, straight, and available!] Jewish guy's career.


Smooth Stone
provides us with a history lesson in Come To Palestine. Yid With Lid does too in Hebron the FIRST Jewish City No Longer Welcomes Jews.

Don't forget to check out the latest edition of Shamrak's Report.

Dan at Tzipiyah reminds us of his Big Project for Israel's 60th Birthday. Rachel at 60 Bloggers starts us off with her very clever 60 Ways I Love Israel. Cosmic X in Jerusalem adds his contribution with Torah - One of the State of Israel's Greatest Accomplishments.

In The News

Bar-Kokhba at For Zion's Sake is concerned about Am Yisrael being On The Brink. What are you going to do about it?

Yitzchak at Judeopundit tries to understand the insanity of Islamic Jihad: "If their fuel means humiliation for us, we don’t want it."

Smooth Stone, on a relatively new blog on the scene Stop Raping Israel, reports on Israeli Aid and Hamas Attacks. Check it out.

Snoopy The Goon at Simply Jews reports on The Murders At Nahal Oz.

Elder Of Ziyon reports on Moderate Fatah's Chemical Weapons - Attempt to poison hundreds of Jews. This story did not get the news coverage it deserved at all.

Hey, remember that bombing last summer of "something" in Syria? Well, if you're still wondering about it, I suggest you check out Caroline Glick's Covering For The Enemy.

This section would not be complete without mention of the perils of S'deroth. Soccer Dad looks at the news in Not Right And Left.

Meanwhile, Rafi G. at Life In Israel provides us with a status report on the campaign to pressure Shefa Shuq's owner to close his other businesses on Shabbath.

Questions About Aviner
updates us on the campaign to bring Rabbi Shlomo Aviner to a Beth Din's inquiry in Elon Moreh's Rabbi Levanon Speaks.

Missionaries Beware!

Due to recent reports and discussions on this topic, it earns its own section for this edition.

Separating the Holy From the Impure from Bar-Kokhba at For Zion's Sake starts us off. This post garnered 45 comments so far. See why.

Dealing with Christians and whether to distinguish them from outright missionaries is brought up first by Ellen Horowitz at Shiloh Musings in Riskin, the Rav, and the Rebbe.

Her criticism of Rabbi Riskin brought a response, Rabbi Riskin and Christain Support posted by Yisrael at From The Hills of Efraim.

Then Ellen responds in turn in Rabbi Riskin Responds and so do I.

A new blogger on the scene is Geulah Girl who writes on The Key To Redemption. She clearly states her belief that Christian=Missionary. Also see why Separating From Esav is important in general.

Tomer Devorah
reminds us that Speaking The Truth Does Not Equal Hate.


Joshua at the Whole Hog Blog shares one of his Shabbat experiences In Israel, and also gives us a clever way for coping with the shenanigans of the government.

Toby at A Time Of the Signs reminds me about the translator/editor job I can never seem to get in Sider for me, a duble esprreso for my friend. Who DOES have this job?

Zemer at Tzipiyah writes about prayer and his longing for Israel in Transcending Toward Jerusalem.


According to Sultan Knish, the KGB Chief Gained Three MK's in the Knesset. Who knew?

Media Watch

at Shiloh Musings recommends you check out the New Look And Listen To The IBA News. She is not optimistic. Neither am I.

Judaism & Jewish Culture

Lion Of Zion starts us off with A Daf Yomi Predecessor . . . In America!. Hmmm... I was not aware of this.

Frume Sarah invites you to a Reform Shabbat experience in Savour The Possibilities.

A Simple Jew asks Rab TiVo about Television and Orthodoxy.

Leora at Here In HP shares a painting of hers, Havdalah In Oils.

From Outside The Homeland

U. S. Election-Related

Sultan Knish asks, "Does Obama attend a Church or a Mosque?"

Further investigation into Sen. Obama's campaign and associates is carried out by Debbie Schlussel in More On The Company Obama Keeps and by Robert at Seraphic Secret in Black Liberation Theology AKA Bigotry 101.

Plus Yid With Lid brings us Barack Obama's NEW Anti-Israel Adviser Daniel Kurtzer.


From Presidential hopeful to former President, Debbie Schlussel reports on Peanut Farmer Prez to Fete HAMAS Leader re-Israeli Hostage: You're Paying for the Secret Service Detail

Yid With Lid says, "Take Away Carter's Secret Service Detail!!!"

Most of you know that I am NO fan of most of your mainstream, Jewish organizations in the U. S. I remind you of this so that my praise for the American Jewish Congress on its protest of the censorship of a radio ad it submitted will have greater impact. Avi at Tel-Chai Nation reports NY Times Radio Won't Take Ad From AJC.

at Israel Without Ifs Or Buts reports that the Chief Rabbi of Uzbekistan Faces Expulsion.

Media Watch

Yid With Lid discovers Old Palestinian Propaganda From the New Statesman.


at Letters Of Thought shares Where I'm at....My Best Friend's Wedding.

Lion Of Zion shares Williamsburg Jews and the Flu Vaccine.


2008 JIB AwardsThe JIB Awards (Jewish & Israeli Blog Awards) people are still in the process of forming their 2008 committee. Wouldn't you like to be an active participant? In particular, they are looking for...

- Site Development Help (PHP, Joomla, WordPress)
- Web Site Security Experience
- Public Relations

Ombudsman's Report

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, or the Fox News show "Red Eye," I'll just say that this is my meta-blogging bit where I review my Haveil Havalim carnivalling experience.

I pride myself on being as open-minded and inclusive as possible, when hosting Haveil Havalim. I know that this continues to surprise and amaze some of you, either because you don't agree, or because many consider me to be a right-wing, Jewish extremist [who's a Harry Potter fan], and Jack has told me that he is continuing Soccer Dad's policy of giving discretion to the host. (Jack, please place a comment below, any time you would like to clarify that.)

Now, I did not include every single post sent to me. If you had at least two of your submissions included,...well,...need I say more? By the way, I liked and agreed with posts I did not include as well.

I also chose not to include a post which seemed like it could have been spam. It was very interesting, though, but not in the least bit relevant. Oh, well. Nice try.

That concludes the 162nd edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival. Stay tuned for the 163th edition, which will be hosted at Tzipiyah on Monday, 23 Nissan/April 28.

Please send your posts for the next edition of the Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival via the Blog Carnival Submission Form. I found this to be very helpful in organizing your posts this week. Plus, it doesn't look like we have a host for next week, so there wouldn't be any other place to send your links to. If you're interested in hosting or receiving more information about the carnival, please contact Jack at talktojacknow-at-sbcglobal-dot-net.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Haveil Havalim Is Up #161

Rosh Hodesh - The First Month 5768

Haveil Havalim Blog Carnival, edition #161 is up at Jerusalem Underground. I still don't quite understand what a Pidgeon Break is, but that's the nickname for this weeks edition.

I'm up as next week's host, so start sending me your best stuff, spreading it out through this week, using the on-line Blog Carnival Submission Form.
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