Jan 22, 2018

Picture of the Day



Knesset guards were placed near MK Oren Chazzan to ensure that he would not try to take a selfie with VP Mike Pence during his egress form the Knesset chamber


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Proposed Law: sanctions on non-Israeli gett refusers

Minister of Religious Services David Azoulai has promoted a law with MKs Avraham Michaeli (Shas) and Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid) that would allow the State of Israel to deal with women from abroad, non-citizens of Israel, who have the status of being agunot.

Currently the law only allows Israel's rabbinical courts to deal with cases in which at least the husband or the wife, if not both, are citizens of the State of Israel.

If this law passes, it will allow  Israeli dayanim to impose sanctions on such a husband refusing to grant a gett to his wife, should they come to Israel at some point.

It seems this was actually initiated by the Conference of European Rabbis, as they encouraged Azoulai to implement such a solution.
source: Kipa

The world is getting to be a much smaller place. As Joe Louis once said, on the eve of his championship fight, you can run but you can't hide! These guys leave their wives, sometimes even running to Israel to hide out, or maybe just continuing on with his regular life and maybe he goes to Israel for a vacation or the holidays. He is out enjoying himself while his wife is suffering tied down, anchored to him, unable to move on. Israel will now be able to lend a hand in putting an end to this travesty.


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chessed at the supermarket on Friday afternoon

There is a story going around from Ramat Hasharon. it is on the Hidabroot website but was also discussed on the radio.

The story is that on Friday afternoon there was a power outage in the area. in the Yochananof supermarket the owner decided to let the customers go home with their goods, despite not having paid for them, as the computer system was down. The owner decided he could not leave his customers without food for Shabbos and going to other supermarkets in the area would also not be an option as they too did not have electricity or there just would not be enough time to go somewhere with electricity and fill another shopping cart at that point int he day and get home for Shabbos.

So he let them all go and said to come back on Sunday and pay. The honor system regarding what they took, though everyone wrote down their names and phone numbers.

Kahn News on Twitter took a poll to see if people think most went back and paid or if most did not. 44% of respondents thought more than 80% will go back to pay. As of this morning the owners said that between 50-60% have already paid, and they expect the number to reach 100%.

Personally I think most people, if not everyone, will go pay. Decent people will generally not betray a kindness that was done to them and will want to make it good with the owner.

I do wonder how people will know how much to pay - some items are sold by weight, such as meat and chicken and vegetables. Other items are on sale or have club member discounts, and sometimes you just don't remember the exact price of some of the items in your cart.

I do have faith in people that almost everyone. if not everyone, will pay, and will probably pay more just to be sure, because of the uncertainty with items sold by weight. I do think the owner, taking such a big risk, did a tremendous chessed for his customers and will hopefully be showered with blessings, and perhaps more importantly will see his faith in his customers justified when they all pay their bills.







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Israelis: What do you think of countries that are against settlements? (video)







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Nikki Haley VOA Interview on UNRWA and the Palestinians (video)







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One on One with Alan Dershowitz- Jan. 18, 2018 (video)







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Yonatan Razel Live: Ashira (video)







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Jan 21, 2018

Ministry of Transportation to minimize bus drivers handling of money


Galei Tzahal News today reported that the Ministry of Transportation will be making significant changes into how the buses work with passengers paying fares while the driver is driving - that will no longer be the case.

Beginning in March they will be lessening over time the ability to pay with cash for your ride on the bus itself.

It will happen in stages with the first stage being the not allowing one to pay for and load a rav kav while on the bus - meaning you will only be able to pay, on the bus, for a single ride and will have to have your rav kav loaded in advance if you wish to use it.

The second stage will be that the drivers will not take money even for individual rides and you will only be able to use your rav kav that has been loaded with money or passes prior to getting on the bus.

I can see some difficulties with this, but all big changes to systems start off with difficulties.

Personally, I load my rav kav and my kids rav kavs using the rav kav app on my phone. However, many people do not have smartphones, and even among those that do, many phones do not have NFC capabilities.

I also have a little card reader that I sometimes use to load up the cards, but again, not everyone does and many people do not have Internet.

They are going to have to find a way to make it easy for people to load their rav kavs even if they do not have Internet. The Haredi community uses public transportation at much higher percentages than the average Israeli, and Internet and smartphone limitations will make this transition very difficult in these communities.

However, it is necessary. The situation on buses is very dangerous with drivers driving at full, or nearly full, speeds, and maybe even overfull speeds, while taking money and making change and printing receipts and keeping track of who paid and who did not yet pay. That is very dangerous. Especially in light of the new driving regulations recently announced by which a policeman can give a significant ticket for even the slightest distraction while driving - touching a phone, using WAZE, drinking coffee, etc, the bus drivers involvement with passengers paying while driving creates a very dangerous situation and if they find a way to minimize the drivers involvement in these matters while driving, it can only improve safety.




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bank branches closing across Israel

Logging into my bank account online recently has the following message popping up warning me of  upcoming changes in the bank..


The warning says that as of March 14, 2018, my branch (Hapoalim in RBS) will be converted to a branch  holding no cash and no clerk services. From that date and on, all relevant services will be provided via the self-service machines. Other direct channels to the bank, such as via Internet, telephone, and app, will continue to function and be available. When necessary, bank branch 692 (the central Bet Shemesh branch located in downtown Bet Shemesh) will be available for all clerical services.

This is a trend happening in all the bank chains all over Israel. They are closing and/or merging branches in order to consolidate and save money.

Personally, I hate going into the bank and avoid it as much as possible. I use the machines to deposit checks,  as I get a lot of these through my business, and I use the online services. The only time I go into the bank is if I am sent a notice that I need to come in and pick up a problematic check that I deposited, or if they tell me I need to come in to sign something. Once every few years I also need to renew my credit cards.

The biggest problem I see with this is that half the times the various self-service machines are not functioning properly. Currently, they can be fixed or rebooted relatively quickly (not including Saturday nights and Sundays when the branch is closed), as I or someone else can go into the bank and let them know, but with no actual bank behind it with real people talking to customers, I can see it taking longer to get the machines fixed. Maybe they will keep a small branch open with some services still provided by clerks, such as mortgage services and the like, and that will keep bank people nearby.

Additionally, with everyone needing personal service in the entire city going to one branch, that place will be packed and will be impossible to use.

Another point is that closing a branch in lieu of online services in a largely Haredi neighborhood seems like a bad idea. While many/most people do have Internet and app access, many do not and they need the in-bank services for a lot of what they do. 

I get why they are doing this but I don't like it, even though I don't like going into the bank anyway.




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In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve

the news last night had a story about left-wing protesters getting more aggressive in their protests outside the private areas (home, shul, etc) of Attorney General Avihai Mandelblit. It seems they made a bit of a ruckus and Mandelblit had to be removed by his security detail. The story includes the point that because of this he was unable to say kaddish for his mother after kiddush levana, as he had to be removed quickly.

French philosopher Joseph De Maistre said "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve".

Just two weeks ago Left-wing politicians refused to offset votes in the Knesset for Right-wing MKs that had to be absent due to deaths in their families. Angry politicians on the Right called their actions inhumane.

protests are legitimate. Why they think vulgar protests by the private areas of Mandelblit will get him to do what they want him to (regarding his influence over the investigations into PM Benjamin Netanyahu), is beyond me. It is clear though that these left-wing protesters really did get the leaders they deserve.



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laundry detergent hechshers

If you ever wondered why they bother putting hechshers on things like laundry detergent....

they must know that kids can do really stupid things, like the current Tide Challenge phase that has kids biting into, and ingesting the contents of, Tide laundry pods...

Kids out there - don't do this!




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Palestinians: If Israelis converted to Islam, would the conflict end? (video)







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Israeli Frenemies- Jan. 18, 2018 (video)








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test drive with Yair Sherki: reviewing his show on the Haredim of Brooklyn





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Melech Zilbershlag visits Haredi trades: The Shadchanit (video)







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Hakol Haba From Jerusalem - S2E1 (video)








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