Thursday, February 16, 2006

Gone Fishin' 

We are in the US now for the wedding of our nephew and will take a short break from blogging. See you at the end of the month.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Is Unity a One Way Street? 

Michael Fruend is a good man, but has just written a slightly shallow column bemoaning the lack of "unity" in the Jewish Orthodox world. He wonders why if R. Moshe Feinstein could be invited to a modern-Orthodox RCA conference in 1956 a similar figure in haredi-Orthodoxy would not be invited or if invited would not attend today. He suggests exchange programs amongst religiuos-Zionist and haredi yeshivot to study Talmud and therefore appreciate each other's way of life.

What is the purpose of unity for its own sake in the Orthodox world? The reason that a R. Moshe would never be invited to an RCA convention today is that there is no one in the haredi world of his stature today. R. Moshe Feinstein was accepted across the board as a great scholar and halakhic decisor (posek). There is noone like that in the US today and none in Israel either. I would ask why it was that R. Yosef Dov Soloveitchik was never asked to speak at an Agudat Israel convention in the US?

Simply, the respect has always been one sided. The haredi world won't , can't, ever admit that a non-haredi is a talmid chacham and will never admit that the level of learning in some of the hesder yeshivot in Israel outshines that of nearly every haredi yeshiva.

Unity in Orthodoxy? All that means is that the modern-Orthodox and religious-Zionists cave in to haredi ideology which has been so destructive to Judaism in the past 100 years.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

OOSJ Exclusive: Compromise on Danish Scandal 

OOSJ exclusive sources have helped us uncover the secret negotiations between the EU and the Islamic world regarding the Danish Mohamed-gate scandal in which a Danish newspaper printed cartoons with the depiction of the alleged prophet Mohamed. During these talks, which centered on a way in which the Arab world would be able to continue to import Danish furniture and cheese while the EU would be able to continue sitting in cafes and in their living rooms, compromises were discussed.

Our sources, from the infamous ever-smart Control division of the Israeli Mossad, tell us that a series of steps have been agreed upon and that there will be a joint EU-Moslem League statement from a press conference in Cairo on one week's time.

Amongst the steps agreed to were the approval of a regulation by the EU Constituent Assembly that will require a minimum of one anti-Semitic cartoon per week in each of the five major dailies in each EU member state. The cartoons need to take up at least ten column centimeters and one per month needs to be in full color (non-color ready newspapers will have until August, 2008 to install the proper equipment). The themes of the anti-Semitic cartoons will be divided, according to our sources into four categories. The first, comprising 60% of the caricatures need to compare a major contemporary Israeli figure with a major Nazi leader – either Hitler, Himmler, Goering or Goebbels – while 20% need to specifically show a Jew drinking the blood or eating the flesh of a Palestinian child. The 10% should show a Biblical prophet admitting that the Prophet Mohamed's revelations are more real than their own and the remaining 10% need to show the Jews as Christ killers.

This compromise was reached after weeks of intense negotiations where the Moslem League first demanded that crosses be soaked in urine and Jesus be portrayed on stage as a gay man. When the EU explained that this was already de rigueur for western museums and theatres and that adding this to the compromise would improperly mix religion with politics, the Moslems relented.

Using the Jews was a compromise suggestion but did not fully satisfy the Moslem League, however. After intense demands that Europe's Islamic community be permitted to burn down synagogues at will, a quota of two synagogue burnings per quarter year (according to the solar calendar) was agreed upon in all countries besides Germany. The Germans refused to go along with this since they had already filled their quota during the last century. The Moslem League refused to budge until Austria agreed to double its quota in order to allow the Germans to be relieved from this task. In exchange, the Germans agreed to allow the burning of up to 500 Jewish books per month. After sharp protests by the Olmert government and the Israeli delegation to the Socialist International, all books by Amos Oz were to be exempt from the burning.

Our sources tell us that with this agreement the EU is hopeful that it will again enter the good graces of the Moslem and Arab Leagues so that it can pursue the EU peace plan that was never officially published but was reported exclusively here, 18 months ago.

With this agreement the most serious clash between the EU and Islamic world since the French riots earlier this year will finally come to an end.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Cynicism, Corruption, Violence, Olmert 

For those who still think that Ehud Olmert is a leader for our times, watch this video (thanks to my friend BDL).

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Israel's rabbinic establishment are more concerned over their own black hats than the plight of agunot. I can't say I am shocked.

From the JPost:

"The Council of Rabbinical Judges cut off ties with women's organizations that fight for the rights of agunot.

Agunot are women in the process of divorce who cannot remarry because a recalcitrant husband refuses to give a divorce document.

The decision of the council, a body representing over 90 judges of marital law, is a protest against repeated attacks launched by the women's organizations against the rabbinical establishment that led to media scrutiny of the judges and public criticism."

Of course you have to reach the end of the article for the real cute comments:
"(Rabbinical Judge) Malka admitted that he encourages women to relinquish child support payments owed by the husband or other monetary obligations in order to facilitate the giving of a get (divorce certificate). 'Listen, this is money that she never earned,' explained Malka. 'Only in theory does it belong to her. For instance, according to the law the wife is entitled to half of a man's pension rights even though she never worked a day in her life. I do not think she should remain an aguna because she is stubborn about receiving her half.'

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