Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Maccabeats, Purity and Persumei Nisah

By now I'm sure most of my viewers have seen the Maccabeats YouTube video. I was delighted to see that Orthodox boys can compete with the best of them, particularly in the YouTube realm.

It is very appropos that the video that went viral was produced Lekovod Chanukah, where Pirsumei Nisah is the ideal. Quite ironic that the group is named Maccabeats, with strong Chanukah connotations.

Beating the "Greeks" at their own game makes me feel proud as a Jew.

As for ferreting out the "add ons" that accompany a YouTube screening, I was made aware of a website viewpure which enables one to view only the requested video without the adjoining distractions. Again, this is most relevant to Chanukah, where the oil rises to the top and the dregs are removed from the equation.

Maccabeats pure link

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dan Lekaf Zechus II

The People Speak/Kid Speak series is part of the more interesting literature that has been published over the past decade. Author Rabbi Chaim Walder has a popular radio program in Israel where callers can discuss notable events in their personal lives. Additionally, many write to Rabbi Walder and share various personal anecdotes. Stories which share a beneficial message are then shared with the public.

In the most recent volume, People Speak IV, there is a very poignant story which is appropos to Jbloggers. Someone in the blogging/news arena is about to publish a story which would implicate some Yeshiva Bochurim who foolishly endangered themselves and others. At the last minute, he gets a call from a frantic editor who realizes that he is related to the perpetrators and wants to kill the story.

Our protaganist is then faced with the difficult decision as to whether to publish or retract. He sadly realizes that if it were HIS relatives, he would not want to publish the story.

This brings to mind Hillel's great dictum, built on the "Love your neighbor" principle from the Torah: "What is hateful to you, don't do to others."

This then should be the criteria to ask ones self before posting on the internet. If it were about my relatives, would I still publish the story? Unfortunately, many just fire off the story and then ask questions later.

Dan Lekaf Zechus I

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jewish Observer {JO} Revivication Redux

I've blogged several times in the past regarding reviving the Jewish Observer.

I was gratified to see page 22 of this week's Yated (December 23 - Mikeitz) where Rabbi Avrohom Birnbaum dedicated a full page to this noble endeavor. It seems like this topic has resurfaced during one of the sessions at the recent Agudah convention. Perhaps now the movement to bring back the JO will gain some steam. See excerpts from the article below:

That is why the closing of the JO has been such a tragic mistake, both for Klal Yisroel and Agudas Yisroel. For lack of a better moshol, I am reminded of a story that is told about a person on a boat in a stormy sea…the captain determines that the first thing that must be done is to lighten the load. He asks passengers to throw overboard anything expendable. One Jew rises, takes his tefillin and throws it over. A pious Jew observes him and says, “How can you throw over your tefillin?! Your tefillin is perhaps the only thing that can save you now!”… How then can it [Agudah] throw overboard its “tefillin,” its ideological tool, the entire zechus kiyum of Agudas Yisroel? Even if it means that the JO will never be financially successful, is it not warranted to take funds from other programs that are not critical to what they are and redirect them to ideology? After all, today’s young people are starving to find meaning, to find ideology, and be shown that there is something more important than the bottom line.
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