Thursday, December 21, 2017

Rabbi Rubashkin Receives Royal Release

President Trump continues to amaze me. He promised to move the American Israeli embassy to Yerushalayim, and then followed through with action to see that process to completion. He visited the Kosel, backed Prime Minister Netanyahu, filled important administration positions with Orthodox Jews (Friedman, Greenblatt and Kushner), found a new set of Jewish Askonim to invite to the White House Chanukah party, and has stood up to the world at the UN with his star Nikki Haley. Not only did he veto the recent anti-Israel resolution, but promises now to stop funding countries that support anti-Israel bias.

And just when the liberals were reeling from his anti UN stand, he commuted the sentence of Rabbi Shalom Rubashkin! A long overdue presidential move that was ignored by his predecessor (Kudos to Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz of the Yated for fighting this fight). Not only that, but recently unearthed documents show Obama's flawed deal with Iran. At the rate things are going, I would expect Trump to undo that deal.

The entire Trump presidency and the fast pace in which world events are exploding portends the arrival of Moshiach, במהרה בימנו אמן

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Stills Sanctified Site

Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman ZT"L (1913-2017) was widely viewed as the leader of the Lithuanian branch of Orthodox Jewry.

His humbleness and sage advice was appreciated by hundreds of thousands of people. His Levaya was attended by over 1/2 million souls.

Rav Shteinman was known as a "moderate", yet fiercely defended the beauty of our religion.

Following the recent announcement by President Trump regarding Jerusalem, the Wakf has kept the Al-Aqsa Mosque darkened, which is a pleasure for picture takers who want a pure view of the Kosel. Additionally, I heard that during the Levaya of Rav Shteinman, there was difficulty in putting together a Minyan by the Kosel. It seems that the entire country turned out to mourn the simple man, who wanted no eulogies, no fanfare, and a simple burial aside his wife.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Trump Tackles TelAviv-Yerushalayim Transfer

We do live in amazing times. I applaud President Trump for fulfilling the campaign promise of recognizing and relocating the American Embassy to Yerushalayim. This is bound to upset many people, yet the president is apparently a man of his word.

While the world organizations, particularly the UN tries to strip Yerushalayim from Jewish hands, it is amazing that a Christian has stood up to them and approved this volatile move.


Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Applauds President Trump’s Historic Change of U.S. Policy toward the Status of Jerusalem

Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America – the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization – applauded President Donald Trump for his historic change of U.S. government policy toward the status of Jerusalem – the ancient and current capital of Israel and the Jewish People.

Over 3000 years ago, King David constructed the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. For millennia, Jews around the world directed their prayers toward Jerusalem and prayed to return to Jerusalem. Indeed, the prayer to return to Jerusalem is invoked at the conclusions of the sacred Yom Kippur service and the Passover Seder. In 1948, when the modern State of Israel was miraculously founded, its leaders – of course – chose Jerusalem as the capital even though Arab armies occupied Judaism’s holiest sites. With G-d’s help, the city was reunited in 1967 and it has flourished ever since. Under Israeli rule, Jerusalem is an open city where people of all faiths may freely visit and worship at their holy sites.

Sadly, and from our perspective wrongly, the international community has ignored the history of Jerusalem and its centrality in the lives and faith of the Jewish people. Moreover, the responsible stewardship for the holy city provided by the State of Israel is largely ignored. In 1995, the United States Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act – legislation advocated for by the Orthodox Union. The 1995 Act established as a matter of U.S. policy the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and required the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. While Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama each pledged to implement this commitment, none of them did. Today, President Trump began to fulfill this promise.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rogachover: Rabbi Rosen Reminisce

As a youngster, I loved to hear stories about the Rogachover Gaon (1858-1936). In 1976, the JO published a short essay on him and my father offered to have his friend, Rabbi P Teitz from Elizabeth NJ, host me for a shabbos to relate to me some first-hand stories. Sadly, I never went.

In any event, the seforim blog recently published some more interesting facts about this Gaon/Genius in a Generation of Giants.

Friday, November 3, 2017

British Buddy Balfour Broadcasts Breakthrough Bulletin

Fascinating history lesson courtesy of CBN.

Hat tip


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Tolkien Tells Tiresome Tales

J.R.R Tolkien was asked by an interviewer why his books are so long. He replied:

"It's a long story..."

Monday, October 23, 2017

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dialogue Disseminates Daring Discourse - Dialogue For Torah Issues & Ideas Volume 7 Summer 5777/2017

Wow. After another long hiatus in publishing, Dialogue 7 has suddenly appeared, in what appears to be a watershed event in Frum publications, akin to the famous OTD issue of the Jewish Observer.

Over half of the issue is dedicated to the complex issue of Child Sex Abuse (CSA).

We have definitely come a long way since a generation ago when no one discussed these matters, or thought that the children should just get over it. Many of the psychologists view CSA as "Murder of the Soul", and explain that children that have drinking problems, suicidal thougths or OTD leanings, are almost as a rule have all been abused. Kudos to Dialogue for dedicating over 100 pages to remedy this situation.

Other articles focus on the Emunah debate. Should one have Emunah Peshuta or should one be able to question and be given satisfactory answers?
Dr. Jonathan Ostroff explains why he dislikes Reuven Shmeltzer's book on Emunah (Peshuta).

Rabbi Eytan Feiner is back with one of his delicious discourses regarding the splitting up of the Makkos into two Parshiyos.

Rabbi David Rosenthal discusses his book on Open Orthodoxy, and shows definitively why it is not Orthodox.

This issue is a MUST read.


A Message to Humanity - Hamashkif

Child Sex Abuse in the Frum Community - An Overview - Rabbi Aharon Lopiansky, et al.

Securing Our Tents, Protecting Our Future - Rabbi Aharon Yoel Sorcher

The Emunah Debate - Rabbi Aharon Feldman

Review of The Heart of Emunah - Jonathan S. Ostroff, Ph.D

The Mitzvah of Emunah and Personal Investigation - Rabbi Jeremy Kagan

Noah and Avraham: Two Levels of Belief - Rabbi Aharon Feldman

The Lure of the Loyal Locusts: The End of the Ten Plagues - Rabbi Eytan Feiner

Derech Eytz HaChaim - Is Ramchal Its Author? - Rabbi Abba Zvi Naiman

Why Open Orthodoxy is not Orthodox - The Aftermath - Rabbi David Rosenthal

Letters to the Editor


Dialogue I
Dialogue II
Dialogue III
Dialogue IV
Dialogue V
Dialogue VI

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey Heaps H2O...Help Houston's Hebrews


Donations for the Jewish Community can be sent to Agudath Israel’s offices at 42 Broadway, 14 th Floor, New York, NY 10004 (checks should be made out to Agudath Israel but marked “Disaster Relief Fund”). Electronic donations can be made at – with “Disaster Relief Fund” typed into in the “comments”

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Recalcitrant Rebel? Response Required!

A dad of the year has come up with the perfect solution to get his forgetful son to text him back – an app that forces kids to respond.
“ReplyASAP,” the new app invented by Nick Herbert, obstructs the recipient’s phone and sets off an alarm until a text or call is returned – even if the cell is on silent mode.

It also notifies users when the recipient has seen the incoming message – giving some relief to worried parents whose children simply won’t contact them back.

“My son has an iPhone, but I still can’t get hold of him very easily as it’s always on silent because he is planning games or has been at school and forgotten to turn the sound back on,” Herbert told of his school-aged son Ben in an interview published this week.

“There didn’t seem to be a solution out there that allowed me to send a message to him, that would override the silent function, appear over whatever he was doing and tell me when he had seen it,” Herbert said.

Herbert decided to create the app out “frustrations with current messaging apps,” he wrote on the website for ReplyASAP.

“There are messaging apps that tell you when a message is delivered and seen, but the point is the message can be ignored or not seen because he didn’t hear it,” wrote Herbert.

His son has even taken to the app.

“It gives him the freedom to keep his phone on silent, but with the knowledge that I can get a message to him if necessary,” Herbert told

“ReplyASAP” is currently available for Andriod and will soon be available on iOS.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Korea's Killer Kim Keels

Speak harshly and carry a big stick. Thanks Donald.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Fakenews? Faceless FlatbushGirl Fights FJJ For Female Fotos

The June 29 issue of the Flatbush Jewish Journal had me scratching my head. Page 25 featured a picture of Councilman Deutsch amongst other Askanim presenting an award to an emoji-faced female. What was bothering me was the discrepancy in the picture, in that it was titled Flatbush Boy, but the certificate itself said Flatbush Girl.

The answer came today in one of NYC's seems that the FJJ rejected the original ad because it pictured a female, which goes against their policy.

I can understand their policy, but it seems ironic that the same issue of FJJ, which featured many pages exalting the life of R Meir Zlotowitz, does not follow his lead and allow for normalcy in frum publications.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bashevkin's Bemusings Blast British

Seen in Yated Magazine 15 Sivan 5777 June 9 2017

When I was just a little boy
Years before a zaidy
They used to sing about a bridge
It ended "My Fair Lady"

I'm not sure what the lyrics meant
Nor anyone in town
We were not sure just what they
Meant "The bridge is falling down"

I know that some
May crunch their nose
Is Bashevkin making jokes?
So for the young yeshivashers
Just ask the older folks

Yes "London Bridge is falling down"
As terrorists run wild
And once again the world cares not
Reaction only mild

Of course they say it's horrible
As blood fills up the Thames
With statements, tweets and sound bites
Again the world "condemns"

The vans are plowing on the bridge
And madmen run with knives
And Europe's Western culturals
Are running for their lives

And still they say that our prez
Has not, his mind, set straight
I think they ought to listen
Before it is too late

Manhattan, too, has bridges
In Queens and Brooklyn town
Do you think London's the only place
Where the bridge is falling down?

Meracheim al achzarim
You know what's next for you
Don't think for your sweet gestures
They won't come after you

Keep criticizing Israel
The way they do react
How many bridges will have to fall
Before you see the fact?

Once the world's most powerful
The seat of Europe's throne
And now the terror that they see
Is partially homegrown

Like little kids who prophesy
And don't know what they say
London Bridge is falling down
Oh yes! Has come the day

The lyrics of the silly poem
Remember I do not
But there are some lines
That thankfully I still have not forgot

I never knew
Just what they meant
We sang them anyway
They meant nothing in Sixty-one
But they mean something today!

I don't remember all the rhymes
B"H they left my kup
But one of them still resonates

Friday, May 26, 2017

Catastrophe Countdown Changes Conceptions - R' Aharon Schechter Calls for Action

Updated 6/14 with video. See Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro (English speaker) from 1:10 to 1:27 and Rav Aharon Schechter (Yiddish) from 2:03 to 2:22.

We've all seen the videos of the Peleg demonstrations and we cringe. And we wonder why they are literally laying their life on the line as if this was a reincarnation of Giyus Bonos.

Well at last there is some information explaining the vehement opposition to the draft "exemptions".

This may explain the coming demonstration set for Sunday, June 11 at Barclays.

Here is the text of the ad from page 8 of the May 25 issue of the Flatbush Jewish Journal


Countdown to Catastrophe 

Witness to the Fallacy of Blindness

It’s obvious to all that Eretz Yisroel is in a perpetually
precarious state of existence: Living in the
shadow of an Iranian nuclear bomb in the making,
encircled by heavily armed, sworn enemies, singled
out for scorn by the so-called community of nations.
All of this makes the situation of acheinu b’nei
Yisroel in artzeinu hakedosha unique, and uniquely
dangerous. This mortal threat to our survival is
something of which we’re all painfully aware.
Yet, there’s another crisis unfolding there that
few if any of us are aware of. It presents an immense
existential threat to our nation in general
and to the yishuv in Eretz Yisroel in particular, and
it raises the danger posed by the enemies seeking
our destruction to unthinkable levels.
Simply stated, the danger we speak of is that
the flourishing community of yeshivos and b’nei
yeshiva, that has grown by leaps and bounds
across the length and breadth of Eretz Yisroel will
be decimated – not by 2040, nor even in as long
as a decade from now. Instead, within a handful
of years, the world’s largest and most vibrant
community of lomdei Torah will undergo a drastic
downsizing. The Olam haYeshivos as we know it –
and with it, the frum community of which it is the
beating heart – will cease to look as it does today.
That’s not hyperbole. It is incontrovertible fact.
And it is chilling beyond all words.
The following paragraphs will set forth the
state of affairs in Eretz Yisroel today regarding
the drafting of b’nei yeshiva into the Israeli army,
based on first-hand knowledge, in-depth research
and copious documentation. Little if any of this information
has been known or publicly discussed in
the American Torah community – until now.
Anyone who contests these plainly demonstrable
facts is welcome to step forward and provide
counter-evidence in refutation of what is written
here. We are confident that our rendition of the
terrifying reality will withstand scrutiny.
As the Israeli draft law stands today, the government
is required to set a goal of drafting several
thousand chareidi young men for military service
each year and to engage in various activities
designed to achieve that objective. This includes
the use of well-trained, undercover government
agents from within the chareidi community whose
mission is to persuade the b’nei yeshiva they target
to enter the army.
Currently, all b’nei yeshiva are exempt from
serving, provided they follow the prescribed procedures
and otherwise qualify for exemption. It
should be stated that under the current law, a majority
of b’nei yeshiva have a fairly easy time in securing
their exemptions: They’re able to appear in
groups at conscription offces, spend minimal time
undergoing physical examinations and promptly
receive the necessary exemption papers.
But here’s the untold story: Thousands of b’nei
yeshiva – in particular, those who are vulnerable either
because they learn in smaller or lesser-known
yeshivos, or due to having certain backgrounds,
such as Sefardic b’nei yeshiva from weaker chareidi
backgrounds and ba’alei teshuvah – are being
targeted by the army and other governmental departments
for intensive recruitment efforts. Many
of these b’nei yeshiva have been imprisoned for
failure to comply with every last detail of the bureaucratic
exemption process, despite good faith
efforts to do so. Many others remain free but live
in constant fear of being apprehended and jailed.
Large numbers of these b’nei Torah, however,
are neither in military prison nor on the run.
Unbelievable as it may seem, they are now serving
in the Israeli army. Despite being full-fledged
b’nei yeshiva, they have been wrenched from the
bais medrash and forcibly inducted into the IDF
for failing to meet the legal requirements for exemption.
Their conscription enables the army to
fill the yearly quotas of thousands of chareidim
demanded by Israeli draft law.
The basis for the drafting of many of these bnei
yeshiva is that they fail to meet the technical requirements
of a “ben yeshiva” as defined by law.
For example:
A bochur cannot qualify for exemption as a ben
yeshiva unless he learns in a yeshiva gedolah that
has at least twenty-five talmidim who qualify as
b’nei yeshiva, i.e., who are at least eighteen years
A bochur who has earned any taxable money
from employment, even if only during bein
haz’manim or bein hasedarim, cannot qualify for
exemption as a ben yeshiva. Thus, for example, a
bochur who earned a meager salary during Yom
Tov break to help with his impoverished family’s
expenses will be forced into army service.
Only talmidim of offcially recognized yeshivos
qualify for exemption; no new recognitions,
however, have been issued in over a year, and the
talmidim of such institutions are thus not exempt.
Under new rules about to be instituted, 1) a bochur
in his last year in a yeshiva k’tanah (the equivalent
of an American mesivta) who will be one of
the first in his class to reach the conscription age
of eighteen, will not be eligible for exemption because
his yeshiva k’tanah doesn’t have the minimum
number of b’nei yeshiva, as described in a)
above; and 2) bochurim learning in yeshivos that
do not accept Israeli government funding will not
qualify for exemption from the draft.
The army is in the process of setting up a sophisticated
inspection system under which, in an
unprecedented breach of the religious autonomy
of the yeshivos, it will begin to directly intervene in
those institutions to enforce the draft law.
Appeals to individuals and organizations to
use their political clout to help the large numbers
of bnei Torah who are in desperate straits, in the
army, in prison or cowering in hiding from the authorities,
have been in many cases unsuccessful.
Everything that has been described until this
point reflects the deeply disturbing current state
of affairs. The Israeli military refers to it as a “tekufat
histaglut,” a very temporary “adjustment
period,” in order to enable the frum community
to adapt to the coming, far more ominous reality.
In 2020, the next stage of the draft law will come
into effect, under which what were previously
non-mandatory yearly recruitment goals will become
mandatory yearly quotas of chareidi young
men required to enter the army, and the quota
levels will rise as well.
Then, in 2023, the law providing exemptions to
b’nei yeshiva comes to a complete end. The only
b’nei yeshiva who will continue to be free of army
service will be those over the age of twenty-four,
who are entitled to a permanent exemption.
However, the large numbers of b’nei yeshiva who
reach conscription age each year, numbering approximately
seven thousand annually, will be forcibly
drafted. It boggles the mind to envision the
mass conscription of b’nei Torah in Eretz Yisroel,
but that is the looming reality.
Let us speak plainly: The world is looking on
mutely as the evil Iranians, hell-bent on destroying
the Jews, proceed with building the Bomb;
by all accounts, they are perhaps a decade away
from achieving that diabolical goal. But long
before that point – indeed, in a short six years
from now, if the current situation continues – the
peerlessly glorious world of yeshivos overflowing
with young and old, with talmidei chachomim
delving continuously into the depths and breadth
of Torah, will simply no longer exist in the form
it does today. And with it, the single greatest
source of protection from that Bomb and all
the other threats we face – the intense, nonstop
limud haTorah of thousands -- will be severely
In the foregoing paragraphs, you’ve been introduced
to events and facts of which you were
probably unaware; of which, strangely, no one
speaks; and about which, our numerous media
outlets are inexplicably silent. You, too, have a
choice: You can turn the page, and turn your attention
to other matters.
Or not.

אהרן משה שכטר

בשם חברים


Please keep comments civil and free from LH, otherwise they will be deleted.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Jerusalem: Jewish Jubilee Jewel

Today, one gets on an airplane and in a matter of hours is standing in awe at the Holy Wall.

Few give thought to the amazing times we live in, and what sacrifice it took to make that visit a reality.

A scant 50 years ago, air travel was in infancy and the Wall was in Jordanian hands.

The open miracle of the six day war, the devastation of the surrounding enemies coupled with the reunification of Jerusalem should make us thankful for the great blessing we enjoy in our times.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Western Wailing Wall WOWS Whitehouse, Women

We Wait daily for Moshiach, always hoping for world events to bring the Messianic Era.
Recent events, political surprises and the emerging global village all herald this coming soon.
Placing an unknown in the Whitehouse, with many Orthodox Jewish family and advisers, is perhaps one more step in this emerging process.

The Donald has chosen Israel as one of the 3 stops of his WhirlWind first external excursion since ascending the presidency. It is no surprise that he has chosen to visit the capitals of the 3 primary world religions.

I hear Moshiach's footsteps...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

(R Nisson) Wolpin (ZTL) - Writing Wizard Who Wrote With Wisdom

The era of the Jewish Observer has truly ended now with the passing of R' Nisson Wolpin. Chaval.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mimkomcha Malkeinu Music Memory - Mataaaaaaaaaaaay?

Commenter Mostly Music's comment on the previous post reminded me of one of my favorite albums, Yerushalayim Pirchei with Yigal Calek.

So many of those tunes still resonate with me all these years later.

Kan Tzipor, Kol Berama, Ravrevin and Yismach Moshe to name a few.

But my favorite was Mimkomcha, with Yirael Rand singing his endless Mataaaaaay...Timloch Betzion...
Thanks to Tyrni Sanddorn who has made this entire album available on Youtube.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

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