Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What happened to the formatting of my old posts?

I've just spent over 2 hours reformatting all my old posts which someone pointed out to me had lost all its paragraphs. Blogger had mashed all the text up into one big blob! Example below:

I assume that this has something to do with the new "Post Options" you see below the editorting box of Blogger.

By default the options are set to Press "Enter" for line breaks and Interpret typed HTML. I stuck with the first option but didn't like the sound of Interpret HTML so instead picked "Show HTML literally".

Quite honestly I can't see any difference in the editor's behaviour when I entered my latest posts. The editor is still awful. I constantly have to switch into HTML mode in order to delete tens of unwanted <DIV>s that the editor has inserted, causing text and pictures to be misformatted.

The problem still exists whereby I add a line break and then publish the result only to see that the page shows two blank lines. The trick is to delete everything from the beginning of the next paragraph right up to the full stop of the previous one. Then hit <Enter>. This usually does the rick of removing unwanted formatting tags. Its so annoying though!

The Spelling button at the top right hand side only works occasionally. At the moment, as I'm typing it has stopped working!

Sometimes the Image Menu refuses to pop up or appears for a fraction of a second and then disappears. I have to save and reload the page.

Why were my older posts corrupted?

When will Blogger get their act together?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Neturei Karta Placard

On the 26th July, the Blogger "Snappedshot" reported that on the 23rd July, a young member of the tiny anti-Israel Neturei Karta sect, was photographed by Reutors holding up a poster next to a Palestinian flag during a weekly demonstration in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem.

The placard reads in Hebrew "Jews are not Tzionim"

I suggest that this guy should have paid a bit more attention to Megilas Eicha (Lamentations) which we read in shul last Tisha beAv (a week ago) where the navi (prophet) Yermiyahu refers to the Jews of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) as "Tzion"

Eicha 4:1-2

א אֵיכָה יוּעַם זָהָב, יִשְׁנֶא הַכֶּתֶם הַטּוֹב; תִּשְׁתַּפֵּכְנָה, אַבְנֵי-קֹדֶשׁ, בְּרֹאשׁ, כָּל-חוּצוֹת. ב בְּנֵי צִיּוֹן הַיְקָרִים, הַמְסֻלָּאִים בַּפָּז--אֵיכָה נֶחְשְׁבוּ לְנִבְלֵי-חֶרֶשׂ, מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי יוֹצֵר.

1. Alas! The gold (the people of Jerusalem – Rashi) is dimmed! The finest gold (people) is changed! Sacred stones are scattered at the head of every street! 2. The precious children of Tzion (the children of Jerusalem) who are comparable to fine gold – alas they are now treated like clay jugs, the work of the potter.

The Chazon Ish (ZT"L)

No one knew The Neturei Karta better than Rav Avraham Yishayahu Karelitz (ZT"L) – better known as The Chazon Ish.

You could certainly not accuse the Chazan Ish of being a Zionist but this is what he had to say about Neturei Karta: (taken from the Chareidi Internet Site "Dei'ah veDibur")

When people from Neturei Karta came to the Chazan Ish from Yerushalayim and asked him to issue a protest against the Ponovezher Rov, he castigated them and said, "So you come from Yerushalayim and presume to teach us [in Bnei Berak] what to do?"

His bochrim relate how one young member of the Neturei Karta delegation spoke arrogantly with such chutzpe to the Chazon Ish. This young man did not live out the year.

Maran the Chazn Ish, voiced his opinion of Neturei Karta; "They are Jews from before the Giving of the Torah . . ." What he meant was that their hashkafa (outlook) was not guided by the ways of the Torah.

Maran R' Yitzchok Zeev Soloveitchik of Brisk (ZT"L)

Another Godel from that period, Maran R' Yitzchok Zeev Soloveitchik of Brisk (ZT"L) would battle against the secular Zionists and the Zionist establishment and was not any less uncompromising and extreme than that of Neturei Karta. But he employed different tactics.

R Soloveitchik's words to Neturei Karta regarding their demonstrations are often quoted.

"Would you have dared demonstrate against the government in such a manner back in Russia? Why, you would have feared for your very lives! Why then, here, in Eretz Yisroel, do you demonstrate against the Zionists? It just goes to show that you believe that the Zionists wouldn't treat you as the Russian government would have! If so, then in your heart of hearts you are no more than Zionists, yourselves . . ."

Here are some pictures of members of this little sect that justify support for Arab terrorism and the murder of all Jews (who are not part of Neturei Karta I suppose?)

The three Shevuos (Oaths).

The corner stone of Neturie Karta's anti-Israel stance is a Gemora in Kesubas.

In meseches Kesubas קי"א the gemera talks of three shevuos (oaths).

1. Upon Am Yisrael: From the churban (the destuction of the Beis HaMikdash) the Jewish people must not return to Eretz Yisrael "like a wall" on mass and recapture the land by force.

2. Upon Am Yisrael: Not to rebel against the nations of the world.

3. Upon the Goyim: That they should not make Am Yisrael's life unbearable in chutz la'aretz (outside the Land of Israel).

Neturei Karta use this gemara (based on the psak of the Megillas Esther - R. Yitzchak De Leon, Lyon/Toledo/Castile, died 1480s) as a basis for their psak that bizman hazeh, it is forbidden to establish a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

Rabbi Yissocher Frand, maggid shiur in Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, MD, points out that this position is very difficult to understand. (He is being diplomatic).

The section of gemara which the Megillas Esther brings is agada (a story brought by the Talmud) and not part of a halachic discussion. Rav Frand points out that you cannot bring agada as a basis for a psak halacha (a halachic ruling). Moreover, no one else brings this as halacha including Ramba"m, Shulchan Aruch etc.

Despite the above, Rav Frand asks for argument sake that if this agada could be brought as halacha, are the Shavuos (oaths) binding upon us today? The shavuah states that we must not go up on mass and take the land by force. This says nothing of each individual's obligation to settle in Eretz Yisrael.

However one could argue that the establishment of the State of Israel was accomplished by Jews returning to Eretz Yisrael on mass and taking the land by force. Therefore, according to the Megilas Esther's psak, this would be forbidden. This is indeed the shita of The Satmah Rebbi, Rav Yoel Titlebaum.

Rav Frand continues that with respect to the Satmah Rebbi, it is clear that after World War I, Britain, who had just taken control of Eretz Yisrael accepted the mandate from the League of Nations to establish a Jewish homeland in Eretz Yisrael. (See the Balfour Declaration of 1917). The goyim had given their permission for Jews to return to Eretz Yisrael on mass and thereby cancelled the shavuah. Even if one does not accept this, after World War II, no one could argue that the goyim had kept their side of the shavuah by not making our lives so unbearable in chutz la'aeretz after the events of HaShoah (the Holocaust)! The goyim thereby made the shavuah null and void.

Monday, July 26, 2010

YNET, quite simply anti-Semitic

YNET's English online news site has an appalling level of English. There is no shortage of native English speaking journalists in this country so it is truly baffling why YNET uses Hebrew speakers to translate and write many of their articles. The pigeon English, literal translations that make no sense and basic grammatical errors are always a source of great amusement.

One article I did not find amusing however was this:

"YNET presents unofficial guide to typical haredi wedding, from engagement to Seven Blessings"

OK, so the headline was funny. YNET want learn more English me say!

However, reading the article takes the smile off your face. YNET never fails to publish an anti-religious article each and every week. Some weeks more. This piece though reaches new depths of hatred. It is quite simply anti-Semitic.

It seems the readers think so as well. Out of 21 talkbacks published on the page so far, all 21 criticise the article, (I use the word very loosely).

A sample:

Nasty Nasty
From Israeli, Israel

Hatred never helped anyone. Shame on you Ynet for increasing the hatred of your fellow Jews.

I got one thing to say….
From Talula, Israel

I was at a Haredi wedding in an ultra religious neighbourhood (oh yes I was!) and I have to say, I do admire them for their spirit - there was not one drop of alcohol anywhere - but everyone was in such high spirits and danced like they were drunk from happiness - I thought it was wonderful.

Simply anti-semitic
From Shlomo Silverstein, MA, Israel

Thank you Talula for your honest comment. This article on the other hand is full of disgusting lies and hatred for Jews. I've printed this piece of filth out to show to the next person who tells me that they don't believe that Jews can write anti-Semitic articles.

Pure hate
From Jonathan, Israel

quite sickening - you call this journalism?

Haredi Wedding
From Voice of Reason, Here & Now,

Slow day at YNET. Only 3 children murdered by their Dad. Only 1 Jewish home destroyed by Government. What to do? Who can YNET attack? Hey have we done a Haredi wedding planner yet? Wow what a great idea. What a low class rag YNET really is.

What a stupid article…
From Wise Saba

suggest you attend some haredi weddings & report what really happens. This article spews pure hatred for our fellow Jewish brothers & sisters. Shame on Y Net for publishing this garbage. BTW now publish an article bashing chiloni weddings & all the sexual relations before the wedding.

I am a Charedi wedding photographer
From Daniel, Jerusalem

I have been photographing Charedi weddings for over 15 years. This article is pure filth! It looks like it was written by an ignorant child. Have you no respect ynet to publish filth like this. If you want a real article about the purity and holiness of a Charedi wedding, I would be happy to write one. This article has nothing to do do with the truth and you should be ashamed for publishing it.

I am secular and I find this article disgusting, insulting...
From ari,

and full of vile. You are a pathetic excuse for a news agency and the author a pathetic excuse for a journalist. No wonder the Jewish nation is at the verge of collapse.

I must admit,
From Karen, Rehovot

…as an Ultra secular person, even I found this so called satirical article an insult to my Haridi sisters and brothers. ( speaking relatively of course)

Why does YNET publish things like this? Is this what passes as humour amongst the Israeli journalists or is there an actual agenda to incite hatred for religious Jews?

One last point on the last sentence of the article:

"Each wedding spawns a new Israeli family and with it a new mother-in-all, which can be the subject of several columns"

What's a "mother-in-all"? Perhaps the author's handheld translator is running low on batteries?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tisha BeAv at Moshav Matityahu

Apologies for not having blogged for a while.

For many years we have spent Tisha BeAv at Moshav Matityahu in order to hear Rav Zev Leff speak.

He is truly inspiring and lifts the heart and spirit. I once asked my Rav a Sheila in all seriousness whether it is mutar to be so inspired and "entertained" on Tisha BeAv? My Rav replied that the purpose of Tisha BeAv was to prepare you for chodesh Elul, the month of Teshuva. If Rav Zev Leff manages to convey to us what we are missing from not living in a world with the Beis HaMikdash and inspire us to be better Jews, then this is the perfect preparation for chodesh Elul.

For me, one of the many reasons for going to the moshav is that I know that my Rav will be there in the audience. I walk into the shul. It looks empty devoid of benches. I place my stall next to my Rav. One is not allowed to greet anyone on Tisha BeAv so I lean over to him and whisper some comment about the weather. I hope he understands that I'd really like to give him a hug and wish him Shalom Aleichem but am forbidden by halacha. Standing next to my Rav, my tephila is lifted 10X.

The shul's Aron Kodesh is on the extreme left. This is because the interior has been extended out to the right twice already in order to accommodate an ever growing community. (Baruch Hashem!) The lights are dimmed. As you look around you see many different kinds of Jew of all ages, all waiting to hear the Rav speak. Misnagdim, Chassidim, Kipa Seruga, American Carlibachniks...they are all there. There are many Yeshiva bochrim who come from various English speaking yeshivos to hear Rav Zev Leff speak. Most of them sit directly on the floor and make tall towers with their hats; sometimes 20 hats, one on top of the other. This only adds to the already surreal atmosphere.

Rav Zev Leff spoke from 8:00am to 1:30pm with the occasional break for a kina. He changes the topic every year but links what he has to say to a number of kinos. This year he spoke about all the mitzvos that will bring the Geula Sheliema nearer. He had his audience in laughter one moment and in tears the next.

It's true that in order to get to the moshav in time for shacharis at 7:30am we need to leave home at 6:00am but it's worth it. The shul is very well air conditioned and when Rav Zev Leff speaks, time flies and before you know it, the tzom is almost over.

Until Moshiach comes, for me, it’s the perfect way to spend Tisha BeAv in Eretz Yisrael.

This year, they set up a live stream so anyone can watch wherever you are via the Internet. However, there is nothing like being there.

The Beis Halevi, R' Chaim Brisker, and the Brisker Rov

Amongst the many stories Rav Zev Leff told, there is one that sticks in the mind. It is the one where the Chofez Chaim tells the story of how Rav Soloveitchik came to Brisk. Intially he did not wish to go. However the community in Brisk nagged and nagged him. They came to him for the nth time and told him how 25,000 Frum Yidden were desperately waiting for him. Rav Soloveitchik eventually gave in. He told the delegation that if so many Yidden were waiting for him, how could he be so cruel and keep them waiting? So he came to Brisk. The Chafetz Chaim remarks that surely the Moshiach is an even greater Tzaddik than the Brisker Rav so how could he keep us all, millions of Jews, waiting for him? The answer he said was that we aren't really waiting for him with all our heart and sole! Rav Zev Leff said that if we really wanted to see what it was like to wait in anguish for someone, one only needs to look at the faces of Gilad Shalit's parents!

By the way. Some, including I, have tried in the past going to the Kosel afterwards to davan mincha. Being on a tzom (a fast for 24 hours with no food or water) I really would not recommend this. It’s a hard walk there and back in blistering heat. Even the strongest is likely to get sick. I'll wait until either we have a Tisha BeAv that's cool or when the day turns into a Moed when we'll be drinking wine at the Kosel, BeYameinu!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Londoners bombarded by Islamic propaganda advertising campaign

In June, 2010, Londoners were bombarded by a propaganda advertising campaign in which very civilised looking Muslims were quoted as saying:
I believe in social justice. So did Muhammad.”
“I believe in women’s rights. So did Muhammad.”
“I believe in protecting the environment. So did Muhammad.”

The ads were placed on the London Underground, London bus stops, plasted all over London Cabs (taxis) and published in various London magazines.

A spokesperson for the campaign, an organiser from the "Exploring Islam Foundation", made the following statement.

"The campaign aims to highlight the Prophet Mohamed’s teachings to Muslims on the importance of the environment, gender equality and social justice".

The lack of response from British media is truly breathtaking. Where was the outrage from British Feminist organisations?

Doing a Google of the MSM (Main Stream Media) I managed to find a single opinion piece in the Telegraph from June 8th 2010 by Douglas Murray entitled "Mohammed believed in women's rights, says poster campaign. Oh, really?"

In it he said

"The site is well worth a visit. Its “Who was Muhammad?” section is particularly delicious. There are sections on Mohammed “the orphan”, Mohammed “the shepherd” and Mohammed “the husband”. There are, sadly, no sections on Mohammed “the war criminal” or Mohammed “the close friend of a little girl”.

I also did a Google for "Mohammad campaign" and "British advertising standards authority" and found nothing! Not a sausage!

Let's just look at some of BASA's code standards.

The Codes contain wide-ranging rules designed to ensure that advertising does not mislead, harm or offend.

Code 2.1 All marketing communications should be legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Code 6.1 Marketers should not exploit the credulity, lack of knowledge or inexperience of consumers.

Code 7.1 No marketing communication should mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise.

Code 7.2 Marketing communications must not omit, hide or provide in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner material information if that omission or presentation is likely to affect consumers’ decisions about whether and how to buy the advertised product, unless the information is obvious from the context. If the advertisement is limited by time or space, the ASA will take into account steps that the advertiser has taken to make that information available to consumers by other means.

The evidence that this ad campaign breaks every one of BASA's codes is overwhelming.

Islam condones:

  • Child brides
  • Wife beatings
  • Stoning to death
  • Honour killings (murder)
  • and in some Islamic countries - female circumcision to remove the clitoris
Just a quick search brought this little lot up:

CNN – Woman sentenced to be stoned to death.

The woman confessed to adultery after beating of 99 lashes in front of son.

Wife Beating in Islam – Men have authority over women

Wife beating in Islam – Only a rod will help

Highlights from this enlightening Islamic "shiur":

We should not be ashamed before the nations of the world (who are still in their days of ignorance) to admit that these beatings are part of [Islamic] religious law.

We must remind the ignorant from among the Islamic nation who follow the West that those Westerners acknowledge the wondrous nature of this verse:

There are three types of women with whom life is impossible without beatings.

The Koran says "and beat them", This is a wondrous nature.

There are three types of women with whom a man cannot live unless he carries a rod on his shoulder.

The first type is a woman who was brought up this way. (Her Parents beat her). Her husband will only get along with her if he practices wife beatings.

The second type is a woman who is condescending towards her husband and ignores him. With her too, only a rod will help.

The third type is a twisted woman who will not obey her husband unless he oppresses her, beats her, uses force against her and overpowers her with his voice.

A Lebanese woman speaks out against wife beatings in Islam

Some highlights to this video:

"A western woman has her own personality and is aware of her basic rights…in our case, a neighbour cannot phone the police and the police cannot be involved.

I have a neighbour whose husband beat her during her third month of pregnancy. He beat her and locked her inside the house. She called her father, who came to open the door. Her father called the police, who came and prevented him from opening the door claiming it was against the law. The women began to throw her clothes, jewellery and belongings from the balcony. Pleading with her father while the police were standing below and would do nothing to help her. But in the West there are a million organisations that can support the women but in Arab societies there is no one…the woman is totally isolated. She has no other weapon except her shouting and crying."

Wife Beating in Islam – More rules

Highlights to this Isamic "shiur":

"Women in some cultures are not averse to wife beatings. They consider it an expression of masculinity and a kind of control which she herself desires.

We (Islam) must follow reason. I got a question from Canada. The man said "Here it is a crime to beat a wife, even with a toothbrush. Is this prohibition acceptable in Islam?" I say Yes! Islam accepts the beating of Canadian wives, in this culture and ambience...from childhood they are taught that beating women is a type of barbarism, savagery, and so on….but when Allah permitted wife-beating…considers it as one of the means to preserve the family and as one of the means to preserve stability."

Wife beatings are indispensable

Highlightes from this Islamic "shiur":

"With regards to beating [in Islamic law], The husband is not in a karate club or in a boxing club with his wife…the beatings must not cause broken bones, bleeding, or cuts and must not leave marks. It is light beating, which makes the wife feel the extent of the anger or sorrow of this man's heart.

Some say that this beating is uncivilised. I say to them that since it is written in the Koran, beware of defying what appears in the Koran. Beatings are indispensable."

A few weeks ago, Blogs began a Photoshop contest to show their abhorrence to this ad campaign by superimposing the ad's slogans onto photos showing Islamic abuse.

Example blog here:

I've reproduced some of the Photoshopped posters:

Now my attempt. Five minutes work in MsPaint...

People of Britain. Will you ever wake up?