Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New Cheder in Crown Heights

I saw some information on regarding a new cheder which will be opening in Crown Heights. This made interesting reading in light of the discussions about Yeshivah & Beth Rivkah Colleges which took place on this blog a few weeks ago. You can read the information about Ohr Menachem here (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader).

While I have a slight problem with the meshichist policy of this new school I was impressed with their general principles and the educational ideas. It looks like a lot of thought has gone into this. Admittedly Ohr Menachem will not be suitable for every family and would probably be "too" chassidish for many in Melbourne. From what I read it doesn't appear to offer any secular studies which would be an issue for me. Nevertheless it was refreshing to see the high standards that they are aspiring to.

Earlier this year a group of chassidishe yungerleit had plans to start a similar cheder/school. From what I understand their principles were very similar to the Ohr Menachem school. Unfortunately they were coerced into giving up this plan and have to make do with Yeshivah College. The point is that they wanted a more intense chassidish education, with all that implies, rather than just a general frum Jewish education (which Yeshivah provides in principle). I do not know all the details of this incident so cannot say too much - I am happy to hear about it as long as what is said are facts and not conjecture.

When the new principal is finally appointed let us hope that he has the will and is strong enough to make some positive changes in a practical way to the hashkofa of Yeshivah College. The basic principles of the school are sound but it needs a strong hand at the helm to bring things back to the way they should be.

Either that or a concerted effort has to be made to start new Chabad schools.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hijab Ban in Schools??!!!!

Headline grabbing politicians Sophie Panopoulos and Bronwyn Bishop have jumped on the scaremongering bandwagon and said that Islamic girls attending public schools should be prevented from wearing headscarves. (See The Age articles here and here). It was good to see John Howard's response against this suggestion here.

Surely the clothes that Moslem women wear have nothing to do with terrorism. This sort of attitude and just plays into the hands of bigoted and narrow minded people who are scared of anything different. As Orthodox Jews who also wear distinctive clothing we should be wary of such political ploys and the politicians who advocate them.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Reb Hershl Klein obm

An obituary of Reb Hershl Klein who passed away a few months ago was published in this weeks Jewish News.

Mr Klein, who was a mispallel in Yeshivah Shul for 40 years, was a quietly spoken man who went about his chesed work in a modest and unassuming manner. One thing that stands out among all the good work that he did was his establishment of the Yeshivah Welfare Fund. This fund not only provided, and continues to provide, assistance to many members of our community who are "down on their luck" but also helps those in need outside the Yeshivah community. This fund is still continuing its good work.

His practical advice and no-nonsense manner is already being missed by all who knew him.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Telegram from Reb Levik

(Click on picture for larger version)

This appeared on COL. It is a telegram from the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson, to the Rebbe in Tishrei 5688 (1927). The telegram wishes the Rebbe success on his trip to the Previous Rebbe in Riga. The telegram was received by the Rebbe in Leningrad.

Thanks to Tzemach Atlas of Mentalblog who provided the translation from Russian:

The telegram was addressed to Mendel Volfson on his address in Leningrad but written to the Rebbe. (Literal translation, Hebrew words are in caps):
G-d should give you a happy trip YSHMOR TZESCHO METAO VAD OLAM. Blessed are you in everything forever joy BEDDERECH COL YEMEY CHAEYCHO all the best, happiness you will have all your life blessing you from the depths of my soul with all my heart, your father loving you BACHAVO NITZHCHIS LEVIEK.

New Commenting System

I am in the middle of implementing a new commenting system. This new system will allow me to monitor comments and manage the blog more effectively.

Please use the "New Comments" link from now on. Old comments can still be read but not added to.

Erev Shabbos Jokes

Computer Terms in Hebrew


Thanks to "Leitz" who posted this earlier today:

Reminds me of the old joke told by Dzigan (of Dzigan and Shumacher fame one of the early Jewish comedian teams of the sixties.)

He claims he bought a newspaper in Israel. He was charged 45 agarot. When he complained to the vendor that it says "price 35 agarot" on the top of the paper the vendor replied "Naar -do you believe everything it says in the papers?"


A mul is gaven drei Indians - der Tatte, Geronowitz, die Mutter, Pocayenta, und di tuchter, Minnie Horowitz. Ain tug is Minnie Horowitz gekummen aheim und gezukt tzu Pocayenta, "Mamma, ich vill hairaten". Zukt Pocayenta, "Gut, siz shoin tzeit; du bist yetzt an alte moid, sekstzin yur alt. Ver iz der bucher?". Zukt Minnie Horowitz, "Oy, Mamma, hob ich getruffen mit a bucher! Haich un heldish, azoy shein, azoy shtark!". "Un vos iz zein nommen?" "Er hayst Sitting Bullvon". "Un vos far a yiches hot er?". "Oy, er hut a grosser yiches. Zein tatte, Mishuggene Ferd, is der gantzer macher fun alle die Shvartz-fuss leite".

Zukt Pocayenta, "Gut, mir vellen hubben a groisser chassena - OY VAY IS MIR!". "Vus is der mehr?". "Mir hubben ain tzore.". "Vus iz der tzore?" "Die tzeepee iz nit gross genug tzu halten alle die gasten fun die chassena, alle die Shvartz-fuss und die Shmohawks, und die gantze mishpuche."
Shreit Pocayenta tzu Geronowitz, "Geronowitz! Shtait uff dem tuchess, und gay krigen far mir a buffalo!".
Zukt Geronowitz, "Far vus vilst du a buffalo?". "Mit der fleish fun der buffalo, ken ich machen a gut gedempte buffalo tzimmes, und mit die peltz, ken ich machen gresser die tzeepee, und mir vellen kennen anladen die gantze velt tzum chassene".

Arois is gegangen Geronowitz. Ain tug hat passiert, tzvei tug, drei tug, un nicht kain Geronowitz. A vuch mehr passiert, kumt a haim Geronowitz mit gurnisht in die hent. "Shlemiel! Vie is mein buffalo?" schreit tzu ihm Pocayenta.
"Die in dein buffalo tzimmes! Ich hub aich baide in bud!"
"Far vus? Vus iz der mehr?"
"Der ershte tug hub ich gezehn a buffalo, nisht gut genug far die tzimmes, nisht grois genug far die tzeepee. Die tzvayte tug, hub ich gezehn anander buffalo, grois genug, uber mit a farfoite peltz - aza mieskeit fun a buffalo, hub ich kain mul nisht gezehn. A pur mere taig, hub ich gefinnin a buffalo - shain, shmaltzedik, grois! A poifect buffalo.".
"Un nu? Vuden?"
"Vu den? Ich hub gegangen tzu shechten dem buffalo. Ich hub gekukt in mein tasch, un du vaist vus? Nahr vus ich bin! Ich hub genemmen mit mir die milchidik tomahawk!"


Ginsberg never pays his bills and is seen bargaining with a supplier.
"Hey, Ginsberg," Goldberg asks him, "why are you knocking that man's prices down ? You're never going to pay him anyway."
"Listen," answers Grinsberg, "he is a nice chap. I just want to keep down his losses!"


A man walks into shul with a dog. The shammas comes up to him and says, "Pardon me, this is a House of Worship, you can't bring your dog in here." "What do you mean," says the man, "this is a Jewish dog. Look." And the shammas looks carefully and sees that in the same way that a St. Bernard carries a brandy barrel round its neck this dog has a tallis bag round its neck.
"Rover," says the man, "daven!".
"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a kipa and puts it on his head.
"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a tallis and puts it round his neck.
"Woof!" says the dog, stands on his hind legs, opens the tallis bag, takes out a siddur and starts to daven.
"That's fantastic," says the shammas, "absolutely amazing, incredible! You should take him to Hollywood, get him on television, get him in the movies, he could make a million dollars!!"
"You speak to him," says the man, "he wants to be a dentist."


Thursday, August 25, 2005

A New Direction?

I have just returned to Melbourne after 4 days at an interstate conference where I had very little access to the internet. This short break has given me time to think about what direction I want this blog to take. As I have said previously I am pretty upset that so many of you cannot understand the difference between attacking someone personally and disagreeing with the other person's opinion. I am contemplating making changes to the commenting system but this will need me to speak with someone who knows more about computers and the internet than I do.

Meanwhile, before I read the 60 plus comments posted within the last day, I have to spend some time with my family and unwind. Watch this space...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What a Boring Blog

This blog has become extremely boring lately. I am still getting well over 100 comments a day but 60% to 80% of them are inane and many are just stupid.

Just because someone has an opinion different to yours doesn't justify insulting them personally. We all think that we are sooo intelligent and learned but, apart from a select few people, this has yet to be shown on this blog. If you cannot say something positive think twice about whether it is worth saying. Obviously there are things that we feel need to be said even if they are quite negative. This is sometimes a good thing and maybe an anonymous comment is a good way to let out your frustrations - but first think how you are going to express yourself. Surely it is not necessary to make personal attacks on other people. Don't we learn in chassidus that what we find distasteful in other people is a reflection of our own negative traits??!! Maybe think about that before you make your next comment.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Friday Jokes Start Early!

According to The Age website "Muslim summit repudiates terrorism". See the story here.

My favourite quote is

"Dr Ali said none of the Muslim leaders at today's meeting supported al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden."
Yeah right!!!!!!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Spot the Difference

This afternoon I received an email from Moshe Elkman with an attached pdf file offering a $100 gift voucher to anyone who can spot the difference between the Hebrew & English versions of the famous "psak". There have been many requests to see the original version which was signed by the 33 rabbis and I am pleased to be able to post it here. Click on the Hebrew or English version above to see a more readable copy.

If anyone would like the original pdf version please email me at and I will be happy to send it to you.

Have a Good Shabbos.

Humour for Erev Shabbos

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A doctor, an engineer and a politician are arguing about which profession came first.
The doctor commented that the first surgical operation took place in Bereishit when G-d created Chava from Adam's rib.
The engineer said that before Hashem created Chava He created the world which was the first massive feat of engineering.
The politician said that even before G-d created the world, the earth was Tohu Vavohu - who do you think was the cause of that?

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I like to tell you how nice it is to be here in Monsey and see people living here the way we used to when I was growing up.

You know, I still a remember all those wonderful Yiddish expressions we used. My family was very krum, my grandfather was a shchita in the old country and we have a beautiful yichud.

Mother always wore a shtetl or a kichel on her head. Her beheimishe coking was unbelievable and her chalushes were the best on the block. Before lighting the shabbos candles she always put money into the kishke.

My father was a great tanis cholom and he had such an azus ponim. Every Friday night he made kaddish - can still see him holding the pushka of wine in his hand. For every situation he had a Jewish saying - from torah, neviim, or keruvim.

When father went to Shul they always gave him shlishi or niftar. The Shul had a six foot high chalitza. Everyone behaved and we talked only during chazoras hashass. On Yom Kippur by oleinu all ladies used to fall korach, and on Simchas Torah the hashgochos went on for hours.

My brother had his bar-mikvah in that shul and put on his tallis and tehillim for the first time. In yeshivah he grew long peiros and he learned with such haskola. He learned baba kama, baba metzia and baba basya. He knew every din and cheshbon and he just loved to go to a musar snooze.

You should know we are very strict ourselves. The meat we cut has the best hashkofa and we use only chailev yisroel. At our Purim seuda we always serve stuffed gatshke, and for Sukas we make sure to have a lulav and esrog and, of course, the finest hadassim and aveiros. On Pesach the kids have a wonderful time asking the arba tachlis and stealing the apikorsim. I really shlep nachas from them. They'll grow up to be roshei s'vivos busy with kever r'chokim.

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In the mid 60's a U.S. Navy cruiser put in to port in Mississippi for a week's shore leave. The first evening, the Captain was more than a little surprised to receive the following letter from the wife of a wealthy plantation owner:
Dear Captain, Thursday, will be my daughter Melinda's coming of age party. I would like you to send four well-mannered, handsome, unmarried officers. They should arrive at 8 p.m. prepared for an evening of polite Southern conversation and dance with lovely young ladies. One last point: No Jews--We don't like Jews.

Sure enough, at 8 PM onThursday, the lady heard a rap at the door which she opened to find, in dress uniform, four exquisitely mannered, smiling BLACK officers. Her lower jaw hit the floor, but pulling herself together she stammered, "There must be some mistake."

"Madam," said the first officer, "Captain Cohen doesn't make mistakes."

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Torah, Tefillah & Tzedokah

Under the heading "A Cry for Help" a gathering has been organised to say tehillim for the situation in Eretz Yisroel. Men, women and children have been invited to attend. Whatever our take on the situation I think we all agree that this is an extremely difficult time for Israel and for Jews throughout the world. I believe that we should all make an effort to be there.

A Cry for Help

Wednesday night 17th Aug. 2005

8.00 – 8.30 pm.
Followed by Ma’ariv and a Short Siyum.

Yeshivah Shul, 92 Hotham St. East S Kilda

Men, Women and Children are urged to attend

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Easing Tensions

There has been so much heart wrenching news about the disengagement all over the internet that I have been reticent to post more negative stuff here. I was pleased to have found something positive on YNet. To me this article is typical of life in Israel - despite our many differences we are all Yidden and want to live normal and fulfilled lives.

The original article is here.

Police, settler kids attend summer camp

Far away from the 'festival' surrounding disengagement, Netanya police invite settler kids to participate in summer camp for children of police officers; camp director Moshe Ohayon: We want to give parents the opportunity to function with a clear head. By Raanan Ben-Zur

Staying connected from a young age: Apart from the occasional kid with a kipa on his head, it's hard to find any distinguishing characteristics regarding the campers enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation at the "Tapuz" elementary school in Pardesiya.

Everyone wears the camp t-shirt, eats in the same mess hall, plays the same games, and enjoys a traditional summer camp experience.

But the activities at Tapuz (the word means "orange", meaning the fruit, but has no connection to the color orange adopted by the anti-disengagement movement) have a special flavor this year: 17 children are bussed in each morning in bullet-proof buses from their homes in West Bank settlements slated for evacuation, while rest come from homes in which one of their parents are police officers charged with carrying out the pullout.

Instilling values
The idea to include settler children in a summer camp with the kids of police officers who will evacuate their parents originated from second-in-command of the Netanya police station, Moshe Ohayon "We want to show we are all part of one people," said Ohayhon. "The Northern Samaria Regional Council was very receptive to the idea.
Ohayon also said the decision to include settler children in the camp was intended to instill values in both groups of young people.
"It is very important to us that settler children see that police officers also have kids, just like themselves. This is also the reason we didn't set conditions for acceptance and didn't check whether the kids came from pro-disengagement or anti-disengagement families," he said.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Politics and Chabad

I have been reticent to write anything too negative here during the Nine Days but feel that the situation is becoming intolerable. Nothing will ever be solved by writing anonymous pieces on the internet but some things just need to be said anyway.

Over the last month or two we have seen the politicisation of Lubavitch around the world. Obviously none of us is happy with the situation in Gush Katif - people being expelled from their properties, giving away land in Eretz HaKodesh and seemingly surrendering to the arabs. We must do all we can to try to stop this from happening but in the way observant Jews always do by teshuvah, tefillah and tzedokah. As Lubavitchers we should not be getting involved in politics and denigrating Israel's Prime Minister and politicians. We should not be doing anything that would lead people to feel we are advocating violence or even civil disobedience. We are supposed to be chassidim of the Rebbe and should act accordingly.

From it's inception Chabad/Lubavitch has always concentrated on Jewish education and hafotza to all yidden irregardless of who they are or what they believe in. We used to hear stories of how Chadadniks had access to any part of Israel to bring chizuk to the soldiers - even to the front lines. That is not the case now. Chabad is seen as a political movement and viewed with mistrust by many in Israel. There are many, many shluchim still doing fantastic work but they are being overshadowed by the "lunatic fringe" who are very loud but do not have much substance.

In Melbourne over the last couple of months we have seen a similar situation. A few individuals, not all of them Lubavitchers, have adopted the disengagement cause and handled it in a very disorganised and unprofessional way. The rally which came across as a children's party with balloons and loud music and dancing with a few tehillim thrown in for good measure. Now the fiasco of the "psak din" in which the original and translation did not match - there were even different versions of the translation posted in shuls and in the Jewish News. The organisers seem to have made this a Chabad cause. I know that there are many frum yidden in other communities in Melbourne who are also against the disengagement but it seems that they have either been ignored or not encouraged to express their opinions.

In general I do not like the hashkofa of the Australian Jewish News but the editorial this week makes a some good points. The last sentences read "The Lubavitcher Rebbe called on his emissaries to rekindle the Yiddishe spark in Jews dispersed in all corners of the globe. His rabbis should not be responsible for sparking a major division within the Jewish people either in Israel or Australia."

I know that many people will quote sichos of the Rebbe saying that we cannot give back land etc etc etc. Unfortunately we do not have the Rebbe to guide us in these dark days and have to use our seichel. Denigrating people who do not agree with us was never the Rebbe's way. We must act bedarkei noam ubedarkei sholom as true Lubavitcher chassidim.

Let us hope that the disenagaement and all this discussion is all made irrelevant with the coming of Moshiach now.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rally at the Kotel

There are some more great photos from this rally on COL here.

According to Reuters news service there were 50,000 people. COL said there were "half a million" and other sources said 350,000. Whatever the actual numbers the fact is that there was a huge crowd at the Kotel. Let us hope their their and our tefillos lead to an end to the "disengagement" and true peace for Eretz Yisroel and Am Yisroel.

True Peace Website

The True Peace website states that it is: Dedicated to educating the public regarding the current situation in Israel, based on Torah sources, with special emphasis on the opinion and teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I was sent this link to a poignant animation called "Ariel Dreams Tonight" on that website.

There are a number of interesting and informative articles on the website including selected translations of the Rebbe's sichos relating to Eretz Yisroel.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Call from Agudath Israel

(Click on the letter for a larger view)

This "Call" from Agudath Israel of America will appear as an advert in this week's Jewish News sponsored by Moshe Elkman - Chairman of Australian Friends of Gush Katif & Shomron.

Finally a reasoned plea for our brethren in Israel who are scheduled to be moved from their homes.

The text of the letter reads:

These are terribly trying times for Klal Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel. And it behooves us all, no matter our opinions on the wisdom of this imminent Israeli withdrawal from parts of our Holy Land, to pause and share in the pain and anguish of our Jewish brethren in Gaza.

Those residents are, overwhelmingly, idealistic, dedicated Jews. They are being forced by circumstances entirely beyond their control to give up their homes, their yeshivos, their shuls and their cemeteries, to be relocated abruptly to new surroundings. Whether or not the decision necessitating that relocation is politically or militarily correct, its effects are, unarguably, a deep personal tragedy for many thousands.

And so, during these days of Jewish mourning over the destruction of the Botei Mikdosh, it is only proper that we include in our hearts and in our tefillos, all those precious Jewish souls who are scheduled to be uprooted from the land to which they have been attached for many years. May Hakodosh Boruch Hu see fit to return his shechina to Tziyon ve'yolichenu komemius le'artzeinu.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shooting in Yerushalayim

I just received this email from Jake Livni in Israel. Jake used to live in Melbourne and just moved back to Israel earlier this year.
Please say tehillim for a refuah shleima for Tzur Pinchas ben Sarit.

There has been a nasty shooting near Jerusalem. It has not been reported in the press. A 10-year-old boy, connected indirectly to my family, was shot in the head yesterday by Arab attackers in a drive-by shooting near Jerusalem. He has suffered serious brain injuries. His name is Tzur Pinchas ben Sarit. Prayers for his full recovery would be appreciated.

This incident has not been reported in the international press, as far as I have seen. There were just a few reports in the Israeli press, saying that the boy is "stable". I got a phone call from a relative about this yesterday. It hardly got a mention in the news here. The Arab attackers shot the boy in a drive-by shooting, then set their car alight and escaped in another car, which was waiting for them.

Two things are noteworthy:
1) There are many, many incidents like this that get little or no media exposure at all. Even the Israeli press finds other things to report on. This goes on all the time.
2) When such incidents ARE reported, theyare mis- or under-reported. A "10 year old boy in stable condition" sounds like he's waiting for a visit from the hospital's resident clown to cheer him up; I am afraid that serious (and possibly permanent) brain injuries are really in a different category. And it's always like this.

Pray for Tzur Pinchas ben Sarit. And STOP GIVING GUNS TO THE KILLERS!!!!

Giving them territory won't increases anyone's security, either.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Kollel Menachem Shuir

The Kollel is being very active these days. I have posted the ad above for the public Siyum and Shiur each night this week. (click on the picture for an enlarged view)

The lectures tonight on the Beis Hamikdosh were very interesting and extremely well attended. Kol hakavod to the organisers.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Av Jokes


A young woman teacher explains to her class of children that she is an atheist. She asks her class if they are atheists too. Not really knowing what atheism is but wanting to be like their teacher, their hands explode into the air like fleshy fireworks.

There is, however, one exception. A girl named Sara has not gone along with the crowd. The teacher asks her why she has decided to be different.
"Because I am not an atheist."
"Then," asks the teacher, "what are you?"
"I am Jewish." The teacher is a little perturbed now, her face slightly red. She asks Sara why she is Jewish.
"Well, I was brought up knowing and loving God. My Mom is Jewish, and my dad is Jewish, so I am Jewish."
The teacher is now angry. "That is no reason," she says loudly. "What if your Mom was a moron, and your dad was a moron. What would you be then?"
A pause, and a smile. "Then," says Sara, "I would be an atheist."


Moishe, a Jewish actor, is so down and out he's ready to take any acting gig that he can find. Finally he gets a lead, a classified ad that says:
"Actor needed to play ape." "I could do that," says Moishe.

To his surprise, the employer turns out to be the local zoo. Owing to mismanagement, the zoo has spent so much money renovating the grounds and improving the habitat that they can no longer afford to import the ape they needed to replace their recently deceased one. So until they can, they'll put an actor in an ape suit.

Out of desperation, Moishe takes the offer. At first, his conscience keeps nagging him that he is being dishonest by fooling the zoo-goers. And Moishe feels undignified in the ape-suit, stared at by crowds who watch his every move. But after a few days on the job he begins to be amused by all the attention and starts to put on a show for the zoo-goers: hanging upside-down from the branches by his legs,
swinging about on the vines, climbing up the cage walls, and roaring with all his might whilst beating his chest. Soon, he's drawing a sizable crowd.

One day, when Moishe is swinging on the vines to show off to a group of school kids his hands slips and he goes flying over the fence into the neighboring cage, the lion's den.

Terrified Moishe backs up as far from the approaching lion as he can,covers his eyes with his paws and prays at the top of his lungs, "Shma Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad!"

The lion opens its powerful jaws and roars, "Baruch Shem K'vod Malchuto L'olam Va'ed!"

From a nearby cage, a panda yells, "Shut up, you shlemiels. You'll get us all fired!!!"



There are four ikar ta'amim why the yeshivishe oilam speaks davka Yeshivish.
The ershte ta'am is altz specificity. Lemushel, the sentence "He grahde went to the store" doesn't have the zelba mashma'us as "He actually went to the store." There is a lomdishe pshat, too, dehainu that be'etzem the yeshivishe velt would prefer to speak Yiddish like the amolike doiros, but vibalt not all of the haintige oilam knows Yiddish, as a shvache substitute they shtupped a few Yiddish words into English and shtelled it avek as a bazundere language.

For asach guys, however, the ta'am is more poshut. Rov Yeshivishe bochrim try to be shtikky, and to have your eigene language that the rest of the velt doesn't chap is a rietzige shtik. Ubber the emese ta'am is gantz anderesh. If the oilam had to speak a normahle English, they would be mechuyav to speak it ke'debui, with all the richtige dikduk. Mimeila, vibalt the oilam doesn't know English properly, they shaffed a naiyer language so they could speak uhn proper grammar and taina that it's a chelek of the new shprach.

Pesach Preparations

From COL (also on Chabadnik). This is not the most exciting news item but I like the photos...

Wheat harvesting for the use of Matzos has been underway in Ukraine in the past few weeks. Rabbi Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi of Kfar Chabad arrived especially to inspect the wheat and to supervise the harvest process from close.

Rabbi Ashkenazi was accompanied by Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky of Dniepropetrovsk

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Position Vacant

The following advert appeared in Shmais.

I have one question. In the last paragraph it says they are looking for a candidate who is "
able to identify with the ethos of Chabad". Does this mean that they will accept someone who is not Chabad??!!

Optimistically, this could be the opportunity for the implementation of many of the changes we would like to see - at least in Yeshivah College. While I would like to be positive I know that the appointee will have an uphill battle. I sincerely wish him hatzlocho rabbo.


11:03:PM Wednesday, Aug 03, 2005

The Yeshivah College
Melbourne, Australia
Entering a new phase

The Yeshivah Centre, located in Melbourne, Australia- the world's most liveable city, - is seeking to employ a Principal for the Yeshivah College Boys School. Under the auspices of Chabad, Lubavitch, the Yeshivah Centre is one of the largest Jewish organisations in Australia providing a holistic range of community services including Child Care Centres, Primary and Secondary Colleges, Kollel, Women's Seminary, Shuls, Mikvehs, Kashrut, Youth Programs, libraries, welfare and outreach programs.

The Yeshivah College caters to over 500 students from Kindergarten to Year 12, and offers excellence in Jewish and General education in addition to a Mesiftah Program. Supported by a dedicated and professional team of more than 150 staff, and well resourced core and co-curricula programs the Yeshivah College consistently ranks among the best academic Colleges in the State. Together with its sister school, Beth Rivkah Ladies College, Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah Colleges are the second largest Jewish Day School in Melbourne, servicing both the Chabad and wider Melbourne Jewish community.

Reporting to the Head Shliach, Rabbi Y.D. Groner and the College Executive, the Principal is a senior executive position within the Moisod. We are looking for applicants who possess an educationalist background are dynamic, enthusiastic and able to demonstrate an ability to inspire the organisation and those affiliated with it said Don Wolf, the Chairman of the Yeshivah Centre Executive. It is an exciting opportunity to lead an outstanding educational institution and work within a warm, well established Jewish community of over 50,000 Jewish people.

If you are suitably qualified and experienced, plus able to identify with the ethos of Chabad, you are encouraged to confidentially express your interest in this challenging and rewarding role by contacting Mr Don Wolf, Yeshivah Executive Chairman, VIA E-MAIL @ . A position description and information package will be forwarded upon request.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shema "Rally"

I have received a number of emails asking me to post this request for people worldwide to say Shema simultaneously in order to "beseech Hashem for divine assistance to nullify the disengagement". Let's hope that it helps!

The wording is a bit ambiguous but it appears that there will be two rallies - one on Wednesday night and another on Thursday evening for children.



(Sydney & Melbourne = 4:00am Thursday morning)




Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Former Melbournian in Manchester

In case you were wondering where Rabbi Mendel Cohen and family ended up here is an article from Chabadnik:

In keeping with the instruction of the Rebbe to organize Torah lessons in Laws of the Temple during the Three Weeks, Rabbi Mendel Cohen, a former Mashpia and Rabbi of the Chabad community in Melbourne, started giving over such lessons in Manchester, England in the Beis Menachem shul.

The first lesson took place Thursday with the participation of many of Anash.

Monday, August 01, 2005

What is this thing called Blog?

There has been a lot of activity on this blog especially over the last weekend. I feel that it is time to spell out what a blog is - and specifically what this blog is - for some of the people looking at this site who do not seem to understand it's purpose.

Blogs - short for Weblogs - have been in existance for about 8 years. They are primarily used by individuals as a type of on-line diary and to discuss current events and topics of interest to the owner of the blog. There are literally millions of blogs on the web and quite a number that deal with Jewish topics. For an interesting and comprehensive history and description of blogs see the entry in Wikipedia.

As I have said many times this blog is my personal web log and was setup to discuss topics of interest to me. It is not a community forum but is being used by individuals to discuss topics of importance and let off steam. I fully support this exchange of ideas especially about our community. I firmly believe that by talking to each other in a respectful way we can contribute to the betterment of our mosod and community.

Over the month that this blog has been in existence I have received over 13,000 hits and around 2,000 comments. As someone pointed out yesterday most blogs receive only a few comments on each topic. Some of the topics here have received well over 100 comments. Obviously that doesn't mean that each topic or comment is correct or "worthy" it just means that there is a lot of interest in what is discussed here.

There has been some critisism that all this negative discussion of Chabad is exposing our current weaknesses to the public and to other communities. It is true that noone likes to air their dirty linen in public but, as has been pointed out, the time has long passed for us to be so sensitive. The problems of our community are not unique just to us - many Chabad and other communities around the world have similar problems. We should not be burying our heads in the sand but looking for solutions to the problems of our mosod and children.

Some have also accused me and commentors of always dwelling on the negative and not acknowledging the good products of our schools and the good that our community achieves. I agree 100%. Before we start critisising we must remember the positive.

Chabad is a powerful force in Australia. Starting with the immigration after WW2 supported by the Feiglin family and comprising of our founding fathers the Althaus, Kluwgant, Gurewicz, Pliskin, Perlow and Serebryanski familes Chabad has grown in leaps and bounds. I do not need to repeat the history as it is recorded in other places.

When Rabbi Groner arrived he became not just the Chabad rabbi but a community rabbi which he still is today. He has gained the respect of all sections of the community - frum and non-frum. Along with the founding fathers he built the physical buildings that we see today when we drive along Hotham and Balaclava Roads as well as Yeshivah Gedolah. They also built up the mosod to where we have 100s of Lubavitch familes and a number of Chabad shuls in Melbourne.

A senior (non Chabad) Melbourne rabbi once said to Rabbi Groner - you have to understand that my shul is not Hotham St (meaning that his congregants were not committed Jews). Rabbi Groner replied - Hotham St was not always Hotham St - a lot of work went into building up the Yeshivah community.

While we acknowledge all this we must still look critically at the areas that can be improved. It is all very nice to congratulate ourselves on what has been achieved but, as we have been taught many times, unless one is constantly moving forward one is sliding back. There are a number of areas where our school and mosdos could be improved and we should all be working toward that goal.

Just because improvement is requested doesn't meant that people want to tear down the community and destroy it's institutions. On the contrary. People here want the best for Chabad, the mosdos and especially their children. Who wouldn't cry out when seeing some of our children forsaking our derech. It is even more amazing to me that there hasn't been more of an outcry and demand for action. Private discussion with the PTB doesn't appear to have achieved anything. More open discussion within our community is needed.

Hopefully this blog can contribute to the solution in at least some small way.