Friday, September 30, 2005

Erev Shabbos Funnies


It was mealtime during a flight on El-Al.
"Would you like dinner?" the flight attendant asked Moishe, seated in front.
"What are my choices?" Moishe asked
"Yes or no," she replied.


An elderly Jewish man is knocked down by a car and brought to the local hospital. The nurse tucks him into bed and says, "Mr. Epstein, are you comfortable?"
Epstein replies, "I make a nice living...."


Saul Cohen was taking an oral exam, applying for his citizenship papers. He was asked to spell "cultivate", and he spelled it correctly. He was then asked to use the word in a sentence, and with a big smile, responded: "Last vinter on a very cold day, I vas vaiting for a bus, but it vas too cultivate, so I took the subvay home".


Is a pun really the lowest form of wit?
  • A backward poet writes inverse.
  • A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
  • Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
  • Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
  • Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  • When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
  • A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
  • A will is a dead giveaway.
  • Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like an apple.
  • In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
  • A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
  • With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  • When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
  • The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
  • You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
  • Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
  • He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
  • The calendar's days are numbered.
  • A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.
  • A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
  • He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
  • A plateau is a high form of flattery.
  • Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.
  • Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
  • Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
  • Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Rosh Hashana Info on the Web

With Rosh Hashana quickly approaching I found a number of sites on the web with lots of information about the Yomim Tovim of Tishrei. There are articles, shiurim and video suitable for adults and children. Some of the better sites are:

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Melbourne Rabbi in Europe

Rabbi Yossi Waks, formerly of Melbourne, is the Executive Director of the European Centre for Jewish Students based in Brussels, Belgium. He recently hosted a Shabbaton for students which was attended by Israel's Chief Rabbi Yonah Metzger pictured with Rabbi Waks above. Another Melbourne Rabbi doing meaningful work.

This article with photos appeared in COL here. The English report says:

150 Students from all parts of Belgium took part in a special Shabbaton with the chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yonah Metzger, at the start of the new semester, just opened in Universities. The students participated in Shabbos prayers and meals and listened attentively to the Rabbis lectures on Torah and Erets Yisroel. A special workshop for questions and answers clarified many questions on Jewish laws and customs, especially those concerning the upcoming high holidays.

The Shabbaton was arranged in Brussels by the European Center of Jewish Students, headed by Rabbi Yossi Waks and in coordination with the Union of Jewish Students in Belgium. "The fact that you reside in Belgium, the capital of Europe, places an obligation upon you to be a living example to thousands of European Jewish students in your Jewish identity, in battling antisemitism and in support of Israel", stressed Rabbi Waks in his address.

The chief shliach to Italy, Rabbi Gershon Mendel Garelik and his wife and Rabbi Meir Stambler, shliach to Warsaw, participated in the Shabbaton.

Friday, September 23, 2005

For Your Amusement

Seen at my local petrol station

If you do not like blonde jokes please substitute your favourite group....

There's this blonde out for a walk. She comes to a river and sees another blonde on the opposite bank. "Yoo-hoo" she shouts, "how can I get to the other side?"
The second blonde looks up the river then down the river then shouts back: "You are on the other side."


A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bull horn and yelled, "PULL OVER!"
"NO," the blonde yelled back, "IT' A SCARF!

A Russian, an American, and a Blonde were talking one day.
The Russian said, "We were the first in space!"
The American said, "We were the first on the moon!"
The Blonde said, "So what, we're going to be the first on the sun!"
The Russian and the American looked at each other and shook their heads.
"You can't land on the sun, you idiot! You'll burn up!" said the Russian.
To which the Blonde replied, "We're not stupid, you know! We're going at night!"


A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night. It was her turn. She rolled the dice and landed on "Science & Nature."
Her question was: If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?
She thought for a time and then asked, "Is it on or off?"


The blonde reported for her university final examination that consist of "yes/no" type questions. She takes her seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration takes her purse out, removes a coin and starts tossing the coin and marking the answer sheet "Yes" for Heads and "No" for Tails.
Within half an hour she is all done, whereas the rest of the class is sweating it out. During the last few minutes, she is seen desperately throwing her coin, muttering and sweating. The moderator, alarmed, approaches her and asks what is going on.
"I finished the exam in half an hour, but now I'm rechecking my answers."


There was a blonde woman who was having financial troubles so she decided to kidnap a child and demand a ransom. She went to a local park, grabbed a little boy, took him behind a tree and wrote this note.
"I have kidnapped your child. Leave $10,000 in a plain brown bag behind the big oak tree in the park tomorrow at 7 A.M. Signed, The Blonde"
She pinned the note inside the little boy's jacket and told him to go straight home.
The next morning she returned to the park to find the $10,000 in a brown bag, behind the big oak tree, just as she had instructed.
Inside the bag was the following note..."Here is your money. I cannot believe that one blonde would do this to another!"


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Another Aussie Making a Difference

An article appeared on the Lubavitch News Service about another Melbourne Rabbi who is making a difference in his community. Rabbi Yossi Glick is the head of Tzivos Hashem in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. In this capacity he runs the Benenson Home for needy Jewish children. These children, age 6-14, are orphans or from families unable to care for them for reasons of parental alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness and other health problems, or simply severe poverty. Tzivos Hashem also runs a medical centre in that city.

While still a bochur Yossi Glick was a shaliach there for a few years. He moved to Dnepropetrovsk with his wife in 1998 to direct Tzivos Hashem and, from all accounts, has been very successful.

Dnepropetrovsk, formerly known as Yakaterinoslav, was where the Rebbe spent most of his youth after his father, Reb Levi Yitzchok, was appointed rabbi in 1907.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal obm

Simon Wiesenthal at the Kotel

I have just seen the news that Simon Wiesenthal, a man who dedicated his life to seeing Nazi murderers brought to justice, has passed away at the age of 96.

From the press release of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre:
"Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the International Human Rights NGO named in Mr. Wiesenthal’s honor, adding, "When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He did not forget. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the history’s greatest crime to justice. "

I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles a few years ago and, like all the projects of the Wiesenthal Centre, was extremely informative and presented in a truly professional way. This museum is not just a holocaust museum but aims to educate its visitors in the meaning and consequences of racism.

You can read a short biography of Wiesenthal here.

News stories from YNet and Haaretz are also worth reading.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Fundamentalist Judaism and Islam

Rabbi: The Pinch of Snuff by Marc Chagall

I was alerted to an article in the Asia Times Online entitled Fundamental Flaws by a Rabbi Moshe Reiss. This is a strangely disturbing article comparing the "fundamentalist" philosophies of Judaism and Islam.

Reiss says:
Three themes that Judaic and Islamic fundamentalists share are: (1) the belief in the absolute supremacy of religious law; (2) the contention that secular regimes, though they may pay lip service to religious law, have rejected this law and rely instead on outside, and particularly Western, influences to guide the state; and (3) the insistence that the only way to restore the people to their rightful status is to wrest control and implement a "return" to the divinely inspired code.
He goes on to talk about these three similarities in more detail. At the end of the article he points out the differences between us - well those of us who are "fundamentalists" - and Islam but I still find his opinions a little strange and somewhat inaccurate.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Discontent in Other Communities

This post on Frummer? has caused some comment in the world of Jewish blogs. While there is little comparison to events here in Melbourne there are some issues that resonate. I don't know the London community but this story appears to refer to a school which is not Chabad.

It just goes to show that there are a lot of problems out there and even such "special" places as Stamford Hill, Boro Park, Monsey etc are not perfect.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Shabbos Humour again


At the Russian War Academy, a general is a guest lecturer and tells the class of officers that the session will focus on potential problems and the resulting strategies. One of the officers in the class begins by asking the first question, "Will we have to fight in a World War Three?"

"Yes, comrades, it looks like you will," answers the general.

"And who will be our enemy, Comrade General?" another officer asks.

"The likelihood is that it will be China."

The class is surprised, and finally one officer asks, "But Comrade General, we are 150 million people and they are about 1.5 billion. How can we possibly win?"

"Well," replies the general, "Think about it. In modern war, it is not the quantity, but the quality that is the key. For example, in the Middle East, 5 million Jews have been fighting against 50 million Arabs, and the Jews have been the winners every time."

"But sir," asks the panicky officer, "Do we have enough Jews"?


A very devout nun dies and goes to heaven. Upon arrival, she is greeted by Saint Peter with ceremony and honor, and told she may immediately have any wish she chooses while her place is being prepared for her. She humbly and politely replies that she would like an audience with the Holy Mother Mary, if this were possible.

Peter agrees on the spot and escorts her personally to a little door, hitherto unnoticed in the great vault of the firmament. He knocks softly. There's a murmured reply from within. He opens the door and indicates to his guest to enter.

Within, sitting in a plain chair, is a middle-aged woman in the garb of the first century, engrossed in her knitting. The nun sits reverently for some time at Mary's feet and finally gestures so as to ask a question. Mary looks up from her knitting and indicates it's OK to ask questions.

"Reverend Mother, please tell me, you were chosen from all women to be the Mother of God, you -- a simple woman, I know -- but if you could, please, just give me an inkling of what it felt like when IT happened, when the Lord Jesus was born?"

With a distant look in her eyes and a wrenching sigh, Mary replied, "Vell, ...Ich hob takkeh gevolt a maydel."

(For the Yiddishly-impaired: "Well, I was really hoping for a girl.")


More rules on life from Jewish mothers:

  • What business is a yenta in? Yours.
  • No meal is complete without leftovers.
  • Tsuris is a Yiddish word that means your child is marrying someone who isn't Jewish.
  • A schmata is a dress that your husband's ex is wearing.
  • Prune danish is definitely an acquired taste.
  • One mitzvah can change the world; two will just make you tired.
  • It's not who you know, it's who you know had a nose job.
  • If your name were Lipschitz, you'd change it too.
  • Anything worth saying is worth repeating a thousand times.
  • Where there's smoke, there may be smoked salmon.
  • Never take a front row seat at a bris.
  • Next year in Jerusalem. The year after that, how about a nice cruise?
  • Never leave a restaurant empty handed.
  • Spring ahead, fall back, winter in Palm Beach.
  • WASPs leave and never say good bye; Jews say good bye and never leave.
  • 20% off is a bargain; 50% off is a mitzvah.
  • Israel is the land of milk and honey; Florida is the land of milk of magnesia.
  • The High Holidays have absolutely nothing to do with marijuana.
  • Always whisper the names of diseases.
  • If it tastes good, it's probably not kosher.
  • Without Jewish mothers, who would need therapy?
  • Before you read the menu, read the prices. If you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. But if you can afford it, make sure to tell everybody what you paid.
  • The only thing more important than a good education is a good parking spot at the mall.
  • Laugh now, but one day you'll be driving a Lexus and eating dinner at four in the afternoon in Florida.

Three spiritual leaders were asked - When you are in your casket, and friends, family, and congregants are mourning over you, what would you like to hear them say?"

Episcopal Priest: I would like to hear them say that I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man.

Catholic Priest: I would like to hear that I was a wonderful teacher and a servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives.

Rabbi: I would like to hear them say, 'Look, he's moving'.


One day, a genie was in a remarkably good mood, so he decided to go around the world, granting people their fondest wishes. First, he came to London, where he saw a very sad-looking Englishman. He said to the man, "I am a genie. Tell me what you want most, and I will grant it to you."
The Englishman said, "My cousin Nigel has the most beautiful mansion you ever saw, but I don't even have a house at all. It's not fair! I'm just as good as he is! Why should HE have such a beautiful house and not me? Well, I want you to give me a house even bigger than Nigel's." The genie snapped his fingers, and the house appeared magically. The Englishman was delighted.

Next, the genie went to Paris, where he saw a sad Frenchman. The genie asked the Frenchman what he wanted most. The Frenchman said, "My cousin Pierre has the most beautiful wife you ever saw, but I don't have a wife at all. It's not fair! Why should HE have a beautiful wife and not me? I want you to give me a wife even more beautiful than Pierre's."
The genie snapped his fingers, and a beautiful woman appeared.
The Frenchman was delighted.

Next, the genie went to Chicago, where he saw a sad-eyed American. The genie asked him what he wanted most in life. The American said, "My cousin Marty has the most beautiful sports car you ever saw, but I don't have a car at all. It's not fair! I'm just as good as he is! Why should HE have such a beautiful car and not me? I want you to give me a sports car even nicer than Marty's."
The genie snapped his fingers, and a deluxe Maserati appeared.
The American was delighted.

Finally, the genie went to the Middle East, where he saw a sad-looking Arab. He asked the Arab what he wanted most in life. The Arab answerd,"My cousin Abdul has the most beautiful flock of goats you ever saw, while I don't have any goats at all. It's not fair! I'm just as good as he is. Why should HE have such beautiful goats and not me?"
The genie smiled and said,"So, you want a beautiful flock of your own?"
The Arab snarled, "Of course not, you idiot! I want you to kill all of Abdul's goats!"


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Melbourne Rabbis Make a Difference

An article appeared in COL here reporting the Third Annual Dinner for the ALIYA Institute (Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults) in Crown Heights. This was a fund raising dinner for the Institute and was held in memory of Leima Levitin.

What makes this interesting to me is that the guys who got together to set this organisation up are young Australian rabbis. Rabbis Moshe Z. Feiglin, Yerachmiel Gorelik, Raphael Jaworowski and Yaacov Vorchheimer setup Chabad Inreach about three years ago in order to stem the tide of children who are drifting away from yiddishkeit. They have setup a Yeshivah, shul, counseling support and vocational programs for young people.

Their web site summarises their aim:

For decades we, Chabad-Lubavitch, have had phenomenal success in reaching out and helping others outside of our community. Now we must reach in and help ourselves, unzer kinder. It cannot be ignored any longer and thus, we invite and encourage you to take part in CHABAD INREACH - the Chabad House that reaches in.
From what I have heard and read they have achieved great success. I think it is a wonderful thing that they are doing and believe that it is because they are Australians brought up in Chabad families that they are able to achieve so much. While many are critical of the laid-back attitude here in Melbourne and the fact that our children have outside influences it is ironical that just these negative influences are what, I believe, makes this Chabad Inreach work so well. Being brought up here, these rabbis have more understanding and empathy towards kids that are a little off the derech. Aussies tend to be more laid back and non-judgmental towards other people whereas many of those brought up in more rigid societies (such as Crown Heights) seem to be less forgiving in their expectations of others.

It is a pity that a program like this has not been launched in Melbourne. Surely our children who do not "fit in" need somewhere to go where they can be in a frum but accepting atmosphere. I know that there are individuals - including the school and YG shluchim - who are doing their best to make Yiddishkeit and Chassidishkeit fun and meaningful for our youth but I think this community needs more.

A vocational program for frum youth who do not excel in the Yeshivah stream would also be a great idea although one needing lots of money and organisation. Something like this was discussed a few years ago but, lacking funding and direction, was just left at the planning stage and then forgotten.

There are a number of things stopping the formation of Chabad Inreach type of programs here in Melbourne. One of the main ones is that the community does not want to admit that there are children that are not 100% chassidish and frum in our families. Another is that, when it is acknowledged that there are kids like this, the blame is placed on the families of those children which means that the community feels they do not have to do anything about it.

When will our community grow up and realise that for all our sakes this community cannot continue on without major change. The Melbourne Chabad community has achieved a huge amount over the years and continues to achieve in some areas - but we have grown to a size where we must rethink where we are heading and what the emphasis should be. There are a many talented people in our community. If the PTB would make use of their talents imagine where we could be.

How many times have we heard at shiurim and farbrengen that if we are not constantly bettering ourselves on a personal level with regards to Torah and Mitzvos then we are going backwards. Surely the same applies to a community.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blogs and Loshon Hora

An interesting article - excerpted from the Jewish Ethicist - was printed in Mr Yankel Wajsbort's weekly Parsha sheet (email for a subscription). The complete article entitled Is the blogger responsible for defamatory posts? appears here.

While blogs can be a hotbed of loshon hora with regards to comments made about individuals the author, Rabbi Dr. Asher Meir, makes an interesting point:

However, we have to make a suitable exception in the case of public figures or aspects of a person's life which are intentionally opened to the public. When someone runs for public office, he surely expects, even wants, others to openly discuss his qualifications for office, whether positive or negative. Likewise, if someone makes a public speech or publishes something it is fair to assume that he is willing to have his ideas weighed in the "court of public opinion", with its self-appointed lawyers for defense and prosecution alike. Any serious scholar is grateful for the insights gleaned from critics.
I believe that organisations in the community must be open to scrutiny to a certain extent. As frum yidden much of our lives revolve around the Shul and school. While the majority of our community leaders are extremely dedicated and hard working they cannot be beyond criticism. What they do and the decisions they make effect all of us and we should certainly be entitled to comment on those decisions.

This leads many to criticise that this blog in particular encourages loshon hora - especially when institutions such as the Yeshivah Centre and the people running the institution are spoken about. (There have also been accusations that I have given support to one side of the Gush Katif debate over the other - these criticisms have come from both sides.)

From reading comments on this blog and other blogs on the internet it appears that many people cannot bear to have their pet project or institution or whatever spoken about in a negative way. These same people, more often than not, will disparage another person's opinion or another organisation in the most vicious and unfair manner. It is most frustrating that people are indignant that their opinion should be taken seriously by others and in the next sentence use rude and derogatory language about someone else's comments.

I think that in general it is a good thing that people are able to have their say here or in other blogs. Being a member of a close knit community sometimes makes it difficult to express an opinion that may not be popular with those in power. This blog in particular has given certain people a voice and allowed them to express their frustrations with the system. This, I believe, is a good thing.

What I am trying to communicate is that it is good to express your opinion and to let out your frustrations but do it in a way which does not denigrate others on a personal level.

Intelligent discussion of an issue is rewarding for the person who writes as well as to the readers.

Friday, September 09, 2005

More Funny Stuff

Q: What's Jewish Alszheimer's Disease?
A: It's when you forget everything but the guilt...


So the man is about to build a house for himself and his family. And he goes, of course, to his Rav for an etzah about how to do this properly. So his Rav hands him a particular Masekhta (Tractate), and tells him to learn a certain part of it thoroughly, and to follow all of its instructions in building his house. This the man does in a most mahkpid fashion. The house is just about finished when the man taps in the final nail to hold the final mezuzah in place -- and at that very moment, the whole edifice collapses!

The man is outraged and rushes back to his Rav, indignant. But his Rav upbraids him, telling him that the Talmud is not some sort of mechanical cookbook, but rather a deep analysis of his soul as well, and that he must now get a chevrusah and really learn the Masekhta, with full ruachaniyus, and only THEN try to follow the Talmud's instructions for building his house. So the man finds himself a chevrusa, and really learns the Masekhta.
Then he once again builds the house. He finishes it, taps in the final nail to hold the final mezuzah -- and then once again, the whole edifice collapses!

Beside himself with rage, the man rushes back to his Rav. "Rebbe!", the man screams out after having explained the disaster, "how could this all have happened? What is going on here?"
The Rav grabs the Masekhta from his talmid, opens up to a well-worn daf, reads intently, and then looks up at his talmid. "You know", the Rav says to the man, "Rashi asks the same question".


Mr. Shwatrz goes to meet his new son-in-law to be, Sol.
He says to Sol, "So nu, tell me Sol my boy what do you do?
"I study the Torah," he replies.
"But Sol, you are going to marry my daughter, how are going to feed and house her?"
"No problem," says Sol, "I study Torah and it says G-d will provide."
"But you will have children, how will you educate them?" asks Mr. Shwartz.
"No problem," says Sol, "I study Torah and it says G-d will provide."
Mr. Shwartz goes home and Mrs. Shwartz, his wife, anxiously asks what Sol is like.
"Well," says Mr. Shwartz, "he's a lovely boy, I only just met him and he already thinks I'm G-d."


A passenger jet was suffering through a severe thunderstorm.
As the passengers were being bounced around by the turbulence, a young woman turned to her neighbour, who happened to be a rabbi, and with a nervous laugh asked, "Rabbi, you're a man of God, can't you do something about this storm?"
To which he replied, "Lady, I'm in sales, not management..."


Quotes from Famous Jewish Mothers:

MONA LISA'S MOTHER: "After all that money your father and I spent on braces, that's the biggest smile you can give us?"

COLUMBUS' MOTHER: "I don't care what you've discovered, you still could have written!"

MICHELANGELO'S MOTHER: "Can't you paint on walls like other children? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get that stuff off the ceiling?"

NAPOLEON'S MOTHER: "All right, if you aren't hiding your report card inside your jacket, take your hand out of there and show me."

ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S MOTHER: "Again with the stovepipe hat? Can't you just wear a baseball cap like the other kids?"

MARY'S MOTHER: "I'm not upset that your lamb followed you to school, but I would like to know how he got a better grade than you."

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S MOTHER: "But it's your senior picture. Can't you do something about your hair? Styling gel, mousse, something...?"

JONAH'S MOTHER: "That's a nice story. Now tell me where you've really been for the last forty years."

THOMAS EDISON'S MOTHER: "Of course I'm proud that you invented the electric light bulb. Now turn it off and get to bed!"

PAUL REVERE'S MOTHER: "I don't care where you think you have to go, young man, midnight is past your curfew."


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rav Ovadia Yosef Does It Again

I have no wish to become a conduit for YNet News but they do have interesting articles relating to Israel. This latest one strikes me as really weird. Rav Ovadia Yosef - the former sefardi chief rabbi - has come out with another of his strange pronouncements. It seems that the hurricane Katrina is a result of Bush’s support for disengagement and also a failure of New Orleans’ black residents to study Torah. Read the article here.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has come out with many extreme statements over the years and this is one of the milder ones. Still, I find it extremely distasteful to say that G-d goes around punishing innocent people for the deeds of politicians. I believe that our Jewish leaders should stand up and declare that our religion is one of love and respect for mankind and not one of hate and cruelty.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Sharon: No more evacuations

According to YNet news:

There will be no more evacuations in the wake of the Gaza and northern West Bank disengagement plan, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told Likud municipal heads and deputy mayors during a rally at his official residence in Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem is Israel’s capital forever,” the prime minister added.

Hopefully this is not just a political promise... The full story on YNet can be read here.

In a related story the town of Ariel on the West Bank is planning on building 3000 new residential units - 300 each year for 10 years. According to the report: "Officials in Ariel say that if the plan materializes, the town’s population will grow from the current 18,000 to 30,000 within a few years. "

This is a controversial issue in Israel as the left parties (and the United States) are against any expansion of cities in the West Bank. During a visit to Ariel in late July PM Sharon said:

“I came to see how we can expand the town and reinforce the (Ariel) bloc, just as I do with other blocs. This (settlement) bloc will forever remain an inseparable part of the State of Israel and enjoy territorial contiguity with it.”

Education Minister Limor Livnat has also come out in support of the building up the towns and cities in the area. According to news reports:

Minister Livnat said that the "window of opportunity" provided by the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza must be taken advantage of for construction in the Samaria city of Ariel and in the areas surrounding Jerusalem.

Let us hope and pray that we have seen the last of "disengagements" and that the Israeli government can work out a true and lasting peace with the Palestinians. In reality the only way I can see that happening is with the coming of Moshiach - may it happen speedily!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

A First For Melbourne!

(Click on photo for a larger view)

I was very pleasantly surprised to see this flyer in shul on Friday night. For the first time that I know of Kollel Menachem, Beis Hatalmud and Kollel Mitzion will be holding a joint function.

A morning of shiurim titled "The Challenge of Shabbat in Modern Life" will be held on Sunday 7 Ellul (11 September) at Mizrachi Shul starting at 10:00am. Men and women are invited and all the shiurim will be in English. This is a really positive way to start Ellul and I hope that they get a good attendance.

The three kollelim may have different philosophies but all are dedicated to Torah learning. I am looking forward to attending these shiurim.

It is not surprising to me that this function has been sponsored by Valiant Enterprises. Reb Laibl New, Yitzchok New and Avremi Raskin are strong supporters of Melbourne organisations and this sort of combined communual function fits right in with their view of how our community should run. Kol hakavod and kein yirbu.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Siyum HaRambam in Teveria

From COL (see all the photos here):

The 23rd annual Siyum Harambam, currently held at the Tsiyon of the Rambam in Teveria, has been arranged by the Board for Daily Rambam of Tsach and Beis Chabad in Teveria. The celebration opened with the study of the last law in the book of Shoftim by Rabbi Mordechai Bistritsky of the Chabad community in Tsfat and the first law of the new learning cycle was taught by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Glucowsky - assistant secretary of the Supreme Chabad Beis Din in Israel.
Currently, the festive 'Seudas Mitzva' meal is being served at the halls of the 'Quiet Beach' hotel.

Shabbos Mevorchim Jokes

Thanks to Jake from Jerusalem for these:

  • When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car." --Author Unknown
  • Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children." --Author Unknown
  • "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base." --Dave Barry
  • "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" --Paula Poundstone
  • "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study: "Duh." --Conan O'Brien
  • "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm half way through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God.... I could be eating a slow learner." --Lynda Montgomery
  • "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'" --Richard Jeni
  • "If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." --Johnny Carson
  • "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography." --Paul Rodriguez
  • "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law." --Jerry Seinfeld
  • "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many. Monogamy is the same." --Oscar Wilde
  • "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of Congress... But I repeat myself." --Mark Twain
  • "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least they can find Afghanistan." --A. Whitney Brown
  • "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'" --Dave Barry

The Jewish Thief

"So you admit breaking into the dress shop four times?" asked the judge.
"Yes," answered the accused. "And what exactly did you steal?"
"A dress?"
"A dress?" echoed the judge. "But you admit breaking in FOUR times!"
"Yes your Honour", sighed the accused. "But THREE times my wife didn't like the colour."


His mother was now living in Miami Beach and the young man didn't see her that often. His father was no longer around and he was worried that Mom was lonely. For her birthday, he purchased a rare parrot, trained to speak seven languages. He had a courier deliver the bird to his dear mother. A few days later, he called.
"Ma, what do you think of the bird?"
"The bird was good, but a little tough. I should have cooked it longer."
"You ate the bird? Ma, the bird was very expensive. It spoke seven languages!"
"Oh, excuse me. But, if the bird was so smart, why didn't it say something when I put it in the oven?"


A Rabbi in the middle of his sermon walked to the side of the pupit, kneeled down, placed is head on the floor and said in a loud voice "Oh G-d, as I bend down before you I am nothing".

The Cantor then walked next to the Rabbi, kneeled down, placed his head on the floor and said in a loud voice, "Oh G-d, as I bend down before you I am nothing".

Sam Shwartz in the 4th row of the congregation was so moved he edged out int the aisle, kneeled down, placed his heaqd on the floor and said in a loud voice "Oh G-d, as I bend down before you I am nothing".

At this point the Cantor nudged the Rabbi and whispered, "Look who thinks he's nothing?"