Thursday, November 30, 2006

Malki's Song

I was looking at the (new improved) Keren Malki website and noticed Malki's Song. This song was written by Malki Roth a few months before she was murdered by a terrorist at Sbarros in Jerusalem five years ago. Read about the song and hear it sung here. I find the words quite inspirational especially noting that Malki was 15 at the time she wrote it.

The Malki Foundation was established as a living memorial to Malki Roth by her parents Arnold and Frimmet Roth. From the website:

Keren Malki’s work is channeled into two active programs: one focused on providing specialized equipment in the home, and the other on home-based therapies. In both tracks, the goal is to empower families who want to give their seriously disabled child the best possible care at home.
I have previously written about Keren Malki here and again suggest that you check out the Keren Malki site and consider supporting their wonderful work.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Farbrengs

A nice photo of Chaim Tzvi Groner leading a farbrengen in Yeshivah Toras Emes in Yerushalayim - pictured with some Aussie bochrim.

Thanks to COL.

The Menorah Wars Continue

Menorah by Iris Gill

In two posts of July this year (here and here) I drew attention to Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik's mission to have a menorah displayed pubicly in Fort Collins, Colorado. The story hasn't ended and, according to The Coloradoan, a new Inter Faith Dialogue Group will be asking the City Council to reconsider this request. Although Rabbi Gorelik doesn't appear too hopeful the newspaper seems to be supporting this cause.

Hatzlocho Rabbo!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sad But True

Another apt cartoon from Dry Bones. While bombs are still falling on Israel Olmert is bending over backward to appease the tragic.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Chassidishe Yidden

COL has posted these two great photos of Reb Chaim and Reb Arel Serebryanski in their "Picture of the Day" segment.

Dr Weiss on Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Portrait by Stephen Bennett

Although I am posting this a little late, I was impressed with the letter -publicised by Shmais - from Dr Ira Weiss, the Rebbe's cardiologist. According to Shmais this letter was written for the Rosh Chodesh Seudas Hoadaah held in Chicago. Dr Weiss, who lives in Chicago, was one of the specialists called in after the Rebbe had his heart attack on Shmini Atzeres in 5748 (1977). Over the years he was regularly seen in Crown Heights when he would come to see the Rebbe - and the Rebbetzin - for medical check-ups.

I have reproduced the letter below as I believe it gives an insight into the seriousness of the situation which the chassidim were not aware of at the time. Also, I have highlighted a section in which, to my mind, the Rebbe indicates an important way relate to our spouse.

Happy Rosh Chodesh Kislev!

Although the stories of our joy on being able to "release" the Rebbe from his "medical confinement" on Rosh Chodesh Kislev 29 years ago have often been retold, they still are able to freshly rekindle the spark and spirit of that miraculous moment. At the time this miracle occurred, we, the doctors, could not possibly have divulged the magnitude of the miracle. In doing so, we would have revealed to the public how very extensive was the Rebbe's heart attack and how many doctors on the team felt that the victim of such a heart attack could not realistically be expected to have much of a future, both in terms of longevity and functionality. In making such pronouncements at that time, as "realistic" as they seemed to many of us, we would have stymied the Rebbe's leadership and contact with his followers. Not one of his Chassidim would have thought to burden the Rebbe with personal problems or community matters if we had announced how limited was the Rebbe's cardiac reserve or how precarious was the stability of his heart rhythm. (Indeed, this was clearly demonstrated on his first post-recovery Farbrengen, Yud-Tes Kislev, when Dr. Larry Resnick and I watched in private horror as a hidden heart rhythm monitor demonstrated some very threatening cardiac arrhythmia's during each of the Sichos but not during the Ma'amar.) Fortunately, the doctors kept their "pronouncements" and "predictions" to themselves on Yud-Tes Kislev, and HaShem granted the Rebbe a most miraculous and unanticipated 15 years of Full-Throttle worldwide leadership, teaching, and inspiration - and with complete contact with all his following.

A under emphasized perspective of Rosh Chodesh Kislev is the perspective of Rebbetzin Schneerson, who joyously saw the "return home" of her dear husband. To the Rebbe and Rebbetzin, their limited but very precious moments together constituted the high point of their day. As the Rebbe explained to me, setting aside time for a daily tea with his wife was as important to him as setting aside time to observe the Mitzvah of T'fillin.

I hope you might be able to relate these comments to your students. In these words are lessons that pessimism, even "realisitic" pessimism, should not always hold sway. Also included is the idea that human relationships, especially the relationship of a husband and wife, should be on a level of elevation and holiness as high as that of any of the other Mitzvot.

A Lichtige Chodesh Kislev!

Ira Weiss

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Aussies at the Kinnus Banquet

Mottel Gutnick (R)

Mendel Lipskar (in middle of photo)

Chaim Tzvi Groner (R)

Benyomin Serebryanski (L)

Yerachmiel Gorelik

Yossi Waks (R)

Some Sydney Rabbis

Levi Wolf & Moshe Gutnick

Yosef Chaim Kantor - Guest Speaker

Mendel Raskin (R)

Pinchos Woolstone (R)

Shlomo Gestetner (L)

These are photos from Shmais and COL of Australians in New York for the Kinnus HaShluchim. These photos were taken at the Banquet where, reportedly, 3,000 shluchim and 500 of their supporters were in attendance.

Unfortunately the occassion was marred by the behaviour of a group of "youth" at the farbrengen downstairs in 770 after the banquet. This farbrengen has been held for a number of years and it seems that certain Tzfatim, who are known for their hate of the shluchim in general, threw bottles and seforim at those participating in the farbrengen. A report of the incident appears in Shturem.

I believe that Aguch has shown enough tolerance for these sick, destructive bochrim and their supporters. The time has come for them to be ejected from 770 and deported back to Israel. Yidden, and especially Chassidim, are not supposed to be violent people and, it seems to me, that judging by their behaviour the Jewishness of these bochrim is certainly in doubt.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Aussies at the Kinnus (3)

More photos from Shmais.

Shmuel Gurewicz, Mottel Gutnick and Moshe Gutnick (I think)

Shmuel Gurewicz and Mottel Gutnick

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Aussies at the Kinnus (2)

More Aussies spotted on COL and Shturem and Shmais.

Mendel Raskin and son

Meir Gutnick (and his famous Chumash)

Rabbi Mottel Gutnick

Yossi Serebryanski

Chaim Tzvi Groner resting his eyes on Motzoei Shabbos

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Aussies at the Kinnus

Some photos of Australians at the International Kinnus HaShluchim in Crown Heights, New York.

The photos are from COL here, here and at the Ohel, and Shmais. There are also photos on Shturem here.

Eli Wolf, Yossi Engel (Adelaide), A Kievman

Moshe Lowenthal (in middle of photo)

Mendel Shusterman

Mendel Kaminetzky

Shaul Engel

Yosef Chaim Kantor (R)

Shlomo Gestetner (in background on phone)

Arye Kaltman

Click on the photos for a larger view

Please let me know if I have missed anyone.

Monday, November 13, 2006

"Never Tolerate the Intolerant"

Yesterday Mr Alexander Downer, Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, opened the newly renovated Ohel Devorah shul on Meadow Street.

The Ohel Devorah publicity machine is working well and there are reports of the opening on COL, Shturem and While I was not so interested in the report of the event, I was impressed with Mr Downer's speech. It is heartening to read how Mr Downer feels about Israel and the Jewish people. We are truly lucky to be living in a country where we are treated so well and have to opportunity to practice our religion without fear of discrimination.

The text of Downer's speech appears on here.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some Yiddishe Humour

This video is from here and was filmed at a farbrengen at Oholei Torah in honour of R. Gerlitzky’s birthday. The badchan is R' Yankel Miller.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Interview with Father O'Leary

I love this comedy clip of an interview with "Father O'Leary". The best part is towards the end when he explains the significance of sufganiot (donuts) on Chanukah.

If someone knows where this clip is from I would be interested to know.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Our Own Worst Enemy

One of the news channels in Melbourne just aired an "exclusive" story about a Lebanese tradesman who has been threatened by a Jewish customer. The Jewish (Israeli?) man owns a convenience store in Frankston and employed the tradesman to do work in his shop. He now refuses to pay him stating that the tradesman stole computers from the store.

The news report played messages left by the Jewish store owner threatening the Lebanese tradesman and stating that he shouldn't &^$% with Jews. The shop owner also said that in a court case the Lebanese man would lose since all judges are Jewish.

Obviously the hot headed store owner didn't expect his phone messages to be used against him. It is very unfortunate (and stupid) to take a business dispute and create a racial incident. The Jewish/Israeli man explicitly mentioned that the tradesman is of Arab descent and his threats were based around that.

Hopefully this idiotic man's threats will be ignored by the press and this story will fade away to oblivion where it belongs.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Great Debate

This video is from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and is very funny -- and maybe even somewhat true.