Thursday, December 31, 2015


My choice for book of the year isn't going to be controversial. The obvious winner is Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
This book is a great rebuttal to Jews who believe we hold a monopoly on suffering and show zero sympathy to black people who currently endure struggles that are categorically similar to the struggles we once endured in Europe. (No, I don't mean the Holocaust. Jewish European history didn't start in the 1930s)

Some of the similarities include the inability to get justice from the courts, and the way local civil authorities act as enemies rather than protectors. Also, while we tend to focus on the intellectual superstars we produced in Europe, shtelt Jews were very much an underclass, with all that entails. Hitler didn't have to work very hard to convince white Europeans that we were a sort of subhuman. The idea was already firmly rooted in the European consciousness. I don't think its much of a stretch to say that black - especially third and fourth generation American blacks - are likewise viewed by many as something of a inferior species.

Pick your copy up today....

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of 2015: The True Blue Suit

"True Blue" is the suit color all of us wore in 2015... even if it did make many of you look like smurfs. (The one on the left is just 108 bucks!)

What were your favorite books, movies, songs, shoes, shirts and suits of 2015?

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's all just a hat

On Twitter I saw  a Richard Dawkins acolyte announce that the hijab and the confederate flag are more or less the same, in that both symbolize oppression and subjugation. I objected on the grounds that lots of woman choose to wear hijabs (or wigs and snoods if they are Jewish) while no blacks choose to display the stars and bars. This tells us that woman don't see their religious head covering in the same way that blacks see the confederate flag. (As a result of this remark, I suddenly found myself with loads of new Muslim Twitter followers.)
It comes down to this: All meaning is personal and subjective. Demanding that a woman see her head covering in the way that you happen to see it, is almost as offensive as demanding that she wear one in the first place. Lots of women find significance in their head coverings, and choose to wear them as a result, and you don't get to define its meaning on their behalf.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Why Xmas makes no sense

Viscerally(coming from emotions and not from logic or reason), here's what I don't get about Christmas: If you're doing melacha it's not a holiday.

All the Gentiles are driving and cooking and the rest.

What kind of Yom Tov is that?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Aidel Miller, the fake healer, is back

Scam alert! And if you believe on any level that this woman has the magical ability to cure your fertility problems or remove the "evil eye" I insist that you go and read some James Randi. 

I strongly assert that this woman is nothing but a cheap bunko artist wearing Jewish robes and shame on every Rabbi and every homeowner who facilitates her swindle by hosting her or crediting her.

 By the way, you people who shrug your shoulders and say "who knows, couldn't hurt" are also accomplices in the con.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monsey Yeshivas are Ignoring the Fire Codes

What the hell is wrong with these idiots?  I saw this on Twitter a moment ago and its outrageous.

In brief, the overwhelming majority of Rockland County yeshivot are being accused of ignoring the fire codes.

What's not explained is why the fire department isn't doing its job and shutting down the schools that are in violation?

As outrageous as it is that Hasidim are flagrantly breaking the law, the fact that the Fire Department isn't enforcing the law strikes me as a bigger problem.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Did Charedi Leadership Let the Cat Out of the Bag?


As reported on Kikar Shabbos, during the emergency meeting which took place this week concerning women obtaining degrees, Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Dean of Chevron yeshiva said the following: 

חבר מועצת גדולי התורה הגאון רבי דוד כהן ראש ישיבת חברון אמר בכינוס כי "כשהאשה לומדת במוסדות כאלו הבעל" נהיה איזה אפעס אברך כולל והיא נהיית ה'חשוב', היא נהיית המובילה. היא התוארים, היא האקדמיה. כל הצורה של הבית משתנה".

Member of the Council of Torah Sages the Gaon Rabbi David Cohen, Rosh Yeshiva of Chevron told the conference that "when woman study in these institutions [academic], their husband became just another kollel guy* and she becomes the 'prestigious one', she becomes the leader, she gets the titles, she is thescholar,, the whole image/makeup of the house changes". 
(*my contextual translation) 

Was it ever really in the bag?

Fred MacDowell pointed out on FB: "That implies that the secular dudes who go to college are the "chashuv" ones more than the kollel guys" ....... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It is also interesting to note how far off the radar Israeli Charedi leadership is from American Charedim. Here there is a debate now about women studying rabbinic beyond any academic pursuits, In Israel the fight is about women studying anything beyond culinary pursuits.

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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Charedei Miscellanei #4


Is it time the Charedi world, and others for that matter, consider the unfortunate impacts of old age on people's minds, even of a once brilliant and popular leader?

Below is a very recent conversation between Rabbi Aron YL Shteinman and an 'avrech'. Rough translation below. 

A kolel guy asked him why his wife cant get a degree since they need income, the rabbi asked why do you need income, the fellow responded to be able to live comfortably (to get by) – the rabbi responds: I have a better idea how to live comfortably: steal....the guy asks are women studying academics really worse than stealing? So the rabbi responds it is worse, since with stealing you can repent and return the money, a woman getting a degree is not something she can repent from 

UPDATE: goes without saying this line of argument was obviously tongue in cheek 

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