Monday, December 17, 2012

Wanna make a quick and easy $100?

Just promise the Satmar Rebbe of Williamsburg that you won't vote in the Israeli elections (and violate the greatest aveira there is) and he will give you $100. In fact, the offer is open to all Israeli citizens including the non-religious. All you need to do is deposit your id card and any other identifying documents that would let you vote with the Satmar office before the election (so you can't break your promise) and they will give you the money.

Of course there is one problem. The whole scheme is illegal under Israeli law but that has never stopped Satmar yet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How much does a Penthouse in Gan Eden cost?

According to this ad it is really cheap, only 1600 shekels. If this is not outright theft in the name of tzedaka, then I don't know what is.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Fool me one shame on you fool me twice shame on me - Why would anyone vote for Tzipi Livni?

All she has done is been a disaster. It is beyond me why anyone would vote for such a loser. The woman had her chance as foreign minister and then as the leader of Kadima and did nothing, in fact worse then nothing she did damage. She was the worst ever opposition leader and was destroyed in the Kadima primaries by Shaul Mofaz. Can someone explain what she has to offer?

The fact is that the polls give her party about 7 seats. Assuming that they are relatively on target, then what? She did nothing as opposition leader so what do people expect her to do as the leader of a small opposition party? It just makes no sense. She has to be reading the polls, what is she thinking? Is she completely deluded?

The politicians in Israel are absolutely shameless. The 7 who left Kadima are worthless losers, however, they are bringing a lot of money and in return they will get a Knesset seat for another years. The system here is broken beyond repair, all the jumping around, splitting has exposed the absolute bankruptcy of the current list based system.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Why did חז"ל make so many גזירות related to carrying on Shabbos?

Daf Yomi just started the 6th פרק of Shabbos which deals extensively with גזירות related to carrying on Shabbos. The Gemara has extensive discussions about what jewelry women can wear on Shabbos, what are animals allowed to go out with, etc. all גזירות  in fear of the person violating the איסור דאורייתא of carrying 4 אמות in a רשות הרבים. It is patently clear that in the the time of חז"ל that they felt that this was a very valid concern as we know that that חז"ל followed a number of rules when making גזירות, two of them being:

1. מילתא דלא שכיחא לא גזרו ביה רבנן - We don't make גזירות for far-fetched cases.
2. we don't make a גזירה לגזירה - We only make גזירות to protect people from violating an איסור דאורייתא, we don't make גזירות to protect people from violating an איסור דרבנן.

Based on the above חז"ל would only have made all of these גזירות  regarding carrying if there was a real concern that people would violate the איסור דאורייתא of carrying in a רשות הרבים. What this means is that there must have been MANY places deemed רשות הרבים in existence in Israel (and Bavel) otherwise they never would have made all of these גזירות as it would have been a מילתא דלא שכיחא and/or a גזירה לגזירה.

However, this is very very difficult. תוספות on 64b already makes the claim that we don't have a רשות הרבים דאורייתא nowadays because we don't have 600,000 people and our streets aren't wide enough. This opinion of Rashi and Tosafos has been accepted להלכה and is the basis of all city עירובין. But, if this is true, then how in the time of חז"ל did they ever have a רשות הרבים דאורייתא? Why would they make all of these גזירות if they didn't? It is not believable that in the time of חז"ל the population of the cities in Israel was larger then today. The only city today, in 2012, with a population over 600,000 is Jerusalem and only a fraction of that is in the old city (which is the only part of the city that existed 2000 years ago and in fact was smaller then it is today). Every other city in Israel today has a population less then 600,000 people. There is no way that in the times of חז"ל the cities were anywhere near as large given what we know of the population etc.

In short, how could it be that in the time of חז"ל two thousand years ago they were so worried about people violating an איסור דאורייתא of הוצאה when we can't find a רשות הרבים דאורייתא today? Brooklyn, with a population of 2.5 million people (larger by far then any city 2000 years ago) is the only place that I have heard of that there even is a discussion about. There are עירובין in every large city in Israel (based on the presumption that the city is not a רשות הרבים דאורייתא) and many large cities/communities in America.  How do we reconcile this with the many גזירות that חז"ל made regarding carrying on Shabbos (including canceling the miztva of Shofar when Rosh Hashana falls out on Shabbos)? How come חז"ל felt that a רשות הרבים דאורייתא existed and we don't?