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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where Are We?

Two posts back Evanston Jew asked me about what I cryptically referred to as "Reb Mayer Simcha's repetitive timeline of Jewish history" in Rabbi Shmuel Bloom's well received remarks.

I am writing this during travel, without access to a Meshech Chochma, and so I apologize if I approximate from memory, and please forgive me if I mess up. The alternative is perhaps a week's delay, which in the blogosphere is pretty much unforgivable.

Rabbi Blooms' thought:

In Parshas B'Chukosai R' Mayer Simcha says that Jewish history follows a repetitive pattern. Jews are driven out of a land, and forced into a new land. The first generation, without benefit of education due to their oppression, struggles to establish themselves materially and spiritually. The next generation, benefitting from the income and institutions of the first generation, blossoms in Torah and becomes more established in the host country. The next generation continues to become Talmidei Chachamim, and even more comfortable in the host country.

By the fourth generation, the youth realizes they will no longer be able to surmount the Torah level of the their predecessors, and they then seek other avenues of fulfillment - money, art, politics, entertainment. At this point, they begin to lose zechusim, and in another generation or two, Hashem causes them to be persecuted and driven out to a new land, starting the cycle anew.

Rabbi Bloom remarked that we have a mesora (from R. Chaim Volzhiner??) that America will be the final way station of Torah. Orthodox Judaism in America has been strong and growing since World War II. Per Rabbi Bloom we have to bear in mind that our choice will be whether we leave America under Moshiach heads held high and with song and dance, or whether our repetition of the old cycle means we are driven out with pogroms and persecution.

Leapa's reaction? Scary. Look at the situation of Jews in Europe today. Is that us tomorrow?

Thank you Rabbi Bloom.

I'll be posting about the convention, and my reaction to it, but the CD's are defective, slowing things up.


Monday, November 27, 2006

A Reaction

I have a relative which most would consider an extremist, even a kanai, when it comes to Daas Torah and following directives of Rebbes, even 'blindly'.
He was also a victim of abuse in yeshiva and/or camp many, many years ago, and was aware back then of some of the names which have since become infamous on the blogosphere.

I repeated to him in an approving tone the comments of Rav Solomon about 'sweeping under the carpet the firm actions we have taken against abusers' (see below) and I thought that I ruined his Shabbos.

He told me, "Leapa - no one gets kovod or satisfaction from exposing themselves as an abuse victim. If someone claims it's true - it's true.
When we tried to ring the alarms there was no one there".

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blogosium Update

Well, after the Bar Mitzva I went to a hook-up site and saw the last twenty to thirty minutes of Rav Solomon's speech at the Agudah Convention. The tenor was measured and sombre.

He made one point which leaves me wondering, as I'm sure it will you. It has nothing to do with the internet. It was a mushul from Rav Shmuel Greineman, z'l, who compared a tiny bit of secular knowledge in a Talmid Chacham to a tiny bit of poison in a glass of milk. (!)

(I guess this shows Rav Solomon's been keeping up with the news - see below.)

Rav Solomon nicely addressed the issue of blogs 'outing' purported child abusers in our community. He made a neat rhetorical spin on the charge that these charges are 'swept under the carpet'.
He said (paraphrased) "Yes, we do sweep these things under the carpet! We sweep under the carpet the many cases we take firm action on to protect the families of these (abusers) as we get them out of chinuch. And we cannot be faulted if a few cases slip through our fingers!"

Afterwards he made a plea to show respect for Talmidei Chachamim when we get together with our families, which I believe all can agree with. This point was echoed by the Novominsker Rebbe Motzai Shabbos when he stated (again paraphrased) "we cannot shake hands with a Talmid Chacham at a public gathering, and then go home and smear him".

Continuing with Motzai Shabbos, Rav Shmuel Bloom made an unexpectedly brilliant and heartfelt speech, placing Aguda and our generation on Reb Mayer Simcha's repetitive timeline of Jewish history. He concluded (parapahrased) "We know that America will be the last stop of Torah. But we want to leave America with singing and dancing, not pogroms, persecution and fear". This was linked in to the machlokess theme later developed masterfully by Rav Yissachar Frand.

I will return to this subject for a follow up to Rav Solomon's spirited defense of the action taken against abusers, and again as I review the recordings of the blogosium.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Political Assassination Returns

Alexander Litvinenko, who appears to have been a very brave human being, is dead. This confirms a Russian pattern of assassination which started in its current iteration with courageous journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Meantime, five anti Syrian members of the Lebanese cabinet have been assassinated thus far.

If you are looking for a growth industry for the younger generation, assassination appears to have potential.

Remember to give Leapa his cut for the idea.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

AAARGH!

A friend, a melamed, just invited me to a Bar Mitzva seuda at then exact same time as the blogosium. He says I'll only be one of 5 or 6 non family there (so no cheating on attendance).

I always knew popularity has its price.
Or maybe the fix is in?

I'll see if I can at least nosh around the beginning and/or ending edges of the blogosium, since it's being simulcast at 9th Ave Aguda @ 7:45pm.

For some reason it's not being webcast (???).

Anyone with a wifi laptop want to live blog it?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Something Positive

Now that we're just a few days ahead of the Agudah 'blogosium', perhaps there's someone out there who thinks "that Leapa - all he does is criticize! If he doesn't want Rabbi Wachsman & Co to ban blogs, let him think of a positive solution . . . "

OK. These ideas won't be popular among my fellow bloggers - but they sure are a good litmus test for our community's willingness to move forward and encounter the future in some way, shape or form.

Solution #
  1. A vaad of bloggers, perhaps with Rov at their head, to approve halachically and hashkafically kosher blogs with a seal (yeah, fellow bloggers, I said you wouldn't like this, and you may like the next ones even less - but let's show we are reasonable and committed to yiddishkeit).
  2. A kosher, supervised version of Blogger.
  3. A signed undertaking by all agreeing bloggers to meet certain requirements, and edit their comments meeting a certain standard.
  4. An index of 'kosher' blogs.
  5. Agreeing blogs will give a Rov their password for editing, again with a seal. (Yes, having personal experience with mindless editing in 'kosher' print in the past, this is a particularly rough one for me).
  6. For Hamodia, JO, or Yated to start or sponsor a blog or group of blogs.
Readers, if you have any more ideas, please be my guest and I'll put them in.

The gauntlet is down.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Quote of the Day

"....the problem is, Orthodoxy doesn't learn from its mistakes. Judaism of the Napoleanic era suffered such losses of observant Jews because the derech of the time was self-directed and not geared to address the "grievances" of those who strayed. At a time when the attraction to stray is so strong, a relevant position must be presented to counter the argument.

Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch demonstrated this concept, very successfully. In fact, the Agudah is principled, or at least was, on the worldview of RSRH.

The mistake Orthodoxy is making, once again, is to assume that doing nothing is doing something. . . .

When someone taps Orthodoxy on its shoulder and says, "Hi, I'm Joe Blog and I think your tires are a bit low," the Orthodox mainstream goes [ballistic] and refuses to acknowledge that anything is wrong. "It's the bloggers' fault!"

To cover their tracks, they're dedicating an entire forum to bash Jeremiah! "

From a blogger who shall remain anonymous - edited and not necessarily expressed in the respectful manner the management here prefers, but nevertheless making a point to be considered.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bar Mitzvah Speech

Soon I will be making a Bar Mitzva, IY"H. And of course, there has to be a speech. Here's a speech I would like to be made in the presence of my bochur and his friends, preferably by the menahel.

Dear Feivish ben Leapa,

This is a day and an occasion which you will undoubtedly remember for the rest of your life. We have spent nine years educating you, but please realize that watching your father and mother is a big part of your education, and by far the largest part of your education is the course you will set for yourself through your thoughts and your interests, and the thoughts and interests you are disciplined enough to block out.

Hashem went to a lot of trouble to create a big, complex, and breathtakingly beautiful world. He certainly did not intend for the beauty and unexplored order of his universe to be ignored. He did not mean for us to create a tiny corner within his big world, and then shut out so much that He Himself has no space there.

At the same time, He created nisyonos, and we need to work all through our years on strenghtening the discipline to withstand these nisyonos. Yes, these nisyonos include the 'street' that the mashgichim have warned you about. But, as the Sfas Emes says, knowledge is also Torah. The nisyonos in our generation do not include science, the mountains, and the oceans. There are and always have been talmidei chachamim who know science, and even news, and were more knowledgeable in Torah than those who were and are secular ignoramuses.

Just as you should look beneath the surface of the world around you, you should look beneath the appearances of those you meet. You already know that not every shtreimel covers a tzadik. Know as well that not every kipa sruga covers a shaigetz or an am haaretz. And remember that a frum appearance cannot ever correct a deficient pnimios.

A balanced human being needs recreation. If you don't develop healthy forms of recreation, your recreation will be spiritually and physically unhealthy. Gossip and shushk'd conversation about other people is unhealthy recreation. Mountain climbing, basketball, and chess are healthy. Rav S. R. Hirsch hiked through the Alps in his last years. When asked why he spent time doing this, he answered "Soon I will be called upstairs. For most of what I did throughout my life I can answer that I did the best I could. But what if the Eibishter asks me 'Shamshon - did you see my Alps? I have to be able to answer that question as well!"

Sooner than you think you will make a choice between learning long term and going out and working. No matter what anyone tells you, an honest dollar is a kovod, even compared to a dishonest dollar that keeps someone learning. We will never in this world know why work has to take up so much of our lives. But we do know that the Torah respects an honest garbage collector more than a dishonest Rov. This misunderstanding of the Torah's values is itself an example of the mistakes people make from lack of learning. Of course, we hope that you can learn for many years, and we would be gratified if you become a Rav or Rosh Yeshiva, Feivish. But remember as well, that the Chofetz Chaim was not a Rov for most of his life, and never intended to be, and even Rav Moshe Feinstein was prepared to take a job if necessary upon his arrival in America.

Feivish, we hope that you will carry these words with you, and no matter where life carries you, we hope to meet you in the future as a 'Shomer Pirkei Avos' and a knowledgeable Jew as well as a knowledgeable and menschlich human being being mekadesh sheim shomayim.

I also bless you with being able to teach us a thing or two when we meet you in years to come.

Thank you all for your time.



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Kiddush Hashem Department

Here's what the locals think of KJ's voting:


I'm so very proud.


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kiryas joel

Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal has just converted its influential Market Beat column to blog format. (Subscription may be necessary.)

Blogs are just for what ???

Tammany Hall - Monrovia Branch

According to some pundits the unified vote from Kiryas Joel, that idealistic enclave of Yiras Shomayim in Rockland County, gave the election to John Hall (D) over current Congresswomen Sue Kelly (R) in last week's election.

So how will Congressman Hall advance the agenda of this Torah community? Here's a sample:

"American women need better access to health care, contraception, and reproductive education. I will fight to secure those and to protect and defend a woman's right to choose . . . access to contraception, legal abortion and sex education "



Is it possible Mr. Hall, former backup musician for the late free-and-easy rock singer Janis Joplin, understands better than fur hat bedecked Cyrk what anshei shlomeini really need?


I guess the KJ schools curriculum is in for a shake up, as their representative proceeds to make America more secure through strengthening our moral fibre, simultaenously amassing zechusim for our host country.

Quote of the Day

"I've told my Democratic partners it's time for them to buy some suits.
I went out and bought two new fishing rods and looked into yoga classes."

-Republican Lobbyist

Nature of Danger

According to an AP article, about 1% of the websites indexed by Google and Microsoft are explicit.
In a study of random Web sites by Philip B. Stark, a statistics professor at University of California, Berkeley, the conclusion was that "Filters are more than 90 percent effective."
Filters blocked 87 percent to 98 percent of the explicit results from the most popular searches on the Web, Stark found.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Frummer Makes A Point

Frummer, one of the most impressive examples of the positive effects of the internet, has made a point which I haven't (believe it or not) in my series on the blogosium.
Here.

Dear Rabbi Zwiebel

Dear Rabbi Zwiebel,

It is my understanding that you will be speaking on the subject of blogs at the upcoming Agudah convention.

I have high hopes for you in this endeavor.

Permit me to relate a fable:

I know of talmid of Mesivta Torah Vodaath of a bit more than 30 years ago who decided to go to law school, to the sorrow of his own Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Gedalia Schorr, zt'l, who felt this talmid was Rosh Yeshiva material. He went to college and continued to law school although Daas Torah then and now did not smile upon college in general, and for him specifically.

And after some time in the private sector, our mythical hero went to work for a national Jewish organization and dedicated himself to forwarding Daas Torah and providing many benefits for Klal Yisroel.

The moral - there can be several, but one I would submit is the klal of im lo neviim haim, b'nai neviim haim. This individual did something which seemed to contravene Daas Torah, but in the end forwarded Daas Torah.

Klal Yisroel has already spoken out on the internet, and appears to be in the process of speaking out on blogs. And the verdict seems to be to permit them.

Our job is to ensure klal yisroel's safety. Our challenge is how to do this.

Please review the letters to your co-speakers which precede this one, and help us light a candle in the darkness.

Sincerely,

A blogger and internet user who still wants to be a yiras shomayim, as do most of my fellows.




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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dear Rabbi Solomon

In the spirit of 'eish es ray'ayhu ya'azoru', here is a letter to Rav Matisyahu Solomon, Shlit"a, upcoming speaker on 'blogs' at this year's Agudah Convention. If anyone knows of an e-mail or other means to get this to him, or can give it to him, I will be grateful.

Dear Rabbi Solomon,

For over 23 years I have listened to your droshas with interest and with enjoyment. While I truthfully cannot remember in detail the content of your speeches at those early Agudah conventions more than 20 years ago (I'm sorry), the content of your Brooklyn speech about five years ago at the Asifas Hisorerus still affects the quality of my tefila today, and I have benefited from your thoughts and emotions on other occasions as well.

I understand you are speaking at a convention session dedicated to the subject of 'blogs' on Thursday night of the upcoming Aguda convention. If people are showing you isolated excerpts of blogs, I can appreciate your concern about this phenomenon.

As you know, anyone can put anything on a blog. Some of what is written, and some is false. Some is indeed osur.

However, over time, blogs are self editing, and faster and more efficiently than verbal or print media. This has been proven time again in the secular media, and irresponsible blogs have simply lost the bulk of their readership.

Prohibiting blogs without a sophisticated system of deciding what is mutar and what osur cannot succeed, because like the internet itself there is simply too much reason to go there. Professional information, neighborhood news, Torah and chizuk, all are to be found there. My difficulties in Daf Yomi are answered there, at a time of my convenience.

Min Hashomayim it was apparently decreed, just as Torah Sh'Baal Peh needed to be committed to writing at a certain point in history, printing (with all the loshon hora and motzai shem ra and pritzus which is printed) was decreed at a later point, and automobiles and other forms of transportation with their physical and spiritual dangers were even later decreed to appear on our historical scene, that our generation would have internet and its derivations.

Do you feel we can stop it?
Do you feel it is like television, a useless diversion?
Do you feel that all the yunger leit who feel forced to use the internet and its toldos, first for parnosa, and later for convenience, for chizuk (theshmuz, for example, a true lifesaver for many), and for Torah (see prior posts) have their emunas chachamim enhanced knowing that what they are doing is prohibited or strongly discouraged?
And do you feel that the yunger leit who muche for parnosa and faithfully refuse to sit down in front of a computer screen have their emunas chachamim enhanced as they become more and more embittered and helpless?

Rav Solomon, I know that you are far more sophisticated. And our approach to this very real danger must also be.

The time is not far off when blogs, or something similar, will replace newspapers!

As a 'fan' of yours, I am counting on you to help us all out with an enlightened and Jewish proposal. One which will cause us to sit up and say 'Who has such enlightened and caring leaders as your people, Yisroel!'.

Signed,

A Sincere Blogger and Internet User


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The Blogosphere

Before I post my next letter (to Rabbi Dovid Zwiebel), let's just review some recent statistics made apparent by Election Day and night on November 7.

The major blog search engine (Technorati) crashed, brought down by the thirst of citizens for fresh, accurate and local information.



Technorati is now tracking 57 million blogs, 100,000 new ones every day. 55% are fairly current. Every major media source now operates one or more blogs, most operate several. (Hamodia and Yated please take note.) More important, only 40% of total blogs are in English (Farsi has just cracked the top 10 languages, replacing Dutch).

So blogs are a good tool for those in repressive societies.

And more importantly, they are a big portion of news gathering today, the watchdog of both politicians and media, keeping both honest.

Precisely the goal of the Founding Fathers in enshrining a free press.

Is a free press good for the Jews?

Well, how good for the Jews are those countries which don't allow a free press?

(Incidentally, why do The Jewish Observer, Hamodia, and Yated have 'Letters to the Editor'? )

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Quandary

I was at a meeting last night a portion of which pertained to the march about to be held in Yerushalayim.

I had no opinion, or rather, I had two.

When I started to think (1) "I don't want to explain to my kids (or have explained to similar kids in Yerushalayim) who these people are, and what they do, and anyway, why dignify events we normally ignore?", then (2) the chazal quoted by Rashi in Parshas Noach "androlumusia bo leolom" (perversion brings destruction to the world which kills and does not distinguish between good and bad) kept coming to mind.

But then I went back (1) again. And then (2).

E-Mail From Agudah re Voting

Without Comment

At a meeting of the Vaad Hanholo of Agudath Israel last (Monday) night, two senior staff members working with youth programs noted separately that they are seeing and hearing from menahelim and mechanchim that younger teens and children are learning less today than their age peers of several years back. A Rosh Yeshiva was quoted as saying 'my younger children learn so much less than my older children did'.

Whereupon an older businessmen of German Jewish derivation exclaimed excitedly "it's because of the internet!"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Dear Rabbi Wachsman . . .

In the spirit of 'eish es ray'ayhu ya'azoru', here is a letter to Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, upcoming speaker on 'blogs' at this year's Agudah Convention. If anyone knows of an e-mail or other means to get this to him, or can give it to him, I will be grateful.

Dear Rabbi Wachsman,

Over the past several years I have heard your name more and more as a speaker at various asifos and events.

The only time I heard you speak, to my knowledge, was at the last Siyum Hashas. The Siyyum proved to be an important event for me. A haphazard Daf learner before, I strengthened my chevrusas (with siyata d'shmaya) and am reasonable current with the Daf now, with some effort.

Occasionally I have a shverkeit in Daf Yomi, and when I do, the blog dafnotes is available, and staffed by a talmid chacham eager to help, as well as the Israeli daf yomi kolel answering questions by e-mail, and the video shiurim and Q & A from Sochatchov, the OU, and YU.

Please forgive me, but while R' Yissocher Frand's speech at the siyyum was really my inspiration to strengthen my sedorim, I felt discomfited about your drasha. At the time, I felt the tone to be one of an outsider yelling at me, and I feel there is only one person who can occasionally do that (and you are not her).

In addition, I felt you were bashing yiden without offering constructive suggestions, and felt the same way when I read reports of your address to the Monsey Internet Asifa.

There is, undoubtedly, danger on the 'net, and in blogs. Perhaps Rabbonim/Mechanchim in your position see the worst, and don't realize what a small percentage of all internet users these horrific cases are. It would be worthwhile to do a survey, and have the facts.


Similarly, the history of blogs in the outside world illustrates that the truth comes out in the end. It is much easier to show a blogger the errors of his ways, then to answer the fellow in Bais Medrash who makes a base allegation about a Rov bein govro l'govro.

Respect for Gedolei Torah is not increased when one feels they have no connection with what we view as the 'real world'. Like the secular smears that have appeared on the internet, the supposed smears of Gedolim on blogs probably will be self correcting, and those bloggers will lose readership. Klal Yisroel survived rags like Panim Chadashos, and will survive these blog rags, too.

I, for one, am open to a tightly reasoned, practical suggestion which will improve my internet safety. But there is no emotional or 'scare' argument here.

Rov Wachsman, please do not assist the spread of the 'all-forbidding' forms of yiddishkeit. The mikva I happen to frequent is owned by one of these groups, and I do not observe that this approach contributes to respect for gedolim and/or Daas Torah. The reality is that all-forbidding works out in the end to all-permitting, because it is an untenable position.

Meantime, there is much useful about blogs in the business, news and yiddishkeit areas. We should develop ways and means to control ourselves, an area where you may be able to assist, and crowd out the bad with good.

Signed,

A Sincere Blogger and Internet User

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Proof Carry's Write


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Friday, November 03, 2006

Agudah Deals With Blogs

Announcement of Thursday night at the Agudath Israel of America Convention:

"In recent years, though," the Agudah leader (Rabbi C. D. Zwiebel ) observes, "due to a variety of factors, the authority of daas Torah has been significantly undermined, even within our own chareidi circles. Most troubling has been the proliferation of Internet 'blogs' where misguided individuals feel free to spread every bit of rechilus and loshon hora about rabbonim and roshei yeshiva, all with the intended effect of undermining any semblance of Torah authority in our community. It is most appropriate for an organization like Agudath Israel, whose very essence was built on the recognition of the authority of Torah leaders, to address this issue head on, and formulate concrete plans to reinvigorate public awareness of this essential element of the Torah way of life."


Could it be that blogs were empowered because we failed to formulate a sophisticated and technological approach to the internet and instead tried to scream down progress?

It would make more sense to have Gedolim on a blog than to 'raise our voices' (we have too much of that) in a useless and self deprecating protest. The status of Torah leadership has not been enhanced by the handling of this issue.

Addressing this issue 'head on' means technology and chinuch. 'Public awareness', however, will increase blog readership.

There is something of an inferiority complex in the implied belief that, paraphrasing the immortal words of Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld, Torah will not win in the open marketplace of ideas.

The approach of prohibition is generally used by those who are afraid their ideas will not survive the light of day.

Not the Orthodox Jews, which are constantly succeeding in the face of modernity.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quotes of the Day(s)

  • "Education -- if you make the most of it and you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well,If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." -John Kerry, (who incidentally served in the US Navy in Viet-Nam for four months)

  • (John Kerry after the above pronouncement attracts a firestorm of criticism for implying American fighting men don't 'make an effort to be smart'): "This is a textbook Republican campaign strategy: Try to change the topic"

  • (JK after demands for an apology to America's fighting men and women:) -"Let me make it crystal clear, as crystal clear as I know how: I apologize to no one for my criticism of the president and of his broken policy"
John, doesn't look you're much of a slouch at changing the topic yourself - from a needed apology to the troops fighting for your freedom, to an equally needed (but not for this particular quote) apology to President Bush.


Postscript: After posting the above, I came across the following press release pertaining to the above remark, which clarifies everything ( sorta reminds you of Scrappleface, huh?):

Statement of John Kerry Responding to Republican Distortions, Pathetic Tony Snow Diversions and Distractions

Washington--Senator John Kerry issued the following statement in response to White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, assorted right wing nut-jobs, and right wing talk show hosts desperately distorting Kerry's comments about President Bush to divert attention from their disastrous record:

"If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I'm sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I'm not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they're afraid to debate real men. And this time it won't work because we're going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq."


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Throwing My Bread Upon the Waters

My chevrusa challenged me to post the following question, which is not in sync with the calendar, but is apropos the current and next month's Daf Yomi.

1. Why is Rosh Hoshana on the first and second day of Tishrei, rather than on the 30th of Elul and the first of Tishrei?

2. Why is Rosh Hoshana 2 days in Israel?

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orthodox jews and the internet.