Sunday, 31 May 2015



The following is an extract from a recent pamphlet distributed by Kupat HaĆ­r, a charity endorsed by many contemporary Gedolim: "..when you give a poor man money - you feel great, but....With Kupat Ha'ir you get to be part of feeding tens of thousands of poor people, each a evyon mehudar...We're not talking about people who need a bit of assistance...we are referring to twenty-five thousand people who truly lack bread to eat." 
What amazes me is that notwithstanding what is being described here as a humanitarian disaster and tragedy by any standards, if you were to offer these 25 000 people the possibility to work - how many of them would accept your offer? Any way, their leaders forbid secular studies which to a large extent precludes the possibility of ever being able to earn a living. Is it really such a mitzvah to help people who refuse an opportunity to better their lives and instead opt for charity in the first instance?
And the crowning insult to humanity is calling these poor people 'mehudarim' (glorified).

Counter this attitude with someone like Rabbi Soloveitchik who rejects views held by religious thinkers who see no religious significance in participation in secular society. He was fascinated by space exploration, established Yeshiva University and encouraged religious people to get degrees and professions. He said; "I hardly believe that any responsible man of faith, who is interested in the destiny of his community and wants to see it thriving and vibrant, would recommend the philosophy of contemptus saeculi (contempt for the secular)."

Rabbi Soloveitchik tells us that the concern should rather be for secular man, not secular knowledge.
He also warns us not to confuse religious faith for religious culture.


It now seems as if modern day Belzer Chassidim have inadvertently aligned themselves with Saudi Arabian ideology, which imposes a driving ban on women. The fifth and present Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, has thrown his weight behind a directive to expel school children in London’s Stamford Hill, if their mothers drive them to school. This is because in his view, women should not be allowed to drive, as this transgresses the Torah laws of Tzniut (modesty). The Belzer dynasty is no small insignificant sect. They number among the larger and more powerful of international Chassidic movements, with strong communities in the West, including Great Britain, Canada and America.[1]

In 2013, Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak, a leading Sefardi Hareidi, cited HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner (considered by many to have been the Posek HaDor or leading Halachik authority of the generation), who also said that it was forbidden for women to drive. This, said Rabbi Yitzchak was forbidden by Rabbi Wosner, “Betachlit HaIssur” (as an absolute and serious prohibition). He further said that “this is halacha because it is not tzniut for a woman to be a driver”.[2]

This is yet another example of the reform and radicalization of Judaism slowly moving across the globe, and an utter misrepresentation of genuine Halacha.


Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, the Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, said; “If there is a student with an iPhone, then he needs to be kicked out of the yeshiva...” He went on to say that he had in fact told a student who had such a device, to bring a bowl of water to class and “...I put it inside, it bubbled and was gone.”  He further claimed that he did not have to pay damages to the student who, he suggested, could go to the Beth Din if he had a problem with the decision.

This, however is not a new innovation of the Chief Rabbi. Even the illustrious scholar Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky said; “It is forbidden to be in possession (of an iPhone) and one must burn it.”
Rabbi Kanievsky was asked by a businessman if he could use such a phone for his urgent business, and he replied; “It is forbidden to own one, and one is obligated to burn it. It cannot be sold to a non-Jew under the prohibition of selling weapons to a gentile.” [3]

[1] See THE TIMES OF ISREAL May 29 2015
[2] See Nov 13 2013
[3] See Times of Israel Feb 1 2015