Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bochurim Begin Borsalino Boycott?

Borsalino Tip: LifeInIsrael

Years ago, when the price of Shtreimels went sky-high, one of the Chassidishe Rebbe's told the manufacturer's that if the price doesn't stabilize, he will remove his own Shtreimel. Perhaps we can do the same for the Borsalino?

Will the boycott travel across the Atlantic?

A group of Chabad bochurim in New York are trying to garner support to join a boycott that originated in Israel over the rising prices of fedora hats.

Organizers are saying that prices of the Italian made Borsalino hats have risen by $50 in the last 5 years, bringing the price of the typical Yeshiva student's hat in Israel to $274.

Petitions going around in Yeshivas in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak are threatening to stop purchasing hats if the prices don't drop. According to Makor Rishon newspaper, some 10,000 people signed.

"Borsalino is telling us that it's a luxury item and the price doesn't have to be cheap, but they know the truth - that everyone still buys it, not only a select few," one organizer said.

"It's a common product and there is no reason the price should be so high," the person added. "A manufacturer raises prices to increase profits on a product that isn't selling well, but if the masses are buying this excuse doesn't exist."

Regular consumers of the hats made of felt from Belgian rabbit are Lubavitcher chassidim, and students of Litvish and Sephardic Yeshivos. Other chassidic groups wear hats with beaver finish or a fur shtreimel.

Recently, bochurim in a Chabad Yeshiva in New York have asked their 'hanhala' administration if they would be allowed to join the boycott and start wearing a flat cap, also called a casket hat.

Borsalino tip to Daily Reyd via CoLive

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Roshyeshiva Resigns Regarding Rift (Rav Aharon Schechter resigns from Moetzes)


I am surprised that this has not been more widely reported, but several blogs are reporting that Rav Aharon Schechter, member of Moetzes has resigned his position. It seems that the Agudah position had been not to get involved in the Machlokes in Eretz Yisroel, regarding whether to sign up for the draft or not.

Rav Shmuel Auerbach has directed his students not to, while the leaders of Bnei Brak are not so vehemently opposed.

In any event, the current Yarchei Kallah sponsored by Agudah, where RSA had been invited to say a Shiur in recent years, did not invite him this year.

Regardless of whether one agrees with RSA or not, RAS feels that the Agudah should not be choosing sides.

Let us hope this is resolved soon, and that we keep the EY Machlokes in EY and off our shores.


Update: 01/15/2015 -Rift Rectified. Roshyeshiva Re-signs.

The Partial View is reporting that Shalom has been restored and the resignation has been withdrawn. link

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dialogue Dissects Dubious Dogma - Volume 5 Fall 5775/2014 - Dialogue For Torah Issues & Ideas

Dialogue I
Dialogue II
Dialogue III
Dialogue IV

A Private Conversation - penned by R' Aharon Feldman, offers Hashkafic insights into the recent War in Eretz Yisroel. RAF explains why we can be pro-Israel yet anti the present Israeli government, simultaneously.

The New "Orthodoxy": Open to What? and The Reincarnation of the Conservative Movement, by RAF and R. Avrohom Gordimer respectively, dissect why the "Open Orthodoxy" of YCT is totally un-Orthodox.

May Orthodox Rabbis Permit Women to Don Tefillin?, by R. Meyer Twersky explains why ignoring the Rama's ruling on this issue is contrary to Halacha.

The Corporeality Which Never Was by R. Aharon Lopiansky casts doubts on whether R. M. Taku really believed in a corporeal deity.

Aquatic Perfection: The Fascinating World of Fish and Water, by R. Eytan Feiner is a fascinating essay on this rare topic. It is well documented with a wide array of footnotes.

Educating the Child Jewishly by R. Moshe Einstadter shares insights into Jewish Chinuch.

Where is the Passion? authored by R. Dovid Sapirman tackles a topic that many do not want to speak about, namely allowing youngsters to discuss questions of Hashkafa in an open forum.

Halachic Decision Making: The Factors Involved by R. Moshe Walter.

Moral Resistance in the Concentration Camps by David Adler (Posthumous).

Poor Review: Do Scientific Journals Have Sufficient Oversight? by Yoram Bogacz, is a delightful read that describes the poor process of peer review. [I love the title!]

My only complaints are that there was such a huge time gap in between issues and that there was only one letter to the editor printed in this edition.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mechaye Meisim Metziah - Mamash!

Seen on many blogs. Thanks to TheJewishSongs for posting this to Youtube.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Betters Bring Born-again Borscht Belt, Billions

The site of the old Concord Hotel in Thompson, Sullivan County, (Borscht Belt Country) has been chosen to host a casino.

I am not sure how long it will last, but one day it will probably be owned by a Yeshiva. May that day come soon.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rabbis Remove Rashbam's Remarks

Artscroll has decided not to publish the controversial pieces of Rashbam in their new Mikraos Gedolos.

Perhaps they can publish an "RCA Edition" of the new Chumash, like they have done for the siddur. :-)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Miracle Man Mendelevitch Meets "Mother"

The story of Yosef Mendelevitch is inspiring indeed. Yosef was one of the famous refuseniks, who took on the Russian Empire and won. In 1970, together with several others he conspired to hijack a Russian plane and fly to freedom. Unfortunately, the group was imprisoned and several were sentenced to death. In fact, news of the death sentence prompted Shlomo Carlebach to write the famous melody Motzi Asirim.

Yosef was freed in 1981 and came to build a beautiful family in Eretz Yisroel. This past week, he returned to Russia for the first time since his incarceration. This reminds me of another famous refusenik, Anatoly Scharansky, who also went on to build a successful political career in Eretz Yisroel after gaining his freedom. When hearing the famous Safam song, "Mother Russia", he commented dryly...Why is the empire referred to as Mother Russia? No mother should treat her children this way.

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