Skip to main content


Showing posts from April, 2007

Institutional Shtuth

The whole country is aflame with the Winograd Report. The whole war--and indeed the current administration--is one boiling pot of shtuth.

Unfortunately this is just want the people ordered when they decided they wanted shtuthmeisters who could obfuscate truth and fight for shtuth. People who could take patriots on the front lines and kick them out of their homes--while making a bundle of money for their friends who would get the contracts for shipping containers, storage, yada, yada, yada.

But the shtuth didn't start with the Expulsion. It was a long time in coming--since 1993 when the Bearded Vulture sprung Oslo upon us.

And Winograd all but spells this out:

The IDF was not ready for war, for a number of reasons, among them being that the political and military leaders decided that the age of wars has ended, and that the IDF had enough deterrence power and ability to deliver painful reminders to those who didn't know that.

Al-HaNissim for Yom Ha’assmauth and Yom Yerushalayim

Machon Shilo has outdone themselves again! Rav Bar-Hayim had an excellent article called "The Rebbe's Hallel" and they've also published a special version of Al-HaNissim for these two special days.

The Talmud (Pesahim 117a) informs us that the Hallel prayer “was instituted by the Prophets to be said by the Jewish People on Festivals, and [in addition] upon having been saved from grave danger, they are to recite it in thanksgiving for their salvation.” This statement is quoted by several Halachic codifiers (e.g. Rid ad loc.; Rosh Pesahim 1:10). Salvation from national disaster is the yardstick; where this standard is met, we are obligated to express our gratitude to Hashem. Indeed, the Hatham Sopher (OH 161; 191& 208) opines that this obligation is mandated by the Torah. Like Hannukah, the Divine salvation experienced is in 1948 and 1967 is an immutable fact independent of subsequent developments.

In addition, Al-HaNissim should be added to the Amidah and Birkat HaM…

The Rebbe's Hallel - A Must Read for Yom Ha'atsmaut

By Rav David Bar-Hayim

The story is told of the Hassidic rebbe who, upon the establishment of the State of Israel, began to recite the thanksgiving prayer of Hallel on Yom Ha'assmauth, Israel's Independence Day. After a few years, his followers noticed that the rebbe no longer recited Hallel. When queried about this he explained: "When a child is born, everyone is happy. But if, as he grows up, he goes off the correct path and moves away from the Torah, the earlier jubilation becomes inappropriate".

It is becoming increasingly apparent that certain circles of the National-Religious camp feel the same way. Exactly one year ago, in the weeks leading up to Independence Day - nearly a year after the unprecedented tragedy and debacle that was the "disengagement"--a lively debate was conducted in National-Religious newspapers and Internet forums regarding the correct attitude to Yom Ha'assmauth and the reciting of Hallel. Some of the participants express…

Dress up your blog for Chag!

Important announcement from louis@machonshilo:

Hi Jewish Bloggers (and friends),

Machon Shilo would like to encourage you to dress up your blog for chag with the attached photo [see it on the right column of this page]. You can use any caption you want, but please write "(Photo: courtesy of"

Suggested captions:
I believe with complete faith in a Jewish State not a State of Jews
This year, I'm saying Hallel with a bracha and Al HaNissim.
Chag Sameach leGeula ShelaymaOr whatever floats your boat. To learn about why you should say Hallel with a bracha and Al HaNissim, visit

Chag Sameach leGeula Shelayma,

P.S. Please pass this on to other Jewish bloggers.

Machon Shilo - Torah Leam Velaarets

Kitniyot Shiur in Yerushalayim and Bet Shemesh

Rav Bar-Hayim is giving a shiur on his kitniyot psak. He is an excellent debater, so if opponents of the psak muster the courage to show up, it could get very exciting.

Thoughts and Comments on the Kitniyot Psak Contraversy
Date: Monday, 28 Nissan (18 April 2007)
Place: Beth Midrash Machon Shilo, Najarah 34, (opposite #47) Givat Shaul, Jerusalem
Time: 19:45

Date: Wednesday evening, 30 Nissan, 18/4/07
Place: Mosdot HaRav Aharon Soloveichik, Nachal Maor 27, Ramat Beth Shemesh A
Time: 21:15 (Maariv is at 21:00)

Disclaimer: Rav Chaim Soloveichik has not endorsed the psak halacha (but any disagreements have been expressed as befitting a true Torah scholar).If you can't make it, I am sure that at least one of the shiurim will be posted at

Good news: kosher Jews on Har HaBayit over Pesah

Thousands of Jews went up to Har HaBayith during Chol HaMoed in ritual purity. Although I was not able to go up during the festive time, I went earlier this month.

Rav Dov Lior, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba, went up and called for easier access for all Jews and that our sovereignty should be reasserted over the site.

May it soon be so--in time for Korban Pesah next year--with soft matzoth, some romaine lettuce, a dash of charif and some hummous and tehina.

See more details at:

It's Official: Rav Bar-Hayim is a "Smark Aleck"

According to Shmuel Poppenheim, a spokesman for the Eidah Haredit:
Every Jew carries with him the customs that he received from his father and his father's father. Smart alecks like [Bar-Hayim] think that they can come along and change everything. (Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2007, page 5)
Mr. Poppenheim neglected to mention why he has abandoned the custom of his father's father's father's father's father's father's father, who lived in Erets Yisrael and ate kitniyot during Pesah.

Nor would he confirm or deny that his forefather had dressed like Sinai Tor and those hilltop guys.

The Kitniyot Contraversy Makes the J Post

The Jerusalem Post has an interesting article on Machon Shilo and the Neturei Kitnyos.

Head of Shilo Institute attacked for permitting 'kitniyot' on Pessah
In recent weeks irate members of the Orthodox community have hurled threats and anathemas at Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, head of the Shilo Institute, his only crime apparently being an attempt to make the culinary lives of Ashkenazim living in Israel a little bit easier. Bar-Hayim, together with four other rabbis, issued a halachic opinion two weeks ago that would permit Ashkenazi Jews to eat kitniyot (legumes.) If Bar-Haim has his way, no longer will foods such as rice, humous, peanut butter and tofu be permissible for Sephardim only. Rather, Jews of European descent would adopt "the custom of the Land of Israel" and partake of kitniyot, as well. Bar-Hayim's detractors, however, do not want their lives to be made any easier if it means compromising tradition. "Your place in Gehinom (hell) is a…

More Sitra...

To the Neturei Kitniyos who are also defending the practice of observing an extra day of chag in Erets Yisrael, should note that the Chacham Tzvi wrote that:

" would be forbidden for them to observe more than one day because of baal tosif. It is known that one who sleeps on the sukkah on Shemini Atzeret is punished by flogging and similarly on Pesach on who observes one additional day of holidy beyond the requirement of the mitzva has violated baal tosif."

The Sitra Achra Raises its Head...

Baruch HaShem Machon Shilo's psak has received wide coverage on Ynet in both Hebrew and English. (They are must-read articles in either language). I received an email that their website has received over 215,000 hits in March. Clearly, they have made their mark.

Some disagreements have been l'Shem Shamayim and with respect, while others have merely besmirched Rav Bar-Hayim.

To paraphrase another Rav:
If anyone knows anything about the Sitra Achra and how he works in this world, then he would also know that the controversy surrounding an issue is perhaps a clue that it is authentic.

For the Sitra Achra fights on behalf of two causes: in favor of that which distracts Jews away from Torah, and against that which will lead to the redemption of the Jewish people — the arrival of which means his own demise (Succah 52a). And so Neturei Kitniyos was born... fighting for shtuth and hiding the truth.