Kotel caption contest

image06This photograph was taken this morning, during Rosh Chodesh prayers at the Kotel.

Women of the Wall were there and were kept very far from the Women’s Section and the Kotel by police.  The cited reason: security concerns.

It seems that since ultra-Orthodox girls’ seminaries are on summer break, and the girls had been ordered by their rabbis to arrive at the Kotel at 6:30am, the women’s section was overflowing even before the Women of the Wall service was scheduled to start.

Here are some captions to get the ball rolling…

“Whistle if you love sin’at chinam!”

“Egg-tossing, unnecessary roughness on the defense.  The penalty is declined.  First down!”

Why it is time to disband the Rabbinate, reason #48

I have written before (here and here) about why the Rabbinate, through its own hijinks, has proven to be an institution VERY worthy of, shall we say, “resource relocation”.  And then there’s that little matter of Women of the Wall

Here’s another.

In these troubled times, when the Jewish people are facing so many challenges (or so pulpit rabbis and mainstream machers tell us), our institutional leadership (Israel branch) has decided to take on an issue of monumental import: the regulation of the shape of dairy and non-dairy bourekas.

Three sides GOOD!  Four sides BAD!

Three sides GOOD! Four sides BAD!

It seems that folks with the fever for the flavour of bourekas overflowing with tasty fillings are confused and brain-addled by hunger… so much so that they cannot distinguish between meat and milk.

So, to the rescue, comes the Rabbinate with the following edict:  Square for pareve!  Triangle for dairy!  … OR LOSE YOUR KASHRUT CERTIFICATE!!

It does not end there.  There are also rules for puff pastry vs. filo dough as well as the shape of croissants and rugelach.

But before you begin railing against the pernicious creep of BIG RABBINATE and vote Republican, it seems that this latest round of rabbinic regulation is an update and/or clarification of a decades’ old practice.

The difference is that now, minhag has become mitzvah with the “appropriate” consequence and, more importantly, the appropriate regulatory apparatus has been deployed to keep Jews safe from defilement!   Baruch Hashem and pass that three-sided feta cheese with sun-dried tomato tasty immediately!

End Of The Jews in the News

This new feature at The Next Jew will focus on pieces in the mainstream and/or Jewish press that folks share with me that report/echo what I wrote about in End Of The Jews: Radical Breaks, Remakes and What Comes Next.



This week, a piece from the Jewish Chronicle about how the extreme polarization of the American Jewish community has made the topic of “Israel” a toxic, no-fly zone.

Admittedly, “toxic, no-fly zone” is a mixed-metaphor, but it nonetheless summons a telling image of the petroleum-sludge eating Gamera rising from the shores of the Pacific before retracting his hind-legs and rocketing through space to devour yet another panel discussion about the future of the Two-State Solution.  Watch out, Alan Dershowitz!

Sharansky ANGRY!!

It seems that Bibi’s man Natan Sharansky, charged by the PM with figuring out the Kotel Conundrum (otherwise known as #WomenoftheWall), has finally put his foot down!

sharansky angryYNET reports that Jerusalem Police Commander Major-General Yossi Parente sent a letter to Anat Hoffman, executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center, and #WomanoftheWall, advising her that the police were going to strictly enforce “the law” at #WomenoftheWall’s Rosh Chodesh Iyar service.  Parente indicated that after consultation with Deputy Attorney General Sarit Dana, they, to paraphrase Thor, were going to put the hammer down.

This made Sharansky ANGRY as now he would have to get out from behind his desk and do something.  Or at least seem to do something.  Which still required him to get out from behind his desk.  So, Sharansky went somewhere to meet with Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the chairman of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation who serves as the Kotel’s “rabbi”.

Sharansky and Rabinowitz met yesterday.  And they talked.  And Sharansky expressed SHOCK.  And, according to Shmarya Rosenberg:

Sharansky is reportedly “in the final stages” of drafting a compromise that would ensure “that every Jew in the world can pray in the manner that they are accustomed to at Judaism’s most important national and religious site.”

I cannot wait to see Sharansky’s compromise.  I wonder if it will be even more compromise-ier than Gil Troy’s compromise which was REAL compromise-y…

Stay tuned.

Good news about Israel!

The right honourable Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has some good news for Israel.

Kenney’s boss, Stephen Harper Government™ claims that:

Too many tax dollars are spent on asylum claimants who are not in need of protection. Canada is currently receiving a disproportionately high number of asylum claimants who come from countries that historically have very low acceptance rates at the independent Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). These include countries in Europe with strong recognition of democratic and human rights.

(You can read the full monty here.)



So, as part of a sweeping, tax-dollar saving (and asylum-status-denying) fix otherwise known as the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, the Harper Government™ has established a list of countries capable of protecting their own nationals.



Israel’s “safe country” status however does not apply to Gaza and the West Bank.