Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rabbi Groner baking Matzos in Melbourne

Further to our post on baking Shemureh Matzos in Melbourne, here's a couple of photographs of the late Rabbi Y D Groner zt'l doing the honours as a "sheeber", ie, the person who puts in and removes the Matzo from the oven. (Hat tip - SBA)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sydney Morning Herald's take on Pesach prices


Looks like Ex-AJN journo Melissa Singer has become the SMH's Kashrut maven.

Some useful free publicity for Dovid Krinsky who seems to have totally taken over the leadership of Kosher groceryship from Starks  in the Harbour village.

Friday, March 26, 2010



I noticed the following Matzos for sale in one of our Kosher shops and was surprised at the 'explicit honesty' of the manufacturers in labelling the Matzos as "Chametz".
As one wag said, this is what is meant when we say:
שבכל הלילות אנו אוכלין חמץ ומצה
Another interesting Matzo box that may upset the appetite of some of our ‘secular’ friends is this one – which quotes from the Hagada’s “Dayenu”:

אלו נתן לנו את התורה ולא הכנסנו לארץ ישראל – דיינו
“Had He given us the Torah and not brought us into the Land of Israel –
it would have sufficed us…”

Sadly there are many who have exactly the opposite view. They want Israel – but no Torah.
So thanks Osem, for reminding us all what coming to Eretz Yisroel was and is all about.

New York's best Matzos?


The New York Post sent a reporter out to taste the product of various Shemureh Matza producers. Here's what he thinks:
The good news is that the Pupa Zehlem Matzo (which is considered the thinnest on the market) has been available in Melbourne for many years. They are imported to order by Adass and usually available in Melbourne 2-3 weeks before Pesach.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baking Shemurah Matzos in Melbourne

Speaking with some of the older members of the community, I have learned that in the immediate post-war years, hand-baking of matzos was done by both the Adass and the Chabad communities.(Does anyone know if this was also happening in Carlton pre- and/or post-war?) Some old-timers recall attending several Adass hand-baking sessions at "Marks (machine) Matzos bakery" which was located where Solomons Butchers stands today. At different times, Adass baked at Koppel's bakery in Carnegie and Ostroburski’s Balaclava Bakery in Carlisle Street and maybe elsewhere.                                          
While I couldn’t find anyone to confirm this, it's obvious that Yeshiva also baked at some time. They had (have?) a baking oven - which in recent times was used by the Adass chaburas on Erev Pesach - until they  their own Matzo oven was built at the back of their hall.

My informants tell me that Adass has baked "Erev Pesach Matzos" continuously - since the first Hungarian/Chassidish arrivals- immediately after the war. "Mitzva Matzos” - as Erev Pesach Matzos is known, is considered of great importance in many communities and it is somewhat surprising that this tradition has been abandoned by the non-Adass communities. 
Here is some of an article appearing on the Chabad Campus website explaining the significance of these matzos.
Matzot Mitzvah - Baking Matza on the Day Before Pesach   By Eliyahu Kitov

Out of special love for the commandments, there are those who bake special Matzot on the day before Passover, even though they have already prepared sufficient Matzot for use on Passover and were careful to do so with concern for every detail of the laws.

These special Matzot are referred to as Matzot mitzvah, the three Matzot that will be used for the Seder. These Matzot are baked after the sixth hour of the day [some say after six and a half hours]. (See link for more.)

Meanwhile both Sydney and Melbourne Chabad have travelling Matza bakeries to show youngsters how Matza is baked. (The above 2 pictures are from Chabad Malvern. The other photographs are by YWN's Australian reporter Y Rosenbaum.)
That is truly a great thing, but “karmi sheli lo notorti”. Wouldn't it be great to reintroduce Erev Pesach Matzos for Anash? Doing so would ensure that kids will realise that Matza baking is something for adults too...Sydney Chabad Model matza Bakery - some nice pictures here

Therefore it is extremely pleasing to read that Adass are already ensuring the next generation of experienced matza-bakers by encouraging their youngsters to get involved with all facets of preparing their own Kosher LePesach Matzos and giving them their own time to partake in this great Mitzvah.

Happy 108th birthday. (biz 120...?)

Posted by "Not-Chabadnik but interested"
As someone who has little connection with Lubavitchers, I am a bit puzzled at the continuing celebrations of the rebbe's birthdays. How long will this go on for? Will it stop at 120 (an age where Moshe Rabenu stopped having birthdays or will it persevere until the geulah sheleimah?

As for saying the ‘rebbe’s chapter of tehillim” as per the above piece in the weekly Hitkashrut brochure, is this something do all Chassidim do this?

And if so, how will they cope when they ‘celebrate’ the rebbe’s 118th Yom Holedet? Saying chapter 119 is sure going to take up a fair chunk of their daily routine. And the obvious next question; if chas vechalilah the Moshiach doesn’t arrive in the next few decades and Chabad Chassidim will be celebrating the rebbe’s 151st birthday, which chapter of Tehillim will then be said?

In my Shul we were offered the following 3 options.

a) Start again from # 1.
b) 150 + 1 or
c) 100 + 51.

Or maybe none of the above - except for the inevitable machmirim who will do all of the above.

I may be sounding a bit flippant here, but he question is quite genuine.
I hope you will find fit to publish this post and look forward to some interesting responses.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Israeli media puts 'biased ABC' to shame!

From the Rotter.Net forum - disgusting and blatant anti-Chareidi (and terrorist-sympathetic) reporting by the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot. (Sorry, it's in Hebrew.)
And we complain about the Fairfax media and the ABC!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Call to change date of Yom Ha'atzmaut (here) reports on a suggestion to bring forward Yom Ha'atzmaut prayers to Rosh Chodesh Iyar. Check out all their comments section. We reproduce # 1 - as it  may have some merit - seeing that bracha levatala issues have long placed a a heavy cloud on the practice of saying Hallel with a bracha. (To the best of our recollections, prior to Rabbi Shlomo Goren assuming the position of Chief Rabbi, most who did celebrate YH, did so without a bracha before Hallel. It was the influence of Rabbi Goren that made many go for the "full monty".
Maztzav's source for this story is the Life in Israel blog (here) which we reproduce here:
Changing the date of Yom Ha'atzmaut
Below you will see the original letter sent by Professor Hillel Weiss of Bar Ilan University to the Chief Rabbis of Israel. Prof. Weiss is making an interesting, albeit radical suggestion. Weiss is suggesting that the Rabbanut change the celebration of Yom Haatzmaut from 5 Iyyar to Rosh Chodesh Iyyar.

Professor Weiss bases his suggestion on the fact that Yom Haatzmaut is rarely actually celebrated on 5 Iyyar, because of how often it falls out on Shabbos or Friday or Sunday (on those days they always push it up to avoid issues of chillul shabbos). And, Professor Weiss says, in the next 10 years, the celebrated day will not fall out on 5 Iyyar even once.

The benefits of pushing it back to Rosh Chodesh are that doing so would make many people who currently do not partake in YH festivities, de facto celebrating Yom Haatzmaut. The haredim and Dati Leumi who do not want to partake in secular celebrations, would now be saying Hallel on Yom Haatzmaut, albeit because of Rosh Chodesh, but the end result would be that they said hallel on YH. And, Professor Weiss says, doing so would allow those who want to praise God for the miracles, but don't because of the secular aspect of the day, would now be happy to do so.

Interesting suggestion. What do you think? If they accept (no response has yet been announced) his suggestion, do you think the haredim will stop saying Hallel on Rosh Chodesh Iyyar, as "maris ayin" perhaps? Will they approve of this solution?

פרופ' הלל וייס
אוניברסיטת בר אילן
בס"ד, ראש חודש ניסן תש"ע
כבוד הרבנים הראשיים לישראל
הרב יונה מצגר שליט"א והראשון לציון הרב שלמה עמאר שליט"א
וחברי מועצת הרבנות הראשית

שלום וברכה!
הנידון: שינוי מועד תפילת הלל של יום ה' באייר

כידוע לכבוד הרבנים שליט"א, לאור שינויים בתקנון הוועדה לסמלים ולטקסים, יום העצמאות של מדינת ישראל כמעט ואינו חל יותר ביום ה' באייר, שהוא למעשה היום המקורי עליו קבעה הרבנות הראשית לומר את ההלל וההודיה לה' מאז קום המדינה. בעשור הקרוב עד לשנת תש"פ, לעולם לא יחול יום העצמאות בתאריך המסורתי, וכך למעשה ברוב השנים.

בנוסף לכך, כיום חלק גדול מאד מהציבור הדתי החרדי לגווניו, אינו משתתף כלל בטקסי התפילות של יום העצמאות כפי שנקבע על ידי הרבנות הראשית (כולל רבני ערים וכו') כל חוג וטעמו עימו, כאשר הצד השווה שרבים לא רוצים להיות מזוהים עם הממסד החילוני וכל הכיעור שהוא מייצג, ובפרט לאור ההתנכלויות לארץ ישראל ולקדושתה.

מאידך, חלק גדול מהציבור שלא מזדהה כיום עם תפילות יום העצמאות, היה רוצה להיות שייך ולהודות לה' על הניסים והנפלאות על שיבת עם ישראל לארצו, וכל מה שכרוך בפריחת עם ישראל בארץ ישראל תחת שלטון יהודי וכו'.

בעצה של מספר רבנים ואישי ציבור מחוגים שונים, הועלתה ההצעה, לקבוע את יום ראש חודש אייר, כיום בו יאמרו את תפילת ההלל כהודיה לה' על הניסים והנפלאות, יום בו עם ישראל יתחבר לשורשים העמוקים של ארץ ישראל ויחבר את הזיקה לקדושתה של ארץ ישראל.

כידוע יום ראש חודש כולל את כל החודש, ובמילא כל הציבור שאומר את ההלל, יראה בכך יום הודיה לה' על הניסים והנפלאות, ורוב רובו של הציבור יזדהה עם המסר שלנו, כולל בציבורים רחבים שבמשך שנים ראו את עצמם מנותקים מכל דבר שקשור לרבנות הראשית.

אני מבקש מכבוד מעלת הרבנים הראשיים וחברי מועצת הרבנות, לדון בכובד ראש בהצעה שהועלתה. אין לי ספק שההצעה תתקבל בברכה בקרב כל החוגים, ובפרט שהדבר ילווה בקמפיין הסברתי נכון ושוווה לכל נפש, ובכך נשיג את המטרה הנכספת של חיבור והזדהות של הציבור הדתי והחרדי עם המעשה המופלא של שיבת ציון, בלא קשר לאירועים שאין רוח חכמים נוחה מהם.

אין לי ספק, שהחלטה ברוח זו, שטומנת בקרבה אחדות וליכוד השורות תחת שרביטה של הרבנות הראשית לישראל, תביא להאדרת כבוד התורה וארץ ישראל, וכהמשך לראש רבני ארץ ישראל מרן הרב קוק זצ"ל, ורוח חכמים תהא נוחה מהחלטה זו על כל המשתמע מכך.

בברכת התורה והארץ

פרופ' הלל וייס   
אוניבסריטת בר אילן
העתקים: רבנים ואישי ציבור

Check out their comments section as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sensible Jew and AJN Watch

A rkind eader has informed us that there has been some mention and discussion about the our blog on "The Sensible Jew" site. In case you have forgotten (or a recent arrival you can see the earlier posts about that blogger here,  here and here . And you may even be interested to read what she wrote about us here,  (Not very friendly, is it?)

So we were somewhat surprised to read her recent piece (here) where she used far milder language than previously. We were also not unhappy with some of the comments. To save our readers trawling through it all, we bring you the relevant bits:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rabbis and Kashrut orgs - time (and opportunity) to act

On the heels of our recent post (here) exposing the AJN's use of  fraudulent terms like "Kosher-friendly" and "Kosher-style" comes their report about a government review into Kosher labeling.

Hopefully, the COAG will also look into the role of media outlets in deceiving the public by using false labels. Though to be honest we feel that the general media would desist from using such tags if informed of its bogus and sham intentions. Sadly the AJN's standards of honesty are usually far lower than that.

We cannot understand why (at least according to the AJN article) the rabbis and Kashrut groups are being so pareve and wishy-washy about this. Shouldn't they be grabbing the opportunity that the government is offering them?

If they lack the sense of duty, then it is time for the COSV or individual laymen to get involved.

Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! Mazel Tov! Mr and Mrs Baal Haness have quadruplets!!

What a splendid and fitting name that family has!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dead - but no funeral...

Unusual death notice from the Hyde Park - Chadrei Charedim forum.
Some interesting comments there.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2 interesting "forwards"

Thanks to the reader who sent in the following 2 items which are truly worthy of "a second look". (If you have anything of similar interest, please forward.)

This was published in a NY publication upon the recent passing of Rav Shmuel Toisig zt'l of Jerusalem. It's obvious that the author of this notice wasn't overly proficient in Lashon Hakodesh (or have the foggiest idea of what שליט''א means).

The comment we got with this was "Moshiach tseiten"...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


A Purim Scene in Meah Shearim
Checkout those balloons attached to his Peyos...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Purim in Jerusalem - a couple of cute pix

(Was Purim really only a week ago...?)

A couple of kids dressed up - representing (advertising?) some
half a dozen Charedi daily and weekly publications

Spiderman at the Kosel HaMaaravi.
(He knows Whose help he needs to keep winning against the bad guys)

Friday, March 5, 2010

SPECIAL POST: Best Pesach Prices - Melbourne and Sydney

Further to earlier posts and comments on who really has Melbourne’s cheapest Pesach prices, a reader has suggested that we dedicate a special blogpost - and its comment section - to reports by readers on where and what the best Pesach deals are.

We agree that this is a great idea which may be of great benefit to all Kosher consumers.

So here goes…it's over to you our dear AJNWatchers. Send us details of your experiences and advice on where to do your shopping and for what items.

Sydneysiders are welcome to contribute details of Kosher purchasing in the harbour city.

At the same time we extend an invitation to all the stores, importers, manufacturers and wholesalers of Pesach products to publicise their best deals and metziyes on our blog. (No charge!!)

Please note, this special post is exclusively for the purpose of assisting Kosher shoppers, and no irrelevant comments will be allowed.

We hope that this special project of ours will take off for the benefit of all.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

AJN gives Shabbat (and Pesach) another slap in the face!

Melbourne's only Shabbat car auction knows exactly where to advertise. In the Australuan Jewish News. The same publication where l treif restaurants and caterers are made so welcome. Just hand over your advertising dollars and we'll sell off/dispose of our religion and our traditions - r-e-a-l cheap.

Can anyone imagine alcoholic beverages or pork ads being allowed to appear in the Muslim media? Of course not. Muslim publishers have far more self-esteem, reverence for their religion and respect for their readers to act like avaricious, greedy and dollar-hungry graspers. But unfortunately Jewish News readers expect nothing better from its publisher. They meekly accept being spat in the face - again and again.

The above avertisement is from last week's issue. This week the AJN has a larger - half-page - ad, which reveals that the people behind this Chillul Shabbat outfit are the "Sawicki Group".
According to our research they also own Bay City Holden. Maybe something Shabbat-observers would like to keep in mind when looking for a new car.

And as we havestated more than once before, the rabbis and lay-leaders of our community are rarely heard to open their mouths in protest thus doing their part in ensuring that the AJN keeps getting away with it. Isn't it time that they woke up to themselves?
And what about the RCV and the COSV? Why are they hiding in a corner and not tackling this head-on?

And talking of offensive ads, here's the first of the non-Kosher and Chametz bakery "Passover"  ads (from the same issue) for this year:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Good luck to the winners, but hopefully this won't produce too many negative thoughts about 'grabbing Jews". (Good thing that the video is tagged  "Adding comments has been disabled for this video".)

OK. So who is the plagiariser? The Australian Jewish News or the London Jewish News?

Two newspapers called "Jewish News". Both have/had an editor called Zeddy Lawrence. And both have the same idea of a Purim parody.
Or did one plagiarise the other? And if so, who is the guilty party?

AJN Watch passes this on to the far more experienced Media Watch.


LONDON JEWISH NEWS 26th February 2010

AJN: Bar Mitzvah (or Bar Aveirah) supplement?

Readers of last week's Jewish News readers also received their annual Bar/Bat Mitzvah supplement. (As expected with the AJN, the "Bar" comes up as far more important than the "Mitzvah".)
Though sadly, we have become used to this, an outsider viewing the photographs of females in the articles and advertising may get the impression that Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are some sort of Jewish buck’s night. We have long wondered why parents allow and even encourage their young daughters to dress in provocative and immodest fashion. And the mothers portrayed obviously haven't got the faintest idea of the true meaning of a Bar Mitzvah. Even more disgusting and sacrilegious is seeing scantily clad mothers and daughters inside Shul! What's wrong with our rabbis? Why don't they draw up a "decent-dress" code for their Shuls? Most sensible and respectable people - even those who are not religious - would accept such requests with understanding. Everyone knows that they cannot enter other religion's houses of worship in crude and indecent attire. They understand that this cannot be tolerated by most other faiths. Eg, when visiting the Vatican or the temples of the Avodah Zaras in Thailand, all follow the strict dress code knowing that failure to comply will get you banned from entering. But many of the same people come dressed to Shul as if they are going to a disco or nightclubs.

So come on rabbis and Shul boards, time to lift your game. And the educators in our schools could also do their bit in improving tzeniut standards.
While the above comment is in our view a matter of great importance and needing urgent attention, it is actually a preamble to our main objection to the AJN supplement.
Browsing through its glossy pages we counted almost a dozen obviously non-Kosher establishments canvassing for the Bar-Mitzvah trade. One needn't be a Mossad agent to figure out that the lack of the word 'Kosher' in the ad is telling us that they are 'treif'. As we have posted a number of times, it is quite sick that such advertising is allowed in a so-called Jewish newspaper. (Try advertising pork products and alcohol in a Muslim publication - and see how far you’ll get. Obviously Muslim publishers have far more respect for their religion and their readers than to sell out for a few dollars.)
But even worse, in our opinion, are the many caterers who aim to deceive and mislead Jewish families by describing their menus as “Kosher-friendly" or the older version of this con - “Kosher-style”.
Both descriptions actually mean “glatt-treif”.
“Kosher-friendly” simply indicates that if you ask the treif caterer really nicely, he won’t serve ham or even shrimp at your function. Of course neveilos utreifos and basar bechalav are perfectly OK.
British Jewish newspapers - including AJN editor's former publication the London Jewish News carry a [N] symbol in all ads of non-kosher food suppliers. While this is far from ideal - at least it does give a warning sign to the baalei Simcha. The minimum that Zeddy Lawrence could do to improve the situation would be to introduce such a symbol system at the AJN.
Meanwhile AJN Watch has been informed that such advertising is completely against the law with suggestions are being made to officially complain to the authorities - against both the AJN and those advertisers - for false and misleading advertising.
A quick check of the ACCC website seems to indicate that there may indeed be a case to answer.

False claims
As well as the broad provision of the Trade Practices Act that prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct in general, there are also some specific provisions. For example, the law also says businesses must not make false claims about  the quality, style, model or history of a good or service

Advertising & marketing

Misleading & deceptive conduct

No matter how a business communicates with you—whether it is through packaging, advertising, logos, endorsements or sales pitch—you have the right to receive accurate and truthful messages about the goods and services that you buy. Find out what to do if you have been misled or deceived.

Food labelling
Food labels must accurately reflect product contents.

Help the ACCC help consumers
By helping us target illegal conduct, you can help make the market fairer for all consumers. We can take legal action for breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974, particularly targeting conduct that is widespread, blatant, occurring across state borders or involving serious detriment to consumers.
If you think a business may be breaking the consumer protection and fair trading laws in the Trade Practices Act, you should contact our Infocentre on 1300 302 502 or by completing our online complaint form.
You can also report your concerns to the office of fair trading in your state or territory. Contact details for your local office of fair trading (sometimes called 'consumer affairs') can be found in our Consumer & business directory—search for "Government consumer protection and fair trading agencies". There is a link to the directory in the menu on the left.
Report a business if you think it may be:
• misleading or deceiving a consumer or doing something that is likely to be misleading or deceptive
• selling a product that is unsafe or does not comply with mandatory product safety or information standards.
And from Fair Trading NSW

Prohibition on misleading and deceptive conduct and false or deceptive advertising
Advertising can be a great source of information but it can also be a ploy to mislead the unsuspecting. All consumers are protected from false and misleading advertising under the Commonwealth Trade Practices Act and NSW Fair Trading Act. This means that shoppers have the legal right to receive accurate information about the products they want to purchase without being tricked.
We can only hope that activists both in Melbourne and Sydney will take appropriate steps to ensure that the Jewish News is ordered to cease and desist in promoting treif as Kosher. We presume that the offending non-Jewish caterers – who obviously wouldn’t have a clue about such matters - were advised to use this wording by the AJN advertising dept. It will be interesting to see, if this gets to the ACCC, as to who gets the fine…

Finally, where are our many Kashrut organizations? And where again are the rabbis? Why are they not screaming blue murder about treif advertising in Australia’s Jewish mouthpiece?