Sunday, March 27, 2011

From Melb AJN reader:
How does the editor of the AJN expect his Melbourne readers to understand letters he publishes that refer entirely to issues that were raised only in the Sydney edition? Zeddy, is it too much to ask you and your staff to use a bissele seichel?

Additionally, if you felt that the subject matter of those letters to be of general interest, why not include the original stories in the Melbourne edition?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mesirah - a plague in our midst

Klal Yisrael always viewed, not only actual mosrim, but even those who only threatened to inform on others to the police or authorities with loathing and revulsion. The most horrible epithet one throw at another was “Moser”. “Dobbers'’ were, throughout our history, considered to be the lowest of the low. Vermin. The Shulchan Aruch actually permits eradicating such a person - even on Yom Kippur adding: "vechol hakodem lehargoy - zacha" !!

To the best of our knowledge there is no such an allowance or ruling for any other major or minor infraction – not “bein adam laMakom” not “bein adam lechaveiro”.

It is therefore extremely painful to see this mesireh phenomenon become a 'normal' occurrence in our community, with the regular appearance of signed and unsigned letters and notices which explicitly and implicitly make threats of 'reporting' and ‘going to the authorities’ against organizations and the people who work tirelessly for them. Sadly, even in cases where the target is 100% in the clear – some of the mud sticks and time, money and effort that would be spent in building and improving is wasted in cleaning up the mess that has been created.

Do these contemptible and vile YBR parents who went running to the Age and the Jewish News realise that they have lost their “Chelek le’olam haba”? Was it really worth it? And what about the enormous Chilul Hashem they caused?

If these people have even a minuscule level of Yiras Shamayim, they must soon realise what a terrible state their neshamos are.

We at AJN Watch have no idea who the offenders are, but have no doubt (by the pattern of previous incidents) that these mosrim probably pay zero or minimal tuition fees for their children and have never lifted a finger to assist the schools in any way. A nasty collection of whingers, whiners, complainers, takers and users who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

It is time that the RCV and individual rabbis came out strongly against this plague of mesireh which has affected a number of our communities. It is also obvious that many – especially BTs - have no idea of the gravity of this aveirah.

Rabbis should undertake to educate their congregants about these laws - before they too are affected by the actions of some unknowing member of their Shul. Outreach-Kiruv workers should be trained to impart these important Halachot to all who wish to become part of the community of Shomrei Torah uMitzvot. They should be clearly told: “Mesireh is assur – no less than pork”.

Wake up rabbis, before this snake bites you!

For those who wish to study these halachot – see Choshen Mishpat 388.
Meanwhile we reproduce a few of the main laws: (Click to enlarge)
From Friday's Age:
A JEWISH school in St Kilda East is being investigated following a complaint alleging the misuse of a $2 million grant under the federal school building stimulus program.

Yeshivah and Beth Rivkah Colleges received the $2 million grant under the program for a multi-purpose hall.

The complaint, obtained by The Age, alleged the grant was used by Chabad Youth - described on its website as a community-based organisation established to disseminate Judaism worldwide - for a building ''totally separate and distinct from the school''. It says Chabad Youth is not a school and therefore not entitled to receive any funding.

The complainant, who uses the pseudonym ''John Smith'' and is believed to be a parent at the school, also alleged the building's primary purpose was religious worship, in breach of the program's guidelines. ''It is imperative that the Australian government ensures that taxpayer funds are applied in accordance with the intention of the schemes … and that persons do not act in a fraudulent manner to obtain a benefit contrary to the provisions,'' he said in an email to the school building stimulus taskforce, which is investigating the complaint.

A federal Education Department spokesman confirmed the taskforce was investigating. ''The primary purpose of BER [Building the Education Revolution] facilities is educational,'' he said. ''BER guidelines outline that funding cannot be used for the building or refurbishment of any facility which has religious worship as its primary purpose.''

The general manager of Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges, Nechama Bendet, said Yeshivah College was confident that it had fully complied with all the guidelines and requirements of the grant.

But parents, who spoke to The Age on condition of anonymity, said they believed the building would be mainly used by Chabad Youth for Jewish social functions and worship on the Sabbath rather than the education of children at Yeshivah College. ''They took away our children's playground and put up a building which has nothing to do with our children's school,'' a mother tearfully told The Age.

In 2008, Chabad Youth was granted a planning permit by Glen Eira Council to build a three-storey education centre to be used in association with Yeshivah College.

Ms Bendet said the school gratefully received a $2 million grant to build a multipurpose hall the following year. ''To comply with the short time frames associated with the BER funding, existing permits were utilised by the school to build the hall,'' Ms Bendet said. She said an extra $3 million was raised by the community.

''The hall will be utilised by the school for assemblies, indoor sport, study areas, lectures, professional development, debating, large performances, parent-teacher meetings and staff meetings,'' Ms Bendet said. ''In accordance with BER guidelines, the hall will be made available to the local community after school hours and on weekends for after-school clubs and other recreational, cultural, sporting, and social activities.''

Friday, March 18, 2011

Badly placed advertisement

“Purim Sameach” right below a front page picture portraying the latest tragedy in Israel seems unfortunate and wrong.
The editor should have used his discretion and seichel by placing that ad elsewhere.
We have no doubt that not only would Glicks would have agreed to do this but they would have preferred such action.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mincha Aufrufs!

Guest post by Lisa:
A caterer friend tells me about a new trend in the community in having pre-wedding "call-ups" during Mincha on Shabbos afternoon - rather than the traditional morning affair.

There seems to be a number of theories behind this.

1) Less cost - as there is no need to feed hungry mobs who have had to put up with 2+ hours of tefilos and krias haTorah. (And even if some finger food is offered, it is far less than earier in the day.)

2) 20 minute service as compared to 2-3 hours. No more than 3 call-ups possible.

3) Less Chilul Shabbos? [As hopefully the (non-observant) guests will drive home after zeman Motzoei Shabbos.]

On the other side of the ledger, the Shul will lose out on donations for Mi Shebeirachs - as only 3 aliyos can be given.

Anyone else have any comments about this new trend?

PS. The notice states that the wedding takes place on Purim. Another first??

Meanwhile our best wishes to Emma and Jeremy on their big day