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Is Judaism Racist?

posted Feb 26, 2018, 6:25 AM by Z9 Network   [ updated Mar 20, 2019, 6:46 AM by Shulem Jeremias ]

Is Judaism Racist?

YY Jacobson YY Jacobson
Author, International Speaker and Life Coach

Why Did Esther Not Refute Haman’s Accusations against the Jews?


"I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me as a member." -- Groucho Marx

"The modern Jewish maxim is Incognito, ergo sum, 'I am invisible, therefore I am.'" -- Sidney Morganbesser.

The Case for Genocide


In the biblical book of Esther, Haman, the Prime Minister in the large and powerful Persian Empire, makes a short but powerful presentation to the Persian king, Ahasuerus, successfully persuading him to embrace his plan of Jewish genocide.

"There is a certain people," Haman says to Ahasuerus (1), "scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from all the other nations, and they do not observe the King's laws. Therefore it is not befitting the King to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let it be recorded that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand silver talents … for deposit in the King's treasuries."

Haman's argument is straightforward and clear: Jews are different. They are alien, outsiders, an obstruction to normal society. They don't fit into the rest of the human family. They have their own faith and their own laws, which in their mind are superior to the king's laws. They are a nuisance, a thereat, a growth in an otherwise harmonious and integrated society. They ought to be disposed of.

The Talmud (2) records an oral tradition describing Haman's presentation in some more detail. "They don't eat from our food," Haman lamented to Ahasuerus; “they do not marry our women, and they do not marry their women to us. They waste the whole year, avoiding the King's work, with the excuse: Today is the Sabbath, or today is Passover."

Haman also discusses inhumane Jewish habits: "They eat, they drink and they mock the throne. Even if a fly falls in a glass of wine of one of them, he casts away the fly and drinks the wine. But if my master, the King, touches a glass of wine of one of them, that person throws it to the ground and does not drink it (3)."

The Jews, Haman argues, see themselves as superior to us; they will forever stand out. Who needs them?

Repeating Haman's Words


Some six centuries after Haman, these same words are repeated by Philostratus, a third-century teacher in Athens and Rome, who summarizes the pagan world's perception of the Jews.

"The Jews," Philostratus wrote, "have long been in revolt not only against the Romans, but against humanity; and a race that has made its own life apart and irreconcilable, that cannot share with the rest of mankind in the pleasures of the table, nor join in their libations or prayers or sacrifices, are separated from ourselves by a greater gulf than divides us from Sura or Bactra of the more distant Indies (4)." The same argument, in one form or another, would be repeated thousands of times throughout history.

The greatest Roman historian, Tacitus, living in the first century CE, had this to say about the Jews: "The Jews regard as profane all that we hold sacred; on the other hand, they permit all that which we abhor… toward every other people they feel only hate and enmity, they sit apart at meals and they sleep apart, and although as a race they are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with foreign women."

One example he mentions to describe the moral conflicts between the Romans and the Jews is worthy of note. "The Jews," Tacitus writes, "regard it as a crime to kill any newborn infant." The Romans, as the Greeks before them, killed mentally and physically handicapped infants. In their minds, keeping such children alive was pointless and unaesthetic (5). 

First Lady Intervenes


Back to the Haman story of Purim. The viceroy's arguments persuade the King. A decree is issued from the Persian throne. Every Jewish man, woman and child living under Persian dominance would be exterminated on a particular date. Then, in a delightful turn of events, the First Lady, the Jewish queen Esther, invites her husband and Haman to a drinking feast.

As we recall, Esther, from all the thousands of young women who were brought from across the Empire as potential candidates for the role of queen, succeeded in gaining the affection and grace of the King. "The King loved Esther more than all the women, and she won more of his favor and grace than all other women; he set the royal crown upon her head (6)."

Years later, during this wine feast, the King makes a pledge to Esther that he would fulfill every request and petition. She utilizes the opportunity to make the fateful pitch. "If I have won Your Majesty's favor and if it pleases the King," Esther tells Ahasuerus (7), "let my life be granted to me as my request and my people as my petition. For we — I and my people — have been sold to be destroyed, slain and exterminated. Had we been sold as slaves and servant-girls, I would have kept quiet. The compensation our adversary [Haman] offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer [by exterminating us, rather than selling us as slaves]."

Clearly, Esther is attempting to approach the issue from two sides, a personal one and an economical one. First, she exposes her Jewish identity. The queen is a member of the people condemned to death. Esther knows, however, that this alone may not do the trick, so she continues to discuss dollars and cents (Haman too, as recorded above, used a two-point approach in persuading the King: logic and money). By selling the Jews as slaves, Esther argued, Ahasuerus would be profiting far more than by exterminating them. The money Haman offered him is miniscule vs. the potential profit from their sale into slavery.

The King, who never realized that Esther was Jewish, is outraged at Haman. He has his minister executed and his decree subverted. In subsequent conversations with Esther, Ahasuerus grants the Jews the right to self-defense against anybody who would dare to harm them. The entire climate in the Persian Empire toward the Jew is radically transformed. Esther's first cousin, a Jewish sage, Mordechai, is appointed viceroy, replacing Haman.

Why Not Answer The Accusations?


Yet, one question remains. Haman did not argue the case for Jewish extermination on the basis of senseless venomous passion. He presented what was to the King a sound and persuasive argument. The Jews, Haman argued, were an alien growth, a bizarre people, a separatist nation that would not accept the King's ultimate authority and even considered their law superior to the King's. A leader could not tolerate such a "superior group" in his empire.

This is a strong accusation. The King accepts it and as a result issues a decree demanding his subjects dispose of all the Jews — men, women and children. Yet nowhere in her entire dialogue with the King does Esther refute this argument.

Why did Ahasuerus consent to the abolishment of his original plan if he believed Haman's outcry to be valid?

One might argue that Esther's charm and grace were the exclusive factors for the King's change of heart. Yet, as proved above, it is clear that Esther does not rely on this alone. That is why she presents a logical argument for slavery vs. genocide. She refutes the economic offer made by Haman by demonstrating that the king would lose money. How, then, could she ignore the powerful argument of Haman advocating a "Judenrein" society?

When False Notions Face Reality


Some questions are canceled out via answers; some arguments refuted by counter-arguments. But there are those beliefs or notions that require neither debate nor dialogue to disprove them. When reality is exposed, the questions and distortions dissolve into nothingness.

Haman's argument fell into this category. Esther responded to Haman's argument for Jewish genocide not by dialogue, but by her sheer presence. The moment she identified herself as a member of the Jewish people and as a product of its faith, Haman's previously attractive "thesis" vanished.

Ahasuerus knew Esther intimately. She was his wife. He sensed her soul, touched her grace, and cherished her personality. He adored her body, glow, charm, and would do almost anything for her (as he explicitly told her). He knew that Esther's character and values were noble, dignified and pure. He chose her from thousands upon thousands of young women, all of them not Jewish. Yet the king never realized that she was Jewish—a daughter of the Jewish people and a product of its upbringing.

When Ahasuerus suddenly discovered that she was a proud member of the Jewish people, an adherent of the Jewish faith, he immediately realized the falsehood of Haman’s arguments—not through dialogue and debate, but there Esther’s living presence. Esther’s day-to-day life demonstrated, louder than any argument, the absurdity of Haman’s arguments that the Jews threatened society. Looking at Esther, seeing her refinement and inner beauty, the King understood that this alien nation who lived by another code, ought not to be loathed, but respected.

They may be different, but it is an otherness that elevates other nations rather than threatens them. (Leo Tolstoy wrote: "The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illuminated with it the entire world (8).") The Jew may be different, but it is this "otherness" that has the power to inspire all of the nations of the world to live and love deeper, to encounter their individual path to G-d.

When the Persian King learnt that the royalty of Esther was a symptom of her Jewishness, he did not need to hear anything more. He got it. The last thing he needs to worry about is the Jewish people and their faith. If anything, they will prove to become the greatest blessing for his Empire. The decree could safely be annulled.

Should We Hide?


The lesson for our times is clear. Sometimes Jews think that by hiding the “otherness” of Judaism and the Jewish people they will gain the approval of the world. Yet the facts prove otherwise: Assimilation, the eclipsing the otherness of the Jewish people, has never assuaged anti-Semitism. Tradition tells us (9) that the Jews of Shushan (the capital of the Persian Empire at the time of the Purim story) were quite assimilated. Yet, this did not deter the Persian viceroy and king from believing that despite all of the Jews' compromises and attempts not to be "too Jewish," they were still strange, distinct and different.

This pattern has repeated itself in every milieu since. Never in history, has assimilation solved the problem of Jew hatred. Jews in Germany were the most assimilated and integrated in mainstream society, yet it was in that very country where the worst Jew hatred in history sprouted.

Scores of great non-Jewish thinkers, sympathetic to Jews as well as to anti-Semites, saw in Jews and Judaism something different, bizarre and extraordinary. In Tolstoy's letter above he continues: "The Jew is the religious source, spring and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions."

John Adams wrote that "the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation (8)." Friedrich Nietzsche, on the other hand, believed that the Jews introduced to the world the "slave virtues" like "pity, the kind and helping hand, the warm heart, patience, industriousness, humility, friendliness," designated "for the weak and envious (10)." Hitler blamed the Jews for inventing the life-denying reality called conscience. Today, many academics and laymen believe that the Jews are responsible for the great conflict in today’s world. As much as we attempt to run from our identity as Jews, the non-Jewish world reminds us of who we are and where we came from. The non-Jew senses that since the day the Jew stood at Sinai, he or she has been different.

The solution for the Jewish people is not to deny its otherness. That will never work. Rather, the Jew ought to embrace his or her Jewishness, and just like Esther, be proud with the lifestyle and moral ethic of Torah. When we learn how to embrace our otherness with love and grace, rather than with shame and guilt, it will become a source of admiration and inspiration for all of humanity.

Just like Esther, the presence of a Jew who is permeated by the love and dignity of Torah and Mitzvos—speaks for itself. The grace of a true Torah Jew, the integrity, the innocence, the discipline, the modesty, the moral code, the sensitivity to all that is noble and dignified in life, the love for man and G-d which Torah inculcates in the Jew, the dedication to family, charity and education—all these refute the argument of Haman more than debate can ever hope to achieve.

The great Lithuanian sage Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin once remarked: "If a Jew doesn't make Kiddush (to sanctify himself by maintaining a distinctly Jewish lifestyle), then the non-Jew will make Havdalah for him (by making the Jew realize he is truly different)."

Israel, for example, will never succeed portraying itself to the world as “a regular country.” Its choice is either to run from its destiny or to embrace it, and thus become a source of pride for the entire world.


References

1) Esther 3:8.
2) Megilah 13b.
3) Wine poured in idolatrous service is according to Torah law forbidden to the Jew. The rabbis decreed that wine touched or poured by an idolator, even if not in service to his deity, be prohibited for a Jew to drink (See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 123:1).
4) Quoted in Why The Jews? (By Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin, NY, 1983) p. 83.
5) Ibid. pp. 86-88.
6) Esther 3:17.
7) Ibid. 7:3-4. The translation of the last clause of the verse follows Rashi's interpretation.
8) Quoted in Radican Then, Radical Now (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, London 2000) p. 3 with reference noted there.
9) See Talmud Meggilah 12a; Shir Hashirim Rabah 7:8. Introduction to Manos Halevi. Sicah, Purim 1941.
10) Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (Harmondsworth, 1978) p. 178.
11) This essay is based on a talk delivered by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, on Purim 5729, March 4, 1969. Published in Sichos Kodesh 5729 vol. 1 pp. 401-414.

In Davos Speech, Trump Mixes Facts With Fiction

posted Jan 27, 2018, 5:54 PM by Z9 Network   [ updated Jan 27, 2018, 5:56 PM ]

President Trump spoke Friday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

WASHINGTON — In a speech on Friday to world and financial leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Trump mixed facts, falsehoods and claims that could use context.

Below are some statements from the speech about the economy and Mr. Trump’s place in history.

Mr. Trump’s accurate claim of 2.4 million jobs added “since my election” requires more context.


The economy has added almost 2.4 million jobs in the 14 months since Mr. Trump was elected in November 2016 — but it is worth noting that this number includes the last three months of Barack Obama’s presidency.

Also, as a point of comparison, the economy added 2.8 million jobs in the 14 months before Mr. Trump’s election.

During the first 11 full months of Mr. Trump’s presidency, 1.8 million jobs were added. And in the 11 months before he was inaugurated, 2.1 million jobs were added.

It is also debatable whether Mr. Trump, or any first-year president, can take full credit for a strong economy (or be censured, were it to happen, for weak economic performance). As my colleague Neil Irwin has explained: “If you think the economy is driven by concrete, specific policies around taxes, spending, monetary policy and regulation, the answer is no. If you think that what really matters is the mood in the executive suite, then just maybe.”

Mr. Trump falsely claimed that his tax cuts, which he called “the most significant in history,” were the first “in close to 40 years.”


The $1.5 trillion tax cut enacted in December does not amount to the largest in history, nor is Mr. Trump the first president to pass tax cuts since President Ronald Reagan.

President Bill Clinton signed the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. President George W. Bush enacted two major tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. The stimulus passed under Mr. Obama included hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts, and he later extended the Bush tax cuts with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Mr. Reagan’s 1981 tax cut, Mr. Obama’s stimulus package and extensions of Mr. Bush’s tax cuts would all place ahead of Mr. Trump’s tax cut as a share of the economy and in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Mr. Trump’s claim that “there’s never really been a businessman or businessperson elected president” is wrong.


Several presidents have owned, operated or worked in the field of business.

Most immediately, George Bush and George W. Bush both owned several oil companies based out of Texas. The latter was also part of an ownership group that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball team. Jimmy Carter owned a peanut farm and some other real estate in Georgia.

Herbert Hoover became wealthy after founding a mining engineer consultancy. Warren Harding was the owner and publisher of a newspaper. Calvin Coolidge worked for a bank. Teddy Roosevelt owned and operated a ranch in the Dakotas Territory.

Looking further back, George Washington, James Madison and James Monroe all owned plantations.

Mr. Trump’s claims about minority unemployment levels could use some context.


Mr. Trump is right that the unemployment rates for women and minorities are at or near historic lows. But it’s worth noting that these rates had been steadily declining for years by the time he took office.

For black Americans, the unemployment rate of 6.8 percent in December was the lowest ever recorded, according to the latest monthly data that is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It had already decreased to 7.8 percent in January 2017 from over 15 percent in 2010.

The December figures also do not reflect a significantly different racial unemployment gap. The black unemployment rate has consistently been double that of the white unemployment rate, and it remained at that level in December.

The Latino unemployment rate declined to 4.9 percent in December from 5.9 percent in January 2017, the second lowest — not the lowest, as Mr. Trump said — on record. It reached 4.8 percent in June, October and November 2017, as well as in October 2006 under George W. Bush.

The 4.0 percent unemployment rate for women in December is among the lowest in 17 years, as Mr. Trump said. It was lower in October at 3.9 percent, down from 4.8 percent in January 2017.

Mr. Trump is right. The stock market has “added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.” But the gains are not widely shared.


Mr. Trump is most likely referring to the rise in the Wilshire 5000 Index, a widely used metric. The index grew to 29,431.74 on Wednesday, from 22,165.78 points on Election Day 2016, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a gain of more than 7,200 points. A single point on the index represents $1.15 billion, so the market has added $8.3 trillion since Mr. Trump’s election.

But these gains in wealth have disproportionally benefited Americans by income bracket. Roughly half of Americans do not own stock directly or in retirement accounts and mutual funds, and the richest 10 percent of households controlled 84 percent of the total value of stocks, a recent study by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research estimated.

Buoyed by stock market growth, net household wealth increased to $96.9 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 from $91.7 trillion in the last quarter of 2016, according to the latest data available from the Federal Reserve.

Mr. Trump is right that coalition forces have “retaken almost 100 percent of the territory” once held by the Islamic State, part of which occurred under Mr. Obama.


Pentagon officials have recently declared the defeat of the physical “caliphate” and said the Islamic State has lost nearly all of its territory in Iraq and Syria.

At its peak in January 2015, the jihadist group controlled 35,000 square miles of territory in the Middle East. By the time Mr. Trump took office in January 2017, their holdings had shrunk to about 23,000 square miles. It further dwindled to 2,500 square miles in January 2018, according to IHS Markit, a research firm that has tracked territory held by the Islamic State.

So while fighting has certainly escalated under Mr. Trump, the Islamic State had begun losing territory under Mr. Obama, and experts have cited this trend and the efforts of local troops when analyzing whom to credit for these gains.

Mr. Trump exaggerated the effect of his tax cuts on employee bonuses.


“It’s a fight for who’s going to give the most,” Mr. Trump said. “It started at $1,000, and now we have them up to $3,000.”

More than 260 companies have announced employee bonuses, raises or investments since the tax bill was passed in December, according to an anecdotal list compiled by Americans for Tax Reform, a group that advocates lower taxes. The group’s president, Grover Norquist, worked with the White House to develop the legislation.

Many have said they will give one-time employee bonuses of $1,000 to $2,000. According to the list, only one, a private insurance company, announced $3,000 bonuses for 700 employees in a news release on Dec. 21, the day before Mr. Trump signed the tax bill.

It’s worth noting that most of these businesses are financial institutions and, as my colleague Jim Tankersley has reported, “The payouts to workers reflect a small slice of the windfall that banks large and small are in line to receive.”

President Donald Trump’s Speech to Congress: Video and Transcript

posted Mar 1, 2017, 11:05 AM by Shulem Jeremias   [ updated Mar 1, 2017, 12:32 PM by Z9 Network ]

President Trump on Tuesday delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress. The following is a transcript, as prepared by the Federal News Service.

The Speech Video

President Donald Trump’s Speech to Congress on 2/28/2017 from Z9 Network on Vimeo.

The Speech Transcript

TRUMP: Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, the first lady of the United States ...

(APPLAUSE)

... and citizens of America, tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains to be done.

Recent threats ...

(APPLAUSE)

Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms.

(APPLAUSE)

Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice, in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world.

I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart. A new chapter ...

(APPLAUSE)

... of American greatness is now beginning. A new national pride is sweeping across our nation. And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp. What we are witnessing today is the renewal of the American spirit. Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.

(APPLAUSE)

All the nations of the world — friend or foe — will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free. In nine years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding, 250 years since the day we declared our independence. It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.

But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children? I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.

For too long, we’ve watched our middle class shrink as we’ve exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries. We’ve financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and so many other places throughout our land.

We’ve defended the borders of other nations while leaving our own borders wide open for anyone to cross [Fact check: Open in parts, but heavily patrolled as well], and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate. And we’ve spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.

Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds, families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns.

But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus, as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country.

Finally, the chorus became an earthquake, and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first, because only then can we truly make America great again.

(APPLAUSE)

Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need. Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.

Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways, gleaming across our very, very beautiful land. Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately stop. And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety and opportunity.

Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. It’s been a little over a month since my inauguration, and I want to take this moment to update the nation on the progress I’ve made in keeping those promises. Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart and many others have announced that they will invest billions and billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

The stock market has gained almost $3 trillion in value since the election on Nov. 8, a record. We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of fantastic — and it is a fantastic — new F-35 jet fighter, and we’ll be saving billions more on contracts all across our government.

We have placed a hiring freeze on nonmilitary and nonessential federal workers.

We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials — and a lifetime ban ...

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you. Thank you. And a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government. We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job-crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every government agency ...

(APPLAUSE)

... and we’re imposing a new rule which mandates that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.

(APPLAUSE)

We’re going to stop the regulations that threaten the future and livelihood of our great coal miners.

(APPLAUSE)

We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines ...

(APPLAUSE)

... thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs. And I’ve issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.

(APPLAUSE)

We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.

(APPLAUSE)

And with the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.

(APPLAUSE)

To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a task force on reducing violent crime. I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the director of national intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread all across our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth, and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.

(APPLAUSE)

At the same time, my administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security.

(APPLAUSE)

By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages [Fact check: Maybe a little.], help the unemployed, save billions and billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone.

(APPLAUSE)

We want all Americans to succeed, but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos.

We must restore integrity and the rule of law at our borders.

(APPLAUSE)

For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great, great wall along our southern border.

(APPLAUSE)

As we speak tonight, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our very innocent citizens. [Fact check: Not a big change.] Bad ones are going out as I speak, and as I promised throughout the campaign. To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this one question: What would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income or their loved one because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?

(APPLAUSE)

Our obligation is to serve, protect and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.

(APPLAUSE)

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home, from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and, yes, even the World Trade Center. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.

(APPLAUSE)

Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values. We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America, and we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

(APPLAUSE) That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe, and to keep those out who will do us harm.

(APPLAUSE)

As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS, a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women and children of all faiths and all beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

(APPLAUSE)

I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel.

(APPLAUSE)

Finally, I have kept my promise to appoint a justice to the United States Supreme Court, from my list of 20 judges, who will defend our Constitution.

(APPLAUSE)



I am greatly honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight.



(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Maureen. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice.

To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously by the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.

(APPLAUSE)

Tonight, as I outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited. Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force. [Fact check: This is misleading.] Over 43 million people are now living in poverty. [Fact check: True — but the number has also fallen.] And over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.

More than one in five people in their prime working years are not working. We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years. In the last eight years, the past administration has put on more new debt than nearly all of the other presidents combined.

We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since Nafta was approved [Fact check: Not because of Nafta.], and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion. And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.

Solving these and so many other pressing problems will require us to work past the differences of party. It will require us to tap into the American spirit that has overcome every challenge throughout our long and storied history. But to accomplish our goals at home and abroad, we must restart the engine of the American economy, making it easier for companies to do business in the United States and much, much harder for companies to leave our country.

(APPLAUSE)

Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world. My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone.

(APPLAUSE)

It will be a big, big cut.

At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class. We must create a level playing field for American companies and our workers — have to do it.

(APPLAUSE)

Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes, but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing or almost nothing.

I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. In fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles, made in the U.S.A., on the front lawn of the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

And they wanted me to ride one, and I said, “No, thank you.”

(LAUGHTER)

At our meeting, I asked them, “How are you doing? How is business?” They said that it’s good. I asked them further, “How are you doing with other countries, mainly international sales?”

They told me — without even complaining, because they have been so mistreated for so long that they’ve become used to it — that it’s very hard to do business with other countries, because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in the case of another country, they taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.

They weren’t even asking for a change. But I am. I believe ...

(APPLAUSE)

I believe strongly in free trade, but it also has to be fair trade. It’s been a long time since we had fair trade.

The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, warned that “the abandonment of the protective policy by the American government will produce want and ruin among our people.”

Lincoln was right, and it’s time we heeded his advice and his words.

(APPLAUSE)

I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers be taken — advantage of us any longer. They have taken advantage of our country no longer.

(APPLAUSE)

I am going to bring back millions of jobs. Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration.

(APPLAUSE)

The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers and puts great pressure on taxpayers. Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others, have a merit-based immigration system.

(APPLAUSE)

It’s a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet in America we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs American taxpayers many billions of dollars a year. [Fact check: This needs context.] Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, we will have so many more benefits. It will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages and help struggling families, including immigrant families, enter the middle class. And they will do it quickly, and they will be very, very happy, indeed.

(APPLAUSE)

I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security and to restore respect for our laws.

If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens, then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.

(APPLAUSE)

Another Republican president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program: the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.

(APPLAUSE)

America has spent approximately $6 trillion in the Middle East, all the while our infrastructure at home is crumbling.

With the $6 trillion, we could have rebuilt our country twice, and maybe even three times, if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.

(APPLAUSE)

To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure of the United States, financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs.

(APPLAUSE)

This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American and hire American.

(APPLAUSE)

Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare ...

(APPLAUSE)

... with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs and at the same time provide better health care.

(APPLAUSE)

Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for our country.

(APPLAUSE)

The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.

(APPLAUSE)

Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. [Fact check: True, but cherry-picked.] As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his state, the state of Kentucky, and it’s unsustainable and collapsing.

One third of the counties have only one insurer, and they’re losing them fast, they are losing them so fast. They’re leaving. And many Americans have no choice at all. There’s no choice left.

Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor and keep your plan? We now know that all of those promises have been totally broken. Obamacare is collapsing, and we must act decisively to protect all Americans.

(APPLAUSE)

Action is not a choice; it is a necessity. So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.

(APPLAUSE)

Here are the principles that should guide Congress as we move to create a better health care system for all Americans.

First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the health care exchanges.

(APPLAUSE)

Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded health savings accounts, but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by our government.

(APPLAUSE)

Thirdly, we should give our state governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.

(APPLAUSE)

Fourth, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.

(APPLAUSE)

And finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines ...

(APPLAUSE)

... which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care. So important.

Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing and hope. Our citizens deserve this, and so much more, so why not join forces and finally get the job done and get it done right?

(APPLAUSE)

On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country and for the good of the American people.

(APPLAUSE)

My administration wants to work with members of both parties to make child care accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents that they have paid family leave ...

(APPLAUSE)

... to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clean water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.

(APPLAUSE)

True love for our people requires us to find common ground, to advance the common good, and to cooperate on behalf of every American child who deserves a much brighter future.

An incredible young woman is with us this evening who should serve as an inspiration to us all. Today is Rare Disease Day, and joining us in the gallery is a rare disease survivor, Megan Crowley. Megan ...

(APPLAUSE)

Megan was diagnosed with Pompe disease, a rare and serious illness, when she was 15 months old. She was not expected to live past 5. On receiving this news, Megan’s dad, John, fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child. He founded a company to look for a cure and helped develop the drug that saved Megan’s life. Today she is 20 years old and a sophomore at Notre Dame.

(APPLAUSE)

Megan’s story is about the unbounded power of a father’s love for a daughter. But our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances, like the one that saved Megan’s life, from reaching those in need.

If we slash the restraints, not just at the F.D.A. but across our government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles just like Megan.

(APPLAUSE)

In fact, our children will grow up in a nation of miracles. But to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind — and the souls — of every American child. Education is the civil rights issue of our time.

(APPLAUSE)

I am calling upon members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children.

(APPLAUSE)

These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.

(APPLAUSE)

Joining us tonight in the gallery is a remarkable woman, Denisha Merriweather. As a young girl, Denisha struggled in school and failed third grade twice. But then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning — great learning center — with the help of a tax credit and a scholarship program. Today, she is the first in her family to graduate, not just from high school, but from college. Later this year, she will get her master’s degree in social work. We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like Denisha.

(APPLAUSE)

But to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence. The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century. [Fact check: True, but somewhat misleading.] In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone, and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher. This is not acceptable in our society.

(APPLAUSE)

Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school and to have access to a high-paying job.

(APPLAUSE)

But to create this future, we must work with — not against — not against — the men and women of law enforcement.

(APPLAUSE)

We must build bridges of cooperation and trust, not drive the wedge of disunity and it’s — really, it’s what it is, division. It’s pure, unadulterated division. We have to unify. Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They’re friends and neighbors, they’re mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry about whether or not they’ll come home safe and sound. We must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.

(APPLAUSE)

And we must support the victims of crime. I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American victims. The office is called Voice, Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement.

We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media [Fact check: They have received coverage.] and silenced by special interests. Joining us ...

(APPLAUSE)

Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them. Their names are Jamiel Shaw, Susan Oliver, Jenna Oliver and Jessica Davis. Jamiel’s 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member who had just been released from prison. Jamiel Shaw Jr. was an incredible young man with unlimited potential who was getting ready to go to college, where he would have excelled as a great college quarterback.

But he never got the chance. His father, who is in the audience tonight, has become a very good friend of mine. Jamiel, thank you. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Also with us are Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis. Their husbands — Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis — were slain in the line of duty in California. They were pillars of their community. These brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations. Should have never been in our country.

Sitting with Susan is her daughter, Jenna. Jenna, I want you to know that your father was a hero and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you.

(APPLAUSE)

To Jamiel, Jenna, Susan and Jessica, I want you to know that we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never, ever be forgotten. We will always honor their memory.

(APPLAUSE)

Finally, to keep America safe, we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war — if they must — they have to fight and they only have to win.

(APPLAUSE)

I am sending Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester...

(APPLAUSE)

... and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.

My budget will also increase funding for our veterans. Our veterans have delivered for this nation, and now we must deliver for them.

(APPLAUSE)

The challenges we face as a nation are great. But our people are even greater. And none are greater or braver than those who fight for America in uniform.

(APPLAUSE)

We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of U.S. Navy special operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived, a warrior and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation.

(APPLAUSE)

I just spoke to our great General [Jim] Mattis just now who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemy.”

Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

And Ryan is looking down right now. You know that. And he’s very happy, because I think he just broke a record.

(APPLAUSE)

For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country and for our freedom. And we will never forget Ryan.

(APPLAUSE)

To those allies who wonder what kind of a friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform. Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies all across the globe.

We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two world wars, that dethroned fascism ...

(APPLAUSE)

... and a Cold War and defeated communism.

(APPLAUSE)

But our partners must meet their financial obligations. And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that. In fact, I can tell you the money is pouring in. Very nice.

(APPLAUSE)

We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East or in the Pacific, to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost — have to do that.

We will respect historic institutions, but we will respect the foreign rights of all nations. And they have to respect our rights as a nation, also.

(APPLAUSE)

Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people, and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

But we know that America is better off when there is less conflict, not more. We must learn from the mistakes of the past. We have seen the war and the destruction that have ravaged and raged throughout the world. All across the world.

The only long-term solution for these humanitarian disasters, in many cases, is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home and begin the long, long process of rebuilding.

(APPLAUSE)

America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict. We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies, decades ago, fought on the opposite side of these terrible, terrible wars. This history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world.

Hopefully, the 250th year for America will see a world that is more peaceful, more just, and more free.

On our 100th anniversary in 1876, citizens from across our nation came to Philadelphia to celebrate America’s centennial. At that celebration, the country’s builders and artists and inventors showed off their wonderful creations. Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time. Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light. Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen. Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year.

(APPLAUSE)

Think of the marvels we could achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people. Cures to the illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope. American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream. Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect. And streets where mothers are safe from fear — schools where children learn in peace, and jobs where Americans prosper and grow — are not too much to ask.

(APPLAUSE)

When we have all of this, we will have made America greater than ever before, for all Americans. This is our vision. This is our mission. But we can only get there together. We are one people, with one destiny.

We all bleed the same blood. We all salute the same great American flag. And we are all made by the same God.

(APPLAUSE)

When we fulfill this vision, when we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American greatness began. The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us. We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts, the bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls, and the confidence to turn those hopes and those dreams into action.

From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears, inspired by the future, not bound by failures of the past, and guided by a vision, not blinded by our doubts.

I am asking all citizens to embrace this renewal of the American spirit. I am asking all members of Congress to join me in dreaming big and bold and daring things for our country. I am asking everyone watching tonight to seize this moment. Believe in yourselves. Believe in your future. And believe, once more, in America.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States.

The Speech Fact Checking

Tanach on Google Maps

posted Dec 5, 2016, 1:13 PM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Dec 5, 2016, 1:15 PM by Z9 Network ]

A Timeline of US-Cuba Relations

posted Nov 26, 2016, 4:39 PM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Nov 26, 2016, 4:40 PM by Z9 Network ]

PHOTO:

Fidel Castro's rule of Cuba began in 1959 -- when he became the island nation's prime minister -- until 2008, when he transferred power to his brother, Raul Castro.

Tensions between Cuba and the U.S. had been fraught for decades before Castro's reign, however, and those tensions had a role in Castro's political ascent.

Here are key milestones in U.S.-Cuba relations:

1897: U.S. President McKinley offers to buy Cuba from Spain for $300 million but Spain rejects the offer. Tensions are exacerbated after the U.S.S. Maine is blown up by unknown forces in Havana’s harbor, killing more than 250 American sailors.

1898: Spain loses Spanish-American war and Cuba essentially becomes a U.S. territory.

1902: The U.S. grants Cuba independence, but dictates the establishment of the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay as part of the deal. Another detail worked into the deal was that the U.S. had the right to intervene in Cuba, and American forces were subsequently sent into the country repeatedly to protect U.S. interests, like sugar factories, if there were uprisings.

1934: Gen. Fulgencio Batista was assisted by the U.S. in leading an uprising called the Revolt of the Sergeants, which was part of the coup that overthrew the government of Gerardo Machado. He was later elected the president of Cuba from 1940 to 1944, and led the country as a dictator from 1952 to 1959.

During Batista's rule, Cuba saw widespread inequality and unemployment, but it became a playground for global elites -- including wealthy Americans and members of the mafia -- who frequented popular casinos and brothels. This atmosphere helped to sow the seeds of the Cuban Revolution.

1953 On July 26, 1953, Castro led a small group of revolutionaries in an attack against The Moncada Barracks, a military barracks in Santiago de Cuba. The armed attack is widely accepted as the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. The date on which the attack took place was eventually adopted by Castro as the name for his revolutionary movement, "M 26-7," which upended Batista's reign in 1959.

1959: Castro, who was 32 years old at the time, announces that Manuel Urrutia Lleó will be the president of Cuba after the revolution topples Batista. Castro is cheered as he enters Havana, but many political opponents of the revolution, supporters of Batista's reign, are executed and dumped into mass graves. Castro assumes military and political power as Cuba's prime minister. Lleó leaves for the U.S. after experiencing differences with Castro.

Castro's takeover of the country means that Cuba becomes the first Communist state in the Western hemisphere. President Dwight Eisenhower institutes a ban on all exports to Cuba.

1961: Eisenhower breaks diplomatic ties with Cuba completely. The Bay of Pigs invasion, which is a led by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506, fails and ultimately is seen as having the opposite of its intended effect: Castro's leadership is strengthened, and he becomes a national hero.

1962: On September 7, 1962, President Kennedy expands a preexisting Cuban embargo, which focused on the sale of arms, to include all Cuban trade, except for non-subsidized sale of food and medicines -- a policy that is ultimately upheld for decades.

The placement of Soviet missiles on the island triggers the Cuban Missile Crisis one month later.

"This sudden, clandestine decision is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo," Kennedy said of the storage of Russian weapons in Cuba, prompting him to enforce a naval quarantine on the state.

The 13-day drama was the closest the Cold War got to turning kinetic.

Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev reached a deal wherein the Soviets withdrew their weapons from Cuba in return for the U.S. withdrawing its from Turkey.

1972 Castro's Cuba joins the COMECON, an economic organization of states designed to create cooperation among the socialist planned economies. The group dominated by the largest economy of the group, the Soviet Union.

1979 Castro gives one of his most famous speeches in an address to the U.N. In it, he condemns the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and urges world leaders to fight against inequality.

"Enough of the illusion that the world's problems can be solved with nuclear weapons. Bombs might kill the hungry, the sick and the ignorant, but they cannot kill hunger, disease, ignorance and the people's just rebellion. In the holocaust, the wealthy will also die. They are the ones that stand to lose the most in this world," he said.

1991: The fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba's biggest patron and ally on the world stage, triggers an economic crisis in Cuba.

1996: Cuban jets shoot down two small planes operated by Brothers to the Rescue, a Miami-based activist group. The aircraft had been releasing leaflets over Cuban territory.

1998: U.S. authorities apprehend the Cuban Five –- a group of five spies tasked with infiltrating American activist groups, including Brothers to the Rescue.

1999-2000: The custody battle between family members in Florida and Cuba over Elian Gonzalez, a young boy who was rescued when a boat ferrying him to the U.S. overturned, captivates the world. Gonzalez was ultimately returned to Cuba.

2008: Fidel Castro transfers power to his brother, Raúl Castro.

2014: President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro announce a diplomatic deal that features the release of 53 political prisoners being held in Cuba, including American Alan Gross.

2016: Obama becomes the first U.S. president to visit the island in 88 years.

"We still have some work to do," Obama told ABC News' David Muir. "I think it is very important for the United States not to view ourselves as the agents of change here, but rather to encourage and facilitate Cubans themselves to bring about changes. ... We want to make sure that whatever changes come about are empowering Cubans."

2016: Fidel Castro dies at age 90.


א אפענע בריוו צו די ראשי הישיבות, פון א טאטע

posted Nov 24, 2016, 1:49 PM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Nov 24, 2016, 1:50 PM by Z9 Network ]

ראש חודש מרחשון תשע"ז לפ"ק,
לכבוד הנהלת המתיבתא שליט"א כל אחד בשמו יבורך:

יישר כחכם פאר אייך אלע! איך האב נישט גענוג ווערטער וויאזוי אייך צו "באדאנקען"...

א טאטע וואס גייט אדורך שבעה מדורי גיהנם אין זיין פרעזענליכע לעבן, און איז געצוואונגען געווען צו גיין וואנדערן פאריאהר אין גלות קיין מאנסי בעירום ובחוסר כל, און האלט אין איין רופן כסדר די מתיבתא אפיס זייט פסח, זיכער צו מאכען אז זיין זוהן – וואס איז געווען ביז יעצט ביי אונז אין ישיבה קטנה - וועט קענען אריין גיין אין מתיבתא אויפ'ן קומענדיגען יאהר, ווי מ'טוט אים בארוהיגען במשך אגאנצען זומער אז "ס'איז נישט קיין פראבלעם - ר' לייביש גייט אדורך די מאנסי ליסט ערשט ביים סוף זומער" - אבער דריי טעג איידער ישיבה פאנגט זיך אן ר"ח אלול, זענען זיי פלוצלינג מחליט אז זיין זוהן קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א טאטע וואס פאר 30 יאהר צוריק פלעגט נישט פארפעלן קיין טיש ביים רב זצ"ל, ווייל ס'איז געווען א "חוב קדוש" ביי אים, גוט אויסצוהערן די רב'ס תורה יעדן שבת און יו"ט כדי צו קענען דאס גוט געדענקען כדי אראפצושרייבען נאכדעם - זיין זוהן קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א טאטע וואס פאר 28 יאהר צוריק פלעגט ארומלויפען מיט א טעיפ-רעקארדער (ווער געדענקט נאך היינט אפילו וואס דאס איז ?...) יעדן מוצ"ש כדי אויפצוכאפען די רב זצ"ל'ס סיפורי צדיקים בשעת מלוה מלכה - זיין זוהן קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א טאטע וואס פאר 27 יאהר צוריק פלעגט זיצען מיט זיין טייפ-רייטער (גיי זיי מסביר היינט וואס דאס מיינט...) אויבען אויפ'ן העכסטען שטאק פון בנין המתיבתא, ביז שפעט אינדערנאכט, אפצוטייפען די שיעורים פון ר' ברוך אברהם (וואס איז נאך דעמאלס געווען א מגיד שיעור בחייו של ר' משה דוד שטיינווארצעל ז"ל) וואס ווען סוף יאהר, ווייזענדיג די אפגעטייפטע שיעורים פון זיין אינגסטען איידעם, פאר'ן רב זצ"ל, שיין צוזאמענגעשטעלט אין א ספר, האט דער רב צו אים אויסגערופען מיט באגייסטערונג: "דו האסט מיר ממש מחיה געווען!" - זיין זוהן קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א טאטע וואס פאר 26 יאהר צוריק אין ישיבה האט געהאט א "התחייבות" ארויסצוהעלפן די ישיבה מיט די חתימות אויף די טרויעריג-באקאנטע "סטודענט-לאונס" פאר 25,000 $ מיט די "הבטחה" אז דאס איז "פארשטייט זיך" די אחריות פון די ישיבה צו באצאלען - און דערנאך אים געזאגט שיינערהייט "גיי הענג דיך", מיט די שווערע תוצאות פון דעם אויף כמה שנים דערנאך - בו בזמן ווען זיין טאטע - אן עני ואביון בתכלית - האט ערליך געצאלט שכר לימוד מידי חודש בחדשו - זיין זוהן קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א בחור וואס איז אליין יעצט אריינגעקומען צו פארן קיין בארא פארק סיי אויף יום כפור און סיי אויף שמיני עצרת ושמחת תורה, צו זיין במחיצתו פונעם רב שליט"א, הגם ער האט נישט געהאט א פאסענדע אכסניא צו זיין אויף יו"ט, נאר פארדעם ווייל ער האט נישט געקענט סובל זיין יו"ט צו זיין אין אן אנדערע סביבה מיט אן אנדערע נוסח ווי באבוב - אזא בחור קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א בחור וואס אלע מדריכים ומשגיחים וואס האבן געהאט א נאנטע פארבינדונג מיט אים, האבן אלע פה אחד מעיד געווען אז מ'רעדט דא וועגען א טייערע בחור וואס וויל זיין גוט און וויל לערנען (יא - איך קען געבן תיכף ומיד די נעמען פון די אלע וואס זענען טאקע אזוי מעיד אויף אים) - אזא בחור קען "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה. יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

א בחור וואס נאכ'ן רעדען און הערען פון אנ"ש דקהילתינו אז ס'איז נישט דא אזא זאך - נאר יעדער בחור וואס איז שוין אין די מוסד און אין די קהילה, איז בודאי אנגענומען אין מתיבתא, און האט דעריבער מחליט געווען זונטאג אינדערפרי צו נעמען א גמרא אין דער האנט אריין און זיך אוועקזעצען מיט די אנדערע בחורים בבנין המתיבתא - אזא בחור האט די מנהל אנגעכאפט ביי די אויערען און ארויסגעווארפען אויף די גאס! יישר כחכם פאר דעם!

ישלם ה' פעלכם ותהי משכורתכם שלימה מעם ה'! זאל אייך השי"ת אויך באצאלען פאר די היפאקראטיא פון אוחז זיין החבל בשתי ראשים - פון איין זייט (צו נוצען די וואכעדיגע פרשה) יאמערן און קלאגען אויף "די מבול פון כי השחית כל בשר את דרכו וואס הערשט אויף די שרעקליכע גאס מיט די שרעקליכע נסיונות" און תוך כדי דיבור - הערמעטיש צו פארשפארען די תיבת נח פון איינער וואס וויל זיך דארט ראטעווען - און בידים ארויסווארפען איינער וואס האט זיך "דערוואגט "זיך אריינצוכאפען אין תיבת נח - אן די "נויטיגע רעגיסטראציע פאפירען", און זיך ווארפען מיט בחורים כאבן ביד המסתת, ברצותו אוחז וברצותו מכתת...

און פארוואס טאקע קען אזא בחור "בשום אופן שבעולם" נישט נתקבל ווערן אין ישיבה? אויפדעם קומט די פוילע תירוץ פון די הנהלה: "מיר האבן אסאך פראבלעמען מיט מאנסי בחורים" - כאילו אז איינמאל מ'גייט אדורך די וואשינגטאן-ברידזש, ווערן די בחורים פלוצלינג באפאלען מיט אזא מין "רוח רעה" וואס טוט זיי מטמא זיין, און ווערן פסול פון אריינגיין אין באבובער מתיבתא, וואס אזא מין רוח-רעה טוט פשוט נישט שולט זיין אויף בארא-פארקער בחורים...

חוץ מזה וואס דאס איז שקר - מחמת כהיום הזה זענען דא כמה בחורים אין מתיבתא וואס וואוינען טאקע אין מאנסי און זענען ווארשיינליך נישט אנגעשטעקט געווארען מיט די "מאנסי רוח רעה"...

אבער יותר מזה - איך בין אליין געווען א בחור אין מתיבתא פאר 30 יאהר צוריק - מיר רעדן יעצט וועגען שנות תשמ"ז, תשמ"ח, תשמ"ט, תש"נ, תשנ"א, תשנ"ב, און איך קען אדורכגיין א לאנגע ליסטע פון בחורים אין מתיבתא בימים ההם וואס זענען געווען זייער ווייט פון די מדריגה פון א "חסידישע בחור" - ועוד גרוע מזה - ואין כאן המקום להאריך... (און בימים ההם - נישט נאר אז די אינטערנעט האט נישט עקזיסטירט - נאר אפילו א סעל-פאון האט נישט עקזיסטירט - אפילו נישט א פליפ-פאון - להוציא מלבן פון די אלע וואס מיינען אז די יצר הרע איז געקומען אויף דער וועלט צוזאמען מיט'ן אינטערנעט, און אז לפני עשרים שנה איז געווען א "דור דעה" ווי די יצר הרע האט פשוט נישט עקזיסטירט...) און פונדעסטוועגען האט ר' זושא זיי אריינגענומען בתוך כותלי המתיבתא, און "וואונדער איבער וואונדער" - מיר זענען נאך אלץ געבליבען שומרי שבת...

איז ממילא זאל מיר קיינער נישט פארקויפען קיין לאקשען מיט די נארישע פשעטלעך... איך בין נישט נעכטען געבוירען געווארען...

איך האב נאך אסאך וואס צו זאגען איבער דעם ענין - ובעיקר מסביר צו זיין אז איר האט אלע שוין לאנג פארגעסן די עיקר סיבה און עיקר תכלית פארוואס מיר האבן בכלל ישיבות אין אונזערע חסידישע קרייזען בכלל - און אין באבוב בפרט - וואס איז אגב מחמת סיבות וואס זענען בהחלט אנדערש ווי אין די ליטווישע קרייזען (עלינו לשבח לאדון הכל שלא שם חלקנו כהם וגורלנו ככל המונם – מחמת כמה טעמים שאכמ"ל) - אבער אין הזמן מספיק, וואס דאס אליין פאדערט א לענגערע ביאור דאס מסביר צו זיין, ועוד חזון למועד...

און יעצט - הייבט אן אייערע נייע חשון זמן מיט אייערע "הענד-פיקט" בחורים, וואס זענען אלע אודאי "כולם ברורים כולם קדושים מרחם אמם - בלי שום הרהור חטא ועון כלל", וואס די יצר הרע האט פשוט נישט קיין שום שליטה ואחיזה כל שהוא אויף קיין איינער פון זיי (אזוי ווי כמה בחורים אין מיין זוהן'ס פאריאהריגע קלאס, וואס זענען יעצט אריין אין מתיבתא, כגון פ... וכיוצא בו, וואס איך וויל נישט יעצט נוקב בשמם זיין, וואס האבן בודאי מעולם קיינמאל נישט געהאט קיין שום נטיה צו קיין שום ענין רע...) וואס פארשטייט זיך אז נאר "אזאלכע בחורים" זענען פאסיג אריינצוגיין אין מתיבתא, און אודאי איז דאס אויך רצון השם יתברך אז טאקע אזוי דארף א ישיבה זיך פירען, און ער האט שטארק נחת רוח פון דעם, און טוט זיך בארימען: "באבובער מתיבתא אשר בך אתפאר"...

בושה תכסה פניכם! שעמטס אייך אלע! כל אחד בשמו יתבזה ויתכלם!

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Your Ultimate Black Friday Neighborhood Shopping Guide

posted Nov 21, 2016, 11:26 AM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Nov 21, 2016, 11:28 AM by Z9 Network ]

Ready, set, shop!

Traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year and the start of the holiday gift-buying season, on Black Friday retailers often deeply discount big ticket items like electronics to tempt customers to spend their hard-earned dollars in their stores. 

The average shopper will spend $588.90 on gifts for other people this year, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, a retail trade association.

The survey also found that consumers plan to spend an average of $139.61 on themselves.

If you're planning to shop for family, friends or yourself this Black Friday, DNAinfo New York is here to help. 

MANHATTAN

Black Friday is almost here, and stores are already advertising their Nov. 25 doorbuster sales. 

Our neighborhood reporters have compiled a list of major shopping districts, including a selection of stores, in Manhattan to help you make a plan and be prepared for the retail madness.

► Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., Battery Park City

Fashionistas headed to Brookfield Place can scour the racks at Saks Fifth AvenueClub Monaco and J.Crew for Black Friday sales. Luxury cosmetic brand COS Bar, which also carries skincare products for both men and women, also has a store at Brookfield Place.

► Westfield World Trade Center Mall, 185 Greenwich St., Financial District

If you're feeling brave on the busiest shopping day of the year you can hit the crowd at the Apple Store to see if you can score a detail on gadgets this holiday season. Shoppers will also find SephoraBanana RepublicVictoria’s Secret and H&M.

► TriBeCa Target, 225 Greenwich St., TriBeCa

The retail giant is touting its Black Friday deals which include electronics like TVs, tablets and phones. Parents can also save money on video games and toys for the holiday season.

► Broadway, from Houston and Canal streets, SoHo

Clothiers UniqloZaraBanana Republic and Madewell all have locations in this trendy shopping district. There is also a Bloomingdale’s and a Sephora which will preview deals exclusively on its app staring on Nov. 18.

► Herald Square/Penn Station, West 34th Street between Sixth and Ninth avenues, Midtown

This stretch of shops along West 34th Street is home to many of the city's big box and discount stores. KMart will open at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving and give away deals until 2 p.m. on Black Friday. There is also an H&MOld NavyB&HMacy’sDSWModell’sand Famous Footwear in this shopping district.

► Fifth Avenue, between 50th and 59th streets, Midtown

Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s are the two department stores that anchor this stretch of shops which also includes stores like UniqloBanana RepublicZara and Hollister. You can also hit the Microsoft and Apple store if you're in the market for a new computer, gadgets or accessories.

► The Shops at Columbus Circle, West 59th Street and Broadway, Columbus Circle

This multi-story shopping complex includes a J.CrewH&MWilliams-SonomaCoachSephora and Papyrus.

► Columbus Square, West 97th to West 100th streets, Upper West Side 

If you're looking to stock up on kitchenware and decorations ahead of holiday parties, you might want to scan the shelves at HomeGoods or Michaels. Columbus Square also has a T.J. MaxxSephoraLOFT and Modell’s.

► Madison Avenue, from East 59th to East 90 streets, Upper East Side

Go high-end this Black Friday and shop luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, ChanelTory Burch and Kate Spade, as well as the department store Barneys. There is also a J.Crewand Madewell for more modestly priced deals. If you get hungry you can always pick up some macaron at Laudrée.

► East 86th Street, from Third to Park avenues, Upper East Side

This Upper East Side shopping area features big box stores like Best BuyPetco and P.C. Richards & Sons as well as shops like Sephora, H&MPapyrusTeavanaVictoria’s Secret, Bolton’s, L’Occitane en Provence and AldoBarnes & Noble will also have Black Friday deals including autographed books and discounts on Nook tablets.

► East River Plaza, 520 E. 117th St., East Harlem

Deal hunters can head uptown this Black Friday to shop at TargetMarshallsBurlington Coat Factory and Old Navy.

► 125th Street, between Madison and Morningside avenues, Central Harlem

Discount shoppers know this stretch of 125th Street for its MarshallsT.J. MaxxDSWGap Outlet, Burlington Coat Factory and Banana Republic Factory. On Black Friday they can also find additional deals at Old NavyH&MModell’s and New York & Company.

QUEENS

Black Friday is almost here, and stores are already advertising their Nov. 25 doorbuster sales. 

Our neighborhood reporters have compiled a list of major shopping districts, including a selection of stores, in Queens to help you make a plan and be prepared for the retail madness.

 Steinway Street, Astoria

Check out the handy shopping directory for Steinway Street that can help you plan you trips to ExpressGapVictoria’s SecretThe Children’s PlaceRadio ShackModell’s and countless smaller shops.

 Queens Center Mall, 90-10 Queens Blvd., Elmhurst

As one of the busiest shopping centers in the country, you can count on the Queens Center Mall being packed for Black Friday. Get there early and check out deals at some of the larger stores like Target and Macy’s before heading to the mall.

► Austin Street, between Ascan Avenue and 69th Road, Forest Hills

Shoppers can find many of their mall favorites on this Forest Hills street including GapTargetVictoria’s Secret, LOFTAnn Taylor FactoryBanana Republic FactorySephoraBath & Body Works, and The Children’s Place.

► Jamaica Avenue, between Parsons Boulevard and 169th Street, Jamaica

Shoppers looking for sneakers and workout gear can head to Foot Locker and Modell's. There are also MarshallsGap FactoryCarter’sCookie’s and Strawberrystores on Jamaica Avenue.

BROOKLYN

Black Friday is almost here, and stores are already advertising their Nov. 25 doorbuster sales. 

Our neighborhood reporters have compiled a list of major shopping districts, including a selection of stores, in Brooklyn to help you make a plan and be prepared for the retail madness.

► Atlantic Center/Atlantic Terminal Mall, 625 Atlantic Ave. and 139 Flatbush Ave., Park Slope, Prospect Heights and Fort Greene

Head to Central Brooklyn to get your holiday present shopping done this Black Friday. Some big-name stores that will be open for shoppers include TargetUniqloOld NavyVictoria’s SecretBest BuyBurlington Coat Factory and DSW.

► Atlantic Avenue near Boerum Place and Court Street, Boerum Hill

Head to Marshalls to find discounted deals, or prep for those holiday parties by picking up decorations at Michaels, which will have 70 percent off doorbusters on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

► Fulton Mall, Fulton Street between Adams Street and Flatbush Avenue, Downtown Brooklyn

With a mix of department stores (Macy’s), discount stores (Century 21 and Ann Taylor Factory) and other retailers (H&MGapBanana Republic and Forever 21), Fulton Mall is sure to be busy on Black Friday.

► Bedford Avenue, Williamsburg

Take the L train to shop the Williamsburg Apple Store if you're in the market for high-tech gadgets. There is also a J.Crew and Urban Outfitters to round out your shopping day with some new clothes.

► Broadway, near Graham and Flushing avenues, Williamsburg/Bushwick

This stretch of Broadway is home to a Modell’sRainbowTom Dick and HarryKidstown and V.I.M., among other stores.

► Knickerbocker Avenue, Bushwick

If you're looking for deals on video games and consoles, head to GameStop on Knickerbocker Avenue. The company said it wil release its Black Friday ad to shopperswho sign up for an alert first. There are is also a Foot LockerRainbowJasmine Apparel and Dollar Tree nearby.

► Flatbush Junction, Nostrand and Flatbush avenues, Flatbush

Whether you're looking to suit up or outfit the kids, you've got options at Flatbush Junction including Men's WarehouseThe Children's PlaceHomeGoods and Target.

THE BRONX

Black Friday is almost here, and stores are already advertising their Nov. 25 doorbuster sales. 

Our neighborhood reporters have compiled a list of major shopping districts, including a selection of stores, in The Bronx to help you make a plan and be prepared for the retail madness.

► The Hub, Third Avenue and 149th Street, Mott Haven

Hit up this busy shopping area off the 2/5 train at Third Avenue — 149th Street to stock up at stores like Dr. Jay’sGameStopGNCJimmy Jazz and Payless Shoes.

STATEN ISLAND

Black Friday is almost here, and stores are already advertising their Nov. 25 doorbuster sales. 

Our neighborhood reporters have compiled a list of major shopping districts, including a selection of stores, in Staten Island to help you make a plan and be prepared for the retail madness.

► Richmond Avenue, between Forest Hill Road and Travis Avenue, New Springville

Head to Best Buy for Black Friday doorbusters and deals like up to 40 percent off on mayor appliances. Then you can continue your shopping expedition with a trip to TargetCostcoBarnes & Noble or the Staten Island Mall.

This column was compiled by DNAinfo reporters Irene Plagianos, Emily Frost, Maya Rajamani, Dartunorro Clark, Katie Honan, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska, Shaye Weaver, Danielle Tcholakian, Leslie Albrecht, Alexandra Leon, Rachel Holliday Smith, Nikhita Venugopal, Gwynne Hogan, Eddie Small and Nicholas Rizzi.

2016 Voter Guide

posted Nov 4, 2016, 1:20 PM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Nov 7, 2016, 8:10 AM by Z9 Network ]

The Z9Network has collected a list of the candidates and races that could appear on your ballot. Note that multiple districts often fall within the same neighborhood. (Check here to see what exactly is on your ballot.


You can bookmark this page to plan who you’re voting for, and come back here Tuesday to see the results come in.

Contents

  1. 1 The Z9Network has collected a list of the candidates and races that could appear on your ballot. Note that multiple districts often fall within the same neighborhood. (Check here to see what exactly is on your ballot.) 
  2. 2 Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick 2016 Voter Guide
    1. 2.1 President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide
      1. 2.1.1 Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)
      2. 2.1.2 Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)
      3. 2.1.3 Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)
      4. 2.1.4 Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)
    2. 2.2 U.S. Senator - Citywide
      1. 2.2.1 Charles E. Schumer (D)
      2. 2.2.2 Wendy Long (R)
      3. 2.2.3 Robin Laverne Wilson (G)
      4. 2.2.4 Alex Merced (L)
    3. 2.3 Representative in Congress - 7th Congressional District
      1. 2.3.1 Nydia M. Velazquez (D)
      2. 2.3.2 Allan E. Romaguera (R)
    4. 2.4 Representative in Congress - 12th Congressional District
      1. 2.4.1 Carolyn B. Maloney (D)
      2. 2.4.2 Robert Ardini (R)
    5. 2.5 State Senator - 18th Senatorial District
      1. 2.5.1 Martin Malave Dilan (D)
    6. 2.6 State Senator - 26th Senatorial District
      1. 2.6.1 Daniel Squadron (D)
    7. 2.7 Member of the Assembly - 50th Assembly District
      1. 2.7.1 Joseph R. Lentol (D)
    8. 2.8 Member of the Assembly - 53rd Assembly District
      1. 2.8.1 Maritza Davila (D)
    9. 2.9 Member of the Assembly - 54th Assembly District
      1. 2.9.1 Erik Martin Dilan (D)
      2. 2.9.2 Khorshed Chowdhury (R)
  3. 3 Bedford Stuyvesant 2016 Voter Guide
    1. 3.1 President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide
      1. 3.1.1 Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)
      2. 3.1.2 Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)
      3. 3.1.3 Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)
      4. 3.1.4 Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)
    2. 3.2 U.S. Senator - Citywide
      1. 3.2.1 Charles E. Schumer (D)
      2. 3.2.2 Wendy Long (R)
      3. 3.2.3 Robin Laverne Wilson (G)
      4. 3.2.4 Alex Merced (L)
    3. 3.3 Representative in Congress - 7th Congressional District
      1. 3.3.1 Nydia M. Velazquez (D)
      2. 3.3.2 Allan E. Romaguera (R)
    4. 3.4 Representative in Congress - 8th Congressional District
      1. 3.4.1 Hakeem S. Jeffries (D)
      2. 3.4.2 Daniel J. Cavanagh (C)
    5. 3.5 Representative in Congress - 19th Congressional District
      1. 3.5.1 Roxanne J. Persaud (D)
    6. 3.6 Representative in Congress - 25th Congressional District
      1. 3.6.1 Velmanette Montgomery (D)
      2. 3.6.2 Mamie Rose (R)
      3. 3.6.3 Michael G. Cox (I)
    7. 3.7 Member of the Assembly - 55th Assembly District
      1. 3.7.1 Latrice M. Walker (D)
      2. 3.7.2 Berneda W. Jackson (R)
    8. 3.8 Member of the Assembly - 56th Assembly District
      1. 3.8.1 Tremaine S. Wright (D)
    9. 3.9 Member of the Assembly - 57th Assembly District
      1. 3.9.1 Walter T. Mosley III (D)
  4. 4 Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens 2016 Voter Guide
    1. 4.1 President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide
      1. 4.1.1 Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)
      2. 4.1.2 Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)
      3. 4.1.3 Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)
      4. 4.1.4 Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)
    2. 4.2 U.S. Senator - Citywide
      1. 4.2.1 Charles E. Schumer (D)
      2. 4.2.2 Wendy Long (R)
      3. 4.2.3 Robin Laverne Wilson (G)
      4. 4.2.4 Alex Merced (L)
    3. 4.3 Representative in Congress - 8th Congressional District
      1. 4.3.1 Hakeem S. Jeffries (D)
      2. 4.3.2 Daniel J. Cavanagh (C)
    4. 4.4 Representative in Congress - 9th Congressional District
      1. 4.4.1 Yvette D. Clarke (D)
      2. 4.4.2 Alan Bellone (C)
    5. 4.5 State Senator - 25th Senatorial District
      1. 4.5.1 Velmanette Montgomery (D)
      2. 4.5.2 Mamie Rose (R)
      3. 4.5.3 Michael G. Cox (I)
    6. 4.6 Member of the Assembly - 43rd Assembly District
      1. 4.6.1 Diana Richardson (D)
    7. 4.7 Member of the Assembly - 52nd Assembly District
      1. 4.7.1 Jo Anne Simon (D)
      2. 4.7.2 Daniel Ramos (R)
    8. 4.8 Member of the Assembly - 55th Assembly District
      1. 4.8.1 Latrice M. Walker (D)
      2. 4.8.2 Berneda W. Jackson (R)
    9. 4.9 Member of the Assembly - 56th Assembly District
      1. 4.9.1 Tremaine S. Wright (D)
    10. 4.10 Member of the Assembly - 57th Assembly District
      1. 4.10.1 Walter T. Mosley III (D)

Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick 2016 Voter Guide

President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)

Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)

U.S. Senator - Citywide

Charles E. Schumer (D)

Wendy Long (R)

Robin Laverne Wilson (G)

Alex Merced (L)

Representative in Congress - 7th Congressional District

Nydia M. Velazquez (D)

Allan E. Romaguera (R)

Representative in Congress - 12th Congressional District

Carolyn B. Maloney (D)

Robert Ardini (R)

State Senator - 18th Senatorial District

Martin Malave Dilan (D)

State Senator - 26th Senatorial District

Daniel Squadron (D)

Member of the Assembly - 50th Assembly District

Joseph R. Lentol (D)

Member of the Assembly - 53rd Assembly District

Maritza Davila (D)

Member of the Assembly - 54th Assembly District

Erik Martin Dilan (D)

Khorshed Chowdhury (R)

Bedford Stuyvesant 2016 Voter Guide

President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)

Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)

U.S. Senator - Citywide

Charles E. Schumer (D)

Wendy Long (R)

Robin Laverne Wilson (G)

Alex Merced (L)

Representative in Congress - 7th Congressional District

Nydia M. Velazquez (D)

Allan E. Romaguera (R)

Representative in Congress - 8th Congressional District

Hakeem S. Jeffries (D)

Daniel J. Cavanagh (C)

Representative in Congress - 19th Congressional District

Roxanne J. Persaud (D)

Representative in Congress - 25th Congressional District

Velmanette Montgomery (D)

Mamie Rose (R)

Michael G. Cox (I)

Member of the Assembly - 55th Assembly District

Latrice M. Walker (D)

Berneda W. Jackson (R)

Member of the Assembly - 56th Assembly District

Tremaine S. Wright (D)

Member of the Assembly - 57th Assembly District

Walter T. Mosley III (D)

Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and Prospect-Lefferts Gardens 2016 Voter Guide

President & Vice President of the United States - Citywide

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tim Kaine (D)

Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence (R)

Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka (G)

Gary Johnson and Bill Weld (L)

U.S. Senator - Citywide

Charles E. Schumer (D)

Wendy Long (R)

Robin Laverne Wilson (G)

Alex Merced (L)

Representative in Congress - 8th Congressional District

Hakeem S. Jeffries (D)

Daniel J. Cavanagh (C)

Representative in Congress - 9th Congressional District

Yvette D. Clarke (D)

Alan Bellone (C)

State Senator - 25th Senatorial District

Velmanette Montgomery (D)

Mamie Rose (R)

Michael G. Cox (I)

Member of the Assembly - 43rd Assembly District

Diana Richardson (D)

Member of the Assembly - 52nd Assembly District

Jo Anne Simon (D)

Daniel Ramos (R)

Member of the Assembly - 55th Assembly District

Latrice M. Walker (D)

Berneda W. Jackson (R)

Member of the Assembly - 56th Assembly District

Tremaine S. Wright (D)

Member of the Assembly - 57th Assembly District

Walter T. Mosley III (D)


How to Watch the 3rd and Final Presidential Debate

posted Oct 19, 2016, 10:01 AM by Shulem Jeremias   [ updated Oct 19, 2016, 10:21 AM by Z9 Network ]

Start time: today 9 p.m. Eastern
Duration: About 90 minutes
Moderator: Chris Wallace of Fox News

Where to Watch


TV Sources:
🖥 On TV, tune in the ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, PBS, Telemundo, Univision or Fox News.

Learning and earning: Hasidic Brooklyn’s real estate machers

posted Oct 16, 2016, 12:36 AM by Tracht Beefor   [ updated Oct 16, 2016, 12:36 AM by Z9 Network ]

Investors from ultra-Orthodox sect have spent $2.5B+ in 5 areas over past decade: TRD analysis

Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim for The Real Deal

TRSpecial Report: On the day before Thanksgiving, Yoel Goldman phoned one of his go-to lenders with an urgent request.

The Brooklyn developer, who heads All Year Management, wanted to score a construction loan for his Albee Square project by Monday, which gave him just one business day to make it happen.

The lender, Gary Katz of Downtown Capital Partners, reminded him of Thanksgiving. But Goldman, who is from the Satmar sect of the Hasidic branch of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, countered: “So you can’t work Thanksgiving tomorrow, but you still have all of today, Friday and Sunday.’”

Katz tried an analogy. Wednesday, he told Goldman, is Erev Yontiff – “evening before the holy day” in Yiddish – and Friday is Chol HaMoed – a weekday between two holy days. For most Hasidic Jews, Chol HaMoed is an occasion for family and Talmud study, not dealmaking.

Goldman got that, and held off. Property records show he ultimately received a $25 million mortgage from Downtown Capital and RWN Real Estate Partners – on Christmas Eve.

The real estate investors who hail from Brooklyn’s insular Hasidic communities are some of the industry’s most active and powerful players. Over the past decade, they’ve spent more than $2.5 billion on acquisitions in five prime Brooklyn neighborhoods, according to an analysis of property records by The Real Deal. But unlike their Grill Room-dining, art-collecting Manhattan counterparts, they prefer to stay in the shadows, their connections to properties masked through a network of frontmen and a labyrinth of LLCs. Most have no websites, and some have never been photographed.

This immense cultural divide hasn’t stopped them from transforming key neighborhoods into yuppie central, where rents and sales prices have skyrocketed. From the second quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2016, the average apartment sales price in Williamsburg doubled – from $668,956 to $1.3 million, according to real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel. The average sales price in Bedford-Stuyvesant jumped 67.8 percent, to $877,225, and average monthly rents in Bushwick jumped 70.6 percent, to $2,643. Borough-wide over the same period, the average sales price climbed by 38.8 percent, to $816,827, and average monthly rents rose 26.2 percent, to $3,137, the data show.

“The Hasidic community helped create the frenzy [in Brooklyn] we have today,” said Pinnacle Realty’s David Junik. “They let the market explode after that.”

A clandestine empire

Any Brooklynite could tell you the Hasidim are prominent landlords in the borough. But the extent of their dominion long remained unclear.

These 10 addresses in Hasidic Williamsburg are linked to over $2.5 billion in real estate purchases (source: The Real Deal analysis of city property records)

These 10 addresses in Hasidic Williamsburg are linked to over $2.5 billion in real estate purchases (source: The Real Deal analysis of city property records)

TRD reviewed every building purchase in five of the borough’s fastest-growing neighborhoods – Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Borough Park – between January 2006 and mid-June 2016. Over this period, 10 addresses – affiliated with one or more firms  – were each responsible for at least $100 million in purchases. The analysis included only addresses where the total expenditure involved five or more separate purchases, indicating repeat bets on neighborhoods. Firms like Forest City Ratner, Two Trees Management and Spitzer Enterprises, for example, also spent big on these neighborhoods, but made fewer deals.

The 10 addresses (see chart above) were predominantly clustered in South Williamsburg and Borough Park. In Williamsburg, they include 390 Berry Street, 320 Roebling Street, 266 Broadway, 183 Wilson Street, 543 Bedford Avenue, 199 Lee Avenue and 505 Flushing Avenue. Mapping them out north to south takes you on a walking tour through the heart of the neighborhood’s Hasidic enclave.

The addresses point to a who’s who of Brooklyn real estate: Simon Dushinsky and Isaac Rabinowitz’s Rabsky Group; Joseph Brunner and Abe Mandel’s Bruman Realty; Yoel Goldman’s All Year Management; Joel Gluck’s Spencer Equity; Joel Schwartz; the Hager family; and Joel Schreiber’s Waterbridge Capital.

One address, 199 Lee Avenue, is affiliated with an incredible 1,400 LLCs. Over the 10-year period, the mailbox hub on Hasidic Wiliamsburg’s main commercial corridor is linked to 423 purchases totaling $583.5 million, the data show.

Some of the biggest deals were Goldman’s April 2016 purchase of part of the Rheingold Brewery site in Bushwick for $72.2 million, and Goldman and Toby Moskovits’ 2012 purchase of the Williamsburg Generator site at 25 Kent Avenue for $31.8 million. (Goldman is no longer an investor in the 480,000-square-foot Generator office project.)

Dushinsky, Goldman, Brunner and Mandel are considered the heavyweights. Goldman, who is in his mid-30s, owns a portfolio of more than 140 rental buildings. The bulk of his holdings were included in his bond offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and were valued at $850 million, according to a recent filing. He’s also looking to build up to 900 rental apartments at a 1 million-square-foot complex at the former Rheingold Brewery site. Brunner and Mandel, also in their 30s, own more than 100 buildings. Dushinsky, who is in his 40s, has more than 600,000 square feet under development, including a 500-unit project at the Rheingold site. He’s also pushing for a rezoning at the former Pfizer site at the edge of Bed-Stuy that would allow him to develop a 777-unit rental complex.


A rendering of All Year Management’s Rheingold Brewery project (credit: ODA New York)

Most of these investors, believers in the concept of “ayin ha-ra” or evil eye, either didn’t  respond to requests for comment for this story or declined to comment. Dozens of market sources who spoke to TRD for this story did so under condition of anonymity, for fear of antagonizing them.

“They believe their success happens because they’re under the radar,” a former employee at a top financial brokerage said. “Blessings come from God for staying private.”

The pious ones  

During and after World War II, thousands of Hasidim migrated from places such as Hungary, Romania, Poland and South Ukraine to Williamsburg and Borough Park. Joel Teitelbaum, the founder of the Satmar Hasidic movement, urged the young men to balance their prayers with jobs that would provide for the community. Some went into the diamond trade, kosher foods, garments and light manufacturing. Real estate was particularly appealing because for a long time, Jews in Europe were barred from owning land.

“There was a deeply psychological aspect to owning real estate that drove the first wave,” a source said. “There wasn’t a notion that they could get rich off this.”

Today, their approach to the business is completely different. Hasidic investors — including those from the Vizhnitz, Satmar, Klausenberg and Ger dynasties — are among the fastest-moving dealmakers in the industry, and have jumped headfirst into property speculation and large-scale development.

WilliamsburgGreenpointRezoning


For decades, the Satmars had been lobbying for the Williamsburg-Greenpoint rezoning, which came to pass in 2005 and transformed a roughly 175-block area along the East River from industrial to residential and mixed-use. The rezoning led to a luxury condominium and rental boom in the borough, but when the market turned in 2008, development and lending slowed. A select few Hasidic firms then bought nonperforming mortgages.

“A lot of capital withdrew from real estate,” said Gabriel Boyar of Columbia River Capital Advisors, a real estate investment and advisory firm. “Those who remained doubled down and acquired assets at a cheap price.”

By the early 2010s, as the industry recovered, the firms brought those buildings or parcels to market, reaping large gains.

These days, the Hasidim are some of the keenest practitioners of the buy-and-flip, often employing the 1031 deferred-tax exchange to plough profits from one deal into the next. They also use their construction savvy to get projects moving before selling them at a premium.

Rabsky, for example, bought a former silverware factory at 51 Jay Street in Dumbo for $25 million in 2012. Within a year, the firm secured approval for a one-story addition as part of a proposed residential conversion, and then sold the building to Silverstone Property Group for $45.5 million. Silverstone’s Martin Nussbaum and David Schwartz, who later formed Slate Property Group, partnered with Adam America Real Estate to develop it into 73 condo units and a townhouse. The late Satmar president Isaac Rosenberg  and his brother Abraham, after securing a zoning variance at 462-484 Kent Avenue, put the site on the market for $210 million, drawing interest from the likes of HFZ Capital Group and Michael Fascitelli.

“Blessings come from God for staying private.”

The business “became more of a trade than a long-term investment,” said a prominent lawyer for Hasidim-led firms. “They used to look at yield over 30 years. There’s more of a shorter vision now – just two to three years.”

Despite this more frenetic pace, many things remain as they were. Developers often live and work on the ground floor of buildings they own. They’re uncomfortable dining out, unlike the Gary Barnetts of the world who frequent kosher hotspots such as the Prime Grill. Their schmoozing happens at school functions, weddings and synagogue.

Two of the largest Satmar synagogues, located on Rodney Street and Hooper Street respectively, are both called Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar. Inside them, investors chit-chat at the ritual bath known as a mikvah. “You see people,” one source said, “and you just bullshit.”

Given that the poverty rate in the Hasidic community — 43 percent, according to a 2011 UJA-Federation of New York study — is the highest among Orthodox Jews, the developers’ patronage of yeshivas and synagogues gives them a lofty status.

“Real estate is not a big employer,” said Philip Fishman, author of “A Sukkah Is Burning: Remembering Williamsburg’s Hasidic Transformation.” “It’s only a few percent of the total community, but some [developers] may be worth tens of millions of dollars and are relied upon to support many of the poor people.”

The ultra-Orthodox enclave of Williamsburg — a top beneficiary of Section 8 housing vouchers — is almost exclusively Hasidic, while Borough Park is home to both Hasidic and Haredi Jews. Due to extremely high birth rates, the Hasidic population in Brooklyn has been forced to spread south of Williamsburg into northern Bed-Stuy and expand its footprint in the heavily Orthodox village of Kiryas Joel upstate, Fishman said.

Along with secular housing, developers like Rabsky continue to build religious housing – “by Jews, for Jews,” as a source put it. The projects typically hold cookie-cutter units that are sold at discounts. There is also a loose rule to preserve housing for fellow Hasidim: If one buys a building owned by a non-Jew, he may market it to hipsters. If one buys a building from a paisan, however, he should keep it as is. Luxury buildings in Williamsburg like the Gretsch – a condo conversion at 60 Broadway by Orthodox Jewish developers Martin and Edward Wydra, where a penthouse sold in 2013 for $4.3 million – faced strong opposition from the Hasidic community.

Though there are occasional displays of wealth among the Hasidim — rich men, or “gvirim,” may sport a felt derby hat from Bencraft Hatters, which offers more than 100 styles — they are far removed from the flashes of excess seen among others in the industry.

“If you don’t have a 72-foot Azimut yacht, two Ferraris and three houses, what the hell do you do with your money?” a source said.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 10.50.45 AMMishpacha

The Hasidim have become masters of the deal syndication model pioneered by late titan Harry Helmsley: To make an acquisition, they bring in anywhere from dozens to thousands of small-time equity investors, both local and international. Though their operations have grown more sophisticated, company heads tend to steer clear of dense Excel spreadsheets to run the numbers on a prospective deal.

“These guys are still very old school,” a lender source said. “They’ve memorized half the Talmud – they prefer to do complex calculations in their head.”

Their approach to financing projects also stands out. While firms such as Two Trees Management and Tishman Speyer shoot for the big institutional loan up-front, many Hasidim wait until just before breaking ground to line up funds. They prefer to finance in smaller loan increments over multiple stages, which allows them to tweak their design plans or bring in new partners, and then subsequently restructure the financing, sources said. Josh Zegen, co-founder of Madison Realty Capital, said this approach is “more of a middle-market entrepreneur thing” in general.

“As values increased, some sponsors have refinanced their properties during the course of development, using leverage to return equity to their investors,” Boyar said. Once the property is fully leased and operating, they can secure long-term debt. By contrast, he added, “institutional developers have been able to take advantage of the capital markets and finance their developments early on at lower interest rates.”

“If you don’t have a 72-foot Azimut yacht, two Ferraris and three houses, what the hell do you do with your money?”

Most Hasidic investors rely on hard money lenders, a cadre that includes G4 Capital Partners, Emerald Creek Capital, Downtown Capital Partners and Trevian Capital. They also tap development and investment firms like Madison Realty Capital and Ari Shalam’s RWN Real Estate Partners, the family office of Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan.

But some of the bigger players have been able to lock in major banks and other institutional lenders.

In the past year, Rabsky secured $95 million from TD Bank to refinance its debt at Leonard Pointe and an $80 million acquisition loan from Bank Leumi for a development site it bought from Forest City Ratner. For the Rheingold Brewery redevelopment, Madison Realty Capital and Bank Leumi provided acquisition financing — $70 million to All Year and $50 million to Rabsky, respectively.

Other banks that work with the bigger Hasidic firms include Dime Savings Bank, Santander Bank, Centennial Bank, Bank United and Modern Bank, sources said.

Some Hasidim have taken their quest for funds to the the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Goldman, for example, raised $166 million to date, from a total of two bond issuances. Pooling properties together makes them easier to refinance, a source said. But others in the community, reluctant for the spotlight that comes from being in the public markets, avoid this path.

Amid the deal frenzy, the Hasidim are also dabbling in trading debt.

“These guys are very liquid,” said a prominent financing broker. “You’ll see them very strategically buying notes on properties, but only within their own strike zone. They are very, very good in the markets that they know.”

The outside world

The Hasidim are encouraged to remain insular — except when it comes to business.

Some developers from the community have become especially skilled at making a high-end product for young and upwardly mobile professionals, Jewish or otherwise.

“They’ve memorized half the Talmud – they prefer to do complex calculations in their head.”

“They’re informed about new trends to the extent that it might be shocking,” said Eran Chen, founder of ODA New York, which is designing the Rheingold Brewery sites for Goldman and Rabsky. “If you sell something and do it well, it’s still not something that you would necessarily buy [for yourself].”

The Rabsky principals, for example, proposed a series of treehouses in landscaped Zen gardens located throughout the under-construction building at 10 Montieth Street. That property will boast a 25,000-square-foot zigzagging landscaped roof for biking, running and gardening.

 A rendering of 10 Montieth Street (credit: ODA New York)

A rendering of 10 Montieth Street (credit: ODA New York)

“We have conversations about amenity spaces I’ve never had before – typologies that don’t exist,” Chen said. “People have a preconceived view: that they don’t experience the city as we do. But they walk around the projects we do, they read, and they have the ability to quickly gain knowledge.”

The Hasidim are more than willing to do deals with outsiders, brokers said, but it’s not always easy to get their ear.

“If you call an owner in Brooklyn and speak Yiddish, you’re going to get a lot further,” said Gabriel Saffioti, who along with colleague Nicole Rabinowitsch left Eastern Consolidated earlier this year to launch Williamsburg-based brokerage Constellation Real Estate Advisors. Rabinowitsch said she hands out business cards at kosher Williamsburg eatery Gottlieb’s to draw potential clients.

JoelDespite their best efforts, Hasidic investors have recently drawn increased attention — and controversy.

Late last year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a list of landlords with properties that benefit from 421a tax abatements but allegedly don’t offer rent-regulated leases to tenants. Rabsky, which was also accused of abusing preferential rent rules at a Williamsburg rental building in a ProPublica investigation, was one of the landlords. The firm denies the claims.

In March, Allure Group, a for-profit nursing-home operator led by Solomon Rubin of the Borough Park-based Bobov Hasidic sect, made headlines for its role in the controversial $116 million sale of Rivington House to developers Slate Property Group, Adam America and China Vanke. The deal is in the center of multiple investigations, including one by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. In June, Schneiderman prevented Allure from closing on two other nursing home purchases, citing the Rivington House deal.

“We have conversations about amenity spaces I’ve never had before – typologies that don’t exist.” — ODA New York’s Eran Chen

Perhaps the most notorious within industry circles is Chaim Miller, who got his start working for developer Abraham Leser. A recent investigation by TRD found that Miller, whose assets include the Beekman Tower in Midtown East, has been sued at least 18 times since 2014 by at least 29 individuals and entities.

In recent months, the real estate market slowdown has made Hasidic firms, like others, far more selective about deals. But looking at their overall impact over the decade, it’s clear they’ve been the dominant force in shaping Brooklyn real estate.

“For the sake of their business and their community, they need to create an experience they never had,” Chen said. “Through this, there is the opportunity for innovation.”

Yoryi DeLaRosa and Hiten Samtani contributed reporting.


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