Thursday, January 17, 2019

Halelu Choir Annual Shabbos Shira Performance in Beit Shemesh

The chazanut, the cantor's hats, the dignity and organization, it all seems pretty Yekke to me. The annual Shabbos night and day davening by the Halelu choir is coming this Shabbos in Beit Shemesh. Olam sport building.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Torah Im Derech Eretz in Chabad

Respect for the dignity of humankind and compassion for gentiles by the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe and a Lubavitcher Chossid.

The Backstory of the Chassidim Who Got Criminal Justice Reform Done

Inspired by the Lubavitcher Rebbe, a group saw prison reform through from proposal to law

"The U.S. Senate’s overwhelming 87-12 approval last week of the First Step Act, the most sweeping package of criminal justice reform in a generation, was lauded by those on the right and the left as a much-needed step in the right direction for the U.S. criminal justice system. The bill will expand early transfer to home confinement via participation in job training and re-entry programming designed to reduce recidivism; modify some mandatory sentencing laws; and ensure that the incarcerated stay more closely connected to their families by placing them within 500 miles of their homes, among other steps."

read more

Key quote:

“If a person is being held in prison, the goal should not be punishment but rather to give him the chance to reflect on the undesirable actions for which he was incarcerated,” the Rebbe said in Yiddish in a 1976 talk. “He should be given the opportunity to earn, improve himself and prepare for his release when he will commence an honest, peaceful, new life, having used his days in prison toward this end.

“In order for this be a reality a prisoner must be allowed to maintain a sense that he is created in the image of God; he is a human being who can be a reflection of Godliness in this world. But when a prisoner is denied this sense and feels subjugated and controlled; never allowed to raise up his head, then the prison system not only fails at its purpose, it creates in him a greater criminal than there was before. One of the goals of the prison system is to help Jewish inmates and non-Jewish inmates ... to raise up their spirits and to encourage them, providing the sense, to the degree possible, that they are just as human as those that are free; just as human as the prison guards. In this way they can be empowered to improve themselves ... ”

Friday, January 4, 2019

Yarzheit of Rav Hirsch, 27 Teves

"One of them writes: "He conversed with us in our own language, took interest in every blow dealt us by pupils of the Philantropin, checked on the class of the stamps we exchanged, gave a rigorous examination to our footballs-in brief, he was our intimate." Another one relates : "He never raised his voice to a pupil. If he traveled to another city, he would say to him, 'Behave so that they will see you are a pupil of Rabbi Hirsch.' He influenced them by his personality; the look of his burning eyes was engraved deep in the memory of those he had educated.""

Torah with Derech Eretz, Mordechai Breuer