Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

14 Shevat 5761 - Febuary 7, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network


Exit polls: Sharon 59.5%; Barak 40.5%
by M. Plaut

Likud candidate Ariel Sharon won a landslide victory according to both independent television exit polls that were announced at 10 p.m. Tuesday night with the closing of voting. Both polls gave Sharon a lead of 19 percent, close to the results that the sample polls had been showing prior to the elections.

Letters from the Gedolim About the Current Election
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Note: By the time this issue of the paper is published, the elections will already be history. Nevertheless, we are publishing these letters from the gedolim discussing the elections because of the enduring value that they have. Even in brief, to-the-point remarks, the great rabbonim manage to convey broad lessons about the proper attitude to voting, and other important ideas.

Palestinian Violence as Usual as the Nation Goes to the Polls
by M. Plaut and Yated Ne'eman Staff

Palestinian attacks continued without a letup as the nation went to the polls on Tuesday to elect a prime minister, the first national election that did not involve voting for the Knesset. Chareidi voters in particular had an unpleasant choice between two secular candidates.

Despite Protests, Desecrating Digging Took Place in Haifa Burial Caves
by Aryeh Zisman

Despite intense efforts by activists to avoid it, this past Monday (12 Shevat) the Antiquities Authority conducted excavations on Yaffo Road in Haifa, while desecrating human remains. Starting in the small hours of the morning, many demonstrators against the desecration of the bones arrived at the site.

Observant Jews Urged to Participate in Population Survey
by B. Isaac

A long-delayed survey of American Jews is now underway and observant Jews are being asked to consent to being interviewed should they be among the 5000 households who are called by representatives of the current National Jewish Population Survey, or "NJPS 2000."

Remembering the Holocaust in London
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

"The Holocaust didn't start with the Gas Chambers of Auschwitz. Auschwitz was the culmination of years of institutionalized hatred, racism and prejudice," said Hackney's Mayor, Councilor Joe Lobenstein at the commencement of last week's full Council meeting.

Bone Marrow Donations: Four-Year-Old Israeli Girl Hopes for Second Chance
By Linda Feinberg

When Israelis go to the polls this week to elect a new prime minister, at least one little girl in Eretz Yisroel is going to be sitting on the edge of her seat -- but not because she's pulling for one of the candidates.

Water Crisis Worst in Nation's History
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The nation is facing the most severe water crisis in its history and "even from before then," Water Commissioner Shimon Tal announced last week. The level of Lake Kinneret will continue to drop steeply this year to about 214.3 meters below sea level, more than a meter below the "red line" level where continued pumping jeopardizes water quality, according to recent forecasts by the national Mekorot Water Company. Lake Kinneret has received less than one-quarter of the normal influx up to this time of year.

Ofek to Invade Bezeq's Home Turf
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Last week, the Israel Government awarded the Ofek company a license to set up a phone network to compete with government- owned Bezeq in providing phone service for private homes and businesses. The new venture, backed by Eurocom and Arison Investments, holds out the promise of reducing the costs of local communications and improving available services.

IDF Reduces Rabbinate Staff
by Betzalel Kahn

Lieutenant Colonel Rabbi Shlomo Levanon and Lieutenant Colonel Rabbi Yehuda Machpud were appointed last week to assist Chief IDF Rabbi Colonel Rabbi Yisroel Weiss.

A New Look in the Knesset As Well?
by Eliezer Rauchberger

Regardless of whether a National Unity government or a narrow one will take office, activists in Sharon's headquarters are already planning how they can gain control of a number of key positions in the Knesset. First on the list is that of the job of Speaker (Chairman) of the Knesset, currently held by Avraham Burg of One Israel.

European Union Subsidizes Peace Now Activities
by G. Lazar

The European Union has been subsidizing activities of the Peace Now movement in Israel among immigrants from the C.I.S and development town residents. Peace Now defines these activities as "political education." Ha'aretz relates that these facts were confirmed by spokesmen of the European Union delegation in Israel, David Kris and Dr. Janet Aviad.

Bnei Brak Municipality Warns: Check Legality of Apartment Before Purchase
by A. Cohen

The Bnei Brak Municipal Engineering Department has issued a warning to residents purchasing apartments in the city: check if the apartment has been built with the proper building permits before signing any contract.

by Zev Roth

When Cesar Kaskel first saw the notice, he likely rubbed his eyes. In a daze, he probably ran home to his family. One look at him and his wife would have realized that there was something dreadfully wrong.

The Average Salary is Now NIS 6,928
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The average gross salary in Israel was NIS 6,928 ($1690) at the end of September, after a sharp 7% real increase in the third quarter, compared to the corresponding quarter last year, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

HaRav Yosef Cohen zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

This past Sunday, 11 Shevat, thousands of Jerusalem's Torah world, headed by Maran HaRav Eliashiv, accompanied one of the greatest and most venerable sages of our times, and one of the pillars of halachic authority, HaRav Yosef Cohen zt"l, on his last earthly journey. He was 83 at the time of his petirah.

Rav Tzvi Hersh Leibowitz zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

Rav Tzvi Hersh Leibowitz, zt"l, the rav of Kever Rochel and Kever Shimon Hatzaddik, was brought to his final resting place in Jerusalem last week.

Rev Meir Shmerler z"l
by Betzalel Kahn

This past motzei Shabbos, 11 Shevat, a large thong accompanied Reb Meir Shmerler z"l on his last earthly journey. One of the finest avreichim of the Vishnitz Chassidim, he was niftar in the 36th year of his life, after a prolonged and difficult illness.

Rav Yitzchok Mattisyahu Weinberg zt"l and His Son Yechezkel Moshe zt"l
by Betzalel Kahn

On motzei Shabbos 11 Shevat, a shocked, bereaved throng of thousands, headed by the Admor of Slonim and other Slonim chassidim accompanied the outstanding young avreich, Rav Yitzchok Mattisyahu Weinberg, zt"l, and his son, beloved Yechezkel Moshe, z"l, on their last earthy journey.

Ezra Umarpeh Incubator Flown to India
by A. Cohen

An incubator for premature infants designed especially for airplanes was flown last week by the Israel Air Force to India to save an infant's life. The unit belongs to the Ezra Umarpeh organization. The baby was born in the IDF field hospital for victims of the earthquake in India. However, doctors on the site lacked the equipment needed to treat her. The doctors asked the IDF to help find a special incubator which met flying conditions.

HIAS Helped Nearly 6,500 Refugees Migrate To U.S.A. In 2000
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

In 2000, HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, assisted 6,490 refugees with their migration to the United States. The 120-year-old organization -- America's oldest international migration and refugee resettlement agency -- helped facilitate the safe passage, humanitarian needs and legal documentation for the refugees, most of whom came from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The HIAS estimate for 2001 is 5,000 refugees.

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