Friday, March 29, 2013

38% Of People In the UK Want To Ban Bris Milah 45% Want To Ban Shechita



According to the results of a YouGov poll conducted on the behalf of the Jewish Chronicle (UK) 

38%  support a ban on Bris Milah (circumcision), 35% against a ban on Bris Milah, and 27% are undecided.
45% support a ban on Shechita (Kosher animal slaughtering), 27% are against ban on Shechita, and 28 27% are undecided. 

Interestingly enough that 38% figure is bigger than the support for the largest party in Britain's Parliament according to the latest poll
  • 37% of the public support Labour
  • 27% of the public support the Conservatives 
  • 17% of the public support the UK Independence Part
 People who support the party UK Independence Party were the most likely to support these antisemitic policies. With 71% of people wanting to ban Shechita, and 51% wanting to ban Milah (the only party above 50%).  Non surprisingly the party that is most in favor of taking away Jews religous freedom is strongly in favor of LGBT "rights".

Also not surprisingly younger people are more supporting of banning both Milah and Shechita. 41% of 18-24 year-olds would ban both Milah and Shechita.  

These numbers are especially troubling because there have been numerous attempts to ban Milah in the past few years around the world (most notably in Germany but also in places like Sweden, Norway, Holland, and Finland) including the United States (Massachusetts, San Francisco, and Santa Monica)

Glen Poole, the director of "gender equality consultancy Helping Men", and a leading fighter against Bris Milah said

"Ending religious circumcision in the UK is now more popular with the British public than any of the political parties. As the majority of British people want to ban this dangerous practice, it is time for the Government to lead the nation in having the difficult conversations required to end medically unnecessary male circumcision in the UK.
The Government's 'call to end violence against women and girls strategy' makes it clear that harmful practices like female genital mutilation are unacceptable in a modern equal society. But surely protecting girls against unnecessary genital surgery whilst turning a blind eye as surgery is performed on their brothers, is also not acceptable in a modern equal society.
"It is now five years since  the NSPCC and the Children's Rights Alliance for England recommended that the Government take action to end the practice of circumcising boys without their consent. In that time baby boys bled to death in the UK as a result of medically unnecessary male circumcision. It is time now, with the public's backing, for the Government to take decisive action to confine this medically unnecessary practice to the history books."
Dayan Pinchas Toledano, former head of the Sephardi Beth Din, now Haham of Amsterdam, said that the survey’s results “don’t surprise or shock me”. The Dutch community recently mobilised to protect shechita after politicians wanted to introduce compulsory pre-stunning of animals before religious slaughter — which would have meant banning the Jewish method of killing animals.  Dayan Toledano, himself a retired mohel, said: “If you try to ban such practices, you have no religious freedom at all.”

While Dayan Yisroel Lichtenstein, head of the Federation Beth Din, said: “It’s worrying and it shows we need to do a lot more public relations to put our case.” Dayan Lichtenstein is particularly concerned at the level of support for a ban on shechita among young people “because I would have expected their education to have made them more liberally-minded.”



More On The Los Angeles Kashrus Scandal




Despite the situation, Doheny Market was open for business on Thursday and its front window displayed a new kosher certificate  -- valid only until April 1.

The name and signature of Rabbi Meshulom Dov Weiss appear on the certificate, and the rabbi’s son, Rabbi Menachem Weiss, told the Journal that he and his father are working with Engelman to ensure that everything sold by Doheny is certified kosher. Weiss said that any opened meat packages had been removed from the store, and that two mashgiachs will now be on site at all times, and seven video cameras were to be installed throughout the premises, allowing the father to monitor the store via the web from his home in North Hollywood.

“We’re not going into it naïve,” Menachem Weiss told the Journal on Thursday. “These are the precautions that we’re putting into place to allow him to stay in business from now until April 1. What happens after that, we’ll have to see.”

The Weisses have acted as supervisors for Doheny before, for about 18 months starting in 2007 or 2008. Menachem Weiss did not remember the exact years, but said that Engelman brought them in after the RCC informed him – along with the rest of the shops they certified – that from then on, all meat sold under RCC kosher supervision had to be not just kosher, but glatt kosher.

For meat to be considered kosher, it must be from the right kind of animal and must be slaughtered and prepared properly. For large animals – not poultry – the animal’s innards must be checked to ensure that there are no signs of disease. If, for instance, a cow has a hole in its lung, the animal is not considered kosher by any standard.

But to be kosher under the higher “glatt” standard – the word means “smooth” in Yiddish – the animal’s lungs must have no signs of ever having had any ulcers. If the ulcers have healed, the meat is considered kosher – but not glatt kosher.

When the RCC began to insist upon the higher standard, it brought with it higher prices. Engelman, Weiss said, initially decided to drop the RCC’s certification and to continue selling kosher meat that did not meet the glatt standard under the Weisses’ supervision.

However without the RCC certification, Weiss said, Doheny’s business suffered, and Engelman decided to adhere to the glatt standard and return to the RCC.

“Our intent is not to replace the RCC,” Menachem Weiss said. “Our hope is that the RCC will take Mike back; we’re trying to help Mike earn back the trust of the community.”

Whether that’s possible remains to be seen, but it may not only be Doheny that needs to win back the trust of kosher consumers in Los Angeles. The RCC’s reputation may have sustained some damage as well.

“I have no clue who to trust anymore,” said another woman shopping at Pico Glatt Mart on Thursday said, asking to be identified only as Friede. “I don’t trust RCC.”

Suspicions about Doheny Meats practices were brought to the RCC's attention repeatedly over the last three years, according to Daryl Schwarz, the owner of the now-closed Kosher Club.
Schwartz also said that, as early as 2010, he reported seeing the empty boxes, fraudulent labels and fraudulent tape to Rabbi Nissim Davidi, the RCC’s kashrut administrator.
“It was numerous times over the years,” Schwartz said.

In other developments, Eric Agaki, the investigator who broke the case, said that so far he has only enough evidence to prove that Doheny was repackaging meat that was Kosher, but not Glatt Kosher, though he fully suspects Doheny was using treyf.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What Your Congresman Was Doing While You Said Hallel?

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Borough Park (and other Frum neighborhoods) Congressman Jerry Nadler Fighting for Toevah "Marriage" picture taken on Pesach (on Yom Tov).

 This past Tuesday (on the first day of Pesach/Passover) and Wednesday the United States Supreme Court held the first hearing on same gender "marriage".  Outside there were competing rallies on both sides of the issue.
Jerry Nadler, who unfortunately has the largest Orthodox Jewish congressional district in the country, decided to further betray the Orthodox community by going to the rally for same gender "marriage" on Pesach (this was on Yom Tov itself).   The fact that he did this on Pesach is especially troubling for the Jewish community because that was the day that they were freed from the abominations of Egypt and Nadler's actions were, in effect, trying to turn the United States of America into Egypt. 

The source prohibiting same gender "marriage" comes from the Midrash (Toras Kohaniem) on the verse (Vayikra, Leviticus 18-3) "כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ-מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יְשַׁבְתֶּם-בָּהּ, לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ" "like the practices of the land of Egypt that you dwelt  in, don't do".  The Midrash tells us that in Egypt men used to "marry" other men and woman used to "marry" other woman.  Nadler advocating for same gender "marriage" on Pesach was, in fact, telling the Jewish community to return to the morals of  Egypt.

Nadler said about the event, "I am thrilled to be able to take part in this historic day," while to other Jews "this historic day" means Pesach when God redeemed us from Egypt and the 49 levels of impurity.
Nadler routinely slaps Orthodox Jews in the face by promoting agendas that are against Judaism and hurt the Jewish community.  Instead he chooses to follow the opinions of the liberals in Greenwich Village and Chelsea.  In the last election Nadler got 28,121 out of 33,492 votes (84%) in the largely gay 66th Assembly District (Greenwich Village, and Chelsea).  He got 10,375 out of 16,999 (61%) votes in the largely Orthodox 48th assembly District (Borough Park, and Flatbush).

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Nadler with the lesbian who's fighting for toevah "marriage" in the Supreme court (also taken on Yom Tov)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Los Angeles, CA - Surveillance Video Allegedly Catches Kosher Meat Distributor Selling Treif


Los Angeles, CA - A month’s long undercover investigation has resulted in a major local Kosher meat distributor being stripped of its certification by California’s Rabbinical Council.
KTLA (http://bit.ly/10EBFQO) is reporting that Doheny Glatt Kosher Meats lost its certification after investigators uncovered an ongoing practice of switching Kosher meats with USDA products.
Eric Agaki, an investigator with Hover View Investigations Inc., told KTLA that employees from Doheny Glatt were frequently viewed repackaging the boxes at times when the mashgiach was not on site.
Agaki also told KTLA that Doheny Glatt was in possession of a “stack” of fraudulent labels.
Doheny Glatt operates a retail market onsite at its Pico location, as well as providing Kosher meats for many of the areas restaurants, merchants and caterers.
The Rabbinical council notified members of the Jewish community via email that meat purchased before 3:00 p.m. Sunday meets Kosher certifications.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Borough Park Community Board Leader Yidel Perlstein Supports "Married" Lesbian


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(L-R) Lesbian mayor candidate Christine Quinn, Yidel Perlstein's daughters, Yidel Perlstein, Ezra Friedlander



 Yidel Perlstein the first Chasidic chairman of a community board in New York City posed for a photo with his daughters and Ezra Friedlander on the day of "married" lesbian Christine Quinn's kick off.   Perlstein became the chairman of a community board community board 12 (Borough Park, Kensington and Flatbush) with the strong support of City Councilman David Greenfield.   He was also supported by assemblyman Dov Hikind.

Ezra Friedlander who's the son of the Liska Rebbe continues his support for homosexual supporting candidates by supporting Quinn.  He previously brought her to Borough Park for a delayed Tub beShvat Seder and brought her to Williamsburg for the Glauber Shiva.  As head of the Friedlander group Ezra, helps run event for many Jewish organizations including Agudas Yisroel's legislative breakfast.

Christine Quinn has previously tried to force religious businesses out of New York City for opposing same gender "marriage".

Friday, March 22, 2013

Post Birth "Abortions"

Abortion doc’s assistant testifies she snipped spines of ‘at least 10 babies’ as Kermit Gosnell’s capital murder trial begins

Dr. Gosnell, a Philadelphia abortion clinic owner, on trials in the deaths of a patient and seven babies. Prosecutors accuse Gosnell of killing late-term, viable babies after they were delivered alive.


FILE - In this March 8, 2010 file photo, Dr. Kermit Gosnell is seen during an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News at his attorney's office in Philadelphia. Gosnell, an abortion doctor who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women's Medical Society, started trial Monday, March 18, 2013, on eight counts of murder, but prosecutors say he's not the only person to blame for the deaths. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Daily News, Yong Kim, File) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES

Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for eight counts of murder stemming from alleged incidents at his Philadelphia abortion clinic.

PHILADELPHIA — A medical assistant told a jury Tuesday that she snipped the spines of at least 10 babies during unorthodox abortions at a West Philadelphia clinic. And she said Dr. Kermit Gosnell and another employee did the same to terminate pregnancies.
Adrienne Moton’s testimony came in the capital murder trial of Gosnell, the clinic owner, who is on trial in the deaths of a patient and seven babies. Prosecutors accuse him of killing late-term, viable babies after they were delivered alive, in violation of state abortion laws.
Gosnell’s lawyer denies the murder charge and disputes that any babies were born alive. He also challenges the gestational age of the aborted fetuses, calling them inexact estimates.

Moton, the first employee to testify, sobbed as she recalled taking a cellphone photograph of one baby left in her work area. She thought he could have survived, given his size and pinkish color. She had measured him at nearly 30 weeks.
“The aunt felt it was just best for her (the mother’s) future,” Moton testified.
Gosnell later joked that the baby was so big he could have walked to the bus stop, she said.

Jurors saw Moton’s photograph on a large screen in the courtroom, which took on a bizarre look Tuesday as she testified near a hospital bed with stirrups and other aging obstetric equipment. Denied the chance to bring jurors to the shuttered inner-city clinic, prosecutors are instead recreating a patient room in court.
Moton, 35, sobbed as she described her work at the clinic. Because of problems at home, she had moved in with Gosnell and his third wife during high school, and she went to work for him from 2005 to 2008. She earned about $10 an hour, off the books, to administer drugs, perform sonograms, help with abortions and dispose of fetal remains. Workers got $20 bonuses for second-term abortions on Saturdays, when a half-dozen were sometimes performed.

She once had to kill a baby delivered in a toilet, cutting its neck with scissors, she said. Asked if she knew that was wrong, she said, “At first I didn’t.”

Abortions are typically performed in utero. In Pennsylvania, abortions cannot legally be performed after the 24th week of pregnancy.
Moton has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, which carries a 20- to 40-year term, as well as conspiracy and other charges. She has been in prison since early 2011, when Philadelphia prosecutors released the harrowing grand jury report on Gosnell’s Women’s Medical Center and arrested the doctor, wife Pearl and eight current or former employees. Most of them are expected to testify.
Women and teens came from across the mid-Atlantic, often seeking late-term abortions, Moton said. She recalled one young woman from Puerto Rico who did not speak English and appeared to be 27 weeks pregnant.

One patient, a 41-year-old refugee, died after an overdose of drugs allegedly given to her during a 2009 abortion.
Defense lawyer Jack McMahon told jurors in opening statements Monday that Gosnell, now 72, returned to the impoverished neighborhood after medical school when he could have struck it rich in the suburbs. He called the prosecution of his client, who is black, “a lynching.”
But prosecutors believe Gosnell made plenty of money over a 30-year career using cheap, untrained staff, outdated medicines and barbaric techniques to perform abortions on desperate, low-income women.
And they say he made even more on the side running a “pill mill,” where addicts and drug dealers could get prescriptions for potent painkillers. Authorities found $250,000 in cash at his home when they searched it in 2010.
McMahon is set to cross-examine Moton on Tuesday afternoon.
ABORTION20N_2_WEB

Dr. Kermit Gosnell's defense attorney Jack McMahon walks to the Criminal Justice Center, Monday, March 18, 2013, in Philadelphia. Gosnell, an abortion doctor who catered to minorities, immigrants and poor women at the Women's Medical Society, is on trial for eight counts of murder.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hillary Clinton Announces Support For Gay Marriage

Clinton kissing Mrs.Yasser Arafat
Hillary Rodham Clinton's embrace of gay marriage Monday signals she may be seriously weighing a 2016 presidential run and trying to avoid the type of late-to-the-party caution that hurt her first bid.
Her chief Democratic rivals endorsed same-sex marriage as much as seven years ago, and it's widely popular with Democratic and independent voters.
By supporting gay marriage a full two years before the next presidential primary warms up, Clinton may render the issue largely settled among Democrats, should she decide to run.
But things could be vastly different in the November 2016 general election, regardless who wins the Democratic nomination. That nominee is virtually certain to support same-sex marriage, whereas there's a strong possibility the Republican nominee will not.
That could be a problem for the GOP nominee if same-sex marriage becomes a prominent issue. A poll released Monday shows a dramatic shift in attitudes about legalizing gay marriage, with 58 percent of Americans now supporting it.
Three years ago, the figure was 47 percent, the ABC News/Washington Post poll reported.
Partisan breakdowns show why it's virtually essential for a Democratic presidential hopeful to support same-sex marriage, and why it's difficult for GOP contenders to do the same.
Seventy-two percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents and 34 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage, the ABC-Post poll found. Unless Republicans' opinions change significantly in the next two years, a GOP presidential hopeful may struggle to win the nomination without opposing gay marriage, even if the position causes problems in the November general election.
For those who lived "through the long years of the civil rights and women's rights movements, the speed with which more and more people have come to embrace the dignity and equality of LGBT Americans has been breathtaking and inspiring," Clinton said in a six-minute video, referring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
Clinton recently stepped down as secretary of State, freeing her to talk more openly about U.S. domestic political matters. Some Democratic activists cautioned that her Monday statement isn't a sure sign she plans to run for the office that her husband, Bill, won two decades ago.
"I have no idea whether she is going to run or not," said veteran strategist Jim Manley. "All I know is that she was going to have to make this move quickly after stepping down as secretary of State if she was even going to think about it."
Other potential Democratic candidates got there earlier. New York Gov. Mario Cuomo announced his support for same-sex marriage in 2006, and then made a major push in 2011 to enact it into state law. In part by promising political help to Republican legislators whose votes he needed, Cuomo claimed a major victory only two years after the same legislature had refused to legalize gay marriage.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, also eyeing a presidential bid, followed suit. After giving only partial support to a gay marriage proposal in 2011, he made it a priority in 2012, and won passage in the Democratic-dominated legislature. O'Malley, pursuing an ambitiously liberal agenda, also led the recent decision to rescind Maryland's death penalty.
Vice President Joe Biden is credited -- or blamed -- for nudging President Barack Obama to announce his support for same-sex marriage last May when Biden endorsed the idea in a televised interview.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in nine states and the District of Columbia. Civil unions are legal in eight more states, with Colorado on the verge of joining. Many other states have outlawed gay marriage.
Americans' attitudes, especially among Democrats, have tipped the balance on gay marriage in the space of one presidency. Obama, Clinton, Biden and other Democratic presidential candidates opposed legalizing same-sex marriage in 2008, although they endorsed versions of civil unions.
Clinton's bigger problem that year involved a different issue: opposition to the Iraq war, which had become deeply unpopular with Democratic voters by 2007. Clinton defended her 2002 Senate vote authorizing an invasion of Iraq. Obama, as an Illinois state legislator, had condemned the war from the start. By lagging behind Obama on this key issue as the 2008 primaries approached, Clinton lost valuable ground to the lesser-known lawmaker from Illinois.
With major Democratic politicians now taking a similar stand on gay marriage, the issue seems unlikely to play the type of role in 2016 that the Iraq war played in 2008.
President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. DOMA requires the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. It also allows states to do the same when dealing with gay or lesbian couples married in other states.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton was typical of prominent Democrats in saying marriage "has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman."
Bill Clinton recently wrote an op-ed saying it's time to overturn DOMA. The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the law this month.
As support for gay marriage becomes the mainstream position among Democrats, the issue is increasingly divisive among Republicans. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio last week became the only Republican senator to support legalizing same-sex marriage. He did so after learning that one of his adult sons is gay.
Dozens of prominent Republicans have urged the Supreme Court to overturn DOMA. But many GOP-controlled states have asked the court to uphold the law.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sex Weekend at Yale

Hard to believe but its true, read from their own newspaper!


Roughly 55 students gathered in Linsly-Chittenden Hall Saturday evening to learn about masochistic sexual practices such as those depicted in “50 Shades of Grey.”
The workshop was part of Sex Weekend, a shortened, three-day version of Sex Week — a series of events on sex-related topics held every other year. Sex Weekend, which has been held sporadically in the past, marks the start of an effort to host sex-related events annually to make the program more institutionalized, organizers said. Sex Weekend activities included six lectures and three small-group discussions on topics including sexual health and AIDS activism.
“We have a lot of groups [on campus] pertaining to sexuality, but I think what Sex Week does is it clarifies all these dialogues and brings it into a space where students can figure out what should be talked about and what issues we should be discussing,” said Giuliana Berry ’14, Sex Weekend’s event director.
Berry said Yale has a reputation of being very sexually open due to the publicity given to Sex Week in the past and media attention surrounding sex-related events at Yale such as the release of Nathan Harden’s book Sex and God at Yale. But the perception that all Yale students are highly sexually active is not necessarily true, Berry said, adding that Sex Week offers students a place to explore the accuracy of this perception through dialogue.
Organizers said they are planning to hold Sex Weeks or Weekends annually in the future and that the program size will be in between this year’s shortened program and last year’s roster of over 30 events.
During a discussion Saturday afternoon with “sexologist” Jill McDevitt, who conducts workshops on sexual topics at college campuses across the country, roughly 40 students had to reconsider their idea of “normal” in sex when asked to take anonymous surveys that yielded surprising results. Students often do not realize the difference between normative — being in the middle of the bell curve for certain behaviors — and normal, which is a judgment call, McDevitt said, adding that what is common is not necessarily good just as what is deviant is not necessarily bad.
On the survey, nine percent of attendees reported having accepted payment for sex in the past.
“People don’t think a college student at an Ivy League university would accept payment for sex but I’ve never had asked this question on a college campus and not had ‘yes’ answers,” McDevitt said. “That brings us back to the idea that you can’t have assumptions about people’s backgrounds.”
Other survey responses revealed that three percent of attendees had engaged in bestiality, 22 percent had never had a sexual partner, 12 percent have filmed themselves during intercourse and 52 percent have engaged in consensual pain during intercourse.
At Saturday’s workshop, multiple student-submitted discussions topics were about sexual fantasies involving family members. When students shared their thoughts on incest, three responses were related to fantasies about fathers.
“At first yes, the fact that so many people brought it up surprised me but then I though it might be more of a psychological thing we might all have,” said attendee Alex Saeedy ’15. “I think that’s what the point of the workshop was — to bring up things we thought were so taboo and desire or urges we criticize are just regular parts of sexual psychology.”
Sex Weekend was organized by a board of seven students.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Orthodox" Rabbi advocates for same sex marriage?



We Jews are now celebrating Hanukkah. Long ago in ancient Israel, a small band of Jews fought against a much larger Greek army and the Jews won.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rabbi Akiva Herzfeld leads Congregation Shaary Tphiloh in Portland. His email is rabbiherzfeld@gmail.com.
While the Greeks looked much stronger, the Jews had a powerful weapon on their side: their hearts.
The Jews had faith. They knew that God and justice were on their side in the battle against the Greeks. The Jews fought for their religious liberty, and this motivated them despite the odds against them.
The light of the menorah in the Temple in Jerusalem bore witness to the miraculous victory. The victorious Jews lit a small measure of pure oil in the Temple, and it burned for eight days.
We light Hanukkah candles each year to remember the ancient miracle. The menorah of Hanukkah shows that God's miraculous light can shine in the world.
This Hanukkah, I celebrate the past and the present. With my very own eyes, I have seen a great miracle this year right here in Maine.
A small group of people, homosexuals and their supporters, stood up for their equal rights in marriage.
They fought to convince the American people that they are human beings just like the rest of us in our great country. They said that homosexuals should be allowed to celebrate love in marriage, just like the rest of us.
Vast numbers of people stood against them. A few years ago, the gay rights supporters were defeated at the polls in Maine, and the sacred ground of their pure hearts was crushed.
They continued to fight because they knew that justice was on their side. This year they overcame the odds, and finally won.
Those who fought for equal rights in marriage did not win a military victory. They did not kill anyone, even though some nasty opponents stood in the way of their dreams. Rather, they won by establishing friendships and connecting their cause to our hearts.
The battle has transformed all of us, so that we can now see their marriages as blessed by our democratic society. We can see now that their marriage unions should not be subject to discrimination.
It was not easy for me to publicly support same-sex marriage. I had prior strong beliefs on the other side that were layered deep in my subconscious from long ago. As a child I was taught that the homosexual lifestyle was not normal, and that's putting it mildly.
My conversations with friends in Maine helped convince me of the rightness of the same-sex marriage cause. I signed a letter in support of "Yes on 1" together with other rabbis in the state, including Rabbi Jared Saks of Congregation Bet Ha'am, the Reform temple in South Portland, and Conservative Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of Beth Israel Congregation in Waterville.
The truth of their hearts helped me overcome my wall of religious textual evidence that helped justify arguments for the other side. Now I know with complete faith that the love of homosexuals should be respected as equal by society.
I am an ordained Orthodox rabbi. Orthodox Jews strictly observe the commandments of the Torah, the Hebrew Bible. Still, we should not impose our belief system on others and certainly should not discriminate against other human beings.
I have called and written letters to other Orthodox rabbis, asking them to support same-sex marriage rights in America, so that we do not discriminate against homosexuals.
Some rabbis in the Orthodox movement have supported the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA. DOMA tells the government to deny equal treatment to homosexuals by refusing to let them call their loving unions "marriage."
DOMA is an unconstitutional law. It unfairly discriminates against people who are homosexuals by making them pay higher taxes and denying them the right to marriage.
Soon the Supreme Court justices of the United States are going to review the law and see if the government can tax married homosexuals more than the rest of us.
We in Maine already know that the court case is already settled. The truth is already out there. You don't need to be a Supreme Court justice to know that it is wrong to discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. It is wrong to deny equal rights to homosexual marriages.
This Hanukkah as I light my menorah, I think of our modern battle that was won in Maine for equal rights. We have witnessed a miracle, as a small group of people of faith won victory over strongly entrenched, wrong beliefs.
It is a miracle of love. Soon, some people consecrating their love in religious ceremonies of marriage will ask for God's blessing. Our society has already blessed them.

Independent Living Home Defends Nurse Who Refused To Help Ailing Patient



A nurse's refusal to give CPR to a dying 87-year-old woman at a California independent living home despite desperate pleas from a 911 dispatcher has prompted outrage and spawned a criminal investigation.
The harrowing 7-minute, 16-second call also raised concerns that policies at senior living facilities could prevent staff from intervening in medical emergencies. It prompted calls for legislation Monday to prevent a repeat of what happened Feb. 26 at the Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield.
Lorraine Bayless collapsed in the dining room of the retirement home that offers many levels of care. She lived in the independent living building, which state officials said is like a senior apartment complex and doesn't operate under licensing oversight.
"This is a wakeup call," said Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, chair of the California Assembly Aging and Long-term Care Committee. "I'm sorry it took a tragedy like this to bring it to our attention."
Yamada cautioned that while it's not yet known whether intervention would have saved the woman's life, "we want to investigate because it has caused a lot of concern and alarm."
Independent living facilities "should not have a policy that says you can stand there and watch somebody die," said Pat McGinnis, founder of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, a consumer advocacy group. "How a nurse can do that is beyond comprehension."
In all her years of advocating for the elderly, McGinnis said: "This was so horrifying. I've never seen this happen before."
State officials did not know Monday whether the woman who talked to the 911 dispatcher actually was a nurse, or just identified herself as one during the call. She said one of the home's policies prevented her from doing CPR, according to an audio recording of the call.
"The consensus is if they are a nurse and if they are at work as a nurse, then they should be offering the appropriate medical care," said Russ Heimerich, spokesman for the California Board of Registered Nursing, the agency that licenses health care providers.
The executive director of Glenwood Gardens, Jeffrey Toomer, defended the nurse in a written statement, saying she followed the facility's policy.
"In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community, our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives," Toomer said. "That is the protocol we followed."
Toomer offered condolences to the woman's family and said a thorough internal review would be conducted. He told KGET-TV that residents of the facility are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in. He said the policy does not apply at the adjacent assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.
Multiple calls to the facility and its parent company seeking more information were not returned.
Unlike nursing homes, which provide medical care, independent living facilities generally do not.
"These are like apartments for seniors. You're basically living on your own. They may have some services provided by basic nursing staff, but it's not their responsibility to care for the individual," said Dr. Susan Leonard, a geriatrics expert at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Residents of independent living communities can still take care of themselves, but may need help getting to doctor's appointments. In skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, many residents require around-the-clock care.
Staff members are "required to perform and provide CPR" unless there's a do-not-resuscitate order, said Greg Crist, a senior vice president at the American Health Care Association.
Bayless did not have such an order on file at the facility, said Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza of the Bakersfield Fire Department, which was the first on the scene. That's when firefighters immediately began CPR, continuing until she reached the hospital.
Dr. Patricia Harris, who heads the University of Southern California's geriatrics division, said the survival odds are slim among elderly who receive CPR. Even if they survive, they are never the same. She said she would override the home's policy and risk getting fired "rather than watch somebody die in front of me."
During the call, an unidentified woman called from her cellphone, and asked for paramedics to be sent to help the woman. Later, a woman who identified herself as the nurse got on the phone and told dispatcher Tracey Halvorson she was not permitted to do CPR on the woman.
Halvorson urged the nurse to start CPR, warning the consequences could be dire if no one tried to revive the woman, who had been laid out on the floor on her instructions.
"I understand if your boss is telling you, you can't do it," the dispatcher said. "But ... as a human being ... you know, is there anybody that's willing to help this lady and not let her die?"
"Not at this time," the nurse answered.
Halvorson assured the nurse that Glenwood couldn't be sued if anything went wrong in attempts to resuscitate the resident, saying the local emergency medical system "takes the liability for this call."
Later in the call, Halvorson asked, "Is there a gardener? Any staff, anyone who doesn't work for you? Anywhere? Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady? Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her."
"I understand if your facility is not willing to do that. Give the phone to a passer-by. This woman is not breathing enough. She is going to die if we don't get this started, do you understand?"
The woman had no pulse and wasn't breathing when fire crews reached her, Galagaza said.
Sgt. Jason Matson of the Bakersfield Police Department said its investigation so far had not revealed criminal wrongdoing, but the probe is continuing.
First responders say often it's hard to find someone willing to provide CPR in an emergency.
"It's not uncommon to have someone refuse to provide CPR if they physically can't do it, or they're so upset they just can't function," Kern County Fire Department Deputy Chief Michael Miller said. "What made this one unique was the way the conversation on the phone went. It was just very frustrating to anyone listening to it, like, why wasn't anyone helping this poor woman, since CPR today is much simpler than it was in the past?"