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General articles written by David, either on this site or other sites

Banning the Burqa

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

Following his Hamas-hummus prank in the movie Bruno, one could imagine a Sacha Baron-Cohen character quickly dismissing the idea of banning the burqa: How could we do that!? Throw away so much tradition? Pastry filled with delicious mashed potatoes … even cheese or mushrooms. The burqa has been one of the great contributions to middle eastern cuisine … it’s hard to believe that any country would want to ban it! Following bans in France and Belgium, the burqa debate has now…

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Messianic matters

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Outsider, Rachel Sacks-Davis, and insider, David Werdiger, comment on the expulsion of the “Moshiach Dancers” and related controversies at Yeshiva Shule. Click here to skip straight to David’s insiders’ view. Outsider’s viewby Rachel Sacks-DavisIt’s 6pm on Wednesday the 28th of January, and I’m on my bike at the corner of Inkerman Road and Hotham Street, on my way home from work. Three men are dancing in circles on the corner nearest the Yeshivah Centre; they are wearing yellow…

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Hamas ‘disciplines’ army officers over Gaza

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A Hamas army report on its conduct in Gaza last year has revealed that two officers were ‘disciplined’ for insufficiently endangering human life when they authorized three hundred civilians to be moved to a UN school that was being used to fire rockets. Hamas division commander Mohammed el-Hafiz, known as Abu Gosh, and brigade commander Bilal Diya-al-Din, known as Abu Falih, were summarily executed for exceeding their authority in approving the use of human shields…

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Superbowl XLIV Preview

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The last time the top two seeds from the NFC and AFC played off in a SuperBowl was in 1993, when the Cowboys blew away the Bills. This season, as the Colts and the Saints both remained unbeaten well into the season, the likelihood of their meeting in the final game was discussed by many, and rejected by some. After each team stuttered at the end of the regular season with losses that were spun…

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ENTER the Dragon

By Articles, Galus Australis No Comments

It’s that time of year again. Not Chanukah; not Christmas; not New Year; but VCE results time. That time of the year when the Jewish schools are able to quantify their success and be judged among the top schools in the state. Let me declare my specific interest this year. Our oldest child has just completed his VCE, and this has been a very new experience for my wife and me (yeah, and for him too). He didn’t get…

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Sabra is dead. Long live Daneli’s.

By Blog, Galus Australis One Comment

I preferred Sabra before they switched from their previous kosher authority to their most recent one – their chips were just delicious. My friend who works in the kosher industry told me they were fried in oil that contained tallow, which is animal fat, and therefore not kosher. As a kosher consumer, I place a degree of trust in the supervising authority, so that if the food consumed turns out not to be kosher, it…

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Wallet, cup, temper – drinking on Simchat Torah

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We seem to associate Simchat Torah with getting drunk. However, unlike other Jewish holidays (Purim is the most obvious example), there is no imperative whatsoever to imbibe and drink on Simchat Torah. The only mention of the association that comes to mind is that we change around the order of the morning prayer service and move birchat kohanim (priestly blessing) from musaf to shacharit. The reason for this is that on Simchat Torah it is customary to make kiddush after the shacharit service instead…

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Yom Kippur Day Spa

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They call it a day spa for a reason. You are encouraged to take a day off, and immerse yourself in the luxurious environment of the spa. Switch off your mobile phone; leave your Blackberry at the door – communication with the outside world is discouraged. There are no TVs displaying 24-hour news channels, or internet display panels on the walls – the things that constantly bombard us with what is happening in the world…

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Going, Going, Gone!

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Five hundred dollars, tzum ersheten mohl! Five hundred dollars, tzum tzveiten mohl! Five hundred dollars, tzum dritten mohl! And with an emphatic klap on the bimah for effect, the auction is over. This was not Phillip Kingston standing in front of another Caulfield property; this was me auctioning the kibbudim for Rosh Hashana. For as long as I can remember, our Shul has auctioned the privilege to perform certain parts of the service during the High Holyday period. For many years, it would happen in the…

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AFL and the Law of Relative Misery

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For those of you who have never heard of it (and for those who have) the “Law of Relative Misery” is best illustrated with the following story: One day at work, you are called in by your boss, who tells you that you are doing a fantastic job, and have just been granted a raise, and will now be earning $200k per annum. You return back to your desk, and tell your friend next to you of your…

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