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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Algeria’

Judgement Day in Africa

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Ten months ago, in March of 2012, I wrote about the awakening of radical Islam in Africa. We noted at the time that in the countries of North Africa – Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia – the organization called “al-Qaeda of the Maghreb” operates, and from time to time kidnaps and murders tourists and professionals such as  engineers who come to these countries as tourists or to perform specific functions. My conclusion at that time was:

The population of Africa is involved in a series of disputes with a tribal background, and in which the Islamist and ethnic components play an important, and sometimes critical part. The combination of Saudi Arabian money, Wahhabi propaganda, the presence of terror organizations and wide distribution of weapons (some of which disappeared from weapons storehouses of the Libyan army as a result of the fall of Qadhaffi), does not contribute to the easing of relations between various groups of the African population, and developing trends also do not indicate a tendency toward calm. Recent events in Algeria are the proof of what was already apparent: an area that is neglected by the government will become a hothouse for terror. Most of the territory of Algeria, which is more than ten times the size of Israel, is located in the vast, largely unpopulated Sahara Desert. There are  small concentrations of population situated near sources of livelihood such as  a spring or a well, and recently, mines and sources of energy – oil and gas. These clusters are isolated and exposed to armed groups that roam the area freely, propounding slogans and messages characteristic of al-Qaeda.

One of these groups, which calls itself the “Signed-in-Blood,” under the command of Mukhtar Belmukhtar, and numbering about forty fighters, carried out the attack on the gas drilling installation in ‘Ayn Aminas, abducted about 700 workers, some of whom were European, and held them as hostages. The subsequent attack of the Algerian army on the gas installation caused 55 fatalities: 32 terrorists and 23 hostages, and freed 685 Algerian workers and 107 foreign workers. The attackers, who arrived in several all-terrain vehicles, used heavy machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades and personal weapons, and a number of Algerian soldiers were killed and wounded in the course of the battle with them.

The world, especially the European countries, severely criticized the clumsy and unprofessional way that the Algerians dealt with the matter. In response, the government of Algeria defends itself with the claim that if they had not acted quickly and decisively, the number of victims would have been far greater.

The natural question is why a gas production facility was attacked, and what motivates the terror organizations to harm especially Algeria. The answer has to do with the developments of recent years in North Africa. The dictators of these states rule their oppressed peoples by the use of force. When Libya fell, along with it fell the doctrine that guided the West, according to which these dictators will deal in the accepted way in Africa (with determination and ruthlessness) with terrorist elements such as al-Qaeda of the Maghreb, who roam the area, threatening to overthrow the fragile regimes and establish upon their ruins Islamic states that will then export terrorism to the more affluent parts of the world.

Radical Islamic agents are involved up to their necks in the wars of Mali and Somalia and in battles that are being waged in Libya, Tunisia, Niger, Nigeria and in Kenya. The murder of the American ambassador in Libya last September was only one example of these groups’ activities. The governmental chaos that reigns in these countries creates a situation that allows the jihadi organizations to control vast territories, which serve them  as a base for organization, storage of armaments and training, so that they can continue their efforts to bring down African states, whose illegitimate boundaries were demarcated by colonialism, with the aim of dismantling the nation of Islam into small, weak units.

European workers who come to the African countries are perceived as an offshoot of colonialism, because their whole task – in the eyes of the jihadists – is to strengthen Western  hegemony over the peoples of Africa, on their habitat and their natural resources, to employ and exploit them and turn them again into slaves of the smug and arrogant West. That is why these organizations abduct European workers; it is to discourage other Europeans from coming. And the ransom money paid by the companies greases the wheels of these jihadi organizations. They spend the infidels’ money on acquisition of weapons, ammunition, communications equipment, navigation equipment and vehicles, and the money also allows the organizations to purchase collaborative activity from other groups among the population, and to bribe governmental officials and military and intelligence personnel.

The Truth About Benghazi Makes a Difference (Video)

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived back in the Senate, after dodging a few falling safes, multiple banana peels and an ornery dog named Henry, to give a carefully prepared histrionic rant which can be summed up, “I do care a lot” and “None of this was my fault” and “What difference at this point does it make?”

The last isn’t a sarcastic restatement. It’s what she actually said.

It might make a difference to a certain Coptic Christian whose trailer was blamed by the leader of the free world for a series of Al Qaeda attacks against American diplomatic facilities and who was sent to prison on the orders of members of the administration.

That fellow of many names, now serving a year in prison, is the only one to actually get locked up. The ringleader of the attack walks the streets of Benghazi freely. A drone could make short work of him, but no drones are coming his way. Instead a car bomb, planted by Libyan enemies nearly took him out. Some of the other Benghazi attackers were killed by the Algerian military during the siege; doing the work that Obama won’t do. If the Benghazi terrorists finally die, it will most likely be at the hands of the French, the Syrian army or Libyan rival militias.

Benghazi, Obama said, during his appearance with Jon Stewart, the man of many grimaces, was a bump in the road. And that’s all it was. The Obama campaign bus drove over four bodies and reached its destination in an armored parking garage somewhere in D.C. An irritated Hillary Clinton, who is prepping for her own bus tour in 2016, has every reason to demand to know what difference it makes now to discuss who lied about what and who failed to secure the Benghazi mission.

The election is over, and her testimony was delayed until after the fat lady held up her talking points at the debate and sang. Al Qaeda is dead, except for the parts of it rampaging across Syria, Iraq, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Pakistan, and a decade of war is coming to an end or just beginning. It makes no difference now which one of those it really is, just as it makes no difference, whether, as Clinton said, it happened “because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans?”

Dead is dead. The Benghazi four are dead. Stability in the Middle East is dead. Hope is dead. Victory is dead. It’s time to discuss the serious stuff. Like finding the right title for Hillary’s next biography, ghost-written and set for release around 2015, right after the Dems suffer a Congressional setback from angry NRA voters and just before the next election to position her as the new voice of hope.

“Bumps in the road” is one option. It really communicates that Hillary has been through a lot and driven over a lot of hard roads full of potholes and people who were only there because the Republicans refused to fully fund her infrastructure and outreach programs. But “What Difference Does It Make?” best captures the zeitgeist of the time. That sense that nothing matters once you’ve won.

What Difference Does It Make?: Hillary Clinton in Peace and War” will show up on shelves with a cover of her in some distant country looking out at the exotic landscape or surrounded by properly foreign children. It will be packaged along with a public speaking tour of colleges as Hillary promises to teach the leaders of tomorrow how they too can make a difference her way. The tour will use up Hillary’s store of funny and inspiring stories from her meetings with foreign leaders and human rights activists, most of which will be made up, but what difference does it make?

Everyone will pretend to be inspired by her. Suddenly it will be of paramount importance (circa 2015) that young women have a president of their own to look up to. It’ll all be fake, like her career, but what difference does that make. The real campaign slogan, at this point, might as well be, “Hillary, why not?” and “You know it’s going to happen anyway.”

Algerian Hostage Crisis Proves Al-Qaida is Not Dead

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

One of the main themes of President Barack Obama in discussing his foreign policy is to claim the success of having destroyed al-Qaida. The fact that this organization has just pulled off the seizure of more than 800 hostages at an Algerian oilfield is only the biggest out of dozens of examples that shows this claim is untrue. The number of hostages killed is still unclear after Algerian soldiers stormed the oil installation on January 19 and killed all of the terrorists. Certainly, Algeria has had a long civil war with Islamists, including the local al-Qaida affiliate, but this was an international operation headed by a Nigerian. Moreover, al-Qaida has been very active in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Mali, while showing continued capability to wage attacks elsewhere.

How, then, are we to understand al-Qaida’s survival and that fact’s relationship to U.S. policy? There are two key points to be made.

First, al-Qaida was not designed to take over state power in countries. It is the Islamist equivalent of an anarchist group, that is, one focused more on destroying existing institutions than on staging a revolution, becoming the government, and fundamentally transforming states. That is, of course, the function of the Muslim Brotherhood, the contemporary equivalent of the Russian Bolsheviks who took over Russia in 1917. There is nothing surprising in al-Qaida popping up, staging some attacks, and then becoming less visible or being repressed. That is the nature of such groups and their strategies. It is thus easy to claim victory over them. The historic role of al-Qaida and the September 11 attacks on America helped set the stage for the domination of Middle East politics by Islamists today. That’s pretty significant. Moreover, al-Qaida operates more by inspiring others to launch attacks rather than directly organizing them, which also makes wiping out the group a rather difficult thing to do.

But claiming to defeat al-Qaida is like claiming to have definitively won a whack-a-mole game. The mole keeps popping up all over the place but never actually dominates the board.

What is especially worrisome here is that while the Obama Administration’s approach can be attributed to opportunism—We won! Our policy is going well!—it also appears to be based on a misunderstanding about the nature of groups like al-Qaida. It was designed to be decentralized and thus even the killing of Usama bin Ladin does not decapitate it.

There has been a real achievement: it is much harder for al-Qaida to attack on American soil. But, of course, part of the credit for this must also go to the Bush Administration, especially regarding the group’s strongest operations, in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Wiping out” al-Qaida, however, can be (falsely) claimed as a unique Obama achievement.

At a time when Communist revolutions were on the upsurge Che Guevara called for a policy of “[t]wo, three, many Vietnams.” Today, Islamists in general and al-Qaida in particular are trying to do the same thing.

Second, and far more worrisome, is the Obama Administration’s concept of Islamism and terrorism. Under the Obama Administration concept, authored by CIA director-designate John Brennan, al-Qaida is bad because it attacks Americans but literally all other “mainstream” Islamists—including the Afghan Taliban, which helped in the September 11 operation—are basically good because they can be moderated and will keep the radicals from seizing power.

In other words, runs the message, we will be saved by the Muslim Brotherhood.

And if al-Qaida and a few similar groups are the enemy, explain the policymakers, then the “moderate” Islamists are our friend.

Yet this approach misses the point:

–In power, revolutionary Islamists will control not just a few gunmen but the full resources and armed forces of entire states. They can thus do far more strategic damage.

–Even under a “mainstream” Islamist government, Salafists can continue to operate—for example, attacking Christians in Egypt—and even (with Brotherhood approval) attacking the U.S. embassy.

–The U.S. government has even facilitated the arming of non-al-Qaida Salafist groups in Syria. And when its attempts to isolate the al-Qaida affiliate there failed because of the opposition of those same groups, the White House just shrugged its shoulders and did nothing different.

And let’s not forget the killing of American officials in Benghazi, Libya, where, the Obama Administration essentially argued, it couldn’t act decisively to save them because it would have hurt the feelings and status of a U.S.-implanted government. Note, too, that this moderate, non-Islamist government is incapable of catching or punishing those responsible.

Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Title: Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel
Author: Ronda Robinson
Publisher: Mazo Publishers

Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel is a compact introduction to decency. Its eighteen personality profiles illustrate how Israelis from all walks of society improve the Holy Land’s quality of life, and then some. Author Ronda Robertson is a freelance journalist who decided to offset mainstream media’s negative stereotyping of today’s Israelis with a book. She did an outstanding job of presenting the goodness of Israel to the world at large in a mere 144-page paperback.

Unlike formulaic biographies from popular publishing houses in the Orthodox Jewish world, Beyond Politics is not predictable. The vignettes of individual men and women who trekked through Ethiopia and Sudan, flew in from Austria, India, and Algeria, or were born on Israeli soil are gritty, adventurous, and heartwarming.

Robinson lets her readers see, hear, and taste the efforts that her subjects undertook to become part of Israel. Shlomo Malla rose from being an illiterate desert dweller who walked 485 dangerous miles to become an Israeli and later a highly educated politician; former Algerian Sara Lanesman made aliya to unify Israel’s deaf citizens with a sign language they can share, ending the confusion of multiple signing dialects in one tiny country; Dr. Lior Sasson leads the way in healing indigent children around the world of heart defects – at no cost to their families; terror attack survivor Liora Tedgi helps people cope with tragedy with her Terror Victims Support Center. Each of them explains the gut-wrenching moments that changed their lives forever, and how they chose to help others to cope with fear, social alienation, life-endangering illness, and grief. Other people lift just as vividly off the page to inspire you and the information-challenged critics of Israel’s Jewish population.

Younger readers will have material for book reports as they marvel over Chicken Lady Clara Hammer, docent Rena Quint, skateboard king Elchanan Davidson (he’s far more accomplished in amazing ways) and shepherd/diplomat Yisrael Avidor. Adults will also appreciate peace-promoting teacher Miri Flusser, Azerbaijan-born violin maker Lev Strinkovsky, biblically-inspired chef Moshe Basson, Scottish-born Sam Greene, therapist Davina Davidson, happily married Joe and Marion Goodstein, Hevron’s beloved tzabarit leader Sarah Nachshon, plus Faydra Shapiro and her pro-Israel education of non-Jewish tourists. Completing the inside look at Israel are interviews with story-teller Rabbi Hanoch Teller and founder of world-famous B’erot Bat Ayin holistic school for women Rabanit Chana Bracha Siegelbaum.

Enjoy the read. Buy Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel to arm yourself with responses to the next nasty reporter who maligns Israel. And consider sending him or her a copy.

http://itsmycrisisandillcryifineedto.blogspot.com/

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Radical Middle East Groups

Have A Supporter In Soros
 
   An international “crisis management” group led by billionaire George Soros has long petitioned for the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al Qaeda-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.
 

   The organization, the International Crisis Group, also is strongly tied to the Egyptian opposition movement whose protests recently led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

   Soros’s own Open Society Institute has funded opposition groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including organizations involved in the current chaos.
 
   Following protests that led to the resignations of Mubarak and Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali – both key U.S. allies – Algeria similarly has been engulfed in anti-regime riots.
 
   Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has ruled the country with a tough hand. And he has been an ally of the U.S. in fighting al Qaeda. Islamist parties serve as Bouteflika’s main opposition.
 
   In a July 2004 ICG report obtained by this column, Soros’s group calls on the Algerian government to curb military action against al Qaeda-affiliated organizations, particularly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC, which, like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, aims to establish an Islamic state within Algeria, and an armed Islamic terrorist group known as Houmat Daawa Salafia, or HDS.
 
   Soros’s ICG names the two Islamic groups in its recommendations to the Algerian government.
 

   The ICG has issued at least six other reports recommending transition to a democracy in Algeria that will allow the participation of the Islamic groups seeking to create a Muslim caliphate.

 

AFL-CIO Indirectly Tied To Algerian Protests

 

   One of the main anti-regime organizations leading protests in Algeria is funded by a quasi-governmental group partly led by an arm of the AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. union organization.
 
   The AFL-CIO has also been prominently organizing protests against the Wisconsin governor who proposed federal employees pay up to 12 percent of their healthcare and half their pensions – still less than most in the private sector – to try to close a $3.6 billion budget gap.
 
   In Algeria, Islamic groups have joined in the protest coordination, including the outlawed Islamic Salvation Front and its leader, Ali Belhadj.
 
   The protests have also been spearheaded by a group called the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (ALDHR). Scores of ALDHR members have been arrested in recent days while the group’s leaders have been serving as spokespeople for the anti-regime riots.
 

   ALDHR is an Algerian nongovernmental organization that has been leading the drive for electoral reform. It has received near annual grants from the National Endowment for Democracy, a quasi-governmental agency. The American Institute for Free Labor Development, an arm of the AFL-CIO, is one of four NED founders.

 

All But Nine Islamic Terrorists Have

Escaped Egyptian Jails
 
   The vast majority of Islamic terrorists who were being held inside Egypt’s prisons have escaped in recent weeks, this column has learned.
 
   This development raises the prospect of further instability in Egypt, in particular in the region of the Suez Canal, which carries about eight percent of global seaborne trade.
 
   According to Egyptian security officials, out of hundreds of jailed terrorists, only nine Islamic terrorists currently remain in any Egyptian prison.
 
   Those terrorists include two from the Palestinian Islamic jihad; one Hizbullah militant; one member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Fatah; and three members of Jihadiya Salhafiya, which is an Islamic group allied with al Qaeda.
 
   The jailed terrorists include three recaptured Palestinians who had escaped from prison and who were part of a larger cell suspected of planning attacks against tourist sites and economic targets, including the Suez Canal.
 
   Seven more members of the cell, including gunmen from Hizbullah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, are at large after escaping from prison amid the recent riots in Egypt targeting the regime of Hosni Mubarak, an intelligence official said.
 

   The speed with which the three Palestinians were captured and the priority given to the escaped cell at a time when Egypt’s military was busy quelling weeks of unrest clearly testifies to the magnitude of fear Egypt has of the terrorist cell.

 

MK Danon: Israel Cannot Rely On America

 

   Israel can no longer rely on the White House and must trust only itself due to a lack of leadership on the part of President Obama, declared a Knesset member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party.
 
   “We have to understand that if, God forbid, we will be in the case of trouble, we can trust only ourselves because we see a lack of leadership coming from the U.S. today,” said Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon.
 
   “And we should be worried about it, because we always think, well, we have a friend in the White House, we can call them when we are in need, and we see that is not the case,” said Danon, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament.
 
   Danon was speaking in an interview on this reporter’s investigative program on New York’s WABC Radio.
 
   The Israeli politician took the occasion to slam Obama’s treatment of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
 
   “We don’t see a leadership role of the American president and actually they [the Obama administration] are following what is happening in the Middle East. On the one hand, they support Mubarak; the next day they are against him.”
 
   Danon added, “Frankly speaking, unfortunately we see a lack of leadership coming from Washington. They don’t actually take decisions. They follow, and they look at the news and then they deliver statements to the media.”
 
 

   Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

A Cat’s Bar Mitzvah (Don’t Worry – It’s A Graphic Novel)

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

The Rabbi’s Cat


By Joann Sfar


Pantheon Books, $21.95


http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/graphicnovels/rabbiscat.html


 


 


One day, the rabbi’s cat gets tired of the constant cawing of the rabbi’s parrot, so he eats the bird and acquires the ability to speak. So what is a taking cat to do? In Joann Sfar’s world, he studies kabbalah and tries to prevent the rabbi’s daughter, Zlabya, from marrying a Parisian rabbi. If the cat did not choose to pull a Cain-like move of lying – he tells the rabbi of the bird, “He left an urgent errand. He said not to wait for him for dinner” – he could have blamed the tragic consumption of the parrot on Zlabya. “My mistress, Zlabya, says that if cats could talk, they would tell incredible stories,” says the cat-narrator. “She also says that if the parrot could shut up from time to time, it would give us a break. The riches of the world should be better shared,” she says, to the parrot’s noisy cawing. The cat puts the two together and permanently silences the disturbance.

 

Zlabya tries to protect the cat from the rabbi. “And even if he does tell lies, Father, is it really so bad?” she asks, treading a fine line of culpability. “It’s terrible, my daughter,” replies the rabbi, forbidding his cat from being alone with Zlabya, because he is afraid “that I will put bad ideas into her head.” To prevent said bad ideas and to fill his cat’s head with good notions, the rabbi teaches the cat Torah and Talmud. “He wants to put me back on the straight and narrow,” says the cat. “He tells me that I have to be a good Jew, and that a good Jew does not lie. I answer that I am only a cat. I add that I don’t know if I’m a Jewish cat or not.”

 



The Rabbi’s Cat, book cover.


 

And so it goes. The cat demands a bar mitzvah of his master, who is forced to defer to his own rabbi to ask if a talking cat can have a bar mitzvah. The rabbi – a plump fellow with a white beard (sans moustache), a red kippah on his head, and pants that reach his knees – walks through the streets of Algeria, where he lives, with the cat on his shoulder until he arrives at the house of his rabbi, a thin man with a long pointed beard and a noticeable under-bite. The rabbi’s rabbi says that of course a cat cannot have a bar mitzvah, but the cat insists that cats are people, too. The rabbi’s rabbi argues that only men are created in G-d’s image, to which the cat responds, “Show me a picture of G-d.”

 

The rabbi’s rabbi grows disgusted with the heretical, lying cat, and tells the rabbi to drown the cat. The rabbi refuses (he says the cat doesn’t like water) but the cat’s sense of self-preservation kicks in, and he tells his master’s rabbi that he is G-d, come in cat-form to test him. “I tell him that I am not at all satisfied with his behavior. I tell him that he was as dogmatic and obtuse with me as some Christians are with Jews,” the cat says, as the rabbi’s rabbi falls to his knees, begging for forgiveness. “I tell him that it was a joke, that I’m only a cat, and that he can get up,” says the mischievous cat, renewing suggestions of drowning.


Sfar’s graphic novel, The Rabbi’s Cat, is drawn in fairly stylized, line drawings with colored washes. Although Sfar draws the streets of Algeria and Paris and the interior spaces in great detail (and even an expertly rendered underwater dream sequence), he often settles for dots and short lines to hint at the features of his characters. Although this seems to suggest that Sfar is more interested in places than in people (however simplistically drawn) the characters are especially powerful.

 



The rabbi teaches his cat Torah.


 

The cat demands that the rabbi teach him kabbalah, “because I like starting at the end,” although the rabbi insists the cat is too young and uneducated. But the question of whether the cat is Jewish carries far less significance in the story than do the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardic ritual. To a man who asks the rabbi whether he must wait five hours between meat and milk on account of an Ashkenazi man present (the man would normally wait three hours), the rabbi replies, “Do you know any Ashkenazim, Birkat HaKohanim? So why do you ask the question?”

 

Later, when the rabbi sits to eat at a café that normally bans Jews (and Arabs), under the protection of his cousin Malka (who has a pet lion), a man arrives to bring the rabbi and his cousin to the bed of a dying man, desperately staying alive until his grandson arrives from France. The French grandson finally arrives, and the dying man recognizes him, holds his hand, and promptly dies. The rabbi begins to prepare the funeral his way, when the grandson intervenes and says that he has a different tradition. Although the grandson asks that the mirrors in the house be covered (which the rabbi notes is part of his tradition as well), the grandson also asks that all the water in the house be poured out “because the Angel of Death is on the prowl and could dip his sword in the water.” This leads the rabbi to mutter to his cousin, “What he’s saying, that’s not real religion, just superstition, right? But if it makes him happy, we should let it go.”

 



The cat eats the parrot.


 

The grandson turns out to be Rabbi Jules Nahum, who falls in love with Zlabya and marries her. The rabbi then finds himself on his way to Paris with his daughter, son-in-law, and his cat of course. The rabbi is shocked by the lack of religiosity he finds in Paris, but Sfar’s story is more about acceptance than condemnation. The rabbi – about whom the cat reveals, “He says he has to respect my free will the only thing that could curb my complete freedom would be if someone slapped me around. But the rabbi says that the human hand is too subtle a tool to hit people or cats with” – comes to accept that he does not have all the answers.

 

In an enigmatic sermon he delivers to his congregation upon his return to Algeria, the rabbi asks why some people are able to be happy without respecting the Torah and “why should we exhaust ourselves to apply all these precepts that make life so complicated?” The congregation gets anxious, “Come on, Abraham, tell us why we’re waiting!” The rabbi shrugs and smiles. “Well, the truth is, I don’t know.” But his final move is practical. “Come on, let’s do the kiddush, because if you’re late for dinner your wives will chew me out. Yom hashishi

 

The rabbi comes to learn a very similar lesson of altruism to the one the cat learns, when he sacrifices his newfound skill for the sake of his master. In the world of Sfar’s graphic novel, Algeria, Morocco and Paris – however different in their traditions of Jewish ritual – are all bound by the characters that, try as they might to emphasize their differences, always manage to respond to each other respectfully and maturely. It’s not quite an image of the lion and the sheep grazing together, but the cat does befriend a dog, which at least approaches the Messianic sign.

 

Menachem Wecker is a painter, writer and editor, based in Washington, D.C. He welcomes comments at mwecker@gmail.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/a-cats-bar-mitzvah-dont-worry-its-a-graphic-novel/2006/11/22/

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