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July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Ashkenazi Jews’

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, Capital Undivided ‘Forever’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday at a Jerusalem Day ceremony that the Israeli capital will remain undivided “forever.”

Speaking at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony held at Ammunitition Hill, Netanyahu said, “We need to tell the truth without fear. This is where we began our path as a nation.

“This is our home – and this is where we will stay.”

The priority, said Netanyahu, is to ensure that Jerusalem forever remains open to all who wish to worship within her walls.

When Jordan occupied the eastern portion of the Israeli capital, that was not the case – despite an original United Nations mandate directing that Jerusalem always remain an open, international capital of the world. Instead, barbed wire blocked off Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest sites, and to a great extent even Christian access to sites holy to that faith as well.

Filth and garbage was strewn all around and over the Western Wall, nearly burying the holy site.

“Only under Israeli rule will there be freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Believers pray at their holy sites not in spite of our rule in the city, but precisely because of it,” he noted.

“We will forever preserve an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu vowed.

“Who opposes our presence in Jerusalem? Those who refuse to recognize our right to exist as a sovereign nation in our own state,” the prime minister said. “They see us as a foreign entity that needs to be uprooted.”

He added that just as the radical Islamists are terrorizing the rest of the region, so too are they aiming at Jerusalem – and after the heartbeat of the Holy Land, next will be the West.

“Sunni extremists like Da’esh (ISIS), and Shi’ite extremists like the leadership of the ayatollahs in Iran,” he pointed out. [They] “fight each other, but [then] they have a common enemy: the West and the open, free culture it represents.”

Netanyahu also warned against the nuclear technology deal being negotiated between Iran and the world powers led by the United States.

“We are opposed to that deal and we are not the only ones,” he said. “There needs to be a better deal.”

Parkinson’s Study Will Look at Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Mutation

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

A study sponsored by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research will investigate a genetic mutation found more often in Ashkenazi Jews.

The Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, a large-scale biomarker study, is expanding to study individuals with genetic mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease. Among those mutations is the LRRK2, which accounts for a greater number of Parkinson’s cases among certain ethnic populations and families, notably Jews of Eastern European descent.

The study will enroll 250 people with the LRRK2 mutation and Parkinson’s and a like number with the mutation but without Parkinson’s.

Genetic mutations account for 5 percent to 10 percent of all Parkinson’s cases, but a study of these individuals may reveal disease traits that apply to all Parkinson’s patients.

The Fox Foundation has secured 15 industry partners and co-funding sponsors for the initiative. They include Abbott Laboratories, Biogen, BMS, Covance, Eli Lilly, GE Healthcare, Genentech, GSK, Merck, Pfizer and Roche.

The study will take place at 32 clinical sites around the world.

Study Finds No Evidence of Khazar Origin for Ashkenazi Jews

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Doron M. Behar of Rambam Health Care Campus, Israel, Mait Metspalu and Bayazit Yunusbayev of Estonian Biocentre, Evolutionary Biology Group, Estonia, Yael Baran and Naama M. Kopelman of Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and several other scientists, have recently published a study suggesting there is no evidence from genome-wide data of a Khazar origin for Ashkenazi Jews.

The Khazars were a Turkic nation whose semi-nomadic empire stretched from Southern Russia to the Caucasus mountains, and from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. There is a tradition that, in the 8th or 9th centuries, their king converted to Judaism.

In the late 19th century, Ernest Renan and others proposed that the Ashkenazi Jews of Europe had fled from Khazaria. This theory has been used by antisemites to suggest that European Jews stem from a barbaric Asiatic race, and to disprove their ancestral connection to the land of Israel.

Only a year ago, many enemies of the Zionist success story, both Jews and gentiles, rejoiced in the findinggs of a Dr. Eran Elhaik, a half-Italian, half-Iranian Israeli Jew, a molecular geneticist working for the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, that “the dominant element in the genetic makeup of European Jews is Khazar. Among Central European Jews, this makes up the largest part of their genome, 38%. For East European Jews it does the same, at 30%.”

The only thing missing for Dr. Elhik’s work to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jews are actually Khazars, is the fact that there are no Khazars out there. There are only folks who live nowadays where there may have been Khazars 1200 years ago.

So, in the absence of genetic data for the long-lost Khazars themselves, Elhaik used data from populations living there now: Georgians, Armenians and Caucasians.

“When doing so Elhaik discovered what he calls the Khazar component of European Jewry,” concluded the news reports in January, 2013.

In short, Elhaik says he has proven that Ashkenazi Jews came from the Caucasus, not the Middle East. And the obvious conclusion is: kindly pack your bags and move on to your real homeland.

Naturally, one of Elhaik’s biggest supporters was Shlomo Sand, who teaches his own kind of history at Tel Aviv University, and wrote the bizarre book “The Invention of the Jewish People.” Sand said the study vindicated his long-held ideas.

”It’s so obvious for me,” Sand said in an interview. “Some people, historians and even scientists, turn a blind eye to the truth. Once, to say Jews were a race was anti-Semitic, now to say they’re not a race is anti-Semitic. It’s crazy how history plays with us.”

So now, not for the first time, a new study, available here, the work of a large group of scientists, finds once again that the Khazar theory is baseless, driven, like Prof. Sand, by a burning desire to invalidate the Jewish Zionist narrative. The new study also clears, once and for all, hopefully, the popular confusion regarding the possibility of there being a unique Khazar race that woke up one morning, declared itself Jewish and moved on to settle in Germany.

“The origin and history of the Ashkenazi Jewish population have long been of great interest, and advances in high-throughput genetic analysis have recently provided a new approach for investigating these topics,” states the study’s abstract. “We and others have argued on the basis of genome-wide data that the Ashkenazi Jewish population derives its ancestry from a combination of sources tracing to both Europe and the Middle East.

“It has been claimed, however, through a reanalysis of some of our data, that a large part of the ancestry of the Ashkenazi population originates with the Khazars, a Turkic-speaking group that lived to the north of the Caucasus region roughly 1,000 years ago. Because the Khazar population has left no obvious modern descendants that could enable a clear test for a contribution to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, the Khazar hypothesis has been difficult to examine using genetics.”

Livni, Bennett Back Bill to Pretend Jews Need Only One Chief Rabbi

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Jewish Home chairman and Minister for Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett unveiled the outline Monday morning of their new bill to eliminate the system of a two-headed Chief Rabbinate and replace it with “one rabbi for one people.”

Modern Israel always has had two chief rabbis, one for the Ashkenazi community and one for the Sephardi community. Each community has vastly different traditions and different rulings on Jewish laws. Within each community there are several sub-cultures. There are “Yechi” Ashkenazi Jews. There are many different Chassidic sects, and there are “Litvak,” Misnagim,” Lubavitch-Chabad, Ger, Neturei Karta, Vishnitz and a host of others.

In Israel, there is no lack of different synagogues representing the origin of their worshippers’ families. There are Iraqi, Iranian (Parsi), Egyptian and Yemenite synagogues, to mention a few.

Livni, who is secular, and Bennett, who is modern Orthodox, each believe that one chief rabbi is enough for everyone,

Their bill would clear the way for a single chief rabbi in 10 years, when the next election will take place. Three months ago, Haredi Rabbi David Lau defeated national religious Rabbi David Stav to head the Ashkenazi rabbinate. Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef was elected Chief Sephardi Rabbi.

Both of the new chief rabbis are sons of two of the most popular men ever to serve as chief rabbi – Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who was highly controversial among those outside of Sephardi circles. Each man is a legend, and the thought of a single chief rabbi would have been unthinkable under their charismatic leadership.

Livni and Bennett insist they are not retrying to blur the lines of tradition. A single rabbi undoubtedly would save money, but finance is not part of their agenda.

“There is one prime minister, one president, one supreme court and one IDF Chief of Staff,” Livni said. The time has come that there should be one rabbi for one people, The time has some that Israel has one chief rabbi to unite all segments of Israeli society, [The time has come for] a rabbinate that will serve all religious sectors instead of a county that retains the separation of communities. It is possible to respect tradition in the house without separating religious authority,” she said.

Bennett chimed in, “This [bill] is an important step that symbolizes unity. The appointment of one rabbi is one of those subjects that raises the question, ‘Why wasn’t it done sooner?’ Today, when an Ashkenazi and Sephardi marry, there not two rabbis. Today, there is one army, and there are no separate positions for Ashkenazim or Sephardim.”

The idea sound so nice. All of the People of Israel will unite together, holding hands, dancing the hora and embracing each other with whole-hearted acceptance as a person and not as a “Sephardi” or “Ashkenazi.” Peace and love all wrapped up in a stewing pot of melted Jews.

Judaism has survived and blossomed since the 12 Tribes of Yaakov (Jacob) because of their unity as Jews and differences of character, personality and customs.

“One rabbi for one people” would discourage diversity. Obviously, a single chief rabbi would be an expert in different customs and would not issue a ruling that would violate a community’s customs. Sephardim would not be told to give up “kitniyot” for Passover and Ashkenazim would not start rising before dawn to recite Selichot prayers during the entire Hebrew month of Elul before Rosh HaShanah.

Regardless of whatever merits there may be to the bill, and despite probable enthusiasm from Israel’s leading secular media, the bill will have tough going.

Overcoming centuries of tradition in one Knesset session is a bit too much for Livni, the darling of dwindling leftist-center secular Israelis who did not vote for Yair Lapid and a villain to national religious Jews, including Bennett except for the one-rabbi bill. Bennett is riding a wave of secular support for his Jewish Home party, the inheritor of the old Mafdal crowd.

If the bill gets to the Knesset floor, it will provide lots of colorful copy for journalists. Shas will go berserk, and the United Torah Judaism party of Haredi Ashkenazi Jews will be able to sue Bennett for Livni for causing them a collective heart attack, God forbid.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Left a Kosher Empire

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Overlooked in the eulogies and praise of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is the role he played in the development of the kosher certification, Badatz Beit Yosef, under the leadership of his youngest son Rabbi Moshe Yosef.

The Beit Yosef kosher standard meticulously follows the standards of Rabbi Yosef Caro, the author of the codification of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch.

The Beit Yosef certification is widely used amongst Sephardic and other Jews, and an estimated 70 percent of Israeli restaurants follow the Bet Yosef standard as do many eating establishments in France and several in the United States.

In one of his weekly broadcasts, Rabbi Ovadia lamented that some were abusing the Beit Yosef standard, so coveted by Sephardi Jews and not as widely accepted by Ashkenazi Jews.

Rav Ovadia: I Love Knitted-Yarmulke Jews – But Not their MKs

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

Shas party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef said Saturday night he really loves knitted-kippa Jews,” but it’s just their political leaders who are “Amalek” – the eternal enemy of Jews.

The national religious community in Israel now can breathe easier and know that Rav Ovadia really loves them.

Sure, the distinguished  rabbi said last month that national religious Chief Rabbinate candidate Rabbi David Stav is “evil” and an “enemy to Judaism,” but, heck, that was just meant to cheer up Shas’ favorite clientele, the dwindling Sephardi community that still feels oppressed by the elite Ashkenazi community. Indeed they are, but they are equally oppressed by their own leaders. So what better way to keep the common people in line by telling them that the Rabbi really loves Jews, even those who wear a knitted kippa.

But what about Shas Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who said in a sermon a week ago that “as long as there are knit kippot, the [divine] throne is not whole?  That’s Amalek. When will the throne be whole? When there is no knit kippa.”

If a listener thought Rabbi Cohen, who is a member of Shas’ Council of Torah Sages, meant that knitted-kippa Jews are Amalek, he did not understand correctly God forbid he should say such a thing.

Rav Ovadia, who sat silently on the podium as Rabbi Cohen spoke, knows exactly what he really meant.

Sure, Rabbi Cohen said some things against” those rebellious national religious Jews with knitted kippot, but he was only referring to their political leaders, opined Rav Ovadia.

Love, love, love, he said. Love for everyone – with one small exception. It is the political leaders of the knitted-kippa crowd who are problematic.

They not only are problematic. They are the true Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy dating back to the days of  the Exodus from Egypt.

And who is the real knitted-kippa modern Amalek  of the Jews? None other than Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, which, unlike Shas, took the daring move in the last elections to  welcome secular Jews as Knesset Members and put the emphasis on nationalist instead of religious.

Rav Ovadia has his grounds for considering Bennett Amalek.

The Jewish Home party is against exempting Haredi youth from IDF service forever. That means that Shas yeshivas would have less youth learning , or at least registered as learning, in their institutions,

If there are less students, there is less money from donors, especially from the Israeli taxpayer whose hard-earned money has been going into black-hat yeshivas for years with the payback that the future Torah scholars and eternal voters for Shas are defending the nation by learning Torah, even if they are just listed as learning and actually working or stashing home.

Now that Rav Ovadia has explained  Rabbi Cohen and has mended ties with the national religious community, except for those enemies of Jews like Bennett, Israel is ready for Tu B’Av, which begins Sunday night.

The Talmud lists it along with Yom Kippur as the most joyous days of the year when, according to the Talmud, that the daughters of Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards and said, “Young man, consider who you choose (to be your wife).” Tu B’Av is the same day of the 40th yearin the desert when the ban was lifted on female orphans marrying into another tribe.

It is the perfect day for a daughter of a Shas rabbi to become engaged to the son of a national religious politician.

And God willing, Rabbi Cohen and Rav Ovadia will perform the marriage ceremony.

Next Israel Shekel Bills to Feature Sephardi Jew

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

The Netanyahu government is going “politically correct” and will make sure the next serious of Israel shekel bills will feature a Sephardi Jew following last year’s four new banknotes that featured only Ashkenazi Jews.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday he personally prefers that the “Sephardi shekel bill” feature poet Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy, calling his poetry “genius.”

Knesset Member Aryeh Deri of the Shas Sephardi religious party sharply criticized the monopoly of Ashkenazi Jews on the most recent series.

“Money adorned with an image of a Mizrahi figure is not worth less,” he said.

The Rambam, Moses Maimonides, was featured on a banknote in 1980 but is only widely-known Sephardic to be seen on Israel money.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/next-israel-shekel-bills-to-feature-sephardi-jew/2013/04/28/

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