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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

From Segregation to Confrontation – No Nostalgia for Baltimore

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The riots in Baltimore are symptomatic of a world-wide disease that has been spreading for decades: Violence.

I have good memories of a good life in the Golden Ghetto where I grew up in Baltimore but I have no nostalgia, not for the Orioles, not for the peace and quiet in our white-only and Jewish-only neighborhood, not for segregation, not for our black maid and not for integration.

Not even for the Orioles when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series, believe it or not.

Yes, I did write “segregation.” Before 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in the Plessy vs. Ferguson suit, I never questioned the practice. What do you want from an eight-year-old?

Those were the days of law and order, but the deep white hatred of blacks in the south was superior to the rule of law, and it took years of protest marches and the assassination of Martin Luther King before integration in school was accepted.

Jews in my youth in Baltimore, like elsewhere in the Diaspora, always were worried about being politically and socially acceptable. The rabbis, especially the modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders, always spoke out for the blacks, the same people who rented from Jewish slumlords and worked for minimum wages from Jewish employers who were lucky if their employees showed up for work without being drunk.

Our rabbi marched in Washington in a huge rally for integration. Somehow, he always managed to connect it to the Torah.

Listening to King, one would think that God told the whites in the south, “Let my black people go.” That is what happens when Jews desecrate the Torah to co-exist with non-Jews.

Those were the days of the Limousine Liberals, the rich Jews who were in favor of integration, on condition that it was not in their neighborhood.

Those were the days of peaceful protests. They worked.

Today, they don’t.

There were many blacks in my high school class who studied hard, went to university and became part of the “haves.” Many remained with the have-nots.

When the United States declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, it was a bit late. It should have started years before and should have been called a war on violence., because violence has been working for decades.

Everyone can come up with his or her own reasons for excuse – liberalism, social media, television, movies and drugs, among others.

Underneath all of them is the undercurrent of “gimme, and if you don’t “gimme,” I will kill you.

Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been seen all cross America this week for his rant against violence:

No way. No way. No way can this happen in our city. No. Young kids you got to understand something, get off the streets.

Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this….

You don’t have any right to do what you’re doing to this city. Too many hard-working people build this city… We know what’s going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we’re not getting the right justice. We know all these answers.

But rioting in our streets is wrong. It’s dead wrong.


Lewis is speaking of values. He stated, “It takes a whole village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what rebuilding Baltimore looks like. Cause there’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place.”

His values are not “their” values. “Their” values are violence. “Gimme or violence, take your pick.”

‘Baltimore, We’ve Got Your Back’ in New York

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

A scheduled “peaceful” demonstration of “support” for the family of the late Freddie Gray in New York City’s Union Square on Wednesday morphed into a flood in the street of marching protesters chanting, “We’ve got your back, Baltimore.”

But New York’s Finest were ahead of them, having prepared hours earlier for the event.

Police even distributed flyers at the demonstration warning they would arrest protesters who walked in the streets instead of on the sidewalks and tried to block traffic or other wise disrupt the daily life of the city.

Within the hour, NYPD officers were arresting protesters who poured into the streets of the city, refusing to stay within the designated areas and instead insisting on marching down the streets and blocking traffic.

Unlike the tolerance allowed to protesters after the Eric Garner death in Staten Island, NYPD officers immediately arrested those who stepped into the street. They also set up mesh fences along the curbs of both sides of the streets to keep the mobs from stepping off the sidewalks.

Protesters also reportedly marched in Boston, Washington and other cities across the U.S., according to numerous media.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

BB Gunman Fires at Jews in Baltimore on Rosh HaShanah

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

An unidentified man, possibly of Middle Eastern descent, shot at Orthodox Jews on Rosh HaShanah with a BB gun and blasted a hole in a synagogue window in the Baltimore area late Thursday afternoon.

No one was injured. But residents in the heavily Jewish-populated area are worried.

And it’s about time.

“It says something about what is going on in the world in terms of the anti-Semitism that is growing,” Bernice Seiden told Baltimore’s WJZ television.

The attacker drove by the Bais Hamedrash and Mesivta of Baltimore while several Orthodox Jews were walking and yelled, “Jews, Jews, Jews” as he fired with what apparently was a BB gun.

The pellets missed the targets, some of whom were children, and hit a synagogue window.

The suspect was described as a white male but with a dark complexion, possibly of Middle Eastern descent. He could be charged with a hate crime if caught.

“It’s awful. It’s a very sad state that that’s what we have to deal with. Nothing is safe and nothing is sacred anymore,” Marcy and Steve Sher said.

The attack gives American Jews a lot more to think about during the Rosh HaShanah-Yom Kippur holiday period.

Happy New Year.

IDF Soldier from New Jersey Wounded in Gaza Fighting

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

A graduate from a New Jersey yeshiva and who now is a paratrooper in the IDF suffered moderate injuries to his head when a retaining wall fell on him in the war on terror in Gaza, the New Jersey Jewish News website reported.

He was identified as Sgt. Moshe Hirt, 21, from Edison, New Jersey and a graduate of the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva

Hirt underwent surgery and was released to his aunt’s house in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem.

His parents flew to Israel to be with him, and his mother told New Jersey Jewish News, “He has been in Gaza from the beginning. We are very proud of him, but this is how we raised him. We were not surprised when he told us he was going to Israel to study and join the IDF. We support him 100 percent.

“We are concerned about him and all of Israel… He said he had seen a lot of bad things, but he is strong, like all our soldiers.”

Earlier last week, Baltimore-born Jordan Low suffered smoke inhalation when he was helping his unit escape from a burning building that had been hit by a Hamas rocket.

His father said, “He’s my hero. My two boys have learned to think about others before themselves.”

Killer of Baltimore Jewish Girl Rejected in Bid for New Trial

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

The convicted murderer of an 11-year-old Jewish girl in 1969 will not receive a new trial, a Baltimore judge ruled.

Circuit Judge Edward Hargadon, in his ruling on the appeal by Wayne Stephen Young, said jurors who found Young guilty of killing Esther Lebowitz in 1972 were adequately advised of how to try the case, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Attorneys for Young, 68, had requested the new trial based on a 2012 ruling by the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the state’s highest court, which found that many convictions before 1980 are invalid because jurors were given unconstitutional instructions. An attorney for Young said she would appeal the ruling.

Young was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and has been denied parole 12 times. He claimed during his trial that he was temporarily insane.

Esther, a fifth-grader at the Bais Yaakov School for Girls, was missing for two days before her body was found about a half-mile from her Baltimore home. She died from 17 blows to the head.

Her family has since moved to Israel and did not attend a hearing on the case last month. About 200 Baltimore Jews protested the hearing.

Native Baltimore Rabbi Runs for Beit Shemesh City Council

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Baltimore native Rabbi Avraham Leventhal, who moved to Beit Shemesh eight years ago after making aliyah, has tossed his hat in the political ring and is running for a seat on the city council. Elections will take place October 22.

Another former American, Rabbi Dov Lipman, also was active in politics after making aliyah. He joined Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and won a seat in the Knesset in the elections earlier this year.

Rabbi Leventhal joined the Tov political party, explaining that is comprised of “Orthodox Jews with a strong social action agenda.” He added, “They assist residents regardless of their party or religious affiliation. This is exactly the style of good government that Anglo olim seek. “

Beit  Shemesh is home to a large Anglo population but also has been the scene of violent clashes between Haredi extremists and modern orthodox and secular residents,

Rabbi Leventhal said, “An ‘us vs. them’ mentality has taken hold. There are many levels to the various conflicts including Haredi vs. Haredi, veteran residents vs. newcomers and olim vs. those native to the city. Unfortunately this is reflected in the functioning of the current municipal government. City Hall doesn’t serve all residents equally.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/native-baltimore-rabbi-runs-for-beit-shemesh-city-council/2013/09/11/

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