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June 1, 2016 / 24 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Battle’

67 Deaths In Eight Months: Groups Battle Surge in Substance Abuse in Orthodox Community

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Shocked by the number of untimely deaths of young people in the Jewish community, Rabbi Zvi Gluck, the director of Amudim, which deals in crisis intervention, decided several months ago to start keeping count of the number of deaths due to addiction, abuse and mental illness among young Orthodox Jews. When I first spoke to him two weeks ago, the figure was 65 fatalities since Rosh Hashana. Just one week later that number had jumped to 67.

Amudim reported the statistics as 21 suicides, 41 drug overdoses and 5 alcohol related deaths in member of the Orthodox Jewish community, ages 35 and under, in the tri-state area

When he first founded Amudim two years ago, there were those who berated Gluck for speaking out about the crises that were decimating our young people in droves; he was making a chilul Hashem by raising these issues in a public forum, they told him. Others simply didn’t believe him. Today Gluck finds that armed with hard numbers, his detractors are far less vocal.

A group of boys after a team-building activity run by Amudim.

A group of boys after a team-building activity run by Amudim.

“It is no longer possible to make believe that certain things that are killing our kids are not happening,” said Gluck. “Whether it is victims of sexual abuse, whether it is suffering from addiction, or it is mental illness, these are issues that we must confront.”

The fact that these issues exist within the Jewish community is, unfortunately, not new. What is novel is that faced with incontrovertible evidence of their existence, the Jewish community is finally starting to discuss these problems and trying to find ways to solve them, simply because they are so widespread.

“I don’t know any family that doesn’t know someone, either in their immediate family, their extended family or a neighbor, that has suffered from one of these things,” said Gluck.

The number of organizations addressing these crises within the Jewish community continues to grow. Far from duplicating each other’s efforts, these many agencies are addressing the full spectrum of the issues, from awareness to prevention, to referrals to treatment services to rehabilitation and beyond, all across the globe. A recent crowd-funding campaign spearheaded by the Brooklyn based Our Place brought 18 organizations together in a one day effort to raise money for those facing extreme difficulties. 4,203 people collectively raised $2,553,429 for various agencies including yeshivos, drop in centers, rehabilitation programs and summer camps.

Ruchama Clapman is the founder and executive director of MASK, which has been providing a wide array of services to those dealing with difficult issues for almost 20 years. In addition to running a “hope” line providing referrals to therapists, agencies, counselors and inpatient and outpatient rehab and mental health clinics, MASK has also run parent support groups and in-school programs. The goal for all of these efforts is the same: fostering emotional wellness in our children.

“The message that we have learned over the years is that parents need to realize that prevention is the key,” said Clapman. “Issues start early on and are compounded daily in pain, suffering and shame.”

MASK has case managed over 16,000 families and 24,000 in community programs since its inception and Clapman said that the issues often stem from trauma that may have occurred earlier on.

“A child who is bullied in sixth grade can experience pain so great that it can create issues later,” said Clapman. “You may not necessarily see it when they are younger, but peace of mind is difficult for trauma victims and they inevitably act up later to escape their pain.”

The importance of focusing on elementary school-aged children who have low self esteem, ADHD or learning disabilities or have experienced something traumatic, be it bullying or death of a loved one, cannot be overstated, according to Clapman.

“Common forms of acting out are the addictions, all of them, such as drugs and alcohol, internet addiction, pornography, criminal behavior, and relationships,” said Clapman “Over time many of these young adults are rejected, whether for behavioral reasons or for being academically underproductive and they are left to the street, which just reinforces these behaviors and exposes them to additional dangers.”

Parenting has become increasingly difficult, noted Clapman, and well-raised children from even prominent families can inadvertently be exposed to unprecedented threats, forever altering the course of their lives. In many cases, parents are often the last to find out that their children are facing serious problems.

“As parents, we do the best we can but times are changing,” said Clapman. “The message to everyone is that we are not immune. Nobody is immune in today’s society.”

Yitzchok Weinreb knows that lesson all too well. His son Gershon struggled for years to cope with the trauma of a difficult divorce and turned to drugs at a young age. He died last year of a drug overdose at the age of 26.

“We have to get the word out there,” said Weinreb. “We are losing them a lot and not just to drugs. We need to wake up and smell the coffee before it is someone in your own family and realize that this is a major problem among Jews.”

Having been molested as a child, Weinreb fully understands the difficulties that face anyone who has experienced trauma.

“I live with this day in and day out,” observed Weinreb. “This happened to me from age 11 to 15. I am 52 and I still go to bed every night and wake up every morning with it.”

Because of his own experiences, Weinreb finds that many abuse victims relate well to him, though he fully acknowledges that the road to recovery is long and bumpy.

“I tell people that I have gone through what they have gone through,” said Weinreb. “There is light at the end of the tunnel and they can get through it. It may be very hard, but suicide is not the way to solve anything. With help from the right people, even those who have experienced terrible trauma can still enjoy a full life.

Sandy Eller

Pentagon Confirms American Soldier Killed by ISIS in Northern Iraq

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist group killed a U.S. soldier in Iraq this week, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday.

The soldier was “aiding Kurdish fighters near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul,” according to the statement by the DoD spokesperson.

He was “hit by direct enemy fire about 20 miles from Mosul,” which the spokesperson labeled as the Da’esh “de facto capital in Iraq.”

CBS News quoted U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter as saying in a brief statement “It is a combat death, of course. And a very sad loss,” but giving no detail.

The U.S.-led “Operation Inherent Resolve” also issued a short written statement that said a coalition “service member was killed in northern Iraq as a result of enemy fire.”

The “enemy” was not specifically named by the government, however.

According to CBS News senior national security correspondent David Martin, the soldier was an American adviser to the Kurdish Peshmerga force, working with a unit a couple of miles behind the front line “during a battle with ISIS.”

Some of the terrorists managed to penetrate through the line into Kurdish territory and killed the soldier with a gunshot, he reported, despite air support from U.S. F-15 fighter jets and drones during the battle.

“It was a real battle, not just one-off raid,” Martin reported.

A U.S. Marine was killed by Da’esh rocket fire and several others were wounded in northern Iraq in mid-March.

Hana Levi Julian

Overnight Major Terror Tunnel Infiltration & Battle [photos]

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The censor has permitted the following for publication:

Early Thursday morning, July 17, at approximately 4am, a Gaza/Hamas terror cell, consisting of 13 terrorists, exited a secret terror tunnel, that opened up near near Nachal Oz and Kibbutz Sufa, east of Gaza.

(Update: there are unconfirmed reports that there were 15 terrorists. Report will be updated if needed).

Thank God, some very alert elite IDF soldiers saw the terror cell, and began to open fire.

The terror cell, now under IDF gunfire tried to run away back into the terror tunnel. At that point IDF artillery, tanks and the air force began shelling the tunnel and the terrorists.

No IDF soldiers were injured in the attack. At least 8 terrorists have been killed. The tunnel has been destroyed.

Among the weapons on them, the terrorists had  at least 20 RPG-7 rocket launchers, as well as guns, grenades, and more.

By 7:15 this morning, all the towns near Gaza, except Sufa, Hulit, and Kerem Shalom have returned to normal status. Those three areas are still on high alert.

Update: 9:30am All clear for all towns.

 

A closeup of the tunnel entrance near Kibbutz Sufa. Photo via: Smiley Hafuch / Rotter.net

A closeup of the tunnel entrance near Kibbutz Sufa. Photo via: Smiley Hafuch / Rotter.net

 

Some of the weapons carried by the terrorists who tried to infiltrate into Kibbutz Sufa.

Some of the weapons carried by the terrorists who tried to infiltrate into Kibbutz Sufa. Photo: IDF spokesman.

 

More weapons captured from the Sufa tunnel attack. Photo via: Eli_Scooper / Rotter.net

More weapons captured from the Sufa tunnel attack. Photo: vIDF spokesman.

 

The tunnel exit near Kibbutz Sufa

The tunnel exit near Kibbutz Sufa. Photo via: Democritus / Rotter.net.

 

The tunnel battle this morning as seen from Gaza.

The tunnel battle this morning as seen from Gaza. Photo via Rotter.net.

Kibbutz Sufa, near the Gaza border.

Kibbutz Sufa, near the Gaza border. Photo: Google Earth.

At the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, two major terror tunnels were blown up, that exited inside Israeli territory.

Over the past year, at least four additional major terror tunnels from Gaza into Israel have been discovered and destroyed.

It is believed that Hamas has built numerous terror tunnels that crisscross from Gaza in Israel, for the purpose of kidnappings and terror attacks.

Israel is planning to hold another cease fire at 10am today, this time for “humanitarian” purposed. Hamas will obviously use this time to regroup, to attack again.

Shalom Bear

Sharon’s Message of Faith to Netanyahu

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

I would guarantee that there wasn’t a Jew in Israel eight years ago, including the most leftist, cynical and secularist, who didn’t, even if for just one moment, think to himself that Arik Sharon was being punished by God for the crime of the Gush Katif expulsion.

Whether they afterwards denied or ignored it is irrelevant. For an instant, every Jew in Israel understood Sharon’s debilitating stroke as a sign from the universe.

That’s the problem with miracles and signs, and why we Jews don’t use signs as foundations of our faith: they’re fleeting.

Last Shabbat’s parshah–Beshalach–is full of stories of massive, yet ephemeral miracles. We learn how Bnei Yisrael would experience a miracle, and then simply ignore it a few days later, or worse, experience miracles everyday (like the manna) and regard them as commonplace.

It would seem that the purpose of miracles is not to create blind faith, because it fails miserably in that direction, but to serve as a teaching moment, and occasionally for a course correction.

The manna taught Bnei Yisrael about keeping Shabbat and about trusting in God to provide our “daily bread.” The tearing of Yam Suf helped Bnei Yisrael take their first steps away from fear and servitude under the Egyptians and toward trusting in and serving God.

At the end of the Parsha, Amalek attacks Bnei Yisrael, and we see the miraculous and inexplicable interaction between Moshe’s raised hands and the battle with Amalek. The Parsha ends with Joshua “weakening” Amalek, and us, the Jews, being commanded to wipe out any memory of Amalek from the face of the Earth.

Why was Amalek the first to attack Israel after all the miracles and Egypt’s destruction?

Because Amalek is the antithesis of Israel.

Amalek doesn’t believe in divine providence or divine intervention. Amalek believes in coincidence (“Kerry” in Hebrew). They attacked Israel to prove the ideology of a universe with no direction, judge or justice, where all events are random and hence where morality is inconceivable. The only morality of that ideology is the survival of the strongest. There are no values other than those of the people in charge.

And their kerry-coincidence approach to reality constitutes a very strong belief, which is why Joshua, despite his victory, was only able to weaken it, and why it is something we must continue to fight in every generation.

It is only our trust in God, our belief in Divine intervention, that will allow us to win the latest round of this ongoing war against the ideology of coincidence.

John Kerry said about Sharon, “He was prepared to make tough decisions because he knew that his responsibility to his people was both to ensure their security and to give every chance to the hope that they could live in peace.”

He wants Netanyahu to forget that Sharon failed miserably in his pursuit of both peace and security. His mad retreat from Gaza, deporting thousands of Jews, destroying homes, synagogues, fields, equipment, resulted in a lot more bloodshed and destruction than ever before. How can anyone look at Sharon’s abysmal record in Gaza and say they would like to repeat it, but this time make it five times or ten times more terrible?

Our modern day prophet of kerry–aptly named Mr. Kerry–wants Netanyahu to forget about God’s guiding hand in Jewish history, and the retribution that befell the late Ariel Sharon.

It’s no coincidence that Sharon died this week, when it appears that Israel is under dire threats, and fateful decisions lie in the hands of one man who must now choose to have faith in the God of our history, or in the man of coincidence and happenstance.

Netanyahu is our Joshua, and we must be his Moshe, holding up our hands to strengthen him, and to remind him of the One who fights our battles, the true source of our strength, victory and survival.

JoeSettler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/sharons-message-of-faith-to-netanyahu/2014/01/12/

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