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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

New Berlin Jewish Student Center Fights Anti-Israel Trend

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Berlin’s first Jewish student house opened its doors on Sunday for pro-Israel lectures and activities in response to anti-Israel tendencies commonly found on Berlin’s campuses and for cultural and leisure activities for Jewish students in the German capital.

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, who is behind the effort and serves as a Jewish community rabbi in Berlin, stated during the ceremony, “As Berlin has become a magnet for Jewish students from throughout the world in recent years, it’s time to have a regular home for Jewish students in the city.”

Approximately 150 members of the local Jewish community attended the ceremony, along with senior German government officials. Among them were Jewish philosopher Professor Micha Brumlik, the vice president of the German Bundestag, Petra Pa, and other members of the Bundestag.

The three-story Jewish Student House will also be used as a meeting place for 5,000 male and female Jewish students at Berlin’s three universities and other academic institutions in the city. it is intended to serve as a deterrent to the current 50 percent rate of intermarriage among German Jews.

Rebbitzen Chaya Greenberg, who will be managing the student house alongside the students, said during the ceremony, “We don’t consider you, the students, as guests but as family, and this is not just simply a building, but a family home for all Jewish students.”

The new house will be run by Chabad on Campus and  the KSpace organization, operated by students.

NY Court to Decide Dispute over ‘Holocaust-Ancient Assyrian Link’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

The fate of a tiny gold tablet in the possession of the estate of a Holocaust survivor and claimed by a Berlin Museum now is in the hands of seven judges on the New York Supreme Court.

The table, if it’s not a hoax, could be worth millions of dollars. It belonged to Holocaust survivor Riven Flamenbaum of Great Neck, New York and was inherited by his children. The history of the tablet is certain as far back as 100 years ago but may go back 3,200 years – or it may not.

German archaeologists discovered it approximately 100 years ago in the Assyrian city of Ashtur, in what is now northern Iraq, Long Island Newsday reported. It went missing after it has been displayed at the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin in 1934 until the end of the war, when the museum’s artifacts were inventoried.

It next showed up in the hands of Flamenbaum, a native Poland who obtained it by trading “either for two packs of cigarettes or a piece of salami,” according to one of his daughters, Hannah Flamenbaum.

After her father died in 2003, his son Israel told the German museum about the presence of the tablet, and it sued for its return. The lower court in New York ruled in favor of the estate, but an appeals court overruled the decision, and the New York Supreme Court concluded hearings on the case Tuesday. A ruling is expected in four to six weeks.

It is not known if the tablet is a forgery or not. His daughter Hannah said her father tried to sell it to an auction house in 1954 but was told it was a worthless forgery.

Her brother Israel disagreed with her account including of the estate and informed the museum of the tablet’s presence, setting off the legal war.

Hannah and a sister claim that so much times has passed since the disappearance of the tablet that the museum has no rightful claim.

Their lawyer says that if the tablet turns out to be true ancient artifact, it could be worth approximately $10 million.

Yair Lapid Tells US Jews They Are Safer than in Israel

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Israel’s Finance Minister Yair Lapid, fresh from having scolded ex-pats for living in Berlin, told New York Jews Monday afternoon that they are safer living in the Big Apple than they would be in Israel.

Lapid certainly did not intend to encourage Jews to stay in America, but that one little sentence packed enough ammunition to undo weeks or months of hard work by anyone encouraging aliyah.

Even worse, Lapid made his remarks at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan, which The Jewish Press’ Lori Lowenthal Marcus has exposed time and time again for hosting outright anti-Zionists, as reported here, here and here.

Lapid was speaking at the annual meeting of the international Monetary Fund in New York and was interviewed by Charlie Rose, who asked him why Israel does not divide Jerusalem for a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

“It isn’t always possible to assume that everything is rational. Israel was founded as a refuge for the Jewish people, but today it isn’t a safe place. It is safer to be Jew in New York,” Lapid said.

To be fair, he continued, “I want to live in a country that is not just a place, but also an idea, and Jerusalem is the heart of the idea. There may be practical considerations, but a country cannot exist without an ethos, and Jerusalem is an ethos.

“I like Tel Aviv; I live in Tel Aviv, but our right of return is Jerusalem. We did not return after 2,000 years for Tel Aviv, but for Jerusalem. Jerusalem will not be divided. It will continue to be Israel’s capital.”

Two points for Zionism.

When Lapid said that Israel is not as safe as New York, it is difficult to know what he was referring to. Subways? Murder rate?

No doubt, he was thinking of terror. And how many people have been killed by terrorists in Jerusalem this year?

Zero.

And last year? Off hand, zero.

Have there been terrorist attacks? Yes, dozens if not hundreds. Rock throwing and firebombing are attacks carried out with the intent to murder. Lapid would be correct to say that more Jews in Israel are injured by rocks every year than they are in New York or ever the entire United States.

Let’s say they were attempted murders. And how many actual homicides were there in New York last year? If you answered 414, you were right, and that is 20 percent less than in 2011.

Israel recorded 159 murders in 2012, with a total population that is approximately 15 percent less than that of New York City.

Lapid, as usual, did not define what he meant by “safer.” He likes platitudes and slogans without content. That is how got elected.

But besides the question of whether he has his facts wrong, how could he make such a statement – that New York is safer then Israel – after berating Israelis in Berlin for leaving the homeland?

Lipid, visiting in Budapest, wrote on his Facebook page last week, “I am in Budapest. I came here to speak before parliament about anti-Semitism and to remind them how they tried to murder my father here just because Jews did not have a country of their own.

“So forgive me if I am a bit intolerant of people who are prepared to throw away the only country that the Jews have because Berlin is more comfortable.”

Lapid says Berlin is more comfortable than Israel. New York is safer.

By the way, Lapid emigrated to Los Angeles in 1997 to manage a TV production company

Here is a personal note to the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization that promotes aliyah to Israel: Don’t invite Yair Lapid.

Yad Vashem Cites Egyptian Doctor as Righteous Among the Nations

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Yad Vashem recently recognized Dr. Mohamed Helmy and Frieda Szturmann as Righteous Among the Nations, an honorary title bestowed by Yad Vashem on behalf of the State of Israel and the Jewish people to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Dr. Helmy, an Egyptian physician living in Berlin and Szturmann, a local German woman, worked together in the heart of Nazi Germany to help save a Jewish family during the height of the Holocaust.

Dr. Helmy is the first Egyptian to be recognized as Righteous Among the Nations. Yad Vashem is currently searching for the rescuers’ next of kin to posthumously honor their relatives in a ceremony and present them with the certificate and medal of the Righteous.

Dr. Mohamed Helmy was born in Khartoum in 1901 to Egyptian parents. In 1922, Helmy went to Germany to study medicine and settled in Berlin., where, he went to work at the Robert Koch Institute.

According to Nazi racial theory, Dr. Helmy was not being of the Aryan race and was discriminated against.

Despite being targeted by the regime, Helmy spoke out against Nazi policies, and notwithstanding the great danger, risked his life by helping his Jewish friends.

Neturei Karta Member Charged with Espionage for Iran

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

A Jerusalem resident who belongs to the ultra-Haredi Neturei Karta sect is being charged with contacting the Iranian embassy in Berlin, offering to spy for Iran in Israel, and even proposing to murder a Zionist for Iran.

The man is being charged with contact with a foreign agent and an intent to commit treason.

According to the charges, which were made public today, the man decided three years ago to start spying for Iran. He went online—not a small feat for a Neturei Karta man—and checked out Iranian embassies in Europe. In January, 2011, he flew to Berlin, showed up at the Iranian embassy and told the reception clerk that he was an Israeli citizen interested in meeting an Iranian official.

He was taken to an office in the embassy where, according to the charges, he met with three unknown individuals. He told the Iranians who he was, explaining that his faith rejects the existence of the state of Israel, and that he wished to replace the current Israeli government with a gentile government. He then proposed to pas intelligence information to the Iranians.

During the meeting, the man asked his hosts how come they don’t manage to guard their people in Iran against Israeli assassinations. In response, the Iranians asked how he can be so insolent when he’s asking for political asylum, and he responded that he wasn’t interested in an asylum, and that he would gladly murder a Zionist for them.

According to the charges, the Iranians told the accused they were going to check the matter with their superiors and gave the accused man a note with an email where they would send him messages. They also instructed him to call them at the embassy.

The accused returned to Israel and started checking the email account in Internet cafes around Jerusalem. He also made several payphone calls to Iran’s Berlin embassy, asking to speak to “Haji Baba,” the nickname of one of the Iranian with whom he had contact in Germany.

The arrest of double-oy-vey-seven took place two weeks ago, under a massive gag order. He was remanded to a holding cell in the Petach Tikva magistrate court and his appeal of the arrest was rejected by the district court. According to the prosecution, the accused has already admitted the charges against him.

Michelle Obama and Daughters Visit Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

First lady Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha visited the Holocaust memorial in Berlin amid tight security Wednesday morning under tight security.

They spent about a half-hour walking through the sea of 2,711 slabs that comprise the memorial, according to Uwe Neumaerker, its director. They were guarded by helicopters hovering over the area, which was cleared of visitors, so the memorial “was totally silent and they were alone,” Neumaerker told JTA by phone following the visit.

“They were impressed that we Germans have such a memorial in the center of our city,” Neumaerker said, adding that the first lady “really has an aura.”

American-Jewish architect Peter Eisenman designed the memorial, which was opened to the public in May 2005 on the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Also on the visit was Auma Obama, President Obama’s half-sister, about whose existence he reportedly learned of only after his father’s death in 1982. Auma Obama, 53, studied in Germany and lives in her native Kenya.

Israeli Rabbinate Backs Berlin Rabbi for Oral Suction at Brit

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has sent a letter of support to Berlin Chabad Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, who was charged by an anti-circumcision activist for practicing the ritual of oral suction of a small amount of blood at a circumcision.

The practice is widely accepted in Israel but caused controversy in the New York area after several reports of herpes. At least two boys died and two others suffered brain damage in the 11 cases of herpes reported by New York City health officials after the practice was carried out at circumsions in the years 2004-2011.

Last September, the board of health voted 9-0 to require mohels to obtain signed consent forms from parents before performing the rite.

Rabbi Moshe Morsiano, director of the division for circumcisions in the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, emphasized in his letter that that the ritual of oral suction should not be carried out when the mohel is ill or has a sore in his mouth.

Rabbi Morsiano listed a number of opinions written by rabbis of the past several generations, all whom concluded that the ritual, known in Hebrew as Metzitza B’Pe, is integral part of ritual circumcision.

The Rabbinical Center of Europe, which represents m ore than 700 rabbis, also has supported Rabbi Teichtal.

The controversy in Germany is particularly important because of last year’s ruling by a judge in a German province that circumcision is illegal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel stepped in and backed legislation to make sure that religious circumcision remained legal.

“The Jews of Europe must have religious freedom,
said the Rabbinical Center. “All Jewish leaders have the responsibility and obligation to stop any interference with any detail of Jewish practice”.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-rabbinate-backs-berlin-rabbi-for-oral-suction-at-brit/2013/04/24/

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