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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

Cave of the Patriarchs Closes to Jews for Muslim Holiday

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

The administration of the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron has announced it will close its doors to Jews on Wednesday (May 4, Nisan 26) due to the Islamic holiday of Lailat al Miraj.

Both Jews and Muslims pray at the site, where it is believed the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried, as well as Adam and Eve.

The holiday of Lailat al Miraj commemorates the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘farthest mosque’ in Jerusalem, from where Muslims believe he ascended to heaven, was purified, and was given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times a day.

“Prayers and visitation will take place on the Seventh Step,” the administration said in its statement.

The Temple Mount will also be closed to Jews on Wednesday for the same reason.

On Thursday the Cave of the Patriarchs will reopen to Jews beginning at 4 am as usual.

Hana Levi Julian

Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill to Designate ‘Holy Bible’ as Official State Book

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

In the state of Tennessee, citizens take their Bible seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that the state legislature has just approved a bill designating “the Holy Bible as the official state book.”

If Governor Bill Haslam signs it into law, Tennessee will be the first state in the USA to have adopted the Holy Bible as a state symbol.

“What we’re doing here is recognizing it for its historical and cultural contributions to the state of Tennessee,” GOP State Senator Steve Southerland said. Bibles are often used to record important family milestones, and in the state of Tennessee, numerous printing firms have made a multimillion-dollar industry from producing just this one sacred text alone.

Even beyond that, however, the bill is a really powerful statement, given the current climate in the country. Reactions are strong in both directions.

“Critics called the proposal unconstitutional and sacrilegious,” Nashville Public Radio reported. “They also pointed out there are many versions of the Bible, none of which are specified in the resolution.”

Others argued that it wasn’t fair to citizens of different faiths. Another point raised was a legal issue, the question of separation of church and state. And some said simply, what about those who don’t believe in any Bible at all?

But perhaps that’s the point. The issue at stake here isn’t which version of which Bible is being used, or from which stream of monotheistic faith — and it’s not being forced down people’s throats.

“The Bible” — any Bible — is being declared to be the state book, not the state faith. It symbolizes that the Bible has proved important to the majority of the population over the state’s history.

The Bible is important to the state economically (it’s a multimillion-dollar printing industry item), culturally (the majority of the population is Christian or Jewish) and ethically (the wisdom to be found in the Bible is disputed by no one.) Even performers know it: There are few country songs heard at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville without roots in some Bible saying. It’s that kind of place.

Nevertheless, the bill may still face an uphill battle: the separation of “church and state” is still an issue; it was strong enough to prevent the state of Kentucky from allowing a special public display because its purpose was religious, rather than historical.

Hana Levi Julian

Millions of Jews Inciting Muslims by Praying for Rebuilding Holy Temple

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

This is a blog post by Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

From the Muslim point of view, millions of Jews are inciting Mohammed’s followers by praying every day that the Holy Temple be rebuilt.

Arab media have made it a daily ritual, almost a prayer, to charge that the Israeli government and Jews visiting the Temple Mount are really plotting to rebuild the destroyed Temple.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has taken a tough stand against Jews who even try to utter a prayer on the Temple Mount, which boils the blood of Muslims who respond with violence, which nevertheless their clerics preach from Temple Mount mosques.

Perhaps the Obama administration is not aware of it, but millions of Jews, including those from the Conservative stream of Judaism, pray every day for rebuilding the Temple.

Arab media occasionally refer to the prayers as proof of the “plot” to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque by archaeological excavations that supposedly are carried out in order to weaken the mosque’s foundations and cause the mosque to collapse, if radical Islamic sacrilege don’t beat them to the punch and bring down the house on themselves

The next step, according to the Arab paranoia, is a construction crew entering and building the Third Temple.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Jordan, which is the formal “custodian” of the Temple Mount, has stated that worldwide Jewish prayers are incitement, but it may be just a matter of time.

American-Israeli journalist Maayan Jaffe wrote this week for JNS:

[Is] the current Palestinian uprising is solely political?

Not so, says Adnan Abu Amer, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the National University for Open Education. From his perspective, some worrying trends indicate, ‘we are regressing into a religious war….

‘We are seeing a politicization of religious values – people using religion for political purposes. This is dangerous.’

She also quoted Ofer Zalzberg, senior analyst with the Middle East Program of the International Crisis Group, as noting that “one-fifth of the Likud membership is national religious” and that Jews following “a Messianic, Temple-focused Judaism” believe they are fighting a “holy war.”

Zalzberg stated, “On both sides, eschatological beliefs are being misunderstood, abused and misused” and express concerns about the links between religious and violence.”

He told Jaffe:

What is the link between religion and violence? One is about things that because of your religious beliefs you want or even need them and therefore you would fight for them, use violence, to secure them….

The other is that you have needs or goals that are in fact not driven by religion, but for different reasons, religious leaders use religious discourse to grant them legitimacy. This is part of the dynamics we are seeing in the current escalation of the conflict.

Now that the Israeli government has more or less crushed the idea of Jews praying on the Temple Mount, radical Islamic leaders, whose existence is dependent on violence, may have to turn to universal Jewish prayer to drive their followers into a frenzy.

The traditional Jewish  prayers in the morning service are preceded by reciting Biblical and Talmudic passages about sacrifices, and conclude with the prayer that may it be God’s will that “the Temple should be built speedily in our days.”

If that is not enough to rankle radical Muslims, Jews recite three times a day in the silent “Amidah” prayer:

Return in mercy to Jerusalem Your city and dwell therein as You have promised; speedily establish therein the throne of David Your servant, and rebuild it, soon in our days, as an everlasting edifice. Blessed are You L-rd, who rebuilds Jerusalem…..

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

PA Charges Jews with Wearing ‘Priestly Garments’ on Temple Mount [video]

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The official Palestinian Authority website WAFA has accused “extremist Jewish settlers” with “wearing priestly garments” on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.

WAFA as well as all Arab media inside and outside Israel routinely incite Muslims into a frenzy over Jews “storming” the Temple Mount.

WAFA added that the “settlers,” a term referring to any Jew who ascends the Temple Mount, “attempted to perform Talmudic (Jewish) prayers, however their attempts were foiled by the Mosque guards.”

That statement is probably not true because Jerusalem police stay within inches of all Jews on the Temple Mount and haul them away if they even dare to whisper a prayer.

WAFA also told its faithful that Israeli police were deployed in such large numbers that it made Jerusalem a “military barrack.”

The Palestinian Authority’s official website’s reference to the “priestly garments” could have been part of its strategy of incitement against Jews or could have been plain ignorance and paranoia.

The spokesman for the Jerusalem police did not respond to The JewishPress.com’s request for a response to the accusations by WAFA, but Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick explained that the “priestly garments” were nothing more than the white “kittel.”

The “Kittel” is not a priestly garment. The High Priest indeed were a white robe and trousers during part of the Yom Kippur rituals on the Temple Mount.

However, the “kittel,” which symbolizes purity and is used as a burial shroud for men, is commonly worn in synagogues on Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment, to symbolize the penalty of death by God for committing sins.

The Orthodox Union explains the ritual on Yom Kippur:

Twice during this exalted day, the Kohen Gadol [High Priest] would remove the eight priestly garments he wore during his service in the Beit HaMikdash [Holy Temple] all year long, immerse in a mikvah and don the four special white linen garments that were used only on Yom Kippur to enter the Kodesh Hakodashim [Holy of Holies].

The only connection between the Kittel and the High Priest’s white robes is that both are white.

The second verse in Chapter of Isaiah states:

Our sins shall be made as white as snow.

Below is video posted on Arab media of Jews, one of them with a ‘Kittel,” on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu Pledges to Beef Up Security at Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Israel will do its “utmost so that Jews will be able to go everywhere safely, especially to the Tomb of the Patriarchs,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday.

Tens of thousands of Jews visit the site, known, in Hebrew as Ma’arat HaMachpelah, for Slichot prayers between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

It is the burial site of the forefathers Avraham, Isaac (Yitzchak) and Jacob as well as Sarah, Rebecca (Rivkah) and Leah. Rachel, Yaakov’s second wife, is buried at Rachel’s Tomb (Kever Rachel), which also attracts tens of thousands of people between the two High Holidays.

The Patriarch’s Cave also is the traditional burial place of Adam and Eve.

Palestinian Authority terrorists have escalated attacks at the two sites in recent months.

Jewish Press News Briefs

A Tale of Two Prayers: Muslims and Clinton vs. Jews and Psalms [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to war – Psalms 120:7).

A new video of an Arab event in the Old City that was in celebration of a new groom shows the overwhelming presence of political aspirations, with flags of both the Hamas terrorist organization and the Palestinian Authority.

If foreign media were to take off their blinders, they could understand better, if they wanted to, the essential differences between the intentions of Jews and Muslims at the Old City and on the Temple Mount.

We have no idea of what the Arabs were chanting in their flag-waving celebrations, but it is a safe assumption they were not reciting Psalms.

Up to several thousand Jews march in the same place every month, except when the police decide it might offend Arabs. They also wave flags, those depicting the Holy Temple. Two of them were destroyed centuries ago, but the Palestinian Authority likes to claim they never existed.

The monthly rallies are centered on the recital of several Psalms, which brings to mind the obvious one when comparing the Muslim and Jewish marches.

Psalms 120:67 states:

I am [at] peace, but when I speak, they [come] to [wage] war.

The literal translation is “I am peace, but when I speak, they are war,” and the words “at or “for” are necessarily inserted in the first part of the verse and “come” in the second part.

Every translation of any text is prone to interpretation, and when it comes to Israel, the interpretations come with a mindset.

The international community does not consider Israel for peace, and it likes to believe that the Arab world wants peace.

The most recent evidence comes from the newest batch of “pro-Israel” Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails.

She and her close confidantes pre-judge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a man against peace. The Palestinian Authority is assumed to be a friend of peace, despite Psalms 120:7, Palestinian Authority incitement and terror, and Mahmoud Abbas’ spitting in the face of the Obama administration by openly destroying the basis of the Oslo Accords and rejecting a diplomatic solution.

The e-mails to Clinton’s private e-mail server, even though some of the information was classified, are chock full of anti-Netanyahu observations from people such as Martin Indyk, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel. He wrote Clinton about Netanyahu:

At heart, he seems to lack a generosity of spirit. This combines with his legendary fear of being seen as a ‘freier’ [sucker] in front of his people to create a real problem in the negotiations, especially because he holds most of the cards.

Another source of the e-mails is Sid Blumenthal, whom Clinton seems to have made a de facto adviser when she was Secretary of State even though the White House rejected her attempt to bring him on board in an official capacity.

Clinton insists his e-mails were “unsolicited” but one of her e-mails to him states, “Keep ’em coming,” and another beseeches him to advise her before she was to speak to AIPAC.

She liked what she read because it was nasty towards Netanyahu, and keep in mind that if Clinton is the next president of the United States, Blumenthal will be on her team.

For example:

[Netanyahu’s] father, Benzion Netanyahu; 100 years old, secretary to Jabotinsky, and denounced as too radical by Begin, adored his son Yoni, heroically killed at Entebbe. Benyamin has never measured up. Benzion has constantly criticized him in public for his deviations from the doctrine of Greater Israel.

Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother. See Benzion’s most recent scathing undermining of his son Bibi and Bibi’s tearful tribute to his brother just last month.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967” by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/one-third-of-americans-in-israel-live-in-judea-and-samaria/2015/08/28/

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