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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘boston’

Americans Donate More than $21 Million for Boston Terror Victims

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Americans have opened their hearts and wallets one week after the Boston marathon terrorist attack and have donated more than $21 million for the victims.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced last week the creation of The One Fund Boston, which Fox News said has raised $15 million from corporations and another $6 million from public donors.

Several websites also have been created to raise funds, the news outlet reported. Friends and relatives of newlywed Patrick and Jessica Downes, each of whom lost a leg below the knee, have raised $680,000 for their medical care.

Another website was dedicated to eight-year-old Martin Richard, who died in the bombing, with $230,000 raised so far. His sister lost a leg in the terrorist attack, and her mother suffered serious injuries and underwent brain surgery.

Yishai Broadcasts Light From Boston

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai was in Boston for a week to speak about Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) and ended up giving strength and Israeli perspective to the Jewish communities he spoke to as they faced terrorism in the heart of their small tight-knit American city at the Boston Marathon an event representing openess, family, and spring. How will they continue in the future? Yishai addresses the challenges ahead in this segment. Also see Yishai’s video from the Boston street.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Bean Town Blessings

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Last week was an intense time to be in the U.S. and certainly in Boston. Fresh from Israel, I was ready to talk about the story of the Jewish State, but it seemed God had other plans for me: to live a story in Boston.

So, Friday morning I was walking from the Young Israel of Brookline to the corner Kosher bakery, called Kupels, where I had breakfast every day while in Boston. I must admit I was a bit unplugged from the steady stream of breaking news tidbits and was walking around innocently, when I noticed that there were unusually few cars on the road and that stores seemed to all be closed.

I asked a young lady who was smoking nervously what was going on. “Didn’t you hear?” she said, and proceeded to fill me on everything that had happened overnight: the murder of a police officer, the shootout, the killing of the first suspect and the subsequent manhunt underway for the younger brother. Two things struck me about her tale, the first was the reality of what was happening around me and the strange providence that brought me from “dangerous” eastern Jerusalem to usually-calm Boston to be a witness to this tumultuous and historic time – and hopefully allow me to offer support as well.

The second thing that struck me was the willingness of random Bostonians to give over the whole tale; a kind, verbal kindness that seemed to come naturally to this city of universities, history and intellect.

I returned to the quaint Victorian motel on Longwood Avenue which I was staying at for the week. I began the process of checking out as originally planned but now I couldn’t leave. The city of Boston was on lockdown-manhunt mode and my speaking event had been cancelled. I had nowhere to go and the police did not want anyone going anywhere anyway. So my fellow guests and I congregated in the public kitchen, gathering in front of the television to watch the saga that was unfolding just outside.

To my right was a gentleman – let’s call him Joe. A tough old American, with a penchant for mildly anti-Semitic jokes. Another man came in from outside, bringing Old Joe a ham sandwich. Joe turned to me and said: “Hey Rabbi, you want some of this sandwich, I’ll bless it for you!” and he proceeded to cross the ham. We all laughed. Then Joe asked the other man where he got the food from. The other man, let’s call him Mike, said: “everything is closed except the Jewish deli” (the Kosher-style one where he got the pork). So Joe says: “they’ll do anything for a buck.” But Mike retorted “Na, only the Jews have guts!” Joe nodded.

No one in Boston gave me dirty looks. Nobody implied I was the source of all evil, somehow nefariously involved in the terrorism that had just struck. My Jewish genes expect to be blamed when things go wrong for the gentiles, but the average American – certainly the Bostonians that I met – looked right past my decidedly ethnic Middle Eastern appearance.

On Friday night, I had finished dinner with wonderful Jewish students at the Chabad of Boston University, when I heard merriment and revelry outside. Armed with this new understanding of this city’s willingness to talk, I ran outside and asked the first person – a happy dogwalker – to give me the lowdown. Of course, he immediately obliged, giving me the good news that police had located and captured the second terrorist. Relief was in the air for a city which had held its breath for a week.

On Shabbat day, I walked from B.U. to the Chabad of Harvard (and MIT) for prayer, great lunch, and to give a talk. That day was the 25th day of Omer (the 49-day count between the second day of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot) and the Sefira (Kabbalistic emanation which corresponds to each day of the count) was Netzach SheB’Netzach. In my talk I explained that Netzach means two things: eternity and victory, and that these represented two kinds of Jewish triumph. Eternity means that we outlast our enemies and that no matter what they do to us and how many of us they kill, we come back. We outlast the horrors inflicted upon us by Romans and the Nazis and everyone in between. But victory is different; victory is not only outlasting the evil, it is actually beating it. Our nation suffered through the long exile, and we outlasted our tormentors. But now, with the advent of the Jewish State, we are tasked with pursuing victory and helping the world be rid of those who hate peace.

The Motive Cover Up of the Boston Bombings Begins

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Now that the two (main at least) terrorists from the Boston Marathon attack have been killed or captured we enter a new phase, the phase in which the dominant politically correct (but factually incorrect) forces try to explain away the attack.

Can this be done? Will they really try? Well, yes. True, as one of my correspondents remarked it is much easier to obfuscate far distant Benghazi than the total shutdown and horror in the middle of a major American city. Yet the spin-masters are already at work.

The first step must be, in part, a stalling technique but it sets the pattern for what is to come. As, in the words of a Reuters story, the “Boston Marathon bombing investigation turns to motive,” the motive must be obfuscated.

The Reuters piece is a good start. The article spends seven paragraphs discussing the parents claim that the two brothers were framed. This suggests that the mass media and politicians will not shrink from suggesting—perhaps I should say, gives fair hearing—to bizarre conspiracy theories and doubts. People shouldn’t believe these completely, is the theme, but you just can’t be too sure that two young Muslims would have any reason to harm Americans.

Indeed, there are now witnesses who heard the two terrorists’ mother claiming that September 11 was a U.S. plot to make people hate Muslims. That’s where playing with that kind of fire leads.

In the article, the word “Islam” is not mentioned, except to say that they once lived in one predominantly Muslim country and another place they lived, Dagestan, is “a southern Russian province that lies at the heart of a violent Islamist insurgency.” Here, we have another technique, minimize Islam as a factor and turn it into background noise.

Obviously, this will not apply completely both because the elephant in the room is too big and there is still some journalistic integrity in places. Both the Washington Post and Mother Jones took a lead in exposing the You-Tube likes of one of the terrorists which showed a propensity for al-Qaeda views to say the least.

There are a lot of other quivers, however, in the arsenal of denial.

On “Face the Nation” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said that he had no idea why the Tsarnaev brothers would target “innocent men, women and children in the way that these two fellows did.” The answer, of course, is that these people were not regarded as innocent at all but as soldiers in the alleged Christian-Jewish war on Islam, precisely the same thinking that has been produced by Islamists for decades. Might September 11, 2001, be a clue here?

Of course, for Patrick to say that at this point in the investigation is understandable on one level, a refusal by a government official to remark on an ongoing investigation and a relief from “the police are stupid” or “Trayvon looks like the son I didn’t have” remarks by someone else. Yet what if this claim is sustained week after week until the heat is off?

NBC News has just reported that Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited an Islamist radical six times in a mosque in Dagestan. The Caucasian/Chechen angle, however, does offer some hope. A lot of media time can be spent talking about that conflict. Of course, if the young men were acting as Chechens they would have attacked a Russian and not an American target. The United States has not, even by the usual stretch of radical Islamist imagination, had anything to do with the conflict in Chechnya.

The more compelling the conflict there is as a source of pain and passion, the less compelling the argument that that was a motive. The Russians have indeed been brutal in suppressing the rebellion, far more than the West or Israel has acted toward anyone. So what cause overrides that one? Yet Chechen grievances will be a good source of obfuscation.

Then there will a frantic search for the “blame ourselves” theme. If the issue wasn’t such a tragic one, this would be humorous. Could America have acted more kindly toward these two brothers? Don’t underestimate how well this theme will play with those citizens who drink other flavors of Kool-Aid.

A Muslim Perspective: Boston’s Tragedy Must Not Generate More Hate

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

First and foremost, my prayers go out to the victims and their families in Boston. Just like we have a hard time understanding psychologically unhealthy people, we cannot understand what kind of man can be at war with innocents. History has witnessed many sick people leading others to commit atrocities, but there is one thing for certain; whatever the perpetrator or perpetrators might profess as a religion, they are not believers. If someone is capable of killing innocent people without so much as blinking an eye, then they are murderers with no fear of God. That is indisputable.

However, whenever there is a bombing or a mass shooting in public places like the atrocity in Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, or the Aurora, Colorado massacre, or the 2011 Norway massacre, and many more, the worlds’ collective gaze shifts to “Muslims,” and some begin to express hateful sentiments even before the perpetuators are announced.

Just as it has become reflexive reaction in the Western world, to associate any attacks on civilians with Muslims, Muslims also hurry up to denounce the violence and want to make clear to the whole world that it is a violation of Islam, in case the murderer happens to have a Muslim identity.

Since these are times when emotions are high and people want quick justice, they sometimes seek targets to direct their anger. But inciting hatred, raising conflict and enmity, hatemongering, engaging in one-sided, aggressive propaganda and creating a climate of hysteria, or using the internet to incite a lynch mob, are also crimes.

As we have witnessed in the latest attack, while some react with common sense, others pour out words of hate targeting all Arabs and labeling all Muslims as potential murderers. For instance, a Fox News contributor—whether seriously or as satire—had the audacity to state that Muslims “…are evil…Let’s kill them all.” And I read a good many comments suggesting the extermination of Muslims.

But even if these voices are merely the ones being highlighted, these are still the voices of a minority, and very extreme examples at that. Some act this way because of pain and fear; others lack dignity and or even humanity in their soul – they are simply psychopaths.

While I say this, I also would like to strongly criticize those who express joy at the sight of horror in America, just because they think the American government’s foreign policies are wrong. On the other hand, I watched an Egyptian “cleric” saying this attack was definitely a jihad by mujahideen, adding that their execution was amateurish, and so it could not have been an Al-Qaida operation.

This chilling mindset is as horrifying to me, as a devout Muslim, as it is to any Westerner. The use of the concept of “jihad” for acts of aggression against innocent people is a great distortion of the true meaning of the term. Jihad—meaning to strive, to show an effort—is about telling people about Islam with knowledge, culture, love, affection and compassion; and to tell people the truth kindly, to treat them warmly, to respect their ideas, not to be ruthless toward them or shed blood, kill or hurt people or kill oneself.

I gave these two extreme examples because they do not represent the majority, and those who expressed them had no right to manipulate public feelings or opinion. Hatred and anger are likely to prevent people from thinking soundly and making just decisions. People can be inclined to injustice and cannot conduct themselves rationally when they let their anger guide their actions and words. So let us not accuse innocent people of acts they have never committed, or bear false witness against them. Let us keep some common sense, maintain our balance, and let us not give people the grounds to provoke. Even if they raise their voices, let us not permit them to misuse horrific atrocities to spread their poisonous and malicious propaganda.

Marathon Suspect #1 Caught

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Boston Marathon Suspect #1, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was caught on Friday night. He was hiding under the tarp of a boat in the backyard of a Watertown home. A local resident saw blood on the rope of the tarp covering his boat, in his backyard.

The owner called the police who evacuated the couple, and swarmed the yard.

There was an exchange of gunfire, but police managed to capture Suspect #1 alive.

His brother, Suspect #2, Tamerlan Tsarnaev Was killed earlier on Friday, in a shootout with police.

Boston was effectively locked down on Friday as police launched the largest manhunt in the cities history to find the terrorists who blew up the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and wounding 170.

Boston Marathon Suspect Killed

Friday, April 19th, 2013

One suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was killed early Friday morning, following an attack on police officers in Watertown that involved explosives and gunfire.

The second suspect is being sought.

The man known as suspect 2, wearing a white hat, is the suspect still on the run, according to Channel 5 News in Boston. Sources say the situation “fluid and dangerous.”

State police spokesman David Procopio said, “The incident in Watertown did involve what we believe to be explosive devices possibly, potentially, being used against the police officers.”

The situation was linked to the fatal shooting of an MIT police officer on Laurel and Dexter Streets in Watertown, late Thursday night.

Teams of police officers and FBI agents are roaming the neighborhood, with choppers overhead.

A State Police spokesman says an MBTA police officer was wounded in Watertown.

“I can confirm that a Transit Police officer was wounded. He is being treated at this hour at a local hospital,” said spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/boston-marathon-suspect-killed/2013/04/19/

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