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June 27, 2016 / 21 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ceremony’

Woody Allen Brunt of Rape Joke at Cannes Ceremony [video]

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy? Comedian and filmmaker Woody Allen on Wednesday became the target of much hilarity at the 69th Cannes Film Festival opening night which featured the premiere of his new film Café Society, The Independent reported. Master of Ceremonies Laurent Lafitte, known for playing the role of Antoine in the 2010 film Little White Lies, rolled up the old sexual allegations against Allen and against another Jewish filmmaker, Roman Polanski, into one unkind joke:

“You’ve shot so many of your films here in Europe, and yet in the US you haven’t even been convicted of rape,” Lafitte said, and the audience responded in shocked gasps.

See, Polish Jewish director Roman Polanski, whose film The Pianist won the Palme d’Or in 2002, fled the US in 1977 after pleading guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in California. Polanski had to live and work mostly in France and can never return to America, unless he’d like to sample the local prison system.

Woody Allen, for his part, faced accusations of pedophilia in 1992 after Dylan, his seven-year-old daughter, had told his ex-wife Mia Farrow that he molested her. Farrow filed charges with the police, but the case was dropped in 1993 after a probe by a police-appointed medical team concluded that Dylan had not been molested. Allen also admitted to having an affair with Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn, whom he later married, in 1997.

“Thank you for coming tonight, sir,” Lafitte told Allen, “although it’s the least you could do. Your film isn’t even in competition. What’s the worst that could happen? …Or that it’s not as good as Manhattan?”

Woody Allen’s Manhattan was met with widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress for Mariel Hemingway and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for Allen and for Marshall Brickman. Its North American box office receipts of $39.9 million made it Allen’s second biggest box office hit, after Annie Hall.

So it looks like the French have just learned the art of the Roast and are still not so adept at it. Where’s Don Rickles when you need him?

David Israel

Bearded IDF Paratroopers Banned from Yad Vashem Ceremony

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Paratroopers’ battalion 890 in 1955 with Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan, and (l-r standing) Lieutnant Meir Har-Zion, Major Arik Sharon, Captain Dani Matt (bearded), Lieutnant Moshe Efron, Major General Asaf Simchoni. Sitting: Captain Aharon Davidi (bearded), Lieutnant Ya’akov Ya’akov, Captain Raful Eitan. It turns out that IDF soldiers, religious and secular alike, are banned from representing the Jewish army in official ceremonies, News 0404 discovered this week, and the IDF Spokesperson’s office confirmed. The event was a Yad Vashem commemoration ceremony, and the soldiers were warriors from Battalion 202 of the storied Paratroopers Brigade.

It should be noted that General Danny Matt, the legendary commander whose name is synonymous with the IDF paratroopers’ brigade was endowed with a thick and bushy beard that any Hasidic rebbe would have been proud to wear (even though he was not a particularly religious person). Likewise Brigadier Aharon Davidi, another legendary paratrooper.

In fact, some inside the brigade were astonished to find out that bearded Jewish soldiers would not be let into an institution dedicated to documenting the tragic fate of millions of bearded Jews.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) called on Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot to change the humiliating rule. “The directive shows a disconnect, even a cultural distance from the world of Jewish values,” Smotrich told News 0404, “and I call on the Chief of Staff to change it. It is inconceivable that we’ll be at the same time encouraging the service of religious and Haredi soldiers in the IDF and then barring them from state ceremonies because their appearance is a disgrace to the army.”

JNi.Media

Netanyahu Helps Complete Torah Scroll in Memory of Paris Terror Victims

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was the second most important member to participate in a ceremony to honor the memory of the victims of terror who died in Paris last month.

The most important member was the beautiful new Torah scroll upon whose parchment the scribe and honored guest penned the final Hebrew letters.

The scroll was the first of four, two of which will be in placed in synagogues in Paris, and two to be kept at the Western Wall.

After inscribing the last letters in the Torah written in memory of those who were murdered last month by an ISIS terrorist at the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery in Paris, the prime minister said, “I express the feelings of the Jewish People regarding these victims, who are part of our people and who were murdered just because they were Jews, in terrible anti-Semitism that is sweeping across Europe. Many European governments are still not ready to point to the source of the new anti-Semitism – extremist Islam. To my regret, we saw an expression of this spirit yesterday at the UN, when they refused to condemn Hezbollah, which claimed responsibility for the murderous attack against our forces.

“On the one hand, in Europe they refuse to call the child by its name, or at least they are not ready to grab the bull by the horns and say that the source of the new anti-Semitism and the murderous attacks that are running rampant around the world, this terrible brutality against Jews and against non-Jews, is extremist Islam.

I share not only in the grief of the families, but in the feelings of the entire Jewish People who understand that the attack in Paris was an attack on all Jews wherever they are. If these murderers had the ability, they would kill all Jews wherever they are. By the way, they say this very clearly; therefore, there is no alternative to Jews defending themselves – first and foremost in the state of the Jews. Governments that line up against this anti-Semitism will discover its source.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Men: Watch Out Smashing the Glass Under the Chuppah!

Monday, May 12th, 2014

There’s more to being a Jewish man than one might think. It can be quite dangerous, in fact.

Take the issue involving a Jewish man stamping on a glass (sometimes wrapped in an elegant cloth napkin) at the end of his wedding vows, for instance.

The ritual is intended to remind those attending that even at moments of soaring joy, one must remember the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and pray for its return.

But one chatan (bridegroom) now has a warning for future husbands-to-be: be careful when you stomp your glass.

The unnamed chatan cut his foot when he smashed the glass under the chuppah (wedding canopy) at a banquet hall on Rehov Tzfira in Tel Aviv recently.

Hatzolah Emergency Response medic Yehuda Hildeshaim, who was on the scene, treated the injured bridegroom on site. The medic, who said the foot was gashed quite deeply, added that the groom decided he would not go to the hospital until after the rest of the wedding celebrations had concluded.

“We wish the couple ‘mazal tov’ and good health,’ Hildeshaim said.

Hana Levi Julian

Defense Minister Ya’alon: Assad Has Lost Control

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Against the background of the gas attack in Syria and the reports about hundreds of victims, perhaps more than a thousand, Israeli Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon said on Wednesday that “the Syrian regime has lost control over the country, is present only in about 40 percent of its territory and is finding it difficult to subdue to opposition forces.”

Speaking at a ceremony welcoming the new Jewish year at the defense ministry compound in downtown Tel Aviv, Ya’alon said that “for some time now this has not been an internal Syrian conflict. We decided not to intervene in this conflict, but we drew red lines to make sure our interests are not harmed.

The defense minister expressed skepticism about the ending of the war in Syria. “We don’t envision the end of this situation, since even the toppling of Assad won’t bring about a conclusion. There are many open, bloody accounts yet to be settled by the various elements.”

“It’s a conflict that has turned global, with one axis receiving support from Russia and the other bein helped by the U.S. and Europe. Lebanon is connected to the massive Iranian support and therefore the war has been dripping into its territory as well. Inside Lebanon there are focal points of confrontation as well. But, generally speaking, the borders are peaceful and we are watching to make sure the cannons are not trained on us,” Ya’alon said.

According to rebel sources in Syria, the number of dead as a result of the chemical gas attack on a suburb of Damascus has topped 1,300, including women and children. The rebels are claiming this was a massacre of innocent civilians, who were hurt by poison gas in the area of the Guta camp, a rebel held spot outside Damascus.

A Syrian government spokesperson has said in response that those claims are unfounded, and are intended to sabotage the work of the UN inspectors who have just arrived in Syria to investigate earlier reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army.

Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom, head of the 20-member inspection team, told news agency TT that he finds the reports of such a high number of casualties suspicious.

“It sounds like something that should be looked into,” he told TT over the phone from Damascus. “It will depend on whether any UN member state goes to the secretary general and says we should look at this event. We are in place.”

Minister Ya’alon referred to situation in Egypt as well, saying there has been relative quiet on the Israeli border with Egypt, but noted that extremist elements like the World Jihad will attempt to destabilize the border.

He warned against the recent developments in the Sinai, such as the execution by Islamist terrorists of 25 Egyptian policemen, spilling over into Israel.

“Over the past week, the Sinai border has been the hottest, and it obliges us to realign for it.”

Yori Yanover

Jewish Agency Hands Gondar School to Ethiopia

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky handed Getnet Amare, the mayor of Gondar, Ethiopia, the keys to the school that had prepared thousands of Jewish Ethiopian children for their subsequent immigration to Israel through education in math, physics, computers and English.

In a ceremony on Monday, the Jewish Agency donated all the school buildings and equipment to the city. “Jews lived in Gondar for 2,500 years. However, their longing to return home never weakened,” Sharansky said at the ceremony marking the conclusion of the Jewish Agency-led Operation Wings of a Dove. Through the operation, launched in 2010, Israel absorbed more about 7,000 people in Ethiopia, the Falash Mura, whose ancestors were Jewish but were forced to convert to Christianity.

“For us it is very symbolic that the Jewish community here is leaving behind a place of study. It’s a promise we make all the countries from which Jews emigrate: that we will leave behind a school for their local community’s children,” Sharansky said.

The final flight of Ethiopian immigrants to Israel will arrive in the Jewish state on Aug. 28 with 400 immigrants.

JNS News Service

Did She or Didn’t She?

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Over the past two days, while the army was shooting into the crowds in Egypt and half of Beirut was lifted by a huge car bomb, and many other awful things were happening, The Jewish Press readership has been dealing with mostly the question of the possibility that a Reform Rabbi named Angela Buchdahl could have attained her high position without the benefit of a Jewish conversion.

It started with an article in The Forward (Angela Buchdahl, First Asian-American Rabbi, Vies for Role at Central Synagogue), that basically suggested Buchdahl was not Jewish according to Jewish law:

But she also engaged Judaism at a time when the Reform movement itself was undergoing dramatic change. Eleven years after Buchdahl’s birth, in a move still hotly debated in all streams of Judaism, including within Reform Judaism itself, the Reform movement overturned more than 2,000 years of tradition that recognized only those whose mother was Jewish as Jews from birth. Others, including those with just a Jewish father, were required to undergo a process of conversion, though this process varied among Judaism’s different streams.

Starting in 1983, as intermarriage advanced steadily among its members, Reform Judaism conferred a “presumption of Jewish descent” on those with one Jewish parent, whether it was a father or a mother. The one condition to this recognition was that it be established “through appropriate and timely public and formal acts of identification with the Jewish faith,” according to the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

In many ways, Buchdahl represents the flowering of this revolution in Judaism, and symbolizes a kind of coming of age of its children.

This was coupled with an article in Hadassah Magazine:

Profile: Angela Buchdahl

Though Buchdahl’s mother did not convert, she wanted her children to find a home in the Jewish community. Her father instilled Jewish pride in his children and gave them a Jewish vocabulary, says Buchdahl, but it was her mother who imparted a sense of spiritual yearning and wonder. Her mother’s Buddhism informs her Judaism, she says, noting that Jewish and Korean cultures overlap in their approach to life, their emphasis on giving back and their drive to succeed and to be educated.

So yours truly, enchanted by the concept of the non-Jewish Rabbi, charged ahead. I still believe all the points I was making were right, namely that the Reform  doctrine of patrilineal descent and the “presumption of Judaism” in the case of a the offspring of a non-Jewish woman married to a Jew were on the money.

Except that it turns out Buchdahl may have converted to Judaism after all.

Thanks, first, to our reader Vicky Glikin of Deerfield, Illinois, who wrote:

It is highly unfortunate that your facts and the very premise for this article are plain wrong. Rabbi/Cantor Buchdahl underwent an Orthodox conversion, a fact that you would have easily discovered had you actually been trying to write an intelligent work of journalism.

So I went looking for the misrepresented conversion, and found the following line in the Times (Defining Judaism, a Rabbi of Many Firsts), hidden among long, familiar paragraphs like this one:

Her first reaction was to think about a formal conversion to Judaism, but a second impulse quickly followed: Why should she convert to prove something, when she had been a Jew her entire life? In traditional Jewish law, a Jew is defined through the mother’s line. But over roughly the last 40 years, the Reform movement in Judaism accepted descent through the father’s line as legitimate for Jewish identification, so if a child has a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother who affiliates as a Jew (the mother need not convert if she is involved in synagogue life), the child does not need to undergo a conversion to become a Jew.

But then, the Times revealed: “Eventually, at 21, she did undergo a conversion ceremony, but she prefers to think of it as a reaffirmation ceremony.”

Another clue was in something David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, wrote in his letter today (Hebrew Union Pres. Pulls Fast One in Non-Jewish Rabbi Debate):  “you assume an article that was written in another newspaper and upon which your author draws for his piece reveals all the facts about her life. ”

Meaning, Ellenson may have known Buchdahl had converted in an Orthodox ceremony, but to concede this would mean that he agrees that it takes an Orthodox conversion to turn even the child of a Jewish father into a real Jew — as shown by the very poster child of patrilineal descent, the subject of our attention these past two days.

I still find the entire affair more than a little bizarre: why should someone who did convert in an Orthodox ceremony be sending out all the signals that they didn’t and that they’re proud they didn’t. Perhaps we’ll find out in the next chapter of this very strange story.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/did-she-or-didnt-she/2013/08/16/

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