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May 31, 2016 / 23 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Chabad’

White House: Hanukkah Lights Flicker for Saving Syrian Refuges

Monday, December 7th, 2015

The Obama administration has followed up on exploiting Passover for its political agenda by coming out with a new interpretation of Hanukkah, whose lights supposedly are to enlighten Jews to back the President’s program to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said at the annual lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah:

So this is a joyous occasion, and yet as we heard earlier we are mindful that even as we gather here tonight, that while the light of freedom burns brightly for us and for our generation, it flickers for others.

Refugees fleeing religious intolerance and oppression. People targeted for their faith, people whose faith is perverted by others.

He suddenly dropped the Jewish angle and switched to speaking for all Americans, saying:

We are Americans, and as Americans we do not turn our backs on those who seek sanctuary. Nor do we stay quiet in the face of bigotry or intolerance. We stand up for those persecuted around the world.

McDonough then switched back to express his ignorance of Judaism and continued:

We remember this season that we too were once strangers, that our inheritance gives an obligation to remain true to our values, that as Jewish tradition teaches, by saving one life, we save the world.

He seems to be getting Passover, when Jews recall being “strangers in a strange land,” with Hanukkah, the celebration of twin miracles of the victory of a small number of Jews over Greek invaders of Jerusalem and of a one-day’s supply of pure olive oil burning for eight days after the holy Menorah was relit.

It is no wonder he got confused because Passover also has been used by President Barack Obama to promote his political agenda. This past year, as in previous years, the President acted as a would-be Torah sage to declare that Jews must drive into their minds that Arabs deserve their freedom just like Jews won their freedom with the help of God.

He meant freedom for Arabs in Judea and Samaria, where their main lack of freedom is to kill Jews at will, and not in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and other Muslim countries where freedom is a strange word in a strange land.

Chabad Rabbi Levi Shemtov expressed a different political interpretation on whose lack of freedom should be remembered.

After declaring his sorrow for the victims of the terror attack in San Bernardino, he said:

They, their families, their loved ones that are mourning are with us in our prayers and in our celebration today. So are the families of all those innocent souls in Paris. … We must remember them as we celebrate our freedom.
Because even though we and France are two free countries, freedom is not free, and when it is disrupted, we must pause and remember those who give their lives in that cause.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Berlin’s Newest Kosher Supermarket Ignores EU Anti-Israel Orders

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Germany’s answer to the European Union’s order to label “Green Line” goods was to allow the nation’s biggest kosher supermarket, Daily Markt, to open in Berlin.

In the heart of the nation where Jews once feared to tread, one can shop “blue-and-white” – and find quite a few products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.

The initiative comes as a joint effort by German business owner Asan Mytev – who is not Jewish – along with several Jewish entrepreneurs and the assistance of Berlin Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.

Located in the Chartlottenburg district, the store stocks only kosher items – a boon for those who until now have had to really search for such products.

“We will not be deterred by the security situation,” said Evgeny Bort, co-partner and store manager. “It doesn’t scare us and we don’t linger on it or pay attention to it. We cannot let terrorism stop us and interfere with our lives.”

Rabbi Teichtal likewise noted, “Although in the past our people have faced very difficult times in Europe in general and in Germany in particular, the necessary arrangements for maintaining Jewish life were always made. Although the situation today is quite different, we are still facing security challenges – but they do not discourage us.

“The new supermarket is another addition to the current line of Jewish institutions in the Berlin community which together enable us to maintain a full Jewish life in the city. As observant Jews we see this not only as a duty but also as a privilege.”

Bort acknowledged that some customers were critical of the decision to stock Israeli items, but dismissed the feedback.

“We have many customers who respond negatively … We tell them that this is none of our concern and that we are here to assist all those who wish to shop for kosher products but find the task to be very difficult.”

Why would a non-Jew want to open such a store? Mytev explained, “Until now, anyone who wanted to buy kosher products was forced to visit several different stores in order to find them all… In fact, for all of those customers who wish to buy only kosher products, the seemingly simple task of grocery shopping is actually a very difficult one.

“The Daily Markt provides them with a solution to this problem, enabling them to buy all kinds of kosher products under one roof.”

Due to the size of the business, the partners say they can also afford to offer “decent prices” despite the cost of imports.

“We have decided to sell everything here and to import goods from all over the world – from Europe, the U.S. and also from Israel,” explained Bort.

Surprisingly, almost half of the store’s non-Jewish clientele shop there “because of our affordable prices, regardless of the kosher issue… Also a large number of our non-Jewish customers come here because of our ‘parve’ products, which are known to be lactose-free.

“Like in the United States, the local population in Germany is also starting to realize that kosher is a standard for high-quality and healthy products.”

Hana Levi Julian

Chassidic New Year’s Celebrations Cheer Up Israel, Cities Around the World

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

In hundreds of towns and cities throughout Israel Monday night, Chabad communities gathered to celebrate the Yud-Tes Kislev, the 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev.

It’s known as the Chassidic New Year, and is celebrated with great joy among Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidim and many others as well.

The date marks the day in 1798 that a Czarist commission acquitted and freed from imprisonment the first Chabad Rebbe – Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the “Alter Rebbe” – on charges of subverting the government and aiding the Ottoman Empire. The date also marks the anniversary of the passing of the Alter Rebbe’s mentor, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezerich, in 1772.

This year is also the Hakhel year, when in ancient times, Jewish men, women and children would gather in the Temple in Jerusalem to hear the reading of the Torah by the king of Israel once every seven years, following the year of Shemittah, the sabbatical year.

Israeli Jews gathered to sing, dance, join in a festive meal, speak words of Torah and Chassidic learning; “farbreng” – a Yiddish word meaning to gather and celebrate – in every community where Chabad exists.

In the northern Negev city of Arad, Mayor Nissan Ben Hamo was the honored guest at that community’s Yud Tes Kislev farbrengen, where Jews from every walk of life were seen. The mayor took the opportunity to add in his remarks a reminder to participants to attend the next day’s rally against the government plan to locate a phosphate mine near Arad, which the city’s residents vehemently oppose. Celebrants applauded the mayor’s passion for helping his city, and his clear appreciation for their heritage.

In Jerusalem, Yud Tes Kislev has become a three-day affair at the International Convention Center with a giant Chassidic book fair, farbrengens, classes and other activities. The main event will feature an address by Rabbi Yoel Kahn, revered expositor of many of the Torah teachings of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. There will also be a special session with Hebron-based Chassidic artist Baruch Nachson, whose renowned paintings are seen in collections and galleries worldwide.

Thousands of yeshiva students gathered Monday night to “farbreng” at the Center, where Chassidic vocalist Avraham Fried led the crowd in singing traditional “nigunim,” Chassidic melodies dating back decades and centuries. Another farbrengen with Fried, likely to be even larger, is scheduled for Tuesday night as the celebration continue. Tickets were sold out long ago and even scalpers do not exist for this one.

The Jews of Kharkov, Ukraine have the custom to travel to Haditch, the grave site of the Alter Rebbe, every year on this day. The group this year is being led by Rabbi Levi Raices, head of the city’s yeshiva high school, which makes the trip along with the wider community.

In Brooklyn, NY celebrations are being held in numerous neighborhoods, including one in the central Chabad neighborhood of Crown Heights, exclusively for women. At Yeshiva University in Manhattan, students are selling Chassidic books in advance of a farbrengen to be led by YU mentor Rabbi Moshe Weinberger and Chabad scholar and teacher Rabbi Shlomo Yaffe.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Man Repeatedly Stabbed by Female Arab in Milan

Friday, November 13th, 2015

A 40-year-old Chabad Hasid, identified as Natan Graf, was stabbed between three to nine times in the head by a terrorist, while walking on the street in a Jewish neighborhood of Milan, Italy.

The injured Jewish man is currently in the hospital and is listed in light to moderate condition.

He was attacked outside of Carmel Pizza, a kosher pizzeria on via San Gimignano, which is right next to a Jewish school, Scuola Comunita Israelitica.

The terrorist stabber is a female Arab who attempted to flee the attack site but was captured.

Shortly after the attack there was a bomb scare outside the re Salomone kosher restaurant on via Sardinia, but it turned out to have been based on a false rumor.

The stabbing victim’s name is Natan ben Chana Sara, and prayers for his recovery are encouraged.

He lives in Milan and holds Israeli citizenship.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbis Gather at NYC’s Largest Banquet

Sunday, November 8th, 2015
More than 5,200 rabbis and communal leaders from 86 countries are sitting down to schmooze over dinner at the Big Apple’s biggest banquet as the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries gets underway Sunday evening.
Not only is the event New York City’s largest sit-down dinner, it is also North America’s largest Jewish event. It is also one of the only opportunities during the year that one can grasp the magnitude of the global phenomenon of today’s Chabad  movement, and experience some of the spirit that is driving it.
 
As a courtesy to our readers, JewishPress.com is broadcasting the event live:
 
<script language=”javascript” type=”text/javascript” src=”http://embed.chabad.org/multimedia/mediaplayer/embedded/embed.js.asp?aid=221818&width=auto&height=auto></script><span style=”clear:both;” class=”lb” id=”lbdiv”>Visit <a href=”http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/default_cdo/aid/591213/jewish/Video.htm“>Jewish.TV</a> for more <a href=”http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/default_cdo/aid/591213/jewish/Video.htm“>Jewish videos</a>.</span>
The hearing-impaired and deaf Jewish community is participating in the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries this year via simultaneous translation of the evening’s speeches in American Sign Language., organizers told JewishPress.com.
Translations for the hearing-impaired are also being projected in the banquet hall at the converted South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and on the Chabad.org webcast.
 
The annual group photo of every Chabad emissary from around the world has become a mainstay of the four-day-long conference that culminates in the long-awaited banquet. The tradition began with a few dozen rabbis in the early 1980s, but it has long since grown to become a logistical feat with not a few acrobatics involved. The photo eventually makes its way around the world to places that many readers may not even have heard of — and some of the new emissaries may not even have known existed, until they were assigned to their posts!
 
Another strong mainstay of the annual gathering is the traditional pilgrimage to the final resting place in Queens, New York, of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson zt’l and that of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe,Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson zt’l.
Visitors waited for hours in line, praying as they prepared to deliver their handwritten requests for blessings for themselves and their communities, beginning with their arrival last week.
At the banquet, Mumbai terror attack survivor Moshe Holtzberg, now age 9, was set to lead the crowd of thousands in the recitation of psalms.The world came to know little Moshe through grainy footage of his Indian nanny rushing him to safety during the terrorist attack that took his parent’s lives, and his cries for his mother during a memorial event held days later that pierced hearts everywhere.
Seven years later, Moshe now lives with his grandparents in Israel, and he has participated in events such as the international conference with confidence and aplomb, born to the environment and raised by Chabad emissaries, as were his parents before him.
Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Chabad Yeshiva Students Firebombed in NYC

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Two Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva students were attacked in New York City this past Friday afternoon, COLlive reports.

The students were part of a group that had boarded a sbuway heading from Brooklyn into Manhattan to carry out weekly mitzvah assignments with Jewish business owners and others in the city.

Two 19-year-old students who requested anonymity told COLlive the attack occurred while they were walking on West 37th Street near Ninth Avenue.

A brother of one of the students said, “A firebomb was thrown at one of them. It exploded and there was fire. They were shocked. An Israeli woman was walking by and ran over to check if they were okay.

“Thank G-d, it missed them and landed on the pavement,” he added. “It was a male who had thrown it at them, but they were only able to see his back because he ran away. They didn’t hear him shout or say anything.”

This is the first reported attack on Jews or Israelis in New York since the start of the recent escalation in Arab terror in Israel.

The New York Police Department has accordingly raised security in Jewish neighborhoods. Residents in Crown Heights commented they were seeing more officers on patrol this past week than had been seen during the high holy days, COLlive noted.

Hana Levi Julian

Camel Caravan Stalls Chabad Rabbi at the Dead Sea

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Traffic horror stories in Israel are famous, and driving on highways in the Holy Land is reserved only for the brave at heart. It is well known that Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries are among the bravest rabbis in the world, of course.

Last week even Chabad of Dead Sea director Rabbi Shimon Elharar met his match, running into a massive “traffic jam” on the highway alongside the Dead Sea.

“It’s not only in Tel Aviv that one has to worry about getting stuck,” Elharar chuckled in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com.

“We were driving back from a Bat Mitzvah atop the cliff-top fortress at Masada,” said the rabbi, “and suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of a ‘traffic jam.’”

A massive camel herd simply strolled into the road, right in front of Elharar’s amazed eyes. The rabbi barely had time to hit the brakes, he said.

“God allowed those camels to pass me [on the road],” the emissary said with a laugh.

Elharar typically spends half of his day in his car, visiting Jews at locations from one end of the Dead Sea to the other.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chabad-rabbi-stuck-in-camel-traffic-at-the-dead-sea/2015/08/22/

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