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July 29, 2015 / 13 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Chabad’

Pakistan Frees Terrorist behind Murder of Mumbai Chabad Rabbi

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Israel, France and the United States have sharply criticized Pakistan’s surprise release of the alleged mastermind terrorist allegedly behind the 2008 attacks on a Mumbai hotel and Chabad Center, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were among six Americans and 160 others killed, including six Americans.

Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said:

Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, also Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre – the Nariman [Chabad] House – were targeted.

This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners.

The United States said it was “gravely concerned:” after Lakhvi walked out of jail on Friday. French President Francois Hollande, was hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the reelease was “deeply shocking.”

Modi said: “There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at the daily news briefing Friday, “Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”

Lakhvi was released after a Pakistani court suspended his detention. He had been arrested one week after the attacks.

Israeli Murder Victim ‘Never Made It’ to Chabad Seder in Berlin

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Berlin had already arranged for a place to sleep, and a place at the seder table.

But the 22-year-old Israeli man never arrived.

That Friday night, there was a lot of excitement and chaos as usual in managing a public seder. It wasn’t until early Sunday morning that Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, community rabbi of Berlin and the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Education Center found out why the young man didn’t show up.

Teichtal told the Associated Press, “A man in his early 20s came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep, and didn’t have anything to eat… We arranged everything for him,” Teichtal continued, “but then he didn’t show up again.”

A fellow rabbi had indeed arranged for the young man to sleep at a community center, located near the Alexanderplatz public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin.

The location is less than a mile from where the young man’s body was found by passersby early Sunday morning, in a ruined Franciscan monastery in the central Alexanderplatz area next to a well-used exit from a subway station.

Identification was difficult to establish due to “massive injuries to his head” and severe injuries to the body, police said. But when they found a passport in the back pocket of the victim’s sweatpants, police contacted the Israeli Embassy.

Berlin police have also told journalists that three people so far have come forward and provided information in the case.

The Israel Embassy said in a statement that its Consul, Eyal Siso, received confirmation of the victim’s identity, but declined to release the details at the request of the victim’s family.

Anti-Semitism — and Israeli Immigration — Rising in Germany Between 20,000 to 30,000 Israelis have moved to Berlin over the past few years, despite the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in general and also in Germany.

Berlin is known for its vibrant Jewish community, which has grown with the influx of Jews from Israel and elsewhere around the world.

But in 2013, there were 1,275 anti-Semitic offenses recorded in Germany, including 1,218 perpetrated by members of the extreme Right. Thirty-one incidents were attributed to foreigners, and 26 were carried out by others, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.

The number and frequency of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe is rising, in Germany as well.

Anti-Semitic Incidents Grow in 2015 In March 2015 alone, there were seven reported anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, among the many others reported elsewhere as well. Following are brief descriptions of what happened just last month in Germany:

In Offenbach, Germany, a Turkish soccer club published an ad in Turkish that included the slogan, “Don’t give your money to Jewish insurance company Allianz.” The club has since renounced the ad.

Also in March, the gate to the Jewish cemetery in the German community of Osterburg was destroyed. Vandals broke the locks so the gate cannot be closed, with a swastika carved into the metal on a Star of David. The wall was also cracked. Vehicle marks are visible on the road as well.

The same day, German neo-Nazis in “The Right” political group sent one-way flight boarding passes to Jewish organizations as a means of joining the international discussion about the security of European Jewry.

Also that day: In Murnau am Staffelsee, a vandal sprayed a swastika and the words “Arbeit macht frei” (the famous death camp slogan ‘Work sets one free”) on the ceiling of the recess hall at the city high school.

In Stralsund, an obscene form of grafitti was found scrawled on the “Haus der Gewerkschaften” (Unions House) and aimed at a picture of a Star of David. Below, the symbol for Anarchist was scrawled as well, but in different handwriting.

Chabad Sends a Seder to Soldiers in ‘The Middle of Nowhere’

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

In the middle of nowhere, a group of Israeli soldiers guarding the nation’s border with Jordan prepared to meet the Sabbath Queen with a canned Passover Seder.

But facing the holiday with army-issue rations was not a pleasant prospect. So as the sun began to sink closer to the horizon, the men put their heads together.

Who could possibly provide a decent meal for these guardians of Israel on the eve of the Festival of Freedom – out in the middle of nowhere?

“Call Chabad,” advised one of the soldiers. Quickly someone Googled a number and came up with Rabbi Shimon Elharar, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and head of Chabad of the Dead Sea.

A quick conversation ensued. Food he could provide; of course he had the contacts.

But who could get it to the soldiers in time for the holiday? They were, after all, literally in the middle of nowhere. Just about inaccessible. The sun was nearing the horizon. No Jew could make that trip and get back in time without desecrating the Sabbath.

And the soldiers could not leave to pick it up.

Enter a hero named Azmi, a righteous Arab Gentile who certainly will have his place in the World to Come. Azmi picked up the food from a restaurant where Passover preparations had been made.

At 6:30 pm, Azmi delivered the food to a position designated by the soldiers, just in time for them to set up before the start of the special Passover Sabbath seder.

“Today by chance I met an IDF soldier at one of the checkpoints at the Dead Sea,” Rabbi Elharar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. Hearing his voice, I asked if he had been among those who were assigned to guard the border on Friday night and when he said “yes,” I asked how the seder had gone.

“What a huge smile lit his face!” the rabbi said. “He said ‘Yes indeed, the messenger made it on time. We were so amazed. We had a great holiday celebration.

“Wow – Chabad really is everywhere.”

Child Labor

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

No, these aren’t illegal child laborers making Matzah in some underground sweatshop. It’s a bunch of kids making Matzah in an underground Chabad House in Efrat.

The Tefillin Day Campaign

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Chabad will be running a special election day campaign. Outside every voting booth will be a Chabad Tefillin stand.

Cool.

Haifa U Research Confirms, ‘Think Good & It Will Be Good!’

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Haifa has confirmed what the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson of righteous memory, always told his followers in the Chabad-Lubavitch Chassidic movement: “Tracht gut un zein gut!” (Think good and it will be good!)

The study led by Professor Dana Yagil from the university’s Department of Human Services, found that “suppressing positive interpersonal emotions is detrimental to employees as well as to customer satisfaction.”

“The expression of natural positive emotions is well received by the other party,” Yagil observed, adding that it is “likely to contribute to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.”

The findings were published in the journal Motivation and Emotion. “Suppression of positive interpersonal emotions is contrary to natural behavior in social interactions,” Yagil said. Among service employees working in call centers, marketing and sales, employees are often expected to maintain a neutral demeanor. Yagil found that neutrality comes at a “price,” however.

Some 246 participants of various ages, employed in customer relations, were included in the study.

The findings indicated that suppressing negative emotions was linked to positive customer satisfaction; suppressing positive emotions increased the sense of employee inauthenticity, which in turn increased customer dissatisfaction.

Ban Ki-moon Greets 1,500 Jewish Teens at Chabad CTeen Convention

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The snow fell wet and thick on to the stairs and sidewalk on Eastern Parkway — and all around the New York area, in fact — but no one heard inside the Oholei Menachem boys’ school in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on Sunday.

As hundreds of airlines delayed and canceled scheduled flights, more than a thousand carousing teens were joyously dancing on their chairs and romping around the banquet tables as Chabad emissaries chuckled and moved around them, conversing placidly with counselors, teens and each other. “COUNTDOWN!” Total rave on the floor.

“3. 2. 1. PLEASE TAKE YOUR SEATS SO WE CAN KEEP THE ENERGY FLOWING!!!” Miraculously, 1,500 squiggling, wiggling, laughing and singing teens sat down in two halls to listen as a slender young girl with shining long hair, and then a healthy boy on video hookup from the matching hall each addressed the crowd. Roars of applause for each.

Mark Seddon, speechwriter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, sat amongst the bedlam appearing slightly bemused by it all. Ban himself had sent a personal, videotaped greeting to the teens, delivered with a warm smile and a cordial tone, and kicked off with a bit of Hebrew just for fun.

“Shalom, Bruchim Ha-baim (Welcome) to Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky and to all the delegates of CTeen. A special welcome also to the 100 young people from Paris. The thoughts of us all are with those who have lost family and friends in the recent horrific terrorist attacks in that city. Chabad institutions such as CTeen have a strong reputation for working in the community. This year you will honour young people who have made a significant difference in people’s lives through CTeen’s social service projects. To them we say, thank you – and keep up the good work! I encourage all of you to continue to reach out to anyone in need with no distinction. This spirit of compassion and equality drives the United Nations. Empowering youth is one of my top priorities. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN World Programme of Action for Youth. We have a campaign called #YouthNow [“hashtag youth now”] that I hope you will all join. When you speak up about the issues that matter we all benefit. The United Nations stands ready to work with you. Thank you.”

Speaking exclusively with JewishPress.com amid the bedlam, Seddon added, “I like the international aspect of this group especially, and that it gives the teens something to believe in.

“The Secretary-General sent warm greetings to these teens, he has a very strong concern about the events that are taking place. This is a such a special program in that it emphasizes that nothing is too big too tackle, and that anything can be overcome. That is so important.”

No less important to the crowd, however, was a video of a young man that it seemed every one there knew. Suddenly, the halls were silent as the young man related how his year had gone, how he had struggled to survive and had seen a miracle because of his friends sitting in that room.

“Every time I strapped up, the straps of the tefillin were connecting me to God and to all of you. I had that fat stack of mitzvah cards to look at, each one with a different name, when things got tough, said the young man on the video. The teens watched avidly, and then exploded in applause as the young man in the video materialized before their eager eyes, striding up to the podium with spotlights playing around the darkened room and video screens beaming the scene to the second hall.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ban-ki-moon-greets-1500-jewish-teens-at-chabad-intl-cteen-convention/2015/03/02/

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