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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Chabad’

Colel Chabad ‘Charging’ Ahead on Passover Preparations

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The nationwide Colel Chabad social services organization is already moving full speed ahead on its pre-Passover preparations. The organization, which has been running programs in Israel since 1788, is working with the government to implement a food security project for the holiday.

“The organization is working to help thousands of Israelis who are struggling with poverty,” said a spokesperson. “To prepare for the holiday, food and staples for Passover will be delivered to the homes of more than 20,500 families around the country,” she said.

An additional 20,000 people will be provided with full seder meals at Chabad houses around the country, the spokesperson added.

In addition, the organization has launched a debit card program that enables its clients to go to designated supermarkets and purchase their own chosen holiday necessities.

“They can do so with dignity and self-respect, without having to feel embarrassed that they cannot afford what they want or require,” Colel Chabad director Rabbi Mendy Blau told Chabad.org.

The program began at Purim time and is now in full force as Passover arrives. Blau noted that “a debit card program such as this also enables us to channel and monitor funds so that they are being used in ways that will truly help the beneficiary.”

Colel Chabad has partnered with local supermarket chains, as well as with IsraCard (the local operator of MasterCard) to create the smart card. Purchases can be made for any items at the designated markets, other than hard liquor or tobacco products.

The cards are funded by charitable donations. Donors can designate beneficiaries who fall within a specific category, such as widows, Holocaust survivors, lone soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces, victims of terror, etc. Anonymity is maintained to prevent undue embarrassment to the recipient.

Hana Levi Julian

French Jew Arrives as Paris Jihadist, Yells ‘Allahu Akbar!’ at Synagogue on Purim

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Jews in Paris have been under a lot of stress over the past couple of years.

A 40-year-old Jewish man in Europe decided to lighten things up for Purim at a Paris synagogue last week, so he arrived for the Megillah reading dressed as a jihadist, yelling “Allahu Akbar!”

He was really authentic, right down to the flowing robes, beard and fake AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle.

The guards protecting the southeastern Paris house of worship in Vincennes were, suffice to say, shocked. Police sources told media it definitely created “a certain emotion” among the soldiers.

The incident took place at a Chabad synagogue towards the end of Purim last Thursday night.

Many Jews consider it a mitzvah (commandment) on Purim to drink to the point of no longer knowing the difference between King Ahashuerus and Haman.

The man told Le Parisien he did it to “lighten the mood.” He later admitted that perhaps he made “a big mistake.” The synagogue is located in the same community where four Jews were shot last year.

The shock passed once some of the congregants recognized the “jihadist” dressed in the flowing Arabic robes.

However, the ersatz “jihadist” was ordered to pay a visit to the police precinct on Friday.

Hana Levi Julian

Mazel Tov to the Netanyahus on the Birth of a Granddaughter!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

We wish a hearty “Mazel Tov!” to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara on the birth of his newest grandchild, a baby girl.

The little girl, born Wednesday, joins her older brothers, Shmuel and David, in delighting their parents, Noa and Dr. Daniel Roth.

May she blossom and grow up to reach Bat Mitzvah, Chuppah and the building of a true home in the Land of Israel, in good health and prosperity, materially and spiritually!

Hana Levi Julian

NYPD Evacuates 770 After 911 Gets Bomb Threat

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

A bomb threat called in Tuesday night to New York’s 911 emergency switchboard forced a complete evacuation of “770” — the World Headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch, based in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.

The call was allegedly traced back to a “psych ward,” according to a police source quoted by COLLive.com, but “we’re still taking all precautions,” NYPD reportedly said.

Just a few hours earlier, police and counterterrorism experts had met with the heads of Jewish schools and organizations in the neighborhood for precisely this reason: to talk about potential terrorist scenarios and the measures that were in place to prevent and deal with them.

Around the same time, “770” had been filled with senior citizens for a “Chanukah Hakhel” program to celebrate the holiday. (This year Chanukah falls on the year of Hakhel, when Jews of old were commanded to gather together for a special reading of the Torah by the king of Israel himself.)

The local Crown Heights civil Shomrim security patrol assisted with the evacuation, working together as translators in some cases with members of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit.

The officers were needed to explain the urgency of the situation to non-English speakers in various languages: what needed to be done, and why, as quickly as possible. “Everyone cooperated and the building was successfully evacuated in quick and orderly fashion,” according to CrownHeights.info.

People were allowed to re-enter the building after police completed a walk-through and inspection.

Hana Levi Julian

Public Menorah Helps Dispel Darkness of Anti-Semitic Attack at New Jersey’s Rowan University Campus

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

The festival of light has dispelled the darkness caused by an anti-Semitic attack by vandals at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey last week. Chabad of Rowan University teamed up with the school’s Hillel group to light a public menorah on the university campus, distributing colorful flyers inviting students to “Light the Night!”

Multiple swastikas and other anti-Semitic markings were carved into several doors in a residence hall on the Rowan University campus on Dec. 3, university officials said, adding that the vandalism seemed “random” because none of the students living in the hall were Jewish.

Located in the southern New Jersey town of Glassboro, 18 miles southeast of Philadelphia, the university had a Jewish student population of approximately 800 in 2013, out of a total of some 13,000 at the time. Those numbers have risen with each year that followed.

“I was horrified to learn about [it],” said Rabbi Hersh Loschak, Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and co-director of the Rohr Family Jewish Student Center at Chabad of Rowan University.

“I believe that it is particularly significant that this incident took place during the Chanukah season,” Loschak said. “We commemorate Chanukah by lighting an additional candle each night of the eight day holiday, increasing in light and thereby minimizing the darkness.

“We refuse to be intimidated or frightened,” he continued, “in fact, we will use this incident as a motivation to increase the light and expand our programing for Jewish students on campus,” he said.

 

Hana Levi Julian

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/berlins-newest-kosher-supermarket-ignores-eu-anti-israel-orders/2015/12/03/

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