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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Chabad Lubavitch’

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.

Terror Attack Foiled in Kfar Chabad, Guards Advised in Construction Sites

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

A terror attack was foiled in Kfar Chabad on Thursday when a man was caught carrying weapons into the Chassidic community.

When the man was searched, he was found to be carrying an axe, a knife and a club, in addition to the flag of the Hamas terrorist organization, Ynet reported.

The would-be terrorist was arrested and transferred to security personnel for questioning.

The Chief Rabbi of Kfar Chabad, Rabbi Meir Ashkenazi released a public letter addressing the security crisis, calling on residents to recite psalms chapters 20, 22, 69, and 130 after the morning service and to carry out other activities in the schools.

Rabbi Ashkenazi also called on residents to stop employing Arab construction workers during the current wave of terror. He urged Kfar Chabad residents to suspend working with Arab construction workers during the crisis, or “at least provide an armed security guard to oversee the construction workers,” according to a report by CrownHeights.info.

The rabbi also asked residents to join the community’s security patrol, for those capable of doing so, and emphasized, “One who cannot suspend working with Arabs in the coming days must place an armed guard in the area.”

Chabad-Lubavitch Vows ‘Vibrant Jewish Life’ to Continue in Paris

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Chabad-Lubavitch Chairman of Educational and Social Services Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky said Sunday that it is with “profound outrage that we mourn all those murdered last week at the hands of terrorists in Paris last week, including four Jews at a kosher supermarket. Seized Friday afternoon as shoppers were preparing for Shabbat, the terror at the store leaves a Jewish community feeling vulnerable.

“With the largest Jewish population in the European Union, the safety of France’s Jews is of deep concern to us,” Krinsky continued. “Chabad-Lubavitch represents hundreds of thousands of Jews in France. In Paris alone, with some 35 Chabad centers, including schools, shuls, and yeshivas, our representatives serve Jews in every district of the city. Indeed, two of the murdered, Yoav Hattab and Phillipe Braham, had close affiliations with our institutions.”

Last Friday for the first time ever, following the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher grocery in Paris, Jews in the city’s La Marais neighborhood were advised by the rabbinical council to stay home from synagogue and remain safe, noting the city was “still on edge.”  Likewise, stores were shut down in the neighborhood to further discourage people from stepping out into the danger zone.

Krinsky maintained one should not have to sacrifice security for Jewish quality of life in France.

“Chabad representatives have, and will continue to further enhance security measures to protect the men, women and children who come to study, to pray, and to socialize at the city’s Chabad Houses. But they will not shut down the vibrant Jewish life that they have nurtured in Paris, and that its Jews have now enjoyed for many decades.

“Prime Minister Valls was right in acknowledging that France will be judged a failure if its Jews are forced to flee. We urge Paris’s city authorities and the French government to take decisive steps to ensure the safety and security of France’s Jews and of all its citizens.

“On behalf of Chabad-Lubavitch worldwide, our condolences to all the survivors and families of the victims,” Krinsky added. “May G-d comfort them among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Giant Chabad Menorah Lit Without Ceremony in Martin Place, Sydney

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

In Sydney, Australia, a public Hanukkah menorah still stands tall in the very same place it has stood in Martin Place for the last 30 years.

The 10 meter high menorah was not the center of festivities this year, however: instead, a message was prominently displayed for the public to read.

“The Jewish community of Australia expresses our deepest sympathy for the families of the Martin Place tragedy. May the Lights of the Festival of Chanukah bring comfort and warmth to our nation.”

The decision to cancel the annual Lighting Ceremony of the Hanukkah Menorah in Martin Place, scheduled for Thursday Dec. 18, the third night of the holiday, was made “after lengthy discussions and consultation with the authorities and communal leaders,” explained Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Elimelech Levy, Director of Chabad NSW and coordinator of the annual “Chanukah in the City” celebration.

“While the event was canceled, the presence of the Giant Menorah sends a powerful message that light will always overcome darkness,” Levy said.

“As we mourn the loss of life and the atrocity that has taken place, people of goodwill will continue to shine the light of freedom and communal harmony, which is what the Chanukah Menorah is all about,” he added.

According to Chabad officials at the movement’s World Lubavitch Headquarters at “770” Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the Martin Place Giant Menorah was indeed lit and cast its Light upon the area as it does each year. However, in deference to the memory of the victims, no public ceremony was held to mark the occasion.

The manager of the Lindt cafe and a local barrister were killed last Tuesday after being held hostage together with at least 15 others by a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis. The victims were shot as special agents stormed the cafe in an attempt to free the hostages. The self-styled Iranian cleric had forced his captives to hold up a flag bearing the Shahada — the Islamic creed, written in Arabic — in the window, for hours.

An earlier article about the Menorah contained an error about the lighting ceremony due to a misunderstanding which has since been clarified.

Hanukkah Miracle Brings ‘770’ Stabbing Victim Home

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The 22-year-old rabbinic student stabbed last week inside “770” Eastern Parkway, the synagogue at Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters, is home from the hospital in a Hanukkah miracle.

Israeli yeshiva student Levi Rosenblatt underwent emergency neurosurgery at New York’s Bellevue Medical Center after he was stabbed by Calvin Peters. The attacker was subsequently shot and killed by police who raced to the scene upon seeing the stabbing unfold on their monitors at a special mobile base across the street from the synagogue.

Rosenblatt was rushed in very serious condition to nearby Kings County Hospital but quickly moved to Bellevue when it became obvious he required specialized surgery. His condition stabilized soon after the operation was completed.

“Mr. Rosenblatt suffered a knife injury to the blood vessels in an extremely sensitive area of his brain,” neurosurgery chief Dr. Paul Huang explained in a news release. “Because of the resources available to us, as well as the experience and expertise of the nurses and physicians at Bellevue Hospital, we were able to deliver a very sophisticated level of care to this patient. He underwent a procedure to repair two blood vessels, which was successful. He has had an amazing recovery.”

Groups of Chassidim maintained a vigil at the hospital, praying for Rosenblatt’s speedy recovery, as his name was circulated by others to prayer chains around the world.

“I have a lot of people from way back in the beginning to thank, above all, God and the [Lubavitcher] Rebbe who provided his blessings,” Rosenblatt said in the release.

“Thanks to the Hatzalah (emergency rescue service) of Crown Heights volunteer ambulance service, the NYPD, the doctors and nurses here at Bellevue and at Kings County Hospital (where he was first taken), my friends who stayed with me in my room around the clock, my family who came from Israel to be with me, and all the people all over the world who have prayed for me,” he said.

‘770’ Stabber Kept Saying ‘Kill the Jews’

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The stabbing of 22-year-old Israeli rabbinical student Levi Yitzchok Rosenblat at 1:37 am Tuesday morning in the synagogue at Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters was a hate crime, and not a random attack, according to Chabad officials, but nevertheless, leaders urged the community to remain “calm” and “keep the peace.”

The stabber, 50-year-old Calvin Peters attacked Rosenblat, a resident of Beitar Illit, in the downstairs sanctuary of the Chassidic movement’s world-famous building “770” Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. Officers in a mobile police base directly across the street from “770” saw the attack unfold on the security screens in front of their eyes before racing to stop the bloodshed.

A spokesperson for Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters told JewishPress.com Tuesday night the young Israeli rabbinical student was studying in the synagogue when the attacker approached him and stabbed him.

“According to witnesses he was heard saying repeatedly “Kill the Jews,” said Rabbi Motti Seligson, a spokesperson for Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters. “Several other individuals immediately intervened.”

By then, Rosenblat was in critical condition from multiple stab wounds. His condition has since stabilized and he is currently hospitalized at Bellevue Medical Center in Manhattan, where he is listed in serious but stable condition. During the day he underwent emergency surgery at the hospital.

A team of police converged on the perpetrator and ordered him to drop the weapon. Initially the attacker did, in fact, drop the knife, but within seconds he retrieved it and continued moving towards the officers with the weapon in his hand. When  after 12 requests to drop the weapon Peters tried to charge the officers, escalating the danger, an officer drew and fired one shot from his own weapon to neutralize that threat. Peters later died of his wounds at Kings County Hospital.

“While we are very pained by everything that has unfolded, we are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation,” Seligson said. “We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action, if not for their intervention the outcome could have been, G-d forbid far worse. We continue to pray for the young man who is in stable condition,” he added.

New York City activists and politicians called for unity and calm at a joint news conference Tuesday afternoon, where they joined in commending the responding police officers for their restraint in handling the attack. Jewish Community Relations Council leader Michael Miller noted that a synagogue “should remain a safe place.” Another Jewish leader commented that the attack on a worshiper in a Jewish house of prayer echoed the recent terrorist massacre that took place at a well-known synagogue during morning prayers in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem. Other leaders expressed concerns the incident would trigger racial tensions and urged residents to “keep the peace.”

The news conference, organized by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, was held just a few steps from where the attack took place. Politicians and activists of all races, including city public advocate Letitia James, Assemblywoman Laurie Cumbo and city council member Mark Levine underscored their approval of the police officers who had only opened fire when no other choice was left. Running footage from a 24-hour security camera monitored constantly clearly substantiated police accounts of the encounter.

A reader on the Crown Heights.info website commented on the officer who shot the stabber: “In this political climate, a lot was on this policeman’s shoulders – more than just the incident in front of him, but the very real worry about sparking a race riot, justified or not!… I phoned the non-emergency number of the 71st precinct and I thanked them for handling things the way they did. And I told them to keep up the good work. And I’m proud that I did! I think everyone should phone the police department and thank them when they do a good job.”

IDF to Stop Persecution of Observant Soldiers With Beards

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The Israel Defense Forces has allegedly taken action to end its persecution of observant soldiers exempted from shaving facial hair for religious reasons.

The IDF announced Tuesday it would change its procedures following the imprisonment of Yaakov Biblau, a soldier from a Chabad-Lubavitch family who refused to shave his beard.

Biblau was serving as a computer and electronics engineer in the air force when he arrived at a new IAF base and was ordered by his commander to shave. Biblau explained that he had a permit to grow the beard, which he had worn since beginning his service and which the military rabbi knew of. His commander was unmoved and revoked the permit. He also prosecuted Biblau for refusing to obey a direct order.

The soldier argued in return that it was not reasonable to force him to remove the beard prior to clarification from higher authorities. He called the hotline of the IDF Chief Rabbinate, which informed him that he had a right not to shave. Regardless, the IAF commander placed Biblau on trial and convicted him of refusal to obey an order. He was sentenced to 10 days in prison.

That same commander has been known to harass other observant soldiers as well, according to Bayit Yehudi MK Moti Yogev, who contacted Chief IDF Rabbi Brig.-GEn. Rafi Peretz about the case. Yogev wrote in his letter that the relevant commander should be reprimanded for his “unwise conduct.” In response, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit replied that “the Air Force procedures have been changed following the incident.”

At present, any officer at lieutenant-general rank and above has the right to reject a soldier’s exemption from shaving, according to a report by the Hebrew-language Yediot Aharonot daily newspaper.

Up to this point, such officers also have had the right to place such soldiers on trial, without first checking to see whether the facial hair is legitimately worn.

From this point on, officers will be able to double-check the authorization of a shaving exemption and the legitimacy of a soldier’s contention he is keeping his beard for religious reasons.

However, no officer will have the right to force a soldier to shave; nor will the soldier be punished before a decision is made by authorized officials.

The government has authorized a change in the laws to expand the draft of hareidi religious Jews. But there are still many adjustments that must be made in order to enable both the secular and observant populations to work together seamlessly. Harassment of observant Jews by secular commanders is not a new phenomenon. The myriad problems involved have long been responsible for many hareidim choosing to avoid military service, rather than having to choose between proper observance of Torah law, or disobeying a frivolous order from an unfair commander.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-to-stop-persecuting-observant-soldiers-with-beards/2014/11/26/

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