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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

Vatican invites Exorcist Director William Friedkin to Meet a Real Dybbuk

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Jewish American filmmaker William Friedkin, 80, who directed the truly terrifying 1973 horror movie “The Exorcist,” this week told an audience at the Cannes film festival that he was invited by the Vatican’s chief exorcist to film a real exorcism earlier this month, AFP and The Local reported.

“The Exorcist,” named the scariest film of all time by multiple critics, including Roger Ebert  and Stanley Kauffmann, became one of the highest-earning films of all time, grossing more than $441 million worldwide, and was the first horror film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

A scene from The Exorcist

A scene from The Exorcist

Friedkin, who was born in August 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, told the Cannes audience at a late night masterclass, “I was invited by the Vatican exorcist to shoot and video an actual exorcism which… few people have ever seen and which nobody has ever photographed,” and, he insisted, was very similar to his own film. “I was pretty astonished by that. I don’t think I will ever be the same having seen this astonishing thing. I am not talking about some cult, I am talking about an exorcism by the Catholic Church in Rome,” he said.

“There must be something in there,” said Friedkin, who also made “The French Connection,” “Sorcerer,” “Cruising,” “To Live and Die in L.A.,” “Jade,” “Rules of Engagement,” “The Hunted,” “Bug,” and “Killer Joe.”

The late Rabbi Elyah Lopian, one of the leaders of the Mussar Movement in late 19th century eastern Europe, related to his students that Rabbi Israel Meir Kagan, the Chofetz Chaim, sent ten of his students in Radin, Poland, to exorcise a dybbuk from a woman. Rabbi Elhanan Wasserman would repeat the story every Purim. If you’re seeking confirmation of the fact that great Orthodox rabbis also performed exorcism, kindly check A Dybbuk Story.

JNi.Media

New Jewish Baseball Museum Features Starting Lineup Online

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

In Israel, homesick baseball fans have tried desperately to start a major league setup — or even a minor league round — or anything, as long as a few teams could play semi-professional baseball.

It worked for one season and then fizzled out. But Americans in Israel never forgot. Families still send their kids to Little League teams each year. Guys gather to play when the weather is good. Bats, balls and gloves abound. It’s out there.

Jews love baseball.

That’s not reflected in baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York though, where you’d think there were never any Jewish players. Only two Jewish major leaguers – Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg, ‘The Hebrew Hammer’ — ever made it in.

But there were so many others.

Now The Jewish Baseball Museum has gone one better, making the Jewish baseball lover’s dream of seeing a hero’s face immortalized a virtual reality on the Internet.

Creator Jeff Aeder, 54, has taken the concept above and beyond the basic meat-and-potatoes Hall of Fame, but for Aeder it never was about “basic” anyway. The Chicago real estate mogul is one of the biggest collectors of Jewish baseball memorabilia in the United States, the owner of some 2,000 items. His collection is on the site with other things.

Is he a fanatic? He’s a Cubs fan.

But he believes that younger Jewish generations need to know about their sports history, especially in baseball.

Aeder showcases his Rom Blomberg bat with the Star of David on the knob on the site. He also exhibits a letter written by Hank Greenberg to a friend during World War II; these are things that Jews around the world relate to.

How about pre-1990 baseball cards featuring Jewish players? Aeder has 2,500 of those. (Wanna trade?) Consider Lipman Pike, the first Jew who went to the big leagues in 1871. The stories of so many others.

Nearly every Jew who ever made it to The Show is on the site, which features biographies of each Jewish major league player.

One can find a time line of Jewish baseball stories dating from the 1860s, and interviews with former players and prominent personalities in the industry.

Aeder is, perhaps not surprisingly, also a philanthropist. He and his wife, Jennifer Levine, were named 2013 Chicagoans of the Year for opening the Wolcott School, a high school for students with learning challenges.

He’s also the founding owner of Milt’s Barbecue for the Perplexed – a kosher BBQ eatery near Wrigley Field. The home of old-fashioned ribs and sides donates its profits to worthy causes, and is the dining choice of Cubs fans of all faiths, including the 2015 Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta.

Aeder’s next project is likely to be the materialized museum from his virtual launch.

As with the first, the founder’s collection will form the core of the museum’s permanent exhibit, although others are expected to rotate through as well. At present, he’s told media that if the project is a “go” he might build on the city’s North Side; he hopes to open it some time in 2017.

When Theodore Herzl said “If you will it, it is no dream,” he probably had never heard of baseball. How many Jewish baseball fans have ever known of Theodore Herzl?

Aeder did.

Hana Levi Julian

Geneva Jews Warned to be ‘Vigilant’ in New Terror Alert

Friday, December 11th, 2015

As the Sabbath approached, Geneva’s Jews were warned to be “vigilant” on Friday morning as the Swiss city went on high alert along with the Canadian city of Toronto and the U.S. Midwestern city of Chicago.

All three appeared on a terrorist hit list linked to the Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization, according to a report by Fox News. Four male suspects “tied to ISIS” were being sought in the Swiss city.

Swiss officials said Thursday that a car registered in Belgium, home to some of the Paris attackers, had driven through a police checkpoint near Geneva, Le Matin reported.

Geneva’s Jewish community was warned to be “vigilant,” Swiss television said. “Sensitive sites have been alerted,” said a government official.

Officials said the United Nations’ European headquarters is also on maximum alert following intelligence warnings from federal police in the capital city of Berne about people with “possible links to terror.”

“The heightened security affects the entire Geneva area, and the UN is taking measures that are commensurate with those taken in the host country,” said UN Geneva spokesperson Rheal LeBlanc.

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Berlin Rabbi Approves Relocation of Jewish Woman’s Remains

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Love knows no bounds, and in some cases it knows no distance either.

Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, rabbi of the Jewish community of Berlin, Germany, last week authorized the exceptional transfer of a grave from the local community cemetery to Chicago, in the United States.

The grave belongs to a woman who arrived in Berlin with her family from Lithuania in the German city in 1937 while still in transit, at age 67. After she was laid to rest, her family paid their respects but then continuted to the United States where they eventually settled. It was her grandchildren requested their grandmother’s body be transferred to join them, and the body of her husband, in the cemetery in Chicago, explained Rabbi Teichtal.

In an exceptional Halachic ruling on Jewish law, the rabbi states that according the Halacha, usually the Torah forbids the relocation of a grave, even for a more honorable location.

Nevertheless, he added, in the case of reuniting family members, it is allowed by all adjudicators in light of what is written in the book of “Shulchan Aruch”: ‘It is the finest of pleasantries for a man to be buried alongside the bones of his forefathers.’

“In our case we have the grave of both a spouse and a family member. In light of that and after consultations with other major rabbis, I have come to the conclusion: ‘In light of the fact that it is the will of the deceased’s family members to re-bury her in Chicago alongside her husband and family, I will specifically allow it”, wrote Rabbi Teichtal.

In light of this halachic ruling, tritish authorities said this week the coffin was excavated last Wednesday from the burial ground at the Jewish community cemetary in Berlin, under the supervision of Rabbi Teichtal and was flown to Chicago, where a second funeral for the woman took place, 78 years after her death.

Hana Levi Julian

Michelle Obama’s Cousin Named Head of Black Jews’ Movement

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

(JNi.media) Funnye Capers, first cousin of First Lady Michelle Obama, has been named as the “titular head of the worldwide community of black Jews.”

Funnye (pronounced Fun-Nay) is the spiritual leader of the Beth Shalom Bnai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew congregation in Chicago and the only black rabbi on the Chicago Board of Rabbis.

Rabbi Capers received his ordination from the Israelite Rabbinical Academy of New York. Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal church, Funnye Capers became involved in civil rights and black nationalism while studying at Howard University. Under the guidance of Rabbi Robert Devine, the leader of the House of Israel Congregation in Chicago, he accepted Devine’s teachings that Africans were descended from Biblical Hebrews and that Jesus was the Messiah and he was black.

Funnye Capers eventually rejected the Christian elements of the movement, and learned with Rabbi Levi Ben Levy in Brooklyn, who embraced the concept of African originalism, but whose approach to observance and belief were more in line with mainstream Judaism.

In 1985, Funnye Capers converted to Judaism at a Conservative Beit Din, but has told his followers that his decision to convert does not imply his followers need to follow suit. Rabbi Levy also ordained Rabbi Funnye Capers as a rabbi, although no mainstream denomination has accepted the title, or Levy’s right to confer it.

The issue mainstream Jewish movements have with the Black Israelites, distinct from race, is that they do not recognize their conversions, which, in some cases, involve similar rituals as mainstream conversions, such as immersion in a ritual bath and circumcision for males. Where they fall short is the part 12th century scholar Maimonides considers paramount: acceptance of the yoke of Jewish halacha and of the sages.

Funnye Capers said of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, “Our families were very close. All through my childhood, our families were in and out of each others’ houses celebrating holidays together, that kind of thing.”

Just as President Obama has been able to stimulate dialogue on race, given his role as President, Funnye Capers says he plans to use his title to create awareness and understanding about race in the Jewish world. He has already met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has discussed with him issues relating to the Ethiopian community in Israel.

Rabbi Capers told the Chicago Tribune, “Unfortunately, by and large, when you see any imagery of Jews in the United States, very seldom do you see members of my community … we have to promote that Jews have always been a global people.”

Chicago has been the backdrop to black/Jewish conflict, which reached a tense point in 1984 when Democratic Presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” Although Rev. Jackson apologized for the comment, it deepened the rift between the communities.

Another Chicago black pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who used to minister to the Obama family, in 2008 blamed “them Jews” of keeping him and Barack Obama apart. He also suggested that “The Jewish vote, the A-I-P-A-C vote” was controlling Obama.

Jane Ramsey, then-executive director for the council of Jewish affairs, welcomed the contribution by Rabbi Capers in engaging the African American community: “He’s deeply religious and deeply devoted to Judaism and also deeply devoted to creating jobs and housing and addressing racism and anti-Semitism,” she said.

JNi.Media

Mid-Air Crisis Forces US Flight to Make Emergency Landing in Buffalo

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

A United Express flight originating in Chicago was forced to make an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday due to a “pressurization problem,” Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials said.

The plane dropped 28,000 feet in three minutes, going from 38,000 feet to 10,000 feet and exceeding the recommended protocols within which passengers and pilots would have enough time to get their oxygen masks on.

The FAA confirmed the problem with depressurization, although SkyWest, which operates the airline, did not mention the problem in tweeting the news that a prior report about a problem with a cabin door was unfounded.

Flight 5622 departed from O’Hare Airport at 9:32 am local time, heading to Bradley International in Hartford, Connecticut. But about two hours later the pressure suddenly dropped in the plane, CNN reported.

One passenger lost consciousness and received medical attention before being released, according to SkyWest spokesperson Marissa Snow.

It’s not yet clear what prompted the incident. There were 75 passengers on board the aircraft at the time.

The incident is under investigation.

Hana Levi Julian

Rahm Beats Jesus in Chicago

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Rahm Emanuel was reelected mayor of Chicago, beating out his primary opponent Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

After failing to secure a majority in the first election against four other opponents in February, the city ran a run-off election between Emanuel and Garcia.

Emanuel received approximately 56 percent to Garcia’s 44 percent in the runoff.

Emanuel is Chicago’s 55th mayor, and its first Jewish mayor.

Emanuel was President Obama’s Chief of Staff in his first term until 2010.

Shalom Bear

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rahm-beats-jesus-in-chicago/2015/04/08/

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