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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Rabbi Appointed ‘Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope’

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) After three weeks and thousands of jokes from 47 countries, the Joke With The Pope Campaign has been concluded, with Rabbi Bob Alper of Vermont receiving the title, “Honorary Comedic Advisor to the Pope.”

Needless to say, this was the very first time a pope, or his advisers, felt the need for a comedic advisor.

Alper’s joke went: “My wife and I have been married for over 46 years, and our lives are totally in synch. For example, at the same time I got a hearing aid, she stopped mumbling.”

Actor Bill Murray’s joke was: “Did you hear about the two antennae that got married? The service wasn’t so great, but the reception was fantastic.”

Latenight host Conan O’Brien contributed: “The drought in California is so bad, people in Napa are asking the Pope to turn their wine into water.”

“It had it all,” said Andrew Small, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is behind Joke With The Pope. “It was the kind of joke I think the Pope would use himself, and that’s what befits an Honorary Comedic Advisor,” he explained. “We congratulate Rabbi Bob and we thank all who submitted their ‘jokes and funny stories,’ as Pope Francis asked at the start of this campaign.”

“For me, Joke With The Pope was doing good while having fun,” said Rabbi Bob, who donated the proceeds from his joke to the homeless in Ethiopia. “It’s the joy of the mitzvah,” Alper added, saying he feels Pope Francis “exudes warmth, honesty – and there’s his humor,” and so “We all benefit from his model.”

Rabbi Alper is not the only winner of the current campaign. The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, the Pope’s own messangers and the brains behind Joke With The Pope, will donate $10,000 to three humanitarian causes in celebration of the large number of joke donations. Money will be provided to three causes on the newly released Missio app: housing the homeless in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; helping children in need in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and feeding the hungry in Nairobi, Kenya. Additional projects can be explored on Missio.

“Joke With The Pope helped spread joy to the world,” said Small. “But more importantly, it inspired many people to download the Missio app as a way to continue that joy by making a difference in the poorest communities of our world. Missio puts the power of change right at your fingertips, connecting you with change-makers and life-saving projects across the globe.”

Small’s own joke went: “How much did it get cost the pirate to get his ears pierced? A buck an ear.”

The Missio app is available through the App Store and Google Play, or at www.missio.org. The new app coincides with the Catholic Church’s celebration of Mission Month which honors and supports the work of Catholic missionaries around the world.

JNi.Media

President Rivlin Flies to the Vatican

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin flew Wednesday night for his first official visit to Rome and the Vatican at the invitation Pope Francis.

Before leaving, he said:

I leave now to meet with a leader who is a true friend of the State of Israel, and of the Jewish people.

Pope Francis is an inspirational leader who believes in dialogue between different faiths and whose activities and statements are aimed at the promotion of this dialogue. He is an emissary of reconciliation and compassion in his endeavors for the sake of humanity.

The President will be received at an official welcoming ceremony on Thursday morning at the Vatican, after which he will hold a private meeting with the Pope.

The two will speak about the need for dialogue “between the peoples of the Middle East and between all those of different faiths.”

President Rivlin’s office added that he “will express to the Pope the importance that the State of Israel places on the preservation of freedom of religion for the different faiths in Israel, and will update the Pope on his visit to the Christian sites in the Jordan Valley last week.

The visits were aimed at developing and preserving the area around the traditional baptism site and to enable greater access for pilgrims and visitors.

Later on Thursday, the President will meet with the Prime Minister of the Vatican and the President of Italy before addressing a special meeting with members of the Jewish community in the Great Synagogue in Rome’s old Jewish quarter.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

2 Days After Pope’s Visit, Bethlehem Church Fire Not Arson?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Just two days after Pope Francis visited the Church of the Nativity in Palestinian Authority-controlled Bethlehem, there was a fire. Coincidence?

The church — important to Roman Catholics around the world — is built over the grotto believed to be the birthplace of the founder of Christianity, Jesus. It is considered one of the holiest sites in the faith.

A cleric at the church, Father Ibrahim Faltas, denied the fire had been set intentionally and claimed a candle tipped over near a curtain, setting it aflame.

The once-mostly Christian town of Bethlehem — controlled today by the Palestinian Authority — is now populated by a Muslim majority. Christian residents have been systematically attacked by local Muslims and quietly have fled, until now only a small fraction remain. The Pope, however, made no reference to the vicious campaign of harassment carried out against his people during his visit to the region, focusing instead of Arab-Israeli relations.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rare 800 Yr Old Christian Monastery Seal Discovered in Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

A rare 800-year-old Christian monastery lead seal was discovered in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Ve’Gan, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday.

The seal – or bulla, as it is known in Latin – was found during an excavation in the summer of 2012 at the Horbath Mizmil archaeological dig, and has since been identified as belonging to the Saint Sabas monastery. The site was abandoned at the end of the Byzantine period and resettled during the Crusader period (11-12 CE) and reached maximum population during the Mamluk period (13-15 CE). Artifacts discovered during the excavations reflected daily life in a farmstead there – and the seal.

S. Sabas – or Mar Saba, in Syriac – was an important leader among the Christian monasteries during the Byzantine period in the area of the Judean Desert.

The seal bears an inscription for Mar Saba, the saint, in Greek, with his likeness, on one side, and a second inscription attributing the item to the saint’s largest monastery, the ‘Great Laura’ during the Byzantine period in the Jerusalem area. The two parts of the seal, which are meant to be pressed together, are connected by a single thread.

Dr. Yuval Baruch, IAA regional archaeologist for Jerusalem and surrounds, presented the unique find to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, who noted its importance for the history of Christianity in the Holy Land and its significance for archaeological research.

Hana Levi Julian

Harvard Students Apologize for Blog on Jews and Jesus Killing

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

The student-run Harvard Ichthus Christian blog website apologized for an anonymous post by a Jewish convert to Christianity who wrote that Jews deserve to be persecuted for killing Jesus.

The apology was issued on Friday, and the original post that was published last Wednesday has been removed from the site.

“(W)e sincerely apologize for breaching the confidence of civil dialogue. This has been a growing experience for all involved here at the Ichthus, and, as students, we sincerely appreciate the patience and grace you have demonstrated towards us,” editor-in-chief Aaron Gyde wrote in his apology.

“We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years,” the post said, according to the Boston Globe.

“This particular piece has led to increasing misunderstanding and disinformation about the author’s views, the Ichthus, and Christianity,” the Ichthus wrote in the apology. “We do acknowledge that many of the claims of Christianity are offensive to those who do not believe it, but we think that much of the offense that has resulted from this article is not the offense of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for that we apologize.”

JTA

Tea Party Preacher’s ‘False Religion’ Remark Upsets Jews

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

E.W. Jackson, the Republican Tea Party candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, has labeled all non-Christians as having a “false religion” but when confronted by Jews, he said they are an exception to the rule.

“I’m a Christian. I’m a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. “Of course, like every Christian, I believe that he’s the only way. But we understand that Christianity came out of Judaism. We have deep and profound respect for Judaism. We do not view Judaism as a false religion. I can’t say that about everything. But that is true of Judaism.”

Amen, brother. Hallelujah!

But his generous acceptance that Judaism is not a false religion did not satisfy the crowd at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center.

The moderator, Joel Rubin, asked Jackson, “Is Islam a false religion?” the Virginian-Pilot reported.

The Muslims didn’t get off the hook as well as the Jews, and Jackson didn’t directly answer the question. Instead, he asserted, “Look, I’m running for lieutenant governor. I’m not running to be theologian of Virginia. I am a preacher. That means I’ve got to serve people who are atheists and Muslims and Buddhists and Hindus and Mormons and of every background. So I don’t want to try to get into a theological analysis of what I think of various religions.”

So much for the Buddhist and Muslim vote.

If Jackson does not want to discuss his views on other religions, one would think the ordained minister would button his lip a bit more.

So far in the campaign, Jackson has denounced Planned Parenthood for killing more blacks than the Ku Klux Klan.

So it looks like he has lost the KKK vote, too.

His previous comments from the pulpit and elsewhere are likely to cost him a lot more votes. He has said that parents’ sins cause birth defects and that yoga leads to Satanism.

But, no, no, that is not what he believes come campaign time.

“I do not believe that birth defects are caused by parents’ sin unless, of course, there’s a direct scientific connection between the parents’ behavior and the disabilities of the child, such as a child who might develop birth defects if his or her mother was addicted to heroin,” he has said in self-defense during the current campaign.

“I do not believe that yoga leads to Satanism. One of my ministers is a yoga instructor. What I said was that Christian meditation does not involve emptying oneself but filling oneself … with the spirit of God. That is classic Biblical Christianity,” he explained.

So maybe he will win back the yoga vote.

Homosexuals are not exactly crazy about Jackson, who has declared that “homosexuality poisons culture,” but he argues his comment was taken out of context.

“What I really said was that the gay rights movement, so called, the homosexual activists, engage in some behavior that is absolutely horrendous, and that’s true, everybody knows that; from going into Catholic churches and desecrating the Sacraments to engaging in all kinds of demonstrative behavior to try to call attention to what they view as their plight,” he said.

Homosexuals need not worry because Jackson added, “I respect every human being, I don’t believe that there’s any second-class citizens in Virginia, I don’t treat anybody any differently because of their sexual orientation.”

Jackson wants voters to think that he can separate his views as a preacher from his functioning as Lieutenant Governor.

“I’m not going to spend the campaign talking about these issues, so let’s get it out of the way now,” he told a gathering in the Virginia suburb of Manassas, outside of Washington, D.C.

Time will tell if telling the Jews they aren’t so bad after all will win him the Jewish vote.

For the time being, the polls show that the voters are not thrilled with either Jackson or the Democratic party candidate, State Sen. Ralph Northam.

A new poll published on Wednesday shows that with election day two weeks away, 12 percent have a favorable view of Jackson, compared with 9 percent for Northam. However, a hefty 20 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable view of Jackson, compared with 5 percent who do not like Northam.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Does Israel Recognize Itself as a Jewish State?

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

A government press release, referring to Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot as the “autumn holiday” raises a question whether the Netanyahu administration recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, a demand it has made of the Palestinian Authority.

The Government Press Office sent a letter to “press attaches at foreign embassies” with an invitation to attend a “Spirituality and History Tour of Jerusalem” next month.

The “spirituality” part is a bit hard to understand unless it is limited to Christianity.

“We will watch the Armenians march from their theological seminary to prayers in the St. James Cathedral, in the Armenian Quarter,” the letter stated.

“We will then proceed to the Jewish Quarter where will hear about the autumn holidays, visit the Old Yishuv Court Museum and ascend to amazing view from the roof of Aish HaTorah Yeshiva,” it continued.

“We will end our tour at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where will hear about Jerusalem’s multi-faceted Christian communities while observing ceremonies of the various sects.”

There are two glaring absences. One, there is no reference to Islam, which like it or not, is part of the history of the Old City.

The other and more blatant gaffe is the mention of “the autumn holidays.”

Autumn holidays?

A case could be made by a secular Jew that Sukkot really is all about the harvest and is one of the three Festivals in which agriculture is a major part.

But Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur?

Would the GPO dare refer to refer Christmas as “the winter holiday?”

The Jewish Press asked a couple of questions from people involved in the tour, and everyone emphasized there was no slight intended and that, in fact, the holidays do fall in the autumn.

One person indeed was taken aback and said that the question would be looked into.

It would be too complicated to explain non-Jews that they are “High Holidays” – then you have to explain what is a “low” holiday.

To explain “Tishrei,” the month in which the holidays occur, requires a long span of listening attention, although Ramadan is accepted.

But Jewish? Can’t they even say the word “Jewish?”

Before the High Holidays, the GPO will send out its annual multi-page explanations of the Jewish holidays, allowing all of the foreign journalists to study the spirituality, if they want to wade through it all.

Maybe on the actual “Spirituality and History Tour of Jerusalem,” the autumn holidays will become Jewish.

One person told The Jewish Press,” Don’t make a mountain of a mole hill.”

Well, we are, because those when those little mole hills pile up on each other, they become a big, big mountain.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/does-israel-recognize-itself-as-a-jewish-state/2013/08/25/

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