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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘church’

Greek Church’s ‘Eye or an Eye’ Blocks Jerusalem Festival

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem said Tuesday that it will not allow Jerusalem to use church property in the Old City for a festival because of alleged police action against Christians, according to WAFA, the official website of the Palestinian Authority.

Patriarch Theophilos III add that the festival “does not reflect in any way the true identity of Jerusalem,” according to his spokesman Issa Musleh.

Police allegedly attacked worshippers and clerics during Christian holidays, and WAFA told its readers that “Israeli fanatics attack churches, cemeteries and religious people.”

“It would not be sensible that anyone should expect any cooperation to make successful festivities not related to us or Jerusalem,” Musleh added.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Weiner Misses Queens Memorial Day Parade to Speak at Church

Monday, May 27th, 2013

New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner passed up the annual Memorial Day parade in his former Queens district on Sunday in order to speak at a half-empty church.

“I was, like, ‘Where’s Weiner?!’” Forest Hills resident Frankie Esposito told the New York Post.  “I figured he’d come out to see his constituents. I don’t know if I support him as mayor. Taking a shot of his package and sending it out is questionable judgment for a public figure.”

While mayoral candidate Christine Quinn basked in the limelight along with Queens residents who were marching in the parade, Weiner was preaching, or more accurately, confessing in church. He spokes about his sexting scandal at a half-empty church in St. Albans, Queens, where he told 35 listeners, “I’ve made mistakes and done things that might make people say, ‘You know what? I will never trust that guy again. I will never vote for him in 100 years.’ And I get that, too. But in the course of the last two years, I’ve had some incredible blessings.” He cited his forgiving wife and his 17-month-old child who he said “doesn’t care much about the stuff that I’ve been through.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Church of Scotland Thinks Twice, Grants Israel the Right to Exist

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

The Church of Scotland has called last week’s publication of a Church and Society Council report that denies Israel’s right to exist a “misunderstanding” and now says the Jewish state can remain as part of the world.

The Jewish communities of Scotland were shocked by the report, and the local Council of Christians and Jews helped arrange a meeting between officials of the Church and the Jewish community.

A statement after the meeting explained that the Church has not changed its “long held position of the rights of Israel to exist.”

It added, “The Church condemns all violence and acts of terrorism where they happen around the world. The Church condemns all things that create a culture of anti-Semitism.”

The statement added that the Church of Scotland is concerned over what it calls injustices of Palestinian Authority Arabs that “should not be misunderstood as questioning the right of the State of Israel to exist”.

The 10-page report published last week was entitled “The Inheritance of Abraham” and rejected “claims that scripture offers any peoples a privileged claim for possession of a particular territory.”

It also suggested that some Jews believe they have a right to the land of Israel “as compensation for the suffering of the Holocaust.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rare 1,500-Year-Old Wine Press and Church Model found in Israel

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have unearthed a huge wine press and a ceramic model of a church dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries, the early-Byzantine period.

The huge wine press, the size of a football field, consists of three components, IAA archaeologist Dr. Rina Avner explained.

“A large treading floor paved with ceramic tiles was discovered in the center in which there is a press bed of a screw used to press grapes. Three vats into which the must flowed were revealed along the western side of the treading floor. The collecting vats were carefully designed with slots in their sides that allowed the liquid to flow in a controlled manner and they were treated with hydraulic plaster so as to prevent the must from seeping into the ground.”

The wine was fermented and made into quality wine through the use of compartments around the treading floor. In the second stage the grape remnants were pressed a second time by means of the screw situated in the center of the treading floor, from which plain wine was prepared that was referred to in rabbinic sources as paupers’ wine, she added.

The ceramic model of a church was a rare archaeological discovery and was unearthed near the wine press.

“This object is a kind of clay box that has an accentuated and decorated opening in its broad side,” said Dr. Avner.

“Floral decorations and crosses appear on the other three sides. The roof of the model is fashioned in the shape of a sloped tile roof, and in its four corners are four decorative knobs meant to accentuate the corners. On the top of the roof a large loop handle, also flanked by crosses, was attached for holding or suspending the object. The variety of decorations and building-like features of the object suggest this is a miniature model of a church.”

The model is one of several objects that were used as ritual objects that were hung or placed inside buildings. An oil lamp inserted into it through the decorated opening illuminated the inside of the model.

“Since the crosses also served as narrow openings, the light was disseminated via them and shadows of crosses were projected onto the walls of the building where the object was placed,” she said.

Jewish Press Staff

Oren Opens AIPAC with Appeal to Non-Jews for Pro-Israel Outreach

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, opened the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC)annual policy conference with an appeal for pro-Israel outreach to African Americans, Latinos and Muslims and others.

“Reach out to the churches in your community, to the African Americans, the Latinos, to the mosques,” Oren said Sunday after he was asked what his main message was to the 13,000 activists drawn to the annual conference.

Oren, in an interview with Frank Sesno, a former CNN anchor, said Israel was looking forward to President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel later this month and addressed three challenges facing the allies: Getting Iran to suspend its suspected nuclear weapons program, securing Israel from the turmoil in Syria, and renewing peace talks with the Palestinians.

On Iran, Oren said there was a small window for diplomacy to work.

“Imagine if Iran had that nuclear weapon, what is the price of inaction?” Oren asked.

Syria must be kept from transferring weapons to Hizbullah, and the Palestinian Authority must take risks, as Israel has, Oren said.

The ambassador sounded a tough note on the prospect of any reconciliation between P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

“We see that very much as a game blocker,” he said.

Also scheduled to address the conference, which runs through Tuesday, are Vice President Joe Biden and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the conference by video.

Activists will lobby Congress to sharpen Iran sanctions, to call on the president to support Israel should it be “compelled” to strike Iran, and to establish a new category, “major strategic ally,” to describe the U.S.-Israel relationship.

JTA

Goodbye to a Good Pope

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

The big news yesterday was that due to issues with his health Pope Benedict is resigning as Pope effective February 28th… in just a couple of weeks.

Why should an Orthodox Jew care what goes on in the Catholic Church? Well… when a religion boasts membership in the billions, what happens there definitely affects us. Not in any theological way. But most certainly in a sociological one.

The fact that The Catholic Church is the direct and unbroken chain of Christianity going back to the 2nd Temple era… and that their religion stems from Jewish roots add to that importance. So too does the fact that the Jewish people and the Church have been intimately intertwined over the two millennia since Christianity’s founding – mostly not for the better. I need not go into all the pogroms and other anti Semitic acts perpetrated against the Jewish people in the name of their religion. Suffice it to say that it was responsible for much carnage toward our people.

That of course all changed with Vatican II. Although many Jews are still suspect about the motives of the Church and believe it to be just a new ploy in trying to convert us, I believe that the change in their attitude was sincere. They no longer consider us ‘Christ killers.’ They no longer say that Judaism has lost its legitimacy and has been replaced by Christianity. They now consider us their ‘older brother’ religion and quite legitimate.

Since Vatican II there has been great progress between the Catholic church and the Jewish people. Our relationship has never been better. And the current Pope deserves credit for that. No one said it better than this:

“During his period (as pope) there were the best relations ever between the church and the chief rabbinate and we hope that this trend will continue,” “I think he deserves a lot of credit for advancing inter-religious links the world over between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.” “(I wish the Pope) good health and long days.

These are the words of Rabbi Yona Metzger, Chief Rabbi of Israel. I could not have said better myself. I hope that the next Pope will be no worse… and that relations continue to improve.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Harry Maryles

Preserving Baltimore’s First Synagogue (Part I)

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes are from “The Lloyd Street Synagogue of Baltimore: A National Shrine” by Israel Tabak, American Jewish Historical Quarterly (1961-1978); Sept. 1971-June 1972; 61, 1-4; AJHS Journal page 343. The article is available at www.ajhs.org/scholarship/adaje.cfm.

While it is not known precisely when Jews first settled in Baltimore, we do know that five Jewish men and their families settled there during the 1770s. However, it was not until the autumn of 1829 that Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, whose Hebrew name was Nidchei Yisroel (Dispersed of Israel), was founded. This was the only Jewish congregation in the state of Maryland at the time, and it was referred to by many as the “Stadt Shul.”

The original 29 members of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation met in a room over a grocery store located on Bond and Fleet Streets (now Eastern Avenue). By 1835 the congregation occupied a one-story building on High Street and membership had increased to 55. In 1837 the congregation acquired a three-story building on Harrison Street near Etna Lane where it worshipped until 1845 when it built its new synagogue on Lloyd Street.

Rabbi Abraham Rice

Readers of this column likely are familiar with the life of Rabbi Abraham Rice from the articles “Abraham Rice: First Rabbi in America” (November 6, 2009) and “The First Rabbi in America, Part II,” December 4, 2009. Rabbi Rice, the first ordained Orthodox rabbi to settle permanently in America, became the spiritual leader of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in 1840.

Rabbi Rice was known for his piety and upright character and for a number of years he was probably the only person in America qualified to pasken sheilas. He became one of Orthodoxy’s foremost spokesmen at a time when it was under attack from the Reform movement.

“Abraham Rice’s place in the history of American Judaism is secure. The courage and dauntlessness with which he defended the principles of historic Judaism give him a unique place among the pioneers of Orthodoxy in America. His consistent and uncompromising stand in matters of Jewish theology was the strongest factor in stemming the tide of Reform. His devotion to the study of Torah and his depth of talmudic learning made it possible for [halachic] Judaism to gain a foothold on American soil, where for centuries Jewish life was spiritually barren and Torahless. His dedication to Jewish education and his personal instruction of many a youth in this community were responsible for a new generation of enlightened laymen to be raised up who changed the entire physiognomy and religious climate of the Jewish community of Baltimore.” (“Rabbi Abraham Rice of Baltimore, Pioneer of Orthodox Judaism in America” by Israel Tabak, Tradition, 7, 1965, page 119.)

The Lloyd Street Synagogue

Within a few years of Rabbi Rice’s arrival the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation was able to build the Lloyd Street Synagogue, the first Jewish house of worship to be built in Maryland and the third oldest surviving synagogue in the United States.

“There is no doubt that Rabbi Rice was the prime factor in the growth and consolidation of the congregation. It was under his guidance that the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation was able to build its own sanctuary befitting a Jewish community of stature and dignity. The architect commissioned to design the new synagogue was Robert Carey Long, Jr., who achieved renown for the several houses of worship he built in Baltimore at the time. In 1842, Long built the Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church; in 1843, St. Peter’s Catholic Church; and the following year, Mt. Calvary Episcopal Church and the Franklin Street Presbyterian Church. The Jewish community was sufficiently affluent to afford the services of such an eminent architect, and the Lloyd Street Synagogue was completed and dedicated in 1845.”

The synagogue building was built of brick and was sixty feet wide by seventy-five feet deep. It cost about $20,000.

The synagogue contained what was then a most innovative feature – a “Shield of David” that was conspicuously set in the main window of the synagogue above the Holy Ark, in the eastern wall, which everyone faced in prayer.

Isaac Lesser, chazzan of Congregation Mikve Israel of Philadelphia, wrote the following description of the synagogue after attending the dedication ceremonies on Shabbos Parshas Vayelech (September 26-27, 1845):

Dr. Yitzchok Levine

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/glimpses-ajh/preserving-baltimores-first-synagogue-part-i/2012/12/05/

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