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July 2, 2016 / 26 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘community’

Rama Burshtein: A Window Into Her World

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

“Fill the Void” is the title of Rama Burshtein’s film that played to critical acclaim at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and earned seven Ophir Awards — the Israeli Oscars — including one for best film and best director, and has become Israel’s entry into the 2012 Oscars’ foreign language category.

What is this film that has generated so much professional interest?

Amazingly, it’s the story of an average family in a strictly religious, charedi, community in Tel Aviv. It focuses on the family’s 18 year-old-daughter Shira who is in the throws of her first attempts at arranged dating. In the process, unbeknownst to him, Shira spots her intended in the dairy section of the supermarket and a spark is ignited, setting off preparations for the wedding. Then tragedy strikes: Shira’s older sister Esther dies in childbirth, and the family, crushed by grief, delays the wedding. As Esther’s husband, Yochai, is encouraged to remarry a widow living in Belgium, Shira’s mother, desperate to keep her only grandchild in the country, pleads with Shira to marry Yochai instead, and become mother to her older sister’s child.

It is a moving but simple story whose uniqueness lies in that it is a film about charedi life directed by a charedi woman, exposing the true nature of that world for a secular audience. “I felt it was time to tell a story from within, and say something that comes from really living the life,” Rama Burshtein, member of the Tel Aviv charedi community, said. “That’s what I felt was important: to just tell a story that has no connection with the regular subjects that you deal with when you talk about the Orthodox world. People don’t know much about this world, so it’s not a question of celebration or criticism, it’s a window into this world.”

The film offers a rare glimpse into the Orthodox way of life, its customs and traditions, but also deals with the wider themes of relationships and family pressures.

Mrs. Burshtein, a native New Yorker who grew up in Tel Aviv, became religious

at age 25, shortly after graduating from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

“I love this world, I chose it, I was not born in it,” she told reporters.

In preparation for the filming, she spoke with members of her own community – women who had married their sisters’ widowers – and found a surprising phenomenon: the marriages contracted for the sake of fulfilling religious and family obligations evolved into relationships of love.

“At the beginning of the research, it sounded like it was impossible to understand how it works,” Burshtein said. “And then at the end of it, it was like the natural thing to do, to marry within the family.”

With the backing of her rabbi, Ms.Burshtein began production in January 2011 in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, not far from the home she shares with her husband and four children. Her three sons and daughter, all in their teens, are enthusiastic supporters of her work. On all occasions Rama takes time to express her thanks to them and to her loyal husband, a highly respected public figure in the charedi world.

By opening a window to the charedi world I believe Rama Burshtein, even without the predicted Academic Award, has done a great benefit for Jewish life in Israel which is in dire need in improvement.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Melachot, Permanence, And Umbrellas

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Certain activities – such as building, tying, weaving, writing, dyeing and sewing – are not prohibited on Shabbat unless they are made to last. For example, one may tie a knot that is not tied in a professional manner and will be untied within seven days, such as shoelaces or the ribbon around the Torah scroll, on Shabbat afternoon. So too a safety pin may be used on Shabbat since it is not a form of permanent sewing. Similarly, writing or painting with fluid that fades away, or writing on a substance that does not retain script, is not a melachah in the Torah sense of the term (melachah de’oreita), though it is rabbinically prohibited (melachah derabbanan).

When do the above activities become permanent and, therefore, a melachah de’oreita? According to the Rambam, if the product lasts throughout Shabbat it is a melachah de’oreita. According to Rashi, however, it must have the ability to last forever.

May one build a structure on Shabbat if one intends to take it apart on Shabbat shortly after its use? This question is debated between two sages in the Jerusalem Talmud. Rabbi Yosi Bar Nun maintains that it is prohibited because the Mishkan itself, from which we derive the 39 melachot, was a temporary structure. Rabbi Yosah disagrees. He maintains that it is permitted because in his view the Mishkan was, in the eyes of the people, a permanent structure. They never knew when God would require them to move on and until such time they lived their lives in a state of permanence.

Whereas the Jerusalem Talmud rules in accordance with the first view, the Babylonian Talmud rules in accordance with the second and maintains that this type of structure is not considered a melachah at all. The debate is picked up by Rishonim and Acharonim in connection with the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat. According to the Rif, this is a melachah de’oreita. According to the Rambam, it is a melachah derabbanan. And according to Rashi and the Rosh, constructing a provisional tent is permissible in the first place.

Based on the above authorities who prohibit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Noda Beyehudah considered the opening of an umbrella on Shabbat a melachah de’oreita and prohibited its use in his community, even if opened before Shabbat, because onlookers would think it was opened on Shabbat (marit ayin).

Conversely, basing himself on the authorities who permit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Chatam Sofer maintains that using an umbrella on Shabbat is not even a melachah derabbanan and he did not object to it in his community in the presence of an eruv.

The consensus of opinion among today’s poskim prohibits the use of an umbrella on Shabbat even in the presence of an eruv. The Chofetz Chaim prohibits it because, irrespective of its temporary nature, it is intended to be used as a tent for protection against the elements. The Chazon Ish prohibits it because it makes Shabbat look like a working day. Rav Ovadia Yosef, after summarizing all the authorities for and against, sides with the authorities who prohibit it.

Raphael Grunfeld

Sen. Hagel Likely Obama Man at Defense, No Friend of Israel

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

President Barack Obama is expected to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and defense in the next two weeks, with former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel on the short list of potential choices to head the Pentagon, senior administration officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Republican Jewish Coalition reminded readers that, in the past, Jewish leaders have made their concerns about Hagel clear. The last time President Obama had to pick a new Defense Secretary, in 2010, a report by the Washington Jewish Week included red-flag quotes from numerous community sources – including pro-Obama Democrats:

Washington PAC Director and former AIPAC Executive Director Morris Amitay said, back then: “Hagel would be in a position to reinforce the worst aspects of the administration’s current Middle East policies, which would be very dangerous for Israel.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Julie Menin Announces Campaign for Manhattan Borough President

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Julie Menin, former Chair of Community Board 1 in Lower Manhattan, today announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Manhattan Borough President endorsed by more than 200 grassroots community leaders from communities across the length and breadth of the borough.

“I’m running for borough president because I believe my strong track record of leadership and solution driven approach is what is needed in the challenging times our borough faces. As Manhattan builds – and rebuilds – we should create good jobs and affordable housing for people who live in every part of the borough.

“Every parent should be able to send their child to a nearby school that meets their needs. Every family should have access to great parks and playgrounds in their own neighborhood.

“Every New Yorker should have a voice in decisions that affect their community.”

She added: “Making sure that our growth benefits every neighborhood will take leadership, common-sense solutions and the ability to bring people together. That’s been my record as a lawyer, small business owner and community leader, standing up for what’s right and getting results.”

Menin is a community leader and mother of three young children who is known for helping lead downtown Manhattan’s recovery after 9/11, helping lead the charge to build three new schools, exposing government waste and taking on the big battles to protect our democratic principles.

Having completed fundraising for the 2013 race, Menin’s campaign launch is focused on her grassroots support. She has announced a schedule of 200 “Menin Meet-Ups” and will be drawing on a volunteer list that is already over a thousand New Yorkers long.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Harvard Students Receive Anti-Semitic Invitations for Social Clubs

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Invitations to a fictitious club saying “Jews need not apply” were slipped under the doors of students living in the Harvard University dormitories.

The flyers enclosed in the sealed envelopes discovered early Friday morning invited the students to the inaugural event of a new undergraduate social club, or finals club, called The Pigeon, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported. The flyer also said “Seriously, no f***ing Jews. Colors OK.”

There are eight all-male and five all-female Harvard finals clubs, which are not recognized by the university and which have been accused of promoting “an exclusive and dangerous social environment,” according to the Crimson.

The dean of Harvard College, Evelynn Hammonds, wrote in an email statement on Friday that the flyers were “deeply disturbing” to her and others in the Harvard community. Harvard College is one of two schools within the university granting undergraduate degrees.

“They are not a reflection of the values of our community,” Hammonds wrote. “Even if intended as satirical in nature, they are hurtful and offensive to many students, faculty and staff, and do not demonstrate the level of thoughtfulness and respect we expect at Harvard when engaging difficult issues within our community.”

The Crimson also reported that early Friday morning, two Northeastern University students who vandalized a menorah located on the Boston campus were identified on a surveillance video and will face disciplinary action.

JTA

The Hezi Family – Formerly Of Moshav Gadid; Now Of Ein Tzurim Caravilla Site

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

The family: Carol & Shmuel Hezi and their six children, Asnat, Eitan, Amichai, Vardit, Harel and Maital

Background: I, Carol, was born in the States and grew up in Canada. I always assumed I would live in Israel one day. My second visit to Israel was as a university student – I planned on studying there for a year – then I met Shmuel, a native Israeli, and we got married. I completed my degree in Israel, and we began looking for a permanent home. We moved to Gush Katif when our oldest daughter was one year old. We lived in Kfar Darom with ten other families while our moshav, Gadid, was being built.

The house was tiny and the water in the taps was not drinkable–not dangerous, just not potable, so we used the tap water for washing and we always had a big pot of drinking water sitting on the kitchen counter. My mother-in-law wasn’t happy that we had to carry water into the house like she had done in Yemen, but I looked at it as my chance to live like a pioneer for a few months. The “few months” stretched into two years…

Our second child, a son, was born in Kfar Darom. Shmuel was a farmer; he grew flowers, tomatoes, and peppers for export, and later, bug-free lettuce and greens for the local market. He also worked as an agricultural advisor for one of the companies specializing in bug-free produce. When we first moved to Gadid, it was all sand, no roads or paths to walk on, just sand. Our four younger children were born in Gadid. The community was like an extended family. I never had to warn my children not to talk to strangers–instead I had to explain what a stranger was, because they had never met any.

Our house – then: We eventually added on to the house in Gadid. It wasn’t fancy but it was large, and usually full–my parents came on extended visits, Shumel’s family and friends from around the country came as well.

Our eldest daughter married and she and her husband rented a house in Gadid (one of the houses built by Ariel Sharon) in what became the “young neighborhood.” Their first child was born there and my daughter was nine months pregnant with her second child when the soldiers came to take her from her home.

The family’s home in Moshav Gadid

Day of uprooting from Gadid: Our two eldest boys doing their army service – they were sent home for a couple of weeks to be with the family. Luckily, their units were stationed elsewhere and were not involved in the expulsion. Still, it was very hard for them.

Our house – now: We were in hotels for 10 months. Now we live in a “caravilla,” a cardboard house that is well on its way to falling completely apart while we finish building the new house. It’s also very crowded when all the kids are home. Our daughter (who now has four children) could not get a caravilla here–they are at another site–so when they come for Shabbat, there are wall-to-wall people…

What we left behind: The community in which we had lived for 26 years. The trees that were finally tall enough to build a tree house in, the garden with fruit trees (one of my sons brought a laundry basket full of unripe mangos to his hotel room), the greenhouses, our livelihood, the sand dunes, the sea, the Beit Knesset – basically our whole way of life.

Feelings toward the State: Betrayal. We were, after all, encouraged by the State to move to Gadid in the first place.

The biggest difficulty: Economics. We finally have land again, but my husband and I are really too old to start rebuilding greenhouses and be farmers again. That’s for the young and healthy. Nor do we have the financial means to invest and rebuild.

Have you built a house? We are in the process of building a house now. This is not something I thought I would have to do again. It was more fun the first time.

Jewish Press Staff

Arch-Terrorist Khaled Mashaal Returning Victorious to Gaza

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

One of the world’s most prominent terrorists, Khaled Mashaal, since 2004 the “main leader” of the Hamas terror organization and the head of its political bureau since 1996, is going to make his first-ever visit [source: Washington Post] to the Gaza Strip this week.

WaPo is calling this “a sign of increasing boldness” after Hamas “held its own against an Israeli military offensive” and will be his chance to “congratulate its leaders and fighters for battling Israel” according to a senior – but “careful” – Hamas official in Gaza who “spoke on condition of anonymity because of security concern.”

It’s a propitious time to take a look at some of the open silliness that routinely affects media “experts” when they deal with the practitioners of child-murder.

Mashaal recently enjoyed a well-publicized on-air interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in which she reflected the spirit of honest journalistic enquiry as she asked him: “Is it useful to kill civilians?“:

“Let me give you the truth… We don’t target the civilians… The resistance does not target the civilians… We are ready to accept a purely peaceful way, as long as we obtain our demands… Our people is the victim… The offer must come from the attacker [Israel]…”

Noting that Ms Amanpour – like most on-camera reporters – evidently lacks the background information to demolish his absurd response, he presses on:

“I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right to return [meaning the entry of millions of Palestinian Arabs into Israel]…”

Somehow, the terrorist has been understood as implying that Hamas – whose declared, uncompromising, principal goal is to destroy Israel – has abandoned its ideology and is ready to accept something more moderate.

Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh understands Mashaal better than most Westerners, and has no qualms about stating clearly what is happening. Even while Mashaal was on CNN, his Gaza-based Hamas colleagues were talking – in the Arabic language – about continuing the fight against Israel until the “liberation of all our lands, from the sea to the river.”

Writing for the Gatestone Institute think-tank on Friday [“How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone“], Abu Toameh re-states the one essential principle that outsiders keep avoiding and/or denying:

“Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe? And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state “only” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem? …Mashaal’s remark is nothing but an attempt to mislead the international community into believing that Hamas has endorsed the two-state solution and is willing to live in peacealongside Israel… Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran. Unless Hamas changes its charter, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement’s campaign of deception.”

He goes on to point out that the one true construction of Mashaal’s statement is the opposite of what is being spun out of his words: Hamas knows it cannot achieve its goal of destroying Israel for now and will therefore take whatever land it can get from the Israelis… and then continue the fight to “liberate” “Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea”.

In fact Mashaal said just that to Christiane Amanpour:

“Palestine, from the river to the sea, from the north to the south, it is my land. And the land of my fathers and grandfathers, inhabited by the Palestinians from a long time ago… but because of the circumstances of the region, because of the keenness to stop the bloodshed, the Palestinians today, and Hamas, have agreed on a program that accepts the 1967 borders.”

Mashaal is not alone in putting things this way: first they take the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem. Then they use these as a launching pad in the process of eliminating Israel. Mission accomplished.

Abu Toameh again:

Hamas is engaged in a subtle campaign to win the sympathy of the international community by appearing as if it is ready to abandon its dream of destroying Israel. Mashaal’s remarks should be seen in the context of a new Hamas tactic aimed at turning the radical Islamist movement into a legitimate and recognized player in the international and regional arenas. Those who have been misled into believing Hamas’s lies should be referred to the movement’s charter, where it is clearly stated that “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it…”

They know this. But they continue to ignore it. Why spoil a neat and compelling narrative by introducing facts?

Visit This Ongoing War.

Frimet and Arnold Roth

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/this-ongoing-war/arch-terrorist-khaled-mashaal-returning-victorious-to-gaza/2012/12/02/

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