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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

Prosecution Indicts Wedding Guests for Hating Arabs While Dancing

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

This story would be difficult to comprehend by readers who enjoy the benefits of the First, Second and Fourth Amendments. It also reflects the desperate mindset of Israel’s leftwing ruling elite inside the judiciary who wouldn’t recognize prosecutorial restraint if it bit them on the leg. On Wednesday, thirteen Jews, among them five minors ages 14 to 17, were hauled into the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, to be indicted for violence and terrorism, which they apparently carried out while dancing at the wedding of Yakir and Ronnie Ashbel, at the Shirat Yerushalaim hall. Incidentally, the groom, Yakir, was indicted for illegal assembly — at his own wedding.

The cases stem from a video that was shot clandestinely by the GSS at the wedding and broadcast by Israel’s left-leaning Channel 10 News some ten months ago, showing the wedding guests dancing yeshiva style, while stabbing pictures of the baby Ali Dawabsheh, who perished in an arson fire together with both his parents on July 31, 2015. The prosecution, which has indicted one Jewish man and his alleged minor sidekick, is yet to submit its case before a criminal court. There have been rumors of inconsistencies between the confession GSS interrogators have squeezed out of the suspect using torture—with the high court’s approval—and the recollections of local Arab villagers regarding the fire.

Unable to get results on the real arson case, the frustrated prosecution on Wednesday went after the wedding guests who, by stabbing a picture of the dead baby expressed their hatred for Arabs, for a repressive defense minister who locks up and tortures their friends, and for whatever else they disliked so vociferously. The accused also waved handguns and rifles, one of which belonged to an IDF soldier who was among the guests. The guests also created imitation Molotov cocktails by sticking napkins into empty wine bottles. As Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who represents one of the accused, put it, every night at weddings in Umm al-Fahm and countless other Arab communities, there are weddings in which the guests are actually shooting live fire in the air to express their joy — prosecuting Jews for merely waving their guns seems a bit vindictive.

In fact, vindictive is the name of the game in this entire mad hatter prosecution. Ben-Gvir accuses the government of “selective prosecution” and points out that this is being planned as more a show trial than a trial, seeing as the summonses were sent to the media before the defendants received them.

Finally, the indictment declares that “with their actions the defendants issued a unified call to violence or terrorism or praise or encouragement of or support and identification with violence or terrorism, and based on the content of the inciting material and the circumstances under which they were publicized — there exists a real possibility that it would lead to carrying out acts of violence and terrorism.”

Here’s the internal logical conflict of the above statement: it wasn’t the wedding guests who publicized the dancing and the baby picture stabbing and the inappropriate songs. It was a GSS agent who shot the video and handed it to Channel 10 for publicizing. We left messages with several attorneys close to the proceedings regarding this issue, and will update this story when we receive their response.

JNi.Media

Lords of the Dance

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Hareidi children dance at the Kotel in the Old City of Jerusalem on September 18, 2016.

Photo of the Day

Dancing with Life

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}

The desires of the heart are as crooked as corkscrews
Not to be born is the best for man
The second best is a formal order
The dance’s pattern, dance while you can.
Dance, dance, for the figure is easy
The tune is catching and will not stop
Dance till the stars come down with the rafters
Dance, dance, dance till you drop.
W.H. Auden, “Death’s Echo”

Just more than a week ago I was sitting in mourning. I emerged from my mourning and wandered in a daze until Isaiah spoke to me on Shabbat and offered words of consolation. Today, I am back to life as it is, with its joys and challenges.

How could I possibly handle all these different emotions on top of the complexities of life?

I dance with them.There are times I dance in formal steps and patterns, according to the rules. Some dances demand the formality, especially when sharing the floor with other dancers. However, the dance from mourning to comfort to joy to comfort to life, and then, to who knows what next, is far more complicated than the Tango or Salsa. It is, for me, a free-form dance to express the different emotions, but even more so, how I experience the chaotic fluctuations from one emotion to another. I do not dance to the formal steps but to how my inner music plays out its response to life’s calendar and challenges.

People often express wonder how I can teach in a very “religious” neighborhood one day, and a completely secular community the next. They assume that I am simply dancing a different tune on different days and in different communities. They are wrong! I do not dance a different step to the very different tunes of extremely different communities. Nor do I dance different steps to different holidays and commandments; a slow dance on Tisha B’Av, say, and a joyous step six days later on Tu B’Av. It is all one dance; the Dance of Life, the dance that expresses my response to life. There are no formal steps to my dance other than being in touch with how I feel and what I want to express at any given moment. The dance is an expression of my joy in life, and my small response to its many realities and revelations.

This week’s portion, Eikev, or “Heel,” begins, “This shall be the reward when (Eikev – Heel) you hear these laws and perform them.” Why the heel? Dance Steps. The Dance of Life. “This will be the reward when you dance to these laws and express how they affect you,” is how I interpet the verse.

The key word in this weeks portion is “Hear.” it is a challenge to listen to the music of life, the song of the Torah as it guides us through life. The portion reminds us of the importance of expressing how our ‘heels’ respond in the Dance of Life to our experiences on every level.

This portion also stresses the importance of love, as if to say, “Above all, let your love envelope you in your dance: God’s love for you, your love of God, your love of family, your love of self.”

Remember: Love is the greatest adventure of them all, and our Dance of Life should reflect that.

When and if it does, our Dance of Life becomes not only a thing of enjoyment, but a thing of beauty.

Dance with me to: Chipping Away The Pieces, help me dance my way out of Stuck in a Role and The Fear Underneath, so I can nurture The Question Machine.

Shall we dance?

Shabbat Shalom (The Dance of Life is permitted and encouraged on Shabbat!)

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

The Joy of Achdus

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Now that the Daf Yomi cycle has reached Meseches Shabbos I’d like to take this opportunity to remind those who are participating in it that my son, Rabbi Meyer Maryles (pictured), will be giving on-line in depth daily Shiurim on the Daf on the website Shas Illuminated. If you want more out of a Blatt Gemarah than Pashut Peshat, this site is for you. Once you learn the Daf, listen to this Shiur. It will truly enhance the Daf Yomi experience. Speaking of Torah – it was just Shemini Atzeres, the last day of the holiday season. In Israel that day is combined with Simchas Torah. I celebrated that day here in Israel with my son and his family.

On Simchas Torah we complete the yearly reading cycle of the Torah by reading its final Parsha followed by beginning anew the reading of the very first section of Bereshis.The day is also marked by doing Hakafos, both at night and during the day. Men holding Sifrei Torah circle the Bima seven times in special song. That is the formality. But it doesn’t end there. There is spontaneous singing and dancing after each Hakafa by those holding the Sifrei Torah as well as most of the rest of the people in the Shul (or in a Yeshiva as the case may be).

This practice has expanded to massive proportions reflecting great joy on that day, by those who learn Torah and by all who adhere to its precepts. The joy and exuberance by religious Jews – young and old – in celebrating this event on this day is palpable.

It doesn’t matter to what segment of Orthodox Jewry one belongs. All segments celebrate this day with the same exuberance.

It is truly the Torah which unites us all, right to left. Those of us who participate in this event are sincere in our feelings of joy. It doesn’t matter if one is Charedi or MO; Chasidic or Yeshivish; Asheknazi or Sephardi; Mizrachi or Agudah. It is a true moment of Achdus for all. Jews all over the world are all dancing to the same tunes and for the same reasons.

When I get a bit fatigued at the amount of dancing, I remind myself of this very plain fact and it renews my hope for the future. With all the things that divide us, there is so much more that unites us. Achdus is what Simchas Torah is all about. At least for me.

We have concluded the holiday season. One that involves great intensity on religious matters. Beginning with the month of Elul and culminating well into Tishrei – almost two months of celebration which begins with solemnity and repentance and ends in a great joy. I like to think that the Achdus in which this season ends is a sign for us about what our goals as a people should be.

Visit the Emes Ve-Emunah blog.

Harry Maryles

A Torah

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The Torah is the holiest of books in the Jewish religion. The Torah is the first 5 books of the Bible – in English – Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, Deuteronomy…in Hebrew the names flow more easily, have more meaning. They are – Bereshit, Bamidbar, Shmot, Vayikra, Devarim.

The Jews and the Torah have a very unique and ancient history. The Torah is a gift that God gave to us thousands of years ago. It is something we as a people cherish. We stand when the Torah is taken from its resting place in the synagogue. We kiss it as it passes us. We stand as it is walked to a center table where it is read aloud, three times a a week and on holidays. We stand in respect, and in love – always in love.

On Simchat Torah – a holiday that translates as the “Happiness of the Torah” – we celebrate having successfully read the entire Torah over the space of a year. We dance with the Torah and sing. We gather our children and bless them before it – and then, having finally finished the very last word (which is the word “Israel”), we immediately start reading it again so that not a day goes by without there being more we have to read.

On this Simchat Torah, I sat with my mother and watched the men circling and dancing below. And I pointed to one Torah, smaller than the others and started to tell my mother its story. Unsure of some details, I turned to the women behind me and asked them to again tell me about it. These are the daughter-in-law and her sister of the man who owns the Torah, who saved it and brought it to my synagogue.

On November 9, 1933, the Nazis went on a rampage and burned synagogues, Torahs and holy books throughout Germany. They beat and murdered Jews – it was a national celebration of hatred that would herald more than a decade of agony and anti-semitism and culminate in the murders of more than 6 million Jews. It was called the Night of the Broken Glass – Kristallnacht – for all the broken windows and destruction. It should have been a signal to the world, had they only listened and in the deafening silence that resulted, it was a signal back to Hitler. Go ahead – murder your Jews, burn their holy Torah scrolls. Go ahead…and they did.

Yesterday, there were about 8 or 9 Torah scrolls around which the men in our synagogue were dancing. One was written a bit over a year ago in memory of a friend of mine and so I watched the men dance around Ziva’s Torah. Ziva was a beautiful and lively woman who died too young and as I watched her Torah circle below, I saw the beautiful woodwork on the edges of her Torah and smiled – she always had so much style.

But the one that caught my eye over and over again was the small Torah in the green velvet wrapping. The green material was a bit faded and looked very old. In 1933, that Torah had been in a synagogue in Germany when the Nazis came and set the building on fire. The roof collapsed the next day and it rained; the Torah scrolls in the synagogue were badly damaged. The elderly father who was in our synagogue for the holiday took the Torah scroll and tried to have it fixed but it was too badly damaged.

Most Torah scrolls are buried when they can no longer be used. This one could never be read again to a congregation to fulfill the commandment of reading the Torah out loud three times per week. It was taken to France and then, after the war, when the family came to Israel, the Torah came with them.

It is taken out each year, honored for its history – it survived the Nazis; today, they are long gone but the Torah remains. It is given a special honor – it leads the other Torah scrolls around as the men dance and circle and sing.

Seven hakafot – seven circles are made on the holiday – each circle taking long moments as everyone sings and dances. One of the circles was led by an elderly man who walks painfully slow. He is bent over and I cannot even begin to guess his age. He held his Torah, wrapped in the ancient green material and I watched as my mother’s eyes filled with tears.

Paula R. Stern

90,000-plus Crowd in NJ Cheers Siyum HaShas

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Some 90,000 people packed MetLife Stadium to celebrate the completion of the page-a-day Talmud cycle in the largest-ever Siyum HaShas.

The gathering Wednesday evening, which was simulcast to some 60 U.S. cities and more than 20 countries, marked the completion of the 7 1/2-year cycle it takes to complete the Talmud (known collectively as Shas) at the rate of a folio — two sides of a page — per day. The program, known as Daf Yomi, was begun by the late Rabbi Meir Shapiro in 1923, and the first siyum, or completion, was celebrated in Lublin, Poland, in 1930. This year’s siyum — the cycle technically ends Thursday — celebrated the completion of the 12th cycle since that time.

“Fortunate is the person who sees, who experiences, this great gathering,” said Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz, the emcee of the event. “Try to visualize the singing and dancing that’s going on right now in shamayim [heaven] watching tens of thousands celebrating the masechtos [tractates] they worked on so diligently!”

The stadium event consisted mostly of speeches in English and Yiddish and short video tributes, including to the late Jerome Schottenstein, to whom the event was dedicated and whose family sponsored the ArtScroll English translation of the Talmud. No women appeared onstage or on the videos, but several thousand women were seated in an upper tier of the stadium outfitted with curtains that were pulled closed during the prayer services that opened the event.

Rabbi Malkiel Kotler of the Beth Medrash Govoha, a yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J., taught the final section of the Talmud to the crowd. Once the ceremony was complete, the crowd erupted in thunderous singing and dancing.

The new Daf Yomi Talmud cycle begins Friday with page 2 (all Talmudic tractates begin on page 2) of Tractate Brachot.

JTA

Original Jewish Press Video: Beauty and Joy of Israel’s Heart – Jerusalem

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

The streets of Jerusalem on the special day commemorating the city’s reunification. A celebration of youthful energy, enthusiasm, and love of the Jewish homeland. Everyone is included and dancing together from all backgrounds in an overflowing expression of unity. Original footage 2012 shot by JewishPress.com’s Jerusalem based videographer Natan Epstein. Music by Shlomo Katz, “There Will Be Heard”. Shlomo is seen performing at the concert next to the kotel (Western Wall of the Temple Mount) at the end of the video below.

If you are wondering where all the women are at the Jerusalem Day celebration, you can see them in the video made last year at the event by the Jewish Press’s own Yishai and Malkah Fleisher who captured the ladies side of the festivities in 2011.

Yocheved Seidman

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/original-jewish-press-video-beauty-and-joy-of-israels-heart-jerusalem/2012/05/30/

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