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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘dancing’

Calendar Of Events

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

WHAT: Nefesh B’ Nefesh aliyah mega-event with information, resources & workshops all under one roof WHERE: Hilton Ft Lauderdale Airport 1870 Griffin Rd, Dania Beach WHEN: Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30 –10 p.m. CONTACT: www.nbn.org.il/megaevent 1-866-4-ALIYAH * * * * * WHAT: Jewish War Veterans of America Point East Post 698 monthly meeting. Speaker Carol M Brick-Turin, director of Jewish Community Relations Council, will explain the role of the JCRC in the community. Coffee social will follow. WHERE: Aventura Community and Recreation Center, 3375 NE 188th Street WHEN: March 26 at 7:30 p.m. CONTACT: 305-652-5233

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WHAT: Luncheon honoring Holocaust survivors: Na’amat Or and Mazal will be holding a luncheon honoring Edith Castoriano, Ruth Gold, Anita Karl, Basia Lederman, Ann Rosenheck and Annie Rotter. Book presentation by author Stanley Aaron Lebovic, “Black is a Color.” WHERE: Aventura Turnberry Beth-Jacob 20400 NE 30th Ave, Aventura WHEN: March 28 at 11 a.m. CONTACT: raquelrub@live.com or call 305-965-4779

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WHAT: Talent competition for South Florida Israel 64 Independence Day Celebration – grades 6-12. Acts may include: singing, acting, dancing and stand-up comedy. First place winner receives airline ticket to Israel on El Al Airlines.
WHERE: Michael-Ann Russell J.C.C., 18900 NE 25th Ave, North Miami Beach
WHEN: April 25th at 8 p.m.
CONTACT: Romina at 305-932-4200, extension 148

Shelley Benveniste

Jewish Black Youth Wins Third Irish Dance Competition

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

What’s a good Jewish Press Story for the Irish national day of beer and more beer? We’ve got one for you! It’s about Drew Lovejoy, 17, from Greenville, Ohio, who is the son of a black Baptist from Georgia and a white Jewish mother from Iowa. But his fame is international, after winning the all-Ireland dancing championship in Dublin for a third straight year.

According to the NY Times, Drew has been dancing since the age of six, but neither he, nor his mother, can remember when he first became interested in Irish dance. It certainly had something to do with the musicals he’d been watching, also since age six.

Later, when Drew watched his first Irish dance competition in Indianapolis, he found the part tap, part ballet dancing irresistible.

But his mother, Andee Goldberg, didn’t think it was possible for him to become part of the Irish dance world. “You’re biracial and you’re a Jew,” she told him, and she later admitted, “We thought you had to be Irish and Catholic.”

Nevertheless, in 2010 Drew became the first person of color to win the World Championships.

Drew Lovejoy is so driven that he once danced an entire competition on seven broken toes. Dedication!

Yori Yanover

Jerusalem Court Releases Jewish Activists Charged with Surveilling IDF to House Arrest

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Jerusalem District Court ordered five Jewish activists to house arrest, two days after being indicted for tracking the IDF in Judea and Samaria in an attempt to foil the evacuation and demolition of outposts.

Attorneys from Hanenu, an NGO that provides legal representation to the activists, said that the individuals were involved in a legitimate protest and that no justification existed to incarcerate them. The presiding judge agreed, writing that “the defendants’ actions do not present a high level of danger . . . The indictment shows that the majority of their activities, beyond intelligence collection, centered around non-violent protests in areas patrolled by the military, including singing songs, dancing, and telling soldiers the actions they must take.”

The Jerusalem District Prosecutor’s Office plans to appeal the decision before the Supreme Court.

Jewish Press Staff

Echoing Vishniak: Ahron Weiner’s Photographic Pilgrimages to Uman

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Next Year in Uman: A Journey to the Ukraine


Photographs by Ahron D. Weiner


Through August 15, 2011


The Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Congregation Rodeph Shalom


615 North Broad Street, Philadelphia



 

 


At first glance, the chassid in Ahron Weiner’s “In Memorial” looks like he may be wearing an earring on his right ear, which is framed by his dark brown side curl. Further inspection reveals the ear is in silhouette, and the “earring” is indeed white light cast by one of the many memorial candles he contemplates – tributes to the tens of thousands of Jews of Uman murdered in the 18th century and nearly two centuries later by the Nazis.

 

The ear of the chassidic man with the white knitted kippa is not literally pierced, but it might as well be. The photograph is one of 29 by Hewlett, N.Y.-based artist Weiner, who first visited Uman, the central Ukrainian city and burial place of chasidic master Rabi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), with his father in 2004. Weiner, who was raised modern orthodox and “borderline yeshivish,” says he was a teenager when his father took an interest in Rabi Nachman’s teachings and traveled to Uman twice in the 1990s.

 

            

 


In Memorial. Ahron Weiner. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

        A lover of travel and curious to see what the Umani scene was like, Weiner agreed to accompany his father in 2004. “The experience was nice,” he says. “I didn’t think I was planning to go back until I developed my film and saw images that echoed what Vishniak shot in his travels across pre-war Eastern Europe.” He returned for Rosh Hashanah pilgrimages for the next five years and documented his trips. Weiner’s gallery titled “Next Year in Uman: A Journey to the Ukraine” on his website contains 129 photographs.

 

Weiner has described the pilgrimage experience as “”Mount Sinai meets Woodstock,” and his photographs corroborate that characterization.

 

           “Overhead” shows about 75 people packed into the picture frame like sardines. Umani pilgrimages, it would seem, are not for the claustrophobic. But they are for just about any other type of person, as Weiner explained to Ezra Glinter and Nate Lavey of the Forward. In the picture, Weiner said, all sorts of Jews can be found, from those wearing black hats to baseball caps to those with bare heads. (One has to take his word for it; everyone in the photograph seems to have at least some kind of head covering.)

 

 

 


Overhead. Ahron Weiner. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

Weiner’s perspective, quite literally and figuratively, is laden with religious meaning. Some of his bird’s-eye-perspective photographs were taken from an enclosure meant to keep Kohanim safely away from tombstones. Weiner and his camera were peering out from a space reserved to keep priests holy into places of death and sad memories. Talk about echoing the works of Roman Vishniac!

 

He also framed the project with a quote from Rabi Nachman, said to have been delivered on his deathbed. “Whoever comes to my gravesite [in Uman], recites the 10 Psalms and gives even as little as a penny to charity,” he translated the chasidic sage, “then, no matter how serious his sins may be, I will do everything in my power – spanning the length and breadth of creation – to cleanse and protect him. By his very payos [sidelocks], I will pull him out of hell!”

 

 


Pastoral. Ahron Weiner. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

“This promise has since echoed throughout the generations, compelling tens of thousands of Jewish men from every continent except Antarctica to leave their wives and children and undertake a costly, difficult, annual pilgrimage to Uman,” he writes.


If “Pastoral” is any indication, those men encounter stunning scenery. But as the men and boys lounge on the riverbank and glide in a rowboat, there is an ominous reminder that the Jewish presence in Uman has not always been a joyous one. A young boy on the far left holds a toy gun, and faux weapons can be found in other photographs in the series.

 

Weiner explains that it’s a Breslov custom for fathers to bring their young sons. “The Ukrainians sell lots of plastic toy guns, so yes, there are lots and lots of kids running around with plastic replica guns, shooting plastic BBs at each other,” he says. “All in good fun.”

 

“Dance” is certainly an image that is all fun, however intense the dancers’ gaze is. Four men lock hands and dance, though it’s worth noting the asymmetry of their dance. One dancer holds a prayer book in his hand, which sets the tone for the other dancers – more of a single file chain than a circle. The fourth man might not even be dancing.

 

 


Dance. Ahron Weiner. Courtesy of the artist.

 

 

Though the dancers’ movements are blurred, the shadows they cast are clear. One gets the sense that what Weiner is after – and perhaps all the pilgrims too – lies in shadows rather than solid form.

 

William Rimmer’s gorgeous and troubling painting, Flight and Pursuit (1872), which is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, shows a man with a cloak and dagger running through what the MFA website describes as “shadowy and mysterious labyrinth of a chimerical Near Eastern temple or palace.” Although it initially appears as if the man is fleeing his reflection (which appears in the middle of the canvas), there is a large and ominous shadow cast by a form outside the picture frame. One shadow is chasing a second shadow which is chasing a man.

 

The same formula might work for Weiner’s Uman. The shadows in “Dance” are sharper than the dancing figures, and the same is true of other photographs in the series. For the period of high holidays, tens of thousands of Jews descend on a land of shadows. Like Vishniac, Weiner has done a masterful job of negotiating the boundary where the shadows end and the people begin. Often, it seems, the shadows are cast by such monumental sources that they seem to take on a life of their own, and promise to outlive those who cast them.

 

 


Menachem Wecker, who blogs on faith and art for the Houston Chronicle at http://blogs.chron.com/iconia, welcomes comments at mwecker@gmail.com.

Menachem Wecker

The Blessing In The Candles

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

It was erev Simchas Torah and I had just lit my Yom Tov candles. I was rushing to go to hakafos (dancing with the Torah) at my local shul.

Suddenly, there was a loud knock. Opening the door, I found a young friend, his wife, and several children waiting to be invited in. As they entered, I realized that there was only one dim light in the house emanating from a small lamp in the kitchen. Conditions were certainly not optimum for company. Moreover, I did not want to be late for shul.

I mumbled embarrassedly that I was on the way out, and they understood and turned to leave. That is, all except their oldest daughter, an adorable 18-year-old tzadeikes. She stood still, staring pensively at the candles burning brightly in the dining room.

She and I stood together for a few moments, staring quietly at the flickering flames. Then, she turned to leave and softly said, “Your candles are so beautiful.”

As she descended the front steps, she met her friend on her way to shul. That shul was in the opposite direction of the shul her family was heading towards. The friend convinced her to join her.

At the friend’s shul, a young man noticed the young woman and inquired about her. He discovered that their families knew each other from the Yeshiva world.

This lovely couple announced their engagement on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan!

The candles we light on Shabbos, Yom Tov and Chanukah shed a miraculous light into a world of chaos, confusion and darkness. The glow of these candles impacts every life.

I am looking forward to this wedding with special excitement because there is something miraculous about this couple’s meeting. If this young lady had left my house immediately with her family and had not stopped to gaze at the holy candles, she would not have met the friend who guided her to her chassan.

Of course Hashem orchestrated the meeting. May He always guide us and light our paths with success, happiness, good health, and parnassa, as we continue to light our candles of blessings.

Alice Gorenstein

A Spiritual Night In Hebron

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Israel is a magical country, but to experience one of its greatest wonders you have to travel out to what the world calls the West Bank and the Bible calls Judea and Samaria.
 
There, its crown jewel is the city of Hebron, first capital city of the Jewish people and where its patriarchs and matriarchs are buried.
 

   Many Jewish and Christian tourists to Israel skip Hebron, declaring it too dangerous, and indeed four Israelis, including a pregnant woman, were killed there just a few weeks ago with another two shot last week. But terrorists dare not determine whether my children and I make pilgrimages to Judaism’s holiest sites; besides, terrorists incidents have declined dramatically and the city, comparatively speaking, is safe.

The first thing you discover about the residents of Hebron, whom the world derisively describes as settlers – as if Jews living in their own ancient capital are newcomers – is their warmth, friendliness, and hospitality. I arrived with twenty guests and our host, a wise and dedicated communal activist named Yigal, prepared a feast fit for a king. We ate in his sukkah surrounded by a tranquility and quiet that I, in my busy life, rarely experience. The night air was cool and enervating.

All around us children were playing, utterly carefree, on pristine playgrounds. So many Jews in Hebron have been killed in terror attacks over the years. Yet the residents in general, and the children in particular, live unafraid. They are also liberated from hatred. When their friends die they mourn them, bury them, commemorate them, and get on with their lives.

For nearly a thousand years, the Islamic rulers of the Holy Land forbade Jews from entering the Cave of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, allowing them to climb only seven steps into the tomb but beating them mercilessly if they rose any higher. When Israel liberated it in 1967, Jewish pilgrims came to Hebron swearing never again to be separated from their origin. Even amid the worst terror attacks, property values in Hebron and Kiryat Arba never decline. There are no fluctuations in the commitment to pray by the graves of those who gave the world monotheism.

Yet these residents have been demonized by the entire world. They face daily character assassination in the media by those who would decry their simple desire to walk in the footsteps of Abraham. World leaders regularly engage in extreme defamation of families whose only wish it is to raise their children in the Judean hills of King David. President Obama rises at the United Nations and calls for a further moratorium on building in the settlements, as if it’s a crime for peaceful people to have children and add rooms to warm and hospitable homes that welcome innumerable guests.

Worse, my Israeli friends in Tel Aviv tell me they hate the “settlers” because their children are forced to “defend a bunch of fanatics who live surrounded by 100,000 Arabs.”

I quickly remind them that, first, the residents of Hebron themselves serve in elite combat units of the Israeli military; second, if a nation can’t hold fast to the tomb of its ancestors (and remember that the tomb in its present form was constructed by King Herod 2,000 years ago from the very same stone as the Kotel) then it scarcely deserves to call itself a people; third, I know many Jews, particularly in Britain, who wonder why they should have to defend and raise money for the six million Jews who have “settled” in Israel proper, surrounded as they are by half a billion Arabs; and, finally, if we give up Hebron, as we discovered with Gush Katif and Sderot, we bring hostile forces to bear directly on Jerusalem.

It is not the deeply spiritual residents of Hebron who threaten peace but the death-groupies of Hizbullah and Hamas, who seek to make all Israel Judenrein.

   Just a few yards from the spot where Shalhevet Pass, a ten-month-old Israeli infant, was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper while sitting in her stroller in March, 2001, I danced with my children to celebrate the festival of Sukkot.

The streets of Hebron were alive with joyous residents dancing to the music of a mystical band whose flowing locks and mesmerizing music set my soul alight. I was electrified to be dancing in a city that in 1929 saw the massacre of 67 Jews and the destruction of nearly all synagogues and Jewish buildings.

We American Jews live with so many infantile worries, like our fear of not being able to keep up with the Joneses or suffering a decline in our standard of living during this recession. But dancing in Hebron I felt liberated, free of fear, and deeply grateful to the residents who live without material extravagance and who taught me that even in a place of stress and danger one can find inner tranquility and peace.

 

 

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is the bestselling author of 23 books (his latest is “Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life”) and founder of This World: The Values Network.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/02/09

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Dear Rachel,

My story is different than most (since I am not writing to complain about something or someone), but the moral may be worth sharing with your readers nonetheless.

I live in a bustling, large yet tight-knit chassidic community where, Baruch Hashem, multiple smachos are celebrated on just about every night of the week.

Needless to say, it would be impossible to attend each one that I am invited to, so my longstanding habit has been to just stop by to convey my mazel tov to the ba’alei simcha, and if my timing is right, to kick up my heels for a dance or two. I suspect that this works well not only for me but for the hosts as well, since the cost of feeding many guests at a simcha can be exorbitant.

Of course when it is a close family member, I am prepared to stay the duration.

Well, the other day I dropped in at the wedding of a friend’s daughter. This wedding was particularly moving since this friend has been widowed for several years now and has single-handedly been raising her several children.

As I looked around me, I saw the kallah’s siblings – younger sisters – all prettied up for the occasion, but with faces that betrayed an inner sadness. After dancing with the kallah, I took turns partnering with each young girl, twirling them around the dance floor in beat to the lively music.

Just before I was ready to leave, a long-time acquaintance approached me and paid me the ultimate tribute. She had been watching me and was impressed with the way I danced. It wasn’t so much my dancing expertise or style that she was taken with, she explained, but the feeling of genuineness – even as my feet were flying in tune to the accompanying musical rhythm, she recognized that it was my heart that was soaring.

Naturally I came away from that affair with a good feeling, which was nothing compared to the emotions that washed through me when I passed the somewhat reserved 11-year old sister of the kallah on the street later that week. She stopped to thank me for “uplifting” her at her sister’s wedding – literally and figuratively. She sweetly expressed her gratitude for my personal attention and participation.

I felt a need to contact the woman who had praised me at that simcha, to share with her this special encounter and the unexpected demonstration of appreciation that had so deeply touched me.

“If I may I ask you something personal ” remarked this woman (aged 30-something). “Were you always into dancing, even as a child ?”

Her question threw me… I realized that dancing was not only never one of my strong points, but that I had always been quite clumsy on my feet, as were my siblings who had always kibitzed about us all having “left feet.”

To this revelation the woman commented, “Well, it would seem then that your wonderful dancing ability is a gift from Hashem Who has perceived your true intentions by seeing straight through to your heart ”

Believe it or not, Rachel, I do not write this to pat myself on the back, but rather to express my amazement at this young woman’s way of thinking. In this day of materialism and competitiveness, when most of what is written concerns our worries over where this generation is headed, I think it is important to be aware that there are clear-headed, serious-minded individuals in our midst who are not only grounded but are constantly aware that there is a G-d watching us and guiding us.

Thank you for stressing this very point time and time again in your column and for letting us, your devoted readers, have our say.

It’s the heart of it that counts

Dear Heart,

Thank you for uplifting us with a truly heartwarming story and its multiple messages.

Kudos to you! It is indeed a mitzvah to be m’sameach chassan v’kallah and you not only seem to know it, but are doing a marvelous job in performing it. Yours is furthermore a lesson in how much one individual can accomplish all by herself, time and time again. How many of us are truly mindful of the mitzvos that are right there in front of us for the taking?

Your friend’s observation is profound, though the premise is certainly not new. We are taught, “B’derech she’adam rotzeh leileich molichin oso ” – the way a person wants to go is the way Hashem will lead him.

Shlomo HaMelech, in Koheles, writes that there is a time for everything, including “a time of dancing” (eis rikud). Why didn’t he state “l’rikud” – a time to dance, like where it says “a time to love and a time to hate, etc.?”

The Imrei Emes explains that when it comes to being mesameach chassan v’kallah, there is no deliberate forethought to dance – rather, as the heart is overcome with feelings of joy, the feet lift themselves off the floor of their own accord, and that is what is meant by “a time of dancing.”

May the merits of our ma’asim tovim (good deeds) speak volumes on our behalf and drown out our shortcomings as we beseech our Father above to take pity on His children and grant us a year filled with simcha and the health and wherewithal to delight in His beneficence.

Wishing all our readers and Klal Yisroel a sweet, mitzvah-filled and inspiring Sukkos!

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We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

Rachel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-196/2009/09/30/

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