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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘family’

Freida Sima’s Family And The Holocaust

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the ninth installment of a multipart series on the life and times of the author’s grandmother, Freida Sima, who as a young woman came to America on her own in the early 1900s and made her way in a new country. The eighth part (“Freida Sima Goes to War”) appeared as the front-page essay in the May 13 issue; part ten will run in July.

 

While Freida Sima and her extended New York family lived through the war years worrying about the family in Europe and their own sons fighting in the American army, the Enzenbergs (as the Eisenberg family was called in Europe) were going through very different travails. This month we tell the story of Freida Sima’s parents, brothers, and sisters in the Bukovina, and what they experienced during the war.

Fifty years after the war’s end, Sheindl, the youngest Enzenberg, recalled how the family was deported from Mihowa:

“There was a man in Mihowa who we used to go to for paskening shailos [determining religious matters], Berel Surkis. When we left Mihowa every transport was accompanied by thunder and lightning like the heavens were crying. Berel Surkis went with us. I said, ‘Reb Berel, what are they doing to us?’ And he answered, ‘Sheindeleh, this way will take us to Eretz Yisrael, but it will take a very, very long time, and a very sad time.’ I asked ‘Where is God?’ and he answered again, ‘This way will bring us to Eretz Yisrael, but it will be very shver [difficult].’ How could he know already then? But he did.”

Only years after the war’s end did Freida Sima learn the details of what the family in Europe endured during the Holocaust. Initially, she and her brothers read the bare facts in family letters from Romania. The full stories were shared only later. Sheindl eventually left a recorded testimony of her experiences. Other accounts were pieced together over time.

* * * * *

In August 1939, Freida Sima’s parents, Nachman and Devorah, were living alone on the farm while the rest of the family was scattered throughout the Bukovina. Marium and Feivel lived in Mihowa. Sheindl, Shaja, and their daughter lived in Behromet, an hour away. The two newlywed couples, Leibush and Frieda and Elish and Lola, lived in Czernowitz, as did Srul, Anna, and their son, along with Tuleh, the last unmarried Enzenberg.

All the Enzenberg men other than Elish, an accountant, worked in wood-related professions they had learned from Nachman.

Even before the war, the Romanian nationalists had shown their colors, forbidding any language but Romanian to be spoken in public. During the first few months of the war Romanian officers entered the villages, billeting themselves where they wished. While the women continued with their lives, men were taken to forced labor before eventually being sent back. “You didn’t know which world it was, you didn’t know what to think,” recalled Sheindl. “And then all of a sudden, the yeshia [salvation] came – the Russians.”

In June 1940 Northern Bukovina was ceded to the Soviet Union. Considered “productive,” Nachman was allowed to continue working his farm. He hoped his good relations with the local peasants who had worked with him on the farm and had used his well – the only one in the area – would hold him in good stead.

Nothing would last. In 1941, as some of the Eisenbergs in New York were moving from the Bronx to Washington Heights in Manhattan, the Enzenbergs of the Bukovina were also moving – not by choice but due to forced conscription or deportation.

Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz

Knesset Extends Law Limiting Arab Family Reunification in Israel

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The Knesset plenum on Monday extended by a year an emergency provision that restricts the ability of residents of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to automatically gain legal status in Israel under the Family Reunification Law.

The Family Reunification Law grants automatic legal status to foreign nationals who marry Israeli citizens. The provision to the law, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, was first enacted in 2003 at the height of the Second Intifada. While the Supreme Court banned the provision from being permanently added, the Knesset has voted to extend the temporary act as an emergency measure every year since 2004.

Sixty-five MKs voted in favor of extending the provision until June 20, 2017, while 14 opposed.

“In the war against terror there is no one switch that stops all the attacks; there are a number of switches, and one of them is the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which was enacted in 2003 during the Second Intifada, when hundreds of Israelis were murdered and thousands more were injured in terror attacks,” said MK Avi Dichter (Likud), chairman of the joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Internal Affairs Committee, which discussed the various aspects of the provision.

“One way of dealing with this is self-flagellation, which has become popular as of late,” Dichter continued. “There are those who say we treat the Arabs as an inferior race and compare us to Nazi Germany. A mayor became a star on Al-Jazeera when he said the terror attack in Tel Aviv was the result of the occupation. A ‘we apologize for winning’ attitude has been created here. The other way is to understand that the barrel of terror has a bottom. There are ways to fight terror, and this law is one of them.”

Ahead of this year’s vote to extend the act, the joint committee heard testimony from experts and security officials on the effects of the provision.

A representative of the Shin Bet internal security service said those seeking reunification with family members in Israel pose a security risk due to the possibility that they will be used to carry out terror attacks or engage in espionage. According to the Shin Bet, 104 citizens or legal residents who had been brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law had committed acts of terrorism from 2001 to 2016. Of those 104, 17 had married Israeli citizens, while 87 were relatives of those who had married Israelis.

The Shin Bet official also noted that residents brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law were playing an increasing role in terrorism. He noted that 73% of terrorists with Israeli citizenship who had committed acts of terror against Israelis since the beginning of the terror wave last September were brought in as part of family reunification.

Of the 104 terrorists who entered Israel in this manner, 30 had committed terror attacks over the past nine months. He also noted they were responsible for 13% of all terror attacks in the recent terror wave.

During Monday’s plenary debate, MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) called the law “the most racist in the Israeli book of laws,” and said the statistics presented to the joint committee were misleading because residents of eastern Jerusalem who took part in terror attacks over the past year have nothing to do with family reunification. “In practice, barely one out of every 1,000 people who carried out terror attacks since 2003 are living here by virtue of family reunification,” Sa’adi told the plenum.

JNi.Media

Revealed: 10% of 2015 Attacks Perpetrated by Arabs-Turned-Israeli Via Family Reunification Law

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

A Joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Internal Affairs and Environment Committees, headed by MK Avi Dichter (Likud), on Wednesday recommended that the Knesset plenum extend by another year the emergency provision in Israel’s Family Unification Law.

The provision, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which was first enacted in 2003 at the height of the Second Intifada, restricts the ability of residents of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, the West Bank and Gaza Strip to automatically gain legal status in Israel under the Family Reunification Law.

The Family Reunification Law grants automatic legal status to foreign nationals who marry Israeli citizens.

The provision has been the subject of a tireless match of wills between the Supreme Court, which prohibited making the provision permanent, and the Knesset, which has voted to extend the temporary act as an emergency measure every year since 2004.

Ahead of this year’s vote to extend the act, the joint committee heard testimony from experts and security officials on the effects of the provision.

A representative of the Shin Bet internal security service (Shabak) testified that those seeking reunification with family members in Israel pose a security risk due to the possibility that they would be used to carry out terror attacks or engage in espionage. According to the Shin Bet, 104 citizens or legal residents allowed into Israel under the Family Reunification Law have committed crimes of terrorism from 2001 to 2016. Of those 104, 17 had married Israeli citizens, while 87 were relatives of individuals who had married Israelis.

The Shin Bet official also noted that Arabs joining Israeli society under the Family Reunification Law were playing an increasingly vital role in terrorism. He noted that 73% of terrorists with Israeli citizenship who had committed acts of terror against Israelis since the beginning of the terror wave last September were beneficiaries of family reunification.

Of the 104 terrorists who entered Israel last year, 30 have engaged in terror attacks over the past nine months, the Shabak official said.. He also noted that they were responsible for 13% of all attacks in the recent terror wave.

Attorney Noam Kehan told the joint committee that more than 12,500 people have applied for legal status under the Family Reunification Law.

Attorney Tal Hassin of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel said the procedure in which the temporary act is extended is “improper” and “harms tens of thousands of men, women and children whose only ‘sin’ is that they are Palestinian and are therefore viewed as a security threat.”

MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List) said “no one is claiming that [those who applied for legal residency status] were themselves involved in activities aimed at harming the security of the state. There is not even one case. How is the Shin Bet’s argument different from the approach of [MK Bezalel] Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi)? The sons who are born are likely to carry a rifle and carry out a terror attack? This proves that the law is not based on any security-related concern. It is only implemented because you view a love story of a Palestinian couple as a plot against state security.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud) said, “The citizens of Israel have a right to live in security. This is not an arbitrary decision, and the cases speak for themselves. We are in favor of love stories, but if everyone claims there is apartheid [here], why do they want to move the center of their lives [to Israel]? These people can be easily influenced, and they have no real connection or commitment to the country.”

JNi.Media

Family of Bezeq Terrorist’s Victim Suing Company [video]

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

About half a year after the ramming and stabbing murder of Rabbi Isaiah Krishevsky by an Arab employee of the telecommunications company Bezeq on Malchei Israel Street in Jerusalem, on Wednesday the victim’s son filed a million dollar lawsuit against the company, which owned the car the terrorist used to perpetrate the murder, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

The plaintiff argues that Bezeq is responsible for the murder, because one year before the attack its employee was interviewed by the news website Ynet and praised his cousins who had committed the massacre of Jews at the B’nei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, Jerusalem. The Bezeq employee also called on Arabs to carry out similar attacks.

The plaintiff says Bezeq was obligated to fire its employee following the interview, and that in any event keeping him on the company payroll constitutes a default on the part of the company.

According to Bezeq, they were not aware of their employee’s interview, and so did not have a reasonable means of anticipating his behavior.

David Israel

A Family Holiday: Happy Birthday Israel

Monday, May 9th, 2016

At the end of every Shabbat, Eliyahu the Prophet sits under the Tree of Life and inscribes the merits of Israel — Medrash

If you’ve been watching the news, listening to the radio or keeping up with your Facebook or Twitter, you’ve surely noticed that the world is not a very friendly place. In fact, it can be downright daunting.

Nonetheless, recent polls have shown that the vast majority of Israelis (84% of those polled) are not only among the world’s most frequent and vivacious complainers (we tend to complain non-stop just about everything), but are also among the happiest and most satisfied people in the world. Our “happiness quota” places us 11th in the Western world, much higher than the U.S. and other leading countries. We seem to feel (after we’ve finished complaining, of course) that despite all the dreadful things there are to complain about, this is a great country to live in.

How does one explain this strange phenomenon?

Some of our kids have a simple explanation. “Obviously,” they say, “things aren’t so bad here after all. In fact, they’re pretty good.” They prove the point with a simple new minhag they’ve adopted.

Every Saturday night, immediately after Havdalla and before anyone runs off to turn on his phone or start his weekday activities, each family member relates one good thing he saw, heard or took part in during the week. Here’s what my grandson had to say:

“I’ll often ask people to relate something nice that happened to them during the week. They’ll respond with ‘Hmm… I can’t think of anything.’ But how could that be? An entire week went by without one single good memory? Didn’t anyone smile at you on the bus? Or help you out? Or return a lost object? Didn’t anyone do you, or someone else, a favor?

“Noticing nice things is like exercising a muscle. We’re so busy running around that we don’t take time to see what’s actually happening. If only we’d pay attention, we’d see that the world is full of good people. And the more we get in the habit of developing an ayin tova – a good eye like Avraham Avinu – the better the world looks and the less cynical we become.

“Some people,” continued my grandson, “think being more observant just means you’ll see more things to aggravate you. But it’s not true. We have to concentrate on the good. And there’s so much of it! From individuals, from organized groups, and from the government.”

Here are a few stories I’ve personally heard.

A fellow arrived at an emergency aid station and had to be transferred immediately to a hospital. But he insisted he needed to go home first to get some money. The paramedic handed him fifty shekel as a gift from her own pocket and sent him to the hospital. When he was released, he came back to the station three times until he found the paramedic and returned her money.

A boy left a pair of expensive new Tefillin in a taxi in Eilat. They were a gift from his grandfather. His name was in the bag, but not his address or phone number and he didn’t know the number of the cab or the name of the driver. Three weeks later, he received a call. The cab driver found the Tefillin and waited for a passenger going to Jerusalem. The passenger brought them back and called all the same family names in the Jerusalem telephone directory until he found the boy’s family. He refused to take any payment for returning the Tefillin. He himself was not a religious man.

Yaffa Ganz

Family of German Jewish Victim Suing Israel Museum over ‘Birds’ Head Haggadah’

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The descendants of a German Jewish lawyer and member of parliament who was murdered by the Nazis in 1934, are demanding the return of his possession, the 13th century colorfully illustrated “Birds’ Head Haggadah,” which is part of the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The heirs are asking for “less than $10 million” for the rare work, whose market value is several times that amount. The heirs do not wish to remove the Haggadah from the museum.

The so-called “Birds’ Head Haggadah,” a work in pen, ink and tempera on parchment by the scribe Menahem, gets its name from the images in the manuscript, where the human figures are depicted as having birds’ heads with beaks for mouths. Some figures also have pointed animal ears. All the men wear the compulsory conical “Jew’s hat,” imposed on the Jews of Germany in 1215.

According to The Art Newspaper, the Birds’ Head Haggadah used to belong to Ludwig Marum, a lawyer from Karlsruhe, Germany, who was a member of the anti-Nazi Social Democratic Party and served in the Reichstag from 1928 until 1933. He was arrested and sent to the Kislau concentration camp, where he was murdered in 1934 (his death was reported as a suicide). Marum’s children fled Germany shortly thereafter.

In 1946, Herman Kahn, a Jewish refugee from Karlsruhe, sold the Birds’ Head Haggadah for $600 to the National Bezalel Museum (later part of the Israel Museum). No one knows how Kahn got hold of the work. The manuscript was reproduced in a catalogue, with a note that it was “in the possession” of the Marum family before the war. But the museum display does not offer a similar acknowledgement.

Marum’s daughter, Elisabeth Lunau, visited the Israel Museum in 1984 and saw the manuscript on permanent display there. She sent a letter to the museum’s curator of Judaica, arguing that the Haggadah had been sold without the family’s consent and demanded that the “rightful owners” be recognized in the display. She wrote: “The family Marum, however, thought the Haggadah should remain in the Israel Museum for the benefit of the public.”

According to TAN, the family’s attorney handling the lawsuit is E. Randol Schoenberg, who in 2006 helped Maria Altmann successfully recover paintings by Gustav Klimt, including, most notably, “Woman in Gold,” from the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.

JNi.Media

Mazal Tov to 65-Year-old Mother of ‘Illegal’ Baby

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

A 65-year-old Bnei Brak woman has given birth to her first child after being impregnated by in-vitro fertilization outside of Israel, where the process is illegal beyond the age of 54.

The Chassidic woman, Hana Shahar, and her unnamed 5.9-pound baby boy are doing fine after a Caesarean section operation at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv.

Shahar has been childless during her 46-year-old marriage.

She is the second-oldest woman ever to have give birth, two years younger than a Spanish woman who gave birth shortly before she was 67.

Statistically, the dangers from pregnancy increase dramatically when a woman approaches the age of 50, but some women in the 50s have been able to give birth without problems.

Hana Shahar and her husband obviously are overjoyed.

The baby, God willing, will be named at the Brit circumcision next week.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mazal-tov-to-65-year-old-mother-of-illegal-baby/2015/05/19/

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