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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘February’

Lubavitch Going to Federal Court on Connecticut Synagogue Application Denial

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

The Hartford Courant reports that Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County has filed notice in federal court appealing a federal judge’s dismissal in February of its lawsuit. Chabad claimed it was the victim of religious discrimination when the Borough of Litchfield, the Borough’s Historic District Commission and others denied the application to build a synagogue and community center near the green on West Street in Litchfield.

Chabad has been fighting for years to expand on the 140-year old, Victorian brick home it purchased in 2006 at 85 West Street, known as the Deming House, which was rezoned from residential to commercial in 1971.

Chabad wants to remodel and add to the home, to create a synaguge, a beis medrash, a preschool, and libraries, as well as housing for Rabbi Joseph Eisenbach and his family and a guest apartment.

Litchfield and Chabad disagree on the size of the proposed project, as well as whether it would fit with the character of other buildings around the green – and the reader is invited to give his/her own interpretation to the meaning of “fit with the character.”

Arab Youths Confessed to Spraying ‘Death to Arabs’

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Two boys from the Arab village of Beit Zarzir were arrested and admitted that they had been the ones who sprayed swastikas and “Death to Arabs” on the walls of their school. They also said they broke the school warehouse and smashed windows.

The two were released after interrogation house arrest.

The school, which caters to Jewish and Arab students who are studying together, is situated on the borderline separating the Jewish neighborhood of Katamon and the Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. It was sprayed twice in February with the slogans “price tag,” “Death to Arabs,” “Holocaust to the Arabs” and “Kahane was right.”

All Time Record High for Israel Tourism in February

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The month of February 2012 has broken records in the tourism industry in Israel, with 232,000 visitor arrivals, 6% more than the same month last year, and an increase of 4% compared to February 2010, which marked the previous record. Out of 232,000 arrivals, 200,000 were tourist entries, another all-time record high.

Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov stated: “The increased momentum of tourism to Israel is the result of focused and intensive international marketing activity in spite of regional turmoil and the ongoing economic crisis in Europe.”

The Ministry of Tourism has been pushing travel to Israel in new markets such as China, India, South Korea, Russia and South America.

Since the beginning of the year 388,900 tourists have arrived in Israel, similar to 2011, when 388,500 tourists arrived.

According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, there is a stable trend in flights to Israel. In the month of February there were 172,000 arrivals by air, 1% less than in February 2011. Of those flights, 6,400 tourists flew directly to Eilat and Ovda. Since the beginning of the year, 329,000 tourists have arrived by air, 1% more than January – February 2011.

Air Strikes in Yemen Kill 45 Al-Qaida Terrorists

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Reuters reports that on Saturday the U S drone attacks killed at least 25 al-Qaida fighters, including one commander, while a Yemeni air force raid killed 20 more in the south, sources said on Saturday. These were the biggest air strikes since Yemen’s new president took office.

Al-Qaida forces have increased their operations in southern Yemen while the country was in political turmoil during months of turmoil, anticipating the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was replaced in a February election by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Two al-Qaida fighters were killed late Friday while attempting to set off a bomb at a security checkpoint near the town of Mudiyah in the southern province of Abyan.

Q & A: Yotzrot (Part II)

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Question: I read The Jewish Press’s Luach of February 17 with much interest. You write, “We daven Shacharis as usual.” I find it difficult to understand why you don’t mention reciting the special yotzrot for Parshat Shekolim. Are yotzrot a relic of history? I’m a senior citizen who remembers saying yotzrot as a child. But now, they seem to have disappeared from Orthodox synagogues.

Milton M. Adler
Cherry Hill, NJ

Answer: Yotzrot (often referred to generically as piyutim) have disappeared from many, but not all, congregations. Rabbi Yosef Grossman (in Otzar Erchei HaYahadut, ot peh, 377) defines piyutim as prayers, poetic refrains, or sanctified songs written by venerable authors (beginning with geonim in Babylonia) and added as optional additions to the liturgy for special occasions. Many of these authors served as shluchei tzibbur themselves and were capable of effecting a unique spiritual arousal on the part of the congregation. Piyutim include words of rebuke, reproof, and lamentations and yearning regarding the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Divine Presence. We continue our answer with more information from Rabbi Grossman’s work.

* * * * *

One of the earliest (and most famous) paytanim is Yosi b. Yosi, whose compositions have found their way into the Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayers. Also well known are the compositions of Yanai and his disciple Rabbi Eliezer HaKalir, who is considered one of the “fathers” of Jewish liturgical poets.

In the Middle Ages, liturgical poetry reached the height of its development in both Sefarad – Spain, North Africa, and the oriental lands – and Ashkenaz – Germany, France, and other European lands. Among the liturgical composers in Spain were Rabbi Shlomo ibn Gabirol, Rabbi Moshe ibn Ezra, known as “Ha’Salach,” and Rabbi Yehudah Ha’Levi. Famous liturgical composers in Ashkenazic lands included Rabbenu Gershom Me’or Ha’golah, Rashi, and Rabbenu Tam.

Yemen also possessed many composers, the greatest of which was Rabbi Shalom Shabazzi. Yet, for the most part, piyutim were generally more accepted (and included in the liturgy) in Ashkenazic lands than in the Sefardic lands.

With the passing of time, more compositions were added from the works of such able composers as Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz (the author of “Lecha Dodi”) and Rabbi Yisrael Nidgara (the author of “Kah Ribon Alam V’almaya”).

Piyutim are at times referred to by more specific names. As delineated by Rabbi Grossman at the conclusion of his discussion in Otzar Erchei HaYahadus, they are:

Yotzrotpiyutim accompanying the blessing of “yotzer or” in birkat Kriat Shema.

These are added to the liturgy during the Days of Awe and on specific Shabbatot.

Ofanim – piyutim recited before “ha’ofanim v’chayot ha’kodesh,” also found in birkat Kriat Shema of Shacharit.

Zulatotpiyutim recited before ezrat avoteinu after Kriat Shema.

Geulotpiyutim recited right before the blessing ga’al yisrael.

Avodahpiyutim accompanying the Avodah service of Yom Kippur.

Ma’aravitpiyutim especially composed to accompany the Ma’ariv service of festivals.

Havdalotpiyutim for Motza’ei Shabbat (traditionally sung at Melave Malka).

Hoshanotpiyutim sung throughout the course of Sukkot and climaxing in the Hoshanot ceremony of Hoshana Rabbah.

Selichotpiyutim in the form of confessionals that are recited on public fasts, throughout the month of Elul, and during Aseret Yemei Teshuva.

Kinot – lamentations recited on Tisha B’Av.

Numerous factors contributed to the widespread decline in the recitation of these piyutim. One factor is the comprehensibility of the piyutim. Prose, no matter how beautiful, is often hard to understand. Furthermore, often Aramaic words found their way into the compositions. (To their credit, ArtScroll and other publishers of siddurim and machzorim often offer excellent English language translations of piyutim, thus affording people the opportunity to enjoy their beauty.)

I think one of the most obvious reasons for their omission nowadays is their length. The olam ha’yeshivot – the yeshiva world – for example, does not recite them because their roshei yeshivot believe them to be rather lengthy. Yeshivot generally daven at a slower pace and reciting piyutim would greatly lengthen the services and cut into study time.

Regular synagogues also likely omit them for the same reason. Many people do not wish to remain in shul past midday. This sentiment is based upon the following: The Gemara (Pesachim 68b) notes that one verse (Deuteronomy 16:8) states, “atzeret laShem Elokecha – an assembly to the L-rd” while another one (Numbers 29:35) states, “atzeret tiyeh lachem – an assembly for you.” Which is it: an assembly to the L-rd or to us? The Gemara replies that the day is both – “chetzyo lachem v’chetzyo laShem – half for [us] and half for the L-rd.” Even though the verses concern the end of Pesach and Shemini Atzeret, R. Yehoshua applies this rule to all festivals. In our time, many people extend this rule to Shabbat as well.

Anti-Semitic Vandalism Follows Soon After UPenn’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Conference

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

In a chilling reminder of how words proceed deeds, two Philadelphia universities – the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University – have reported being victims of anti-Semitic hate crimes.

University of Pennsylvania, which was recently embroiled in a controversy over its hosting of a Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Conference on February 3-5, reported that a swastika was etched onto an elevator door located in the same building as the university’s Hillel chapter. The investigation has been closed though, as the university’s Division of Public Safety was unable to identify a suspect.

Meanwhile, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house at Temple University was recently spray-painted with the words “F— You Jews,” according to Temple News online. Security camera videos have revealed potential suspects in the vandalism of the Jewish fraternity house.

 

Egyptian Oil Pipeline in Sinai Blown Up… Again

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Once again, the Egyptian oil pipeline to Israel in the Sinai was blown up. BBC is reporting that 6 men arrived in van and blew up the pipeline near al-Arish. It had just been repaired after it was blown up on February 5th.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-oil-pipeline-in-sinai-blown-up-again/2012/03/06/

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