web analytics
December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

Thai Court Convicts Iranians for Targeting Israeli Diplomats

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

A court in Thailand has convicted two Iranians who were part of a botched bomb plot last year, CNN reported.

Saied Moradi, 29, who lost both legs in the explosion, was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to life in prison, while Muhammad Khazaei, 43, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for causing explosions and damaged to property.

Meanwhile, a third man, who escaped authorities after the bomb went off in a villa in Bangkok, escaped to Malaysia. Two other suspects are believed to still be on the run.

Israel has alleged that the group of men was part of a terrorist cell that was plotting to assassinate Israeli diplomats in Thailand.

Israeli officials and tourists abroad have been the target of Iranian and Hezbollah for years, including recent attacks and attempted attacks in Bulgaria and Cyprus. The Bangkok explosion came a day after Israeli diplomats were targeted by bombs in India and Georgia.

Joy of Motherhood in Israel after 9 Abortions in Soviet-Bloc

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

A Jewish couple from the former Soviet Bloc country of Georgia are the proud parents of a bouncing baby girl, born to the mother who was treated in Israel after having gone through nine abortions in 17 years in her home country.

Michael and Tamari Barikswili, both age 39, had all but given up hope to become parents. Their friends in the medical profession in Georgia suggested to them two years ago that they travel to Israel’s Rambam Medical Center in Haifa for examinations that might help them achieve their dream.

Last year, the couple met with Rambam’s Prof. Binyamin Brenner, head of the hematology department.

“We did not know what the problem was with us,” Michael said after the birth of their daughter Maryam last week.

After several examinations by Prof, Brenner, it became clear that Tamari suffers from a problem called in laymen’s terms “excessive blood clotting.”

It is a common problem of women who suffer from recurring abortions, and Rambam doctors have established a clear connection between the malady and abortions.

Tamari’s problem was identified through a simple blood test, which the couple said was not available in Georgia, where the standard of medicine is far below that of Israel.

They returned to Georgia but turned again to Rambam because of her history, and in her 13th week of pregnancy, they rented an apartment in Ramat Gan, adjacent to Tel Aviv and traveled back and forth to Haifa for examinations and constant monitoring.

“After the couple went through so much to become parents, everything becomes all the more significant,” notes Dir. Ido Sholat, of the Rambam unit overseeing women with difficult pregnancies.

“During all the months of check-ups, there were many different emotions, pressures and fears,” he added. “But the moment we saw that the pregnancy was advancing normally, all of us began to relax and enjoy this tremendous experience,” he adds.

Tamari said after the birth, “It is not so simple to go through all this when we are in Israel and everyone in the family is Georgia. But we waited 17 years for this, and I was prepared to do anything to become a mother.”

She and her husband kept in touch with family through e-mails and Skype and sent videos and pictures.

Michael and Tamari went back to Georgia with their daughter this past Sunday but they promise to return to Rambam next year – with a brother for sister for Maryam.

Atlanta is a Hard Place for Orthodox Jews to Leave

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Atlanta, GA, is a hard place for Orthodox Jews to leave: That was the message I got from my Shabbat hosts in Atlanta.  That is even though they are dreaming of making Aliyah to Israel and even own homes/apartments there.  Everything they need for a full, fulfilling, rewarding Torah Jewish life can be conveniently found in their Atlanta neighborhood.

From their stories, even the local Christians are friendly an supportive.  This pocket of America is very anti-Obama.  They told me that Obama is costing them money in added taxes. That is as employees and business owners.  I met a number of their friends and that was the message.Jews and Christians from what I understand are to the right of the Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu.  They insist that your ordinary American does not see why Israel should cede any land to the Arabs.  It makes no sense to them at all.This jives 100% with the Christians I’ve met over the thirty plus years I’ve lived in Shiloh and hosted and led groups of religious Christians who have toured Shiloh’s holy spots.

If the State of Israel, Prime Minister on down would just announce, inflexibly that we declare sovereignty over all of Judea, Samaria, Jordan Valley, Golan etc, no negotiations, they would back us.  Your ordinary person in the States, according to them, accepts the 1967 Six Day War victory as the legal defeat of the Arab armies, Jordan, Egypt and Syria, which had tried to destroy the State of Israel.  We never fought a country called “Palestine,” since there never was one in the entire history of the world.  The so-called “Palestinian People” is a fiction invented/created to undermine and destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

From Georgia to Tel Aviv

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

A group of immigrants from Soviet Georgia in Lod airport, circa 1972.

In 1907, my own family, on my mother’s side, arrived from Gruzia (I never understood that whole “Georgia” thing – those Brits would have made the whole world sound like it was a suburb of London if we let them). They first settled in Jerusalem, but in the 1930s moved to Tel Aviv, after my mother was born.

On my mother’s side everyone is big and burly and with foreheads that go all the way back to the base of their skulls. My father came from gentle, small framed Polish Jews with heads full of hair.

You win some, you lose some.

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!

A Mother Remembered: A Year Later (Part I)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

It’s been a year now since my mother passed away at the age of 98. In my writings, I try to focus on better ways to understand family dynamics, how to deal with our children and become better parents, spouses and friends. I believe most every event we experience in our lives gives us something to learn from. Even more so, I have come to believe that events we cannot make any sense of when they happen have some potential to make us better people – including those we deal with on a regular basis: our friends, children, parents, etc.

In this two-part article, I would like to share some of my memories of my mother, and to connect those memories to learning about better relationships.

I hesitate to say that my mother was a very special woman. Not that it isn’t true, but rather I don’t want to minimize the millions of other mothers who are, or were, special to their children. Thank G-d my mother had a very full life – a life of giving to others and caring about everyone. As this year of aveilus (mourning) comes to an end, I can’t help but reminisce about the good and bad times, the happy and the sad.

My mother was born and raised in the state of Georgia and my father in Germany. I remember growing up in Georgia during the days of segregation and learning from my parents to look beyond the popular beliefs of the time and see the good in all people. I remember our nanny who practically raised us and how my brothers and I loved her as much as she loved us.

I remember my maternal grandparents (and the impact of never knowing my paternal grandparents who were slaughtered in the Holocaust). They were extraordinary. For as long as I could remember my grandmother was an invalid. In those days they weren’t sure why she couldn’t walk, but I remember hearing that maybe she had multiple sclerosis. I remember how my mother used to go over to my grandparent’s home on a daily basis to assist my grandfather and the caregivers. I remember being in the third grade and moving in with my grandparents for almost six months while our house was being built. Years later my parents had added to our home and my grandparents and my mother’s aunt came to live with us. As a child, I never realized how much of a strain this was on my parents.

The love between my grandparents was something rarely seen, even today. My fondest memory is seeing them sitting together in front of the television, my grandfather in a large comfortable chair and my grandmother in her wheelchair, holding hands. It still amazes me that I can’t remember them ever arguing or raising their voices to one another. Every day my grandfather would put my grandmother in their old Studebaker and they would go out for a ride. And their love encompassed others – I always felt special when I would go with them.

When we were very young my father managed an abattoir (slaughter house) for a Jewish family in the small city we lived. After the plant closed, my father began working as a traveling salesman. My mother was always busy with us boys, and shopping and taking care of her parents and aunt. She never complained, and even found time to volunteer in our small Jewish community. Life in a small southern city wasn’t easy. My parents always struggled. Yet, somehow, I remember them always being there for others. Whether it was my grandparents, our extended family, my father’s employees, colleagues or family friends, everyone seemed to come to my parents if they needed help.

As a teen, I was always curious and searching, though I didn’t know what I was searching for. At some point I told my parents I wanted to go to military school. Though they couldn’t afford it, they borrowed the money and I went to military school for my last three years of high school. It was there that I became very curious about my yiddishkeit. My parents identified strongly with Judaism, but we had very little real knowledge. My early life was surrounded by prejudice and racism, yet my parents always stressed the importance of equality. With the help of my religious paternal aunt and uncle who lived in New York, I enrolled in one of the only yeshivas for boys without a background in Judaism on the day I graduated from high school.

I remember calling to tell my parents after I met my eishes chayil, and how they totally accepted her and her family before even meeting them. They insisted on making a vort (engagement party) for us in Georgia. Oh, what memories. Until her final day, my mother took great pride in calling my wife “her daughter” – as she used to say, she loved her as if she had given birth to her.

Our Rabbi, My Mentor

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Rabbi Avraham Ginzberg, who passed away earlier this month, will be remembered by many for his fifty-plus years as executive director of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens, New York. He will be remembered by his congregants as “our rabbi” – the spiritual leader of our small shul attached to the yeshiva.

As a teenager growing up in Forest Hills, I knew Rabbi Ginzberg had something to do with the yeshiva, but I always felt his focus was on us at the shul. Many of the ba’alei batim I knew split their time between the Young Israel of Forest Hills and Rabbi Ginzberg’s synagogue, the Kessel Street Shul, known by many as Congregation Chofetz Chaim.

My family and I davened Friday nights and Shabbos afternoons at Chofetz Chaim and Shabbos mornings at the Young Israel. (Most of the boys my age davened at the youth minyan of Young Israel – led by Rabbi Motti Grunberg, a Chofetz Chaim alumnus.)

My friend Josh Cappel and I had a routine on Shabbos that included Rabbi Ginzberg. After shul in the morning we would walk home and stop to watch some boys play little league while we stood outside the fence. Josh would then visit his grandfather and I would go home for Shabbos lunch. I would later walk to Josh’s house where we would play chess and have cherry pie. An hour before Minchah we would go to Chofetz Chaim and learn Gemara with Rabbi Ginzberg.  This was a staple of my Shabbos.

Rabbi Ginzberg encouraged and developed my ability to lead in prayer and in Torah. It was his philosophy to give young people the opportunity to assume leadership roles. At about age 14 I began leading Friday night services at shul. This had a tremendous impact on my self-confidence and I later moved forward to davening from the amud on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in various shuls. It is hard for me to remember a time I did not lead Shabbos Minchah as well.

Shalosh Seudas was really a time Rabbi Ginzberg let others shine. He would ask them to share words of Torah and offer their niggunim at the table. Yanky Lach, later the author of an important work on Chullin, and I were encouraged to say divrei Torah. Many of the ba’alei batim, including Yanky’s father, also delivered divrei Torah. It was always a tradition for Dr. Stanley Landsman to share the divrei Torah of Rabbi Hershel Schachter he’d heard at the Young Israel the previous Tuesday night.

There was never a Shabbos I was present at Rabbi Ginzberg’s Shalosh Seudas table that I was not expected to speak words of Torah. Even if I had been away from the neighborhood for some time, I was always asked to say divrei Torah when I returned. Rabbi Ginzberg had a keen sense of what we all needed, and the ability to speak every week would have an extremely beneficial effect on my life as a communal rabbi.

Rabbi Ginzberg had a special way of interacting with others. He had patience and listened to all of us. He made everyone feel special. It amazed me how he still maintained the shul after the yeshiva moved to Kew Gardens Hills and the shul’s membership began changing. There was an influx of Sephardic Jews and I felt in my heart that only Rabbi Ginzberg with his tremendous middos would be able to keep the shul together.

Rabbi Ginzberg was always concerned about how things were going for me and my family, both spiritually and monetarily. He was always available if I needed advice. I knew I was receiving words of wisdom that were clear and from his heart.

On my most recent trip to New York, during Chanukah, I was able to see the consistency of a sincere and precious man. At the amud was a teenager leading the service. At Shabbos Minchah a young boy was reading the Torah. Shalosh Seudas was jam-packed, and the priority was making sure everyone would get his share of the speaking or the singing.

Over time, more songs and divrei Torah had been added to Rabbi Ginzberg’s Shalosh Seudas. I still had my place, though, even if by this point I was coming back to Forest Hills just twice a year. Rabbi Ginzberg, as always, was happy to let others shine as he looked on with a smile.

He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Chaim Lindenblatt is the rabbi of Congregation Anshi S’Fard in Atlanta, Georgia.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/our-rabbi-my-mentor/2012/02/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: