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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘gift’

Graduation Gift: York Jewish Student Awarded £1,000 for Suffering from Anti-Semitism

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Zachary Confino, 21, a Jewish third year Law student and president of the Union of Jewish Students at York University in the UK, received an apology and payment of £1,000 from the University of York Students’ Union after two years of battling anti-Semitism from students while studying at the university, The Telegraph reported.

Although the nature of the anti-Semitic abuse is not specified in the apology, the report says that “It is understood that Mr Confino, who narrowly missed out on a first class degree and had suffered with stress, had been racially abused and bullied.”

A spokesperson for the University of York said in a statement, “The University of York acted as mediator to resolve a long-running complaint brought by a student against the University of York Students’ Union. This involved an apology by the Students’ Union to the student and a token payment of £1,000.”

Joint statements had been signed with both the Jewish Society and the Islamic Society on campus.

Confino’s experience caught the attention of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who called on government to intervene to stop the rise of “poisonous hate” on campuses. In a letter to Confino, Lord Williams said he had written to Jo Johnson, the universities minister, because of the “muted” official response so far to rising anti-Semitic behavior. Williams described anti-Semitic incidents in a growing number of universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics and York.

Williams added: “Anyone concerned (as I am) about Islamophobia here and elsewhere needs to be scrupulously alert to the risk of scapegoating and demonizing other religious communities, especially Jews; and anyone with even the least bit of historical sense ought to hear the echoes of past bigotry and violence towards Jewish people in Europe.”

The former Archbishop of Canterbury also said he was “dispirited” by the failure of Christian chaplains at York to support Mr Confino. “You’d expect a more simply empathetic engagement,” he wrote.

Zachary reported that one York student posting on Facebook compared Israelis to Nazis, but when he raised this with the Students Union, he was told that there was nothing the Union could do. Zachary says he has received hateful anonymous messages online, as have other Jewish students. One message said, “Hitler was onto something.” He has been called a “Stupid Israeli [expletive]” and a “Jewish [expletive].”

Zachary told The Tab that the attacks on him escalated about five months ago, after he had launched a campaign against a play put on by the Palestinian Solidarity Society. According to Zachary, his communications with the Students Union bordered on the absurd: “We entered into a debate on what is and what isn’t anti-Semitism with people who clearly don’t understand what Jewish hate is,” he said. “It’s adding insult to injury. I’m experiencing anti-Semitism and then getting told it isn’t anti-Semitism.”

JNi.Media

Bogie Ya’alon’s Overnight Good Bye Gift: Administrative Removal of 4 Settlers

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

On his way out of office, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon still found the time to send a special gift to the people of Yitzhar, a Jewish community just south of Shechem: Wednesday night Shabak and Police forces raided their homes and handed four administrative removal orders, signed by OC Central Command Roni Numa and Home Front Command Deputy Chief Gen. Dadi Samchi, to four Od Yosef Hai yeshiva students, two adults and two minors, Srugim reported.

The two minors were removed for six months from Judea and Samaria, but one of them, whose parents live in Gush Etzion, was allowed to stay in the Gush. The two adults received four- and nine-month removal orders.

Like all administrative decrees in the occupied Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, which have been under temporary martial law for almost 40 years now, the removal orders do not mention any evidence or chargers or even suspicions against the recipients, who could just as easily have been stashed away in prison on the same whim. All the orders said was that they had been issued after the commanding officers have become convinced that “it is necessary for the sake of guaranteeing state security, public peace, and maintaining the public order.” One order said it had been issued after “examination of intelligence,” which pointed to “involvement in an illegal and violent activity endangering Palestinian residents and their property.”

One of the four students completed a six-month removal order only a month ago and arrived to continue his yeshiva studies, but as is becoming the norm in these cases, the Shabak issued him a second removal order shortly thereafter. And since by law the government need not explain its reasons, provide evidence or file formal charges, they could ostensibly keep issuing those decrees — unless a new Defense Minister comes on board who is more democratically minded.

Yitzhar’s Yeshiva was occupied for one year, starting April 11, 2014, by a Border Guard company, after confrontations between local residents and the IDF, when the latter had demolished unauthorized structures in the community.

The Honenu legal aid society issued a statement following the four removal decrees, saying, “It appears that the Defense Minister has been disconnected, is losing touch with his own values, and does not comprehend how an orderly government system should operate. Yesterday he told IDF soldiers to say what’s on their minds, even if it contradicts the position of the elected government—in effect preaching a military coups d’état—and today he adds even more administrative decrees as if in Israel there’s no need for evidence, proof and trials. Who will stop this slippery slope?”

Hopefully a man named Avigdor Liebrman. Next week.

David Israel

Beis Ya’kov Girls Get Passover Gift: Multiplication Table Printed on Cleaning Rags

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

The 3rd grade students at the Beis Ya’akov school for girls in Netanya, Israel, which is part of the Independent (Haredi) school system, on Wednesday received an unusual gift from their teacher on the last day before the Passover break: cleaning rags printed with the school’s name, the multiplication table (1 through 100) and the following ditty (translated from the Hebrew, where it also rhymes):

To the bright schoolgirl,
Who scrubs and brightens with the rag in her hand,
Learn and memorize the multiplication table,
And honor your parents multiple times.

The parents of said schoolgirls told Yedioth Aharonoth the gift is offensive to the girls as well as to their families. They said the message that emanates from it is that “a woman is not too bright and her role is to clean the house.” One of the mothers who’s kids attend the girls’ school, said that if it turns out the rag was actually handed out by the school principal and not as a prank by one of the teachers, she would consider looking for a different school for her girls after Passover. Another mother called the incident “serious” and said “it is inconceivable that a teacher in Israel would express herself in such a way that represses the student’s self-esteem.”

The Netanya municipality issued a statement saying that since the school is part of the Independent system, it is not part of the general public school system programs. However, the city spokesperson added, “the content is entirely contrary to the values being taught by the municipal education administration, which fosters openness, achievement and innovation.”

The spokesperson announced there would be an inquiry with the Beis Ya’akov school management.

The school principal was not available to comment. However, several Haredi sources told the ultra-Orthodox Kikar Hashabbat website that the entire thing is a tempest in a teapot, and there’s no problem with schoolgirls memorizing the multiplication table while scrubbing the house for Passover. In fact, those mothers, instead of being offended, should be proud of their industrious daughters.

JNi.Media

In Hebrew: ‘Wrapping paper’

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

A good Hebrew term to know as the end of fall approaches is that for wrapping paper: נְיַר עֲטִיפָה.

נייר paper – first appears in the Hebrew language in Mishnaic literature, while עטיפה wrapping – comes from the Biblical-Hebrew verb to wrap -לַעֲטוֹף .

For example: אֲבַקֵּשׁ לַעֲטוֹף אֶת הַמַּתָּנָה בְּנְיַר עֲטִיפָה. May I have the gift wrapped in wrapping paper? (literally, I shall ask to wrap the gift in wrapping paper.)

Truth is, in Biblical Hebrew, לעטוף also means to faint or to grow weak. More on that in tomorrow’s dose.

Visit Ktzat Ivrit.

Ami Steinberger

Woodmere Shul Gets Post-Sandy Torah Gift from Kansas City

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

A Woodmere synagogue which lost four Torah scrolls in the chaos of Hurricane Sandy received a gift given in the spirit of Jewish brotherhood and Torah values from their kinsmen in Kansas City.

Congregation Ahavas Yisroel in Woodmere, which sustained heavy damage on October 30th, welcomed the donated scroll from Congregation Kehilath Israel in Overland Park, near Kansas City, at a special ceremony.

Congregation Kehilath Israel said it had several scrolls, and decided to donate one to a synagogue hit hard by Sandy.  Moreover, because of an upcoming replacement of prayer books, the pre-loved copies were also brought along as a gift to the Woodmere community.

Ahavas Yisroel reportedly lost four Torah scrolls, including one donated by a Holocaust survivor who brought the scroll with him to America after the war.

Malkah Fleisher

The Sensitivity Of A Tzaddik

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

When Yaakov met Rachel at the well, he experienced conflicting emotions. He felt tremendous joy at having finally met his bashert, yet he raised his voice and cried. Rashi explains that he cried because he came empty-handed. He said, “My father’s servant came with ten camels laden with gifts and finery, and I come with empty hands.”

Rashi goes on to explain why Yaakov didn’t bring a gift for Rachel. When Yaakov found out that Eisav was plotting to kill him, he fled from his father’s home. Eisav sent his son Alifaz to chase down Yaakov. Alifaz was a tzaddik, and when he approached Yaakov he said, “I can’t kill you because you are an innocent man. On the other hand, what will be with the command of my father?” Yaakov said to him, “A poor man has the halachic status of a dead man. Take my money, and it will be considered as if you killed me, so on some level you will have fulfilled your father’s words.”

As a result, Yaakov came to the well empty-handed. When it was time to propose to Rachel, he didn’t have the gifts that would be expected, and so he raised his voice and cried.

This Rashi becomes difficult to understand when we focus on who these people were. The Avos may have walked the same planet as do you and I, but they lived in a very different orbit. Their every waking moment was occupied by thoughts of Hashem. They lived and breathed to attain closeness to Hashem. That was the focus of their lives and existence. It was the only thing that mattered to them.

For many years, Rachel knew she was to marry Yaakov and be a matriarch of the Jewish people. You have to assume that when she finally met her bashert, she was overcome with joy. Here was the man she had waited for. Here in front of her was this great tzaddik, the man of her dreams, offering to marry her so she could fulfill her destiny. Her very life’s ambitions and desires were now coming to fulfillment. It is hard to imagine that at that moment she was concerned about glitter and trinkets.

Yet Yaakov cried because he didn’t have a diamond ring to give her. The question is – why? All that Rachel really wanted was being delivered to her. If so, why did Yaakov cry?

It seems the answer is that the lack of gifts may not have bothered Rachel much but the bottom line is that it wasn’t respectful to her. When you come to your kallah, you bring her a gift. That is the way dignified people act. That is the way of the world, and it isn’t proper to come without a gift. On some level, it is treating her without the kavod due to her, and that caused Yaakov pain – so much pain that he raised his voice and cried.

Everyone Hungers for Recognition

This is a tremendous lesson to us because the people among whom we live aren’t on the level of Rachel. A slight to their honor causes them real pain. People will go to great lengths to protect their reputation and dignity because these things are very important to them. And for that reason we need to develop a real sensitivity to other people’s dignity and honor.

But this concept goes much further. The reality is that there are few people who get enough recognition and respect. We humans have many needs. We need food and drink, shelter and protection, friends and companionship – and most of those needs are met. The one need that that is almost never met is the need to be appreciated. It is something we hunger for, something basic to our success and vitality. Yet there is no store in which it can be bought, no marketplace in which it can be acquired. And a person often can go around with a deep hunger, not even realizing what is amiss.

One of the greatest acts of kindness I can do for another person is to treat him with honor. If I find your currency and can acknowledge you in that vein, I can give you that which you deeply crave – and it costs me nothing.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

Library of Congress Celebrates 100 Years of Hebraica

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

A new exhibit at the Library of Congress is celebrating 100 years of Hebraica with its new exhibit, “Words Like Sapphires”.

The exhibit includes approximately 60 objects from the Library’s over 200,000-piece Hebraica collection, including works in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Persian, Judeo-Arabic, Amharic, Aramaic, and Syriac.

The collection, established in 1912 through a gift of New York banker and philanthropist Jacob Schiff, includes a 19th century copy of the U.S. Constitution in Yiddish and Hebrew, a Yiddish copy of “Curious George”, a 15th century Hebrew book from Italy opened to a series of excerpts censored by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition, a 4-inch tall Jewish bible, the first complete Hebrew Bible printed in the United States, and the first printed book published in the land of Israel, a commentary on the Book of Estherby Eliezer ben Isaac Ashkenazi of Prague published in 1577 in Tzfat.

Portions of the exhibit include “People of the Book”, “Holy Land Tongue”, and “Power of the Tongue”.  The oldest piece of on display is a 7th century clay bowl with Aramaic writing from Mesopotamia.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/library-of-congress-celebrates-100-years-of-hebraica/2012/11/01/

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