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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Holocaust’

Jewish Ukrainian Mayor Shot, Worry Rises as Separatists Seize More Towns

Monday, April 28th, 2014

The Jewish mayor of the eastern Ukrainian town of Kharkov was shot in the back by unidentified masked gunmen on Monday and is now fighting for his life, even as Israel’s president warned Jews around the world on Holocaust Remembrance Day to watch for signs of rising anti-Semitism.

Pro-Russian separatists captured Kharkov, eastern Ukraine’s second-largest town, on Monday, according to a report by RIA Novosti. The news outlet quoted a friend of Mayor Gennady Kernes who said, “They shot him in the back from the forest…  His lung is pierced and his liver pierced all the way through.”

Aides said the mayor had recently received numerous threats,  RT News reported. The attack, which came less than 24 hours after a clash between anti-government protesters and nationalists in the city left 14 people injured, left Kernes critically wounded.

Speaking at the opening ceremonies Monday for Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Peres spoke of the death of his family in the little town of Vishnyeva, in Poland. Two thousand Jews all died there after being locked into the wooden synagogue building by the Nazis, and then burned alive.

“Half of the Jews of Vishnyeva made aliyah to Israel, the other half, which did not, were burned alive,” the president said. “Our body was slashed in two – but our spirit remains undivided, pulsating here in Israel as a locked memory, an independent Jewish renaissance never again to be destroyed.”

The clear warning issued by the president is one the Jews in Ukraine now must heed – if they even had a chance to hear it as the rising war begins to rage around them.

So far the Jews of Kharkov seem to be safe – but the city has a bloody past in terms of protecting its Jews. More than 15,000 Jewish residents of Kharkov were murdered between December 1941 and January 1942, herded by Germans into a ghetto area set up for them about five miles from the city and periodically hauled out and shot to death. Some were just buried alive. A mass grave was discovered not far from the site, in the Drobitzki Valley.

Many of the supporters of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko are also anti-Semitic, sources told the Arutz Sheva website in an interview in February. As a result, some of the community is considering aliyah.

In the eastern Ukraine on Monday, armed gunmen also seized town of Kostyantynivka, entering the administration building and the police headquarters. International media reported that masked gunmen were wearing camouflage outfits and were armed with assault weapons.

Both towns are located in the Donetsk region, along with Sloviansk, a third city which also has now been declared an independent entity by pro-Russian secessionists.

Protesters seized a local state TV station in the city of Donetsk. The protesters demanded the launch of a ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ TV channel, and that Russian TV channels be broadcast. The Ukrainian flag was lowered from the building and the flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic was raised in its place – but later, that too was removed. Nevertheless, a source told Interfax-Ukraine that secessionist security personnel remained at the TV station to enforce the demands.

The Parchment of Rebuke That Came Home

Monday, April 28th, 2014

On a day in which the cruelties of the Nazis and the devastation of the Holocaust is uppermost of the minds of the People of Israel, there are yet numerous examples of how we are shown there are sparks of hope among the ashes.

Rabbi Yitzchak Dovid Grossman, Dean of the Migdal Ohr Institutions, was presented with one such example. The rabbi sat in his home in Migdal Ha’emek in bewilderment, re-examining the piece of Torah parchment he was given. Cut by a Nazi almost 70 years ago from a Torah scroll in an Eastern European synagogue, the sacred parchment was used by the Luftwaffe officer as a wrapping for his ID card during World War II.

How did Rabbi Grossman come into the possession of such a unique and shocking piece of history?

 Moti Dotan, the Head of the Lower Galilee Regional Council, had recently returned from a ceremony honoring of the 25th anniversary of the twin cities pact between the Regional Council and the Hanover district in Germany.

Dotan was approached at the conclusion of the event by a member of the Hanover District Council. “My father, Werner Herzig, died a few weeks ago,” said the man. “Before his death he said he wanted to share with me a secret. He told me he had fought in World War II and told me about his involvement in those awful crimes, such as his participation in the burning of a synagogue on the Russian front. ‘It’s important for me to tell you this, because today there are those who don’t believe that it happened’ he told me.”

 Dotan relates that Herzig junior gave him the ID document and parchment and asked him to locate a holy man in the Galilee and present it to him. “I thought of the holy work that Rabbi Grossman does, and that he was the most suitable person to receive the document and parchment,” says Dotan. “When I came to him to give him the document, I shared with him the story. As he held the parchment tears started to flow from his eyes,” recalls Dotan. He said that Rabbi Grossman symbolizes to him all that is good in Judaism, and will make proper use of the item.

 Rabbi Grossman held the piece of parchment and read from the text. The parchment is from the Book of Deuteronomy, in the weekly portion of “Ki Tavo.”

He read: “…and distress which your enemies will inflict upon you, in your cities… Then the Lord will bring upon you and your offspring uniquely horrible plagues, terrible and unyielding plagues, and evil and unyielding sicknesses… Also, the Lord will bring upon you every disease and plague which is not written in this Torah scroll, to destroy you. And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heaven for multitude” (Deuteronomy 28, 57-62). These verses are known as the verses of admonishment.

Rabbi Grossman is convinced that this is a “Supreme message of Divine providence. After 60 years, this document arrives in Israel, wrapped in these words of scolding, and is calling on us ‘to awaken.’ After all, the German could have cut the parchment from any of the Five Books of Moses, and he specifically cut out the section that speaks suffering, servitude and then of redemption,” he said.

Rabbi Grossman has shown the ID book and parchment to young people, and tells of the great excitement it causes. “It’s a tangible object, which you can see with your own eyes. You can see here the embodiment of evil; how after the destruction of a synagogue, this man had the audacity to enter and cut from the Torah scroll, only because he thought that the parchment was a suitable way to preserve his document.”

Rabbi Grossman has vowed to continue to visit schools and young people with the document and to share this awe-striking story with them.

Standing to Respect Victims of the Nazi Murderers

Monday, April 28th, 2014

A siren will sound at 10 am throughout the State of Israel to bring citizens to their feet across the country as a measure of respect for those who fell as victims of the Holocaust.

The two-minute siren is an annual tradition in Israel and is known not to be an air raid siren.

If by some chance there is a rocket attack at that time, the nature of the siren will change, and will rise and fall a number of times instead.

Survivors (Photo Essay)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

On Sunday evening, April 27, 2014, six Holocaust survivors lit six torches representing the six million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide during the opening ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem.

Holocaust survivor Asher Oud (R) lights a torch with his grandson during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Holocaust survivor Asher Oud (R) lights a torch with his grandson during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Holocaust survivor Zvi Michaeli lights a torch with his grandson during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Holocaust survivor Zvi Michaeli lights a torch with his grandson during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus lights a torch during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Holocaust survivor Dita Kraus lights a torch during a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 27, 2014.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli soldiers stand below a monument as they attend a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. April 27, 2014. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli soldiers stand below a monument as they attend a ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as Israel marks the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. April 27, 2014.
Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Jewish Youth from all over the world participating in the March of the Living seen at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp site in Poland, on the eve of the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 27, 2014. Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90.

Jewish Youth from all over the world participating in the March of the Living seen at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp site in Poland, on the eve of the Israeli Holocaust Memorial Day, on April 27, 2014.
Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90.

Netanyahu Connects Hitler with Nuclear Iran

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

World leaders do not understand the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran just as they misjudged or did not even want to understand “the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday night, the beginning of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.

Speaking at Yad VaShem in Jerusalem, the Prime Minister asked rhetorically, “Why, in the years preceding the Holocaust, did the overwhelming majority of world leaders and Jewish leaders fail to detect the danger in time? In retrospect, all the warning signs were there: the strengthening of the Nazi regime year after year; the horrific anti-Semitic propaganda which grew stronger with each passing month; and the murderous attacks on Jews which began as a trickle and transformed into a huge wave….

“Very few world leaders understood the enormity of the threat to humanity posed by Nazism….. The bitter and tragic truth is this: it is not that they did not see it. They did not want to see it. And why did they choose not to see the truth? Because they did not want to face the consequences of that truth.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu explained that world leaders in the 1930s adopted of a policy that was based on “one axiom – avoid another confrontation at any cost.”

He quoted the Biblical phrase from the Book of Psalms, “They have eyes, but cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear.”

Netanyahu then turned his attention to Iran, which has called for destroying Israel and is recognized by the virtually the entire western world as retrying to develop a nuclear weapon.

“Today, just like then, there are those who dismiss Iran’s extreme rhetoric as one that serves domestic purposes,” he said. “Today, just like then, there are those who view Iran’s nuclear ambitions as the result of the natural will of a proud nation – a will that should be accepted.

“And just like then, those who make such claims are deluding themselves. They are making an historic mistake.”

Netanyahu quoted the Bible throughout his speech and concluded a train of thought that implied that the Jews in Israel, unlike those in without a Jewish state under the Nazi regime, will not let themselves be destroyed.

He cited the fourth Book of the Torah (BaMidbar, or Numbers, 23:13-26,) in which the non-Jewish told King Balak, who had paid him to curse Israel, “The people will arise like a lion cub and raise itself like a lion; it will not lie down until it consumes prey, and drinks the blood of the slain.”

Pre Yom Hashoah Report: Sharp Increase in Anti-Semitism in 2013

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

An annual report on Anti-Semitism worldwide during 2013 was released today (Apr. 27), a day before Israel marks Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day.

The report, compiled by Prof. Dina Porat of the Moshe Kantor database for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress, describes a severe escalation in the worldwide anti-Jewish atmosphere in 2013, as anti-Semitism continues to infiltrate the mainstream from the extreme left and right fringes, and its manifestations have become an almost daily phenomenon. The major conclusion of the research conducted by the Kantor Center team and supported by both community reports and independent surveys by non-Jewish sources, is that the anxiety felt by Jews around the world, both as individuals and as communities, originates in the growing intensity and the increase in insults, abusive language and behavior, threats and harassment, but not necessarily in an increase in the number of physical violent incidents.

Surveys show that most Jews who have experienced an anti-Semitic verbal or physical attack did not report them; therefore the situation is worse than the one reported by monitoring and law enforcing agencies and Jewish communities.

During 2013, the Kantor Center team registered and analyzed 554 violent anti-Semitic acts perpetrated with weapons or without, by arson, vandalism or direct threats against Jewish persons or institutions such as synagogues, community centers, schools, cemeteries and monuments, as well as private property. Physically violent incidents decreased in 2013 by 19% to 554 attacks, yet the number of direct attacks against persons is steadily increasing.

Among all registered cases worldwide there were 25 attacks with weapons, 98 cases of weaponless violence, 9 cases of arson, 89 direct threats, and 333 incidents of vandalism. The targets of such incidents were 185 persons, 67 synagogues, 52 community centers and schools, 90 cemeteries and memorial sites and 160 private properties. The highest number of events occurred in France: 116, (compared to 200 in 2012).  A decline in violent cases was registered in Italy, Poland, the US and Australia, and a rise was recorded in the UK, Canada, Germany and the Ukraine. The number of violent incidents during the last decade (2004-2014) is higher than in the former one.

Disconcerting findings were the result of a wide scope survey published in the beginning of November 2013 by the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), a research branch of the European Union (EU), on the reactions and perceptions among European Jews regarding anti-Semitism. The survey was conducted among six thousand Jews in eight countries, where approximately one million Jews who constitute 90% of the Jewish population of the European Union reside.

The findings point at an intensified feeling that personal safety and communal well-being are jeopardized, especially in Hungary, France, and Belgium, followed by Sweden, Italy, Germany, UK and Latvia, where the situation is less severe. About 80% of the participants in Hungary considered extreme right circles as the main source of threat; over 60% in Italy pointed to the left; 73%t in France and 60% in Belgium blamed radical Muslims, while anti-Semitism originating in the church and in Christianity in general, was last on the list.

The report offers two conclusions.

First: There is a growing discrepancy between official policies in most western countries that support commemorating the Holocaust, condemning any form of anti-Semitism, and promoting legislation against anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and the popular opinion in such countries that surfaced, for instance, during the kosher slaughtering and circumcision debates, and intensified when Jewish property looted by the Nazis reappears as a national issue.  A significant number of politicians, leaders, and officials who expressed anti-Semitic opinions, slurs and the like in public (at least 15 during 2013), were forced to resign, or did so on their own accord.

ADL Warns Missionary Group is Using Holocaust – Again – to Lure Jews

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is warning that the Jews for Jesus missionary group is using Holocaust imagery to lure Jews away from their faith.

ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman issued a statement Thursday condemning a new video posted to YouTube by the missionaries as a “cynical abuse of the Holocause for proselytizing.”

The video shows an image of Jesus carrying a cross among the Jews, and being selected for the gas chambers by a Nazi officer at the gates of the Auschwitz death camp. The tag line of the video is, “That Jew died for you.”

Mr. Foxman, who called the video an “outrage,” said, “It is deeply offensive not only to Jews who lost family members in the Holocaust but also to Christians who would not want to see images of Jesus used for propaganda or shock value.

“Jews for Jesus has taken their abuse of Holocaust imagery to a new low… [it is] an outrageous cheapening of the tragedy of the six million Jews and millions of others who perished in the Holocaust for the purpose of gaining attention to the Jews for Jesus missionary cause, which is to convert Jews to the belief that Jesus is their messiah.”

There is a direct contradiction between the two.

In Judaism, the messiah has not yet arrived. Jesus is perceived in the Jewish faith as having lived as a human being who did not meet the qualifications to be the messiah, either in his time or in future years. Jews do not believe that Jesus bears any divine attributes whatsoever.

In Christianity, of course, the exact opposite is true. Jesus is perceived as having lived as a man with divine attributes, and as being the messiah who lived and was “resurrected to live again.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/adl-warns-missionary-group-is-using-holocaust-again-to-lure-jews/2014/04/24/

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