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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘home’

Time to Come Home: South Dakota Chabad Center Completes 50-State Outreach

Monday, November 28th, 2016

The founder of Hasidism, the holy Ba’al Shem Tov, reported having gone up to the higher realm one Rosh Hashanah, and meeting the messiah, whom he asked, “When will Sir arrive?” Which the messiah answered, “You’ll know it’s time when your teachings will spread around the world and your wellsprings will overflow outwardly (“yafutzu mayanotecha chutza,” Proverbs 5:17).” This has traditionally been understood to mean, especially in Chabad, that the way to “bring the messiah” is by spreading Hasidic teaching, and once every land has in it Jews capable of Hasidic meditation, redemption would come next.

All of which might mean that messianic times have finally arrived in the United States of America, as Chabad Lubavitch has just announced the establishment of a Chabad Center in the 50th and final US state, South Dakota, home to the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial with its massive sculpture of four great presidents carved into the rock of the Black Hills.

“South Dakota, with its minuscule Jewish community scattered throughout a geographically expansive area, has had the dubious distinction of being the only state in America with no rabbi,” goes an urgent press release we received Sunday. “That will all change this winter, it was announced at the International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries, when Rabbi Mendel and Mussie Alperowitz move from Brooklyn, NY, to Sioux Falls to establish a Chabad center that will cater to a community dating back to the days of the Wild West.”

According to Chabad, “the appointment comes as the American Jewish community marks 75 years since the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, and his wife, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka, arrived on US shores from war-torn Europe in 1941.” Incidentally, Chabad-Lubavitch has already been serving Jews in South Dakota for more than half a century, “since the Rebbe established the Merkos Shlichus (Roving Rabbis) program, which dispatches pairs of young rabbis to small and isolated communities around the globe.”

And “although it has been widely accepted that fewer than 400 Jewish people reside in the entire state, Rabbi Alperowitz estimates that it may indeed be home to as many as a thousand Jews. He believes that the Jewish population may have been bolstered in recent years by the growing financial and health-care industries.”

So, no more excuses, our brothers and sisters in America, the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov have touched every single part of the great USA, time to come home to the great land of Israel. Contact Nefesh B’nefesh in South Dakota or someplace nearby and make your reservations early.


V’Shavu Vanim: The Comins Come Home

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

We’ve Been here only since Tuesday morning, but it feels like a long time. I’m over my jet lag, raring to go! We are in a light breezy rental apartment in Katamon until the dira is ready that we bought in Baka, several months at least. We only brought 4 suitcases, so we have to re-invent ourselves. One of Reggie’s was lost by EL AL for a day, so that was a great temporary source of anguish, as she had in it important medicine, heirloom jewelry, etc. I brought just my fiddle, no banjo or guitar. Reggie’s sister met as at the airport, took us shopping right away with her car, and arranged both meals for our first Sabbath, both fabulous banquets where we met many interesting people, who were all extremely encouraging and happy for us.

Everyone tells us to expect a period of adjustment, that beaurocracy and social patterns are different than we are used to, and that is OK with me. People tell me I can get by in Jerusalem without knowing much Hebrew, but at the official offices and beaurocratic places, utility companies, etc. you better have someone with who knows it. Reggie knows It at an intermediate level, but would like to improve. One of the benefits we get as new citizens as free enrollment in a language class. It is real work, 3 hours 3 nights a week, or more hours per day in a more intense format. People tell me “I didn’t learn the language but I made some great friends”. I will try and learn but at this point in my life I don’t relish drills and homework and memorization.

When I went to shul on Shabbat morning and they heard that we were new citizens, I was honored with e third Aliyah. After my Aliyah the leader of the group led everyone in a song used to welcome immigrants to the country. It was very unexpected and extremely moving; a validation of the years of planning and hard work that got us to this point.

I think I’m going to wait a little while before I begin filling my days with scheduled things, like Yeshiva learning, volunteering, etc. I want to have the freedom of a retired person and do different things each day, either to facilitate our move, or extra-ccurricular things to explore the city, cultural, walking tours, etc. There is a plethora of cultural things to chose from. This is something I desperately missed in my 35 yrs in the suburbs of Montclair and Passaic. I grew up in New York City and have been eager again to be in the middle of a metropolis bursting with energy.

Where better than Jerusalem? Next week there is an ‘Oud’ festival, of Middle eastern music. I also saw a series of concerts by the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra. They are even having a mini Bach festival in early 2017, with one concert of the entire Mass in B Minor. Count me in for that! There are also secular and religious cultural centers that offer a constant variety of fascinating classes, events and trips.
People welcome us here by saying ‘welcome home’, and in many ways it does feel like that. There are many great figures in Jewish history who tried to reach their ancestral homeland but were prevented by any number of reasons, and many died along the way. So we both feel privileged to have the means, time and health to be able to engage in this profound journey.
Jerusalem is not a beautiful city like Paris or Venice, but it has a unique charm and flavor. I’m getting used to knowing the layout of the city and enjoy using a map to get around. Friday morning we went to the very unique area of Mea Shearim, where only Chassidish people live. The stores and streets are different than anywhere else I’ve ever seen, reminding me of of the oldest medieval cities I’ve ever seen. We were told about an amazing bakery called Lander’s which is literally a hole in the wall. In the course of looking for it we meandered into ever narrower streets and alleys, forgetting that we were in a major metropolis, transported to a whole different world.

In the course of the morning we ran into six different people we were either related to, or friends or acquaintances with, including a cousin from Tzvat, a friend from Passaic who moved here just recently and whose contact info we were looking to get, a good friend of our son who recently moved to Ramat Bais Shemesh, and the co-owner of the ‘Kosher Connection’ food market we shopped in all the time in Passaic! It was a wonderfully unique Jerusalem experience, and reminded us again of the profound connection we have with so many great people!
Stay tuned for the next installment!

David Collier

Home Stretch: Adelson Betting $25 Million on Trump

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Casino Magnate Billionaire Sheldon Adelson gave $25 million to Future 45, an anti-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, in a last-ditch effort to usher Donald Trump into the White House, and help down-ballot Republican races as well, Fox News reported Monday. The report suggested Adelson might come up with even more money to seal the deal later in the week.

Adelson, who put down $100 million in support of various Republican candidates in 2012, received no return on his investment at the time, which might explain why he has been reluctant to spend on the Trump campaign to begin with. Eventually, after months of promises and no delivery, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, ended up giving the Trump campaign “only” $5 million. But now, according to Fox News citing senior GOP sources, the couple appears to be betting the house on the candidate.

The Republican sources suggested what motivated the Adelsons’ sudden eagerness to support Trump was the FBI’s announcement last Friday that 650,000 additional emails related to Hillary Clinton had been discovered, which suddenly appeared to increase Trump’s chance for victory. In fact, a source close to the Adelsons predicted they would give as much as another $25 million before this week is out.

Interestingly, early on in the Republican primaries, both the Adelsons and the Ricketts family of Chicago (TD Ameritrade) supported Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for the nomination, and the Ricketts actually spent millions on attempts to block Trump’s nomination.

David Israel

Welcome to the Home of the Jewish People

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Video of the Day

Lebanese Insist Syrian Refugees Go Home, Now

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam on Monday warned that his country was in “serious danger” to the point of facing collapse under the ongoing rush of Syrian refugees, the Daily Star reported Tuesday. Salam said the burden is straining Lebanon’s already struggling economy and infrastructure, to the point where it is threatening their very stability.

Speaking in NY on the occasion of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the global refugee crisis, Salam said: “My country is in serious danger. What the Lebanese have done by harboring one million and a half Syrians for a population of four million is unprecedented. What the Lebanese have done by spending close to 15 billion dollars they do not have in three years to serve the displaced Syrian population is unprecedented.”

Salam insisted that the UN “draft within three months a detailed logistical mapping of the return in safety and dignity of the Syrians now in Lebanon to Syria, specifying transportation needs, departure locations, and all associated costs.” Salam suggested that “raising the financing required for this plan should be started immediately. This will allow, when circumstances permit, a swift implementation.”

As of March 31, 2016, Lebanon is hosting 1,048,275 registered refugees from Syria, 53% of whom are children, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  The Lebanese government chose not to establish camps for Syrian citizens fleeing the civil war into Lebanon, and they have settled instead throughout country. Most of the newcomers rent lodging in about 1,700 towns and villages, but an estimated 18% live in squatter communities near the border.

According to the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, the Lebanese government is making it difficult for Syrian refugees to renew their residency permits, and as a result, according to Shelter Working Group-Lebanon, the number of households in which all members are legally in the country has dropped from 58% in 2014 to 29% in 2015. The same NGO has reported that refugee households living below the poverty line increased from 49% in 2014 to 70% in 2015. The percentage of refugee households with debt jumped from 70% in 2013 to 89% in 2015.


Prosecution Objects to Arab Petition to Demolish Homes of ‘Jewish Terrorists’

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

The state prosecution on Wednesday announced its intent to object to a petition to the High Court submitted by the father of the Arab boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was murdered by three Jews in 2014. The petition requests that the state demolish the homes of the families of Abu Khdeir’s killers, the way it does in cases where Arab terrorists murder Jews.

The prosecution argued that it would be a mistake to treat Jewish and Arab terrorism equally. “Of course, every act of terrorism is unacceptable,” the prosecution wrote in its statement, “but we cannot ignore the gap in the scope of terrorism carried out by Palestinians and eastern Jerusalem Arabs compared with terror which is carried out by Jews.”

The kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir took place in the early morning of July 2, 2014, one day after the burial of three Israeli teens who had been kidnapped and murdered by Hamas agents. Abu Khdeir, a 16-year-old Arab, was forced into a car by three young Jews on a street in eastern Jerusalem. Police located his charred body a few hours later at Givat Shaul in the Jerusalem Forest. The autopsy results suggested he had been beaten and set on fire while still alive.

The murder was condemned by the families of the three murdered Israeli teens, who sent Abu Khdeir’s family their condolences. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas blamed the murder on Israel and demanded that Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemn it “as we condemned the kidnapping of the three Israelis.” However, when Israel included Abu Khdeir in the Victims of Acts of Terror Memorial at Mount Herzl, his family insisted that his name be removed at once.

In February 4, 2016, two minors who participated in the Abu Khdeir murder were sentenced, one receiving life imprisonment, the other 21 years. The court ruled that their leader was Yosef Haim Ben-David, who was sent for psychiatric evaluation. On February 22, 2016, a court appointed psychiatrist testified that Ben-David was fit to stand trial, and on April 19, 2016 he was found guilty of murder. While awaiting sentencing, Ben David tried to commit suicide in his cell. On May 3, 2016, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years.

David Israel

Deputy Defense Minister Blocks Judea and Samaria Home Demolitions

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) on Tuesday issued a directive changing the protocol of evacuation of Jewish residents from illegal structures in Judea and Samaria. Following evacuation operations by security forces on Monday in the community of Eish Kodesh and on Tuesday in Mitzpeh Avichai near Kiryat Arba, Ben-Dahan sent a letter to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) instructing them that, starting Tuesday, the new invasion protocol in the evacuation of illegal structures must be approved by Ben-Dahan before it is carried out.

The protocol for these invasions and evacuations under former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon (Likud) permitted COGAT to evacuate illegal structures without government authorization in the first 60 days following their construction.

On Tuesday morning COGAT inspectors demolished temporary units that had been erected on Avichai hill in commemoration of the murdered teen girl Halel Ariel hy”d. Her family arrived at the area but were pushed off by police.

Following the evacuation, Halel’s mother issued a statement saying: “Some two months after the murder of our daughter Halel I woke up to another ordinary morning, trying to carry on with my life from within the loss. To cry and to live. Another ordinary day. Suddenly, an announcement: they’re evacuating Mitzpeh Avichai! We rushed to the area. There, at the spot where the terrorist had infiltrated, police forces were standing. The gate was locked, personal effects were outside. No people. The site had been evacuated.”

Halel’s mother added, “Two months after the murder, Halel is gone and the community that was built near that terrible site is also gone. A double destruction. All we want is to add building, increase the light. Today Halel was murdered a second time. Right now darkness is covering. We need so much strength to carry on. So much faith to fight the darkness. So much patience. God, please give us the strength to continue against the concealment inside the concealment [of the Divine].”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/deputy-defense-minister-blocks-judea-and-samaria-home-demolitions/2016/09/07/

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