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May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘jewish culture’

New Torah Scroll Gifted to Nevatim Air Force Base

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base was the recipient of a beautiful new Torah scroll this month in a Hachasat Sefer Torah ceremony that lit up the entire base.

At least 60 hareidi-religious IDF soldiers now serve at the base in a special Nachal Hareidi battalion.

The Sefer Torah itself was donated by Victor Abayev, a Jewish business owner and senior member of the Caucasus Jewish community in the United States.

Abayev donated the Torah in memory of IDF soldier Almog Shiloni, z’l, who served in Nahal Hareidi. The soldier was stabbed to death in a terror attack at the train station in Tel Aviv last November.

Participating in the festivities were Shiloni’s parents, as well as base commander Brigadier Lihu HaCohen, who also spoke at the event.

Nevatim is one of the largest Air Force bases in Israel, with the greatest number of squadrons. On the base there are advanced, highly strategic radars as well as various transport vehicles and other equipment used for intelligence and other purposes.

Torah Stolen from Ziv Hospital in Tzefat

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

A Torah scroll worth NIS 150,000 (approx. $38,000 – $40,000) was stolen this weekend from the synagogue in Ziv Medical Center in Tzefat (Safed).

Police have launched an investigation.

Every government hospital in the State of Israel has a synagogue on the premises and Sabbath services are conducted each Shabbat and holiday.

The theft of a Torah scroll from a synagogue is a devastating loss for any congregation, but particularly so for those in a hospital where family members are often praying for loved ones who are fighting for their lives. Sometimes it is the very patients themselves who have managed to make it to the synagogue to offer their prayers for their own recovery.

Such a theft is a despicable act that can only result in a curse not only to the thief, but also to those who aid in any sale of such a holy object.

Those who may have information about the Torah from Ziv Hospital are asked to please call the national Israel Police “100″ line .

Jewish Music to Our Ears: Klezmer Clarinet and Impromptu Guitar Jam

Friday, May 8th, 2015

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The fiber-glass clarinet of Moshe (“Musa”) Berlin is as iconic as the man who plays it. For more than 50 years, the master of klezmer has played at the massive annual festival of Lag BaOmer at Mt. Meron. This week he joined Yishai in-studio and made magical music.

Then, what happens when a guitar-playing Orthodox Rabbi asks a street violinist to jam with him in Jerusalem? The answer is: beautiful sounds. Indeed, Rabbi Tomer and Alexandra Kanarit know how to make music together. And they do it for Yishai in-studio, performing renditions of popular traditional and modern tunes.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Lag BaOmer, the Kabbalah, and the Renaissance of Jewish Womanhood

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

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Yishai delves into two issues of intrigue: the Kabbalah and women. The holiday of Lag BaOmer is all about the victory of authentic Jewish culture and the Kabbalah — the mystical doctrines of the Torah. But what does that really mean? Can someone explain what the Kabbalah actually is? Rabbi Mike Feuer joins Yishai for a peak into the hidden, and inner, planes of Judaism.

Then, being a woman today means balancing family and career, leaving self-growth neglected. This was the impetus for the Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project, created to give Jewish women a chance to explore Israel, Judaism and themselves, while making friends similarly seeking a meaning-filled life. Yishai is joined in-studio by partnerships director Ariella Milobsky and trip director Tzippy Lieberman, who share their personal stories of growth and redemption, and discuss the that arose from Jewish women’s yearning for more.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

What Makes the IDF Special; the Lag BaOmer Victory; Rescue in Nepal; and Crazy Coalition-Building

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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The Israel Defense Force is not like other armies, says Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, who spoke at the Israel Law Center’s “Towards a New Law of War” conference.

Then, why do we light bonfires on the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer? Historian and author Rabbi Ken Spiro, senior lecturer and researcher for Aish HaTorah’s Discovery Seminars and the JerusalemU, tells Yishai that the victory of Lag BaOmer is the victory of Torah over Roman paganism, and therefore is a continuation of the victory of the Maccabees over the anti-Jewish edicts of the Greeks.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Yossi Fraenkel, operations officer of the International Unit at ZAKA — the Israeli emergency response team that specializes in rescue and body identification and extraction — to talk about his organization’s efforts in Nepal, following the earthquake. Yishai talks about Or Asraf, the Israeli hiker who went missing there, and Israeli teams, including Asraf’s buddies from the army, flew to Kathmandu to help find his body.

Finally, a political bomb shell: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned Monday, just quit the coalition negotiations and will become part of the opposition. Yishai is joined by VOI’s political correspondent Raoul Wootliff to discuss the move. They hear from MK Danny Danon, who gets feisty in defense of his party, the Likud. Then Yishai rants about Jimmy Carter.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

From Rescue by Kindertransport to Fighting Nazis, and the Jewish-Israeli Holiday Relationship

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

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Yishai is joined in-studio by Walter Bingham, 91 — rescued from the Nazis as a Polish child on the Kindertransport and ended up fighting against them with the British — shares his memories of Kristallnacht and of facing the German Foreign Minister who was first to hang at Nuremberg.

Then, VOI Knesset Insider Jeremy Saltan joins Yishai in-studio to discuss the relationship between the Jewish holidays established in the past and the new holidays born in the modern era of Jewish statehood. They point out that Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism, Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day all are marked during the “counting of the Omer” — the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost).

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Storms Send Israeli Mimouna Celebrants Indoors

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

It was a “dark and stormy night” indeed on Saturday night, putting a damper on traditional Moroccan “Mimouna” festivities that were set to follow the Sabbath and the day after the end of Passover in Israel.

Mimouna is a traditional celebration that never fails to bring together all of Israel’s North African Jews and the best of North African Jewish cuisine — despite the fact that cooks have been racing the clock after Passover to prepare the delicacies to be consumed by the crowds.

The celebration itself, culturally a joyous one, is also steeped in Torah tradition. One belief links the name “Mimouna” to the name Maimon – as in Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef – the father of the Rambam, the great Torah Sage, Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, also known as Maimonides. Another belief connects it with the Hebrew word for faith (emunah) or to believe (ma’amin), symbolizing the past redemption of the Jews from Egypt, and having faith and belief in the future Messianic redemption of the Jewish People. As it says, “In the month of Nisan the Jews were redeemed, and in Nisan they will be redeemed in the future.”

In 2011, an article by the Jewish Agency for Israel explained the Jews of Morocco began celebrating the Mimouna several hundred years ago. “When Passover ends and the Jews are still not redeemed the Moroccan Jews do not lose their faith; as the Sages said, ‘Even if he tarries, I will expect him every day.’” In the article, the Jewish Agency noted that the Moroccoan Jews celebrate Mimouna on the evening after Passover because they believe that ‘during this night the heavens are open to our prayers…. As a result of this belief it was customary in many places in Morocco to set up matches between young men and women on the Mimouna eve.”

This year, stormy weather with thunder, lightning and downpours all around Israel led to cancellations of some Mimouna celebrations that were planned for Saturday evening and even a few planned for Sunday. Others, however, simply moved indoors and continued the party.

On Mount Hermon, however, residents in the area faced at least 10 centimeters of snow (four inches) by the end of the Sabbath. Forecasters also issued a flash flood warning for coastal areas, the Judea Desert and the Dead Sea region.

In the south, Sderot, Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva municipalities all canceled their festivities – as did Kiryat Bialik and Hatzor HaGlilit in the north.

Rain was expected to continue overnight Saturday and into Sunday, in an unexpected winter-like weather front that is crossing the region and is not expected to leave the area until at least Monday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/soggy-weather-sends-israeli-mimouna-celebrants-indoors/2015/04/12/

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