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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘jewish culture’

‘Ptil Tekhelet’ Renews Monthly Tallit Raffle for Engaged Couples

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Are you engaged to be married, or perhaps there is an upcoming nuptial in your family? If so, the happy couple is eligible to enter a contest to win a prayer shawl tied with the ancient “ptil tekhelet” sky-blue woolen thread.

To enter, just send a wedding invitation to the Ptil Tehkhelet organization at info@tekhelet.com. The Israeli nonprofit group promotes, educates and produces what is believed to be the authentic “tekhelet” of the ancient Hebrews.

The “Ptil Tekhelet” is mentioned in Torah (Numbers 15:37-41), which also comprises the third paragraph of the Shema prayer:

“Speak to the children of Israel and tell them to make for themselves fringes (tassels) on the corners of their garments throughout their generations. They shall include a thread of sky-blue in the corner. These shall be your fringes, and you shall look upon them and remember all the commandments of the Lord and fulfill them. You will then not stray after your heart and your eyes by which you go astray. You will thus remember and keep all My Commandments, and be holy to your God. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I , the Lord, am your God.”

The pilot raffle program created by the organization provides up to 10 tallitot (prayer shawls) per month to engaged couples around the world. Ten winners will be selected monthly to receive a free wedding tallit tied with a ptil tekhelet.

The contest has been extended for six months, beginning with the Hebrew month of Elul which started last Sunday, August 16.

“As these young people enter into marriage,” said Dr. Ari Greenspan, Chairman of Ptil Tekhelet, “it is fitting that they usher in their new life by donning something at once so ancient and so new as the tekhelet strings. It’s the perfect metaphor for marriage itself.”

The practice of including a thread of Biblical blue tekhelet among the white fringes of the tallit was lost over a millennium ago. Its restoration in modern times was promulgated by the vision of rabbis such as Rabbi Gershon Henoch Leiner, known as the Radzyner Rebbe, and Yitzchak Isaac Halevi Herzog, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel. Present-day technologies and Rabbinic responsa, have enabled the identification of the Murex Trunculus snail as the source of this ancient blue dye.

Dr. Naama Sukenik from the Israel Antiquities Authority last year spoke at the Tekhelet Conference on Murba’at Textile, where she discussed new finds from the Murba’at Caves in the Judean Desert.

According to Sukenik, a fabric dated to the second century, dyed with material obtained from the Murex trunculus sea-snail and colored blue, was shown to be of local Israelite origin and it appears that perhaps was colored with the ancient dye known as Tekhelet mentioned in the Bible.

The Ptil Tekhelet organization has now been producing this tekhelet for more than two decades. For more information, please visit the organization’s website.

75 Torah Scrolls at the Western Wall to Illuminate 75 Jewish Souls

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Seventy-five Torah scrolls in 75 gleaming new silver Sephardic Torah cases were brought to the Western Wall Wednesday night for a ceremony to commemorate the Jewish souls returned to their Creator last summer in Operation Protective Edge.

closing the new sefer Torahs

Sixty-five of the 75 new Torah scrolls was donated by Jewish communities from around the world as part of a project initiated by the Yad L’Banim organization. Ten others were donated through the Defense Minister by the Libi Fund, the Ministry of Religious Services and the Western Wall rabbi – all, in memory of the 75 people who were killed in last summer’s counter terror war against Hamas and allied terror groups in Gaza and elsewhere in Israel. After the ceremony, the scrolls were transferred to Yad L’Banim memorial sites and IDF bases across the country.

Both of Israel’s Chief Rabbis were present at the ceremony.

“This is the most powerful way we Jews remember our dead, and their memories will always be alive while we read and learn from each sefer Torah,” wrote a Facebook user who described the “emotional but beautiful event” following the ceremony.

“May their dearest souls be elevated by this event,” he added.

During the ceremony, the same Torah scroll that was carried by IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren after the liberation of Jerusalem’s holiest site – the Western Wall and the Temple Mount – was brought back from the IDF together with the other Torahs in a moving re-enactment of its first arrival to the site in the arms of the chief rabbi.

Rabbi Goren’s Torah scroll was carried by three IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and three paratroopers who re-enacted the famous black-and-white photo of Rabbi Goren holding the Torah scroll.

Synagogue Vandalized in Jerusalem, Torah Stolen in Ramat HaSharon

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

A Holy Ark was set ablaze and a swastika was sprayed in red paint on to a Beit Midrash in the heart of Jerusalem in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Both the Holy Ark – where the Torah scrolls rest – and its protective curtain were set on fire in the “Pitchei Olam” central synagogue at 57 King George Street, its decades-long location.

Anti-Semitic epithets and swastikas were also scrawled on walls around the building, situated at the heart of the capital’s shopping and tourism district.

Rabbinical students at the Beit Midrash told the Tazpit News Agency this is the third time this month the sanctity of the Beit Midrash has been violated.

Police and forensic investigators searched the building for evidence that could lead to the perpetrators.

“The circumstances surrounding this event are unclear,” Jerusalem police told Tazpit. “An investigation into the incident has been launched.” Police are confident they will track down the perpetrators.

In Ramat HaSharon, meanwhile, thieves stole a Torah scroll this week worth more than NIS 100,000.

The Torah was donated just a few months ago by a Bnei Brak family to the city’s main Beit Knesset, Geulat Yisrael, on Rabeinu Tam Street.

The busy synagogue is host to Ramat HaSharon Chief Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein. Police have opened an investigation into this desecration as well.

Pres. Rivlin Receives ‘First Fruits of the Field’ for Shavuot

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin is reaping the fruits of years invested in good relations with Israeli farmers.

On Thursday, the president and his wife Nechama received two big baskets of fruit and vegetables from the nation’s farmers, in concert with the tradition of bringing the “first fruits of the field” to Jerusalem on the eve of Shavuot.

In the time of the Holy Temple, reminded Meir Yifrah, a member of Moshav Ohad (near the Gaza border) and the secretary-general of the Israel Vegetable Growers’ Association, the custom was scrupulously observed, with farmers bringing their produce to the Kohanim (priests) of the Temple. Today, he smiled, they are bringing their produce instead to the President of the State of Israel. Along with Yifrah were farmers from every part of the country.

For 20 years, MK Rivlin was a member of the lobby that advocated for the farmers of Israel, working for subsidies when things got tough.

On Thursday, Rivlin offered to become an active voice for the farmers once more. It’s not a new move for him; Rivlin has always taken an interest in agricultural affairs, partly because his wife Nechama was born on a moshav (an agricultural cooperative community.)

Due to this being the shemittah – seventh – year, in which the fields are allowed to lie fallow, there are fewer varieties and less to offer, but what there is was brought and received with joy.

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

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/jewish-music-to-our-ears-klezmer-clarinet-and-impromptu-guitar-jam/2015/05/08/

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