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February 9, 2016 / 30 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish’

Ivanka Trump Open to Politics; The First Woman Jewish President?

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Ivanka Trump, the woman who is considered the big brains in her father’s business empire, rules out politics for the time being but says she might consider following in her father’s footsteps later in life.

Asked if she thought about entering politics, Ivanka told Town & Country in an interview published Tuesday:

It’s not something I’ve ever been inclined to do, but I’m 34, so who knows? At this point I would never even contemplate it, but that doesn’t mean that when I’m 50 I won’t have a change of heart.

If that doesn’t sound like a politician, what does?

If she wanted to run for President today, she might have a good shot at, considering the candidates, including her father.

The media have not been enthusiastic about any of the presidential hopefuls. Hillary Clinton is viewed as a powerful liar, Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, a wild-eyed socialist, and Donald Trump a UFO who knows how to get headlines and infuriate more than half the country while magnetizing an incredibly large number of voters.

Ivanka is a lot more good looking than her father and is the highly successful vice president of the Trump Organization.

She has tried to stay out of the campaign but told Town & Country she loves and fully supports her father. “I’m always there for him if it’s helpful,” Ivanka said.

Ivanka converted to Judaism through an orthodox rabbi, at the insistence of the family of her husband. She adopted the Hebrew name of Yael and said in an interview this year:

We’re pretty observant… It’s been such a great life decision for me… I really find that with Judaism, it creates an amazing blueprint for family connectivity. From Friday to Saturday we don’t do anything but hang out with one another. We don’t make phone calls.

The former model also has two children with a third on the way.

Politico has called her “the quiet power behind the Trump throne,” a stark contrast to her father’s shoot-from-the-hip barbs and crass remarks about women, Mexicans, Muslims and just about anyone else who is not a redneck.

Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News chairman and whose TV journalist Megyn Kelly was crudely insulted by Trump, concedes that “Ivanka is the secret weapon of the entire Trump organization. She not only has tremendous business savvy, but she’s also street smart. There’s no doubt she exhibits the best skills of her father, has already developed an impressive personal brand, and besides is a very nice person.”

If Clinton does not become the first woman President of the United States, and if Sanders does not become the first Jewish President, Ivanka might be in line for both.

Court Quotes Isaiah: Jew Can Hold Out His Hands on Temple Mount

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Can a Jew hold his hands outstretched on the Temple without being arrested for offending Muslims by “praying.”

And if a Jew looks upward or wears a head-covering on the holy site, would these actions also be considered an offensive display of belief in God?

The Jerusalem District court on Monday discussed the absurd and ruled that it really is too ridiculous to be taken into account as a reality.

The government of Israel prohibits prayer on the Temple Mount, in accordance with demands from Muslims, regardless of the Jordanian-Israel peace Treaty that specifically states in Article 9:

Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.

The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

Treaties aside, Jews cannot pray on the Temple Mount, but no one has defined the word “prayer.” Police previously have hauled Jews off the Temple Mount for prostrating. Moving one’s lips also is problematic, even if he simply is shivering from the winter.

But what about holding one’s hands outstretched while walking?

It is a violation of the rules of the game, police told Yehudah Etzion, who won his case in court after having refused a police order on the 10th of Tevet, a fast day, to drop his hands while walking on the Temple Mount.

Police barred him from the holy site for two weeks, alleging he represents a threat to public safety, meaning he upsets the Muslims.

Judge Ram Winograd cited Chapter 1 of Isaiah and the Talmud while noting that the police had come up with a new standard of prohibited prayer when detaining Etzion.

He ruled:

Under the circumstances there should be no discussion of whether holding one’s palms upwards is an act of worship, it is sufficient to note that the police did not prohibit this action until now.

I will note that taking this path, perhaps in the spirit of the verse in Isaiah Chapter 1, would warrant prohibiting lifting one’s eyes up to the sky, based on what is written in the Mishnah, Tractate Rosh Hashanah, Chapter 3; and perhaps it is necessary to ban head coverings on the Temple Mount since pursuant to the Talmud this is a dress that proves the fear of Heaven.

Police Superintendent Ian Granot argued, “The Temple Mount is an explosive site. We are in the midst of a terror wave that was sparked by this site. The Israel Police managed to remove the Temple Mount from the current terror wave.” Judge Winogrod’s citing of Chapter 1 of Isaiah is a bit ironic because it states the Prophet’s theme that God does not want sacrifices that are offered from Jews whose hands are guilty of sins.

Verse 15 states:

And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you, even when you pray at length, I do not hear; your hands are full of blood.

Research Links Being Religious with a Happy Life – but only for Jews

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Observant Jews are happier with life, and Jews living in Hareidi cities can expect to live longer than others, according to a new study by the Taub Center for Social Studies.

However, the researchers cautioned:

It is important to note that the relatively positive self-reports of Hareidim may also be due to a social norm that frowns on complaining, and would particularly disapprove of ‘airing one’s dirty laundry’ in the context of a secular survey.

Previous studies have concluded that religious involvement is a factor in satisfaction with aspects of living, and Taub researchers reported:

Relatively high percentages of Hareidim attest to being very happy with their relationships with family members: 80.2 percent versus 62.7 percent or less in other population groups….

A relatively low percentage of Hareidim report feelings of loneliness. Only 11.4 percent of Hareidim said that they were lonely, compared with at least twice that amount among other groups.

The link does necessarily apply to non-Jews. The researchers stated::

A rise in satisfaction levels moving up the religiosity scale does not appear among non-Jews. About 37.7 percent of non-Jewish respondents in the study who identified as very religious or religious felt lonely – more than the not very religious (30.7 percent) and the non-religious (30.0 percent).

The report also stated that Hareidim can expect to live three years longer than others in Israel.

A direct link was found “between a city’s socioeconomic and the life expectancy of its residents” but the trend is different for Hareidim in Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, according to the study.

The researchers also noted a study carried out in 1996 that showed that national religious Jews living on kibbutzim have a lower mortality write than secular kibbutzniks.

The 1996 study stated:

These findings indicate that, even in closed and highly-structured communities such as kibbutzim, level of religious observance has an impact on health status.

The latest Taub study noted that then-Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s drastic reduction in child welfare payments more than a decade ago, in addition to the global financial crisis in 2008, “hurt Hareidi families financially” but also ” led many Hareidim to vocational study and employment.”

 

Washington State Synagogue Statue Defaced with Swastika

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Vandals spray-painted a swastika on a statue outside an Olympia, Washington synagogue, and an anti-Semite punched an Orthodox Jewish student in the face in two high-profile hate attacks in the United States this week.

The college student was treated on the scene, with the help of a Muslim woman student. The attacker fled.

The statue in Washington stands outside Olympia’s Temple Beth HaTfiloh.

Seth Goldstein, the temple’s spiritual leader wrote in a blog post:

A swastika is not mere vandalism — it is a symbol of hatred with deep resonance with Jews and shakes us to our core, especially in a community in which we are constantly reminded of our minority status.

The incident at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College occurred when an unidentified black man bumped into an Orthodox Jewish student from behind. When the student turned around, the attacker punched him twice in the face and stomach while snarling at him for being “white and Jewish.”

College President Rudy Crew seemed to be thrilled at the chance to be politically correct and boast how a Muslim helped an Orthodox Jew.

He said:

The fact that a Muslim woman came to the defense of an orthodox Jewish man is a true reflection of the values that permeate this great institution.

Is it really such a tremendous event in the United States when a Muslim helps a Jew?

Bennett Worried about Jews – the Ones in the Diaspora

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Assimilation is murdering Judaism, except in Israel.

Naftali Bennett told Jewish legislators from around the world this week that he is more worried about Jews in the Diaspora than those in Israel, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported.

Speaking at the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP), the Education Minister and chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party said that streams of Judaism must be accepted.

However, he then opened a can of worms by stating, “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.”

The answer to “who is a Jew” vastly varies and is at the heart of disputes between Orthodox Judaism and the Reform and Conservatives streams.

EJP quoted Bennett as telling the legislators visiting Israel:

I’m not worried about Israel. I’m worried about Diaspora Jews. That’s what keeps me up at night.

Assimilation is as big a loss to the Jewish people as the expulsion of the 10 tribes.

The chairman of the .ICIP is New York Congressman Eliot Engel and includes former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, French MP Meyer Habib, as well as legislators from Chile, Brazil, Belgium, Romania, Hungary and Ukraine.

Also addressing the conference was Michael Oren, former Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member in the Kulanu party.

EJP reported that he said that labeling products from Judea and Samaria that they are made in the “occupied territories” is “anti-Semitic.”

Oren explained:

There are hundreds of territorial disputes in the world. Only Israeli products are being labeled.

Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog repeated his refrain that “we need to separate from the Palestinians” and followed with the usual non-solutions.

Instead, he declared, “It has to be resolved – but right now, if you look at the mood of the people, it’s at its worst ever… You can’t disregard the notion of the two-state solution. If that’s over, you’ll be moving to the one-state solution whether you like it or not… the reality is impossible… you can’t govern another people.

US Jews Help IDF Soldiers Celebrate Hanukkah at Army Bases

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Jonathan Benedek wrote this article for TPS.

The Tri-State Region branch of the U.S. non-profit Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) arranged  for hundreds of Israeli soldiers in the Givati Brigade to celebrate Chanukah a Hanukkah on their bases.

“During Hanukkah, sometimes they don’t get to go home and are instead in the field and on base,” Anat Chavkin, Director of the FIDF Connecticut/Westchester chapter, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “In order to bring Hanukkah to them, we try to arrange these activities to lift their morale.”

Chavkin added:

Usually, we sponsor a whole Hanukkah party for the brigade where there will be dancing. During the party, their commander will comment not only on the holiday but will share some words about the soldiers themselves to help motivate them.

We are also giving the soldiers in the brigade a lot of Sufganiyot doughnuts.

The Tri-State branch has taken the Givati Brigade under its wing through an FIDF program known as “Adopt-A-Brigade.”

 

“What really means a lot to them is that people from all around the world and in particular the United States think about them, share the same values with them and will always stand by them,” Chavkin added.

Pollard Praying for Miracle of Chanukah in Appeal on Parole Conditions

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard is appealing to the U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday for easing conditions of his parole that make it impossible for him to work and require him to violate Jewish law on Shabbat.

HaModia reported that the presiding judge at the hearing, on the third day of Chanukah, will be Katherine B. Forrest, who was appointed to her current position four years ago by President Barack Obama.

A New York financial institution had offered Pollard a job after his recent release from prison following 30 years in jail.

However, the parole’s conditions require Pollard to remain under house arrest 12 hours a day, from 7 in the evening until 7 in the morning, preventing him from attending synagogue on the eve of Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Attorney Jacques Semmelman, acting on behalf of Pollard, previously has filed a brief stating that he cannot find work because he is required to wear a GPS bracelet, which needs re-charring at least once and sometimes twice within 24 hours.

Moreover, he has to remain seated for two hours while the battery for the monitoring system is being re-charged.

His parole conditions also require him to violate the Shabbat by answering the phone if his probation officer calls on the Day of Rest.

Turning on the electricity on Shabbat for the re-charging system is a violation of Jewish law, and even if he uses a “Shabbos clock,” he cannot move from his seat for two hours.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive of the National Council of Young Israel, told the court in an affidavit that when there is a two-day Jewish holiday, which occurs four times day and sometimes if it immediately followed by Shabbat, it would cause more violations of Jewish law.

Rabbi Lerner, according to HaModia, also pointed out that the parole conditions disturb the meaning of Shabbat. He explained:

Lest anyone think the Sabbath is merely a collection of prohibitions, that is not the case at all. The Sabbath is a special day which, if properly observed, provides spiritual respite and growth.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pollard-praying-for-miracle-of-chanukah-in-appeal-on-parole-conditions/2015/12/04/

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