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

Texas Official Cites Jewish Chaplain’s WW II Dedication

Monday, May 27th, 2013

A Texas state official spoke at a Memorial Day service and quoted a Jewish chaplain’s dedication of a temporary cemetery on Iwo Jima in World War II.

Jerry Patterson, the state’s Land Commissioner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor, said that whenever he speaks at a Memorial Day service, he quotes Lt. Roland B Gittlesohn, a Jewish chaplain who spokes on March 21, 1945 at the dedication of a temporary cemetery on the island of Iwo Jima for Marine and Navy personnel killed during that battle.

“Here lie men who loved America because their ancestors generations ago helped in her founding and other men who loved her with equal passion because they themselves or their own fathers escaped from oppression to her blessed shores,” the chaplain was quoted as saying.

“Here lie officers and men, blacks and whites, rich men and poor — together. Here are Protestants, Catholics and Jews — together. Here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. Here there are no quotas of how many are allowed. Among these men there is no discrimination.

“No prejudices. No hatred.

“Theirs is the highest and purest democracy.”

Senegalese Tribe Sounds Jewish, Acts Jewish but Says It’s Muslim

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

He will welcome you into his earthen-floor home, introduce you to his three wives, and let you sample their cooking. But Dougoutigo Fadiga does not want foreigners to come near the sacred tree of his village deep in the Senegalese bush.

“The tree is holy grounds,” says Fadiga, president of this remote settlement of 4,000 souls. “Our Jewish ancestor, Jacob, planted it when his people first settled here 1,000 years ago.”

The lush kapok tree towers over the parched shrubbery at the edge of Bani Israel, a dusty community in eastern Senegal near the border with Mali. The residents, all Muslims, are members of a tribe whose name means “sons of Israel,” and they trace their lineage to two clans – Sylla and Drame – they say are descended from Egyptian Jews.

“We are all practicing Muslims and we don’t want to become Jewish,” Fadiga says. “In fact, we don’t like to talk too much about our Jewish background, but we don’t hide it either. We know our people came from Egypt to Somalia, and from there to Nigeria, where they split about 1,000 years ago. One branch of the two families went to Mali, another to Guinea, and we settled here.”

The truth of such claims is difficult to establish, but West Africa has had a documented Jewish presence since at least the 14th century, when several Jewish merchants set up shop in Timbuktu, in western Mali. Jews kept trickling in from Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition of the 15th and 16th centuries, and later from Morocco.

Gideon Behar, Israel’s former ambassador to Senegal, says Jews maintained a constant presence in the area until 1943, when the last Jewish settlement was uprooted from Guinea-Bissau, Senegal’s southern neighbor, then a Portuguese colony under the rule of pro-fascist dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar.

“Bani Israel is a striking example because of its name, but there are many, many other ways in which this area’s little-known but rich Jewish presence has influenced it,” says Behar, one of the few Westerners to have visited Bani Israel.

Behar believes the historic presence is responsible for some of the faint Jewish traces still visible in the region. West African musicians often decorate the traditional, 21-string bridge-harp known as kora with Jewish symbols, including the Star of David. And some words in Wolof, a widely spoken language in Senegal, bear more resemblance to Hebrew pronunciation than Arabic, which is spoken in neighboring countries.

The Wolof word for cheek is pronounced “lekhi,” as in Hebrew. One of Wolof’s words for wise is pronounced the same as the Hebrew word “chacham.” A weaver or fabric merchant is called “rab,” similar to rabbi.

The Bani Israel also have a cultural trait in common with Jews: an aversion to intermarriage. According to Fadiga, the community tries not to assimilate, preferring to wed with members of the tribe who live in neighboring villages.

“I believe there is an element of truth to the tradition of the Bani Israel, especially since they have nothing to gain from pretending,” says Behar, who returned from Senegal in 2011. “They’re not seeking Israeli citizenship, nor are they claiming to be Jewish. In fact, their Jewish ancestry and name can only give them problems.”

The story of Bani Israel’s origin is not universally accepted in Senegal. Abdoul Kader Taslimanka, a Senegalese writer who published a book last year about the community, “Bani Israel of Senegal,” says the name has nothing to do with Jews and in fact is taken from the title of a chapter of the Koran.

Some accounts do, however, support the last leg of the journey that Fadiga describes.

In his village, Fadiga is known as the marabou, the local equivalent of a shaman or bush doctor.

Unlike most villages in the area, the Bani Israel live in houses made of brick instead of mud and thatch huts. It also was the first village in the area to have a clinic and electrical generators, according to Fadiga.

Such relative luxuries are financed by about 1,000 Bani Israel who live in the Senegalese capital of Dakar or in France, sending monthly donations back to the village. Unusual for the region, the money is not sent directly to relatives but is placed in a communal trust that pays for health services and schools, which in turn service not only the village but the entire remote region.

Two New Jersey Men Plead Not Guilty in Synagogue Bombings

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Two New Jersey men, indicted in March for arson and attempted murder and terrorism, pleaded not guilt in a New Jersey court this week.

Anthony Graziano of Lodi and Aakash Dalal of New Brunswick, both 21, were arrested after the northern New Jersey’s Bergen County bombings, one of which injured Beth El Congregation Rabbi Nosson Schuman.

The attackers hurled a firebomb at the family’s residential unit in the synagogue, setting fire to a bedroom.

IDF Arrests PA Security Officers Who Murdered Jew

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Israeli soldiers on Tuesday arrested three Palestinian Authority security officers who murdered 24-year-old Ben-Yosef Livnat at Joseph’s Tomb two years ago but spent only one year in a PA jail before being freed.

An IDF investigation of the incident confirmed Palestinian Authority claims that Livnat and other Jews tried to enter the holy Jewish site without coordinating with the military but added that the Palestinian Authority security officers “fired deliberately and with intention to harm the worshipers.”

Tuesday’s arrests were carried out by the IDF in Samaria. The Palestinian Authority had refused an Israeli request in 2011 to turn them over to the IDF.

PA Resurrects ‘Palestinian Authority Descending from Jesus’ Gospel

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The official Palestinian Authority daily has figuratively crucified the New Testament to show that Jesus not only was “the virtuous patriotic Palestinian forefather” but also that “the Zionist movement… wanted to falsify historical facts, to exile and crucify the Palestinian Arab nation and then murder it.”

It has to be true because ‘The Bible tells me so,” if the over-60 crowd remembers what Pat Boone used to croon, except that Boone and the Palestinian Authority have different versions.

In the past, Muslim clerics in the PA have rewritten the Torah to explain that the forefather Abraham actually led Ishmael and not Isaac (Yitzchak) to be sacrificed. For the uninformed, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, as related in the Torah, actually is a Muslim holy place, although Islam was founded more than 2,000 years after she died.

And, of course, the Biblical accounts of the First and Second Temples never existed.

Now, thanks to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) of an article in the official Palestinian Authority Al-Hayat Al-Jadida two weeks ago, the world knows that the entire story of Jesus “reflects the Palestinian narrative.”

The headline “The resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection of the state” makes it clear that Jesus and the Palestinian Authority are one, forever united – a wonderful way to convince Christians that they actually are Muslims whose heritage dates way back to Ishmael and that the modern  Zionist movement has robbed the “Palestinians” of their ancient history. That might be true if  Yasser Arafat were the 3,000-year-old man, but on second thought, he was born in Egypt, so that won’t work.

Remember the Christian holiday Easter? It is not about colored eggs at all. It also not just for “Christian Palestinians.”

Easter is a holiday for Palestinian nationalism, because Jesus, may he rest in peace, is a Canaanite Palestinian,” according to op-ed that was translated and reported by PMW.

“His resurrection, three days after being crucified and killed by the Jews – as reported in the New Testament – reflects the Palestinian narrative, which struggles against the descendants of modern Zionist Judaism, in its new colonialist form, that conspires with the Western capitalists who claim to belong to Christianity,” the official PA daily’s op-ed stated.

Jesus “rose from the dead…to spread his teachings that still exist and will exist as long as mankind exists.”

And what is his gospel?

His story is the “Palestinian people’s story,” the article continues.

Is the Palestinian Authority twisting history?

No, God forbid. The guilty party is “the Zionist movement – tool of the capitalist West – [that] wanted to falsify historical facts, to exile and crucify the Palestinian Arab nation and then murder it by means of ethnic cleansing… “

And now the pièce de résistance.

“The Palestinians, Jesus’ descendants, rose from the ashes, like the phoenix, from the ruins of the Nakba.” the Arab term for the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.”

Pat Boone must be crying in his grave.

Vicious Graffiti Sprayed on Home of Women of the Wall Official

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Vandals spray painted the Jerusalem home of a long-time board member of the Women of the Wall (WOW) with vicious graffiti, the first time opponents to WOW have resorted to vengeance.

Some of the graffiti sprayed on the door and stairwell of Peggy Cidor’s apartment read in Hebrew: “Women of the Wall are wicked,” “Peggy, your time is up,” “Peggy, we know where you live,” and “Jerusalem is holy,” according to the Women of the Wall.

The words “Torah tag” also were spray painted on the door of the apartment, calling to mind the phrase “price tag” used by extremist settlers and their supporters to describe retribution in the form of vandalism for settlement freezes and demolitions or Palestinian Authority Arab attacks on Jews.

It is the first time that such an incident has happened to Cidor, who has served on the board of Women of the Wall for the last 15 years. Police are investigating the incident.

The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinowitz, condemned the graffiti in a statement released to the media and called on “all fanatic groups to remove their hands from this holy place.”

“I have warned against the conflagration and gratuitous hatred. I pray and hope we can check the escalation and that a solution will be found that allows the Western Wall to remain not as a disputed area but as holy grounds that unites and unifies,” he said

The Women of the Wall in a statement called on Haredi Orthodox rabbis to condemn the attack.

“This was likely the actions of bored youth, acting in response to the incitement of their leaders. The real problem facing Israeli society is not what they did but what the leadership of the Haredi public will do now. The writing is on the wall. We call on the rabbis to staunchly condemn the vandalism and to end all incitement against Women of the Wall, without regard to the legitimate public discourse,” the group said.

The Women of the Wall’s May 10th prayer service for the Hebrew month of Iyar was mobbed by Haredi Orthodox women and men. The women required police protection, but were still attacked by men throwing chairs, stink bombs and garbage. It was the first time the women held their monthly service following the ruling of a Jerusalem District Court judge that said the group’s services do not violate the law and merit police protection rather than arrests.

Bennett and Livni in Facebook Fight over Women of the Wall

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Religious Affairs Minister Yair Lapid, who doubles as Finance Minister, are arguing via Facebook over the issue of a women’s minyan at the Western Wall.

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky has proposed that a Women of the Wall demand for the minyan be allowed at the southern part of the Kotel, called Robinson’s Arch.

Lapid said he is working to approve new regulations but charged Livni with grandstanding. She wrote a letter to Bennett’s office on Shavuot.

Her beef does not concern her views, which are similar to Sharansky, but that no change in the law can be made without her approval.

“I’ll admit that I pray in an Orthodox synagogue…, but I believe that the time is ripe…to apply a pluralistic and tolerant approach at the Western Wall, allowing women to pray according to their customs, mostly because they do so in an area that is intended for women only,” she wrote.

Lapid took to Facebook after the holiday and wrote, “Tzipi Livni, come on.” He chastised Livni for a “provocative spin” and “media trick” by informing Israeli media that she had sent him a letter to his office on the Shavuot holiday, when he could not respond since he was not in his office.

Bennett wrote he has meet with women wanting to pray at the Western Wall with prayer shawls and tefillin that are worn by orthodox men but not women. The meeting was “the first time a religious services minister held talks with the Women of the Wall. And then came Tzipi Livni,” according to Lapid.

Livni wrote back on her Facebook page, “Naftali Bennett, come on. Minister Bennett is upset. He claims that I didn’t consult him before writing him a letter clarifying my stance on women’s prayer at the wall.”

“Since the Women of the Wall controversy broke out, Minister Bennett hasn’t called me a single time to update me on the compromise attempts that he claims he’s trying to reach on the matter, even though the law requires us both to sign the regulations, so he has no one but himself to blame.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-and-livni-in-facebook-fight-over-women-of-the-wall/2013/05/16/

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