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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish.’

‘Muslim’ Boy Escapes Arab Village and Holds Bar Mitzvah at Kotel

Monday, April 7th, 2014

A 13-year-old boy born to a Jewish mother and raised in an Arab village celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall last week after she had escaped with him and her two daughters from her “prison at home.”

Details of the dramatic rescue mission cannot be published, said the anti-missionary Yad L’Achim organization, which engineered the escape.

The location of the Arab village is not known, and lips are sealed on how the woman, identified as “R,” was able to contact Yad L’Achim despite prison-like conditions imposed on her by her Arab husband. No information has been released about the ages of her two daughters.

The boy, identified as “S,” recited the blessing over the Torah in a tear-jerking celebration last Monday at the Kotel in Jerusalem. On his way to the Western Wall, a social worker who accompanied him asked what he would have said a year ago if told that he would be celebrating his Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel the following year.

“S” replied, “I would have asked, ‘What’s a Bar Mitzvah.?’ My father forbade my mother to speak anything about it, and I didn’t even know I was Jewish.”

“R” suffered two decades in what is a common story of a young Jewish woman falling into the charms, and usually gifts, of an Arab and then marrying him, converting to Islam and becoming a prisoner in his house and a victim of wife-beating.

Her Arab husband prohibited her from making contact with other women in the village, and he did not allow her to step out of the house alone.

After the rescue, Yad L’Achim took the woman and her children to a “safe” house and helped provide the means to help her rehabilitate back into normal life.

Relying on the organization’s legal advice, she filed a complaint with the police, charging her husband with violence, and she nullified her conversion to Islam in a Rabbinic Court.

Haredi Grandfather from London Assaulted In NY

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A 65-year-old Haredi Orthodox man from London visiting New York for his grandson’s wedding was attacked early Tuesday morning in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park as he left the wedding reception.

The attackers smashed their victim’s face into the sidewalk, and he was treated at a local hospital for a split lip and chipped tooth.

Nothing was stolen, indicating the man was a victim of “knockout punch” attackers, but New York police and a Brooklyn councilman differ on whether that was the case.

A spate of knockout attacks in New York in recent months appeared to target identifiably Jewish people. Other incidents have occurred in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as other states.

“Simply put, there is no place for this type of heinous behavior in our city, as nobody should be afraid to walk the streets of their community at any time of day or night,” New York City Councilman David Greenfield, who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement. Greenfield believes it was a knockout attack.

New York police are not calling it a knockout attack because the victim was not punched as they were in previous attacks, according to the New York Daily News.

Orthodox NY Father of Seven Missing

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

A father of seven from New York’s Rockland County is missing after making suicidal comments.

Search efforts continued on Tuesday for Peretz Sontag, who has been missing since Friday morning. Sontag lives in Pomona, located nearly 40 miles north of New York City. He made references to harming himself before he left home on Friday, according to reports.

Sontag, 50, is well known in the Orthodox community for his work for charitable causes, The Journal News reported. Special prayers were held Monday night at a synagogue in nearby Monsey for his safe return.

Sontag’s last-known location, when his cellphone was pinged by police, is in or near Harriman State Park, according to the newspaper. About 60 volunteers searched the park on Monday.

The family is offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to his safe return.

 

Josh Fattal Says Iranian Captors Knew He Was Jewish

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Josh Fattal, an American hiker freed by Iran in September 2011 after two years in captivity, said the Iranians knew he was Jewish even though it was never explicitly stated.

“I was so scared in those first months about being a Jew with an Israeli father, but at a certain point I embraced it,” Fattal told the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. “They know already. If they are going to do something to me for my heritage, then they will — but I am not going to change myself. I am not going to hide who I am.”

Fattal’s father, Jacob, emigrated from Iraq to Israel in 1951, and after serving in the Israeli army moved to the United States. Jacob Fattal’s siblings still live in Israel.

JTA had refrained from reporting on his capture until his release for fear of connecting him to something Jewish during his captivity in Iran.

Fattal is now a doctoral candidate in history at New York University and has a 7-month-old son.

He and his friend Shane Bauer, as well as Bauer’s girlfriend, Sarah Shourd, were arrested in 2009 as they were hiking near the unmarked border between Iran and Iraq. Iran said they crossed into Iranian territory.

The three were held and not allowed contact with the outside world, and were denied access to a lawyer. They were not charged officially for months and then were convicted of spying following a show trial. Shourd was released a year before the two men.

Fattal told the Jewish Exponent that in the early days of his captivity, he thought often about Daniel Pearl, the Jewish Wall Street Journal reporter killed by Islamic extremists in Pakistan in 2002.

Fattal’s Iranian interrogators learned the truth of Judaism within a few weeks, but he said he was never treated differently than Bauer and Shourd, neither of whom is Jewish.

He said he tried to observe some Jewish traditions while in solitary confinement for 100 days, but returned to his secular lifestyle once he was reunited in a cell with Bauer.

The Clown Therapist Who Sees No Borders

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Reuven Singer can often be seen wearing two very different uniforms that seem worlds apart.

The 33-year-old father, who lives in Karnei Shomron in northwestern Samaria, dons his bullet-proof vest and carries his M16 to protect his community in an event of a terrorist attack, as a volunteer in his neighborhood security watch team. But Singer’s other uniform – a far jollier one – consists of a red rubber nose, clown shoes, and a colorful tie and crazy hat that he wears during clown therapy sessions at a Tel Aviv hospital.

The religious settler travels once a week to the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov Hospital), where he works to uplift patients, through jokes, laughter and improvisation.

“A hospital is not a fun place,” Singer tells Tazpit News Agency. You want the patients to feel more comfortable.

“I’ve worked with children and parents who are hysterical before blood infusions, check-ups, or surgery. My job is to relax the parents and help the child overcome the pain and tension. That helps the staff and doctors too. Once you give the parent and child a chance to smile and breathe more easily, it helps everyone,” Singer told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview.

Singer, who has been volunteering as clown therapist for three years, has worked with many different sectors of Israeli society including Palestinian children from Gaza who have been brought into Israel for treatment. “You don’t look at the person before you – I don’t see an Arab, Eritrean, Russian, or whatever ethnicity person is – all I see is the pain.”

“To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s an Arab child or a Jewish child – I want to help bring that person out of the pain and give him or her some positive energy,” Singer explains.

“Sometimes, I throw in a word in Russian or Arabic during a joke and the smile in return is worth everything.”

Singer has found himself in situations where rocks have been thrown at his vehicle on his way home to Samaria from the hospital.

“Palestinians throwing rocks at my vehicle won’t stop me,” he says. “I believe that when Arab patients see me, it will give them a chance to see that a religious settler is not a monster and maybe in turn it will make them stop throwing rocks.”

Singer’s day job is aerial photography but he says that it’s his volunteer work that is most meaningful. “I volunteer in two very different professions, but both save lives in different ways.”

He describes a unique Purim two years ago in Karnei Shomron when he dressed up in the clown costume he usually donned for clown therapy session. Suddenly in the middle of the Purim seuda (festive holiday meal) the community was alerted to a potential terror threat.

“Here I was, dressed as a clown with a red rubber nose, and I had to go out with my M16 for a security check,” he says. “That was truly a bizarre experience.”

Today an estimated number of 320 clown therapists operate across Israel. Following a chance meeting with a clown therapist who treated Singer’s daughter when she was hospitalized five years ago, Singer decided to take a six-month clown therapy course where he learned how to be a medical clown himself.

“I go to the hospital every week and act as a clown to make someone feel better. I want to change a child’s reality for good and this is how I do it.”

5-Year-Old Wears Kippa While Reciting ‘A Few Good Men’ Monologue

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Sruli Muschel, 5-year-old viral video star, reprised his viral bathtub video of Jack Nicholson’s monologue from “A Few Good Men” for Fox News.

The YouTube wunderkind from Boca Raton, Fla., was wearing a yarmulke during his performance.

Sruli’s knack for memorizing movies previously landed him on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he learned and delivered a monologue from “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

His appearance on Fox News, complete with kippa and his proud dad, can be seen here http://foxnewsinsider.com/2014/03/12/watch-5-year-old-recites-famous-speech-few-good-men

Below is his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

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US Jewish Groups Work to Sign People Up for Health Care

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

American Jewish organizations are going to bat for ObamaCare and are using social media to reach as many people as possible in an effort to convince them to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act.

During Tuesday’s Jewish Community Day led by the left-leaning National Council of Jewish Women, or NCJW, Jewish activists reached out to as many people as possible to educate them about the health insurance marketplace.

“Access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare is fundamental for living a long and healthy life, which is why NCJW worked for the passage of the Affordable Care Act and has been focused on its full implementation ever since,” said Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women

“Our goal for community education is non-partisan and apolitical. Our aim is to make sure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to enroll in affordable healthcare that best suits their individual needs and budget ahead of March 31,” said Kaufman. “I am encouraged by the array of participants in this Day of Action, spanning local and national groups across the country.”

Those participating in the action day were encouraged to host a special Shabbat centered on health care, hold a text study, write about the issue in their newsletters and speak to individuals in an effort to encourage more people to enroll.

Other participating groups included the Religion Action Center for Reform Judaism, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, Keshet, the Jewish Labor Committee and Uri L’Tzedek.

Uproar over Jewish Candidate’s Refusal to Shake Hands with Women

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

An Orthodox Jewish candidate for the European Parliament has caused an uproar in Britain by refusing to shake women’s hands.

Shneur Odze told the members of the right-wing populist UK Independence Party, or UKIP, that he will not shake women’s hands due to his religious beliefs, which proscribe physical contact with any woman other than his wife. Some party activists told the Times of London that they are offended by Odze’s stance and say it will alienate half the electorate.

Senior party officials have called the activists “rude” and “wrong” for not respecting Odze’s beliefs.

Ozde, 31, is fourth on the UKIP’s candidate’s list for member of the European Parliament from the North West of England. The Europe-wide election to the parliament is scheduled for late May.

A party regional organizer, Fred McGlade, resigned from his position with the party to protest the decision to include Odze on the list. He warned Crowther that he would stand down if Odze was chosen by the party because of his attitude towards women

That is how an ignorant person, Jewish or not, judges an Orthodox Jew. He assumes that a Jew thinks women are second-class citizens since a religious man won’t shake her hand. Jews, especially those whose understanding of Jewish law is not even on the level, so to speak, of Reform Judaism, often think the same of Orthodox Jews for not praying together with women.

The nose-in-the-air Jews like to think that when a Jewish man thanks God that he was not created a woman, the man couldn’t possibly be thinking of all the mitzvahs he would not be able to perform if he were a women. He obviously is a sexist who considers women to be the scum of the earth.

If that is the way the snobs look at others, perhaps it is they are sexist for even thinking like that.

Perhaps they are the sexists for not having marital relations according to Jewish law, which protects the woman from lust. Consult your synagogue’s Code of Jewish Law for details.

Perhaps it is the better-than-thou men, and women, who seem to think that “equality” means “sameness.” God must have made a mistake by not allowing men to give birth. On the other hand, as most wives know, if men were to give birth, the world would have ended after the first birth because he wouldn’t go through the pains of labor a second time around.

And it’s the same crowd of people who, when visiting a mosque, are the first to wear proper dress and take off their shoes, but wouldn’t dare cover their shorts in order to respect the customs of Haredi orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

If Ozde does get elected, it certainly won’t be with vote of those who encourage the Women of the Wall to practice secular coercion on the majority Orthodox Jewish population at the Wall.

But there are some, hopefully a majority, in Britain who are not so ignorant. UKIP chairman Steve Crowther told the London newspaper, “We have a policy of tolerance for and acceptance of people’s own religious observance. We do not consider it grounds for complaint. It harms no one.”

In a tweet on Monday, Ozde said, “Thanks for all the supportive emails, calls, texts, its been rather heartwarming Recon it’s had the reverse effect?”

A supporter also tweeted, referring to former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: “Pretty standard among very Orthodox Jews. The Chief Rabbi didn’t shake Queen’s hand when he became a Lord.”

The Queen seems to have gotten over it.

JTA contributed to this report.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/uproar-over-jewish-candidates-refusal-to-shake-hands-with-women/2014/02/18/

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