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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

I Love Reform Jews

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The battle lines are drawn. Some Orthodox Rabbis say that we should try to bring reform Jews closer to Torah. Other Orthodox Rabbis relate to them like lepers out to destroy Judaism. If you want to know where I stand, I love reform Jews. First of all, many of them aren’t Jewish at all, and the Torah teaches us to love all people, even gentiles. Rabbi Kook writes:

“The heart must be filled with love for all: for all of Creation, for all mankind.

“Love must embrace every single individual, regardless of differences in views on religion, or differences of race, or country.

“Hatred may be directed only toward the evil and filth in the world. We must realize that the kernel of life, in its inherent light and holiness, never leaves the Divine Image in which mankind was created, and with which each person and nation is endowed” (Midot Ha’Riyah, Ahavah).

Certainly, if we should have a love for gentiles, we should love gentiles who think they are Jews.

For instance, I have a relative who divorced his Jewish wife and married a non-Jew, who had some kind of reform “conversion” which, of course, didn’t make her a Jew. They had a child, who, of course, wasn’t a Jew, but even though the child never had a Jewish education, his parents told him that he was a Jew. When he grew up, he married a Jewish girl, and they joined a reform congregation. Their children are Jews since the mother is Jewish. He became the president of his congregation, even though he is a gentile. America is loaded with mixed up situations like this.

Beyond the walls of the Orthodox world in America, it is becoming impossible to know who is Jewish and who is pretending, even though he or she believes it for real. Nonetheless, according to Rabbi Kook, even though this relative of mine isn’t Jewish, I should love him all the same. And even though his Jewish wife is a reform Jew, I should love her too. And that love should extend to their Jewish children as well, even though they are reform Jews.

The truth is, I love all Jews.

I love good Jews and I love bad Jews. I love fat Jews and I love skinny Jews. I love reform Jews and deformed Jews, progressive Jews and regressive Jews. I love assimilated Jews and Jews who have married gentiles. I love homosexual Jews and lesbian Jews. I love leftist Jews and Peace Now Jews. I love Jews who call me nasty names and Jews who say I’m a lousy writer. I even love Diaspora Jews. Some people say I’m too hard on them, but that’s because I love them so much.

If you see a blind man about to fall off a cliff, you yell out to warn him, right? What is this similar to? If a person who never heard about heart transplants wandered into the operating room of a hospital and saw a team of doctors removing the heart of a patient, he’d think they were monsters trying to kill him – but the very opposite is the case. The surgeons are trying to save him. It’s the same thing with me. Precisely out of the passionate love I feel for my brothers and sisters in exile, I try to open their eyes.

Since the Three Weeks are approaching when we mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the Beit HaMikdash, this is a good time to stir up the embers of the love we feel for our fellow Jews, even the reform Jews amongst us. Rabbi Kook taught that since the Beit HaMikdash was destroyed because of senseless hatred, it will be rebuilt by gratuitous love.

In truth, most reform Jews are people who don’t mean any harm. They never learned anything about real Judaism, so they don’t know better. They don’t observe the commandments, not out of spite, but because they don’t believe that the Torah was really given by G-d, or they don’t believe that religion should have laws, or for whatever other reason, how errant it may be.

The problem arises with the “professional” reform Jews who wage a campaign against real Judaism. They go out of their way to wage a war against the Orthodox world and its time-honored traditions. These are the reform Jews that are rightly seen as destroyers. But Rabbi Kook teaches that we should even love them – not for the evil in them, but for the good which exists in all people. He writes:

“Though our love for people must be all-inclusive, embracing the wicked as well, this in no way blunts our hatred for evil itself – on the contrary, it strengthens it. For it is not because of the dimension of evil clinging to a person that we include him in our love, but because of the good in him, which our love tells us is to be found in everyone. Since we separate the dimension of the good in him, in order to love him for it, our hatred for the evil becomes unwavering and absolute.

“It is proper to hate a corrupt person only for his defects, but insofar as he is endowed with a Divine Image, it is proper to love him.”

In other words, we can disagree with a reform Jew and even despise his opinions, but we should love him for his connection to the Jewish Nation. In the same light, the evil actions of a Jewish homosexual or child molester should be loathed as abominations, but the person himself should still be loved for the Divine Image he shares with the rest of mankind, and for his connection to Clal Yisrael (the Community of Israel). If, for instance, a Rabbi or an Israeli politician succumbs to an evil inclination and inner sickness of the soul that drives him to engage in sexual transgression, his evil actions should be despised, but this should not negate our love for the good that surely exists in him as well.

Rabbi Kook explains:

“The pious of the generation, lofty holy men, must disregard any deficiency or flaw in every Jewish soul that is in any way attached to the Rock from which it was hewn. Instead, they must strive to raise up the point of connection to Clal Yisrael that exists in every individual soul to its heights and exalted holiness. Nothing can diminish our unlimited love for the Nation, the source of our life, as it says: ‘He has not seen beheld iniquity in Yaacov, nor has He seen perverseness in Israel’” (Orot, Orot HaTechiyah, 24).

So, as the period of the Three Weeks approaches, let’s try to love one another as much as we can, reform and Diaspora Jews included.

Tzvi Fishman

Report: Undercover Policeman Incited Rightwing Jews to Harm Arabs

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

According to the Honenu legal aid society, Israel’s secret police has been operating at least one agent provocateur in an attempt to trap rightwing activists in the performance of extremist acts. Honenu has dubbed the undercover officer Champagne 2.

Shortly after the capture of Prime Minister Rabin’s murderer Yigal Amir, Israelis learned that Amir had been guided and controlled by a Shabak agent named Avishai Raviv, whose code name was Champagne and whose mission, many believed, was to encourage and fabricate activities of right-wing extremists. He was, for instance, the behind the poster showing Rabin in an SS uniform, just days before the murder, making sure it appeared on the news. And there was testimony cited in at least one newspaper article that Raviv was urging Amir to kill the prime minister. In his trial, Raviv was able to get off by saying he was merely carrying out his duties as an agent provocateur.

The new undercover agent provocateur has been posing for two year as a member of the Lehava organization, and used his fake identity to incite Jewish activists over Whatsapp and Facebook. The officer was exposed after he had tried last week to recruit an informer from a Samaria community. The latter called on Honenu for legal advice and informed the officer he was not interested.

The officer contacted him for about 15 times from two different phone numbers, which the resident kept on his smartphone. Later, when the same resident entered a Whatsapp group where he is a member, he spotted the same number the officer had used to call him, but now the user was presenting himself as one of the gang of Jewish extremists, just aching to hurt himself some Arabs.

The Samaria resident approached the group leader who quickly removed the officer, and the latter protested, claiming that his name was Miro Amzaleg and that he was a Lehava activist from Jerusalem. But when he was challenged to come up with anyone who knows him in Lehava he was only able to provide names of people he had been in virtual contact with.

The undercover officer’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down, offered posts containing incitements against Arabs. One shares a story about the Jewish man who later burned down the bilingual school in Jerusalem, with the comment: No Arabs, No Terror Attacks. According to Honenu, the fact that the post was dated about a month before the arson might suggest that the agent provocateur was involved in inciting the man, Shlomi Tuito, to carry out the crime. There were several other posts that could be seen as calculated provocations of young and easily influenced fringe Jews, similar in profile to Yigal Amir.

One telling episode had to do with the picture of Rabbi Kahane’s grandson Meir Ettinger on the morning of his release from administrative detention earlier this month, a picture which the undercover officer posted online ahead of all the other media. The fact was Ettinger had been let out of jail earlier than scheduled and was left standing there, waiting for his family to come pick him up. No one else had the picture, and when reporters and activists asked “Amzaleg” how he got it, he said his relative, a prison guard, had sent it to him. But a quick investigation revealed that Ettinger had been standing in the company of three police detectives who handed him his release papers and shot his pictures from every conceivable angle. The detectives were the only possible source for the image, and when the agent posted it he outed himself.

Honenu is in the process of examining two-years’ worth of correspondence the officer had kept with activists, and they intend to turn them into a lawsuit. The officer is known to Honenu as a recruiter of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria to inform on their neighbors. That part, as repulsive as it may sound, is not illegal. However, Honenu officials contend, for the same police officer to be involved in inciting young Jews to commit acts of violence against Arabs should be grounds for suspension, followed by dismissal.

Police on Sunday refused to comment on intelligence operations.

David Israel

Are We Jews No Better Than Arabs?

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

It is said in many contexts: Every time there is a call for “both sides” to show restraint. Every time a comparison is made between Arab violence and its Israeli counterpart. Every time someone notes there are both Jewish and Arab victims of terror. Every time we are told there is never a justification for violence – Jewish or Arab.

And in each variation it amounts to a mockery of all that is moral, for one thereby divorces every action in the Israeli-Arab conflict from its context.

And so Israel’s recently deposed defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, has difficulty distinguishing between a Jewish soldier shooting a terrorist and an ISIS terrorist beheading an innocent victim. “We’re not Islamic State” said Ya’alon, referring to a Jewish soldier stationed in Hebron who shot an already-downed terrorist who had attempted to kill a soldier only moments earlier.

This same inability to distinguish drove IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan to outright delusions. At a recent Holocaust memorial conference, Golan said he saw evidence of a recurrence of elements that once led to the Holocaust. His reference was to the treatment of Arabs by the Jews of Israel.

Golan’s inability to distinguish between the situation of Arabs in present-day Israel and that of the Jews of Germany under Hitler is astounding. While Golan is certainly correct that the hatred Jews experienced in pre-war Europe is evident in our midst today, he fails to grasp that the Jews are not the bearers of today’s hate but the victims of it, as the Arabs of the land perpetuate their endless hate campaign against Jews.

To top it all, Knesset Member Ksenia Svetlova of the Zionist Union equated Jewish and Arab violence by telling Army Radio, “We remember the incidents that led up to the creation of the state, so we know exactly how a people that desires its freedom acts.”

She continued: “During the time of the yishuv, how many people denounced the attacks in the Haifa market for example?”

Svetlova was referring to a number of incidents involving pre-state Jewish underground groups placing bombs in Arab markets, which resulted in several dead and many wounded. What she failed to mention is that those attacks were not senseless acts of desperation but the response of a people that had been at the mercy of constant attacks and riots for nearly a decade. Jews had been seeking peace with the Arab population but were being met with terrible violence in return. One is unable to fully depict the torture and ruthlessness Jews suffered during the 1929 Hebron riots alone.

Svetlova concluded that the Palestinians “remind us of ourselves, of our society, much more than any other Arab society. The Palestinians are derived from us. We are exactly the same.”

As we have seen, she is not alone in her views. And though she is incorrect, many decent people are at a loss when challenged to respond to her specious points. But not all that glitters is gold and the key to understanding the difference between the two sides lies in context. And that context, viewed with reason, determines whether or not there is a difference.

Let us recall that Israelis have bent over backward in attempts to achieve peace with the Arabs of the region, to no avail. Whether through concessions, peace conferences, or partition plans to create both Jewish and Arab states living side by side, the response was all too familiar: The Jews were willing to sacrifice large parts of their country for the sake of peace while the Arabs would opt for bloodshed with their unabashed rejection of a Jewish state in any size or form.

Nothing has changed since the early days of pre-statehood and we remain in the midst of the same battle today, as the Arabs continue to deny the right of a Jewish state to exist.

Of course, what made the Jewish underground moral and right is the fact that it was not committing terror but countering it. Jewish underground fighters were not murdering the innocent but sparing them by taking the lives of those who murdered and supported and harbored the murderers of the innocent.

Those who cannot distinguish between a cop shooting an armed bandit and a bandit firing at a cop, between terrorists and their victims, between Eichmann and the Jews who hanged him, are lacking elementary reason.

Of course there is a difference between Jewish and Arab violence and it is nothing less than the difference between what is right and what is wrong. For despite being taught as children that it doesn’t matter who “started it,” it is actually the primary factor that matters in life situations. Otherwise, there would be no difference between the Maccabees and the Greeks, Moses and the cruel Egyptian he smote, police officers and criminals, and any other instance of a just response to injustice.

And one who cannot distinguish between those who initiate hostility and the victims who react is not only senseless but dangerous as well.

It is of utmost importance that we comprehend this, lest our children be unable to distinguish between the Nazi oppressor and the Jew of the ghetto who resisted. We Jews have suffered hostilities in our land for nearly a century and any reaction on our part can never be equated with the acts that brought about the reaction.

Mark Cohen

‘Venice, Jews and Europe 1516-2016’ Opens in Venice

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Organized on the occasion of the fifth centenary of the creation of Venice’s Ghetto, the exhibition “Venice, the Jews and Europe 1516 – 2016,” at the Doge’s Palace—once the seat of power of the city’s rulers and now a museum, aims to describe the processes that led to the creation, implementation and transformation of the first fenced habitation for Jews in history, Art Daily reports.

The first ghetto’s area was defined by two gates which, as designed by the Venice Senate in 1516, were opened in the morning to the sound of the bell in St. Mark’s belfry, and closed at midnight by four Christian keepers, paid by the Jews and living on the premises to supervise Jewish activities. The original design envisioned two high walls that would enclose the area from the banks of the canals. Those walls were never built. Ten boats with guards paid by the Jews patrolled the canal around the ghetto island at night. The decision was signed on March 29, 1516, and proclaimed in Rialto—the financial and commercial center of Venice, and from the bridges in every city district in which Jews resided.

The project’s initial premise was that the history of the Ghetto in Venice should be studied as part of the Venetian Republic’s administration of national, ethnic and religious minorities living in the city, which at the time was the financial capital of the world. But it also attempts to show how the city-state’s relationship with its Jews expanded over a much larger geographical area, adapting to political, social and cultural changes.

Important paintings, by Bellini and Carpaccio, Foraboschi, Hayez and Poletti, Balla and Wildt, all the way up to Chagall; architectural drawings of the period; very rare original editions; archival documents; liturgical objects; and furniture, together with multimedia reconstruction, enable the visitor to learn about this long-term relationship in which Venice Jews were able to reach access and close contacts, which also resulted in cultural exchange.

Venice permitted Jews to enter the city as war refugees when Europe was expelling them from Spain (1492) and Portugal (1496). The decision not to expel the Jews but to keep them inside the ghetto served Venice well. The Jews became autonomous within the walls, almost masters of their own fate, and their ghetto was gradually transformed into an independent institution, with freedoms of initiative that were rare at the time, and resulted in a great deal of wealth, as well as defense, for the city rulers.

“Venice, Jews and Europe: 1516-2016,” June 19 to November 13 at Palazzo Ducale.

JNi.Media

German Jews Irate at Sale of Göring’s Silk Underpants

Friday, June 17th, 2016

The Central Council of Jews in Germany is protesting this weekend’s offering by the Hermann Historica auction house of Nazi memorabilia that includes Hermann Göring’s silk underpants. CCJG president Josef Schuster told DPA the idea of “making business, without any limits, with items of Hitler, Göring and Eva Braun” in the auction was “scandalous and disgusting.”

“Such items belong in museums or archives, they should not be sold for profit,” Schuster told DPA.

Titled “The John K. Lattimer Collection — Hitler and the Nazi Leaders — a unique insight into evil,” the auction, to be conducted this Saturday, “includes for the most part objects from the world-famous collection of John K. Lattimer,” who “as a young boy … started his collection with objects of naval and aviation interest and items relating to Native American culture. In later years he collected important historical objects associated with historical figures such as George Washington, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Lindbergh, John F. Kennedy etc.”

Talk about a brief history.

According to the auction house’s website, Dr. Lattimer served as a medical officer during the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg, where he cared for the prisoners as well as members of the allied forces staff. His objective was to keep those accused of war crimes in good health for long enough to give them an irrefutably fair trial.

Then grab their intimate apparel.

Indeed, “some notable pieces of his collection originate from this period of his service. During this period he also made detailed observations on the men that he processed, which he later included in his book, ‘Hitler’s Fatal Sickness and other Secrets of the Nazi Leaders’ published in 1999 when he was Head Professor of Urology at Columbia University.”

Everyone would agree that Adolf Hitler was a stain on human history, but only an expert urologist can fully appreciate it.

German law prohibits the open display of Nazi memorabilia, but not their purchase or ownership by researchers, collectors, and folks who just wonder what it would be like to own the Reichsminister of Aviation’s silk shorts.

The auction also offers the brass container Göring used to kill himself with hydrogen cyanide just before his scheduled execution in Nuremberg in 1946.

According to the Hermann Historica website, “Also of historical importance are Hitler’s long black trousers whose pockets were leather lined so that he could carry a gun unobtrusively with him.”

Perhaps a lucky buyer could by both Hitler’s pants and Göring’s underpants for that complete Nazi experience.

JNi.Media

Definition of Insanity: Slaughtering Jews Invokes Criticism of Israel

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}
Last Wednesday a murderous terror attack took place in Tel Aviv, ripping four innocent lives away from their loved ones forever. One moment they were sitting in a café enjoying themselves, and a split second later they were gone, lifeless, leaving only precious memories behind.

When did Tel Aviv become “disputed territory?”

In the wake of this latest in a lengthy wave of despicable attacks we are left once again to wonder when will it end? When will those who support and perpetrate such acts realize there exists no moral equivalence between murder and justice? Do these murderers actually think the Jews are going to be intimidated into giving up their rightful homeland? It’s high time they accept this and find another cause to vent their hatred toward. Their goal will not be realized.

Israel is the one single nation whose people were dispersed throughout the world for two millennia, only to be reborn in its original location. That cannot be coincidence.

After the attack we’re witness to the typical reaction coming in from around the world voicing outrage and condemnation, while expressing solidarity with Israel and its need for security. Having been the victim of more terror attacks than they wish to admit, Israel is quite used to seeing such empathetic statements.

Frankly, while not attempting to speak on behalf of Israeli leadership, I’d be willing to bet they are sick and tired of hearing and reading such reactions. Why? Not because they aren’t appreciated. I’m sure they are. However, they’re sick and tired of having to endure such horrific tragedy which engenders said reactions. Frankly, I wouldn’t blame Israel one bit.

However, while sympathetic statements poured in condemning the terrorism, there exists another chorus of voices. These voices minimize the murderous attack on innocent civilians and use the tragedy as a platform for their own agenda. At a moment when grief and shock resounds throughout the country, especially with the bereaved families, they take the opportunity to launch criticism of Israel.

For example, French Foreign Ministry Jean-Marc Ayrault said this in reaction to Israel’s decision to revoke permits for thousands of Muslims planning to enter Israel during Ramadan- “the decision by the Israeli authorities today to revoke tens of thousands of entry permits could stoke tensions which could lead to a risk of escalation….we must be careful about anything that could stoke tensions.”

Moreover, while Palestinian Arabs danced in the streets celebrating the brutal murders MSNBC ran a report on the attack, which included the following comments- “the siege that continues in Gaza….there’s a tremendous amount of frustration on the part of the Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank…..further oppression in the occupied West Bank.” New Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was referred to as an “extreme right winger…he’s a settler himself.”

Adding insult to injury is the ever friendly United Nations. During their 2015 session for example it passed 20 resolutions singling out Israel for criticism. The number of resolutions passed against the rest of the world- 3.

Plus, the office of the UNHRC High Commissioner (United Nations Human Rights Council) Zeed Ra’ad Al Hussein released this statement- “We are deeply concerned about the response from the Israeli authorities, which includes measures that may amount to prohibitive collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice felt by the Palestinians at the very tense time.”

If the issuers of these statements will permit me, I would like to offer what some might consider to be a much needed pragmatic reaction to their comments- Are these people living on planet earth? OK, so this isn’t very pragmatic.

In all seriousness where is their collective conscience? They have the audacity to sit in judgement of the Israeli government’s policies and while simultaneously minimizing the murder of innocent civilians.

In the totality of their collective untimely salvos at Israel where were any comments regarding the responsibility of the Palestinian Arab leadership? For example, Hamas was eager to take responsibility for the attack, offering praise to the murderers. Mahmoud Abbas provided a general statement which criticized violence, yet offered no specific condemnation of the attack.

Am I the only one who thinks that after such an event, it might be an appropriate time to suggest Mahmoud Abbas publicly condemn the murderers and announce strict measures to prevent such attacks, since the terrorists came from territory he is responsible for? Is it unreasonable to expect that mainstream media such as MSNBC include comments about how little is done by the Palestinian leadership to prevent ongoing terror? Moreover, would be reasonable to expect that MSNBC state that murdering innocent civilians is unacceptable, period, even if their network disagrees with Israeli policies.

Might one expect that the UNCHR urge the Palestinian leadership to act more like a genuine peace partner by cracking down on the extended intifada which has pushed the prospects for peace further away than ever. Where are such voices?

Statements from the EU, Britain and even the US did not mention a word about the need for the Palestinian Arabs and their leadership to do a better job of policing their own. General statements condemning the violence do nothing to prevent similar murders from reoccurring. This is inexcusable.

When the response to terrorism is viewed as less acceptable than terrorism itself, it’s a welcome mat for more.

Sometimes I wonder if two Israelis were sitting in a café in Ramallah or Gaza City and suddenly without warning started shooting indiscriminately at Palestinian Arabs, murdering them in cold blood, what might world reaction be to such horror?

On second thought maybe it’s not such a good idea to wonder such things.

Dan Calic

Annals of Obesity: Israeli Kids Drink More Soda than Americans, Arabs More than Jews [video]

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

At least 50% of the world population suffer from overweight and obesity, compared with the situation in the 1980s, when only 10% of the population was obese, according to worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. If the rate of weight gain remains as it is today, close to half the people on planet Earth will be obese by the year 2030. Israel’s figures are relatively good compared with the rest of the OECD countries, but still, according to the Israeli Health Ministry, 1.7 million Israelis, or 25% of adults and 14% of children, are obese, and out of those 700 thousand are considered pre-diabetic, and 500 thousand already suffer from type 2 diabetes. Also, adding those who are overweight (BMI of 25 and up) to the 25% who are obese, shows that almost half the population in Israel is overweight.

To illustrate, according to The Marker, in one of the meetings of the commission to promote a healthy diet, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said ironically, “We fail to understand how come 50% of the population are not overweight, considering the current consumer culture.”

The Health Ministry has recently launched a campaign against the consumption of soda drinks, which are a kind of statewide plague. A survey conducted in local schools has shown that Israeli children are at the top of the world average in their daily consumption of sweetened drinks. The world average for consuming sweet drinks is 25% of girls and 32% of boys. The average in the US is 30% among girls and 37% among boys.

In Israel the average is 41% for girls, 45% for boys — while for Israeli Arab children it is even higher, as 51% of Arab children ages 11 to 15 consume a sweet drink at least once a day.

© JNi.media

© JNi.media

It is well-known today that an overweight child will likely suffer from obesity in adulthood. In Israel every fifth first grader (20%) is overweight, and by the seventh grade 30% — one in three children — are overweight.

Among Arab children the situation is even worse, with close to 40% of Arab seventh graders suffering from overweight.

In Israel, some 70% of the food being consumed is processed, which is why Israeli children and teens consume 12 grams of sodium daily, easily double the recommended amount.

Diabetes in Israel harms the weaker population strata, most notably the Arabs. The rate of diabetes among the poor is three times higher compared with middle and upper class Israelis. An estimated 25.5% of Israeli poor are diabetic, compared with 7.1% Israeli middle and upper class. The rate of the rise of diabetes among the poor in Israel is swift and alarming, jumping in 12 years from 7.8% in 2002 to 25.5% in 2014.

According to the Health Ministry, the cost of obesity is estimated at $1.55 billion annually, with a third of the cost coming from direct care for obese patients and two-thirds from indirect losses, such as reduced earning ability, sick days and nursing care. Israel’s largest HMO, Maccabi Health Services, has submitted to the Health Ministry data suggesting it spends on diabetic patients 53% more than it does on the average insured member.


Israeli Health Ministry’s anti-soda drinking campaign

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/annals-of-obesity-israeli-kids-drink-more-soda-than-americans-arabs-more-than-jews-video/2016/06/14/

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