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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘JEWS’

Jews! Three Days to Get Out!

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

An article appeared this week in the newspaper, Israel HaYom, describing how a pro-Palestinian BDS group targeted Jewish students on a college campus in America, by posting signs in their dormitories telling Jews to vacate the premises, saying that was how the Israeli army treated the Palestinians. These signs have been taped to the door of dormitory rooms of Jewish students, giving the occupants three days to vacate, and warning that their belongings will be thrown into the street if they don’t abide by the order. This is the work of a BDS group called SJP – “Students for Palestinian Justice”. The signs appeared on many campuses across the United States, including the University of Florida and Berkley College.

Outrageous? Terrible? Scandalous? Not at all. I for one am glad. At least someone in the United States is telling young Jews that they don’t belong in America. Their rabbis don’t tell them. Their parents don’t tell them. The Hillel organization doesn’t tell them. The leaders of Jewish Federations and MAJOR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS don’t tell them. At least the Jew haters are letting them know. Kol Hakod!

I’m glad. Though I am not convinced the Jews will get the message. A Jewish student from Berkley had this to say: “The connection which the SJP makes between our being Jews and their protest over the Palestinian plight in Israel smacks of anti-Semetism. A distinction must be made between their criticism of the situation in Israel and my being Jewish. I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel. There is no justice in targeting me on my college campus just because I am Jewish.”

Notice what he says: “I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel.” Notice how he cuts himself off from Israel. In his eyes, he is an American, not an Israeli. This in itself is the crisis of American Jewry and the reason for the ever-increasing assimilation. In truth, he is the true refugee from “Palestine” whom the Romans expelled from the one and only Jewish Homeland – Israel.

Because of our long exile and wanderings in foreign lands, this Jewish college student in America has forgotten his true identity. His parents, and rabbis, and teachers, and Jewish leaders, don’t tell him this truth because they too have forgotten. Rabbi Kook decries this tragedy of Jewish education in the Diaspora which fails to teach that the Land of Israel is an indivisible part of being Jewish, stating, “This orientation toward Eretz Yisrael is not worthy of bearing fruit. The concept of Judaism in the Diaspora will only find real strength through the depth of its connection to Eretz Yisrael.”

So if none of the Jewish educators and leaders are teaching young Jews the truth, it is a good thing that the boys from BDS are letting them know. More power to them!

Tzvi Fishman

Hating The Jews

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

“When the Holy Ark would travel, Moshe would say, ‘Arise Hashem, and let Your foes be scattered. Let those who hate You flee from before You’ ” (Bamidbar 10:35).

In this pasuk, Moshe Rabbeinu is equating hatred of the Jews with hatred of Hashem.

Rashi is bothered by the comparison. Why does Moshe call the enemies of the Jews “enemies of Hashem”? Maybe they are just enemies of the Jewish people? Rashi answers, “Anyone who hates Yisrael hates Hashem.” It seems clear that Rashi assumes the root cause of anti-Semitism is hatred of God.

This concept of attributing hatred of Jews to hatred of Hashem seems difficult to understand. After all, if we study history, we see many reasons Jews were hated – and they had nothing to do with hating Hashem.

One reason commonly cited for anti-Semitism is simple jealousy. Historically, it was the Jew who brought his economic wisdom and acumen to the various countries he inhabited; it was the Jew who became the adviser and confidante to kings and governors. The Jewish contribution to the cultural, scientific, and technological evolution of civilization is nothing short of astounding. With contributions as diverse as those made by Freud, Spinoza, Trotsky, Kafka, Einstein, and Jerry Seinfeld, the Jew excels.

This alone would seem like a logical reason for anti-Semitism. There are, however, many other reasons.

Another reason given for anti-Semitism is what we’ll call the scapegoat theory. To gain power or distract the population from their suffering, a monarch would look for a place to put the blame. What better a place than the eternally despised Jew? By arousing the masses to Jew-hatred, an individual seeking power could use this energy as a galvanizing force to bring together masses of unaffiliated individuals. We certainly have seen many instances of this during the past 2,000 years.

Yet another reason stems for the charge leveled against the Jews of deicide – that we killed “god.” The average person would agree that is a sound reason to hate a people. After all, it certainly doesn’t sound very friendly, charitable, and kindly to kill “god.”

Finally, one of the most oft-quoted reasons to hate the Jews is that we make no secret that we are the Chosen People. As is clearly written in the Torah, the Jewish people have been given a unique role to play among the nations: to be a light, a guide, and Hashem’s most beloved nation. Is it any wonder that throughout the millennia we have been hated?

So why does Rashi say anyone who hates Jews hates Hashem? Maybe they hate them for one or more of the reasons cited above.

The answer seems to come from the very question itself: Why is it that the one constant throughout history is that everyone hates the Jews? Movements come and go; ideologies pass with time; systems of governments evolve. The only thing that doesn’t change is that everyone hates the Jews. Rich or poor, powerful or weak, dominant or oppressed, the Jew is hated – and then blamed for causing that very hatred.

Beginning with Avraham Avinu almost 4,000 years ago, there has been an endless stream of reasons to hate the Jew. And that itself is a most curious phenomenon. In whatever country the Jews found themselves, they were loyal and industrious citizens, yet they were always hated and always for different reasons.

Despised in one county for being too powerful, then trampled in another land for being too weak. Segregated into ghettos, then accused of being separatists. Accused by capitalists of being communist, hounded by communists because they were “all” capitalists. Hated for killing a religion’s god, yet equally despised in civilizations that don’t worship that god. Called “children of the devil” and the devil himself. Blamed for the Bubonic Plague and typhus, for poisoning wells and using sacrificial blood for baking matzahs.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-jews-irate-at-sale-of-gorings-silk-underpants/2016/06/17/

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