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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘judaism’

Police Injured as Arab Rioters Lock Themselves inside Al Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Dozens of masked Arab rioters locked themselves inside the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning after they injured at least four policemen with firebombs, cement blocks and large rocks during visits by Jews and foreign tourists to the holy site.

One of the firebombs was hurled from within the mosque. At least one of the policemen was directly hit by a Molotov cocktail, which struck his protective gear. The bottle exploded but did not ignite.

Policemen were treated at the scene for light injuries, and several Arabs reportedly were hurt in the violence that continued at least until noon.

Unlike previous riots, the police did not bar Jews and tourists from continuing to visit the Temple Mount compound.

Police said they will “continue to take action to show zero tolerance in the face of any attempt to disturb the peace and will act to arrest rioters and bring them to trial.”

The tough stand comes after years of escalating violence by Arabs to keep Jews off of the Temple Mount site.

Arabs blocked the entrance to the Al Aqsa mosque with marble slabs, ropes and anything else that does not move, and then even poured inflammable liquid on the barricade, which police succeeded in removing.

Police are not entering the mosque, the Muslims’ holiest site in Jerusalem, in order not to provoke further violence.

Muslim clerics and Palestinian Authority leaders continues to accuse Israel of trying to cause the collapse of the Al Aqsa mosque by digging tunnels underneath, and media in the Arab world repeatedly report that Jews “storm” or “invade” the Temple Mount as part of a secret plan to build the Third Temple.

Israel this week unveiled a project for a new gate that would allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount site. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi charged Israel with “insulting” the Arab Muslim world by proposing the new entrance and added, “Israel is creating a new reality at the expense of Palestinians, their religious rights, sites, and historical identity.”

She did not explain what “religious rights” are being violated by Israel, unless one of those rights is to try to kill Jews.

Ashrawi also did not mention “Jewish religious rights.”

One of the favorite Palestinian Authority Arab world campaigns in recent years has been to claim that the First and Second Temples never existed and that there is no Jewish connection with the Temple Mount.

Even more ridiculous is that millions of Muslims, and non-Muslims, believe it.

 

2:15pm Update: Jewish visitors report that the Temple Mount was closed for them this afternoon.

New York, High-End Dealers Cater To Jews Seeking The Perfect Etrog

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Naftali Berger’s quest for perfection ends in victory when the 24-year-old kollel student enters Tsvi Dahan’s trailer on Wallabout Street in the Haredi Orthodox Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

“Find something wrong with it — find it!” a glowing Berger exclaims Monday as he holds his treasure: a bumpy, lemon-like fruit.

In open-air markets and on tables unfolded on sidewalks in Jewish communities throughout the world, many Jews preparing for Sukkot look for lovely etrogim, the fruit that constitutes the centerpiece of the biblically mandated four species to be blessed during the weeklong holiday.

Many celebrants will take the basic etrogim commonly sold by synagogues, Jewish schools and shops for about $50 for a set that also includes a lulav, myrtle and willow.

Then there are men like Berger, who think nothing of dropping hundreds of dollars on an especially beautiful etrog, which they believe enhances their fulfillment of the mitzvah.

No sooner does Yom Kippur end than such customers seek out Dahan, 38, a resident of Jaffa who owns three hotels in Tel Aviv but has trekked to New York City the past 15 autumns to hawk his high-end etrogim. They are rippled and slightly smooth, hefty and slim, shiny in hue and subdued — in etrog selection, as in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Above all, though, Dahan’s etrogim are symmetrical and close to blemish-free — and are pure, ungrafted.

All come from the 200 trees on a half-acre plot of land Dahan leases in Dumdir, a village in southern Morocco, his parents’ homeland. Dahan visits four times a year to monitor their growth and consult with his one full-time employee.

His last visit there preceded Rosh Hashanah, when Dahan selected the crop’s 2,000 best. In a Moroccan hotel room, he categorized the 200 most pristine specimens promising top dollar, examining each for texture, shape and, above all, the slightest of flaws.

He’s not alone catering to the market in Williamsburg, where the primarily Hasidic community is dominated by the Satmar sect, with smaller pockets of Bobov and Vizhnitz. In the weeks before Sukkot, several other storefronts and trailers pop up in the neighborhood, with dealers and growers offering premium etrogim from Israel and Italy, along with Morocco.

Some of the merchants, like Dahan, also market to the haredi Orthodox community in Monsey, a town northwest of New York City.

In the trailer, Berger slides his eyeglasses down near the tip of his nose, the better to inspect the etrog he’s grasping. He takes a cotton swab from a box and dabs at the surface surrounding the pitom, as the stem is known, trying to discern if the pinhead-sized speck he spots is merely a wayward dirt particle or a blemish.

Ten minutes into the inspection, Berger phones his rabbi, detailing his observations in Yiddish. He hangs up, calls again, then returns the etrog to a foam-lined box that he sets aside on a table.

“I’m going to have a cup of coffee and think about it,” Berger says.

Ten minutes later, he returns, seizing another etrog and examining it.

This one is smaller than many others displayed, and the pitom is angled slightly, but Berger is smitten.

“It’s clean — perfectly clean. For me, that’s the most important,” Berger pronounces of the $200 etrog that he calls “a bargain.”

He’ll also take the one he’d reserved earlier — and two more besides for his brothers. He leaves a $200 deposit for the four etrogim, which he takes away for his brothers to examine.

Six blocks down Lee Street, Dahan sits in a vacant storefront, his other temporary outpost in Williamsburg. Two tables host four reading lamps to help customers scrutinize the merchandise. A man who inspects for 45 minutes leaves without purchasing.

A Yom Kippur Apology to Gwyneth Paltrow and Reform Jews

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Dear Gwyneth,

Several readers harshly criticized me for my remarks here about your decision to convert to Judaism under the auspices of a Kabbalah-oriented rabbi.

I have nothing against Kabbalah. I have nothing against Reform Jews.

My kosher beef is against fashionable Kabbalah and the Reform Movement industry that turn Judaism into a personal fiefdom based on personal views of universalism that have nothing to do with Torah.

Kabbalah is beyond me. Its mysticism can lead one to a great understanding of God and the essence of God, through the Zohar, the 13th century book that is studied worldwide by many very Orthodox Jews but which also has been hijacked by many as a tool for skipping over the basics.

I termed the conversion process by Reform “rabbis,” and this also holds for many Kabbalists, “instant Judaism.” I also referred to it as “false Judaism,” but quickly deleted the phrase after seeing justifiably angry talkbacks.

I apologize to you and Reform Jews for using both phrases, which I stand by 100 percent but regret having published because it didn’t serve the purpose of performing the mitzvah of “kiruv” – reaching out to bring Jews closer to Judaism based on beliefs of our first Yid, Avraham.

Although you are not Jewish, at least not yet, you do have a centuries-long history of learned rabbis in your ancestry. You discovered that your great-grandfather was a learned sage.

I find it sad that that some have no qualms about teaching their Kabbalah wares to the Hollywood holies, and that the Reform Movement welcomes with open arms anyone who wants to enter the tribe without learning and understanding the religion from the viewpoint of Orthodoxy.  Judaism has survived and flourished for 3,000 years in the face of attempts to destroy our religion through the same assimilation that the Reform Movement accepts be re-defining the term “Jew.”

Our sages, like your great-grandfather, always have discouraged conversion, which is a serious business and is more than “feeling” Jewish, putting on a tallis, eating gefilte fish and delving into the secrets of Kabbalah without having learned Torah.

I had no intention of discouraging you. That is not my business.

I do have the intention of discouraging conversions that reduce the Torah to nothing more than an interesting book from which one can pick and choose what he wants.

You were raised by an assimilated father and a Christian mother, and that says a lot about what happens to Jews when they do not stick to authentic Judaism, falsely libeled as a “monopoly” of the Orthodox.

As I have written elsewhere, certified medical doctors decide who are legitimate doctors. The same is true in dozens of other professions. I don’t go to an “alternative accountant” or “alternative lawyer.”

I often follow treatments in “alternative medicine,” but I never go to someone who calls himself an ”alternative doctor.”

Gwyneth, I won’t dwell on “instant Judaism” because it will only will cause me to apologize again after another argument readers who either disagree or simple feel I should ”leave you alone” and be happy you are searching for your roots. I really am glad you are doing so, and it would be wonderful if you read some translations of your great-grandfather’s books.

I apologize to you, and readers, whom I have offended.

I wish you a happy and good year and will try to lean more towards Kiruv and less towards mockery.

One other item, Gwyneth. Assuming you convert, and through an Orthodox rabbi, don’t forget your Jewish roots go back further than your centuries of rabbis in our ancestry. Your roots, once you are Jewish, are in Israel.

EL Al May Be Violating US Law, NY Lawyer Says

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

A New York attorney claimed that some El Al Airlines’ policies may violate U.S. law in the wake of delays on flights because Haredi men refused to sit next to women.

Iris Richman, who holds the title of rabbi, posted on the Facebook page of Jewish Voices Together, a citation of federal law that states, “An air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person in air transportation to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or ancestry.”

Richman told Haaretz that she called the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division and was informed that the department was “willing to investigate any situation where any employee of a carrier, i.e steward/ess participated in asking someone to change a seat because of their gender.”

Her post followed two days after the launch of an online petition calling on El Al to provide a small section of gender-segregated seats for an extra fee. More than 3,000 people have signed the petition, which also charges that the Israeli airline permits “female passengers to be bullied, harassed and intimidated into switching seats which they rightfully paid for and were assigned to.”

El Al maintains that it does not discriminate against passengers. An airline spokeswoman told Haaretz, “Our policy in general is to try to accommodate any customer request.”

 

Cholov Yisrael and ‘Glatt’ at Wal-Mart!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

“Kosher” is the new fad, and some of America’s largest discount chains are cashing in.

It was nearly two years ago that a Wal-Mart spokesman revealed that the mega discounter carried kosher products in more than 500 stores, part of a growing trend where Club stores and discount chains like Costco, Sam’s Club, Target, and BJ’s were investing more in kosher.

For Wal-Mart, its emergence as the nation’s largest grocer meant that it was only a matter of time that the mega discounter would challenge supermarkets with an emphasis on kosher. Every summer Wal-Mart becomes a serious competitor in kosher at its Catskills stores where sales are said to approach $3 million for just the 10 weeks of the summer when tens of thousands of Jews descend on the Upstate New York resort area.

Its new store in Skokie, Illinois raises the bar on kosher with hundreds of kosher products, including Cholov Yisrael products and glatt kosher meats.

Most notable in the new store is its rather impressive large signage of kosher aisles, special refrigerators and freezers and even bakery. Its average kosher section in many stores is about 12 square feet compared to 100 square feet for the Skokie store.

Wal-Mart will be taking on the impressive Kosher Marketplace in Jewel-Osco, the city’s largest interdependent exclusive kosher supermarket, Hungarian Kosher and the small Kol Tuv market.

Soon to come will be a new Marriano’s supermarket that has already announced its intention of including a robust kosher section.

Wal-Mart is not alone in its quest for a share of the kosher market. Costco continues to upgrade its kosher offerings as is Target and BJ’s.

While many kosher purveyors expressed delight at the Wal-Mart development, they acknowledge that “it is still very much an experiment for them.”

Flemish Minister Calls for Ritual Slaughter Ban in Belgium

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The General Director of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin has protested a proposal by a Flemish government minister to implement a total ban on the practice of Jewish ritual slaughter, insisting such a move “is against freedom of religion.”

Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts said on Belgian television Sunday that he would actively pursue a total ban on the practice of animal slaughter without pre-stunning, beginning next year.

Responding to the latest attack on the ancient Jewish ritual, Rabbi Margolin emphasized that the Jewish practice of “Shechita” is “the most humane method of slaughter” because it ensures the welfare of the animal not only at the time of slaughter, but also concerns itself with “the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter.”

He added, “As well as being illogical and inconsistent from the perspective of animal rights, labelling kosher meat will give ammunition to anti-Semites to attack Jewish tradition.”

Mr. Weyts called for religious groups to adhere to current legislation which allows animal slaughter without pre-stunning to be carried out only in licensed abattoirs. Further legislation, he added, was on the agenda for 2015. His Belgian government counterpart, Wallon Minister Carlo Di Antonio, indicated it would “take the same shape as that suggested by” the Flemish Minister.

Police Lock Arab Rioters inside Al Aqsa Mosque

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

Jerusalem police locked dozens of masked Arab rioters inside the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount Wednesday morning after they attacked Jewish visitors and police with firecrackers, bottles and large blocks.

Several arrests are expected, but the first person to be detained was a Jew who was suspected of “disrupting the public order” by praying on the Temple Mount.

The Arabs were well-prepared to violently attack police, and their “green light” was a visit by the Mughrabi (Rambam) Gate by Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home party. He vowed that the Third Temple will be built.

The rioters immediately attacked at the same time that Public Interior Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch was visiting the holy site. He bragged on Wednesday how the number of rock-throwing attacks has declined by one-third and that firebombing is almost non-existent. Aharonovitch praised police, as if they were responsible for the decline, which more likely can be attributed to the end, for the time being, of the war against terror in Gaza.

Four police officers were treated for wounds suffered on the Temple Mount. Faced with a massive barrage of blocks being thrown in their faces and firecrackers hurled at them, policemen managed to direct rioters inside the Al Qaeda Aqsa mosque before chaining it for several hours

Visits to the Temple Mount by Jews and foreigners were banned during the riots.

Rock-throwing continued in Jewish area in eastern Jerusalem, and police arrested a non-year-old Arab for hurling rocks at Jews. The boy was turned over to his parents, for whatever that is worth, but can you imagine what police would do to a nine-year-old boy and his parents if he were caught throwing rocks at Arabs? Don’t try, because you don’t want to start Rosh HaShanah that way.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-lock-arab-rioters-inside-al-aqsa-mosque/2014/09/24/

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