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May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘judaism’

Rivlin’s Chanukah Message to Jews: Be Strong as a Rock against Terror [video]

Friday, December 4th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin tells “my dear brothers and sisters in Israel, and around the world” to let the Light of Chanukah remind them ” f the bonds that we all share, and the important role we all have of being a light unto the nations.

He said:

At Chanukah we stand around the lights, watch as they glow, and sing together Maoz Tzur, a song that tells about the many challenges that have risen against the Jewish people in the past….

It is no coincidence that the symbol of the Government of Israel is the Menorah, the symbol of Jewish independence, which lights our path.

Today, hatred, incitement, and terrorism threaten the whole world. In the face of these threats we need to be firm and strong like a rock – like Maoz Tzur – in our beliefs in freedom, justice, in the values of our tradition and of democracy….

Our thoughts at this time are of course with those who will be celebrating with a heavy heart; the injured and the families who have lost loved ones in the wave of terror that has struck in Israel, and around the world. To them especially, and to all the Jewish people, I wish a very happy Chanukah. Shalom from Jerusalem.

Below is the full video message.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Bad Timing’ of Christmas Hurts Chanukah Sales

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

Observant Jews cringe every year that Chanukah and Christmas overlap, leading to sacrilegious combinations of customs, but the kosher industry is losing out when the two holidays are totally separate, such as this year

Chanukah beings next Sunday night, December 6, and ends eight days later, almost two weeks before the Christians holiday.

Industry experts say that Chanukah is the third most important holiday on the Jewish calendar, following Passover and the High Holy Days, according to Kosher Today.

It reported:

Some industry officials believe that the calendar is not in their favor and prefer a Chanukah date that is close to Christmas. Next year, for example the first day of Chanukah falls on Christmas eve, the reason many non-traditional kosher customers buy kosher as gifts for Jewish friends and co-workers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kabbalist Sails to IDF Ship to Ask Soldiers to Say ‘Shema Yisrael’ [video]

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Kabbalist Rabbi Dov Kook of Tiberias visited Eilat this week and sailed in a boat to reach an IDF Navy ship to encourage soldiers to say “Shema Yisrael” but almost landed in the sea.

The Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported that Rabbi Kook spoke with officials of the southern tourist city as part of a campaign to persuade Jews to say the prayer, recited three times daily in prayers and before going to sleep at night.

After visiting the maritime observatory in Eilat, Rabbi Kook sailed in a boat towards a Navy ship. As seen in the video in the link here, he began to lose his footing while trying to board the ship as others told him, “Rabbi, be careful.”

He settled for remaining on the boat and shouting out loud, “Say Shema Yisrael. This is most important. You can say it now but especially at night.”

The soldiers promised they would, and the rabbi sailed back to Eilat.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

54% of American Jews Eat Pork, Says Pew Poll

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

“God Bless America” is becoming “Godless America,” if a trend reported by a Pew poll continues.

Its latest survey that was released Wednesday indicates that the number of Americans who are “absolutely certain” that God exists has dropped to 63% from 71% in a similar poll in 2007.

An overwhelming majority of 89% still believe in God, a three-point decline from the last poll, but millennials are much less religious than the older generation.

Pew stated:

As older, more religiously observant generations die out, they are being replaced by far less religious young adults

Two-thirds of members of the Silent generation (67%) say religion is very important in their lives, but only 38% of the youngest members of the Millennial generation – those born between 1990 and 1996 – say the same.

Just 28% of these youngest Millennials report attending religious services at least weekly, compared with about half (51%) of their Silent generation counterparts.

Another interesting, and perhaps not surprising, statistic in the poll is that there are more people in the Democratic party than in the Republican party who are not affiliated with any religion.

The survey also shows that homosexuality is much more accepted by all religions, especially Jews, than in previous years.

It also revealed that 54% of Jews now eat pork, one of the strongest prohibitions in the Torah and which  has been associated with Jewish identify over centuries.

No less significant is that only 39 percent of Jews expressed a deep feeling of spiritual peace and well-being at least once a week, compared with 68 percent for Protestants, 57 percent for Catholics and 64 percent for Muslims.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Fear of Violence Prompts Police to Seek Delay of Synagogue Demolition

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Police may be the surprising savior, even if temporarily, for a Jerusalem area synagogue that the High Court ordered demolished by Thursday because of claims that Jews did not buy the property.

The court has postponed several times the demolition of the house of worship at Givat Ze’ev, a community located on Highway 43 in Samaria and 12 miles west of Jerusalem.

The police want it delayed again for three weeks because of fear of “price tag” attacks amid the current wave of Palestinian Authority and Israeli Arab violence.

Protesters at Givat Ze’ev already have posted banners proclaiming “Down with the High Court” and slogans that condemn the destruction of a synagogue while homes of some terrorists are not razed.

Demonstrators have made it clear that there will be a violent clash with police and wrecking crews if the demolition is carried out. A gas canister already has been placed on the roof of the synagogue, and some people have threatened suicide.

The synagogue was built 20 years ago, but left-wing activists began a legal campaign seven years ago, claiming that Palestinian Authority Arabs owe the property. The court ruled that deeds of purchase presented by Givat Ze’ev were not valid.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Rabin’s ‘Yarzheit’ Enters Second Week

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Ashkenazi Jews mark the anniversary of a death, known in Yiddish as “yarzheit,” on the day that someone has passed away.

The custom of Sephardi Jews is to begin observing the death from the Shabbat before the anniversary.

In Israel, there is a unique custom.

The yarzheit of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin is marked for two weeks or even more, depending on the calendar. He was murdered on the 12th of the Hebrew month of Chesvan, or November 4 on the Gregorian calendar.

This year, the Hebrew date was this past Sunday, but as usual, rallies and speeches, supposedly in memory of Rabin, began days before to take advantage of Saturday night, when most people do not work.

November 4 is next Wednesday, but mid-week is not very convenient to attract thousands of people to ostensibly mourn Rabin but exploit the murder to rant against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria and for “democracy” which means one must agree with the agenda of a decreasing minority that shivers at the growing influence of national religious Jews in society.

Yigal Amir, the man convicted and jailed for life for shooting and killing Rabin, was a national religious Jew. Now, 20 years since the assassination, leftist leaders and Israel’s largest media outlets still blame rabbis and the entire national religious community for the tragedy.

Saturday night, President Reuven Rivlin will deliver a speech at Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, where he was murdered. The address is entitled “Remembering the murder, fighting for democracy” and will include an address from former President of the United States Bill Clinton.

Next year, November 4 falls on Friday, and Cheshvan 12 is on a Saturday, which means it will be a lot easier to draw large crowds. On the other hand, there are only eight days between the two dates, but the organizers will find a way to stretch it out.

Jews have observed Yarzheits for centuries on the day of a death and with prayers and introspection by remembering the righteous character and good deeds of the deceased. Marking the Yarzheit on a different date, because it is more convenient for political purposes, insults the soul of the deceased and loses the entire significance of Yarzheit.

Chabad notes:

This religious commemoration is recorded not as a fiat, but as a description of an instinctive sentiment of sadness, an annual rehearsing of tragedy, which impels one to avoid eating meat and drinking wine–symbols of festivity and joy, the very stuff of life.

It was a day set aside to contemplate the quality and life-style of the deceased, and to dwell earnestly upon its lessons.

Yahrzeit is a day when one relives the moment of doom, perhaps even fasts to symbolize the unforgettable despair. It is a day conditioned by the need to honor…death as in life, through study and charity and other deeds of kindness….

One slows one’s activities and spends a good part of the day safely in the synagogue.

The sad part of the yearly commemorations is that whether or not one did not like his acceptance of the Oslo Accords, Rabin’s contributions to the country as IDF Chief of Staff are lost in the rumble of politics.

He deserves better.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

IDF Promises Yad L’Achim, ‘Soldiers Won’t Be Taken to Missionary Events’

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

A special letter from the Israel Defense Forces arrived in the headquarters of the Yad L’Achim anti-missionary organization this week in response to a complaint filed by the group.

The letter was sent two years ago after it was learned that 300 officers and soldiers from the army’s most elite units had been bused to an event that included a missionary pitch by an American preacher.

Yad L’Achim appealed to the defense minister and IDF chief of staff, calling for an investigation into the event, demanding to know who authorized taking the uniformed soldiers from their base to a missionary event. More important, who would assure that it didn’t happen again?

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot sent a letter upon assuming his post last year assuring Yad L’Achim “that the incident is being investigated by commanders in order to prevent a recurrence.”

Yad L’Achim followed up and learned that the missionaries were planning to hold another event for soldiers this past Sukkot.

Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman, who has been coordinating Yad L’Achim’s campaign to protect soldiers from missionaries, immediately turned to the IDF upper echelons with the information. The rabbi attached to his letter a copy of Eisenkot’s commitment and sought urgent clarification.

A few days before the event was scheduled to take place, Rabbi Gechtman received a call from the army assuring him that no soldiers would participate.

Last week, the IDF Manpower Agency finally made it official in a letter, clarifying that the orders had been forwarded to all IDF units: Accepting invitations for soldiers to participate in missionary events is absolutely forbidden.

IDF letter to Yad L'Achim clarifying that no soldiers will be taken to missionary events.

IDF letter to Yad L’Achim clarifying that no soldiers will be taken to missionary events.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-promises-yad-lachim-soldiers-wont-be-taken-to-missionary-events/2015/10/22/

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