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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘judaism’

Elton John’s Concert in Israel Set for Lag B’Omer

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

British rock singer Sir Elton John’s 2016 concert in Israel, reported by The JewishPress.com two weeks here by The JewishPress.com will be staged in Tel Aviv on May 26, which is Lag’Omer.

The holiday marks the anniversary of death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, known as the Rashbi, a student of Rabbi Akiva. Lag B’Omer traditionally is the day on which he revealed deep mystical secrets of Kabbalah as written in the Zohar.

The concert in Yarkon Park is part of the 68-year-old singer’s Wonderful Crazy Night Tour 2016

Shuki Weiss, the producer of the concert, said. “I’m happy that we have the honor to present in Israel one of the biggest artists in the world will give all of us a few hours of a different reality.”

“Different” is an understatement on Lab B’Omer, noted most prominently with the burning of bonfires the evening before.

The Rashbi and his son Rabbi Eliezer, according to the Talmud, hid in a cave from the Romans for 12 years.

The Talmudic Shabbat tractate, page 33, relates:

Elijah came and stood at the entrance to the cave and exclaimed, ‘Who will inform the son of Yochai that the emperor is dead and his decree annulled?’ So they emerged.

Seeing a man plowing and sowing, they exclaimed, ‘They forsake life eternal and engage in life temporal!’ Whatever they cast their eyes upon was immediately burnt up.

Thereupon a Heavenly Echo came forth and cried out, ‘Have you emerged to destroy My world: Return to your cave!’

After another year in the cave, Rashbi and his son Rabbi Eliezer emerged again:

On the eve of the Shabbat before sunset they saw an old man holding two bundles of myrtle and running at twilight. ‘What are these for?’ they asked him. “They are in honor of the Shabbat, he replied.

‘But one should suffice you. [He responded] ‘One is for Remember and one for Observe’ [referring to the two different wordings in the Ten Commandments].

Said [Rashbi] to his son, ‘See how precious are the commandments to Israel.’

Maybe Sir Elton will light a bonfire on stage in memory of Rashbi.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

White House: Hanukkah Lights Flicker for Saving Syrian Refuges

Monday, December 7th, 2015

The Obama administration has followed up on exploiting Passover for its political agenda by coming out with a new interpretation of Hanukkah, whose lights supposedly are to enlighten Jews to back the President’s program to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees.

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said at the annual lighting of the National Hanukkah Menorah:

So this is a joyous occasion, and yet as we heard earlier we are mindful that even as we gather here tonight, that while the light of freedom burns brightly for us and for our generation, it flickers for others.

Refugees fleeing religious intolerance and oppression. People targeted for their faith, people whose faith is perverted by others.

He suddenly dropped the Jewish angle and switched to speaking for all Americans, saying:

We are Americans, and as Americans we do not turn our backs on those who seek sanctuary. Nor do we stay quiet in the face of bigotry or intolerance. We stand up for those persecuted around the world.

McDonough then switched back to express his ignorance of Judaism and continued:

We remember this season that we too were once strangers, that our inheritance gives an obligation to remain true to our values, that as Jewish tradition teaches, by saving one life, we save the world.

He seems to be getting Passover, when Jews recall being “strangers in a strange land,” with Hanukkah, the celebration of twin miracles of the victory of a small number of Jews over Greek invaders of Jerusalem and of a one-day’s supply of pure olive oil burning for eight days after the holy Menorah was relit.

It is no wonder he got confused because Passover also has been used by President Barack Obama to promote his political agenda. This past year, as in previous years, the President acted as a would-be Torah sage to declare that Jews must drive into their minds that Arabs deserve their freedom just like Jews won their freedom with the help of God.

He meant freedom for Arabs in Judea and Samaria, where their main lack of freedom is to kill Jews at will, and not in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and other Muslim countries where freedom is a strange word in a strange land.

Chabad Rabbi Levi Shemtov expressed a different political interpretation on whose lack of freedom should be remembered.

After declaring his sorrow for the victims of the terror attack in San Bernardino, he said:

They, their families, their loved ones that are mourning are with us in our prayers and in our celebration today. So are the families of all those innocent souls in Paris. … We must remember them as we celebrate our freedom.
Because even though we and France are two free countries, freedom is not free, and when it is disrupted, we must pause and remember those who give their lives in that cause.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

New ‘Olim’ Pass the ‘Taste Test’ of Chanukah Sufganiyot [video]

Friday, December 4th, 2015

The Nefesh b’Nefesh (NBN) Aliyah organization has gathered together new immigrants to Israel to taste different kinds of “sufganiyot” and decide which is the tastiest.

A few faces on the participants, filmed by NBN in the video below, also indicate which ones were the worst.

The Chanukah doughnut, which the food industry tries to fill with something new if not ridiculous every year, is by far and wide the favorite food associated with a Jewish holiday, Jews eat more matzo than sufganiyot but enjoy it a lot less.

The doughnuts, usually made from white flour, are fried in oil, filled with anything from jelly to chocolates, and just for good measure for anti-health freaks, are covered with powdered or glazed sugar.

The NBN’s sufganiyot tasters included a four-old and a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor.

The taster’ task was to compare the Israeli sufganiyot with American doughnuts and figure out how much time they have to exercise in the gym to burn off the calories.

The new Israeli taste testers were spared some varieties available in the United States, where offerings include sufganiyot filled with eggnog, sugar cookies, chocolate peppermint bark, custards, caramel, peaches n cream, with peach compote and whipped cream in the middle and orange pumpkin buttercream.

Our award for the zaniest goes to blogger “WhatJewWannaEat.” Are you ready?

Chicken liver mousse.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/most-jews-eat-pork-says-pew-poll/2015/11/04/

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