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August 28, 2015 / 13 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘judaism’

CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

CNN last week promoted the Old City of Jerusalem as the first of 25 “magnificent structures on the verge of extinction” but implied that Israel is the reason this is the “last chance to see” the sites.

UNESCO’s designation of 48 endangered sites includes the Old City and states:

As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs.

It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.

The term “Wailing Wall” dates back to the period before the re-establishment of the State of Israel and includes periods when Jew were allowed at the external wall of the  courtyard of the destroyed Temple Mount only on the Ninth of Av, the day that Jews bemoan the fall of the First and Second Temples.

Today, everyone in the world, except UNESCO and Muslim leaders, refer to it as the Western Wall, or “Kotel” in Hebrew.

CNN did not even mention the Kotel or “Wailing Wall.”

It told its viewers last week:

No other site has spent more time on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Jerusalem has held a spot since 1982. As holy city for three different religions, it attracts millions of tourists with over 200 monuments, including the majestic Dome of the Rock.

Then came the punch line. Why is it still endangered?

But political tension has hardened relations with Israel and UNESCP, preventing any preservation plans for moving forward.

CNN added a grave warning to people concerning all of the 25 sites it listed:

Go see them now, before it’s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends of ruthless developers. These outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.

Another website, known as “whenonearth.com,” lists UNESCO’s 48 endangered site, not to be confused with CNN’s list of archaeological sites that it chose, and states:

Why it’s special: It has significance religious implication to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It contains hundreds of monuments with great artistic works and architectural structures. It also hosts Christ’s tomb.

Why it’s in danger: the continuous conflicts among different religions are demeaning the city and its walls. Some of the structures have also been destroyed due to conflicts and improper maintenance plans.

Neither UNESCO nor the two websites mentioned above state that the Old City is the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, the existence of which is increasingly being denied by Palestinian Authority and Arab world clerics who are trying to manufacture a new history that erases any link between Judaism and Jerusalem.

All of the sites serve that purpose very well by simply saying that the Old City is holy to Jews as well is Muslims and Christian, without any explanation why it is holy to Judaism. The Muslim Dome of the Rock is noted. “Christ’s tomb” or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is mentioned.

Nothing is said about Jews. No Temple Mount history. No Wall, Wailing or Western. Zilch.

But CNN took the trouble to mention Israel when it explained its version of why the Old City is on UNESCO’s list of sites that supposedly are endangered.

The network furthered UNESCO’s political aim to take control of the Old City by alleging that preservation plans have not advanced because of “political tension [that] has hardened relations” between Israel and the U.N. agency.

Fast of 17th of Tammuz Is on the 18th of Tammuz

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

In three weeks, the Fast of the 9th of Av will be on the 10th of Av.

Today’s fast day actually was supposed to take place on Saturday, which was the 17th day of the month of Tammuz, whose laws are reported here.

The Shabbat postpones the fast, leaving us with the seeming contradiction of marking the Fast of the 17th Day of Tammuz on the 18th day.

In three weeks, there will be a replay in three weeks, when the Fast of the Ninth Av will be noted on the 19th of Av for the same reason that one does not fast on Shabbat.

The exception to the rule is the fast of Yom Kippur, which takes precedence even if it falls on Shabbat.

Judaism is full of many apparent contradictions but which are logical after studying Jewish law

For example, it is forbidden to erect a tent, including umbrellas, on Shabbat. Jews also may not drive a car on Shabbat, unless it is a matter of life and death.

That is why you might see a Jew walking half a mile to synagogue in the winter in a wicked rainstorm and totally drenched when he arrives for prayers in which he asks God for rain.

Go figure.

Bennett and Netanyahu Clash over Rollback of Religious Reforms

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

 

The Cabinet Sunday morning approved amendments to the conversion reform law of the last administration and returned more power to Hareidim, over the objections of coalition partner Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home).

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett to vote for the changes, alleging that they were part of the coalition agreement with the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties.

Bennett said at the Cabinet session, “I did not agree to this in coalition negotiations,” but the Prime Minister shot back:

All of the agreements obligate everyone.

Likud Parliamentary Group Chairman Ze’ev Elkin stepped into the fray and confirmed that Bennett opposed rolling back the reform, and the Cabinet passed the changes with Bennett and Bayit Yehudi Cabinet member opposing it.

Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party that is not in the coalition, also voted against it.

The amendments wreck all of the efforts in the previous government to take conversion out of the hands of Hareidi rabbis an allow local rabbinical courts to decide on the delicate issue that has the most impact on 300,000 Russian immigrants who are not Jewish according to Jewish law. Hareidi courts generally are far less willing to accept conversions than are national religious rabbis.

The Cabinet also transferred authority over the country’s rabbinical courts from the Justice Ministry to the Ministry of Religious Services, which is headed by another Shas MK, David Azoulay.

Refusal to accept reforms means that it is more likely that all of the children and future generations of the immigrants will not be Jewish. If the woman marry Jewish men, there would be even more non-Jews in Israel and would create complications that could affect their children’s future.

The need for Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a coalition forced him to accept the Shas and UTJ demands to put the conversion process back in the hands of Hareidi courts. Under the new amendments local courts still can process conversions but only with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, is part of the Shas movement that his father founded, so it is no wonder that the Shas party insisted on eliminating reforms.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau also opposed the reforms.

It only is a matter of time before reform once again will undo the Hareidi establishment that never misses an opportunity to forego bridging gaps with the non-Hareidi population and bring people closer to Judaism, simply because they insist on such a rigid approach to religion and concentration of power that pave the way for a backlash that could weaken Orthodox Jewish influence in Israel.

Safed Rabbi Arrested for Alleged Rape

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

Police Thursday morning arrested a rabbi from Safed (Tzfat) whom a woman said raped her after giving her spiritual guidance several years ago.

A second woman filed a complaint Wednesday night.

The allegations were presented to rabbis in Tzfat last month, and rabbinical leaders, including Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, asked the alleged rapist to leave the city during the investigation. The rabbis informed the police, who were not able to act until one of the women filed a complaint, which she finally did this week.

The national religious rabbi, who is a Kabbalist, was arrested while he was on his way to Ben Gurion Airport. He has denied the allegations.

2,000 Year Old Mikvah Found Beneath Jerusalem Living Room

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Beneath a modern living room floor in the quaint and flowering Jerusalem neighborhood of Ein Kerem lies Judaism’s ancient secret to family purity.

During recent renovations carried out in that living room, however, the family living in the home discovered the secret beneath their home and called the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The IAA archaeologists were amazed to find a pair of wood doors beneath the stylized rug in the pleasant family living room, concealing a 2,000 year old mikvah (Jewish ritual pool used for purification.)

Today (Wednesday, July 1) the owners of the home were awarded a certificate of appreciation by the Israel Antiquities Authority for reporting their discovery and contributing to the study of the Land of Israel.

The mikvah is complete and quite large, measuring 3.5 meters long x 2.4 meters wide x 1.8 meters deep. It is rock-hewn and meticulously plastered in accordance with halacha (Torah law), and includes stairs leading to the bottom of the immersion pool similar to the mikvahs of today.

The rock-hewn stairs discovered under the living room floor lead down into the mikvah, the pool of ritual waters, as today.

The rock-hewn stairs discovered under the living room floor lead down into the mikvah, the pool of ritual waters, as today.

Pottery vessels dating to the time of the Second Temple (1 CE) and traces of fire that might constitute evidence of the destruction of 66-70 CE were discovered within the pool.

In addition, fragments of stone vessels were also found, which were common during the Second Temple period because stone cannot be contaminated; it is known to remain pure.

According to Amit Re’em, Jerusalem District archaeologist, “Such instances of finding antiquities beneath a private home can happen only in Israel and Jerusalem in particular. Beyond the excitement and the unusual story of the discovery of the mikvah, its exposure is of archaeological importance.

“Ein Kerem is considered a place sacred to Christianity in light of its identification with “a city of Judah” – the place where, according to the New Testament, John the Baptist was born and where his pregnant mother Elisabeth met with Mary, mother of Jesus,” the archaeologist explained.

“Despite these identifications, the archaeological remains in Ein Kerem and the surrounding area, which are related to the time when these events transpired (the Second Temple period), are few and fragmented. The discovery of the ritual pool reinforces the hypothesis there was a Jewish settlement from the time of the Second Temple located in the region of what is today ‘Ein Kerem.”

The owners of the place said, “Initially, we were uncertain regarding the importance of the find revealed below our house and we hesitated contacting the Israel Antiquities Authority because of the consequences we believed would be involved in doing so.

Gazing at this cozy living room one would never suspect that beneath the small throw rug lies the entrance to a 2,000 year old mikvah, a Jewish ritual pool of purification.

Gazing at this cozy living room one would never suspect that beneath the small throw rug lies the entrance to a 2,000 year old mikvah, a Jewish ritual pool of purification.

“At the same time, we had a strong feeling that what was situated beneath the floor of our house is a find of historical value and our sense of civic and public duty clinched it for us. We felt that this find deserves to be seen and properly documented. We contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority at our own initiative in order that they would complete the excavation and the task of documenting the discovery.

Chabad Emissaries Fight Arson Attack With Holy Fire in Los Angeles

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

A Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and his co-emissary wife in Los Angeles is determined to fight an arson attack the Jewish way.

Rabbi Sholom Ber Rodal, co-director of Chabad of Mt. Olympus with his wife Rochela called on “all Jewish women and girls to light the Shabbat candles, bless your loved ones and ask for security and health for us and for the extended community” last week.

He also announced plans for a “Great Tefillin Wrap” on Sunday morning for men and boys over age 13, to take place in his Los Angeles neighborhood Jewish center.

The mitzvah campaign came in response to a vicious arson attack on the rabbi’s car in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.

“We were awakened by the blaring of a car alarm and what sounded like gunfire, explosions and fireworks,” Rodal told Chabad.org. “It was 2 am. My wife and I ran out to see what was going on. To our shock and disbelief, we saw our car engulfed in a blazing inferno of fire.

“There were explosions coming out of it every few seconds. We immediately woke up the children from their beds and we ran with them outside, far down the street – fearful that the fire would spread to the house.”

The flames incinerated the vehicle, destroying prayer books and other holy items, including tefillin (phylacteries) and mezuzahs.

Arsonists incinerated the car belonging to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Sholom Ber Rodal in Mt. Olympus, Los Angeles, in front of his home.

Arsonists incinerated the car belonging to Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Sholom Ber Rodal in Mt. Olympus, Los Angeles, in front of his home.

Police and firefighters responded immediately to the alarm and miraculously the damage was contained solely to the vehicle. Security cameras in the area provided a time line as to what took place in the moments prior to the conflagration.

“Two people can be clearly seen breaking into my car and setting it on fire with prepared materials,” the rabbi said. “It is very clear that it was a deliberate and targeted arson attack, and potentially more serious, pending the investigation.”

Although the Los Angeles Fire Department arson division has launched an investigation, there have been no arrests thus far.

“We feel pretty secure,” the rabbi said, noting that police had increased patrols in the area. “In Chassidic tradition, we are taught that everything that happens is for a purpose and for the lesson to be drawn to inspire us for the future,” Rodal mused. “What is the lesson here?”

Numerous people have already responded to his call for increased mitzvahs, he noted, with college students from the community posting photos of their activities on Facebook. Those who are currently in Israel on the Taglit-Birthright program showed their candle-lighting just prior to the start of the Sabbath because of what happened, he noted. A young man sent a photo of putting on tefillin.

“We will not deviate from our mission to provide care for the spiritual and physical needs of our dear community,” the rabbi asserted. “While we take the proper security measures, we know and trust that God is guiding and watching over us and that we are protected.”

Shuvu International Friends Raising $1.6 Million in 24 Hours [video]

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

In celebration of Shuvu’s 25th anniversary, three generous donors have pledged to match every dollar donated today, quadrupling every single donation made online

Every donation counts in touching the lives of more and more Israelis, instilling within thousands of families a high level of secular and religious education.

Shuvu has been giving the gold standard of Jewish education in Israel for 25 years. With a network of 67 schools, kindergartens, after-school programs and parent outreach programs, Shuvu provides a dynamic educational and welfare network that reaches thousands of Jewish families each year through high-level academic and Torah study.

Initially founded to provide a much-needed education to children who emigrated from the former Soviet Union, Shuvu’s student population now includes many native Israeli children, new French immigrants and other students from diverse backgrounds.

The success of Shuvu’s programs is immense, with more than 22,000 alumni who have gone on to learn at Israel’s top yeshivas, serve in elite army units and land jobs at many distinguished companies. Shuvu has been lauded for its superior educational offerings, its remarkable Chessed programs, and its impact on Israeli society.

This year alone, Shuvu expanded its outreach and opened 29 new first grade classes in existing schools. Over 1,000 new students joined the Shuvu community.

As Shuvu’s founder Rabbi Avrohom Pam zt’l would always say, “It is beyadeinu – in our own hands!” The future of Jewish education calls upon you to help support Shuvu’s tremendous work. And for one day only, each dollar will quadruple! Today’s the day to begin building the future.

DONATE TODAY and help Shuvu pave the way for a brighter future!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/home/promotional-content/shuvu-international-friends-raising-1-6-million-in-24-hours-video/2015/06/22/

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