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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘June’

State Department Finally Condemns Iran VP Rahimi…A Week Too Late

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

http://fresnozionism.org/2012/07/state-finally-condemns-rahimi-a-week-too-late/

Last week I wrote about a high Iranian official’s anti-Jewish remarks and suggested that they consituted a threat and incitement to genocide. On July 3, the State Department finally issued a statement in the name of spokeswoman Victoria Nuland:

We strongly condemn Iranian First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi’s vile anti-Semitic and racist comments on June 26 at the International Day Against Drug Abuse conference in Tehran. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has confirmed that the conference was not held under UN auspices, nor did officials in attendance have any idea that Rahimi would level such offensive charges. Both UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov registered their dismay and serious concern over Rahimi’s anti-Semitic speech and issued a statement July 3 calling on Iranian officials to refrain from these kinds of anti-Semitic statements.

It is strange that it took more than a week for State to notice, and that the statement was made by Nuland and not Secretary of State Clinton. After all, since June 26, Ms Clinton had time to comment on the Solomon Islands’ and Venezuelan independence days, the national days of the Congo,  Rwanda, Somalia and Burundi, and of course Canada day; speak at the dedication of Sumner Welles Street in Riga, Latvia; speak at the Climate Clean Air and Green Embassy event in Helsinki, Finland; and much more. She also gave interviews to NPR and CNN during which she did not mention the affair.

The last sentence of the press release is very misleading. Ban-Ki Moon publicly condemned Rahimi’s remarks on the day after they were made. So did the EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, no particular friend of Israel. And so did the Italian Foreign Minister and the UK Foreign Office.

So why did our State Department wait 8 days to notice? And why was the statement made by Nuland and not our own “Foreign Minister?”

The statement that the conference “was not held under UN auspices” is mysterious. UN officials were present, as were European diplomats (some of whom expressed shock at Rahimi’s remark). Original reports said it was “co-sponsored by the UN and Iran.”  The impression is unavoidable that the State Department is more concerned about the possibility of a slur against the UN — which for once appears innocent — than about the Iranian’s Hitlerist remarks.

It is embarrassing that the US, given the Obama Administration’s constant repetition of its ‘unbreakable bonds’ with Israel should be so late and tepid in its response. It is not so surprising, though, given the administration’s practical actions to distance itself from Israel.

US Vessel Finds Bodies of Turkish Pilots

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Two pilots, whose jet was shot down by Syria, have been found in the eastern Mediterranean sea bed.  The plane was shot down on June 22, and the bodies were just found on Wednesday after a US deep-sea exploration.  The F-4 jet was said to be shot down in international airspace, while Syria claims it was flying through Syrian airspace.  Tense Turkish-Syrian relations are now worsened.

Parshas Chukas

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Vol. LXIII No. 26 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
June 29, 2012 – 9 Tammuz 5772
8:11 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:26 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Chukas
Weekly Haftara: VeYiftach HaGil’adi (Judges 11:1-33)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 39
Mishna Yomit: Yevamos 15:6-7
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 74:4-6
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Arachin v’Charamim chap. 8 – Hilchos Kilayim 2
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:19 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:13 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 5

Andy Statman: Klezmer Is Finished

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Andy Statman, one of the foremost Klezmer musicians in the world, knows that the time of Klezmer has passed.

“Each music has its point,” He explained over the phone while working at a Mandolin camp in California. “[Klezmer] is still alive, but in many ways it doesn’t really represent a living community. While it’s still alive and it’s great music and people enjoy it… It’s not a reflection of the time.”

At 62, Statman was the recipient of an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in June for his work in bluegrass and Klezmer music. As part of the fellowship, the nation’s highest recognition for traditional and folk art,  he will receive a one-time, $25,000 grant. He has been hailed by The New Yorker as an “American visionary” and by the New York Times as a “virtuoso.” His white shirt, beard and velvet yarmulkes also display the fact that Statman is an Orthodox Jew.

Statman grew up in Queens to a traditional, yet secular Jewish family from an unbroken chain of cantors going back to the 1700′s. His house was steeped in both vaudeville and Klezmer traditions. His cousin, Sammy Fein, originally Feinberg, a self-taught musician and composer, won two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Statman taught himself guitar and banjo after his brother brought home a record of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. A musical prodigy, in his teens he took up mandolin and became a well-known bluegrass musician.

After mastering saxophone and an extended foray into jazz in his mid-twenties, Statman felt the call of something else. He sought out master klezmer clarinetist Dave Terras. He says he became a “ben bayit,” a regular, at Terras’s house.

“There’s an incredible depth and spirituality to the music,” he said about Klezmer. “It connects you to the deepest part of yourself and to God. That’s what Judaism is about… In the old-time melodies, there’s, for lack of a better word, spiritual vitamins.”

Klezmer is the Eastern European musical tradition passed down from one generation to the next. (“It’s basically Chasidic music,” Statman said.) The exact history of the music was unknown to him, save for the fact that when Statman began playing Klezmer, it had almost been gone.

“A lot of where the music was played didn’t make it out,” he said. “Russia, Galicia, a lot of Chasidim. I think not only the Holocaust but there was more of an interest in preserving Judaism and the community. Music was not such a pressing concern.”

As the Klezmer revival began in the 1980’s and 90’s, Statman found himself more and more in demand, performing on records for the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan.

“I didn’t intentionally start the revival, I was just doing it for myself to preserve the music,” Statman said. “I wasn’t reviving something, I just wanted to keep it alive. And the whole thing sort of blossomed.”

Paradoxically, as he became more Orthodox he felt less of a pull towards Klezmer music.

“The music became very much an expression of Judaism for me, and once I began observing the mitzvot I didn’t feel the need to play the music anymore.” Statman said.

Statman returned to Klezmer in the mid-90’s when he produced “Songs of our Fathers” with his mentor David Grisman, and “In the Fiddler’s House” with Itzhak Perlman. He, along with his two band members Jim Whitney and Larry Eagle, perform regularly at the Charles Street Synagogue. His most recent CD is Old Brooklyn.

Statman now lives in the Midwood section of Brooklyn with his wife. His grandsons and granddaughters attend religious schools. While musically inclined, none of them have seriously taken up an instrument.

“Given the schedules of yeshiva and Beis Yakov, there’s no real time to learn it well,” he explained. “If you really want to play music well, it’s a full-time commitment. I’m practicing six hours a day.”

He sees his becoming religious as a “continuation of a seven thousand year heritage that was momentarily broken.”

About the future of Klezmer, Statman said it wasn’t bittersweet.

“Like bluegrass [music], it’s from a time and place,” he said. “It changed and the music was moving on to become something else. That’s the way it is. Styles come and go. They reflect the lives and the people who are involved in them… Each day is new.”

Search for Guma Aguiar Called Off

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The search for Guma Aguiar, a Florida businessman and philanthropist who has given millions to Jewish nonprofit organizations, reportedly was called off.

Aguiar, the CEO of Leor Energy who lives in Fort Lauderdale, was last seen on the evening of June 19. His yacht washed ashore in Fort Lauderdale the following day, according to reports. His phone and wallet reportedly were found on the boat.

Aguiar’s mother, Ellen, asked the Broward County Circuit Court on June 21 to allow her to become the temporary guardian of Aguiar’s estate, which is valued at more than $100 million. The court filing came on the same day that the search for Guma Aguiar was called off, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The court filing indicated that Aguiar could have been mentally deranged.

In 2009, Aguiar gave $8 million to the pro-aliyah group Nefesh B’Nefesh and $500,000 to March of the Living, which takes high school-aged Jews to Poland to see Holocaust sites. He also became a fixture of Israeli sports pages when he became the main sponsor of the Israeli Premier League soccer team Beitar Jerusalem.

While Aguiar, whose mother is Jewish, did not grow up with much of a Jewish background, he later returned to Judaism and has made large gifts to Jewish and Israeli causes. He made his fortune when he discovered huge natural gas reserves in Texas.

Yoram Ettinger: Cisco and Facebook Expand Israel Operations

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco,  in Jerusalem for the recent President’s Conference told Israeli business daily Globes: “We’ll expand here soon…. There are a lot of opportunities here. It’s the second country, after the US, in terms of start-ups and entrepreneurship. There are companies here that do not grow enough, and what we do is to bring these companies into the Cisco family and grow their activity. I don’t think that there is a better time to invest here, in partnerships, venture capital, and help our partners expand.

In March, Cisco acquired NDS, a London-based company with its development center in Israel, for $5 billion.

“Having the NDS base in Israel, we can enter fields such as security…. Although NDS’ headquarters are in Britain, its heart and soul are in Israel,” Chambers continued. “This is a country whose leaders and entrepreneurs I believe in. I believe that it’s possible to find a successful formula for both sides…. Cisco and the Israeli government have set up a joint team to examine ways of expanding their collaboration” (Globes Business Daily, June 21, 2012).

Cisco Systems Israel is Cisco’s second-largest design center outside the United States with over 750 employees, including 500 research and development engineers. Among Cisco’s numerous Israeli acquisitions are:  ClassData, $50 million (May, 1998); InfoGear, $300 million (March, 2000); HyNEX, $127 million (June 2000); Actona, $100 million (June, 2004); P-Cube, $200 million (August, 2004); and as mentioned – NDS, $5 billion, March 2012.

For its part, Facebook acquired Israel’s Face.Com for between $50 million-$100 million, its second Israeli acquisition, following the March 2011 acquisition of Snaptu for $70 million.

Lars Christensen, founder and CEO of Denmark’s Saxo Bank – the second largest foreign exchange broker in the world – which has recently entered the Israeli market: “We’ve identified a long-term potential in the Israeli market, especially due to Israel’s competitive edge in the area of technology.” In July, 2011 Saxo Bank acquired 25% of Israel’s Leverate and 100% of the activities of Israel’s Lembex Trading and Investment.

Originally published at http://www.theettingerreport.com/Home.aspx

Parshas Korach

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Vol. XIII No. 25 5772

New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
June 22, 2012 – 2 Tammuz 5772
8:11 p.m. NYC E.D.T.

Sabbath Ends: 9:26 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Korach
Weekly Haftara: VaYomer Shmuel (I Samuel 11:14-12:22)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 32
Mishna Yomit: Yevamos 14:1-2
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 70:4-71:1
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Nedarim chap. 10-12
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:16 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:12 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Pirkei Avos: 4

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/weekly-luach/parshas-korach/2012/06/20/

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