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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘kippah’

French Jewish Leaders Debate: Should Marseille Jews Wear A Kippah?

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

French Jewish men in the southern city of Marseille are being urged by some community leaders not to wear their yarmulkes in the wake of a terror attack on a Jewish teacher there Monday.

Tzvi Amar, head of the Marseille Israeli Consistoire, told the daily La Provence, “Not wearing the kippah can save lives and nothing is more important. It really hurts to reach that point but I don’t want anyone to die in Marseille because they have a kippah on their head.”

Amar acknowledged that many Jews would not agree with his views, but said he felt “exceptional measures are required “until better days.”

But French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia has firmly countermanded that advice and is urging the Marseille’s Jews — and in fact, those of the entire country — to continue wearing yarmulkas in public.

“We should not give in to anything, we will continue to wear the kippah,” the chief rabbi told the Jews of France.

Likewise, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association (EJA) urged French Jews on Tuesday to “remember the words of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.”

In his former position as Interior Minister, Valls had said in response to calls from the far right to ban the kippah in deference to the country’s secular nature: “Every religious has its rites and traditions; the freedom of belief, it’s the freedom to wear a kippah, to eat kosher and to practice religious circumcision… secularism wasn’t created as a weapon against others. The Jews of France can wear with pride their kippah – it’s the responsibility of politicians not to respond to such provocations.”

Margolin reminded, “We now look to the French authorities to consolidate their important commitment with demonstrable actions to safeguard the right of French Jews to wear their identity with pride.”

The attorney for Binyamin Amsalem, stabbed Monday by the machete-wielding teenager in Marseille, had grim words for reporters. “I had the feeling [he] wanted to decapitate me,” Fabrice Labi said his client told him.

Amsalem fought off his attacker with his arms and legs, and a copy of the chumash (Torah) that he was carrying. The terrorist had stabbed Amsalem from behind in the back of the shoulder, and on the hand during the fight.

The 16-year-old teen terrorist later told investigators once he was in custody that when he is released, he intends to arm himself and go out to kill police. He claimed to be “acting for Da’esh” (ISIS).”

Monday’s attack was followed by a second attack on a French Jew, this one in the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Créteil, about seven miles from the French capital.

The body of 73-year-old Alain Ghozland, a city councilor originally from Algeria, was found Tuesday morning in his apartment, beaten and riddled with stab wounds.

Ghozland’s brother called police when he did not show up for regular shacharit morning prayers at their synagogue. Police said that so far they have no leads in the case.

Hana Levi Julian

UPDATE: Arab Video Encourages Murder of Jews in Old City

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

A video uploaded to YouTube* by a Hamas account on Oct. 6 glorifies and encourages murdering Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The video shows what purports to be a Palestinian Arab man in his twenties. The Arab is shown wearing a Fatah-style kefiyah. He is sitting in an alleyway of what looks like the Old City of Jerusalem, and he is watching a video on his cellphone.  Young Arab boys play ball in the alley.

Arab in alleyway

After a few seconds, two men dressed up as religious Jews appear in the alleyway. One is wearing a black hat and long frock coat, the other is wearing a kippah and a tallis.

2 Jews enter alleyway

The “Jew” with the tallit knocks over a small boy and then kicks him. Then the “Jew” with the black hat pushes one of the Arab kids, knocking him over. The two “Jews” then grin at each other as they continue up the alleyway, where they walk past the Arab young man.

tallit Jew knocking over boyblack hat kicking arab boy

2 Jews smiling about kicking Arabs

The video closes in on the Arab’s face. He is seething.

seething

The video then seems to back up and the two Jews are again walking down the alleyway. This time the Arab youth is standing on the side of the alley, holding a sharp knife. The Arab springs forward, brutally stabbing the “Jewish” black hatted man, who falls to the ground, dead.

Arab stabbing Black Hat

Then the Arab runs down the alley after the “Jew” in the tallit, who is running away. But not fast enough.

Arab killed 1 going after other

The Arab catches the second Jew. The camera zooms in on the knife, and catches the moment of impact of the knife into the man’s neck. Blood gushes out.

Arab knifing Jew #2

The second Jew crumples to the ground.

Arab laying down Jew #2

The video ends with what looks like blood hitting the camera lens. A slogan in Arabic, calling for an intifada, and #freedom of al-Aksa, flashes across the screen.

#intifada al-Aksa

The only truly surprising thing about the video is that it was uploaded by a Hamas account, but the Arab terrorist is wearing a Fatah kefiya and it focuses on the Old City, which is not typically thought of as the turf of Hamas.

UPDATE: The video was removed from YouTube. That is good news. But it was posted to other social media and it received wide distribution before it was removed from YouTube. You can see what was in the video because the JewishPress.com captured most of it in screen captures and included it here for people to see the venom and the violence pouring out of the people who are supposed to be Israel’s peace partners.

Significantly, the video was posted after various Arab leaders, including Jordanian and Egyptian leadership, told the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas that he had to clamp down on the murderous incitement amongst the Palestinian Arabs. It was also posted after Abbas made public statements that he was doing so.

This is what appears where the video was previously:

YT removed

Not sure why YouTube has “sorry about that” in the message, but at least this particular incitement has been removed.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

13 Year-Old Jewish Boy Beaten in Paris

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

A 13 year-old Jewish boy wearing a kippah was attacked and beaten in the 19th district (arrondissement) of Paris this week. The boy was beaten as he left his Jewish school.

The assailants were described as being of African origin. The 19th arrondissement is home to many North African immigrants. One of the attackers allegedly shouted “beat that dirty Jew.”

After the attackers beat the boy, they allegedly stole his phone and ran away.

The victim was taken to a local hospital with head wounds.

France’s National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVA) condemned the attack and recommended that a formal complaint be filed with French police.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Shas MK Begins ‘Three Week’s with ‘Senseless Hate’ against Reform Jews

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

 

Minister for Religious Affairs, Shas Knesset Member David Azoulay, ridiculed approximately 2 million Jews Tuesday with the incredible statement, “A Reform Jew, from the moment he does not follow Jewish law…. I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew.”

His vile libel comes on the heels of the Netanyahu government’s rollback of religious reforms passed in the previous administration and which broke the gridlock that the Hareidi establishment has held over the conversion process and the approval for private and public eating facilities to be certified as kosher.

There are tens of thousands of Reform Jews who indeed are not Jews according to Jewish law because of  intermarriage. Jewish law states that if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

But for the time being, most Reform Jews in the United States and elsewhere are Jews by birth, regardless of whether they follow Jewish law.

MK Azoulay’s rant comes during the first week of the “three weeks” of a semi-state of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples on the Ninth of Av, which is observed at the end of the period.

Every year, rabbis preach that the sages teach that the Second Temple fell because of “senseless hate” among Jews,” and that every Jew today must express unlimited love.

And how does the Shas MK express his love? He told Army Radio today he cannot call them “Jews” and added:

These [Reform] Jews took the wrong path, and we need to make sure that every Jew returns to the lap of Judaism and [we need] to receive everyone with love and joy.To my sorrow, most of the Reform Jews in the Diaspora have erred. They are like babies who are hostages, and we want to make sure that every Jew will return  to Judaism according to Jewish law.

The most infuriating part of MK Azoulai’s remarks, worse than refusing to recognize Reform Jews as Jews, is his arrogant pretense that “we need to receive them with love and joy.”

The Hareidi establishment, of which the Shas Sephardi party is a major leader, does everything in its power to turn Jews off from Judaism.

Reform Judaism is not Judaism, and Reform rabbis are not rabbis, no more than alternative medicine is “medicine” and their practitioners are “doctors,” but to publicly say – or even privately think – that they are not Jews is nothing less than a blood libel.

Reform Jews never will be accepted with “love and joy” by the Israeli Hareidi establishment no more than MK Azoulay will accept national religious Jews with “love and joy.”

No matter how much Talmud we learn, and no matter how often we say the same prayers that Hareidim say – except for the addition of the Prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF that are absent from almost all Israeli Hareidi prayer books – it is not good enough for the their establishment.

Unlike the Agudah Hareidi movement in the United States, which practices “kiruv” – reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews to bring them closer to Judaism – the Hareidi  leaders in Israel are interested in power. They don’t accept others who do not dress like them, obey them like robots and contribute to their yeshivas.

There was an unconfirmed claim by the Women of the Wall yesterday that guards stopped a woman at The Western Wall because she was wearing a kippah.

The guards allegedly asked the woman to go with them to the police station, a request she refused.

Instead, she was escorted to a taxi stand outside the Western Wall Plaza.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Modern Orthodoxy’s Welcome Alternative

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

In the last number of years there has been great media and literary attention paid to the phenomenon of members of the Haredi community who choose to leave their lifestyle and neighborhoods – in some painful instances even becoming estranged from their families, as they move into mainstream secular society.

Books, investigative essays, interviews and websites have highlighted various elements of this phenomenon, while organizations have been formed to offer support to such individuals.

Particularly striking is the swing from one extreme to another, as many who once were intensely Haredi end up living an extremely secular lifestyle, detached from halachic observance of any kind or affiliation with any Jewish community.

To the best of my knowledge, there have not been systematic peer-reviewed studies of the extent of this phenomenon and whether the cases highlighted in the media are representative. Nevertheless, it is increasingly obvious to those who keep a close watch on the situation that a good percentage of those who leave the Haredi community end up rejecting halachic observance.

And that is a real tragedy, because so much of what these individuals wish for in their public comments – to study secular subjects on a high level, to participate in and enjoy the cultural and leisure activities of mainstream society, to find themselves in educational settings where rigorous questions and inquiry can be pursued, to encounter a less restrictive atmosphere surrounding male-female interaction – is available to them in the various shades and sub-communities of Modern Orthodoxy.

Many of these talented and motivated individuals, if they investigated and sought out Modern Orthodox settings, could find their niche as well as many of their most profound human, psychological and spiritual needs addressed in a community of committed Jews who engage fully with the modern world while remaining committed to their core religious values.

In addition, many of these individuals could contribute in positive ways to the Modern Orthodox community, bringing with them their life experiences, their feelings and struggles, and, in many cases, a deep knowledge of classical rabbinic literature.

Many of those who grow up in an intensely insular environment internalize a “black and whilte” view of the world. In this context the message one has imbibed is that if one does not fully embrace the cultural norms and religious assumptions of the community, one must therefore totally reject any connection to the values, practices and core beliefs of that community, along with its peripheral trappings and sociologically based norms. One leaves the community one was brought up in and passes “go” without stopping to consider alternatives and options.

This is reminiscent of the stories of Eastern European immigrants at the turn of the previous century who, upon realizing it was not socially acceptable to wear a kippah at their place of work, simply gave up the entire enterprise of living a Jewish life.

Or to take another example, one reads Bialik’s classic poem “Hamatmid” today with a certain wistfulness of missed opportunities. In the poem, Bialik expresses his longing and appreciation of what the traditional bet midrash had given him and the Jewish people. Yet he feels he can no longer remain in that place, given his desire to experience the world and all its knowledge. For Bialik, as for so many young men and women of the late 1800s and early 1900s, religion and modernity could not co-exist under one roof. They felt they had to make stark choices, and no middle ground was available.

I still recall reading the poem close to thirty years ago as a junior at Yeshiva College and thinking, What would Bialik have done if a thriving Yeshiva College had existed back then and been supported by the traditional religious establishment? Or what would Bialik have done if the “acceptable” choices in Eastern Europe for a rabbinical education were not only Volozhin and Slabodka but also the equivalent of a Yeshiva University/RIETS or a Yeshivat Har Eztion or a Beit Morasha or a Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School?

Had the ethos and openness of a Modern Orthodox education been more readily adopted by the rabbinic elite and communities in those days, how many of our greatest minds and spirits would have developed without rupturing their entire connection to traditional observance and creativity?

It is time to reach out loudly and clearly to all those in the Haredi community who are struggling to find their niche in the Jewish world and declare: Come and be part of this thriving fellowship of Modern Orthodoxy. Of course we also have problems and challenges and disappointments and unfinished business to address, but we have strong, motivated people who are trying to find their way through their daily challenges in a spirit of integrating Torah and life, in all its majesty and grandeur.

We are committed to Torah and Jewish observance coupled with an openness to God’s wonderful world – to appreciating the value of all human beings, to being ennobled by the best of general culture, to supporting the state of Israel, and to helping foster Jewish nationhood. You don’t have to write yourself out of that grand Jewish story, and you have so much to add and contribute. Welcome, and let us grow together.

Rabbi Nathaniel Helfgot

African Immigrant Knocks Kippa Off Head of MK Stern

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Police have arrested an African immigrant who charged at Knesset Member Elazar Stern in Tel Aviv Sunday night, hit him, knocked his kippa off his head and then stepped on the kippa several times.

MK Stern is a product of a national religious yeshiva, former head of the IDF Manpower Department and now presents Tzipi Livni’s “HaTnua” party in the Knesset.

The unidentified immigrant, who was shirtless at the time despite unseasonably cool weather, waved a cross he was wearing and shouted at Stern. The MK ignored him, apparently angering the immigrant even more.

MK Stern was visiting the neighborhood along with other MKs who had been invited by a local committee to see the problem first-hand.

The low-income area of southern Tel Aviv has attracted thousands of illegal immigrants, causing fear among long-time residents who have been victims of rape and murder and daily theft.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kippa Man Settles Lawsuits over Spider-Man and Batman

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

A Jerusalem shop settled out of court with two comic book companies that charged it sells unlicensed kippas bearing the images of Superman and Spider-Man.

Avi Binyamin, owner of the Kippa Man store on Ben Yehuda Street in central Jerusalem, will pay Marvel Comics and Warner Brothers $17,000 each for the unauthorized use of their superheroes’ images. The companies had sued for about $27,000 in damages.

Numerous shops along Ben Yehuda sell merchandise featuring Batman, Spider-Man and other characters, as well as college mascots and professional sports teams.

“They make them in China, I just bring them,” Binyamin told The Jerusalem Post in September after the Marvel Comics lawsuit was filed, adding, “There are 20 stores on this street, they all sell the same thing.”

Lawyers for the two companies told the Israeli daily Maariv that they will file lawsuits against other small stores in Israel that sell their characters’ images without authorization.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kippa-man-settles-lawsuits-over-spider-man-and-batman/2013/03/20/

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