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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘land of israel’

Jews! Three Days to Get Out!

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

An article appeared this week in the newspaper, Israel HaYom, describing how a pro-Palestinian BDS group targeted Jewish students on a college campus in America, by posting signs in their dormitories telling Jews to vacate the premises, saying that was how the Israeli army treated the Palestinians. These signs have been taped to the door of dormitory rooms of Jewish students, giving the occupants three days to vacate, and warning that their belongings will be thrown into the street if they don’t abide by the order. This is the work of a BDS group called SJP – “Students for Palestinian Justice”. The signs appeared on many campuses across the United States, including the University of Florida and Berkley College.

Outrageous? Terrible? Scandalous? Not at all. I for one am glad. At least someone in the United States is telling young Jews that they don’t belong in America. Their rabbis don’t tell them. Their parents don’t tell them. The Hillel organization doesn’t tell them. The leaders of Jewish Federations and MAJOR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS don’t tell them. At least the Jew haters are letting them know. Kol Hakod!

I’m glad. Though I am not convinced the Jews will get the message. A Jewish student from Berkley had this to say: “The connection which the SJP makes between our being Jews and their protest over the Palestinian plight in Israel smacks of anti-Semetism. A distinction must be made between their criticism of the situation in Israel and my being Jewish. I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel. There is no justice in targeting me on my college campus just because I am Jewish.”

Notice what he says: “I have nothing to do with what goes on in Israel.” Notice how he cuts himself off from Israel. In his eyes, he is an American, not an Israeli. This in itself is the crisis of American Jewry and the reason for the ever-increasing assimilation. In truth, he is the true refugee from “Palestine” whom the Romans expelled from the one and only Jewish Homeland – Israel.

Because of our long exile and wanderings in foreign lands, this Jewish college student in America has forgotten his true identity. His parents, and rabbis, and teachers, and Jewish leaders, don’t tell him this truth because they too have forgotten. Rabbi Kook decries this tragedy of Jewish education in the Diaspora which fails to teach that the Land of Israel is an indivisible part of being Jewish, stating, “This orientation toward Eretz Yisrael is not worthy of bearing fruit. The concept of Judaism in the Diaspora will only find real strength through the depth of its connection to Eretz Yisrael.”

So if none of the Jewish educators and leaders are teaching young Jews the truth, it is a good thing that the boys from BDS are letting them know. More power to them!

Tzvi Fishman

President Rivlin: Israel Is Democratic and Jewish and Tribal, and There Are Arabs, Too

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The 16th Annual Herzliya conference opened at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with a discussion by Israeli senior ministers and political party leaders on the joint initiative “Shared Israeli Hope.” President Reuven Rivlin opened his keynote address saying Israeli society has transitioned from being made up of a clear majority and minorities into a society made up of four main sectors or tribes, which are becoming more and more equal in size: secular, Modern Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Arab.

“We must speak the truth; this is not something that we expected,” he said, noting that many had called him a post-Zionist following his previous Herzliya conference address and questioned, “Is anyone who discusses the issues of Israeli identity, post-Zionist?” He explained that Israel was “Four tribes, four competing, different stories, about who we are, and what we want to be.” He noted that “the headline of the conference should have been, ‘Israeli hope: to be or not to be.’” He said that “a year ago there were those that interpreted my words as yet another typical, joyful presidential call… but first and foremost, my words were intended to serve as a call to wake up to the gaps and inadequacies between the reality of Israeli society and the system of Israeli institutions.” Looking ahead he said, “We are obliged to strive for institutional and systematic changes which must be conducted as a national effort… we must recognize that there are material and structural barriers to forming shared rules of the game for the different sectors… The creation of a shared Israeli identity and a shared Israeli hope is a mighty and noble process which will take a generation.”

One of the main engines for change Rivlin discussed was that of academia and employment. “Academia and the Israeli labor market will become an engine of real change, only when academic institutions and employers view the establishment of the Israeli dream – for a young man from Ofakim, a young woman from Bnei Brak, a young man from Jatt and a young woman from Binyamin – as a national mission of paramount professional and economic interests… Academia and the labor market today cater mainly to two tribes, but there are two more.”

He noted that if Israeli society were willing to embrace the necessary changes, the State of Israel would serve as a model for others, “A Jewish and democratic state; democratic and Jewish is one in the same.”

Following the president’s keynote address, senior ministers and political party leaders were given the opportunity to respond.

MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party, began his address by taking the audience on a journey to 3,000 years in the past: “We are in a sovereign state. A Jewish State under the rule of King David with great economic and political power.” He traced Jewish history through the periods, explaining how Jews in the Diaspora lived in survival mode, “Zionism was based on survival and security.” He noted that now, back in the Jewish homeland, Jews no longer needed to be afraid and could “break into a new creativity without being afraid,” adding that the new generation of Zionism needed to be based on “destiny.” He stressed that Judaism was a religion focused on contending “with the reality of the world and bringing values into it.”

Directing his address to his role as minister of education, Bennett said, “I am the minister of education of all children in Israel… they are all my children and they are equal regardless of their color, religion, politics or anything else. We express this with an intensity unlike anything else in Israel.” He also noted how his office had adjusted budget allocations to ensure that adequate funds were appropriated to areas in need in Robin Hood fashion: “We take from the strong and give to the week… when I took on my position… per capita more funds were invested in wealthier areas.”

MK Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Shas Party, said, possibly ignoring the entire books of Numbers and Deuteronomy: “It was never the dream that one [nation] should get rid of the other.” He stressed that the Arab citizens “truly want to integrate within us and be a part and parcel with us… We need to show them that we respect their culture, heritage and history… We have no desire to mix cultures but rather to live together in one state” with full equality and egalitarian rights. Also paying an homage to the man from Sherwood Forest, Deri said, “There are steps, even as painful as they may be, where we will take from the big… and give to the smaller ones.” He added that any “discourse of hatred” needed to immediately be stopped. To a round of applause he stated, “In our state it is prohibited that we should accept any racism or discourse of racism.” He should have possibly share this with the minister of Religious Services from his own party, who announced a while back (I paraphrase) that non-Orthodox Jews are not really Jewish.

MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, opened his address noting all the ideals and values that he shared with the president: “Bringing the various populations closer to one another. Advancing the general welfare of all citizens. Building shared citizenship.” But he added that there are “important things that we cannot ignore… The basic thing that guides me in politics is my deep internal conviction that the guiding interests of both people are equal. Everyone wants the blessing of life.”

He emphasized the principles of nationalism: “What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a national? We want complete equality on the national level and the civil social level.” He said that it was impossible to only talk about the economy and citizenship without nationalism. He also noted how he was always steered to discuss the future rather than the past: “We have a deep pain. In the heart of every Arab. The injustices of the past. And it hurts me so much when I hear narratives of 3,000, 4,000 years and I am told not to talk about the narratives of 60 years but to look into the future.”

By that narrative, MK Odeh referred to the fact that the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine had a chance to receive two thirds of the land if only they accepted that the Jews could have one third — and they refused. They wanted instead to murder all the Jews of the land with the help of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They failed and have yet to recover from the shame and disappointment of that terrible failure.

Odeh focused specific attention on the subjects of unrecognized villages and said that it would not hurt anyone for the state to “state recognizes the terrible massacre of Kafir Qasim and the massive injustices and confiscation of land.” He stated that his party’s stance was two states for two people, side by side with complete equality for both but “crimes occurred and we have to talk about that… There are citizens of the State of Israel who are not allowed to return to their land… Will it harm one Jewish person…. If people of Mahalul are returned to Mahalul… To build 80 villages… Will it harm one Jewish person?… We need to talk about civil and national rights for Arabs in Israel and it doesn’t have to harm anyone. The opposite. That is what will heal these two people.”

Naturally, when MK Odeh speaks of two states, he really means four states: three purely Arab — Jordan, the PA and Gaza, and one 20% Arab — Israel.

MK Zahava Galon, Chairman of Meretz, said that the “elephant in the room” was that the Arabs do not have their own state and we are “50 years into the occupation of the territories.” She said that no discussion could take place regarding the demographic question without talking about occupying this nation and controlling their lives.

Taking on the judicial perspective of “Shared Israeli Hope,” Chief Justice Miriam Naor, president of the Supreme Court, noted that “Our image as a democratic society requires a balance between the individual and society.” She said that the legal system plays a role in advancing Israeli partnerships and creating boundaries. “Discrimination undermines social solidarity. The courts are responsible for eradicating discrimination.”

Which is why they are appointing their own judges, evading the control of the legislator on judicial selections — because as soon as you let the people make their own decisions they’re bound to start discriminating.

David Israel

Rare Cache of Silver Coins From Hasmonean Period Found in Modi’in

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

More proof that Jews lived and prospered in the Land of Israel long before the so-called “Palestinian Arabs” ever walked this piece of real estate…

During the time of the Hasmoneans, a Jewish family of means owned an estate in Modi’in which had an olive grove and a press with which to produce olive oil, as well as vineyards and wine presses for the production of wine. And the family patriarch was a coin collector.

He was clearly a man of means: but something must have happened, and the family was forced to flee. Just before quitting their estate, he hid his coins between the massive stones in a wall, hoping to retrieve them later. But it was not to be, and it is only now, millennia later, his fellow Jews have discovered the treasure, and are learning his story.

* * *

The hoard of silver coins dating to the Hasmonean period (126 BCE) was exposed in April, in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is currently conducting near Modi‘in, with the participation of local youth. The excavation is being carried out prior to the construction of a new neighborhood, at the initiative of the Modi‘in-Maccabim-Re‘ut municipality. The treasure was hidden in a rock crevice, up against a wall of an impressive agricultural estate that was discovered during the excavation there.

 IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi'in.

IAA archaeologist Shahar Krispin during the discovery of the silver coin hoard that was found in the estate house in Modi’in.

Avraham Tendler, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said “This is a rare cache of silver coins from the Hasmonean period comprised of shekels and half-shekels (tetradrachms and didrachms) that were minted in the city of Tyre and bear the images of the king, Antiochus VII and his brother Demetrius II.

“The cache that we found is compelling evidence that one of the members of the estate who had saved his income for months needed to leave the house for some unknown reason. He buried his money in the hope of coming back and collecting it, but was apparently unfortunate and never returned.

“It is exciting to think that the coin hoard was waiting here 2,140 years until we exposed it,” Tendler said.

“The cache, which consists of 16 coins, contains one or two coins from every year between 135–126 BCE, and a total of nine consecutive years are represented, explained Dr. Donald Tzvi Ariel, head of the Coin Department at the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“It seems that some thought went into collecting the coins, and it is possible that the person who buried the cache was a coin collector. He acted in just the same way as stamp and coin collectors manage collections today.”

“The findings from our excavation show that it was a Jewish family that established an agricultural estate on this hill during the Hasmonean period,” Tendler added.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi'in.

Aerial photograph of the Hasmonean estate house in Modi’in.

“The family members planted olive trees and vineyards on the neighboring hills and grew grain in valleys. An industrial area that includes an olive press and storehouses where the olive oil was kept is currently being uncovered next to the estate.

“Dozens of rock-hewn winepresses that reflect the importance of viticulture and the wine industry in the area were exposed in the cultivation plots next to the estate. The estate house was built of massive walls in order to provide security from the attacks of marauding bandits.”

Hana Levi Julian

What Life in Jerusalem Looked Like Nearly 100 Years Ago

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – A German zeppelin flying over Jerusalem, dignitaries on swings in a playground near the Old City walls, the funeral of Israel’s first chief rabbi Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and dancing gypsies are just some of the photos depicting Jerusalem of old in a special exhibition at the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The exhibition, called “The Camera Man – Women and Men Photograph Jerusalem 1900 – 1950,” displays over 100 photos, both digitized and a small number of originals, that highlight some of the major photographers – Jews, Muslims, and Christians – of the first half of the twentieth century who lived and worked in Jerusalem.

The curator of the exhibition, Dr. Shimon Lev, who himself is a photographer and historian, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that locating the unique historical photos, some of which come from the American Colony Archive Collections and the Central Zionist Archives, was challenging. “For 18 months, we worked liked detectives, looking through national archives and private collections to find these photos,” he said.

“Jerusalem is one of the most photographed cities in the world,” added Lev. “In this exhibition, you can see the everyday life of Jerusalemites a century ago from the perspective of a diverse group of photographers who came from different backgrounds and cultures.”

One of the photographers, Elia Kahvedjian, was born in Ourfa, Turkey to an Armenian family. He was able to escape the Armenian massacre and moved to Jerusalem in 1926, working there as a photographer for 64 years. His grandson and son now run his three-generation photography shop known as Photo Elia, which Elia opened in 1949 in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. Kahvedjian’s photos depict daily life in Jerusalem.

Through the historical research conducted by Lev and associate curator, Hamutal Wachtel, work of photographers who were both known and unknown were uncovered. “The essence of the photo exhibition are the photographers,” commented Eilat Lieber, the museum’s director. “We discovered amazing photographers including three women who worked in the field.”

Rivka Karp, who immigrated to Israel from Poland, is believed to be the first professional woman photographer to work in Jerusalem. She moved to the city in 1925 from Kibbutz Ein Harod and opened her own photographic studio on Ben Hillel Street, which became well-respected by the Jerusalem families that she photographed. Her photography career spanned about 45 years, during which she photographed individual and family portraits in her studio with marvelous attention to detail.

The exhibition also includes native photographers. Tsadok Bassan, believed to be the first Jewish photographer born in Jerusalem, offers a unique view of Jerusalem through his work capturing the pre-state Jewish community. Bassan, who was born in 1882 to a religious family of third-generation Jerusalemites, worked as a photographer in Jerusalem from approximately 1900 to 1950. Bassan’s photos show life of the the old Yishuv, capturing yeshivas, orphanages, cemeteries, and soup kitchens, as well as portraits of rabbis and cantors and their families.

The exhibition also features the work of Khalil Raad, who was probably the first Christian Arab to work in Jerusalem. He was born in Lebanon and worked in Jerusalem from 1890 to 1948, capturing Arab life in the city. In addition, the work of Ali Zaarour, who was most likely the first Muslim Arab to photograph in Jerusalem, is also on display, including his photograph of a Jordanian soldier next to the ruins of the Hurva synagogue in 1948.

Following up “The Camera Man” exhibition, the Tower of David Museum is also asking the public to contribute their own family photos that capture everyday life in the city, with descriptive details, which they plan to utilize for a modern day account of Jerusalem for the next century.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem of Lights

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jerusalem is lit up as part of the Jerusalem Light Festival.

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Jerusalem Light Festival 2016

Photo of the Day

Heather Larson Takes Tightrope Act to Old City [video]

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

(JNi.media) Her arms stretched to her sides for balance, American slackliner Heather Larsen on Monday walked the tightrope across a narrow, 100 ft. stretch from the Tower of David, also known as the Jerusalem Citadel, in Jerusalem’s Old City.

“Learning about these places growing up and being able to come and visit, and then actually being able to perform my craft right here, is a very incredible experience,” Larsen said. She wore a harness attached to the line. She experienced a few tiny wobbles, but completed the walk gracefully, and added a few crowd pleasing stunts.

A very incredible experience, indeed.

Heather Larson has been slacklining for four years and, as her website puts it, has been pushing the limits for herself on highlines for two and a half years. She trains with fellow athletes in Golden, CO on lines in the park, as well as highlines in Clear Creek Canyon. Through many ventures into the canyon with her slackline partner, Josh Beaudoin, Heather has become a knowledgeable highline rigger and rigs many of her own lines. Last fall, Heather participated in Slacklust: Coast to Crest tour of California, rigging lines across the state with other talented climbers and highliners. She is recognized as one of the top female highliners in the world and is continually developing the realm of tricks on highlines. With a personal highline record of 142 ft., Heather is looking forward to sending longer length highlines and inspiring others to learn and grow with her in the sport.

The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The citadel that stands on that spot today dates back to the Mamluk and Ottoman periods (13th-14th centuries). It was built on the site of an earlier ancient fortification of the Hasmonean, Herodian, Byzantine and Early Muslim periods, having been destroyed during the Crusader occupation. The Tower of David contains important archaeological finds dating back more than 2,000 years, as well as a quarry dated to the First Temple period.

Video of the Day

Thousands of Kohanim Gather at Western Wall to Bless the People of Israel

Monday, April 25th, 2016

On the second morning on the intermediate days of Passover, tens of thousands of descendants of the Biblical Aharon, the High Priest, gathered at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem to bless the Nation of Israel.

Thousands more came to be blessed, and millions around the world viewed the events via the “Kotel Kam” that was set up to allow yearning Jewish worshipers at least virtual access to the site.

As in the days of old, so too in present times, the descendants of the Tribe of Levi gather during each of the Biblical holy days and festivals at the material remnant of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to bless the Jewish People.

The event is called ‘Birkat HaKohanim’ – the Blessing of the Priests – and it takes place several times a year.

A live feed of the events taking place throughout the day at the Western Wall may be viewed by clicking here.

This year more than 3,000 police and other security officers have been deployed in and around the area to ensure the safety of those who came to be blessed, and later on, to pray.

“Security forces and the Police and Border Guard officers around the city, including the Temple Mount (ed. note.: adjacent to the Western Wall) are there to manage with professionalism and sensitivity [the protection] that characterizes the uniqueness of the place and the need to serve the public in a fair and equal basis,” explained the police.

“We will continue to guard the status quo on the Temple Mount to benefit all and to act decisively against anyone who tries to disturb the public peace and safety.”

On the second day of Passover — in Israel, the first intermediate day — 12 Jews were ejected from visitation to the Temple Mount grounds after being accused of violating the rules at the site.

One Jewish boy was questioned by police on suspicion of having prayed within the Temple Mount compound, which is forbidden for Jews under the rules of the status quo guidelines agreed upon by Israel with the Jordanian Islamic Waqf after Israel won the 1967 Six Day War and restored the site to the rest of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount — upon which both ancient Jewish Holy Temples were built — is the holiest site in Judaism. It is also the third holiest site in Islam. Several hundred years ago, Muslims build two mosques there to mark the sacred events in their tradition that took place on the site.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thousands-of-kohanim-gather-at-western-wall-to-bless-the-people-of-israel/2016/04/25/

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