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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘letter’

In Public Prayer Morsi Appeals to Allah to ‘Deal with the Jews’ (Video)

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Egypt’s Channel 1 broadcast a video of Egyptian Cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, Head of Religious Endowment of the Matrouh Governorate leading an Islamic prayer service attended by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, during which he asked Allah to kill all the Jews and all of their allies around the world.

Appearing earnest in prayer, Morsi sat cross-legged, eyes closed, open hands raised in front of him, listening and answering “amen” as Mansour led a large group of worshipers in the October 19 prayer.

Middle East media watchdog  Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the clip of Mansour’s speech:

“Oh Allah, absolve us of our sins, strengthen us, and grant us victory over the infidels.  Oh Allah, deal with the Jews and their supporters.  Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder.  Oh Allah, demonstrate your might and greatness upon them.  Show us your omnipotence, oh Lord.”

Morsi’s visit to Egypt’s northwest was his first since ascending to the presidency.  Following the prayer, Morsi delivered a speech about Egyptian unity.

Morsi has said he will maintain Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.  Morsi’s new ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to President Shimon Peres last week, sending along a note which raised a firestorm of controversy in Egypt, due to the perceived warmth of its tone.  Morsi’s office confirmed the authenticity of the letter following the insistence of the Muslim Brotherhood that the letter was a “Zionist fabrication”.

“Great and good friend,” Morsi wrote in his letter to Peres, “being desirous of maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries, I have selected Mr. Atef Mohamed Salem Sayed El Ahl to be our ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary.” Morsi signed off in commonly-used diplomatic language with “highest esteem and consideration.”

In July, Morsi wrote his first letter to Peres saying “I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle East peace process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including [the] Israeli people,” and added “It was with deep thanks that I received your congratulations on the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan.”

Correction: Memri released an updated video with corrected translation. The new version says “Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder,” instead of “Destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder.”

Citing Betrayal of Trust, Jewish Groups Pull Out of Interfaith Dialogue

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The old adage about going to bed with dogs and waking up with fleas appears to have been proven true yet again, as JTA is reporting that Jewish groups have pulled out of an upcoming meeting with Protestant colleagues over a letter from Christian leaders to congressmen calling for a possible suspension of U.S. aid to Israel.

“While we remain committed to continuing our dialogue and our collaboration on the many issues of common concern, the letter represents an escalation in activity that the Jewish participants feel precludes a business-as-usual approach,” stated a letter sent by seven Jewish groups to their Christian counterparts in canceling their participation in the Oct. 22 -23 meeting in New York.

The event, an annual gathering, is known as the Christian-Jewish Roundtable and began in 2004 when the issue of Protestant groups divesting from their financial portfolios operations doing business with Israel rose to prominence. Prior to the Protestants’ letter to the lawmakers, participants had pledged to update one another on activities regarding Israel, such as the Palestinians’ statehood push in the United Nations and the upcoming Israeli elections.

According to JTA, the letter by the Jewish representatives was signed by the American Jewish Committee, B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism. The Anti-Defamation League had announced earlier this week that it would not attend the meeting.

So, the main reason for the association between Jewish faith officials and the Christian churches—which gave oodles of good press to those churches, seeing as the Jews are dialoguing with them—the excuse for all that, which was that this is the way to prevent them from boycotting Israel – that’s been a sham all along.

Sometimes it’s so much fun to be a self-righteous Orthodox Jew. I’m not advocating against intellectual or even spiritual exchanges with fellow monotheists, including Protestants – but a dialogue is something else entirely. A dialogue implies finding the kind of common ground that makes faiths merge. We won’t have any of that.

Ethan Felson, vice president and general counsel of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs umbrella group. told JTA that the Jewish groups quit their participation because “There’s been a betrayal of trust. … We have to discern if there’s a positive path forward.”

What’s the positive path? What do you need from Christian churches? What’s the desired result, a “Judeo-Christian” church?

Signers of the Protestants’ letter to Congress included the heads of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches USA and the United Church of Christ.

Saying they have “witnessed the pain and suffering” of both Israelis and Palestinians, they implored the lawmakers to launch “an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel” of agreements with Washington for alleged illegal use of U.S.-sold weapons against Palestinians.

Such peace loving folks, spreading all that good in the world to help not just the poor Palestinian victims, but also to save the souls of their Jewish oppressors…

And guess what – Rachel Lerner, vice president of the J Street Educational Fund, wrote last Friday on the Daily Beast website that J Street shared the Christian leaders’ “concern that conditions in the region are deteriorating to the point where they `threaten to lead the region further away from the realization of a just peace.’”

There you go. They’re all so concerned for us, we better go check our Uzis…

Lerner called for American Jews to put “at least as much energy and effort” into pushing for a two-state solution as they are putting into fighting such letters, of which she said there would be more.

Yes, another great idea that hasn’t lost its charm despite the rivers of blood it has spilled since we first tried it out in 1994. Why don’t we just pack our suitcases and go back to Poland – that might stop the boycotts.

Also—this was to be expected—a dozen Jewish clergy allied with Jewish Voice for Peace praised the Protestants’ leaders call. Many of the organization’s members have called for boycotts of Israel.

“It is altogether appropriate – and in fact essential – for Congress to ensure that Israel is not in violation of any U.S. laws or policies that regulate the use of U.S. supplied weapons,” said the statement signed by 10 rabbis, two rabbinical students and a cantor.

Quaker Group Divests From Companies Working in Israel

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

A Quaker group has removed a French and an American company from its financial portfolio due to what it calls the companies’ involvement with Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

Friends Fiduciary Corporation will drop the French multinational corporation Veolia Environment and the U.S.-based Hewlett-Packard from its portfolio following requests from Quakers concerned about the companies’ involvement in the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian lands.

FFC has investments of more than $250,000 in HP and more than $140,000 in Veolia, according to the We Divest Campaign. The money is part of an overall $200 million in assets and investments for more than 250 Quaker meetings, schools, organizations, trusts, and endowments around the country.

The Quaker group does not issue public announcements about such moves, but did send a letter confirming the information, Anna Baltzer, a spokesperson for the We Divest Campaign, told JTA.

“It’s not private; it’s public information and they’ve written a letter to the Friends Meeting in Ann Arbor Michigan that raised the issue,” she said. The Ann Arbor group did not return JTA’s call for this article.

However, Jeffrey W. Perkins, the FFC’s Executive Director, said in a press release issued by We Divest that HP provides information technology consulting services to the Israeli Navy and Veolia Environment is involved in “environmental and social concerns” with the Israeli military,

This decision comes a few months after the FFC dropped shares in Caterpillar Inc. because Caterpillar “would neither confirm nor deny the extent or type of modifications to equipment sold to the Israeli military,” according to the release.

Caroline Starkman Is Reunited with her Family

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin has just posted this letter on Facebook:

Dear Member,

We are gratified beyond measure to inform the community that Caroline Starkman has been found without serious injury. The family firmly believes that the prayers and support of the entire community have enabled them to reach this moment and they express their deepest gratitude.

In the immediate days to come, the family asks for privacy to enable them to chart the best course for Caroline. They will share developments with the community in the future.

Caroline’s family deeply thanks all of you once again for your support and tefillot.

Wishing everyone a Shana Tova!

Rabbi Shmuel Goldin

The Curse Of Family Breakdowns

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Several weeks ago I shared a letter from a heartbroken mother whose children had shut the door in her face. Time and again she tried to open that door, but despite all her attempts she did not succeed. No matter how she humbled herself and begged, no matter how many people interceded on her behalf, it was to no avail.

Subsequently, I received many e-mails from people who, to one extent or another, found themselves in similar predicaments. The question we must ask is this: How can such tragedy befall the Jewish people, who throughout the millennia were renowned for their exemplary family life?

As I write this column, we are in the closing parshiot of the Torah. In Ki Savo, a litany of curses is proclaimed. Is that the way to bid farewell to the past year of Torah readings? It does seem odd, but those familiar with Torah study know that every word, dot and syllable is a blessing, even if at first glance it appears to be a terrifying proclamation. One of the curses pertinent to our subject is “Cursed be the one who curses his father and mother.”

How are we to understand this? The answer is simple and should give us all pause. The alienation between parents and children that shuts doors is in and of itself a terrible curse. It is a curse that is self-inflicted and does not require an outside force. Can there be anything more painful for parents than to have children and yet not have them? For children to have living mothers and fathers and yet feel like orphans? If that is not a curse, what is?

Surely that should serve as a wake-up call for families who have built walls of animosity, contempt and hatred in their homes. In short, that is the catastrophe we too often see nowadays.

So now perhaps we can understand why the Torah speaks of all these horrific situations as the curtain comes down on another cycle of Torah readings. Paradoxically, through these curses G-d offers us a blessing: “Leave behind the nightmare; consign it to oblivion; bring an end to your splintered, dysfunctional family. Start a new life and open a fresh, clean page in your book of life.”

But how we are to go about this? Perhaps our first step should be to attempt to comprehend the complexity of human nature.

“The heart of man is wicked from its very start,” we read in Bereishis. Contrary to what most believe, humans are not born good, compassionate, kind, giving or respectful. These are traits that must be learned and developed from early childhood.

When Hashem proclaimed the Fifth Commandment – “Honor your father and mother” – He provided us with the tools to enact it. In contrast to animals, who soon after birth are able to go off and fend for themselves, humans many years need the loving care, devotion and commitment of their parents. This is in order that a sense of gratitude, of indebtedness, might forever be engraved in the hearts of children.

As we noted above, these traits do not come automatically. They are not spontaneous. They have to be taught, and that is an education that can only be imparted in the home. It is something that even the finest schools or universities cannot teach. Tragically, however, in our 21st century culture this is a teaching that escapes most parents. Children’s obnoxious behavior is indulged and even considered “natural.”

Just contrast the manner of child rearing of years gone by with what we see today. Yesterday, we were taught to rise for our parents and our elders; to share our goodies with relatives and friends; to speak respectfully to one and all. Expressions such as “thank you,” “please,” “excuse me” and “I’m sorry” were all a part of our vocabulary. Even as we learned to speak we were taught these words; they weren’t just token phrases.

When a parent would come home, we rose in greeting. When grandparents came to visit, we ran to the door and kissed and hugged them, and when they departed we accompanied them to the door.

It goes without saying that curse words were foreign to us, as was violent and hostile behavior. On a personal level, I would like to share with you that in our family, every Shabbos eve when our parents blessed us we kissed their hands with reverence and love – a tradition that in our generation is unheard of.

MK Ben Ari: Fire Officer who Ordered Police to Kill Migron Youths (Video)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

National Union MK Michael Ben Ari sent an urgent letter to Internal Security Minister Yizhak Aharonivich, following the publication of pictures showing a police Special Patrol Force officer ordering his subordinates to kill a group of youths who had climbed a rooftop in Ramat Migron during its evacuation earlier this week, and were refusing to be transferred.

During the segment, the cops repeat threats like: “You are dead!” as the boys are trying to grab their ladder to prevent them from climbing up to the rooftop. The death threats repeat time and again. It’s clear that the phrases are being used more to mean severe bodily harm than actual death, but the abundant use of death and killing as threats is quite jarring, especially when they are expressed at teenagers.

MK Ben Ari wrote: “I’m writing you in regard to severe images that reached my office which document the removal of youths on Sept. 2, 2012, who refused to be removed. May I point your attention to [the] video in which an officer is heard giving the clear order to his subordinates to bring them down and to kill them.

“Moments later the special force police are seen leaping at the rooftop and the sounds of crying and weeping are heard from the youths, out of camera range.”

According to MK Ben Ari, “An officer who gives a command to kill demonstrators, even if they annoy him very severely, does not belong in Israel’s police force, and I believe you will do well to relieve him of duty and keep him away from contact with civilians even before any legal steps are taken.”

The confrontation segment begins at minute 12:06

French Rabbi Receives Threat to ‘Punish’ Jews for Complaining

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The chief rabbi of Lyon, Richard Wertenschlag, has received a letter threatening to “punish a Jew for every complaint the Jews make on TV.”

The threat came in a two-page letter delivered to Wertenschlag on Aug. 10. It contained two photos of a concentration camp, according to Dr. Richard Prasquier, president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, CRIF.

Wertenschlag, who reported the letter to the authorities, opened the letter on Aug. 12, according to CRIF.

The authors of the “small, dense handwritten text” signed with the words “the righteous network.”

They added, “Every time you go on television to complain, a Jew – man, woman, child or family – will be punished.” Further down, the authors wrote: “See you soon at a synagogue, which has already been chosen.”

Wertenschlag called the letter “the expression of anti-Semitic rage and unimaginable hate.”

He said he had received an earlier hate letter in April, which was both “anti-Semitic and anti-Arab,” but decided not to go to police at the time.

Last month French police arrested two youths in Lyon for allegedly attacking a 17-year-old Jewish boy.

The boy is a student at Ozar Hatorah, a Jewish school in Toulouse where, on March 19, a Muslim extremist murdered three children and a rabbi.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/french-rabbi-receives-threat-to-punish-jews-for-complaining/2012/08/23/

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