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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

Israelis Celebrated a Sweet ‘Mimouna’ Saturday Night

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

If there is one tradition that Moroccan Jewish Israelis wait for at the end of the Passover holiday, it’s the sweet pastries and music that mark the traditional ‘Mimouna’ celebrations.

One does not have to be Moroccan to attend a Mimouna festival, of course — but it helps to at least have a Moroccan acquaintance to steer you in the right direction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah went straight to the Dahan family home in Yavne to tuck in with delicious mufleta, a special Moroccan pastry.

“We’ve had a peaceful and joyful holiday, thanks to the IDF soldiers and the Shin Bet (domestic intelligence agency) who kept us safe, and thanks to the government led by the Likud party,” Netanyahu said.

The prime minister’s host, Attorney Meir Dahan, said prior to the celebration that he was expecting “over 2,000 people,” according to the Hebrew-language Ynet site.

“We’ve invited people of all ethnic groups and all nationalities,” he said. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein were also expected to arrive at the Dahans’ celebration as well.

Culture Minister Miri Regev headed to Ashkelon for Mimouna celebrations.

“I’m glad that the Moroccan ethnic group was able to turn the Mimouna into a national holiday in which we open our homes to the entire nation of Israel,” Regev said. “The abundance and the hospitality of this holiday lead to unity and joy among the people of Israel.”

Regev was joined by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who thanked the thousands of police officers who were out on the job throughout the holiday. “Even now, during the Mimouna, they’re out on the streets of Israel protecting us,” he pointed out.

For those who are still trying to figure out how ‘Mimouna’ connects with Passover, the tradition dates back to Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef, the father of Maimonides, the RaMBaM, who passed away on the day after Passover, and who was greatly revered by North African Jewry in particular.

Another tradition, also traced back to the Jewish communities in Morocco, derives the Mimouna from the Hebrew word “emunah” – faith or belief – reflecting the faith not only in the past redemption from Egyptian slavery, but also that which will come through Moshiach (the Messiah) in the future during the Hebrew month of Nisan, during which Passover falls.

Hana Levi Julian

#TechnionChallenge Winners Announcement with Jewish Day School Student Reactions

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

In 2016, RAVSAK and the Technion challenged Jewish Day School students around the world to create a Rube Goldberg machine that tells the story of Passover.

Here is the video announcement of the four winning schools and the students’ reactions.

In the closely contested High School category, first place went to the team from Abraham Joshua Heschel High School, in New York City. The judges cited their use of successful energy transfer elements and high creativity level as main reasons for their selection. Second place went to The Weber School in Atlanta, whose entry showed a true understanding for the mechanics involved to create a visually stunning display.

There was a tie for first place in the Middle School category. The entry from the 7th grade team from Bialik College, in Melbourne, Australia, was well-thought out, with many different types of energy transfers – some of which were very unusual for Rube Goldberg machines. The submission of the 6th grade team from Scheck Hillel Community School (North Miami Beach, Florida) was lauded for its creativity, and for energy transfer aspects that were executed properly and efficiently.

Video of the Day

Shakeup in PA: Governor of Shechem Sacked by Abbas, Then Lashes Out

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

The Palestinian Authority governor of Shechem (Nablus) was dismissed “without warning” by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, according to a post on the governor’s personal Facebook page. General Akram Rajoub, the now ex-governor who recently made headlines for staging a walkout in protest of Jewish settlers attending a Samaritan Passover sacrifice, then took to social media to blast Abbas.

In an unusually bitter and snarky attack, Rajoub derided Abbas for “considering himself a mighty Fatah leader and bragging that he knocked me out,” referring to Abbas’ Fatah party. “Patience has its limits,” Rajoub ominously concluded.

It is not yet clear whether the dismissal is related to Rajoub’s dramatic walkout last week in protest of Jewish settlers attending a Samaritan Passover sacrifice or is due to internal political wrangling within the Palestinian Authority leadership.

Rajoub himself told the Palestinian Authority Ma’an News Agency that he had “no idea” why he’d been fired.

Rajoub, a former high-ranking Palestinian Authority intelligence figure, has criticized Abbas in the past for allowing Abbas loyalists in Nablus too much leeway.

“My positions and principles are not up for negotiation,” Rajoub wrote in a Facebook post after being dismissed, adding that he “will not retract a single political, national, or party position” he has taken.

In a sign of recent tension, a firefight erupted several weeks ago in Nablus between Palestinian Authority police forces and gunmen of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military wing of Abbas’ Fatah party, after the police attempted to arrest a murder suspect in the Old City of Nablus. The incident and subsequent pressure from Abbas loyalists in Nablus may have contributed to Rajoub’s ousting as governor of the city.

Rajoub’s dismissal comes on the heels of his walkout during a Samaritan Passover ceremony held in Nablus in protest of the presence of local Jewish settlers attending the event. The Samaritans are a tiny, ancient sect who practice a unique form of Judaism. They live mostly above Nablus on Mount Gerizim, the holiest site in their religion and the place where they conduct the annual Passover sacrifice.

The ceremony, officiated by the Samaritan high priest, was attended by local Jewish settlers and a Palestinian Authority delegation, including Rajoub. However, Rajoub and several other Arabs dramatically walked out in protest as Samarian Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan began to speak.

“We respect and appreciate the Samaritans and consider them part of the Palestinian people, but we cannot accept the presence of settlers,” Rajoub told the Palestinian Authority Ma’an News Agency. “We are unwilling to talk to settlers because their presence is illegal and unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, Dagan posted a video of his speech on Facebook, commenting that he wished a happy holiday to “the Samaritan community, IDF soldiers, and anyone who wishes to live alongside us in tranquility.”

Dagan added that Rajoub and the other Palestinian Authority representatives “fled the ceremony” because “they apparently didn’t really like hearing the simple truth—the nation of Israel lives.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Report: Israel McDonalds Offering Passover Meals in Leavened Restaurants

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

The owners of the fast food chain McDonalds’ Israeli concession have been selling on the week of the holiday “Passover Meals” which website Kikar Hashabbat claims are simply not so, thus apparently misleading customers who believe their restaurants have been cleaned for Passover.

Cleaning a restaurant (or any kitchen) for Passover requires a thorough removal of all traces of leavened substances in the manner by which they had been absorbed — so that stoves and ovens must be scrubbed and then fired, metal utensils dipped in boiling water, wood utensils and clay vessels removed completely and replaced, and preparation surfaces made from marble or wood completely covered — and that’s the bare minimum required to make a kitchen “kosher l’Pesach.”

Instead, according to Kikar Hashabbat, McDonalds is selling its customers hamburgers in unleavened buns, using their year-round utensils and vessels, in spaces that have not been cleaned for Passover. In other words, the chain is apparently serving meals which aren’t kosher for Passover to clients who believe they are in keeping with Jewish law. In addition, the chain offers its year-round condiments, declaring that they are not kosher for Passover, and letting the customer decide whether or not to use them.

That last part would suggest that the average McDonalds customer is not really expecting a kosher meal, and the entire presentation is a legal fiction intended to allow the chain to operate on Chol Hamoed (intermediary days) Pesach without violating Israel’s Chametz Law, which prohibits selling leavened products in public during the seven-day holiday. Most Israeli non-kosher restaurants, especially in the more secular-leaning cities, simply ignore the law, and Israeli Jews who want to can get their pizza and falafel in pita on Passover, too. McDonalds might be too big to fail, so to speak, and cannot risk violating state law.

The chain issued a statement saying it runs two kinds of restaurants on Passover: those which are marked in blue have actually been kashered by rabbis and are, indeed, kosher for Passover. The other restaurants have merely switched to buns made from potato flour and to chicken from kosher for Passover plants, and all those good are turned thoroughly chametz on the customer’s plate.

It should be noted that while year-round kashrut requires a minimum portion of non-kosher ingredients to declare a food un-kosher, the Passover requirements are absolutist and forbid any presence whatsoever of leavened food.


8 Jews Ejected from Temple Mount, Passover Day 4

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

For the third day in a row, Israel Police removed eight Jews from the Temple Mount, five of them by 10 am Tuesday, the fourth day of Passover. Every day so far this week, Jews have been thrown out of the grounds of the Temple Mount by Israeli security forces. On Tuesday, eight were arrested by midday.

Two were removed and arrested for bowing during their tour of the grounds in a manner that resembled the ancient prayers of the holy Temple times, according to a statement by the Honenu legal aid group.

“During visits to the Temple Mount groups the security forces removed three Jewish visitors who violated the rules for visiting the site,” an Israel Police spokesperson said in a statement shortly after 9:30 am. “Visitation hours will continue as planned.” The next two Jews were arrested shortly after.

There have been numerous summary detentions and ejections so far this holiday. Occasionally, a police spokesperson has told media that one or more of the Jews was caught “praying.”

Some Jews actually have been seen dramatically covering their eyes and reciting the “Sh’ma” prayer to the heavens and earth. It is an unusual occurrence these days, and one that is a real act of utter defiance.

The “Sh’ma” is Judaism’s call to the faithful, and a warning to those who are not: “Hear O Israel, the Lord Our God, the Lord is One. Blessed Be His Name Whose glorious Kingdom is forever.”

To a Muslim Arab, it is tantamount to the jihadist’s “Allahu Akbar!” – The Arabic shout of ‘God is Great!’ – yelled just prior to holy war. But most of the time, a Jew recites the Sh’ma prayer as part of routine services three times a day, in addition to every night just before retiring to bed.

However, the Sh’ma is also said on one’s deathbed – and in life-threatening situations, including war – so it is in this respect the prayer parallels the “Allahu Akbar.”

Clearly the Muslims on the Temple Mount are well aware of this, although some of the hapless Jewish tourists who ascend to the site may themselves not be aware of the prayer’s deepest ramifications.

Some of the Jewish tourists are so moved by their experience they murmur recite the only Hebrew prayer they have ever learned, the one passed down to them by their ancestors: the Sh’ma.

Imagine their shock when they are grabbed roughly by an Israeli police officer and dragged away off the grounds and into a precinct, all the while either in silence or with a scolding in Hebrew which they often don’t even speak or understand … Israeli hasbara at its best.

Hana Levi Julian

Passover Pesach Technion 2016 Breakdance High Tech Haggadah

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Video of the Day

Tens of Thousands Stream into Hebron for Passover Festival

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Tens of thousands of Jewish civilians, lawmakers and senior rabbis have been streaming into the ancient holy city of Hebron on this third day of Passover for the annual holiday festival celebrating the city’s ancient Jewish heritage.

The Jewish community of Hebron is hosting a celebration at the Cave of the Patriarchs to mark the upcoming half-century year since the restoration of the city to Jewish hands by Israeli forces during the 1967 Six Day War.

Attending Monday’s festivities will be Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, Bayit Yehudi Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan. Also attending will be Likud Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara, a spokesperson said.

Music, refreshments and more have been the order of the day, as the Passover Chol HaMoed festivities erased the frequent tensions felt among Jewish residents in the divided city.

In the wee hours of Monday, Israeli security personnel arrested at least four Hamas terror suspects around Hebron, prior to the day’s events.

Millions of visitors come each year to pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs, burial site of the Biblical forefathers and matriarchs Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya’akov, Sarah, Rivka and Leah (Rachel’s Tomb is located at the entrance to Bethlehem). It is said that even Adam and Eve are interred there.

Muslims also revere the site, since their ancestor, Ishmael, is a son of Avraham.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tens-of-thousands-stream-into-hebron-for-passover-festival/2016/04/25/

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