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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Passover’

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

5 Jews Arrested by 9 am at Temple Mount, Passover Day 2

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

It’s “that time of year” again at the Temple Mount, when thousands of Jews flock to the holiest site on earth in Judaism – and Israel Police are especially vigilant in making arrests.

By 9:00 am Sunday morning, the second day of the Passover holiday, three adult Jews and two minors had already been removed from the site where the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem once stood.

No information was released to media on why the little group was pulled out of the compound, over which the Jordanian Islamic Waqf exerts control. The Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are both built on the site.

By the end of non-Muslim visiting hours, 13 tourists had been removed from the site.

“The police are working and will continue to work with determination against any attempt to disturb the public peace and security, with favoritism,” Israel Police spokesperson Luba Samri said in a statement Sunday. “We will not allow disturbances of public order or security and we will act decisively against anyone who tries to do so.”

But according to Yehuda Glick, head of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, Jews are not coming to the site to create “disturbances.” They are coming out of instinct, to connect with the sanctity of their ancient birthright. “People want to come to connect to the Temple Mount” said Glick. “No one has the desire to create any disturbance. People want to come to connect … I would like everyone to come and that the Temple Mount will be as it should – a center of world peace.”

Passover is one of three mandatory festivals requiring Jews to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Tens of thousands of Jews do indeed stream into the ancient holy city, including many who feel compelled to ascend the Temple Mount.

Muslim Arabs who pray in the mosque on the site are especially incensed by this.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced prior to the holiday that extra security forces would be deployed in the area to prevent “all sorts of extremists [from spreading] lies about our policy concerning the Temple Mount.”

In Biblical times, special animal sacrifices were made in the Holy Temples at this time. The sacrifices ceased with the destruction of the Second Temple by the occupying Romans and the Diaspora.

There are small groups of Jews who now are determined to renew the practice in preparation for the coming of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Third Holy Temple. Police usually arrest a handful of men and sometimes boys who are being taught the sacrificial ways of the ancients.

On Friday, at first three and then eventually 10 men were detained for bringing goats to a location in the Old City for the purpose of carrying out a Pascal sacrifice. It is forbidden by Torah law to carry out an actual bona fide Pascal sacrifice without the existence of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Trying to ‘Conquer’ Al Aqsa on Passover, Islamic Agitators Warn. Again.

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

As predicted last week by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “extremist groups” are trying to incite the Arab population to renewed violence by making wild claims about violations of the status quo on the Temple Mount over the Passover holiday.

At the forefront of this effort is the outlawed Islamic Movement, which is accusing Israel of trying to take over the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mosque during the holiday.

The deputy director of the organization, Sheikh Kamel al-Hatib, told Quds Press “extremist Jewish groups” led by the prime minister “and eight other ministers” (read: Israel’s government cabinet) are working to “break into” the mosque (read: allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount grounds) during the holiday.

According to Hatib, the Israeli government and IDF are facilitating the “intended conquest.”

Such claims are not new, and the same old tired retreads are yanked out of mothballs for every Jewish festival. Nevertheless, there are those in the Arab population who are vulnerable and still somehow believe the fantasies no matter how silly, how embroidered, outrageous or how often the lie is retold.

The Islamic Movement in Israel was outlawed in November 2015 for incitement to racism and violence. The leader of the movement’s northern branch, Sheikh Raed Salah, has been convicted of funding Hamas, and of contact with an Iranian intelligence agent.

He also served time in an Israeli prison from 2003 to 2005, and a five-month term in 2010. Salah is known for repeatedly exhorting his followers as well as Israeli Arab students at universities to “keep fighting until we remove the Israeli occupation and free the holy Jerusalem.”

Hana Levi Julian

British PM Calls UK Jews ‘British Success Story’ in Passover Message

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron called the country’s Jewish community a “true British success story” on Friday in his Passover message.

Cameron said British Jews are “excelling in every field and working constantly the build a fairer society for everyone.”

Nevertheless, he said, anti-Semitism spares no Jew.

“As Jewish communities unite to celebrate the festival of Passover, our thoughts will turn to the increasing number of abhorrent anti-Semitic attacks over the past year,” Cameron said.

“Jewish communities, wherever in the world they are, must not be left to live in fear. Sadly, even here in the UK, we still see cases of anti-Semitic abuse.

“I am determined to do everything in my power to stamp it out,” he said. “Part of that is remembering the horror of the Holocaust, because to ignore history is to risk repeating it.”

Cameron, who leads the Conservative Party, has called Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn a “threat to national security.” Corbyn has in the past referred to himself as a “friend” of Hamas and Hezbollah, and has refused to condemn anti-Semitic statements made by his brother Piers.

Recently a number of prominent Labour Party members have expressed dissatisfaction with the rise of anti-Semitism within the central party leadership. Some have begun to distance themselves from the party as a result.

Hana Levi Julian

Pharoah Sends Passover Greetings; Rare Scarab Seal Found at Tel Dor

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

A rare scarab seal belonging to a senior Egyptian official of the Thirteenth Pharaonic Dynasty (the 18th-17th centuries BCE) has been found at Tel Dor on Israel’s Carmel Coast. The seal was discovered by Alexander Ternopolsky, a birdwatcher, who handed it over to the archeological team working at the site.

“The scarab must have belonged to a very senior figure in the kingdom, probably the viceroy responsible for the royal treasury,” explains Prof. Ayelet Gilboa from the Department of Archeology at the University of Haifa, who is heading the excavations at Tel Dor together with Prof. Ilan Sharon from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

“The owner of this scarab filled a similar position to that held by Joseph in Egypt after he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams.”

Rare scarab seal

Rare scarab seal

The coastal city of Dor, at the foot of Mt. Carmel, was a key port city for thousands of years. Until the Romans built Caesarea, Dor was the most important commercial center in the area and served as a hub for commercial and passenger traffic throughout extensive periods in human history. The city is mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions dating back 3500 years, and even in the Books of Joshua, Judges, and I Kings in the Bible.

Excavations began at Tel Dor in the mid-twentieth century and have been directed since 2002 by Prof. Gilboa and Prof. Sharon. Findings include settlements from the Late Bronze Age (the Canaanite period in the second millennium BCE), as well as a Phoenician settlement and Israelite and Assyrian administrative centers (Iron Age); a city and palace from the Hellenistic period, including a splendid mosaic; and monumental remains from the Roman period, including a pair of temples that may have been dedicated to Poseidon, the Roman god of the sea.

“We have not yet reached the settlement of the 17th century BCE,” Prof. Gilboa explains, “and this is why this finding is particularly important. The rains this past winter must have eroded the soil on the southern slope of the site, and thanks to Mr. Ternopolsky’s keen eyesight, the scarab was discovered and handed over to us.”

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

The writing on the scarab seal provides important information about its owner.

A preliminary study showed that the stone scarab is engraved with the name of its owner, as well as his position and ankh symbols (crosses with a looped head), which symbolized eternal life, and pillar-like djed symbols that emblemized resurrection and stability. The description of the scarab owner’s position includes such phrases as “overseer the treasury,” “bearer of the seal,” and more, but the owner’s name has not yet been deciphered.

“Scarabs were very common objects in ancient Egypt, but the size and quality of this one, its owner’s high-ranking position, and the gold ring in which it is set all make this particular scarab a rare finding in our region,” Prof. Gilboa explains.

The excavators suggest two possible scenarios for the manner the scarab might have reached Dor. The first is that a representative of the viceroy may have come to this important trading city, which was a supply base for spices, resin, and other commodities that were highly valued by the Egyptians, in order to seal a deal for his superior. Accordingly, he would have brought the viceroy’s seal with him (or perhaps even the viceroy himself made the visit).

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

Side view of scarab seal found on Carmel Coast in northern Israel near Tel Dor.

Hana Levi Julian

Hundreds Celebrate Passover with Chabad in Kathmandu, Nepal

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Hundreds of Jews gathered this weekend to celebrate their exodus from Egyptian slavery at the annual seder in the highest point on earth – the Himalayas.

The media was left clueless as to where the famous Kathmandu Chabad House of Nepal seder was being held, however, due to the tight security surrounding the event this year.

Rabbi Chezki and Chani Lifshitz, co-directors of Chabad of Nepal, announced they would not release information about the location of the festive meal until 24 hours ahead of the event. “But don’t worry, the Israeli grapevine is alive and active,” people were told. “Folks will know where to go and how to get there.”

And so they did, indeed. A gym “who knows where” was packed to the rafters with at least 200 Israeli and other celebrants, right on schedule, for the start of the Passover seder.

The couple have spent the past 20 years orchestrating the most famous seder in the world.

This year numerous roads were reduced to rubble due to last year’s deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks, a massive avalanche, and subsequent blizzards. Thousands of locals were left homeless.

But the couple has a finely developed resourcefulness and creativity – for months they’d been making Passover wine in preparation for the holiday – and organizing strategies for transport of supplies.

Each year, the challenge of bringing needed supplies for the Passover holiday has required a different strategy. From using horses to a helicopter, with the help of the Israeli and Nepalese governments, the couple has always found a way to bring the goods to the Chabad House nestled high in the Himalayas.

Israeli hikers trekking through the area on their ritual post-army exploration of the world mark the event as a seminal stop on their journey to global maturity.

Hana Levi Julian

80,000 Israelis Celebrate Passover in National Parks

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Some 80,000 Israelis spent the first day of the Passover holiday Saturday visiting the country’s national parks and forests.

Israeli officials ask the public to please be sure to pick up after themselves while enjoying the beautiful weather and nature reserves, so that others can enjoy the same environment too.

Last year during the Passover holiday, a total of one million Israeli and foreign tourists visited the various parks and nature reserves around the country.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/80000-israelis-celebrate-passover-in-national-parks/2016/04/23/

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