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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

‘Open Orthodox’ Rabbi Alters Shabbat Prayer for the President to Omit Trump

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Shmuly Yanklowitz, an Open Orthodox rabbi and author, listed by The Daily Beast as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America, posted on his Facebook page that “starting this week, I can no longer recite or say amen to the Shabbat prayer for the success of the US President.”

The prayer for the well-being of the gentile ruler (His Highness the Kaiser, His Highness the Czar), and in Israel the prayer for the state and its president and ministers, is inserted in most Orthodox Jewish services after the reading from the Torah and before the prayer of Mussaf.

The common text in today’s sidurim (prayer books) goes:

“He who gives salvation unto Kings, and dominion unto princes, He who delivered his servant David from the sword of the Enemy, He that made a way in the Sea, and a path in the strong waters, may He bless and keep, preserve and rescue, exalt and magnify, and lift up higher and higher, our Ruler [insert here: the Pope, Emperor, Kaiser, Czar, King, Duke, President, or any other potentate under whom the Jews are living]. The King of kings defend him in his mercy, making him joyful, and free him from all dangers and distress. The King of kings, for his goodness sake, raise up and exalt his planetary star, and multiply his days over his Kingdom. The King of kings for his mercy’s sake, put into his heart, and into the heart of his counselors, and those that attend and administer to him, that he may shew mercy unto us, and unto all the people of Israel.”

It should be noted that these prayers, which first appeared in the early 14th century, have been served up for some awful rulers, including openly anti-Semitic Spanish kings, Russian Czars, German Kaisers, and even, as documented in Makor Rishon recently, in many German synagogues, for Kanzler Adolf Hitler – at least until 1938.

Is the good Open-Orthodox rabbi suggesting President Trump is worse than, say, Czar Nicholas I, creator of the pale of settlement (never mind AH)?

Yanklowitz, who, clearly, misunderstands the purpose of the prayer of “He who gives salvation to kings,” wrote this week that he had “drafted a new prayer that I will plan to recite each Shabbat morning. If you also feel it’s important to pray for the US government but also feel you cannot pray for the success of this President.”

He noted that he “felt that it was not enough to simply avoid the US President in the prayer for the government but to remind myself of the billions of vulnerable people who are at risk under his rule, and challenge myself each Shabbat to build up the strength for another week of spiritual resistance.”

Yanklowitz’s alternative prayer is lengthy and self-righteous and pompous, just as you would have expected. Read it here and enjoy, if you’re curious. It’s got a lot to say about protecting citizens fortifying the bonds between liberty and justice, and fair treatment under the law, and expanding welfare.

So we searched the text of this socially conscious, alternative prayer, and discovered it has no mention of three words: “Jews,” “Jewish,” and “Israel.”

Nuff said.

David Israel

Israel’s ‘Muezzin Law’ with Tougher Fines Submitted for Preliminary Knesset Vote

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

A bill prohibiting the use of public address systems outside houses of prayer, a.k.a. “Muezzin Law,” was submitted a second time for a preliminary plenum vote and is expected to receive an expedited procedure, Walla reported Monday. According to the revised version of the bill, houses of prayer will be prohibited to use their exterior PA systems from 11 PM to 7 AM. This both reserves Israeli mosques’ right to use their exterior loudspeakers to call Muslims to prayer five times a day, and no longer threatens the use of Jewish pre-Shabbat alerts. The bill, which also limits the decibel levels of those exterior PA systems when they are being used, was submitted by MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud).

The bill calls for a fine of between $1,300 and $2,600.

It is expected that the Muezzin Law, which initially got a hostile reception from most Arabs – although some revealed secretly the law would bring much needed relief to their families – will be expedited through the plenum and in committee, so that it can be presented next Sunday at the Ministerial legislative committee. The bill’s language prohibits nighttime use of the exterior PA systems of all houses of worship, although in practice this only means mosques and their practice of calling on the believers to dig out their prayer rugs and start prostrating.

“Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in the Galilee, Negev, Jerusalem and other locations in central Israel suffer routinely and daily from the noise caused by the PA systems of houses of worship,” goes the “Muezzin Law” introductory segment. “The proposed law introduces a worldview according to which freedom of religion need not be a source of interruption of citizens’ sleep, suggesting houses of worship limit the use of their PA systems overnight.”

JNi.Media

A Prayer For Veterans Day

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the website, The Lid}

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Lord who grants salvation to kings and dominion to rulers, whose kingdom is a kingdom spanning all eternities; Who places a road in the sea and a path in the mighty waters – may you bless protect the military of these United States of America, may they complete their mission quickly, and return home safely.

 We pray for those who sacrifice daily — men and women who serve to protect, in our local communities and around the globe – those who serve in our armed forces and our veterans who served.

Compassionate God, creator of the Universe, may you bless the veterans who have served in the past, and may they be treated with the honor and respect that they deserve. 

Lord please also protect the families of those who serve. Let us be mindful of their great sacrifice as well. As their loved ones fight for us, let us extend our hands and our hearts to them.

Jeff Dunetz

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Visit the Rebbe’s Ohel [video]

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

(JNi.Media) As the US Presidential elections draw closer, the candidates are looking for all the support they can get.

On Saturday night, Ivanka (Yael) Trump, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s Jewish daughter, and her husband Jared Kushner visited the grave of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, also known as the “Ohel”. The Ohel is located in the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, New York.

The visit was ostensibly for a blessing before the elections, but it may have also been to drum up additional last minute support among the Orthodox community, many of whom already support Trump.

Press were not invited to the event.

The visit also happened to coincide with the gun scare at Donald Trumps’ rally in Reno, Nevada.

On the other side of the Hassidic spectrum, last week, a Satmar Brooklyn weekly, Der Yid, according to a report in The Forward (Der Yid does not have a website), recommended that voters show their appreciation to Hillary Clinton for being “sympathetic to the needs of the Haredi Community.”

JNi.Media

The Prayer For Fish

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

My daughter’s Rav in her Jewish College told a story from his Israeli army days one day in class. I’m sure he was making a great point. But his story stayed long after.

He was the captain and the only religious one in his troop. He felt a great sense of duty to protect his boys physically and spiritually since he reckoned this was a rare opportunity to introduce “his boys” to a bit of Jewish thought. Most were from a poor background meaning deprived of their rich Jewish heritage. Matan, one of the soldiers, as an example, who was raised in a kibbutz where pork was served on Yom Kipper, had certainly never heard nor seen any Jewish practice in action. Matan felt it was his secular duty to scoff at any little Jewish notion that Rav Avi would introduce to them. Rabbi Avi was challenged.

It was during the Lebanese War, and Rabbi Avi and his troop found themselves stationed on the outskirts in Lebanon, far from any army kitchen or store, nor on the regular food delivery route. The troop was hungry. With nothing pressing on their duty roster, Rabbi Avi was convinced by the boys to try to catch fish at the river nearby.

A few of the men were able to construct fishing rods and plied their wares into the water hoping for a catch.

“Hey Avi, you are going to eat the fish if we can catch it?”

“Sure why not?”

“Does that mean if you’re hungry enough you don’t have to keep kosher?” Matan asked, probably more out of real curiosity than even any true malice.

“Are you guys kidding? Fish is the easiest food type to classify as kosher.” Rav Avi excitedly explained, thrilled at the opportunity to throw in a little kashrut lesson when able. “If it has fins and scales then it is kosher. You don’t even have to ritually slaughter it.”

Since Rabbi Avi was not experienced at fishing, he suggested he would provide the moral support by saying Psalms. He prayed that his “fish” prayer should be answered. Not only were the men famished for food, but they were starving for a sign of Hashem in their daily lives as well. In spite of the men’s perseverance in fishing the entire day complemented by Rabbi Avi’s prayers, they were not successful. Not one fish was caught.

“Hey Rabbi Avi, what’s with all those prayers of yours? Not even one fish! You can’t really believe that G-d answers prayers?”

“Matan, we are taught that G-d answers all of our prayers, we just don’t always understand His answer.”

When the men got back to the base, the men were very hungry and frustrated. Some of the guys tried to see what could be put together form the bits of vegetables that were still around. The rest of the men entered the dining tent hoping for some fare. Just then they heard a jeep pull up in front of the makeshift building. A corporal from a nearby and larger base entered the room carrying a large sac.

“I was thinking of you guys and got worried that maybe you didn’t get enough food,” he said.

He placed the pouch on the table and opened it. It was full of fish.

Devorah Hirsch

Interfaith Encounters at Ben-Gurion Airport [video]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Some Muslims from Turkey traveling through Ben-Gurion airport in Israel decided to use some of their free time while waiting for their flight to pray.

The Ben-Gurion synagogue was empty at the time, so the group decided to go there, but the tourists mistook the Jewish prayer shawls (Talit, Talitot, Taleisim) in the shul for Islamic prayer rugs.

They put them on the floor and began to kneel and bow on them.

A Jewish man entered the synagogue and saw them there. He explained to the confused tourists they were kneeling on Jewish prayer shawls and they were in a Jewish synagogue.

The Muslim tourists apologized and neatly folded up the Jewish prayer shawls and put them back where they found them.

Video of the Day

Before Yom Kippur, Israelis Pray for Syrian Neighbors

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

Hundreds of Israelis gathered across the country on Monday to pray for the welfare of their Syrian neighbors the night before the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur. Prayer rallies were held in nine different locations including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Pardes Hanna, Beer Sheva, Tekoa, Ariel, Ma’ale Gilboa, and the Golan Heights, where shofars were sounded in solidarity.

According to UN estimates, over 400,000 Syrians have been killed in the past five years of civil war, including some 50,000 children according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Event organizer, Einat Kramer, 39, of the Galilee told TPS that a recent news report on Syria spurred her to organize the prayer gatherings. “I recently saw a news report that showed two Syrian children crying,” said Kramer.

“There was something about their crying that reminded me of the sound of the shofar [ram’s horn] that we just heard in the synagogue on Rosh Hashana. After seeing how the war has caused such terrible suffering for the Syrian people, I felt that during these holy days I had to something for our neighbors.”

Kramer said the nation-wide prayer rally was organized in less than five days. Volunteers across the country responded to Kramer’s Facebook posts and began planning prayer rallies in different locations.

“There was an overwhelming response. All the different sectors of Israeli society took part – from Orthodox Jewish volunteers in Jerusalem to the Reform movement in Tel Aviv, along with musicians, rabbis, and professors who took on active roles in the gatherings – leading the calls to wake up the world to the dire situation in Syria,” said Kramer, who describes herself as social activist.

“The one thing we can do is pray for the Syrian people and not ignore what’s happening. We cannot allow the tragedy facing our neighbors to continue quietly,” added Shivi Froman, 36, another event organizer. Froman is the son of the late peace activist, Rabbi Menachem Froman of Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

“The human catastrophe in Syria keeps getting worse. The world cannot accept the slaughter of innocents and I hope our prayers open the gates of heaven tonight,” Froman told TPS.

Despite the terrorist attack that shook Jerusalem on Sunday, which left two Israelis dead and six injured, over one hundred people attended the prayer rally overlooking the walls of the Old City in Mishkenot Sha’ananim. One elderly religious couple, Gal and Uri Kaplun told TPS that they felt it was important to attend the event. “For us, this is about Jewish values and sharing our empathy for others through praying,” said Gal Kaplun.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/before-yom-kippur-israelis-pray-for-syrian-neighbors/2016/10/11/

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