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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

On A Wing And A Prayer

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Erev Pesach marks the 6th yahrzeit of the indomitable and legendary Clara Chaya Hammer a”h, the Chicken Lady of Jerusalem who, from the age of 70 until she returned her pure and happy soul to her Maker, trading in chicken wings for angel wings, a month short of her 100th birthday, fed hundreds of families and performed countless acts of kindness for the people of Jerusalem and its environs.

Her daughter, Rebbetzin Chana Homnick (not a spring chicken herself), and her great granddaughters, Elisheva and Shira, continue the legacy of Clara’s unremitting (and mostly anonymous) kindness.

Due to her tremendous charisma, Clara’s chicken fund continues to thrive and Chana says that miraculously she is still able to maintain it. The fund needs about NIS30,000 shekel (about $8,000) a month to feed all the families who rely on it. The fund regularly provides for about 200 families a month, more on Rosh Chodesh and holidays. All donations go straight to the fund. Chana underwrites the cost of envelopes, stamps and notes (not chicken feed) herself.

“I get notes thanking and blessing me,” says Chana, “But they’re really blessing my Ima.”

Modest and always devoted to her mother’s memory, Chana Homnick works hard to keep the fund alive. “I’m getting all the compliments now,” she chuckles warmly.

Clara used to give anyone who visited her home two towels – one for milchig and one for fleishig. The milchig one had a picture of a cow and the fleishig had a picture of a chicken. Recently, Chana got a note from someone who said she treasures those towels. Clara was known for giving many gifts (and getting many gifts), all chicken-themed. Clara was always keen to make sure that if she sent money to a needy person, a personal note accompanied the check so that the recipient felt respected.

Clara didn’t wait to be asked. One time she was on her way to the butcher when she saw tattered laundry hanging in a yard. She knocked on the door and offered help and the family gratefully accepted. There are so many people knocking on our doors in these beleaguered times asking for donations, but Clara stood out as the woman who was always looking to give. Looking being an active verb. She would notice when people needed, and what they needed, and she did everything she could to fill the void with energy absent in women half her age.

When a friend of her granddaughter heard that Clara had died, she said mournfully, “Who am I going to go to now for moral support?” This woman who had experienced post-partum depression had gone with her new baby to visit Clara. Clara started dancing with her and singing her signature song, Ashreinu ma tov chelkeinu and raised her spirits.

Today, Chana scans the news and when she hears of someone who has experienced a tragedy and needs help, she contacts the person and offers to add him or her to the fund’s list of grateful recipients.

Chana also continues her mother’s custom of sending out warm letters (and I mean letters, not notes) of gracious gratitude. And the people she sends her letters of gratitude to are often children and grandchildren of the original donors who are continuing the family tradition of supporting the Chicken Fund. Donations come in from all over the world.

About 20 years ago, a couple from Florida who were contributors to the Chicken Fund and were getting married sent Clara money to take some new olim for a night out. She took them out to a restaurant and they had a wonderful time. This couple continues to send contributions to the Chicken Fund to mark special occasions like anniversaries. Recently, this couple’s son became bar mitzvah and in honor of the occasion they sent Chana money to make a bar mitzvah celebration for some underprivileged boys. Chana contacted an orphanage and took 10 boys who had just become bar mitzvah out to a restaurant decorated just for the occasion. It was night filled with music and dancing those boys will never forget. From generation to generation, donation to donation, celebration to celebration, the Chicken Fund helps spread joy and make memories.

Chana Homnick commissioned a book about her illustrious mother. Written by C.B. Gavant and published by Feldheim, The Chicken Lady of Jerusalem – A Life of Giving tells Clara’s story, beginning with her years as a little girl in the Ukraine tending to chickens, having no idea how much they were going to dominate her life and help her contribute to the lives of others. Proceeds from the sale of the book go to the fund.

On this 6th year without the Chicken Lady we pay tribute to her entrepreneurialship, her singing talent, her dedication as a teacher, her charisma as a speaker, her vivaciousness, her love which she gave to four generations of progeny, her love for Eretz Yisrael, but most of all for her life’s work as a chesed lady. Lords and Ladies will come and go but there will always only be one Chicken Lady.

May the memory of Chaya bat Meir serve as a blessing.

 

Contributions can be sent to:
The Clara Hammer Chicken Fund
POB 18602
Jerusalem 91185

Contributions can also be deposited at:
Bank Leumi
Branch 905
Ramat Eshkol
Jerusalem
Acct no. 4341-94

Rosally Saltsman

American Jew Arrested for Murmuring Prayers, 2nd Warned to Close Prayer App

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

An American Jewish man was arrested on the Temple Mount on Sunday morning after it was noticed that he was quietly murmuring a prayer, according to a TPS report. At this time it is unknown if the arrested man is an Israeli citizen or a tourist.

A second Jew was warned by the Israeli police that he would be arrested if he didn’t stop looking at the Siddur app on his cellphone. He was not arrested as he wasn’t yet praying at that point.

Prime Minister Netanyahu can relax, his status quo has been upheld.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Court Quotes Isaiah: Jew Can Hold Out His Hands on Temple Mount

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Can a Jew hold his hands outstretched on the Temple without being arrested for offending Muslims by “praying.”

And if a Jew looks upward or wears a head-covering on the holy site, would these actions also be considered an offensive display of belief in God?

The Jerusalem District court on Monday discussed the absurd and ruled that it really is too ridiculous to be taken into account as a reality.

The government of Israel prohibits prayer on the Temple Mount, in accordance with demands from Muslims, regardless of the Jordanian-Israel peace Treaty that specifically states in Article 9:

Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.

The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace.

Treaties aside, Jews cannot pray on the Temple Mount, but no one has defined the word “prayer.” Police previously have hauled Jews off the Temple Mount for prostrating. Moving one’s lips also is problematic, even if he simply is shivering from the winter.

But what about holding one’s hands outstretched while walking?

It is a violation of the rules of the game, police told Yehudah Etzion, who won his case in court after having refused a police order on the 10th of Tevet, a fast day, to drop his hands while walking on the Temple Mount.

Police barred him from the holy site for two weeks, alleging he represents a threat to public safety, meaning he upsets the Muslims.

Judge Ram Winograd cited Chapter 1 of Isaiah and the Talmud while noting that the police had come up with a new standard of prohibited prayer when detaining Etzion.

He ruled:

Under the circumstances there should be no discussion of whether holding one’s palms upwards is an act of worship, it is sufficient to note that the police did not prohibit this action until now.

I will note that taking this path, perhaps in the spirit of the verse in Isaiah Chapter 1, would warrant prohibiting lifting one’s eyes up to the sky, based on what is written in the Mishnah, Tractate Rosh Hashanah, Chapter 3; and perhaps it is necessary to ban head coverings on the Temple Mount since pursuant to the Talmud this is a dress that proves the fear of Heaven.

Police Superintendent Ian Granot argued, “The Temple Mount is an explosive site. We are in the midst of a terror wave that was sparked by this site. The Israel Police managed to remove the Temple Mount from the current terror wave.” Judge Winogrod’s citing of Chapter 1 of Isaiah is a bit ironic because it states the Prophet’s theme that God does not want sacrifices that are offered from Jews whose hands are guilty of sins.

Verse 15 states:

And when you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you, even when you pray at length, I do not hear; your hands are full of blood.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Yehuda Etzion Arrested on Temple Mount for Moving his Hands [video]

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Israeli police arrested and removed Yehuda Etzion from the Temple Mount, claiming he was moving his hands in prayer while walking on the Jewish holy site, according to a Honenu lawyer.

Etzion did not resist arrest, but he didn’t make it easy for the police to carry him away either. Arabs cursed “Allahu Achbar” as he was carried away.

Etzion has a long history with the Temple Mount. In 1984, he was arrested for being part of an underground that plotted to blow up the Golden Dome.

It was only a week ago that his 30 year restriction on going up to the Temple Mount was removed.

As the old joke goes, if a Jew is moving his hands, he is obviously talking.

Video of the Day

Two Arrested for Temple Mount Prayers

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Two people were arrested by Israeli police on Monday morning for praying on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, according to TPS reports.

The first man arrested was a Rabbi from Beit Shemesh who said the “Aleinu L’Shabeach” prayer, one of the oldest prayers in Judaism.

He has since been released and a court hearing has been scheduled for him.

The second person arrested said a “Mishaberach l’Cholim” (Prayer for the sick).

He’s currently still in custody.

Both are being assisted by lawyers from Honeinu.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Nursing Jewish Mother Kicked Off Temple Mount

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Temple Institute, an Israeli organization dedicated to establishing the Third Temple, is one of the few Jewish groups dedicating themselves to finding a crack in the status quo on the Temple Mount, which forbids Jewish prayer there, and frequently blocks Jews from entering the compound.

Their most recent case in point: “Until now the ‘status quo’ imposed by the Netanyahu-Kerry-Abdullah triumvirate ‘only’ forbade Jewish prayer, Jewish tears, Jewish laughter, Jewish lip moving, Jewish body swaying, Jewish bowing, Jewish standing motionless, Jewish singing, Jewish blessings, Jewish eating and Jewish drinking,” goes their statement from Monday — “Now it also forbids a Jewish mother from nursing her crying Jewish infant.”

[Editor: Perhaps the baby said the bracha (blessing) out loud?]

The accompanying video shows Israeli police removing a Jewish mother who tried to nurse her baby—using a blanket for modesty—on the Temple mount. The police insisted that nursing babies was strictly off limits there. The scene quickly turned into street theater, with the cops accusing the woman and her friends of acting for the smartphone cameras, and the women accusing the cops of being heartless, deaf to the needs of a hungry baby.

“Shame on all you feckless politicians and self-important pundits, judges, rabbis, human rights activists and feminists, etc., who endorse and support the racist policy of ‘status quo’ on the Temple Mount!” goes the Temple Institute statement. “Are your rights to express your thoughts and opinions more sacred than the right of a Jew to pray on the Temple Mount? Or of a mother to nurse her hungry baby?”

One more open question remains: how would the Arab news websites, which usually describe Jewish visits on Temple Mount as “Settlers assault Al Aqsa with aid of police troops” describe this scene? And, of course, what would be the fate of a policeman who tried to remove an Arab mother and her baby from the same site?

JNi.Media

Hareidi and National Religious Jews in Massive Prayer at Kotel Today

Monday, October 12th, 2015

A mammoth unity prayer rally is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) Monday to ask God for protection and deliverance from the recent reign of Arab terror.

The organizers said:

In these days of terror and attacks on Jews, the need for unity is one of the first values that we must display with more prayers to God.

Leading rabbis from the national religious and Hareidi sectors will attend the prayer rally.

Relatives of those murdered by Arab terrorists, including those of victims who were on their way to the Western Wall to pray, will say the mourner’s prayer (Kaddish) at the Western Wall.

It would be a good idea if all Jews, regardless of whether they consider themselves religious or not, join the unity prayers.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hareidi-and-national-religious-jews-in-massive-prayer-at-kotel-today/2015/10/12/

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