Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, a longtime Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in France and more recently in Israel, was brutally attacked at Zhitomir’s central train station early Friday morning, where he was discovered and transported to a local hospital. The Jewish Community of Zhitomir was alerted to the attack hours after Deitsch was admitted to the hospital; his condition is considered extremely critical. The motive for the attack remains unknown. Violent anti-Semitic attacks in Ukraine are rare, and there is no indication at this time that it was anti-Semitic in nature. Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm, chief rabbi of Zhitomir, is asking people to pray for Rabbi Deitsch. Read more here.Jewish Press News Briefs
Posts Tagged ‘prayers’
President Reuven Rivlin addressed a special plenary session of the Ukraine Parliament on Tuesday, marking 75 years since the Babi Yar Massacre.
The address came during Rivlin’s state visit to the country and followed his visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Kiev, and the Klodomor Memorial.
Rivlin and President Petro Poroshenko met together for a working meeting following an official welcome ceremony.
In his address, Rivlin shared with the lawmakers the current deteriorating medical status of Israel’s ninth president, “my friend, Shimon Peres. My thoughts are with …. Shimon Peres, who is fighting for his life at these very moments.
“The president was a guest of honor in this house and a friend of the Ukrainian people,” he said, “and saw the great importance of strengthening the ties between the states.
“In the name of the Israeli people, and people around the world, we pray for his recovery.”
In the address, Rivlin also talked about the personal way in which Ukraine’s history has affected his life and that of his wife.
“Kayla Mintz was born in 1907 to Reyzl and Alexander Mintz in the town of Bilozir, Ukraine. In 1925 at the age of 20 she received an entry permit to Israel and achieved her dream of becoming a farmer and working the land that she felt so strongly about.
“In the years to come she married Menachem Shulman, who was born in the town of Marina Gorka, in Ukraine, and after wandering the land together the settled in Moshav Herut together with other friends from Ukraine. There they had two daughters, Varda and Nechama, my wife.
“Kayla left her entire family back in Ukraine – her sisters, her brother, and her father. Life in Israel was difficult, and she innocently thought that her family was spoiled and wouldn’t be able to stand the difficulties in living in Israel. That is why she never bothered to persuade them to emigrate to Israel.
“Following the beginning of Operation Barbarossa by German forces, Bilozir was captured in July 1941 by the Nazis. Already within the first week of occupying the town, several Jewish girls were publicly executed.
“In mid-August 1942 the city’s Jews were taken, along with the rest of the Jews from Laniwci Ghetto, to the killing pits on the way leading to Kremenets, and were murdered there.
“With your permission, I will mention the names of my wife’s aunts and uncles, and their children: Aunt Cilla (nee Mintz), her husband and children. Aunt Mania (nee Mintz), her husband and children. Uncle Dov Mintz, his wife and children. Uncle Daniel Mintz, His wife and children. In the town of Marina Gorka, in today’s Belarus, my wife’s uncles were murdered. Her father Menachem Shulman’s brothers Jacob, Moses, Samuel and Israel Shulman.
“May they rest in peace.”Hana Levi Julian
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the bedside of former President Shimon Peres late Wednesday night, and spoke with his family and the medical staff at Sheba Medical Center.
“I think that I speak for the entire Israeli people, as well as for many people outside Israel, who feel a certain relief this evening,” he said in a statement after the visit.
PM: I think that I speak for the entire Israeli people, as well as for many people outside Israel, who feel a certain relief this evening.— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 14, 2016
“The Sheba Medical Center has an exceptional staff of doctors, caregivers and nurses, an exceptional staff for an exceptional man,” he said.
“My prayer has, at least, strengthened today having seen the dedicated care as well as signs of hope. We will all continue to hope and prayer,” the prime minister said.
Peres was rushed to the hospital Tuesday night after suffering a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was taken to the Neurosurgical ICU, sedated and placed on a respirator. An initial CT scan clearly showed the bleeding from the stroke, and a second CT scan an hour later showed little improvement.
Nevertheless, by Wednesday morning, there was some noticeable improvement, with Peres responding to verbal conversation by squeezing the doctors’ hands and showing signs of responsiveness during times of reduced sedation.
Doctors expressed guarded optimism but have warned the 93-year-old elder statesman has a long way to go, and that it is far too early to offer a prognosis.Hana Levi Julian
The family of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis has asked everyone to say Tehillim and pray for a Refuah Shelaima for Esther Bat Miriam, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis.Jewish Press News Briefs
To the Nazis, he was A-7713, the number burned into his arm in a concentration camp. However, to the rest of the world, Elie Wiesel was an unwavering voice for the six million Jews who were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Half a century ago, before Holocaust education became commonplace, Mr. Wiesel began publishing his searing accounts and, by extension, urged the world to stand up and prevent genocide and torture against all people. He was a man of conviction, encapsulated in his own words: “We must always take sides.”
He spoke to world leaders about the lessons of brutality he had personally endured. He campaigned against modern-day despots and decried terrorists. His cause was the defense of people of all faiths, nationalities, and countries against oppressors.
A Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, he was a friend to presidents and prime ministers, yet his conscience always came first. He was not swayed by the winds of contemporary politics and warned the West of the growing danger of Iranian aggression and the need to halt its quest for nuclear weapons.
His most famous moment came when President Ronald Reagan scheduled a visit to Bitburg, a German military cemetery where some SS troops were buried. Mr. Wiesel confronted the president during a 1985 White House ceremony conducted in his honor. “I belong to a people that speaks truth to power,” Mr. Wiesel said. “That place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the SS.”
But there was another side to Mr. Wiesel, a more personal aspect to this man who did so much to change the world. Mordechai Avigdor, whose family shared close ties with Mr. Wiesel, shared his recollection of the time he davened at the Fifth Avenue Synagogue on Selichos night. After the chazan had finished and people headed for the door, Mordechai made his way over to Mr. Wiesel, a longtime family friend. However, he had to wait – Mr. Wiesel was still praying, slowly and carefully.
But, Mordechai adds, Elie Wiesel’s shul membership had an incredible history. More than seventy years ago, a few Jews secretly gathered to form a minyan in the midst of the horror that was the Buchenwald concentration camp. Broken in body but maintaining their spirits, they risked their lives to gather one Shabbos and daven. The ba’al tefillah was Mordechai’s grandfather, Rav Yaakov Avigdor, chief rabbi of Drohobycz, Poland in pre-war Europe. Amongst the congregants were Elie Wiesel and Yossel Friedenson, the late editor of Dos Yiddish Vort. Undeterred by the lack of siddurim, Rav Yaakov enunciated each word of the tefillos clearly to allow the mispallelim to recite the prayers along with him. After the minyan concluded Shacharis, those assembled assumed that Rav Yaakov would begin Mussaf immediately as the obvious absence of a Sefer Torah or even a Chumash would preclude any form of krias haTorah.
However, that was not to be. To the amazement of the bedraggled group of prisoners, Rav Yaakov proceeded to recite the entire parsha from memory. In Mordechai Avigdor’s words, “It was a chizuk for a lifetime. Elie Wiesel, my grandfather, Buchenwald, and the minyan. From that moment, our family had a connection with him. We were all kinsmen, landsleit.”Rabbi Dovid Reidel
Just after 11 am this morning (Thursday, July 30) Israel Police arrested a Jewish bride who ascended to the Temple Mount for a contemplative moment prior to her nuptials scheduled for later in the day.
The reason for the arrest is not yet clear.
Police on the Mount are known to arrest Jews for “infractions” as specious as moving one’s lips, and whispering words which might appear to be prayers — or even might actually be prayers — even though the Supreme Court legally upheld the right for visitors to the site to pray.
Only Muslims have actually been allowed by security forces at the Temple Mount to pray, however, regardless of what the law says.
Authority over the Temple Mount, although technically overseen by Israel, is actually controlled by the Kingdom of Jordan via the Islamic Waqf Authority.
Rehavia Piltz, attorney for the bride, is allegedly on the way to the police precinct to request an expedited release so the bride will make it to her chuppah on time, according to Rotter.net.
The police have continued to routinely violate an Israeli law guaranteeing “freedom of worship” which is declared in the Declaration of Independence and among the nation’s set of Basic Laws.
Israel’s Supreme Court recently upheld the right of Jewish visitors to pray on the site, considered the holiest of all in Judaism. It is the third most holy in Islam.
Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Malka Aviv ruled in the first week of March of this year that the Israel Police ban on prayer at the site has been implemented “without appropriate consideration, was arbitrary and only out of concern for the consequences of the broadcast.” In addition, she wrote, “Police must make sure that Jews are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.”
The decision was handed down in the case of Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick, founder and director of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation. Glick was the target of an assassination attempt that nearly succeeded last October; he was shot by a radical Islamic terrorist four times at point-blank range after speaking at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center. He was shot for his continued activities in bringing the Temple Mount into the forefront of Israeli politics.
The rabbi challenged a two-year ban by Israel Police that barred him from entering the Temple Mount after he had been spotted on a Channel 10 broadcast praying on the site. He was represented by attorney Aviad Visoly.
Glick was awarded half a million shekels in compensation for losses to his livelihood – he leads tours on the Mount – and another NIS 150,000 in damages, to be paid by police.Hana Levi Julian