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November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Lau’

Rav Ovadia Calls Tzohar Rav Stav ‘Evil’; Tzohar Replies: Repent

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Revered Sephardi Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a spiritual head of the Shas party and a former Chief Rabbi, castigated Chief Rabbinate candidate Rabbi David Stav in unprecedented terms Saturday night, calling him “evil” and a “danger to Judaism.”

The Tzohar rabbinical group responded by calling on Rav Ovadia, who by all accounts is one of the most brilliant Torah sages today, to “repent” and “ask for forgiveness.”

The epithets  by Rav Ovadia may boomerang and give Rabbi Stav sympathy support that could make him Israel’s next Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.

They also give anti-religious Jews, both inside Israel and in the Diaspora, plenty of ammunition to fire back in their campaign against leaving authority for Israel’s religious affairs in the hands of orthodox Jews, Haredi or not. One can hear the refrain already, “And you call these people spiritual leaders?”

Rabbi Benny Lau, a national religious rabbi and the nephew of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, told Voice of Israel public radio that despite Rabbi Ovadia’s constant antagonistic comments in  his weekly Saturday night sermons, he once realized the greatness of the man when he spoke  with him in person.

But Saturday night’ wild attack on Rabbi Stav left Rabbi Lau without any explanation for his behavior.

Rav Ovadia’s weekly speeches are often geared for his Sephardi audience, many of whom see themselves as having been discriminated against for decades under the domineering thumb of Ashkenazi rabbis for years.

Even taking that into account, Rabbi Lau’s inability to explain Rabbi Ovadia’s venom points in one direction: Aryeh Deri, the Rav’s favorite political leader and who rules the Shas political party.

Deri has been trying to torpedo a bill that would allow Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar to seek a second term. The reasoning is that since he is Haredi, his selection would create more pressure to accept a non-Haredi Ashkenazi rabbi.

Deri, a crackerjack if not ruthless politician, simply had to turn to his trusted rabbi, Rav Ovadia, to help make sure Rabbi Amar will not be selected and thereby prevent the election of Rabbi Stav.

It is open to question how much Deri and other aides close to Rav Ovadia have sheltered him from reality and have fed him the news they want him to read.

Regardless of who is to blame, when a  rabbi, especially one as distinguished as Rav Ovadia, states that appointing another rabbi to the Chief Rabbinate is like bringing idolatry in the Holy Temple, it only takes a look at the calendar to realize how deep and slimy the pit into which the campaign for Chief Rabbi has fallen.

Next week, Jews being the tradition “three weeks of mourning” that concludes with Tisha B’Av, marking the destruction of the First and Second Temples.

The Second Temple is said to have fallen because of “loshon haRa,” literally the “evil tongue” by which Jews slander other Jews.

The Tzohar rabbinical organization accused Rav Ovadia of doing just that and accused Rav Ovadia of incitement.

When respected rabbis feel the need to call on a rabbi as revered as Rav Ovadia to “repent,” it is clear something is not kosher.

Rabbi Stav has conducted an unprecedented self-promotional campaign to become Chief Rabbi, but it can easily be argued there is no other way to change the outward face inward soul of the Chief Rabbinate in Israel that has managed to distance secular Jews instead of drawing them closer to Judaism.

In a pitiful understatement, aides to Rabbi Amar have charged that political elements are sowing the seeds of hatred between Torah sages.

The group of Tzohar Rabbis protested what they called the incitement of Rabbi Yosef against “another great rabbi in Israel whose entire life has been dedicated to love of the Torah by the People of Israel.. [His comments] prove the need for an urgent change in the Rabbinate of Israel.”

Shas officials insisted on the last word, which gets worse every time they speak. They  said it is “not respectful to respond to words of a heretic by people who call themselves rabbis but are worse than non-Jews.”

One Shas source, compared Rabbi Stav with Korach, who challenged  Moses’ authority and whose followers died when the ground opened up and buried them alive. ” When Rav Ovadia says he [Rabbi Stav]is evil, there is no need to explain,” said the source. Now , it is clear that all of them [Tzohar rabbis] are evil.”

Rabbi Lau to Obama: God Sent You to White House; Send Pollard Home

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau wrote President Barack Obama  that God, via the American people, “appointed you…President of the United States,”  and that as a defender of freedom, he should release Jonathan Pollard from prison more than 28 years.

Rabbi Lau quoted from chapter 14 in the First Book of Samuel, which refers to King Saul’s son Jonathan with an impassioned outcry, “Shall Jonathan die?” The rabbi says he feels the same please from his heart for Jonathan Pollard.

Rabbi Lau reminded the President that Pollard’s life term in prison for passing on classified documents for Israel was unduly harsh and “unprecedented.”

Bibi’s Wishful Thinking – A Doppelganger Coalition

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Trendy Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on his Facebook page an image of himself as Mariano Idelman, a satirist on the popular Eretz Nehederet (Wonderful Land) program and undoubtedly more popular than any Israeli politician.

Doppelganger week is Facebook’s three-year old annual gimmick that lets people find a celebrity whom they think is a look-alike.

The timing of Doppelganger week with the opening of the 19th Knesset Tuesday opens up tremendous virtual opportunities for a dream government.

Yair Lapid, chairman of the new secular-oriented Future (Yesh Atid) party, could try pairing up with Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi and the post popular person to have filled that role in decades.

Lapid and Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi) party, hold the keys to the coalition government that Netanyahu is trying to form. If Bennett, a champion of a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, would Doppelganger with President Barack Obama, Netanyahu would have it made.

Obama would get along with Israel, assuming he gets along with himself.

Lapid would learn a bit of Torah.

And Netanyahu would be Israel’s most popular comedian, which some critics say he already is.

Rabbi Lau: I Didn’t See Such German Sensitivity to Jewish Blood During the Holocaust

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Rabbi Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and Holocaust Survivor, attacked the Germans today with harsh words. Rabbi Lau said, “We don’t need their permission to live as Jews,” and added that, “I didn’t see such German sensitivity to Jewish blood during the Shoah.”

“It’s amazing, German spokesmen are sensitive to the cries of a baby and a drop of spilled blood like I did not see in my childhood. Then, Jewish children’s blood was worthless and trampled on by the boots of the Gestapo, while tens of millions of Germans collaberated or stood by and watched.”

Rabbi Lau continued to say that Jews don’t have anything to look for in Germany, but that we must fight this anti-Semitic law.

Rabbi Lau also attacked the idea, proposed by Rabbi Metzger, that German doctors would teach or certify Jewish Mohels on how to perform Brit Mila, he added that Rabbi David Goldberg, who was just arrested, has performed over 3000 successful circumcisions.

Jewish Culture Festival In Krakow

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

   The 17th Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow just concluded and has lived up to the promise of being one of the most exciting Jewish festivals around the globe.


 


         This year there were a few new stars taking center stage, most notably the famous Jewish singer/actor, Theodore Bikel. 


 


         Chazan Benzion Miller gave a rousing performance in the town of Bobowa, home of the Bobover Chassidim.


 


         On Shabbat the kosher Eden Hotel, in the heart of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, played host to more than 50 people, with delicious traditional food, like gefilte fish and cholent. The hotel was also host to a post-festival banquet that lasted till 3 o’clock in the morning.


 


         The most famous feature of the festival was the music, but there were also many classes in Jewish subjects. There was kosher cooking, Jewish song/dance, paper cutting, art motifs, Hebrew/Yiddish and many other topics.


 


          Festival Director, Janusz Makuch, deserves a Yashar Koach for the monumental job he did in transforming the streets of Krakow into a scene of Jewish pride and culture.


 


    


Rabbi Michael Schudrich and Rabbi Gluck making Havdalah for thousands at The Festival on live Polish TV.


 


 


 


Chazan Benzion Miller performing during the final concert in front of the Old Synagogue in Krakow.


 


  


 


Theodore Bikel on stage at the festival.


 


 


  



Janusz Makuch, backstage, at the festival.


 


 


 



Some of the 20,000 people in front of the festival stage.


 


 


  



Children learning to incorporate Jewish designs in their artwork.


 


 


Foundation Stone Set For Museum of Jewish History In Poland


 



         It has been almost 15 years since the conception of the idea for a museum of 1,000 years of Jewish history in Poland, but the dream took a great jump forward last week, with a gathering of museum supporters from around the world.


 


         Representing Poland, the Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, called for a reconciliation between Jews and Poles, suggesting the museum be used as a catalyst in forging new ties.


 


         David Peleg, the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, reads a letter from Israel President-Elect Shimon Perez, a long time friend and honorary officer of the project.


 


         Rabbi Lau of Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor, born in Poland, spoke passionately and eloquently of how the museum will be a place where Jews and Poles will have the opportunity to learn that the history of the Jews in Poland was more then just the five years of the Shoah. The Jews were an integral part of Polish society, involved in the arts, economics, and even politics.


 


 


 


 


Rabbi Michael Schudrich of Poland with Rabbi Lau of Israel at the Foundation Stone Ceremony.


 


 


 



Dignitaries line up to sign Scroll of Honor. Included in the group are Marion Turski, President Lech Kacynski, Jerzy Halbersztadt, Sigmund Rolat and Tad Taube.


 


 


 



President Lech Kacynski and Jerzy Halbersztadt on the way to bury the Scroll of Honor in the foundation.


 


 


 





 


Some of the hundreds of people that braved the pouring rain to attend the Placing of the Foundation Stone.


 


 


 


 


Shmuel Ben Eliezer signing the Scroll of Honor.


 


 


 


 


Sigmund Rolat of N.Y. receiving a certificate in recognition of his strong support of the Museum.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/jewish-culture-festival-in-krakow/2007/07/04/

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