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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’

Rabbis Honor French PM in Fight Against Anti-Semitism

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

European rabbis honored the prime minister of France on Tuesday for his role in fighting anti-Semitism in the country.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls received the Lord Jakobovits Prize at the annual Conference of European Rabbis, held in Toulouse.

Both Chief Rabbis of Israel attended the gathering, as did others from nations across the European continent.

Conference organizers chose Toulouse as the venue for the gathering in order “to commemorate the attacks” where a rabbi and three Jewish children were murdered at a Jewish day school by a radical Islamist terrorist in 2012.

Valls was chosen to receive the award shortly after he announced a 600-million Euro nationwide drive to fight the rising incidence of anti-Semitic attacks in France.

Violent anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed by 40 percent worldwide during the past 18 months — but in France alone, 164 such incidents were recorded in 2014, in contrast to 141 in 2013.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, said the decision to honor Valls was made after his “decisive” action to “protect the Jews of France from the mobs who were about to make a pogrom against our people and our synagogues.”

Goldschmidt told more than 200 rabbis at the annual event, “There are some voices asking if there is a future for the Jewish people in Europe.

“I say this question can only be answered by the European governments themselves – and if that answer is to be a positive answer, then they must follow the example of Prime Minister Valls.”

Father, IDF Buddies Search in Nepal for Missing Israeli

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The father of a young Israeli backpacker has flown to Nepal to search the shattered nation for his missing son, Or Ashraf.

The 22-year-old hiker was last seen in Langtang a week ago just prior to setting out to hike a trail on Mount Everest, hours before the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck.

Israel Ambassador to Nepal, Yaron Meir, told IDF Army Radio on Thursday there is no concrete information about the whereabouts of Or Ashraf. “There is some room for concern,” Meir said.

The trekker last told a friend last Thursday that he might attempt to hike one of the trails alone.

The elder Ashraf brought along some of his son’s IDF colleagues from the Egoz combat unit. Ashraf is the sole Israeli who has not made contact after the quake hit the area.

On Thursday, search and rescue teams planned to attempt a helicopter rescue of 20 Israelis located on a remote mountainside in the Himalayas, officials said.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, co-director of Chabad of Nepal with his wife, Chani, personally joined a helicopter mission to pick up stranded Israeli trekkers. Hours later, 25 were airlifted to Kathmandu; another 20-25 were still waiting for another airlift.

Bad weather has played a role in delaying helicopter rescues in the mountains. One rescue mission intended to deliver food and a satellite phone to stranded Israelis by motorcycle failed after 10 hours due to blocked roads.

While trekkers wait, cold and hungry, others continue to arrive with homeless villagers at the Chabad House in Kathmandu. Volunteers led by Chani Lifshitz are serving up to 2,000 meals a day to Nepalese. The Lifshitz children, meanwhile, are being hosted at the home of Israel President Reuven Rivlin.

Chabad of Nepal has stayed in touch with some 50 Israelis who have been stuck in remote villages with no food, electricity or water with satellite phones. Israelis are stranded in mountain regions like Dhunche and Syrabrubesi; but they’ve been in touch with Lifshitz thanks to the satellite phones they took with them. They were provided by the Chabad House and donated by the family of Nadav Shoham, an Israeli hiker killed last year in a massive, freak blizzard.

More than 5,500 people are known to have died in the earthquake and the devastating 6.7-magnitude aftershock hours later. More than 100 aftershocks followed, and others have continued to rock the region. The quakes affected areas and killed people in areas as far away as Tibet, India and Pakistan.

Even as life ends for so many, a new baby boy weighing 2.1 kilograms came into the world, according to Major (res.) Michal Peres, a midwife and member of the Israeli delegation at the IDF Field Hospital set up in Nepal. The mother was being treated at a local hospital damaged in the quake, but went into labor and required a Caesarean section due to the size of the baby and the physical circumstances of the mother, IDF Major Gil Dar, an obstetrician/gynecologist confirmed. “The feeling is a good one,” he said.

From Segregation to Confrontation – No Nostalgia for Baltimore

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The riots in Baltimore are symptomatic of a world-wide disease that has been spreading for decades: Violence.

I have good memories of a good life in the Golden Ghetto where I grew up in Baltimore but I have no nostalgia, not for the Orioles, not for the peace and quiet in our white-only and Jewish-only neighborhood, not for segregation, not for our black maid and not for integration.

Not even for the Orioles when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series, believe it or not.

Yes, I did write “segregation.” Before 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in the Plessy vs. Ferguson suit, I never questioned the practice. What do you want from an eight-year-old?

Those were the days of law and order, but the deep white hatred of blacks in the south was superior to the rule of law, and it took years of protest marches and the assassination of Martin Luther King before integration in school was accepted.

Jews in my youth in Baltimore, like elsewhere in the Diaspora, always were worried about being politically and socially acceptable. The rabbis, especially the modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders, always spoke out for the blacks, the same people who rented from Jewish slumlords and worked for minimum wages from Jewish employers who were lucky if their employees showed up for work without being drunk.

Our rabbi marched in Washington in a huge rally for integration. Somehow, he always managed to connect it to the Torah.

Listening to King, one would think that God told the whites in the south, “Let my black people go.” That is what happens when Jews desecrate the Torah to co-exist with non-Jews.

Those were the days of the Limousine Liberals, the rich Jews who were in favor of integration, on condition that it was not in their neighborhood.

Those were the days of peaceful protests. They worked.

Today, they don’t.

There were many blacks in my high school class who studied hard, went to university and became part of the “haves.” Many remained with the have-nots.

When the United States declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, it was a bit late. It should have started years before and should have been called a war on violence., because violence has been working for decades.

Everyone can come up with his or her own reasons for excuse – liberalism, social media, television, movies and drugs, among others.

Underneath all of them is the undercurrent of “gimme, and if you don’t “gimme,” I will kill you.

Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been seen all cross America this week for his rant against violence:

No way. No way. No way can this happen in our city. No. Young kids you got to understand something, get off the streets.

Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this….

You don’t have any right to do what you’re doing to this city. Too many hard-working people build this city… We know what’s going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we’re not getting the right justice. We know all these answers.

But rioting in our streets is wrong. It’s dead wrong.

 

Lewis is speaking of values. He stated, “It takes a whole village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what rebuilding Baltimore looks like. Cause there’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place.”

His values are not “their” values. “Their” values are violence. “Gimme or violence, take your pick.”

Former Chief Rabbi of Rome Dies Two weeks before 100th Birthday

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Former chief Rome Rabbi Elio Toaff died on Sunday the age of 99, two weeks before what was supposed to be his 100th birthday.

He served as chief rabbi of the city for 51 years until 2002 after having served as the chief rabbi of Venice.

Rabbi Toaf once prayed with Pope John Paul II, who paid an unannounced visit to the Tome Synagogue, and the rabbi co-officiated at a papal concert commemorating the Holocaust.

He also praised Pope Pius XII after his death.

 

Pakistan Frees Terrorist behind Murder of Mumbai Chabad Rabbi

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Israel, France and the United States have sharply criticized Pakistan’s surprise release of the alleged mastermind terrorist allegedly behind the 2008 attacks on a Mumbai hotel and Chabad Center, where Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife were among six Americans and 160 others killed, including six Americans.

Israel’s ambassador to India Daniel Carmon said:

Israel is surprised and disappointed by the release of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the mastermind of the Mumbai attack in which, as part of the horrific attack, also Israeli nationals and a Jewish centre – the Nariman [Chabad] House – were targeted.

This release is a setback for the international efforts in the war against terror in which India and Israel are close partners.

The United States said it was “gravely concerned:” after Lakhvi walked out of jail on Friday. French President Francois Hollande, was hosting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the reelease was “deeply shocking.”

Modi said: “There is a need for global action to deal with terrorism. All nations should commit that they will not provide shelter to terrorists but punish them.”

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at the daily news briefing Friday, “Pakistan has pledged its cooperation in bringing the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of the Mumbai terrorist attacks to justice, and we urge Pakistan to follow through on that commitment to ensure justice for the 166 innocent people, including six Americans, who lost their lives.”

Lakhvi was released after a Pakistani court suspended his detention. He had been arrested one week after the attacks.

Israeli Murder Victim ‘Never Made It’ to Chabad Seder in Berlin

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Berlin had already arranged for a place to sleep, and a place at the seder table.

But the 22-year-old Israeli man never arrived.

That Friday night, there was a lot of excitement and chaos as usual in managing a public seder. It wasn’t until early Sunday morning that Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, community rabbi of Berlin and the director of the Chabad-Lubavitch Jewish Education Center found out why the young man didn’t show up.

Teichtal told the Associated Press, “A man in his early 20s came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep, and didn’t have anything to eat… We arranged everything for him,” Teichtal continued, “but then he didn’t show up again.”

A fellow rabbi had indeed arranged for the young man to sleep at a community center, located near the Alexanderplatz public square in the central Mitte district of Berlin.

The location is less than a mile from where the young man’s body was found by passersby early Sunday morning, in a ruined Franciscan monastery in the central Alexanderplatz area next to a well-used exit from a subway station.

Identification was difficult to establish due to “massive injuries to his head” and severe injuries to the body, police said. But when they found a passport in the back pocket of the victim’s sweatpants, police contacted the Israeli Embassy.

Berlin police have also told journalists that three people so far have come forward and provided information in the case.

The Israel Embassy said in a statement that its Consul, Eyal Siso, received confirmation of the victim’s identity, but declined to release the details at the request of the victim’s family.

Anti-Semitism — and Israeli Immigration — Rising in Germany Between 20,000 to 30,000 Israelis have moved to Berlin over the past few years, despite the rise in anti-Semitism in Europe in general and also in Germany.

Berlin is known for its vibrant Jewish community, which has grown with the influx of Jews from Israel and elsewhere around the world.

But in 2013, there were 1,275 anti-Semitic offenses recorded in Germany, including 1,218 perpetrated by members of the extreme Right. Thirty-one incidents were attributed to foreigners, and 26 were carried out by others, according to the Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism.

The number and frequency of anti-Semitic incidents across Europe is rising, in Germany as well.

Anti-Semitic Incidents Grow in 2015 In March 2015 alone, there were seven reported anti-Semitic incidents in Germany, among the many others reported elsewhere as well. Following are brief descriptions of what happened just last month in Germany:

In Offenbach, Germany, a Turkish soccer club published an ad in Turkish that included the slogan, “Don’t give your money to Jewish insurance company Allianz.” The club has since renounced the ad.

Also in March, the gate to the Jewish cemetery in the German community of Osterburg was destroyed. Vandals broke the locks so the gate cannot be closed, with a swastika carved into the metal on a Star of David. The wall was also cracked. Vehicle marks are visible on the road as well.

The same day, German neo-Nazis in “The Right” political group sent one-way flight boarding passes to Jewish organizations as a means of joining the international discussion about the security of European Jewry.

Also that day: In Murnau am Staffelsee, a vandal sprayed a swastika and the words “Arbeit macht frei” (the famous death camp slogan ‘Work sets one free”) on the ceiling of the recess hall at the city high school.

In Stralsund, an obscene form of grafitti was found scrawled on the “Haus der Gewerkschaften” (Unions House) and aimed at a picture of a Star of David. Below, the symbol for Anarchist was scrawled as well, but in different handwriting.

Thousands Accompany Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Vosner, 102, zt’l, to Rest; 1 Killed, More Hurt in Trampling

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The great Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Vosner (Wosner) passed away a short time after the start of this Passover (Pesach) holiday. A towering Torah personality, the sainted rabbi was laid to rest overnight in a 1:30 am funeral in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak.

As his body was respectfully carried by his broken-hearted students down the street, more tragedy struck as a much younger man attending the funeral died as well.

Thousands packed the streets of Bnei Brak to accompany the 102-year-old Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel Vosner (Wosner ), zt'l, on his final journal past the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva and to his final resting place.

Thousands packed the streets of Bnei Brak to accompany the 102-year-old Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel Vosner (Wosner ), zt’l, on his final journal past the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva and to his final resting place.

The father of three, Motti Gerber, 27, joined the saintly rabbinic decisor of Jewish law in death as a result of trampling at the funeral, according to numerous reports. In addition, three others males ages 25, 14 and 40, were seriously wounded when the balcony on which they were standing collapsed while they were watching the proceedings. Eight others were rushed to local hospitals with shortness of breath and bruises due to trampling, Magen David Adom reported.

MDA emergency medical response teams were summoned to attend the massive crowd that accompanied the rabbi’s body through the streets. More than 100 people were treated for “crowding” injuries.

The ‘Shevat HaLevi’ (the Tribe of Levi) was so called after the name of the series of numerous holy books that he wrote as commentaries and response on Jewish law.

Thousands attended the overnight funeral, with several eulogizing the rabbi’s deeds. “The unity of the people of Israel was very important to him, to maintain the friendship and love in the nation,” one rabbi noted.

Rabbi Vosner’s son, Rabbi Chaim Vosner, 78, was immediately appointed to succeed his father as the head of the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva (Lublin Torah Academy) and as rabbinic leader in Bnei Brak.

May the Shevet HaLevi be a meylitz tov — a strong advocate in the Heavenly Court — for the People of Israel, and his memory be for a blessing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thousands-accompany-rabbi-shmuel-halevi-vosner-102-ztl-to-final-rest-1-killed-others-injured-in-trampling/2015/04/05/

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