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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’

The Danger Zone – 9/11 With Rabbi Aryel Nachman [audio]

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

This episode of the Danger Zone was recorded on the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and we had the honor of having Rabbi Aryel Nachman Ben Chaim join us for an interview. Rabbi Nachman is the co-creator and artist of the Jewish comic strip, 4 Corners. He is also the author of “Zeyde and the Hidden Mine” which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He founded the world’s first interactive online synagogue, http://sevenbeggars.com/ and sat down for a candid discussion about terrorism, antisemitism and the world around us.

 

Israel News Talk Radio

Rabbi Abramchik Retires After 45 Years In Jewish Education

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik, the founding principal of Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy for Girls in North Miami Beach, decided to retire at the end of the past school year after 45 years in Jewish education.

Rabbi Abramchik is a man who believes in planning. His wife Harriet, a”h, was the same way. Together they had decided she would retire at age 62 and the rabbi would retire shortly thereafter. Harriet retired on schedule but the rabbi was not ready to leave the world of chinuch.

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik

Unfortunately, his wife soon passed away. Working as a principal, with talented administrators and a dedicated faculty, helped fill the void and ease the loneliness of being a widower.

“I continued to work for three years after my wife’s passing” said Rabbi Abramchik. “I wanted to retire almost immediately but was advised not to make major life decisions in a state of emotional stress. Actually, I’m glad I took that advice. I don’t know if the healing process would have taken place were I to have retired as planned.”

“Retirement means a plan to do something else,” he added. “For me it never meant to just do nothing. It means shifting gears. One should learn Jewish texts every day. I am planning to learn in the morning at the Miami Beach Community Kollel and offer my service as an educational consultant to schools locally and around the country.”

The Greater Miami community wishes Rabbi Abramchik hatzlacha rabbah in his future endeavors. He can be contacted at 786-247-3961.

Shelley Benveniste

Rabbi Arrested for Plotting to Murder Get Refuser in Kiryas Joel

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Rabbi Aharon Goldberg, 55, and Shimon Liebowitz, 25, were arrested in Central Valley, NY, Tuesday, when they were meeting to plot the kidnapping and murder of a husband who is refusing to give his wife a get, federal officials said Wednesday. They were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder for hire.

Prosecutors said the Liebowitz belongs to the Satmar community in Kiryas Joel, NY, and Goldberg, originally from Bnei Brak, Israel, is “a prominent rabbi in Kiryas Joel.”

The FBI said Goldberg and Liebowitz contacted an individual in early July to kidnap the husband and force him to give a get to his wife, on penalty of death. The man they recruited then contacted the Bureau about the plot and began recording his conversations with the two suspects. The code name for the plan was “Wedding.” They discussed kidnapping, torturing and forcing the get from the husband, either in the US or when he was on a trip to Ukraine. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Goldberg and Liebowitz paid the FBI informant about $55,000 for what he called a “chilling plot.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. stated in a press release: “As if the plan to kidnap the victim and force him to divorce his wife in this alleged conspiracy wasn’t bad enough, the plotters allegedly decided halfway through the arrangement to go a step further and add murder to the list of their planned crimes. Our country protects freedom of religious beliefs and practices, but no one is allowed to plot a kidnapping and murder regardless of their motivation.”

David Israel

The Rabbi Who Knew the REAL Reasons for Arik Sharon’s Change in Heart

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The death of the Chief Rabbi of Haifa, Rabbi She’ar-Yashuv Cohen, brings to mind the most stirring episodes of the history of the modern state of Israel.

Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen, wounded in the battle for the Old City in Jerusalem, was the last Jewish civilian who left the Old City as it fell, carried on a stretcher into captivity…And Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen, who served as the deputy Mayor of Jerusalem in 1967, was given the honor of being the first civilian allowed to enter the Old City in Jerusalem at the time of its liberation during the six day war.

Yet there is yet another mission to Jerusalem which went little reported.

In August, 2005, Rabbi She’ar-Yashuv Cohen traveled to Jerusalem to make a last minute plea with Arik Sharon to reconsider his plan to retreat from Gush Katif, which involved Israel’s obliteration of the 21 Jewish communities , including 325 thriving Jewish farms and 86 synagogues and Jewish study centers. Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen told me at the time that the chemistry remained between him and Arik Sharon had lasted since his days of captivity after the 1948 war and that Rav She’ar-Yashuv was the only Rabbi whom was ready to speak with him at the time.

Sharon gave a clear answer to Rabbi Cohen: “This is what the US is demanding that I do and I must do it.”

It does not matter that half of the 9,000 Jews who live in Gush Katif had nowhere to go, and that their relocation plans still left up in the air.

It did not matter that the Israeli government cannot offer more than two containers to each family to help them remove their possessions.

It did not seem to matter that the experts in Israel’s security establishment are warning that the result of Israel’s hasty retreat will be the creation of a new Islamic terror base.

Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen heard Sharon making it clear that he was under pressure from the US government and that is that, and that the myth of an autonomous Israeli policy in this regard had nothing to do with reality.

Indeed, one of the common assumptions was that the Sharon government’s plan to expel Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria, and unilaterally hand the area over to an independent Palestinian entity, had been an entirely autonomous Israeli decision.

US government was behind it all along.

In meetings with concerned American citizens, Danny Ayalon, Israeli ambassador to the US at the time, clearly stated that Sharon’s Retreat Plan was part of an overall Israeli-American agreement.

In late June, 2005, Ayalon met with representatives of the Orthodox Union, one of the largest contingents of American Orthodox Jews, and told them clearly that “Prime Minister Sharon is left with no choice. He is doing exactly what the US expects him to do.”

In an interview with the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, published on June 22nd, 2005, Ayalon reversed earlier Israeli government statements, saying that Israel does not expect the Palestinian Authority (PA) to dismantle terrorist infrastructure until after the planned expulsion. He mentioned that ending terrorism and anti-Israel incitement had been conditions Israel had demanded from the PA before carrying out the plan; however, Ayalon indicated that the agreement with the US was more important than an agreement with the PA.

The Israeli ambassador said, “Disengagement has to be viewed in the context of Israel-United States relations…. This pullout did not follow an agreement with the Palestinians, but it followed something which is much more important, an agreement with the United States. Disengagement is something that creates a common agenda between us and the United States.”

In the final interview given by Benyamin Netanyahu before his resignation from the Sharon government, to the Jerusalem Post on August 5th, 2005, he indicated that the current policy pursued by the government of Israel should be perceived as a threat to the security interests of the US and of all Western countries, since it created a terror base in Gaza, and since the Palestinian Authority incorporated the Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist organizations instead of dismantling them.

Yet, the directive of the US State Department remained undaunted: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had to must dismantle and withdraw any and all Israeli presence from every Jewish community in the Katif district of Gaza by mid-August.

When Israel did go ahead with the retreat of the IDF and the expulsion of the Jewish communities from Katif and the Northern Shomron, Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen told me that he wanted to tell the world that this policy was implemented as a the result of this clear US dictate to Arik Sharon issued by the government of the United States. This was not meant as rationalization for Sharon’s policy. Few people want to hear the warnings of Rav She’ar-Yashuv Cohen that Israeli policy is often dictated from Washington.

ariel sharon death

David Bedein

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch’s Influence In America (Part I)

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Editor’s Note: This column contains excerpts from Dr. Levines “Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch and America – an Historical View,” which appeared in The World of Hirschian Teachings, An Anthology on the Hirsch Chumash and the Hashkafa of Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch (Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer Foundation, Feldheim, 2008, 199- 210).

 

Much has been written about Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch’s influence on German Jewry, and he is justifiably credited with having saved Orthodox Judaism in Germany. However, Rav Hirsch’s influence was not confined to Germany and did not end with his passing in 1888. His legacy continues to this day and is felt all over the world.

It is my intent to sketch how Hirschian ideology has fostered the flourishing Torah life we see today in America by indicating how a number of rabbis utilized this ideology. Such a sketch cannot, of course, be comprehensive. Nonetheless, it does provide perspective on how far-reaching the influence of RSRH has been on the American scene.

 

Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman (1861 -1945)

In 1899 Rabbi Dr. Bernard Drachman published the first English translation of Rav Hirsch’s Nineteen Letters.[i] Rabbi Drachman’s life story is an interesting one and is told in his autobiography The Unfailing Light: Memoirs of an American Rabbi.[ii]

Raised in a non-shomer Shabbos home, he went to public school in Jersey City, New Jersey, and then Columbia College. While in high school and college, Rabbi Drachman also attended the (Reform) Temple Emanuel Hebrew Preparatory School of New York City for six years. In 1882 he graduated Columbia with honors and decided to study for the rabbinate. Temple Emanuel granted him a scholarship to pursue rabbinical studies with the idea that he would prepare for the Reform rabbinate. He went to Germany, studied at the University of Breslau and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau, and earned his rabbinical degree. In addition, he matriculated at the University of Heidelberg and obtained the degree of Ph.D. Magna Cum Laude in 1885.

As a result of his studies in Germany, Dr. Drachman became completely committed to Orthodox Judaism. Temple Emanuel had sponsored his studies with the understanding that when he returned he would become its assistant rabbi. But given his commitment to Orthodoxy, Rabbi Drachman was forced to make it clear to the congregants of Temple Emanuel that he would only serve an Orthodox congregation, despite the fact that Reform rabbis usually earned considerably more than their Orthodox counterparts. The result was that “he speedily became known as an enthusiastic and energetic champion of Orthodox Judaism, one of the then very few English-speaking representatives of the ancient faith in the America of that time.”[iii]

During his summer vacation in 1883 Dr. Drachman visited Frankfurt-on-the-Main. His recollections of this visit show what a deep impression the community that Rav Hirsch had established made upon him.

In the latter place [Frankfurt] we [Rabbi Drachman and his cousin Solomon] not only saw a beautiful city but also a most wonderful Jewish community, the like of which was even then difficult to find anywhere else in the world. In size the city was not so very impressive, numbering not more than approximately twenty-five thousand souls, but in spiritual and cultural quality and importance to Judaism it was most exceptional and noteworthy.

Frankfort-on-the-Main was the city of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, inspired and inspiring leader in Israel, man of God if ever there was one. His soul glowed with profound love and loyalty to the ancient faith. From his lips poured streams of eloquence to convince the doubting, to strengthen the wavering, and to satisfy and delight the already convincedly devout. The impress of his mighty spirit was upon the whole Jewish life of the queenly city. The number of business establishments closed on Sabbaths and Jewish holy days, the large and beautiful synagogues and the throngs which entered them to worship, even on ordinary days of secular occupation, and a dozen other indications, all gave unmistakable testimony to the fact that here was a city of enthusiastically loyal Jews.

The Orthodox Jews, however, were not the majority of the Jewry of Frankfort. Rabbi Hirsch’s congregation did not even belong to the official Jewish community. Legally and technically it was not even a congregation but only a private society, Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft, “Israelitish Society for Religion,” but in numbers it was not greatly inferior to the main community and in zeal and religious fervor it was so superior, that its impress upon the life of the city was far greater and more significant.

The Judaism which Rabbi Hirsch taught, and for which he had gained thousands of adherents, in Frankfort and out, while unswervingly loyal to the Law and the traditions of Israel’s past, was yet something different, something new. It was the religion of the ghetto without the mannerisms or the world-estrangement of the ghetto. It was indeed a wondrously perfect synthesis of the ancient and the modern, of the Oriental-Sinaitic-Talmudic precepts of faith and the life and the speech, the culture, and the demeanor of the modern time and the Occidental world. It was fittingly designated by understanding observers as Neo-Orthodoxy.

Solomon and I met a number of members of the Hirsch community and they all measured up to this standard. Among them were the brothers Jacob and Julius Strauss, who were relatives of Solomon, cousins of his mother, whose maiden name was Strauss. They were wealthy people, bankers doing business in a large way under the firm name of J. and J. Strauss. They were, however, more interested in Jewish religion and culture than in their business affairs.

As their guests on Friday evening, we met in the synagogue, which was filled with devout worshippers. After service we walked together to the Strauss residence, a fine and beautifully furnished apartment in one of the best streets of Frankfort. It was a memorable evening, a remarkable combination of fervent Jewishness and aristocratic demeanor, a perfect illustration of what the rabbis of the Talmud meant when they spoke of “Torah and greatness in one place.” Everything was in accordance with the rabbinical precept that the best which the Jew is and has shall be reserved for the Sabbath. Such was the Friday evening in the Strauss home. Herr Jacob Strauss chanted the Hebrew prayers with dignity and reverence, and Frau Strauss was a most gracious hostess. After the sumptuous repast was concluded, and thanks duly given to the Giver of all good, we passed an hour or so in pleasant, informal conversation. Many questions about America were asked of me, and my answers were received with great apparent interest.[iv]

Dr. Yitzchok Levine

IDF Demolishes Home of Rabbi Mickey Mark’s Murderer

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev

The IDF on Tuesday demolished the home of the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Michael Mark in front of his wife and two of his ten children. The operation was carried out in conjunction with the Border Police and the Civil Administration.

Mohamed Fakih, 29, from Dura village, gunned down Rabbi Mark on July 1 while he was driving with his family on Route 60. His wife was seriously injured, and two of his children were lightly injured.

Fakih was killed in a gun battle with IDF and police units on July 27, after they had closed in on his hideout in Surif, near Hebron. Fakih had barricaded himself inside the house, and security forces responded by shooting nine anti-tank missiles, causing a significant part of the building to collapse. Troops found several weapons next to Fakih’s body, including an AK-47 assault rifle and hand grenades.

The demolition operation was conducted in line with the Israeli government’s recently reinvigorated terrorism deterrence policy.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Soul Talk With Rabbi David Aaron & Leora Mandel – For G-d’s Sake: When Religion Inspires Evil [audio]

Monday, August 29th, 2016

How can we comprehend evil done in the name of G-d? We hear about this too often in the news. Evil acts are committed preceded by the call “G-d is Great.” Do we believe in the same G-d that is inspiring so many murders and acts of hatred? What does G-d really want from us?

Listen to Soul Talk with Rabbi David Aaron and Leora Mandel to get a better understanding of evil done in the name of G-d, how we should think about it and what we should do about it.

We welcome your questions. Send us an e-mail at Soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com.

Soul Talk 28Aug – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

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