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September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘shabbat’

Rabbis Allow XMas Trees in Kosher Israeli Hotels

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Hotels in Israel will now be able to place Christmas trees in the lobby, film movies on the premises during the Sabbath and violate other Jewish laws but hold a “kosher” status.

In the past, the Israel’s Chief Rabbinate required hotels to maintain basic compliance with Torah law in order be certified kosher.

However, a petition to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein by the “Hiddush” Freedom of Religion for Israel non-governmental organization (NGO) has forced the Chief Rabbinate to change its rules.

Hiddush CEO Uri Regev, a reform rabbi, argued the Rabbinate’s regulations violated Israel’s kashruth law, which in the past the High Court of Justice has determined are restricted solely to the issue of food, and not Sabbath observance, modesty or other points.

Regev threatened to turn to the High Court if Weinstein did not put an end to “legal infractions” committed by the Chief Rabbinate in the field of kashruth – that is, conditioning kashruth certification on general Sabbath observance and not using Christian symbols.

In response, the Chief Rabbinate announced a list of changes last Thursday, removing its ban on nearly anything that would differentiate an observant Jewish establishment from one that is not.

Regev proclaimed the move a “victory.

“First, it will finally give the numerous Jewish and non-Jewish groups that visit Israel the freedom and respect which has been denied them by the Rabbinate’s extortionist demands,” he said, according to Religion News Service. “Second, it is an important lesson in the development of the rule of law in Israel, which emphasizes that the Chief Rabbinate is bound by Israeli law and is not above it.”

That last is an issue that observant Jews are well warned to take notice of, since it is now clear – if it has not been prior to this – that supervision and certification by the Chief Rabbinate – may not longer be reliable, due to circumstances beyond the control of well-meaning rabbonim at the Rabbinate.

For example:

The ban on symbols of Christian holidays such as Christmas trees has been lifted.

The Chief Rabbinate revoked its ban on using audio, video and music equipment at hotel events on the Sabbath except when food is served.

The ban on Jews accepting payments from guests has also been canceled, except in connection to ordering and paying for food.

Perhaps most disturbing, a requirement for hotels to have a Sabbath elevator has also been lifted, with the exception of a Sabbath elevator for the delivery of food.

Chief of Staff’s Mom: I Wish He Had Been a Rabbi

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Esther Eizenkott, mother of the next IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkott, says she would have preferred that her son be a rabbi, but, “If God wants him to Chief of Staff, so it should be.”

In a conversation with the Kikar Shabbat Haredi website, Esther Eizenkott revealed that the next Chief of Staff often consults a rabbi in Jerusalem.

Uh-oh.

Can you already hear the secularists screaming, “Oy? What happens if he returns to Judaism while he is Chief of Staff? That would violate the sanctity of separating God from the army.

A rabbi?

“Is the IDF dependent on God?”

Try reading Devarim (Deuteronomy), Chapter 8:

11. Beware that you do not forget the Lord, your God, by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command you this day,
12. lest you eat and be sated, and build good houses and dwell therein,
13. and your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold increase, and all that you have increases, 
14. and your heart grows haughty, and you forget the Lord, your God, Who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage,
15. Who led you through that great and awesome desert, [in which were] snakes, vipers and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought water for you out of solid rock,
16. Who fed you with manna in the desert, which your forefathers did not know, in order to afflict you and in order to test you, to benefit you in your end,
17. and you will say to yourself, “My strength and the might of my hand that has accumulated this wealth for me.”
18. But you must remember the Lord your God, for it is He that gives you strength to make wealth, in order to establish His covenant which He swore to your forefathers, as it is this day.
19. And it will be, if you forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, and worship them, and prostrate yourself before them, I bear witness against you this day, that you will surely perish.
20. As the nations that the Lord destroys before you, so will you perish; since you will not obey the Lord your God.

Yes, even the IDF is dependent on God.

Eizenkott left observance while growing up with his family, which moved from his native to Tiberias to Eilat while he was a boy.

“Of course, I would have preferred that he be a rabbi, but if God wants him to be Chief of Staff, so it should be,” she told Kikar Shabbat.” We are a family of rabbis.”

She learned of the appointment shortly before she lit candles before Shabbat and could not speak on the phone to anyone during Shabbat, which she observes.

Esther Eizenkott, whose husband died 18years ago, also revealed that when she was in her seventh month of pregnancy before Gadi was born she went to the grave of the famous Rabbi Meir Ba’al Ha Nes. She said she told her father she dreamed of the rabbi and “did not see his face but only his back.” Her father told her, “This is a sign you will have a boy and he will not be religious, but he will be wise.”

Don’t ask how he figured that out from the dream. Leave that for the kabbalists.

More important is that after his appointment was officially announced Saturday night, virtually everyone shared one word that describes Eizenkott – modest.

When he was approached four years to consider the post, he said he thought that Benny Gantz, whom he will replace, “was more suitable.”

Canadian-Israeli in Coma from Har Nof Massacre

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Canadian native and long-time Israeli citizen Howie Rothman remain s in a coma from wounds from a giant meat cleaver in week’s savage massacre of Jews praying at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Haredi Har Nof community.

Howie Rothman, raised in Toronto and now 53 years old, lost vision in one eye and suffered brain damage,” a Toronto woman who knows the Rothman family told Canadian media. He has undergone three operations.

Rothman and his wife moved to Israel three decades ago and have 10 children, one of them a new mother while the youngest is only three years old. He was working for the State Comptroller before the barbaric attack, in which four Jews and a Druze policeman were killed.

“Yesterday we cried; today we gather strength. My father is strong and I believe he’ll overcome this,” Zehava Farago, who gave birth to her father’s first grandchild several weeks ago, told Israei radio.

His sister, Shelley Rothman-Benhaim of Montreal, told the Toronto Sun that her brother remains “in a medically induced coma.” She added, “He was very seriously injured and has already undergone several surgeries due to the attacks to his head, eyes and arms” the National Post of Canada reported.

United Jewish Appeal member Steven Shulman told the 500-member Beth Torah synagogue during prayers on the Sabbath. “This was an attack on Jews at prayer and an attack on the Jewish people. If we don’t support Howie Rothman and Jews around the world, no one else will.”

“We don’t do this kind of fundraising; we do it for the community at large,” he was quoted by the Toronto Sun as saying. “We have made an exception in this case. Howie is a product of this community and in terms of need it’s tremendous. He has 10 children and six are still at home,” Shulman added.

“He was attacked and his life has changed forever. We had to do something. That is the essence of being Jewish.”

Pray for the recovery of Chaim Yechiel ben Malka.

 

 

Antwerp Rabbi Stabbed in Throat while Walking to Synagogue

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

An armed man in Antwerp stabbed a local rabbi in his throat and seriously wounded him while he and a companion were walking to synagogue Saturday morning.

The rabbi reportedly is no in a life-threatening condition.

The attacker fled after stabbing the 31-year-old rabbi and police are searching for him. The man walking with the rabbi was not harmed.

Anti-Semitism has become routine throughout Europe, especially since Hamas launched a missile war on Israel this past summer, angering Muslims after Israel decided to hit back instead of behaving like insecure Jews in a ghetto.

“There were Jews in Holland before and after the Holocaust, but what is happening today reminds many of them of the situation before World War II. I am very careful not to make such comparisons, but on the other hand, I am against turning a blind eye,” the Chief Rabbi of Netherlands, Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs, told the Yediot Acharonot newspaper on Friday, before the stabbing of the rabbi.

He added, ”Anti-Semitic incidents occur on a daily basis.”

Observant Jews also have been advised not to wear a kippa in the streets of Europe so they won’t be targets for anti-Semites.

Will the same sages now suggest that Jew should stop walking to synagogue?

 

Tearful Message from Baby Terror Victim’s Grandfather

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Have faith. Be strong. Do good.

That’s the message of a tearful grandfather of his three-month-old granddaughter Chaya Zissel Braun, who was murdered in Wednesday’s terror attack on the light rail train in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem.

Chaya was a “pure soul” who “didn’t do anything bad to anybody,” said her grandfather, Shimshon Halperin. He said her parents have accepted “with love” what he sees as God’s decree.

“We believe that from the whole wide world, from the land of Israel, from Jerusalem, she was chosen to be the public sacrifice,” he told a group of reporters on Thursday night in Jerusalem, alluding to sacrifices given in the ancient Holy Temple. “God gives; God takes away.”

Standing in a dim courtyard in a Haredi neighborhood of Jerusalem, outside the apartment where the family was sitting shiva, Halperin said that his daughter and her husband had wanted a baby for years. He explained that Chaya’s middle name, Zissel, comes from the Yiddish word for “sweet,” and hid eyes welled up with tears as he was describing how his daughter would rock Chaya.

“You can take for granted the way a grandfather feels for a granddaughter that has just been murdered,” he said. “You can see it.”

Chaya and her parents were returning from the baby’s first trip to the Western Wall when the car rammed into the crowd. Halperin said Chaya was flung in the air and landed on the pavement.

He thanked the soldiers, policemen and hospital employees who tried to save Chaya’s life.

For Halperin, Chaya’s death is a sign that Jews should rededicate themselves to Torah, good deeds and Jewish commandments. He said he hopes, in Chaya’s merit, that more Jews observe Shabbat and imbue their lives with more meaning.

“God is trying to wake us up,” he said. “To take [something] upon ourselves, to try to get better, to try to do a good deed, to behave to each other better.”

The Shabbos Project: Jews Worldwide Keeping This Shabbos Together

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

In 340 cities around the world Jews from all walks of life, stars and simple folks, academics and others across the spectrum this week are all going to be ‘Keeping it Together.’

Shabbat. Shabbos. The Sabbath.

However you refer to it, even vocalist Paula Abdul is joining in with Nobel Prize laureates for 25 hours this weekend to keep the seventh day holy, as God commanded His Chosen People.

“The Shabbat Project is an opportunity for the entire Jewish world to keep one complete Shabbat together – from Friday evening just before sunset on October 24, until Saturday night after the stars have come out on October 25,” says South African Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein.

It was Goldstein who originated the Shabbat Project last year in South Africa. His drive and enthusiasm sent the project around the world in 2014.

“The beauty of this is that it is so practical and manageable. It’s only one Shabbat. It’s something everyone can do…This approach is predicated on the idea that the real energy of Shabbat – its transformative power – is wholly dependent on immersing oneself in the full Shabbat experience.”

In Israel, the Rami Levy supermarket is, as usual, leading the retailers’ part in the initiative. The chain is offering a “challah for a shekel, wine for five shekels” special this week to encourage Jews to participate in the project.

Poster ads are running on Egged buses across the country and along its highways and byways. A local team in the “Startup Nation” has also launched the #Keeping It Together app .  It has everything anyone needs to know about keeping the Sabbath holy, and it’s programmed to put your phone to sleep over Shabbat. (After all, it is the ‘day of rest.’)

A number of special events for the project are being held around the country, starting tonight (Thursday, Oct. 23.)

In the Jerusalem neighborhood of French Hill tonight, participants can learn to bake Challah (braided Sabbath bread) for Shabbat. On Friday afternoon, organizers are holding a concert of Shabbat songs. Later the same day, an Oneg Shabbat meal will be held as well.

In Tel Aviv on Friday night, attendees will find a champagne kiddush reception, followed by Shabbat dinner at the Beit El Synagogue. On Saturday, the Sabbath Day, a potluck picnic is planned at Independence Park.

Similar events are planned in Rehovot and Ra’anana.

An enormous neon billboard has gone up in New York City’s Times Square, announcing the initiative.

A special “revolutionary” recipe developed by a crack team in Miami for a Challah Bake tonight (Thursday, Oct. 23) is expected to draw thousands.

A Miami Beach Chabad-Lubavitch rabbi is setting up a big tent at his synagogue to offer super Shabbos meals for anyone in the zip code pledging to keep this Shabbos.

In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself has endorsed the project. Posters appear in subway stations in Toronto. Jews are signing up on the project’s special website.

Every single Jewish community organization, school and synagogue in Buenos Aires has pledged to keep Shabbat this coming weekend. More than 10,000 are expected at a planned Havdalah Unity Concert – produced with the assistance of the government of Argentina, no less and set for broadcast on national TV.

The tagline of the project, “Keeping It Together,” speaks to the unity and well being of the Jewish People as a whole entity, as well as to Jewish individuality. That’s what Shabbat is all about, Goldstein says.

“Keeping it together means keeping our lives together,” Goldstein explains. “Of course, there is the good food, sound sleep and deep relaxation to look forward to on Shabbat, but there’s more.

“Shabbat restores us, not just in a physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually as well, so that we emerge on Saturday night as new human beings ready to face the week with all of its challenges and opportunities.”

Whatever your time zone, if you are Jewish, join with other Members of the Tribe to bring in the Sabbath and help Keep It Together planetwide.

Yair Lapid Apologizes for Sabbath Desecration

Monday, October 6th, 2014

During a Yesh Atid party meeting on Sunday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid apologized for the Sabbath desecration he caused a few weeks ago, according to an NRG report.

“I made a mistake. I didn’t need to cause other people to desecrate Shabbat,” Lapid told his fellow party members.

At the time, Lapid called out reporters to his house for an unimportant press conference on Shabbat.

The outcry was surprising. Lapid was met with criticism, not only from the press corps who were forced to work on Shabbat, but from anti-religious, secular and leftwing politicians who were upset that he interrupted the day of rest of hard working people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yair-lapid-apologizes-for-sabbath-desecration/2014/10/06/

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