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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Shalom’

Israel Foils Smuggling Attempt at Kerem Shalom Crossing

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority officials, in collaboration with the Shabak, on Tuesday foiled an attempt to smuggle commando knives into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing. The two boxes containing professional grade 30 cm commando knives were hidden in a shipment of technicians’ tools.

Israeli officials also foiled an attempt to smuggle graphite hidden in a shipment en route to the Palestinian electric company. Graphite is the raw material used in the production of rocket fuel.

In both cases, the materials were confiscated and investigations have been launched to locate the responsible parties.

David Israel

Shabbat Shalom In Jerusalem

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Cities are visited and lived in because one wants to do business there, eat there, tour there, study there or celebrate there.

There is one city, however, that, while it offers all of the above, recognizes that it is unique to history because people simply want to be there; that for centuries visitors and residents have reveled in the pure joy of being there and nowhere else; to simply walk its streets and absorb the intangible, whether it be its spirit, its pain, its glory, and, most of all, its holiness, the amorphous, indescribable connection to heaven and G-d.

That city is Jerusalem, deemed by our sages to be two cities: one planted forever on earth to serve as the world’s spiritual center, inextricably bound to a second Jerusalem, one on-high where departed souls and celestial beings reflect the purity and sanctity of that second Jerusalem onto the one below. Indeed, one can argue that it is that continuum, that eternal flow that accounts for the inexplicable satisfaction of just being in Jerusalem and our survival as a nation.

Over the years, during my many visits to Yerushalayim, I have come to realize that the inarticulable but genuine euphoria felt by one’s physical presence in Jerusalem finds expression in the universal greeting of “Shabbat Shalom” and the smile that inevitably accompanies it.

Somehow, wishing another the blessing of Sabbath peace from on-high, while offering the very real human gifts of joy and friendship as reflected in a smile, combines the essence of Jerusalem, and what makes it so special. “Shabbat Shalom and a smile” are a statement and a gesture enhanced, enriched and made holy because of where spoken and made, a statement and a gesture that, for me, define the city.

Yet, of late, as I stroll through Yerushalayim, I can’t help but notice the increasing absence of both the statement and the gesture, as all too often neither is offered nor returned. For all too many just “being” in Jerusalem is not enough, as a city that blends heaven and earth is deemed by them just another city that induces neither blessing nor smile.

This past week my wife, Reva, and I attended the middle school graduations of our granddaughter, Olivia (Simona), and our grandson, Ethan (Ozer Shimon), who was asked to recite the Prayer for Israel and Peace. Prior to doing so, he recounted his reaction to his younger brother, Calvin’s (Shalom’s) bar mitzvah, celebrated several days earlier in Jerusalem.

To my great joy, he noted that while he appreciated every aspect of the event as well as the spirit and sacrifice of the Israeli people and IDF, for him there were two great highlights: One, was his realization that the event, attended by all his uncles, aunts and cousins from both the Friedman and Oliner families who came for the Shavuos weekend to hear his brother lain at both the Kotel and Great Synagogue, confirmed our oft-repeated statements about the value and beauty of family. His remarks reflected my own comment at the simcha that, while all else is transient and fleeting, the bond of family endures; that, while as my mother, z”l, (his great grandmother and a Holocaust survivor) observed: “everything can be taken from you except that which is within you,” that which is within you that is truly meaningful, is placed there by family, teachers, rebbeim and study.

His other highlight was the fact that so many Israelis shared his family’s joy: from the cab driver who threw candies and sang Mazel Tov to the restaurateurs who treated our simcha as their own. We are one great family and nation.

Martin Oliner

Anarchy Fuels War over Jerusalem

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Jerusalem police found two stolen guns, 11 bullet cartridges and dozens of stolen IDF stun grenade in eastern Jerusalem Friday and arrested an Arab suspect in Jabal Mukaber, an Arab neighborhood next to the Jewish area of Armon HaNatziv.

The Israeli government has ordered a crackdown in Arab areas of the city in the wake of the new intifada, riots or Arab Spring uprising, depending on the mood of an editor.

The warning signs have been flashing for three years, but an Israeli blind eye and President Barack Obama’s overt backing for Palestinian Authority-claimed areas of Jerusalem have allowed terror to capture the fancy of an increasing number of Arabs in what is commonly referred to as “eastern Jerusalem.”

In fact, the Palestinian Authority also claims sovereignty over southern Jerusalem, home to tens of thousands of Jews in Gilo, Talpiot and Har Homa, and northern Jerusalem, where Pisgat Ze’ev and Nevei Yaakov are the homes of tens of thousands of other Jews. French Hill and much of Ramot also are in areas where President Obama has declared Jews to be “illegitimate” and “illegal.”

American ignorance of the Arab culture, especially when it comes to its attitude of a Jewish state of Israel, does not take into account that the president’s remarks, certainly not intended as incitement for violence, give the Arab world justification to ram cars into people, beat them with iron rods and throw rocks at them, at their cars and at the Jerusalem light rail trains system in order to defeat the “Zionists.”

Ambushes of Jews in “eastern “Jerusalem were reported as far back as three years ago. People were severely beaten and hospitalized, but the government ignored the incidents, encouraging the state of anarchy.

Police tried to stay out of Arab neighborhoods in order not to “escalate tensions,” a ghetto state of mind that is paralleled today by calls for Jews to stay away from the Temple Mount in order not to anger Arab Muslims.

It more or less reminds me of a little talk gave to a group of armchair Zionists in Baltimore more than 20 years ago during the Oslo idiocy. After I described the illegal hobbies of our Arab neighbors in the southern Hebron Hills, and after explaining the Jewish meaning of the word “Shalom,” one of the names of God, a very polite and stupid gentleman stood up and asked, “Well, if the Arabs don’t want leave you alone in peace, why don’t you just move to Tel Aviv?”

The Arab world has fed Arabs in Israel, and more worryingly an entire new generation, a steady diet of hatred and the notion that they are a “people” who are “stateless.” They believe Israeli is “occupying” them and would not believe how loathsome and pathetic were the lives of the grandparents and great-grandparents under the Jordanian occupation from 1948-1967.

That is part of history they never will learn. Instead, Hamas has done what Yasser Arafat did – exploit a vacuum and incite people to war.

There is war in Jerusalem, a war that Israel cannot afford to lose.

The violence may subdue tomorrow, or next week or next month, or not at all. Like most wars, there is no logic. Jerusalem Arabs received benefits from Israel that they could only dream of receiving under a Palestinian Authority regime.

They enjoy the light rail system, a cheap and efficient way of arriving to work.

But much of Arab Jerusalem is lawless. The city had allowed tens of thousands of Arab buildings to be constructed without permits. It also has discriminated against Arabs when it comes to funding for schools, parks and other municipal services.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Left Targeting Jewish Home Housing Minister for Ouster

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Gush Shalom, which defines itself as the “hard core” of Israel’s peace camp, is going after Jewish Home Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who is, apparently, to blame for anything that has and will surely go wrong in the explosive Middle East.

The reason Gush Shalom, headed by the aging but still very charismatic journalist Uri Avneri, who was the first Israeli newspaper publisher to meet openly with the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, is going after Minister Ariel has to do with something he said this month:

“We should make clear to Secretary of State Kerry that Israel will never return to the Auschwitz borders, will not freeze the settlements endeavor, and will not agree to be sacrificed so that he could receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I am sure the prime minister will not be partner to abandoning Israel’s security.”

And on Sunday, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new neighborhood of Leshem in the town of Alei Zahav, a few miles away from the city of Ariel in Samaria, Minister Ariel said:

“It should be clear to any thinking person: there are no two states for two peoples west of the Jordan River, there will be no such thing, even if we’re sitting at the negotiations table, this is not on the agenda.” He then added: “We will build everywhere in the Land of Israel, and certainly in Samaria, and certainly in Judea.”

The reaction from the left was furious:

“With the winds of war blowing in our region, Housing Minister Uri Ariel pours more oil on the flames by establishing the new ‘Leshem’ settlement on the West Bank. In the inflammatory speech which he delivered on that occasion he shows himself a dangerous extreme right provocateur,” reads the Gush Shalom press release, responding to the Minister’s relatively benign, if somewhat excited statement.

The entire press release reads like the stuff Avneri used to dish out on a weekly basis, back in the roaring 1970s. The next paragraph is vintage Avneri:

“This is far from an unexpected development. Ariel’s rampage could have been predicted from the moment when the settler cat was placed in charge of the housing cream. Ariel is not a private individual, he the Minister of Housing in the government of Israel.”

It’s interesting to note that Alei Zahav, established a little over 30 years ago, in 1982, is more likely to vote Likud-Beiteinu than Jewish Home: its 130 families (now a few more, with the opening of the new neighborhood) are 80 percent non-religious. So you can’t quite accuse Minister Ariel of being the cat taking all the cream to himself – not if he shares the cream with other cats…

Also, Deputy Minister Ophir Akonis of Likud Beiteinu, who also graced the inauguration with his presence, repeated everything the minister had said: “There are indeed negotiating with the Palestinians, but that does not stop anyone from building homes in Israel,” he said. “Out of this place, a message is emanating, that a Palestinian state will never be established.”

“Look around you,” Akunis said, “who needs another Arab country in this area?”

Nevertheless, Avneri et al are after Uri Ariel, despite the fact that his message is not different at all from what’s being said these days by the majority of the Likud Beiteinu ministers. The reason is obvious: if you portray the situation as it is, meaning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni are way to the left of the government in which they serve, then you must abandon hope of the two-state solution becoming a reality in the near future.

But if you portray Jewish Home as the extremist, settler holdout in a government eager to plant a second Hamas entity right next door to Ben Gurion International Airport – then you’ve got something to work with.

This is precisely Avneri’s next point:

“There is not one government which is busy building settlements and spitting in the face of the Palestinians, and a different government which is supposed to negotiate and reach a peace agreement with the same Palestinians. It is the same government, and all its ministers are responsible for Ariel’s acts of provocation.”

Yori Yanover

Peres Doesn’t Look a Gift Elephant in the Mouth

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

A well-trained elephant at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo gave visiting President Shimon Peres a gift on Tuesday, using his trunk to place in the President’s hand a small package containing the key to Noah’s Ark.

President Peres was visiting the zoo on the occasion of its 20th anniversary in its location in southern Israel, behind the Malcha mall. He was accompanied by the Youth Movement organization, a group of Jews and Arabs who volunteer at the zoo to help out and save endangered species.

Peres was upbeat in a great message for children “to leave their homes, Facebooks and smartphones” during the summer vacation and come to the zoo to experience nature.

Except for mentioning that the zoo symbolizes the Bible, the President made no mention of Noah, who saved animals as well as his family from the Flood. Nor did he make any mention of Jewish dietary laws and the prohibition of cooking an animal in its mother’s milk. Nothing was heard about the mitzva of making sure the mother bird is not in the next when tlking the eggs.

True, it was an elephant and not a dove that gave Peres the gift, perhaps in honor of his never-ending 90th birthday, but he didn’t miss an opportunity to deliver another message about – what else? –  Peace.

Somehow, he worked in the zoo with peace, saying,“ The zoo symbolizes the Bible along with the values of peace and co-existence,” referring to the group of Arab and Jewish youth.

President Peres continued his visit by taking a ride with the children and feeding the elephants and parrots.

The parrot, of course, says one word – Shalom – which, lest the elephant forget, not only means “Shalom” and “hello” but also means “good-bye.”

It is not known if Peres got the the message.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Bulgaria Commemorates 70 Years of Saving Its Jews

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

The 70th anniversary of the rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews in WW II is being commemorated with a number of solemn ceremonies in Bulgarian capital Sofia Sunday, Sofia News Agency reports.

Unlike most other Nazi allies or Nazi-occupied countries (with the exception of Denmark and Finland), Bulgaria managed to save its entire Jewish population of 48,000 from deportation to concentration camps.

Bulgarian Minister of Justice Dimitar Peshev is credited with playing a major role in preventing the deportations, as well as Bulgarian Church officials and ordinary citizens.

The story of the Bulgarian Jews during World War II is been told in “Beyond Hitler’s Grasp: The Heroic Rescue of Bulgaria’s Jews” by Michael Bar-Zohar, an Israeli historian, politician and former Knesset member who was born in Bulgaria.

The organization of Jews in Bulgaria, Shalom, will unveil a memorial sign near the Bulgarian Parliament, after which a solemn ceremony will be held at the Sofia Synagogue.

The ceremony will be attended by official representatives of the Jewish community in Bulgaria, the state of Israel, and other foreign dignitaries.

On Sunday night, the mayors of Bulgarian towns which helped rescue Jews from the Nazis will be awarded the Shofar prize in a ceremony under the auspices of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

The solemn events Sunday will also mourn the 11,343 Jews who were deported to the death camps from territories in Yugoslavia and Greece occupied by Bulgaria during WW II.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bulgaria-commemorates-70-years-of-saving-its-jews/2013/03/10/

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