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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Stone’

Russian Iskander Ballistic Missiles Spotted in Syria by Israeli Satellite

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Advanced Iskander SS-26 “Stone” short-range ballistic missiles have been spotted at Russia’s Hmeimim air base in Latakia, Syria by Israeli satellite imagery, the ISI EROS-B satellite.

Deployment of the advanced ground-to-ground missile system was revealed in satellite imagery analysis by Imagesat International intelligence experts over this weekend.

Although the system is generally deployed under camouflage nets, it is believed that heavy rain and floods forced the air base to redeploy the missile units to a location in which they became visible to the satellite.

The Iskander units were first spotted when the Russian Zvezda TV channel broadcast the deployment of a single Iskander Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) in March 2016.

But according to a report in Defense Update, the current ISIS images show two Iskander vehicles “at a logistic site beside the northeastern part of the runway… most probably SS-26 Trans-Loading vehicles (Transloaders).”

Each 9K720 Iskander-M missile carries a warhead of 480-700 kg. of various types, including penetrating high explosives (HE), fragmenting HE, fuel-air explosives and submunitions, according to Defense Update.

More ominously, Russia has also developed a nuclear warhead for these missiles, which – depending on the warhead — have a range of up to 500 kilometers (311 miles), according to Global Security. They are reported to be highly accurate, hitting the target within four to seven meters (about 4 to 8 yards).

The Iskander was also designed to evade missile defense systems, Missile Threat reports, and is equipped with decoys to dodge interceptor missiles, such as those used with Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

All of this places Tel Aviv and Jerusalem well within dangerous range of these missiles, as well as the cities of Haifa, Tzfat, Herzliya and numerous other targets.

However, it is believed the Russians have no interest in targeting Israeli cities, at least at this point.

And for now, each time advanced weapons begin to make their way to the hands of Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization, Israel has somehow found a way to “neutralize” the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

At Joshua’s Tomb: 10 Jews Come to Pray, Arabs Stone Them, Jews Get Arrested

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

Ten Jews who came to pray Wednesday night at the tomb of Biblical Joshua in the village of Kifl Haris, near Ariel, were attacked by stone throwing local Arabs – but when they called security forces for help they were promptly arrested, the Honenu legal aid society reported.

According to Honenu, which represents the detainees, the group entered the village, which is located in Area B, making it legal for Jews to enter (unlike Area A wich is entirely under Palestinian Authority control), and at some point the resident Arabs started pelting the vehicle with stones. The group managed to reach the graveside compound and sought shelter inside the structure. They then called security forces for help.

Except that, Honenu relates, upon arrival, the Israeli force decided to arrest the ten Jews who came to pray, ignoring the stone throwing Arab mob. Israeli police has announced it plans to arraign the praying Jews in the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court. They will be represented by Honenu attorney Hai Haber.

According to the Oslo Accords, Area B of Judea and Samaria is under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control. As of 2013, Area B formally comprised about 22% of the liberated territories, with some 440 Arab villages and their surrounding lands, and no Israeli settlements.

Under the Oslo Accords segment governing religious sites, the Palestinian Authority agrees to ensure free access to a specific list of Jewish religious sites located in Areas A and B as specified in the 1995 “Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.” But because the Arabs are in the habit of firebombing and stoning Jews who attempt to take advantage of the signed agreement, the IDF restricts visits by Jews to “rare occasions.” Meanwhile, in Area C, Arabs enjoy uninterrupted access to sites such as al-Maghtas on the Jordan River and Nabi Musa.

A few months ago an identical episode took place – Jews were attacked by an Arab mob at the Joshua tomb and were promptly arrested by Israeli cops who didn’t bother to deal with the violent attackers. Police plan to ask the court to remand one of the Jews who were arrested Wednesday night because had been arrested a few months ago as well.

A serial praying Jews if we ever saw one.

David Israel

Ten Most Hateful Points about UNSC Resolution 2334

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

{Originally posted to the Elder of Ziyon website}

1) He did it on Shabbos. Many people will read this and say, “What do you mean Shabbos? He did it before Chanuka!”

They’re not wrong. Obama pushed the resolution to a vote before a Jewish holiday as if to twist the knife in that much deeper. Roseanne Barr has pointed out the similarity here to how the Nazis operated during the Holocaust.


Barr’s point is valid. The Nazis purposely scheduled the deportation of Jews from the Zychlin Ghetto to the Chelmno camp to take place on Purim, March 3, 1942. Half a year later, Amon Goeth and his SS-men took 50 Jews from their barracks at Auschwitz and shot them dead. Because it was Yom Kippur.



But there is another point to make and that is that the Jewish Sabbath takes precedence over most holidays and certainly over Chanuka. It’s the holiest day of the week. And it’s the day that observant Jews take a break from all media.

By pushing the vote through on the Sabbath, Obama effectively rendered mute the people most affected by this resolution: the ones who see yishuv haaretz (settling the land) as fulfilling God’s will; the ones who set Jerusalem above their chiefest joy (Psalms 137:5-6). He, Obama, made it illegal for Jews to live in Jerusalem or pray at the wall. And he did that on the holy Sabbath day, while they were out of contact with the wider world. It is sneaky, evil, and underhanded.

2) The Security Council applauded the results. The always eloquent Nachman Kahana writes:

“The vote is not the real story here. The more damning action of the Security Council occurred after the voting, when all the members stood and clapped at the results.”



Rabbi Kahana draws a comparison between the behavior of the Philistines before Samson’s final heroic act (Judges, chapter 16) and the behavior of the Security Council to the State of Israel. The Philistines ridicule Samson and are said to be in “high spirits.” By the same token, says Rabbi Kahana, “The clapping at the end of the vote at the Security Council disparaged, denigrated, belittled, trivialized, ridiculed and discredited the Jew and the Jewish State. . .

“As a consequence of the Philistines’ ridicule and clapping, the Temple to Dagon was destroyed. The Security Council’s ridicule and clapping will bring about the obliteration of the institution that has lost its ability to discern between right and wrong.”

Amen. Can’t be soon enough for this gal.

3) The smiling Obama Christmas photo POTUS tweet. Nothing like tweeting a photo of the Obama family wearing self-satisfied smiles, because hey! O just screwed the Jews! (And any day that happens is a holiday in the Obama White House)

4) Alan Dershowitz telling us that Obama is the worst president ever. Dershowitz has been everywhere since the lead up to the resolution, playing up to the cameras, writing articles, giving interviews. And we should listen to him because? He voted for the man?? Stumped for him TWICE?

“He called me into the Oval Office before the election and said to me, ‘Alan, I want your support. And I have to tell you, I will always have Israel’s back.’ I didn’t realize that what he meant was that he’d…stab them in the back.”

Funny. Because a lot of us who didn’t go to Harvard did know he’d do exactly that. We tried to tell you, Alan. Do we now have to listen to you tell us just how bad he/this is?

5) Obama ran roughshod over American tradition by doing something lame ducks just don’t do. Seth Frantzman wrote a comprehensive list of abstentions by the U.S. on anti-Israel resolutions. This writer checked each abstention. Not one abstention occurred during a president’s final month in office. To break with longstanding U.S. policy during the lame duck period is just not done. Basically this is Obama thumbing his nose at America and its longstanding presidential tradition.

6) No one called the Arabs out for their ongoing terror during the Security Council meeting.

7) No one called the Arabs out for refusing to negotiate during the Security Council meeting.

8) The media paints Israel the violent party. Writing about the reaction of the Israeli government to the U.S. abstention, Washington Post writer Ruth Eglash characterizes MK Naftali Bennett as a “more-militant” voice (which by default must make Netanyahu at least “somewhat militant”):

“Netanyahu’s anger was matched by more-militant voices in his right-wing coalition.
“Education Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, held a news conference at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, saying the city has been the capital of Jews for 3,000 years.”

What  is it that makes either of these government figures “militant?” Is holding a news conference at the Western Wall “militant?” Are Netanyahu and Bennett militant because they think Jews should be able to live in Jerusalem? Pray in Jerusalem?

The answer, of course, is that neither one of them is militant. The tag reflects only the Washington Post’s bias, or at least that of Ruth Eglash.



9) The pretense that Jews building homes is something illegal, evil, and nasty. There is nothing wrong with people building homes. Therefore there is nothing wrong with Jews building homes. There is certainly nothing wrong and everything right with Jews building homes in their indigenous territory. The thing that’s really nasty, evil, and wrong is that anyone at all would demand that even one square inch of the Holy Land be Judenrein. Absolutely. Evil.

10) Obama’s brazen effrontery to God. God gave Israel to the Jews. Forever (See: Genesis 13:14-17). Who is Obama to say it is illegal for Jews to live in the land God gave them?? (The nerve.)

But hey, it’s Chanuka. And Chanuka is when we Jews remember stuff. We remember our victory over the Greeks. We remember getting our Temple back. We remember regaining our religious freedoms and ridding Jerusalem of Hellenist culture.

Chanuka is a time to ponder all God’s miracles for us. Oil, for instance, that lasted way longer than it possibly could. Not to mention, the disappearance of a powerful culture.

Yes! We outlived the Greeks.

And we’ll outlive Obama, too.

Meantime, I rather enjoy imagining him being struck by lightning. Repeatedly. (A girl can dream.)


Varda Meyers Epstein

Hasmonean Period Stone Bowl Engraved with Rare Hebrew Inscription ‘Hyrcanus’ Discovered

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

A stone bowl engraved with a rare Hebrew inscription – “Hyrcanus” – dating to the Hasmonean period was discovered in the archaeological excavations of the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Givʽati Parking Lot at the City of David at the Jerusalem Walls National Park. “Hyrcanus” was a common name of the time, as well as the name of two kings of the Hasmonean dynasty.

According to researchers, “This is one of the earliest examples of the appearance of chalk vessels in Jerusalem. In the past, these vessels were widely used mainly by Jews because they ensured ritual purity (stone vessels never receive tumah).”

The Givati Parking Lot excavation in the City of David.

The Givati Parking Lot excavation in the City of David.

Who was “Hyrcanus,” whose name is engraved in Hebrew on a 2,100-year-old stone bowl from Jerusalem? In 2015 a fragment of a bowl fashioned from chalk (a type of limestone) was unearthed in the IAA excavation in the Givʽati parking lot. The find was published on Thursday and immediately aroused the curiosity of researchers.

According to Dr. Doron Ben-Ami of the IAA and Professor Esther Eshel of Bar-Ilan University, “This is one of the earliest examples of chalk vessels to appear in Jerusalem. These stone vessels were extensively used by Jews because they were considered vessels that cannot become ritually unclean.”

The bowl was discovered during an archaeological excavation beneath the foundations of a miqvah-ritual bath, dating to the Hasmonean period, which was part of a complex of water installations used for ritual bathing. The Givʽati parking site in the City of David is among the largest excavation areas to be opened to the public so far in Jerusalem. The excavations at the site, sponsored by the Ir David Foundation, have so far uncovered a wealth of artifacts from different periods. Of these, those that arouse special interest are the objects with traces of writing on them, especially when they can be deciphered.

According to the researchers, it is difficult to ascertain whether Hyrcanus, whose name is engraved on the bowl, was a high-ranking person or an ordinary citizen during the Hasmonean period. Since there are only a few vessels in the archaeological record of this period which are engraved with names, it is not known whether this type of engraving was a routine act or a special tribute.

“The name Hyrcanus was fairly common in the Hasmonean period,” say Dr. Ben-Ami and Prof. Eshel. “We know of two persons from this period who bore this name: King Yohanan Hyrcanus, who was the grandson of Matityahu the Hasmonean and ruled Judea from 135–104 BCE, and King Yohanan Hyrcanus II, who was the son of King Alexander Yanai and Queen Shlomtzion; however, it is not possible to determine if the bowl belonged specifically to either of them.”

About a year ago, remains from the Helenist-Syrian Seleucid Akra were exposed in the Givʽati parking lot at the City of David. This was the famous fortress built by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in order to control the city and monitor the activity in the Temple, and which was eventually conquered by the Hasmoneans. Interestingly, the bowl was found a short distance from where the remains of the Akra had been revealed.


The Foundation Stone: Parshas Vayishlach: Powerless Power

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Weinberg’s website, The Foundation Stone}
The man who was described in the previous portion as running away for his safety, has, in this week’s portion, become a man who sends messengers to Esau informing him that he, Jacob, is on his way. Jacob, after spending the night wrestling a mighty adversary, confronts Esau, from whom he has taken the birthright and blessings, and leaves having won his older brother’s blessing and love. All is good for Jacob, so much so, that when “He set up an altar (Genesis 33:20),” God proclaimed Jacob as a Power (Megillah 18a). It doesn’t last. His daughter, Dinah, is raped. What happened to Jacob’s power?

The Midrash and commentaries describe Dinah’s rape as a punishment for Jacob. Such explanations are painful: Are we to believe that God permitted a woman to be raped as a punishment of her father?

We are told that Dinah was liable because, “Dinah, the daughter of Leah, went out,” in contradiction to the code of modesty befitting Jacob’s daughter. Dinah, we are taught, copied her mother Leah, who, “When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, ‘It is to me that you must come’ (30:16).” Did not Jacob also “go out,” as in, “Jacob went out from Beer-Sheba”? Are we to believe that Jacob, the Power, is punished by his daughter being raped when she went out, which, parenthetically, is wrong when emulating Leah, but right when done as did Jacob? What happened to Jacob’s power?

Jacob has been struggling to balance God, the Infinite Creator, and Elokim, the Power of Providence, since his wonderful dream of the ladder. Jacob insisted that God, Who appeared in his dream, demonstrate His involvement in Jacob’s life by providing food and clothing. A dream is not enough. Jacob wants unequivocal Providence. Jacob, Rachel and Leah, all struggle throughout the previous portion to balance God with Elokim. When Jacob was able to confront Esau, he finally understood that God’s Providence was intended to empower. God’s providence, expressed as Elokim, was meant to empower Jacob to achieve his dream. When God, Elokim, blew a soul into Adam’s nose, He was empowering humanity with free choice. That breath was empowerment. It is at that point that God describes Jacob as a Power. What happened to that power?

Jacob failed to derive the final lesson from the empowerment by Elokim, Divine Providence: The purpose of empowerment and power is to empower others. Dinah went out in weakness, as did her mother Leah. Dinah was raped and it was Jacob’s fault, not punishment. He failed to empower his children. Jacob, in all his power, became powerless.

Jacob learned his lesson. He empowers his sons to deal with Shechem, the rapist and his supporters. Jacob pushes them to deal with the tragedy even against his will: “You have made me ugly!” “Shall we allow our sister to be treated as a harlot?” (34:30-31)

After Jacob empowers his sons, and prepares them for their greatness (35:2-5), Elokim, the Empowerer, appears and adds the name, Israel. Only after learning to use his power to empower others, can Jacob become Israel.

My most intense experience of empowerment is when studying Talmud, making a judgment in Jewish law, and discovering new layers in the Torah’s words. Yet, when offering a different perspective to masters of Torah, people, powerful thinkers, who cannot bear to hear something that challenges traditional thinking, often block me. It is as if these powerful people have been disempowered, as if a certain mode of thought has been imposed on them, as Shechem imposed himself on Dinah!

We disempower our children when we teach them to withdraw in fear from the world, rather than share with them the ability of our tradition to empower us to deal with any challenge. We impose our traditions on them. We make them weak and vulnerable, as was Dinah when she went out in weakness.

We fail to empower each other when we share magical prayers, remedies and merits to ward off the Evil Eye against which we are powerless. “Hear O Israel, God is our Lord,” is our constant declaration that God empowers us to achieve our dreams, and that, is the magic of the Shemah!

Jacob’s power was powerless until it was used to empower his children. Talmud’s great power to nurture complex thinking is powerless until it is used to empower us to think, question, and challenge anything and everything. The great power of the Mitzvot is powerless if not used to empower people to master themselves so they can reach for the top of Jacob’s ladder.

We have such great power in our grasp, a power that can only be fully expressed when used to empower our children, others, and ourselves. It is only then that we become the Children of Israel, the empowered, and the ones who empower others.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Simcha Weinberg

‘Holy Trash’ Exhibition Turns Lost Synagogue Books into Stone [video]

Friday, October 28th, 2016

“Holy Trash: My Genizah” is a new project by fine arts and performance artist Rachel Libeskind created especially for the American Jewish Historical Society (AJHS) exhibition space in the great hall of the Center for Jewish History.

According to Solomon Schechter, Genizah is “the storeroom or depository in a synagogue a cemetery in which worn-out and heretical or disgraced Hebrew books or papers are placed. In medieval times…their sanctity and consequent claim to preservation were held to depend on their containing the “names” of God.” What’s between the Genizah and today’s Jewish archive?

My Genizah presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Genizah. Crafted with texts and objects formerly belonging to the AJHS collections, My Genizah is a hard-edge, personal commentary on the making of the Jewish archive from the documents of the Genizah, and on today’s archival procedures of sorting, cataloguing, and organizing history.

“I think it’s interesting to look at the inventory of things that make up our lives,” Libeskind News1 NY. “Some of them are holy, and some of them are definitely not holy, and we just think of them as trash, and some we’re just not comfortable throwing away. It’s kind of an endless idea.” said.

On view through December 1, 2016.

Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011, Tel: 212-294-6160

Visitor information.


Israeli Arab Stone Throwers Damage Buses on Highway to Jerusalem

Monday, October 17th, 2016

For the second time in recent days, stone throwing Israeli Arabs on Monday night inflicted damages on a bus going through the Ginaton Junction, where Route 40 and Highway 443 to Jerusalem meet

Another bus windshield was smashed in a stone throwing attack on a bus Monday night, near the Haredi City of Beitar Ilit. The driver was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-arab-stone-throwers-damage-buses-on-highway-to-jerusalem/2016/10/17/

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