web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

NY Officials Shut Down Oldest Surviving Synagogue Building

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The oldest surviving synagogue building in the United States was evacuated Tuesday night after New York firefighters discovered cracks in columns supporting the second floor.

The structure was built in 1849 and was the home of Congregation Anshe Chesed before being bought in 1986 by the Spanish sculptor, Angel Orensanz.

The center is an art gallery and is used for weddings and fundraising events, such as last night’s celebrity gala for the theater company Soho Rep.

Firefighters arrived in the middle of the vent to investigate a smoke alarm and the discovered that the floor was shaking and the beams were cracked.

Engineers and architects are on the spot and working to make the necessary repairs that will allow the Environmental Control Board to cancel the vacate order.

East Ukraine Synagogue Hit by Firebombs

Monday, February 24th, 2014

A synagogue in eastern Ukraine sustained minor damage from firebombs hurled at it by unidentified individuals Saturday night.

The firebombs hit the Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located 250 miles southeast of Kiev, according to a report on the news site timenews.in.ua.

The website published photos that showed the traces of a fire on the facade of the balcony of the synagogue, which opened its doors in 2012.

A spokesperson for the Zhovtneviy District where the synagogue is located said no one was hurt in the attack and that police were searching for suspects. Officers found the neck of a glass bottle which was used as a Molotov cocktail, according to the Central Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Several Ukrainian media reported erroneously that the attack happened in Kiev.

Ukraine has a Jewish population of 360,000–400,000 people, with roughly a quarter of all the country’s Jews residing in Kiev, according to the European Jewish Congress. The Jewish Agency put the figure at 200,000.

Hungarian Jews May Use Force to Stop Jobbik Protest

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

The Federation of Hungarian Jewish Communities (Mazsihisz) is considering sending people to physically prevent Hungary’s ultra-nationalist Jobbik party from holding a rally at a former synagogue on next Friday.

Jobbik, which holds 43 of 386 seats in the country’s parliament, is planning the rally in a building in the city of Esztergom which had once been a synagogue. The Jewish community in the city was killed during the Holocaust. The Jobbik party leader, Marton Gyongyosi, had demanded that the Hungarian government make a list of citizens with Jewish ancestry who might post a security risk to the country.

Holding the rally at the former synagogue would be an “unworthy, ugly, and cynical desecration of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and the sentiments of the survivors,” Esztergom’s Socialist Party chairman Tamás Gál wrote in a letter to the town’s mayor.

Meanwhile, the Rabbinical Council of Europe (RCE) has announced its plans to hold a conference in March that will cooperate with the Hungarian government. “In the past few years, the voices of anti-Semitic ideology have become louder in the country. The conference is aimed at showing support to the Jewish community, and to the majority of Hungarians who experience with fear the negative developments,” RCE Director-General Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement.

Dallas Rabbi Sued for Running Home-Based Synagogue

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

A Dallas-area rabbi who uses his home as a synagogue is being sued by a neighbor who says it has lowered his property values.

Rabbi Yaakov Rich told the local Fox affiliate Fox4 in a video posted Wednesday that his 3,700-square-foot home is a synagogue with about 25 members. A website identifies his synagogue as Congregation Toras Chaim, with the tag line, “An intimate space … Grow at your pace.”

The website also announces that the Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian advocacy and legal defense organization, has agreed to represent the congregation in the current lawsuit.

“We just want to have our religious freedom to be able to pray and to study in this house,” Rich told Fox.

David Schneider, who lives across the street from the home-based synagogue, is seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages from Rich, saying that the synagogue has caused a decline in the value of his home.

Rich asserts that property values rise around Orthodox synagogues because adherents have to be able to walk to their places of worship and will pay more to buy a home in the area.

Rich recently filed with the city for a certificate stating that he runs a congregation in the home at the request of the city, which can then ask him to adhere to city and state building codes.

Italian Police Find Pig Culprit

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Italian police have identified the man who sent the pig heads to Rome’s main shul, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

The man was identified as Ernosto Morosini, and he wanted to create an Antisemitic movement, and sent them to build a following.

King of Morocco Asking Local Jews to Pray for Rain

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Jews throughout Morocco this past Sabbath responded to a plea by King Mohammed VI and prayed for rain. Muslims did the same in Friday prayers at their mosques.

“In conformity with the high instructions of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI, commander of the faithful, these prayers will be called for in all the synagogues to implore the Almighty to spread ample rain throughout the territory of the Kingdom,” the Council of the Jewish community stated.

The Morocco World News reported, “Moroccan Jews performed prayers in all the synagogues in the country, imploring God to spread bountiful rain on the entire territory of the Kingdom.”

The lack of rain this year has threatened the agricultural sector of Morocco, and the economy will be severely damaged if crop production drops because of the drought.

The King’s plea is not unprecedented. In 2007, nearly all of Morocco’s Jewish population of 5,000 turned out en masses on a Sabbath to pray for rain,

Morocco is one of the more enlightened Muslim countries, everything being relative, of course. John Kerry notwithstanding, there is a less than zero chance that the Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah would ask the Jews to pray for rain – for the simple reason that Jews are no Jews living in Saudi Arabia. Okay, there always is one. You just can’t get away from the Jews, but he probably is not orthodox.

But what happens if Mahmoud Abbas gets its Palestinian Authority state? He won’t, but just for the fun of it, let’s say he does. And then comes a drought and there are no Jews living in the Palestinian Authority, because the United Nations has made an exception that a Jew-free country is essential for peace.

Abbas would have several options: One, he could ask Jews in Israel to pray for the Arabs in the PA. Chances are that he would rather die.

But he also could demand that all of the Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries move to Judea and Samaria. That way, he would not suffer the embarrassment of inviting expelled Jews back to their homes but could welcome Jews from the Arab world to fill the gap.

The big question is what happens when the rain comes, whether in the imaginary Palestinian Authority or the real Morocco?

Who gets the credit, God or Allah?

The request of King Mohammed VI sounds great for peaceful co-existence until the arguments over who gets credit turns into war.

There is one other possibility.

Let’s say the rain falls only in the Jewish neighborhoods, or only in the Arab neighborhoods. Get out your Bibles and consult past history for the results in Egypt, when Jews lived in the Goshen neighborhood, and in ancient Samaria, where Elijah made fools out of idol worshippers.

Of course, Islam is not a religion of idol worshippers, even if radicla Islam has corrupted it into a religion of evil.

But since rain always seem to fall on the Jewish Sabbath, just when the non-observant were planning a picnic, it would be best to stick with the Jews.

Vandals Desecrate Russian Synagogue with Pig’s Head

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Unidentified Russian vandals  used a pig’s head to desecrate a synagogue in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar, according to representatives of the Jewish community of the city, located 600 miles west of Baku, Azerbaijan.

They found the pig’s head at the entrance to their synagogue  and  believe the perpetrators are also responsible for English-language graffiti on the building’s external wall, which read, “Happy Tu B’Shvat, Jewish Pigs,” although the Jewish holiday does not occur Jan 15.

Shneor Segal, a Chabad rabbi who used to work in Krasnodar and now serves as the chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Baku, said the community has contacted police with the intention of filing criminal charges against the unidentified perpetrators.

Last month, a pig’s head was left on the doorstep of a synagogue being built in Sevastopol, a Ukrainian port city located 270 miles west of Krasnodar.

The Day Mandela Went to Shul and Preached against Aliyah

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

One of the first things that Nelson Mandela did after being elected president of South Africa in 1994 was visit a synagogue and preach against aliyah at Cape Town’s Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation on the Shabbat after his election.

Here is an excerpt from JTA’s report:

“The congregants heard Mandela make an appeal from the pulpit for Jewish expatriates to return to South Africa.

“Pointedly excluding aliyah by saying he understands the Jewish community’s commitment to Israel, Mandela said, ‘We want those who left (for other countries) because of insecurity to come back and to help us to build our country.’

“He added that those who do not return should contribute their money and skills to South Africa.

“Mandela thanked the Jewish community for its contribution toward the development of South Africa and assured Jews they have nothing to fear from a government of national unity.

“He said he felt an affinity with the Jewish community, since it was a Jewish firm that gave him an apprenticeship in the early days of his law career, when discrimination was rife.

“He also said that he had befriended his Jewish defense counsel during the treason trial which led to his imprisonment in the 1950s and that he was still in contact with the lawyer.

“He stated that he recognizes the right to existence of the State of Israel, along with the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland.

“He noted that he considered it significant that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat last week signed an agreement in Cairo implementing Palestinian self-rule — the same week that South Africa elected its new leadership.

“At the reception following the service, some of the younger members of the congregation raised clenched fists in solidarity with the ANC, while the shul choir led in the singing of the country’s new national anthem, “Nkosi Sikelel’ IAfrika.”

Mandela often said Israel should be a “secure“ state, but on the other hand, his citing the Palestinian-Israel conflict as dating back to 1948 clearing showed his definition of “secure” as twisted.

He wrote Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in 1991, “You incorrectly think that the problem of Palestine began in 1967…. You seem to be surprised to hear that there are still problems of 1948 to be solved, the most important component of which is the right to return of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not just an issue of military occupation and Israel is not a country that was established ‘normally’ and happened to occupy another country in 1967.

“Palestinians are not struggling for a ‘state’ but for freedom, liberation and equality, just like we were struggling for freedom in South Africa.”

Arabs in Judea and Samaria, who did not refer themselves as “Palestinians,” never ”struggled” for freedom under the Ottoman Empire, under the British Mandate and under the Jordanian occupation.

It was only when Jews re-established the modern State of Israel that they “struggled,” not for freedom but rather for the annihilation of Israel.

That explains how Mandela, more blind than the blindest American Secretary of State, could proclaim that Iran had no aggressive aims towards Israel. “We are indebted to the Islamic Revolution,” he one said while laying a wreath at the grave of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose idea of freedom meant a world free of Israel.

Mandela not only called Israel an “apartheid state” but also asserted that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was not a terrorist group.

He publicly supported violence against Israel during a visit to Yasser Arafat in Gaza in 1999, when he declared. “All men and women with vision choose peace rather than confrontation, except in cases where we cannot proceed, where we cannot move forward. Then if the only alternative is violence, we will use violence.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/archives-the-day-mandela-went-to-shul-and-preached-against-aliyah/2013/12/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: