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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Can Peres and Abbas Save ‘Settlers’ Synagogue from Destruction by Israel?

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A Jerusalem area community in Samaria is hoping former president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas can help them stop the planned government destruction of a 20-year-old synagogue allegedly built on Arab land.

The Supreme Court, which previously accepted leftists’ claims that the synagogue was built on private Arab land, received on Friday a last-ditch petition to stop the destruction, based on arguments that the court and the government did not take into consideration international law concerning the  protection of Holy Sites.

The appeal, filed by attorney Gilad Korinaldy on behalf of Givat Ze’ev regional council rabbi Yosef Toledano, also asked the court to consider aspects of Jewish law, the Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported.

The court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to answer the petition by next Monday night, the end of Simchat Torah in Israel.

The Netanyahu administration has ordered that the 2-year-old Ayelet HaShachar synagogue, where several hundred congregants have prayed, be demolished immediately after the Sukkot-Simchat Torah holiday.

The petition to the court also explained that the community has appealed to Peres and Abbas to “think outside the legal box” and find a political-diplomatic solution.

Korinaldy, who also represented Gush Katif in efforts to save Gush Katif synagogues from destruction in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005, said, according to Kikar Shabbat:

Synagogues are the voice of the existence of Judaism for generations. All possibilities must be examined to protect the holiness of Israel and respect for God. There is no greater disgrace than Jews destroying a synagogue.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last month that Givat Ze’ev worshippers already have taken holy books out of the synagogue in preparation for the demolition, which Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed from August until immediately after the holidays.

The  suit against the synagogue followed the pattern of several previous appeals by the left-wing Yesh Din and Peace Now grows, arguing that Jews did not legally buy the land on which they built.

It usually is difficult to prove the legal purchase because it is always done through a third-party. Otherwise, the Arab seller would face death, either by an angry mob or by the Palestinian Authority policy that follows the Jordanian law that selling land to a Jew is punishable by execution.

If the petition is successful, it would prove the seeming impossibilities of life in Israel.

Who would dream that Peres and Abbas would be the intermediaries to stop the destruction of a Jewish place of worship in the “occupied territories?”

European Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to ‘Fight Anti-Semitism’

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

European leaders have reaffirmed their commitment to fight anti-Semitism, according to Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), who received greetings from the heads of most countries in the EU.

Margolin was the recipient of holiday greetings from Europe’s leadership ahead of the upcoming Jewish high holy days, particularly Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins next Sunday night.

The continent’s leaders are seeking to “reinforce with Europe’s historic Jewish communities and reaffirm their commitment to fighting the wave of anti-Semitic acts that have blighted cities across the European Union,” Margolin said.

Messages of support and solidarity were led by France’s Francois Hollande, who departed from the secular protocol of the French Republic to send his new year wishes to European Jewry. The French president offered a firm commitment to fight “against all words and acts of an anti-Semitic nature, and to allow everyone to live together, without exception, with the same values of freedom, tolerance and community”.

French Premier Manuels Valls added his “readiness to fight against anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism and intolerance, and to tirelessly support European initiatives designed to defend the values which shape our democracies”.

Austrian President Heinz K. Fischer spoke out in support of “the common interest of Jews in Europe.” Fischer said he sought to renew Austria’s ties with the Jewish State by way of its commitment to “the safeguarding of Israel.”

He added that Austria remains committed to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms in Europe and the world, and to the “safeguarding of minorities including the Jewish community in Austria, which has always strongly influenced our country’s culture,” he added.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel also reaffirmed his “excellent relationship with the Jewish community in Belgium.”

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte recalled his country’s endorsement of a joint statement on anti-Semitism at an informal meeting of the United Nations General Assembly last January.

“I share your concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe,” he said in his message to European Jewry. “This scourge affects Jewish communities first, but in essence it is a threat to society as a whole,” he added.

EJA General Director, Rabbi Margolin thanked the European leaders for their wishes and commitments.

“Rabbis and community leaders across Europe report that in light of the growing anti-Semitism and nationalist atmosphere there has been a significant decline in the number of Jews who take part in community activities,” he said.

“However, Jewish communities are working hard to help Jews attend Rosh Hashanah services. Major security measures are being taken and we can report that there is a relative increase in the number of Jews who have expressed their intention to attend synagogues over Rosh Hashanah with their families, compared to last year. “

In Manchester, England alone, anti-Semitic incidents rose by nearly 80 percent in 12 months, according to a report issued by the Community Security Trust earlier this year.

A 17-year-old boy was beaten unconscious in an attack by three men who attacked him and three other Jews this past Saturday night. The boy remains hospitalized with a suspected brain bleed. The three other victims, ages 17, 18 and 20, were also verbally and physically assaulted but did not require admission to hospital.

Biden Tells Atlanta Jews ‘Honest to God, I Don’t Know If I Will Run’ [video]

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Vice President Joe Biden told a packed Conservative synagogue in Atlanta Thursday night that the biggest factor that will determine if runs for the White House is whether his family can handle it.

His speech was part an Obama-Biden blitz to convince Jews to back the nuclear deal with Iran, which now has enough backing in the Senate to defeat an opposition attempt to override a presidential veto if Congress rejects the deal.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was not what Biden had to say about “ObamaDeal” but rather if he will run. He answered questions from the audience, including one about putting his hat in the ring, and said:

Honest to God answer is I just don’t know

The most relevant factor in my decision is whether I and my family have the emotional energy to run.

Some people might think that is not appropriate. But unless I can go to my party and the American people and say that I am able to devote my whole heart and my whole soul to this endeavor, it would not be appropriate.

And everybody talks about the other factors — the other people in the race, whether I can raise the money and whether I can put together an organization. That’s not the factor. The factor is, ‘Can I do it? Can my family undertake an arduous commitment that I would be proud to undertake under ordinary circumstances?’

His circumstances are far from ordinary. His son Beau Biden, who was considering running for governor of Delaware, died of brain cancer last May.

The Vice President mentioned a previous tragedy, the death of his first wife and daughter in an auto accident in 1972, in his speech at the Ahavat Achim synagogue. Biden said:

I know from previous experience after my wife and daughter … there’s no way to put a timetable to it.

“If I can reach that conclusion that we can do it in a fashion that would still make it viable, I would not hesitate to do it. But I have to be honest with you and everyone who’s come to me, I can’t look you straight in the eye and tell you I can do it. That’s as honest as I can be.

Considering unfavorable polls of Hillary Clinton when it comes to honesty, Biden is an appealing alternative to the former Secretary of State and to Bernie Sanders, whose popularity has soared in the polls.

Sanders’ success reflects a large sector of the population that is fed up with “establishment political,” but as the Democratic nominee for president. he would leave the Democratic party more vulnerable to a loss to the Republican candidate, assuming the GOP nominee will be someone other than Donald Trump.

Historic French Synagogue Burns Down in Maizières-lès-Vic

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

A quaint little stucco synagogue in the small French town of Maizières-lès-Vic burned to the ground last week. Jews have lived in the remote area for nearly a thousand years.

It is not clear the flames started, since there were no electrical wires in the building, which had not been used as a synagogue in decades.

In fact, the building was being used by a local poultry farmer, according to the French news website republicain-lorrain.fr .

The structure was utterly consumed by the flames, said police, who have launched an investigation into the fire.

Arson is not being ruled out. “The synagogue had no electrical feed and it didn’t burn itself down,” Mayor Alain Guise was quoted as saying.

The central French union of Jewish students, UEJF, also published a statement condemning the anonymous arsonist, if he or she exists.

“UEJF deplores the destruction of a synagogue that, even though it no longer welcomes worshipers, was a symbol of Jewish presence of almost a thousand years,” the group said.

Synagogue Vandalized in Jerusalem, Torah Stolen in Ramat HaSharon

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

A Holy Ark was set ablaze and a swastika was sprayed in red paint on to a Beit Midrash in the heart of Jerusalem in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Both the Holy Ark – where the Torah scrolls rest – and its protective curtain were set on fire in the “Pitchei Olam” central synagogue at 57 King George Street, its decades-long location.

Anti-Semitic epithets and swastikas were also scrawled on walls around the building, situated at the heart of the capital’s shopping and tourism district.

Rabbinical students at the Beit Midrash told the Tazpit News Agency this is the third time this month the sanctity of the Beit Midrash has been violated.

Police and forensic investigators searched the building for evidence that could lead to the perpetrators.

“The circumstances surrounding this event are unclear,” Jerusalem police told Tazpit. “An investigation into the incident has been launched.” Police are confident they will track down the perpetrators.

In Ramat HaSharon, meanwhile, thieves stole a Torah scroll this week worth more than NIS 100,000.

The Torah was donated just a few months ago by a Bnei Brak family to the city’s main Beit Knesset, Geulat Yisrael, on Rabeinu Tam Street.

The busy synagogue is host to Ramat HaSharon Chief Rabbi Yaakov Edelstein. Police have opened an investigation into this desecration as well.

Police Catch Two PA Arabs in Beit Shemesh Synagogue

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Detectives in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, caught two Palestinian Authority Arabs who had broken into a synagogue.

The Arabs possessed tools that were used to force their into the synagogue as well as nearby parked car, which they apparently intended to use to escape.

Turkey’s Jewish Community in Edirne Hosts Public Iftar Meal

Monday, June 29th, 2015

Led by Jewish community leader Ishak Ibrahimzadeh, the Jews in the northwestern province of Edirne hosted a public Iftar meal for their neighbors last week.

The meal which breaks the daily Ramadan fast was held in order to “express appreciation for the recent restoration of the historical Edirne Synagoge by the General Directorate of Foundations,” Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News reported. The synagogue was reopened on March 26.

Some 700 people showed up for the meal on June 21, according to the newspaper, which quoted the chief rabbi as saying, “We thought that the most convenient way to thank people in Edirne was to share an iftar meal with them.

“We thank them all very much,” Ibrahimzadeh was quoted as saying. “We returned to Edirne and found a more beautiful home than our own.”

According to the report, “Leading figures of the country’s Jewish community personally served guests at the Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in a tent set up by the Social Solidarity Foundation.”

The head of the Edirne office of the General Directorate for Foundations, Osman Güneren, attended the event.

The Grand Synagogue of Edirne was the second-largest synagogue in Europe, built in 1907 after a massive 1905 inferno in the city destroyed 13 separate Jewish houses of worship.

Allegedly “abandoned in 1983 due to a lack of worshipers,” Hurriyet reported, The synagogue was transferred for use as a museum to the local Thrace University after its restoration by the General Directorate of Foundations. Sharp criticism from the Turkish Jewish community put a stop to that plan, however.

Nevertheless, last year Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Sahin decided to punish the local Jewish population for Israeli government measures that were necessary to stop Palestinian Authority Arab violence on the Temple Mount.

In retaliation, Sahin announced the synagogue would be turned into a museum, rather than be returned to the Jewish community for worship following its restoration.

The Edirne governor later claimed his suggestion had “no connection” to Turkish Jews and apologized for the proposal. Four months later, a government ceremony was held to herald the reopening of the synagogue for use by the Jewish community.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkeys-jewish-community-in-edirne-hosts-public-iftar-meal/2015/06/29/

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