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August 29, 2016 / 25 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘synagogue’

Netanyahu: ‘I Expect World to Condemn Desecration of a Synagogue’

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Saturday night that Israel will hunt down and prosecute the arsonists who set fire a few hours earlier to Torah scrolls and holy books in a Judean synagogue next to the Jewish community of Karmei Tzur.

“Last night a synagogue in Givat Sorek, in Gush Etzion, was set on fire by Palestinians,” Netanyahu said in a post on his Facebook page, written in Hebrew and in English. “We will prosecute the perpetrators of this crime.

“I expect the international community to condemn the desecration of a synagogue, an act that is the result of incessant Palestinian incitement,” the prime minister stated.

The small prayer tent is located in a scenic spot overlooking the area where the bodies of three Israeli teens were found, who were murdered by Hamas terrorists after being abducted near their yeshiva in June 2014.

The flames badly damaged the sacred texts. They had been piled up outside the prayer tent before the arsonists set them afire.

Judea and Samaria district police said the footprints of the suspects were found leading to a Palestinian Authority village near the town of Halhul, according to Ynet.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, said in a statement that “a red line has been crossed… we will not allow this to go unpunished.”

Hana Levi Julian

Arson Burns Holy Books at Givat Sorek, Near Karmei Tzur

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Once again, Arabs from the Palestinian Authority violated the sanctity of a Jewish house of worship. They burned the holy books with which Jews pray, first taking time to pile them ruthlessly, carelessly, and then setting them alight.

The holy books were burned Friday night in the synagogue in Givat Sorek, adjacent to the Jewish community of Karmei Tzur in Judea, south of Jerusalem, nestled in the Judean Hills.

The site is located on a strategic hill overlooking the location where the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens were found in 2014. The synagogue itself is a place where people go to meditate and pray; a site visited daily by Jewish children, teens and adults alike. It’s a house of prayer; a youth center; a tour site.

It’s also important to note that the arsonists took the time to pile up the holy books before setting them afire. In Karmei Tzur, the residents have taken this very hard, the Gush Etzion spokesperson sources said.

“It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that in the very heart of the country, something like this takes place, which reminds us of some of the darkest events in our history, not even a hundred meters away,” residents said.

“It is dangerous to allow this to continue,” they said. “It is necessary, and possible, to put an end to this,” they added.

Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said, “These difficult pictures send chills over one’s entire body. I am sure the survivors of Kristallnacht and the founders of Gush Etzion never dreamt they would see burnt holy books under Israeli rule. The Israeli government must take control over the Arab rampaging that is turning Israeli lives and society upside down.”

Tazpit News Service contributed to this article.

Jewish Press News Briefs

French Jewish Lawmaker Found Murdered Near Paris

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

The body of a French Jewish municipal councillor was found Tuesday morning at his apartment, stabbed multiple times and badly beaten according to police sources quoted by Le Figaro.

Alain Ghozland, 73, was described by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) as a “prominent leader of the local Jewish community.”

Originally from Algeria, he lived in the heavily Jewish Paris suburb of Créteil, about seven miles from the French capital. It is also the town where a Jewish couple was attacked – and raped – by robbers in December 2014.

“People are upset. They do not know what to think and ask a lot of questions,” a relative told L’Express and other media.

He was found after his brother called police when he did not show up for regular shacharit morning prayers at their synagogue.

According to the report by Le Figaro, there were also signs of forced entry into Ghozland’s home, and that the apartment was ransacked. His car was also missing.

The family has raised the possibility that he was attacked due to his identity as a Jew. Judicial sources have said an autopsy is to be performed to determine the cause of death due to the attack.

Police have no leads as yet, according to L’Express.

Also on Tuesday, French Jewish community leaders began debating whether Jewish men in Marseille should remove their yarmulkahs when walking in public due to the rise in deadly anti-Semitic attacks. But the Chief Rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, nixed the idea and said, “We should not give in to anything, we will continue to wear the kippah.”

The debate came a day after a machete-swinging teenage terrorist stabbed Binyamin Amsalem outside a Marseille synagogue as he was walking to the Franco-Hebraic Institute, where he is a teacher of Jewish subjects.

The nearly 16-year-old attacker informed investigators when he was caught (about ten minutes after the attack) and taken into custody that he was “acting for Da’esh” (ISIS) and that when he is released, he will arm himself and kill police.

Hana Levi Julian

Update: Terror Attack in France Next to Marseille Synagogue

Monday, January 11th, 2016

A 16-year-old terrorist in France attempted to stab a Jewish man wearing a yarmulka Monday morning outside a Marseille synagogue, in the city’s ninth arrondissement district.

The victim sustained wounds to his back and hand, according to French television station BFMTV.

The machete used by the teenage terrorist ultimately ended up on the ground as the young attacker tried to flee the scene. He was arrested about ten minutes later by the Anti-Crime Brigade, BFMTV reported.

Marseille synagogue machete

The attack took place in a neighborhood which is highly populated with Jews. French police have thrown a dragnet around the area, which has been entirely shut down.

In November 2015, three attackers believed to be linked to the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist organization stabbed a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to Marseille in the face. At around 8pm local time, Rabbi Tzion Sa’adoun, 56, was attacked outside his home, a short distance from the synagogue and school where he teaches Judaic studies.

According to fellow emissary and Rabbi Eliyahu Altab, who spoke with Chabad.org, “Right outside his home he was ambushed by three people. He was stabbed on his face, body, arms and legs. A car drove by and the attackers got scared and fled.”

One of the attackers demanded the victim look at the tee shirt he was wearing – one emblazoned with the symbol of Da’esh – and then pulled out his knife and stabbed him. All three yelled anti-Semitic epithets. The attack had been the second such incident within weeks.

For the second year in a row, the highest number of immigrants to the Jewish State have come from France, with 7,900 French Jews choosing to make Israel their home last year. In 2014, 7,200 French Jews moved away from their fears in France, to Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Washington State Synagogue Statue Defaced with Swastika

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Vandals spray-painted a swastika on a statue outside an Olympia, Washington synagogue, and an anti-Semite punched an Orthodox Jewish student in the face in two high-profile hate attacks in the United States this week.

The college student was treated on the scene, with the help of a Muslim woman student. The attacker fled.

The statue in Washington stands outside Olympia’s Temple Beth HaTfiloh.

Seth Goldstein, the temple’s spiritual leader wrote in a blog post:

A swastika is not mere vandalism — it is a symbol of hatred with deep resonance with Jews and shakes us to our core, especially in a community in which we are constantly reminded of our minority status.

The incident at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College occurred when an unidentified black man bumped into an Orthodox Jewish student from behind. When the student turned around, the attacker punched him twice in the face and stomach while snarling at him for being “white and Jewish.”

College President Rudy Crew seemed to be thrilled at the chance to be politically correct and boast how a Muslim helped an Orthodox Jew.

He said:

The fact that a Muslim woman came to the defense of an orthodox Jewish man is a true reflection of the values that permeate this great institution.

Is it really such a tremendous event in the United States when a Muslim helps a Jew?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Accessibility Shabbat’ Promoting Attention to Handicapped in Synagogue [video]

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) Conceived by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Chair of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization‘s Committed on Jewish Ethics and one of Israel’s leading thinkers on Ethics in Religious Society, the first ever “Accessibility Shabbat” will take place in communities across Israel this weekend. The program—held in coordination with the International Accessibility Day which takes place worldwide on December 3—highlights the need for greater respect for the disabled in the religious community and Israeli society.

“The reality is that the specific challenges posed by the handicapped are all too often overlooked within our religious community and many of our synagogues and community facilities are not made amenable to the needs of this population,” Rabbi Cherlow said in a letter announcing the initiative. “This cannot be the Jewish way of doing things and we must re-examine our approach and make our facilities and communities more accommodating in every possible way.”

Accessibility Shabbat will includie educational elements as well as proactive initiatives intended to enact practical approaches to benefit the handicapped. Tzohar’s website and its network of community rabbis have distributed educational materials stressing approaches to the disabled in the Jewish sources which community members will be encouraged to learn over the Shabbat.

Rabbi Cherlow said that every participating synagogue should review their facilities to find ways to make them more amenable to the physically handicapped as well as providing prayer books and study materials for the blind and sight-impaired and relevant accommodations for the deaf. “Fundamentally, even while we know that we need to pay attention to caring about the handicapped community, we often fail to take the next step to seeing exactly what we can do to be more inclusive and compassionate. This Shabbat will give us that opportunity and hopefully encourage an ongoing dialogue on this topic.”

Tzohar encouraged synagogues to allot a specific budget for the needs of the handicapped with the goal of making as many religious facilities as possible accessible.

Rabbi David Stav, founder and President of Tzohar, said that the goal of the program is to remind every Jew to be more cognizant of the needs of others. “Compassion for those less fortunate than others is an inherently Jewish value, but at times we need to be reminded of specific ways to take that understanding and put it into practical terms.”

Tzohar Executive Vice President Yakov Gaon said that while the program is currently being launched in Israel with participating communities, plans are already in place to take the initiative globally in coming years.

JNi.Media

Swedish Synagogues Shuttered over Terror Threat

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Sweden’s Jewish community has shut down synagogues across the country as a precautionary measure against a possible terrorist threat, the World Jewish Congress said.

The shutdown is expected to be temporary, but the threat of terror has swept Sweden. The Local website reported Friday that police are questioning a 25-year-old Iraqi man who was accused of plotting terror in the country.

The suspect is a member of a radical Islamic group, which was not identified.

Sweden’s terror threat level remains at ‘high” on Friday, the second-highest on a one to five scale.

“I think people are going to see a lot of police officers around today. We will see what comes out of interrogations and information, if there’s a reason to lower the level in the future. But it’s too early to tell,” national police chief Dan Eliasson told TT.

The chairwoman of the Official Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, Lena Posner-Körösi, said that the security situation will be re-assessed on a daily basis.

Several European countries have raised their terror alert levels in the wake of last week’s Islamic State (ISIS) attacks in Paris.

“Violent Islamism is still the biggest threat against Sweden,” said Anders Thornberg., the director general of Swedish security service.

JTS News Service contributed to this report.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/swedish-synagogues-shuttered-over-terror-threat/2015/11/20/

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