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November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘temple’

Anti-Semitites Vandalize Miami Synagogues

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Vandals attacked two synagogues and a supermarket in a Jewish neighborhood this past week, leaving behind a swastika and “KKK” scrawled on the city’s oldest conservative synagogue.

Two men were caught on surveillance video carrying a backpack and leaving the area of Temple Emanu-el, which was desecrated with the swastika and KKK [Ku Klux Klan], and one of them was arrested, according to the Miami Herald.

It was the firth attack by vandals in the neighborhood this summer, despite increased police patrols.

“The message is clear. It’s a message of hate and intolerance, and whenever you have intolerance, you have problems,” Temple Emanu-el Rabbi Marc Philippe told the newspaper.

He also said that a letter was left in the men’s bathroom two weeks ago with a message of condemnation of Israel’s treatment of Arabs.

A surveillance tape showed two men walking in the area of the temple in the middle of the night this past week at around the same time police received an anonymous call that the place of worship has been vandalized.

Police arrested one of the men, identified as 43-year-old Maximo De La Cruz-De Jesus.

Last Saturday, a swastika and the letters KKK also were scrawled on a supermarket, and “Iraq” and “Hamas” were written on the wall of a synagogue.

Archaeologists Inaugurate King Solomon’s Coronation Site

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

In a secret ceremony held Tuesday, officials inaugurated the  site of King Solomon’s coronation in the City of David.

The massive Canaanite fortress, built some 3,800 years ago, protects the Biblical Gihon Spring by allowing access to the water solely through a western entrance from within the city.

In the Book of Samuel (Shmuel) II, Chapter V, King David conquered the Zion Fortress from the Jebusite king and his men. Archaeologists believe it is possible they have discovered the fortress referred to in the Biblical passage, entered by King David’s soldiers as they conquered Jerusalem from the Jebusites.

At the beginning of the Book of Kings I, the prophet Nathan and Tzadok HaKohen describe the coronation of King Solomon as having taken place “on Gihon.” Researchers believe the ceremony took place at the heart of the Spring House, over the gushing Gihon Spring.

“When we open the Bible and read about King Solomon who was crowned here, on the Gihon Spring, today you can come and see that this is where it all started,” said Oriya Desberg, director of development at the City of David.

It took archaeologists 15 years to uncover the structure in one of the most complex and digs ever undertaken in the State of Israel.

The Spring House is a massive Canaanite fortress built in the 18th century BCE and is the largest such structure ever uncovered from the pre-Herodian period.

The archaeological dig from which the fortress emerged was led by Haifa University’s Professor Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

“In order to protect the water source, they built not only the tower, but also a fortified passageway that allowed the city residents a safe access to the water source,” explained archaeologist G. Uziel. The passageway continued to operate until the end of the Iron Age, the archaeologist said, “and it was only when the First Temple was destroyed that the fortress collapsed into ruins and was no longer used.”

The walls  – 23 feet (seven meters) thick – were built with stones that are about ten feet (two to three meters) wide, and no mechanical tools were used in the construction.

Response to a Worried Wife and Mother

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Last week I shared a letter from a woman who described herself as a wife, mother and grandmother concerned about the future of her family. Her husband, a successful businessman, was planning to retire and transfer the business to their children. But there is tension as well as hidden jealousies between the children and she fears this sibling rivalry could erupt into an inferno that would consume the entire mishpachah.

Her husband shares her fears to an extent but feels that, ultimately, the family will remain solid and united. She feels her husband’s views are influenced by his intense desire to retire and move to Florida. While she too would love to move to Florida, her maternal instinct is stronger than the new life that beckons from the Sunshine State.

The following is my reply:

I wish I could dismiss your worries and assure you that you are making much ado about nothing; that your husband is correct and you can definitely retire without any concerns. But I’m afraid I cannot say that so easily. I cannot tell you there is nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, I have seen too many families divided by money issues. Money can destroy good will and kindness and lead to bitterness and hatred.

Hatred was the reason our holy Temple was destroyed and why we were taken into exile. It is written that every generation that does not rebuild the Beis HaMikdash is as guilty as those who directly brought about its destruction. How could that be? Certainly we American Jews in 2013 did not destroy the Temple in Jerusalem. Why should we be held accountable?

The answer is simple: The reason the Temple has not been rebuilt is that we continue to indulge in the same ugly greed and jealousy and continue to dress ourselves in the same garments of anger and hatred. In 2,000 years we have learned nothing. We have not changed.

So I must agree with you. You are justified in your fears. While your husband is also correct when he says you and he won’t be around forever and that the children will have to be accountable for their words and actions, the fact is that a parent’s task is never over.

What are you to do? What is the best solution to your dilemma? While I’m keenly aware that there is no guarantee for anything, just the same I would suggest that now is the time to divide your estate. Assign each of your children his or her inheritance so that there is less chance for any controversy when you and your husband have passed on.

Mind you, you should retain total control during your lifetime; this is to be actualized only after both you and your husband have departed this world. Hopefully Mashiach will arrive before that day ever comes. But our sages teach that you should “put your matters in order a day before you die” – and since you cannot possibly know when that day will be, you must clarify everything now so the future of your family will not be jeopardized by infighting.

If I may suggest, you should also delineate in your will that if any of the siblings should refuse your terms and demand litigation, he or she will forfeit the inheritance.

Furthermore, we live in a world where many of our Jewish sons and daughters are disappearing into assimilation and intermarriage. From your letter I gathered you are a traditional family who go to synagogue from time to time, keep a kosher home, make Shabbos and Yom Tov dinners, have mezuzahs on the doorposts, etc. But this does not guarantee that your future generations will cling to those mitzvahs and remain within the fold.

So try to protect the Judaism of your descendants. You can do this by making provisions in your will for the yeshiva education of all your grandchildren, for establishing a kosher home when they marry, etc. And make it clear that any beneficiary who chooses not to accept these terms will forfeit the money you allocated for this purpose and it will go to a tzedakah of your designation.

May Hashem grant you Yiddishe nachas and shalom bayis from generation to generation.

Temple Mount Closure And EU Boycott

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

On Tisha B’Av Prime Minister Netanyahu dramatically declared that Israel would not allow foreigners to interfere with our borders. This may have sounded like good news to local ears, but on the very same day the prime minister contradicted his own policy.

On the morning of Tisha B’Av, hundreds of Jews, among them three Knesset members, attempted to enter the Temple Mount – but were denied access. The next day Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin made a second attempt to enter the Mount but was turned away. When MK Yariv Levin asked about this fiasco in the Knesset plenum, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich answered, as usual, that there is no policy change regarding the Mount and that anyone who wishes to enter can do so. He said that Jewish visitors enter the Mount every day with no problem and that the closure of the Mount to visitors (including Knesset members) was the security decision of the local commander.

Aharonovich knowingly lied to the Knesset. Everyone involved with the Temple Mount issue knows that since Netanyahu acquiesced to the demands of the Muslim wakf and denied me access to the Temple Mount, police control of the holy site has rapidly deteriorated. The Temple Mount has become a staging ground for a vicious struggle, with cries of “kill the Jews!” becoming routine there. Jews are consistently distanced from the Mount and Israel’s police project unprecedented spinelessness, fear and defeatism in the face of the burgeoning brazenness of the Muslim wakf.

Israeli police have all the means at their disposal – if they choose to use it – to disperse the Arab rioters within minutes and to make it possible for the Jews to visit their holiest site. But, as it is wont to do, Israel’s police adopted the role of security fig leaf for the prime minister, who is giving the holy Mount’s sovereignty to Jordan and the Muslim wakf – while talking mightily about not allowing foreigners to interfere in Israel’s sovereignty.

Aharonovich claimed that the Mount was closed, due to security considerations, as per the decision of the local commander. But there is a truly reliable side to this story contrary to his version of events. Here is the relevant part of the Jordan News Agency’s July 16 report from Ramallah:

Israeli Police Prevent Jewish Extremists From Entering Al-Aqsa Compound Due To Demand By Jordan

Following the pressure exerted by [the] Jordanian government on the Israeli authorities, the Israeli police on Tuesday closed the Mughrabi Gate, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque’s doors, and prevented Jewish extremists from entering it.

Director of the Islamic Waqf in occupied Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told Petra [News] that the Israeli police closed the gate and prevented extremists and foreign tourists from entering Al-Aqsa compound today, “the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple,” after Jordanian pressure and intervention by the Department of Islamic Waqf and [the] Jordanian ambassador in Tel Aviv, Walid Obeidat.

He confirmed that the ban came as a result of the intensive communications undertaken by Jordan to prevent the desecration of Al-Aqsa during the holy month of Ramadan. Al-Khatib praised the vital Jordanian role in protecting Jerusalem and the holy sites.

This report, verified by additional sources, is nothing new. The prime minister has used the police, the attorney general’s office and the courts before in his quest to implement a political decision when wanting to cede sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Muslims. And he’s done this without the Knesset’s authorization. This is how issues surrounding the Temple Mount have been disposed of since it was liberated. Netanyahu has simply expanded the practice.

The capitulation on the Temple Mount leads to the construction halt in Jerusalem. In other words, the organs close to the heart become infected with the same illness: the loss of sovereignty syndrome. In this manner, our existential legitimacy in the entire land is crumbling before our eyes.

What do we expect of the European Union? After all, for 46 years we have been saying that the land of Israel is theirs – not ours. We hurried to give the heart of Jerusalem and the nation, the Temple Mount, to the Muslim wakf. We refused to declare Israel’s sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. We recognized another, conveniently invented “nation” as indigenous to the land, recognized its terrorist liberation movement, and armed it with Israeli weapons. We vowed to retreat so as to enable the establishment of a state for this make-believe “nation” in the heart of biblical Israel. We expelled and destroyed entire Jewish communities. We committed ourselves to the two-state principle.

But over the past 20 years not one of our leaders, at any level, has said that this is our land – no ifs, ands, or buts. This straightforward phrase simply does not exist in the lexicon of Israel’s political and military leadership.

So why are we surprised that the Europeans are tired of this entire subject? It took them 46 years to be convinced that we are serious that this really is not our land, that we are nothing more than foreign conquerors in Palestine. Perhaps the Arabs are not nice, they think, but they are very, very right on this issue. After all, Israel’s political Left and Right have both bowed to their claims and recognized the justice of their cause. Yitzhak Rabin shook the hand of their murderous leader, while Netanyahu hugged him with both his hands. So what can we expect: that after we have admitted that we are the problem, the Europeans will allow us to continue to threaten world peace?

We no longer have anywhere to run from the scales of justice. When you do not put your weight on one side of the scale, the other side is heavier. You can be prettier, nicer, more European – and even a peace seeker. But if you have abandoned your side of the scale, the other side will always win.

We lost the justice of our cause when we gave the Temple Mount to the Muslims. The only way to restore our justice is to remove the Muslim wakf from the Mount and to empower our holiest site as the center of holiness and exclusive sovereignty of Israel.

Protesters: Police in Cahoots with Arabs over Jewish Access to Mount

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The Joint Committee of Temple Mount Organizations has announced a protest vigil this Wednesday, August 7, at 7:30 AM, by the Mugrabi Bridge connecting the Western Wall plaza with the Mughrabi Gate of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to the organizers, which include journalist Arnon Segal and Women in Green founders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, the vigil will be held in response to an announcement last Tuesday by the Police official in charge of the holy sites, Commander Avi Bitton, that the Temple Mount would remain open only to Muslims and closed to Jews and to tourists at least until after the Muslim holiday of Idl-Fitter, next Sunday, the fifth of Elul or August 11.

This is breaking the rules, cry out the organizers, members of organizations promoting Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, warning that Jerusalem Police has already violated the long held status quo by shutting off the Temple Site to non-Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan.

This past month, the vigil organizers complain that on those few days when Jews were allowed to go up to the Mount, they suffered constant abuse by the Muslims and by the police.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin was chased away from the Temple Mount by a crowd of Muslims. According to the vigil organizers, police did not intervene to prevent the “screaming and harassment and threats by the Muslims against Elkin and his family.”

But the biggest complaint of the organizers has to do with the fact that the Arabs have, apparently, discovered the surefire method of keeping the Jews off the Mount – all they have to do is threaten violence, and the police immediately folds, and rather than responding to the bullies by imposing law and order—a fairly basic expectation of our law enforcement agencies—they join forces with them to block Jewish access.

It’s been ten years, the protesters say, since the Temple mount was re-opened to Jewish visitors—not for prayer, mind you, God forbid—and now they fear the permanent sealing off of the holiest Jewish site bar none appears closer than ever.

“It seems the police is throwing a trial balloon,” reads the organizers’ email. “They try to see if the Temple Mount is important to a large Jewish population, or only to some ‘crazies.’ It is obvious that if this passes quietly, it will get worse for the Jews.”

And so the Joint Committee of the Temple Mount Organizations have decided to hold a mass protest vigil to remind the police, the politicians, and—most important—ourselves, that the holiest place for the Jewish People is not the Kotel, with all due respect, but the Temple Mount.

As one organizer put it, according to Matar, celebrating Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel and not on the Temple Mount is tantamount to celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, in the Knesset parking lot, while the building itself would be chock full of Arabs.

They invite “all to whom a Jewish presence at the Jews’ most holy site in the world is important, to wake up early Wednesday morning and come.”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if, this coming Rosh Chodesh Elus, Wednesday morning, all the Jews will find their way up to the Temple Mount, leaving down below only the Women of the Kotel?

Don’t forget to dip in the Mikvah first, in case they actually let everybody up.

Fast of 17th of Tammuz On Tuesday

Monday, June 24th, 2013

On Tuesday, Jews commemorate the 17th of Tammuz. The day is a fast day in which we recall the breaching of the walls of Jerusalem before the Second Temple’s destruction.

In addition, in Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) 39:2 and 52:6-7 it says that the walls of the First Temple were breached, though the Talmud Yerushalmi 23A says that the actual date was also the 17th of Tammuz.

Four other significant events occured on that day, including Moshe breaking the two Tablets.

The fast marks the beginning of the 3 week period called “Bein haMetzarim” which ends on the fast day of Tisha B’Av, throughout which certain expressions of happiness are reduced.

My Pesach Disappointment

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

There was an article in this weekend’s Makor Rishon. It was about fulfilling the mitzvah of Korban Pesach, the Passover sacrifice, in this day and age. The article went through the Halachot and obligations. It is a unique mitzvah in that it terms of Taharot, you don’t need to do more than dip in the Mikvah.

At the end of the article was a telephone number and the cost to participate (NIS 12) to get your piece of the Korban.

I was so excited.

While I already have plans for this Pesach that put me outside of Jerusalem on the first day, I started making plans with my wife and how we’ll be in Jerusalem next year and fulfill this mitzvah.

(Yes, I’m aware that there is an Issur d’Rabanan to not do it, but if the people don’t start this back up, who will? The Rabbis?)

Anyway… a friend and I called up the number (Israel: 1-800-800-455). He was more subdued about it, because he figured it was a gimmick.

We talked to them. It turns out it was Machon HaMikdash. The article was an “As if” article, describing the process and how it will be fulfilled.

But unfortunately, they were not sacrificing a Korban Pesach this year, and no we couldn’t join a group, and there was no piece of the meat we would get to eat in Jerusalem during the Seder.

I am so disappointed.

Visit The Muqata.

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