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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘thousands’

Thousands Visit Lubavitcher Rebbe’s Resting Place Despite Relentless Heat

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

In sweltering July weather that topped 90 degrees over the past few days—and which may soon turn into thunderstorms—men and women prayed, clutched pens in concentration and wrote personal notes. Rabbinical students greeted each other and learned together. Parents talked to children, held them and guided them, morning into evening.

These were the faces of those at the Ohel-gravesite in Queens, NY, the resting place of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory. They have come for pre-Shabbat visits in honor of the 22nd anniversary of his passing on the third day of the Hebrew month of Tammuz (Gimmel Tammuz), which this year fell on Shabbat.

The Rebbe’s yahrtzeit is a time for reflection, learning, prayer, re-commitment and positive action by Jewish people everywhere. Around the world, Jewish communities will gather for programs and events, singing and storytelling, made even more compelling in this Hak’hel year (every seventh Jewish year is a Hak’hel year, when In ancient times Jewish pilgrims would pour into Jerusalem to unite in the Holy Temple and hear the Torah being read by the king).

Rabbi Chaim Boyarsky, co-director of the Rohr Chabad Student Network of Ottowa, Canada, told Chabad.org, “On the anniversary of his passing, let’s celebrate the Rebbe’s vision. Let’s honor his life’s mission to bring goodness and kindness into this world. Let’s do one more mitzvah, one more good deed, to make this world a better place.”

Chabad.org

Thousands Attend Rabbi Mark’s Funeral; President, Mossad Chief and Chief Rabbis Deliver Eulogies [video]

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) — Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark, who was killed on Friday in a terrorist shooting attack, was laid to rest on Sunday afternoon in Jerusalem. Thousands attended his funeral, which began in his home town of Otniel and ended with his burial in the Har Hamenuhot cemetery in Givat Shaul.

Rabbi Mark was the director of the Otniel Yeshiva and a teacher at Yeshivat Torat Shraga, Yeshiva University’s post-high-school yeshiva for American students in Jerusalem. He is survived by his wife, Chava Rachel Mark, who sustained serious injuries in the attack and remains hospitalized, and ten children, two of whom were also wounded in the attack.

“When he started as principal this past year, he took a real interest in the overseas students,” Phil Katz, the head of the overseas program at the Otniel Yeshiva, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “He would constantly speak to us, and he put a major effort into improving our learning experience in Israel. It’s a terrible loss.”

The funeral service began at the Otniel Yeshiva, where many current and former students came to pay their last respects. President Reuven Rivlin, a distant cousin of Mark’s, delivered a eulogy.

“I stand here today before your bier, Michael, Miki, in sadness and pain. With me stands an entire grieving nation,” President Rivlin said. “You were a pillar of the Otniel community and the whole Hebron hills region. The Hebron hills region, the historic cradle of Jewish civilization, keeps losing the best of its children to terrorism. But our roots here are strong, and terrorism will not defeat us.”

Once the eulogies at the Otniel Yeshiva were completed, the Mark family, accompanied by hundreds of mourners, supporters, and an army escort, traveled in a funeral procession to Jerusalem, where Mark was laid to rest.

On the way to Jerusalem, the family stopped at the site on Route 60 where the terror attack took place.

By the time the procession reached Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery, thousands of mourners had arrived. A police spokesman told TPS that in his estimation, at least 4,000 people attended Rabbi Mark’s burial.

According to Hadassah Medical Center spokesperson Hadar Elboim, Chava Rachel Mark remains in serious but stable condition, though she is breathing on her own.

The Marks’ 14-year-old daughter, Tehila, who also sustained serious injuries in the attack and is confined to a wheelchair, was released from the hospital to attend her father’s funeral.

Both of Israel’s chief rabbis eulogized Rabbi Mark at the burial, as did Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, Mark’s first cousin.

“I swear in the name of the Israeli defense establishment to keep the State of Israel, which you loved so much, united within and protected from without,” Cohen said. “Farewell, my dearest Miki. You were a man of peace, and I loved you with all my soul.”

Michael Bachner and Tzvi Yedidyah Lev contributed to this article.

Video of the Day

Thousands Mark Anniversary of Hamas Kidnapped Jewish Boys in Nature Preserve Created in their Memory

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

With a stirring ceremony in the presence of family members of the abducted three youths taken by Hamas murderers in July 2014, the Head of Gush Etzion Council Davidi Perl and thousands of local residents celebrated their memory at the Oz v’Gaon Nature Preserve on the hill above Gush Etzion Junction in Judea. The nature preserve was established in the memory of the three youths.

The event, conducted by Women in Green, which launched the preserve project and has been running it as a site for education, tourism and camping, was opened by Yehudit Katsover, one of the heads of the movement, with the story of how the decision was made to go up to the preserve on the very night in which the bodies of the abducted youths were found. Katsover told the audience that this is the way of Zionism: development and growth emerge out of pain. But she added that “it could also be otherwise; we could and should cut off the enemy’s hope by applying Israeli sovereignty” in Area C of Judea and Samaria (to start, at least).

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Without the backing of the people, the parents, the council, the IDF and the various other bodies this would not have succeeded, and this is why we came to say Thank you,” said Nadia Matar, Katsover’s partner in leading the movement. Matar listed the activists and donors who contributed to the event as well as to the two-year-old nature preserve.

Katsover gave the family members of the youths a memento, symbolizing the preserve – a small JNF bench with a dedication.

Uri Yifrach, father of Eyal, Hy”d, read aloud words that Eyal wrote just a few days before he was abducted and murdered, in which he related to the value of having difficulties and pain on the way to achieving a goal. “The path is the value, and without the path, you will not arrive at the destination,” Eyal wrote. “We would be glad to do without the path, and get to the goal, but God put us on the path. We must understand that if the path takes time, this is the will of God. The path will exact casualties, it is difficult and grueling but it takes us closer to the goal. Every step on the path creates life, and when you are on the path, give it your all, take advantage of every moment of your life as if it were your last.”

Bat Galim Shaer, mother of Gil-Ad, spoke of the poem “My life is in your blood” that was heard at the event, and “became for us a daily reality, from the pain and bereavement we strive to grow towards life and activity, and Yehudit and Nadia are examples for us.”

She went on, emphasizing the uniqueness of Oz v’Gaon as a place of daily and continued activity and not a one-time memory or event, “a living, growing and breathing place every single day.”

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

Raheli Frenkel, mother of Naftali, Hy”d, drew a parallel with the murder of Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, on Thursday in Kiryat Arba. “We woke up in the morning and the only thing we wanted to do was to embrace the Ariel family and the memory of Hallel, our lost princess. I heard Rina cry, ‘My life is in your blood,’ and this morning became a song in praise of life for those who choose to live here, of the joy that fills this place with energy, with wonderful youth and with visitors who come from all over the world.”

Frenkel expressed the hope that the Jewish youths of the area and throughout Israel will continue to stream to the preserve, to be joyful and complete the dreams for summer vacation that Hallel Ariel, Hy”d, had, dreams that were not fulfilled.

Davidi Perl drew a connection between the weekly Torah portion of Korah, and the growth and renewal that are apparent to all those who come to the preserve. Perl mentioned the saying about the prophet Samuel, who was a descendant of Korah’s offspring who did not die. “From the pit arose the flowering of prophecy, renewal and the prayer of [Samuel’s mother] Hanna,” he said.

Oz v'Gaon

Oz v’Gaon

“Two years ago, a deep chasm opened with the murder of the three youths and we all fell together into the abyss,” Perl said, adding that “with the spirit of Oz v’Gaon this place was born anew. A call went out from here for a renewal of growth, a flowering of life with great depth on the crossroads between Jerusalem and Hebron. In the place that symbolizes this connection we have put down deep roots, two years of yearning and challenges in which we have lost other victims, two years in which the junction became a symbol of heroism and determination, of the people saying that we will stand for our rights and for our demand for full sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel, as our right and not as a gift of kindness.”

The event concluded with a walk to the observation point overlooking Gush Etzion Junction, which had undergone renovation and new artistic decoration in recent weeks. In the presence of the Head of the Local Council, the recently improved path connecting the junction to the nature preserve was dedicated. After words of blessing and thanks, the ribbon at the path was cut and hundreds of blue balloons were released into the air.

JNi.Media

Thousands of Auschwitz Victims’ Personal Items to Go on Display

Friday, June 10th, 2016

More than 16 thousand personal items belonging to the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau, originally discovered in archaeological digs carried out in 1967 by the Communist government in the vicinity of the gas chamber and crematorium III, have now been delivered to the Auschwitz Memorial.

The objects are not only a remarkable testimony to the history of the camp and the extermination process, but also a moving personal testimony of the victims. In most cases, these are the last personal belongings of the Jews led to their death in the gas chambers upon selection at the ramp. They include thermometers, empty medicine bottles, fragments of shoes, jewelry, cutlery, watches, brushes, smoking pipes, lighters, fragments of kitchenware, buttons, pocketknives, and keys.

Auschwitz personal belongings – letters / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings – letters / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“In 1967, on the site of the former Birkenau camp, Lódz-born filmmaker Andrzej Brzozowski made a short documentary film titled ‘Archaeology,’ showing the process of the excavations near the ruins of the gas chamber and crematorium III,” Elżbieta Cajzer, head of the Museum collections related. “As a result of these works, which were shown in the video, a large number of original objects were found from the period of when the camp was still functioning. The register of the museum collections only shows a little more than 400 objects from these excavations. We were convinced, however, that there had to be much more. We launched an investigation that lasted several months, by verifying archival documentation.”

“Individually verified trails were broken; people who had been working then in the Museum were no longer there. Unfortunately, the film’s director has already died, the institutions which funded the film have changed, and the archives were silent,” said Auschwitz Museum director, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński. “Nevertheless, we checked every lead. We could not be certain whether the results of the archaeological research had not been squandered or fragmented. After all, almost 50 years have passed; Polish institutions have undergone thorough changes after the fall of Communism. We took into account and were prepared for any eventuality.”

Auschwitz personal belongings – cup / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings – cup / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“We succeeded in making contact with the last living persons who participated in the project almost 50 years ago,” Elżbieta Cajzer said, adding, “It was, however, uncertain where the items found during the making of the film had been deposited. It turned out that they are stored in 48 cardboard boxes at one of the buildings of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Most of them have been packed the entire time in individually marked boxes, which is today very important for the process of documentation and verification of the objects’ authenticity, as they indicate the place of discovery or precise information about individual objects.”

Auschwitz personal belongings transported / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

Auschwitz personal belongings transported / Photo: Paweł Sawicki

“I had considered the discovery of such a huge collection in whole after nearly half a century as unlikely as finding the treasure of a lost Galleon,” Dr. Cywiński said. “I can only try to imagine why the lost objects were deposited in these boxes just after being dug up. The excavations were carried out in the summer of 1967, near the gas chambers and crematoria, presumably to be analyzed and studied, or perhaps someone even had the intention to write an extensive research paper on the subject. This is a unique collection in every way. A few months later in 1968, there was a political turnabout and the Communist authorities took a clearly anti-Semitic direction. Perhaps this is why they did not hurry with the implementation and closure of this project. The times then were difficult for Holocaust-related topics.”

JNi.Media

Chasing Thousands

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

In this week’s parshah, Parshas Bechukosai, we read the berachos that we will receive if we follow the Torah, and the tochacha of what will happen to us if we chas v’shalom do not.

In the list of berachos is a promise that five of us will chase 100 of our enemies, and 100 of us will chase 10,000 of our enemies. The ratio of the first is 1:20 and the ratio of the second is 1:100.

However, in Parshas Haazinu the Torah writes that if we don’t listen to Hashem we will ask how one of our enemies can chase 1,000 and two of our enemies chase 10,000. The ratio of the first is 1:1000 and the ratio of the second is 1:5000.

This presents a problem to Tosafos. The Gemara (Sotah 11a) says that the middah of blessing is always greater than the middah of punishment. Yet, the above ratios clearly demonstrate the opposite – that the middah of punishment is greater. How do we reconcile these pesukim with the rule stated in the Gemera?

Tosafos quotes the Sefer Hayashar which suggests that the two pesukim are referring to different acts. The pasuk that describes our enemies chasing us is referring to just that – chasing. In contrast, the pasuk describing us chasing our enemies is actually referring to killing. Thus, the ratios may be different, but they do not stand in contradiction to the rule that the midda of blessing is always greater than the midda of punishment.

The Maharsha writes that some question this answer in light of another passage in the Gemara (Moed Kattan 16b). This passage states that David Hamelech would kill 800 men with one arrow and was distraught that he did not kill another 200 to meet the description of the pasuk in Haazinu that one will chase 1,000. Apparently Dovid Hamelech believed this pasuk in Haazinu 1) refers to killing, not chasing, and 2) can be flipped around and interpreted to our benefit when we adhere to the Torah.

To answer this question, the Maharsha (in Moed Kattan) suggests that the passage in Moed Kattan accords with the Sifri which understands the pasuk in Haazinu to be referring to Bnei Yisrael chasing their enemies. If so, there is no reason to say the two pesukim are referring to different acts – chasing and killing. (Why the ratios are different, though, is unclear.) Tosafos (in Sotah), however, was interpreting the Gemara in accordance with the view that the pasuk in Haazinu refers to our enemies chasing us – not the reverse. That’s why Tosafos suggested the two pesukim are referring to different acts.

I would like to point out that this part of the tochacha has been visited upon us today, and it is important that we realize it. My father, shlit”a, pointed out there have been numerous attacks in Eretz Yisrael recently, which began these past Yamim Noraim and continue, r”l, today. On Sukkos, for example, there was an attack in the Old City of Yerushalayim and two precious yidden lost their lives. Do we know how many people avoided coming to the holy city for the remainder of Yom Tov because of this attack? The pasuk in Haazinu states, “Eicha yirdof echad elef u’shnayim yaneisu revava – How can one chase a thousand and two chase away then thousand?” And yet, that’s exactly what seemed to have happened when this recent knife spree started.

May we be zoche to fulfill the words of the Torah and see the blessings of Torah come true in our time. Amen.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Exacting Vengeance on the Gentiles?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Once again we are treated to the sight of very religious looking Jews acting like a street gang. A statue of a cross with a figure of Jesus on it was defaced by a group of Breslover Chasidim in Uman. The cross was recently erected opposite the grave of the founder of this Chasidus, Rav Nachman of Breslov – located in the Ukrainian city of Uman. From JTA:

“To exact vengeance on the gentiles,” reads the message, which was scrawled across the torso of a figure of Jesus. A further inscription on Jesus’ leg reads, “Stop desecrating the name of God.”

This kind of thing would not surprise me if it were being done by extremists from a community that embraces an isolationist lifestyle. But although they are hardcore Chasidim who dress and look much the same as Satmar Chasidim – Breslovers do a lot of outreach. I would expect them to know how to behave in a more civilized manner. They must have had a socialization process that taught them that or they could not do outreach. And yet here they have acted in a completely uncivilized way.

So it comes as a bit of a surprise that a Christian symbol near their venerated Rebbe’s grave site was desecrated with graffiti. I guess their socialization process goes just so far. A statue of Jesus so close to their Rebbe’s grave site was too much to handle.

I don’t know why the Ukrainian Government chose that site for its statue. I don’t think it was a wise decision. But at the same time, I don’t think it was necessarily meant to ‘stick it’ to the Breslovers either. It was probably just not a well thought out plan.

I can understand why these Chasidim felt outrage. They consider the Breslover Rebbe’s gravesite to be so holy that make annual pilgrimages to it. Tens of thousands of Jews (mostly Breslover Chasidim) from all over the world visit it during Rosh Hashanah – one of the holiest times of the year. It is almost as though they were making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem’s Holy Temple. Seeing the sight of Jesus on a cross must have made them feel like they were seeing Avodah Zara in the Beis HaMikdash.

The outrage is understandable. But their expression of it is inexcusable. It is the kind of behavior that can bring tragedy upon the Jewish people. Uman is not Jerusalem. R. Nachman’s gravesite is not the Beis HaMikdash. The citizens of Uman are their hosts. Breslovers are guests. And the guests have just defaced the image of the god their hosts worship.

The more responsible Breslover leadership has apologized. Sort of. From JTA:

“We respect other religions, and don’t wish to damage symbols of other religions. But, unfortunately, not all of our coreligionists understand this. They could break or destroy the cross. That would lead to a genuine war between hasidim and Christians. We cannot allow that, so we request that the cross be moved to a different location,” said Shimon Busquila, a representative of the Rabbi Nachman International Fund…

It may have been a legitimate request. But it was made too late. If made at all it should have been made politely before the statue was vandalized. Nonetheless the deputy mayor of Uman agreed with it.

On the other hand the citizens of Uman were so outraged by the vandalism – that they will have no part of moving the statue. They promised retaliation against Rav Nachman’s grave if it is moved. I can’t say that I blame them.

I think the point to be made here is contained in the response made by Shimon Busquila: ‘…not all of our coreligionists understand this’.

That is exactly the problem. Why don’t they understand this? It is not enough for a leader to simply say that some of their co-religionists do not understand the consequences of being uncivilized – thereby damaging the property of their hosts.  Especially their religious symbols. No matter how upsetting it is to them.

The Chasidim who did this are taught to hate non Jewish religious symbols much more than they are taught to behave in civilized ways when encountering them. So when they get upset at the sight of one of those hated symbols, they react in ways that bring ill repute upon – and ill will against – our people. They do so without thinking or perhaps even caring about the consequences.

Harry Maryles

Netanyahu, Lapid, Punish Families with Children and Bennett is Silent

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Only the wealthy won’t feel Binyamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid’s latest budget cut, which reduces “child allowances” to a pitiful joke.

Where just a few years ago families received as much as NIS 400 per child, the payments for children will fall to NIS 140 (less than $40) per child per month… Arutz 7

Contrary to Lapid’s rantings, it’s not the lazy unemployed sector that will feel it the most.  Those families with almost no income get various welfare subsidies; it’s the working poor, who even with the previous child allowances barely finished the month.

I have no idea how Lapid has come up with his so-called facts:

“We will help needy families and set aside hundreds of millions [of shekels] to make sure no children go hungry, but [the cuts] are a historic move from a culture of allotments to a culture of work.”

Beginning on August 20, parents will receive only 140 shekels per month for each child born after June 1, 2003.

According to Lapid, National Insurance Institute (NII) child allotments perpetuated poverty instead of stopping it. “There is only one thing that allows families to get out of the cycle of poverty – work. The poverty rate in families with two working parents is under 5 percent.” Indy News of Israel

Apparently, Yair Lapid is just as anti-religious and anti-chareidi as his father was.  He just packages himself differently.

For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year. Jewish Press

Lapid’s timing is extra cruel considering the season.  Summer is extremely, unbearably expensive for families with children, no matter what their income.  Children on vacation from school need to be minded, cared for which is expensive.  Summer camp, vacations, babysitters, bathing suits, crafts etc. are difficult for many parents to pay for.  You see many parents taking their children to work, because there’s no alternative especially when they are working at low wages.  Sometimes it costs more to go to work than to stay home.  By reducing child allowances it can become completely financially impossible for both parents to work.

Even before these new child allowance cuts, parents were finding it difficult to pay for school supplies, books and the expenses for the upcoming Jewish Holidays.

Israel doesn’t have much of a parliamentary opposition, but I hope this latest government move galvanizes them to action.

“It injures where it’s supposed to heal. Once again, [Finance Minister Yair] Lapid is taking advantage of and encouraging a mistaken and inciting idea that haredim and Arabs are the only ones who are harmed by budget cuts. First of all, a child is a child is a child.”

According to Yacimovich, the average family will lose NIS 2,000 per year because of the allotment cuts.

The Labor issue took with a statistic Lapid cited – that only five percent of families where both parents work are poor – and said that 65 percent of poor families are working families. She added that there are 870,000 poor children in Israel, more than any other Western country.

“This is an economic and national mistake, evil for its own sake, and a total detachment from people’s regular lives,” Yacimovich wrote.  Jerusalem Post

But my big question concerns to silence from Lapid’s buddy, Naftali Bennett. A large portion of Bennett’s NRP-aka Bayit Yehudi voters will be losing thousands of shekels a year in this government decision.  Ignored by Lapid, Netanyahu and Bennett, who is also in the government coalition, is the fact that many, many families that will be losing thousands of shekels a year are from the dati Le’umi, national religious portion of the population.  They voted on the whole for NRP and Likud.  There’s a good chance they won’t be able to afford to make that mistake again.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Batya Medad

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/netanyahu-lapid-punish-families-with-children-and-bennett-is-silent/2013/08/20/

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