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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘thousands’

Jerusalem Reinforces Security as Thousands Converge on Sukkot Holiday

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Extra police security measures have been put in place for the festival of Sukkot in public areas, parks, and malls across Israel, following the Yom Kippur holiday. Police units are providing beefed up security at national parks, community centers, synagogues and other public areas.

According to the Israel Police Foreign Spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, special emphasis is being placed on Jerusalem as security is reinforced in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. During the Sukkot festival, police patrolling the Old City arrested 10 Arabs for throwing rocks from rooftops, which caused no injuries, according to Rosenfeld.

Thousands of people are visiting Jerusalem’s Western Wall during the week-long holiday to attend the annual priestly blessing recited at one of Judaism’s holiest sites. Last year on Sukkot, an estimated 50,000 people including ultra-Orthodox, religious, secular, traditional and non-Jewish tourists attended the traditional blessing ceremony at the Western Wall.

Following UNESCO’s resolution last week that denied any historic and religious connection of the Jewish people to the Western Wall and Temple Mount, Israel’s Interior Minister Aryeh Deri called on Israelis to visit the Western Wall in masses this Wednesday on a Facebook post. “This year, we’ll come, in our masses, to Jerusalem to the Western Wall, to the Priestly Blessing. We’ll send a clear message – nobody will separate us from our holy places.”

“On Sukkot, we will go up to Jerusalem; say yes to the Western Wall, no to UNESCO’s decision!” wrote Deri.

President Reuven Rivlin also commented last week on the vote, stating that “there is no festival more connected to Jerusalem than Sukkot.”

“The festival of Israel all highlight the inextricable bond between our people and our land, and no forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself,” said the Israeli president.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Thousands March 9 B’Av Night in Support of Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Thousands of marchers from all across Israel participated in the 22nd annual walk around the walls of the old city of Jerusalem on Tisha B’Av night, Saturday, organized by Women in Green. This year the walk, which began following the traditional reading of the scroll of Lamentations at the Independence Park in downtown Jerusalem, was focused on Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. The marchers circled the ancient walls carrying Israeli flags, accompanied by police.

The march was concluded with a rally that began with a rousing speech by Women in Green co-founders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar. Katsover asked why did the 9th of Av become the time of the year when so many calamities took place in the history of the Jewish nation (the destruction of two temples, the fall of the city of Beitar to the Romans, the expulsion from Spain, the expulsion from the Gaza Strip). She pointed to the fact that the sin of the spies, the first event that established Tisha B’Av as a day of mourning for the ages, was the sin of fear of going out to conquer the promised land. The spies convinced the nation that we couldn’t do it.

9 B'Av Jerusalem march 2016 organizers Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

9 B’Av Jerusalem march 2016 organizers Yehudit Katsover and Nadia matar / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

“We can’t do it! The state of mind of ‘I can’t do it’ is the cause of defeat. That’s the root of the destruction,” Katsover said. “Tisha B’Av is here to remind us to mourn the things we could have done but didn’t … because of our fear. We don’t build in Judea and Samaria because we’re afraid of pressure from the dwarf Obama. We fail to save [the community set for demolition] Amona because the Supreme Court is afraid of the world. We don’t impose sovereignty because we fear the demographics. We don’t carry out this march in the direction of the Temple Mount because we fear the Arabs and the deteriorating State of Jordan.”

“If we allow our subjective fears to dictate our objective reality, we’ll keep falling time and again,” Katsover declared. “This is the root of our destruction. The first time this approach was introduced was on Tisha B’Av and since then, each year, we cry over the fact that we failed to trust ourselves.” And she announced, “On this Tisha B’Av we’ll decide that we can do. We can and we will. We will not permit the baseless tears to stop us.”

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Dov Kalmanovich, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, the first Israeli victim of the First Intifada (the skin of his face and a large part of his body were burned away by a Molotov cocktail that was hurled at his car on December 9, 1987), said the way to bolster Israel sovereignty across the Land of Israel was through unrelenting construction. He said liberation didn’t end with the conquering of the city, that’s where it started — and the rest is all about building the city. “With your support we’ll cry out for a sovereign Jerusalem,” but this sovereignty must be borne by physical building, Kalmanovich told the marchers.

Former MK Aryeh Eldad / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

Former MK Aryeh Eldad / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson


Former MK Aryeh Eldad told the audience about his late father, MK Israel Eldad, who each year on Tisha B’Av would visit the Israel Museum, stand in front of the statue of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who suppressed the Bar Kokhva rebellion (132 – 135 CE) and tell him, “So, what do you say? Where are you and where are we now?”

“On the surface he appeared to be right,” Eldad said about his father. “The Roman Empire disappeared and we are here, a sovereign nation returning to its homeland after destruction and catastrophe the likes of which history has not known. But it isn’t that simple.”

“The curse of Hadrian is still hovering above us,” Eldad continued. “After he destroyed Beitar and hundreds of other communities, and massacred half a million Jews, he was not satisfied, and sought to revise history and erase the memory of Israel. This is why he rename Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina (after Jupiter Capitolinus, the same god who eventually lent a derivation of his name to Capitol Hill). And he changed the name of the province of Judea to the province of Syria-Palestine.”

“This curse of Palestine has been chasing us to this day,” Eldad said. “If we want to return to the mountain, we must erase the name Palestine from Eretz Israel.”

The crowd responded with soaring applause.

Other speakers included Rina Ariel, mother of 13-year-old Halel Yaffa Ariel hy”d who was murdered in her bed a few weeks ago by an Arab terrorist; former Russian dissident Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich; and Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan.

MK Yehuda Glick / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

MK Yehuda Glick / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

The last speaker at the rally was MK Yehuda Glick, whose name and personal history have become intertwined with the story of Jewish efforts to return to the Temple Mount. “For two thousand years we’ve kept the commandment of ‘Bitterly she will weep at night’ (Lamentations 1:2), but no more! We stop crying and start doing! The fathers of the Zionist movement have taught us the diaspora is not only the punishment but the sin, too. Zion is the holy Mt. Zion, and Zionism took that name because it wanted to return to Zion, to the Temple Mount, and you,” he turned to the audience, “are part of the return to Zion, to the Temple Mount.”

Pointing out that when he began ascending to the Temple Mount only about a hundred Jews a year would go there, but in the past year some 20 thousand have come.

“Since the day fifty years ago, when God gave us, through the IDF, the land of our fathers, the Golan, Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and we said that Temple Mount is in our hands (the famous victory cry of Paratroopers commander Gen. Motta Gur, June 7, 1967), it really has been in our hands,” Glick said. “Temple Mount is holy, not the status quo,” he continued, crying, “Eicha-How [the Hebrew title of the Book of lamentations] is a scream. How can there be such and absurd reality in which we cannot pray in this place? How can it be that the global center of ‘Nation will not take up sword against nation’ fall in the hands of people who sanctify the sword? How can we give more and more power to the Waqf?”

Glick, whose first few months in office have been marked by liberal and tolerant statements that puzzle the media, concluded decidedly, “We must make clear that all the talk about the chance for a Palestinian State is finished. We will proceed in imposing Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, and anyone wishing to live in peace is welcome, and if they don’t we’ll use harsh measure against them.”

“We are now a nation of building in the daytime, not a nation of weeping at night,” Glick concluded.

The rally then erupted in three calls of “Higia z’man ribonut” (the time for sovereignty is now) and proceeded to the Kotel Plaza to sit down and say Lamentations.

9 B'Av Jerusalem marchers 2016 / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson

9 B’Av Jerusalem marchers 2016 / Photo credit: Gershon Elinson


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.”


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.


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.”


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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/chasing-thousands/2016/06/02/

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