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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘TORAH’

Who Is Worse – Arafat or Abbas?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat, that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is even worse than his predecessor.

“There is no difference between Arafat and Abu Mazen [Abbas],” he said. “Both of them hate Jews and believe in terror. The only difference is that Abu Mazen is more dangerous because he knows much better how to mask his true face.”

Lieberman put on the finishing touches Wednesday morning when he told Israel that Abbas also is worse than Hamas.

Abbas said in his speech on Tuesday commemorating Arafat that Israel is “contaminating” the Temple Mount. He even had the chutzpah to declare that Christians would never recognize eastern Jerusalem as part of the capital of Jerusalem.

International media have published so much propaganda against Israel that they have virtually erased from history the era of the Jordanian occupation, when Christians, as well as Jews, were barred from all holy sites under Jordanian rule.

Abbas’ outright incitement in his speech included praise for Muslim “heroes” at the Temple Mount who “have the right to defend themselves,” referring to Jews who “attack” by setting foot on the holy site, where they are barred from praying by the Muslim authority.

Abbas apparently fears that Jews might have prayers in mind, and that certainly is dangerous to Allah.

His incendiary speech fired up Lieberman, who is not a fan of Jews parading to the Temple Mount but who also is not too big on diplomatic charades.

He tore into Abbas Wednesday morning and said that he is an “illegitimate” leader of the Palestinian Authority because he has stayed in office for five years beyond the date for new elections.

Abbas “does not respect agreements and does not want peace but instead promotes terror.” He added, “His incitement is more dangerous than that of Hamas.”

Lieberman reiterated his previous suggestion that riot-plagued areas of Israel, such as the Triangle region between Netanya and Kfar Sava, and the Wadi Ara area around the Arab city of Umm el-Fahm to the north, could be part of a new Arab country.

“Once everything is made clear, the rioters certainly would be happy to live in a Palestinian state where they can enjoy freedom of speech, democracy, welfare assistance and unemployment insurance,” Lieberman said with enough bitter sarcasm that could turn honey into sour milk.

So is Abbas really worse than Arafat?

With all due apologies for throwing in a contradictory comparison with the Biblical Noach, the only difference between them is a generation.

The Torah cites Noach as a righteous mean, and Torah sages point out that he was a righteous man for his generation but certainly could not be compared with Abraham, ten generations later. However, each one was righteous in his generation.

Arafat terrorized Israel when ISIS did not exist, when even some Israelis on the center-right believed there could be some kind of compromise with the Palestinian Authority, and when the world had not yet realized that it was on the eve of a radical Islamic revolution and an Iran that seeks nuclear weapons to threaten the world with an Islamic universe or nuclear destruction.

Arafat was a terrorist when terrorism was appreciated by the world so long as it only killed Jews in Israel. He got away with wearing a pistol on his hip while talking about peace. He managed to turn the Nobel Peace prize into a mockery of truth.

Arafat set the stage for Abbas to put on a suit and tie, travel around the world to build up support for a “peace plan” that was a con game to set up Israel for destruction as a Jewish state.

Women of the Wall Smuggle Tiny Torah Scroll to Western Wall

Friday, October 24th, 2014

The Reform-led Women of the Wall group managed to sneak a miniature Torah scroll to the Western Wall Friday morning and used it celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of a girl who had to use a magnifying to read the letters.

An attempt earlier in the morning to enter the Western Wall with a regular-sized Torah scroll was stopped by officials. The Western Wall is operated as an orthodox synagogue, where women have no requirement to attend and where they have no obligation to read from the Torah.

The WoW group’s numbers have dwindled to only a few dozen in their monthly spectacle on Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of a new month that this month falls on Friday and Shabbat.

The Torah scroll that they smuggled this morning was only 11 inches high, including the handles. WoW said the scroll was ‘kosher,” meaning that it meets all requirement of Jewish law, and that it was loaned to them by someone whose ancestor had taken it from Lithuania 200 years ago.

There is no prohibition from using a Torah scroll that is so tiny that it requires a magnifying glass to read, but it is not known if the scroll has been in use in recent years. If it is not read during the year, there is no way of knowing whether there is no deterioration of even one letter, which would make it unfit for reading.

Even if the scroll is kosher, the WoW”s constant demand to read a Torah scroll at the Western Wall Plaza when rabbis already have agreed to allow the women to use a Torah scroll in another section of the same Wall but in a less visible area, makes a mockery of itself.

The women no doubt were all excited over themselves for being able to “fool” the rabbis, the ones who are real rabbis, and call Sasha Lutt, the daughter of a Russian immigrant to read from the scroll, with a magnifying glass.

They certainly were wildly singing Hallel, consisting of several Psalms recited on Rosh Chodesh, with every muscle in their mouths. They surely were dancing in celebration, but in celebration of what – that they tricked the rabbis and got some more publicity or in celebration that they were praying? That they felt so much holier than yesterday?

We will let God answer those questions, but the extravaganza does not absolve the WoW from the judgment of others, such as a counter organization called Women for the Wall.

“I find the use of a Sefer Torah as a PR prop extremely painful,” said Leah Aharoni, co-founder of the group. “The Sages have taught us not to use the Torah as a spade with which to dig, yet this is exactly what is happening here – an insensitive group co-opting religion to promote a political agenda.”

I have repeatedly written that the Women of the Wall should be allowed to make fools out of themselves. They are not innocent and harmless people, but they harm themselves more than anyone else.

Torah Values vs. “LGBT” Agenda

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

I recently became aware that Rabbi Yosie Levine of the Jewish Center will be addressing a so-called “LGBT” group for Jewish youth. He will deliver a pre-Yom Kippur shiur. I’m sure Rabbi Levine means well but I want to share my story and maybe he will think twice about associating with this group (I am deliberately not mentioning the name of the group because I don’t wish to give them any publicity).

About a year or so ago, your paper published a letter from a young man who is struggling with homosexual desires. Ever since that time, I have felt compelled to write. I too am gay. But I have a different outlook than Chaim Levin. It seems like Chaim has given up. Unlike him I have not given up. I will never give up. I want to have a wife and children in the natural way. I believe that is Hashem’s plan. And no matter what the gay liberals tell me, they won’t change my mind. I think Chaim Levin is a good person and that he means well in what he wrote. I don’t mean to judge him. I just feel that he has been led astray. Similarly, I think Rabbi Levine means well but he might not be fully aware of what this group does.

This Jewish group for homosexual young people is supposedly orthodox—and I emphasize supposedly. It wouldn’t be fair to paint everyone with a broad brush but the fact is some of the members of that group are more interested in being gay than being Jewish. For some of them, their real agenda is to undermine the Torah’s view of homosexuality. They don’t just want to be accepted as Jews struggling with the tayvah of same-sex attraction. They want to be fully embraced when they act upon their desires and publicly lead that lifestyle—a lifestyle that blatantly contradicts the Torah. They want to destroy JONAH (a Jewish organization that tries to help those struggling with homosexual desires). They want gay marriage to be legalized in every state and they want gay couples raising kids. They march, with kipa and tzitzis, in the “gay pride” parade. This is a parade with the most vulgar, lewd, and disgusting displays you can possibly imagine going on and they create a chillul Hashem every year. I wish I had more of a support group among people that are struggling, but the truth is, these people do NOT represent me. Most of them have given up the struggle and have given into their desires. With G-d’s help, I have not given up and I hope that I never will.

This group, and the liberals in general, tell me to just “accept myself” and that this is “who I am.” But that’s just it! I’ve already accepted myself. I know I am more attracted to men than to women but I also know that is not the way G-d wants me to live my life. Even putting religion aside, I know it is not the way I want to live my life. I want a wife and children—and G-d willing someday grandchildren! And so instead of giving up and giving in to my desires I continue to fight and struggle every single day. No, it’s not easy. Sometimes my temptations have gotten the better of me, but then I remember that no matter how many times I may fall, a Jew never gives up! I remember the words of Rebbe Nachman who reminds us to “Never give up!”

I will admit that sometimes I get tired of this struggle. It’s not easy. I sometimes feel like I have no place to turn. I wish these “open-minded” liberal Jews were really as accepting and tolerant as they pretend to be. The truth is they are only tolerant if you go along with their “LGBT” agenda but if not they will attack you. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in this struggle and sometimes I feel like I have nowhere to turn. But then I remember that I do have a place to turn: I turn to the One above and know that He will guide me and help me if I just put my trust in Him. So that is my message for other young guys ( and girls) who are struggling. Never give up! Never! G-d loves you very, very much. More than you can imagine. And no matter what you decide to do He will still love you anyway, no matter what. But He has given us free will. We can use that to follow Him or to follow after our “heart and our eyes which lead us astray. “ I have chosen to try my best to follow His will. I may succeed or I may fail but after 120 and least I will be able to say, “I tried!”

Disclosure: The author has requested that his article be published anonymously. The author is not associated with the JONAH organization mentioned in the article.

Australian Rabbi: Love Muslims and Everything Will Be OK

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Christian and Jewish religious leaders in Australia have launched a “We’ll love Muslims 100 years” campaign to express love and support for the country’s Muslim population, the JTA reported.

“We have Muslims who are made to feel like terrorists in the past few years and they report the atmosphere is similar to post-9/11 and it is simply as a result of cultural incompetence,” explained Rabbi Zalman Kastel, of the Together for Humanity Foundation.

He and pastor Brad Chilcott, national director of Welcome to Australia, a non-profit that focuses on issues relating to immigration and asylum, are heading the campaign that is supposed to make Islamic jihadists love Christians and Jews.

The name of the campaign – loving Muslims for 100 years – is a riff on a recent headline, published in the Weekend Australian, that stated, “We’ll fight Muslims 100 years,” according to a report in The Guardian.

It is clear why they will love Muslims for only 100 years and not any longer because if “love” is the solution to Muslim terror, there won’t be any Christians and Jews left in the world in the year 2114.

The year is 2024 is more likely, but let’s not quibble about the extra zero added on to 10 years.

Any assumption that Rabi Kastel is another Reform “rabbi” smoking The New York Times is dead wrong.

Believe it or not, he is a strictly Orthodox rabbi born and raised in Brooklyn.

He and his non-Jewish pals plan three major love events in Australia to rally Australian Muslims around the banner of love.

The Together for Humanity Foundation has been around for 12 years, in which time its love has paralleled the spread of fanatical Islam to the point that many Muslim countries as well as almost the entire non-Muslim world, except Israel, is scared to death, literally.

The Humanity Foundation was launched less than year after 9/11 and 12 years before the Islamic State ISIS has declared war on the United States, although President Barack Obama dismisses the declaration while ISIS beheads one American journalist, prepares another one for death and claims it has cells in the United States ready to strike fear into the hearts of heathen Christians and Jews who do not accept Islam. It does not mean middle class Islam but the real stuff that also expresses love – love for hate and love for death.

The catalyst for the “We’ll Love Muslims for 100 Years’ campaign was a recent headline the Weekend Australian, “We’ll fight Islam 100 years.”

It is forbidden to express the words “fight” in the world of Woodstock, unless one is fighting for “love” of everything, including hate. Or as John Lennon sang, “Imagine.” That is far as Rabbi Kastel’s reality goes – imagination.

But he insists he is not living in Woodstock.

It would be interesting to know what Talmudic discussion he uses for his outlook. But so far he is using his foundation’s Muslim president, Christian chairman and an atheist patron to back him.

The good rabbi, may God grant him a speedy spiritual recovery, is bothered by the “harsh talk” against Muslims in mainstream and social media.

“I was concerned about shrill, harsh talk we see both in social and mainstream, even though there is a lot of good interfaith work going on in Australia every day,” he said, quoted by the London Guardian.

“As a result, we have Muslims who are made to feel like terrorists in the past few years and they report the atmosphere is similar to post-9/11 and it is simply as a result of cultural incompetence.

“We are all on the same team, if I may use that word, in terms of the result, and that is peace.”

Bringing Moshe to the Moon

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In 1971, Apollo 15 Commander David Scott left a Christian Bible on the surface of the moon. Today, a group of Israeli scientists is trying to add a Sefer Torah to the lunar holy book collection.

According to a report in New Scientist, a group called “Torah on the Moon” has contacted groups in Israel and Spain to inquire about landing scroll on the lunar surface. The groups are competing for a $30 million prize, sponsored by Google, to be awarded to the first group to land a robot on the moon.

New Scientist cited confirmation from the European Space Agency that the group has asked the ESA to create a capsule to protect the Torah scroll. The report said the container would protect the Torah from radiation and temperature changes for at least 10,000 years.

Jewish Youth Battle to Win Israel’s 2014 Annual International Bible Quiz

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The nation’s eyes are on Israel’s annual International Bible Quiz for Youth, being held today (Yom HaAtzma’ut) at The Jerusalem Theater. Sixteen finalists, boys and girls, are facing off on the stage to win the prize. The contest is broadcast live on nearly all channels, radio and television, in addition to those on Internet, across the country.

Last week 75 contestants from 33 nations met in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Shai Piron.

Questions are announced by the emcee in Hebrew, but appear on the screen in English as well as in Hebrew.

Prime Minister Netanyahu traditionally presents the final round of questions to contestants who are fighting to be the winners of the competition.

At the halfway point, Jewish Agency director Natan Scharansky was asked to present an award to an outstanding student from Or Yehuda, and in his brief address spoke of the importance of strengthening Jewish identity among the youth in the Diaspora.

The contest has been an annual event since its inception. There is also an Israel Bible Quiz for Adults.

Last year’s youth winners were Elior Babian of Beit Shemesh, Israel and Yeshiva University High School student Yishai Eisenberg of New Jersey.

The prime minister’s son Avner won third place in 2010, and the contest has increased in popularity each year.

Torah Book Fetches Record $3.87 Million at Paris Auction

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A 15th century printed book of the Torah fetched a record $3.87 million at an auction in Paris.

Three buyers attempted to outbid each other over the telephone during the sale which the Christie’s auction house organized on April 30, the news website actualitte.com reported Thursday.

Christie’s listed the buyer as “anonymous” but said the sale broke two records. According to Christie’s, the item was the world’s most expensive Hebrew-language book and fetched a higher price than any printed book known to ever have been sold in France.

The book was printed in Hebrew in Bologna in January 1482, according to Christie’s. “The volume represents the very first appearance in print of all five books of the Pentateuch as well as the first to which vocalization and cantillation marks have been added,” according to the Christie’s website.

Prior to the auction, Christie’s estimated the item’s worth at up to 1.5 million euros, or $2.08 million.

The back of the copy bears the signature of three 16th and 17th century censors, testifying to its presence in an Italian library until at least the mid-17th century, according to Christie’s.

“Over the last hundred years only two copies of this rare edition have come to auction: the first in 1970, printed on vellum and complete, the second in 1998, printed on paper and missing eight pages,” Christie’s added in a news release before the sale.

The copy sold Wednesday was printed on vellum and is complete, apart from the rear free-end paper, and is “in exceptionally fresh condition,” the auction house said.

In 2012, the Paris office of Christie’s sold a 15th century mahzor, or Jewish holiday prayer book, for $2.41 million. It was created in Florence, Italy and was richly embellished with intricate designs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/torah-book-fetches-record-3-87-million-at-paris-auction/2014/05/01/

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