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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘visit’

May A Kohen Visit A Tzaddik’s Grave?

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

In this week’s parshah, we learn that when a person dies he conveys tumah. There is a machlokes why that is the case.

The Ramban, in the beginning of this week’s parshah, explains that when a person dies by means of the malach hamaves (angel of death) he conveys tumah. However, if he dies by means of neshikah (a form of death performed by Hashem) he isn’t. This is why Chazal said that tzaddikim do not become tamei upon death, since presumably they die by means of neshikah.

The Avnei Neizer (Yoreh De’ah 466) adds that Rav Chayim Vital says that the malach hamaves sprinkles three bitter drops on a person when he comes to kill him – and those drops create the tumah.

The Ohr HaChayim has a different understanding of why a dead person becomes tamei. He explains that since we accepted the Torah, we possess a high level of kedushah, and the forces of tumah are constantly anticipating and eagerly awaiting a chance to cling to this kedushah. As soon as a Jew dies the forces of tumah are able to enter his body, and thus he becomes tamei. This explanation, he says, also accounts for why a non-Jew does not become tamei upon death; since in his life he didn’t possess this kedushah, the forces of tumah are not interested in entering his body.

The Ohr HaChayim explains that with this understanding we can answer the following question pertaining to the words at the beginning of Parshas Chukas, “Zos chukas haTorah”: Why does the Torah refer to the mitzvah of tumah as “the chok of the Torah”? It does so, explains the Ohr HaChayim, because tumah only rests on deceased Jews due to them having accepted the Torah.

The Zohar says that only someone who dies of natural causes was killed by the malach hamaves. People who are killed by others were not killed by the malach hamaves. Based on this, the Avnei Neizer says there is a halachic ramification to the dispute between the Ramban and the Ohr HaChayim. According to the Ramban who said tumah sets in only when the malach hamaves kills, one killed by another does not become tamei. However, according to the Ohr HaChayim even one who is killed by another does become tamei.

It is unclear if graves of tzaddikim convey tumah and consequently whether a kohen can visit them. Even according to the Ramban’s opinion – that a dead person only conveys tumah when the malach hamaves kills him – tzaddikim still may convey tumah when they die since many tzaddikim die by means of the malach hamaves and not via neshikah. And even according to the Or HaChayim’s view – that tumah sets in due to the sudden absence of kedushah – a tzaddik perhaps doesn’t convey tumah since his body actually became kadosh during his lifetime, and it remains kadosh after his death.

Tosafos (on Baba Metzia 114b) cites a Medrash Yalkut in Mishlei that relates that when Eliyahu HaNavi and Rabbi Yehoshua (a talmid of Rabbi Akiva) were burying Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Yehoshua asked Eliyahu HaNavi how he, as a kohen, could bury a dead person. Eliyahu HaNavi answered that talmidei chachamim and their talmidim do not convey tumah. Tosafos says that Eliyahu HaNavi gave this answer out of respect for Rabbi Akiva. The actual reason he was allowed to bury Rabbi Akiva was because Rabbi Akiva was murdered by the government and no one was willing to bury him; thus, he had the status of a meis mitzvah for whom a kohen is allowed to become tamei. Apparently Tosafos maintains that tzaddikim convey tumah.

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Anti-Semitic Obama Cartoon in Leftwing Spanish Poster on Eve of State Visit

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

A cartoon showing a generalized form of President Obama hugging a generalized cartoon of a religious Jewish man with dollar bills as explosions erupt in front of them was posted on Twitter by the far-left United Left party, inviting its followers to come to a protest rally in front of the American Embassy in Madrid on Sunday.

Obama was scheduled to arrive in Seville on Saturday night and on Sunday visit an American military base in southern Spain. On Monday he is having lunch in Madrid with King Felipe VI and leading Spanish politicians. However, because of the Dallas shooting, the president will arrive in Spain only on Monday, directly for that lunch with the king.

The Israeli Embassy on Friday condemned the poster, stating, “Nothing can justify the usage of anti-Jewish caricatures, and silence shouldn’t be maintained in the face of this flagrant expression of anti-Semitism.”

United Left said the rally on Sunday will protest both American and Israeli policies, and that it opposes the president’s visit because the US promotes “neocolonialist international relations” of war, destabilization and interference.

This is Obama’s very first visit to Spain as president, at a time when this country is facing political instability following an election last month that didn’t give any party a conclusive victory.

Guerras No

 

David Israel

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

Netanyahu First Israeli PM in Decades to Visit African Countries

Monday, July 4th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leaving on an historic visit to Africa Monday, after decades in which no Israeli prime minister has visited the continent. The Prime Minister has set improving and strengthening relations with African countries as a goal; he will visit Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

On the occasion of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit, the National Information Directorate has designed a special logo featuring the flags of the countries on his itinerary.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Africa will begin in Uganda where President Yoweei Museveni will welcome him in an official ceremony with a 19-gun salute (21-guns is for presidents). Afterwards, an official ceremony will be held at Entebbe to mark 40 years since the Entebbe raid.

Later the Prime Minister will meet with East African heads of state who are traveling to Uganda especially for a diplomatic meeting with him. Participating in the meeting will be Ugandan President Museveni, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, Zambian President Edgar Lungu and Tanzanian Foreign Minister Dr. Augustine Philip Mahiga. Prime Minister Netanyahu will also visit Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia where he will hold meetings with their heads of state and security and economic leaderships. He will make an historic speech before the Ethiopian Parliament.

Beyond its diplomatic aspects, Prime Minister Netanyahu also has major economic significance. The Prime Minister will be accompanied by approximately 80 businesspeople from 50 companies, all eager to establish commercial ties with African companies and countries. Last week the Netanyahu cabinet passed a $13 million plan to strengthen economic links and cooperation with African countries.

Economic seminars will be held in Kenya and Ethiopia with the participation of the traveling businesspeople and their local counterparts. The seminars are under the auspices of Kenyan President Kenyatta, Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn Boshe and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

JNi.Media

Liberman Embarks on First visit to DC as Defense Minister Amid Military Aid Dispute

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) is coming to Washington DC on his inaugural visit as Defense Minister against the background of a dispute between the White House and Congress over increasing US support for Israel’s missile defense research and development. He’ll be meeting with US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, who maintained a personal friendship with Liberman’s ousted predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon (Likud). Liberman and Carter are expected to discuss the White House proposal for a long-term US military aid, which would be larger than the current package, but conditioned on Israeli agreement not to solicit additional military aid from Congress.

Last Tuesday the Administration opposed a call by Congress to increase funding for Israel’s missile defense program by $455 million, to $600 million, well above the 2017 fiscal year White House budget request.

Israel is looking to expand the US annual military aid package from the current $3.2 billion to upwards of $4.5 billion, a portion of which would go to purchases from Israeli companies. The White House is looking at a more modest increase over 10 years, and for the entire amount to be spent in the US.

According to a senior defense ministry source speaking to Ma’ariv, the military aid package is not the central purpose of the visit, rather the trip is mainly planned for introductory meetings with key players in the defense department and in Congress. “We don’t expect dramatic breakthroughs in the coming week,” the source said.

Liberman will also meet with the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Committees.

On Wednesday, Liberman will attend the Lockheed Martin roll out ceremony for the F-35 fighter planes purchased by the Israeli air force — the first of which is expected to arrive in Israel in December. The defense minister will also tour an Elbit Systems plant and meet in New York with the defense ministry purchasing delegation.

According to Walla, there is a dispute between the professional echelon in the defense ministry and Prime Minister Netanyahu over the American proposal, with the DM staff recommending signing the aid package now, and Netanyahu preferring to wait out this administration and dealing with the next president, Clinton or Trump, either one of whom would be more pro-Israel.

Liberman is much more liked by the current administration than Netanyahu, because back when Secretary of State John Kerry was still pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement based on the 1967 borders, Liberman, then Israel’s foreign minister, supported the US effort, saying this was the best deal Israel could expect.

In that vein, Liberman is expected to use the opportunity of his US visit to allay fears regarding his hawkish reputation on defense, by making a major dovish statement about the two-state-solution.

JNi.Media

Polish Foreign Minister to visit Yad Vashem Wednesday

Monday, June 13th, 2016

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Witold Waszczykowski will, visit Yad Vashem on Wednesday.  The Minister will tour the Holocaust History Museum, participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

David Israel

On Heel of Netanyahu Visit, Russia Pushing ‘Arab Initiative’ as Basis for Talks

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

Moscow has no problem adopting the Arab peace initiative on settling the Arab-Israeli conflict, and sees no need to amend it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told TASS after talks the PA FM Riyad al-Maliki on Wednesday. And, apparently, as far as the Russians are concerned, they never heard Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for any amendments to the initiative when he met with President Putin the day before.

“I did not hear any demands for amending the Arab peace initiative in the remarks of Benjamin Netanyahu,” Lavrov said. “It is integral and embraces the entire set of relations between Israel and the Arab countries, including Palestine of course. There is no need to amend it.”

According to Lavrov, the Arab peace initiative is a universal document, which everybody regards as the fitting foundation for a peaceful future between Arabs and Jews.

Also known as the “Saudi Initiative,” the Arab peace initiative is a 10 sentence proposal that was endorsed by the Arab League in 2002 and then in 2007, calling for normalizing relations between the Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for “(a) Complete withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the June 4 1967 line and the territories still occupied in southern Lebanon; (b) Attain a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees to be agreed upon in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution No 194 (which says that ‘refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.); (c) Accept the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In other words, the elimination of the Jewish State as we know it—by the time the last conditions of the initiative were fulfilled.

Perhaps it was symbolic that on the day of the first declaration of the Saudi initiative, March 27, 2002, Hamas committed the Passover Massacre as a suicide bomber killed 30 Israelis and injured more than 170, including children, at the Park Hotel in Netanya.

And yet, in March 2009 US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell announced that President Obama’s administration planned to “incorporate” the initiative into its Middle East policy.

And last year, in May 2015, shortly after winning the March 17 elections, Netanyahu himslef expressed tentative support for the initiative, saying he accepted the “general idea,” but with significant caveats, specifically its calls for Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights and the relocation of millions of Arabs into Israel. As to Jerusalem, Netanyahu said it would not be resolved immediately, and so for now “we’ll set this aside.”

For his part, al-Maliki told TASS he was hoping for Moscow’s “direct and active involvement” in resolving the conflict with Israel, based on the generous Arab initiative. “Considering the results of the latest session in Paris, we felt that it was necessary for us to come to Moscow to exchange opinions and see whether there were prospects for progress,” the PA foreign minister said.

“We’re convinced that Russia can play a very important role in bringing the parties to the negotiating table,” he added, noting that the recent talks in Paris held without the participation of the parties to the conflict helped ensure agreement on the beginning of the talks.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/on-heel-of-netanyahu-visit-russia-pushing-arab-initiative-as-basis-for-talks/2016/06/08/

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