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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Western Wall’

NY Mayor de Blasio ‘Stands with Israel’ on Eve of Visit

Friday, October 16th, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio told reporters on Thursday, the day before he is scheduled to fly to Israel for a visit through Sunday:

I’m proud to be going at a moment when Israel is in need, and where friends need to stand and be counted.

We’re looking forward to what’s obviously going to be a sober environment, and a difficult environment, but I look forward to meeting with my fellow Israeli mayors and mayors from around the world to stand in solidarity with Israel.

He is scheduled to visit the Western Wall but also had planned to meet Palestinian Authority Arabs, a departure from the itinerary of his three predecessors, Michael R. Bloomberg, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Edward I. Koch, who restricted their trips to Israel to meetings with the country’s political and business leaders.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last year refused to accept an invitation from the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations to visit Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

DeBlasio will meet with Arabs, but not as he planned.

He had wanted to talk with Arabs in Ramallah, without meeting with Palestinian Authority officials, but the wave of terror has forced him settle for meeting them in Israel.

However, he says he is not afraid, explaining:

In terms of my own safety, I believe that Israeli security forces obviously know what they’re doing, and NYPD knows what it’s doing, and I’m very comfortable with that.

DeBlasio will meet with Arab children who learn with Jews at a school that was torched last year in an arson attack by Israeli extremists.

He said:

This is a region that needs peace deeply, and peace is elusive. One of the ways we foster peace is through inclusion. And our hopes have to be with the young people at this point. The previous generation hasn’t managed to find the path of peace.

Orthodox Jewish businessman Baruch Eliezer Gross is paying for the mayor’s trip.

A Slice of Jewish Life in Jerusalem’s Ancient City

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Barnea and Shoshanah Selavan, long-time residents of the Old City of Jerusalem, begin sharing their lives with JewishPress.com readers this week. The couple brings us a glimpse into what it’s like to walk among the ancient alleyways and enjoy the bright new artwork adorning the shops in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.

Here in Jerusalem’s Old City we live this surreal existence. You aren’t just living your own life. It’s a sense that whatever you do you are representing the entire Jewish people. You can’t be scared, you can’t give in.

We are here in the center of the world, the magnetic field that attracts the entire Jewish world. And the truth is, we aren’t scared. We send our children to school, we go to the supermarket, go to work run our errands…but with one ear listening for sirens, helicopters, gun shots. I’d say we are all looking over our shoulders a bit more than before.

My newlywed daughter just called me. She needs to see a doctor and is scared to go alone. I wonder if my Arab neighbors in the Muslim Quarter are also showing signs of anxiety. As I hear the kindergarten children playing under my window I also hear the whir of helicopters in the distant background and wonder what the day will bring. Just in case, I’ve cancelled my husband’s tunnel tours for the rest of the month. The phone is not exactly ringing off the hook. But hey — the sun is shining and it’s a glorious day, and Rosh Chodesh to boot! So I’m putting on my dancing shoes and away I go … and in case you’re wondering, I will be walking out through the Arab shuk (market) because this is my home and that’s how I go. As I continue writing this it is late afternoon. When I left the Old City this morning I was bombarded by the sound of sirens, first going in one direction and then heading to another. I asked a police officer what was going on and heard about the two attacks in Armon HaNatziv and Geula. I felt short of breath, felt the world crashing in on my lungs, but I continued to town to meet my daughter. It’s relatively empty there now and those who are on public transportation or walking the streets are ill at ease. Everyone is talking about the attacks, and everyone is fed up. Everyone wants reprisals. But how do you reprise against a non-entity? Maybe we should let them declare a state and then we declare war on our enemies — makes sense doesn’t it? Tomorrow I may be meeting with President Reuven Rivlin. Other community council leaders are drafting a letter demanding an end to the violence to be translated into Arabic and they want us to present it to the president to sign. But if it was as simple as a letter, don’t you think someone would have thought of this earlier????? Just got a call to attend an emergency security meeting in the municipality — see you later! And yes, I am walking through the shuk to get there! Fascinating meeting, hearing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his advisors describe the situation in the Arab schools in our city.

The mayor has been going into the schools where the terrorists are coming from and hearing from the principals and teachers how the children and teens are being fed a totally inaccurate pictures of reality from the Arab social media. How they truly believe that the terrorists are innocents being murdered by Israeli police officers! How they all have pictures of one of the young murderers and idolize him like a movie star, and look forward to joining him in the next world (and we all know how they plan on joining him, don’t we?) The principals are unable to combat the lies and our municipality is going in there trying to spread truth. Indeed fascinating how we continue to believe that they care to hear the truth.

But on a positive note, Old City youth organized a march from Jaffa Gate to Zion Square this afternoon, complete with Israeli flags and lots of heartfelt singing. Yesterday, at the end of the Lavie shiva, they closed up the tent which they set up at the site of the murder and held a special tefilla (prayer) at the Western Wall. Today they have focused their energies on keeping the spirits high for all Jerusalem residents.

Another day in the life of an Old City resident. Neighbor Rav Motty Berger once said that all Jews are driving in the car of Jewish history, but those living in Israel are in the driver’s seat. In that case we in the Old City are sitting on the windshield!

Prayers for peace throughout the land of Israel, and a speedy recovery to all of our victims of terror.

Where Did the Holy Temple Really Stand?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) The following paragraph has raised the ire of many Jews and forced the NY Times to apologize and retract. It read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is whether the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was also the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The Times, realizing belatedly that what the paragraph actually suggested was placing in doubt millennia of Jewish teachings, posted a retraction:

“An earlier version of this article misstated the question that many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered concerning the two ancient Jewish temples. The question is where precisely on the 37-acre Temple Mount site the temples had once stood, not whether the temples had ever existed there.”

Obviously, if you’re to the right of the Times you know they wanted to get away with delegitimizing the Jews’ claim to the Temple Mount, and if you’re left of center you don’t get what the whole brouhaha was about. The Times amended the offending paragraph to read:

“The question, which many books and scholarly treatises have never definitively answered, is where on the 37-acre site, home to Islam’s sacred Dome of the Rock shrine and Al Aqsa Mosque, was the precise location of two ancient Jewish temples, one built on the remains of the other, and both long since gone.”

The article itself points the finger of blame for all this uncertainty at the Jordanian Waqf, saying “the Waqf has never permitted invasive archaeological work that could possibly yield proof.”

“That’s where you get to the Catch-22,” Jodi Magness, a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told the Times. “The logical thing would be to dig.” But she acknowledged that “if you did that, you’d probably cause World War III to break out. It’s not even in the realm of possibility.”

Another expert, Jane Cahill, said “nobody knows exactly” where the temples once stood, although “pretty powerful circumstantial evidence” suggests they were on the site, and bewailed the fact that “because there have been no organized excavations there, and not likely to be, circumstantial evidence is probably all we’re going to have.”

Any discussion of the geography of the Temple Mount begins and ends with Even Hashetiah, the Foundation Stone, whose location marks the precise site of the Holy of Holies. The Mishna Yoma (5:2), dealing with the labors of the High Priest in the Temple on Yom Kippur reads:

“After the Ark had been taken away, there was a stone from the days of the earlier prophets (Samuel, David and Solomon), called the Hashetiah (the word means foundation, as in the foundation of the world), three fingers above the ground, on which he (the High Priest) would place [the pan of burning coals]. He would take the blood from [the priest] who was stirring it, and enter [again] into the place where he had entered (the Holy of Holies), and stand [again] on the place on which he had stood (between the two staves), and sprinkle (the sacrificial blood).”

In simple terms: the Mishna offers testimony that during the First Temple, aka Solomon’s Temple, which was sanctioned in 832 BCE and destroyed in 587 BCE, the Holy Ark, complete with the Ten Commandments, stood on the Foundation Stone. Then, in the time of the second Temple, between 516 BCE and 70 CE, with the Ark gone, the High Priest used the same Foundation Stone as a resting place for his pan of burning coals for the sacred incense.

The golden Dome of the Rock, located at the very center of the Temple Mount, is, according to the vast majority of Jewish and Muslim stories, built right above the Foundation Stone. This is the spot where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac, and, according to the Zohar, the stone was brought there by our third patriarch, Jacob, on is way from Canaan to Haran.

Naturally, there are competing Muslim narratives, and the Jewish Foundation Stone doubles there as the spot from which the prophet Muhammad ascended to Heaven, although there are disputes over whether this happened in reality (modern version) or in a dream (original version).

The walls around the Rock are adorned by anti-Christian statements, written in mosaic stones, expressing doubt in their dogma.

The NY Times has, actually, gone farther than many in rebuking the Muslim Waqf for forbidding an architectural examination of the Dome of the Rock. Over the years, Israeli media have reported of many attempts by the Waqf to degrade whatever archeological remnants of the former Temples have remained beneath the Dome. It could be said that the vehement response of Muslims in and out of Israel to provocative incitement regarding Jewish plans to start visiting the Temple Mount more regularly reflect deep anxieties about the true origins of the place, which must be hidden in the rubble underneath.

Trying to explain “why is the shrine so important?” AP noted Monday that while Jewish believers say that Jewish religious practice would only be complete once the Third Temple has been rebuilt, “leading rabbis, citing religious purity laws, have banned entry to the compound since Israel captured it in 1967, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza,” and “Israel’s chief rabbis reaffirmed the ban in 2013,” so that “most Jews continue to worship exclusively at the adjacent Western Wall, a Temple remnant.” Of course, the Western Wall is not a remnant of Solomon’s Temple, or even Ezra and Nehemia’s Temple, but was most likely built, judging by recent findings, by King Agrippa II, Herod’s great-grandson, as a supporting wall for his grandfather’s renovated Temple, which was destroyed only a few decades later.

There is no mystery, according to Jewish sources, about the precise location of the Holy of Holies, God’s Sanctuary. It lies directly beneath the golden dome which can be seen from practically every corner of Jerusalem. The true mystery is: why are the Muslims in Jerusalem and elsewhere so anxious, to the point of starting a wave of suicidal violence and terror against Jews — when so few Jews–a mere few hundred–show an interest in the Temple Mount?

Hareidi and National Religious Jews in Massive Prayer at Kotel Today

Monday, October 12th, 2015

A mammoth unity prayer rally is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. EDT) Monday to ask God for protection and deliverance from the recent reign of Arab terror.

The organizers said:

In these days of terror and attacks on Jews, the need for unity is one of the first values that we must display with more prayers to God.

Leading rabbis from the national religious and Hareidi sectors will attend the prayer rally.

Relatives of those murdered by Arab terrorists, including those of victims who were on their way to the Western Wall to pray, will say the mourner’s prayer (Kaddish) at the Western Wall.

It would be a good idea if all Jews, regardless of whether they consider themselves religious or not, join the unity prayers.

Chief Rabbis Urges Jews to Go to Western Wall and Pray for Peace

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has called on Jews to arrive en masse at the Western Wall on Hoshanah Raba and Shemini Azeret-Simchat Torah to pray show their strength and faith in the face of terror.

Rabbi Yosef’s message was in response to the murder of two Jews and wounding of two others in the Old City Saturday night by a Palestinian Authority terrorist.

He asked Jews “to perform the commandment of the holiday and to pray for the peace of the wounded.” and added:

The situation in which the blood of Jews is spilled like water in the land of Israel, day after day, when their only sin is their being Jews, is unbearable.

We can’t allow a situation in which Jews are afraid to go to the Western Wall,” continued Rabbi Yosef.

The rabbi called on “all the sources involved in the matter to bring about a situation in which Jews will feel secure in all parts of the land of Israel.”

The prayer rally at the Kotel parallels mass protests elsewhere in Israel, including opposite the official residence of the Prime Minister in Jerusalem.

Israel Police Limit Access to Old City of Jerusalem

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Israel Police began limiting access to the Temple Mount early Sunday in the wake of a massive wave of terror this weekend in and around Jerusalem.

Access to the area is to be limited for the next two days, the period spanning the Jewish holidays of Hoshana Raba and Simchat Torah, the final days of the first Jewish festival of the Hebrew calendar.

Two Israeli rabbis were murdered, and a young mother and her 2-year-old toddler were gravely wounded by a teenage Arab terrorist as they were walking back from the Western Wall on HaGai Street near the Lion’s Gate.

At around 3 am Sunday morning, a 15-year-old Jewish teen was stabbed in the chest by a Palestinian Arab terrorist outside the Old City. Police saw the attack, and the terrorist with the knife in his hand, and shot him dead.

Following the attacks, Israel’s government “agreed to proposals by Israeli security services and police to limit access to the Old City for the next two days,” according to a government statement.

Access to the Old City is to be restricted to Israeli citizens, residents of the Old City, tourists and business people who work in the Old City, and students who study in the Old City.

The murderer who carried out Saturday night’s terror attack was a resident of al-Bireh, an Arab village near the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah, in Samaria.

Access to the Temple Mount for Muslim prayer is to be limited to males aged 50 and above, although there will be no age limit on female Muslim worshipers. That access will be through the Lions Gate, where Saturday night’s terror attack took place.

Thousands at Western Wall for ‘Birkat Kohenim’

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall (Kotel) Wednesday morning for the “Birkat Kohenim” priestly blessing, and police kept the peace to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount.

Another 13 Arab Muslims, including five minors, were arrested on charges of trying to create disorder and violence. Nearly 200 have been arrested in Jerusalem since the Rosh HaShanah holiday began two weeks ago.

President Reuven Rivlin and Israel’s chief rabbis plan to be at the Western Wall Wednesday afternoon for the once-in-7-years “Hakhel” ceremony

A video of police arresting a Muslim woman Wednesday morning for trying to harass Jews on the Temple Mount.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/thousands-at-western-wall-for-birkat-kohenim/2015/09/30/

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