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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘World’

The First Jewish Americans: Freedom And Culture In The New World

Monday, January 16th, 2017

It’s always nice to see an exhibit featuring the great contribution Jews have made to our country. It’s especially encouraging and validating when a secular institution like the New York Historical Society, one of America’s most preeminent institutions, dedicates a significant path-breaking exhibition examining the story of newcomers to the New World, both Jewish and of Jewish ancestry, who made their way to colonial America and engaged fully in the cultural, social, and political life of the young nation.

Isaac Pinto, trans. Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah, and Kippur . . . according to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. New York, A.M. 5526 [1766].

Isaac Pinto, trans.
Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah, and Kippur . . . according to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. New York, A.M. 5526 [1766].

The First Jewish America: Freedom and Culture in the New World explores the origins of the Jewish Diaspora and paths to early Jewish life in American port cities. It examines our first synagogues and the birth of American Judaism in the 18th and early 19th centuries. It also focuses on prominent Jewish Americans who made an impact on early American life.

Founded in 1804, the NYHS, which covers general educational and informative history about New York City, New York State and the country, also has a children’s floor with interactive stations. It fosters research and presents history and issues surrounding the making and meaning of history through art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world today.

This past spring, the NYHS featured an exhibition tracing the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany, called Anti-Semitism 1919-1939. At a time of continuing anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere, it examined the rise of a culture of hatred through the gradual and deliberate indoctrination of German citizens into active hatred of Jews through the ubiquitous words and propaganda images seen daily during the Nazi era.

The current exhibition, on view until March 12, is in its own right combating anti-Semitism by educating the public about the impact early Jewish settlers had on helping to establish this country. Displaying more than 170 objects, including rare early portraits, drawings, maps, books, documents, and ritual objects, it explores the arrival of Jewish immigrants to the New World; their integral role in the colonial port cities of New York, Philadelphia and Charleston; and the growth of a uniquely Jewish American tradition in the new republic.

Myer Myers Rimonim, 1765-1776. Silver and brass with parcel gilding.

Myer Myers
Rimonim, 1765-1776.
Silver and brass with parcel gilding.

The exhibition features a number of notable Jewish Americans, including Myer Myers, one of colonial America’s preeminent silversmiths, who designed rimonim (Torah finials) for early synagogues, a pair of which are on view, and Luis de Carvajal, a Mexican Inquisition victim whose long-lost manuscripts were recently rediscovered.

Another noteworthy individual featured is German-born Rabbi Isaac Leeser, considered the father of American Orthodox Judaism, who fought to retain tradition and settled in Philadelphia, where he became the chazzan of Congregation Mikveh Israel as well as a publisher, journalist, and educator. Leeser believed that a measured openness to innovation, coupled with traditional Jewish religious observance, was necessary for sustaining Jewish life at a time when Jews were free to choose how they wanted to be Jewish. He embraced powerful new technologies like the steam engine and the steam-powered printing press to carry his message across America, publishing the first major American Jewish newspaper. He helped found the American Jewish Publication Society, established the first American rabbinical school, produced a solo translation of the Chumash, and traveled the continent extensively. Several of his publications are on display.

European Jews fleeing persecution and seeking ports of refuge were propelled westward to the distant shores of New World colonies, which offered hope for a new beginning until the infamous Spanish Inquisition followed them across the ocean.

Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596) Memorias autobiographical manuscripts , ca. 1595, with devotional manuscripts Manuscript leaves, 3 volumes, each stitched into plain wrappers.

Luis de Carvajal the Younger (ca. 1567-1596)
Memorias autobiographical manuscripts , ca. 1595, with devotional manuscripts
Manuscript leaves, 3 volumes, each stitched into plain wrappers.

The exhibit powerfully illustrates this experience through the 1595 autobiography of Luis de Carvajal, a “converso” Jew in Mexico and the nephew of a prominent governor, who was tried by the Inquisition and denounced more than 120 other secretly practicing Jews (including members of his own family) before he was burned at the stake in 1596. The exhibition showcases, for the first time on public display, the manuscripts relating to Carvajal – considered the earliest extant Jewish books of the New World. These three documents include Carvajal’s autobiography (written under the pseudonym Joseph Lumbroso), Maimonides Thirteen Principles of Faith, the Ten Commandments, and a prayer manual. These exceptional documents underscore the long reach of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, which followed settlers of Jewish ancestry into the New World, forcing confessions and burning suspected “Judaizers” at the stake in horrific “autos-de-fé.”

The recently-rediscovered documents, which had gone missing from the National Archives of Mexico more than 75 years ago, are believed to be the only existing writings by a Jew in Mexico during the Spanish colonial period and are on view by special arrangement with the Mexican government before returning back to Mexico at the conclusion of this exhibition.

Solomon Nunes Carvalho: Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Interior, 1838. Oil on canvas.

Solomon Nunes Carvalho:
Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, Interior, 1838.
Oil on canvas.

The First Jewish Americans also explores the paths taken by Jews who for centuries fled persecution in Europe – beginning with the little-known but remarkable stories of their experience in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Brazil during the colonial period, and following their journey toward finding freedom and tolerance in the early American Republic,” says Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the NYHS. “We are grateful for the extraordinary collections of Leonard L. Milberg and the partnership of the Princeton University Library, which will allow us to convey to the New York public the fundamental importance of the Jewish people to early American history. We are deeply grateful to Mr. Milberg for his tenacity and hard work in securing the loan of recently recovered Jewish writings from Spanish Colonial Mexico, the earliest extant Jewish manuscripts from that time period.”

The Jewish community in the New World dispersed throughout the colonies in the Caribbean, creating a network built on trade, family, and religious connections. Items of these island communities and influences include a 1718 map of the Jewish settlement in Suriname, 18th century texts of religious services for the circumcision of slaves, and Jamaican legal documents from 1823 that argued for Jewish voting rights.

During the colonial period, Jews clustered in the cosmopolitan- and commercially-minded port cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, and, within each city, an elaborate communal infrastructure grew that supported all aspects of Jewish life. Shearith Israel, the first Jewish congregation in colonial North America, built its home in Lower Manhattan in 1730. The congregation has loaned significant objects to the exhibition, such as a Torah scroll that was burned by British soldiers during the Revolutionary War and Myers’ rare set of Torah bells (rimonim) from 1765 that he designed for Shearith Israel before the American Revolution. The New York-born Myers was an active member of Shearith Israel and served the congregation in many capacities, including as parnas (president) in 1759 and 1770. As the rimonim suggest, Myers was as dedicated to his craft as he was to the rites and rituals of Judaism. This set of Torah bells, constructed in the “stacked globe” style of Sephardic rimonim, is one of five surviving pairs made by Myers for congregations in New York, Philadelphia, and Newport.

Gerardus Duyckinck I (1695-1746) Portrait of Jacob Franks (1688-1769). Oil on canvas.

Gerardus Duyckinck I (1695-1746) Portrait of Jacob Franks (1688-1769). Oil on canvas.

Also on view are six oil portrait paintings, circa 1735, of the prominent Levy-Franks family of New York, also members of Shearith Israel.

The Philadelphia Jewish community grew during and after the Revolutionary War, with the city serving as a refuge for patriots fleeing British-occupied New York. Some Philadelphia Jews opposed Britain’s harsh restrictions on American trade by signing the Resolution of Non-Importation Made by the Citizens of Philadelphia in 1765 – one of the first official protests against British mercantile policy, which is on view in the exhibit. Also featured are portrait paintings of politically-active Philadelphia merchant Barnard Gratz, a signer of the resolution who supplied American militias, and of his niece Rebecca Gratz, who in 1819 established the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society, the first Jewish lay charity in the country.

Sara Trappler-Spielman

Leah Kaufman Tells The World

Monday, January 16th, 2017

“After your speech, I wanted to write an email to my parents summing up the two hours you spoke with us. How do I present the many details, but make it so they would read it, not skim or skip to the end? I couldn’t include too much because it would be too long. I realized that must be how you feel every time you tell your story.

hirsch-011317-bookIf you tell too much the listeners eventually zone out, check their phones, chip their nails, or watch the clock. Not because they don’t care, but because it’s hard for our generation to sit still. But how can you tell your full story in only two hours? Even in three days?

Besides thanking you for the most incredible two hours, I want to apologize on behalf of my generation – those who came late, those who didn’t bring money to buy your book (more important than any textbook), those who didn’t shake your hand after you finished speaking, and those (myself included) who won’t be able to fully recount your story because we will miss important details or forget over time.

You have probably been told a million times how special you are, but I’ll be the million and first. When you held my hand that extra moment and told me to share your story, I started crying. You inspired me.

My three roommates, all students from comfortable backgrounds (with simple worries about money, clothes, and school), discussed your story for over an hour. No one checked their phone or paused to look at Facebook. We just sat around our kitchen table talked, cried, and laughed. Your words go further than your speeches… thank you. I will never forget you.”

– From an overseas Tel Aviv University student

Survival

Leah Kaufman, a child survivor, survived because of G-d’s miracles. She survived a death march, scavenged for food, looked for shelter, hid out in the forests, posed as a Christian orphan, was betrayed by a fellow Jew and sent to Pechora in Transnistria, where very few survived. She witnessed the death of her entire family one by one. And so much more.hirsch-011317-passport

In 1948, the Canadian Jewish Congress sent 16-year-old Leah to Calgary to be fostered by a Jewish family. They family did not begin to understand the horror she had suffered and told her not to tell macabre stories. Thus, Leah was silent for the next fifty years.

The atrocities that took place during the Holocaust were so enormous that mere words could not possibly convey the experience. Survivors can’t forget what they lost. Leah was only nine years old when, one Shabbos morning, her family – two parents and seven children – was lined up to be shot and miraculously escaped. Her mother, Bracha, the last of Leah’s chassidish family to die, continually obligated Leah to “Live. Remember. Tell The World” (also the title of her book, dedicated to her mother’s memory).

When Leah arrived in Canada, she immersed herself in her studies. Even though she had missed eight formative years of education, and lived through hell, she eventually earned a Masters in Education from Concordia University. Leah was hired by a Jewish day school and became a devoted and beloved teacher. She taught Judaism, Hebrew, and Yiddish. After 10 years, the school introduced Holocaust studies into the curriculum. At that point, Leah had never told anyone, not even her own three sons, that she was a survivor.

“I simply broke down the first few times I tried to prepare the Holocaust curriculum. Slowly, I trained myself to teach this subject by distancing myself from whom I was – a survivor. It was extremely difficult to do; nonetheless, keeping my identity hidden was a good thing in retrospect. Otherwise, I would have become the focus, either as a ‘hero’ or a ‘victim,’ without doing justice to the many children, their agony and their memory.”

hirsch-011317-chayalotUntil one day it slipped out. As Montreal was home to many survivors, the school had a yearly assembly about the Holocaust. The children wore yellow stars and lit candles in memory of lost neshamot. Leah participated, but refused to wear a star or be actively involved. One year, a student asked her, “Morah Leah, why don’t you also wear a yellow star?”

“Because, I already did.” The shock reverberated through the class.

“Right. You’re just kidding about the yellow star?”

“I would never kid about such a thing.” The secret was out. And the children’s behavior changed. They became careful and protective of her.

 

Speaking Out

hirsch-011317-chayalim

Giselle Tamler a”h, like Leah, lived in Canada and was also from Hertsa, Romania. Being much older, she had been married when the Jews were forced on the death march. Since Hertsa had been taken over by Russia before the war, Leah had become proficient in Russian, as well as Romanian, Ukrainian, Hebrew and Yiddish, and then German. The death march was to Transnistria, a Ukrainian province which Hitler had granted Antonescu, the Romanian dictator, permission to use for ghettos and death camps. Few survived the hell of Transnistria; Leah and Giselle were among the survivors.

For two years, Giselle incessantly called Leah, insisting that she speak up. “She harassed me. She kept on telling me that by not speaking I was a Holocaust denier. And she was right. When the Holocaust deniers became more vocal, we all had to come out.”

At that time, Yehudi Lindeman, a professor of Literature at McGill University, was arranging meetings to allow hidden child survivors to tell their story. When Leah came to the first meeting, she was astonished to see a room filled with half of the parents of her students and many other members of the community. There were lawyers, doctors, all highly educated and accomplished who hadn’t known of each other’s hidden identity. Professor Lindeman himself had survived as a young child hidden in Holland.

Leah started to speak and spoke to her listeners’ hearts.

“When I spoke to children, I would tell them about the children of the Holocaust, and they knew I would only tell them the truth. I would also use the powerful text I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Children’s Drawings and Poems from the Terezinstadt Concentration Camp, 1942-1944.

“Once, in a classroom, one of the children handed me a slim pictorial book, Where is Willy? Even though I had never seen it before, I agreed to read it to them.

“On the first page, Willy is seen sitting with his family, his parents and his sister. ‘Willy is happy at home,’ read the text.

“On the next page, Willy is sitting in a classroom wearing a yellow star. ‘Willy is not happy.’

“Then, on page three, Willy is behind gates in the Warsaw Ghetto. His sister is on the ground, both are hardly alive, and death is all around them. Willy is trying to put some food into her mouth.

“The last page is blank. The children were horrified. They cried out in unison: ‘Where is Willy?’ I could not answer them. I said: ‘Class, you tell me: Where is Willy?’

They broke out weeping. The principal asked me: ‘What have you done to your class?’ I told them about a child, just one.

Debbie Hirsch

New Year Speech to the Muslim World

Friday, January 6th, 2017

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute}

Obama’s first major speech after his election in 2008 was to the Muslim world in Cairo. His speech did not deal with the harsh realities of Islam and its impact on world peace. No Muslim authority shook Obama’s hand promising change, a new relationship with the West based on mutual respect, or a reflection on what went wrong on 9/11, even if they were not directly responsible for it. No Arab leader publicly announced an end to the Islamic jihadist and anti-Western hate education and Arab media propaganda. Instead, the Muslim world got an apology from Obama.

After Obama left Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood was empowered, and military rulers weakened and brought down one after another. By Western standards, military rule is shunned as an oppressive form of government, but in the Islamic world it is the only buffer of protection from the tyranny of total sharia that must be enforced by Islamic theocracies, such as those of Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Muslim Brotherhood and then ISIS quickly filled the vacuum and the Muslim world is now on fire.

A huge storm of Islamic darkness, spilling over and sweeping across our planet, headed towards the West. Let us never allow our freedoms, built by generations of Americans, be lost to fear and terror. It is time for the West to unite and send a firm message to the Muslim World — a message that should have been sent by Obama back in 2009.

With the election of President-elect Donald J. Trump, citizens of the West have renewed their hope to make America again the leader of the free world and human rights for all, as should be. Trump hopefully will rally leaders of the free world to give a firm message to the Muslim world:

The days of sacrificing the safety and security of citizens of the West for the sake of multiculturalism, are over. In order for multiculturalism to work, it must be a Two-Way Street between peoples that share common values of respect of each other’s culture. Unfortunately, the West did not get that from Islam. America, Europe and Australia have been the safe haven of people from all over the world — different nationalities, religions and races. We love the Muslim people as we love all people but our love to people of the world should never supersede our number one duty, which is to protect of our citizens, our freedoms, our way of life, and yes, our Biblical-based, Judeo-Christian values.

Today the Middle East is on fire, overrun and ravaged by terrorists and extremists who have no respect for their own governments or law and order. Groups such as ISIS and others brought back ancient barbarity that humanity had mistakenly thought it had transcended. We keep hearing that this has nothing to do with Islam and that Islamic terrorists are just a small number of misguided Muslims who misinterpret true peaceful Islam.

But now it is our turn to tell you what is on our mind: It really does not matter what is true Islam and what is not. When a terrorist plows through a crowd with a truck aiming to kill, the last thing anyone cares to hear is whether “the driver was a true Muslim or not”. That is something the Muslim world needs to deal with internally; it does not serve us in the West to try to evaluate what is “true Islam” and what is not.

Middle Eastern governments-run schools still teach hate propaganda against the West, Jews and Christians. They still teach their children lies such as that Yasser Arafat died from poisoning by Jews. They still teach in their public schools that jihad is a holy war against non-Muslims; that killing apostates and honor killing of girls is a duty under Islamic law and those who do it will not be prosecuted, but will be rewarded with virgins by Allah. Muslim Imams spread their hatred and incitement right under the noses of the so-called moderate Muslim leaders, on your government-run television screens. Your religious leaders, whose salaries are paid by Islamic governments, stand before your media cameras and call on Muslims to stab, slam trucks, kill, rape and humiliate the kafir [non-Muslim], Jews, Christians and Pagans.

We have done enough appeasing and looking the other way when it comes to the dirty little secret that no one wants to admit: that Islamic governments and terror groups are two peas in a pod, working together for the same goal: enforcing Allah’s law, sharia, on the world. It is no secret that a Muslim head of state must rule by sharia and must conduct jihad against non-Muslims. Sharia law commands Muslim citizens to remove, by rebellion or assassination, any Muslim leader who does not abide by sharia and support jihadists. The world understands the plight of Islamic leaders who must fulfill their sharia obligation before their Islamists, otherwise they are “toast.” Solving this problem is not the responsibility of the West, but it is a major problem that the Muslim world must address in the open and deal with.

While Muslim people and governments develop the courage openly to settle their issues over their jihad duty, the unholy alliance game played by Islamic governments and terror groups must be exposed for what it is, and emphatically rejected. The West cannot afford to participate in such a dishonest game anymore.

As of today, the West must hold Islamic governments responsible for jihadist actions of their own terrorist citizens. Nothing happens in Muslim countries without the knowledge of their governments. If a Muslim government has no control of its citizens, it should be considered a rogue nation. Islamic nations that continue to breed terrorists in their media, schools and mosques and then act innocent of the crime must be held accountable. Muslims themselves have no tolerance for one Western cartoonist who offended them with a cartoon of Muhammad. Instead of saying that this cartoonist does not represent all Western nations, the Muslim public rioted, burned and killed several Westerners and their embassies in retaliation for the actions of one, over a cartoon. That is from the same nations that flooded the world with terrorists that use airplanes, guns, explosives, knives and even trucks to kill non-Muslims. Muslims need to live by the saying “If your house is of glass, do not throw rocks at others.”

Any Western nation that does not protect its own citizens first and foremost should be a pariah among civilized nations. Bringing in unvetted refugees from Syria and Iraq is not an act of compassion, but gross negligence. Western governments have failed their citizens for too long in that respect and that will end today.

It would be insane for Western governments not to use extraordinary measures for self-preservation. The doors of immigration to Muslim citizens from nations overrun by terror will be closed. After all, why should cultures that loathe the West seek to live in the West? As President-elect Trump said, why should America — or any country — not allow in only immigrants who love us and who respect our laws and way of life?

Absorbing refugees from terror run Syria is not only bad for the West, but also for Syria. If we take the moderate Muslims out of Syria, then who will be left to fight ISIS and rebuild the country?

Our doors will be reopened to citizens from Islamic nations only when the war on Islamic terrorism is won and when Islamic governments prove to the world that they have fundamentally changed, that they have ended once and for all their obsessive jihadist propaganda and hate education prevalent in the Muslim world. Until then, all kinds of visas from such troubled areas will be suspended, except for the few who would be properly vetted. Such actions will surely expedite the reformation of Islam and Islamic education in Muslim nations who are desperate to give us their excess unhappy population.

We are looking forward to the day when moderate Muslims will be able to take control of their governments, their educational systems, and their law and order, so the Western world could resume mutual constructive relations based on friendship and respect. The whole world is looking forward to that day and praying for a peaceful Middle East. The ball is now in the Muslim world’s court.

Nonie Darwish

The Wonderful World Of Sous Vide

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

The other night for supper we enjoyed truly beautiful truffled sous vide salmon fillets.

They were light and flavorful with a texture that was near perfect: delicately firm, yet deliciously moist. In short, they were everything salmon should be. It was a restaurant-quality dish that, shockingly enough, was cooked by none other than yours truly.

While I am passionate about food, there are many cooking and food preparation techniques that I religiously avoid because I have no time or patience to bother with them. I steer clear of whipping up egg whites whenever possible. I refuse to sift my flour no matter what the recipe says. I am happy to eat pasta out of a box instead of spending forever making fresh linguine and I have zero patience for salting and sweating eggplants.eller-123016-thermometer

Given my penchant for laziness, I had been resisting the notion of experimenting with sous vide, a French cooking technique that promises joyfully juicy meats and more, for quite some time.   In my mind, sous vide would involve a big bulky appliance that would eat up precious space in my kitchen cabinets and necessitate buying expensive accessories that I would rarely use.

Let me be up front about my initial impressions: they turned out to be massive misconceptions. Or in simple English, I was completely and totally wrong.

Allow me to backtrack for a few. Sous vide (pronounced sue-veed or sue-vee, for those of us who never took high school French) translates literally to “under vacuum” and is a cooking technique whereby vacuum-sealed food is cooked in a hot water bath kept at a constant temperature. Because the food is cooked precisely at the desired temperature of the finished product, the item cannot possibly overcook because neither the water, nor the item being sous vided, will ever exceed that target temperature.

According to The New York Times, sous vide first made its mark in 1974 when two French chefs working independently of each other discovered that cooking foods that were tightly sealed in plastic at a constant low temperature enhanced taste and texture while minimizing shrinkage. The reasons are fairly straightforward: not only does cooking at a lower temperature allow food to retain liquids normally lost during cooking, vacuum-sealing foods traps flavors that are otherwise lost to cooking liquids.

While the technique was highly touted, it came at significant expense. Early sous vide machines cost upwards of $3,000, which made them practical only for high-end restaurants. Over time, however, eager home cooks found ways to rig up sous vide cookers of their own, using crock pots, rice cookers and even a thermocoupler hooked up to an aquarium pump. Thankfully, reasonably-priced commercial sous vide machines have been popping up recently, putting this innovative technique within reach for the average home cook.

Water ovens, which are essentially large boxes that circulate water at a chosen temperature are great for sous videing a number of items at once but eat up valuable real estate in your cabinets and on your counter. Immersion circulators which clip onto a pot and use an internal pump and a heating element to keep the water circulating throughout the pot at the target temperature are another sous vide option. Because they are significantly smaller than water ovens and are available at lower prices, immersion circulators are a great bet for newbies who want to jump aboard the sous vide wagon.

While my mind was thinking steaks, flat roasts, salmon and chicken cutlets when I started pondering the wonderful world of sous vide, the same cooking technique can be used to cook eggs, fruits, vegetables and even risotto. Depending on the size of your pot, you can actually sous vide several items at the same time, each in its own bag, obviously within the dictates of keeping your kitchen kosher.

My voyage into the world of sous vide began with the Sansaire immersion circulator, a product that got its start on Kickstarter and exceeded its goal by more than 800 percent. Sleek and black, the Sansaire resembles a futuristic obelisk and, armed with a few books on sous vide cooking, I got ready to take it for a spin with the aforementioned salmon fillets.

eller-123016-meatThankfully, instructions for sous vide run aplenty on the Internet and any cooker you buy will likely come with directions to get you up and running in no time. Instead of having to buy special plastic bags to seal my food, the directions that came with my Sansaire suggested using any ziplock bags that are BPA free and made of either polyethylene or polypropylene, which thankfully I had plenty of in my house. I followed instructions carefully, seasoning my salmon before sliding it into the bag in a single layer to ensure even cooking and half an hour later I had exquisitely delicious salmon, cooked to perfection at 126 degrees.

Was there an obvious difference between the salmon I sous vided and salmon that I typically bake, covered in the oven for 20 minutes? Without a doubt, absolutely, positively, yes. My sous vided salmon was succulently moist and had none of that icky white stuff that can appear on cooked salmon.

It is important to realize that food that you sous vide will not have a crisp exterior crust since, after all, it is being kept in a moist environment. While I didn’t feel the need for a crispy crunch on my salmon, many recipes suggest searing the finished product in a super hot pan or giving it a quick pass with a kitchen torch to get that golden crust.

With salmon checked off my list, I set my sights on something larger for my next sous vide attempt. A lineup of corned beefs that were already vacuum-sealed in my kosher supermarket piqued my interest and I picked up the flattest one I could find and started googling recipes. I admit, the results were a little confusing because some advised cooking the meat at 140 degrees for 36 hours or longer, while others recommended 10 hours at 180 degrees. In the end, since it was already Thursday afternoon and I wanted to cook my corned beef for Shabbos, I set my sous vide at 175 and plopped the bagged meat into the pot at precisely 9 p.m. for a 12 hour stint in its own little food-jacuzzi. Once the meat was finished, I cooled it, sliced it and put it in a pan with a little bit of water for reheating. The result was absolutely delicious, although next time around I would consider trying the 36-hour method at the lower temperature just to see which produces better results.

To be honest, I don’t see myself sous videing oatmeal, or applesauce or anything else of that ilk, but other than the aforementioned corned beef, I can’t see myself sous videing anything for a full day, let alone several. But it is clear that sous vide has the potential to be a kitchen game changer.

Watch out chicken cutlets. I’m coming for you next, with maybe a bag of fresh string beans thrown in on the side once the pot is already running. Who’s ready to join me?

* * * * *

Perfect Salmon

Sandy Eller

Tamar Yonah Show -Guess What Your World is Going to Look Like in 5 Years? [audio]

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

An amazing glimpse into our future in another 5 years, that will blow your mind. Plus: Shifra Hoffman of VictimsOfArabTerror.org and Shuva.net talks about a new business in Germany called, ‘Rent a Jew’. What’s THAT about? Listen and find out!

Tamar Yonah Show 18Dec2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Am I The ‘Funniest Person in the World’?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

I made the finals of the Laugh Factory’s ‘Funniest Person in the World’ Competition. Miracles happen.

A man who never had a chance to make it as a comedian because he kept Shabbat was now able to do stand-up for the world.

Question answered. An orthodox Jew can entertain all people. Now let’s talk about what happened.

The competition was the greatest experience of my comedic career. I performed with comedians from other religions, from all over the world, and we became immediate friends. Comedic delegates from all four corners of the globe, my brothers and sisters in laughter, these comedians are stars in their countries. Hailing from Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Brazil, Jamaica, Australia, India, and the list goes on. I spent a week with my new friends, transcending the world of politics and entering the world of laughter, where differences are praised and applauded.

As I described in my article here, I was selected as Israel’s entrant into the Funniest Person competition, and my video submission was so well liked that I made it to the live semifinals in Finland.

The Semifinals

I hit the stage in Finland, scared as anything. Will I connect? I have had a hard enough time connecting with Jewish women, let alone people from Finland.

I decided to take my audience to somewhere they’d never been before, to my world, the world of authentic Judaism and love of Israel. In stand-up, it is generally best to deal with familiar topics, known topics that are relatable – that’s one of the reasons why relationship humor is so widespread. But I wanted to open up something new to my audience. That’s why I performed with my Yarmulke and not a hat. I didn’t want to use the Jewish baseball cap disguise. Even if it was scary.

The first few minutes were scary. This was the first time I did not waste any time pandering to the audience. I took them right into my world and it was like a storm hit the room. I let them know what it was like to be Jewish. And at some point, being Jewish became relatable to them.

The first judge gave me a sort of, ‘I see where he is going, but I do not know if he is there yet.’ Got an 8. The next judge jumped in with a, ‘Refreshing’. He praised the act as something different, ‘Giving new meaning to self-loathing.’ The third judge shared his support as well, two nines.

I was on my way to the finals!

All of these years of spilling my heart in front of audiences led to this first moment of support and validation from people in the industry.

The unique Jerusalem style of total honesty, dealing with real issues on that stage, while bringing up true concerns in a non-judgmental way, and bearing my soul, finally found its place in the world of universal comedy. Comedy is not just about laughter, it is also about bringing out laughter from places most people are scared to go.

The Finals Performance

In the finals, I opened up my heart to the world. I let them know who I am and shared some of what it is that makes me the Jew that I am. To me, that is the only comedy I can do. I am not acting on stage, I am living. Life has ups and downs and it is raw. Same with my comedy.

Now is the time when I share something unfortunate. While I was on that stage, there were anti-Semitic remarks being made on the live stream. Comments about the Holocaust, hatred of Israel and hated towards Jews in general.

Immediately, family and friends questioned me. Maybe my material was “too Jewish”? Or maybe I shouldn’t have performed for these people at all? Why perform for and share of our tradition with people who hate? Why? Because we are supposed to be a light amongst the nations. And you can’t connect with people if you are scared. People are going to hate us, but I will not allow them stop me from loving who I am.

After my set, my Malaysian comedian friend came over to apologize to me. He said, ‘David, I am so sorry. Some people are very ignorant. They are making nasty comments about Jews.’ I was shocked for a second. Immediately I asked, ‘Did they say anything about my comedy?’ My Malaysian friend said, ‘No.’ I was relieved.

It was at that point that I knew I had won the competition. Finally, comedy transcended the laugh. There was the laugh and the point.

It took my Slovakian comedy friends and the Laugh Factory to teach me to not be scared of who am I. We are all outsiders in this world. We are all different, and we must celebrate our identities. They gave me the strength to perform with my Yarmulke on. They gave me the strength to be a comedian who can conquer the world, as a proud Jew.

I am Shomer Shabbos

I didn’t compete in the finals. I performed in the finals, but the voting was held over Shabbat so it was impossible for many of my supporters to participate.

I never felt better not competing. While the other four finalists were sending their videos to their supporters around the world, encouraging them to vote, I was making Kiddush. Shabbat is my time to connect with my identity. Shabbat is what makes me, me.

My mission was accomplished. I made the finals as a religious Jew and a respectable comedian. Now I know that I can connect with audiences of any kind, on any topic and bring them into my world. As long as it is not on Friday night.

We all know the famous story of Sandy Koufax who refused to pitch in the World Series on Yom Kippur. Perhaps this story of a comedian who didn’t lobby his supporters to help him win the Funniest Man in the World competition will one day become another beautiful Jewish story that parents will be able to share with their children. OK, I know, I won’t make the Hall of Fame, and children won’t want to hear my story, but maybe along the way, I will make a few people laugh.

David Kilimnick

Palestinians: Welcome to the World of Western-Funded Terrorism

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

Killing Jews has become a profitable business. Palestinians who think of launching a terror attack against Jews can rest assured that their well-being and that of their family will be guaranteed while they are in Israeli prison. Here is how it works:

The Western-funded Palestinian Authority (PA) government, through its various institutions, provides a monthly salary and different financial benefits to jailed Palestinian terrorists and their families. Upon their release, they will continue to receive financial aid, and are given top priority when it comes to employment in the public sector. Their chances of getting a job with the PA government are higher than those who went to university, because by carrying out an attack against Jews they become heroes, entitled to a superior job and salary.

For the record, these people have not been imprisoned for running a red light. Most of them are behind bars because they have masterminded suicide bombings and other terror attacks that have killed and maimed hundreds of innocent civilians during the past few decades. In the U.S., these convicted Palestinian terrorists would have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. What they would not be receiving are the privileges offered to them by Abbas and the PA leadership.

Ready for a dose of linguistic reality? In addition to his title as president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas is also chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). So it makes no difference at all whether the PA or the PLO is paying salaries to the terrorists: the same man is authorizing the funds. In reality, the PA and the PLO are one and the same. Israel signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO, and as a result of these agreements, the PA was created. We are dealing with the same people and same ideology.

So, when you hear that it is the PLO, not the PA, that pays the terrorists’ salaries, you might want to mention that this statement is a sleight of hand designed to dupe unsuspecting and well-intentioned American and European donors.

Let us look beyond the smoke and mirrors: Palestinians and their families are being financially rewarded by the West for taking part in terror attacks against Jews. It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that this promotes terrorism. A Palestinian who kills or wounds a Jew can lie comfortably in his prison cell, secure in the knowledge that his future and that of his wife and children taken care of.

Welcome to the world of President Abbas and his government. By providing financial and other aid to those involved in terrorism against Israel, these leaders actively encourage Palestinians to choose the path of violence, and not peace, in dealing with the Israelis.

Let us get specific. The more time you spend in an Israeli prison, the more prestigious the job you will receive. If, for example, you spent more than 15 years in an Israeli prison, and you are affiliated in one way or another with Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction, you will most likely be offered the rank of Colonel or Lieutenant General in one of the Western-funded PA security services.

If, by chance, you masterminded a series of terror attacks that resulted in the deaths of multiple Jews, and your name is Marwan Barghouti, your chances of becoming the next Palestinian president are very high. Barghouti, who is serving five life terms in an Israeli prison for his role in a series of terror attacks that killed at least five Jews, is so popular that he won the first slot in the Fatah “primaries” that were held in Ramallah in late October.

Issa Qaraqi, the head of the Palestinian National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs, described the election of Barghouti as a “victory for the prisoners and their sacrifices.” In other words, the terrorists should be happy because a bright future awaits them.

Qaraqi’s description is accurate. Like many Palestinians, he too believes that a terrorist who was responsible for the killing of Jews should be honored and offered the finest privileges. Palestinian public opinion polls indicate that Barghouti’s chances of succeeding Abbas as the next PA president are very strong. According to these polls, Barghouti, who has been imprisoned for 15 years, is the Palestinians’ front-runner for the presidency.

These polling results should come as no surprise whatsoever. Palestinians regularly rise to power on the fact of having killed or wounded a Jew. These are, shall we say, optimum credentials for leadership. “Graduating” from an Israeli prison is better than graduating from an Ivy League university.

Moreover, the payments made to the prisoners and their families are far from “humanitarian” in nature. Many of those who receive the benefits are, in fact, not in need of the money: they own their own houses and their families own agricultural lands and farms. In addition, the Palestinian tribal system, where the clan rallies behind one of its members, allows for the prisoners and their families to benefit from financial and moral support. The family bond is very strong in these instances, and it is the duty of each member of the clan to help in accordance with his or her abilities.

Instead, the payments have a political and national goal, as Palestinian leaders themselves remind us again and again. The declared goal is to support the “steadfastness” of the prisoners and their families, “alleviate their suffering,” and pave the way for their “rehabilitation and reintegration” into Palestinian society.

The Palestinian leadership and many Palestinians consider the terrorist prisoners “heroes” — “soldiers” in the fight against Israel. These are the “good boys,” who “sacrificed their lives and freedom” in order to fight the “Zionist enemy.” Take, for example, Maher Hashlamoun, a 32-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron who was recently sentenced to two life terms in prison for murdering a Jewish woman and wounding others in a car-ramming and stabbing attack near Bethlehem. Hashlamoun is now being praised by the PA and many Palestinians as a “hero” and “struggler.” At his sentencing, Hashlamoun laughed, sarcastically telling the judge: “Do you think you will remain on my homeland for another 200 years?”

The terrorist had good reason to laugh in the face of the judge. He knows that Abbas, the Palestinian Authority, or some other entity will look after his family and him while he is sitting in prison. He knows that thanks to Western donations to the Palestinians, his family and he will enjoy monthly payments. The family will even be exempt from paying school and university tuition, as well as their electric and water bills, which will be fully covered by the PA government, directly or indirectly. He also knows that if and when he is released from prison, his chances of finding a job in the public sector are much higher than those of someone who did not kill a Jew or spend time in an Israeli prison.

Until a few years ago, the PA government was dealing with the Palestinian prisoners held in Israel through the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, which was established in 1995, shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

The ministry aims, among other things, to “ensure a decent life for prisoners and care for their children and their families.” Its mission also includes the “rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-detainees into Palestinian society.”

In 2014, the Palestinian Authority, under pressure from Western donors, abolished the ministry and replaced it with a new body called the Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs. The decision to abolish the ministry and turn it into a PLO-associated commission was seen as an attempt by Abbas to appease Israel and the Western donors. As a consequence of the change, the PLO, and not the PA government, would be in charge of paying salaries and other social benefits to the prisoners and their families. The move was aimed at showing Western donors that their financial aid to the Palestinian Authority was not going to support terrorists in Israeli prison. (The PLO does not receive direct funds from Western donors).

But Abbas’s move was nothing but another dirty deception. The so-called Higher National Commission for Prisoners and Detainees Affairs is actually the same abolished ministry, but under a different name. The commission is directly linked to the Palestinian Authority government and appears as one of its institutions on its official website. The website declares that the Commission provides the prisoners and their families with “legal and material services,” as well as professional training, health insurance, loans, grants and university scholarships for ex-prisoners.

While many in the international community have fallen for Abbas’s trickery concerning the support of convicted terrorists who are imprisoned by Israel, a few have discovered the ploy. Earlier this year, the British government’s Department for International Development reportedly froze part of its aid to the PA, following demands for action from UK lawmakers, after revelations that British aid was being used to fund payments to Palestinian terrorists. Some of the funds were reported to have gone to families of Palestinian suicide bombers and teenagers who have attacked Israelis.

But the world according to the PA is still not the world according to the international community. Taxpayers have the right to know if their money is covering the dental expenses of a terrorist and his family. It is time to tell Abbas and his associates, in terms that they understand, that the West will no longer fund terrorists. This message, above all others, will discourage terrorism — and perhaps even encourage peace.

 

Bassam Tawil

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/palestinians-welcome-to-the-world-of-western-funded-terrorism/2016/12/21/

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