Posts Tagged ‘Yom Yerushalayim’
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Malkah and Yishai kick off our Yom Yerushalayim Special with a discussion of their move to Jerusalem, and the new consciousness that has awoken within them. How does one awaken the passion for the great project of building G-d’s city, and not take it for granted? Listen in to find out!
Yom Yerushalayim, a national day of thanksgiving to Hashem for the liberation and reunification of the Holy City of Yerushalayim, is celebrated in Israel with many different meaningful programs. One of them is the annual bike ride from Hebron to Yerushalayim, celebrating the former’s liberation.
As we looked out from our mirpeset (porch) across the fields, we saw many of the bike riders. Among them were our daughter-in-law and two of our grandchildren, but despite looking through our binoculars we couldn’t find them among the throng, as there were just too many riders going from the City of our Fathers to the Holy City. However, we heard the sounds of joyful music accompanying the bikers, which traveled into our home and enhanced our happiness.
It was also a personal day of remembrance, as it was the yahrzeitof the heroine of this story, Malka Metzger, my husband’s grandmother.
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The time: the beginning of World War I; the place: Baligrod, Poland.
Malka Metzger, married with five children, stands at the doorway of her home, saying goodbye to her husband Alter Ben Zion. He has been drafted into the army. He dies in Trieste and his wife is left alone, without any source of income to care for her three sons and two daughters (one of the daughters was my mother-in-law, a”h). Malka was an intelligent woman whose strength, courage and faith in Hashem helped her whenever she faced difficulties.
She had a reputation in her town for baking delicious challot, breads and rolls. She decided to use her skills to make a living for her family. Malka approached one of the town’s wealthier Jews, Mr. Rubin, for a loan to buy flour and other ingredients for her baking. She promised to repay him and began doing so when she made some money. Malka fed her children with the baked goods left unsold. But when things began to deteriorate in Baligrod, Malka left for the U.S. (with tickets sent to her by Alter Ben Zion’s sister).
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The time: the early 1920s; the place: New York City’s Lower East Side.
Malka’s children find jobs and through hard work and siyata d’shemaya, they are able to help their mother with living expenses. Her sons are able to save enough to open their own businesses, selling retail poultry. All the children get married and the family begins to grow. One of Malka’s sons, Yitzchak (Itcha), locates the two daughters of Mr. Rubin (the aforementioned generous lender) who also relocated to the Lower East Side. Itcha collects money from the family to help these women with their expenses. Malka lives to see the marriage of her children, and the birth of grandchildren and great- grandchildren.
She inspired all who knew her, and everyone respected the Metzger name.
* * *
The time: 2012; the place: Yerushalayim.
Malka’s granddaughter, Judy, and her husband are visiting Judy’s brother Gershon and his family in Yerushalayim. Judy is introduced to Gershon’s grandchild. The young man’s name is Yitsy Beri Rubin. As soon as Judy hears this, she wonders if there is a connection; Rubin is, after all, a common name. After much discussion, they conclude that indeed Yitsy is the great-great-grandchild of Mr. Rubin, the tzaddik who supported Malka Metzger when she was a poor almanah.
In 2012, Yitsy Rubin marries Malka Metzger.
If it wasn’t for Mr. Rubin’s tzedakah, who knows what would have happened to Malka and her family? Her faith that one Jew could, and would, help saved her and her entire family. And the Metzger family, Malka’s descendants, is well known in Jewish communities both in Israel and throughout the United States.
Baruch Hashem, today’s Metzger family members carry on the family tradition by living lives of Torah u’mitzvot – showing hakarat hatov, giving tzedakah, and performing acts of chesed.
Imagine the joy in heaven when this union between the Rubins and Metzgers came to be!
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In observance of Yom Yerushalayim, the Managing Editor of the Jewish Press Online, Yishai Fleisher, presents an inspiring talk that he recently gave at the Israeli Knesset for AmShalem, a political organization dedicated to restoring a moderate, embracing, and Zionistic view to Judaism. Yishai talks about his move to Jerusalem from Beit El, the history and views that surround his apartment in Jerusalem, and the importance of all of Jerusalem to the entire Jewish People. In addition to Yishai’s speech at the Knesset, a speech by Michael Fruend, founder and chairman of Shavei Israel, an organization dedicated to bringing Jews from such far-reaching places as India and China home to Israel. These speeches are engaging and inspiring, listen in!
When Jordan’s Arab Legion seized half of Jerusalem, ethnically cleansed its Jewish population, and annexed the city– the only entity to recognize the annexation was the United Kingdom which had provided the officers and the training that made the conquest possible. Officers like Colonel Bill Newman, Major Geoffrey Lockett, and Major Bob Slade – under Glubb Pasha, better known as General John Bagot Glubb, whose son later converted to Islam – invaded Jerusalem and used the Muslim forces under their command to make the partition and ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem possible.
Since then the annexation and ethnic cleansing has become an international mandate. It would be absolutely inconceivable for the international community to denounce an ethnically cleansed group which survived attempted genocide for moving back into a city where they had lived. It is however standard policy at the State Department and the Foreign Office to denounce Jews living in those parts of Jerusalem that had been ethnically cleansed by Muslims, as “settlers” living in “settlements”, and describe them as an “obstruction to peace.” Peace being the state of affairs that sets in when an ethnic cleansing goes unchallenged.
Describing Jewish homes in Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities, a city that all three religions in the region associate with Jews and Jewish history, as “settlements” is a triumph of distorted language that Orwell would have to tip his hat to. How does one have “settlements” in a city older than London or Washington D.C.? To understand that you would have to ask London and Washington D.C. where the diplomats insist that one more round of Israeli compromises will bring peace to the region.
They say that there are three religions in Jerusalem, but there are actually four. The fourth religion is the true Religion of Peace, the one that demands constant blood sacrifices to make peace possible, that insists that there will be peace when the Jews have been expelled from Judea and Samaria, driven out of their homes in Jerusalem, and made into wanderers and beggars once again. Oddly enough this religion’s name isn’t even Islam– it’s diplomacy.
Diplomacy says that the 1948 borders set by Arab countries invading Israel should be the final borders and that when Israel reunified a sundered city in 1967, it was an act of aggression, while when seven Arab armies invaded Israel in 1948, it was a legitimate way to set boundaries. When Jordan ethnically cleansed East Jerusalem, it set a standard that Israelis are obligated to follow to this day by staying out of East Jerusalem.
Vice-President Biden was so upset that the Jerusalem municipality had partially approved some buildings in the city during his visit that he threw a legendary hissy fit. Hillary Clinton stopped by MSNBC to tell Andrea Mitchell that, “It was insulting. And it was insulting not just to the Vice-President who didn’t deserve that.” David Axelrod browsed through his thesaurus and emerged on the morning shows calling it an “affront” and an “insult.” Two for the price of one.
Editorials in newspapers denounced the Israeli government for this grave insult to the Obama Administration.”Israel’s Provocation”, the Chicago Tribune shrieked in bold type, describing it as a “diplomatic bomb” that went off in Biden’s face. The Atlantic, eager to get in on the action metaphors, described Israel slapping Biden in the face. A horde of other columnists jumped in to depict the Israelis kicking and bashing the poor Vice-President, while holding his head in the toilet.
Whether Joe Biden was the victim of the Jews or the Jews were the victims of Joe Biden is all a matter of perspective. The Hitler Administration was quite upset to find that Jewish athletes would be competing in the 1936 Munich Olympics. When you ethnically cleanse people, they are supposed to stay ethnically cleansed. It’s in poor taste for them to show up and win gold medals at the Olympics or rebuild their demolished synagogues. It’s insulting to the ethnic cleansers and their accomplices.
That sounds like a harsh accusation, but it’s completely and undeniably true.
When Muslims move into a Jewish town, poor Joe doesn’t come crying that he’s been bombed with a diplomatic affront and slapped with a Menorah. When Muslim countries fund Muslim housing in Israel, there are no angry statements from Clinton and no thesaurus bashing from David Axelrod. Muslim housing in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel is not a problem. Only Jewish housing is. The issue is not Israel. If it were then Arabs with Israeli citizenship would get Biden to howl as loudly. It’s only the Jews who are the problem.
30,000 boy and girls from schools around the country participated in the Jerusalem Day Dance and Flag Parade on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
The parade began with dancing in front of the Great Synagogue, followed by a march to the Old City, walking through the gates of Jerusalem, and finally, culminating at the Kotel.
The parade celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.
Photo Credits: Stephen Leavitt, Flash90: Noam Moskowitz, Miriam Alster
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, in remarks at Ammunition Hill to celebrate Jerusalem day, hailed Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government for providing an “unprecedented” amount of resources and tools to Jerusalem, enabling it to progress rapidly.
Barkat, speaking before Netanyahu and his Cabinet, thanked them for their “continuous” and “direct support of Jerusalem.” He took the opportunity to point out the “good news” coming out of Jerusalem; that “for the first time, we are seeing a changing trend: from a drastic decline in the numbers of students in the state secular and state religious schools in Jerusalem, we have seen an increase – over a 15 year span - in the state secular stream, and for the past three years, we have seen growth in the numbers of students in the state religious stream.
“Economic and cultural growth in the city have also been considerably higher than the national average over the past three years,” Barkat continued. “Jerusalem has returned to being a cultural capital with a growing number of visitors and tourists.” Barkat also highlighted the “increase in pupils’ achievements on their matriculation exams, and…in enlistment in the IDF from Zionist schools.”
The Prime Minister, in response, took the opportunity to announce a number of initiatives related to the city of Jerusalem: the decision to renovate Ammunition Hill and turn it into a heritage site; a plan to “build Biblical sites in [Jerusalem] that will enhance and explain our link to the Land of the Bible”; a decision to alleviate housing distress in Jerusalem by building subsidized apartments for military and police personnel; and the decision to build an Einstein Museum in Jerusalem.
“We are joining the past, the present and the future,” Netanyahu said, ”and I think that very great and important things are being done here to ensure the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital as well.”
Turning to the hot-button issue of the 60,000 “illegal infiltrators” currently residing in Israel, Netanyahu underscored the threat they posed to the Jewish and democratic nature of the state. He said that the first step is to complete the physical barrier. “By October it will be complete in its entirety…But until then we will block it with other means, including forces.”
The next step, he said, “is to start withdrawing. How will this be done? First of all, those who employ illegal infiltrators will be severely punished, and we will also begin the physical withdrawal.”
“We will resolve the issue, not by shouting,” he concluded, “but by action. We hear the shouts, we are taking action and the action will succeed.”