Archive for the 'Judaism' Category

Passover Guide for the Perplexed 2014

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

By Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report

1. The Passover legacy constitutes the foundation of Judaism, and is therefore included in most Jewish blessings (“in memory of the Exodus”). Passover symbolizes the rejuvenation of nature and mankind, spiritually and physically, individually and collectively/nationally. Passover stipulates that human rejuvenation – just like the rejuvenation of nature – must be driven by memory/history/roots. Therefore, parents are instructed to educate their children about the lessons of Passover. Passover was an early – and much more successful – edition of the (19th century) Spring of Nations. It is celebrated in the spring, the bud of nature. The biblical scroll of Song of Songs, which highlights spring, is read during Passover. Spring, Aviv in Hebrew (אביב) consists of two Hebrew words: Father – אב – of 12 – יב – months/tribes. Spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to the Exodus. Passover – which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation – lasts seven days, just like the creation of the universe.

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Why ‘Moderate Islam’ is an Oxymoron

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

by Raymond Ibrahim*

At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured—especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government—that the sort of Islam embraced by “radicals,” “jihadis,” and so forth, has nothing to do with “real” Islam.

“True” Islam, so the narrative goes, is intrinsically free of anything “bad.” It’s the nut-jobs who hijack it for their own agenda that are to blame.

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Op-Ed: Anti-Semitism, Old and New

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

by Phyllis Chesler

And so, twelve years after I started writing my now out-of-print book, “The New Anti-Semitism: The Current Crisis and What We Must Do About It“; eleven years after I published it in 2003, I am counted as one of the experts on the subject.

My words are joined by those of Irwin Cotler, Hasia Diner, Michel Gurfinkiel, David Mamet, Cynthia Ozick, Alvin Rosenfeld, Charles Small, who are grappling with the question of “Anti-Semitism. Where Does It Come From and Why Does it Persist? What are its New Forms? Will It Ever Go Away?”

Our answers vary. Jews have always been “outsiders and enemies;” Judaism has been viewed as an “antiquated” or as a “corrupting” religion. Anti-Semitism is a way of “externalizing evil,” explaining “economic patterns,” provides a “convenient scapegoat,” is “misdiagnosed in America,” is “complex and contentious,” is a “politically correct disease, “an example of “Holocaust inversion,” of “state-sanctioned hatred,” is due to “Radical political Islam,” and remains “an omnipresent threat.”

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Shema Hashem: Remembering the Toulouse Tragedy [VIDEO]

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

From Aish.com:

Shema Hashem: Remembering the Toulouse Tragedy

March 19, 2014, marks the second Yahrzeit of the shooting in Toulouse, France that killed Rabbi Sandler, two of his children, and a little girl.

A Yahrzeit is the anniversary of a loved one’s loss. Generally people get together to remember their loss, support each other, talk, reminisce over old times with the loved one, eat some good food, and burn a Yahrzeit candle. It’s a beautiful ritual that helps survivors to celebrate, process, and remember the one(s) they lost. This is a beautiful video commemorating the evil terrorist act committed in Toulouse, France two years ago:

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Raiders of the Lost Archive: Don’t return the rescued written treasures of Iraqi Jews to Baghdad

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

By Sara Y. Aharon

In 2003, a team of 16 American soldiers in Baghdad stumbled upon a lost treasure trove of thousands of documents belonging to Iraq’s Jewish community.

These rare materials, thought to have been stored originally in synagogues and private Jewish homes, were sitting in a moldy, flooded basement of the muhkabarat, Saddam Hussein’s feared secret police.

The collection, now referred to as the “Iraqi Jewish archive,” contains “2,700 Jewish books and tens of thousands of documents in Hebrew, Arabic, Judeo-Arabic and English, dating from 1540 to the 1970s,” including a 1568 Bible and several Torah scrolls, according to the National Archives in Washington.

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Cinematic Apartheid, the Folly of Appeasement, and the Righteous Artists of our Time

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

by Phyllis Chesler

Why did Haifa’s International Film Festival wish to honor filmmaker Mira Nair for her film “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”? The film is just another exceptionally well done piece of anti-American propaganda which justifies Islamic/Islamist terrorism by showing us that America harasses Muslims constantly, even Muslims as brilliant and assimilated as Nair’s “fundamentalist” hero, Changez. According to Nair, America is to blame for Pakistani fundamentalist terrorism.

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Terrorism redux: My thoughts after Boston

Monday, April 29th, 2013

By Gary Gerofsky

The Jewish Daily Forward published an article on April 17, 2013, soon after the Boston terrorist bombings entitled “Jews Warn Against Rush to Judgment on Boston Marathon Terror Bombings: Security Experts Say History of Mistakes Teaches Caution.” It contained the usual cautionary tripe and left-wing warnings not to presume anything about the bombings and not to jump to conclusions. The article did not, however, avoid musing about connections to Hitler’s birthday, the Oklahoma bombings, and the low-tech nature of the attacks — all conjecture used by the author to obscure the true nature of the terror act and to pin blame on the unobvious. The carnage was actually carried out by obvious culprits and the usual suspects: Muslim terrorists.

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The President’s address to Israelis — the speech that Obama ought to make

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

by Gary Gerofsky

This is the speech that Obama ought to make to Israelis during his visit to their country:

Prime Minister Netanyahu, Knesset members, the people of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide: It is an honor and privilege to be here today in Jerusalem, Israel, the undivided capital of Israel and the land of the Jewish people from the time before the establishment of the first temple of Solomon, destroyed by the Babylonians, followed by the second temple which Antiochus desecrated, Pompey looted and the Romans destroyed during the Siege of Jerusalem. Throughout history invaders and superpowers have attempted to extinguish the Jewish people and their symbols. Today is no different as we have an empire of Islamists using whatever means they can to wipe out all traces of Israel and Judaism. They too will not succeed.

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The Book of Esther: A Political Analysis

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

By Barry Rubin

The Book of Esther, which is read on Purim and to which that holiday is dedicated, has been interpreted many ways. Yet there is much to be understood by analyzing the story in terms of political ideology and strategy.

Ahasuerus is the powerful king over Persia and much more. He holds a banquet and invites the leaders of all of the provinces to come in order to wield together his diverse empire by showing his wealth, strength, generosity, and bringing together his political elite in terms of fellowship and equality with each other.

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Some thoughts on Anti-semitism

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

by Gary Gerofsky

I sometimes think about the problem of anti-Semitism and why this irrational prejudice preoccupies so many people these days — from elites in Europe, to bureaucrats and Islamists in the UN, to churches, unions and Left-leaning academics and politicians.

I believe that in the minds of people like Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, both of whom are children of Holocaust victims, they blame the ravages of the Holocaust on the group affiliation of the victims rather than on the perpetrators. They use the Holocaust nightmare to apply retroactive retribution to Jews for the existence of the State of Israel via the murderous hands of the Nazis. They apply a similar retribution to Jews in the present using Islamic terrorism as the battering ram of choice. During speaking engagements by these individuals, they reveal a loathing and disdain for Jews/Israel and perhaps they believe that the brutality of the Nazis was somehow a justifiable component and end result of the anger towards Jews by Europeans against the Jewish religion or against other characteristics of their Jewish victims. Do the “intellectuals” of today think that Jews did something wrong or that their beliefs got them into the mess known as the Holocaust and the wars carried out against Israel by its neighbors since the Holocaust? Do they think that Israel is receiving its just deserts today in terms of terror heaped on the country for being a Jewish state?

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There Must Be A Unified Zionist Vision

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

by Steven Shamrak

Not long ago over 1000 people came to Jerusalem and participated in the 3rd Conference on Israeli Sovereignty.

During his speech at the conference, Moshe Feiglin, head of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction of the Likud party, informed delegates that the amount of money Israel has spent on security since the Oslo Accords could pay every Arab family $500,000 to relocate from Jewish land (most of them would have happily moved out for much less). The need for such expenditure is clear evidence that, in spite of all efforts and concessions Israel has made, the walls it has built and advanced weapons it has developed, Arabs will never agree to peaceful co-existence with Jews – and not just Jews, but all “infidels” (non-Muslims).

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How Islamism Tainted France’s Presidential Election

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

by Nidra Poller*

What is Europe going to do about Islam? Submit? Resist? Or just wait it out, dimwittedly? The recent French presidential election offers insight into the way Islam, or more exactly the Islamist factor, may eventually play out in European politics.

Despite attempts by the Left to focus the debate on the economic crisis, Islam played a decisive role in the contest. The Socialist candidate, whose platform was tilted to favor the party’s Muslim clientele, could not have won without total support in the second round of voting from far Left parties marked by zealous anti-Zionism and a full range of anti-Western ideologies. The question of Islam-in-France was raised with unprecedented candor by incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the Movement for a Popular Majority (UMP). For the first time in France, a major party clearly advocated a push back against Islam (qualified of course with the adjective “radical”). This strategy fired up the enthusiasm of the base, mobilized voters, brought tens of thousands to party rallies, and led to a daily increase in Sarkozy’s polling figures. It would be fair to estimate that if he had had one more week to campaign he might have defeated Hollande during the second-round vote on May 6, 2012.

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What Jonathan Kay got wrong

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

by Phyllis Chesler

I disagree with my colleague Jonathan Kay’s recent article “American super-hawks demand to know: ‘Are you Jew enough?’”

First, let me thank him for referring to me as “a feminist-turned anti-Islamist” and not as “anti-Muslim” or as an “Islamophobe.” However, in becoming an “anti-Islamist” I did not check my feminist credentials at the door; my work on honour-based violence, including honour killing among Muslims and Hindus (mainly in India) is pure feminist work. The victims are primarily women of colour, and yes, in the West, they are primarily Muslims. I am championing their cause just as I have championed the cause of non-Muslim Western women. I work with Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents who share my Enlightenment values, a single universal standard of human rights, and who, like me, have taken a stand against the persecution of girls, women, homosexuals, free thinkers and pro-Israel advocates in the Muslim world.

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BDS and the Jewish Studies Trap

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

by Alexander H. Joffe*

The recent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) event at Brooklyn College featuring professional Palestinian Omar Barghouti and celebrity anti-Israel academic Judith Butler was true to form. A dual purpose was served. For one, students and staff were treated to calls for the destruction of Israel, conducted in a quasi-academic setting, with the implicit endorsement of the institution. Second, as always, trap was sprung on opponents of such campus abuses. Having successfully planned the event and represented it as an intellectual exploration of the one state solution, in which Israel is made extinct, the inevitable complaints regarding its one-sidedness and borderline antisemitism were met with the usual howls of censorship and demands for academic freedom. Politicians became involved on both sides. City Council members were opposed to the campus and tax dollars supporting an anti-Israel recruitment rally. Mayor Bloomberg then came out in favor, and with characteristic tact and insight, condemned the event’s content and scolded the presumably close-minded opponents, wittily telling them to apply to school in North Korea.

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The unhealthy international preoccupation with Jews must be exposed

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

by Steven Shamrak

Sometimes I am criticized for using the description “international anti-Semites” too often. I do substitute it with the words “bigots” or “idiots” from time to time. I shall continue to call things by their true names. Regardless of the terminology, there are many facts pertaining to unfair, genocidal and prejudicial treatment of Jews even during recent history that support my use of the term “international anti-Semites:”

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