Shanah Tovah from the White House! On Wednesday evening, Jews in the United States and around the world will begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
The High Holidays offer the Jewish community a moment of pause, a time to reflect on the previous year and recommit to the unending task of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. Together, working with people of all faiths, we can bring greater peace and prosperity to the world in 5775.
In his 2014 video message for the High Holidays, President Obama extends his wishes for a sweet new year and discusses why this time of year is so significant.
Hello. As Jews across America, Israel, and the world gather together for the High Holidays, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to you and your families for a sweet and happy new year.
My good friend Elie Wiesel once said that God gave human beings a secret, and that secret was not how to begin but how to begin again. These days of awe are a chance to celebrate that gift, to give thanks for the secret, the miracle of renewal.
In synagogues and homes over the coming days, Jews will reflect on a year that carried its shares of challenges. We’ve been reminded many times that our world still needs repair. So here at home we continue the hard work of rebuilding our economy and restoring our American dream of opportunity for all. Around the world, we continue to stand for the dignity of every human being, and against the scourge of anti-Semitism, and we reaffirm the friendships and bonds that keep us strong, including our unshakeable alliance with the State of Israel.
So let’s approach this new year with new confidence and new hope. Let’s recommit ourselves to living out the values we share as individuals and as a country. Above all, let’s embrace this God-given miracle of renewal, this extraordinary opportunity to begin again in pursuit of justice, prosperity, and peace. From my family to yours, shanah tovah.
PARIS - Prominent Jewish group the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has sent a letter to France's interior minister to demand that a tiny hamlet south of Paris called "Death to Jews" be renamed.
The group's director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote to Bernard Cazeneuve saying he was "shocked to discover the existence of a village in France officially called 'Death to Jews'."
"It is extremely shocking that this name has slipped under the radar in the 70 years that have passed since France was liberated from Nazism and the (pro-Nazi) Vichy regime," he wrote.
However, the deputy mayor of the village of Courtemaux - population 289 - which has jurisdiction over the hamlet located around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Paris, dismissed the concerns.
"It's ridiculous. This name has always existed," Marie-Elizabeth Secretand told AFP.
"No one has anything against the Jews, of course. It doesn't surprise me that this is coming up again," she added.
Changing the name would require a decision by the municipal council, which Secretand deemed unlikely.
"Why change a name that goes back to the Middle Ages or even further? We should respect these old names." "A previous municipal council, at least 20 years ago, already refused to change the name of this hamlet, which consists of a farm and two houses," she explained.
In May, residents of a village in Spain with a similarly unfortunate name, Castrillo Matajudios ("Castrillo Kill Jews"), voted to change the name.
In a tight referendum, the citizens opted for the less offensive, older name for the town, Mota de Judios, or "Hill of the Jews".
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — He was a rising star of Hungary's far-right, dumped by his party after he admitted he was a Jew. Two years later, Csanad Szegedi has completed an astonishing transformation: He goes to synagogue, eats Kosher food and has adopted the Hebrew name Dovid.
As a leader in Hungary's Jobbik Party, Szegedi whipped up crowds by accusing Jews of "buying up the country" and mocking the "Jewishness" of Hungary's political class. Then came the revelation that upended his career: His maternal grandparents were Jews — which under Jewish law made him one, too. Szegedi acknowledged his roots after video surfaced of a suspected blackmailer confronting him with evidence of his Jewishness.
In the political wilderness, Szegedi has apparently had a spiritual awakening.
Last year, he sought out a young rabbi in the local Orthodox Jewish community. After a period of intense religious instruction, Szegedi was circumcised last June, a year to the day after he broke with Jobbik. Today he takes Jewish religion classes with his wife, who is also converting to Judaism.
"I am just as Hungarian as until now, but I have expanded my own identity with the Jewish identity," Szegedi, 31, told The Associated Press. "I have two tasks ahead of me — to teach and to learn. I want to be a bridge."
Szegedi was a founder of the Hungarian Guard, a now-banned militia whose black uniforms recalled the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party that briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews. As a Jobbik member, he took one of the three seats the party won in 2009 European Parliament elections.
A disputed essay assignment that asked students in a California school district to argue "whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history" incorporated a source that dismissed gassings in concentration camps as a "profitable hoax."
The San Bernardino Sun first reported that the Rialto Unified School District instructed eighth-graders to "write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain."
But initial reports on the disputed essay largely overlooked one of the three sources provided to students, extensive text lifted directly from a Holocaust Denial and conspiracy website,biblebelivers.com.au, titled "Is the Holocaust a Hoax?"
"Though six million Jews supposedly died in the gas chambers, not one body has ever been autopsied and found to have died of gas poisoning," the webpage reads. "We have been shown piles of bodies from World War II, but most of these persons died of typhus or starvation or Allied bombings and a great many of those were murdered Germans, not Jews. Roughly the equivalent of ten football fields should be packed full of gassed bodies to present as evidence, yet not one body has ever been discovered."
"It is not denied concentration camps existed," it later adds. "Tragically, many died of typhus or starvation, as often happens in such situations. There is, however, no evidence that any gassings occurred for the reasons of genocide."
A spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District defended the assignment last week as an exercise in "developing critical thinking skills." The spokeswoman then told KTLA on Monday that an academic team was revising the assignment.
TPM has reached out to the school district for comment on the source.
In major business publications, Mark Fields' religion was not mentioned when it was recently announced that he would become Chief Operating Officer of Ford on Dec. 1, the number two post at the company.
But in the Jewish community, the significance of a Jew essentially running the 109-year old car company was not lost. Fields, 51, of Dearborn, is the likely replacement for CEO Alan Mulally when he steps down.
The Detroit Jewish News, in its latest edition, published a front page story entitled "Historic Promotion," noting the irony of Fields running a company founded by Henry Ford, an internationally renowned anti-semite who was admired by Adolph Hitler, and published a book "The International Jew."
In 1931, two years before becoming the German chancellor, Hitler told a Detroit News reporter: "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
The Jewish News in its current edition wrote of Fields' rise in the company:
"Veteran observers of the automotive scene thought it could never happen. But it's a new era at Ford, an era that actually started when the elder Ford's grandson Henry Ford II, took over the company in the 1940s and launched his version of affirmative action."
Today, many Jews buy Fords. But there are still some who won't because of its founder's hatred of the Jews.
The 2010 documentary film "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story " cited Ford's writing in 1920, in which he wrote: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”
The Jewish News noted that Fields declined to be interviewed after the his latest promotion was announced, but said in another interview: "I have never encountered one iota of discrimination as a Jew during my career at Ford."
The paper also quoted Mervyn Manning, who became Ford's first Jewish vice president in 1977 and retired in 1992. He applauded Field's ascension.
"When I joined Ford in 1956 at the Ford Division in Dearborn, there was one African American in the building -- and he was the shoeshine man. Not only was I the first Jewish vice president, but I was the first minority VP of any kind, including women."
[Beginning Saturday night, March 14, 2014] Jews in America, Israel and around the globe will celebrate Purim, a holiday known for costumes, carnivals and noisemakers. Even rabbis and synagogue presidents dress up for a playful re-telling of the holiday story during Purim spoofs called spiels. With all the fun of the holiday, it’s also important to remember Purim’s more serious underlying themes of persecution and survival in the face of the planned genocide of ancient Persia’s Jews. Based on events over 2,000 years ago, these themes resonate throughout the centuries and in today’s world as well. By speaking up and speaking out, justice will triumph over evil.
At the center of the Purim story is the powerful and wealthy King Achashverosh, his brave new bride Queen Esther, her wise uncle Mordecai and the villain of the story, Haman, the king’s advisor who was determined to rid the land of the Jewish “outsiders.” As queen, Esther conceals her Jewishness in order to work with Mordecai to help save their people. All of the evil plans, court intrigues, power shifts and the eventual triumph of good over evil are recorded in the Scroll of Esther or the megillah, which is read aloud as the holiday begins each year. Tradition demands that each time the name of Haman is uttered, it is drowned out by noisemakers and yells so that no one has to hear the name of this evil man.
One of Purim’s special traditions is the sharing of hamantashen and other gifts of food with friends while it is also traditional to give gifts to the poor, particularly donations of money that recall the price put on the head of every Jew in Esther’s Persia. We are taught to give generously on Purim. One never knows what tomorrow will bring.
As for hamantaschen, special treats associated with the holiday, folklore says the three-cornered shape of these filled pastries represents the shape of Haman’s hat. However, the word taschen meant “pockets” in old German—as in Haman lining his pockets with the King’s riches—while mohn is the poppy seed paste that is the most traditional filling for the pastries. Some people say they were originally called “mohntaschen” but eventually the name became haman-taschen for obvious reasons. And why poppy seed? It recalls the clandestine way Esther was able to maintain her Jewish identity and keep kosher in the palace by eating vegetarian including seeds and nuts.
Here are two hamantaschen recipes, one an easy take on the classic Ashkenazic (Eastern European) hamantaschen and the other a three-cornered savory treat from Sephardic cuisine. The recipes are provided by Susan Barocas, who most recently led the launch of the Jewish Food Experience project in Washington, DC.
This recipe makes a non-diary, crispy pastry that is good with a variety of fillings. The oranges juice and zest add extra flavor. The dough also makes a good cookie including thumb print that can be filled as desired.
5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice or water
2 teaspoon grated orange rind
Fillings of choice including poppy seed (mohn in Yiddish), prune butter (lekvar), hazelnut chocolate spread, lemon curd, thick fruit preserve, crumbled halvah
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet or cover with parchment paper. Add flour and baking power to a bowl and blend with a dry whisk. Use the whisk to beat the eggs in separate larger bowl. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and orange juice or water and beat until well blended and creamy. Mix in grated rind. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually, mixing in completely each time with a wooden spoon. Once the dough can be formed into a ball not too sticky to handle, knead it together until smooth.
All of the steps up to this point can also be done in a food processor fit with steel blades. Blend the wet ingredients, then add the flour gradually until a ball forms and continue to roll, fill and fold.
Once the dough is in a smooth ball, pull off a large piece and roll to ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured board or counter. Cut into 3 to 3 1/2-inch rounds; the top of a glass works quite well. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling of choice in the center of each round. Moisten around the edge of the dough circle, then fold into a triangle, pinching each corner closed and leaving some filling showing. Bake 20 to 25 minutes just until starting to barely golden brown. Yield: about 3 dozen
*To add some whole grain, you can trade out up to half the all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour.
A German cartoonist has apologized for causing offense by depicting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a hooked-nose octopus, after Jewish groups complained it resembled Nazi propaganda.
Cartoonist Burkhard Mohr says he had intended to make a point about Facebook devouring rival WhatsApp and didn't realize the parallels to the Nazis' anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews as hungry tentacle monsters.
The cartoon was published Friday in early editions of the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Later editions showed an empty hole where Zuckerberg's face had been.
"I'm very sorry about this misunderstanding and any readers' feelings I may have hurt," Mohr said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies that are totally alien to me," he added.
Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said he wasn't convinced by the apology.
"He drew a caricature that is so reminiscent of Der Stuermer caricatures that it's inconceivable to me he didn't realize this," said Zuroff, referring to the weekly propaganda paper that the Nazis used to whip up hatred against Jews. "Maybe he should pay a visit to their archives."
Although riots and protests have given way Monday to some measure of calm in Kiev, the tension felt by Jews Ukraine-wide has not abated. Many of those who could, fled, but the majority—who do not have the means to leave—are sitting tight, waiting out a period of unnerving uncertainty.
“Jews are not a factor in the politics here, but whenever there’s chaos, Jews become a target and feel vulnerable,” said Rabbi Mayer Stambler, a Chabad representative in Dnepropetrovsk. With most of the protests going on in Kiev, things have been relatively calm in his city but the sense of anarchy struck closer to home for other Chabad representatives.
In Zaparozhye, for example—Ukraine’s sixth largest city, several hooligans threw Molotov cocktails at the community’s synagogue Sunday night. The thugs fled before security guards managed to pursue them, but the incident was captured on the synagogue’s security cameras. “We have guards at the building round the clock,” said Rabbi Nachum Ehrentreu, Chabad representative to Zaparozhye, "and thankfully, this happened after we had finished all of our evening classes and programs so no one was hurt.”
Ehrentreu points out that the perpetrators were stragglers who had joined a major protest by some 2000 opposition supporters earlier in the day. But, insists Ehrentreu, “the protestors were not here to target Jews; in fact in the four years that the opposition was in power (2006-2010) it maintained good relations with the Jewish community. These were four individuals looking to make trouble.”
ABANDONING LOCAL JEWS NOT AN ANSWER
Chabad representatives—there are roughly 70 couples serving Jewish life Ukraine, which has an estimated Jewish population of 300,000—are not leaving. In interviews with lubavitch.com, they echoed similar attitudes, saying that their role is to serve the Jewish people there and they would not consider abandoning them. “We have nurtured deep bonds with Jewish people here. How can we leave them?” said Rabbi Stambler.
But according to Rabbi MordechaiLevenharts, a Chabad representative to Kiev, that doesn’t mean that he won’t encourage local Jews to make Aliyah. Unrelated to the recent turmoil, he said, “trying to live an observant Jewish lifestyle here is not easy, and if someone has grown in his or her Jewish observance and now wants to live in an environment that is more supportive of Jewish life, of course I encourage them to move to Israel.”
In the four years since Yanukovych was president, Ukraine’s economy has fallen apart, and is now on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving a population angry and resentful at the financial abuses by government officials while businesses were forced to close down. Chabad Shluchim state-wide are struggling to meet the growing demand on their respective community’s programs and services while funding from local business people has dropped by more than half.
GENERAL ORDERS No. 11. HDQRS. 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.
The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant: JNO. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 424.
Plea from deported Jewish citizens
PADUCAH, KY., December 29, 1862.
Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:
General Orders, No. 11, issued by General Grant at Oxford, Miss., December the 17th, commands all post commanders to expel all Jews, without distinction, within twenty-four hours, from his entire department. The undersigned, good and loyal citizens of the United States and residents of this town for many years, engaged in legitimate business as merchants, feel greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it, and would place us, besides a large number of other Jewish families of this town, as outlaws before the whole world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity, and pray for your effectual and immediate interposition. We would respectfully refer you to the post commander and post adjutant as to our loyalty, and to all respectable citizens of this community as to our standing citizens and merchants. We respectfully ask for immediate instructions to be sent to the commander of this post.
D. WOLFF & BROS. C. F. KASKELL. J. W. KASWELL.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 506.
The Order is Rescinded
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 4, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Holly Springs, Miss.:
A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.
H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
[CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. 13TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, Miss., January 7, 1863.
By direction of General-in-Chief of the Army, at Washington, the general order from these headquarters expelling Jews from the department is hereby revoked.
It was Saturday September 1, 2007 and I was in Monte Carlo for a friend’s wedding.
We prayed that morning at the local synagogue and later walked to the nearby Hotel de Paris. Entering the lobby, I was surprised at the large security presence. I soon learned that the legendary former South African president Nelson Mandela was a guest in the hotel.
As it happened, he was sitting in one of the stately public rooms on the lobby floor as I passed by.
I instinctively wanted to meet the iconic statesman. The slim chance of gaining access to meet Mandela did not stop me from asking the security guard at the door if I could please step in to bless the former president. Just then, a second member of the security detail approached and asked what I wanted. The first bodyguard explained that I was a rabbi who wanted to bless Madiba on the holy Sabbath. They agreed to let me go over to greet him.
As I approached the former president, he looked up and beamed. I was dressed in the full Chabad Shabbat attire, the flowing black frock and black fedora, and since I had just left the synagogue my white and black tallit was draped over my shoulders.
After we had been introduced, Madiba invited me to sit near him. He asked me to please bless him and mentioned how touched he was that I had blessed him on the Sabbath. President Mandela also told me how much he cherished it when ‘his rabbi,’ Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, would bless him back home.
Looking across at the great man, who had suffered for decades, fought for freedom, and pulled a splintered nation together, I felt compelled to ask one question. Had he ever compared his story to that of the biblical Joseph?
Without pause, Madiba replied that he felt a strong affinity with Joseph. Joseph had been imprisoned for life, yet he found strength in his positive outlook and had finally emerged to lead a nation. With twinkling eyes, Mandela laughed out loud: “But I spent many more years in prison then Joseph did!”
I then asked him, “Is it in honor of Joseph’s coat of many colors that you wear your trademark colorful “Madiba shirts”?
“No,” he replied, “I wear these shirts to represent my people and their struggle and to represent the beautiful diverse cultures and traditions of Africa.” He tenderly touched the African continent embroidered on his custom-made silk black shirt.
We chatted easily and he shared the story behind the Madiba shirts. On the first Shabbat after he had been elected president, back in May 1994, he visited South Africa’s largest synagogue, the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation in Cape Town. “His rabbi,” Chief Rabbi Harris had invited him to attend morning services. Mandela recounted how he had addressed the packed crowd and had “appealed to the local Jewish community to implore their South African family members who had emigrated to return home to help rebuild a new democratic South Africa.” He also reassured the local Jewish community not to be afraid of a Government of National Unity and promised that “together we will succeed.”
He then recalled, “When I returned to the motorcade, my driver handed me a gift from a women who had attended synagogue that morning. It was a beautiful black shirt, with a colorful design of golden fish across it. I chose to wear that shirt to the opening of parliament of our new democratic government.”
“After I had worn that shirt, this same woman (South African designer Desre Buirski) would continue to send me shirts. We become good friends, and she designed hundreds of shirts for me. These shirts help me carry my message all over the world.”
He smiled and added, “And all because I went to synagogue on a Saturday morning.”
I stood up and thanked him for the generosity of his time and the honor of meeting him. Before I walked off, Mr. Mandela complimented the traditional look of my Chassidic dress. “I am happy to see you dressed this way; you should always be proud to wear the clothing of the Jewish faith as a mark of honor,” he said.
As I shook his hand, he told me, “Remember young rabbi, when you dress in your royal garb, you represent what the Bible stands for: How all humans are G d’s children, created in the image of G d, regardless of ethnicity, color or faith.”
An apology was posted Saturday by a Christian journal that had published and republished an anonymous essay on its blog saying that Jews killed Jesus and deserve God’s punishment.
“Firstly, we apologize for inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post,” wrote Aaron Gyde, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Ichthus, which is run by Harvard College undergraduates.
The publication’s apology took the place of the essay “Why Us?” which was written by an anonymous Jewish convert to Christianity and posted on the Ichthus website Wednesday. The author, who remained anonymous due to concern of personal attacks, wrote, “We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years.”
Gyde wrote the apology on behalf of the Ichthus editorial board, adding in thoughts from the author of the controversial essay.
“While this does not excuse the post of responsibility, it was not the intent of the writer, nor the Ichthus, to present a piece that is anti-Semitic in nature or in interpretation,” the apology stated. “The writer holds nothing but love for his heritage and feels very deeply for the welfare of the Jewish people. The blog was not intended to communicate animosity, but concern and a sincere desire to communicate the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.”
The essay was originally removed from the website, edited, and reposted Friday morning, when the author wrote that he or she was looking “to warn my beloved Jewish friends and family of the judgment that lies ahead.”
The essay was removed again Friday, this time permanently.
Chabad House in Colaba, one of the six targets of the bloody 26/11 terror attacks, will reinvent itself in less than six months as a restaurant, a community hall and a museum to the memory of those killed by terrorists at this Jewish outreach centre.
As the 26/11 attacks -- that left 164 people dead and over 300 injured -- complete five years today, Chabad House, where six people, including Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed, has set into motion a project to transform the building into a monument of peace and hope. "When you want to fight darkness, you cannot chase it away with a stick or an AK-47. One can chase darkness away only with light and peace," said Rabbi Israel Kozlovsky, who assumed office last year.
As part of the $900,000 (Rs 5.6 crore) revamp, the entire ground floor of the building located in the narrow Hormusji Street will be taken over by Israeli security agencies. Though entry to the building will be heavily regulated and visitors will have to pass through two layers of security, the restaurant on the first floor will be open to people of all faiths. "It will be a Jewish speciality cuisine restaurant, but everybody will be welcome," said a source.
The outer ring of security around Chabad House will be handled by the Mumbai police. The outer ring of security around the Chabad House will be handled by the Mumbai police.
The building's second floor, which was earlier a prayer room, will now also accommodate a library, a small waiting area and the new Rabbi's office. While the entire floor will be spruced up, a corner where Rabbi Holtzberg and his wife Rivka's bodies were found will be left untouched. "It will be a small memorial to the couple. The wall in this corner is riddled with bullet marks. Nobody had the heart to touch it," the source said.
The third floor, which earlier served as a guest house, will be turned into a community hall. Apart from community gatherings, the hall will also be used to host private events by local Jews.
Fourth and fifth floors will house the museum. The walls on these floors will not be repainted and the bullet marks will be retained. "These floors speak the story of the three-day siege. Press articles, videos, messages, and personal accounts of family members of the deceased will be part of the installations in this museum."
The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emirates, which reportedly attracted 1 million visitors from across the region, featured several infamous anti-Semitic books, including the notorious anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
The ten-day book fair, which concluded last week, was organized by Department of Culture and Information — Sharjah Government. The mission of the fair, according to organizers, is “to cultivate the love for literature among people by enriching their experience of the written word.”
Does the Emirate of Sharjah believe that promoting hate literature contributes to this mission?
The anti-Semitic books for sale at the fair were listed alongside mainstream books in various categories. For example, The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion was listed in the “Political Science” category. Among the other anti-Semitic books featured at the fair were:
Blood forThe Pie of Zion (The Jewish District) by Najib Al Gailany. This novel tells a story of a Christian priest from Damascus who was abducted by the Jews in order to use his blood for Jewish rituals. The story details how Jews danced and celebrated while Rabbis drain the blood of the elderly catholic priest. The book was listed in the “Novels” category and sold for 15 AED, or approximately $4.
The Jews and the Secret Movements in the Crusades by Baha Al-Amir. The book, which suggests that the Jews played a role in the Crusades, includes an introduction in which the author claims that “God the almighty declares in his statement to the people that all wars were started by Jews.” The book was listed in the “International Affairs” category and sold for 50AED (approximately $14).
Human Sacrifices and Talmudic Slaughtering by Jews and Pagans by Fathi Muhammad Zughbi. The book was listed in the “Faith” category and sold for 83 AED (approximately $14).
Mein Kampf byAdolf Hilter. This book was listed in the “General knowledge” category and sold for 20 AED (approximately $5).
The swastikas, the students recalled, seemed to be everywhere: on walls, desks, lockers, textbooks, computer screens, a playground slide — even on a student’s face.
A picture of President Obama, with a swastika drawn on his forehead, remained on the wall of an eighth-grade social studies classroom for about a month after a student informed her teacher, the student said.
For some Jewish students in the Pine Bush Central School District in New York State, attending public school has been nothing short of a nightmare. They tell of hearing anti-Semitic epithets and nicknames, and horrific jokes about the Holocaust.
They have reported being pelted with coins, told to retrieve money thrown into garbage receptacles, shoved and even beaten. They say that on school buses in this rural part of the state, located about 90 minutes north of New York City and once home to a local Ku Klux Klan chapter president, students have chanted “white power” and made Nazi salutes with their arms.
The proliferation and cumulative effect of the slurs, drawings and bullying led three Jewish families last year to sue the district and its administrators in federal court; they seek damages and an end to what they call pervasive anti-Semitism and indifference by school officials.
Next week, former President George W. Bush is scheduled to keynote a fundraiser in Irving, Texas, for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, a group that trains people in the United States, Israel, and around the world to convince Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. The organization's goal: to "restore" Israel and the Jews and bring about about the second coming of Christ.
Messianic Jews have long been controversial for Jews of all major denominations, who object to their proselytizing efforts and their message that salvation by Jesus is consistent with Jewish theology. Last year, Abraham Foxman, president of the Anti-Defamation League,toldPolitico that former Sen. Rick Santorum's appearance at an event hosted by another Messianic Jewish organization, the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America, was "insensitive and offensive." And Commentary magazine, which bills itself as a "conservative American journal of politics, Judaism, social and cultural issues," noted, "it must be understood that the visceral distaste that the overwhelming majority of Jews have for the Messianics is not to be taken lightly." Many Messianic Jews are Christians who have adopted aspects of Jewish ritual observance; others are Jews who share the Christian belief that Jesus is the Messiah.
Asked about Bush's upcoming appearance at the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute (MJBI) event, Rabbi David Saperstein, the director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said, "It's disappointing that he would give his stamp of approval to a group whose program is an express effort to convert Jews and not to accept the validity of the Jewish covenant." Foxman was traveling overseas and unavailable to comment.
(After this story published, Rabbi David Wolpe of Los Angeles' Sinai Temple, whom Newsweekhas called the most influential rabbi in the country, tweeted, "This is infuriating.")
Based in Dallas, the MJBI claims that it acts like the Apostle Paul in helping to "educate Christians in their role to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and thus save some of them (Romans 11:11-14)." It has Bible schools in 12 countries, an online school of "Messianic theology," and programs to train Messianic rabbis and pastors. Its logos feature a star of David and a menorah, and its website promotes the weekly Torah portion, a "Yiddish Mama's Kitchen," and links to purchase Judaica and books, such as Christ in the Old Testament. The nonprofit organization brought in approximately $1.2 million in revenue in 2011, the last year for which records are available.
A former rising star in Hungary’s far-right Jobbik Party has been drawing closer to Judaism after learning of his Jewish roots.
Csanad Szegedi, who once accused Jews of “buying up” the country, railed about the “Jewishness” of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols, has been studying with local Chabad rabbis, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported this week.
Szegedi, 31, said he is keeping Shabbat and trying to observe the laws of Kashrut. “I have discovered that I can reconcile my conservative viewpoints as Hungarian and as observant Jew,” he told Welt am Sonntag.
Following weeks of Internet rumors, Szegedi acknowledged in June 2012that his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jews — making him one too under Jewish law, even though he didn’t practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labor camps.
He became a pariah in Jobbik and his political career reached the brink of collapse.
Under pressure, Szegedi resigned from all party positions in July 2012 and gave up his Jobbik membership. That wasn’t good enough for the party: the next month it asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well. Jobbik said the issue was suspected bribery, not his Jewish roots.
Szegedi stayed in the European parliament as an independent.
Szegedi came to prominence in 2007 as a founding member of the Hungarian Guard, a group whose black uniforms and striped flags recalled the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party that briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews. In all, 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, most of them after being sent in trains to Auschwitz and other death camps. The Hungarian Guard was banned by the courts in 2009.
By then, Szegedi had already joined the Jobbik Party, which launched in 2003 and became the country’s biggest far-right political force. He soon became one of its most vocal and visible members and a pillar of the party leadership. Starting in 2009, he served in the European Parliament in Brussels as one of the party’s three EU lawmakers.
Szegedi, who was raised Christian, acknowledged his Jewish origins in interviews with Hungarian media, including news broadcaster Hir TV and Barikad, Jobbik’s weekly magazine. He said that he had a long conversation with his grandmother, who spoke about her family’s past as Orthodox Jews.
“It was then that it dawned on me that my grandmother really is Jewish,” Szegedi told Hir TV. “I asked her how the deportations happened. She was in Auschwitz and Dachau and she was the only survivor in the extended family.”
A Kenyan lawyer has filed a petition with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, suggesting that the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was unlawful, and The State of Israel among others should be held responsible, Kenyan news outlet the Nairobian reported on Friday.
Dola Indidis, a lawyer and former spokesman of the Kenyan Judiciary is reportedly attempting to sue Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel.
"Evidence today is on record in the bible, and you cannot discredit the bible," Indidis told Kenyan Citizen News.
Yes, those he suggests should have been convicted during the original trial have not been alive for more than 2000 years, however Indidis insists that the government for whom they acted can and should still be held responsible.
“I filed the case because it’s my duty to uphold the dignity of Jesus and I have gone to the ICJ to seek justice for the man from Nazareth,” Indidid told the Nairobian. “His selective and malicious prosecution violated his human rights through judicial misconduct, abuse of office bias and prejudice.”
Indidis apparently named the states of Italy and Israel in the lawsuit because upon the attainment of independence, the two states incorporated the laws of the Roman Empire, those in force at the time of the Crucifixion.
He is challenging the mode of questioning used during Jesus' trial, prosecution, hearing and sentencing; the form of punishment meted out on him while undergoing judicial proceedings and the substance of the information used to convict him.
The case was first filed in the High Court in Nairobi, but was rejected. Indidis had then applied to have it heard at the ICJ, which, the Kenyan news website Standard Media (SDE) reported constituted a pre-trial panel that would consider his case.
Indidis says he wants to establish what crime Jesus was charged with and prays that the court decides “that the proceedings before the Roman courts were a nullity in law for they did not conform to the rule of law at the material time and any time thereafter.”
“Some of those present spat in his face, struck him with their fists, slapped him, taunted him, and pronounced him worthy of death,” Indidis also told SDE.
Brooklyn, NY - A newly released book by a Brooklyn artist attempts to explore the nuances and subtleties of an unusual topic: the clothing worn by chasidic men.
Jews of Today, an 83 page book containing 45 illustrations and explanations penned by 28 year old Williamsburg artist Michael Levin, is a project that was several years in the making, and attempts to demystify both a mode of dress and a culture that appears foreign to the outsider.
Levin, the son of a Jewish father and an Italian mother who converted to Judaism before his birth, was raised in California and lived in South Chicago for four years before moving to Brooklyn.
“I grew up in Los Angeles, so apart from a few Lubavitchers, I had never really seen or come in contact with the kind of Jewish culture that exists in Williamsburg,” Levin, who was bowled over by the sartorial customs of his new neighbors, told VIN News.
“I’d simply never seen anything like it,” explained Levin. “What’s more, what I had seen of the chasidic culture was only in old pictures and some scenes from movies and TV shows. I had no idea of the magnitude and the reality of a chasid as a living breathing entity.”
Levin’s first interaction with a member of Williamsburg’s chasidic community came when he spoke with a chasidic landlord about renting an apartment and found himself mesmerized by the age old attire that he saw all around him.
“I started making a lot of artwork just relishing in the haunting beauty of the clothes,” recalled Levin. “The most fascinating element of the dress is its endless variety, a world of difference so slight as to go unnoticed by almost everyone outside of the community and often by some within it.”
Levin says he spent over four years researching his book and another year doing the actual writing and illustrating. Levin admits that he knew nothing about Orthodox Judaism or the chasidic culture before relocating to New York.
“There are already so many books on other aspects of the culture but, arguably, apart from the Israel Museum catalog from last year’s show, there is no book, at least not in English, that covers the clothing in any depth,” said Levin. “The clothing is the first sense any outsider gets about what it means to be chasidish and even in some sense what it means to be a Jew. I wanted this book to be a way for outsiders to get a glimpse of this world, how many layers of meaning it has.”