Crown Heights, NY - A knife-wielding man stabbed an Israeli student in the head inside a Brooklyn synagogue early Tuesday before being fatally shot by police after he refused to drop the knife, authorities said.
The man stormed into the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic world headquarters in Crown Heights at about 1:40 a.m. and attacked Levi Rosenblat, who was studying inside the synagogue, spokesman Motti Seligson said. He said there were other people inside at the time.
According to witnesses, the attacker was heard saying repeatedly “Kill the Jews,” said Chaim Landa, another spokesman for Chabad-Lubavitch. Several other people immediately intervened, he said.
A witness flagged down a patrol officer, who confronted the 49-year-old man and told him to put the knife down. He initially put it down, but picked it up again, police said. More officers responded and repeatedly ordered the man to drop the knife.
He refused and, with the knife in his hand, charged at one of the officers, who fired once, striking the man in the torso, police said.
Police said no other officers discharged their weapons.
The man was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was not immediately identified, but police said he was from New York City and had a criminal history.
The 22-year-old Rosenblat was in stable condition, officials said.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind condemned the attack.
“I’m told that the attacker came earlier that evening, too. He was stalking the scene. Thank God he didn’t inflict more harm nor do more damage to more people,” Hikind said in an email statement.
He said while a motive for the attack was not yet known, greater security was needed for Jewish institutions.
A 9-inch knife, with a 4 ½-inch blade, was recovered at the scene, police said.
“We commend the heroic efforts of the individuals who were present and took immediate action. If not for their intervention the outcome could have been, God forbid far worse,” said Landa.
“While we are very pained by everything that has unfolded, we are very grateful to the police for their quick response and are working closely with the authorities in their ongoing investigation,” he added.
Beth Israel Rabbi Ted Riter said he's still stunned by what happened to him Tuesday at Wraps on Northside Drive.
"I asked the owner if I could have a Greek salad to go and he said, 'The regular size or the Jewish size?'" Riter said. "He just goes into a tirade, throwing out all these expletives, 'Get out of here.'"
Wraps owner John Ellis said he doesn't have a problem with anyone.
"The guy said he didn't want to do any business with us. He was probably offended because we offer different salads -- that's all," said Wraps owner John Ellis. "I said, 'Greek salad or Jew?' We have different salads. We have Carlito's Way Salad. We have Grecian Salad. We have Jewish Salad. We have Greek Salad. We have Cesar Salad -- we have a lot of salads. Names of salads derive from people; they don't derive from the sky."
Neither the menu at the restaurant nor online made any mention of a Jewish salad, 16 WAPT's Hadas Brown reported. Ellis said a Jewish salad contains French-fried potatoes, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, flat-leaf parsley and mint.
"He said, 'You know Jews are small and cheap? Everyone knows that,' and I said to him, 'Did you really just say that to me?' And he said, 'Are you Jewish?' I said, 'Yes,'" Riter said on Tuesday.
Ellis said he never called Riter cheap.
"I said it was a smaller salad than the larger salad," Riter said. "Again, it's misunderstood. I didn't know the man. I didn't know if he was Jewish."
Riter, who has only been in Jackson about three months, said he doesn't plan to take legal action against Ellis.
"I don't want to cause a further rift between the store owner and the larger Jackson community," Riter said.
Ellis, too, wants to make amends.
"If the rabbi would like, I will name a salad after him. I will gladly name a Riter Salad," Ellis said.
Ellis said he's trying to make a living and doesn't discriminate against anyone.
Personally Babushka would not have even entered that restaurant, Babushka only eats at restaurants that are strictly kosher. It would appear this menu item was kosher, that is, it contained only vegetarian ingredients but it may have come into contact with non-kosher ingredients while it was being prepared. However that was not the cause of the dispute. The cause of the dispute was that the restaurant owner is a bigoted asshole.
That said, Babushka hopes the rabbi & his friends never enter that restaurant ever again.
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.
Jewish refugees from Lugansk and surrounding towns arrive at a family refugee camp in the western city of Zhitomer, organized by Rabbi Sholom Gopin, Lugansk’s rabbi and the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Lugansk.
When Tatyana fled the beleaguered eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk late last week, she felt relieved just to have made it out alive.
“It was a horror. We boarded the train under heavy bombing,” explains Tatyana, 50, who escaped together with her daughter, son-in-law and 7-year-old grandson. “It was relatively calm until July 13; there was some transport around the city, some stores were open. But then the real fighting began, and everyone ran to buy tickets to leave the city; we were lucky to purchase tickets for July 24. Anyone still there can no longer leave because the central train station was bombed, and trains cannot leave the city. People are dying in Lugansk, and it is getting worse each day.”
Tatyana, who declined to give her last name, and her family, are among the more than 250 Jewish refugees from Lugansk and surrounding towns slowly recuperating at the first Jewish refugee camp established in Ukraine. The site was secured on campgrounds owned by Chabad-Lubavitch of Zhitomer and is being organized by Rabbi Sholom Gopin, Lugansk’s rabbi and the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Lugansk.
Since early July, when Ukrainian armed forces began closing in on the pro-Russian separatists who control Lugansk, the border city has been transformed into a virtual war zone. With artillery explosions and gruesome death quickly becoming a daily part of life, thousands of Lugansk’s citizens have fled, and together with them, an estimated 1,000 members of the Jewish community.
“This is the biggest Jewish refugee crisis in Ukraine since World War II,” exclaims Gopin, speaking to Chabad.org from Zhitomer, where he is directing the camp as he attempts to help community members resettle, at least temporarily. Like so many of their neighbors in embattled eastern Ukraine, “the Jews of our community left everything behind,” he says. “They have no homes, no jobs, no money. Many still have family stuck in Lugansk. This week, five elderly people were killed in an explosion at an old-age home adjacent to our Simcha Jewish Orphanage, where close to 40 Jews are now staying.”
The Jewish community of South Padre Island, Texas, is mourning the loss of native-born Sgt. Sean Carmeli, one of 13 soldiers from the Golani brigade who died in battle overnight in the Shejaiyah section of Gaza City.
Sean, known in Hebrew as Nissim, was born to Israeli parents—Alon and Dalya Carmeli—who had moved to the island in pursuit of business opportunities. Over time, along with his parents and two sisters, he reconnected with his Jewish roots and began living a Torah lifestyle.
“Sean was a gentle kind boy,” says Rabbi Asher Hecht, co-director of Chabad of the Rio Grande Valley, who met the boy in summer of 2006 when he and a friend ran a day camp for local Jewish children. “He was the oldest of the local boys in our camp, and was a sweet and kind example to everyone else.”
"He was my older brother, my best friend, my everything,” Hecht reports being told by a community youth, who continued to say, “I need Sean now more then ever now.”
The Carmelis were leaders in the religious awakening that took place in the community during the first decade of the millennium. Within a few years, community members constructed a synagogue, hired a rabbi, and almost all of the members of the tight-knit community observe Torah and mitzvot.
Alon Carmeli purchased the community’s first Torah scroll and dedicated the synagogue in memory of his father-in-law, Nissim Buganim, after whom his son was named.
After spending his summers in the Chabad day and overnight camps, Sean’s parents saw that their children were growing up without many Jewish friends and made the decision to move back to Israel, said Hecht. Sean, who held dual U.S and Israeli citizenship, completed high school in Ra’anana and went on to join the army where he served with honor and distinction in the Golani brigade.
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.
DETROIT, MI -- The farm bill that the president signed into law during a visit to Michigan earlier this year requires the federal government to start helping food banks provide kosher and halal products to families in need, and a Metro Detroit organization plans to pursue the aid.
A Jewish organization in New York sparked the legislation after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left many affected by food shortages searching food bank shelves for kosher products, according to the Associated Press.
The measure was passed over multiple times in Congress, but was included in the sweeping, five-year farm bill passed in February.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with gauging demand; finding vendors that can supply food prepared according to Jewish and Muslim dietary codes at comparable prices to standard food; and getting the labeled and tracked goods to distributors, reports Jeff Karoub of the Associated Press.
Getting the program into place will take a while, officials said.
But Zaman International Inc., a Dearborn-based group that runs a mobile food pantry and provided 3,612 meals in one 2013 program, plans to apply for the federal help.
"It would be huge - a lot of our budget goes to halal meat and chicken," Zaman executive Director Najah Bazzy told Karoub.
"For me, having the halal meat - if it could be given to us through the right vendors - really opens the opportunity for ... giving people access to the total food pyramid."
Robertson introduced Lapin by asking: “What is it about Jewish people that make them prosper financially? You almost never find Jews tinkering with their cars on the weekends or mowing their lawns. That’s what Daniel Lapin says and there’s a very good reason for that, and it lies within the business secrets of the Bible.”
Later in the interview, Robertson said that Jews are “polishing diamonds, not fixing cars.”
“When you correctly said in Jewish neighborhoods you do not find Jews lying under their cars on Sunday afternoons, no, I pay one of the best mechanics around to take care of my BMW, I’d be crazy to take my time doing it myself,” Lapin said. “Or for me to mow my lawn, I’m the worse lawnmower in the world, but the young man who lives down the street from me, he’s one of the best and he’s happy to do it and I’m happy.”
He added that paying for such services is all about “taking care of God’s other children.”
“There’s no Hebrew word for retirement; the general rule is when there’s no Hebrew word for something, it’s a bad idea. For instance, there’s no Hebrew word for adolescent, because when you think about it an adolescent is just somebody who wants all the privileges of adulthood with none of the responsibilities,” Lapin told Robertson. “No word for adolescent, no word for retire and I’m very happy that you’ve taken that lesson to heart.”
Robertson agreed that retirement is a violation of God’s law. Lapin added that there is also no Hebrew word for “fair.”
Daniel Lapin is wrong. There is a Hebrew word for "adolescent," it is naar. Coincidentally that also happens to be the Yiddish word for silly fool.
The Hebrew word for "fair" is yashar. Also tzedek.
As for "retirement," there is a commandment in the Scriptures to care for the infirm and elderly, and that it is disrespectful and cruel to force them to work at the same rate as younger, stronger people. We can even see an example of this in the Book of Ruth: Ruth went out to the fields to glean, and did not expect the elderly Naomi to work along with her.
This article was originally published by NationSwell, a website dedicated to sharing the stories of innovative Americans who are working to effect social change and move the country forward.
Fresh, locally sourced food? Check. Art on the walls? Check. Helping New York's hungry? Check.
The phrase “soup kitchen” doesn’t exactly ooze comfort. Getting meals to the homeless or hungry is usually a bare-bones affair, involving the most inexpensive food and all the ambiance of a basement cafeteria.
But walking into a soup kitchen run by Masbia, a group founded in 2005 and now operating three store fronts across Brooklyn and Queens, feels different.
The food is fresh, cooked by chef Ruben Diaz and volunteers, and meals incorporate donations from city farmers’ markets and local CSAs. There’s art on the walls. The chairs don’t fold. It looks like a restaurant, and it is – one where nobody has to pick up the check themselves.
Masbia is on track to serve one million meals this year alone.
The food is kosher – the founders are Hasidic Jews, and the first store front opened in Boro Park, a primarily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood – but people of all creeds are welcome. Many of the volunteers preparing the food are patrons, who work a few hours and then take their meals with employees.
[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.
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.
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."
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.”
In the past few days two different friends told my wife they had gone into the new hobby lobby store in Marlboro, New Jersey and noticed that, although there already was a lot of Christmas merchandise available, there was none for the Jewish holiday of Chanukah (some people drop the "C" and spell it Hannukah. Same holiday).
One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn't be any, and asked why. According to her, the answer was:
"We don't cater to you people"
Understandably irate, she called the home office, and was told, indifferently, that hobby lobby doesn't have Chanukah on its list of holidays.
Since I did not hear this ugly exchange with my own ears, I was not personally certain it was the case. And that's not good enough for this blog. So I just called the Marlboro hobby lobby and asked whether it would be stocking any Chanukah merchandise. I was told it would not. When I asked why, the answer - verbatim - was:
"Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he's a Christian, and those are his values"
FYI, I would guess that, in a five mile radius around the Marlboro store, a solid one-third of all residents are Jewish. But, then again, what is the difference? The reason hobby lobby won't sell Chanukah goods is unrelated to how many Jews are in the area,
The reason is that Mr. green's "Christian values" preclude him from selling anything related to a Jewish holiday. And not just just Chanukah, but Passover too, as I learned by calling corporate headquarters and speaking to the company's customer relations department.
And now a word about "Christian values". As someone with a great many Christian friends and acquaintances, I can honestly say I don't know even one who would ever see the intentional exclusion of Jews as having anything to do with their religious beliefs.
So let's be clear: these are not Christian values. They are david green values.
Well, here are MY values. I will never set foot in a hobby lobby. Ever. I will be sure to tell everyone I know and, obviously, everyone who reads this blog, the reason why. And I strongly request that what I have learned be passed along to as many others as possible.
I have no problem at all with Christianity. But I have a major problem with anti-Semitic idiots.
Having previously heard that Hobby Lobby refuses to provide contraception for its female employees as part of their health insurance plan, it's not surprising that they would be so dismissive of customers, particularly if their store happens to be located in a heavily Jewish-populated area.
It is not a question of "But would you ask a kosher store to sell bacon?" NO. Hobby Lobby does not present itself as a "Christian Craft Store." If they did, no one would expect them to sell non-Christian products.
But they are a craft store, period. You wouldn't ask for bacon at a kosher, or halal store, or salami at a vegan store, or Hanukkah items at a Christian store. But "Hobby Lobby" wants all your crafts business.