"Do you want to buy some lemonade? 4 Shekel for a cup of lemonade, all the money is going to help the lone soldiers who are here protecting us without any family in the country.
This is our second time doing this, last time we made over a hundred shekel.”
Mesmerizing sundown over the skies of Tel Aviv
The Dog Who Loved Shofar - PRECIOUS
Utah Chabad Rabbi Benny Zippel was hosting a shofar-blowing workshop like he does every year, when the family dog decided to get in on it.
The Old City Market offers some extraordinarily colorful pieces.
Old City Market merchandise - Jerusalem.
This summer’s Gaza war has highlighted the role of the media and opinion formers in shaping a hostile view of Israel and a more favourable understanding of Hamas. Two journalists, formerly staffers with mainstream media, Matti Friedman and Tom Gross, have called the biased reporting on the Arab-Israeli conflict a ‘political weapon – with which they arm one side in the conflict.’
There are many reasons why journalists have become accessories to Hamas’s propaganda war, behaving as activists rather than reporters. They relay a picture of Palestinian victimhood and Israeli extremism and intransigeance, suppressing any facts that make a nonsense of this narrative. Tom Gross identifies one reason:
” …Many have a kind of guilt about being white and Western, and the history of their own colonization. Israel is perceived as a white country and the Palestinians are perceived as non-white, even though in fact many Palestinians have lighter skin than some Israelis.
Many Western journalists abroad have barely heard of the fact that there are Sephardi or Mizrahi Jews.”
This is a key reason why organisations like mine, Harif, have been trying to raise awareness that Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews constitue over 50 percent of Israel’s population.
We want people to ask why these Jews ended up in Israel. They did not move to Israel only out of Zionism, although this was a factor : the majority fled their countries as refugees – out of fear, to escape harassment, violence and death.
They fled the same conditions of intolerance and bigotry that are now forcing the other non-Muslim minorities of the Middle East to choose between extinction or exodus.
We must turn the Israel-as-colonialism narrative on its head. We must re-assert that Jews are the most ancient of indigenous Middle Eastern peoples, with a history of continuous residence in what is now known as the Arab world going back 3,000 years.
Moreover, the colonial relationship between Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews and the Arab Muslim conquerors is the exact opposite of what reporters and western observers believe: the Jews of the region are the colonised and the Muslims the colonisers.
For fourteen centuries, Jews survived at the beck and sufferance of their Muslim rulers. As the historian Georges Bensoussan has explained, they sought to escape insecurity as a vulnerable minority and their second-rate status by seeking western protection and embracing modernity.
The state of Israel, although under attack since the day it was born, has provided Jews with the wherewithal to defend themselves. This is an affront to Muslim pride and supremacy, and a key reason why the Arab/ Islamist struggle to destroy the sovereign Jewish state continues.
The Sephardi/Mizrahi ‘narrative’ may not be able to reverse the supertanker of current public opinion any time soon, but it can seriously hole it below the waterline.
The Earliest Pictures Of Jerusalem From 170 Years Ago
These earliest pictures of Jerusalem were taken in 1844 by French photographer and draughtsman Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804 – 1892), who was active in the Middle East. In 1844, Jerusalem was a small town with a population of 15 thousand people on the outskirts of the Ottoman Empire.
Remarkably, his photographs were only discovered in the 1920s in a storeroom of his estate and then only became known eighty years later.
Oldest siddur headed to Israel
The oldest book of Jewish liturgy, dating back to the ninth century, was en route to Israel Sunday, and will be on display at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem until late October.
The 50-page text is written on parchment in archaic Hebrew, and includes portions of the Sabbath morning prayers, liturgical hymns, and the Passover Haggadah.
The 1,200-year-old book was traced back to the Geonic period in Babylon, and is on loan from the Green Collection, a vast collection of biblical artifacts owned by the founders of Hobby Lobby.
“We are very excited about the arrival of the prayer text to the museum,” Amanda Weiss, director of the Bible Lands Museum, told Yedioth Ahronoth. “This is a real treasure for the Jewish people, proof of the communal and cultural life 1,200 years ago, and we are honored to have it displayed at the Book of Books exhibit.”
'Adding Life' in the Merit of Murdered Mother and Daughters
A special event was held on Sunday marking ten years since the murder of Gush Katif residents Tali Hatuel and her four daughters, and nine years since the founding of the Tali B’Yad Rama Organization established in their memory.
At the event Tali’s husband David spoke to Arutz Sheva about the organization he founded to help families with fertility problems, particularly those caused by economic issues, which has already led to the birth of hundreds of babies over the years.
The organization’s slogan is “where life was cut off, we will add life,” says David, noting that the name Rama is an acronym of the names of his four murdered daughters - Hila, 11; Hadar, 9; Roni, 7; and Merav, 2.
The center-piece of the event was a musical performance by the famous religious singer Yonatan Razel and Daniel Zamir.
Ten years ago, Tali was a social worker and David the principal of an elementary school in Ashkelon.
On May 2, 2004, Tali - eight months pregnant at the time - traveled together with her four daughters from Gush Katif to Ashkelon for an obstetrician’s appointment, and then to attend a demonstration against the Disengagement referendum by the Likud being held that day.
At the Kissufim crossing to Gaza two terrorists armed with Kalashnikov rifles opened fire on Tali’s car, forcing her off the road and seriously wounding her. They then proceeded to approach the car, shooting her and her four daughters at point-blank range until all five were dead and the terrorists had no more bullets left to fire.
IDF forces were dispatched to hunt down the terrorists and managed to kill them.
After the Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the attack, Islamic Jihad terrorist Mahmoud Halil al-Latif Sheikh Halil, who was responsible for the attack, eventually was eliminated in an IAF airstrike in September 2005 as he was traveling in a car in Gaza.
Jonathan Sacks : There’s an old and totally apocryphal story about the nineteenth century French Jewish aristocrat Baron de Rothschild, whose wife was in her bedroom with a nurse, in the last stages of delivery while he was sitting downstairs playing a game of cards with his friends. Suddenly they heard her cry, ‘Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu.’ ‘Baron,’ said his friends, ‘go up to your wife. She needs you.
’ ‘Not yet.’ said the baron and continued playing cards. Five minutes later they heard a cry, ‘My G-d, My G-d.’ ‘Go up,’ said the Baron’s friends. ‘Not yet,’ said the Baron and returned to his cards. Finally they heard his wife cry, ‘Gevalt.’ The Baron immediately rose and ran upstairs, saying, ‘Now is the time.’
The story is, of course, about how Jews in the nineteenth century had to hide their identities and become more French than the French, more English than the English, and yet remained Jewish in their hearts. The Jewish mind spoke French but the Jewish soul still spoke Yiddish.
But there’s another and simpler message, which is that when we cry from the heart, someone listens. That’s the message of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.
We are a hyper-verbal people. We talk, we argue, we pontificate, we deliver witty repartee and clever put downs. Jews may not always be great listeners but we are among the world’s great talkers. Accuse us of anything and we’ll come up with a dozen reasons why we’re right and you are wrong.
But there comes a moment when we summon the courage to be honest with ourselves. And if we really are honest with ourselves, then we know in our heart that we’re not perfect, we don’t always get it right, not as individuals and not as a people.
That’s the moment when all we can say is gevalt. All we can do is cry out. That’s what the shofar is. The sound of our tears. Teruah, three sighs. Shevarim, a series of sobs. And surrounding them the tekiah, the call without words. The sound of a heart breaking. No more excuses. No more rationalisations and justifications. Ribbono shel olam, forgive us.
Truth is, these are the most important moments in life. We can carry on for years deceiving ourselves, blaming others for what goes wrong. We are our own infallible counsel for the defence. But there has to be a time when we allow ourselves simply to weep for the things we know we could have handled better. That is what the shofar is: the cry that starts when words end.
That’s when G-d reaches out to us, as parent to child, and holds us close while we weep together, then He comforts us and gives us the strength to begin again. There’s nothing closer to G-d than a broken heart and nothing stronger than a heart that’s been healed by G-d’s forgiveness.