Great to celebrate the last two days of Pesach with some holy graffiti from our jewish friends in Caracas, Venezuela.
Wishing you Chag Sameach! We will return on Tuesday night.
Pesach / Passover Seder in US Armed Forces.
Chabad House Attacked in the Ukraine.
This past Shabbos night (Friday night April 18), the Chabad House in Nikolaev, Ukraine, was attacked by unknown assailants with Molotov cocktails (petrol or gas bombs). The attack was caught on camera…
Fortunately (hashgacha pratit), a passing driver saw the fire, stopped and put it out.
The Chabad Shaliach, Rabbi Sholom Gottlieb, stated it was a serious incident reaching the level of terror.
Being located in Southern Ukraine near the Black Sea and Crimea (100km from Crimea), it’s unclear but possible this is a result of Russian Nationalism and Russian rebels challenging the sovereignty of the Ukrainian government. This also follows closely on the heels of threats to the Jewish community in Donetsk, Ukraine.
The left used to say: Give away Judea and Samaria for peace.
Instead it brought us war.
So then they said: Give away Judea and Samaria for security.
Instead it brought terrorism. Over 1,000 Israelis were killed in Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.
Then they said: Give away Judea and Samaria because of the demographics.
Meanwhile the Jewish birthrate is now higher than the Arab birthrate.
Then they said: Give away Judea and Samaria to avoid a “political tsunami”.
However, that political tsunami never came.
Now they are saying: Give away Judea and Samaria, otherwise Abbas will go home.
You know what? Let him go home.
Nevertheless, we shall overcome!
Easter Sunday and Orthodox Easter, Sri Lankan New Year and Rivdan too, not only Passoveris being celebrated in Jerusalem, Israel today.
While hundreds of thousands have gathered to celebrate their religious festivals, Arab rioters are throwing stones, at passing cars and on the Temple Mount and they are getting the attention that they are seeking.
When I went to the Old City this week, I saw very different scenes.
Yes, security was higher at Mamilla Mall near the Jaffa Gate into the Old City. There were indeed roads blocked in The Old City, but they were blocked for everyone. Only special vehicles got through, and there were limited ways to walk as well.
but also young Arab males who are working and or walking.
Imagine Israel is trying to keep away those whose intent is to cause damage!?!
The crowds were so heavy on Thursday, we had to walk out only one way from the Western Wall, and not my usual way. Darn, as I was trying to show this cute Ethiopian child, an Arab woman walked right into my frame.
Unlike the years of 1948-1967, when under Jordanian occupation, the Old City was off limits to all Jews, now hundreds of thousands of visitors of many faiths are celebrating their religious festivals.
Hopefully as these tourists freely walk the Jerusalem, Israel streets, they will see what is really happening for themselves and take home the truth.
What a huge BDSFail, these religious pilgrims!
Meanwhile, if you are not familiar with Ridvan, it is a 12 day Bahai religious festival that started in Baghdad, its most holy day starts at sunset on April 20 each year.
Also, April 20 is Hitler’s birthday, but that is another story.
Happy Passover, Easter, New Year and Ridvan.
This past week saw rumors about Jews in the Ukraine being forced to register property with the government or face deportation. Was it an agitator or the government? Was is real or not? It matters not because it highlighted a simple fact. It could have been real and the collective Jewish response was hand wringing , a collective sigh and maybe a Facebook page or two opened to ” Protest Anti Semitism in the Ukraine”
Is this what it means to demonstrate Jewish pride? Is this the response of a generation that swore “Never Again”? Is our collective Jewishness defined by “likes” and re-tweets to the point where we go to sleep confident that a Jewish heart and sharing a United With Israel picture is all G-d expects of us?
I recall vividly the words of a Nazi as he stood over a Jew in the Auschwitz camps. The guard would beat him and mock him; ” Who are you praying to? there is no G-d out there! And soon there will be no Jews in the world!! You know why??? We Germans- we are taking care of the Jews in Europe!! Our good friends the Arabs, they will take care of the Jews in Palestine ! And American Jews?? HA HA HA American Jews will take care of themselves. They will disappear on their own!!!”
What are we doing in response to this dire prediction? Threats in the Ukraine. Shootings at Jewish Community Centers. Our own children , with our tacit approval , assimilating into the fabric of society with a full 67 percent of Brooklyn Jewry targeted to vanish within the next 20- 60 years. Hitler taught us how to identify Jews. The agitators taught us that a Jew will always be identified. As far back as the garden of Eden, people thought they could run and hide from G-d but G-d knows where to find us.
What is the answer to “Never Again” .. If Iran chooses to drop a bomb in Israel (or California or New York) are we so confident that we do not deserve it? The Jew was handed the modern day state of Israel through nothing less than open miracles and with great cost of lives. How many miracles do we deserve?
And yet we are promised that we can be deserving of miracles. In the Haggadah which was read by the millions of Jews world wide earlier on Passover, we read , quoted from the Torah the Covenant that G-d made with our forefathers that the Jewish people will be eternal. We also read in the Haggadah “V’he Sh’omda LaAvosainu And THIS is what stood by our ancestors and saved them from the threats of the generation” What is THIS that saved our ancestors so that we could live as Jews today?
The verse reads Os HE l’olmaid ad — THIS is a sign for all eternity. This sign is the Shabbos !! If we want to make Never Again a reality , we must understand that JCC shootings , Ukrainian Anti Semitism and more are simply wake up calls, messages being left on our answering machine to be answered when we finally get around to listening.
The message of the Passover Seder is that our ancestors went through much for their descendants and did so because of a promise from Someone who is involved in our lives every day. He wants to hear from us.
Yes, G-d loves Jews with Jewish hearts . If we are to make NEVER AGAIN A reality , however, the time has come for us to help nourish our Jewish feet, arms, legs , eyes and more.
How can we start ? If you are reading this post and it is between 18 minutes before sundown on Friday and an hour after sundown on Saturday…. Do not reply…. walk away from your computer and spend Shabbos time with friends and family. If it is after Shabbos (and not the last two days of Passover) reach out and let us listen to our messages together!
R’ Dovid Winiarz
A 21st Century Exodus: Dina’s Journey From Alexandria to Jerusalem.
Dina Ovadia has come a long way from her childhood in an Arab country, with no knowledge of her Jewish heritage. Today, she serves in the IDF. There are Cinderella stories and there’s the Passover Haggadah – but Dina’s story is a bit of both.
Pesach Stamps - Israel.
Fresh, intensely flavorful Passover recipes from different Jewish communities.
Sephardi Jewish communities enjoy layered pies on Passover, called “minas”. The fillings of these vary widely; here is a luscious version with chicken and mushrooms that can be served as a main course.
- 12 oz cooked chicken (or 1 lb. raw)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- ½ medium onion
- 1 oz margarine
- 1 ¼ cup button mushrooms
- 6 eggs
- 1 t ground black pepper
- ½ t salt
- 2 T chopped parsley or coriander
- 1 ¼ cup chicken stock
- 3 T oil
- 6 sheets matzo
Preheat oven to 375 F. Have ready a baking dish approximately 10x8x2 inches – a foil one is excellent.
The chicken can be leftovers or chicken-breast meat poached with a bay leaf or microwaved (covered with water and a bay leaf) until tender. Cut the chicken into strips about ½ x 1 ½ inches.
Sauté the finely chopped onion in the fat until soft and golden, then add the thinly sliced mushrooms and sauté until tender – another 5 minutes. Allow to cool while you beat the eggs until blended, then stir in the mushroom and chicken mixture, ½ t of the salt and the pepper and chopped herbs.
Make up 1 ¼ cups of chicken stock or use leftover chicken soup or the poaching liquid.
Heat the oil in a small pan for 3 minutes, then pour 2 t into the baking dish and swirl it round to coat both the bottom and sides. Dip 2 of the matzot into the stock (or chicken poaching liquid) until well moistened, then lay side by side in the baking dish. Spoon half the egg mixture on top, cover with 2 more moistened matzot, then the remaining egg mixture and finally rthe 2 remaining matzot, also moistened.
Pour half the remaining oil over the top and bake for 15 minutes, then sprinkle with the remaining oil and bake a further 10-15 minutes until a rich crisp brown. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve in squares.
Recipe adapted from The New Complete International Jewish Cookbook by Evelyn Rose (Robson Books 2000).