Monday, December 31, 2012

Neturei Karta creep forces girls' school to admit his sons

Remember this creep?

Well, let me update you on the last six years with Moshe Aryeh Friedman. It turns out that the claim that his wife filed for divorce was false.  

It's also been claimed that he denounced Neturei Karta. Let's just say I have my doubts. 

He eventually moved to Antwerp where (assuming that the news reports are correct) he has done something that ought to turn him into a moser(link in Hebrew) in the eyes of the Jewish community (leaving aside for a minute that he defied the ban contained in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 26 against availing oneself of the secular courts against fellow Jews). Moshe Aryeh Friedman filed and won a lawsuit against a private Jewish girls' school in Antwerp forcing them to admit his sons to study there. The school is now facing fines of $2,600 per child per day if it does not comply (Hat Tip: Mrs. Carl).
At the end of 2011, Friedman relocated his wife and seven children from New York to Antwerp, but because of what Friedman calls “revenge” on the part of the Jewish community for his “opinion and good contacts with world leaders”, he has been unable to find a yeshiva which will admit his children. As such, Friedman said he had no choice but to apply for admission for his sons, ages 8 and 11, to the all-girls, Orthodox Jewish Benoth Jerusalem School in Antwerp.

According to a report in the local Belgian paper, Gazet van Anwerpen (, when Benoth Jerusalem denied admission to his sons, Friedman sued citing a recent decision from the Commission on Students’ Rights which held that a child cannot be denied admission to a school on the basis of their gender.

A Belgian judge ruled that because yeshivas are subsidized by the Flemish community, Benoth Jerusalem must admit the boys or face a $2,600 penalty per child for each day the boys are not permitted to attend.

The school board argued that Orthodox Judaism requires the separation of the sexes for educational instruction. Moreover, the board said it is not equipped to educate male students as it does not have male teachers on staff and lacks basic infrastructure such as separate restrooms.

The school board has until next week to appeal the judge’s ruling.
If this story is true, Friedman has assured his and his family's ostracism from the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community for life (at least unless and until his children are old enough to denounce him).

For generations, Orthodox Jews have hired private teachers to educate their children at home if they could not find an appropriate school.  That's what Friedman should have done if no school would accept his children. And if he could not find anyone to teach them (because he is probably incherem - excommunicated - so no one will deal with him) he should teach them himself. If he has to send them to a school, let him either recant and have the cherem released, or let him send them to public schools until he does so. 

Second, I mentioned the prohibition in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 26 against turning to secular courts against fellow Jews (link in Hebrew). 

Third, for anyone who believes that all ultra-Orthodox Jews support Neturei Karta, this should convince you otherwise. As I understand it, both the school in Vienna that expelled his children six years ago, and the school in Antwerp are operated by mainstream ultra-Orthodox communities.

And fourth, Friedman should have thought about this before embracing a Jew-hater like Ahmadinejad. Actions have consequences. No, I have zero sympathy for this guy. Look at the picture at the top to see why.

Chazan Yaakov Yosef Stark Tiher

Shlomie Gertner Rocking His HIT!! Kol Hoilom

Mordechai Ben David Accompanied by the Shira Choir sings at the 90th Convention Of Agudas Yisroel of America Motzei Shabbos December 29 2012 in East Brunswick, New Jersey

Shlomie gertner singing at bein Ish kumzits @ Hilton hotel Long Island

Sunday, December 30, 2012

City of David Part-1 by Ilan Shchori

STATELESS by Rabbi Berel Wein

In spite of all rumors to the contrary and all machinations at the United Nations, the Palestinian people are really stateless. They have two governing bodies, one in Gaza ruled by Hamas and the other is located in portions of the West Bank ruled by Fatah. In spite of all of the trappings of sovereignty, neither entity seems to be interested in or engaged in state-building. Their stated avowed purpose, repeated forcefully, violently and aggressively is to destroy the one stable, democratic and free state that does exist in the immediate area – the State of Israel. With enormous financial aid from the rest of the world both groups prefer to invest in arms, repression, propaganda and other forms of aggression against Israel and are not really concerned in building a true infrastructure, educational or economic or governmental, that could serve as a template for creating a viable state of their own. An educational system built on incitement to violence, demonization and hatred of the “other” will not succeed in producing the necessary leadership and skills, knowledge and commitment, necessary to create a viable national state. Any state that will emerge from such a witches’ brew of skewed values and hatreds will not be a peaceful neighbor of us. The Palestinian street has been educated to vote Hamas and therefore Fatah refuses to hold elections even though they are long overdue. A Hamas state sitting to the west of us is a security threat that no Israeli government can allow or endure. Thus the prospects of a Palestinian state under today’s circumstances arising are truly dim and unlikely. The realities of our situation will of necessity trump all of the fantasies of the remaining “peace at any price “advocates in our midst.

I believe that this is true no matter who wins the general election soon to be held here in Israel. I cannot imagine an Israeli government repeating the mistakes of unilateral withdrawal from territories in the Holy Land.  Ehud Barak gave us Hezbollah on our northern border by his flight from the security zone in Lebanon and Ariel Sharon gave us Hamas in Gaza at our southern border. One would hope that the results emanating from those two badly mistaken policies and actions would prove instructive to all later Israeli governments as well. It is so fashionable in today’s secular and practically amoral world to be against Israel, its people, its products, its accomplishments, that the Palestinians are apparently convinced that they have to do nothing and Israel will somehow disappear of its own accord and world pressures. The Jewish story throughout history is littered with the bones of those who thought that way in the past. They all underestimated Jewish will and tenacity, strength and vitality.  The world has fallen into the same anti-Semitic trap that has cost it do dearly in the past.  Boycotting Israeli products will not bring the Palestinians one step close to statehood of their own. It only exhibits the unreasoning hatred of Jews that has infected the world so deeply. Only the Palestinians can build their own state. And they seem determined not to do so currently.  

There was once an administration in the United States that declared that it would follow a policy of “benign neglect” regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict. But it could not stay the course and for the past number of decades we have been witness to various plans, policies and solutions advanced to end the conflict. Unfortunately none of them were able to match the realities on the ground here in the Middle East. The latest non-starter is the “two-state solution” to which even the Israeli government has given begrudging lip service approval. But this plan is also a non-starter since there is no one on the other side interested or able to create a state on any other basis than the destruction of the Jewish state. Thuds we are left with a one state reality and that one state is Israel. So again no matter who heads the Israeli government or for that matter the American government, the Quartet (remember those guys?), the European Union, the United Nations, etc. the two state solution cannot be implemented simply because there is no Palestinian state to two state with. The Palestinians are willfully and purposely stateless. And therefore until they are willing to change this situation in a positive and almost radical manner the current situation will continue to prevail and we will all just keep on muddling along. That may not be very good but it is not so bad either. It is what it is.

Shabat shalom.

Berel Wein            

Operation Yonatan

Secrets of Jerusalem’s Holiest Sites

Allenby in Jerusalem

PMW: Crossword puzzle in official PA daily: Be'er Sheva is a "Palestinian city"

In its weekly crossword puzzle, the Palestinian Authority official daily presented the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva as a "Palestinian city": 

Clue: "A southern Palestinian city"
Solution: "Be'er Sheva"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 26, 2012]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported in the past thatthe PA daily presents many Israeli cities and sites as parts of "Palestine." Lod, Acre, Tiberias, and even Tel Aviv have all been presented as "Palestinian" or "occupied" cities, as have places like Mount Carmel and Mount Meron. 
Clue: "A modern city in occupied Palestine"
Solution: "Tel Aviv"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 10, 2009]

Earlier this year, another crossword puzzle presented Israel's southernmost city and port Eilat as a "Jordanian port" and Jaffa as a "Palestinian port." 

Clue: "A Jordanian port on the Red Sea north of Akaba"
Solution: "Eilat"

Clue: "A Palestinian port on the Mediterranean [Sea]"
Solution: "Jaffa"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 21, 2012]

With its crossword clues, the official PA papercontinues the PA policy of denying Israel's existence

At times, PA crossword puzzles have been used as a means for glorifying terrorists. For example, Dalal Mughrabi has been honored in crossword puzzles. Mughrabi led the most lethal terror attack in Israel's history when she and other terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians in an attack in 1978 known as the Coastal Road massacre:

Clue: "Palestinian Martyr (Shahida) and commander who led the Coastal Road operation (i.e., terror attack)"
Solution: "Dalal Mughrabi"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 4, 2009]

A crossword puzzle clue also honored Yahya Ayyash, the first Hamas suicide bomb builder, who is considered the founder of Palestinian suicide terror. His attacks killed dozens of Israelis and injured hundreds:

Clue: "Martyr (Shahid) of Palestine, known as 'the Engineer'"
Solution: "Yahya Ayyash"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 1, 2010]

PMW has repeatedly documented the PA policy of glorifying terrorists.

In 1999, PMW reported on a crossword puzzle defining Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem, as a "Jewish center for commemorating the Holocaust and the Lies." The report led to widespread international condemnation of the PA.

PMW has documented Holocaust denial and distortion in the PA. 

The following are more examples of Israeli cities and sites defined as "Palestinian" or "occupied" in PA daily crossword puzzles:
Clue: "A Palestinian city"
Solution: "Tel Aviv" 
Clue: "A Palestinian city"
Solution: "Tiberias"
Clue: "A Palestinian city"
Solution: "Jaffa"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]
Clue: "A Palestinian city"
Solution: "Tel Aviv"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 26, 2011]

Clue: "Occupied Palestinian mountains - 1948"
Solution: "Carmel" (Haifa)
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 4, 2009]  
Clue: "Palestinian city"
Solution: "Acre"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, June 27, 2010]


Clue: "Occupied Palestinian city - 1948"
Solution: "Lod"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 2, 2009]
Clue: "The highest mountain in Palestine, overlooking the city Safed"
Solution: "Mount Meron"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 6, 2010]

Arabs Ignoring High Court Ruling, Dumping Artifacts off Temple Mount The Waqf, a Jordanian Muslim religious body entrusted with the management of the Temple Mount, has been renovating the site for years.

A demonstration was held last Wednesday (Dec. 26) at the northern entrance to the Temple Mount, in protest of the Waqf’s continued destruction of archeological artifacts on the holy site. The demonstrators, led by MK Aryeh Eldad, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene and to stop the obliteration of these priceless antiques by the Waqf.
The Waqf, a Jordanian Muslim religious body entrusted with the management of the Temple Mount, has been renovating the site for years. In the process, they have been moving mounds of earth off the mountain. These piles contain numerous archaeological artifacts from many centuries. In 2004, the High Court of Justice passed a ruling prohibiting the removal of the dirt from the Temple Mount to other locations until the contents are combed for artifacts.
Archaeologist Yitzchak Dvira has recently published a report about the Waqf’s ongoing disregard of the High Court’s ruling. In his report he states that since the ruling in 2004, large piles of earth have accumulated on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, and the Waqf continues to move earth from the Temple Mount to dump sites in East Jerusalem. Dvira has documented several recent incidents of heavy machinery moving earth away from the Temple Mount. These actions have resulted in the loss of artifacts important to understanding the Jewish, Christian and Muslim history of the site.
Dvira and his crew have sifted through the piles of earth removed from the Mount and have recovered many artifacts belonging to various historical periods. They have recovered seals baring the names of priests mentioned in the book of Jeremiah, support beams from the First Temple, remnants of the structure of the Second Temple, arrow heads and horse-shoe nails from the Crusade period and even artifacts from the Muslim period.
Dvira states that he sees dozens such artifacts every day in the mounds on the side of the Temple Mount. He told Tazpit News Agency that he believes the earth piles should be removed, but it should be done in a supervised fashion, ensuring no further losses. Dvira submitted his report to the police who have released a statement declaring that all construction on the Temple Mount is under their close supervision, and that Dvira’s claims are incorrect. As of now, all other supervisory agencies have not provided a response.
Dvira points out that all issues regarding the Temple Mount are overseen by the Prime Minister’s Office, and he suspects that there is consent on their part to the Waqf’s actions. PM Netanyahu met with King Abdullah of Jordan last week, and Dvira believes they discussed issues related to the Temple Mount project. The Jordanians have been pressuring the Israeli Government to allow the removal of the earth mounds on the side of the Temple Mount.
Dvira and the Temple Mount organizations warn that this continued neglect and disregard of the law will bring to further loss of historic relics. They intend to petition the High Court once more soon.

Abie Rottenberg and Rivi Shwebel at Camp Agudah

French bestseller unravels Nazi propagandist’s cryptic last words about Purim‘Code of Esther’ gets Paris buzzing about an alleged biblical prophecy connecting the Jewish festival and Nazi Germany

PARIS — “The Code of Esther” reads like “The Da Vinci Code,” yet has nothing to do with fiction. In its first seven weeks in French stores, the book sold more than 26,000 copies, enough to put it on best-seller lists and earn national attention.
“This is unlike anything I‘ve experienced before,” says co-author Bernard Benyamin, a leading figure in French investigative journalism and a co-host of the popular TV program “Envoyé Spécial.”
“I never thought I would face this kind of challenge.”
After his mother passed away last year, 63-year-old Benyamin visited his local synagogue in Paris to recite the Kaddish. While there, he met television director and entrepreneur Yohan Perez — his future co-author — who used their encounter to share findings from a four-year investigation into two seemingly disparate topics: senior Nazi official Julius Streicher and the biblical Book of Esther.
Julius Streicher (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)
Julius Streicher (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)
Perez and Benyamin’s new best-seller opens at the post-war Nuremberg trials, then shifts to the October 1946 execution of Streicher, a key Nazi propagandist and the publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Sturmer. Just before he was hanged, Streicher turned to witnesses and snapped, “Purim festival, 1946!
“When I first listened to this story, I was cut to the quick,” says Benyamin. “My mother had just died; I was lost. I needed something to hold onto, and this fascinating project was just what I needed.”
The authors believe they’ve uncovered peculiar similarities between a biblical drama and the Holocaust
To understand Streicher’s final words, Perez decided to look into the textual origins of Purim — the Book of Esther. Part of the Ketuvim, or Writings, of the Hebrew Bible, the book recounts plans to exterminate the Jewish people by Haman, a high-ranking royal adviser, and how those plans were thwarted by Esther, a Jewish woman who had hidden her religious identity to marry Ahasuerus, the king.
Unlike the 20th century genocide that Streicher helped to carry out, the slaughter in Persia was avoided. Yet the more Perez tried to read between the lines, the more he saw peculiar similarities between the two events.
Just like Haman and his 10 sons, Streicher and nine other Nazi defendants were hanged. (Hermann Göring, the head of the German air force and a key figure in planning the Holocaust, killed himself in his jail cell. The Talmud says that Haman’s daughter also committed suicide.)
“Yohan didn’t want this story to sound trivial. He urged me to take part in the project because I already had a strong reputation in journalism,” says Benyamin, who spoke to The Times of Israel by phone. “But I have to admit that if my name hadn’t been on the cover, people might have not taken the book as seriously.”
In “The Code,” the co-authors draw readers’ attention to the Book of Esther’s place as one of the most mysterious, distinctive texts in the Torah.
“It is, in fact, the only book in which the key protagonist is a woman,” Benyamin notes, “and in which the name of God is never explicitly mentioned.”
But arguably even more intriguing is the style — even the calligraphy — in which the text is written. For generations, Jewish scholars have pondered differences in the sizes of individual letters, as well as other mysteries that inspired talk of “the code of Esther.”
The success of "The Code of Esther" has inspired a documentary currently under production. (Courtesy of Editions First)
The success of “The Code of Esther” has inspired a documentary currently under production. (Courtesy of Editions First)
A research trip to Jerusalem proved a key stage of Benyamin’s journey. There, he interviewed “the man who deciphered the code”: Rabbi Mordechai Neugroschel, a Holocaust educator and co-founder ofArachim, an Israeli organization that promotes the application of Jewish philosophy to modern society.
According to Neugroschel, the key to the code of Esther lies in the names of Haman’s 10 sons. Three of the Hebrew letters — a tav, a shin and a zayin — are written smaller than the rest, while a vav is written larger. The outsized vav — which can also represent the number six — corresponds to the sixth millennium in the Zohar, the central books of Jewish mysticism. As for the tavshin and zayin, their numerical values add up to 707. Put together, these letters refer to the Jewish year 5707, which corresponds to the secular 1946-1947.
In his research, Neugroschel also noticed that the 10 Nazi defendants were executed on Oct. 16, 1946 , which that year was also Hoshana Rabba — the day that God’s judgment of the world is finalized after Rosh Hashanah, according to the Zohar.
Describing himself as a “non-observant Jew with a rational outlook on life,” Benyamin says that the seeming connections shook him, describing the Book of Esther as a “prophecy” of what was to occur centuries later in Europe.
Nevertheless, he says, “We are not trying to do religious propaganda here. It is up to the readers to interpret this.”
“I had many pre-conceived ideas about Jewish scholars before I met Rabbi Neugroschel and others,” he says. “I’ve always been slightly agnostic, so when he told me about the code of Esther, my brain was turned upside down… I was in the middle of a situation I never thought I would experience and, strangely, I didn’t want it to end.”
Looking for more information, Benyamin and Perez flew from Israel to the Germany city of Landsberg am Lech. “It was the most hectic moment of the investigation,” Benyamin says. “This is where everything started. Hitler wrote ‘Mein Kampf’ while imprisoned there, following the attempted coup known as the Beer Hall Putsch.”
As Benyamin explored Landsberg prison, he found another peculiar similarity with the Book of Esther: the existence of a man named Max Amann (the spelling of “Haman” in French), one of Hitler’s earliest followers and later the head of Eher Verlag, the Nazi party’s publishing house. It was Amann who suggested that Hitler title his book “Mein Kampf.”
‘Unearthing the mysteries of this text was undoubtedly one of the biggest intellectual challenges of my career’
Unlike Esther, Benyamin has never hidden his Jewish origins. But he knew that writing about the purported secrets of a biblical text presented certain risks, especially for a reporter with a reputation to protect in a largely secular country. Yet he says he never worried that he was putting his professional standing on the line.
“I didn’t fear the reaction of readers and critics, not even for one split second, because this is the result of a transparent, rational, journalistic investigation,” he says.
Except for a handful of positive reviews, the French media have largely overlooked the book. But the idea of a secret connection between ancient Persia and Nazi Germany has piqued public interest, generating both solid sales and a spin-off documentary that Benyamin is working on now.
When the investigation ended, he recalls, he felt “groggy.”
“I just needed to catch my breath — I felt like I ran a marathon,” he says.
“My vision of religion has changed,” he continues, although “it doesn’t mean that I will become more observant.”
Whatever the book‘s impact on his religious life, he takes pride in bringing discussion of the Book of Esther to a mass secular audience, and in the exploration it forced him to do for himself.
“Unearthing the mysteries of this text,” he says, “was undoubtedly one of the biggest intellectual challenges of my career.”

Tel Aviv school aims to turn Joes into Jeremiahs;To the derision of critics, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets will offer a diploma in Jewish soothsaying

TEL AVIV (AP) — Instead of long beards and robes, they wear track suits and T-shirts. Their tablets are electronic, not hewn of stone, and they hold smartphones, not staffs. They may not look the part, but this ragtag group of Israelis is training to become the next generation of prophets.
For just 200 shekels, about $53, and in only 40 short classes, the Cain and Abel School for Prophets says it will certify anyone as a modern-day Jewish soothsayer.
The school, which launched classes this month, has baffled critics, many of whom have dismissed it as a blasphemy or a fraud.
On a religious level, Jewish tradition recognizes a few dozen prophets from the biblical era — from the monumental figures of Abraham, Moses and Elijah to lesser known foretellers of doom and tormented questioners like Micah the Morashtite and Habakkuk. Tradition says no one can be a prophet ever since the Romans destroyed the second temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 and the era of prophecy can only be revived with the arrival of the Messiah and the temple’s rebuilding. As one Talmudic phrase puts it, the only prophets now are children and fools.
But also, on a philosophical level, how do you learn divine inspiration in school? And can anyone learn?
“There is no way to teach prophecy,” said Rachel Elior, a professor of Jewish thought at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University. “It’s like opening a school for becoming Einstein or Mozart.”
That hasn’t deterred the school’s founder and sole teacher Shmuel Hapartzy, a follower of Chabad, a worldwide Orthodox Jewish outreach and worship movement that has come under fire because part of its membership crowned its late leader the Messiah. The Chabad movement in Israel has distanced itself from the school.
Anyone looking in the curriculum for “Parting the Sea 101″ or “How to Predict the Future” or even “Principles of Proclaiming A Jeremiad” will be disappointed. Instead, students learn about the meaning of dreams, the classification of angels, the mysteries of the holy spirit. They learn how to discern a person’s inner feelings from his or her external behavior and appearance.
Hapartzy can’t guarantee his course will give his students a direct line to God. But, he says, the syllabus provides the essential tools to bring out the prophet in anyone.
“In the past there were prophets but even now, in our time, divinity is being revealed to everyone. We just need to open our eyes to it,” said Hapartzy at his introductory course, which is held at a religious center in grungy south Tel Aviv, known more for its licentious street parties than piety.
And graduates do get a diploma.
There’s little “profit” motive to the venture. Hapartzy said the token fee is to prove students’ dedication and is donated to the religious center hosting the school. There’s no application process — anyone who wants to become a prophet can do so by just showing up for the course.
The school’s inaugural class this month welcomed a mixed bag of 12 students ranging in age from 18 to 50. One man had scruffy stubble and wore a blue track suit. Another walked in with a guitar slung over his back. Others fiddled with their phones during the lecture or stepped out to smoke. Two had long beards and wore Jewish skullcaps.
Darya Popdinitz, who drove in from Jerusalem for the course, wore a pink hat with dangling pompons. She said her knowledge of biblical prophets was limited, but she was “curious” about the course.
“It’s a real diverse mix of people,” said Hapartzy.
The class itself is a modest study group. In the small room, the men sat in a circle around Hapartzy, with the women separately in a corner, following Orthodox Judaism’s segregation of the sexes. Hapartzy lectures and hands out study material — photocopied excerpts of holy books — and a question period follows. The students’ homework is to conduct good deeds and pray.
The 34-year-old Hapartzy has a varied background. A software engineer and Russian immigrant, with a long beard and dressed in black ultra-Orthodox garb, he said he was originally an atheist. He dabbled in “sciences, mysticism, Chinese philosophy, astrology, black magic and Christian cults” until, he said, he turned to Judaism.
He compiled the study materials from writings he said could be found in any religious library — including, no surprise, the books of the biblical prophets. Since there’s no traditional set course for becoming a prophet, Hapartzy used his own judgment for what subjects would be appropriate.
Like some in the Chabad movement, Hapartzy believes that the Messiah has already come and that the age of redemption is nigh, so it has possible to have prophets again. Claims by some that late leader Rabbi Menachem Schneerson was the Messiah split the Chabad movement and brought harsh criticism from other Jews.
Hapartzy said his school aims to prepare everyone for the new messianic era. The school is named after the sons of Adam and Eve — Cain was the first murderer and Abel the first victim. The name represents a person’s different spiritual poles, which the school aims to unite, Hapartzy said.
The desire to open up the realm of prophecy to anyone has raised hackles in some circles.
“It’s completely crazy,” said Menachem Brod, a Chabad spokesman. Facebook commenters have accused the school of “charlatanism and blasphemy.”
Roie Greenvald, a 27-year-old tennis instructor attending the classes, also showed some skepticism. While he expressed interest in the spiritual development the course offers, one crucial detail stands in the way of his religious elevation.
“I’m not going to become a prophet,” he said. “I don’t think it pays very well.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

'Human rights watch' fires Richard Falk

* Fired: U.N.'s Worst Israel Hater Richard Falk Expelled from Human Rights Watch. Amazing but true. Falk was exposed and taken down by his nemesis, U.N. Watch. Said Falk: "HRW wanted to acquiesce in response to the U.N. Watch attack but hoped I would not notice, and miscalculated because UN Watch claimed credit quite reasonably for my 'dismissal.'"

Antwerp - Sons Of Former Neturei Karta Member Must Be Admitted To All-Girls Belgian School, Judge Rules

Antwerp - Rabbi Moshe Aryeh Friedman, notorious for his involvement with the Neturei Karta and the 2006 anti-Zionist and Holocaust-denial conference in Iran, has again found himself at the center of a controversy – this time in Belgium.
At the end of 2011, Friedman relocated his wife and seven children from New York to Antwerp, but because of what Friedman calls “revenge” on the part of the Jewish community for his “opinion and good contacts with world leaders”, he has been unable to find a yeshiva which will admit his children. As such, Friedman said he had no choice but to apply for admission for his sons, ages 8 and 11, to the all-girls, Orthodox Jewish Benoth Jerusalem School in Antwerp.
According to a report in the local Belgian paper, Gazet van Anwerpen (, when Benoth Jerusalem denied admission to his sons, Friedman sued citing a recent decision from the Commission on Students’ Rights which held that a child cannot be denied admission to a school on the basis of their gender.
A Belgian judge ruled that because yeshivas are subsidized by the Flemish community, Benoth Jerusalem must admit the boys or face a $2,600 penalty per child for each day the boys are not permitted to attend.
The school board argued that Orthodox Judaism requires the separation of the sexes for educational instruction. Moreover, the board said it is not equipped to educate male students as it does not have male teachers on staff and lacks basic infrastructure such as separate restrooms.
The school board has until next week to appeal the judge’s ruling.

Cairo - Muslim Brotherhood: Egyptian Jews Should Return To Egypt

Cairo - A senior Muslim Brotherhood official called on Jews who immigrated to Israel from Egypt to return to Egypt and leave Israel to the Palestinians, Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Friday.
Senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood offcial Essam el-Erian said in an interview to television station Dream TV that every Egyptian has the right to live in Egypt, and Egyptian Jews living in Israel were contributing to the occupation of Arab lands, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
“Egyptian Jews should refuse to live under a brutal, bloody and racist occupation stained with war crimes against humanity,” Erian said.
“Why did [former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel] Nasser expel them from Egypt?” Erian asked in the interview.
Several online newspapers reported in October that Some 1.7 million documents – purportedly containing details about the assets of Egyptian Jews in the 1940s, 50s and 60s – were seized by Egyptian security services just before they were exported to Israel.
A report in the Egyptian government- owned Al-Ahram daily newspaper holds that the “Jewish documents,” packed in 13 cartons, were confiscated by Egyptian authorities ahead of them being “smuggled” out of the country from Jordan.
Jews who lived in now long-gone or moribund Jewish communities in the Arab world have recently made headlines as Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon launched a campaign to have them recognized as refugees.
He said any property owned by these Jews from Arab countries – some of whom left in 1948, some throughout the 1950s, and others just after the Six-Day War of 1967 – must be included in discussions for compensation of refugees.
Ultimately, Ayalon argued, they should be considered refugees, just as Palestinians who fled during those years are – a controversial position that even some immigrants to Israel and their descendants dispute.
The deputy foreign minister said in October that he had no knowledge of the supposed documents that had been confiscated by Egyptian authorities.
Israel already has all the documentation it needs, he said.

Malta - 'Suha Arafat Admits Husband Premeditated Intifada'

Malta - Yasser Arafat’s widow Suha admitted that the late Palestinian leader premeditated the Second Intifada, in an interview with Dubai TV earlier this month, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
“Immediately after the failure of the Camp David [negotiations], I met him in Paris upon his return.… Camp David had failed, and he said to me: ‘You should remain in Paris.’ I asked him why, and he said: ‘Because I am going to start an Intifada. They want me to betray the Palestinian cause. They want me to give up on our principles, and I will not do so,’” the research institute translated Suha as saying.
“’I do not want Zahwah’s (Arafat’s daughter’s) friends in the future to say that Yasser Arafat abandoned the Palestinian cause and principles. I might be martyred, but I shall bequeath our historical heritage to Zahwa and to the children of Palestine,’” Suha quote her late husband as saying, according to the translation.
Arafat’s comments run contrary to claims that former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s infamous visit to the Temple Mount triggered the Intifada, which was launched in September 2000.
Yasser Arafat died in a Paris military hospital in 2004, and earlier this year, Suha requested an autopsy to search for traces of a poisonous substance.
She told Al Jazeera in July that a Swiss laboratory had detected high levels of the radioactive isotope polonium in Arafat’s clothes, which have been in storage since his death in 2004. Palestinians have accused Israel of causing Arafat’s death, though no conclusive evidence has been presented publicly. Israel denies killing him.
Arafat, who founded the Palestine Liberation Organization, died in a French hospital at the age of 75. Doctors at the Percy military hospital in Clamart, France, said he suffered from a brain hemorrhage and fell into a coma before he died. He is buried below a glass tomb adjacent to the offices of his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.
Last month, forensic experts took samples from Arafat’s buried corpse in the West Bank on Tuesday, trying to determine if he was murdered using the hard-to-trace radioactive poison, Polonium. They said the process would take several months.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Rebbe's Vort on Vayechi - A Weekly Dose of Inspiration from the Kosover Rebbe, Shlita

The Chasam Sofer offers extraordinary commentary on the final years of Yaakov Avinu's life, the seventeen blissful years he spent in Mitzrayim with his children and grandchildren. Each day that Yaakov lived, says the Chasam Sofer, is correspondent to one year of the world, which we are told will stand for 6000 years before Acharis Hayomim. Therefore, the days that Yaakov lived literally served to strengthen the years of Klall Yisrael. In the words of the Pasuk: 'Vayehi Yemei Yaakov" - the days of Yaakov - "Shenei Chayav" - became his years.

Let's do the math on that: The (lunar) year has 354 days. Multiply that by the 17 years of Yaakov, and the result is 6018. Add in the extra days that result from leap years during that span, and that number will increase to 6198. 6000 of those days correspond directly to the 6000 years of the world. But what of the remaining 198?

If we count back 198 days from the time of Yaakov's death we arrive at Chof Gimmel (23) Adar. This is when the 6000 days of his time in Mitzrayim ended. According to the Chasam Sofer's analogy, this is the time that directly corresponded to the 6000 years of the world. Following 6000 years, the world will move on to a time of Olam Habah; so too, following Yaakov's 6000 days, he entered a state of Olam Habah. Eight days after the 6000th day, 23 Adar, was Rosh Chodesh Nissan, when the Chanukas Hamishkan took place. The Pasuk hints to this by referring to the day of the Chanukas Hamishkan as  "Yom Hashmini."  Eight is also the number of days of Sukkos, when Yaakov was Niftar. Those days correspond to the eight days of Chanukah, as we are told by the Gemarah.  

The events of Chanukas Hamishkan, and the Nes of Chanukah are directly related to the days of Yaakov. Both these events symbolized light, the victory of Torah, and the glory and rebirth of our holiest places: the Mishkan and the Bais Hamikdash.

Yaakov Avinu experienced many difficult years. The 6000 years of the world prior to Acharis Hayomim are dark and difficult. The 6000 days of Yaakov in Mitzrayim symbolized this period, and served to strengthen Klall Yisrael during long periods of Galus. Just as Yaakov dark times led to days of extraordinary light, so too will we experience miracles of light and the ultimate victory of Torah following our own difficulties. Yaakov's suffering served to open doors for us. Just as his unfailing faith led him to the long days of Olam Habah, concludes the Chasam Sofer, so too will our unwavering faith in Hashem lead us to the long days of Olam Habah and the ultimate redemption.

Lieberman on Abbas' Threat: Please Quit, We Can't Wait Lieberman welcomes Abbas' threat to step down. 'We're pleased he recognizes the way forward.'

Yisrael Beiteinu head Avigdor Lieberman, until recently the Foreign Minister, reacted with joy Friday as Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbasthreatened to quit if negotiations do not resume. Abbas has refused to negotiate in absence of several Israeli concessions, including a complete freeze on construction east of the 1949 armistice line.
According to Lieberman, Israel "can't wait" for Abbas to follow through on his threat.
"We congratulate Abu Mazen [Abbas] for reaching the correct conclusion, that only his leave from the PA leadership will allow the diplomatic process toresume," Lieberman said.
"We anxiously await the official announcement from the Muqata regarding his retirement," he added. "There are many alternatives among the Palestinians with whom we could hold a diplomatic dialog."
"It's Abbas' remaining [as leader] that will ultimately bring Hamas and other radicals to power in Judea and Samaria," he warned.
Abbas told Haaretz that if negotiations do not resume after the elections, "I will take the phone and call (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu. I'll tell him...Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority."

Abbas has demanded a construction freeze that would include a ban on natural growth in major Israeli towns that it has previously been assumed would remain Israeli under a diplomatic agreement. He also has required that Israel free PA resident terrorists, allow the PA to arm its police force more heavily, and agree in principle to his major territorial demands. At the same time, he has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or to end incitement to terrorism, and continues to support the "right of return" for millions of people descended from Arabs who fled pre-state Israel to move to Israel.
Abbas' term in office expired in early 2009, but he has declined to hold new elections, arguing that PA residents should vote for a new leader only after Hamas-led Gaza reunites with the Fatah-led PA in Judea and Samaria.