Sunday, December 29, 2013

Facing 2014 With Problems of Iran, Palestinians, 2nd Temple Site

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                       

As we approach the New Year of 2014, the news only gets more depressing and revealing.  Iran is working hard on enrichment of their uranium and is even busy designing a new centrifuge that will speed things up in this department.  It seems that only Israel is really worried about this since they realize this spells out an A bomb intended for them.  Though the USA is also considered an evil state by Iran, it doesn't seem to phase Kerry in the slightest.  Maybe he thinks his country is too far away to be harmed.

At the same time, Kerry had forced Israel to agree to releasing people in Israel's prisons to satisfy Abbas, and so the time has come around again for a new batch of murderers to be freed.  This will happen Monday according to this disastrous August agreement.  All the men are in prison for murdering.  I'm sure that they would never be released in the USA.  It would be considered a mad thing to do.  Also, the first round released has not appeared to make a dent in the determination of the Palestinian Abbas and troupe to demand more and more and expect to gain Jerusalem as well as all of Israel eventually.

What is worrisome are the agreements Kerry has written out to bring about peace.  The thought of giving up more land to the Palestinians which is necessary for Israel's safety is high on the list for cause to worry.  Giving up part of Jerusalem to some international committee is another thing that just should not happen; not after all the deaths Israel has experienced to people who care less about it.  We know that the forces brought in to help enforce safety in Israel such as the United Nations are always first to give in to the attackers.  They have no stake in the defense of Israel.  Netanyahu knows all this.  I'm wondering what threats are being held over his head to get him to comply to this nonsense.
This leaves problems with the mosque with the golden dome one sees in pictures of Jerusalem. That's snow in the picture above.  Egypt received their first snow in over 100 years.  Jerusalem and Safed are high up, so have had snow previously, but it is fairly rare.  This is the Mosque of Omar, also called the Dome of the Rock.  It's built right in the very center of the Temple area.  It was Caliph Abd al-Malik that constructed it there in 738 CE to replace the temporary structure set up by Caliph Omar a century earlier.  It is situated on the traditional site of Mt. Moriah.  Omar was the 2nd caliph who ruled from 634 to 644 CE.  During his reign, several Jewish communities were conquered; in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia.  It was on his orders that most of the Jews from northern Arabia were expelled.

He had then made a covenant with Jews and Christians assuring them of protection in return for the payment of a special poll tax.  He included certain restrictions and disabilities  on them.  They could not run for public office, wear distinctive clothes, could not built new houses of worship, and many other things.  This is the dhimmis position Jews have had to live under in the Middle East for the past 2,000 years.

 Moshe Dayan made an agreement in 1967 with Jordan that their religious heads would hold reign in this site.  The Muslim religious leaders do not allow Jews to even nod their heads a little ways away in prayer when they look at the mosque, which is ridiculous.  This was the site of our 1st and 2nd temple of renown.  Since it sits in Jerusalem which is again the capital  city of Israel, one would think that Jordan's religious people would find it in their heart to be a little more gracious and be thankful that Jews also pray to our one and only G-d, but no.

 This has aroused the ire of our young Jews who weren't around during 1967 and didn't know Moshe Dayan, and they are angry about not being able to walk up the steps and stand on such an auspicious historical site and say a prayer.  I don't believe that the Muslims have to pay any such poll tax to continue to visit the mosque Omar or his successor built.  Nor do they have to dress as a Westerner.  The Muslims that are citizens have all the rights of any Jew in Israel.  The Rabbis however, have found a religious reason why Jews shouldn't be on the grounds today.  So this should remain a peaceful decision in this next year and not turn into a problem. Perhaps a 3rd Temple will be built anew at another site in Jerusalem someday.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Morsi Up For High Treason in Egypt

Nadene Goldfoot                                                               

Morsi, former President of Egypt, is in hot water today.  He is being prosecuted for revealing state secrets to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and to Iran's Revolutionary Guard.  He and 35 others which include the Muslim Brotherhood's top 3 leaders of which he is one,  are also accused of sponsoring terrorism and carrying out acts that train soldiers to undermine Egypt's stability.

These charges go back to 2005 and if found guilty, Morsi could receive the death penalty as this is high treason.  Giving security secrets to Iran is outlandish for a president to do.

Today, there has been suicide bombers in Egypt.  Several have died and at least 150 were hospitalized from such acts.  There was a suicide bomber on a bus, 3 suicide bombers in Cairo.

It wouldn't hurt to look into how Morsi became a candidate for president in the first place since Sadat had outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood being it was a known terrorist organization.  When President Obama spoke in Egypt, he had insisted on the group being in the audience.

Morsi finds this new allegation will be tried after his first official charges of inciting the murder of his opponents while in Office.  He was president up till July and was then removed by the military of Egypt which did cause massive protests from his followers.  That trial starts up again in January.  Allegations are that he and the Brotherhood worked with Hamas on a prison break freeing him and others during Egypt's uprising in 2011 which wound up killing 14 inmates.

This new charge finds that the Brotherhood's international branch has carried out violent acts to create violence in Egypt such as all the rioting.  A terrorist plot uncovered finds smuggling weapons into the country and smuggling members into Gaza to get military training from Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards in order for them to create havoc in the Sinai. Seventeen people  of the 35 charged are missing and no doubt the police are looking for them.

Morsi's Brotherhood gets funds from foreign countries.  The claim is that state secrets were given to members out of the country, Hamas, Iran's Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah.

The Muslim Brotherhood's charter lists as their goal to destroy Israel.  One of the head speakers for the Brotherhood has been Qaradari who has come back to Egypt and spoke in the  Tahrir Square encouraging all to do violence.  The idea is to bring back Sharia Law.  That Morsi would think to team up with Iran, a Shi'a Muslim country is surprising being that Egypt is a Sunni Muslim Country.  Morsi was the leader of the Brotherhood's political arm.

Sadat had made peace with Israel and even came there and spoke to the Jewish people.  Shortly after that, he was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood who he had outlawed.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Fences Make Friends Between Egypt and Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                            

The Great Wall of China was a method of protecting its citizens.  It was started in the 7th century BCE and was improved upon between 200 to 206 BCE.  It covered 5,500 miles.

The United States has a border fence along the Mexican border that is 1,951 miles long.  It is to stop illegal immigration and the drug traffic.  President Obama stopped the building of it on March 16, 2010 and decided the money for that would be used instead of upgrading the current border technology.

Israel just finished a new 140 mile long security fence along the southern border with Egypt.  It took them 3 and 1/2 years to build.  Dangerous militant groups in the Sinai region caused them to try to hurry the project.  They needed to stop illegal immigration and prevent security breaches into Israel.

In August an al-Qaeda linked militant group shot a grad style Katusha rocket from Sinai to Eilat which was stopped by the Iron Dome defense system.

Egypt and Israel are working together in trying to bring an end to terrorism.  They have found that the fence has already stopped illegal migration into Israel.  Counter terrorism is also being achieved.  Only 34 people entered illegally from the Sinai in 2013 compared to 10,000 in 2012, both during the first six month periods.

Egypt took control in July and they reinforced its commitment to stop extremists in the Sinai then.  They have destroyed about 350 tunnels used for smuggling and sealed off entry for Hamas and its terrorist groups. In return, Israel is allowing Egyptian tanks and combat helicopters in the area.

It's to both their interests to stop militant Islamists.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Death As Viewed in Judaism

Nadene Goldfoot                                                              

Life is valued the highest in Judaism.  We all come from one person, our mother, and taking a life is like destroying the entire world.  Saving a life is like saving the whole world.  It is considered the highest mitzva, or good deed.

Therefore, when one hears that a beloved friend dies after you try to talk them out of it, one feels the heartbreak.  You know that in a sane mind, your friend would never do such a thing, and only through great despair and utter depression has this happened;  a whole world has been shattered.

Because life is so valuable, we are not permitted to do anything to bring death upon ourselves or others, even to prevent suffering.  We are not permitted to use euthanasia, suicide or assisted suicide as this is strickly forbidden by Jewish law.  The Talmud even tells us that we cannot move a dying person's arms if that would shorten his life.  However, if the friend is suffering, and you know death will come naturally soon, his life does not need artificial prolonging.  We may "pull the plug" or refuse extraordinary means of prolonging a life in these cases.

When a person dies, the soul must have time purifying itself before it can enter the World to Come.  This purification period takes at the most, twelve months which would be the length of time for the most evil of us.  We do not want to imply that our parent was an evil person, so twelve months of reciting Kaddish is not used, and instead eleven months is enough.  If the parents of the deceased are also deceased, then another close relative may recite the Kaddish for them.

Death is not looked on as a tragedy, but as a natural process.  This comes as all part of G-d's plan.  We do have a firm belief in afterlife, a world to come.  There, people who have lived a worthy life will be rewarded.

Mourning practices are detailed but not out of fear or distaste for death.  The steps taken are to show respect for the dead called kavod ha-met, and to comfort the living, nihum avelim, who will certainly miss the departed.

We realize that we can break almost any of our 613 Jewish laws to save a human life, because the most important job we have is to sustain life.

We should mark a grave with a tombstone which are traditionally unveiled 12 months after burial.  A person is to be buried within 24 hours after death.  A person does not have any blood extracted from his body.  He or she is washed by a group of tending Jews who will watch over the body.  These Shomerim are watching and sit with the body until burial.  When a person dies, the eyes are to be closed and the body is laid on the floor and covered.  Candles are placed next to them and lit.

Cremation  has not been the acceptable method of dealing with the deceased.  A person is buried in the earth.  A coffin is not required, but usually a wooden one is used in the United States.  In Israel, where wood is so hard to come by, they are buried in their shroud.  A wooden casket has holes drilled in them so the body does come in contact with the earth.

If a parent, sibling, spouse or child hears of a death, it is traditional that they show their sorrow by tearing one's clothing over their heart if  a parent, or on the right side of the chest for others.  Then they say a blessiing describing G-d as the true Judge and an acceptance of G-d's taking of the life of the dear one.

Open casket funerals are not the tradition in a Jewish death.  This is forbidden.  After the burial, a close relative or friend has everyone to their home for the first meal for the mourners, the se'udat havra'ah.  Traditionally, it will be hard boiled eggs as this is a symbol of life and bread.  The meal is for the family only, not for visitors and after this time, condolence calls can be made.

After this comes the time of seven shiva days, where the family sits shiva.  They gather in the deceased's home on the day of burial and continues until the morning of the seventh day after burial.  The mourners may sit on low stools or the floor instead of chairs.  They should not wear leather shoes or shave or cut their nair during this period.  The women will not wear make-up, and work is not done.  The will not do anything of pleasure, even showering or bathing, have sex, wear fresh clothing or study Torah.  They will wear the clothes that they tore at the time of hearing about the death or at the funeral.  Mirrors in the home are to be covered.  Ten people are needed for certain prayers that are to be said.  Condolence calls are made to the home of the mourner but speaking is not necessary. They expected you and are grateful for your attendance.  When you visit a mourner, you usually say, "May the Lord comfort you with all the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."

Following the time of shiva is a 30 day period called shloshim (30).  This period is a time of not attending any parties or celebrations, cutting hair or listening to music.  It is the time from the burial to the 30th day.

Avelut is the final period of mourning with is only for parents mourning their child which lasts for twelve months after a burial.  They are to avoid parties, celebrations, theater and concerts.  It lasts for eleven months starting at the time of burial.  The son of the deceased recites the Kaddish every day during this period.  The Kaddish, said in Hebrew, is "May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified in the world that He created as He willed.  May He give reign to His kingship in your lifetimes and in your day...."and continues in much that way.  The real mourner's prayer is El Molai Rachamim, which is recited at the grave.

When someone dies, it is a great loss to those who knew this person.  The mourner stands up every day in front of 10 people, the minyan, and reaffirms their faith in G-d  even though they have suffered this great loss.  This insures the person mourned in the eyes of G-d because it shows that he or she raised their children to have such strong faith at a time of their greatest loss.

In Israel I attended the tombstone unveiling of my friend's parent.  After the ceremony, she had us come to her car in the cemetery where she gave us all a piece of cake.  That seemed to be a new tradition that was very nice.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Rock Star During Night; Anti-Semite All the Time

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                             

Of Course it's Roger Waters that is a big-time anti-Semite.  He's getting quite the reputation.  When I saw that he was an English musician, I was not surprised.  England held the mandate for Palestine from 1917 to 1948 when Israel was voted upon and declared  a state.  They were given the mandate to see to it that the Jewish Homeland was created out of Palestine and managed to lose 80% of it to Transjordan before May 14, 1948.  Before that, England had been decidedly not overeager about Jews.

In 1290 Any Jew living in England was expulsed.  The earlier Crusades had a lot to do with this decision.that took place in 1096 and 1099.  It was the first European country to do so.  France and then Spain followed suit.  You've heard of Abie's Irish Rose.  Well, for an Englishman to marry a Jewish girl back in the 50's was an even worse deal. Come to think of it, it wasn't good for the Jews, either!

So it is not a surprise to me that the co-founder of Pink Floyd, George Roger Waters, 70 year old English musician, singer, songwriter and composer should feel antagonistic towards Jews and Israel.  Being the first rate seller of albums must have gone to his head.  Evidently he's one who listens to gossip and propaganda instead of doing his own investigations.  He may be a great musician but he has accepted the worst of Nazi beliefs.

Waters has taken on an attitude towards Israel and has been very outspoken about Middle Eastern politics now that he's a great musician.  One doesn't have anything to do with the other except that people hang onto whatever he says.  In June 2009 he openly opposed the Israeli West Bank barrier saying that it was an obscenity and should be torn down.  That year he pledged his support to the Gaza Freedom March.  In 2011 he announced that he had joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.  Now he was disillusioned with UK foreign policy since Wilson.

He pulled the biggest boner in 2010, though.  He used the images of the Star of David during performances of The Wall.  Criticism of this caused him to write an open letter to The Independent where he said, "If I don't respond, people will see the story and will come to believe I'm anti-Semitic, and I'm not.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   Usually anti-Semites deny that they are.  He's not the first to say this.  Others besides myself find that most people highly critical of Israel are also  feeling the same way towards Jews.  Since Israel is a Jewish state, one cannot mean one aspect and not the other.  

His reasoning was that  the artwork used during his shows is from other religious and national interests besides Jewish ones.  .  He said that he thought you could attack Israeli policy without being anti-Jewish.  He compared it to criticising the US policy  and that says you are being anti-Christian.  I don't see it like that even though the comparison is similar.  He has taken the side of the enemy of Israel, the Palestinians who are making war on Israel and they are Muslims.  The USA is not at war with Canada or Mexico or the Central Americans or even South America.    You cannot just erase one country and dub in another.  It's what the countries or people are standing for that makes the difference.

Now we get to his belief-a belief he probably has come by talking with friends of like thinking and not from serious research.  involving reading.  He says he "is critical of the Israeli policy of occupying Palestinian land and their policy of building settlements, which is entirely illegal under international law, and also of ghettoising the people whose land they are building on.....It's that foreign policy I'm against.  It's nothing to do with the religion."   Also, getting paranoid about the USA and Israel, he let it out of the bag that he thought the American media was under instructions from somewhere not to report any criticism of Israel to the American public, on what grounds I cannot guess.

Since I have covered all aspects of his beliefs in my 3 blog articles, I won't take time to go over them again here but to say that they are entirely false.  As for international law, I can show as many lawyers saying that Israel is in the right as he can show me lawyers who say otherwise.  It's funny, but the Christian attitude has always been that Judaism has too many laws.  Yes, we have that sort of mind.  We like laws to follow, and being such a people, have produced a lot of lawyers in our 4,000 years of existence.  One thing that Israel did was to satisfy itself that what it was doing was legal, being they are considered the legal Eagles.  If Waters would do a little more investigating, he might have read about why Israel has taken this stand.

As sane as you may find this reasoning,  you might even agree with it yourself, being new at finding facts for debate purposes.  Waters and his road crew showed their true feelings on July 20, 2013 during a concert in Belgium by releasing a pig-shaped balloon that had been painted with a Star of David.  This is saying that Jews are pigs.  We all know that like the Muslims, Jews do not eat any meat of a pig.  In fact, our "law" about pigs came from Moses  1,891 years before Islam came into the world with Mohammad.  That law is still on the books for us.  So now, their comment of not being anti-Semitic has turned into garbage.  They just trashed their own defense.

To make matters even worse-oh yes, on the balloon were also political symbols such as the Star of David, of course, and fascist, communist and capitalist representations.  It floated over the audience while Waters sang the lyrics to "In the Flesh";  "Get him up against the wall, that one looks Jewish and that one's a coon, who let all of this riff-raff into the room".  He sang this while he was wearing a long black leather jacket with a red-and white arm band reminiscent of the Nazi uniform.   He got away with this in Belgium.  Being who he is to young people (I had never heard of him and I'm in his age group, but from the USA).  he was espousing anti-Semitic propaganda to incite hatred against Jews, and also of Israel.  This is the way that the Nazis used to do it.

Utterly disappointing it is that Waters tells us he has been using  the pig balloon at every Wall Show since September 2010 for 193 shows and he had never heard one complaint.   A spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League had little to say about it and stated "while we wish that Mr. Waters would have avoided using the Star of David, we believe there is no anti-Semitic intent here."  I believe there is.  Big Time.  So I'm not a politician, just a teacher of 47 years and a history buff as well as a  holder of dual citizenship with the USA and Israel.  I've learned that you cannot separate the 2 of Jew and Israel in someone's thoughts.  It is the world's only Jewish country, after all.

Asked about why he joined the BDS group, he said he said it was because of the power of the "Jewish Lobby."  Then he compared Israel's government with the Nazis.  He had at one time lived in the USA and found his ideas were a hard sell there.  He said that the Jewish Lobby was in the music industry and in rock'n roll.  That's such a package of crap that I can't believe what I've read.  AIPAC is known as the Jewish Lobby, Israel's only lobby group speaking up for them, and they are not in the music business.

Waters went on to accuse Israel of all sorts of heinous crimes and kept comparing Nazi genocide with Israel's policy.  He said, the situation in Israel/Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable."  This tells me he knows nothing, and has no facts at all, which would exclude all this nonsense.  It's all pure ugly lying propaganda.

Even our fear of Iran's nuclear program to him is a "diversionary tactic" and claimed that Israel doesn't want peace with the Arabs.  "They've always had the Ben Gurion agenda of kicking all the Arabs out of the country and becoming  greater Israel," he said.  This is right out of the Arab propaganda mill.  I don't know, maybe that after having 4 wives, he has now taken up with some Arab girls who are feeding this rot to him.

Silly Israel.  He says that a top Israeli promoter, Shuki Weiss, invited him to perform there, but that he told Cindy Lauper, pop icon, to cancel an upcoming performance.   He turned down a chance to play in Tel Aviv and turned down an offer of 10 million dollars (a hundred thousand people at one  hundred dollars a ticket a few months ago) Only because he belongs to the BDS movement was Israel saved from him.

Like Rabbi Cooper said, Waters is a bigot.  Oh, since the complaints came from the Jews, he has added a crucifix and star-crescent to the pig.

Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli told him to remove her picture from videos at his concerts.  If you're going to boycott, then go all the way, she tweeted him.  The law in the US Department of State says, "Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis," is considered anti-Semitic.  So there!


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Jewish Utopia with Disgruntled Uncooperative Arabs Who Won't Pay Their Electricity Bill Let Alone Stop Terrorizing

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

1895 was the year that Theodor Hertzl started writing his book,  Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State).  It was published in February 1896 outlining a perfect state for all.  He wrote another called Altnewland (The Old New Land) in 1902 which was a Utopian novel about his planned Jewish Homeland.  From the very beginning of the Ashkenazi Jews' return to something they had prayed for in the 2,000 years of being away, they planned and organized it carefully.  By the end of WWI, they saw their dream coming to fruition with the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917 by the British foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour.

In the planning stage of Israel, David Ben-Gurion told Palestinian nationalist, Musa Alami in 1934, the Jewish leaders consciously sought to avoid the situation that prevailed in South Africa of Apartheid  where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers.  "If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland" he had commented.  They had planned to make their Jewish Homeland a Utopia.

For the Arabs living in Israel who did not leave in the beginning when their Arab leaders told them to, they are full citizens with voting rights and representation in the government, unlike the Black South Africans who couldn't vote nor become a citizen before Mandela.  They now number 1.7 million people.

The territories of Judea and Samaria have a different situation. Lost to Israel in 1947-48's War of Independence,  they were won back in 1967 after Israel was attacked by the whole Arab surrounding nations in a defensive war because they had been taken over by Jordan who entered the 67 war and lost.  Because of violent insurrections there, they have forced Israel to impose restrictions to maintain security.  Their own behaviors brought this on.  These Palestinians insist that Israel has no right to even exist!  Israel cannot give these Arabs full citizenship because then they would have to annex Judea and Samaria.

They have been allowed to work in Israel and receive similar pay and benefits just like the Jewish workers.    They can attend schools and universities.  They have been given opportunities to run many of their own affairs.  The PA has the ruling power there.

What would happen to me if I didn't pay my electricity bill?  I would probably get a phone call from the company asking when I was sending in my payment.  Maybe I would even get an email about it.  After missing a couple of payments, my electricity would be cut off.

The Arabs living in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem have not paid their electricity bill.  Their company is owned by Israel.  Yes, Israel supplies them their electricity, and they have been in arrears for a long time, now.  The PA, who's responsibility it is to send the payment to Israel, owe 1.1 billion shekels. That's a little over  $28,433,312.00 in dollars.  Yet, they demanded that criminals be let out of Israeli prison before they would continue to talk about making peace, and to each of them they gave $50,000 as bonus money for work well done as being terrorists and killing Jews.  So far, 104 prisoners are to be set free.  "Issa Abd Rabbo, got a $60,000 grant."  He had been in the longest."  No wonder they can't pay their electricity bill.  They buy the makings for bombs and pay off the terrorists.  Where did the PA get the money?  It was from the USA's $148 million dollar USA Aid money."Although the U.S. funnels about $400 million per year in aid to the authority, none of the money, by law, is supposed to go to terrorists or former terrorists.."  It did.  

While their peacemakers have made no peace with Israel and Kerry, they are asking Israel to cancel half of its debt to the Israel Electric Corporation.  PA finance Minister Shukri Bishara has asked that 550 million shekels of the debt from Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem be forgiven with repayment of the other 550 million shekels spread over a period of 20 years.  Of course, they're busy fighting against Israel.

Israel took this as insulting.  It has put their own Israel Electric Corporation  in a financially troubling condition and they were depending on the PA's bill to be paid up.  The PA really have no industry and have been depending on international aid which has declined.

The PA are in arrears because the PA failed to collect money from their customers.  Many users steal electricity through illegal hookups, so Palestinians are not used to paying for electricity.  Salam Fayyad, former PA Prime Minister, agreed to forgive debts owed by customers who began paying for their power.

A year ago, Israel deducted the debts of Jerusalem District  Electric Company in East Jerusalem (JDECO) from tax receipts collected by Israel on the PA's behalf, but it reversed the decision after several weeks because the   (JDECO) is a private company.  Back in November 2012, the proposal was brought up to confiscate money owed by the Palestinians to the IEC to help the utility company supplying the power, but it must have been dropped, because the bill is still in arrears.

Judea and Samaria's Gross national Product per capita was slightly over $400 in the early 1970's.  it rose to more than $2,000 a year in 1987.  In Gaza, it rose from $4280 to more than $1,480.  Before the Gulf War, more than 100,000 Arabs in Judea and Samaria and Gaza worked in Israel.

Today of course, that is not happening due to their state of being at war with Israel and each other with Fatah leading in Judea-Samaria and Hamas in Gaza.  Arab workers had been following the PLO-instigated strikes making security an issue in the beginning.  Many Arabs lost their jobs due to their lining up as the enemy.  Businesses were able to get their own Jewish workers to replace them.  War does displace workers.  Palestinian workers in Kuwait became unemployed due to war and then couldn't send money home like they had been.  Kuwait and other Arab states then withdrew funding for Palestinian Arabs in the territories of Judea-Samaria.  The Intifada caused economic deprivation which all caused a severe recession.

By 1991, Israel tried to facilitate investment and capital development including a $700 million economic plan to help rebuild the economics of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.  It depended on international funding.  Israel aimed at creating a "technocratic management class" that could work with the industrialized word and their counterparts in Israel with in the end having capitalists talking to Israel from Gaza, but there was no interest from the Arabs as their government went to hard terrorism instead of working together with Israel.   Ideas Israel tried in order to make further improvements in living conditions for residents of the territories were always met with anger and a rebuffing people.

Agricultural produce from Judea and Samaria was a major source of income for the Arabs.  Goods moved across the bridges to Jordan and beyond into the rest of the Arab world.  They had an agreement from 1985 to have produce air-shipped to Europe through Israel's marketing agent, Agrexco.

It must be remembered that Palestinians are at war with Israel.  The platform Hamas follows is exactly like Muslim Brotherhood charter that calls for the destruction of Israel and death of Jews.  Fatah has joined together many times already with Hamas, and the only thing separating them is the argument of who is the boss of both.  Gaza's Hamas terrorists constantly lob missiles, mortars and rockets into Southern Israel to this day.  Their latest attempt found the missile landing back in their own territory. Two Kassam rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza.  Terror was up 23% in November from Gaza including  5 mortar rockets that were shot.  "Hamas has threatened genocide against Israel; claimed that they have missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv; and built numerous terror tunnels into Israel, in the hopes of kidnapping soldiers and attacking Israeli civilians. "

Resource: palestinians ask to forgive $150m electricity bill
Myths and Facts-a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by PhD Mitchell G. Bard, Joel Himelfarb,_2012,_2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Story of Yiddish by Harvey Gotliffe, PhD

Rashi, famous Biblical commentator living in France:1040-1105 CE who studied in the Rhineland of Germany and returned to Troyes, France.  

Once upon a time, nearly a thousand years ago, there were people with no
country of their own. From the eleventh through the fifteenth centuries, (1,000 to 1499 CE)
they were expelled from whatever European land they had settled. At times,
they were unable to take all of their physical possessions with them.
However, they always took what was most important––their religious beliefs
and their language. The people were the Jews, their religion was Judaism,
and their language was Yiddish.

*When Yiddish began.* In the tenth century, (900s CE) Jews from France and Italy
migrated to the German Rhine Valley, and Yiddish began in an Ashkenazi
culture. The name came from the medieval Hebrew designation for the
territory and Ashkenazi Jews were literally "German Jews."
The term,
  My comment:  (Note that the Jews came from France and Italy.  They came from there as they had been ones to immigrate there from Judah when Jerusalem fell in 70CE.  Ashkenazi Jews did not just pop up miraculously in Germany.  They were the remnants from Judah which was the state created out of Israel.  )
 "Yiddish," comes from the German word for Jewish, Judisch, and to Germans,a Jew was "ein Yid." Yiddish developed as a blend of German dialects with
Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages. It was
the lingua franca of Ashkenazi Jews.

By the late 1200s, Jews had created a language rooted in Jewish history
that they used in their daily lives and when they conducted business among
themselves. When they did business with Gentiles, Jews spoke the language
of their countrymen. Today In the United States, you could be greeted in
New Orleans with "How you all?" or in Brooklyn with a thickly accented "New
Yawk" hello.

In earlier times, Yiddish evolved into four accents or dialects, also
depending on the locale. There was Eastern and Western Yiddish, and Eastern
Yiddish encompassed three distinct dialects. A Litvak spoke "Lithuanian
Yiddish" and lived in either in Lithuania, Belarus or northeastern Poland.
A "Polish" dialect speaker was known as a Galitzyaner and this dialect was
spoken in Poland and the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia. Those who
spoke "Ukrainian" Yiddish were from the Ukraine, Romania, southeastern
Poland and eastern Galicia. Western European Yiddish was closer to German
and its use began to decline in the eighteenth century.

Hebrew was the language of davening (praying) used in ritual and religion.
It became known as the loshn koydesh, the sacred language used exclusively
by men. In the Ashkenazi community women weren't considered holy enough for
Hebrew, but they learned to read and write in Yiddish the "mame loshn"––the
mother tongue. Men were able to read both.

*The Move Eastward. *Jews have been a convenient target for persecution,
expulsion and annihilation. In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the first
crusade to take the Holy Land away from Muslim infidels. As some crusaders
marched through Germany, they sought out "infidel" Jews and offered them
the choice of death or conversion to Christianity. Thousands of Jews were
slaughtered when they refused to abandon their faith.

After the Crusades, many Ashkenazi Jews migrated eastward, forming
communities in non German-speaking areas, including Hungary, Poland,
Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. Jews
were forced out of France in 1182 and twice in the fourteenth century, and
out of England in 1290

The oldest surviving literary document in Yiddish is a blessing in a Hebrew
prayer book from 1272, and the 1526 Prague Passover Haggadah contained the
first page printed in Yiddish. The advent of the printing press in the
sixteenth century resulted in an increase in the amount of Yiddish material
produced that has survived.

In the thirteenth century, Yiddish replaced both Hebrew and local languages
in conversation. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, songs and poems
were written in Yiddish, using Hebrew alphabet letters. During that time,
Jews were expelled from Hungary, Lithuania and Germany twice, and once each
from Austria, Spain and Portugal. The Jewish population moved further
eastward into Poland and Russia and in the late Middle Ages, Slavic
elements were incorporated into Yiddish. Jews further developed the
language and included elements of Hebrew, Jewish-French, Jewish-Italian,
and various German dialects.

In the fifteenth century, Poland's Jewish communities were the largest and
remained the heart of Ashkenazi Jewry until their demise in the Holocaust.
From the fifteenth through the nineteenth centuries, Eastern European Jews
lived in shtetls––"small towns"––and in large cities.*

In 1792, the Russian Empress Catherine the Great created a "Pale of
Settlement" where Jews were forced to live in their shtetls within its
boundaries––boundaries they dared not cross. The "Pale" covered western
Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, Romania and eastern Hungary.
By the eighteenth century, the Yiddish language was between 10 and 20
percent Hebrew and Aramaic, and nearly 75 percent Germanic. A small percent
was based upon Romance words with Slavic words framing the rest.

*The People's Language.* During the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries, secular Yiddish literature flourished and much of its original
growth was attributed to the writing of three major authors. The
"grandfather of Yiddish literature" was Sholem Abramovich (1835-1917), who
wrote under the name Mendele Mocher Sforim.* *Isaac Leib Peretz**
(1852-1915), better known as I. L. Peretz, was a writer of social
criticism, plays and short stories. Solomon Rabinovich (1859-1916) was a
Yiddish author and playwright who wrote under the name, Sholem Aleichem.
His stories about Tevye, the dairyman, were the basis for the twentieth
century play and movie, "Fiddler on the Roof.

In the 1897 and 1917 census, more than 95 percent of Russia's Jews who were
mainly poor, listed Yiddish as their native tongue, and for many it was
their only language. Jews were subjected to more frequent
pogroms––terrifying acts of destruction. The increase in their usage and
severity ordered by tsarist edicts between 1877 and 1917 caused further

Between 1870 and 1914, some two million Eastern European Jews came to
America. They had the foresight and the mazl to escape the upcoming rampant
waves of anti-Semitism in Europe. Many brought little more than their
Yiddish language with them, and the majority who settled in New York
considered Yiddish their native language.

Jews who had been known as "the people of the book," became the people of
the press. The first Yiddish-language newspaper was published in New York
in 1870, and in 1875 the Judisches Tageblatt ("Jewish Daily News") was the
first Yiddish daily to survive. Its circulation reached 100,000 by 1900
but it was being challenged by the Forverts ("The Jewish Daily Forward"),
whose circulation peaked at 250,00 in 1929. The Forverts helped to
Americanize immigrants by offering a popular Bintel Brief advice column, a
variety of human-interest stories, and highbrow and lowbrow literature.

By 1914 there were ten Yiddish daily newspapers with a combined circulation
of more than 750,000. Parties and interest groups across the spectrum
started their own papers, including the socialists, communists, centrists,
labor workers and Orthodox Jews.*

Polish-born Isaac Bashevis Singer (1901-1991) was on staff as a journalist
and a columnist for the Forverts from the 1930s into the 1960s. He was also
a leading figure in the Yiddish literary genre, writing short stories and
novels, first in Yiddish, and then translating them into English. In 1978,
Singer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

During the 1920s, Yiddish was emerging as a major Eastern European
language. Its rich literature was widely published, Yiddish theater and
Yiddish film prospered, and it even achieved status as one of the official
languages of both the Belarusian and the short-lived Galician Soviet
Socialist Republics. In 1925, YIVO was founded in Wilno, Poland, now
Vilnius, Lithuania, as the Yidisher Visnshaftlekher Institute, the Yiddish
Scientific Institute. It was the pre-eminent repository and publisher of
Yiddish-language materials.

When Poland's 1931 population was just under 32 million, nearly one in ten
of its citizens were Jewish, and more than 87 percent of them spoke
Yiddish. In 1937, there were 150 Yiddish newspapers and journals with a
combined circulation of more than 500,000.

*Almost Its Demise: *The U.S. Immigration Act of 1924 curtailed large
numbers of Eastern European Jews and others from coming to America. In May
1939, Great Britain produced a White Paper that restricted Jewish
migrations to Palestine to 75,000 in the coming four-year period. The
actions of both governments helped to bring about the decimation of
Europe's Yiddish-speaking Jewish population by the Nazis. The Act also
eliminated a vital source of new readers and the Yiddish press circulation
in America began its decline. Children of immigrants actively strove for
cultural assimilation and they were more likely to read an English-language
newspaper than the Yiddish Forverts.

Before the Nazis invaded Poland in September 1939 and World War II began,
there were more than nine million Jews in Europe. In the eastern European
countries of Poland, Russia, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia, there were a
combined total of 7.3 million Jews, and almost 75 percent of them spoke
                      Nearly six million Jews were slaughtered during the horrific Nazi era, and
two-thirds of them were Yiddish speakers. A Lithuanian rabbi in Kovno,
Lithuania, wrote that "the bandit Hitler" not only killed a people, but
also tried to kill a culture and a language. The Nazis destroyed schools,
shuls, books, Yiddish theaters, movies, and radio programs, and the
Holocaust led to a dramatic decline in the use of Yiddish.

Millions of Yiddish speakers survived the war, including those living in
America, yet further assimilation in the United States and the Soviet Union
diminished the daily use of Yiddish. In Russia, Stalin was suspicious of
Jews and their "secret language," and Yiddish culture became a prime
target. Jewish institutions were suppressed and its leaders, actors,
writers and poets were arrested, and in August ,1952, thirteen prominent
Yiddish writers were executed.

*Yiddish Barely Survives.* Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors sought
refuge where anti-Semitism wasn't overt, including the United States and
Israel. The latter seemed to be a promised, egalitarian land for Yiddish
speakers. Unfortunately, its leaders feared that if the seeds of Yiddish
was allowed to be planted, then both the country's new identity as a
special haven for Jews and its lingua franca, Hebrew, might not flourish.

To counteract an unwritten law of what was acceptable, those in power
curtailed a nascent Yiddish theater. It had been created by survivors as a
dedication to and a remembrance of the way things were. It was a
shandea––shame––but an understandable one for a new nation. Then and now,
Yiddish was spoken on a daily basis primarily in Jerusalem's religious
neighborhoods. A tale is told about an American grandmother who was
visiting Israel and was overheard on a bus teaching her ten year-old
grandson a few words in Yiddish. A man sitting across the aisle said, "Tell
me why you are teaching your grandson Yiddish. You know that Israel's
national language is Hebrew." She looked at the man and said, "Because I
want him to remember he's a Jew."

Until Israel was established in 1948, Jews were a people without a country,
a government, or a military, and their Yiddish language was one fragile
connection between them. After World War II, Jews in the United States
sought to live in an assimilated society. They encouraged their children to
become even more American and in doing so, discouraged them from learning

Yiddish-speaking Holocaust survivors also wanted their children to have a
better opportunity to become successful, and they also equated success to
becoming more Americanized. One requisite was to speak "perfect" English
and Jewish children learned to read Hebrew, the language that represented
Israel. With Yiddish slowly being silenced, the old country and its rich
culture was becoming a fading memory. Parents of baby boomers viewed
Yiddish as the language of their parents and grandparents. By 1960, only
three percent of American children enrolled in Jewish education learned
Yiddish. At the same time, Yiddish newspaper circulation continued to

In 1999, the Minority Language Committee of Sweden formally declared
Yiddish as one of its country's five minority languages. In its latest
Atlas of the World's Languages, UNESCO, the United Nations World Heritage
organization, referred to Yiddish, as a "definitely endangered" language.
That foreboding term means, "children no longer learn the language as
mother tongue in the home." What would become of the mame, loshn, if it
were no longer the mother tongue?

The U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 survey of language use revealed that only
158,991 people spoke Yiddish at home, and that figure had declined in every
census since 1980. The major exception is found in the more closely-knit,
ultra-Orthodox (Hasidic) communities, yet there are many modern Orthodox
Jews who do not know Yiddish. However, there has been resurgence in Yiddish
learning and the language, with many Jews embracing "Yiddishkeyt."

*Yiddish in America. * Yiddishkeyt reflects a person's "Jewishness." It is
an eclectic "mish mash" of mannerisms, speech and a cultural and emotional
connectivity to things Jewish. It could involve attending Jewish movies and
plays, enjoying Jewish humor, books, periodicals, music, and associating
with and supporting Jewish organizations. You don't have to speak Yiddish
to be part of Yiddishkeyt, but if you are of Ashkenazi descent, it helps.

When Yiddish theater was banned in Russia in 1883, some of its troupes
first went to London and then came to New York City. Today, Yiddish theater
is doing well in New York and The National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene
produces both Yiddish plays and plays translated into Yiddish. Folksbiene
began in 1915 when there were fifteen Yiddish theater companies in New York
alone, and others throughout the world.

Between 1936 and 1939, "The Golden Age of Yiddish Film," there were
seventeen Yiddish sound films produced in the United States, and many
reflected the immigrant experience in America. The National Center for
Jewish Film at Brandeis University has restored thirty-eight Yiddish
feature films, and some are shown at international film festivals.

If you want to "lernen a bisl" Yiddish today, you can do so in a university
classroom, a shul, Jewish community centers, in small study groups, on your
own, or on line. The academic study of Yiddish received a boost in 1949
with the publishing of Uriel Weinreich's* College Yiddish: An Introduction
to the Yiddish Language and to Jewish Life and Culture. *Yiddish is taught
in universities across the United States, and a graduate program in Yiddish
Studies at Columbia University began in 1952 under Weinreich's leadership.
The prestigious Oxford University in England offers an MSt in Yiddish
Studies and there are intensive summer study programs offered in the United
States, Canada, Israel, Poland, Lithuania and Germany.
There are also classes available on line from the Yiddish Book Center that
was founded in 1980 by Aaron Lansky. The Center has helped rescue more than
one million Yiddish volumes and has diligently worked to preserve the
Yiddish language. Since 1998, it has digitalized the full texts of more
than eleven thousand Yiddish books that can be downloaded at no charge. The
Center has helped establish Yiddish collections at the Library of Congress,
the British Library, and more than 600 libraries around the world,
including national libraries in Australia, China and Japan. In 2010, a
Yiddish-Japanese dictionary was published.

In 1981, The Yiddish Book Center began publishing Pakn Treger–– the Book
Peddler. It is written in English with some Yiddish, and looks at
contemporary Jewish life and its Yiddish roots. In 1983, the
Yiddish-language Forverts became a weekly newspaper, and now has a
circulation of 5,000. In 1990, the Forward began as the English-language
weekly version and its circulation has now grown to 26,000. The Forward
went online in 1998, followed by the Forverts, which tries to reach a
younger, worldwide audience of Yiddish speakers.*

Today, there are Yiddish-language newspapers, magazines, as well as Yiddish
radio programing with one station each in Boston and New York, and others
around the world. Highly spirited klezmer music emanated in the Hasidic
culture of Eastern Europe in the 1700s. The name comes from the Hebrew
words, klei andzemer, and literally means "vessels of song." It was played
at joyful celebrations such as weddings, and that tradition continues in
America where its melodic and somewhat soulful sounds have helped spur
interest in all things Yiddish. There are more than two hundred klezmer
groups found in thirty-six states.*

Yiddish melodies were sung and played by an array of artists, including the
Andrew Sisters recording, "Bei Mir Bistu Shein" in 1937, Cab Calloway's
"Utt Da Zoy" in 1939, and Billie Holiday's rendition of "My Yiddishe Momme"
in 1956. Many organizations in the United States and around the world work
to preserve and promulgate Yiddish. In its world headquarters in New York
City, YIVO's library has more than 385,000 volumes and its archives contain
more than 24 million pieces, including manuscripts, documents, and
photographs. YIVO offers cultural events and films, adult education and
Yiddish language classes, as well as a six-week intensive summer program.*

The Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring is a Yiddish language-oriented, American
Jewish fraternal organization committed to social justice, the Jewish
community, and Ashkenazic culture. To perpetuate the Yiddish language and
culture, its extensive online Jewish Book Center offers songbooks, CDs,
klezmer CDs, textbooks, instruction books, and dictionaries, as well as
books of Yiddish literature.

The International Association of Yiddish Clubs (IAYC) helps unify Yiddish
activities and events, holds international conferences, and strives to keep
the Yiddish language, literature and culture alive. Information on these
and other Yiddish-focused organizations can be found on
*Yiddish Lives On.* The Yiddish language has survived centuries of fervent
anti-Semitism, planned and executed pogroms in Eastern Europe, and man's
ultimate evil personified by the calculated, calamitous atrocities
committed by the Nazis. Yet the Third Reich was destroyed while the
remnants of European Jews and their coveted Yiddish language still survive.
Today, many Holocaust survivors relish conversing in Yiddish whenever and
wherever they get together.

On December 8, 1978, Isaac Bashevis Singer received the Nobel Prize in
Literature and delivered his acceptance lecture in both Yiddish and
English. He concluded by saying, "Yiddish has not yet said its last word.
It contains treasures that have not been revealed to the eyes of the
world. It was the tongue of martyrs and saints, of dreamers and
cabalists--rich in humor and in memories that mankind may never forget. In
a figurative way, Yiddish is the wise and humble language of us all, the
idiom of the frightened and hopeful humanity.

The vulnerable Yiddish language could have languished and died but instead
it has become a venerable part of our society. The one-thousand-year-old
story of Yiddish is not over. It may not be as richly told as before, but
it would be a mistake to write it off. Now is the time to continue writing
the current chapter that begins with, "Once upon another time in the
twenty-first century."*
The word "bagel" is a Yiddish word.  a ring-shaped bread roll that looks like a donut  made by boiling, then baking, the dough (from בײגלbeygl)  is but one example.
Resource:  forwarded to me by the sister of Marvin Slifman who sent it to her.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

When The Greeks Owned Syria and Attacked Judah: Chanukah History

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

Alexander the Great (July 20/21, 356 BCE to June 10/11, 323 BCE was the King of Macedonia          ( Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia), home of the city of Salonica, an important Greek port  from 336-323 BCE.  His personality had made a great impression on the Jews.  Josephus describes his visit to Jerusalem.  He had paid  honor to the high priest Jaddua.  The Talmud tells us that when Alexander and his conquering legions advanced up to Jerusalem, they were met by a delegation of elders, led by the High Priest Shimon HaTzaddik.  When Alexander saw Shimon coming to him, he dismounted and prostrated himself before the Jewish sage.  Alexander said  to his men that each time he went into battle, he would see a vision of this High Priest leading the Greek troops to victory.  Alexander was a kind and generous ruler.  He canceled the Jewish taxes during Sabbatical years, and even offered animals to be sacrificed on his behalf in the Temple.  Alexander never visited Jerusalem, though the Talmud tells of this meeting between him and the Jews at Antipatris.  He had suppressed the Samaritan revolt which gave the Jews of Jerusalem the occasion to stress their loyalty.  We find Alexander in Talmudic, Midrashic and medieval Jewish stories.   Scholars doubt Josephus' information that he granted civic rights to Jewish settlers in the Ionian cities of Asia Minor.  Unfortunately, Alexander's heirs failed to sustain his benevolence.  He was so beloved by the Jews that you will find many named their sons Alexander.  He died at the young age of 33.

Then there was a Greek king, Antiochus III,  who ruled Syria in the Hellenistic period of 223-187 BCE.  He took 2,,000 Jewish families from Babylon to Lydia and Phrygia. The Babylonians had attacked Judah in 597 and 586 BCE so Jews had been taken away to Babylonia and lived there for over 300 years.  This king was from the House of Seleucus who ruled Syria and was one of  13 Greek kings.  The Seleucids were a Hellenistic royal dynasty founded by Seleucus Nicator.  He was one of Alexander the Great's generals.

Antiochus  conquered Judah in about 200 BCE and granted privileges to the Temple.  Then he captured Jerusalem in 198 BCE.  He treated the Jews quite well, with understanding.
 However, along came Antiochus IV Epiphanes who reigned from 175-163 BCE who was turned back by Rome on his 2nd expedition against Egypt in 168 BCE.  Now relations between the Jews and the Seleucids had deteriorated because the Seleucid kingdom was compelled to resort to all possible financial extortion's to meet its depressed monetary situation.  Antiochus's religious and cultural policy led to the Hashmonean revolt .  The result was that the Jews freed themselves from the Seleucids.
*                 *                  *                   *      
      *                 *                 *                  *
Now we come to the time of the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem, almost 22 centuries ago, that history took place which causes the Jews to celebrate Chanukah.  They had returned to the land of Israel from the Babylonian Exile and had rebuilt the Holy Temple.  However, they remained subject to the Persian Empire first, then later, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great.  When he died, his kingdom was divided among his generals.  They had a power struggle which engulfed all the nations of the Middle East.  Israel found itself under the Seleucid Dynasty-Greek kings who reigned from Syria.

At the time of King Antiochus IV, the fate of the Jewish people seemed grim indeed.  The vastly outnumbered Maccabees were up against the world's most sophisticated military machine.  They faced opposition from within, as well.  Many Jews were meek, complacent, too willing to forsake their heritage and assimilate into the Hellenistic culture.  It was a time that was the darkest hour before the dawn.  With G-d's help and against all odds, the Maccabees were able to reclaim the Holy land and rededicate the Holy Temple.
Though their rule was rather benign to begin with, Antiochus IV waged a bloody war on the Jews which would threaten not just their physical lives, but their very spiritual existence.  By having been dominated by the Greeks, many Jews had begun to embrace the Greek culture and its hedonistic, pagan way of life.  They became Jewish Hellenists who were willing pawns in Antiochus' scheme to obliterate every trace of the Jewish religion.  The Holy Temple was desecrated and robbed of all its treasures.  Innocent people were massacred in mass.  Survivors were heavily taxed.  An Idol of Zeus was on the holy altar and the Greek Syrians forced the Jews to bow before it under penalty of death.  They could not observe the Sabbath and circumcision.

At the time of Antiochus IV lived the Jewish Hasmoneans.  This was the name of a priestly family and dynasty founded by Mattathias from the town on Modiin.  Mattathias had 5 sons; Judah the Maccabee,(the hammerer)  Jonathan, Simon, John, and Eleazar.   Jews were forced to offer sacrifices to the Greek idols.   "A Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice. Mattityahu grabbed his sword and killed him, and his sons and friends fell upon the Syrian officers and men" They directed the popular revolt against the hellenizing  policy adopted in Judah by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes.  The Hasmneans fought a number of successful battles against the Syrians and in 164 BCE, Judah  Maccabee re-captured Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple. This was followed by many raids to rescue the Jewish population of Ammon, Idumea, Gilead and Galilee.  They were defeated in 163 at Bet Zechariah where Eleazar was killed.  The Hasmoneans were able, owing to dynastic distractions in Syria, to get terms securing Jewish religious freedom, but Judah and his party aspired for political freedom, too.  They continued the fight and Judah died at Elassa in 160 BCE.  John was murdered afterwards and Jonathan became the leader.  By playing off of Syrian pretenders against each other, Jonathan was able to get the high priesthood in 152 BCE and governorship of Judah in 150 BCE.  Simon succeeded in gaining exemption from tribute in 147 BCE.  He was confirmed by the people as hereditary high priest, ethnarch and general in 142 BCE.  Then he was murdered in 135 BCE.  His son, John Hyrcanus  succeed him and was defeated horribly by Antiochus VII Sidetes.

This brought about a rising which Antiochus had to suppress with great cruelty.  Thousands of Jews were killed and many sold into slavery.  Antiochus then brought non-Jewish settlers into Jerusalem and fortified Acra as a stronghold of the Hellenizers to dominate the city.
He began a terrible religious persecution of the Jews.  He forbid circumcision and observing the Sabbath. Then he desecrated the Temple altar and set up pagan altars in the provincial towns.  He compelled the Jews to take part in pagan ceremonies.  His excesses caused the Hasmonean uprising.

Nicanor was  general who commanded the Syrian forces of Antiochus IV along with Gorgias against the Hasmoneans in 166-165 BCE.  He was defeated at Emmaus.  Nicanor was again sent against Judah the Maccabee in 161 BCE  and was defeated and killed at Adasa, on Adar 13 (Jewish calendar).  This was thereafter commemorated as Nicanor Day.

His son, Antiochus V, who reigned from 164-162 BCE continued the war against the Jews until 163 BCE when he granted them religious and some political autonomy in return for their acceptance of his rule.

Antiochus VII Sidetes  occupied Jerusalem, plundered the Temple treasure and tried to Hellenize Judea by force because he wanted to convert it into a a frontier-province that he could depend on. Antiochus VII Sidetes reigned from 138-128 BCE and came down hard on the Jews by reasserting the Seleucid claims on Judea.  Antiochus VII Sidetes  had invaded the country in the time of Simon the Hasmonean in 138 BCE and again with greater success in 134 BCE.  He started off by repulsing them in 138 BCE and again invaded Judea and seized Jerusalem in 135-4 BCE.

 John Hyrcanus, son and successor of Simon the Hasmonean, ruled from 135 to 104 BCE and was forced to surrender and destroyed the walls of Jerusalem.  He ceded his conquests outside of Judea and had to pay tribute.  Antiochus died in 129 which gave John a chance to reassert his independence. John was confirmed as high priest but had to accept harsh peace-terms which made the Hasmonean state again tributary to Syria.  He had to participate in the Parthian campaign of Antiochus Sidetes.  After the defeat of Syria and the death of Antiochus, he freed himself from Syrian suzerainty and regained territory he had been obliged to cede.  He attacked the Samaritans and captured Shechem and Mt. Gerizim and destroyed their temple.  Then John overran the territory of the Idumeans and forced them to embrace Judaism.  Most likely he conquered Galilee with his son Aristobulus who completed the conquest.

 Just before John Hyrcanus's death, his sons defeated the Samaritans and got control of Bet Shean and part of the Valley of Jezreel.     Antiochus  VII had occupied Jerusalem, plundered the Temple treasure and tried to Hellenize Judea by force because he wanted to convert it into a a frontier-province that he could depend on.  When Antiochus died in 129 BCE, the Jews revolted, and the Seleucid rule in Judah ended in 128.  

Antiochus IX Cyzicenus reigned on and off from 125 to 95 BCE and was severely defeated in 107 when he tried to help out Samaria which was under siege by a Jewish army.

Had the Jews not overcome Antiochus IV when they did, Judaism would have been wiped out.  If that had fallen, Christianity would not have risen when it did and neither would have Islam.  We'd all still be celebrating Greek and Roman gods.  The Menorah that we use in celebration commemorates the eternal light that hung in the Temple which was lit with virgin olive oil.  A great Rabbi once remarked that "you cannot chase away darkness with a stick.  You have to turn on the light."  The way to eliminate darkness-to rid the world of ignorance, negativity, hatred and greed-is to kindle the lights of knowledge, generosity, hope and love.

The Chanukah menorah is lit only after nightfall because his signifies that our purpose is to illuminate the darkness of this world, until the time when, as the Prophet says, "the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d."  The world is waning itself off of organized religion at this time, I note.  It may be difficult for us to  perceive G-dliness in our everyday lives, but Chanukah reminds us, even in our darkest moments, that the light of knowledge can shine brightly, that redemption is at hand, if we will kindle just one more lamp.

The soul cannot be extinguished.  Miraculously, despite the best efforts of the oppressors, one cruse of pure olive oil remained in the Temple when Judas Maccabee entered, and one cruse was enough to rededicate the Temple and renew the holy task of spreading light throughout the world.

The New Standard AJewish Encyclopedia
Your Chanukah Guide- Chabad 1996

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Senior Jews Now Victims of KNOCKOUT GAME

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    
                                                                 Brooklyn, New York 
Malmo, Sweden has been the city where Jews have been attacked by anti-Semites for quite a few years, now.  They have a mayor who has not cared what happens to these Holocaust survivors.  Many Jews from here have now moved to Israel because of the lack of taking any action against the attacks.   Now we see that Brooklyn, New York is a new focus of anti Semites.

Recently a 78 year old grandmother in Brooklyn was walking during the daytime when she was punched on purpose  and knocked down by a young African-American.  He didn't steal anything as she lay on the sidewalk but just left her there.

This has been happening to other Jews.  CBS reported on a series of such attacks right in Brooklyn.  Authorities figure its part of a very disturbing game of teens punching Jews with the object of trying to knock them over.  It sounds to me like using Jews as pins in a bowling alley.  This has been dubbed as the "Knockout Game."  Evidently the older the victim is, the better, as long as they are Jews.

It's also happened to non Jews, now.  Several  other victims have been hit in Washington DC's Columbia Heights.   Phoebe Connally is a young adult, non-Jewish on a bike  but was punched in her head and knocked down when she confronted a group of teens.  However, videos from elsewhere show victims who were completely knocked out cold — like in New York and New Jersey.  Now, D.C. police are saying to watch out for it here.

Ralph Erick Santiago of Hoboken, New Jersey  was punched, knocked down and died from an attack by 3 boys aged 13 and 14.  He died because of how he fell.  His head hit 

The media report that police are investigating these strings of attacks as possible HATE CRIMES.   Possible?  It's obvious it's a new line of showing anti-Semitism.  What kind of sicko can dream up this type of action?  Picking on elderly women?  
The first thing that comes to my mind is a situation I just had.  I was talking to a clerk in an office trying to fill out an important form.  In the office was a young woman with a girl toddler.  The girl had been running up and down the room screaming at the top of her lungs while the mother just crouched in a corner talking on her cell phone.  I then had to hear what the clerk was saying.  The clerk had made a number of errors on my form and I was trying to point these out with a distance between us with the counter of a few feet and could not hear.  I turned to ask the mother to please quiet the child because I couldn't hear and she jumped on me. " What!!You're telling me to quiet my child!! You can't tell me what to do!!"  The clerk also joined her by telling me you don't tell children to be quiet!!!  Need I tell you that I'm a retired teacher and looked at these 2 women wondering what the world has come to.  That girl will surely fail kindergarten at this rate. The clerk was so inept that I wasn't surprised she would be in agreement.  She couldn't copy something in front of her nose.   Is this how some of the younger generation are bringing up their children?  No wonder they grow up with no qualms of knocking down seniors, especially Jewish  seniors.

The object of the Knockout Game is to show one's machismo by sucker-punching an unsuspecting adult and knocking them out cold.  They have been caught in video surveillance's;  young blacks in major cities all over the country.  This is spreading fast.

This type of child is the first to be hooked into the anti-Semites and  terrorist groups.  They'll be in the mob of teenagers that work as a group to rob stores.  They have nothing to use to discern what is right and what is wrong in this world.  Anything goes with them.  Parents are into no birth control but they don't realize that with a child they have a responsibility to teach them how to be civilized.

Civilization has been going on for at least 4,000 years and here we are in the year 2013, about to embark on 2014, yet we have people functioning with the most primitive of behaviors, more than 4,000 years old.  Punch seniors to knock them down! These teens are acting like children in my 1st grade class where when one fell out of his seat, the whole class followed suit-aping his experience.  Copy-cat behaviors.  Something like a copy-cat killer one watches and learns about  on TV.

It all starts with the parents.  They're not doing their job.  It's the most important job in the world, shaping the future of their family, city, state and country.  To them, children are just something that came along accidentally that you put up with and sometimes feed.  You certainly don't have to teach them anything-that's the school's job, and how they hate schools, by the way.  They are just a bother.  Church values?  No doubt, they don't believe in that old stuff.  You shouldn't find a church-goer's children punching a lone person so as to knock them over,  no matter who they are.  Would they do that to someone they think is Jewish?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How Albert Einstein Almost Became Israel's President

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

Albert Einstein and David ben Gurion,  Prime Minister of Israel, who made the offer to Einstein on November 17, 1952.  .

Einstein was offered the Presidency of Israel.  This is what happened.
"Einstein's response:

I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. Therefore I would also be an inappropriate candidate for this high task, even when my old age didn’t interfere with my forces more and more [...] I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world."  

David ben Gurion, b: 1886-d: 1973 was born in Plonsk, Poland and was Israel's 1st Prime Minister.  He had arrived in Palestine in 1906.  A former teacher, "and having led the struggle to establish the State of Israel in May 1948, Ben-Gurion became Prime Minister and Defense Minister. "  He said, "Without moral and intellectual independence, there is no anchor for national independence. 

Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany in 1879 and died in 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.  He was a Nobel Prize winner in Physics.  The man, a genious, had an IQ of 180.  He was also an Ashkenazi Jew.   He had said, "The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."  He is also remembered to have said, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
                                   A Younger Albert Einstein 

Chaim Weizmann, born in Motol, Russia in 1874, was the first president of Israel in 1948.  "Weizmann was also a chemist who developed the acetonebutanol–ethanol fermentation process, which produces acetone through bacterial fermentation.  It is said that England would not have won the first World War without his process.    He founded the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.  When he died at the age of 78 in November 1952, ben Gurion offered the job first to Einstein.    Weizmann is remembered to have said, "I head a nation of a million presidents".