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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday, October 31 Day of Rage in Israel

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                     

                                         Fatah (PLO) Mahmoud Abbas

A rabbi has been shot in a serious assassination attempt by a Hamas terrorist .  The terrorist is now dead  from a shootout with the police and is a martyr according to the Arabs.  The rabbi is in critical condition.  All he wanted was the right to pray on the site where our Temple used to stand.  The Arabs won't allow even a slight movement of the lips, thinking the person is praying.  If this is seen, he is arrested.
 Though all of Jerusalem is Israel's capital, this site, the Temple Mount site on Mt. Moriah, is taboo to Jews as a place to pray through Moshe Dayan's decision at the end of the 1967 war in keeping peace with Jordan.
Now, Friday has been declared "A Day of Rage," as if this attack wasn't enough for the Arabs.  They've been rioting for several weeks as it is in Jerusalem.  They pick on Friday, their day of rest and prayer to rage.  Friday evening is the start of the Jewish sabbath and Friday in the United States is Halloween, the night of trick or treaters out to get candy.
It is Fatah, former PLO, who are led by Mahmoud Abbas that declares this day one of rage.  They even call on their fighters, yes, they do have fighters, to defend Al-Aqsa.  This is referring to the Mosque of Omar, aka Dome of the Rock which was built on the Temple area of Jerusalem by the Caliph Abd el-Malik in the 8th century CE.
El Aksa, which in Arabic means the farthest from Mecca and this site supposedly marks the site of the legendary flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Jerusalem on his flying horse.

Abbas also calls for aid "OCCUPIED" Jerusalem.  They're not as aware of facts like Jordan's King Abdullah, who knows that Jordan lost the War of 1967 and thus lost land that Abdullah I had taken illegally.  Jerusalem is again in the hands of Jews which their king David (1010-970 BCE) had built.  In fact, it's called the City of David.  Palestinian Arabs lived in Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, 19 years without Jews around.  Jews have lived there for over 3,000 years minus 19 years.  Well, you have to say that they are persistent if nothing else.  Once they start a fable, they stick to it.  They don't want to be confused with the facts.

Abbas is calling for his day of rage big time.  The announcement was published by the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission today.  The Day of Rage is to happen throughout Israel and in countries which are home to refugees. 

 They are to express their opposition to ANY  attack on the holy places and foremost among them is the Al-Aqsa Mosque.  They consider desecration of Al-Aqsa as a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.

All this is read into their minds from some Jews who just want to pray there but haven't been allowed to do so, even by their own Israeli government.  How terrible!  Praying!

There hasn't been any act of aggression to desecrate any mosque in Israel.  It's what they perceive to happen.  It turns out that what they would do to Israelis they see and think that this is in the works by Israelis.  They don't get it that we don't do things to others that we wouldn't want to happen to us.  It's our Golden Rule.  It's Judaism in a nutshell.


Jerusalem Temple Mount Faithful Head Suffers Assassination Attempt

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

An assassination attempt was made on the head of the Temple Mount Faithful organization in Jerusalem, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, last night, October 29, 2014 outside of the Begin Center.  He had just been in a conference about the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
                                           Begin Center, Jerusalem

Glick has dual citizenship with the USA and Israel and has advocated for Jews to have the right to pray on the Temple Mount, which they are not allowed to do because the grounds and Mosque are in Jordan's hands and they won't allow it.  Glick himself was arrested last October for praying on the Temple thus was barred from there.  The decision was reversed following a 12-day hunger strike.  He has been constantly threatened all the time for wanting to pray there.

This Temple Mount area is the site of the Jews' Temple built by King Solomon (961-920 BCE). Jews had prayed in their Temple for over 1,000 years before the Romans destroyed it.   The Babylonians had attacked and destroyed the Temple in 586 BCE, but Jews finally were allowed to go back and rebuild it.  Again, it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.
                                             Dome of the Rock (Mosque of Omar)

 Then, a Roman temple was built later on the site, and since the Moslem Period when Mohammad died in 632 CE, a mosque has stood there which is the Mosque of Omar, also called the Dome of the Rock.  It was built in the center of the Temple area (al-Harim ash-Sherif) in Jerusalem by Caliph Abd al-Malik in about 738 to replace the temporary structure set up by Caliph Omar a century earlier.  It is situated on the traditional site of Mt. Moriah.   The area around the western and southern walls of the Herodian Temple compound was excavated  after the Six Day War of 1967 in 1968.  Moshe Dayan agreed to letting the Mosque and grounds remain in the hands of Jordan in order to keep the peace.
 Rabbis have also come out to say that the site is no longer holy to us.  The Temple Mount Faithful have been making plans to build a 3rd Temple.  Plans may have started as early as 1967, but I know that they were in progress in 1980 as I was able to meet my 3rd cousin, Stanley Goldfoot in Jerusalem and he showed me their plans which was a diagram on a scroll of the future Temple.  Stanley had been the chief of Intelligence for the Stern Group before Israel's birth of May 14, 1948.  Like Boy Scouts, they wanted to be prepared for the right time to rebuild, but hadn't decided on where that would be.
The shooter was 32 year old Palestinian Mu taz Hijazi, an Islamic Jihad activist who was wearing a helmet and got away on a motorcycle.  He had shot Glick 3 times.  Hijazi went up to Glick and asked him to identify himself and then shot him in the chest and stomach.

Hijazi was killed early Thursday morning in East Jerusalem after a shootout with the police.  Officers came to arrest him and were then shot at by Hijazi.  They shot back and he was killed.  Hijazi had a record and had been arrested and had served 11 years in an Israeli prison.  He got out in 2012.

Islamic Jihad said they took responsibility.  This was an act of Palestinian vengeance in response to what is happening in Jerusalem.  Right now Glick is fighting for his life and the latest report 2 hours ago is that he is in critical condition.   There has been much rioting going on in Jerusalem lately.  Last week, a Hamas terrorist plowed into a crowd of pedestrians with his car, killing a 3 month old baby girl and a young woman.  Seven others were injured.  Palestinians have been throwing Molotov cocktails and have thrown rocks at Jews.  In order to contain this, Israel had to add on 1,000 security forces around Jerusalem.  The level of readiness is to the 2nd highest level nationwide.  The Temple Mount has been closed to Muslims and Jews.(Update) It was opened after a day of closure.)

Fighting from keeping Jews from praying on their own Mount Moriah!  This is what they are all up in arms about.  If a person is seen from the Mosque to be moving their lips in prayer, they have been arrested or accosted by the Muslim authorities.  .  Of course this makes it all the more paramount to pray there.  You don't tell a Jerusalemite that he can't pray in his own city of Jerusalem!

The Palestinian Arabs are celebrating right now for this attempt.  This attitude is probably the #1 reason why there will never be peace between the Arabs and Jews.  (1).

Resource:  (1) 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ashkenazi Jews of Today Are 30th Cousins

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
Rabbi Solomon Yitzhaki (1040-1105) born in Troyes, France, Studied in Rhineland (Germany)in Worms.  He is better known as RASHI, the great biblical scholar and commentator.  

       I have some chromosomes I share with either Rabbi Samson Wertheimer (January 17, 1658-August 6, 1724)  or his brother, Moshe.  Samson was the chief rabbi of Hungary and Moravia and a rabbi of Eisenstadt.  He was also an Austrain financier, court Jew and Shtadlan to the Austrian Emperor, Leopold I.  He was born in Worms, Germany, the son of Joseph Josel Wertheimer (1626-Maya 2, 1713) and was educated in the Yeshiva at Worms and also at Frankfurt am Main, in Germany.  I'm Ashkenazi Jewish as my grandfather lived in Telsiai, Lithuania.  These brothers are descendants of Rashi.

The Jewish Press newspaper told of a study about Ashkenazi Jews authored by Shai Carmi at Columbia U and medical researchers whose genes were compared with non-Jewish Europeans and found unique genetic markers of the Ashkenazim.  Itaik Pe'er concluded that everyone of Ashkenazi Jews is at least a 30th cousin.
We can trace our ancestry to a "bottleneck" of just 350 Jews dating back about 600 to 800 years ago.  Another study had taken us to only 4 females from another bottleneck.  Bottlenecks are when a whole community is killed and only a few are left in which our genes generate from.  It shows we've lost a lot of potential genes from other who were not able to produce offspring.

800 years ago brings us to the year 1214; the Middle Ages.  to 1414.  What happened between these years? From 1146 to 1391 the Jews of Spain were forcibly converted to Christianity.  Many kept the faith and became Marranos or hidden Jews, now called Anusim who have recently gone back to Judaism.  The big bang for Spanish Jews came in 1492 with the edict to convert, leave, or remain Jewish and die.   For starters, the Jewish community in Jerusalem was massacred by the Crusaders in 1099.  This wasn't a good sign, but showed others that our lives didn't matter to them.  So, by 1290, England threw all of the Jews out for the next 400 years.  Jews were thrown out of France in 1306.  In Toledo, Spain, 12,000 Jews were massacred by their mob in 1355.  Jews were thrown out of Hungary from 1349 to 1360.

Resource: The Jewish Press, Friday, September 19, 2014,  page 54, International News, Study:  Ashkenazi Jews share Close Genetic Ties, Week in Review page edited by Jason Maoz.  Timeline of Jews

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Jews Traveling TO the Ukraine To Rav Nachman

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  
Why would anyone brave traveling today with all the terrorists trying to blow up planes and go to of all places, Ukraine?  It's in the middle of a war between Russia and Ukrainian rebels.  If you happen to be one of New York's Breslov Chasids, you might be going there to make an annual pilgrimage.

Who was Rav Nachman to deserve such respect and daring?  His grave is in Uman, Ukraine.  He was born on April 4, 1772 and died on October 16, 1810 at the young age of 38.  Reb Nachman was the grandson of the Baal Shem Tov.
Now, who was the Baal Shem Tov?  He was Israel Ben Eliezer, born in 1700 in Podolia gubernia, Ukraine and died in 1760 and the founder of Hasidism.  In 1735, because of miraculous cures that he performed, he became known as the Baal Shem or Baal Shem Tov.  That means the master of the Divine Name, a title given to men who had the power to work miracles by using the Divine Name.

Rav Nachman had quite a grandfather to follow.  He managed to breathe new life into Hasidic movement by combining Kabbala with in-depth Torah facts.  He attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and his influence continues to this very day. As a child, he followed the path of asceticism and prayer.  He warned his followers not to abuse themselves physically,  and emphasized having their life full of joy and happiness.  His famous saying is "it is a great mitzvah to be happy."  We can all adopt that one and benefit greatly.  I wonder if the flower children of the 60's weren't trying such a philosophy.

There are now many Hasidic movements besides the Breslov.  His religious philosophy was around the closeness to G-d and speaking to G-d in normal conversation "as you would with a best friend."  Tevia, in Fiddler on the Roof" written by Shalom Alecheim, did this.  This concept called hitbodedut is central to his thinking.  

Rebbe, as he was a Rabbi, was born in Medzhybizh, Ukraine.  Now, Jews went to Ukraine in the first place in waves from Khazaria, the Caliphate of the Ottoman Empire and Byzantium between the 9th and 12th centuries and then again from Central Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.  Then they came also from Poland in the 16th and 17th centuries.

There were terrible massacres there during the Chmielnicki and Haidamak uprisings in the 17th and 18th centuries.  In the 19th century the Jews came from Galicia and White Russia.  Ukraine was always an anti-Semitic center and the scene of many pogroms in 1905 and from 1918 to 1920.  The soviet government in the 1920's promoted Jewish settlement in the Ukraine using funds of the American Joint Distribution Committee in the regions of  Kalinindorf, Zlatopol and Stalindorf.  By 1930 there were 90,000 Jewish agriculturists there.  About half of Soviet Russia's 3 million Jews lived there before WWII, but under Nazi rule, the Jews were wiped out by the Germans and Ukrainians fro 1941 to 1942.  Jews living there in 1970 numbered 777,126 and by 1989 there were 484,129.

This year in pilgrimage it is estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 Breslov chassidim will go to Uman from the USA and that about 20,000 to 30,000 will travel there from Israel.  There they will visit the gravesite.  They like to be there for the high holidays of Rosh Hashana, and at Chanukah and Shavuot.  It's because this was when Rav Nachman delivered his formal lessons to his flock.  On the last Rosh Hashana of his life, he stressed the importance of being with him for that holiday in particular.  That's why this annual pilgrimage began.  Uman is 400 miles away from the fighting, so they are not too worried.  Security has been stepped up in Ukraine.

One of the strange occurrences involving the Rav happened in 1800.  Rebbe Nachman moved to the town of Zlatopol and the townspeople invited him to have the final word on who would lead Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur prayer services.  A man was chosen to lead the final prayer service of Yom Kippur, the Neilah.  This man did not meet the Rebbe's approval.  Out of the blue, the man was struck dumb and forced to step down, causing him great embarrassment.  Rav Nachman explained after the fast ended that the man's true intentions were not good and the man was so angry about what was said that he denounced Rebbe Nachman to Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Shpola (the Shpoler Zeide), another prominent Hasidic rabbi.  This started a nasty campaign against Breslov Hasidism.  Well, even rabbis are human.

Being my family came from Lithuania and were closer to the Vilna Gaon (Elijah Ben Solomon Zalman 1720-1797) who practiced Mitnaggedim Judaism (the opposition to Hasidim) , we were not involved in Hasidism in those years.
However, I moved to Israel in 1980 and settled in Safed, in the north close to the Syrian border.  There was a large cemetery there of many famous Rabbis.  A story was told by my friend, Dov Silverman, who put this story into a book he published about when he was walking guard duty on the outskirts of Safed, he had as a partner, a Hasid of the Breslau sect of Hasidim.  The Hasid pointed to a hill on the left of the Safed cemetery and said, "See that hill?  Under it are buried 10,000 tzaddikim.  When the Messiah comes from Meron to Safed, they will all rise and go with him to Jerusalem.
Dov asked when that would be?

"When our Rabbi moves to Safed and lives opposite Mt. Meron where the famous Rabbi Bar Yokhai and his son are buried," he answered.
Building was already in progress to house the Rabbi and his followers in Safed, located opposite Mt. Meron.  By the time I moved there, I could see it clearly at night in the beautiful black Safed .night-time sky loaded with twinkling stars as it also was lit up with lights.
The word in Safed was that  the time was soon to come; some stretched it to be within the next 200 years.

References: The Jewish Press
The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Legends of Safed by Dov Silverman