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ISRAEL,ancient & modern history,MAY 6,2012,Today in History – 14 Iyar

14 Iyar

In 1960, Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina. Eichmann was in charge of implementing the “final solution” to exterminate Jews in the concentration camps. In one seven-week period alone, Eichmann transported 400,000 Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers. Eichmann was captured through the efforts of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and the Israeli Mossad (Secret Service). Eichmann was later put on trial in Israel, which was broadcast worldwide and featured the wrenching testimony of many Holocaust survivors. Eichmann was convicted and executed by hanging, the only capital punishment ever carried out in Israel. His body was cremated and ashes scattered at sea, so that no nation would serve as Eichmann’s final resting place.

Today in History – 14 Iyar
· The Jewish community of Bisenz, Austria, was massacred, 1605.
· Anti-Jewish riots by students and peasants resulted in damages and death in Lemberg and Cracow, 1664. In Lemberg, the shul was attacked on Shabbos and the Chazzan was murdered.
· Thousands of books written by Jewish and other authors were publicly burned by the Nazis, 1933.
· Berlinwas declared “Judenrein”, 1943.
· Ramat Rachel was repossessed by Israel, 1948. The battle for Jewish control of the Jordan Valley was successfully concluded on the same day.
· The only advance of the Arab Legion beyond the Old City walls into western Yerushalayim was halted in front of Notre Dame, 1948. The British commander of the Arab Legion, Sir John Bagot Glubb (Glubb Pasha), considered that battle to be the worst defeat suffered by the legion throughout the war.
· Adolf Eichmann, a key perpetrator of the “Final Solution”, was captured in Buenos Aires, 1960. He was in charge of sending all Jews to the extermination camps. The height of his career was reached in Hungary, 1944, when he transported 400,000 Jews to the gas chambers in less than five weeks, r”l.
FROM: Matzav.com
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23 Shevat
On this date in 1918, the Jewish Legion left England to join the Allies in liberating Palestine from the Turks. Four years earlier, Zev Jabotinsky had proposed that a Jewish legion be formed, but the British resisted the idea of Jewish volunteers fighting on the Palestinian front; this led instead to the establishment of the Zion Mule Corps. Meanwhile, Jabotinsky pursued his project of a Jewish Legion, which was eventually designated as the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. It included British volunteers, members of the former Zion Mule Corps, a large number of Russian Jews, and later joined by a large number of American volunteers. A few years later, the Jewish Legion was demobilized by the anti-Zionist British Military Administration. Yet it would be remembered as the first organized Jewish fighting force since Roman times, and a precursor to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
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· A pagan altar was set up in the Bais Hamikdosh under the Greeks, 167 BCE
· Five hundred Jews of Nuremberg massacred during Black Death riots, 1349.
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1 Kislev
In 1757, volumes of the Talmud were burned in Kamenetz-Podolsk, Russia. The instigators were followers of Jacob Frank, a Jewish merchant who claimed to be the messiah and successor of the false messiah, Shabbatai Tzvi. Frank’s followers broke away from Judaism and created a new religion known as the Frankists, a quasi-Jewish, quasi-Christian religion. The local bishop held a debate between the rabbis and the Frankists; when the bishop decided that the rabbis lost the debate, he ordered them to pay a fine and to burn all copies of the Talmud in the district.
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In 2104 BCE (1657 from Creation), as the Flood waters finally subsided, Noah, his family and the animals left the Ark. On this day, God commanded them to repopulate and resettle the earth.
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29 CHESHVAN
Yahrtzeit of Israel Bak (1797-1874), a pioneer of book printing in modern Israel. In the 16th century, six books had been printed in the northern town of Tzfat. It would be 245 years until another Hebrew book was published in the Holy Land, when Bak moved from the Ukraine to Israel. He established a Hebrew press in Tzfat and published a Siddur and the Book of Leviticus with commentaries. An earthquake destroyed his print shop in 1837, and a Druze revolt the following year destroyed his press once again. Bak then moved to Jerusalem in 1841 where he established the first Hebrew press ever in the holy city.
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14 Iyar
In 1960, Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was captured in Argentina. Eichmann was in charge of implementing the “final solution” to exterminate Jews in the concentration camps. In one seven-week period alone, Eichmann transported 400,000 Hungarian Jews to the gas chambers. Eichmann was captured through the efforts of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and the Israeli Mossad (Secret Service). Eichmann was later put on trial in Israel, which was broadcast worldwide and featured the wrenching testimony of many Holocaust survivors. Eichmann was convicted and executed by hanging, the only capital punishment ever carried out in Israel. His body was cremated and ashes scattered at sea, so that no nation would serve as Eichmann’s final resting place.
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7 Iyar
In 1943, the first Jewish agricultural settlement was established in the Negev, Kibbutz Gevulot. David Ben-Gurion believed that the Negev — encompassing about half the land mass of Israel — was the fledging country’s great frontier. Though the Negev was virtually uninhabited and thought by many to be uncultivable, Ben-Gurion believed that the desert could be tamed and turned into an asset. Many agricultural innovations, such as the use of hydroponics, have been developed in order to cultivate the Negev. And today, Beersheba — first known as the biblical watering hole for Abraham’s sheep — is a modern city of 190,000.
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8 Nisan
On this date in 1915, the Zion Mule Corps, a Jewish militia, was formed. Zev Jabotinsky had proposed that Jewish volunteers fight to liberate Palestine from the Turks, but the British resisted the idea of Jewish soldiers on the Palestinian front. So instead Jabotinsky established the Zion Mule Corps, whose 650 members were commanded by the famed one-armed fighter, Joseph Trumpeldor. It was essentially the first organized Jewish fighting force since Roman times, and a precursor to the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
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In 1948, a convoy of 78 Jewish medical personnel, en route to Hadassah Hospital in the Jewish enclave of Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, were killed in an Arab ambush. The ambush cut off the hospital from the rest of Israel and forced Hadassah to relocate, eventually opening a larger medical center in 1961 at Ein Kerem. The Mount Scopus facility would reopen after Jerusalem was reunited in 1967.
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3 Nisan
In 1944, the Nazis perpetrated the Children’s Action in the Kovno Ghetto. That day and the next, German soldiers conducted house-to-house searches to round up all children under age 12 (and adults over 55) — and sent them to their deaths at Fort IX. Eventually, the Germans blew up every house with grenades and dynamite, on suspicion that Jews might be in hiding in underground bunkers. They then poured gasoline over much of the former ghetto and incinerated it. Of the 37,000 Jews in Kovno before the Holocaust, less than 10 percent survived. One of the survivors was Rabbi Ephraim Oshri, who later published a stirring collection of rabbinical responsa, detailing his life-and-death decisions during the Holocaust. Also on this date, in 1937, American Jews held a massive anti-Nazi rally in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
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2 Nisan
In 1492, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain signed a decree expelling all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. Tomas de Torquemada served as “Grand Inquisitor,” charged with uncovering those who continued to practice Judaism in secret (called Conversos or Marranos — “pigs”). In the ensuing Inquisition, an estimated 32,000 Jews were burned at the stake in elaborate public ceremonies, and another 200,000 were expelled from Spain. At the time, Jews held many prominent posts in Spain; Rabbi Don Yitzhak Abrabanel, who served as finance minister, reportedly offered Queen Isabella the astronomical sum of 600,000 crowns to revoke the edict. Abrabanel was unable to prevent the expulsion and was exiled along with his people.
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29 Adar
Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky (1891-1986), leader of 20th century American Jewry. He studied in Europe under the famed the Alter of Slobodka, and was a teenage friend of Rabbi Aaron Kotler. In 1937, Rabbi Kamenetzky moved to America and became dean of Yeshiva Torah V’Daas. He was revered for great kindness and compassion, and his commentaries on Bible and Talmud were published under the title, Emes L’Yaakov.
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27 Adar
In 1979, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David Peace Agreement at the White House. Sadat had orchestrated the Egyptian attack on Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, but after suffering defeat he became resigned to Israel’s existence. As part of the Camp David deal, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai Peninsula. For forging this first peace agreement between Israel and an Arab state, Sadat and Begin were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Much of the Arab world was outraged by Sadat’s overtures toward Israel, and he was assassinated by a Muslim extremist in 1981.
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25 Adar
This date marks the death of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 561 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar built the most powerful nation in the world by ruthlessly attacking and annexing neighboring countries. He is sometimes called “Nebuchadnezzar the Great,” but he is reviled by Jews for having destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiling the Jews from Israel. The biblical Book of Daniel tells how Nebuchadnezzar erected a large idol for public worship; three Jews refused to take part and Nebuchadnezzar ordered them cast into a roaring furnace. (They miraculously emerged unscathed.) Nebuchadnezzar was a megalomaniac who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; in testimony to his grandeur, each brick was inscribed with his name. Amazingly, in our time, Saddam Hussein pronounced himself as the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, and dreamed of restoring the Babylonian empire to its former size and glory. Saddam commissioned archaeologists to restore the ancient Hanging Gardens, and each new brick was inscribed with Saddam’s name. The Book of Daniel (4:30) describes the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar: “He loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal.” And so it was with Saddam — driven into a grimy hole, disheveled and deposed. (Nebuchadnezzar later regained his sanity and returned to rule.)
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18 Adar
This date marks the death of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (1879-1953), on the very day that the “Doctors’ Plot” trial was set to begin. The Doctors’ Plot was one facet of Stalin’s ruthless anti-Semitic campaign that falsely charged the Jews with espionage against the Communist Party. It accused some of Russia’s most prestigious doctors — mostly Jews — of a vast plot to poison the top Soviet political and military leaders. Scores of Soviet Jews were fired from their jobs, arrested, sent to gulags or executed. This was accompanied by show trials and anti-Semitic propaganda. Pravda wrote: “Unmasking the gang of poisoner-doctors struck a blow against the international Jewish Zionist organization.” Some historians contend that Stalin was preparing a Soviet-wide pogrom, a “Second Holocaust,” but the scheme was cancelled upon Stalin’s death. Soviet leaders later admitted that the charges had been entirely invented by Stalin and his cohorts. ___________________
In 1656, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam refused to grant the Jews permission to build a synagogue. Stuyvesant was infamous for his anti-Semitism. In 1654 he wrote: “The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but… [we have] deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart… that the deceitful race — such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ — not be allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony.” Jews were spared eviction because the Dutch West Indian Company was heavily dependent on Jewish investments. Stuyvesant contented himself with subjecting the Jews to indignities: He denied them the right to serve in the military and forced them to pay extra taxes. As for Stuyvesant’s refusal to allow a synagogue, history would take revenge: On this same date in 1897, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary was incorporated as America’s first Orthodox Jewish rabbinical seminary.
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12 Adar
Adar 12 marks the dedication of Herod’s renovations on the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 11 BCE. Herod was king of Judea in the first century BCE who constructed grand projects like the fortresses at Masada and Herodium, the city of Caesarea, and fortifications around the old city of Jerusalem. The most ambitious of Herod’s projects was the re-building of the Temple, which was in disrepair after standing over 300 years. Herod’s renovations included a huge man-made platform that remains today the largest man-made platform in the world. It took 10,000 men 10 years just to build the retaining walls around the Temple Mount; the Western Wall that we know today is part of that retaining wall. The Temple itself was a phenomenal site, covered in gold and marble. As the Talmud says, “He who has not seen Herod’s building, has never in his life seen a truly grand building.”
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Yahrtzeit of Moses in 1273 BCE (Jewish year 2488), on the same day of his birth 120 years earlier. (Consequently, “May you live to 120″ has become a common Jewish blessing.) Moses was born in Egypt at a time when Pharaoh had decreed that all Jewish baby boys be drowned in the Nile River. His mother set him afloat in a reed basket, where he was — most ironically — discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter and brought to Pharaoh’s palace to be raised. When Moses matured, his heart turned to aid the Jewish people; he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Jew, and he fled to Midian where he married and had two sons. God spoke to Moses at the Burning Bush, instructing him to return to Egypt and persuade Pharaoh to “let my people go.” Moses led the Jews through the ten plagues, the Exodus, and the splitting of the Red Sea. Seven weeks later, the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai and received the Torah, the only time in human history that an entire nation experienced Divine revelation. Over the next 40 years, Moses led the Jews through wanderings in the desert, and supervised construction of the Tabernacle. Moses died before being allowed to enter the promised Land of Israel. He is regarded as the greatest prophet of all time._____________
25 Adar
This date marks the death of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 561 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar built the most powerful nation in the world by ruthlessly attacking and annexing neighboring countries. He is sometimes called “Nebuchadnezzar the Great,” but he is reviled by Jews for having destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiling the Jews from Israel. The biblical Book of Daniel tells how Nebuchadnezzar erected a large idol for public worship; three Jews refused to take part and Nebuchadnezzar ordered them cast into a roaring furnace. (They miraculously emerged unscathed.) Nebuchadnezzar was a megalomaniac who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; in testimony to his grandeur, each brick was inscribed with his name. Amazingly, in our time, Saddam Hussein pronounced himself as the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, and dreamed of restoring the Babylonian empire to its former size and glory. Saddam commissioned archaeologists to restore the ancient Hanging Gardens, and each new brick was inscribed with Saddam’s name. The Book of Daniel (4:30) describes the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar: “He loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal.” And so it was with Saddam — driven into a grimy hole, disheveled and deposed. (Nebuchadnezzar later regained his sanity and returned to rule.)
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In 1451, Pope Nicholas V issued a decree forbidding all social contact between Christians and Jews. The Church sought to stop Christian converts to Judaism; throughout Europe, those who did so were liable to the death penalty.______________
16 Adar
In 1656, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam ( eventually New York )  refused to grant the Jews permission to build a synagogue. Stuyvesant was infamous for his anti-Semitism. In 1654 he wrote: “The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but… [we have] deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart… that the deceitful race — such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ — not be allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony.” Jews were spared eviction because the Dutch West Indian Company was heavily dependent on Jewish investments. Stuyvesant contented himself with subjecting the Jews to indignities: He denied them the right to serve in the military and forced them to pay extra taxes. As for Stuyvesant’s refusal to allow a synagogue, history would take revenge: On this same date in 1897, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary was incorporated as America’s first Orthodox Jewish rabbinical seminary.
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13 Adar
On Adar 13, during the biblical story of Purim, the 10 sons of Haman were hanged (Esther 9:7). This would find eerie parallel over 2,000 years later when 10 top Nazi officials were hanged at the Nuremberg Trials. Incredibly, the Hebrew year of the hangings at Nuremberg, 5707, is encoded in the Book of Esther: In the listing of Haman’s 10 sons, three Hebrew letters — taf, shin and zayin, representing the year 5707 — are written unusually small. (This anomaly appears in every authentic Megillah scroll, written that way for over 2,000 years.) Incredibly, when Nazi officer Julius Streicher ascended the gallows to be hanged at Nuremberg, he shouted, “Purimfest 1946.”
Adar 13 is also the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), the great leader of 20th century American Jewry. Born in Russia, Rabbi Feinstein escaped the Stalinist regime in 1937 and settled in New York. He became recognized as the leading rabbinic figure of his generation, issuing thousands of responsa on all matters of Jewish law (published in a collection called Igros Moshe, The Letters of Moshe). Rabbi Feinstein was known for his genius command of talmudic literature, which enabled him to delve into topics of modern medicine, economics and ethics, thus demonstrating the power of Torah to integrate with the modern world. Rabbi Feinstein was born on Adar 7, the birth date of the biblical Moses, after whom he is named. Rabbi Feinstein was revered for his great humility and concern for every human being. He was buried in Jerusalem, where 200,000 people attended his funeral on Purim day.
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In 1980, Israel and Egypt exchanged ambassadors, marking a new era of cordial, if cold, diplomacy. In 1973, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had orchestrated an attack on Israel in the Yom Kippur War, but after suffering defeat he became resigned to Israel’s existence. In 1978, Sadat and Menachem Begin signed the Camp David Peace Agreement, for which they received the Nobel Peace Prize. Much of the Arab world was outraged by Sadat’s overtures toward Israel, and he was assassinated by a Muslim extremist in 1981__
6 Adar
In 1273 BCE (Jewish year 2488), Moses completed his farewell address to the Jewish people, and God informed Moses that the day of his death was approaching (Deut. 31:14). Amazingly, the anniversary of Moses’ completing his teaching coincides with the date in 1482 of the first printing of the standard format used for Jewish Bibles today: vowel signs, accents, translation (Targum), and Rashi commentary.
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5 Adar
In 1957, Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. This followed the Suez War of 1956, in which France, Britain and Israel teamed up to stop Egyptian interference with shipping through the Suez Canal. (The canal was a crucial trade link between Europe and the regions of India, North Africa and the Middle East; two-thirds of Europe’s oil passed through the Suez Canal.) In the war, Israel was able to secure Gaza and the Sinai, but fearing a larger conflict with the Soviet Union, U.S. President Eisenhower forced a cease-fire and persuaded Israel to withdraw. In response to the Suez War, the Egyptian government expelled 25,000 Egyptian Jews and confiscated their property, and sent 1,000 more Jews to prisons and detention camps.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Noson Tzvi Finkel (1849-1927), better known as the Alter of Slobodka (a town in Lithuania). He was a master at bringing out the potential of every individual, encouraging students to refine their character and become great in both scholarship and ethics. Many of his disciples, who studied at his famed Slobodka Yeshiva, became major leaders of 20th century Judaism — Rabbis Yitzhak Hutner, Yaakov Kamenetzky, Aaron Kotler, Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, Yechezkel Sarna, and Elazar M. Shach. His own son, Eliezer Yehudah Finkel eventually became dean of the famed Mir Yeshiva, today located in Jerusalem and the largest yeshiva in the world with 5,000 students
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In 1583, a convert to Judaism named Joseph Sanalbo was burned at the stake in Rome. In the second half of the 16th century, Jews were subject to grave Church-sponsored persecutions: Pope Julius III and Pope Clement VIII condemned the Talmud and other Hebrew writings as “obscene,” “blasphemous” and “abominable” — and ordered them all seized and burned.
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11 Shevat
On this day in 1601, Hebrew books that had been confiscated by Church authorities were burned in Rome. This was an unfortunate theme throughout the Middle Ages: In 1592, Pope Clement VIII had condemned the Talmud and other Hebrew writings as “obscene,” “blasphemous” and “abominable” — and ordered them all seized and burned. Centuries earlier, Pope Gregory IX persuaded French King Louis IX to burn some 10,000 copies of the Talmud (24 wagon loads) in Paris. As late as 1553, Cardinal Peter Caraffa (the future Pope Paul IV) ordered copies of the Talmud burned in the Papal States and across Italy. Yet despite all attempts to extinguish our faith, the light of Torah shines brightly till today
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In 1949, six British RAF warplanes enforcing a UN ceasefire were shot down by Israeli forces over the Israel-Egypt border. Throughout the 1948 War of Independence, Israel was terribly outnumbered in manpower and weapons — initially the army did not have a single cannon or tank, and its air force consisted of nine obsolete planes. The United States had imposed an arms embargo on the region, forcing the Israelis to smuggle weapons, mainly from Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, the British provided large quantities of weapons to Arab forces: Jordan’s Arab Legion was armed, trained and led by British officers.
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According to Megillat Taanit, in the 4th century BCE, Alexander the Great met Shimon HaTzaddik, the High Priest of the Holy Temple. Shimon feared that Alexander would destroy Jerusalem, so went out to meet him before he arrived at the city. Upon seeing the High Priest, Alexander made the rare move of dismounting and bowing. When asked to explain his actions, Alexander said that he’d previously seen the High Priest in a dream. Alexander interpreted this vision as a good omen and thus spared Jerusalem, peacefully absorbing Israel into his growing empire. In gratitude, the Sages decreed that the Jewish firstborn of that time be named Alexander — which remains a Jewish name to this very day.
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29 Tishrei   Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Don Yitzhak Abravanel (1437-1508), a leader during the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry. After having served as treasurer to the king of Portugal, Abravanel became a minister in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. In 1492, Isabella signed a decree expelling all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. In the Inquisition, an estimated 32,000 Jews were burned at the stake and another 200,000 were expelled from Spain. Rabbi Abrabanel reportedly offered Queen Isabella the astronomical sum of 600,000 crowns to revoke the edict. Abrabanel was unable to prevent the expulsion and was exiled along with his people. Most of his rabbinic writings were composed in his later years when he was free of governmental responsibilities
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26 Tishrei
In 1973, a cease-fire resolution was passed by the U.N. Security Council to halt the Yom Kippur War. Shuttle diplomacy by Henry Kissinger compelled Israel and Egypt to accept the cease-fire. Fighting, however, would continue for another four days. In the war, Israel suffered the loss of 2,600 soldiers and 800 tanks. Four years later, Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat would visit Jerusalem and announce his readiness to forge a permanent peace deal.
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18 Tishrei
Yahrtzeit of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), founder of the Breslov chasidic movement. Rebbe Nachman lived in Poland and the Ukraine, where he inspired thousands of Jews to greater love of God. Though he suffered the loss of his son and wife, Rebbe Nachman said: “You may fall to the lowest depths, heaven forbid, but no matter how low you have fallen, it is still forbidden to give up hope.” A few of his most famous teachings are: “It’s a great mitzvah to always be happy,” and “All the world is a narrow bridge — but the main thing is not to be afraid” (now a popular Hebrew song, Kol Ha-Olam Kulo). Every year on Rosh Hashana, tens of thousands of Jews travel to Uman (Ukraine) to pray at the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman
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11 Tishrei
In 1941, SS Chief Helmut Knochen ordered the systematic destruction of synagogues in Paris. During this time the Vichy government established other anti-Jewish measures, including the requirement that all Jews wear a yellow badge. Roundups took place in Paris where tens of thousands of Jews were arrested and handed over to the Nazis. Of an estimated 350,000 Jews who lived in France, 25 percent were murdered in the Holocaust. While many were sent to Auschwitz, there were also concentration camps located inside France, such as Gurs.
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6 Tishrei,
In 1948, Egypt launched a large-scale offensive against the Negev region of Israel. This was part of the War of Independence, an attack by five Arab armies designed to “drive the Jews into the sea.” Though the Jews were under-armed, untrained, and few in number, through ingenuity and perseverance they staved off the attacks and secured the borders. Yet the price was high — Israel lost 6,373 of its people, a full one percent of the Jewish population of Israel at the time.
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27 Elul - In 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn, signaling the start of a peace process known as the Oslo Accords. Israel agreed to transfer autonomy to the Palestinians, in exchange for a cessation of violence. However, Palestinian terrorists carried out a spate of bus bombings and roadside shootings throughout the 1990s. In July 2000, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak attempted to reach a final agreement, offering the Palestinians 93 percent of the territories — later upped to 99 percent — but Arafat balked. As U.S. chief negotiator Dennis Ross would later explain: “Arafat could not accept [the offer]… because when the conflict ends, the cause that defines Arafat also ends.” Instead, the Palestinians launched a terror war, known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, which claimed the lives of over 1,000 Israelis and 4,000 Palestinians.
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In 1972, Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, and held the Israeli Olympic team hostage with the demand that Israel release convicted Arab terrorists from jail. After hours of tense negotiations, the Palestinians and hostages were taken to an airport, where German sharpshooters attempted to kill the terrorists. A bloody firefight ensued, with the resulting loss of 11 Israeli lives. Jewish-American swimmer Mark Spitz, after having won seven gold medals, was whisked away from Munich. The Olympic committee went on with the Games, and subsequent attempts to establish a permanent Olympic memorial to the slain athletes have gone unanswered. Three of the terrorists were captured, but one month later, when Palestinians hijacked a German airplane, German authorities capitulated to their demands and released the Olympic terrorists. They were later eliminated by Israeli agents, the subject of Steven Spielberg’s film, Munich.
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CHOFETZ HAYIM
Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan (1838-1933), popularly known as the Chafetz Chaim, the title of his groundbreaking book on the laws of proper speech. The Chafetz Chaim lived in Radin, a small town in Poland that became a center of attention for world Jewry, given the Chafetz Chaim’s saintly stature and active involvement in Jewish affairs. The Chafetz Chaim published over 20 books, including Mishnah Berurah, a monumental commentary on the daily living section of the Code of Jewish Law. The six volumes of Mishnah Berurah took 25 years to complete, and it has achieved universal acceptance as the definitive guide to Jewish law for Ashkenazic Jewry. The Chafetz Chaim was equally revered for his sterling character. The Chafetz Chaim passed away in 1933 at age 95, and is buried in Radin.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky (1899-1985), a Talmudic genius known as the Steipler Gaon. His father was widowed at age 60, and then remarried, fathering Yaakov Yisrael. Yaakov Yisrael was conscripted into the Russian army where he continued strict Jewish observance, despite the harsh conditions. After the army, he was appointed to a leadership post in the Novardak yeshiva. He wrote a multi-volume Talmudic commentary, Kehilos Yaakov, which is studied widely today. He married the sister of the saintly Chazon Ish, and later moved to Israel. Though he held no official position, he was consulted by individuals from all walks of life on every imaginable issue — business, marriage, health, and matters of Torah law. His son, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, is a leading Torah authority in Israel today
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15 Av
On this date, four historical events occurred: (1) the Jews of the Exodus generation stopped dying in the desert, (2) intertribal marriage was permitted to post-Exodus generations, (3) the tribe of Benjamin was saved from extinction, (4) the Romans permitted the burial of Jews killed in the Beitar revolt (138 CE). After the Romans had destroyed the Second Holy Temple, the emperor Hadrian planned to transform Jerusalem into a pagan city-state with a shrine to Jupiter on the site of the Temple. This led to the great Jewish revolt of Simon Bar Kosiba (Bar Kochba), whose guerilla army succeeded in actually throwing the Romans out of Israel and establishing, albeit for a brief period, an independent Jewish state. It required large numbers of Roman troops to crush the revolt. Bar Kochba made his final stand in the city of Beitar, located southwest of Jerusalem. It was estimated that hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in Beitar, and they were all massacred “until their blood flowed into the Mediterranean Sea.” Further, the Romans did not allow the Jewish bodies to be buried. According to Jewish tradition, the bodies lay in the open but did not rot, until three years later on the 15th of Av, burial was finally permitted. Today, the standard “Grace After Meals” includes a special blessing recalling this event in Beitar.
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In 423 BCE, the first Holy Temple was destroyed by fire, as Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian troops conquered Jerusalem. Also on this day, the second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Tisha B’Av has long been a day of calamity for the Jewish people: On this day, during the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the spies, resulting in the decree postponing entry into the Land of Israel. Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history occurred on the Ninth of Av: The Spanish Inquisition culminated with the expulsion of Jews from Spain on Tisha B’Av in 1492. World War I broke out on the eve of Tisha B’Av in 1914 when Germany declared war on Russia; German resentment from the war set the stage for the Holocaust. On the eve of Tisha B’Av 1942, the mass deportation began of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, en route to Treblinka. Today, Tisha B’Av is the Jewish national day of mourning, when we don’t eat, drink or bathe. Lights in the synagogue are dimmed, and we read the Book of Lamentations, Jeremiah’s poetic lament over the destruction of Jerusalem.
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In 333 BCE, the prophet Nechemia began to rebuild the destroyed wall around Jerusalem, as recorded in the biblical Book of Nechemia. This was a first stage in the restoration of the Jewish capital, crowned by the construction of the Second Holy Temple a few years later.
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Yahrtzeit of Aaron (1395-1272 BCE), the elder brother of Moses and the first High Priest of Israel. Aaron was a great prophet and righteous man, who was known for bringing peace between people. During the period of Jewish slavery in Egypt, Aaron accompanied Moses in deliberations with Pharaoh. After the giving of the Torah, when Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai and the people became impatient, Aaron worked to minimize damage from the building of the Golden Calf. All Kohanim in history are descended from Aaron; indeed, DNA research in recent years supports this tradition.
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In 1922, the League of Nations confirmed the British Mandate of Palestine, territory taken from the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate charged Britain with securing the establishment of the Jewish national home, and safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine. Just a few months later, Britain decided to lop off 77% of the land and use it to establish the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (today called Jordan). In ensuing years, Jewish immigration to Palestine created much Arab resentment, and the British responded by placing strict limitations on Jewish immigration. This policy had lethal consequences for Jews fleeing Hitler’s ovens. When the British continued to placate the Arabs, for example by restricting Jewish land purchases, a revolt was organized by Zionist groups. By 1948 this pressure had forced the British out of Palestine, clearing the way for an independent State of Israel._________
In 1205, Pope Innocent III published official Church doctrine that saw Jews doomed to eternal damnation for the crucifixion of Jesus. This charge of deicide was the basis for much anti-Semitism throughout the Middle Ages. It wasn’t until 1963, with the Second Vatican Council, that Church doctrine was revised.
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In 423 BCE, King Tzidkiyahu was captured by Babylonian troops in the plains of Jericho, as recorded in Jeremiah ch. 39. The evil Nebuchadnezzar forced Tzidkiyahu to witness the slaughter of his sons, and then Tzidkiyahu’s eyes were gouged out. Till today, Tzidkiyahu is remembered as a righteous man, while Nebuchadnezzar — like a long list of tyrants who sought to oppress the Jewish people — was degraded and reduced to the dustbin of history. The biblical Book of Daniel (4:30) describes how Nebuchadnezzar “was driven from mankind; he ate grass like oxen, and his body was washed by the dew of heaven, until his hair grew like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws.” (Nebuchadnezzar later regained his sanity and returned to rule.)
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In 1946, Jewish refugees from the Holocaust, with no other place to go, returned to their hometown of Kielce, Poland — and were attacked by the townspeople in a bloody pogrom that left 42 Jews dead and 80 wounded. The pogrom began when rumors spread that Jews had kidnapped a Polish child. Polish policemen and soldiers entered the Jewish residences and began the violence; the Jews were then attacked outside by mobs in a fray that lasted five hours. Some 3 million Polish Jews had been murdered in the Holocaust, yet this pogrom — occurring 15 months after the end of World War II — was a horrific aftershock.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yaakov Ben Meir Tam (1100-1171), talmudic commentator known as Rabbeinu Tam. A grandson of Rashi, Rabbeinu Tam was the greatest sage of his time, and Jews flocked to his academy in France to hear his Talmudic discourses. These lectures served as the basis for the Tosfot commentary, which was compiled by his students and today is printed on every standard page of the Talmud. Rabbeinu Tam was an extremely successful wine merchant and financier. When his home was attacked by Crusaders in 1146, he was stabbed repeatedly in the head, and dragged out to a field to die. He miraculously survived, and lived another 25 years.
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1 TAMMUZ
This is the traditional date of the birth and the death of Joseph (1560-1450 BCE), the son of Jacob and Rachel. Joseph’s father gave him a multi-colored coat, which aroused the envy of his half-brothers. They suspected that Joseph would try to assume family leadership when he told them of his two dreams, in which the brothers all bowed down to him. The brothers sold Joseph into slavery, where he was brought to Egypt and eventually rose to the post of Prime Minister. Twenty years later, the family was reunited in Egypt, and Joseph forgave the brothers, saying that it was all part of God’s plan. Shortly before Joseph’s death he made the Israelites take an oath that they would bury him in Israel. His remains were eventually buried in Shechem, and throughout the millennia, Joseph’s Tomb was a place of pilgrimage and prayer. The tomb was destroyed by Arab mobs in the Intifada of 2000.
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In the Hebrew year 2448 (1312 BCE), Miriam spoke negatively about her brother Moses, and was afflicted with the skin malady, tzarat. In his great humility, Moses then prayed for Miriam to be healed. God instructed that she be quarantined outside the Israelite camp for seven days. In testimony to their great love for Miriam, the entire Jewish nation waited during this period before journeying onward. (Numbers ch. 12)
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In 1944, the Nazis began deporting Hungarian Jews to the concentration camps. This would be one of the final tragedies of the Holocaust, as 400,000 Hungarian Jews were taken to the gas chambers in a matter of weeks. Additionally, tens of thousands of Jews died on death marches from Budapest to Austria, and others were shot and thrown into the Danube River. During this time, Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat stationed in Budapest, issued thousands of Swedish identity documents to protect Jews from deportation; he is credited with saving tens of thousands of lives.
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In 1882, the Jewish agricultural settlement of Alliance was founded in New Jersey. Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe proposed this settlement as a utopian experiment, with the thought that through agriculture the Jewish people would become emancipated. Ultimately, the Alliance idea failed, as an industrializing, urban America proved more powerful than the settlers’ plan.
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In 1427, a decree was issued ordering all Jews expelled from Berne, Switzerland. Jews have wandered and settled in over 100 lands on five continents. Throughout the Middle Ages, Jews were subject to frequent expulsions. And amazingly, 90 percent of Jewish families were uprooted in the 20th century — with mass immigration to America and Israel, and the tragic Holocaust. This is prophesied in Leviticus 26:33: “I will scatter you among the nations…” Yet amidst it all, the Jewish people have miraculously maintained their distinct national identity
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In 1311 BCE (Hebrew year 2449), the Jewish people left Mount Sinai to go to Israel. If the Jews hadn’t complained about the difficulties of traveling in the desert, they would have entered the Land of Israel immediately. As it was, they wandered in the desert for 40 years before entering the land.
On this date in 1800, D.M. Dyte, an English Jew, saved the life of King George III of England. King George was attending a theater presentation, when a lunatic in the audience fired a gun pointblank at the king. Two bullets missed their target, passing harmlessly over the king’s head. It was revealed that D.M. Dyte had struck the would-be assassin’s arm as he pulled the trigger. As a reward, Dyte asked for (and was granted) a monopoly on the sale of opera tickets.
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In 1881, a wave of pogroms swept 166 towns in southern Russia, after Jews were blamed for the assassination of Czar Alexander II. In these pogroms, thousands of Jewish homes were destroyed, and hundreds of Jews were killed and injured. The new czar, Alexander III, blamed the Jews for the riots and issued a series of harsh restrictions against the Jewish community. In the wake of these pogroms, some 2 million Jews fled Russia, many settling in the United States.
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27 Nisan
Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Avigdor Miller (1908-2001), one of America’s leading Torah educators. Rabbi Miller was born in Baltimore, and he studied as a young adult in the famed Slobodka Yeshiva in Europe. In the 1960s, he produced a series of groundbreaking books on Jewish thought, at a time when rabbinic works in English were almost unheard of. He was particularly skillful at connecting secular phenomena to the Divine. For example, before eating an apple he exclaimed, “Almighty God, look at this magnificent apple that You created! The wisdom of its waterproof enclosure, the beauty of its tantalizing red color, and the temptingly delicious aroma with which it is perfumed. How can I even begin to thank You!” Rabbi Miller’s greatness is preserved on audiotape, in the form of a 2,000-part lecture series on Jewish ethics and history.
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14 Nisan
In the Hebrew year 2448 (1312 BCE), the Jews in Egypt offered the Passover lamb, to be eaten later that night at the first Passover Seder. This was an act of great courage, as sheep were regarded as idols in Egyptian society, and the Jews were technically still subject to Egyptian slavery. This was God’s way of emphasizing the idea that Egyptian society was in a state of collapse. In times of the Holy Temple, the Passover Lamb would be offered by every Jewish family; many thousands of lambs would be processed and prepared in the Temple during the afternoon hours preceding the Passover holiday.
On this date in 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising broke out. The Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of the Jewish ghettos established by Nazis during the Holocaust. It initially held 400,000 people (30% of the entire population of Warsaw), crammed into a tiny area. In its three years of existence, some 100,000 Jews died of disease and starvation, before the Nazis deported some 265,000 Jews to the Treblinka death camp. When the Nazis decided to liquidate the ghetto, Jewish resistance fighters took action, digging hundreds of bunkers under the houses, connected through the sewage system. The final battle started on the eve of Passover 1943. Some 750 Jewish partisans shot and threw grenades at German patrols from alleyways, sewers and buildings. The Nazis responded with tanks and flamethrowers, rounding up or killing any Jew they could capture. After several days without quelling the uprising, the Nazis ordered the ghetto burned to the ground. The uprising ended after one month; approximately 300 Germans and 7,000 Jews were killed in the fighting. The remaining 30,000 Jews were sent to Treblinka for extermination. Several dozen fighters escaped through the sewers, and a number of these survivors went on to found Kibbutz Lohamei HaGetaot, located near Acco in Israel.
15 Nisan
In the Hebrew year 2018 (1742 BCE), God made a covenant with Abraham, granting him and his descendents the Land of Israel, as recorded in Genesis chapter 15. Abraham lived at a time of widespread idolatry and corruption, and took upon himself the mission of spreading ethical monotheism to the world. In response, God set aside the Land of Israel as a laboratory where Abraham’s descendants could create a model society, “a light unto the nations.” Unlike other nations who claim land because their army was able to conquer it from someone else, Israel’s claim to the land is based on Divine authority. Appropriately, it was also on this date that the angels informed Abraham that a son (Isaac) would be born as his successor (Genesis 18:10).
On Nisan 15 in the Hebrew year 2448 (1312 BCE), the plague of the firstborn struck Egypt, and Pharaoh finally acceded to Moses’ request to “Let my people go.” That night, the Jews held the first Passover Seder, eating matzah, bitter herbs, and the Passover lamb. The next morning, 3 million Jews left in the Exodus from Egypt, in what is known as the “birth” of the Jewish nation. This event is commemorated each year on Passover, when families gather to eat matzah, recite the Haggadah, and thank God for sustaining our people till this day.
16 Nisan
In 355 BCE, Haman, the villain of the Purim story, was hanged (Esther 7:10). Haman promulgated a decree to annihilate the entire Jewish people, but when the plot was foiled by Queen Esther, Haman and his 10 sons were hanged from the gallows that Haman had originally built to hang Mordechai. As further irony, King Achashverosh appointed Mordechai to replace Haman as prime minister of the kingdom. Haman was descended from Amalek, the biblical nation that is the antithesis of the Jewish message of ethics and morality. On Purim, the Book of Esther is read publicly, and much noise is raised at every mention of Haman’s name, symbolically stamping out his memory.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yosef Karo (1488-1575), author of Shulchan Aruch, the standard Code of Jewish Law. Rabbi Karo was forced to flee Spain at the time of the expulsion, eventually settling in the holy city of Tzfat, Israel. His writings in Jewish law include Beit Yosef, an encyclopedic commentary on the Tur (written and refined over 30 years), and Kesef Mishneh, a commentary on Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah. Yet Rabbi Karo is best known for his Shulchan Aruch, which covers the gamut of practical Jewish law; almost all Jewish legal discussions to this day stem from this code. Rabbi Karo also had kabbalistic leanings (he was a contemporary in Tzfat of the great Arizal) and he authored a book, Maggid Mesharim, in which he records his discussions with an angel. Rabbi Karo is affectionately referred to as the “Mechaber” (“the Author”), i.e. the rabbinic author par excellence.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (1194-1270), known as Nachmanides, and by the acronym of his name, Ramban. Born in Spain, he was a physician by trade, but was best-known for authoring brilliant commentaries on the Bible, Talmud, and philosophy. In 1263, King James of Spain authorized a disputation (religious debate) between Nachmanides and a Jewish convert to Christianity, Pablo Christiani. Nachmanides reluctantly agreed to take part, only after being assured by the king that he would have full freedom of expression. Nachmanides won the debate, which earned the king’s respect and a prize of 300 gold coins. But this incensed the Church: Nachmanides was charged with blasphemy and he was forced to flee Spain. So at age 72, Nachmanides moved to Jerusalem. He was struck by the desolation in the Holy City — there were so few Jews that he could not even find a minyan to pray. Nachmanides immediately set about rebuilding the Jewish community. The Ramban Synagogue stands today in Jerusalem’s Old City, a living testimony to his efforts.
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In 1451, Pope Nicholas V issued a decree forbidding all social contact between Christians and Jews. The Church sought to stop Christian converts to Judaism; throughout Europe, those who did so were liable to the death penalty.
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This date marks the death of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia in 561 BCE. Nebuchadnezzar built the most powerful nation in the world by ruthlessly attacking and annexing neighboring countries. He is sometimes called “Nebuchadnezzar the Great,” but he is reviled by Jews for having destroyed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and exiling the Jews from Israel. The biblical Book of Daniel tells how Nebuchadnezzar erected a large idol for public worship; three Jews refused to take part and Nebuchadnezzar ordered them cast into a roaring furnace. (They miraculously emerged unscathed.) Nebuchadnezzar was a megalomaniac who built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; in testimony to his grandeur, each brick was inscribed with his name. Amazingly, in our time, Saddam Hussein pronounced himself as the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, and dreamed of restoring the Babylonian empire to its former size and glory. Saddam commissioned archaeologists to restore the ancient Hanging Gardens, and each new brick was inscribed with Saddam’s name. The Book of Daniel (4:30) describes the downfall of Nebuchadnezzar: “He loses his sanity and lives in the wild like an animal.” And so it was with Saddam — driven into a grimy hole, disheveled and deposed. (Nebuchadnezzar later regained his sanity and returned to rule.) AISH
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In 1656, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam refused to grant the Jews permission to build a synagogue. Stuyvesant was infamous for his anti-Semitism. In 1654 he wrote: “The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but… [we have] deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart… that the deceitful race — such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ — not be allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony.” Jews were spared eviction because the Dutch West Indian Company was heavily dependent on Jewish investments. Stuyvesant contented himself with subjecting the Jews to indignities: He denied them the right to serve in the military and forced them to pay extra taxes. As for Stuyvesant’s refusal to allow a synagogue, history would take revenge: On this same date in 1897, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary was incorporated as America’s first Orthodox Jewish rabbinical seminary.
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in 1942, in the town of Zdunska Wola in Nazi-occupied Poland, 10 Jews were hanged by Hitler’s SS, in a sadistic parody of events in the Book of Esther. To add to this debacle, the Gestapo ordered all Jews out of their homes in order to witness the hangings. On Purim day the following year, 1943, there was another ‘Purim massacre’ in the Polish town of Piotrkow, where 10 Jews were executed. Hitler harbored a venomous hatred for the holiday of Purim: When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, he banned the reading of the Book of Esther, an ordered that all synagogues be closed and barred on Purim day. “Unless Germany is victorious,” he proclaimed, “Jewry could then celebrate the destruction of Europe by a second triumphant Purim Festival.” Incredibly, when Nazi officer Julius Streicher ascended the gallows to be hanged at Nuremberg, he shouted, “Purimfest 1946.”
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7 Adar
Yahrtzeit of Moses in 1273 BCE (Jewish year 2488), on the same day of his birth 120 years earlier. (Consequently, “May you live to 120″ has become a common Jewish blessing.) Moses was born in Egypt at a time when Pharaoh had decreed that all Jewish baby boys be drowned in the Nile River. His mother set him afloat in a reed basket, where he was — most ironically — discovered by Pharaoh’s daughter and brought to Pharaoh’s palace to be raised. When Moses matured, his heart turned to aid the Jewish people; he killed an Egyptian who was beating a Jew, and he fled to Midian where he married and had two sons. God spoke to Moses at the Burning Bush, instructing him to return to Egypt and persuade Pharaoh to “let my people go.” Moses led the Jews through the ten plagues, the Exodus, and the splitting of the Red Sea. Seven weeks later, the Jews arrived at Mount Sinai and received the Torah, the only time in human history that an entire nation experienced Divine revelation. Over the next 40 years, Moses led the Jews through wanderings in the desert, and supervised construction of the Tabernacle. Moses died before being allowed to enter the promised Land of Israel. He is regarded as the greatest prophet of all time
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_In 350 BCE, the building of the second Holy Temple was completed in Jerusalem, as recorded in the biblical Book of Ezra (6:15). The re-building of the Temple had begun under Cyrus when the Persians first took over the Babylonian empire. The re-building was then interrupted for 18 years, and resumed with the blessing of Darius II, the Persian king whom is said to be the son of Esther. The Second Temple lacked much of the glory of the First Temple: There was no Ark of the Covenant, and the daily miracles and prophets were no longer part of the scenery. The Second Temple would stand for 420 years, before being destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
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In 1667, the Jews of Rome ran the humiliating “Carnival race” for the last time. Every year, during Rome’s annual carnival, scantily-clad Jews had been forced to race along the main street, while the crowd mocked them, threw trash, and reigned heavy blows. (The event often proved fatal.) As further indignity, Jews were forced to contribute financially to the operation of the Carnival. During this time, Jews were confined to living in the Roman Ghetto, a walled quarter with three gates that were locked at night. The Jews were subjected to other degradations, including having to attend compulsory Catholic sermons on Shabbat. Outside the ghetto, Jews were required to wear identifying yellow clothing.__________
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter (1810-1883), founder of the Mussar (Jewish ethics) movement of spiritual growth. Rabbi Salanter’s approach gained popularity in Lithuania, at a time when chassidic influences were growing. The idea of Mussar is to use meditations, guided imagery, and exercises to penetrate the subconscious. In this way an individual can break through the barriers that prevent the soul from expressing its purity. Mussar books such as Path of the Just give a road map to developing traits of humility, alacrity and purity. Rabbi Salanter encouraged people to set a time every day for the study of Mussar, an idea which remains popular until today.
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In 354 BCE, the prophet Zechariah predicted the rebuilding of Zion, as recorded in the biblical Book of Zechariah (1:7). King Darius of Persia had given permission to rebuild the second Holy Temple, and Zechariah rebuked the people for not quickly taking the opportunity to do so.
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In 1349, Jews in Basle, Switzerland were burned alive in a wooden house, erected specifically for that purpose. The Jewish community of Basel had flourished until 1348, when they were accused of poisoning wells during the Black Plague. This triggered a variety of persecutions: Jewish children were forcibly baptized, 600 Jews were burned at the stake, and the remainder were burned alive in the wooden house. In modern history, Basel became better known as the host of the first Zionist Congress in 1897. Ironically, on this date in 1949 — exactly 600 years after the massacre in Basle — the State of Israel elected its first president, Chaim Weizman.
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In 1790, France granted full and equal citizenship to Sefardi Jews. (Ashkenazi Jews gained citizenship a year and a half later.) The French Revolution, born of the ideals of Enlightenment, had become the first society to emancipate the Jews, permitting them to enter the highest levels of government and finance. In 1807, Napoleon created the French Sanhedrin — a Jewish communal structure sanctioned by the state. (The French Sanhedrin sat in a semicircle, following the custom of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem that served as the Jewish supreme court during the times of the Holy Temple.) Despite these liberties, anti-Jewish measures were passed in 1808: Napoleon declared all debts with Jews annulled, which caused the near ruin of the Jewish community. Restrictions were also placed on where Jews could live in an effort to assimilate them into French society. The invective reached a head in the 1940s when the French Vichy regime took the initiative to round up and hand over 61,000 Jews to the Nazis.
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11 Shevat. On this day in 1601, Hebrew books that had been confiscated by Church authorities were burned in Rome. This was an unfortunate theme throughout the Middle Ages: In 1592, Pope Clement VIII had condemned the Talmud and other Hebrew writings as “obscene,” “blasphemous” and “abominable” — and ordered them all seized and burned. Centuries earlier, Pope Gregory IX persuaded French King Louis IX to burn some 10,000 copies of the Talmud (24 wagon loads) in Paris. As late as 1553, Cardinal Peter Caraffa (the future Pope Paul IV) ordered copies of the Talmud burned in the Papal States and across Italy. Yet despite all attempts to extinguish our faith, the light of Torah shines brightly till today.
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In 1933, Adolph Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. The November 1932 elections saw the Nazis emerge as the largest party in the Reichstag. Leading German politicians and businessmen persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as chancellor, as a way to stabilize the government and economy. Hindenburg reluctantly agreed. Two months later, the Nazis passed the Enabling Act, giving Hitler dictatorial authority. Hitler’s government then banned all other political parties, and in July 1933, a Concordat (agreement) was signed with the Vatican. Hitler secured popular support by persuading Germans that he was their savior from the Depression, the Communists, the Versailles Treaty, and the Jews. Hitler would use this power to launch World War II and oversee the murder of 6 million Jews.
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This date marks the death of evil King Alexander Yannai (Jannaeus), a Hasmonian king of Judea from 103 BCE to 76 BCE. While serving as High Priest at the Temple in Jerusalem, Yannai mocked the Sukkot service, at which point the crowd showed their displeasure by pelting him with etrogs. Yannai responded by having his soldiers kill 6,000 people in the Temple courtyard. Yannai aligned himself with the Hellenist faction known as the Sadducees, and opposed the mainstream rabbis, the Pharisees. On various occasions Yannai ordered the killing of Pharisees, and feasted while watching the executions. According to traditional sources, Yannai later repented and cooperated with the Pharisees.
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Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Samson Rafael Hirsch , the leader of Torah Judaism in Germany during the tumultuous times of Enlightenment. Rabbi Hirsch argued that the era of Enlightenment meant not that Jews should abandon Jewish practice, but that religious freedom was an opportunity to observe Judaism without persecution and ridicule. He promoted a philosophy of “Torah im Derech Eretz” — combining Torah with the modern world. Rabbi Hirsch’s written works include: a six-volume commentary on the Torah; Horeb, a philosophical analysis of the 613 mitzvot; and an etymological analysis of the Hebrew language.
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In 1826, Maryland adopted a law which allowed Jews to hold public office, on condition that they accept the concept of reward and punishment in the afterlife. Maryland was founded as an asylum for Catholics in 1634, and in the early days the denial of Christianity was a capital crime in Maryland. Anyone speaking negatively about Mary or the Apostles was subject to a fine or public whipping. The practice of Judaism was finally legalized in Maryland in 1776, but other restrictions remained in place. It was not until 50 years later that Jews became qualified for public office.
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Yahrtzeit of Maimonides (1135-1204), also known as the Rambam (an acronym for his name, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon). Maimonides was born in Spain, but was forced to flee due to a radical Muslim regime that gave the Jews a choice of accepting Mohammed or leaving. Maimonides finally settled in Cairo, where in addition to leading the Jewish community, he was a top physician who served in the royal court of the Sultan of Egypt. Maimonides’ magnum opus is Mishneh Torah, a comprehensive 14-volume code of Jewish law which has since been the subject of more than 300 commentaries. Maimonides’ great philosophical treatise, Guide for the Perplexed, explains Jewish theology in light of Aristotelian philosophy and science. A popular saying is that “from Moses [of the Torah] to Moses [Maimonides], there has never been one like Moses.” Maimonides is recognized today as the greatest medieval Jewish philosopher. He is buried in Tiberias, Israel.
In 1728, Congregation Shearith Israel purchased a plot of land in lower Manhattan, site of the first structure ever designed and built as a synagogue in continental North America. At the time, New York had the only Jewish community in the country; it would be some two decades later before organized Jewish settlement began in Philadelphia, Lancaster and Charleston. Shearith Israel was the only Jewish congregation in New York City from 1654 until 1825, having been founded by Brazilian Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin. Governor Peter Stuyvesant, known for his anti-Semitic views, had initially denied Jews the right to worship in a public gathering; these Jews fought for their rights and won permission. Today, Shearith Israel occupies a grand structure at 70th Street and Central Park West.
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Yahrtzeit of Pinchas Rutenberg (1879-1942), founder of the Israel Electric Corporation. A Russian Jewish immigrant, Rutenberg was a visionary and pioneer, whose efforts to bring electricity to Israel is regarded as a crucial factor in building a strong modern economy. Rutenberg’s flagship project was a hydroelectric plant on the Jordan River in 1931, which he built after gaining Winston Churchill’s political backing and Baron Edmond de Rothschild’s financial support. In 1948, the plant was destroyed by the Arab Legion.
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In 1917, the British government gave final approval for the Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in historic Israel. The declaration took the form of a letter from Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild, who had once been a member of the British Parliament. In 1922, the United States Congress formally endorsed the Balfour Declaration. In the ensuing decades, the British would slowly whittle away at their commitment — first lopping off 80 percent of the land east of the Jordan River to create the Kingdom of Transjordan (now Jordan), and then restricting Jewish immigration and rights to purchase land to the west of the Jordan River. The volatility of the situation ultimately forced the British to withdraw from the region in 1948.
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In 1936, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra performed its inaugural concert, consisting of 75 Jewish musicians from major European orchestras who had made aliyah. The opening concert (of the “Palestine Orchestra,” as it was then known) was conducted by the great Arturo Toscanini, who had escaped the rise of fascism in his native Italy. Said Toscanini: “I am doing this for humanity.” The IPO has earned a reputation as one of the pre-eminent orchestras in the world: over the decades it has featured Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein, Yehuda Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman. One profound moment came in 1991 when Zubin Mehta conducted the orchestra during a Scud missile attack.
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In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln pledged to amend a federal law granting only Christian clergy the right to serve as military chaplains. During the Civil War (in which 6,500 Jews served for the North, and another 2,000 for the South), a religious Jew named Michael Allen had been elected as the non-denominational chaplain of his army regiment. When Allen’s Jewishness became “publicized,” rather than subject his family to the humiliating ordeal of his dismissal, Allen resigned, citing poor health. The regiment then elected Rabbi Arnold Fischel as its chaplain, in order to test the constitutionality of the “Christian-only” law. Much lobbying ensued, including Fischel traveling to Washington to meet with Lincoln. Six months later, the law was amended to permit Jewish clergy to become military chaplains. It is regarded historically as the first case of American Jews successfully challenging federal legislation.
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10 Tevet
In 424 BCE, Babylonia King Nebuchadnezzar began his siege of Jerusalem. Actually, there was little damage on that first day and no Jews were killed, yet it began a chain of disasters which ended with the destruction of the Holy Temple. The 10th of Tevet is still observed today by Jews as a public fast day, as mentioned by the prophet Zechariah (8:19). One year after Nebuchadnezzar’s siege, on this date in 423 BCE, Jeremiah purchased a field and prophesized that “Houses, fields and vineyards will yet again be bought in this land” (Jeremiah 32:15). This gave hope to generations of Jews for a return to the Holy Land — a prophecy that we have seen fulfilled in modern times.
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10 Tevet
God, alien nations have come into Your inheritance and have defiled Your Sanctuary (Psalms 79:1).
The tenth day of Teves is a fast day, on which we remember the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem that led to the destruction of the Temple. By depriving ourselves of food and drink, we experience the discomfort of hunger and thirst, and in this way we share in the national distress.
No other nation has anything similar to a fast day for an event that occurred thousands of years ago. Most historic events are remembered by historians interested in the subject. The average person is untouched by such ancient events.
Not so with Jews, for whom spirituality and closeness to God are a vital part of life. The loss of intimacy with God that occurred with the destruction of the Temple is something from which we have never recovered, and is a source of grief today. The fast of the tenth day of Teves is not merely a commemoration of a historic event, but an expression of the grief we experience today in being deprived of the close presence of God in the Temple.
We have been promised that the Temple will be restored with the ultimate Redemption of Israel, and we will again have the Shechinah which is the breath of spiritual life. To achieve this Redemption we must merit it, by committing ourselves to total observance of Torah and mitzvos.
Today I shall …
… try to understand how the loss of the Sanctuary thousands of years ago is a personal loss to me, and what I can do to restore that kedushah.
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In 468 CE, Rabbi Amemar, Rabbi Mesharsheya and Rabbi Huna, the heads of Babylonian Jewry, were arrested and executed 11 days later. The Jewish community of Babylon had existed for 900 years, ever since Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Israel, destroyed the Holy Temple, and exiled the Jews to Babylon. Seventy years later, when the Jews were permitted to return to Israel, a large percentage remained in Babylon — and this eventually became the center of Jewish rabbinic authority. Things began to worsen in the 5th century, when the Persian priests, fighting against encroaching Christian missionaries, unleashed anti-Christian persecutions which caught the Jews of Babylonia in its wake. Eventually the situation improved, and Babylon remained as the center of Jewish life for another 500 years.
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In 1949, six British RAF warplanes enforcing a UN ceasefire were shot down by Israeli forces over the Israel-Egypt border. Throughout the 1948 War of Independence, Israel was terribly outnumbered in manpower and weapons — initially the army did not have a single cannon or tank, and its air force consisted of nine obsolete planes. The United States had imposed an arms embargo on the region, forcing the Israelis to smuggle weapons, mainly from Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, the British provided large quantities of weapons to Arab forces: Jordan’s Arab Legion was armed, trained and led by British officers.
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The deportation of Budapest Jews was resumed on this date in 1944. During this time, 20,000 Budapest Jews were shot by the banks of the Danube by Hungarian forces. Another 70,000 Jews were forced on a death march to Austria, of which the majority were either shot or died of starvation and exposure. Raoul Wallenberg was involved in saving some of Hungary’s Jews. Out of 750,000 Jews that lived in Hungary before the war, only 30 percent survived.
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In 1938, Nazi leader Hermann Goering announced that in order to “solve the problem of the Jews,” the African island of Madagascar was being considered as a giant ghetto for 4 million European Jews. The plan was seriously considered by Hitler in May 1940, in his discussions with Mussolini and Nazi officials. Hitler’s idea was that the Jews would play the role of hostages, as a way to prevent the United States from entering the war. The Madagascar Plan was cancelled due to a British blockade. One year later, it was decided that the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” would mean extermination.
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In the year 1290, the last of the 16,000 Jews expelled by King Edward I left England. King Edward had banned usury and forced Jews over the age of seven to wear an identifying badge. Some Jews managed to remain in England by hiding their religious identity, but thousands were forced to leave. (Years earlier, King Henry III had forced Jews to pay half the value of their property in taxes, and ordered Jewish worship in synagogue to be held quietly so that Christians would not have to hear it.) Following the expulsion, Jews would not return to England for 350 years, when the policy was reversed by Oliver Cromwell in 1655.
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In 1917, the British government gave final approval for the Balfour Declaration, calling for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in historic Israel. The declaration took the form of a letter from Arthur Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, to Lord Rothschild, who had once been a member of the British Parliament. In 1922, the United States Congress formally endorsed the Balfour Declaration. In the ensuing decades, the British would slowly whittle away at their commitment — first lopping off 80 percent of the land east of the Jordan River to create the Kingdom of Transjordan (now Jordan), and then restricting Jewish immigration and rights to purchase land to the west of the Jordan River. The volatility of the situation ultimately forced the British to withdraw from the region in 1948.
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In 1973, a cease-fire resolution was passed by the U.N. Security Council to halt the Yom Kippur War. Shuttle diplomacy by Henry Kissinger compelled Israel and Egypt to accept the cease-fire. Fighting, however, would continue for another four days. In the war, Israel suffered the loss of 2,600 soldiers and 800 tanks. Four years later, Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat would visit Jerusalem and announce his readiness to forge a permanent peace deal.

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In 336 BCE, the prophets Ezra and Nechemia convened the Jewish community in Jerusalem. There, as recorded in the biblical Book of Nechemia (ch. 9), they recalled the major events of Jewish history, and pledged to uphold the ancient covenant.

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_In 134 CE, the great Talmudic sage, Rabbi Akiva, was taken captive by the Romans, and executed five days later in Caesarea, Israel.

Rabbi Akiva had been a 40-year-old shepherd who could not even read the Aleph-Bet. One day, he came across a stone that had been holed out by a constant drip of water. He concluded: If something as soft as water can carve a hole in solid rock, how much more so can Torah — which is fire — make an indelible impression on my heart.

Rabbi Akiva committed himself to Torah study, and went on to become the greatest sage of his generation, with 24,000 students learning under him at one time. The Roman authorities eventually arrested him for “illegally” teaching Torah.

As he was being tortured, Rabbi Akiva rejoiced in fulfilling the biblical command to “love God with all your life.”

As he died, Rabbi Akiva uttered the words of Shema Yisrael. His self-sacrifice for Torah continues to inspire Jews till today.

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Very Important read, please click the link for the whole article.

The Arabs in the Holy Land – Natives or Aliens?

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were practically no Arabs in the Holy Land. Historically, a “Palestinian” people never existed. The English name “Palestinian”, to describe the local Arab population, was invented AFTER the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. These Arabs do not even have a native name to describe themselves in their own Arabic language. The Arabs who now claim to be natives of the Holy Land have migrated to Palestine and invaded the land after 1917, from neighboring Arab countries. There is only one possible solution to the “Palestinians” desire for a homeland – let them return to where they came from – to where they lived earlier for hundreds or thousands of years – to their real homeland in their original Arab countries

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Aish
In 1849, the first synagogue was dedicated in Cape Town, South Africa, called Tikvat Israel — “Hope of Israel,” referring to the Cape of Good Hope. Originally, the Dutch East India Company’s rules required that all residents must be Christians. Only after freedom of religion was introduced in 1803 did Jewish settlers from England and Germany come in significant numbers to Cape Town. Around the turn of the 20th century, the development of diamond and gold mines attracted a large number of Jewish immigrants. South African Jewry enjoyed great prosperity, strongly represented in the commercial and professional sectors. The Jewish community was characterized by a deep attachment to traditional Jewish values and strong bonds with Israel. The Jewish population of South Africa reached a peak of 120,000 in the early 1970s, but with political turmoil and the dissolution of Apartheid, tens of thousands of Jews left to settle in Israel, Australia and the U.S. Tikvat Israel synagogue — South Africa’s first — is still standing today.

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Israel Can And Must Act In Her Own Best Interests.

by Ted Belman

Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – “Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.” Horace.
As I read Ettinger’s excellent piece, I was reminded of other historical facts having to do with limiting Jewish settlement, emigration or immigration. Even before the British Mandate, Britain was actively limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine. Stalin also prevented Jewish emigration. The Mandate didn’t change much. Britain continued to limit immigration and so so did Russia/USSR right up to its downfall. Remember the “Let my people go” campaign in the seventies.
Haj Amin el Husseini, the grand Mufti of Jerusalem and confidant of Hitler, led a full scale Arab revolt against the Jews between 1936 and 1939 causing much Jewish bloodshed. In response the Peel Commission was set up and recommended limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine. Just what the Arabs wanted. In fact, the Peel Commission even recommended the abolition of the Mandate and recommended two states. Ben Gurion fought hard to maintain Jewish immigration and even supported partition while most of the Zionist movement did not. To his chagrin, friends of Zionism in England including Churchill, Lloyd George persuaded the British Parliament to vote against partition.
In 1938, Ben Gurion commented on Chamberlain’s “Peace in our time” and said “They handed Czechoslovakia over. Why shouldn’t they do the same with us?”
Shortly thereafter Ben Gurion made his case to Malcolm MacDonald, the Colonial Secretary, who suggested, that the Arab and Muslim world could rise up and threaten the British Empire and therefore to prevent this, Britain had to make sure that the Jews in Palestine remained a minority. In other words Britain was against the creation of a Jewish state.
During the war, the world conspired to prevent Jews from escaping Europe to Palestine. Britain, even after the war, actively attempted to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. Remember the DP Camps in Cypress and Exodus.
It was due to Jewish resistance after the war that the British turned the matter over to the UN which ultimately voted for the partition that the British Parliament had turned down.. Ben Gurion preferred half a loaf to no loaf and so declared the State of Israel.
The Law of Return was quickly passed welcoming all “Jews” to come to Israel. All you needed to be eligible was one Jewish grandparent.
After the Six Day War in ’67 the World attempted to prevent Jewish settlement of Judea and Samaria even though Jews had the legal right to do so stemming from the British Mandate. Neither Res 242 nor the Oslo Accords made mention of restricting such settlement, so the international community tried to brand the settlements as illegal pursuant to the Geneva Convention. Many legal scholars beg to differ with this and argue convincingly that the Convention doesn’t make settlements illegal.
Prior to the Roadmap, in response to atrocities the Arabs committed with their suicide bombers, Senator Mitchell rewarded them by recommending a settlement freeze just like the Peel Commission did. This freeze was incorporated into the Roadmap which came into existence in 2003.
Another refrain that developed particularly after the Roadmap, was that no one, meaning Israel, should do anything, meaning settle the land, to prejudge the outcome. Of course the Arabs could do anything they wanted to prejudge the outcome and the US cooperated with them. A case in point is opening her Consulate in Jerusalem to serve the Arabs while at the same time refusing to open her Embassy in Jerusalem to serve the Israelis. The US also supports illegal Arab construction and condemns Jewish construction, legal or otherwise.
The demand in the Roadmap that Palestine be “viable” and “contiguous” also prejudges the outcome as does the demand that Jerusalem be divided.
And now Obama is demanding a settlement freeze. Fortunately he doesn’t have the support in the US or in Israel to bring it about.
As Ettinger points out, Israel can and must resist the pressure and act in her own best interests.
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In 1935, Nazi Germany passed the Nuremberg laws, a set of racist policies directed primarily against Jews. The Nazis blamed the Jews for poverty, unemployment, and the loss of World War I. Jews were banned from any professional jobs and Jewish stores were boycotted. Anyone with even one Jewish grandparent was stripped of German citizenship, with no basic rights. Within 10 years, the Nazi genocidal machine had swept through eastern Europe, leaving 6 million Jews murdered.
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In 1263, King James I of Aragon ordered a Church-sponsored censorship of Hebrew writings. This was an unfortunate theme throughout the Middle Ages: Twenty years earlier, Pope Gregory IX initiated the burning of Hebrew books, and persuaded French King Louis IX to burn some 10,000 copies of the Talmud (24 wagon loads) in Paris. In 1592, Pope Clement VIII condemned the Talmud and other Hebrew writings as “obscene,” “blasphemous” and “abominable” — and ordered them all to be seized and burned. Despite attempts to burn our books, however, the light of Jewish tradition shines brightly till today.
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In 1915, the Jewish Battalions of the British Royal Fusiliers was formed, consisting of Jewish volunteers from America, England, and Israel. Their goal was to join the efforts of the British Army in World War I to liberate Israel from Turkish rule. The idea was first proposed by Zev Jabotinsky, and by 1919, some 5,000 Jewish volunteers were participating in the battalions
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In 1946, the British government ordered all illegal immigrants bound for Palestine to be deported to camps on the island of Cyprus. According to the terms of the British White Paper of 1939, immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 Jews over a period of 10 years. Following the end of World War II, many Holocaust survivors had nowhere else to go, so they crammed onto old ships bound for the Holy Land. Some ships succeeded in slipping through the British naval blockade and unloading their human cargo on desolate beaches. Several ships sank in tragic circumstances. Other ships were apprehended and the passengers sent to British detention camps — complete with barbed wire, military towers and guards. The Exodus is the most famous immigrant ship from this era. Today, one of the ships, the Af-Al-Pi (“in spite of it all”), stands in a museum in Haifa.
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14 Av
In 1298, the Jews of Bischofsheim, Germany were massacred by Rindfleisch troops. Rindfleisch was a German knight who was unable to repay a loan to the Jewish community, so he concocted a slander and claimed to have received a mission from heaven to exterminate “the accursed race of the Jews.” Rindfleisch stirred up a mob, and his band of his Juden-schachters (Jew-slaughterers) marched through Austria and Germany, from city to city, pillaging, burning, and murdering Jews along the way (except those who accepted Christianity). Within six months, 100,000 Jews were murdered (many were burned at the stake) and 146 Jewish communities were decimated. Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Mordechai ben Hillel (1240-1298), author of the Mordechai commentary on Talmud, and his entire family were among those murdered. The Jews of Germany, having repeatedly rebuilt their communities after such attacks, lost heart, and many migrated to the Land of Israel (then under Islamic rule). Rabbi Asher Ben Yechiel, a great sage known as the Rosh, survived the Rindfleisch massacres and moved to Spain.
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In 1263, the famous Disputation began between Nachmanides
and a Jewish convert to Christianity, Pablo Christiani. King James of Spain had authorized the religious debate, to try to “prove” which religion is true. Nachmanides reluctantly agreed to take part, only after being assured by the king that he would have full freedom of expression. Nachmanides won the battle, but lost the war: His arguments earned the king’s respect (and a prize of 300 gold coins), but the Church ordered Nachmanides to be tried on charges of blasphemy, and he was forced to flee Spain. At age 72, Nachmanides moved to spend his final years in Jerusalem.
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West Bank   Jewish, Not Arab, Roots in Judea and Samaria
Area Always Known as “Judea and Samaria”
Ettinger negates Obama’s claim – enunciated during his June 4, 2009 speech at Cairo University – that “the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in” the Holocaust. For one thing, Ettinger notes, many world-renowned travelers, historians and archeologists of earlier centuries refer to “Judea and Samaria,” while the term “West Bank” was coined only 60 years ago. Jordan gave the region this name when it occupied it after Israel’s War of Independence. No nation on earth other than Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s claim to Judea and Samaria.
Arabs Came in the Last 150 Years
When speaking of “Palestinian national rights,” it must be similarly kept in mind, Ettinger notes, that most Arabs residing today in Israel – anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean – have their origin in a massive 19th-20th century migration from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and other Moslem countries
Among the travelers, historians and archeologists who referred to Judea and Samaria are H. B. Tristram (The Land of Israel, 1865); Mark Twain (Innocents Abroad, 1867); R.A. MacAlister and Masterman (“Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly”); A.P. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, 1887); E. Robinson and E. Smith (Biblical Researches in Palestine, 1841); C.W. Van de Velde (Peise durch Syrien und Paletsinea, 1861); and Felix Bovet (Voyage en Taire Sainte, 1864). Even the Encyclopedia Britannica, as well as official British and Ottoman records until 1950, used the term Judea and Samaria, and not the West Bank. FULL STORY ARUTZ SHEVA  CLICK
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In 1942, the Nazis ordered the deportation of all Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto held 400,000 people (30% of the entire population of Warsaw), crammed into a tiny area. In its three years of existence, thousands of Jews died of disease and starvation. Yet despite all, the Jews managed to continue religious and cultural activities in the ghetto. Then on the eve of Tisha B’Av, the saddest day of the Jewish year, the Nazis began the deportation of 265,000 Jews, lasting for a period of two months, to the Treblinka death camp. When the Nazis sought to liquidate the ghetto, Jewish resistance fighters took action, digging hundreds of bunkers under the houses, connected through the sewage system. In the spring of 1943, some 750 Jewish partisans began the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, killing approximately 300 Germans in one month of fighting
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In 1922, the League of Nations confirmed the British Mandate of Palestine, territory taken from the Ottoman Empire following World War I. The Mandate charged Britain with securing the establishment of the Jewish national home, and safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine.
Just a few months later, Britain decided to lop off 77% of the land and use it to establish the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan (today called Jordan).
In ensuing years, Jewish immigration to Palestine created much Arab resentment, and the British responded by placing strict limitations on Jewish immigration. This policy had lethal consequences for Jews fleeing Hitler’s ovens.
When the British continued to placate the Arabs, for example by restricting Jewish land purchases, a revolt was organized by Zionist groups. By 1948 this pressure had forced the British out of Palestine, clearing the way for an independent State of Israel.
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The significance of the Temple Mount began already at the time of creation.  In the Holy of Holies was the “Even Shetiah” (Foundation stone).  According to our sages, creation of the world began from that point.
Adam, was created from the earth of where the Courtyard Altar was to stand in the Holy Temple many years later.
It was at the site where the Holy Temple would be standing many years later, that Abraham was prepared to offer his beloved son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to G-d.  It was there that he passed the most difficult and final test, when G-d tested Abraham’s faith.
It was at the very same place where the Temple would eventually stand, that Jacob slept and had his famous dream of the ladder which extended from earth to heaven and upon which the angels went up and down.
When Jacob woke up he exclaimed, “This is the House of G-d and this is the gate to Heaven!
Indeed we pray three times a day facing Jerusalem, the Holy Temple Mount and the Holy of Holies – the gate of heaven through which all our prayers ascend to heaven
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Jewish property
(IsraelNN.com) The Israel Land Fund, a group dedicated to restoring Jewish property in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, is reportedly looking east. According to AFP, the organization plans to begin buying historically Jewish properties in Jordan as well.
Many Jews purchased land in what is now Jordan during the British Mandate, when such land was seen primarily as part of the greater Land of Israel. In 1946 Jordan declared independence as an Arab, Muslim country. Two years later, the state of Israel declared independence, and Jordan’s rulers confiscated Jewish-owned land in their own country for state use.
Israel Land Fund chairman Aryeh King told AFP that his organization has proof that thousands of properties in present-day Jordan were historically Jewish, adding, “We have records of the ownership.”
The plan is in its early stages, and no properties in Jordan have been bought to date. Purchasing would likely take place with the help of Jews in Europe, King said, as Israelis are prohibited from buying land in Jordan under Jordanian law.
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And at the end of the day, we find that we really need one another. Israel needs the political and economic support of American Jewry, and American Jewry increasingly needs the spiritual infusion of the Jewish state

1 Comment

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 John // Jul 17, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I would note, about the crucifiction account of Joshua ben Joseph. It is my belief that the children of Esau were “in charge” as history states and Rome in charge of them at the time. Not the children Jacob (Yisrael). Herod was an Edomite who killed as many who he thought was a threat to his kingdom. His son beheaded John the Baptist and he and his son killed many Jewish Rabbi’s and any other son of Jacob that he felt threatened by. Furthermore, we know how Rome has blasphemed Gd and Israel as a nation, her popes declaring thereselves to be representatives of GD. Therefore, they blamed the children of Jacob on the account of jealousy. Pilot was a Roman and it was by his authority this act was done and the authority of the children of Esau, because – Esau had broken his brothers yoke from off of his back as Isaac had foretold.

    The first physical evidence relating of Pilate was discovered in 1961, when a block of limestone was found in the Roman theatre at Caesarea Maritima, the capital of the province of Iudaea, bearing a damaged dedication by Pilate of a Tiberieum.

    So we know now, 2000 years later who killed Joshua ben Joseph just as we know that the children of Israel did not poison wells causing the black death, rather it was a Rat flee. One day, when all men realize this they will burn Rome to the ground and declare it never to be remembered again.

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