Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal, the 29-year-old victim of Monday's fatal stabbing by a terrorist in Ariel, taught eighth grade at the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva Givat Shmuel in addition to teaching for years at the Har Bracha yeshiva.
Miriam, his wife of eight years, also teaches. Their children range in age between one and seven years.
JANUARY 31, 2018 17:08 The actor portraying Jesus promised "the biggest film in history."2 minute read.
Fifteen years after his film The Passion of the Christ stirred up controversy and raked in millions after the box office, Mel Gibson is set to do it again.
While Gibson has long said he was planning to make a sequel to the blockbuster 2004 film, on Tuesday, industry figures confirmed the movie was in the works.
Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus in the original film, told USA Today on Tuesday that he will be reprising his role in the second film. But he was tight lipped about any of the details.
"There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience," he said. "It's great. Stay tuned."
Caviezel, who since his turn in the original bloody tale has appeared in a handful of films and starred in a CBS science fiction drama, touted the upcoming film as groundbreaking.
"I won't tell you how he's going to go about it," Caviezel told USA Today. "But I'll tell you this much, the film he's going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It's that good."
Few other details about the film are currently known. In a November 2016 appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Gibson told the host he had begun work on it.
"It's probably about three years off, because it's a big subject," Gibson said, confirming that the film would be called The Resurrection and would deal, with, well, the resurrection of Jesus.
"It's an amazing event and to underpin that with the things that are around it is really the story," he said of the plot. "To sort of enlighten what that means, and it's not just about the event, it's not some kind of chronological telling of just that event."
Gibson, both before and after the film, has had a rocky relationship with the Jewish community. In 2006, he was arrested for drunk driving, and a leaked copy of the record revealed his antisemitic rantings that the Jews were responsible for all the wars in the world.
In 2011 he plead no contest to battery charges against an ex-girlfriend. In a later interview with Diane Sawyer to apologize for his much-publicized rant, he blamed the fact that it was "just that very day that Lebanon and Israel were at it," and that the Jews are "not blameless in the conflict."
Many in the Jewish community saw his behavior as vindication for the troubling themes and motives they felt from The Passion of the Christ.
At the time, the Anti-Defamation League came out strongly against the film, saying that "productions such as The Passion could likely falsify history and fuel the animus of those who hate Jews."
And many figures greeted Tuesday's news with similar disdain.
Jewish actor Josh Malina shared a link to news about the film on Twitter, writing: "Should we welcome a second helping of Jew-hate from this rancid, racist, misogynistic, antisemite?"
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton also shared the news, adding "Antisemite, racist and woman-beater Mel Gibson is going to make another movie about Jesus. #Hollywood."
MAJORITY OF KNESSET BACKS BILL ACCUSING POLAND OF HOLOCAUST DENIAL
BY LAHAV HARKOV JANUARY 31, 2018 16:49 "The historic truth of the Jewish People is not for sale," MK Shmuly says; Nazi hunter Zuroff: Post-communist countries have a Holocaust distortion problem.3 minute read.
The bill, formulated by MKs from the coalition and the opposition – Itzik Shmuly (Zionist Union), Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Nurit Koren (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) – seeks to amend the Law for Defense Against Holocaust Denial to state that denying or minimizing the involvement of the Nazi's helpers and collaborators will also be a crime.
In addition, the amended law would provide legal aid to any Holocaust survivors and educators taking students to death camps who face foreign lawsuits because they recounted what happened in the Holocaust.
The 1986 Law for Defense Against Holocaust Denial states that anyone who publishes denial and minimization of the Holocaust or other crimes against the Jewish people can get five years of jail time.
The Polish Senate was expected Wednesday to approve a bill that would make using the phrase "Polish death camps" or saying the Polish people were in any way culpable for the Nazis' crimes against humanity an offense that carries a three-year prison sentence. The vote was set to take place even though the Polish and Israeli governments plan to negotiate a version of the bill that would be agreeable to both sides.
Shmuly said: "The Poles, and others who may want to copy them, should know that the historical truth of the Jewish people is not for sale."
"Many Poles, and many others, heard, knew about and helped the Nazi extermination machine," Shmuly added. "The Polish attempt to rewrite history and to shut Holocaust survivors' mouths is audacious, shocking and despicable. We will not allow the collaborators to hide behind the Nazis and deny their historic responsibility."
Lapid said the Polish attempt to avoid responsibility "only emphasizes the need to take action against these voices. We must use all the means we have, including the Knesset, against Holocaust denial.
"We won't let anyone forget the Nazis or those who cooperated with them. That is our responsibility to the memory of the millions killed.
The world must know the Jews are not afraid and are not willing to be silent anymore, and are not afraid anymore," Lapid said.
Ilatov said that the number of living Holocaust survivors is dwindling, and therefore, "Israel has the moral responsibility to commemorate their bravery and promise that no one will try to hide, whitewash or cover up those who tell the stories of the horrible crimes and the shocking testimony about the crimes committed against the Jewish people. We won't let anyone rewrite history."
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Nazi-hunter and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office, said that "Holocaust distortion" has been a problem for over 25 years, and until now Israel has done little to combat it.
Eastern European countries, Zuroff said, "have invested in trying to convince the world the Holocaust was only the work of Germany and maybe a few degenerates.
"Since the Soviet Union crumbled, people have been trying to say communism is the same as Nazism... They want communism to be considered genocide and [some countries] criminalized denying it. And then, if communism is genocide, and there were Jewish communists, then Jews committed genocide. This is their way of undermining the Shoah and their participation in it," Zuroff explained.
The issue of Holocaust distortion exists "in practically every country in post-communist Eastern Europe," he said. "Their new heroes are people who fought communists, some of whom killed Jews in the Shoah.
They name streets and schools after them."
Still, Zuroff said he did not think that legislation is the right way for Israel to deal with the problem. Rather, Israel should use its influence in post-Soviet countries, many of which have defense ties with Israel, to convince the governments that "their behavior is unacceptable."
"They love Israel, but hate the Jews," Zuroff said.
OU Draws Red Line Regarding Female Rabbis, Demands Member Synagogues' Compliance
By Elizabeth Kratz
The Orthodox Union (OU), after a year of discussions with various stakeholders and in the face of some opposition, has established parameters for a three-year period during which the umbrella body for American Orthodox congregations will work to bring its member synagogues who employ female clergy into compliance with OU standards, which stipulate that a woman cannot serve as a rabbi.
According to a new statement issued by the OU, women can (and already do) work in OU member synagogues in other roles, including as high-level Torah teachers, scholars, yoatzot (family purity advisers), social workers and pastoral counselors; those roles have been expressly delineated in previous OU statements.
While the ordination of female rabbis is accepted by Reform and Conservative Judaism and is not a controversial issue in those movements, the debate on women clergy has long been the source of heated disagreements within the Orthodox community.
Last year, an OU rabbinic panel released a 17-page report on women serving as clergy in member synagogues. The panel concluded that it is not permissible under Jewish law for women to serve as rabbis, and that OU member synagogues should continue to not employ women in that position. But in a departure from previous statements, it defined a range of leadership roles that are acceptable for women in synagogue and community life, with the caveat that those positions must be acceptable to the rabbis working inside each specific community.
In the intervening time, the OU, at the rabbinic panel's suggestion, has established a department of women's initiatives and hired Dr. Adina Shmidman, rebbetzin (rabbi's wife) of the Lower Merion Shul in the Philadelphia suburbs, as its director. The department's areas of focus include defining women's leadership roles, developing lay leadership and training opportunities, initiating learning groups, promoting and providing opportunities for female scholars to serve as speakers and scholars-in-residence, creating events for young women for Torah and secular learning opportunities, wellness, developing ways for capturing community feedback, and understanding and optimizing synagogue usability.
In the case of four OU member synagogues who employ women in rabbinic capacities—Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in the Bronx, N.Y.; Beth Shalom in Potomac, Md.; B'nai David-Judea in Los Angeles; and Ohev Sholom in Washington, D.C.—the OU explicitly stated it would make no move to eject synagogues or individuals from its network, though all the women in question have received rabbinic degrees from Yeshivat Maharat, Rabbi Avi Weiss's rabbinic degree-granting seminary for women, which grants a rabbinic degree that is often at odds with the standards of other OU communal and partner institutions.
Allen Fagin, executive vice president of the OU, said the emphasis of the new parameters "is not on this handful of OU shuls [who employ women as clergy], we are talking about less than 1 percent of our shuls. We have said definitively that if you want to be an OU member shul you have to be in compliance with OU rules. There is a narrow exception for a handful of shuls that currently employ female clergy and did so prior to the enunciation of our policy a year ago."
"With respect to those shuls, we are making clear that the responses of the rabbinic panel are our standards," he said. "We want to put a process in place to work with those shuls, in the hopes that they will modify their practices so that they will come into compliance with the responses of the rabbinic panel. That will take time; we will work with them for a three-year period. Our fervent hope is that they will come into conformity."
The OU said in its new statement on the issue, "Each of the four shuls has had female clergy in their employ for a considerable period of time—and certainly well before the issuance of the rabbinic responses and the OU statement. Moreover, we are taught that communal unity and darchei shalom (ways of peace) are significant core Jewish values that must be weighed, advanced and nurtured; in this regard, we were guided by the views expressed by our rabbinic panel…we will not take action with respect to these congregations based on their existing arrangements in the employment of female clergy. This determination is not—and should not be viewed—as an endorsement of such arrangements. To the contrary, we will continue to urge these synagogues to modify their practices out of respect for the guidelines we have adopted."
The synagogue umbrella organization added, "Our dialogue with these congregations will continue, and we will share with them the alternative approaches we have identified (and will, in the future, continue to identify) to maximize the participation of women within the ranks of synagogue professionals in a manner consistent with the responses of our rabbinic panel."
Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, leader of Washington's Ohev Sholom, one of the four OU congregations employing female clergy, said he believes the OU "does not get to define what is Orthodox" and called the organization's latest statement "horrible."
"These men in the leadership of the OU don't want to give proper credit and respect to women. When they came to our office, and spoke to the maharats (the designation for women granted by Weiss) and asked them to change their title. The chutzpah. I feel that there is very weak leadership at the helm of this organization," said Herzfeld.
Regarding his hope for what would happen at the conclusion of the OU's newly established three-year period for member synagogues with female clergy, Herzfeld said, "They said that they will reevaluate in three years. I pray that in these three years, the OU will be reevaluated, that there will be new leadership that will not be so narrow-minded and shortsighted, and that they can grow and be a more open and inclusive organization."
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, leader of Congregation B'nai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J., said that it was important for the OU to note that there are synagogue-based roles that can be performed by women and that "the Jewish people lose when we cannot in a formal way access the talents and brains of half our population. But since women cannot, according to halacha (Jewish law), fulfill many important functions of the rabbinate, the ascription of that title and those roles to women serve ultimately to diminish the very essence of the rabbinate."
"The survival of the mesorah (oral tradition) requires that past and future merge in the present," added Pruzansky. "That is why radical changes are always spurned. It is why the infiltration of modern cultural norms into a Torah environment is so harmful and those norms are naturally rejected. A Judaism that is unrecognizable to the 'remnant of the scribes' is not authentic. We are at an inflection point with this new movement and I hope they (advocates for female clergy) take this guidance to heart."
Elizabeth Kratz is the associate publisher and editor of The Jewish Link of New Jersey and The Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut.
One day, a boy was walking down a road when a frog called to him, "Boy, if you kiss me, I will turn into a beautiful princess."
The boy picked up the frog, smiled at it, then placed the frog into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, "Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, and I will stay with you for a week.
"The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled at it, then put it back into his pocket. A few minutes later, the frog said, "Boy, if you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess,
I will do ANYTHING you want!"
The boy took the frog from his pocket, smiled, and put it back. Finally, the frog cried, "Boy, what is the matter, I have told you that I am a beautiful princess, and if you kiss me, I will stay with you and do ANYTHING you want!"
The boy took the frog from his pocket and said, "Look, I am an engineering student, I have no time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool!"
The abuse of four letter words
A young couple got married and went on a cruise for their honeymoon. When they got back home the bride immediately called her mom, who lived three hours away.
"Well, darling," said her Mom, "How was your honeymoon?"
"It was wonderful, and so romantic. We had a great time," said the bride, but as soon as we got home he started using really horrible language. Words I have never heard before. Really horrible four-letter words! You've got to come get me…PLEASE."
Then the bride began to sob over the phone. "PLEASE, mom come get me!" begged the bride.
"But honey what did he say, what 4-letter words, you have to tell me what's troubling you," said her mom. Still sobbing the bride said to her mother… "Words like…. DUST, IRON, COOK, WASH!"
Some senior citizens are being criticized for the present deficiencies of our modern world; real or imaginary, present or past, foreign or domestic.
We take responsibility for all our actions and omissions; we do not try to blame others for our past imperfections, ignorance or failures.
Our generation saved the World from Fascism, and Racism, while we raised the Standard of Living, Health Care, and Life Expectancy.
HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT senior citizens who took:
The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,
And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tole rance from personal relationships, and interactions with others on a face to face basis!!
And, we DO understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.
YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN !
(I cannot attest to the accuracy of the following information. However, it appears to be about as accurate as reports from the major media. KEW--and even if not it is funny--just a joke folks) The year was 1947. Some of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, 70 years ago, numerous witnesses claim that an Unidentified Flying Object, (UFO), with five aliens aboard, crashed onto a sheep and mule ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico.
This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered-up by the U.S. Air Force, as well as other Federal Agencies and Organizations.
However, what you may NOT know is that during the month of April, year 1948, nine months after the historic day, the following people were born:
Barrack Obama, Sr. Albert A. Gore, Jr. Hillary Rodham William J. Clinton John F. Kerry Howard Dean Nancy Pelosi Dianne Feinstein Charles E. Schumer Barbara Boxer Joe Biden
This is the obvious consequence of aliens breeding with sheep and jack-asses.
I truly hope this bit of information clears up a lot of things for you. It certainly did for me.
And now you can stop wondering why they so strongly support Illegal Aliens