Friday, December 30, 2011

Protect People's honor and the Haridim in Israel on this last post of 2011 with Leonard Nimoy

Protect Peoples' Honor

The most important foundation of bible  living is to honor and respect the Creator of the universe. When you fulfill His commands, you are actively demonstrating honor for Him.

This is why Judaism considers humiliating another person a most serious crime. When you embarrass someone, you are doing much more than just causing pain. You are attacking his dignity. Recognizing the dignity of human beings is part and parcel of the honor and respect one owes to the Almighty.

When you understand this properly, your every encounter will be based on this inner respect. You will treat each human being with the respect of royalty. As Ben Azai says in the Talmud (Yerushalmi Nedorim 9:4): "'When G-d created man, He created him in His image' (Genesis 5:1) is the most important principle in the Torah."

Today, resolve that if you ever see someone trying to humiliate another person, you will speak up. You might say, "This person is special. Please be careful with his dignity."

With this in mind, you must ask yourself, how could the People called Haraidm (who are supposed to do more than the bible requires), be guilty of the outrageous crime of spittling on little girls and abusing woman's rights? The answer must be that they are not  following what G-d wants from us. To be a Jew and to wear a black hat does not make one a spiritual seeker as I define a Jew.  Like Shakespeare in his play the Merchant of Venice, who mistated Jewish Law and then had a Jew doing his misstatements--just because a human being, even a Rabbi in a black hat, tells you something, it ain't necessarily so!!!

Love Yehdua

7. Peres: We Cannot Generalize When it Comes to Hareidim
by Elad Benari Peres: We Cannot Generalize

President Shimon Peres called on Thursday to distinguish between the extreme hareidi-religious Jews who exclude women and those who hareidim who do not do so.

Peres made the comments during a visit to the home of Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi, Rav Yisrael Meir Lau, who is sitting shiva following the death of his brother, Rabbi Yehoshua Hager-Lau, who passed away last week in Jerusalem.

"We have to condemn those responsible for excluding women, but for the sake of justice we must at the same time also distinguish between those who are guilty and those who are not," Peres said.

"Whoever is at fault should be convicted, but we should not generalize to include those who are not guilty," he added. "It is insulting and offensive to generalize an entire population."

Rabbi Lau responded to the president by assuring him that the individuals who exclude women "are not individuals who are following the advice of any rabbi. Whoever spits in the face of a seven-year-old girl is not obeying the orders of a rabbi."

8. Haredi Extremists Riot in Beit Shemesh
by Gil Ronen Haredi Extremists Riot in Beit Shemesh

There was rioting in Beit Shemesh Thursday, as the tension between a group of extremist hareidi-religious Jews and less extreme streams continued. 

Several hundred hareidim hurled rocks at police forces and set garbage dumpsters on fire on Nehar HaYarden street, near the Orot Neria girls' school. A group of extremists has repeatedly attacked girls who walked to the school because they say they are too immodest.

The girls, whose families belong to the religious Zionist stream, went back to school Thursday.

Police dispersed the rioters and arrested three of them. Police forces remain in the area into the night.

Earlier in the evening, posters were put up throughout the city, announcing that the rally that was planned to take place in the hareidi area was postponed. Instead, a prayer rally would be held next week, for fortitude "against the decrees that the government is trying to apply to the hareidi public."

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Leonard Nimoy Describes His Jewish Roots

Leonard Nimoy

By Adelle M. Banks
c. 2011 Religion News Service

ROCKVILLE, Md. (RNS) The V-shaped hand sign that made actor Leonard Nimoy famous as Mr. Spock may have seemed to be from a planet far away. But the "Star Trek" star says he created it from childhood memories of his Jewish family.

"I reached back to my early years as a child when I was sitting in a synagogue in Boston with my family at the High Holidays," he said Wednesday (May 18) at B'nai Israel Congregation here.

Before the sold-out audience in suburban Washington, the 80-year-old actor re-enacted the blessing Jewish leaders recited at that Orthodox service. Prayer shawl over his head, he stuck out his hands in the shape of the sign he adapted for the TV show that ran for just three seasons in the 1960s but became an instant pop culture phenomenon.

As the show was in its second season in space, the final frontier, Nimoy told his director that natives on Spock's home planet of Vulcan should have a special greeting.

"Humans shake hands," Nimoy told him. "Asian people bow to each other. Military people salute each other. What do Vulcans do?"

When he saw the gesture as a child, he had made a point of learning how to do it himself.

"I didn't know if it would come in handy some day," he joked with his audience of 900 that included some diehard "Star Trek" fans.

Nimoy said he later learned that it was the shape of the letter shin in the Hebrew alphabet, the first letter of "shalom," or peace.

When it came time to film the gesture for the first time -- boldly going where no television show had gone before -- Nimoy's pointy-eared character had it a lot easier than the actress he greeted.

"She held her right hand in the shape with her left hand out of sight of the camera," he recalled. "When I raised mine, she was ready and she raised hers."

Nimoy said he could relate to the half human/half Vulcan Mr. Spock, who was treated as an outsider on board the USS Enterprise and on his home planet.

"I was the other in Boston," he said. "The Jews were a minority. ... I knew what it was like to be the other in that culture and therefore I could bring that quality to the Spock character."

Nimoy said he's often been asked if he thought there was Judaism in the sci-fi series.

"I think that 'Star Trek' consistently shows certain Jewish values," he said, including valuing education, upholding the dignity of the individual and social justice.

But he said the greatest Jewish value the show depicted was the idea of "tikkun olam," or healing the world.

"That's what the mission of the ship is," he said of the Enterprise. "To get up there and solve problems and make things better. ... Certainly that's a Jewish value."

Before his career took off, Nimoy got some advice from his father, who wasn't so sure his son's acting career would live long and prosper.

"He said, 'You should learn to play the accordion,"' Nimoy recalled of his dad, who worked as a barber. "You can play weddings, bar mitzvahs. ... I didn't take his advice."