Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Let’s do the time warp: Stunning pix of Jerusalem from over 100 years ago

Many of us are disappointed in ourselves for not having "healed" yet, as evidence by the fact that we are not as confident, calm and cheerful as we would like to be.

We tried so hard, went to so many therapists and tried so many tactics, from Bach flowers to Yoga, and we are still not "there" yet. No matter hard we push to get to the finish line, the line always seems to move further away, leaving us feeling like failures, wondering what we're doing wrong and why our traumas have not been erased or why negative patterns still emerge in our relationships.

The truth is that there is no finish line, no "there" that we have to get to. We heal to the extent that we love and accept ourselves as we are right now. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to get out of the race and embrace who we are at this moment.

Love Yehuda Lave

Coney Island Boardwalk Designated as National Landmark

Mayor Bill Di Blasio and NYC Park's Commissioner Mitchel Silver unveil plaque on the Coney Island (Riegelmann) boardwalk; designating it as a national landmark.

'There is no future for Orthodox Jews in the UK'

Hasidic leader in London says government demands that Jewish schools teach about gay marriage will force Orthodox Jews to leave Britain.

Contact Editor
David Rosenberg, 01/06/18

Demands by the British government that Orthodox Jewish schools in the United Kingdom conform with educational requirements, including the teaching about same-sex marriage, pose an existential threat to the observant Jewish community in Britain, a senior haredi leader warned.

In recent years, Britain's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services, and Schools (Ofsted) has demanded that Jewish religious schools include instruction on same-sex marriage and "sexual orientation" issues.

Ofsted has threatened the closure of schools which are not in compliance of the 2010 "Equality Act", which requires schools to teach "about protected characteristics" including sexual orientation and "gender re-assignment".

Anti-religious organizations like "Humanists UK" have joined the campaign against Orthodox Jewish schools, filing protests with Ofsted against institutions for removing references to homosexuality and abortion in state-issued textbooks.

The efforts to compel Jewish schools to teach about subjects fundamentally against their core values are tantamount to an "eviction notice" for members of the Orthodox community, Rabbi Aaron Klein warned in a piece in Hamodia.

Rabbi Klein, the director of the Belz Hassidic community's educational institutions in London, urged local Jews to protest government plans to take action against schools which do not comply with Ofsted's guidelines regarding the Equality Act.

"If we do not speak up and the draft is not amended to accommodate our needs, then there is no future for the Orthodox community in modern Britain and the document effectively acts as an eviction notice to our community," wrote Rabbi Klein.

According to a report by The JC, the UK's Education Department is expected to strengthen regulations regarding mandatory education on same-sex relationships and gender re-assignment.

If adopted, the new requirements could mean that "a school that does not teach a syllabus that includes totally alien, atheistic values could be summarily closed," Rabbi Klein continued.

"Ironically, the proposed standards attempt to promote tolerance and respect for some elements of society, while being completely intolerant and disrespectful of our community and our religious principles."

Czech FM says Hamas solely responsible for death of Palestinians on Gaza border

The Czech Republic's top diplomat defended Israel and said no country in the world would accept ongoing attempt to infiltrate its borders.
May 24, 2018, Omri Ariel
image descriptionMartin Stropnický Photo credit: Aaron Hostutler, Wikimedia Commons

Czech Foreign Minister Martin Stropnický said on Thursday that Hamas is solely responsible for the death of Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza border – a rare expression of support for Israel from a top European official.

In a statement published on Thursday, Stropnický said Hamas is "the only true ruler of the Gaza Strip" and therefore "is fully responsible for the violent incidents that occurred on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip over the past weeks."

"Hamas is labeled as a terrorist organization by the European Union and does not recognize the State of Israel," Stropnický added. "Its attempts to cross the border into Israel's territory can be viewed as terrorism. No country would tolerate such acts of provocation."

Stropnický added that he sees no connection between the violent riots on the border and the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "The conflict in the Middle East has existed for many years and Hamas was using this event," he said.

"Hamas doesn't care about the citizens of the Strip or improving their living conditions," he concluded. "Its main focus is getting as much attention as possible from the international community and influencing its opinion."

The king of Egypt died, and the Israelites sighed in their enslavement, and they wailed (Exodus 2:23).

One commentary explains that the enslaved Israelites had feared to sigh or cry, because their ruthless taskmasters would punish them for "complaining." When the king of Egypt died, the entire country was in mourning, and the Israelites exploited this opportunity to cry, since at that point, crying was socially acceptable as a sign of mourning the death of the king.

There is a Yiddish idiom: "to look for a badekens." A badekens is that part of the marriage ceremony where the parents cover the bride's face with a veil and give her their blessing. A highly emotional moment, it generally brings all present to cry. Therefore, if people are reluctant to cry for fear of revealing their emotional pain, they will "look for a badekens"; i.e. find an opportunity where crying is the norm, so that their crying will not indicate any personal pain.

Why should we need any subterfuge? What is wrong with showing our emotions? Why is crying equated with character weakness? Why should brave people not cry when they feel hurt? Where is the benefit in being an unemotional stone? We may read an account of a person who "cried unashamedly." Why should there be any shame in crying?

Our ancestors in Egypt suppressed their emotions because they feared their oppressors' retaliation. Whom do we fear when we suppress our emotions? Perhaps only our friends and peers, who are also suppressing their emotions because they fear what we will think of them. How foolish!

Today I shall ...
feel free to express my emotions and not restrain myself for invalid reasons.

Let's do the time warp: Stunning pix of Jerusalem from over 100 years ago
In honor of Jerusalem Day, the City of David Archive presents a selection of photos taken in the capital of the Jewish world well before the foundation of the state

  • Breach in the Old City wall, near Jaffa Gate, ca. 1898-1916. (American Colony)
    Breach in the Old City wall, near Jaffa Gate, ca. 1898-1916. (American Colony)
  • A Jewish pedestrian in the Old City, ca. 1934-1939. (Matson)
    A Jewish pedestrian in the Old City, ca. 1934-1939. (Matson)
  • Exact location unknown, men walking towards the Old City, Turkish flag visible in gate. (Unknown)
    Exact location unknown, men walking towards the Old City, Turkish flag visible in gate. (Unknown)Merchants outside the Damascus Gate, ca. 1898-1919. (American Colony)

  • Merchants outside the Damascus Gate, ca. 1898-1919. (American Colony)
  • Men and women pray side by side at the Western Wall, ca. 1898-1946. (American Colony)
    Men and women pray side by side at the Western Wall, ca. 1898-1946. (American Colony)
  • A short distance outside the Old City, ca. 1900-1920. (American Colony)
    A short distance outside the Old City, ca. 1900-1920. (American Colony)
  • British soldiers at the Western Wall, 1921. (American Colony)
    British soldiers at the Western Wall, 1921. (American Colony)

Long the object of conquests, the city of Jerusalem has changed hands innumerable times since King David established it as the United Kingdom's capital 3,000 years ago.

When the modern State of Israel declared independence in 1948, Jordanian forces captured East Jerusalem and the Old City, cutting the capital in half and forcing some Jewish residents to flee.


Nearly 20 years later, on the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar, 5727, or June 7, 1967, Israel successfully beat back the Jordanian army in response to heavy shelling of civilian areas. The Israel Defense Forces entered the Old City and East Jerusalem, ending the city's division and unifying the capital once again.


Israel officially annexed the captured parts of the city in 1980, a move that wasn't fully recognized internationally, and which is still the subject of controversy today.But with rare exceptions, the City of Peace mostly lives up to its name. Residents of all of Jerusalem's diverse neighborhoods work, shop, and play side by side as people go about their day-to-day lives.

As such, the anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, or Jerusalem Day, is cause for celebration among Israelis, with parades, concerts, and other events held annually.

In honor of Jerusalem Day this year, the City of David Archive has released a new selection of photos taken in Jerusalem over the last 150 years. Here are some of our favorites.

Breach in the Old City wall, near Jaffa Gate, ca. 1898-1916. (American Colony)

This view of the breach in the Old City wall near the Jaffa Gate can still be seen today — though now, it is bustling with car and motorcycle traffic instead of horses and carriages.

British soldiers at the Western Wall, 1921. (American Colony)

Every once in a while, the usually mild-weathered Jerusalem gets some snowfall. This photo of two British soldiers shows the aftermath of what must have been quite a blizzard in 1921, with snow coming up to their knees as they stand in front of the Western Wall.

Men and women pray side by side at the Western Wall, ca. 1898-1946. (American Colony)

Today, the issue of men and women praying together at the Western Wall has become a contentious one. In this pre-state photo, women and men pray side by side without the traditional mechitzah, or gender separation barrier, that many Orthodox synagogues have.

A southern view of the Temple Mount, 1931. (Library of Congress)

This southern view of the Temple Mount, taken in 1931, includes a wide swath of cityscape. Taken nearly 90 years ago, it is a far cry from the much more crowded urban landscape today, with wide-laned highways and towering buildings.

Interior of the Old City's Hurva synagogue, ca. 1934-1939. (Matson)

Originally built in the 1700s, the beautiful Hurva synagogue was destroyed twice — once in 1721, and again in the 1948 War of Independence, not long after this photo was taken. Today, the Hurva has been rebuilt again, and visitors come to pray and take photos of its ornate interior.

British soldiers in the Old City, April 8, 1920. (American Colony)

These British soldiers are enjoying some down time and a lovely April sun in the Old City, in this photo taken in 1920.

Old City alleyways, ca. 1900-1920. (American Colony)

Even today, riding a donkey might be the easiest mode of transportation when navigating the narrow alleyways of the Old City. Of course, very few Old City residents own donkeys — but it's not unusual to see the occasional golf cart.

Merchants outside the Damascus Gate, ca. 1898-1919. (American Colony)

This photo was taken around 100 years ago outside the Old City's Damascus Gate. Then, as now, merchants would gather outside the gate to hawk their wares because of the heavy foot traffic.

A Jewish pedestrian in the Old City, ca. 1934-1939. (Matson)

A Jewish resident of the Old City walks down the stairs in a photo taken between 1934 and 1939. He is wearing the long frock of the Jerusalem Hasidim with its distinctive stripes, and carries a traditional prayer shawl.

Exact location unknown, men walking towards the Old City, Turkish flag visible in gate. (Unknown)

In this unknown photo, two Muslim men can be seen walking towards an Old City gate. An Orthodox priest can be seen walking toward them, and there is Hebrew signage in the background, along with a Turkish crescent and star visible in the doorway.

See you tomorrow.
Love Yehuda Lave
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