On 18th anniversary of 9/11 Al-Qaeda Leader Calls on Muslims Worldwide to Attack US, and Israel Report: Terrorists Behind Jerusalem Pizza Bombing Received More than $910K and Israeli group searches for Arabs with Jewish ancestors and romantic trip toCzech Telc
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
Continuing the story of my two week spiritual journey, after Israel, I went to Czech and then Poland. In Czech, we went to the UNESCO town of Telc, still in the Eastern half of the country. It was an imporant water town with fish farming in the 1500's . It has a historic downtown and of course a Jewish section.
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Telc Czech Two of Two 082319
In the beautiful Historic town of Telc we enjoy the view, see the UNESCO, and bring some holiness to a friend's wedding
On 9/11 Al-Qaeda Leader Calls on Muslims Worldwide to Attack US and Israel
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri has called on Muslims around the world to attack American, European, Israeli and Russian targets in a speech on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11.
In regards to Israel, the terrorist leader encouraged his followers by saying, "After ensuring that his target is permissible in the light of the shari'a, that no harm should occur to Muslims as a result of his actions, and that the benefits of his actions outweigh the costs, all he needs to do is to put his trust in Allah and head for his target after leaving a message that the aim of his jihad operation is avenging the crimes in Palestine and all such Muslim lands."
"The interests of Israel and its American, British, French, Russian, and European allies are spread all over the world. So just as they conspire and join forces against us everywhere, we must chase them down everywhere at a time and place of our choosing," Al-Zawahiri added.
On September 11, 2001, four aircraft were hijacked by jihadists affiliated with Al-Qaeda. In addition to the two that hit the World Trade Center, a third hit the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.Zawahri became the leader of Al-Qaeda following the murder of Osama bin Laden in 2011 by the US Navy SEALS.
On the 18th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, Donald Trump vowed to intensify fighting against the Taliban, just days after he cancelled a meeting with the Taliban leaders to discuss ending American military operations in Afghanistan.
Did you know that trees not only have anniversaries, they have their own New Year
Tu B'Shevat (the 15th of the Hebrew month of Shevat) and the New Year for trees!
The 15th of Shevat is the New Year for trees. In the times of the Temple in Jerusalem, it was used for calculating the tithing year for the fruits of trees. The Talmud tells us that trees stop absorbing water from the ground and instead draw nourishment from their sap on this date. Calculating the age of the tree for Orlah (Lev. 19:23) -- where fruit is allowed to be eaten from trees that are at least four years old -- is from Rosh Hashana.
How do we celebrate Tu B'Shevat? We eat fruit -- especially the fruits for which the Torah praises the Land of Israel: "A land of wheat and barley and vines (grapes) and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey ... and you shall eat and be satisfied, and bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you" (Deut. 8:8-10). The Jewish people rejoice in the fruits, in the Land and in the Almighty Who has given us life.
Many people celebrate Tu B'Shevat in Israel by planting trees (but not on Shabbos). This is an old Jewish consciousness. The Talmud (Ta'anis 23b) tells the story of the great sage Choni HaMa'agel who came across a 70 year old man planting a carob tree. He asked the man if he thought he would live to benefit from the tree. The man replied that just as others have planted for us, we plant for those who will come after us
If you can't get to Israel, you can always purchase trees to be planted in Israel from the Jewish National Fund (Jnf.org or call 800-542-TREE). There are 5 million trees that need to be replaced after the Carmel Forest a few years ago. Just as others have planted for us, we plant for those who will come after us.
The Kabbalists in Safad created a Tu B'Shevat Seder (similar to the Passover Seder) to delve into the inner meaning of the day. There are explanations and meditations on the inner dimensions of fruits, along with blessings, songs and deep discussion. You can find it at http://www.aish.com/tubshvat
In our home we put out a whole fruit display -- especially those mentioned above for which the land of Israel is praised. It is a time of appreciation for what the Almighty has given us and which we might take for granted. Let your attitude be gratitude!
Man is compared to a tree (Deut. 20:19). In Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers found in the back of most Siddurim, It is written: "A person whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds is likened to a tree whose branches are numerous, but whose roots are few. The wind comes and uproots it and turns it upside down. But a person whose good deeds exceed his wisdom is likened to a tree whose branches are few but whose roots are numerous. Even if all the winds of the world were to come and blow against it, they could not budge it from its place" (Avot 3:22).
Like a tree, our roots are the source of nourishment for our life. A Jew's nourishment is the Torah -- the knowledge and the means for us to make a spiritual connection to the Almighty. The Maharal teaches that just like the tree grows branches, flowers and fruits to fulfill its purpose, a man must work to produce moral, intellectual and spiritual accomplishments to fulfill his purpose. These are the fruits of our existence!
Just as a tree needs soil, water, air and sunlight, so does a person need to be spiritually rooted and connected with a source of nourishment. Water to a tree, Torah wisdom for us -- as Moses proclaims: "May my teaching drop like the rain" (Deut. 32:2). Air for the tree, spirituality for us -- as the Torah states that "God breathed life into the form of Man (Genesis 2:7)." Sunlight for a tree, the warmth of friendship and community for a person
Report: Terrorists Behind Jerusalem Pizza Bombing Received More than $910K
The terrorists behind the suicide-bombing at a Sbarro pizzeria 11 years ago have received $910,823 from the Palestinian Authority, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report released on Thursday.
The bombing killed 15 people, including two Americans, and injured around 130 others.
The family of the suicide-bomber behind the Aug. 9, 2011, attack, Izz Al-Din Al-Masri, has been one of the recipients of P.A. rewards.
According to the report, Al-Masri's family has received $53,689 overall, while the bombmaker Abdullah Barghouti has collected $213,848.
Ahlam Tamimi, who planned the attack, has shown no remorse, saying she has "no regrets."
Tamimi had been awarded $51,836 until she was released from prison, as part of a 2011 prisoner exchange that included Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's release from Hamas captivity, when she then escaped to Jordan.
Tamimi is on America's "Most Wanted Terrorist" list, but the United States has been unable to secure her extradition as a 1995 extradition agreement was not ratified by Jordan's government.
The Palestinian Authority allots $7,321 monthly to the Sbarro terrorists and their families, per the report.
Foxes at Temple Mount: Prophetic Proof Jerusalem Returning to Glory
US State Department: Comparing Israel to the Nazis is Anti-Semitic By Arye Green / TPS
The US State Department has changed its definition of anti-Semitism, which now includes the drawing of comparisons between contemporary Israeli policy and that of the Nazis as an example of anti-Semitism.
The State Department has used a working definition, along with examples, of anti-Semitism since 2010. On May 26, 2016, the 31 member states of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), of which the United States is a member, adopted a non-legally binding "working definition" of anti-Semitism.
The definition adopted by the State Department included almost all of the examples set forth by the IHRA. It did, however, leave out the comparison of contemporary Israel to Nazi Germany.
The edition of the comparison between Israel and Nazi Germany to the definition of anti-Semitism in the US was finally made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism, Elan Carr.
Philanthropist Adam Milstein tweeted about the change congratulating Pompeo and Carr for the move. "It's more clear now, the BDS Movement is disgustingly Antisemitic," wrote Milstein.
The comparison of Israeli policy, as well as Israeli society to the Nazi regime, is common in anti-Semitic rhetoric. Rajoub, Secretary of Fatah's Central Committee, has recently said that "Auschwitz is here, in every city in Palestine."
Likewise, similar comparisons have been made in the past by some Israeli officials. Yair Golan said in a speech in 2016 at the annual Holocaust Remembrance ceremony at Yad Vashem that "there are indications in Israeli society of horrific developments similar to those that took place in Europe before the rise of Nazi Germany."
Golan, who was Deputy Chief of Staff at the time, has since joint Israeli politics and is now second on the list of the Democratic Israel party.
Vehi She'amda Yossi Azulay והיא שעמדה. יוסי אזולאי
83 Groups: California New High School Curriculum Anti-Semitic and Anti-Israel
An Israeli online campaign in Arabic has been a surprising success. The campaign, which was launched just before the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which started on June 8, encourages Muslims with Jewish roots according to Jewish law to return to Judaism. This unusual and unprecedented effort was launched by the group Yad L'Achim, which describes itself as doing everything so that "we do not give up even on a single Jew." The organization fights against "missionary activities," loss of identity and assimilation of Jews, seeking instead instilling Jewish values.
According to Jewish law, a person's identity as a Jew is passed on through matrilineal descent. This means that if the mother or the maternal grandmother are Jewish, so are the children and grandchildren. The organization is now attempting to reach Muslims who are Jewish according to the principles of Jewish law, so that they can be led back to the Jewish people. The campaign has made waves across social media, with Muslims from countries like Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen approaching the organization in response.
The star of the campaign is Ziv Yehezkel, an Israeli liturgical performer who speaks fluent Arabic. Yehezkel is active in revitalizing classical Arabic music — such as that performed by Umm Kulthum, Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim — and serves as a soloist of the Arab Orchestra of Nazareth. He appeared as a soloist in tributes to Umm Kulthum, and his performances are popular among Israel's Arab sector, in the Palestinian Authority and Arabs around the world.
"Anyone whose mother or grandmother is Jewish, is a Jew as well," Yehezkel tells viewers in his videos. "The Jewish people want you back and welcome you with open arms. … This is an opportunity for anyone born of a Jewish mother to say to himself, 'I want to renew my bond with the Creator.' If you are the child of a Jewish mother, it's time for you to start your life anew."
Rabbi Shmuel Lifshitz, a leader of the Yad L'Achim organization, told Al-Monitor that under no circumstances is the group attempting to convert Muslims. "Judaism opposes proselytizing, and our organization is in no way involved in conversions. We do not want any Muslim to change his religion. On the contrary, we oppose that. Our activity is directed exclusively at people who are Jewish according to Jewish law and who are interested in their Jewish roots."
Lifshitz also emphasized that the organization's goal is not necessarily to encourage these people to immigrate to Israel. "We are not a Zionist organization and encouraging immigration to Israel is not one of our objectives. It is only natural that a Jew living in an Arab state will feel safer among people who share the same religion, but we will help those people regardless of whether they choose to relocate to Israel or the United States."
According to the organization, quite a few people approached them in response to Yehezkel's video. "To date we have been contacted over one thousand times by people from across the Muslim world, as well as from Israel and the Palestinian Authority," said Lifshitz. "Each message we receive is investigated in depth to confirm that the person really does have Jewish roots. As of now, some 30% of these messages is in an advanced stage of investigation to uncover Jewish roots. We have also been contacted by many people who are unable to prove a connection to Judaism. In those cases we do not continue to investigate."
Yad L'Achim never expected to receive so many responses. It will soon be posting another video, in which Yehezkel will talk about the Jewish Sabbath. The decision to use the well-known performer is based on his fluency in Arabic and his familiarity with the Arab world. "I have a very supportive audience in quite a few Arab states," he noted. "These include Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Dubai and Kuwait. I have been invited to perform in all of them. I also receive lots of private messages from wonderful people across the Arab world, including Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Yemen. I have even received messages from the Gaza Strip."
Yehezkel is excited to make more video clips. "Social networks have sparked a revolution; it is now possible to reach anyone. They are a powerful tool," he said. "The fact that I sing in Arabic helps to reduce anti-Semitism, because there is nothing like music to reduce the level of hatred. The fact that I am now reaching Jews who live in Arab states is more exciting than anything to me."
One of the people who contacted Yad L'Achim is Nabil, 42, from Amman. Nabil, who asked for his last name not to be divulged, told Al-Monitor that he has always known about his Jewish roots. "Yad L'Achim's page popped up in my Facebook feed, so I looked at it," he wrote the organization. "I watched the video and became curious. My mother is Jewish and my grandmother is Jewish too, of Iraqi heritage. I didn't know that I was Jewish, because in Islam religion is passed on through the father. The moment I found out that according to the Jewish religion I am also Jewish, I wanted to find out more. My only problem is that I am not in touch with my mother. It would be very interesting to speak to her, especially now."
"Judaism was the first monotheistic religion in the world," said Nabil. "As a Muslim I have never been religious, but now I am intrigued by the Jewish religion and I want to proceed. I have watched all sorts of YouTube videos about Judaism and the Bible, and I feel a connection."
He also admitted that he hides his Jewish identity from his surroundings, "If they find out that I am Jewish, I would have a big problem. The community I live in here in Jordan is very anti-Semitic, so I hide it."
He noted that until he contacted Yad L'Achim he had never spoken to any Jews or Israelis. "I saw a group of Israelis in Amman once, but I never spoke to them. I felt a kind of distance from them. Now I feel very different. This is really shaking up my life. I can't stop thinking about my complicated identity."
Lifshitz is convinced that the next video will result in another, even bigger wave of interest in Judaism across the Muslim world. "Jews and Arabs have lived together for hundreds of years. There is no doubt that there are lots of Jews among the Muslim population, but also that the more time passes, the harder it will be to reach them. We believe that potentially, there are thousands of people like that and more."
Mordechai Goldman has served for the past few years as the diplomatic and military analyst of the ultra-Orthodox daily Hamevaser. He attended ultra-Orthodox rabbinical colleges and studied psychology at the Israeli Open University. He also participated in the national civil service program. Goldman lectures to ultra-Orthodox audiences on the diplomatic process and on the Israel Defense Forces and consults with companies in regard to the ultra-Orthodox sector.