Vibrant Jewish communities were reborn in Europe after the Holocaust. Is there a future for them in the 21st century?
Find out here.
Vibrant Jewish communities were reborn in Europe after the Holocaust. Is there a future for them in the 21st century?
Find out here.
Six women who were guards at the Auschwitz death camp are being investigated on suspicion of complicity in mass murder, German authorities confirmed on Friday.
The women are among 50 former Auschwitz guards still living in Germany whose cases are being examined by the country’s Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes.
Thomas Will, an investigator at the Central Office, confirmed that the women were under investigation for allegedly aiding and abetting murder. The women are now in their 90s, Mr Will said. The female guards were assigned to women’s barracks.
Earlier this year, German authorities launched a fresh attempt to bring surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice, which has so far resulted in the arrest of alleged Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschis, 93…
The Central Office has declined to name any of the suspects it is currently investigating. At least one former female concentration camp guard has been publicly identified. In 2006, Elfriede Lina Rinkel was deported from the US to Germany after investigators discovered she had worked as a guard at Ravensbrück, a slave labour camp for women.
Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre appealed for the German public’s help in finding surviving overseers of the death camps and members of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile death squads responsible for mass murders of Jews and others.
The Nazi-hunters launched a poster campaign in four German cities featuring an image of the entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, an appeal for information and the offer of a 25,000 euro reward.
For the first time, there are more Jews living in Israel than in America, making the Jewish state the home of the largest Jewish population in the world. There are 6 million Jews in Israel and 5.5 million in America, 2 million of whom live in New York. Roughly 500,000 Jews live in France and almost 300,000 live in the United Kingdom.
Among the 8 million residents of Israel, there are 1.6 million Arabs and 350,000 non-Arab Christians or other groups.
The number six million has obvious significance to Jews the world over, since six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. But for the first time in thousands of years, it can legitimately be claimed that a plurality of Jews live in Israel — and if demographic trends continue, Jews in Israel will soon constitute a majority of Jews on the planet.
“If we wish to live and to bequeath life to our offspring, if we believe that we are to pave the way to the future, then we must first of all not forget.”
- Prof. Ben Zion Dinur, Yad Vashem, 1956
Christian clergy and nuns were spit on or had stones thrown at them, New Testaments were burned. Radical Jewish settlers are prime suspects.
Jerusalem (kath.net/idea) The walls of a Greek Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem are smeared with anti-Christian graffiti. Unknown individuals sprayed among other things, “Death to Christians”. Press reports suggest that the signature “Maccabees of Mignon” point to settlers as the originators of the defacing. “Maccabees of Mignon” is the name of an illegal settlement near Ramallah in West Jordan.
In the past Christians were repeated victims of attacks by ultra-Orthodox Jews. The ecumenical news agency ENI news reported that Christian clergy and nuns were spit on or had stones thrown at them, and that anti-Christian statements were sprayed on the walls of church buildings. The religious court Beth Din Tzedek, the highest authority for ultra-Orthodox community in Haredi, has sharply condemned these activities. Also, messianic Jews, who believe in Jesus Christ as the chosen Messiah of Israel, complain about stalking by Orthodox Jews. They accuse the anti-Christian recruits of Jewish Orthodox Groups Yad L’Achim of passing out fliers and holding demonstrations, accusing them of ‘steeling souls and attempting to “brainwash” Jews’. A New Testament was burned.
Of the 7.7 million inhabitants of Israel, 76 percent are Jews, 15 are Muslim and 2 percent are Christian. The number of Messianic Jews stands from 10.000 to 15.000.
In an interview with Catholic magazine 30 Giorni, Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome speaks out against the rise in Messianic movements.
SOS fake Messiah. Alarm bells have been raised within the Jewish population, in light of the boom in Messianic movements. The “Messiah” is different from the prophet, in that contrary to the latter, he does not proclaim himself to be a simple intermediary, but a direct incarnation of the divinity or of another divine principle. However, the difference between the two is not always clear. Indeed, it is not unusual for some prophets, who have gained a certain notoriety, to declare that they are of divine descent or considered by the followers as the Messiah.
Among those who condemn the risk posed by these Messianic movements, is Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome (the oldest Jewish Diaspora) who aired his opinions in an interview with Italian Catholic magazine 30 Giorni. “These Messianic movements present themselves to the Jewish world as something new; their mission is aimed solely at Judaism – Chief Rabbi Di Segni said. Judaism does not carry out any missions outside the Jewish community and our traditions are conserved through experimental and ancient mechanisms: schools, synagogues and the family”…
Christians say that Christ is the Messiah, that Christianity is Messianism by definition. Judaism sees the Messianic idea as one of many ideas. It is characterised by a tension, a waiting and Judaism could theoretically exist without the Messianic prophesy being fulfilled…
Read the whole piece here.
The combined expression “Jewish Christian”, made up of two seemingly contradictory concepts, must strike readers not specially trained in theology or religious history as an oxymoron. For how can someone simultaneously be a follower of both Moses and Jesus? Yet at the beginning of the Christian movement, in the first hundred years of the post-Jesus era, encounters with Jewish Christians distinguishable from Gentile Christians were a daily occurrence both in the Holy Land and in the diaspora…
How did the original Judaeo-Christians of Jerusalem compare to their Jewish neighbours?
Read the above feature here.
Over at the Rosh Pina Project:
Meet Dr Jim West, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies at the Quartz Hill School of Theology and Pastor of Petros Baptist Church, Petros, Tennessee:
Here is what CATC tweeted recently:
Christ at the Checkpoint 2012 also issues a request for its supporters to follow Dr West on Twitter.
Dr West’s blog post accuses Christian Zionists of being heretics. Dr West has previously written that Jews and Christian Zionists are co-conspiring to produce “the sickest sorts of behaviors” in Israel…
But there’s more…
It’s here and not nice stuff said.
I noticed this post on Dr West’s blog today, referring to the above (I assume, for there is no link):
Just a quick observation: Christian Zionists, who speak so much about love of Israel and God, are quicker to malign, misrepresent, and attempt to deceive concerning those with whom they disagree than Satan himself.
It’s best – if some feckless and dim ‘Christian’ zionist tries to interact with you- to ignore them and let them wallow in their own cesspool of vile Hagee-esque idiocy. They aren’t interested in conversation, they are only interesting in hearing you say something which they can then distort and post on their silly (and widely ignored) websites so as to demonize you and exalt their own heretical anti-christianity.
Not nice either.
But the two have been at it before.
But only for a few hours last night at the Israel National Library:
Jerusalem – Precious Bible manuscripts originating in the Jewish community of Damascus, Syria, went on display for several hours Wednesday, offering a rare glimpse at a collection that includes books spirited to Israel in clandestine operations before the ancient community disappeared at the end of the 20th century.
The books are held at Israel’s national library. Because of security and conservation concerns, most of the collection has been on display just once before, also for just a few hours, more than a decade ago.
The collection includes 11 volumes. Three, including the oldest and most important book in the collection, were brought out of the library’s vaults and displayed during a symposium Wednesday evening.
Ranging from 700 to 1,000 years old and written in the Middle East and Europe, the parchment manuscripts include meticulous Hebrew penmanship and illustrations in ink and gold leaf. Some boast intricate micrography – decorations made up of thousands of tiny Hebrew letters.
None were written in Damascus, but rather came to be held in synagogues in the city over the centuries. They are known collectively as the Damascus Crowns, “crown” being a Hebrew term sometimes used to describe particularly important and venerable biblical manuscripts.
The Jewish community in Syria’s capital had been there for more than 2,000 years before its members were driven out by government persecution and mob violence linked to the rise of Arab nationalism and the establishment of Israel in 1948. A second ancient community in the country’s business center, Aleppo, met the same fate, as did others across the Arab world.
A trickle of Jewish emigrees managed to escape beginning at the time of Israel’s creation, with the help of Israeli agents running smuggling routes through Lebanon and Turkey.
Most of the rest of the community left in the 1990s after Syria’s late dictator, Hafez Assad, bowed to international pressure and allowed them out. Most settled in Israel and the U.S. A handful, no more than several dozen, remain in Damascus.
The oldest of the Damascus Crowns was written in the late 10th century A.D. in what is now Israel. Because it shows the influence of two rival schools of textual scholars, it has provided modern researchers with important information on how the Biblical text evolved. It was purchased by a famed British collector of manuscripts, David Solomon Sassoon, in 1914 and taken to Britain. The library purchased it in 1975.
Another of the books displayed Wednesday, a 700-year-old Bible that scholars believe was written in Italy, had a riskier journey to Jerusalem.
Beginning in the late 1970s, a Canadian Jewish woman, Judy Feld Carr, undertook an effort to smuggle Jews out of Syria, raising money from North American synagogues, bribing Syrian officials, dispatching envoys and running an independent immigration operation for more than 20 years from her living room in Toronto. All told, Feld Carr’s endeavor facilitated the emigration of more than 3,000 Syrian Jews.
Feld Carr learned of the manuscript, she said, from Jews who had already fled, and dispatched a contact to Damascus in 1993. She would identify the man only as a Western Christian who died last year.
Feld Carr orchestrated a meeting in Damascus between her envoy and the community’s rabbi, she recounted. The rabbi slipped him the book, and the man then smuggled it out of the country hidden under his raincoat in a black shopping bag. The book reached Feld Carr in Canada and came to Israel the next year.
While the book was in her possession, Feld Carr saw there were two records of purchase appended to the manuscript. One showed it had changed hands in Spain before Jews were expelled from the country in 1492, and the second recounted another sale in the Ottoman Empire, where many Jews found refuge.
“It went from Italy to Castille, to Constantinople, to Damascus, and then to Toronto – this book was the story of the Jewish people,” she said.
The eight books that were not put on display at the library Wednesday arrived in Israel in the 1990s in murkier circumstances, smuggled out of Syria via the West in an operation conducted by Israel’s intelligence services. Few details of that smuggling operation have been disclosed. Aviad Stollman, the library curator in charge of the collection, said the eight books were not displayed to avoid putting a spotlight on a story that remains largely classified.
In Damascus, the manuscripts were guarded in some of the 24 synagogues that existed before the community’s emigration. They were taken out only on special occasions or with permission from community leaders, said Shlomo Baso, a Damascus-born rabbi.
Baso escaped to Israel in 1985, at age 33, by hiking across Syria’s mountainous border with Turkey with his wife and five young children.
In the early 1990s, when the Jews fled en masse, they brought the Torah scrolls they had used for centuries. Some were dismantled into parchment segments that were then distributed among the emigrees and concealed in their luggage. When the pieces reached Israel, Baso sewed them back together and reconstituted the scrolls. Today, his synagogue in a Tel Aviv suburb houses four scrolls from Damascus, each about 300 years old.
“Every community has riches of some kind. We were rich in books,” he said.
Could you imagine what would happen if Jews were to burn the Quran? But naturally, they don’t…
Some 200 Palestinians armed with bats and iron chains raided the illegal West Bank outpost of Gaon HaYarden Friday and burned Jewish holy books at the site, the settlers said.
The Arab attackers clashed with Jewish youths at the outposts before torching a hut and a tent that included a prayer corner and holy books. Security forces rushed to the scene and broke up the violence.
The Palestinians arrived at the outpost in dozens of vehicles and razed it. A leading member of the Jewish Hilltop Youth movement vowed to rebuild the outpost after the Shabbat.
“There were a few youths at the site when some 150 to 200 Palestinians carrying PLO flags and armed with bats and iron chains raided it,” an outpost resident told Ynet. “We managed to escape unharmed.”…