Tag Archives: Jews

Women Sing “No!” to Discrimination

Infuriated activists protest with song in front of Rehavia neighborhood restaurant, Heimishe Esin, threatened by ultra-Orthodox Agudath Israel to invalidate its Kashrut certificate unless it stops employing female waitresses on Thursday evenings. Jerusalem, Israel. 15-Mar-2012.

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Deaf and Hearing Impaired Hear the Book of Esther – Jerusalem

Mayor Nir Barkat addresses the audience in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman using special amplifiers, visual projection and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

 

Purim celebrators are viewed through the eyes of a mask as they assemble at Bet-Zusman for a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired with special amplifiers, visual projection sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Mayor Nir Barkat takes part in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman, as special amplifiers are used, visual projection on screen and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Mayor Nir Barkat shakes the hand of a boy in a race car driver costume in a special Purim reading of the Book of Esther for the deaf and hearing-impaired at Bet Zusman using special amplifiers, visual projection and simultaneous sign language translation. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

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Purim Celebrations in Jerusalem

Purim, which commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther, mainly the foiling of the plot by anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews, is celebrated in carnivals and costumes.

A figure of Haman hangs ‘to death’ from an eighth story balcony, symbolizing Haman’s destiny as described in the Book of Esther, following his foiled attempt to massacre the Jews of Persia, as Purim is celebrated in the city. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Excerpt from Government Press Office press release, 5-Mar-2012:

Purim commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther. In Esther 3:8, the anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, tells Persian King Ahasuerus that, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among all the peoples… in your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of every people, neither do they keep the king’s laws. Therefore, it does the king no profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they be destroyed…” Thus, Haman coined one of the most infamous anti-Semitic canards: That the Jews are a clannish and alien people who do not obey the laws of the land. At Haman’s contrivance, a decree is then issued for all Jews in the Persian Empire to be massacred. But, as the Book of Esther subsequently relates, Haman’s plot was foiled and, “The Jews had light and gladness, and joy and honor…a feast and a good day.” (8:16-17)

Purim, which commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther, mainly the foiling of the plot by anti-Semitic Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews, is celebrated in carnivals and costumes. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

Throughout the centuries, Purim – which celebrates the miraculous salvation of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman’s genocidal plot – has traditionally symbolized the victory of the Jewish people over anti-Semitic tyranny. As such, Purim is a happy, carnival-like holiday.

After sunset Wednesday evening, 7 March, festive prayers will take place in synagogues, where the Book of Esther will also be read aloud. It is customary for people, especially children, to come to synagogue dressed in costume. During the reading of the Book of Esther, whenever Haman’s name is mentioned, congregants traditionally make as much noise as possible in order to drown out his name – a reflection of God’s promise (Exodus 17:14) to, “blot out,” the Amalekite nation, of which Haman was a descendant; special Purim noisemakers may be used for this purpose. The Book of Esther will be read again during morning prayers on Thursday, 8 March. A special Purim prayer is inserted into the daily prayers and the blessing after meals.

A boy wears a Smurf costume on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

On Purim, Jews are enjoined by the Book of Esther (9:22) to send gifts of food to each other, make special contributions to the poor, and have a festive holiday meal in the afternoon. To this end, the day is also marked by collections for various charities, and by people visiting neighbors and friends to deliver baskets of food, prominent among which are small, three-cornered, fruit-filled pastries known as Oznei Haman in Hebrew (Haman’s ears) or Hamantaschen in Yiddish (Haman’s pockets).

A young boy wears an IDF paratroopers costume on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

In Jerusalem, Purim is ordinarily celebrated one day later than it is in the rest of the world; accordingly, all Purim-related observances are postponed by one day. This practice originates from the fact that an extra day was prescribed for the Jews of Shushan (the modern Susa, one of the Persian Empire’s four capitals) to defend themselves against their enemies. This second day is known as Shushan Purim. As mentioned in the Book of Esther itself (9:16-19), Jews living in walled cities (later defined by rabbinical authorities to mean walled cities at the time that Joshua entered the Land of Israel) celebrate Purim one day later than Jews living in unwalled cities. There are several such cities in Israel where Shushan Purim is celebrated. In some cities whose status is in doubt, the Book of Esther will actually be read on both days.

Two IDF soldiers look up to a clown on stilts on Purim, celebrated as a happy, carnival-like holiday, commemorating the events described in the Book of Esther and the foiled plot of Haman, Grand Vizier of the Persian Empire, to massacre the Jews. Jerusalem, Israel. 8-Mar-2012.

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“Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity” at Yad Vashem

On the eve of Int’l Holocaust Remembrance Day “Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity” is unveiled at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum presenting some 200 portraits drawn by 21 artists in the face of death. Jerusalem, Israel. 22nd January 2012.

Portrait series by Jiri Valdstyn-Karlinsky on display in “Last Portrait: Painting For Posterity”. Valdstyn was commissioned to paint for the S.S. in Theresienstadt therefore had access to painting materials. Jerusalem, Israel. 22nd January 2012.

Curator Eliad Moreh-Rosenberg speaks passionately of “Last Portrait: Painting for Posterity” as exhibition is unveiled at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Jerusalem, Israel. 22nd January 2012.

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Ethiopians March for Equality – Jerusalem

Thousands of Ethiopians and supporters join Mulet Hararo, who set out on a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi, at the Wohl Rose Garden opposite the Knesset protesting racism. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Mulet Hararo, 26, an IDF officer and physical education student, who just finished a 70Km 3-day trek to Jerusalem from his home in Kiryat Malachi is joined by thousands of Ethiopians protesting discrimination. Jerusalem, Israel. 18th January 2012.

Check it out HERE!

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“Revenge” Price-Tag Arson in Bet Tzafafa – Jerusalem

Yusuf stands by his torched car, somewhat in awe at the results of an alleged, extremist-Jewish, arson attack in Bet Tzafafa. Attackers left the Hebrew word "revenge" painted in red. . Jerusalem, Israel. 4th January 2012.

Extremist Jews allegedly burn two Palestinian-owned vehicles in the Arab village of Beit Safafa leaving the Hebrew word “revenge” painted in red. Jerusalem, Israel. 4th January 2012.

A memorial for nineteen Jewish victims of a terror attack that took place June 18th 2002 stands across the road from the scene of an alleged extremist-Jewish arson attack in Bet-Tzafafa. Jerusalem, Israel. 4th January 2012.

Just across the road from the scene of the crime stands a memorial for nineteen Jewish victims of a terror attack, mostly children on their way to school, that took place June 18th 2002 when a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in the peak morning rush hours injuring an additional seventy-four.

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Ethiopian Jews Celebrate The Sigd – Jerusalem

The Ethiopian Jewish community, called Beta-Israel, lived in seclusion for over 1,000 years, only reconnecting to the Jewish world in the late 20th century. According to Ethiopian tradition, their roots go back 3,000 years to the era of King Solomon. Like their brethren in many parts of the world, Ethiopian Jews suffered persecution for their beliefs and refusal to adopt Christianity. In the Middle Ages their lands were confiscated, villages plundered and many murdered. They were nicknamed Falash – intruders, homeless and without property. Despite the hardships, this community preserved their traditions with great devotion and generations were educated on the value of yearning for a return to Jerusalem, The Holy City, home of The Temple, pure and holy. The Sigd celebrations, Sigd meaning “to bow or prostate oneself”, convey their love and yearning for Jerusalem.

Traditionally the celebrations took place on a hilltop looking toward Jerusalem,signifying a renewal of the bond with God. Now, with a community of over 150,000 in Israel the main event takes place annually at the Sherover Promenade in Jerusalem, overlooking The Temple Mount.Thousands followed the Kessim, the religious leaders, and gathered in the late morning hours in colorful traditional garments or in whites signifying purity, to pray and give thanks. Guests of honor included Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Ms. Sofa Landver and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The yearning for Jerusalem has become a reality. Israeli-born offspring to Ethiopian Jews are finding it more and more difficult to identify with the aspirations of their forefathers. First signs are evident that this ancient ethnic celebration of hope and faith might one day be forgotten.

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All Night Dance Party at Bar Yochai’s Grave

Lag BaOmer at Meron

Three year old boys are given their first haircut - Halaka - at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Meron, Israel. 22/05/2011.

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Yom Kippur, 5771

Just ahead of Yom Kippur religious Jews undergo flogging preserving ancient customs. Jerusalem, Israel. 17/09/2010

Just a few hours ahead of Yom Kippur religious Jews perform Kapparot. Jerusalem, Israel. 17/09/2010.

A young man watching a traditional butcher sacrificing hens in the Jewish tradition of Kapparot. Jerusalem, Israel. 17/09/2010.

A young girl in awe watching a traditional butcher sacrificing hens in the Jewish tradition of Kapparot. Jerusalem, Israel. 17/09/2010.

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Garbage!

Ultra-Orthodox Haredim put up a last stand in Jerusalem protesting an already lost battle against removal of graves from Ashkelon Barzilay Hospital construction site. Jerusalem, Israel. 16/05/2010.

I leave you to decide what the post title describes.

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Visiting Sheikh Jarrah Once Again

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The High Court of Justice on Thursday (2010-03-04) criticized the Israel Police for banning a demonstration planned by left–wing activists in Sheikh Jarrah. The hearing was petitioned by residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhood asking the court to allow the Saturday night protest against the eviction of Arab families from homes in the neighborhood. Judges were surprised why the police had not made every effort to find a fitting time and location for the demonstration, asking rhetorically, “Are we in the year 1980?”. The hearing was interrupted when Judge Dorit Beinisch suggested both sides negotiate to find a solution. She also asked that Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco personally attend the afternoon hearing to represent the police.
Finally, Beinisch ordered police to allow the protest to take place, as well as a small group of activists to enter the area near the occupied homes in the neighborhood. “Reality is tough but it is the police forces’ duty to overcome its’ obstacles,” Supreme Court President Justice Dorit Beinisch reportedly said.
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Beyond expectations, thousands showed up for what was to be a very colorful rally. Flags of all colors were displayed although the most dominant were red, with the communist hammer and sickle. There was also significant controversy among the speakers on stage and in the crowd below. While Jewish speakers hailed the joint effort of Palestinians and Israelis and declared the rebirth of the Israeli political left aiming to strengthen democracy and to bring a two-state solution, most Arab speakers only had one state in mind – an Arab Palestine state from sea to sea (Mediterranean to Dead Sea).
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Sabbath Wars – Episode Three; The Counter Demonstration

27-June-2009, Jerusalem – Less than 24 hours and riots against the Shabbath opening of the Karta parking lot erupted once again, disrupting the serenity of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of ultra-orthodox Haredim clashed with police in the Mea She’arim neighborhood, at the corner of Hanevi’im and Shivtei Israel streets. Police prevented the rioters from making their way toward Municipal Safra Square, where hundreds of secular residents of the city held a colorful counter demonstration in support of freedom of choice in Jerusalem and against religious coercion.

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Sabbath Wars – Episode Two

26-June-2009, Jerusalem – Just two weeks after a violent demonstration in the Safra Municipal Square in Jerusalem (6-June-2009), thousands of ultra-orthodox Jews have taken to the streets of Jerusalem once again. Bar-Ilan Street is depicted in mass public prayer on Friday afternoon, just as sunset declared the beginning of the Sabbath.

The issue of opening a parking lot on the Sabbath continues to be a source of conflict between secular Mayor Nir Barkat and the religious Haredi community in the city. During the past two weeks negotiations took place in an attempt to find a compromise that would satisfy all parties and provide a solution for Jerusalem’s extreme Sabbath parking problems. When the desired compromise was not achieved, Barkat announced the Karta parking lot would open this Saturday. Ultra-orthodox leader, Rabbi Itzchak Tuvia Weiss called on the Haredi community, using written pamphlets scattered in the streets, to assemble Friday afternoon in mass public prayers and to welcome the Sabbath in a show of force and opposition of municipal resolutions.

Episode III this Saturday afternoon …?

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Sabbath Wars – Episode One

6-June-2009, Jerusalem – Thousands of ultra-orthodox Jews demonstrated today opposing the directive given by Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, to open the Safra parking lot on the Sabbath. On the opposing side several dozens of students and non-observant residents came to have their say carrying signs reading “Terror is not only from Hammas”, “This is not Tehran!” and singing the Israeli National Anthem stressing the words “to be a free people in our country, the land of Zion, Jerusalem”.

Municipal parking lots have been closed on Saturdays, the Jewish Sabbath, for years, corresponding with a status quo between the secular and religious communities of Jerusalem. The Safra parking lot, located under City Hall at Safra Square, serves the downtown Jerusalem area as well as thousands of visitors and tourists in the Old City. The move to open the parking lot on Saturdays corresponds to Barkat’s line opposing religious coercion and in an attempt to offer a solution to the extreme parking problems surrounding the Old City and the Jaffa Gate. Trying to control religious outrage the municipality decided not to collect fees for parking on the Sabbath, as opposed by Jewish law, but diplomatic efforts were not successful.

Rabbi Itzchak Tuvia Weiss, head of the ultra-orthodox community was quoted this week saying “We will light the city on fire for the sanctity of Jerusalem!” and he did indeed light a fire in the hearts of his followers. Thousands gathered on Shivtei Israel Street, near the parking lot entrance, chanting “Shabbes, Shabbes!” (Sabbath) at the top of their lungs as well as “Nazis!” to policemen. The Jerusalem Police exhibited great restraint in light of extreme verbal and physical provocation until the order came down the ranks to disperse the demonstration. In summary; six policemen injured, one injured photographer and seven demonstrators arrested.

Sidenote: Images displayed shot solely with Canon G10. After months of greatly enjoying this camera it disappointed shooting under rapidly changing conditions and events; very slow zoom in/out reaction, very slow to impossible shooting in rapid succession, burnt highlights.  Shooting at this demonstration may have caused an unrepairable dent in my G10 love affair…

8-June-2009 – Sabbath Wars on Telegraph (UK), Le Monde (France), Future News (Lebanon) and the Himalayan Times (Nepal) Internet sites via Demotix Widget

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5769 years ago…

And God said: ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

8-April-2009, Jerusalem – Thousands gathered at the Wailing Wall before dawn awaiting sunrise to recite: “Blessed are You, LORD, our God, King of the Universe who makes the works of Creation.”

The Blessing of the Sun, Birkat Hachamah in Hebrew, is recited in Judaism once in twenty-eight years, signifying the sun’s location at exactly that of the moment of its creation on a Wednesday morning, the fourth day of creation. The 28-year cycle was calculated in the Babylonian Talmud and it was renewed today. Adding to the excitement is the fact that today is the Eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover celebrating the exodus of the ancient Hebrews, led by Moses, from bondage in Egypt – a sun cycle began on the exact morning of exodus from Egypt somewhere between the years 1200-1500 BCE (exact date is disputed).

Much anticipation was evident among the worshippers, men, women and children assembled hours before the big moment. Then, just as the sun became visible to the east, climbing over the Wailing Wall which is the last remaining remnant of the Holy Temple, it triggered great excitement, prayer, dance and song among the crowd.

The Blessing of the Sun

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