Friday, December 31, 2010

Simply Zfat

The chassidic Breslov band "Simply Zfat" from Zfat.

With the beginning of next week, I am going to write about our present seminar at the Chabad hostel ASCENT (in Zfat) on nutrition according to the Rambam.

We have just finished out tour through the old city where Rabbi Big Mo took us to the Ashkenazi ARI, the Kossov and the Abuhav Synagogue. 

A great Shabbat to all of you from the holy city of Zfat !

Sunset in Zfat / Northern Israel

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zfat (Safed) and its friendly "Insanity"


Zfat (Safed) is known for its crazyness, insanity, spirituality, Kabbalah ... you name it. Some inhabitants are really freaky and I just met a funny Nana Breslov guy dancing in the street. 

The photo didn't come out too good because the guy couldn't stop moving.:-)

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Parashat Va'era (Sefer Shmot - Exodus)

Kikar HaMeginim in Zfat (Safed)

Photo: Miriam Woelke


The Chatam Sofer has an interesting commentary on why G – d appeared to the Patriarchs under a different name than to Moshe.

Tha Ramban (Nachmanides) notes that G – d appeared to the Patriarchs as the G – d who performs great deeds within the natural order, while to Moshe He performed extraordinary miracles. He reveals Himself as G – d performing supernatural wonders.
Why then did Moshe merit to witness and perform supernatural miracles of which had never been experienced by the Patriarchs ?

Maybe because Moshe’s generation which had assimilated in Egypt’s 49 Gates of Impurity, desperately needed extraordinary measures to imbue the concept of Emunah in their souls. The Patriarchs, on the other hand, had realized the significance of G – d’s name (Yud – Heh – Vav – Heh) and knew His ability to perform supernatural wonders. 

Furthermore, Moshe merited to perform miracles associated with the Name Yud – Heh – Vav – Heh because of his willingness to act as the Jewish people’s emissary and complain, if necessary, to G – d about the harsh conditions. The Patriarchs, acting on behalf of themselves rather than the community, could only merit “E – l Sha – dd – a – i” through which natural events occur.

The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson commentated that the Patriarchs are associated with emotional qualities. This doesn’t mean that they weren’t involved in Torah studies ! Conversely, Moshe is associated with the intellect. Meaning that he displayed an emotional commitment to divine service and to his fellow men.
Patriarchs and Moshe alike manifested the full range of human intellectual and emotional attributes, each had their own fundamental thrust. Moshe’s thrust was CHOCHMAH – WISDOM. 

Moshe was on a higher spiritual level than the Patriarchs. The mission with which he was charged required reason and intellect and therefore he asked questions. For intellect seeks to understand everything with which it comes into contact. When an intellectual encounters something that appears to defy explanation, he has difficulty in continuing with his mission. Moshe’s questioning didn’t reflect a lack of faith but he asked in order to continue his life mission. 

One of the conclusions we can draw from the whole name issue (why G – d used different names when He appeared to the Patriarchs and when he appeared to Moshe): Every person has his mission in life ! Many times we don’t even know our mission and I can imagine that many of us fulfill their individual mission without even realizing it. Nevertheless, there is no reason for the Patriarchs to be jealous of Moshe because they had their own mission in life and, in order to fulfil it, G – d provided them with all the necessary tools. Moshe, on the other hand, had a different mission and thus, received different tools.

Jews against Waldorf - Schools


The Israeli anti - missionary organization "YAD LE'ACHIM" is warning Jewish parents not to send their children to Israeli Waldorf - Nursery Schools and Kindergardens". Once again, Christian missionaries are actively using the  Christian education system of Rudolf Steiner in order to missionize Jewish children to Christianity !


The Children of Bullenhuser Damm

 Holocaust Memorial Site at Bullenhuser Damm


Auschwitz or Treblinka, those names sound very familiar to us. Names of places where the Germans killed millions of people. Especially Jews. One of the most abnormal crimes in German Nazi history, however, took place at the Bullenhuser Damm School in Hamburg. An abnormal crime due to two reasons:
  • It took Germany many years taking the responsible SS - Doctor Kurt Heissmeyer to court.
  • Because it shows how much the Germans were into their mass extermination. The Nazis even ordered to let more trains filled with Jews into the death camps but, on the other hand, German Wehrmacht soldiers had to wait for their connection trains. Until the last minute of the Third Reich, the killing of the Jews was more important than anything else.

Only a few days before the end of World War II., twenty children were brutally murdered at the Bullenhuser Damm School in Hamburg. Those twenty children originally came from different countries. They were Jewish, had been in Auschwitz but chosen by the SS - Doctor  Joseph Mengele and sent to the Neuengamme concentration camp where they became the victims of medical humans experiments. Dr. Kurt Heissmeyer intended using those children as guinea pigs for his totally insane tuberculosis experiments.  After undergoing all kinds of experiments, the children and their caretakers were put to death. All of them were taken to the school in Hamburg and hung. Starvation had been so bad that the children almost had no weight at all. Hanging the bodies didn't work because the bodies were too light. Then SS - men put the children's head into the rope and pulled them the bodies down themselves.

Further Links on the subject:

Video of the year 2010: We con the World

Hamas is exhibiting Gilad Shalit's Uniform


The Hamas in Gaza opened a "special" exhibition due to the second anniversary of Israel's last attack on Gaza.  Then the Israeli army was trying to destroy any rocket launching location used by Hamas in order to attack the Negev town of Sderot. 

Afterwards the Hamas collected all kinds of objects Israeli soldiers had left behind. Now the terror group has started an exhibition and part of it is also the uniform of the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Typical Hamas: No human behaviour but just a bunch of sadistic creatures.

New in Israel's Cinemas: "Holy Rollers"


The American movie “Holy Rollers” is based on the criminal act of some (Samarer) Chassidim smuggling drugs in "secret" suitcases.

Further Details about the movie HERE !

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zfat: The weekly local Market, the Artist Quarter and Rabbi Shmuel Heller


I am in Zfat (Safed) at the moment. First of all, I am going to participate in a special seminar run by the Chabad Hostel ASCENT: "Healing / Medicine according to the RAMBAM" is the subject and sounds interesting. Secondly, I am still thinking about moving here. One thing for sure, when you speak Hebrew and English you, as a stranger, won't have problems finding the Zfat inhabitants to communicate with you. 

Today I went to the weekly market near the Canaan neighbourhood. The market is the only event in Zfat and taking place every Wednesday. Then Druse, Arab and Jewish traders come into town and sell fruit, clothes and all kinds of junk. Mostly JUNK, I have to say. 

The old city of Zfat may be more spiritual and put on a romantic atmosphere. Kabbalistic and chassidic but the other neighbourhoods are mainly populated by Russians, Ethiopians and many Sephardi Jews. People told me that after six years of living in Zfat, one becomes totally insane. Yesterday, however, someone else told me that one has to be insane in order to move here. So, I may be insane !

Today's market wasn't that interesting and I didn't even buy any fresh olives, as I had intended to do. Simply because this woman selling olives stuck her fingers into the bucket, took out a few olives, stuffed them into her mouth and licked her fingers.

Disappointment about the market had already started as soon as I entered. I took this photo and the Arab woman sitting behind the yellow buckets got up and cursed me. I have no idea what she said but I assume that she didn't want her picture taken because she doesn't necessarily look like paying taxes. 

The Market

 Afterwards I walked through the artist quarter where buses drop off all kinds of tourists. Birthright (Taglit) groups, any American tourist looking for art and mainly kitsch. 

Until I got to the house of the former famous Rabbi in Zfat, Rabbi Shmuel Heller. I saw his descendant Pnina Heller walking outside and took some photos. Pnina, in her sixties or so, claims that once Rabbi Nathan Sternhartz had an overnight stay at the Beit Midrash of Rabbi Shmuel Heller. 

Left side with the woman in front of it:
The Beit Midrash of Rabbi Shmuel Heller z"l.

Zfat has a huge Anglo community but before you decide to move here you should consider that the unemployment rate is extremely high. Despite all the fears of not finding a job, many religious inhabitants keep on telling me that it is G - d who decides whether you will have an income or not. When I hear this claim I always respond that this is true but one has to make an effort first. 

What can I say ? Zfat is spiritual and, so far, all the daily life seems to work !

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Are you aware of your inner Galut ?

The Diaspora Jew


Are you aware of your personal Galut (Diaspora) ?

A Jew usually understands under "Galut - Diaspora" living abroad but not in Israel. Nevertheless, according to chassidic teachings we also have to be aware of our own personal Galut which is far worse than the Galut of the Jewish nation.

Am I aware of my own Galut ? Of my own difficulties not connecting enough or at all to G - d ? As a Jew, I can live in Israel but still continue my personal Galut. Someone at a Shiur just gave the perfect definition:

"You can put a boy from Brooklyn to Israel but can you get Brooklyn out of the boy ?"

And,once again, we are back on the road of finding ourselves and try to understand who we really are !

“The Book of Cures”


The reason why I am writing about “The Book of Cures” is not my present stay in Zfat (Safed) and the participation in a special “Healing Seminar”: The Medicine of the Rambam (Maimonides, 1135 – 1204). Anyway, I got to the “Book of Cures” by accident and I am glad that we don’t have it today and I will tell you why.

 Photo: Miriam Woelke

First, let me explain what exactly it is:

Talmud Tractate Berachot 10b teaches about King Chizkiyahu hiding away “The Book of Cures – Sefer HaRefuot”. The remedies written down in that book could heal anything and the chance of getting healed was extremely high or almost 100%.

It is unknown who wrote it. Some people claim that it was Shlomo HaMelech (King Salomon). The Talmud, however, teaches us that King Chizkiyahu decided to hide the book. Why ? Wouldn’t such a book be great and everyone would be able to get healed ? There are actually different opinions on why King Chizkiyahu hid the book away. For instance, Rashi says that Chizkiyahu wanted the Jews to rely on G – d and pray to Him when they are sick. People got so used to rely on the book and getting healed that they forgot thanking G – d afterwards.

The Rambam, on the other hand, commentated that “The Book of Cures” was used by astrologers to heal illnesses by placing certain images in certain places at certain times. The Rambam even mentions here “Canaanite Astrology”.
Today we call it “Talisman” and even today, there are people who believe in their own private “magic” stone they bind around their neck. Or a special ring or any other object which is supposed to bring luck. The Rambam said that people started using those particular object for idol – worship purposes.
To me it sounds a bit like voodoo.

Medicine and cures are mentioned in the Talmud quite a few times. You can even find a list on what kind of vegetables to eat. What is healthy and what causes your stomach to go wild. The Rambam used to be, besides being a famous Rabbi, astrologer and physician also a famous successful doctor. He wrote quite a few books on healing practises such as blood letting, surgery, hygiene, drugs, bathing, fevers or therapeutics.

Just imagine what would happen today if there was a rediscovery of “The Book of Cures”. You don’t necessarily need a mind like James Bond to figure out that anyone (good and evil) would try to get hold of this book, and G – d should have mercy upon us in case the books fell into the wrong hands.

Zfat (Safed) and its famous Cemetery


Usually I am not a cemetery fan at all and, most of my life, I haven't been to too many "Kivrei Zaddikim". However, I like going to the cemetery in the northern Israeli town of Zfat where so many famous Kabbalists and Chassidim are buried.  
Here are some impressions from the fourth Israeli holy city:

Zfat: The old city with the mountains of Meron in the back.

Synagogue entrance


The Zfat cemetery is full of ancient graves. Some of them are totally unrecognizable and only a few tombstone leftovers show that there once used to be a grave. Nevertheless, there always remains some kind of mystery for me because the cemetery was already used as such by the Canaanites. Who knows who else is buried there ...

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gefillte Fish

A funny Israeli short movie. Enjoy !

Tel Aviv is turning into Africa


Living in Zfat ?


I still haven't given up the idea of living in Zfat (Safed) but when I was there for a few hours yesterday, it really went on my nerves that too many people are doing nothing. If I am not sick (as at the moment suffering from a cold), I am usually very energetic. I run around, collect material for my writings and work a lot. Sometimes too much and the result is that I am lacking sleep.

However, I cannot understand people doing nothing the whole day. Maybe I got plenty of energy from my life in Tel Aviv. In Tel Aviv you run the entire day in order to make a living. You don't sit and wait until something is finally happening. You just run. 

Jerusalem, on the other hand, is very different and there people rather like to sit. Not only various frum Jews but the seculars as well. They sleep, rest, talk, then move on to the soup kitchen at noon, talk, rest, walk, rest. For many years, those people succeeded in doing nothing and didn't even bother to look for a job. However, the worldwide economical crisis has left its marks and even Zedakah institutions have difficulties in raising funds. It seems as if the whole world is just looking for people to donate.

I have never seen such greed for meat as in Jerusalem. As soon as you sit down at a Shabbat table, people just start shuffling everything inside. Coca Cola, chicken, Kugel, anything. Especially Shnitzels and chicken. As if they don't get any of this during the week. No matter whether Yeshiva students, seminary girls, the poor or just ordinary people, people grab as fast as they can.

All those thoughts accompanied me on my walk through Zfat yesterday. A friend of mine warned me not to move to Zfat: "You know too many bums and as soon as you find a place there, they will all show up. Show up, sit and empty out your fridge. The worst case is when they stand in front of your door with a suitcase. Then you won't get rid of them anymore ! In case you do move to Zfat, keep your address secret. Otherwise people live off you expenses".

I thought about this opinion and know that my friend is right. However, I still haven't decided and let me tell you: Even in Tiberias I am keeping my address secret.

Israel is getting more Expensive


January 1st always brings about price changes; mostly to the worst. Israel is getting more expensive with the beginning of the upcoming year 2011. 

Bus fares are going to rise about 3%. A local bus ride in Tel Aviv has been 5,80 Shekels so far and will turn into 6 Shekels (on January 1, 2011). The next raise will be between April and June (in the Gush Dan area only).

Now a local bus fare in Jerusalem is 6,20 Shekels and today’s paper doesn’t provide any new figure. However, I assume that the raise may be up to 6,40 Shekels, at least. 

Furthermore, mobile phone rates are getting more expensive, as well as the private car insurance, the Arnona (not in Tiberias), flights abroad (at least 64 Dollar more), the interests on mortgages and gasoline for cars. 

Tiberias, at least, still has a reasonable bus fare rate: 2,60 Shekels one – way.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Reincarnations and their Purpose

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Jewish Basics:
Does Judaism believe in the reincarnation of souls ?
Absolutely. The famous medieval Kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (1534 - 1572) was discussing the matter in length. 
Purpose of the reincarnation of a Jewish soul is a rectification. A Jew did something wrong in his former life and now the soul is reincarnated in order to undergo a retification. If not, the soul may be damaged again. Even worse than before.

Usually the Jewish Kabbalah refers to reincarnations of Jewish souls and I cannot say whether the whole transmigration issue also applies to the Gentile world. The only point the Jewish Kabbalah is referring to that having a Jewish soul reincarnated in a Christian body would be seen as a punishment. The same with being reincarnated in a stone, a plant, an animal or in another human being. 

The most perfect way for such a Jewish soul caught in a Gentile body seems to undergo a conversion to Judaism but who can decide that today. In the days of Rabbi Luria until Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto in the 18th century, great Rabbis were still able to recognize reincarnations. Today, however, no one knows for sure. 

However, I have met Gentiles claiming to have a "Jewish" soul but those ideas are nothing but illusions, as a Gentile is not able to recognize such a kabbalistic issue.

The main purpose of the transmigration of souls is to rectify some omissions of one's previous earthly existence. A man can live a lifetime without being aware of what he has to rectify or amend. If, however, he encounters some difficulties in the performance of certain Mitzvot, he then has a clear indication of the true purpose of his reincarnation (Rabbi Shmuel of Zwolyn).

Picture of the Day

The Elevator to Hell

Tel Aviv - Finn Street: Foreign Workers, Crime, Drugs and Prostitution


Hard to believe that the above video actually shows a street in Tel Aviv and not one in Africa, Russia or the Philippines. The "Finn Street" near the Central Bus Station is a famous center of illegal foreign workers, drugs and prostitution.

More information on Finn Street HERE !

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chassidic / Litvishe Parashat SHMOT


HERE is a listof various chassidic and litvishe Parashot (SHMOT) in Yiddish, Hebrew, French and English.

For instance in English from "Yeshivat Ohr Sameach" in Jerusalem or in Hebrew from the chassidic groups "Toldot Avraham Yitzchak" as well as the "Toldot Aharon".

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginzburgh on Parashat "Shmot"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

Sunset over the hills of Meron.

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Despite all religion and doing Teshuva or not, my most present problem is whether I stay in Tiberias or should move to Zfat.On the one hand, I like Tiberias, the lake, the weather and I don't have any problems with the local mentality. On the other hand, I am striving for more religion and think I would find that in Zfat. Especially on Shabbat when there is a certain Shabbat atmosphere. This kind of atmosphere is missing down here in Tiberias. 

I haven't found an answer and keep on listing the positive and negative sides of each possibility. 

"Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes" to all of you !

The biased Media and Israel


The "Meshiach Car" of the Chabad Meshichistim in Zfat / northern Israel.

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Parashat Shmot (Exodus) and the meaning of Names


This Shabbat we start reading “Sefer Shmot – Book of Exodus". I don’t know why “Shmot” in other languages is called “Exodus”. In the original Hebrew version, “Shmot” means “Names”. 

This upcoming Shabbat, we are reading the first Parasha from “Sefer Shmot” which is also called “Shmot”. Referring to the NAMES of those Israelites who came with Yaakov down to Egypt. The seventh and last Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson wrote in his “Likutei Sichot”: 

Since the entire book is called “Shmot”, we are forced to conclude that, aside from echoing its first verse “VeAleh shmot bnei Yisrael …”, the name communicates the general theme of the book. 

See Midrash Tadasheh, sec. 20, which states: There is wisdom, understanding, and knowledge invested in all the holy books why they were written, and the names by which they were called. See also TANYA, Sha’ar HaYichud VehaEmunah, ch. 1, which states that the name of an entity communicates its life force.

Seventy souls had come down to Egypt. But why is G – d in Shmot remembering Yaakov and his sons coming down to Egypt ? Rashi here says that G – d is counting His people when they are alive and even after their death. After their death in order to make known how precious they are to Him. The children of Israel are counted by name because they are compared to the stars. 

In fact, referring to a person by his name has a special meaning in Judaism. In Hebrew, names have a meaning and when talking to a person, you should always refer to her or him by using their name. We also learn this from G – d Himself when he spoke to Avraham or Moshe. 

The Chatam Sofer wrote his his Torah commentary that already Adam HaRishon had the G – dgiven task to name all the animals in Gan Eden. Likewise, the spiritual characteristics of future generations of Jews are all rooted in the twelve sons of Yaakov. 

Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson quoted the Midrash where it states that the Torah mentions the names of the Jewish people to allude to the fact that throughout the 210 years they lived in Egypt, they did not change their names. They had Jewish names when they first settled in Egypt and they still carried Jewish names when they left. They did not change their names to fit the Egyptian culture. 

The Midrash emphasizes that G – d called the Jews by name to underscore their importance. For whenever Jews enter exile, there is a possibility that they will be nullified, absorbed into the host culture. By counting them and calling them by name, G – d insures that this will not take place.

The Jews are described using stars as an analogy, and did not change their names because they are a nation of righteous men (see Yeshayahu 60:21) who resemble their Creator. As a matter of fact, Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson brings a very powerful commentary on the meaning of Jewish names:

Understanding the meaning of a Name

The divine light which descends to bring the world into being can be considered as G – d’s name. To clarify the analogy: A name is merely a glimmer of the entity which it identifies. For example, there is a saying “The name of the king is called upon them”, i.e., it is only the name, and not the essence of the king, by which his country is known.
A name does not relate to a person’s essence. It merely serves as a medium through which one person can establish a relationship with another. Similarly, with regard to G – d, His name relates to the creation – a realm apart from Himself. For Himself, He has no need of a name; He is holy and separate. At His level, created beings have no commonalty with Him.

Similar concepts apply with regard to the Jewish people. Jewish souls share a bond with G – d’s essence, for they are “an actual part of G – d”. Therefore other created beings cannot fully appreciate a Jewish soul.

 The name of a soul can elevate its essence.

Just as only G – d’s name, a glimmer of His essence, is enclothed in this world, so too, it is a glimmer of a Jew’s soul which is enclothed in his body. For the body is not able to contain the soul in its entirety. The soul thus remains perfect despite the fact that the body in which it is enclothed has descended into exile.

The reason that the glimmer, the name, of a soul can elevate its essence is because the name invokes the essence. Thus when we call a person by name, he responds with his entire essence. And as is well – known, when a person is unconscious, one of the ways to awaken him is to whisper his Jewish name in his ear. This will arouse the essence of his soul and draw down energy to reanimate the body. 

The freeing of the powers of the G -dly soul from exile is the spiritual counterpart of the exodus from Egypt. And this in return is the catalyst which brings the actual redemption.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Nittel Nacht


Tomorrow night, 24th December 2010 (17th Tevet), the Christian world starts celebrating the birth of the false Meshiach J. This particular night when J. was supposed to be born, Chassidim call "NITTEL NACHT - NITTEL NIGHT" and keep the custom of not studying Torah from approx. 7pm until midnight. The time when J. was born. See also the "Schulchan Aruch or the Chatam Sofer on this topic.

Most chassidic groups keep the custom of Nittel Nacht and many of them treat this matter very seriously. For instance, the Lubavitcher (Chabad) where the Chassidim play chess until midnight.

Kabbalistically speaking, the false Meshiach J. and his followers may gain special spiritual powers by our Torah studies - according to the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe Shalom Dov Baer (Rashab), 1860 - 1920. The Rebbe said that we shouldn't waste our time when we don't study Torah but play chess. 

Nevertheless, not all chassidic group keep the "chess custom"; such as Vishnitz. However, chess is having a positive influence on our intellect similar to Torah study.


Details about Nittel Nacht and its history "Hirhurim".

Chabadnikim playing chass during Nittel Nacht. 

I spoke to a Chabad Rabbi and was told that the custom from refraining from Torah study even applies to Erev Shabbat. An interesting question, however, would be whether the cause may be an evil J. or rather the anti - Semite who, later on spread Christianity: The Apostle Paul.

The "Madonna House" in Zfat


Zfat (Safed) is a small town in northern Israel and became very famous during the Middle Ages. Famous Kabbalists such as Rabbi Moshe Cordovero or the Arizal (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria) were living and teaching there. The “Zohar” was actually published in Spain in 1290, but, nevertheless, Zfat became a known kabbalistic center in the 16th century. Furthermore, Zfat is among the four holy cities in Israel (besides Hebron, Jerusalem and Tiberias).

No wonder that also freaky Madonna got excited and wanted to build a house in Zfat. However, the Jews of Zfat don't want any Christian Madonna in Zfat and threw her out. The "Madonna House" was never finished and only some hippies like to sleep in there when the weather is nice.

Photos: Miriam Woelke

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner against Talkbacks


The Chief Rabbi of Beit El, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, is not a Rabbi who I feel I would particularly listen to but now he just made a very good point. Rabbi Aviner spoke out against reading TALKBACKS on websites. Article reactions can be positive and add a few new information to the article. However, they can also be very negative and thus destroy your content.

What you as a writer always have to consider: You don't know the person who is behind the comment. It can be someone totally honest but, in many cases, those talkbackers are nothing but fakes. For instance, I have noticed that quite a few people who try to make a "Jewish" comment actually turn out as Christian readers. It is those people and plenty of left - wingers getting Jewish religious concepts wrong. Sometimes they don't even try to understand but just look for the negative in order to use it in a negative way. 

So far, the worst Talkbacks I have had on Facebook where I cut out many "friends". False converts to Judaism or call them Messianics, left - wingers and many Americans of all religions who try to tell Israel what to do and how to behave. 

I seriously have to admit that those Christian talkbacks on my content go on my nerves because I don't want to have anything to do with such people. They can read their own sites but not mess around with Jewish content. Or to say it in other words: They don't have a "Neshama E - lo - kit" but still think they know everything better then Jews. It does have a negative influence on me, as I don't want to deal with such KLIPOT !

The Dushinsky Rebbe in London

Rebbe Yosef Zvi Dushinsky in London.

All pictures you can view HERE!


The "Dushinsky Tish Guide"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Picture of the Day

In the old city of Zfat (Safed) / northern Israel.

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Ruth Blau - רות בלויא, Part 3


Ruth Blau (Bloi) was the second wife of the formerly well - known head of Jerusalem's Neturei Karta, Rabbi Amram Blau. Most facts about the two are already known but now I got hold of Ruth's autobiography published in 1979 (in Hebrew). The French original version of the book is called "Les Guardiens de la Cite" and the Hebrew translation is named "Shomrei Ha'Ir - שומרי העיר".

This is the second part of me putting together the content of Ruth's book. 
The first part you can read HERE and the second part is HERE !

There are people in Mea Shearim who have never liked Ruth Blau:
“She should have been satisfied with the great Zaddik, Rabbi Amram Blau, marrying her and not ambitiously searched for her own fame. The only thing she was after was becoming famous”.
I was even told that Ruth Blau didn’t have a sign with her name on her door. Instead she had a kind of sticker saying “The woman who is not a Zionist”. 

Ruth Blau wrote in her biography “Shomrei Ha’Ir”:

After her first visit to Mea Shearim accompanied by secular friends, she decided to return and have a closer look at the ultra – Orthodox neighbourhood. Why would people dress like that and why did they decide to live in such poverty ?
She came to the conclusion that in Mea Shearim, the Jews stressed their inner being and not a materialistic outside façade. Here the Jews lived their religion and didn’t only care about founding a state where anti – Semitism doesn’t exist. 

She claims that she already knew Yiddish back in Paris (in 1952). Only the Polish way of Yiddish but Yiddish. After her conversion, her community (not an Orthodox one) refused to recognize her as a Jew with all rights. In the meantime, Ruth Blau was accused of not paying customs (due to an incident taking place at her job) and was put in jail for two months. After she was released, she went to an Orthodox Rabbi in order to convert her and her son Uriel. The Rabbi converted her and Ruth and her son were accepted into the community (1951). 

Last Shabbat, someone living in Mea Shearim told me that Ruth Blau walked around in Paris, going to several famous Rabbis and asked them to marry her. Well – known Rabbis who were single. Probably widowers. Ruth Blau herself describes such one incident in her book. She did ask a Rabbi to marry her. She also claims that she and this particular Rabbi decided not to get married.

She sent Uriel to a Kibbutz school in Yavne (Israel). 

A Rabbi she knew told her about Yossele Schuchmacher and asked her if she could bring him out of the country. Rabbi Nachman Straks had lived most of his life in Uman before he moved to Mea Shearim. In 1957, Rabbi Straks, his wife Miriam and their son Shalom (then 19 years old) sat together and came to the conclusion that even in Mea Shearim, the spiritual war continues. 

Three months after they moved to Israel, their daughter Ida made Aliyah together with her husband Alter Schuchmacher and their two children. Their daughter Sina was then nine years old and Yossele was four years old. The former head of the Mossad, Isser Harel, reported the age of the children in his book “Mivzah Yossele”. However, Ruth Blau writes that Sina was ten years old and Yossele was five years old.
Ruth Blau continues in her book:
Ida and Alter Schuchmacher decided to give young Yossele to her parents Miriam and Rabbi Nachman Straks who then lived in Mea Shearim. Ruth claims that Yossele lived in Mea Shearim for two years and the his parents, Ida and Alter Schuchmacher, hardly ever came to visit their son. Alter, for instance, had only shown up twice. Rabbi Nachman Straks, however, took Yossele for many visits to his parents. Sina, on the other hand, only stayed in Mea Shearim for six months. Her grandparents were worried about her education and sent her to a girls’ school in Kfar Chabad. 
In Russia, Ida and Alter Schuchmacher had been religious Jews. They ate kosher, Alter put on Tefillin and prayed three times a day. However, as soon as the couple arrived in the “Zionist” State of Israel, they became secular. No more Synagogue, no prayers and no Tefillin. They also stopped keeping Shabbat and the family purity laws (Taharat HaMishpacha). 

In addition to Ruth Blau’s opinion regarding the “Yossele Case” I am going to mention how the Mossad, in particular its former head, Isser Harel, considered the case.
Ruth Blau ended up taking the kidnapped Yossele Schuchmacher out of Israel and she later brought him to New York where he was discovered by the Mossad and was returned to his biological parents Ida and Alter Schuchmacher.
The kidnapping of Yossele Schuchmacher (1959 / 1960) shocked the Israeli nation and even David Ben Gurion interfered. He asked the Mossad, in particular Isser Harel, to find the child and return the little boy to his parents.
“Yossele Schuchmacher” has been living a secular lifestyle since he returned to his parents. He went to the army and is still secular today. Israel’s Haredim rememberhim until today and, from time to time, Yossele appears in gossip section of haredi Internet sites.

Further Link:

The secret life of Ruth Blau

Every month: 2000 illegal Africans infiltrate into Israel

Africans and Philippinas - an ordinary day at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv.

Photo: Miriam Woelke


Every month, another 2000 illegal Africans stream into Israel. They settle in Eilat, the small Negev town Arad, in Ashdod and especially in Tel Aviv - South where they work illegally. Those who know the situation at Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station are nothing but disgusted. The area rather looks like the Philippines or Africa but not like Israel. 
2000 illegal Africans every month and Israel sees its Jewish identity in danger. Furthermore, most of those Africans are criminals and the Israeli police admits that the crime rate in Tel Aviv has risen drastically. Sudanese, Nigerians, Ghana, people from Eritrea or Kenia. You name it.

African drug dealers, pimps, thieves and even murderers. The Israeli neighbours are afraid to go out at night and at least two people have been killed. A Sudanese killed an elderly Israeli woman from Tel Aviv - South. Another illegal African killed his wife just a few months ago. Where ? In Tel Aviv - South. 

The police don't have the staff to deal with the new problems and the government is building a wall near the Egyptian border. However, every single day, the Africans keep on infiltrating into Israel via Egypt. Most Israelis have enough of the situation and want the illegals deported. No other country in the world is letting illegals settling and even providing their children with a citizenship. Lets take a daily Israeli example:
Almost every Philippina in this country either has at least one child or is pregnant because a child may give her the right to stay in the country. The same with the Africans.

Just recently, 150 Africans were deported back to their country of origin. Not only deported but our police asked for their permission. Moreover, those illegals received 400 - 500 dollar cash each. There goes our tax money. For a bunch of African illegal criminals. This is how our government spends our money. Can you imagine the United States doing so with the Mexican illegals ?

Israel has to maintain its Jewish identity and doesn't need thousands of Gentiles who have no interest in our country whatsoever besides money and social benefits. Escaping poverty is no excuse for endangering the Jewish state because we are no cheap and uneducated foreign legion.

Further Links on the subject: