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Kehilath Israel Synagogue

Posted By on December 11, 2018

Giving back to the community is a big part of our culture. The K.I. Fred Devinki Eitz Chaim Religious School visits Village Shalom residents on a regular basis.

The K.I. community watch the K.C. Marching Cobras perform after the Megillah Reading.

Many of the people who make it happen pictured here at our annual fundraiser Grand Givers.

The synagogue and community come together for many events. Here we remember Munich 11.

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Kehilath Israel Synagogue

Opinion | Anti-Zionism Isnt the Same as Anti-Semitism – The …

Posted By on December 9, 2018

On Monday, in an interview with The Intercept, Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat who in November became the first Palestinian-American elected to Congress, went public with her support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to use economic pressure on Israel to secure Palestinian rights. That made her the second incoming member of Congress to publicly back B.D.S., after Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, who revealed her support last month.

No current member of Congress supports B.D.S., a movement that is deeply taboo in American politics for several reasons. Opponents argue that singling out Israel for economic punishment is unfair and discriminatory, since the country is far from the worlds worst violator of human rights. Further, the movement calls for the right of Palestinian refugees and millions of their descendants to return to Israel, which could end Israel as a majority-Jewish state. (Many B.D.S. supporters champion a single, binational state for both peoples.) Naturally, conservatives in the United States though not only conservatives have denounced Tlaib and Omars stance as anti-Semitic.

It is not. The conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand that depends on treating Israel as the embodiment of the Jewish people everywhere. Certainly, some criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, but its entirely possible to oppose Jewish ethno-nationalism without being a bigot. Indeed, its increasingly absurd to treat the Israeli state as a stand-in for Jews writ large, given the way the current Israeli government has aligned itself with far-right European movements that have anti-Semitic roots.

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The interests of the State of Israel and of Jews in the diaspora may at times coincide, but theyve never been identical. Right-wing anti-Semites have sometimes supported Zionism because they dont want Jews in their own countries a notable example is the Polish government in the 1930s.

Conversely, theres a long history of Jewish anti-Zionism or non-Zionism, both secular and religious. In 1950 Jacob Blaustein, the president of the American Jewish Committee, one of the countrys most important Jewish organizations, reached an agreement with Israels prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in which Ben-Gurion essentially promised not to claim to speak for American Jews. Jews of the United States, as a community and as individuals, have no political attachment to Israel, said Blaustein at the time.

Decades later, such a statement from the committee or any major, mainstream Jewish organization would be unthinkable. A consensus set in that Jewish identity can be reduced to Israelism, Eliyahu Stern, an associate professor of modern Jewish history at Yale, told me. Thats something that takes place over the second half of the 20th century in America.

The centrality of Israel to American Jewish identity has at times put liberal American Jews in an awkward position, defending multiethnic pluralism here, where theyre in the minority, while treating it as unspeakable in Israel, where Jews are the majority. (American white nationalists, some of whom liken their project to Zionism, love to poke at this contradiction.)

Until fairly recently, it was easy enough for many liberals to dismiss consistency on Israel as a hobgoblin of little minds. A binational state might sound nice in theory, but in practice is probably a recipe for civil war. (Even the Belgians have trouble managing it.) The two-state solution appeared to offer a route to both satisfying Palestinian national aspirations and preserving Israels Jewish, democratic character.

Now, however, Israel has foreclosed the possibility of two states, relentlessly expanding into the West Bank and signaling to the world that the Palestinians will never have a capital in East Jerusalem. As long as the de facto policy of the Israeli government is that there should be only one state in historic Palestine, its unreasonable to regard Palestinian demands for equal rights in that state as anti-Semitic. If the Israeli government is going to treat a Palestinian state as a ridiculous pipe dream, the rest of us cant act as if such a state is the only legitimate goal of Palestinian activism.

At times, Ive agreed with those who see something disproportionate in the lefts fixation on Israel. But the oft-heard argument that other peoples are suffering more than the Palestinians can be a form of weaponized whataboutism, meant to elide the unique role America plays as Israels protector.

In an op-ed essay in The Wall Street Journal last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listed Saudi Arabias growing ties to Israel as a reason not to downgrade Americas relationship with the kingdom, despite the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. If the Trump administration is going to use our alliance with Israel as an excuse for abandoning fundamental values, surely Americans are justified in subjecting that alliance to special scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Israel is ever more willing to ally itself with foreign leaders who share its illiberal nationalism, even when theyre hostile to Jews. In the past, Israel has always adhered to a clear policy that it will not engage with political parties ostracized by the local Jewish community, Anshel Pfeffer wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz last year. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, wrote Pfeffer, has abandoned this policy.

Netanyahu has nurtured a particularly close relationship with the Hungarian right-wing populist Viktor Orban, whose government is waging a demonization campaign against the Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros. Just this week Soross Central European University announced it has been forced out of Hungary. And Netanyahus office is trying to negotiate a compromise with Hungary over the contents of a museum that many fear will whitewash Hungarys role in the Nazi genocide of the Jews, essentially putting Israels imprimatur on a modified form of Holocaust revisionism.

Netanyahu, then, seems to understand that being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish are not the same thing. Liberal American Jews, particularly younger ones, are learning that lesson as well. Some staunch Zionists are bad for the Jews witness Steve King, the Republican congressman from Iowa who invokes his support for Israel when hes called out for his blatant white nationalism.

At the same time, people with an uncompromising commitment to pluralistic democracy will necessarily be critics of contemporary Israel. That commitment, however, makes them the natural allies of Jews everywhere else.

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Seven Laws of Noah – Wikipedia

Posted By on December 9, 2018

The Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noach), also referred to as the Noahide Laws or the Noachide Laws (from the Hebrew pronunciation of "Noah"), are a set of imperatives which, according to the Talmud, were given by God[1] as a binding set of laws for the "children of Noah" that is, all of humanity.[2][3]

Accordingly, any non-Jew who adheres to these laws because they were given by Moses[4] is regarded as a righteous gentile, and is assured of a place in the world to come ( Olam Haba), the final reward of the righteous.[5][6]

The seven Noahide laws as traditionally enumerated are the following:[7][8]

According to the Talmud,[7] the rabbis agree that the seven laws were given to the sons of Noah. However, they disagree on precisely which laws were given to Adam and Eve. Six of the seven laws are exegetically derived from passages in Genesis,[9] with the seventh being the establishing of courts.

According to the Genesis flood narrative, a deluge covered the whole world, killing every surface-dwelling creature except Noah, his wife, his sons and their wives, and the animals taken aboard Noah's Ark. According to this, all modern humans are descendants of Noah, thus the name Noahide Laws is referred to the laws that apply to all of humanity. After the flood, God sealed a covenant with Noah with the following admonitions (Genesis 9):

The Book of Jubilees, generally dated to the 2nd century BCE,[10] may include an early reference to Noahide Law at verses 7:2028:

And in the twenty-eighth jubilee Noah began to enjoin upon his sons' sons the ordinances and commandments, and all the judgments that he knew, and he exhorted his sons to observe righteousness, and to cover the shame of their flesh, and to bless their Creator, and honour father and mother, and love their neighbour, and guard their souls from fornication and uncleanness and all iniquity. For owing to these three things came the flood upon the earth ... For whoso sheddeth man's blood, and whoso eateth the blood of any flesh, shall all be destroyed from the earth.[11][12]

The Jewish Encyclopedia article on Saul of Tarsus states:

According to Acts, Paul began working along the traditional Jewish line of proselytizing in the various synagogues where the proselytes of the gate [e.g., Exodus 20:9] and the Jews met; and only because he failed to win the Jews to his views, encountering strong opposition and persecution from them, did he turn to the Gentile world after he had agreed at a convention with the apostles at Jerusalem to admit the Gentiles into the Church only as proselytes of the gate, that is, after their acceptance of the Noachian laws (Acts 15:131)".[13]

The article "New Testament" states:

For great as was the success of Barnabas and Paul in the heathen world, the authorities in Jerusalem insisted upon circumcision as the condition of admission of members into the church, until, on the initiative of Peter, and of James, the head of the Jerusalem church, it was agreed that acceptance of the Noachian Laws namely, regarding avoidance of idolatry, fornication, and the eating of flesh cut from a living animal should be demanded of the heathen desirous of entering the Church.[14]

The earliest complete rabbinic version of the seven laws can be found in the Tosefta where they are listed as follows.[15]

Seven commandments were commanded of the sons of Noah:

According to the Talmud, the Noahide Laws apply to all humanity. In Judaism, B'nei Noah (Hebrew, "Descendants of Noah", "Children of Noah") refers to all of humankind.[16] The Talmud also states: "Righteous people of all nations have a share in the world to come".[17] Any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as one of "the righteous among the gentiles".

The rabbis agree that the seven laws were given to the sons of Noah. However, they disagree on precisely which laws were given to Adam and Eve. Six of the seven laws are exegetically derived from passages in Genesis. The Talmud adds extra laws beyond the seven listed in the Tosefta which are attributed to different rabbis, such as the grafting of trees and sorcery among others,[18]: 3031[19] Ulla going so far as to make a list of 30 laws.[20] The Talmud expands the scope of the seven laws to cover about 100 of the 613 mitzvoth.[21]: 18

In practice Jewish law makes it very difficult to apply the death penalty.[22] No record exists of a gentile having been put to death for violating the seven laws.[23] Some of the categories of capital punishment recorded in the Talmud are recorded as having never been carried out. It is thought that the rabbis included discussion of them in anticipation of the coming messianic age.[22]

The Talmud lists the punishment for blaspheming the Ineffable Name of God as death. The sons of Noah are to be executed by decapitation for most crimes,[24] considered one of the lightest capital punishments,[25] by stoning if he has intercourse with a Jewish betrothed woman,[26] or by strangulation if the Jewish woman has completed the marriage ceremonies, but had not yet consummated the marriage.[26] In Jewish law the only form of blasphemy which is punishable by death is blaspheming the Ineffable Name (Leviticus 24:16).[27] Some Talmudic rabbis held that only those offences for which a Jew would be executed, are forbidden to gentiles.[28] The Talmudic rabbis discuss which offences and sub-offences are capital offences and which are merely forbidden.[29]

Maimonides states that anyone who does not accept the seven laws is to be executed, as God compelled the world to follow these laws.[30] However, for the other prohibitions such as the grafting of trees and bestiality he holds that the sons of Noah are not to be executed.[31] Maimonides adds a universalism lacking from earlier Jewish sources.[21]: 18 The Talmud differs from Maimonides in that it considers the seven laws enforceable by Jewish authorities on non-Jews living within a Jewish nation.[21]: 18 Nahmanides disagrees with Maimonides reasoning. He limits the obligation of enforcing the seven laws to non-Jewish authorities taking the matter out of Jewish hands. The Tosafot seems to agree with Nahmanides reasoning.[32]: 39 According to some opinions, punishment is the same whether the individual transgresses with knowledge of the law or is ignorant of the law.[33]

Various rabbinic sources have different positions on the way the seven laws are to be subdivided in categories. Maimonides', in his Mishneh Torah, included the grafting of trees.[31] Like the Talmud, he interpreted the prohibition against homicide as including a prohibition against abortion.[34][35] David ben Solomon ibn Abi Zimra, a commentator on Maimonides, expressed surprise that he left out castration and sorcery which were also listed in the Talmud.[36]

The Talmudist Ulla said that here are 30 laws which the sons of Noah took upon themselves. However he only lists three, namely the three that the Gentiles follow: not to create a Ketubah between males, not to sell carrion or human flesh in the market and to respect the Torah. The rest of the laws are not listed.[37] Though the authorities seem to take it for granted that Ulla's thirty commandments included the original seven, an additional thirty laws is also possible from the reading. Two different lists of the 30 laws exist. Both lists include an additional twenty-three mitzvot which are subdivisions or extensions of the seven laws. One from the 16th-century work Asarah Maamarot by Rabbi Menahem Azariah da Fano and a second from the 10th century Samuel ben Hofni which was recently published from his Judeo-Arabic writings after having been found in the Cairo Geniza.[38][39] Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Chajes suggests Menahem Azariah of Fano enumerated commandments are not related to the first seven, nor based on Scripture, but instead were passed down by oral tradition.[40]

In earlier times, a Gentile living in the Land of Israel who accepted the Seven Laws in front of a rabbinical court was known as a ger toshav (literally stranger/resident).[41] The regulations regarding Jewish-Gentile relations are modified in the case of a ger toshav.[42]

Historically, some rabbinic opinions consider non-Jews not only not obliged to adhere to all the remaining laws of the Torah, but actually forbidden to observe them.[43][44]

Noahide law differs radically from Roman law for gentiles (Jus Gentium), if only because the latter was enforceable judicial policy. Rabbinic Judaism has never adjudicated any cases under Noahide law,[23] Jewish scholars disagree about whether Noahide law is a functional part of Halakha ("Jewish law").[45]

Some modern views hold that penalties are a detail of the Noahide Laws and that Noahides themselves must determine the details of their own laws for themselves. According to this school of thought see N. Rakover, Law and the Noahides (1998); M. Dallen, The Rainbow Covenant (2003) the Noahide Laws offer mankind a set of absolute values and a framework for righteousness and justice, while the detailed laws that are currently on the books of the world's states and nations are presumptively valid.

In recent years, the term "Noahide" has come to refer to non-Jews who strive to live in accord with the seven Noahide Laws; the terms "observant Noahide" or "Torah-centered Noahides" would be more precise but these are infrequently used. Support for the use of "Noahide" in this sense can be found with the Ritva, who uses the term Son of Noah to refer to a Gentile who keeps the seven laws, but is not a Ger Toshav.[46] The rainbow, referring to the Noahide or First Covenant (Genesis 9), is the symbol of many organized Noahide groups, following Genesis 9:1217.[47]

To various modern theologians the Noahide laws represent the inclusive nature of Judaism because they affirm the equality of Jews and non-Jews. To other intellectuals these seven laws represent natural law which are accessible to all through intellect and do not require revelation. According to Robert Eison the second stream of thought ignores how a non-Jew could access these laws without the Jewish revelations. To Eisen, these set of laws impose a Jewish understanding of morality upon non-Jews. To Eisen, the Noahide laws represent more of a barrier between Jews and non-Jews, because non-Jews are forbidden to observe Jewish laws.[48]

The Jewish scholar Maimonides (12th century) held that Gentiles may have a part in the world to come just by observing Noahide law and accept it as given by Moses. Such children of Noah become the status of Chasidei Umot HaOlam - Pious People of the World, and are different from children of Noah who only keep the seven laws out of moral/ethical reasoning alone. He writes in his book of laws:"[49]

Anyone who accepts upon himself and carefully observes the Seven Commandments is of the Righteous of the Nations of the World and has a portion in the World to Come. This is as long as he accepts and performs them because (he truly believes that) it was the Holy One, Blessed Be He, Who commanded them in the Torah, and that it was through Moses our Teacher we were informed that the Sons of Noah had already been commanded to observe them. But if he observes them because he convinced himself, then he is not considered a Resident Convert and is not of the Righteous of the Nations of the World, but merely one of their wise.[50]

Some later editions of the Mishneh Torah differ by one letter and read "Nor one of their wise men." The later reading is narrower. Spinoza read Maimonides as using nor and accused him of being narrow and particularistic. Other philosophers such as Hermann Cohen and Moses Mendelssohn have used more inclusive interpretations of the passage by Maimonides.[51]In either reading, Maimonides appears to exclude philosophical Noahides from being Righteous Gentiles. Thus Maimonides emphasizes that a truly Righteous Gentile follows the seven laws because they are divinely revealed and thus are followed out of obedience to God.[51][52]

The Apostolic Decree recorded in Acts 15 is commonly seen as a parallel to Noahide Law;[53] however, some modern scholars dispute the connection between Acts 15 and Noahide Law,[54] the content of Noahide Law, the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles, and the nature of biblical law in Christianity. The Apostolic Decree is still observed by Eastern Orthodoxy and includes some food restrictions.[55]

The 18th-century rabbi Jacob Emden proposed that Jesus, and Paul after him, intended to convert the gentiles to the Noahide laws while calling on the Jews to keep the full Law of Moses.[56]

Maimonides stated that God commanded Moses to compel the world to accept these seven commandments. In 1983 Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson urged his followers to actively engage in activities to inform non-Jews about these seven commandments, which had not been done in previous generations.[57]

After Rabbi Schneerson started his Noahide Campaign in the 1980s, a codification of the exact obligations of the Gentiles in the spirit of the classical Shulchan Aruch was needed. In 2005, Rabbi Moshe Weiner of Jerusalem accepted to produce an in-depth codification of the Noahide precepts.[58] The work is called Sefer Sheva Mitzvot HaShem, (The Book of Seven Divine Commandments) published 2008/2009. As it was approved by both of the then presiding chief rabbis of Israel (Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Rabbi Yonah Metzger) as well as by other Hasidic and non-Hasidic halachic authorities, it can claim an authoritative character and is referred as a Shulchan Aruch[59] for Gentiles at many places.

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation speaking of "the historical tradition of ethical values and principles, which have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws, transmitted through God to Moses on Mount Sinai",[60] and in 1991, Congress stated in the preamble to the 1991 bill that established Education Day in honor of the birthday of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of the Chabad movement:

Whereas Congress recognizes the historical tradition of ethical values and principles which are the basis of civilized society and upon which our great Nation was founded; Whereas these ethical values and principles have been the bedrock of society from the dawn of civilization, when they were known as the Seven Noahide Laws [...][61]

In January 2004, Sheikh Mowafak Tarif, the spiritual leader of Israeli Druze, signed a declaration, which called on non-Jews living in Israel to observe the Noahide Laws. He was joined by the mayor of Shefa-'Amr.[62]

In order to find a precedent the rabbis went so far as to assume that proselytes of this order were recognized in Biblical law, applying to them the term "toshab" ("sojourner," "aborigine," referring to the Canaanites; see Maimonides' explanation in "Yad," Issure Biah, xiv. 7; see Grtz, l.c. p. 15), in connection with "ger" (see Ex. xxv. 47, where the better reading would be "we-toshab"). Another name for one of this class was "proselyte of the gate" ("ger ha-sha'ar," that is, one under Jewish civil jurisdiction; comp. Deut. v. 14, xiv. 21, referring to the stranger who had legal claims upon the generosity and protection of his Jewish neighbors). In order to be recognized as one of these the neophyte had publicly to assume, before three "aberim," or men of authority, the solemn obligation not to worship idols, an obligation which involved the recognition of the seven Noachian injunctions as binding ('Ab. Zarah 64b; "Yad," Issure Biah, xiv. 7).[...] The more rigorous seem to have been inclined to insist upon such converts observing the entire Law, with the exception of the reservations and modifications explicitly made in their behalf. The more lenient were ready to accord them full equality with Jews as soon as they had solemnly forsworn idolatry. The "via media" was taken by those that regarded public adherence to the seven Noachian precepts as the indispensable prerequisite (Gerim iii.; 'Ab. Zarah 64b; Yer. Yeb. 8d; Grtz, l.c. pp. 1920). The outward sign of this adherence to Judaism was the observance of the Sabbath (Grtz, l.c. pp. 20 et seq.; but comp. Ker. 8b).

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Seven Laws of Noah - Wikipedia

Anti-Defamation League | ADL New York / New Jersey …

Posted By on December 8, 2018

ATTENTION COLLEGE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS:

The ADL New York / New Jersey Regions Internship Program provides professional development training for college and graduate school students seeking real-life experience in the non-profit sector. It is an unpaid internship with the opportunity to receive college credit and/or community service credit.

About ADL:

ADL is the worlds leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, itstimelessmissionistoprotect the Jewish peopleand to secure justice and fair treatmentforall. Today,ADLcontinuestofight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion.Aglobal leader inexposingextremism,delivering anti-bias education,and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur.ADLsultimate goal is a world in whichno group or individual suffers frombias, discriminationorhate.

The ADL New York / New Jersey Region office, overseen by Regional Director Evan Bernstein, serves New York State, Northern and Central New Jersey with anti-bias education programs, advocacy work, and interfaith/intergroup initiatives.

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Zionism: Cycles of Trauma and Aggression in the Service of …

Posted By on December 5, 2018

Zionism is inherently reactionary

The origins of Zionism are profoundly misunderstood by many. This is not coincidental and can be seen largely as the result ofpropaganda, which opportunistically and erroneously asserts that Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism.

In fact, Zionism gained traction among some Jews only in the late 19thcentury in response to antisemitism and romantic European nationalist movements.Zionists syncretizedmany white supremacist, antisemitic, messianic and fascistic racialized dogmas and were thus overwhelmingly unpopular among most Jews, who viewed the ideals of the enlightenmentemancipation, equality and integration as their target.

Zionism first increased its influence in the small Jewish towns in Eastern Europethe shtetlsat a time when many of their inhabitants became secular but not emancipated. Thus, their view of antisemitism and its accompanying violence and trauma was a modern one, not the traditional Jewish notion that deemed oppression and hardship as divine punishment for sins (for review seehere). Zionism offered a seemingly empowering vision of a new Jew, who shed obsolete beliefs, which were viewed as passive and weak. Instead, Zionists reacted with force against oppression and adopted the antisemitic notion whereby Jews were the cause of their own oppression and should thus segregate themselves.

In response to antisemitism, Zionists embraced their fear and contempt of their abusers to produce defensive aggression, reinventing identity in a reactionary attempt to ensure survival and restore pride. The reward of violencepower-quickly enticed Zionist leaders to morph what began as a defensive strategy into an offensive one that culminated with asettler colonialist vision of a homeland in Palestineat the expense of its Indigenous population, the existing Palestinian people.

Defense and oppressiona self-sustaining cycle

It is instrumental to view this dynamic through a behavioral neuroscientific perspective, which affords a means of understanding underlying motivations of both persons and class structures, as well as informs on potential resolutions.

Studies show that the emotions of fear and anxiety and their corresponding neural circuitries are highly conserved among all mammals, including humans. In response to threat, fear is expressed in the form ofdefensive behaviors. These include flight if an escape route is available, freezing and avoidance if not (both techniques of choice in response to antisemitism prior to Zionism), and defensive threat and attack when confrontation is imminent.

Defensive aggression and its corresponding violence can lead to the rewards of resource acquisitionwhether it be the sparing of ones own life or access to the many spoils of dominance: sexual partners, money, land, power etc. Hence, a process that begins with oppression leads to fear in the oppressed (expressed as defensive aggression) and morphs to offensive aggression directed towards resource acquisition, which ultimately results in the subjugation of others by those previously oppressed. The once powerless become hooked to the rewards of violence; an addiction which facilitates the transition from defense to offense.

Thus, the everlasting and self-perpetuating dynamic of persecution often shifts the balance of power, yet always maintains an equal or growing level of violence.

How do the hegemonic forces sustain subservience in their subject population while reaping the benefits of oppression? through fear mongering and ever-escalating violence.

Fear conditioning and population control

Fear memories are formed when otherwise neutral stimuli are paired with pain or danger and are extinguished when they are decoupled (seehere). Chronic, prolonged, generalized or an otherwise abnormal fear reaction to an ambiguous stimulus is viewed as maladaptive and linked to a range of psychopathologies, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Fear conditioning is reinstated in a person or a populace (collective PTSD) upon re-exposure to-or the recall of-the fear-inducing stimulus. In such a manner, reinstatement is a technique by which the political, religious, military and economic ruling classes manipulate their populace to gain support for their aggressive and expansionist policies, distract from their own corruptions, privileges and suppression of dissent.

Fear is reinstated in traumatized collectives using several methods: (i) focusing on-and decontextualizing an act of violence or resistance (e.g. terrorism); (ii) reminding the public of some atrocity in the past (memorial days, sanctifying bereaved families); (iii) shifting attention to perceived threats (e.g. the Iranian nuclear program); (iv) appealing to past glory, nostalgia (romantic nationalism) and; (v) segregating communities (apartheid), which preserves a process of dehumanization of the other and renders re-exposure and reconciliation (i.e. extinction of fear) virtually impossible.

Thus, fearmanifests in increasingly violent displays of aggressionpromoting the interests of those in power. It is precisely these aggressive actionswhich are rewardedby the hegemony and therefore become more prevalent in the general population. Privilege enables little risk of harm for the hegemonic forces and the reinstatement of perceived imminent threats constantly raises the bar for-and serves to justify permissible oppression.

From an early age the population, through participation in violence in the army or elsewhere, are encouraged to transition from the defensive to the offensive expressions of aggression. As such, the population is made an accomplice to ruling class corruptions and crimes, and thus perceives, together with its leaders, any forms of dissent as treasonous existential threats (seehere).

Breaking the cycle of oppression

The cycle of violence and inequality has been the backbone of all white supremacist, settler colonialist societies, past and present which engage in ethnic cleansing and genocide of Indigenous populations; e.g. the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Israel and more.

Yet the question ariseshow can the cycle be broken?

Victims of abuse can cope with trauma in two ways. They can either channel their rage toward weaker elements in their immediate society or outside of it and in so doing perpetuate the never ending cycle of abuse, or stand up to their abusers, who are stronger than them, resist the temptations of resource acquisition and break the cycle of violence and inequality.

The first option of picking on the weak is easy and can be a solitary endeavor; victims become abusers and in so doing feel empowered; e.g. the Zionist example. The second option of fighting oppressors poses a greater challenge and requires courage, resolve and social skills, i.e. collectivism, as bullies are usually stronger and more formidable than their victims.

For this purpose, it is advantageous for the oppressed to join forces and collaborate with fellow victims of white supremacy; women, immigrants, black and brown people, Indigenous, Muslim, Jews and others so that together they may form a winning strategy to overcome their oppressors.

Notably, Zionist propaganda works against this sort of alliance building and resistance by fragmenting and isolating Palestinian society within historical Palestine and outside of it.

BDS and defeating white supremacy

The non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Palestinian-led movement has demonstrated the utility of adopting an approach which implements the lessons learned by the many victims of settler colonialism and white supremacy.

These lessons include a series of steps which include: (i) promoting truth and dispelling propaganda; (ii) fostering accountability in the guilty (e.g.here); (iii) moving toward cessation of hostilities/injustices; (iv) breaking barriers, physical or otherwise; (v) adopting an intersectional,anti-racistleadership which recognizes interlocking systems of power and oppression that impact those who are most marginalized in society and (vi) creating empathy and forging bonds.

It is glaringly apparent that with everyBDS victorythe Israeli propaganda machine continues to lose credibility. The demonopolized nature of the internet provides accessibility to truth like never before and an opportunity for Palestinians and other victims of settler colonialism to connect and collaborate towards the breaking of the cycle of violence and inequality.

That said, the rise of global fascistic movements, stimulated byDonald Trump and his Zionist allies in the Israeli government, are hard at work toward their mutual interest of global apartheid, often using the internet to disperse false information (fake news). Thus, it is clear that the battle against Zionist expansionism and its oppression of the Palestinian people should incorporate a comprehensive dismantling of settler colonialism and white supremacy.

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Talmud | Religion-wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

Posted By on December 2, 2018

The Talmud (Hebrew: talmd "instruction, learning", from a root lmd "teach, study") is a central text of mainstream Judaism, in the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs and history.

The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 CE), the first written compendium of Judaism's Oral Law; and the Gemara (c. 500 CE), a discussion of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Tanakh.

The terms Talmud and Gemara are often used interchangeably. The Gemara is the basis for all codes of rabbinic law and is much quoted in other rabbinic literature. The whole Talmud is also traditionally referred to as Shas ("), a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, the "six orders" of the Mishnah.

Originally, Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the law (the written law expressed in the Hebrew Bible) and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works (other than the Biblical books themselves), though some may have made private notes (megillot setarim), for example of court decisions. This situation changed drastically, however, mainly as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth in the year 70 CE and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the Rabbis were required to face a new realitymainly Judaism without a Temple (to serve as the center of teaching and study) and Judea without autonomythere was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained. It is during this period that Rabbinic discourse began to be recorded in writing.[1][2]The earliest recorded oral law may have been of the midrashic form, in which halakhic discussion is structured as exegetical commentary on the Pentateuch. But an alternative form, organized by subject matter instead of by biblical verse, became dominant about the year 200 C.E., when Rabbi Judah haNasi redacted the Mishnah ().

The Oral Law was far from monolithic; rather, it varied among various schools. The most famous two were the School of Shammai and the School of Hillel. In general, all valid opinions, even the non-normative ones, were recorded in the Talmud.

The six orders (sedarim, singular - seder) of general subject matter the Talmud are divided into 60 or 63 tractates (masekhtot, singular - masekhet) of more focused subject compilations. Each tractate is divided into chapters (perakim, singular - perek), 517 in total, that are both numbered according to the Hebrew alphabet and given names, usually using the first one or two words in the first mishah. The perek may continue over several to tens of pages (dafim, singular - daf; also known as blat) of the Talmud, which are cited in English-language works with Arabic numerals, each side referred to as Alef or Bet. Each perek will contain several mishnayot[3] with their accompanying exchanges that form the "building-blocks" of the Gemara; the name for a passage of gemara is a sugya (; plural sugyot). A sugya, including baraita or tosefta, will typically comprise a detailed proof-based elaboration of a Mishnaic statement, whether halakhic or aggadic. A sugya may, and often does range widely off the subject of the mishnah. The sugya is not punctuated in the conventional sense used in the English language, but by using specific expressions that help to divide the sugya into components, usually including a statement, a question on the statement, an answer, a proof for the answer or a refutation of the answer with its own proof.

In a given sugya, scriptural, Tannaic and Amoraic statements are brought to support the various opinions. In so doing, the Gemara will bring semantic disagreements between Tannaim and Amoraim (often ascribing a view to an earlier authority as to how he may have answered a question), and compare the Mishnaic views with passages from the Baraita. Rarely are debates formally closed; in many instances, the final word determines the practical law, although there are many exceptions to this principle.

The Mishnah is a compilation of legal opinions and debates. Statements in the Mishnah are typically terse, recording brief opinions of the rabbis debating a subject; or recording only an unattributed ruling, apparently representing a consensus view. The rabbis recorded in the Mishnah are known as Tannaim.

Since it sequences its laws by subject matter instead of by biblical context, the Mishnah discusses individual subjects more thoroughly than the Midrash, and it includes a much broader selection of halakhic subjects than the Midrash. The Mishnah's topical organization thus became the framework of the Talmud as a whole. But not every tractate in the Mishnah has a corresponding Gemara. Also, the order of the tractates in the Talmud differs in some cases from that in the Mishnah (see the discussion on each order).

In addition to the Mishnah, other tannaitic teachings were current at about the same time or shortly thereafter. The Gemara frequently refers to these tannaitic statements in order to compare them to those contained in the Mishnah and to support or refute the propositions of Amoraim. All such non-Mishnaic tannaitic sources are termed baraitot (lit. outside material, "Works external to the Mishnah"; sing. baraita ).The baraitot cited in the Gemara are often quotations from the Tosefta (a tannaitic compendium of halakha parallel to the Mishnah) and the Halakhic Midrashim (specifically Mekhilta, Sifra and Sifre). Some baraitot, however, are known only through traditions cited in the Gemara, and are not part of any other collection.

In the three centuries following the redaction of the Mishnah, rabbis throughout Palestine and Babylonia analyzed, debated and discussed that work. These discussions form the Gemara (). Gemara means completion (from the Hebrew gamar : "to complete") or "learning" ( from the Aramaic: "to study"). The Gemara mainly focuses on elucidating and elaborating the opinions of the Tannaim. The rabbis of the Gemara are known as Amoraim (sing. Amora ).

Much of the Gemara consists of legal analysis. The starting point for the analysis is usually a legal statement found in a Mishnah. The statement is then analyzed and compared with other statements used in different approaches to Biblical exegesis in rabbinic Judaism (or - simpler - interpretation of text in Torah study) exchanges between two (frequently anonymous and sometimes metaphorical) disputants, termed the makshan (questioner) and tartzan (answerer). Another important function of Gemara is to identify the correct Biblical basis for a given law presented in the Mishnah and the logical process connecting one with the other: this activity was known as talmud long before the existence of the "Talmud" as a text.[4]

The Talmud is a wide-ranging document that touches on a great many subjects. Traditionally Talmudic statements can be classified into two broad categories, Halakhic and Aggadic statements. Halakhic statements are those which directly relate to questions of Jewish law and practice (Halakha). Aggadic statements are those which are not legally related, but rather are exegetical, homiletical, ethical or historical in nature. See Aggadah for further discussion.

The process of "Gemara" proceeded in the two major centers of Jewish scholarship, the Land of Israel and Babylonia. Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, and two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Jerusalem Talmud or the Talmud Yerushalmi. It was compiled sometime during the fourth century in Israel. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500 C.E., although it continued to be edited later. The word "Talmud", when used without qualification, usually refers to the Babylonian Talmud.

A page of a medieval Jerusalem Talmud manuscript, from the Cairo Genizah.

The Jerusalem Talmud, also known as the Palestinian Talmud, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary that was transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in Palestine.[5] It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias, Sepphoris and Caesarea. It is written largely in a western Aramaic dialect that differs from its Babylonian counterpart.

This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah that was developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Israel (principally those of Tiberias and Caesaria.) Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel. Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 C.E. by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi ("Jerusalem Talmud"), but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem. It has more accurately been called the The Talmud of the Land of Israel.[6] It has also often been referred to as the Palestinian Talmud, especially in sources that predate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Its final redaction probably belongs to the end of the fourth century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325 CE Constantine, the first Christian emperor, said "let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd.[7] This policy made a Jew an outcast and pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud consequently lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended. The text is evidently incomplete and is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the fifth century has been associated with the decision of in Theodosius II in 425 C.E. to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of formal scholarly ordination. Some modern scholars have questioned this connection: for more detail see Jerusalem Talmud#Place and date of composition.

Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land. It was also an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Hananel ben Hushiel and Nissim Gaon, with the result that opinions ultimately based on the Jerusalem Talmud found their way into both the Tosafot and the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides.

There are traditions that hold that in the Messianic Age the Jerusalem Talmud will have priority over the Babylonian. This may be interpreted as meaning that, following the restoration of the Sanhedrin and the line of ordained scholars, the work will be completed and "out of Zion shall go the Law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem". Accordingly, following the formation of the state of Israel there is some interest in restoring Eretz Yisrael traditions. For example, Rabbi David Bar-Hayim of the Machon Shilo institute has issued a siddur reflecting Eretz Yisrael practice as found in the Jerusalem Talmud and other sources.

The Talmud Bavli was transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in Babylon about the 5th century CE.[8]

A full set of the Babylonian Talmud.

Talmud Bavli (the "Babylonian Talmud") comprises the Mishnah and the Babylonian Gemara, the latter representing the culmination of more than 300 years of analysis of the Mishnah in the Babylonian Academies. The foundations of this process of analysis were laid by Rab, a disciple of Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi. Tradition ascribes the compilation of the Babylonian Talmud in its present form to two Babylonian sages, Rav Ashi and Ravina. Ashi was president of the Sura Academy from 375 to 427 CE. The work begun by Ashi was completed by Ravina, who is traditionally regarded as the final Amoraic expounder. Accordingly, traditionalists argue that Ravina's death in 499 CE is the latest possible date for the completion of the redaction of the Talmud. However, even on the most traditional view a few passages are regarded as the work of a group of rabbis who edited the Talmud after the end of the Amoraic period, known as the Saboraim or Rabbanan Savora'e (meaning "reasoners" or "considerers").

The question as to when the Gemara was finally put into its present form is not settled among modern scholars. Some, like Louis Jacobs, argue that the main body of the Gemara is not simple reportage of conversations, as it purports to be, but a highly elaborate structure contrived by the Saboraim, who must therefore be regarded as the real authors. On this view the text did not reach its final form until around 700. Some modern scholars use the term Stammaim (from the Hebrew Stam, meaning "closed", "vague" or "unattributed") for the authors of unattributed statements in the Gemara. (See eras within Jewish law.)

There are significant differences between the two Talmud compilations. The language of the Jerusalem Talmud is a western Aramaic dialect which differs from the form of Aramaic found in the Babylonian Talmud. The Talmud Yerushalmi is often fragmentary and difficult to read, even for experienced Talmudists. The redaction of the Talmud Bavli, on the other hand, is more careful and precise. The law as laid down in the two compilations is basically similar, except in emphasis and in minor details. The Jerusalem Talmud has not received much attention from commentators, and such traditional commentaries as exist are mostly concerned with comparing its teachings to those of the Talmud Bavli.

Neither the Jerusalem nor the Babylonian Talmud covers the entire Mishnah: for example, a Babylonian Gemara exists only for 37 out of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah. In particular:

The Babylonian Talmud records the opinions of the rabbis of Israel as well as of those of Babylonia, while the Jerusalem Talmud only seldom cites the Babylonian rabbis. The Babylonian version also contains the opinions of more generations because of its later date of completion. For both these reasons it is regarded as a more comprehensive collection of the opinions available. On the other hand, because of the centuries of redaction between the composition of the Jerusalem and the Babylonian Talmud, the opinions of early amoraim might be closer to their original form in the Jerusalem Talmud.

The influence of the Babylonian Talmud has been far greater than that of the Yerushalmi. In the main, this is because the influence and prestige of the Jewish community of Israel steadily declined in contrast with the Babylonian community in the years after the redaction of the Talmud and continuing until the Gaonic era. Furthermore, the editing of the Babylonian Talmud was superior to that of the Jerusalem version, making it more accessible and readily usable. According to Maimonides, all Jewish communities during the Gaonic era formally accepted the Babylonian Talmud as binding upon themselves, and modern Jewish practice follows the Babylonian Talmud's conclusions on all areas in which the two Talmuds are in conflict.

The Babylonian Talmud, comprising both the Mishnah and the Gemara, contains large swaths of both Hebrew and Aramaic.[10]

While Aramaic was spoken for a long time by ancient Jews, Hebrew, in various forms and at various historical stages, was also continuously used. Hebrew was used for the writing of religious texts, poetry, and so forth, as well as for speech. Even after the introduction of Aramaic, and its influence on Late Biblical Hebrew, Hebrew continued to develop, and today scholars use terms like Mishnaic/Rabbinic Hebrew and Medieval Hebrew.[11]

The Mishnah and all of the Baraitas and verses of Tanakh quoted and embedded in the Gemara are in Hebrew, so that Hebrew constitutes somewhat less than half of the text of the Talmud. The rest, including the discussions of the Amoraim and the overall framework of the Gemara, is in a characteristic dialect of Jewish Babylonian Aramaic. There are occasional quotations from older works in other dialects of Aramaic, such as Megillat Taanit.

The first complete edition of the Babylonian Talmud was printed in Italy by Daniel Bomberg during the 16th century. In addition to the Mishnah and Gemara, Bomberg's edition contained the commentaries of Rashi and Tosafot. Almost all printings since Bomberg have followed the same pagination. The edition of the Talmud published by the Szapira brothers in Slavuta in 1795 is particularly prized by many hasidic rebbes. In 1835, after an acrimonious dispute with the Szapira family, a new edition of the Talmud was printed by Menachem Romm of Vilna. Known as the Vilna Shas, this edition (and later ones printed by his widow and sons) has been used in the production of more recent editions of Talmud Bavli.

A page number in the Talmud refers to a double-sided page, known as a daf; each daf has two amudim labeled and , sides A and B. The referencing by daf is relatively recent and dates from the early Talmud printings of the 17th century. Earlier rabbinic literature generally only refers to the tractate or chapters within a tractate. Nowadays, reference is made in format [Tractate daf a/b] (e.g. Berachot 23b). In the Vilna edition of the Talmud there are 5,894 folio pages.

The text of the Vilna editions is considered by scholars not to be uniformly reliable. In the early twentieth century Nathan Rabinowitz published a series of volumes called Dikduke Soferim showing textual variants from early manuscripts and printings. In 1960 the Institute for the Complete Israeli Talmud started work on a new edition under the name of Gemara Shelemah (complete Gemara) under the editorship of Menachem Mendel Kasher: only the volume on the first part of tractate Pesachim appeared (in 1986) before the project was interrupted by his death. This edition contained a comprehensive set of textual variants and a few selected commentaries. There have been critical editions of particular tractates (e.g. Henry Malter's edition of Ta'anit), but there is no modern critical edition of the whole Talmud. The most recent edition is by the Oz ve-Hadar institute: this is basically an updated version of the Vilna edition, but cites variant texts in footnotes.

From the time of its completion, the Talmud became integral to Jewish scholarship. This section outlines some of the major areas of Talmudic study.

The earliest Talmud commentaries were written by the Geonim (approximately 800-1000, C.E.) in Babylonia. Although some direct commentaries on particular treatises are extant, our main knowledge of Gaonic era Talmud scholarship comes from statements embedded in Geonic responsa which shed light on Talmudic passages. Also important are practical abridgments of Jewish law such as Yehudai Gaon's Halachot Pesukot, Achai Gaon's Sheeltot and Simeon Kayyara's Halachot Gedolot. After the death of Hai Gaon, however, the center of Talmud scholarship shifts to Europe and North Africa.

One area of Talmudic scholarship developed out of the need to ascertain the Halakha. Early commentators such as Rabbi Isaac Alfasi (North Africa, 10131103) attempted to extract and determine the binding legal opinions from the vast corpus of the Talmud. Alfasi's work was highly influential and later served as a basis for the creation of halakhic codes. Another influential medieval Halakhic work following the order of the Babylonian Talmud, and to some extent modelled on Alfasi, was that of Rabbi Asher ben Yechiel (d. 1327).

A fifteenth century Spanish rabbi, Jacob ibn Habib (d. 1516), composed the Ein Yaakov. Ein Yaakov (or Ein Ya'aqob) extracts nearly all the Aggadic material from the Talmud. It was intended to familiarize the public with the ethical parts of the Talmud and to dispute many of the accusations surrounding its contents.

The Talmud is often cryptic and difficult to understand. Its language contains many Greek and Persian words which over time became obscure. A major area of Talmudic scholarship developed in order to explain these passages and words. Some early commentators such as Rabbenu Gershom of Mainz (10th c.) and Rabbenu ananel (early 11th c.) produced running commentaries to various tractates. These commentaries could be read with the text of the Talmud and would help explain the meaning of the text. Another important work is the Sefer ha-Mafteach (Book of the Key) by Nissim Gaon, which contains a preface explaining the different forms of Talmudic argumentation and then explains abbreviated passages in the Talmud by cross-referring to parallel passages where the same thought is expressed in full. Commentaries (iddushim) by Joseph ibn Migash on two tractates, Bava Batra and Shevuot, based on ananel and Alfasi, also survive. Using a different style, Rabbi Nathan b. Jechiel created a lexicon called the Arukh in the 11th century in order to translate difficult words.

By far the best known commentary on the Babylonian Talmud is that of Rashi (Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac, 10401105). The commentary is comprehensive, covering almost the entire Talmud. Written as a running commentary, it provides a full explanation of the words, and explains the logical structure of each Talmudic passage. It is considered indispensable to students of the Talmud.

Medieval Ashkenazic Jewry produced another major commentary known as Tosafot ("additions" or "supplements"). The Tosafot are collected commentaries by various medieval Ashkenazic Rabbis on the Talmud (known as Tosafists). One of the main goals of the Tosafot is to explain and interpret contradictory statements in the Talmud. Unlike Rashi, the Tosafot is not a running commentary, but rather comments on selected matters. Often the explanations of Tosafot differ from those of Rashi.

Among the founders of the Tosafist school were Rabbi Jacob b. Meir (known as Rabbeinu Tam), who was a grandson of Rashi, and, Rabbenu Tam's nephew, Rabbi Isaac ben Samuel. The Tosafot commentaries were collected in different editions in the various schools. The benchmark collection of Tosafot for Northern France was that of R. Eliezer of Touques. The standard collection for Spain was that of Rabbenu Asher ("Tosafot Harosh"). The Tosafot that are printed in the standard Vilna edition of the Talmud are an edited version compiled from the various medieval collections, predominantly that of Touques.[12]

Over time, the approach of the Tosafists spread to other Jewish communities, particularly those in Spain. This led to the composition of many other commentaries in similar styles. Among these are the commentaries of Ramban, Rashba, Ritva and Ran. A comprehensive anthology consisting of extracts from all these is the Shittah Mekubbetzet of Bezalel Ashkenazi.

There were other commentaries produced in Spain and Provence which were not influenced by the Tosafist style. Two of the most significant of these are the Yad Ramah by Rabbi Meir Abulafia (uncle of the mystic Abraham Abulafia) and Bet Habechirah by Rabbi Menahem haMeiri, commonly referred to as "Meiri". While the Bet Habechirah is extant for all of Talmud, we only have the Yad Ramah for Tractates Sanhedrin, Baba Batra and Gittin.

In later centuries, focus partially shifted from direct Talmudic interpretation to the analysis of previously written Talmudic commentaries. These later commentaries include "Maharshal" (Solomon Luria), "Maharam" (Meir Lublin) and "Maharsha" (Samuel Edels)

Another very useful study aid, found in almost all editions of the Talmud, consists of the marginal notes Torah Or, En Mishpat Ner Mitzvah and Masoret ha-Shas by the Italian rabbi Joshua Boaz, which give references respectively to the cited Biblical passages, to the relevant halachic codes and to related Talmudic passages.

During the 15th and 16th centuries, a new intensive form of Talmud study arose. Complicated logical arguments were used to explain minor points of contradiction within the Talmud. The term pilpul (related to the Hebrew word pilpel, meaning "spice" or "pepper") was applied to this type of study. Usage of pilpul in this sense (that of "sharp analysis") harks back to the Talmudic era and refers to the intellectual sharpness this method demanded.

Pilpul practitioners posited that the Talmud could contain no redundancy or contradiction whatsoever. New categories and distinctions (hillukim) were therefore created, resolving seeming contradictions within the Talmud by novel logical means.

In the Ashkenazi world the founders of pilpul are generally considered to be Jacob Pollak (14601541) and Shalom Shachna. This kind of study reached its height in the 16th and 17th centuries when expertise in pilpulistic analysis was considered an art form and became a goal in and of itself within the yeshivot of Poland and Lithuania. But the popular new method of Talmud study was not without critics; already in the 15th century, the ethical tract Orhot Zaddikim ("Paths of the Righteous" in Hebrew) criticized pilpul for an overemphasis on intellectual acuity. Many 16th- and 17th-century rabbis were also critical of pilpul. Among them may be noted Judah Loew ben Bezalel (the Maharal of Prague), Isaiah Horowitz, and Yair Bacharach.

By the 18th century, pilpul study waned. Other styles of learning such as that of the school of Elijah b. Solomon, the Vilna Gaon, became popular. The term "pilpul" was increasingly applied derogatorily to novellae deemed casuistic and hairsplitting. Authors referred to their own commentaries as "al derekh ha-peshat" (by the simple method) to contrast them with pilpul.[13]

Among Sephardi and Italian Jews from the fifteenth century on, some authorities sought to apply the methods of Aristotelian logic, as reformulated by Averroes.[14] This method was first recorded, though without explicit reference to Aristotle, by Isaac Campanton (d. Spain, 1463) in his Darkhei ha-Talmud ("The Ways of the Talmud"), and is also found in the works of Moses Chaim Luzzatto.

According to the present-day Sephardi scholar Jos Faur, traditional Sephardic Talmud study could take place on any of three levels. The most basic level, girsa (text), consists of literary analysis of the text without the help of commentaries, designed to bring out the tzurata di-shema'tata, i.e. the logical and narrative structure of the passage.[15] The intermediate level, 'iyyun (concentration), consists of study with the help of commentaries such as Rashi and the Tosafot, similar to that practised among the Ashkenazim. The highest level, halachah (law), consists of collating the opinions set out in the Talmud with those of the halachic codes such as the Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch, so as to study the Talmud as a source of law. (A project called Halacha Brura,[16] founded by Abraham Isaac Kook, presents the Talmud and the halachic codes side by side in book form so as to enable this kind of collation.)

A somewhat similar distinction exists in the Ashkenazi yeshivah curriculum between beki'ut (basic familiarization) and 'iyyun (in-depth study).

In the late nineteenth century another trend in Talmud study arose. Rabbi Hayyim Soloveitchik (18531918) of Brisk (Brest-Litovsk) developed and refined this style of study. Brisker method involves a reductionistic analysis of rabbinic arguments within the Talmud or among the Rishonim, explaining the differing opinions by placing them within a categorical structure. The Brisker method is highly analytical and is often criticized as being a modern-day version of Pilpul. Nevertheless, the influence of the Brisker method is great. Most modern day Yeshivot study the Talmud using the Brisker method in some form. One feature of this method is the use of Maimonides' Mishneh Torah as a guide to Talmudic interpretation, as distinct from its use as a source of practical halakha.

Rival methods were those of the Mir and Telz yeshivas.

As a result of emancipation from the ghetto (1789), Judaism underwent enormous upheaval and transformation during the nineteenth century, (see Reform Judaism, Haskala). Modern methods of textual and historical analysis were applied to the Talmud.

The text of the Talmud has been subject to some level of critical scrutiny throughout its history.

Rabbinic tradition holds that the people cited in both Talmuds did not have a hand in its writings; rather, their teachings were edited into a rough form around 450 CE (Talmud Yerushalmi) and 550 CE (Talmud Bavli.) The text of the Bavli especially was not firmly fixed at that time.

The Gaonic responsa literature addresses this issue. Teshuvot Geonim Kadmonim, section 78, deals with mistaken biblical readings in the Talmud. This Gaonic responsum states:

In the early medieval era, Rashi concluded that some statements in the extant text of the Talmud were insertions from later editors. On Shevuot 3b Rashi writes "A mistaken student wrote this in the margin of the Talmud, and copyists {subsequently} put it into the Gemara."[17]

The emendations of R. Yoel Sirkis and the Vilna Gaon are included in all standard editions of the Talmud, in the form of marginal glosses entitled Hagahot ha-Bach and Hagahot ha-Gra respectively; further emendations by R. Solomon Luria are set out in commentary form at the back of each tractate. The Vilna Gaon's emendations were often based on his quest for internal consistency in the text rather than on manuscript evidence;[18] nevertheless many of the Gaon's emendations were later verified by textual critics, such as Solomon Schechter, who had Cairo Genizah texts with which to compare our standard editions.[19]

In the nineteenth century R. Raphael Nathan Nota Rabinovicz published a multi-volume work entitled Dikdukei Soferim, showing textual variants from the Munich and other early manuscripts of the Talmud, and further variants are recorded in the Gemara Shelemah and Oz ve-Hadar editions (see Printing, above).

Historical study of the Talmud can be used to investigate a variety of concerns. One can ask questions such as: Do a given section's sources date from its editor's lifetime? To what extent does a section have earlier or later sources? Are Talmudic disputes distinguishable along theological or communal lines? In what ways do different sections derive from different schools of thought within early Judaism? Can these early sources be identified, and if so, how? Investigation of questions such as these are known as higher textual criticism. (The term "criticism", it should be noted, is a technical term denoting academic study.)

Religious scholars still debate the precise method by which the text of the Talmuds reached their final form. Many believe that the text was continuously smoothed over by the savoraim.

In the 1870s and 1880s Rabbi Raphael Natan Nata Rabbinovitz engaged in historical study of Talmud Bavli in his Diqduqei Soferim. Since then many Orthodox rabbis have approved of his work, including Rabbis Shlomo Kluger, Yoseph Shaul Ha-Levi Natanzohn, Yaaqov Ettlinger, Isaac Elhanan Spektor and Shimon Sofer.

During the early 19th century, leaders of the newly evolving Reform movement, such as Abraham Geiger and Samuel Holdheim, subjected the Talmud to severe scrutiny as part of an effort to break with traditional rabbinic Judaism. They insisted that the Talmud was entirely a work of evolution and development. This view was rejected as both academically incorrect, and religiously incorrect, by those who would become known as the Orthodox movement. Some Orthodox leaders such as Moses Sofer (the Chatam Sofer) became exquisitely sensitive to any change and rejected modern critical methods of Talmud study.

Some rabbis advocated a view of Talmudic study that they held to be in-between the Reformers and the Orthodox; these were the adherents of positive-historical Judaism, notably Nachman Krochmal and Zacharias Frankel. They described the Oral Torah as the result of a historical and exegetical process, emerging over time, through the application of authorized exegetical techniques, and more importantly, the subjective dispositions and personalities and current historical conditions, by learned sages. This was later developed more fully in the five volume work Dor Dor ve-Dorshav by Isaac Hirsch Weiss. (See Jay Harris Guiding the Perplexed in the Modern Age Ch. 5) Eventually their work came to be one of the formative parts of Conservative Judaism.

Another aspect of this movement is reflected in Graetz's History of the Jews. Graetz attempts to deduce the personality of the Pharisees based on the laws or aggadot that they cite, and show that their personalities influenced the laws they expounded.

The leader of Orthodox Jewry in Germany Samson Raphael Hirsch, while not rejecting the methods of scholarship in principle, hotly contested the findings of the Historical-Critical method. In a series of articles in his magazine Jeschurun (reprinted in Collected Writings Vol. 5) Hirsch reiterated the traditional view, and pointed out what he saw as numerous errors in the works of Graetz, Frankel and Geiger.

On the other hand, many of the nineteenth century's strongest critics of Reform, including strictly orthodox Rabbis such as Zvi Hirsch Chajes, utilized this new scientific method. The Orthodox Rabbinical seminary of Azriel Hildesheimer was founded on the idea of creating a "harmony between Judaism and science". Another Orthodox pioneer of scientific Talmud study was David Zvi Hoffman.

Orthodox Rabbi Yaakov Hayim Sofer (great-grandson of the Kaf ha-Hayyim) notes that the text of the Gemara has had changes and additions, and contains statements not of the same origin as the original. See his Yehi Yosef (Jerusalem, 1991) p.132 "This passage does not bear the signature of the editor of the Talmud!"

Orthodox scholar Daniel Sperber writes in "Legitimacy, of Necessity, of Scientific Disciplines" that many Orthodox sources have engaged in the historical (also called "scientific") study of the Talmud. As such, the divide today between Orthodoxy and Reform is not about whether the Talmud may be subjected to historical study, but rather about the theological and halakhic implications of such study.

Some trends within contemporary Talmud scholarship are listed below.

The Talmud is the written record of an oral tradition. It became the basis for many rabbinic legal codes and customs, of which the most important are the Mishneh Torah and the Shulchan Aruch. Orthodox and, to a lesser extent, Conservative Judaism accept the Talmud as authoritative, while Reconstructionist and Reform Judaism do not. This section briefly outlines past and current movements and their view of the Talmud's role.

The Sadducees were a Jewish sect which flourished during the Second Temple period. One of their main arguments with the Pharisees (later known as Rabbinic Judaism) was over their rejection of an Oral Law as well as denying a resurrection after death. The disagreement was not strictly speaking about the Talmud, as this had not been written at the time.

Another movement which rejected the oral law was Karaism. It arose within two centuries of the completion of the Talmud. Karaism developed as a reaction against the Talmudic Judaism of Babylonia. The central concept of Karaism is the rejection of the Oral Torah, as embodied in the Talmud, in favor of a strict adherence to the Written Law only. This opposes the fundamental Rabbinic concept that the Oral Law was given to Moses on Mount Sinai together with the Written Law. Some later Karaites took a more moderate stance, allowing that some element of tradition (called sevel ha-yerushah, the burden of inheritance) is admissible in interpreting the Torah and that some authentic traditions are contained in the Mishnah and the Talmud, though these can never supersede the plain meaning of the Written Law.

Karaism has virtually disappeared, declining from a high of nearly 10% of the Jewish population to a current estimated 0.2%.

With the rise of Reform Judaism, during the nineteenth century, the authority of the Talmud was again questioned. The Talmud was seen by Reform Jews as a product of late antiquity having relevance merely as a historical document. In some cases a similar view was taken of the written law as well, while others appeared to adopt a neo-Karaite "back to the Bible" approach, though often with greater emphasis on the prophetic than on the legal books.

Orthodox Judaism continues to stress the importance of Talmud study and it is a central component of Yeshiva curriculum, in particular for those training to be Rabbis. This is so even though Halakha is generally studied from the medieval codes and not directly from the Talmud. Talmudic study amongst the laity is widespread in Orthodox Judaism, with daily or weekly Talmud study particularly common in Haredi Judaism and with Talmud study a central part of the curriculum in Orthodox Yeshivas and day schools. The regular study of Talmud among laymen has been popularized by the Daf Yomi, a daily course of Talmud study initiated by Rabbi Meir Shapiro in 1923; its 12th cycle of study began on March 2, 2005.

Conservative Judaism similarly emphasizes the study of Talmud within its religious and rabbinic education. Generally, however, the Talmud is studied as a historical source-text for Halakha. The Conservative approach to legal decision-making emphasizes placing classic texts and prior decisions in historical and cultural context, and examining the historical development of Halakha. This approach has resulted in greater practical flexibility than that of the Orthodox. Talmud study is part of the curriculum of Conservative parochial education at many Conservative day schools and an increase in Conservative day school enrollments has resulted in an increase in Talmud study as part of Conservative Jewish education among a minority of Conservative Jews. See also: The Conservative Jewish view of the Halakha.

Reform Judaism does not emphasize the study of Talmud to the same degree in their Hebrew schools, but they do teach it in their rabbinical seminaries; the world view of liberal Judaism rejects the idea of binding Jewish law, and uses the Talmud as a source of inspiration and moral instruction. Ownership and reading of the Talmud is not widespread among Reform and Reconstructionist Jews, who usually place more emphasis on the study of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

Christian accusations against the Talmud have tended to fall into several categories, including alleged:[21]

Such accusations often shade into attacks on Jews or Judaism generally,[22] and should be distinguished from criticisms of the Talmud (including some criticism by Jews) on grounds such as excessive legalism, strained reasoning, unhistoric content and superstitious beliefs.[23]

The history of the Talmud reflects in part the history of Judaism persisting in a world of hostility and persecution. Almost at the very time that the Babylonian savoraim put the finishing touches to the redaction of the Talmud, the emperor Justinian issued his edict against deuterosis (doubling, repetition) of the Hebrew Bible.[24] It is disputed whether, in this context, deuterosis means "Mishnah" or "Targum": in patristic literature, the word is used in both senses. This edict, dictated by Christian zeal and anti-Jewish feeling, was the prelude to attacks on the Talmud, conceived in the same spirit, and beginning in the thirteenth century in France, where Talmudic study was then flourishing.

The charge against the Talmud brought by the Christian convert Nicholas Donin led to the first public disputation between Jews[25] and Christians and to the first burning of copies of the Talmud (Paris, Place de Grve, Friday June 17, 1242[26]). The Talmud was likewise the subject of the Disputation of Barcelona in 1263 between Nahmanides (Rabbi Moses ben Nahman) and Christian convert, Pablo Christiani. This same Pablo Christiani made an attack on the Talmud which resulted in a papal bull against the Talmud and in the first censorship, which was undertaken at Barcelona by a commission of Dominicans, who ordered the cancellation of passages deemed objectionable from a Christian perspective (1264).

At the Disputation of Tortosa in 1413, Geronimo de Santa F brought forward a number of accusations, including the fateful assertion that the condemnations of "pagans," "heathens," and "apostates" found in the Talmud were in reality veiled references to Christians. These assertion were denied by the Jewish community and its scholars, who contended that Judaic thought made a sharp distinction between those classified as heathen or pagan, being polytheistic, and those who acknowledge one true God (such as the Christians) even while worshipping the true monotheistic God incorrectly. Thus, Jews viewed Christians as misguided and in error, but not among the "heathens" or "pagans" discussed in the Talmud.

Both Pablo Christiani and Geronimo de Santa F, in addition to criticizing the Talmud, also regarded it as a source of authentic traditions some of which could be used as arguments in favour of Christianity. Examples of such traditions were statements that the Messiah was born around the time of the destruction of the Temple, and that the Messiah sat at the right hand of God.[27]

Two years later, Pope Martin V, who had convened this disputation, issued a bull (which was destined, however, to remain inoperative) forbidding the Jews to read the Talmud, and ordering the destruction of all copies of it. Far more important were the charges made in the early part of the sixteenth century by the convert Johannes Pfefferkorn, the agent of the Dominicans. The result of these accusations was a struggle in which the emperor and the pope acted as judges, the advocate of the Jews being Johann Reuchlin, who was opposed by the obscurantists; and this controversy, which was carried on for the most part by means of pamphlets, became the precursor of the Reformation .

An unexpected result of this affair was the complete printed edition of the Babylonian Talmud issued in 1520 by Daniel Bomberg at Venice, under the protection of a papal privilege. Three years later, in 1523, Bomberg published the first edition of the Jerusalem Talmud. After thirty years the Vatican, which had first permitted the Talmud to appear in print, undertook a campaign of destruction against it. On the New Year (September 9, 1553) the copies of the Talmud which had been confiscated in compliance with a decree of the Inquisition were burned at Rome; and similar burnings took place in other Italian cities, as at Cremona in 1559. The Censorship of the Talmud and other Hebrew works was introduced by a papal bull issued in 1554; five years later the Talmud was included in the first Index Expurgatorius; and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre Mishnah) instead of "Talmud" dates from this time.

The first edition of the expurgated Talmud, on which most subsequent editions were based, appeared at Basel (15781581) with the omission of the entire treatise of 'Abodah Zarah and of passages considered inimical to Christianity, together with modifications of certain phrases. A fresh attack on the Talmud was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII (157585), and in 1593 Clement VIII renewed the old interdiction against reading or owning it. The increasing study of the Talmud in Poland led to the issue of a complete edition (Krakw, 1602-5), with a restoration of the original text; an edition containing, so far as known, only two treatises had previously been published at Lublin (155976). In 1707 some copies of the Talmud were confiscated in the province of Brandenburg, but were restored to their owners by command of Frederick, the first king of Prussia. A further attack on the Talmud took place in Poland (in what is now Ukrainian territory) in 1757, when Bishop Dembowski, at the instigation of the Frankists, convened a public disputation at Kamianets-Podilskyi, and ordered all copies of the work found in his bishopric to be confiscated and burned by the hangman.

The external history of the Talmud includes also the literary attacks made upon it by Christian theologians after the Reformation, since these onslaughts on Judaism were directed primarily against that work, the leading example being Eisenmenger's Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked) (1700). In contrast, the Talmud was a subject of rather more sympathetic study by many Christian theologians, jurists and Orientalists of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Johann Reuchlin, John Selden, John Lightfoot and Johannes Buxtorf father and son.

The Vilna edition of the Talmud was subject to Russian government censorship, or self-censorship to meet government expectations, though this was less severe than some previous attempts: the title "Talmud" was retained and the tractate Avodah Zarah was included. Most modern editions are either copies of or closely based on the Vilna edition, and therefore still omit most of the disputed passages. Although they were not available for many generations, the removed sections of the Talmud, Rashi, Tosafot and Maharsha were preserved through rare printings of lists of errata, known as Chesronos Hashas ("Omissions of the Talmud"). Many of these censored portions were recovered ironically enough from uncensored manuscripts in the Vatican Library. Some modern editions of the Talmud contain some or all of this material, either at the back of the book, in the margin, or in its original location in the text.

In 1830, during a debate in the French Chamber of Peers regarding state recognition of the Jewish faith, Admiral Verhuell declared himself unable to forgive the Jews whom he had met during his travels throughout the world either for their refusal to recognize Jesus as the Messiah or for their possession of the Talmud. In the same year the Abb Chiarini published at Paris a voluminous work entitled "Thorie du Judasme," in which he announced a translation of the Talmud, advocating for the first time a version which should make the work generally accessible, and thus serve for attacks on Judaism. In a like spirit nineteenth century anti-Semitic agitators often urged that a translation be made; and this demand was even brought before legislative bodies, as in Vienna. The Talmud and the "Talmud Jew" thus became objects of anti-Semitic attacks, for example in August Rohling's Der Talmudjude (1871), although, on the other hand, they were defended by many Christian students of the Talmud, notably Hermann Strack.

Further attacks from anti-Semitic sources include Justinas Pranaitis' The Talmud Unmasked: The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians (1892) and Elizabeth Dilling's The Plot against Christianity (1964). The criticisms of the Talmud in many modern pamphlets and websites are often recognisable as verbatim quotes from one or other of these.

Criticism of the Talmud is widespread, in great part through the Internet.[28]

The Anti-Defamation League's report on this topic states:

In distorting the normative meanings of rabbinic texts, anti-Talmud writers frequently remove passages from their textual and historical contexts. Even when they present their citations accurately, they judge the passages based on contemporary moral standards, ignoring the fact that the majority of these passages were composed close to two thousand years ago by people living in cultures radically different from our own. They are thus able to ignore Judaism's long history of social progress and paint it instead as a primitive and parochial religion.

Those who attack the Talmud frequently cite ancient rabbinic sources without noting subsequent developments in Jewish thought, and without making a good-faith effort to consult with contemporary Jewish authorities who can explain the role of these sources in normative Jewish thought and practice.

Rabbi Gil Student, a prolific Internet author, writes:

Anti-Talmud accusations have a long history dating back to the 13th century when the associates of the Inquisition attempted to defame Jews and their religion [see Yitzchak Baer, A History of Jews in Christian Spain, vol. I pp. 150-185]. The early material compiled by hateful preachers like Raymond Martini and Nicholas Donin remain the basis of all subsequent accusations against the Talmud. Some are true, most are false and based on quotations taken out of context, and some are total fabrications [see Baer, ch. 4 f. 54, 82 that it has been proven that Raymond Martini forged quotations]. On the Internet today we can find many of these old accusations being rehashed...

Excerpt from:

Talmud | Religion-wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

ADL: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting believed to be deadliest …

Posted By on November 27, 2018

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ADL: Pittsburgh synagogue shooting believed to be deadliest ...

Congregation B’nai B’rith Night of Solidarity | Edhat

Posted By on November 26, 2018

By Robert Bernstein

Congregation B'nai B'rith hosted a Night of Solidarity to bring thecommunity together in the wake of a series of hate crimes around thecountry. Notably, the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.But other hate crimes as well.

Here are my photos,videos and event program.

The most notable aspect of the event was the sheer turnout of peoplefrom our community!

We were coming there from the Wake Center about two miles away. Assoon as we were on Cathedral Oaks Road we were in a traffic jam ofpeople streaming to the Temple!

We managed to find a spot on the floor to sit, but those who cameafter us had to listen from the lobby or beyond! It was heartwarmingto see the outpouring of support in our community!

We were welcomed in by Cantor (singer) Mark Childs performing"Comfort Me" in Hebrew and in English

Congregation B'nai B'rith President Steven Amerikaner talked of thelocal connections that Congregation members had to the Tree of Lifevictims and survivors. He then introduced Congressman Salud Carbajalwho delivered a message of inclusion and solidarity.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson was there to represent ourdistrict. But she also noted that she was there as a member of theCongregation. And especially "as a Jew".

Senator Jackson spoke of a neighbor hurling an anti-Semitic insult ather as she went about her business in her front yard as a teen inNewton, Massachusetts. She said that verbal assault still rings inher ears to this day.

I might note that in 1965 we were living in rural New England. Myfather took a job at the University of Maryland and we moved to thecity of New Carrollton near the campus. My brother and I were the newkids in the school and we seemed to be welcomed in. My brother waselected class president. But then people started asking him about ourname "Bernstein". "Are you Jews?" He was beaten up when he said wewere. We were forced to move away.

Fortunately, we found refuge in the city of Silver Spring on the DCborder which was a more diverse and inclusive community.

I am grateful for my positive memories growing up in Silver Springwith people of all races, religions, ethnicities, and colors. But itis hard to forget what it felt like to be forced to move for purehatred only for who we were by birth.

Hannah-Beth spoke of the Tree of Life members welcoming immigrants.Which seemed to be a special reason their temple was a target forviolence. Senator Jackson reminded us that almost all of us wereimmigrants. And that many early immigrants to America were not verynice to the actual Natives.

She went on to note the diversity of the crowd in solidarity for theevening. And she thanked those from other religions who were inattendance. And those from no faith at all. She urged us to turn hateinto love. Into kindness, more importantly.

Pastor Denise Leichter is President of Greater Santa Barbara ClergyAssociation and she echoed that message of inclusiveness.

Rabbi Daniel Brenner delivered a memorial service for those who weremurdered at the Tree of Life temple.

Then there was a memorial candle lighting with a number ofrepresentatives of our community. Including Santa Barbara Mayor CathyMurillo, Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, Santa Barbara Police Chief LoriLuhnow, Unitarian Minister Julia Hamilton and County Supervisor Janet Wolf.

Then Rabbi Stephen Cohen delivered the keynote address of the gathering.

He bravely mentioned Donald Trump and his language that inciteshatred, division, and violence. Some in the audience applauded hiscourage in making this statement. For many, the hate speech of DonaldTrump was the elephant in the room that was being ignored.

But Rabbi Cohen quickly shut that down with a wave and anadmonishment that this was not his point. He went on to talk of along history of hate and division before Trump was elected. Includingin the year before he was elected. He urged us to come together inlove and community to move forward to a better future.

The event closed with a final song by Cantor Mark Childs

The congregation was filled with people embracing as he sang.

See the rest here:
Congregation B'nai B'rith Night of Solidarity | Edhat

Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association B’nai B’rith Camp

Posted By on November 24, 2018

BBMCA: The mission of the Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association is to support the resident camping program of Bnai Brith Camp through scholarships, provision of equipment and supplies, maintenance and improvement of the camps facilities, and subvention of the camps operating budget.

Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association is also committed to the development and enhancement of a community of men dedicated to good fellowship, community, and to the Associations goal of insuring that Bnai Brith Camp provides the finest Jewish camping experience possible for kids of all religious, ethnic, cultural, and financial backgrounds.

For over 80 years, Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association (BBMCA) has supported Bnai Brith Camp on Devils Lake near the coast at Lincoln City, Oregon. In October 2009, BBMCA purchased Bnai Brith Camp from the Mittleman Jewish Community Center (tax id: 93-0386850) and created a subsidiary entity, Bnai Brith Camp LLC, to operate Camp through its own board of directors. BB Camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), licensed by the State of Oregon, and a member of the Jewish Community Center Association, the national organization of Jewish community centers and community camps.

BBMCA provides the capital support necessary to insure that BB Camps facilities are first rate and that BB Camp provides a quality camping experience for children of all backgrounds, always without regard to religious affiliation. BBMCA, its friends and supporters, make it possible for BB Camp to maintain the cost of Camp at levels most families can afford. However, Camp is expensive and BBMCA is committed to the proposition that no child should be denied the opportunity to attend Camp because of the familys inability to pay. BBMCA provides scholarship funds and first year camper incentives to back up that commitment.

Since 1931, the members of BBMCA have gathered each year at BB Camp for their own week long encampment. Many of BBMCAs adult campers started at BB Camp as kids, continuing their connection to BB Camp throughout their lives. Men from 25 to 91 return each year to BB Camp, staying in the same cabins and using the same facilities as the kids. Since the BBMCA adult campers actually use the camp, they are keenly aware of Camps needs. This is part of the reason they give so generously to support Camp. Mens Camp is a unique institution, providing a cross generational connection among the men and between the men and the children who attend BB Camp. The members of BBMCA understand that the bonds formed at Camp last a lifetime. This is evidenced not only by the existence and continuation of the Mens Camp as an institution, but by the number of adults who first became attached to BB Camp as kids and refuse to let the connection end. Through the generosity of the members of BBMCA and the many friends and alumni of the camp, Bnai Brith Camp will continue to be one of the finest and most affordable camps in North America.

Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association is an Oregon non-profit corporation recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code as a publicly supported organization. Grantors and contributors to BBMCA or its wholly owned subsidiary Bnai Brith Camp LLC, may rely upon this determination by the IRS in claiming contributions to BBMCA as charitable deductions.

For more information or to reach us via mail, please write:

Bnai Brith Mens Camp

9400 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Suite 200

Beaverton, OR 97005

Read more here:
Bnai Brith Mens Camp Association B'nai B'rith Camp

Jewish & Ashkenazi Genetic Diseases – Gaucher Disease

Posted By on November 15, 2018

While Gaucher disease (pronounced go-SHAY) affects people of all ethnic backgrounds, it is especially common in the Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish population. Testing for Gaucher disease as well as prenatal screening and genetic counseling can help you determine the risk of passing the Gaucher gene to your children.

Although Gaucher is pan-ethnic, Gaucher disease type 1 is the most prevalent inherited Jewish genetic disease. A number of genetic disorders occur more frequently in certain ethnic populations. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population (Eastern, Central and Northern European ancestry), it has been estimated that one in four individuals is a carrier of one of several genetic conditions.

These diseases include Tay-Sachs Disease, Canavan, Niemann-Pick, Gaucher, Familial Dysautonomia, Bloom Syndrome, Fanconi anemia, Cystic Fibrosis and Mucolipidosis IV. Some of these diseases may be severe and may result in the early death of a child. Carrier screening is available for all of these diseases with a blood test. Two carriers of the same disease have a 1 in 4 risk with each pregnancy of having a child affected with the disease for which they were identified as carriers.

Learn more about how Gaucher disease is inherited, or find out about prenatal screening and genetic counseling for Gaucher disease.

See the rest here:

Jewish & Ashkenazi Genetic Diseases - Gaucher Disease


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