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Ashkenazic And Sephardic Jewry –

Posted By on January 24, 2018

The transition from the Jewish community in Babylonia to Jewish communities in other parts of the world began already at the end of the eighth century. By the eleventh century the fulcrum of Jewish life had moved from Babylonia to new places in the world.

The Jewish community of Babylonia had connections with a small but growing Jewish community in North Africa, countries that are today Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. There were many centers of Jewish settlement in Morocco, including the cities of Kairouan, Fez and what is today Casablanca and Tunis. These Jews had loyalty to the Geonate (the Rabbinate) in Babylonia and supported the great academies and institutions there. But, physically speaking, especially in those times, they were a long way from Babylonia. It took almost a year for questions of Jewish law to come to Babylonia and then almost a year for the answer to come back. For various reasons, those communities were not equipped with their own scholars. Therefore, the Jewish communities there could not grow, expand or flourish unless they were somehow able to end their dependency on Babylonian Jewry and the Geonate/Rabbinate.

There is an interesting legend how the Jewish community spread beyond the borders of Babylon. It is important to remark that although legends may not necessarily be fully accurate, they accurately portray the people and circumstances of the time.

At the end of the eighth- beginning of the ninth century the academies in Babylon faced a serious economic crisis. They decided to send out emissaries to collect money. Usually, emissaries were not top echelon scholars. However, because the situation was so desperate they sent the leading members of the Talmudic community, the heads of the academies themselves.

Three of the names are known to us. One was Rabbi Chushiel, the father of Rabbi Chananel, whom we will discuss ahead. Second was Rabbi Moshe, the father of Rabbi Chanoch, another famous Torah scholar. The third was Rabbi Shmaryahu. The fourth man has remained anonymous.

These four great rabbis set out with their families to collect funds in faraway lands on behalf of the Babylonian academies. The Mediterranean was a dangerous place. Aside from the storms and the uncertain fate of ships, pirates abounded. And not only did these pirates look for booty, they looked for people they could kidnap and sell on the slave market.

The pirates knew that if they could capture Jews, especially prominent Jews, they could collect a great ransom. Informers told them that there were four great rabbis on this ship and not two or three days out of port they were captured.

The rabbis were first brought to Alexandria where Rabbi Shmaryahu was ransomed. But the pirates were unable to get a high enough price for four, so the remaining captives were brought west to the slave markets of Tunis and Fez.

Back then, Tunis and Fez were like the Western frontier. There were Jews, but they were never able to attract great rabbinic leadership. Now they saw a golden opportunity and struck a deal. Then they made the rabbis an offer. They would ransom them, but on the condition they stayed and helped build a thriving Jewish community.

Rabbi Chushiel and his son Rabbi Chananel agreed. Rabbi Moshe was ransomed in Spain. The fourth rabbi was sold in Sicily.

From these rabbis grew strong Jewish communities, and that is how the center of Jewish life began to shift. Within 50 to 80 years (by the year 900) North African Jewry no longer felt subservient to Babylonian rule.

Simultaneously, this contributed to the decline of Babylon as the center of world Jewry. Now outlying communities no longer were limited to addressing their questions there. They had their own great scholars. Economically too, Babylon was no longer necessarily the first address to send money to.

At that time, North Africa was populated by two tribes, the Berbers and the Moors. The Berbers were Arabs or close to the Arabs. The Moors were Africans of dark skin but Caucasian features. The Moors were sophisticated, cultured and technologically advanced for their time. They were, in fact, the cutting edge of civilization. They were poets, artists, artisans, mathematicians, merchants and ship builders. And they were very tolerant probably the most tolerant of all the Muslims. At the same time, they were probably the least religious of all the Muslims.

The Moors and Jews struck an alliance that would last almost 400 years an alliance that would carry the Moors to Spain at the same time the Jews would experience a Golden Age unequaled, perhaps, until the modern era.

The Berbers, on the other hand, were cavalrymen of note and fearless warriors. They were also good farmers and knew how to live in the mountains. Together, the Berbers supplied the brawn while the Moors supplied the brains and together they became the leading force of civilization.

North Africa became the land of opportunity for the Jews just as the United States would later become the land of opportunity for Jews in Eastern Europe. That opportunity was immeasurably increased by the existence of great rabbis and academies in North Africa. It meant that a Jew could go to where opportunity existed without really sacrificing or compromising his religion.

That, of course, only further undermined the Babylonian Jewish community. From the letters of the times, it is obvious that it increasingly became an older community, a community only for people who were well-established. Younger people who did not have much began to move to North Africa. That explains how that within the timespan of a century almost 150,000 Jews arrived in North Africa.

The great rabbis of North Africa included Rabbi Chananel, the son of one of the four captives, Rabbi Chushiel. He was the rabbi in Kairouan. He wrote a commentary to the entire Talmud. The great rabbis of the early Middle Ages based much of their commentary on his. Rashis seminal commentary on the Talmud, for instance, bases many things upon Rabbi Chananels pioneering work. No one equaled Rashi he was a gift from heaven that never came before or since but the groundwork for his and other commentaries were laid during this era.

Rabbi Chananel built an enormous academy in Kairouan and was extremely influential. In particular, he had a tremendous influence on one of the great men of not only North African Jewry but one of the great men of all Jewish history, Rabbi Isaac of Fez, known in Jewish scholarly circles by his acronym, the Rif.

The Rif lived more than 100 years and had five distinct generations of disciples because he headed an academy by the age of 20. His influence spanned not only that century but later centuries.

The Rif composed the first of the basic books of Jewish law upon which the Shulchan Aruch, the codebook of Jewish law, was based. Therefore, while Rabbi Chananel wrote the Talmudic commentary that all future Talmudic commentaries were built upon, Rabbi Isaac, the Rif, wrote the Jewish law book that all future Jewish law codifications were built upon.

Thanks to efforts from people like Rabbi Chananel and Rabbi Isaac the Jewish community in North Africa became very strong. Jews from that community would move into Spain when the Moors invaded and colonized Spain. At the same time the Sephardic communities were developing in North Africa and Spain, the Ashkenazic Jews were developing in France and the German Rhineland. Even though these two Jewish communities developed at the same time they occupied two completely different worlds, so to speak.

The Jews in North Africa and Spain lived in a Muslim world. They lived in a sunny world, a world that was tolerant toward them (at least relatively speaking). The Ashkenazic Jews lived in a colder climate in more ways than one. They lived in a superstitious, primitive Christian world; in a world of constant danger and hatred; a world that would produce the Crusades; a world of fanaticism and feudalism; a world of the Black Death. It is mind-boggling to consider how Ashkenazic Jewry survived during those early centuries of its development.

The spiritual founder of Ashkenazic Jewry was Rabbi Gershom ben Judah, known as Rabbeinu Gershom. He was the last of the Geonim. Born in 960 CE in Mainz (he died in 1030 CE), he lived most of his life in the French Rhineland, though he did travel as far as todays Yugoslavia on the Adriatic. He is the father of Ashkanazic Jewry in the same way that Rabbi Chananel and Rabbi Isaac, the Rif, were the fathers of Sephardic Jewry.

He is best known and most remembered for a number of decrees mentioned in his name which have become binding upon Ashkenazic Jewry. The most famous of those decrees was the ban against polygamy.

Under the laws of the Torah a man was allowed to have more than one wife at one time though as a social and practical matter, monogamy was by far the accepted norm for the traditional Jewish home. Polygamous marriages existed in the Torah, Prophets and Talmud and especially in Jewish communities in the Arab countries.

Rabbeinu Gershom came and banned polygamy. He did not spell out his reasons for the ban, but many have been advanced since. One reason mentioned by the commentators was to prevent licentiousness. A second reason was that they lived in a Christian society that was not only against polygamy, but against marriage! A religion that allowed or encouraged polygamy could not survive in that type of Christian-dominated society. Other reasons were advanced as well. Whatever the reason, the ban against polygamy took hold.

Another decree Rabbeinu Gershom made was that a woman could not be divorced against her will. The ban in effect opposed frivolous divorce. If the woman did not agree, then the divorce could not be granted. Even today both parties have to agree to a Jewish divorce.

Another decree of Rabbeinu Gershom had to do with apostate Jews. We cannot imagine the pressure Jews were subject to in medieval Europe to convert to Christianity. The pressure was not only economic and social, but came with the threat of death and torture. Many of these Jews recanted on their deathbeds. Others wanted to be accepted back into the Jewish community or at least be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

There were many Jews who resented that especially those who suffered under the same trying circumstances but did not succumb. They harbored an understandable feeling of animosity and bitterness toward those who did give in. Nevertheless, Rabbeinu Gershom defended the right of apostate Jews to return to Judaism. This policy was a milestone in Jewish history.

These were only some of Rabbeinu Gershoms decrees. All told, they helped lay the groundwork for European Jewry until this day. That is why he was considered the father of Ashkenazic Jewry.

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Ashkenazic And Sephardic Jewry –

Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

Posted By on January 21, 2018

Denial of the Holocaust and the genocide in Auschwitz

The concealment of the crime and removal of evidence by the perpetrators

Despite the fact that the tens of thousands of prisoners who survived Auschwitz were witnesses to the crimes committed there; despite the fact that they left behind thousands of depositions, accounts, and memoirs; despite the fact that considerable quantities of documents, photographs, and material objects remain from the campdespite all of this, there are people and organizations who deny that hundreds of thousands of people were murdered in this camp, that gas chambers operated there, or that the crematoria could burn several thousand corpses per day. In other words, they deny that Auschwitz was the scene of genocide.

Auschwitz is, in many ways, the main target of attacks by deniers, yet the denial of genocide, the existence of the gas chambers, and mass murder nevertheless extends to all the camps, the death camps, and, generally, the mass killing of the Jews.

The scale of this phenomena and its social harmfulness have been acknowledged in many countries as a threat to the social order and made punishable under the law. The legal procedures launched every so often against the deniers prove that the problem is real. It a problem not only for public prosecutors, but also a challenge for historians and educational institutions.

There is nothing new about denial of the crime of genocide or silence about genocide. From the beginning of the war, mainly for political reasons, the Nazis themselves did everything they could to keep international public opinion, and above all the Allied and neutral countries, but also the potential victims, in the dark about the extermination of people in the occupied countries.

Among themselves, however, the narrow circle of the Nazi ruling elite did not conceal these criminal acts.

Addressing high ranking officers in Pozna on October 4, 1943, Himmler, the head of the German police and the SS, said that Most of you here know what it means when 100 corpses lie next to each other, when 500 lie there. . .. This is an honor roll in our history which has never been and never will be put in writing (IMT translation).

What did the Nazis do to conceal the crime they had committed? What did they do so that this honor roll in our historyor roll of shamewould never be put in writing?

First: they limited the written record of their crime to a minimum;

Second: they falsified the record, to the degree that technical and organizations made its existence necessary;

Third: they destroyed the superfluous and the most incriminating part of the record, once it had served its purpose, in the final phase of the Third Reich. They destroyed not only documents. They also destroyed the mass killing apparatus and liquidated the witnesses.

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Holocaust denial / History / Auschwitz-Birkenau

h o l l a n d r o a d s h u l – HOME

Posted By on January 14, 2018

O U R S Y N A G O G U Ethe origins…

Holland Road Synagogue was established in 1929 (5689)

At the beginning of December 1914, Aaron Samuels moved from Westcliffe-on-Sea, Essex to Montefiore Road Hove. There were a number of Jewish anglicised Sephardim business people in Brighton who attended the ornate Brighton Synagogue but some found the walk to Middle Street rather too far. (The shul in Middle Street was built in 1874 and consecrated in 1875).

The first Trustees, Woolfe Bilmes, Abraham Gould, Louis Woolfe Frankel and Samuel Haniston found the building, ‘Mosss Olympic Gymnasium’ at the corner of Landsdown Road and Holland Road.

He, Aaron, after consulting his father-in-law, Rabbi Nachum Lipman, Rosh Hashochemtim for 44 years decided to form a Minyan at his home.

Mr L W Frankel, a member of Middle Street, annoyed at not having been called up after his return from Palestine, arranged a meeting of a few interested men at his house in 13 Brunswick Terrace, Hove to discuss the formation of a Synagogue Committee to establish a shul in Hove for people living in the area.

Rev. S. Anekstein was the first Minister for the New Synagogue which became the Hove Hebrew Congregation Synagogue on June 9th 1929 when the official stone laying took place. The building was opened on 23rd February 1930 (25 Shvat 5690).

Above: The gymnasium in Holland Road erected in 1883 and run by Charles Hutton Moss.

Rabbi Samuel de Beck Spitzer

Rabbi Samuel studied Piano and Voice at the LondonCollege of Music, graduating with Honours and thenentered the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester UK, on the Postgraduate Opera Course, where he was awarded the Professional Performers Diploma.As well as holding the Official Post of Rabbi to Lisbon, Portugal in 2015, Rabbi Samuel trained as a Medical Clown at Haifa University and has worked in this capacity at the Shaare Zedek Medical Centre, Jerusalem, Israel.Rabbi Samuel is Community Rabbi to Hove HebrewCongregation.

Contact:Hove Hebrew Congregation 79 Holland Road Hove BN3 1JNt. 01273 721888m. 07532 626222e.

Mincha 4pm

SHABBAT SERVICES20th January 4 Shevat

Shacharit 9.15am

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Our celebratory kiddushim are (dare we say it) legendary and are offered to members on a cost price basis (from 50).

If you would like to sponsor a kiddush to celebrate a simcha or mark a special occasionplease

COMMUNITY SECURITY TRUSTCST information is available via the ‘Community’ menu

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h o l l a n d r o a d s h u l – HOME

When Zionism is the essence of life, a break has huge …

Posted By on January 12, 2018

Breaking with Zionism can be a life-shattering experience.

In Israel, the Jewish-Israeli society is by and large Zionist in degrees varying from the so-called liberal-Zionist to the fundamentalist Zionist. There is not really, necessarily, much of a difference when one speaks of this breaking experience in one faction or the other.

The thing with Zionism is, that its adherents basically see it as a kind of essence of life. The Zionist indoctrination teaches that its about our very existence. The us is generally considered to be the Jewish nation or the Jewish people, and hence the individual is seen as a small part in this. As the survival of the whole also encompasses the individual, any breaking with Zionism is considered a kind of societal treachery, which endangers the strength and even survival of the whole.

Narratives challenging the factual veracity of the survival notion, like pointing out the thriving Jewish existence elsewhere, is rather meaningless for Zionists. Under the Zionist meta-narrative, this is all temporary. Jewish thriving is temporary, and simply awaits a point in time wherein the gentiles will again turn on the Jews, because thats what happens in each and every generation, as the Passover chant goes.

And the Zionist answer to this supposedly perilous, eternal state of affairs, is a Jewish nation-state. So in the bigger paradigm, Zionists simply see the solution the Jewish nation-state, as a survivalist solution. They are therefore not inclined to see any problems ensuing from it, such as human rights violations and challenging of international law, as more than mere obstacles or challenges facing this special case Israel.

So when one points out these violations, this is an irritation for Zionists not necessarily because they are not aware of them but because by pointing them out, one is not showing sympathy with the challenges facing the special case that Israel is, for them.

Since the case of Israel and Zionism needs a special dispensation, even an individuals emotional breaking with Zionism can be perceived as a danger. And when one thus breaks with Zionism, it is seen in highly emotional, personal terms by those for whom it represents the essence of life.

That one then characterizes this kind of allegiance to the Zionist essence of life, as a kind of fascist adherence reminiscent of totalitarian societies, does nothing to add understanding amongst ones peers. It merely adds insult to injury for them.

Furthermore, the talk about the intrinsic violation of human rights inherent in Zionism is only offensive to Zionists, and here particularly to the liberal Zionists, since it suggests that the whole grand ideology which they subscribe to is irreconcilable with values of equality and even democracy. Natasha Roth makes an eloquent summation of this in her article concerning the recent Israeli blacklist of BDS activists. Roth writes:

The Israeli government apparently considers the banning of BDS activists acceptable behavior for a democracy, a view facilitated by its having very diligently cultivated and promoted the lie that BDS is an anti-Semitic movement aimed at destroying Israel. This lie has been remarkably successful, despite the clear statement on the official website of the BDS movement that its goal is to secure the same human and civil rights for Palestinians as everyone else living in Israeli-controlled territory. But if granting equal rights to everyone who lives in the territory controlled by Israel will cause the state to implode, then surely those who oppose BDS on those grounds are ignoring a fundamental problem that a state which cannot survive if all its residents have equal rights is by definition not a democracy.

In other words, Zionism renders the supposed values of liberalism meaningless. It may well be that liberal Zionists consider liberal values to be their highest goal, but when it comes down to the competition between Zionism and liberalism, Zionists will go Zionist. Where the more fundamentalist and more unabashed fascist Zionists are concerned, this is less of an affront, because they have less of an inclination to respect the liberal notion anyway. But even fascists tend to think that their values are related to freedom and moral superiority they simply judge the others to not be part of the club.

So when the break occurs, it is a break that will inevitably lead one to reconsider the totality of the indoctrination and set of values one was brought up with. One ends up having to question the nature of those values, inasmuch as they hold up such a construct Zionism to be the essence of life. If one had thought that one was brought up on values of respect, one has to then mirror that claim against the intrinsic disrespect of Zionism towards the native others Palestinians. If this mirror does not bear the picture, if this disrespect a genocidal one, let it be noted cannot be reconciled with respect, the mirror shatters. One has to re-educate and re-assemble ones whole set of values to establish a new and real concept of respect. This example pertains to a long list of values.

Thus the breaking with Zionism becomes a core breaking by oneself with a whole value-system with which one was raised. Ones family and peers register that ones distance is not merely political; it is, inevitably, about ones essential nature of being. Zionists perceive this as a suggestion that they, the Zionists, are regarded as others of lesser values, and instinctively register that regard as an offense, even throwing them back to the anti-Semitic idea of Jews as lesser beings (even when it is a Jew breaking with Zionism). This is offensive to a Zionists whole being, on so many levels. They will inevitably feel a natural aversion to the person.

The solution to this aversion, if the people still want to deal with one another, might simply be avoiding the topic as much as possible. But the knowing will be there. It will be like an elephant in the room, the one we cant talk about Zionism.

People who are in such a society the one which upholds and enshrines Zionism know all this instinctively. The price of breaking with it can be high. Its not only a breaking with society, its a breaking with ones past. For most people, such a price is considered simply too high. But those who have realized that Palestinians are paying and have paid an incomparably high price for Zionism may find the price very tolerable and worthy. The intrinsic and general Zionist denial of Palestinian suffering is a part of this mechanism. If you deny it, and cannot feel it, then you can keep the mask, keep your self-righteousness, and keep the belief that Zionism is the only way.

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When Zionism is the essence of life, a break has huge …

Is Liberal Zionism Dead? – The New York Times

Posted By on January 11, 2018

Not long after Trumps announcement, the central committee of the ruling Likud Party passed a resolution calling for the de facto annexation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Knesset passed an amendment requiring a supermajority to give up Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem, making a peace deal with the Palestinians even more elusive.

Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organizations central council, told me that before Trumps decision, there was a frozen peace process, but many people believed it could be restarted. Mr. Trump killed the potential, he said.

This appears to have been intentional. Writing in Fire and Fury, his new book about the Trump administration, Michael Wolff quotes Steve Bannon boasting about the implications of moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which Bannon treated as a death knell to Palestinian national aspirations. We know where were heading on this, Bannon reportedly said to the ousted Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes. Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza.

Despite Bannons Great Game fantasies, thats not going to happen. Instead, if the possibility of Palestinian statehood is foreclosed, Israel will be responsible for all the territory under its control. There will be one state; the question is what sort of state it will be. Some on the Israeli right foresee a system in which most Palestinians will remain stateless indefinitely, living under a set of laws different from those governing Israeli citizens. Yoav Kish, a Likud member of Parliament, has drawn up a plan in which Palestinians in the West Bank will have limited local administrative sovereignty; rather than citizens they will be Residents of the Autonomy. Supporters of Israel hate it when people use the word apartheid to describe the country, but we dont have another term for a political system in which one ethnic group rules over another, confining it to small islands of territory and denying it full political representation.

The word apartheid will become increasingly inescapable as a small but growing number of Palestinians turn from fighting for independence to demanding equal rights in the system they are living under. If the Israelis insist now on finishing the process of killing the two-state solution, the only alternative we have as Palestinians is one fully democratic, one-state solution, Barghouti says, in which everyone has totally equal rights.

Needless to say, Israel will accept no such thing. Though demographics in the region are as contested as everything else, Palestinians are likely to soon become a majority of the population in Israel and the occupied territories. If all of them were given the right to vote, Israel would cease to be a Jewish state.

But most of the world including most of the Jewish diaspora will have a hard time coming up with a decent justification for opposing a Palestinian campaign for equal rights. Israels apologists will be left mimicking the argument that William F. Buckley once made about the Jim Crow South. In 1957, he asked rhetorically whether the white South was entitled to prevail politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically. The sobering answer, he concluded, was yes, given the white communitys superior civilization.

Its impossible to say how long Israel could sustain such a system. But the dream of liberal Zionism would be dead. Maybe, with the far right in power both here and there, it already is.

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Is Liberal Zionism Dead? – The New York Times


Posted By on January 10, 2018

Word by Word Aramaic / English DictionaryTalmud Study & Research English Translation ToolFinally… a software program that improves the way you study Talmud. It used to be that if you did not know the meaning of a Talmudic or Aramaic word, you would turn to your Jastrow Dictionary and eventually find the meaning. Of course that was provided you knew the root of the word and where to look. The Jastrow which is the flagship of Talmudic Aramaic Dictionaries is thousands of pages and anyone who ever used one, will appreciate Word by Word Aramaic Dictionary. Now with Word by Word Aramaic Dictionary, you have instant access to 166,895 words and definitions in Aramaic or English. Word by Word Aramaic Dictionary translates Aramaic and Talmudic words to English and vice versa. When there are multiple meanings of a word, it will show them as well. The entire Jastrow Dictionary is instantly available in electronic format. Thousands of pages are instantly accessible and printable. When checking the included dictionary you will learn the meaning of the word, its proper form and root, and example of the word used in context…

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Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Diseases

Posted By on January 8, 2018

A number of genetic disorders occur more frequently in certain ethnic populations. In the Ashkenazi Jewish population (those of Eastern European descent), 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 simple blood test.

In the nucleus of every cell in the body there are 46 chromosomes. Each chromosome is a package that holds many genes. Our genes contain DNA, the set of instructions that makes up who we are. All chromosomes (and the genes that are on those chromosomes) come in pairs. We receive one member of each pair of chromosomes from our mother and the other member of the pair from our father. Sometimes there is a change in a gene (called a mutation) that causes the gene to malfunction.

All of the above-mentioned conditions are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. This means that an affected person has a change in both genes of the pair of genes, one change inherited from each parent. Neither gene in the pair is working properly, which causes the symptoms of the disease.

A carrier is someone who has a change in only one gene of the pair of genes. Carriers are healthy individuals who are only at risk for passing the gene change on to their children. Most often these diseases occur in families with no prior history of the disease.

Tay-Sachs Disease A condition where children develop normally until about four to six months of age. It is at this time that the central nervous system begins to degenerate. Individuals with Tay-Sachs Disease lack an enzyme called hexosaminidase (Hex A). The child loses all motor skills and becomes blind, deaf and unresponsive. Death usually occurs by the age of four. The carrier rate in the Ashkenazi Jewish population is approximately 1 in 25. More rare than the infantile type is Late Onset Tay-Sachs Disease, where the progression of symptoms is slower and milder.

Canavan DiseaseVery similar to Tay-Sachs Disease, with normal development until age two to four months, followed by progressive loss of previously attained skills. Most individuals with Canavan Disease die by the age of five. An estimated 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier for this disease.

Niemann-Pick Disease Type A A disease in which a harmful amount of a fatty substance accumulates in different parts of the body. Failure to thrive and a progressive neurodegenerative course lead to death by three years of age. The carrier rate in the Ashkenazi Jewish population is approximately 1 in 90.

Gaucher Disease Type 1(Pronounced go-shay) is a variable condition, both in age of onset and in progression of symptoms. A painful, enlarged and overactive spleen, with anemia and low white blood cell count are usually the initial features of Gaucher Disease. Bone deterioration is a major cause of discomfort and disability. Approximately 1 in 14 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of this condition. Treatment is available.

Familial DysautonomiaA disease that causes the autonomic and sensory nervous systems to malfunction. This affects the regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, stress response, normal swallowing and digestion. An estimated 1 in 30 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier of FD.

Bloom SyndromeCharacterized by short stature, sun-sensitive facial skin lesions, an increased susceptibility to infections and a higher incidence of leukemia and certain cancers. The carrier rate is about 1 in 100 in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.

Fanconi anemia Type C A disease associated with short stature, bone marrow failure and a predisposition to leukemia and other cancers. Some children may have learning difficulties or mental retardation. Approximately 1 in 89 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier for this condition.

Mucolipidosis IVCaused by the accumulation of certain harmful substances throughout the body. Individuals with ML IV experience a range of levels of motor and mental retardation, with developmental delays often manifesting themselves as early as the first year of life. Other symptoms can be related to the eyes, such as corneal clouding, pseudostrabismus and retinal degeneration.

Cystic FibrosisA multi-system disorder that causes the body to produce a thick mucus. The mucus accumulates primarily in the lungs and the digestive tract, resulting in chronic lung infections and poor growth. CF does not affect intelligence. The carrier rate for CF among all Caucasian individuals is approximately 1 in 25. The CF carrier test has a detection rate of 97% in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.

If two carriers of the same disorder have children, there is a 25% chance of having an affected child, a 50% chance of having a child who is a carrier like themselves, and a 25% chance of having a child who is neither affected nor a carrier. If an individual is found to be a carrier, genetic counseling is available at many clinics throughout the country to discuss the implications of this finding. If partners are found to be carriers of the same disorder(s), a genetic counselor can provide information and support, which may be helpful in making important family planning decisions.

The results of these tests are highly accurate. However, there is a slight possibility that someone who tests negative for being a carrier could still be a carrier. There may be rare mutations that DNA testing may not pick up.

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Ashkenazi Jewish Genetic Diseases

Appeal postponed again in Nazi Grandma Holocaust denial …

Posted By on January 8, 2018

A German court was due to make a decision on Thursdayin the appeal of an 89-year-old woman convicted of incitement to racial hatred on multiple occasions. Her appeal, however, has once more been postponed. Ursula Haverbeck challengedtwo verdicts handed down by a court in the western town of Detmold, after she denied that the genocide of Jews between 1941 and 1945 had taken place.

Under German law, denial of the Holocaust in which 6 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis constitutes incitement ofracial hatred. Convictions can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.

Read more: Hungary hands over Holocaust denier Horst Mahler to Germany

The villa on Berlin’s Wannsee lake was pivotal in planning the Holocaust. 15 members of the Nazi government and the SS Schutzstaffel met here on January 20, 1942 to plan what became known as the “Final Solution,” the deportation and extermination of all Jews in German-occupied territory. In 1992, the villa where the Wannsee Conference was held was turned into a memorial and museum.

The Nazi regime opened the first concentration camp in Dauchau not far from Munich. Just a few weeks after Adolf Hitler came to power it was used by the paramilitary SS “Schutzstaffel” to imprison, torture and kill political opponents to the regime. Dachau also served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi camps that followed.

Nuremberg hosted the biggest Nazi party propaganda rallies from 1933 until the start of the Second World War. The annual Nazi party congress as well as rallies with as many as 200,000 participants took place on the 11-km (4.25 square miles) area. Today, the unfinished Congress Hall building serves as a documentation center and a museum.

The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Lower Saxony was initially established as a prisoner of war camp before becoming a concentration camp. Prisoners too sick to work were brought here from other concentration camps, so many also died of disease. One of the 50,000 killed here was Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who gained international fame posthumously after her diary was published.

The Bendlerblock building in Berlin was the headquarters of a military resistance group. On July 20, 1944, a group of Wehrmacht officers around Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg carried out an assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler that failed. The leaders of the conspiracy were summarily shot the same night in the courtyard of the Bendlerblock, which is today the German Resistance Memorial Center.

From 1941 people with physical and mental disabilities were killed at a psychiatric hospital in Hadamar in Hesse. Declared “undesirables” by the Nazis, some 15,000 people were murdered here by asphyxiation with carbon monoxide or by being injected with lethal drug overdoses. Across Germany some 70,000 were killed as part of the Nazi-euthanasia program. Today Hadamar is a memorial to those victims.

Located next to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was inaugurated sixty years after the end of World War II on May 10, 2005, and opened to the public two days later. Architect Peter Eisenman created a field with 2,711 concrete slabs. An attached underground “Place of Information” holds the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.

Not too far from the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, another concrete memorial honors the thousands of homosexuals persecuted by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. The four-meter high monument, which has a window showing alternately a film of two men or two women kissing, was inaugurated in Berlin’s Tiergarten on May 27, 2008.

Opposite the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin, a park inaugurated in 2012 serves as a memorial to the 500,000 Sinti and Roma people killed by the Nazi regime. Around a memorial pool the poem “Auschwitz” by Roma poet Santino Spinelli is written in English, Germany and Romani: “gaunt face, dead eyes, cold lips, quiet, a broken heart, out of breath, without words, no tears.”

In the 1990s, the artist Gunther Demnig began a project to confront Germany’s Nazi past. Brass-covered concrete cubes were placed in front of the former houses of Nazi victims, providing details on the person as well as the dates of deportation and death, if known. More than 45,000 “Stolpersteine” have been laid in 18 countries in Europe – it’s the world’s largest decentralized Holocaust memorial.

Right next to the “Fhrerbau” where Adolf Hitler had his office, the headquarters of the Nazi Party in Germany were based in the “Brown House” in Munich. A white cube now occupies its former location. A new “Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism” opened on April 30, 2015, 70 years after the liberation of the Nazi regime, uncovering further dark chapters of history.

Author: Max Zander, Ille Simon

The Detmold court initially sentenced Haverbeck to eight months imprisonmentin September2016, after she sent a letter to Detmold’s mayor, Rainer Heller, claiming that Auschwitz was not a concentration camp.

After the trial, Haverbeck, from the western town of Vlotho, defiantly handed out a pamphlet to journalists as well as the judge and the prosecutor. In the document, entitled “Only the truth will set you free,” she again denied the Nazi atrocities. For this, Haverbeck was sentenced to an additional 10 months.

Still to serve time

Haverbeck, who has been dubbed by the German press as “Nazi-Oma,”meaning “Nazi Grandma,”has been sentenced to jail five timesin total. The most recent occasion was in October, when a Berlin district court sentenced her to six months in jail for incitement to racial hatred.

So far, she has not served any prison time, having appealed the sentences on each occasion and with proceedings ongoing and repeatedly postponed in each case. Haverbeck claims she has been merely repeating an opinion.

Haverbeck fellfoul of the law in the German capital by speaking at a public event in January 2016, when she claimed that gas chambers and the Auschwitz concentration camp “were not real.”

Read more: Lizard conspiracist David Icke not wanted in Berlin

Haverbeck and her late husband Werner Georg Haverbeck, who was an active NSDAP member in the run-up to and during World War II, founded a right-wing education center called Collegium Humanum, which has been banned since 2008. She wrote for the right-wing magazineStimme des Reiches(Voice of the Empire), in which she also denied that the Holocaust existed.

In August, Haverbeck was sentenced to two years in prison as a consequence. At that trial, she spoke of an “Auschwitz lie.”

rc/rt (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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Hasidic Concrete Companies Plead Guilty To Tax Fraud The …

Posted By on January 7, 2018

Orange County District Attorney

David Gross, left, and David Friedman.

Three concrete corporations run by Hasidic Jews in upstate New York pled guilty to withholding $780,000 in taxes, the Times Herald-Record reported.

Two principals of the mixing companies, David Gross and David Friedman, were also sentenced to misdemeanor tax fraud. The sentences were given in late December.

Two of the companies Concrete On Demand and Copour have offices in Kiryas Joel, a Hasidic enclave in Rockland County. The village is almost exclusively inhabited by members of the Satmar Hasidic group. An office for the third company, Comix, Inc., is in a nearby town in Orange County.

Each company admitted to collecting sales tax but not paying it to the state withholding as much as $50,000 in one year.

Both Gross and Friedman gave the court checks for the full amounts owed to the state by their companies shortly after sentencing. Court-imposed penalties for the tax fraud could be as high as double the amount the nearly $800,000 the companies owed.

Contact Ari Feldman at or on Twitter @aefeldman

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Hasidic Concrete Companies Plead Guilty To Tax Fraud The …


Posted By on January 2, 2018

Dear traveler, welcome to the Jewish Dubrovnikhomepage.Through the history Dubrovnik City was determined by Christian religion and politics were closely related to the one of Rome. More than 2 milion touristsvisit Dubrovnik City each year. Visitors often do not know that the city was also home of the Jews expelled from Spain, Portugal and Italy. Jewish Dubrovnik tours take in focus life of Jewish community in Dubrovnik through the pass of centuries.Stories and legends of Dubrovnik Jewish community are still livingnowadays on Dubrovnik city streets thanks to Jewish Dubrovnik guides and our tours.Be blessed upon your arrival ismessage we have for all travelers planing to visit Dubrovnik City. Same message is standing above Dubrovnik Synagogue doors. Let us be your host in Dubrovnik and allow us to make Jewish DubrovnikTour highlight of your trip to Croatia.

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Jewish Dubrovnik Team

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