Page 21234..1020..»

Israel protests, strikes: Netanyahu survives no-confidence vote over …

Posted By on March 28, 2023

JERUSALEM - MARCH 27: Israelis, carrying Israeli flags and anti-government placards, gather outside the Knesset to protests against the Israeli government's plan to introduce judicial changes.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu survived a no-confidence vote in the Knesset, the country's parliament, amid what is possibly the largest wave of demonstrations in Israel's history.

Mass protests are rocking Israel, and the country's largest labor union announced a major strike Monday, in opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's months-long attempt to push through widely-derided judicial reforms that opponents say will pull the country toward autocracy.

"Stop this judicial process before it is too late," Arnon Bar-David, Israel's Histadrut union leader, said in a televised speech, addressing Netanyahu directly. Histadrut which at 800,000 members represents the majority of Israel's trade unionists declared a "historic" general strike to "stop this judicial revolution, this craziness," Bar-David said.

Israeli embassies worldwide have been instructed to join the industrial action, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

This aerial view shows people protesting in Tel Aviv against the government's controversial judicial overhaul bill, on March 25, 2023.

Ahmad Gharabli | Afp | Getty Images

Despite protests, Minister of Security Itamar Ben Gvir on Monday said that the government must proceed with the reforms.

"The reform of the justice system must not be stopped and we must not surrender to anarchy,"he said on Twitter, according to a Google translation.

Minister of Justice Yariv Levin pledged his support for any decision Netanyahu takes regarding the judicial overhaul, according to Reuters.

"A situation in which everyone does as they wish is liable to bring about the instant fall of the government and collapse of the (ruling party) Likud," Levin said. "We must all strive to stabilize the government and coalition."

Dozens of flights out of Israel's Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv have been suspended, as airport workers go on strike, and laborers atHaifa and Ashdod ports the two largest ports in Israel have also stopped working. McDonald's Israel says it has closed branches as part of the strike action.

Israel's largest bank Leumi is closing branches as part of the judicial reform protest, Reuters reports.

Demonstrations have taken place across Israel for the last four months, sparked by anger at controversial judicial reforms pushed by Netanyahu's government, the most right-wing in Israel's history. The planned overhaul would significantly weaken the country's judiciary and make it harder to remove Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, from power.

The proposed changes would award executive control over appointing judges to the Supreme Court, as well as entitle the government to supersede court rulings through parliamentary majority.

Monday's demonstrations took on a new fervor and are reported to be the biggest yet, triggered by Netanyahu's firing of his Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for speaking out against the planned measures. Local news outlets are reporting that a whopping 600,000 people have come out to protest across the country.

"600,000 demonstrating is an extraordinary figure. It means approx 6.5% of Israel's population is out protesting tonight, many having literally woken up from their beds when they heard Bibi fired Gallant," Monica Marks, a Middle East politics professor at NYU Abu Dhabi, wrote on Twitter. "When was the last time 6+% of any country protested? Genuine question."

"I call on all the demonstrators in Jerusalem, on the right and the left, to behave responsibly and not to act violently. We are brotherly people," Netanyahu urged on Twitter on Monday.

Netanyahu has previously labeled the protests an attempt "to create anarchy" and trigger another election. A deeply divided Israel has held five snap elections since April 2019.

Many current and former politicians, military officials and business executives in the country are expressing genuine fear over the Israeli leader's actions.

"We've never been closer to falling apart," Israel's former Prime Minister Yair Lapid told lawmakers on Monday.

"What's happened here in the past 24 hours is madness, it is a loss of control and a loss of direction... It is proof that this government has lost its brakes," he said, calling on Netanyahu to walk back his firing of his defense minister.

"It is a danger to the state of Israel, it is a danger to the security of Israel. Our home is in danger," Lapid added.

Demonstrators wave national flags and raise placards during a rally against the Israeli government's controversial judicial overhaul bill in Tel Aviv, on March 25, 2023.

Ahmad Gharabli | Afp | Getty Images

Earlier on Monday, President Isaac Herzog whose position is largely ceremonial and apolitical took to Twitterto call on the administration to interrupt its judicial review.

"For the sake of the unity of the people of Israel, for the sake of the responsibility, I call on you to stop the legislative process immediately," he said, according to a Google translation.

"I appeal to the heads of all Knesset factions, coalition and opposition alike, to put the citizens of the country above all else, and to act responsibly and courageously without further delay. Come to your senses now! This is not a political moment, this is a moment for leadership and responsibility."

On Sunday, Netanyahu's officeannounced the dismissalof Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who had opposed the motion, escalating protests.

"We must all stand up strongly against refusals," Netanyahusaid on Twitteraround the time of the announcement, without directly referencing Gallant.

Read the rest here:

Israel protests, strikes: Netanyahu survives no-confidence vote over ...

Israels president calls for halt to judicial overhaul after mass …

Posted By on March 28, 2023

Israels president has urged the government to halt its bitterly contested judicial overhaul, a day after prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sacked his defence minister for opposing the move, sparking mass street protests.

For the sake of the unity of the people of Israel, for the sake of responsibility, I call on you to stop the legislative process immediately, Isaac Herzog said on Twitter.

The warning from the head of state who is supposed to stand above politics and whose function is largely ceremonial underlined the alarm the judicial proposals have caused.

It followed a dramatic night of protests, as tens of thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Sunday night after Netanyahu fired the countrys defence minister. Yoav Gallant had called on the prime minister to scrap the proposals which have divided the country, led to mass protests and sparked growing discontent within the military.

Netanyahus move on Sunday underscored his determination to press on with the overhaul which has also angered business leaders and raised concerns among Israels allies.

Demonstrators blocked Tel Avivs main artery late into the evening, transforming the Ayalon highway into a sea of blue-and-white Israeli flags and lighting a large bonfire in the middle of the road.

Protests took place in Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, where thousands of people gathered outside Netanyahus private residence. Police scuffled with demonstrators and sprayed the crowd with a water cannon. Thousands then marched from the residence to the Knesset, Israels parliament.

We saw very difficult scenes tonight, Herzog wrote.

I am addressing the Prime Minister, the members of the government The eyes of all the people of Israel are on you. The eyes of the entire Jewish people are on you. The eyes of the whole world are on you.

Come to your senses now! This is not a political moment, this is a moment for leadership and responsibility, he added.

A parliamentary vote this week will take place on a centrepiece of the overhaul a law that would give the governing coalition the final say over all judicial appointments. It also seeks to pass laws that would grant parliament the authority to override supreme court decisions and limit judicial review of laws.

In a brief statement on Sunday, Netanyahus office said the prime minister had dismissed Gallant after the defence minister had called for a pause in the legislation until after next months Independence Day holidays, citing the turmoil in the military over the plan.

Gallant was the first senior member of the ruling Likud party to speak out against the plan.

But as droves of protesters flooded the streets late into the night, other Likud ministers began indicating willingness to hit the brakes. Culture minister Miki Zohar, a Netanyahu confidant, said the party would support him if he decided to pause the judicial overhaul.

A White House spokesperson said the US urged Israels leaders to find compromise as soon as possible.

As the president recently discussed with prime minister Netanyahu, democratic values have always been, and must remain, a hallmark of the US-Israel relationship, White House national security council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

Democratic societies are strengthened by checks and balances, and fundamental changes to a democratic system should be pursued with the broadest possible base of popular support.

On Sunday, Israels consul-general in New York said he was resigning in protest at Netanyahus treatment of his defence minister. I can no longer continue representing this government, Asaf Zamir said on Twitter. I believe it is my duty to ensure that Israel remains a beacon of democracy and freedom in the world.

Yair Lapid, the opposition leader, said Gallants dismissal was a new low for the anti-Zionist government that harms national security and ignores warnings of all defence officials.

The prime minister of Israel is a threat to the security of the state of Israel, Lapid wrote on Twitter.

Avi Dichter, a former chief of the Shin Bet security agency, is expected to replace Gallant. Dichter had reportedly considered joining the defence minister but instead announced on Sunday that he was backing the prime minister.

Netanyahu and his allies say their plan will restore a balance between the judicial and executive branches and rein in what they see as an interventionist supreme court with liberal sympathies.

But critics say the laws will remove the checks and balances in Israels democratic system and concentrate power in the hands of the governing coalition.


Israels president calls for halt to judicial overhaul after mass ...

Hebrew alphabet – Wikipedia

Posted By on March 27, 2023

Alphabet of the Hebrew language

Time period

Parent systems

Child systems

Sister systems

Unicode alias

The Hebrew alphabet (Hebrew: ,[a] Alefbet ivri), known variously by scholars as the Ktav Ashuri, Jewish script, square script and block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language and other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Ladino, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Persian. It is also used informally in Israel to write Levantine Arabic, especially among Druze.[2][3][4] It is an offshoot of the Imperial Aramaic alphabet, which flourished during the Achaemenid Empire and which itself derives from the Phoenician alphabet.

Historically, two separate abjad scripts have been used to write Hebrew. The original, old Hebrew script, known as the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, has been largely preserved in a variant form as the Samaritan alphabet. The present "Jewish script" or "square script", on the contrary, is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet and was technically known by Jewish sages as Ashurit (lit. "Assyrian script"), since its origins were alleged to be from Assyria.[5]

Various "styles" (in current terms, "fonts") of representation of the Jewish script letters described in this article also exist, including a variety of cursive Hebrew styles. In the remainder of this article, the term "Hebrew alphabet" refers to the square script unless otherwise indicated.

The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. It does not have case. Five letters have different forms when used at the end of a word. Hebrew is written from right to left. Originally, the alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants, but is now considered an "impure abjad". As with other abjads, such as the Arabic alphabet, during its centuries-long use scribes devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel points, known in Hebrew as niqqud. In both biblical and rabbinic Hebrew, the letters can also function as matres lectionis, which is when certain consonants are used to indicate vowels. There is a trend in Modern Hebrew towards the use of matres lectionis to indicate vowels that have traditionally gone unwritten, a practice known as "full spelling".

The Yiddish alphabet, a modified version of the Hebrew alphabet used to write Yiddish, is a true alphabet, with all vowels rendered in the spelling, except in the case of inherited Hebrew words, which typically retain their Hebrew consonant-only spellings.

The Arabic and Hebrew alphabets have similarities because they are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet, which in turn derives either from paleo-Hebrew or the Phoenician alphabet, both being slight regional variations of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet used in ancient times to write the various Canaanite languages (including Hebrew, Moabite, Phoenician, Punic, et cetera).

The Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before around 1000 BCE.[6] An example of related early Semitic inscriptions from the area include the tenth-century Gezer calendar over which scholars are divided as to whether its language is Hebrew or Phoenician and whether the script is Proto-Canaanite or paleo-Hebrew.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

A Hebrew variant of the Proto-Canaanite alphabet, called the paleo-Hebrew alphabet by scholars, began to emerge around 800 BCE.[13] An example is the Siloam inscription (c. 700 BCE).[14]

The paleo-Hebrew alphabet was used in the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Following the exile of the Kingdom of Judah in the 6th century BCE (the Babylonian captivity), Jews began using a form of the Imperial Aramaic alphabet, another offshoot of the same family of scripts, which flourished during the Achaemenid Empire. The Samaritans, who remained in the Land of Israel, continued to use the paleo-Hebrew alphabet. During the 3rd century BCE, Jews began to use a stylized, "square" form of the Aramaic alphabet that was used by the Persian Empire (and which in turn had been adopted from the Assyrians),[15] while the Samaritans continued to use a form of the paleo-Hebrew script called the Samaritan alphabet. After the fall of the Persian Empire in 330 BCE, Jews used both scripts before settling on the square Assyrian form.

The square Hebrew alphabet was later adapted and used for writing languages of the Jewish diaspora such as Karaim, the Judeo-Arabic languages, Judaeo-Spanish, and Yiddish. The Hebrew alphabet continued in use for scholarly writing in Hebrew and came again into everyday use with the rebirth of the Hebrew language as a spoken language in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in Israel.

In the traditional form, the Hebrew alphabet is an abjad consisting only of consonants, written from right to left. It has 22 letters, five of which use different forms at the end of a word.

In the traditional form, vowels are indicated by the weak consonants Aleph (), He (), Waw/Vav (), or Yodh () serving as vowel letters, or matres lectionis: the letter is combined with a previous vowel and becomes silent, or by imitation of such cases in the spelling of other forms. Also, a system of vowel points to indicate vowels (diacritics), called niqqud, was developed. In modern forms of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish and to some extent Modern Hebrew, vowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with the weak letters acting as true vowels.

When used to write Yiddish, vowels are indicated, using certain letters, either with niqqud diacritics (e.g. or ) or without (e.g. or ), except for Hebrew words, which in Yiddish are written in their Hebrew spelling.

To preserve the proper vowel sounds, scholars developed several different sets of vocalization and diacritical symbols called nequdot (, literally "points"). One of these, the Tiberian system, eventually prevailed. Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, and his family for several generations, are credited for refining and maintaining the system. These points are normally used only for special purposes, such as Biblical books intended for study, in poetry or when teaching the language to children. The Tiberian system also includes a set of cantillation marks, called trope or te'amim, used to indicate how scriptural passages should be chanted in synagogue recitations of scripture (although these marks do not appear in the scrolls). In everyday writing of modern Hebrew, niqqud are absent; however, patterns of how words are derived from Hebrew roots (called shorashim or "triliterals") allow Hebrew speakers to determine the vowel-structure of a given word from its consonants based on the word's context and part of speech.

Unlike the Paleo-Hebrew writing script, the modern Ashuri script has five letters that have special final forms,[c] called sofit (Hebrew: , meaning in this context "final" or "ending") form, used only at the end of a word, somewhat as in the Greek or in the Arabic and Mandaic alphabets.[b] These are shown below the normal form in the following table (letter names are Unicode standard[16][17]). Although Hebrew is read and written from right to left, the following table shows the letters in order from left to right.

The descriptions that follow are based on the pronunciation of modern standard Israeli Hebrew.


By analogy with the other dotted/dotless pairs, dotless tav, , would be expected to be pronounced // (voiceless dental fricative), and dotless dalet as // (voiced dental fricative), but these were lost among most Jews due to their not existing in the countries where they lived (such as in nearly all of Eastern Europe). Yiddish modified // to /s/ (cf. seseo in Spanish), but in modern Israeli Hebrew, it is simply pronounced /t/. Likewise, historical // is simply pronounced /d/.

Shin and sin are represented by the same letter, , but are two separate phonemes. When vowel diacritics are used, the two phonemes are differentiated with a shin-dot or sin-dot; the shin-dot is above the upper-right side of the letter, and the sin-dot is above the upper-left side of the letter.

Historically, left-dot-sin corresponds to Proto-Semitic *, which in biblical-Judaic-Hebrew corresponded to the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative //, as evidenced in the Greek transliteration of Hebrew words such as balsam () (the ls '') as is evident in the Targum Onkelos.[citation needed]

Historically, the consonants bet, gimmel, daleth, kaf, pe and tav each had two sounds: one hard (plosive), and one soft (fricative), depending on the position of the letter and other factors. When vowel diacritics are used, the hard sounds are indicated by a central dot called dagesh (), while the soft sounds lack a dagesh. In modern Hebrew, however, the dagesh only changes the pronunciation of bet, kaf, and pe, and does not affect the name of the letter. The differences are as follows:

In other dialects (mainly liturgical) there are variations from this pattern.

The sounds [t], [d], [], written , , , and [w], non-standardly sometimes transliterated , are often found in slang and loanwords that are part of the everyday Hebrew colloquial vocabulary. The symbol resembling an apostrophe after the Hebrew letter modifies the pronunciation of the letter and is called a geresh.

The pronunciation of the following letters can also be modified with the geresh diacritic. The represented sounds are however foreign to Hebrew phonology, i.e., these symbols mainly represent sounds in foreign words or names when transliterated with the Hebrew alphabet, and not loanwords.

Geresh is also used to denote an abbreviation consisting of a single Hebrew letter, while gershayim (a doubled geresh) are used to denote acronyms pronounced as a string of letters; geresh and gershayim are also used to denote Hebrew numerals consisting of a single Hebrew letter or of multiple Hebrew letters, respectively. Geresh is also the name of a cantillation mark used for Torah recitation, though its visual appearance and function are different in that context.

In much of Israel's general population, especially where Ashkenazic pronunciation is prevalent, many letters have the same pronunciation. They are as follows:

* Varyingly

Some of the variations in sound mentioned above are due to a systematic feature of Ancient Hebrew. The six consonants /b d k p t/ were pronounced differently depending on their position. These letters were also called BeGeD KeFeT letters . The full details are very complex; this summary omits some points. They were pronounced as plosives /b d k p t/ at the beginning of a syllable, or when doubled. They were pronounced as fricatives /v x f / when preceded by a vowel (commonly indicated with a macron, p ). The plosive and double pronunciations were indicated by the dagesh. In Modern Hebrew the sounds and have reverted to [d] and [], respectively, and has become [t], so only the remaining three consonants /b k p/ show variation. resh may have also been a "doubled" letter, making the list BeGeD KePoReT. (Sefer Yetzirah, 4:1)

The following table contains the pronunciation of the Hebrew letters in reconstructed historical forms and dialects using the International Phonetic Alphabet. The apostrophe-looking symbol after some letters is not a yud but a geresh. It is used for loanwords with non-native Hebrew sounds. The dot in the middle of some of the letters, called a "dagesh kal", also modifies the sounds of the letters , and in modern Hebrew (in some forms of Hebrew it modifies also the sounds of the letters , and/or ; the "dagesh chazak" orthographically indistinguishable from the "dagesh kal" designates gemination, which today is realized only rarely e.g. in biblical recitations or when using Arabic loanwords).

alef, ayin, waw/vav and yod are letters that can sometimes indicate a vowel instead of a consonant (which would be, respectively, //, //, /v/ and /j/). When they do, and are considered to constitute part of the vowel designation in combination with a niqqud symbol a vowel diacritic (whether or not the diacritic is marked), whereas and are considered to be mute, their role being purely indicative of the non-marked vowel.

Niqqud is the system of dots that help determine vowels and consonants. In Hebrew, all forms of niqqud are often omitted in writing, except for children's books, prayer books, poetry, foreign words, and words which would be ambiguous to pronounce. Israeli Hebrew has five vowel phonemes, /i e a o u/, but many more written symbols for them:

Note 1: The circle represents whatever Hebrew letter is used.Note 2: The pronunciation of tsere and sometimes segol with or without the letter yod is sometimes ei in Modern Hebrew. This is not correct in the normative pronunciation and not consistent in the spoken language.[22]Note 3: The dagesh, mappiq, and shuruk have different functions, even though they look the same.Note 4: The letter (waw/vav) is used since it can only be represented by that letter.

By adding a vertical line (called Meteg) underneath the letter and to the left of the vowel point, the vowel is made long. The meteg is only used in Biblical Hebrew, not Modern Hebrew.

By adding two vertical dots (called Sh'va) underneath the letter, the vowel is made very short. When sh'va is placed on the first letter of the word, mostly it is "" (but in some instances, it makes the first letter silent without a vowel (vowel-less): e.g. w to "w")

The symbol is called a gershayim and is a punctuation mark used in the Hebrew language to denote acronyms. It is written before the last letter in the acronym, e.g. . Gershayim is also the name of a cantillation mark in the reading of the Torah, printed above the accented letter, e.g. .

The following table displays typographic and chirographic variants of each letter. For the five letters that have a different final form used at the end of words, the final forms are displayed beneath the regular form.

The block (square, or "print" type) and cursive ("handwritten" type) are the only variants in widespread contemporary use. Rashi is also used, for historical reasons, in a handful of standard texts.

Following the adoption of Greek Hellenistic alphabetic numeration practice, Hebrew letters started being used to denote numbers in the late 2nd century BC,[24] and performed this arithmetic function for about a thousand years. Nowadays alphanumeric notation is used only in specific contexts, e.g. denoting dates in the Hebrew calendar, denoting grades of school in Israel, other listings (e.g. , "phase a, phase b"), commonly in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) in a practice known as gematria, and often in religious contexts.

The numbers 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 are commonly represented by the juxtapositions , , , , and respectively.Adding a geresh ("") to a letter multiplies its value by one thousand, for example, the year 5778 is portrayed as , where represents 5000, and represents 778.

The following table lists transliterations and transcriptions of Hebrew letters used in Modern Hebrew.


Note: SBL's transliteration system, recommended in its Handbook of Style,[25] differs slightly from the 2006 precise transliteration system of the Academy of the Hebrew Language; for "" SBL uses "" ( AHL ""), and for with no dagesh, SBL uses the same symbols as for with dagesh (i.e. "b", "g", "d", "k", "f", "t").

consonantal, ininitial wordpositions

consonantal, innon initial wordpositions






part of hirik male(/i/vowel)

part of tsere male(/e/vowel or/ei/diphthong)

in initial or finalword positions

in medialword positions

consonantal, ininitial wordpositions

consonantal, innon initial wordpositions






part of hirik male(/i/vowel)

part of tsere male(/e/vowel or/ei/diphthong)

in initial or finalword positions

in medialword positions

A1^ 2^ 3^ 4^ In transliterations of modern Israeli Hebrew, initial and final (in regular transliteration), silent or initial , and silent are not transliterated. To the eye of readers orientating themselves on Latin (or similar) alphabets, these letters might seem to be transliterated as vowel letters; however, these are in fact transliterations of the vowel diacritics niqqud (or are representations of the spoken vowels). E.g., in ("if", [im]), ("mother", [em]) and ("nut", [om]), the letter always represents the same consonant: [] (glottal stop), whereas the vowels /i/, /e/ and /o/ respectively represent the spoken vowel, whether it is orthographically denoted by diacritics or not. Since the Academy of the Hebrew Language ascertains that in initial position is not transliterated, the symbol for the glottal stop is omitted from the transliteration, and only the subsequent vowels are transliterated (whether or not their corresponding vowel diacritics appeared in the text being transliterated), resulting in "im", "em" and "om", respectively.

B1^ 2^ 3^ The diacritic geresh "" is used with some other letters as well (, , , , , ), but only to transliterate from other languages to Hebrew never to spell Hebrew words; therefore they were not included in this table (correctly translating a Hebrew text with these letters would require using the spelling in the language from which the transliteration to Hebrew was originally made). The non-standard "" and "" [e1] are sometimes used to represent /w/, which like /d/, // and /t/ appears in Hebrew slang and loanwords.

C1^ 2^ The Sound // (as "ch" in loch) is often transcribed "ch", inconsistently with the guidelines specified by the Academy of the Hebrew Language: /am/ "cham"; /sa/ "schach".

D^ Although the Bible does include a single occurrence of a final pe with a dagesh (Book of Proverbs 30, 6: "- -: - ."), in modern Hebrew /p/ is always represented by pe in its regular, not final, form "", even when in final word position, which occurs with loanwords (e.g. /op/ "shop"), foreign names (e.g. /filip/ "Philip") and some slang (e.g. /arap/ "slept deeply").

The letters of the Hebrew alphabet have played varied roles in Jewish religious literature over the centuries, primarily in mystical texts. Some sources in classical rabbinical literature seem to acknowledge the historical provenance of the currently used Hebrew alphabet and deal with them as a mundane subject (the Jerusalem Talmud, for example, records that "the Israelites took for themselves square calligraphy", and that the letters "came with the Israelites from Ashur [Assyria]");[27] others attribute mystical significance to the letters, connecting them with the process of creation or the redemption. In mystical conceptions, the alphabet is considered eternal, pre-existent to the Earth, and the letters themselves are seen as having holiness and power, sometimes to such an extent that several stories from the Talmud illustrate the idea that they cannot be destroyed.[28]

The idea of the letters' creative power finds its greatest vehicle in the Sefer Yezirah, or Book of Creation, a mystical text of uncertain origin which describes a story of creation highly divergent from that in the Book of Genesis, largely through exposition on the powers of the letters of the alphabet. The supposed creative powers of the letters are also referenced in the Talmud and Zohar.[29][30]

Another book, the 13th-century Kabbalistic text Sefer HaTemunah, holds that a single letter of unknown pronunciation, held by some to be the four-pronged shin on one side of the teffilin box, is missing from the current alphabet. The world's flaws, the book teaches, are related to the absence of this letter, the eventual revelation of which will repair the universe.[31] Another example of messianic significance attached to the letters is the teaching of Rabbi Eliezer that the five letters of the alphabet with final forms hold the "secret of redemption".[31]

In addition, the letters occasionally feature in aggadic portions of non-mystical rabbinic literature. In such aggada the letters are often given anthropomorphic qualities and depicted as speaking to God. Commonly their shapes are used in parables to illustrate points of ethics or theology. An example from the Babylonian Talmud (a parable intended to discourage speculation about the universe before creation):

Why does the story of creation begin with bet?... In the same manner that the letter bet is closed on all sides and only open in front, similarly you are not permitted to inquire into what is before or what was behind, but only from the actual time of Creation.

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Hagigah, 77c

Extensive instructions about the proper methods of forming the letters are found in Mishnat Soferim, within Mishna Berura of Yisrael Meir Kagan.

See aleph number and beth number and gimel function.

In set theory, 0 {displaystyle aleph _{0}} , pronounced aleph-naught or aleph-zero, is used to mark the cardinal number of an infinite countable set, such as Z {displaystyle mathbb {Z} } , the set of all integers. More generally, the {displaystyle aleph _{alpha }} (aleph) notation marks the ordered sequence of all distinct infinite cardinal numbers.

Less frequently used, the {displaystyle beth _{alpha }} (beth) notation is used for the iterated power sets of 0 {displaystyle aleph _{0}} . The 2nd element 1 {displaystyle beth _{1}} is the cardinality of the continuum. Very occasionally, gimel is used in cardinal notation.

The Unicode Hebrew block extends from U+0590 to U+05FF and from U+FB1D to U+FB4F. It includes letters, ligatures, combining diacritical marks (Niqqud and cantillation marks) and punctuation.[16] The Numeric Character References is included for HTML. These can be used in many markup languages, and they are often used in Wiki to create the Hebrew glyphs compatible with the majority of web browsers.

Standard Hebrew keyboards have a 101-key layout. Like the standard QWERTY layout, the Hebrew layout was derived from the order of letters on Hebrew typewriters.

a^ "Alef-bet" is commonly written in Israeli Hebrew without the maqaf (, "[Hebrew] hyphen"), , as opposed to with the hyphen, .

b^ The Arabic letters generally (as six of the primary letters can have only two variants) have four forms, according to their place in the word. The same goes with the Mandaic ones, except for three of the 22 letters, which have only one form.

c^ In forms of Hebrew older than Modern Hebrew, , and can only be read b, k and p, respectively, at the beginning of a word, while they will have the sole value of v, kh and f in a sofit (final) position, with few exceptions.[20] In medial positions, both pronunciations are possible. In Modern Hebrew this restriction is not absolute, e.g. /fizikaj/ and never /pizikaj/ (= "physicist"), /snob/ and never /snov/ (= "snob"). A dagesh may be inserted to unambiguously denote the plosive variant: = /b/, = /k/, =/p/; similarly (though today very rare in Hebrew and common only in Yiddish) a raf placed above the letter unambiguously denotes the fricative variant: = /v/, = // and = /f/. In Modern Hebrew orthography, the sound [p] at the end of a word is denoted by the regular form "", as opposed to the final form "", which always denotes [f] (see table of transliterations and transcriptions, comment[D]).

d^ However, (two separate vavs), used in Ktiv male, is to be distinguished from the Yiddish ligature (also two vavs but together as one character).

e1^ e2^ e3^ e4^ e5^ The Academy of the Hebrew Language states that both [v] and [w] be indistinguishably represented in Hebrew using the letter Vav.[26] Sometimes the Vav is indeed doubled, however not to denote [w] as opposed to [v] but rather, when spelling without niqqud, to denote the phoneme /v/ at a non-initial and non-final position in the word, whereas a single Vav at a non-initial and non-final position in the word in spelling without niqqud denotes one of the phonemes /u/ or /o/. To pronounce foreign words and loanwords containing the sound [w], Hebrew readers must therefore rely on former knowledge and context.

Explanatory footnotes

Here is the original post:

Hebrew alphabet - Wikipedia

Anti-Semites Steal the Show in Broadways Parade – The Atlantic

Posted By on March 27, 2023

Theres a moment in Parade, the musical revival that opened last week on Broadway, that encapsulates the shows subversiveness. Its also the moment that seals the demise of the dramas protagonist, Leo Frank.

Frank, played by Ben Platt, is on trial for the murder of Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old girl who was found dead in the Atlanta factory where he served as superintendent in 1913. (The plot is based on a true story.) A nerdy northern Jew in Georgia, Frank is an easy target for the ire of the public and the prosecution. In a taut and tense courtroom scene, he is implicated by a succession of coached but compelling witnesses. The most damning testimony comes from a janitor, Jim Conley (Alex Joseph Grayson), who claims that the Jew stereotypically attempted to buy his silence, recalling Franks words in a sinister song:

You got money in your pocket and theres plenty more of that.I got wealthy friends and family, and a wife whos dumb and fat.I got rich folks out in Brooklyn, if I need somewheres to go.And these stupid rednecks never gonna know!

As Conley concludes this recollection with a rousing refrain of Thats what he said, the chorus behind him thunders, Hang him! Hang the Jew! Its a showstopper. Audience members have already seen how Conley was coerced into contriving this story by the ambitious prosecutor, Hugh Dorsey (Paul Alexander Nolan). But faced with the emotional power of Graysons performance, the nearly 1,000 people at the preview I attended could not help but do what felt right in the moment: applaud.

This is the genius of the entire affair. Parade is a musical about anti-Semitism in which the anti-Semites steal the showand thats precisely why it works. Outwardly, the production tells the story of one of the great anti-Jewish injustices in American history: the lynching of Leo Frank following his questionable conviction and the commutation of his sentence. But emotionally, the production reenacts the experience of the event and makes the audience into an accomplice, sweeping its members up in the ardor of the anti-Semitic mob and co-opting them into complicity.

Yair Rosenberg: Why so many people still dont understand anti-Semitism

This is probably not what one would expect from a production headlined by Platt, last seen on Broadway in his Tony-winning turn in Dear Evan Hansen. Both Platt and his co-star Micaela Diamond, who plays Leos wife, Lucille, deliver mature and moving performances, and are capable of vocal virtuosity that can bring a crowd to its feet. But for much of Parade, the actors are not given the chance. Platts Frank is instead shackled to a cell and to simple songs with little backing or adornment, unable to compete charismatically or emotionally with his accusers.

Again and again, the show hands its most potent numbers not to its leads, but to its anti-Semitic characters and their allies, including the bombastic Conley and the unctuous Dorsey. Franks plaintive appeals to reason cannot possibly counter these impassioned anthems. Tellingly, the only time Platt gets to musically command the stage in the first two-thirds of the show is when he discards his characters anemic affect in order to playact as the debonair Don Juan conjured by his accusers. One of the most talented young Jews on Broadway is not permitted to fully shine in his own show unless he is playing into the villainous caricature of anti-Semites and reciting their lines. This is also an all-too-apt representation of how anti-Semitism acts on Jews in society: stifling their voices and restricting them to roles assigned by their enemies.

Yair Rosenberg: Starring in the conspiracies of people who hate you

Pitting the bookish Frank opposite the aggrieved masses, Parade illustrates how the case against him, like anti-Semitism through the ages, satisfied the deep-seated desires of the public, as emotional needs overrode rational considerations. Through the dialogue of Alfred Uhry and the music of Jason Robert Brown, we see how Franks trial gave Georgian admirers of the Confederacy a way to symbolically strike back at the Norths cosmopolitan corruptors. It also gave the local prosecutor a suitable scapegoat and offered the press a perfect target for popular vilification, selling papers and reviving flagging journalistic fortunes. Franks indictment provides Phagans mother with closure, while his lynching offers the victims guilt-ridden teenage suitor personal satisfaction. And it gives Conley, who some historians believe was the true killer, a patsy on which to pin his crime. Each of these characters songs carries the show, which deftly intertwines heartbreaking laments with coarse cries for revenge, and at the preview I attended, the performances regularly compelled the audience to clap even when their contents were disturbing.

Late in the show, when Leo and Lucille finally sing a duet of defiance, and it momentarily appears as though Frank will escape his fate, the audience applauds almost in relief, finally able to lend its support to the victims, rather than their antagonists. But this reprieve is short-lived, as the machinery of anti-Semitism reasserts itself and Frank is abducted, bound, and hanged.

With its perceptive understanding of anti-Jewish prejudice, critique of sensationalist journalism, and brief but sensitive treatment of anti-Black racism, Parade feels like it was written yesterday. But the show first debuted in 1998. At the time, although it found fans among critics and captured multiple awards, it did not find an audience, and closed after just 84 performances. That outcome seems unlikely today, when the production could not feel more relevantor perhaps it is better to say that more are ready to acknowledge its enduring relevance. If anything, the show feels too on the nose, but that is less its fault than our own.

Now as then, anti-Jewish prejudice proliferates because it fulfills profound but unstated needs in those attracted to its addled ideas. It is easier to blame an ailing economy on the Rothschilds, a failed marriage on the Jews, a flawed foreign policy on the Jewish lobby, or unchecked American police violence on the Jewish state than it is to look within at the internal causes of these calamities. Now as then, we face a rise in conspiratorial grievance, which inevitably falls upon imagined Jewish culprits. As Parades continued significance demonstrates, the siren song of anti-Semitism never stopped and never lost its appeal. The fact that some no longer tune it out and seek to confront it is a form of progress. The real test, however, is whether we can write better songs that give voice to Jews not just as they are envisaged by their despisers, but as they truly are.

Read more here:

Anti-Semites Steal the Show in Broadways Parade - The Atlantic

Kenyans in diaspora tend to send more money home the weaker the Kenyan shilling gets – Business Insider Africa

Posted By on March 27, 2023

Kenyans in diaspora tend to send more money home the weaker the Kenyan shilling gets  Business Insider Africa


Kenyans in diaspora tend to send more money home the weaker the Kenyan shilling gets - Business Insider Africa

Express View: Obsession with Khalistan seethes at the margins of Sikh diaspora, finds little resonance in Punjab – The Indian Express

Posted By on March 27, 2023

Express View: Obsession with Khalistan seethes at the margins of Sikh diaspora, finds little resonance in Punjab  The Indian Express

Read the original here:

Express View: Obsession with Khalistan seethes at the margins of Sikh diaspora, finds little resonance in Punjab - The Indian Express

Antisemitic incidents rose 36% last year to highest number …

Posted By on March 25, 2023

Antisemitic incidents rose 36% nationwide in 2022, with 3,697 instances of assault, harassment or vandalism tallied by the Anti-Defamation League, marking the highest number on record since the group began its annual audit in 1979.

The most recent report, released Thursday, found that antisemitic incidents spanned all 50 states and Washington, D.C., increasing from 2021 in each of the major categories the ADL tracks. Antisemitic harassment increased by 29% to 2,298 incidents, antisemitic vandalism increased by 51% to 1,288 incidents, and antisemitic assaults increased by 26% to 111 incidents.

Notably, visibly Orthodox Jews were targeted in more than half of all assault incidents nationwide.

The vast majority of antisemitic assaults 107 out of 111 were done without the use of a deadly weapon in 2022.

In one notable exception, a gunman held three congregants and Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker hostage at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, in January 2022. One hostage was released and the other three managed to escape after the rabbi threw a chair at the hostage taker following an hourslong standoff with law enforcement. The hostages were physically unharmed, but said in Januarythey're still healing.

"We're healing, we're not healed," Jeffrey Cohen told CBS Texas one year after the ordeal. "We're getting there. I am permanently changed. I'm much more aware of my surroundings everywhere that I go. I'm much more on edge."

Last year, the ADL recorded one fatality resulting from antisemitic activity the death of University of Arizona professor Thomas Meixner, who was shot and killed on campus by a former student who had previously expressed conspiratorial antisemitic views online, according to the ADL.

No assaults against the Jewish community in the U.S. resulted in mass casualties last year.

"Every antisemitic incident is perpetrated by an individual we don't always know what's in their minds," said Aryeh Tuchman, director of the ADL's Center on Extremism. Tuchman said that the center's researchers refrain from speculating on motivations, but work to identify patterns within the collected statistics.

New York, California and New Jersey led the states for total incidents, followed by Florida and Texas.

"The largest and most noteworthy bucket of incidents, which we feel contributed greatly to the increase, is organized white supremacist activity," said Tuchman.

Known white supremacist networks coordinated to produce more than double the antisemitic propaganda this year, according to the ADL, with 852 incidents reported in 2022.

More than half of all propaganda incidents tallied by the ADL came from one group. That group's "accelerated tempo of antisemitic propaganda campaigns" accounted for 492 propaganda incidents in 2022. In one incident, followingantisemitic remarks from the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, members of the group displayed banners over a highway overpass in Los Angeles, reading, "Kanye is right about the jews [sic]" and "Honk if you know."

The ADL report noted that the "impact of Ye's comments was felt on the ground across the country,"

"Fifty-nine antisemitic incidents from October 11 through the end of 2022 directly referenced Ye, including 44 cases of harassment, 13 cases of vandalism and two cases of assault," the report stated.

In 2022, 91 bomb threats were called or emailed into Jewish institutions or schools, and they often included "hateful, antisemitic language," according to the ADL. The threats were made in 25 states and Washington, D.C.

"We usually have around a dozen such bomb threats [reported], so this is a significant trend that we need to look at now," said Tuchman, noting law enforcement is still investigating many of the threats issued.

Jewish institutions including Jewish schools were targeted by 589 antisemitic incidents in 2022, while 494 antisemitic incidents were also tabulated at non-Jewish schools.

"We are sure that the numbers that are reported in K-12 schools are the tip of the iceberg," said Tuchman, adding that many children fear retaliation for reporting antisemitic bullying.

"Every Jewish child has the right to get an education that is free from bullying and from antisemitic vandalism, harassment and assault," Tuchman said. "And we're concerned about the long term impact of antisemitic bullying on children's emotional health and how they perceive their own Jewishness."

In 2022, 130 university and college campuses across the country saw a total of 219 antisemitic incidents an increase of 41%. Of the 90 incidents of vandalism recorded on campuses, roughly one-third included swastikas.

Researchers and policy advisors at the ADL continue to call on leaders to condemn antisemitic incidents outright.

"Public officials and civic leaders from the President, to governors, attorneys general, mayors, other civic leaders, and law enforcement authorities must use their bully pulpits to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism," the report said.

In November 2022, the Department of Homeland Security released a public bulletin warning of "the enduring threat to faith-based communities, including the Jewish community."

The ADL urged lawmakers to adopt wide-ranging measures to combat all forms of domestic antisemitic extremism, including improvements to hate crime data collection and full funding of the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act, which provides additional funding to states to help combat hate crimes.

Less than two-thirds of law enforcement agencies reported data on hate crimes to the FBI, last year, marking a significant drop-off. There are more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., but reporting hate crimes data by state, local and tribal agencies remains voluntary.

The ADL also called upon technology platforms to ensure strong policies against hate, including a recommendation to make content policy and reporting features more accessible for users. The ADL found last year that online harassment "has held steady since 2020" with 40% of respondents in a survey released last year reporting some type of harassment compared to 41% in 2021 and 44% in 2020.

For his part, Tuchman hopes that the ADL's report will serve as a call to action for the Jewish community, without sparking fear.

"I hope that the Jewish people in this country take these incidents seriously, firm up the security at their institutions, but also to remain proud and confident," he told CBS News. "So they can live in American society without fear, knowing that ADL is out there looking out for them, but also so many of their neighbors and other people in their communities are also looking out for them Our communities are strong and our people are secure. And these findings should be a call to action, but not the source of fear and alarm."

Trending News

CBS News reporter covering homeland security and justice.

Continue reading here:
Antisemitic incidents rose 36% last year to highest number ...

ADL tracked 3,697 cases of antisemitic harassment, vandalism …

Posted By on March 25, 2023

The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was the site of an attack by British national Malik Faisal Akram, who was in a 10-hour hostage standoff with law enforcement. A new report by the Anti-Defamation League says antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose 36% in 2022. Brandon Wade/AP hide caption

The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was the site of an attack by British national Malik Faisal Akram, who was in a 10-hour hostage standoff with law enforcement. A new report by the Anti-Defamation League says antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose 36% in 2022.

Antisemitic incidents in the U.S. rose 36% in 2022, an annual audit by the Anti-Defamation League shows.

The report, released Thursday, tracked 3,697 incidents of harassment, vandalism and assault targeting Jewish people and communities last year. It is the third time in five years that the tally has been the highest number ever recorded since the ADL first began collecting data in 1979.

"This escalation in antisemitic incidents comes just as ADL has reported on Americans' highest level of antisemitic attitudes in decades," the report says, adding that public officials, famous artists and social media stars have been instrumental in normalizing longstanding antisemitic tropes.

The ADL report comes on the heels of an FBI report earlier this month, stating that hate crimes reported across the country increased nearly 12% in 2021 from 2020.

According to the latest ADL analysis, surges in each of the major audit categories occurred in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

New York is the state with the highest number of reported incidents: 580. California follows with 518, New Jersey with 408, Florida with 269 and Texas with 211. "Combined, these five states account for 54 % of the total incidents."

Another alarming finding is the number of bomb threats towards Jewish institutions, including schools and synagogues, spiking from eight to 91. It is the highest number of bomb threats since 2017.

Young children and educators in K-12 schools were victims of threats or assaults in 494 incidents. Meanwhile, 219 incidents were reported on college campuses.

People who presented as Orthodox Jews were targeted in 59 of the assault incidents nationally.

The ADL also found activity doubled among organized white supremacist groups, which were linked to 852 incidents of distributing antisemitic propaganda.

While the study cites a number of factors contributing to the surge, the organization concluded the massive uptick in the spread of anti-Jewish propaganda was "largely due to the growth of the Goyim Defense League," known as the GDL.

The GDL network, which has significant crossover with other white supremacist groups and movements, was responsible for at least 492 propaganda incidents in 2022, a dramatic increase from the 74 recorded in 2021.

As NPR's Here & Now reported, "GDL members have been accused of stalking, aggravated assault, murder, terror threats, threatening public officials, vandalism, soliciting sex from minors and defacing a memorial for the Pulse nightclub shooting victims in Florida."

The artist formerly known as Kanye West, who in October 2022 made conspiratorial statements about Jews and praised Adolf Hitler while denying facts about the Holocaust on social media, is also to blame for dozens of antisemitic attacks, the ADL said.

"The impact of Ye's comments was felt on the ground across the country," according to the report.

"Fifty-nine antisemitic incidents from October 11 through the end of 2022 directly referenced Ye, including 44 cases of harassment, 13 cases of vandalism and two cases of assault."

(Twitter suspended Ye's account after the rapper/mogul posted an image of a swastika depicted inside a Star of David.)

The audit, the organization said, should serve as a wake-up call to government officials. The ADL called on leaders to condemn antisemitic incidents outright. It also urged them to launch "a concerted whole-of-government, whole-of-society response" that would include blocking antisemitism online.

"Public officials and civic leaders from the President, to governors, attorneys general, mayors, other civic leaders, and law enforcement authorities must use their bully pulpits to speak out against antisemitism and all forms of hate and extremism," the report said.

See original here:
ADL tracked 3,697 cases of antisemitic harassment, vandalism ...

Anti-Defamation League reports dramatic rise in antisemitism …

Posted By on March 25, 2023

Geoff Bennett:

A new report by the Anti-Defamation League reveals antisemitic incidents increased 36 percent in 2022, reaching the highest level recorded in history since 1979.

The report comes as the FBI and human rights groups warn about the growing number of hate crimes in the U.S.

Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, and joins us now.

Thank you for being with us.

And, Jonathan, the ADL found in this report an increase in three categories. Assaults went up by 26 percent. Incidents of harassment increased 29 percent. Acts of vandalism rose by 52 percent.

What accounts for it? And who is responsible for it?

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and National Director, Anti-Defamation League: Well, first of all, I would just say, I'm glad we're covering this issue, but I wish we didn't have to.

But the reality is, antisemitism is a clear and present danger right here, right now in America. And, as you pointed out, not only was '22 the highest year that we have ever seen and we have done this for almost 45 years this was the third time in the past four years that we broke a new record, that, literally, the number of incidents has climbed almost 500 percent over the past decade.

So, what's behind this? I think, number one, antisemitism has been normalized and almost weaponized in the political conversation and in sort of public debates. It's now just common course to use antisemitic tropes about Great Replacement Theory, about who controls Congress, or who controls Wall Street, who is responsible for COVID, and on and on.

In a world in which conspiracy theories are sort of the coin of the realm, antisemitism, the oldest conspiracy theory, has new life. So I think that's number one.

I think, number two, we have to acknowledge that extremists feel emboldened. When the former president of the United States feels free to use the kind of language we wouldn't want our children to use or, to be honest, when we see hardened anti-Zionist activists on college campuses openly, aggressively and almost gleefully intimidating Jewish students, something is broken in our society.

And, truthfully, if you look at the numbers and drill down a bit, the numbers increased dramatically, a 40-plus percent increase on college campuses, almost a 50 percent increase in antisemitic incidents at K-12 schools. Again, I think it's an indication that there's something really sick with our society.

Originally posted here:
Anti-Defamation League reports dramatic rise in antisemitism ...

Anti-Defamation League reports dramatic rise in antisemitism – PBS NewsHour

Posted By on March 25, 2023

  1. Anti-Defamation League reports dramatic rise in antisemitism  PBS NewsHour
  2. Houston ranked among worst offenders for anti-Semitism  KTRK-TV
  3. Anti-Semitic reported incidents surge in Massachusetts, hit record highs in New England and US  Boston Herald

Read more from the original source:

Anti-Defamation League reports dramatic rise in antisemitism - PBS NewsHour

Page 21234..1020..»