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Why Do Hasidic Jews Wear Curls? |

Posted By on October 5, 2019

Hasidic Jewish men wear their unique sidecurls as a way of preserving an aspect of Hebrew culture. In addition to their distinctive hairstyles, Hasidic Jews of both genders typically wear styles which were historically popular among Jewish people throughout Europe.

The sidecurl is also known a Payos, which means "side of the head," referring to ancient Biblical prohibitions against shaving the sides of one's head. Although the side curls are never shaved and only rarely cut, the rest of a Hasidic man's head is usually shaved or cut short. They also maintain their beards in a similar fashion. Traditional Hasidic men never shave, and only rarely cut their beards. Trimming the beard or Payos at all is not traditional and is strongly discouraged.

Payos are not unique to Hasidic Jews. Many other sects of Judaism also wear them, but they are typically kept inconspicuously behind the ears.

Other aspects of traditional Hasidic dress, including the characteristic long coat and wide-brimmed hat, are also adopted in tribute to styles which were popular in Europe before many Jewish people emigrated to Israel. In particular, many styles of Orthodox Jewish attire were outlawed by Czarist Russia, and the preservation of those traditions in spite of oppression is a chief motivating factor for their modern use.

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Why Do Hasidic Jews Wear Curls? |

Labor Zionism – Wikipedia

Posted By on October 5, 2019

Labor Zionism or socialist Zionism[1] (Hebrew: , translit. Tziyonut sotzyalistit; Hebrew: translit. Tnu'at ha'avoda, i.e. The labor movement) is the left-wing of the Zionist movement. For many years, it was the most significant tendency among Zionists and Zionist organizations. It saw itself as the Zionist sector of the historic Jewish labor movements of Eastern and Central Europe, eventually developing local units in most countries with sizable Jewish populations. Unlike the "political Zionist" tendency founded by Theodor Herzl and advocated by Chaim Weizmann, Labor Zionists did not believe that a Jewish state would be created simply by appealing to the international community or to a powerful nation such as Britain, Germany or the Ottoman Empire. Rather, Labor Zionists believed that a Jewish state could only be created through the efforts of the Jewish working class settling in the Land of Israel and constructing a state through the creation of a progressive Jewish society with rural kibbutzim and moshavim and an urban Jewish proletariat.

Labor Zionism grew in size and influence and eclipsed "political Zionism" by the 1930s both internationally and within the British Mandate of Palestine where Labor Zionists predominated among many of the institutions of the pre-independence Jewish community Yishuv, particularly the trade union federation known as the Histadrut. The Haganah, the largest Zionist paramilitary defense force, was a Labor Zionist institution and was used on occasion (such as during the Hunting Season) against right-wing political opponents or to assist the British Administration in capturing rival Jewish militants.

Labor Zionists played a leading role in the 1948 ArabIsraeli War and Labor Zionists were predominant among the leadership of the Israeli military for decades after the formation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Major theoreticians of the Labor Zionist movement included Moses Hess, Nachman Syrkin, Ber Borochov, and Aaron David Gordon and leading figures in the movement included David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Berl Katznelson.

Moses Hess's 1862 work Rome and Jerusalem. The Last National Question argued for the Jews to settle in Palestine as a means of settling the national question. Hess proposed a socialist state in which the Jews would become agrarianized through a process of "redemption of the soil" that would transform the Jewish community into a true nation in that Jews would occupy the productive layers of society rather than being an intermediary non-productive merchant class, which is how he perceived European Jews.[citation needed]

Ber Borochov, continuing from the work of Moses Hess, proposed the creation of a socialist society that would correct the "inverted pyramid" of Jewish society. Borochov believed that Jews were forced out of normal occupations by Gentile hostility and competition, using this dynamic to explain the relative predominance of Jewish professionals, rather than workers. Jewish society, he argued, would not be healthy until the inverted pyramid was righted, and a substantial number of Jews became workers and peasants again. This, he held, could only be accomplished by Jews in their own country.[2]

Another Zionist thinker, A. D. Gordon, was influenced by the vlkisch ideas of European romantic nationalism, and proposed establishing a society of Jewish peasants. Gordon made a religion of work.[clarification needed] These two figures (Gordon and Borochov), and others like them, motivated the establishment of the first Jewish collective settlement, or kibbutz, Degania, on the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in 1909 (the same year that the city of Tel Aviv was established). Deganiah, and many other kibbutzim that were soon to follow, attempted to realize these thinkers' vision by creating communal villages, where newly arrived European Jews would be taught agriculture and other manual skills.[citation needed]

Joseph Trumpeldor is also considered to be one of the early icons of the Labor Zionist movement in Palestine.[3] When discussing what it is to be a Jewish pioneer, Trumpeldor stated

What is a pioneer? Is he a worker only? No! The definition includes much more. The pioneers should be workers but that is not all. We shall need people who will be "everything" everything that the land of Israel needs. A worker has his labor interests, a soldier his esprit de corps, a doctor and an engineer, their special inclinations. A generation of iron-men; iron from which you can forge everything the national machinery needs. You need a wheel? Here I am. A nail, a screw, a block? here take me. You need a man to till the soil? Im ready. A soldier? I am here. Policeman, doctor, lawyer, artist, teacher, water carrier? Here I am. I have no form. I have no psychology. I have no personal feeling, no name. I am a servant of Zion. Ready to do everything, not bound to do anything. I have only one aim creation.

Trumpeldor, a Socialist Zionist, gave his life in 1920 defending the community of Tel Hai in the Upper Galilee. He became a symbol of Jewish self-defense and his reputed last words, "Never mind, it is good to die for our country" (En davar, tov lamut be'ad artzenu , ), became famous in the pre-state Zionist movement and in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s. Trumpeldor's heroic death made him not only a martyr for Zionists Left but also for the Revisionist Zionist movement who named its youth movement Betar (an acronym for "Covenant of Joseph Trumpeldor") after the fallen hero.[citation needed]

Albert Einstein was a prominent supporter of both Labor Zionism and efforts to encourage JewishArab cooperation.[4] Fred Jerome in his Einstein on Israel and Zionism: His Provocative Ideas About the Middle East argues that Einstein was a Cultural Zionist who supported the idea of a Jewish homeland but opposed the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine "with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power." Instead, he preferred a bi-national state with "continuously functioning, mixed, administrative, economic, and social organizations."[5] However Ami Isseroff in his article Was Einstein a Zionist argues that Einstein was not opposed to the state of Israel given that Einstein declared it "the fulfillment of our dreams." Perceiving its vulnerability after independence, he again set aside his pacifism in the name of human preservation, when president Harry Truman recognized Israel in May 1948.[6] In the November 1948 presidential election Einstein supported former vice-president Henry A. Wallaces Progressive Party, which advocated a pro-Soviet foreign policy but which also at the time (like the USSR) strongly supported the new state of Israel. Wallace went down to defeat, winning no states.[7]

Initially two labor parties were founded by immigrants to Palestine of the Second Aliyah (19041914): the pacifist and anti-militarist Hapo'el Hatza'ir (Young Worker) party and the Marxist Poale Zion party, with Poale Zion roots. The Poale Zion Party had a left wing and a right wing. In 1919 the right wing, including Ben-Gurion and anti-Marxist non-party people, founded Ahdut HaAvoda. In 1930 Ahdut HaAvoda and Hapo'el Hatza'ir fused into the Mapai party, which included all of mainstream Labor Zionism. Until the 1960s these parties were dominated by members of the Second Aliyah.[8]

The Left Poale Zion party ultimately merged with the kibbutz-based Hashomer Hatzair, the urban Socialist League and several smaller left-wing groups to become the Mapam party, which in turn later joined with other parties to create Meretz.

The Mapai party later became the Israeli Labor Party, which for a number of years was linked with Mapam in the Alignment. These two parties were initially the two largest parties in the Yishuv and in the first Knesset, whilst Mapai and its predecessors dominated Israeli politics both in the pre-independence Yishuv and for the first three decades of Israel's independence, until the late 1970s.

Already in the 1920s the Labor movement disregarded its socialist roots and concentrated on building the nation by constructive action. According to Tzahor its leaders did not "abandon fundamental ideological principles".[9] However, according to Ze'ev Sternhell in his book The Founding Myths of Israel, the labor leaders had already abandoned socialist principles by 1920 and only used them as "mobilizing myths".

Following the 1967 Six-Day War several prominent Labor Zionists created the Movement for Greater Israel which subscribed to an ideology of Greater Israel and called upon the Israeli government to keep and populate all areas captured in the war. Among the public figures in this movement associated with left-wing nationalism were Rachel Yanait Ben-Zvi, Yitzhak Tabenkin, Icchak Cukierman, Zivia Lubetkin, Eliezer Livneh, Moshe Shamir, Zev Vilnay, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, Isser Harel, Dan Tolkovsky, and Avraham Yoffe. In the 1969 Knesset elections it ran as the "List for the Land of Israel", but failed to cross the electoral threshold. Prior to the 1973 elections, it joined the Likud and won 39 seats. In 1976 it merged with the National List and the Independent Centre (a breakaway from the Free Centre) to form La'am, which remained a faction within Likud until its merger into the Herut faction in 1984.

Other prominent Labor Zionists, especially those who came to dominate the Israeli Labor Party, became strong advocates for relinquishing the territory won during the Six-Day War. By the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, this became the central policy of the Labor Party under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. What distinguishes Labor Zionism from other Zionist streams today is not economic policy, an analysis of capitalism or any class analysis or orientation but its attitude towards the IsraeliPalestinian peace process with modern Labor Zionists tending to support the Israeli peace camp to varying degrees. This orientation towards Israel's borders and foreign policy has dominated Labor Zionist institutions in recent decades to the extent that socialist Zionists who support a Greater Israel ideology are forced to seek political expression elsewhere.

In Israel the Labor Party has followed the general path of other governing social democratic parties such as the British Labour Party and is now fully oriented towards capitalism and even neo-liberalism, though recently it has rediscovered the welfare state under the leadership of Amir Peretz.

The Israeli Labor Party and its predecessors have ironically been associated within Israeli society as representing the country's ruling class and political elite whereas working-class Israelis have traditionally voted for the Likud since the Begin Revolution of 1977.

Labor Zionism manifests itself today in both adult and youth organizations. Among adults, the World Labor Zionist Movement, based in Jerusalem, has affiliates in countries around the world, such as Ameinu in the United States and Australia, Associao Mosh Sharett in Brazil and the Jewish Labour Movement in the United Kingdom. Youth and students are served through Zionist youth movements such as Habonim Dror, Hashomer Hatzair and college-age campus activist groups such as the Union of Progressive Zionists of the U.S. and Canada.

In Israel, Labor Zionism has become nearly synonymous with the Israeli peace camp.[citation needed] Usually Labor Zionist political and educational institutions activists are also advocates of a two-state solution, who do not necessarily adhere to socialist economic views.

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Labor Zionism - Wikipedia

Haredim and Zionism – Wikipedia

Posted By on October 5, 2019

From the start of political Zionism in the 1890s, Haredi leaders voiced objections to its secular orientation, and before the establishment of the State of Israel, the vast majority of Haredi Jews were opposed to Zionism. This was chiefly due to the concern that secular nationalism would replace the Jewish faith and the observance of religion, and the view that it was forbidden for the Jews to re-constitute Jewish rule in the Land of Israel before the arrival of the Messiah. Those rabbis who did support Jewish settlement in Palestine in the late 19th century had no intention to conquer Palestine and declare its independence from the rule of the Ottoman Turks,[1] and some preferred that only observant Jews be allowed to settle there.[2]

During the 1930s, some European Haredi leaders encouraged their followers not to leave for Palestine where the Zionists were gaining influence. When the dangers facing European Jewry became clear, the Haredi Agudath Israel organization decided to cooperate with Zionist leaders to an extent in order to allow religious Jews the possibility of seeking refuge in Palestine. Some Agudah members in Palestine preferred to form an alliance against the Zionist movement with Arab nationalists, but this never occurred.Around 80% of European Haredim perished in the Holocaust. A study in late 2006 claimed that just over a third of Israelis considered Haredim to be the most hated group in Israel.[3] According to a 2016 Pew survey, 33% of Israeli Haredim say that the term Zionist describes them accurately.[4]

After the creation of the state, each individual movement within Orthodox Judaism charted its own path in their approach to the State of Israel.

In the hope of winning over the Hasidic masses to the Zionist Organization, Theodor Herzl endeavoured to garner support from one of the most prominent rabbis in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, David Moshe Friedman (d. 1903), the Rebbe of Chortkov.[5] He maintained contact with him for over three years,[6] during which time he tried to convene a conference of rabbis in order to promote Zionism; however, nothing ever materialized.[7] Friedman had been a long-time supporter of efforts to settle Jews in Palestine on the strict condition that they adhere to Jewish law. He had in fact been an early member of Ahavath Zion, a Zionist organization that was established in 1897 with the specific purpose of informing religious Galician Jews about the plan to establish a Jewish national home. Although Ahavath Zion was successful in attracting thousands of members and numerous rabbis from smaller communities, it could not stem the rising anti-Zionist sentiment among the majority of Orthodox leaders. Besides Friedman, they simply could not persuade any of the other great Hasidic leaders to support the Zionist project.[8] The Hasidim were particularly vociferous in their opposition to Zionism and they often protested against the Zionists. They even went so far as to ban the Star of David, originally a religious symbol which only appeared in synagogues, but it had now become "defiled" by the Zionists.[9]

In 1889, Rabbi Joseph Dov Soloveichik proclaimed that early Zionist initiatives resembled the 17th-century false messianic sect which was headed by Sabbatai Zevi. His son Rabbi Hayyim Soloveichik further warned: "The people of Israel should take care not to join a venture that threatens their souls, to destroy religion, and is a stumbling block to the House of Israel."[10] When the Zionists in Brisk claimed that Zionism would stem the tide of Jewish assimilation, Soloveichik felt that what mattered most for Judaism was the quality, not the quantity of it.[5]

Powerful condemnations of political Zionism continued into the twentieth century. In 1903, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn of Lubavitch published Kuntres Uma'ayan, which contained a strong polemic against Zionism. He opposed the Religious Zionist movement, and was deeply concerned that secular nationalism would replace Judaism as the foundation of Jewish identity.[11] Rabbi Baruch Halberstam (d. 1906) took a leading role in opposing Zionism, in line with the position held by his father, Hayyim Halberstam of Sanz.[12]

In 1912, Haredi leaders in Europe founded the Agudath Israel organisation which hoped to find a "solution to all the problems facing the Jewish people in the Spirit of the Torah." From the outset, the Agudah vehemently opposed the Zionist movement's replacement of the historic religious bond to the land of Israel with secular nationalism.[13] Israel Meir Kagan stated that the fate of the Jewish nation was to remain in exile until the arrival of the Messiah.[14] But with the spread of anti-Semitism in Europe, some Orthodox leaders became more favourable towards the aims of Zionism. Rabbi Isaac Breuer implored Agudah members in 1934 "not to leave Jewish history to the Zionists", hoping that religious Jews would assist in establishing a Jewish homeland.[15] Others remained staunchly opposed, chief among them the rabbi of Munkcs, Chaim Elazar Spira (d. 1937), who was the fiercest opponent of Zionism among Hasidic rabbis.[16] Spira saw Zionism as a denial of the Divine Redemption and faith in the Messiah. He even objected to Agudath Israel because of its support for immigration to Palestine. In 1936, he initiated a publication against the Zionist enterprise which was endorsed by 150 rabbis.[17] During the wartime period, Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman (18751941) of Baranowicze wrote a pamphlet in which he blamed the Zionists for the persecution of Jews in Europe.[18] He rejected the notion that a secular Jewish state could be considered the "advent of Redemption." The goal of Zionism was to uproot religion and Jewish tradition.[19][20] At the 1937 Agudath Israel Great Assembly in Marienbad, most discussions were devoted to the question of the Jewish State and the Nazi rise to power in Germany, and increasing anti-Semitism in Poland and Lithuania. Palestine beaconed as a refuge for the religious European masses whose situation was gradually worsening. While the majority of attendees rejected the establishment of a secular Jewish State on principle as well as on practical grounds , a minority, which was influenced by the dire situation, was in favour of it.[19]

Within Palestine itself, the Old Yishuv was alarmed by the influx of non-religious Jews who wished to establish a secular state in the Holy Land.[21] The chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem, Rabbi Joseph Hayyim Sonnenfeld, often referred to the Zionists as "evil men and ruffians" and claimed that "Hell had entered the Land of Israel with Herzl."[22] Sonnenfeld did not want the Orthodox Jewish community to become subject to secular Zionist authority.[23] The spokesman for the anti-Zionist Ashkenazi community in Jerusalem, Dr Jacob Isral de Haan, endeavoured to form an alliance with the Arab nationalist leadership and hoped to reach an agreement that would allow unrestricted Jewish settlement in Arab lands in return for the relinquishment of Jewish political aspirations. In June 1924, de Haan was assassinated by the Haganah after having conveyed his proposals to King Hussein and his sons, Faisal and Abdullah.[24]

The 1929 Palestine riots and the Nazi rise to power led to a crisis within the anti-Zionist Agudah camp. Some still hoped for a Jewish-Arab alliance against the Zionists, while others, such as Yitzhak-Meir Levin and Jacob Rosenheim faced a difficult dilemma. They felt that such an alliance would not be accepted by the masses of Haredi European Jews, yet they did not wish to cooperate with the Zionists.[22] Moshe Blau, another Agudah member, contended that, "No matter how much the Haredi hates the non-religious, heretical, apostate Zionists, he hates the despicable Arab a hundred times over." The brutal murder by Arabs of dozens of Haredi Jews in Hebron and Safed put an end to the possibility of negotiation with the Arabs.[25] In 1937, the Central Committee of Agudath Israel in the Land of Israel issued a declaration claiming that independent Jewish rule would pose a danger to Orthodox Jewry. It stated:

Agudath Israel in the Land of Israel rejects outright any attempt at despoiling the Land of Israel of its sanctity and considers the proposal to establish a secular Jewish state in Palestine as a hazard to the lofty role of the Jewish People as a holy nation. Agudath Israel in the Land of Israel declares that Orthodox Jewry could only agree to a Jewish state in all the Land of Israel if it were possible for the basic constitution of this state to guarantee Torah rule in the overall public and national life.[19]

The Agudah in Europe grudgingly began to cooperate with the Jewish Agency and other Zionist bodies in an effort to alleviate the situation facing European Jews.[26] In response to this, Amram Blau and Aharon Katzenellenbogen of Jerusalem broke away from Agudah in 1938 to form Neturei Karta who refused to have any dealing with the Zionists.[21] During the 1940s the Neturei Karta became increasingly critical of the Agudah's position and in 1945 they succeeded in expelling Agudah members from the Edah HaChareidis.[27] In 1947, Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky petitioned the UN on behalf of his 60,000 strong community that Jerusalem not be included in the Jewish state and pleaded that the city be placed under international control.[28]

Before and during the Second World War, Haredi opposition to the Zionists persisted. But after the war, the devastating consequences of the Holocaust softened the position of many towards Zionism. The ultra-orthodox in Eastern Europe had perished in vast numbers; whole communities had been wiped out.[29] One rabbi, Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, hiding in Budapest in 1942 and witnessing the persecution of the Jews, renounced his previous hostility to the Zionist movement, and instead strongly criticized the Orthodox establishment for not taking the lead in re-establishing the Jewish homeland.

After World War II, many Jewish refugees found themselves in Displaced person camps. The Zionists controlled a camp for Jewish refugee children near Haifa, Israel where they operated an anti-religious policy in an effort to cut off Haredi children from their spiritual roots. To a large extent they were successful, and many children from Haredi homes were "poisoned against religion".[30]

The relationship between Haredim and Zionism became more complex after the founding of the State of Israel in 1948. Some Haredi groups adopted a pragmatic position, and involved themselves in the political process of the state by voting in elections and accepting state funding. Others have maintained a more hardline rejectionist position, refusing all funding from the Israeli state and abstaining from taking part in the political process. The positions of specific Haredi groups are discussed in greater detail in the remainder of the article.

There is also a growing group of Orthodox Jews known as Hardalim. They are Religious Zionists who moved in their religious observances towards Haredi Judaism. Philosophically, however, they form a part of the Religious Zionist world, and not of the Haredi world.

United Torah Judaism and Shas, which advocate for a halachic state, are the only two Haredi parties in the Israeli Knesset. In addition, even the anti-Zionist Satmar Hasidim do take part in municipal elections in some places, such as the Haredi stronghold of Bnei Brak.

Notably, there is a substantial difference in the positions taken by Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim, the latter generally being quite supportive of Zionism.

There are many different ideological reasons for religious opposition to Zionism; however, the main two are most widely expressed by Hasidim and Lithuanian Haredim.[citation needed][dubious discuss]

The overarching motive behind Haredim's opposition to Zionism stems from a historical animosity and rivalry between orthodox observant Jews and secular progressive forces throughout Jewish Exile history. Many Haredim see Zionism as another battle against forces within who are out to redefine and eradicate traditional Judaism.

However, there is also an Halachic standpoint which makes the case against Zionism even if Israel would - hypothetically - have been a theocracy, where Israel would have been governed under strict Jewish laws.

Historically, many dynasties in Hasidism have expressed anti-Zionist opinions because of the "Three Oaths". The Talmud, in Ketubot 111a, mentions that the Jewish people have been bound by three oaths: 1) not to ascend to Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) as a group using force; 2) not to rebel against the nations of the world; and 3) that the nations of the world would not persecute the nation of Israel excessively.[31][failed verification] Some consider the establishment of the State of Israel to be a violation of these oaths. The first Haredi anti-Zionist movement was Agudath Israel, established in Poland in 1912.[32] Haredi groups and people actively and publicly opposing Zionism are Satmar,[33] Toldos Aharon,[34] Neturei Karta.[33]

Lithuanian Haredim, sometimes called mitnagdim, take a different approach to their beliefs from their Hassidic counterparts.[citation needed] Lithuanian religious Jews oppose the state not because of the three oaths midrash but because they feel that Zionism epitomizes secularity and Jewish desire to be void of Torah. Many Lithuanian religious Jews, such as Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv, have been involved with Zionist politics[clarification needed] as Israel progressively becomes more Jewish-oriented.[citation needed][dubious discuss]

Amongst the Ashkenazi Orthodox rabbinical leadership, religious Zionists form a minority.[35] Generally speaking, most Sephardi Haredi authorities have never shared the anti-Zionism of their Ashkenazi counterparts, and some (such as the late Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu) are strongly affiliated with Religious Zionism, taking a similar stance to the Hardal movements.[citation needed]. However, there are anti-Zionist elements in the Sefardic communities as well. It is known that the late Baba Sali supported and celebrated the anti-Zionist views of the Satmar Rebbe.[36]

There are a number of Haredi groups which not only oppose Zionism, but also do not recognize the State of Israel. Among them are the Hasidic sects of Shomer Emunim (and its offshoots, Toldos Aharon, and Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok), Mishkenos HoRoim, and Dushinsky. In July 1947, Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Dushinsky, Chief Rabbi of the Jerusalem-based Edah HaChareidis, declared to the United Nations his "definite opposition to a Jewish state in any part of Palestine". The largest anti-Zionist Hasidic group is Satmar, which has around 130,000 adherents worldwide. The groups position was crystallized by their charismatic leader, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, who authored comprehensive and polemic tracts detailing his opposition to Zionism. He encouraged his followers who lived in the "Holy Land" to form self-sufficient communities, rejecting social state benefits, and not to vote in general elections. Anxious not to be viewed as supportive of the actions of the secular Israeli government, which he viewed as an abomination, he instructed his people not to visit the Western Wall and other holy sites which had been captured by Israel in the 1967 war. One of the most extreme sects is the Neturei Karta. Formed in 1938 as a breakaway from Agudath Israel, its 5,000 members are based mainly in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.

The Agudat Israel is an international organization (with an Israeli association) of various Haredi groups, mainly from the Lithuanian yeshiva communities and Hasidic groups such as Ger and Belz. It initially adopted a stance of disregard for the State of Israel, motivated by pragmatism. They attempted to influence the politics of the State of Israel from within, by participating in national elections and sending their representatives to the Israeli Knesset, but still did not take full part in it by not serving in its military, and not celebrating any of the State's official holidays. They are adamantly opposed to serving in the military, because they see it as not as worthwhile as learning Torah. Today, the organization has shifted over time to somewhat supportive of the state, although not officially recognizing itself as a pro-Zionist party. The Agudat Israel party in the Knesset is represented as United Torah Judaism, a collective party of Agudat Israel and Degel HaTorah. It tries to influence the Knesset with a pro-Judaism outlook, by mainly focusing on funding for Jewish education (yeshivas), exemption from military service for Haredi yeshiva students, and trying to strengthen Israel's Jewish identity.

A number of Lithuanian (non-Hasidic) leaders like the Chazon Ish (18781953), Rav Shach (18982001), and Rabbi Yosef Sholom Elyashiv (1910-2012), have expressed strongly anti-Zionist views. Examples of this are found in lectures and letters of Rav Shach.[37] One of the newspapers of the Litvish world, the Yated Neeman, regularly publishes articles strongly criticizing Zionism, naming it a "heretical movement". The main Litvish community does vote, as per what many say were the instructions of the Chazon Ish.[38] However, some of the Chazon Ish's disciples dispute this claim.[39] Rabbi Elyashiv would urge his followers to vote for the Degel HaTorah list. Rabbi Shimshon Dovid Pincus, quoted in the book of his speeches about Purim, explains that in each generation, the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) appears in different forms. Examples he gives are the Enlightenment and communism. He goes on to explain that nowadays, Zionism is a form of the Yetzer Hara. The opposition of much of the Litvish world to Zionism differs from that of the Hasidic world in that it is mainly focused on the secular character of Zionism, and less strongly so on the issue of a Jewish state being forbidden whether it is religious or not.

One of the American leaders of the Lithuanian Jewish world, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (18951986), expressed something approaching ambivalent support of the State of Israel, saying that it is proper to pray for the Welfare of the State of Israel, so long as one does not call it the "first flowering of the Redemption".[citation needed] (The reference is to the standard Zionist Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel, which refers to the State as the "first flowering of the Redemption".) In a responsum to a question whether it is permissible to pray in a synagogue which displays an Israeli flag, he writes: "Even though those who made the flag for a symbol of the Israeli state were wicked people ... to make a fight over this is forbidden." [40]

Anti-Zionism does not translate to personal antagonism, and Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz, the Mirrer rosh yeshiva, openly displayed thanks to soldiers of the Israeli army.[citation needed]

The Soloveitchik dynasty of Lithuanian Haredi Judaism is known as one of the most elite scholastic dynasties in all of Orthodox Judaism. The dynasty split into two groups in the 20th century, as parts of the Soloveitchik Rabbinical family veered away from their anti-Zionist tradition set by Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk, and adopted views aligned with Modern Orthodox Judaism and Religious Zionism. Ironically, the Zionist faction of the Brisker dynasty was centered in the United States, and the anti-Zionist faction was, and continues to be, centered in Israel. Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Soloveitchik and Rabbi Dovid Soloveitchik, who lead two of the Brisker yeshivos in Jerusalem, continue to be outspoken opponents of Zionism.

While ideologically opposed to secular Zionism, the moderate Hasidic groups of Ger, Breslov, Vizhnitz, Belz, and Klausenberg do vote in the Israeli elections, support religious Zionism, and accept Israeli government funding. Ger and Belz are two of the most influential movements behind the Israeli political party Agudat Yisrael, which, together with the Lithuanian Degel HaTorah, forms the United Torah Judaism party. Prominent Gerrer rabbi, Yitzhak-Meir Levin, was a signatory to the Israeli Declaration of Independence. He also served as Minister of Welfare, though today, members of Agudat Israel prefer to serve as Deputy Ministers, or in Knesset Committees. These groups do not observe any days associated with the state, and neither do they recite the Prayer for the State of Israel.

Agudat's position evolved into one generally cooperative with the State of Israel, with an emphasis on supporting religious activities within its borders and the maintenance of Haredi institutions. Some rebbes affiliated with Agudat, such as the Sadigura rebbe Avrohom Yaakov Friedman, took more hard-line stances on security, settlements, and disengagement.[41]

The fifth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Sholom Dovber Schneersohn (18601920), also known as the RaShaB, published Kuntres Uma'ayan, the beginning of which contains a strong polemic against secular Zionism. He was deeply concerned that secular nationalism would replace Judaism as the foundation of Jewish identity. The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, as wells as his predecessor, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, nonetheless insisted on trying to increase the observance of the Torah in Israel, both among individuals as well as to make the state's policies more in line with Jewish law and tradition,[42] He also expressed overwhelming support for the State's military endeavors, and vehemently condemned any transfers of land as against Jewish law. His reasoning was based on the code of Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch [43] which states that the Sabbath must be violated (carrying weapons) by the residents of a Jewish community (in any country) that borders a hostile gentile settlement, even if they are threatened in the most subtle manner. He viewed the whole of Israel as such a community, and that was the impetus for his support. He argued that the safety of the Jewish people was paramount, and the physical presence of so many Jews in the land meant that its borders had to be protected as a matter of course. At the same time, he also drew support for his statements from the notion in the Torah that the land of Israel was given to the Jewish people, and that inherent Jewish ownership of the land could not be superseded by mere political interests. Nevertheless, he refused to call the state by name, claiming that the holy land exists independent of any authority that sees itself as sovereign over the land. The Lubavitcher Rebbe embraced the land of Israel as place where God can always be found, no matter how secular some of its inhabitants may be. He was a man who is believed by his followers to have loved every Jew, and to have especially loved Israel.

Many Chabadniks in the world live in Israel, and there are a great deal of Chabad houses there. Their young men serve in the Israeli military. In line with the late Rebbe's instructions to vote for a party that refuses to support giving away parts of the Land of Yisrael as part of any peace negotiations, Chabad does not endorse any particular party in the election process.

Chabad Yeshiva students have been joining the IDF in record numbers.[44] There are Chabad synagogues that celebrate Yom Ha'atzmaut.[45][46][47]

Chabad Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg spoke at Yom Hazikaron Ceremony in Jerusalem in 2011.[48] He also lit one of the torches at the Zionist state ceremony commemorating Israel Independence Day on behalf of his grandson, Chabad Rabbi Moshe Hotzberg.[49]

Chabad Rabbi Sholom Lipskar celebrated Jerusalem Day at Yeshiva Mercaz HaRav in Jerusalem, the most prominent yeshiva in the Religious Zionist world.[50]

In 2011, Rabbi Menachem Brod of Kfar Chabad, who is a spokesman for Chabad, says the group is Zionist in its support for Israel.[51] He stated: When the average Israeli citizen says Zionism, he is referring to love of the land, strengthening the state, and being close to the nation and the land, to military service. If all this is Zionism, then Chabad is super Zionist!" [52]

Chardal Jews usually refers to the portion of the Religious Zionist Jewish community in Israel which inclines significantly toward Charedi ideology (whether in terms of outlook on the secular world, or is their stringent (machmir) approach to Halacha); however, it is sometimes used to refer to the portion of the Charedi Jewish community in Israel which inclines significantly toward Religious Zionist (Dati-Leumi) ideology. Chardal is an initialism of the words Charedi and Dati-Leumi.

Sephardic Haredim are generally supportive of Zionism and the State of Israel, certainly more so than their Ashkenazi counterparts. The number of outspoken opponents of Zionism among Sephardi or Mizrahi rabbis is far lower than among Ashkenazi rabbis, and these constitute a small minority of the Sephardi Haredi leadership.

The Sephardi Haredi political party in the Knesset is Shas, which represents the vast majority of Sephardi Haredim, and is headed by Aryeh Deri. In 2010, Shas joined the World Zionist Organization, and officially became the first Zionist Haredi party.[53] The party's long-time spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, opposed saying Hallel in the Yom HaAtzmaut prayer service, but writes that, "One may say Hallel after the completion of the prayers, without the blessing..."[54] While in the past, when he served as Chief Rabbi of the State of Israel, he wrote that one should say Hallel (though without the blessings preceding and following it), he later changed his position.

Shas is the dominant umbrella organization and political party among Sephardic Haredim, and represents an overwhelming majority of the Sephardi Haredi population. In 2010, Shas joined the World Zionist Organisation, and became the first officially Zionist Haredi political party. According to Shas MK Yaakov Margi, Shas has long operated as a Zionist party: "There's nothing earth-shaking about saying Shas is a Zionist party. We operate as such, we join governments and are partners in the Zionist experience, (our members) serve in the army. There's nothing new here."[53]

There are a number of Sephardic organizations and rabbis who actively oppose the state, such as Rabbi Yaakov Hillel and the Edah HaCharedit HaSefaradit. They draw their ideology from the writings of Sefardi leaders such as the Ben Ish Chai, who lived before the State of Israel was founded, and the Baba Sali, who openly praised the book VaYoel Moshe of the Satmar Rebbe.

The main Haredi newspapers, Hamodia, HaMachane HaHaredi, and Yated Neeman, occasionally publish articles strongly criticizing Zionism, naming it a "heretical movement".[citation needed] They sometimes refer to the country as "Israel", and at other times will only refer to the geographical entity as "Eretz Yisroel". The Israel news columns are almost exclusively right of centre, lambasting Arab terrorism. Articles about outreach movements in Israel and Israeli culture are very common, and are shown without ideological bias.[citation needed]

Several books on the issue of Zionism were written by different rabbis.

Vayoel Moshe was written by the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (18871979). It consists of three parts: Maamar Shalosh Shevuos (three oaths), Maamar Yishuv Eretz Yisroel (settling the Land of Israel), and Maamar Loshon HaKodesh (the holy language). The first part, discusses the three oaths mentioned in Ketubot 111a - that the Jewish people are not allowed to ascend to Eretz Yisrael by force, that the Jewish people are not allowed to rebel against the nations of the world, and that the Jewish people may not by their sins delay the coming of Moshiach, the Jewish messiah. It is primarily a book of Halacha (Jewish law). Rabbi Teitelbaum refers to Religious Zionism as a major desecration of God's name, blames Zionism for the Holocaust, and refers to Zionist leaders such as Theodor Herzl as "heretics".

Also written by the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, this small book consists of inspirational polemics against Zionism. He wrote it in 1967 as a rebuttal to those who said that the Six-Day War was a divine miracle that showed God's support for the State of Israel. Teitelbaum wrote that he did not believe anything miraculous had occurred; small but advanced armies often defeat far larger ones.[55] However, for those who insist that the Israeli victory was a supernatural event, it should be viewed as a test from God to see whether the Jewish people would follow the Torah or be led astray by miracles which seemed to support Zionism in the eyes of the masses. He compared this to the miracles that are often done by idolaters in support of their religions, inasmuch as Judaism is not based on miracles, but rather the national revelation on Sinai.

Eim HaBanim Semeicha was written by Rabbi Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, and published in 1943. Teichtal grew up as a staunch anti-Zionist Chasid of the Munkatsher Rebbe. However, during the Holocaust, Rabbi Teichtal changed his position from the one he espoused in his youth. The physical product of that introspection is the book, Eim HaBanim Semeicha, in which he specifically retracts his previous viewpoints, and argues that the true redemption can only come if the Jewish people unite and rebuild the land of Israel.[56] Many of his coreligionists viewed the book with skepticism, some going so far as to ban Rabbi Teichtal from their synagogues.[57]

In the book, Rabbi Teichtal strongly criticizes the Haredim for not supporting the Zionist movement. When it was written, it was a scathing criticism of the Jewish Orthodox establishment, and Agudat Israel in particular.

He writes:

It is clear that he who prepares prior to the Sabbath will eat on the Sabbath (Avodah Zarah, 3a), and since the Haredim did not toil, they have absolutely no influence in the Land (of Israel). Those who toil and build have the influence, and they are the masters of the Land. It is, therefore, no wonder that they are in control... Now, what will the Haredim say? I do not know if they will ever be able to vindicate themselves before the heavenly court for not participating in the movement to rebuild the Land. (p. 23)

Among Haredi anti-Zionist movements, opinions differ on what attitude to take now that de facto a state exists. Some movements remained actively anti-Zionist, while others lowered their voice; some refuse to vote, while others do vote; some accept money from the government, while others will not.

Many Hasidic Rebbes with followers in the land of Israel, including the Gerrer Rebbe, the Belzer Rebbe, the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, and others have encouraged their followers to vote in Israeli elections.[58][59] Lubavitcher Hasidim are encouraged to join the Israeli Defense Forces,[citation needed] in order to ensure the state's security (inasmuch as the State's security is inextricably entwined with the safety of the Jewish people who live within its borders).

Meanwhile, the Edah HaChareidis Rabbinical Council of Jerusalem and its associated communities, including Satmar, Dushinsky, Toldos Aharon and Toldos Avrohom Yitzchok, do not vote and do not accept government money. Around election days, posters by the Edah HaChareidis are posted throughout Haredi neighborhoods of Jerusalem proclaiming that it is forbidden to vote in the elections, and that doing so is a grave sin. The Edah HaChareidis and its affiliated movements have permitted cooperating with the Israeli police under extenuating circumstances.[60]

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Haredim and Zionism - Wikipedia

List of symbols designated by the Anti-Defamation League as …

Posted By on October 4, 2019

NumberOriginsMeaning1-11Aryan KnightsRepresenting the first and eleventh letters of the alphabet, A and K, meaning "Aryan Knights"100%General white supremacy"100% White"12Aryan BrotherhoodRepresenting the first and second letters of the alphabet, A and B, meaning "Aryan Brotherhood"13Aryan CircleRepresenting the first and third letters of the alphabet, A and C, meaning "Aryan Circle"14David Lane (white supremacist)Fourteen Words, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children"1423Southern BrotherhoodThe Fourteen Words and the 23 precepts of the Southern Brotherhood1488General white supremacyThe Fourteen Words and the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, repeated twice, standing for "Heil Hitler"18Combat 18Representing the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, A and H, meaning "Adolf Hitler"21-2-12The Unforgiven (prison gang)Representing the twenty-first, second, and twelfth letters of the alphabet, U, B, and L, meaning "Unity, Brotherhood, Loyalty"23/16General white supremacyRepresenting the twenty-third and sixteenth letters of the alphabet, W and P, meaning "White Power" or "White Pride"28Blood & HonourRepresenting the second and eighth letters of the alphabet, B and H, meaning "Blood & Honour"311Ku Klux KlanRepresenting the eleventh letter of the alphabet, K, repeated three times, meaning "Ku Klux Klan"318Combat 18Representing the third letter of the alphabet, C, and 18, meaning "Combat 18"33/6Ku Klux KlanThe thirty-three represents three elevens, as K is the eleventh letter of the alphabet, and three of them make "KKK" - the six represents the sixth "era" of the Ku Klux Klan38HammerskinsRepresenting the third and eighth letters of the alphabet, C and H, meaning "Crossed Hammers" a reference to the logo of the Hammerskins43Supreme White AllianceIf one substitutes numbers for the letters in Supreme White Alliance's initials (19, 23, 1), then adds those numbers together, the total is 43.511European KindredRepresenting the fifth and eleventh letters of the alphabet, E and K, meaning "European Kindred"737Public Enemy No. 1 (street gang)The numbers 737 correspond to the letters P, D, and S on a telephone keypad; the initials PDS stand for Peni Death Squad, another name for the group83Christian IdentityRepresenting the eighth and third letters of the alphabet, H and C, meaning "Heil Christ" or "Hail Christ"88General white supremacyRepresenting the eighth letter of the alphabet, H, repeated twice, meaning "Heil Hitler"9%General white supremacyThe percentage of the world's population that is purportedly white

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List of symbols designated by the Anti-Defamation League as ...

Babylonian Talmud [Full Text] –

Posted By on October 4, 2019

Seder Nezikin (Damages)

Seder Zeraim (Seeds)








Ma'aser Sheni




Seder Nashim (Women)





Seder Kodashim (Holies)












Seder Tehorot (Purities)










Tevul Yom



1.Tenanof the original--We have learned in a Mishna;Tania--We have, learned in a Boraitha;Itemar--It was taught.2. Questions are indicated by the interrogation point, and are immediately followed by the answers, without being so marked.3. If there occurs two statements separated by the phrase,Lishna achrenaorWabayith AemaorIkha d'amri(literally, "otherwise interpreted"), we translate only the second.4. As the pages of the original are indicated in our new Hebrew edition, it is not deemed necessary to mark them in the English edition, this being only a translation from the latter.5. Words or passages enclosed in round parentheses () denote the explanation rendered by Rashi to the foregoing sentence or word. Square parentheses [] contained commentaries by authorities of the last period of construction of the Gemara.

Sources: Sacred Texts


Babylonian Talmud [Full Text] -

What is Zionism? – Alma –

Posted By on October 3, 2019

Most likely any conversation around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will include the words Zionism or Zionist. But what do these words actually mean, and how have they changed over time? Lets break it down.

The definition of Zionism has evolved over time: Theres pre-1948 Zionism and post-1948 Zionism (not to be confused with post-Zionism, another idea altogether).

Post-1948 Zionism arguably what most people consider the definition of Zionism today can be simply defined as the belief that the State of Israel has a right to exist, that Jews have the right to self-determination. (This definition is up for debate, though.)

Pre-1948 Zionism is a little bit more complex. To sum, it was the general movement to establish a Jewish state. The modern state of Israel is therefore the culmination of Zionism, the Jewish effort to establish an autonomous state and end the diaspora of the Jewish people. Political Zionism was a product of many trends: the persecution of Jews in Europe and Arab lands; the rise of nationalism around the world; idealistic visions for building a new kind of society; and the conclusion that Jews would only be safe if they controlled their own destinies, to name a few.

The Jewish diaspora, also called the galut (exile), is the dispersion of Israelites/Jews out of their ancestral homeland. Jews typically trace their status as a nation to the Kingdom of Israel you know, the land ruled by King Saul, King David, and King Solomon from the Bible around 900 BCE.

The historical record shows Jewish kingdoms in various forms in what is present-day Israel from then through the era of Roman rule that began in about 60 BCE.

The Jewish exile is commonly dated from the Roman destruction of the second Temple in 70 C.E. Since the exile, there has been a Jewish longing to return to the promised land as God gave to Abraham and his descendants in Genesis 15:18 and Genesis 17:8, and where the Jewish Temples marked the center of Jewish religious and political life.

During the exile, a significant part of Jewish prayer and scripture focused on the Jewish desire to return. For example, Psalm 137:1, 4-5 is super famous (you may recognize the reggae song): By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion How shall we sing the song of the Lord on foreign soil? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither!

Short answer: Not really. Zionism, as we think of it today, was a largely secular, nationalist movement that used Jewish religious symbols. Zion is essentially a synonym for Jerusalem.

Long answer: There are a lot of different types of Zionism and Zionists. Zionism wasnt just one movement. Some of these were religious, and some werent.

Lets break down the different types of Zionism. Its important to note that these arent mutually exclusive people can belong to multiple Zionist camps at the same time.

This is probably what you think of when you think of Zionism. This was a largely secular movement that grew out of 19th century European nationalism and basically said Jews are like any other national group and especially given the persistence of anti-Semitism deserve and need a state of their own.

A movement associated with the writer Ahad Haam (Hebrew for one of the people) and Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the most important figure behind the revival of modern Hebrew, cultural Zionists wanted to ensure the Jewish state was not just a state that happened to be populated by Jews, but one with a vibrant Jewish culture.

This was the movement behind the establishment of the kibbutzim, the collectivist farms instrumental in Israels early history. Labor Zionism emphasized the transformative power of the land and shaped the early leaders of the Jewish state. David Ben-Gurion, Israels first prime minister, was a Labor Zionist.

This was a militant splinter movement led by Zeev Jabotinsky which split from the larger Zionism movement in the 1920s and wanted to achieve a Jewish state more quickly and aggressively than the Labor Zionists.

Religious Zionists believe that the establishment of the state of Israel is part of the divine plan for redemption. Unlike some religious Jews, who think that restoring Jewish sovereignty in Israel has to wait until the coming of the messiah, religious Zionists consider settlements in Israel and army service to be holy acts.

This is basically what it sounds like. Christians who support Jewish sovereignty in Israel do so mainly because they believe the Jewish return to the holy land is a precursor to the second coming of Jesus, and because they take seriously the biblical verse, Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, And whoever curses Israel will be cursed. (Numbers 24:9)


As Zionists began to settle what was then part of the Ottoman Empire in the 1880s and picked up the pace in waves before and after World War I what was at first scattered resistance from the Arabs who then made up the majority of the regions inhabitants became more and more intense.

After the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, a move sanctioned by the United Nations, many countries (such as Egypt, Syria, Jordan, etc.) refused to acknowledge the Jewish state and instead called Israel the Zionist entity or illegal Zionist entity. Critics call Zionism a colonial-imperialist movement, a racist movement, and more, which Zionists categorically deny. But this is a really messy subject and can veer into rancor and anti-Semitism, so were going to save this for another article (See: is anti-Zionism always anti-Semitism?)

Good question. What does Zionism look like after the establishment of Israel? Werent the goals of the Zionist movement just, like, met?

Zionism remains as a philosophy that views Israel as a homeland for all the Jews, one that was proven necessary by Israels role in taking in Holocaust survivors, Jews who fled persecution in the Soviet Union, Jews expelled from Arab countries, and Ethiopian Jews.

And while the state is a reality, contrasting visions of what Zionism means leads Israelis to hold vastly different ideas on how Israel should be governed, what role religion should play, how it treats its non-Jewish citizens, its relationship with Palestinians (and with Arab nations), and so forth (See: how do Israeli politics work?)

Post-Zionism is, broadly, a critique of Zionism and the state of Israel that tends to come from within. In its least controversial form, it says that Israel is now a reality, and it should focus on the practical aspects of being a normal nation for all of its citizens. A more radical form of post-Zionism calls into question the very foundations of Zionism. The moderates and radicals usually come back to the same set of questions: Is it possible to have a state that is both Jewish and democratic? Is Israel really the safest place for the Jews? Do Jews have to be in Israel?

Post-Zionism, as My Jewish Learning explains, is indicative of an increasing sense among many Israelis that the maps of meaning provided by Zionism are simply no longer adequate.

It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

For many, it means they believe in the right of the Jews to self-determination. Nothing more, nothing less. It means they believe Israel should exist.

For many Jews living outside of Israel, Zionism describes their commitment to supporting Israel politically, economically, and spiritually.

For many of Israels critics, Zionism is a flawed and even illegitimate notion, which means Israel is itself considered illegitimate. Many of them equate Zionism to the ideological, ultra-nationalist settlers and their supporters in the Likud-led government. (See: UN Resolution 3379.)

Others believe Zionism ended on May 14, 1948, when the State of Israel was established. As writer Anshel Pfeffer opines in Haaretz, Despite the -ism in its name, Zionism was never an ideology, it was a program. For the 66 years of its existence there were heated debates over Zionisms justification, objectives and the best means for achieving them. They ended on May 14, 1948, when an independent Jewish state was established on part of the ancient homeland. Basically: Arguing over Israeli policies today does nothing to change how Israel came into existence, nor the Zionist movement that brought it there.

So, you know, no simple answers here.

The rest is here:
What is Zionism? - Alma -

Sephardic Bikur Holim – SBH

Posted By on October 3, 2019

SBH is a dynamic social services organization devoted to providing meaningful and caring assistance to those in need. Love, kindness and mercy, all blended into one word hesed are the motivational principals that drive SBH to attract and retain the most qualified staff and the most giving volunteers. By working together, hand in hand, they invest their time, energy and resources into helping others with care and sensitivity. Over the years SBH has grown to many divisions, branches and programs, but the care and concern that is given to each client is still very personal, very real, and very effective. SBH covers the wide gamut of social services including food distribution, access to government entitlements, mental health therapy, career counseling, job placement, medical referrals, special education support, and more. Our goal is to provide a complete and comprehensive one-stop address for everything related to hesed, and to constantly challenge ourselves to make sure the needs of our surrounding communities are being met.

Among our many accomplishments, we are proud that Charity Navigator the premier independent evaluator of charities has rated us their highest rating of 4 Stars for each of the last four years. Of the 8,000+ tax-exempt national charities, only 12% have achieved such a distinguished honor, and it is a wonderful testament of our commitment to accountability, transparency and financial health.

We are thankful to all of our partners that make the everyday miracles we do possible. The impact we make on each of our clients is life-changing, and we share the merit with all of you. There is so much more to do, so we are hopeful that you continue to support us in any way that you can.

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Sephardic Bikur Holim - SBH

Touro Synagogue – Wikipedia

Posted By on October 3, 2019

The Touro Synagogue or Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Hebrew: ) is a synagogue built in 1763 in Newport, Rhode Island, that is the oldest synagogue building still standing in the United States,[2] the oldest surviving Jewish synagogue building in North America,[3] and the only surviving synagogue building in the U.S. dating to the colonial era. In 1946, it was declared a National Historic Site.[4]

Touro Synagogue was designed by noted British architect and Rhode Island resident Peter Harrison and is considered his most notable work. The interior is flanked by a series of twelve Ionic columns supporting balconies which signify the twelve tribes of ancient Israel, and each column is carved from a single tree.[5] The building is oriented to face east toward Jerusalem. The ark containing the Torah is on the east wall; above it is a mural representing the Ten Commandments in Hebrew which was painted by Newport artist Benjamin Howland.

The Touro Synagogue was built from 1759 to 1763 for the Jeshuat Israel congregation in Newport under the leadership of Cantor (Chazzan) Isaac Touro. The cornerstone was laid by Aaron Lopez, a philanthropist and merchant in Newport involved in the spermaceti candlemaking business, slave trade, and other commercial ventures. The Jeshuat Israel congregation itself dates back to 1658 when 15 Spanish and Portuguese Jewish families arrived, probably from the West Indies, and many settled near Easton's Point.[citation needed] The synagogue was formally dedicated 2 December 1763. Other notable leaders include Abraham Pereira Mendes and Henry Samuel Morais (190001).

Judah Touro, the son of Isaac Touro and his wife Reyna, made a fortune as a merchant in New Orleans. He left $10,000 ($280,000 in current dollar terms) in his will for the upkeep of the Jewish cemetery and synagogue in Newport.

In 1946, Touro Synagogue was designated a National Historic Site[4] and is an affiliated area of the National Park Service. The synagogue was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. In 2001, the congregation joined into a partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Touro Synagogue is located at 85 Touro Street and remains an active Orthodox synagogue. The building underwent a restoration in 20052006,[4] and a recreation of the original dedication ceremony was conducted in 2013 in honor of the 250th anniversary.[4]

On August 17, 1790,[6] the day that George Washington visited Newport, the synagogue's warden, Moses Seixas, wrote to Washington, expressing the support of the Congregation for Washington's administration and good wishes for him. Washington sent a letter on August 21 in response, which read in part:

... the Government of the United States ... gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance. ... May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other Inhabitants; while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.

Speakers at the annual event have included Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan;[8] and Brown University Presidents Ruth Simmons[9] and Christina Paxson.[10]

The congregation at Newport, never large, was composed of Jews with roots in the Sephardic Spanish and Portuguese diaspora, with some Ashkenazim by the eighteenth century.

The first Jewish residents of Newport, fifteen Spanish Jewish families, arrived in 1658. It is presumed that they arrived via the communities in Curaao, home to the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Americas, dating to 1651 and Suriname. The small community worshiped in rooms in private homes for more than a century before they could afford to build a synagogue.[11]

The community purchased and dedicated the Jewish Cemetery at Newport in 1677.

In the late 1700s, the Jewish community removed the Torah scrolls and sent them for safekeeping along with the deed to the building to Congregation Shearith Israel in New York. The keys left the Jewish community and were passed to the Goulds, a Quaker family in Newport.

From the 1850s on, the building was occasionally opened for worship for the convenience of summer visitors. It was reopened on a regular basis in 1883 as Jewish life in Newport revived with the late nineteenth century immigration of eastern European Jews. The synagogue acquired a nearby building and ran a Hebrew School and other activities. It continues to serve as a thriving congregation with many year round programs.

Although the congregation has been predominantly Ashkenazi for a century, it is constitutionally obliged[clarification needed] to use the "Sephardic ritual". It therefore uses the ArtScroll Nusach Sefard prayer book; once a year representatives of the New York community visit and hold a service in the Spanish and Portuguese style.

Rabbi Dr. Marc Mandel became the rabbi in July 2012. As of 2012[update], the congregation consists of about 175 families.[12][13]

During 2005 and 2006, Touro Synagogue invested in a restoration project for its valued antique metal artifacts. In total, one hundred-fifty metal objects, from eighteenth century hardware to European chandeliers and silver rimonim (ceremonial bells used on the Torah) needed to be rebuilt, have their surfaces stabilized, and have missing parts replaced. The project was carried out by the Newport-based restoration company Newmans' Ltd.[14]

Conflict over the ownership of the Touro building and its contents surfaced in 2012. Newport's Congregation Jeshuat Israel put up for sale ceremonial bells, called rimonim, to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for $7.4 million. New York's Congregation Shearith Israel then sued the Newport congregation, saying Shearith Israel owns the Touro synagogue building and the rimonim. They also wanted to evict the Newport congregation from the Touro building and site. In April 2015 both sides of the dispute said several attempts at mediation had failed and they were therefore preparing for trial.[15]

In May 2016 a federal judge ruled on the matter, rejecting Congregation Shearith Israel's claim to oversight. U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. noted that "for at least the past 20 years, Shearith Israel has not taken any meaningful action in its capacity as trustee for the Touro Synagogue and lands." [16] In June 2016 Congregation Shearith Israel announced it would appeal the decision.[17] Congregation Shearith Israel was awarded ownership on August 2, 2017 by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.[18]

On March 18, 2019, the United States Supreme Court declined to take up the case; the lower court ruling that Congregation Shearith Israel owns Touro remains in place.[19]

Loeb Visitors Center, built in 2009

Originally posted here:

Touro Synagogue - Wikipedia

International Conference to Review the Global Vision of …

Posted By on October 3, 2019

The International Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust was a two-day conference that opened on December 11, 2006, in Tehran, Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said the conference sought "neither to deny nor prove the Holocaust... [but] to provide an appropriate scientific atmosphere for scholars to offer their opinions in freedom about a historical issue."[1] Notable attendees included David Duke, Moshe Aryeh Friedman, Robert Faurisson, Gerald Fredrick Tben, Richard Krege, Michle Renouf, Ahmed Rami and Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta.[2]

The conference was described as a "Holocaust denial conference" or a "meeting of Holocaust deniers."[3]

The conference provoked criticism.[4] The Vatican condemned it, the US administration of President George W. Bush called it an "affront to the entire civilized world," and British Prime Minister Tony Blair described it as "shocking beyond belief."[5] Holocaust historians attending a separate conference in Berlin organized in protest against the Iranian one called it "an attempt to cloak anti-Semitism in scholarly language."[6]

According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the conference would not aim to deny or prove the Holocaust,[7] but to create opportunities "for suitable scientific research so that the hidden and unhidden angles of this most important political issue of the 20th century becomes more transparent." The event was organized by the ministry's Institute for Political & International Studies (IPIS).[8]

The goal of the conference was to discuss the reality of the Nazis' extermination of Jews during World War II.[9] The Foreign Minister of Iran and other officials stated that the conference was meant to "create an opportunity for thinkers who cannot express their views freely in Europe about the Holocaust".[10]

According to the Iranian Foreign Minister: "If the official version of the Holocaust is thrown into doubt, then the identity and nature of Israel will be thrown into doubt. And if, during this review, it is proved that the Holocaust was a historical reality, then what is the reason for the Palestinians having to pay the cost of the Nazis' crimes?"[11]

There were 67 attendees from 30 countries.[12][13]

American David Duke, a former Louisiana State Representative and one-time Ku Klux Klan leader, attended the conference. French writer Georges Thiel, who had been convicted under Holocaust denial laws in France, attended, as did Fredrick Tben of Australia who had been imprisoned in Germany for three months in 1999 for Holocaust denial.[11][14] Robert Faurisson, a convicted Holocaust denier from France also attended,[15] as well as Ahmed Rami, a Swedish-Moroccan Holocaust denier who was imprisoned in Sweden for inciting racial hatred.[16] German psychologist and National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) functionary Bendikt Frings was invited by Iranian Deputy Minister of Islamic Guidance Mohammad Ali Ramin; Frings said that he had waited for such a conference "all my childhood".[17][18] The NPD is widely considered the most significant German Neo-Nazi party.[19][20]

Michle Renouf, an Australian-born British defender of Holocaust denial author David Irving also attended. At the conference, Renouf claimed that the "terrible things" that happened to the Jews in World War II were brought upon by Jewish leaders.[21]

Among the participants at the conference were six members of the anti-Zionist Jewish organisation Neturei Karta, including Aharon Cohen[22][23] who said he had come to the conference to put the Orthodox Jewish viewpoint across. Cohen also said that while the Holocaust indisputably happened, "in no way can it be used as a justification for perpetrating unjust acts against the Palestinians."[9]

Shiraz Dossa, a professor of Political Science at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada, presented a paper at the conference and was roundly vilified for his participation by the Canadian media and his university.[24]

Jan Bernhoff, a computer teacher from Sweden, gave a presentation claiming that 300,000 Jews had been killed as opposed to six million.[25]

French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy was unable to attend the conference for health reasons. However, he reportedly sent a videotaped message supporting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's view that Israel should cease to exist.[26]

Israeli Arab lawyer Khaled Kasab Mahameed was denied permission to attend the conference by Iran after it was discovered that he holds Israeli citizenship. He had been previously invited to attend by the Iranian government;[27] however Iran does not grant visas to Israelis. According to Ha'aretz, Mahameed intended "to tell the conference that the Holocaust did happen and that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's position of Holocaust denial is wrong". He stated:

Everything that happened must be internalized and the facts must not be denied... It is the obligation of all Arabs and all Muslims to understand the significance of the Holocaust. If their goal is to understand their adversary, they must understand the Holocaust... The naqba [disaster] the Palestinians experienced in 1948 is small compared to the Holocaust, but the political implications of the Holocaust have made its terrors a burden on the Palestinian people alone... The Holocaust has all the reasons for the creation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also has potential to bring peace."[28]

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying: "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom [and] elections should be held among Jews, Christians and Muslims so the population of Palestine can select their government and destiny for themselves in a democratic manner."[29]

Papers delivered by participants from countries ranging from Austria to Indonesia included "A Challenge to the Official Holocaust Story," and "Holocaust, the Achilles Heel of a Primordial Jewish Trojan."[30]

David Duke gave a speech in which he said: "In Europe you can freely question, ridicule and deny Jesus Christ. The same is true for the prophet Muhammad, and nothing will happen to you. But offer a single question of the smallest part of the Holocaust and you face prison."[11]

Frederick Tben told the conference: "Minds are being switched off to the Holocaust dogma as it is being sold as a historical fact and yet we are not able to question it. This is mental rape."[31]

Rabbi Aharon Cohen told the conference: "There is no doubt whatsoever, that during World War II there developed a terrible and catastrophic policy and action of genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against the Jewish people, confirmed by innumerable eyewitness survivors and fully documented again and again...The figure of six million is regularly quoted. One may wish to dispute this actual figure, but the crime was just as dreadful whether the millions of victims numbered six million, five million or four million. The method of murder is also irrelevant, whether it was by gas chamber, firing squads or whatever. The evil was the same. It would be a terrible affront to the memory of those who perished to belittle the guilt of the crime in any way.[23]

Richard Krege maintained his suggestion of diesel exhaust gas chambers to be an "outright lie," and showed a model of the Treblinka extermination camp to illustrate this.[30] He claimed that up to 10,000 people died in the camp, but of disease, instead of planned extermination.[30] He said, "There is no scientific proof to show that this place was an extermination camp. All that exists are the words of some people."[30]

According to IRNA, the conference participants agreed to start a world foundation for Holocaust studies with Mohammad-Ali Ramin as its Secretary General. The stated purpose of the foundation was to "find out the truth about holocaust." More immediate tasks included preparing for the next Holocaust conference and composing the foundation's letter of association. The main office would initially be located in Tehran, though Ramin said it will eventually move to Berlin, "once proper grounds are prepared".[32]

Iran's sole Jewish member of parliament Maurice Motamed said: "Holding this conference after having a competition of cartoons about the Holocaust has put a lot of pressure on Jews all over the world;"[9] and that "The conference has upset Iran's 25,000-strong Jewish community."[14]

Though reformist demonstrations had been rare since Ahmadinejad took office, a few dozen students burnt pictures of him and chanted "death to the dictator" as Ahmadinejad gave a speech at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran on 12 December 2006.[31] One student activist said the protest was against the "shameful" Holocaust conference, and added that Ahmadinejad had "brought to our country Nazis and racists from around the world."[31] Ahmadinejad responded by saying: "Everyone should know that Ahmadinejad is prepared to be burnt in the path of true freedom, independence and justice."[31]

However, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, Secretary-General of the International Congress to Support the Palestinian Intifada, expressed support for the conference, saying that the "Western and Zionist media have always been aggrandizing the dimensions of the reality of Holocaust, mixing a bit of truth with a lot of lies".[33]

Thirty four of the worlds leading policy institutes released a statement on 15 December that they would break off all relations with Iran's Institute for Political and International Studies. Signatories included the directors of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London; the Aspen Institute in Berlin; the German Marshall Fund in Washington; the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; the Center for International Studies and Research in Paris; the United States Studies Centre in Sydney, Australia; and the Center for International Relations in Warsaw.[49] The conference was condemned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).[50]

Ayaan Hirsi Ali called on Western leaders to wake up to the reality of the situation. She stated: "For the majority of Muslims in the world the Holocaust is not a major historical event they deny; they simply do not know because they were never informed. Worse, most of us are groomed to wish for a Holocaust of Jews."[51] She said that she never learned anything about the Holocaust while she was studying in Saudi Arabia and Kenya. She called for action from charities: "Western and Christian charities in the third world should take it upon themselves to inform Muslims and non-Muslims alike, in the areas where they are active, about the Holocaust."[51]

A number of Arab journalists in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom criticized the conference, arguing that it included unqualified non-historian speakers, spread the hate and propaganda of an extremist Iranian government, defended the heinous crimes of the Nazis, damaged Iran diplomatically at a time when its foreign relations were difficult, and reflected a lack of human and cultural sensitivity.[52]

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Irving v Penguin Books Ltd – Wikipedia

Posted By on October 3, 2019

David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt is a case in English law against American author Deborah Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books, filed in the High Court of Justice by the British author David Irving in 1996, asserting that Lipstadt had libelled him in her book Denying the Holocaust. The court ruled that Irving's claim of libel relating to English defamation law and Holocaust denial was not valid because Lipstadt's claim that he had deliberately distorted evidence had been shown to be substantially true. English libel law puts the burden of proof on the defence, meaning that it was up to Lipstadt and her publisher to prove that her claims of Irving's deliberate misrepresentation of evidence to conform to his ideological viewpoints were substantially true.

Lipstadt hired British lawyer Anthony Julius while Penguin hired libel experts Kevin Bays and Mark Bateman of media law firm Davenport Lyons. Richard J. Evans, an established historian, was hired by the defence to serve as an expert witness. Evans spent two years examining Irving's work, and presented evidence of Irving's misrepresentations, including evidence that Irving had knowingly used forged documents as source material. Of utmost importance was the role played by another expert witness for the defence, the renowned Holocaust historian Christopher Browning. Upon mutual agreement,[6] the case was argued as a bench trial before Mr. Justice Gray, who produced a written judgment 349 pages long in favour of the defendants, in which he detailed Irving's systematic distortion of the historical record of the Holocaust and Hitler's role therein.

In 1993, Free Press published Professor Deborah Lipstadt's book Denying the Holocaust: the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory.[7][8] In it she described and condemned the phenomenon of Holocaust denial and referred to David Irving as a prominent Holocaust denier. One of the passages Irving later objected to was:

Irving is one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial. Familiar with historical evidence, he bends it until it conforms with his ideological leanings and political agenda. A man who is convinced that Britain's great decline was accelerated by its decision to go to war with Germany, he is most facile at taking accurate information and shaping it to confirm his conclusions. A review of his recent book, Churchill's War, which appeared in New York Review of Books, accurately analyzed his practice of applying a double standard of evidence. He demands "absolute documentary proof" when it comes to proving the Germans guilty, but he relies on highly circumstantial evidence to condemn the Allies. This is an accurate description not only of Irving's tactics, but of those of deniers in general.[9][10]

In November 1994, Irving had his first encounter with Lipstadt at DeKalb College in Atlanta, where Lipstadt was lecturing on Holocaust denial. Irving had listened to the lecture while sitting in the lecture hall and when it was over, did his best to disrupt Lipstadt by challenging her to a debate, waving about a large amount of money in his hands and announcing he had $1,000 to give to her or anyone who could find a written order from Hitler for the Holocaust. Lipstadt ignored Irving, despite his repeated attempts to draw her into a debate. After Lipstadt's lecture had ended, Irving announced that Lipstadt's refusal to debate him or produce a written order from Hitler for the Holocaust, despite his promise to pay $1,000 on the spot, proved that her criticism of him in Denying the Holocaust was invalid and he handed out free copies of his Gring biography to Lipstadt's students.

On 5 September 1996, Irving filed a libel suit concerning Lipstadt's book in English court. He named in his suit Lipstadt and Penguin Books, whose division Plume had published a British edition of her book.[7][12] Irving also sued Holocaust historian Gitta Sereny for libel for an article she had written about him entitled "Spin Time for Hitler" in The Observer newspaper on 21 April 1996, although the case did not go to court.[13][14][15] In letters of 25 and 28 October 1997, Irving threatened to sue John Lukacs for libel if he published his book, The Hitler of History, without removing certain passages highly critical of Irving's work.[13] The American edition of The Hitler of History was published in 1997 with the allegedly libellous passages but because of Irving's legal threats, no British edition of The Hitler of History was published until 2001.[13] When the latter was published, as a result of the threat of legal action by Irving, the passages containing the criticism of Irving's historical methods were expunged by the publisher, to the disappointment of many reviewers.[16][17]

In her book, Denying the Holocaust, Lipstadt called Irving a Holocaust denier, falsifier, a bigot and that he manipulated and distorted real documents. Irving claimed to have been libelled under the grounds that Lipstadt had falsely labelled him a Holocaust denier, falsely claimed that he had falsified evidence or deliberately misinterpreted it, by which false accusations his reputation as an historian was defamed.[18] Though the author was American, Irving filed his suit in the English High Court, where the burden of proof in libel cases is on the defendant, unlike the US where the burden is on the plaintiff. He was able to file the lawsuit in England because the book was published there (before 1996, if Irving had wished to sue Lipstadt, he would have had to launch his legal action in an American court; English libel law applies only to alleged acts of libel committed in England and Wales). As explained by the trial judge, Mr Justice Gray,

4.7 ... the burden of proving the defence of justification rests upon the publishers. Defamatory words are presumed under English law to be untrue. It is not incumbent on defendants to prove the truth of every detail of the defamatory words published: what has to be proved is the substantial truth of the defamatory imputations published about the claimant. As it is sometimes expressed, what must be proved is the truth of the sting of the defamatory charges made.

Irving's decision to file his lawsuit in the English courts gave him the upper hand by shifting the burden of proof. Under American libel law, a public figure who claims to have been libelled must prove that the statements in question are defamatory and false, and were made with actual malice or with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity. Reliance on reliable sources (even if they prove false) is a valid defence. English libel law requires only that the claimant show that the statements are defamatory. The burden of proof falls on the defendant to prove that the statements were substantially true and reliance on sources is irrelevant.[19] If the defence could not prove the defamatory content of her words to be true, they would be found guilty of libel. Lipstadt feared that such a verdict would confer legitimacy upon Irving's claims and felt compelled to defend herself.[20] One commentator, who had expressed the opinion that Irving "could have been ignored", later wrote "Lipstadt had no choice but to defend herself in court".[21][22]

To succeed with a justification defence, the defence would need to prove as substantially true all of the defamatory claims made by Lipstadt against Irving. The judge understood these claims to be,

Lipstadt hired the British solicitor Anthony Julius to present her case. Penguin hired Davenport Lyons libel specialists Kevin Bays and Mark Bateman. Together they briefed the libel barrister, Richard Rampton QC. Penguin also instructed Heather Rogers as junior barrister. Penguin knew that they were going to have to dig deep to defend against Irving's claims. Lipstadt's claims would need to be backed up by experts and Penguin would foot the bill, retaining Professor Richard J. Evans, historian and Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University, as their lead witness.[24] As an expert witness, Evans was expected to prepare a report and to be cross-examined. Also working as expert witnesses were the American Holocaust historian Christopher Browning, the German historian Peter Longerich, the Dutch architectural expert Robert Jan van Pelt and the Political Science Professor Hajo Funke[de] of the Free University of Berlin.[25][26]

The legal strategy was to

Van Pelt, Browning and Longerich were assigned to the first part. Funke wrote a report for the second and Evans the third.[27]

The lawyers for Lipstadt (Mishcon de Reya) and Penguin (Davenport Lyons) worked closely, for the most part agreeing on the way to deal with the claim. One minor setback came when Penguin and their lawyers Davenport Lyons were keen that the information provided by the experts they had instructed be incorporated in an amended defence (which Heather Rogers drafted). Initially Mishcon were unpersuaded but Davenport Lyons were insistent, feeling that the amended document provided a clear statement of the strong evidence against Irving. The decision was eventually left to Richard Rampton and Heather Rogers as they would be presenting the case and both were in favour of amending; Mishcon relented.

The testimony of van Pelt and Evans proved to be the most substantial. During cross-examination, Irving was unable to undermine either Evans, who had been highly critical of his scholarship or van Pelt, whose report concentrated on the evidence that contradicted the holocaust deniers' arguments about Auschwitz Birkenau. Evans was assisted by two postgraduates as researchers Thomas Skelton-Robinson and Nik Wachsmann; Evans and his students took 18 months to write a 740-page report, finishing it in the summer of 1999.[24][28]

A short time later, Irving privately approached Penguin and offered to drop them from his lawsuit if they would pull the book from publication in the UK and destroy all of the remaining copies, publicly disavow all of Lipstadt's conclusions and make a charitable donation of 500 in the name of Irving's daughter (who is disabled). He also suggested to Penguin that they keep any terms confidential because he had no intention of settling with Lipstadt. Bays and Bateman made clear that the publisher rejected his terms. Three weeks later, Irving officially offered to settle with both parties, the terms being that the book be withdrawn from circulation, both parties apologise and (each) make a 500 donation. Lipstadt instructed her lawyers to reject the offer.[31] Irving later claimed without evidence that Penguin wanted to settle the case (not specifying whether this applied to one of his two "offers" or both of them) and were somehow pressured by Dr. Lipstadt not to; DD Guttenplan's book outlined how Penguin dismissed Irving for several reasons, including contempt for him and dismay over the certainty that the publisher would have been called by Lipstadt's lawyers as plaintiff advocates if they had settled the lawsuit.

Evans and his two assistants spent more than two years examining Irving's work. This research found that Irving had misrepresented historical evidence to support his prejudices. In his report and testimony, Evans suggested that in his view, Irving had knowingly used forged documents as sources, and that for this reason, Irving could not be regarded as a historian. His conclusions were that

Not one of [Irving's] books, speeches or articles, not one paragraph, not one sentence in any of them, can be taken on trust as an accurate representation of its historical subject. All of them are completely worthless as history, because Irving cannot be trusted anywhere, in any of them, to give a reliable account of what he is talking or writing about. ... if we mean by historian someone who is concerned to discover the truth about the past, and to give as accurate a representation of it as possible, then Irving is not a historian.[32]

During the trial, Evans was cross-examined by Irving. The cross-examination of Evans by Irving was noted for the high degree of personal antagonism between the two men. Such was the degree of antagonism that Irving challenged Evans on very minor points, such as Evans doubting that a 1938 German plebiscite in which the Nazi regime received 98.8% of the vote was fair. A subject that much engaged Irving and Evans in a debate was a 1942 memo by the Chief of the Reich Chancellory Hans Lammers to the Reich Justice Minister Franz Schlegelberger in which Lammers wrote that Hitler ordered him to put the "Jewish Question" on the "back-burner" until after the war. Evans chose to accept the interpretation of the memo put forward by Eberhard Jckel in the 1970s; Irving chose to interpret the memo literally, and taunted Evans, saying "[i]t is a terrible problem, is it not, that we are faced with this tantalizing plate of crumbs and morsels of what should have provided the final smoking gun, and nowhere the whole way through the archives do we find even one item that we do not have to interpret or read between the lines of, but we do have in the same chain of evidence documents which... quite clearly specifically show Hitler intervening in the other sense?". In response, Evans stated "No, I do not accept that at all. It is because you want to interpret euphemisms as being literal and that is what the whole problem is. Every time there is an euphemism, Mr. Irving... or a camouflage piece of statement or language about Madagascar, you want to treat it as the literal truth, because it serves your purpose of trying to exculpate Hitler. That is part of... the way you manipulate and distort the documents".

In 2001, Evans described his impression of Irving after being cross-examined by him as "He [Irving] was a bit like a dim student who didn't listen. If he didn't get the answer he wanted, he just repeated the question."[39]

Longerich testified to the meaning of the often euphemistic language used by German officials during the war regarding the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", and argued that from 1941 onwards, the term "resettlement in the East" was a metaphor for deportation to the death camps. During his exchanges with Irving, Longerich insisted quite firmly that the term "resettlement" was only a euphemism for extermination and nothing more, and used the Posen speech given by Himmler in October 1943 as a proof of the genocidal policy of the German state. Irving by contrast argued for a literal interpretation of the phrase "resettlement in the East".

During his testimony and a cross-examination by Irving, Browning countered Irving's suggestion that the last chapter of the Holocaust has yet to be written (implying there were grounds for doubting the reality of the Holocaust) by replying: "We are still discovering things about the Roman Empire. There is no last chapter in history."

Browning countered Irving's argument that the lack of a written Fhrer order proves the alleged non-occurrence of the Holocaust by arguing that although no such order was ever written down, Hitler had almost certainly made statements to his leading subordinates indicating his wishes in regards to the Jews of Europe during the war, thus rendering the need for a written order irrelevant. Browning testified that several leading experts on Nazi Germany believe that there was no written Fhrer order for the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question", but no historian doubts the reality of the Holocaust. Browning went on to assert that Irving was attempting to falsely equate doubts about the existence of a written Fhrer order with doubts about the Holocaust. Browning used to support his thesis the example of Hitler's secret speech to his Gauleiters on 12 December 1941, in which Hitler strongly alluded to genocide as the "Final Solution".

Browning testified that the Madagascar Plan of 194041 was "fantastic" and "bizarre", but countered Irving's suggestion that this proves the alleged impossibility of the Holocaust by stating: "...I do think they took it seriously. It is fantastic, but of course, Auschwitz is fantastic, too". Browning testified that the Madagascar Plan was not "Hitler's pipe dream" as Irving claimed, and that "I would not call it a pipe dream, because I think, if England had surrendered, they would have tried to do it. They would have tried to implement it just as they tried to implement the Lublin reservation plan [Browning was referring to the Nisko Plan here] and just as they tried and succeeded in implementing the death camp plans."

Browning categorically rejected Irving's claim that there was no reliable statistical information on the size of the pre-war Jewish population in Europe or on the killing processes and argued that the only reason historians debate whether five or six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust is due to a lack of access to archives in the former Soviet Union. Likewise, Browning argued that it is possible to become soaked in human blood after shooting people at close range based on his research for his 1992 book Ordinary Men and dismissed Irving's argument that accounts of German personnel being soaked in blood were improbable because it is not possible to have a blood-soaked uniform after shooting people at close range.

Browning responded to Irving's claim that because Browning had done work for the Yad Vashem centre in Jerusalem that made him an "Israeli agent" and thereby compromised his scholarly abilities by stating: "If that was the case, then since I had been at the [US] Holocaust Museum, I would also have been an agent of the American government, and since I have received scholarships in Germany, I would be an agent of the German government, so I must be a very duplicitous fellow to be able to follow these regimes." Irving seemed anxious for Browning's approval, and Browning later recalled that Irving behaved as if the two of them were on "a joint journey of exploration and discovery."[39]

Robert Jan van Pelt, an architectural historian, was engaged by the defence as an expert witness. He prepared a 700-page report, in which he examined the evidence for the existence of the gas chambers at Auschwitz. He also defended himself on cross-examination.[49]Irving floundered against van Pelt's deep knowledge of the mechanics of Auschwitz Birkenau. Rampton and van Pelt had bonded on a trip to Auschwitz with Rogers and Bateman and they had spent hours talking through Irving's claims. Van Pelt took the three lawyers and Deborah Lipstadt around Birkenau showing them how Irving's claims were false and the mistake he had made about the physical layout. He later adapted the report he wrote into book form.[50]

In the trial, Irving represented himself. He called the American Kevin B. MacDonald, an evolutionary psychologist, to testify on his behalf. Irving made much of the statement by the American historian Arno J. Mayer, who Irving went to pains to point out was both a Marxist and a man who would have been considered Jewish in Nazi racial theory, in his 1988 book Why Did the Heavens Not Darken?, that most of the people who died at Auschwitz were the victims of disease rather than murder. In response, Peter Longerich argued that Mayer did not deny the Holocaust in his book, and that he was simply wrong about more Jews dying of "natural" as opposed to "unnatural" causes of death at Auschwitz.

Irving also subpoenaed the diplomatic historian Donald Cameron Watt and the military historian John Keegan to testify in his case against Lipstadt; both men had refused an earlier offer to testify for Irving on their own and appeared to be very reluctant on the stand. Rather than focus on the defence's evidence against him, or on whether or not Lipstadt had defamed him, Irving seemed to focus mainly on his "right to free speech". In his closing statement, Irving claimed to have been a victim of an international, mostly Jewish, conspiracy for more than three decades.[citation needed]

The judgment was presented on 11 April 2000, although the lawyers had received the decision 24 hours earlier.[53] To the large crowd assembled, the judge read portions of his written judgment.

The written judgment came out to 349 pages. Following an introduction[55] and a discussion of the complaint,[56] more than three-quarters of the written judgment[57] is devoted to an analysis of all the evidence that was presented. Only then does the judge get to his findings on the evidence.The judge deems that "in the course of his prolonged cross-examination, Evans justified each and every one of the criticisms on which the Defendants have chosen to rely."[60] On the issue of Auschwitz, the judge states "My conclusion is that the various categories of evidence do 'converge' in the manner suggested by the Defendants... Having considered the various arguments advanced by Irving to assail the effect of the convergent evidence relied upon by the Defendants, it is my conclusion that no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews,"[61] and "it follows that it is my conclusion that Irving's denials of these propositions were contrary to the evidence."[3] Furthermore, "the allegation that Irving is a racist is also established."[62]

Ultimately, the judge ruled that the defence succeeded in proving everything they claimed in trial but for two assertions: that Irving had broken an agreement with the Moscow archives and mishandled the glass plates containing Goebbels' diaries, and that he hung a portrait of Hitler above his desk. However, the judge pointed out that "the charges against Irving that have been proved to be true are of sufficient gravity", that those two claims mentioned above would "not have any material effect on Irving's reputation." The judge decided this in accordance with section 5 of the Defamation Act 1952, which states that a justification defence can succeed despite the failure to prove minor assertions.

The judge summarised his findings as follows:

Irving has for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence; that for the same reasons he has portrayed Hitler in an unwarrantedly favourable light, principally in relation to his attitude towards and responsibility for the treatment of the Jews; that he is an active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism...[4][64] therefore the defence of justification succeeds...[5] It follows that there must be judgment for the Defendants.[65]

Irving subsequently appealed to the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal. On 20 July 2001, his application for appeal was denied by Lords Justices Pill, Mantell, and Buxton.[2][66]

In light of the evidence presented at the trial, a number of Irving's works that had previously escaped serious scrutiny were brought to public attention. He was also liable to pay all of the substantial costs of the trial (between one and two million pounds), which ruined him financially and forced him into bankruptcy in 2002.[67]

In 2006, Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of denying the Holocaust in Austria, where Holocaust denial is a crime and where an arrest warrant was issued based on speeches he made in 1989. Irving knew that the warrant had been issued and that he was banned from Austria, but chose to go to Austria anyway. After he was arrested, Irving claimed in his plea that he changed his opinions on the Holocaust, "I said that then based on my knowledge at the time, but by 1991 when I came across the Eichmann papers, I wasn't saying that anymore and I wouldn't say that now. The Nazis did murder millions of Jews."[68] Upon hearing of Irving's sentence, Lipstadt said, "I am not happy when censorship wins, and I don't believe in winning battles via censorship The way of fighting Holocaust deniers is with history and with truth."[68][69]

The case was often referred to by the media as "history on trial."[70] The response to the verdict was overwhelmingly positive.[71][72]

Some saw the case as a vindication of the UK's strict libel laws.[71] Others noted that Justice Gray "indicated that he did not 'regard it as being a part' of his function 'as the trial judge to make findings of fact as to what did and what did not occur during the Nazi regime in Germany', but he then spent hundreds of pages arguing about his position on such issues," claiming that it was the overly-strict libel laws that forced a judge to determine historical fact.[73] A minority of reporters who covered the case were either sympathetic to Irving (for his general career, not for his denial) or non-fans of Lipstadt (one reporter called her boring and said people would not want to hear from her when the trial was concluded); in his book on the trial, Richard C. Evans noted that some articles assumed that Lipstadt was suing Irving even though the plaintiff's name appears first in the court filing and they could have figured this out, and also that Lipstadt was accused of "trying to silence" Irving by launching a defence against Irving's own lawsuit (a lawsuit that would have ended in Lipstadt being silenced in the UK by having her book removed from circulation if Irving had won the case).

In 2005, C-SPAN planned to cover Dr. Lipstadt's book on the trial, History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving via its Book TV programme, but the cable network was heavily criticized when it was revealed that they had planned to put together a de facto debate between Dr. Lipstadt and Irving, by airing a new speech by Irving that they'd arranged with him to videotape, after an older one by Lipstadt (the network claimed this was going to be done for "balance"); when Lipstadt told C-SPAN she would not appear on the show under those circumstances, C-SPAN originally told her they would air Irving's speech by itself, but C-SPAN ended up cancelling this planned programme and instead aired a special that focused on how the trial was viewed by Washington Post reporter T. R. Reid and included clips of both Lipstadt and Irving.

In December 2000, an episode of PBS's Nova, entitled "Holocaust on Trial", focused on the case.[74][75] Produced concurrently with the actual trial, the programme's production staff frequently visited the courtroom. As video cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, the events in the trial were re-enacted for television. Irving was played by British actor John Castle. A team of historians were employed to gather the material necessary for the episode. The programme was almost completed when the verdict for the real trial was handed down.[76] It also featured interviews with David Cesarani, Raul Hilberg, Richard Breitman, Richard Overy and Hugh Trevor-Roper.

The rights to adapt the story of the trial into a film were optioned by Participant Media. A script was written by David Hare.[77] In April 2015, it was reported that Hilary Swank and Tom Wilkinson had signed on to portray Dr. Lipstadt and David Irving in a feature film about the 2000 trial. In November 2015, Rachel Weisz joined the cast of the film (replacing Swank) along with Timothy Spall, who would play Irving while Wilkinson would play Richard Rampton. Bleecker Street released the film, titled Denial, in the United States in September 2016.[78]

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Irving v Penguin Books Ltd - Wikipedia

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