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YIVO | Hasidism: Dance

Posted By on March 29, 2019

From the beginning of Hasidism, teachers associated with the movement considered dance, along with music, an avenue of worship. In Hasidic thought and literature, dancing is both an expression and a stimulator of joy, and as such has a therapeutic effect. It purifies the soul and produces spiritual uplift, unites the community, and enhances social relationships; the tsadiks dance may even encourage repentance.

Although some scholars associate the value assigned to dance with the central role of rejoicing in Hasidic lore, the various genres of Hasidic literature present a more variegated picture. The most important feature of dance is understood to be the theurgic aspect, which sees danceand especially the mystical acts performed by great tsadikim as they danced (among them, Aryeh Leib, the Zeyde of Shpole; Levi Yitsak of Barditshev; Mosheh Leib of Sasov; and ayim of Kosov)as having an effect on the heavenly worlds. This aspect, rooted in Kabbalah, figures in works by both early and later Hasidic masters (Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye; Dov Ber, the Magid of Mezritsh; Naman of Bratslav; and, more recently, Aharon Roth, author of Shomer emunim) and is recounted in Hasidic stories; it undoubtedly influenced the idea of dance as a form of worship.

Written evidence, especially that emanating from opponents of Hasidism, reprovingly describes dancing during prayer by early generations of Hasidim. It is not known, however, whether it was disdain in external sources or self-criticism that substantially eliminated dance from Hasidic prayer itself. Today dancing is part of prayer only in a few dynasties (such as Sandz, Klausenberg, and Vizhnitsin the latter even when the rebbe is absent) and only occurs during the last verse of Lekhah dodi (Come, My Beloved), sung on Sabbath evenings. More frequent is dancing on Friday nights after the service, or between the welcoming of the Sabbath (Kabalat Shabat) and the evening service on festival Sabbaths. Bratslav Hasidim dance after each morning and evening service, on weekdays as well as on Sabbaths and holidays.

Hasidic sources almost invariably refer to dancing on holidays and other festive occasions. Dancing has played a central role on Sabbaths and festivals, at events such as Tikun atsot (a midnight service instituted by the Safed kabbalists of the sixteenth century) and Kidush Levanah (sanctification of the moon), at life-cycle events, at the tsadiks tish, and during community celebrations, such as a dedication of a synagogue. According to some sources women danced only during the nuptial meal either in front of the bride or with her. In some cases, such as Simat Torah, Kidush Levanah, and life-cycle events, dancing itself was never an innovation, having been associated with these occasions long before Hasidism. The change was mostly one of emphasisof the meaning ascribed to the dance.

One substantial innovation was the practice among early Hasidim of engaging in processional circuits around the synagogue (hakafot) on the night of Shemini Atseret and not only, as is customary, on Simat Torah, based on the Zohar and other mystical texts. In Israel (where Shemini Atseret and Simat Torah are conflated into a single day), this observance became the so-called second hakafot, held by Hasidim on the evening after Simat Torah. The significance of dancing on this particular festival is highlighted in Hasidic tales. One story describes the Besht dancing with a Torah scroll; when he continued without the scroll, a disciple said that he had put aside the physical Torah and taken up the spiritual Torah. Tsadikim would pick a specific hakafah of particular mystical significance for dancing, most frequently the sevenththe symbol of the unification of the sefirot (10 aspects or emanations of God)or the sixth, the symbol of the sefirah of yesod (foundation), which for the kabbalists symbolizes both the divine virile power and the essence of the human tsadik (based on Prv. 10:25, ve-tsadik yesod olam, and the Zohar). Hasidic stories describe tsadikim dancing in spite of sickness or even while mourning for their own family members; some ordered their Hasidim to dance at their deathbeds, or when mourning for other tsadikim.

The most common form of dance in Hasidic society is the round dance. Lubavitch and Slonim Hasidim have their own dance steps. Younger Hasidim will often leap into the air with fervor; at weddings,they may form concentric circles, break out in lines and rows, form snake-like processions, or dance with each dancer placing his hands on the preceding dancers shoulders; all of these movements are expressive of joy. Hasidim have also preserved at least one East European dance, known as the patsh tants.

The so-called mitsve tants, performed today as the final ceremony of a Hasidic wedding, is particularly important because of its mystical significance. In the presence of the family (at weddings of the rebbes offspring [including grandchildren], the whole Hasidic congregation), male members of the two families are invited to dance in turn with the bride. Each dancer holds one end of a sash whose other end is held by the bride; after a brief dance, he retires but continues to dance with a group of Hasidim. The last dancer is the groom, who actually holds the brides hand.

In modern Israel at weddings, the tkhies hameysim tants (resurrection of the dead dance, a pantomime for two, partly based on the Diasporabroygez tants) is specially choreographed and has become an integral part of Hasidic dance tradition. As for the dances of tsadikim in Israel, we have information only about the hakhnoe tants (dance of submission), attributed to Elimelekh of Lizhensk and known in Israel also as shmoyne shrotsim (eight insects)an East European line dance featuring couples passing under gates formed by the other dancers. At weddings, some tsadikim used to perform dances in fancy dress. Such dances as performed by ordinary Hasidim are seen today at weddings only in the month of Adar.

Unique genres that show the influences of Eastern (oriental) dances and gestures have emerged from the festivities at Meron. These include the debkaa group dance with solo acrobatic elementsand vituoso solo performances. Both take place at weddings as well.

Michael Fishbane, The Mystery of Dance According to Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav, in The Exegetical Imagination: On Jewish Thought and Theology, pp.173184, 226231 (Cambridge, Mass., 1998); Tsevi Fridhaber, Ha-Maol be-am Yisrael (Tel Aviv, 1984); Meir Shimon Geshuri, Ha-Nigun veha-rikud ba-asidut, 3 vols. (Tel Aviv, 1954/551958/59); Betsalel Landoi, Ha-Maol veha-rikud ba-tenuah ha-asidit, Maanayim 46 (1960): 5662; Yaakov Mazor, Masoret ha-klezmorimbe-Erets Yisrael (Jerusalem, 2000), musical score, introduction and notes in Hebrew and English; Yaakov Mazor and Moshe Taube, A Hassidic Ritual Dance: The Mitsve Tants in Jerusalemite Weddings, Yuval 6 (1994): 164224; Yeshayah Meshulam Faish ha-Levi Rottenberg, Zamru li-shemo (Jerusalem, 1996).

Translated from Hebrew by David Louvish

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YIVO | Hasidism: Dance

How the OK Symbol Became a Popular Trolling Gesture | Anti …

Posted By on March 25, 2019

Zionism and Anti-Semitism | Torah Jews

Posted By on March 25, 2019

Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), the founder of modern Zionism, recognized that anti-Semitism would further his cause, the creation of a separate state for Jews. To solve the Jewish Question, he maintained we must, above all, make it an international political issue.

Herzl wrote that Zionism offered the world a welcome final solution of the Jewish question. In his Diaries, page 19, Herzl stated Anti-Semites will become our surest friends, anti-Semitic countries our allies.

Zionist reliance on Anti-Semitism to further their goals continues to this day. Studies of immigration records reflect increased immigration to the Zionist state during times of increased anti-Semitism. Without a continued inflow of Jewish immigrants to the state of "Israel", it is estimated that within a decade the Jewish population of the Zionist state will become the minority.

In order to maintain a Jewish majority in the state of "Israel", its leaders promote anti-Semitism throughout the world to "encourage" Jews to leave their homelands and seek "refuge".

Most people are not aware that in March, 1933, when Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Garden and called for an American boycott of German goods.

On March 24, 1933, the London Daily Express published an article announcing that the Jews had already launched their boycott against Germany and described a forthcoming "holy war". The Express urged Jews everywhere to boycott German goods and demonstrate against German economic interests.

The Express said that Germany was "now confronted with an international boycott of its trade, its finances, and its industry....In London, New York, Paris and Warsaw, Jewish businessmen are united to go on an economic crusade."

The article went on, "worldwide preparations are being made to organize protest demonstrations."

On March 27, 1933 the planned protest at Madison Square Garden was attended by 40,000 protestors (New York Daily News headlines: "40,000 Roar Protest Here Against Hitler").

Similar rallies and protest marches were also held in other cities. The intensity of the Jewish campaign against Germany was such that the Hitler government vowed that if the campaign did not stop there would be a one-day boycott in Germany of Jewish-owned stores.

Hitler's March 28, 1933 speech ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods was in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership.

That same spring of 1933 there began a period of private cooperation between the German government and the Zionist movement in Germany and worldwide to increase the flow of German-Jewish immigrants and capital to Palestine.

Growing anti-Semitism in Germany and by the German government in response to the boycott played into the hands of the Zionist leaders. Prior to the escalation of anti-Semitism as a result of the boycott the majority of German Jews had little sympathy for the Zionist cause of promoting the immigration of world Jewry to Palestine. Making the situation in Germany as uncomfortable for the Jews as possible, in cooperation with German National Socialism, was part of the Zionist plan to achieve their goal of populating Palestine with a Jewish majority.

"For all intents and purposes, the National Socialist government was the best thing to happen to Zionism in its history, for it "proved" to many Jews that Europeans were irredeemably anti-Jewish and that Palestine was the only answer: Zionism came to represent the overwhelming majority of Jews solely by trickery and cooperation with Adolf Hitler." [1]

Sources:Barnes Review, "The Jewish Declaration of War on Nazi Germany, The Economic Boycott of 1933"

Other Resources of interest:The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine,by Edwin Black

Zionism was supported by the German SS and Gestapo.[3] [4] [5] [6] Hitler himself personally supported Zionism.[7] [8] During the 1930's, in cooperation with the German authorities, Zionist groups organized a network of some 40 camps throughout Germany where prospective settlers were trained for their new lives in Palestine. As late as 1942 Zionists operated at least one of these officially authorized "Kibbutz" training camps[9] over which flew the blue and white banner which would one day be adopted as the national flag of "Israel".[10]The Transfer Agreement (which promoted the emigration of German Jews to Palestine) implemented in 1933 and abandoned at the beginning of WWII is an important example of the cooperation between Hitler's Germany and international Zionism. [11] Through this agreement, Hitler's Third Reich did more than any other government during the 1930's to support Jewish development in Palestine and further the Zionist goals.Hitler and the Zionists had a common goal: to create a world Jewish Ghetto as a solution to the Jewish Question.

The Transfer AgreementThe Zionist so-called "World Jewish Congress" declared war on the country of Germany,[12] [13] knowing that it would affect their Jewish brothers residing in that country who would be left without protection. When others tried to help them escape to other countries, the Zionist movement took actions which caused those countries to lock their doors to Jewish immigration (read more in the books, "Perfidy" and "Min Hametzer"). As a result of the Zionist influence five ships of Jewish refugees from Germany arriving in the United States were turned back to the gas chambers.The fundamental aim of the Zionist movement has been not to save Jewish lives but to create a "Jewish state" in Palestine.On December 7, 1938, Ben Gurion, the first head of the Zionist state of Israel' declared "If I knew it was possible to save all the children in Germany by taking them to England, and only half of the children by taking them to Eretz Israel, I would choose the second solution. For we must take into account not only the lives of these children but also the history of the people of Israel."[14]On August 31, 1949, Ben Gurion stated: "Although we have realized our dream of creating a Jewish State, we are only at the beginning. There are still only 900,000 Jews in Israel, whereas the majority of the Jewish people still remains abroad. Our future task is to bring all the Jews to Israel."Of the two and a half million Jews seeking refuge from the Nazis between 1935 and 1943, less than 9% went to settle in Palestine. The vast majority, 75%, went to the Soviet Union. In the mid-70's, more people emigrated out of Israel' than came in. The only surges of immigration to the Zionist state have occurred during anti-Semitic threats and persecution in foreign countries.[15]It follows that for the Zionist state to achieve its goal of a Jewish world ghetto anti-Semitism must be promoted and encouraged, and as we have seen, by acts of violence if necessary. "To attain its practical objectives, Zionism hopes it will be able to collaborate with a government that is fundamentally hostile to the Jews".[16]The use of anti-Semitism as a tool to coerce immigration to the Zionist state continues to the present day:Prime Minister Sharon has stated that anti-Semitism is on the rise and that the only hope for the safety of Jews is to move to Israel under the protection of the Zionist state. "The best solution to anti-Semitism is immigration to Israel. It is the only place on Earth where Jews can live as Jews," he said.[17]Those who continue to call the so-called "state of Israel" the "Jewish State" are not only promoting Zionism which is contrary to the beliefs of true Judaism, but also endorsing the promotion of worldwide anti-Semitism. In doing so they are endangering the lives of traditional Jews and denying their civil liberties and human rights.When the British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour (sponsor of the 1905 Aliens Act to restrict Jewish immigration to the UK), wanted the British government to commit itself to a Jewish homeland in Palestine, his declaration was delayed - not by anti-Semites but by leading figures in the British Jewish community. They included a Jewish member of the cabinet who called Balfour's pro-Zionism "anti-Semitic in result". In contrast, a great statesman like Secretary of State Colin Powell, a supporter of traditional Judaism, has the courage to separate Judaism from Zionism and to acknowledge that speaking out against the actions of the Zionist state is not "anti-Semitism".We call upon our leaders in Washington to disassociate the actions of the Zionist state from traditional Judaism by no longer referring to "Israel" as the "Jewish State" but as "the Zionist State" and to speak out against the Zionist actions which promote anti-Semitism.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bibliography:Hitlers Zweites Buch ein Dokument aus dem Jahr 1928, Stuttgart, 1961. English translation: Hitler's Secret Book, New York, 1961, pp 212-215.

Berlin Encyclopaedia Judaica (New York and Jerusalem: 1971), Vol. 5, p.648.See also, J.-C. Horak, "Zionist Film Propaganda in Nazi Germany," Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1984, pp 49-58.

Perfidy, Author: Ben Hecht, Milah Press, Incorporated; April 1, 1997

Min Hameitzer, Author:Rabbi Weissmandl; The book Unheeded Cry by Abraham Fuchs, is a partial translation.

Holocaust Encyclopedia, "Escape from German Occupied Europe",

"Immigration Policies", Jewish Virtual Library,

"The Tragedy of the S.S. St. Louis", Jewish Virtual Library,

[1] Quoted in: Ingrid Wecker, Feuerzeichen: Die "Reichskristallnacht" (Tubingen: Grabert, 1981), p. 212. See also: Th. Herzl, The Jewish State (New York: Herzl Press, 1970), pp 33, 35, 36, and Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement (New York: Macmillan, 1984), p.73

[2] Th. Herzl, "Der Kongress, " Welt, June 4, 1897. Reprinted in: Theodore Herzls zionistische Schriften (Leon Kellner, ed.), ester Teil, Berlin: Judischer Verlag, 1920, p. 190 (and p.139)

[3] Francis R. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (1985), pp. 54-55.; Karl A. Schleunes, The Twisted Road to Auschwitz (Urbana: Univ. of Illinois, 1970, 1990) pp. 178-181

[4] Jacob Boas, "A Nazi Travels to Palestine," History Today (London), January, 1980, pp. 33-38.

[5] Facsimile reprint of front page of Das Schwarze Korp, May 15, 1935, in: Janusz Piekalkiewicz, Israels Langer Arm (Frankfurt: Goverts, 1975), pp. 66-67.

[6] Das Schwarze Korps, Sept. 26, 1935. Quoted in: F. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question (1985), pp. 56-57

[7] F. Nicosia, Third Reich (1985), pp. 141-144; On Hitler's critical view of Zionism in Mein Kapf, see. Esp. Vol. 1, Chap. 11. Quoted in: Robert Wistrich, Hitler's Apocalypse (London: 1985), p. 155.;

[8] W. Feilchenfeld, et al., Haavra-Transfer (1972). Entire text in: David Yisraeli, The Palestine Problem in German Politics 1889-1945 (Israel: 1974), pp. 132-136.

[9] Y. Arad, et al., eds., Documents On the Holocaust (1981), p. 155. (The training kibbutz was at Neuendorf, and may have functioned even after March 1942.)

[10] Lucy Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (New York: Bantam, pb., 1976), pp 253-254; Max Nussbaum, "Zionism Under Hitler," Congress Weekly (New York: American Jewish Congress), Sept. 11, 1942.; F. Nicosia, The Third Reich (1985), pp 58-60, 217.; Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement (1984), p. 175.

[11] E. Black, The Transfer Agreement (1984), pp. 328, 337.

[12] "Judea Declares War on Germany!" London Daily Express headline, March 24th, 1933[13] "The worldwide boycott against Germany in 1933 and the later all-out declaration of war against Germany initiated by the Zionist leaders and the World Jewish Congress enraged Hitler so that he threatened to destroy the Jews" (Rabbi Schwartz, New York Times, Sept. 30, 1997)

[14] Yvon Gelbner, "Zionist policy and the fate of European Jewry", in Yad Vashem studies (Jerusalem, vol. XII, p. 199).

[15] Institute for Jewish Affairs of New York, quoted by Christopher Sykes in "Crossroads to Isarl", London 1965, and by Nathan Weinstock, "Le sionisme contre Israel," p. 146.

[16] Lucy Dawidovitch, "A Holocaust Reader", p. 155.

[17] "Sharon Urges Jews to go to Israel", BBC News, 17 Nov. 2003,


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Zionism and Anti-Semitism | Torah Jews

The Criminalization of Zionism | Sarah Levin | The Blogs

Posted By on March 24, 2019

Earlier this month, when Congresswoman Ilhan Omar accused American Jews of dual-loyalty to the State of Israel, many former Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran recoiled, remembering the innocent Jewish lives imprisoned and lost in their countries of origin because of anti-Semitic accusations of dual loyalty. American Jews, including those from the Arab world and Iran, questioned why leaders of the Democratic party insist on keeping Congresswoman Omar on the House Foreign Affairs Committee after she repeatedly spouted the same anti-Semitic tropes that led to the oppression and ethnic cleansing of one million Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Why are they allowing a member who clearly knows so little about Israel and global anti-Semitism to sit on a committee that helps shape US Foreign Policy?

Jewish immigrants from Arab countries remember how seeds of anti-Semitism sprouted into full-fledged state-sanctioned, anti-Zionism as Arab-nationalism spread through the Middle East and North Africa in the 20th century. Upon the establishment of the modern-state of Israel in 1948, country after country throughout the region turned against their indigenous Jewish populations by passing numerous laws stripping Jews of their rights, and decrees criminalizing Zionism.

For example, in 1948, an Iraqi law was amended to equate Zionism with anarchism and immorality a crime punishable by seven years imprisonment. A 1956 amendment to Egypts Nationality law stipulated that, Zionists were barred from being Egyptian nationals. In more severe cases, like Libya, laws were passed that completely restricted communication with individuals in Israel. Sadly, in 1961 Libya passed a law restricting citizenship to all but six Jews leading to the ethnic cleansing of an entire Jewish community. When Ayatollah Khomeini took control of Iran in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, he promptly murdered a prominent leader in the Jewish community, Habib Elghanian (ZL). Mr. Elghanian was accused of being a Zionist spy and his sham trial and subsequent murder sent a very clear message to the Jews of Iran.

Zionism in the Middle East and North Africa was hardly ever defined by Arab governments and this ambiguity enabled terrible acts of anti-Semitism to happen under the color of law. Jews were denied legal representation in courts of justice and Jews throughout the region were regularly imprisoned, tortured and even hanged because of their supposed dual-loyalty and alleged relationships to the Zionist regime. Anti-Zionism in the Arab world contributed to the alienation and othering of entire Jewish communities and a similar form of alienation is happening again today in the USA, but its perpetrators are ironically leaders in progressive movements. This should have us all deeply concerned.

The irony of anti-Zionism laws in Arab countries is that they ultimately helped strengthen Israel. As Jews in Arab countries and Iran faced mounting anti-Semitism that was codified as part of national anti-Zionism agendas, daily life became untenable and led to the ultimate departure and ethnic cleansing of one million Jews from the region. 650,000 Jews from Arab countries fled to Israel as dispossessed refugees. This led to a population boom in Israel, and a brain-drain in the Arab world the losses of which still reverberate today.

Another irony is that the anti-Zionism that pervaded the Arab world in the 20th century did nothing to improve the lives of Palestinians and this consequential story should be noted by those leaning towards anti-Zionism for the sake of Palestinian rights. Those supporting movements to isolate, boycott and divest from Israel are pushing a dangerous and divisive agenda that has proven to be counter-productive and totally ineffective. While theyve failed to secure the rights of Palestinians, champions of BDS and anti-Zionism have excelled in exposing their anti-Semitic tendencies. Their narrow attitudes and approach seem not so dissimilar from the governments that expelled and ethnically cleansed Jews from Arab countries.

While anti-Zionist activists and leaders here in the USA continue to drum up anti-Semitic controversies, they are missing efforts taking place through diplomatic and grassroots channels to strengthen relations between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Its been widely reported, that this past winter three delegations from Iraq visited Israel, and there are a growing number of progressive groups in the Arab world eager to re-establish relationships with diverse Jewish communities around the world including those in Israel. This is not to mention a range of Jewish groups in the US, including JIMENA, who work closely with Arab partners both here and in the Middle East. Not all of the organizations involved in normalization efforts are led by groups on the far left. We come from a diversity of backgrounds and outlooks and its a total fallacy to believe that only those groups and leaders labeled as progressive are able to lead and engage in productive normalization efforts.

Anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA could care less about diverse normalization efforts, because they are solely focused on mainstreaming the vilification of Israel and its supporters. Like Arab governments who criminalized Zionism as a means of persecuting Jews anti-Zionist leaders here in the USA have proven time and again to center their activism more on the de-legitimization of Israel and the isolation of Jewish people, than the advancement of Palestinians. If progressive activists and politicians truly cared about finding equitable solutions for Palestinians, they would cross ideological barriers and work with diverse coalitions and groups on developing new strategies and solutions rather than continuing to promote failed ones like BDS.

In order to be truly in integrity with progressive values, its important for American Jews and progressive politicians like Ihan Omar to pay close attention to both the threats of white supremacy and the current manifestation of anti-Semitism that come from the Middle East. By ignoring the very oppressive and violent anti-Zionism in Arab countries and Iran, we continue to sanction anti-Semitism in the Arab world and we further marginalize the one million Jews who fled or were ethnically cleansed from Arab countries and Iran. How helpful it would be if American Jewish leadership from all ideological orientations could unify at this critical time to build consensus and strategies of how to address the current manifestations of anti-Semitism we see growing every day from both the right and the left.

I welcome Congresswoman Ilhan Omars comments in her latestWashington Post opinion piece.As over half of Israels Jewish population descend from Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran, it is imperative for her and her colleagues to recognize this part of Jewish and Middle Eastern history.

Sarah Levin is the Executive Director of JIMENA: Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa, an advocacy and education institution dedicated to raising awareness to Jewish refugees from Arab countries and Iran. Sarah has conceptualized and developed a number of campaigns and projects for Mizrahi and Sephardic Jews to explore and preserve their heritage and identity.

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The Criminalization of Zionism | Sarah Levin | The Blogs

Heights Jewish Center Synagogue – Cleveland’s Friendliest …

Posted By on March 22, 2019

Refuah Sheleimah to Rob Altshuler, Sylvia Cohen (Tzipporah Bas Malka), Shira Katz (Shira Shlima Liba Bas Leah), Simcha Meyer Liss (Simcha Meyer Ben Shimcha), and Chaya Mintz (Chaya Musha Zelda Bas Chasia Devorah).

Condolences to Chaya (Jenny) Mintz on the passing of her mother Helen Dorthy Nadle. Shiva is at the home of Sue Greenberg (Chayas sister) 23860 Greenlawn on Sunday and Monday from 2-7:30 pm.

Rebbetzin Davidovichs Monday class for women will be studying Pirkei Avos from 9:30-10:30 AM at the home of Yoyo and Marni Moore 2392 Bromley.

Contact the office at 216-382-1958 or hjcsoffice to purchase your raffle tickets. 1 for $25.00, 2 for $40.00, 3 for $50.00 for a chance to win free membership at Heights Jewish Center for 2019. Drawing will be held Sunday, December 9th at the shul Chanukah party/carnival 12:30- 3:30 pm. See attached flyer. We are excited to be holding a community wide Chanukah Carnival. We need volunteers (adults and responsible children) to assist with booths the day of the event. Please contact Devorah Goldblatt at 216-535-9042 or Jan Altshuler at 216-712-1551 for information or to volunteer. We need your help to make this a success.

A singles Shabbatton at Heights Jewish Center is planned for January 25-27th. Please see revised attached flyer with new lower pricing. For more information or for volunteer opportunities please contact YoYo Moore 443.430.1548.

The Simcha Kiddush is sponsored by .

Alex and Marina Abramov, celebrating the birth of their daughter Talia Ruth.

Rob and Jan happy birthday Chaya Devora Corbett. Also acknowledging Robs achieving the point that his glass is now half full. (Better than half empty!)

Rabbi Jason and Sandra Claude in honor of the late 41st President of the United States, George HW Bush.

Edna Edelman Happy Birthday Lori.

Bob and Debby Jacob in honor of the Yahrzeits of their mothers Elizabeth Jacob and Elsie Mandel and in honor of the birthdays of their grandsons Avi and Dylan.

Larry and Dianne Josefovitz belated mazel tov in honor of Robs retirement and in honor of Leah Kushner and Yael Tesler on their meaningful work and beautiful Kiddush for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Martin and Marla Lipman wish Mazel Tov to Avramy and Yocheved Lipman on the birth of Talya Leah, and commemorate the birthdays of Yocheved Lipman and Martin Lipman.

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Males are pleased to announce the arrival of Nachum Dov Citer. The parents are Avi and Yaffa Leah Citer Grandparents: Judy and David Citer and Micah and Penina Males.

Yoyo, Marni, Dvora, Shayna, and Eli in loving memory of Shimon Dovid Yehoshua Ben Moshe. He is never forgotten.

Jeff and Melanie Muller in honor of Jeffs Birthday.

Joel and Sharon Peerless in honor of Sharons Birthday and to commemorate the Yahrzeit of Sharons mother.

Phylis Pomerantz in honor of Larrys special Birthday and Larry Pomerantz in honor of Phylis putting up with him all these years.

Alex and Betty Schnittlinger in honor of Jeff Mullers special milestone Birthday.

Irwin and Lorna Shulman in honor of Chaya Saras Birthday.

Savta Barbara Seltzer in honor of Meirs Birthday.

Chuck and Sandra Zeitler in honor of granddaughter Yaels Birthday.

Davening Times-Parshas Mikeitz

Shabbos Rosh Chodesh -Chanukah

Friday, December 7

Candle-Lighting 4:38 pm

Mincha 4:30 pm

Shabbos, December 8

Dr. Glaser memorial Parsha Shiur 8:30 am

Shacharis 9:00 am

Sof Zman Krias Shema 9:59 am

Navi Shiur 4:00 pm

Mincha 4:30 pm

Shabbos ends 5:47 pm

Sunday through Friday, November Dec 9-14


Sunday 8:00 am

Monday (Chanukah) 6:40 am

Tuesday through Friday 6:45 am

(Medrash Shiur 6:15 am)


Sunday through Thursday 4:45 pm

followed by Mishna Shiur

Friday 4:40 pm

Next Friday Candle-Lighting, December 14

4:39 pm

Revised Singles Shabbaton flyer (2).pdf

carnival hjc.pdf

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Heights Jewish Center Synagogue - Cleveland's Friendliest ...

Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, targeted in mass …

Posted By on March 19, 2019

Still recovering from a mass shooting at their temple in which 11 worshippers were killed, members of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh have launched an effort to raise money for the victims of a rampage at two mosques in New Zealand that left 50 people dead.

Synagogue members started a GoFundMe campaign on Sunday, with a goal of raising $100,000 for the families of those killed and the victims wounded in Friday's attacks at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.

As of Monday afternoon, the GoFundMe campaign had raised more than $13,000

"We stand beside our Muslim brothers and sisters and mourn alongside the families and friends who have lost loved ones in this unconscionable act of violence," reads a statement from the Tree of Life congregation on its GoFundMe page. "We will continue to work towards a day when all people on this planet can live together in peace and mutual respect."

On Friday afternoon, a 28-year-old man described by police as a white supremacist allegedly walked into the Al Noor mosque and opened fire, killing 42 people, according to police. The attacker, identified by police as Brenton Harrison Tarrant, an Australian, then allegedly drove three miles across Christchurch to the Linwood mosque and killed eight Muslim worshippers attending a prayer service.

In addition to the 50 people killed, another 50 were wounded in the two attacks.

The New Zealand attack came less than five months after a gunman burst into the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh and opened fire. The suspect, Robert Bowers, 46, was charged with federal hate crimes including the murder of 11 congregants at the Tree of Life.

"Were unfortunately part of a club that nobody wants to be a part of, and we wanted to reach out to New Zealand in the same way everyone reached out to us, Sam Schachner, president of the Tree of Life, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Following the Oct. 27 killing rampage at the Tree of Life, people from across the country donated money to help members congregations that use the temple.

"Tree of Life members, and our friends who continue to comfort and bolster us as we recover, must now come together to support the Muslims of Christchurch," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page. "Please share this page with your families, friends and neighbors. Make a donation, and leave a kind message of hope to let them know that the entire world is with them."

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Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, targeted in mass ...

Jewish Clothing | My Jewish Learning

Posted By on March 16, 2019

Clothing has long played a significant role in Judaism,reflecting religious identification, social status, emotional state and even the Jews relation with the outside world. The ancient rabbis taught that maintaining their distinctive dress in Egypt was one of the reasons the Jews were worthy of being rescued from servitude.

During synagogue services, Jewish men traditionally don prayer shawls and cover their heads with kippot, practices that some liberal Jewishwomen have adopted as well.

While most Jews dress similarly to non-Jews when outside synagogue, many Orthodox Jews are recognizable by their distinctive garments worn for reasons of ritual, tradition or modesty. In particular, Orthodox (and some non-Orthodox) men cover their heads withkippot, and some cover these with black hats or a shtreimel, a type of fur hat. More stringently Orthodox men often wear black suits, and many Hasidic men wear suits that arereminiscent of the style Polish nobility wore in the 18th century, when Hasidic Judaism began. Many Orthodox men also wear a tzitzit, a four-pointed garment with fringes on the corners, underneath their shirt sometimes the fringes hang out from the shirt, but sometimes they are not visible.

Many Orthodox women eschew pants and instead stick todresses and skirts. In addition, Orthodox women generally wear modest clothes that cover much of their bodies, although how much is covered varies dramatically from community to community.

READ: Dare to Bare Those Ankles

In some ultra-Orthodox communities, women are discouraged from wearing bright, attention-getting colors. Once married, most Orthodox women cover their hair, whether with a hat, wig or scarf.

The Torah says little about clothing, either descriptively or prescriptively. Without explanation, it prohibits blending wool and linen in a garment (such garments are known as shatnez), in the same verse forbidding mixing different seeds and species of cattle (Leviticus 19:19). It forbids men from wearing womens clothes and vice versa (Deuteronomy 22:5), without specifying the characteristics of either. It also requires Jews to put fringes on the corners of a four-pointed garment (Numbers 15:37-41), both as a way of identifying the Jew and reminder reminding the Jew to observe the mitzvot.

On the other hand, the Torah provides extensive detail regarding the clothing of the priests, and particularly the High Priest, for their duties in the Tabernacle in the desert (Exodus 28), later adopted for the Temple in Jerusalem. Yet while the High Priests garb was elaborate, colorful and full of symbolism, for Yom Kippur, the one day a year he would enter the most holy portion of the sanctuary, he was to wear only white linen (Leviticus 16:4), a sign of humility. White clothing became the symbol of purity, and black a sign of mourning. Nowadays mourning is indicated by the tearing of a garment.

When the Jews were sovereign in their land in ancient times, the standard of dress of those who were wealthy, such as successful landowners, reflected their status. The nobility and upper classes dressed more elegantly. The styles of the neighboring peoples also had their influence. But when the Jews were exiled (70 C.E.) and lived under foreign control, the impoverishment of many Jews became evident in their dress.

In some cases, over time the Jews adopted distinctive dress voluntarily, to separate themselves from the prevailing culture. In others, they were required by law to dress in a particular way, e.g., special hats and badges in medieval Spain and 13th-century Poland. Jews of Eastern Europe came to adopt fashions of the early modern Polish nobility, such as the black robe (caftan) and the fur hat (shtreimel), which are still worn by various groups of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

The origins of men covering their heads with a hat or yarmulke (skullcap) are not clear. The Talmud relates several incidents where covering the head is considered a sign of submission to divine authority. Some attribute it to the Jews need or desire to differentiate themselves from Christians, for whom removal of the hat was a sign of respect. By the 16th century, it had become common enough to be codified as normative behavior among the more observant, who still cover their heads all day or at least during prayer and study.

For women, the uncovered head was from earliest times considered immodest, if not worse. Married women covered their heads so as not to draw the attention of other men. The sheitel (wig) worn by very religious married women is a relatively late variation on this. These practices are observed today only in very traditional circles.

Over the ages, rabbinic authorities often spoke out on two matters related to clothes against excessive or gaudy styles and in favor of keeping clothing, particularly for women, modest. On the other hand, it has long been a custom for Jews to have special clothes for Shabbat and festivals, contributing to the special character of these days.

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Jewish American Heritage Month | NEH-Edsitement

Posted By on March 14, 2019

Each May, EDSITEment celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month by pointing to the rich array of educational resources on the history of the Jewish people in America. Many of the programs and websites highlighted have been funded in part by grants from theNational Endowment for the Humanitiesover the past decades.

One of the most innovative ways for students to learn about the Jewish American experience of the early years of the 20th century is through Mission US 4: City of Immigrants, where players navigate New Yorks Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement.

The idea of America as both a haven and a home for the religious faiths of the myriad diverse groups who, over the centuries, have immigrated to the United States is one that deeply resonates with most Americans. The blessings of religious and political liberty that these immigrants found in America were captured eloquently inGeorge Washingtons letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. In this letter, Washington quotes a sentence from the Book of Micah of the Hebrew Bible:

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitantswhile every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

A few sentences earlier, Washington addresses American Jews as equal fellow citizens (the first time in history that any national leader had done so):

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

Washington's letter was in response to one written by Moses Seixas, Warden of the Jeshuat Israel Synagogue in Rhode Island. The principles of civil and religious liberty extolled in this letter and embodied in our Constitution encouraged and rewarded active participation in the social, political, and cultural life of the nation with results that will be celebrated in this feature.

A brief history of the Jewish American religious experience in the 19th and 20th centuries can be found in Divining America: Religion in American History from the National Humanities Center.

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A good place to begin if one wants to understand Jewish life in America would beThe Jewish Americans, broadcast on PBS stations and partially funded byNEH. The series website offers a treasure trove of video clips, images, and student interactives on such topics as:

A related NEH-funded website,Jews in America: Our Story,documents the growth of the Jewish community from a group of 23 refugees fleeing from the Portuguese Inquisition in 1654. This comprehensive website on the history and culture includes an interactive historical timeline, with a gallery of over five hundred artifacts drawn from the library, archival, and museum collections of the Center for Jewish History and its partners.

The Humanities magazine article Jewish Pioneers tells the stories of the new lives that European Jews made for themselves west of the Mississippi in the 19th century. According to one scholar there wasnt a single settlement west of the Mississippi of any significance which had not had a Jewish mayor in 1900.

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Over the years, NEH has supported the production of many episodes of the long-running series American Experience. Whether the programs are devoted to well-known figures such as Emma Goldman, the passionate radical, or on the long forgotten New York lawyer,Samuel Leibowitz, who defended the Scottsboro boys, the American Experience website offers new and often surprising insights into the diverse roles that Jewish Americans played in the larger national story.

Another PBS program on American historyThe People v. Leo Franktells the story of the most famous lynching of a white man in American history. According to the program, there were two conflicting legacies of the Frank case, one was the revival of the Klu Klux Klan as an anti-Semitic outfit and the other was the establishment of the Anti-Defamation League as defender of civil rights and social justice for all Americans. A teachers guide to the film is available on the Anti-Defamation League website.

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The Holocaust is one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. Its enormity is difficult for students to comprehend, particularly if it is presented as a general historical event. One effective way of approaching this topic is for students to hear the testimony of individual survivors.Coming of Age in the Holocaust Coming of Age Nowis a free, interactive curriculum for middle and high-school students and their educators created by theMuseum of Jewish HeritageA Living Memorial to the Holocaustin New Yorkand Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel.

The Diary of Ann Frank remains a classic high school text. EDSITEments lessonsAnne Frank: One of Hundreds of Thousands andAnne Frank: Writeroffer opportunities for your students to examine the historical conditions which impelled Annes family to go into hiding and the writing strategy she employed.

PBSAmerican Mastersoffers rich resources for investigating the exemplary contributions of Jewish Americans to such fields as music, theatre, film, and television. Where would American music be without the dynamic rhythms ofLeonard BernsteinandAaron Copland,or the swinging melodies ofBenny Goodmanand his orchestra? American Theatre would be poorer without the complex characters and conflicts ofArthur Millers plays, the dazzling directing talent ofJerome RobbinsandHarold Clurmanand the brilliant actors developed underthe mentorship of Stella Adler. Similarly, listen to howAllen Ginsbergs life and poemsHowl and Kaddish inspired the counterculture of America in the midpoint of the century or howAnnie Leibovitzturned celebrity photography into an art. It may come as something of a surprise to discover that American Mastersalso produced a program on one of the greatest scientific thinkers of all time, Albert Einstein. Yet he surely deserves recognition in a series devoted to examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists.

Hank GreenbergandSandy Koufax, two Jewish Americans who excelled at the national pastime, are featured on the Ken Burns series Baseball. Further resources on these legends and other players can be found on Chasing Dreams Baseball and Becoming Americanfrom the National Museum of American Jewish History.

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The Thing: Jewish American Heritage Month – ComicsVerse

Posted By on March 14, 2019

In honor of Jewish American Heritage Month, were giving the spotlight to one of our favorite Jewish American characters: The Thing! Benjamin Grimm is one of the most well-known and beloved Jewish characters in comic book history. Despite his creation occurring 41 years earlier, Marvel revealed only recently his heritage in 2002. However, co-creator Jack Kirby, a Jewish American, intended for The Thing to be Jewish. Its no coincidence that Kirby and Ben share quite a few similarities. Since the revelation of his Jewish faith in 2002, it became a large part of The Things character. Well explore the history and impact of Bens heritage in this celebration.

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In 1917, Jack Kirby (then Jacob Kurtzberg) was born and raised on Delancey Street, a rough, tenement-lined slice of the Lower East Side. From a young age, he resisted the temptation to join the various Jewish gangs which littered the streets. Instead, he focused on his passion: drawing. 44 years later, along with his writing partner Stan Lee, Kirby brought the Fantastic Four to life. One member, Benjamin J. Grimm, AKA The Thing, held a special place in Kirbys heart. Much like Kirby, Grimm grows up on a rough street in the Lower East Side, a thinly veiled reference to Delancey Street called Yancy Street. There, he grows up in a then-unrevealed Jewish household with his brother, a gang member who dies in a violent brawl. Unlike Kirby, he winds up joining one of the toughest gangs on the block, the Yancy Street Gang.

Already, Grimms background is part of classic Jewish Americana. Countless Jewish families emigrated to the United States from Eastern Europe in the last 19th and early 20thCenturies, many of who landed on Ellis Island. There, they moved to tenement-filled neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan, Delancey Street being one of the most famous streets with a major Jewish population. The Thing embodies the rough exterior the younger immigrants had to create in order to look tough in front of violent gang members and con artists who would prey upon unsuspecting immigrants. Of course, rocks make up Bens exterior hide, but his toughness shows even before cosmic rays pelt him. This connection to American Jewry would only increase in succeeding years.

Bens religion was never really brought up for years. In in the 60s, comic characters religions were never really spoken about. Stan Lee wanted to make the characters as relatable as possible, so by leaving their religious backgrounds vague, anyone could relate to the character (although theres no reason why religion shouldnt make a character relatable to anyone). There were some incredibly vague references throughout the years, and in one issue of MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE, he teamed up with the mythical Jewish hero, The Golem. Despite this, Kirby apparently believed from the beginning that Ben was Jewish. He sent Chanukah cards out one year with Ben dressed in a yarmulke and tallit, reading the Torah.

In addition to this, and to his upbringing, The Thing has the same mannerisms and worldview as Kirby. They were both tough individuals who, nonetheless, were incredibly compassionate. They both held ultimately optimistic worldviews despite their gruff exteriors. As stated above, those traits were common with Jews who grew up in tenements in the early 20thCentury. Just ask anyone with Jewish grandparents who emigrated around those times. I know my grandfather acted somewhat similarly. For now, Ben was, in effect, culturally Jewish without outright saying what his religion was. That would soon change.

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41 years after FANTASTIC FOUR #1 came FANTASTIC FOUR #56 (vol. 3) by Karl Kesel and Stuart Immonen. In this issue, Ben goes back to Yancy Street, as he has many times before in various comics, and is, as usual, taunted by the Yancy Street Gang. We learn this issue that he was excommunicated from them after Ben was adopted by his rich uncle, gaining the ire from his once-friendly but seriously impoverished gang. In order to ingratiate himself in the gang, he steal a Star of David from pawn shop owner Mr. Sheckerberg. The Thing intends to finally return it, but he encounters a villain named Powderkeg, who tries extorting Sheckerberg for cash. Ben gets into a fight with him, and the Yancy Street Gang assist, eventually driving him into a sewer. Unfortunately, in the fracas, Mr. Sheckerberg is injured.

The Thing recites the Shma, a Hebrew prayer recited at the time of death. Sheckerberg awakes and is surprised by Bens revelation. Ben explains that he was always too ashamed to reveal his Jewish upbringing to the press, since he feels like Jews would be equated to a monster like himself. He also reveals that hes become a lapsed Jew since he hasnt stepped foot in a synagogue in years. Ben tries to return the Star of David he stole, but Sheckerberg refuses it, comparing Ben to the Golem and telling him to protect the Star as a representation of his being a protector of the Jewish people, much like the Golem.

Even though this revelation isnt exactly a huge surprise to many fans, it is a beautiful story about Bens guilt and how his upbringing made him into the sensitive, caring person he currently is.

With this issue, Ben Grimm became a Jewish icon. Hes one of, in my opinion, the greatest fictional Jewish characters from the 20th Century. The Thing is such a positive role model for not only young Jewish people, but for all people in general. Hes not afraid to show his emotions even though hes this hulking goliath made of stone. Much of this comes from Kirbys impact on the character. Kirbys Jewish upbringing makes him into the same kind of man that Ben is. His story, and, by extension, Bens, shows that anyone can overcome adversity and become a force for good, despite their less-than-stellar childhood.

Ben is also a great character because he doesnt fall into any stereotypes. Hes Jewish, and he feels Jewish guilt at times, but its not his defining trait. He isnt a neurotic, whiny Woody Allen-like nebbish either, a common stereotype in media. Instead, hes a fully fleshed out character whose Jewish faith only serves to make him more of a diverse character. Thanks to writers and artists like Kirby, Kesel, John Byrne, Dan Slott, and others, Bens Jewish faith leads to a multitude of interesting stories like the tale of Grimms adult Bar Mitzvah, attended by his superhero friends and family. Stories like this have become relatable to Jews and serve as an important characterization for Ben. These stories also made him into one of the best written characters in comic book history.

Why Our Art Needs to Stay Political

As stated above, Ben has become a modern day Jewish icon. He represents some of the noblest ideals of Jewry, especially American Jewry. He overcomes adversity, he fights evil on a regular basis, and he shows compassion for his fellow human beings. Thanks to Jack Kirby and Stan Lees fantastic characterization, Ben proves to still be one of the most memorable characters in comic books today.

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The Thing: Jewish American Heritage Month - ComicsVerse

How the OK Symbol Became a Popular Trolling Gesture …

Posted By on March 13, 2019

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