The True Meaning of Christmas (and New Year)

Professor Lawrence Kelemen

Professor Lawrence Kelemen

There are many people (even Jews, r”l) who celebrate Christmas and the New Year (on Jan 1) and have no idea of where they came from and what they mean. The information in this video is sure to be an eye-opener to many of you. After watching, you’ll never look at Christmas or New Year again in the same light.

This video lecture was delivered by Lawrence Kelemen, Professor of Education at Neve Yerushalayim College of Jewish Studies for Women in Jerusalem.  After receiving his undergraduate degree from UCLA, Professor Kelemen continued with his graduate studies at Harvard University, and later completed twelve years of post-graduate field research in the Middle East.  Now an accomplished lecturer and author, Professor Kelemen electrifies parents, teachers , and university students across North and South America, Europe and the Middle East with his wit, humor, wisdom and gifts of insight into the essence of living a meaningful life.

Enjoy the video:

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A Good Laugh?

Hi.  I hope you get a kick out of this video:  The Bethlehem 2010 version of ‘Jingle Bells’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chanukah Firestorm

Fire in the Carmel Forest

Fire in the Carmel Forest

A fire raging out of control in the north of Israel has killed 43 people so far.  Most of the dead were prison guards whose bus was caught in the flames as they tried to reach a nearby jail to help evacuate it.  Five million trees have been destroyed in the Carmel National Forest — Israel’s only natural forest and an ecological treasure.  About a third of the forest has been destroyed.  Forest rangers have evacuated animals from the inferno.

All 1,400 Israeli firefighters (yes, every firefighter in the country) have been deployed near Carmel, and parts of Haifa have been evacuated.  The supplies of fire extinguishing agent have been exhausted.  Israel has asked for help from the international community.  So far, the following countries are helping:  Britain, France, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and Russia.  All are sending supplies.  It is particularly touching that financially impoverished Greece and recently cool Turkey are helping. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is this a Christian country or what?

1996 Chanukah Stamp

1996 Chanukah Stamp

In 1962, the United States Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp.  Thereafter, it issued a new design almost every year. Most of the designs featured a Madonna and Child.  For the next thirty-four years, the USPS refused requests for a Chanukah stamp, on the grounds that it does not produce designs on overtly religious themes!

The USPS claimed that their Madonna-and-Child Christmas stamps were not religious because they were images of great works of art.   Even if this pathetic self-deception were allowed to stand unchallenged, the USPS could just as well have put some great Jewish art reproductions on a Chanukah stamp. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Israel is a Rogue State

Jewish Apostate Lauren Booth

Jewish Apostate Lauren Booth, Islamic Militant, TV personality and journalist for the English-language news channel of the Islamic Republic of Iran, embarassing sister-in-law of British PM Tony Blair.

At Cambridge University in October of this year, the Cambridge Union Debating Society assigned Gabriel Latner, a nineteen-year-old Cambridge University law student, to argue the affirmative side of the proposition: “Israel is a rogue state.”

Gabriel’s presentation earned him a lifetime banning from the Cambridge Union: he won the debate for the opposing side.

He received a standing ovation from a majority of the audience, but not from Lauren Booth, who was also on the proposing side.

Here is a transcript of his presentation: Read the rest of this entry »

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Only in New York!

Judge Kimba Wood

Judge Kimba Wood

A friend in New York sent me this PDF of a court order, insisting that he had personally checked it out, and that this is for real:

Judge Kimba Wood’s Court Order

…in which the District Court for Southern New York grants a “writ of possible simcha.

Enjoy!

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The World’s Largest Underground Hospital

Rambam Health Care Campus - Haifa Israel - underground hospitalSeven thousand cubic meters of concrete were poured this week to form the base of the world’s largest underground hospital.  For thirty-six hours running, shifts of seventy workers and eighty cement mixers worked to lay the foundation of the emergency facility, which is designed to withstand conventional, chemical, and biological attacks. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Real Trickle Down Effect

Water Reclamation in Israel's Hefer Valley

Water Reclamation in Israel's Hefer Valley

Israel has devoted more resources to the development of waste water treatment and reclamation than any other country in the world.  Seventy percent of its waste water is recycled, three times the figure of the number two country (Spain). 

Israel is the Silicon Valley of water:  the birthplace of drip irrigation, and still the world leader.  There are hundreds of Israeli water-related clean technology companies.  It’s estimated that Israel’s water industry, which was valued at $1.4 billion in 2008, could reach $2.5 billion by 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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IRS Agent Admits “Special Israel Policy” to Block Israel’s Supporters

The Z Street Logo

The Z Street Logo

Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court this week, charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights.  According to the lawsuit, Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Greatest Antisemitic Play Ever Written

Al Pacino as an Unsympathetic Shylock

Al Pacino as Shylock

New York’s “Shakespeare in the Park” is offering a new production of The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino. This news has reminded me of the first time I saw Shakespeare’s profoundly antisemitic play.  Not having read it beforehand, I came to the performance with fresh ears.  Jewish ears.

The Merchant of Venice is an Elizabethan comedy.  That means a complicated love story in which serious obstacles to love are presented and then overcome, and a happy ending is reached.  In this case, there are three pairs of would-be lovers interacting.  Their plans for happiness involve borrowing money.  The most important obstacle to their happiness is the play’s main character, Shylock.

Shylock is a rich Jewish moneylender who is owed money by a defaulting Christian debtor.   He is a monster motivated by hate and revenge.  His written loan agreement states that if the debtor can’t repay, then a pound of the guarrantor’s flesh is due.  Shylock gleefully intends to enforce this clause.  Although the dialog makes it clear that Shylock is a Jew, there isn’t anything Jewish left in his character except his memory of suffering.

Most productions show a local Jewish community in existence all around him, but those actors go about their business as usual.  Not one fellow Jew whacks Shylock on the head and says, “What are you crazy?”   No committee drags him off to a Rabbi for correction.  It’s surreal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Socially Progressive Terrorist’s Latest Casualty is CNN’s Senior Editor

Nasr and Fadlallah

Nasr and Fadlallah

I hate to tweak Thomas L. Friedman, whose experience and readership dwarfs Jewish Jihad’s by about a million to one, but his published defense of the recently fired CNN senior editor of Middle East affairs, Octavia Nasr, is off base.

Nasir was fired for tweeting “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.” Fadlallah, a prominent Lebanese Shiite spiritual leader, was involved in the founding of Hezbollah. He hated Israel and supported terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. Nasr described him as “one of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.”

The only fault Friedman finds in Nasr’s tweets is that “reporters covering a beat should not be issuing condolences for any of the actors they cover. It undermines their credibility.”

But reporters do this all the time. Tributes after the deaths of “covered actors” are the norm, from Ted Kennedy to Michael Jackson. They demonstrate our values.

Perhaps Nadr was enamored of Fadlallah because, unlike most other terrorists, Fadlallah argued in favor of equal rights and education for women, and against domestic violence. Or maybe because, although he opposed the U.S., he also opposed obedience to Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Death of the American Jewish Congress

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

Rabbi Stephen S. Wise

The American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) closed its doors today — dead broke, thanks to Bernie Maddoff.   Ideologically bankrupt too.  That leaves only the American Jewish Committee (AJC) as the remaining group of self-appointed, self-perpetuating, wealthy aristocrats pretending to speak in the name of all Jews.

But it wasn’t always that way.  The American Jewish Congress needs to be remembered for what it originally was, because its original values need to be institutionalized yet again. Read the rest of this entry »

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