Israel: On fringes of peace confab, rare prayer service brings Bahrain synagogue to life

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

On fringes of peace confab, rare prayer service brings Bahrain synagogue to life

Afterward, worshipers break out in song, hear Torah sermon as Houda Nonoo, a Jewish woman who served as Bahrain’s US ambassador, marvels: ‘It’s a historic moment’

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MANAMA, Bahrain — Businessmen, reporters, five rabbis and a senior White House official held rare morning prayers at the only officially declared synagogue in the Gulf Wednesday, on the edges of a peace conference being held in the tiny gulf kingdom that was once home to a thriving Jewish community.

At the end of the service, which took place on the sidelines of the US administration’s economic peace workshop held in Bahraini capital Manama, the men, clad in prayer shawls and phylacteries, broke out in song, walking around the bimah and singing “Am Yisrael Chai” — the people of Israel live.

The rare service was organized by this Times of Israel correspondent, with the help of Bahraini diplomat Houda Nonoo, who is Jewish, and the approval of authorities in Manama.

Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center led prayers. After the service, one of the worshipers gave a sermon about the weekly Torah reading.

Prayers are not held on a regular basis at the synagogue, and are usually even closed for holidays and opened only for special occasions. The building housing the synagogue is unmarked.

Worshipers, including Trump administration Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt (left, seated) attend morning prayers at a synagogue in Manama, Bahrain, June 26, 2019 (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Among the worshipers were Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s special adviser for Middle East peace; interfaith activist Rabbi Marc Schneier; Middle East scholar David Makovsky; New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger; and a handful of Israeli businessmen and reporters attending the conference.

Greenblatt wrote on Twitter that he prayed for his family and for peace. “This is an example of the future we can all build together,” he wrote.

Jason D. Greenblatt

@jdgreenblatt45

A special opportunity to daven(pray) this morning with a minyan(quorum) in a synagogue in Bahrain. Great way to start today. I was asked what I prayed for- two things: my family, who I miss deeply and of course for peace. This is an example of the future we can all build together

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“That’s the secret of the Jewish people — whenever you step into a shul, wherever you are in the world, you feel like home,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, also from the Wiesenthal Center.

The Manama synagogue was built in the 1930s. It was ransacked in 1947 in the wake of the United Nations Partition Plan that called for the creation of both a Jewish and a Palestinian state within British Mandatory Palestine.

The unmarked entrance to the synagogue in Manama, Bahrain, June 26, 2019 (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

Nonoo, who served as Bahrain’s US ambassador a decade ago, and arranged for the synagogue to be opened on Wednesday, said that the prayer service was an emotional occasion for her.

“I was very moved. It’s a historic moment. For the first time in my life, I saw a prayer service with a minyan in my synagogue,” Nonoo told The Times of Israel, using the Hebrew term for the quorum of 10 men required for a full Jewish service.

The synagogue, located on Manama’s Sasaah Avenue, was renovated in 1997 and counts 34 members in its community. Prior to 1947, at its peak the community counted 1,500 Jews, mainly of Iraqi origin.

A shofar in the synagogue in Manama, Bahrain, June 26, 2019 (Raphael Ahren/Times of Israel)

“I was very moved by the united sense of Jews from all over, getting together in a synagogue that hasn’t had a minyan in close to 75 years, and singing together Am yisrael Chai,” said Canadian businessman Mayer Gniwish, who is also a rabbi.

Bahrain has the only indigenous Jewish community in the Gulf, though Jewish businessmen, mainly from the US, frequent the region in increasing numbers.

Ten years ago, the Dubai Synagogue began operating as the sole institution of the Jewish community of the Emirates, welcoming veteran and temporary residents, as well as those on visits for business and pleasure.

The Trump administration kicked off its Israeli-Palestinian peace bid in Manama Tuesday, hoping to drum up billions of dollars to support a vision of a thriving Palestinian economy should a peace deal be reached.

The White House invited no Israeli officials, but Israeli members of the press, businessmen and civil society representatives are in attendance.

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10 Facts about Pesach Sheini every Jew needs to know

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHABAD.ORG)

 

1. Pesach Sheni Means “Second Passover [Sacrifice]”

In Temple times, Jews spent Passover in Jerusalem. On the afternoon before the holiday, they sacrificed a lamb or kid, referred to as the Korban Pesach (Passover Sacrifice) to eat during their Seder that evening. If someone was unable to participate in the Passover offering at the proper time, they would offer the sacrifice a month later.

Read: The Second Passover

2. It Was Initiated by the People

One year after the Exodus, the People of Israel celebrated their first Passover as free people. Some, however, had become ritually impure through contact with a dead body, and could not, therefore, prepare the Passover offering on that day. They complained to Mosesand Aaron, “Why should we be deprived, and not be able to present G‑d’s offering in its time, amongst the children of Israel?”1

In response to their plea, G‑d established the “Second Passover” (Pesach Sheni) for anyone who was unable to bring the offering at its appointed time.

Read the Original Narrative in the Torah

3. It Is Observed on 14 Iyar

The second Passover sacrifice was offered on Iyar 14, exactly a month after the rest of the Jewish people had sacrificed their Paschal lambs in Jerusalem. Though Iyar 14 did not have the status of a festival or holiday, we commemorate the offering on the same day that it was sacrificed, not on the evening after, when it was actually eaten, which would be Iyar 15.

Read: Why Celebrate Iyar 14 and Not 15

4. The Second Passover Was Eaten With Matzah and Bitter Herbs

Like the primary Passover offering, the lamb of the Second Passover was to be roasted over fire and eaten on the eve of the 15th, together with matzah (unleavened bread) and maror (bitter herbs). The other mitzvahs and rituals of the Seder, however, were not observed.2

5. It Could Be Eaten With Chametz in the Home

The Second Passover only concerned the sacrificing of the Paschal Lamb. There was no obligation, however, to purge one’s home from chametz. Another difference between the two Passovers was that Psalms of Praise (Hallel) were said during the consumption of the first Passover offering (as we do today during the Seder) but not while eating the lamb on Pesach Sheni.3

Read: What Is Hallel?

6. The Second Passover Was Even for Willful Offenders

The Torah states that the Second Passover was principally for those who had been impure or distant from Jerusalem (15 mil away4) on the morning of Nisan 14. But anyone else who neglected to bring the sacrifice the first time around could make amends on Pesach Sheni, even those who did not have a good excuse.5

7. Today We Eat Matzah

In our post-Temple reality, there is no Passover sacrifice, and, until Moshiach comes, Pesach Sheni has lost its primary function. Nevertheless, Jews around the world still celebrate this meaningful day by eating some matzah (but not bitter herbs).

Pesach Sheni is also marked by the omission of Tachnun (prayers of penitence) from the day’s service.

Read All About Eating Matzah on Pesach Sheni

8. It Is an Independent Holiday

Although it is called the Second Passover, Pesach Sheni is actually a distinct sacrifice in its own right. This plays out in a fascinating law:6

If a person converts to Judaism (or a minor who was not part of a Passover offering and then becomes bar/bat mitzvah) during the month between the first and second Passovers, he or she must bring the sacrifice on Pesach Sheni. If Pesach Sheni were only a catch-up for those who missed the first round, why would the convert need to bring the sacrifice? They lacked nothing, since they were not Jewish at the time. Rather, Pesach Sheni is an independent mitzvah—an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Read: How to Convert to Judaism

9. It Was Once Called “Minor Passover”

This date is universally referred to as Pesach Sheni. In the Mishnah, however, it is referred to as Pesach Katan (“Minor Passover”).7

What Is Mishnah?

10. The Lesson: It’s Never Too Late

Pesach Sheni is an extraordinary mitzvah. G‑d legislated it only after a group of Jews, impure ones at that, sincerely demanded a second chance. The lesson for us is clear: No matter how far we may wander, or how impure we may become, G‑d will pave the way for us if we sincerely want to make amends.

In the same way, says the Rebbe, we must cry, plead, and even demand that G‑d bring Moshiach and the Final Redemption. Just like the impure Jews of old were not afraid to ask for the opportunity to become closer to G‑d, neither should we.

Read a Transcript of the Rebbe’s Talk

FOOTNOTES
4.

mil is a bit less than a kilometer. Fifteen mil is the distance one could walk at an average pace to Jerusalem, beginning at sunrise and arriving there by noon, in time to bring the sacrifice. Anyone farther away than that is considered to be at a distance.

7.

Mishnah, Rosh Hashanah 1:3.

Jews: Why Stay In The Sukkah When It Is Raining

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHABAD.ORG)

 

If it rains during Sukkot, we don’t have to sit in the sukkah, correct? So why have I seen people who continue to sit in the sukkah even when it is pouring?

Answer:

Sitting in the sukkah is the only mitzvah that, if you’re bothered by it, you’re exempt. Usually, even when a mitzvah is hard, you have to do it. Like fasting on Yom Kippur, when only those who must eat for medical purposes may do so. Most people find not eating or drinking for 25 hours quite uncomfortable, but we still have to do it. And yet, if sitting in the sukkah bothers you, like in wet weather, you can leave and eat inside the house.

Nevertheless, many people refuse to eat outside of the sukkah, no matter how bad the weather, because they would be more bothered by eating inside a dry home than outside in a leaking sukkah. When you understand what the sukkah is, you’ll see why.

The sukkah is a holy space. You are sitting in a divine abode, under the heavens, with the stars shining down on you, surrounded by angels and the souls of our forefathers. Our sages teach that we are only worthy enough to enter the sukkah after Yom Kippur, when our souls have been cleansed and we are at our spiritual peak. And the mystics explain that while the sukkah may look like a derelict hut cobbled together from wood and branches, in truth it is a made from the holy names of G‑d.

The weather may be a little unpleasant, it may be a little squishy in there, and your palm allergy may be flaring up…but the inner serenity, the love and feeling of connection with those around you, the sense of being embraced by G‑d—all that should override any physical discomfort. If you’re still not enjoying the sukkah, then you’re not really in the sukkah in the first place, and you can go inside. But if you know what you’re missing, you won’t want to leave.

There are moments when we are called upon to transcend the material world. Sitting in the sukkah is one of those moments. A little rain, or even a lot, can’t stop that.

Big Troubles Are Coming, What Are You Going To Do?

BIG TROUBLES ARE COMING, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

 

There are many things that have happened that are horrible, but even worse things are soon to come upon the human race. The secular world does not know, they do not see, because they do not study, because they do not believe the things that are about to come upon all of us. Ignorance to reality will not save any of us from that reality, I wish it would, but it won’t. Here in America, a Nation that was founded on Christian beliefs has turned its back on anything and everything to do with the Bible, faith, and Jesus and then we wonder why our Nation and the world has turned so violent and hate filled. Hollywood and the media teach society that they are the path to follow, that total ego is the true path to follow if we want a life of happiness. Hollywood and the media push violence, cursing, and filth at everyone from birth to the grave and call it good and call it progress. Hollywood and the liberal left now insist that women not having the ‘right’ to murder their babies is stone age thinking and they say the far right is trying to take away this “right”. If a person was to believe Christian or Jewish Scripture then they would understand that our excepted society is evil, this is why they constantly have to attack these faiths trying to demonize them. You see these faith-based religions teach that what our society is teaching is evil, this is why they attack all that is Scripturally sound Doctrine otherwise they would have to admit that they are the ones that are pure evil.

About a month ago in this blog I wrote of some bad things that have happened, things past tense that were secret evils. By no means am I saying that I know everything, nor that I have been shown everything, nor that I understand everything past or future, I can only tell you the things that I have been shown and the things that I believe. All I can do is bring them to your attention, believe whatever you wish; I’m just trying to be helpful. I am going to tell you things that I know are going to happen to America in the very near future and something’s that are America and world related that are soon to happen most within this next generation. I would like to say “may God have mercy upon all of us”, but that would be misleading if we don’t even know what God means by mercy. People, friends, brothers, sisters, the world has never seen the level of Hell that is coming to the face of this planet.

Now I will start to tell you of the things that are soon to come here in America then I will expand to some more global issues.–The mark of the Devil and the sign of the Antichrist ARE NOT the same thing! When I was growing up in a Christian believing household I was always led to believe that there was simply one “Devil”, well, there is only one Satan but also thousands of other former Angels turned Demons. Demons can only possess one person at a time unlike the Spirit of God who can possess billions at one time. So, these Demons, who do you think would be their prime targets to possess? Would the prime targets be the average office worker or factory worker, or politicians and world leaders?  Which leaders would be the most prime targets? All leaders would be targets but the most prime ones would obviously be the leaders with the most power, of the countries with the most power. Where do you think our leaders would place on the Demons want list? People, the governments are evil and they are only going to get worse!

As any American knows if they are paying any attention to life around them we are having trouble securing our borders and we are having trouble securing our money supply from fraud. Also identity theft is becoming more and more of a problem in our society. At every level our society and it’s so called securities are breaking down. As we all know, the governments are becoming all-powerful and it is only through their great wisdom that we the people can be “saved”. We become totally dependent upon our leaders, we must all do what they say or we become the enemy of our nation. The government must come up with a program that can secure the nation’s borders for our own security. The government’s money supply and the finances of our people must be secured so that everyone’s savings and property isn’t stolen by the bad guys. But, how can such a thing be done?–Revelation 13:16 and 17, “And He (the beast) caused everyone, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead: So that no man could buy or sell, unless he had the mark,…”.  Also Revelation 14: 9-11, “…if any man worships the Beast and His image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wrath of the wine of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation: and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Holy Angels, and in the presence of the Lamb (Jesus): And the smoke of their torment will ascend up forever and ever: and they shall have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name”. Friends, this is just a small piece of the trouble that is already busting through our doors, we all need to think about what we are doing and what we are going to do.

I’ll just put a couple of questions out to you, all I ask is that people just quietly think about them in the quite of their own thoughts . These are what if questions, what if I am correct about what I have told you. I know these things by faith, prayer, study, and a lifetime of observation.  What if our federal government decides that they have no choice but to implement a chip policy? Chip systems have been in place now for a long time, a different type of chip, but you ease in controversial changes to get people to learn to conform to their “necessary requirements”. We started out with putting chips in our animals so we wouldn’t lose them, then came added information like health records. Well, before you say that’s just about animals, there has been a program now for several years putting chips in newborns for the same type reasons as the animals. O’ by the way, preschool and grade school children by parental requests have been getting these for the same type reasons, getting lost, stolen, medical info ect.

 

Now, about us adults, we all have to decide what we are going to do when these chips are required instead of the current permission/request policy. Everyone in this country is a number from birth, that makes things easy enough. We are all going to have to decide in our own minds what we are going to do if/when this happens. Millions will go along with it without thought; it will sound like a great idea. These are the people who are usually ignorant of the Scriptures and who usually have no religion/faith in their up bringing. Many people, even those who say they are Christian will not like it, but they will conform. The reasons for this are simple, if there is no cash system, then no plastic, only the chip in your wrist/hand (during the Roman Empire and the time of the first advent the wrist was considered to be part of the hand) and all financial information is loaded onto your chip, and without the chip you have no financial means to survive, what you going to do?

When you cannot work, buy, sell, or rent a place to live, not even a skid row flee bag motel; when you cannot buy gas or food and you are going to lose absolutely everything you thought you owned, what are you going to do? When you find yourself out in the street with no shelter or food and no way to get any, are you going to allow the chip? Remember how the government in the late 1800’s stole everything the Indian people owned, then those they hadn’t already killed they forced onto reservations? How many times once the people were rounded up and disarmed did the military get sent in to scorch the earth of them? History lessons make perfect examples of evil and how too! The only people who absolutely refuse to be chipped will be the true faithful of the Christian population and some of our Jewish brothers. These people will become enemy number one of the state who will get blamed for all the worlds problems. Remember Germany/Hitler/WWII, how did this evil empire almost accomplish its goal of killing every Jewish person on earth? The slogan after the war was “never again”, people, that was only a blueprint to grow from when you have evil running your countries.

Whatever we put first in our life IS our God, how about our money, is that our God? These things are coming; they are not that far away. Again, I ask you the question, friends, what are you going to do?

 

Iran is using the Star of David as target practice for missile tests

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE INDEPENDENT)

Iran is using the Star of David as target practice for missile tests

Israel’s envoy to the United Nations called practice ‘hateful and unacceptable’ in formal complaint to Security Council

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The Iranian military has used a Star of David, the symbol of the Jewish faith, as target practice for missile tests, the Israeli envoy to the UN has claimed.

“This use of the Star of David as target practice is hateful and unacceptable,” Danny Danon told the international body’s Security Council on Wednesday, while handing out satellite imagery allegedly showing the Iranian site.

The photographs showed the six pointed star which represents both Judaism and the Israeli state in what Mr Danon said was a ballistics missile testing ground. An impact crater could clearly be seen.

Iran unveils clock counting down the days until Israel’s ‘destruction’

The holy star was used as a target for a mid-range Qiam ballistic missile test in December 2016, Mr Danon said in a formal complaint to the UN from the Mission of Israel.

“The missile launch is not only a direct violation of UNSCR 2231, but is also a clear evidence of Iran’s continued intention to harm the State of Israel,” Mr Danon told delegates, referencing the 2015 resolution which paved the way for lifting international sanctions on Iran in return for curbs to its nuclear programme.

“It is the Iranians who prop up the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime as hundreds of thousands are killed, finance the terrorists of Hezbollah as they threaten the citizens of Israel, and support extremists and tyrants throughout the Middle East and around the world,” he added.

The incident is not the first time there has been an anti-Semitic flavor to Iranian test strikes: in March 2016, two ballistic missiles were test fired, reportedly carrying the message ‘Israel must be wiped out’ written on the sides of the weapons in Hebrew.

The Islamic Republic has sworn the destruction of the Jewish state.

Iran conducted its first missile strike outside its own territory in 30 years earlier this month, hitting Isis positions in northern Syria as revenge for the 7 June suicide attacks in Tehran which killed 17 people.

The incidents at parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini were the first attacks on Iranian soil claimed by the Sunni group, which believes the Shia Islam mostly practiced in Iran is heretical.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warned at the time that any further attacks on Iran would result in more strikes.

Tehran is known to have carried out two ballistic missile tests so far this year. It claims the non-nuclear weapons not violate the landmark nuclear deal reached with world powers in 2015.

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