Israel News – Breaking news in Israel and the region | Israel …

The Statesman – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A rocket-propelled grenade hit a hotel which houses members of the government of Yemen’s deposed President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in the port city of …

Standard Digital – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Israeli forces destroyed the homes of two Palestinian militants and sealed off part of a third in Jerusalem on Tuesday, in a crackdown launched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after four …

Siasat Daily – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

West Bank: A Palestinian boy has been shot dead during clashes with the Israeli military at a refugee camp, a Palestinian hospital official has said. 13-year-old Abdel Rahman Abdullah was shot …

OpEdNews – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

. Salaita was fired by the University of Illinois for criticizing Israel on Twitter. Norman Finkelstein had been denied tenure by DePaul University for criticizing …

New Kerala – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee leaves here on Saturday on a six-day three-nation visit to Jordan, Palestine and Israel, the first to the three countries by an Indian head of state, during which a number …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Mourners carry the body of 13-year-old Palestinian Abdel Rahman Abdullah, who was shot dead by the Israeli army during clashes at a refugee camp near Bethlehem, during his funeral at the …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A senior Russian Jewish leader has endorsed Moscows recent air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria despite previous statements by the countrys Chief Rabbi …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is photographed after speaking at the Egypt Economic Development Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh. (photo credit:BRIAN SNYDER / …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

BERLIN – A German actor who dressed up as Adolf Hitler and traveled through the country for four weeks chatting to smiling voters and stroking their pets for a film that opens …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

During the course of the investigation, the Shin Bet learned that one of the cell members hid the firearm in his store in Nablus. In a joint IDF-Shin Bet operation, security forces recovered the …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Facebook on Monday announced a partnership with Israeli satellite company Spacecom and Europe’s Eutelsat to launch a satellite next year to help connect millions of people …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

A Palestinian youth helps another put on a scarf during clashes with IDF soldiers close to Bet El, in the West Bank. (photo credit:ABBAS MOMANI / AFP) …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

On the heels of the recent wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, hundreds of Christians gathered in the Christ Church in the Old City on Sunday, to participate …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Eat orderly meals three main ones and one intermediate one Ben-Aharon advises and skip calorie-laden snacks. The meals should consist of a variety of nutritious foods, …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Israel will place cameras both on the ground and in the air over the roads in Judea and Samaria that will be linked to command centers to provide immediate IDF response to …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Newly-revealed documents on Tuesday showed that the Palestinian Authority has been paying Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails hundreds of thousands of shekels over the past …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

With violence and tension gripping Jerusalem, police have no plans to scale back their deployment of more than 2,000 extra police officers in the city in the months to come. …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Yagil Henkin tells Army Radio how police failed to properly inform him of the murder of his brother and sister-in-law, saying he found out in a text message from a friend. …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

Four-and-a-half years after taking on Tel Aviv, the Tel-O-Fun bike sharing network officially expanded to the neighboring city of Givatayim on …

Jerusalem Post – Tuesday 6th October, 2015

The Under 30 Summit EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) event will bring together some 600 entrepreneurs and “game-changers,” a third each of which will come from the US, Europe, and …

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Israel News – Breaking news in Israel and the region | Israel …

Israel Faces ‘Assault’ on its Basic Legitimacy – Global …

Israel’s Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, spoke on Thursday before a delegation of international parliamentarians as part of the Israel Allies Foundation’s annualJerusalem Chairman’s Conference.

After meeting with senior Israeliofficials on Tuesday and touring the country on Wednesday, the delegation of 22 MPsdrafted and signed a resolution Thursday declaring their support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against anti-Israel movementssuch as BDS.

On behalf of the Israeli government, the resolution was accepted by Erdan, who thanked the MPs for their vocal support of the “thriving” Jewish state.

Calling the BDS movement “immoral” and “anti-peace,” Erdan expressed gratitude for allies like the parliamentarians and said friends of Israel and Palestinians alike should reject BDS and instead work for true peace.

A full text of Erdan’s speech can be seen below:

Distinguished members of parliament, honored guests, dear friends,

It is a great honor to accept this resolution, and to welcome you to Jerusalem. One of the most important elements of the Sukkot holiday is to welcome guests into your Sukkah. In a figurative sense we welcome in the great figures of Jewish history- Abraham, Issac and Jacob, Moses and King David. In a literal sense we welcome in family and friends. It therefore gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today.

Friends, as you have seen and heard over the last several days, Israel is a thriving country, an almost unbelievable success story.

It is a country of many cultures and religions that maintains a vibrant, if sometimes noisy, democracy.

A country faced with unparalleled security challenges, which nevertheless guarantees human rights and freedoms to all.A country of few natural resources and many enemies, which has established an innovative and growing economy.A country built on an ancient history, which is making the world a better place through modern medicine, science, and agriculture.

Yet today Israel faces, as you have rightly noted, an unprecedented assault on its basic legitimacy and international standing. Israel’s enemies have learned that Israel cannot be overcome by conventional warfare or terrorism. They have therefore turned to political, economic and legal warfare as a means to achieve their ultimate goal- putting an end to Israel’s existence as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

A central element of this assault is what has become known as the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign, or BDS. Let me be clear- the BDS campaign in not only a challenge for the State of Israel and the Jewish people- it is a threat to all those committed to peace, to justice, and to universal human rights.

At its heart, the BDS campaign is based on deception and twisting reality. It hopes that by piling lie upon lie in the boardroom, college campus, and church assembly, it will be able to obscure the truth. It hopes that by manipulating the language of human rights and liberal values, it will be able to hide its real goals, which are anything but liberal.

It is a campaign based upon intimidation and coercion. When artists refuse to give in to BDS demands, BDS activists bully them. When corporations reject BDS pressure, BDS activists threaten them. When those on the left have the courage to speak out against BDS, they are immediately silenced and branded traitors.

The BDS movement must be rejected by all people of conscience for two key reasons: It is immoral and it is anti-peace.

It is immoral because it distorts the truth, demonizes the Jewish state, and subjects it to a campaign of libel and hate that would make history’s greatest anti-Semites proud.

It is immoral because it holds the entire world to one standard and Israel to another, singles it out for sanctions, blames it for the world’s problems and seeks to portray it as the epitome of evil.

The comparison of Israel to Apartheid South Africa or the American Jim Crow South is not only an affront to Israel and the Jewish people- It is an insult to the millions who suffered, and the brave men and women who fought against the apartheid and Jim Crow regimes. Anyone with even a basic understanding of the State of Israel understands that all such comparisons are baseless, groundless and disconnected from reality.

The BDS movement is anti-peace because it drives people apart rather than bringing them together, creates barriers and closes doors rather than building bridges and opening hearts.

It is a well-known principle of conflict resolution that a viable peace must be built upon dialogue and trust, mutual understanding and respect, both between leaders and between peoples.

If anyone is looking for a way to ensure that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lasts another hundred years, they should support the BDS movement.

For the rest of however, for all those who dream of a better future for Israeli and Palestinian children, and tranquility in the Holy Land- what can be done to turn that dream into a reality?

Prime Minister Netanyahu has called on the Palestinian leadership, over and over again, to walk with him down the only path that can lead to a lasting and viable peace- direct negotiations without preconditions in which all issues are on the table. We recognize that peace will require difficult negotiations, hard decisions and even painful compromises. There is no other way.

Therefore, parliaments, civil society organizations and people of conscience world-wide should do all that they can to encourage both sides to sit down at the negotiating table, without preconditions and without games. They should call on Mahmoud Abbas to stop wasting time on hateful speeches and empty gestures in the international arena, which do nothing to help the Palestinian people.

They should work to convince governments and particularly the European Union that one-sided sanctions and pressure against Israel only make peace more difficult to achieve. They convince the Palestinian leadership that it can achieve its political goals without negotiations or compromise, and the Israeli public that it cannot rely on the international community.

They should demand that the Palestinian Authority end its daily racist and anti-Semitic incitement against Israel on official PA TV, radio, newspapers, schools and summer camps. They should insist that the Palestinian leadership promote a culture of peace, and prepare its people for reconciliation and an end to the conflict. They should assist in developing a Palestinian government which respects the rule of law, human rights and freedoms.

Friends of both Israel and the Palestinians should reject and oppose the BDS movement in all its forms. This is not an issue of Left or Right, of Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Labour, Socialists or Christian Democrats. Opposition to BDS should be shared by all those who value human rights, who seek justice and who love peace. We appreciate the work that the Israel Allies Foundation is doing all over the world to oppose BDS and expose its true face.

Friends, I have to say that I am optimistic and hopeful. I am hopeful because in the end one cannot distort reality and hide the truth forever. One of our main goals is to bring as many people to Israel as possible. One hour in Israel, meeting its people, walking its streets, seeing its diversity, is enough to bring the towers of lies erected by the BDS campaign crashing down. We say that Israel sells itself. All we need to do is make sure that people have the opportunity to come and see it for themselves.

So I am hopeful because reality and truth are on our side.I am hopeful because the Jewish people have overcome great challenges time and time again throughout their history.And I am hopeful because I know that Israel has great friends and allies around the world like yourselves.

Thank you very much.

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Israel Faces ‘Assault’ on its Basic Legitimacy – Global …

Israel Facts, Israel Flag — National Geographic

Israel lies on the Mediterranean coast of southwest Asia, with most people living along the coastal plain. The eastern interior is dry and includes the Dead Seathe lowest point on the Earth’s surface. North are the rugged hills of Galilee, and south lies the Negev, a desert plateau. Israel’s population is about 81 percent Jewish; most of the rest is Arab. The Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories have some 3.5 million inhabitantsabout 11 percent Jewish, 89 percent Palestinian.

Born in battle after the British left Palestine in 1948, Israel has fought six wars with its Arab neighbors. To secure peace, Israel in 1982 ended its 15-year occupation of the Sinai Peninsula, returning it to Egypt. The intifada, a Palestinian rebellion that began in 1987, took hundreds of lives before peace negotiations resulted in a 1993 accord that granted Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank city of Jericho. The Israeli military withdrew from all West Bank cities by 1997and also left southern Lebanon in 2000. However, peace talks stalled; a second intifada started in September 2000, and most of the West Bank was reoccupied by 2002. Israel annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it in 1967Syria still claims this territory.

A “final status” agreement, leading to a Palestinian state, has yet to be reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Stumbling blocks include:

Jerusalem Palestinians want their capital in Jerusalem. Israel claims that Jerusalem is its capital and that its status is not negotiable.

Gaza Strip In 2004 Israel offered to withdraw its forces and Jewish settlements. Palestinians suspect that Israel will keep land in the West Bank after the Gaza pullout.

West Bank Responding to suicide bombers, Israel started building a West Bank barrier in 2002. Palestinians complain that Israel is using the wall to grab land inside the Green Linethe boundary between Israel and the West Bank based on the 1949 armistice line.


Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Continued here:
Israel Facts, Israel Flag — National Geographic

The History of Israel

A history of Israel is one of persecution, struggle, oppression and survival. Long before Jacob became Israel, since the ancient beginnings of Genesis, this tiny nation has been in a constant state of survival. From the moment of Abraham’s arrival in the land of Canaan, God’s people have been surrounded by enemies on all sides.

Over the course of its history, time and time again, this band of 12 tribes has faced extermination, yet today stands among the worlds elite.

It is no coincidence that on the worldwide center stage is a country the size of New Jersey. Since the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, to the Caesars of Rome, Palestine has been caught in the middle of power struggles amongst empires.

Born in the “Cradle of Civilization”, the ancient Jews struggled against all odds to survive. The Old Testament Ancient Near East was made up of Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the Zagros mountains located on the westernmost edge of Iran. It was here that the cultures and influences of three continents converged – Africa, Asia, and Europe. Together these three cultures each left its imprint on the history of Israel.

God’s chosen people have faced persecution from nearly every single empire that has dominated the earth from the beginning of time. From the slavery of the Ancient Egyptians, to the Holocaust of the Third Reich, how is it possible that this nation today stands so strong?

The answer can be found in the Old Testament. The first five books of the Bible make up the Jewish Torah, or, the Books of Moses. It is in these books that the history behind God’s people is revealed.

God made a covenant with Abraham that stands as true today as it did centuries ago. And God has consistently delivered over the course of time. His latest deliverance was one of no less significance than anything found in the Old Testament.

In 1948, for the first time since 586 B.C., a Jewish state was created. God had once again brought His people together in the promised land. From the ancient banks of the river Chebar, the voice of Ezekiel can be heard saying;

“My people, and I will bring you into the land…”


Please pray for the Christians in Iraq currently under attack by the barbaric acts of Radical Islam. Their struggle is one of life and death. God please protect Your children.

Matthew 5:12

“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

John 15:18

“If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.”

Click on the link to view this Old Testament timeline and various dates within the ancient history of Israel.

Old Testament Timeline

Acts 2:20

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.”

Throughout the history of Israel, to the present hour, conflict and war characterized the relationship with Gaza. King David repeatedly called Yahweh his rock, shield, fortress, deliverer, stronghold and Lord. May Yahweh continue to protect His inheritance as He did in the days of King David, especially during the current heightened conflict with the Gaza Strip.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” –Matthew 5:10 extends a thank you to the many visitors from around the world. Persecution of the Christian & Jewish faith continues in many corners of the globe, from Boko Haram & Radical Islam in Africa & the Middle East, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and registration of Ukrainian Jews. May God protect, bless and be with His people in every nation, state and corner of the globe.

Anti-semitic ads may appear on the site from time to time. aggressively seeks to locate and block these messages, and apologize for the appearance of such material. If you stumble upon an ad, please inform us and it will be blocked immediately. The efforts to undermine God’s people are at every corner, and take every angle. Thank you for your understanding and help in this matter.

When contacting via the Contact Us tab, please include your email address. Thanks to all of those regular visitors and contributors to the website. The submissions and comments grow daily, as well as those visiting the site. Thank you for taking time out of your day, and please give us your insights!

Do you live in Israel or Palestine? Do you have questions about God, religion, Israel, Palestine, or any other topic? Whether you’re an Atheist, Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Taoist, non-religious, or just curious, we want to create an interactive community of individuals freely and openly sharing their insights, comments, opinions, and questions. Join in on the discussion now!

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page…

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The History of Israel

Jerusalem Real Estate: Apartments Israel LTD: Jerusalem …

Welcome to Apartments Israel! a real estate agency located inJerusalem, Israeldealing with a great varierty offurnished & luxury apartments for temporary rental, long term rentals and properties for sale. Our vacation apartments in Jerusalemare fully furnished and equipped. We invite you to find with us your Israel Apartment!

Apartments Israel, the best place in Israel to find the perfect apartment!

Best located apartment for sale in Jerusalem City Center: this 3 bedroom apartment is located at Yoel Moshe Salomon St in the area of Nahalat Shiva (the heart of the city). Just a couple of minutes walking to Ben Yehuda, Mamilla, the Old City and more. The apartment was renovated a few years ago and can be sold with the furniture.

For sale in the quiet and green Arnona in Jerusalem. 2 bedrooms in the size of 3 bedroom apartment (84 sqm) with an option to a balcony. 2nd floor by stairs. Includes a storage room. The apartment is located at Ben Gavriel St.

3 bedroom apartment available for sale at Eliyahu Lenkin St, one of the most wanted areas in Jerusalem: the Young Arnona. Brand new building (approx 6 years old) with 2 elevators (one Shabbat). The apartment has a very nice balcony and includes 2 underground parking spaces and a storage room.

Jerusalem real estate for sale: This 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms apartment is best located in the Talbie neighborhood at Mendele Mocher Sforim St between Jabotinsky and Keren HaYesod. Very close to the Prima Kings Hotel, The Inbal Hotel and the King David Hotel. The Great Synagogue, Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and the Old City are walking distance.

This beautiful brand new apartment is available for sale. Located in the Holyland neighborhood, close to Baiyt Vagan, Ramat Sharet, Malcha, etc. It has an amazing view to all Jerusalem from the 12 sqm balcony. This 3 bedrooms (plus security room) has air conditioning and includes 2 parking spaces and a storage room. In the building: 24h security, GYM, sauna and more!

Living in an apartment in a 5 stars hotel is now possible! This 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment is located in the 11th floor of the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem: located at King George almost corner of Agron, in front of the Great Synagogue and minutes walking to Mamilla, Old City, City Center, Ben Yehuda and more! Public transportation, supermarket in the area and a pool, SPA, bar, restaurant in the building. Includes a parking spot.

A fully renovated luxury apartment: Located in the heart of Jerusalem, on Maavar Beit David St. It is a 10 minute walk to the old city of Jerusalem with its historical and religious monuments like the Western Wall (Kotel). Within a 5 minute radius you have Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and other hot spots. A wide variety of synagogues are located in the near vicinity.

A beautiful double apartment-villa in David’s Village is now available:The two story unit of over 330 square meters consists of 6 large bedrooms, (5 bed rooms with two beds each and 1 spacious office room has a pull out couch bed, option to add beds if required), 5 bathrooms, a spacious living room/ dining room area which spreads out onto an open terrace of 42 square meters (to be used as the sukkah – easily seating 40 people), an additional downstairs living area opening out to a 60 square meter gardendeck area.

1-bedroom studio apartment. The apartment is located in the Almog building on the Mediterranean Sea at the southern entrance to Haifa. 30 meters from the seashore, very close to public transportation.

Located on a quiet street, in a stone building, on the second floor (1.5 flights, no elevator), this is a beautiful, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths luxurious vacation rental apartment. This apartment has just undergone an extensive renovation in high standards and was fully furnished and equipped to meet all your needs in a vacation rental. Each bedroom can sleep two guests.

Enjoy the luxury and magnificence of the Waldorf Astoria. This brand-new, breathtaking vacation apartment in front of the Mamilla mall, opposite the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, an easy walk from the Old City of Jerusalem!

Best located apartment for sale in Jerusalem City Center: this 3 bedroom apartment is located at Yoel Moshe Salomon St in the area of Nahalat Shiva (the heart of the city). Just a couple of minutes walking to Ben Yehuda, Mamilla, the Old City and more. The apartment was renovated a few years ago and can be sold with the furniture.

For sale in the quiet and green Arnona in Jerusalem. 2 bedrooms in the size of 3 bedroom apartment (84 sqm) with an option to a balcony. 2nd floor by stairs. Includes a storage room. The apartment is located at Ben Gavriel St.

Living in an apartment in a 5 stars hotel is now possible! This 3 bedroom and 2.5 bathroom apartment is located in the 11th floor of the Leonardo Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem: located at King George almost corner of Agron, in front of the Great Synagogue and minutes walking to Mamilla, Old City, City Center, Ben Yehuda and more! Public transportation, supermarket in the area and a pool, SPA, bar, restaurant in the building. Includes a parking spot.

A fully renovated luxury apartment: Located in the heart of Jerusalem, on Maavar Beit David St. It is a 10 minute walk to the old city of Jerusalem with its historical and religious monuments like the Western Wall (Kotel). Within a 5 minute radius you have Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and other hot spots. A wide variety of synagogues are located in the near vicinity.

3 bedroom apartment available for sale at Eliyahu Lenkin St, one of the most wanted areas in Jerusalem: the Young Arnona. Brand new building (approx 6 years old) with 2 elevators (one Shabbat). The apartment has a very nice balcony and includes 2 underground parking spaces and a storage room.

Jerusalem real estate for sale: This 3 bedroom and 1.5 bathrooms apartment is best located in the Talbie neighborhood at Mendele Mocher Sforim St between Jabotinsky and Keren HaYesod. Very close to the Prima Kings Hotel, The Inbal Hotel and the King David Hotel. The Great Synagogue, Ben Yehuda, Mamilla and the Old City are walking distance.

A beautiful double apartment-villa in David’s Village is now available:The two story unit of over 330 square meters consists of 6 large bedrooms, (5 bed rooms with two beds each and 1 spacious office room has a pull out couch bed, option to add beds if required), 5 bathrooms, a spacious living room/ dining room area which spreads out onto an open terrace of 42 square meters (to be used as the sukkah – easily seating 40 people), an additional downstairs living area opening out to a 60 square meter gardendeck area.

1-bedroom studio apartment. The apartment is located in the Almog building on the Mediterranean Sea at the southern entrance to Haifa. 30 meters from the seashore, very close to public transportation.

Located on a quiet street, in a stone building, on the second floor (1.5 flights, no elevator), this is a beautiful, 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths luxurious vacation rental apartment. This apartment has just undergone an extensive renovation in high standards and was fully furnished and equipped to meet all your needs in a vacation rental. Each bedroom can sleep two guests. is a Paypal Verified Company. You can pay your reservation with your Credit Card even if you dont have a PayPal account!

Contact us for more information, and feel safe to reserve with us your Tel Aviv Apartments, Jerusalem Apartments and apartments all around Israel!

At Apartments Israel, we specialize in helping our clients find the perfect residences for sale or for rent. Though many of our listings are for furnished vacation rentals or executive apartments, we also offer standard apartments in Jerusalem, apartments in Tel Aviv, and units in other metropolitan areas. In addition to our apartment services, we can assist you if you are looking for Jerusalem real estate for sale. You can browse our current listings online and contact us about any properties that interest you. Make sure you call or email us as soon as you find a unit you like; there is no guarantee that it will remain on the market for long! No matter what you are searching for, we can help you locate your new temporary or permanent home!

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Jerusalem Real Estate: Apartments Israel LTD: Jerusalem …

Israel travel advice – GOV.UK

This travel advice covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to:


the Shebaa Farms and Ghajjar and within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the Blue Line) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town

east of Route 98 along the Syrian border

There have been a number of violent incidents in the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Old City in recent days. The FCO judges that tensions remain high and further incidents are possible over the next few days. British government employees have been advised to consider the need for travel around the West Bank for the time being. Keep up to date with local advice.

On 3 October, 2 Israelis were killed when a group was attacked around the Lions Gate in Jerusalems Old City. There remains a possibility of further violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Keep up to date with local travel updates.

On 1 October, 2 Israelis were shot and killed on a road between the settlements of Elon Moreh and Itamar, near the Palestinian village of Beit Furik, east of Nablus. Take extra care near settlements in the West Bank, particularly near Nablus. Keep up to date with local travel updates and expect road closures and numerous checkpoints across the West Bank.

On 14 to 16 September, there were violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount site. Theres a possibility of further violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank in coming weeks. Keep up to date with media reporting and local travel updates.

On 20 August, rockets were fired into northern Israel from Syria, impacting in Israels Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. There were no reports of injury or serious damage.

On 31 July, two houses were set on fire near Nablus. Three people died and 1 was injured in a settler terrorist attack.

On 19 June, two Israeli men were shot near the settlement of Dolev, north west of Ramallah. One of the men subsequently died from his injuries. Police are investigating the attack.

In May and June rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, landing in open areas.

There is a risk of security incidents in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. There have been attacks on pedestrians on or near Jerusalems Light Rail stations in recent months, including an attack on pedestrians near the Shimon HaTzadik station on 5 March when a number of people were injured.

There have been attacks on buses in the Greater Tel Aviv area, including a knife attack on 21 January when 12 people were wounded.

Take extra care and be vigilant when using public transport, in particular the Light Rail in East Jerusalem and buses in the greater Tel Aviv area. You may wish to consider using other forms of transport.

The situation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank remains tense and the security situation is volatile. You should be especially vigilant after Friday prayers and on religious holidays. Demonstrations and other forms of civil unrest can occur at short notice and often turn violent. A heavy Israeli security presence is likely. Be extra vigilant and take great care, particularly at the Qalandiya checkpoint between East Jerusalem and Ramallah, in areas close to refugee camps, in and around Israeli settlements and in the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron.

Visa and other entry requirements are complex. Make sure youre aware of Israeli immigration policies before you travel. Allow extra time for increased security measures and checks at airports during Israeli holidays and during the peak summer tourist season. See Entry Requirements

There is a high threat from terrorism. See Terrorism

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

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Israel travel advice – GOV.UK

Jewish Israel

MDA Draws Blood at Elav Missionary Conference in Jerusalem

Last month JewishIsrael posted a community update on the Elav missionary conference and concert which took place this year at Jerusalems First Station. Sponsored by the Succat Hallel ministry, the annual event openly calls for “a Jesus revolution in Israel” and for Jewish, Arab and Christian Israeli youth to surrender their lives to christ.

JewishIsrael found it disturbing that a Jerusalem Municipality property such as the First Station would lend their facilities to a concert which targets Israeli youth with an overtly conversionary agenda. However, we should all be especially taken aback to see Magen David Adom (MDA) actively partnering in a blood drive in conjunction with this messianic Christian event. JewishIsrael went to Jerusalem’s First Station to get an onsite report…more

Messianic Christians to Use Catholic Declaration to Fight Anti-Semitism in Special UN Forum

This Tuesday, August 11th, Laurie Cardoza-Moore who serves as both President of Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) and as UN Special Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC), will be addressing a special forum at the UN Headquarters. The approach being taken by Cardoza-Moore in her fight against BDS and “global genocidal anti-Semitism” is decidedly theological and biblical in nature and it is important that Jewish leadership be aware and cautious of the messianic Christian anglemore

Elavs Jesus Revolution Concert for Youth Comes to First Station in Jerusalem

Tonight, during the three week period between the fast of the 17th of Tammuz to the fast of the 9th of Av, in the shadow of Jerusalems Old City and the Temple Mount, throngs of Israeli teens and a good number of zealous Christian youth from abroad will be gathering at Jerusalems First Station for the Elav’s 2015 messianic missionary rock and jesus worship concert. The organizers of the annual Elav event, Succat Hallel, have openly called for a Jesus Revolution in Israel…more

It’s Open Fishing Season for Christian Zionist Proselytizers in Israel

JewishIsrael realizes that not everyone has the head or stomach to read in-depth reporting about the evangelical missionary incursion into Israel. For those who simply can’t stomach the gravity of the situation, or fathom how “friendship evangelism” is impacting the very core of Judaism in the Jewish state, we’ve posted a number of new videos illustrating evangelical inroads into Israel. We’ve focused on three specific videos in this report and have provided brief and concise descriptions. If you can’t read it, then watch it and weep …more

JewishIsrael Expands its Guidelines to Interfaith Relations with the Christian World

Already back in 2008, JewishIsrael foresaw a number of problems with Israels burgeoning theological alliance with evangelicals. Under the guidance of our Rabbinic Director, Rabbi Dr. Sholom Gold, JewishIsrael formulated a suggested approach to relations with the evangelical world.

This month JewishIsrael has expanded these guidelines to include such matters as the growing messianic missionary inroads in the Jewish state, religious freedoms issues, the Temple Mount, and the current climate of persecution of Christians in a number of Arab countries in the region. JewishIsraels expanded guidelines can be readhere.

Yehuda Glick Meets with JewishIsrael to Discuss Red Lines in Israel-Christian Relations

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick will receive the “Lion of Zion” Moskowitz Prize for Zionism on Tuesday, May 19. While JewishIsrael has personally expressed reservations to Yehuda regarding his campaign for “equal rights” for all religions on the Temple Mount, JewishIsrael congratulates Yehuda on his award and commends him for his courage, commitment and dedication.

JewishIsrael’s directors had the opportunity to meet at length with Yehuda in his home just before Pesach. It was a cordial and productive meeting…more

Heads Up, Media! The Vatican Already Recognized the “State of Palestine” a Long Time Ago

Haaretz headlines have just declared, “Vatican treaty uses term ‘state of Palestine’ for first time”, and Israeli officials are “disappointed” and awaiting “clarifications”.

It is certainly not the first time. JewishIsrael noted in our June 2014 reportthat official Vatican mouthpieces had been using the term “State of Palestine” on a number of occasions, going as far back as January 2013. At the time, Israels Foreign Ministry tried to make it go away by using virtual white out…more

Rights of Christian Proselytizing Sect Trumps Jewish Sensitivities in Israeli Court:

On the Shabbat of May 3rd, Jews of all persuasions attended a prayer vigil in protest of a Jehovah’s Witnesses event being held at a sports arena in Raanana. After attempts to stop the event failed in an Israeli court, it was reported that thousands of demonstrators, religious and secular alike, staged a mass protest to voice their opposition to the proselytizing sect’s activities.

The press reports leading up to the event were a source of confusion. JewishIsrael investigated the background behind the provocative missionary group and their activities in Israel and conducted interviews with Yad L’Achim, as well as community activists and concerned citizens who were present at the protest….more

OurCrowd Boosts Messianic Christian Movement in Israel

This week from April 27th through May 1st Israeli Messianic and Arab-Christian entrepreneurs will be gathered at “the Israel Business Forum”, at Hotel Yehuda in Jerusalem, with the mission of economically empowering and developing the messianic Christian movement in Israel.

A conference in Jerusalem of this nature should no longer come as a surprise. This year in particular has seen a glut of major conferences in both Israel and abroad that demonstrate an open collaboration between Christian Zionist leaders and missionary and messianic leaders, which overtly focus on evangelizing the Jews and empowering the local messianic community in Israel.

What is newly alarming is that the highly reputable venture capital firm, OurCrowd, is sponsoring and partnering with this week’s messianic Christian business forum alongside messianic-run entitiesmore

Rabbi Riskins Protg Conducts Christian Interfaith Worship Service in Orthodox Jerusalem Synagogue

Contrary to Rabbi Riskin’s statements in media outlets accusing the Haredim of launching a campaign against his joint Christian-Jewish worship event in Jerusalem on Israeli Independence Day, it was rabbis and activists solidly in the Zionist national camp who questioned the endeavor and who approached Chief Sephardic Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar in a meeting held on Israel’s Memorial Day.

The Day To Praise venture was an idea conceived by David Nekrutman while he was studying Christian theology at Oral Roberts University. The event, held at Hatzvi Yisrael Synagogue, was promoted as being affiliated with Ohr Torah Stone. It was expected to be both “controversial and revolutionary” according to the Voice of Israel radiomore

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein ZL Upheld Rav Joseph Soloveitchik’s Interfaith Directives

Prominent scholar Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein passed away this week. He was the director of Har Etzion Yeshiva, a renowned authority on Jewish law, and a recipient of the Israel Prize.

Despite being considered “modern” and “open ” in his worldview, Rabbi Lichtenstein, an eminent student of the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (known as “the Rav”), upheld the Rav’s traditional position on interfaith dialogue and relations with the Christian world…more

Donny Fuchs Exposes Jewish Leadership as the New Jews for Jesus

UPDATE, 2015/04/22: The Jewish Press recently deleted this article. Fortunately, Google keeps a cached copy. We have replaced the original article link with the cache copy link. If you would like to ask the Jewish Press what made them so scared that they felt the need to delete the article, submit your query via their contact page.

Last month JewishIsrael reportedon Jeremy Gimpel’s continued collaboration with missionary organizations and leaders. We posted disturbing video footage and promised a follow-up report to our readership. Donny Fuchs of the Jewish Press, who has written several columns on the evangelical incursion into Israel, picked up the ball. …more

Jeremy Gimpel and Hayovel Pray with Convert-the-Jew Pastor Don Finto in Nashville

On February 22nd Jeremy Gimpel was the featured speaker at an event in Nashville sponsored by HaYovel, a ministry founded by Tommy Waller. At the conclusion of the event, Don Finto, a notorious Nashville-based missionary known for his support of the messianic movement in Israel and for public campaigns praying for Jews to come to faith in jesus, was honored by Hayovel. Finto joined Gimpel and the Hayovel team on stage where he blessed them and prayed in the name of jesus…more

JewishIsrael Alerts the Jewish Media and Community to Israels Missionary Crisis

At the end of 2014, JewishIsrael made a strategic decision to take a more pro-active and visible stance in order to get the word out about Israels missionary crisis. In keeping with that commitment, JewishIsrael has spent the last several months increasing our exposure in Jewish media outlets and in social media…more

Proud Jewish Writers Confront Christian Missionary Challenge

JewishIsrael is pleased to see that a growing number of concerned columnists across the religious and political divide are covering the severity of the missionary problem in Israel. Writers such as Diane Bederman and Donny Fuchs have persevered despite the controversy and unpleasant challenges that come with exploring territory which is deemed “untouchable” in an era marked by Israel’s enormous dependence on evangelical Christian support…more

Hamodia reports on JewishIsrael’s Insomnia: “Worth Losing Sleep Over”

Hamodia, a popular daily newspaper in the Orthodox Yeshiva world, published a lengthy interview on February 5th with JewishIsrael’s Administrative Director Avraham Leibler. The article,”Worth Losing Sleep Over”, was written by Hamodia’s editor, Joel Rebibo, and gives an overview of some of the serious, if not alarming, issues JewishIsrael is dealing with – from missionary activity to expanding Christian influence in many sectors of Israeli society…more

Christian Zionist Leaders Unite with Messianic Christians to Focus on Evangelizing Jews in Israel

JewishIsrael has been closely monitoring a disturbing trend which takes “religious freedom and expression” in Israel to a new level and which marks a very public and orchestrated collaboration between prominent Christian Zionist leaders and renowned missionary and messianic leaders. This in-depth report takes a look at a number of major Israel-focused Christian conferences and events scheduled for 2015, several of which are to be held in Jerusalem, featuring the participation of powerful and aggressive evangelical leaders and organizations who have dedicated major resources to converting Jews and who preach a conversionary agenda…more

Comment Confusion on The Jewish Press Article Regarding IDF Soldiers Targeted by Missionaries:

With the entangled mess of comments under yesterday’s Jewish Press article, JewishIsrael thought it should try to throw some light on the situation.

It is essential and urgent that the Jewish community grasps the full picture and the repercussions of present-day Christian affiliations and cooperation with Israel and the Jewish nation…..more

Something Fishy About the Logo for the “Forum for the Enlistment of the Christian Community”?

Those Jews familiar with historic Christian symbolism may find the letterhead of the “Forum for the Enlistment of the Christian Community” to be somewhat disturbing The organization, headed by Greek Orthodox Priest Gabriel Naddaf, features as their logo the traditional “Jesus Fish”united with, or entering, a Star of David…more

JewishIsrael Well-Received in Houston

JewishIsrael’s Content and Research Director, Ellen Horowitz, visited Houston last November and reported to the Jewish community on the costs evangelical love and support are exacting on Israeli society.

In addition to giving presentations, Ellen heard Rabbi Tovia Singer debate a renowned evangelical theologian, and met with the leadership of the Noahide community…more

Will the Real Kishkush Please Stand Up?

On December 18 2010, Kay Wilson, (also known by her nickname, KishKush) and her colleague and friend, Kristine Luken, were brutally attacked by Arab terrorists in a forest near Beit Shemesh in Israel. Luken was butchered to death. Wilson survived. At the time it was widely reported that both women actively worked for The Church’s Ministry among Jewish People (CMJ), one of the most virulent and established missionary organizations in Israel. Wilson was identified as a messianic Jew and the main educator and tour leader for CMJ’s sub-ministry, Shoresh Tours. Since the terror attack, Kaye Wilson has been on the speaking circuit for a number of Israeli organizations, and there remain outstanding questions about her faith and agendamore

JewishIsrael on Voice of Israel Radio

Avraham Leibler and Ellen Horowitz of JewishIsrael appeared on Voice of Israel Radio’s”Jerusalem Diaries” show, with award-winning journalist Judy Lash Balint.

In a short period of time the show, “Throwing Light on Christian Support for Israel”, managed to touch upon a number of complex issues…more

JewishIsraels Counter-Missionary of the Month Award Goes to Missionary Cody Archer

Cody Archer, a missionary working for Revive Ministries, inadvertently outed his boss, Asher Intrator, as a missionary targeting religious Jews.

Archer sentJewishIsraelan email requesting that we remove the word “missionary” from one of our videoswhich features Intrater being interviewed by the International Director of ICEJ.JewishIsrael staff responded by asking Archer,” why the panic about the word missionary? We received an incredible and revealing response…more

Jewish Business News Slams Evangelical Publication Israel Today for Deceiving Israelis

Kudos to Tibi Singer, columnist for Jewish Business News, for outing the messianic missionary publication Israel Today and their toxic agenda. Singer’s article, “Come To Israel For The Most Virulent, Anti-Rabbinic Videos, In Hebrew”, denounces Israel Today (of no affiliation to Israeli newspaper Yisrael Hayom) for promoting “what amounts to an aggressive messianic endeavor, complete with angry attacks on the rabbinic tradition, lies about the content and purpose of Talmudic passages, and open invitations for Jews to convert to Christianityall of it in fluent, eloquent Hebrew, delivered by two clean cut, bona fide Israeli salesmen.”more

JewishIsrael Responds to Pastor Robert Stearns’ Article in the Jerusalem Post

Evangelical Pastor Robert Stearns has a lengthy opinion piece in todays Jerusalem Post (December 9, 2014) which attributes Jewish skepticism toward Evangelicals to Jewish fears of proselytizing and historic anti-Semitism. The reality is far more complex and Stearns missionary agenda was evident at recent events in Jerusalem. JewishIsrael has responded with aletter to the editor.

Community Alert: Christian Evangelicals Offering Shabbat Retreat for Har Nof Orphans

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) , whose core mission is to tell the world that jesus is coming back and to spread that word from Jerusalem, has launched a widely publicized online/email campaign to comfort and support the bereaved families of the Har Nof massacre …more

When in Jerusalem, Israel’s Evangelical Pilgrims Feast, Prey and “Love”

In this Post-Feast report, which includes an extensive and disturbing video sampling, JewishIsrael coverssome of the “Christian Zionist” and “interfaith” events and activities that took place in Israel over the recent Jewish holidays.

JewishIsrael feels that the Chief Rabbinate, which issued a ban on Jewish participation in an ICEJ sponsored prayer vigil last month, was more than justified in its concerns. We ask that our readers please take the time to view the related video clips and excerpts…more

Israel’s Chief Rabbis Reaffirm Halacha Prohibiting Interfaith Worship

With throngs of evangelical pilgrims and ministries assembling in Jerusalem to celebrate various Christianized versions of the Jewish Feast of the Tabernacles (Sukkot), Israels Chief Rabbinate has issued a statement prohibiting Jews from participating in an ICEJ prayer vigil scheduled to take place at the Southern Wall of Har Habayit.

The rabbis and political leaders in the Jewish state are faced with a formidable challenge. Will they be able to take a wise and firm stand on behalf of the Torah, and uphold the integrity the sanctity – of Eretz Yisrael without totally alienating visitors of other faiths?…more

Christian Missionary Joel Rosenberg and Family Make Aliyah

Joel Rosenberg, a renowned “end-times” author and missionary, who promotes proselytizing the Jewish people and dedicates resources to targeting Israelis for conversion, has managed to make Aliyah with his family

Rosenberg was able to immigrate to Israel as a practicing Christian missionary via a loophole in Israel’s Law of Return.

Just five months agoJewishIsrael reported that the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Shlomo Riskin, granted legitimacy to Rosenberg by sharing the podium with him at New Yorks West Side Lincoln Square Synagogue in an interfaith theological exchange sponsored by Ohr Torah Stones Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation…more

JewishIsrael Gives Presentation at “Cancelled” Counter-Missionary Event

After the Eshel Hashomron Hotel in Ariel unexpectedly cancelled a counter-missionary conference scheduled to take place on September 10th 2014, the organizers of the event did their best to recoup and held the conference in Kiryat Netafim.

Despite the widely publicized cancellation and the controversy that ensued, a diverse and thoughtful audience of rabbis, professors, residents and students attended at the alternative venue…more

UPDATE:The JI presentation can now be viewedon YOUTUBE(in Hebrew)

Financially Transparent Deception and Honorable Deceit

Michael Decker is an Israeli Evangelical attorney. Decker and his partner Calev Myers of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (JIJ) are in the forefront of the battle for messianic aliyah and Judeo-Christian rights in Israel. They are among those Evangelicals determined to change the Jewish nature of the State of Israel and the very definition of Judaism. In the name of “civil rights, freedom of religion, and social justice” they regularly offer pro bono advice to those hoping to advance a messianic Christian and missionary agenda in Israel. Most recently Michael Decker provided information in the messianic publication Israel Today which paves the road for those missionaries who strive to establish legal non-profit proselytizing entities in the Jewish statemore

Messianic Madness: A New Twist on Anti-Semitism a la Asher Intrater

Certain evangelizing organizations have recently taken their grotesque game of distortion and deception to new depths as they toy with and attempt to commandeer the sensitive topic of anti-Semitism. But missionary Asher Intrater of Revive Ministries may have just broken the absurd-o-meter with a recently published article in Charisma Magazine, What is the Root of anti-Semitism?.It goes without saying that Intrater will not win any converts or friends with his outrageous theological acrobatics and revisionism….more

Q: Does the Vatican Have a Political Agenda for Israel? A: Is the Pope Catholic?!

In this comprehensive wrap-up of the Popes three-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land, JewishIsrael explores the Vaticans politically and theologically loaded agenda for Israel and compares the grim and alarming assessments of Jewish leaders and columnists with the heady predictions of those involved in interfaith ventures with the Catholic church. Included is an update on the Vaticans claims of rights to, and historic ownership of, the Upper Room (Cenacle) above the Tomb of King Davidmore

Is the End NearFor Evangelical Support? Old and New Voices Weigh In

In a spate of recent articles appearing in major Jewish, Christian and mainstream publications, there appears to be a consensus acknowledging a significant weakening of evangelical support for Israel. Christian Zionist leaders are writing about a new and disturbing anti-Israel trend among evangelicals, while Jewish writers across the political and religious divide are warning about the dangers of faith-based alliances with zealous Christians. Is it time for Jewish leadership to switch strategies?…more

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Judaism – Divine Life Society

This article is a chapter from the book “Bliss Divine”.


Introduction Old and New Testament Jewish Sects Torah The Ten Commandments Mosaic Cosmogony Tenets of Judaism


Judaism constitutes the religious doctrines and rites of the Jews as enjoined in the laws of Moses. Judaism is based on Zoroastrianism. It has given rise to two great religions of the world, i.e., Christianity and Islam. The Muslims admit that their religion is founded on Judaism. The Koran also is very clear on this point.

Zoroastrian conception of Ahura Mazda as the Supreme Being is perfectly identical with the idea of Elohim (God) Jehovah which we find in the books of Old Testament.

Abraham, the Prophet, was the first man who has revealed God to all humanity. He is the Founder of the Hebrew race. Hebrew is one of the descendants of Jacob, an Isralite, a Jew. Isaac had two sons, viz., Essan and Jacob and their descendants are the Christians and Jews respectively. Abraham had two sons (one from Sarah and one from Hagar, the Egyptian woman), viz., Isaac and Ismael who are the fathers of Jews and Muslims respectively.


The Old Testament contains the sacred writings of the ambient Jewish race. The newer portion is known as the New Testament which was begun after the coming of Jesus Christ, more than nineteen hundred years ago. Long before Jesus came to this world, the Jews wrote and studied their sacred books. These were written in their Hebrew tongue. The old Hebrew books were translated into Greek about two hundred years before the Christian era.

The books of the Jews were arranged into three main divisions. The first was called “The Law”. It dealt with the laws of the world. These books are now the first part of the Bible, viz., Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The second class was that of the Prophets. It included Joshua, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. Psalms and Proverbs constituted third class. The Old Testament contains 39 books.

The New Testament contains 27 books. The first four books are Gospels which describe the life of Christ on this earth. The next book tells us of the Acts of the Apostles, particularly of the important Apostle Paul. The twenty-one shorter books give out the ideas underlying the Christian faith of the early Christians. The last book is the book of Revelations. It gives a description of the series of visions, viz., the lamb of God and the heavenly city. The author is John, the favourite Apostle of Jesus. All these books were written in Greek, which was the language of educated men at the beginning of the Christian era.


The Law was set forth as a complete system by which men should live. By the Law was understood in a special sense the Pentateuch. Every word of Pentateuch was considered as inspired and an immediate revelation of Moses.

(a) There was a need for explanation of the Law. The Scribes were the interpreters of the Law. They explained and applied the rules of the Torah to special cases. The Scribes were recognised as the legislators and the judges of Israel. Their decisions had the force of Law. The first Scribes were priests.

(b) The fraternity of the Pharisees were the popular or nationalist party. They believed in the doctrine of immortality, resurrection of the body, the existence of angels and spirits. As religious teachers, they upheld the authority of oral tradition as of equal validity with the written Law. They were inclined to fatalism in the question of the freedom of the will. The Zealots represented one extreme side of the Pharisaic movement.

(c) Sadducus were aristocratic priests. They held to the letter of the Mosaic revelation. They denied the authority of the oral tradition as interpreted by the Pharisees. They taught complete freedom of the will in moral action. They had no belief in angels or spirits. They did not accept the doctrine of immortality as a deduction from the Pentateuch.

(d) The Essenes followed celibacy, isolation, silence, ceremonial ablutions, and abstinence from animal food. They practised asceticism. They did worship of the sun and the angels. They believed in the dualistic theory of good and evil and the symbolism of light. They abstained from sacrifices and temple worship.


The Prophets of Israel were the great religious leaders who brought great progress in Behraic thought. Rabbis also were authoritative teachers. They worked very hard in the field of Torah. They produced the massive Talmudic literature. They were the representatives of Pharisiasm. Talmud is indispensable, for a knowledge of Hebraic thought.

The Torah was given in ten words. Each word became a voice. Every voice was divided into 70 voices all of which shone and glittered before the eyes of all Israel. Torah denotes the divine revelation to Israel on Mount Senai as embodied in the five Books of Moses. The Torah (Law) as given to Moses consists of 613 commandments which are the essence of the divine and terrestrial mysteries. Torah indicates a way of life rather than a form of belief.

Moses received the Torah (Law, direction, instruction) on Senai and handed it down to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, the elders to the prophets and the prophets handed it down to the men of the Great Synagogue, a synod of zealous men created by Ezra, the Scribe in the fifth century B.C. The function of the synagogue was to study and teach Torah. The Synagogue was a church, a school, and a court of justice. It was a house of instruction. The unity of God, the Incorporeality of God, and the Holiness of God are the main features of Judaism.

God gave His ten commandments to Moses on the Mount Senai. The Lord called unto him out of the mountain and said: “Thus shall thou say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel”.



This is the Mosaic account of Cosmogony. On the first day heaven and earth were created; on the second, firmament and waters; on the third, dry land, grass, the birds, and fruit trees; on the fourth, lights, the sun, the moon, the stars; on the fifth, moving creatures, winged fowls, great whales; on the sixth living creatures, cattle, creepers, beasts, man. In Genesis, the Creation ends with the creation of man. God created Adam on the sixth day and gave him the charge of the animals. Adam had three children viz., Cain, Abel and Sheth. Cain killed Abel. The descendants of Cain were drowned in the flood. The descendants of the Sheth are all the humanity of the world. The Lord took Adam and put him into the garden of Eden to till it and to keep it.


The Jews believe in resurrection, in angels, and in the existence of two powers, viz., God and the Devil or Satan.

The Jews believe that every man’s actions will be weighed on the day of Judgment in a balance. Men will have to pass after their resurrection along the bridge of Hell.

The unity of God is the cardinal principle of the religion of the Hebrews. God is bodiless. This is also a doctrine of great importance. God is ever pure and holy. This is third important attribute of God. He is the Creator of the entire world. He is the Father of all His creatures. He is just and merciful. He is without iniquity.

The Jewish saints have spoken much about the efficacy and power of repentance. Happy is the man who repents. The gates of repentance never close. Repentance prolongs a man’s life. The tears of true repentance are not shed in vain. Even the most righteous shall not attain to so high a place in heaven as the truly repentant. Repent one day sincerely with a contrite heart before you die. After repentance you should not repeat the same wicked act. Even an hour spent in repentance with a contrite heart in this world is preferable to a whole life in the world to come. The end and aim of all wisdom is repentance.

The unity of God, the Incorporeality of God and the Holiness of God are the main features of Judaism.

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Judaism – Divine Life Society

Ashkenazim | Jewish Virtual Library

The name Ashkenaz was applied in the Middle Ages to Jews living along the Rhine River in northern France and western Germany. The center of Ashkenazi Jews later spread to Poland-Lithuania and now there are Ashkenazi settlements all over the world. The term “Ashkenaz” became identified primarily with German customs and descendants of German Jews.

In the 10th and 11th century, the first Ashkenazim, Jewish merchants in France and Germany, were economic pioneers, treated well because of their trading connections with the Mediterranean and the East. Jewish communities appeared in many urban centers. Early Ashkenaz communities were small and homogeneous. Until Christian guilds were formed, Jews were craftsmen and artisans. In France, many Jews owned vineyards and made wine. They carried arms and knew how to use them in self-defense. The Jews of each town constituted an independent, self-governing entity. Each community, or kahal, established its own regulations made up by an elected board and judicial courts. They enforced their rulings with the threat of excommunication. The Ashkenazim generally shied away from outside influences and concentrated on internal Jewish sources, ideas and customs.

Ashkenazim focused on biblical and Talmudic studies. Centers of rabbinic scholarship appeared in the tenth century in Mainz and Worms in the Rhineland and in Troyes and Sens in France. Ashkenazi scholarship centered around oral discussion. Sages focused on understanding the minutiae of the texts instead of extracting general principles. The most famous early teacher was Rabbenu Gershom of Mainz. Some of his decrees, such as that forbidding polygamy, are still in existence today. The first major Ashkenazi literary figure was Rashi (Solomon ben Isaac of Troyes, 1040-1105), whose commentaries on the Bible and Talmud are today considered fundamental to Jewish study. The tosafists, Ashkenazi Talmudic scholars in northern France and Germany, introduced new methods and insights into Talmudic study that are also still in use. Early Ashkenazi Jews composed religious poetry modeled after the fifth and sixth century piyyutim (liturgical poems). While prayer liturgy varied even among Ashkenazi countries, the differences were almost insignificant compared to the differences between Sephardi and Ashkenazi liturgy.

While Ashkenazi Jews occasionally experience anti-Semitism, mob violence first erupted against them an the end of the 11th century. Many Jews were killed in what Robert Seltzer calls a “supercharged religious atmosphere.” Many were willing to die as martyrs rather than convert.

In the 12th and 13th centuries, many Ashkenazi Jews became moneylenders. They were supported by the secular rulers who benefited from taxes imposed on the Jews. The rulers did not totally protect them, however, and blood libels cropped up accompanied by violence. In 1182, Jews were expelled from France. Ashkenazi Jews continued to build communities in Germany until they faced riots and massacres in the 1200s and 1300s. Some Jews moved to Sephardi Spain while others set up Ashkenazi communities in Poland.

The center of Ashkenazi Jewry shifted to Poland, Lithuania, Bohemia and Moravia in the beginning of the 16th century. Jews were for the first time concentrated in Eastern Europe instead of Western Europe. Polish Jews adopted the Ashkenazi rites, liturgy, and religious customs of the German Jews. The Ashkenazi mahzor (holiday prayer book) included prayers composed by poets of Germany and Northern France. In Poland, the Jews became fiscal agents, tax collectors, estate managers for noblemen, merchants and craftsmen. In the 1500-1600s, Polish Jewry grew to be the largest Jewish community in the diaspora. Many Jews lived in shtetls, small towns where the majority of the inhabitants were Jewish. They set up kehillot like those in the Middle Ages that elected a board of trustees to collect taxes, set up education systems and deal with other necessities of Jewish life. The Jews even had their own craft guilds. Each kahal had a yeshiva, where boys over the age of 13 learned Talmudic and rabbinic texts. Yiddish was the language of oral translation and of discussion of Torah and Talmud. Ashkenazi scholars focused on careful readings of the text and also on summarizing legal interpretations of former Ashkenazi and Sephardi scholars of Jewish law.

Ashkenazim focused on Hebrew, Torah and especially Talmud. They used religion to protect themselves from outside influences. The Jews at this time were largely middle class. By choice, they mostly lived in self-contained communities surrounding their synagogue and other communal institutions. Yiddish was the common language of Ashkenazi Jews in eastern and central Europe. With the start of the Renaissance and religious wars in the late 16th century, a divide grew between central and eastern European Jews. In central Europe, particularly in Germany, rulers forced the Jews to live apart from the rest of society in ghettos with between 100 and 500 inhabitants. The ghettos were generally clean and in good condition. Eastern European Jews lived in the shtetls, where Jews and gentiles lived side by side.

In the 1600s and 1700s, Jews in Poland, the center of Ashkenazi Jewry, faced blood libels and riots. The growth of Hasidism in Poland drew many Jews away from typical Ashkenazi practice. After the Chmielnicki massacres in Poland in 1648, Polish Jews spread through Western Europe, some even crossing the Atlantic. Many Ashkenazi Polish Jews fled to Amsterdam and joined previously existing communities of German Jews. Sephardim there considered the Ashkenazim to be socially and culturally inferior. While the Sephardim were generally wealthy, the Ashkenazim were poor peddlers, petty traders, artisans, diamond polishers, jewelry workers and silversmiths. As the Sephardim became poorer in the 18th century, the communities became more equal and more united.

The Jewish community in England also changed in the 1700s. It had been primarily Sephardi throughout the 1600s, but it became more Ashkenazi in culture as growing numbers of German and Polish Jews arrived.

By 1750, out of 2,500 Jews in the American Colonies, the majority was Ashkenazi. They were Yiddish-speaking Jews from Holland, Germany, Poland and England. The first Jews were merchants and traders. Since then, Ashkenazi Jews have built up communities throughout the United States.

By the end of the 19th century, as a result of Russian persecution, there was massive Ashkenazi emigration from Eastern Europe to other areas of Europe, Australia, South Africa, the United States and Israel. Ashkenazim outnumbered Sephardim everywhere except North Africa, Italy, the Middle East and parts of Asia. Before World War II, Ashkenazim comprised 90% of world Jewry.

The destruction of European Jewry in World War II reduced the number of Ashkenazim and, to some extent, their numeric superiority over Sephardim. The United States became the main center for Ashkenazi Jews.

Over time Ashkenazim and Sephardim developed different prayer liturgies, Torah services, Hebrew pronunciation and ways of life. Originally, most Ashkenazim spoke Yiddish. Ashkenazi and Sephardi tunes for both prayers and Torah reading are different. An Ashkenazi Torah lies flat while being read, while a Sephardi Torah stands up. Ashkenazi scribes developed a distinctive script. One major difference is in the source used for deciding Jewish law. Sephardim follow Rabbi Joseph Caros Shulhan Arukh. The Ashkenazim go by Rabbi Moses Isserles, who wrote a commentary on the Shulhan Arukh citing Ashkenazi practice. There are differences in many aspects of Jewish law, from which laws women are exempt from to what food one is allowed to eat on Passover. Today, many of the distinctions between Ashkenazim and Sephardim have disappeared. In both Israel and the United States today, Ashkenazim and Sephardim live side by side, though they generally have separate institutions.

In Israel, political tensions continue to exist because of feelings on the part of many Sephardim that they have been discriminated against and still dont get the respect they deserve. Historically, the political elite of the nation have been Ashkenazim; however, this is gradually changing. Shas, a religious Sephardi party, has become one of the most powerful in the country and individual Sephardi politicians now hold powerful positions. Moroccan-born David Levy, for example, has served as foreign minister and, in July 2000, Iranian-born Moshe Katsav was elected president.

An international team of scientists announced on September 9 2014 that they had come to the conclusion that all Ashkenazi Jews are descended from an original group of about 350 individuals who lived between 600 and 800 years ago. These people were of Middle-Eastern and European descent. The analysis was done by comparing the DNA data of 128 Ashkenazi Jews with the DNA of a reference group of 26 Flemmish people from Belgium, and then working out which genetic markers are unique to people of Ashkenazi descent. The similarities in the Ashkenazi genomes allowed the scientists to identify a base point from which all Ashkenazi Jews descend. According to the scientists, this effectively makes all modern Ashkenazi Jews 30th cousins, stemming from the same population almost 800 years ago. This discovery may help medical professionals treat genetic diseases, because diseases like Tay Sachs and certain types of cancers are more prevalent in the Ashkenazi Jewish population. In order to treat these diseases doctors will now have a better idea of where to sequence an individuals genome to test for disease succeptability. This discovery also effectively disproves the idea that Ashkenazi Jews were descended from Khazars who converted to Judaism during the 8th or 9th centuries C.E.

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Ashkenazim | Jewish Virtual Library | The Palestinian BDS National Committee …

G4S is a British private security company that acts as a key contractor for Israels apartheid regime, providing services and equipment to the police force and prison service, as well as military checkpoints and settlements in the occupied West Bank

The motion states that Reykjavk will boycott as long as the occupation of Palestinian territories continues.

More than 150 organizations from across Europe are vowing to resist efforts by the United States to stifle campaigns for Palestinian rights by means of the controversial TTIP trade deal

Hundreds of other cultural workers have endorsed the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel

Merely labeling, rather than banning, illegal settlement goods indicates political hypocrisy par excellence

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America known as UE has voted to back the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) on Israel. This makes it only the second national union in the United Continuereading

More than 1,000 Black activists, artists, scholars, students and organizations have released this statement reaffirming their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestines land and people.

We, the undersigned, assert our unwavering commitment to the call of Palestinian civil society for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel (BDS)

Chief Mandla Mandela, South African MP and grandson of Nelson Mandela, and Lebanese musician Marcel Khalife were among those that participated in the press conference

Marinah had planned to participate in the Mditerrane Festival in Ashdod the upcoming 11th June and also at the World Music Festival of Tel Aviv

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The religion of the Jewish people (II Macc. ii. 21, viii. 1, xiv. 38; Gal. i. 13 = , Esth. R. iii. 7; comp. , Esth. viii. 17); their system of beliefs and doctrines, rites and customs, as presented in their sacred literature and developed under the influence of the various civilizations with which they have come in contact, widening out into a world-religion affecting many nations and creeds. In reality the name “Judaism” should refer only to the religion of the people of Judea, that is, of the tribe of Judah, the name “Yehudi” (hence “Judean,” “Jew”) originally designating a member of that tribe. In the course of time, however, the term “Judaism” was applied to the entire Jewish history.

A clear and concise definition of Judaism is very difficult to give, for the reason that it is not a religion pure and simple based upon accepted creeds, like Christianity or Buddhism, but is one inseparably connected with the Jewish nation as the depository and guardian of the truths held by it for mankind. Furthermore, it is as a law, or system of laws, given by God on Sinai that Judaism is chiefly represented in Scripture and tradition, the religious doctrines being only implicitly or occasionally stated; wherefore it is frequently asserted that Judaism is a theocracy (Josephus, “Contra Ap.” ii. 16), a religious legislation for the Jewish people, but not a religion. The fact is that Judaism is too large and comprehensive a force in history to be defined by a single term or encompassed from one point of view.

Extending over thirty-five centuries of history and over well-nigh all the lands of the civilized globe, Judaism could not always retain the same form and character. Judaism in its formative period, that is, in the patriarchal and prophetic times, differed from exilic and post-exilic Judaism; and rabbinic or pharisaic Judaism again presents a phase quite different from Mosaic Judaism, to which the Sadducees, and afterward to some extent the Karaites, persistently clung. Similarly Judaism in the Diaspora, or Hellenistic Judaism, showed great divergences from that of Palestine. So, too, the mysticism of the Orient produced in Germany and France a different form of Judaism from that inculcated by the Arabic philosophy cultivated by the Jews of Spain. Again, many Jews of modern times more or less systematically discard that form of Judaism fixed by the codes and the casuistry of the Middle Ages, and incline toward a Judaism which they hold more in harmony with the requirements of an age of broader culture and larger aims. Far from having become 1900 years ago a stagnant or dried-up religion, as Christian theology declares, Judaism has ever remained “a river of God full of living waters,” which, while running within the river-bed of a single nation, has continued to feed anew the great streams of human civilization. In this light Judaism is presented in the following columns as a historic power varying in various epochs. It is first necessary to state what are the main principles of Judaism in contradistinction to all other religions.

However tribal or exclusive the idea of the God of Israel may have been originally, Judaism boldly assumes that its God was the God of man from the very beginning; the Creator of heaven and earth, and the Ruler of the world from eternity to eternity, who brought the Flood upon a wicked generation of men, and who established the earth in righteousness and justice (Gen. i.-x.). In the light of this presentation of facts, idolatry or the worship of other gods is but a rebellious breaking away from the Most High, the King of the Nations, the universal God, besides whom there is no other (Deut. v. 39; Jer. x. 7), and to whom alone all knees must bend in humble adoration (Isa. xlv. 23, lxvi. 23). Judaism, accordingly, has for its sole object the restoration of the pure worship of God throughout the earth (Zech. xiv. 9); the Sinaitic covenant, which rendered Israel “a kingdom of priests among the nations”itself only a renewal of the covenant made with Abraham and his descendants for all timehaving been concluded for the sole purpose of giving back to mankind its God of old, the God of the Noachian covenant, which included all men (Gen. ix. 17, xviii. 18-19; Ex. xix. 3-6; Isa. xlix. 6-8). Surely there is nothing clannish in the God of the Prophets and the Psalmist, who judges all men and nations alike with justice and righteousness (Amos i.-ii., ix. 7; Jer. xxvi.; Ezek. xl.; Ps. xcvi. 13, xcviii. 9; and elsewhere). Judaism’s God has through the prophetic, world-wide view become the God of history, and through the Psalms and the prayers of the asidim the God of the human heart, “the Father,” and the “Lover of souls” (Isa. lxiii. 16; see Wisdom, xi. 26, and Abba). Far from departing from this standpoint, Judaism in the time of the Synagogue took the decisive forward step of declaring the Holy Name (see Adonai) ineffable, so as to allow the God of Israel to be known only as “the Lord God.” Henceforth without any definite name He stood forth as the world’s God without peer.

Judaism at all times protested most emphatically against any infringement of its pure monotheistic doctrine, whether by the dualism of the Gnostic (Sanh. 38a; Gen. R. i.; Eccl. R. iv. 8) or by the Trinitarianism of the Church (see Jew. Encyc. iv. 54, s.v. Christianity), never allowing such attributes as justice and pardoning love to divide the Godhead into different powers or personalities. Indeed, every contact with other systems of thought or belief served only to put Judaism on its guard lest the spirituality of God be marred by ascribing to Him human forms. Yet, far from being too transcendental, too remote from mortal man in his need (as Weber, “Jdische Theologie,” 1897, pp. 157 et seq., asserts), Judaism’s God “is ever near, nearer than any other help or sympathy can be” (Yer. Ber. ix. 13a); “His very greatness consists in His condescension to man” (Meg. 31a; Lev. R. i., with reference to Ps. cxiii. 6). In fact, “God appears to each according to his capacity or temporary need” (Mek., Beshalla, Shirah, iv.; see Schechter in “J. Q. R.” vi. 417-427).

Judaism affirms that God is a spirit, above all limitations of form, the Absolute Being who calls Himself “I am who I am” (“Eheyeh asher Eheyeh”; Ex. iii. 14), the Source of all existence, above all things, independent of all conditions, and without any physical quality. Far, however, from excluding less philosophical views of the Deity, so ardent a Jew as R. Abraham b. David of Posquires contends against Maimonides that he who holds human conceptions of God, such as the cabalists did, is no less a Jew than he who insists on His absolute incorporeality (Haggahot to “Yad,” Teshubah, iii. 7). Indeed, the daily prayers of the Jew, from “Adon ‘Olam” to the “Shir ha-Yiud” of Samuel b. Kalonymus, show a wide range of thought, here of rationalistic and there of mystic character, combining in a singular manner transcendentalism and immanence or pantheism as in no other faith. While the ideas of the various ages and civilizations have thus ever expanded and deepened the conception of God, the principle of unity was ever jealously guarded lest “His glory be given to another” (Isa. xlii. 8; see God).

But the most characteristic and essential distinction of Judaism from every other system of belief and thought consists in its ethical monotheism. Not sacrifice, but righteous conduct, is what God desires (Isa. i. 12-17; Amos v. 21-24; Hos. vi. 6; Micah vi. 6-8; Jer. vii. 22; Ps. xl. 7 [A. V. 6], 1. 8-13); the whole sacrificial cult being intended only for the spiritual need of man (Pesi. vi. 57, 62; Num. R. xxi.; Lev. R. ii.). Religion’s only object is to induce man to walk in the ways of God and to do right (Gen. xix. 19; Deut. x. 12), God Himself being the God of righteousness and holiness, the ideal of moral perfection (Ex. xx. 5-6, xxxiv. 7; Lev. xix. 1; Deut. vii. 9-10). While the pagan gods were “products of fear,” it was precisely “the fear of God” which produced in Judaism the conscience, the knowledge of a God within, thus preventing man from sin (Gen. xlii. 18; Ex. xx. 20; Deut. x. 12; Job i. 1). Consequently thehistory of mankind from the beginning appeared as the work of a moral Ruler of the world, of “the King of the nations of whom all are in awe” (Jer. x. 7; Ps. lxv. 13, xcvi. 10; Dan. ii. 21), in whom power and justice, love and truth are united (Ps. lxxxix. 15 [A. V. 14]). As He spoke to Israel, “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. xix. 1, Hebr.), so “He said unto man, Behold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job xxviii. 28; comp. Micah vi. 8; Isa. xxxiii. 15; Ps. xv., xxiv. 4: “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”). Quite characteristic of rabbinical Judaism is the fact that the names used for God are chiefly taken from His ethical attributes: “The world’s Righteous One” (“Zaddio shel ‘olam,” Gen. R. xlix.; Yoma 37a); “The Merciful One” (“Ramana”); and most frequently “The Holy One, blessed be He!” (“ha-adosh baruk hu”). Before Cain killed his brother, he said: “There is no divine judgment and no Judge” (Targ. Yer. to Gen. iv. 8). “The first question put to man at the Last Judgment will be: ‘Didst thou deal honestly with thy fellow man?’” (Shab. 31a; see God).

At any rate, Judaism, while insisting upon the unity of God and His government of the world, recognizes alongside of God no principle of evil in creation. God has no counterpart either in the powers of darkness, as the deities of Egypt and Babylon had, or in the power of evil, such as Ahriman in the Zoroastrian religion is, whose demoniacal nature was transferred by the Gnostic and Christian systems to Satan. In the Jewish Scriptures Satan has his place among the angels of heaven, and is bound to execute the will of God, his master (Job i. 7); and though sin and death are occasionally ascribed to him (see Satan), he can seduce and harm only as far as God permits him, and in the end must work for good (B. B. 16a). “God is the Creator of light and darkness, the Maker of peace and of evil” (Isa. xlv. 7). Everything He made was found by Him to be very good (Gen. i. 31); “also death,” says R. Mer (Gen. R. ix.). “What the Merciful does is for the good” (Ber. 60b). Whatever evil befalls man has disciplinary value: it is intended for his higher welfare (Deut. viii. 5; Ps. xciv. 12; Ta’an. 21a: “Gam zu leobah”).

Because the Lord saw that the world could not stand to be measured by strict justice, He mingled the quality of mercy with that of justice and created the world with both (Gen. R. xii.). In striking contrast to the pessimistic doctrine that the world is the product of mere chance and full of evil, the Midrash boldly states that the world was (or is) a process of selection and evolution: “God created worlds after worlds until He said, ‘This at last pleases Me’” (Gen. R. ix.; see Optimism).

The fundamental principle of Judaism (see Maimonides, “Moreh,” iii. 17) is that man is free; that is to say, the choice between good and evil has been left to man as a participant of God’s spirit. “Sin lieth at the door, and unto thee shall be its desire; but thou shalt rule over it” (Gen. iv. 7, Hebr.) says God to Cain; and herein is laid down for all time the law of man’s freedom of will. Accordingly Moses says in the name of God: “See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; . . . therefore choose life” (Deut. xxx. 15, 19); and Ben Sira, commenting upon this, says: “God hath made man from the beginning and left him in the hand of his counsel. . . . He hath set fire and water before thee; thou mayest stretch forth thy hand unto whichsoever thou wilt. Before man is life and death; and whichsoever he liketh, it shall be given him” (Ecclus. [Sirach] xv. 14-17). Similarly R. Akiba declares: “All is foreseen; but the mastery [that is, free will] is granted” (Ab. iii. 15). Another rabbinical saying is, “Everything is determined by Heaven save the fear of Heaven” (Ber. 33b). Freedom of will constitutes man’s responsibility; and his heavenly prerogative would be impaired were there an inheritance of sin. “Every man shall be put to death for his own sin,” says the Law (Deut. xxiv. 16). It is the principle for which the prophet Ezekiel fought (Ezek. xviii. 20). Accordingly the Rabbis say: “The wicked are under the power of their hearts; the righteous have their hearts in their power” (Gen. R. lxvii.). Also, “Man is constantly led along the way he wishes to go. If he wishes to pollute himself by sin, the gates of sin will be opened for him; if he strives for purity, the gates of purity will be opened to him” (Yoma 38a; Mak. 10b; Nid. 30b). Regarding the difficulty of reconciling free will with divine omniscience, see Free Will. Notwithstanding man’s propensity to sin, caused by the Yeer Ha-Ra’, “the leaven in the lump” (Ber. 17a; comp. I Cor. v. 7), and the universal experience of sinfulness (Eccl. vii. 20; Ex. R. xxxi.), rabbinical Judaism denies that sin is inherited from parents, pointing to Abraham the son of Terah, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, and others as instances to the contrary (Tan., uat, ed. Buber, p. 4, with reference to Job xiv. 4), and insists on the possibility of sinlessness as manifested by various saints (Shab. 55b; Yoma 22b; Eccl. R. i. 8, iii. 2).

Sin, according to Jewish teaching, is simply erring from the right path, owing chiefly to the weakness of human nature (Num. xv. 26; I Kings viii. 46; Ps. xix. 13, lxxviii. 39, ciii. 14; Job iv. 17-21); only in the really wicked it is insolent rebellion against God and His order (“pesha’” or “resha’”; Isa. lvii. 20; Ps. i. 4-6, xxxvi. 2; and elsewhere). And there is no sin too great to be atoned for by repentance and reparation (Ezek. xviii. 23; Yer. Peah i. 16b; id. 40b). The whole conception, then, of mankind’s depravity by sin has no place in Judaism, which holds forth the reintegrating power of repentance to Gentiles and Jews, to the ordinary and the most corrupt sinners alike (Pes. 119a; R. H. 17b; Sanh. 103a, 108a; Yoma 86a, b). “Before God created the world, He created repentance for man as one of his prerequisites” (Pes. 54a; Gen. R. xxi., xxii.; see Repentance; Sin).

Israel, then, has been chosen, like Israel’s ancestor Abraham, the descendant of Shem (Gen. ix. 26-27), to be a blessing to all nations on earth (ib. xii. 3, xix. 18); and the name by which the Lord calls him at the Exodus (Ex. iv. 22), “My first-born son,” betokens in the language of the time his mission to be that of the priest and teacher in the house-hold of the nations, leading the rest by his precept and example to the worship of the Only One (ib. xix. 6; Isa. lxi. 6). “A people dwelling in solitude and not counted among the nations” (Num. xxiii. 9; Deut. vii. 7), but watched over by divine providence with especial care (Deut. xxvii. 18-19, xxxii. 8-12), the standard-bearer of incomparable laws of wisdom and righteousness in the sight of the nations (ib. iv. 5-8), Israel has been created to declare God’s praise to the world, to be “His witnesses” (LXX., “martyrs”) testifying to His unity, “the light of the nations,” and the “covenant of the people to establish the earth” (Isa. xliii. 10, 21; xlix. 6-8). “To Israel’s house of God the nations shall flock to be taught of His ways and to learn to walk in His paths.” This is to bring humanity back to its normal condition, peace and bliss on earth, because righteousness will then prevail everywhere and the whole “earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord” (Isa. ii. 2-4, ix. 6, xi. 4-9, lxv. 25; Micah iv. 1-4). Israel, who when redeemed from Egypt proclaimed God as King (Ex. xv. 19; Lev. R. ii. 4), received the truth of Sinai as a trust; he is never to rest until his God shall become king of the whole earth, until all men and nations shall bend the knee before Him (Zech. xiv. 9; Isa. xl. 5, xlv. 13, xlix. 19; Ps. xxii. 29 [A. V. 28], xlvii. 9 [8], lxxvii. 5 [4], xcvi.-xcix.). “Israel, who proclaims God’s unity, is proclaimed by God as His unique people” (Mek., Beshalla, Shirah, 3). Israel, as the people of the saints of the Most High, is to establish the kingdom of God to last forever (Dan. ii. 44, vii.). But as teacher and guardian of mankind’s purest faith and loftiest hope, he is dealt with more severely by God for every transgression (Jer. ii. 21; Ezek. xx. 33-41; Amos iii. 2). Nay more, as the servant of God he has been chosen for continual martyrdom in the cause of truth and justice; he, therefore, is the “man of sorrows” whose affliction is to bring healing to the world and to lead many to righteousness (Isa. lii-liii.; see Servant of God).

Whether the expectation is that the universal kingdom of God on earth will be brought about by an ideal king from the house of David, the Messiah, as Isaiah and his followers depict the future of Israel (Isa. xi. 1 et seq.; Ezek. xxxiii. 24), or by the dispersed people of Israel itself, as the seer of the Exile (Isa. lvi.-lxvi.) indicates (see Messiah); whether or not the great day when all flesh shall worship the Lord will be preceded by a day of divine judgment when all the wicked “shall be stubble” (Mal. iii. 19, 21 [A. V. iv. 3]; see Day of the Lord; Eschatology; Gog and Magog), Judaism by its idea of a divine kingdom of truth and righteousness to be built on earth gave to mankind a hope and to history a goal for which to live and strive through the centuries. Other nations beheld in the world’s process a continual decline from a golden age of happiness to an iron age of toil, until in a great catastrophe of conflagration and ruin the end of all things, of men and gods, is to be reached: Judaism points forward to a state of human perfection and bliss to be brought about by the complete unfolding of the divine in man or the revelation of God’s full glory as the goal of history. And herein lies its great distinction also from Christianity. Judaism’s scope lies not in the world beyond, the world of the spirit, of which man on earth can have no conception. Both the hope of resurrection and that of immortality, in some form or other familiar and indispensable to all tribes and creeds, seem evidently to have come to the Jews from withoutthe one from Persia or Babylonia, the other from Greece. Judaism itself rests on neither (see Eschatology; Immortality; Resurrection). Its sole aim and purpose is to render the world that now is a divine kingdom of truth and righteousness; and this gives it its eminently rational, ethical, and practical character.

Judaism has a twofold character: (1) universal, and (2) particular or national. The one pertains to its religious truths destined for the world; the other, to its national obligationsconnected with its priestly mission. Upon the former more stress is laid by the Prophets and by most of the sacred poets, by the Alexandrian propagandists and the Palestinian haggadists, as well as by the medieval philosophers and the modern Reform school; whereas the Mosaic law, the Halakah, and the Talmudic and cabalistic schools dwell almost exclusively upon the latter.

Judaism is, above all, the law of justice. Whereas in heathendom, except in the case of some exalted philosopher like Plato, might was deified, and the oppressed, the slave, and the stranger found no protection in religion, the declaration is everywhere made throughout Scripture that injustice committed by man against man provokes the wrath of the world’s Ruler and Judge (Ex. xxi. 22-23; Gen. vi. 13, xviii. 20; Deut. xxvii. 15-26; Amos i. 3-ii. 8; and elsewhere), and that righteousness and compassionate love are demanded for the oppressed, the slave, the poor, the fatherless and homeless, the stranger, and for the criminal as having a claim on the sympathy of his fellow men; even for the dumb creature compassion is required (Ex. xxii. 20-26, xxiii. 5-6; Deut. xxii. 6; xxiv. 6, 10-xxv. 4; Job xxxi.). This is the “Torah” of which Isaiah speaks (Isa. i. 10), the “commandment” put by God upon every human heart (Deut. xxx. 11-14). And this spirit of justice permeates the Talmudic literature also. “For righteousness is one of the pillars of the world” (Ab. i. 18). “Where right is suppressed war comes upon the world” (ib. iv. 8). “The execution of justice is one of the Noachian laws of humanity” (Sanh. 56b). “Justice is demanded alike for the Gentile and the Jew” (Mak. 24a; B. . 113a; and other quotations in Baya b. Joseph’s “ad ha-Kema,” ch. “Gezelah”). To have due regard for the honor of all fellow creatures (“kebod aberiyyot”; Tos., B. . vii. 10) is one of the leading principles of rabbinic law (Shab. 94b).

Judaism furthermore is the law of purity. Heathenism by its orgiastic cults of Baal-peor, Astarte, and the like, fostered impurity and incest (Lev. xviii. 3, 24-30; Num. xxv. 1-9; Deut. iv. 3). The Torah warns against fornication, and teaches purity of heart and of action (Num. xv. 39; Deut. xxiii. 18-19, xxiv. 15; Prov. vii. 5-27; Job xxxi. 1), because God is too pure to tolerate unchastity in man or in woman (see Holiness; Purity). Judaism resents every act of lewdness as “nebalah” = “villainy” (Gen. xxxiv. 7, 31; Deut. xxii. 21; Judges xix. 24; II Sam. xiii. 12; see Folly), and most severely condemns lascivious talk (Isa. ix. 16; Shab. 33a).

Judaism is, moreover, the law of truth. Its God is the God of truth (Jer. x. 10). “The seal of the Holy One is truth” (Gen. R. lxxxi.; see Alpha and Omega). Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Job, and ohelet wrestled with God in doubt until He revealed Himself to them in a higher form (Gen. xviii. 25; Ex. xxxii.-xxxiii.; Jer. xii. 1; Job xxxi. 35). And as the Prophets had perfect faith in God as the God of truth and therefore shrank from hypocrisy (Yer. Ber. vii. 11c), so did all the Jewish philosophers show perfect confidence in truth while boldly expressing their lofty views concerning the Deity and divesting God of every trace of Anthropomorphism and Anthropopathism and of every attribute infringing upon the spirituality and unity of God. It was, says the Talmud, the last will of Canaan that his children should not speak the truth and should love lasciviousness (Pes. 113b). “The Torah of Moses is truth” and “desires men to speak the truth and assent to the truth, even as God Himself assents to the truth when honestly spoken”; for “Upon truth rests the world” (B. B. 74a; Ps. xv. 2; Ab. R. N. xxxvii.; Ab. i. 18). This honest search for truth made Judaism, indeed, the world’s great power for truth as well as for righteousness.

Judaism promotes and fosters education and culture. In contrast to such systems of faith as foster ignorance of the masses, it renders it a duty for the father to instruct his children and for the community to provide for the general instruction of old and young (see Education; Philosophy). It sanctifies labor, and makes the teaching of a trade whereby a livelihood may be earned a duty incumbent upon the father or upon the municipal authority (see Labor, Holiness of). It makes the systematic care of the poor a duty of the community with a view to the dignity and self-help of the recipient (See Charity). It denounces celibacy as unlawful, and enjoins each man to build a home and to contribute to the welfare of human society (see Marriage). The high priest in Israel was not allowed to officiate on the Day of Atonement unless he had a wifeliving with him (Yoma i. 1; comp. Ta’an. ii. 2). It enjoins love of country and loyalty to the government, no matter how unfriendly it be to the Jew (Jer. xxix. 7; Ab. iii. 2; Ket. 111a; see Patriotism).

Judaism is a religion of joy, and it desires that man should rejoice before God and gratefully enjoy all His gifts, at the same time filling other hearts with joy and thanksgiving. Especially are its Sabbath and festal days seasons of joy with no austerity about them. Judaism discourages asceticism (see Asceticism; Joy).

Judaism is a religion of hope. It teaches men to recognize in pain and sorrow dispensations of divine goodness. It is optimistic, because it does not defer hope merely to the world to come, but waits for the manifestation of God’s plans of wisdom and goodness in the moral and spiritual advancement of man. While the present world is, in comparison to the future one, declared to be “like the vestibule wherein one prepares for the palace,” it is nevertheless stated that “one hour devoted to repentance and good works in this world is more valuable than the entire life of the world to come” (Ab. iv. 16-17); for “to-day is the time for working out one’s destiny, while to-morrow is the time for receiving compensation” (‘Er. 22a).

As its highest aim and motive Judaism regards the love of God. Twice every day the Jew recites the Shema’, which contains the words: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut. vi. 5); this verse is understood to enjoin him to willingly surrender life and fortune whenever the cause of God demands it, while it at the same time urges him to make God beloved by all his fellow creatures through deeds of kindness, as Abraham did (Sifre, Deut. 32). This love of God implies the most unselfish devotion and the purest motive of action; that is, acting not from fear, but rather for God’s sake alone (Sifre, Deut. 32, 48; Ab. ii. 12); doing good not in view of any reward in the world to come (Ab. i. 3), but for its own sake (see Schreiner, “Die Jngsten Urtheile ber das Judenthum,” 1902, pp. 145-151); and it also implies the love of man (Deut. x. 12-19; see Love).

Judaism, finally, is a system of sanctification of life. It teaches that the whole of life is holy, because God is manifested in it: “Be holy, for the Lord your God is holy” (Lev. xix. 1, Hebr.). Even in the functions of animal life the presence of a holy God should be realized (Deut. xxiii. 15); and when the perfect state of humanity shall have been attained, every road will be a holy road free from impurity (Isa. xxxv. 8), and “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holy unto the Lord” (Zech. xiv. 20, R. V.).

The Sinaitic covenant which rendered Israel “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. xix. 6) became, the Rabbis say, “a source of hatred to the nations” (Shab. 89a: a play upon words, “Sinai”"Sin’ah”), because it separated it from them by statutes and ordinances such as the dietary and the Levitical purity laws and others intended to prevent idolatrous practises. Like the priest in the Temple, whose garments and mode of life distinguished him from the rest in order to invest him with the spirit of greater sanctity and purity (I Chron. xxiii. 13), so Israel was for all time to be impressed with its priestly mission by all those ceremonies which form so prominent a feature in its religious life (see Ceremonies; Circumcision; Commandments; Dietary Laws). Particularly the Mosaic and, later on, the Pharisaic laws had for their object the separation of the Jewish people from all those influences prevalent in heathendom which led to idolatry and impurity; wherefore not only intermarriage, but also participation in any meal or other festive gathering which could possibly be connected with idol-worship was prohibited (see Worship, Idol-; Intermarriage; Jubilees, Book of.) This persistent avoidance of association with the Gentiles on the part of the Pharisees, which in the time of the Maccabees was termed = “keepingapart from the surrounding nations” (comp. II Macc. xiv. 38), became the chief cause of the accusation of a “hatred of mankind” which was brought against the Jews by the Greeks and Romans, and which has ever since been reiterated by the anti-Semites (see Schrer, “Gesch.” iii. 3, 416).

In reality these very laws of seclusion fitted the Jew for his herculean task of battling for the truth against a world of falsehood, and enabled him to resist the temptations and to brave the persecutions of the nations and the ages. They imbued him with a spirit of loyalty unparalleled in human history; they inculcated in him the principle of abstinence, enabling him to endure privation and torture; and filled him with that noble pride which alone upheld him amidst the taunts and sneers of high and low. They brought out those traits of manhood which characterized Abraham, who, according to the Rabbis, was called ‘”Ibri ” (Hebrew) because his maxim was: “Let all the world stand on the one side ["'eber ead"]I side with God and shall win in the end” (Gen. R. xlvi.). But these laws also fostered a conception of the sanctity of life unknown to other creeds or races. By investing the commonest act and event with religious obligations, they made the whole of life earnest and holy with duty. Instead of being “a yoke of servitude,” as Schrer and others have it, they “filled the home and the festal seasons with higher joy” (see Schechter and Abrahams in “J. Q. R.” iii. 762 et seq., xi. 626 et seq.).

Notwithstanding its unmitigated severity against heathenism with its folly and vice, and against every mode of compromise therewith, Judaism does not, like other creeds, consign the non-believer to eternal doom. It judges men not by their creed, but by their deeds, demanding righteous actions and pure motives, since “fear of God” signifies fear of Him who looketh into the heart (Sifra, Aare Mot, iii. 2). It declares through R. Joshua b. Hananiah, whose opinion is generally accepted, that “the righteous of all nations have a share in the world to come”; the Shammaite R. Eliezer in consigning all heathen to Gehenna bases his argument on the Scriptural verse Ps. ix. 18 (A. V. 17), into which he reads, “The wicked are turned to Sheol because all heathen forget God”not as R. Joshua does, “all those heathen that forget God” (Sanh. 105a). It is the moral depravity ascribed to the heathen, owing to his unchaste and violent habits, which is the cause of all the harsh haggadic expressionssuch as “the people that resemble the ass” (Ket. 111a)and halakic injunctions found in the Talmud against the heathen (Gentile or ‘Akkum; see Jubilees, Book of). The latter is always under grave suspicion (see ‘Ab. Zarah ii. 1; Yeb. 98a), yet, no sooner does he solemnly discard idolatry than his association is invited and he has a claim on protection (Gi. 45a).

On the contrary, Judaism waits for “the righteous nation that keeps the faith” (Isa. xxvi. 2), and opens wide “its gates that the righteous from among the heathen world may enter” (Ps. cxviii. 20; Sifra, Aare Mot, xiii.), calling the Gentiles that serve God in righteousness “priests of the Lord” (“Otiot de-R. Akiba,” letter “Zayin”). It declares that the Holy Spirit may rest upon the righteous heathen as well as upon the Jew (Tanna debe Eliyahu R. ix.). It pays due homage to the wise among the heathen (Ber. 58a; Soah 35b; Bek. 8b; Gen. R. lxv.). It recognizes the existence of prophets among the heathen (B. B. 15b: “Fifteen prophets God sent to the heathen world up to the time of Moses: Balaam and his father, Job and his four friends,” etc.; comp. Lev. R. i. 12, ii. 8; Tanna debe Eliyahu R. xxvi.; ib. Zua xi., etc.). The assertion made by Max Mller, Kuenen, and others, that Judaism is not a missionary religion, rests on insufficient knowledge. There existed an extensive proselyte propaganda literature, especially in Alexandria (see Didache; Propaganda); and, according to the Midrash, “the heathen world is saved by the merit of the one proselyte who is annually won” (Gen. R. xxviii.; comp. Matt. xxiii. 15; Jellinek, “B. H.” vi., Introduction, xlvi.). Abraham and Sarah are represented as devoting their lives to making proselytes (Gen. R. xxxix.); and as the Psalmist accords to the proselytes”those that fear God”a special place (Ps. cxv. 11), so does the daily prayer of the Jew in the “Shemoneh ‘Esreh” contain a special blessing for the proselytes (“Gere ha-ede”). Only in later centuries, when the Church interfered through apostates and by edicts, was the proselyte declared to be a plague instead of a desired accession to the house of Israel (Isa. xiv. 1); the ancient Halakah endeavored to encourage the heathen to come under the wings of the Shekinah (Yeb. 47a, b; Mas. Gerim; Lev. R. ii.). In order to facilitate the admission of Gentiles, Judaism created two classes: (1) “proselytes of righteousness,” who had to bring the “sacrifices of righteousness” while submitting to the Abrahamic rite in order to become full members of the house of Israel; and (2) “proselytes of the gate” (“gere toshab”), who accepted only the seven Noachian laws (ten and thirty are also mentioned) of humanity. Occasionally the necessity of undergoing circumcision is made a matter of controversy also in the case of the full proselyte (see Circumcision). But proselytism as a system of obtaining large numbers is deprecated by Judaism.

However, the Messianic age is regarded as the one when “the fulness of the heathen world” will join Judaism (Isa. xiv. 1; Zech. viii. 23; ‘Ab. Zarah 3a). Especially characteristic of the cosmopolitan spirit of Judaism is the fact that the seventy bullocks brought as sacrifice during the Sukkot festival at the Temple were taken to be peace-offerings on behalf of the supposed seventy nations representing the heathen world (Suk. 55b), a view shared by Philo (“De Monarchia,” ii. 6; idem, “De Septenario,” p. 26; see Treitel in “Monatsschrift,” 1903, pp. 493-495). Throughout the entire ethical literature of the Jews, from Tanna debe Eliyahu R. down to the various Ethical Wills of the Rabbis, there is voiced regarding the non-Jewish world a broadly human spirit which stands in strange contrast to the narrowness with which Judaism is viewed by Christian writers, even those of high rank (see Zunz, “Z. G.” pp. 122-157). The same cosmopolitan attitude was taken by Judaism whenever its representativeswere called upon to act as intermediaries between Moslem and Christian; and the parable of the three rings, put by Lessing into the mouth of Nathan der Weise, was actually of Jewish origin (see Wnsche in “Lessing-Mendelssohn Gedenkbuch,” 1879, pp. 329 et seq.).

Owing to the Paulinian antithesis of law and faith or love (see Lwy, “Die Paulinische Lehre von Gesetz,” in “Monatsschrift,” 1903, pp. 332 et seq., 417 et seq.), the Torah, the basis and center of Judaism since Ezra, has been persistently placed in a false light by non-Jewish writers, undue stress being laid upon “the burden of the Law.” In reality, the word “Torah” signifies both “law” and “doctrine”; and Judaism stands for both while antagonizing Paul’s conception of faith as a blind dogmatic belief which fetters the mind. It prefers the bondage of the Law to the bondage of the spirit. It looks upon the divine commandments as a source of spiritual joy (“simah shel miwah”) and as a token of God’s special protection (Ber. 31a), for which it enjoins the Jew to offer Benedictions and to display zeal and enthusiastic love (Ab. v. 20). “God has given the children of Israel so many commandments in order to increase their merit [Mak. iii. 16] or to purify them” (Tan., Shemini, ed. Buber, p. 12). Every morning after having taken upon himself the yoke of God’s kingdom, the Israelite has to take upon himself the yoke of the divine commandments also (Ber. ii. 2); and there is no greater joy for the true Israelite than to be “burdened with commandments” (Ber. 17a). “Even the commonest of Jews are full of merit on account of the many commandments they fulfil” (ib. 57a.)

The Law was accordingly a privilege which was granted to Israel because of God’s special favor. Instead of blind faith, Judaism required good works for the protection of man against the spirit of sin (ib. 32b). The Law was to impress the life of the Jew with the holiness of duty. It spiritualized the whole of life. It trained the Jewish people to exercise self-control and moderation, and it sanctified the home. It rendered the commonest functions of life holy by prescribing for them special commandments. In this sense were the 613 commandments regarded by Judaism.

Some of these are understood to be divine marks of distinction to separate Israel from the other nationsstatutes (“ukkot”) which are designated as unreasonable by the heathen world, such as laws concerning diet, dress, and the like (Sifra, Aare Mot, xiii.). Others are called “‘eduyot” (testimony), in view of their having been given to make Israel testify to God’s miraculous guidance, such as the festive seasons of the year; while still others are “signs” (“ot”), being tokens of the covenant between God and Israel, such as circumcision, the Sabbath (Gen. xvii. 11; Ex. xxxi. 13), the Passover (Ex. xii. 13, xiii. 9), and, according to the rabbinical interpretation, the tefillin (Deut. vi. 8, xi. 18).

Of sacraments, in the sense of mysterious rites by which a person is brought into a lifelong bodily relationship to God, Judaism has none. The Sabbath and circumcision have been erroneously called thus by Frankel (in his “Zeitschrift,” 1844, p. 67): they are institutions of Judaism of an essential and, according to the generally accepted opinion, vital character; but they do not give any Jew the character of an adherent of the faith (see Ceremony; Commandments). At the same time the Sabbath and the festival seasons, with the ceremonies connected with them, have at all times been the most significant expressions of Jewish sentiment, and must be regarded as the most important factors of religious life both in the Synagogue and in the home (see Ab, Ninth of; Atonement, Day of; anukkah; New-Year; Passover; Purim; Sabbath; Shabuot; and Sukkot).

While the immutability of the Torah, that is, the law of Moses, both the written and the oral Law, is declared by Maimonides to be one of the cardinal doctrines of Judaism, there are views expressed in the Talmud that the commandments will be abrogated in the world to come (Nid. 61b). It is especially the dietary laws that will, it is said, be no longer in force in the Messianic time (Midr. Teh. on Ps. cxlvi. 4).

On the question whether the laws concerning sacrifice and Levitical purity have ceased to be integral parts of Judaism, Reform and Orthodox Judaism are at issue (on this and other points of difference between the two extreme parties of Judaism see Reform Judaism). Between the two stands the so-called “Breslau school,” with Zacharias Frankel as head, whose watchword was “Positive Historical Judaism,” and whose principle was “Reform tempered with Conservatism.” While no longer adhering to the Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch (see Grtz in “Gesch.” ii. 299-318, and Schechter in “J. Q. R.” iii. 760-761) and the divine character of tradition (see Frankel, “Darke ha-Mishnah”), it assigns the power and authority for reforms in Judaism only to the Jewish community as a whole, or to what Schechter calls “catholic Israel.” The latter author desires “a strong authority,” one which, “drawing inspiration from the past, understands also how to reconcile us [the Jews] with the present and to prepare us [them] for the future” (“J. Q. R.” iv. 470). Grtz goes so far as to reduce Judaism to two fundamental principles: (1) “the religious element, which is mere negative monotheism in the widest acceptation of the term,” and (2) the ethical, which offers the ideal for the moral life: “Be ye holy even as I am holy”; at the same time declaring that “prophets and Talmudists did not regard sacrifice or ritual as the fundamental and determining thing in Judaism” (Grtz, i. 9). This leads to a final statement of the principles and forces of Judaism.

The Shema’, “the proclamation of God’s unity, requires an undivided Israel” (Mek., Yitro, Baodesh, i.). “One God, One Israel, and One Temple” is the principle twice stated in Josephus (“Ant.” iv. 8, 5; “Contra Ap.” ii. 28); “One God, One Israel, and One Torah” is the principle upon which Orthodox Judaism rests. “It was an evil day for Israel when the controversies between the schools of Shammai and Hillel began, and the one Torah appearedto have become two Torot” (Sanh. 88b; where the plural “Torot” occurs, it refers to the written and oral law; Yoma 28b, with reference to Gen. xxvi. 5; comp. Shab. 31a). This Torah, both written and oral, was known to and practised in all its details by the Patriarchs (Yoma 28b; Gen. R. lxiv.; comp. Jubilees, Book of, and “Attah Ead” in the liturgy). “Whosoever denies that the whole Law, written as well as oral, was given by God to Moses on Sinai is a heretic” (Sanh. 99a; Sifra, Behar, i. 1).

The trustworthiness of the divine behest until the final codification of the Law, from this point of view, rests upon the continuous chain of tradition from Moses down to the men of the Great Synagogue (Ab. i. 1), and afterward upon the successive ordination of the Rabbis by the elders with the laying on of hands (probably originally under the influence of the Holy Spirit; see Semikah). Accordingly the stability and the immutability of the Law remained from the Orthodox standpoint one of the cardinal principles of Judaism (see M. Friedlnder, “The Jewish Religion,” 1891; Samson Raphael Hirsch, “Horeb,” 1837).

Independent research, however, discerns evolution and progress to have been at work in the various Mosaic legislations (Ex. xx. 22-xxiii. 19; Deut. xii.-xxi. 13; and Leviticus together with Num. xv., xviii.-xix. 22), in the prophetic and priestly as well as in the soferic activities, and it necessarily sees in revelation and inspiration as well as in tradition a spiritual force working from within rather than a heavenly communication coming from without. From this point of view, ethical monotheism presents itself as the product not of the Semitic race, which may at best have created predisposition for prophetic inspiration and for a conception of the Deity as a personality with certain moral relations to man, but solely of the Jewish genius, whose purer and tenderer conception of life demanded a pure and holy God in sharp contrast to the cruel and lascivious gods of the other Semitic races (see M. Jol, “Religis-Philosophische Zeitfragen,” 1876, pp. 82-83).

It was the prophetic spirit of the Jewish nation embodied in Abraham (not the Midianite, as Budde thinks, nor some Babylonian tribe, as the Assyriologists would have it) which transformed Yhwh, an original tribal deity localized on Sinai and connected with the celestial phenomena of nature, into the God of holiness, “a power not ourselves that maketh for righteousness,” the moral governor of the world. Yet this spirit works throughout the Biblical time only in and through a few individuals in each age; again and again the people lapse into idolatry from lack of power to soar to the heights of prophetic vision. Only in the small Judean kingdom with the help of the Deuteronomic Book of the Law the beginning is made, and finally through Ezra the foundation is laid for the realization of the plan of “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

But while thus the people were won, and the former propensity to idolatry, the “yeer ha-ra’,” was banished forever by the power of the men of the Great Synagogue (Yoma 69b), the light of prophetic universalism became dim. Still it found its utterance in the Synagogue with its liturgy, in the Psalms, in the Books of Jonah and Job, in the Books of Wisdom, and most singularly in the hafarah read on Sabbath and holy days often to voice the prophetic view concerning sacrifice and ritual in direct antagonism to the Mosaic precepts. Here, too, “the Holy Spirit” was at work (see Inspiration; Synagogue). It created Pharisaism in opposition to Sadducean insistence upon the letter of the Law; and the day when the injunction “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” was abrogated, and the rationalistic interpretation of the Scribes was substituted therefor, was celebrated as a triumph of reason (Megillat Ta’an. iv. 1). While the legalists beheld God’s majesty confined to “the four ells of the Halakah” (Ber. 8a), the Haggadah unfolded the spirit of freedom and progress; and when mysticism in the East threatened to benumb the spirit, philosophy under Arabian influence succeeded in enlarging the mental horizon of Judaism anew.

Thus Judaism presents two streams or currents of thought ever running parallel to each other: the one conservative, the other progressive and liberal; the one accentuating the national and ritualistic, the other the cosmopolitan and spiritual, elements; mysticism here and rationalism there, these together forming the centripetal and centrifugal forces of Judaism to keep it in continuous progress upon its God-appointed track.

Judaism, parent of both Christianity and Islam, holds forth the pledge and promise of the unity of the two (“Yad,” Melakim, xi. 4; “Cuzari,” iv. 23; see Jew. Encyc. iv. 56, s.v. Christianity), as it often stood as mediator between Church and Mosque during the Middle Ages (see Disputations and Judah ha-Levi). In order to be able to “unite all mankind into one bond” (New-Year’s liturgy and Gen. R. lxxx viii.), it must form “one bond” (Lev. R. xxx.). It must, to use Isaiah’s words, constitute a tree ever pruned while “the holy seed is the substance thereof” (Isa. vi. 13); its watchword being: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. iv. 6).

For Karaitic Judaism see Karaites.

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The First-Ever Raising of Palestine’s Flag at the U.N. Is …

Pacific Press via Getty Images

Tomorrow, the Palestinian flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations headquarters in New York and at other U.N. offices around the world. The sense of pride among the Palestinian people was overwhelming the day the world voted in favor of this landmark initiative. I am certain that the day our flag rises among the flags of the community of nations will also be a most emotional and proud day.

The General Assembly’s vote confirmed again that we, the people of Palestine, are not alone in our quest for freedom, fulfillment of our rights and an end to decades of Israeli occupation and oppression. On September 30, we will raise our flag in a peaceful gesture that will remind all that justice and independence is ultimately possible. To get to this destination, we need the support of our friends around the world and the leadership of the U.N.

As the U.N. this year marks its 70th anniversary, its longest-standing, unresolved issue is the question of Palestine. For more than 68 years, my people have been denied their rights and denied freedom. In 1948, we were cast out of our places of birth and those of our ancestors; our homes and heritage were destroyed; we were expelled or fled into exile to what were to be temporary camps until the conflict and question of Palestinian statehood were resolved.

Today, Palestinians remain in exile, with over five million refugees denied their right to return. An illegal, oppressive Israeli occupation denies basic human rights, including the right of people to self-determination and freedom — a foundational principle of the U.N. But the Palestinian people have not given up hope and have not given up their rightful and just quest to live in independence and peace in our homeland.

Hope is the power that helps my people endure and overcome the horrors we have too often faced. Many have compared living in Palestine to apartheid. But our situation is even more dire because Israel, the occupying power, is not only executing a system of segregation and subjugation; it persists with the blatant ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people from their land. While the Israeli government pays lip service to the two-state solution internationally, domestically it employs policies aimed at destroying what’s left of Palestine. Israel demolishes our homes, swallows up our land and works at breaking the spirit and will of our people.

In Bethlehem, Israeli checkpoints and an illegal annexation wall cages in people, depriving them of their rights, livelihoods and access to their land. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip continue to suffer the wounds of last year’s barbaric war as Israel’s cruel blockade imprisons the entire population and renders the Strip uninhabitable. In Occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces and leaders aid extremist attacks and religious zealots’ attempts to assert control over Al Aqsa Mosque and ignite a religious conflict. Palestine refugees across the region are suffering repeated displacement, dispossession and trauma, denied the ability to return home.

Countless events every single day illustrate the ways in which Israel’s illegal occupation devastates Palestine. But few recent events resonated with the world, like the arson attack on the Dawabsheh family home. A group of Israeli terrorist settlers smashed the windows of the Dawabsheh home and threw Molotov cocktails inside, immediately burning to death an 18-month-old baby, Ali. Both of Ali’s parents have since perished due to third degree burns. More than a month later, their now-orphaned 4-year-old son remains in the hospital. The Israeli government has attempted to disassociate itself from the attack, but the truth is that its pervasive and systematic colonization of Palestine with settlements, messages of intolerance, flouting of international law and culture of impunity not only facilitated that attack but continue to encourage others like it.

Israel’s pursuit of reckless policies obstructs any international progress for the two-state solution. I recall the high hopes I felt in 1993 when the Oslo Accords were signed and a five-year deadline set to achieve an end to the occupation and peace and security between the two states, the State of Palestine and Israel. That was 22 years ago. Since then, Israel has failed to negotiate in good faith while entrenching its illegal occupation. Israel is not dedicated to the international community’s values of freedom, justice and peace — let alone the two-state solution and the longstanding parameters underpinning it. It has trampled the Oslo Accords and with it the peace process.

As world leaders gather in New York to commemorate the U.N.’s 70th anniversary, these same leaders must also reflect on the U.N.’s failures. Palestine has languished on the U.N. agenda since the organization’s inception. This persistent neglect has cost too many lives, dampened hope, undermined international law and stained the reputation of the U.N. World leaders must find the political will to uphold the rule of law, respect human rights and make good on the commitments they collectively made to the Palestinian people over decades. The U.N. must give my people more than hope.

A peaceful, fair and just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict exists. But the peace process must be multilateral. The same pattern of negotiations imposed for years will not work because Israel is the occupying power. Israel controls our territory, natural resources, economic affairs and our daily lives, violating every fundamental human right of the Palestinian people. We cannot directly negotiate with a power that has this level of control and exhibits such contempt for the rights and existence of our people.

That is why a collective, multilateral peace process is necessary. Such processes have made significant progress in difficult negotiations for the Balkans, Libya and Iran. They should be attempted to decisively end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict after all these years of futile attempts to achieve peace.

On the vote to raise our flag at the U.N., the international community demonstrated its solidarity with the Palestinian people. Now it must act with urgency to seize the momentum from this symbolic gesture and provide a clear plan to end the illegal Israeli occupation, uphold human rights and achieve justice. It is time to finally achieve the independence of the State of Palestine, peacefully resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict — the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict — as was promised long ago.


Palestinian children play in the rubble of houses in the village of Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

Palestinians enjoy a summer day on the beach of Gaza City on June 16, 2015.

A Palestinian woman walks amid the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 1, 2015.

Mohammed al-Selek shows the site where he was injured in an Israeli mortar strike in Gaza City, Gaza.

A Palestinian child sits in front of the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 15, 2015.

A Palestinian man dressed as a clown rests in front of destroyed houses in Gaza City, Gaza, on July 8, 2015.

A Palestinian girl stands on the side while her father paints the door of his house in the old Gaza City on June 21, 2015 photo.

A Palestinian boy rides his bike next to his family’s temporary housing in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

Palestinian children play at the rubble of buildings.

Palestinian trucks unload near the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on June 23, 2015.

A Palestinian girl displays her hair in Gaza City, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

A Palestinian boy plays in the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

Palestinian boys sit atop the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

Palestinian women protest against the 50-day war amidst the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

Palestinian boys play by their temporary housing in Khuzaa, Gaza, on July 7, 2015.

A Palestinian boy rides his bicycle amidst the rubble in Khuzaa, Gaza, on June 15, 2015.

The First-Ever Raising of Palestine’s Flag at the U.N. Is …

Israel strikes Syrian army posts in Golan Heights – CBS News

An Israeli soldier speaks on his mobile phone at a military outpost at Mount Hermon in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights overlooking the Israel-Syria border on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015.


JERUSALEM – The Israeli military said Sunday it struck two Syrian army posts with artillery fire after rockets from the war-torn country landed in Israeli-controlled territory.

The military said the two rockets, which landed over the last two days, were errant fire from the Syrian conflict. They caused no damage or injuries.

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said in a statement that Israel holds the Syrian military “responsible and accountable for any aggression emanating from Syria.”

Rami Abdurrahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said a Syrian army position in the Quneitra region of the Golan Heights was hit at least four times by the Israeli military. Activists have reported intense fighting between Syrian troops and insurgents in the Quneitra area in recent days.

Israel has mostly stayed on the sidelines throughout the Syrian war. But the military has returned fire when rockets or mortar shells have strayed into Israeli-controlled territory. Israel has also carried out a number of airstrikes against suspected weapons shipments destined for its enemies.

2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Israel strikes Syrian army posts in Golan Heights – CBS News

United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism : USCJ

Conservative and Masorti Leaders Thank President Rivlin “After months of acrimony, the leaders of Conservative and Masorti Judaism issued words of praise for Israeli Reuven Rivlin,following the pre-Tisha BAv gathering he hosted at his official residence last night with the heads of Orthodox, Conservative/Masorti and Reform Judaism.” read more…

Shoshana S. Cardin Award – Call For Nominations

Family Engagement Network USCJ’s Family Engagement Network isa coalition of synagogue professionals and lay leaders dedicated to advancing the work of engaging young families in Jewish life and community. Through the Family Engagement Network, kehillot will join together to share best practices and learn from experts in the field of family engagement.All USCJ partner kehillot [congregations] can apply to participate in the Family Engagement Network. Applications for the next network cohort are available online and due by September 3.

Rabbi Wernick in Canadian Jewish News “Rather than asking How can I get more members in, I think the core question synagogues have to ask is How can I get more meaning out?The change today is if you only worry about membership, youre not going to get the money or the members. You have to worry about meaning and about how you can understand peoples self-interest, their values, their stories, and organize around what those interests are through a Jewish lens. If you do that, then you build a financial model around it, which is the reverse of what tends to happen today.” read more…

Making Change With USY

Up and Coming LeadershipFrom March 19-22 and April 30-May 3, new and incoming synagogue presidents came together in Maryland and in Illinois to participate in Sulam for Presidents, USCJ’s flagship leadership training program. View more pictures at our Flickr pageor the Sulam Facebook page.

We are delighted to report that after a certified count of all ballots, our affiliated kehillot have voted overwhelmingly to approve the sale of United Synagogues New York office. A total of 91.8 percent of the 258 kehillot voted yes on the sale, with more than 40 percent of congregations voting. This turnout was far greater than the New York State Attorney Generals requirement and well beyond the two-thirds approval threshold required to allow the sale to go forward. read more…

After the extreme divisiveness of the current Israeli campaign for Prime Minister, the task that lies ahead for the Jewish People is to create unity in the absence of unanimity. Whether we are happy with the election results or not, what just transpired is democracy in action. Our love and support for Israel transcends political affiliation or religious denomination.” read more…

Click here to read the latest issue of CJ: Voices of Conservative / Masorti Judaism.

After months of preparation, at the beginning of March 40 people from 16 kehillot came to New York City for the groups first meeting, held at Park Avenue Synagogue. Read more about the Ruderman Inclusion Action Community here.

More webinars have been scheduled in our Sacred Communities and Financial Sustainability series. Learn more, and register, here.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-2016 cohort of Sulam for Strategic Planners. Stop looking at the next 35 days and start designing outcomes for the next 3-5 years.

In the aftermath of the attack on Jews at prayer in Jerusalem, we call on people of faith and conscience everywhere to houses of worship to affirm our unity. Join our Facebook group, Ma Tovu: A Prayer for Sanctuary, and share pictures or video taken in your own sacred spaces.

How does your synagogue welcome and include LGBTQ Jews? Our recent survey reveals that most Conservative congregations have become more comfortable spiritual homes for Jews regardless of sexual orientation. Get an overview of the results here, and read the full report – including suggestions for action – here.

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United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism : USCJ

Synagogue Worship – Alfred Edersheim –

Furthermore, the Hebrew word for Synagogue is:

Mowed(h4150) mo-ade’; (2 Chron. 8:13), mo-aw-daw’; from 3259; prop. an appointment, i. e. a fixed time or season; spec. a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the placeof meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): – appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed)

We can really say that any of the meetings either in the central sanctuary of the state worship, or the people’s meetings in their villages was a synagogue

What is authority?

Authority is normaly defined in terms of a task. For instance, the task of the leaders of Israel was to teach the sacred writings. This could be in sitting down, rising up, walking by the way or by gathering in a building protected from the weather.

A privelege was prayer at any time or any place. It did not need to be LED.

When few people knew the Word, and there were few written documents available, the teaching task fell into the hands of the Levitical tribe who primarily taught the parents who, in turn, taught their family. There simply is no mention made of children in the Bible and in the early churches as part of a ritualized service.

The word “worship” has nothing to do with music or rituals. Rather, Jesus eleminated the time and PLACE of the Jerusalem or Gerezim temples. Instead, He said that God only seeks us in the place of OUR SPIRIT or mind. In the Old testament taking head depended on teachers.

Take heedin the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that

the priests the Levites shall teachyou: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. Deut 23:8

Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there,

and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. 2 Kings 17:27

For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 2 Chronicles 15:3

However, almost from the beginning, the priestly class failed:


headsthereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money:

yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us. Micah 3:11

As a result, people arose within the villages who taught the Word of God and led the people in prayer. This was the essence of the Synagogue. By the time Jesus came, the entire clergy was corrupt and murderous:

And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Mark 8:31

This is repeated today as people begin to fail because the priestsand diviners work for hire and repudiate the Word of God and substitute “chicken soup.” Therefore, the people retire from the “central temples” and begin to meet in homes. This is a faithful reproduction of the move from Temple-Sacrificial system to the home and the Word.

Synagogue, like “church,” has nothing to do with buildings and originally nothing to do with organizations or institutions. The word literally means an assembly or an appointed time or place.

The primary tasks of teaching the revealed Word and prayer was carried out in assembled groups and therefore needed no new authority.

Institutionalizing the Synagogue

“Since the Babylonian Jews were unable to participate in the worship of the cultus as in former days, the exile marked an important turning-point in their religious developmemt. Open-air meetings by the Kabar irrigation-canal replaced gatherings in the Temple and its precincts, a non-sacrificial worship emphasized confession, fasting, prayer, and the reading of the Law, and initial improvisations were developed to the point

“where the faithful community aimed at as great a spiritual differentation from the pagan Babylonians as was possible.

Remember that Israel demanded the right to “worship like the nations” and therefore their worship was much like that which they were forced into in Babylon. By seeing themselves as others saw them, the Jews were essentially cured of idolatry while in captivity.

“With the development of house-gatherings and the increased importance attached to the knowledge and observanceof the Torah, there was laid the basis for subsequent synagogue-worship, an institution that owes its origin to the diligence of Ezekiel.” (Harrison, R. K., Introduction to the Old Testament, Eerdmans, p.414).

“The Synagogue-worship, developed by and after the exile, largely substituted the book for the symbol, and thoughtfor the sensuous or object appeal” (Int Std. Bible Ency., Worship. p. 3111).

Most aware people understand that the “church” has reverted to the “become as much like the world as possible in the hopes of winning the world to their collection plates.” However, “church” exists onlywhere the difference is clearly shown in teaching the Words of Christ in song and sermon.

What about singing and other “acts of worship?”

Social functions such as singing were not in the synagogues but “at the places of watering” and not during the “assembly” time. Alfred Edersheim makes it clear: there was not a role for “praising the Lord” or singing in a celebrative sense in the synagogue. For this reason, there is no evidence of a “praise” service in the New Testament church.

No. This is not the “hole in the donut.” This is not God’s oversight which we must correct with secular like singing.

“Hallel, in Jewish ritual, selection from the Psalms, chanted as part of the liturgy during certain festivals. The more frequently used selection includes Psalms 113-118 and is known as the Egyptian Hallel, presumably because Psalm 114 begins, “When Israel went out of Egypt”

It is sung in synagogues on the first twodays of Passover, on Shabuoth, on Sukkot, on each morning of the eight days of Hanukkah, and at the close of the Seder.

“The Hallel through the generations, on specific occasions: Pesachim 117a “Hallel requires a full stomach and a satisfied spirit: Taanis 25b-26a The readingis beloved to the people, and so they listen closely: Megillah 21b

“The Hallel as an Institution of the Prophets, to use to pray for salvation from danger: Pesachim 117a [2x] Saying the Hallel daily is blasphemous: Shabbos 118b

For instance, Deborah dwelled under palm tree to apply the Law. She was a Judge and not a worship leader. Because of failed male leadership she had to become the warrior chief of the nation.

And when they celebrated her victory as a warrior the NIV translates:

the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recitethe righteous acts of the LORD, the righteous acts of his warriors in Israel. Thenthe people of the LORD went down to the city gates. Judges 5:11NIV

Here is the Greek word the NIV translates singers:

Chacac(h2686) khaw-tsats’; a prim. root [comp. 2673 = split in half]; prop. to chop into, pierce or server; hence to curtail, to distribute (into ranks); as denom. from 2671, to shoot an arrow: – archer, * bands, cut off in the midst.

Therefore, there is nothing similar to singing or musicians in this passage. The KJv reads:

They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the Lord go down to the gates. Judges 5:11KJV

“At the sound of those who divide flocks among the watering places, There they shall recount the righteous deeds of the Lord, The righteous deeds for His peasantry in Israel. Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates. Judges 5:11NAS

All words related to “music” or instruments have the same roots in a destructive practice. For instance, to praise David meant that they ridiculed Saul and drove a wedge between the friendship.

The word psallo in Greek is related to singing with instruments in its original meaning. The word is related to the twanging of bowstrings to send a “singing” arrow to pierce the literal heart. The word is also related to the SOP Jesus fed Judas as a supernatural sign.

Jesus condemed praise as saying “Lord, Lord” and therefore praise always had an object. For instance, the Jews praised God by telling others how He saved the people at the Red Sea. God explicitly condemns the prophesiers (singers, chanters, deliverers of messages) because HIS Word was not in them.

Praising God or often the military leader was something done at any time or place but ritualized praise would embarass most humans. Albert Barnes notes of the daily rituals of Israel:

“An artificial, effeminate music which should relax the soul, frittering the melody, and displacing the power and majesty of divine harmony by tricks of art, and giddy, thoughtless, heartless, souless versifying would be meet company.” (Barnes, Albert, Amos, p. 303).

“Jingling, banging, and rattling accompanied heathen cults, and the frenzying shawms of a dozen ecstatic cries intoxicated the masses. Amid this euphoric farewell feast of a dying civilization, the voices of nonconformists were emerging from places of Jewish and early Christian worship; Philo of Alexandria had already emphasized the ethical qualities of music, spurning the ‘effeminate’ art of his Gentile surroundings.

Similarly, early synagogue song intentionally foregoes artistic perfection, renounces the playing of instruments,

and attaches itself entirely to ‘the word’–the TEXT of the Bible” (Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1971 ed., s.v. “Music”)

How About Biblical Authority?

There is one translation of the word synagogues in the book of Psalms:

Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs. Psalm 74:4

There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Eze.22:25

They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiledby casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground. Psalm 74:7

They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. Psalm 74:8

The people in general did not worship at the sanctuary of God’s name, but normally in their own villages or homes. The Living Bible translates verse 8:

“Let’s wipe out every trace of God,” they said, and went through the entire country burning down the assembly places where we worshiped you. Psalm 74:8LIV .

We noted that this is a widely-used word for the synagogue above: Mowed (h4150).

Jesus and Worship

By adding the “Lord’s Supper,” the synagogue could be used by the early church. It had no priests as intercessors. “Essentially democratic, the synagogue represents a fellowship of worshipers seeking God through prayer and study.” (Britannica)

It simply is not possible to add any “programs” to that task without diminishing the Christ-ordained purpose for the church of Christ.

This was “Spiritual” worship in the mind or heart and devoted to truth. Jesus did not prescribe usage for anxiety-creating rituals because He came to take them off the backs of the lambs. He could not parcel out His Word like a lawyer and still be the Shepherd:

“Jesus did not Himself prescribe public worship for His disciples, no doubt assuming that instinct and practice, and his own spirit and example would bring it about spontaneously, but He did seek to guardtheir worship from the merely outward and spectacular, and laid great emphasis on privacy and real ‘innerness’in it (Mt. 6:1-18)” (The Int. Std, Bible Ency., Synagogue, p. 3111).


Giving is not a legalistic act. However, when we give in order to further the church or to help the poor then our “act” becomes worship. Why? Because we are “giving heed” to the Word of God.

Giving was to be voluntary as alms. However, the Jewish clergy often sent people out to force you to give the leaves of the mint or spices. Jesus outlawed controlled giving by saying:

TAKE heedthat ye do not your alms(compassionateness) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:1

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:2

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: Matthew 6:3

That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:4

The Greek eklesia was a body of like-minded people who always looked out for their members. Giving by those with means to those who are in need is both human and spiritual. The Greek ekklesia wa much like a county court where mature males discussed and acted on changes to the laws which they did not make. However, Paul denounced giving “as a commandment.”

I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness (speed) of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 2Co.8:8


Paul did not command prayer as an “act.” Rather, he warned that one praying a personal prayer in the presence of others must speak understandable words. Therefore, he condemned prayer in unclear languages. Prayer is to be in all places and at all times. It was one of the two key features of the synagogue. Prayer is personal and we all know that it is virtually impossible to “lead” a group prayer except performing a “ritual by rote.” This ‘leading’ in the institutionalized synagogue was reciting certain formula prayers but they did not substitute for individual prayers as seen in the case of Hannah.

The general rule, but not for Jesus, was that the participants such as the reader of the Word in the synagogue must sit. Therefore, Jesus commanded:

And when thou prayest, thou shalt notbe as the hypocrites (actors perform acts) are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. Matthew 6:5

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet (pantry), and when thou hast shutthy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6

This is a DIRECT COMMAND from the mouth of Lord Jesus. While others might listen to our prayers we should use clear language, there is no command, example or inference that one liturgical performer can say a prayer in place of the individual.

That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Mt.6:18

The brothers of Jesus knew the “fame game.” They said:

His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. John 7:3

For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. John 7:4

For neither did his brethren believe in him. John 7:5

Someone has said that “we begin to pray only when our mouth runs out of words.” This allows God to listen as our spirit speaks for us. However, the pagans never ran out of words such as “Lord, Lord.”

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Matthew 6:7

The barbarians spoke in tongues or their own minor dialects in public. However, Paul outlawed it “in church” where everyone understood the same language. These were never gibberish in an approved sense but simply the approximately 70 minor dialects which the Greeks called TONGUES. The gibberish spoken by the intoxicated pagan priestess was never called a language or a tongue.

God knows what we need and responds to prayer. However, it is vanity to think that by harassing Him we can force an answer, The earthly ruler must be importuned — even the widow must beg. However, God, our Father, feeds us without making us beg.


While Jesus did not command singing as an “act,” as a Jew observing Passover, He sang one of the story songs called hallel which was restricted to designated leaders for legal festivals. Hymning was quiet and even silent reciting certain Psalms and not sentimental poetry. Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs were all “the Word of Christ” in Colossians 3:16. Singing was a “one another” practice to distinguish it from the legal, Levitical performance for the worshippers. However, the ancient changers were not timid about restoring legal, Old Testament or even Pagan rituals:

The McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia not only speaks, in general terms, of ‘heresy largely pervading the church and making rapid headway’ at that very time, but it specifies ‘the appointment of singers as a distinct class of officers in the church’ with ‘the consequent introduction of profane (not the Bible) music’ (Kurfees, M. C., Instrumental Music in Worship, p. 123)

The modern appeal for designated or trained singing teams is based upon the fact that flawless, complex harmony has the not-too-secret power to manipulate the mind of the audience. This may be a denial of the power of prayer and the Word of Christ given into the hands of the elders of whom Paul commanded:

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:9

Added: The Lord’s Supper:

Lynn Anderson, keynoter for Jubilee 99 and author of Navigating the Winds of Change shows how to move the Lord’s Supper into another musical performance. The method of change agentry is this: Let the old folks have a quiet, reverent Lord’s Supper one week. Next week, those who need to feel the music rather than to search out the leaven in their own hearts can get a jab of morphine-like endorphins to dull the pain and make them feel spiritual. No doubt, in the long run, the old rurals will loose and the urbanswill win.

Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as a quiet, family meal of bread and the fruit of the vine. This was not “crumbled off” bread or sop dipped in bitter herbs. Part of the Passoveras the context of the institution of the Lord’s Supper was a search of the house for leaven:

The search itself was to be accomplished in perfect silence and with a lighted candle. To this search the apostle may have referred in the admonition to ‘purge out the old leaven’ (1 Corinthians 5:7) (Edersheim, Passover)

Corinth’s assembly was “doing more harm than good” (1 Corinthians 11:17). Among other things, the two forms of worshipers existed: by those who, in silence, searched out the leaven in their heart, and by those who saw the supper as a celebration. A component of the new wineskin dogma is that worship means feeling the exhilaration. This is a form of intoxication, perhaps on pure ignorance.

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Synagogue Worship – Alfred Edersheim –

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? – The Atlantic

All comes from the Jew; all returns to the Jew.

douard Drumont (18441917), founder of the Anti-Semitic League of France

I. The Scourge of Our Time

The French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, the son of Holocaust survivors, is an accomplished, even gifted, pessimist. To his disciples, he is a Jewish Zola, accusing Frances bien-pensant intellectual class of complicity in its own suicide. To his foes, he is a reactionary whose nostalgia for a fairy-tale French past is induced by an irrational fear of Muslims. Finkielkrauts cast of mind is generally dark, but when we met in Paris in early January, two days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, he was positively grim.

My French identity is reinforced by the very large number of people who openly declare, often now with violence, their hostility to French values and culture, he said. I live in a strange place. There is so much guilt and so much worry. We were seated at a table in his apartment, near the Luxembourg Gardens. I had come to discuss with him the precarious future of French Jewry, but, as the hunt for the Charlie Hebdo killers seemed to be reaching its conclusion, we had become fixated on the television.

Finkielkraut sees himself as an alienated man of the left. He says he loathes both radical Islamism and its most ferocious French critic, Marine Le Pen, the leader of Frances extreme right-wingand once openly anti-SemiticNational Front party. But he has lately come to find radical Islamism to be a more immediate, even existential, threat to France than the National Front. I dont trust Le Pen. I think there is real violence in her, he told me. But she is so successful because there actually is a problem of Islam in France, and until now she has been the only one to dare say it.

Suddenly, there was news: a kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, in eastern Paris, had come under attack. Of course, Finkielkraut said. The Jews. Even before anti-Semitic riots broke out in France last summer, Finkielkraut had become preoccupied with the well-being of Frances Jews.

We knew nothing about this new attackexcept that we already knew everything. People dont defend the Jews as we expected to be defended, he said. It would be easier for the left to defend the Jews if the attackers were white and rightists.

I asked him a very old Jewish question: Do you have a bag packed?

We should not leave, he said, but maybe for our children or grandchildren there will be no choice.

Reports suggested that a number of people were dead at the market. I said goodbye, and took the Mtro to Porte de Vincennes. Stations near the market were closed, so I walked through neighborhoods crowded with police. Sirens echoed through the streets. Teenagers gathered by the barricades, taking selfies. No one had much information. One young man, however, said of the victims, Its just the Feuj. Feuj, an inversion of JuifJewis often used as a slur.

I located an acquaintance, a man who volunteers with the Jewish Community Security Service, a national organization founded after a synagogue bombing in 1980, to protect Jewish institutions from anti-Semitic attack. Supermarkets now, he said bleakly. We made our way closer to the forward police line, and heard volleys of gunfire. The police had raided the market; the suspect, Amedy Coulibaly, we soon heard, was dead. So were four Jews he had murdered. They had been shopping for the Sabbath when he entered the market and started shooting.

Frances 475,000 Jews represent less than 1 percent of the countrys population. Yet last year, according to the French Interior Ministry, 51 percent of all racist attacks targeted Jews. The statistics in other countries, including Great Britain, are similarly dismal. In 2014, Jews in Europe were murdered, raped, beaten, stalked, chased, harassed, spat on, and insulted for being Jewish. Sale Juifdirty Jewrang in the streets, as did Death to the Jews, and Jews to the gas.

The epithet dirty Jew, Zola wrote in JAccuse !, was the scourge of our time. JAccuse ! was published in 1898.

The resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe is notor should not bea surprise. One of the least surprising phenomena in the history of civilization, in fact, is the persistence of anti-Semitism in Europe, which has been the wellspring of Judeophobia for 1,000 years. The Church itself functioned as the centrifuge of anti-Semitism from the time it rebelled against its mother religion until the middle of the 20th century. As Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of Great Britain, has observed, Europe has added to the global lexicon of bigotry such terms as Inquisition, blood libel, autodaf, ghetto, pogrom, and Holocaust. Europe has blamed the Jews for an encyclopedia of sins. The Church blamed the Jews for killing Jesus; Voltaire blamed the Jews for inventing Christianity. In the febrile minds of anti-Semites, Jews were usurers and well-poisoners and spreaders of disease. Jews were the creators of both communism and capitalism; they were clannish but also cosmopolitan; cowardly and warmongering; self-righteous moralists and defilers of culture. Ideologues and demagogues of many permutations have understood the Jews to be a singularly malevolent force standing between the world and its perfection.

Despite this history of sorrow, Jews spent long periods living unmolested in Europe. And even amid the expulsions and persecutions and pogroms, Jewish culture prospered. Rabbis and sages produced texts and wrote liturgical poems that are still used today. Emancipation and enlightenment opened the broader culture to Jews, who came to prominence in politics, philosophy, the arts, and scienceChagall and Kafka, Einstein and Freud, Lvi-Strauss and Durkheim. An entire civilization flourished in Yiddish.

Hitler destroyed most everything. But the story Europeans tell themselvesor told themselves, until the proof became too obvious to ignoreis that Judenhass, the hatred of Jews, ended when Berlin fell 70 years ago.

Events of the past 15 years suggest otherwise.

We are witnessing today the denouement of an unusual epoch in European life, the age of the post-Holocaust Jewish dispensation.

When the survivors of the Shoah emerged from the camps, and from hiding places in cities and forests across Europe, they were met on occasion by pogroms. (In Poland, for instance, some Christians were unhappy to see their former Jewish neighbors return home, and so arranged their deaths.) But over time, Europe managed to absorb the small number of Jewish survivors who chose to remain. A Jewish community even grew in West Germany. At the same time, the countries of Western Europe embraced the cause of the young and besieged state of Israel.

The Shoah served for a while as a sort of inoculation against the return of overt Jew-hatredbut the effects of the inoculation, it is becoming clear, are wearing off. What was once impermissible is again imaginable. Memories of 6 million Jewish dead fade, and guilt becomes burdensome. (In The Eternal Anti-Semite, the writer Henryk Broder popularized the notion that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.) Israel is coming to be understood not as a small country in a difficult spot whose leaders, especially lately, have (in my opinion) been making shortsighted and potentially disastrous decisions, but as a source of cosmological evilthe Jew of nations.

An argument made with increasing frequencymotivated, perhaps, by some perverse impulse toward psychological displacementcalls Israel the spiritual and political heir of the Third Reich, rendering the Jews as Nazis. (Some in Europe and the Middle East take this line of thought to an even more extreme conclusion: Those who condemn Hitler day and night have surpassed Hitler in barbarism, the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoan, said last year of Israel.)

The previously canonical strain of European anti-Semitism, the fascist variant, still flourishes in places. In Hungary, a leader of the right-wing Jobbik party called on the governmenta government that has come under criticism for whitewashing the history of Hungarys collaboration with the Nazisto draw up a list of all the Jews in the country who might pose a national-security risk. In Greece, a recent survey found that 69 percent of adults hold anti-Semitic views, and the fascists of the countrys Golden Dawn party are open in their Jew-hatred.

But what makes this new era of anti-Semitic violence in Europe different from previous ones is that traditional Western patterns of anti-Semitic thought have now merged with a potent strain of Muslim Judeophobia. Violence against Jews in Western Europe today, according to those who track it, appears to come mainly from Muslims, who in France, the epicenter of Europes Jewish crisis, outnumber Jews 10 to 1.

That the chief propagators of contemporary European anti-Semitism may be found in the Continents large and disenfranchised Muslim immigrant communitiescommunities that are themselves harassed and assaulted by hooligans associated with Europes surging rightis flummoxing to, among others, Europes elites. Muslims in Europe are in many ways a powerless minority. The failure of Europe to integrate Muslim immigrants has contributed to their exploitation by anti-Semitic propagandists and by recruiters for such radical projects as the Islamic State, or ISIS.

Yet the new anti-Semitism flourishing in corners of the European Muslim community would be impoverished without the incorporation of European fascist tropes. Dieudonn Mbala Mbala, a comedian of French Cameroonian descent who specializes in Holocaust revisionism and gas-chamber humor, is the inventor of the quenelle, widely understood as an inverted Nazi salute. His followers have taken to photographing themselves making the quenelle in front of synagogues, Holocaust memorials, and sites of past anti-Jewish terrorist attacks. Dieudonn has built an ideological partnership with Alain Soral, the anti-Jewish conspiracy theorist and 9/11 truther who was for several years a member of the National Fronts central committee. Soral was photographed not long ago making the quenelle in front of Berlins Holocaust memorial.

The union of Middle Eastern and European forms of anti-Semitic expression has led to bizarre moments. Dave Rich, an official of the Community Security Trust, a Jewish organization that monitors anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom, wrote recently: Those British Muslims who verbally abuse British Jews on the street are more likely to shout Heil Hitler than Allahu akbar when they do so. This is despite the fact that their parents and grandparents were probably chased through the very same streets by gangs of neo-Nazi skinheads shouting similar slogans.

The marriage of anti-Semitic narratives was consummated in January of last year, during a so-called Day of Rage march in Paris that was organized to protest the leadership of the French president, Franois Hollande. The rally drew roughly 17,000 people, mostly far-rightists but also many French Muslims.

On one side of this march, you had neonationalist and reactionary Catholics, who had strongly and violently opposed gay marriage, and on the other side young people from the banlieues [suburbs], supporters of Dieudonn, often from African and North African background, whose beliefs are based in opposition to the system and on victimhood competition, Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the Paris director of the American Jewish Committee, told me. What unites them is their hatred of Jews. That day, on the streets of Paris, the anti-Hollande message was overtaken by another chanted slogan: Juif, la France nest pas toiJew, France is not for you.

Howard Jacobson, the Man Booker Prizewinning writer whose latest novel, J, is a study of a future genocide in an unnamed but very English-seeming country of an unnamed people who very much resemble the Jews, told me the book emerged from an inchoate but ever-present sense of anxiety. I felt as if I was writing out of dread, he said when we met recently near his home in London.

It will never go away, this hatred of Jews and the proof of this is that barely 50 years after the Holocaust, the desire for Jewish bloodletting isnt over, he said. Couldnt they have given us a bit longer? Give us 100 years and well return to it.

I know this is a dangerous thing to say but the Holocaust didnt satisfy.

Ive spent much of the past year traveling across Europe, in search of an answer to a simple, but pressing, question: Is it time for the Jews to leave? Europe is a Jewish museum and a Jewish graveyard, but after the war it became, remarkablyand despite Hitlers best effortshome once again to living, breathing Jewish communities. Is it still a place for Jews who want to live uncamouflaged Jewish lives?

A conversation between Jeffrey Goldberg, Leon Wieseltier, and James Bennet

II. Dont Go to the Jew

On the morning of March 19, 2012, a man named Mohamed Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent, parked his motorbike in front of the entrance of a Jewish school in Toulouse called Ozar Hatorah, which is in a placid residential neighborhood not far from the city center. Merah, who had been radicalized in a French prison and trained in an al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan, dismounted and almost immediately began firing a 9 mm pistol at students and the parents who were dropping them off. He killed a 30-year-old rabbi and his two sons, who were 3 and 6 years old. Merah then walked into the schoolyard, shooting at students. He chased down an 8-year-old girl named Myriam Monsonego, catching her by the hair. Merah held her down and placed his 9 mm to her head, but the weapon jammed. He switched to another handgun, pressed it against her head, and fired. The sound of shooting had brought the schools principal to the school yard. Yaacov Monsonego arrived to see Merah execute his daughter.

Merah escaped on his motorbike. He was later shot and killed by police. French authorities said he was also responsible for the earlier killings of three French soldiers of Muslim background. In the theology of radical French Islamism, Muslims who cooperate with the state are as much an enemy as Jewish children.

Ozar Hatorah, which is today known as Ohr Hatorah, is surrounded by a high wall, topped in places by barbed wire. I visited the school in October with Nicole Yardni, the Toulouse representative of the national Jewish council. Yardni wanted me to meet a physician named Charles Bensemhoun, who would explain, she said, the collapsing relationship between Toulouses 18,000 or so Jews and its much larger Muslim population.

Bensemhoun, who is in his mid-50s, is Sephardic, born in Morocco. Three-quarters of Frances Jews are Sephardim, chased from Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in the 1950s and 60s.

Many of Bensemhouns patients are North African Muslims. These are people like me, who were born there, he told me outside the schools synagogue. We speak the same language, literallyhe says he and his patients move easily between Arabic and Frenchand we understand each other in very deep ways. Theyre very comfortable with me as their doctor. He went on, But its changed in recent years. Now their children are telling them, Dont go to the Jew, You cant trust the Jew. Theyve become radicalized. Its upsetting. The new generation is anti-Semitic in a way that we havent experienced.

Are these patients listening to their children? Yes, he said. In some cases, yes.

I asked him whether he thought he had a future in Toulouse. He smiled. Does any Jew have a future in Toulouse? The Jewish community is shrinking, Yardni said. Some families are moving to Paris. Others are moving to Israel.

The Merah attack was the gravest in the modern Jewish history of Toulouse (the slaughter of the citys Jews by Crusaders in 1320 is presumed to have been bloodier). But the list of less tragic, though still damaging, attacks is long. Last July, Molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish cultural center; street harassment of Jews walking to and from school and synagogue is common. Early last year, Yardni and other Jews were banned from a left-wing demonstration called to protest homophobia andof all thingsanti-Semitism, because they were ruled to be Zionists. The local police record dozens of anti-Jewish hate crimes each year. There is a point where it becomes difficult to stay, Bensemhoun said.

Monsonego, the school principal who saw his daughter murdered, came out of the synagogue. He is a small, slight man with a graying beard and a hesitant gait. We spoke privately for a couple of minutes. I found him in some ways unfathomable. I dont understand how a father maintains his sanity after witnessing what he witnessedbut his daughters murder has not caused him to lose faith in God or in his work.

Later, I asked Yardni why the Monsonego family has remained in Toulouse. She herself is one of the citys most visible Jewish leaders, and receives many veiled death threats. If the leaders of the community run away, what will happen to the rest of the people? she said.

III. Je Suis Juif

Like many of the banlieues that ring Paris, Montreuil bears no socioeconomic or aesthetic resemblance to the Paris of popular imagination. The architecture is rude, the parks are unkempt, and the people, many of them immigrants from North Africa, are estranged from la belle France. On the way to Montreuil, in the Mtro, I passed defaced posters of the musician Lou Reed. Stars of David had been drawn on his nose. Other graffiti was less ambiguous: Nique les JuifsFuck the Jews.

I was visiting a vocational high school, the Daniel Mayer School. The school is associated with ORT, which is a Russian acronym for the Society for Trades and Agricultural Labor. ORT was founded in 1880 to educate the destitute Jews of the Pale of Settlement, the vast ghetto created by czarist Russia for its Jewish subjects. In France, ORT schools educated a generation of Polish and Russian survivors of the Holocaust; today, they primarily educate the children of North African Jews.

The Mayer School is housed in a seven-story building in Montreuil, near the Robespierre Mtro station. The principal, Isaac Touitou, gathered a group of studentsmainly ages 17 and 18and teachers in the library to talk with me. These were mostly the children of striving working-class parents; the school, which has a reputation for rigor, is a ladder to the middle class. Its students graduate as opticians, dental technicians, accountants, computer programmers. The school also functions as a haven for young Jews living in a dangerous environment.

Once we get here were safe, one of the students told me. Getting here from home is the hard part. Many of the students live in distant and equally perilous suburbs, including Sarcelles, the site of anti-Jewish riots this past summer; and Crteil, where Jews have suffered beatings and rapes by anti-Semitic gangs.

Each of the 10 students had a story to tell about brutality. I was in a public school in Crteil but I had to leave. People would yell at me in the halls: Dirty Jew. Fucking Jew. I want to kill all of you, a student named Paola said. Two years ago they attacked my brother. They would always scream, Go back to your country. They meant Israel.

The ORT school had itself been the target of harassment. Touitou described a recent incident in which about 20 or so students from a neighboring public school had gathered in front of the building and made the quenelle.

The students I talked with in the library generally agreed that their future lay outside of France. A lot of the Muslims hate us here, a student named Alexandre said. His parents had already moved to Israel. They were two of the roughly 7,000 French Jews who left for Israel in 2014. Alexandre would be joining them after graduation.

Zionism, which at its essence is a critique of EuropeTheodor Herzl, its founder, interpreted the Dreyfus affair in France and the pogroms in Russia as invitations to seek an alternative Jewish future outside of Europeis perpetually resuscitated by anti-Semitism. Paola said, Those kids told me to go to Israel, so thats what Im doing. Others were contemplating the possibility of life in Quebec, and some dreamt of America.

The students talked about ways in which Jews concealed their identity. Id heard that it had already become fairly common practice in some of the apartment blocks in the banlieues for Jews to remove the mezuzot from their doors. A mezuzah is a piece of parchment that contains Bible verses and that is placed in a case and then affixed to a doorpost. In some suburbs, mezuzot had become pointers for those in search of Jews to harm.

But the students told me something new. Jewish people are telling other Jews to take down their mezuzot, one of the students said. People are being pressured to hide that they are Jewish. The pressure can be very intense. The impetus for this new campaign seems to have been an incident that occurred in early December, in which a group of robbers broke into an apartment in Crteil. They told the occupants that they knew they were Jewish, and therefore wealthy, and then they raped a 19-year-old woman in the apartment.

Everyone is saying Je suis Charlie today, Wendy, another of the students, said, in reference to the popular slogan of support for the slain Charlie Hebdo cartoonists. But this has been happening to the Jews for years and no one cares.

It would be nice if someone would say Je suis Juif, Sandy, another student, said.

Everyone agreed that more attacks were inevitable. Next week or next month, no one knows, David Attias, a teacher at the school, said. But its coming. Everyone knows it.

The next attack came that afternoon. I met with the students on the morning of January 9. Several hours later came the massacre at the kosher supermarket, about a mile away. One of the dead was a graduate of another ORT school.

IV. Fear in Sweden

The most persecuted Jew in Europe is almost certainly Shneur Kesselman, the rabbi of Malm, a city in southern Sweden. He was dispatched there by the Brooklyn-based Chabad Hasidic movement.

Malm, which sits across the resund from Copenhagen, has a population of roughly 300,000. This includes a large number, perhaps 50,000 or so, of Muslim immigrants. The Jewish community is much smallerby some estimates, there are fewer than 1,000 Jews; the population has dropped by half in recent years. Malms leadership has at times been at odds with Malms Jews. A former mayor said that the city accepts neither Zionism nor anti-Semitisma statement that was taken as hostile by Jewish Swedes supportive of Israels existence.

Acts of anti-Jewish harassment and vandalism are common in Malm, and Kesselman is a main target, because he is the only Jew there who still dresses in an identifiably Jewish mannerkippah, black hat, black coat, and long beard. Jewish teenagers in Malm told me that wearing a Star of David necklace can incite a beating. Kesselman estimates that he has been the target of roughly 150 anti-Semitic attacks in his 10 years in the city, mainly verbal, but also physical. There is a lot of cursing at me, and people sometimes throw bottles at me from their cars. Someone backed up their car in order to hit me, he said when I met with him. Occasionally, he said, people spit on him.

Donors recently provided him a car of his own, so he would not have to walk from his apartment to Malms sole synagogue, except on the Sabbath, when Jewish law forbids driving. I attended services at the synagogue with Kesselman one Friday night in January. The synagogue is a large, ornate, Moorish-style building that was constructed in 1903. Seventeen others attended the service, most of them men in their 60s. There was no police presence around the synagogueScandinavian governments have been far more lackadaisical about Jewish security than Francesbut the Jewish community has its own security guards. Before I was allowed to enter, a security officer, a Swedish Jewplaying a role similar to that of Dan Uzan, the Danish Jew killed in a mid-February attack on a synagogue in Copenhagenquizzed me at length about my identity, asking me a series of idiosyncratic questions designed to test whether I was, in fact, Jewish. (What is the address of Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn? he said. Luckily, I had trained my whole life for this moment.)

After services, I walked with Kesselman and a group of other worshippers through the dark city center. They set an extraordinarily fast pace. I fell in step with a young woman who was born and raised in Malm but now lives in Israel. She was visiting her father, trying to convince him to leave. Hes stubborn, she said. I worry about him here. I noted that Israel is not pristinely safe. Its different. We protect ourselves there.

Kesselman and his wife, the parents of four young children, avoid venturing out in public as a couple, for fear of being targeted together. Earlier, I had asked Kesselman why he has stayed in Malm. Because Malms remaining Jews would have no rabbi if he were to go, he said. Also, many Chabad rabbis resist the urge to leave even dangerous areas, in order to honor the sacrifice of their brethren: in 2008, a Chabad representative and his wife, along with four other Jews, were murdered (after reportedly being tortured) by Pakistani jihadists during the lengthy siege of Mumbai. I asked Kesselman whether he was scared to stay in Malm. Yes, of course Im scared, he said.

Moving from France to escape the attacks of Arabs to a country that will not be Jewish does not make a lot of sense.

I spent one afternoon interviewing people in the main shopping mall of the Rosengrd district, which is predominantly home to immigrants. Several of the Muslims I interviewed expressed benign feelings toward Jews. They knew of Malms reputation for anti-Semitism, and regretted it. A couple of others expressed objections to Israels existence, but absolved the Jews of collective responsibility. But more common was conflation, and exaggeration. I asked several people to tell me where they find information about Jews and Israel. Television stations such as Al Jazeera and the Hezbollah station, AlManar, were cited, as was the preaching of Scandinavian imams. One Danish imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, became famous last year for urging worshippers in a Berlin mosque to kill Jews: Count them and kill them to the very last one. Dont spare a single one of them. He later explained to a Copenhagen newspaper that he never meant all Jews.

One man, an Iraqi refugee, told me, The Jews have too much power everywhere. Another man, of Sudanese background, explained that the Koran itself warns Muslims to fear double-crossing by Jews. They killed the prophets and tried to poison the Prophet Muhammad, he said. I did not hear critiques of Israels occupation policies. I heard, instead, complaints about the Jews baleful influence on the world.

V. The Persecution of Anne Frank

Many institutions are devoted to memorializing the Shoah, but very few are as iconic as the Anne Frank House, in Amsterdam. Each year, more than 1 million visitorsmany of them Dutch studentsmake their way up narrow flights of stairs to the perfectly preserved secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid until they were betrayed.

The Anne Frank House, which is now encased inside a multimedia museum, is a significant operation, employing 112 people. I went one morning to talk with its head of education, Norbert Hinterleitner, about how the Jewish crisis in Europe is shaping the houses pedagogical mission. There has always been tension in the public portrayal of Anne Frank. The specifically Jewish qualities of her life have often been marginalized in literature, onstage, and in film, replaced with a more universal and, to some, accessible message.

I began the interview with a faux pas. A very large number of curators, guides, and directors in European Jewish museums, in my experience, are not Jewish. This is due in part to the general lack of Jews, and to the very large number of museumsEurope is a vast archipelago of Jewish museums. And yet somehow I made the assumption that Hinterleitner was Jewish.

Im Austrian, actually. He didnt know how many employees at the museum were Jewish, but, he said, there are some people who have Jewish lineage. He then added, in what I took to be an effort to explain my initial confusion, Some people here think Im Jewish, because Im dark and I have a big nose.

The Anne Frank House has never had a Jewish director (though Hinterleitner pointed out that at least two members of the board must have a Jewish background), and I would learn later that it is widely understood in Amsterdams Jewish community that Jews should not bother applying for the job. Hinterleitner said that the museum addresses anti-Semitism in the context of larger societal ills, but also that it recently issued a strong press statement condemning anti-Semitic acts in the Netherlands and elsewhere. He said the museum has made an intensive study of anti-Semitism in the Netherlands, and has learned that most verbal expressions of anti-Semitism in secondary schools come from boys and are related to soccer.

The Anne Frank House is merely a simulacrum of a Jewish institution in part because, as its head of communications told me, Annes father said that her diary wasnt about being Jewish, but also, Hinterleitner suggested, because a museum devoted too obsessively to the details of a particular genocide might not draw visitors in sufficient numbers. We want people to be interested in this issue, people from all walks of life. So we talk about the universal components of Anne Franks story as well. Our work is about tolerance and understanding.

When I left, two policemen were patrolling the narrow street outside the museum. A temporary surveillance post had been erected just across from the entrance. I asked one of the officers whether this level of security was normal. He said the government had increased security around the museum last spring, shortly after a massacre at another Jewish site: On May 24, four people were murdered at the Jewish Museum of Belgium, in Brussels, allegedly by a French Muslim of jihadist bent named Mehdi Nemmouche. Two Israeli tourists, a French volunteer, and a Belgian employee of Muslim and Jewish descent were killed. Nemmouche had recently returned to Europe after a term with ISIS in Syria, where, according to a former French hostage of ISIS, his specialty was torturing prisoners.

If you have an anti-Semitic attack on Anne Franks house, it wont be the first, I said to one of the police officers. We have never had an attack, he said.

Not on his watch. But it is fair to count the August 4, 1944, Gestapo raid on the house, which resulted in the arrest of the Frank family, as an anti-Semitic act. Anne died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, roughly one month before it was liberated by British forces.

Anne Frank has become an obsession of modern anti-Semites. Her storyuniversally known, and deeply affectingis a threat to the mission of the Holocaust-denial movement, and her youth and innocence challenge those who argue that Jews are innately perfidious. In Rome last summer, the slogan Anne Frank is a liar was spray-painted on walls in the former Jewish ghetto. In Lebanon, Hezbollah, the radical Shia group, has fought to keep her diary out of schools. In 2006, the Arab European League posted on its Web site a cartoonthis occurred during an earlier round of Europes endless, debilitating blasphemy warsthat featured a shirtless, postcoital Hitler in bed with a frightened dark-haired girl. Write this one in your diary, Anne, Hitler says.

The police outside the Anne Frank House are not protecting it because it is an international symbol of tolerance and understanding. There are many international symbols of understanding scattered across Europe that are not first-tier targets of jihadist extremists. The police are guarding the Anne Frank House because it is, in fact, associated with Jews, and Jews are under sustained attack in Europe.

VI. Hitler Is Dead

In January, at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, the American businessman Ronald Lauder, who serves as the president of the World Jewish Congress, said acidly of Europe, It looks more like 1933 than 2015. He mentioned Jewish children afraid to wear a kippah on the streets of Paris, Budapest, and London; the sacking of Jewish stores; and attacks on synagogues; and he suggested that a slow-motion exodus from Europe was already under way.

Things have gone terribly wrong for the Jews of Europe lately, but comparing 2015 to 1933, the year Hitler came to power, is irresponsible. As serious as matters have become for European Jews today, conditions are different from 80 years ago, in at least two profound ways.

The first is that Israel exists, and has as its reason for being the ingathering of dispersed Jews. A tragedy of Zionism, the political movement to create a state for the Jews in their ancestral homeland, is that it succeeded too late. If Israel had come into being in 1938, rather than in 1948, an untold but presumably very large number of European Jews who were denied refuge by the civilized nations, including the United States, would have been saved from slaughter. Today, of course, the Jews of Toulouse and Malm understand that Israel will take them without question, and many thousands of European Jewsmainly, though not exclusively, Frenchhave moved to Israel in recent years.

The second wayand this is a historical astonishmentis that in 1933, the new leader of Germany announced himself as the foremost enemy of Jewish existence; today, Germanys leader is among the worlds chief defenders of Jews. Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the defense of Jews a principle of the nation: Germanys support for Israels security is part of our national ethos, our raison dtre, she said in 2013. At a rally against anti-Semitism held last September at the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Merkel said: Anyone who hits someone wearing a skullcap is hitting us all. Anyone who damages a Jewish gravestone is disgracing our culture. Anyone who attacks a synagogue is attacking the foundations of our free society.

In France, Manuel Valls, the Socialist prime minister, is, if anything, an even more ardent defender of Europes Jews. He argues that the French idea itself depends on the crushing of anti-Semitism.

The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens, he told me when I met him late last year in Paris. To understand what the idea of the republic is about, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. It is a founding principle.

In 1980, shortly after the bombing of the Rue Copernic synagogue, in Paris, which took the lives of four people, Raymond Barre, who was then the French prime minister, described the attack as one that sought to target Jews who were in this synagogue and that struck innocent Frenchmen who were crossing Rue Copernic.

Frances Jews were wounded by Barres statement. To be excluded from the community of innocent Frenchmen by a prime minister is not something readily forgotten. Roger Cukierman, the head of Frances national Jewish council, told me that French Jews are grateful that Valls has been so willing to speak in their defense.

Valls, whose father is Spanish, framed the threat of a Jewish exodus this way: If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.

Valls is deliberate andunusual for a French politician of the leftblunt in identifying the main culprits in the proliferation of anti-Jewish violence and harassment: Islamist ideologues whose anti-Semitic and anti-Western calumnies have penetrated the banlieues. But he goes further: Frances new anti-Semitism is also the product of what he understands to be a malicious sleight of hand on the part of Israels enemies to repackage anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism.

It is legitimate to criticize the policies of Israel, Valls said. This criticism exists in Israel itself. But this is not what we are talking about in France. This is radical criticism of the very existence of Israel, which is anti-Semitic. There is an incontestable link between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Behind anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Frequently, Valls said, anti-Zionists let the mask slip. It is impossible, he said, to ascribe the attacks on synagoguesat least eight were targeted in France last summerto anger over Israels Gaza policy. The demonstrators who chanted Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas at rallies in Germany last year clearly have more on their minds than Israels West Bank settlement policybut evidently not everyone in authority believes that attacks on synagogues are axiomatically anti-Semitic: in early February, a German court ruled that the firebombing of a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal last year was motivated not by anti-Semitism but by a desire to bring attention to the Gaza conflict.

Valls and Merkel think more clearly about the implications of Jewish persecution than many others in Europe. So too does David Cameron, the prime minister of the United Kingdom. When I met with Cameron in January, on his most recent visit to Washington, D.C., he expressed, with something close to Vallss passion, a fear for the future of Britains Jewish minority. The Jewish community in Britain has been there for centuries and has made an extraordinary contribution to our country, he said. I would be heartbroken if I ever thought that people in the Jewish community thought that Britain was no longer a safe place for them.

According to the Community Security Trust, 2014 saw the highest number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom, which is home to 300,000 Jews, since the organization began its monitoring efforts, in 1984: it recorded 1,168 anti-Semitic incidents. This is more than double the number of incidents in 2013, and exceeds the previous record, from 2009, of 931 incidents. In a recent survey conducted on behalf of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, a quarter of British Jews said they had considered leaving the country; more than half of those surveyed said they fear that Jews have no future in Great Britain.

Cameron condemned demonstrators who took out their frustrations with Israel on Europes Jews. I asked him whether there existed in his mind a bright line that separates anti-Zionism from anti-Semitism. He answered: I think it is unfair and wrong to lay at the door of Jewish communities of Europe policies pursued by the government of Israel that people might not agree withjust completely wrong.

He went on to say: As well as the new threat of extremist Islamism, there has been an insidious, creeping attempt to delegitimize the state of Israel, which spills over often into anti-Semitism. We have to be very clear about the fact that there is a dangerous line that people keep crossing over. This is a state, a democracy that is recognized by the UN, and I dont think we should be tolerant of this effort at delegitimization. The people who are trying to make the line fuzzy are the delegitimizers.

The fight against anti-Semitism led by Merkel, Valls, and Cameron appears to be heartfelt. The question is, will it work? After the January massacres in Paris, the French government deployed several thousand soldiers to protect Jewish institutions, but it cannot assign soldiers to protect every Jew walking to and from the Mtro. The governments of Europe are having a terrible time in their struggle against the manifestations of radical Islamist ideology. And the general publics of these countries do not seem nearly as engaged in the issue as their leaders. The Berlin rally last fall against anti-Semitism that featured Angela Merkel drew a paltry 5,000 people, most of whom were Jews. It is a historical truism that, as Manuel Valls told me, what begins with Jews doesnt end with Jews. But this notion has not penetrated public opinion.

More here:
Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? – The Atlantic

gTorah | The Dvar Torah Service

Arba Minim: Why do Jews shake Lulav and Esrog?

Personally speaking, the Four Species is one of the most downright bizarre and mysterious mitzvos in our tradition. The underlying principle is not stated in the Torah, which concludes the instruction with the general theme of the Chag:

On the first day, [take the Four Species]; and you should celebrate and rejoice before Hashem for seven days. (23:40)

There is no obvious reason or ethic for doing this, and you wont find many who can explain it. What significance can saving the Arba Minim have for us?

One of precious few explanations given is that it represents different kinds of Jews. The esrog has a pleasant taste and a pleasant scent, and represents Jews who have knowledge of Torah as well as performance of mitzvah performance. The palm branch, which produces tasty fruit and is itself a food, but has no scent, represents Jews who have knowledge of Torah but are lacking in mitzvah performance. The hadas, the myrtle leaf, has a strong scent but no taste, represents Jews who perform mitzvot but little Torah knowledge. The arava, the willow, has neither taste nor scent, represents Jews who have no knowledge of Torah or mitzvos. We bring all these together to remind us that every one of these four kinds of Jews is important and has their place. And such is life; real community is only found when all types of people can be together. The mitzvah, and society, fails when any part is excluded.

Rabbi Shlomo Farhi notes there is a general principle of hidur mitva, which means that the attitude to any mitzvah should be such that the mitzvah is done in an elegant way. With the esrog, the prescription of the mitzvah is that the mitzvah must be elegant, beyond the general principle of hidur mitzvah. There are people who will spend days on end inspecting their esrog so that the shape and shine are perfect; and this is what the mitzvah actually requires!

Why is this the only mitzvah where we must go above and beyond to search for something perfect, just to fulfil the basic premise of the mitzvah?

Rabbi Farhi explains that the taste and scent allegory applies to ourselves too. There are parts of our practice that we love, understand and are good at, and parts that we dont like, do, or understand; and everything in between. The part of Judaism that I love, understand, and am good at is something that is worth spending time on, and it should be the focal point. That is worth putting effort into, and being proud of. That is a real achievement. The search for the perfect esrog shows the value we should place on that part of ourselves.

The agricultural element cannot be forgotten either Sukkos is the harvest festival. The Rambam notes that the Jews complained in the wilderness:

| Why have we been taken from Egypt to this awful place, with nowhere to plant, not figs, or grapevines, or pomegranates; nor water to drink! (20:5)

In contradistinction to their ingratitude, taking the Arba Minim, abundant in the fruitful and productive Land of Israel, is a symbolic refutation of their attitude to the care God took of them, and expresses our own gratitude at all we are fortunate to have. The Arba Minim are waved either axis of three dimensional space, vertical, horizontal, and lateral, to signify our awareness that this is the space in which God operates, in a way the desert generation did not appreciate. The plants we take, which require water, are waved at the beginning of the rainy season, as we call on Hashem Hosha na, to aid us.

The Rambams observation is critical to unlocking what the Arba Minim are. The mitzvah is a rejection of the attitude of the wilderness, and we embrace our reliance on Hashem for all things through it.

The mitzvah of Sukka requires that for 7 days, a large part of living, particularly eating, takes place in a somewhat flimsy hut, with some plant material as the roof. The primary reason is stated in the Torah:

. Every resident of Israel will sit in huts for 7 days; so that the generations will know that I had Israel live in huts when I took them out of Egypt. (23:42,43)

What specific import does this have to us, other than recalling an ancient memory?

Arguably, it is a natural progression from Yom Kippur. We profess multiple times on Yom Kippur that we did not act in private the way we did in public. Perhaps the Sukka brings the two into synthesis. The Sukka is closed, yet anyone outside can hear whatever happens within its walls; a Sukka is not private. Perhaps sitting in a Sukka is a commitment to acting in private more like we are in public.

The Rambam explains that the exposure to the elements reminds us of the miracles experienced in the wilderness, the stated reason in the Torah. At the beginning of nationhood, when our peoples history began, and before anything remarkable occurred, we were completely looked after just like we are surrounded completely surrounded by the Sukka. God is good to us just because, without qualification. Sukka reminds us that we are each taken care of in our own, personal way.

The Chagim all have an agricultural element to them, which is somewhat anachronistic today yet the themes remain relevant. Sukkos is the harvest festival, a time of celebration and plenty a farmer would literally reap what he had sown, finally seeing the fruit of his labour. Rav Hirsch notes that in this time of achievement, we are to walk away, and remember that in a physically and spiritually barren wasteland, we were helpless, yet cared for nonetheless. We retreat from our comforts and securities to a greater or lesser degree. Sitting in a Sukka is a mitzvah of simplicity.

This was more obvious when everyone had to journey to Jerusalem as part of the mitzvah. They would have to leave wherever they were from, whatever their professions, and the roads would be packed with people doing the same thing. By getting there, away from their busy lives, sharing with people doing the same thing, there would be a strong and shared sense of common identity.

The simplicity of Sukka reminds us that we are each taken care of in our own, personal way, no matter the circumstance or whether we deserve it. This realisation ought to cause a deep sense of gratitude for all the goodness we experience, as well as feelings of modesty and humility. Thinking about all this may even get us to act more like it too!

A fundamental precept of Teshuva is that it is not necessarily confined to the individuals personal relationship with Hashem. The obvious examples are transgressions against other people, in the event of which their forgiveness must be sought; and acts of public disgrace Chillul Hashem.

When Moshe exhorts the people to commit to being Gods people, he warns them not to ascribe any negativity to God, because it is only projection:

, : , Destruction is not His; it is His childrens defect, crooked and twisted generation. (32:5)

R Avrohom Shor points out that by saying this, Moshe was raising awareness of the realities people create. Transgressions and mistakes are genuinely bad for you and the people around you. Its quite simple if you gossip a lot, the people you surround yourself with will gossip lots too. If you shout, people will shout at you, etc.

When a person wishes to change, although ideally, the slate is wiped clean, that is not always so simple. There are some things that cant be taken back. Imagine the angry, rude, gossip around young children over a period of time. If, some time in the future, this person wished to change, he could change his behaviour but what of all the young, impressionable people who observed and learnt from his conduct? The children dont necessarily see the changed man, his Teshuva they see the example that was set.

This was Moshes warning , wayward children are not Gods fault. We are the ones responsible.

In our prayers over the Yamim Noraim, we frequently say how only God truly knows the reality of all things as they are:

– What is hidden is for Hashem; the revealed things are for us and our children together. (29:28)

R Ahron Belzer would often remark in the buildup to the Yamim Noraim that sometimes, its ok to reveal certain hidden things. Let your family see the changes in you, and not go on thinking that youre just the same. This is especially important regarding young children make sure that who you really are is someone worth showing them.

There is a skill to receiving a compliment, and stating the truth of things, that does not have to be arrogance. There is nothing more arrogant than faux humility always be proud to say youve work hard for something.

Moshe calls on Heaven and earth to be witnesses and guarantors to the covenant between God and the Jews:

Listen, Heavens, and I will speak! And let the earth hear the words of my mouth. (32:1)

In parentheses, it is important to note that Heaven obviously does not mean the sky there arent choirs of angels in the stratosphere. The Torah speaks in metaphors people can understand Heaven simply means Beyond. Earth here likely means the physical, observable universe.

The action undertaken is not the same; Heaven is requested to listen to the proceedings, literally to incline an ear, whereas the earth is merely told to hear. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch notes that inclining an ear expresses greater attentiveness than hearing. Hearing can be done without exerting effort, and without even intending to; but inclining an ear clearly indicates a desire to listen.

This is poetic and metaphorical, but still means something, so worth analysing. Why is Heaven a more active participant than earth?

Perhaps it is because while Creation is a fusion of Heaven and earth, Heaven is where the natures and reality of all things are rooted. Things unfold on earth, but more passively, because most (all?) things outcomes, developments, social conditions, pretty much everything that isnt based on free will hinge on extraterrestrial cosmic conditions we call Heaven the control room. Nature is the ultimate servant of God it has stayed on the path set during the six days of Creation. It couldnt be otherwise, what with the lack of free will. Nature remains confined to the laws it was created with.

This is why earth is given a more passive role, while Heaven is the back end of things, so given an active role.

As we approach the end of the Torah, it coincides with many of the Chagim. It is vital to remember that all you can do is make a choice everything else is out of your hands. Be grateful for all the good granted to you, and pray.

The Clouds of Glory marked travel movements for the Jews in the desert, and according to Midrash, flattened obstacles, cleared wild beasts, and possibly cleaned their clothing too. The Chag of Succos is dedicated to commemorating them. There is no equivalent display of appreciation for the manna or Miriams well, which are all along the same line of supernatural providence for the nation. Why are the Clouds remembered, and not the well or manna?

The Chida explains that food and water are the basic requirements for survival. Taking the Jews into the wilderness of the desert necessarily meant God would provide nourishment from somewhere; what could otherwise be expected? The Jews had their own shelter through tents and huts. But Clouds that protected the camp from the harsh sun, and according to Midrash even more, is far beyond what could have been expected .

Secondly, they were a gift that showed Gods love for the people. This is proven by the fact that people outside the camp such as the Egyptian stragglers and people forced out due to tzaraas did not benefit.

Thirdly, the Clouds were appreciated far more than the manna and the water. The Jews complained and gave orders regarding the food and drink on offer in the desert but they never complained about the Clouds. The Clouds were the perfect gift.

The Chida notes that perhaps these are hinted to:

In order that your ensuing generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord, your God. (23:43)

I gave it to you as a gift; and they were enjoyed perfectly I gave it to the Jews; not the Egyptian stragglers. I took you out of Egypt; so I fed you, but didnt have to provide the Clouds.

The Clouds were an incredible, and totally unwarranted display of affection to the Jews. This is commemorated on Succos.

On the kiddush of the festivals, we say the following:

Speak to the Children of Israel, and tell them these are the Festivals that they shall keep holy. For six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places. (23:2,3)

Why is Shabbos inserted into the middle of the Festivals?

The Vilna Gaon explains that on all the Festivals certain types of food related activity are permitted, whereas on Shabbos all melachos are forbidden. However on one Yom Tov no melacha is permitted Yom Kippur which is also known as the same terminology that the Torah uses for a regular Shabbos. Thus the pasuk can be rendered:

On six days melacha is permitted the first and last days of Pesach (2), one day Shavuos (3), one day Rosh Hashana (4), one day Succos (5), one day Shmini Atzeres (6). However the seventh is the holy of holiest no melacha is permitted Yom Kippur!

The Mishna in Pirkei Avos (4:28) warns of characteristics that portend mans downfall:

, , Rabbi Eliezer said: jealousy, lust, and pride, remove man from the world.

The Chiddushei Harim explains that the Chagim, the Shalosh Regalim seek to address these shortcomings.

Pesach makes up for lust, as we eat matza, the poor mans bread the simplest, most base of all foods. Despite seeming undesirable, it is all we eat for a week, demonstrating how we are capable of subduing our passions and desires in pursuit of closeness with God; precisely the step the Jews took by blindly following Him into the wilderness.

Shavuos addresses jealousy, or prying eyes. The Torah was given without casting glances at what uncomfortable obligations were required. They unilaterally accepted the Torah, simply because God was offering it, with perfect trust. This demonstrates the ability to subdue jealousy and self-interest.

Succos atones for pride, commemorating our reliance on the clouds Hashem surrounded us with in the desert. A sukka literally has to be a flimsy little shelter, subject to the elements, under the open sky showing how small man is. By stepping into a sukka for a week, we demonstrate the capability of deflating our egos, and being humble, relying solely on God.

The Chiddushei HaRim notes jealousy, lust, and pride relate respectively to the soul, heart, and body. Yirmiyahu chastises people for stumbling in these areas:

So says Hashem: Let not the sage rejoice in his wisdom; nor the mighty in his strength; nor the wealthy in his riches. (Yirmiyahu 9:22)

Wisdom and jealousy relate to the soul, might and lust relate tothe heart, and wealth and pride relate tothe body. The prophet warns not to rest on our laurels, even if we think weve made it. We must always work on them, and tellingly, it is a year round endeavor that encompasses all seasons.

After developing all three aspects the prophet discusses, Sukkos ends, and Simchas Torah begins. After , wherein we recognise our humanity, fallibility, shortcomings, and how reliant we truly are, we can say that we have been show that Hashem is truly unique.

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Holocaust – Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia

Did you know that the following article was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by the Zionist elites who control the world? 99 subhuman Jews in the row, 99 subhuman Jews! Shoot one down, kick it around, 98 subhuman Jews in the row!

~ Concentration camp worker on holocaust

~ Adolf Eichmann at the Nuremberg Trials

The Holocaust is an important mathematical structure in political algebraic topology and physics. It is the colimit in the category of fields of infinite tragic characteristic with natural logical morphisms, as is the nineleven in the category of fields of infinite tragic attributes with unnatural quantum functions.

A holocaust as displayed by in a three-dimensional field with Legos.

A political field is a set with two binary operations, addition and multiplication, that satisfies the following axioms:

A topological political field has also a topological structure. This determines open and closed issues on the political field. Multiplication is of course a continuous map under this topology.

Some political fields have a tragic characteristic, which is the smallest negative element n of the tragic numbers such that when acting upon the political field, 0 is attained. Political fields of finite tragic characteristic include the Schiavo field, the Chandra-Levy field, the Elysian field, the Natalee Holloway field, and the Phillip-Bustert field. Some political fields have no non-trivial nilpotent elements under tragedy. No action will reduce the open issues in these fields to 0. Such political fields have infinite tragic characteristic.

Classic political fields of infinite tragic characteristic include the Orwell field and the Alderaan field. In 1905, Bertrand Russell proved the existence of a universal political field of tragic infinite characteristic. However, it was not until 1941 that Wilhelm Sss, a German politicomathematician, explicitly constructed this field, which was later termed the Holocaust. Sss constructed the Holocaust using J-transport theory, which allows one to concentrate certain difficult degenerate maps into nilpotent elements.

The most important feature of the Holocaust is that it is universal for all political fields of infinite tragic characteristic. This is a priori a simple property from its definition as a colimit. However there appear to be no natural maps from any open issue in any other political field into the Holocaust. It was conjectured by American politicomathematician Asimov that it is impossible to construct a comparison of an open issue in any political field to the Holocaust. Many attempts to disprove this conjecture have failed, including attempts by politicomathematicians Santorum and Durbin, who respectively attempted to compare the Phillip-Bustert field and the Gitmo field to the Holocaust.

Most applications of the Holocaust depend upon the Asimov Conjecture. In this way, the Asimov Conjecture plays the same role in political field theory that the Riemann hypothesis plays in number theory.

Much work in the early 2000s has focused on the connection between the Asimov Conjecture and the Axiom of Choice. Many politicomathematicians, trying to extend earlier work of Paul Cohen, have tried to show that the Stewart Conjecture is incompatible with the Axiom of Choice. Most of the work in this field focuses on Ab-Torsion using elliptical maps. Still, despite years of work by the politicomathematicians Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, no natural maps between Ab-Torsion groups and the Holocaust have been discovered.

Teaching kids about the Holocaust.

All Jews loved the holocaust. All of them.

Speculation is still open as to whether the Asimov Conjecture will be proven. If it can be successfully proven, then the energy focused on trying to construct a comparison between an open issue and the Holocaust will have been wasted. Current efforts are focused on the discovery of a hypothetical particle, the Joo particle, and a hypothetical second particle, the Nutsy particle. It is hypothesized that if the two particles should collide, then a very energetic reaction should take place.

This image shows (or resembles) a symbol that was used by the National Socialist (NSDAP/Nazi) government of Germany or an organization closely associated to it, or another party which has been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany.

The use of insignia of organizations that have been banned in Germany (like the Nazi swastika or the arrow cross) may also be illegal in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Brazil, Israel, Canada and other countries, depending on context. In Germany, the applicable law is paragraph 86a of the criminal code (StGB), in Poland Art. 256 of the criminal code (Dz.U. 1997 nr 88 poz. 553).

Therefore, if you are in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, France, Brazil, Israel, or Canada, fuck off, you’re not allowed to read this or the government will get you.

Seriously. GTFO. This article might just call you a god-damn ni-*gets arrested*

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Holocaust – Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia


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As suggested by its Greek origin (holos “whole”, and kaustos “burnt”) the word designates an offering entirely consumed by fire, in use among the Jews and some pagan nations of antiquity. As employed in the Vulgate, it corresponds to two Hebrew terms: (1) to holah, literally: “that which goes up”, either to the altar to be sacrificed, or to heaven in the sacrificial flame; (2) Kalil, literally: “entire”, “perfect”, which, as a sacrificial term, is usually a descriptive synonym of holah, and denotes an offering consumed wholly on the altar . At whatever time and by whomsoever offered , holocausts were naturally regarded as the highest, because the most complete, outward expression of man’s reverence to God. It is, indeed, true that certain passages of the prophets of Israel have been construed by modern critics into an utter rejection of the offering of sacrifices, the holocausts included; but this position is the outcome of a partial view of the evidence, of the misconception of an attack on abuses as an attack on the institution which they had infected. For details concerning this point, and for a discussion of the place which the same scholars assign to the holah (holocaust) in their theory of the development of the sacrificial system among the Hebrews , see SACRIFICE. The following is a concise statement of the Mosaic Law as contained chiefly in what critics commonly call the Priests’ Code, concerning whole burnt-offerings .

Only animals could be offered in holocaust; for human victims, which were sacrificed by the Chanaanites and by other peoples, were positively excluded from the legitimate worship of Yahweh (cf. Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; etc.). In general, the victims had to be taken either from the herd (young bullocks) or from the flock (sheep or goats); and, to be acceptable, the animal was required to be a male, as the more valuable, and without blemish, as only then worthy of God (Leviticus 1:2, 3, 5, 10; 22:17 sqq.). In certain cases, however, birds (only turtle-doves or young pigeons) were offered in holocaust (Leviticus 1:14; etc.); these birds were usually allowed to the poor as a substitute for the larger and more expensive animals (Leviticus 5:7; 12:8; 14:22), and were even directly prescribed in some cases of ceremonial uncleanness (Leviticus 15:14, 15, 29, 30). Game and fishes, which were sacrificed in some pagan worships of Western Asia, were not objects of sacrifice in the Mosaic Law.

The principle rites to be carried out in the offering of holocausts, were (1) on the part of the offerer, that he should bring the animal to the door of the tabernacle, impose his hands on its head, slay it to the north of the altar , flay and cut up its carcass, and wash its entrails and legs; (2) on the part of the priest, that he should receive the blood of the victim, sprinkle it about the altar, and burn the offering. In the case of an offering of birds, it was the priest who killed the victims and flung aside as unsuitable their crop and feathers (Leviticus 1). In public sacrifices, it was also the priest’s duty to slay the victims, being assisted on occasions by the Levites. The inspection of the entrails, which played a most important part in the sacrifices of several ancient people, notably of the Phoenicians, had no place in the Mosaic ritual.

Among the Hebrews , holocausts were of two general kinds, according as their offering was prescribed by the Law or the result of private vow or devotion. The obligatory holocausts were (1) the daily burnt-offering of a lamb; this holocaust was made twice a day (at the third and ninth hour), and accompanied by a cereal oblation and a libation of wine (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-8); (2) the sabbath burnt-offering , which included the double amount of all the elements of the ordinary daily holocaust (Numbers 28:9, 10); (3) the festal burnt-offering, celebrated at the New Moon, the Pasch, on the Feast of Trumpets , the day of Atonement , and the Feast of Tabernacles, on which occasions the number of the victims and the quantity of the other offerings were considerably increased; (4) the holocausts prescribed for the consecration of a priest (Exodus 29:15 sqq.; Leviticus 8:18; 9:12), at the purification of women (Leviticus 12:6-8), at the cleansing of lepers (Leviticus 14:19, 20), at the purgation of ceremonial uncleanness (Leviticus 15:15, 30), and finally in connection with the Nazarite vow (Numbers 6:11, 16). In the voluntary burnt-offerings the number of the victims was left to the liberality or to the wealth of the offerer (cf. 1 Kings 3:4; 1 Chronicles 29:21, etc., for very large voluntary holocausts), and the victims might be supplied by the Gentiles, a permission of which Augustus actually availed himself, according to Philo (Legatio ad Caium, xl).

The following are the principal purposes of the whole burnt-offerings prescribed by the Mosaic Law: (1) By the total surrender and destruction of victims valuable, pure, innocent, and most nearly connected with man, holocausts vividly recalled to the Hebrews of old the supreme dominion of God over His creatures, and suggested to them the sentiments of inner purity and entire self-surrender to the Divine Majesty, without which even those most excellent sacrifices could not be of any account before the Almighty Beholder of the secrets of the heart. (2) In offering holocausts with the proper dispositions worshippers could feel assured of acceptance with God, Who then looked upon the victims as a means of atonement for their sins (Leviticus 1:4), as a well-pleasing sacrifice on their behalf (Leviticus 1:3, 9), and as a cleansing from whatever defilement might have prevented them from appearing worthily before Him (Leviticus 14:20). (3) The holocausts of the Old Law foreshadowed the great and perfect sacrifice which Jesus, the High Priest of the New Law and the true Lamb of God, was to offer in fulfillment of all the bloody sacrifices of the first covenant (Hebrews 9:12, sqq.; etc.).

Cath. Authors: Haneberg, Die religioesen Alterthuemer der Bibel, 2nd ed. (Munich, 1869); Schoepfer, Geschichte des A. T. 2nd. ed., (Brixen, 1895); Larange, Etudes sur les Religions Semitiques, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1905). Non-Cath. authors: Kurtz, Sacrificial Worship of the Old Testament, tr. (Edinburgh, 1863); Edersheim, The Temple and its Services (London, 1874); Riehm, Alttestamentliche Theologie (Halle, 1889); Nowack, Hebraeische Archaeologie (Freiburg, 1894); Schultz, Old Testament Theology, tr. (Edinburgh, 1898); Kent, Israel’s Laws and Legal Precedents (New York, 1907); Benzinger, Hebraeische Archaeologie, 2nd. ed. (Freiburg, 1907). See also bibliography to Sacrifice.

APA citation. Gigot, F. (1910). Holocaust. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

MLA citation. Gigot, Francis. “Holocaust.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. .

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Donald D. Ross.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Contact information. The editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight. My email address is webmaster at Regrettably, I can’t reply to every letter, but I greatly appreciate your feedback especially notifications about typographical errors and inappropriate ads.

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The Synagogue – Gathering Together | Truth Or Tradition?

History, Origin, What the Name Means, the Officials, and the Synagogue Services

The Name Synagogue

We get the English synagogue by transliterating the Greek sunagoge, which means, a bringing together (from sunago, to gather together). In its earliest usage, sunagoge did not refer to a building or place of gathering, but rather to the group of people who were gathered together. The Greek word synagogue is used more than 200 times in the Septuagint for gatherings of people, but never for a building where people gathered. Later, as the buildings for gathering developed, sunagoge became used of the gathering place as well as the people gathered. Thus, the word synagogue is similar to the English word church in that it can refer to the people who gather together or the place where the people gather together.

Mark 1:21 says Jesus entered into the synagogue, using synagogue as the place of meeting itself. In contrast, Acts 13:43 is a good example of synagogue referring to the people. (NIV: congregation). It literally reads, Now when the synagogue was broken up. Interestingly, synagogue was sometimes used of a gathering of people for evil or hostile intentions. Psalm 21:17 in the Septuagint (which is 22:16 in our English Bibles), uses synagogue in that sense, as does Revelation 2:9 and 3:9.

Origins of the Synagogue

The origins of synagogue buildings and the worship associated with them are obscure. It seems clear that synagogue buildings and meeting places started during the Babylonian exile. For one thing, the Jews who were carried away from Israel were not allowed to return, and for another, because Nebuchadnezzar had burned the Temple to the ground, so there was no way to continue Temple worship. For more than two generations between the burning of Solomons Temple (2 Kings 25:9) and Zerubbabels rebuilding it during the Persian rule (Ezra 1:2; 3:11; 6:14, 15), there was no way to obey the priestly and sacrificial regulations of the Torah, so devout Jews began to get together to pray, worship, and study the Law.

One reason the origin of synagogue buildings is obscure is because God had commanded that the Jews not worship wherever they wanted, but only where God would put His Name (Deut. 12:1-14). Originally that was wherever the Tabernacle was, but eventually David moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and built a tent for it (1 Chron. 15:1; 16:1). When Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, God said His name would be there forever (2 Chron. 7:16). Therefore, building a place to worship God other than the Temple itself would have seemed like a breach of the Law (and therefore it would have taken many years to become acceptable.) Nevertheless, by the time of Christ, it was the synagogue, not the Temple, that was the central institution for Jewish worship. This makes sense because even the Jews living in Israel would only go to Jerusalem three times a year (and most went only one time), but they went to their synagogue every Sabbath.

By the time of Christ, there were synagogues all over Israel and in many cities of the Roman world, something that greatly helped the spread of Christianity. Paul is mentioned as going into synagogues in Damascus (Acts 9:2); Salamis (Acts 13:5); Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:14); Iconium (Acts 14:1); Thessalonica (Acts 17:1); Berea (Acts 17:10); Athens (Acts 17:17); Corinth (Acts 18:4); and Ephesus (Acts 18:19; 19:8). The widespread use of the synagogue also provided for the continuance of the Jewish religion after the Romans burned Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.

In the early days of the Christian religion, when Christians were Jews who believed in Jesus, they would go to synagogue on the Sabbath just as they had always done. That explains why Paul went into the synagogues to find Christians (Acts 9:2; 22:19; 26:11), and it also explains how Christian worship services got started on Sunday. The early Christians were already going to synagogue on the Sabbath, so they met on Sunday as Christians. This practice became the norm as the Jews began to force the Christians out of the synagogues and as Gentiles became Christians but could not participate in the synagogue services.

The Synagogue Building

There apparently were no set rules about how or where to build a synagogue, although there are Jewish sources that indicate that there had to be at least 10 Jewish men who would participate. Later, when the Talmud was written, one of the requirements was that it should be on the highest point of town. Obviously, as the Jews spread into the Roman world they were in no position to dictate where they would be allowed to build a building. We can get a better grasp of the construction of a synagogue if we think of what a Christian Church is like. What does it look like, and of what is it built? Churches differ according to where they are built, how wealthy a Church is, how strictly traditional the people want to be, etc. The same is true for synagogues. While there are some things, such as the presence of the ark where the scrolls were kept, that are quite standard, many things varied from place to place. The local Jews were greatly affected by the culture they lived in, and synagogues reflected that, some being more Roman, or more Greek, etc.

There are no clear records of the style of the architecture of synagogues before the second century A.D. It seems likely that the oldest synagogues both in Israel and abroad seem to be houses or to have developed out of houses, and this may be true in Palestine in New Testament days, for in Mark 6:3 and Luke 13:10-17, the women do not seem to sit in galleries, as they probably do in the basilica-type synagogues of later times. Thus the early synagogues were like early Christian churches, they were house churches, only later becoming formal buildings.

Generally, the front of the synagogue faced Jerusalem. The inside seating arrangement is not completely clear. Some synagogues had benches parallel to the walls with an open area in the middle where people could sit. In any case, the majority of the congregation faced east toward the front of the building and Jerusalem. Records and remains from synagogues from the second century and later are available to help us understand the pattern of a typical synagogue. The older Galilean buildings have three naves made by double rows of pillars, galleries (with access from outside) over the side naves, windows at the front and along the side walls, stone seats in ranks along the side walls (sometimes also the back), and a stone floor.

Scholars debate whether or not the women were separated from the men and had their own gallery. Some historical records indicate, but do not specifically state, that there was one, while other records do not indicate the existence of such a gallery. It is very likely that in early synagogues the women were not separated, but later they were.

At the front of the synagogue, close to the front wall near the entrance (and sometimes in a niche or nave in the wall), was a movable ark in which the scrolls of the Law and the Prophets were kept. In front of the ark (toward the back of the synagogue) and facing the people were the chief seats (Matt. 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 20:46). The important officials of the synagogue and the most learned men sat in the chief seats. Apparently some synagogues had a very ornate special seat called Moses seat that would be in front with the chief seats, but very close to the ark containing the scrolls. The most prominent elder would sit in that seat. Jesus may have referred to it in his teaching (Matt. 23:2), however, the grammar of the verse indicates that he was referring in more general terms to the chief seats and the authority that those who sat in them wielded. In front of the chief seats was a lectern from which reading and teaching could be done. The person at the lectern had his back toward the chief seats and faced the audience. Sometimes the seats and lectern were on a raised platform. Then, in front of the lectern, facing it, were the people.

It was common to decorate the synagogue with various motifs and carvings, and typical decorations include the menorah, the seven-branched lamp stand, the pot of manna, sheep, grapevines and pomegranates as well as other fruits and vegetables, flowers, etc. Sometimes there were epigraphical inscriptions, often quotations from Scripture, and often in uncial script Greek.

The Officials of the Synagogue

The Ruler of the Synagogue (Greek is archisunagogos; Mark 5:35; Luke 8:41, 49; 13:14; Acts 18:8, 17) was the top official of the synagogue, and it was his job to control the synagogue services. He decided who would read from the scrolls and preach, he controlled the order of the service and what went on (Acts 13:15), and kept order if someone did something unruly (Luke 13:14). We know three rulers by name from the New Testament: Jairus (Mark 5:22); Crispus (Acts 18:8); and Sosthenes (Acts 18:17). Some synagogues had several rulers, something that can be seen in the New Testament as well as the Talmud (Mark 5:22; Acts 13:15).

Another officer was the sheliach tzibbur, the Delegate of the Assembly. The Hebrew word sheliach means legate or delegate, and comes from the Hebrew root shalach, to send. Thus it is easy to see how sheliach came over into Greek as aggelos, a messenger (pronounced angelos, and translated angel when the messenger was a spirit, but messenger when it referred to a human, cp. Luke 7:24). The Hebrew word tzibbur means assembly. The sheliach tzibbur was a man of good character who the ruler of the synagogue would ask to read the Scriptures, and he was also expected to read the prayers. Because he was the mouthpiece of the congregation, when Jesus Christ wrote to the Jews who will get together after the Rapture, he wrote to the angel, who will then read the letter to the congregation, which should have been translated messenger for claritys sake (Rev. 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14).

Each synagogue had elders who were the officials that formed a kind of local tribunal, whose authority would be dictated in large part by local laws. In purely Jewish communities, they had a lot of power, while in Greco-Roman and other communities their actual power to punish was limited. That would explain why the Jews brought Paul to the proconsul Gallio instead of beating him themselves (Acts 18:12-16). They most certainly had the power to excommunicate someone from their congregation (John 9:22; 12:42; 16:2).

Another position in the synagogue, found in the New Testament (Luke 4:20) and in the Talmud, is the Servant (Greek: huperetes) of the synagogue. He cleaned the synagogue, attended the lamps, and did other necessary jobs, including meting out corporal punishment and beatings (Matt. 10:17; 23:34; Mark 13:9; Acts 22:19). Other positions included the interpreter, who would translate the Hebrew of the Law into the local Aramaic, and people who were in charge of collecting alms for the poor. This was very important, because although the Temple in Jerusalem was supported by tithes and offerings proscribed by the Law, the synagogue was run on freewill offerings. Some of the offices of the synagogue were not permanent, but were chosen weekly or on an as needed basis.

One of the important differences between the synagogue service and the Temple service was that there was no birth right associated with the official positions of the synagogue. The distinction between the officials (clergy), and the people was only one of education and willingness to serve. The strict distinction between the priests and Levites, and the ordinary people that existed in the Temple, did not apply, thus opening the door for anyone who had a heart to serve God to be able to do so. Thus the rabbi, the teacher, became the leading man in the synagogue.

The Synagogue Service

According to the Talmud, at least 10 people had to be present for a regular worship service, which took place on the Sabbath, although there were services on other holy days as well. Also, because the synagogue was often used as a school or general gathering place, commonly there were activities almost every day of the week.

Like Christian Church services, the Sabbath synagogue service had a general order, which was more strictly held to than a Christian service might be, but that nevertheless might vary somewhat. It started with the recitation of the Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, that God is One God, accompanied by blessings that were spoken in connection with those passages. Then formal and written prayers were read, including The Prayer, which was actually one of 18 prayers read in a cycle, always followed by the people saying Amen. Then there was a reading from the Law and the Prophets (Acts 13:15). The Law was divided up into 154 pericopes (specific selections), which assured that the whole Law would be read every 3 years. After the reading, there was a sermon. The Ruler could ask someone to give the sermon, or a person who wanted to teach could ask him. It seems at that point the Ruler could recognize people to further contribute, comment, share or teach. The service concluded with a benediction.

In spite of the recited prayers and scheduled readings, it was clear that the essential aim of the synagogue was not prayer, but instruction in the Law for all classes of the people. The Hellenistic Jew, Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 B.C. to 50 A.D.) calls the synagogues houses of instruction, where the philosophy of the fathers and all manner of virtues were taught. (Cp, ii, 17. Cp. Acts 13:15; Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:15, 31; 6:6; 13:10; John 6:59; 18:20).

Other Uses of the Synagogue

The synagogues were not only used for worship services, they were often used for schools, places of assembly, and libraries. The synagogue would often be used as a kind of town hall where community discussions and public meetings were held, where announcements could be made, and oaths could be formally sworn. Considering that the most educated Jews would usually live quite close to the synagogue, it made perfect sense to hold school services there.

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The Synagogue – Gathering Together | Truth Or Tradition?