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Elul 5760                                                                   September 2000


JEWISH  PRESS:
The U.S. State Department has granted a visa for Ishaq Farhan’s entry into the USA. Farhan, a leading figure in the Hamas (terrorist) affiliated Islamic Actions Front, was denied entry (May 3) because his name was on the State Department’s Terrorism Watch List. In an unusual reversal, they now issue him a full visa, and a formal apology, and he can now legally enter USA at will. This is troubling to many, and undermines the anti-terrorism policy of USA.

A VOICE FROM HEBRON
Gary M. Cooperberg:
“BEHOLD I HAVE SET THE LAND BEFORE YOU, GO IN AND POSSESS THE LAND WHICH THE   L-RD  SWORE UNTO YOUR FATHERS, ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, TO GIVE UNTO THEM AND THEIR SEED AFTER THEM…." (Deuteronomy 8:1);

And the Jewish people were afraid and said to Moses:  “HOW CAN WE GO UP? OUR BROTHERS HAVE DISCOURAGED OUR HEART SAYING, THE PEOPLE IS GREATER AND TALLER THAN WE; THE CITIES ARE GREAT…AND WE HAVE SEEN GIANTS THERE” (Deuteronomy 1:28)  Had they accepted the Divine Command and entered Israel immediately, they would not have wandered 40 years in the desert. The mitzvah to possess the Land is eternal. There is a permanent and irrevocable connection between the People of Israel, and Land of Israel, and no one can sever it.

INQUISITION AND THE NEW WORLD:
In 1497 Jews were being expelled from Portugal. King Manuel I of Portugal did not want to lose the industrious Jews and ordered all Jews seized and baptized by force. He wanted the Jews to learn all they could about Catholicism.

In 1630, the Dutch conquered the northeastern provinces of Brazil from Portugal. The Dutch, being tolerant of Judaism also then made Recife, Brazil become a haven for Jews who escaped the Inquisition, because the European Jews were forced to practice Judaism in secret while outwardly pretending to be Catholic.

Recently the New York Times carried a headline, saying “A Brazilian City Resurrects its Buried Past.” and just off the dock area, in the busiest block, is the most unusual ‘Archeological’ project in Brazil. Brazil is excavating and reconstructing the first synagogue built in the New World (1600’s).

When the Portuguese forced the Dutch out, later, along with the Jews “…some of those Jews made their way to America where they founded New York’s Jewish community.”

HEAT
Israel’s heat wave continues with average 106 Fahrenheit, and expected to continue. Thousands of chickens died in the Galilee as a result of the heat. Water cutbacks prevented sprinkling the roofs of the chicken houses to cool down the buildings. Many summer fruits have ripened early, and flood the markets, dropping the prices. Israel desperately needs rain.

FREEDOM?
Many Islamic fundamentalist groups are situated in USA and Britain, because the freedoms available in the West make it easier for them to lead their international organizations from afar, with little interference from the authorities. Sheikh Omar Muhammad founder of an Islamic organization suspected of supporting terrorist, Osama bin Laden, says U.S. President Clinton and all American forces, are a target of a Jihad. However the Sheikh neglected to mention that Osama bin Laden has in the past 6 years (allegedly) bombed 2 U.S. Embassies in East Africa and masterminded the World Trade Center in New York City….etc….etc…

IRRIGATION:
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, has developed an irrigation system to help Ethiopia reduce their hunger, at a cost of one tenth of the price of systems currently available. Israel will be creating 25 irrigation systems of this kind in Western Africa during the next year.

HEBRON.  Hebron is derived from the word l’chaber – to connect, or chaver  –  friend, because in Hebron we connect with our true friends - the Patriarchs, the Matriarchs, and Adam and Eve, who lived in the Garden of Eden.

When Moses sent spies to scout out the land, they trembled because they saw themselves as “grass-hoppers” next to the giants who inhabited the land, but Calev stood proud and strong; from whence did Calev gain his strength? The Torah teaches, he separated himself and went to Hebron to pray.  Hebron was given to Calev as his inheritance “because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.” (Joshua 14:14) Centuries later David made Hebron the first capital of Israel. And still later, when the Holy Temple was built in Jerusalem, before they would begin the services, the Kohanim looked to see if the sun had risen over Hebron, and only then would the service commence in Jerusalem.

Throughout the centuries Jews have dreamt, prayed, and hoped for Hebron, and this generation has been privileged to see the return of Hebron to her children.  (excerpts; Rebbetzin Dr. Esther Jungreis)

THE J T A.  Weekly News Digest:
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that strengthens a 1996 law allowing victims of terrorism to sue the state (country) believed to have sponsored the act. The ‘Terror Victims’ Rights Act’ restricts the president’s ability to issue waivers preventing the release of a state’s assets.

The FBI arrested 18 people in Charlotte N.C. for alleged involvement in a cigarette-smuggling ring that raised money for Hezbollah (terrorists)…They were indicted on immigration violations, weapons offenses, money laundering, and cigarette trafficking…..

A Philadelphia area man faces deportation after a judge revoked his US citizenship, citing “incontrovertible” evidence that the retired machinist worked as a SS guard at three Nazi concentration camps.

The judge ruled that Theodor Szehinskyj, 76, would not have been allowed to immigrate to the USA in 1950 if he had not hidden his wartime activities.

JERUSALEM POST:
WATER

In Israel the 40% cutback in water quotas to farmers this year has saved some water, but the nationwide campaign urging the public to save water is not having an impact in the urban sector. Lake Kinneret’s water level has dropped below the red line of 213 meters  below sea level, and continues faster than anticipated.

Preliminary tenders for Israel’s first major seawater desalination plant has been advertised.  Lake Kinneret continues to plummet. Water experts noted that supplies of drinking water next year and the fate of agriculture will be entirely dependent on rainfall this winter.

Israel’s Water Commissioner’s office has established a special ‘watchdog unit’ to crack down on water-wasters. The inspectors are looking for people watering gardens, or parks etc. etc. during the daylight hours. Fines up to NIS 500 for each incident.

ANTI-SEMITISM:
The Latvian government has denounced the recent anti-Semitic article published by Kapitals, a mainstream magazine in Latvia. The cover featured a caricature of an Orthodox Jew embracing the globe. The article, published in Latvia and English, is billed as an examination of Jews in the world’s business, and describes clothing, cars, entertainment, music, movies, produced by companies, they say are owned by Jews.  They said that the superpowers of high-tech are all controlled by Jews.

Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Kavan, discovered concrete evidence that his grandmother was murdered by the Nazis in the Buchenwald concentration Camp, while he was visiting Yad Vashem in Israel. Kavan found her listed in the Hall of Names in the Book of ‘Terezin’ which lists Czechoslovakian Jews killed by the Nazis.

HELP:
Croatia’s president vowed to make restitution of Jewish property seized after WW2 a priority of his government. Stjepan Mesic made the promise during a visit to the Washington headquarters of B’nai B’rith International

Exports:
Exports to Asia from Israel has increased 62.5%, The Manufacturers Association reports. Israel reports that Asia was their largest trading partner last year. Malaysia, which does not maintain diplomatic relations with Israel imported $296.000 in electronic equipment from them.

PRESIDENT KATSAV, of Israel:
Israel’s newly elected president, Iranian born Moshe Katsav, is the first president from a poverty-stricken immigrants’ transit camp to be president of Israel. The 55 year, Katsav, immigrated to Israel in 1951. He was elected to the Knesset as part of Menachem Begin’s Likud Victory.

Theaters and Circuses turn into places of Torah.
Thousands of Israelis gathered in Teddy Stadium (Jerusalem) to hear Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak speak about G-dly laws governing the creation of the universe since the beginning of time. This was a contrast to the usual sport activities taking place in the stadium, this time only one team populated the seats and field. A team of unified thirsty Jews seeking to discover, and return to Judaism’s roots.

“Behold days are coming…when I will send hunger into the land, not a hunger for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the words of Hashem (G-d)”  (Amos 8) refers to this generation as a growing population searches for true purpose behind the wondrous creation of the world.

The prophecy of the Sages are coming to pass: “The amphitheaters and circuses of Edom are where the princes of Judah are destined to teach Torah in public” (Megilla 6a)

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