Middle East 3:43 AM 5/24/2013
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Life Lessons with Judy Simon
Torah Tidbits Audio
David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 33 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 14 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
Tevet 12, 5770, 12/29/2009
Sheikh Prof. Abdul Hadi Palazzi (Arabic: شيخ عبد الهادي بالاتسي), legally named Massimo Palazzi, is the leader of Italian Muslim Assembly and a co-founder and a co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, based on what Palazzi believes are the authentic teachings of Muhammad as expressed in the Qur'an and the Hadith.
"The forced Wahabization of al-Harmayn (Mecca and Medina) and the oil wealth of the world's only Wahabi state, Saudi Arabia, has completely changed the face of the Islamic world and the way Islam is perceived by non-Muslims and even by some Muslims. Although the Saudi funded propaganda has failed to convert the majority of Sunnis to Wahabism, yet it has succeeded in creating small Wahabi oriented sectarian groups, like Ikhwan al-Muslimin, the so called Ahl-e-Hadith, and the pseudo Salafis. Some contents of that propaganda have strongly influenced the non-Wahabi Muslim perceptions of modernity and of the Judeo-Christian West, " said Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, the Secretary General of the Italian Muslim Assembly , the Director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community, Rome, and the Co-Founder & Co-Chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, Jerusalem, while delivering a lecture on "The Misinterpretation of Islam by Non-Muslims as well as Muslims", at the Persian Department of the University of Lucknow, under the joint auspices of the department and Open Space, on 28th July, 2009. With a doctorate in Islamic Sciences from the Institute for Islamic Studies and Research in Naples (by the authorization of the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia), and ijazzah, authorization to teach, both the Qur'anic exegesis and the Islamic Law, from the prestigious Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Prof. Palazzi backed his somewhat surprising positions with citations from the Qur'an and the traditional Muslim sources.
Tevet 8, 5770, 12/25/2009
Tevet 7, 5770, 12/24/2009
An hour ago my youngest son, now in his first year of high school, called us and said that one of the other boys in his class had just been notified that his father was killed in a terrorist attack near his home in the Shomron.
The terror victim, Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai, 45 years old, father of seven, had been a neighbor of my oldest son, when he lived in that community, Shavei Shomron.
It’s been quite some time since I experienced the sensations I presently feel, but as they return, so do the black memories of years of killing and bloodshed. It’s a horrible feeling, and it’s hard to shake the premonition that ‘it’s starting again.’ But if, as may very well happen, 1,000 terrorists are released for Gilad Shalit in the next few weeks, may G-d have mercy on all of us. We’ve been through it before, after other terrorist swaps, and it is far from being pleasant. To the contrary, it’s a recipe for major warfare against Jews in Israel, be they in Tel Aviv, Hebron, or Haifa.
I work with many different kinds of groups, and spend hours answering questions about ‘human rights for palestinians’ in Hebron and other places in Israel. What my interrogators rarely discuss is the right of Israelis, of Jews, to live. To live, period! They tend to ignore the Arab terror, or equate it to graffiti, rock-throwing, or security measures implemented to protect Jewish lives, to prevent killing. But the right of Jews to simply live, to raise their families, to watch their kids get married, to play with their grandchildren, that is all mundane, of no significance or importance.
Yesterday a young woman, a Jewish woman from New York, tried to convince me of the supremacy of non-violence. Even someone attacked shouldn’t hit back – all the world’s problems can and should be dealt with and solved passively.
Tell that to my son’s classmate.
It’s difficult for me now even to write. Here I am, sitting at home, enjoying my children and my new grandchildren, knowing that a family has just been destroyed, that those seven kids won’t ever celebrate the joy of a birthday, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a wedding or any other event, with their father; that this man, taken so abruptly and barbarically, will never have the ‘nachas’ the pleasure, of playing with his grandchildren – only because he was a Jew, living in his land, doing his best for his family, for his people, for his G-d.
I only hope that where he is now, he will stand before the L-rd, praying for his children and his widow, for his people, for his land, that they should be comforted. Meir means to radiate light, AvShalom, means the father of peace, Chai means life. This man radiated light, peace and life. He not only radiated – he taught, as does a Rabbi. Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai – a light extinguished, a peace violated, a life lost. So sad, so tragic, so unnecessary.
It is our job to ensure that his light is rekindled, that his life never forgotten and that the goals he set for himself, his family and his people, be fulfilled. And so we will. May his memory be a blessing, HaShem Yikom Damo - may G-d avenge his blood.
Tevet 4, 5770, 12/21/2009
Hebron police today requested that the Environmental Protection Ministry perform noise measurements in the vicinity of Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs.
When the ministry inspectors arrived, Ofer Ochana was asked to begin broadcasting music over loudspeakers from the roof of the Gutnick Center in order to perform the tests. It should be remembered that only a few days ago he was warned that he would be immediately arrested should he broadcast the music, defined as 'public noise.'
The examination concluded that the audio levels do not exceed the legal limitations.
On the other hand, the intensity of the sound produced by speakers of the Arab muezzin, also tested by the Environment Ministry, was found to exceed the limits permitted by law.
As a result it is expected that the Hebron police will reach two important decisions:
1. The Arab muezzin should be immediately detained, commencing a criminal investigation against him
2. The Jewish songs will be allowed to continue playing, as has been customary for many years.
Today, Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem sent a letter to Minister of Public Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch on this matter:
MK Amsalem's letter stated:
For years Jews have complained about the unreasonably loud audio sound from the mosque loudspeakers directed straight into the area allocated to Jews at Ma'arat HaMachpela.
Two years ago a professional examination to measure the noise level was carried out, and found that the speakers exceed permissible levels by a very large rate. To this day nothing was done to stop the phenomenon, although the High Court recognized the right of prayer as one the foremost human rights (HCJ 466/06, 10356/02 , 10497/02)].
In light of this, the police action to stop the Jewish prayer melodies, broadcast from speakers of the Gutnick Center, within the Jewish area of the Ma'ara courtyard, thereby enforcing the law only against Jews, is a very serious.
The steps taken by the police against Mr. Ofer Ochana represent selective law enforcement, and is a serious breach of freedom of expression and freedom of worship.
I request that you order the police to immediately annul this unfair decision.
Tevet 3, 5770, 12/20/2009
For the first time in years - probably as a result of a direct order from the new Commander of the Central Region, it will be forbidden to play Jewish prayer music at the Ma’arat HaMachpela courtyard.
For years, Jewish visitors arriving at the Ma’arat HaMachpela have been greeted by Jewish music, played from loudspeakers atop the Gutnick Center, outside Ma’arat HaMachpela. The lyrics of all the songs are taken from the Jewish liturgy, changing from time to time depending on the time of year: the Ten Days of Repentance, Elul – Selichot, holiday prayer melodies, Shabbat songs and so on.
Yesterday, for the first time in years, these prayer melodies were banned: Ofer Ochana a resident of Kiryat Arba, was summoned by the police, interrogated, and charged with a criminal offense.
Following the investigation he was warned that if he dared to again play music over the speakers - would be arrested immediately. From information we received, this is probably a direct order of the new Commander of the Central region, who also demanded that the police carefully examine the law and find a criminal offense that could be attributed to Ochana. After tedious searches the police discovered several laws relating to noise being publicly broadcast via a business in a residential neighborhood. Ochana, who also directs a store and a banquet hall inside the building, was summoned, interrogated and warned. His speakers were disabled, and the music which delighted the hearts of the many visitors to Hebron, was silenced.
As a result of these baffling measures, the organization Human Rights in Yesha contacted regional police commander Itzik Rachamim, in a letter titled: Selective law enforcement regarding loudspeakers in the vicinity of Ma’arat HaMachpela.
The letter reads as follows:
"For years Jewish worshipers at Ma’arat HaMachpela have complained about the unreasonable and illegal noise of loudspeakers sounding the Muslim calls to prayer into the area assigned exclusively for Jewish worship, and in the Machpela courtyard. There is no need for this because these areas are not used for Muslim prayer (excepting 10 days a year.) Two years ago a professional examination was carried out in to measure the noise level compared to conventional criteria. The results, delivered to the Hebron DCO reported that "if the regulations to prevent hazards (unreasonable noise) from 1990 were applied in this case, the noise levels recorded very highly exceed permissible levels." Despite these official inquiries, nothing was done to stop the daily disturbances which greatly impaired daily Jewish worship at the site. This, despite the fact that the Supreme Court recognized the right of prayer as one the foremost human rights
In light of this, it is very puzzling why Mr. Ofer Ochana is being invested for playing Jewish prayer music from the speakers (with far less intensity than the Muslim prayer calls), from the Gutnick Center, an area allocated for Jewish worship with the specific goal of creating an atmosphere of Jewish worship. Much graver is the threat that he would be arrested immediately if he dared to again play Jewish music in this area while no similar criminal steps were taken towards the Arab muezzin. If the criterion which you utilize to examine the decision whether to conduct a criminal investigation and threaten detention is a suspicion of "breach of peace" (the language of Section 194 (a) of the Penal Code) - then there is enough to push the public Jewish worshipers at the Ma’arat HaMachpela to take steps which will be understood to reveal that their welfare and tranquility have been violated by the muezzin’s call to prayer. Is unadulterated strength the way in which you think law should be enforced? Your actions yesterday can only be defined as selective law enforcement, and represents serious denial of freedom of expression and freedom of worship, and encourages violent reactions. I ask you to explain why this extreme step was taken and, why you do not enforce the law equally, allowing freedom of expression and worship equally to the two religions."
A Copy of this letter was sent to the Minister of Religious Affairs, other ministers and Knesset members.