A 12-year-old boy from the Jewish community in Hevron was injured Saturday afternoon when an Arab hurled rocks at the victim and at two other Jewish children in Avraham's Spring.
The large rock caused a cut to the boy's head, and he temporarily lost consciousness, falling into the spring. Miraculously, the boy survived the fall.
According to local reports, the two other children quickly ran to ask a neighbor for medical help for the injured boy.
The unconscious boy was taken to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital for treatment. Hospital staff stitched the cuts to the boy's head.
The boy is currently suffering head pain, and has been hospitalized for observation, further testing, and continued treatment.
Dozens of activists of the anti-assimilationist and anti-intermarriage Lehava group who had been arrested this morning, Sunday, were released from the police station without being brought to court.
Chairman of the group Bentzi Gopstein, however, will be brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court at 3:30 pm for a hearing.
Gopstein’s attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir said, “It is clear that bringing Gopstein to a hearing is being done for show so that police have what to answer to the Supreme Court. There is no logic in freeing the activists at the station but specifically bringing him to a hearing, when everyone was arrested on suspicions of the same offense, and this detail says more than anything else about the considerations of Israel Police.”
Earlier, police raided the homes of Lehava activists in Jerusalem, central Israel, southern Israel, and Judea and Samaria. Investigators searched the homes of suspects and collected findings connecting them to suspicions of threatening Arabs. Police said that several incidents of attacks and plots against Arabs in Jerusalem by Lehava activists took place recently over the issue of intermarriage. Police also said that attempts to expand the activity of the group were identified.
“The decision to hold a police investigation and detain/arrest activists is intended to cut off the phenomenon and prevent its continuation, while preventing extremism on the part of members of the group and the harming of others on a nationalistic, racist basis,” police said. “We will work in every place where offenders take the law into their own hands, threaten, extort, and work violently for any reason, so as to maintain public order.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu referred to his decision to appoint Yaron Blum as the new coordinator for issues concerning missing and captive Israelis. Speaking at the opening of today’s cabinet meeting, the prime minister said:
“I have decided to appoint Yaron Blum [...] to bring our boys home. He sees in this a national mission. He, personally was a member of a small staff that dealt with the issue of Gilad Shalit, and I think that he is the fitting man for this important mission.
“Before the appointment, I called the families, every one of them, and told them that I know, I understand them as parents and also as brothers, and I remember their sons. We understand our moral and human obligation to do everything possible to return them. I have no doubt that Yaron will contribute in this work, and will make a very important contribution to this holy mission.”
Nevertheless, The Almagor terror victims' organization on Saturday night expressed its disappointment over the appointment of Blum, calling it “good news for Hamas.”
“In the Shalit deal, Blum brought a huge achievement to Hamas with more than a thousand terrorists and murderers who were released, many of whom resumed terror activities and some of whom serve as Hamas commanders," the organization wrote.
Yossi Zur, father of Assaf Zur who was murdered in a bus bombing in Haifa in 2003 and whose murderers were released in the Shalit deal, said, "We did everything we could to convince [those in charge] that murderers should not be released from prison. My son's murderers sat in prison for eight and a half years for the murder of 17 Israelis, meaning six months for every person they murdered. In the military court where they were tried, they said openly, 'We will not sit in jail for the full term and as soon as we get out we will go back to murdering Israelis', and they are shamefully free. Then they promised that deals of the kind that was implemented six years ago would not happen again. So what if they promised? In 2013, they released another 76 murderers as a gesture to Secretary [John] Kerry."
On 719 Boavista Avenue, in Porto, Portugal, a father and son - Israeli Jews - have opened Bola Falafel - The Falafel Ball - Portugal's first kosher restaurant in a long, long time, Iberian Jewish Affairs correspondent Ana Rodrigues told Arutz Sheva.
Their menu promises dishes like shakshuka, fried eggplant, and falafel de humus on pita bread. Observador correspondent Sara Otto Coelho discovered that not only is the restaurant kosher, but it also closes on Jewish holidays when she tried repeatedly to visit the venue during the recent Sukkot holiday for her review.
Nativ Dadon, the 22-year-old who had the idea of opening the restaurant, was born in Eilat, the southernmost tip of Israel. He arrived in Portugal only this summer, and has still had no time to learn the local language. Every minute there was dedicated to planning and designing the Falafel Ball, so he converses in Hebrew or English. "At the age of 18 I went to the army, like all Israelis. When I finished my military service three years later, I decided to travel to Latin America."
He returned to Israel with many doubts about his future. In conversation with his father, who for 30 years served as an IDF cook, he proposed an idea: What if they opened a restaurant in Europe?
The Jewish Community of Porto - also known as Oporto - was officially recognized in 1923, and it brings together all Jews from Porto. Its headquarters are located in Rua de Guerra Junqueiro in Porto, where the Kadoorie Synagogue Mekor Haim is located, the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the largest in Europe.
In 1492, Spain expelled its Jewish population as part of the Spanish Inquisition. Tens of thousands of Spanish Jews subsequently fled to Portugal, where King John II granted them asylum in return for payment. However, the asylum was only temporary - after eight months, the Portuguese government decreed the enslavement of all Jews who had not yet left the country. In 1493, King John deported several hundred Jewish children to the newly discovered colony of São Tomé, where many of them perished.
Following John's death in 1494, the new king Manuel I of Portugal restored the freedom of the Jews. However, in 1497, under the pressure of the newly born Spanish State through the clause Marriage of Isabella, Princess of Asturias, the Church and also part of the Christian people, King Manuel I of Portugal decreed that all Jews had to convert to Christianity or leave the country without their children. Hard times followed for Portugal's Jews, so that the opening of a kosher Jewish cultural center takes on historic significance far beyond what its founders may have intended.
According to the official website of the Jewish Community of Porto, the synagogue is run by the Chabad Lubavitch movement and among its members one finds Jews from places as diverse as Egypt, India, Russia, United States, Poland, Spain, Israel, Portugal, Mexico, and Venezuela.
Porto is also famous for Port wine, a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. Under European Union Protected Designation of Origin guidelines, only the product from Portugal may be labelled as port or Porto. Kosher Port wines are available.
The Falafel Ball is located about 600 meters from the Mekor Haim synagogue, which is supported by Porto’s Israeli Community (Comunidade Israelita do Porto - CIP). The community explained to the Observador that it is comprised of 250 Jews residing in Porto. In addition to serving local Jewish residents and the Portuguese, the Falafel Ball can benefit from the city's tourist boom. In 2016 alone Portugal was visited by "more than 100 thousand Jews - tourists - who are the biggest customers of kosher restaurants", says CIP.
Today, Shlomi spends his days in the kitchen preparing Israeli-flavored dishes, while Nativ runs the dining room and everything else that goes into the business. Meat does not enter the premises, and the only fish item on the menu is salmon and Moroccan inspired hummus balls, whose recipe Shlomi inherited from his mother. Humus dishes there come in five varieties: falafel hummus, mushrooms, fish balls, chickpeas, and shakshuka, the famous egg dish very popular in Israel and the entire Middle East.
There are two more shakshukas available, the Israeli and the spicy. "I discovered that the Portuguese don't like spicy things," confesses Nativ, enthusiastic about so many discoveries. Another thing he discovered is that the Portuguese have several table rituals. For example, the restricted lunch and dinner times confused him. For this reason, the Falafel Ball serves meals at any time of the day, from morning to night, i.e. it does not close during the afternoon, like most restaurants. "We want to be a relaxed space where people can shout requests to the counter instead of raising their fingers and calling the clerk - like we do in Israel," says Nativ.
Among these requests may be snacks such as fried cauliflower, Israeli salad, a vegetable couscous, a special new house tabbouleh salad, and the eggplant tahini. There are also four pita bread options, "good for those who prefer takeaway": Falafel, shakshuka, fish balls, and sabih, made of eggplant with humus, tahini, and spicy sauce. For dessert there is only cake meanwhile, because Shlomi is still perfecting the true consistency that malabi should be, which is a kind of Israeli pudding. Only when he finds it will this dessert start being served. The coffee also comes from Israel, although the grains are Turkish.
On the walls of the space where Al Porto's pizzeria used to be now hang photos of Israel and Oporto interspersed. The music one hears there is always from Israel. "We want to bring some of our culture here," explains Nativ. But despite the longer hours that allow one to have a meal any time of day, Jewish holidays are observed. In observance of Shabbat and Yom Tov, the Falafel Ball closes on Friday at 4pm and reopens Sunday at 11am. There is the possibility of opening the dining room on Shabbat for dinner but only with large reservations.
"You see that camera?" points Nativ with his finger towards the ceiling. "The rabbi of the Oporto Synagogue, Daniel Litvak, will have access to the images and other procedures to ensure all rules are followed as dictated by the religion. After all, he’ll be the one certifying, in a week, the Bola Falafel as a kosher restaurant." In Porto, by the way, there was previously one kosher option: One of the two floors of the Hotel da Música's restaurant, also in Boavista, is kosher. There one can also find a small supermarket with kosher products.
Inspectors from the Tel Aviv municipality ordered a Chabad rabbi to cease putting tefillin (phylacteries) on passersby who wish to do so and threatened to levy a fine if he would not consent.
For many years, Chabad men have set up stands all over Israel, including Ben Gurion airport as well as in many other countries, offering to help Jewish men put on tefillin if they so wish. On Friday, an inspector from the Tel Aviv municipality told a Chabad rabbi to close down his tefillin booth in Tel Aviv's Ramat Aviv neighborhood because he did not possess a permit. The inspector warned that the rabbi would receive a heavy fine should he refuse to do so.
In September, a Chabad rabbi was slapped with a NIS 736 ($209) fine from Herziliya city municipal inspectors for offering passersby the opportunity to put on tefillin, causing national furor.
Agudas Chasidei Chabad, the umbrella organization for Chabad emissaries had said that "it's hard to believe that out of all the places around the globe where Chabad emissaries help Jews put on tefillin and connect to their parents' tradition, only in Israel will a person be fined or brought to court for it. Not in New York, not in Moscow's Red Square, not in London or at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Only in Herzliya, a city in Israel."
Herzliya Mayor Moshe Fadlon ended up apologizing for the flap in a letter he addressed to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, whom he referred to as 'Hamelech Hamashiach' (Messiah, the king, ed.). The Rebbe died in 1994 and was buried in what is known as the Ohel (great tent) in New York, but his influence continues to be so pervasive and unique that there are many who consider him to live on and believe him to be the Messiah.
"I, Moshe the son of Tony Fadlon, Mayor of Herzliya, inform the rabbi, Hamelech Hamashiach, that unfortunately there was a misunderstanding about the tefillin stand. I want to express my sorrow and announce to everyone that I cherish the activities of Chabad. I request from his holiness a blessing for success and for a sweet and sweet year," he wrote.
The Tel Aviv municipality has not responded to Friday's incident in Ramat Aviv.
Israeli researchers have discovered that the amount of a specific protein is severely reduced in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease caused by brain cell death. Currently there is no cure, but according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), we now know what may trigger it.
Dr. Debbie Toiber, of the BGU Department of Life Sciences, and her team discovered that a specific protein — Sirtuin-6 (SIRT6) — is severely reduced in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. SIRT6 is critical to the repair of DNA, the deterioration of which “is the beginning of the chain that ends in neurodegenerative diseases in seniors,” she explains.
Dr. Toiber and her team are examining DNA damage as the cause of aging and age-related diseases. DNA in each cell breaks down due to natural causes, such as metabolism and the usage of the DNA to produce proteins. She discovered that as a person ages, the amount of the SIRT6 protein in the brain declines. In fact, according to Dr. Toiber, “In Alzheimer’s patients, it is almost completely gone.”
The blood-brain barrier prevents us from simply being able to inject the protein into the brain to replenish its supply. Dr. Toiber is currently working on finding a way to increase the expression of the protein into the brain.
When the DNA is damaged, Dr. Toiber elaborates, it may lose important information. “If a cell feels it is too dangerous to continue with this damaged DNA, it may activate a self-destruct mechanism. If too many cells do this, the tissue with the dying cells will deteriorate, such as the brain.”
DNA damage is inevitable on some level by simply living, with the environment causing additional damage. “We repair it and continue going on. But the repairs are not perfect and some DNA remains unrepaired. As you get older, unrepaired DNA accumulates.”
Dr. Toiber acknowledges that healthy habits like good diet and exercise might make a difference in our DNA health. She points out that engaging in sports and even working past retirement can challenge the body in positive ways, preparing your cells to react more readily and thus be more likely able to repair themselves.
Even so, you can’t avoid the effects of aging entirely. “You have to remember that half of everyone over the age of 95 will get Alzheimer’s,” she says. “It is not something genetic or environmental. That may influence it a little bit, but when there is a 50-50 chance of getting Alzheimer’s, it demonstrates that it just happens over a lifetime.”
She concludes, “We should be focusing our research on how to maintain production of SIRT6 and improve the repair capacity of the DNA damage that leads to neurodegenerative diseases.”
Jewish history is being made in the Ukraine: Within a few days, a 90-year-old man will experience the historic Jewish ritual commandment of Brit Milah.
The historic event will take place at the new medical center that was recently established in the Menorah compound in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. The rabbi and 28-year Chabad shaliach (emissary), Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky, is behind the tremendous project that enjoys close professional guidance from the best local doctors.
The Medical Center was recently established by Rabbi Kaminetzky as part of a chain of Jewish projects established in recent years thanks to his extensive activity for the benefit of the local Jewish community.
Partners in establishing the hospital are the Boston Jewish Community and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The clinic was established under the leadership of community president Gennadiy Bogolyubov.
Heading the Jewish Medical Center (JMC) is Prof. Aleksandr Rodinsky, considered a leading physician in his field. It receives Jews who have not received medical treatment of all ages, from early childhood to the elderly who experienced the Holocaust.
In a conversation with Arutz Sheva, Rabbi Kaminetzky explains why he established the medical center at Menorah. "Beyond my mission to spread Judaism, we are often involved in literally saving lives," he says. "Not a day goes by here without actually saving a life."
According to him, the Jewish community uses the medical center's services because of the professionalism that characterizes the medical services there, but no less because of the Jewish affinity and the warm treatment patients receive.
"The local Jewish population is partly comprised of the elderly, and there are quite a few Holocaust survivors here," says Rabbi Kaminetzky. "As part of my mission, I see a supreme goal in extending the life span of the Holocaust survivors to whom we owe our lives and our future," says Rabbi Kaminetzky.
"If I only had the strength, I would go out to the market, I would stand and declare to all, that today is Shabbat. Yes, today is Shabbat, for Hashem."
The late Rabbi Yehoshua Yagel, legendary head of the Midrashiat Noam yeshiva high school in Pardes Hana, would walk around singing the song "Shabbat Hayom" at the end of the Kabbalat Shabbat Friday night prayers, mezmerizing students with his devotion. Yair Peleg pays tribute to the charismatic and G-d fearing mentor in his own rendition of the song written by the "Admor Hachalutz".
Rabbi Yeshayahu Shapiro, known as the "Admor Hachalutz (Pioneering Hasidic Rabbi, ed.)" was an ardent Zionist and wrote the well-known words to Shabbat Hayom, sung in both Yiddish and Hebrew, and popular in yeshiva and religious circles the world over. The Admor visited the Holy Land secretly in 1914, met and admired Rabbi Avraham Kook, founder of Religious Zionism and British-appointed first Chief Rabbi of Israel. and upon his return to Europe tried to convince European hasidim to move to the land. In 1920, he himself made aliya and helped found the Hapoel HaMizrachi Religious Zionist Organization.