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THX “Jewish Voice From Germany”

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!שנה טובה – Wishing you all a Happy, CALM 5773!

I have not contributed a new post in awhile for a couple reasons. First, I’m less than two weeks from my move to Berlin, which is taking up a lot of time and stress. Secondly, the tone of the blog has changed due to the circumcision  issues and the attack on the Berlin rabbi, and as an American Jew not living in Europe yet, I didn’t know quite what I could bring to the discussion.

The circumcision thing baffles me, because that’s something that would never pass in America. A greater percentage of American men, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, have the procedure when they’re born. It would be hard to determine the legality of something so much of the population has experienced without harmful effects. And, most importantly, laws that forbid parents to do something that has not been deemed medically-harmful by almost all respected medical professionals, would be seen as government-sponsored anti-religious incitement. At the very least, it’s the definition of the term “Nanny State,” which we Americans hate so much. However, in Europe, it seems laws like these are becoming more acceptable — my cousin lives in The Netherlands, where a bill criminalizing kosher/halal slaughter was just abandoned, but the fact it made it all the way to the legislature for a decision boggles my American mind. READ MORE

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5773 – Rosh Hashanah Message from Berlin

Dear Sinai Crew worlwide,

in the great times of the 1990s many of my generation were kids who felt they should have been born in the 1960s/1970s, those exciting times when „everything changed“. As it is with Utopias, a magic shell from a fairy tale with which one can communicate over long distances is more romantic than a mobile phone, and to dream yourself into the musical „Hair“ is more romantic than holding a sign at an „Occupy Whatever“ demonstration.

The securities of the 1990s are gone. In Israel the question is not whether the next country with which it will make peace will be Syria, but whether the next world war could possibly evolve from there. In Europe the question is not which countries should join in the fun next, but which ones should stay. And how is it in Berlin? Hmmm….right now you have the choice to ask yourself whether you´re more pissed off by the Circumcision verdict or by the fact that you cannot wear a Kipa as freely as in NY. READ MORE

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FÜR TOLERANZ UND FREIHEIT! FOR INCLUSION AND FREEDOM!

VERUSCHKA / BETTINA ZIMMERMANN

DUNJA HAYALI / CLEMENS SCHICK (INITIATOR)

FÜR TOLERANZ UND FREIHEIT!

WIR DEMONSTRIEREN GEGEN INTOLERANZ UND
DISKRIMINIERUNG!

BERLIN LEBT
DURCH UNTERSCHIEDLICHE RELIGIONEN
DURCH BÜRGER UNTERSCHIEDLICHER HERKUNFT
DURCH LESBEN, SCHWULE UND HETEROSEXUELLE

BERLIN LEBT DURCH SEINE VIELFALT!

ES IST EIN GROSSES GLÜCK, DASS DIE JÜDISCHE GEMEINDE IN BERLIN WIEDER WÄCHST.

ES IST GUT UND WICHTIG, DAS IMMER MEHR JUDEN BERLIN BESUCHEN.

WIR WOLLEN EIN ZEICHEN SETZEN UND UNS SOLIDARISIEREN MIT DEN JÜDISCHEN BERLINERN.

BERLIN BRAUCHT SEINE UNTERSCHIEDLICHEN LEBENSFORMEN!

FOR INCLUSION AND FREEDOM!

We demonstrate against intolerance and discrimination.

Berlin lives
through various religion representatives,
through citizens from different backgrounds,
through lesbians, homosexuals and heterosexuals.

Berlin lives through its prolific diversity!

We are fortunate that the jewish community has chosen to return to Berlin!

It is our privilege that more and more jewish people visit Berlin!

We are making a gesture of solidarity towards the jewish berliners!

Berlin needs its multiplicity!

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The repressed story of the Austrian railway

The express night train from Vienna to Prague was supposed to leave at 23:15. But in the evening of March 11th 1938 at 20:00, thousands of people were pushing each other, squeezing themselves into the train while demanding to depart immediately. Suddenly, the S.A troops showed up with their whips, drunk from victory and eager for revenge. One by one, they went from wagon to wagon, pulling men, women and children back to the platform, leading them to prison (reconstructed and non original version)

This is how George Eric Gedye, a British journalist, described the events in Vienna’s in the evening before the famous “Anschluss”, the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany.

This was also the evening that changed the history of the Austrian railway company.

READ MORE

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Thoughts on the Antisemitic attack in Berlin-Schöneberg

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4274746,00.html

“A rabbi was attacked by four youths on Wednesday as he was walking with his six-year-old daughter on a Berlin street, police in the German capital reported.

The rabbi (53), who was dressed in traditional attire, was confronted by the youths, reportedly of Arab origin, in the German city’s western Schöneberg neighborhood. “Are you a Jew,” they asked him, and then proceeded to attack him. He was admitted to a hospital with head wounds. Police said the assailants insulted the rabbi’s religion and his mother, and also threatened the kill his daughter before fleeing the scene.”

 

Berlin is flourishing. And Jewish Berlin is flourishing, too. What´s not flourishing is Jewish Berlin, when the Jews are recognizable as Jews. Sounds strange? But that´s how it seems, Berlin is the place where everyone fits in, especially cosmopolitan Jews, but not the Jew with a Kipa. The society doesn´t feel too-Jewish needs outside of holocaust movies. Germany is doing a great effort, but it cannot hide the fact, that now it is not the 1990s anymore, and the wish to keep things calm is stronger than to make the additional effort of pushing certain values through in its streets, no matter what. In which country did force ever work in issues like this? Jews can only be protected from Nazis. That makes sense. But the kind of aggression that happened yesterday is just not metaphysically rehearsed. Indeed, the human rights crowd desperately tries to protect Jews – from circumcision. Life happens only inside the bureaucracy here, not in the streets. Next week there is supposed to be a big festival for integration at the very place where the attack took place. But the irony is that this festival is already planned since weeks. Berlin is the carneval of cultures, but this carneval becomes more and more similar to the Olympic Games 1972. Jews are welcome in the audience, but not with an own team. READ MORE

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‘Hitler’ store in India, opened 10 days ago, has sparked outrage among local residents. Proprietor Rajesh Shah claims innocence saying “it was only recently that we read about Hitler on the internet”. He complains he had to spend Rs 40,000 on the banner, and says he won’t change the name unless he is compensated!

- READ STORY —>>> on RT Question more.

(AFP Photo/Sam Panthaky)

 

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That’s it, I’m becoming haredi

That’s it, I’m becoming haredi.

I’ve always been told that I have a Jewish neshoyma, and I think it’s time to bring it out of its hiding place, deep within my secular chest, out into the open. I’ve often spoken to God, wherever and whenever I found the time and need to. But now I can talk to him at fixed times, and at fixed locations, with the right words, legitimately, not, you know, on the fly, as I’ve been doing.

I’ve spoken to my wife about it [probably the last time I'll do this now] and we both agree that it makes perfect spiritual and financial sense for both of us to become ultra-Orthodox and raise our children frum. Lots of little frum children. She’s happy to spend the next 15 years of her life going from pregnancy to pregnancy, really she is.

The truth is that we can longer afford to remain secular. READ MORE

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Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is not only the best, but also the most heartwarming and secular Christmas tale ever written; thus being a great pre-Rosh haShana read for a nice Jewish boy like me. It’s also a great read for anyone who is eager for some revelations. The first chapter, ‘Marley’s Ghost’, doesn’t intend to tell the afterlife of the reggae legend; Camden Town wasn’t always inhabited by hipsters; and English language used to sound quite different some 200 years ago. Finally, the most shocking fact – name Scrooge wasn’t at all invented by Walt Disney. Scrooge McDuck is merely a cartoon interpretation of Dickens’ repentant and Christmas-ignoring miser – Ebenezer Scrooge.

Scrooge could have been Jewish – Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ already features a Jewish villain called Fagin, more often bluntly named as ‘a Jew’. Is Scrooge not stereotypically Jewish enough? There’s something even more Jewish about him – his name, Ebenezer. Here’s some wiki on it:

The word “Ebenezer” comes from Hebrew and is actually two words pronounced together: Even Haezer. It is usually transliterated as a proper name by dropping the definite article (Ha) from the Hebrew word for “help” (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for “stone” (Even) to create: “Ebenezer.” The etymological roots of the word, thus defined, should demonstrate that an “Ebenezer” is, literally, a “Stone of Help.” The Biblical Scripture reads as follows:

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. The towns that the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. There was peace also between Israel and the Amorites.” (1 Samuel 7:12-14 NRSV)”

Being a Biblical name (just as David or Michael), Ebenezer is the only Hebrew thing attributed to Scrooge. Luckily.

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“Connections” by Alisa Poplavskaya

 

“Connections”, 70×85 cm, Acrylic on Canvas, 2012, painting by Alisa Poplavskaya

The fingers and hair of different colors represent people from different cultural and religious backgrounds.

This artwork was created to bring up the importance of Unity among people and our connection with God.

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