It’s never too late for a Bar Mitzvah
When Canadian Prime Minister Stephen J. Harper paid a state visit to Israel in January, he was accompanied by a large 250-member official delegation. ICEJ-Canada national director Donna Holbrook was in his entourage and invited Canadian MP Mark Adler to come with her to Haifa for a visit of the ICEJ’s Home for Holocaust survivors. The son of survivors himself, Adler is a prominent member of the growing Jewish community in Toronto and was keen to tour the home and meet the residents. The visit turned out to be an extremely moving encounter for him, as he kept listening to their stories and
At the ICEJ’s unique Home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa, the residents have learned to make the most of each day they have left. But one special day in life for every young Jewish boy or girl was denied many of them when they were children due to the Nazi persecution of Jews. Even in all the years since World War II, they had never been able to celebrate their bar or bat mitzvahs marking their entry into adulthood.
So on January 27th, when many in the international community were marking the UN’s annual Holocaust Memorial Day, eleven Holocaust survivors at the Haifa Home, among them five men and six women ages 70 to 85 years old, celebrated their bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs together.
“When I was 13 years old, I was forced to work in Auschwitz and was not able to celebrate my bar mitzvah”, said Abraham Ekroni, now 82. “Every day I had to drag stones to a building site. The guards shouted at me: ‘Faster, faster, damned Jew!’ Mengele had selected me to work in Auschwitz, and I had to burn the corpses of my dead grandparents in the crematories.”
“It is unbelievable that I can celebrate my bar mitzvah as a grandpa now. I have no words to express my joy”, Abraham added, as his wife, daughter and one of his grandsons joined him in singing and dancing.
Abraham and his four friends at the Haifa Home covered their shoulders with prayer shawls and put on tefillin before reading from the Books of Moses and dancing with the Torah scroll.
Canadian MP deeply moved by Haifa Home visit
simply did not want to leave for his next appointment. At one point, MP Adler noticed an historic photo from the Holocaust on the wall of a display at the home and noticed his uncle was in the picture. He later wrote in a newsletter to his supporters that: “It was a special morning for me touring a home for Holocaust survivors in Haifa…
The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem runs this home, with 70 residents who all survived the Holocaust. It was a privilege to meet the survivors and hear their stories. The memory of my father, who also survived the concentration camps, is always on my mind.”
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Oct 25, 2019 0People arrive at a polling station to vote in the federal election in Beauce, Quebec, Canada, Oct. 21, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Mathieu Belanger. A top Jewish advocacy group said on Friday it...
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The verse (Deuteronomy 6:4) Shema Yisrael – “Hear Oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is One” – is understood to (in Wikipedia’s words) “encapsulate the monotheistic essence of Judaism.” It’s understood to be a declaration not only there is one and only one God, but also that God’s oneness is all-inclusive. God includes every particle of existence is within Him. God is not just ruling over the world. God encompasses the world. Time and space and all of us are within God. Nothing stands outside of God’s Oneness, and God encompasses all existence equally
Watching events unfold in Israel is an experience in split-screen living. On the right side of the screen is the chaos outside our gates, in neighboring lands. And on the left side of the screen is the chaos inside.
On the left side of the screen on Tuesday, 15,000 Israelis gathered Tuesday evening outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to demand legal justice for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the face of what they view as an anti-democratic usurpation of political power by Israel’s legal fraternity.
It hard to believe that two weeks ago, Israel was on the brink of war. With the Palestinian Islamic Jihad firing nearly 500 missiles from Gaza into Israel within a 48-hour period, even Tel Aviv was put on alert and certain train routes were canceled. My mind immediately raced to a Christian group I was going to host for Shabbat in Jerusalem Israel – Pastor Leroy Armstrong of Proclaiming the Word Ministries.
Turkey’s little remarked on but ongoing mistreatment of historic churches is increasingly reflective of that nation’s growing sense of Islamic supremacism.
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Sorek was the grandson of a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust, and was universally described as a kind, gentle soul. His funeral was interrupted by Palestinians shooting off fireworks celebrating his murder.
Two terrorists, including one affiliated with Hamas were arrested for the murder. And at the time, Hamas said in a statement, “We salute the hero fighters, sons of our people, who carried out the heroic operation which killed a soldier of the occupation army,” Hamas said in a statement. The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad also hailed the killing as “heroic and bold.”