Pope Francis (left) meets with King Mohammed VI of Morocco. (Credit: via France24/twitter)
It is a well-known Jewish idea that the clashes among Jacob, Esau and Ishmael that began in the book of Genesis continue throughout history. Objectively speaking, the primary political and spiritual adversaries of the Jewish people (the descendants of Jacob) have always been Christians (the descendants of Esau) and Muslims (the descendants of Ishmael).
There is an ancient Jewish teaching that, during the End Times, the descendants of Esau and the descendants of Ishmael will unite in their desire to destroy the descendants of Jacob.
Since ascending to the papacy in 2013, Pope Francis has been working openly to bring Esau and Ishmael together by enhancing Christian-Muslim relations. On the return flight from a recent visit to Morocco, where the official state religion is Islam, the Pope spoke with journalists about his vision for uniting the descendants of Esau and the descendants of Ishmael.
Pope Francis referred to harmony between Christians and Muslims as “a beautiful flower that promises to bear fruit.”
In that interview, which was published last week, Pope Francis shined a light on an alliance between the Muslim country of Morocco and the Vatican regarding the status of Jerusalem. On his first day in the country, Pope Francis and Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, signed a statement about Jerusalem.
In essence, the statement, which references Al-Quds Acharif, the Arabic name for Jerusalem, minimizes the distinctive relationship between Jerusalem and the Jewish people and calls for Jerusalem to become, “the common patrimony of humanity and especially for the followers of the three monotheistic religions, as a place of encounter and as a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue can be cultivated.”
As is well-known, the Vatican is a supporter of a two-state solution, further diminishing the singular connection between Israel and the Jewish people. The Pope calls for Christians and Muslims to see themselves as equally entitled to Jerusalem. “We are all citizens of Jerusalem, all believers,” he said, referring to Muslims and Christians.
Couched in language of peace, harmony and fraternity, the call for greater cooperation between Christians and Muslims, and this specific statement calling for the universalization of Jerusalem, would effectively strip Jerusalem of its uniquely Jewish identity.
According to Rabbi Yechiel Weitzman author of The Ishmaelite Exile, this alliance of Christians and Muslims was predicted hundreds of years ago and is a sign of the End Times. According to Rabbi Weitzman, “the last stage in the process of Israel’s perfection will be characterized by the alliance between Ishmael and Esav (Esau), an alliance aimed at tormenting the entire world and the Jewish people in particular.”
The ancient Biblical connection between Esau and Ishamael is stated plainly in Genesis. Ishamael became Esau’s father-in-law when Esau married a daughter of Ishmael.
Rabbi Weitzman concluded, “At the very outset of history, Ishmael and Esav forged a bond through marriage. And so it shall be at the End of Days. The alliance between them will bring history to its culmination in the redemption
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.