A hearse is parked outside the Beth Shalom Synagogue, where a funeral will be held for Joyce Feinberg.. (photo credit: REUTERS/JESSICA RESNICK-AULT)
WASHINGTON – Pittsburghers buried the last victim of a massacre that shook their city to its core on Friday, shortly before Jewish residents entered their first Shabbat in mourning.
The headline of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured the first words of the Jewish mourner’s kaddish, underscoring the city’s widespread grief over a shooting at a synagogue last weekend that killed 11 congregants.
The American Jewish Committee encouraged Jews and non-Jews across the country to “show up for Shabbat” over the weekend in a show of strength, fearlessness and solidarity with Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill victims. The social media campaign drew the attention of lawmakers and celebrities and brought thousands out to synagogues, some now guarded with cautionary layers of security.
Across America, leaders of both parties in Congress and candidates for office in Tuesday’s midterm elections went to local shuls. Lines formed outside of synagogues in the country’s largest cities. And the campaign spread overseas, from London and Brussels to Jerusalem, where local officials attended services in a gesture of support.
The Jewish Agency for Israel’s new chairman, Isaac Herzog, visited Pittsburgh this weekend to rally the community there. The agency coordinated last week with the Israel Trauma Coalition to send five grief specialists to Squirrel Hill in order to aid trauma victims.
Herzog has called for Jewish “unity” in the wake of the event, despite political differences within the Diaspora community, and called for “very firm action” in response to a spike in antisemitic incidents worldwide.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached out to Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who serves the synagogue that was targeted last weekend, with another message of support.
“I called Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue to send once again my condolences to the bereaved families,” Netanyahu stated on Twitter, “and to express my appreciation for the dignified way that he has represented the Jewish community of Pittsburgh in the wake of this horrific attack on Jews.”
“I want to thank all the leaders in the United States and around the world who have condemned this horrendous antisemitic attack,” he continued, “and I want to thank President @realDonaldTrump for going with his family to pay their respects to the dead and to visit the wounded, and for his powerful statement that ‘those seeking their [the Jewish people’s] destruction– we will seek their destruction.’”
Trump responded forcefully to the massacre last weekend with condemnatory comments at a rally in Indianapolis. Later in the week, he visited Pittsburgh with his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both observant Orthodox Jews who reportedly guided the president through the crisis.
The Tree of Life shooter, Robert Bowers, pleaded not guilty in court to federal charges on Thursday and requested a trial by jury. He entered the synagogue last Saturday armed with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and several other weapons, declaring his intention to “kill all the Jews”.
He faces 44 charges, 32 of which are punishable by death.
We all know that the midterm elections are different this time around. They are usually like “all politics,” namely local. But this time around they’re different. They are all presidential, all about Trump, as most everything is. And for the anti-Trump crowd — I’m talking about the political commentators and “analysts” — any and all things bad are held to be Trump’s fault. This is presumably because they believe that their condemnations of Trump will result in a Democrat takeover of the House of Representatives.
A new book explores how graffiti artists in Beirut skirt limitations on expression to share political criticism in the streets.
A photograph of the book “Drawing Lines” by Tamara Zantout, taken at the launch of the book at Beit Beirut cultural center, Beirut, Lebanon, Oct. 25, 2018.
BEIRUT — Beirut’s alleyways and streets are peppered in bright, detailed and provocative graffiti. Street artists use the medium, which exists in a legal grey area, to express their identity and give voice to political frustrations.
On Tuesday, San Francisco will become the largest city in the nation to allow noncitizens to vote, and the city has spent $310,000 on a “new registration system” specifically aimed at illegals. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, the plan is the first in the state and follows Proposition N, a 2016 ballot measure allowing votes by noncitizens over the age of 18, reside in the city, and have children under age 19.
By the count of the Chronicle, only 49 noncitizens have signed up to vote on Tuesday, which works out to $6,326 for every illegal voter, but there’s more to the story. City officials are worried that voting could expose illegals to ICE, who might come looking and possibly deport somebody. So supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, a backer of Proposition N, urged the city to spend $500,000 to warn the illegals.
At first Sabbath service after massacre, shooting survivors are blessed; rabbi says to those who condemned Trump’s visit: ‘No one tells me how to welcome a guest in my own home’
On November 3, 2018, a joint communal Shabbat prayer service at Pittsburgh’s Beth Shalom Conservative synagogue following the massacre a week prior which saw 11 Jewish community members killed. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania — A week after an anti-Semitic shooter massacred 11 worshipers at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the community embraced each other in prayer on Saturday.
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.” He sees this trend creating a surge in “xenophobic populism.” Writing in Politico, Katy O’Donnell agrees: “Nationalist parties now have a toehold everywhere from Italy to Finland, raising fears the continent is backpedaling toward the kinds of policies that led to catastrophe in the first half of the 20th century.” Jewish leaders like Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association, sense “a very real threat from populist movements across Europe.”
IS EUROPE RETURNING to the horrors of the 1930s? In an assessment typical of the moment, Max Holleran writes in the New Republic that “in the past ten years, new right-wing political movements have brought together coalitions of Neo-Nazis with mainstream free-market conservatives, normalizing political ideologies that in the past rightly caused alarm.”
We’ve been told for a long time that the ceasefire is on the way. It had many names in the past, such as tahdiah, hudna, and most recently—”an arrangement.” On Friday, once again, reports started emerging that an agreement has been reached. Several hours later, southern Israel was hit with a barrage of rockets. What happened?
And He said, “You will not be able to see My face, for No Human Being shall see Me and live.” — Shemot 33:20
Faith is deeper than knowledge. While scientific data is absorbed only in the brain, faith permeates all parts of the human personality. Nothing is untouched, all spiritual limbs quiver, and everything is transformed. It is thus more difficult to acquire faith than knowledge, and faith has a more radical effect on the human being.
A Catholic archbishop recently touched on an unspoken but highly subversive phenomenon: How anti-Christian forces exploit Christian teachings to empower those who seek to dismantle Christian civilization, Muslims being chief among them.
In an interview published last summer by the Italian outlet IlGionarle.it, Catholic Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan said:
The King of Jordan, not some lowly clerk, announced that Jordan will not extend the currently existing leases renting two parcels of land to Israel. One is the so-called Island of Peace in the northern Naharayim area and the other located in the southern Arava, near Tzofar, an agricultural cooperative village (moshav). Jordan was entirely within its rights to decide not to renew the leases