30 de mai. de 2006

Discurso do papa em Auschwitz foi comovente, mas incompleto

Discurso do papa em Auschwitz foi comovente, mas incompleto

Discurso do papa em Auschwitz foi comovente, mas incompleto



Por Tom Heneghan

VARSÓVIA (Reuters) - O discurso do papa Bento 16 em Auschwitz foi o mais introspectivo e emocionante de seu pontificado, mas, para alguns, o líder católico não disse tudo o que deveria.

No domingo, concluindo uma viagem de quatro dias à Polônia, o pontífice de 79 anos apresentou uma reflexão sobre o quão difícil era para um alemão visitar o ex-campo de extermínio nazista e sobre como era complicado, para uma pessoa que acredita em Deus, encarar o mal praticado ali.

A corajosa decisão dele de fazer, no famoso campo de extermínio, a pergunta que levou milhões de pessoas a perder a fé depois do Holocausto ganhou as manchetes de muitos jornais da Europa.

"Deus, por que o Senhor ficou em silêncio?", perguntou o papa segundo o jornal La Repubblica, em referência ao assassinato de cerca de 1,5 milhão de pessoas, a maior parte delas judeus, no campo de Auschwitz.

O diário alemão Berliner Zeitung escolheu outra das perguntas apresentadas pelo pontífice: "Onde estava Deus?".

Mas um número equivalente de comentaristas preferiu concentrar-se no que Bento 16 não disse sobre o anti-semitismo católico e a atuação do Vaticano durante o Holocausto.

Alguns o criticaram por não mencionar claramente o anti-semitismo e outros por afirmar que a Alemanha havia sido dominada por criminosos nos anos 1930, como se Adolf Hitler não tivesse qualquer apoio popular.

John Wilkins, ex-editor da revista católica britânica The Tablet, elogiou o papa por seu discurso, mas disse que havia notado a ausência de assuntos delicados, como o tradicional anti-semitismo católico.

OPORTUNIDADE PERDIDA

"Esse foi um discurso maravilhoso, mas acho que algumas oportunidades não foram aproveitadas", afirmou à Reuters. "Algo poderia ter sido dito a respeito de como tantos cristãos não agiram na época".

"Simbolicamente é importante que o papa Bento 16 tenha visitado Auschwitz, mas eu esperava um discurso diferente", afirmou ao jornal italiano La Stampa Abraham Foxman, da Liga Antidifamação, observando que o pontífice não condenou expressamente o anti-semitismo.

Comentaristas também se perguntaram sobre o papel do Vaticano durante o Holocausto. O papa Pio 12, líder da Igreja Católica à época, não veio a público condenar a opressão nazista contra os judeus.

Um ponto polêmico é o fato de o Vaticano não ter aberto a historiadores seus registros da época da guerra. Os pesquisadores desejam saber o que Pio 12 sabia, quando tomou conhecimento disso e o que discutiu com seus assessores.

"Apesar de o papa ter deixado claro em Auschwitz que não desejava fechar o livro a respeito do passado, o Vaticano continua sem abrir seus arquivos", disse o jornal holandês Algemeen Dablad.

O diário católico La Croix, da França, afirmou que dar destaque ao que não foi dito pelo papa é uma atitude que corre o risco de "ignorar a grande profundidade do que ele afirmou" sobre a ausência de Deus e o silêncio diante de tal maldade.

"Leal a seu ofício de professor, Bento 16 fez a pergunta que todos -- acreditem ou não -- fazem".

Na Polônia, onde os meios de comunicação trouxeram algumas críticas em meio a uma cobertura predominantemente positiva a respeito da visita, vários comentaristas deram destaque a aspectos mais sutis que os destacados em outros países.

"O discurso do papa e a visita pareceram-me bastante judaicos", afirmou Stanislaw Krajewski, do Conselho Polonês de Cristãos e Judeus. "O papa citou os Salmos, que são parte da tradição judaica, e isso cria uma ligação".

"Foi emocionante quando ele disse claramente que os nazistas, ao assassinarem a nação judaica, visavam assassinar Deus", disse.

"Relacionar as raízes cristãs com o judaísmo é um forte argumento contra o anti-semitismo", afirmou o sociólogo Jadwiga Staniszkis. "Acho que esse discurso deveria ser lido".
Hamas officially rejects Abbas' demand for referendum

Hamas officially rejects Abbas' demand for referendum



Hamas rejects the proposal to hold a referendum on recognizing Israel as the Palestinian people have expressed their views in the January elections, the group's leader, Khaled Mashaal, has said.

Speaking after a ceremony for two Islamic Jihad members killed by a car bomb in Lebanon last week, Mashaal criticized the step taken by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Abbas gave Hamas, which controls the Palestinian Authority government, 10 days to moderate or face a referendum on a plan that would accept the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The plan calls for a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem and effectively recognizes Israel - a step that Hamas has long refused to take.
"He who wants to know the popular will should refer to what this will determined four months ago in legislative elections," Mashaal said Monday night, referring to the Jan. 25 polls that Hamas won by a landslide.
"We are determined to stick to our national principles," Mashaal added.
The Hamas government has incurred the cutting off of funds from the United States and European Union because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar said this week that Abbas could go ahead with his referendum, but Hamas will never recognize Israel.
"We are not afraid of a referendum. But it is a waste of time, a waste of money. This process needs money. We have no money," Zahar told The Associated Press during a visit to Malaysia.
The plan that would be put to the referendum was negotiated in an Israeli prison by senior Palestinians belonging to Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party. It effectively endorses the idea of two states - a Palestinian and an Israeli.
The leader of another Palestinian militant group, Ramadan Shallah of Islamic Jihad, said he also rejected Abbas' referendum proposal.
"There will not be, under any circumstances, two states or two people," he said. "There is only one state for one people - the Palestinians."
On Friday, the leader of a third militant group, Ahmed Jibril of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, criticized the prisoners' plan and said that if a referendum were to be held, the Palestinians abroad should be allowed to take part.

29 de mai. de 2006

Tel Aviv within range of new Iran-supplied Hezbollah rocket - Reprodução

Tel Aviv within range of new Iran-supplied Hezbollah rocket - Reprodução

By Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Correspondent

Iran has equipped the Lebanese-based radical Islamic group Hezbollah with long-range rockets capable of hitting targets up to 200 kilometers away, putting all of Israel's major urban centers - including the southern city of Be'er Sheva - within striking distance. The solid-fuel rockets lack an independent guidance system and their accuracy is questionable but they can still cause considerable damage. According to intelligence estimates, the rockets are meant to strike non-specific areas, such as towns and cities, and carry a warhead estimated to weigh 600 kilograms. This latest development doubles the range of weapons previously in Hezbollah's arsenal.

In this latest transfer of military technology, Iran is seeking to improve its strategic options against Israel rather than better Hezbollah's capabilities. Equipping a Lebanese group considered by the west to be a terrorist organization with such rockets also poses a danger to Lebanon.

The government of Lebanon has been pressured in the past by Hezbollah to disregard the United Nations Security Council resolution 1559, which demands that all armed militias in the country disarm. Hezbollah maintains that it is not a militia and is therefore not obliged to disarm, but the Security Council has not accepted this argument. The rockets delivered to the Hezbollah have appeared under different names. One is Zelzal-2, and its earlier model is the Zelzal-1. Another Iranian name for the rocket is Nazeat. The rocket was first seen in a military parade in Tehran in September 2005, the first such event following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president. Six Shehab-3 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles were also on display. In response to slogans written on the Shehab-3 rockets, calling for "Death to Israel" and "Death to the U.S.," the military attaches of France, Italy, Greece and Poland, invited to the event, left the VIP platform. Earlier supplies of rockets to the Hezbollah from Iran via Syria, involved Katyusha rockets with a range of 12-22 kilometers. These rockets were used on occasion in attacks against Israel. At later dates the Iranians supplied the Fajr-3 rockets, capable of reaching targets 45 kilometers away. The Hezbollah has never used these weapons. The Syrians also provided the Hezbollah with rockets of their own make, believed to be of 220mm caliber, whose range is several dozen kilometers. Iran later provided Hezbollah with Fajr-5 rockets with a range of 75 kilometers; it is capable of striking the Haifa bay and its strategic industrial installations. The latest Iranian delivery is of rockets whose estimated capability is 200 kilometers (the Zelzal-1 rocket had a range of 150 kilometers). The rocket is 8.3 meters long and is 61mm in diameter. At launch, it weighs about 3.5 tons. Because the rocket is propelled by solid-fuel, it can be easily moved. International defense journals have reported that the Iranian rockets have been stored by the Hezbollah in special bunkers in a number of locations in the Bekaa near Lebanon's border with Syria.
A ROSA DO GUETO

A ROSA DO GUETO

“Esta é a história de uma rosa que um tirano condenou a morrer por mil anos. Os tiranos passam, as rosas ficam. Mas é preciso repetir a história por mil anos, para que as rosas não passem e os tiranos não fiquem”
Edição 33 - Junho de 2001

Em 21 de setembro de 1939, quase três semanas após o início da II Guerra Mundial, Reinhardt Heydrich, chefe da Polícia de Segurança do Terceiro Reich, enviou uma circular aos seus subordinados, com instruções para o que os nazistas chamavam de “Solução Final” – o extermínio da população judaica nos territórios ocupados.Em 20 de janeiro de 1942, ao encerrar a mais importante conferência realizada no Departamento Central de Assuntos Raciais, Heydrich determinou que a “Solução Final” fosse apressada. No cumprimento das ordens, o “gauleiter” da Polônia, Hans Frank, recusou-se a fornecer alimentação às 450 mil pessoas confinadas no Gueto de Varsóvia, em um espaço que só comportava 150 mil.Tinha 15 anos. Chamava-se Rosa, como muitas mulheres do seu povo. No Gueto, todos passavam fome e tinham medo. Rosa sentia-se só e aturdida. Quando olhava para cima, o universo era feito de sol, de azul, de nuvens brancas. Quando olhava para frente, o mesmo universo ficava cinzento e escorria pelo chão coberto de detritos, para terminar abruptamente junto ao muro.Foi ali que ela encontrou a roseira quase murcha e coberta de pó.A partir de 22 de julho de 1942, os nazistas acionaram ao máximo a máquina de horrores. Em menos de um ano, somente 60 mil pessoas sobreviviam no Gueto. As demais tinham morrido de fome ou sido assassinadas quando procuravam pular o muro em busca de comida. E também enviadas às câmaras de gás.Schmilek a viu ajoelhada junto ao muro. Pensou que ela enlouquecera.“Rosa, que fazes? – perguntou aflito”.Ela sorriu. Apontou a roseira.“Estava quase morta. Acho que a salvei”, disse Rosa.Schmilek respirou fundo e movimentou as mãos num cacoete de impaciência muito próprio dos homens de seu povo. Ficou só no gesto. Aquele sorriso apagava o muro cinzento e os seios de Rosa arfavam, na esperança da vida ressurgente.Em janeiro de 1943, Himmler fez uma visita-surpresa a Varsóvia. Não ficou satisfeito ao saber que lá ainda restavam 60 mil judeus. Suas ordens foram intransigentes: liquidação total até 15 de fevereiro.Rosa o chamou alvoroçada: “Schmilek!... a roseira!...”Ele olhou a planta. Um pequeno botão despontava. Tentou falar, dizer o que estava acontecendo no Gueto, mas desistiu. Dentro dos olhos de Rosa só havia flores. Ela não se sentia mais só nem aturdida.Então Schmilek sorriu com muita dificuldade, a custo contendo as lágrimas.Os alemães encontraram dificuldades para cumprir as ordens de Himmler. O desastre de Stalingrado e as contínuas retiradas do exército nazista da frente russa provocaram escassez de transportes. Era impossível retirar os judeus do Gueto em tão pouco tempo para conduzi-los aos campos de extermínio.Só em março a operação pôde ser iniciada. Mas sobreveio novo obstáculo: os judeus começaram a resistir. Então, foi ordenada a destruição do Gueto e o massacre de seus habitantes.Quanto o botão desabrochou, a rosa apareceu muito vermelha. Ela pediu:“Colhe a rosa, Schmilek. Colhe e me oferece”.

Havia muito de céu nos olhos de Rosa. E também um apelo de amor.Era o momento de contar a verdade.“Rosa, nós vamos morrer”.A dor brotou dos olhos da menina, apagando o céu e o apelo de amor. O silêncio desceu entre os dois.Schmilek tomou-lhe a mão. Caminharam até onde havia uma fenda no muro.“Olha”.Rosa viu um soldado alemão. Ansiosa, buscou alguma coisa que o fizesse diferente. Só podia ver que o soldado era de carne e osso como eles.“Ele não gosta de rosas?” perguntou, sem conseguir entender.Schmilek aconchegou-a junto a si, procurando algo que a consolasse.“Ele gosta de rosas”, murmurou.“Por que, então?”“Disseram-lhe que éramos maus. Que o odiávamos. Agora acha que somos maus e nos odeia”.“Vamos falar com o soldado, Schmilek. Vamos mostrar a rosa. Dizer que é mentira. Que somos bons, que amamos a todos. Ele nos amará também. Todos seremos felizes”.Schmilek sacudiu os ombros em desânimo. Falou quase sem inflexão na voz:“Inútil. Não acreditaria”.Rosa calou-se. Voltou para a roseira. Começou a acariciar a flor recém-desabrochada, como se a estivesse gerando em suas próprias entranhas. De repente, irrompeu em alegria:“Vai nascer outro botão! Vai nascer outro botão, Schmilek! Preciso cuidar dele, também!”Schmilek não resistiu mais. Os soluços o sacudiam. Não pôde evitar que as palavras lhe saíssem aos gritos:“Mesmo sabendo que vamos morrer, insistes nesta idéia maluca de cuidar de rosas!?”Rosa não se alterou. Pelo contrário, estava calma. E eternamente calma, colheu a flor e beijou suas pétalas.“Só porque alguém não acredita em nosso amor, devemos esquecer as rosas?”Em 19 de abril, o general nazista Stroop atacou o Gueto com blindados, artilharia, lança-chamas e dinamite.Os judeus tinham somente alguns fuzis e duas metralhadoras. Assim mesmo, refugiados na rede de esgotos, lutaram até 16 de maio, quando foram vencidos pelo fogo que os nazistas atearam no Gueto.Toda a resistência cessou ao ser dinamitada a grande sinagoga da rua Tlomacki.Não podiam esperar mais.“Vamos” convidou Schmilek, apontando o caminho dos esgotos. Ela vacilava.“E a minha rosa?”“Traze-a contigo. Estaremos juntos, os três”.“Não, a rosa precisa viver”.E sem que Schmilek entendesse o gesto, jogou a flor por cima do muro. Depois foi a escuridão dos esgotos.Hans Frank, gauleiter da Polônia, olhou feliz para a flor que estava em cima de sua mesa de trabalho. Um soldado a tinha encontrado, lhe dissera o general Stroop. Era tudo que restava do Gueto.Frank afagou o rosto com a flor, para sentir a maciez das pétalas. De alma leve, flutuando em bem-aventurança, começou o relatório:“O Gueto de Varsóvia deixou de existir...”.... para que as rosas não passem e os tiranos não fiquem...

Jayme Copstein

Revista Morasha -
Edição 33 - Junho de 2001

28 de mai. de 2006

Shavuot

Shavuot

Shavuot Lively Parsha Shavuos 5763

For the next few weeks, the Torah portion read in Israel will be different than the Torah portion read in the rest of the world.

For the weekly Torah portion that will be read in Israel, click here: http://www.aish.com/torahportion/livelyparsha/Lively_Parsha_Naso.asp

"I don't understand how a man of his standing could just leave like that? Pick himself up, with his wife and two sons, liquidate his assets, and just run away! And just at a time when we're in the middle of a terrible famine!" proclaimed Reuven.
His friend Shimon tried to give Elimelech the benefit of the doubt. "We all are aware that Elimelech is a Torah scholar as well as a very generous philanthropist. At the yearly dinners of all worthy causes he always pledged substantial donations. It was only the fact that all those hungry people wouldn't give him a moment's peace of mind that caused him to abandon ship. From morning until evening, at home and in the study hall, they begged for his assistance until he couldn't take it any longer. Can you really blame him?"
"But families are starving," replied Reuven, "What other recourse do they have than to beseech their better-off brothers?"
Shimon answered, "The Halacha states that a Mitzvah that can be performed by others does not absolve one from the obligation of Torah study. Elimelech wanted to study Torah undisturbed, so he ran to the fields of Moab, far from the bad influences of the big cities, and left the Mitzvah of charity to others. May the Almighty forgive him!"
INTRODUCTION
The Book of Ruth is read on the holiday of Shavuot, the traditional anniversary of the death (and birth) of King David. The book relates the story of a remarkable gentile woman who joins the Jewish people and became David's ancestor.
Another connection between the story of Ruth and Shavuot is the concept of "accepting the Torah" in all its details, which Ruth so eloquently proclaimed, and which is required by all converts. On Shavuot we relive the event at Sinai at which the entire Jewish people accepted the Torah.
In addition, the setting of the book is at the time of the wheat harvest, precisely when the holiday of Shavuot takes place.
CHAPTER ONE - DAYS OF JUDGES
"And it was in the days of the judging of the judges" (Ruth 1:1). The simply meaning of this is, "When the judges judged." However, the Sages interpret this homiletically as, "The people judged their judges!"
The 300-plus years of the Jewish Judges in Israel (before the reign of the Kings) was unique in the history of mankind. A judge was appointed by popular consent (not elected) and he decided private and public affairs, as well as setting national policy.
However, he had no means to enforce his decisions. He had no police force or army (which was purely voluntary when required for war) to carry out his orders. The entire nation ran on the "honor system" for over 300 years!
Although in the Book of Judges we find two national calamities that are attributed to the fact that "there was no king in Israel," implying that a monarch with power might have prevented those events, all in all, two events in 300-plus years is a pretty good track record. What would happen in New York City in one day without a police force? (or even with a police force!) (Rabbi Avigdor Miller)
The story of Ruth takes place during the period between judges when there was no authority. Poor people threatened to "empty out" the rich, and there was no one to prevent it. This might have also caused Elimelech to panic and leave Israel.
The Famine
"There was a famine in the land, and a man left Bethlehem in Yehudah (the center of Jewish life before Jerusalem) to sojourn (temporarily) in the fields of Moab (peace and quiet), he and his wife and their two sons." (Ruth 1:1) He was the catalyst, and his wife and sons reluctantly accepted his decision.
"His name was Elimelech" from the aristocratic family of Judah. "His wife's name was Naomi ('pleasant,' well known for her many charitable projects) and his sons were (appropriately) named Machlon ('sickness') and Chilyon ('finished,' which is what eventually befell them)." (Ruth 1:2)
"They came to the fields of Moab and they were there." (Ruth 1:3) To leave Israel for the Diaspora is very easy, just get on the plane and you are there. To return later is much more difficult!
The Death of Elimelech
Although Elimelech may have had many rationalizations to excuse leaving Israel, in the eyes of God he was guilty of deserting his people in their time of need. Since this was a great "desecration of God's name," he was punished by early death.
Intermarriage
Naomi, the widow, should have immediately returned to Israel. But she remained on a "tourist visa" for another 10 years! Without their father's supervision, and for lack of any Jewish women, the sons married local women -- Orpah and Ruth, the daughters of Eglon the Moabite king. This was also regarded as an affront to the Jewish people, and the brothers were both dealt the consequences by God.
Question: Did Orpah and Ruth properly convert to Judaism or not? If not, then they were never legally married, so why is Ruth referred to as the wife of Machlon and heir to his fields in the end of the book? If they were proper converts, then why does Naomi attempt to persuade them to return to their idolatrous worship?
Answer: The commentaries explain that of course they underwent a conversion process, but the conversion's validity depended on whether they were really sincere. If they returned home (as Orpah did), it revealed that she never fully accepted Judaism in the first place. If they remained (as Ruth did), that shows she was always Jewish and was a proper widow of her husband.
First Goes the Money
The Almighty sends warning signals first. Elimelech and his sons lost all of their wealth, in order to awaken them to repent, but alas, to no avail! "Elimelech the husband of Naomi died" (Ruth 1:3). She was no longer the wife of the millionaire baron, rather he was known as "the husband of the famous Naomi," known for her noble deeds (Malbim).
When the two sons died, there was no money for burial shrouds, and the princesses Orpah and Ruth had to pay for their husbands' burial expenses! This downturn was the result of straying from the mainstream of the Jewish people (Midrash).
Naomi Tries To Dissuade Them
Scene: A quiet road in the fields of Moab. Three women are crying. Jewish history is being made...
Naomi is on her way back to the Land of Israel, accompanied by her daughters-in-law. Naomi expects them to go back to Moab, and is surprised that they remain with her. She attempts to persuade them to return: "And Naomi said to her daughters-in-law, 'Return my daughters to your mother's home. May the Almighty repay you for the kindness you have shown your dead husbands and myself, and may you find rest in a new married life'." (Ruth 1:8)
Naomi is telling the women to return to their mothers, but advises them that if they really want "rest," they should return to Moab and remarry.
Question: Isn't a mother's home more restful than a house full of kids and all that it entails?
Answer: Naomi didn't mean physical rest, which is obviously more available in a mother's house. Rather she refers to "inner peace" which a woman experiences more fully when she has a family.
"They replied: 'We will return with you to your people'." (Ruth 1:10) Naomi's first attempt is rejected, and Ruth and Orpah sincerely want to stay with the Jewish people. Since they have no ulterior motives, any Jewish court would have accepted them as sincere converts with no additional attempts to dissuade them. However, "Rebbetzin" Naomi does not give up. "Return my daughters, go! For I am too old to remarry. Is there any hope for me? Even should I remarry tonight and also give birth to sons, would you wait for them to grow up to marry you? If so you will never get married. Do not do so, my daughters, because I am embittered an account of you, as the hand of the Almighty has punished me." (Ruth 1:13)
Naomi is advising them: Your goal is to find rest with a husband and to remarry. With me there is no hope. Even if I remarry tonight and give birth to sons! The odds of an old widow remarrying are 1-in-1,000. To remarry tonight is 1-in-10,000, and to give birth -- the computer explodes! And even so, you could not wait for them to grow up. Therefore my advice is to return to your non-Jewish family. (Heard from Rabbi Shlomo Brevda)
Orpah Leaves, Ruth Remains
Orpah responded: "Yes, you are my mentor and Rebbetzin, and have taught me logic. Since my goal is to get married and with you there is no chance (especially being a convert), I must leave." She kissed her mother-in-law and took her leave.
Ruth, however, clung to Naomi. "How can I even consider leaving you? What difference does it make if I get married or not? I want the Torah and all that it encompasses!"
Many years later, a battle was fought between the great grandson of Ruth, David, and that of Orpah, Goliath. The Sages comment that it was fitting that David - the descendent of the one who clung - should be victorious over the one that kissed and left. Our decisions can have impact even generations later!
At this point, Ruth's sincerity is obvious, and yet Rebbetzin Naomi still makes an effort to dissuade her. "Why don't you follow your companion to her people?" (Ruth 1:15), she demands.
Ruth replies: "Do not entreat me to leave you. Where you go, I will go. Where you lodge, I will lodge. Your nation is my nation. And your God is my God. Only death will separate us!" With this declaration of faith, Ruth accepts the Torah in its totality.
The Sages infer from this that a prospective convert must be informed of specific difficult and easy mitzvot (and even infer which ones Naomi presented Ruth with and she accepted). Ruth is informing Naomi of her intention to be a Jew in any case, even if Naomi leaves her, but she would much prefer to remain with Naomi.
At this point even Naomi is ready to accept her, but there still remained one more test: "And she saw her efforts to come with her, so she refrained from speaking with her." (Ruth 1:18) Naomi walked as an older woman, slowly praying as she went. Ruth walked as any young woman would, however now she was trying her best to emulate Naomi's pace and manner, which took much effort on Ruth's part. Now even Naomi was convinced of her total sincerity. (Rabbi Brevda)
Arrival in Bethlehem
To return to Israel from abroad was very complicated. "She left the place she was, to go on the path to return to the land of Judah" (Ruth 1:7). "And they went and came to Bethlehem and behold they came to Bethlehem" (Ruth 1:19). "And Naomi and Ruth returned from the fields of Moab and arrived in Bethlehem at the season of the barley harvest" (Ruth 1:22).
These verses say that she left to go to return, and went and came and came (again), and returned and arrived! To return to Israel is not simple because it is more than a physical move, but is also a spiritual elevation. (Rabbi Brevda)
"When they entered Bethlehem, the entire city was in commotion - is that Naomi?" (Ruth 1:19) She replied, "Do not call me Naomi (pleasant) but rather Marah (bitterness) because God has punished me." This was quite unsettling for Ruth to hear her mentor confess in public!
Question: Why was the entire city watching their entrance? And how did they have the heart to embarrass a widow in public, saying, "Is that Naomi"?
Answer: On the day that Ruth accepted the Torah, the wife of Boaz the Judge died, and the following day was her funeral, attended by the entire population. In the middle of the funeral at the cemetery outside of town, Naomi and Ruth arrived. (Talmud)
Of course, the townspeople did not intentionally shame Naomi; it was their spontaneous reaction. They remembered Naomi as a young, attractive, wealthy woman always helping others, and suddenly a broken old widow who looked strangely familiar confronted them. In shock, they proclaimed, "Could this be the same Naomi?!" (Rabbi Brevda)
CHAPTER TWO - INTRODUCTION
(1) In an agricultural society the distribution of grain to the poor was accomplished in three ways (see Leviticus 19:9):
Peah - Allotting a corner of the field to the poor, which the poor could choose to divide equally or for everyone to grab whatever they could get.
Leket - When the harvesters would cut stalks of grain, if one or two stalks would fall to the ground, they were left for the poor.
Shik'cha - When gathering the bound sheaves of grain, if one or two sheaves were forgotten, they must be left for the poor. At harvest time, the poor would follow after the harvesters to glean whatever they could get.
(2) The inheritance of land that every Jew received in Israel was not to be sold unless in case of great need. The seller's relatives had an obligation to redeem the field if the seller himself could not afford to. If a widow inherited her husband, it was customary for the redeemer to marry the widow, so that the name of the original owner would be remembered on the land. ("Can you see Mrs. Green on the field, her first husband, Mr. Brown had once owned this field.")
(3) The Torah forbids a Jew from marrying a Moabite - even a convert! The oral tradition explains this was only a prohibition against Moabite men, but it is permitted to marry a Moabite woman who converts. This oral tradition was not well known at the time, due to the fact that the amount of Moabite converts seeking to marry Jews was minimal - i.e. only Ruth!
Enter Boaz
The present Judge of Israel was Boaz, the nephew of Elimelech, a distinguished elder scholar who had recently lost his wife. Naomi refused to ask for his assistance, and waited for him to make the first move. In the meantime, Naomi and Ruth were starving to death because they had arrived at the harvest time, and the fields of Elimelech had not been planted. Naomi had the option to sell her fields, and Boaz her relative would be obligated to redeem the fields. Ruth offered to glean in the fields with the poor, as no one would recognize her and shame her, as they would have the former wealthy Naomi. Naomi gave her permission (otherwise the book would have ended here with two more funerals).
Ruth Gleans the Fields of Boaz
"And she went and she came and happened upon the fields of Boaz, the relative of Elimelech." (Ruth 2:3)
Question: Why did Ruth go and come twice?
Answer #1: She wanted to make sure that she knew the way home, so she made signs along the way and backtracked to be certain of the path.
Answer #2: She left a number of times, but waited until she found a group of gleaners that she felt comfortable with.
Answer #3: Instead of gleaning in the direction that would take her further from home, she went to the end of the field and came back toward her home so she would not have far to carry her load of grain (Vilna Gaon). She was a "beginner fundraiser" and already knew the tricks of the trade!
Providentially she arrived at Boaz's fields and gleaned all morning.
Boaz Arrives on the Scene
As noon approached, the boss arrived and immediately noticed Ruth. "Boaz inquired of his manager, to whom is that maiden?" (Ruth 2:5) The Sages ask: Why did Boaz inquire about this woman? Did he notice every woman in the field? The answer: He noticed that Ruth was modest and scrupulous about the laws of gleaning.
Question: Did Boaz notice every modest, religious girl on the field?
Answer: In order to avoid quarrelling with the poor people over Peah (which was divided among the poor) or with the harvesters over the sheaves which were valuable (Shik'cha), Ruth gleaned only the individual grains (Leket). Since she was the only one there, she was able to accumulate quite a bit of grain, so that Boaz, seeing her as the only woman in the field bulging with grain, figured that she must be related to some harvester who was now throwing her his expensive grain. "To whom is this maiden?" he declared! (Malbim)
Another approach: This was the first harvest after years of drought. The women who gleaned were desperate to feed their hungry children. They grabbed in an immodest manner every grain they could get their hands on. Only one woman was stooping modestly instead of bending over, and was strict about how many grains could be taken. She must have a mentor who taught her these important principles. "To whom is this maiden?" he declared. "Who taught her all of this?" The reply was that she was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, who schooled her in the laws of modesty. (Rabbi Brevda)
Boaz Extends His Invitation
Boaz invited Ruth to eat with him, explaining how he was impressed that she accompanied her mother-in-law. Ruth ate her full and put the rest in a "take-home container" for Naomi. Boaz advised her to stay with his harvesters, and when she is thirsty she may drink from the water barrel. He warned his men not to disturb her, and she continued to glean until the evening.
When she finished, she beat the chafe and ended up with an "eifah" (a large measure) of grain. She brought the grain home to Naomi, along with the leftovers of her meal. Naomi was very impressed, and inquired who was the owner of the field that allowed her to take so much grain. Upon hearing the name Boaz, she explained to Ruth his relationship to them, and Ruth continued gleaning in his fields until the end of the season.
CHAPTER THREE - INTRODUCTION
(1) A convert, as well as a divorcee or widow, must not remarry until three months have passed, in order to determine if she was pregnant beforehand, thus being able to identify the father. After three months the fetus is visible.
(2) The Torah commands a man to marry the widow of his deceased brother, if there are no children, in order to remember him. (This mitzvah of yibum is not practiced today.) Similarly, a field's redeemer would marry the widow, so that the field would still be remembered as relating to the original owner.
Naomi the Matchmaker
After the 3-month period (since her conversion) had ended, Naomi informed Ruth that the time had come for her to take a "rest" (inner peace) by getting married. The lucky guy was none other then Boaz the Judge. Naomi gave Ruth exact instructions: Boaz will be winnowing grain, and will spend the night at the granary to guard his crops. Ruth should dress up nicely, come to the granary when Boaz is asleep, and sleep at his feet.
Ruth and Boaz
Although Ruth did not consider this modest behavior, she followed her mentor's plan. She first went to the granary and then changed her clothes (no reason to attract attention unnecessarily). In the middle of the night Boaz awakened to find a woman at his feet. To his puzzled inquiry, she responded, "I am Ruth your servant, you are my redeemer - and must marry me as well!" (Ruth 3:9)
Boaz was very impressed that Ruth would choose to marry an old scholar and not go to the young suitors that she could have attracted. He promised to arrange matters in the morning, and controlled his desires all night long. Before daybreak he sent her home (no need to cause rumors), but first he measured six barley grains into her kerchief, the amount for one meal. "By the time you finish breakfast, the matter will be settled." (Malbim)
The Sages say that Boaz was hinting that their offspring would redeem the Jewish people. Isaiah tells us that the Messiah will have six traits: "The spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, and power. The spirit of knowledge and fear of Heaven." (Isaiah 11:2) (Rashi)
Ruth arrived at Naomi's house while it was still dark, and she didn't recognize her. Naomi assured Ruth that Boaz wouldn't rest until the matter was settled.
CHAPTER FOUR - INTRODUCTION
The Torah forbids marrying a Moabite or Amonite convert because "They didn't come to meet you in the desert with food and water" (Deut. 23:5). The oral tradition from Sinai differentiates between the males who should have brought the food, and the females who were not guilty. This tradition was not well known, and even in the times of David, his lineage from Ruth was questioned, until the matter was finally settled.
Boaz Convenes a Court
Although Boaz was the nephew of Elimelech, Elimelech still had a living brother who had first rights to redeem Elimelech's field. Providentially, Boaz immediately bumped into "Ploni Almoni." Some say that this wasn't his real name, but the Torah uses a pseudonym in order not to embarrass him. "Ploni Almoni" is the Hebrew equivalent of "John Doe." (Some say his real name was Tov!) Boaz convened a court with 10 men (in order to publicize the procedure), and explained the plight of Naomi to Ploni, who immediately agreed to redeem the fields of Elimelech, Machlon and Kilyon.
"However," continued Boaz, "Naomi and Ruth, the heirs to the fields, will only agree if the redeemer marries Ruth - in order to keep Machlon's name associated with his fields." At this point, Ploni backed out. "To marry a Moabite and depreciate my lineage?? Don't call me, I'll call you!"
Boaz immediately agreed to redeem the fields. He made a "kinyan" (act of acquisition) by removing his shoe (any other item such as a handkerchief can also be used), which Ploni lifted up. Thereby Boaz acquired the fields and Ruth became his wife - with a proper wedding ceremony. The people present blessed Ruth that she should be as the matriarchs Rachel and Leah. (Although this was the tribe of Judah, descendents of Leah, all agreed that Rachel was Jacob's main wife, and mentioned her name first.) The people also blessed them that their marriage should be as Judah and Tamar (Ruth 4:11).
A Child is Born to Naomi
Ruth gave birth to a son named Ovaid and Naomi became his nanny. The people proclaimed, "A son was born to Naomi" (Ruth 4:17), contrasted with chapter 1, when she claimed she could have no more sons.
The book of Ruth ends with the lineage of King David, descended from Ruth and from Boaz. Samuel the prophet wrote this book, revealing that the background of our most beloved king and the future Messiah descends from our archenemy Moab! Only a great prophet could ever get away with that!
What was the origin of Moab? Lot was the nephew of Abraham and his prime disciple, and then Abraham evicted him and Lot went to Sodom. After the destruction of Sodom, Lot committed incest with his daughters, and the older one named her son Moab -- lit. "from father" (see Genesis 19:37). The Kabbalists explain that a spark of holiness from Lot returned to the Jewish people many generations later (like a recessive gene) in the form of Ruth. This spark was the Messiah, hidden from view.
EPILOGUE
The Sages say that the day after the wedding of Boaz and Ruth, Boaz passed away. Many attributed this to the sin of marrying a forbidden "Moabite." The truth is that Boaz was an old man and God only preserved him so that he could be the progenitor of the Davidic dynasty.
Ruth lived a long life and even witnessed the greatness of King Solomon. She was the embodiment of the proclamation that the Jews made at Sinai and renew every year on Shavuot: "We will do and we will hear" (Exodus 24:70), and that is why the book of Ruth is read in synagogue on Shavuot day. We are to first accept God's commandments, and then try our best to understand them.
At Sinai we moved above and beyond, where the whole truth dwells.

At Sinai we moved above and beyond, where the whole truth dwells.

We are entering the Hebrew month of Sivan. The central event to take place in this month (and arguably in all recorded history) is God giving the Torah to the Jews at Mount Sinai.

Sivan is the third month of the Hebrew calendar if we begin our count from Nissan, the month of our liberation from Egypt, which is the way months are counted in the Torah. Three is a portentous number in Judaism. Moses was the third child in his family. The Israelites began the three-day process of preparing themselves to receive the Torah on the third of Sivan. God divided the Jews into three groups with different roles: the Kohanim, the Leviites, and the rest of the Jews, Yisrael.

Before we explore the mystical connotation of the number three, we have to understand what "truth" really is. Truth means a lot more than mere verbal accuracy. The mystical name for truth is Tiferet, which literally means "harmony" - not exactly the association most of us have with truth. What's the connection?


Truth is a synthesis of the whole.

The Maharal, the famous renaissance-era Kabbalist, defines truth as: the entire picture. It includes past, present and future; it includes internal reality and its external counterpoint. It is a synthesis of the whole - harmony. If something is true at all, it must be true spiritually, physically, mathematically, and philosophically. If an idea "works" on one level, but doesn't on any of the other levels, it is not truth in the purest sense of the word.

We humans are mortal, which pretty well cuts us off from any foolproof vision of the future. Our access to anything that took place before we were born is colored by other people's interpretations of the past. Add a healthy scoop of emotional subjectivity even to our observations of the present, and it seems that our search for truth is doomed.

Transcendent truth, by definition, comes from a place above time and space. The Maharal regards transcendent truth as the only real truth. The only time we had access to it was at Mount Sinai, when we heard the voice of God.

ABOVE AND BEYOND

From this perspective, we can begin to examine the significance of the number three. The Maharal tells us to imagine a link chain. When you hold it up, the first link touches the second one. The second one touches both the first link and the third one. The third one touches the second one and not the first. Thus the third link is the first in the series that doesn't have any connection to the first link. The number three thus symbolizes something new, but not disconnected.

The Maharal refers to this quality (new, but not disconnected) as "nivdal", which means in Hebrew separate or transcendent; it is part of a process, but also beyond it. Thus, for example, Moses, the third child in his family, was connected to the heritage of monotheism that Abraham initiated, but he took it a step further, giving his people a sense of nationhood based on the Torah.

The month of Sivan is connected historically to Nissan, the month of liberation. In Sivan, however, the Jews went a step beyond physical freedom and became spiritually autonomous, defined only by the Torah, God's word. Nivdal. Connected but new. Part of the process, but also beyond it.

ON THE TRAIN PLATFORM

What does it mean to live with transcendence? I recently had an experience that gave me new insight into seeing how deeply this seemingly abstract concept affects me in my day-to-day thinking.

I was in New Jersey, heading to Sequacus at the Metrotrack station. It was about 2:00pm and the platform was almost empty. The only fellow travelers in sight were two women and a man. Suddenly, one of the women, standing quite close to me, lost her balance and fell backwards. I immediately bent over to help her get up. Although her eyes were open, she made no response. She was unconscious.

The second woman on the platform approached. She asked me if I knew first aid. I replied that I didn't, and she claimed that she also didn't know first aid, but she bent down and took the prostrate woman's pulse. When she saw that there was no pulse, she immediately began administering C.P.R. Clearly, she knew what she was doing.

In the meantime I called 911. Five minutes passed. The woman looked at me, exhausted. Copying what I had seen her do, I relieved her. Soon, a policeman appeared. I was appalled. We needed a medic, not a policeman! He began to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, clearly the only first aid response he knew.

The platform suddenly shook with the vibrations of an arriving train. The woman who began the C.P.R, the one person who really knew what to do, muttered something about intubations and boarded the train. I looked on in horror. A person was dying, and she found it necessary to catch her train!

Within a few minutes the ambulance crew finally arrived. Later, when recounting the episode, I was bothered by how the woman who was, by default, supervising the rescue effort could have simply left to catch her train. How important could a business meeting or a shopping date or even a chemo session be when compared to saving a life?

The answer illustrates the opposite of nivdal. If I had asked her that question the day before, she would certainly have answered, "Saving a life is more important." She certainly knows the transcendent truth. The problem is that when the train actually roared into the station, she was caught up with the reality of here and now. Physical reality is so vivid and immediate, that it eclipses transcendent reality.


Receiving Torah is a commitment to go beyond the immediate, and to get to the essence of truth.

And what would nivdal look like? Imagine that the woman who knew CPR had an appointment for a job interview for her dream job. Imagine that the train to that place came only once every three hours. Imagine that she had been unemployed for six months, and really needed that job. And now imagine that it was so clear to her that saving a life is more important than any of the above, that, when her train came, she chose to stay with the woman until the medics arrived, and she knew, without hesitation or regret, that that was the right choice. That's nivdal. It is living connected to the higher truth that the mere external reality conveys.

Receiving Torah is the ultimate nivdal. It is a commitment to go beyond the immediate, the vivid, and the seemingly real, and to get to the transcendent, inclusive picture that is the essence of truth.

MAZAL OF THE MONTH -- GEMINI

Moses was not the only one who brought the Jewish people to a place where they could hear the truth. His brother Aaron acted as his spokesperson from the early days in Egypt, when he arrived at Pharaoh's palace with the outrageous demand that he free the Jews. Each one of them played a role in expanding our consciousness in a specific and unique way. Moses was the ultimate lawgiver. He transmitted the commandments that teach us where the lines have to be drawn if we are to rise above pseudo truth and enter the realm of absolute transcendental truth. His brother Aaron approached each Jew with love, and brought forth the hidden yearning to live a life higher and more encompassing than the every day. Justice and love were intertwined; it is no coincidence that this month's sign is Gemini, the twins.

THE BOOK OF RUTH

Each of the three pilgrim festivals (Pesach Shavuot and Sukkot, which were celebrated in ancient times by a nationwide trek to Jerusalem) has a specific focus. On each, a different Megillah is read, narrating a particular aspect of the story of our relationship with God.

On Shavuot, we read the story of Ruth, the Moabite princess who abandoned everything safe and familiar to follow her mother-in-law Naomi to Israel, to a life of physical rigor and spiritual truth. Her story is the story of all of us this month, as we try to move beyond our limited grasp of truth and move closer to the whole picture we saw at Sinai.
Mistaken Identity

Mistaken Identity




by Rivki Russom
For three generations, people assumed we weren't Christian, but Jewish. Was there a Jewish connection in my family hidden in the past?








My childhood followed a typical Midwestern Protestant archetype: football games, summer jobs, formal dances, church on Sundays and all the trappings of popular culture. I was a happy kid who excelled in school and looked forward to college and a bright future.

I attended a small liberal arts college where I led the clarinet section in both the band and orchestra. I also became enamored with a more liberal lifestyle, and the religion I was raised on soon fell by the wayside.
Over the next four-and-a-half years I continued to progress as a clarinetist -- studying music theory, history, composition and arranging. It was clear to me and my professors that I would go on to obtain higher degrees in the field of music. So when I received only rejection letters from my graduate school choices, I was devastated. Instead of registering for classes, I returned to my parents' home, confused and unsettled.
My life plan was turning out differently than intended.
After regrouping, I began working as a paralegal and trying to decide what degree I wanted to do next. After much contemplation, I decided that pursuing a career in music performance wasn't the path I should take.
I always had a focus in my life, so this indecision was disconcerting. It seemed that my life plan was turning out a bit differently than I had intended.
Yet I had no idea how different it was going to be.
Hidden Past?
Several months after graduation, I was a guest at a small social gathering. A couple of party-goers asked me in casual conversation, "So, member of the tribe?"
"No, Protestant, but thanks," I replied.
They murmured that it had really seemed I was Jewish.
Only a few weeks later I was near the office parking lot, shooting the breeze with an employee who worked in the same building. In passing, he asked me, "So, what synagogue do you go to?"
"Um, I don't," I informed him.
Again, a few weeks passed, and then, at a free concert in a crowded auditorium, someone nearby turned to me and asked point-blank, "Are you Jewish?"
I didn't know what to say. Never before had anyone confused me for a Jew. Now three times in a few months?
Not long after these occurrences, I was at lunch with my mother.
"Mom, people think I'm Jewish."
"Funny, that happened to me the other day."
I almost spit out my soup.
She continued, "I was at the hairdresser, and he asked if, after my mother passed away, did my father marry another nice Jewish lady."
"And what did you say?"
Another client thought I was Jewish today.
"I said, 'No, my father is Roman Catholic'." She paused, and then continued, "You know, come to think of it, it happened to my mother, too. She came home from the salon where she worked in Minneapolis and remarked that 'another client thought I was Jewish today.' This must have happened frequently because I remember it distinctly, and I was only 12 at the time."
"Mom, this isn't normal. People don't just 'think you're Jewish' for three generations!"
Incredibly, not much later, we found a ream of genealogy in the basement which 'just happened' to detail my mother's ancestry all the way back to her relatives in Prussia who came over in the mid-1800s.
Their name? Kramer.
Was there a Jewish connection in my family, hidden in the past?
Rabbit Hole
I began to wonder what it would mean to be Jewish; if my family really had a forgotten tradition, pushed away by years of oppression and assimilation. I started noticing how many synagogues I passed on my way to work. I saw how many Jewish names were on buildings around the city. Things seemed to be changing all around me.
It was like I had fallen through a rabbit hole and was now in a parallel Jewish universe. At first I noticed the exteriors -- Jewish references in books, on television, in film. I was amazed at how much was out there that I'd never noticed.
Somehow, though, I began to wonder what was beyond the cultural facade. After all, Jews have been around a lot longer than bagels, lox and Woody Allen.
So I started attending services at different synagogues. I loitered in the back, too petrified to talk to the rabbis. I had no idea what was going on during the services, and even less of an idea why I kept going back for more.
Something which began so superficial, blossomed into the deepest thing I had ever encountered.
Eventually I was drawn to full Jewish observance, and with it, the discovery that to be Jewish meant watching your words, lest they cause someone else harm. That it meant strong family values and an emphasis on education. That it meant respecting people for their inner qualities, not their social mobility.
The more I learned, the more I was impressed. Here was a belief system by which to live a fulfilling and meaningful life on a daily level. I was amazed at how something which began so superficially blossomed into something of such depth.
There was only one problem: I wasn't Jewish.
So I converted. Well, it wasn't as easy as that, but I did it anyway. My family was initially skeptical of this new "phase," but once it was clear that I was serious, and the positive results kept increasing, they became incredibly supportive. My mother even attends classes occasionally to learn more about my new lifestyle.
Maybe if I would have furthered the research into my family lineage, I would have found Jewish roots. But I felt an urgency to connect to this amazing treasure I had discovered, irrespective of what lay in my past.
This lifestyle modification was definitely not in my five-year plan, and if I had gone to graduate school for music, I doubt whether all this would have transpired (or at least not so quickly).
There's an idea that the soul of every convert was at Mount Sinai receiving the Torah with the rest of the Jewish people. I'll be celebrating that momentous event on the upcoming holiday of Shavuot. And soon after, I'll be taking the logical next step: flying off to Israel to study Torah, close to the source.
Thank God for unexpected events.

Três palestinos morrem por manipular obus israelense

Três palestinos morrem por manipular obus israelense

Os três palestinos que morreram na sexta-feira em Beit Lahiya (norte da Faixa de Gaza) não morreram por causa de um bombardeio de Israel e sim porque manipulavam um obus israelense que transportavam, informaram neste sábado os parentes das vítimas.
"Às vezes os obuses israelenses não explodem, aí os jovens o encontram e o trazem para casa", afirmou Omar Khatib, um vizinho, pouco antes dos funerais.
Na véspera, os três jovens palestinos foram considrados mortos pelo fogo da artilharia israelense, segundo fontes médicas e de segurança palestinas, apesar de o exército israelense ter desmentido o bombardeio ao setor de Beit Lahiya.
Foguetes libaneses ferem dois soldados em Israel

Foguetes libaneses ferem dois soldados em Israel

Dois soldados foram feridos hoje por foguetes Katyusha disparados do sul do Líbano contra uma base militar do norte de Israel, informaram fontes do Exército israelense.
Um dos feridos foi levado ao hospital da cidade de Safed, em cujo distrito fica a base.
Os milicianos dispararam pelo menos três foguetes, de 120 milímetros de diâmetro, disseram as fontes.
As Forças Armadas, em comunicado oficial, responsabilizam o Governo de Beirute. Por enquanto, nenhuma organização reivindicou a autoria do ataque.
Normalmente, ataques com foguetes partem da milícia islâmica de Hisbolá (Partido de Deus). Grupos palestinos que operam nos campos de refugiados do sul libanês também se utilizam do recurso.
É do primeiro ataque desse tipo desde 3 de fevereiro, disse o porta-voz militar. Ele acrescentou que o Exército israelense não reagiu à agressão.
Mahmoud Abbas rejeita reunião com Amir Peretz

Mahmoud Abbas rejeita reunião com Amir Peretz

O presidente da Autoridade Nacional Palestina (ANP), Mahmoud Abbas, se recusou a participar de uma reunião com o ministro da Defesa de Israel, Amir Peretz, informaram fontes palestinas citadas hoje pela rádio pública israelense.
A reunião foi proposta pelo deputado israelense e almirante da reserva Ami Ayalon, do partido Trabalhista, durante um encontro com Abbas neste sábado, na "Muqata" de Ramala.
Antes de falar com Peretz, líder trabalhista na coalizão do Governo, Abbas deseja ver o primeiro-ministro Ehud Olmert. Esta semana, durante uma visita ao presidente George W.Bush, em Washington, o chefe de Governo israelense expressou a vontade de negociar a paz com o líder palestino.
Fontes próximas a Abbas dizem que ele se irritou com Ayalon, ex-chefe do serviço secreto (Shin Bet). O motivo foi a divulgação em Israel de notícias de que Olmert e Peretz autorizaram a entrada de armas da Jordânia para que a guarda presidencial possa proteger o presidente palestino de possíveis atentados de extremistas islâmicos.
Por enquanto, os escritórios de Olmert e de Abbas ainda não anunciaram em que data os dois vão se reunir.
Olmert, segundo fontes oficiais, quer antes expor suas posições sobre o conflito na França e na Alemanha. Seu objetivo é reunir apoio para o "plano da convergência", uma retirada unilateral da Cisjordânia ocupada, caso fracasse a negociação com a ANP.
O jornal "Ha''aretz" informa hoje que Abbas pretende ampliar para 10 mil homens a Guarda Presidencial, aparentemente para resistir às milícias do Hamas, que está no poder, e até de seu próprio Partido, o Fatah.
Os milicianos dos dois lados promoveram violentos incidentes nas últimas três semanas, causando 10 mortes.
A nova força, cuja missão principal é a de proteger o presidente da ANP, também se encarregaria de impedir os milicianos de Gaza de atacar a Israel.
Os ataques com os foguetes artesanais al-Qassam, e ultimamente com três Katyusha, do tipo empregado pela extinta União Soviética, têm pouco efeito por sua falta de precisão. Atualmente, a segurança de Abbas conta com 1.500 a 2 mil homens na cidade cisjordaniana de Ramala e na Cidade de Gaza.
Segundo o jornal de Tel Aviv, o presidente palestino solicitou às autoridades israelenses a ampliação do número de integrantes da corporação, mas o Governo israelense ainda não autorizou a medida, e pode impor condições.
Ariel Sharon é transferido para hospital de Tel Aviv

Ariel Sharon é transferido para hospital de Tel Aviv

O ex-primeiro-ministro israelense Ariel Sharon foi levado hoje do hospital Hadassah Ein Kerem para o de Shiva, na localidade de Tel Hashomer, no distrito de Tel Aviv, informou a rádio pública israelense.
Sharon estava até hoje no departamento de emergências de neurocirurgia do hospital de Hadassah Ein Karem, aos arredores de Jerusalém, onde entrou em coma no dia 4 de janeiro.
No hospital Shiva, Sharon vai ficar num pavilhão para doentes de longa permanência. Segundo a emissora, o seu estado de saúde não mudou.
No começo do ano, o ex-primeiro-ministro sofreu derrame cerebral antes de entrar no coma induzido do qual não se recuperou.

26 de mai. de 2006

Hamas retira milícias das ruas

Hamas retira milícias das ruas




O grupo Hamas, que controla o governo da Autoridade Palestina (AP), anunciou nesta sexta-feira que retirou das ruas da Faixa de Gaza a sua recém-criada milícia.
A milícia tem se envolvido em confrontos com diferentes forças de segurança palestinas desde que foi instituída, há dez dias.

Esses confrontos – que já deixaram dezenas de mortos – têm ocorrido principalmente entre o membros da milícia e das forças policiais que são controladas pelo Fatah, o partido político do presidente da Autoridade Palestina, que perdeu as eleições parlamentares de janeiro passado.

Youssef al-Zahar, o líder da milícia disse à agência de notícias Reuters que a ordem para recolher a força foi dada pelo Ministério do Interior, que é controlado pelo Hamas. "Nós recebemos ordens para nos retirarmos das ruas e nos concentrarmos em certos pontos para ficarmos prontos para correr para o local (de conflitos) quando precisarmos confrontar o caos”, disse ele.

Membros do governo e um porta-voz do Hamas confirmaram a decisão dizendo que ela foi tomada em parte para diminuir a tensão com o Fatah.

Crise

A decisão de estabelecer uma milícia de 3 mil homens do braço armado do Hamas ampliou a divisão que se estabeleceu entre os palestinos desde que o grupo venceu as eleições.

Com a vitória no Parlamento, o Hamas ganhou o cargo de primeiro-ministro da Autoridade Palestina – ocupado hoje por Ismail Haniya – e o controle do dia-a-dia do governo.

No entanto, a Presidência da Autoridade Palestina permaneceu nas mãos de Mahmoud Abbas, do Fatah. O presidente é eleito de forma separada e tem, entre suas incumbências, o controle das forças de segurança da AP.

Após a escalada na crise entre os dois grupos, nesta semana eles decidiram se reunir para tentar um acordo que acabe com a tensão e o risco, segundo alguns observadores, de uma guerra civil entre os palestinos.

Em meio a esse confronto, o governo de Israel afirmou na quinta-feira que vai permitir o fornecimento de armas leves e munições para forças de segurança leais a Abbas.

Fontes de segurança israelenses disseram que a decisão foi tomada por causa de crescentes ameaças à vida do presidente. Os funcionários do escritório de Abbas, no entanto, negaram a notícia. Segundo observadores, o presidente pode não desejar ser visto aceitando ajuda israelense para se defender de palestinos.

Abbas é visto pelo governo israelense como um interlocutor para um eventual acordo de paz entre os dois povos e ele tem tentado forçar o Hamas – que se opõe a existência de Israel e é chamado de grupo terroristas pelos israelenses – a assumir posições menos extremas.

Também na quinta, ele desafiou o Hamas a aceitar um programa político conjunto com o Fatah, ou enfrentar um referendo.

"Se vocês não chegarem a um acordo (com o Fatah) em dez dias, eu gostaria de dizer que, francamente, vou colocar esse plano em plebiscito", disse Abbas.

O documento que Abbas quer que seja aprovado foi elaborado por prisioneiros do Fatah e do Hamas que estão detidos em Israel.

O texto, publicado no dia 10 de maio, sugere maneiras de "preservar a unidade palestina" e pede a criação de um Estado palestino nos territórios ocupados por Israel na guerra de 1967, tendo Jerusalém como capital.
A Guerra dos seis dias - Jerusalém é libertada

A Guerra dos seis dias - Jerusalém é libertada

Soldado ferido na Guerra dos Seis diasGuerra dos Seis Dias

Na primavera de 1967, as capitais árabes desfilaram seus exércitos e falaram abertamente sobre varrer a Terra de Israel e atirar seus habitantes no mar. 

A imprensa internacional foi quase unânime em seu sentimento de que o pequeno Estado judaico, cercado e tendo menos armas que seus inimigos, tinha pouca chance de sobreviver. 

Parecia que, pela segunda vez numa geração, o mundo assistiria de camarote, permitindo que os inimigos do povo judeu assassinasse milhões deles. A 26 de Iyar (5 de junho de 1967), Israel lançou um ataque preventivo em suas fronteiras sul e norte. Em apenas seis dias, o exército israelense derrotou cinco exércitos árabes em três frentes libertando a cidade antiga de Jerusalém e o Monte do Templo. 

A natureza milagrosa da vitória de Israel fez surgir um despertar global da alma judaica, incentivando o já existente movimento de teshuvá (retorno a D’us) e as tradições judaicas. 

O Lubavitcher Rebe chamou-o de um momento com proporções bíblicas, uma “oportunidade como não se via há milhares de anos.” Milhares de judeus afluíram para colocar tefilin e rezar no recém libertado Muro Ocidental do Monte do Templo.


Jerusalém é libertada (1967)

A Guerra dos seis dias - Jerusalém é libertadaA Cidade Velha de Jerusalém e o Monte do Templo foram liberados durante a Guerra dos Seis Dias em 1967. O dia é assinalado em Israel como “Dia de Jerusalém”.

25 de mai. de 2006

Significado dos sobrenomes judaicos

Significado dos sobrenomes judaicos

Coisas Judaicas
Sobrenomes - Coisas Judaicas



Origem e significado dos sobrenomes dos judeus

Há dezenas de milhares de sobrenomes judeus utilizando a combinação das cores, dos elementos da natureza, dos ofícios, cidades e características físicas.

Um pequeno exercício é perguntar: Quantos sobrenomes judaicos podemos reconhecer com a raiz das seguintes palavras?

Cores: Roit, Roth (vermelho); Grun, Grin (verde); Wais, Weis, Weiss (branco); Schwartz, Swarty (escuro, negro);

Gelb, Gel (amarelo).

Panoramas: Berg (montanha); Tal, Thal (vale); Wasser (água); Feld (campo);

Stein (pedra); Stern (estrela); Hamburguer (morador da vila).

Metais, pedras preciosas, mercadorias: Gold (ouro), Silver (prata), Kupfer (cobre), Eisen (ferro), Diamant, Diamante (diamante), Rubin (rubi), Perl (pérola), Glass, (vidro), Wein (vinho).

Vegetação: Baum, Boim (árvore); Blat (folha); Blum (flor); Rose (rosa); Holz (Madeira).

Características físicas: Shein, Shen (bonito); Hoch (alto); Lang (comprido); Gross, Grois (grande), Klein (pequeno), Kurtz (curto); Adam (homem).

Ofícios: Beker (padeiro); Schneider (alfaiate); Schreiber (escriturário); Singer (cantor).

Holtzkocker (cortador de madeira), Geltschimidt (ourives), Kreigsman, Krigsman, Krieger, Kriger (guerreiro, soldado), Eisener (ferreiro), Fischer (peixeiro, pescador), Gleizer (vidreiro).

Utilizaram-se as palavras de forma simples, combinadas e com a agregação de sílabas como son, filho; man, homem; er: que designa lugar, agregando-se preferencialmente após o final do nome da cidade.

Em muitos países adaptaram-se as terminações dos sobrenomes ao uso do idioma do país como o sufixo "ski", "sky" ou "ska" para o caso de mulher, "as", "iak", "shvili" , "wicz" ou "vich".



Então, com a mesma raiz, temos por exemplo: Gold, que deriva em Goldman, Goldrossen, Goldanski, Goldanska, Goldas, Goldiak, Goldwicz, etc.

A terminação indica que idioma falava-se no país de onde é o sobrenome.

Sobrenomes espanhóis: Entre os sobrenomes judaicos espanhóis é fácil reconhecer ofícios, designados em árabe, ou em hebraico, como: Amzalag (joalheiro); Saban (saboneiro); Nagar (carpinteiro); Haddad (ferreiro); Hakim (médico).

Profissões relacionadas com a sinagoga como: Hazan (cantor); Melamed (maestro); Dayan (juiz). Cohen (rabino). Levy, Levi (auxiliar do templo).

Títulos honoríficos: Navon (sábio); Moreno (nosso mestre) e Gabay (oficial).

O sobrenome popular Peres, muitas vezes escrito Perez, com a terminação idiomática espanhola, não é, no entanto, sobrenome de origem espanhola, mas uma palavra hebraica que designa os capítulos nos quais a Torá (os cinco livros do Pentateuco), se divide para sua leitura semanal, de forma a completar em um ano a leitura da Torá.

Muitos sobrenomes espanhóis adquiriram pronuncia ashkenazi na Polônia, como exemplo, Castelanksi, Luski (que vem da cidade de Huesca, na Espanha).

Ou tomaram como sobrenome Spanier (espanhol), Fremder (estranho) ou Auslander (estrangeiro). Na Itália a Inquisição se instalou depois que na Espanha, de modo que houve também judeus italianos que emigraram para a Polônia. Aparece o sobrenome Italiener e Welsch ou Bloch, porque a Itália é também chamada de Wloche em alemão.

Nomes de cidade ou país de residência: Exemplos: Berlin, Berliner, Frankfurter, Danziger, Oppenheimer, Deutsch ou Deutscher (alemão), Pollack (polonês), Breslau, Mannheim, Cracóvia, Warshaw, (Varsóvia).

Nomes comprados: Exemplos: Gluck (sorte), Rosen (rosas), Rosenblatt (papel ou folha de rosas), Rosenberg (montanha de rosas), Rothman (homem vermelho), Koenig (rei),Koenigsberg (a montanha do rei), Spielman (homem que joga ou toca), Lieber (amante), Berg (montanha), Wasserman (morador da água), Kershenblatt (papel de igreja), Kramer (que tenta passar como não judeu).

Nomes designados (normalmente indesejáveis): Exemplos: Plotz (morrer), Klutz (desajeitado), Billig (barato).

Sobrenomes oriundos da Bíblia: Uma boa quantidade de sobrenomes judeus deriva dos nomes bíblicos, ou de cidades européias da Ásia Menor. Isto muitas vezes fez os judeus levarem consigo as pegadas dos lugares em que se originaram. Tomemos como exemplo de "raiz de sobrenome" o nome de Abraham (Abrahão). Filho de Abraham se diz diferentemente em cada idioma. Abramson, Abraams, Abramchik em alemão, ou holandês. Abramov ou Abramoff em russo.

Abramovici, Abramescu em rumeno. Abramski, Abramovski nas línguas eslavas.



Abramino em espanhol, Abramelo em italiano. Abramian en armênio, Abrami, Ben Abram em hebraico. Bar Abram em aramaico e Abramzadek ou Abrampur em persa.

Abramshvili em georgiano, Barhum ou Barhuni em árabe.

Os judeus de países árabes também usaram o prefixo ibn. Os cristãos também passaram a usar seus sobrenomes com agregados que significam "filho de". Os espanhóis usam o sufixo "ez", os suecos o sufixo "sen" e os escoceses põem "Mac" no início do sobrenome. Os sobrenomes judaicos não tomaram a terminação sueca nem o prefixo escocês.

Pode-se constatar essas variações olhando em catálogos telefônicos quantos sobrenomes há derivados de Abraham, Isaac e Jacob. Há também sobrenomes judeus que seguem o nome de mulheres, mas é menos comum. As vezes isto acontecia porque as mulheres eram viúvas, ou por alguma razão eram figuras dominantes na família. Goldin vem de Golda. Hanin de Hana. Perl, ou Perles de Rivka. Um fato curioso apresenta o sobrenome Ginich. A filha do Gaon de Vilna se chamava Gine, e se casou com um rabino vindo da Espanha. Seus filhos e netos ficaram conhecidos como os descendentes de Gine e tomaram o sobrenome Ginich.

Leia também:  Feriados Judaicos

Também há sobrenomes derivados de iniciais hebraicas, como Katz ou Kac, que em polonês se pronuncia Katz. São duas letras em hebraico, K e Z iniciais das palavras Kohen Zedek, que significa "sacerdote justo".

Procurando uma Sinagoga?
Sobrenomes adquiridos em viagens: Nos sobrenomes que derivam de cidades a origem é clara em Romano, Toledano, Minski, Kracoviac, Warshawiak (de Varsóvia). Outras vezes o sobrenome mostra o caminho que os judeus tomaram na diáspora. Por exemplo, encontramos na Polônia sobrenomes como Pedro, que é um nome ibérico. O que indica? Foram judeus que escaparam da Inquisição espanhola no século XV.
Em sua origem, possivelmente eram sefaradim, mas se mesclaram e adaptaram ao meio azkenazi. Muitas avós polonesas se chamam Sprintze. De onde vem esse nome? O que significa? Lembrem-se que em hebraico não se escrevem as vogais, assim que é um nome que se escreve em letras hebraicas Sprinz, que em polonês se lê Sprintze, mas como leríamos esse nome se colocássemos as vogais? Em español, seria Esperanza, e em português Esperança, que escrito em hebraico e lido em polonês resulta Sprintze.

Mudança de sobrenomes: Existem muitas histórias nas mudanças dos sobrenomes. Durante as conversões forçadas na Espanha e em Portugal, muitos judeus se converteram adotando novos sobrenomes, que as paróquias escolhiam para os "cristãos novos" como Salvador ou Santa Cruz. Outros receberam o sobrenome de seus padrinhos cristãos.

Mais tarde, ao fugir para a Holanda, América ou ao Império turco, voltaram à religião judaica, sem perder seu novo sobrenome. Assim apareceram sobrenomes como Diaz ou Dias, Errera ou Herrera, Rocas ou Rocha, Marias ou Maria, Fernandez ou Fernandes, Silva, Gallero ou Galheiro, Mendes, Lopez ou Lopes, Fonseca, Ramalho, Pereira e toda uma série de denominações de árvores frutíferas (Macieira, Laranjeira, Amoreira, Oliveira e Pinheiro). Ou ainda de animais como Carneiro, Bezerra, Lobo, Leão, Gato, Coelho, Pinto e Pombo.

Outra mudança de sobrenomes foi causada pelas guerras. As pessoas pederam, ou quiseram perder seus documentos, e se "conseguia" um passaporte com sobrenome que não denunciava sua origem, para cruzar a salvo uma fronteira, ou escapar do serviço militar.

Nos fins do século XIX o Czar da Rússia, exigia 25 anos de serviço militar obrigatório, especialmente dos judeus. Quantos imigrantes fugiram da Rússia e da Ucrânia com passaportes mudados para evitar uma vida dedicada ao exército do Czar? Outra questão é que somos filhos de imigrantes, e muitos sobrenomes se desfiguraram com a mudança de país e de idioma. As vezes eram os funcionários da Alfândega ou da Imigração, outras o próprio imigrante que não sabia espanhol, ou escrevia mal. Por isso, muitos integrantes da mesma família têm sobrenomes similares em som, mas escritos com grafia diferente.

Além disso, na Polônia a mulher tinha um sobrenome diferente do masculino, terminava em "ska", no lugar de "ski", pois indicava o gênero. Esses, são só alguns dos milhares de sobrenomes judeus existentes. E assim a história continua...


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24 de mai. de 2006

Elodie Lambrozo

Elodie Lambrozo

Elodie Lambrozo
Elodie Lambrozo

Elodie Lambrozo, 21 - From Paris to Tel Aviv



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Fashion deprived. 'I love to shop, but I have had a hard time finding clothing stores I like in Israel. It's not like Paris.'
Photo: Meredith Price



Elodie Lambrozo grew up in the romance capital of the world but says that Paris seemed small by the time she reached 18. "I wanted a new adventure," says Lambrozo, pushing a strand of dark hair away from her blue eyes. "My mom enrolled me at the Dauphine University and I studied economy there for six months, but I hated every second of it. I was ready for something else." When her older brother decided to come to Israel on a study abroad program three years ago, Lambrozo saw the chance for an interesting vacation and booked a round-trip ticket. She had no idea that the journey would be the start of a love affair with the Jewish state, or that at long last she would find a place to call home.

UPON ARRIVAL

"I had been to Israel before, but I had never set foot in the city of Tel Aviv," says Lambrozo. "As soon as I got here to visit my brother, I fell madly and instantly in love." While her brother attended classes and studied for exams, Lambrozo often found herself alone during the day, wandering the streets and taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling, energetic city. She spent hours drifting through small neighborhoods, walking into shops on Dizengoff Street, soaking up the sun in caf terraces and discovering quiet corners. After that visit, Lambrozo knew she would be back. Lambrozo arranged to make aliya as quickly as possible after her return to Paris. She returned to Israel on July 28, 2004, 19 years old and without her parents or siblings, this time to stay.

FAMILY HISTORY

"My grandparents made aliya a few years ago, just before they turned 90," says Lambrozo. "They wanted to be buried in Israel." Her grandfather has since passed away and got his wish to be interred in Jerusalem, in a cemetery overlooking the capital. Her grandmother, who Lambrozo says is in great shape, still lives in Jerusalem and remains energetic. Both sides of Lambrozo's family were pied-noir. Literally translated as "black feet," the term applies to the French citizens who colonized northern Africa, particularly Algeria, between the early 19th century and 1962. During Algeria's war for independence, which lasted between 1954 and 1962, Lambrozo's family, like the vast majority of pied-noir families, returned to France. "My parents were both born in Algeria, and no one who had to leave ever fully got over abandoning their lives there, even if they were teenagers like my parents," says Lambrozo.

"It was paradise on earth," she says, adding that a deep nostalgia surrounds all of her family's stories about life in Algeria. Lambrozo's father is a doctor in Paris and her mother assists him. The couple make at least two trips a year to Israel to visit Elodie and her grandmother. Lambrozo has three siblings: an older sister, 26, who works in insurance in Paris; an older brother, 24, who is doing a financial internship in Montreal; and a younger sister, 16, who is in high school in Paris.

LIVING ENVIRONMENT

In a spacious, airy apartment on the first floor of an old building on Allenby Street, Lambrozo says she has at last found a place where she can stay. "I've moved five times since I came to Israel," says Lambrozo. "I didn't even want to visit this place because of the location, but as soon as I walked in, I knew I would take it." The charming apartment was once a casino, and a few of the old walls have been painted bright red, yellow and blue, giving the aged bricks a fresh look. Most of the wide area is open, and Lambrozo says that the previous inhabitant put in a wall to separate the bedroom from what was previously one enormous gambling room. "I left everything exactly as I found it, from the paint to the antique lighting fixtures. I love it," says Lambrozo, adding that she has grown so accustomed to the noise from Allenby Street that it no longer affects her.