During the week covered by this review, we received 11 articles on the following subjects:
Jewish Attitudes Concerning Jesus
Yediot Yerushalayim, October 6, 2017
Last week, Eran Tzidkiyahu, a local tour guide, observed a Jerusalem municipality security guard attempting to use white-out to erase Jesus’ name out of an historical wall inscription on the municipality building. Tzidkiyahu photographed the event and posted it on Facebook. Describing the event in the status update accompanying the photo, Tzidkiyahu said that he had asked the security guard to identify himself, but he refused. He then told the guard that if he cleaned the white-out off the inscription while Tzidkiyahu watched, he would let the matter pass. However, the guard appears to have resolutely denied everything, and Tzidkiyahu reported him to two nearby police officers. The guard continued in his denial till the police found that he was carrying white-out on his person. The municipality investigated the guard, and stated, “As the guard was found to have acted unworthily, contrary to what is expected of him and against the rules he had been instructed to follow, he was fired immediately.”
Yediot Yerushalayim, October 6, 2017
On Thursday, September 28, Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat met with representatives of “The Committee for Saving the Apartment Leaseholders in Israel,” regarding the Greek Orthodox church land dispute. He told the representatives, “The municipality will not allow you to be injured by the recent real-estate deals. During the last year, we have worked unceasingly behind the scenes to help the residents, and we will continue to stand at your side until a responsible and all-inclusive solution is found to this painful issue.” The representatives told Barkat some of their concerns have to do with the way in which sale of church lands to unknown parties has undermined the status of the residents’ assets and their value. Barkat described to the representatives some of the actions the municipality has taken on their behalf and what is being planned for the future. He asked the residents to be patient as they continue to work through these issues. Barkat welcomed Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s decision to form a joint committee to solve the issue as well.
The committee represents some 900 families from Rehavia, Talbieh, Nayot and the environs. An official of Barkat’s bureau, speaking anonymously, added, “Due to the sensitivity of the issue the municipality prefers to act without much media fanfare, but that it is important for people to know that action is being taken.”
The Jerusalem Post, October 1, 2017
On Saturday, October 30, the far-right Nordic Resistance Movement (NMR) held a march in Gothenburg, Sweden. Hundreds of people were present, and both neo-Nazis and anti-fascists clashed with police, who had prepared for violence. Some 50 people were arrested, and one police officer appeared to be slightly injured.
Membership in Nazi organizations is not illegal in Sweden, reported the article, and the NMR had a permit to march.
Jewish Attitudes Concerning Jesus
Makor Rishon, October 4, 2017
In this article, Gidon Erlich responds to Eli Shalom’s article in Makor Rishon, entitled “Apology required” (issue 1051, 29.09.2017).
Ehrlich quotes Shalom as having said, “The ‘Yeshu’ acronym of Jesus’ name is suitable for ultra-orthodox Jews, whereas a newspaper such as Makor Rishon should write ‘Yeshua’.” Ehrlich states Jesus’ name in Hebrew is “Yeshu”, and evidence of this pronunciation, both by Jews and non-Jews, dates to Mishnaic times. Ehrlich added, “Turning the form into an acronym was a convention for foreign names and that the prayer for Jesus’ name to be forgotten was connected to the acronym at an even later date.” Ehrlich believes that since writing “Yeshua” has not become a set convention, and Christians used “Yeshua” in the Gospels in order to signify his deity, the “Yeshu” acronym should occasionally be used. Ehrlich ends by calling upon his readers to refrain from using the terms “Holy See”, “Holy Sepulcher”, “Holy Quran”, and “Prophet Muhammad” as well.
The “Yeshu” term, traditionally used as an acronym for “May his name and memory be blotted out,” has become a common way to refer to Jesus in Hebrew, though the acronymic meaning is not always intended when the word is used (ed.).
HaTzvi, September 14, 2017
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s International Fellowship of Christians and Jews donated food and clothing to families and boarding-school children in Arad for Rosh HaShanah, at a total cost of ILS 43,100. Eckstein stated, “Israel is in a deep social crisis with intolerable poverty levels and social gaps.” Arad Mayor Adv. Nissan Ben-Hamo thanked the IFCJ, and affirmed the contribution would assist families, while expressing hope that next year they would not need any support.
The Jerusalem Post, October 6, 2017
This year marks the 38th celebration of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem’s Feast of Tabernacles Sukkot event. Beginning with an outdoor meal and concert at Ein-Gedi on October 6, it will continue at Jerusalem’s Pais Arena till October 11. Some 6,000 people are expected to attend. Some will have arrived earlier to spend time in the Holy Land. An ICEJ spokesman told the Post that visitors will benefit Israel’s economy with expenditures of between 18 and 20 million U.S. dollars.
Maariv, October 4, 2017
This article surveys the history of Caesarea from the Second Temple era to the present day. The article begins by noting that Herod built the city in 30 BCE on the ruins of an earlier Canaanite city called the Tower of Straton. During Herod’s time, the port at Caesarea was one of the largest in the Mediterranean, rivaling Piraeus, and was considered an engineering wonder, as its coastline is without a natural bay. At its most extensive, the city contained some 200,000 inhabitants, both Greeks and Jews. Caesarea continued as a city until 1291, after which it remained uninhabited until the 1950s.
Today, visitors can see the ancient port with its famous amphitheater and hippodrome, both of which are sometimes used for current-day events. Excavations have revealed the main Byzantine-era church of the city, built on the remains of a Roman temple, and an aqueduct which brought water to the city from the Carmel springs. After the Arab conquest, the city was turned into an agricultural center, and the port and aqueduct fell into disrepair. The city was partially refortified during the Crusader period, but the fortifications did not survive past this time. The city was not inhabited after 1265, except for a small village formed to house Muslim refugees from Bosnia, which was conquered in February of 1948 by a Palmach unit commanded by Yitzhak Rabin and its inhabitants evicted.
Haaretz, October 4, 2017
Vince Pankoke, a retired FBI agent, has assembled a 20-person team of forensic specialists which will attempt to discover who, if anyone, betrayed Anne Frank and her family to the Nazis in 1944. Although the cause of the arrest has been investigated before, it has never been studied using cold case techniques. The group noted that this analysis has led to new insights. The target date for the end of this project is August 4, 2019, the 75-year anniversary of the Frank family’s arrest by the Nazis. The team will film and document its work online at www.coldcasediary.com as the project progresses. The Cold Case Diary team is working in cooperation with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Anne and her sister Margot both died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Their parents, Otto and Edith, were sent to Auschwitz, where Edith died. Otto survived and returned to Amsterdam, where he found Anne’s wartime diary, which came to symbolize for many plight of the Jews during the Holocaust.
The Jerusalem Post, October 4, 2017
The entire New York Congressional delegation, both Democrat and Republican, has sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to deport Jakiw Palij (92) of Queens, New York, who served as a guard at the Trawniki concentration camp in Poland in 1943. Palij has lived in the US since 1949 as a refugee, but his U.S. citizenship was revoked after a federal judge ruled that he lied on his citizenship application. Palij has not been deported as Poland, Germany and the Ukraine all declined to take him. He has claimed he never killed anyone, and was forced to serve as a guard. The delegation’s letter stated removing Palij from American soil will send a message to the entire world, adding, “…it has taken far too long for these court orders [for Palij’ deportation] to be carried out.”
Yediot HaNegev, September 29, 2017
The Kamea dance group is to perform a new composition by Tamir Ginz, entitled Matthäus Passion 2727, and set to J.S. Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion. They will be joined by the Kantorei Barmen-Gemark and L’Arte del Mondo, the Bayer medicine company’s home orchestra.
The work is “the closing of a circle” for both Tamir Ginz, the choreographer, as he is the son of Holocaust survivors, and Arno Gerlach, head of the orchestra’s management, who is the son of a death train driver in the Third Reich. The article states, “Ginz places the work in 2727, 1,000 years after Bach composed it. His interpretation describes broken individuals searching for deliverance and a messiah, people who long for love and encouragement. In his work, Ginz builds a bridge between peoples and religions in a world where each person is Jesus, and Jesus returns to being only one of the people.”
The ballet will be performed on Monday, October 23, at 20:30, in the Center for the Performing Arts in Beer-Sheva.
Iton Shacharit, October 1, 2017
Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Galant and Rehovot Mayor Rachamim Maloul recently visited the new heritage center for Yemenite Jewry and Jewish Communities in the city. Included in the exhibition is a 6th-century tablet, discovered near Tinam, with an inscription commemorating priestly worship in the Temple, which appears to testify to the fact that many priestly families reached that area in Yemen.