A disputed essay assignment that asked students in a California school district to argue "whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history" incorporated a source that dismissed gassings in concentration camps as a "profitable hoax."
The San Bernardino Sun first reported that the Rialto Unified School District instructed eighth-graders to "write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain."
But initial reports on the disputed essay largely overlooked one of the three sources provided to students, extensive text lifted directly from a Holocaust Denial and conspiracy website,biblebelivers.com.au, titled "Is the Holocaust a Hoax?"
"Though six million Jews supposedly died in the gas chambers, not one body has ever been autopsied and found to have died of gas poisoning," the webpage reads. "We have been shown piles of bodies from World War II, but most of these persons died of typhus or starvation or Allied bombings and a great many of those were murdered Germans, not Jews. Roughly the equivalent of ten football fields should be packed full of gassed bodies to present as evidence, yet not one body has ever been discovered."
"It is not denied concentration camps existed," it later adds. "Tragically, many died of typhus or starvation, as often happens in such situations. There is, however, no evidence that any gassings occurred for the reasons of genocide."
A spokeswoman for the Rialto Unified School District defended the assignment last week as an exercise in "developing critical thinking skills." The spokeswoman then told KTLA on Monday that an academic team was revising the assignment.
TPM has reached out to the school district for comment on the source.
In major business publications, Mark Fields' religion was not mentioned when it was recently announced that he would become Chief Operating Officer of Ford on Dec. 1, the number two post at the company.
But in the Jewish community, the significance of a Jew essentially running the 109-year old car company was not lost. Fields, 51, of Dearborn, is the likely replacement for CEO Alan Mulally when he steps down.
The Detroit Jewish News, in its latest edition, published a front page story entitled "Historic Promotion," noting the irony of Fields running a company founded by Henry Ford, an internationally renowned anti-semite who was admired by Adolph Hitler, and published a book "The International Jew."
In 1931, two years before becoming the German chancellor, Hitler told a Detroit News reporter: "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
The Jewish News in its current edition wrote of Fields' rise in the company:
"Veteran observers of the automotive scene thought it could never happen. But it's a new era at Ford, an era that actually started when the elder Ford's grandson Henry Ford II, took over the company in the 1940s and launched his version of affirmative action."
Today, many Jews buy Fords. But there are still some who won't because of its founder's hatred of the Jews.
The 2010 documentary film "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story " cited Ford's writing in 1920, in which he wrote: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”
The Jewish News noted that Fields declined to be interviewed after the his latest promotion was announced, but said in another interview: "I have never encountered one iota of discrimination as a Jew during my career at Ford."
The paper also quoted Mervyn Manning, who became Ford's first Jewish vice president in 1977 and retired in 1992. He applauded Field's ascension.
"When I joined Ford in 1956 at the Ford Division in Dearborn, there was one African American in the building -- and he was the shoeshine man. Not only was I the first Jewish vice president, but I was the first minority VP of any kind, including women."
On Monday, a Tennessee state senator apparently likened Obamacare's individual mandate to Nazi Germany's slaughter of Jews.
A brief post published at the blog of state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) read: "Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of manditory [sic] sign ups for 'train rides' for Jews in the 40s."
"While Stacey Campfield routinely makes remarks that are over the top, today's comments are ignorant and repugnant. No political or policy disagreement should ever be compared to the suffering endured by an entire generation of people. Those comments have no place in our public discourse. He should offer an apology to members of the Jewish faith immediately."
DETROIT, MI -- The farm bill that the president signed into law during a visit to Michigan earlier this year requires the federal government to start helping food banks provide kosher and halal products to families in need, and a Metro Detroit organization plans to pursue the aid.
A Jewish organization in New York sparked the legislation after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left many affected by food shortages searching food bank shelves for kosher products, according to the Associated Press.
The measure was passed over multiple times in Congress, but was included in the sweeping, five-year farm bill passed in February.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with gauging demand; finding vendors that can supply food prepared according to Jewish and Muslim dietary codes at comparable prices to standard food; and getting the labeled and tracked goods to distributors, reports Jeff Karoub of the Associated Press.
Getting the program into place will take a while, officials said.
But Zaman International Inc., a Dearborn-based group that runs a mobile food pantry and provided 3,612 meals in one 2013 program, plans to apply for the federal help.
"It would be huge - a lot of our budget goes to halal meat and chicken," Zaman executive Director Najah Bazzy told Karoub.
"For me, having the halal meat - if it could be given to us through the right vendors - really opens the opportunity for ... giving people access to the total food pyramid."
Robertson introduced Lapin by asking: “What is it about Jewish people that make them prosper financially? You almost never find Jews tinkering with their cars on the weekends or mowing their lawns. That’s what Daniel Lapin says and there’s a very good reason for that, and it lies within the business secrets of the Bible.”
Later in the interview, Robertson said that Jews are “polishing diamonds, not fixing cars.”
“When you correctly said in Jewish neighborhoods you do not find Jews lying under their cars on Sunday afternoons, no, I pay one of the best mechanics around to take care of my BMW, I’d be crazy to take my time doing it myself,” Lapin said. “Or for me to mow my lawn, I’m the worse lawnmower in the world, but the young man who lives down the street from me, he’s one of the best and he’s happy to do it and I’m happy.”
He added that paying for such services is all about “taking care of God’s other children.”
“There’s no Hebrew word for retirement; the general rule is when there’s no Hebrew word for something, it’s a bad idea. For instance, there’s no Hebrew word for adolescent, because when you think about it an adolescent is just somebody who wants all the privileges of adulthood with none of the responsibilities,” Lapin told Robertson. “No word for adolescent, no word for retire and I’m very happy that you’ve taken that lesson to heart.”
Robertson agreed that retirement is a violation of God’s law. Lapin added that there is also no Hebrew word for “fair.”
Daniel Lapin is wrong. There is a Hebrew word for "adolescent," it is naar. Coincidentally that also happens to be the Yiddish word for silly fool.
The Hebrew word for "fair" is yashar. Also tzedek.
As for "retirement," there is a commandment in the Scriptures to care for the infirm and elderly, and that it is disrespectful and cruel to force them to work at the same rate as younger, stronger people. We can even see an example of this in the Book of Ruth: Ruth went out to the fields to glean, and did not expect the elderly Naomi to work along with her.
This article was originally published by NationSwell, a website dedicated to sharing the stories of innovative Americans who are working to effect social change and move the country forward.
Fresh, locally sourced food? Check. Art on the walls? Check. Helping New York's hungry? Check.
The phrase “soup kitchen” doesn’t exactly ooze comfort. Getting meals to the homeless or hungry is usually a bare-bones affair, involving the most inexpensive food and all the ambiance of a basement cafeteria.
But walking into a soup kitchen run by Masbia, a group founded in 2005 and now operating three store fronts across Brooklyn and Queens, feels different.
The food is fresh, cooked by chef Ruben Diaz and volunteers, and meals incorporate donations from city farmers’ markets and local CSAs. There’s art on the walls. The chairs don’t fold. It looks like a restaurant, and it is – one where nobody has to pick up the check themselves.
Masbia is on track to serve one million meals this year alone.
The food is kosher – the founders are Hasidic Jews, and the first store front opened in Boro Park, a primarily Orthodox Jewish neighborhood – but people of all creeds are welcome. Many of the volunteers preparing the food are patrons, who work a few hours and then take their meals with employees.
[Beginning Saturday night, March 14, 2014] Jews in America, Israel and around the globe will celebrate Purim, a holiday known for costumes, carnivals and noisemakers. Even rabbis and synagogue presidents dress up for a playful re-telling of the holiday story during Purim spoofs called spiels. With all the fun of the holiday, it’s also important to remember Purim’s more serious underlying themes of persecution and survival in the face of the planned genocide of ancient Persia’s Jews. Based on events over 2,000 years ago, these themes resonate throughout the centuries and in today’s world as well. By speaking up and speaking out, justice will triumph over evil.
At the center of the Purim story is the powerful and wealthy King Achashverosh, his brave new bride Queen Esther, her wise uncle Mordecai and the villain of the story, Haman, the king’s advisor who was determined to rid the land of the Jewish “outsiders.” As queen, Esther conceals her Jewishness in order to work with Mordecai to help save their people. All of the evil plans, court intrigues, power shifts and the eventual triumph of good over evil are recorded in the Scroll of Esther or the megillah, which is read aloud as the holiday begins each year. Tradition demands that each time the name of Haman is uttered, it is drowned out by noisemakers and yells so that no one has to hear the name of this evil man.
One of Purim’s special traditions is the sharing of hamantashen and other gifts of food with friends while it is also traditional to give gifts to the poor, particularly donations of money that recall the price put on the head of every Jew in Esther’s Persia. We are taught to give generously on Purim. One never knows what tomorrow will bring.
As for hamantaschen, special treats associated with the holiday, folklore says the three-cornered shape of these filled pastries represents the shape of Haman’s hat. However, the word taschen meant “pockets” in old German—as in Haman lining his pockets with the King’s riches—while mohn is the poppy seed paste that is the most traditional filling for the pastries. Some people say they were originally called “mohntaschen” but eventually the name became haman-taschen for obvious reasons. And why poppy seed? It recalls the clandestine way Esther was able to maintain her Jewish identity and keep kosher in the palace by eating vegetarian including seeds and nuts.
Here are two hamantaschen recipes, one an easy take on the classic Ashkenazic (Eastern European) hamantaschen and the other a three-cornered savory treat from Sephardic cuisine. The recipes are provided by Susan Barocas, who most recently led the launch of the Jewish Food Experience project in Washington, DC.
This recipe makes a non-diary, crispy pastry that is good with a variety of fillings. The oranges juice and zest add extra flavor. The dough also makes a good cookie including thumb print that can be filled as desired.
5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice or water
2 teaspoon grated orange rind
Fillings of choice including poppy seed (mohn in Yiddish), prune butter (lekvar), hazelnut chocolate spread, lemon curd, thick fruit preserve, crumbled halvah
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet or cover with parchment paper. Add flour and baking power to a bowl and blend with a dry whisk. Use the whisk to beat the eggs in separate larger bowl. Add oil, sugar, vanilla and orange juice or water and beat until well blended and creamy. Mix in grated rind. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients gradually, mixing in completely each time with a wooden spoon. Once the dough can be formed into a ball not too sticky to handle, knead it together until smooth.
All of the steps up to this point can also be done in a food processor fit with steel blades. Blend the wet ingredients, then add the flour gradually until a ball forms and continue to roll, fill and fold.
Once the dough is in a smooth ball, pull off a large piece and roll to ¼ inch thick on a lightly floured board or counter. Cut into 3 to 3 1/2-inch rounds; the top of a glass works quite well. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling of choice in the center of each round. Moisten around the edge of the dough circle, then fold into a triangle, pinching each corner closed and leaving some filling showing. Bake 20 to 25 minutes just until starting to barely golden brown. Yield: about 3 dozen
*To add some whole grain, you can trade out up to half the all-purpose flour for white whole wheat flour.
Food Processor Stand mixer Rolling pin Pie board Pie pan Measuring cups Measuring spoons 1-qt. saucepan
For the crust:
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter or shortening, frozen 1/2 tsp. salt 6 Tbsp. ice water
Preheat oven to 375°.
Put the flour and salt into the bowl of the food processor and combine. Cut the butter/shortening into cubes add to the flour and pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing each time.
Take the dough out of the food processor and roll out into a disc, then line the bottom and sides of a 9" pie pan. Trim the edges and make a fluted or crimped edge.
For the Filling:
3 large eggs 1 c. corn syrup 3/4 c. brown sugar 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 2 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine 2 c. whole pecans
In the bowl of stand mixer, add eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla & melted butter/margarine. Mix at medium speed until the sugars are combined and the mixture is frothy. Add the pecans, mix well, and pour into the pie crust.
Bake at 375° for 50-60 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 1 hour.
A German cartoonist has apologized for causing offense by depicting Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as a hooked-nose octopus, after Jewish groups complained it resembled Nazi propaganda.
Cartoonist Burkhard Mohr says he had intended to make a point about Facebook devouring rival WhatsApp and didn't realize the parallels to the Nazis' anti-Semitic portrayal of Jews as hungry tentacle monsters.
The cartoon was published Friday in early editions of the Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung. Later editions showed an empty hole where Zuckerberg's face had been.
"I'm very sorry about this misunderstanding and any readers' feelings I may have hurt," Mohr said in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
"Anti-Semitism and racism are ideologies that are totally alien to me," he added.
Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said he wasn't convinced by the apology.
"He drew a caricature that is so reminiscent of Der Stuermer caricatures that it's inconceivable to me he didn't realize this," said Zuroff, referring to the weekly propaganda paper that the Nazis used to whip up hatred against Jews. "Maybe he should pay a visit to their archives."
Although riots and protests have given way Monday to some measure of calm in Kiev, the tension felt by Jews Ukraine-wide has not abated. Many of those who could, fled, but the majority—who do not have the means to leave—are sitting tight, waiting out a period of unnerving uncertainty.
“Jews are not a factor in the politics here, but whenever there’s chaos, Jews become a target and feel vulnerable,” said Rabbi Mayer Stambler, a Chabad representative in Dnepropetrovsk. With most of the protests going on in Kiev, things have been relatively calm in his city but the sense of anarchy struck closer to home for other Chabad representatives.
In Zaparozhye, for example—Ukraine’s sixth largest city, several hooligans threw Molotov cocktails at the community’s synagogue Sunday night. The thugs fled before security guards managed to pursue them, but the incident was captured on the synagogue’s security cameras. “We have guards at the building round the clock,” said Rabbi Nachum Ehrentreu, Chabad representative to Zaparozhye, "and thankfully, this happened after we had finished all of our evening classes and programs so no one was hurt.”
Ehrentreu points out that the perpetrators were stragglers who had joined a major protest by some 2000 opposition supporters earlier in the day. But, insists Ehrentreu, “the protestors were not here to target Jews; in fact in the four years that the opposition was in power (2006-2010) it maintained good relations with the Jewish community. These were four individuals looking to make trouble.”
ABANDONING LOCAL JEWS NOT AN ANSWER
Chabad representatives—there are roughly 70 couples serving Jewish life Ukraine, which has an estimated Jewish population of 300,000—are not leaving. In interviews with lubavitch.com, they echoed similar attitudes, saying that their role is to serve the Jewish people there and they would not consider abandoning them. “We have nurtured deep bonds with Jewish people here. How can we leave them?” said Rabbi Stambler.
But according to Rabbi MordechaiLevenharts, a Chabad representative to Kiev, that doesn’t mean that he won’t encourage local Jews to make Aliyah. Unrelated to the recent turmoil, he said, “trying to live an observant Jewish lifestyle here is not easy, and if someone has grown in his or her Jewish observance and now wants to live in an environment that is more supportive of Jewish life, of course I encourage them to move to Israel.”
In the four years since Yanukovych was president, Ukraine’s economy has fallen apart, and is now on the verge of bankruptcy, leaving a population angry and resentful at the financial abuses by government officials while businesses were forced to close down. Chabad Shluchim state-wide are struggling to meet the growing demand on their respective community’s programs and services while funding from local business people has dropped by more than half.
Happy Valentine's Day! Enjoy this Cherry Cheesecake Pie with your loved ones.
Equipment You Will Need:
9" pie pan
Gallon-sized plastic bag
1-qt. sauce pot
Large mixing bowl
Preheat oven to 375º
For the crust:
18-20 Cinnamon Graham Crackers
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter
1/4 c. sugar
Place the graham crackers in a plastic bag and roll with the rolling pin until crushed to small crumbs. Or grind in a food processor. Put the crumbs into a large mixing bowl and mix with the sugar.
Melt the butter and pour over the crumb mixture. When thoroughly combined, press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie pan.
For The Filling:
2 8-oz packages Cream Cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can Cherry Pie Filling
In electric mixer at low speed, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Turn the mixer to medium and add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is evenly mixed. Mix at medium speed for about 5 minutes.
Pour the cheese mixture into the pie pan, and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove the pie from oven, let cool for about 1 hour, and top with the Cherry Pie Filling.
Pareve Cherry Cheesecake:
Substitute 2 containers of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese for the cream cheese and margarine for the butter.
Vegan Cherry Cheesecake:
Substitute Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese for the cream cheese, margarine for the butter and omit the eggs.
Food Processor Large mixing bowl Colander Measuring cups Measuring Spoons Rolling Pin Plastic wrap Vegetable Peeler Utility Knife Small saucepan Pie Pan Baking Stone Aluminum Foil
For the crust:
2 1/4 c. all purpose flour 1 Crisco Baking Bar (or 2 sticks butter) 10 Tbsp. ice water 1/2 t. salt
Combine the flour and salt and put in the bowl of the food processor. Cut the Crisco or butter into small cubes, and add to the flour. Pulse 3 or 4 times. Add the ice water 1 Tbsp. at a time, pulsing each time, until dough forms a ball. Remove from food processor. Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one twice as large as the other. Roll out the larger piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. When dough is rolled out very thin, line the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator. Roll out the other dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate.
For the Filling:
6 large apples: 4 Granny Smith and 2 Braeburn, Gala or Golden Delicious 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1/3 c. brown sugar 1/3 c. white sugar 1/2 t. salt 1 t. cinnamon 1/4 t. nutmeg 1/4 t. allspice (Instead of the cinnamon,nutmeg & allspice you can use 1 1/2 tsp. apple pie spice) 2 Tbsp. margarine or butter 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
Peel, core and slice the apples and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, brown & white sugar, salt, and spices and mix well. Leave the apples absorb the spices for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425.
A bunch of juice will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl. Pour off the juice into a small saucepan with 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine.
Add 2 Tbsp. cornstarch to the drained apples. Cook the juice over medium heat until the mixture caramelizes and becomes foamy. Pour it back over the apples and mix well.
Take the pie plate with the prepared crust out of the refrigerator and fill with the apple mix. Cover with the top crust, making sure to cut vents in the dough. You will see from the illustration above that we have used a ceramic "pie bird" in the middle of the pie pan to vent the steam and avoid the juice from bubbling over.
Bake at 425 for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, cover the edge of the pie crust with foil so that it won't overbake.
It really is a tale of two cities — this time with the tony Upper East Side getting the shaft!
Huge swaths of the city’s wealthiest neighborhood had been not been plowed by early Tuesday evening, leaving 1-percenters out in the cold, according to the city’s own map of snow-plower activity.
“He is trying to get us back. He is very divisive and political,” said writer and Life-long Upper East Sider and mom Molly Jong Fast of Mayor de Blasio.
“By not plowing the Upper East Side, he is saying, ‘I’m not one of them.’ But we have everyone in this area on the Upper East Side. We have rich people, middle class people, and housing projects. We have it all.”
There appeared to be no snow plowing between East 59th and 79th Streets and between Second and Fifth Avenues.
“I can’t believe de Blasio could do this. He is putting everyone in danger,” said Barbara Tamerin, who was using ski poles to get around 81st Street and Lexington Avenue.
“What is he thinking? We’re supposed to get up to a foot of snow and nobody on the Upper East Side is supposed to blink an eye? I can barely get around and I’m on snow shoes! All of the buses are stuck and can’t go anywhere. He’s crazy. We need Mayor Bloomberg back!”
9.5" pie plate Rolling pin 3-qt. saucepan Measuring cups Measuring spoons Large mixing bowl Gallon-size plastic bag Hand whisk Stand mixer with whisk attachment
Ingredients for the crust:
24 chocolate cream or chocolate-and-vanilla-cream sandwich cookies (like Oreos, but vegan) 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) non-dairy margarine, melted
Put the cookies in a plastic bag and crush into crumbs with the rolling pin. Pour out the crumbs into a mixing bowl and add the melted margarine. Mix to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 1/2 c. almond milk 1 1/2 c. coconut milk 1/4 c. cornstarch 1/4 c. cocoa powder 1/4 c. sugar 4 oz. baking chocolate, pounded into small bits 2 Tbsp. non-dairy margarine 1 tsp. vanilla
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and cocoa in a 3-qt. saucepan. Add the almond and coconut milk and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. When mixture boils, keep whisking and boil at low heat for 5 minutes until mixture has thickened.
Remove from heat and whisk in margarine, vanilla and chocolate pieces, whisk thoroughly until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Pour into the pie shell and refrigerate until set (3 hours or overnight)
1 c. vegan whipped topping like Rich Whip.
Whip up the Rich Whip in the mixer at high speed. Spread over the pie filling.
GENERAL ORDERS No. 11. HDQRS. 13TH A. C., DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, December 17, 1862.
The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.
By order of Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant: JNO. A. RAWLINS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 424.
Plea from deported Jewish citizens
PADUCAH, KY., December 29, 1862.
Hon. ABRAHAM LINCOLN, President of the United States:
General Orders, No. 11, issued by General Grant at Oxford, Miss., December the 17th, commands all post commanders to expel all Jews, without distinction, within twenty-four hours, from his entire department. The undersigned, good and loyal citizens of the United States and residents of this town for many years, engaged in legitimate business as merchants, feel greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it, and would place us, besides a large number of other Jewish families of this town, as outlaws before the whole world. We respectfully ask your immediate attention to this enormous outrage on all law and humanity, and pray for your effectual and immediate interposition. We would respectfully refer you to the post commander and post adjutant as to our loyalty, and to all respectable citizens of this community as to our standing citizens and merchants. We respectfully ask for immediate instructions to be sent to the commander of this post.
D. WOLFF & BROS. C. F. KASKELL. J. W. KASWELL.
Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. 17, Part II, p. 506.
The Order is Rescinded
WAR DEPARTMENT, Washington, January 4, 1863.
Major-General GRANT, Holly Springs, Miss.:
A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms it expels all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.
H. W. HALLECK, General-in-Chief.
[CIRCULAR.] HDQRS. 13TH ARMY CORPS, DEPT. OF THE TENN., Holly Springs, Miss., January 7, 1863.
By direction of General-in-Chief of the Army, at Washington, the general order from these headquarters expelling Jews from the department is hereby revoked.
It was Saturday September 1, 2007 and I was in Monte Carlo for a friend’s wedding.
We prayed that morning at the local synagogue and later walked to the nearby Hotel de Paris. Entering the lobby, I was surprised at the large security presence. I soon learned that the legendary former South African president Nelson Mandela was a guest in the hotel.
As it happened, he was sitting in one of the stately public rooms on the lobby floor as I passed by.
I instinctively wanted to meet the iconic statesman. The slim chance of gaining access to meet Mandela did not stop me from asking the security guard at the door if I could please step in to bless the former president. Just then, a second member of the security detail approached and asked what I wanted. The first bodyguard explained that I was a rabbi who wanted to bless Madiba on the holy Sabbath. They agreed to let me go over to greet him.
As I approached the former president, he looked up and beamed. I was dressed in the full Chabad Shabbat attire, the flowing black frock and black fedora, and since I had just left the synagogue my white and black tallit was draped over my shoulders.
After we had been introduced, Madiba invited me to sit near him. He asked me to please bless him and mentioned how touched he was that I had blessed him on the Sabbath. President Mandela also told me how much he cherished it when ‘his rabbi,’ Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris, would bless him back home.
Looking across at the great man, who had suffered for decades, fought for freedom, and pulled a splintered nation together, I felt compelled to ask one question. Had he ever compared his story to that of the biblical Joseph?
Without pause, Madiba replied that he felt a strong affinity with Joseph. Joseph had been imprisoned for life, yet he found strength in his positive outlook and had finally emerged to lead a nation. With twinkling eyes, Mandela laughed out loud: “But I spent many more years in prison then Joseph did!”
I then asked him, “Is it in honor of Joseph’s coat of many colors that you wear your trademark colorful “Madiba shirts”?
“No,” he replied, “I wear these shirts to represent my people and their struggle and to represent the beautiful diverse cultures and traditions of Africa.” He tenderly touched the African continent embroidered on his custom-made silk black shirt.
We chatted easily and he shared the story behind the Madiba shirts. On the first Shabbat after he had been elected president, back in May 1994, he visited South Africa’s largest synagogue, the Green and Sea Point Hebrew Congregation in Cape Town. “His rabbi,” Chief Rabbi Harris had invited him to attend morning services. Mandela recounted how he had addressed the packed crowd and had “appealed to the local Jewish community to implore their South African family members who had emigrated to return home to help rebuild a new democratic South Africa.” He also reassured the local Jewish community not to be afraid of a Government of National Unity and promised that “together we will succeed.”
He then recalled, “When I returned to the motorcade, my driver handed me a gift from a women who had attended synagogue that morning. It was a beautiful black shirt, with a colorful design of golden fish across it. I chose to wear that shirt to the opening of parliament of our new democratic government.”
“After I had worn that shirt, this same woman (South African designer Desre Buirski) would continue to send me shirts. We become good friends, and she designed hundreds of shirts for me. These shirts help me carry my message all over the world.”
He smiled and added, “And all because I went to synagogue on a Saturday morning.”
I stood up and thanked him for the generosity of his time and the honor of meeting him. Before I walked off, Mr. Mandela complimented the traditional look of my Chassidic dress. “I am happy to see you dressed this way; you should always be proud to wear the clothing of the Jewish faith as a mark of honor,” he said.
As I shook his hand, he told me, “Remember young rabbi, when you dress in your royal garb, you represent what the Bible stands for: How all humans are G d’s children, created in the image of G d, regardless of ethnicity, color or faith.”
What’s the hottest headwear in Montreal on these cold winter days? Surprisingly, it’s not woolen toques or fur hats. Lately, Quebecers wanting to make a fashionable, yet political, statement are wearing kippot covered in the Fleur-de-lis.
The kippot are the brainchild of a young Montreal rabbi who felt it was time for Jewish Quebecers to wear their opposition to Bill 60 not only on their sleeves, but also on their heads.
The province’s ruling nationalist Parti Quebecois, led by Premier Pauline Marois, tabled Bill 60 in the National Assembly in early November. The proposed legislation, also known as the Charter of Quebec Values, would ban the display of religious symbols and the wearing of religious garb by public employees.
“The best way to protest the charter is to wear religious symbols,” says Rabbi Yisroel Bernath. Known as “Montreal’s Hip Rabbi,” he is the spiritual director of Chabad Notre-Dame-de-Grace & Loyola Campus, and the Jewish chaplain at Concordia University.
Bernath, a 31-year-old transplant from Chicago, is astonished at how hisQuébec Kippa has taken off. Right after Bill 60 was tabled, he made a mock-up image of the skullcap and posted it on his Facebook and Twitter feeds. The link went viral, and people started asking him when he was going to actually make the kippot featuring the provincial symbol.
Initially, the rabbi and his friend Herschel Weil bought some white kippot and ironed on a Fleur-de-lis patch. Soon after, they found a fabric with the appropriate pattern and approached kippa-maker Rhonda Levy, asking her to make a batch of 400 kippot for them.
“I really wanted it to be made locally in Quebec,” Bernath emphasizes.
We have not had a Pie Day! in a while, and we also neglected to even post to this blog during Hanukkah while we were on vacation in Alabama.
Anyway this Lemon Meringue Pie was made the old-fashioned way and took over an hour of back breaking hard work so try it out! Then guilt your holiday guests into giving you great presents because of your awesome pie skillz.
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED:
Food processor Stand mixer with whisk attachment Hand whisk 2-qt. saucepan 1-qt. saucepan 9-inch pie pan Egg separator Measuring cups & spoons Prep bowls Rolling pin Plastic wrap Parchment paper Pie weights (or raw beans or rice) Cooling rack Candy thermometer
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 1/2 c. Crisco 1/4 tsp. salt 6 Tbsp. ice water
Preheat the oven to 425.
We use Crisco baking bars for the pie shortening. The baking bars should be kept in the freezer. Rose Levy Birnbaum, the author of the "Pie and Pastry Bible" thinks that if you use Crisco in pie crust you are lame and stupid and fat, and you should probably be taken out and shot or at least imprisoned in Pie Jail. But you can have my Crisco when you scoop it out of my cold, greasy fingers. You can use butter if you prefer.
Anyway. Combine the flour and salt in the food processor bowl. Cut the frozen Crisco into dice-size pieces, add to the flour mixture and pulse until you get pea-size lumps of Crisco & flour. Add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulse after each Tbsp, until you get a ball of dough.
Roll out the dough and place in the bottom of a 9-inch deep dish pie pan. Cover the dough with parchment and fill the parchment with pie weights. If you don't have pie weights, you can use raw beans or rice to hold down the pie crust so that it doesn't puff up.
Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights, and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden.
Remove from oven and cool.
Or you can skip this whole step and use a frozen pie crust.
8 eggs, separated (save 4 egg whites for the meringue. Use the other 4 egg whites in something else, or throw out) 1 1/2 c. sugar 2 1/4 c. water 1/2 c. cornstarch 1/2 c. lemon juice 1 1/2 Tbsp grated lemon zest 1/4 tsp. salt 3 Tbsp. margarine or butter
Mix the egg yolks with a fork. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a 2-qt saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking all the time. When mixture boils, continue to whisk for another 5 minutes until mixture becomes translucent and thick. Keep whisking! Don't stop! You may want to switch hands. It's hard. Don't stop! When the 5 minutes are up, keep whisking! Drop a tablespoon or two of this goo into the bowl of egg yolks and whisk that too! Then pour the gooed-up egg yolks into the pot and whisk for another minute or two until everything is all combined and consistent. Pour this into a mixing bowl and add the lemon juice and zest and salt and butter or margarine and whisk that up good!
When you feel that your arms are about to fall off, pour and scrape this all into the pie crust. Cover with a plastic wrap.
1/2 c. sugar (preferably ultrafine) 2 Tbsp. water 4 egg whites 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a 1-qt. saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and becomes bubbly. Turn heat to lowest setting while you whip up the egg whites.
In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites at high speed until they are foamy. Add the Cream of Tartar and continue to whip at high speed until the egg whites peak. Turn off the mixer.
Remember that sugar syrup? Use the thermometer to check the temperature, heat until 236 F.
OK now work fast. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat. Turn the mixer on high. Pour that sugar syrup in a slow drizzle into the egg whites. You may need a spatula to get out what is stuck to the bottom and sides of the pan. Keep the mixer on high until all the sugar syrup has been added.
Or you can just add 1/2 c. of ultrafine sugar to the egg whites and not mess around with the sugar syrup which is really a pain.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pie filling. Spread the fluffy meringue over the filling, starting at the outside crust. Use a spatula to make nice peaks. When the pie has been covered, put into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the meringue starts to turn golden.
Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.
CUTTING THE PIE.
Do NOT just stick a knife into the pie, you will rip the meringue and mess it all up.
Dip the pie-cutting knife into warm water, or lightly grease with some oil or margarine. Then you can cut the pie.
Do you need instructions on how to eat it too? Save some for the guests.
An apology was posted Saturday by a Christian journal that had published and republished an anonymous essay on its blog saying that Jews killed Jesus and deserve God’s punishment.
“Firstly, we apologize for inadequate editorial oversight in the publishing and re-publishing of this blog post,” wrote Aaron Gyde, editor-in-chief of the Harvard Ichthus, which is run by Harvard College undergraduates.
The publication’s apology took the place of the essay “Why Us?” which was written by an anonymous Jewish convert to Christianity and posted on the Ichthus website Wednesday. The author, who remained anonymous due to concern of personal attacks, wrote, “We, the Jews, collectively rejected God and hung Him up on a cross to die, and thus we deserved the punishments that were heaped on our heads over the last 2000 years.”
Gyde wrote the apology on behalf of the Ichthus editorial board, adding in thoughts from the author of the controversial essay.
“While this does not excuse the post of responsibility, it was not the intent of the writer, nor the Ichthus, to present a piece that is anti-Semitic in nature or in interpretation,” the apology stated. “The writer holds nothing but love for his heritage and feels very deeply for the welfare of the Jewish people. The blog was not intended to communicate animosity, but concern and a sincere desire to communicate the necessity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.”
The essay was originally removed from the website, edited, and reposted Friday morning, when the author wrote that he or she was looking “to warn my beloved Jewish friends and family of the judgment that lies ahead.”
The essay was removed again Friday, this time permanently.