Thanksgivukah provides an opportunity to listen to the true story of Chanukah (and its lessons)

Chanukah means "re-dedication" - but to what, why, and how? Rabbi Moshe Parry teaches the little-known but historic story of Chanukah, what it means for you and our people in these times of defending Judaism against its enemies.


Israel Matzav reports that 'Palestinians are destroying priceless archaeological site from Hasmonean times'

The 'Palestinians' are once again attempting to rewrite history, this time through an archaeological dig at the remains of an ancient Hasmonean fortress

News of PA digs at the site is particularly of concern given the organization's penchant for rewriting history. In 2011, amid renewed PA digs in Shechem, which the Bible records was bought by Jacob (Yaakov), Hamdan Taha, director of the PA's Department of Antiquities, said the dig would help in “writing or rewriting the history of Palestine.”
The Field School guides discovered the archaeological digging during a trip taken in advance of a walking tour planned for December 6 during Hanukkah. The Field School said Israeli groups have not traveled the area in roughly 20 years.
Given the lack of a mandate for rule and for IDF involvement in Area A, the School said "all that's left is to hope that the findings will be dealt with according to the great importance the site has to the Jewish people."
The Hasmoneans successfully forced the occupying Greek Empire out of Israel and established their own dynasty over 2,000 years ago. Their revolt, sparked by Greek decrees outlawing Judaism, lead to the purification and rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Regarding the site, representatives from the School explained that Judah Maccabee, a key leader in the uprising, died three years after the Temple was purified. Following his death "the Hellenist Jews together with the Greek army returned to rule over Judea and the gains accomplished by the Hasmonean revolt nearly fell completely. The recovery from this hard setback happened in the Judean desert between Bethlehem and Tekoa at the hill named Beit Betzi."
At the ruins remains of a magnificent fortress from the Hasmonean and Early Roman period were found. According to Dr. David Amit's research in the 1980s the site played a critical role in the Hasmonean struggle against Greek forces.
'Tis the season to try maintain a truthful narrative....

Jewish / Zionist perspectives on the John F. Kennedy assassination anniverary

John F. Kennedy (like his brother Robert F. Kennedy) was quite Zionistic.  Read excerpts of address by 1960 US presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kennedy to Zionists of America Convention, Statler Hilton Hotel, New York,  August 26, 1960 The American Presidency Project at Univ of Calif, Santa Barbara

"I first saw Palestine in 1939. There the neglect and ruin left by centuries of Ottoman misrule were slowly being transformed by miracles of labor and sacrifice. But Palestine was still a land of promise in 1939, rather than a land of fulfillment. I returned in 1951 to see the grandeur of Israel. In 3 years this new state had opened its doors to 600,000 immigrants and refugees. Even while fighting for its own survival, Israel had given new hope to the persecuted and new dignity to the pattern of Jewish life. I left with the conviction that the United Nations may have conferred on Israel the credentials of nationhood; but its own idealism and courage, its own sacrifice and generosity, had earned the credentials of immortality.



Some do not agree. Three weeks ago I said in a public statement: "Israel is here to stay." The next day I was attacked by Cairo radio, rebuking me for my faith in Israel, and quoting this criticism from the Arabic newspaper Al-Gomhouria:
As for the question of the existence and the nonexistence of Israel, Mr. Kennedy says that Israel has been created in order to exist. Time will judge between us, Mr. Kennedy.
I agree. Time will judge whether Israel will continue to exist. But I wish I could be as sure of all my prophecies as I am of my flat prediction that Israel is here to stay.

For Israel was not created in order to disappear - Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom; and no area of the world has ever had an overabundance of democracy and freedom.


It is worth remembering, too, that Israel is a cause that stands beyond the ordinary changes and chances of American public life. In our pluralistic society, it has not been a Jewish cause - any more than Irish independence was solely the concern of Americans of Irish descent. The ideals of Zionism have, in the last half century, been repeatedly endorsed by Presidents and Members of Congress from both parties. Friendship for Israel is not a partisan matter. It is a national commitment."

Who was Abraham Zapruder, the man who inadvertantly filmed the moment of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963?  From "As he filmed, Abraham Zapruder knew instantly that President Kennedy was dead" by , in the Washington Post  Nov., 21, 2013




Abraham Zapruder had moved to Dallas from Brooklyn in 1941 with his wife, Lillian, and their children Myrna, 6, and Henry, 2. 

He hadn’t wanted to go at first, his daughter told the Oral History Project at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas in 1997. 

His family lived in an apartment in a four-unit building. His mother lived down the hall. Two sisters lived upstairs with their husbands. 

They had all been part of the great wave of Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe in the early 1900s. The Zapruders had come from Kovel, in what was then Russia, now northwestern Ukraine. 

The Nazis would later murder thousands of Kovel’s Jews during World War II. 

Zapruder’s daughter said her father’s childhood in Russia had been one of misery and starvation. Zapruder’s father, Israel, had emigrated to the United States about 1915, during the chaos of World War I. Zapruder followed in 1920. He was 15. He learned English and went to work as a pattern maker on Seventh Avenue in New York’s garment district. 

Kerry's weak deal to de-nuclearize Iran will force Israel to war; Meet Jews who have had to fight for our freedom in both America and Israel

American-born oleh, Ronny Weinreich (www.RonnyW.com), discusses his I.D.F. service and the price our servicemembers pay to maintain our free society. He explains Victor Frankel ("Man's Search for Meaning") notion why the Statue of Liberty ought rightfully be called the "Statue of Responsibility." Addressing a Veterans Day gift-basket wrapping party held by Iranian-American civic-group, 30 Years After, at Sephardic Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles.



Jewish US Navy Chaplain Irving Ellson serves with 1st Marine Expeditionary Force based in Camp Pendleton, San Diego and oversees the Jewish chaplains in the Western United States. Ellson explained his work to JooTube at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces dinner in Southern California.


What are Lucas Siminofsky's views now that he (an American high-school graduate) has completed his  elective enlisted service as a Lone Soldier (i.e., without familial relations in Israel) sharpshooter in the Israeli Army?


Cmdr. David Zwerin of Jewish War Veterans discusses the history of the organization- founded in 1896 - is America's oldest veterans' association.


  
Jewish War Veterans march in Salute to Israel Parade  June, 2011

The Jewish War Veterans- at 115-years old, the oldest veterans service organization in the nation. Jews have fought and died in every war fought by the United States. June 2012


 
Frenchman, Marcel Berkovitch, joined Machal to defend Israel in her War of Independence and 1956 against attacking Arab armies

In Los Angeles, Iranian-American 30-Years After group sponsored a gift-wrapping event for Veterans Day. 


Hy Arnesty, Jewish War Veteran and Chairman of the Cemetery and Burial Committee for the Los Angeles National Cemetery- addresses 30 Years After at Sephardic Tifereth Israel.


White House has Israel's back (to stab) on Iran nukes; True colors lose Zion's trust- writes Richard Baehr

"Backstabbed" by Richard Baehr in Israel Hayom 11/11/13: 

Who would have thought it would come to this -- the French interceding to block a giveaway deal to Iran on its nuclear weapons program, a deal advanced enthusiastically by the United States? On the other hand, the Obama administration's rapture for a deal that would involve empty Iranian promises in exchange for real hard cash to be released to the mullahs with sanctions relief, is not at all surprising.  As Daniel Pipes argued, a second term for U.S. President Barack Obama was bound to lead to this:
"I wrote before the last presidential election that Israel's troubles will really begin should Obama win a second term. At Obama's second inauguration, I predicted that he, freed from re-election constraints, can finally express his early anti-Zionist views after a decade of political positioning. Watch for a markedly worse tone from the second Obama administration toward the third Netanyahu government."
Richard Baehr
Obama is now finished with elections, unless he seeks the U.N. secretary-general's post (for which he is eminently qualified with his anti-Zionism). He is done fundraising from his many liberal Jewish "friends" in Hollywood and Wall Street, who always cared a lot more for his policies on abortion, or for business favors he could deliver, or ambassadorships, than they did about Israel, assuming they cared about Israel at all.

Nonetheless, Obama made sure to say that "he had Israel's back" and "would stop Iran from securing nuclear weapons," empty words that were enough to clear the very low bar that has been set for those seeking the designation of "pro-Israel" from the organized Jewish community. Obama voted for foreign aid as a senator (like almost all members of the House of Representatives and Senate). He was, therefore, deemed by the Jewish community to be acceptably pro-Israel. The fact that Obama remained a member of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years, to hear his continuous Israel- (and America-) bashing, was simply not a concern for those who wanted to ignore all evidence to the contrary. Now, the president no longer needs to even pretend that Israel's views, or the pro-Israel community's views, matter on issues that concern that nation.

Art among Jews, Jews among art: Contemporary gallery in mixed, trendy / orthodox part of Hollywood reaches out through L.A. Jewish Chamber of Commerce

Jews in Art: Contemporary, Moskowitz Gallery hosts L.A. Jewish Chamber of Commerce in Orthodox, La Brea area of Hollywood

Adam Moskowitz, curator of Moskowitz Gallery in orthodox part of L.A.'s Hollywood district, gives candid interview about the Jewish role in the contemporary art scene- and contemporary art in Jewish culture.



Gallery partner, Brooke Gerson discusses her ambitions establishing the Moskowitz Gallery in the mixed fashionable and Orthodox, La Brea neighborhood of Los Angeles. 



L.A. Jewish Chamber of Commerce president, Jeff Gurman and Executive Director, David Nemetz brought the group to the contemporary-art, Moskowitz Gallery for their October meeting. Mr. Gurman discusses the mission and benefits of affiliation with their group.