What's happening in Israel?

Sibi

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SnowFall

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Hey, I just wanted to ask, how is Christmas perceived In Israel?

I know Christianity is relatively small in Israel, but from what I’ve seen online we still make our presence known.
 






Sibi

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Hey, I just wanted to ask, how is Christmas perceived In Israel?

I know Christianity is relatively small in Israel, but from what I’ve seen online we still make our presence known.
There aren't many Christians throughout Israel so it isn't celebrated everywhere. However in Nazareth, Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem's Christian Quarter, and Bethlehem it is huge! Usually there would be massive amounts of tourists but because of COVID travel restrictions there were not as many this year.


 






SnowFall

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There aren't many Christians throughout Israel so it isn't celebrated everywhere. However in Nazareth, Haifa, Jaffa, Jerusalem's Christian Quarter, and Bethlehem it is huge! Usually there would be massive amounts of tourists but because of COVID travel restrictions there were not as many this year.


That’s awesome, I’d love to go to Jerusalem!
Thank you for the photos, They were lovely to see!

what’s your favourite place in Israel?
 






Stucky

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Sibi

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ירושלים Yerushalayim in Hebrew
ירו Yeru - they will see (future tense)
שלים Shalayim - wholeness, completeness

A related word to shalayim is שלום Shalom which means peace. :)
 






Sibi

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The best place in all of Israel is the Western Wall aka the Wailing Wall aka the Kotel. It is in Jerusalem. It was a retaining wall for the Second Temple that was destroyed in 69CE. It has survived for 2,000 years.

 






InfoHarb

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ירושלים Yerushalayim in Hebrew
ירו Yeru - they will see (future tense)
שלים Shalayim - wholeness, completeness

A related word to shalayim is שלום Shalom which means peace. :)
We will liberate Palestine and there is nothing the Zionists can do about it. It is absurd to hear this "shalom means peace" stuff when the Zionists cannot even accept that Palestinians are human. Meanwhile the Jews helped the Muslims in establishing Al-Andalus because Muslims were known to the Jews for not being oppressive. The Jews in the Middle Ages preferred to live under Muslim rule rather than Christian rule because Muslims were known for their humane treatment of the Jews. Look what happened to the Jews when Al-Andalus fell. Little thanks do the Zionists give.
 






Sibi

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History of the Jews, Christians, and Muslims.


The triumph of the ‘dhimmi’
By ELI KAVON
The 'Prayer' monument in Ramat Gan, in memory of the Jews who were killed in the ‘Farhud’ Pogrom in Iraq. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The 'Prayer' monument in Ramat Gan, in memory of the Jews who were killed in the ‘Farhud’ Pogrom in Iraq.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


The Israeli-Arab conflict is not simply a 100-year-old political battle. Its roots are more than 1,300 years old and transcend the wars between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors since the former’s founding in 1948. To gain a greater understanding of why “land for peace” has been a failure and even successful treaties with Egypt and Jordan have created at best a lukewarm relationship between Arabs and Jews, we must take a foray into the history of Jews living under Islamic sovereignty since the great conquests of Muhammad’s successors in the Middle East dating back to the 7th century CE.

The status of Jews and Christians as both “Peoples of the Book” and dhimmis gives greater depth to the understanding of why there has been no peaceful resolution of a conflict that is not solely political but social, cultural, psychological and religious. With the rise of Islam 1,400 years ago and the emerging religion’s control of territory from Spain in the west to India in the east, large numbers of Christians and Jews were incorporated into the great Islamic empires after the death of Muhammad. While Jews and Christians were considered people who possessed scriptures that were divinely inspired and, therefore, were not forced to convert to Islam, they were still considered dhimmis – dependent peoples.

This dhimmi status was known as the Pact of Omar, although it dates to a later period than that caliph, to the year 800. While Jews and Christians under Islam were guaranteed self-government, religious tolerance and exemption from military service, the dependent peoples had to be humiliated for rejecting Muhammad as the final prophet and the Koran as divine revelation.

Under dhimmi status, Jews and Christianscould not carry weapons, could not make converts, were not allowed to live in houses higher than those of Muslims, could not make a public display of their rituals, could only ride donkeys and not horses, could not build new churches or synagogues and had to pay a yearly poll tax. In addition, they had to wear distinctive clothing to differentiate them from Muslims. These dhimmi rules were not always enforced. During the Jewish golden ages in Spain and the Ottoman Empire Jews rose to great heights politically and financially.

Yet the dhimmi rules were enforced throughout the Islamic world and defined who the Muslims were in opposition to those who rejected Muhammad. Dhimmitude shaped the psychology of Islam in a way that continues today. The rise of the State of Israel turned the Jews’ dhimmi status on its head. No longer would Jews be a “dependent” people, but an independent people. Although the status of Jews in the Islamic world is often depicted as far better than that of Jews in the Christian domain, the reality is that for most of the history of Jews under Islamic sovereignty dhimmis were treated poorly, and there were even incidents where Muslims forced Jews to convert to Islam and caused Islamic destruction of Jewish communities – such as in Granada in 1066.In the late Sir Martin Gilbert’s last book, In the House of Ishmael, the historian does not paint a rosy picture of Jewish life under Islamic sovereignty.

Often it depended on the individual caliph or sultan in terms of treatment of the Jews.

Dhimmi status provided tolerance of religion and autonomy, but the humiliating terms of the status demeaned Jews and Christians and defined the superiority of Muslims to other monotheistic faiths. But with the founding of the State of Israel how Muslims define themselves with regard to Jews has had to change radically – or has not changed at all.

Although the greatest Islamic empire, the Ottomans, ordered an end to the dhimmi status in 1856, there is no doubt that socially, religiously and psychologically there has been little change. A legal decree abolishing the dhimmi status could not simply wipe away more than a millennium of institutionalized humiliation of the Jews. The IDF has repeatedly defeated Islamic and Arab armies on the battlefield, the Jewish people have a long list of Nobel Prize winners, Israel is a global leader in the high-tech industry, the Jewish state is a democracy and, despite terrorism and war, thriving. According to the millennium-long logic of the dhimmi, this is a thorn in the side of Muslim self-definition and Muslim theology and the way Muslims understood their superiority over Jews.

Further exacerbating the theology and politics of the dhimmi is the fact that the Jewish capital is in Islam’s third holiest site and for the past 50 years Jews have controlled important territory that had been under Islamic sovereignty. To understand Muslim attitudes toward Israel, the failure of the peace process with the Palestinians, the hatred of Israel in the streets of Tehran, one must go beyond the politics of the past century and look much further back into the relationships in history between Muslims and Jews.

The State of Israel obliterates the idea that the Jew must “know his place” in the hierarchy of Muslim societies.
Independent people are no longer dependent and humiliated. That notion will not be wiped away from the Islamic world overnight, if ever. If the Islamic world could come to peace with the notion that Jews are no longer in a position to accept humiliation, it is likely that the Middle East would be a more peaceful region. But the ground rule is that the reality of a Jewish state challenges age-old humiliations of the Jews in the Muslim world.
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Sibi

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Tu Bishvat, and a message of hope
It is surprising that Tu Bishvat, the celebration of a “New Year for the Trees,” falls in the middle of the winter.
By MENACHEM LEVINE
Published: JANUARY 1, 2022
 A TU BISHVAT table filled with fruits and nuts.  (photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

A TU BISHVAT table filled with fruits and nuts.
(photo credit: DAVID COHEN/FLASH 90)

With new COVID variants, seemingly never-ending vaccines, mandates causing tensions between government and citizens, and travel restrictions forcing the separation of families and friends this winter, there is a prevalent feeling of uncertainty.

The upcoming holiday of Tu Bishvat reminds us that despite it all, the Jewish people is always a nation with hope.

Tu Bishvat – the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shvat – is a unique holiday. According to the Talmud (Rosh Hashana 2a), Tu Bishvat was the day used to decide how old a tree was for tithing obligations. Fruit trees that blossomed before this date were considered part of the previous year’s produce; fruit trees that bloomed after Tu Bishvat were viewed as belonging to the following year’s crop.

Customs for this day, which include eating fruit, or in particular a “new fruit” over which one could recite shehecheyanu, arose over the centuries.

Yet, it is surprising that Tu Bishvat, the celebration of a “New Year for the Trees,” falls in the middle of the winter. In most regions, if one walks outside at this time of year and observes the trees, they look lifeless and dry. There is not a leaf to be seen. It would seem far more appropriate to celebrate Tu Bishvat in the spring, as the trees come to life with budding flowers.
Young Jewish children plant trees as they participate in an event organized by the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat in the Ben Shemen forest on February 06, 2012. Tu Bishvat is a Jewish holiday occurring in late winter/early spring marking the ''New Year for Trees (credit: OMER MIRON/FLASH90)

Young Jewish children plant trees as they participate in an event organized by the Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat in the Ben Shemen forest on February 06, 2012. Tu Bishvat is a Jewish holiday occurring in late winter/early spring marking the ''New Year for Trees (credit: OMER MIRON/FLASH90)

The eminent 11th century French sage, Rashi explains (Rosh Hashanah 14) that even though the trees look lifeless, by Tu Bishvat, the sap begins to run within them. The sap – indicating the trees coming back to life and starting to nurture the future buds and fruit – usually starts to flow when the weather is still below freezing at night and starts to rise just above freezing during the day.

In Vermont or Quebec at this time of year, sugarmaker bore holes in maple trees to extract the sap. All that the trees will produce in the spring and summer is being prepared right now within the tree, in the dead of winter. The tree is coming back alive, although it is not yet visible.

Tu Bishvat teaches us to look beyond what we see on the surface, and know that hope can still spring eternal.


IN PARASHAT Beshalach, which coincides yearly within a week of Tu Bishvat, the Jewish people arrived in Marah, and could not drink the bitter water (Exodus 15:23). God responded to Moses by showing him a tree and directed him to throw it into the water, which miraculously transformed the water and made it sweet. Why did God use a tree?

We are told that to the Jewish people, the situation seemed hopeless. There were a few million people in the desert without water. The one source of water they found was undrinkable. The natural reaction was despair. What hope was there for the future?

At that point, God showed them a tree. When a situation looks hopeless and the future looks desolate and bleak, the tree symbolizes that the situation can turn around. Spring will happen! The dried out trees will come back to life. There can and will be a renaissance and renewal.

Throwing the tree into the water was a message to the Jewish people, then and always, not to give up. Not to worry about the desert, not to despair over the future. To know then and always that “the salvation of God comes in the blink of an eye.”

The verse in Deuteronomy 20:19 compares a human being to a tree, ki ha’adam etz hasadeh. Just as there are four seasons for a tree, there are seasons in a person’s life. There are periods in a person’s life when the future looks bleak, and things look miserable all around. What will be?

The message of the trees, the message of Tu Bishvat, is to know that spring will come. The sap is running in the trees, and the (hopefully) abundant winter rains will serve a purpose. The flowers will blossom, the juicy fruits will grow, and the sun will shine again.​

The late president Shimon Peres observed: “Sometimes people ask me, ‘What is the greatest achievement you have reached in your lifetime?’ I reply, ‘There was a great painter named Mordecai Ardon, who was asked which picture was the most beautiful he had ever painted. Ardon replied, ‘The picture I will paint tomorrow.’ That is also my answer.”


So too, we need to know that the difficulties of our time will pass. The darkest part of the winter comes just before spring. Tu Bishvat teaches us that if we keep our faith in God and ourselves, our greatest days still lie ahead.

 






Sibi

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Tu b'Shevat - The New Year for the Trees on January 17th.

When’s the last time you wished a tree Happy New Year? The 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat is a great opportunity. It’s known as Tu BiShvat, the New Year for Trees.

Why do trees celebrate their New Year so much later than ours? It has to do with the rainy season in Israel, which commences with the festival of Sukkot. It takes four months for the rains to saturate the soil, nurture the trees and coax them into producing fruit. This is important to know if you are planning to give your tithes of fruits, as is done in the Land of Israel, because the required tithes vary from year to year. It’s also important if you are a tree and looking for something to celebrate.

We humans can also celebrate along with the trees. After all, the Torah says, “Man is a tree of the field.” We are nurtured by deep roots, as far back as Abraham and Sarah; we reach upwards to the heavens while standing firmly on the ground; and when we do all this right, we produce fruits that benefit the world—namely, our good deeds.

Traditional Observances:
Eat some fruit on this day. Best if you can get some of those fruits for which Israel is famous: olives, dates, grapes, figs and pomegranates.

 






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