Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Reopens to Jews Post-Ramadan, But Freedom of Worship Remains Elusive at Holy Site

August 11, 2013 9:19 pm 10 comments
Aerial view of the Temple Mount. Mugrabi Gate at the bottom left, where the blue arrows begin; the Holy of Holies, inside the red box, on the left. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Aerial view of the Temple Mount. The Mugrabi Gate is at the bottom left, where the blue arrows begin; the location of the ancient Jewish temple's Holy of Holies is inside the red box, on the left. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Jews were free to ascend the Temple Mount on Sunday, in Jerusalem, after a month-long ban expired overnight as Eid al-Fitr parties across the Muslim world celebrated the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The Mount’s Mugrabi Gate was opened between 7:30 AM and 11 AM, and about 500 foreign tourists and 60, or so, local Jews entered the complex, while the Muslim Waqf and Israeli security forces exercised unusual restraint policing visitors, witnesses said, but any outward sign of prayer was still forbidden.

“They actually gave us a little bit of space today,” said Rabbi Richman, director of the Temple Institute, who says he is routinely interrogated whenever he visits. “Sometimes, the intimidation is so aggressive, obtrusive, demeaning, so overbearing, they are literally hanging onto us, looking at our lips, seeing if we’re praying.”

“Of course, we’re able to surreptitiously utter them without them noticing,” the rabbi admitted, “pretending to be on the telephone, or pointing my arms like I’m a tour guide, though I’m saying Tehilim [the Psalms of David] from memory — a Jew can get used to anything.”

Under normal circumstances, Rabbi Richman visits, or attempts to visit, the Temple Mount twice a week. Since 1924, it has officially been open to non-Muslims for four or five hours per day, though it is often closed, as it was for the entire month of Ramadan, with the exception of an hour or so, the day after Tisha B’Av, last month, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the destruction of the ancient Jewish temple. On Tisha B’Av, Jews, including Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, were turned away at the gate. While access has been granted in previous years, for the past two, Jews have been shut out for all of Ramadan.

“The place was covered with garbage today,” Rabbi Richman said. “You have to understand, Ramadan is like Woodstock for them; there’s bottles, plastic, garbage everywhere.”

A guard from the Muslim Wafq observing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount on August 11, 2013. Photo: The Temple Institute.

A guard from the Muslim Wafq, at right, observing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount on August 11, 2013. Photo: The Temple Institute.

The rabbi pointed out that while many Muslims may deny Jewish temples ever stood there, the stone column ruins of the actual temple lie in the gutter, collecting Ramadan trash as photographs from the visit showed. “Wood beams that archaeologists and scientists believe would be from the Temple, the original cedar from Lebanon, is also just lying out, covered in trash, like debris from a construction side,” Rabbi Richman said.

During the month-long festivities, one Muslim actually died while posing for a photograph; he fell 90 feet to his death while waving from atop of a Temple Mount wall. Hassan Suliman Abu Madam was among tens of thousands of worshipers who came last Sunday for the Muslim holiday of Laylat al-Qadr, which commemorates the night Muslims believe the Koran was revealed to Mohammed, celebrated annually during Ramadan.

This year being the second Ramadan in which Jews were denied access to the Temple Mount, the issue was probed at a Knesset meeting chaired by MK Miri Regev on Sunday. MK Regev was elected head of the Interior Committee in mid-April and announced that she would lead a field trip to the Temple Mount and examine the possibility of allowing the resumption of Jewish prayer at the holy site. By early-May, she had cancelled the visit.

“The issue of prayer arrangements on the Temple Mount and the holy places is of the utmost sensitivity and it requires a thorough examination,” Regev said, according to the Times of Israel. “That said, if the planned visit has the potential to increase tension, I’m not going to go ahead with it.”

At Sunday’s meeting, a police official testified that their orders are to close the sacred site to Jews at any moment deemed likely to anger Muslim protesters active at the site. The opportunity for further political clarity was lost because the issue depends entirely on the Office of the Prime Minister, but Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu declined to send a representative to the meeting.

An Israeli guard observing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount on August 11, 2013. Photo. The Temple Institute.

An Israeli guard, at left, observing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount on August 11, 2013. Photo. The Temple Institute.

While some Jews believe in the power of the ancient temple and see the issue at the core of Jewish identity in the land, part of the purpose of the State of Israel’s establishment, but from the government administration point of view, the existential threat they are preoccupied by is physical — Iran’s nuclear weapons program, lawlessness in the Sinai from the chaos in Egypt, returning 104 convicts to jumpstart negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, now entering round two, in Jerusalem on Wednesday, among them.

What the rabbi is asking is if the root cause of the problem could be the existential threat to Jewish identity created by the dissonance at the Temple Mount, even more reasons to address it now.

It’s still unclear if diplomats will eventually broach the subject in, what Secretary of State John Kerry predicts to be, the nine-months of peace talks, but, day-to-day operations of the religious site actually remain formally out of Israel or PA control.

When Israel won control over the Temple Mount in 1967, victorious soldiers raised the Jewish state’s flag for a few hours, until General Moshe Dayan ordered control be ceded back to the Islamic Waqf Council. The Waqf is under control of Jordan, and recognized as such in the country’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

Under, Article 9, Places of Historical and Religious Significance, it was agreed, most importantly, that:  “Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.”

“In this regard, in accordance with the Washington Declaration, Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines. The Parties will act together to promote interfaith relations among the three monotheistic religions, with the aim of working towards religious understanding, moral commitment, freedom of religious worship, and tolerance and peace,” the treaty reads.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, Director of The Temple Institute, pretending to give a tourist directions while surreptitiously chanting Jewish prayers, on the Temple Mount, on August 11, 2013. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of The Temple Institute, pretending to give a tourist directions while surreptitiously chanting Jewish prayers for brief seconds before being interrupted, on the Temple Mount, August 11, 2013. Photo: The Temple Institute.

In April, King Abdullah II of Jordan also reaffirmed his official understanding with the PA, in an agreement that links today’s authority to a contract signed by the King’s grandfather in 1924.

The current agreement, between “His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein, the Custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, and His Excellency Dr Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Head of Palestinian Liberation Organisation, and President of the Palestinian National Authority,” recognizes Jordanian authority and offers a Koranic claim to the site:

“Glory to Him Who carried His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, the environs of which We have blessed, that We might show him of our signs! Indeed He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (The Holy Koran, Al Isra’, 17:1)”

Two weeks ago, in Jordan, the King, while hosting members of allthe interested parties of the Temple Mount, with the exception of the Israeli government, any Israeli MK or any rabbinic authority, pledged “that he will continue his efforts to ‘safeguard’ Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city of Jerusalem from what he termed ‘Judaization,'” Israel National News reported.

According to the report, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fuad Twal expressed similar sentiments. “Despite challenges facing Jerusalem, the people of the holy city prove every day their persistence to cling to the city’s heritage and preserve its identity from Judaization,” he said.

Sheikh Abdul Atheem Salhab, head of the Islamic Waqf Council in Jerusalem, called Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa Mosque a “red line” for the Jordanian monarch. The head of the Waqf classified “attempts by right-wing ministers in the Israeli government to legitimize Jewish prayers inside Al Aqsa,” as “attacks” on Al Aqsa, Israel National News reported.

At home, in Jordan, the press coverage was even more explicit. The Jordan Times wrote, “The agreement confirmed both Jordan’s role as custodian of the holy sites of Jerusalem and Palestinian sovereignty over all of Palestine, including East Jerusalem,” referencing a statement released by the King’s palace.

Stone column ruins at the Temple Mount, garbage in red, Israeli guard, to the right. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Stone column ruins at the Temple Mount, garbage in red, Israeli guard, to the right. Photo: The Temple Institute.

To their credit, the Jordanian royal family has historically financed much of the repairs required to maintain the site. In 1955, with funds from Arab governments and Turkey, Jordan led a round of renovations, including replacing tiles dating back to the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. In 1964, Jordan covered the dome with a durable aluminum bronze alloy made in Italy to replaced the lead exterior. Famously, in 1993, around the time of a previous generation of peace talks, King Hussein of Jordan, the current monarch’s father, sold one of his houses in London to raise $8.2 million needed to buy 80 kilograms of gold required to refurbish its dome.

After the July meeting in Jordan, Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Qudah told The Jordan Times that the king would also personally finance a plan to furnish the Dome of the Rock and Masjid Al Marwan, an underground praying area on the southeast side of the mosque.

The Minister said his office was “committed to implementing His Majesty’s vision and directives in preserving Jerusalem and its holy sites and supporting its people’s steadfastness in the face of all Israeli violations and attempts to Judaise the old city and change its identity,” in a statement, cited by Jordan’s English-language newspaper.

Ancient cedar beams, seemingly discarded, hidden under rubbish on the Temple Mount. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Ancient cedar beams, seemingly discarded, hidden under rubbish on the Temple Mount. Photo: The Temple Institute.

Rather than “Judaise” Jerusalem, or crossing what the Waqf would considera “red line” for the Jordanian monarch. Or, in the words of MK Regev, to do anything with even the “potential to increase tension,” the rabbi said he comes in peace.

When Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, in 2001, a week later, via the inconvenient mystery death of Mohammed Al-Durah, Palestinians launch a bloody Intifada.

Rabbi Richman said he wants no such thing. His contention is that the Israeli government’s policies are hypocritical by not defending Jewish rights to freely utter a prayer atop the Temple Mount.

He argues that if Jewish people make up most of the inhabitants of Israel, and Jewish people pray three times a day for the restoration of the Temple, the government should, at a minimum, formally insist that Jordan uphold its end of the 1994 bilateral treaty which states that “Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.”

Ahead of Sunday’s Interior Committee meeting, editorials across the Arab world expressed outrage over the possibility of equal use of the Mount for Jews. In an article headlined, “‘Knesset Today to Discuss Legitimizing the Desecration of Al Aqsa,” Emirates newspaper Khaleej Times reflected on “opening the doors of Al Aqsa Mosque” with disgust. How dare the Jews ask for this “in the face of break-ins and the desecration by Jewish extremists throughout all the days of the month of Ramadan, to come to perform Talmudic rituals and rites in it, returning especially on all the Jewish holidays?” the newspaper argued.

In spite of the distance between the two versions, Rabbi Richman praised MK Regev’s committee for “allocating some time to try to understand the issue, to clarify the current position and pressure the government for a commitment to press for equal rights of Jews to pray at the holy spot, too.”

“How could it be closed to Jews for a month-long Muslim holiday, but then not be closed to Muslims, or even just open to Jews, in honor of Jewish holidays?” Rabbi Richman asks.

Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, or Qubbat As-Sakhrah. Photo: WikiCommons.

Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock, or Qubbat As-Sakhrah. Photo: WikiCommons.

“Thousands of Jews will be in Jerusalem next month in Tishrei, for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, which is when the Cohen Godel, the ancient priest would actually go into the Holy of Holies, the great rock under the Dome of the Rock, the very same rock where Abraham offered to sacrifice Isaac,” the rabbi said. “Many people would love to visit the Temple Mount on Shabbat Teshuva [Sabbath of Atonement, the Saturday between the two holidays], so I am asking the government to help make it so.”

“There is something wrong for the Jewish people without the Temple; it is the essence of a Jew, and every moment could be so much more real and alive and vibrant and connected if we could just pray there, humbly, as our forefathers did,” the rabbi said.

“Being a Jew is not about the details of Halakah,” the religious rules governing all aspects of life, he said. “It is what we do in this world that is important – are we running towards what we want, or away from it? If Jews say we want to pray at the Temple Mount, then we must demand it.”

“The Temple is our essence. Being the ‘chosen people’ refers to what were chosen for, to be a holy people, a priestly nation. We have to reconnect to what we’re supposed to do in this world,” the rabbi said.

When peace talks begin in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Rabbi Richman will be standing by the Temple Mount, outside the Mugrabi Gate, at 7.30 AM.

10 Comments

  • Jerusalem the Eternal Capital of the Jewish People

    The Jews have only Jerusalem, and only the Jews have made it their capital.
    That is why it has so much deeper a meaning for them (the Jews) than for anybody else.
    Jerusalem throughout its long and turbulent history, Jerusalem, more than any other city, has evoked the emotions, aspirations, yearnings and religious fervor of civilised Jewish mankind. Yet this homage of the world cannot overshadow the consuming and single-minded passion of one particular attachment: that of the Jewish people. For that people, as no other, Jerusalem is not just its one and only religious centre and source of spiritual life; from time immemorial it has been and, still is, the very heart and core of the people – the tangible embodiment of its nationhood, the lodestar in its wanderings, the theme of its prayers each day, the fulfilment of its dreams for the Return unto Zion and indeed the cornerstone of its continuity.
    Many thousand of years ago, it was in Jerusalem that the priests would offer up daily sacrifices in the Temple on Mount Moriah. It was there in the Temple that the Sanhedrin, the great court of 71 Jewish sages, would sit in judgement. And three times a year on the harvest holy-days of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, the entire Jewish nation would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is in the direction of Jerusalem that Jews face when they pray three times daily.
    The Jewish prayers themselves contain numerous references to Jerusalem and Zion. In the Amidah, the Silent Devotion, God is praised as the Builder of Jerusalem. In many other places the prayers echo the messianic belief that God will restore the Jewish people to His holy city. On Passover and the Day of Atonement Jews conclude services with the fervent hope: “Next year may we be in Jerusalem!”
    The Jewish connection to Jerusalem harks back to Biblical times. Jacob, encountering the site where the Temple would stand centuries later said: “How awe-inspiring is this place! It is the House of God! It is the gate to heaven!” (Gen. 28:17). Jerusalem was “the site that the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes, as a place established in His name. It is there that you shall go to seek His presence” (Deut. 12:3).
    Jerusalem began to fulfill the function of a spiritual and national capital when King David conquered the city in the 10th century BCE. He made it his seat of judgment and brought the Ark of the Covenant to rest there. It was also David who conceived the idea of building a permanent house of God, a Temple, a plan eventually fulfilled by his son Solomon. DESTRUCTION & REBIRTH The story of the Jewish people and Jerusalem has been one of exile, destruction and rebirth.
    Jerusalem in its 3000 years of history the city was destroyed 17 times and 18 times reborn.
    There always remained a Jewish presence in the city of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people as a whole always dreamt of returning en mass to Jerusalem and rebuilding their city.
    When the Babylonians destroyed the city in 586 BCE, the Jewish exiles pledged that they would never forget their beloved Jerusalem: “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, and we wept, when we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in its midst we hanged up our harps. For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us in mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy” (Psalms 137:1-6).
    The Jewish exiles did not forget their beloved city of Jerusalem. They were to return there and rebuild the Temple under the guidance of Ezra and Nehemiah. When the Seleucids took control over the Land of Israel and placed Greek idols in the Temple, the Jewish Maccabees revolted. They succeeded in recapturing Jerusalem and re-dedicating the Temple in 165 BCE.
    The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 CE. When the Emperor Hadrian began planning to replace it with a shrine to Jupiter, a Jewish revolt known as the Bar Kochba Rebellion broke out.
    For the last 2000 years, on the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, Jews everywhere have commemorated the destruction of their city and Temple with a 25-hour fast. They sit on low stools in their synagogues and recite Jeremiah’s Lamentations. They recite elegies for the city which is “scorned without her glory”.
    During the periods of exile Jews throughout the world would be linked as they prayed together in their Hebrew tongue all facing in the same direction, maintaining their affinity with their eternal Jerusalem. Today Jerusalem flourishes once again as the heart and soul of Judaism. It boasts a full range of rebuilt and new synagogues, Talmudic academies and institutes of Jewish research. It is home to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel which administers the life cycle events of the nation’s Jewish citizens. All varieties of Judaism are represented there. Nowhere else is the spiritual element of the Jewish people so visible as in this “place that the Lord has chosen”.
    Jerusalem the Jewish NATIONAL CAPITAL; Jerusalem was never the capital city of any of its conquerors.

  • Click here for the 1925 Temple Mount Guide
    http://www.raptureforums.com/IsraelMiddleEast/guide.pdf
    One of the most disturbing end times propaganda being promoted today is the absurd notion that the Jews never had a presence on the famous Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. Anyone who is knowledgeable about history and aware of the recent archaeological discoveries on the Temple Mount area over the years knows that the propaganda being perpetuated by the Islamics, United Nations, and other ungodly organizations is simply a political ploy to deny the Jews their historical capital of Jerusalem and the sacred Temple Mount area. The Temple Mount area is the holiest place in Judaism and the remnants of the Second Temple area visible in the form of the “Wailing Wall” where religious Jews flock from around the world in order to pray near the site of the First and Second Temples. Some of the outstanding quotes from the official Temple Mount Guide are as follows:
    “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings” (2 Samuel 24:25).

  • Algemeiner Staff

    Rabbi Chaim Richman alerted The Algemeiner, on August 13, 2013, to an incorrect reference in the story.

    Rather than the rules allowing non-Muslims to ascend the Mount being from 2006, as was cited in Wikipedia, the rules have remain unchanged since 1924, as can be seen in an online copy of “A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” published by the Supreme Moslem Council in Jerusalem, in 1924, with this copy from 1925.

    A link to the document can be found here: http://www.templeinstitute.org/1925-wakf-temple-mount-guide.pdf

  • albert rosenblatt

    Aren’t we forbidden to visit the temple mount — since we could be stepping into the Holy of Holies?

  • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

    First I have to say I couldn’t read to the end of this article since it so enrages me how Islam insists the Temple Mount is Holy to them. Since when, the Temple Mount is a spoil of war taken from Crusader’s attempting to protect it for both Jews and Christians in 9th,10th & 11th Century. I know Israel is trying to be diplomatic, but frankly Israel you are simply wasting your time and making a fool of a smart nation. There is no middle way with Arabs. Arabs by nature are extreme, largely uneducated and brainwashed by illiterate Imams and Arab leaders who are in bed with terrorist organizations. They will resort to anything to humiliate the Judaic people. Islam is not a Holy religion and those who want to argue with me, be they Jewish or otherwise you will not persuade me to take the liberal view. I’m speaking from experience from dealings with the Saudi Royal family, Muslim Arabs in Egypt, the EU would be better off using me instead of the idiot Ashton. The Temple Mount is Holy to Judaic law and the Nation of Israel. Abbas is a dolt, Erekat wants to Palestinianize Israel. Saudi’s and so called Palestinians want Israel’s OIL and Gas as part of the Gulf controlled OIL consortium. Am I correct? Israel has found gold mines? The only way with Arabs is confrontation, what ever form it takes, for Israel to be shot of these parasites.

  • I am a secular jew but I am disgusted with the behavior of the successive GOI’s towards the freedom of jewish worship in israel. I find their one sided actions to be despicable and unworthy of the trust of the Jewish people. If a Jewish state cannot champion freedom of religion in Israel perhaps it should disband and return to Poland. Have they no shame?

  • Rabbi Richman says “The Temple is our essence.” He has a very different understanding than I do about what it means to be Jewish.

  • all jewish people should visit the mount . the temple mount is ours , because the robbonim do not let us go . automatically it is lowered in our eyes and becomes less important the fact that we can not is a sin , the arabs digging and removing our history was a sin ,

  • Are we supposed to be grateful that Israel’s leaders are allowing Jewish ascension, albeit under EXTREME restrictions? Why isn’t there a global uproar over the discrimination, from Israel’s leaders, towards its Jewish majority population? So, in other words, Jews as dhimmis in their nation is no big deal, but heaven forbid another group feels ‘discriminated’.

    And, herein lies the calculus, the onus too – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/07/18/arabsmuslims-threaten-mayhem-israels-response-continuous-dhimmitudeappeasement-on-the-temple-mount-judaisms-thousands-year-old-anchorbedrock-where-does-the-onus-lie-commentary-by-ad/

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • Equal access is important

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Relationships Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Yossi Vardi Credits Pushy Jewish Mother for His Startup Success

    Millionaire entrepreneur Yossi Vardi credited his success in start-ups to his Jewish mother continuously pushing him to do better, Daily Mail reported on Thursday. “Jewish mothers are never satisfied and nothing is ever good enough,” he said, adding that his mother, who died 15 years ago, used to compare him with his cousins and say he was “an idiot.” “For most of my life I have been trying to show her I’m not,” he continued. “I keep on trying even now.” Vardi, […]

    Read more →
  • Theater US & Canada Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Seth Rogen Unveils New Christmas Movie — ‘Will Open on Thanksgiving, Made by Jews’ (VIDEO)

    Famed actor Seth Rogen on Tuesday unveiled with typical comic fanfare the trailer for his new Christmas film. The movie “was made by Jews… and opens on Thanksgiving,” Rogen pointed out on Twitter. The Night Before tells the tale of three “ride or die homies” celebrating one last debauchery-filled Christmas Eve reunion before they become too busy to keep up their annual tradition. In an effort to make the night as memorable as possible, they set out to find the “Nutcracka Ball – the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    Art Can Inspire Faith; It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies

    A June 2015 art exhibit, “The Transformative Power of Art,” at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, harnessed the universal language of art to convey an important message: “Our fragile Mother Earth faces the devastating consequences of climate change, a defining challenge of our time.” The exhibit also included sixteen portraits of people from all over the world who have “contributed to the common good of humanity in one way or another and have transformed the way we […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    Israeli Muslim Cage Fighter Says He’s Proud to Fight Under Jewish State’s Flag

    A 32-year-old Circassian Israeli Muslim Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Abu Ghosh says he takes pride in fighting under the Israeli flag, Israel’s Walla reported on Sunday. Like most Circassian Israelis, Jackie “the Punishment” Gosh was born Sunni Muslim. He became observant about eight years ago, and is now scrupulous in following his religion’s tenets, praying five times a day and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Gosh is also very proud of his Israeli nationality, and sees no contradiction between […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    New Mark Skinner Documentary Explores Jewish, Arab Rap Scene in Israel (VIDEO)

    A new documentary explores the lives and work of Jewish and Arab rappers in Israel and how the ongoing conflict in the region has impacted their lyrics, the U.K.’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday. Hip Hop in the Holy Land is a six-part series co-directed by Mike Skinner, the British frontman of hip-hop group The Streets, and produced by Noisey, a music channel published by Vice news. The first episode, published last week, shows Skinner meeting with Tamer Nafar, the founder of one of […]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Apologizes for ‘Hurtful’ Jesus Tweets

    New 49ers running back and Australian rugby star Jarryd Hayne apologized on Wednesday for a tweet in which he raised the age-old myth that Jews were historically responsible for Jesus Christ’s death. Reaching out to his Jewish fans, and the chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Hayne tweeted: “To the Jewish community @DvirAbramovich #WeAreAllOne.” Underneath, he keenly included a screenshot of a text message to elaborate on his apology: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I […]

    Read more →
  • Theater Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot Recalls Being ‘Extremely Surprised’ at Winning Miss Israel Contest

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot reminisced about her childhood in Israel during an interview published in this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. “I don’t remember this, but my mom told me that when I was three they threw a party on the rooftop of the house. They put me to bed, and I heard people coming into the house and no one came to me. I went to the rooftop and took a hose and I started to spray water on everyone, just […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)

    An Israeli organization is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological challenges by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through. “What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, […]

    Read more →