Sounds Israeli: It’s never too late for The Hanukkah Song

The death of Arik Einstein three weeks ago pre-preempted the video we were going to feature on the Hanukkah edition of ‘Sounds Israeli’. And, though the holiday has now passed, we’re sure you’ll still enjoy the original airing of Adam Sandler’s classic on Saturday Night Live‘s Weekend Update on December 3, 1994.

The Hanukiyah and the Swastika: The story behind a haunting photo from 1931

“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness” – Anne Frank

Last year we published an essay exploring the significance of the Hanukkah story in the context of the challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people, and illustrated the post with the following photo:

hanukkah

Though the symbolism of the image was likely clear, we were only recently able to track down the story, per a news report in December 2010. Here are excerpts: 

Yehuda Mansbach told Israel National News in an interview: “This Hanukiyah [Hanukkah menorah] is the only remaining memory of the congregation my Grandfather, Rabbi Dr. Akiva Baruch Pozner, led before escaping Germany.”

The photo [above] tells much of that history, says Mansbach, a resident of Beit Shemesh. “In this photo you see the Hanukiyah stationed at a window, with a Nazi flag across the street.” The photo was taken in 1931, says Mansbach, long before the Nazis came to power. But, as it happened, the house of Rabbi Posner, who led the community of Kiel in Germany, was right across the street from the local headquarters of the Nazi Party.

“It was on a Friday afternoon right before Shabbat that this photo was taken,” says Mansbach. “My grandmother realized that this was a historic photo, and she wrote on the back of the photo : ‘Their flag wishes to see the death of Judah, but Judah will always survive, and our light will outlast their flag.’”

As Rabbi of the Kiel community, Rabbi Posner did everything he could to encourage Jews to escape Germany.

Indeed, Mansbach says, many did leave, and by the time the Nazis came to power, some half of the congregation had already emigrated, mostly to the U.S. and the Land of Israel.

The Hanukiyah made it to Israel as well, and ended up in Yad Vashem. But each year they make sure to “borrow” if for their family Chanukah celebration. 

May the light of truth continue to burn brightly.

Happy Hanukkah!

CiF reader comments attacking one particular Abrahamic faith not deleted by moderators

H/T Margie

The following reader comment was posted under ‘s Hanukkah post (My Hanukah honours list for 2012, Dec. 13) at ‘Comment is Free’ over 14 hours ago, and still hasn’t been deleted by CiF moderators.

comment

 

Here’s another ‘thoughtful’ comment posted this morning under a story which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with Jews, (‘HSBC’s record $1.9bn fine preferable to prosecution, US authorities insist’ Dec. 13), and similarly hasn’t been deleted by CiF moderators:

comment 2

 

Finally, here’s another ‘meditation‘ beneath the story about HSBC, by the same commenter above, which hasn’t been deleted by CiF’s team of professional moderators.

comment 3

Dear MP Richard Burden: Please don’t wish us a Happy Chanukah

This is cross posted by our good friend, Richard Millet

Last night I was enjoying the warm glow of first night Chanukah, having lit the candles and having gone to a public lighting (see my clip above), when later in the evening I read a tweet from Richard Burden MP, Labour MP for Northfield, which simply stated “Happy #Hanukkah everybody”.

Mr Burden is no friend of Israel so why is he wishing Jews a “Happy Hanukkah”, I thought. Many of Burden’s tweets (or retweets) are aimed at demonising the Jewish state.

He has recently been demanding, via Twitter, that Israel release all Palestinian “child prisoners” and when I asked him who he classed as a “child” he answered anyone “under 18″.

Now, as you can imagine, even a Palestinian aged 16 or 17 is capable of inflicting severe casualties on Israel’s civilian population.

So can a “child” like Izzedine Abu Sneineh who was arrested when 15 and convicted of “weapons training; attempted murder” and possession of “weapons/ammo/explosives” (as you can see from Elder of Ziyon’s link the New York Times wrongly reported that Sneineh was arrested for throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags).

Abu Sneineh was freed in the second tranche of Palestinian prisoners as agreed in the Gilad Shalit exchange deal.

When I asked Burden what he thought of Sneineh’s release and whether Britain should also release ALL of its prisoners who were under 18 he simply referred me to his previous answers to my questions.

These answers, via Twitter, were:

 

And:


Finally:

I looked at DCI_Palestine, an “NGO devoted to defending the rights of children living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1992″ (www.dci-pal.org) and read a description of the arrest of 16-year-old Rasheed J by the IDF. It was, allegedly, a brutal arrest in which Rashid J spent many days in isolation and was told that:

‘You Arabs like to fuck camels and donkeys and go to brothels to fuck whores. You have no honour because your mother’s a whore.’

This would be unforgivable if it were true but it is uncorroborated and I just don’t believe it based on many similar lies.

The other main accusation in the piece about Rasheed J’s arrest is that Palestinian prisoners, like Rasheed J, are kept in custody in Israel “in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits transfer out of occupied territory”.

But who, with any properly constituted legal authority, has declared it “occupied territory” for the purposes of Article 76? No one. This is because there is no Palestine and so Palestine cannot be “occupied”. Article 76 is, therefore, totally irrelevant.

Furthermore, Burden likes to retweet a horrendous story about Israel, whether it’s true or not.

On 16th December he retweeted The Guardian’s story that Israel had hastened the death of the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK’s wife by forcing her back to Jerusalem to renew her residency rights while she was undergoing treatment for cancer, despite denials by Israeli officials that this was the case.

The allegation levelled at Israel was that she became “infected by a virus on her plane journey back to London in May and died three months later”; basically, Israel was now responsible for her sad demise.

In fact, as CiF Watch states, the reason for her visit to Israel was to “seek a second opinion on her condition from doctors at Hadassah Hospital”.

So does anyone really believe that Burden sincerely wishes Jewish people a “Happy Hanukkah” when the rest of the time he makes every effort to demonise the Jewish state with its five and a quarter million Jews, some of our family and friends included, while calling for the release of Palestinians like Abu Sneineh who planned their murder?