19 octubre 2011

I Ciclo de Cine Israelí y Diálogo Intercultural en Jerez de la Frontera

'Tarbut Jerez de la Frontera y la Embajada de Israel organizan el I Ciclo de Cine Israelí y Diálogo Intercultural que se desarrollará en Jerez los días 19, 20 y 21 de octubre. El programa cultural combina cine, literatura, historia y música. Entre las actividades programadas destaca la presentación del libro de Rozita Iles, Mi cocina ashkefard, y la participación del director de cine israelí Shem Shemy, que ofrecerá una charla tras la proyección de su documental Por el flamenco. El grupo Rania ofrecerá un concierto de música sefardí. Todas las actividades se desarrollarán en la Sala Compañía (Plaza Compañía, s/n) de Jerez. Y todas, excepto el concierto, son gratuitas.'
Tarbut Sefarad

Curso de Introducción al Judaísmo

Como miembro de la Asociación Cultural Tarbut Sefarad, me honro en presentarles el curso de Introducción al Judaísmo que tendrá lugar en la Ciudad Condal a partir del 11 de noviembre.
'La Juventud de Tarbut Sefarad lanza un curso de Introducción al Judaísmo, impartido por el Dr. Mario Saban. Las clases, que se impartirán en Barcelona, tendrán el siguiente horario: cada viernes de 16.30 a 17.30h. El curso constará de 8 clases, en las que se abordarán temas como los valores fundamentales del judaísmo, las festividades judías y las diferentes corrientes en el judaísmo actual. Próxima clase: viernes 11 de noviembre.'

18 octubre 2011

Gilad Shalit in first interview since release: I haven't seen people in a long time

Shalit tells Egyptian TV that he's glad Palestinian prisoners have been released, hopes they don't return to violence.

By Haaretz

Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit said Tuesday that he had been treated well by his Hamas captors during the five years he was held hostage, telling Egyptian television in the first interview following his release that he was relieved to finally be surrounded by people. "I'm very emotional. I haven't seen people in a long time," said Shalit, adding that he was looking forward "to meeting people, to talking topeople" and "not doing the same things all day long."
Shalit, 25, looked tired and dazed, hesitating as he replied to questions from an Egyptian TV reporter. Speaking through a translator, Shalit said he was in good health and that he hoped his release in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons would lead to peace between the two peoples. "Of course I miss my family very much. I also miss my friends," he said. "I hope this deal will lead to peace between Palestinians and Israelis and that it will support cooperation between both sides." Shalit also said he would be very happy if remaining Palestinians held in Israeli prisons were freed to return to their own families, but that he hoped "they won't go back to fighting against Israel."
Asked when he was told he would be set free in exchange for Palestinian prisoners, he said: "I received the news about a week ago. I can't describe my feelings then, but I felt I had hard moments ahead of me." He said he had feared he would remain in captivity for "many more years" and remained afraid that "things may go wrong." "I think that the Egyptians succeeded, because they have good relations both with Hamas and with Israel," he replied, when the interviewer made a point of stressing that it had been the Egyptian National Security which mediated his release.
Israel and Hamas agreed through Egyptian mediation late last Monday on a deal that secured Shalit's release in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners. Shalit officially passed into Israeli custody on Tuesday morning. Shalit was abducted in June 2006 by militants who tunnelled into Israel from the Gaza Strip and surprised his tank crew, killing two of his comrades. He was whisked back into Gaza and held virtually incommunicado until his release.
Hamas Frees Israeli Soldier as Prisoner Swap Begins
The New York Times - International Herald Tribune
JERUSALEM — The Islamist Palestinian group Hamas on Tuesday released an Israeli soldier it captured more than five years ago as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israel waited on buses to start their journey to freedom in the West Bank, Gaza and exile through Egypt in an elaborate exchange.
The Israeli soldier, Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit, was taken from Gaza into Egyptian territory in the early morning in the company of Egyptian and Red Cross officials. He was to be transferred into Israel and taken by helicopter to an air base south of Tel Aviv where top officials — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, the military chief of staff — and his family awaited his arrival. Hamas officials in Gaza said that they had handed Sergeant Shalit over to the Egyptians. Mosque loudspeakers awakened the Gaza populace at dawn with cries of “God is great” and “Victory to God.” Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, told Al-Jazeera television that the first step of the agreement was complete. Speaking from the Rafah crossing point between Gaza and Egypt, Mr. Barhoum warned Israel against “maneuvering or playing with any article of the agreement.” He added that Egyptian mediators assured Hamas that they would not allow Israel to violate the agreement. Throngs of excited Palestinians awaited the prisoners, 477 on Tuesday who are expected to be joined by another 550 in two months. Two women prisoners due to be sent to Gaza were demanding instead to be sent to Egypt, possibly delaying the procedure. At Rafah, the mother of one of the men who captured Sergeant Shalit in June 2006 arrived with his photograph. Her son, Mohammad Azmi Firwana, 23, from Khan Younis, was killed in the operation. “I have come to greet the prisoners because they are all like my sons and daughters,” said the woman, Ahlam Firwana. “We have not got Mohammad’s body back yet. We have heard nothing.” The plan was for Sergeant Shalit — who had recently been promoted from staff sergeant to sergeant first class — to be given a fresh Israeli uniform and a quick medical check before being brought to the base where an out-of-use F-15 warplane stood sentry at the entrance and signs with his image lined the road, proclaiming, “How good that you have come home.” The mechanics of the deal were complex but apparently moved smoothly just after dawn. Israeli officials began to gather at an air force base south of Tel Aviv where Sergeant Shalit, 25, was expected to be brought after being transferred from Gaza into Egyptian territory. Israeli television showed the Shalit family leaving their home in northern Israel to be taken by helicopter to the base, Tel Nof. In Gaza, the Hamas-run government took busloads of journalists in a tightly controlled media operation to the Rafah Crossing with Egypt shortly after dawn on Tuesday. Armed members of Hamas’s militant wing, the Qassam Brigades, lined the main highway to the crossing where the prisoners were to be released. They were wearing black and green bandanas and balaclavas. Some carried Kalashnikov assault rifles while others bore rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of the guards — at some points posted every 15 feet — had apparently been deployed to forestall disruptions. At the crossing, a tent had been set up for Hamas dignitaries and family members to greet the returning prisoners before the hour-long journey to Gaza City. A celebratory rally was planned at Brigades Park in one of Gaza’s largest open spaces where a stage has been erected for the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, to address the crowd and publicly welcome the returnees. One of the returning prisoners, Yehya Sinwar, a co-founder of an early security wing of Hamas, is also scheduled to speak. Along the length of Salahuddin Street, the main north-south road that runs the length of the Gaza Strip, Hamas activists attached Islamist banners to streetlights on Monday, welcoming home the 131 Gaza returnees from among 477 Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel. Another 550 are to be released in two months’ time. Both Israel and the divided Palestinian leadership — Fatah runs the West Bank while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip — were making elaborate preparations for the handover, which will end five years in captivity for Sergeant Shalit; hundreds of the Palestinians have been held much longer. Rafah is the Gaza of Gaza — isolated, poor and, for years, all but cut off from the rest of the coastal strip during the era of Israeli settlements here, which ended in 2005.
The community is not just where the Shalit saga was to end, barring a last-minute change, but it was also where it began. In June 2006, Hamas and two other militant factions mounted a surprise raid on an Israeli military post at Kerem Shalom, after having dug a long tunnel beneath the Rafah sands under the border, capturing Sergeant Shalit. He has not been seen in public since.
If all goes as planned, he will be the first captured Israeli soldier to be returned home alive in 26 years.

17 octubre 2011

Israel officials: High Court likely to reject petitions against Shalit deal
On Sunday, Shalit's parents urged the court to reject the petitions quickly, warning that any hitch at this time could easily upset the deal. By Jonathan Lis, Oz Rosenberg and Amos Harel
On Monday, The High Court of Justice will hear four petitions against the deal that would free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. On Sunday, Shalit's parents urged the court to reject the petitions quickly, warning that any hitch at this time could easily upset the deal. "Nobody knows what the impact of any delay, or any change, even the smallest, in the terms would be," they wrote in a request to be added to the cases as parties defending the deal.
Gilad's mother, Aviva, also issued a media appeal to the bereaved families behind some of the petitions, saying that while she understands their pain at seeing their loved ones' killers freed, "any change or delay in the deal could endanger Gilad's life." But sources in both the defense establishment and the state prosecution said they were confident that the court would reject all the petitions by this evening, enabling the deal to go ahead tomorrow as planned. And the petitioners largely concurred. The first petition was filed last week by Almagor, an association representing victims of terror. It is seeking a 48-hour delay in the prisoners' release, saying there hasn't been enough time to thoroughly review all the names on the list, which is necessary to allow people to decide whether to petition against the deal. On Sunday, the group submitted an affidavit by three senior reserve officers warning of the security risks the deal posed. Three other petitions were also filed on Sunday. One was by Meir Schijveschuurder, who lost his parents and three of his seven siblings in the 2001 bombing of a Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem. It asks the court to set "clear criteria for freeing security prisoners" and objects particularly to the release of Ahlam Tamimi, who was sentenced to 15 life terms for her role in the attack. Schijveschuurder said he had little hope of the petition being accepted but felt obligated to exhaust every possibility of stopping the deal. The second was by attorney Zeev Dasberg, whose sister and brother-in-law, Efrat and Yaron Ungar, were killed in a 1996 shooting attack. Dasberg also wrote directly to President Shimon Peres, on Sunday, to urge him not to sign the prisoners' pardons, saying he didn't understand how Peres could pardon the murderers after having told the media that he didn't forgive them. The third was by Jerusalem resident Ronit Tamari, who is not herself a bereaved relative but said she feared that the deal would lead to a new wave of terror. Aside from the High Court petitions, several bereaved families sought orders from lower courts barring their loved ones' killers from leaving the country. Such applications, filed as part of civil suits, were submitted to the Haifa, Jerusalem and Petah Tikva district courts on Sunday, and Dasberg said he expected other families to file similar applications on Monday. "I've been encouraging people to file civil suits against the terrorists, including a demand for punitive damages," he said. "The minute the state walked away from punishing the terrorists, everyone must do it on his own." Though the Haifa court refused to issue the requested orders Sunday, Dasberg said the ruling did have one positive aspect: It allowed the plaintiffs to serve the terrorists with their damages suit, a necessary step toward obtaining a judgment against them. But even when courts have ordered terrorists to pay compensation, no plaintiff has yet been able to collect. In 2003, for instance, the Ungar family sued both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in an American court (since Efrat Ungar was a U.S. citizen ) and was awarded $116 million. But it has never gotten a penny from either defendant.

13 octubre 2011

El pilpul o cómo "condimentar" el estudio del Talmud
El siguiente fragmento de vídeo, extraído del documental Historia del Talmud de Pierre Henri Salfati, nos ilustra grosso modo en qué consiste este sutil método de análisis.

Description of Method

The essential characteristic of pilpul is that it leads to a clear comprehension of the subject under discussion by penetrating into its essence and by adopting clear distinctions and a strict differentiation of the concepts. By this method a sentence or maxim is carefully studied, the various concepts which it includes are exactly determined, and all the possible consequences to be deduced from it are carefully investigated. The sentence is then examined in its relation to some other sentence harmonizing with it, the investigation being directed toward determining whether the agreement appearing on a superficial contemplation of them continues to be manifest when all the possible consequences and deductions are drawn from each one of them; for if contradictory deductions follow from the two apparently agreeing sentences, then this apparent agreement is not an agreement in fact. Again, if two sentences apparently contradict each other, the pilpulistic method seeks to ascertain whether this seeming contradiction may not be removed by a more careful definition and a more exact limitation of the concepts connected with the respective sentences. If two contiguous sentences or maxims apparently imply the same thing, this method endeavors to decide whether the second sentence is really a repetition of the first and could have been omitted, or whether by a more subtle differentiation of the concepts a different shade of meaning may be discovered between them. Similarly if a regulation is mentioned in connection with two parallel cases, this methoddetermines whether it might not have been concluded from the similarity of the cases itself that the regulation applying to the one applied to the other also, and why it was necessary to repeat explicitly the same regulation.
The pilpulistic method, however, is not satisfied with merely attaining the object of its investigation. After having reached the desired result in one way, it inquires whether the same result might not have been attained in another, so that, if the first method of procedure should be eventually refuted, another method and another proof for the result attained may be forthcoming.
La lección de los sapos

Lejos de sus familias, se encontraba un grupo de jóvenes provenientes de la tierra de Israel. Entre ellos se encontraban Jananiá, Mishael y Azariá, tres muy apuestos y sabios muchachos de Israel, a quienes el rey caldeo Nevujadnetzar había exiliado para educarlos de acuerdo a su cosmovisión, la cual sin duda, difería mucho de lo que habían aprendido en casa. Desde el primer momento, los tres habían determinado que no iban a consumir ningún alimento que estuviese prohibido por la Torá. En aquella época aún no se publicaba el ahora famoso "HaMadrij LeCashrut", y por lo tanto, se les haría un tanto difícil comer casher sin despertar sospechas. Gracias a la colaboración de un supervisor que les acercaba legumbres frescas diariamente, pudieron evitar transgredir las leyes de la Torá - y el enojo del rey.
Pasaron unos años, y el rey Nevujadnetzar, nada perezoso ni modesto, decidió construir un monumento en honor... a si mismo. Mano de obra no le faltaba , ni tampoco presupuesto. Un monumento de estas características, no se coloca sin una adecuada inauguración con hermosos himnos, interminables discursos y mucha pompa, y... que todos los presentes le rindan homenaje posternándose. Del mismo modo en que Jananiá, Mishael y Azariá representaban a los habitantes de Israel, habían jóvenes de todos los otros países que Nevujadnetzar había conquistado. Nevujadnetzar fue uno de aquellos emperadores que dominaron todo el mundo.
Corría cerca del año 3338 (aprox. -342). Los tres estaban ahora en un dilema. ¿Qué hacer? Posternarse a la imagen?. Los judíos no nos posternamos ante nada ni nadie, salvo a D"s! Sin embargo, esta estructura no representaba realmente un ídolo ni una deidad pagana (ver Tosafot Talmud Pesajim 53:, primera opinión). Su homenaje no sería una afrenta a la Torá. A su vez, podrían ausentarse disimuladamente (segunda opinión - ibid), y sin que nadie percibiera su falta entre la multitud de personas presentes (malestar en la panza, se pinchó la rueda, se cayó el sistema, etc.). Fueron en busca de asesoramiento, pero ni el profeta Iejezquel ni Daniel quisieron opinar. Otra vez: ¿Qué hacer?
Jananiá, Mishael y Azariá no eludieron el desafío. Fueron, no más, a la inauguración y, cuando llegó el momento de homenajear al rey, los tres se quedaron parados en sus lugares. No hubo manera de intimidarlos, y el rey, encolerizado los mandó arrojar a las llamas. Tampoco se asustaron de eso. Pero, inesperadamente ocurrió un milagro. El fuego no los consumió.
El Talmud se pregunta: ¿De dónde sacaron la fuerza y la convicción para semejante acto de bravura? Y el Talmud contesta: "De los sapos (de Egipto)". Antes de continuar, debemos ubicarnos en el tema. Después que el Faraón se negó a dejar ir a los judíos a pesar de la destrucción que hubo porque el Nilo se tornó en sangre, D"s avisó que vendría una plaga de sapos en todo Egipto: "en tu palacio, en tu dormitorio, en tu cama, en las casas de tus sirvientes, en la población, en los hornos y en los recipientes de amasado". El Faraón se mostró terco y no liberó al pueblo. Comenzó la plaga y los sapos invadieron Egipto. "Bueno"- pensaron los sapos (obviamente en idioma "sapezco") - "adónde vamos?" Algunos optaron por la cama monárquica del Faraón. Allí estarían cómodos, se sentirían "como en su propia casa" (aparte de poder presenciar la cara del Faraón con un enojo "real"). Otros fueron a comer los restos de masa cruda en las ollas de la cocina, otros a conocer los tesoros escondidos en las pirámides y otros, buenos turistas, a sacarse fotos al lado de la Geopsis (la represa de Assuán aún no existía). Otros, sin embargo, fueron... al horno caliente. ¿Por qué? Bien. Si D"s dijo que los sapos entrarían al horno caliente, pues, alguno tiene que ir. Por qué yo? Esa es la pregunta eterna. Todos pueden preguntarse lo mismo. En última instancia va... el que asume la responsabilidad.
Alguna vez leí un escrito que decía que, ante un problema determinado del cual estaban todos (everybody) enterados, alguien (somebody) se tendría que hacer cargo. Nadie (nobody) lo hizo, a pesar que cualquiera (anybody) lo podía haber hecho... y así quedaron las cosas...
Jananiá, Mishael y Azariá razonaron: "Si los sapos, que no tienen obligación de ceder sus vidas para santificar el nombre de D"s se arrojaron a los hornos, tanto más nosotros" (Talmud, ibid). En fin, si bien podían haber evitado su presencia, con lo cual técnicamente no hubiesen rendido homenaje a Nevujadnetzar y nadie se hubiera percatado, de todos modos, habría quedado la impresión que todos se posternaron y que nadie objetó.
Moshé recibió la orden de reunir a los ancianos de Israel para ir a solicitarle al Faraón la libertad del pueblo de Israel. Los 70 ancianos de Israel efectívamente los acompañaron - al comienzo. Pero en el camino al palacio, a cada uno se le ocurrió que tenía otro compromiso (llevar a la nena al dentista, comprar verdura para la cena, pagar la tarjeta de crédito...), de modo que Moshé y Aharón fueron solos al rey. La pregunta obvia: "¿Por qué justo yo?" Más tarde, sin embargo, frente al Monte Sinaí, D"s le dijo a Moshé que sólo él subiera - pero los ancianos quedarían en su lugar.
"¿Por qué justo yo?" - es la pregunta que se puede formular todo aquel que se molesta por una causa de bien, aun cuando no hay ni reconocimiento, ni honor, ni paga (por lo contrario, suele suceder que uno termina recibiendo "palos" por parte de otros que no hacen o que, al menos, no saben reconocer todo el esfuerzo que uno puso en la tarea).
¿La recomendación? No deje de ocuparse de todas las causas nobles en las que Ud. sabe que puede colaborar. Nunca se arrepienta de las cosas buenas que hizo o que sigue haciendo. Aunquesea el único que las hace. Aunque no se lo reconozca nadie (terrenal). Recuerde a Jananiá, Mishael y Azariá. Recuerde a los sapos.
Daniel Oppenheimer

Etz HaJaim

Conferencia sobre "El Árbol de la Vida"

'La Escuela Huber de Barcelona ha publicado, en su canal de YouTube, la grabación de la conferencia que el Dr. Mario Sabán impartió en este centro el 10 de junio de 2011. En esta conferencia, publicada íntegramente en 8 capítulos, el Dr. Mario Sabán analiza el Árbol de la Vida y sus diez dimensiones, conceptos clave de la mística judía o Cábala.'

09 octubre 2011

Wisdom at The Kotel with Reb Gutman Locks - Answers to a pastor

Sabias y edificantes palabras del Rabino Gutman Locks. Les aseguro que el vídeo no tiene desperdicio.