Newsletter : 8fax0126.txt
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>JN Jan. 26, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 14
Red Heifer Becomes Unfit
By Arutz-7 News Service
Residents of the northern community of Kfar Hasidim announced
recently that the red heifer that they had been raising had become
unfit for ritual use. Hairs on its tail were found to be
whitening, rendering it not totally red, and therefore unfit to be
used in the purification process for service in a future Holy
Temple. The residents are hopeful that the cow will bear red
calves that will be able to be used for this purpose.
Arafat: Israel Offers "Peanuts"
By IINS News Service
Following last week's meetings with President Bill Clinton, PLO
Authority Chief Yasir Arafat has rejected a proposal put forward by
the White House concerning future Israeli withdrawals from areas
throughout Judea and Samaria. Clinton's plan called for a
three-phase Israeli withdrawal from about 10 percent of areas under
Arafat said during a news conference: "What he's offering is
peanuts, and it can't be accepted. He has to accept the
agreements," referring to Netanyahu.
Arafat said in a Washington press conference that he signed the
Oslo Accords with former Prime Ministers Shimon Peres and Yitzhak
Rabin and he signed the Hebron Agreement with Netanyahu. He was now
calling on the Israeli administration for compliance.
Farrakhan will be Blocked from Temple Mount
By IINS News Service
Acting on reports that Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan was
scheduled to again visit the region, the Chai Vekaiyam organization
has taken steps to block his visiting the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem's Old City.
During his last visit to the region, Farrakhan canceled his planned
trip to Jerusalem, for what his security chiefs called "security
considerations." The visit of the controversial figure, who is know
for openly anti-Semitic rhetoric, was a subject of controversy in
Yehuda Etzion of the Chai Vekaiyam organization has called upon the
state attorney general to bar Farrakhan from the Temple Mount.
During his last visit, Israeli leaders stated that no government
officials would meet with him unless he issued a retraction for his
anti-Semitic remarks of the past.
Kosher Chicken Turns Havana Shabbat into feast
By Lubavitch News Service (Havana)
The Shabbat tasted just a little bit better for Rebecca Meshulam
and her family. The kosher chickens delivered by Lubavitch rabbis
this month brought a taste of the old world to the Meshulams'
Shabbat table in the Havana neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado.
"It's not very often that we are able to get kosher poultry," said
Senora Meshulam, 53, whose husband, Alberto, is a neurologist and
a Jewish community leader here.
Last month, the Chabad Friends of Cuban Jewry sent two rabbis to
Cuba as part of a project to provide religious and humanitarian
services to the Jews living under one of the world's last remaining
Pairs of Lubavitch rabbis and rabbinical students make more than a
dozen visits a year to help the island's Jews celebrate Jewish
holidays, to deliver humanitarian aid, and to run a Jewish summer
camp in a Havana city park.
This time, the arrivals, Rabbis Yechiel Chanzin and Yehuda Leib
Cohen, were also trained shochtim, or ritual slaughterers.
Prior to the visit, Chabad-Lubavitch representatives persuaded
Cuban officials to set aside 300 chickens, a scarce commodity on
the island, for the Jewish community. The chickens were then paid
for by Canadian businessmen. The visitors honed their sharp blades
and recited the benedictions for the "shechita" ritual, an integral
part of the Jewish dietary code.
During the last five years, Chabad-Lubavitch volunteers delivered
seven tons of basic food staples, including oil, flour and pastas;
3,500 bars of soap; 1,800 packages of laundry detergent; 450 pairs
of shoes, as well as medicine, clothes, treats for children, canned
foods and candles.
The aid program operates out of Adath Israel, one of three
synagogues still functioning in Havana. Adath Israel is the only
synagogue where morning and afternoon services are held daily.
Local Jewish teenagers are recruited to divide the supplies into
individual packages that are then distributed among community
One endeavor that requires physical action and spiritual commitment
is the Brit Milah, or ritual circumcision according to Jewish law.
Since 1991, Lubavitch volunteers have conducted 20 circumcisions of
Jewish children and adults, flying in "mohelim," ritual
circumcisors, from abroad.
The island's Jewish population has dwindled from an estimated
15,000 in 1959 to less than 1,500 today.
When Fidel Castro officially allowed free religious practice in
1991, the act spawned a free-for-all among foreign religious groups
eager to promote religion on the island. Since then, Jewish life
here has also slowly begun to come back. Lubavitch rabbis are
dispatched primarily from South and Central American countries,
because of U.S. travel restrictions.
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