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Rabbi Prohibits Human Hair Wigs from India


Rabbi Sholom Elyashiv, the leader of Orthodox Lithuanian Torah Jewry has decided to ban the use and benefit of all human hair wigs originating in India. The move follows reports followed by an investigation that some of the hair is first offered in idol worship practices before being sold to companies that manufacture the wigs. As such ruled the Torah luminary, the wigs are prohibited to be worn and one may not have any benefit from them, a ruling, which the rabbi adds, is a Torah ban, not a more lenient rabbinical ban. Regarding wigs originating in other countries, subsequent rulings are expected.

Israel Kills 12 in Gaza Strip

By & Reuters

Israel has killed 12 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip after 11 of its soldiers died in two ambushes in the worst blow to the Middle East's mightiest army in two years. The new spiral of violence on Thursday sharpened debate between proponents and opponents of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's "Disengagement Plan" to evacuate settlers from Gaza, now stalled by rightist hardliners in his own Likud party.

But even Sharon's key allies warned after the ambushes, on Wednesday and Tuesday, that Israelis would not be stampeded out of Gaza, captured along with the West Bank in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. "No one intends to flee Gaza. We will fight terror with all means necessary to provide security for our citizens," Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told a televised news conference. He backs Sharon's plan and said shortly before the ambushes that putting settlements in Gaza was a "historic mistake".

Witnesses said helicopter missiles killed 11 Palestinians, four of them terrorists and the rest civilians, in Rafah refugee camp, near the area where fighters blew up an explosives-packed troop carrier on Wednesday, killing five soldiers. "A helicopter fired missiles at a group of armed militants in two separate incidents at the same spot," an Israeli military source said.

Another helicopter fired "deterrent" machinegun rounds at gunmen gathering on the edge of the camp, military sources said, in what Palestinian residents earlier reported to be another missile strike. Three people were wounded. Witnesses and medics said Israeli troops also shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian civilian and demolished 10 homes during a push into Rafah.

Israeli soldiers scoured the sandy strip on their hands and knees for their comrades' remains, sometimes sniffing what they picked up and putting items into clear plastic bags. On Tuesday, six Israeli troops died when their armored vehicle struck a landmine during a raid in Gaza City's Zeitoun neighborhood. Militants grabbed the soldiers' body parts, which were scattered over a wide area. The Israelis left Zeitoun on Thursday in an Egyptian-mediated deal under which militants returned the soldiers' remains.

An Islamic Jihad official told a triumphant Gaza City rally on Thursday night that Israel was also expected under the deal to hand over the bodies of 15 militants killed in past fighting. A senior Israeli government source said no such deal was made. Palestinian medics said Israeli forces killed 16 people and wounded 185 in a two-day siege of Zeitoun.

"They (the Israelis) have moved their crimes from Zeitoun in Gaza City to Rafah," Palestinian chieftain Yasir Arafat told reporters in Ramallah. "I call on the whole world to condemn these Israeli criminal acts."

The Palestinian ambushes in Zeitoun and Rafah, recalling tactics used by Hizbullah fighters against Israeli soldiers in southern Lebanon, dealt the Israeli army its heaviest blow since April 2002, when 13 soldiers were killed in a West Bank ambush. But Israel's army chief, Gen. Moshe Yaalon, rejected commentators' comparisons with Lebanon, where frequent attacks by Hizbullah created a public groundswell in Israel for a troop withdrawal carried out in 2000 after 22 years of occupation.

Polls show most Israelis see Gaza as a liability that should be abandoned. Sharon vows to pursue his plan despite its defeat in a May 2 Likud vote that reflected fears Palestinian militants would seize on a unilateral pullout as a victory.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon telephoned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to thank him for his cooperation, permitting IDF soldiers to comb the Egyptian side of the Rafiah border for body parts of the soldiers killed in last night's attack. According to a report from the Prime Minister's Office, Mubarak expressed his ongoing desire to advance cooperation between Israel and Egypt.

Orthodox Boxer Says Sabbath is more Important than Boxing


For Dimity Salida, boxing is everything, well almost. Dimitry arrived in New York City from his native Odessa in 1991, at the age of nine. Over time, he became aware of his Jewish roots and slowly began practicing various aspects of his religion. Today, he is a Sabbath observant Jew and a boxer. He explains that he does not see any contradiction, adding, "Nothing is more important than the Sabbath."

Dimitry is very careful that when he books fights. There is a stipulation that he will not fight on the Sabbath or holidays. He has a fight coming up in a number of weeks in New Jersey, on a Saturday night. The contract states he will not step into the ring before 8:30 p.m., after the Sabbath, adding a clause that even if fights scheduled ahead of him are over early, the fans will have to wait.

The proud welterweight has a 17-0 record, and has big plans to move towards a state and eventually U.S title in his division. In the upcoming fight, sponsors have rented 20 rooms in the Howard Johnson Hotel in Atlantic City and are calling on interested persons to come spend a Sabbath with Dimitry under the guidance of Chabad Rabbi Shmuel Rappaport who is taking care of arrangements. After the Sabbath, guests can watch Dimitry box. For information call 973-214-9290.

Spreading the Word -- in Arabic


Ummat Yisra'il Hiyya - That's how you say "Am Yisrael Chai" (the People of Israel live) in Arabic. Ronnie Schreiber, who is attempting to fight back against Arab anti-Semites on American college campuses, is now distributing that slogan in Arabic on T-shirts, hats and soon bumper stickers.

Schreiber, owner of Rokem Needle Arts, told IsraelNationalNews, "A typical response to my Ummat Yisra'il Hiyya hat is sort of a quizzical look and then a question, 'What does it say?' When I tell people, they invariably break into a huge grin.... Even the Iraqi Christians who run the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner like them. I wore the hat to a gathering of Stoliner Chassidim who were in Detroit for the Rebbe's yahrtzeit and they were grabbing friends to come look at the hat. How many ideas appeal to 90% or more of Jews? Plus I've gotten great response from Christians and non-religious Americans and Australians who are not thrilled with the Islamist threat to civilization."

Why Arabic? "We already know the slogan Am Yisrael Chai. I want the Arabs to know it too," Schreiber said, "Besides, Jews were speaking Arabic before there was such a thing as Islam. Many great Jewish books were first written in Arabic, including works by the Rambam, Ibn Ezra and others."

Other Arabic or Arabic and Hebrew combination texts available from Schreiber's Rokem Needle Arts ( of Oak Park, Mich., include "Israel Defense Forces", "Moses is True and His Torah is True", "American Infidel", "Don't Mess With Texas", "There is No Palestine," as well as several designs playing off of well-known Muslim slogans.

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