Newsletter : 18fx0912.txt
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First `Red Heifer' Born in Israel for 2,000 Years Triggers Armageddon Fears after
Christian and Jewish Holy Books Say it will `Bring the End of the World'
By The Sun (UK)
A Bible prophecy predicting the end of days is feared to come true after the first `red
heifer in 2,000 years' was born in Israel. The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announced the
calf's birth on YouTube, saying it would undergo "extensive examination" to determine if
it is red all over. If the female baby cow is found to be "blemish free," the Institute
will declare that the calf "brings the promise of reinstating Biblical purity to the
world." In both Christianity and Judaism, the red heifer is central to the prediction
about the "end of times."
After sacrificing the red cow, construction can begin on the Third Temple in Jerusalem.
The Temple Institute and other groups worldwide were set up with the goal of building the
Third Temple on Mount Moriah, or on the Temple Mount. The Bible states that after the
birth of a perfectly red female calf, the Jewish Messiah will return. Rabbi Chain Richman,
director of the Institute, believes the time is ripe to build the Third Temple, following
the birth of the red heifer.
The red heifer (also known as the red cow) was a cow brought to priests for sacrifice in
the Hebrew Bible. Jewish and Christian fundamentalists believe that once a red heifer is
born, they will be able to rebuild the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But
to do this, they would have to demolish what stands on the hill today the Dome of
the Rock, an Islamic holy temple. In mainstream Orthodox Judaism, once the Temple is
rebuilt the world will welcome the coming of the Jewish Messiah.
Iran Threatens Israel
Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi implicitly threatened Israel in an interview with
the Associated Press Tuesday. Addressing the assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists,
as well as the Stutnex computer virus which set back Iran's nuclear program, both of which
have been blamed on Israel, Salehi said: "I hope that they will not commit a similar
mistake again because the consequences would be, I think, harsh."
Salehi said that he hoped the 2015 nuclear deal would survive despite the withdrawal of
the US and the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran. "I think [Trump] is on the loser's side
because he is pursuing the logic of power. He thinks that he can, you know, continue for
some time but certainly I do not think he will benefit from this withdrawal, certainly
He said that Iran was stronger now and better able to resist sanctions than it had been
before the signing of the 2015 deal. "If we have to go back and withdraw from the nuclear
deal, we certainly do not go back to where we were before. We will be standing on a much,
much higher position."
Salehi warned Israel on Monday, "If nuclear scientists are killed in Iran, consequences
will be severe." His statement came in the broader context of Iranian scientists who were
assassinated in a number of mysterious explosions in recent years. Iranian government
officials pointed a finger at Israel, however, Israel has not taken responsibility for the
Even with the collapse of the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the five remaining
powers, Salehi vowed that the Iranian nuclear program would be strong. "Trump's decision
to quit the agreement placed him on the side of the losers in history," Salehi declared.
"The agreement could pave the way for building confidence and security that was previously
Isaac Herzog, the head of the Jewish Agency, mentioned that if the agreement collapsed,
Iran's nuclear program would be "stronger" than it was before the agreement was signed. In
an earlier statement, Salehi said, "Iran has completed the construction of a facility to
build advanced centrifuges."
Tehran has made a number of statements concerning the expansion of uranium enrichment
activities in the country, in the event that the nuclear agreement collapses completely
after the US withdrawal. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called on his country's
armed forces to increase their strength to "deter the enemy
American and the Zionist
regime are trying to stop the rise of an Islamic power in the Middle East," said Khamenei.
"They know that the fascinating message of Islam is the protection of the oppressed and
the dispossessed, so they fear the creation of a power based on Islam."
In an implicit reference to demonstrations against the regime, Khamenei also warned
Iranian youth of "the enemy's desperate attempts to lure and influence" Iran in cyberspace
and in the public and private spheres. "The enemy is very active in many frontiers, which
calls for alertness, unity, and reliance on God to overcome them," claimed the Iranian
"The Iranian forces will not hesitate for a moment to respond to any aggression by Iran's
enemies," said Iranian Army commander Gen. Mohammad Bakri. "Although our country is under
many threats, it is considered the most stable and safe country. The enemy harms stability
in the region to give himself an excuse to continue his presence. On the one hand, the
enemy invents the terrorist groups, and on the other, the enemy acts to destroy them."
A 1939 Phone Book May be Key to Unlocking Millions in Polish Holocaust Restitution
In the small park behind the only synagogue in this city to have survived World War II,
Yoram Sztykgold looks around with a perplexed expression. An 82-year-old retired
architect, Sztykgold immigrated to Israel after surviving the Holocaust in Poland. He
tries in vain to recognize something from what used to be his childhood home. "It's no
use," he says after a while. "To me, this could be anywhere."
Sztykgold's unfamiliarity with the part of Grzybowska Street where he spent his earliest
years is not due to any memory loss. Like most of Warsaw, his parents' apartment building
was completely bombed out during the war and leveled, along with the rest of the street.
His former home is now a placid park that is a favorite hangout for mothers pushing baby
carriages and pensioners his age.
The dramatic changes in Warsaw's landscape have bedeviled efforts for decades to obtain
restitution for privately owned properties like Sztykgold's childhood home, making it
difficult for survivors like him to identify assets that may have belonged to their
families. But for many restitution claimants in the capital, identifying assets will
become easier thanks to a recent breakthrough with an unlikely source: the establishment
of a first-of-its-kind searchable database. Users need only type in the name of their
family to obtain a complete overview of all the assets they may claim under a new
restitution drive in Warsaw. It's a high-tech tool only made possible thanks to the recent
discovery of an unpublished phone book from 1939.
The World Jewish Restitution Organization, or WJRO, set up the database in December 2016.
It allowed a relative of Sztykgold to get the first definitive list of the assets the
family had in Warsaw before the war when they headed a real-estate empire. The database
allows users to check whether their family owned any of the 2,613 properties that the City
of Warsaw said that year it would reopen for restitution claims. Especially in Sztykgold's
case, the database had "a huge role," he said because the only adult from his family who
survived the genocide was his mother, who "had only partial knowledge of what her family
"Bits and pieces, really," Sztykgold told JTA on Monday during a restitution-related visit
to his place of birth. During the visit, Sztykgold also got a rare chance to examine the
key that led to the groundbreaking database: a yellowing proofing copy of a phone book of
sorts from 1939. It was never published because the directory was being prepared when the
Germans invaded Poland. Crucially, the phone book, or registry, contained information that
allowed genealogist Logan Kleinwaks of Washington, D.C., to find the names of the owners
of thousands of assets, including approximately half of those 2,613 properties that Warsaw
said it would reopen to claims.
Poland, where 3.3 million Jews lived before the Holocaust, is the only major country in
Europe that has not passed national legislation for the restitution of property unjustly
seized from private owners by the Nazis or nationalized by the communist regime, according
to the WJRO. Instead of passing legislation, Polish authorities and courts handle
restitution claims on a per-case basis. Dozens of such cases have been resolved in recent
years. Several Polish property attorneys told JTA that there is no way of knowing how many
of the claims are by Jews.
As it carries out its controversial new restitution drive announced in 2016, Warsaw
periodically releases a few dozen addresses of properties from its list that had been
claimed during communism but whose status has never been resolved. The city does not
release owners' names, although it presumably has at least some of them from stalled
restitution claims filed for each of the 2,613 assets. Critics of this practice say it
deprives claimants of crucial information necessary to gain compensation. Advocates say it
is designed to minimize fraud.
Once a property is reopened for restitution, claimants have six months to file a second
claim. It is an unreasonably short period, according to WJRO. But for people like
Sztykgold, who don't even know which addresses their families used to own, the entire 2016
process is irrelevant. Or, at least, it used to be until Kleinwaks "matched addresses
announced in 2016 with the names of the owners" who are indicated in the 1939 registry, he
Today, the copy is kept in the vaults of the Central Military Library, which in 2014
bought it for about $3,000 from a book collector at an auction. The library then scanned
the book and published the scans online. Kleinwaks, who had heard about the auction and
was eagerly awaiting access to the book's content, then used software he developed to
build an owners' database from the phone book, matching it with the 2,613 addresses.
So far, the City of Warsaw has reopened only about 300 of the restitution claims from the
list of 2,613, and not one of the claimants has received compensation. Kleinwaks said he
does not know how many people are using his database to mount claims. He has reached out
personally to more than a dozen families whose names he found, he said, and some of them
have subsequently initiated restitution work.
None of the Sztykgold family's assets there are over a dozen of them have
been reopened for restitution. But the Sztykgold family is already doing the footwork
locating birth certificates, building a family tree, proving they are the only
heirs and many other bureaucratic chores so that when their assets are reopened,
they would have a hope of making the six-month deadline.
Gideon Taylor, WJRO's chair of operations, said it was "a very positive step" by Polish
authorities to purchase and make available online the 1939 registry. "But Poland has to
follow through now and make that information actionable for heirs, instead of introducing
a procedure that make it more difficult to reclaim properties," he said.
World Jewish Population Stands at 14.7 Million
By Israel Hayom
The world's Jewish population stands at 14.7 million, an increase from 14.6 million in
2017, according to findings published by Israeli demographer and professor emeritus at
Hebrew University of Jerusalem Sergio Della Pergola.
Israel's Jewish population increased to 6.6 million from the 6.5 million Jewish residents
found to be living in the country last year. Also, some 400,000 people living in Israel
but not registered as Jews are eligible for citizenship under the Law of Return.
According to Pergola's data, 23.6 million people around the world are eligible to make
aliyah under the Law of Return. Some 8.1 million Jews live in the Diaspora, with 5.7
million of them living in the United States. Other countries with large Jewish communities
are France with a Jewish population of 430,000, followed by Canada with a Jewish
population of 391,000 and Great Britain, with 290,000.
Argentina's Jewish population stands at 180,000; Russia's at 172,000; Germany's at
116,000; Australia's at 113,000 and Brazil's at 93,000. South Africa has 69,000 Jews, and
Ukraine and Hungary have Jewish populations numbering 50,000 and 47,000, respectively.
40,000 Jews are living in Mexico, 30,000 in the Netherlands, 29,000 in Belgium, 28,000 in
Italy, 19,000 in Switzerland, and 18,000 in Chile. Some 27,000 Jews live in Arab and
Muslim countries. There are 15,000 Jews in Turkey, some 8,500 in Iran, 2,000 in Morocco
and around 1,000 in Tunisia.
Countries with a Jewish population of 500 or fewer include Bermuda, the Bahamas, Cuba, the
Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Bolivia, Suriname, Cyprus,
Malta, Slovenia, Macedonia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, the Philippines, South
Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Congo, Botswana, Kenya, Madagascar, Namibia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe,
Yemen, Syria and Egypt.
Jewish Baseball Player-Turned-Spy Gets Hall of Fame Exhibit
Moe Berg is going into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a spy, not a catcher. The
shrine to the national pastime in Cooperstown, New York, recently opened an exhibit on the
Jewish player, who gained more attention for his espionage than a 15-year career in which
he finished with a batting average of .243 and six home runs.
Berg, following his baseball days in the 1920s and '30s, worked for the Office of
Strategic Services, or OSS a precursor to the CIA. He went on missions in
then-Yugoslavia, where he tracked resistance groups, and Italy, where he interviewed
physicists about the German nuclear program.
The Cooperstown exhibit, titled "Moe Berg: Big League Spy," looks at his exploits in both
worlds through baseball artifacts and wartime documents. A New Yorker who spoke more than
10 languages (seven fluently) and graduated from Princeton, Berg was the subject of the
film "The Catcher Was a Spy," released in June. Jewish actor Paul Rudd portrayed Berg, who
died in 1972 at age 70.
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