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Israel Eases Coronavirus Rules but No Hugging Grandchildren

By JTA

Sabas and savtas can visit the grandkids and Aroma can start brewing anew. In a nationally televised address Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced a further relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in Israel. The new rules permit visits by first-degree relatives – without hugs — and cancel the restriction on movement beyond the immediate vicinity of one's home. This means that grandchildren and their grandparents to get together for the first time in weeks. Malls, markets and gyms can open beginning Thursday, and gatherings of up to 20 people may be held in open spaces, though with masks and the appropriate social distancing. By May 17, outdoor weddings can have 50 guests. Kindergartens, preschools and day care centers will open on May 10. Schoolchildren in grades 1-3 and 11-12 began returning to their classrooms on Sunday. The government plans to lift all restrictions on gatherings by the middle of June, which will allow the opening of sports arenas, theaters, hotels and restaurants. Netanyahu said the relaxation of the restrictions will be reassessed if there are 100 new coronavirus cases a day, a doubling of cases within 10 days or at least 250 serious cases in hospitals. Israel has seen 16,246 coronavirus cases and 235 deaths. Some 10,064 COVID-19 patients have recovered. Several hospitals have been able to close their coronavirus units in recent days.

Coronavirus Shuts Down Iran's Annual Anti-Israel Hate-Fest

By United with Israel

Hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Iran is cancelling the annual Quds Day events at which Iranian leaders lead throngs of followers in chanting "death to Israel." Countrywide demonstrations for Quds (Jerusalem) Day will be "commemorated with other methods," the Tasnim news agency reported Sunday. "Given the coronavirus situation in Tehran, it is unlikely that it will be possible to hold a march in Tehran," spokesman of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Ramezan Sharif said. Jerusalem, called Al-Quds in Arabic, is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine and Quds Day was started by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini who infected Iranians with the slogans "death to America, death to Israel." The fundamentalist Khomeini came to power in the Islamic revolution in 1979 and his call for the destruction of Israel has been a central policy of Iran ever since. In speeches to Iranians Khomeini said "We must all rise, destroy Israel…" and "It is incumbent on every Muslim to arm himself against Israel." Traditionally held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, Iran has tried to spread the event around the world with rallies in other countries at which Israeli and American flags are burned and followers call for the destruction of Israel. Iran's mercenary commando force is named the Quds Force, referring to the nation's stated goal of "liberating" Jerusalem from Zionists.

Rabbi Warns that `Gog and Magog will Start with a War between America and China'

By Breaking Israel News

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel Bible™) In a recent interview, Rabbi Daniel Asor warned that "the United States and China will go to war against each other." He explains this war was predicted by the secret tzaddik (saint) Rabbi Yehuda Lefkovitch who predicted that the third World War will start between China and America over 20 years ago before the tensions were at the level that they are today. According to Rabbi Lefkovitch, this war will be the Biblical war of Gog and Magog. "Russia will join China in the war" Rabbi Asor added. At the same time, he points to Rabbi Levi Sa'adia Nachamani who predicted 20 years ago that Iran will wage a war against Israel and will receive military assistance from North Korea. Rabbi Asor warns that "there will be a lot of incitement blaming Israel for all of the world's problems." The reason is because the Arab league will also wage a propaganda war against Israel" he explains and at a certain point they'll gather the world against Israel as written in Zechariah: When all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:3) Once the war between America and China is waged, martial law will be enforced which will shut down the highways, sea ports and air travel throughout the USA he explains. "This is why it's so important for Jewish Americans to leave and come to Israel" he stressed. Rabbi Asor, the head rabbi of the Yanar Institute in Jerusalem explains that this war will pave the path for the inevitable takeover of the New World Order that is headquartered in the Vatican. He also claims that "in the Vatican, they worship Lucifer." Rabbi Asor also says that the Vatican believes that the son of Lucifer will come to redeem humanity. He adds that although Israel's main battle will be with the Muslims and that Moshiach (Messiah) Ben Yosef will handle it. "But the ultimate war will be against the New World Order which is headquartered in the Vatican. That will be handled by Moshiach (Messiah) Ben David" he explains. According to Rabbi Asor, the New World Order will implement a divide and conquer strategy whereby they cause the Christians and Muslims to fight against each other over the land of Israel. Each side will want the holy land for themselves. At that point, the Cabal will blame the two religions for crimes against humanity. But ultimately, "they will blame Judaism because it's the religion that both Christianity and Islam branched off from." At this point, according to the rabbi, the New World Order will try to conquer Israel and make Jerusalem its capital. "They will control the world from Jerusalem for nine months. They will duplicate the Vatican on Mount Zion. This way they will be able to control Christianity as they will occupy the room of the last supper as well as King David's Tomb" he warns. However Rabbi Asor also delivers a comforting message telling everyone not to fear as this is all part of God's plan and that the safest place to be at this time is in Israel even though it will be "the eye of the storm."

IDF: Soldiers will no Longer Serve as Professional Dancers

By Israel Hayom

The Israel Defense Forces has decided to abolish the role of dancers in its entertainment troupes after a video clip of two male recruits dancing made headlines. The head of the IDF Personnel Directorate, Maj. Gen. Moti Almost, was reportedly unhappy with the video that surfaced in which singer Nao Kiel performed with the two dancers. Israelis are generally required to carry out military service upon reaching the age 18. Those with a unique talent are allowed to continue those pursuits as part of their military service. Alamos's decision means that Kiel and others who join this track would continue singing on stage without any backup dancers. The two male dancers from the clip, along with two female dancers, will be reassigned to roles that allow for enough free time to continue their dancing pursuits.

First Dictionary Editor Thought Term 'Anti-Semite' Would Disappear

By AFP

A short-lived term unlikely to have use in the future: that was how the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary viewed "anti-Semite," recently uncovered archival documents show. Celebrated British lexicographer James Murray, who with his team began working on the first OED in 1879, planned several dedicated entries of words beginning with the prefix "anti." But when a prominent member of Britain's Jewish community, Claude Montefiore, learned that "anti-Semite" and its derivative terms would not have an entry, he wrote to Murray expressing concern. Murray replied to Montefiore on July 5, 1900, as the original OED was being published in installments -- a process that ran from 1884 to 1928. In Murray's letter -- recently uncovered by Israel National Library archivist Rachel Maserati -- he noted that the term anti-Semite had only migrated from German to English in 1881 and did not look likely to take hold given its limited usefulness. "Anti-Semite and its family were then probably very new in English use, and not thought likely to be more than passing non-words," Murray wrote, indicating he had initially thought the term had been coined to articulate a fleeting phenomenon. "Hence they did not receive treatment in a separate article," he added, arguing in the letter's post-script that "the man in the street would have said Anti-Jewish. Maserati came across the letter while working on an article about British autographs in the National Library's Chadron Collection, which contains some 40,000 autographs and portraits. She told AFP that the correspondence between Montefiore and Murray shows that Britain's Jewish community was concerned about anti-Semitism "even though for the Jews in England -- compared to many other countries -- they were in a very good position."

Murray's letter also shows how the descriptor "Semitic", which technically refers to speakers of Hebrew, Arabic and Aramaic, was already at an early stage being applied only to Jews. "Anti-Semitism in the beginning was against the Semitic races, so he's placing it in its anti-Jewish context," she said. "It's a missing link in the chain of history." Murray's letter reveals his evolution in thinking and said that by 1900 he had doubts that leaving anti-Semite out of the OED was the right decision. "Would that anti-Semitism had had no more than a fleeting interest!" he wrote. He told Montefiore that he had hoped the liberal revolts that swept across Europe in 1848 indicated the continent "had left ignorance, suspicion and brute force behind us." But with those liberal, progressive movements largely beaten back by the end of the century, Murray lamented "how the devil must have chuckled at our foolish dreams. The closing years of the 19th c. have shown, alas! That much of Christianity is only a temporary whitewash over brutal savagery," he wrote.

Dutch king Acknowledges Jews Felt `Abandoned' by his Great-Grandmother Wilhelmina

By JTA

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a memorial day speech acknowledged his great-grandmother's perceived indifference to the fate of Dutch Jews during the Holocaust. The unprecedented public acknowledgment came Monday during the king's annual speech at the national memorial ceremony in Amsterdam for Dutch victims of armed conflicts during and after World War II. It concerned Queen Wilhelmina, whose reign ended in 1962. She referenced the persecution of Jews only three times in 48 radio speeches made during her exile in the United Kingdom — all in general terms and after mentioning other cruelties visited on the general population. The Nazis and local collaborators murdered 75% of the Netherlands' prewar Jewish population of 140,000 – the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. The community never replenished its numbers. "Fellow human beings felt abandoned, insufficiently heard, insufficiently supported, even with words," Willem-Alexander said at the ceremony. "Also from London by my great-grandmother, despite her steadfast resistance [to the Nazis.] It's something that won't let go of me," The Netherlands had a fierce resistance movement to the Nazi occupation and 5,778 Righteous among the Nations, non-Jews who saved Jews from the Holocaust. It's the second-highest number of saviors after the 6,992 rescuers in Poland, where 3.3 million Jews lived.

Jewish Comedian says Nursing Home Wrongfully Buried Cousin with a Rosary in Catholic Cemetery

By JTA

Comedian Elaine Bossler said a Brooklyn nursing home did not notify relatives of her 83-year-old cousin's death and buried the remains in a Catholic cemetery rather than her Jewish family plot. Bossler said that a relative had attempted to get in touch last month with Dorothea Bushel, who was staying at the Hamilton Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn.

After weeks of failed calls, the relative was allegedly told by the nursing home that Bushel had died, the City reported. Bossler said she then found out where her cousin had been buried and that the nursing home was asking for $15,000 to cover the cost of the burial. Bossler, a veteran stand-up, also has appeared on such TV comedies as "The Cosby Show" and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," and helped inspire the character of Elaine Benes on Seinfeld. "That's right folks, they buried my Jewish cousin … IN A CATHOLIC CEMETERY HOLDING A ROSARY," Bossler wrote in a public Facebook post. The confusion may have stemmed from the fact that in 2017, Bushel bought a funeral plan, which was signed by someone working for New York Guardianship Services, according to the City. But Bossler said that she had let the nursing home know of a family plot in a Jewish cemetery the following year. A case manager at New York Guardianship Services told Bossler's cousin Harriet Saltzman that the nursing home had "wrongfully informed us that Ms. Bushel had no family and neglected to inform us of her Jewish faith on the date of her death," the City reported. An attorney representing the company that owns the nursing home told the City that he could not comment on any resident due to "privacy reasons." Bossler said that she would hire an attorney if the funeral home did not cancel the bill and move her cousin to her family plot.

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