Tragedy on the Eve of Passover

Tragedy on the Eve of Passover

One Israeli family suffered the ultimate tragedy on Monday when beloved husband and father Baruch Mizrahi was gunned down by Palestinian terrorists while driving his family to their Passover Seder.

The attack occurred not far from the Hebron suburb of Kiryat Arba, where the Mizrahi family was to celebrate the biblical feast.

The terrorist sprayed numerous rounds from an automatic assault rifle at passing Israeli vehicles. At least two cars were hit, both of them transporting members of the Mizrahi family. Baruch was killed by the gunfire and his pregnant wife, Hadas (pictured), suffered minor gunshot wounds and broken bones. One of the family’s five children, a nine-year-old boy, was also injured by shrapnel.

Hadas Mizrahi later recounted the harrowing incident for Israel’s Channel 2 News:

“We were driving from Modi’in to Kiryat Arba. At the Tarkumia checkpoint, we said hello to the soldiers, and kept going. After the first roundabout, a terrorist was standing at the roadside. Baruch shouted ‘A terrorist! Shooting!’ and pressed the gas pedal. Then I took a bullet. Baruch’s foot was still on the gas. The vehicle started to zigzag. I took the wheel and kept driving, away from the terrorists. …Meanwhile, the bullets were still flying by us and I told the children ‘duck down, duck down. Everything is OK.’ Once I saw that we were far away from the terrorist…I called [police hotline] 100 and informed them that there had been a terror attack.”

Meanwhile, Hadas realized that her husband had died. When soldiers arrived, she quickly instructed them, “Take the children so they won’t see their father is dead.”

Besides being an insurmountable personal tragedy, Baruch Mizrahi’s death was also a blow to the nation’s security forces. Over the past 25 years, Mizrahi had filled numerous high-ranking positions in military and police intelligence units.

“We found him while he was in the military; he was considered a genius in his field. He held knowledge that few others in Israel did,” a senior police official told Israel’s Ynet news portal.

Mizrahi’s last position was as head of the technology department in SIGINT, the intelligence division of the police investigations department.

An official police statement noted that Mizrahi had “contributed substantially to the police forces’ efforts against serious and organized crime, as well as all cyber-related crime.”

While no groups claimed credit for the attack, Gaza-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh hailed it as a great act of “resistance” that had breathed new life into the Palestinian “struggle” against Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement blaming rampant anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian Authority for such acts of terror:

“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible. The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel. Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover.”

Netanyahu further noted that as of Wednesday morning, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas had failed to condemn the murder of Baruch Mizrahi and the targeting of his wife and small children.

 

Jews Arrested Trying to Perform Passover Sacrifice on Temple Mount

Jews Arrested Trying to Perform Passover Sacrifice on Temple Mount

A group of eight Israeli Jews were arrested on Monday while attempting to ascend the Temple Mount and sacrifice a goat there in fulfillment of the biblical instructions regarding the Passover holiday.

Several organizations associated with the group told Israel National News that the arrests were yet another indication of the total lack of religious freedom for Jews atop the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

That same Temple Mount again exploded in violence on Wednesday morning when Muslim mobs assaulted police and Jewish visitors.

The violence began as police opened the Mughrabi Gate, the sole entrance where non-Muslim visitors can enter the Temple Mount. Muslim rioters waiting on the other side of the gate hurled stones and firecrackers, prompting Israeli police to respond with rubber bullets and tear gas.

One police officer and dozens of rioters were injured in the melee, and the Temple Mount was quickly closed again to all non-Muslims.

It was the second such outburst of violence this week.

On Sunday, two Israeli police officers were wounded when Muslim rioters attacked them and possibly other Jewish visitors at the Mughrabi Gate. One observer noted that the use of dozens of firebombs (Molotov cocktails) indicated that the riot had been premeditated, and was not a spontaneous response to some Israeli provocation.

Last week, two American congressmen clandestinely visited the Temple Mount with a group of religious Jews to assess the situation. US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) told Israel National News that the Temple Mount visit left he and his colleague “shocked and disturbed.”

Johnson made special note of the Waqf (Islamic Trust) official that tailed the group and seemed to exercise unwarranted influence over the Israeli police present there. “This thug followed us everywhere we went and if we stopped and took too long in one place he would look at the Israeli police, who would say ‘you need to keep your group moving,’” noted the American lawmaker.

 

Nissan: The Month of Redemption

Nissan: The Month of Redemption

When the children of Israel were freed from slavery in Egypt in 1270 BC, it was not only the beginning of a new life, but also a new calendar system. From that time, their year began in the spring, in the month of Aviv, which we now call Nissan.

The full article appears in the April 2014 issue of Israel Today Magazine.

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Israel to Miss Out on 'Blood Moon' Phenomenon

Israel to Miss Out on 'Blood Moon' Phenomenon

The scheduled appearance of four total lunar eclipses on major Jewish holidays between this Monday night (the start of Passover 2014) and September 27, 2015 (the start of Sukkot) has the attention of much of the Christian world. But the eclipses are going to go almost totally unseen in Israel.

Data published by NASA reveals that all but the last of the four eclipses will not be visible from the Middle East, and even the fourth will only be partially visible.

Total lunar eclipses - what are often referred to as “blood moons” - are not uncommon, 13 of them having occurred since 2000. And, since both Passover and Sukkot are scheduled on the full moon, both have occasionally coincided with blood moons, the last time being the start of Sukkot in 1996.

Somewhat less common are tetrads - four consecutive total lunar eclipses with no intervening partial eclipses - which has occurred 62 times since the year 0 AD.

Seven times in the past 2000 years, a tetrad has coincided perfectly with Passover and Sukkot. One of those tetrads began just prior to the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967. Two others (in 1493 and 1949) began more than a year after the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the State of Israel’s declaration of independence, respectively. The other four occurred during times of no particular significance to the Jewish people.

 

Temple Mount Explodes in Violence Ahead of Passover

Temple Mount Explodes in Violence Ahead of Passover

Muslims atop Jerusalem’s Temple Mount provided Israeli Jews with a Passover holiday greeting in the form of stones and firebombs on Sunday morning. Two Israeli police officers were wounded when Muslim rioters attacked them and possibly other Jewish visitors at the Mughrabi gate at the Temple Mount’s southwestern end, adjacent to the Western Wall.

One observer noted that the use of dozens of firebombs (Molotov cocktails) indicated that the riot had been premeditated, and was not a spontaneous response to some Israeli provocation.

Riot police were called to the scene and managed to take control of the situation using rubber bullets and tear gas. A short time later, quiet returned to the Temple Mount, but the holy site remained closed to Jews and Christians for fear of another Muslim outburst.

While the Muslim authorities that oversee the Temple Mount, and the Palestinian politicians who appoint them, regularly accuse Israel of trying to “Judaize” the Temple Mount, the reality is that Jews suffer a severe lack of freedom of religion at this, Judaism’s holiest site.

Last week, two American congressmen clandestinely visited the Temple Mount with a group of religious Jews to assess the situation. US Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) told Israel National News that the Temple Mount visit left he and his colleague “shocked and disturbed.”

Johnson made special note of the Waqf (Islamic Trust) official that tailed the group and seemed to exercise unwarranted influence over the Israeli police present there. “This thug followed us everywhere we went and if we stopped and took too long in one place he would look at the Israeli police, who would say ‘you need to keep your group moving,’” noted the American lawmaker.

 

Egypt Demands Compensation for 10 Plagues

Egypt Demands Compensation for 10 Plagues

“We demand that the State of Israel pay compensation for the ten plagues that our forefathers in Egypt suffered thousands of years ago as a result of the curses of the Jewish forefathers.” So wrote prominent Egyptian columnist Ahmad Al-Gamal shortly before the Jewish Passover, causing a great stir.

“What is written in the Torah is that Pharaoh discriminated against the children of Israel. What have we to do with it? We therefore need not suffer!” exclaimed Al-Gamal, drawing a clear difference between the Egyptian kingdom of the Pharaohs and Islamic Egypt of today. Islam accepts the biblical narrative as historical evidence.

The columnist suggested that the government in Cairo press charges against Israel: “The Jews caused the land to be stricken with locusts and all agriculture destroyed, turned the Nile red with blood so that one could drink its waters, sent darkness, frogs and killed the firstborn.”

Al-Gamal continued: “During 40 years of wandering in the desert, the Children of Israel enjoyed our goods, which they stole before abandoning us.” He also recommended that Egypt bring charges against France, Great Britain and Turkey for those nations’ historical conquests of Egypt.

The Egyptian column was picked up by the Israeli press, especially religious news outlets, which readily acknowledged all that Al-Gamal wrote as historical fact. Some Israeli columnists retorted that Egypt need first compensate Israel for keeping the Jewish forefathers as slaves and for killing all male Jewish babies in the generation prior to the Exodus.

 
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