Who are the Israelis?

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WATCH: Iranian Judoka Saeid Mollaei Arrives in Israel

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei, who fled Iran after refusing to avoid Israeli opponents, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport last night to represent Mongolia in a Judo Grand Slam competition in Tel Aviv.

I was kind of hoping his brother-from-anothermother Sagi Muki would be there to greet him, but I’m sure there will be plenty of time for them to catch up.

Emotion scenes nonetheless!

 

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That Time Marilyn Monroe Kicked Off
“Long Live Israel” Soccer Game




What better way to kick off the week than with an interesting, feelgood story like this?

In 1957, a special telegram was sent to the Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team. Just before embarking on a celebratory trip to the United States on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the State of Israel, the players were asked “Which American would you like to meet during your trip?” The players answered without hesitation: “As athletes, we would like to meet with the Brooklyn Dodgers. As men – with Marilyn Monroe.” This required quite a few strings to be pulled and quite a few phone calls to be made, but eventually the players’ wish came true.

The glitzy event featured a friendly soccer match on May 12th, 1957 between Hapoel and a team of American All-Stars, which took place under the slogan “Long Live the State of Israel!” The venue was historic Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who would move out to sunny Los Angeles later that year. In the stands were New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Abba Eban, senators, cultural figures, representatives of Jewish organizations and many more. To top it all off, none other than Mrs. Marilyn Monroe would have the honor of kicking off the game!


“Suddenly an open convertible burst into the stadium,” wrote Dan Pachter in the Israeli Davar Daily, “and in the backseat, there she was – the Hapoel mascot – the movie star, Marilyn Monroe!!! Three exclamation points will not suffice to emphasize the enthusiasm of the crowd. Marilyn rose to her feet and waved to every section of the audience – the same fair-haired Marilyn, who so artfully demonstrates her natural mischief. A marching band and a group of cheerleaders strode before her and behind them – the two teams in line.”
Can you imagine a journalist getting away with a paragraph like the following nowadays?

But the climax was what happened next: “The blonde movie star appeared on the field in minimal blue attire, featuring cleavage that occasionally tended to delve into dangerous dimensions,” the Herut newspaper reported. “Marilyn had to kick the ball no less than three times – twice for the many photographers who had gathered on the field and once for the soccer players.
Mind you, Marilyn would be cancelled nowadays for showing such blatant support for Israel.

As would Israeli goalkeeper Ya’akov Khodorov – for #metoo’ing Marilyn.

The Hapoel team ended up winning the thrilling match by the score of 6 to 4. Legendary Israeli goalkeeper Ya’akov Khodorov had a few particularly close moments with Monroe – holding her hand, speaking with her and taking pictures with her several times. Unsurprisingly, after the game was over, he was asked if the four goals he conceded were a result of being starstruck by the celebrity actress.

Ya’akov Khodorov kisses Marilyn Monroe on the cheek. Photo: Eliyahu Atar, published in Davar on May 31st, 1957

“The papers wrote that I got confused and let in some unnecessary goals because I had been near Marilyn Monroe,” the goalkeeper said after the game. “True, I was a little excited, but who wouldn’t be excited next to her?
How times have changed.

 
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Terror Victim Esther Horgen’s Artwork Lives on in ‘Scroll of Esther’

Late last year, Esther Horgen, a mother of six, went for a hike in the Reihan forest. Palestinian arab terrorist Muhammad Mruh Kabha laid in wait and brutally murdered her.

The vicious crime shocked Israel and left her husband, 6 children and grandchildren bereaved and mourning for the loss of their mother and wife. Her family has since embarked on a journey to keep Esther’s memory alive.



A vibrant and talented woman, Esther Horgen left a tremendous legacy through her family, her words and her artwork. These all came together in The Israel Bible Scroll of Esther, featuring Esther’s beautiful illustrations and uplifting poetry, alongside the text of the Megillah in Hebrew and English, and a new commentary from Rabbi Tuly Weisz.



The Israel Bible Scroll of Esther can be purchased here. Proceeds from the sale of this volume will go to developing the Esther Horgen Memorial Forest and Park in Tal Menashe, the site of her murder, so that it will remain a place of peace, not a forest of fear.

 

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Watch: Samaria man fends off armed terrorist near Yitzhar

Would-be victim proves to be too much for Arab terrorist brandishing knife, overpowering the terrorist and forcing him to flee.
















A terrorist attack was foiled in Samaria Wednesday morning, after an Arab terrorist armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israeli civilian waiting at a hitch-hiking spot.

The incident occurred at Yitzhar Junction, near the Israeli town of Yitzhar, when an Arab terrorist brandishing a knife attacked an Israeli man from Yitzhar.

The would-be victim, Binyamin Cohen, fought back, punching and kicking the terrorist and ultimately forcing him to flee.

The terrorist fled the scene towards the nearby Arab village of Huwara.
Israeli security forces were dispatched to the scene and are conducting searches for the terrorist.

“I want to give my full backing to the IDF soldiers, to the Israel Police, to the Shin Bet, and to the security forces in their war to capture this terrorist criminal and to eliminate him,” said Samaria Regional Council chief Yossi Dagan.

“I want to give my support to the heroic resident of Yitzhar who fought with his bare hands against the terrorist and prevented a murderous attack.”

 

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Keeping Esther's legacy alive

Binyamin Horgen has spent his time since the murder of his wife keeping her memory alive, by spreading her messages of hope and love.



On today's Israel Uncensored with Josh Hasten, an interview with Binyamin Horgen, whose wife Esther was murdered by an Arab terrorist this past December, while jogging near their Tel Menashe, Samaria home.

Horgen has spent his time since her murder keeping Esther's memory and legacy alive, by spreading her lifelong messages of hope and love.

At the same time, Binyamin is taking a very active role in the advocacy field, speaking to diplomats from may countries, especially EU nations, to explain how their funding for the PA under the guise of "humanitarian aid" is in actuality being diverted towards their "pay for slay" program, which rewards terrorists (and their families) for the murder of Israelis.

Listen to the interview:
 

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Timna and Purim - Rav Kook's instantaneous Dvar Torah

A story for Purim about Israel's first Chief Rabbi, the Torah luminary who was the iconic leader of Religious Zionism.



The following description of Purim in Rav Kook’s house when he served as chief rabbi of Jaffa was related by Rabbi Yeshaya Greenberg, headmaster of the Sha’arei Torah school in Jaffa:

The joy overflowed in the Rav’s house during the Purim holiday. Breslov hassidim, who throughout the year were warmly received by Rav Kook, on Purim became the head merry-makers. Reb Meir Anshin and his friends would dance on the table, and the sounds of song and laughter drew many people to the Rav’s house.

Between songs and dances, Rav Kook spoke about the holiday, making frequent interruptions to drink a l'chaim. Any question or comment received an immediate rejoinder, with the Rav finding a direct connection to the holiday.

Reb Moshe’s Question

At one point, Reb Moshe Betzalel Todrosovich, a wealthy Jaffa merchant and philanthropist who was instrumental in bringing Rav Kook to Jaffa, entered the Rav’s house. Reb Moshe had already finished his Purim meal at home, and being somewhat inebriated, requested that the Rav expound upon a verse that had no obvious connection to the holiday.

“Rebbe, please explain to us the verse, ‘And Lotan’s sister was Timna’ (Gen. 36:22).”

Rav Kook looked up and fixed his gaze on the questioner. “Why, Reb Moshe, that verse is integrally connected to Purim,“ he replied with a wide smile. “In fact, the whole story of Purim begins from there!”

Reb Moshe was astounded. “Really? What does Lotan’s sister have to do with Purim?”


The Reason for Amalek’s Hatred

Rav Kook then quoted the Talmudic statement in Sanhedrin 99b that Timna wanted to marry into the family of Abraham but was not accepted. In the end, she became the concubine of Esau’s eldest son. “Better to be a maidservant to this people,” Timna reasoned, “than a princess of another people.”

As punishment for rejecting Timna, the Jewish people were cursed with the eternal enmity of Timna’s son - Amalek.

This of course is the connection to the story of Purim, for Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was a descendant of Amalek. Haman’s hatred of the Jews and his decree to destroy them in fact originated in the failure to convert his great-grandmother Timna. But this error was redressed in the time of Mordechai and Esther, when “Many of the peoples of the land became Jews” (Esther 8:17).

Rav Kook continued to expound on this topic for two hours, drawing from both Halakhic and Aggadic sources, quoting the Zohar and Maimonides, his words shining with brilliance and erudition.

When he finally concluded, Reb Moshe jumped up, grabbed the Rav and hugged him, crying, “Rebbe, I love you!”

 
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Netanyahu to Iran: You failed 2,500 years ago, you'll fail today

Israeli political echelon coming together to present united front
against any nuclear deal with Iran.


 

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Timna and Purim - Rav Kook's instantaneous Dvar Torah

A story for Purim about Israel's first Chief Rabbi, the Torah luminary who was the iconic leader of Religious Zionism.




The following description of Purim in Rav Kook’s house when he served as chief rabbi of Jaffa was related by Rabbi Yeshaya Greenberg, headmaster of the Sha’arei Torah school in Jaffa:

The joy overflowed in the Rav’s house during the Purim holiday. Breslov hassidim, who throughout the year were warmly received by Rav Kook, on Purim became the head merry-makers. Reb Meir Anshin and his friends would dance on the table, and the sounds of song and laughter drew many people to the Rav’s house.

Between songs and dances, Rav Kook spoke about the holiday, making frequent interruptions to drink a l'chaim. Any question or comment received an immediate rejoinder, with the Rav finding a direct connection to the holiday.

Reb Moshe’s Question

At one point, Reb Moshe Betzalel Todrosovich, a wealthy Jaffa merchant and philanthropist who was instrumental in bringing Rav Kook to Jaffa, entered the Rav’s house. Reb Moshe had already finished his Purim meal at home, and being somewhat inebriated, requested that the Rav expound upon a verse that had no obvious connection to the holiday.

“Rebbe, please explain to us the verse, ‘And Lotan’s sister was Timna’ (Gen. 36:22).”

Rav Kook looked up and fixed his gaze on the questioner. “Why, Reb Moshe, that verse is integrally connected to Purim,“ he replied with a wide smile. “In fact, the whole story of Purim begins from there!”

Reb Moshe was astounded. “Really? What does Lotan’s sister have to do with Purim?”


The Reason for Amalek’s Hatred

Rav Kook then quoted the Talmudic statement in Sanhedrin 99b that Timna wanted to marry into the family of Abraham but was not accepted. In the end, she became the concubine of Esau’s eldest son. “Better to be a maidservant to this people,” Timna reasoned, “than a princess of another people.”

As punishment for rejecting Timna, the Jewish people were cursed with the eternal enmity of Timna’s son - Amalek.

This of course is the connection to the story of Purim, for Haman, the enemy of the Jews, was a descendant of Amalek. Haman’s hatred of the Jews and his decree to destroy them in fact originated in the failure to convert his great-grandmother Timna. But this error was redressed in the time of Mordechai and Esther, when “Many of the peoples of the land became Jews” (Esther 8:17).

Rav Kook continued to expound on this topic for two hours, drawing from both Halakhic and Aggadic sources, quoting the Zohar and Maimonides, his words shining with brilliance and erudition.

When he finally concluded, Reb Moshe jumped up, grabbed the Rav and hugged him, crying, “Rebbe, I love you!”

Kuwaiti singer announces she plans to convert to Judaism

Ibtisam Hamid, better known as Basma al-Kuwaiti, explains that Islam does not treat women with dignity and that she opposes the Kuwaiti ruling family, which rejects normalization with Israel.

Kuwaiti singer and actress Ibtisam Hamid, known by her stage name Basma al-Kuwaiti, sent shockwaves through the Arab world when she announced Wednesday her intention to renounce Islam and convert to Judaism.

In a video she posted on Twitter, Hamid said that her decision stemmed from the fact that Islam violates women's rights and does not treat them with dignity.




The singer also spoke out against the ruling family of Kuwait, saying "I want to declare my opposition to the Al Sabah family, who reject normalization with Israel, stands against religious freedom in the country and against freedom of speech."

The media immediately deemed her words as "heresy." Some, however, found justifications for her words.

"This is a sad day for Islam, and it is not her fault," one person commented.

"When one does know true Islam, but judges it based on the behavior of some Muslims, it is easy to reject it and leave it. May Allah help people see the true Islam," another follower wrote.

Hamid's announcement comes less than a month after Kuwaiti presenter Mohammad Al-Momen announced that he would be leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, also drawing criticism, even death threats, from the public.



 
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UAE swears in its first-ever envoy to Israel

Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah, senior aide to kingdom's FM, made top diplomat to Jerusalem in ceremony attended by Emirati PM, cabinet members; UAE delegation to arrive in Israel in coming days to prepare to open embassy



Five months after the two nations signed the historic Abraham Accords to normalize relations, the United Arab Emirates on Sunday night swore in its first ambassador to Israel late Sunday.

Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah, who has served as the chief of staff of Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, pledged his allegiance at a ceremony before the ruler of Dubai and UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

At the event attended by members of the Emirati cabinet, Al Maktoum called on the new ambassador to work honestly to strengthen friendship and cooperation with Israel, and to promote a culture of peace, coexistence and tolerance between the two countries, their peoples and the peoples of the region.

Al Khajah's appointment comes after the Gulf kingdom's cabinet gave the green light last month for the establishment of the mission in Tel Aviv.
A delegation from the Emirates was expected to arrive in Israel in the coming days to begin preparations for the opening of the embassy.

The UAE's decision to appoint a high-ranking diplomat as its envoy to Jerusalem is a sign of the great importance the Emiratis attribute to relations with the Israel, its leadership and its people.
Al Khajah, 41, is a member of a noble family. He is married and father to four sons.

He holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from Northeastern University in Boston, and a Master's degree in energy management from the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
 

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Rudy Rochman with Nissim Black

“Right now is the perfect time for this project!” - Nissim Black’s reaction when hearing the We Were Never Lost project for the first time. We look forward to seeing Nissim and other individuals get involved in bringing this project to fruition.

 

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