Rabbis Decide to Unilateraly Sell Chometz of Europe’s Jews

March 18, 2021

At the request of European rabbis, Israel's Chief Rabbi David Lau is adding a clause in the chametz sale contract that will be selling the chometz of all Jews in the diaspora, even if they didn't do it themselves.
The Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) recently conducted a practical Halacha class as part of their virtual shiurim channel on the topic of Erev Pesach falling on Shabbos.
Chief Rabbi of Israel David Lau told the rabbis that “the Chief Rabbinate of Israel will include chametz of Jews in the Diaspora who are not aware of the chametz sale contract, as per the request of the European rabbis.”
Rabbi Lau praised the initiative of the Rabbinical Center to provide the translation of the European Jewish community chametz sale in English, French and Hebrew online.
The shiurim channel was launched in memory of Rabbi Binyamin Wolff OBM, Chabad Shliach in Hanover, Germany, who passed away this past year. The virtual classes provide the continent’s rabbis a way to connect the study at a time when travel is restricted due to the pandemic.
During the Shiur, Rabbi Lau answered many questions, among them the issue of selling chametz to a non-Jew. Rabbi Lau consented to the rabbis’ request and promised that the text of the chametz sale contract appointed by the Israeli Chief Rabbinate will include a clause stating that the sale will also apply to every Jew who has chametz in the Diaspora.
“As the deadly pandemic has taken toll of many lives, the Shiurim channel turned into the current replacement for the various conferences and professional seminars held by the RCE during the year for rabbis in various cities across Europe,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the RCE.
Director-General of the RCE Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg stated his satisfaction with the variety of classes and practical Halachic shiurim that were delivered and will be delivered within the framework of the Shiurim channel.
But it isn’t only with selling chametz that the Rabbinical Center of Europe is occupied with.
In collaboration with the European Jewish Association, 100,000 packages of Shmura Matzah are being distributed to hundreds of communities across Europe. Each kit was professionally wrapped and packaged to prevent the Matzot from cracking.
The logistical operation was conducted under the supervision of the RCE’s Deputy Director-General, Rabbi Yosef Bainhaker, and Rabbi Yehuda Reichman, head of the BASSAD organization which executed the project with great devotion.
The Matzos were distributed to over 560 European Jewish communities. The kits were delivered to Rabbis and community leaders who will distribute them just before Pesach.
This particular operation had a goal of ensuring kezayit size of handmade Shmurah Matzah will reach all Jews in the various communities of Europe. Working with postal and government officials, they were successful in ensuring that the sealed packages arrive despite the pandemic.
This is not the first logistical operation conducted by the Rabbinical Center of Europe together with Rabbi Reichman. Before Sukkos and Chanukah this past year, the organization helped distribute the four species and menorahs across Europe to hundreds of families.
“Due to high public demand for matzah, it was decided that despite the heavy expenses involved, an effort would be made to supply any quantity of matzah that would be required to the various countries ensuring that there would be matzah everywhere,” said Rabbi Margolin.
In addition, a special kit has been distributed for the children of the communities, enabling Rabbis and Rebbetzins to teach the children about the Mitzvos of Pesach, beginning from the general observance of Pesach till the practical details of each Mitzvah.
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Bootcamp in Madrid - Day 1

This afternoon the EJA, and our partners the ECJS and Concert started our latest 3 day ‘bootcamp’ in Madrid for young activists from all over Europe. Respected Arab Israeli journalistic Khaled Abu Toameh kicked off proceedings with an engaging opening session on normalisation, followed by a lengthy q&a session and discussion for participants, later for dinner we were proud to have a visit from the president of the Madrid Jewish community, Mrs Estrella Bengio who welcomed us warmly to her city and gave us all a great motivational speech about all working together for the betterment of European Jewry and the state of Israel.

Austrian court overturns fine for showing Israeli flag

A court in Vienna has expunged a police fine against four activists who displayed Israeli flags while protesting against an event calling for the boycott of the Jewish state.
Vienna police fined four students €150 ($176) for waving an Israel flag at a protest in March 2019 against advocates of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) targeting Israel.
Benjamin Hess, from the Austrian Union of Jewish Students, told the Austrian daily Der Standard, which first reported the court decision, that it was “clearly decided” that holding up an Israel flag and expressing pro-Israel sentiments is a legitimate expression of opinion.
He asked, however, why it “is necessary in Austria at all to go to court in order to have something so fundamental to be established.”
The Vienna city authorities argued that police warnings against the Israeli activists has not deterred pro-Israel activists from showing Israeli flags, and that there was a threat of escalation between the rival groups.
A spokesperson for an organization that monitors antisemitism (Informations und Beobachtungsstelle antisemitismus), who was at the protest in March 2019, confirmed to The Jerusalem Post at the time that a police supervisor told the students the Israeli flag was a “provocation” and issued the activists a €150 fine.
“Once again there was a demonstration in Austria in which antisemitic slogans such as ‘child murderer Israel’ were present, said the spokesperson for monitoring group combating antisemitism.”
In 2020, Austria’s national parliament unanimously passed a resolution condemning the BDS campaign as antisemitic and urging that the anti-Israel movement not be supported.
“BDS, which has also increasingly appeared in Austria in recent years, makes use of this antisemitic pattern,” stated the resolution. The antisemitic pattern refers to one of the alleged antisemitic BDS goals that seeks to not “recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination,” the resolution explained.
Some 25 people attended the anti-BDS demonstration in March 2019 organized by the Austrian Union of Jewish Students and the Alliance Boycott Antisemitism. According to Der Standard, the pro-BDS group reportedly shouted antisemitic slogans, and one speaker wore a scarf from the US and EU-designated terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
 The anti-BDS groups shouted “Long Live Israel” and held Israeli flags while calling “Free Palestine from Hamas,” the newspaper reported.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles, told the Post at the time, “Apparently it is still a provocation for Jews to defend their people’s honor by waving the flag of Israel. SWC urges the chancellor and other Austrian leaders to publicly wave the Blue and White [Israeli flag] on Israel Independence Day in solidarity with Israel and the Jewish community. And the police? Check their obvious anti-Jewish bias.”
https://www.jpost.com/bds-threat/austrian-court-overturns-fine-for-showing-israeli-flag-679952

"אנחנו כאן כדי להבטיח שזכר קורבנות השואה ימשיך לבהוק לעד"

יום השואה הבינלאומי חל אומנם בינואר, אך בערב יום השואה בישראל, יצא איגוד הארגונים היהודיים באירופה (EJA) במבצע נרחב למירוק 458 אבני הנגף שהוטבעו במדרכות בריסל בירת בלגיה, אל מול בתים שמהם נשלחו יהודים למחנות ההשמדה. יו"ר איגוד הארגונים היהודים באירופה (EJA), הרב מנחם מרגולין: "אנו נחושים, להנציח את זיכרון השואה לאור הקיטוב הגובר בחברה, חוסר הסובלנות כלפי הזולת והעלייה הברורה באנטישמיות באירופה וקוראים להגביר את הפעילות החינוכית להעצמת זכר השואה והמאבק באנטישמיות".

הרב מרגולין הודה למתנדבים הרבים על הירתמותם למפעל החשוב וציין כי "אנו נחושים, להנציח את זיכרון השואה לאור הקיטוב הגובר בחברה, חוסר הסובלנות כלפי הזולת והעלייה הברורה באנטישמיות באירופה. האינטראקציה והחשיפה של אזרחי בריסל לשואה היא חיוניות, בהתחשב בעובדה שכשליש מהאירופאים יודעים מעט מאוד על זוועות השואה. אני קורא מכאן לכל ממשלות אירופה וראשי הערים ביבשת להגביר את הפעילות החינוכית להעצמת זכר השואה ומאבק באנטישמיות".

האירוע המרגש שנערך ברחובות בריסל וברשתות החברתיות תחת הכותרת #MakeTheirMemoryShine התקיים בשיתוף המוזיאון היהודי בבריסל ובמעמד ראש עיריית בריסל פיליפ קלוז, ניצולי שואה, מנהיגים יהודים ומאות מתנדבים – בני כל הדתות והגילאים, שקיבלו מאיגוד הארגונים היהודים באירופה ערכות ניקיון ייעודיות למירוק אבני הזיכרון.

אבן נגף (בגרמנית Stolperstein - שְטוֹלְפֶּרשְטַיין), הוא שמו של פרויקט הנצחה מתמשך בערים שונות באירופה, שיצר האמן גונטר דמניג. "אבני הנגף" של דמניג שקועות במדרכות בערים שונות במטרה להזכיר לעוברים ושבים את קורבנות הנאציזם. נכון להיום הונחו מעל ל-90,000 אבני נגף בערים רבות ברחבי אירופה.

The Intolerance of Demanding that Meat Slaughtered According to Jewish Ritual Be Specially Labelled

By Rabbi Menachem Margolin (05/02/2014)
Recent months have seen revived attempts by politicians, both in the European Parliament and as domestic level in various EU member states, to legislate on the sacred ritual tradition of Jewish animal slaughter. A September draft written declaration in the European Parliament called on the Commission to instigate special labelling for the meat of ritually slaughtered animals, to eliminate “misleading omissions liable to distort the transactional decisions of consumers”, whilst claiming that consumers should have the right to ensure the meat they are purchasing comes from animals that have been slaughtered with proper regard to animal welfare.
The Polish parliament dismissed a government-sponsored bill to protect the religious slaughter of animals, whilst their Lithuanian counterparts voted in legislation aimed at protecting the practice.
The ability to eat kosher meat is a fundamental right for all people. The fact is that many people prefer to eat kosher meat simply for health reasons, regardless of religious beliefs or considerations.
Of course, everyone must respect the public’s right to know; there is no question that it is fair and correct to require listing a food’s ingredients on the label. Nevertheless, it is clear that the calls of a number EU member states to label meat slaughtered according to religious ritual as such, sets off many alarms – history has shown that such demands have led to large-scale bloodshed (human, not animal blood).
Did these pluralistic liberals, before attempting to isolate their neighbours who subscribe to different lifestyle choices, ascertain whether or not traditional kosher slaughter causes more harm or abuse to animals, G-d forbid, than other methods of slaughter? Had they conducted that research, they would have discovered that countless objective authorities agree that religious slaughter – both by Jewish and Muslim doctrine – is the least painful method of animal slaughter. In fact, the Jewish kosher slaughter code requires that no less than thirteen steps be taken before an animal may be slaughtered. One of these requirements is to verify that the animal is not hungry or thirsty when it is slaughtered.
If those “enlightened” individuals were truly concerned about animal rights, they would declare war on all forms of slaughter. Animal rights are not guaranteed by disparaging one particular method of killing animals, whilst allowing others to continue unabated, including hunting or factory slaughter?
And if allowances must be made, considering most people consume meat top some degree, and our decision-makers choose instead to legislate on the most humane method of slaughter (is it humane to put a living thing to death in any manner?), they ought to worry about the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter. They should be concerned about ensuring
sufficient living space, quality and quantity of food, medications, comfort level during  transportation for slaughter, quality and wattage of the electric shocks administered for slaughter, the number of shots needed to kill an animal, and more.
The number of animals slaughtered each year according to kosher standards is less than 1 percent of those slaughtered by other methods. If the issue in question here is the public’s right to know, what logic is there in demanding that kosher meat be labelled, without addressing the 99.9 percent of the slaughtered animals in the country?
For the past 3,000 years, the Jewish people have had to deal constantly with innumerable attempts to infringe upon their freedom of religion – a liberty that has long been established as a basic human right.
As well as being illogical and inconsistent from the perspectiveof animal rights, labelling kosher meat will give ammunition to anti-Semites to attack Jewish tradition. It is very disturbing to note that people who claim to be enlightened liberals are advancing this motion. These people who present themselves as pluralists are, perhaps unwittingly, waging an all-out war against anyone who chooses to live differently from them.
In the 1930s, things began with the burning of books and ended with the burning of human beings. I shudder to think how this new discrimination, beginning with methods of animal slaughter, will end.

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