Yom Ha’atzmaut message from Chief Rabbi Jacobs

April 14, 2021

As a rabbi, I prefer not to get involved in politics and my opinion is that a politician should not interfere with religion. But where does politics start and where do rabbinical matters end? Is euthanasia a religious matter or a political problem? And who decides how far freedom of education extends?
That difference is even more unclear in Israel, because: "Israel without Torah is like a body without soul", one can’t separate the State of Israel from Judaism. And therefore, we see in the Knesset politicians with rabbinical opinions and rabbis as politicians.
But even the Jew who is not an Israeli resident has the conviction that he may state his opinion and interfere with Israeli political decisions because, he argues, without centuries of daily prayers in which we asked G'd to allow us to return to Jerusalem, Israel would not be today an Independent State. However, my opinion is that just as the Israeli citizen does not make statements about the Dutch Prime Minister, Rutte, we, not living in Israel, shouldn’t interfere in internal Israeli politics.
However, non-Jewish society sees us as an extension of Israel. Over and over again, I have to explain that I am Dutch and that the compliment that my Dutch is so fluent, is misplaced. You're not going to give that compliment to the bishop or the preacher, do you? But in according with their opinion "the Jew is Israel and Israel is the Jew".
And yet there is a heart of truth in their falsehood, for Jews know themselves interconnected by Jerusalem, our capital, where one day the Third Temple will rise when the ultimate peace will be there "for all inhabitants of Your earth."
And until then? When Netanyahu called upon French Jews to emigrate to Israel because of anti-Semitic violence, I was pushed in front of a journalist's microphone and was asked, "Rabbi, what do you think of Netanyahu's call? Do you really believe that there is no place for Jews in the Netherlands anymore?" Wow, I thought, that's a tricky one. It is not possible to request time for reflection, to say that Jews no longer belong in Europe is unwise and disagree in public with Netanyahu does not seem right. And therefore, my diplomatic, rabbinical and politically coloured answer was: Great we have got Israel for all those who must escape anti-Semitism. My parents had nowhere to go. But if and when I go on aliyah, will not be determined by fear for terrorism. I decide for myself, because I am independent, like the State of Israel!

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Police officer told me to take off my kippah'

European Jewish leader Rabbi Menachem Margolin says Brussels police told him to remove his kippah at his own event.
Police instructed the organizer of an eventcelebrating Europe's technological ties with Israel in Brussels to remove his kippah.
"I was just requested by a security officer to remove my kippah for security reasons," Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the founder of the European Jewish Association and Europe Israel Public Affairs, told Arutz Sheva outside the event.
"But I will never do it," said Rabbi Margolin.
Despite the police's request, Rabbi Margolin said that the event was "great" and that "thousands of people celebrated Jerusalem's high tech."
"This is the second time that we brought Israeli technology, high tech companies from Jerusalem, to present what they do here in Brussels in front of the European parliament.
"Thousands of people enjoy and can see what Jerusalem can contribute to their lives," he said.
(to watch the video click on the picture)

The Article was published in Aritz 7
 

Opening of the First ‘Chesed’ Centre in Odessa, Ukraine.

The First of many European ‘Chesed’ Centres operated jointly by the EJA and the RCE was inaugurated in Odessa, Ukraine.
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The Odessa branch is one of dozens that will open over the next two months across Europe.
The unique project is a first for the Jewish communities in Europe, although similar lending centers exist in Israel.
Each lending centre provides medical equipment for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, worth tens of thousands of euros. The arrival
of the equipment is imminent and the centre will soon be fully up and running

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