Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie





On Topic Links


The Universality Of Sukkot: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 3, 2017

Coming To Terms With Perpetual Terror: The Israeli Model: Charles Bybelezer, The Media Line, Oct. 3, 2017

How to Reduce Terrorism: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Sept. 20, 2017

WATCH: Mexican Envoy Tearfully Thanks ‘Magnificent’ IDF Mission (Video): World Israel News, Sept. 29, 2017






Yoram Ettinger

Jewish Press, Oct. 4, 2016


1. Sukkot and Senator Robert Byrd. The holiday of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is dedicated to the study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which was often quoted by the late Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator and Member of Congress in US history, who was known to quote Biblical verses. For example, on November 7, 2008, Senator Byrd announced his retirement from the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee: “’To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.’ Those Biblical words from Ecclesiastes 3:1 express my feelings about this particular time in my life.” On September 9, 1998, Senator Byrd made the following Senate floor remarks on the Lewinsky affair: “As the book of Ecclesiastes plainly tells us, ‘there is no new thing under the sun.’ Time seems to be turning backwards in its flight. And many of the mistakes that President Nixon made are being made all over again.”


2. The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon accentuates Solomon’s philosophy of the importance of humility, morality, patience, learning from past mistakes, commemoration and historical perspective, family, friendship, long-term thinking, proper timing, realism and knowledge. The Hebrew name of Ecclesiastes is Kohelet, (), which is similar to the Biblical commandment to celebrate the community-oriented Sukkot holiday – Hakhel (), which means “to assemble,” as well as “public” () and “community” (). Solomon’s call for the realization of human fallibility, vulnerabilities and limitations is consistent with a central message of Sukkot: a seven day relocation from one’s permanent residence to the temporary, humble, wooden Sukkah (booth).



3. The temporary structure of the Sukkah highlights the historical significance of the permanent Jewish State in the Land of Israel – which must not be taken for granted – while commemorating the fragile and vulnerable nature of Jewish sovereignty and the Jewish people: the destruction of the two Temples (586 BCE and 70 CE), the ensuing exiles, the expulsion of Jews from England (1290), Venice (1421), Koln (1424), Milan (1489) and Spain (1492) and the Holocaust. 4. The Hebrew root of Sukkah stands for key characteristics of the relationship between the Jewish people, the Jewish Homeland and faith in God: Sukkah () is “wholeness” and “totality” (), the “shelter” of the tabernacle (), “to anoint” (), “divine curtain/shelter” () and “attentiveness” ().


5. The US covenant with the Jewish State is accentuated by Columbus Day, which is celebrated around Sukkot. According to “Columbus Then and Now” (Miles Davidson, 1997, p. 268), Columbus arrived in America on Friday afternoon, October 12, 1492. It was the 21st day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, in the Jewish year 5235, on the 7th day of Sukkot, Hoshaa’na’ Rabbah, which is a day of universal deliverance and miracles. Hosha’ (הושע) is “deliverance” in Hebrew and Na’ (נא) is the Hebrew word for “please.” The numerical value of Na’ in Hebrew is 51 (נ – 50, א – 1), which corresponds to the celebration of Hoshaa’na’ Rabbah on the 51st day following Moses’ ascension up to Mt. Sinai.


6. Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles(in Hebrew), is named after the first stop during the Exodus, the town of Sukkota (סכותה) – Exodus 13:20 and Numbers 33:3-5. It commemorates the transition of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt to sovereignty in the Land of Israel; from nomadic life in the desert to permanence in the Promised Land; from oblivion to deliverance; and from the spiritual state-of-mind during the High Holidays to the mundane of the rest of the year. Sukkot aims at universal – not only Jewish – deliverance.


7. Sukkot is the 3rd major Jewish holiday – following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – in the month of Tishrei, the holiest Jewish month. According to Judaism, 3 represents divine wisdom, stability, integration and peace. 3 is the total sum of the basic odd (1) and even (2) numbers. The 3rd day of the Creation was blessed twice (“And God observed that it was well done”); God appeared on Mt. Sinai 3 days following Moses’ ascension of the mountain; there are 3 parts to the Bible, 3 Patriarchs, 3 annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc. 8. The commandment to erect Sukkot (booths), and celebrate a 7-day-holiday, was specified in Leviticus 23:42-43.





Father de Souza

National Post, Oct. 2, 2017


I am not a stranger to Holocaust memorials. Every year I accompany young Catholics on a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, and about every other year I accompany Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, Israel’s national museum and memorial for the Shoah.


Even after the novelty of such visits fades, such experiences remain powerful moments. In the face of the Holocaust we are forced to contemplate the mystery of evil in our time; we bow our heads before the resilience of those who suffered; we are moved to intense prayer. For a Christian in particular, it is not possible to recall the Shoah – and the subsequent return of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel – without profound reflection upon the meaning of divine election. To the Jewish people, writes Saint Paul, belong the “sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.”


It was therefore a blessing – in the strict sense of the word, as not all blessings are superficially pleasant – to visit Ottawa’s National Holocaust Monument last Wednesday at its inauguration. The decision to build the monument was taken by a unanimous vote of Parliament in 2011, correcting the anomaly that Canada was the only allied power from World War II that did not have a national Holocaust monument.


The new monument is a striking set of massive concrete triangles, intended to echo the triangular patches that the Nazis made various groups wear, including “homosexuals, Roma Sinti, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political and religious prisoners that marked them for death.” The six triangles in turn are laid out to “create the outline of a star — the star that millions of Jews were forced to wear… to exclude them from humanity and mark them for extermination.”


The angles and planes of the monument echo the Canadian War Museum across the street. At the inauguration, more than a few people remarked that the juxtaposition of the two was a reminder that sometimes evil must be fought by recourse to arms. To my mind, the triangles of the monument call to mind Yad Vashem itself, where the main museum gallery is housed in a massive concrete triangle cut into the hills. I don’t know if the architect, Daniel Libeskind, had that in mind, but it is suggestive nonetheless.


The monument tells the story of the Holocaust in relatively few words; the emphasis is on the architecture and monumental reproductions of photographs by Edward Burtynsky. The historical account is measured and inclusive; it acknowledges that while Jews became the principal targets of the Nazi killing machine, they were neither the first nor the only ones sent to the death camps. The closure of Canada’s borders to Jewish refugees is treated honestly but without theatrics. The truth is dramatic and shameful enough.


Whenever I visit such a site, I think of the words of Pope Benedict XVI upon his visit to Auschwitz in 2006, who framed the cosmic dimension of the Shoah. “The rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the earth,” said Benedict. “Thus the words of the Psalm: ‘We are being killed, accounted as sheep for the slaughter’ were fulfilled in a terrifying way. Deep down, those vicious criminals, by wiping out this people, wanted to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that are eternally valid. If this people, by its very existence, was a witness to the God who spoke to humanity and took us to himself, then that God finally had to die and power had to belong to man alone — to those men, who thought that by force they had made themselves masters of the world.”


The Nazis did appear for a short time to be masters of the world. But only the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Lord of history. And on Wednesday, some of those who survived the plot for the extermination of European Jewry were present, witnesses — like so many of their ancestors in history — to the endurance of God’s covenant in the face of manifest evil…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





“I think the settlements are part of Israel…I think that was always the expectation when resolution 242 was adopted in 1967… The idea was that Israel would be entitled to secure borders. The existing borders, the 1967 borders, were viewed by everybody as not secure, so Israel would retain a meaningful portion of the West Bank, and it would return that which it didn’t need for peace and security.”— US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Friedman said there had always been a “notion” that Israel would expand into the West Bank, but that Israel would not take the entire region. “And I think that’s exactly what, you know, Israel has done,” he said. “I mean, they’re only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank. There is important nationalistic, historical [and] religious significance to those settlements, and I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis and Israel views the settlers as Israelis.” Friedman’s statements came amid the Trump’s ongoing effort to restart negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. While Friedman didn’t give a firm timeline for a proposed peace plan to go public, he believed it could be announced “within months.” (Algemeiner, Sept. 29, 2017) 


“I understand why those who support Hamas and want to see the Mossad everywhere that is uncomfortable for them, but Israel had no part in the Kurdish referendum, apart from the deep, natural sympathy that the people of Israel have had for many years for the Kurdish people and their aspirations.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Following a recent referendum on Kurdish independence in northern Iraq, for which Israeli officials voiced support, leaders throughout the Middle East have launched accusations regarding the Jewish state’s involvement in Kurdish affairs. Among the leaders who accused Israel of working behind the scenes to aid the Kurds are Turkish President Recep Erdogan and Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Last month, Netanyahu stated that Israel “supports the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own,” but rejects the PKK’s acts of terrorism committed in the name of Kurdish statehood. (World Israel News, Oct. 1, 2017)


“Unfortunately, the political leadership of Israeli Arabs, as represented in the Knesset by the Joint List, has become a fifth column without any quotation marks – a senior representative of terrorist organizations in the Knesset…The time has come to bring to justice those who seek to undermine the foundations of the state.” — Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Chairman of the Joint Arab List, MK Ayman Odeh, on Tuesday night sparked a political storm when he called PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to congratulate them on their reconciliation talks. Odeh told both leaders that the “Palestinians” in the Galilee, the Arab Triangle and the Negev value the reconciliation agreement and pin their hopes on it. He then stressed that every Arab efforts should be united and dedicated to ending the “occupation.” (Jewish Press, Oct. 4, 2017)


“You soldiers of Islam, supporters of the caliphate everywhere, step up your attacks and include the media centres of the infidels and the headquarters of their ideological war among your targets…Don’t you dare allow the Crusaders and the apostates to enjoy a good and comfortable life at home while your brothers are enduring killings, shelling and destruction.” — I.S. leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an audio recording released Thursday. The reclusive leader of IS, who has only appeared in public once, also vowed to continue fighting and lavished praise on jihadis despite their loss of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in July. His last previous purported message was released in November. Russian officials said in June there was a “high probability” that al-Baghdadi had died in a Russian airstrike on Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital. U.S. officials later said they believed he was still alive. Al-Baghdadi’s whereabouts are unknown but he is believed to be in IS’ dwindling territory in eastern Syria. (Toronto Sun, Sept. 28, 2017)


“I think the criticism [of Israel by Roger Waters] is so ludicrous…that it indicates a basic hostility to the notion of a homeland for the Jewish people… you’ve got to overcome the legacy of that ideological poison which has dripped into the system over many decades…I’m a great fan of the music of Pink Floyd, but I don’t agree with Roger Waters and his campaign. I think it is part of a wider alliance which is dangerous and worries me…which is the leftist-Islamist alliance. It’s a growing problem…there is nothing progressive about a totalitarian ideology.” — Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. A frequent critic of the Jewish state and a staunch supporter of BDS, Waters recently claimed that the “parallels [between Israel] and what went on in the 1930s in Germany are so crushingly obvious,” and adding that the “extraordinarily powerful” Jewish lobby was exerting a dangerous influence in the West. (Arutz Sheva, Oct. 1, 2017)


“Israel in 70 years of existence has contributed more to the world than any country in history in so short a period of time…I think Israel has among the best human rights record of any country in the world.” — Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, an advocate of the two-state solution and critic of Israeli settlements, recently spoke at Columbia University. He observed that “the one issue that is very hard to have a serious, nuanced discussion on at a university campus today is Israel.” He contended that too many professors “use the classroom as a propaganda podium,” teaching students not how to think, but what to think. While he noted that Israel’s government was “far” from perfect, and that he has “much criticism of Israel, just like I have much criticism of the United States,” Dershowitz stressed the importance of making a “strong” liberal case for Israel to counter misinformation spread by the “hard left.” (Algemeiner, Sept. 28, 2017)







EDMONTON TERROR ATTACKS: SHARIF CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER (Edmonton) — Thirty-year-old Abdulahi Sharif has been charged after a police officer was stabbed and four pedestrians were struck down by a fleeing U-Haul truck on Saturday. Sharif was charged with attempted murder, criminal flight causing bodily harm, dangerous driving and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. Although police have said terrorism charges are expected, none has been laid so far. Police described Sharif as a 30-year-old Edmonton resident “who currently holds convention refugee status.” Sharif is a Somali refugee who came to Canada in 2012. (Global, Oct. 2, 2017)


I.S. CLAIMS FATAL KNIFE ATTACK IN MARSEILLE (Paris) —Two women were stabbed to death and their assailant shot dead by soldiers at the main train station in Marseille on Sunday in an attack claimed by I.S. Police said the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) as he carried out the attack. I.S. claimed the attack through a statement. France has been under a state of emergency following a spate of attacks by Islamists over the last few years, including coordinated attacks in Paris in November 2015 that killed almost 130 people. Other countries – including Britain, Germany and Belgium – have also been targeted in attacks using knives, guns, explosives and vehicles. (France 24, Oct. 2, 2017)


UK HATE PREACHER JAILED FOR TELLING CHILDREN TO JOIN I.S. (London) — An imam has been jailed for six and a half years after telling children that martyrdom was better than school, in a series of sermons encouraging his congregation to join I.S. Kamran Sabir Hussain, 40, from Stoke-on-Trent, UK, delivered his lecturers from a lectern in front of a black IS flag, to a congregation that included children as young as three. The content of the speeches was recorded by an undercover officer, who was sent into the mosque to document the imam's sermons. (Sky News, Sept. 28, 2017)


QUEBEC MAN WHO TRIED TO JOIN I.S. SENTENCED TO 9 YEARS (Montreal) — A Quebec man, who was found guilty in June of attempting to leave Canada to join I.S., has been sentenced to nine years in prison. Ismael Habib, 29, is the first adult to be tried on charges of attempting to leave Canada to participate in terrorist activity — a section of the Anti-terrorism Act enacted by Harper's government in 2013. It was disclosed that Habib told an undercover RCMP officer posing as a crime boss peddling fake passports that it was his "duty" to fight jihad alongside I.S. in Syria. (CBC, Sept. 29, 2017)


NISMAN WAS MURDERED (Buenos Aires) — A long-awaited official report has concluded that late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was murdered, contradicting previous government claims that he committed suicide. Nisman was investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, which killed 85 people. The prosecutor concluded that the perpetrators were Iranian agents, and issued international warrants for several of them. A day before Nisman was due to testify before the Argentine Congress on his findings, he was found shot to death in his Buenos Aires apartment. His death was originally declared a suicide. The new report rejects this, concluding that the evidence shows that Nisman was beaten, drugged, and then shot execution style. (Algemeiner, Oct. 2, 2017)


TRUDEAU'S PLAQUE AT NATIONAL HOLOCAUST MONUMENT TO BE REPLACED (Ottawa) — Canada's heritage minister says a plaque Prime Minister Trudeau used to inaugurate the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa last week has been removed because it did not "reflect the horrors experienced by the Jewish people." Mélanie Joly made the announcement in question period Tuesday after Conservative MP David Sweet noted that the plaque failed to mention the Jewish people by name. Joly said the monument commemorates the six million Jewish people and five million other victims murdered during the Holocaust. (Huffington Post, Oct. 3, 2017)


LIBERALS WORKING ON APOLOGY FOR JEWISH REFUGEES (Ottawa) — The federal Liberals are working on an apology for the government's decision in 1939 to turn away a boat of German Jews hoping to seek asylum in Canada. The ship had 900 Jews aboard when it was turned away from both Cuba and the U.S. before a group of Canadians tried to convince then-prime minister King's government to let it dock in Halifax. Frederick Blair — director of the immigration branch of the Department of Mines and Resources at the time — ultimately refused. The ship returned to Europe. While some passengers were taken in by Belgium, France, Holland and the UK, about 500 ended up back in Germany, half of whom did not survive the Holocaust. (CBC, Sept. 27, 2017)


ISRAELI TENNIS PLAYER QUITS MID-MATCH FOR YOM KIPPUR (Shanghai) — Dudi Sela, Israel’s top-ranked men’s tennis player, quit mid-game at the Wuhan Open in China due to the imminent start of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Sela, ranked 77 in the world, was down 1-0 in the third set of his quarter-final game with Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine. They split the first two sets 6-3 and 6-4. Sela had asked for the match to be brought forward due to the fast that starts at sundown on Friday, but his request was reportedly denied and there was not enough time to complete the game before the advent of the fast day. Sela forfeited $34,000 in prize money and the chance to win 90 ranking points. (Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2017)


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On Topic Links



The Universality Of Sukkot: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Jewish Press, Oct. 3, 2017—The Torah reading on the first two days of Sukkot (Leviticus 22:26-23:44) outlines the festivals that give rhythm and structure to the Jewish year. Examining them carefully, however, we see that Sukkot is unusual and unique.

Coming To Terms With Perpetual Terror: The Israeli Model: Charles Bybelezer, The Media Line, Oct. 3, 2017—Canadian authorities on Monday charged a Somali refugee with five counts of attempted murder, after he stabbed a police officer outside a football match before running down several pedestrians with his car, in what authorities have designated a terrorist act.

How to Reduce Terrorism: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Sept. 20, 2017 —“ISIS” is an anachronistic name. It is an acronym for “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,” but those aspects of the name have faded away or are about to. The “Islamic State” has ceased to exist.

WATCH: Mexican Envoy Tearfully Thanks ‘Magnificent’ IDF Mission (Video): World Israel News, Sept. 29, 2017 —At a welcoming ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport Thursday, Mexican Ambassador Pablo Macedo Riba expressed heartfelt appreciation to the IDF humanitarian mission upon their return from Mexico, telling them they conquered the heart of the Mexican people and that Mexico is now their second home.