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Bombing In Africa Hits Home To Deaf Family

Update as of January 11, 2003 reported by Joy Anter
Ora is now out of the hospital and undergoing daily rehabilitation since she has burns all over her arms and legs. She is also receiving counseling to deal with grieving issues over the loss of her two sons. Adva is also out of the hospital and doing home schooling for the time being. Rami, Shaul's brother is having a very difficult time dealing with all of this. Any support to the Israeli branch of the Anter family would be greatly appreciated. You can visit the website: http://www.anterfamily.com and Joy has requested JDCC to reprint this article to share with our readers.

Mobile Register, Mobile, Alabama, Sunday, December 15, 2002 .....
The long arm of terrorism
By ROY HOFFMAN - Staff Reporter


Ask The Deaf Rabbi

Are "Tattoos"Allowed?

Nowadays, we see people with tattoos at the supermarket, the beach and other places. The Torah says "You should not put on a tattoo on your body. (Vayikra 19:28)"

What is a tattoo? The famous rabbi, Rashi wrote "Writing that is engraved and embedded which cannot ever be erased. For he tattoos it with a needle, and it stays dark permanently. (Vayikra 19:28)"

You may wonder if it's okay to do that on your body. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (19th Century, Germany) explained the reason for the prohibition. G-d made the man in the image of G-d Himself. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1135-1204 C.E.) wrote "You shall not make a cut in your flesh for the dead, and a (permanent) tattoo shall you not place upon yourselves". We are considered children of G-d. We are also created in the image of G-d. It is considered improper to inflict wounds on that image or upon the children of G-d."

Here are some common questions that have been asked many times:

1) What about the Holocaust tattoo on the arm from the concentration camp? In that case, it was done under force and it is not his/her fault at all. G-d knows that.

2) Can a person with tattoo be buried in a Jewish cemetery? Yes.

3) What can be done if a man who has a tattoo on the area of his arm where his tefillin put on? If he wants to remove it, there is a place that can remove with lasers. If he feels that it is too painful, he may leave it.

4) May a secular Jew with tattoo who becomes religious go to mikvah (water immersion)? Yes.

A temporary tattoo is allowed for fun as long as it can wash off.

Introduction to Judaism 101

by Rabbi David Kastor

"Tu B'Shevat - The Fifteen of Shevat"

Judaism cared about the nature long before Earth Day. There is another New Year's Day in the winter for trees and it is called Tu B'Shevat. It is different than New Year's Day in September (Rosh Hashanah).

What does Tu B'Shevat mean? The word, Tu B'Shevat is not really a word and has the pronunciation of the numeral 15. (T = "Tes" = 9); (V= "vav" ::: 6); 9 + 6 = 15. Take a look at the Jewish month, Shevat, on the Hebrew calendar and find the number 15 there.

The Torah doesn't mention the holiday at all. Tu B' Shevat has its purpose to calculate the age of trees for tithing (crops and produce) and it's only practiced in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). There is a seven-year cycle; the particular year will mandate to whom the tithes are given. (See Lev. 19:23-25).

The 15th of Shevat marks the end and the beginning of the "fiscal year" for trees.

Rabbi Eliyhau Kitov said, "Our Sages have designated the 15th of Shevat as the boundary, for trees, between one year and another, since most of the rains of the previous year, in the Land of Israel, have already fallen. A certain percentage of the fruit has reached the stage of "begun to ripen." This is defined as from the time of blossoming until the fruit has reached one third of its full growth. Fruit, which have reached this stage, are attributed to the previous year. Any new blossoming of fruit this day is a result of the blessings of the new year."

Another reason for Tu B'Shevat is that the time of judgment like Rosh Hashanah for the trees and G-d decides which tree can grow more or less like people. Some people become rich, or poor like that.

On Tu B' Shevat, there are some "tree related" customs. They are 1) eat seven species of fruits that grow in Israel (for example: grapes, figs, dates ... ) or a new fruit you find at the supermarket or farm, 2) Some people plant trees, and 3) children collect money for trees.

This year, Tu B'Shevat falls on Jan 18th, 2003 (5763) .


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