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Friday, September 19, 2014

A disgrace to Israel

Israel has introduced a new 50 Shekel note this week, and a call has been issued to boycott it. Here's why.
A new 50 shekel banknote bearing the likeness of Russian-born Hebrew poet Shaul Tchernichovsky (1875-1943) entered circulation on Tuesday, but Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi of Bar Ilan University refuses to use the new note and calls on others to follow suit.
Ben-Artzi, who is the brother-in-law of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and lectures on the Torah and Jewish Thought, told Arutz Sheva that the new banknote is a disgrace to the state of Israel.
The noted lecturer reminded that Tchernichovsky was married to a Christian woman his entire life, and refused the insistent pleading of former Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi Shlomo Goren to have her convert to Judaism as befitting the wife of a key Hebrew poet in modern Israel.
"Shaul Tchernichovsky became a symbol of assimilation - the ideology of assimilation. It cannot be that a man like this, even with all his importance as a poet, should become a symbol of the state of Israel," said Ben-Artzi.
The new note sends exactly the wrong message at a time when "in Europe there's an 80% rate of assimilation and in the United States 60% assimilation," argued Ben-Artzi. "The Jewish people are becoming annihilated due to assimilation; how can the state of Israel be capable of turning precisely Tchernichovsky into a symbol?"
With all due respect to Rav Goren, zt"l, the conversion would have likely been meaningless, but other than that Ben Artzi is spot-on. I just don't know if it is possible to boycott a bank note, but I intend - bli neder (without taking a vow) to try. 

To those of you in Israel, Shabbat Shalom. Shabbat starts at 6:05 pm in Jerusalem. I am in Boston so posts will continue today to the extent I am able to continue them.

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At 6:20 PM, Blogger Rondo said...

OT: Baseball


At 6:26 PM, Blogger The villager said...

Dr. Hagai Ben-Artzi

Dear Professor,

I am astonished at the exactitude of your reaction to your brothers' attack on the value of the shekel. Your action is saving Israel already. I want to coordinate activities with you and be part of the success of your invaluable campaign.
My village is called Ebay Ha Nachal, this is the name of the first book of the Israeli Presidency, it was made by President Zalman Shazar, President Issak Ben Tzvi, Author Shai Agnon, the title was suggested by Prime Minister Moshe Sharet, the letters were written by Rabbi Odesser.
I am signaling to you that these are all the people on the current shekel.
Perhaps, you could "recruit" my whole village to back up your project as it is good "advertisement" for them. The reasons I support you are much much deeper than that. Proof is already on the web…two places you can find my work are :Facebook, Bring Rabbi Nachman to Jerusalem; also on the web: Nanach.net; you can see a film of the village on vimeo, just type Blossoms_of_the_spring in Google.
I can be reached at the World Federation for Moroccan Jewry 42 Jaffo St., 02 627377 or 0504104961
Please don’t hesitate to contact me as so much depends on this.

Geoffrey Mordecai Spiro


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