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On the Foolishness of Jewish Celebrities Wearing Yellow Stars

Sept. 5 2017

At a recent concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the musician Billy Joel appeared on stage wearing a six-pointed yellow star—apparently in response to the anti-Semitic demonstrations that had taken place in Charlottesville. Thereafter, the actor and producer Nev Schulman appeared at a Los Angeles awards ceremony wearing a similar star. Stephen Pollard finds this new trend among Jewish celebrities “crass, infantile, ignorant, stupid, [and] offensive”:

Presumably Joel was thinking that he was “reclaiming” [the star] in some way. . . But it’s not his to reclaim. It’s not mine. It’s not anyone’s, however much they might want the world to know they’re Jewish, or that they love Jews just so much. The only people [whose it is] to “reclaim” are Holocaust survivors. And I seem to have missed the pictures of survivors donning their yellow stars again as a fashion accessory.

[M]ake no mistake, . . . this is virtue signaling in the worst possible taste. . . .

[Y]ou do not express your pride in being Jewish, or your revulsion against hate, by donning the Nazi yellow star as a fashion statement of that supposed pride. All you do is insult those survivors who lived through the Shoah, and who did not wear their yellow stars to draw media attention to themselves but because they were forced to do by the Third Reich.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Jewish World

The Movement to Return Jewish Worship to the Temple Mount Has Gone Mainstream

Sept. 25 2017

During the eruption of violence against Israelis in Jerusalem this summer, and the subsequent struggle over metal detectors, the Islamic authorities briefly boycotted the Temple Mount. As a result, Jewish visitors, normally prohibited from praying there, immediately began to do so. Meir Soloveichik puts the episode in context and describes its meaning:

The Temple Mount is fast becoming a pilgrimage site for religious Jews. In the past, most abstained from visiting out of concern that they might enter a sacred area in a state of ritual impurity, but many now believe that, with a knowledge of the layout, history, and religious laws pertaining to the location, it is permissible to visit certain parts of the Temple Mount plaza. They thus visit the site under religious guidance—immersing first in a ritual bath, or mikveh—and tread only in specific areas. What was once a trickle of pilgrims has become a stream, and this year they numbered in the many thousands. . . .

[Indeed, a] sea change has taken place in the past fifteen years: . . . the segment of Jews visiting the Temple Mount is becoming more and more mainstream, supported by rabbis noted for their liberalism in social or religious affairs. . . .

Visiting Jews were, for a brief and brilliant moment [this summer], able to utter several words of prayer without interference. The Israeli media published photos of a diverse group of Jews standing on the Temple Mount reciting the kaddish, so close to where their ancestors, on Yom Kippur, had once stood listening to the high priest pronounce the Name of God. Soon after this kaddish, the [status quo ante] returned; Jews again were no longer free to pray at the site toward which all Jewish prayer has been directed for thousands of years. But images of that one unimpeded kaddish remain; to study them is to look back on the miraculous and heartbreaking past half-century in Jerusalem, to celebrate what has been achieved, and to mourn what might have been.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Judaism, Palestinian terror, Religion & Holidays, Temple Mount