Author Archives: Immanuel Verbondskind

About Immanuel Verbondskind

Being a creature of the Most High Maker, wanting to know His Word better and to see clear in the many religious groups this world has. + Een schepsel van de Allerhoogste Maker, die Zijn Woord beter wil leren kennen en duidelijk wenst te zien in de Goddelijke Boodschap en in de vele religieuze groeperingen van deze wereld.

Anti-Semitism in the United States

Although in many ways the U.S. Jewish population is flourishing, concerns about anti-Semitism have risen among American Jews. In the recent Pew Research Center’s survey of U.S. Jews, conducted from Nov. 19, 2019, to June 3, 2020, three-quarters say there is more anti-Semitism in the United States than there was five years ago, and just over half (53%) say that “as a Jewish person in the United States” they feel less safe than they did five years ago.

Probably this has a lot to with the way Donald Trump created a poisoned atmosphere.

Politically, U.S. Jews on the whole tilt strongly liberal and tend to support the Democratic Party, but the last few years in that party were many extreme right people who wanted a white Christian nation. When the new survey was fielded, from late fall 2019 through late spring 2020, 71% a lot of Jews said  they were still Democrats or leaned Democratic. Among Jews of no religion, roughly three-quarters were Democrats or leaned that way. But those who saw how their president went in against God’s Commandments could not support that party that had betrayed all democratic values.
Orthodox Jews have been trending in the opposite direction, becoming as solidly Republican as non-Orthodox Jews are solidly Democratic. In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, 75% of Orthodox Jews said they were Republicans or leaned Republican, compared with 57% in 2013. And 86% of Orthodox Jews rated then-President Donald Trump’s handling of policy toward Israel as “excellent” or “good,” while a majority of all U.S. Jews described it as “only fair” or “poor.”

Jews who wear distinctively religious attire, such as a kippa or head covering, are particularly likely to say they feel less safe. But the impact on behaviour seems to be limited: Even among those who feel less safe, just one-in-ten – or 5% of all U.S. Jews – report that they have stayed away from a Jewish event or observance as a result.

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Preceding

Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God

The Rise of Anti-Seminism

Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times

Quiz questions, views, left- and right-wing anti-Semitism

Historian Deborah Lipstadt Assesses the New Anti-Semitism

Trump’s rhetoric is infusing a culture of Anti-Semitism

Month of freedom and liberty with Independence Day or Deceived day

Judaism and Jewishness in 2020 America

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Additional reading

  1. In Every Generation: The Return of Anti-Semitism – Pesah Day 1, 5779
  2. The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe
  3. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  4. ….a powerful way to put the universe on notice….
  5. A Secret of our Enemy :Inter-Ethnic Fault Lines Among the Jews (Full Article)
  6. A vibrant and inclusive movement within the American Jewish community

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Cultural affairs, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

Judaism and Jewishness in 2020 America

A new Pew Research Center survey finds that many Jewish Americans participate, at least occasionally, both in some traditional religious practices – like going to a synagogue or fasting on Yom Kippur – and in some Jewish cultural activities, like making potato latkes, watching Israeli movies or reading Jewish news online.  The same could perhaps be said for European Jews.

Among young Jewish adults, however, two sharply divergent expressions of Jewishness appear to be gaining ground – one involving religion deeply enmeshed in every aspect of life, and the other involving little or no religion at all.

For Europeans it might be strange that overall, about a quarter of U.S. Jewish adults (27%) do not identify with the Jewish religion. Like all over the world we can find the strong feeling of ethnicity, more than religiosity.  The 27% U.S. Jewish adults who consider themselves to be Jewish ethnically, culturally or by family background, even when they have a Jewish parent or were raised Jewish,  answer a question about their current religion by describing themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” rather than as Jewish. Among Jewish adults under 30, four-in-ten describe themselves this way.

The two branches of Judaism that long predominated in the U.S. have less of a hold on young Jews than on their elders.
In 2013 the Conservative movement was the second largest of the three main religious denominations within American Judaism, claiming 18 percent of American Jews. In some years in the 1950s, the movement was adding 100 new affiliate congregations annually.
In the 21st century, the movement’s long-term viability has continued to be drawn into question. The percentage of Jewish households that identified as Conservative dropped by 10 points — from 43 to 33 percent — between 1990 and 2000, according to surveys of the American Jewish population conducted in those years. By the end of the century, the movement was in serious decline, in such a way that some were fretting openly that Conservative Judaism was on the road to oblivion. About fifteen years ago Rabbi David Wolpe suggested that Conservative Judaism be rebranded as Covenantal Judaism. That name we hear also here and there in our regions, where some Jews and Jeshuaists consider themselves Covenantal Jews.
Today roughly four-in-ten Jewish adults under 30 identify with either Reform (29%) or Conservative Judaism (8%), compared with seven-in-ten Jews ages 65 and older.
Among Jews ages 18 to 29, 17% self-identify as Orthodox, compared with just 3% of Jews 65 and older. And fully one-in-ten U.S. Jewish adults under the age of 30 are Haredim (often known in English as “ultra-Orthodox.”), (11%), compared with 1% of Jews 65 and older. Approximately 1.2 million Haredim live in Israel, jealously guarding their traditions.

Strangely enough, or perhaps not, we can find several Jews who are somewhere “in-between”, themselves found to be not a believer, but who have not given up upon Jewish religious practice. some of them have even adopted more religious practices than they were ever raised with.
In the States, like in Canada and West Europe we find lots of Jews who adopted a religious Jewish lifestyle for themselves, in a similar way we have seen Christians also creating their own religious system and spiritual lifestyle.

In fora we can see that the participants who no longer believe were raised in various Orthodox communities around the world, ranging from Modern Orthodox to Yeshivish to Hassidic; and most spent their childhoods and years of their adulthoods studying in houses of Torah learning. Some were rabbis themselves, educators who dedicated years of their lives to spreading love of Torah and traditional Judaism among the Jewish people. {Why can’t I be secular?}

Remarkable is to notice that in the U.S.A. the youngest U.S. Jews count among their ranks both a relatively large share of traditionally observant, Orthodox Jews and an even larger group of people who see themselves as Jewish for cultural, ethnic or family reasons but do not identify with Judaism – as a religion – at all.  For non-Jews the difference is mostly not made, which gives a totally wrong view of Jews, them thinking all those things those civilian non-believing Jews do against Torah would be in line or acceptable to all Jews.

In the U.S., the same as in Europe, we can see that the youngsters, though not so interested to know if the food is kosher or not, still like a lot of traditional foods. As such, they like cooking traditional Jewish foods, visiting Jewish historical sites and listening to Jewish or Israeli music. Yet the survey finds that most people in the latter group (Jews of no religion) feel they have not much or nothing at all in common with the former group (Orthodox Jews). For many youngsters the Jewish traditions and lifestyle may feel outdated. Others may become unsettled because they find people in their forties searching for ways to live more in line with their ancestors, going back to the synagogue and praying again in the house. Some want to delve into the deeper meaning of Jewishness and Judaism.

It is a fact that Jews and Jeshuaists are a minority. For the U.S.A. in absolute numbers, the 2020 Jewish population estimate is approximately 7.5 million, including 5.8 million adults and 1.8 million children (rounded to the closest 100,000). The 2013 estimate was 6.7 million, including 5.3 million adults and 1.3 million children. The precision of these population estimates should not be exaggerated; they are derived from a sample of the U.S. public that is very large compared with most surveys (more than 68,000 interviews) but are still subject to sampling error and other practical difficulties that produce uncertainty. Furthermore, the size of the Jewish population greatly depends on one’s definition of who counts as Jewish.

Most U.S. Jews identify as Democrats, but most Orthodox are Republicans

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Find also to read

Judaism and Jeshuaism a religion of the future

Jewish Americans in 2020

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  7. Messianic Jews Say ‘Fake Rabbi’ Was Wrong Way to Reach the Ultra-Orthodox
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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Social affairs

Going in the wrong direction in seeking Torah obedience – according Sir Anthony Buzzard

Looking at Words and a metaphorical Tree of Life

This weekend we think about our special connection with the Torah, our Etz Ha Chayim. We shall look at Isaiah who lived during the exile of the Israelites in Babylon, after the destruction of the First Temple. His writings are reflective of the problems that went on in previous times and his poem that is Haftarat Eikev consists of vivid, expressive, and long-winded metaphors expressing the relationship between God and the Israelites. one of the matters spoken about is God’s Word. Parashat Eikev tells of the blessings of obedience to God, the dangers of forgetting God, and directions for taking the Land of Israel. Isaiah describes how being a prophet has made him suffer because his listeners do not always appreciate his message (“I did not hide my face from insult and spittle” [50:6]), but Isaiah is confident that God is on his side (“Lo, the Lord God will help me!” [50:9]).

Isaiah and many other prophets show us that God never abandoned those willing to listen to Him. He has provided His Word to be followed by those who want to be near Him.

Sir Anthony Buzzard

Sir Anthony Buzzard, who has done a lot of biblical research and deserves well of all Messianics for his work on the Trinity and the Incarnation, did an excellent job in showing that the God the Bible teaches is One Person, not the multipersonal Being of Christian orthodoxy, and that Jesus was a faithful Jew who wholeheartedly subscribed to the Jewish creed:

Hear, O Israel, HaShem is our G’d, HaShem is One (Dt. 6:4).

Strangely enough one would expect that he also would recognise the importance of the Torah. While teaching, however, that we should adopt the biblical faith of Jesus, Buzzard at the same takes great efforts in teaching us that we should not follow Jesus’ practice of a biblical, Torah obedient lifestyle.

Jesus a serious Torah-observant Jew

Historical facts show us that Jesus is Jeshua ben Josef, born in an Essene family, keeping strictly to the Jewish laws. One would expect that followers of that Nazarene man would follow his way of life and would try to live according to his teachings. For that reason, one would expect a “follower of Jeshua” or a “Jeshuaist” and those who call themselves “Christian” to follow the rules and regulations of Jeshua and his disciples.

Seeking Torah obedience or a life of shadows

In Buzzard’s eyes, Christians would go in the wrong direction in seeking Torah obedience. This would result in a life of shadows. In an article entitled: “Resting in Christ as More Than a Weekly Sabbath”, of the July 2012 issue of his magazine, he exclaims:

“Why live in the shadows when the light has come?”{Focus on the Kingdom, Vol 14, No. 10, July 2012, p. 3.}

When we read such ideas Buzzard bringsx forwards it looks like he wants people to

Believe in the One G’d of Israel, like Jesus did, but don’t follow his Torah.

Though, Jeshua or Jesus knew very well the Torah and strictly followed it. There it looks like Buzzard is forgetting or losing the Jewishness of Jeshua, the Christ, and falls in the main false teachings of several Christian churches, who present Jesus as the founder of a new religion, what he was not!

A Messiah who doesn’t teach Torah is a false Messiah

All from the beginning of times, already in the Gan Eden, the Elohim spoke about someone to come to bring an end to the curse of death. The Bore not wanting man would eat from the Etz HaChayyim in the Gan, avoided them coming close to it and taking fruit of it, by banishing them from the Royal Garden. From their expulsion onwards they could follow that Word of God to hold on. This Dvar Hashem was later written down by Moshe and other selected people.

Throughout the ages, that Word of God accompanied the faithful of God. They could count on that Word and valued it highly. As such the scrolls were taken very seriously as the best guide and guardian to go by.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

The sent one from God, some two millanennia ago, very well knew the importance of those scrolls and told the people around him, that he had not come to destroy these words.

Mat 5:17-19 OJB Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Neviim. I did not come to abolish but to complete.
(18) For, omein, truly I say to you, until Shomayim and haaretz pass away, not one yod, not one tag (ornamental flourish), will pass from the Torah until everything is accomplished. (19) Therefore, whoever annuls one of the least of these mitzvot (divine commandments given by Hashem to Moshe Rebbenu) and so teaches Bnei Adam, shall be called katon (least) in the Malchut HaShomayim; but whoever practices and teaches them, this one will be called gadol (great) in the Malchut HaShomayim.

Yes, the Nazarene warned

Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one titte shall in no wise pass from the Torah, till all be fulfilled.

We even learn that the Messiah is the target or goal for righteousness to everyone that believes.

Rom 10:4 OJB For Moshiach is the goal of the Torah as a means to being YITZDAK IM HASHEM, for all who have emunah.

Jesus requests his followers Not to break one of these least commandments he also taught. For him, it was also clear that whosoever shall do and teach those mitzvot, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Also from the Ketuvim bet or Messianic Scriptures, the HaBrit haHadash or New Testament we learn that Jesus was fulfilling the Torah and prophets and demanded it from us as well. The fulfilment of Torah includes practising it. Even the the least commandment is important. Any ‘focus on the Kingdom’ of heaven will be empty and void if it doesn’t include doing and teaching Torah. How can we focus on the Kingdom at all, if we deny it by our lifestyle and do not follow the Royal Torah? (Cf. Jas 2:8-10). The words Jesus spoke on the mount after his resurrection make it all the more clear that his Kingdom includes the rule and reign of the Torah (Mt. 28:19-20):

Mat 28:19-20 OJB Go, therefore, make talmidim for Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach of all the nations, giving them a tevilah in a mikveh mayim in Hashem, in the Name of HaAv, and HaBen, and HaRuach Hakodesh, (20) Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And hinei! I [Moshiach] am with you always, even unto the Ketz HaOlam Hazeh.

We have to observe all things whatsoever Jesus has commanded us.

Imitators of rebbe Jeshua Melech HaMoshiach

When one thinks about the consequences of Buzzard’s viewpoint, one can only wonder whether he would be prepared to affirm that Jesus himself lived in the shadows during his earthly days and followed a pattern of behaviour of an altogether lower nature than the life of freedom from the commandments now supposedly enjoyed by so many Christians. If Buzzard would dare to affirm and uphold that, essentially, Messiah’s own lifestyle was less spiritual than the so-called ‘Christian’ lifestyle of today, then the question arises how he can take serious Paul’s injunction to the Corinthians:

1Co 11:1-2 OJB Become imitators of me as I also am an imitator of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach. (2) Now, I commend you that in all things you have remembered me and you hold fast to the masoret torat haShlichim just as I transmitted and handed them over to you.

The talmidim and Saul of Tarsus followed the Torah and teachings of Christ, which did not go in against the Torah teaching. As a Torah observant Jew Saul defended himself:

Act 25:8 OJB Rav Sha’ul defended himself, saying, “Neither keneged the Torah nor keneged the Beis Hamikdash nor keneged Caesar have I done anything wrong.”

Having first persecuted the followers of Jeshua, he acted as a defender of their faith which was according to God’s Laws.

Imitatio Christi

How can any call to lead a life of following Messiah — imitatio Christi in the terminology of traditional Christianity — be taken serious if the Jewish and Torah obedient lifestyle of Messiah is perceived as belonging to an altogether lower order of things than the Christian believer is thought to be part of?

One also can only wonder about what kind of Kingdom Buzzard is expecting if it is not the Kingdom of the universal rule of the Torah announced by the prophet Isaiah:

Isa 2:2-3 OJB And it shall come to pass in the acharit hayamim, that the Har Beis Hashem shall be established as the rosh of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the Goyim shall flow unto it. (3) And amim rabbim (many peoples) shall come and say, Come ye, and let us go up to Har Hashem, to the Beis Elohei Ya’akov; and He will teach us of His Derakhim, and we will walk in His Orakhot; for out of Tziyon shall go forth the torah, and the Devar Hashem from Yerushalayim.

If these words are literally true and if the rule of the Torah is the rule of HaShem’s Kingdom, then what excuse do we have for not obeying the Torah and its commandments, since in them we anticipate and foretaste the reality of the Kingdom? Like the Jews all followers of Jeshua shall have to walk in the paths of the Dvar Elohim for out of Zion shall go forth the Torah and the word of HaShem from Jerusalem.

A Kingdom on earth

Buzzard has repeatedly admitted that the Kingdom of God is a real physical Kingdom to be expected here on earth, having its centre in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem. And yet he seems to conceive this Kingdom as a secular reality without the Torah and without a restored Temple.

Buzzard deplores that

“a giant muddle has been introduced by a failure to grasp basic distinctions between the two covenant arrangements provided by G’d. The Old must not be confused with the New” {Focus on the Kingdom, Vol. 14, No. 10, July 2012, p. 3.}

But where is the muddle, and who is causing all that confusion?

God Himself declared that He will put His Torah in His People inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and He will be their God, and they shall be His people.

Jer 31:33 OJB (32) But this shall be the Brit that I will cut with Bais Yisroel [T.N. OJBC is Jewish]; After those days, saith Hashem, I will set My Torah in them inwardly, and I will write ketuvim on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be My People.

All those who want to belong to the People of God should have that Torah written in their heart.

The same commandments and ordinances in Old and New Testament

The New Covenant has the same commandments and ordinances, which is only logical as it is the renewal of the Sinai Covenant.It is in the scrolls that we can find the Words of the Most Highest Who can carry us above the average. With the coming of the Messiah the path is opened also for goyim to enter the Kingdom of God. But those non-Jews shall then have to accept the Only One True God and believe in His sent one, Jeshua the Messiah.

In the Kingdom Age we shall find the Torah and/or this content of the Words of God written in the heart of HaShem’s people. The circumcision of the heart was always the deepest intention of the Torah. This can be deduced from the Shema itself, which concentrates on the obedience of the heart, and from many other texts, among them Deuteronomy 10:12-16:

Deu 10:12-16 OJB And now, Yisroel, what doth Hashem Eloheicha require of thee, but to fear Hashem Eloheicha, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve Hashem Eloheicha with all thy lev and with all thy nefesh, (13) To be shomer over the mitzvot Hashem, and His chukkot, which I command thee today for thy good? (14) Behold, the Shomayim and Shomei HaShomayim (the Highest Heaven) belongs to Hashem Eloheicha; Ha’Aretz also, with all that therein is. (15) Yet Hashem had a delight in Avoteicha to love them, and He chose their zera after them, even you above kol ha’amim, as it is yom hazeh. (16) Circumcise therefore the arlat (foreskin) of your lev, and be no more stiffnecked.

It will be realised when all Israel is brought back to HaShem and his Torah, and the full effects of Messiah’s sacrifice will be revealed.

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  8. Fog, brass and light for the eyes
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  10. Importance of Tikkun olam
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Filed under History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs

97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor scoring high on TikTok

Tik Tok a youngster gadget

We know already of Hadassah Tirosh who has amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok, where she proudly and openly shares about her Jewishness. She is not only Jewish, but also a Mexican Israeli trans content creator. whose early content, which begins in December of 2019 was posted under her previous name, David, who she remembers fondly and has taken the time to thank for helping her become the person she is today — she’s seen proudly wearing different colourful kippahs, her Star of David necklace and being generally proud and open about her Jewishness.

In 2021 Tik Tok is the seventh most used in the world, with the majority of its users being millennial and Gen Z. But it might be a very high surprise to find a 97-year old lady being a “hipster”.
Lily Ebert isn’t your typical 97-year-old. In June, after only joining the platform earlier this year, Ebert reached 1 million followers on Tik Tok and has now amassed over 1.2 million in total.
How?
Ebert is a Holocaust survivor and, together with her great-grandson Dov Forman who runs her account, is teaching the internet about her remarkable life and experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz and how she made a life for herself after liberation.

Lily Ebert from the camps

Lily Ebert

Lily Ebert, born in Bonyhád, Hungary on 29th December 1923

Originally from Hungary, Lily Ebert, the eldest of six children in a happy and loving family. When the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944, her family got to face the worst nightmare one can wish for.

Shortly after Germany invaded Hungary, Lily, her mother and her siblings were sent to the ghetto, and soon after were put on a train, crammed into dark and almost airless cattle wagons, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lily at the age of about 4 or 5 had received from her mother a small gold pendant. Even then it wasn’t very expensive or unique but young Lily was very pleased with her present and now in the camp she did not want it to be taken by the Nazis. The small pendant had gone hiding, safe inside the heel of her mother’s shoe. Lily and her mother wore the same size of shoe and as they arrived at the camp her mother asked Lily to swap shoes with her.

Although this happened over 70 years ago Lily can still remember her arrival at the camp. After the long and terrible journey, ‘everyone was half-dead’. They were ordered to climb out of the train and stand together five in a row. There was a man with a stick in his hand. It was Dr Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who became known as the Angel of Death for his brutal experiments on inmates, though at the time Lily didn’t know who he was. With one movement of his hand Dr Mengele sealed the fate of the people before him. He sent people right or left — to life or to death. When they had arrived, Lily and her two sisters Renee and Piri were sent in one direction, while her mother Nina, brother Bela and sister Berta were sent to the left, the way to the gas chambers and crematorium. Lily never saw them again.

Lily had put on her mother’s shoes and was ordered to take a shower, whereafter her hair was cut, and their remaining belongings were stolen. It was her only remaining possession and a reminder of her happy childhood. It was a link to her murdered mother and a symbol of defiance. The Nazis would not be allowed to steal it! The Nazis left them with only their shoes, not having any idea of what was hidden in the heel of Lily’s shoe, the tiny pendant Lily’s last link with her mother. When the shoes wore out, she placed the pendant in her daily ration of bread. After about four months in Auschwitz, the sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig. The pendant went with them.

March to liberation after a human and a viral war

When the Front started closing in on the area, they were forced to leave Leipzig and sent on a two-day march. After seeing and suffering unimaginable horrors, on the second day of the march, April 13, 1945, they were finally liberated by Allied forces.

Lily tried to rebuild her life. She wore the pendant every day in memory of her murdered family. Eventually, she married and had children. In 1953 she was reunited with Imre, one of her brothers, who had been imprisoned in a Nazi labour camp. In 1967 she came to London with her husband and three children.

Having become a proud grandmother she came to face another life-threatening struggle: COVID-19. In January, she struggled with a brutal bout of the virus, but true to her nature, she fought through. For her it was her second chance to be alive.  It was then that her great-grandson Dov Forman decided to share a photo of his great-grandmother to Twitter celebrating her miraculous recovery.

Dov Forman

My 97-Year-old Great Grandma, Lily Ebert BEM – Auschwitz Survivor, has just recovered from Covid- 19. Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery. A fighter and survivor

Image

The response was extraordinary; the photo has since been retweeted over 17,000 times and has received more than a quarter of a million likes, with people from all over the world responding to send their well-wishes and express their admiration for Lily’s strength and bravery.

Finding viral fame

On the back of this unexpected reaction, Dov set up a TikTok account for Lily. At first, their videos mainly consisted of Dov introducing his great-grandmother and encouraging people to follow the account in order to have her story reach as many people as possible. But once they started building up a following, people quickly began expressing an interest in the details of Lily’s extraordinary life.

Soon enough, the account became dedicated to answering followers’ questions about the Holocaust and Lily’s experiences of it, with questions ranging from asking what they ate in the camp, to what happened to babies that were born there, and what the sleeping conditions were like.

She also remembered some Hungarian poems and recites them on the application.

No human anymore, but just a number

Though it is not always easy to answer all the questions she gets, she finds it a necessary act:

“Of course it is hard but if I could survive it, I can talk about it. And for the future, to ensure that something similar [to the Holocaust] cannot happen again, I have to talk about it.”

Lily’s most viewed video, now with over 20 million views, shows her answering the question,

“How did it feel to get your number in Auschwitz?”

Revealing a faded tattoo on her left arm, Lily confidently tells her followers:

My number is A-10572. That is what I was, they did not call us by our name. We were no longer humans. We were only a number and we were treated like numbers.”

The video now has over 29,000 comments from people expressing their solidarity with Lily and gratitude for her honesty and strength.

Downsides of Tik Tok and Twitter, also platforms of hate talk

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive reactions and encouraging words of support, like all social media platforms, TikTok comes with its downsides, too. For Jewish creators on TikTok, the fun comes with a hefty dose of antisemitism.

It seems as if the kids on TikTok are churning out a new trend nearly every week. The never-ending scroll of the “For You Page” sends users on a twisting path of all sorts of niches and topics. The app truly has something for every interest, from sea shanty challenges to tortilla wrap hacks to — antisemitic caricatures?

In May, around the time when violence was escalating between Israel and Palestine, Ebert’s account received a slew of hateful antisemitic comments. In one particular instance, under a video of Lily simply wishing her followers “a lovely, peaceful weekend”, and by a repeated similar wish in Hungarian, her native language, she added “Shabbat Shalom,” despite the mundanity and kindness of this video, it quickly became the subject of a swarm of hateful comments. it went even so far that she was called to be responsible for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another said, “Happy Holocaust,” while another said,

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

Another response was

“Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]”

to one which asked if she believed the treatment of Palestinians reminded her of her treatment in the camps. All of this for a grandmother’s simple greeting. Sadly, this experience of antisemitic hate isn’t exactly unique.

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert's TikTok account was hit with antisemitic messages. (Campaign Against Antisemitism via JTA)Although these comments were clearly abhorrent, unjustified and unacceptable, like everything else Lily and Dov handled them with the utmost dignity. Posting to Twitter, Dov wrote:

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter… We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”

Hero Magnus, a university student and TikToker, explains how her Judaism-related content would often get slammed by offensive comments.

“The really vicious comments are usually from actual Nazis, and I just block and delete. When I was making a ton of Jewish content, I would get a couple of those on practically every video,”

she explains.

“I often also got casually mean stuff from Christians or culturally Christian atheists who wanted to tell me that Judaism is backwards, cultish or stupid.”

Additionally, Jews of Colour on TikTok experience vitriol both from outside the Jewish community and within.

Shekhiynah Larks, a Black Jewish TikTok creator, describes that, in fact, most of the antisemitism she experiences on the app comes from white Jews and Black non-Jews, not Neo-Nazis.

“When I do receive antisemitic comments, it’s more coded with anti-Blackness at the same time,”

Larks says.

“It’s more people posting ‘free Palestine’ on my page and asking me how I can be Black and a Jew, I’m being brainwashed by white Jews, and that I don’t care about Black people.”

She also notes that many white Jews comment on her videos asking her invasive questions that probe into her Jewish identity and conversion, showing they don’t really view her as Jewish enough.

Aviva Davis writes:

There are many white and white-passing Jews using their platforms to share information and educational resources about systemic racism and anti-Semitism and how one’s identities intersect and influence the way one is treated in society. This is great! Better yet, share resources created by Jews of Color (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Aviva Majerczyk remarks

While the invalidation of Jews of Color is rampant throughout the Jewish community in real life as well, on TikTok, these racist commenters may feel more empowered to voice their backwards views behind anonymous accounts.

Still going strong

Lily Ebert keeps going strong. She still wears the tiny gold pendant and shares its remarkable story with all those who have time to listen.

As part of their mission to teach people about the Holocaust and its devastating effects, Lily and Dov have now co-authored a book together called “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live.” to come out coming September.

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Trump-era spike in Israeli settlement growth has only begun

Donald Trump was the man who loved to have a say in everything and thought he was the best man to have the world in control.

Ex-President Donald Trump, who abandoned decades-long U.S. opposition to the settlements and proposed a Mideast plan that would have allowed Israel to keep them all — even those deep inside the West Bank, thought himself higher than God and wanted to be the man who made Jerusalem capital of Israel.

Although the Trump plan has been scrapped, the lasting legacy of construction will make it even harder to create a viable Palestinian state. President Joe Biden’s administration supports the two-state solution but has given no indication on how it plans to promote it.

> Please read more about it in:

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Joodse emigratie niet volgens de tijd van Nederlandse christenen

Nederland mocht het afgelopen jaar een kleine 25.000 Joden zien vertrekken naar Israël. Dat is natuurlijk wel een flink aantal, maar afgezet tegen de miljoenen Joodse mensen die nog buiten Israël verblijven, is het geen opzienbarend groot aantal. Toch willen de Nederlandse christenen dat alle Joden maar zo snel mogelijk naar Israël zullen verhuizen.

Het zal voor velen niet naar hun zin zijn om te horen dat lang niet alle Joden die gaan emigreren, als bestemming Israël kiezen. En er zijn ook Joodse mensen die Israël verlaten om ergens anders een nieuw thuis op te bouwen.

Niet alle Joden zien het als noodzaak om hun huidige ‘thuisland’ te ruilen voor het “thuisland Israël”. Het Zionisme is niet bij iedereen ingebakken in het bloed. Voor ouders met jonge kinderen is er ook het onaanvaardbare dat zij hun kinderen daar in het leger zouden moeten laten gaan (wegens de verplichte legerdienst die nu ook door de gelovigen moet volbracht worden). Wapendracht is totaal tegen de Wil van God en onverzoenbaar met ons geloof.

Wij merken wel dat er, vooral bij Nederlandse en Amerikaanse evangelische gelovigen de gedachte heerst dat alle Joden zullen moeten vergaderd zijn of bijeen moeten gekomen zijn vooraleer de Messias zou terugkeren. Men kan hierbij de vraag stellen

Uit welke tekst in de Bijbel valt op te maken dat alle Joodse mensen al thuis in Israël moeten zijn als de heer Jezus, de Messias, terugkeert naar deze aarde?

Het is wel gekend dat Jehovah God Zijn volk thuis zal brengen, in hun eigen land, en niet Jezus. Ook staat daar nergens een datum op geplakt. Zelfs betreft de dag van terugkeer van Jezus, wist zelfs hij zelf niets af, omdat zulke zaken alleen God gegeven zijn.

Wij denken in jaren en aantallen, God is het die dagen en jaren bepaalt, zelfs voor de terugkomst van Zijn eigen geliefde zoon.

Het is aan de Heer Jehovah om Zijn hand weer op te steken om het overblijfsel van Zijn volk terug te krijgen, en om een ​​banier voor de natiën op te richten, om de verdrevenen van Israël te verzamelen en de verstrooiden van Juda vanuit de vier hoeken van de wereld te verzamelen. Iedereen zal mogen te weten komen dat er een snelweg zal zijn voor het overblijfsel van God,  Zijn volk, dat zal blijven, vanuit vele windstreken, zoals er voor Israël was op de dag dat Israël uit het land Egypte kwam.

Jesaja 11:11-16 lijkt daar op te wijzen:

“11 Geschieden zal het te dien dage:

doorgaan zal mijn Heer met het opheffen van zijn hand om te verwerven het overblijfsel van zijn gemeente,- dat overblijft uit Asjoer en Egypte, uit Patros en Koesj, uit Elam, Sjinar en Chamat, en van de eilanden in de zee. 12 Opheffen zal hij een vaandel onder de volken en verzamelen Israëls verstotenen; Juda’s verstrooiden zal hij bijeenhalen van de vier vleugels van de aarde. 13 Wijken zal de naijver van Efraïm en wie Juda benauwen worden weggemaaid; Efraïm zal Juda niet meer benijden en Juda Efraïm niet benauwen. 14 Over de schouder van de Filistijnen zullen ze zeewaarts vliegen, samen zullen ze de zonen van het oosten buitmaken,- terwijl zij naar Edom en Moab hun hand uitstrekken en de zonen van Amon hen gehoorzamen. 15 Eens deed de ENE de tong van Egyptes zee in de ban, terwijl hij nu met zijn hand wenkt tegen de Rivier met de gloed van zijn geestesadem; uiteenslaan zal hij hem tot zeven beken en op schoenen zal men daardoorheen zijn weg gaan. 16 Wezen zal er een straatweg voor het overblijfsel van zijn gemeente dat zal overblijven uit Asjoer,- zoals er een was voor Israël op de dag dat hij opklom uit het land van Egypte.” (Jes 11:11-16 NB)

Het kan gerust zijn dat wij nog meer tekenen zullen gaan zien, dan diegene die wij nu al waar kunnen nemen. Er wordt namelijk ook over een banier gesproken die zal opgeheven worden onder de goyim of heidenvolken, zodat de verdrevenen van Israël en die vanuit Juda overal verspreid zijn, zullen worden teruggebracht van de vier hoeken van de aarde.
Laten we ons dus maar geen zorgen maken, de Elohim Hashem Jehovah zorgt er Zelf wel voor dat Zijn volk, op Zijn tijd, thuis zal komen.

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Antisemitische misdaden in 1919 met 13 procent gestegen in Duitsland

Uit een jaarverslag dat dinsdag door de Duitse minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Horst Seehofer en Holger Münch, de voorzitter van de Duitse federale recherchedienst (BKA), officieel wordt voorgesteld, blijkt volgens de zondagskrant Welt am Sonntag dat Antisemitische misdaden vorig jaar met 13 procent gestegen zijn in Duitsland.

In het jaarverslag over politiek geïnspireerde misdrijven staat onder andere dat er in 2019 zo’n 2.000 misdaden werden gepleegd jegens joden en joodse instellingen. Het jaar voordien waren er dat nog 1.799.

Meer algemeen stegen de politiek geïnspireerde misdaden in totaal met 14 procent naar ruim 41.000, tegenover 36.062 in 2018.

In ongeveer 22.000 gevallen werden de strafbare feiten toegeschreven aan daders uit rechtse hoek, terwijl in zo’n 10.000 van de gevallen sprake is van een linkse overtreder.

Vooral in de deelstaten Brandenburg en Thüringen was de toename met respectievelijk 52,5 en 40 procent opmerkelijk te noemen.

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Broken daily routines

How many of us take our daily routines for granted, not looking at everything we encounter and inspecting what we allow entering into our lives?

Today lots of people are facing a world they do not seem to cope with, them presenting more time for themselves, which for some might not be so easy to tackle. Being confronted with oneself is for many not the most pleasant thing. In the ‘previous world’ (some jokingly say BC = ‘Before Corona’), the world when there was no coronavirus, most people had their daily duties away from home, and now they seem stuck at home, many feeling prisoned in their own surroundings. Instead of just feeling free, having more time for themselves and their family.

Others who had already felt in isolation, because they belonged to people who had made their choice to be part of God’s World instead of being part of Man’s world, now seem to have become more isolated. Luckily this time in history they are not accused to be the cause of this disaster coming over man. In the past that has been different. In previous centuries it happened more than once that we, as the People of God, were targetted, as the ones bringing disasters on others. More than once it seemed the more we tried to do good, the more the enemy was and is coming against us.

This Passover we could not come together and as such many of us could have felt even more isolated than at other times. Though we can be pleased to hear most of our brethren and sisters took time again to thank the heavenly Father for His provision and continued their quest of looking for leaven in all their dwellings and in their minds.

We took at heart that the Father is telling the Bride to get rid of the leaven in our lives. If we are to be a bride without spot or wrinkle, then we should start learning how to identify the spots and wrinkles in our lives, for the purpose of getting rid of them.

In the days of our fathers in Egypt, through the plagues, the social system was so disrupted that they certainly experienced it. In this time of age many people do not see how disrupted our society is. Lots of people have become the slaves of this world and slaves of money and gadgets. They are blinded by the things of the world and have lost track of God.

We live widely in the four winds of the earth and the majority of people living in the industrialised world is not bounded by borders and every year take the time on several occasions to go abroad, some even very far away from home, to find pleasure and relaxation. Many even forgetting you can have that at home too. That is why we see so many in distress because they feel bound by lockdown, whilst now they should feel free from the worldly chains.

Until now, we could still choose to celebrate Pesach in the nations or in the land of Israel, but today we are tied to our local territory. The Elohim had asked to go into our inner chambers, and to close our doors after us; to hide for a little while until the wrath passes.  (Isaiah 26:20) This year as our forefathers did at several times in history, (the last time in Nazi-time) we could feel how it must have been, hiding, just being with a few, not able to feel that unity of a people chosen by God.

As in previous times this year we strongly could feel how The Adonai gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm. Once more we could feel the importance to always trust the Elohim Hashem Jehovah because He is forever our mighty Rock (Isaiah 26:3-4) this year, more than in other years we could fully set our minds on our Divine Creator. Now more than in other times we can feel how it is Him Who keeps us completely whole, steady on our feet, because we keep at it and don’t quit. Enough reason to call others also to believe in The One we do believe and to say

Depend on God and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing. (Isaiah 26:4-5)

Let us in this time of disease not be afraid of that disease to go out in the world, to help those in need. Let us be there for the elderly and sick, and help them by their shopping and by providing for the needs they might have.

Jehovah knew that there would come a time when we must remain in our place and He has provided that we can worship Him in Spirit and in Truth through the Spirit of Holiness that was poured out at the time. Let us also show others why they best come to our Bore, and come to see how Jesus is the way to our God, Who is the God above all gods.

Let us others know that they can trust God and should come to believe in the one He has sent. Jeshua out of the tribe of Judah has given himself as a ransom for mankind and taken over the Scepter and is confirmed as the Firstfruits. We have to let others know that because of Jeshua’s death and resurrection, those who have received faith have, become children of Israel according to the promise. We should show others how the time has come to accept that through his awesome work of redemption, the old has passed and the new has come  (Luke 5).

Let us then letting down doctrines that do not bring us as spiritual firstborns to our goal by those who are not spiritual firstborns. They are of no use to us, because the firstborn learns straight from his / her father and not from the other children in the household. We are banns and should listen to ‘our Man’ instead of people who do not know our Man (Jeremiah 31:9) The firstborn who chose Jehovah over the natural firstborn. Draw the line of the birthright according to the written Word.

Let us make God His Name known but also the name of His son who is the one who carries the Scepter. He is the one who teaches the teaching of the written Word by the outpoured Spirit of Holiness to those named after his name (Jeshuaists).

Even in lockdown we can continue to preach, having enough possibilities by internet and modern technology.

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Additional reading

  1. First time since Nazi-time no public gathering
  2. Importance of Tikkun olam

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Hosting a Virtual Seder During a Pandemic

Dear readers,

Hopefully, you are all in good health.

On April 02 there are 5,552 people registered in Belgium that are infected with the novel coronavirus who are receiving treatment in Belgian hospitals.
That there are only 1,143 deaths of the CoViD-19 virus at the moment is thanks to the exceptional precautions that the government has taken and which a large part of the population adheres to.

The coming week brings us, what in normal circumstances would be the busiest time for gatherings, in our effort to remember how God has liberated us, and to make sure that the younger generation would come aware how we always should remember how God Helps and Guides His People.

14 Nisan is normally the Day of The Memorial Meal.
This year that shall be different from all other years.

In Lockdown times, best not to meet too many people and to keep social distance, nowhere in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal shall there be an open public Memorial Meal or Pesach Seder.

While you might not be able to physically gather around the seder table this Passover, do not forget that you can come together online.

Check out our 10 tips for creating a meaningful and fun seder experience for your family and friends, near and far.

  1. Use the same Haggadah. 

    You could make and can use a Haggadah you could send out by e-mail beforehand and/or screen-share it with your guests, or encourage everyone to print their own copy.

  2. Designate an e-Moses.

    It can be very helpful to pick someone to lead the virtual seder. Make sure this person has experience successfully using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc..

    He can play Moshe and let us remember how Moshe ditched his desert aesthetic and returned to the Egyptian palace to deliver God’s message, with the help of his brother and hype man, Aaron.

    Telling the exodus story he may not forget to bring forth how Moshe spoke about God commands and how God clapped back at the Egyptians. Children perhaps can have drawings made of the pathway formed between the walls of water and the Israelites who made it to the other side without harm.

  3. Make a “seating and speaking chart.”

    This year there can best not swapped places. Best is to have everybody all night using the same place at the table, and if possible having enough distance between each household member.

    But this year we should also account for the virtual seated next speaker. Figure out ahead of time who is going to read what. Throughout the seder, text the person you’d be sitting next to.  Be careful when all speakers are on there shall be too much echo and everything could become too chaotic. Therefore, let everybody stay muted and follow an order of speaking plus having put up an arm or (funny) sign requesting to speak.

  4. Maintain that there are no excuses for why people can’t attend.A danger of such critical times as these, is that people come a bit lazy or like to avoid their religious obligations.
    Unless, you know, they don’t have internet and/or a device to connect to it. Anyone can be part of your Passover experience.
  5. Have a practice run.The organiser best has several contacts beforehand with those who would take care of the surprises.Also, send instructions for accessing your virtual platform of choice ahead of time so nobody holds up the seder by not knowing their Wi-Fi or other password.For those who do not have their computer enough secured and therefore had best their camera taped, they have to be encouraged to take the stickers or tape off their cameras.
  6. Eat and drink with measure spread over the long time of gatheringAs usual at a seder have the different courses interrupted by animated talks, readings from Scripture and prayers.
  7. Work with what you have.

    With all the panic shopping, it can be intimidating to venture out to get everything you need. That’s OK. Get what you can and improvise the rest.
    Our people have survived greater quandaries with a little ingenuity and determination.If you can’t get matzah, cut some cardboard into squares or large circles (you can even put dots on them with a marker for texture, but do not consume—this is purely decorative). Swap out sriracha for horseradish. Use literally anything green. Squish trail mix into a charoset-like paste.Use a regular plate as a stand-in for a seder plate. It’s the thought that counts.
  8. Bring a little Purim to Passover.

    Never forget to make the long evening pleasant enough or entertaining enough to the children. Remember this night should be a night of remembering and giving it further to the next generation.Nobody would be against making some good fun and nobody would object to have people being dressed up as Moses, Aaron, Miriam, etc.Got kids? Great, they can be the frogs. Or the lice. It depends how stressed they’re making you.
    Got teens? Do the whole seder using Snapchat filters, then do a TikTok dance break in the middle of the seder for added social media cred. But only if, like, you know the choreo.
  9. A night different from all other nightsAlso do not forget that 14 Nisan is ‘super special’.Laugh a little hysterically and cry only a tad when you get to the Four Questions and someone has to ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”
  10. A Liberation to celebrate

    Do your best, have fun and remember that though we are in isolation to protect ourselves, friends, families and fellow human beings everywhere, we are still free to be Jewish or Jeshuaist and celebrate our heritage and salvation by the Highest and Strongest!

Let us not forget to show our love to God by remembering what He has done and still does, and let us show our love to others by taking enough precautions to keep everybody safe and in good health. Even when we might be very isolated in our own cosy home, let us feel the union with brothers and sisters all over the world, and let our prayers be with them all.

Please pray:

I will seek to make this world a better place, for all people, today and tomorrow. To this, in their memory, I pledge myself. Ani ma’amin. Am Yisrael chai.

A Jewish community eating the symbolic Passover food during the Seder evening, the evening before the Passover festival (picture-alliance / dpa / Robert Fishman)

As you come to the end of the seder, remember that this uncertainty, while it already feels like 40 years of wandering in the desert, is temporary. The Israelites made it eventually. So will we.

Next year, in person!

For 2020:

Keep safe and well, having a lovely Passover seder.

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Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Love in the Time of Corona

Recrafting our World

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Reminders

  1. The unseen enemy
  2. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  3. Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries
  4. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  5. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  6. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  7. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  8. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  9. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Let’s Think About Redemption Differently
  12. At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification
  13. Zeman Chereisenu – the time of our freedom
  14. Ki Tisa – Torah Portion
  15. Egypt, Moshe and Those who never felt they belonged there
  16. In Every Generation: The Return of Anti-Semitism – Pesah Day 1, 5779
  17. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  18. Call to help others
  19. How should we worship God? #7 The Breaking of Bread
  20. How should we worship God? #8 Love one another

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Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

When looking at the recent heathen festival “Carnaval” it looks like for the majority of Belgians antisemitism isn’t always easy to see. Last year there were already anti-Jewish groups in the carnival parade and this year they multiplied like the Coronavirus, where not many spoke about.

Already for a few years now, we can see that in Belgium Anti-Semitism moved quietly through each of the lives of many Belgians — in a tweet, or a joke, or a conspiracy theory — seemingly not having just impact on those it directly touches. It impacts us all.

Strangely enough, it seems that a lot of Belgians do not seem to see or can not recognize anti-Semitic words, phrases, ideas, and caricatures for what they really are — hatred, bigotry, discrimination. I was not present at the carnival parade in Aalst, but what I could see on the Flemish television was something one could expect many years before World War II, but not after that horrible period. On one of the cars hung a pamphlet whit something which shocked me Só Much, that I did not write it down, for being able to repeat it here or to fill in a complaint against the hate message and the anti-Semitic words written on that car!

The call for Jews having to go to Israel and to hide behind the Wall can not be called Jewish-friendly. “Muur” (Wall) may be “Mier” (Ant) in the dialect from Aalst, but to present Jews as ants can only be called “a bit inappropriate”.

The major of Aalst and many people from Aals, saying one has to be able to laugh with and at people and circumstances, may call for questioning how far one may go with mockery with situations and with persons or religious groups.
Certainly, in these times of a horrific rise in anti-Semitism, politicians should point to the fact of such matters to their citizens and should try to bring them to their sense. Though, the major of Aalst always when he was given the word, seemed to put more oil on the fire by just to dismiss it as something that is not understood by many outside Aalst.

Together, we can identify and expose the hate that’s hiding between the lines. Those with any good feeling of ethics and decency should call for a reaction of  “Unia”, the centre “For equality, against discrimination”.

What is going on in this country should ring a bell for the democratic parties and should bring the European Union sound the alarm, calling the national government to take action.

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Preceding

The danger of having less than 25 000 Jews in Belgium

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Find also

  1. Haat tegen verarming en tegen Israël nieuwe manier om Joden te haten
  2. Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België
  3. Prinsesjes en carnavalstoestanden #1 Aalst Carnaval 2019

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Relating

  1. The fight against anti-Semitism is also a fight for a democratic, value-based Europe
  2. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  3. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  4. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking

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