7 Children Killed in NYC Fire Buried in Jerusalem



This weekend, we were horrified to hear of a house fire in New York City that claimed the lives of seven children. The Times of Israel reports that the youngsters’ bodies were flown to Jerusalem for burial today, and that their grieving father remembered them as “beautiful lilies”:

Seven Jewish siblings who were killed in a devastating New York house fire over the weekend were laid to rest Monday after their bodies were flown to Israel for burial.

Hundreds of mourners, including the chief rabbi of Israel, attended the emotional service, which was repeatedly interrupted by anguished cries.

“Why seven? Is one not enough? Seven beautiful lilies,” their father, Gabriel Sassoon, cried out during a eulogy. “So pure. So pure.”

Sassoon — who lost seven of his eight children in the deadly blaze — said the kids were “innocent lambs.”

Quoting a verse from the Song of Songs 6:2, “My beloved has gone down to his garden, to the beds of spices, to browse in the gardens and to gather lilies,” Sassoon said: “God plucked seven lilies.”

“To you God I give everything. My soul. Everything. This is my feeling,” he added.

David Lau, Israel’s chief rabbi for Ashkenazi Jews, described the fire as an unspeakable tragedy and urged the family to remain strong. “Each one is a flower in God’s garden,” he said.

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Monday, March 23rd, 2015 at 3:33 PM  | Stand For Israel

Photo Friday: The Mysteries of God

(Photo: flickr/spindexr)

(Photo: flickr/spindexr)

Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
    Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job 11:7)

A lunar eclipse occurs over the wall of the Old City. Please pray to our Almighty for peace in Jerusalem, in Israel, and for all the world. Shabbat shalom, friends.

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Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 2:01 PM  | Stand For Israel

Standing Up to Intimidation

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

This week, amidst the East Jerusalem riots centered around the Temple Mount, a Jerusalem resident affiliated with the Islamic Jihad terrorist group tried to assassinate Rabbi Yehudah Glick in a horrific act of violence, singling out Glick for his religious and political beliefs and escalating the situation further. The Jerusalem Post writes that when violence is used to terrorize and bully a group into abdicating basic human rights, it becomes a threat to the foundations of democracy:

What makes this crime all the more tragic was the fact that Glick, who is a vocal activist for the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, is also a strong defender of Muslims’ right to freedom of religious expression on what they call Haram a-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary. Unlike some proponents of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount who call to destroy Muslim houses of prayer and replace them with a rebuilt Jewish Temple, Glick advocates joint Jewish-Muslim prayers on the site that is so sacred to both religions. …

The socioeconomic plight of Jerusalem’s Arabs is sometimes cited as the cause of violence, as is the “incitement” of Jews such as Glick who dare to demand to visit the Temple Mount, the holiest place on the earth for Jewish believers.

We must disabuse ourselves of the idea that innocuous acts such as Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount are the trigger for Muslim rioting, stone-throwing, destruction and murder. Rather the Arabs who commit these offenses choose to lash out against Jews in order to intimidate them into ceding their rights. And this violent behavior does nothing to improve the socioeconomic situation of Jerusalem’s Arabs, it only deepens the rift between Jews and Arabs.

Permitting Jews – or members of any other religion for that matter – to visit the Temple Mount and even pray there should be a religious freedom that is carefully protected by a democracy. Many brave men and women have given their lives for this freedom and others, which we often take for granted. Caving in to the demands of militant Muslims out of a desire…

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Friday, October 31st, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand For Israel

Fatah Calls for “Day of Rage” in Jerusalem on Friday

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

In today’s Daily Dispatch, we noted that Mahmoud Abbas declared that the closing of the Temple Mount – due to heavy Palestinian rioting in Jerusalem – was a “declaration of war.” Now The Times of Israel reports that Abbas’ Fatah party has called for a “day of rage” on Friday:

Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “day of rage” Friday in the defense of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, after Israel closed the site Thursday amid continuing East Jerusalem riots and after the attempted assassination of a right-wing activist.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported the call to action on Thursday.

“Fatah calls to its fighters and to the masses of the Palestinian people to aid the Al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied Jerusalem,” Fatah said in an announcement that was translated into English by Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch.

Israel has since announced it would reopen the site for Friday prayers.

WAFA also reported that the Fatah Mobilization and Organization Commission had “called to set tomorrow as a day of rage throughout the homeland and in countries which are home to refugees, to express the Palestinian people’s opposition to any attack on the holy places and foremost among them the Al-Aqsa Mosque… And to consider desecration of Al-Aqsa as a declaration of a religious war against the Palestinian people and the Arab Islamic nations.”

The declaration came after Israeli police closed the compound early Thursday out of fear of clashes in the wake of the shooting the night before of Yehudah Glick, a right-wing activist who campaigns for Jewish access to the site, and as Israeli right-wing groups vowed to march on the Temple Mount.

Glick was left in serious but stable condition at Shaare Zedek Medical Center after being shot by an assailant on a motorcycle Wednesday night as he left a conference entitled “Israel returns to the…

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Thursday, October 30th, 2014 at 2:21 PM  | Stand For Israel

Sharp Rise in Jerusalem Attacks

(Photo: Noam Mosko/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Noam Mosko/ASHERNET)

Ever since Operation Protective Edge, the Holy City has seen a sharp increase in terrorist incidents, culminating in last week’s hit-and-run attack that left an infant and a young woman dead and injured several more. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has outlined the rising violence occurring in Israel’s capital:

“Even before Operation Protective Edge, the state of affairs in Jerusalem as regards riots, rock throwing and enforcement was shoddy. We were talking about 200 events of rock throwing [per month]. Even before Protective Edge, we held a discussion about the changes needed to bring back the rule of law in Jerusalem…

“Protective Edge began – and we jumped from 200 events to 5,000 events. Throwing rocks on cars is life-threatening, as is throwing firebombs at the homes of Jews who live in Arab neighborhoods. There is a huge mass of disturbances. The Jerusalem police fanned out with its available forces as defense. It defends Jewish homes and the seam line, and we all realize this cannot continue.”

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Monday, October 27th, 2014 at 10:59 AM  | Stand for Israel

Jerusalem: The Undivided Capital of Israel

(Photo: flickr/ agroffman)

(Photo: flickr/ agroffman)

Smiles and warm handshakes exchanged by Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu at their White House meeting yesterday quickly turned into jibes and snarky rebukes which have been the hallmark of the often hostile relationship shared by the two leaders, whose mutual dislike for each other is fortunately overcome by the bond of the two nations they lead.

The squabble which overshadowed the warm White House reception enjoyed by the Israeli premiere erupted when reports of a Jerusalem Municipality decision to approve construction of 2,500 apartment units in East Jerusalem was publicized by leftist NGO Peace Now, just hours before Obama and Netanyahu met in Washington. Shortly after the meeting, the White House issued some of its harshest condemnation towards Israel to date, warning that construction of these units would distance the Jewish state from its “closest allies” and declaring that Israel’s decision to build in East Jerusalem is “poisoning the atmosphere” with our supposed “peace partner,” the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu and mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat defended the building approval by stating that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital and no construction freeze will be imposed based on race or religion. In fact, a third of the residential units in the new plans are intended to be used for Arab housing. Considering that Arabs make up roughly one third of Jerusalem’s residents, this new project equally benefits both Jews and Arabs living in an overcrowded metropolis in desperate need of new housing to meet the growing demands of its residents.

In general, Arab residents of Jerusalem enjoy far greater freedom to live anywhere in the city than their Jewish neighbors. Just this week, Jewish residents moved into legally purchased apartments in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood, on the eastern side of the Western Wall, a mere five-minute walk from Judaism’s holiest site. Upon moving into their newly purchased apartments, the Jewish residents were greeted by their new Arab neighbors with a bombardment of stones and Molotov cocktails. Riot police had to be called in to calm the situation….

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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Watch: Rioters Attack Jerusalem Day Care Center on Mount of Olives

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

While the rocket attacks on Israel have ceased – for now – the Jewish state and its people are still experiencing many violent attacks. Arutz Sheva provides a disturbing video showing Arab rioters throwing rocks at Jewish children on the Mount of Olives:

Arab rioters hurling rocks, fireworks and molotov cocktails at a Jewish infant day care center on Ma’ale Hazeitim, the Jewish neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, were caught on film on Tuesday in further testimony to the ongoing “silent intifada” in the capital.

The video, which was posted by Jerusalem Council Arieh King to his Facebook on Tuesday, shows four Arab criminals throwing various of projectiles with impunity for many long minutes from a protected nook on one of the rooftops, forcing infants to be rushed inside to bomb shelters.

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 10:57 AM  | Stand for Israel

Is a Third Intifada in the Making?

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

Throughout the summer, our attention was on Operation Protective Edge, while now the threat of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is dominating headlines. But Israel Hayom’s Nadav Shragai reports that recent violence and rioting in Jerusalem suggest the beginning of an organized third intifada:

For weeks now, 740 Palestinians arrested during recent rioting in east Jerusalem have been under interrogation. These rioters have been gradually laying the groundwork for the third intifada in the capital. Whoever thought that the disturbances were spontaneous expressions of rage will certainly be surprised to learn that these riots are really an uprising that has the hallmarks and fingerprints of an organization …

So far, the violence has been limited to light arms — stones, rocks, and fireworks. Nonetheless, it’s a very fine line between the use of these weapons and the use of firearms and explosives, particularly in the neighborhoods and villages of east Jerusalem. There are some in the eastern half of the capital who have already crossed that line, particularly in the Shuafat refugee camp.

In each of the villages of east Jerusalem, there is at least one dominant player on the ground. In A-Tor, it’s Fatah. In Issawiya‎, it’s the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In Jabal Mukaber, it’s Hamas. In the Shuafat refugee camp, both Fatah and Hamas are in charge …

It was a group of Palestinians that ambushed the Cohen family as they made their way to the Western Wall last Friday. It was also a group that set fire to a gas station in the French Hill section of the capital in addition to hundreds of other instances.

The villages and neighborhoods are believed to coordinate their actions by using Facebook, fliers, and messengers to communicate the date, time, and location of gatherings and action plans. During their interrogations, some of the rioters said that there is another layer of leadership beyond…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand for Israel

Family Attacked on Way to Western Wall

While rocket-fire and terror attacks from Gaza have quieted for now, violence in Jerusalem continues to occur. Yediot Achronot reports that on Thursday evening, a Jewish family traveling to the Western Wall to attend an IDF ceremony was attacked by rioters:

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF)

(Photo: Flickr/ IDF

A family from Ramat Gan narrowly escaped a lynch attempt on Thursday evening when they made a wrong turn and entered the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, where rioters threw a volley of rocks and bricks at the vehicle they were travelling in.

The family had been on their way to a swearing-in ceremony of the Golani Brigade at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Fortunately, the father was the only one to sustain injuries, which were minor. This past week, riots have been taking place in the Arab neighborhood after residents heard that a local youth had died of wounds suffered in a clash with Israeli police last week.

“I’m still in shock from the experience we just had, we were almost lynched,” Eti, the mother of the Cohen family said in tears on Friday, speaking with Ynet.

“We were miraculously saved. I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was cry hysterically, not believing that we’re home and that we’re fine. I saw the pictures and couldn’t believe we were there and that it happened to us,” she added.

We are thankful for God’s protection over this family, and pray for His peace over Jerusalem, the rest of Israel, and the world.

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Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 2:41 PM  | Stand for Israel

Terror Attack in Jerusalem Leaves One Dead


(Photo: Youtube)

(Photo: Youtube)

Earlier today, a terrorist went on a rampage with a tractor in central Jerusalem, overturning a bus:

The terrorist hit a pedestrian, a bus and a car before being shot dead by police. Images from the scene showed an overturned bus, and the the terrorist dead in the cabin of the digger.

Magen David Adom rescue service said that they received a report at around 1:35 pm that a tractor had apparently hit a pedestrian and then an empty bus. Its emergency personnel had treated a 25-year-old man and the 45-year-old bus driver at the scene, the service said.

Motti, an eye witness, said “I went outside and suddenly heard a large boom, and saw a bus upside down, and then heard two or three gunshots and someone jumping on the driver, so we understood they had killed him. We thought someone had blown something up, so we left the area. There was chaos.”

We have also received news of an IDF soldier being shot in Jerusalem, at the entrance to the Mount Scopus tunnel. We pray for the recovery of this young man, as well as those injured in the terror attack on the bus, and pray for God’s peace over Jerusalem and all of Israel.




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Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 10:05 AM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
We Must Take Sides

Seventy years has passed since the Holocaust, one of the darkest periods in history. However, the evil of anti-Semitism lives on. As Israel observes Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), let us continue to pray for the chains of hatred to be loosened and for the oppressed to be freed…

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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