Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Jews evading Passover mitzvah are risking supernatural punishment, warns Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
The annual attempts to resume the Passover sacrifice received a first significant rabbinical backing recently. Safed's Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, a prominent religious Zionism leader, has called on the public to perform the sacrifice mitzvah on the eve of the Jewish holiday, in about two weeks.
Speaking during a Halacha lesson in Jerusalem last week, the rabbi warned that Jews evading the mitzvah were risking "Kareth" - a supernatural punishment for transgressing Jewish Law.
According to Rabbi Eliyahu, there is a halachic, legal and public possibility to offer a Passover sacrifice these days. During the lesson, he quoted senior rabbinical authorities, adding that Rabbi Zvi Hirsch Kalisher – one of the founders of modern and religious Zionism – had asked the Turkish sultan to allot an area on the Temple Mount for the erection of an altar for a Passover sacrifice.
The Safed rabbi went on to say that the Passover sacrifice could be slaughtered in front of the Dome of the Rock plaza, although the Temple no longer exists and the people of Israel are defined as "tameh met" (in a status of impurity which comes from contact with a dead body).
In order to overcome the greatest obstacle, beyond the political problem, an altar must be erected, the rabbi said. He also called for the preparation of "priesthood clothes", which are the only ones in which Kohanim (priests) can perform their work at the Temple.
Addressing the legal aspect, Rabbi Eliyahu claimed that every person has the right to perform the commandment of his religion according to his own understanding. He added that petitions filed with the High Court of Justice against the sacrifice were accepted only because the police were unprepared to secure the ceremony.
"It's perfectly clear that if the public pressures its representatives in the government or in the Knesset, everything will change. If the judges have ruled that the police must secure simpler protests, why not the Passover sacrifice?"
Eliyahu rejected the claim that it was impossible to resume the mitzvah publicly. Addressing the international diplomatic ramifications, he said, "We are being threatened that any movement on our part on the Temple Mount will launch the third world war… (But) we can free our souls of the horror of the gentiles, just like we freed ourselves before the Exodus."
He rejected the internal opposition too. "Some fear the public echo of the Passover sacrifice – how will the seculars view it? What will the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals say? The truth is that this should not even be discussed…
"We have already been scorned for the circumcision mitzvah, persecuted and condemned to death for that. Today the UN's health organization recommends that all men undergo circumcision in order to avoid illnesses."
Rabbi Eliyahu said the Torah had predicted that some would mock the sacrifice mitzvah. Such a person, he noted, is called in the Passover Haggadah, the "wicked son", who cleans his hands and says, "This doesn’t belong to me, this blood and primitiveness. I am an enlightened person. I respect animals. I don't slaughter them barbarically."
The rabbi estimated, based on the Bible stories, that those who oppose this mitzvah would eventually change their mind and join the Temple work.
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Silver climbed to its most expensive level versus gold since 1983 as rising inflation spurred by commodity shortages, economic recovery and turmoil in the Middle East bolstered demand.
An ounce of gold bought 37.15 ounces of silver at 2:32 p.m. inSingapore, compared with an average of 62 in the past 10 years. Silver for immediate delivery has more than doubled in the past year while gold gained 27 percent, cutting the ratio from a high of 70 in June.
“Silver has yet to hit a record which means the ratio will decline further” to levels unseen since 1980, when the billionaire Hunt brothers hoarded the metal, said Hwang Il Doo, Seoul-based senior trader with KEB Futures Co. “Investor and industrial demand is strong as the economic recovery is under way and inflation becomes a worry.”
The jobless rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to a two- year low in March. The European Central Bank may boost interest ratesthis week to damp inflation that is likely to exceed its target through 2011 as the regional economy strengthens.
A United Nations index of world food prices jumped to a record in February, contributing to riots across northern Africa and the Middle East that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. Corn prices traded near a 33-month high today, while crude oil inNew York hovered near the highest level since September 2008.
Silver for immediate delivery gained as much as 0.6 percent to $38.7875 an ounce, the highest since 1980, and traded at $38.6575 an ounce in Singapore. The cash metal reached a record $49.45 an ounce in January 1980. Gold advanced 0.2 percent to $1,436.97 an ounce.
Silver is the second-best performer in the UBS Bloomberg CMCI commodity index in the past year. Holdings in exchange- traded products backed by the metal climbed for a second day on April 4, rising 22.9 metric tons to 15,395.52 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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(Reuters) - Portugal's main banks have threatened to stop buying government debt, urging the caretaker cabinet to seek a short-term loan to tide it over a pre-election limbo that prompted another credit rating downgrade on Tuesday.
Bankers said the country urgently needs a bridge loan of up to 15 billion euros (12 billion pounds) to secure financing until a June 5 snap general election.
The chief executive of Portugal's second-largest bank, Ricardo Espirito Santo Salgado, told TVI television banks could not continue lending to the state under current conditions.
"It is urgent to request it (a loan), it is serious if it is not done because it is necessary to neutralise the effect of the rapid rise in interest rates, to calm markets and calm down the Portuguese who are facing elections," the CEO said late Tuesday.
"We are in a situation in which banks are being damaged; naturally they cannot give more credit to public companies and the state under current conditions," he said.
"Due to the worsening of (credit) ratings, banks have to review their situation."
Earlier, financial sources told Reuters the heads of the country's leading banks met Bank of Portugal Governor Carlos Costa on Monday to convey their message.
A bond-buying strike by Portugal's major domestic buyers could shut it out of financing from the markets, pushing it to seek a bailout like Greece and Ireland.
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(NewsCore) - STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said late Monday that he expects to see a very high rate of foreclosure starts in 2011.
"We hope to see this decline by next year," he said in a speech delivered in Georgia.
Bernanke added that foreclosures are negative at a macroeconomic level for the United States.
"The most important transmission mechanism is that, so long as foreclosure are creating an ongoing supply of housing vacancies, we will be seeing continued softness in house prices," he said.
This in turn affects household wealth, consumer confidence, consumer liquidity and the rate of new construction, he added.
"The high rate of foreclosures is obviously a serious problem and one of the reasons why our recovery is not as strong as we would like it to be," he said.
Bernanke was speaking at a dinner opening a financial markets conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
The two-day conference starting Tuesday, entitled "Navigating the New Financial Landscape," gathers economists and policy-makers from around the globe at the Stone Mountain Park close to Atlanta, according to the Wall Street Journal.
NY MONEY AUTHORITY
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