Sunday, December 19, 2010

  • Sunday, December 19, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
From JPost:
The most breathtaking panoramic view of the Old City opens up from the balcony of the Aish HaTorah yeshiva. The building is located almost at the foot of the Western Wall Plaza, which makes it a perfect location for viewing the holy city.

But 15 students, who are sitting right next to the big panoramic window, are not paying any attention to the view. They have completely lost themselves in study, listening carefully to the rabbi’s explanations, holding Gemaras in front of them.

The rabbi speaks in English, the common language among all the students, who make an incredible mix of cultures and origins.

One of the students, a smiling young man with a small beard and a black kippa, is totally focused on the lesson. It’s not the first time that he has confronted a complicated religious text: He did so many times back at school. Only back then the texts were Koranic verses in Arabic, and the school was in Kuwait.

Mark Halawa, 33, who now calls himself Mordechai, was born in Kuwait and grew up as a Muslim in a nonobservant family.

So how does a guy who grew up in Kuwait end up in a Jerusalem yeshiva? As a matter of fact, Halawa’s Jewish adventure began in Canada, where he traveled alone to attend university in London, Ontario. His family had wanted him to study nearby, but after a brief stint at a university in Syria, Halawa decided that the environment there did not suit him, and he made the move to Canada in 1998. There, he studied psychology and industrial organization, only realizing he was Jewish toward the end of his time there.

“There was a rabbi at my university, a professor of philosophy. I just felt I wanted to approach him and talk to him,” he says. “Although there is a lot of prejudice against Jews in Kuwait, I never felt that I hated them.

“I told the rabbi about myself and where I come from. Since my early childhood I have known that my grandmother on my maternal side used to pray in Hebrew. Her last name was Mizrahi. He asked me who my father was. I answered that he was a Muslim.

“So you are a Muslim, if your father is a Muslim, I thought to myself. And then he said, ‘Since your Mom is Jewish, you are Jewish.’ I was astonished at his words.”

After some searching and questioning he confirmed that his grandmother was in fact a Jew who married a young Jordanian soldier back in 1946, ran off to Nablus with him and converted to Islam.

Later the family emigrated to Kuwait, where employment opportunities were vast. The Jewish past of the grandmother was never publicly discussed.
Read the whole thing.

The funny thing is I found this story on the Arabic Firas Press site.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

follow me

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Hasbys!

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive