Home News International Your daily spiel for Tuesday, Aug. 23

Your daily spiel for Tuesday, Aug. 23


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Paying respects to a saviour. Leslie Meisels, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor residing in Thornhill, felt a “great, great sadness” after the passing last month of the U.S. soldier who helped liberate him and 2,500 other Jews from the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The soldier, Lt. Frank Winchester Towers, didn’t just save them, though – he “nourished” them back to human beings, says Meisels. May his memory be a blessing.

Eva and Leslie Meisels in their Thornhill home. Leslie was one of 2,500 Jewish prisoners on a train bound for Theresienstadt who were saved by U.S. soldiers in 1945. [JODIE SHUPAC PHOTO]
Eva and Leslie Meisels in their Thornhill home. Leslie was one of 2,500 Jewish prisoners on a train bound for Theresienstadt who were saved by U.S. soldiers in 1945.
Paying respects to a stranger. A funeral service for an 83-year-old Jewish woman by the name of Francine Stein was set to be held without any mourners or well-wishers, save for a rabbi, so the rabbi’s daughter put out a call on Facebook to anyone who’d like to attend. Some thirty strangers ended up arriving, serving as her pallbearers and even helping to bury her. In Judaism, helping to bury someone who has passed is a beautiful mitzvah as it’s something the person could never be able to do for you in return. When you’re a stranger, I could only imagine it’s even more of a mitzvah to perform such an act of selflessness.

Olympic mensch. Israeli judoka Yarden Gerbi, who won the bronze medal for Women’s Judo at the Rio Olympics this summer, is auctioning off her Olympic identification card on eBay for pediatric cancer.  Gerbi says the money will be used to buy medical equipment for Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv. After visiting the children there, Gerbi said she was honoured to meet the “real heroes who are fighting every single day to maintain their joy of life.”

“I don’t know how much money I’ll be able to raise, but any amount will help, even if it’s not much,” she added. The current bid stands at $13,000 (U.S.)

Robots in disguise uniform. The Israel Defence Forces has unveiled its first combat robot, and plans on training its soldiers to operate a fleet of such machines. The robot will have cameras for both night and day, will be able to travel at 3.5 kilometres per hour, and carry cargo up to ten kilograms. Most importantly, the robot will reduce the risk posed to Israeli soldiers by “allowing friendly forces on the ground to know what is waiting around the corner and even further,” according to the IDF’s Maj. Ehud.

“It operates alongside fighters and is capable of moving with them in the field, recording images day and night, listening, and provides important reconnaissance abilities in urban warfare,” Ehud said. “This is not a cheap tool, as it costs tens of thousands of dollars, because of the advanced technology.”

No burkini ban in Canada. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau shared his opposition to the ‘burkini ban’ being implemented in various cities across France, saying, “In Canada, can we speak of acceptance, openness, friendship, understanding? It is about where we are going and what we are going through every day in our diverse and rich communities.” Some communities in Quebec have supported the ban, which Trudeau said does not coincide with “the respect of individual rights and choices.”

Khan definitely has his work cut out for him. London’s Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan was reportedly inundated with insults from Jeremy Corbyn supporters after Khan openly supported his rival Owen Smith for leader of the Labour party. Many of the insults were anti-Semitic (Khan has openly denounced the anti-Semitism that exists within Labour) saying his open letter was an appeasement to his “masters in Tel Aviv” and other gibberish. Seems like these guys are the U.K.’s version of Trump supporters, eh?

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