January 2, 2022 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm #2047581HistorianParticipant
Free translation from Memri in Hebrew, Apr 11 ’05.
An Iraqi journalist on the resonance of blood libels in the Arab world
Iraqi liberal journalist Khaled al-Qashtini, a columnist for the Arabic-language London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, wrote (on April 5, 2005) a childhood memoir of an encounter with an elderly Jew in Iraq.
As a child, al-Qashtini heard the stories of the J… [supppsedly] slaughtering children to use their blood on their holidays, so the encounter with the Jew left a strong impression on him.  The following is a translation of parts of his article:
“Anti-Semitism was widespread in Europe and almost non-existent in the Islamic world, until Zionism appeared of course … One of its manifestations was the belief that the Jews [supppsedly] kidnap and [supposedly] murder a [non-Jewish] child on holidays to use his blood in their ceremonies. Ten Muslim boy disappeared in Damascus and rumor has it that the Jews kidnapped him for these purposes. As a result, people did something one should not do and attacked the Jewish neighborhoods until the investigation revealed that one of the European missionaries was the one who spread the rumor. At the time, when we were children, traces [of this libel] continued to be heard in us and bought a grip among us even though it was discovered to be fake.
As a child, I loved wandering Al-Rashid Street and its Christian and Jewish neighborhoods. [One day] I walked to a nerd market in the Jewish neighborhood. Suddenly one of the houses opened in front of me and an old man with graying hair and a long white beard came out of it … If I were the director of a film about Zechariah…or about Noah I would not find a better character to play.
He raised his hand towards me and hinted with his fingers that I would approach him. Anxiety took over me, but I could not struggle with the magic at his fingertips that drew me to him like a magnet. He opened the door and ordered me to enter. I could only obey and he placed me in his hand. I started asking myself is this my end? I wish I had not entered! Why should I not run away and run to my family?
He asked me my name and I answered him [Khaled]. He said: How wonderful, [like the name of the Muslim commander] Khaled bin al-Walid. And where do you live? And how old are you? I said to myself: he asks me for my age to be sure my blood will actually fit. He put his hand on my head and asked, ‘Khaled my child, do you know how to light a fire?’ Another wave of terror gripped me. Will he cook me on the fire? He said: ‘Show me how you light the fire in the oven. I took a match and with a trembling hand turned on the stove.
This man of the Torah, Talmud and Mishnah, kissed me on the head and led me to a room where there was an ancient closet. He opened one of the drawers and took out a handful of chocolate and filled my pockets with it. He led me to the door when I was completely amazed, opened the door and said goodbye to me as he wished me a long life and a blessing and added: ‘Greet Dad.’
I came out stunned and hurried home like someone waking up from a strange dream. I told my stories to my father and brothers and they laughed at me and said, ‘This is Saturday. Jews are not allowed to light fires on Shabbat. The poor old man was thirsty for a cup of tea. ‘
We divided the chocolate between us and I spent the rest of the week counting the days watching Saturday and then the Saturday after and the one after that. Every Saturday I went to the same alley watching an old man with graying hair who might open the door and light a fire for him and then he would fill my pockets with chocolate. However, the door did not open again and these ancient faces from the Torah period did not appear. Recently it occurred to me to knock on the door and ask: ‘Dudi Abu Sasson, do you need someone to light a fire for you?’ ”
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, 5.4.2005January 3, 2022 12:25 am at 12:25 am #2047599yungermanSParticipant
Klal yisroel will always be hated by ALL the nations of the world and always try to destroy us. Like we say on Pesach night at the Seder in vhi sheamda…. All the way until the time of us waking up for serious Teshuva and Achdus to return to Hashem together and beg for the coming of Mashiach.
Lets do it now after so many generations already trying to destroy us what are we all waiting for? Do YOU think Hashem is not ready to bring us the complete geula with Mashiach coming if we just show Hashem our part of Teshuva and yearning for Mashiach?January 3, 2022 2:16 am at 2:16 am #2047622HistorianParticipant
Not all… And there are levels…and then there are also Chadidei Umos haOlam.January 3, 2022 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm #2047729KuvultParticipant
It must be tough going through life thinking everyone hates you. I know if I had nothing against people and they kept believing I hated them that would cause me to not like them as in a self-fulling prophecy.
I and my family have many non-Jewish friends.
My mother taught me to act like a Mensch and treat everyone like a Mensch. Try it, you may just be pleasantly surprised.January 3, 2022 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #2047844ParticipantParticipant
what’s a nerd market?January 3, 2022 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #2047883Shalom-al-IsraelParticipant
Kuvukt. The same here.January 3, 2022 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm #2047896Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Also, this story tells you about long-term ramifications of a minor act. This old Yid’s chocolates and brachot reverberate half-century later. Imagie if he would just called the boy, said “nu”, and then sent him away with a quick nod?January 3, 2022 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #2047895Always_Ask_QuestionsParticipant
Kuvult > treat everyone like a Mensch.
HaGaon Henrich Heine gives a practical advice – try everyone once, just make sure that if someone breaks your trust, make sure you don’t give hi a second chance (this is what we call now “abuse”). you will have some losses, but you can live carefree with some minor losses.January 5, 2022 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #2048467Shalom-al-IsraelParticipant
Also, this story tells you about long-term ramifications of a minor act. This old Yid’s chocolates and brachot reverberate half-century later. Imagie if he would just called the boy, said “nu”, and then sent him away with a quick nod?
שלח לחמך על פני המים…January 6, 2022 7:52 am at 7:52 am #2048635tunaisafishParticipant
Can someone explain to a newie like me how you do that blue font
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