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How Jewish souls survive the grave: Rabbi Aaron Parry (z't'l) transitions days before coincidental Torah portion

Sibling Rabbis, Aaron (r) and Moshe (l) Parry read from the Torah at a holiday prayer service

Orthodox Rabbi Aaron Parry, was raised secular as Tony. Just two weeks ago, he celebrated his 66th birthday while visiting America. For decades, h
e had taught Torah students in Los Angeles schools and conversion classes. Aaron managed  classes for respected Rabbi Zvi Block to educate converts in orthodox philosophy and lifestyles.

Aaron and his late wife, Mindy, raised nine children. He followed his older brother, Moshe, to Israel to study in  yeshivas where they both earned rabbinic ordination. They learned about practices of Jewish living and dying - both  intellectually and through the loss of each of their parents, who died 7 years apart. A few years later, Mindy developed a fatal cancer - which acquainted all her family members with Jewish practices in death, mourning, and grieving

Aaron, aspiring to better understand life and the journey of the soul, relocated to the spiritual Israeli city of Tsfat (also spelled as Safed) a known center for mysticism and Kabbalah. 
Meeting Liora, he found a new marriage-partner.

On a visit back to Los Angeles in 2022, Rabbi Parry spoke with us about a number of topics. In this video, he addresses Judaism's ideas of the soul - in life and death.

Rabbi Aaron explains that according to Jewish teachings, the soul is composed of three components: the nefesh, ruach, and neshama. Although the body remains in the ground, the nefesh, which represents the more spiritual aspect of the soul, has a connection to its remains and may revisit the grave for solace.


Rabbi Aaron emphasizes the importance of identifying the soul with its Hebrew heritage, as it is not an English, French, or Spanish soul- but a Hebrew soul. He also mentions that the soul does not have physical eyes but possesses a knowing and understanding that transcends sight. The soul is aware of the presence and words spoken at the gravesite, so showing respect is crucial. This concept is discussed in the Talmud. 

Rabbi Aaron Parry teaches on JooTube from L.A.'s Carlebach Minyan, as Rabbi Moshe davens

Mentor, Rabbi Zvi Block consoles
Moshe Parry on the passing of
 of brother, Aaron ben Avraham
Shmuel ha Levi
Rabbi Aaron returned to the US for several weeks in June. While travelling among his children and grandchildren in New Jersey to Monsey, New York yesterday, he suffered a fatal coronary incident. Just as in this week's torah portion, Parshat Chukat, Aaron accomplished much educating and continuing the Jewish people, but was cut short before reaching the Promised Land. So, too, will his brother, Moshe, continue their mission to reach our Holy Land in preparation for the final redemption. 

own soul will assume the journey and transitions he described in the video. May his mourners be comforted by example, his contributions to Jewish continuity, and his signature words to others: Be happy, be healthy, and holy!

L.A. Muslim commencement speaker mimics CUNY Law's Israel-bashing, ruining graduation for her classmates

"California student’s ‘anti-Semitic hate’ speech ruins graduation for some ‘outraged’ classmates" by Doree Lewak:

(NY Post/14 June)  The California college student who delivered incendiary “anti-Semitic hate” during a commencement speech sparked “outrage” among students in attendance with her unchallenged rhetoric. 

“The speech definitely soured my graduation,” one Jewish El Camino Community College student told The Post about his spoiled big day. “I definitely felt singled out.” 

Jana Abulaban, the 18-year-old who crammed several inflammatory anti-Israel claims into her two-minute speech to some 5,000 attendees at the Torrance, Calif., campus ceremony, included accusations that the “oppressive apartheid state of Israel” is “killing and torturing Palestinians as we speak.” 

“Part of me wanted to leave,” added the grad, who said he felt “outed.” “It just wasn’t appropriate for a speech.” 

According to a Jewish student at the ceremony, many attendees were “outraged” by the comments.

Abulaban’s speech, which closely echoed the roundly maligned CUNY Law School commencement speech by Fatima Mousa Mohammed who infamously claimed Israel was guilty of indiscriminately killing Palestinians, inspired a fresh wave of outrage.

awyer, Stacey E. Burke tweeted, “…from coast to coast, Islamist terrorist sympathizers are spreading propagandist lies about half of the world’s Jews and the one Jewish nation,” tweeted  adding, “The scary part is many are and the institutions (many of which receive both state and federal funding) are okay with it and approve it. They lie about that later if trouble arises, but they approve these words. It’s who they are and what they believe.”

Despite the smattering of enthusiastic applause from some members of the audience, Abulaban’s charged rhetoric spoiled the day for many. “From who I talked to, they were outraged that was allowed to be said,” added the student.

The gobsmacked grad told The Post he “felt uneasy” when Abulaban, a self-described “Palestinian refugee” — who was really born and raised in Jordan — launched into her hateful and “hurtful” diatribe. “I was kind of telling myself, ‘Are you kidding me? You’re using a platform that you earned as student government president to put out this message that clearly pushes further division instead of a message of inclusion.’” 

Article Continues with speech video

Both Jewish-Amer documentarian of "Israelism" and UCLA host criticized as anti-Israel

California University Hosts Screening of Trans Director’s ‘Anti-Israel’ Film 
by Kate Anderson, contributor, Daily Caller News Foundation 9 June 2023

Eric Axelman, co-dir., Israelism Film
At University of California, a Los Angeles (UCLA) professor hosted a screening Wednesday of a film, which many activists believe is anti-Israel, created by a Jewish transgender director. 

The film “Israelism” follows the story of two American Jews who go from staunch supporters of Israel to “battling the old guard to fight for Palestinian equality,” according to the event page’s description. 

Professor Dov Waxman, the chair for the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation in Israel Studies, hosted a screening of the movie and a question and answer session with director Eric Axelman, who is Jewish and transgender. 

Prof Dov Waxman (photo UCLA)

“Israelism explores the past, present and future of the relationship between American Jews and Israel,” the event page reads. “Dozens of American Jewish thinkers, community leaders and activists share stories of falling in and out of love with Israel, and competing visions for a Jewish future, while Israelis and Palestinians describe how their lives are affected by the decisions of a community half a world away.”

“Israelism explores the past, present and future of the relationship between American Jews and Israel,” the event page reads. “Dozens of American Jewish thinkers, community leaders and activists share stories of falling in and out of love with Israel, and competing visions for a Jewish future, while Israelis and Palestinians describe how their lives are affected by the decisions of a community half a world away.”

In the film, Simone Zimmerman goes to college in America and Eitan joins the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Both witness “Israel’s mistreatment of the Palestinian people” and eventually conclude that the “Jewish institutions” that raised them “built their Jewish identity around a lie,” according to IMDB.

Peter Beinart (pictured) is among what's criticized
as an anti-Zionist biased depiction of Israel

Both Zimmerman and Eitan go on to fight for the rights of Palestinians and against the alleged human rights abuses committed by the Jewish state, according to IMDB. The film is similar to others that Axelman has produced in the past, saying in 2017 that Israel had come to embody racism, colonialism and occupation, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“Not only, as American Jews, are we not being told the truth about Israel, but the most disturbing aspect is the censorship of left-wing voices and voices that are critical of Israel in Jewish communities,” Axelman said.

The film has been criticized for its “anti-Israel” views by some in the Jewish community. David Suissa, the editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal, wrote that the film portrays an intentionally biased portrait of Israel. 

Sam Eilertsen, co-director, Israelism

“I felt bad for the filmmakers because I could feel the exertion they must have gone through to stick to only one side of the story,” Suissa wrote. “There is no mention, for instance, of the UN role in the creation of Israel, Arab aggression at the birth of the state, chronic Palestinian terror and rejection of peace offers, the denial of any Jewish connection to Jerusalem, and on and on. These facts are so well known, I could almost feel the filmmakers asking themselves: ‘Should we include some of this stuff just to appear more balanced and credible?'” 

Abraham Foxman, former director of the Anti-Defamation League, called the film both “anti-Israel and anti-American Jewish community.” 

“Sadly and innocently I agreed to be interviewed being told that the film will examine the special relationship between Israel and American Jews,” Foxman wrote on Twitter. “What a sham. I regret being part of this.” 

UCLA has a history of hosting antisemitic and anti-Israel events in the past. The university invited George Washington University professor Lara Sheehi, who is under investigation for allegations of antisemitic discrimination, to an event earlier this year. The school was also listed in the top 10 worst schools for antisemitism, according to a report from StopAntisemitism.com. 

UCLA and Waxman did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Axelman could not be reached for comment.