Monday, June 14, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - June 14, 2010 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

June 14, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

Chief Rabbi Amar mediating in Emmanuel controversy

By Jonah Mandel and Dan Izenberg June 10, 2010

In yet another attempt to reach a compromise agreement over the integration of the Beit Ya’acov girls school in Emmanuel, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has begun conducting talks with the sides involved in the dispute, to see if there is enough ground to reach understandings that could prevent court penalties and the possible exodus of Slonim Hassidim from Emmanuel.

Following a request from Emmanuel Mayor Ezra Gershi, Amar has already met in recent days with Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, the spiritual mentor of Noar Kahalacha head Yoav Lalom, whose NGO has petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that all elements of discrimination against Sephardi pupils be removed from the school, and representatives of the hassidim.

‘This is a religious war’

By Larry Derfner June 11, 2010

Bar-Ilan University professor Menachem Friedman:

“Hassidic movements like Slonim have a whole culture, a tradition, and their general feeling is that Sephardim are culturally inferior – not only in Emmanuel, but throughout haredi society."

Luria, a Slonim Hassid:

“From the time they can walk, I raise my children in a hothouse. There’s no computer at home, no TV, no movies. I don’t want my children to be exposed to such things, so I don’t want them to go into a home that has such things, which means I don’t want them making friends with children who live in homes like these.”

Sami Michael to protest 'racism' at Immanuel girls' school

By Maya Sela June 8, 2010

Author Sami Michael said he supports the stance of the Supreme Court against attempts by a school in the ultra-Orthodox settlement to segregate its students into Sephardic and Ashkenazi groups.

Hundreds rally in Ramat Aviv: Haredim, leave us be

By Yoav Zitun June 7, 2010

A week after Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai criticized Chabad's activity in Ramat Aviv, some 800 of the neighborhood's residents demonstrated Monday evening against the attempt by the ultra-Orthodox movement to influence local secular teens.

During the rally, which was organized by the Free Ramat Aviv foundation and held outside the Chabad House in the center of the neighborhood, protestors waved signs reading, "Stop the Haredi mission" and "Haredim, leave our children alone."

Missionaries in Ramat Aviv

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion June 13, 2010

Imagine what would happen to me if I went to Kfar Chabad, rented an apartment and dared to open a class to teach a modern interpretation of the Bible, or women's rights or Darwinism. In the evening I'd go out and roam the neighborhood, trying to persuade their children to visit my home on Shabbat to see what a nonobservant Jew does on the day of rest.

...The battle in Ramat Aviv isn't just about the neighborhood's character. It's a battle over Israel's image, and the 800 residents who got up and left their homes and went out to demonstrate last Monday are just the harbingers.

Metzger: Chabad controversy testimony of success

By Kobi Nahshoni June 7, 2010

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger expressed his support for Chabad's activities in Ramat Aviv and criticized the methods used against the group by the Tel Aviv neighborhood's secular campaign.

During a speech at Chabad's annual leadership conference on Thursday, Metzger, himself a resident of north Tel Aviv, complimented the organization's activists, saying that the highly publicized conflict in Ramat Aviv is "the biggest compliment testifying to the success of the (Chabad) activities."

Showtime or showdown?

By Peggy Cidor June 11, 2010

Is a new religious war looming on the [Jerusalem] city council? Unless some local sheriff minds the gap (in the coalition), the Haredi parties will vote against the annual budget of the Kiryat Hayovel community council.

'State to blame for lack of haredim in workforce'

By Jonah Mandel June 8, 2010

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), head of the Knesset’s Finance Committee, delivered a provocative address, praising the haredi educational system, which he determined was superior to the secular education system.

Gafni blamed the state’s mechanisms of setting thresholds for certain positions, such as high school matriculation and university degrees, instead of reworking the conditions to pave the way for haredim who have different diplomas and training.

MK Gafni: Divine providence got us through recession

By Tani Goldstein June 8, 2010

Speaking at an Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry conference on religious sector employment, Gafni said that contrary to past predictions, "the haredim, who 30 years ago were foretold as the market's ruination, have prospered, and with them Israel, which suffered last from the global recession and was the first to recover.

"I would say this is a case of divine providence."

When asked by one of the reporters present if he was serious, Gafni answered "absolutely."

Israel's ultra-Orthodox turn to consumer clout

By Amy Teiblel AP June9, 2010

Israel's ultra-Orthodox community, which has traditionally used violent protests and political clout to push its agenda, is turning to a new tactic to get its way in this overwhelmingly secular society: market power.

The fast-growing community has emerged as a consumer powerhouse, using classic market muscle to drive the development of products catered to their needs, and to push companies to curb practices it finds offensive.

IAA excavates ancient Nazareth graves despite haredi protest June 7, 2010

In one day of intense work, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) completed on Sunday the excavation of ancient burial caves, uncovered at a construction site on Paulus Road in the center of Nazareth.

Groups of haredim, who arrived at the site in the early morning hours, protested what they considered disrespect to the dead. Police detained 49 of them for disturbing the peace and trespassing on the private property of the entrepreneur who is erecting a commercial center there.

Rabbi Eliahu Caufman, who was asked by the Atra Kadisha to help mediate in the affair [said]: “We have different standards than the Antiquities Authority for determining the identity of graves,”

Haredim step up protests over Nazareth excavation

By Eli Ashkenazi and Yair Ettinger June 7, 2010

Unknown individuals damaged the car of the director of excavations and surveys for the Israel Antiquities Authority, Gideon Avni, between Saturday evening and Sunday morning. The car, which was parked in Maccabim-Reut near Modi'in, had its tires punctured. The car's locks were filled with glue, and bags of a foul-smelling substance were thrown into the yard of Avni's home in the community. A similar incident occurred about three weeks ago at the home of IAA director general Shuka Dorfman.

Meah Shearim Moves Ahead With Boycott of Electra

By Yechiel Spira June 13, 2010

Asra Kadisha and the Eida Chareidis began targeting Electra with threats of a boycott a number of weeks ago, as was reported by YWN-ISRAEL since the electronic company giant is the owner of a company involved in the Jaffa excavations involving ancient burial locations.

Report: Electra Angered at Eida Boycott Threat

By Yechiel Spira June 14, 2010

Electra on Sunday afternoon released a message to the media, with company officials angrily insisting there is no connection with the company involved in the Jaffa excavations and the electronic company which also manufactures air conditioning units.

Egged and Meah Shearim

By Yechiel Spira June 10, 2010

Egged plans to request from the Ministry of Transportation to approve removing Meah Shearim from its bus routes.

The Mother-Of-All-Pashkevilim! June 2, 2010

Hat tip: David Morris,

So, with the help of my esteemed congregation, Kehilas Shivtei Yeshurun in Ramat Beit Shemesh, I designed a pashkevil of my own. The pashkevil is a verbatim letter of the Chofetz Chaim, signed by the Chofetz Chaim. We will cover every Pashkevil we can find with our pashkevil.

This is the pashkevil to end all pashkevil!

Bnei Brak signs: Don't employ Arabs

By Ari Galahar June 8, 2010

Notices against employing Palestinians in Israel without a permit have been posted around the religious Tel Aviv satellite town of Bnei Brak after a Palestinian was caught hiding in a haredi seminary last week, causing uproar.

Haredi protestors hurt 3 policemen

By Shmulik Grossman June 12, 2010

Three police officers were lightly injured Saturday during an ultra-Orthodox protest against Shabbat desecration in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood.

4 Yeshiva students suspected of mosque vandalism

By Ahiya Raved June 10, 2010

Police forces arrested four Yeshiva students from Kfar Hasidim, suspected of spraying graffiti on a mosque in the adjacent town of Ibtin late Tuesday.

Mosque vandalized in Bedouin village near Haifa

By Jack Khoury June 9, 2010

A mosque in the Bedouin village of Ibtin, east of Haifa, was vandalized overnight Tuesday with graffiti.

Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu dies

By Ari Galahar, Kobi Nahshoni June 7, 2010

Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu died Monday, after a lengthy hospitalization. He was 81.

Eliyahu passed away at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he was hospitalized some two months ago.

Former Chief Rabbi passes away at 81

By Yair Ettinger June 8, 2010

Eliahu, considered a key spiritual leader of the religious Zionist community, played a major role in moving parts of this community closer to ultra-Orthodox thought and practice, spawning what became known as the Hardal movement (a Hebrew acronym for ultra-Orthodox religious Zionist).

In particular, he is the one who turned the term Da’at Torah - signifying that a given issue must be decided a certain way because that is "the Torah's opinion" - into a commonplace in national religious circles.

Rabbi Eliahu’s legacy of integration Editorial June 8, 2010

Importantly, by joining the NRP, a party that strove to incorporate both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews, he helped to break down old boundaries between the two. For some time now, marriages between Ashkenazim and Sephardim in religious Zionist circles have been just as common as in secular Israeli society. The same is not true in the haredi community to which Yosef’s Shas belongs.

Tales of 'miracles' at shiva for former Chief Rabbi Eliyahu

By Ari Galahar June 10, 2010

"There are so many stories about Rabbi Eliyahu which don't reach the public because of his modesty," one of the Rabbi's associates said. "Now is the time to tell the public so that they understand what a great rabbi he was

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu – an eloquent racist

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion June 11, 2010

With Rabbi Eliyahu, everything was part of a deeper religious ideology. His statements were measured and considered, they did not stem from emotion.

He fostered a generation of rabbis in the national-religious camp for whom this particular brand of Jewish racism is a matter of instinct.

But not all the rabbis and politicians who rushed to eulogize him this week share these views. Many of them find them abhorrent.

In the old Jewish tradition, however, after the death of a great rabbi not a word can be mentioned against him.

How many more young impressionable religious Israelis will fall under the spell of silver-tongued racists before they speak out?

Rabbis Porat and Bakshi-Doron Remember Rabbi Eliyahu

By Hillel Fendel June 9, 2010

Rabbi Chanan Porat, Torah scholar, former MK, and settlement leader:

"Rabbi Eliyahu knew how to combine the traditional Torah world, some of which was perhaps far from the Zionists' views, with uncompromising adherence to the Land, as well as love of the country and the army and its self-sacrificing soldiers."

Rabbi M. Eliyahu's Prayer - Found

By Hillel Fendel June 13, 2010

Rabbi Shmuel Zaafrani, Rabbi Eliyahu’s longtime assistant, found an important, 53-year-old note in the rabbi’s wallet, just two hours before the late Chief Rabbi was buried last night in one of the largest funerals ever held in Jerusalem.

Estimates of 100,000 people on Monday night were reported by Israel TV on Tuesday as having been revised to over 200,000..

The Chief Rabbinate Opinion June 7, 2010

Institutional reform of the chief rabbinate is highly unlikely any time soon. The ultra-Orthodox political parties, Ashkenazi and Sephardi alike, show flexibility when it comes to matters of national import like borders and security so long as they are satisfied on what matters to them most: maintaining their institutional prerogatives and funding.

Waves of anti-rabbinate sentiment have come and gone in Israeli politics, only to dissolve amid other concerns.

Changing the situation, if it can be changed at all, may require a public that cares enough about Judaism to want to create—or dismantle—institutions in light of its own commitments and vision.

Rabbi Metzger: Let us keep Jerusalem June 8, 2010

“We say to all the nations, please let us keep this one holy place. It is our only one; we have no other,” then repeating Israel’s pledge to uphold freedom of worship for all faiths in the city, and to keep Jerusalem as a 'city of peace.'"

Chief Rabbi: 'No mourning Gaza exit' June 8, 2010

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger has issued a halachic ruling that prohibits mourning Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and Northern Samaria, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.

Rabbi Metzger said that such mourning is divisive and exacerbates conflicts within the general public. He was writing in a publication devoted to religious rulings.

Meet the Hitachdut Kehilot HaChareidim Hechsher

By Yechiel Spira June 8, 2010

This new hechsher, which is up-and-running today, is the result of months and months of planning, the result of joint efforts by many of the Chassidic Courts in Israel.

Giant Synagogue in the So-Called Secular Capital of Israel

Click here for VIDEO

By Rachel Sylvetsky & Yoni Kempinski June 10, 2010

As of this week, Shenkin Street, the street that epitomized the “Tel Aviv Spirit” in the cosmopolitan, beta+ rated world city "that never sleeps”, and from where the most exciting mainstream and alternative music, theater and dance groups emerged during the 80s, has an unexpected, renewed landmark.

The dilapidated Geulat Moshe Synagogue, built there in 1937 by the Georgian Jewish community, that stood out like a sore thumb in the renewed street, has been renovated by the World Congress of Georgian Jewry and will be run by the Chabad Lubavitch Movement.

Beit Shemesh Mikveh

By David Morris June 11, 2010

Bet Shemesh Weekly News is published with kind permission of Rabbi Dov Lipman.

The Minister of Religion, Yaakov Margi (Shas) met with the head of the local religious council, Yehuda Medizadeh, and Rav Spector, and voiced his objections to the recent mikva agreement [in Beit Shemesh].

Religion and State in Israel

June 14, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

All rights reserved.