Monday, August 23, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - August 23, 2010 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

August 23, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Interview with Eli Yishai: The Rabbi's dutiful deputy PM

By David Horowitz August 20, 2010

Interior Minister MK Eli Yishai (Shas):

“To my sorrow, those who convert through the Reform abroad are registered here as Jews. To my sorrow. But if you want to convert here, it must be through the laws of Israel. If you want to be Jewish, welcome, but convert via the Halacha.”

"This is a real struggle over the Jewish nature of the state. And we ask the Reform to respect this most important demand, to respect the principle that has preserved the Jewish people for thousands of years. If we don’t maintain the principle of conversion by Halacha, we will disappear.”

Your People, My People

By Jan Jaben-Eilon August 17, 2010

[Rabbi Seth Farber, founder and director of the Israeli non-profit organization Itim: The Jewish Life Information Center] says that the federations “should get involved in the Jewish peoplehood issue and focus less on the security part.”

When Federation missions come to Israel, he complains, they look “at the sexy part, they come see an army base. I think the American Jewish leadership should come together to Israel and I’ll show them a rabbinical or a conversion court.”

Now he says that he would have preferred that there was no six-month hiatus on the conversion issue.

“I would have let the fight continue. I would have let it upset people more. I would have preferred that the rabbinate take responsibility for alienating the North American Jewish community and that Rotem would have understood the importance of the North American Jews.”

Conversion Politics

By Lawrence Rifkin August 17, 2010

In mid-July, the [IMPJ] hired Mina Tzemach, one of the country’s most respected pollsters, to conduct a telephone survey of attitudes toward the Rotem bill.

One of the questions was whether it would help or hinder the conversion process. According to Kotlyar, 32 percent of the Jewish population said it would help, while 42 percent said it would hinder.

But among Russian-speaking olim who arrived since the beginning of the 1990s – the very people targeted by the legislation – only 20 percent said it would help, while almost half (46 percent) said it would hinder.

Charedi Rebel

By David Suissa August 17, 2010

If you’re not part of the Charedim, it’s easy to be outraged by their rigidity. But what if you’re a Charedi scholar who is highly respected in the Charedi world? Can you also be outraged?

Yes, if your name is Rabbi Chaim Amsellem.

Amsellem is an MK from the Charedi Shas party, and he has been making waves. One reason is that he has written a serious book of halachah that supports a more lenient view of conversions.

The book is based on the concept of Zera Yisrael, or progeny — someone who, while not halachically Jewish, is very close to Jews and has even risked his or her life to defend the Jewish nation.

Abuse of Power

By Rabbi Avi Shafran Opinion August 10, 2010

Rabbi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America.

The Jewish world reportedly has six months before the Rotem Bill (or some facsimile thereof) returns to the Knesset for further consideration.

That should allow us all to more leisurely — and hopefully more reasonably — not only assess the bill's strengths and weaknesses but ponder a troubling issue peripheral to the legislation, but which was engendered by it.

Reform Movement asks Peres to intervene against Amar

By Kobi Nahshoni August 16, 2010

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar's message against the Reform Movement is not going unanswered. Leaders of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism sent an urgent letter on Sunday to President Shimon Peres demanded that he intervene immediately against the inflammatory statements Amar wrote in a message to Israel's rabbis.

According to the Reform leaders, the chief rabbi is abusing his position to express ideas bordering on incitement against Jewish communities throughout the world and is doing so in an extremist and crass manner.

"Such a move is clear proof that the leadership of the Chief Rabbinate has lost the capacity to serve as a unifying force that represents the traditions of Israel in Israeli society and the Diaspora of the Jewish people."

The red-tape two-step

By Vered Lee August 20, 2010

All I'm asking for is basic rights. Accept her legally as my wife. She converted. She married in a Jewish ceremony. Why isn't she considered a new immigrant? Why doesn't she receive citizenship under the Law of Return? Why isn't she being recognized as my wife?"

The Law of Return at Sixty Years: History, Ideology, Justification August 15, 2010

Prof. Ruth Gavison points to difficulties arising in 3 basic areas:

  • The quasi-halachic definition of a “Jew” established by the 1970 amendment to law, according to which a “Jew” is one who was born to a Jewish mother or who converted to Judaism and is not a member of another religion;
  • The extension of Aliyah eligibility to include the family members of a Jew up to the third generation even if they themselves have no connection to the Jewish people;
  • The fact that individuals who are eligible for Aliyah acquire citizenship immediately and automatically upon making Aliyah.

Perfect harmony

By Elana Sztokman August 20, 2010

The fact that leaders of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism pray together in a regular pluralistic women’s service is virtually unparalleled in the Jewish world.

“Critics should learn the history,” counters Shira Pruce, WOW publicity coordinator. “We have been meeting every Rosh Hodesh since 1988, and our prayers have stayed exactly the same. We are not challenging the status quo. Jerusalem is just becoming more extreme.”

Elevator proposed to ease access to Western Wall

By Melanie Lidman August 17, 2010

The elevator, proposed by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter, would start at Misgav Ledach Street and descend 21 meters to a new pedestrian tunnel.

It would greatly improve access for visitors in wheelchairs or those with other disabilities, who now have to contend with several flights of stairs. The pedestrian tunnel would be 60-70 meters in length and pass underneath the stairs near the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva.

VIDEO: Anat Hoffman, Israel Religious Action Center, Women of the Wall

August 9, 2010

Click here for VIDEO Part 1

Click here for VIDEO Part 2

Can a non-Jew be buried within a Jewish cemetery?

By Rabbi Shlomo Brody August 20, 2010

In modern times, the separate burial of Jews has become complicated by greater social intermingling and “hyphenated identities” with competing cultural affiliations. Since the rabbinate controls funeral rites, Israel has faced this challenge with regard to the burial of non-Jewish soldiers and citizens, such as Amos Yarkoni.

With some controversy, subtle special separations are sometimes created, with the non- Jewish graves on cemetery outskirts or separated from their neighbors by decorative bushes.

A Different Kind of Israeli Magazine

Bambi Sheleg’s Eretz Acheret Is Making Waves

By Elana Maryles Sztokman August 18, 2010

Bambi Sheleg, 52, a mother of three who is married to writer Yair Sheleg, was born in Chile and moved to Israel at age 12.

Her family is Religious Zionist, and she began her journalism career as a writer and editor at Nekuda, the magazine of the settler movement. At a certain point, though, she started having doubts about her ideological home.

“I was in the religious ‘camp’,” she said, “but sometimes I felt that I connected more with people outside my camp.”

With the 2005 disengagement from Gaza, she wrote a controversial essay titled “Friends, We Were Wrong,” in which she decried what she considers the moral failings of Religious Zionist leadership and its overemphasis on land settlement at the expense of moral values.

“Some of my friends haven’t spoken to me since I wrote that,” she said. “But I have no regrets.”

VIDEO Panel Discussion Influencing Israel - From a Global Jewish Perspective

Click here for VIDEO Panel Discussion August 16, 2010

INSIDE-OUT: INFLUENCING ISRAEL From a Global Jewish Perspective from Leadel dot Net on Vimeo.

Are Diaspora relations indeed helping the Jewish people living in Israel? Are Jews and Israelis living in their homeland condemning or supporting their Diaspora brothers and sisters' assistance? Is it assistance at all?


  • Dr. Einat Wilf, Member of Knesset
  • Jeff Kaye, Chief Development Officer for World ORT
  • Dr. Edward Rettig, Director of American Jewish Committee, Jerusalem

Students get closer dialogue with Judaism August 22, 2010

The level of response surprised even the Ein Prat organizers when university students of all stripes competed to attend this year’s five-week Elul program.

...Fad or phenomenon, the Ein Prat Elul experience is surpassing all expectations and revealing what may be a promising trend at a time when many are bemoaning the loss of Jewish identity among Israel’s young people. Equally popular among religious and secular, Elul provides new perspectives for all.

Ein Prat Academy for Leadership

The Hakhel Festival of Jewish Learning

Israel’s Major Annual Event of Jewish Pluralistic Culture - September 26, 2010

Panim organizes and produces the Hakhel Festival of Jewish identity and Israeli culture held every year during Sukkot.

Since the first Hakhel in 1997, this happening of Jewish pluralistic culture has been bringing together people from Israel’s entire religious and political spectrum.

The ever-expanding program includes over 100 parallel study sessions, panel discussions, lectures, and creative workshops, as well as performances – music, plays, dance, and film – with the accent on Jewish pluralism, Israeli society and culture, and the multi-cultural outlook.

Rolling with the Punches

By Gitit Ginat August 20, 2010

Sometimes religious observance and spirituality empower a woman who dares to enter the boxing ring, and sometimes they present major obstacles.

Sharon Friedman, who was born in 1960 to an ultra-Orthodox family in Brooklyn and immigrated to Israel 12 years ago, is also a former boxer for whom religious beliefs and spirituality are paramount.

Israeli Gay Couple's Twin Delight

By Aaron Passman August 19, 2010

The native Israeli explained that the law is so restrictive because "the rabbinical concerns over surrogacy were very clear," including that the surrogate must be an unmarried woman of the same faith as the parents, unrelated to either parent, and that only heterosexual couples could hire surrogates.

...Despite all the steps they've taken and plan to take, however, it's not clear whether the twins' conversion through a Reform congregation will be valid in the eyes of the Israeli religious establishment.

Misguided Mitzvahs

By Ariel Hirchfeld Opinion August 20, 2010

Gay people who live in the Orthodox world threaten it because they do not merely submit for its consideration a theory about the secrets of Creation, but rather represent something at the very heart of the forces of life - forces which cannot be soft-pedaled in a traditional manner by vapid appeals for the "strengthening" of faith, or for "general reform."

Acceptance of homosexuality means nothing less than a conceptual overhaul in the religious world's conception of human existence.

I’m not a bigot, it’s nature!

Response to: Keep gay pride in the bedroom

By Ezra Resnick Opinion August 20, 2010

[T]he fact that something is natural doesn’t automatically make it morally good. As far as evolution is concerned, all means justify the end of maximizing progeny, but evolution is a mindless process with no foresight or intention.

We, as conscious, thinking beings, are in no way obligated to value something just because it’s a product of natural selection.

Program raises Jewish identification

By Jonah Mandel August 16, 2010

A novel program aimed at enhancing Jewish identity in public schools is showing significant success after a two-year pilot in Holon, ahead of expansion to additional cities.

The Hitchadshut program, established by the Panim non-profit organization and the Legacy Heritage Foundation, has set out to rectify what is considered by many to be one of the most troubling shortcomings of the Israeli educational system.

Advancing the Status and Rights of Women in the Orthodox Community

Chana Kehat of Kolech – The Religious Women’s Forum August 17, 2010

Chana Kehat, daughter of one of Me’a She’arim’s foremost rabbis, is one of the most prominent feminist activists in the religious community. A mother of 6, she has a Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy, and was awarded the President’s Volunteer Award.

With NIF’s support, Chana founded Kolech in 1998 to promote the rights and status of women through a consensual process of change from within Orthodoxy.

22 Young Poles with Jewish Roots Visit Israel August 19, 2010

A group of 22 young Poles who recently discovered their Jewish roots arrived in Israel on Sunday for a special three-week educational seminar organized by the Shavei Israel non-profit organization.

The participants, most of whom were raised Catholic and are now in their 20s, came from an array of cities throughout Poland, primarily Krakow, Katowice, Warsaw, Tychy, Gdansk and Cieszyn. For some of the participants, this marks their first time visiting Israel.

New Conservative Israeli siddur aimed at all Israelis

By Sue Fishkoff August 9, 2010

When Israel’s new Masorti prayer book hit No. 4 on the country's best-seller list for non-fiction last January, no one was more surprised than members of the country’s still-tiny Conservative movement.

The prayer book, “Va'ani Tfillati: An Israeli Siddur,” enjoyed an aggressive ad campaign from co-publisher Yediot Achronot, which also puts out Israel's largest-circulation newspaper.

Jesus lives on in Jerusalem

By Yoaz Hendel August 19, 2010

Some 15,000 Messianic Jews currently live in Israel, but if you saw one on the street you would almost certainly fail to recognize any difference. They honor Jewish circumcision, bar-mitzvah, and wedding ceremonies, but believe Jesus is the messiah.

...For a community living under the perpetual wrath of the haredim, who for the most part alienate and discriminate against them, Messianic Jews remain inexplicably optimistic.

Religion and State in Israel

August 23, 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.

Religion and State in Israel - August 23, 2010 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

August 23, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Police ban anti-exemption protest in Bnei Brak center

By Yoav Zitun August 22, 2010

On Thursday, [the Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden] plan on marching in the heart of Bnei Brak, the central Israel city with the highest concentration of haredi residents, wearing IDF uniforms and waving the Israeli flag.

However, their plans might be in jeopardy as police are refusing to authorize the march, which is slated to take place in the city center.

Activists fight Haredi draft decision

By Dan Izenberg August 19, 2010

The activist organization Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday, asking the justices to cancel a cabinet decision making it easier for haredi men to avoid compulsory service in the army.

The cabinet decision was also the subject of another petition filed a week earlier by the Movement for Quality Government.

The petitioners charged that the cabinet decision violated the Tal Law, which deals with haredi military service and provides options for those who have studied at least four years in a yeshiva.

68% of Israelis opposed to draft exemption for Haredim August 17, 2010

A poll conducted by the Rafi Smith Institute for the non-profit Hiddush for Religious Freedom and Equality found that 68% of the Jewish public is opposed to the government decision to cancel mandatory military service for yeshiva students, allowing them to perform one year of national service in its stead.

Petition against Haredi exemption

By Aviad Glickman August 18, 2010

According to the petitioners, the decision was discussed by the government along with more than 100 other proposals, including some dealing with increasing supervision on the shipping industry, prescriptions provided by pharmacists and prison systems.

The petitioners claimed that the ministers were not given sufficient information on the decision, relevant considerations were not discussed and the plan was presented as a marginal aspect of the budget discussions, without holding a separate discussion and vote on the matter.

"Only rarely does the government make a decision which is so illegal from so many aspects," Hiddush Director-General Rabbi Uri Regev told Ynet.

Haredim oppose ads on bus display screens for disabled

By Ron Friedman August 19, 2010

A recent decision by the Egged bus company over the purchase of digital informative screens to aid people with disabilities has bus riders in an uproar.

The Jerusalem Post learned on Wednesday that the company had decided to cancel purchase agreements that would see state-of-the-art liquid crystal display (LCD) screens installed in its buses in favor of simpler LED ones.

Suspicions that Egged changed its mind because of haredi threats to boycott the company have some accessibility advocates fuming.

Non-religious kibbutz to have only non-Jews milk on Shabbat

By Amiram Cohen August 20, 2010

On Saturdays and Jewish holidays the cows will be milked by non-Jews, a neighboring Arab family and foreign workers.

The kibbutz's Jewish members will be allowed to lead the cows into the milking parlor, clean their udders and prepare them for milking. But most of the remaining tasks require the use of electricity and so only the non-Jews will be allowed to perform them on the Sabbath.

Beit Shemesh Anglos get their shul, but some say battle with Haredim not over

By Raphael Ahren August 20, 2010

Less than two months after some 200 members of Beit Shemesh's heavily Anglo national-religious community demonstrated in front of city hall against the mayor's alleged favoritism for his Haredi constituency, the Shas politician appears to have retracted the two decisions that provoked the outrage.

While some celebrate his about-face as "success," not everybody believes the power struggle is over.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow Slams Religious-Zionism

By Hillel Fendel August 22, 2010

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the Petah Tikva Yeshivat Hesder:

“We [religious-Zionists] are becoming more and more extremist,” he said.

“We are separating ourselves in all areas of politics, education and Jewish Law. We are not on the State of Israel’s agenda in any issue, except for that of settlement. What a waste! We are a fantastic group of high-quality people, with top personal achievements, communal involvement, and quality youth, of which I am so happy to be a part of – but we are ‘missing the boat.’

In Israeli eyes, he feels, “Shas represents Judaism, while social justice and the ethics of the prophets are invariably represented by the left - but Religious Zionism’s voice is not heard.”

Fundamentalism into the mainstream

By Zvi Bar'el Opinion August 22, 2010

What is new is that these are no longer "hilltop rabbis," "wild weeds" or "fence hoppers" who are turning their backs on the instructions of great rabbinical figures and the law.

They and their supporters are transforming zealous fundamentalism and the shameful "The King's Torah "into the mainstream.

West Bank rabbi detained by police for inciting racism

By Chaim Levinson August 20, 2010

The rabbi of a West Bank settlement was detained yesterday on suspicion of incitement to racism.

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, from the settlement of Yitzhar, was detained by police and questioned by investigators from the international crimes unit on suspicions of incitement to racism.

Rabbis to convene after police summons

By Jonah Mandel August 18, 2010

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger:

“If a rabbi is requested to give his blessing to a book that is halachic, and does so, he shouldn’t be investigated for it,” he told Israel Radio on Monday. “Israeli professors go abroad and criticize Israel, and the IDF is protected by freedom of speech, so why shouldn’t rabbis have that indemnity?”

However, the Forum of Modern Orthodox Movements, representing liberal national-religious groups such as Ne’emanei Torah Va’avodah, the Religious Kibbutz Movement, Kolech and others, said it was “very concerned over the rabbis’ petition and the convention in support of not appearing [for] police questioning over the Torat Hamelech book.”

Yitzhar rabbi freed after arrest for incitement

By Yaakov Lappin August 20, 2010

Police arrested Rabbi Yosef Elizur-Hershkowitz from Yitzhar before dawn on Thursday on suspicion of incitement to racial violence, possession of racist texts, and possession of material that incites to violence.

Hours after Elizur-Hershkowitz’s arrest, the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court released him and criticized police for failing to invite him to a local police station for questioning before resorting to an arrest.

Yitzhar rabbi detained by police

By Yaakov Lappin August 19, 2010

Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan commented Thursday on the case, criticizing the rabbis refusal to talk to police investigators.

"The fact that a person is a rabbi in Israel does not afford him legal immunity, he is not above the law," stated Nitzan on Army Radio. "Freedom of religion and free inquiry do not permit one to do what they please. If someone incites racial hatred, an investigation will be opened against them. There are things that are always considered red lines."

Settlement rabbi arrested on suspicion of incitement to racism

By Chaim Levinson August 19, 2010

"The rabbi [Lior] asked me to tell you that he does not intend to answer to anybody on his opinion on Jewish law," Lior's lawyer wrote.

"Your harassment of rabbis for their opinions on Jewish law contradicts the state's principles of religious freedom and freedom of expression."

Rally held for rabbis suspected of incitement

By Kobi Nahshoni August 19, 2010

Dozens of rabbis, educators, public figures and right-wing activists attended on Wednesday a support rally for Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, who refused to report for police questioning over their endorsement of the controversial book "Torat Hamelech," which relates a halachic perspective on violence against non-Jews.

Fast Day to Mark 5th Anniversary of Gaza Pullout

By Elad Benari August 16, 2010

As the fifth anniversary of Israel's expulsion and pullout from Gaza approaches, Yesha [Judea and Samaria] Council’s rabbis are calling on the general public to participate in a day of fasting and prayer to mark this day.

Rabbi Shilo also addressed the position of Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who in a recently published article said that there is no place for such a fast day. Rabbi Metzger explained his position by saying that there is no authority that can establish a fast on all of Israel.

Promoting Liberal Orthodoxy - Yonatan Benarroch of Ne'emanei Torah V'Avoda August 17, 2010

As a youth in the religious Zionist B’nei Akiva movement, Yonatan Benarroch felt uncomfortable with the increasing extremism of Israel’s religious community.

Yonatan’s consternation at the growing intolerance in his Orthodox community, particularly after Yitzhak Rabin’s murder, intensified his commitment to reviving the liberal Orthodox movement. Today, he is the chair of Ne'emanei Torah Va'Avoda (NTA), a movement that works toward a more open and humane Orthodoxy.

Remembering Rabbi Amital: 'In Time of Trouble, He Stood Up'

By Maayana Miskin August 20, 2010

On the “shloshim” 30 days after Rabbi Yehuda Amital passed away, he was remembered at an event at the Har Etzion yeshiva.

A number of renowned rabbis and public figures attended the event; present were Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Yaakov Meidan, heads of the Har Etzion yeshiva, President Shimon Peres, Har Etzion director Moshe Moskowitz and many others.

Housing Ministry to subsidize rent for Torah students August 19, 2010

Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias will finance rent for families whose head is studying Torah, website "Behadrai Haredim". The financing will come from the Ministry of Housing and Construction's budget for families defined as "poor". 137,000 Israeli families fall under this definition.

"Behadrai Haredim" says that Atias has decided to add to the category of eligible people heads of families who study Torah and who have at least three children under the age of 18. The support will also be available for university students, provided that they have at least three children.

Housing Ministry pushing rent support for unemployed university and yeshiva students

By Ranit Nahum-Halevy August 20, 2010

Shas Housing Minister Atias' proposal will expand this group to include more ultra-Orthodox and students who study full-time and do not work. The estimated cost is NIS 10 -15 million a year.

Machinery at Barzilai ER construction site sabotaged

By Shmulik Hadad August 18, 2010

The contractor working on the construction of the fortified emergency room at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon filed a complaint with police on Wednesday claiming machinery at the site was damaged.

Work at the site was halted and Ashkelon Police launched an investigation. Police suspect haredim opposed to construction at the site because of the ancient graves found there were behind the act.

Anonymous vandals sabotage equipment at Ashkelon's Barzilai hospital

By Yanir Yagna August 18, 2010

The building contractor in Ashkelon arrived at the building site on Wednesday morning to find that the engines on four pieces of his machinery were dead. Sugar had been poured into the machineries' gas tank, the contractor reported, rendering them unusable.

The age of rocks vs. the rock of ages

By Ezra Resnick Opinion August 2, 2010

A friend of mine works as an Israel Nature and Parks Authority guide in the Avshalom Stalactites Cave. One of the more amazing facts about stalactites one would hear on the cave tour is how long they take to form: some of the stalactites in this cave have been dated as 300,000 years old.

Not all visitors learn this information, however; my friend says that the de facto policy is not to mention the age of the stalactites to Haredi groups — so as not to offend their religious beliefs about the age of the universe.

Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: No to 3rd generation phones

By Kobi Nahshoni August 18, 2010

Senior rabbis in the haredi-Sephardic public, headed by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, urged yeshiva students to avoid electronic and cellular devices that allow watching movies or surfing the internet.

In notice published on Thursday, the rabbis claimed these were "street debauchedness" that must be rejected in favor of the yeshiva and studying at the seminary.

A Threat From Within - Poverty in the Jewish State

Forward Editorial August 18, 2010

[Dan Ben-David, an economist and executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel] points out that 30 years ago, the rate of non-employment for Haredim was 21%. Now it is more than three times that amount.

Clearly what’s needed is a committed investment in education and social programs to provide the wherewithal for these significant minorities to integrate into the high-tech economy of Israel’s future.

There truly is no time to lose. Ben-David estimates that if present growth rates continue, by 2040, 78% of Israel’s children will be studying in the Haredi or Arab education systems.

Jerusalem Prepares for Pop Idol Clashes for First Night of Selichot

By Anshel Pfeffer August 19, 2010

Major clashes are expected next month in Jerusalem around the broadcast of the A Star is Born finale from the Sultan's Pool in Jerusalem.

The final of Israel's equivalent to Pop Idol is scheduled for Saturday night and strictly Orthodox rabbis object to it for fear that the preparations for the broadcast will take place on Shabbat, and that the heavy traffic expected will block the road for those planning to get to the Western Wall for the first night of selichot (penitential prayers said before the High Holy Days).

Satmar present set of rules against Zionism

By Kobi Nahshoni August 22, 2010

In honor of the 31st anniversary of the death of first leader of the Satmar Hasidism anti-Zionist sect, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, a number of his followers published a pamphlet in his memory containing sixty questions and their answers regarding the rabbi's zealous attitude towards the State of Israel.

The pamphlet is entitled "Ish Milhamot" (Man of Wars).

Legal loophole spells four more years for Chief Rabbinate head

By Chaim Levinson August 18, 2010

Despite a decision in principle to limit the terms of all senior civil servants, the contract of Chief Rabbinate director general Oded Weiner was recently extended for four years, after which he will have spent almost 13 years in the post.

Chief rabbis in rare visit to holy sites in Nablus, Jericho

By Jonah Mandel August 20, 2010

Israel’s Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar conducted an unprecedented visit to Jewish holy sites in Nablus and Jericho on Thursday, ahead of the High Holy Days.

For the first time in 10 years, a high-ranking Israeli delegation came in broad daylight to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus and the ancient Shalom Al Israel synagogue in Jericho.

Chief Rabbis witness renovation of Joseph's Tomb

By Kobi Nahshoni August 20, 2010

Rabbi Rabinowitz began supervising the renovation of the holy site one year ago, following a meeting with the head of the Civil Administration, Yoav Mordechai.

Religion and State in Israel

August 23, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.