Sunday, February 27, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - February 28, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

February 28, 2011 (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.

Israel's rabbinic leadership is turning its back on the State

By Yedidia Stern Opinion February 24, 2011

The writer, a law professor at Bar-Ilan University, is vice president of research at the Israel Democracy Institute.

For the first time, the Jewish collective has the authority and responsibility of wielding tools of power, with all the consequences.

But the rabbis, instead of sharing in the burden of sovereignty, shake it off. The undercurrents of their positions show a lack of recognition of the importance of the central Jewish phenomenon of our time: the Jewish state.

The prosecution v. the bad guy

By Gadi Gvaryahu Opinion February 24, 2011

The writer is executive director of the Forum Yod Bet B'Heshvan to encourage tolerance and openness.

For some reason,[Israel] Harel skips over the chapters on revenge and taking the law into one's hands and directed, among other things, at the massacre perpetrated by Baruch Goldstein and the "price tag" policy.

...It was not at random that someone who was himself involved in planning the revenge acts committed by the first Jewish underground, and someone who referred to Baruch Goldstein as a martyr who joins the martyrs of the Nazi Holocaust, provided a formal endorsement for "The King's Torah."

Carmel fire widow accuses Hadera rabbi of incitement

By Yaakov Lapin February 21, 2011

Na’ava Boker, widow of Asst.-Cmdr. Lior Boker, who was the head of operations for the Northern District, said Rabbi Rafael Buvlil of Hadera had claimed that Lior Boker died as divine punishment, due to an investigation he led that found that yeshiva students set fire to a synagogue in order to blame Hadera’s secular residents.

This week, ‘God’s policemen’ were out and about again

By Judy Montagu Opinion February 22, 2011

Why were Lior Boker and all those precious others consumed by the Carmel inferno?...

Those of us who eschew a random universe know that, when all is said and done, we cannot know the reason. We understand that there are some things beyond our understanding.

That is, after all, the essence of faith.

Gadhafi and King Lior

By Sefi Rachlevsky Opinion February 27, 2011

The wretchedness of the law in the face of Rabbi Dov Lior has many meanings, and Lior's refusal to be interrogated over his support for "The King's Torah - The Laws for Killing Gentiles" - only marginally gets at the heart of the matter.

Religious Zionism rabbis slam Katsav supporters

By Kobi Nahshoni February 27, 2011

Three Religious Zionism leaders – Ramat's Gan's Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Har Etzion Yeshiva head Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein and Rabbi Dr. Nahum Eliezer Rabinovich, head of the Birkat Moshe Yeshiva in Ma'aleh Adumim – issued a "manifesto" against the letter supporting Katsav, who was convicted of two counts of rape and sexual harassment.

Religious Zionist rabbis send letter of support to Katsav

By Kobi Nahshoni February 24, 2011

Senior Religious Zionism rabbis still believe former President Moshe Katsav, who has been convicted of rape, is innocent. A letter sent by dozens of community rabbis, yeshiva heads and educators urges Katsav to "be strong and continue to insist on the truth uncompromisingly," Ynet learned Wednesday.

The letter's signatories include Rabbi Zvi Tau, considered head of the "national" stream within Religious Zionism; Rabbi Shlomo Aviner of Beit El; and Rabbi Moshe Hager, chairman of the association of military preparatory academies.

Rabbis: OK for president to rape

By Rabbi Andrew Sacks Opinion February 24, 2011

Rabbi Andrew Sacks is the Director of the Masorti [Conservative] Movement's Rabbinical Assembly in Israel

Remember the “Get Out of Jail Free” card in the game of Monopoly. Well, it seems as though not a few prominent rabbis in Israel are trying to play that card right now.

Rabbinic court candidates draw womens groups' ire

By Yair Ettinger February 25, 2011

The Rabbinic Judges Appointment Committee is to vote Tuesday to appoint three rabbinic judges to the High Rabbinic Court. Womens groups are waging a campaign against most of the 12 candidates.

Batya Kahana-Dror, director general of Mavoi Satum, a group that assists women who are unable to obtain divorces, railed against Prover and Sheinfeld.

"Appointing the likes of Prover or Sheinfeld throws back the rabbinic court system ... as an Orthodox woman I think that the women of Israel will have to ... do everything in their power not to reach the rabbinic courts. It will be a danger."

His country. Right - or wrong

By Yossi Verter February 25, 2011

Amidror's arrival creates an unprecedented lineup in the history of the prime minister's office: Three of the seven top spots will be filled by religious skullcap wearing Jews, namely Shefer, political adviser Ron Dermer and Amidror himself.

Could it be that in the Middle East, where scarcely a second goes by without a leader needing to exchange a word with an adviser, that the prime minister will not be able to speak with several of his top advisers on the Sabbath?

Identities in boxes

By Elana Maryles Sztokman Opinion February 24, 2011

Maybe in a few years, she will yet be part of a more genuine social phenomenon of truly breaking down the boxes.

Maybe she and her friends will all continue to form a community in which “religious” and “secular” are not even defining terms, where these labels carry no meaning whatsoever, where everyone can sit in a room together without counting how many people come from which sector.

Maybe they won’t even notice. Or maybe they won’t even know. Maybe, nobody will ever bother to ask, “Are you religious?” because it simply won’t occur to them.

Now that would really be something.

Advertising war exposes Israel's religious-secular divide

By Nathan Jeffay February 24, 2011

There is a new battleground for Israel's secular-religious tensions: the advertising sales room.

The Orthodox anti-missionary charity Yad L'Achim is suing Army Radio for refusing to air its advertisement.

Interior Ministry pushing for buildings in Haredi town despite proximity to highway

By Zafrir Rinat February 27, 2011

The government is planning residential neighborhoods near the Trans-Israel Highway, to be part of the new ultra-Orthodox town of Harish.

The Interior Ministry is pushing for the initiative's approval, even though these neighborhoods would be exposed to noise far exceeding the allowed limit, officials told Haaretz.

Haredim 'taking over' periphery

By Ofer Peteresburg February 23, 2011

As real estate prices in central Israel rise, the ultra-Orthodox public is eyeing the periphery's outer circles – areas which have miserably failed in attracting strong populations from the center.

According to [Rabbi Uri Regev, director of Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality],

"The State of Israel must provide housing solutions for haredim, while demanding they integrate into the labor market so as not to become a burden. But at the same time it must ensure a planning policy which will prevent battles between haredim and other populations and areas becoming haredi."

After residents' two-year battle, court nixes plan to build ritual bath in secular Rehovot neighborhood

By Gili Cohen

Plans to build a mikveh in the heart of a secular neighborhood in Rehovot were quashed last week when the Petah Tikva court for administrative affairs prohibited the city from allocating land for its construction.

Residents of the area around Rehovot's Chen Boulevard have been fighting the construction of the mikveh for the past two years.

'Arab unrest signals Messiah's coming'

By Kobi Nahshoni February 23, 2011

The cellular portal Haredim, which offered a collection of responses on the matter, quoted Rabbi Aharon Leib Steinman, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Lithuanian sector in Bnei Brak, as blaming the instability in the region on contemptuous attitudes towards Torah study.

MKs debate whether to recognize Hebrew as primary language

By Ron Friedman February 25, 2011

United Torah Judaism MK Yisrael Eichler expressed concern that changing the law would harm the haredi population’s ability to conduct education in Yiddish.

He said he was supportive of the proposal as long as it didn’t apply to education in non-state schools, where many in the haredi sector use Yiddish as their primary language.

Haredim boycott Materna after price hike

By Ruti Levy February 25, 2011

After the price of Materna infant formula rose 7% this month, the ultra-Orthodox supermarket chain Bar Kol decided to do something about it: They simply replaced Materna with rival imported brands.

Kosher cooking in a material world

By Roy Arad February 22, 2011

Nearly 10,000 ultra-Orthodox women (Haredi men were forbidden to enter) crowded into the carnival of shopping that accompanied the competition.

...The large hall was dotted with booths sponsored by various brands. Sometimes it was hard to walk because the place was so crowded. Most of the brand names were trying to win the affection of the ultra-Orthodox public.

Black hats in a sea of green

By Zafrir Rinat February 21, 2011

For several years environmental groups have battled single family-home communities sprawling into the open landscape. Now they are turning their attention to rapidly expanding Haredi towns and the establishment of new ones in the midst of open spaces.

A special study commissioned on the jurisdictional boundaries of Katzir-Harish completed its work several weeks ago...

Green groups are worried about open spaces being harmed by housing plans for Haredim in two other places: Elad, a Haredi city with growth aspirations, and Kasif, a city being planned in the Arad Valley.

Shas cooperation enhances Haredi Holocaust education

By Jonah Mandel February 24, 2011

A new joint effort between the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum and Shas’s Ma’ayan Hinuch Torani is enhancing the Holocaust education of the educational network’s haredi Sephardi pupils.

...“We hope such a program will work with [the Ashkenazi haredi educational institutions] as well. The success with Ma’ayan Hahinuch Hatorani exceeded our expectations,” Hochman said.

Education Ministry official calls Bible studies' decline a 'disaster of biblical proportions'

By Or Kashti February 24, 2011

The number of students taking the advanced matriculation Bible exam in recent years has dwindled drastically, a senior Education Ministry official said on Tuesday at a conference on Bible teaching in Tel Aviv.

Sharing my personal perspective on the future of Jerusalem

By Charlie Kalech Opinion February 26, 2011

Ironically, there are an increasing number of non-governmental religious institutions that practice a more diverse range of Jewish practice as the fabric of Jerusalem’s synagogues becomes more varied.

However, as the congregants of these communities seek educational alternatives, they are met with the need to compromise their principles, in the best-case scenarios, and often they are also met with acute frustration and despair because currently there is no answer for Jerusalem’s observant population who believe in principles of egalitarianism and pluralism.

IDF Deputy Chief: Israel's army needs faith in God more than tanks

By Yair Ettinger February 21, 2011

The events currently shaking the Arab world "were ordained from above" by a guiding hand, Israel Defense Forces Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Naveh said on Sunday. Naveh added that the Israeli army needed faith in God now more than its supply of planes and tanks.

Naveh made the statements while accompanying Israel's two chief rabbis, Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar, on their visit to the chief military rabbi's office at the Tzrifin base.

Interview with Rabbi Eliezer Melamed

“Teaching in Order to Put into Practice”

By Arnon Segal February 11, 2011 (From newspaper “Olam Katan”)

Q: A year has passed since the ‘hesder’ between the army and ‘Yeshiva Har Bracha’ was cancelled. Rabbi Melamed, how is your relationship with the Rabbis who felt differently?

“My position remained precisely the same – it is a ‘mitzvah’ to serve in the army, and on the other hand, it is forbidden to fulfill orders expelling Jews from the Land of Israel."

Woman sues after finding stranger buried in her plot

By Tomer Zarchin February 24, 2011

A Kiryat Malakhi woman has filed suit with the Ashdod Magistrate's Court seeking the immediate removal of a corpse that was mistakenly interred in a burial plot alongside her deceased husband and which she purchased years ago.

VIDEO: Chilean Miners Visit Western Wall

Click here for VIDEO

Chilean Miners - We Kept our Faith Like the Jews

Chilean miners start pilgrimage to Holy Land

By DPA February 24, 2011

Twenty-four of the Chilean miners who were trapped underground for more than two months last year arrived in Israel yesterday for an eight-day pilgrimage to express their gratitude for being rescued.

"It's a blessing to be here, in the place of origin of God, to whom we prayed so much while being inside the mine," Jose Enriquez, 56, told reporters in Jerusalem.

Chilean miners arrive for ‘pilgrimage of thanks’

Anglican bishop appeals deportation order over sale of land to Palestinians

By Nir Hasson February 24, 2011

The Anglican bishop in Israel, Suheil Dawani, petitioned the Jerusalem District Court yesterday demanding that Interior Minister Eli Yishai return his visa, which was confiscated after it was discovered that he sold land to Palestinians.

Thousands Rallied in Ashdod Against Missionaries February 25, 2011

Thousands assembled in front of a missionary center in the Ashdod industrial zone this past Monday evening to participate in a tefillah rally/protest organized by Yad L’Achim.

Ethiopian Israelis reject possible project head appointment

By Ruth Eglash February 22, 2011

The likely appointment of a new CEO to head one of the Ethiopian community’s flagship organizations for absorption and education has been sharply criticized by some community leaders, with one group seriously threatening to take legal action if the appointment comes to fruition, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The agent of Kabbalah

By Danny Spektor February 21, 2011

Rabbi Yehuda Berg arrived in Israel on Sunday, this time to launch his new book, "The Prayer of the Kabbalist: The 42-Letter Name of God," at the Jerusalem international Book Fair. It's his sixth book in Hebrew and the 16th in English.

Airline apologizes for carrying pork on Israeli flight

By Nicky Robertson February 23, 2011

A United Kingdom budget airline has apologized to its Jewish customers after loading ham and bacon baguettes on to the flight instead of the standard kosher food.

EasyJet's kosher flight meal - bacon

By Robyn Rosen February 17, 2011

Trainee Accountant Victor Kaufman couldn't believe his ears when he settled into his seat for a budget flight from Israel.

For shortly after take-off, the crew announced they were about to begin serving food - which included bacon baguettes and ham melts.

Jews' connection to the land must not be severed, even in Hebron

By Moshe Arens Opinion February 22, 2011

Who are the people, including the editorial writers of this newspaper, who have gone ballistic over the education minister's announcement that students should be taken on heritage trips to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron?

Deputy FM Ayalon: We’ll bring Israeli diplomats to Hebron

By Tovah Lazaroff February 24, 2011

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Israel Beiteinu) on Wednesday became the second prominent politician this month to announce a plan to strengthen the nation’s ties to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

He told the Knesset he was launching an educational program to bring Foreign Ministry cadets and Israeli ambassadors preparing for placements abroad to visit the cave, as well as other heritage sites.

Returning to the source of it all

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion February 25, 2011

Recently, though, I have a feeling that this return to the source is beginning to seep into the mainstream.

...And I get the same vibe in other places - in my meetings with young soldiers taking an interest in the historical past of the places where they train and operate; in a writing workshop I have been giving, to mostly secular twentysomethings, who are choosing biblical texts for their exercises. More and more young Israelis are looking to hook up to a primeval Jewish source.

Religion and State in Israel

February 28, 2011 (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.