Monday, May 16, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - May 16, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

May 16, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

IDF's Nahal Haredi commemorates its fallen

By Tali Farkash May 9, 2011

As Israel honors it’s fallen this Memorial Day families gather at cemeteries to remember their loved ones. The cemetery plots are groomed to perfection and soldiers' names are praised.

But there are 13 such fallen soldiers who do not receive this honor – members of the first Nahal Haredi.

..."For me it is important to know that there were people like that – haredim who combined successfully the military with an ultra-Orthodox lifestyle. I don’t think his service harmed his spirituality in any way. I think, maybe, even the opposite is true."

Lag Ba'Omer postponed out of concern for Sabbath

By Jonah Mandel May 13, 2011

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar announced on Thursday that the traditional Sephardi bonfire in Meron marking Lag Ba’omer would be lit next Sunday evening, May 22, rather than on the preceding Saturday night, to prevent desecration of the Jewish day of rest.

Israeli Haredim divided after top Sephardi rabbi postpones Lab Ba'omer

By Yair Ettinger May 12, 2011

A ruling by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef that celebrations of the Lag Ba'omer holiday should be postponed by a day to prevent desecration of the Sabbath has caused an uproar in Haredi circles.

Lag B’Omer Can Wait 24 Hours, Says Israeli Rabbi

By Nathan Jeffay May 12, 2011

Everyone knows the joke about how much Jews love to disagree — the single inhabitant of a desert island builds two synagogues so that he has one to assiduously avoid. Now, disagreement has cropped up in a new sphere — the calendar.

Children across Israel are scouring forests and streets for sticks and scraps of wood for the traditional bonfires for Lag B’Omer, the next festival. But when is Lag B’Omer? It depends who you ask.

VIDEO: Operation Solomon marks 20th Anniversary May 9, 2011

Operation Solomon was a 1991 covert Israeli military operation meant to bring Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

The operation was prompted by concerns that rebel forces in Ethiopia were about to topple the then-highly vulnerable regime, threatening the country with dangerous political destabilization.

Click here for VIDEO (Click right arrow to begin VIDEO)

Glenn Beck, Live from Jerusalem

By Jonathan Lis May 11, 2011

Beck toured several sites during his visit to Israel, including the tunnels under the Western Wall in Jerusalem. His plan to tour the Temple Mount was canceled due to opposition from the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust.

See also: Glenn Beck broadcasts radio show from Jerusalem

Click here for PHOTOS: Day 1 and Day 2

Masorti educators to continue striking over speedy return of docked salaries

By Raphael Ahren May 13, 2011

Some 30 employees of the Schechter Institute for Jewish Studies demonstrated Wednesday in front of the organization’s Jerusalem headquarter, threatening to continue an open-ended strike they started last week.

The strike includes all teaching activities at Schechter, affecting a graduate program in Jewish studies, a rabbinical school, and the TALI fund, a network of pluralistic Jewish education programs in public schools.

Schechter staff declares open-ended strike

By Ruth Eglash May 9, 2011

The Schechter Institute, which also operates the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, the Tali Educational Fund and Midreshet L, said on Sunday that it was the workers union that had not responded to “managements desire to compromise, and has continued to maintain its extreme position on all issues.

Chabad rabbis denounce one of their own for lighting torch at Israel Independence Day ceremony

By Julie Greunbaum May 10, 2011

A group of Chabad rabbis in Israel this week signed a letter denouncing one of their own for lighting a torch in the State of Israel’s official Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration.

Twelve Jerusalem Chabad rabbis, including six members of the Chabad Rabbinic Court in Israel, signed a letter denouncing [Rabbi Shimon] Rosenberg’s torch lighting. The letter was printed in the Charedi newspapers Hamodia and Hamevaser Monday morning.

PHOTO Gallery: Tefillin Alongside The Tanks May 5, 2011

Shliach to the Mateh Yehuda region, Rabbi Yitzchok Citron, visited the Latrun army base on Israel's Remembrance Day, donning tefillin with soldiers, bereaved parents and visiting tourists.

Click here for PHOTOS

Independence Party seeks to put Haredim to work

By Gil Hoffman May 12, 2011

“The party will work to strengthen Israel economically by advancing initiatives that would increase the participation of Arab and haredi citizens in the work force, based on the principle that in a stable society there must be equal rights and duties,” says the platform, which was obtained by The Jerusalem Post Wednesday night.

The party also calls for encouraging pluralism in Jewish culture and strengthening Israel’s connection with the Diaspora.

Despite Haredi opposition, Barkat lends his voice to operas performed in church

By Nir Hasson May 11, 2011

Four of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat's deputies have asked him to withdraw municipal sponsorship from a June opera festival in the capital because some of the performances will be held in churches, opening up a new front in Jerusalem's religious wars.

Barkat has agreed to consider removing the city's logo from some of the publicity materials, but told religious officials that the program itself will not be changed.

Silver Spring native eyeing Knesset seat - Lipman campaign seeks help here, Israel

By Aaron Leibel May 11, 2011

"When I saw Amsalem's platform, I said this was something I had to connect with at some level," he says.

He met the legislator in his office in Jerusalem and arranged for him to speak in Beit Shemesh. Many of those who came to hear Amsalem speak were English-speaking olim (immigrants), "and they identified with him," because they don't come from such a fractured Jewish world, says Lipman, who teaches at Yeshivat Reishit Yerushalayim and Machon Maayan, a seminary for young women, both in Beit Shemesh.

Swastika, hate slogans graffitied on Shas-affiliated synagogue May 11, 2011

A swastika was graffitied on the wall of a Shas affiliated synagogue in Kfar Yonah while the slogan "no to the haredi center" was sprayed on a nearby wall.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s daughter talks about meeting Mahmoud Abbas

By Noam Sheizaf May 9, 2011

The delegation of Israelis who traveled last week to the West Bank headquarters of the Palestinian Authority, the Mukata in Ramallah, consisted mostly of the usual suspects.

...Among the Israeli visitors, however, was one unlikely figure: Adina Bar Shalom, the eldest daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 92, the longtime spiritual leader of the Sephardic Orthodox Shas Party. Yosef is not known for his fondness for Palestinians. Last summer, he expressed the wish that PA President Mahmoud Abbas and “all those evils will be gone from this world."

Ultra-Orthodox rabbis call for boycott of Haredi weeklies

By Nati Tucker May 12, 2011

A group of Haredi rabbis yesterday urged their followers not to patronize various Haredi weeklies and free publications, saying that unlike the party-sponsored Haredi dailies, these publications reflect views that are contrary to the conservative Haredi worldview.

PHOTOS: Anti-Zionist Neturei Karta protests against Israel May 10, 2011

The anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta protesting against Israel in the district of Mea Shearim. The group burned the national flag of Israel on Israel's Independence Day.

VIDEO: Orthodox Wigs in Israel

Haredi Responsibility

By Rabbi Shimon Fried Opinion May 10, 2011

It is with some bafflement that I read the interview with Dr. Meir Wikler in the article “The Hareidim and Yom HaShoah” (N.Y. Minute, April 29).

As a haredi Jew who has visited Yad Vashem several times to do research, I have seen firsthand how they have been trying to reach out to the haredi world.

...Instead of criticizing Yad Vashem, perhaps it is time for us as religious Jews to ask, “What have we done?”

Interfaith leaders in Istanbul pledge to counter extremism

By Jonah Mandel May 13, 2011

A delegation from Israel comprised of rabbis, sheikhs and a priest resolved in Istanbul on Thursday to form an interfaith convention – along with their Turkish hosts – that will arbitrate disputes in the Middle East and Muslim world to counter religious extremism and promote peace.

Also taking part in it were Holon’s Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef, who is the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and part of the Chief Rabbinical Council; Rabbi Avraham Sherman of the Supreme Rabbinic Court; Chief Rabbi of Ohr Yehuda and Sha’ar Hanegev, Zion Cohen; Secretary of the Shas party, Rabbi Zvi Jacobson; the Vatican’s representative to the Middle East, Fr. Giries Mansoer; and Druse Sheikh, Yusuf Hirbawi.

Wanted rabbi attends J'lem police

By Nir Hasson and Chaim Levinson May 12, 2011

Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, wanted for questioning over his endorsement of a religious tract explaining when killing non-Jews is permissible, came to Jerusalem police headquarters yesterday to attend the swearing-in of the new district commander, Maj. Gen. Niso Shaham.

Religions harmonize at peace festival

By Viva Sarah Press May 9, 2011

It's May, and that means it is time for the annual Israel Culture of Peace Festival. The happening, set for May 25-28, puts the spotlight on collaboration and multicultural performances.

The festival's bill includes Jewish, Moslem and Christian traditional music, Arabic and Hebrew theater productions, oriental dance performances, as well as street theater and art exhibits.

VIDEO: Modest swimwear becomes popular at beach (Tel Aviv) May 13, 2011

Click here for VIDEO

Nof Ayalon High School yeshiva student wins international Bible quiz May 10, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Shlomi Aldman, a student at the Sha'alvim yeshiva high school in the communal village Nof Ayalon rode past opponents on Tuesday to take top-prize at the International Youth Tanach Contest set in Jerusalem. Shlomi was followed closely by Bnei Akiva Yeshiva contestant Noam Hadad from Hadera.

Obama's half brother visits Israel & Chief Rabbi Metzger

By Akiva Novick May 11, 2011

While US President Barack Obama was busy orchestrating the assassination of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, his half brother Mark Ndesandjo reconnected with his Jewish roots on his first trip to Israel.

One of the main purposes of Ndesandjo's visit was to meet with the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, to receive a blessing and a letter for his mother, Ruth Nidesand.

VIDEO: “Footnote” by Joseph Cedar

Cedar's drama deals with the rivalry between a father and son, both Talmud scholars at Hebrew University

Click here for VIDEO

PHOTO Gallery: Hare Krishnas in the Holy Land

By Sumit Galhotra May 13, 2011

VIDEO: A Mystical union: Jewish-Sufis in the Holy Land

By Zahra Raja May 13, 2011

Jews and Muslims worship right next to each other in the Holy Land, yet they are separated by walls, barriers and hostility. Some Jews, however, are trying to break that pattern. They have found a path in Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam.

Zahra-Chiara edit from Zahra Raja on Vimeo.

Rabbis to give Syrian opposition list of holy sites to save

By Jonah Mandel May 12, 2011

An Israeli delegation of religious leaders is going to present Syrian opposition members on Thursday with a list of sites in Syria holy to Judaism, to be safeguarded if Bashar Assad’s regime collapses.

Silvan Shalom: Joseph’s Tomb should be heritage site

By Gil Hoffman May 9, 2011

The tomb of the biblical Joseph in Nablus should be added to Israel’s list of protected heritage sites, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom wrote in a letter to cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser on Sunday.

Unflagging enthusiasm

By Ofer Aderet May 9, 2011

A few weeks ago signs were posted at his yeshiva high school, which is part of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. Students were invited to buy flags wholesale and earn a little money by selling them on the street.

Actor Haim Topol to select 'Zionist artists' for prize

By Itamar Eichner May 10, 2011

Leading theater and film actor Chaim Topol has been appointed head of the board of trustees which will select the candidates for the "Zionist art" prize.

Several months ago, Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat announced her plan to give out prizes for artistic creations dealing with the history of Zionism in order to encourage artists to express the values of Zionism, the history of the Zionist movement and the return of the Jewish people to their historic homeland.

Jerusalem's Armenians face uncertain future

By Matti Friedman AP May 12, 2011

Buffeted by Mideast forces more powerful than themselves and drawn by better lives elsewhere, this historic Jerusalem community has seen its numbers quietly drop below 1,000 people. The Armenians, led by an ailing 94-year-old patriarch, find themselves caught between Jews and Muslims in a Middle East emptying of Christians, and between a deep sense of belonging in Jerusalem and a realization that their future might lie elsewhere.

Torn between two worlds and an uncertain future

By Gray Beltran May 9, 2011

“Here in the Armenian Quarter, we are like an Armenian village. The church is the center,” said the Rev. Fr. Goossan Aljanian, the director of liturgical chanting at the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

But the future of this Armenian village is in jeopardy. Though the Armenian presence in Jerusalem dates back at least 1,500 years, few Armenians are left. Today, about 500 Armenians live in the Armenian Quarter. More than 20,000 Armenians lived in Jerusalem before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The current batch of seminarians are not from Israel or the West Bank; they are from Armenia.

Religion and State in Israel

May 16, 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.