Sunday, September 18, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - September 19, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

September 19, 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.

Rosa Parksenstein has arrived...

By Rachel Levin Weinstein Opinion September 12, 2011

As I scanned the front of the bus for an available spot after paying my fare, a seated gentleman in Charedi garb told my husband that I had to go to the back of the bus. My answer was simple: NO.

He told us it was a Mehadrin bus, as if that would make me skip to my 'rightful' place in the back, but his statement was quickly met with, "Lo bishvili (Not for me)!"

...When someone asked me why I was crying, a woman who was dressed much like me, she asked if I was told to move to the back because of how I'm dressed. I told her it wasn't because of my dress, but because I have a uterus.

Judaism against women

By Shulamit Aloni Opinion September 12, 2011

Last month, Anat Hoffman of the Reform Movement proposed that I board one of the previously gender-segregated bus lines and examine the attitude to women. These are the bus routes where the High Court of Justice ruled such segregation is illegal and must be annulled.

...This segregation is disgusting. It is a shame that the Egged bus company cooperates with this for some profits. However, the problem is not Egged. After all, Egged is subsidized by the State and must serve the entire public, regardless of ethnicity, creed, religion or gender.

A personal account of the Beit Shemesh Beit Orot Girls School situation

By Etana Hecht Opinion September 11, 2011

Etana Hecht is a mother of two living in Bet Shemesh. She made aliyah at age 18, and never looked back.

I don’t know what will be, or how this will end. I pray that somehow, these Kitzonim will quietly disappear from our beloved city of Bet Shemesh.

However, until that happens we need to keep up the fight as peacefully as possible so as not to lose our city to them.

We need the greater Bet Shemesh/Ramat Bet Shemesh community to not only support us, but join in the fight, because they need to realize that they’re next.

Two Haredi men arrested for throwing eggs at students in Beit Shemesh September 18, 2011

The Beit Shemesh police department arrested two haredi residents of the city Sunday on suspicion of throwing eggs and tomatoes at students who go to the "Orot Banot" school.

Business owners: New zoning laws discriminatory

By Melanie Lidman September 16, 2011

The Jerusalem City Council is expected to discuss and approve a new law at the city council meeting next week that would limit hours that businesses are open in residential neighborhoods.

The new law is being met with severe opposition from Hiddush, a religious freedom advocacy group, and business owners, who claim that the initiative is an attempt by haredi (ultra-Orthodox) politicians to curtail night life and places of entertainment in the city.

Haredim launch war on 'Taliban women'

By Akiva Novick September 15, 2011

An internal haredi battle is taking place these days against "Taliban women", a radical sect of women wearing cloaks and observing strict modesty rules.

Ads posted in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh are announcing the establishment of a special committee against the sect's members.

Bnei Brak vs. female teachers

By Reuven Weiss September 12, 2011

"We have nothing against the Secondary School Teachers Association," explained a Municipality spokesman, Rabbi Avraham Tenenboim.

"Our anger is directed at the company that posted the ads, which violated the agreement with the Municipality.

"The municipal law bans ads which include pictures of women in this city. It hurts the haredi public's feelings, and therefore we had the woman's photo covered. The signs that include pictures of male teachers only can be posted in the city without any problem."

See original post (Hebrew)

Mea She’arim bookstore hit again by extremist ‘mafia'

By Melanie Lidman September 15, 2011

A bookstore in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim, which has been struggling with violence from a mafia-style “Purity Committee” that objects to their English and Zionist books, was attacked once again early on Wednesday morning.

Marlene Samuels, the manager of Or Hachaim/Manny’s Bookstore, found the outer windows of the shop smashed for the fifth time since the store’s opening in March 2010, and the second time in less than a week.

Haredim and the State budget

Living by the sword does not cut it

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion September 13, 2011

Knesset Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) recently said that the Netanyahu government has given the Haredim more than any of its predecessors.

Indeed, the state lays out NIS 1 billion a year on yeshivas, so that a young Haredi man not only doesn't work, but also receives NIS 2,500 a month from his yeshiva and another NIS 900 directly from the state.

The state also gives him a subsidized apartment, a discount on municipal taxes and near-free education.

Even if his wife works outside the home, the family pays no income tax on account of the large number of children.

In other words, they live off the non-Haredi taxpayer and, from Steinitz's perspective, this is just and right.

Under pressure from Haredim, state reroutes major highway

By Eli Ashkenazi September 16, 2011

Major changes have been made to Route 79 in recent years as a result of religious pressure, following the discovery of tombs dating from the Roman era under the road.

...When burial caves were found in the rock layer under the road, construction was stopped and the findings were reported to the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Antiquities Authority.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish 'Facebook' separates the sexes

By Jessica Ravitz September 12, 2011

Showing that modernity might, just might, find its place even in a world predisposed to the most traditional of customs, in walks FaceGlat: an ultra-Orthodox Jewish answer, at least for some, to Facebook.

Exhibit traces history of pashkvil September 182, 2011

protest note

Photo: Ilya Ginsberg

The National Library of Israel in Jerusalem has scanned pashkvilim dating back to the Ottoman era up to these days and is presenting them in a new exhibit titled, "An Open Letter from Jerusalem's Wise Men."

The display includes dozens of pashkvilim reflecting the tradition and changes in the haredi society.

Five men arrested for sexually abusing minors in J'lem

By Melanie Lidman September 15, 2011

Police arrested five men in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Nahlaot over the past six weeks for sexually abusing dozens of minors in the neighborhood starting as early as 2006, though the abuse got significantly worse in the past two years.

Four of the men are from the haredi portion of the neighborhood. Ben Ruby said that due to the closed nature of the community, the police often have a difficult time identifying and arresting suspects.

Thank heaven

By Peggy Cidor September 15, 2011

Mayor Nir Barkat’s assistant liaison with the haredi community, Avraham Kroizer, says he has obtained a guarantee from the management of Channel 10 that there will be no violation of Shabbat when it moves to the capital.

In an interview on the haredi radio station Radio Kol Chai, Kroizer said that the staff of Channel 10, which will be operating out of the Jerusalem International Convention Center, will not work during Shabbat.

Kroizer explained that the agreement was a result of discreet and respectful cooperation on this issue between representatives of the municipality and the TV station.

New organ-donor card for religious community draws expert opposition

By Yaacov Lavie Opinion September 12, 2011

The writer, a professor, heads the Coronary Transplant Unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, and also serves on the steering committee of the National Center for Transplants.

A group of rabbis recently initiated the distribution of a new card for organ donors known as "Bilvavi" ("In my heart").

In addition, they also set up a body known as "Arevim" ["Guarantors"] that is supposed to be something of a kashrut supervisory body that checks the process of determining the death of a potential donor and giving rabbinical approval for donating his organs.

...Contrary to the position of the initiators of the Bilvavi card who do not find anything wrong with the pluralism of the donor card, I see in this approach a great danger of harming the readiness of the public that is not religious to continue to sign up for the Adi card.

The radical settler threat

By Anat Meidan September 17, 2011

“The fact that Rabbi Dov Lior, for example, viewed Jewish killer Baruch Goldstein as a saint shocked but didn’t surprise me, because the rabbi represents all the dangers inherent in the salvation movement,” [Micha] Regev says.

“The fact that he is an eminent rabbi with immense knowledge only makes the danger even graver and proves this is not a marginal group. Its hard core leads a mystical, violent line. Torah laws are more important for them than the State and more than democracy, and in the wake of a trigger like settlement evacuation they may resort to unprecedented violence.”

Culture war

By Avirama Golan September 14, 2011

Only the deaf, mute and children would not see that this is a culture war, on one side of which are the nine IDF cadets who boycotted the female singers at the IDF's officer training school, and on the other is Rami Baruch.

On the one side are Kahana's disciples and their rabbis, and on the other, anyone who dares oppose them, and therefore, even if that person wears a skullcap, he is considered an "extreme leftist."

The "Jewish Authority": 'Price Tag' acts threaten government's authority

By Zvi Bar'el September 14, 2011

A Jewish authority has taken shape on the West Bank, and its goal is to replace the state as a sovereign authority, and eventually also perhaps to supplant the authority of the IDF.

Statements published by the headquarters for the "rescue of the Jewish people and the land of Israel" indicate that hundreds of settler representatives were present at the founding conference of this new Jewish Authority, which was held at the Nofim settlement.

Religious Zionism rabbis unite for Migron

By Kobi Nahshoni September 16, 2011

Dozens of rabbis have confirmed their participation in an emergency meeting scheduled to be held Monday in the unauthorized settlement of Migron in the Binyamin region, following the demolition of three houses last week and ahead of the planned razing of dozens of other structures.

Tzohar Chairman Rabbi David Stav confirmed that the organization's president, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, will represent Tzohar at the meeting.

‘Price tag’ – paying for our educational failures

By Rabbi Yosef Blau Opinion September 12, 2011

The writer is the president of the Religious Zionists of America. He is the senior mashgiach ruchani (spiritual supervisor) at Yeshiva University.

While admiring the youngsters’ idealism, we must remember that living in a democratic state requires teaching tolerance of other views.

More importantly, normative Judaism has not been rooted in hatred or revenge. Symptomatically, David the warrior king does not build the temple, his peaceful son Shlomo does.

This should lead to the understanding that Judaism and Halachah have always been based on the interaction of many principles. Land is important and has been neglected because of the nineteen hundred years of exile, but it is not more important than people.

Freedom of Torah Study

By Rabbi Eliezer Melamed Opinion September 2, 2011

Rabbi Eliezer Melamed is the Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha.

Nearly two months ago, I wrote an article supporting Rabbi Dov Lior, shlita, and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, shlita, who were summoned for interrogation as a result of giving an approbation for the book ‘Torat Hamelech’, and when they didn’t appear at the investigation, were arrested by force.

...The motivation to write the book is the desire to contend with an enemy who hides himself behind a supportive population; in no way is the motivation to kill non-Jews or genocide.

Violence feared ahead of yearly pilgrimage to Uman

By Gil Shefler September 16, 2011

Israeli police said on Thursday it would not increase the number of liaison officers sent to beef up security at the annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage to Uman, in Ukraine, later this month despite last year’s violence which left one Israeli dead and dozens wounded. The pilgrimage is to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov’s grave.

Uman pilgrimage to set all-time record

By Akiva Novick September 14, 2011

Every year, tens of thousands of Breslov Hasidim flock to the grave of their beloved Rebbe in the Ukrainian city of Uman. This year, however, the pilgrimage is expected to set an all-time record.

The reason for Rabbi Nachman's sudden burst of popularity was not generated between the walls of a remote Ukrainian place of Torah study, but in the Israeli Foreign Ministry of all places.

Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Leftists are "angels of destruction"

By Akiva Novick September 18, 2011

Lachish (9)

Photo: Seth Frantzman

"God Almighty judges people, and has created angels on the right and on the left. The rightists speak positively, and the leftists say derogatory things," the rabbi said while addressing the Jewish New Year.

"Here too we have leftists now, but they are all angels of destruction," Yosef said.

Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: God has no respect for Turkey

By Kobi Nahshoni September 11, 2011

In his weekly sermon Saturday night, Shas' spiritual leader dismissed the escalating crisis between Ankara and Jerusalem and expressed his hope that the fate of "Israel's enemies" will be similar to that of their predecessors throughout history.

Soft Ultra-Orthodoxy June 30, 2010

According to conventional wisdom, Sephardic ultra-Orthodoxy is simply a copy of Ashkenazi Orthodoxy.

Dr. Nissim Lion demonstrates that this simplistic view overlooks major differences between the two communities with respect to Zionism and the State, and even with regard to the atmosphere of their respective synagogues.

Dr. Ariel Picard examines these differences and their sources, and claims that understanding them can make an important contribution to the public discourse, during a period in which the tension between the secular and the ultra-Orthodox is repeatedly in the headlines.

Money-laundering accusation against Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto dropped

By Tomer Zarchin and Yair Ettinger September 16, 2011

After first accusing his son-in-law, Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, of using him to launder money, Argentine Chief Rabbi Shlomo Ben Hamo retracted his claim in an agreement that was given the force of a verdict by the Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday.

Religious leaders of all faiths promotes global tolerance

By Jeremy Sharon September 15, 2011

Religious leaders of all stripes, gowns and headgear gathered in Jerusalem’s Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhood Wednesday to attend the third annual Interfaith Ethics and Tolerance conference.

“Our organization has taken on the task of working to improve the ethical behavior of all peoples and all the adherents of all religions,” said Rabbi Yuval Cherlow of the Jerusalem Center for Ethics and head of the Petah Tikva Hesder yeshiva.

Father of the Bride Arrested on Temple Mount

By Maayana Miskin September 13, 2011

A Jewish man who accompanied his daughter to the Temple Mount on the morning of her wedding day was arrested and detained for three hours. His crime – putting a pinch of dust in a matchbox as a keepsake.

Christian group recognized for contribution to Holocaust survivors

By Jeremy Sharon September 11, 2011

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem will be honored Tuesday evening at a gala ceremony in Haifa in recognition of the funding and assistance it has provided to an assisted-living facility for impoverished Holocaust survivors, run by the Yad Ezer L'Haver charity.

PHOTO Essay: Faith

By Inbal Rose

Scenes of light are captured during Christmas and Easter celebrations in the main churches and monasteries of the Holy Land, such as the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem. The nuns and devout worshippers express their faith during the religious services and rituals.

Religion and State in Israel

September 19, 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.