Monday, September 26, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - September 26, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

September 26, 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.

Haredim: Beit Shemesh girls' school 'backed by evil regime'

By Kobi Nahshoni September 21, 2011

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox residents of Beit Shemesh staged a demonstration Tuesday evening outside a religious girls' school in the city, in protest of the Education Ministry's decision to open the school near haredi neighborhoods.

Senior Beit Shemesh rabbis took part in the rally, in which participants called for "maintaining the purity of the haredi neighborhoods against strangers plotting to desecrate them, backed by the evil regime."

Religious infighting continues to rise in Beit Shemesh

By Ruth Eglash September 25, 2011

Ultra Orthodox

Photo: Premasagar (illustrative purposes only)

According to reports from within the national-religious camp, over the past few weeks since the school opened, ultra- Orthodox men often stand nearby hurling insults such as “pritza” (“whore”) and “shiksa” (“non-Jew”) or throwing eggs and feces at the girls as they leave school.

Last week, two men, members of the extremist Sikrikim group, were arrested for egg-throwing.

Community activist Dov Lipman, an immigrant from the US and one of those who has taken up the battle on behalf of the national religious:

“They are determined to make Beit Shemesh a haredi city and, I think, in other places they successfully intimidated local residents, but we will not run away.”

Throwing Eggs and Jeers at Little Girls

By Allison Kaplan Sommer Opinion September 19, 2011

It is not only the future of the Orot schoolgirls that is at stake in this war. It is the future of a city, and a Zionist dream.

The modern Orthodox neighborhoods of Beit Shemesh are among the most popular destinations for American Jewish immigrants, where a ‘soft landing’ into Israel took place and a little corner of suburban paradise has grown and thrived over the past two decades.

If Orot Banot falls, the future of that community and the diverse city of Beit Shemesh will be as black as the outfits and the motives of the men who spend their afternoons screaming at schoolgirls.

Choosing to be an isolationist in my backyard

By Tzirel Shaffren Opinion September 19, 2011

The writer made aliya with her husband and four children on the first Nefesh B’Nefesh flight nine years ago.

Holy land-31

Photo: Raw Herring (illustrative purposes only)

If you want to live an isolationist life, you can’t move in to the center of town, take over all the resources, and demand that everyone around you change or move out.

Does anyone believe that when these particular “haredim” moved in, it wasn’t with the intention of taking over?

What is it called when a population intentionally sets out to expel an existing population using harassment and even violence? It’s certainly not called ahavat Yisrael!

Extreme pressure

By Atara Beck September 21, 2011

‘What we’re doing here right now is the first organized effort in Beit Shemesh to say no to any kind of coercion,” says community activist Rabbi Dov Lipman regarding the ongoing abuse in the name of religion upon city residents by a small but powerful group of religious extremists, culminating in the terrorizing of little girls.

Lipman and his followers are determined to “take the city back.”

U.S. Ambassador: Integration of ultra-Orthodox is an American Interest September 21, 2011

While meeting with student at the ultra-Orthodox campus of the Lander Institute, Shapiro remarked “The ultra-Orthodox population has grown; nearly 25% of first graders are ultra-Orthodox.

It’s clear that this population will be all the more important in the future and it behooves us to help them prepare for socio-economic success. If Israel is stronger, that will help America and vice versa.”

The protesters missed the point

By Yakir Plessner September 15, 2011

[T]he protest movement has not targeted the most important cause of all for the burden the public carries: the fact that many thousands of citizens, mostly haredim (ultra-orthodox), do not work and live off those who work and pay taxes. (At least the last time that I looked, the haredim did not receive manna from heaven).

If the participation in the labor force were to rise from 58% (in Israel) to 70% (the OECD average), everything here would look different - higher GDP and a lower tax burden. This is the protesters' great miss.

Economic change will need ultra-Orthodox men September 24, 2011

Shahar Ilan submitted a Hiddush document to the Trajtenberg Committee entitled “Without the work of Haredim [ultra-Orthodox men], it will not work.”

He cautioned that an economic plan that streams large budgets into welfare and housing subsidies, and does not stipulate funding for work or help in gaining professional experience, will further hinder efforts to get yeshiva students to work and will even will keep them in the yeshivas.”

Therefore, he continued, “Not only would they [the government] not help the middle class, but they would actually harm it.

Look before you write

See also:

By Yerach Toker Globes Opinion September 20, 2011

Yerach Toker is Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni’s media adviser.

Many thousands of haredi men and women work for a living in the present, have done so in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

...The haredi community pays much higher indirect taxes than secular Israelis; haredi families buy much more milk, bread and diapers than secular families.

...Even if the claim refers to income tax, half of the haredi workers do not even reach the income-tax threshold. Is this claim aimed at them too?

Report: Investment in settlements higher

By Avital Lahav September 18, 2011

The large gaps in the local authorities' income also stem from their residents' socioeconomic status, but also from the scope of aid they receive from the government, which makes it unnecessary to collect taxes and impose fees and fines.

The low income of local authorities in the settlements can be ascribed to the increasing growth in the population of the ultra-Orthodox cities, Modiin Illit and Beitar Illit, whose population made up 28% of the settler population at the end of 2009.

Conscripts without any rights

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion September 23, 2011

It becomes even more annoying when it transpires that the ultra-Orthodox youngsters who evade military service get better conditions from the state than the soldiers.

They receive a stipend of NIS 900 every month as well as NIS 2,500 directly from the Kolel [a yeshiva for married students], from a budget which comes mainly from the state.

That is to say, young ultra-Orthodox men receive NIS 3,400, as opposed to conscripts who receive NIS 350 or NIS 650. Is there a greater scandal than that?

Make no mistake, Israel's existence is under threat

By Ben Knight September 24, 2011

Well, if the figures are to be believed, in less than 30 years, Israel will have a population where the majority either can't, or won't join the workforce – putting an increasing, and impossible burden on the secular minority to pay the taxes and serve in the army.

This, in the 'Startup Nation' - the country that prides itself on its hi-tech sector. Israel has the ideas, the inventors, and the entrepreneurs - but already, it has to import workers from overseas, because there aren't enough educated Israelis in the job market.

It's not sustainable. Israelis know about it, and sometimes talk about it, but Israel's government does nothing. It's just too hard – especially as the political power of the ultra-religious is growing. It's almost impossible to form a government in Israel today without them.

Jerusalem bookshop targeted by 'mafia-like' extremists

By Luke Brown September 19, 2011

"They're not happy with the large number of tourists that come in here because they feel they're not dressed modestly enough," she explained, pointing out that Israel's English-speaking community and visitors from the US, the UK and other European countries constitute a large proportion of the shop's clientele.

Haredi riots in Jerusalem following police raid

By Kobi Nahshoni September 20, 2011

Police arrested two prominent Eda Haredit and Neturi Karta activists in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Also arrested were Yoel Kraus, a prominent Eda Haredit figure and Mordechai Hirsch, the son of Moshe Hirsch, who served as a cabinet minister in the Palestinian government. Local residents responded by hurling stones at the police officers.

J'lem: Police arrest 1 of Or Hachaim book store vandalizers

By Melanie Lidman September 20, 2011

Police arrested on Tuesday one of the leaders responsible for terrorizing and vandalizing "Or Hachaim" bookstore in Jerusalem's ultra- Orthodox neighborhood Mea Sha'arim.

'Immodest' Haredi bookstore vandalized

By Ari Galahar September 23, 2011

The windows of a modern bookstore in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem were smashed last week by two masked people. Security camera's documented the two approaching the shop and damaging it.

Signs in Mea She’arim: “No Entry for Men in Uniform” September 8, 2011

These pasquinades are bluntly phrased and, essentially, they say: “no entry to our neighborhoods and synagogues to anyone wearing soiled garments, such as soldiers, officers and commanders in national brothels.” [referring to national institutions, such as the army, as brothels.]

The writers of these signs explain that, “their presence signifies disaster in the future and a danger to our descendants.”

VIDEO: Teacher at Haredi Yeshiva HS financed by Educ. Ministry: “Zionist leaders aided Nazis in the Holocaust” (Hebrew)

Speech to students took place at an IDF War Memorial site

Click here for article (translation)

Haredim throw stones at Border Police jeep in Mea She'arim September 25, 2011

In the Jerusalem neighborhood Mea She'arim, Haredim threw stones at a jeep belonging to border police who were at the time arresting an illegal resident.

Haredi rescue service open on Shabbat

By Ari Galahar September 22, 2011

The United Hatzalah of Israel rescue organization is stepping up is competition against Magen David Adom with a 24/7 emergency center, which will operate on Shabbat and Jewish holidays as well.

VIDEO: Egypt will no longer export palm fronds to Israel

Fruit of Arab Spring?

By Helen Chernikoff September 20, 2011

Despite the announced ban and other issues, a ship bearing about 200,000 lulavs — less than half the typical U.S. demand — left Egypt on Sept. 18 about two weeks later than it should have, said Zagelbaum, citing information from his Israeli suppliers.

Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Development said on Sept. 18 that while it can’t control prices, it will help to ensure adequate Israeli supply in part by subsidizing harvests of domestic date palms.

Shortage of lulavs looms prior to Succot

By Sharon Udasin September 19, 2011

“As a result of current circumstances, the [Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry] encourages and advises palm growers in Israel to increase the number of lulavs that will be supplied for the holiday,” Noked said in the statement.

Imported etrogim must pass check at airport

By Sharon Udasin September 21, 2011

Inbound passengers to Israel can each bring one etrog in their luggage for the holidays, but upon arrival to the airport or seaport, those toting the Succot citrus fruit must present their item to a representative from the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry, or in his or her absence, a customs official, the ministry announced on Tuesday.

Egypt bans export of palm fronds ahead of Jewish holiday of Sukkot

By Amiram Cohen September 19, 2011

Israel's Agriculture Minister Orit Noked said her ministry would also work to supply the Israeli public with lulavs at a fair price by encouraging domestic date farmers to greatly boost their supply.

IDF tackles Chief Rabbinate claims that military shofars are unkosher

By Yehuda Shlezinger September 14, 2011

A debate has emerged over the kosher status of a number of shofars (rams' horns) acquired by the Israel Defense Forces from Morocco and China, Israel Hayom learned recently.

Israel Hayom received a copy of a letter that the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Rabbinate Ritual Objects Department, under the supervision of the city's Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, sent to the Defense Ministry.

The letter cautions that the shofars purchased by the IDF were not made under proper supervision and thus lack kosher certification; therefore, they are cannot formally be approved by Israel's Chief Rabbinate.

Not-so-sweet new year – honey costs skyrocket

By Nadav Shemer September 23, 2011

The Rosh Hashana tradition of sweetening the new year with honey may have acquired a sour taste. A study has found that Israelis will pay around 3.5 times more for the holiday staple than their American counterparts.

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) raises Lifta security to prevent willow theft

By Sharon Udasin September 19, 2011

As part of its ongoing effort to safeguard the increasingly popular nature reserve in the abandoned Arab village of Lifta, Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) will be upping its security there during the days following Yom Kippur and through Succot, in order to prevent holiday willow thievery, an INPA spokesman told The Jerusalem Postduring a tour of the area on Sunday morning.

Ukrainian rightists riot over mass Hasidic pilgrimage ahead of Rosh Hashannah

Reuters September 26, 2011

Ukrainian police detained dozens of people on Sunday who were protesting what they called an uncontrolled influx of Jewish pilgrims to the town of Uman, police and the Ukrainian nationalist party Svoboda said.

Hasidim plan 'tent protest' in Uman

By Kobi Nahshoni September 25, 2011

Musician Adi Ran is initiating a new "protest tent" among his fellow Breslov Hasidim, following the exaggerated prices of the pilgrimage to Rabbi Nachman's grave in Uman, Ukraine ahead of the Jewish New Year.

Ran is trying to evoke a wide-scale protest movement, whose members will set up tents near the gravesite instead of paying locals hundreds of dollars for a bed.

Six Jews arrested in Uman a week ahead of big pilgrimage

By Gil Shefler September 19, 2011

Six Jewish worshipers have been arrested by police in Uman a week before the expected arrivals of tens of thousands of others.

“I’m very worried,” said Chabad Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman who is one of three claiming the title Chief Rabbi of Ukraine. “Already six are arrested and that’s before everyone has arrived.”

Israel's Dead Sea to get its first gender-divided beach

By Yair Ettinger September 23, 2011

Dead Sea Sunset

Photo: WaterpoloSam

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said that the declaration of the separate beaches was "a very great gift of this place to the Jewish people around the word."

Interior Minister and Shas chairman Eli Yishai said that the separate beach gave equal rights to Orthodox people and that this was a commandment, a good deed, from the Torah.

The beach joins some 12 separate bathing beaches in Israel on the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee.

Drifting apart: Gender-segregated beach opens at Dead Sea

By Yehuda Shlezinger September 20, 2011

Several government officials and community members on Monday attended the beach's inauguration ceremony, after an estimated NIS 15 million ($4.3 million) was invested in the gender-separate project.

The leaders of the gender-separate beach project have promised that entry to the beach will be free of charge and that it will be open to the public throughout the day.

I’m an abomination and a sinning Jew

New Eruv for Eastern Jerusalem September 23, 2011

Students and guides from the Beit Orot tourism college discovered, during the summer, that there was no longer any eruv around the northern end of the Mount of Olives, the Ophrit military base and the Mount Scopus campuses of the Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital.

PHOTOS: Prime Minister's Office & Ambassador to UN at Lubavitcher Rebbe's grave after UN speech

Religion and State in Israel

September 26, 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.