Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - January 2, 2012 (Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011

Are the rabbis - and the Sicarii - sensing dramatic internal changes within ultra-Orthodox society itself?

...Economic distress alone is enough to push the ultra-Orthodox to reform, which in turn damages the supreme ultra-Orthodox value of separatism, "the pure cruse of oil." 

The change in values is keeping the rabbis awake at night. The more openness there is, the more they seek to close things off.

By Yair www.haaretz.com December 28, 2011

In a letter published on Tuesday and described as "historic, of incredible significance for now and future generations" by his followers, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv - who is considered the leader of the Lithuanian non-Hasidic faction of Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox Jews - called for a total boycott of frameworks, such as the programs that enable Haredim to serve in separate army units or learn a profession in the IDF, and the colleges where thousands of ultra-Orthodox study.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com December 29, 2011

Rabbi Uri Regev, head of Hiddush – Freedom of Religion for Israel, said in response that "the rabbi's letter, which comes out against positive procedures in the haredi society is further proof of the terrible leadership crisis the haredi public is experiencing.
"The general public, secular and religious, will not agree to continue sustaining the cost of the haredi society and reinforcing and expanding the haredi society of students with taxpayers' money."

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com December 28, 2011
“They warned that the purpose of these programs is to change the spirit and essence of the haredi world and to subvert it with all different types of other influences, nationalist and enlightenment ones, which are not the values of our fathers.”

By Yossi Verter Opinion www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011

The extremists in Beit Shemesh and elsewhere don't vote. Certainly not for Likud. They don't recognize the state. But Netanyahu is besmirched by kowtowing to them more easily than previous prime ministers.

He is trying terribly hard to be everyone's prime minister. You won't catch him making divisive remarks this term.

…Will the anti-Haredi wave hurt Netanyahu, and if so, to what extent? It depends what the key issues are in the next elections. A civil agenda could be lethal for Netanyahu and Likud.

Haaretz Editorial www.haaretz.com December 28, 2011

The rioters in Beit Shemesh are criminals in every sense of the word. They cannot hide behind their religious worldview, behind their rabbis' rulings on matters of halakha, Jewish religious law.

By Avirama Golan Opinion www.haaretz.com December 28, 2011

The public if fully aware that Beit Shemesh is not "the Haredim," and that the reason "the Haredim" don't work or serve in the army, and their children go to separate schools, is entirely political, and that it harms the Haredim themselves.

By Revital Hovel www.haaretz.com December 28, 2011

According to the new rates, for example, a family of five will have an 80-percent discount on city taxes if it earns no more than NIS 6,136, rather than NIS 4,909.

...Union of Local Authorities Chairman Shlomo Buhbut estimated the cost of the discounts at more than NIS 1 billion, and said local authorities had not been consulted.

By Nadav Shemer www.jpost.com December 28, 2011
Shahar Ilan, CEO of Hiddush-For Religious Freedom and Equality, said the reforms greatly favored yeshiva students and religious institutions, and constituted “a shameless robbery of the public purse.”

By increasing concessions to families with more children, and allowing yeshiva scholarships to be taken into account when calculating reductions, Yishai is essentially deciding that haredi municipal councils will collect less taxes, and that taxpayers from non-haredi municipalities will fund the deficit through balancing grants, Ilan said.

By Tali Farkash www.ynetnews.com December 28, 2011

Beer Hatorah Yeshiva has decided to take back students who were expelled after secretly getting driver's licenses, as long as they deposit a check of NIS 4,000 (about $1,058) and promise not to drive.
The students' driver's licenses will not be revoked, but should any of them be caught driving – the yeshiva will cash the check as a fine.

The yeshiva management used the students' ID numbers, against the law, to check the Transportation Ministry website and find out who of its 350 students owns a driver's license.

By MK Yochanan Plessner Opinion www.israelhayom.com December 27, 2011

This demographic and geographic growth is likely to continue, so we have no choice but to ensure that the principles of equality are applied across the board in our public spaces.

...As long as we do not change course and integrate the ultra-Orthodox community into the nation's service sector and workforce, the trend of radicalization is likely to continue.

Israeli genius: Letting 400 Yeshiva students turn into a Haredi revolt
By Yoel Marcus Opinion www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011
14. A Nobel Prize will be awarded to the genius who figures out how 400 yeshiva students - the maximum agreed between Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Minister of Religions Yehuda Leib Maimon - turned into tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox extremists who are leading the country to a revolt and themselves to suicide.
There's no question the day will come when the secular community gets tired of them and deals them a devastating blow. 
15. There's no shortage of Hasidim and yeshiva students in New York either - but they are loyal to their country. They work in clothing and electronics stores, and even pay taxes.

By Rabbi Daniel R. Allen Opinion http://ejewishphilanthropy.com December 30, 2011

Even while we in chutz l’aretz – outside of Israel (not in exile) – work diligently to support Israel’s legitimate security needs, we must also challenge the Government of Israel to live up to its Declaration of Independence. 

If written today I am afraid it might have read as follows (additions in parenthesis):
THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish (halachic) immigration and for the Ingathering of (certain of) the Exiles; it will foster the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants (if they are Jews, preferably ritually observant according to the chief rabbinate) ...

By Rachel Neeman Opinion www.haaretz.com January 1, 2012

It is possible that we are witnessing today a change to the face of Israeli society. 

Two terms that have seeped into our lives in recent days - "price tag" and "exclusion of women" - are the leading signals of this change, and there in fact exists a strong connection between the two terms.

By Yossi Beilin Opinion www.israelhayom.com January 1, 2012

The principle that guides the multicultural adage "live and let live" does not guide the extremists.
Just as multiculturalism is ready to accept anyone who is different, to them 'different' is 'infidel', and they cannot accept infidels.

Therefore, any effort to impose unity on them will not succeed – the only way for them to maintain their way of life is in the ghetto.

From this we can conclude that separation is necessary, and will diminish their ability to impose their way of life on the uninterested.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com January 1, 2012

Ultra-Orthodox residents have expressed their objection to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to divide Beit Shemesh into two separate cities – one for haredim and the other for secular and religious residents.

By Hanoch Daum Opinion www.ynetnews.com January 1, 2012

The protest wave against the radical haredim is more than important, yet it must not get confused or get overly excited. Israel’s majority must remind itself all the time that not only women have rights. The haredi minority has rights too.

By Roni Shuv Opinion www.haaretz.com January 2, 2012
The writer is the editor of the women's supplement of the Haredi magazine Bakehila.

We aren't really what you think; we are actually people who are aware, cultured and wise. But to our great horror, everyone around begins shaking their heads in pity.

By Yitzhak Laor Opinion www.haaretz.com January 2, 2012

The Haredi community is the only one challenging the state's modernist ethos. 

The conflict between modernism and anti-modernism appears to be inevitable, and it has turned the left into the persecutor, as if it were the state, as if the opposition doesn't need an alliance with those who object to state policies - including Haredim, Mizrahi Jews and Muslims.

www.globes.co.il December 28, 2011
Interview with Mercantile Discount CEO Jacob Tennenbaum

"The haredim are on the brink of a great breakthrough into the economy," says Tennenbaum. 

"They are too big to remain self-contained. There is now legitimacy, and a need, to go out to work so that the family will be economically self-supporting. 

We are seeing an increasingly large number of haredim studying in colleges adapted for their special needs, and more and more of them are entering the workforce. At a certain point we will reach a watershed, and then there will be a flood."

By Chaim Levinson www.haaretz.com December 28, 2011

Most of the right-wing activists who vandalized the Ephraim Brigade's base two weeks ago were students at Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, police have discovered.

By Yossi Sarid Opinion www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011

If you would like to know the source from which your brothers derive their brazen behavior, go over to the study hall and open a page of Talmud. 

It's true that the Torah has 70 faces, but the trend of these faces is clear: The source of the pollution is in halakha (Jewish law) itself. 

What is happening in Beit Shemesh and its satellites is not "contrary to halakha," it is mandated by halakha. And the rest will be told to the grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters.

By Rabbi Nava Hefetz Opinion http://rhr.org.il December 14, 2011

A few days ago there was in the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus a discussion over the controversial book “Torat Hamelech” (the torah of the king).

This conference was initiated by Beit Hillel and the Department of Jewish Thought and irritated both, the opponents and the supporters of the book. The participants of the discussion were: Prof. Abraham Roznak, Prof. Rachel Elior, PhD. Eli Hadad, PhD Mustafa Abu Suweid from Al Quds.

By Daniel Estrin AP www.salon.com December 30, 2011

Israeli rabbis, however, are less accepting of the immigrants’ New Year merrymaking. Since 1998, they have banned most of the country’s hotels and banquet halls — which are under their kosher supervision — to display trees, ornaments and other reminders of the holiday.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011

Not even 15 years of hearings, centuries-old documents, ancient maps and testimony by archaeological, historical and linguistic experts were enough to help the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court determine who owns a small chamber in the basement of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem - a Muslim religious trust or the Coptic Church.

Adding to the confusion, the Prime Minister's Office decided last week that the basement is not a holy site.

By David Rosenberg The Media Line www.jpost.com December 26, 2011

But these incidents, said Ron Kronish, director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel, do not reflect the general state of inter-communal relations. 

On the whole relations with the Jewish majority are “relatively good,” said Kronish whose ICCI serves as an umbrella group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim organizations promoting mutual understanding.

By Julia Niemann www.haaretz.com December 30, 2011

Shifting demographics are changing the landscape of Israel's Christian communities as an influx of migrant workers poses a new set of demands for local churches.

While the number of Christians with roots in Israel - including Arabic, Ethiopian, Coptic, Greek and Armenian Christians - is diminishing due to immigration, statistics show the overall population of Christians remains steady due to the arrival of many foreign workers. In fact, the churches themselves appear to be growing.

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.
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