Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - February 27, 2012 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

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

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion www.haaretz.com February 24, 2012

The High Court ruling [on the Tal Law] may have kicked the Knesset into a legal abyss, but it has also given the politicians a chance to come up with a new social contract balancing the demands, opportunities and benefits of education, jobs, housing and national - not necessarily military - service.

Such a contract will take time to plan and needs a certain degree of consensus for implementation, which will again take years. Don't expect Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his falling-apart-at-the-seams office and on the brink of a war with Iran, to draft that new social contract in these months before elections.

By Anshel Pfeffer www.haaretz.com February 23, 2012

[Rabbi Shmuel] Auerbach's letter is not just about the yeshiva students. Its timing, the prominence on the first page of the Yated, and the fact that he is the only rabbi speaking on behalf of the Lithuanians, constitute the first open move in the contest to succeed Rabbi Yossef Shalom Elyashiv as the unofficial leader of the Lithuanians.

The editors of Yated Ne'eman favor Auerbach because of his ideological rigidity. By publishing his letter, they have also showed their true colors. 

They are influential but not necessarily kingmakers. Auerbach's rivals who are thought to be more flexible, have their own powerful supporters, but they have never shown much of a stomach for a fight.

By Yigal Walt Opinion www.ynetnews.com February 24, 2012

While a compromise between religious and secular Israelis is unavoidable if the two groups wish to maintain some semblance of coexistence, the nature of such conciliation may have to be significantly different than the status quo that has prevailed here for many years.

Let us hope that both sides will be wise enough to focus on the common interest, rather than on their fundamental (yet bridgeable) differences.

Otherwise, the events of the past year will only serve as a prelude to the inevitable disintegration of the world’s only Jewish state.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com February 26, 2012

"Haredization stopped for two reasons: The secular public realized it had no place else to go, and the Haredi public opened up," an important neighborhood figure said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Ramot has been becoming Haredi for 25 years," Ramot Council chairman Ze'ev Landner said. "The facts prove that when there's a public that can stand up for its principles, it's possible to stop the process and learn to live together.

By Atara Beck www.jpost.com February 23, 2012
Knesset member Rabbi Haim Amsalem and political activist Rabbi Dov Lipman, a resident of Beit Shemesh and a leader in the effort to fight religious extremism in the city, were among four government representatives who participated earlier this month in the 60th National Prayer Service in Washington.

Lipman believes that the cosmopolitan attitude among Orthodox Jews in America is largely due to the fact that secular education is a requirement in yeshiva day schools.

“It’s important to get more haredim involved with the rest of society,” through army service and joining the workforce, he maintains, in accordance with the values espoused by Am Shalem.

By Raanan Ben Zur www.ynetnews.com February 23, 2012

The Kfar Saba Magistrate's Court on Thursday extended the remand of the principal of a haredi school for girls in Netanya who is suspected of sexually assaulting students. The suspect denied the allegations.

By Eli Senyor www.ynetnews.com February 21, 2012

A principal of a haredi educational establishment and certified rabbi is suspected of sexually assaulting his female students, Ynet learned Tuesday. 

It is suspected that senior haredi leaders and politicians tried to keep the affair, which is now under police investigation, under wraps.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com February 23, 2012
The case of an Armenian Orthodox priest, who allegedly punched an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student who had spat at him, was heard in Jerusalem District Court on Wednesday after the state appealed an earlier court decision to drop charges against the priest.
The state prosecutor's office, which filed the appeal, argues that allowing the priest's action to go unpunished would encourage other citizens to respond in a similar manner.

By Eva Illouz www.haaretz.com February 22, 2012

But Shas went a step further than Agudat Yisrael. While the latter was happy to remain an isolated community defending its economic interests, Shas used a broader tactic, made itself into a broad-based social and economic movement and used resentful demagoguery to denounce inequalities.
Instead of promoting a truly egalitarian social agenda, it appealed to ethnic pride and revenge, and used state funds to cater to its own electoral sectors.

Shas thrived on class divisions, ethnic resentment, alienation, and an empty rejection of Western/secular/democratic culture under the guise of rejecting "Ashkenazi" culture.

It became the caricaturized reflection and prolongation of the "ethnic" Mizrahim the Ashkenazim had created - narrowly and fanatically religious, one-dimensional, fearful of cosmopolitanism and of the great European tradition.

But Shas even went further: It strengthened and deepened the unholy alliance of state and religion and used state institutions to push forward discriminatory policies against non-Jews such as foreign workers, based on sectarian religious ideology.

By Revital Blumenfeld www.haaretz.com February 28, 2012

The state has agreed to increase the pace of immigration from Ethiopia, after several months bringing in fewer members of the Falashmura community than it had promised.

By Ruth Eglash www.jpost.com February 26, 2012

The new arrangement will mean that instead of only 110 new immigrants arriving in Israel each month, as has been the case for the last few months, some 250 Falash Mura – Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity more than a century ago – will be allowed to immigrate.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com February 26, 2012

The Tzohar rabbinical association and the volunteer emergency and disaster organization Zaka have teamed up to spread brotherly love as the holiday of Purim approaches.

In light of recent intercommunal tensions between the haredi and secular worlds, Tzohar and Zaka initiated “Operation Increase the Love,” which will enable people from secular and ultra-Orthodox communities to send mishloah manot, as the food packages are known, to each other.

By Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press http://finance.yahoo.com February 21, 2012

One man prays to heal the legs he broke in a car accident. An older woman pleads for grandchildren. Another visitor has come to see "God's secretary."

These believers are part of a growing phenomenon in Israel, where hundreds of thousands of people from starkly different backgrounds flock to the tombs of ancient Biblical figures or modern-day rabbis, seeking blessings and claiming they've witnessed miracles.

By Dr. Itay Gal www.ynetnews.com February 26, 2012

Speaking at a debate held on Tuesday at the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, Ministry of Health Director General Ronny Gamzo said that thousands of tissue samples and organs belonging to autopsied bodies will be buried within three months.

By Chris Nashawaty www.wired.com February 17, 2012

Lichtenberg is 52 years old and thin, with glasses and a neatly trimmed beard. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, he moved to Israel in 1986 after graduating from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx and has worked at Herzog more or less ever since. 

It’s here that he has become one of the world’s leading experts on the peculiar form of madness that struck Ronald Hodge—a psychiatric phenomenon known as Jerusalem syndrome.

www.ynetnews.com February 22, 2012

A couple of religious educators turned to Rabbi Yuval Sherlo to hear his opinion on the show. "There is no doubt that in light of the show, secular society in Israel now has a great deal of respect for 'The Jewish Home' and believes that a relationship within that home is healthy, full of love and trust – all due to the much discussed couple who even in moments of hardship live in amazing cooperation and admirable coherence.

"Yet the question that must be raised is – is this the sanctification of Hashem? Or is it just something nice? Or, is it even possible that this is a profanity of his name? And one final question: Is this a way to influence the Israeli nation?"

By Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com February 24, 2012

Security personnel used force to disperse hundreds of Muslim worshipers at the Temple Mount on Friday who rioted and threw stones following a tense week in the Old City. 

Eleven police officers were lightly injured and treated at the scene. A total of ten protesters were arrested, though a number of additional arrests are expected.

By Yair Altman www.ynetnews.com February 24, 2012

Friday prayers at Jerusalem's Temple Mount turned into a scene of violent riots as protesters hurled stones at security forces who in turn broke into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

By Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com February 21, 2012

Overnight on Monday, police raided an apartment in the Ramot neighborhood and found far-right materials related to theTemple Mount, including flyers from an extremist website. 

Police arrested an activist who is one of the central figures in the extremist website “Our Temple Mount,” Jerusalem Police spokesman Shmuel Ben- Ruby said.
See also: Jpost and Ynet articles

By Amir Shoan www.ynetnews.com February 25, 2012

An investigative report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed the ongoing failure of various Israeli authorities in safeguarding the rare archeological treasures found on Temple Mount. Information elicited by the newspaper showed that the Waqf is consistently erasing any trace of Jewish history at the site.

By Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com February 27, 2012

Just a few hours before Members of Knesset gathered at the Mount of Olives for the 20th yarzeit of former prime Minister Menachem Begin on Monday, American Jewish leaders urged the Knesset to improve the security situation at the ancient Jewish cemetery, which suffers from grave desecration and stone throwing against worshippers.

By Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com February 26, 2012

The deteriorating security situation at the Mount of Olives cemetery is set to be discussed on Monday at an emergency hearing with the Knesset Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, after Diaspora Jewish leaders made saving the cemetery one of their central concerns.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com February 28, 2012

Under an ordinary residential building in Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, a robotic arm with a camera inserted into a Second Temple-era burial cave has revealed mysterious inscriptions and drawings on ossuaries.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com February 25, 2012

The national heritage proposal that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented to the cabinet this week is attracting criticism for including only sites that are part of the Jewish and Zionist narrative.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com February 27, 2012

A senior official in the Catholic Church has called on President Shimon Peres to use the power of his office to apprehend those responsible for a number of incidents in the past few weeks in which Christian sites in Jerusalem were vandalized.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com February 28, 2012

Custodian of the Holy Land Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is responsible for the care of Catholic holy sites in Israel, wrote to President Shimon Peres last week, calling on him to urge authorities to prevent vandalism and attacks on churches and Christian places of worship.

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