Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - April 23, 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 Aviad Glickman www.ynetnews.com April 24, 2012

Some three and a half months after they filed a petition with the High Court of Justice against the Transportation Ministry, police, Egged Bus Company and Cnaan Media PR, the court on Sunday served an order ruling that the State must, within 30 days, provide the court with an explanation as to why it does not stipulate that licenses for operating public transportation will only be issued to companies that avoid activities that may include gender-based discrimination.

The court also demanded that the State offer clarification on why it does not impose real sanctions on Egged when it goes against basic constitutional principles.

By Naomi Paiss Opinion http://jewschool.com April 18, 2012
Naomi Paiss, Communications Director for the New Israel Fund.

Today, a full-page advertisement supporting the New Israel Fund will appear in the New York Times. Paid for by a generous donor who is launching a matching-gift campaign, the ad features a news photo of an actual billboard in Jerusalem, with a poster of a woman’s face that has been clawed and defaced by ultra-Orthodox extremists.

The ad specifically references the troubling growth of gender segregation and the exclusion of women in Israel, a phenomenon now in the public eye but not yet defeated.

By Marc Tracy www.tabletmag.com April 17, 2012

More provocative is the back-story to the new campaign. While the ad alludes to longtime donor Murray Koppelman, according to an email sent to NIF supporters (it was forwarded to me by someone who has donated to the group), Koppelman has pledged to match NIF donations up to $500,000.

“What prompted Murray to put this much money on the line?” writes Daniel Sokatch, NIF’s CEO.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com April 24, 2012

Several religious soldiers requested last week to wear earplugs or listen to MP3 players during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in which women were singing, as well as for upcoming ceremonies for Remembrance Day and Independence Day.

The army refused the request but said that the soldiers could take a book of Psalms into the ceremony to read from if they wished.

By Jeremy Sharon www.jpost.com April 24, 2012

Leading national-religious Rabbi Dov Lior, municipal rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, ruled on Sunday that men should not attend theater performances in which women perform, even if the women do not sing and are dressed modestly.

According to Lior, who was writing in response to a question on the Yeshiva.org website, attending such events are not compatible with the Jewish concept of modesty.

www.jpost.com April 22, 2012

The Tal Law will be reformed in a "responsible" manner to address the social and manpower problems it has caused, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday according to Israel Radio.

By Shira Rubin www.timesofisrael.com April 22, 2012

The first coalition official to visit the camp, Erdan signed the petition to replace the current Tal Law, which virtually exempts yeshiva students from army or national service, with a law that would require all Israeli citizens to participate in military, national or civilian service.

www.jpost.com April 22, 2012

Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner added, "In the upcoming Knesset summer session, Kadima will an alternative to the Tal Law put on the table whose primary guiding principle will be the obligation for all to serve."  
See also:

www.jpost.com April 19, 2012

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin met on Thursday afternoon with leading ultra- Orthodox figure Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman to discuss a possible compromise for the replacement of the Tal Law regulating haredi enlistment in the army.

During Thursday’s meeting, which took place at Shteinman’s home in Bnei Brak and was also attended by MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev, both of UTJ, Rivlin opined that the coming months would be a test for both the broader public and the haredi community “to reach an agreement and an understanding.”

By Ophir Bar-Zohar www.haaretz.com April 19, 2012

Lapid also referred to the Supreme Court's annulment of the Tal Law, which regulated the limited army enlistment of ultra-Orthodox men, saying that the law was not really undone and urging the installment of civil service for Haredim.

"I read in the paper that the law was annulled. Well, it wasn't. On August 1, another law will be invented and given a different name," Lapid said, adding: "I understand the disparity between ultra-Orthodox and the military environment, they don't have to all go to Golani [infantry brigade]."

By Lahav Harkov www.jpost.com April 24, 2012

Am Shalem is seeking unusual partners for a party led by a haredi rabbi, working hard to attract secular Israelis and English-speaking supporters, building its social-media presence and negotiating with other, non-haredi parties, in keeping with its platform of promoting Jewish unity.

...In fact, [Rabbi Dov] Lipman added, there are many similarities between Am Shalem’s goals and those of Yair Lapid, such as requiring all haredi schools to teach the Education Ministry’s core curriculum and having most haredim serve in the IDF.

By Rabbi Dov Lipman Opinion www.jpost.com April 23, 2012
The author is an ordained rabbi, author, educator and community activist in Beit Shemesh. He is the director of the English Speakers Division of the Am Shalem movement.

I am a Zionist on every level. This created a challenge for me when I studied in a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) yeshiva in Jerusalem where rabbis never mentioned Israel’s Memorial Day, Israel’s Independence Day, or Jerusalem Day. 

No prayers were said for the state or on behalf of the IDF soldiers. These omissions disturbed me but my arguments about the magnitude of our return to Israel and Jerusalem fell on deaf ears.

By Kobi Nahshoni www.ynetnews.com April 23, 2012

A recent study conducted by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry predicted that Israel will see a 6% drop in its workforce within 20 years, especially due to the growing ultra-Orthodox and Arab population shares. But activists in the religious sector dismiss the forecast, noting the growing rates of employed haredim.

"I don't see the pessimistic predictions coming true," said attorney Yoav Laloum, chairman of the Noar KaHalacha, an organization that advocates against discrimination in the haredi sector.

www.globes.co.il April 18, 2012

Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer: "Another problem is poverty in Israel, which is very serious. 

The prevalence of poverty in the non-Arab and non-haredi population is stable, but poverty among Arabs and haredim is rising. Dealing with this is one of most important challenges facing Israeli society. 

We cannot continue on this road - something will have to give."

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com April 23, 2012

The head of the Karlin-Stolin Hasidic dynasty received a behind-closed-doors tour of the Israel Museum last week, the first official visit there by a major ultra-Orthodox leader.

Tuesday's visit came at the behest of the Israel Museum, which is planning an exhibition on the world of Hasidism, due to open in June.

Exhibit: June 12, 2012 - October 29, 2012
Location: Bella and Harry Wexner Gallery, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Curator: Ester Muchawsky-Schnapper, Curator, Julia and Leo Forchheimer Department of Jewish Ethnography

This ethnographic exhibition highlights facets of Hasidic culture that may not be known to the wider public.

It illustrates the Hasidic experience through the rich, complex attire of men, women, and children and through objects with meaning for the group’s social and spiritual life, which revolves around its charismatic leader, the Rebbe.

Photographs, films, and music from life-cycle events and other rituals and celebrations will also be presented, offering visitors an opportunity to enter, for a moment, the intriguing world of a vibrant ultra-Orthodox community of today.

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com April 22, 2012

Prof. Omer Bonne, director of the psychiatric department at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, was interviewed in this initial report.

Like other psychiatrists mentioned in the report who treat several Orthodox patients in private clinics, Prof. Bonne claimed that he operates on the basis of purely professional considerations, and strictly upholds medical ethics.

Yet Prof. Bonne adopted what he called a professional position sanctioning the possibility of prescribing antidepressant pills from the SSRI family (most commonly used for the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders) for yeshiva students who masturbate excessively, or have sexual relations with other men, yet do not suffer from depression.

www.theyeshivaworld.com April 24, 2012

City officials explain they are not opposed to shuls, but the law is the law and one cannot simply open a shul without proper permits and in total disregard of zoning laws.

City Hall adds there is significant opposition to the shul so officials are compelled to act towards enforcing the law.

City Hall stresses it is not opposed to shuls but there is a procedure that must be followed prior to opening a shul in any area.

By David Lev www.israelnationalnews.com April 6, 2012

The latest dedication took place last Tuesday, April 5th – on Rosh Chodesh Nisan – and the Torah was rededicated by communal activists Rabbi Jay and Ruby Karzen of Jerusalem and their kind friends, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of their Aliyah to Israel.

During a very meaningful ceremony that included joyous singing and dancing in a rain downpour with the I.D.F. band playing, a festive meal,, the scroll was placed in the ark of the synagogue located in the IDF’ base outside Alon Shvut, in Gush Etzion.

By Melanie Lidman www.jpost.com April 22, 2012

Youth for Jerusalem is spearheading the new “Adopt a Fallen Soldier” program to encourage high school students to learn about a single soldier buried on the Mount of Olives and visit their grave on Wednesday morning.

Many of the soldiers were Holocaust survivors who were the only remaining member of their family and were killed fighting in the War of Independence.

By Chaim Levinson www.haaretz.com April 20, 2012

A high-profile religious-Zionist rabbi - and the father-in-law of the IDF officer who hit a protester with his rifle last week - says Jews from North Africa and the Middle East are "purer" than European Jews but are no match for them intellectually.

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com April 20, 2012

A prominent Chabad figure has been accused by participants in an ultra-Orthodox online forum of adopting Christian symbols to describe a Jewish event, following an article he wrote in an official Chabad publication.

www.ynetnews.com April 22, 2012

The parents of a baby who underwent a circumcision (Brit) ceremony carried out by Rabbi Avi Zarki on Tuesday may be feeling more than a little offended as later that day he tweeted about his surprise at the small size of their son's penis.

By Eli Ashkenazi www.haaretz.com April 20, 2012

A plan to relocate the Megiddo prison and build in its stead a tourist site featuring the remains of the world's most ancient Christian church is moving one step closer to fruition. 

An international tender is expected to be published in coming days, in an attempt to find an investor that will construct and manage the site. The price tag is an estimated NIS 26 million.

By Nimrod Bousso www.haaretz.com April 18, 2012

A group of pro-Israeli Indian Christians has bought the penultimate 20th floor of the Migdal Ha'Ir tower in central Jerusalem to serve Indian visitors.

The group aims to develop tourism from India in Jerusalem and hold educational tours for Indian Christians.

By Meredith Mandell www.jta.org April 11, 2012

Every Friday night, Scott and Theresa Johnson host Jewish Shabbat dinners for lone Israeli soldiers. The meal begins after sundown, preceded by the Kiddush blessing over the wine and singing of "Shalom Aleichem," the traditional Hebrew song greeting the Sabbath.

There's one catch, however, made evident by the Christmas cards hanging in the kitchen: The Johnsons are not Jewish.

April 23, 2012 (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.