Thursday, October 18, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - October 18, 2012

Religion and State in Israel

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

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen
“In the past when I was detained I had to have a policewoman come with me to the bathroom, but this was something different.
This time they checked me naked, completely, without my underwear. They dragged me on the floor 15 meters; my arms are bruised. They put me in a cell without a bed, with three other prisoners, including a prostitute and a car thief. They threw the food through a little window in the door. I laid on the floor covered with my tallit.
“I’m a tough cookie, but I was just so miserable. And for what? I was with the Hadassah women saying Sh’ma Israel.”

The leadership of Women of the Wall remain committed to their struggle to gain the right of all women to pray at the Kotel, each according to her own custom, with Torah, Tallit and voices raised in song. Violence, intimidation and threat will not deter the group of women from joining together and praying together to celebrate every new Jewish month at the Western Wall.

By Rifkele
What would Henrietta Szold do in such a case?
Given that she struggled to be admitted to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and was finally allowed to matriculate together with rabbinical students under the condition that she never ask to be ordained, in all likelihood she would have been at the Kotel, determined to find a way for women to pray there.
At the very least, no doubt Anat Hoffman is correct when she says that the Women of the Wall organization is more deserving of the prize than Bibi is.
The vision of Henrietta Szold, whose unique brand of leadership encompassed the social feminist movement of her day as well as an inclusive, diverse vision of Jewish peoplehood, was much more akin to the work of Women of the Wall than to any aspect of the current Israeli government’s leadership.
In any case, the women’s Zionist organization should not be silent now regarding this violation of the rights of women in Zion.

These events are unacceptable and an affront to Jews worldwide who treasure Israel as a vibrant democracy committed to the right of gender equality and religious freedom." said Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism.

"Israeli governmental leaders and law enforcement must ensure that the right of women to pray at the Wall is protected and arrests such as those that occurred last night are prevented from ever happening again."

By Dan Tauber
Several were arrested over the course of the holiday for allegedly praying at the Temple Mount.

By Rabbi Dow Marmur
Orthodox rabbinic power in Israel disenfranchises women – i.e., more than half the country’s Jewish population.
If Rabbi Stav [Tzohar] wants to earn the respect of the Israeli mainstream, he must commit himself to equal rights for women and their full recognition in all religious matters.
He’ll also have to acknowledge, however grudgingly, that the non-Orthodox streams deserve equal rights in Israeli society because of their capacity to enrich Jewish life – just as in the Diaspora."

More than a century after Henrietta Szold studied at JTS, women in Israel are still struggling for acceptance as Jewish leaders

Back row l to r: Prof. Tamar Ross, Judy Heicklen, Ariel Braun, Belda Lindenbaum
Front row l to r: Dr. Hannah Kehat, Rachel Keren, Blu Greenberg, Ricky Shapira-Rosenberg, Ayelet Weider-Cohen, Dr. Tova Hartman, Dr. Elana Sztokman

The notion of the “big tent” took on a whole new meaning in the world of Orthodox feminism this week as leading Orthodox women from Israel and North America gathered in the Sukkah of Dr. Hannah Kehat, founding director of the Kolech Religious Women’s Forum, to examine gender issues facing the Orthodox communities around the world. 
The meeting was the first of its kind in which Orthodox feminist leaders from the two countries of Israel and the United States met for the purpose of exploring their common agenda and toying with ways to make Orthodox feminism a more cohesive international movement. Participants left with an eager energy, earnestly anticipating next steps.

[article from July 12, 2012]

[article from Sept. 12, 2012]
Indictment filed against Egged bus driver, who left 'immodest' women at bus stop, canceled due to amendment to public transportation supervision law

By Elana Sztokman
As Israel’s military becomes more religious, women are having a really hard time showing men how to hold a rifle.

20 percent of respondents defined themselves as religious and 46 percent as nonreligious, while the rest defined themselves as traditional

Owner of Jerusalem restaurant decides to give up kosher certification after being forced by kashrut supervisor to buy vegetables in specific stores

Ultra-Orthodox group begins arriving at Jerusalem's Mahane Yehuda Market every Friday, urging merchants to shut down their stores one hour before Jewish day of rest begins.

Former Shas party leaders Deri and Yishai cross paths as Shas intrigue heightens

Flor Valderama, a 52-year-old mother of five, has appealed the deportation order through her lawyer.

A member of the Peruvian B'nai Moshe community (also known as the "Inca Jews"), who arrived in Israel a year and a half ago to care for her ailing father, is sitting in jail awaiting deportation for having overstayed her tourist visa.

By Rabbi Todd Berman

The critical social bonds and memories of the experience function to foster creativity and a sense of responsibility for the Jewish people both at home and worldwide. And these young adults are the ones who will maintain the bridge between Israel and the Diaspora in the years to come.
This is simply a win-win for the entire Jewish people.

New program, aiming to double number of ultra-Orthodox students, to offer variety of courses while maintaining strict separation between men, women

If suspicions against Rabbi Pinto are verified, this case is not just about bribery, but also about obstructing justice.

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