Thursday, July 17, 2014

Religion and State in Israel - July 17, 2014

Editor – Joel Katz   
Religion and State in Israelis not affiliated with any organization or movement


The bombing “doesn’t bother me,” immigrant David Zafran explained. “The main thing is to be here.”
“It’s more dangerous for Jews in France,” agreed Jeremy Tawil, a Tel Aviv-bound Parisian. “I am not scared.
There is a God.”
“Our coming does not depend on the war, but [is] because of our children,” added Eric Azizi, a newcomer from Paris who arrived with his wife and three kids. “Even if Israel is burning, we will be there.”

Diaspora Jews hit with appeals from 'emergency funds' for Israel’s crisis 





By Gideon D. Sylvester 

If Rabbi Perl can demonstrate the sincerity of his apology, by implementing this tolerant agenda, he will bring much needed moderation to the Religious Zionist community thereby preventing future bloodshed. If he cannot, he must resign immediately.
By Daniel Goldman 

I believed that
 Rav Noam Perl ought to take responsibility and resign his position as Mazkir. Notwithstanding my own view, and after a three hour debate, it became clear that the consensus around the world is that Rav Noam’s apology was heartfelt and that he should lead the movement to rehabilitate it from the significant damage that has been done. 

A tentative agreement has been made between MK
 Elazar Stern and Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan in which a controversial bill proposed by Stern to reform the conversion process will be withdrawn while the principle of the legislation will be enacted by government order.

… Other details of the government order, which were contested during negotiations on the proposed bill, are yet to be fully agreed upon.

These include the question of what qualifications the other two members of local conversion courts will need, aside from the municipal chief rabbi, and whether registration will be available only on a regional basis according to the candidate’s place of residence or nationally in any of the new local courts that are established.

Two couples in Beersheba finished their conversion to Judaism and were married by Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-
Dahan on Thursday, despite the city coming under rocket fire during the ceremony.


Having seemingly agreed upon a solution to his contentious conversion bill,
 Hatnua MK Elazar Stern had another controversial bill approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Monday, which will allow restaurants to receive a rabbinate kashrut license and stay open on Shabbat.

The current law governing ka
shrut licensing states that the rabbi issuing a rabbinate kashrut license may only take into account the laws of kashrut, but in practice he will not do so if the establishment is open on Shabbat. 

By Rabbi Uri Regev

We need to go back to the drawing board, expand the scope of discussion in Tel Aviv and elsewhere and involve both workers’ unions and business owners’ unions in this discussion. Shabbat should not be a launching point for unfair business competition, nor threaten the livelihood and quality of life of small business owners.

It should not conflict with the importance of a weekly day of rest for most workers and safeguarding the right to employment of Shabbat observers.

These and other considerations call for a new model, different from both the “status quo” and the current “facts on the ground”.

It should provide access to convenience stores which offer basic food staples in relevant neighborhoods, without giving undue advantage to the large chains over small family owned and operated stores.



The director of the
 Hiddush religious freedom lobbying group, Reform Rabbi Uri Regev, also weighed in, saying that Winter had involved religion in military affairs and that his superior officers should remind him of the required separation between the two.
By Rabbi Lopes Cardozo

The only thing the government can do is suggest that
 Chareidi yeshiva students go for basic training and build yeshivot in the army. The students would have to walk around in uniform and learn full time, learn with other soldiers, do community service, or something similar.  

… Still, the greatest mistake was not made by the government but by the
 Chareidi leadership. When it organized a demonstration in which nearly 600,000 black-hatted yeshiva students participated to show their love for Torah, one could hear a pin drop just before the crowd burst out in an unprecedented cry of Shema Yisrael.

That was the perfect opportunity to prove their love for our brave soldiers and all of Israeli society by having all 600,000 men and women recite prayers for the welfare of the soldiers and all Jews in Israel.

Personal narrative answering the question: 'What is my Israel?' 
Created by Alli Cohen, HUC-JIR Rabbinical Student and iCenter Fellow.


 Reuven Rivlin hinted at a possible rapprochement with the Reform movement during a speech to representatives of the American Jewish community at the Knesset on Tuesday. 

 comments, in which he obliquely commented on the rift between himself and the largest American Jewish denomination, were well received by representatives of the non-Orthodox streams. 

Opinion: Religion has another message


By Meira Welt-Maarek 

The fact that the present Israeli Chief Rabbinate does not recognize our learning toward 
semicha and that of our musmachot, graduates, toward dayanut, impacts on our ability to serve communities and institutions in various capacities.

The impediments are social and political rather than
 halakhic. The forward vision of Rabbi Riskin
 and of the Women’s Institute for Halakhic Leadership to train women for positions that don’t yet exist is a testimony to the power of dreams.

The passion, commitment, and deep religiosity of the women and the inexorable forces of rapid social change promise to combine in furthering the realization of that dream.


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