Thursday, July 24, 2014

Religion and State in Israel - Special OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE edition - July 24, 2014

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


Tens of thousands of mourners paid their final respects to Sgt. Max Steinberg, the slain IDF soldier who was laid to rest on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem on Wednesday. 

Steinberg, the Los Angeles native who immigrated to Israel and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces as a lone soldier, was among the 13 soldiers killed in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. Twenty-nine Israeli troops have been killed since the army launched its ground incursion into Gaza last week. 





Chabad strives to play a key role in lifting the spirits of Israelis - soldiers and civilians - in the face of the enemy threat. 



By Avital Chizhik

The dissonance is so uncomfortable that I often wonder if I would live with myself more easily if I were in Israel now, rather than here, safely, in my Diaspora cocoon.

Some Sages posit that hell isn’t physical torture of fire and brimstone, but rather internal agony alone.

Is there some comfort in enduring external conflict, united with one’s people in a bomb shelter somewhere, rather than watching it from afar and suffering from ‘survivor’s’ guilt alone? I wonder. 



The foremost religious arbiter in the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas movement raised eyebrows on Wednesday when during a special prayer held at Jerusalem’s Western Wall for IDF soldiers, he remarked that “Israel doesn’t need an army.” 


Forget the Iron Dome. What Israel needs for protection is a whole lot of tznius, or modesty.


Shalom Norman, CEO, Triguboff Foundation“Absorption of this population has been a great success socially, most immigrants define themselves as Jews and feel part of the collective.
At the same time, there has been an institutional failure on the part of the rabbinic system and the Ministry of Interior, in the regulation of the formal status of these immigrants, who expect the government to regulate their status. ”
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin: “Sometimes conversion courts make converts endure the torments of hell, for no reason.”
Love the stranger” is not always their guiding motto. Community rabbis must be involved in conversion, and it was a grave error to remove the matter from their jurisdiction- for they are the ones who must welcome and assist the converts in their communities. ” 


Just as we sat down for some coffee, a Code Red alarm sounded; I was startled, but R was undeterred. “I don’t care about being injured by shrapnel, about a wall falling on me,” she said. “Today I will receive my get.”  


Modern societies take for granted that one loves freely and stops loving freely. Yet, as the remarkable movie by Shlomi & Ronit Elkabetz suggests, that freedom is denied to women in modern Israel by the rabbinical tribunals.  

The Tel Aviv municipality will convene in two weeks to discuss a new version of a bylaw allowing supermarkets and kiosks to open on Shabbat.

An earlier attempt at such a bylaw was vetoed by Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar a month ago. The municipality hopes the new version will meet his approval, but since it would still allow a large number of stores to open all over the city, it’s not clear that the changes will overcome Sa’ar objections. 


A bill proposed by Hatnua MK Elazar Stern and approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to allow restaurants open on Shabbat to obtain a kashrut license has been blocked by the Bayit Yehudi party.  


In yet another blow to relations between the religious establishment in Israel and the Diaspora, the Chief Rabbinate recently rejected the validity of a divorce certificate issued by a highly respected Orthodox rabbinical court in Western Europe.

The case involves a man who divorced some years ago in his country of origin in Europe, which cannot be specified at this time, and he is scheduled to re-marry in August in Israel. 


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