Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Religion and State in Israel - September 16, 2009 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

September 16, 2009 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

The Knesset is evading the draft

By Shahar Ilan Opinion September 16, 2009

The author is deputy director general for research and public relations of Hiddush, an association to promote equality and freedom of religion.

The severity of the problem can be seen in the report the IDF gave recently to the team that monitors enforcement of the Tal Law.

The report predicted that in 2020, some 25 percent of 18-year-olds will evade military service under the aegis of yeshiva studies.

The significance is clear: Later, they will also be absent from the work force.

The low rate of work force participation among Haredi men is nudging the economy toward the Third World.

Thus Haredi draft evasion is changing from a moral problem of discrimination to a strategic problem that threatens to damage our national resolve and cause the economy to collapse.

Court finds Haredi man who stripped in supermarket guilty of ‘indecent conduct’

By Yael Levy September 15, 2009

The Rishon Lezion Magistrates' Court acquitted Arieh Yerushalmi, an ultra-Orthodox man who stripped in a supermarket store during Passover, from charges of indecent assault in public, yet found him guilty of indecent conduct in a public place.

During Passover of last year, Yerushalmi entered a non-kosher supermarket chain store and stripped in protest of the store's policy to continue selling leavened food during the holidays.

Yerushalmi claimed that according to the verdict given by the court in Jerusalem, the supermarket was not declared a public domain for the sale of matzot, and therefore his acts did not take place in a public domain either.

Click here for original article from April 6, 2009

Sanhedrin in place of the High Court

By Yair Sheleg Opinion September 14, 2009

Should not such fateful decisions be made by a forum including people like Professor Asa Kasher, author A.B. Yehoshua and Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, instead of judges like Yitzhak Amit, Neal Hendel and Uzi Fogelman, with all due respect to their legal abilities?

Would not rulings on our most important ethical matters receive greater respect if they were made by such a forum?

…perhaps, we would be best adopting the ancient, beautiful Jewish word "Sanhedrin," even if it is rooted in Greek, and despite the fact that it would not be run solely by sages in the historical sense. Rather, it would feature modern sages - secular, religious, and of course, non-Jews.

IDF Chief Rabbi Permits Shabbos Travel

By Yechiel Spira September 11, 2009

A halachic ruling from IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Rabbi Avichai Ronsky has created a stir among member of the Chief Rabbinate Corps.

The rabbi ruled that senior officers may join military police and police patrolling entertainment spots on shabbos, seeking to locate soldiers who are intoxicated, those in uniform and plain clothes alike.

Litzman challenges Rabbinate's control over hospital rabbis nomination

By Kobi Nahshoni September 13, 2009

Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) intends on appointing a number of rabbis and kashrut supervisors for hospitals across Israel due to problems with Jewish law and kosher impairments he asserts exist in the facilities.

Litzman is set on choosing on his own the various functionaries, an authority usually held by the Chief Rabbinate, and has recently been engaged in a dispute with Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar on that account.

Rabbi Cherlow: Traveling to overseas tombs – idolatry

By Kobi Nahshoni September 13, 2009

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow is not impressed with the recent phenomenon of hundreds of businessmen discovering their 'Jewish sparkle' upon visiting tombs of righteous rabbis.

Following the travel of millionaires and celebrities to a famous grave site in Bulgaria with Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, Rabbi Cherlow, a leading figure in the Religious-Zionist camp releases a short article in which he implies that the act amounts to idolatry.

Health Ministry: Resist the urge to kiss your rabbi

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich September 11, 2009

Observant Jews who kiss the hands of esteemed rabbis, their own hands after shaking somebody else's or publicly owned Torah scrolls or holy books out of respect or devotion should tame their urge and avoid this practice for their own and others' health.

Despite financial troubles, Breslau Hasids still flocking to Uman

By Yair Ettinger September 16, 2009

Experts are saying the economic crisis has changed things up.One effect is the price of airline tickets, which have risen in past years.

If some 20,000 travelers took off for Uman in past years, this year the number stands at about 16,000 or perhaps a mere 12,000, forcing the airlines to begin bringing the prices down in the past few days.

A ticket that cost $1,200 two weeks ago is now being sold for $850, or even less.

Chabad of Israel Prepares To Welcome 130,000 Secular Jews to High Holiday Services

By S. Fridman September 9, 2009

Chabad-Lubavitch of Israel is expecting to greet an additional 130,000 Jews—many self-described as non-observant—at prayer services this Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

Lubavitch Youth Organization of Israel is setting up 200 venues throughout Israel, many of them tents which will serve as open synagogues during the High Holidays.

These are in addition to services that will be conducted at the 230 Chabad centers in Israel, open as well, to all.

Video Interview: Yolish Krauss, Operations Chief of Jerusalem Demonstrations

Interview by Rabbi Yair Hoffman September 9, 2009

Video in Hebrew; Transcript in English

Yolish Krauss is described as the “Operations Chief” for the Eida Chareidis. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post recently, Mr. Krauss identified himself as one of the coordinators of the violence in the demonstrations.

Rabbi Hoffman: Do you want your children to see you calling others a Nazi? There are people that spit into people’s faces. A female journalist was spat upon. Do you want your children to see such spitting? The ways of the Torah are gentle ways..

Yoilish: But why is “Darchei Noam” only one way? Why does it not bother you that female officers come hold and strike an avreich? She goes to another one and beats him! Now, we asked the police not to bring female police officers. This is much worse. Now, how come you don’t see this side? This is horrible. Even according to their laws this is illegal! But here no one talks. Spitting on a person - everyone talks.

Rabbi Hoffman: Just because they do something wrong does not give us an excuse to do something wrong!

Yoilish: I am obligated to do this.

Rabbi Hoffman: You are obligated??

Yoilish: If she touches Avrechim, if she touches men, of course we have to.

Rabbi Hoffman: Wait, this was a journalist. And they spat in her face! It was a torrential rain!

Yoilish: Where was this on Bar Ilan?

Rabbi Hoffman: Yes.

Yoilish: They have already asked me this question, this story. How was she dressed?

Rabbi Hoffman: Even so!

Yoilish: No, let me explain. What do you mean, “Even so?” She -

Rabbi Hoffman: Wait, was she not created in the image of G-d? When there is a dead body why is it forbidden to let the body remain unburied? True? Why is it forbidden?

Yoilish: That is true.

Rabbi Hoffman: Why is it so? Because it is the image of G-d. It makes no difference whether they are religious or irreligious. Why? Because he or she has the image of G-d. Now we are going and we are spitting on her face?? She is the living image of G-d. This is the image of G-d? We are obligated to do this??

Yoilish: If she is the daughter of a king, she must conduct herself in the manner of daughters of kings. To sit at home. To walk with modesty. But if she goes out immodestly like a tramp, what are we to do? We have no choice.

Rabbi Hoffman: We tell her, “My daughter, this is not how we are to dress.. Come to me for the Sabbath.. Dress like this on the Sabbath. I would love to show you the Sabbath... “And in this manner we influence her. But we do not spit on her face!

Prosecution: Haredim influenced 'starving mother' investigation

Abusive mother allowed to visit toddler

Prosecution: Haredim influenced 'starving mother' investigation

Woman who allegedly starved son: State doesn't know Haredi mothers

Probe: Cop who fired into air at protest acted appropriately

'Defending rabbis' honor no excuse for murder'

By Kobi Nahshoni September 11, 2009

"Defending a rabbi's honor is no excuse to commit such an act," Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said in response to Wednesday's murder of yeshiva student David Mansharov in Netanya.

Police suspect that Mansharov was stabbed to death by two fellow yeshiva students following an argument over a halachic ruling.

The "Haredim" website reported that the students were arguing over the status of the head of their yeshiva, Rabbi Amos Gueta.

Yeshiva man killed by fellow students

By Yaakov Lappin September 9, 2009

The murder victim and the two suspects all attended the Kolel Yeshiva in the city, which takes in newly religious young people with a history of crime, as part of an effort to rehabilitate violent offenders

Vishnitz Hasidim battle over a birthright and build a very big tent

By Yair Ettinger September 14, 2009

The Vishnitz Hasidim are preparing for an influx of the sect's followers from Israel and abroad ahead of the High Holy Days by building a 3,000-square-meter tent in a vacant lot in Bnei Brak.

This year, the Vishnitz Hasidim will temporarily leave their center in Bnei Brak's Kiryat Vishnitz neighborhood and move to the tent complex on Ezra Street.

The tent has 2,300 seats for men, another 1,500 places for standing room in bleachers and seating for 1,700 in the women's section.

The tent is also connected to a well-publicized split between Rabbi Israel Hager and Rabbi Menachem Mendel Hager, the two sons of the ailing, 93-year-old Vishnitz grand rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager.

New weapon in Mea Shearim: Raspberry syrup

By Ari Galahar September 14, 2009

A new initiative put together by anonymous Mea Shearim residents is making the lives of youths there just a little bit harder, and stickier.

Every week, just before Shabbat comes in, raspberry syrup is smeared on all public seating areas in the neighborhood.

The campaign's objective is to prevent young men and women from sitting on the benches and engaging in conversation.

Before the ambulance comes

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich September 12, 2009

Despite the diversity, the average United Hatzalah volunteer is a religious man sporting a black kippa, a beard and ritual fringes. And the average recipient of their lifesaving assistance doesn't know the difference between MDA and UH, or why both organizations are essential.

…As about 65% of volunteers are Orthodox men concerned that what they do not violate Jewish law, UH consults with Rabbi Azriel Auerbach.

Ariel Atias: One minister for all

By Guy Liberman September 15, 2009

Critics needed no more to label Atias another ultra-Orthodox party politician who was looking after only his constituency.

"It's impossible to escape the feeling that Atias is looking after only the ultra-Orthodox sector," said a senior real estate industry official.

"On one hand, he's saying from every dais that he wants to flood the country with plots of land and thereby lower apartment prices.

But in practice, the only ones benefiting from his great efforts are the ultra-Orthodox. What about the secular public? Israeli government ministers are supposed to look after every sector of the population."

Shas heads pay Benizri first visit

By Eli Senyor September 14, 2009

Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef and Chairman Eli Yishai on Monday visited former Shas Minister Shlomo Benizri, who is serving a four-year sentence at the Maasiyahu Prison after being convicted of bribery charges.

Accompanying Yosef and Yishai in their visit to the Ramla prison were members of the Council of Torah Sages, Rabbi Rafael Pinchasi and Rabbi Shimon Badani.

Shas leaders visit Benizri in prison

By Jonathan Lis and Yair Ettinger September 15, 2009

One of the men documented the meeting with a cell phone, which was not taken away from the visitors as required by protocol.

The men met in a spacious office instead of the prison's meeting rooms. The Prison Service said the visitors were there as part of a "religious meeting" and not a regular meeting in citing why they were allowed to keep the cell phones.

Sephardim change last names to fit in

By Kobi Nahshoni September 19, 2009

As the public and legal struggle to curb discrimination within haredi educational institutions continues, many still face difficulties in enrolling their children to desirable ultra-Orthodox schools, and some parents of Sephardic descent have resorted to changing their last names just to fit in.

Haredi weekly "Mishpacha" (Family) reported in its most recent edition a growing trend of ultra-Orthodox families of eastern descent Hebraizing or "Ashkenizing" their surnames in order to increase their children's chances of being accepted to Ashkenazi seminaries and yeshivas.

Rabbi Yosef to Gilad Shalit: Your salvation is near

By Kobi Nahshoni September 15, 2009

Shas' spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, sent captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit a prayer book and a book of Psalms with a personal inscription and a blessing that he should be released soon from Hamas' hands.

Religion and State in Israel

September 16, 2009 (Section 2) (continued from Section 1)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

All rights reserved.