Thursday, September 24, 2009

Religion and State in Israel - September 23, 2009 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

September 23, 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.

Time to tell the truth

By Rachel Azaria Opinion September 21, 2009

Rachel Azaria is a member of the Jerusalem City Council from Jerusalemites Movement.

The time has come for us to look directly into the eyes of the ultra-Orthodox who live in this country and say to them: Dear Brothers and Sisters, it's just not working anymore. Not for us and not for you.

After nearly a year on the Jerusalem City Council, and the more I become involved in the day-to-day running of municipal affairs, I am only more convinced of just how true this is. And the situation is getting harder all the time.

…So, the time has really come to tell ourselves, and the Haredim, the truth: It can't go on like this.

In Jerusalem the situation is the most palpable, because of the critical mass of 30 percent of the Jewish public that is ultra-Orthodox.

But keep in mind that nationally, 25 percent of all the children who entered first grade this month are Haredim. And in time, what has happened in Jerusalem will happen in the rest of the country.

…I can see the growing anger and bitterness the non-Haredi public is feeling toward its ultra-Orthodox brethren, because of being forced to shoulder the burden of an entire public that can't cover its own needs.

The same will happen nationwide in time. And if the ultra-Orthodox public doesn't take the lead in changing this situation, then the non-Haredi majority will do so. Because we're all very tired. And the system no longer works.

Involved and evolved – Interview with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

By Peggy Cidor September 21, 2009

Q: How would you assess your relationship with haredi society today?

Mayor Barkat: I think the Haredim understand today that this violence, this breaking of the law is not serving their interests.

And I know, as everybody knows, that these agitators are barely five percent of the haredi community, which drags down the other 95% who are law-abiding residents.

I think they understand now that I am not caving in to the violence, and very soon they will have to realize that having a dialogue is much more effective than all their attempts to impose their laws on us.

Activists dress as chickens to protest the 'Kapparot' atonement ceremony September 23, 2009

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Masorti movement joins fight against 'kapparot'

By Matthew Wagner September 22, 2009

The Masorti (Conservative) Movement will join forces with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - Tel Aviv to fight against the Jewish custom known as Kapparot that involves slaughtering chickens as a way of atonement for sin.

Rabbi Jeff Cymet of Congregation Adat Shalom Imanuel in Rehovot said that he would accompany the society on Tuesday when it visits the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, where the custom is observed publicly.

Chief Rabbis urged not to harm animals in Kapparot custom

By Kobi Nahshoni September 23, 2009

The animal rights organization Let the Animals Live petitioned Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar to instruct their followers to prevent the suffering of chickens used in the Yom Kippur holiday's Kapparot custom and to give money to charity as a replacement for slaughtering the animals.

Let the Animals Live attached a halachic opinion written by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to their petition.

The opinion, sent by the Shas movement, claimed that Kapporot is only a custom, and, as such, harm to the chickens must be limited or charity should be given in place of slaughtering the fowl.

Veterinary Services to Crack Down on Kaporos in Yerushalayim

By Yechiel Spira September 17, 2009

Jerusalem's business license, inspection and Veterinary Services bureau are making preparations to operate the local kapporos markets.

This year enforcement will be boosted to an unprecedented level at a limited number of sites.

Is this Sukka Kosher?

By Yechiel Spira September 23, 2009

Jerusalem Kosher News spoke with representatives of a number of kashrut agencies in the capital, seeking to determine if they accept responsibility for the kashrut integrity of a sukka in a restaurant or eatery, or is this outside the jurisdiction of the certifying agency.

Shofar blowers raise the roof at first-of-a-kind conference

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By Yair Ettinger and Zafrir Rinat September 18, 2009

Over 100 shofar blowers gathered Wednesday at a first-of-its-kind and somewhat ear-splitting conference for men who desperately needed to practice and receive their colleagues' encouragement before the moment of truth - Sunday, when they will put the traditional ram's horn to their lips and coax from it the plaintive calls that form one of the most moving moments of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

The shofar blowers had another special reason to gather: They are graduates of the first shofar-blowing course ever organized by the Chief Rabbinate.

The course included a meticulous study of the laws pertaining to the shofar and a lesson by Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, as well as several useful tips from experienced blowers of the ceremonial horn.

Charedi Israeli Paper Recalled After Misquoting HaRav Elyashiv

By Benjamin Slobodkin September 17, 2009

A Hebrew-language weekly halted distribution after mistakenly printing a front-page lead saying HaRav Elyashiv shlita had permitted heads of Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tzedokoh to print stories that have little truth to them in order to persuade the public to donate generously for the sake of poor families supported by the fund.

Thousands of Viznitz Hassidim expected in Bnei Brak for holidays

By Matthew Wagner September 18, 2009

A humongous hangar that will serve as a house of prayer for the holidays has been constructed in Bnei Brak to accommodate between 6,000 and 7,000 members of the Viznitz Hassidic movement.

The event was organized by Rabbi Israel Hager, Hager's oldest son, and it is considered a demonstration of his dominance within the Viznitz hierarchy of leadership.

J'lem teen arrested on suspicion of attacking cab driver in haredi riots September 22, 2009

Jerusalem police said Tuesday that a 17-year-old haredi Jewish youth was arrested on suspicion of attacking an Arab cab driver three weeks ago in the Mea She'arim neighborhood of the capital.

Communications Concerns & Kosher Public Telephones

By Yechiel Spira September 16, 2009

Israel’s Rabbinical Communications Committee is calling on the tzibur not to use the services of Hot, Netvision or Kavei Zahav, explaining they are cable and internet services that do not comply with regulations set forth by the Vaad.

The rabbonim fear that having the infrastructure of the above-mentioned firms in one’s home, it may lead to internet connections and this must be avoided.

Taxman uncovers Netivot Ponzi scam

By Nati Toker and Amit Benaroia September 23, 2009

Another Ponzi scheme has reportedly been uncovered in Israel: Tamir Feigelbaum, 36, of the ultra-Orthodox community of Rechasim in Jerusalem, managed millions of shekels for investors, promising monthly returns of 15%.

But Feigelbaum's business fell into difficulties, and the Tax Authority launched an extensive investigation after one of Feigelbaum's agents was unable to explain the presence of large sums of money in his bank account.

Feigelbaum's clients - primarily Haredim and residents of outlying areas - lost their entire investment

Immodest Attire Prompts Attack against a Woman

By Yechiel Spira September 22, 2009

Last week, pashkavilim were seen in Beit Shemesh addressing an incident in which a woman appearing in immodest attire was attacked.

The notices were a condemnatory message against the attackers, who assaulted the woman in the name of tznius.

It stated the attack was perpetrated by youths and children, including throwing a stone at her.

Ministry to Appoint Agents to Evaluate Yeshiva Students’ Stay in Israel

By Yechiel Spira September 22, 2009

Special representatives of the Interior Ministry will be assigned to determine the legal status of foreign yeshiva students wishing to remain in the country.

Religious and Secular Leaders Hold Panel on Coexistence

By Benjamin Slobodkin September 23, 2009

Charedi, secular and national-religious figures in Jerusalem came together Tuesday night for a panel discussion on how Shabbos should be observed publicly in the capital, according to a report in Kikar HaShabbat.

Tnuva’s New Mehadrin

By Yechiel Spira September 23, 2009

Tnuva has united most of its mehadrin hechsherim under one new symbol, bringing Tnuva rav, Rabbi Ze’ev Whitman, HaGaon HaRav Mordechai Gross, Badatz Belz-Machzikei Hadas and Badatz Chug Chatam Sofer Bnei Brak under one umbrella logo.

The new entity unites the mehadrin effort under the Tnuva logo, with the exception of the Badatz Eida Chareidit, which remains independent, offering its own separate line of Tnuva mehadrin.

Maran R’ Elyashiv Shlita Permits Distribution of Shefa Shuk Vouchers

By Yechiel Spira September 21, 2009

According to the Chareidim report, R’ Elyashiv expressed words of praise for David Weissman, who owns AM:PM and Shefa Shuk, for deciding to begin closing down AM:PM branches on shabbos.

Of charity and chickpeas

By Peggy Cidor September 21, 2009

A ‘gemah’ (an acronym of gemilut hassadim, good deeds) is a local charity organization that helps those in financial difficulties.

Gemahim can also provide necessities of daily life, such as food and clothes for babies, chairs for mourners or ritual items for bar mitzvas.

The gemahim that provide interest-free loans are developing a kind of alternative financial system due to the increase in their numbers (over 3,000 registered in the country) and the huge sums of money they deal with (there are only unofficial figures, but most speak of millions of shekels).

For many Israelis they have become an additional factor in their steady income, although they may often deepen a financial entanglement.

Religion and State in Israel

September 23, 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.