Monday, July 12, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - July 12, 2010 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

July 12, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Finance Ministry set to revolutionize draft conditions for Haredim

By Amos Harel July 7, 2010

The Finance Ministry has placed a number of clauses in the Economic Arrangements Law that would revolutionize military draft conditions for yeshiva students.

As of Wednesday, the decision whether to allow students to choose civic service inside of military rests with the Defense Minister and military authorities.

The new proposals hands over the choice to the students themselves, and offers an exemption from reserve service for ultra-Orthodox beginning at the age of 25, instead of 35.

Draft bill proposes changes in Tal Law

By Jonah Mandel July 8, 2010

According to the data in the bill, low employment rates among haredi men compared to those of the general male population (40.4 percent and 82% in 2008, respectively) combined with the high rate of growth of the haredi populace, increase the need to draw more haredim into the workforce.

...Besides the problem such a scenario could cause the IDF, which is seeking ways to increase the numbers of draftees, it would mark a de facto end to the underlying Israeli principle of sharing the military burden, said Rabbi Uri Regev, head of the Hiddush Organization for Equality and Freedom.

Heading for a volunteer army

By Yagil Levy Opinion July 6, 2010

The writer is a faculty member of the Open University.

Under cover of the Economic Arrangements Bill, the Finance Ministry is laying the groundwork for turning the IDF into a volunteer army.

...It has political, not just economic, implications. In the democratic world, draft reforms are decided through political debate, not in the Economic Arrangements Law.

Bill could force Haredi schools to teach math - or lose funding

By Jonathan Lis July 10, 2010

A new bill could force ultra-Orthodox schools that enjoy government funding to teach core subjects such as math, sciences, English, civics and others.

The bill, sponsored by Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely and Kadima MK Meir Sheetrit, suggests that the government refrain from funding institutions that fail to comply with the core curriculum.

The Knesset will vote on the bill during the coming week.

The Haredi world’s new heroes

By Larry Derfner July 9, 2010

Haaretz Cartoon by Amos Biderman June 28, 2010

"The Jewish mind" / Aryeh Deri: I know, we just won't call it "school." / Grand Rabbi of Slonim, Attorney Ram Caspi, Yoav Lalum

“The Supreme Court has learned that sticking its hands into haredi education is like sticking its hands into fire,” says Krimalovski, sitting in a little office in the local council.

“That settled it for us, when he said he ‘shuddered to think’ we would obey our rabbis. Does he think we won’t? Does he expect us to reject our spiritual leaders? Nobody – no Muslim, no Christian and no Jew – will abandon his spiritual leaders and his religious faith because a judge tells him to,” he says.

[Justice] Levy ordered the men to agree in writing to obey the court ruling. They refused.

You must be Jewish

By Avirama Golan Opinion July 7, 2010

The [Education] ministry wants private organizations to feed their religious porridge into the students of the state education system, prepare them for their bar mitzvah, teach them to recite prayers by rote and instruct them in the "portion of the week" and the homily.

It’s not what you say, but how you say it

By Jonathan Rosenblum Opinion July 9, 2010

Daniel Gordis, senior vice president of the Shalem Center... fires a series of one-sentence accusations at the haredi community, not lingering over any of them long enough to interject even a trace of analysis, or nuance, or solutions.

If haredim have ever contributed anything of value to Israel, or might ever do so, it has escaped his notice. Lifting a page from the old campaign posters of Meretz and Shinui, he labels the entire haredi community an “existential threat” and a “cancer.”

A study of the nonemployment crisis

By Melanie Lidman July 9, 2010

“I wouldn’t call it a revolution. That’s too big a word; we’re afraid of that word,” insists Ruth Ben-Hayim, director of the Charedi College in Jerusalem when she talks about the college. “There will be a slow process of change that’s good for the Israeli society.”

Prof. Dan Ben-David, professor of economics at Tel Aviv University and the executive director of the Taub Center for Social Policy in Israel, an independent research institute:

“We have to change the nonwork incentives to work incentives, and we also have to give them the tools to work in a modern society,” explains Ben-David. “One without the other won’t work.”

Shahar Ilan, vice president of research and information at the Hiddush Center for Religious Freedom and Equality:

“The time has come for Israel to make a significant decision... You can’t tell parents where to send their child to school, but you can do what every democratic state does: Say, ‘I will not finance this education unless it includes the basic knowledge of math, science, English, citizenship, Hebrew – these are things every child has to learn.’ Any school that doesn’t teach these things won’t receive an agora from the state.”

Bibi: Stand up to ultra-Orthodoxy

By Amotz Asa-El Opinion July 9, 2010

Haredism is not only a set of demands to be toyed with while assembling and maintaining coalitions; it is an idea, an idea that harks back to the times when the Jewish nation was socially disjointed, nationally intangible and politically disempowered, and consequently thought that nurturing the community was more important than obeying, let alone serving, the state.

Well that may have made sense when the state was Czar Nikolai. But this state, Bibi, is you, isn’t it?

Between Ramot Beit Shemesh and Kabul

By Bambi Sheleg Opinion July 8, 2010

As the research for this issue has revealed, the Haredi community in Israel is not some monolithic mass; there are many individuals and groups in this community that are seeking change.

That fact is the first indication that the leaders of this community cannot continue ad infinitum to deny the responsibility they bear toward their constituents and toward the Israeli society at large in which both the leaders and the constituents live.

A beacon of hope from Beit Shemesh?

By Yitzhak Meir Yavetz Opinion July 8, 2010

Yitzhak Meir Yavetz, a full-time Haredi yeshiva student who moved to Ramat Beit Shemesh A from Jerusalem in order to improve his economic situation, found himself involved in social and ideological confrontations that motivated him to leave the ultra-Orthodox world and join up with the very strictly Torah-observant section of religious Zionism.

He is convinced that there are many among the Haredi world who feel exactly as he does but remain silent.

The new edicts of Antiochus

By Yehuda Ben Meir Opinion July 5, 2010

The real question up for discussion is the correct balance between the need to respect the fundamental values and norms of the majority, and the need to take the unique lifestyle of a minority into consideration.

...The ultra-Orthodox public thinks that it is the only group with any values, and sees itself as an extraterritorial community that is not beholden to the fundamental values of the state. No normal country can agree to this, and Israel must not lend a hand to this thinking.

Court Pleased with Agreement in Chinuch Atzmai Case

By Yechiel Spira July 5, 2010

Tel Aviv District Court Justice Naveh Ben-Ohr was pleased that the sides reached an agreement regarding the leadership of Chinuch Atzmai without the court’s involvement. The case came before the court on Sunday, July 4, 2010.

The new agreement provides a 14-man leadership council, providing Agudah and Degel with equal representation. The internal Agudah division as follows; three slots for Gur, one for Vishnitz, one for Slonim, two for Shlomei Emunim.

Two motorcyclists injured during Haredi riot in Jerusalem

By Liel Kyzer July 9, 2010

"Suddenly I saw about 15 Haredim in the road," Yagmur, 24, of East Jerusalem, related yesterday.

"They threw a garbage container at me, I couldn't stop in time and was hit. I flew over the container ... it took me a few minutes to wake up ... my motorcycle was busted up completely."

Haredim push trash bin onto highway, 2 bikers hurt

By Shmulik Grossman July 8, 2010

Two people who were riding on a motorcycle along Highway 1 sustained serious and moderate injuries overnight Thursday when they crashed into a trash bin that had been pushed onto the road by a group of ultra-Orthodox.

Rabbis: 'Don't rent to foreign workers'

By Lahav Harkov July 8, 2010

Twenty-five rabbis in southern Tel Aviv released a letter on Thursday, warning Jews not to rent their homes to illegal immigrants and foreign workers.

"The neighborhood and synagogue rabbis who signed below warn the public about the halachic prohibition and the predicted danger of renting homes to these people!!!" the letter reads.

Tel Aviv rabbis: Renting to foreign workers violates Jewish law

By Dana Weiler-Polak July 9, 2010

"After many attempts to use acceptable legal means, the residents decided to have the rabbis sign an 'Edict Forbidding the Rental of Apartments to Infiltrators,' in the hope that this will halt the neighborhoods' deterioration."

Pelt diplomacy

By Yuval Azoulay July 9, 2010

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer is threatening to sabotage the bill banning fur imports, following pressure from foreign ambassadors.

The bill, initially drafted by MK Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), minimizes cruelty to animals that are slaughtered for their fur.

Fearing an ultra-Orthodox veto, Tirosh and Israeli members of the International Anti-Fur Coalition agreed to make an exception for fox furs.

'Modesty' standard instituted in Sderot businesses

By Tzofia Hirshfeld July 9, 2010

A new type of religious certification has been launched in Sderot: A modesty standard. Businesses that commit to ensure modest dress and modest advertisements are to be granted a "modesty certification" after religious inspectors from the Ma'amakim organization examine the business's premises and certify that it upholds the standard during periodic visits.

PR Experts Suggest Pro-Hareidi Campaign

By Maayan Miskin July 8, 2010

The hareidi-religious community needs a public relations makeover, thousands of media experts agreed in a conference in Bnei Brak on Thursday.

Designers and graphic artists competed to create posters explaining the hareidi perspective on points of friction between the hareidi community and the general public.

Eda Haredit declares fast day over grave desecration

By Kobi Nahshoni July 10, 2010

Eda Haredit rabbis signed a declaration Thursday calling on the public to fast on Sunday over the ongoing construction at Jaffa's Andromeda Hill and the ensuing evacuation of graves from the site.

Hundreds of haredim in Jaffa: We'll stop attack on graves

By Yoav Zitun July 11, 2010

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox arrived at the Andromeda Hill area in Jaffa on Sunday to protest against construction work taking place there.

The haredim claim ancient Jewish graves are located at the site

"I have a feeling that a fierce and barbaric assault against graves in Israel has been launched, and we will do everything we can to stop it," Knesset Member Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) told Ynet during the rally.

Haredim protest, Margi mulls Jaffa dig bones

By Jonah Mandel July 9, 2010

Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi (Shas) has announced that he is considering how to act on the archeological dig under way at the Andromeda Hill area in Jaffa, where human bones have been found.

Margi said late Wednesday that he would be holding a series of consultations with Halacha experts and Antiquities Authority personnel, and personally visiting the disputed site.

TA Municipality rejects rabbis’ petition

By Ben Hartman July 9, 2010

The Tel Aviv Municipality on Thursday distanced itself from a letter signed by 25 rabbis imploring residents not to rent property to foreign workers and refuge-seekers, saying the city had nothing to do with the initiative and would continue to help the foreign residents.

Racism in the name of halakha

Haaretz Editorial July 11, 2010

Over the weekend, a courageous leader, Rabbi Yehuda Amital, who founded the Meimad political movement, passed away.

His party carried the banner of tolerance, humanism and the search for peace in the name of religious faith, and though the members of his movement were always a minority, they provided an important alternative to ultra-Orthodox-nationalist radicalization.

Call to arms (pun intended)

By Rabbi Michael Graetz Opinion July 5, 2010

[T]he particular call needs to be placed in its larger context. Indeed, I believe that all the time we must continue to teach and refer to the larger context.

That context is this: the dividing line in the Jewish world today is extreme fundamentalism (I will refer to it as EF).

Now, this is true for the whole world, Christian and Islam as well. What many Jews do not know or refuse to know is that the same line divides the Jewish world. Too many Jews are simply ignorant or willfully ignorant of the existence and power of EF Jewish groups.

Amos Oz: Bnei Brak undergoing 'earthquake'

By Kobi Nahshoni July 5, 2010

During a more optimistic segment of his speech, Amos Oz claimed that the predictions of a haredi takeover of the country are unrealistic. He noted that there were five haredi Knesset members in the first Knesset, and 18 Orthodox. Today, 62 years later, there are still five haredi Knesset members and 21 Orthodox, a growth rate of one Orthodox Knesset member every 20 years.

A Cartoon of the Jewish World

By Robbie Gringras Opinion July 8, 2010

The most tragic change to me is how the Israeli sees himself as the mediator of the Jewish people... In the cartoon the Israeli is at the center of an estranged people, trying charmingly to bridge the gaps.

If only Israel were still seen as the convening center of the Jewish world. If only Israelis still saw it as their obligation to work at mediating and unifying the different wings of the Jewish People.

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's Tombstone Unveiled

By Gil Ronen July 6, 2010

See also VIDEO

Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's tombstone was unveiled Tuesday on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem, thirty days after his death, as is the custom in Israel.

The tombstone's marble slab was quarried in Israel, and the rocks it rests upon were taken from all four cities considered holy in Jewish tradition – Jerusalem, Tzfat (Safed), Hevron and Tverya (Tiberias) – as well as one rock from the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem (Nablus).

Plots for Sale in Ancient Tzfat Cemetery July 9, 2010

A campaign started recently to sell burial plots in the ancient cemetery of Tzfat, next to graves of famous sages.

Motti Dayan, who is part of the campaign, told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service on Thursday that a Jew can gain merit by burial next to a Torah giant for the same 8,000 shekels charged any non-resident of Tzfat.

Jerusalem rabbis call for mass protest over Temple Mount 'harassment'

By Chaim Levinson July 8, 2010

Religious Zionist rabbis have called for a mass demonstration in Jerusalem on Monday night to protest what they say is police harassment and an attempt to keep them away from the Temple Mount.

Religion and State in Israel

July 12, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.