Monday, October 4, 2010

Religion and State in Israel - October 4, 2010 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

October 4, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Dozens march in J'lem to protest gender segregation

By Jonah Mandel September 29, 2010

About 50 men and women accompanied by large police forces marched from central Jerusalem towards Mea She'arim on Wednesday to protest gender segregation in the haredi neighborhood.

Rona Ovorano, one of the protest's organizers:

“We came here to protest against the deterioration in the status of women in Jerusalem,” she said. “Things are getting worse for women every day, there is separation on buses, pictures of women are removed from advertisements. Women being barred from streets and sidewalks being separated was a red line we had to protest against.”

Court rules against segregating men and women on streets

By Tomer Zarchin and Chaim Levinson September 29, 2010

Barriers separating men and women on the main street of the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea She'arim were removed Tuesday after the High Court of Justice ruled that the barriers were unacceptable.

"Any division of the public space in Israel is illegal, and the police - located just two streets away from Mea She'arim - can't treat a certain area as 'extraterritorial,'" Jerusalem city council member Rachel Azaria, one of several people who had filed a petition against the barriers, said before the hearing.

A small victory

By Ze'ev Segal Legal Analysis September 29, 2010

Professor Ze'ev Segal is the senior legal commentator for Haaretz newspaper, and a member of its editorial board.

Yesterday's ruling could never have been issued had the activists not petitioned the court against the police's initial refusal to let them demonstrate inside Mea She'arim.

With the petition in hand, however, the court was able to press the state to allow the demonstration, with certain restrictions, in order to avert a ruling that might go against it. And the state acquiesced.

High Court: No sidewalk gender separation

By Kobi Nahshoni September 28, 2010

The two petitioners related their own experience when they tried to pass the road in a mixed group. "The women were asked to go to a narrow sidewalk, which hardly had space to pass," they said. "The men were given the center, with the entire width of the road."

When they refused, they said, they were physically and verbally assaulted until they left. At the time, they said, police were present but did nothing.

High Court to discuss barriers set up to keep women out of Mea She’arim

By Yair Ettinger September 28, 2010

The petition also noted that the neighborhood has long hosted events that attract large crowds, but “until very recently, no one dared close the streets, place private guards at the entrances and sort pedestrians according to gender: women to the narrow sidewalks, well hidden by heavy cloth fences, and men in the middle of the street.

Meah Shearim Ignores Mixed Men-Women Protest

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu September 29, 2010

Neighborhood leaders, ignoring the court as well, went one step further and ruled that a fence be erected on the sidewalks to separate men and women during a celebration that is part of the seven-day Sukkot holiday.

MK wants Neturei Karta classified as terrorists

By Ari Galahar October 3, 2010

Members of the Neturei Karta sect attacked Knesset Member Yaakov Katz (National Union) last week when he arrived at a Mea Shearim synagogue in Jerusalem.

The MK responded with slurs and is now planning to submit a bill which would classify Neturei Karta as terrorists.

Head of the class

By Peggy Cidor October 1, 2010

Adina Bar-Shalom, the eldest daughter of former chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is well known to the Israeli public.

...But in her eyes, her most important achievement is the Jerusalem Haredi College, which caters not only to haredi women but to haredi men as well. The latter attend classes on separate floors, observing strict gender separation.

Peres visits Chief Rabbis’ succot, receives blessings

By Greer Fay Cashman September 29, 2010

President Shimon Peres was the recipient of numerous blessings on Tuesday morning when he called on Shas spiritual mentor and former Sephardi chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, current Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who received him in their respective succot.

Peres also raised the issue of the Conversion Law with Amar and asked him to use his good offices to find a speedy solution that would not only resolve the problem in Israel, but also be acceptable to the Jews of the United States.

A Succot harvest with a charitable twist

By Ruth Eglash September 28, 2010

Thousands of English-speaking immigrants and tourists turn up for Leket Israel’s event to pick produce for the needy.

Organized by Leket Israel, the national food bank formerly known as Table-to- Table, the event is held every year on Succot to help gather fruit and vegetables grown on some 700 dunams of farmland owned by veteran immigrant Sandy Colb.

Bnei Akiva builds hundreds of sukkot worldwide September 27, 2010

Hundreds of World Bnei Akiva emissaries in 30 countries around the world have been very busy in the past few days: Immediately after the Yom Kippur fast ended, they began preparing for the Sukkot holiday.

Over the tractor din

By Barbara Sofer October 1, 2010

Yom Kippur on kibbutzim ain’t what it used to be – thanks to Shlomo Ra’anan, who dispatches friendly families and singles to hold prayer services, even if a tiny cadre requests them.

VIDEO: Beit Rav Kook – Hakafot

via Dror Nevo

Click here for VIDEO

After France, Israel considers 'banning the burqa'

By David Sheen October 2, 2010

A member of the current Knesset is proposing a law that would prohibit the wearing of any garment that obscures the face and prevents identification, in any government office, at any entertainment venue, and on any means of public transportation.

According to the legislator proposing the law, Kadima MK Marina Solodkin, its primary purpose is to liberate women from irrational religious restrictions. The bill mainly targets devout Muslims.

Hundreds in north may undergo circumcision corrections

By Kobi Nahshoni October 3, 2010

Israel's Chief Rabbinate suspects that a mohel (ritual circumciser) from the north performed hundreds of circumcisions in recent years that did not comply with Jewish Law.

Some of the children circumcised by the rabbi have already undergone surgery to correct the brit, thus rendering it kosher. There is significant concern that others will be forced to undergo a similar procedure.

Coercive imposition of Western culture

By Yitzhak Levy Opinion October 3, 2010

Rabbi Levy is a former education minister.

A grave phenomenon is occurring with regard to the core curriculum issue. Academics, public figures and the courts are involved. They are trying to impose Western culture on Jewish culture, without publishing any serious research that would prove their claims concerning the essentiality of the core curriculum.

The country's "Western elite" has decided that in order to earn a living and compete in the labor market, 10- to 18-year-olds should study mathematics and English. Many believe this to be a self-evident truth. However, it can be shown to be untrue on several grounds.

Chabad-run center hosting IDF troops for Shabbat denies religious coercion

By Anshel Pfeffer September 28, 2010

Every weekend, the Israel Defense Forces Education Corps sends dozens of soldiers and officers to take part in a Shabbat dinner at Ascent, a Chabad-run center in Safed that has come under fire from critics accusing it of religious coercion.

While the army initially suspended the collaboration to examine the complaints, the partnership was recently renewed.

Let the spirits take you

By Ben Hartman October 1, 2010

In spite of the rising prices and the security shortcomings, [ZAKA medic Shimon Grossman] is not convinced the bones will be moved, or that next year the pilgrimage won’t be even larger.

“Israel has come up with plans to move the bones, but the Ukrainians won’t agree. They make more money in that week than they do all year.” He said he didn’t believe that the 30,000-strong pilgrimage had reached its critical mass, saying whatever happens and however big it gets, “God will protect us.”

The kids are alright

By Ben Hartman September 29, 2010

I learned that as much as the pilgrimage constitutes a sacred annual rite for a rapidly growing hassidic sect, it is also a pan-Judaic gathering the likes of which I’ve never seen in Israel or anywhere else.

With all the reports of drunkenness, violence and midnight liaisons with Ukrainian prostitutes, the overwhelming picture I saw was of a gathering of tribes that didn’t consider the litany of ethnic, liturgical, linguistic and geographical distinctions that divide Jews, especially in Israel.

Ukraine holds two over suspected anti-Semitic murder

By Yair Ettinger September 27, 2010

An Israeli Breslov Hassid was stabbed to death and his brother was beaten late Saturday night in the Ukrainian city of Uman. Shmuel Toubul, 20, and his older brother Rafael were in Ukraine to assist Jews making the pilgrimage to the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

Rabbis hit out at Christian funding for Holocaust centre

By Nathan Jeffay September 28, 2010

Leading Israeli rabbis are furious that a new residential facility for Holocaust survivors is being funded by evangelical Christians.

Open Eye, a newly-formed alliance of rabbis which seeks to draw attention to what is calls the "missionary enemy in Israel", has decried Christian involvement in catering for Holocaust survivors as "worrying".

The alliance, which attracted 500 people to its inaugural conference in Jerusalem last week, represents influential religious leaders including Beit El Chief Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Beer Sheba Chief Rabbi Yehuda Deri, and Rehovot Chief Rabbi Simcha Hakohen Kook.

The Israeli-American Religious-Industrial Complex

By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach Opinion September 27, 2010

Welcome to the Israeli-American religious-industrial complex where a year abroad for many American youth means enrolling in a program that costs their parents upwards of twenty thousand dollars and is supposed to enhance their religious commitment, but in reality, is just a year-long opportunity to drink and behave like hooligans.

In lieu of gifts, NY bar mitzva boy sponsors ambucycle

By Judy Siegel-Itzkovich September 28, 2010

Instead of collecting cellular phones or other gadgets as bar mitzva presents, Gabe Low of New York asked his guests to donate or raise money to purchase a lifesaving ambucycle for United Hatzalah in Israel.

Celestial celebrity

By Jonah Mandel October 1, 2010

[Rabbi Yeoshiau Pinto, founder and head of the Shuva Israel institutions] seems to possess the religious charisma and wisdom to draw thousands in Israel and the Diaspora to seek his guidance and follow his teachings, as well as the lineage and schooling that provide firm rabbinical foundations, and a religious worldview that sees the good and holy in every Jew regardless of his lifestyle, before anything else.

Religion and State in Israel

October 4, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.