Monday, June 20, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - June 20, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

June 20, 2011 (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.

IDF Chief of Staff Gantz sides with Almighty to settle 'Yizkor' dispute

By Amos Harel June 14, 2011

The prayer at military memorial ceremonies for Israel's fallen soldiers - Yizkor (Remember) - will open with the traditional "May God remember his sons and daughters," Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz ruled this week.

The statement followed an ongoing argument between religious and secular groups on whether the prayer at these memorials should open with "May God remember" or "May [Am Yisrael] remember."

Unified version of 'Yizkor' gets mixed response

By Aviel Magnezi June 20, 2011

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss said that "while orders state that the version that should be used is 'God remembers', every person did what they wanted to over the years". He stressed that the move to unify the prayer was an important one as "unity, especially on the issue of IDF soldiers, is of the first importance."

Israel needs to keep religion out of the army

Haaretz Editorial June 16, 2011

At first glance, this change seems to affect just one phrase. However, it is indicative of the major transformation taking place in the army and the entire country, which is turning from a secular country into a theocracy in which the rabbis set the rules.

Leave yizkor alone

By Naftali Rothenberg Opinion June 19, 2011

For 25 years I have been the rabbi of the community of Har Adar, most of whose residents are secular. Every year our young people organize a very moving ceremony on Memorial Day. It most certainly never occurred to me to change yizkor, which unites all the residents around…

The last secular jihad

By Yitzhak Laor Opinion June 17, 2011

If this affair did not affect so many bereaved families, who hear the official Yizkor recited each year on a very painful day, it could be turned into a parody of our political life.

See online petition:

Israel, FIBA reach compromise over Orthodox player's basketball uniform

AP June 18, 2011

Moti Aksmit, a spokesman for the Israel Basketball Association, says Israel has reached an agreement with FIBA that allows Shafir to wear skin-toned elastic sleeves.

IBA Europe spokesman Sakis Kontos confirmed that Shafir was given approval to play with the sleeves.

Against all hoop

By Araleh Weisberg June 17, 2011

Shafir believes that sport and faith can go hand in hand without any problems. She received rabbinical permission to play on the Sabbath, “because this is pleasure, but training is work, and therefore I was not permitted to train (on the Sabbath).” She always takes pains to explain: “I will never betray my faith.”

Basketball player loses modesty battle

AP June 18, 2011

European basketball's governing body will not make allowances for an Israeli player's religious observance in the upcoming European women's championship, a spokesman said last week.

[see update]

Israel Poland-bound basketball squad brings innovative attire for Orthodox player

By Arie Livnat June 16, 2011

Meanwhile, the team fashioned two special jerseys for Naama Shafir, who normally wears a T-shirt under her jersey out of religious modesty. FIBA rejected the team's petition to allow her to wear a T-shirt. She will don a jersey with a shooter's sleeve similar to the ones that David Blu and Moran Roth wear on their arms except that it will cover her shoulder.

[see update]

New bill to limit NGOs rejecting Israel's Jewishness

By Lahav Harkov June 13, 2011

MKs David Rotem (Israel Beiteinu), Uri Ariel (National Union), David Azoulay (Shas) and Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), proposed last week a bill to change the Non-Profit Organizations Law and “add to the reasons to revoke a non-profit organization’s status the rejection of the state’s Jewish nature.”

See also: Rightist MKs push new laws to crack down on NGOs deemed hostile to Israel

In Israel, a Call To End Anonymous Sperm Donation

By Elana Maryles Sztokman Opinion June 13, 2011

Rabbi Dr. Einat Ramon has gone to war against surrogate mothers, sperm donors and feminists. In a recent op-ed in Haaretz, Ramon calls for making illegal anonymous sperm donation and all forms of surrogacy, and replacing it with an exclusive Jewish sperm bank filled only with the seed of Jewish men who died childless. I am sure that mine is not the only jaw that needs lifting from the floor.

Rabbi Dr. Einat Ramon responds in comment section

‘Next year will determine success of haredim in work force’

By Jonah Mandel June 17, 2011

This upcoming year will make or break the growing phenomenon of haredim joining the labor force, depending on whether those leading the trend find suitable jobs, a leading force in haredi placement said on Thursday.

...Guggenheim later expanded on why the upcoming year is such a crucial time, explaining that it has been a few years since the major influx in the numbers of haredim who began studies or vocational training that would enable them to pursue more prestigious careers.

Now is when they are entering the labor market, and it is critical – for them and other haredim considering a career – that they find suitable jobs.

Education Minister Sa'ar on teaching core curriculum in Haredi schools

By Yochi Brandes June 15, 2011

Q: At the start of your term you fought to institute a core curriculum in Haredi schools, is this no longer important to you?

Education Minister Sa’ar:

...At first I got into confrontations with Haredi rabbis and politicians, and I even cut financial support to their schools. But I learned that it's better to come to quiet understandings with them, far from media scrutiny, and not try to impose educational issues on them by force.

Q: And because you don't want to fight, you're prepared to abandon Haredi boys to a life of ignorance?

A: I hope and believe that by the end of my term the situation in this area will improve as well.

Secular warriors against Haredi 'invasion' of neighborhoods taking fight to Internet

By Gili Cohen June 14, 2011

An organization that was created several months ago to stem what they call an organized ultra-Orthodox "invasion" of non-Haredi neighborhoods around the country says about a dozen members from previously uninvolved localities have joined in the past few months.

The new representatives to the national neighborhoods forum come from communities including Givat Shmuel, Bat Yam, Arad, Haifa's Neve Sha'anan neighborhood and the rural cooperative community of Harish.

19 kollel students join Traffic Police in pilot project

By Jonah Mandel June 13, 2011

The shortened IDF service for haredi men wishing to leave their yeshiva, lasting between 16 and 24 months and tailored to suit ultra-Orthodox religious and cultural sensitivities, served as a model for the police program.

At the end of their training, the 19 haredim will man the phones of the Traffic Police appeals center, located in the capital.

Following their mandatory service, they will be able to join the general labor force.

National planning body approves new city for ultra-Orthodox at Harish

By Zafrir Rinat June 13, 2011

The campaign by environmental organizations and Jewish and Arab communities in the Wadi Ara area against establishing an ultra-Orthodox city at Harish has suffered a setback. A National Planning and Building Council appeals committee rejected most of the objections they submitted against the planned city.

However, the committee did accept the position of the Menashe Regional Council, whose communities are in the area, and specifically stated that the planned city would be for 50,000 residents and not a city three times that size, as the Housing and Construction Ministry originally planned.

Haredi women bringing sexy back

By Tani Goldstein June 15, 2011

The Israeli textile company EvaShow holds the answer.

According to the women's intimate apparel company, 20% of its customer base comes from ultra-orthodox women's clothing shops.

"In recent years an interesting change has occurred among ultra-orthodox women," said company founder, Eva Ohana.

Not just a drain on society

By Jonathan Rosenblum Opinion June 17, 2011

The writer is the director of Jewish Media Resources, has written a regular column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine since 1997.

About a year ago, I was asked to participate in a Knesset symposium on what the haredi community had to contribute to broader Israeli society. That particular symposium never took place, but I was nonetheless buoyed by the fact that there were secular Knesset members who were prepared to consider the proposition that the haredi community is not just a drain on society.

...SHUVU is a network of schools in 25 cities across the country, and employs over 1,000 teachers. Originally established over 20 years ago at the urging of Rabbi Avraham Pam, z”l, a leading American rosh yeshiva, on behalf of new immigrant children from the former Soviet Union, SHUVU has in the last six or seven years begun to accept many children from native Israeli background as well.

Haredi 'Beit Din' sentenced dog to death by stoning

By Akiva Novick June 16, 2011

A Jerusalem [Haredi beit din] recently sentenced a wandering dog to death by stoning. The cruel sentence stemmed from the suspicion that the hound was the reincarnation of a famous secular lawyer, who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago.

Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv undergoes successful surgery at age 101

By Jonah Mandel June 20, 2011

While nobody from within the haredi world will openly discuss it, Elyashiv’s medical condition and advanced age raise the question of who will succeed him as leader of the haredi world. Though the haredi community can be very roughly divided into three – the hassidim, Sephardim and Lithuanians – the Lithuanian rabbinic leadership has a special status within it, “particularly in matters of policy and ideology,” as Dr. Benjamin Brown wrote.

Haredim pray for health of venerated spiritual leader Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv

By Yair Ettinger June 20, 2011

Mass prayers were being conducted last night by ultra-Orthodox in Israel and overseas as Lithuanian-Orthodox leader, Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, 101 years old, entered an operating room in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv undergoes vascular surgery at age 101

By Jonah Mandel June 20, 2011

Senior Ashkenazi adjudicator Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv underwent vascular surgery at Jerusalem’s Sha’arei Tzedek Medical Center on Sunday night, as thousands prayed for his speedy recovery around the world.

Senseless no-go zones

By Evelyn Gordon Opinion June 15, 2011

A police representative announced in court last month that Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood has become a no-go zone for the men in blue. Every time police enter, the official explained, they encounter violence from haredi extremists. And that is why they failed to arrest a criminal suspect for over a month despite knowing exactly where in the neighborhood he was.

...instead of declaring places like Mea She’arim no-go zones, what police ought to be doing is entering with massive force – enough not only to protect themselves, but to make widespread arrests of those responsible.

Haredi newspaper ad promises help with ducking the army

By Yair Ettinger June 14, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox newspaper "Hamevaser," published by the family of former Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush, last week published an ad of a charity organization "for advice on how to get an exemption from the army."

The last Bible

By Agur Schiff June 15, 2011

This week in Haaretz 2031.

The moment we’ve been awaiting with curiosity mixed with trepidation has arrived. It happened this morning, in the huge UF&B publishing house in the industrial area of the port city of Changzhou in eastern China: The last Hebrew Bible in the world, which to the best of our knowledge is also the last book to be printed in Hebrew, was published.

Criminals, remove your kippah!

By Aya Kremerman June 14, 2011

So criminals, do me a favor: Until you atone and cease and desist from destroying our communities with your poison, take the yarmulke off your heads. It isn't a fashion accessory; it's a way of life. It is a commitment, one which you have broken with your malicious acts.

Rabbi charged with raping 12-year-old girl

By Naama Cohen-Freidman June 13, 20113

According to the indictment, the girl asked Hafuta questions about religious matters. In response, he told her that he wants to "reveal her purpose in the world," and for that she has to meet him.

Glenn Beck's Jerusalem Rally: GOP Presidential Candidates Not Planning To Attend, Despite Report

By Michael Calderone and Sam Stein June 15, 2011

"There have been some inaccuracies about the event," the spokesperson said. "No one on the list below has been contacted or asked to appear. Senator Lieberman said he supports the event and if his schedule allows will be a guest at the event."

Glenn Beck's Jerusalem rally program unveiled

By Tzvika Brot June 15, 2011

The multi-million dollar production is expected to be attended by a convoy of American dignitaries, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. US Senator Joe Lieberman, a independent, and Republicans Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee and Congresswoman Michelle Bachman are to join Beck at the rally as well.

[See update]

Professor Asher Cohen to head civics panel at Education Ministry

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring June 13, 2011

Cohen said the liberal supporters of democracy are trying to suppress the Jewishness of the state as part of an effort to force Israel to become a state of all its citizens.

"My approach is one of balance. If you present three concepts of a state - theocratic, ethnocratic or a state of all its citizens - I'm opposed to any of them. I want to combine and balance all of them," Cohen explained.

Revisiting Zionism – Can Israel Survive Without a Soul?

By Yosef Y. Jacobson Opinion June 19, 2011

A national homeland on its own cannot do the trick for us. It can’t “normalize” us, nor can give us the safety we crave for. We need G-d in our midst; we need the Torah at our side.

This is not to suggest that citizens of Israel should legally be coerced to follow Jewish law. This would create an even deeper animosity to Judaism and its laws.

In the world we live in, religion and spirituality must be a personal choice coming from within. What it is saying is that every nation needs a soul. Even Israel. And the soul of the Jewish people for 4,000 years has been the Torah.

Senior Retiring IDF Officers Leadership Program "Charging Into Israeli Leadership" Leadership Program for Senior IDF Officers June 2011

Beit Morasha will run an intensive eight day leadership seminar at Beit Morasha on the topic of Identity and Policy Making for 30 select retiring senior IDF officers in July of 2011. This program will grant the participants tools for critical analysis regarding the character of the Jewish state, and strengthen the motivation of the senior officers to choose a career path in leadership.

Anglos for Amsellem

By Raphael Ahren June 17, 2011

About two months after renegade Shas MK Rabbi Chaim Amsellem founded his own political movement called Am Shalem, a number of political activists, headed by Beit Shemesh-based educator Rabbi Dov Lipman and journalist Yishai Fleisher, Wednesday launched Anglos for Am Shalem.

Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, have you given up on the Bible?

By Yochi Brandes June 15, 2011

Education Minister Sa’ar:

In recent years, more and more Israelis are seeking to study Jewish culture in all its varieties. The Culture of Israel curriculum tries to meet that need and provide children with the knowledge that was withheld from their parents.

Pisgat Ze’ev mikve to get recycled-water system in August

By Sharon Udasin June 17, 2011

Mikve Yair, in the northern Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, will be the first among the city’s 36 ritual baths to be piloting a special recycled- water system, in which the water will no longer have to be changed at the conclusion of each day, according to Alex Weisman, CEO of Moriah Jerusalem Development Company, the firm responsible for overseeing the process.

Murky Mikveh June 14, 2011

A number of the women who visit the ritual bath (mikveh) in the center of Nes Tziona were shocked last week to discover that a camera had been installed at the entrance to the building. Women come to the mikveh to purify themselves after menstruation so that they will be "permissable" to their husbands. The implications of a camera are that the intimate details of their marital lives have been exposed.

Police arrest operators of extreme right website over calls for violence

By Chaim Levinson June 13, 2011

The three, students of extremist Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg, operate "The Jewish Voice" website, which reports news on settlements and outposts, criticizes the IDF, shows sympathy for "price tag" attacks and publishes articles by Rabbi Ginzburg. The site also reports on Shin Bet attempts to recruit agents.

'Police discriminating against religious Jews in J'lem'

By Melanie Lidman June 15, 2011

Right-wing Mks from Likud and National Union accused the Jerusalem police of discriminating against religious Jews who wish to enter the Temple Mount, in a charged meeting of the Interior Committee on Wednesday morning at the Knesset.

Chabad of Tel Aviv: New Awakenings in the City that Never Sleeps

By R. C. Berman June 17, 2011

Change is afoot in Israel's city that never sleeps. Founded as a bastion for secular Jews, Tel Aviv has none of Jerusalem’s holy sites.

But this city’s tempo, its openness and its metropolitan character are a draw for English speakers who choose to settle in Tel Aviv.
After years of losing young people to the burbs, Tel Aviv's parks are now filled with children again as parents discover city living equals less commuting.

“Family values have come back to Tel Aviv,” said Esther Piekarski, a lecturer and teacher who has been on of Chabad's representative in northern Tel Aviv for 30 years.

New Hasidic Radicals Bellow Down Tel Aviv Streets

By Benjamin Preston June 15, 2011

They are known as the Na Nach — a recently emerged subgroup of the 200-year-old Breslover Hasidic sect. Like other Breslover Hasidim, they follow the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, a kabbalist mystic who lived 200 years ago in what is today Ukraine.

More established Breslov groups were once seen as an eccentric, vaguely countercultural element in the Orthodox world. But members of the Na Nach sect now stand out as the new radicals, as the older tradition of Nachman study assumes a newfound respectability within the ultra-Orthodox world.

Rightist MKs visit Joseph's Tomb

By Yair Altman June 14, 2011

Eight Knesset Members held a daytime visit in Joseph's Tomb in Nablus on Tuesday, the first such visit since the year 2000. They were accompanied by IDF forces and hundreds of Palestinian officers.

King Hezekiah's inheritance - a cesspool of political garbage

By Nir Hasson June 16, 2011

After years of neglect, Hezekiah's Pool in the Old City of Jerusalem is finally being cleaned up. The work is being done by the Jerusalem Municipality, the Environmental Protection Ministry and Jerusalem Development Authority.

As with anything in Jerusalem, the cleanup may cause a diplomatic crisis with Egypt and Jordan - and a conflict with the Waqf Muslim religious trust and the Coptic Church.

Report: Security at Mt. Olives Cemetery slipping

By Kobi Nahshoni June 13, 2011

The "One Jerusalem" group published its security report of the Jewish cemeteries in Jerusalem Monday and the findings are disconcerting.

The group found that recent months have seen a 50% increase in incidents of desecration and hostile activity at the Mount of Olives cemetery in east Jerusalem, as well as on the roads leading to it; which led to a dramatic drop in the number of visitors.

Monster matzo marks kosher bakery opening in N.J.

By Joan Verdon June 14, 2011

On Tuesday, Rabbi Yona Metzger, the chief rabbi of Israel, blessed the new headquarters and installed a mezuza — small containers holding scrolls printed with a Jewish prayer — in three doorways of the company offices.

In recent years, Sarna said, Manischewitz has had competition from matzo made in Israel, but the company remains the leading kosher food manufacturer in America.

Manischewitz Opens Headquarters in Newark

By Joshua Wilwoh June 15, 2011

Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger said the company has helped transform the world of kosher food.
"The word 'Manischewitz' is like two words: money and sweat. So, if you want to [make] money, you have to sweat," he said. "They sweat a lot and they did it. And, now, the company became the biggest, the largest kosher company in the world."

Latin Patriarchate delegation visits President Peres June 17, 2011

The Patriarch spoke of the President's desire to have a spirit of interfaith dialogue with the three religions. The status of Jerusalem was also discussed for which the Patriarch expressed his desire that Jerusalem is open to all three religions and to give free access to holy sites.

The President for his part expressed concern about the few Christians who live in the Holy City. He asked for the official number of members of the Church for which the delegation replied that there are more than 10,000 Christians in Jerusalem.

Israel Police gets its first Muslim Lt.-Cmdr.

By Yaakov Lappin June 16, 2011

Israel’s first Muslim policeman to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant-commander, the equivalent of major general in the IDF, will take up his new position this week.

Religion and State in Israel

June 20, 2011 (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.