Monday, August 1, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - August 1, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

August 1, 2011 (Section 2) (see also 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.

The fallacy of the middle class protest

By Meirav Arlosoroff Opinion August 1, 2011

…The state also sweeps the Haredim under the rug, but in the opposite way to the Arabs: It capitulates to their every demand, allowing them to subsist in the misery of poverty and unemployment at the expense of the state.

The threefold consequent burden - they don't serve in the army, won't work and live on welfare or support for yeshivas - is intolerable, morally and economically. The tents protest is the first sign that the back of the middle class camel has broken under this burden.

...We should return to David Ben-Gurion's arrangement of quotas for people studying Torah at the state's expense. The other Haredim should kindly go to national service and then work. We might also mention that a modern, equitable, Zionist democracy must not forgo education: The state should stop funding the isolationist Haredi education system.

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, why are the ultra-Orthodox & religious staying away from the housing protest?

By Yair Ettinger July 28, 2011

There is a large religious population in the cities that is active in social causes. They are part of the struggling middle class, but at least until now, the presence of modern Orthodox people (as well as the ultra-Orthodox) in the housing protests has been negligible.

The protests which began two weeks ago are the focus of a growing debate within the national-religious community.

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, the chief rabbi of Ramat Gan and the president of the hesder yeshiva there, is one of the most important leaders of the national religious sector today, with an impact on many circles.

So far, most religious Israelis stay away from housing protests

By Yair Ettinger July 27, 2011

Among those protesting the cost of housing there is some representation from the religious community, but for the most part, religious Jews have fallen outside the pale of the tents. Why is this?

Housing distress reaches ultra-Orthodox sector ~ Haredi families live in warehouses, garages

By Kobi Nahshoni July 26, 2011

While in many places across the country young Israelis are taking to the streets and temporarily living in tents in protest of the soaring housing prices, in haredi concentrations in the capital entire families are forced to live in warehouses, parking garages and basements – permanently.

It happens in luxurious haredi neighborhoods, like Har Nof and Geula, and in cheaper ones – Minhat Yitzhak, Kiryat Mattersdorf and others. The traditional sukkot and bicycles have been evacuated from the storerooms, making place for families – most of them with children.

No place to hang their hats

By Ranit Nahum-Halevy and Nati Tucker August 1, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox could be depicted as conspiratorial, pushy and invasive, but the situation is somewhat more complex. The acute shortage they face in housing forces them to spread out into secular and mixed neighborhoods.

...The population explosion in cities with high Haredi concentrations - Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit, and Elad - has resulted in the sector looking for alternate living space in mixed cities, with the hope of establishing a critical mass and changing the character of the neighborhood.

Yishai approves 4,700 housing units for Haredi-only Harish August 1, 2011

Interior Minister Eli Yishai approved on Sunday plans to develop an additional 4,700 housing units in the haredi city of Harish in Wadi Ara.

The expansion is part of an ongoing government plan to designate the new housing bloc in Harish as a haredi-only settlement.

The government has already planned to build 4,100 housing units for the new city, which was approved in 2010.

In landmark deal, Chabad men to enlist in IDF

By Yehuda Shlezinger July 31, 2011

Leaders of the Chabad-Lubavitch ultra-Orthodox movement have brokered an agreement with the Israel Defense Forces to draft male members for full military service. The agreement is to be signed soon, both sides report. The move marks the first time an entire Orthodox Hasidic movement will commit itself to sending its members to the Israeli military.

The agreement between Chabad and the IDF, which comes after several months of negotiations, allows Chabad yeshiva students to leave the country for one year at the completion of their religious studies. After their year abroad, the students will be required to return to Israel for regular military service of three years.

Under pressure from rabbis in Gush Etzion: Supermarket Rami Levi keeps Arab baggers and Jewish cashiers apart

By Chaim Levinson July 26, 2011

Palestinians are no longer bagging groceries most days at the Rami Levi supermarket at the Gush Etzion junction, after a romance between a Palestinian bagger and a Jewish cashier spurred local rabbis to demand that Levi take action.

...The decision followed a storm that arose in the Gush Etzion settlements after it was reported that a local girl working as a cashier had become romantically involved with one of the Palestinian baggers.

...Over the past two weeks, however, after reports of the cashier-packer affair spread, Rabbi Gideon Perl, the rabbi of Alon Shvut, met with chain owner Levi and demanded that he take action to prevent a recurrence.

Free Speech for Inflammatory Rabbis?

By Rabbi Joshua Hammerman Opinion July 28, 2011

In an ideal world, Rabbi Lior should have the right to speak freely, and the “King’s Torah” should not be banned.

But that ideal world would be a place where the Israeli Declaration of Independence, guaranteeing “freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture” has been codified into Basic Laws and a formal Constitution.

For now, it is up to the political, cultural and judicial mainstream of the country to unite in their strong condemnation of those abhorrent ideas.

Then, while they are in a unified mood, they can begin to unravel the toxic entanglement of religion and state that, as much as any external enemy, threatens the very future of the Jewish state.

Parents protest to Education Ministry over cuts to secular studies

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring July 28, 2011

Dozens of parents around the country have organized to oppose reducing classroom hours for secular subjects and increasing religious studies in state religious schools.

The parents complain that the Education Ministry's religious education department has limited the autonomy of some school principals by requiring them to devote 40 percent of class time to religious studies, and also has encouraged a more ultra-Orthodox orientation in the state religious schools.

Religious parties want inspection of secular institutions

Shas, UTJ: Inspect secular institutions too

By Jonah Mandel July 25, 2011

Deputy Finance Minister Itzhak Cohen (Shas) is demanding that the Finance Ministry conduct inspections into secular cultural and educational institutions that receive state funding, in the same way that yeshivot do.

MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) sent a letter to the same effect to Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, asking that inspectors be sent to universities and colleges for head-counts, to check student ID cards, attendance and hours in the institutions, as per the procedures of inspection in yeshivot and kollels.

Superbus tells women 'pay in the front, get on in the back' July 27, 2011

An ad run in Beit Shemesh by the Superbus company instructed women to pay the bus driver in the front of the bus, and then to get off the bus and enter through the back door, Army Radio reported.

Following a request by the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), the company apologized and promised to publish new advertisements, according to the report.

Volunteer National Service spots for Haredim to double

By Meirav Arlozoroff August 1, 2011

The number of posts for ultra-Orthodox will double, from the current 1,200 to 2,400 by 2015.

The move is intended to help people from these sectors transition into the workforce.

The volunteers will be placed with educational institutions, emergency services and security services, among others, including the Israel Police, fire departments and Magen David Adom, and will be trained accordingly.

Zionist Rabbis Gather in Jerusalem, Learn from One Another

By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski July 28, 2011

[Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth, Director of Tzohar’s Overseas Department] said that Tzohar is not “trying to create an alternative” to other organizations. “We’re trying to do exactly what rabbanut was supposed to do but in a way that will, at the end of the day, give people not just the religious service but also the warmth.”

Click here for embedded VIDEO

Good to import dairy products? Rabbinate: Not if you want to keep it kosher

By Elad Benari July 29, 2011

According to Rabbi Chaim Lasri of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel Import Division, opening the market to imports of dairy products from abroad will not help consumers, because importing these products while ensuring that kashrut is strictly observed, will not be financially worthwhile.

Jewish group promoting polygamy?

By Akiva Novick July 27, 2011

Are we about to witness a new phenomenon in Israel in the coming years – one man married to several women? Tens of thousands of leaflets were distributed in synagogues across the country recently, promoting the ancient custom and presenting it as a solution for the single daughters of Israel.

Over 4,000 ultra-Orthodox flock to J'lem employment fair

By Jonah Mandel July 24, 2011

The 31-year-old Jerusalem resident was one of an estimated 4,000 ultra-Orthodox men and women who flocked to Binyanei Ha’uma to be exposed to a variety of frameworks offered to haredim seeking to enter the employment force.

Booths representing a plethora of employers ranging from Bezeq to Beit Shemesh Engines and the Jerusalem Municipality were stationed alongside a few military and national service representatives, who provided information about the unique programs they offered haredi men, with the colleges and vocational training institutions scattered throughout.

PHOTO Gallery: Ultra-Orthodox Jews clash with security forces in Jerusalem July 23, 2011

Ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli security forces scuffled during a demonstration against a municipal parking lot that is open on the Jewish Sabbath

Modiin Illit gets kosher cybercafé

By Ari Galahar July 31, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox city of Modiin Illit has got its own Internet café for the very first time. The café, an initiative of haredi businessman Yehuda Weisfish, was opened after he received rabbinical approval.

The new experimental store is called "Gilad Net" and is strictly kosher.

Haim Nahman vs. the Haredim

By Shmuel Avneri July 29, 2011

Shmuel Avneri is director of the Bialik Archive in Tel Aviv.

This testimony largely reflects the attitude of the extremist Haredim to Bialik and his literary enterprises, including "Sefer Ha'aggadah," whose writing was concluded by Bialik and Ravnitzky 100 years ago.

Should rabbis be active on Facebook?

By Kobi Nahshoni July 28, 2011

Dozens of community rabbis from Israel and abroad discussed rabbinical social network activity during an international conference on the "era's challenges" held in Jerusalem this week by the Tzohar organization and the World Zionist Organization's spiritual services department.

The Tzohar communities' rabbis discussed more complicated issues as well, like the treatment of non-Jews, Halacha and modernism, rabbis' petitions and state and religion.

Chabad rabbi: Café chain used me as model

By Meirav Crystal July 27, 2011

Rabbi Kaplun Elyashiv, a member of Hasidic movement Chabad, discovered one day that he is the star of a Landwer advertisement. He says it happened in 2010 while he was talking with friends and suddenly saw his picture on the café chain's website.

A NIS 1 million ($290,000) lawsuit he filed with the Central Magistrate's Court reveals that his picture was allegedly posted on Landwer's website in order to promote its strictly kosher products.

Israeli NGO to invest $2 million to bring Israeli tourists to West Bank settlements

By Chaim Levinson July 28, 2011

The target audience of Mishkefet, which calls itself a "national acquaintance project," is secular Israelis who do not venture out to the West Bank settlements often, and the tours are due to explore historical and national Jewish heritage sites, as well as farms and other agricultural projects.

Abuhatzeira killer sent for psychiatric exam

By Yaakov Lappin and Joanna Paraszczuk August 1, 2011

The man who stabbed Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira to death at his Beersheba yeshiva late Thursday night, sending the haredi world into deep shock, has been sent by a court for a psychiatric examination to determine his mental state.

Asher Dahan, from Elad, between Rosh Ha’ayin and Shoham, told police he did “not mean to kill the rabbi.”

Follower of slain Baba Elazar: ‘I believe it was pure holiness’

By Jonah Mandel August 1, 2011

Chaim Cohen, an educator from Jerusalem:

“He also had a large following of Americans,” Cohen noted. “There are people who would fly out of New York Saturday night, get there Sunday afternoon, and fly back to the US that same night. Usually business types looking for that kind of advice, but also people seeking counsel on medical procedures – the rabbi made himself aware of experts in those fields,” he said.

Thousands attend funeral of murdered Rabbi Abuhatzeira; man from ultra-Orthodox city held

By Yanir Yagna and Yair Ettinger July 31, 2011

Thousands of people attended the funeral on Friday of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira, who was stabbed to death Thursday night near his Be'er Sheva home while meeting with followers. Police arrested a suspect in the stabbing, who has been identified as Asher Dahan, 42, of the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad.

Slain Beersheba rabbi laid to rest

By Elior Levy July 29, 2011

According to an initial investigation into the murder, the rabbi received the suspect for a conversation, during which he was stabbed. The rabbi's students captured the stabber and handed him over to the police.

The investigation also revealed that the suspect had arrived at the yeshiva to consult the rabbi several times, and therefore was well familiar with the place.

Grandson of Babi Sali, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira to be laid to rest in J'lem

By Yaakov Lappin and Joanna Paraszczuk July 29, 2011

Killed at a Beersheba yeshiva, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira was a well-known religious figure and the grandson of Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, known as the Baba Sali, whom his followers believed was able to work miracles.

Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira stabbed to death in Be'er Sheva

By Yanir Yagna July 29, 2011

The 70-year-old rabbi was a popular kabbalist and grandson of Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira, known as the Baba Sali, whom his followers consider a sage who was able to work miracles through his prayers.

Government move would cement rightist group's control of Jerusalem City of David national park

By Zafrir Rinat and Nir Hasson July 27, 2011

The amendment is intended to, among other things, authorize the activities of the Elad association which manages the City of David (Walls Around Jerusalem) national park.

Priests, rabbis, muftis meet to promote green behavior

By Sharon Udasin and Jonah Mandel July 26, 2011

Representatives from Israel’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities met on Monday to talk about instilling their congregants with environmental awareness.

Monday’s event was also the launch of the Interfaith Center itself, a new religious-environmental group headed by Rabbi Yonatan Neril.

Earlier this month, the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (CRIHL) endorsed the “Holy Land Declaration on Climate Change,” which was submitted by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, calling on observers throughout the world to address the environmental crisis, including increased consumption.

Click here for embedded VIDEO

See also: Holy Land clerics launch interfaith Earth forum

See also: A Priest, a Rabbi and a Minister hold a press conference

Vital lessons in hospitality

By Fiyaz Mughal Opinion July 29, 2011

Fiyaz Mughal OBE is the founder and director of Faith Matters and Middle East Journeys

What is needed is a change in attitude toward Muslim pilgrims. As well as being beneficial to Israel, it must reflect the fact that people of all three Abrahamic faiths have the moral right to visit holy sites and to be treated fairly along the way.

Despite the problems encountered, I will continue to bring people of all faiths to Jerusalem and the Holy Land in order to encourage understanding and tolerance.

Tolerance and facts July 27, 2011

Letter to the Editor

A letter to the editor published in Hebrew on July 14 about the Museum of Tolerance calls for a response. In 1964, the Muslim religious court in Jaffa decided that the Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem's Mamilla Street was "mundras" (abandoned ) and therefore had lost its holy status. The custom of mundras makes it possible to build on abandoned Muslim cemeteries, and it exists in all the Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia....

Prof. Yaakov Amir, Jerusalem

Bridging Jerusalem’s cultural divide

By Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz Opinion July 24, 2011

Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz is Founder and Dean of HaOhel Institutions (Sulam Yaakov, Ashrei, Shirat Devorah, and Threshold) in Nachlaot, Jerusalem.

The capital’s failure to rise to this challenge was painfully evident with the misfire of the Mamilla Beach Party planned for the Old City walls. In this almost comic plan, the city was to import sand by the truckload and convince people to come play bikini beach ball.

Not only was the location in questionable taste, but the event was to take place during the Three Weeks - in which our people mourn the destruction of the Temple.

Police won’t let Jews hold march in Old City due to Ramadan

By Jonah Mandel July 31, 2011

In an apparent bid to prevent a clash between Jews and Muslims, police have denied Jews permission to march around the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday, which is the first day of the Hebrew month of Av, and the first day of Ramadan.

The march, which has been taking place at the onset of Jewish months for some 10 years, draws the most participants at the beginning of Av, the month in which the First and Second Temples were destroyed. Last year, an estimated 5,000 people participated in that month’s march.

Video: Over 1500 Pray at Joseph’s Tomb

By David ben Yacov July 28, 2011

The IDF allowed over 1500 Jews were into Joseph’s tomb to pray on Wednesday night.

Among those attending were National Religious, Hareidi-religious, traditional and non-religious Jews, as could be seen from the array of different kippot.

Click here for VIDEO

AJC program engages Christian leaders in Jewish study

By Jeremy Sharon July 28, 2011

A yearlong interfaith program conducted by the American Jewish Committee in conjunction with the Shalom Hartman Institute will draw to a close on Thursday, following 13 months of study and travel by a group of Christian leaders and academics from the US.

The 13 members of the Christian Leadership Initiative who began the course back in July 2010 have been in Israel on the second of two 10-day trips in which they have studied classical Jewish texts with rabbis and educators at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem.

Jesus' baptismal site in Jordan Valley reopens to pilgrims

By Chaim Levinson July 25, 2011

The Jordan Valley site where Christians believe Jesus was baptized was reopened to the public at large last week, in a ceremony hosted by Minister Silvan Shalom.
Qasr al-Yahud ("Castle of the Jews") had essentially been closed for 44 years. It was abandoned following the Six-Day War in 1967.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi dies at 73; Vatican's ambassador to the U.S., former Apostolic Nuncio to Israel

By Mitchell Landsberg July 29, 2011

As papal nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi had the formidable job of representing the Vatican at a time of challenge and scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as escorting Pope Benedict XVI on his 2008 American visit.

….His relations with Israel were sometimes thorny, and he once accused the Jewish state of failing to keep promises to the church regarding land, taxes and Arab clergy.

Interview: Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III

By Anna Koulouris Vol.17 No.12 2011 / JERUSALEM, In the Eye of the Storm

The 141st Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, discusses the Greek Orthodox Church’s current and future role in Jerusalem and the peace process, responds to criticisms and shares personal opinions.

‘Yad Vashem speaks for life’ - Christian leaders learn Holocaust lessons with moral clarity

By Meredith Somers Holbrook July 23, 2011

The Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, created in partnership with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, recently hosted a special Christian Leadership Conference in Jerusalem for training in Holocaust education and combating the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

Att'y General On Temple Mount To See Anti-Jewish Discrimination

By Elad Benari July 28, 2011

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein visited the Temple Mount on Tuesday in order to closely examine complaints that his office had received regarding discrimination by police officers towards Jewish visitors to the compound.

Group of 20 Women Ascend the Temple Mount; Man Arrested for holding mini Torah scroll July 20, 2011

This morning a group of 20 women plus children ascended to the Temple Mount, under very tight police escort.

The group was organized by “Women for the Temple Mount”, the women are dedicated to teaching women how to properly prepare themselves in ritual cleanliness before entering the Mount and are very active in bringing women.

The police threatened to end the tour when the women began to sing Psalms and also demanded that participants stay with the group.

Religion and State in Israel

August 1, 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.