Monday, February 21, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - February 21, 2011 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

February 21, 2011 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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.

Rabbis reach deal on IDF conversions

By Kobi Nahshoni February 20, 2011

According to the compromise – brokered by former Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri – Rabbi Yosef added a restriction to his ruling, stating that a convert who did not really intend on adopting a religious lifestyle while undergoing the conversion process would not be recognized as a Jew.

...The Ashkenazi haredi marriage registrars are expected to give [converts] a hard time, trying to prove in any way possible that they did not really intend to observe mitzvot.

The Sephardic rabbis, Yosef's students, will argue that this can be proved only in very rare cases and that adopting a secular lifestyle – even shortly after the conversion process is completed – does not necessarily prove that the convert acted in a deceitful manner.

Haredi-Lithuanian leader Rabbi Elyashiv: Protest IDF conversions

By Kobi Nahshoni February 16, 2011

Leader of the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox faction Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv has called on the public to take part in a mass protest to be staged following Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's ruling legitimizing Israel Defense Forces conversions. Sources close to Elyashiv confirmed the report.

Rabbi Haim Druckman blasts Haredim at conference on converts

By Jonah Mandel February 15, 2011

Rabbi Haim Druckman blasted haredi elements who cast doubts on the validity of conversions performed by the State Conversion Authority, which he heads, and by the IDF, during a symposium Monday at Jerusalem’s International Conference Center.

“There are people who won’t let the facts confuse them,” he angrily said of the Lithuanianharedi claim that most military converts do not go on to maintain an observant lifestyle, which would prove their intent was not pure and therefore their conversions should be annulled.

Modern Orthodox Canadian convert denied right to make aliyah by Israel's Sephardi Chief Rabbi

By Yair Ettinger February 15, 2011

[Thomas] Dohlan's case is part of a wider a precedent in which Amar has been made the chief arbiter of who is and isn't a Jew.

The Interior Ministry, which is in the hands of the Haredi-dominated Shas Party, appointed [Chief Rabbi Shlomo] Amar to serve as a sort of higher religious authority over all the world's Orthodox Jews, in order to determine which Orthodox conversions carried out abroad are kosher and which are not.

In response to an inquiry by Haaretz on correcting the issue, the ministry announced explicitly for the first time that while there are no established criteria or regulations about the matter, the Chief Rabbinate is "the authorized decision making party with regard to Orthodox conversions undergone abroad."

More Russian speakers converting via state process

By Yair Ettinger February 15, 2011

Muli Yeselson, head of the PMO's conversion division, said the PMO last year issued 27 percent more conversion certificates to people who had immigrated from the former Soviet Union. The number of converts from those countries rose to 1,335 from 1,052 in 2009.

Conversion Showdown: Rav Ovadia vs. the Ashkenazim

By J.J. Goldberg Opinion February 19, 2011

A nasty fight is heating up between Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the mentor of Shas, and the rabbinic leadership of the Ashkenazi Haredi world.

The Ashkenazi rabbis have called for a mass demonstration against Ovadia this coming Wednesday, and tens of thousands are expected to attend.

Ruling of Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Shlomo Amar on Conversions

By Elli Fischer February 16, 2011

The full translation appears at Kol Ha-Rav

Stop preaching to us about the IDF conversions

By Barbara Sofer Opinion February 18, 2011

The [IDF] conversion course aims at producing entry-level Jews young enough to bring up Jewish families, not hoary-headed yeshiva principals and rabbinical court judges.

...This isn’t a gut course in Jewish basket-weaving; the vaunted halachic expert Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has approved the conversion program offered during IDF service.

Bill would make divorce facilitators subject to religious law

By Dana Weiler-Polak February 18, 2011

A government bill to be discussed by the Knesset Constitution Committee next week would require social workers, psychologists, mediators and other professionals employed by the rabbinical courts to act in accordance with religious law in any work they do for these courts.

The bill would set up special professional assistance units in the rabbinical courts similar to those that exist in the family courts.

...the bill would give the head of the rabbinical courts − i.e., the chief rabbi − the power to set the units’ working procedures. Opponents fear that could result in him vetoing the hiring of secular people or women.

Bill would allow betrothed to choose religious council

By Yair Ettinger February 17, 2011

The Knesset has passed in preliminary reading a bill allowing couples to choose the religious council in which they will be registered and the rabbi who will conduct the ceremony.

The bill, proposed by MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima), is meant to loosen somewhat the tangle of red tape facing couples who wish to register for marriage. In its present form, the law only allows couples to register in the city one of them lives in.

'When did the robe cling to the body?'

How the Rabbinical Court casts doubt on conversions

By Rivkah Lubitch Opinion February 18, 2011

Rivkah Lubitch is a rabbinic court pleader who works at The Center for Women’s Justice

Read and know: this is how converts who want to marry – or divorce – according to Jewish law are interrogated.

Click here to read X’s story and the story of the three days of interrogation that she underwent in the regional rabbinic court after the High Court of Justice asked the court to review the matter.

(The document was submitted to the High Court of Justice as a letter from T and was signed as an affidavit - identifying details have been deleted.)

1st ever Bnei Menashe officer in IDF makes history February 20, 2011

History was made on Wednesday when Shalem Gin became the first IDF officer from the Bnei Menashe community. Gin received the rank of second lieutenant in front of friends and family at a ceremony held at the Bahad 1 military base in the Negev.

Gin, 20, was born in Mizoram, a state in northeastern India. He and his family made aliyah in 1995. Gin joined the IDF in 2009 and enlisted in the Engineering Corps, where he finished near the top of his class in his commanders course.

Education Ministry to sponsor school trips to Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs

By Or Kashti February 16, 2011

The Education Ministry is planning a new program beginning next year in which students will visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

The Ministry said the visits would not be obligatory and were meant to allow those who were interested to participate.

Plan for school trips to Hebron garners praise, ire February 17, 2011

Following [Education Minister] Sa’ar’s interview, former education minister Amnon Rubinstein took issue with the idea of taking children to see the Tomb of the Patriarchs without “showing them the price paid by Palestinians in Hebron.”

Meretz head: Sending students to Hebron is form of brainwashing

By Nir Hasson, Or Kashti and Jonathan Lis February 17, 2011

Opposition MKs and an educator yesterday denounced Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar's plan to fund student visits to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Education Ministry sources said the program would start with Jerusalem students, and would later expand to include all students.

Education Minister initiates student trip to Hebron holy site

By Or Kashti February 15, 2011

[Kiryat Arba] Mayor Malachi Levinger praised Sa'ar for the "historic" program which would allow "hundreds of thousands of students to be exposed for the first time to the city of the patriarchs and the ancient Jewish heritage hidden there."

Say yes to Hebron trips

By Yoaz Hendel Opinion February 21, 2011

Well, ladies and gentlemen, despite the objections voiced by the above figures, Hebron is part of our heritage. One may dislike our presence there in terms of politics, yet one cannot deny the significance of the city and of the Cave of the Patriarchs.

VIDEO: Israel Channel 10 TV News on Jews praying on the Temple Mount (Hebrew)

February 15, 2011

Click here for VIDEO

Reform leaders push new image of strong, growing Israel movement

By Sue Fishkoff February 14, 2011

Certainly the Reform movement in Israel continues to be discriminated against by the Orthodox-controlled rabbinate, Yoffie points out, and by Chief Rabbinate policies that thwart funding for Reform synagogues or rabbis but favor Orthodox ones. But “overemphasizing” that discrimination can only backfire, he said.

“We cannot generate support for our movement by presenting ourselves as victims,” he said.

Why liberal Judaism is in free fall?

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion February 18, 2011

Do the Reform and Conservatives have any chance of imitating the Orthodox take on localism?

Certainly it will be an uphill struggle, as the basic instinct is lacking there, but the local and national organizations have to find a way of encouraging and supplying the tools, while refraining from the urge to direct from above.

It may be their only chance to reverse the inexorable trend of descent into irrelevancy.

Jewish values and State vs. Synagogue and State

By Rabbi Aaron Goldstein Opinion February 18, 2011

Thus far, the debate in Israel has been dominated by the extremes, ultra-orthodox and ardent secularists who reject any notion of Judaism in relation to the State.

On many occasions I have spoken for the separation of Synagogue and State in Israeli politics but I realised that I was allowing my thoughts to be funneled through the definitions of the dichotomy of ultra-orthodox and secular. I was not considering a continuum between the two.

Poll: 42% say Judaism treats women well February 14, 2011

Asked whether Judaism is egalitarian in its attitude towards men and women, 47% answered it was not; 29% replied there was a moderate level of equality; and 24% said Judaism was egalitarian.

Analysis shows that the haredim (79%) and the religious public (58%) believe there is equality while the seculars replied there was none (58%). A gender analysis revealed that 29% of men believe that Judaism is egalitarian as opposed to only 19% of women.

Walk the religious line

By Danny Spektor February 15, 2011

Saxophonist Daniel Zamir, once a far leftist, now takes stage as a haredi Jew, speaks fluent Yiddish and plays with top musicians at secular clubs.

With no intention of giving up his love of music, he sees it as his life's mission: 'God wants me to do this'.

Crime boss allowed visit from rabbi

By Ofra Edelman February 17, 2011

Alleged crime kingpin Amir Mulner, who is serving a 32-month sentence for weapons-related crimes in Hasharon prison, will receive a two-hour weekly visit from the prison rabbi, the Petah Tikva District Court ruled yesterday.

A visit to the Mount of Olives

By Steve Linde February 20, 2011

When relatives from South Africa, Maureen and Paul Rome, flew to Israel this month for the brit mila of their grandson, Yonatan Flax, I suggested that I take them to the Mount of Olives to see the grave of Yisrael Yona Shagam.

He had lived in Mea She’arim and was buried in 1907, just seven years after his arrival in Palestine from Lithuania.

Rabbi Motti Elon, Takana, and the Rule of Law

By David Morris Opinion February 17, 2011

In the larger picture, an important step needs to be taken by criminalizing those in positions of authority and status who behave inappropriately with those under their authority.

Generation Y Jews must return to tradition to find meaning

By Rabbi Kenneth Brander Opinion February 14, 2011

Rabbi Kenneth Brander is the David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future

Just look at the new phenomenon in Israel where National Service was once the sole purview of the religious Zionist community;

recent years have seen a rise of new organizations like Ma’ase, Shlomit, Sheirut Leumi Mamlachti empowering young adults of Israel’s secular community to volunteer for a year of service before their obligatory time in the army or enabling those exempt from army service who still wish to impact the destiny of the state of Israel.

These organizations are collectively serving thousands.

An Entirely (Surprising?) Other Side of Birthright Rights

By Marc Belzberg Opinion February 16, 2011

Marc Belzberg, Chairman of the Board of Mibereshit – The Foundation for Jewish Renaissance

Yes, indeed. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Muss: “Forces need to be joined so that together, we will truly revolutionize young Jews…”

However, not merely “… around the Diaspora.” But also here – in our national birthplace – with its birthright too.

Mr. Muss, I certainly hope that we will find a way to programmatically interface your Diaspora high school teens with ours and the college age Birthright young adults with our Masa Yisraeli soldiers … they each need the other – as do we.

Beyond ‘Yes or No’ Jewishness

By Rabbi Susan P. Fendrick Opinion February 16, 2011

Rabbi Susan P. Fendrick is a senior research associate at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University.

The State of Israel, with its many profound problems around personal status, recognizes the advantages of distinguishing “Jewish for what purpose?”

Non-Orthodox converts to Judaism, and other Jews without documentation sufficient for their Jewishness to be recognized by the Chief Rabbinate for religious purposes, are welcomed as olim to Israel under the Law of Return.

The state’s designation of eligibility for immigration doesn’t resolve those individuals’ ritual status, and their ritual status doesn’t undermine their right to citizenship.

J Street organizing its own college Israel trip February 16, 2011

J Street is organizing its own Israel trip for Jewish college students after Birthright Israel declined to partner with it.

In a letter to J Street supporters, the organization announced that its campus arm, J Street U, would organize a trip to Israel and the West Bank for 10-15 student leaders this summer.

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin's 'anecdotage'

By Jack Riemer February 18, 2011

Book Review: 'Listening to God'

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is surely one of the giants of our generation. He has had two careers – both of which have been full of achievements.

Religion and State in Israel

February 21, 2011 (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.

Religion and State in Israel - February 21, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

February 21, 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.

Rabbis defend ‘Torat Hamelech’

By Jonah Mandel February 17, 2011

Rabbi Dov Lior

The tenets of the Torat Hamelech book are taken from senior Sephardi adjudicator Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s Yecheve Da’at book, his son Rabbi Ya’acov Yosef told a packed Jerusalem synagogue on Wednesday night, noting that his father received the Israel Prize for that composition.

Rabbi Lior: What was our crime?

By Maayana Miskin February 20, 2011

Rabbi Dov Lior:

“Our problem is with those who run the state through pettiness, people who cut themselves off from the past, and have reached the point of cutting themselves off from the Torah and from parts of the land of Israel,” he said.

He added, “Rabbis need to state their interpretation of Torah, and whoever does not do so fails to fulfill his responsibility to the public.”

May we allow gentiles to purchase land in Israel?

By Rabbi Shlomo Riskin February 18, 2011 "Strangers in our midst"

The writer is the founder and chancellor of Ohr Torah Stone Colleges and Graduate Programs, and chief rabbi of Efrat.

Several months ago, a widely publicized letter signed by 40 prominent Israeli religious-Zionist rabbis stated that “it is biblically forbidden to sell (or rent) a house or a field in Israel to a gentile, as it is written ‘You shall not give them a resting place on our land (Deuteronomy 7:2).’

In the Jewish state, only Jews seem to be persecuted

By Israel Harel Opinion February 18, 2011

The zealots of the prosecution who in their stupidity dispatch policemen and arrest warrants to deal with the rabbis, force moderate rabbis who hold very different views from those of Lior and Shapira to stand by them.

Proposed law calls for free speech immunity for rabbis

By Jonathan Lis February 17, 2011

The National Union, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties have submitted a bill that would provide rabbis with immunity from prosecution for religious edicts or things said when referring to religious matters.

The bill states that a rabbi will not "bear criminal responsibility and would be immune to any legal action following the publication of a religious essay, agreeing to the publication of a book, or expressing an opinion on Torah related matters, orally or in writing."

Rabbis to get immunity?

By Roni Sofer February 16, 2011

The bill further asserts that "it's impossible that rabbis…as result of laws limiting freedom of expression, would refrain from issuing religious edicts or distort ancient Jewish law as result of their fear of the prosecutor's office."

Rabbi: Officer died in Carmel fire due to past actions

By Raanan Ben-Zur February 20, 2011

Nava Boker, wife of Brigadier-General Lior Boker who was killed in the Carmel fire disaster last December while trying to rescue prison guard cadets, filed a complaint Sunday against Rabbi Rafael Bublil accusing him of incitement.

‘You shall not wrong a stranger’

By Rabbi Reuven Hammer Opinion February 18, 2011

The writer was the founding director of the Schechter Rabbinical School.

I was shocked recently, however, to see a newspaper report recently that there is a Jewish organization here that is planning to give “kashrut certificates” to stores and companies that can prove that they do not employ “enemies of Israel,” which the head of the group explained means Arabs.

Fighting for the right to steal

By Shahar Ilan Opinion February 17, 2011

The writer is deputy director of research and information at Hiddush - For Religious Freedom and Equality.

Too late, the Education Ministry published a new and strict procedure for oversight of yeshivas.

The procedure was decided on after police revealed suspicions of false reporting of student numbers in 37 yeshivas and religious schools.

...The struggle to repeal the new inspection procedure illustrates why this happens. Instead of shunning the thieves, the Haredi parties and leading Torah luminaries start a fight whose significance is clear: The cheating will continue, the thieves will celebrate.

In battle over Israel's key rabbinical posting, ethnic underpinnings surface

By Yair Ettinger February 17, 2011

A clash between Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar may further delay the appointment of a new head of the rabbinical courts - a post that has been vacant since August.

...In other appointments that have stirred strong controversy, the committee is also expected to vote on three judges for the High Rabbinical Court.

Increase in Haredim draftees in IDF slowing down

By Amos Harel February 18, 2011

Following several years of sharply increasing numbers of ultra-Orthodox Haredim being conscripted into the ranks of the IDF or serving civilian national service, this increase slowed down significantly last year.

...The slowing down in the rate of increase of new Haredi conscripts may indicate that the current solutions offered by the IDF have been maximized.

It may also mean that the absence of significant external pressure means there is no real incentive for Haredim to apply for military or civilian service.

Haredi national service volunteers told to punch the clock

By Chaim Levinson February 17, 2011

In an attempt to crack down on haredim who don’t fill their weekly quota of volunteering as a substitute for military service, Sar-Shalom Jerbi, head of the Civilian and National Service Authority, recently ordered the installation of attendance clocks in all institutions served by haredi volunteers.

Haredi civilian volunteers ordered to clock in

Being religious in the Israel Navy

By Kobi Nahshoni February 17, 2011

Once these were the young men from the kibbutz who dominated the Israeli Defense Forces combat units and senior military staff; today, it is the national religious public that is taking over the army.

This considered, it is no surprise that Neil Friedlander, Adiel Shauloff and Amiad Wolbromsky, all products of religious kibbutz education, have made it far: The three graduated on Tuesday from the Naval Officer Course – one of the IDF's most prestigious and grueling training programs.

...Various Jewish law issues are raised aboard the 60-meter ship, upon which the soldiers often find themselves confined for an entire week.

Toward a new gold standard

By Rafi Goldrich Opinion February 18, 2011

But to restore hesder’s luster, it must become like all other special programs: Enrollment must be limited not only to assure high standards, but to not overly burden the country.

Boys must be accepted not by haredi-like entitlement but by merit, and must uphold the conditions of their service throughout, as verified by formal oversight...Only then will hesder become a program of which the national religious community can be proud.

PHOTO: New IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz places note in Western Wall


Chabad gift to new IDF Chief of Staff

Photo: Chabad "Framed $ bill and personalized blessing from the Rebbe"

Chief Rabbinate issues warning over kashrut problems

By Jonah Mandel February 18, 2011

The battle over the halachic validity of military conversions appears to be approaching the kashrut industry, with the Chief Rabbinate warning the Badatz Eda Haredit’s kashrut division recently of the consequences it would face if it did not swiftly resolve irregularities found in a few of its slaughterhouses.

Forget switchboards, Haredi women can be great engineers

By Guy Grimland February 20, 2011

Mansdorf says 3Base is proof that with the right training, Haredi women can be excellent computer engineers who can compete with any programmer in Herzliya or Ra'anana. Most of the company's programmers work with advanced technologies, he says.

...Employees come to 3Base after they finish Haredi women's seminaries at age 18. At that point, their options are becoming housewives or finding part-time employment with comfortable hours near home.

Most Haredi women choose to work because they are their households' main breadwinners - their husbands generally dedicate their lives to religious studies. But cultural norms restrict them to same-sex environments, and few challenging jobs are available to them. In addition, they start having children young, which means they are unlikely to go on to college.

Haredim who train integrate better into secular work

By Jonah Mandel February 14, 2011

The study showed that despite apprehension, haredi employees manage in a secular, gender-mixed work environment.

Some 83 percent of the women and 88% of the men said they had no problem maintaining their haredi lifestyle in such a setting. And while 47% of the women said they would not leave it in favor of an equivalent haredi place of work, 67% of the men would prefer to stay where they were.

Service program would train Haredim, Arabs

By Zvi Zrahiya February 20, 2011

The Israel Defense Forces, the Histadrut labor federation and private employers will work together to help manage a national service program for all, including ultra-Orthodox and Arabs, under a preliminary plan hashed out with MK Moshe Matalon (Yisrael Beiteinu) over the weekend.

Lawyers: Planned Haredi-only city is unconstitutional

By Ron Friedman February 16, 2011

Human rights lawyers are attempting to challenge a government decision designating the planned city of Harish as a haredi-only town.

...According to the ministry spokesman, Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias had instructed planners to ensure that the current population of Harish, 300 secular families, would have a separate entrance to the city, enabling them to come and go during Shabbat.

Green Movement: Israel's high birth rate not sustainable

By Zafrir Rinat February 14, 2011

"The current population growth rate does not allow for sustainable development in Israel," [Prof. Alon] Tal, an environmentalist, told conference participants, adding that he intends to put the country's high growth rate on the public agenda.

Tal said that political parties should work toward eliminating allowances and other incentives designed to encourage families to have more children.

'I said I was from Sudan and was attacked'

By Yoav Zitun February 14, 2011

The 23 year-old Sudanese asylum seeker, who was stabbed Saturday evening on a Bnei Brak street, is still hospitalized at the surgical ward of the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

...On Saturday evening, as he was sitting at the entrance to a small public while arriving to visit his brother who lives in the northern neighborhood of the ultra-Orthodox city, the two were brutally attacked by a group of local young men, who they say were wearing skullcaps.

Study: The Ultra-Orthodox Education System for Boys in Jerusalem 2011

This study presents a unique phenomenon in the field of Israeli education – the
Haredi education system for boys.

The paper describes a system that has created a meaningful alternative to the regular state education in Israel, employing its own methods and teaching means.

The system has inculcated the Haredi worldview to hundreds of thousands of graduates and achieved meteoric growth over recent decades.

VIDEO: Israel Channel 2 TV Special on the “Taliban Mother” in prison (Hebrew)

Click here for VIDEO

J'lem concerts protest cancellations

By Hagai Hitron February 17, 2011

Hundreds of people attended two concerts in churches in Jerusalem's Old City yesterday, to protest the city's surrender to ultra-Orthodox pressure.

'Holy dove' drives yeshiva wild

By Akiva Novick February 17, 2011

Rumors about the righteous bird became the talk of the day in Jerusalem, and students watching the dove with binoculars discovered that it would visit the rooftop of the nearby Vizhnitz yeshiva as well.

Yehud: 10 Haredim arrested during rally against dig

By Eli Senyor February 20, 2011

Ten ultra-Orthodox were arrested for suspicion of disturbing the peace during a demonstration against archeological excavations in Yehud.

The Riddle of the Satmar

By Allan Nadler February 17, 2011

Allan Nadler is a professor of religious studies and the director of the program in Jewish studies at Drew University.

A great historical irony lurks in this scenario of an emerging theocracy in the land of Israel. It could all have been avoided had the leading haredi figures, during the country's nascent years, heeded the strong admonitions of the most virulently outspoken anti-Zionist rabbi who ever lived.

Ministers put off debate on change to clock

By Jonathan Lis February 14, 2011

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided yesterday to put off for another month discussion of a bill to move the end of daylight saving time.

The bill is due to be brought before the Knesset for a preliminary vote on Wednesday.

C'tee postpones vote on daylight saving time extension

Ministers to deliberate on daylight saving time in 1 month

Drivers beware! Rabbinic grave-hopping ahead

By Yair Ettinger February 15, 2011

It now appears this was all organized by the Shuvu Banim Bratslav Hasidic community in pursuit of the movement's mysterious Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who has been making a series of nighttime visits to the graves of righteous men (tzadikim ) in the north. The rabbi has encouraged his followers to chase after him.

To pave road for Cohanim, eucalyptus trees have to go

By Yair Ettinger February 15, 2011

...But according to a document by Israel Antabi, the municipality's deputy director general and head of engineering and projects, the trees were removed not because of plans to create a four-lane road.

The plan is to pave a street for Cohanim - Jews who, according to custom, face certain restrictions such as avoiding graveyards.

Jerusalem: Man buried in wrong grave

By Kobi Nahshoni February 16, 2011

A serious error occurred in the Mount Olives Cemetery in Jerusalem this week when a man was mistakenly buried instead of another. The mistake was discovered only several hours after the burial. The body was exhumed and the distraught family held a second funeral.

C'tee rejects appeals against Western Wall plaza construction

By Michal Margalit February 15, 2011

The appeals subcommittee of the National Planning and Building Commission has rejected appeals against plans to expand buildings along the northern side of the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem's Old City, despite anger among religious, environmental, and planning communities.

The Jerusalem Regional Planning and Building Commission approved the plan to expand the fa├žade and roof of Beit Strauss, in part for a new police station, in 2009.

Rabbi Moshe Tendler thinks you’re wrong, and he isn’t afraid to say so

By Ben Harris February 15, 2011

After the January shootings in Arizona and the resultant calls for greater civility and moderation in the national discourse; after an acrimonious back-and-forth over the Jewish legal approach to death and organ donation; and after still more calls for a gentler, more civil public discourse, Rabbi Moshe Tendler stood up in a Jerusalem synagogue and accused his fellow Orthodox rabbis of perpetrating one of the worst desecrations of God's name in American Jewish history.

VIDEO: Understanding Brain-Stem Death – Animation

Halachic Organ Donor Society

Problems with Defining Death as the Irreversible Cessation of Circulation: What Would We Measure and Why?

By Noam Stadlan February 16, 2011

Adhering to a logically incoherent position that flies in the face of medical and scientific knowledge is perhaps a much greater break with the process of how Halacha has been established in the past.

As such, it behooves the ICC advocates to properly clarify their criterion for determining death.

See also: Symposium on the Ethics of Brain Death and Organ Donation

intro, I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX X

Religion and State in Israel

February 21, 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.