Monday, March 28, 2011

Religion and State in Israel - March 28, 2011 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

March 28, 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.

Shas Religious Services Minister Margi calls for legislation against non-Orthodox movements

By Jonah Mandel March 24, 2011

As part of a bid to strengthen the Chief Rabbinate, Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi is hoping to see legislation determining that non-Orthodox movements have no place on Israel’s religious map, and move the rabbinate back to his ministry’s auspices.

Margi called “to determine by law that there are no streams in Judaism, only one that has been passed down to us from generation to generation.”

A spokesman for Margi would not elaborate on Wednesday what exactly such legislation could entail, but merely stressed the need to have “one rabbinic body that will concentrate all religious services, and that the struggles to weaken the rabbinate will be put to an end.”

Amended bill allows only Orthodox IDF chief chaplain

By Jonah Mandel March 23, 2011

The Knesset’s Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would make the IDF chief chaplain a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council.

Sponsored by MK Uri Ariel (National Union) and seven others, the bill would change the observer status of the IDF chief chaplain to a full-fledged member of the 17- rabbi body, which serves primarily as an advisory panel to the two chief rabbis, who head the council.

American rabbi hopes new guidelines will change Rabbinate's stance on conversions

By Raphael Ahren March 25, 2011

A senior American rabbi on sabbatical in Israel plans to draft new conversion guidelines in a bid to keep the Chief Rabbinate from preventing Modern Orthodox converts from immigrating.

"I converted a young lady who wanted to get married in Israel," Rabbi Tessler told Anglo File this week.

"One day I got a phone call from a Chief Rabbinate's office in an area of Israel: 'We don't know who you are, we don't see your name on the list, therefore we're not accepting the conversion.'

I said, 'You accepted my conversions for 28 years, what are you talking about?' 'Well, we don't know you.' I told them whom I studied with, and they said, are you sure you're Orthodox? How do we know?'"

Rivlin: IDF conversion bill could split Jewish people

By Jonah Mandel March 23, 2011

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin slammed on Tuesday the “dangerous” military conversion bill, while calling on the rabbinate to increase and enhance its conversion efforts as a countermeasure to the massive assimilation taking place in Israel.

Chief Rabbi Amar on Conversion Bill

By Jonah Mandel March 23, 2011

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar spoke out in his address against “those sitting far, far away from the Land of Israel, who got involved and threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who froze the conversion bill.”

Amar was referring to the massive pressure exerted on the premier by the non-Orthodox American movements last summer, who along with the Jewish Federations of North America succeeded in putting a halt on the legislation of Rotem's bill which had already passed the Knesset's Law Committee, and would make the Chief Rabbinate responsible for all conversions in Israel by law.

Who needs a Chief Rabbinate?

By Rabbi Reuven Hammer Opinion March 25, 2011

Reuven Hammer is a former president of the International Rabbinical Assembly

The Chief Rabbinate today represents no one but itself and its overblown bureaucracy. It will not be missed, and the oppression that it casts over marriage, divorce and conversion will disappear to the glory of Judaism.

Israel is the place where a true flourishing of Judaism could and should take place. If a new, nongovernmental, pluralistic rabbinate were to come into being, perhaps it would restore the image of the rabbinate and the image of Judaism to what it should be: a force for good in Israeli society.

VIDEO: Women and Israel’s Religious Councils

Rabbi Uri Regev, Hiddush interviewed on Israel Channel 1 TV English edition

Click here for VIDEO

Shushan Purim 2011

By Emily Shapiro Katz Opinion March 22, 2011

One Orthodox woman did pause and told her friend that we were “Reformim” but even this was not said in anger, just in explanation. In fact, the way she flippantly said her comment made me think to myself “she doesn’t care that we are doing ‘our thing’ here in the back of the kotel.

She knows that it in no way hurts or disturbs her experience at the kotel.” In general, the success of the reading made me think how simple it should be for us to read from the Torah at the Kotel. How different is it to read from the Torah than from the megillah?

If the Kotel can handle a women’s megillah reading, it can handle a women’s Torah service!

“They too were part of the miracle!”

By Liz Piper-Goldberg Opinion March 27, 2011

Liz Piper-Goldberg is a first-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) and a former Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC).

As a Reform rabbinical student, I support egalitarian participation of women in all areas of Jewish life, from chanting Torah to leading services to heading committees and major Jewish organizations.

I also respect those for whom halacha is central to their involvement in Judaism. This concept of “af hen hayu b’oto ha’nes” is a powerful way to connect and involve women across religious denominations.

Praying and chanting with Women of the Wall continues to teach me about the ways that women can come together to advance not only our standing but also our understanding of Judaism.

S.Y. Aguna

By Raphael Ahren March 25, 2011

Mavoi Satum, a nonprofit advocating on behalf of "chained" women whose husbands refuse to divorce, or agunot, is combining its activism with fashion and literature.

During a special event Tuesday evening, Hananel Mack, a professor of Talmud and Hebrew Literature, will lecture about "Agnon, Agunot and Abandonment."

The emergence of Turkey’s hidden Jews

By Michael Freund Opinion March 23, 2011

The writer serves as chairman of Shavei Israel

Two years ago, on a visit to Istanbul, I met with some members of the younger generation of Donmeh, including Ari. Given the current state of Turkish- Israeli relations, I cannot divulge identifying details about them, other than to say they all expressed a deep yearning to return to Judaism.

When I met them in the lobby of a small hotel, Ari in particular seemed especially nervous. He was constantly peering around the room, initially afraid of being seen with a kippa-wearing Jew from Israel.

Operation Suriname

By Hanan Cidor Opinion Spring 2011

Hanan Cidor is the former Jewish Agency for Israel shaliach to the Union for Reform Judaism and the North American Federation of Temple Youth.

I arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport bound for a country so small, few people would be able to place it on the map—including me. I’m not ashamed to admit that I googled “Suriname” to see where exactly my assignment would take me.

As the Jewish Agency for Israel’s shaliach (emissary) to the Reform Movement, I was asked to determine the eligibility of 16 Jewish Surinamese, ages 18–26, who signed up to go on our Movement’s 10-day URJ Kesher Birthright Israel trip.

Palin at Kotel tunnel: Israel too apologetic

By Melanie Lidman and Gil Hoffman March 20, 2011

Former American vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed support for Jews praying openly on the Temple Mount on a visit to the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday, officials who accompanied Palin said.

Palin, who was wearing a large Star of David, told Danon that she had flags of Israel “on my desk, in my home, all over the place” and that she would carry around a flag she bought in Israel.

Click here for VIDEO

(Sarah Palin at 0:27 mark)

Law professor Gavison wins Israel Prize for legal research

By Ron Friedman March 21, 2011

In selecting Prof. Ruth Gavison for the prize, the committee said her research dealt with issues at the core of Israel’s constitutional law and that her work grappled “exhaustively and courageously with forming Israel’s identity as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Prof. Ruth Gavison wins Israel Prize for legal research

By Ofra Edelman March 21, 2011

The jury also noted that Gavison's work "paves the ways for coexistence between secular and religious Jews, as well as between Jews and non Jews in Israel. Prof. Gavison has engaged in her research in defending human rights, and especially the rights to privacy, freedom of expression and equality, and has combined her ideas and commitment with practical work on the ground."

Panel of Rabbinical Students at Pardes

Click here for PHOTO March 22, 2011

JAFI reforms may hurt Australian immigration to Israel, leader says

By Raphael Ahren March 25, 2011

An Australian Jewish leader says immigration to Israel from his country is likely to drop in the wake of the Jewish Agency for Israel's recent decision to focus on Jewish identity and less so on aliyah promotion.

JAFI spokesman Haviv Gur recently confirmed that there will be no more aliyah emissaries but added that the overall number of emissaries - who will be responsible for aliyah, Jewish education, Israel programs and other areas - will increase.

'Majority of Israelis see US Jewry as vital to security'

By Ruth Eglash March 22, 2011

The majority (73%) of the 500 adults questioned for the survey said they believed that Israelis could learn a lot from the religious pluralism practiced in the American Jewish community, even though streams of Judaism alternative to the orthodox are not officially recognized in Israel.

The poll also asked respondents if they believed it important to "teach Israeli MKs about the American Jewish community and help build bridges between Israeli leaders and American Jewry." Eighty-two percent said that such an initiative was important.

MKs to learn about US Jewish community March 24, 2011

“This program is intended to cultivate a strong awareness and appreciation for the richness and vibrancy of American Jewish life," explains Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation and founder of the Ruderman Fellows.


By Maya Zinshtein March 25, 2011

An investigation by Haaretz reveals that while the aim of the project was to provide direct financial aid to immigrants, the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, headed by then-newly appointed Minister Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beiteinu), added the project managers at a cost of NIS 2-3 million.

Most of them are members of the Yisrael Beiteinu party or close to people who are. The extra budget enables Yisrael Beiteinu to compensate its activists at the expense of taxpayers, and also makes it easier to conduct party activities before elections.

Drinking In His Jewish Side

By Michele Chabin March 18, 2011

During his childhood in Garden City, L.I., Tyler Barnet, grandson of Herbert L. Barnet, a former president of Pepsi-Cola, knew almost nothing about the company’s adherence to the Arab boycott.

Raised Catholic, Barnet, now 26, wasn’t taught about Israel or anything else Jewish.

...Birthright, Barnet said, “has been a transformative, pivotal experience.” Prior to the trip, “I considered myself a ‘critical atheist.’ Now in Israel, I see Judaism from a philosophical perspective. Before coming here I thought it would be impossible for me to adopt religion. Now I think it’s a possibility.”

Barnet is already planning to return to Israel soon, this time with his father, who is halachically Jewish but unconnected to the Tribe.

Taxation and Representation

By Rabbi Marc Rosenstein Opinion March 22, 2011

Diaspora Jews are neither masters nor flunkies. If Israel does indeed, willy-nilly, represent them, they have a stake and they ought to have a say - but often it's tricky to know what to say and how to say it.

Both sides need to exercise humility and self-criticism; both need to understand the complicated sets of forces operating on the other, so that the conversation between them becomes not a power struggle but a partnership.

JTS William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education to Launch Innovative Kesher Hadash Semester-in-Israel Program March 22, 2011

In January 2012, The Jewish Theological Seminary’s (JTS) William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education—America’s largest pluralistic school of Jewish education—will inaugurate Kesher Hadash (New Connection), a new and innovative Semester-in-Israel program in the field of Israel Education.

If you will pay it, it is no immigrant nightmare

By Raphael Ahren March 25, 2011

For help, he didn't turn to the Immigrant Absorption Ministry or immigration assistance group Nefesh B'Nefesh.

Instead, the Rutsteins contacted TransHomation, a new company offering "relocation and settling-in services" for new arrivals in Israel, which had been helping them all along.
Co-founders Yael Harari and Tali Laor - both former lawyers who quit their jobs to dedicate themselves to the new venture - will find you a place to live, a car to drive, a school for your kids, set up your cable and Internet, open a bank account and do pretty much everything else for immigrants who don't want to or can't do these things themselves and can afford their services.

Gov’t to offer Tunisian Jews more absorption packages

By Gil Shefler March 25, 2011

Israel is planning to offer Tunisian Jews interested in emigrating following the recent uprising in the country a special absorption package, but members of the community said on Thursday that they were unaware of any significant change in their situation.

Former UN Ambassador Prof. Gabriela Shalev joins Hillel Israel March 25, 2011

Hillel – The Center for Jewish Campus Life in Israel (Hillel Israel) announced this week that Professor Gabriella Shalev, Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations, has agreed to become a member of its Board of Directors.

New olim seek work in public sector

By Sivan Raviv March 17, 2011

Click here for VIDEO

For new immigrants, integrating into the Israeli job market is not easy. The public sector is particularly difficult to tap into.

In a networking event organized by the Gvahim organization in Tel Aviv, immigrants seeking a career in government and politics met with current and former government officials who advised and helped them create a professional network.

British Bible student identified as bombing fatality

By Raphael Ahren and Yair Ettinger March 25, 2011

Born in a small town in Northern Scotland, Mary Jane Gardner was passionate about languages, which brought her to Jerusalem this January.

Her latest project was to help translate the Holy Scriptures into the Ife tribal language, which is spoken in Benin and Togo.

VIDEO: “Religious Wars in Arad” Protest against Messianic community

Israel Channel 1 TV

Tikkun Carmel: Environmental Responsibility from a Jewish Perspective March 22, 2011

Tikkun Carmel is an IMPJ (the Israeli Reform Movement) initiative led by the Reform congregation “Ohel Avraham”-Leo Baeck, and in partnership with the Moriah Masorti Congregation and Movement.

The two-day Tikkun Carmel Conference is a cross-communal cooperative venture between Secular, Orthodox, Reform and Masorti Israelis and is a statement of solidarity in the wake of the catastrophic Carmel Forest Fire of December 2010.

Religion and State in Israel

March 28, 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 - March 28, 2011 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

March 28, 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.

Rabbinate freezes interfaith dialogue

By Kobi Nahshoni March 27, 2011

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has decided to freeze all types of dialogues held by its representatives with Muslim clerics in Israel, until the latter denounce last week's terror attack in Jerusalem and the ongoing rocket and mortar attacks on Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip.

Chief Rabbi demands PA religious leaders denounce attack

PM: Israel will act ‘vigorously, responsibly and prudently

By Herb Keinon March 23, 2011

Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger demanded that religious leaders in the Palestinian Authority denounce the attack, until which no interfaith dialogue would take place.

“Our neighbors have once again shown that we have no real partner,” he said. “So long as the inciting religious leaders won’t condemn the terrorists, the Chief Rabbinate will suspend its interfaith dialogue with them.
We expect the religious leadership to firmly denounce the terror attack in the heart of Jerusalem.”

Where is our Jewish GPS?

By Anat Hoffman Opinion March 22, 2011

The writer is executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center of the Reform Movement and president of Women of the Wall.

Some rabbis are manipulating Judaism to overturn democratic principles, paving the way for the secular leadership to push laws that can be seen as undemocratic.

Elon Moreh Rabbi Levanon: Katsav punished for backing pullout March 21, 2011

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, who serves as chief rabbi of the Elon Moreh settlement and the regional rabbi of Samaria, says former President Moshe Katsav's conviction of two counts of rape is not directly related to his actions.

According to the rabbi, Katsav is being punished for not acting against the disengagement from Gaza as president.

Fukushima is here

By Sefi Rachlevsky Opinion March 23, 2011

It is not "just" state-funded Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu inciting against the Arabs and it is not "just" the leader of the racist world in Israel, Rabbi Dov Lior, who enjoys a respectable amount of funding and a variety of official posts.

It is not even "just" the fact that most first-graders in Israel who are defined as Jews receive religious and ultra-Orthodox education in which it is self-evident that a non-Jew is not a human being.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fisher: Poverty among Haredim, Arabs increased by 50% March 22, 2011

Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer presented data to the government indicating the poverty rate among haredim and Arabs in Israel has increased by 50% in the past decade. Meanwhile, the poverty rate has not risen among the general population, remaining at 13%.

Number of Haredim pursuing academic studies up dramatically March 28, 2011

The number of haredi students pursuing an academic education in Israel has gone from only a few hundred in 2005 to around 2,500 in 2010, according to a Bank of Israel report set to be released on Wednesday.

The report also states that the number of haredim studying in programs geared toward their sector climbed from around 2,000 to 6,000 over the same period.

Rebbetzin has twins after 33 years

By Akiva Novick March 21, 2011

For 33 years, the Rebbe of the Mevakshei Emunah Hasidism in Jerusalem prayed for a miracle that would help his wife become pregnant and give him a son.

VIDEO: Financial district being built in ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak

(Click arrow on right)

Financial district being built in ultra-Orthodox Bnei Brak

By Sivan Raviv March 23, 2011

Imagine a modern and prosperous financial district, located over 50 acres of land, comprised of 15 towers and employing tens of thousands of people.

Now imagine this district in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak. Among old housing units and garages in the capital of the ultra-orthodox community in Israel a new business center will be launched.

Some Hidden Dangers for the Chareidi Community

By Jonathan Rosenblum Opinion March 2, 2011

Over that same period of time, the chareidi community in Israel has been fairly confident that no government – even one without chareidim in the coalition – would push a full-scale confrontation with the chareidi community over army service because the IDF's manpower needs did not require chareidi soldiers. But just because that was once true does not mean it will remain so forever.

'Jobs bill' allows UTJ to select deputy mayor in Jerusalem

By Jonathan Lis March 23, 2011

The Knesset yesterday approved the second and third readings of the so-called "jobs bill," pushed through by United Torah Judaism, which will allow the mayors of large cities with balanced budgets to appoint an additional deputy mayor.

Ultra-Orthodox families squat in unfinished Neot homes in Modi'in Ilit

By Shlomit Tzur March 24, 2011

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox families have moved into unfinished apartments being constructed in Modi'in Ilit by the troubled development company Neot Hapisga, fearing that the tottering company might collapse and leave them with neither their money and nor their homes.

Haredi parents marry off 13-year-old daughter as 'penance' for flirtations

By Chaim Levinson March 25, 2011

A 13-year-old girl from the ultra-Orthodox town of Modi'in Ilit was married to a 16-year-old this week, after religious activists in the town told the girls' parents it would be penance for her romantic involvement with the boy.

'Andromeda Hill tombs belong to pagans, pigs'

By Yoav Zitun March 27, 2011

The tombs uncovered near Andromeda Hill in Jaffa belong to pagan worshipers buried next to domesticated pigs, according to the latest findings revealed during excavation works at the site.

For the past year, the site has become a political and religious hotspot, with ultra-Orthodox frequently protesting what they claimed was the desecration of Jewish graves.

Orthodox Jews to Protest Jerusalem ‘Festival of Flavors’ March 27, 2011

Orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews to gather tonight at Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem to protest the ‘Festival of Flavors’. The attendees are intended to visit restaurants in the Jewish and Moslem Quarters, and partake of non-kosher food.

Haredi group to bury remains uncovered near Jaffa's Andromeda Hill March 27, 2011

Members of Atra Kadisha, an ultra-Orthodox organization that fought against the removal of graves found near Andromeda Hill in Jaffa, will hold a funeral for the bones uncovered there, claiming that they belong to 150 Jews.

'Religious troops must refuse evacuation' March 22, 2011

A majority of the national-religious public believes that religious Israel Defense Forces soldiers must not obey an order to evacuate Jewish communities in the West Bank, according to a survey conducted ahead of the Jerusalem Conference held in the capital last week.

VIDEO: Christian Woman Joins the Israel Defense Forces

Click here for VIDEO

El Al to fly Sun D'or flights as latter loses license

By Zohar Blumenkrantz March 27, 2011

Sun D'or was set up so that El Al could have its cake and eat it too: It wanted to fly on Shabbat, but it didn't want to lose the business of religious customers.

For years Sun D'or flew on Shabbat in an arrangement that was accepted by both the religious public and by regulators. But it faced increasing criticism from both the CAA and European Union aviation authorities for its failure to comply with the regulations defining what an airline is or isn't.

Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim Kfar Chabad Brings Joy to Soldiers March 23, 2011

Students of Yeshiva Ohr Tmimim Kfar Chabad spent Purim at many army bases in the Chevron area. Together with the Shliach Rabbi Yosef Dahan they read the Megilah 18 times and gave out one thousand Mishloach Monos to soldiers and added great happiness to our brothers in arms.

250,000 kids study Bible for Shalit

By Tzofia Hirschfeld March 23, 2011

Some 250,000 students, accompanied by hundreds of teachers and supervisors, are busy studying the entire Bible and Mishna this week as part of a campaign calling for the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The project includes all children from the age of three to the 12th grade studying in state religious schools, as well as teachers, education students, school principals and supervisors.

VIDEO: National Religious Soldiers on Enlistment Day in IDF

One cool cat performs for OneFamily

By Ruth Beloff March 26, 2011

An Orthodox Jew who’s had a highly successful career despite some unfortunate run-ins with the law in the US, Shyne attributes his good fortune to God.

“It’s all from Hashem,” he kept repeating. Ending his speech on an inspiring note, he said that everyone can help

State: Jerusalem's 'Small Kotel' is Not a Holy Site

By Gil Ronen March 21, 2011

The State's representatives have determined that the "Kotel HaKatan" ("Small Kotel" or "Small Wailing Wall"), a wall which is a continuation of the Kotel in Jerusalem, is not a holy site. The statement was submitted to the court as part of the reply to a damages lawsuit filed by a group of Jews who prayed at the Small Kotel on Rosh HaShana of 5767 (2006).

Desecration, attacks at ancient Jewish cemetery

By Josh Lederman March 23, 2011

Israelis and American Jewish leaders are demanding that the Israeli government increase protection to ensure that those buried on the Mount of Olives can rest in peace.

AUDIO SLIDESHOW: Boyan Hasidim pay tribute to Rebbe on Mt. of Olives

By Mordechai I. Twersky March 21, 2011

Click here for AUDIO SLIDESHOW [Click full-screen icon]

The Boyan Hasidim of Israel, together with their leader, the American-born Rabbi Nachum Brayer, recently braved wind-swept rains and cold temperatures to ascend to the Mt. of Olives to pay tribute to their legendary leader.

Hurva Synagogue full circle: Rabbi’s grandson celebrates bar mitzva

By Joshua Hamerman March 25, 2011

Thursday was a historic day for the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City: The great-great-grandson of the Hurva’s last rabbi before its destruction during the War of Independence became a bar mitzva at the Ashkenazi shul.

Milken Institute brainstorms funding for Israel heritage sites

By Michele Chabin March 22, 2011

The Milken Institute, a Santa Monica-based economic think tank, has come up with a plan to alleviate the problem.

Its recent report, “Cultural Heritage as an Economic Development Resource in Israel,” says the kinds of start-up financing models used in the private economic sphere “could not only help preserve and protect” the country’s 30,000 identified archaeological sites, “but also provide local and national economic growth.”

VIDEO: Redemptive Dreams, Stubborn Realities: The Past and Future of Religious Zionism

Sessions by Rabbi Shai Held

  • Session 1 (March 1): Religious Zionism as a Revolution: Major Dreams, Challenges, Figures, and Movements
  • Session 2 (March 8): A Real Place, or a Divine Mystery: The Land of Israel in Jewish Thought and in Religious Zionism
  • Session 3 (March 15): Zionists and their Messiahs: (Non-)Messianism and its Implications
  • Session 4 (March 22): Violence, Military Force, and the Jewish Ambivalence towards Power
  • Session 5 (March 29): Is Democracy Jewish? And is Religious-Secular Co-existence Possible?
  • Session 6 (April 5): A Vision for the Future of Religious Zionism

Religious Zionism: Praise and Warnings

By Hillel Fendel March 25, 2011

While Religious Zionism celebrates its accomplishments, a former Knesset Member warns that it had better unite behind a religious authority if it does not want to disappear from the political arena.

Rabbi Yuval Sherlo: Car alarm overrides Shabbat March 25, 2011

The head of the Petah Tikva Hesder yeshiva and one of the leading rabbis in the religious-Zionist community has ruled that for the public's welfare it is acceptable to turn off a car alarm that goes off during Shabbat.

Rabbi Dov Lior: OK to Film Arab Attackers on Shabbat March 25, 2011

Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading religious-Zionist rabbi, has issued a groundbreaking new ruling in halacha (Jewish law) that allows Jews to film Arab attackers on the Sabbath. Normally, using cameras is forbidden on the Sabbath.

Two Years in Office, Israel’s Netanyahu Looks Stronger Than Ever

By David Rosenberg March 27, 2011

Dan Schueftan said Netanyahu’s great mistake was opting back in 2009 as he was enlisting coalition partners to go with parties mainly from the right of center and religious parties, instead of the center-left Kadima Party.

Schueftan is particularly critical of Netanyahu’s decision to bring Shas, which he sees as the driving force behind campaigns to enable Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish minority to avoid army service and employment.

“The most important thing for him [Netanyahu] is the stability of the government and he starts on the assumption that you need a stable government and that means bringing in Shas,” he told The Media Line. “He mortgaged an important interest of Israeli society when he gave precedence to government stability over policy.”

Franciscan guardians of Holy Land sites launch new website March 22, 2011

The Franciscans in the Holy Land, who've been charged by the Vatican with preserving Catholic sanctuaries in the area throughout the last 800 years, have launched a new website offering more information about the sacred sites as well as pilgrimages to the region.

Religion and State in Israel

March 28, 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.