Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - April 2, 2012 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com April 2, 2012

The planned construction of an ultra-Orthodox education complex authorized by the Jerusalem city council last week is sparking concerns of an increasingly tight Haredi hold on two of the city's northern neighborhoods.

Secular residents of northern Jerusalem have expressed concern that the three Haredi schools and about 10 preschools due to be built in Ramat Eshkol will further entrench the extensive ultra-Orthodox character of the neighborhood. They also said the schools could draw more Haredim to nearby French Hill.
Rachel Azaria, a city council member: "Barkat is sacrificing secular residents of French Hill and Ramat Eshkol in order to placate the extremist Haredi coalition he leads," she said, adding that the mayor "seems determined when it comes to meeting the demands of Haredi functionaries."

By Eli Ashkenazi www.haaretz.com April 3, 2012

Tiberias is not an isolated case. It is part of a growing trend whereby ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods are being built in the northern region of the country, to help solve a housing crunch felt among the Haredim.

After Passover, construction work commences on the Har Yona Gimel neighborhood in Upper Nazareth; the neighborhood will feature 3,000 housing units for the Haredi population.

Two other cities in the region that host growing ultra-Orthodox populations are Carmiel and Afula. Safed long ago became a favored destination for Haredi residents.

Rabbi Uri Regev, chairman of Hiddush - Freedom of Religion for Israel, warns about "the possibility of massive Haredi movement to the north not being accompanied by a jobs-creation policy. This would mean that Haredi cities, or cities with growing Haredi populations, would become poverty traps.

By Toby Perl Freilich www.shma.com April 2012

Many aspects of Haredi culture should be celebrated: its piety; its purposeful way of life; and its joyful emphasis on family, charity, Jewish identity, and ritual.

But it’s a community tacking sharply to the right, pushing stringencies ad absurdum and relying ever more frequently on totalitarian tactics of spying, intimidation, and fear to keep its members in check.

Zuria’s film draws a disturbing and deeply human portrait of those dissidents who are cruelly ejected from its embrace.

By SusanRTorn http://susanrtorn.wordpress.com April 1, 2012

Before most of us ever heard of the small town of Beit Shemesh, Miri Shalem the orthodox mother of four children and a long-time resident was directing the town’s JCC. Under her auspices, Haredi women have been exchanging views with modern orthodox counterparts. 

Miri has been organizing discussion groups for the women of her town using tools for constructive dialogue usually reserved for debates about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

By Oz Rosenberg www.haaretz.com April 2, 2012

According to the rumors, the directors would approach well-known figures and demand a sum - anywhere from several thousand dollars to NIS 100,000 - in return for withholding publication of potentially damaging information. 

On Sunday, the police interviewed dozens of people who revealed various details about the website in past few years.

"This was the first website to bring sensationalism to the Haredi world," a senior media expert in the ultra-Orthodox community told Haaretz on Sunday.

By Oz Rosenberg www.haaretz.com April 2, 2012

Y. states that on the recording, the CEO of the website is heard saying that he would immediately remove the posts in exchange for a payment of 12,000 dollars every month, over the next year. Y. says he requested to think the proposition over.  

By Yair Ettinger www.haaretz.com April 3, 2012

Behadrey Haredim’s continuing dive, now reaching its nadir, might be an achievement for the conservatives, but it will not be able to block the neo-Haredi movement gaining strength in the margins of the ultra-Orthodox community.

Ten years after Behadrey Haredim’s establishment, the movement no longer needs the legitimacy granted by a lone website in order to formulate a model of a different Haredi – one who works, studies in an academic institution and surfs the internet.

By Kobi Nachshoni www.ynetnews.com March 29, 2012

A source within United Torah Judaism told Ynet that "it isn't gloating or hitting someone when they're down, it is sending a message with a lesson to every rookie politician who adopts a dialogue of hate against the haredi public – it isn't worth your while. 

It may make a great media slogan, but the public does not accept it, and yesterday, Kadima voters proved they don't either.

By Nadav Shemer www.jpost.com April 2, 2012

Israel should take additional measures beyond those proposed by the Trajtenberg Report to increase Arab and haredi labor-force participation, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

The report proposed: seeking alternatives to the Tal Law so that more haredi men are able to serve in the military or civic activity

By Yisrael Medad, Eli Pollak Opinion www.jpost.com March 28, 2012
The authors are respectively vice chairman and chairman of Israel’s Media Watch.

Elements within Israel’s media suffer from what we could term “cultural autism.” We observe them too often limiting their coverage to social, political and artistic events which are close to them culturally and with which they easily identify.

Israel’s most popular newspaper, Israel Hayom, did not report the death of Rabbi Scheinberg even once.

By Oz Rosenberg www.haaretz.com March 30, 2012

Other pirate bakeries dot the city’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, under residential buildings, in the basements of yeshivas and in back-yard storage facilities.

Various ultra-Orthodox communities have their own interpretations of what Jewish dietary laws require in preparing kosher matza, thereby spawning the proliferation of bakeries.

By Kalman Neuman www.shma.com April 2012

The current conundrum should be framed not as a quest for cultural coexistence or for the forging of common civic values, but rather as one of demography and ultimately of economics.

The growth of the ultra-Orthodox population and its limited participation in the workplace is creating an ever-growing drain on the Israeli economy. Demographic pressure creates a need for constant expansion, thus bringing Haredi mores beyond the pale of their enclaves.

This, in turn, threatens the lifestyle of existing neighborhoods and communities. The tension in Beit Shemesh is to a great extent the result of Haredi expansion and the ensuing fear of ultra-Orthodox hegemony in the town.

By Yoel Finkelman www.thedailybeast.com March 28, 2012

According to Ma’ariv, the legal counsel for the zoning board of the Haredi city of Bnei Brak’s is also the city prosecutor in charge of enforcing the city’s zoning laws and is also a lawyer in private practice who represents building contractors with interests in the city. It certainly sounds like a conflict of interest! (Hebrew)

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion www.haaretz.com March 30, 2012

About a year and a half ago, when Israeli ire soared and 300,000 people signed a petition to extend daylight saving time to European dimensions, Interior Minister Eli Yishai decided to appoint the Kehat committee to recommend a new daylight saving time.

However, since Yishai is no political rookie, he saw to it that the committee was composed of people who suit his religious view of the world.

Committee members understood it was no longer possible to sell the public the bizarre argument about easing the fast on Yom Kippur, because in any case the fast lasts 25 hours, and so they invented another theological reason to shorten daylight saving time.

www.ynetnews.com April 4, 2012

This symbolic deal enables the state to honor religious decrees without wastefully destroying massive quantities of food. 

The deal is estimated at $150 billion. The chametz is acquired from state companies, the prison service and the national stock of emergency supplies.

By Michele Chabin, Religion News Service www.washingtonpost.com March 30, 2012

Even so, “Passover remains one of the most oppressive holidays for women,” according to Elana Sztokman, a Jerusalem-based feminist and author of “The Men’s Section: Orthodox Jewish Men in an Egalitarian World.”

“There are all kinds of expectations on women to be super cleaners, super cooks and free for an entire month to do nothing but clean. 

As much as you’ll hear rabbis say, ‘You don’t have to work that hard,’ the reality is that Orthodoxy as a culture depends on the servitude of women.”

By Nir Hasson www.haaretz.com March 29, 2012

Reich is the archaeologist who has excavated for the longest period of time in Jerusalum, and is considered one of the top researchers of the city.

The list of his scholarly accomplishments is long and sheds new light on the city’s history.

But alongside the scientific findings, there has been growing political criticism of Reich and his digs – in particular regarding the fact that he allowed the settler organization Elad to make use of archaeology to “Judaize Silwan” in East Jerusalem.

By Mordechai I. Twersky www.haaretz.com March 30, 2012

An American-born, self-styled “kosher sheriff” who patrols Israel’s food industry for infractions has a warning for consumers at the height of the Passover shopping season: Shop at your own risk.

“I believe many residents and visitors are close to clueless regarding Passover and the laws pertaining to kosher food in Israel,” says Yechiel Spira, author of the renegade “Jerusalem Kosher News” blog.

By Mordechai I. Twersky www.haaretz.com March 30, 2012

Spira maintains that his no-holds-barred advice for the Passover consumer comes down to “vigilance.” Labels and logos are often not what they appear to be, he says, and various kosher-for-Passover classifications carry with them different meanings for different ethnic groups − all of which are guided by their own intricate set of customs.

www.demotix.com March 28, 2012

South African born, Reverend David M. Neuhaus SJ, serves as the Latin Patriarchal Vicar of the Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel.

Father Neuhaus, born Jewish to refugees of Nazi Germany, speaks of the Christian community in Israel.

By Chana Ya'ar www.israelnationalnews.com April 2, 2012

The attorney for the killer of revered rabbi Baba Elazar told a court Sunday his client admits to committing the deed, but not to the intent to murder.

Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.
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