Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - September 3, 2012

Religion and State in Israel

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

By Naomi Schacter
Yoav and Ayala had a beautiful civil ceremony in Washington, D.C., in late June, at the residence of the Israeli ambassador, Michael Oren.
Michael is Yoav's father. So it turns out that the son of Israel's ambassador to the United States could not be married in Israel by the rabbi of his choice because that rabbi belongs to the Reform movement.

By Neri Livneh
Bus adverts featuring images of women have angered members of the ultra-Orthodox community, and so Egged has decided there will no longer be advertisements with people in them on any of its buses.

Ultra-Orthodox men curse and spit at woman travelling on a bus from Ramat Gan to Nes Ziona after she refuses their demand to move to the back of the bus • Egged bus company says driver told them she does not have to move.

When the Supreme Court struck down the Tal Law, its intention was to force the government to draft a better law that would more effectively encourage haredi men to become productive members of society. Unfortunately, since the law expired last month the situation has gotten worse.

The finance and education ministries have doubled the number of classes offered by the program, launched last year, from 20 to 40, at a total estimated cost of NIS 40 million.

Yishai freezes funding for 'racist' schools (discrimination against Sephardic Haredi girls)

By Rabbi Dov Lipman
Religious students must be exposed to the great secular leaders of the state and come to understand that secular Israelis also live with values. Secular students must learn more about the religious and have greater familiarity with their Jewish heritage. In Lapid’s own words, “A student cannot graduate without having had exposure to a page of the Talmud.”

By Lorraine Skupsky
I was asked if I knew that I was wearing a tallit. I told the officer that I had been wearing my tallit for over fouteen years.
He asked me if I was aware that I was wearing it the way a man wears a tallit. I told him that men wear tallitot many different ways and that my rabbi had taught me how to put on my tallit.
He tried to correct me by telling me that I meant a rabbinit. I corrected him and told him that it was my rabbi.

By Allison Cohen
This past week, four women who wore black and white striped tallitot were detained. If we look past the color of a tallis, beyond the surface, it’s as if they were punished for prayer…Is that what G-d wants of us…to be punished for prayer?

By Anita Silvert
To them I say, “You pay attention to your prayers, and let me do the same” Then, maybe, the spot known as the Wall will become a place where prayers are really heard, and all our voices can rise to God on wings of hope, tolerance, love and righteousness.

Three organizations from different Jewish streams have launched campaigns calling for a fundamental reform of the Chief Rabbinate. They may not change the religious status quo but could shake up the political landscape.

By Emily Amrousi
Tzohar advocates the creation of a state agency that would determine whether a person is Jewish and help immigrants prove their ethnic background through a diplomatic apparatus tasked with locating the required documents abroad.
The rabbinate, as a government agency, would be required to leave no stone unturned in search of proof of the smoking gun that proves "Jewishness."

Private investigator tracks down man who disappeared and assumed new identity, after refusing to divorce his wife, thereby stopping her from marrying anyone else

By Carla Naumburg
After much thought and debate, study and conversation, I had a conversion ceremony with three female Reconstructionist rabbis.
I am well aware that my trip to the mikveh will not hold water with the powers that be in Israel. Although we are not considering making aliya, I know that it would be possible for me, as I am the daughter and wife of Jews.
However, as far as I have been able to ascertain, my daughters and I would not actually be granted Jewish status in Israel [with the Rabbinate, jk].

By Avraham Infeld

Dozens of new immigrant students, many of whom have already graduated from their international programs, have yet to receive the second half of the tuition assistance. For most, the shortfall amounts to over NIS 13,000.

By Anshel Pfeffer
The fundamentalists see their majority beckoning on the horizon if only they can hold on for another 20 years, perpetuating the settlement program and shutting off their young from outside influences. It is impossible to foresee whether they will prevail, but we are giving them a much better chance of success by not listening to what they say.

By Amir Mizroch
When we become haredi we’ll get free housing, I won’t have to do reserve duty anymore, I can quit my job, join a koylel, read and learn and argue all day with guys just like me, the rebbes [the geniuses!] will make all of our important financial, personal, and political decisions for us [what a relief, this was all getting so complicated] and I can also stop worrying about my son having to go to the army one day or make a living for himself.

By Ziyad Abou Habla

By Einat Barzilay
These "modesty memos" are commonplace, but it is only now they are being distributed openly. The religious schools are increasingly intervening in what is going on in the student's home and forcing religious norms on the child's parents.

By Anshel Pfeffer
The British dayanim have always toed the line set by the sages of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, rather than taking the lead of their nominal boss in London.
Britain may not be a major center of Orthodox Jewry, but if an American modernizer is indeed given the opportunity of locking horns with the London Beth Din, it would be a significant moral boost to moderates in Israel and the United States."
British Jewry is getting animated over its choice of chief rabbi, with an American likely to land the role. Even Springfield's rabbi is drawing attention.

By Rabbi Marc D. Angel
This article by Rabbi Marc D. Angel was originally published in Mishpetei Shalom: A Jubilee Volume in Honor of Rabbi Saul (Shalom) Berman, ed. Yamin Levy, NY: YCT, 2010; and reprinted in issue 12 of Conversations, the journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals.

Editorial: A government that wastes no opportunity to underline the importance of national heritage sites cannot allow the political privatization of such an important chapter in the heritage of the Land of Israel.

By Eyal Meged
The main element at play regarding circumcision is the majority rule. This rule can only be broken by regulation from above. Not from heaven, which is too far from our reach, but from the governing power - a leader with inspiration who isn't afraid of breaking consensus and slaughtering (pardon the disgusting expression) holy cows.

Chizkiya Kalmanowitz was in custody for three days after police accused him of trying to steal bones on July 26 from a contested archaeological site along Route 38 near the community of Eshtaol, some 30 kilometers outside of Jerusalem.

See also summary here

By Dr. Meir Wikler
I did not claim that Torah Jews are not represented, at all, at Yad Vashem. Rather, I had taken issue with the manner and extent to which they are portrayed.

At the hospital this week, Ben-Yishai's parents consulted Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef over their son's condition after he was declared brain dead and kept alive [sic] only with the help of a ventilator.

By Zvi Bar'el
There is a straight line that runs from a religious majority in Israeli kindergartens to a nationalist and religious state.

By Hirsh Goodman
I heard Eli Yishai, now the interior minister from Shas; tell listeners of a prime time radio show not that long ago that Reform Jews should be stoned to death for taking God’s name in vain.
Over six decades into the modern Jewish State and only just over 10 percent of high school students in Bnei Brak graduate with a state-recognized matriculation certificate, the rest left untrained to cope with modern life, let alone advance in it, ghetto dwellers and strangers in their own land.

By Yossi Sarid
When the 'supreme leader' collides with his counterpart - as supreme as he is - only God will save us from the war of the ayatollahs versus the ayatollahs.

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