Thursday, October 11, 2012

Religion and State in Israel - October 11, 2012 (Section 1)

Religion and State in Israel

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

By Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie
The writer is the President Emeritus of the Union for Reform Judaism.
I would like to thank Rabbi Amar for helping Israel’s Reform movement and for advancing the cause of religious freedom in the Jewish state.
In the first place, he has provided confirmation of what I know but many Jews in the world do not: Reform Judaism is growing and thriving in the State of Israel.
In the second place, he has given us yet another reason why Israel’s Chief Rabbinate needs to be dismantled.
In the third place, he has drawn our attention to Jewish faith at its best by giving us an example of Jewish faith at its worst.

By Hirsh Goodman
One wonders whether the Chief Rabbi managed to atone for his remarks, or even thinks he has anything to atone for.
After all, we are speaking about deeply religious and spiritual issues here, like the decision to allow non-Orthodox rabbis to serve the public and receive a salary from the state.
This means fewer community religious jobs for the Orthodox and, of course, what could be more sacrilegious than that?"

By Rabbi Zev Farber

By Rabbi Uri Regev

By Rabbi Michael Boyden
The writer is the director of the Rabbinical Court of the Israel Council of Progressive Rabbis

The difficulty faced by many Israelis in proving their Jewishness constitute a strategic threat and requires a combined effort from the government and the religious establishment to solve it.

By Rabbi Mark Goldsmith
Religion should be a source of vision and a positive future, a set of tools that build the world.  It should not be a sledgehammer to deal violently with perceived humiliations, as is fundamentalist Islam , it should not be a chainsaw to rip a people apart, as is the denying by the Israel Chief Rabbinate of the right of Jews to express their Judaism in the way that is true to themselves.  
In the end it is up to us to interpret the meaning of our religions and the texts which support it in a direction that builds and does not destroy, that supports and does not crush, that cares and does not reject.

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

Yair Lapid wants to follow his father Tommy into the Knesset, but without his anti-religious agenda and his provocative style.

By Rabbi Dov Lipman

There’s a very strong link between Egged and the radical ultra-Orthodox, a lot of behind-the-scenes work.
Now they’re using that power for segregation and the removal of women from the public sphere. (The advertising company claimed it was fearful of vandalism and decided to get rid of all human images on bus advertising.)
The big test will be in the elections for national and local government; I can’t imagine [Prime Minister] Netanyahu not being able to plaster his face all over the buses [during his re-election campaign]. We’ll be heading back to court on this one; it’s the not the end of this story.

By Shari Eshet, NCJW
Fighting back piecemeal is no longer a viable option. We have made great progress as more and more grassroots movements and advocacy campaigns have taken hold. 
Even more significantly, the mainstream Israeli voter now understands that gender segregation and other discrimination against women are not just “women’s issues,” but rather a symptom of a society that needs to redirect its domestic agenda to stay a viable state with a civil society that is healthy, strong and compelling to the next generation of Israelis.

By Anat Hoffman
New and wonderful things happen when Jewish women from Israel and the world collaborate and educate each other. When we make the effort to meet we discover – and rediscover every time – that we have much more uniting us than separating us.

By Debra Nussbaum Cohen

Rabbi Dr. Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi talks about the inclusion of women and minorities in the capital.

The question is not whether Israel will still exist in 10 years, but what kind of Israel will be here in 10 years?

By Elana Sztokman

By Mya Guarnieri

Yael Biran and Tal Yakobovitch to be paid NIS 80,000 by [Messianic] banquet hall owner that discriminated against them due to their sexual orientation

A "Globes" investigation found government development subsidies for the 4,600 housing units in Harish will exceed NIS 1 billion.

"The Haredim are buying up dozens of apartments in the vicinity. While it's true these are just cheap apartments - some costing under NIS 500,000 - that's still a lot of dough, and we're talking about a community reputed to be needy," continued Avraham. "How do they pull it off?"
The common response to this question is the modest and frugal lifestyle of the Haredi community, their plain abodes, charity, handouts, mutual support, and massive assistance from parents. But does this tell the full story? There is no way of knowing as long as no clear records are kept of the money trail.

By Nehemia Shtrasler
A huge majority of people in Israel - the secular sector, almost all the religious sector and a considerable part of the ultra-orthodox sector too - want a normal daylight saving time of the kind that functions in Europe; that is to say, until the end of October.

Activists protest in front of private residence of Interior Affairs Minister Eli Yishai, of the Shas ultra-Orthodox party, just hours before DST ends and Israel is to plunge into winter time in the midst of summer, weeks ahead of Europe and the U.S.

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

Religion and State in Israel - October 11, 2012 (Section 2)

Religion and State in Israel

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

Controversial design, featuring dancing women and Herzl in a beit midrash, is selling by the thousands.

As the newly hired rabbi of Kehillat Magen Avraham, Sadoff led a mostly sabra community in prayer and delivered his sermon - about how to cope with major life transitions - in fluent if slightly accented Hebrew.

By Rachel Neeman
This question in turn leads us to wonder whether we do indeed live in a secular culture, or only pretend that we do, and have in actuality become addicted to rituals such as prostration on the graves of rabbis and buying amulets blessed by kabbalists.
Israeli culture, which initially grew out of a rejection of religion and all that it stands for, is today apologetic at best and addicted to religious ritual at worst, and no longer even dreams of a separation of religion and state.

Trailer with English Subtitles
Shira, the youngest daughter of an Orthodox Hassidic family from Tel Aviv has to choose between her heart's wish and her family duty

The Church of Scientology opened its gleaming new center in Jaffa with great fanfare last month. But the notoriously secretive organization does not appreciate when its members ask too many questions, as Dani and Tami Lemberger, longtime Scientologists from Haifa, have found out.

It is unfathomable that some Israelis risk their lives to defend country while others do nothing
By Arsen Ostrovsky

Spiritual longings of Israeli tycoons is plain old superstition, the age-old desire in a world of uncertainties to think one has a leg up on the future.

By Neri Livneh
Who is working for whom - Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto for the Israeli businessman Nochi Dankner, or vice versa?

CARTOON: "Knock, Knock" [former Shas Minister Aryeh Deri]
"Who could that be?" [Shas Minister Eli Yishai; Rabbi Ovadia Yosef]
©Haaretz cartoon by Amos Biderman - October 11, 2012

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