Religion and State in Israel – October 17, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 17, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

Rabbis split on prisoner release

By Jeremy Sharon October 14, 2011

The influential Rabbi Benny Lau of the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Greek Colony argued in favor of the deal on Wednesday, saying that the changing geopolitical situation of the Middle East meant that the circumstances of Schalit’s captivity were such that his life was in certain danger.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem and a leader of the religious-Zionist community, said that the price was too high.

VIDEO: Chief rabbi Metzger praises Schalit prisoner swap deal

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Chief rabbi Metzger praises Schalit prisoner swap deal

By Melanie Lidman October 12, 2011

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger on Wednesday afternoon praised the prisoner swap deal that will bring home kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit after five years.

He waited to congratulate the Schalit family ahead of Succot at their protest tent in Jerusalem.

Former IDF Chief Rabbi Ronsky: Shalit should have been declared dead

By Kobi Nahshoni October 12, 2011

The former IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier General (Res.) Avichai Ronsky on Tuesday said that Israel should not have strived towards a prisoner swap that included freeing terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit.

He believes the captive soldier should have been declared a dead soldier that cannot be reclaimed.

Speaking to Ynet, Ronsky claimed that the only right way to release Shalit was through military action and if that was impossible – to sadly accept the fact that the soldier would remain in Hamas captivity though he added it was “tough to say that”.

Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef pushed gov’t ministers to back swap

By Gil Hoffman and Lahav Harkov October 12, 2011

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received strong backing for the Gilad Schalit deal Tuesday night from Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

The rabbi was one of the first Israelis briefed about the deal when Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited him on Sunday.

Yosef hosted Schalit’s father Noam in a meeting Tuesday night that was described as emotional.

“We believe there will be a majority,” Shas chairman Eli Yishai said. “This is good news for all the people of Israel. It’s important to the rabbi, who strongly supports it. He asked the ministers to fulfill the commandment to redeem captives by voting for the deal.”

Thousands of Hasidim dance for Shalit

By Eli Mandelbaum October 15, 2011

Thousands of Miskolc Hasidim on Thursday dedicated their celebration of Simchat Beit Hashoeivah (The Water Drawing Festival) to the impending release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Miskolc Rebbe’s followers attributed to the release to their leaders’ prayers, while the rabbi said that the power of prayer of unity expressed by the people of Israel was what led to the captive’s return.

Seminary refuses to admit Sephardic girls October 11, 2011

Kol Hai Radio on Sunday aired a recording of a principal of a haredi high school for girls in Beitar Illit, complaining about the number of Sephardic students he must deal with.

“Not every year (…) absolutely not. Are you aware of the amount of Sephardic girls? I can’t, I just can’t,” the principal is heard saying.

The radio station received the recording from an Ashkenazi haredi businessman, who tried to convince the seminary principal to admit students who have yet to find a suitable school.

According to the man, the girls come from devout religious homes, and their only sin is being Sephardic.

VIDEO: Ultra-Orthodox Jews picket girls’ school

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School-run tensions in Israel October 7, 2011

The BBC’s Kevin Connolly reports on the rapidly growing fundamentalist population of Ultra-Orthodox Jews and the gauntlet of pushing, shouting men that “will do almost anything to get what they want”.

The Mod (read modesty) Squad Gets Aggressive

By Kamoun Ben Shimon October 10, 2011

“To give in to the ultra-Orthodox community’s demands that the school be moved will not solve the problem,” Glasser says. “Our girls aren’t the problem,” she says forcefully. Our being here is what bothers the ultra-Orthodox.”

“The girls are not what is troubling the Haredim,” agrees Rosen-Solow. “They want the building, the neighborhood, the entire city.

We understand that this is a struggle not only for the residents of Beit Shemesh, but for the residents of Jerusalem and other places, too. We have had enough and are putting our foot down! We will not move from here.”

“This is a turf war,” says Morris. Referring to the extremists as kano’im, a derogatory Yiddish term for zealots, “They want to live their way, and they don’t want to allow us to live our way. But we aren’t going to give in.”

Response To Claim of Anti-Haredi Sentiments Among Organizers

By Rabbi Dov Lipman Opinion September 27, 2011

Our communities have been crying to hear the Chareidi Rabbis say something against these thugs and goons because we so badly WANT to continue loving all Jews as we always have.

Hearing those comforting words would reassure us of regarding that which is not so obvious in these dark days and would help give us the strength we need to help our children (and ourselves) through these difficult spiritual times.

But, instead, first we heard the sound of silence, a sound that is more confusing and devastating than the accuser can ever imagine. But following the sound of silence we heard the “explanation” for the silence which was simply painful, hurtful, and false!

MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem: Torah, science go together

By Haim Amsalem Opinion October 11, 2011

Knesset Member Rabbi Haim Amsalem is the chairman of the Am Shalem movement

Yet just like not everyone is fit to be a math or physics professor, researcher or lecturer, not everyone can be a great scholar or rabbi.

For most of the ultra-Orthodox public, a path that combines Torah studies with a dignified job is proper and suitable. Only a select haredi group should dedicate all its time and energy to Torah studies.

In recent generations, a false perception was entrenched as if one must study nothing but Torah.

The ups and downs of an increasingly ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem

Despite secular residents’ objections, Jerusalem building to get Shabbat elevator

By Oz Rosenberg October 11, 2011

It should be noted that unanimous agreement among the neighbors is no longer necessary to install a Shabbat elevator.

The Knesset passed a law in March stipulating that in a building with only one elevator, residents can vote to turn it into a Shabbat elevator by a simple majority.

Yosefa Yavin explained that the character of the building had changed, just as the character of much of Jerusalem had changed.

“If the majority wouldn’t have wanted [the Shabbat elevator], it wouldn’t have passed,” she said.

Modi’in to charge outsiders at ‘locals only’ event

By Gili Cohen October 11, 2011

Responding to pressure from local residents, the Modi’in municipality is publicizing a “happening” at the city’s Anabe Park next Monday, one of the intermediate days of Sukkot, as “meant for local residents only.”

…Asked if these efforts are meant to exclude Haredim, Elbaz said,

“We are not talking about any specific type of people. We favor city residents. We would be pleased if entrance was restricted solely to city residents.”

PHOTO Gallery: 70,000 worshippers crowd Kotel for ‘Birkat Hakohanim’

By Melanie Lidman October 16, 2011

More than 70,000 worshippers crowded into the Western Wall plaza on Sunday morning for the Blessing of the Priests (Birkat Hakohanim), which takes place twice a year, on the intermediate days of Succot and Passover.

Arab Spring ripples through ultra-Orthodox Sukkot market

By Roy Arad October 12, 2011

Although many in the ultra-Orthodox community preferred to ignore the winds of change in the Middle East, they learned a firsthand lesson on the Arab Spring – with the soaring price of lulavs.

Shahar Aviv, who can be described as a lulav tycoon, is certain that the farmers in the Jordan Valley doubled their prices when they understood that they could.

Business booming for Succot Four Species traders

By Jeremy Sharon October 11, 2011

“There’s no shortage really,” says Arba Minim merchant Yehudah Cohen. “Maybe prices are a bit more expensive this year, by 10 or 20 shekels, but they’re not much more than the average year.”

And in fact, there are even some Egyptian varieties available, with a couple of merchantsdisplaying El-Arish lulavim from Sinai.

Exhibit combines Sukkot, social protest

By Akiva Novick October 13, 2011

Ahead of the holiday, the Beit Avi Chai cultural center invited the Israeli public to send in tiny models for its “Sukkah Speaks” exhibition.

When the miniature sukkot began flowing in, organizers were surprised to see that most of them were dedicated to one issue – the tent protest.

In air, land and sea: Portable sukkot

By Kobi Nahshoni October 14, 2011

Chabad youth have installed traditional temporary huts on dozens of off-road vehicles which will travel across Israel throughout the holiday of Sukkot and serve hikers and IDF soldiers in places where there are no permanent sukkot.

VIDEO: Ecological impact of Yom Kippur


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Pilgrims gather for Feast of Tabernacles

By Jeremy Sharon October 16, 2011

Thousands of Evangelical Christians have arrived in Israel from all over the world for the 32 annual Feast of Tabernacles Succot celebrations.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem has brought over more than 6,000 Christian pilgrims from over 80 countries and five continents – including Brazil, China, Finland, Gabon and the US, and will be in the country for six days of festivities and touring activities.

See also: Christians open celebration of Sukkot in Jerusalem

PHOTO Gallery: Day of the bike: Cyclists take over the motorways as holy holiday turns Israel’s busiest cities into ghost towns

By Kerry McQueeney October 8, 2011

As these incredible pictures show, youths on skateboards and bikes, joggers – and even Orthodox Jewish men – take to the tarmac making some of Israel’s busiest cities look like ghost towns.

Top archaeologist decries Jerusalem dig as unscientific ‘tourist gimmick’

By Nir Hasson October 11, 2011

An archaeologist who worked with the Elad association in Jerusalem’s City of David claims that the association and the Antiquities Authority are carrying out excavations “without any commitment to scientific archaeological work.”

Dr. Eilat Mazar – a Hebrew University archaeologist who worked in close cooperation with Elad over past years, and who is considered one of the most productive researchers in Jerusalem and in the City of David area in particular – has castigated Elad for the excavation of a large subterranean pit, called “Jeremiah’s Pit,” at the entrance to the City of David visitors’ center complex.

ZAKA: A decade of rescue

By Raphael Ahren October 14, 2011

Maisel, 36, who was born in Israel to American parents, is one of two native English speakers who established and head the International Rescue Unit of ZAKA, one of Israel’s leading rescue and recovery NGOs.

On Monday, MKs, diplomats and other dignitaries celebrated the unit’s 10 years of activities in Tel Aviv.

Judaism’s call for peace Editorial October 9, 2011

The across-the-board denunciation by Jewish religious leaders from all streams of the violent attack on a Muslim site is ample evidence that Judaism, while sometimes distorted and misrepresented, does indeed carry a strong message of peace.

Price tag – the war in classrooms

By Amnon Eldar Opinion October 10, 2011

All “price tag” crimes, and the troubling Tuba Zanghariya incident in particular, are deeply troubling for educators.

The claim that schools within the Religious Zionist system may contribute to this phenomenon must be countered clearly, so as not to mislead the public.

Funding the messiah of racist incitement

By Sefi Rachlevsky Opinion October 12, 2011

It turns out that Raya Strauss – who held much of the stock of the giant Strauss food manufacture – gave Ben-Artzi the redeemer, in the three fiscal years of his imprisonment alone, an unbelievable sum: NIS 36 million, a large amount even for her.

…Raya Strauss, as a private individual, may have the privilege of closing her eyes. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government does not have that privilege.

2 teens arrested for alleged Safed synagogue vandalism

By staff and Yaakov Lappin October 12, 2011

Two sixteen year-olds were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion that they sprayedgraffiti reading “Death to Jews” on four synagogues and a car in Safed Wednesday morning.

Ethiopian Jewry: Challenges and Journeys

By Alex Kadis Opinion October 16, 2011

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to travel to Ethiopia and see firsthand the origins of Ethiopian-Israeli Jewry.

I learned about the strife that they overcame to live in Israel, and the great challenges that lie ahead for their community, and the Jewish community as a whole.

I was told incredible stories while I was there; Liat Damoza, a Missions Coordinator for The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), was kind enough to let me share her story.

PHOTO Gallery: Samaritans celebrate Succot atop Mount Gerizim

By Ben Hartman and Reuters October 11, 2011

Members of the Samaritan community took part on Tuesday in a traditional pilgrimagemarking the holiday of Succot atop Mount Gerizim near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Religion and State in Israel

October 17, 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.

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