Religion and State in Israel – October 31, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 31, 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

A dangerous trend in the IDF

Haaretz Editorial October 26, 2011

Officer 259Course for Infantry Command

Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Office

The trend toward ultra-Orthodox extremism that has been gripping religious soldiers takes on a particularly fanatic cast when it applies to women.

…This is a dangerous trend that distorts the army’s character and causes revulsion among most Israelis. It behooves Chief of Staff Benny Gantz to take steps to stifle this trend before it’s too late.

The IDF, not the army of the Lord

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion October 25, 2011

The face of the IDF is the face of changing Israeli society. It is unclear why its commanders chose to emulate rabbis who want to turn the IDF into the army of the Lord.

Female Soldiers Forced Away From Torah Dancing

By Allison Kaplan Sommer October 24, 2011

What was legitimately disturbing on Simchat Torah was that the military rabbinate was imposing the most extreme interpretation of the principle of separating of the sexes when it removed women from the location of the celebration and made them essentially invisible, also depriving them of access to the main focus of the festivities.

Neither the highest level commander nor the IDF’s chief rabbi, Rafi Peretz, who attended the celebration, intervened in the women’s favor.

Kadima MK Plesner criticizes lack of funds for Haredi recruitment

By Jeremy Sharon October 27, 2011

MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), chairman of the Knesset group working on the implementation of the Tal Law, accused the government on Wednesday of failing to fulfill commitments made in January to provide NIS 140 million in funding for the recruitment of haredim (ultra-Orthodox) to the IDF.

The money was pledged by the government in an agreement between the Treasury and the IDF, but the funds were frozen and have not been transferred, owing to, according to the Treasury, budgetary restraints.

Hiddush to the Treasury: Transfer allocated funds to recruit ultra-Orthodox men October 24, 2011

According to Rabbi Uri Regev, “Just as there is a price to yeshiva studies, there is also a price to recruiting ultra-Orthodox Jews [to the army].

It is absurd to generously fund yeshiva studies, yet to refuse to fund programs that will promote equality with respect to the financial burdens [of society] and help the integration of the ultra-Orthodox into the economy, as well as broader society.

The price of recruiting ultra-Orthodox soldiers is an investment that has the potential for returns.”

Gilad & Beit Shemesh extremist Haredim

By Rabbi Shalom Hammer Opinion October 28, 2011

This brings to mind the silence of Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul, Chief Rabbi Shimon Biton and other haredi rabbinic authorities in the city, who have not even mentioned their disapproval regarding the extremists’ behavior.

In fairness, there are a number of rabbis and haredi groups in Beit Shemesh who have actively joined in protesting the extremists’ actions; yet the rabbis teach us that “silence is an act of admission.”

Stink Bomb Welcomes Girls Back to School

By Allison Kaplan Sommer October 25, 2011

Rabbi Dov Lipman wrote on the wall of the Facebook group for Orot Banot parents and supporters that when one of the parent volunteers monitoring the school saw the demonstrators encroaching, they summoned the police who, within minutes, approached the demonstrators who were alternating the chanting of prayers and psalms with their standard cries of “shiksas” and “sluts.”

The police ushered them away from the school to the spot where their demonstration had been restricted in earlier weeks.

The messiah of Mea She’arim

By Yair Ettinger and Oz Rosenberg October 26, 2011

Yair Nehorai is a criminal lawyer who in recent years has frequently appeared in the courts representing members of the most extreme ultra-Orthodox groups: from the separatist Eda Haredit to the fanatic Sikarikim to the Lev Tahor community – the Taliban cult centered in Beit Shemesh.

Violence between ultra-Orthodox sects rocks Jerusalem neighborhood

By Yair Ettinger October 28, 2011

Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews demonstrated in the neighborhood following the attack and many prayed for Hirschman’s recovery.

Many protesters condemned the Gerrer Hasids for the attack, but the ultra-Orthodox newspapers of all the factions are ignoring the affair and some ultra-Orthodox figures have even expressed sympathy for the perpetrators rather than the victim.

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, head of the voluntary emergency response organization Zaka, came out openly against Hirschman and his colleagues.

“They must be beaten up. The Sikrikim understand only force. They can’t employ violence all the time and then shed crocodile tears,” he said.

Driver’s license prompts mass yeshiva expulsion

By Tali Farkash October 31, 2011

The head of the prestigious Be’er Torah yeshiva has announced that he will expel 30 students from the institution after discovering that they hold driver’s licenses.

The “expulsion letters” were issued a month ago, yet the yeshiva students refuse to comply with the demand.

According to the students, the institution’s staff looked into the driver’s license issue in cooperation with the Transportation Ministry. One of the expelled students told Ynet he was furious that his personal details in a government database were compromised.

Jerusalem’s new smash hit: Maccabi Mea Shearim b-ball team

By Akiva Novick October 28, 2011

They play in black uniforms, hide their ‘peyes’ behind their ears. They don’t have a budget or a seal of approval from rabbis – but they are well-equipped when it comes to faith. Meet Jerusalem’s new smash hit: the Maccabi Mea Shearim basketball team.

Haredi women complete first-of-its kind management course

By Tzofia Hirschfeld October 28, 2011

The Temech association, led by Shmuel Bloom of Agudas Yisroel of America, was founded to help haredi women in Israel find work outside the education world.

In recent years, Temech has been preparing workplaces for haredi women, and the first management course for haredi women was completed several weeks ago – proof of the project’s success.

PHOTO Gallery: Celebrating Simchat Torah – Jerusalem October 21, 2011

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men dance and celebrate Simchat Torah at the close of the Sukkot holiday in Mea Shearim.

Public Education

By Marc J. Rosenstein Opinion October 25, 2011

For three years a group of parents in our area operated such a school – “not Orthodox, not secular, just Jewish” was their motto – and they represented a spectrum of different religious and ideological backgrounds.

They faced consistent opposition from the county and national education departments, who have been dealing with an increasing erosion of the regional public school caused by the opening of several “boutique” special-interest schools (Jewish-Arab, Waldorf, new age).

Judge quashes indictment of pugilistic priest

By Jeremy Sharon October 31, 2011

In a rare ruling, a judge in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court dismissed an indictment filed against a priest who punched a haredi yeshiva student in the face for having spat at him as he passed.

Judge Dov Pollock said in his ruling last Tuesday that the court had heard evidence of daily incidents in which Christian clergy were spat upon by members of the ultra-Orthodox community, something which, the judge added, has been occurring for a number of years and which the police has not acted to prevent.

High Court critical of Elad contract in City of David park but rules it legal

By Nir Hasson October 27, 2011

The High Court of Justice yesterday criticized the agreement by which a private association, Elad, operates the City of David national park in Jerusalem, but said the agreement was legal.

The changes in the contract will apparently include a demand that Elad guides cease giving official guided tours of the park and find a way to keep the park open on Saturdays, with Elad, whose members are mainly Orthodox Jews, transferring the collection of entrance fees to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

Elad can continue to operate City of David, court finds

By Melanie Lidman October 26, 2011

If a draft of the new contract, which makes changes such as officially allowing guides not associated with Elad to lead tours in the park, meets the courts’ approval in January, then the petition will be dismissed.

The candle has been snuffed

By David Harel October 26, 2011

What about “love thy neighbor as thyself”? Where has true Jewish solidarity gone, the principle that was once the guiding light of the religious Zionist public?

Did anyone address a public apology on Yom Kippur to the Ethiopian immigrants for the inconceivable humiliation they suffered in Petah Tikva?

Shalit’s day of release appears on Rebbe’s dollar bill

By Kobi Nahshoni October 27, 2011

Days after the return home of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, the haredi street is attributing mystical signs to his release.

Haredi media sources are connecting Shalit with the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Joseph following a series of coincidences that should be “attributed to divine intervention”.

Grave concerns

By Noam Dvir October 25, 2011

Eighty-four senior archaeologists from leading research institutions around the world have called on the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Antiquities Authority to put an end to construction of the Museum of Tolerance in the center of the city.

Archeologists condemn J’lem Museum of Tolerance

By Melanie Lidman October 31, 2011

“Not only are we opposed to building on such massive and revered sites in any context, but we are also concerned by the surreptitious and unscientific removal of hundreds of human burials, in violation of international and domestic laws and the ethical obligations of archeologists,” the letter stated.

Unknown disease killing Kinneret fish

By Moshe Lichtman October 24, 2011

The first stage of a mysterious disease affecting Kinneret fish begins in one of its eyes, which starts to pop out, and gets destroyed leaving an empty hole in the socket.

…If the problem is a parasite, this will cause a major kashrut problem and the Rabbinate is liable to ban fish from the Kinneret. The Water Authority believes that the disease is genetic in origin.

‘Torat Hamelech’ author: ‘Better to kill a terrorist than call the police’

By Jeremy Sharon October 25, 2011

Rabbi Yossi Elitzur of the Od Yosef Hai yeshiva in Yitzhar and co-author of the controversial work on Jewish law, Torat Hamelech, wrote in a halachic ruling on Monday that should someone encounter a terrorist, it is preferable to shoot and kill them rather than call the police or attempt to apprehend the person in question, since he may be released in a future prisoner swap.

…However, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem and a leading religious-Zionist figure, told The Jerusalem Post that a private citizen should not take the law into their own hands in this manner.

Safed landlord kicks out Druze students October 31, 2011

Less than a day after four students from the Druze town of Buq’ata in the Golan Heights rented out an apartment in Safed, their landlord ordered them to pack their belongings and vacate the home.

The landlord told them he received threats from ultra-Orthodox neighbors demanding he “not rent out the apartment to Arabs.”

IDF soldier suspected of leaking military actions to West Bank settlers

By Chaim Levinson October 24, 2011

The soldier, a married man and father of two children, served in the Samaria Brigade’s rabbinate and has yet to be informed of the specific charges against him.

Military Police officials have also indicated that the man had been a known propagator of the “The King’s Torah,”…

Praying for a child: Infertility in religious society

By Racheli Malek-Boda October 26, 2011

Infertility is a terrible burden on any woman seeking to bring new life into this world. But when you’re religious – it may be seven times harder.

…Like any other issue, infertility in the religious sector is subject to a debate among those seeking to find a way between the restrictions of Halacha and the desire to utilize all options to the fullest, and those choosing to favor their sentiments over rabbis’ instructions.

“There are women who consult rabbis on when to start treatments and when to stop, but I think that’s that their private business and has nothing to do with Halacha, and a rabbi’s advice may even cause damage.”

Mystic Rabbi Pinto backs social justice movement

By Jeremy Sharon October 27, 2011

Rabbi Yoshiyahu Pinto, spiritual adviser to many members of Israeli high society, gave his approbation on Wednesday to the social justice movement that has gripped the country in recent months.

Going to extremes

By Ariel Zilber October 28, 2011

Yuval Alpert is the chief rabbi of the Garin Torani branch in Jaffa, an outlet of the Religious-Zionist organization that moved into the city three years ago.

Alpert brushes off suggestions that Garin, which launched a campaign aimed at “re-jew-venating” the Jewish presence there, seeks to muscle out the local non-Jewish population.

“We are only interested in culture and education,” the rabbi said. “We are not here to push out anyone. Generally, strengthening Jewish identity and the youth’s bond with the state is a problem that we need to solve not only in Jaffa, but in all of Israel.”

Bnei Akiva ‘goes public’ as part of fund-raising campaign

By Jeremy Sharon October 9, 2011

“Investors” will be able to purchase a share in the movement for $1,000 dollars in return for which they will be able to join the Bnei Akiva board of shareholders.

Saved from Munich and Michigan, a 400-year-old Torah scroll is brought back to life

By Raphael Ahren October 28, 2011

As the Jews of Eshchar celebrated Simchat Torah earlier this month, one scroll, a gargantuan meter-long affair, made it’s long awaited debut, being carefully unrolled on the bimah for ritual use for the first time in over 70 years.

Friday Film: Israel Under the Yiddish Microscope

By Rukhl Schaechter October 28, 2011

Three short Yiddish films created by students at the Ma’aleh School of Television, Film and the Arts, an Orthodox film school in Jerusalem, have recently become available for rental on the Internet, sparking interest from fans of Yiddish cinema worldwide.

Many of the Ma’aleh students’ films explore sensitive issues in the Israeli Orthodox world as well as in Israeli society at large. A number of them, including the three Yiddish films, have been screened at film festivals and received awards in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Keeping the faith

By Hannah Brown October 30, 2011

Faith and spirituality are important in the lives of many Israelis, but it’s rare to hear someone talking about it, except in terms of strict religious observance.

The multi-part series, My Faith, which runs on Saturdays at 10:40 p.m. (and which is sometime preempted by coverage of demonstrations and other news events), is the brainchild of Ori Gruder (who made the film under the pseudonym Or Yashar, which means “Straight Light” in Hebrew), an Israeli director and cinematographer.

New Jerusalem cineplex to hold Saturday screenings

By Noam Dvir and Nir Hasson October 30, 2011

The Sherover Center for Culture … is set to double the number of movie theater seats in the capital and to nearly double the number of active movie screens. And unlike most cultural and entertainment institutions in Jerusalem, the center will be open on Shabbat.

Yishai: No drama in Netanyahu-Yosef meeting

By Gil Hoffman October 26, 2011

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai denied reports in the haredi media on Monday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu discussed key future diplomatic developments with the Palestinians in his meeting late Sunday with the party’s mentor, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Religion and State in Israel

October 31, 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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