Religion and State in Israel – February 9, 2009 – Israel Elections (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

February 9, 2009 – Israel Elections (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Kulterkampf between Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu gets vicious

By Lily Galili February 9, 2009

Hours after she first heard about Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s verbal attack on Russian immigrants for “selling pork and praying at churches,” the Russian-immigrant owner of a grocery store in Netanya said Sunday she feared that Shas might try to shut her business down. 

“I wasn’t going to vote this year but now my husband says we have to vote for [Avigdor Lieberman], otherwise they [Shas] will shut us down,” she said, referring to the Soviet-born head of Yisrael Beiteinu. 

Shas’s Yosef: Voting for Israel Beiteinu an unforgivable sin

By Matthew Wagner February 5, 2009

“If someone plans on voting for a party that is in favor of assimilation, of selling pork, then his sin is too great to bear, his sin will never be forgiven,” the Shas mentor said in a televised appearance without explicitly mentioning Israel Beiteinu’s name.

Shas’s main criticism is directed at Lieberman’s support for a type of civil marriage called “the union of couples” (brit hazugiut).

Israel Beiteinu intends to push for a change in the religious status quo that would enable these non-Jews to form a type of marital union recognized by the state.

MK David Rotem, No. 8 on Israel Beiteinu’s candidates list and an Orthodox Jew, rejected Shas’s attack on the civil marriage initiative. Rotem argued that the amendment would reduce the likelihood of mamzerut – the birth of children as a result of an illicit sexual relationship.

“In consultation with religious Zionist rabbis, we created a type of union that does not constitute a full-fledged marriage according to Halacha. 

This prevents a situation in which a woman who is married according to Halacha will have an illicit sexual relationship with a man who is not her husband,” he said.

Rabbi Yosef: Lieberman voters support Satan February 7, 2009

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef:

“These are people who do not have Torah, people who want civil marriages, shops that sell pork, and the army enlistment of yeshiva students.”

“My heart is heavy. Heaven forbid people support them. This is completely forbidden. 

Whoever does so commits an intolerable sin. Whoever does so supports Satan and the evil inclination.”

Lieberman: The Nation cannot be Chareidi

By Yechiel Spira February 7, 2009

Yisrael Beitenu leader Avigdor Lieberman announced that his party is not opposed to the Torah or the observance of Shabbos, but rejects a nation run by chareidim.

Lieberman demands a separation of religion and state in support of his party’s pro secular issues, including the sale of pork and offering couples the possibility of a civil marriage instead of in accordance to Halacha, as is the case today.

Lieberman insists his party is a viable option for Shomer Shabbat voters who do not wish to see the nation ruled by chareidim, rejecting criticism that he is trying to destroy the Jewish character of the state.

Shas: Lieberman Will Turn Us into a Nation of Goyim

By Yechiel Spira February 3, 2009

Shas leader Eli Yishai’s recording mentions Lieberman’s promise of civil marriages and the sale of pork nationwide.

“This will lead to widespread assimilation” Yishai warns, adding “hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish children, a reality that will destroy the Jewish character of the state.”

“If Lieberman receives many seats in Knesset, he will turn the state into a state of goyim.”

Rabbi Ovadia’s blessing to voters nixed

By Rebecca Anna Stoil February 3, 2009

Shas pulled a radio advertisement on Tuesday that the Central Elections Committee (CEC) said violated the rule forbidding offering blessings in exchange for votes, as the party once again ran afoul of campaign rules forbidding spiritual bribery.

In the advertisement, the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is heard offering a blessing to the party’s voters, in which he states that “all who vote for Shas will receive a blessing, along with their wives, children, students and entire families, and God will endow them with happiness and good health.”

Ichud HaLeumi Hoping to Garner Chareidi and English Speaking Vote

By Yechiel Spira February 9, 2009

Ichud HaLeumi (National Union) has started to attract voters from the chareidi and English speaking camps.

The party differentiates itself from the other party drawing a large amount of voters from the religious Zionist camp in that they not only have rabbinical support but rather rabbinical guides who take part in major decisions. 

They not only have the support of hundreds of rabbanim from the religious Zionist camp, but have a governing rabbinical body headed by the Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Shlita, and other Sephardi and Ashkenazi talmidei chachamim of note. 

Even their non-religious candidates, all of whom are shomer Shabbos and kashrus, agree to abide by the rabbinical authority’s decisions.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s daughter-in-law is introduced as Shas leading lady

By Yair Ettinger February 4, 2009

Shas has pulled out a leading lady of its own to combat Kadima leader Tzipi Livni campaign. But Yehudit Yosef, daughter-in-law of the party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, is a woman whose “true career” is housewife. 

…Yehudit’s speech, however, dealt mainly with the life of a religious woman in general – “we need to be proud of this, that our true career is our home, our children, our husband” – and life with Rabbi Yosef in particular, with an emphasis on his devotion to Torah study, to the party and to his own family. 

Baba Baruch: Don’t Vote Lieberman!

By Yechiel Spira February 9, 2009

The Baba Baruch is working to persuade people not to vote for Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu Party.

This is not just because he opposes Lieberman’s platform, but because his father, the Baba Sali zt”l came to him in a dream and said,

“Son get up. What are you doing? This man that they call Lieberman is trying to implement civil marriages, the sale of pork, to approve non-halachic conversions – all these terrible things that negate our Holy Torah…”

Haredi extremists suspected of defacing Livni on election posters

By Shelly Paz February 3, 2009

Courtesy photo Creative Commons

A week before the country goes to the polls, police are investigating the defacement of Kadima election posters in Jerusalem.

Police suspect haredi extremists opposed to public images of women have been painting over Kadima leader Tzipi Livni’s face on posters throughout the city, but no arrests have yet been made.

…The sources noted that pictures of Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich had also been vandalized when the party printed ads of its top five candidates about six weeks ago.

Likud to voters: A vote for Lieberman may get you Livni

By Yossi Verter and Mazal Mualem February 5, 2009

Lieberman, for his part, has no intention of announcing whom he will recommend as prime minister before the elections. 

However, his associates say he will not join any government without being allowed to vote his conscience on issues of religion and state – a condition Shas is likely to have trouble accepting. 

UTJ rabbis release letter appearing to back Shas

By Yair Ettinger February 9, 2009

Following a crippling internal rift within the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, two of the movement’s prominent rabbis released a letter calling on voters to vote “ultra-Orthodox.”

Some understood this as including the party’s Sephardi counterpart, Shas.

Rabbis Yehuda Lipkovitz and Haim Kanyevski usually join the rest of the party’s rabbis in a call for all voters to vote UTJ. 

This year, however, they refused and published the letter instead.

Maran HaRav Eliashiv and the Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Shteinman Urge Voters to Go to Polls and Support UTJ

By Yechiel Sever February 5, 2009

“Every yirei Hashem should do all he can to increase the honor of Heaven by strengthening the UTJ-Gimmel list,” reads a letter written by Maran HaRav Eliashiv in advance of next week’s Knesset elections. 

“And whoever shirks this obligation lends a hand to those who seek to uproot everything.”

A message by the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman shlita, read, 

“Certainly there is a clear obligation to vote Gimmel, for in doing so one acts to establish the authority of the Torah.”

Yisrael Beiteinu: “No National Service, No Citizenship”

By G. Lazer February 5, 2009

MK David Rotem wears a black yarmulke and is considered to be Yisrael Beiteinu’s “chareidi candidate.”

While acknowledging that his party is not chareidi in interviews, he said that it nonetheless expects to gain support among chareidi constituents for its right wing positions, adding that he expects some elements in the chareidi sector to permit themselves to disagree with the rabbonim!

Asked whether his party would impose the same demand that it makes upon Arabs, to do national service in order to receive citizenship, on the chareidi sector as well, Rotem replied:

“Yes, they will [have to do] national service.

Religion and State in Israel

February 9, 2009 – Israel Elections (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

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