Religion and State in Israel – August 3, 2009 (Section 1)

By ,

Religion and State in Israel

August 3, 2009 (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Haaretz Cartoon by Amos Biderman August 3, 2009

(rt. to left)

“They’re sick people”

“In olden days, they’d be stoned to death”

“They’ll come back as insects and rodents”

“We don’t have that problem anymore”

Journalist: Haredi public used as punching bag August 4, 2009

The gag order on any information pertaining to the deadly shooting at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv on Saturday is hurting the ultra-Orthodox public, a haredi journalist claimed this week.

Moshe Glasner, editor of the Kikar HaShabbat website, filed a petition with the Tel Aviv Magistrate Court on Monday asking that the order be lifted.

“The incitement and propaganda campaign against the ultra-orthodox public that has been raging in recent days is being carried out under the auspices of a police-issued injunction,” Glasner claimed in his appeal.

Gay vs. Orthodox: A Deadly Turn in Israel’s Culture War?

By Matthew Kalman August 3, 2009

“The problems in Israeli society run very deep,” Saar Netanel, a gay leader and former Jerusalem city councilor who opened the city’s only gay bar, tells TIME.

He explains that while Jews are united by their conflict with the Palestinians, the obsession with security comes at the expense of dealing with other social issues.

“There are more than two societies here,” says Netanel.

“It’s a very diverse population in Israel. There is one part of Israel, my camp, for whom the temple is the Supreme Court and we believe in democracy and we want a liberal and modern country; and there is a part of Israel that wants a more religious country — some of them even want the rule of Jewish law, not a democracy. They don’t believe in the courts — they believe in the law of the Torah.”

Threatening incitement

Haaretz Editorial August 4, 2009

We must hope that the clear condemnation of the murders expressed yesterday by ultra-Orthodox politicians and leaders was an expression of their understanding of the change in the social reality and the need to accept others and “respect all people as they are.”

Conservative Movement organizes an evening of study and reconciliation

By Matthew Wagner August 3, 2009

The Masorti (Conservative) Movement will hold an evening of learning, song and reconciliation that will coincide with Tuesday evening’s Jewish “holiday of love” – Tu Be’av – in response to the fatal shooting attack on the LGBT community in Tel Aviv.

Other organizations will also participate in the evening of study in Tel Aviv, at the city’s LGBT youth center.

These groups include Beit Tefila Yehudi, a prayer group of secular Jews; the Reform Congregation Bat Ayin; Chavurat Tel Aviv, a Conservative minyan; and Bat Kol, a group of Lesbian Orthodox women.

A liberal Orthodox rabbi will also take part. However, he requested that his name not be publicized out of concern that his participation would arouse controversy.

Haredi media skirt homophobia issue

By Nir Hasson August 4, 2009

The ultra-Orthodox media moved yesterday from attempting to push the shooting at the gay and lesbian center in Tel Aviv from the top of the news to an offensive against the gay and lesbian community.

Surfers on Haredi Web sites would have found it difficult from the sites alone to understand the nature of the “club,” as it is called, where the attack took place.

Most of the sites refrained from using the words “gay” or “lesbian.” Other Haredi sites described the center as a “deviants’ club” or as “the Tel Aviv club.”

Reports of the murders and the investigation were quickly supplanted by bitter accusations against the gay community, indicating that they had exploited the event to attack the Haredi community.

Haredim lament blame for TA attack

By Matthew Wagner August 3, 2009

The Internet site ‘Hadarei Haredim’, which has a chat forum and reports internal haredi news, led Sunday morning with the headline “The Anti-Haredi Incitement Club: the police are still investigating but the club’s community is already accusing – the murder is a result of haredi incitement.”

Kikar Hashabbat, another online haredi news site, led with an editorializing piece entitled, “Our blood has been cheapened: the incitement parade against the haredim has begun.”

Rabbis condemn anti-gay shooting

By Kobi Nahshoni August 2, 2009

The Chief Rabbinate expressed shock and outrage at the Tel Aviv shooting at a gay youth center Saturday evening, calling it “an unthinkable, vile crime.”

In a statement published Sunday the Rabbinate said that, “When Moses saw a Jew beating another Jew he called him evil. This is all the more true when a Jew murders a Jew.”

Meanwhile, the Hod organization for Orthodox gay men strongly condemned “the horrible massacre committed against the gay and lesbian community in Tel Aviv,” conveyed its condolences to the victims’ families and wished speedy recovery to those who were injured.

Shas condemns attack on gay center

By Amnon Meranda August 2, 2009

Referring to the signs pointing a finger at him and his party, Zeev said, “This is a blood libel. They are taking advantage of the blood in order to murder a human being’s character.

According to the Shas MK,

“It is our duty in any case to warn against this lifestyle. As far as we are concerned, we must not authorize or recognize it, but this has nothing to do with murder. Murder is the most serious and shocking thing. It’s madness, and the murder must face trial. There are no doubts whatsoever.”

Prosecution to indict mother suspected of starving her son

Blood Libel and Axis of Evil against the Devoted Mother and her Sick Child

The Axis of Evil: Israel Police, Ministry Social Workers, Hadassah Hospital.

[photo] the “Starved” child in his parent’s home before the “treatment” at Hadassah.


Haredi protests in Jerusalem highlight difference with Diaspora

By Gil Shefler July 29, 2009

Professor Menachem Friedman, an expert on haredim in Israel, says the sheer number and political clout of the haredim in Israel have emboldened the community.

“In Israel they feel they have backing,” Friedman said. “Even when they are arrested they know everyone — all the Agudath Israel Knesset members — would rush to free them.

“Say what happened in New Jersey would have happened in Israel,” he said, referring to last week’s arrest of a number of noted rabbis in New Jersey and Brooklyn on suspicion of money laundering and corruption.

“In Israel they would say it’s all lies and libels and they would throw stones and what-not.” But in America, Friedman noted, “They reacted to the news with profound silence.”

Bradley Burston, a columnist for Israel’s daily Ha’aretz, says the violence of the protests was a sign that haredi youth are becoming more Israeli.

“With the passing of generations,” Burston said, “haredi youth are taking on more of the language and outlook of sabras.”

The return of the blood libel

By Yossi Sarid Opinion August 2, 2009

The blood libel is returning in an updated Jerusalem version: It is not evil goyim who are falsely accusing unfortunate Jews, but Jews falsely accusing Jews.

Haaretz Cartoon by Amos Biderman June 26, 2009

“The Full Cart”

The story is told that the Chazon Ish argued that the secular community’s needs should defer to those of the religious community. He used the Talmudic discussion (Sanhedrin 32b) of two camels which meet on a narrow mountain pass as a metaphor. A camel without goods was expected to defer to a camel laden with goods; similarly, the Chazon Ish contended secular society should defer to religious society, which bore the “goods” of tradition.

To this Ben-Gurion is said to have responded that the “secular” camel was not in fact “without goods”, since secular Zionism had led to the establishment of a state and the physical protection of Israelis. The Chazon Ish is said to have replied that this was unimportant, when combined with widespread rejection of Jewish tradition. The story is often misquoted to be about two wagons not two camels; however, the Talmud mentions camels, and witnesses at the meeting have said that the Chazon Ish quoted the Talmud correctly.

Unity in tough times Editorial July 30, 2009

Jewish unity is a rare commodity. This is doubly true when times are tough.

A recent spate of criminal allegations directed against members of the haredi community has made it particularly hard for some non-haredi Jews to respect their haredi brothers and sisters. The result, sadly, has been the undermining of Jewish unity.

End of the Third Temple (part II)

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion August 4, 2009

The state must revoke all Shas and Agudat Yisrael’s independent education systems and see to it that all children are taught the same general studies. In the afternoon each child may study whatever he likes.

All ultra-Orthodox men must be drafted to military service – none of that national service malarkey.

The state must rescind its support of yeshivas and kollels so all ultra-Orthodox men go to work.

This will offer a chance to save the Third Temple. Not by groveling and suicidal liberalism but by fighting for the principles of democracy, humanism and equality.

‘Starving mother’ charged with abuse

15 arrested at fresh Haredi protest in Jerusalem

Officer hurt in Haredi rally against opening of parking lot on Shabbat

Jerusalem: Haredim attack municipal cleaning crew

Hebrew U. Cancelled Tender for Two Buildings in Kiryat Yovel After Chareidi Group was Poised to Win

By Yechiel Sever July 30, 2009

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has cancelled for the second time a tender issued for the sale of two buildings it owns on Rechov Stern in Jerusalem’s Kiryat Yovel neighborhood, apparently to prevent chareidim from moving into the buildings. Secular figures called the move a “victory.”

The chareidi group that submitted a bid for an enormous sum plans to file a claim against the university and request a court order to prevent the university from canceling the tender.

Ashdod beach may be restricted for Haredim only

By Ofer Petersburg August 4, 2009

Will a significant part of Ashdod’s beach be open to the ultra-Orthodox community only?

“Following our discussion with haredi entrepreneurs and several meetings in your office, it is clear that they are interested in building a haredi resort village, but a precondition is a municipal arrangement for restricting bathing to the haredi public in the piece of shore adjacent to their plot.”

Haredi businessman to hold stakes in Shabbat-active company

By Navit Zomer July 30, 2009

Haredi businessman and Shufersal Co-Chairman Shulem Fisher, who had previously voiced strong objections to businesses being open on Shabbat, is due to partner up in British Israel Investments Ltd. whose shopping centers are open on Saturdays.

Attorney General urged to enforce Tisha B’Av ban on restaurants

By Kobi Nahshoni July 29, 2009

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel sent an urgent letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz urging him to strictly enforce the law prohibiting restaurants and places of entertainment from operating on the day, and levying a NIS 2,600 ($690) fine on those who break the law.

“In previous years we have repeatedly witnessed public violations of Tisha B’Av… people sitting in restaurants and cafes, showing contempt for the national day of mourning and undermining the State of Israel’s Jewish character and deep religious sentiments,” said the letter.

Is it permissible to wear Crocs on Tisha Be-Av? July 15, 2009

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner:

Q: Is it permissible to wear Crocs on Tisha Be-Av?

A: It is a dispute.

Some rule that it is permissible since one must not wear leather shoes and they are not leather.

Others rule that it is forbidden since even if one wears non-leather shoes, they cannot be comfortable and Crocs are comfortable. May a blessing come to one who is strict. One who is lenient has on whom to rely.

Survey: 64% want Temple rebuilt July 30, 2009

Initially, the respondents were asked what happened on Tisha B’Av (Ninth of Av), and showed impressive knowledge. Ninety-seven percent responded that the Temple was destroyed, while only 2% said they did not know.

The second question was whether respondents wanted to see the Temple rebuilt. Sixty-four percent responded favorably, while 36% said no.

An analysis of the answers showed that not only the ultra-Orthodox and the religious look forward to the rebuilding of the Temple (100% and 97% respectively), but also the traditional public (91%) and many seculars – 47%.

When asked whether it was at all justified to mark something that had happened 2,000 years ago, 80% said that it was, while 13% said only events related to the State of Israel should be commemorated.

Another 7% categorically replied with a “no.”

Ashkenazi school in Netivot rejects sons of ‘X-ray rabbi’

By Yanir Yagna July 30, 2009

Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Ifergan, known as the “X-Ray Rabbi” for his supposed ability to diagnose medical ailments, is considering leaving Netivot after the city’s Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox school rejected his 6-year-old twin sons.

Tensions between ultra-Orthodox circles in the western Negev city have escalated following last year’s municipal elections.

Many of the city’s leading rabbis – including Isaschar Meir, the head of Hanegev Yeshiva – signed a petition accusing Ifergan of “idol worship.”

Nearly all of Netivot’s top rabbis signed the petition, with the exception of Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef.

Tu B’Av: Reclaiming old traditions August 4, 2009

Click here for Music Video

By Yoav Friedman

A special event that will be held Wednesday evening at Bar Ilan University will focus on Tu B’Av as a day of Jewish-Israeli love. The evening will include a performance by musician Shlomo Bar with Rabbi Menachem Fruman, and a performance of the Bein Hashmashot band, with Meir Banai as special guest.

Ahead of the holiday Bein Hashmashot recorded for Ynet a special version of Naomi Shemer’s old song “Od Lo Ahavti Dai” (“I haven’t loved enough”).

‘Troops presence at Kotel is sacrilege’

By Matthew Wagner July 31, 2009

The presence of IDF soldiers at the Western Wall is a sign of destruction and desolation, a Shas functionary wrote in a newspaper column for Tisha Be’av.

“We are in sorrow for the desolate Mount Zion and for the Kotel square which is sometimes desecrated and soldiers who walk there,” wrote Shas Knesset faction director Tzvi Ya’acobson in his weekly column in the Bakehila newspaper.

Ya’acobson was paraphrasing a verse in Lamentations (4:17, 18): “For this our heart is faint for these things our eyes are dim because of the Mountain of Zion which is desolate foxes prowl over it.”

Israel Plays Key Role in N.J. Corruption Case, But Holds Off on Own Probe

By Nathan Jeffay July 29, 2009

Israel plays a prominent role in the charges of money laundering and human organ black marketing that have swept five rabbis into a New Jersey federal corruption investigation.

Among other things, Israeli banks were allegedly key transit points for the money laundering operation. The rabbis accused of laundering money were allegedly told that it came from sales of knockoff products labeled as legitimate brands and from other illicit activities.

Ahead of prison, Benizri teaches Torah laced with self-justification

By Nir Hasson July 30, 2009

Photo: Interview at time of investigation

On the eve of his four-year prison term for corruption offenses, former minister Rabbi Shlomo Benizri (Shas) used a dramatic allegory to explain his situation to the audience who had come to hear him give a Torah class.

“What was my crime?” he demanded. “They took dubious characters and bought testimony for millions [of shekels] … They said workers cleaned my garden, but I live in an apartment building and don’t even have a garden.

They said I received hundreds of thousands [of shekels]. Check my accounts; you’ll see there’s nothing there. My house has broken tiles and ancient cupboards. For eight years they pursued me. I don’t want to say it was the Dreyfuss trial … but how long will the wicked rejoice?”

To Benizri, the reason for his “persecution” is simple: He is viewed as a threat, “because I studied in their schools and speak ‘sabra’ [Israeli Hebrew],” but then decided to become ultra-Orthodox. “There has never in the world been a case of shutting someone’s mouth like this,” he declared.

Shas MK proposes currency motto

By Rebecca Anna Stoil, Sharon Wrobel and Carrie Sheffield July 29, 2009

Wishing to take the American currency standard of ‘trusting’ in God one step further, Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev would like Israeli currency to affirm that God created the world.

Ze’ev has submitted a private member’s bill that would require Israel to print on its currency the phrase “We believe in the creator of the world” in the hopes of promoting Israelis’ faith.

Video interview on the Temple

Shalom Hartman Research Fellow Channa Pincasi July 30, 2009

Click here for VIDEO

Temple Altar Construction Begins on Day of Destruction

By Yehudah Lev Kay July 30, 2009

Click here for VIDEO

The Temple Institute has already built several of the Temple vessels such as the Ark and the Menorah, and has now embarked on an ambitious project to build the Altar, which will ultimately measure 3 meters wide by 3 meters long and 2 meters tall.

Temple Mount – Jewish Prayer August 3, 2009

Click here for VIDEO

A day after he was detained by the police for bowing on the Temple Mount, Yekutiel Ben Yaakov speaks with IsraelNN TV about the event and his feelings following the incident.

Religion and State in Israel

August 3, 2009 (Section 1) (continues in Section 2)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.

No comments yet.

Your Thoughts