Religion and State in Israel – August 10, 2009 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

August 10, 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.

Aish HaTorah installs Second Temple model opposite Western Wall

Aish HaTorah installs Second Temple model opposite Western Wall

By Jonah Newman August 5, 2009

Some 50 people gathered on Wednesday to watch the installation of a Second Temple model on the roof of a yet-unfinished Aish HaTorah yeshiva building, across from the Western Wall and just a few hundred meters from where the real thing once stood.

The model will sit on a new educational building for Aish HaTorah’s short-term outreach programs, which is set to open in December.

Aish Hatorah Temple Model donation: $360,000

  • Location: Rooftop Level D3
  • $360,000 donated by Mr. Robert Zarnegin

Do not miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance to dedicate this magnificent model of the ancient Holy Temple, the only one of its kind located just steps from the actual Temple Mount.

An incomparable gift, this replica of the Second Temple will stand at center stage atop Aish HaTorah at the Western Wall, portraying the grandeur of that edifice to the millions of visitors to the Rooftop Terrace seeking a vivid picture of their Jewish past.

This momentous dedication will be displayed prominently on the Rooftop Terrace.

It will also be highlighted on the exclusive Major Donors Tribute Wall in the Grand Entrance Lobby, to be seen and appreciated by millions.

Israel’s Third Temple Movement

By Linda Gradstein August 10, 2009

Click here for AUDIO story

Almost two thousand years ago, the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed and the Jews went into exile.

Now some Jews in Israel today say it’s time to rebuild the Temple. Problem is… they want to rebuild it on the location of Islam’s holiest site in Jerusalem.

High Court: Haredi School must end discrimination

By Dan Izenberg August 7, 2009

Justices Edmond Levy, Edna Arbel and Hanan Meltzer warned that unless the Independent Educational Stream (Hinuch Atzma’i), which is directly responsible for the school, removes every “trace, whether formal or substantive, of expressions of discrimination,” it would order the Education Ministry “to take every legal measure, including withdrawing the school’s permit and stopping its funding, to correct the situation.”

Attorney Aviad Hacohen welcomed the “important High Court decision which constitutes a landmark in the ongoing struggle to eradicate discrimination in the education system in general and the haredi education system in particular.

The decision stresses the fact that even a multicultural society cannot be absolved, in the name of the uniqueness of the haredi community, of the burden of the principle of equality and that it is the duty of the Education Ministry to supervise and make certain that this principle is observed in fact as well as in theory.”

Court to Haredi School: End segregation or face closure

By Ronen Medzini August 9, 2009

The honorable Edmond Levi, Hanan Meltzer and Edna Arbel ordered the school to nullify within a week all discriminatory practices and protocols that separate between Ashkenazi and Sephardic students.

Beit Shemesh: Chareidi Education Division Getting Ready

By Yechiel Spira August 6, 2009

The Education Division of Beit Shemesh is in full swing, getting ready for the 5770 school year. Deputy Mayor R’ Shmuel Greenberg, who oversees the city’s chareidi educational network, is quite busy these days ensuring the chareidi schools will be ready for the opening of classes after bein hazmanim.

The Beit Shemesh chareidi education network today numbers 16,000 talmidim while the public school system, both dati leumi and secular total 10,000.

During the past year, following the change of leadership in the city, major budgets have been allocated to the chareidi system; correcting what they view has been years of neglect.

The city this past week purchased new and used caravans, which are being placed in position in preparation for the new school year.

Petition: Abolish segregated bus lines August 10, 2009

“Ride in Safety – Ride with Egged”

Dozens of prominent Israeli public figures and intellectuals have recently signed a petition calling on Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz to come out against the segregation between men and women on public transportation lines (“mehadrin lines”).

The Transportation Ministry is scheduled to deliver its position on the matter next month.

The petition, signed by Israel Prize laureates A. B. Yehoshua, Haim Guri and Natan Zach, defined the “kosher buses” a “degrading and humiliating arrangement that hurts men and women in the State of Israel.”

Jerusalem: Haredim bring segregation to the street

By Ari Galahar August 10, 2009

A group of ultra-Orthodox men took to the streets of the haredi neighborhoods in Jerusalem last Friday and called on the public to adhere to a complete separation between men and women in certain areas of the city.

The activists toured the streets near Geula neighborhood in taxicabs and announced, using megaphones that on some streets men and women should walk on opposite sides of the road during the weekend.

Committee formed to reduce tensions with Eda Haredit

By Jonathan Lis August 11, 2009

Following weeks of rioting by ultra-Orthodox protestors in Jerusalem, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitz yesterday agreed to form a joint committee to reduce tensions with the leaders of the Eda Haredit, a particularly strict Hasidic community which called for the protests.

The rioting concerned the opening of a parking lot on Shabbat. In the meeting with Aharonovitz and the police’s top-brass at the home of Eda’s religious head, Rabbi Yitzhak Tuvia Weiss, who said Shabbat must be observed and Eda will not compromise on this.

“It was not an easy meeting,” Aharonovitz said.

An organized secular struggle

By Michael Handelzalts Opinion August 6, 2009

I’m in favor of waging a struggle for a secular worldview by persuading secular politicians (for whom Shtrasler and I voted) and donors to offer the general public the same day-care conditions the ultra-Orthodox are able to offer using state funds.

A struggle over values must be waged for a secular home, for example on the public broadcasting channel, which should be able to offer secular youth something different from what is offered on commercial channels.

These youth should be offered non-religious temptation that can compete with what the ultra-Orthodox are presenting.

Minister meets with Haredim over Carta parking lot

By Ronen Medzini August7, 2009

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch met Monday with heads of the ultra-Orthodox rabbinical court in an attempt to put an end to the weekly protests against the opening of Jerusalem’s Karta parking lot on Shabbat.

Aharonovitch arrived at the meeting accompanied by top police officials. On the ultra-Orthodox side, six of the seven rabbinical court leaders were present.

A turf war heats up in Tel Aviv

Hat Tip:

By Edmund Sanders August 6, 2009

Clashes between secular and religious Israelis are nothing new. In Jerusalem, shifting demographics have led to an uneasy coexistence between the fast-growing ultra-Orthodox community, known as Haredim, and Jerusalem’s secular population.

As Haredi protesters rioted in June over plans to open a city parking lot on the Sabbath, gay marchers held their eighth annual pride parade through central Jerusalem.

Now, however, these tensions are shifting to other parts of the country as Haredi families move into urban, secular areas such as Ramat Aviv.

Once again, Haredim clash with police over Carta lot

Prosecution: Put ‘abusive mom’ under full house arrest outside Mea She’arim

Black like me

By Vered Lee August 7, 2009

Noga Zoraish did not celebrate the victory.

Three weeks ago, after a legal battle lasting more than three years that ended in the conviction of yeshiva student Itamar Biton for deliberately hitting her with his car…

…then his father, the Chief Rabbi of Hadera, got up to speak. I stayed to listen. And what do I hear? ‘How did she dare to stand in front of my son’s car.’

Judge Drori told him: ‘If she were your daughter would you also say that?’ and he said: ‘If she were my daughter I would have slapped her in the face.’ That was enough for me. I left.”

…It eventually came out that during the first trial senior Shas party officials had come to Biton’s aid: Rabbi Reuven Elbaz wrote a character reference praising the defendant’s “scholarly achievements, contribution to his friends and assistance to charities”; Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar joined in, and Shas chairman Eli Yishai wrote:

“A conviction is liable to interrupt his rabbinical and public future and I believe that this is a punishment that should be avoided, especially since it will harm many people…. I thus recommend adopting the plan to end this judicial process without a conviction, and am convinced that he very much regrets his actions.”

Rabbis fly over Israel in hopes of eliminating swine flu

By Nissan Shtrauchler August 11, 2009

Click here for VIDEO

On Monday morning an Arkia airlines plane took off from Ben Gurion Airport carrying rabbis and Kabbalists and flew over the country in a flight aimed at preventing the swine flu virus from spreading in Israel through prayers.

“The purpose of the flight was to stop the epidemic, thus preventing further deaths,” explained Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri whose father, Rabbi David Batzri had initiated the flight. “We are certain that because of our prayers danger is already behind us,” he added.

During the flight the passengers blew the shofar seven times and said prayers intended for abolishing illnesses.

Treasury smiles on kosher investments

By Nati Toker August 10, 2009

Deputy finance minister Yitzhak Cohen of Shas is promoting a novel concept: kosher investment avenues, by halakha, with the blessing of the Finance Ministry.

The idea involves having leading rabbis of each community, who rule on halakhic issues, approve investment avenues for the haredi community.

One such rabbi would be Moshe Yosef, the son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Shas’ spiritual leader, who would grant his imprimatur to investments among the Sephardi community.

Also involved in the talks with the treasury is Rabbi Arye Dvir, head of the Halakhic Business institute, who is considered a confidante of Rabbi Shlomo Elyashiv, head of the Lithuanian stream of Hassidism.

Furor after appointment of woman to religious council

By Miriam Bulwar David-Hay August 9, 2009

The ultra-Orthodox sector in Haifa is in a furor after the recent appointment of a woman to the city’s religious council for the first time, reports

Orthodox sources said they had been caused “great sorrow and [despair]” by the appointment of former city councilor Yaffa Peretz to the religious council, although they said she was a “respectable and good woman” and they had nothing against her personally.

Religious Coercion: Between Ramot Bet Shemesh and Kabul

(For Hebrew-readers)

כפייה: בין רמות בית שמש לקאבול

Eretz Acheret Magazine Fall 2009 Issue

Police widen probe of Haredi soldier who threatened gays

By Jonathan Lis August 10, 2009

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court yesterday remanded Shmuel Primarik, who was arrested on suspicion of posting threats on a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Internet forum, for three days.

Police say that Primarik, a soldier in the ultra-Orthodox Nahal Haredi unit, confessed to authoring posts saying “more serious attacks are expected against the gays; don’t say you didn’t know about it.”

Court extends remand of soldier who threatened to attack Tel Aviv gay solidarity rally

Haredim may not be as homophobic as they seem

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion August 7, 2009

Seventy one percent of Haredi citizens believe that homosexuality is a perversion, according to a Haaretz poll.

I know that many of this paper’s readers saw the headline and shuddered, but I also know that those in the ultra-Orthodox community who saw the poll results immediately asked themselves – what about the other 29 percent?

…It doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to see another wave of haskala-secularism sweeping thousands of young Haredi and religious men and women away from their families and communities – there are still many ties that continue to bind them.

But it does indicate the rise of a new generation of independently thinking religious people, willing to engage the outside world on their own term

The Haredi Factor

By Rachel Metz Opinion August 6, 2009

Regardless of whom the killer turns out to be, several prominent members of the country’s Orthodox communities should heed these deaths as an example of the damage caused by hate speech.

While the ultra-Orthodox Shas party condemned the attack, such violence was a perhaps inevitable response to the incitement uttered by several haredi leaders over the years

Bringing regret out of the closet

By Yoav Sivan Opinion August 7, 2009

Although we should be careful about creating a causal connection between words and deeds, particularly when (at least as I write) the identity of the shooter remains unknown, it is impossible to ignore the public atmosphere that is conducive to such actions – and, yes, even encourages them.

Those immediately responsible for this public atmosphere are rabbis and MKs from various religious parties, who have turned homophobia into the lowest common denominator for inciting the masses and thereby enlisting political support.

Embrace those who are different

By Yair Sheleg Opinion August 7, 2009

Even if there are still many secular parents who have difficulty legitimizing their children’s different sexual leanings, it is members of the Haredi community (and especially supporters of Shas, who are generally considered the less extreme wing of ultra-Orthodoxy), who use particularly harsh language to attack homosexuals.

Moreover, on the rare occasions when attacks come from people identified as secular (such as Menahem Ben, Ariel Silber and the late Meir Ariel), they are for the most part secular people with leanings toward the religious world.

Religion and State in Israel

August 10, 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.

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