Religion and State in Israel – May 31, 2010 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

May 31, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

Kadima’s Livni seeks to bridge secular-religious divide

By Kobi Nahshoni May 28, 2010

Chairperson Tzipi Livni said to Ynet on Thursday she is worried that relevant criticism of ultra-Orthodox parties has recently degenerated into hatred for the haredi sector and religion.

“The aim is to develop a public discussion on essence and identity,” said Livni, who initiated the conference. “We all know what a democratic state is, but we don’t know what a Jewish state is.”

New Knesset lobby promotes civil equality and pluralism

By Jonah Mandel May 27, 2010

The Knesset Lobby for Civil Egalitarianism and Pluralism, which met for the first time on Tuesday, is headed by MKs Shlomo Molla (Kadima) and Nitzan Horovitz (Meretz), and includes nine other legislators from Kadima, Meretz and Labor.

“Forming a pluralistic lobby in the Knesset is an important milestone in Israel’s parliamentary democracy,” said Yizhar Hess, executive director of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, who was also at the session.

Pluralism group pushed Kadima to advance religion-state con

By Gil Hoffman May 26, 2010

The pro-religious freedom organization Hiddush worked behind the scenes to persuade Kadima to move matters of religion and state to the top of the party’s agenda immediately before Kadima leader Tzipi Livni gave a series of high-profile interviews on the topic, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Kadima MK Shlomo Molla:

“I believe the time has come to welcome American Reform and Conservative Jews to Israel through the front door and not the back door. We planned on forming the lobby for a while but Hiddush strengthened our opinion that it was essential.”

Kadima’s Jewish identity conference takes anti-haredi turn

By Gil Hoffman and Jonah Mandel May 28, 2010

A massive Knesset conference on Thursday that intended to provide a forum for reaching common ground on religious identity ended up highlighting differences between the secular and religious Zionists on one side and the haredim on the other.

At breakout sessions, the trend of religious Zionist rabbis and secular MKs ganging up on haredim continued. The problem was exacerbated by the last-minute cancellation of two leading haredi rabbis, Mordechai Neugroschel and the haredi chairman of the International Rabbinical Committee for Conversion Matters, Rabbi Nahum Eisenstein.

The rabbis told the organizers that they did not want to be on panels with Reform and Conservative representatives. Eisenstein said he would not be able to attend the panel due to the presence of “unworthy people.”

Treasury proposes exempting Haredim from IDF draft at 22

By Meirav Arlosoroff May 31, 2010

The battle over drafting Haredi men has begun again, eight years after the Tal Law exempted them from army service for as long as they study at yeshivas.

The IDF objects to the treasury’s proposal, saying that granting exemptions at a young age, such as 22, would increase inequality and allow Haredim to avoid serving with little or no penalty.

Emmanuel school to implement court ruling of desegregation

By Dan Izenberg May 26, 2010

The haredi parents of the girls enrolled in the Beit Ya’acov primary school in Emmanuel have rejected the new school regulations drawn up by the Independent Education Center (Hinuch Atzma’i) and informed the Education Ministry that they will only send their children back to school if stricter regulations are adopted, their lawyer, Mordechai Green, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Green added that if the regulations are changed to their satisfaction, the parents who had withdrawn their daughters will send their children back to school and have them study with the Sephardi girls.

Israeli teachers take on Education Ministry to keep Bible studies secular

By Or Kashti May 27, 2010

Skullcaps have no place in secular schools, even when students are copying verses from the Bible, according to two educators who oppose an Education Ministry directive that they say gets in the way of viewing the Bible as a purely cultural text.

As part of a project for schools in which more than 20,000 seventh-graders participated in writing out all the verses of the Bible, the ministry told schools that male students should wear skullcaps while carrying out the task.

Ramat Aviv residents pursue anti-haredi campaign

By Yoav Zitun May 30, 2010

After speaking out against the ultra-Orthodox community’s refusal to include core subjects in its study program, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai faces another challenge in respect to the haredi public.

Huldai will be asked to comment on a campaign led by Ramat Aviv residents seeking to prevent the neighborhood from becoming haredi on Monday, a week before a massive demonstration is scheduled to be held at the area.

The full cart: Ultra-Orthodox Jews and the price of success

By Bambi Sheleg Opinion May 27, 2010

During the months of preparation preceding the appearance of this issue, the editors made a concerted effort to involve in such an important discussion people who feel that they belong to – and that they have a commitment to – the haredi world

…[M]en and women…demanded that they not be identified in this issue, for fear of reprisals: They were afraid that their children might be expelled from the talmudei torah (haredi elementary schools) they presently attend or that their wives might lose their jobs in the workplaces where they are currently employed.

Breaking down the wall between the Haredim and the religious Zionists

By Yitzhak Meir Yavetz Opinion May 27, 2010

The writer is a leading member of the Haredi Ponevezh Yeshiva

For Haredim, there is only one authentic Judaism, theirs, whereas all other types are forgeries on different levels.

Anyone who is not Haredi cannot by definition be directly continuing genuine Jewish tradition, but is rather compromising, is basically “secular to a certain degree.”

Since, there is nothing to discuss or debate with those who are semi-secular, there can certainly be no justification to feel any solidarity with this type of semi-Judaism.

Rabbi Lau inaugurates Web design incubator for Haredim

By Nati Toker May 26, 2010

The Prog Center was established by Web developer Chaim Dikman, himself Haredi, as an incubator for Haredi Web designers. The center has already trained 150 Haredim, and hundreds more have attended workshops that the center has sponsored around the country.

Haredim hurl stones at Shas chairman May 24, 2010

Interior Minister Eli Yishai was pelted with stones on Monday as he arrived at the Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem for a condolence visit at the home of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.

Bakers suspected of ‘fixing’ bread prices for Haredim

By Ora Coren May 26, 2010

The Antitrust Authority has thrown its entire division of investigators into the “bread cartel” case, and yesterday TheMarker learned of new suspicions that bakers colluded on special deals for bread sold in Haredi neighborhoods.

Haredim riot in Bnei Brak

By Yoav Zitun May 26, 2010

Hundreds of haredim rioted early Wednesday in the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, wounding two people.

Haredim riot in Bnei Brak, J’lem: We’ll fill up prisons

By Shmulik Grossman May 26, 2010

After two days of calm – riots resume in the capital. Hundreds of haredim from Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on Wednesday clashed with police and blocked roads, while chanting “We’ll fill up prisons.”

Charedim are multicultural too

By Nathan Jeffay Opinion May 27, 2010

Israel should pick its battles with the strictly Orthodox minority more carefully. Such is the strength of feeling that one Chasidic rebbe has compared the Emanuel parents’ determination to maintain segregation to Russian Jews who went to prison “over their children’s education”.

This is a battle that could, if unchecked, escalate into a major secular-religious conflict.

Haredim irked by ad showing Western Wall

By Ari Galahar May 30, 2010

A new advertisement of the Mashbir Lazarchan department store has managed to offend the ultra-Orthodox and national religious sector in Israel as it makes use of a picture of the Western Wall.

Run, Aryeh, run (2nd section)

By Yossi Verter May 27, 2010

Aryeh Deri’s daughter got married in Jerusalem this week.

Did Aryeh Deri, who is planning to return to politics, know that by inviting Livni, he was signaling to the world that they’re connected? Of course.

…While she was standing in the women’s section watching the men dancing in happy circles, Livni was probably muttering to herself: Run, Aryeh, run.

Jailed Shas minister expected to be denied pardon

By Tomer Zarchin May 25, 2010

The Justice Ministry’s pardons department is expected to recommend turning down former minister Shlomo Benizri’s pardon request, Haaretz has learned.

Ronsky’s contribution Editorial May 24, 2010

There have always been Jews who have been uncomfortable with the particularistic aspects of Jewish identity and those who question the belief in the fundamental righteousness of Jews’ demands for a state in the land of Israel.

Ronsky upset some of these Jews by forcing them to confront the fact that without these ideals, it is difficult to imagine Zionist continuity and it is nearly impossible to meet the myriad challenges faced by the Jewish state.

IDF Chief Rabbi: Where are Tel Avivian combat soldiers?

By Kobi Nahshoni May 24, 2010

What do you think about the percentage of kippah-wearing commanders?

“Because I am well aware of the field, I can say that it is much more than the public knows about,” said Brig. Gen. Ronsky, “and some people may say it is a scary phenomenon.”

He himself admitted that he is uncomfortable with the current situation because the military, in his opinion, must be a reflection of Israeli society. “It is very sad that it belongs to certain sectors,” Ronsky said, but noted that the situation is much better among soldiers who are not commanders.

The chief military rabbi said the main omission in combat units are “the guys from the center of the country.”

Chief Rabbinate Discusses New Kashrus Regulations

By Yechiel Spira May 26, 2010

Chief Rabbinate of Israel kashrut officials convened on Monday to discuss a proposed law that would radically change the day-to-day operations of its kashrut supervision.

The rabbonim are discussing the establishment of a nationwide body that would appoint, supervise and pay rabbinate mashgichim.

Yad L’Achim Faces Off Against Tnuva

By Yechiel Spira May 27, 2010

This story begins in Kibbutz Herdoff in the Lower Galil, a community located in the Jezreel Valley Region.

The community, which was founded about 30 years ago boasts a profitable organic industry, but Yad L’Achim explains things are not as innocent as they appear, reporting the community follows Anthroposophy, a spiritual philosophy founded by Rudolf Steiner, which R’ Lifshitz explains is avoda zara (idol worship) by every Torah definition of the word.

So what’s the connection to the largest dairy, mehadrin consumers and Israel’s dairy industry?

Excitement on Temple Mount as Rabbi Prostrates Himself

By Gil Ronen May 25, 2010

Click here for VIDEO

A large group of hareidi-religious Jews ascended the Temple Mount Tuesday…

One of the Jews was even allowed to fully prostrate himself in prayer, facing in the direction of the location of the ancient Temple – where the Muslim-built Dome of the Rock now stands.

The group of Jews was led by Rabbi Yitzchak Brand of the city of Emanuel and Rabbi Yisrael Ariel of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. The rabbis say they intend to bring ever-larger groups of Jews to the Mount with the purpose of eventually holding a Passover sacrifice there.

For more photos, click here.

Religion and State in Israel

May 31, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.

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