Religion and State in Israel – July 5, 2010 (Section 1)

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Religion and State in Israel

July 5, 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.

Shas: PM vowed to reinstate yeshiva students’ stipends

By Yair Ettinger July 2, 2010

One suggestion raised in the meeting was that while both types of student would be entitled to income support, the eligibility criteria would give an advantage to yeshiva students while still being technically egalitarian.

For instance, the beneficiary would have to have at least three children and not own a car, and his or her spouse would have to be unemployable. This would render the number of eligible university students negligible.

An unacceptable surrender to Shas

Haaretz Editorial July 4, 2010

Netanyahu is well aware of Israeli society’s need to extract the Haredim from the cycle of poverty and state handouts, and the need to integrate them into the labor market to ensure future economic growth.

His surrender to Shas’ demand perpetuates an unacceptable arrangement and goes against the national interest.

Poll: Likud, Israel Beiteinu voters want haredim out of gov’t July 2, 2010

While 95% of secular Jews displayed an overall disapproval of the haredi community, a surprising 62% of modern Orthodox Jews expressed similar views.

According to the poll, 83% of the Jewish public considers the struggle by Ashkenazi haredi parents in Emmanuel to have their daughters study separately from Sephardi girls whose families do not follow Ashkenazi haredi practices unjust.

In addition, 75% of the population supports the High Court of Justice’s decision to eliminate income support funding for married yeshiva students from the 2011 state budget, saying the payments are discriminatory because there are no such payments for married secular students.

The poll reported that 83% of Likud voters and 100% of Israel Beiteinu voters condemned the Emmanuel struggle as anti-democratic, and 73% of Likud voters and 88% of Israel Beiteinu voters supported the court’s decision to halt the income support for married yeshiva students.

Shas spiritual leader: Conservative Jews do not believe in the Torah July 4, 2010

The Shas spiritual leader concluded, thus, that those who [teach] in Conservative schools cannot ordain rabbis, and that the “Torah must not be instructed by them.”

English-speaking Orthodox in Beit Shemesh take on Haredim

By Raphael Ahren July 2, 2010

The quarrel between Beit Shemesh’s heavily Anglo national-religious community and the city’s mayor reached new heights this week, as more than 200 people demonstrated Wednesday in front of city hall against a series of decisions they say favor the mayor’s Haredi constituency.

Tensions between the two parties have been high for several months, as national religious residents accuse the Haredi community, backed by Mayor Moshe Abutbol of Shas, of seeking to dominate public life in the city.

Haredi reform now

By Isi Leibler Opinion July 1, 2010

The objective is not to interfere with the haredi way of life, but to encourage them to assume the obligation of citizenship (as they do in the Diaspora) and play a constructive role in society without imposing or coercing others to adhere to their stringent halachic lifestyle. To achieve this, we must also marginalize the bigots and haredi bashers.

The reality is that if haredim begin working and serving in the army, they will soon become respected partners in society.

The ultra-Orthodox are returning Israel to the Middle Ages

By Yoel Marcus Opinion June 28, 2010

From week to week, month to month, and year to year, our situation is getting bleaker. They do what their rabbinical leader tells them to do. They don’t recognize the authority of the state, or its institutions or laws, aside that which is related to the government’s coffers.

Rabbi Yosef allows pregnant woman to marry

By Nissan Shtrauchler June 30, 2010

In an unprecedented halachic ruling, Shas’ spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has allowed a woman pregnant by artificial insemination to marry a man who is not the father of the developing child.

Attorney Zuriel Bublil, who helped the couple with their appeal, was pleased with the result.

“This is an unprecedented ruling that will help women coming to the end of their fertility,” he said.

Artificial insemination as solution to ‘mamzer’ conundrum

By Noah Rayman July 1, 2010

Experts in Jewish law sought to reconcile the valuable possibilities of modern technology with some debilitating laws of halacha at last week’s 16th International Conference of the Jewish Law Association in Netanya.

Artificial insemination can serve as a tool to break the transmission of the hereditary stigma that follows illegitimate children, argued Dr. Yossi Green, the director of the Center of Law and Medicine at Netanya Academic College.

Rabbinate to strip authority of rabbis who sing under chuppah

By Kobi Nahshoni July 1, 2010

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel decided to strip rabbis who incorporate song and musical performances into the marriage ceremony of their authority to officiate at weddings claiming that it “cheapens the Rabbinate.”

The discussion of the matter was held after complaints against the phenomenon were filed with the marriage board claiming that degraded themselves during marriage ceremonies, and thus trampled on the dignity of the entire institute of the Rabbinate. Following the decision, the Chief Rabbinate will notify all rabbis in Israel that if they do not fall in line with the stipulations, their authority to officiate at weddings will be revoked.

Defense to launch oversight of yeshiva draft exemptions

By Meirav Arlosoroff July 2, 2010

The Defense Ministry currently has no mechanisms for reviewing whether ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students who claim draft exemptions in order to study Torah full-time are actually doing so. However, it now plans to launch a pilot program to change that, the ministry said.

…Specifically, he said, it has no idea whether all 60,000 students are indeed studying Torah full-time, or whether some are working under the table.

IDF gives cadets taste of ‘cultural Judaism’ in Tel Aviv

By Anshel Pfeffer July 1, 2010

To strengthen their understanding of Judaism and Zionism, Israel Defense Forces cadets have traditionally been given on-site educational seminars about the country’s most symbolic sites – particularly in Jerusalem. Now the army is working to widen their perspective by having soldiers familiarize themselves with the epicenter of Israel’s secular experience: Tel Aviv.

Statistics of the Current Graduating IAF Pilots June 29, 2010

  • 7.5% of the graduates identify themselves as religious, while 7.5% consider themselves as being traditional.
  • 45% of the course graduates were active in youth movements before their recruitment; 12.5% of the graduates were in the Scouts Movement, 10% in Bnei Akiva, 5% in Bnei Moshavim, and the rest were from other youth movements.

Hesder Association Welcomes Decision to Reinstate Soldiers June 28, 2010

Hesder Association Chairman, Eitan Ozeri, welcomed the army’s decision to allow the return of two soldiers who protested against using the army to expel civilians from their homes.

Online Judaism in the IDF: Shabbat-Friendly Phones for Soldiers

By Maayana Miskin July 3, 2010

The IDF rabbinate has developed a Shabbat-friendly phone that will allow soldiers to speak on the telephone without desecrating Shabbat. The military magazine B’Machaneh reports that hundreds of the new devices will be distributed on IDF bases in the upcoming months.

Soldiers are permitted to desecrate Shabbat when necessary for security reasons, due to the precept that Shabbat laws may be violated in order to save a life. However, the rabbinate works to minimize Shabbat desecration whenever there is an option to do so.

Nature guides may be hiding facts to avoid offending religious hikers

By Jonathan Lis June 29, 2010

The Knesset is expected to look into the possibility that Israel Nature and Parks Authority guides at the Soreq Cave Nature Reserve are concealing the true age of the cavern’s stalactites and the stalagmites so as not to offend the beliefs of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox visitors.

Central bank: Poverty in Jerusalem twice national average

By Ido Solomon June 29, 2010

The city’s demographics are a major factor in both the low workforce participation and poverty: According to census data, 35% of all Jerusalemites are Arabs and 21% are ultra-Orthodox, two communities that tend to have low employment rates.

The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS) – Jerusalem Day 2010 Figures June 27, 2010

The percentage of Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem is 3.6 times greater than their percentage in Israel as a whole.

The percentage of religious (but not Haredi) Jews is 1.4 times greater, while the percentage of secular non-religious Jews in Jerusalem is less than half their percentage in the country as a whole. (The figures refer to adult Jews aged 20 and above, on average for 2006 – 2008, processed for the social survey of the Central Bureau of Statistics – CBS)

  • 27% of Jewish men aged 15 and above in Jerusalem studied or are studying in a yeshiva (2008 census, CBS)

Jerusalem’s education system 2009/10

The education system in Jerusalem is the largest and most complex in Israel, and serves almost quarter of a million students.

  • 64% of the students study in Hebrew education schools and 36% learn in the Arab education stream.
  • 62% of students in Hebrew education study in the Haredi stream, and 38% in the state and state religious education system.

Emanuel is Behind Us – Now the Chinuch Atzmai Internal Battle

By Yechiel Spira July 1, 2010

Kol HaChareidi reports that the in-fighting which has plagued Chinuch Atzmai directly impacted the Emanuel case, inhibiting efforts to reach a settlement since the leaders of the organization are not cooperating with one another.

Haredim protest against archaeological dig in Jaffa July 4, 2010

The Haredim claimed the excavation would disturb Jewish graves at the site, the Andromeda compound.

High Court Wants to Know Why Ministry Doesn’t Accept Giyoress [Convert]

By Yechiel Spira June 30, 2010

The High Court of Justice is calling on the Interior Ministry to explain just why it remains unwilling to accept the giyur [convert] of the Bnei Brak Beis Din of HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz Shlita, in the case brought by attorney Theodor Schwartzberg involving a giyoress from the Czech Republic

The core of Jewish tradition

By Naama Sheffi Opinion July 1, 2010

The secular public, whose positions are usually more liberal than those of the ultra-Orthodox, should take up the challenge.

But it is time the other side also learns something about the secular public’s worldview – about democracy and legal authorities, universal culture, foreign languages and scientific thought.

Sisters in Rebellion

By Raya Morag July 1, 2010

The author is a member of the artistic committee of “Film Project” of The Yehoshua Rabinowitz Foundation, which assisted in the production of the film.

Film Review: The Black Bus (“Soreret”)

Through an intimacy rare in documentary film, and a partnership and sisterhood among women, Tzruya exposes in many scenes the tragedy of rebellion in relationships based on power and humiliation, and the sense of being torn from families that used force, fabricated a psychiatric illness, ostracized and invalidated.

The result leaves the hero with a torn identity, and sometimes suicidal.

Israeli Press Reports on Possible Chabad Purchaser of Jerusalem Soccer Team June 30, 2010 Source:

The headline of the article was a quote attribute to Rabbi Nakache that, “This is the first time that Chabad will own a soccer team.”

“My words were taken out of context,” Rabbi Nakache explained. “I said that I’m prepared to buy the team, but only on condition that they stop playing on Shabbos.”

Nakache added that he feels that “this is a shlichus that will cause Jews not to break Shabbos.”

Religion and State in Israel

July 5, 2010 (Section 1) (see also Section 2)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

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