Religion and State in Israel – August 30, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

August 30, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

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Editor – Joel Katz

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

PM distances himself from Rabbi Yosef’s ‘plague’ comments August 29, 2010

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday distanced himself from inflammatory comments made by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef over the weekend in which he wished a plague on Palestinian Authority PresidentMahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian people.

Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: May Abbas perish from this world

By Kobi Nahshoni August 29, 2010

During his weekly lesson, held at the synagogue near his house in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har-Nof, Rabbi Yosef mentioned the blessing said at the Rosh Hashana feast that says, “May our enemies and adversaries be destroyed”, and applied it to the current situation.

“Abu Mazen (Abbas) and all those evil men – may they perish from this world. May God Almighty strike them and these Palestinians.”

Judges ask Chief Rabbinate for clarification on whether they can join minyans

By Chaim Levinson August 27, 2010

In a letter sent to the Chief Rabbinate, retired judges and senior jurists have asked for clarification on whether or not they are allowed to join a minyan.

The letter comes in the wake of controversial statements made by a member of the council of the Chief Rabbinate, Holon municipal Rabbi Avraham Yosef, who said on his radio show that judges should not be allowed to join minyans or anything holy, as they challenge Mosaic Law.

Click here for Rabbi Avraham Yosef AUDIO file (Hebrew) August 23, 2010

Holon rabbi: Judges, senior officials can’t join minyan

By Jonah Mandel August 25, 2010

According to Rabbi Avraham Yosef, chief rabbi of Holon and a member of the Chief Rabbinate’s Council, judges and people with senior positions in secular authorities should be disqualified from that privilege, and not even be counted in forming a 10-man group for prayer.

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, head of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Israel’s Reform movement, slammed Yosef in a statement on Monday.

“This is an additional test for Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, who can have Yosef face disciplinary charges.”

Holon Chief Rabbi: Don’t include judges in quorum

By Kobi Nahshoni August 23, 2010

“It is forbidden to allow them to participate or to integrate them in any synagogue liturgy,” Yosef said. “We must ignore their existence, as if they were just air.”

Any bastard can be a rabbi

By Yossi Sarid Opinion August 27, 2010

At the conclusion of the gathering, rabbis from among the religious Zionists who, as civil servants, get their salaries from the taxpayer, had the following to say:

“The moral values of the Torah have to be the moral code for the Israel Defense Forces … Our holy Torah is not a subject for investigation or trial by flesh and blood.”

Even their colleagues from the holy city of Qom would have been hard pressed to produce a more enduring manifesto.

State Prosecutor Lador asked to cite Holon rabbi for anti-judge incitement

By Chaim Levinson August 25, 2010

The courts administration has approached the state prosecutor over whether to investigate statements made by the rabbi of Holon, who said judges should not be allowed to join Jewish prayers.

Sephardic Rabbis Defend Rabbi Yosef, Suspected of Incitement

By Gil Ronen August 24, 2010

Sephardic rabbis have signed a public petition in support of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, after he was summoned for questioning by police.

The Shas Enigma

By Aryeh Dayan August 19, 2010

Although Shas’s initial raison d’être was to protect the rights of the Sephardi haredim, long under the control of the then-Ashkenazi majority, it maintained a deafening silence during the entire Emmanuel affair, and, in the end, lined up with the Ashkenazi boycotters.

…Shas has therefore come full circle. There is a degree of closure in the positions adopted by Ovadia Yosef and Eli Yishai throughout the Emmanuel episode, and a definitive return by Shas to the original path on which it set out back in the early 1980s.

Part 2: Making Israel Work Editorial August 24, 2010

See also Part 1: A Threat From Within

Their structural poverty is caused or enabled by long-standing government policy: By subsidizing Haredi men who study instead of work, and exempting them from military service, successive Israeli governments have created huge incentives toward non-employment that are only now beginning to be dismantled.

A recent study found that only 18% of Haredi men in London sit in yeshiva all day, compared to about 67% in Israel. Why? British welfare policy encourages work. Traditional Jewish education there includes nonreligious studies. And there is no mandatory military service to flee, so entering the work force is more palatable.

The Right Not to Work

By Ziv Hellman August 20, 2010

By now it’s unmistakable. Conflicts between the secular and haredi sectors of Israeli society are increasing exponentially, with both sides speaking apocalyptically about existential threats.

Rabbi Uri Regev, Hiddush:

“We are not calling for no Torah study. It is of tremendous importance, and should be supported, but in the proper context. It should be based on intellectual capacity and reasonable quotas. The public cannot be asked to pay for an open-ended commitment to support any and all yeshiva students with no limitations. There is no precedent in Jewish history for that.”

Time to help the Haredim

By Moshe Weizmann Opinion August 26, 2010

Moshe Weizmann is the CEO of a manpower agency

Hence, the next step is to create work environments that would constitute a softer, welcoming element to the ultra-Orthodox community – for example, a kosher kitchen, (certain) separation between men and women, maintaining a certain dress code at work, and shuttles from haredi strongholds to work (or the establishment of service centers of various companies close to haredi areas.)

It would also be worthwhile to designate certain quotas for haredim at Israeli companies, as a sort of “affirmative action.”

Haredim stone hospital construction workers

By Shmulik Hadad August 24, 2010

Radical ultra-Orthodox protestors are continuing their efforts to disrupt the construction of a new emergency room at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital.

Tuesday morning, about 30 protestors hurled stones at construction workers at the site. Police forces were called to the scene and dispersed the rioters.

Israel Poised to Be First Country to Ban Fur Trade

By Matthew Kalman August 24, 2010

Israel is set to become the first country in the world to impose a blanket ban on the import of animal fur — a move animal rights activists hope will have a domino effect around the world.

There was some opposition from religious groups representing ultra-orthodox Jews, whose traditional festive headgear, known as a shtreimel, is made partly from fox fur. Tirosh introduced a clause in her proposed legislation allowing for the import of fox fur for religious purposes.

Rabbi Metzger attacked in Shuafat

By Akiva Novick August 25, 2010

Rabbi Metzger chose not to inform the Israel Defense Forces or the Shin Bet’s VIP security unit, and an investigation was not launched into the incident.

Last week, Metzger escaped from another event after being chased by dozens of Neutrei Karta members at a bookstore in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim, where books are sold in English by a woman.

1st Haredi pre-military prep course underway

By Akiva Novick August 24, 2010

Pre-military preparatory courses have been part and parcel with the IDF experience for some time now, so much so that various options have sprung up over the years. A young person facing enlistment can choose from a religious, secular, or Druze preparatory course. There is even a prep course for religious girls. This year, another pre-military preparatory course joins the 36 that already exist – a haredi preparatory course.

In the haredi world, where enlistment into the military is almost completely shunned, such a course is a real breakthrough.

“This is another aspect of the change the haredi public is undergoing,” explained David Zoldan, one of the first soldiers in Nahal Haredi.

Rabbis Release IAF Romania Crash Widows of Vows

By Gil Ronen August 26, 2010

A special Beit Din (Jewish religious court) was convened Thursday upon the completion of the 30 day period of mourning for the six IAF airmen killed in a crash in Romania.

It issued a final confirmation of the deaths of the airmen, in order to release the widows of their status as married women and enable them to remarry, if at some future date they choose to do so.

Politics, alleged fraud disturb Jerusalem cemetery

By Dalia Nammari, Matti Friedman AP August 23, 2010

A political battle over a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem that began with charges of insensitivity leveled at plans for a museum of religious tolerance at the site has spread into a more curious fight about whether hundreds of nearby tombstones are even real.

Flights to Uman Filling Up

By Elad Benari August 26, 2010

As Rosh Hashanah, the New Year holiday, nears, preparations for the traditional annual pilgrimage to the gravesite of Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav begin.

“This year is a special year and there will likely be more people flying out,” said [trip organizer] Gabbai. “The Israeli Airports Authority has issued 18,000 flight permits. Every year in the past, twelve flights went out to Uman. This year there will be nineteen.”

Creating a feminine space

By Raphael Ahren August 27, 2010

Like most of the 20-odd seminaries catering to English speakers in Israel, Shirat Devorah – which opened its doors last week and currently has 11 students – teaches its young women Bible, Jewish philosophy, history and halakha. However, Mason says she tailors her program to today’s Modern Orthodox women’s spirituality.

“We want to create a very feminine space, by women, for women, thinking about how women experience life, how women learn best.”

Those noisy barbarians

By Noam Ben Ze’ev August 23, 2010

Dov Lior, the chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron:

“There has been a downfall since World War II. … I call this boogie-woogie and they call it pop. It expresses people’s animalistic and lower urges. This noisy, fast rhythm is unlike that of the Hasidim, who sang with devotion and could do so for hours. Its very basis is improper: urges without any elevating principle. It must absolutely be avoided. … That kind of thing is in the jungle.”

SLIDESHOW: Women-only fashion fair brings together religious Jewish females

AP August 25, 2010

A women only semi-annual designer fair in Jerusalem, held ahead of the Jewish holidays, brought together a mostly religious crowd seeking designer clothes and accessories within the Jewish Orthodox limits of modestly.

Modest Chic Now Grabbing Market Share

By Michele Chabin August 24, 2010

Once a tiny niche market aimed almost exclusively at fervently Orthodox Jews, the modest clothing industry has blossomed in Israel — and abroad — in recent years, after designers and retailers began to realize the buying power of modesty-oriented Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Shul cleaner indicted for sexual abuse August 27, 2010

A cleaner who worked in a synagogue was indicted by the Jerusalem District Court on Friday on charges of sexual abusing at the place of worship minors between the ages of eight and thirteen. The suspect has also been charged with sodomy and attempted sodomy.

A police representative at the suspect’s remand hearing alleged that the congregation’s rabbis were aware of the man’s conduct but had failed to inform police.

Netivot woman paid ‘to lure rabbi’

By Yaakov Lappin August 26, 2010

Police are investigating suspicions that a woman equipped with recording equipment was paid to attempt to lure Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan of Netivot, also known as the “x-ray,” into carrying out immodest acts, as part of an attempt to damage his reputation.

Netivot official said to have sent seductress to ‘X-ray rabbi’

By Tomer Zarchin August 27, 2010

The southern town of Netivot has never seen anything like it – a religious figure known as the “X-ray rabbi” and a femme fatale honey trap caught in a web of intrigue involving lust, blackmail and a lot of money.

Police suspect the city comptroller, at the behest of a rival kabbalist rabbi, of helping arrange for the young woman to seduce the popular Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Ifergan and film the encounter.

‘Sinner’ singer given 39 lashes by rabbis August 27, 2010

A singer who performed in front of a “mixed audience” of men and women was lashed 39 times to make him “repent,” after a ruling by a self-described rabbinic court on Wednesday.

A Grim Teaching

By Yehudah Mirsky August 27, 2010

Every first-year law student knows that hard cases make bad law. In Israel, a particularly hard case lies in the ongoing controversy around an inflammatory Hebrew-language volume of Jewish religious law (halakhah) that offers justifications for violent treatment of non-Jews in general and of Israel’s foes in particular.

The debate has highlighted longstanding divisions within Israeli society; now that the courts and the police have gotten into the act, it has also highlighted the difficulties of drawing meaningful lines between free speech and incitement.

Uman Rosh Hashana

By Rabbi Ari Enkin Opinion August 24, 2010

It’s time to address the widespread practice among Israeli followers of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov of leaving Eretz Yisrael to spend Rosh Hashana at his gravesite in Uman each year – and I really will try to be balanced.

Iftar: Muslims, Jews, Christians discuss fasting

By Zuzana Barak August 26, 2010

Jewish, Muslim and Christian clergy gathered on Wednesday evening in Jerusalem to discuss the commonalities between the three faiths and hold a joint iftar meal, at the break of that day’s Ramadan fast.

Those participating in the event at Mishkenot Sha’ananim strove to bring believers together under a banner of religious tolerance, coexistence and cooperation.

Acre Iftar meal honors nation’s Muslim citizens

By Jonah Mandel August 25, 2010

Nearly 600 people of a plethora of religions convened in Acre on Monday evening for a festive Iftar meal, marking the end of that day’s Ramadan fast and paying tribute to the country’s Muslim citizens.

VIDEO: Jews of all Generations Return to the Jewish Quarter

By Eli Stutz August 25, 2010

Hundreds of past and present Jewish residents of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem came together yesterday for a multi-generational meeting, to celebrate 40 years since the renewal of Jewish settlement in the Jewish Quarter. Arutz Sheva spoke with several participants, who told about how life there has changed over the years.

No Saints in Jerusalem

By Mati Milstein August 24, 2010

While diplomatic negotiations founder, archaeologists continue digging in the Holy Basin, pulling up new evidence and inevitably adding fuel to the political fire.

“There is a sort of thinking that one side is right and the other is wrong,” Finkelstein says. “But, in my opinion, there are no saints in Jerusalem.”

West Bank Rabbis: Only Jews to renovate Joseph’s Tomb

By Kobi Nahshoni August 26, 2010

Following Ynet’s report on an agreement that the Palestinian Agreement would restore Joseph’s Tomb, a group of rabbis from Samaria is demanding that the renovation work be carried out by Israeli Jews only.

There’s something about Mary’s Spring

By Gil Zohar August 27, 2010

Ein Kerem, the birthplace of John the Baptist, where Mary of Nazareth is said to have visited her equally pregnant cousin Elisabeth, “is for all the generations,” said Richter.

“We in Jerusalem have a responsibility to preserve these biblical vistas.”

Jerusalem’s Ein Karem under threat

By Noam Dvir August 25, 2010

This is a classic case of preservation versus development – the residents want to stop development while the authorities want to exploit the surrounding open areas for construction.

Their dream is to develop Ein Karem as an eco-tourism village without large hotels and heavy tourism infrastructures.

All for a synagogue

By Noah Kosharek August 29, 2010

Neve Shalom, southwest of Neve Tzedek, is one of Tel Aviv’s hottest real estate spots, and Reami is determined to keep the synagogue from being demolished. The dispute between has at times turned violent, and involved police complaints and counter-complaints.

Mounting Tensions

By Kamoun Ben-Shimon August 24, 2010

A growing movement among Jews strives to assert sovereignty over the Temple Mount.

“The Temple Mount has always been at the center of national awareness,” says Dr. Shmuel Berkovitz. “The call of the rabbis from the Zionist religious movement has enhanced the longing that has always existed for site.

Currently,” he concludes, “there is a vacuum of sovereignty on the Mount. And we all know that a vacuum like this cannot be sustained.”

Entering the Temple Mount—in Halacha and Jewish History

By Gedalia Meyer and Henoch Messner Hakira 30

[T]he time has come to review the issues and bring them up to date. The goals of this article are to do exactly that: to lay out the primary sources on the subject, to state the main opinions of the Rishonim, to chronicle the historical development of the Temple Mount, to clarify the archaeological issues and debates, and to present the various opinions of modern rabbinic authorities.

Religion and State in Israel

August 30, 2010 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

Editor – Joel Katz

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

All rights reserved.

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