Religion and State in Israel – September 27, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

September 27, 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.

40,000 throng Western Wall Plaza for Birkat Hakohanim September 26, 2010

Some 40,000 Jewish worshipers thronged the Western Wall Plaza Sunday to take part in the bi-annual Priestly Blessing, which usually occurs on the second intermediate days of Sukkot and Pesach.

Click here for VIDEO

Video by Kuvien-Yehuda Boltshauser & Co.

[flickr video=4062093418 secret=f6bbc88f7f w=480 h=270]

Thousands attend Priestly Blessing in Jerusalem

By Kobi Nahshoni September 26, 2010

Some 15,000 people participated in the traditional Priestly Blessing in the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Among the worshippers were Israel’s Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar as well as Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall.

Court: Renters can build courtyard sukkah over owners’ objections

By Yair Ettinger September 21, 2010

Do tenants have the right to build a sukkah – a temporary structure erected to celebrate the Sukkot holiday – in the courtyard of an apartment building over the objections of the building’s owners?

According to Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Judge Idit Berkowitz, the answer is yes.

No shortage of palm fronds anticipated

By Jonah Mandel September 21, 2010

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon recently informed Religious Services Minister Ya’acov Margi that no shortage of palm fronds is expected this year, since the barriers to the import of the lulavim have been successfully removed.

As holiday nears, growers say summer heat ruined etrogim

By Eli Ashkenazi September 21, 2010

The growers need to be aware of the specific demands of each community: Lithuanian Haredi Jews don’t place too much importance on whether or not there is a pitam, a stigma at one end of the fruit, while some Hasidic communities see it as a priority.

[A]fter years in which the market knew only small quantities of etrogim from Italy and Morocco, Mexico has begun exporting the fruit to America. Some 100,000 non-Israeli etrogim are marketed in Jewish communities abroad, mostly for those who object to buying produce from Israel.

‘Tis the season, to smuggle etrogs

By Amiram Cohen September 22, 2010

Customs inspectors at Ben-Gurion International Airport yesterday caught no less than seven people, most of them from France, trying to sneak in a total of 400 of the inedible fruits, one of the Four Species used as a symbol during the Feast of the Tabernacles holiday.

A mitzvah of art

By Tamar Rotem September 24, 2010

Aryeh Grossman, a reporter for the Haredi newspaper Yated Ne’eman, who also remembers those sukkot from his childhood, says that children no longer go to see sukkot. Maybe that’s because the booths have disappeared from the courtyards and moved to the balconies.

Feminists march in Mea Shearim

By Kobi Nahshoni September 24, 2010

The Eda Haredit’s consideration to bar women from the main street in the haredi Jerusalem neighborhood Mea Shearim during the Sukkot holiday has sparked a secular-religious clash that is likely to peak over the holiday.

A group of Jerusalem women announced that it will hold a demonstration in the epicenter of the extremist haredi stronghold in the city in protest against the increasing radicalization and damage to haredi women’s status within the community.

Burning questions, not burning bridges

By Tamar Rotem September 22, 2010

During the first Beit Meir conference, Rabbi Adler presented a survey about the newly observant, conducted by him for the American-based Wolfson Foundation, which supports Orthodox educational projects and institutions.

Adler interviewed people who work to convince secular Jews to become Orthodox, and heads of yeshivas and other religious institutions attended by hozrim betshuva.

He indicated that problems faced by the newly observant constitute a “time bomb” for the Haredi world. Indeed, in recent years it seems that the latter was not prepared for the mass influx of hozrim betshuva – among them people belonging to marginal social groups, even criminals.

Today, for the first time, the established ultra-Orthodox community apparently doesn’t want some of these people among its ranks.

The new Haredim: Educated, surfing soldiers in the army

By Nati Tucker September 21, 2010

On the one hand, the rabbinic and political leadership is trying with all its might to preserve the principle of separateness, even to the point of not having an idea about how Western society works. The goal is to do everything possible to prevent young Haredim from desiring the permissive world of the non-religious – even at the price of poverty.

On the other hand, the ultra-Orthodox community is no longer a small and conformist community. Under the surface, things are starting to boil over.

Bank of Israel chief to fight poverty in ultra-Orthodox sector

By Nati Tucker September 21, 2010

Central bank governor Stanley Fischer:

“…I think we have to look at the other side: the problem of education that would enable people to succeed in today’s Israel.”

“To find good jobs the men need academic studies,” he said. They can study Torah in the morning and then work in the afternoon, the governor added.

Bank of Israel: Only 39% of Haredi men work

By Nati Tucker September 21, 2010

Among Haredim, only 39% of the men work, Flug said – though the trend of finding jobs, among both men and women of the community, has been modestly increasing.

There are grounds for optimism as far as education is concerned. The number of Haredim studying at institutions of higher education rose fivefold, from 375 in 2005 to almost 2,000 last year.

First learn Haredi values by heart

By Yossi Elituv Opinion September 21, 2010

The author is a rabbi and journalist, a member of the council of the Second Authority for Television and Radio and the deputy editor of the Haredi newspaper Mishpacha.

Many of the numbers in the headlines simply do not match reality. Real employment is much higher than what the figures show. The desire to work of those who do not sit and study Torah all day, after receiving permission from their rabbis, is much much greater than any of the studies pretend to show.

Haredi extremists versus visitors – women are not invited

By Yair Ettinger September 22, 2010

The posters put up Tuesday in Mea She‘arim, a Haredi neighborhood of Jerusalem, answered some questions about what to expect during the week-long Sukkot holiday, and especially the mid-holiday Simhat Beit Hasho’eva celebrations. On one hand, contrary to rumors, women will not be forcibly prevented from entering the neighborhood. On the other, women are definitely not invited.

Haredim want King David statue moved

By Tzipi Malkov September 21, 2010

A large statue of King David, currently overlooking the ancient figure’s tomb on Mount Zion, may be moved soon because of haredi pressure.

According to Jerusalem Municipality’s art advisor, David Suzana, officials are already searching for a new spot to place the statue. “It just makes my blood boil,” he says.

Haredi protest may bring down King David

By Melanie Lidman September 14, 2010

[U]ltra-Orthodox city council members, including Deputy Mayor Yitzhak Ze’ev Pindrus, announced they were asking to move the statue to a different place on Mount Zion farther from the tomb, or a public park.

Some opposition members are worried that honoring this demand will lead to a host of other requests to move statues in the capital.

En route to theocracy?

By Assaf Wohl Opinion September 21, 2010

[T]he Shas movement is in the process of completing its build-up and acquisition of political clout. Now it no longer makes do with activity that aims to benefit its constituency.

While Ashkenazi haredi parties mostly care about budgets, IDF service exemptions, and other communal bonuses and maintain a low profile on matters that to not pertain to their internal affairs, Shas aims much higher.

Haredim spend average NIS 1,300 on clothes for High Holidays

By Meirav Crystal September 24, 2010

Ahead of the High Holidays, the haredi public spent about NIS 100 million (about $26.7 million) on clothes for their families, according to a study performed by Mutagim Market Research for the haredi sector of Habetzefer Advertising School.

What happens when Rabbi Ovadia dies?

By Gil Hoffman and Jonah Mandel September 24, 2010

Shas’s critics believe that when the rabbi goes, so does his party, and the country’s political landscape will change dramatically overnight.

The six or seven mandates Shas gets from people who are not haredi could return to secular parties. Shas will no longer be the kingmaker in coalition horse-trading. A secular national-unity government that could then more easily be formed could make vast changes in the framework of Israeli politics and society.

How politics hurt Israel’s Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

By Anshel Pfeffer September 21, 2010

So who is the real Rav Ovadia?

A sophisticated man of peace or a racist rabble-rouser? The leading halachic theorist of his generation or a populist reactionary?

Shas, a permanent fixture in almost every government since 1984, may have consolidated his political power and public influence, but it has also taken away attention from his real life’s work; over 40 volumes of responsa, halachah and commentary designed to update Jewish law to
a daily modern law.

It has also forced him to acquiesce to the party’s right-wing line rather than alienate voters.

Teen Shas backers celebrate Ovadia Yosef’s 90th b-day

By Yair Ettinger September 21, 2010

Scores of young Shas supporters turned up yesterday at the house of the movement’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to mark his 90th birthday.

The Murder Midrash

By Kamoun Ben-Shimon September 19, 2010

A controversial treatise, ‘Torat Hamelekh,’ raises questions about a purported ‘Jewish morality’ and the role of rabbis in society.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the army affiliated yeshiva in Petah Tikva and considered one of the most prominent moderate voices of the religious Zionist camp, denounced the meeting in the harshest terms.

“Whoever convenes a meeting solely on this topic [the alleged insult to the Torah] and does not, at the same time, completely distance himself from what is written in this book is a sinner,” he tells The Jerusalem Report.

Overhaul in Israel’s Bible education

By Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad September 20, 2010

The new program will also make it mandatory for students of the 7th-12th grades to use the Bible text and Jewish commentaries alone and no longer be aided by various booklets.

It was revealed that many students have never opened an actual Bible during their studies as there were aid books offering short summaries in easy language at hand.

Mind the Gap: An Inside Look at Israel’s Education System

Yossi Vardi on Core Curriculum in Haredi Schools

High tech not connected to economy

By Noa Parag September 21, 2010

Yossi Vardi:

“I view with horror the State’s response to the High Court of Justice regarding studies in math and English (NP: the petition to enforce the core curriculum in the Haredi-ultra orthodox sector).

Without those two subjects, I do not believe it is possible to be involved in anything connected to the 21st century. I would be happy to see this topic being put in its appropriate place.”

Body of man murdered in Uman to be flown to Israel

By Kobi Nahshoni September 26, 2010

The body of Shmuel Tubul, the 19-year-old Breslov Hassid who was stabbed to death in Uman, Ukraine during a brawl with local youngsters was released from the hospital after an autopsy was performed only on the stab wound area, ZAKA chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said Sunday.

Tubul’s funeral is scheduled to take place in Jerusalem on Monday after his body is flown to Israel.

Shas ministers trying to prevent Breslov man’s autopsy

By staff and Ben Hartman September 26, 2010

Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced Sunday that he would intercede with Ukrainian authorities to prevent an autopsy from being performed on the body of stabbing victim, Shmuel Menachem Tobol.

“If it is necessary, I will fly to Uman to prevent the autopsy,” Yishai said.

Breslov Hasid murdered in Uman

By Kobi Nahshoni September 26, 2010

Shmuel Tubul, a 19-year-old Breslov Hasid, was stabbed to death early Sunday morning in the town of Uman, Ukraine, and his brother was lightly injured in a brawl between several local residents.

The murder dumbfounded Breslov community members in Israel and around the world, and Ukraine’s chief Rabbi expressed fear that local authorities might attempt to whitewash the grave incident.

Resurrection of the

By Akiva Novick September 20, 2010

Chevra Kadisha, Israel’s burial society, has never known a recession, which naturally makes sense, as death never takes a vacation.

Over the past few months, the burial society has invested significant resources in upgrading its technological services, in the hopes of helping those looking for a loved one’s final resting place to find it more easily.

ZAKA expanding to Druze, Arab towns

By Ahiya Raved September 23, 2010

Voluntary rescue organization ZAKA is to expand its activities and set up units among the non-Jewish population in the north of Israel.

“Just as in our courses a rabbi guides us on how to handle the deceased, in courses for the new volunteers there’ll be a sheikh or qadi (Druze religious leader),” Farkash said.

Karaite Jews prepare for Succot with a lemon twist

By Gil Shefler September 22, 2010

[T]he biggest Karaite Succot gathering of about 300 people is expected to take place at their ancient synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City on the third day of Succot. But if you’d like to show up at the event and witness the unusual traditions of this branch of Judaism, just remember they’re on a slightly different time than the rest of us.

Religion and State in Israel

September 27, 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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