Religion and State in Israel – October 11, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 11, 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.

Treasury vs. the IDF in battle over ultra-Orthodox

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion October 7, 2010

The solution is to draft Haredi teens to ordinary army service just like other Israelis.

It is unthinkable that they be allowed to serve only where there is no chance of injury, or death, in battle. That would be absolutely unfair.

If that can’t be done, then at least Galant’s suggestion is better than Steinitz’s. If we go Galant’s route, the Haredim would both develop professions and serve in the army, too, which is still the great melting pot of Israeli society.

Religion and the IDF

By Aryeh Tepper October 4, 2010

Profound changes have been occurring in the officer ranks of the Israel Defense Force, and not everybody is happy about them; some, in fact, are downright alarmed.

…Are “the religious” taking over, as some have direly predicted? Participants at a recent conference at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies were all agreed that the fears are unfounded: the Israeli army is not about to become the long arm of rabbinic law.

Hareidi IDF Unit Celebrates Next Ten Years

By Malkah Fleisher October 10, 2010

This refusal to serve in the army has not only prevented many Hareidi men from being accepted or eligible for work, but is also a sore point among secular Israelis, who frequently chastise the Hareidi public for not taking equal responsibility for the welfare of the country and citizenry.

Yet with the advent of Nahal Hareidi, men who are interested in doing army service – and receiving educational and vocational training – can now take part under strict religious conditions. Religious Zionists account for 30% of the soldiers, but the remaining 70% come from Hareidi homes.

Nahal Haredi: a positive revolution In Israeli society

By Rabbi Hershel Billet Opinion October 8, 2010

People should realize that Nahal Haredi plays a vital role in Israel, bridging a major social gap. Many people see the haredi sector as only “takers” who do not share their most precious possessions, their sons, with the Jewish state that supports them and protects them.

Nahal Haredi partially fills that void and demonstrates that there are haredim who fight for Israel. The graduates of the Nahal Haredi will be gainfully employed, earn a living, and contribute to the Israeli economy.

Letter to settlers: Don’t enlist because of Naveh appointment

By Yair Altman October 7, 2010

A letter being distributed throughout the West Bank is calling on Jewish settlers not to enlist in the IDF due to the appointment of Maj.-Gen. (ret) Yair Naveh as next deputy army chief.

[T]he letter, which is signed by Rabbi Yossi Dayan, whose son Hananel refused to shake hands with former Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz a few years ago.

50 Protest Gender Discrimination in Jerusalem

By Sammy Hudes October 4, 2010

“Women were created in the image of God as well,” said one of the organizers, Rona Orovano on a loudspeaker. Her shirt read the words, “This is what a Jerusalem feminist looks like.” Signs in the crowd read statements such as “Jerusalem is not Tehran, the silent majority is awakening.”

Despite the criticisms, Orovano maintained her strong message. “We came here to protest against the deterioration in the status of women in Jerusalem,” she said.

“Things are getting worse for women every day. There is separation on buses. Pictures of women are removed from advertisements. Women being barred from streets, and sidewalks being separated was a red line we had to protest against.”

Fanning the flames

By Tamar Rotem October 8, 2010

This year the Sikarikim threatened not to allow women and “marginal” youth to attend the celebrations at all (the High Court of Justice prohibited the separation and the police removed the barrier ). However, among the Hasidim, they yielded, preferring to cancel the street events.

“There are things against which it is still illegitimate to fight, but people have begun to lift their heads up, without a doubt,” says an observer close to the moderate factions. “Another wretched Shoeva celebration like this, and we will have lost.”

Battle of the Sects

By Kamoun Ben-Shimon October 9, 2010

Adds Anat Hoffman, a former city councilwoman and current director of the Center for Religious Pluralism, which is allied with the Reform Movement,

“Why do these issues always focus on the attempt to police women’s bodies? Because women are a weak link in society, and so a woman’s body is an easy target for fanatics, all over the world.”

Even some of the most fervently anti-Zionist leaders now tell The Report – although on condition of anonymity – that only intervention by the reviled state can restore a modicum of calm to the haredi neighborhoods.

“The police have to get involved. They have to arrest these people, to put an end to this madness,” says Eliezer.

Going too extreme

By Peggy Cidor October 8, 2010

For the first time, haredi leaders considered “moderate” have collaborated with the police, while at the same time there are increasing indications that many of the haredi residents themselves are fed up with the extremists’ laws. According to inside observers, young couples are leaving the neighborhood slowly and quietly, and not just because they cannot afford the expensive housing.

As for [Rachel] Azaria, the fact that she and her friends, many of them religious women and men, have managed to return the public space of the haredi neighborhood to Israeli society is a giant step forward. “Mea She’arim is part of Israel again – that’s what’s important,” she concludes.

Stretching the rubber band

By Rabbi Steven Pruzansky Opinion September 28, 2010

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is spiritual leader of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey

The trends started several years back but became exacerbated in the recent past.

There are Israeli communities these days with restaurants that have no public seating, lest it lead, I suppose, to mixed eating. It is a terrible infringement on normal family life, part of which involves families eating out together or husbands and wives taking time together.

The Mehadrin bus lines that have become popular furthered this trend, with separate seating for women in the back (bad symbolism, there).

Haredim heading to college

By Hagai Einav October 7, 2010

Much of the criticism leveled at Israel’s haredi community pertains to the issue of employment. Yet at this time, more haredim choose to shatter the stigma and not only focus on Torah studies, as they increasingly seek to join the workforce.

…However, one of the difficult problems faced by haredi students is the fact that as opposed to their secular counterparts, they did not study the “core subjects” at an early age, topped by English and math.

Thousands expected at Bnei Brak funeral for Torah scrolls

By Yair Ettinger October 7, 2010

[T]he funeral, expected to be attended by thousands, including the most important of rabbis, is not for the mortal remains of mere men, but for 11 Torah scrolls damaged in a fire in the synagogue of the Vyzhnytsia hassidim, on the first day of Sukkot.

The scrolls will be buried in special urns of clay, amid special prayers and speeches by the rabbis.

Rabbis’ debate threatens hike in kosher hotdog prices

By Jonah Mandel October 8, 2010

A passionate internal debate among some of the Chief Rabbinate’s most senior members has the potential to cause a dramatic hike in the price of kosher hotdogs in Israel.

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who is also part of the 16-member Chief Rabbinate Council, stirred up a maelstrom when, during his weekly Monday night lesson, he told students that some of the major hotdog producers in Israel were using non-kosher ingredients, including pig skin, for their products’ casings, which are sold under seemingly adequate kashrut supervision.

Israelis launch kosher boycott

By Nathan Jeffay October 7, 2010

A boycott campaign is mounting against Israel’s most prestigious kosher certification.

With dozens of different kashrut seals available in Israel, hechsher snobbery is rife. Not everyone accepts every supervision label and some engender more loyalty than others.

However, virtually everybody regards “Badatz Eida Hacharedit” stamp as the gold standard, and those conscious of kashrut widely strive to buy most of their products with a Badatz seal.

Eden Teva Market goes kosher

By Navit Zomer October 6, 2010

The organic and health food supermarket chain Eden Teva Market, controlled by Alon Holdings Blue Square-Israel and Dudi Weisman is for the first time turning into a kosher supermarket under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate on Sunday.

Ministry Supervision Over Mashgichim? October 10, 2010

Click here for original Hebrew article

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel last week withdrew objections to the establishment of a new agency under the auspices of the Ministry of Religious Affairs. Such an agency would oversee the activities of the nation’s mashgichim operating under the umbrella of the local rabbinates nationwide.

[Opinion] The bill has to pass the ministerial legislative committee today, and then the Knesset, where it must pass three votes to be passed into law. Then, it must be implemented and then one must hope the tender for the manpower agencies and selection of competent mashgichim is not tainted by payoffs and foul play, as is the case in many other state-run operations.

Meitav to buy Haredi investment fund operations

By Noam Bar October 7, 2010

The Meitav investment firm will be acquiring all of the operations of Hilat Shoham, an investment company with NIS 750 million in assets under its management.

Other than Gaon, the remaining interests in Hilat Shoham are held by members of the ultra-Orthodox community.

Petition: Divulge names of neglectful mohels

By Kobi Nahshoni October 10, 2010

The Movement for Freedom of Information has demanded that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate divulge the names of mohels (ritual circumcisers) who were found to have performed botched circumcisions.

The movement claims that the Rabbinate is violating a High Court of Justice order by keeping the names secret, and petitioned the court to find the violators in contempt and subject them to the resulting fines and sentences.

Mohel who performed non-halachic circumcisions suspended

By Kobi Nahshoni October 6, 2010

An inter-ministerial committee for issues pertaining to mohels decided to suspend the mohel suspected of performing circumcisions which do not meet halachic requirements.

Mohel suspended by Rabbinate for shoddy work October 6, 2010

Although the mohel was suspended, the Rabbinate ruled that all of the previous circumcisions performed by the mohel are considered kosher.

Authorities suspect Haifa-area mohel of unkosher circumcisions

By Yair Ettinger October 4, 2010

The issue was made public two weeks ago, when the ultra-Orthodox website posted an item about a number of complaints lodged by parents against the mohel, who the site said is affiliated with the Chabad Lubavitch movement.

Weisberg said he has examined several babies and toddlers whom the mohel circumcised over the past few years, and in some cases found signs of “cosmetic flaws” in the penis.

Haaretz Cartoon by Eran Wolkowski – October 6, 2010 “Chief Scientist”

Chief scientist who questioned evolution theory fired

By Tomer Velmer October 4, 2010

The Education Ministry’s chief scientist, Dr. Gavriel Avital, was dismissed on Monday following a scandal-filled trial period of less than a year.

Sources familiar with the affair said Avital was fired over past statements he had made, in which he questioned evolution and the global warming theory.

Imposing ignorance

By Ezra Resnick Opinion October 8, 2010

[Yitzhak Levy’s, a former education minister of Israel] attempt to frame the issue as “trying to impose Western culture on Jewish culture” is especially ludicrous.

Like it or not, English is essential nowadays for virtually all knowledge-based enterprises — the majority of scientific papers are published in English, and it is the most popular language on the World Wide Web, to name just two examples. And how exactly ismathematics “Western?”

Rabbis visit Beit Fajar mosque; condemn attack

By Jonah Mandel October 5, 2010

Six of Gush Etzion’s most prominent rabbis visited the torched mosque in Beit Fajar on Tuesday to apologize for the destruction allegedly caused by Jewish vandals, and to deliver new Korans to the local imam in place of those burned in Monday’s pre-dawn arson attack on the West Bank house of worship.

Rabbis visit torched mosque, condemn attack

By Ali Waked October 5, 2010

The delegation included Rabbi Lichtenstein from Gush Etzion, Rabbi Menachem Fruman from Tekoa, Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomi Rifkin and Rabbi Shlomo Brin from Yeshivat Har Etzion.

Jewish settlers replace Korans burnt in West Bank

By Joseph Nasr October 5, 2010

“This visit is to say that although there are people who oppose peace, he who opposes peace is opposed to God,” said Rabbi Menachem Froman, a well-known peace activist and one of a handful of settlers who went to Beit Fajjar to show solidarity with their Muslim neighbors.

The Challenge of Halakhic Innovation by Rabbi Benjamin Lau

Meorot – A Forum of Modern Orthodox Discourse Tishrei 5771 2010

This article originally appeared in Hebrew in Akdamot 23, Elul 5769 (2009)

This article defines a vision of halakhah and the rabbinate that identifies with modern life and works to advance religious life within Israel and Western societies.

It argues for a halakhah and a rabbinate that is sensitive to Kelal Yisrael, Zionism and Israeli democracy, the interests of women, the handicapped and that can speak to all Jews. It wishes to return Torah its original domain— every aspect of human life.

The author rejects the superiority of halakhic stringency and advocates the use of hiddush to confront the realities of modern life, seeing the former as traditional halakhic methodology.

Institute regulates Halacha study yearly cycle

By Jonah Mandel October 4, 2010

Tzurba Merabanan, the high institute for Halacha instruction, on Sunday aligned the ranks of the thousands following its curriculum for a five-year study cycle of pertinent daily Halacha issues.

For the love of God (and country)

By Akiva Novick October 4, 2010

A new halachic study ruled that seducing an enemy agent for the sake of national security is an important mitzvah, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

The ruling, made by Rabbi Ari Shvat, was included in the latest issue of “Tehumin,” an annual collection of articles about Jewish law and modernity, which is published by the Zomet Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to seamlessly merging Halachic Judaism with modern Israeli life.

Rabbi declares sleeping with the enemy kosher

By Lahav Harkov October 6, 2010

Tzomet’s director, Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, praised the study, but told DPA that “women employees of the Mossad are probably not going to come consult with a rabbi” before their missions.

The Tzomet Institute is a non-profit research institute dedicated to merging halacha with modern life.

Prominent Golan Heights rabbi accused of attempting to kill man he says raped his daughter

By Eli Ashkenazi October 4, 2010

A prominent Golan Heights rabbi and his son-in-law were arrested yesterday on suspicion of trying to kill a man they say raped the rabbi’s daughter.

The rabbi and both family members involved in the fight were also carrying clubs, and two of the men had their faces covered, police said.

Want a child? Replace your wig

By Ari Galahar October 6, 2010

An ultra-Orthodox haredi couple which could not bear children for almost three years was offered a surprising solution recently. The two consulted Rabbi Daniel Zar, who promised them that if the woman removed her wig and replaced her head covering, she would be able to conceive a child within two months.

Aish HaTorah Starting an Eco-Fellowship Program about Jewish Responsible Living

By Karen Chernick October 5, 2010

Aish HaTorah is expanding its programming on Judaism and the environment by attempting to create an eco-fellowship that will focus on “the Jewish Biblical and traditional requirements for compassionate and sustainable living and how that applies to modern times.”

Click here for VIDEO

Israeli Campus Paradox: More Jews, Less Shabbat

By R. C. Berman October 8, 2010

Chabad on Campus representatives at TAU, Rabbi (Shay) Yeshayahu and Chava Gerlitzky, have been welcoming students to their Shabbat table every week for three years now. Many of their guests are American students studying at TAU hoping to recreate their Chabad-on-Campus experiences while in Israel.

Jeremy Dery, president of Chabad at TAU’s overseas student activities, posts ads about Chabad’s Shabbat dinners on three bulletin boards in the Carter Building, the home base for overseas students, and at Einstein dorms, where nearly all overseas students live.

Rabbi: Don’t Induce Childbirth on 10/10/10 October 10, 2010

Rabbi Menachem Burstein, head of the Pu’ah Institute that works with Jewish couples with fertility problems, has issued a Halachic opinion that women close to their due dates should not try to advance their child’s delivery to Sunday – October 10, 2010.

Police arrest rabbis who urge followers not to recognize courts

By Yair Altman October 4, 2010

The central unit of Jerusalem Police arrested Rabbi Yisrael Ariel and Rabbi Doc Stein, both members of the organization ‘Sanhedrin,’ that called upon settlers and right-wing activists not to recognize the authority of the court system in Israel.

Ethiopian Community kicks off Sigd Festival

By Greer Fay Cashman October 10, 2010

Just as the Mimouna festival of Moroccan Jews and the Saharane festival of the Jews of Kurdistan have become national festivals in Israel, so the Sigd Festival which tells of the history of Ethiopian Jewry, is also entering the Israeli psyche as part of the national heritage.

Religion and State in Israel

October 11, 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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