Religion and State in Israel – November 29, 2010 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

November 29, 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.

Is Shas’ rebel rabbi a Haredi harbinger of change?

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion November 26, 2010

The “studying society” is no longer economically sustainable and if the rabbis do not lead their followers out of deepening penury, they will have a full-fledged rebellion on their hands.

A generation from now, Rabbi Amsellem’s “heretical opinions” will be accepted wisdom, long after Chaim Amsellem the politician is forgotten.

Yishai publicly slams Amsalem; MK appointed bodyguard

By Jonah Mandel November 25, 2010

Earlier on Thursday, Shas newspaper Yom Leyom took the hostilities against Amsalem to new heights, comparing the lawmaker to Amalek.

The front page of the weekly paper, as well as much of a supplement, were dedicated to Amsalem, the Shas Council of Torah Sages’s Monday decision, and elaborations on the “sinful ways” of the MK.

Ultra-Orthodox Israeli draws ire with call to work

By Aron Heller AP November 26, 2010

Erez Tzfadia, a public policy expert from southern Israel’s Sapir Academic College who has researched Shas extensively, said the rare rebellion marks a watershed moment for Shas.

He said the party has morphed from its initial mission of providing welfare for the lower class to becoming a right-wing party with an extreme religious doctrine.

“Shas failed in immersing its constituency because it couldn’t improve their status … the project failed and the gaps continued to grow,” he said. “Instead, they now focus on Judaism and on hating the ‘other’ as a way of belonging. The name of the game is belonging.”

Restoring the crown to former glory

By Yair Ettinger Opinion November 26, 2010

Q: Are you still an emissary of your rabbis?

Shas MK Amsallem:

“No. That’s over. I am no one’s emissary. I am completely independent. This is an exit to freedom.

Until now, the rabbis could tell me, ‘Do this, or do that.’ I think this is a kind of maturity the public in Israel needs. Rabbis should engage in Torah and legal rulings and yeshiva heads should teach Torah.

I will consult with rabbis, but with all due respect, I am not interested in having one set of rabbis or anther impose things at the level of a Council of Sages or Greats. With the councils, when rabbis are fed by politicos – only bad things come of it. Rabbis should be obeyed but this whole style, which is a copy of the Ashkenazi style, just doesn’t look right to me.”

Amsalem defies Ovadia Yosef’s order to quit Knesset

By Jonah Mandel November 24, 2010

Key to Amsalem’s approach, and perhaps what is most problematic to his party’s line, is his call on those who aren’t destined to be great Torah scholars and who have families to work, and not live on “shameful” allotments.

Ousted Shas MK refuses to give up Knesset seat

By Yair Ettinger November 24, 2010

“We can and must follow rabbis, but this whole style, which is a copy of the Ashkenazi style, a confederation of rabbinical courts, just doesn’t appeal to me,” he said.

Earlier this week, Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef said, “Some are saying yeshivas are great for wise students, who will be judges, who will be rabbis. Whoever isn’t should go to work.

Israel’s No. 1 politician

By Emmanuel Rosen Opinion November 24, 2010

Leadership and the need for research work and orderly decision-making are replaced by smalltime politics, and Shas is smalltime politics at its finest.

It’s all about bargaining and scratching each other’s back, and all is enveloped by the rabbi’s holy robe. Yet behind the robe hides the truth, and it’s a sad one.

Brotherly hate in Israel

By Yair Lapid Opinion November 27, 2010

“I think you need to join the army,” I said. “I think you need to get help in order to integrate into the job market, and I think your children should study math and English. I also think that if, instead of doing this, you wish to study at the yeshiva, there is no reason for me to pay your salary.

What does that have to do with hatred?

Elyashiv: Alleged yeshiva misdeeds damaging to Haredim

By Jonah Mandel November 23, 2010

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the most respected halachic authority in the Ashkenazi haredi world, spoke out in the most harsh terms against the possibility that three haredi educational institutions defrauded the state of dozens of millions of shekels.

Rabbi Elyashiv: ‘Law of pursuer’ for fraud

By Kobi Nahshoni November 23, 2010

The Rabbi Elyashiv’s statements are unusually harsh, as the spiritual leader used a term that in its halachic form demands a death sentence.

And yet, it is clear that in this case, the term has been used in order to stress the seriousness of the situation and not in order to promote physical violence against those involved.

Court orders six suspects in forged yeshiva student ID scam to remain in custody

By Yair Ettinger and Nir Hasson November 23, 2010

Six men suspected of defrauding the state by presenting the Education Ministry with forged identity cards had their remand extended yesterday by five days in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

Police believe they presented more than a thousand fake IDs to gain stipends for fictitious yeshiva students.

Elyashiv: If it’s true, ‘din rodef’ should apply to thieves

By Jonah Mandel November 22, 2010

“If the story turns out to be true, the thieves should be considered pursuers (din rodef),” the most respected halachic authority within the Ashkenazi haredi world was quoted as saying Sunday night, explaining that their alleged deeds were unacceptable and would cause irreversible damage to haredim everywhere.

Police: Haredi ID fraud spanned years

By Yair Altman November 22, 2010

The police began to covertly monitor the illegal activity a few months ago, when members of the Neturei Karta sect found out their names were being used to receive stipends from the State, and informed law enforcement officials.

Police: Haredim embezzled millions in ID fraud

By Yair Altman November 21, 2010

“The organizations we raided worked as factories through and through, systematically producing fake IDs, some for students not studying at yeshivas and some for people who do not exist,” said Chief-Superintendant Haim Shmueli, who headed the raid.

Police bust Haredi sect suspected of forging ID cards for state funding

By Yair Ettinger and Nir Hasson November 22, 2010

Police suspect that the Masmidim forged ID cards of Eda Haredit members whose education was not funded by the government. Police said the operation was an effort to inflate the amount of state funding the Masmidim received.

Haredi ministers get threatening letters too

By Roni Sofer November 22, 2010

Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman on Monday received threat letters containing a suspicious powder. The police checked the powder and ordered the two not to enter their offices.

Similar envelopes with curses and white powder were received Sunday by two United Torah Judaism Knesset members.

Up to 20 years for ‘abusive rabbi’ followers

By Aviad Glickman November 23, 2010

Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday handed down a sentence of imprisonment to four followers of “abusive rabbi” Elior Chen, who was found guilty of child abuse.

One of the Hasidim, David Kugman, was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, while Avraham Maskalchi and Shimon Gabai were given 17 years. Roi Tzoref, whose role in the affair was relatively small, was sentenced to two and a half years.

Followers of Israeli ‘rabbi’ accused of child abuse sentenced for complicity

By Nir Hasson November 23, 2010

The child abuse affair was uncovered two years ago, when a child Chen had been treating was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel. He is now on trial at the Jerusalem District Court.

Haredi women go under the knife

By Tzofia Hirschfeld November 24, 2010

Something is happening to our woman of valor. She is no longer satisfied with sewing and selling sheets or with making belts for Canaanites. Even compliments from her husband, sitting with the elders, do not lift her spirits anymore.

…Dr. Fried summarizes:

“We must remember that the ultra-Orthodox society isn’t a herd of animals locked behind a gate. The have very similar problems to those of the secular society. Emotionally, we are all human beings and we all want to feel good about our bodies.”

Facing up to the fear

By Ruth Eglash November 26, 2010

While Rachel’s story is indicative of many women in physically abusive relationships, what sets her apart from the majority of victims seeking help is that she was raised in a religious family, and the shelter where she sought refuge three months ago is Bat Melech, the only battered women’s shelter in the country for Orthodox and haredi women and their children.

Weaponry found in luggage bearing rabbi’s name in J’lem

By Jonah Mandel November 28, 2010

A piece of luggage containing an M-16 assault rifle and pistols was discovered in the parking lot of a residential building in Ganei Geula, a haredi neighborhood in Jerusalem, according to reports in the online haredi media.

Rabbi okays renting apartments to Arabs

By Kobi Nahshoni November 28, 2010

Renting out apartments to Arabs has been forbidden by Safed’s rabbis, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has also pointed out that it is forbidden, and many other rabbis remain sheepishly silent on grounds of political correctness and admit that “there is nothing to be done, this is halachic law”.

One person who disagrees with these rabbis is the head of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, who states that “it is right and correct prefer renting out apartments within our own nation, but it is not right to ban renting out apartments to Arabs.”

Israeli town launches campaign against foreign workers

By Ilan Lior November 24, 2010

Bnei Brak city hall launched a public campaign against renting flats to migrant workers and refugees two weeks ago, but it appears the municipality actually employs migrants, Haaretz has found. The city employs 10 foreign workers in its sanitary department through the subcontractor Ford Municipal Systems.

Ministries warn they can’t cope with Falash Mura influx

By Rebecca Anna Stoil November 26, 2010

Two weeks after the government’s decision to bring the nearly 8,000 remaining Falash Mura to Israel, government ministries warned Wednesday that they did not have sufficient funds to address the needs of the anticipated wave of immigrants.

During a hearing of the Knesset’s Immigration and Absorption Committee, representatives of the Welfare and Social Services, Education and Immigrant Absorption ministries all demanded additional funding and complained that the Prime Minister’s Office had refused any budgetary amendments.

Ethiopian teen attacked at mikveh

By Artzi Halfon November 22, 2010

A Bnei Brak resident barred a 13 year old Ethiopian teen from going into the mikveh recenty, claiming the boy was a “stinking kushi” (a derogatory Hebrew term for black people). He then hit the boy, his brother and his aunt.

Israel’s Un-Kosherfest

By Yechiel Spira November 25, 2010

I guess the point is that this annual food event is not to bash Israel, but to highlight what I have been preaching, that not everything in Israel is kosher, yet alone mehadrin. The free samples in Machane Yehuda and Malcha Mall have no more of a hechsher at times that the food at this event!

Religion and State in Israel

November 29, 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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