Religion and State in Israel – February 7, 2011 (Section 2)

By ,

February 7, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)

If you are reading in email or RSS feed, please click here to read ONLINE

Editor – Joel Katz

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

Tel Aviv District Court sets precedent by upholding right of ‘aguna’

By Ruth Eglash February 3, 2011

A woman’s bid to sue her recalcitrant husband for NIS 700,000 in damages after he consistently refused her a get (Jewish divorce) for more than 16 years was upheld this week in a precedent-setting decision by the Tel Aviv District Court.

“This is indeed an important precedent,” commented attorney Susan Weiss, founder of the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ), which has represented the women since her first attempt to seek damages in Family Court through this appeal hearing in the district court.

“This is the first time a court of appeals has ruled on such a case and its decision – barring a contrary ruling by the Supreme Court – is binding on all family courts in Israel.”

She added, “This is also an important ruling for CWJ, for Israeli women, as well as for Jewish women in the Diaspora.

Divorce recalcitrant to pay NIS 700,000

By Kobi Nahshoni February 4, 2011

Judges Esther Covo, Michal Rubinstein and Ofra Czerniak wrote that the woman was take captive by her husband, who set up a prison for her from the moment she agreed to marry him.

“The wife was entitled to a divorce from the moment she sought it, all the more so when she married the appellant at the age of 24, lived with him for only three months, and was not content with him,” the judges wrote.

“Today she is close to 40 and continues to suffer from the appellant’s cruel behavior towards her… The state of events described is immoral and contradicts the basic law of man’s dignity and freedom.”

Haredi world mulls acceptance of civil unions

By Jonah Mandel February 3, 2011

As the Ashkenazi haredi establishment grapples with senior Sephardi adjudicator Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s recent endorsement of the military conversions, a new initiative is reportedly seeking to galvanize the haredi rabbinic leadership in favor of expanding the option of civil unions in Israel.

According to Mishpacha, a widely read haredi weekly, a group of unnamed but prominent rabbis and Halacha adjudicators are this weekly beginning to present their proposal to the haredi rabbinic leadership for its scrutiny and decision.

Letter to the Editor

In response to the article “Rabbis claim new powers in divorces of couples married in civil unions,” January 14, 2011

By Nadia Zeldes February 2, 2011

…I assume that the witnesses who were present during the civil unions were not religious Jews, meaning that these marriages do not have halakhic validity.

Israel Supreme Court hears arguments for and against overturning Tal Law

By Dan Izenberg January 29, 2011

The Supreme Court strenuously questioned the statistics which the state presented on Sunday to try to prove that it had made great strides in implementing the Tal Law since a previous hearing in June 2007.

“There has been a significant change in the number of people who have enlisted in the army or volunteered for public service,” the state’s representative, Osnat Mandel, head of the High Court Section of the State Attorney’s Office, told the court.

The Red Beret and the Rabbis

By Shmuel Rosner Jewish Review of Books Number 4, Winter 2011

The product of a Religious Zionist upbringing, Stern grew up in Tel Aviv, joined the paratroopers, became the commanding officer of a platoon, and rose through the ranks to become the commander of the IDF officer school, the Chief Education Officer, and, in his last post, the IDF Manpower Chief.

He has written a book in which he tells us just how much better he has always understood things than have many generals, most rabbis, and all politicians.

Israeli Army Battles New Dangers Within

By Pierre Klochendler February 3, 2011

Demography is the key. Their constituency growing, religious parties have over the years become influential.

It’s no wonder then that politics is stronger than Israel’s military might, coalitions more powerful than the great national unifier – especially when coalitions, such as that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, depend heavily on its ultra-orthodox component.

Haredi rabbi’s feminist daughter joining Kadima

By Jonathan Lis February 4, 2011

The daughter of Rabbi Menachem Eliezer Moses, chairman of the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) United Torah Judaism faction, is planning to contend for a place on Kadima’s Knesset list and advance a feminist agenda.

Heidi Moses abandoned the ultra-Orthodox world about five years ago, after many years in which she felt it was no longer suitable for her.

Survey: Haredim prefer kosher businesses

By Nati Tucker January 31, 2011

Ultra-Orthodox favor religiously observant businesses: 78% of Haredim said they would not patronize a company that operates on Shabbat, according to a survey by the Dahaf Institute for the Haredi newspaper Hamevasser.

New start-up: Kosher clothing stores

By Ari Galahar January 31, 2011

An extreme ultra-Orthodox body has established a kashrut department supervising clothing stores in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim and Geula neighborhoods.

Haredi women have begun supervising businesses in the neighborhoods on behalf of the new department, checking whether the clothes sold in the stores meet the requirements of Jewish Law. The department’s findings will be published across the neighborhoods.

Haredi man convicted of sexually assaulting minors in Jerusalem January 31, 2011

In Kahalani’s verdict, Judges Tzvi Segal, Moshe Drori and Moshe Cohen wrote that the children who were victims “grew up in a religious environment, in a conservative and closed society.

They trusted the defendant and believed he was their friend, and he took advantage of their innocence and abused them behind closed doors.”

Photo Gallery Slideshow: At the Hassidic courtyards

Click here for PHOTOS

Gil Cohen-Magen, Photographer


90% of Hareidi Women Succeed in Payroll Management Course

By Elad Benari February 1, 2011

New and suitable employment opportunities are opening up to Hareidi women, in addition to the traditional education and secretarial fields which were almost their only options in the past.

A payroll management course is concluding these days in the Modi’in Illit branch of the Hareidi Center for Vocational Training and, as the results of the official examination by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants indicate, 90 percent of the Hareidi women who took the course passed the exam.

‘Taliban women’: A cover story

By Akiva Novick February 6, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox “Jewish Taliban” cult is one of the most extreme groups ever established in Israel. Established over six years ago, when haredi women tried to fight immodesty in Israel, the group’s members decided to wear a robe covering their bodies from the shoulders down.

This cult now has hundreds of members all over the country. Their motto is clear: Cover up as much as you can in the name of modesty.

Film director Anat Zuria (“Purity”, “Sentenced to Marriage”) has encountered these “Taliban women” while working on one of her films. “Many of them were newly-religious,” she said. “They talked about returning to our modest roots, dressing like our mothers from past generations.”

VIDEO: “360” TV Investigative Report on Ultra-Orthodox Cult of Veil-Wearers (Hebrew)

Click here for VIDEO


UTJ Dep. Educ. Minister Porush to quit Knesset as a part of rotation agreement

By Gil Hoffman and Rebecca Anna Stoil February 2, 2011

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush intends to submit his resignation to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, due to an agreement between the Lithuanian and hassidic parties that make up the United Torah Judaism faction.

Hundreds protest ‘neglect’ at Cave of Patriarchs

By Kobi Nahshoni February 2, 2011

According to the worshippers, the collapse of the roof at the site’s “Chatzer” hall is indicative of deficient maintenance, which, according to them, goes against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to include the Cave of Patriarchs in his national heritage plan.

A haredi rabbi’s journey into the lion’s den

By Jonah Mandel February 4, 2011

Rabbi Israel Meir Gabbai returned to Israel last Tuesday after over a week in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he visited and prayed at the sites believed to be the burial places of biblical figures such as prophets Daniel and Habakkuk, Daniel’s contemporaries Hanania, Mishael and Azaria, and local Jewish heroes Mordechai and Esther.

Click here for VIDEO

Israeli organ donations soar after soccer star dies

By Maayan Lubell February 4, 2011

Dvora Szerer, spokeswoman for the Transplant Center said transplants suddenly increased by 150 percent in the weeks after the highly emotional moment when Cohen’s son announced on national television that his father had been pronounced brain dead “which is to say, he has died.”

“Avi Cohen’s death came up in every conversation with the donors’ families,” Szerer said. Awareness was raised and readiness to donate jumped.

Case for Organ Donation Remains Solid

By Baruch A. Brody and Shlomo M. Brody Opinion February 2, 2011

Baruch A. Brody is the Leon Jaworski Professor of Biomedical Ethics and director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine. Rabbi Shlomo M. Brody, a member of the RCA, teaches at Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem and writes the “Ask the Rabbi” column for The Jerusalem Post. They are father and son.

Does Jewish law allow the donation of organs from brain-dead patients in order to save lives? The recent report by the Rabbinical Council of America’s Vaad Halacha, or committee on Jewish law, suggests that new medical information should cause us to answer “no.”

The Chief Rabbi is being disingenuous

By Robert Berman February 2, 2011

The writer is founder and director, Halachic Organ Donor Society

Symposium on the Ethics of Brain Death and Organ Donation I

Symposium on the Ethics of Brain Death and Organ Donation II

Brain Death Is Final

(may require subscription)

By Robert Berman

Classic authors bumped from religious curriculum

By Tomer Velmer February 3, 2011

During a recent conference of the High School Principals’ Association, Dr. Zvi Zameret, the head of the Education Ministry’s Pedagogical Secretariat, has expressed concern that 40% of last year’s national religious high school graduates were not tested on literature.

Rightists seek to reward firms that don’t hire gentiles February 2, 2011

The extremist right-wing Lehava organization, which has the stated goal of combating Jewish assimilation in Israel, will begin providing special certification to dozens of businesses in the coming weeks that commit to employing only Jews, several activists from the organization said yesterday.

NIF Grantees Attack “Jews Only” Kosher Certificates for Employers February 3, 2011

NIF grantee 12 Heshvan: Promoting Tolerance in an Orthodox Context Executive Director Dr. Gadi Gvaryahu said that his organization will consider issuing certificates of merit to businesses if they employ minorities and foreign workers.

He said, “We will remind the Jewish people that the Torah warns us in 36 places to treat the stranger well.”

Interview: Religious group aims for yet another Jewish settlement, in Jaffa

By Gili Cohen January 31, 2011

Itai Granek is 25 years old and the director of the Garin Torani – religious Zionists who try to help underdeveloped communities. Granek’s group in Jaffa, which was set up about three years ago, includes about 50 families.

There has been tension with local people who characterize the group’s activities as an attempt to put up “a Jewish settlement in Jaffa.”

How to promote stability

By Merav Michaeli Opinion January 31, 2011

The growing religious fundamentalism in Israel is actually Jewish, not Muslim. While the Arab population here becomes more secular, the religious Jewish public is getting stronger.

Instead of fearing Muslims in power in Egypt and Israel, it is worth setting our sights on Jewish fundamentalism and the latest law that it is promoting.

Yigal Amir rejects Torah study offer

By Naama Cohen-Friedman February 6, 2011

Yigal Amir, the assassin of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, rejected a State Prosecution offer which would allow him to hold a one hour bi-weekly torah study session with a fellow prisoner.

Rabin’s killer: High Court ruling ignored

By Naama Cohen-Friedman February 6, 2011

In December, the High Court of Justice rejected Amir’s appeal to alter the terms of his imprisonment. The court ruled that he is to be held in solitary confinement for an additional six months.

However, the justices wrote that they might consider allowing Amir to spend limited time with other prisoners, under supervision, for purposes such as a prayer quorum.

Yigal Amir’s solitary confinement to be relaxed for Torah study sessions

By Ofra Edelman February 2, 2011

After 15 years in solitary confinement, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, will be allowed to meet every other week with another prisoner for Torah study sessions of up to an hour.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Jews may not say ‘Oh My God’ or ‘Ya Allah’ January 31, 2011

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef expanded on the Biblical commandment “Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain” on Monday, declaring that Jews may not do so in other languages as well.

This makes saying “Oh my God” or the Arabic “Ya Allah,” both popular Israeli slang terms, halachically forbidden.

PHOTO Gallery: Ethiopian Jews

By Nir Alon

Click here for PHOTOS

Celebrating bar mitzvah after 72 years

By David Regev February 2, 2011

Yosef Kineshtlich, 85, of Haifa has been dreaming about completing his bar mitzvah ceremony for 72 years. Last week, he finally got to lay Tefillin and deliver his sermon in an excited voice.

Religion and State in Israel

February 7, 2011 (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.

No comments yet.

Your Thoughts