Religion and State in Israel – February 14, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

February 14, 2011 (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.

Top Israeli intellectuals to State: Probe rabbi’s alleged link to Rabin assassination

By Jonathan Lis February 13, 2011

Leading Israeli intellectuals and Israel Prize laureates demanded the immediate firing of a top rabbi accused of supporting a book justifying the killing of non Jews on Saturday, urging the state to investigate him for his alleged role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

“…there is evidence that [Rabbi Dov] Lior was the main source for the religious edicts authorizing the killing of Yitzhak Rabin,” the leading intellectuals added.

What do the Muslim Brotherhood and the ultra-Orthodox religious-right have in common?

By Anshel Pfeffer Opinion February 11, 2011

If the state should be using its power in any way, then it should be firing rabbis like Lior from official positions.

They, of course, should be free to say whatever they like, but the scandal of rabbis spouting off the most obnoxious views at the taxpayer’s expense has been going on for much too long.

Religious Zionist rabbis: Lior should be questioned

By Kobi Nahshoni February 13, 2011

Some 70 leading Zionist Religious rabbis – including city rabbis, yeshiva chiefs and educators – issued a petition Thursday protesting the arrest warrant against Rabbi Dov Lior following his refusal to report to a police inquiry in the “King’s Torah” affair.

But Ynet has learned that some rabbis refused to sign the petition and feel that Lior should be investigated.

70 rabbis: Arrest warrant for Rabbi Dov Lior a disgrace

By Kobi Nahshoni February 11, 2011

“We see this as a disgrace towards the torah and those who follow it,” the petition stated. “This is an attempt to block the rabbis’ freedom of expression through severe, unacceptable and anti-democratic measures.”

Who’s disparaging the Torah? Editorial February 8, 2011

Rabbi of Ramat Gan Ya’acov Ariel put it best when he said that the battle against Torat Hamelech should not be waged “via declarations to the media, or via police investigations…rather by bringing to light true Halacha after in-depth research.”

…As [Ariel] Finkelstain noted, it is open intellectual exchange, in thefree market of ideas, that is the best weapon against bigotry and racism.

70 rabbis protest arrest warrant against Rabbi Dov Lior

By Jonah Mandel February 10, 2011

“To us, this is a disgrace to the Torah and those who study it, an attempt to curb the rabbis’ freedom of expression through severe, unwonted and anti-democratic measures, which were never utilized against intellectuals from the Left, despite extreme sentiment expressed against the state and its citizens,” the rabbis wrote.

Hebron rabbi: No ‘little official at the Justice Ministry’ will tell me what to do

By Tomer Zarchin and Chaim Levinson February 9, 2011

“If the state declares that rabbis are not allowed to voice a political opinion, it will be like in the Soviet Union, where there were commissars who said what was allowed and what was forbidden,” Lior said at the rally.

“It is inconceivable that a little official in the Justice Ministry can say what rabbis are permitted to do.”

Rabbis condemn Dov Lior arrest warrant

By Kobi Nahshoni February 8, 2011

Chairman of the Tzohar Rabbinical Orgnization Rabbi David Stav, who declared he does not agree with Rabbi Lior’s endorsement of “The King’s Torah”, told Ynet:

“A democratic society cannot prosecute rabbis for offences pertaining to freedom of expression, let alone criminal offenses.”

Rabbi Lior supporters protest arrest warrant

By Yair Altman February 8, 2011

Rabbi Lior said during the demonstration that he accepts the rule of law and is not trying to defy the state.

“Rabbis are elected representatives who answer questions the public is concerned with. Clearly we do not engage in politics but these are important issues which concern us all directly and we must therefore respond. It is the rabbis’ right and duty to express their opinions on these matters.

They were elected on this basis until the State declares rabbis are banned from expressing their political opinions.”

Wanted Kiryat Arba rabbi tells supporters: I’m not racist

By Chaim Levinson February 8, 2011

Both Lior and Rabbi (and former Shas MK ) Yaakov Yosef, who also supported the book, refused to cooperate with police, issuing a letter instead stating that the Torah is not subject to police investigations. People close to Lior expressed outrage at the arrest warrant.

Rabbi Lior agrees to be investigated at his home

Free Speech in Israel — How Much and At What Cost?

By Rabbi Brad Hirschfield Opinion February 7, 2011

The writer is an author, radio and TV talk show host, and President of CLAL-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership.

Rabbi Dov Lior and his colleagues should publish pretty much whatever they want — that is their right.

But, they must also be accountable for what they publish. Freedom of speech is a human right, and like all such rights, it carries obligations. It’s time for Rabbi Lior to remember that. And if he doesn’t remember it on his own, then the police will have to remind him.

Police issue arrest warrant for rabbi that supported book which justifies killing non-Jews

Arrest warrant issued against Rabbi Dov Lior

Haifa Chief Rabbi She’ar Yishuv Cohen to be indicted for bribery, fraud

By Ron Friedman February 11, 2011

The Chief Rabbi of Haifa Rabbi She’ar Yishuv Cohen was called in on Thursday for a hearing by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office, before the probable filing of an indictment against him on charges of bribery and false registration of corporate documents.

Haifa chief rabbi faces indictment over bribes-for-degrees scam

By Nir Hasson February 10, 2011

Cohen is suspected of involvement in the so-called ‘Rabbis Affair’, in which senior rabbis granted advanced degrees to members of the country’s security services.

These degrees allowed IDF soldiers, Israeli police officers and Prison Service officers to receive salary raises worth hundreds of millions of shekels.

Haifa Chief Rabbi summoned for bribery charges

Haifa Chief Rabbi suspected of bribery

Haifa Chief Rabbi to be tried for bribery

By Aviad Glickman February 10, 2011

“There aren’t and never have been any grounds to try Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen in a criminal court,” Cohen’s attorney, Yaron Kostelitz, told Ynet.

“It’s unfortunate that the prosecution summons him again for a hearing after closing the case against him over a year ago.”

Ministry keeping closer eye on yeshivas

By Yair Ettinger and Or Kashti February 7, 2011

The Education Ministry recently stiffened its monitoring of ultra-Orthodox yeshivas in response to a recent revelation that directors of a number of Haredi institutions systematically forged identity documents to puff up enrollment numbers and receive higher budget allocations.

Rabbi Avram Yosef forbids women from teaching 10-year-olds

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s son: Women are can’t teach beyond 4th grade

By Jonah Mandel February 10, 2011

A woman teaching 10-year-old boys is compromising their chastity, according to Holon’s Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef, son of senior Sephardi adjudicator Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

In an answer to a listener’s question during his program on haredi radio station Kol Hai as to whether a woman could prepare a youth for his bar mitzva Torah reading, Yosef took the opportunity to set the boundaries for pedagogical interactions in general between boys and women.

MKs to vote on extending Daylight Savings Time

By Jonathan Lis February 13, 2011

The Knesset is expected to pass a law this week extending daylight savings time until October.

The vote will be held even though Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced last week that he had appointed a committee of experts to review the law on his behalf.

Ministers to vote on Daylight Savings Time bill

By Rebecca Anna Stoil February 12, 2011

MK Horowitz promised that whatever the committee decides on Sunday, he will place the bill before the Knesset plenum for a preliminary reading on Wednesday.

“Maintaining daylight saving time for most of the year is the right thing to do. It is beneficial to all of the public – children and adults, drivers and pedestrians, religious and secular,” said Horowitz.

“The government must listen to the public’s calls and end this situation, which costs us tens of millions and harms everybody’s regular routine.”

Shas Minister Yishai to form c’tee to examine daylight saving extension

By Jonah Mandel February 7, 2011

Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) has retracted his former stance and decided to form a professional committee that will examine the possibility of extending the daylight savings time, Channel Two reported Monday evening, explaining the shift as the result of the public pressure Yishai faced over his insistence on maintaining the abnormally short daylight savings period in Israel.

Ordination not a prerequisite for being army’s top rabbi

By Jonah Mandel February 9, 2011

Being an ordained rabbi is not officially a prerequisite for being named the IDF’s chief chaplain, nor it is explicitly stated anywhere that a candidate for the position must be a Jew, MKs were amazed to learn during a Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee hearing on Tuesday.

…While the committee supported the bill and approved it for its first reading in the Knesset, committee chairman David Azoulay (Shas) and other members expressed concern that the bill, as currently written, could allow a Reform rabbi to be appointed IDF chief chaplain and effectively become part of the Chief Rabbinate Council.

Survey: 52% believe [National] Religious contribute most to IDF February 8, 2011

In the first part of the survey participants were asked to choose one group or more that in their opinion “contributes the most to the IDF”.

Some 52% selected the national religious group, 36% selected the kibbutzim, 31% chose the residents of the peripheral towns, 13% chose the settlers, 10.5% selected the new olim and only 4% chose residents of Tel Aviv.

IDF Funds Lubavitch Shchita February 13, 2011

The recent large influx of Charedi soldiers into the Israeli Defense Forces sent the IDF grappling with the new reality of catering to the diverse spectrum of Charedi soldiers.

Soldier identifying as Chabad will receive a 300 Shekel stipend to cover the costs of Lubavitch meat which they are to bring from their homes.

Former chairman Shas Aryeh Deri on Haredim, yeshivas & work

Aryeh Deri, should Shas be leading the protest against the state’s economic policy?

By Merav Michaeli February 10, 2011

Aryeh Deri:

No one needs to convince me about working. Work is not only a social issue but a Jewish value of the first order. At the same time, I think, I believe, that it’s important, for the existence of the people of Israel, that there be a group of people who give their soul to studying Torah.

We need to strengthen them, this small group. All those who are not part of this small group of scholars, and I mean every ultra-Orthodox man for whom the Torah is not really his entire world, whose real occupation is not studying Torah, and who does not study all day – they can work and find time for Torah, and that’s the best thing.

VIDEO: Israel Channel 10 Special Documentary on Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Hebrew)

Click here for VIDEO

Peres: Haredim want work, too

By Nati Tucker February 9, 2011

“People believe that the religious don’t want to work. That’s nonsense. There are thousands of Haredim who want to make a living – men, too. This is a stigma that divides the people,” President Shimon Peres said while visiting the ultra-Orthodox city of Elad yesterday.

The employment rate in the Haredi community is far below the national average.

According to Bank of Israel data from 2009, only 39% of Haredi men were working, compared with 75.7% of men in the overall population (not counting Haredim or Arabs ). Of the women, 58% were working, compared with 64% for the overall population.

Don’t lock the Haredim into employment centers

By Nati Tucker Opinion February 8, 2011

The employment-center model is crucial for a certain percentage of Haredim, but if we continue to lock them up in them, the community will not meet even a fraction of its potential and will continue suffering from poverty.

To increase their contribution, ultra-Orthodox men and women need professional tools – and mainly motivation – to be able to fill any position in the free market and climb as high as they can.

Israel faces challenges in rise of Haredim

AP February 7, 2011

Demographers now estimate about a third of last year’s Jewish babies were born into the ultra-Orthodox community, an insular and devout minority that has long been at loggerheads with the rest of the increasingly modern and prosperous country.

A November 2010 report by two demographers at Haifa University, Arnon Soffer and Evgenia Bystrov, estimated that 30% of the Jewish newborns are now haredi.

Government statistics predict that by 2025 the haredim will have jumped from 9% of the population to 15%.

Advertising in religious sector up 10% in 2010

By Nati Toker February 7, 2011

Advertising in the ultra-Orthodox and religious sector were up 10% in 2010, reported IFAT Advertising Monitoring.

This is partially due to an increase in advertising by food companies Osem and Unilever, cleaning supplies company Sano, and by book publishers catering to the religious sector.

In fact, two publishing houses were the sector leaders, spending a total of NIS 11.4 million in 2010, up 50% from 2009. Unilever and Sano both spent NIS 4 million to target religious consumers, up 15% and 17% respectively from 2009.

Anti-secular MK to be reinstated

By Kobi Nahshoni February 7, 2011

Israel Eichler is to return to the Knesset as a replacement for MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism), in accordance with a rotation deal between the two.

Rabbi and attorney Uri Regev, who heads Hiddush, said that “we must protect Eichler’s right to derogate all that is sacred to most of the citizens of this state”.

Eichler stood his ground.

“Hiddush receives money from outside sources in order to persecute the haredi public and its representatives. This is their job, as they declare, and that is why they persecute us. There is nothing new in this,” he said in response.

A Hecksher for Fashion — and an Exposé on Jews in Burqas

By Allison Kaplan Sommer Opinion February 8, 2011

Just when you thought the policing of Haredi women’s appearance couldn’t get more extreme — it does.

Heath Ministry Allocates Shekels to Solve Problem of Electronic Doors

By Nathan Jeffay February 4, 2011

The Haredi newspaper Yated Ne’eman reports that the Health Ministry, which is controlled by the Haredi United Torah Judaism party, has “decided to allocate hundreds of thousands of shekels” to solve the problem.

It is going to “install systems with a timer designed to leave electronic doors open during Sabbath.”

State to fine animal rights abusers

By Erez Erlichman February 6, 2011

[Attorney Yossi Wolfson of Let the Animals Live organization] addressed the Kapparot issue saying this custom was never forbidden.

“The prohibitions only concern the conditions of which the chickens are kept in while they await slaughter.”

The Israel Animal Guard Chairman Doron Brenner is not so optimistic, fearing that MK Maklev’s objections is enough to call off or stall the approved regulations.

Haredi ads: Internet causes cancer

By Ari Galahar February 9, 2011

The Internet causes draught and terminal disease – so claims a new marketing campaign publicized in the ultra-Orthodox community and aims to curb use of the world wide web.

“Where there is Internet, there are no rains,” read one of the posters that were pasted in central haredi spots.

“Let’s remove the idolatry from among us. Hundreds of thousands of cancer patients (suffer) because of the Internet.”

Mea Shearim: Ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem

Click here for PHOTO Gallery

By Chaim Schvarcz February 7, 2011

Mazal Tov! 18 is not a crowd

By Liat Rotem Melamed February 7, 2011

When she was young, Rivkah, a Jerusalem resident belonging to the Belz Hasidic movement, never dreamed that at the age of 44 she would be leaving the maternity ward with her 18th child.

It’s true that she herself comes from a large family – she has 15 brothers and sisters, but her husband comes from a much smaller family that includes ‘only’ five kids.

Police: Sudanese men stabbed by Israeli gang in Bnei Brak

By Yoav Zitun February 12, 2011

Prompted by the growing numbers of of Sudanese refugees in the neighborhood, Bnei Brak rabbis issued a statement last October, calling on residents to avoid renting homes to Africans, and warned against a “spiritual danger.”

Around the same time, a whistleblower hotline threatened to expose the names of Jews renting property to foreigners, in hopes of shaming them into stopping.

Forget Paris, this is ‘Gay Jerusalem’

By Nir Hasson February 11, 2011

Jacob Israel de Haan is probably the only common denominator between the anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox Eda Haredit organization in Jerusalem and the city’s gay community.

De Haan’s name is still featured in the pashkevilim, the public proclamations posted in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods such as Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim quarter, as a “victim of secular persecution.”

Four J’lem men indicted for Milan judaica theft

By Ron Friedman February 13, 2011

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s office filed an indictment, on Sunday, against four Jerusalem men for stealing and selling judaica artifacts worth upward of one million Euro from a synagogue in Milan earlier this month.

Collector who helped recover Milan Judaica calls items rarest ever stolen

By Yair Ettinger February 8, 2011

The thieves, four ultra-Orthodox youngsters from Jerusalem, are suspected of stealing the objects from the synagogue in Milan, Italy, where they went last Tuesday pretending to be worshippers.

Israeli arrested for allegedly stealing Judaica from Italy synagogue

By Yaniv Kubovich February 7, 2011

According to the police, the thieves entered the synagogue pretending to be worshipers, and stuffed their bags with the valuable Judaica once they saw they were alone in the building.

The next day they went to France and flew from there to Israel with the goods, police said.

Pray in mosque, rabbi rules February 13, 2011

“It would be better to pray in a mosque and do so with meaning and after the sun rises, rather than at home, at dawn or at the airport and without meaning,” Rabbi Baruch Efrati determined recently in a response posted on the Kipa website recently.

Devoted To Exercise

By Sharon Udasin February 10, 2011

Staff members at Jump and the men-only Kosher Gym in Givat Shaul – two of Jerusalem’s biggest gyms that attract sizeable religious populations – say that over the past couple of years they have seen a marked increase in haredi membership as the larger community shifts some of its priorities to focus more on bodily health as part of overall spiritual well-being.

Three Ministers make surprise visit to Joseph’s Tomb

By Tovah Lazaroff February 11, 2011

Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud) on Thursday called on Defense Minister Ehud Barak to increase access to Joseph’s Tomb, located on the southern edge of Nablus, which has a waiting list of thousands of Jews wanting to make the pilgrimage.

At present, access to the tomb is limited to one nightly trip a month.

Religion and State in Israel

February 14, 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.

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