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

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Religion and State in Israel

May 2, 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.

The Haredim and Yom HaShoah

By Steve Lipman April 27, 2011

The Holocaust, whose memory usually serves as an honored shared point for the Jewish community, sometimes is a point of contention for haredi Jews, who say they feel excluded from mainstream histories of the period.

Dr. Meir Wikler, a psychotherapist who lives in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, has met with Yad Vashem officials for several years in an effort to sensitize them to the concerns of fervently Orthodox Jews.

Marking Yom HaShoah: Calendars and Memory, God and History

By Rabbi Daniel Greyber April 27, 2011

The Orthodox Chief Rabbinate decided in 1949 that the Shoah (the Hebrew, literally meaning “catastrophe,” that is now used for the Holocaust) should be commemorated on the 10th of Tevet, a minor fast day already established in the Jewish calendar.

In 1951, the Knesset ignored the Chief Rabbinate’s decision to incorporate commemoration of the Shoah into the existing calendar of traditional Jewish days of mourning.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to visit Israel & meet Rabbi Israel Meir Lau

By Itamar Eichner April 17, 2011

American basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will visit Israel in July and meet with Rabbi Israel Meir Lau to discuss a film that he is making about World War II, the rabbi said recently.

The film is based on the book “Brothers in Arms”, which Abdul-Jabbar co-authored and deals with the American troops who liberated Nazi concentration camps in the end of World War II. Abdul-Jabbar’s own father served on the 761st Tank Battalion, which liberated the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany.

IDF discharges thousands of Haredim

By Kobi Nahshoni April 28, 2011

Thousands of yeshiva students in recent weeks have received letters informing them that they have been exempt from military service.

The letters were sent following the ultra-Orthodox draft reform approved by the government earlier this year. A military official confirmed the details to Ynet.

The newly discharged men are yeshiva students over the age of 28, or younger yeshiva students who have at least three children.

Young couples, vote for Atias

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion May 1, 2011

But if Atias is reading this article, he’s probably laughing hysterically. After all, he was only sent to the Knesset to benefit young ultra-Orthodox couples, and now he’s being asked to show consideration for the entire public.

After all, if he does so, he won’t receive the outstanding-politician award.

PHOTO ESSAY: Next Year in Uman: A Journey to Ukraine

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[vimeo w=400&h=225]

Jerusalem forum for at-risk youth teaches coping skills

By Melanie Lidman April 28, 2011

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat was joined by teachers, youth groups, youth advocates, city councilors and students for the first-ever “Forum for At-Risk Youth” on Wednesday evening, in the municipality’s first attempt to unite the city’s various educational programs to solve some of the most pressing problems faced by the city’s teens.

The ultra-orthodox is the sector with one of the highest drop-out rates, at 10.9 percent. Additionally, 8% of haredi youth are not enrolled in any kind of educational framework.

J’lem: 2 Jews accused of attacking 2 Arabs in Mea Shearim April 26, 2011

Police arrested two haredim from Mea Shearim neighborhood are suspected of casting stones towards two young Arab men who came to the religious quarter to take aluminum foil leftovers thrown in public trash cans on Monday night.

Israel unveils ‘first sin-free Yiddish smartphone

AFP April 27, 2011

An Israeli telecoms company is offering ultra-Orthodox Jewish clients a kosher smartphone with Hassidic folk music ringtones and a menu in Yiddish, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Samaria Rabbi Elyakim Levanon: Coordinate Joseph’s Tomb visits April 29, 2011

Samaria Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon called on rabbis and religious leaders this week not to send their students to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, without coordinating the visit with the Israel Defense Forces.

Speaking following Sunday’s shooting incident at the holy site, which left one Jewish worshipper dead and several injured, the rabbi condemned religious leaders encouraging their followers to pray there.

Dozens arrested trying to reach Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus

By Tovah Lazaroff and staff April 28, 2011

Dozens of right-wing activists and settler hilltop youth were arrested by security forces after they attempted to enter the Joseph’s Tomb holy site in the West Bank city of Nablus late Wednesday night.

‘We’ll continue to enter Joseph’s Tomb with vigor’

By Jonah Mandel April 27, 2011

Benny Machlev, director-general of the Yesod Olam Society, explained why some – primarily Breslav Hassidim like himself – put themselves at risk to be physically present, even if for short periods of time, at sites believed to be the burial sites of important Jewish figures.

“Every rabbi will tell you that the sanctity and dignity of the grave site of a righteous person must be safeguarded, and we must strengthen our control of it,” he said.

‘Worshippers visit Joseph’s Tomb every night’

By Raanan Ben-Zur April 24, 2011

Almost every night, Jewish worshippers sneak into Palestinian territory, where Joseph’s Tomb is located, without obtaining a permit.

On Sunday morning such a “routine” visit ended with a fatal shooting that killed Ben-Yosef Livnat, a 24-year-old father-of-four and the nephew of Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat.

The entrance into the Tomb vicinity is usually coordinated by Chairman of the Yesod Olam association Haim Reicher, who also arranges entries to other holy sites in the West Bank.

Culture and Sports Minister Livnat: PM must enable Jews to worship at Joseph’s Tomb

By Rebecca Anna Stoil April 28, 2011

Only days after her nephew was killed trying to reach Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take steps to enable more Jews to pray at the site.

Justice Minister Neeman calls to regain control of Joseph’s Tomb

By Tovah Lazaroff April 27, 2011

Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman called for Israel to regain control of Joseph’s Tomb, located in the Palestinian city of Nablus, which is the site of the Biblical city of Shechem. At present the tomb is under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

Relinquishing Joseph’s Tomb was supposed to be temporary

By Rabbi Michael Freund Opinion April 27, 2011

Moreover, it is time to correct the error made nearly 11 years ago, when Israel forsook this holy place.

After the IDF withdrew, the Israeli public was assured that the step was not permanent, but merely a tactical move dictated by the situation on the ground. Just hours after the retreat, the website of Yediot Aharonot reported: “Israel pulls out of Joseph’s Tomb – ‘Temporarily.’”

A Record 15,000 Mark Joshua’s Memorial Eve

By Maayana Miskin April 29, 2011

A record 15,000 people visited Joshua’s Tomb on Thursday night to mark the anniversary of his passing.

The event was the first to be made an official state celebration. Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger was present, as were Minister of Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and four Members of Knesset, Danny Danon (Likud), Uri Ariel (Ichud Leumi), Aryeh Eldad (Ichud Leumi) and Michael Ben-Ari (Ichud Leumi).

Arkia to halt Saturday leasing for El Al

By Omer Rabin April 26, 2011

The decision by Israel’s charter airlines not to let El Al use their codes for Saturday and holiday flights could force El Al to decide between grounding its fleet on the Sabbath and losing substantial revenue, or flying on the Sabbath and losing haredi (ultra-orthodox) patronage.

In the wake of the loss of Sun D’Or’s license, El Al has said that it will continue its policy of no Sabbath flights, partly in response to threats of haredi boycotts.

Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu boasts that anti-Arab edict worked

By Eli Ashkenazi April 29, 2011

Safed Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu yesterday boasted that his edict calling for people not to rent apartments to non-Jews was working, while a minster praised his efforts to maintain the Jewish nature of Israel.

“The Jewish law is clear,” Eliyahu said at a conference organized by the rightist religious movement Komemiyut.

“In Safed the halakhic ruling worked, people don’t sell land or rent or sell apartments to non-Jews.”

Lands conference awards Safed rabbi who said Jews shouldn’t rent to non-Jews

By Eli Ashkenazi April 28, 2011

The rabbi of Safed who encouraged citizens to refuse to rent apartments to non-Jews won an award at an annual conference dealing with issues of the Land of Israel this week.

Eliyahu reiterated his prior message at the conference held in the central town of Ramle, saying “the Jewish law is clear… Thank God that in Safed, land isn’t sold to foreigners.”

Acre Mayor Shimon Lankri, is there a desire to ‘Judaize’ Israel’s mixed towns?

By Gili Cohen April 27, 2011

Shimon Lankri has been mayor of Acre since 2003. Yesterday Lankri participated in the Ramle Conference – Between Israel and the Nations…

During the conference, a panel of mayors of mixed Jewish-Arab towns – including Acre, Lod and Ramle – dealt with the question whether a “Jewish majority” was necessary in mixed towns.
Is there a desire to “Judaize” the mixed towns in this country?

West Bank Rabbi Dov Lior: Pay Bedouin to move to Libya, Saudi Arabia

By Ben Hartman April 26, 2011

Israel must offer cash and other incentives to encourage Bedouin citizens of the state to emigrate to other parts of the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Libya, a West Bank rabbi said on Tuesday.

“We must launch incentives, even offering money to encourage their return to the countries they came from.”

IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz: A lesson in connecting

By Jonatan Urich April 28, 2011

‘When I talk about connecting, I’m not only talking about secular guys in the army,” Chief IDF Rabbi Peretz says. “I am specifically referring to everyone – including the religious and even the more religious.”

One process currently occurring is a tightening of the connection between the military rabbinate and the chief rabbinate of Israel.

“To me it is important to connect the military rabbinate with the chief rabbinate, which I see as a partner in dialogue and consultation, both because this is a natural step and because it is a very important connection for Israeli society.”

J’lem prosecution closes bribery case against Haifa Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen May 1, 2011

The Jerusalem Prosecutor’s Office has told Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen that it has decided to close the case that was opened against him in connection with a bribery scheme, following the rabbi’s announcement that he will no longer serve in public positions.

It may be dangerous to silence Israel’s rabbis

By Nathan Jeffay April 28, 2011

It seems like an internal rabbinical row, but it is actually a dispute that cuts right to the heart of what it means to be a rabbi in the Jewish state.

In recent weeks, Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger has come out against the practice of rabbis issuing letters outlining their positions on current affairs.

IDF soldiers celebrate Passover with Israel’s leaders April 28, 2011

Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and his family ate the traditional Passover Seder with commanders and combat soldiers of the Gideon battalion of the IDF’s infantry Golani Brigade on Monday (Apr. 18).

PHOTOS: 10,000 Matzos to IDF April 28, 2011

Rabbi Menachem Ofen and members of the Ohr Lachayal organization, gave out 110,000 shmurah matzos to IDF soldiers, in conjunction with Vaad L’maan Hachayal.

Israel’s secret weapon: Chabad involvement in the IDF

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Beersheva Chabad Inaugurates 5-Story Building April 28, 2011

Chabad of Be’er Sheva inaugurated yesterday a spacious 5-story building to serve as the center for their proliferating outreach activities.

Chametz sales up 27% over Passover

By Gil Kalian, Calcalist April 30, 2011

This Passover wasn’t all matzah for many Israelis. The sales of chametz products at the non-kosher Tiv Taam supermarket chain – including bagels, bread, pita bread, crackers and frozen pastries – were up 22% compared to last year, while the sales of beer jumped by 33%.

An adjusted calculation including the beer points to a 27% rise in chametz sales compared to last year’s holiday. “This is a phenomenal increase for us,” says the chain’s Sales Manager Amit Ze’ev.

The seder night question

By Amalia Rosenblum April 28, 2011

According to the findings of a national survey, 30 percent conduct a seder out of religious beliefs, and as such, take pains to adhere to halakha during the ceremony. Most of the other 70 percent said they hold a seder for “reasons that have to do with family, Jewish culture and tradition.”

How does one explain the gap between the importance of this holiday in many secular Jewish homes and the inability to extract much significance out of it?

Gentile returns hametz he took from J’lem community

By Jonah Mandel April 28, 2011

After causing great consternation to the haredi community in Jerusalem’s Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, a seemingly penitent gentile has decided to return the hametz he had taken before Pessah.

…According to a report on the competing Kikar Hashabat website, the Muslim man told the rabbi that it was against his religion to drink alcohol, and therefore he was bringing the merchandise back.

Passover diet causes problems for Israeli animals

By Daniel Estrin April 15, 2011

No, the animals in Israel aren’t Jewish. But their owners are. So, according to the Israeli rabbis who certify kosher food, if you’re a devout Jew, you’re not only prohibited from eating grain. So that means you can’t eat food that came from an animal that ate grain. So what’s the solution? Put the animals on a Passover diet.

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Syria invites Israeli Rabbi Yeoshiau Pinto to visit Damascus

By Jonah Mandel May 1, 2011

With highly improbable timing, even as it guns down its own people while attempting to retain power, the Syrian government has invited an Israeli rabbi to visit the country where many of his forefathers are buried, and to pray at their Damascus gravesites.

Over the course of Mimouna celebrations at Moshav Gimzo, between Lod and Modi’in, last week, Jack Avital, the visiting head of the Brooklyn-based Sephardic National Alliance, told Rabbi Yeoshiau Pinto that the Syrian ambassador to the US, Imad Moustapha, had asked him to invite the rabbi to Syria.

Religion and State in Israel

May 2, 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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