Religion and State in Israel – June 13, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

June 13, 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.

Religious homosexuals join the Tel Aviv march for Gay Pride

By Jonah Mandel June 9, 2011

Homosexual religious groups will be represented in a special float at Friday’s Tel Aviv Gay Pride March – a reflection of their growing prominence in both the homosexual and religious communities they come from.

The lesbian Bat Kol group, ‘Proud Minyan,’ religious groups from within the Israeli Gay Youth Organization, and Havruta will all be in the march.

Thousands take part in Tel Aviv pride parade

By Elad Rubinstein June 10, 2011

Among the marchers were also many religious men, some of whom were seen carrying Israeli and gay flags.

“In the community where I live I am forced to remain inside the closet, but I see no contradiction between my ideology and faith and my being gay.

I am proud of being who I am just as I am proud to be a Zionist, a patriot and an IDF reserve combatant,” a religious man from Samaria said.

Knesset Speaker Rivlin shows support for gays despite Haredi outrage

By Lahav Harkov June 6, 2011

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin met on Monday with leaders of the gay community in honor of Gay Pride Month despite complaints from haredi MKs.

Gay celebrities, like pop singer Ivri Lider, and political activists attended the event, initiated for the third year in a row by MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), who was joined this year by MK Nino Abesadze (Kadima). Gay teenagers sat in the audience, as did same-sex couples with their children.

Out and proud in the Holy Land

By Yoni Cohen Opinion June 10, 2011

As a self-confessed modern Zionist, these words from Israel’s national anthem make me happy and proud to be in Israel.

I have heard the phrase many times since making aliya three years ago, as well as during my very Zionist upbringing, but when I saw the phrase splashed across a huge colorful banner at my first ever gay pride parade in Tel Aviv, I was nearly brought to tears.

Police recommend fraud indictments for yeshivas

By Lior Dattel June 10, 2011

The police have recommended that a number of yeshivas be indicted for fraud, after an investigation found that the institutions received funds for students the yeshivas knew were not studying there.

The suspected fraud is estimated at NIS 55 million.

After the alleged fraud was revealed, the state revoked the monthly stipends for some 5,000 to 10,000 yeshiva students. But the money will not be returned to the state, it will be divided up between the rest of the students and institutions.

10,000 yeshiva students allegedly defraud Education Ministry

By Yossi Nissan June 9, 2011

Hiddush for Religious Freedom and Equality VP Shahar Ilan told “Globes” that, because of tighter auditing of yeshiva’s by the Ministry of Education, yeshivas at their own initiative deleted 10,000 fictitious students from their rolls to avoid losing government funding.

Hiddush protested that the money not spent on fictitious stipends will not be used to integrate haredim in the labor force through job training or other incentives. Hiddush calls for even stricture audits and to prosecute the heads of yeshivas who defrauded the government.

Torah Study or Profession?

By Rabbi Eliezer Melamed Opinion June 7, 2011

By Rabbi Eliezer Melamed is the Dean of Yeshiva Har Bracha

As far as our present inquiry is concerned, if a person finds that he is not suited to be a teacher or to serve in the Rabbinate, he is no longer permitted to study Torah on a full time basis and to be supported by the community or from charity.

Jerusalem light rail gender-segregation has heavy price

By Tali Farkash Opinion June 10, 2011

While Israelis were busy with the cheesecakes and flower arrangements that go along with Shavuot earlier this week, haredi zealots have been busy with their next battle: Imposing the ‘kosher bus’ rules on the Jerusalem light rail.

…the light rail is just another battle in the war on gendered freedom of movement in Israel. This war is no longer just about specific buses in specific haredi areas. It is a nationwide war which currently includes sidewalks, supermarkets, planes, and HMOs with separate medical services.

All things being equal

Joel Magalnick Editor June 7, 2011

Ruth Carmi, 29, is currently a law fellow for the New Israel Fund’s Israel-U.S. Civil Liberties Law Program. She visited Seattle in May to speak with local attorneys about human rights issues in Israel for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s Cardozo Society.

The issue of segregation in Israel is familiar to anyone who was involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s in the U.S.: IRAC was instrumental in persuading Israel’s Supreme Court earlier this year that bus companies cannot force segregation of women and men.

“The bus drivers cannot tell women they must go to the back,” Carmi said. “Not only is it illegal, but it’s demeaning, it’s humiliating and it’s against the basic law of human dignity, which is an important statement by the Supreme Court.”

Jerusalem Old City’s Jewish Quarter almost entirely Haredi, study finds

By Nir Hasson June 10, 2011

Prof. Daniel Sperber, a resident of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and an Israel Prize laureate in Jewish studies, has noticed a demographic and sociological change in the Jewish Quarter over time, from a diverse neighborhood of secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jews to one that is almost entirely Haredi.

[Doron Bar and Rehav Rubin] conducted a historical and geographic study of the changes the neighborhood has experienced.

They concluded that from a religious Zionist standpoint, the Jewish Quarter’s development since 1967 has been a failure.

But from a historical perspective, the neighborhood has resumed the ultra-Orthodox character it had before the 1948 War of Independence.

On Shavuot, Women Asked To Walk a Longer Kotel Route

By Renee Ghert-Zand June 7, 2011

The handbills describe the narrow streets and alleyways of the Old City as being very crowded on the holiday, so obviously women should be the ones to be inconvenienced by walking via the Jaffa Gate. The shorter Nablus Gate route is reserved for men, the flyer pronounces.

The Future of Israeli Hareidism

By Pinchas Landau Opinion June 11, 2011

Pinchas Landau is a Jerusalem-based independent economic and financial consultant. Born in London, he studied at Hebron Yeshiva and the London School of Economics prior to making aliya with his family in 1976.

I will argue here that the future is one of greater integration, but that outcome is far from assured. If the Hareidi sector of society adheres to the ideology of separation—which has been one of its bastions and sources of strength and which has, at least in some respects, intensified in recent years—then the tensions between the wider society and the Hareidim will be exacerbated, and the suppressed conflicts will likely become steadily more overt and possibly violent.

10 Haredim arrested for causing damage to archeological site June 12, 2011

Ten haredim men on Sunday caused damage to an archeological site near Kfar Ibtin in the North, police said.

80 Haredim protest at parking lot open on Sabbath June 11, 2011

Kosher phones to be cracked – by rabbis and IDF

By Hillel Fendel June 6, 2011

Some 300,000 kosher cellular phones – SMS-disabled – are in use by members of Israel’s hareidi-religious sector. The IDF is seeking ways for them to receive IDF Homefront Command emergency instructions.

Minister Eli Yishai changes daylight saving rules, mandating 10 extra days of summer

By Jonathan Lis June 6, 2011

Daylight Saving Time will now be determined solely by the civil calendar and last about 10 days longer than in the past, Interior Minister Eli Yishai announced yesterday.

The minister capitulated to months of intense public and political pressure to lengthen the period of what is known locally as “summer time.”

If the night on which DST is meant to end falls on a Jewish holiday, the switch will be delayed until the holiday is over.

Despite Rabbinate’s promises, meat from inhumane slaughterhouses still being marked as kosher

By Raphael Ahren June 10, 2011

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel still certifies meat slaughtered in Latin American slaughterhouses that employ a method generally considered unnecessarily cruel, despite having pledged to stop doing so by 2011, Anglo animal rights activists said recently.

“It’s been fours years now,” [Rabbi Adam Frank] told Anglo File. “The first three years the public was pacified by statements on behalf of the Israeli Rabbinate that they would ensure a changed would occur. Either they misled the public or they lied.”

Rabbis Against “Price Tags”

By Rabbi Barry Leff Opinion June 9, 2011

Early Tuesday morning extremist settlers set a mosque on fire in the West Bank town of Mughayar. Graffiti they left at the site explictly said it was a “price tag” for the Israeli government’s evacuation of the illegal outpost of Alei Ayin. You can read more about the incident here.

I visited the mosque this morning with a delegation from Rabbis for Human Rights.

Coalition spends Shabbat in Safed

Shalit activists heckle coalition MKs during Safed retreat

By Eli Ashkenazi June 12, 2011

The walking tour came after a busy night: After arriving on Friday afternoon, the guests attended a reception that including klezmer music performed by local musicians, during which the coalition members sang “Kol ha’olam kulo, gesher tzar me’od,” attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, as well as the traditional Friday night song “Shalom Aleikhem, Malakhei Hashalom,” which was composed in Safed.

Works by local artists and musicians, as well as the products of farmers and manufacturers in the north, were exhibited. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, lit Shabbat candles together with Shohat and his wife, Sivan.

Holy city of Safed gussies up to host coalition for the weekend

By Revital Hoval June 10, 2011

During their tour, the MKs … will head to the Jewish areas, visiting the study hall of Rabbi Yosef Karo, author of the Shulhan Arukh, and the Ashkenazi synagogue of the Ari, the 16th-century kabbalist Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, where they will hold the traditional Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service.

Jerusalem mikveh recycling water June 9, 2011

The water at the mikveh (ritual bath) of Pisgat Ze’ev in Jerusalem will soon be recycled thanks to an advanced system, the first of its kind in Israel. The move is expected to save more than a million gallons of water a year.

The experimental recycling program has just recently received the approval of the Health Ministry, which stipulates that the water at a mikveh must be changed once a day.

Jerusalem approves revised plan for contested Museum of Tolerance site

By Nir Hasson June 12, 2011

After a two-year delay the Jerusalem municipal planning committee approved on Monday the plan to build the Museum of Tolerance in the city center.

The new building will have three floors and two additional underground ones, compared to the five floors above ground in Gehry’s design. An archaeological garden, with a Roman aqueduct discovered at the digs on the site, will be built in the museum center.

New Museum of Tolerance receives initial nod

By Melanie Lidman and Gil Shefler June 9, 2011

Following the economic recession which dried up donations, the Simon Wiesenthal Center scrapped the original building plan, which was designed by architect superstar Frank Gehry, in favor of a $150 million cheaper version offered by Tel Aviv based Chyutin Architects, which was revealed last September.

Death of the spirit

By Tomer Ganihar Opinion June 7, 2011

Tomer Ganihar, photographer, writer and filmmaker, wrote the column “Electricity in the Air” in the weekly Ha’ir from 1993 to 1999.

The spiritual revolution in Israel entered my consciousness by chance on the Shavuot holiday of 1991.

…Twenty years after it inundated the country, on this Shavuot holiday, it looks as though the spiritual revolution has begun to expire. Where do we go from here? The answer, my friends, depends on you.

The world’s most influential Jews June 6, 2011

32. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Talmudist

The works of Steinsaltz, a Chabad hassid, were banned by the senior haredi Ashkenazi rabbinic leadership in 1989 for his “audacity” to ease Talmud study away from its traditional form, and his “blasphemous” and “disrespectful” academic approach to biblical figures in a series of publications from earlier that decade.

39. Yitzhak David Grossman Chief Rabbi of Migdal Ha’emek

A scion of a Jerusalemite rabbinical dynasty, Grossman decided following the Six Day War of 1967 to move to the northern town of Migdal Ha’emek to help the community through educational and social work. A year after arriving, he was appointed as the town’s chief rabbi, a position he holds to this day, and in 1972 he founded Migdal Ohr, an educational network serving thousands daily. A member of the Chief Rabbinical Council, Grossman received the Israel Prize for his life’s work in 2004.

40. Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar

Amar’s term as chief rabbi is scheduled to end in 2013, but he will no doubt strive to continue to be a key player in the intricate game of religion and politics in Israel.

41. Rabbi Menahem Froman Hai Shalom Chief Rabbi of Tekoa

One of the founders of the Gush Emunim settlement movement and a longtime resident of Tekoa, Froman – who teaches in yeshivot in Tekoa and Otniel – for decades has been doing his utmost to promote dialogue and understanding between Jews and Muslims

42. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin

Shlomo Riskin (b. 1940) is a proud exponent of modern Orthodoxy in the hilly landscape of Efrat, the town of which he was a founding member and has served as its chief rabbi since its beginning in the early 1980s. A student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik who also has a PhD from New York University, Riskin – after establishing himself as leader of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in New York – packed up his family and made aliya.

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow: Don’t work in mixed pools June 9, 2011

Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the Petah Tikva hesder yeshiva, has ruled that a man must not work as a lifeguard in a swimming pool where women bathe or in a kayak rental facility where visitors arrive in their swimsuits.

Herzog or Orwell?

By Rabbi Gideon Sylvester Opinion June 7, 2011

Gideon Sylvester is rabbi of the United Synagogue’s Tribe Israel, and directs the Beit Midrash for Human Rights at Hillel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Sponsored by the Hillel Foundation and Rabbis for Human Rights)

The time has come for our rabbis, educators, political leaders and law enforcement agencies to speak up and root out this evil from our midst.

That way, we can return to the wondrous vision of the State of Israel not only as a refuge for Jews, but as a democratic Jewish State guided by ethics of loving kindness and justice for all its citizens.

First Yahrzeit of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu Marked

By Elad Benari June 7, 2011

It has been one year since the death of Israel’s former Chief Sephardic Rabbi HaRishon LeTzion, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu.

Rabbi Eliyahu was the revered spiritual leader of the religious-Zionist world for many years, and was respected by all streams for his brilliance, erudition and kindness. He served as Israel’s Chief Rabbi between 1983 and 1993.

New airline hopes to fill Sun d’Or hole

By Zohar Blumenkrantz June 9, 2011

Lead Air is seeking to fill the hole left by Sun d’Or, the El Al subsidiary that lost its license in April. Sun d’Or had not met international criteria for being an independent airline, which included having its own staff and planes.

The company had been dependent on El Al’s infrastructure and existed as a way for the airline to operate flights on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays without losing the business of religious Jewish customers.

Women’s group prays on Temple Mount

By Gil Ronen June 12, 2011

Eighteen women ascended to the Temple Mount last week, in yet another manifestation of the growing Jewish interest and longing for the Temple Mount.

The women – from Ofra, Alon Moreh, Kochav HaShachar, Havat Gilad and Jerusalem also said a prayer.

Religious farmers refuse to plant wheat named ‘Benedict XVI’

By Itamar Eichner June 7, 2011

Israel’s Volcani Center for Agricultural Research, which belongs to the Agriculture Ministry, has recently been forced to change the moniker of a type of wheat named after Pope Benedict XVI because religious farmers refused to grow it.

Archaeologists unearth Acre church from the Byzantine Period

By Jack Khoury June 12, 2011

The structure is about 1,500 years-old and it is believed to have served as a church. The structure was uncovered during a rescue excavation by the Israel Antiquities Authority following an unauthorized dig in the area that uncovered the structure.

Religion and State in Israel

June 13, 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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