Religion and State in Israel – July 18, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

July 18, 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.

Women banned from economic conference

By Omri Efraim July 12, 2011

The conference organizers confirmed that women were refused entry, explaining on behalf of Hamodia and the production company that the event was a private function for a public with certain values, and that women were banned for modesty reasons.

The added that this was not a case of sexual discrimination, as Hamodia organized conference exclusively for women twice a year.

Mickey Gitzin, director of the Be Free movement, told Ynet that “whoever thought the exclusion would stop with the segregated bus lines realizes now that this is a much wider phenomenon taking place in conferences and community centers.

“It’s important to remember that the Convention Center is not a private institution, but is subsidized by the Jerusalem Municipality and Jewish Agency, who should condemn and prevent such phenomena.”

VIDEO: Women banned from economic conference (Hebrew)

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Ultra-Orthodox bar women from major Jerusalem economic conference

By Frances Raday Opinion July 13, 2011

The author chairs the Concord Research Center for Integration of International Law in Israel at the Haim Striks School of Law, Colman College of Management.

Women who came to last week’s Management Forum conference in Jerusalem, hosted by the Haredi newspaper Hamodia, were not allowed to participate – the event was for men only.

…The more the ultra-Orthodox enter the workforce, the more women are going to find themselves marginalized and excluded.

The solution has to be clearly conditioning the use of public resources, public spaces and the political arena on equal access and participation for all Israelis, including women.

The lack of political will evinced by the Knesset and the government will no doubt once again leave the Supreme Court as Israel’s only guardian of liberal democracy.

Male-Only Economics Conference Raises Difficult Questions

By Allison Kaplan Sommer July 15, 2011

So if the conference hadn’t been held in a publicly owned facility — and the fact that it was limited to men made clear from the outset — would banning women have been acceptable? Should the public officials have accepted their invitations to speak?

If ultra-Orthodox executives uncomfortable networking with women aren’t going to attend mainstream conferences, should they be barred from holding their own privately sponsored sex-segregated events? If so, should comparable women-only events also be outlawed?

Deferentially progressive

By Kamon Ben-Shimon July 3, 2011

The eldest daughter of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the revered (by his followers) and controversial (to everyone else) spiritual leader of the ultra- Orthodox Sephardi party Shas, Bar Shalom defies most stereotypes about Haredi women.

“There is nothing attractive about poverty,” she says, but immediately adds that she has no intention of “tempting yeshiva boys to leave the world of Torah. I approach only those who have already taken that step.”

…“We have no intention to change anything in the Haredi way of life. Torah studying always comes first, but if a man cannot study, why should he stagnate in poverty? Why should he work for a low salary instead of acquiring a higher education that will allow him a life of comfort? Haredi and poverty are not doomed to go together.”

“We have to build a world in which there are Haredi doctors, and Haredi psychologists, who come from the Haredi world and understand our special needs. So if there are girls who have the grades and want to study medicine – why shouldn’t they be allowed to?”

And what are the chances of success? Bar- Shalom says of herself, “I not only know how to dream – I’m pretty good at fulfilling these dreams, too.” She adds, “Of course, with God’s help.”

Haredi radio to play women’s voices?

By Kobi Nahshoni July 14, 2011

Ultra-Orthodox radio station Kol Barama will soon start playing women’s voices on its programs, The Second Authority for Television and Radio decided during a meeting last week.

The issue was addressed following complaints filed with the Second Authority against the station’s refusal to have women present programs or call in as listeners.

Kol Barama operates as part of a Second Authority franchise and is one of two haredi radio stations (along with Kol Hai Radio). It is defined as a “religious Sephardic” station.

Haredim want Jerusalem high-tech park for housing

By Yuval Azulai July 14, 2011

United Torah Judaism Jerusalem city councilmen have a new cause: shut down the capital’s Har Hotzvim high-tech park and clear the area for residences. The haredi party is the largest party on the city council, with eight seats.

In a letter to Mayor Nir Barkat, party chairman in the city, Yaakov Halperin, said that the current location of the high-tech park was illogical because it is surrounded by residential neighborhoods, including Sanhedria, Kiryat Zanz, Ezrat Torah, Ramat Shlomo, as well as Ramot.

Kadima MK Schneller: End boycott of Zionists in High Rabbinical Court

By Jonah Mandel July 18, 2011

A key member of the Committee for Appointing Rabbinical Judges is warning he will prevent new rabbinic judges joining the High Rabbinical Court of Appeals, if a Zionist rabbi is not one of them.

For six months, the committee has been unsuccessful in filling the four vacant places in that court. Last Wednesday was supposed to be when the new judges would be appointed, but MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) who serves as one of the Knesset committee members, said on Sunday he wouldn’t let the appointments take place since only haredim were final candidates on last week’s shortlist.

A Haredi city on the horizon

By Zafrir Rinat July 18, 2011

Just over a week ago, the future ultra-Orthodox city of Harish came closer to reality, after the National Planning and Building Council voted in favor of its master plan.

…Yigal Shahar, formerly director of the northern and Haifa districts of the Interior Ministry, simply accepts the government position that the Haredi population in the country needs a city in this region – even if it’s at the expense of the existing secular population of the town, who will soon find themselves in an ultra-Orthodox locale with about 50,000 residents.

Haredi Women Branch into Architecture and Interior Design

By Aryeh Ben Hayim July 12, 2011

Haredi women have already made their mark in the software industry, and now with the growing sophistication of the Israeli housing market, they are entering the world of architecture and design.

This phenomenon can be witnessed at the Houses and Designs 2011 Exhibit, which attracts Israel’s major companies, and this year featured lectures and professional workshops that took account of the participants’ modesty requirements and standards.

Shas: Don’t allow Ashkelon students to tour churches

Ashkelon Students Won’t Tour Churches

By Elad Benari July 15, 2011

Former Deputy Mayor of Ashkelon and current councilman Shimon Cohen of Shas:

“It’s a very serious issue that after two thousand years during which we were scattered among the nations and finally came to our State to maintain a Jewish character that students are taken to visit churches.”

“…Anyone who wants to visit churches should do it privately and not in public, let alone through school which is supposed to teach Jewish values.”

‘Ovadia Yosef backs placing girls in Haredi schools’

By Jonah Mandel July 14, 2011

Senior Sephardi adjudicator and Shas’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is supporting the newly formed Education Ministry committees to find high schools for haredi girls, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Meshulam Nahari (Shas) said on Wednesday, but hinted that a solution from within the schools could render the new bodies unnecessary.

Rabbi Elyashiv wants Educ Ministry out of placement of Haredi schoolgirls

By Yair Ettinger July 13, 2011

The independent Hinuch Atzmai ultra-Orthodox education system may be on another collision course with the Education Ministry after Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Elyashiv instructed the principals of Haredi schools not to cooperate with the ministry in placing girls in the independent schools.

Education Ministry: Principals won’t assign girls to Haredi schools

By Jonah Mandel July 13, 2011

The Education Ministry has, with the formation of a new committee, expropriated from the hands of principals the power to assign high school girls to haredi institutions, as pressure on the ministry grows to find solutions for what is regarded as racial discrimination against Sephardi girls.

[Attorney Yoav Laloum of the Noar Kahalacha NGO] said in response to Shoshani’s letter that “after dozens of years of discrimination in haredi educational establishments, the Education Ministry is finally cleaning things up. But this measure is too late and too little.

The ministry should entirely cancel the enrollment process, since it is based on quotas that limit Sephardim and discriminate against them.”

Torah and Military Inethics

By Rabbi Gil Student Opinion July 14, 2011

Torat HaMelech, a book published last year by two rabbis in Israel, has been lambasted by Israeli media and government as racist and an incitement to violence.

Confident that most if not all commentators on the book failed to understand, and probably even to read, the book, I set out to discover for myself the truth about its contents.

While the media got a lot wrong about the book and failed entirely to explain its creative thesis, they were right about the book being racist.

Police confiscate booklets in support of Rabbi Lior July 14, 2011

A student of the “Nir” Hesder yeshiva in the Judean Jewish community of Kiryat Arba, headed by Rabbi Dov Lior, was briefly detained by police Thursday in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, while en route to the Samarian Jewish community of Beit El, where he hoped to deliver 40 copies of a booklet put out by other students at the yeshiva in support of Rabbi Lior.

Do not desecrate the image of God

By Rabbi Barry Leff Opinion July 12, 2011

The writer is a business executive and rabbi. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Rabbis for Human Rights. Opinions expressed here are his own.

This is not a clash between halacha and secular Western values. It is not a clash between the different Jewish denominations – there are Reform and Conservative rabbis who think “Purity of Arms” is too strict, and there are Orthodox halachic authorities, like R. Ovadiah Yosef, who have criticized Torat Hamelech.

This is a clash for the soul of Judaism. Do we want Judaism equated with the most backward elements of Islam? Or are we going to celebrate our universal values and have Israel take its place as a “light unto the nations?” The choice is ours.

‘Torat Hamelech’ controversy

By Jonathan Rosenblum Opinion July 15, 2011

The writer is director of Jewish Media Resources, has written a regular column in The Jerusalem Post Magazine since 1997, and is the author of eight biographies of modern Jewish leaders.

I have not read Torah Hamelech, and cannot comment on its contents. But Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv, the most prominent living halachic decisor, has condemned the work for reasons similar to those that shocked me in that long-ago debate – it places Jews around the world in danger.

And Rabbi Zalman Nehemiah Goldberg, son-in-law of the late halachic giant Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach withdrew his letter of approbation from the book because of “certain conclusions that are not halachically correct,” and others that defy common sense.

At the same time, I have difficulty conceiving what could have led Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan (who runs a unit that deals with the settler community) and the police to take the extraordinary step of seizing printed copies of Torat Hamelech and then summoning rabbis Dov Lior and Ya’acov Yosef (who had given letters of approbation to the work) for questioning.

IDF officer: Yeshiva in West Bank settlement harbors ‘Jewish terror’ and must be shut down

By Anshel Pfeffer July 17, 2011

GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi said Saturday that the yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar must be shut down since it functions as a source of terror that must be dealt with.

Speaking to ‘Meet the Press’ on Channel 2 television, Mizrahi stated that several of the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva leaders hold views that are not “consistent with democracy”, although they represent only a small minority of the settler community.

New: ‘Kosher’ preventive driving course

By Ari Galahar July 11, 2011

The Transportation Ministry has opened segregated preventive driving courses for ultra-Orthodox men wishing to avoid studying alongside women.

In a bid to reach out to the haredi public, the Transportation Ministry is holding the segregated classes on different days than the classes held for all other drivers.

Six police officers hurt in clashes with ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem

By Nir Hasson July 13, 2011

The clashes began after police had come to the neighborhood of Mea She’arim to close down an illegal slaughterhouse.

Haredim throw rocks at police in Mea Shearim

By Jonah Mandel July 13, 2011

Police were accompanying tax authority and municipality officials who raided the chicken slaughterhouse belonging to Yoelish Krois, the unofficial “operations officer” of the Eda Haredit, the small anti-Zionist extreme haredi group. Krois was arrested during the raid. His business has been operating for some ten years without the proper licenses.

Eda Haredit to mark 100 weeks of Karta lot protests

By Jonah Mandel July 15, 2011

Last week, secular protesters arrived in clown garb. They say police are not doing enough to ensure the freedom of passage on that route from haredi blockage and stones. It is the last main artery open in the area now that Jaffa Road has been closed in favor of the light rail due to start operations on August 19.

This Saturday’s ultra-Orthodox demonstration will be held on Rehov Hanevi’im due to the presence of summertime tourists in immodest dress near the Karta garage, Pappenheim said. To expose the young Eda Haredit men to such spectacles would be counterproductive, he said.

Eda Haredit rabbis: Resume parking lot protests

By Kobi Nahshoni July 15, 2011

The Eda Haredit leadership is forbidding women to take part in the demonstration as well, stressing that “supervisors on behalf of the Badatz (court of justice) will oversee the aforementioned.”

800 ultra-Orthodox protesters attempt to block Jerusalem road

By Nir Hasson July 16, 2011

Secular residents claim that the police are turning a blind eye to ultra-Orthodox efforts to block traffic on the street every Saturday, with hundreds of religious men often resorting to violence in a bid to prevent cars from desecrating Shabbat.

Jerusalem protest: Eda Haredit Haredim fight for Shabbat

By Omri Efraim July 16, 2011

“Senior rabbis arrived at the site. The protest was conducted relatively peacefully, yet upon the rabbis’ departure the violence grew and was accompanied by stone-throwing,” he said.

In the past month, Jerusalem residents reported violent assaults by haredim while traveling on HaNevi’im Street on Shabbat. Saturday’s protest also drew some seculars, who arrived at the site to protest against what they characterized as “haredi thuggery.”

Ultra-Orthodox target non-kosher deli in non-religious neighborhood

By Yori Yalon July 15, 2011

The Laguna delicatessen, which opened just one week ago on busy Jaffa Road in the city’s center, is just outside the large and growing ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Makor Baruch. The shop sells seafood and non-kosher meat products.

Representatives of the religious community quickly made it clear to the shop owner that he should immediately stop offering non-kosher foods.

The Ability to Claim and the Opportunity to Imagine: Rights Consciousness and the Education of Ultra-Orthodox Girls

Shulamit Almog University of Haifa – Faculty of Law, Lotem Perry-Hazan University of Haifa – Faculty of Law; University of Haifa – Faculty of Education – Journal of Law and Education, Vol. 40

The Israeli Ultra-Orthodox education for girls offers a unique opportunity to explore our contentions, since it combines wide general education with extreme messages of gender inequality.

We demonstrate that their wide general education is not sufficient to empower the Ultra-Orthodox girls.

The lack of human rights knowledge, together with community and gender obstacles, prevents them from reaching the domain of human rights as mature women.

This deficiency of rights consciousness affects their ability to define problematic situations they encounter as violations of their human rights and to imagine a wide and open horizon, leading towards personal growth.

Haredi women trained as engineers

By David Regev July 15, 2011

Some 800 ultra-Orthodox women have been trained as software engineers, architects and graphic artists, according to a new study conducted by the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Jewish group fights beach harassment

By Yair Altman July 17, 2011

The Organization for Prevention of Assimilation in the Holy Land (Lehava) has decided to start “defending the daughters of Israel” on the country’s beaches.

According to the organization, many Arab men are posing as Jews, courting and harassing the beautiful women. In response, a “coast guard” aimed at fighting the alleged phenomenon has been set up.

South Korean envoy visits Bnei Brak

By Yoav Zitun July 18, 2011

After telling Ynet about the Talmud being a bestseller in South Korea, Ambassador Young Sam Ma was invited to tour the Israeli city of Torah studies – Bnei Brak – in order to witness the centrality of the ancient rabbinic writings in the lives of the city’s residents up close.

Young told his hosts that his wife had bought him all of the Talmud volumes as a birthday present.

See also: Why Koreans study Talmud

PHOTO Gallery: Na Nach: The Hasidic Jewish Party to Bring Redemption

By Zachary A. Bennett July 12, 2011

Click here for PHOTO Gallery

I recently had the chance to tag along with three Na Nachs for a day. We started in the center of Tel Aviv at the Shuk Carmel, an open-air market and one of the biggest tourist traps in the city.

As soon as we parked, my friends jumped out of the van and broke into dance for about 10 minutes. Locals and tourists alike gathered around to watch their moves.

After cutting a serious rug, the Na Nachs grabbed a pull-out table from the back of the van and stacked it with many religious books, creating an impromptu book store.

Extensions to Mount of Olives mosque illegal, says city

By Melanie Lidman July 13, 2011

Right-wing activists are condemning the Jerusalem Municipality for failing to stop the illegal expansion of a controversial mosque in the Mount of Olives cemetery that has tripled in size since last fall.

The mosque, located next to the rotary at the main entrance of the Ras el-Amud neighborhood, was built in the 1950s, when Jordan controlled the area.

Second Temple artifacts may be buried under Ein Karem toilet

By Nir Hasson July 15, 2011

Have the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality buried treasures from the Second Temple under a giant lavatory? That possibility is just one of the problems cited by opponents of a plan to improve a spring in the city’s Ein Karem neighborhood, at one of Israel’s most important Christian tourism sites.

After clearing mines along border, Israel opens Jesus baptism site on the Jordan River

AP July 12, 2011

Israel opened the traditional baptism site of Jesus to daily visits Tuesday, a move that required the cooperation of Israel’s military and the removal of nearby mines in the West Bank along the border with Jordan.

The location, where many believe John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River, is one of the most important sites in Christianity.

Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

By Doreen Carvajal July 11, 2011

Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews.

Chuetas of Majorca recognized as Jewish

By Jeremy Sharon July 12, 2011

Because the Chuetas are related to the previous generations and married among themselves they should be considered Jewish, Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund told reporters that Rabbi Nissim Karlewitz, chairman of the Beit Din Tzedek (rabbinical court) in Bnei Brak, wrote in a letter to the organization.

See also: The return of Mallorca’s Chuetas

A black and white issue

By Asaf Shtull-Trauring July 18, 2011

Only one of the 294 pupils at the Ner Etzion Elementary School in Petah Tikva is not of Ethiopian origin. As a result, the school has become a symbol of the difficulties involved in integrating the Ethiopian community in the city – and now the struggle has become even more acute.

…The struggle is not limited to Ner Etzion, which is part of the state religious stream.

Barak reinstates Har Bracha as high yeshiva, not ‘hesder’

By Jonah Mandel July 12, 2011

In what seems a significant move to bury the hatchet, the Defense Ministry on Monday said they have decided to recognize Yeshiva Har Bracha as part of the institutions where students can defer military service in order to learn Torah.

In December 2009, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced the yeshiva would no longer be part of the arrangement, or hesder, under which men combine 16 months in the army with close to four years studying in yeshiva.

Court orders mother to save child

By Yoram Yarkoni July 11, 2011

A court ruled that a 13-year-old girl suffering from cancer must have her hand amputated – otherwise she will die. The ruling came after the girl’s mother refused to authorize the operation, claiming the only treatment her daughter requires is fasting and prayer.

By Faith Alone: The Story of Rabbi Yehuda Amital

By Prof. Jonathan L. Friedmann Opinion July 11, 2011

It is, of course, impossible in a short review to recount more than a few vignettes from a biography of a man as singular and multifaceted as Yehuda Amital.

Reichner’s book is a significant contribution to research on Amital, and speaks to larger issues of religion and politics in Israel, and the diversity of Orthodox Jewish thought—a reality frequently blurred over by outsiders and insiders alike.

Peres gives Deri green light for return to public life

By Greer Fay Cashman July 14, 2011

Regardless of attempts by some Knesset members to introduce legislation which will permanently bar former Shas leader Aryeh Deri from returning to public life and running for the Knesset in the next elections, President Shimon Peres believes that Deri, a convicted felon, has paid his debt to society and should therefore be allowed to serve the public in the Knesset once more.

Incarcerated former minister asked to help Katzav acclimate to prison life

By Yaniv Kubovich July 18, 2011

Katsav, who was convicted in December 2010 and sentenced in March 2011, would also be incarcerated at Ma’asiyahu and is expected to be placed in the wing for Orthodox prisoners.

Prison officials consider Benizri to be widely admired by the Orthodox prisoners with whom he studies Torah every day, and they believe therefore that he could help see to it that Katsav’s first few weeks pass relatively smoothly.

Religion and State in Israel

July 18, 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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