Religion and State in Israel – October 10, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel

October 10, 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 court opposed to imposing curriculum on Haredim

By Jeremy Sharon October 5, 2011

At a High Court of Justice hearing on Tuesday regarding a petition calling for haredi educational institutions to be compelled to teach core subjects, the justices questioned the authority of the court to impose a specific curriculum on a sector of the population not wishing to adopt it.

The session, which was attended by nine judges and headed by Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish, comprised the “constitutional panel” required for a fundamental change in a law such as that under discussion at the hearing.

High Court says law encourages Haredim not to learn core studies

By Aviad Glickman October 4, 2011

According to Beinisch, “The importance of English and mathematics is clear but the question is what is the legal claim that can nullify the law.”

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein added, “The assumption is that many of us would be glad to see the haredi world embrace core studies, but the question is whether we have reached a point where we have to exercise our authority?”

Trajtenberg Committee recommends compulsory core curriculum, limiting the study of young men in yeshiva September 26, 2011

Hiddush for Religious Freedom in Israel CEO Rabbi Uri Regev:

“The future of Israel and the Israeli economy depends on the implementation of these recommendations.

Without integration of ultra-Orthodox men into the workforce, we would not answer the battle cry of the protest movement, a call for “Social Justice”.

Without implementation of core curriculum and limiting publicly funded yeshiva study, yeshiva students will not integrate and the burden on the middle class will only worsen.”

Only religious teachers to be allowed to teach civics in State Religious schools

By Talila Nesher October 10, 2011

The Religious Education Administration at the Education Ministry is developing a plan that would limit civics instruction for teachers in the state religious school system to instructors who are themselves religious.

Religious Education Administration head Avraham Lifshiz:

“As instructors and teachers of civics, we are really dealing with the most essential topics,” he said, adding that the proper circumstances have to be provided so instructors correctly guide the students.

Stop creeping extremism in Israeli religious schools

Haaretz Editorial October 9, 2011

The teachers from the state religious school system who protested recently against the increasing extremism of the ultra-Orthodox nationalists in the system, is an expression of concern over a process that has been underway for more than a decade – the move of the state religious school system away from the mainstream and its being swept into ultra-Orthodox nationalism with roots in the settlements and the spiritual surroundings of rabbis from the settlements.

Consider This: Take a seat

By Naomi Ragen Opinion October 7, 2011

Last week I decided the time had finally come to once again board a No. 40 bus in Jerusalem. I was not looking forward to it.

The last time I tried to take a seat on that bus, in 2004, my simple ride home quickly turned into a nightmarish journey of abuse and humiliation.

During the entire ride, a sweating, overbearing young man dressed in the black garb of a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) yeshiva student hung over me, demanding I move to the back, where he was convinced women belonged.

I ignored him, but when I finally reached my stop, I found myself shaken and in tears, vowing never to return.

Orchestra subscribers allowed to skip female singers

By Noam Ben Zeev October 5, 2011

Bowing to pressure from religious subscribers, the Ashdod-based Israel Andalusian Orchestra has removed a concert from its subscription series featuring a female singer.

Haaretz has learned that the orchestra received complaints from concertgoers who threatened to cancel their subscriptions over the woman singer featured in the subscription series.

Striving for Gender Equality in Israel

Noa Sattath, 34 is the Director of the Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC)

What Motivates Noa?:

“I chose to participate in this project because I am very concerned by the abuse of the halachic term of Tzniut (modesty).

This term, describing humility, is being abused more and more often to oppress women and push them out of the public sphere.

I think it is our job to name it for what it is: discrimination and to ensure the protection of women’s rights.”

School battle escalates religious clash in Jerusalem suburb

By Ruth Eglash October 3, 2011

“They are determined to make Beit Shemesh a haredi city,” said Dov Lipman, formerly of Maryland, who in recent months has become a leader in the Modern Orthodox community in the battle over what he says is the future of Beit Shemesh.

It is a microcosm, some say, of the larger religious-secular conflict in Israel.

“What is happening here is a microcosm of what could happen nationwide, and our unwillingness to yield before the violence and threats should serve as a model for the rest of the country,” Lipman said.

“I think in other places they successfully intimidated local residents, but we will not run away,” he said of the haredi extremists. “They want to take control of our town and we will not let them.”

Court to rule on legality of Israeli ultra-Orthodox ‘Taliban sect’

By Oz Rosenberg October 5, 2011

In a precedent-setting move, an Israeli court is expected to decide next week whether it is legal to belong to the extreme ultra-Orthodox group Lev Tahor, known as “the Taliban sect.”

A decision reached this week by a family court in Rishon Letzion indicates that a ruling on Lev Tahor’s legality is imminent.

…Rituals of the Lev Tahor community reportedly involve lashing anyone considered a “sinner,” and sending 14-year-old girls to the wedding canopy.

PHOTOS: A close look at Israel’s Hasidic communities October 4, 2011

In his new book, Haaretz photographer Gil Cohen-Magen captures the every day life of Hasidic Jews in Israel.

Click here for PHOTO Gallery

A window into the Haredi world

By Greer Fay Cashman October 7, 2011

Modern technology has impacted on haredi communities and has made them far less insular, Rabbi Shmuel Haim Pappenheim said last week.

Pappenheim, a prominent representative of Toldot Aharon, an anti-Zionist hassidic movement headquartered in Mea She’arim but whose adherents also live in Beit Shemesh and New York, was speaking at the Gesher Foundation at the launch of Hassidic Courts.

It is a beautifully illustrated book of 141 photographs and 141 stories of hassidic life in Mea She’arim by photojournalist Gil Cohen-Magen

Haredim stone J’lem police bomb squad in Mea Sha’arim

By Melanie Lidman October 5, 2011

In the ultra-Orthodox Mea Sha’arim neighborhood of Jerusalem, haredim threw rocks at the vehicle of the Jerusalem bomb squad on Wednesday evening, which had arrived onSpitzer Street in order to diffuse a suspicious object.

You do the math

By Peggy Cidor October 7, 2011

A quick look at the figures of the [Jerusalem] Education Department could be misleading.

After all, while the rise in the state stream is about 200 additional pupils, the haredi stream has some 9,000 new pupils. But as Choshen explains, what matters here is the change in the trend.

“The fact that for the first time we have a meaningful number of new pupils in the two grades that matter in this case – kindergarten and first-year elementary school – is the most important indication.

It means that the parents of some 200 children decided not to leave the city but to stay here, declaring their confidence in the city’s ability to provide their children with a good education,” she says.

VIDEO: Are Haredim becoming more nationalistic? “Halamish”:Haredim for settling Eretz Yisrael


Click here for embedded VIDEO

Israel has the shortest summer in the world

By Nehemia Shtrasler Opinion October 4, 2011

As if all religious people begin work at 7:30 A.M. and cannot ask to come half an hour later for one month. And what do Jews in Paris, Rome, Brooklyn and Antwerp do? How do they manage to pray and reach work on time?

The answer is easy. There they don’t have the political power to drive the public crazy. There they cannot force a minority opinion on the majority.

Settler violates house arrest in bid to fly to Uman

By Ra’anan Ben-Zur October 9, 2011

The Petah Tikva Magistrates’ Court on Sunday extended the remand of a 25-year-old man from Elon Moreh by two days over suspicions that he flew to Uman in the Ukraine despite being under house arrest, using another man’s passport.

During questioning the suspect claimed he violated his house arrest because “the rabbi ordered me to fly to Uman and I knew I wouldn’t be able to issue a passport.”

This Succot, a Palm in Every Hand

By David Rosenberg October 9, 2011

Israeli technological prowess went head to head against the Arab Spring, and won.

As a result, there is no shortage of date palm fronds (lulavim), one of the so-called four species observant Jews require in a ritual celebrating the holiday of Sukkot, or Tabernacles, that begins at sundown on Wednesday.

Despite Egypt ban, thousands of palm fronds smuggled to Israel, U.S. ahead of Sukkot

By Shlomo Shamir October 10, 2011

Thousands of palm fronds have been smuggled from Egypt and have made their way to Israel and the United States, veteran palm frond traders said Monday, despite the Egyptian ban on their export ahead of the upcoming Sukkot holiday.

58% of Israel’s Jews fast on Yom Kippur October 7, 2011

So how many people are planning to fast on Yom Kippur? Fifty-eight percent of respondents declared that they would avoid eating and drinking throughout the holiday, compared to 37% who won’t be fasting. The remaining percent don’t know or have yet to decide.

An absolute majority of haredim, religious and traditional Jews will follow the Jewish tradition by fasting (100%, 99% and 87%, respectively), compared to most seculars (54%) who plan to continue eating.

VIDEO: Yom Kippur through alternative eyes October 7, 2011

Dozens of young Israelis in search of an alternative way to spend Yom Kippur flock to the Israeli Academy for Leadership in Ein Prat for a different type of High Holidays experience.

Click here for VIDEO

Meditation, poetry, introspection on offer to more secular

By Jeremy Sharon October 7, 2011

Rabbi Gilad Kariv, executive director of the Israeli reform movement.

“There is a real need for non- Orthodox expressions of Judaism,” he said.

“The Jewish public is definitely interested in a Jewish renaissance, so the Reform movement is serving the needs of the secular and traditionalist population in Israel who want to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity and tradition but don’t want to do it in the Orthodox fashion.”

Israel set to come to complete standstill on Yom Kippur

By Zafrir Rinat, Zohar Blumenkrantz and Yair Ettinger October 7, 2011

A survey conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics in 2009 found 26 percent of Israeli Jews who describe themselves as “secular” or “not religious” fast on Yom Kippur and 24 percent of them have attended prayers at a synagogue.

Tel Aviv to shut down bike rental service on Yom Kippur

Ben Hartman October 6, 2011

The Tel Aviv Municipality will not operate its bicycle rental service on Yom Kippur, following a request made to Mayor Ron Huldai by a religious member of the city council.

Shas faction member Beni Babayouf told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that he petitioned Huldai last week and asked him not to operate the system on Yom Kippur so as to avoid offending the city’s religious residents.

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox rethink Yom Kippur ritual

By Daniella Cheslow, AP October 6, 2011

Yehuda Shein, a community activist in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh, founded an ultra-Orthodox animal rights group last year. This year, about 50 activists from his group, “Behemla,” or “in compassion,” handed out flyers citing rabbinical opposition to performing kaparot on chickens.

“People doing kaparot think only about holding onto the chicken, and they think they did a good deed of donating the chicken to charity. But they don’t understand the pain the animal endured,” Shein said.

Haredi group slams Kapparot ritual

By Lihi Laufer October 6, 2011

Hemla members stress that they have nothing against the actual custom.

“We want to raise awareness to the horrible way that people hold the chickens. It’s inhumane – they sit in the sun, crowded, without food or water. Judaism says a person must not eat before feeding his animals,” explains Yehuda Schein, one of the organization activists.

Secular and fasting

By Amos Shavit October 7, 2011

I’m secular. I got married without the Rabbinate’s stamp of approval, I eat shrimp, I don’t kiss mezuzahs or the beards of Kabbalists and I ride my bicycle every Saturday morning, during prayer time.

I think that God is fiction produced in the image of man in order to provide moral authority at ancient times, in the absence of an effective cultural-social codex.

An Evolving Secularism: Yom Kippur Streets in Israel

By Yehuda C. Goodman Association for Jewish Studies (AJS), Spring 2011

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is celebrated in Israel as a complete sabbatical. All business and entertainment shuts down. Observant Jews spend the entire day fasting and praying in synagogues.

Many seculars fast, some spend some time in the synagogues, some stay at home with their families, some rent lots of DVDs in advance in order to spend the day watching movies, and others prepare to wander around on bicycles.

Yom Kippur scenes offer yet another opportunity to rethink secularism in the Jewish-Israeli context and perhaps in other modern nation-states as well.

PHOTOS: Yom Kippor at the Kotel

Yom Kippur brings dramatic air quality improvements

By Sharon Udasin October 10, 2011

Air quality levels in Israel’s largest cities were dramatically higher during Yom Kippur, with air monitoring stations indicating significant drops in nitrous oxide levels in particular, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry.

Rabbis: ‘Price tag’ contradicts Torah

By Kobi Nahshoni October 10, 2011

Chief Military Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz has demanded that hesder yeshiva rabbis condemn “price tag” activities and act against them, in light of the torching of a mosque in the northern Arab village of Tuba Zangaria and the desecration of Arab graves in Jaffa.

Chief Rabbi Amar: Mosque arson may be blood libel

By Kobi Nahshoni October 4, 2011

Chief Sephardic Rabbi Shlomo Amar says the torching of a mosque in the northern Arab village of Tuba Zangaria may have not been committed by Jews, and that the attempt to ascribe the act to “price tag” activists is basically a “blood libel”.

A message for Jews, in a charred mosque at Yom Kippur

By Bradley Burston Opinion October 6, 2011

This Yom Kippur, the desecration of mosques is that wound.

There are those who are taking steps to heal this, and we can help them. Among the first is the Israel Religious Action Center, part of the Reform Movement in Israel.

They have begun a campaign to help repair the Tuba mosque, to replace the Koran burned in the fire, to buy new carpets, and restore the structure.

The Ameinu movement will also be providing funds to purchase holy books.

Ultra-Orthodox paper condemns ‘insane act’ of mosque arson in northern Israel

By Yair Ettinger October 6, 2011

The ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yated Ne’eman Wednesday condemned the arsonists who torched the mosque in the village of Tuba-Zangariya and said the “din rodef” law applied to them, meaning it is permitted to kill them to prevent them from endangering others.

Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel: Coordinate with IDF Rabbinate October 9, 2011

Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel of Ramat Gan called on civilian yeshiva rabbis, Sunday, not to issue private rulings on Jewish law that might affect religious soldiers without consulting with the rabbinate of the Israel Defense Forces

Hesder Rabbis Express Support for IDF Rabbinate October 9, 2011

The heads of the Hesder yeshivas, which combine military service with Torah study, expressed support, Sunday evening, for the rabbinate of the Israel Defense Forces.

Ethiopian aliyah hindered by overload at Israeli absorption centers

By Ruth Eglash October 6, 2011

Supporters of Ethiopian aliyah worry that the Israeli government’s inability to adequately address the problems at the absorption centers not only will harm the integration of Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society, but also could derail Ethiopian aliyah because there is no place to put the new arrivals.

Already the Israeli government has reduced the number of Ethiopian immigrants it allows in per month to 110, down from 200, and in recent months at least two absorption centers have been closed.

3rd indictment filed in Jerusalem pedophile case

By Joanna Paraszczuk October 3, 2011

The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office announced on Sunday that an indictment has been filed charging a Jerusalem man with sexually abusing minors in the capital.

Illegal extension to Mount of Olives mosque almost complete

By Melanie Lidman October 5, 2011

Illegal extensions to a mosque inside the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem are nearing completion, despite an order to freeze work from the municipality, said activists who are trying to preserve the ancient Jewish cemetery.

Construction work on the mosque is happening largely during Shabbats and Jewish holidays, when workers can take advantage of less oversight from the police and municipality

Swastikas spray-painted at Joseph’s Tomb

By Kobi Nahshon October 6, 2011

Unknown assailants have scrawled graffiti, including swastikas, on the walks of Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Soldiers and worshippers arriving at the holy site on Wednesday night, exactly one year after the completion of its renovation, rushed to erase the graffiti.

Religion and State in Israel

October 10, 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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