Religion and State in Israel – November 7, 2011 (Section 2)

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Religion and State in Israel
November 7, 2011 (Section 2) (see also Section 1)
Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israel is not affiliated with any organization or movement.

By Zvi Zrahiya and Nati Toker November 7, 2011

Yet another aspect of the Trajtenberg recommendations for social and economic reform is being adjusted to suit narrow sectoral interests: Having a job will be dropped as an eligibility requirement for affordable housing.

This means that most of the homes built under the affordable housing program, Mehir Lemishtaken, are likely to go to Haredi families, as happened in the past.

By Zvi Zrahiya and Nati Toker November 7, 2011

A survey found that 78% of the country’s Jewish population supports implementing every aspect of the Trajtenberg committee’s recommendations regarding integrating Haredi men into the workforce.
The survey, conducted for the nonprofit Hiddush – For Religious Freedom and Equality, found that 90% of non-religious Jews support the reform, while 94% of Haredim oppose it.

By staff and Lahav Harkov October 31, 2011
President Shimon Peres, during a speech moments earlier, focused on the social justice movement and said that social justice is for all sectors of society. He called on haredim to join the workforce.

By Tobias Buck [need free registration to view article] November 6, 2011

“Two years ago, the battle between the ultra-orthodox and the secular population was about the sanctity of the Sabbath,” says Shahar Ilan, the vice-president of Hiddush, an Israeli pressure group for religious pluralism.

“Now the battle is about whether women still have a place in the public sphere.”

Rabbi Amsalem Backs Peres’ Call on Haredim to Join Labor Force

By Aryeh ben Hayim November 1, 2011
“Not everybody is suited to study Torah all day,” Rabbi Amsalem said. 

“The way of Torah study that combines earning a living is the true path of our forefathers and this is how we should educate the young people. Someone who is truly enamored of Torah study will engage exclusively in that study.”

By Rabbi Natan Slifkin Opinion November 2, 2011
See also: The making of post-Haredism (original extended version)
When rabbinic authority is vested in yeshiva deans who are isolated from wider society (and often “handled” by various assistants), abuses of rabbinic power are inevitable. 
And a siege mentality has developed in which any criticism of haredi society, even coming from the inside, is to be fought or silenced.
As a result, many people in haredi society – including both those born into that society and those who joined in a spirit of youthful idealism – have grown dissatisfied.

By Kobi Nahshoni November 3, 2011
Shas Minister Meshulam Nahari slammed the formerly captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit for going to the beach with his father on the first Shabbat after his return instead of going to the synagogue for prayer.
Nahari claimed that Shalit and his father should have utilized the first Saturday after he was freed from Hamas captivity to say the benediction of deliverance – a Jewish prayer of thanks traditionally said by those who survived an adversity or were released from prison.

By Oz Rosenberg November 6, 2011
About a month ago he was spit at again, but this time, it hit his clothes. Garabidian, a former football player, said: “I pushed the two young ultra-Orthodox men up against the wall and asked, ‘Why are you doing this?’ 
They were really scared and said, ‘Forgive us, we’re sorry.’ So I let them go.”

Ultra-Orthodox spitting attacks on Old City clergymen becoming daily

By Oz Rosenberg November 4, 2011
Ultra-Orthodox young men curse and spit at Christian clergymen in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City as a matter of routine. In most cases the clergymen ignore the attacks, but sometimes they strike back.
Last week the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court quashed the indictment against an Armenian priesthood student who had punched the man who spat at him.
…Father Goosan and other Patriarchy members are trying to walk as little as possible in the Old City streets. “Once we walked from the [Armenian] church to the Jaffa Gate and on that short section four different people spat at us,” he says.

By Lawrence Grossman November 1, 2011
Lawrence Grossman is the director of publications at the American Jewish Committee.

The Hazon Ish crafted a strategy meant to provide an independent social space for Haredim within Israel, yet today it increasingly entangles them in Israeli secular life. 

When he called for army exemptions for the 400 yeshiva students in 1949, did he dream that the number would multiply to 62,500 by 2010, triggering intense resentment among their fellow citizens?  

Would he have been satisfied to see that many of the Orthodox women he tried to protect from the secular world have become deeply involved in this world to support their husbands learning Talmud full-time?

Be fruitful and multiply

By Dr. Maya Choshen October 31, 2011
A new study correlating fertility in Israel with the level of women’s religiosity, published in June of this year by Dr. Ahmad Hleihel of the Central Bureau of Statistics…
The fertility rate of Jewish women in Jerusalem (4.3) is significantly higher than that for Jewish women in Israel (3.0). 
The explanation for this lies in the higher proportion of haredi and religious women in Jerusalem compared to Israel. These women are characterized by high fertility rates – 7.5 children for haredi women and 4.3 children for religious women, compared to 2.1 children for secular women.

By Kobi Nahshoni November 7, 2011
“I didn’t say one word against the haredim as a group or individuals,” Halevy clarified in an interview to Kol Hai Radio.
He explained that haredi radicalization leads to seclusion and deepens the rift within the Jewish people…

By Jeremy Sharon November 7, 2011
But Halevy received some support from Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the header yeshiva in Petah Tikva and a leading religious- Zionist figure.

“I partly agree with him,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s very impressive that someone who was so senior within the security apparatus should point out that it will be the internal issues facing us which will determine the fate of the State of Israel. November 6, 2011
In a letter to Weinstein, Gafni wrote that Halevy’s words crossed a red line and may bring harm to a “defined” sector of the public.

By Yoav Zitun November 4, 2011
“The growing haredi radicalization poses a bigger risk than Ahmadinejad,” Halevy said, adding that “the ultra-Orthodox extremism has darkened our lives.”

Anglos for Am Shalem November 7, 2011

“The average Charedi is moderate and wants to get along with fellow Jews. It is the extremists who will rip Israel apart and destroy us through disunity and lack of interest in Judaism among the population if they get their way.
We have to be careful to make this distinction and embrace the Charedim who welcome a moderate Judaism and combat those who want it to be more extreme. This is one of the missions of Am Shalem.”

By Melanie Lidman November 6, 2011
Krois, a father of 13 (“for now,” he said) views the attacks on the haredi way of life with paranoia. He will work ceaselessly, and sometimes violently, to protect his community from the encroaching Zionist and secular institutions, he said, including demonstrating to have Mea She’arim included as part of a future Palestinian nation.
But he knows that the ultra-Orthodox won’t be able to keep modernity out forever, despite the dire warnings of the pashkevilim.

“The world is like a train,” he said, gesturing to the walls of his ad hoc museum, filled with knick knacks such as soda bottles from the 1920s.

“Everything is the same, the world is always moving forward,” he said, and no one, not even the haredim, will be able to stop it. “We just want to make sure that we’re in the last car of the train.”

By Renee Ghert-Zand November 7, 2011
First, they do not play in movie theaters, which are off limits to the Haredi sector. Instead, they are shown only to female audiences during holidays, when the films’ producers are able to rent event halls for screenings. 

Second, the films must be solely for educational purposes, and they are produced with the permission and under the strict supervision of rabbis.

Israeli MKs waver on support for Jewish identity bill
By Jonathan Lis November 7, 2011

The Knesset’s legal advisor, Eyal Yinon, informed Barakeh that because the bill is neither racist nor does it reject the existence of the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people it must be approved for the Knesset agenda.

However, last week Yinon took the rare step of calling for a broad public and parliamentary debate on the draft law, citing its broad implications for Israel’s constitutional status.

See also: 
Livni against Dichter’s ‘Jewish identity’ bill
Rivlin: I won’t disqualify ‘Jewish state’ bill

Legal, but dangerous
Haaretz Editorial November 7, 2011

The bill is making MKs in Dichter’s own faction uncomfortable, with party chairman Tzipi Livni expressing her vehement opposition to it. 

Several Likud lawmakers and government ministers are also upset by the initiative, and certainly by the bill’s wording.

The question of Israel as a Jewish democracy
By Ilan Ben Zion Opinion October 31, 2011
Ilan Ben Zion is an active blogger currently living in Be’er Sheva; he is a graduate of Tel Aviv University with a Masters in Diplomacy.

If Israel is to properly protect its citizens’ rights, it must finally reach a national consensus –however difficult and daunting it may be – on what laws are above the state and the people.

We the people must ratify a constitution that guarantees individual freedoms, minority rights, separation of religion and government, and a clear system of checks and balances.

By Yair Altman November 1, 2011
Education Ministry Director-General Dr. Shimshon Shoshani harshly criticized the establishments in a letter to their legal advisor, Attorney Itzhak Bam. 

“The students are involved in many violent acts against Palestinian residents and security forces, including during yeshiva study hours. Prominent rabbis in the yeshiva support and/or are involved in this violent activity and go as far as to incite the students to this sort of activity.”

By Chaim Levinson November 1, 2011
Dorshei Yehudcha yeshiva high school is part of the institutions of Od Hai Yosef, headed by Rabbi Yitzhak Ginzburg. 

Two heads of the yeshiva, Rabbis Yosef Elitzur and Yitzhak Shapira wrote the controversial book “The King’s Torah” which justifies the killing of non-Jews.

By Ilan Bloch Opinion November 5, 2011
The fundamental message of the day should not be to laud the legacy of Rabin – which in any case means many different things to many different people – but rather to destroy the legacy of his murderer Yigal Amir, to absolutely reject the notion that a government can be changed with bullets, as opposed to through ballots, and to absolutely reject the use of violence within our society.
In this way, the day can promote a unifying message to Israeli society and the Jewish people as a whole, and avoid turning what should be a national tragedy for all into a politically partisan day, which would further cement the fractures in our society.

By Michael Freund Opinion November 2, 2011

The writer is Chairman of Shavei Israel

“Before the War, it was unheard of that every child learned in yeshiva the entire day; it was only a selection of students,” Rabbi Heller said, adding that, “Today, however, there is a new ideal that has no source in Torah: everyone has to learn Gemara, and someone who learns Mishna is considered a ‘loser.’” 

“Never in history,” he noted, “was there such a phenomenon. Throughout the generations, each person learned according to his level.”

Last wave of Ethiopian aliya delayed, central funder angry

By Ruth Eglash November 2, 2011
“I am very disappointed by this new decision,” said Rabbi Yehiel Eckstein, president and founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), which has contributed more than $2.5 million to the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI)-led operation to facilitate the final phase of aliya for some 8,000 Falash Mura – Ethiopian Jews whose ancestors converted to Christianity more than a century ago.
The new policy contradicts a decision announced exactly a year ago by the cabinet to bring the immigrants to Israel at a rate of 200 per month, ending organized aliya from Ethiopia by March 2014.

By Revital Blumenfeld November 2, 2011

A ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of Operation Solomon, in which over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in 36 hours, will take place tonight with the participation of Ethiopian community leaders, President Shimon Peres, Absorption Minister Sofa Landver and other government officials.

By Michael Smith, Daryna Krasnolutska and David Glovin November 2, 2011

With a generally well-educated population of 7.4 million and a modern medical system, Israel has an acute shortage of organs, in part because of religious beliefs.

Just 12 percent of Israelis are registered donors, meaning they have consented to let their organs be used for transplants after they die, according to the Israeli National Transplant Center.

That compares with 40 percent of Americans. About 730 Israelis are currently waiting for a transplant, which is 13 times more than the number of such surgeries performed legally in Israel in 2010, according to the center.


Halachic Approaches to Single Motherhood
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Rosh Yeshiva, Orot Shaul and member of the Surrogacy Advisory Committee

Single Mother by Choice Families in the Framework of the Orthodox Community
Rabbi Benny Lau, Director, Jerusalem’s Center for Judaism and Society; the Institute for Social Justice, Beit Morash
November 1, 2011 19:30; Beit Yehudit – ICCY – International Cultural Center for Youth, 12 Emek Refaim, Jerusalem

Knesset Refuses to Declassify Temple Mount Report

By Gavriel Queenann November 1, 2011
A joint session of Knesset sub-committees discussed on Tuesday a confidential report from the State Comptroller citing serious failures by authorities to safeguard and maintain the Temple Mount.

Religion and State in Israel
November 7, 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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