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? Friday, September 21, 2018


Haredi Draft Proposal Offers Few Sticks, Many Carrots

The Plesner Committee, tasked with crafting an alternative to the Tal Law for haredi service in Israel, is reportedly drafting a proposal which would defer the enlistment of haredi men till age 22, offer financial incentives to yeshivot that have younger enlistment rates, and begin to levy economic sanctions on haredim who don't enlist by age 23.

German Court Criminalizes Religious Circumcision

A Cologne district court ruled on Tuesday that parents may not have their sons circumcised for religious reasons, essentially criminalizing religious circumcisions.

Lakewood Girls School under Attack for Controversial Letter on Modesty

The Lakewood, NJ, Bnos Yaakov elementary school is not happy over the fact that an internal letter to its students has been published online. It contains a story with a disturbing notion of purgatory for girls who don't obey the laws of tzniyut (modesty).

Reform and Conservative Leaders Deemed Rabbis, to Receive Israeli State Funds

The Israeli government announced on Tuesday that, for the first time, it will pay the salaries of a small number of Reform and Conservative rabbis who are considered leaders in their communities, and will also recognize them as rabbis.

Saudis Outraged by McDonald’s Toy They Believe to be Insulting to Muhammed

Saudi Muslims have launched several campaigns against McDonald's in "response to the savage attacks on the noble Prophet," under banners like "Help your Prophet!" and "Together in support of the Prophet."

At Least 50 Thousand Haredim Assemble to Decry Dangers of the Internet

More than 50,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men packed Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, on Sunday, for the Asifa, a gathering decrying the dangers of the Internet. Organizers have also rented the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the overflow crowd. Event spokesman Eytan Kobre said the group wants to teach families how to use technology responsibly.

Rabbinic Court Annuls 20-Year Marriage: Witnesses not Shabbat Observers

In a precedent setting decision, the Chief Judge of the Jerusalem Rabbinical Court Rabbi Eliyahu Abergel this week freed a woman from her aguna status (separated from her husband but unable to marry another) and annulled her marriage because the witnesses who signed the ketubah were not Shabbat observers. The plaintiff's husband had fled Israel to Florida and was refusing to sign a get.

New Poll Shows Ultra-Orthodox Increasingly Interested in Integrating

On the issue of ultra-Orthodox military service, 41% of those surveyed said they would be moderately or very interested in joining the Haredi IDF program, while 59% said they had either little or no interest. Still, the percentage of interest is substantially higher than the current annual rate of Haredi enlistment in the IDF.

Obama Endorses Same-Sex Marriage; Rabbis Debate Homosexuality

President Obama on Wednesday went on the record with a statement that he now supports same-sex marriage, a reversal of his longstanding opposition. While US public opinion on this issue has seemingly reached a point of no return, the debate within Orthodox Judaism has centered on accepting gays rather than legitimizing the gay agenda. But a few cracks have appeared even in that wall.

Vatican Rep Wants Alliance With Jews, Muslims, to Combat Gay Marriage

A Vatican representative has issued a call for the world’s foremost religions to unite to take a stand against gay marriage. Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the...

International Religious and Cultural Leaders Convene in Kiev for Interfaith Forum

‘Global Winds of Change’ Conference addresses role of religion in democracies and changing societies.

Forcibly Converted Hindu Women Opt to Stay with Husbands, But Story Remains Murky

Three young Hindu women who were kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and married off to Muslim men, chose this week to live with their husbands instead of their families. It has been rumored that the three women had been threatened by Pakistan People's Party parliamentarian Mian Mithu with "dire consequences" if they decided to return to their parents.

Prominent Turkish Muslim Leader Sends Passover Blessings to the Jewish Nation

Adnan Oktar (also known by his pen name Harun Yahya), a prominent Turkish intellectual and religious leader with mass following, has communicated and met personally over the past decade with many Orthodox rabbis from Israel and abroad, expressing his friendship to the Jewish nation and his reverence to the Torah. Oktar has sent the Jewish Press his blessing to the Jewish nation on the occasion of Passover.

Pascal Sacrifice ‘Exercise’ Yields Majestic Street Theater in Preparation for Passover, Redemption

The air at the event in Jerusalem was rife with the kind of excitement one finds in rock concerts. The thick crowd pushed, shoved, pressed, retreated temporarily, then pushed as relentlessly and eagerly as before. If the core idea of the entire event was to urge our Redemption from above by starting it down below, then this one had to have cut through a whole bunch of "klipot."

International Harpsichordist Ordered to Remove Mezuzah from her Doorpost

Barbara Cadranel, a renowned harpsichordist who delights audiences around the world with her unique interpretation of Baroque as well as contemporary music, says she's feeling "violated." The attorney for her Condo Association says his client permits residents to display religious objects on the outside of their doors, but not on "the frame around the door." One neighbor suggested the mezuzah could be a fire hazard…

Video: London Mayor Wannabe Will Make London ‘Beacon’ of Islam

Speaking at last Friday's prayer at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque—and formerly controlled by convicted terrorist recruiter Abu Hamza al-Masri—Ken Livingstone, the Labor party's candidate for mayor of London, pledged to "educate the mass of Londoners" about Islam.

French, Israeli, ZAKA Volunteers Secured Full Jewish Burial in Israel for Toulouse Victims

The bodies of the four victims of yesterday’s shooting attack at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse will be flown back to Israel for burial later Tuesday night, arriving in Israel at 4 a.m. local time. The funeral is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. in Jerusalem. “The Jewish community in France is still in shock and cannot fully comprehend the scope of the disaster.”

Innovative Bride Cuts through Funeral Crowd in ZAKA Ambulance

A young woman in Bnei Brak, Israel, had a problem Wednesday: she was about to get married, but the streets outside the wedding hall, situated next to Kiryat Vishnitz, also in Bnei Brak, were packed with thousands of Vishnitz Hasidim who came to pay their last respects to the Vishnitzer Rebbe. She called the ZAKA (a humanitarian volunteer organization) hotline.

Methodist Church Unanimously Rejects Divestment Resolution

The United Methodist General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) voted unanimously againt divestment in three companies which do business in Judea, Samaria, and the Golan Heights, according to a report by the Israel Action Network, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Rage over Chief Rabbis’ Prohibition of Entrance to Temple Mount

The Arab side in the dispute over Jewish right of access to the holiest Jewish site, has now been taken up by Israel's Chief Rabbis, who emphatically prohibit emphatically any entrance by a Jewish person onto the Temple Mount. The unexpected ruling, on the eve of Purim, is being met with strong objections from senior Rabbis who have been visiting the holy mountain since 1967.

New Group Combating Child Molestation in Ultra Orthodox Enclave

"Magen" is a new Child Protection Agency operating in Ramat Beit Shemesh, whose Haredi vs. National Religious and Secular clamorous encounters made headlines a month or so ago. But Magen deals with a quieter, more sinister aspect of life in this area. Founded two years ago, Magen now reports the presence of at least 36 suspected child abusers in the community of Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Atheists Target Religious Jews in Williamsburg

"You know it’s a myth … and you have a choice," the billboards declare, in Patterson in English and Arabic, and in Brooklyn in English and Hebrew. Next to the text on the Arabic billboard is the word Allah, and on the Hebrew sign is the Hebrew word for the Tetragrammaton, which Jews are not permitted to pronounce. Including the "Shem ham'forash" in the Hebrew billboard is particularly provocative, since it is sacred and so may not be erased in print, presenting protesters with a dilemma.

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