web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘agreements’

Jewish Democrats Slam GOP for Ron Paul Tribute, Jewish Republicans Slam Dems for Carter Speech

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Jewish Democrats slammed Republicans for planning a tribute to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at the Republican convention.

In a press call Friday, a top aide to Rommey confirmed that there would be a prime time video tribute to Paul.

“Paying tribute to this man who disparaged the U.S.-Israel relationship on Iranian television and empathized with Iran’s nuclear weapons program – on top of the history of his hate-filled newsletters – is a national disgrace,” the National Jewish Democratic Council said in a statement. “Romney and the RNC should cancel the tribute and end this dangerous strategic partnership once and for all.” The RNC refers to the Republican National Committee.

Matt Brooks, the director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said the video tribute was a “small price to pay” for denying Ron Paul a convention speech, and his delegates the opportunity to vote for him – agreements that the Romney campaign apparently extracted in exchange for the tribute.

Brooks had criticized Democrats for assigning a prime time convention speaking spot to former President Jimmy Carter, who has offended Jewish groups with his warnings that Israel’s West Bank policies could culminate in an apartheid state.

Paul, a libertarian who this year sought the GOP presidential nomination, has opposed foreign assistance, including to Israel, and has criticized multiple administrations, including that of President Obama, for what he describes as an overly militant posture in the Middle East.

In the 1980s and 1990s, he also published eponymous financial advice newsletters that mined racist, anti-homosexual and anti-Semitic tropes, although he now insists that he did not vet everything in the publications, and blames past associates for the offensive material.

The Romney aide, in the call, said Paul’s showing during the primaries merited the tribute.

“Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul, while they certainly disagree on many issues … they’ve always had – if you watched part of the debates this year, you’ve have seen there’s a lot of mutual respect between the two of them,” Russ Schriefer was quoted by Talking Points Memo as saying. “And so Rep. Paul’s people came to us and said they’d like to do a short tribute to him, and we said absolutely, it would be a good time to do that.”

Paul and Romney generally avoided attacking each other during the campaign, and other contenders accused the two of forging an alliance to marginalize opponents to Romney, in exchange for guaranteeing Paul and his son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) greater influence within the party.

The younger Paul, who also backs cutting off foreign assistance, including to Israel, and who will have a convention speaking role, has otherwise avoided the incendiary statements that have marked his father’s career.

Ben Swann’s “Reality Check” takes a look at how the RNC is attempting to change the 5 state rule and decredential the entire Maine delegation only 4 days before the Republican National Convention.

Getting Serious About Get-Refusal

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

It’s human nature to hide our heads in the sand. That may be because we are mostly optimistic. We believe everything will be all right even when we know we are taking a chance.

On the flip side, it’s emotionally very difficult to admit we have a problem. We are worried about how others will regard us. Moreover, addressing a problem entails gathering strength to go about solving it. It’s so much easier to hide our heads in the sand.

About ten years ago, at a rabbinic convention in Israel, I was introduced to a well-known American Orthodox rabbi as a to’enet rabbanit – rabbinical court advocate. The rav politely asked me what I do. I briefly explained how I work with dayanim in Israeli batei din on cases of Get-refusal they have difficulty resolving. I stressed my focus on prenuptial agreements to prevent the agunah problem from arising in the first place, through the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel.

“Oh, I know all about prenups” the rabbi replied. “My daughter just got married but I didn’t tell her to sign one. We don’t need these things.”

This rav, one of the most effective leaders in the American Orthodox world, did not recognize the very real agunah problem in his community. In fact, I have received cries for help (even though I am in Israel) from women who belong to every manner of Orthodox community in the U.S., from chassidishe and haredi to Modern Orthodox and everything in between.

Truth be told, it is difficult for a rav to admit publicly to a problem of Get-refusal in his community when no one is admitting it in the other communities. It is more comforting to imagine that should an agunah case arise, the community will take care of it. However, individuals who begin to tread the path of a me’agen are becoming more and more resistant to communal pressure or even rabbinic influence.

By recognizing the potential for the problem and arranging the signing of prenuptial agreements for its prevention, communal and rabbinic influence can be restored. The problem needs to be prevented from taking root in each individual case before it is too late.

Nevertheless, the practice is to hope for the best, rationalizing the agunah problem with statistics. “What,” we think, “are the chances of this happening to me or to my daughter?”

And yet our communities have overcome deep-seated reluctance in order to deal with other widespread problems. To cut down on the number of cases of genetic disease afflicting the Orthodox community, for example, practical yet dignified solutions were found. The community needed to find a way to assist individuals on a communal level and so now many Orthodox educational institutions routinely bring professionals into twelfth-grade classes to administer blood tests.

In this manner, the individual understands the implicit stamp of approval by the rabbanim and the fear of “what will others think?” is erased, since all are working toward the prevention of the problem.

Similarly, the leadership of each of the various Orthodox communities can make practical arrangements for prenup education with every educational institution – high school, yeshiva gedolah, seminary or college.

A service should be provided whereby every student, man or woman, who becomes engaged is called in. The school’s rabbi or counselor can present the couple with a halachic prenuptial agreement together with an explanation, and arrange for notarization services in the school’s office. In this manner the community will quickly understand that all are expected to sign a prenuptial agreement. It will become “automatic” – one of the things you have to arrange before you get married.

Even those who marry later, while no longer under the aegis of educational institutions, will remember to sign a prenuptial agreement since it will have become a standard part of the shidduch process.

Twenty-one rabbanim of one of Americas’ Orthodox communities – roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva University – recently signed a (second) kol koreh calling on all rabbis and the Orthodox community to promote the standard use of a halachic prenuptial agreement. They were spurred to do so by the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot. There are those who may feel YU or ORA is not their derech, but that does not relieve them of the responsibility to address the agunah problem in their own communities.

Will Your Children Sign a Halachic Prenuptial Agreement?

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Did you know that in the United States, the probability of a first marriage ending in divorce is between 40%-50%, while in the United Kingdom, one in every three marriages that took place between 1995 and 2010 ended in divorce? In Israel the divorce rate is at around one third. Unfortunately, these figures have only grown in recent years. Therefore, when a couple gets married, the possibility of a future divorce is sadly neither impossible nor unrealistic.

With this in mind, when I recently wished a friend “Mazal Tov” on his daughter’s engagement, I broached the issue of prenuptial agreements in accordance with Jewish law. Though I discuss the topic all the time (not only with my kids, letting them know it’s a requirement as far as I’m concerned), I had never tried to encourage a rabbi, let alone a rosh yeshiva, of its importance. I was so relieved when my friend, a rosh yeshiva, turned to me and said, “Of course they’re signing one. People who don’t sign halachic prenuptial agreements are stupid.” I wish all my conversations on the subject were so easy, but the halachic prenup has not yet been accepted in all circles.

The purpose of the specific document, which must be done in accordance with Jewish law, is to make sure that no one person can blackmail another in order to receive a get, a Jewish divorce decree. Unfortunately, I have seen cases of this type of blackmail in my capacity as a financial advisor, so I know it happens. Such stories can be heartbreaking, with one side caught in limbo sometimes for many years.

So if you have a child getting married, make sure that he or she has a halachic prenuptial agreement signed well before getting to the chuppa. Even if your kids are too young to be in the dating world, start talking to them about it now, so it becomes just one more thing to check-off on the wedding to-do list.

For details on a halachic prenuptial agreement in Israel go to www.youngisraelrabbis.org.il/prenup.htm and in America go to www.theprenup.org/prenupforms.html.

Mazal tov, and may the bride and groom live happily ever after!

Israel Recognizes Reform, Conservative Rabbis – Bloggers Start Your Engines!

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

First, the key points, as listed by Australian blogger Gary Dunn:

Israel to Pay Wages of Reform, Conservative Rabbis Although the court ruled in 2009 that the state should pay up, a dispute arose over how to define non-Orthodox rabbis, which prevented the agreement from being finalized.

The Reform movement insisted its leaders be called “non-Orthodox rabbis,” while the ministry of religious services — which is controlled by the ultra-Orthodox Shas party — insisted on calling them “community heads.”

Unlike Orthodox community rabbis who are funded by the religious services ministry, the Reform and Conservative rabbis will receive their salaries from the ministry of culture and sports. Gary Dunn, The Australian Eye

I believe the intriguing headline below is a typo, I don’t think the threat of destorying Israel but rather of destroying her was upsetting the author. Still, spell checking is almost essential in disseminating one’s diatribe…

Next Target for Reform & Conservative Jews to Destory: Israel As if these movements have not caused enough damage to Judaism in Diaspora and Europe, let’s bring it to Israel too. I just read in the Ynetnews.com that Israel has recognized Reform and Conservative Rabies as Jewish Rabies and they will receive state funding. I am not going to argue these movements’ political standing because it varies from one spectrum to another. However, why is it so important for these two movements to be recognized in Israel? Don’t they have enough power in the U.S? What is left of them in the U.S? Has their membership market finally run out of members that they are looking to Israel to find supporters? Didn’t the Reform movement argue that it is a form of Judaism that is designed to address the American and European needs? Why do they need to establish themselves in Israel? For more by Ben Kahen, ESQ., go to: The Light At the end of the Tunnel

OK, now how about a Reform Chief Rabbi? Too soon? Not if you ask Dr. Mendy Ganchrow, past president of the Orthodox Union, and former Exec. VP of the Religious Zionists of America.

Reform and Conservative Clergy The decision to fund Reform and Conservative clergy in Israel is a sick perversion of Jewish Law and tradition.

These so-called religious movements have brought assimilation, mixed marriages, same sex marriages, egalitarianism and desecration of our Holy Torah.

No civil Court, no government has the power to recognize those who desecrate our Torah.

The next thing will be for some jokers to lobby for a “chief Rabbi from these groups. Mendy Ganchrow, M.D.

And now, something from our non-religious friends, who must have ambivalent reactions to the acceptance of yet another religious authority in Israel, when all they want is a little more Godlessness…

Israeli Reform & Conservative Jews Have The Wrong Idea No Zionist is opposed to Israel’s cultural expressions of Judaism such as designating holidays, employing certain symbols or speaking Hebrew.  But the approach of these liberal religious Jews betrays their own prejudice that Judaism is first and foremost a religion.

The state should remain completely neutral in all matters of faith.  No religious councils.  No state funding of synagogues.  No state rabbis. Not that long ago, certain religious types began changing the words of the IDF’s Yizkor (memorial) reading.  Instead of “Yizkor Am Yisrael…May the People of Israel Remember,” they recited “Yizkor Elohim…May God Remember.”  So the IDF had a special committee study the issue.  The original – and secularized – wording was restored.  Still Jewish, but silent about faith. Rabbi Jeffrey Falick, The Atheist Rabbi

Next, a profile of the main plaintiff in the Reform case against the state. Now, to my frummie friends (which, come to think of it, comprises all my friends), just cuz I’m citing it don’t mean I’m endorsing it. OK? Pheew…

Battling in the Courts and Planting the Grassroots: Rabbi Miri Gold speaks to the non-Orthodox Jewish experience in Israel “I didn’t fit the mold,” explains Rabbi Miri Gold of Kibbutz Gezer, “Lighting candles on Shabbat without the blessing was just too culturally Jewish for me—something was missing.” Gold recalls that Orthodox kibbutzim, “as liberal as they were in their own way,” weren’t Jewishly comfortable either. From this state of alienation, Gold went on to become a member of Kibbutz Gezer in 1977 and from there, slowly found her way to becoming an ordained Reform Rabbi.

Three Cheers For IRF’s Mandating Prenuptial Agreements

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The Orthodox community has recently been rattled by yet another high profile agunah situation – this time in Philadelphia and Washington. This was not the first nor will it be the last such case. We know that genuine halachically viable solutions to the agunah problem are hard to come by and might not even be within our grasp. But we also know the agunah problem can be functionally solved in practice, even if not in theory, and the solution is clear and obvious.

The Beth Din of America prenuptial agreement (which can be found at www.theprenup.org) really does work in almost all the cases actually presented in the United States. Its structure – payment of money until a Get is given – has a proven track record of actually delivering a Get case after case. It is the vaccine against the agunah problem. But, like all vaccines, it has to be used before one has the illness – taking a vaccine after the fact never works.

Indeed, all of us who are genuinely interested in actually solving the agunah problem have been pushing the Beth Din of America prenuptial agreement for years. YU roshei yeshiva have signed public letters backing it and many other halachic authorities have endorsed it as well. There is virtually no halachic controversy about its permissibility to use. The RCA has twice endorsed its use and encouraged its members to use it.

But yet the truth is that for a variety of reasons – nearly all social or political – the use of the Beth Din of America Prenuptial agreement is still uncommon outside of the Modern Orthodox community, and certainly not used 100 percent of the time even within it. Many RCA members do not use it.

The next step is obvious. We need to agree, as a community, that every Orthodox wedding has to have a prenuptial agreement addressing the giving and receiving of a Get. When every marriage is vaccinated against the possibility of the woman or man being an agunah, agunah matters will go the way of smallpox – they will functionally disappear as a problem even as we actually have no cure. A potent vaccine is as good as a cure. We all know this – but as is the case with many other communal matters within Orthodoxy, we lack the vision and authority and will to impose our solution on our community, even our own rabbinic community.

Not the International Rabbinic Fellowship. Recently, the IRF passed a resolution stating:

As a requirement of membership, IRF Rabbis may only officiate at a wedding where there is an IRF approved halachic prenuptial agreement, and IRF Rabbis are encouraged to participate ritually only in weddings with halachic prenuptial agreements.

This is obviously the right approach – rabbinical councils throughout America need to mandate the use of prenuptial agreements by all their members and not tolerate deviation on this matter. Marriages without such agreements produce cases of agunahs – no different from children without vaccinations contracting polio – and it is to credit of the IRF that they are the first rabbinic organization to mandate the right solution to the problem.

It is the IRF – and no other organization at this time – that is mandating what the rabbinical leadership at Yeshiva University is insisting is the critical step in purging our community of the distressful problem of the modern-day agunah.

Nobody is right about every matter every time, but the IRF deserves three cheers for getting this one very right. I hope other rabbinic organizations see the light and actually adopt policies with teeth that regulate conduct of their members in this area. We can cry over the problem of the agunah, or we can work to fix it as individual cases arise, or we can mandate that the problem be vaccinated against so it ceases to plague us. I vote for the latter solution as the best now available to us and I think we should mandate that no Orthodox rabbi perform weddings without a BDA prenuptial agreement.

If your rabbi belongs to an organization that does not mandate the use of any prenuptial agreement, ask him why that is the case. If your rabbi does weddings without using a prenuptial agreement, press him to stop doing such weddings and to mandate that no such weddings take place on the synagogue grounds.

Yoram Ettinger: Mid-East Unpredictability and the Peace Process

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

In order to comprehend the real Mid-East, the root causes of regional turbulence, the key obstacle to peace and the oversimplification of Western peace-processors, one should examine the Iraq-Syria labyrinth, an arena of flaming and chronic unpredictability.

In April 2012, the Iraqi regime – led by Shiites – is supporting the Assad regime in the battle against Syria’s Sunni majority and the Muslim Brotherhood, which are perceived as a worse threat than Assad to the current regime in Baghdad.

However, from 2003 until the eruption of the current civil war in Syria, Iraq was haunted by Assad-armed and trained pro-Saddam Sunni terrorists, who terrorized Iraq and undermined the stability of the current Iraqi regime.

Moreover, from 1966 – when a split occurred between the Damascus and the Baghdad wings of their ruling Ba’th party – until the 2003 demise of Saddam Hussein, Syria supported all anti-Saddam Hussein ideological, ethnic, tribal, and religious elements. In fact, from 1979 until 2003, Damascus and Tehran provided asylum to Iraq’s current Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, who was then in opposition to Saddam Hussein.

The rivalry between Syria and Iraq has raged – on and off – since the eighth century, when the Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphate lost the military battle for intra-Muslim leadership to the Baghdad-based Abbasid Caliphate.

Welcome to the real Mid-East, the model of violent unpredictability, where the most predictable factor is unpredictability!

Inherent Mid-East unpredictability has produced a multitude of intra-Muslim accords concluded, but routinely, brutally, and unpredictably abrogated. Hence, the frequent intra-Muslim cease fire agreements recently concluded, yet summarily and mercilessly violated, in Syria.

The higher the unpredictability, the lower the prospect of compliance. The lower the compliance, the higher the threshold of security, especially in the unstable, treacherous, fragmented, violent, and unpredictable Mid-East.

The failure of Mid-East Muslim regimes to adhere to intra-Muslim agreements attests to the provisional and fragile nature of agreements signed with “infidel” entities, such as the Jewish State. The critical issue is when and how – not whether – agreements will be shattered. For example, in 1994, Jordan’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff told his Israeli colleague that “agreements signed with the Palestinians in the morning are violated by the end of the day.”

However, President Obama, West Europe, and the UN – just like the Israeli Oslo-ites and New Middle Easterners – are obsessed with the formalities of concluding Israeli-Arab agreements, failing to grasp the deeply-rooted fragility of all agreements concluded in the Mid-East. They pressure the Jewish State to assume irreversible “painful tangible concessions” – in return for reversible, intangible Arab declarations. They lean on Israel to retreat to the pre-1967, defenseless, 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean. They prod Israel to transfer – to unpredictable and violent neighbors – the cradle of its history, which is also a mountain ridge, dominating the Mediterranean sliver and constituting an indispensable, protective high ground for Israel’s survival in the most conflict-ridden region in the world.

The real Mid-East is currently further traumatized by the tectonic implosion of the Arab Street, the meltdown of traditional regimes, and the surge of radical Islamic elements, irrespective of the Palestinian issue or the Arab-Israeli conflict, which have only had a secondary impact upon the Mid-East.

Islamists have catapulted to leadership in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt and are challenging every Arab regime.

Emad el-Din Adeeb, a columnist of the London-based Arab daily, A-Sharq al-Awsat, wrote on February 4, 2012: “I sorrowfully say, God bless the days of Saddam Hussein, compared to today’s Iraq!… Iraq has been dismantled, and is now practically divided into three minor states: the Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions…. The number of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq amounts to 200,000 armed troops. This is in addition to the fact that some government correspondence in Baghdad is now written in both Persian and Kurdish…. The state has shifted into a major power center for extremist Islamic currents that threaten national and regional security, most prominently al-Qaeda…. The Iraqi authorities want to relocate the late President Saddam Hussein’s corpse from his grave – because of the numerous visits and crowds gathering nearby– to an unknown or remote place…. Judging by what happened in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, no one believes change in Syria will be democratic in the long term. It will bring to power a sectarian Islamic fundamentalist party. Instability will continue to be the order of the day.”

But, President Obama, Europe, and the UN persist in ignoring Mid-East reality. They pressure Israel to be the only country negotiating away its cradle of history, while lowering its security threshold, as if the Mid-East were relatively-predictable and compliant.

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1756

Hamas Leader: No Peace With Israel

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Hamas number two Moussa Abu Marzouk said Thursday that if Hamas comes to power in a future Palestinian state, it will not uphold any peace agreements with Israel.

Any agreement, even if ratified by Palestinian legislators, would not be upheld, and will only be considered a temporary truce in the war, according to Marzouk.

In an interview published at the Forward, Marzouk said “we will not recognize Israel as a state.”  Marzouk also noted that anyone who took part in the killing of six million Jews during the Holocaust “should be ashamed”, in contravention of a Hamas policy to deny that the Holocaust ever took place.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-leader-no-peace-with-israel/2012/04/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: