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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘approval’

Rav Ovadia Yosef Holds in his Hands the Fate of Israel’s Attack on Iran

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The final say on whether or not Israel will go it alone against Iran’s nuclear facilities depends on the two architects of that plan, and on the IAF which will carry it out. It will also depend on the Obama Administration and on whether or not the Saudis and the Gulf states will give their tacit approval. But that same decision will also depend on the approval of a 92-year-old Sefardi Rabbi from Jerusalem, whose thumbs-up or down could kill the plan or give it life.

Kikar HaShabbat disclosed on Monday a meeting that took place last Friday between the “Rishon L’tzion,” former Sefardi chief rabbi, Rav Ovadia Yosef and the National Security Advisor, General (Res.) Yaakov Amidror.

Rav Yosef is the undisputed leader, spiritual and otherwise, of Shas (Heb. acronym for Shomrei Sfarad, lit. Sfarad’s [Torah] guards), an ultra-orthodox religious political party with 11 Knesset seats, member of the coalition government.

The meeting focused on the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, and the support of Shas ministers Yishai and Attias for this move. This disclosure, as expected, was publicized in major Israeli media.

A source at 45 HaKablan Street in Jerusalem, Rav Yosef’s home, told Kikar HaShabbat that “this was a secret meeting; even the closest people didn’t know about it. Friday, immediately after the morning prayers, Yaakov Amidror arrived and entered Rav Ovadia’s room and the secret conversation began.”

Approximately 20 years ago, Hosani Mubarak, then president of a powerful Arab nation, invited Rav Ovadia Yosef to his residence to thank him for his support of the peace process and to forge personal ties with him.

Mubarak understood then what many political leaders caught onto only later on, that Rav Ovadia Yosef is the key to the entire political and security process in Israel. His influence on his party is prominent and his word has ramifications in wider spheres of influene.

Things have changed since then in Egypt, but not in Israel. Mubarak lost his leadership, but Rav Ovadia’s positon and influence have only grown stronger. Several months ago, the Mubarak Family asked Rav Yosef to pray for the deposed ruler’s health and that he be saved from the prison where he is now. In one of his lectures, the Rav commented that immediately after receiving the request, he prayed and wished Mubarak a complete recovery and that he be released from prison.

This month, the Forum of Eight Cabinet Minsiters, which became nine last week with the addition of the new Home Front minister Avi Dichter, is expected to decide whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. The votes in the Security Cabinet are equal. Netanyahu needs the support of the Shas ministers, which in reality means the approval of Rav Ovadia Yosef.

It took Yitzchak Rabin 3 meetings with the Rav to present the outline of the Oslo Accord with the Palestinians. Ariel Sharon came twice to convince the Rav of his decision to expel the Jewish residents of Gush Katif; however the president of the Council of Chacmei Torah didn’t even take a minute to think. “Your plan is terrible, and in the future it will become clear how mistaken your plan is. I suggest that you do not implement it.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert updated the Rav on the night before the attack on the nuclear reactor in Syria and he came to his house on the first day of the second Lebanon war.

In the last stages of the operation before the release of Gilad Shalit, Rav Ovadia’s approval was necessary to complete the list of prisoners to be freed. After the list was complete and Hamas had submitted their list of prisoners to released “without which there is no deal,” the name of Salah Hamouri, a terrorist that had planned to assassinate Rav Ovadia Yosef, appeared on the list. He had been indicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but had only served 7 years of his sentence.

Israeli security personnel realized that, in this case, the strong opposition of Rav Ovadia could undermine the entire deal. They decided to send Yoram Cohen, Secret Service commander to the Rav’s house. Cohen had a good relationship with the Rev for many years and the Rav admired him. However, in contrast with previous instances, the Rav refused to release the prisoner due to reasons not connected to him personally.

Utimately, the person who succeeded in getting the Rav’s approval was French ambassador Christof Bigot, one of the most active behind-the-scenes negotiators. During his tenure in Israel, he enjoyed a very warm relationship with the leaders of the Shas party.

That was the background against which Amidror’s visit has taken place.

“Everyone was asked to leave the room. Only the Rav, Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Yaakov Amidror remained in the room. The conversation lasted about 45 minutes while Amidror presented to Rav Ovadia political information known to the Intelligence Unit and estimates of the dangers to Israel if Iran succeeds in creating nuclear ammunition. Amidror explained the importance of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power.”

The source added, “At the end of the meeting, it was obvious that Minister Yishai was very upset and worried. It looked like it hadn’t been an uncomplicated meeting. We have to bear in mind that Eli Yishai opposes attacking Iran , while Amidror was representing the Prime Minister, who, apparently, wants Israel to attack alone if need be.”

In conclusion, the source said that if the Rav’s opinion was against the attack, it is possible that after the meeting it changed.

“If until now Rav Ovadia had a strong opinion against an Israeli attack, now the Rav knows more information about the nuclear danger Iran poses and it seems that after this meeting there is a possiblility that the Rav would support an attack. However, the Rav has still not expressed his opinion. According to my opinion, we can expect further meetings with Netanyahu’s people,” the source estimates.

Another source involved in the meeting told Kikar HaShabbat, “We’re referring to a pressure campaign on the Shas party and Interior Minister Eli Yishai by the Prime Minister’s office to support a possible attack against Iran.”

Rav Ovadia alluded to an attack on Iran during a class he gave yesterday and said, “Hashem should have mercy on us. We need the mercy of our Creator, may His name be blessed and exalted. He has mercy on us, like a father has for his children. We are beseeching Hashem not to let the evil thoughts of these wicked men materialize. May Hashem pay them what they deserve.”

The Rav continued, “Like Hashem did to Haman, so He should do good for us. We turn to Hashem to have pity on us. We have no other recourse, but to rely on our Father in Heaven.”

Rav Ovadia also addressed the disagreement within Israel about attacking Iran. “They are capable of bringing about mass destruction, God forbid. May God nullify their thoughts.”

At the end of his words, the Rav said, “We cannot sit idly by. The nation of Israel is in danger, we are not in regular times. Therefore, every person should attend the Sllichot (supplications) prayers tomorrow.”

Dan Shapiro, the new American ambassador to Israel, relates that even before he got to his new post in Tel Aviv, he made note of the fact that he had to establish a good relationship with Rav Ovadia Yosef. Therefore two days after presenting his letter of credence to President Shimon Peres, he approached the office of Interior Minister Eli Yishai to get an appointment with the Rav, which took place later that week.

The conversation between the Rav and the ambassador was friendly. The ambassador spoke in Hebrew and told the Rav about his religious affiliations and his studies in yeshiva. Since then, the two meet frequently, and the Americans will definitely try to employ Dan Shapiro, within the next few days, to convince the Rav not to support the attack on Iran.

All God’s Children Take a Bath

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Several biblical regulations specify that full immersion in water is required to regain ritual purity after ritually impure incidents have occurred. Most forms of impurity can be nullified through immersion in any natural collection of water. Some require “living water,” such as springs or groundwater wells. Living water has the further advantage of being able to purify even while flowing as opposed to rainwater which must be stationary in order to purify. Discoloration or contamination of the water can invalidate the water for immersion.

In Judaism, a “Mikva” ritual bath is usually constructed especially, as the household or other community water sources do not have the quantity and kind of water required. A mikvah is used in the following circumstances:

1) by Jewish women to achieve ritual purity after menstruation or childbirth (Leviticus 15:5-10, 19-27)

2) by Jewish men to achieve ritual purity (Leviticus 15:5-10, 19-27)

3) by Jewish men or women after discharges (Leviticus 15:13,16) or leprosy (Leviticus 14:6-9)

4) by Jewish men or women after contact with a corpse or grave (Numbers 19:19)

5) by Jewish priests when they are being consecrated (Exodus 40:12)

6) after mistakenly eating meat from an animal that died naturally (Leviticus 17:15)

7) for utensils used for food captured in battle (Leviticus) or of non-Jewish manufacture (Rabbinic)

8) as part of a traditional procedure for conversion to Judaism (Rabbinic)

In Islam, the requirements for ritual bath are the same as in Judaism, including the preferred use of “living water,” such as springs or groundwater wells and the prohibition of discoloration or contamination. There is no minimum quantity of water, and leniency is given to using tap water where its source is springs or groundwater wells, even if it has been stored in retaining tanks before being used. Ghusul is required in the following circumstances:

1) by Islamic women to achieve ritual purity after menstruation or childbirth

2) by Islamic men to achieve ritual purity

3) by Islamic men or women after discharges

4) After contact with a corpse or grave

7) for utensils used for food captured in battle or foreign manufacture *

* There is a haddith (a saying or an act or tacit approval or disapproval ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad) that requires this, but I do not know if its is practiced by any Madh’hab (Muslim school of law).

In Christianity, there are no requirements for the ritual bath, although, based on the accounts of John the Baptist, running river water is preferred (specifically the Jordan river). However regular water, standing or springs or groundwater can be used. Baptism is only required in the following circumstance:

1) as part of a traditional procedure for “conversion” (actually initiation) to Christianity, either as a baby (in place of circumcision), or as an adult to express free-choice acceptance of Christianity.

(Disclaimer: I wrote this informally from memory, please verify any statements before relying on what is written here)

After 8 Years, Body Was Relocated for Spiritual Reasons with R. Elyashiv’s Blessings

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Senior Jerusalem rabbis permitted a late-night removal of the body of a Haredi rabbi from its grave, on the night between Thursday and Friday last week, because family members, who are Breslov Hasidim, claimed the “spiritual level” of the nearby dead was insufficient, causing what could be considered the desecration of the dead.

Reporter Yair Etinger described in a news blog associated with Haaretz walking over to the now empty grave at the Sanhedria cemetery in Jerusalem, with an official of the Chevra Kadisha, the burial society, on Monday. The official seemed unfazed by the revelation that the body had been dug up after having rested in its former grave for eight years, and replaced by family members or their agents in a plot in Mt. Olives cemetery next to the departed man’s father—who died after his son.

According to Etinger, transferring a body from one grave to another is most unusual halachically, but apparently it received the approval of leading Haredi rabbis, most notably the late Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who himself passed away only last month.

The departed died of an illness at a relatively young age, and was buried in a plot that he himself had purchased at the Sanhedria cemetery. But according to Menny Gra of the new Haredi phone news service “Kav Ha’Chasifot” (Exposé Line), family members, residents of the Meah She’arim enclave, resented the fact that he was buried next to a woman, as well as others whose level of adherence to the commandments was questionable.

Etinger cited a burial society official who told him: “We have no shortage of meshugoim (crazies).”

Several Haredi rabbis gave their approval to removing the departed to a better location, according to the website BeHadrei Haredim, including Rabbi Shmuel Halevi Wosner, a posek living in Bnei Brak, Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss, Chief Rabbi (godol av beis din) of Jerusalem for the Edah HaChareidis, and Rabbi Eliezar Berland, dean of the Breslov Yeshiva Shuvu Bonim. But the family members insisted on receiving approval from the highest authority within the Haredi community at the time, Rabbi Elyashiv.

The question was posed to R. Elyashiv (L.) by his student, Rabbi Ben Tzion HaCohen Kook (R.)

The question was posed to R. Elyashiv (L.) by his student, Rabbi Ben Tzion HaCohen Kook (R.)

BeHadrei Haredim reported that the departed rabbi’s family members had arrived at Rabbi Elyashiv’s home five days before the latter was hospitalized at Shaarey Tzedek hospital, asking for his ruling. The question was posed to R. Elyashiv by his student, Rabbi Ben Tzion HaCohen Kook, and R. Elyashiv’s response was that it was a matter of “Honor your father” to execute the relocation.

Before they covered their father’s fresh grave on Mt. Olives, at the end of an operation that had begun around 1:30 in the morning, family members placed a “kvittel” – a note – inside the grave, asking his forgiveness for the suffering he endured as a result of being dug up and buried again in a new cemetery.

Police Admit Permitting Arab Construction at Temple’s Foundation Stone for Six Years

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

According to the website Kipa, Israeli police on Thursday admitted that the Muslim Waqf has been conducting infrastructure work at the very heart of the Temple Mount, the foundation stone, for more than six years.

An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim chased the Crusaders out of Jerusalem in 1187. On June 7, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol declared that “no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions.” The Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law, protecting the Holy Places against desecration, and guaranteeing freedom of access. In return for obeying the law, Israel agreed to leave the administration of the site in the hands of the Waqf.

Two weeks ago, a complaint was filed with the Israel Police Commissioner by a group of Temple organizations, regarding revelations about Waqf work at the Dome of the Rock, which includes laying scaffolding, tools and debris on top of the sacred Foundation Stone.

The police responded that “the work performed by the Waqf at the Dome of the Rock have begun more than six years ago. They are being performed with the approval of the Israel Antiquities Authority and under its supervision.” The police argued that the work has not caused any damage to the foundation stone.

But the IAA denies completely the approval and supervision of works on the Mount, according to the Temple organizations’ attorney Aviad Visoly, who accused the police commissioner of outrageous, appalling, and deceitful behavior.

“Your response also indicates an abysmal contempt by the Israel Police, and by yourself, as its ranking officer, the holiest place for the Jewish people,” Visoly wrote the commissioner.

The Temple organizations have asked the police commissioner “to convene as soon as possible the Temple Mount police taskforce, together with representatives of the Temple Mount rabbis (led by Rabbi Israel Ariel, who has recently been banned from entering the Temple Mount indefinitely), as well as the various Temple Mount advocacy groups, to so we can explain to you how sacred the Temple Mount to the Jewish people.”

The Temple organizations’ attorney added that ” the shocking images of desecration of the foundation stone, together with your response, indicate that disregard and ignorance of the value of Temple Mount has led the Israeli police to permit the unprecedented desecration of the holiest Jewish place, as it failed completely to carry out its responsibility to enforce the law protecting the holy places.”

Chabad of Westport Hoping for Town Approval at Long Last

Friday, June 15th, 2012

According to the Westport Daily Voice, the structure that used to house the Three Bears Restaurant in Westport, CT, will shortly officially become the new home of Chabad Lubavitch of Westport, which has been operating without approval out of the space since January.

On Thursday night, an attorney for Chabad appeared before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, seeking a change of use from restaurant to religious institution, as well as approval of interior renovations.

“We are planning modest renovations,” Weisman said. “We’re not doing anything to the outside of the building. We may paint it, we may do some cosmetic work, but it will look exactly as it does today.”

The building will be divided into a sanctuary, three classrooms, and office space.

Five months ago, Chabad was cited by the Planning and Zoning Department for occupying the building without a special permit.

The citation was issued after a complaint from a neighbor.

Rabbinate Lifts Restrictions on Tzohar Rabbis Officiating at Weddings

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate has agreed to lift restrictions on rabbis from the Tzohar organization conducting weddings.

Under the agreement inked Thursday, Tzohar rabbis who meet certain criteria will be able to marry couples. In return, Tzohar pledged to withdraw a lawsuit against the Rabbinate and try to stop legislation that would have taken away the Rabbinate’s hegemony over who conducts marriages (See “New Knesset ‘Tzohar Law’ to Curtail Chief Rabbinate’s Control on Weddings Passes First Reading“).

The criteria include taking a test in the Jewish laws of marriage, the approval of three head municipal rabbis and a certificate of ordination from the Rabbinate.

Until now, community rabbis and yeshiva heads not officially employed by a local religious council needed special permission from the rabbinical council to officiate at weddings.

Tzohar helps to involve non-religious couples and their families in the wedding ceremony, marrying about 3,000 couples a year free of charge.

A Jewish couple must have a religious ceremony in Israel in order to be recognized as married. Many Israeli couples travel to the nearby island of Cyprus to marry in secular ceremonies.

Israeli Anti-Nausea Pill for Cancer Patients Passes Clinical Trial

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Israel’s RedHill Biopharma announced success last week in a major clinical trial of a new drug to prevent nausea in cancer patients.

The once-a-day pill RHB-102, which has now passed a trial corresponding to a Phase III clinical trial, will compete with leading anti-nausea drug Zofran, made by GlaxoSmithKline, which is taken several times a day.

Redhill will apply to the FDA for a pre-New Drug Application hearing for market approval in a few weeks.

Anti-nausea medications are estimated to be worth $2 billion around the world, according to a report in Globes online business news.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-anti-nausea-pill-for-cancer-patients-passes-clinical-trial/2012/04/24/

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