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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Chief Rabbi’

Rabbi Attacked in Netherlands

Friday, July 18th, 2014

A chief rabbi of the Netherlands said unidentified individuals hurled stones at his home in what he said was the second anti-Semitic attack on him in a week.

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said the latest attack took place at 5 a.m. Thursday, when two stones were hurled through a window of his home in Amersfoort.

An earlier incident outside his home on July 10 ended without damage, he said. Jacobs’ home has been targeted five times in recent years, he told JTA.

“The fact that these attacks are recurrent shows the depth of hatred that exists against Jews,” he added.

On Thursday, the pro-Israel organization CIDI prepared for a support rally to express solidarity with Israel for its military operation against Hamas and other terrorists in Gaza. Israel launched the operation last week amid ongoing rocket fire on Israeli cities and towns.

One Israeli and more than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, which triggered a wave of anti-Semitic incidents across Western Europe and especially France.

Anti-Israel protesters said they would hold a counterdemonstration opposite the CIDI rally at Amsterdam’s Dam Square.

Khalid Sinouh, a goalkeeper for Rotterdam’s Sparta soccer team, called CIDI “a criminal organization” and a “pro-apartheid organization” on Twitter on Thursday, the Telegraaf daily reported

Who Are You? And Do You Want 1 Chief Rabbi or 2?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

How embarrassing.

Shas’s incoming member of Knesset, Yoav Ben-Tzur, who replaced outgoing MK Ariel Attias, wasn’t allowed into the Knesset Plenum for his first official vote.

The security guard wasn’t informed that there was a new Knesset member in attendance, so he wouldn’t let freshman MK Ben-Tzur in, no matter how much Ben-Tzur argued that he indeed was a new MK and he had to go in to vote.

Eventually, Shas’s party boss, MK Aryeh Deri walked by and confirmed to the Knesset guard that Ben-Tzur was, in fact, a new member of Knesset.

The vote was a first reading (of three) on whether there should only be one Chief Rabbi of Israel, instead of two like we have now.

22 voted for one chief Rabbi, while 14 voted against.

Report: Armed Men Threatened to Burn Down Ukrainian Rabbi’s Home

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

(JTA) — Armed, masked men threatened to burn down the house of one of Ukraine’s chief rabbis, a spokeswoman from his office said.

The incident outside the Kiev-area residence of Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich occurred on May 23 at 1:30 a.m., Inna Yoffe, the executive director of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, told Ukrainian media last week.

Bleich, the confederation’s president, was not in the country at the time of the attack, which ended without serious injury, Yoffe told the television channel 112 Ukraine two days after the reported attack.

“There was an attack on a paramilitary guard outside the fence in front of the house,” she said. “The attackers were wearing masks and camouflage uniforms with machine guns; they arrived by an SUV.”

Yoffe said the attackers forced the guard to lie face down on the ground and told him they would kill him and burn down the house. She did not say how many men threatened the guard.

The men fled the scene after another guard from inside the residence called the police, Yoffe added. The Jewish Confederation of Ukraine filed a complaint with police over the assault.

Contacted by JTA, Bleich said the men who showed up outside his home did not target him specifically. According to his understanding, the rabbi said, the attack was not anti-Semitic.

Knesset Bill to Cut Number of Chief Rabbis by 50%

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to approve the legislation to create one chief rabbi’s position instead of the current two, proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua Party, and co-sponsored by Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and lawmaker Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home Party.

The bill must be approved by the Cabinet and then pass three readings in the Knesset in order to pass. It would take effect after the ten-year terms of the current chief rabbis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, expire.

That’s ten years from now. Ten years of double the expenses, double the needless waste.

The fact is, Israel has no need for a chief rabbi—check that, it has no use for a chief rabbi.

Imagine if you will, that someone in the U.S. were to appoint a chief rabbi. Who would listen to him? Not the non-Orthodox, because they either have their own take on halacha-Jewish law, or follow no halacha at all. Presuming the American chief rabbi would be Orthodox, that would eliminate half the Jews in America. Then come the secular Jews, and they would have no need at all for a chief rabbi, because there’s nothing he could say or do that touches on the reality of their lives.

Out of the Orthodox, all the Haredim, both Chassidim and Litwacks, would sneer at the idea that anyone would presume to replace the authority of their rebbe or rosh yeshiva.

So who’s left? Probably the RCA crowd, your everyday frumies, the Jewish Press readers. But the chief rabbi would be—because that’s how these things roll—a Haredi, and the moderate-to-liberal Orthodox won’t have much use for him either.

And that’s the situation in Israel. The chief rabbinate is a goiter on the neck of Israeli Jews, a remnant from a time when the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British Empire, appointed a religious chief over every ethnic group in Palestine. Even back in the 1920s that position bore little more than a symbolic value, depending on the chief rabbi. Today the situation is that Israelis are serving the chief rabbinate rather than the other way around.

Besides being entirely alien to the spiritual needs of the vast majority of Israelis, the chief rabbinate actually stifles the organic growth of religious communities. Siphoning off much needed budgets from social services to the needy, in a country where half the population is poor or near-poor, why spend money on an elaborate service nobody needs?

Local Jewish communities have always been very good at keeping records of marriages and burials. The burial societies, the “Chevra Kadisha,” don’t need a chief rabbi to monitor them – the state comptroller should be very good at that. Concentrating control over the Jewish life cycle in Israel in the hands of Haredi chief rabbis and judges with little or no relationship with the people under their domain is tyranny. Expensive tyranny at that.

So why wait ten years to cut this silliness in half? Cut it now, both halves. Give power back to the local Jewish communities. Let local rabbis decide halacha for their followers wherever they are, just as they’ve been doing in America, or, before the war, in Poland. Wherever we’ve had a thriving, magnificent Jewish community, we didn’t need a chief rabbi. Those were more likely to be state appointed than part of the people they were supposed to serve.

Just like in today’s Israel.

“In a state where there is only one president, one Supreme Court president, one prime minister and one chief of general staff, there is no way to justify the doubling of the position of chief rabbi,” Tzipi Livni said. “We have to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned division of ancestral congregations and start bringing the country together.”

Chief Rabbi Asks Families to Host Stranded Drivers on Shabbat

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Chief Rabbi David Lau said has urged Jerusalem families to open their doors and host drivers and passengers stranded in the mammoth snowstorm that has closed highways out of the city and buried the capital under 18 inches of snow.

He also said that efforts to rescue people stranded on highways must continue during Shabbat, explaining that the situation is one of “pikuach nefesh” wherein violations of Jewish law on the Sabbath are lifted in life-threatening circumstances.

Soldiers, police and rescue crew have evacuated more than 2,300 people from snowbound highway and streets.

Ben Gurion Airport was shut down Friday morning for two hours.

The snow is expected to continue through the night and taper off on Saturday. Snow has fallen in areas that are only 1,000 feet high and rarely see precipitation other than rain.

Rabbi Metzger Released from Jail, Under House Arrest on Heavy Bond

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

An Israel court has released former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger from jail but ordered him under house arrest with a bond of nearly $425,000. The court in Rishon LeTzion, south of Tel Aviv, told the rabbi not to leave the country or talk to the media for six months.

Besides facing charges of bribery and money laundering, he also is suspected of obstructing justice by allegedly offering a bribe to an acquaintance not to testify against him.

Police arrested him last week for the second time this year as a result of an undercover probe millions of dollars of charity money, a large part of which he allegedly pocketed.

Police Say Rabbi Metzger Paid Off Friends to Shut Up

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Police said on Thursday they have solid evidence that former Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger offered an apartment and cash to someone in return for his not spilling the beans to the police about the rabbis’ alleged offenses.

Rabbi Metzger was arrested this week on charges of pocketing millions of dollars that were intended for charities and yeshiva, and he also was accused of obstructing justice.

Police said they recorded Rabbi Metzger’s offer to the man, who is a state witness, after a previous arrest of the rabbi this past summer, when he was placed under house arrests for several days so he could not make contact with other involved in the case.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/police-say-rabbi-metzger-paid-off-friends-to-shut-up/2013/11/21/

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