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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘chief’

Speaker Edelstein Asking Police Chief Alsheikh for Clarifications on ‘MKs List’

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday met in his office with Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh to request clarifications on a recently leaked secret police document known as the “MKs List,” a.k.a. “The Yitzhaki Report,” detailing evidence on alleged offenses committed by dozens of Knesset members, including seven sitting ministers, which police allegedly keep on a shelf for an opportune time.

Knesset Legal Adviser Eyal Yinon and the head of the police Investigations and Intelligence Branch, Meni Yitzhaki, were also present at the meeting.

On Sunday, Channel 10 revealed the existence of “The Yitzhaki Report” that had allegedly been compiled by order of Yitzhaki and reportedly completed in 2014. According to Channel 10, it contains all investigative information collected by police on the 120 members of the previous Knesset, including information on suspected crimes and corruption.

Alsheikh informed Edelstein that police are forbidden to initiate investigations on public officials without first receiving instructions to do so by the Attorney General or the state attorney. The document, he said, was for internal use to ensure that nothing fell through the cracks during investigations of Knesset members, and that all relevant information was passed on to the Attorney General. Alsheikh said police would investigate who leaked the existence of the document.

Speaker Edelstein accepted the police chief’s explanation, but said that the leaked document casts a cloud over all MKs and creates the public perception that dozens of MKs are suspected of criminal offenses. The Knesset Speaker stressed the importance of releasing — as soon as possible — an official clarification regarding the document and its relevancy, if it has indeed remained relevant.

Such a clarification, Edelstein said, would show the public that Israel Police is doing its job faithfully and is investigating MKs when necessary, and it would also indicate to the lawmakers that they can be certain that police are not holding information against them which could be revealed at some point down the line and hurt their work or chances of obtaining a certain position.

JNi.Media

Chief Rabbinate: Good Bye, Mikvah Lady

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

A halakhic drama reached its surprise happy ending Wednesday at the Israeli Supreme Court, when the role of ritual bath supervisor, a.k.a. “Mikvah lady,” has been changed from mandatory to optional.

Israel’s state prosecution on Wednesday submitted to the Supreme Court, in the name of the Chief Rabbinate and the Ministry of Religious services, an official response to a petition by the Itim organization, conceding that “the dipping woman will be allowed to decide for herself whether she wishes to follow this halakhic rule (dipping under the supervision of a Mikvah lady), including dipping alone or dipping in the company of a female friend, and neither the local religious council nor its employees are allowed to condition the dipping on the obligatory presence of the ritual bath supervisor.”

The response represents a complete capitulation of the relevant state institutions, and the state prosecutor requested that the high court dismiss the original petition because it is no longer necessary.

At the same time, it cannot be said that the Chief Rabbinate Assembly has given up the fight altogether. They will continue to compel the local religious councils to hire Mikvah ladies, and post a sign in every mikvah explaining the halakhic obligation for supervision during a woman’s dipping. A woman wishing to dip on her own would be forced, every month, to go through the process of publicly showing that she ignores the rules that are posted on the sign for all to read.

The specific halakhic role of the Mikvah lady, as explained by Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, is to make sure that a woman’s entire head of hair has gone underwater, because if it didn’t there’s a problem in the dipping and the woman’s availability for intimacy with her husband is questioned. Rabbi Ariel proposes that the dipping woman call on the Mikvah lady once she has immersed in the water, and ask her to watch and see that her entire body of hair went underwater.

Incidentally, it should be possible for a friend to advise the dipping woman regarding the immersion of her hair.

As to the problem of “knots,” the woman should shampoo and comb her hair prior to dipping so that it isn’t entangled.

The initial petition was submitted to the court in July 2015, in the midst of what was then a year long, stormy debate within the Orthodox community, between young women who rebelled against the authority of the Mikvah lady and the established Orthodox institutions. The petition, submitted by Itim, represented 13 women who wanted to be left alone when they’re dipping.

Orthodox authorities are concerned not only about the proper execution of the halakhic dipping, but also about the push to permit unmarried women to dip, which the rabbis view as an invitation to lechery.

The case will be heard by the Supreme Court on Thursday despite the surrender of the Chief Rabbinate and the Religious Services Ministry, because one plaintiff, the Jerusalem Religious Council, is still a holdout, insisting that the Mikvah “is not a bathhouse, but an instrument whose sole purpose is to effect a kosher dipping, which must be determined by an authorized supervisor.”

Itim Chairman Rabbi Dr. Shaul Farber praised the Chief Rabbinate for following the Jewish tradition of preferring permission over prohibition. One of Itim’s arguments was the fact that the stern Mikvah ladies were pushing young women away from the mitzvah of dipping in the mikvah at the end of their cycle, thus actually diminishing family purity in the nation.

JNi.Media

IDF Intelligence Chief: If our Enemies Knew What We Can Do They’d Give Up

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

At a session headlined “Israel in a Turbulent Middle East: Strategic Review & Intelligence Assessment” held Wednesday at the 2016 Herzliya Conference, Maj. Gen. Herzl (Herzi) Halevi, Chief of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate warned Israel’s opponents against initiating a conflict, saying, “I am sure that had Nasrallah or any of our enemies known our military capabilities they wouldn’t risk additional conflict.”

Halevi discussed Israel’s challenges and opportunities in today’s middle east, saying “there are a lot of people who live in the Middle East with no electricity. Looking at the GDP per capita or unemployment rates it is noticeable that very big gaps have formed between us and our neighbors. It should not make us happy – A poor Middle East is a hotbed for terrorist organizations.”

“The Game board in the Middle East has changed,” he added. “Instead of few states, there are now many players. The transition from nation states to organizations is very significant. There are no good and bad guys, and players on the field change their identities.”

Halevi continued to discuss the new ways in which conflicts and wars are formed in the Middle East, in what he calls Dynamics of Escalation’. “We live in an era in which it is most likely for wars to begin even though neither side is interested in it,” he explained.

Regarding Iran, Halevi said: “The nuclear agreement was a great achievement for Iran, allowing them to be accepted among the world’s nations and we believe they will honor [the nuclear deal] for the first few years. At the same time, Iran is investing great efforts against Israel. Iran is supporting the three main threats Israel faces: Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad – in fact, they support 60% of [the threat]. It is [a case of] a Shiite nation giving money to Sunni organizations – they would do that to hurt Israel.”

Regarding Lebanon & Hezbollah, Halevi said, “We have no offensive intentions in Lebanon. We do not want a war but we’re ready for one more than ever. No army has had more intelligence on their enemies as we do about Hezbollah today.”

“The next conflict will not be easy. Hezbollah is suffering heavy casualties in Syria but also experiences significant achievements, and in this process they learn a lot and gain access to new means of combat.”, said Halevi. “Iran is sending weaponry to Hezbollah – some of it gets so Syria, but some of it stays in Lebanon. Syrian industries have resumed the production of weaponry for Hezbollah, and neither the world or Israel should accept it – it could escalate the next conflict.”

JNi.Media

Analysis: Jerusalem Chief Rabbi’s ‘Protest Prayer’ May Be Just What Reform Campaign Needed

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

On Tuesday morning, Jerusalem Chief Rabbi, the Rishon Lezion Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar conducted a heartfelt prayer with a few dozen supporters in the remote area of the Western Wall known as the “Israelite Section,” which had been designated by the Israeli government for the mixed prayer services of Reform and Conservative visitors.

The chief rabbi’s followers erected an improvised mehitza-divider to separate men and women, in defiance of the government program. After the morning service, Rabbi Amar spoke tearfully, saying “there’s no such thing as the Reform Kotel, there’s only the Holy Kotel.”

“No one can revoke this holiness,” Rabbi Amar continued, “not the government, not the court, you can’t, it’s a hekdesh-sanctuary, it’s the Temple Mount. Not the goyim, not the UN, no power can revoke it. We stand guard and declare that our entire purpose is for the sake of God’s honor, only God’s honor, and the Shechina-emanation of God, and the people of Israel and the Land of Israel.”

Rabbi Amar’s prayer service reflected a perception on the part of many Haredi leaders that the Reform and Conservative movements are making inroads in Israel through the Supreme Court and certain government officials, and are threatening the classic status quo, whereby secular Israelis did not go to shul, but the shul they didn’t go to was Orthodox. Most Israelis are not interested in these American imports, but the fact that the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem went out of his way to condemn Reform access to the Kotel probably gave those two-minute movements a new lease on life.

For the record, the idea for the mixed prayer area by the Kotel came from an Orthodox Jewish politician, then Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), who in 2013 announced the creation of a new prayer area, south of the Mugrabim Gate and north of Robinson’s Arch, an area of 4,844 sq. ft., which is a non-contiguous extension of the Kotel Plaza. It was Bennett’s attempt at solving a 28-year long dispute between the Women of the Wall, a group of largely non-Orthodox Jewish women who have been praying in the Kotel’s women’s section on the first of each Jewish month as well as on select holidays, singing and donning talit and tefillin—all acts which have been provoking ultra-Orthodox Jews since the early 1990s.

While a broad section of ultra-Orthodox public figures attacked the Bennett solution, going as far as to dub it “tzelem ba’heikhal” or a statue in God’s temple, the Women of the Wall group also rejected the minister’s peaceful solution, accusing Bennett of aligning himself with the “extremist” views of Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the government-appointed Kotel Rabbi, and of Israel’s chief rabbis (of course, when one accuses the mainstream religious and political leadership of extremism, it would be difficult for her to claim the center).

The WOW also called the special fenced wooden platform Bennett provided for mixed prayers a “sundeck overlooking the Western Wall,” which, come to think of it, could be the name for a bangup real estate bonanza. And the Reform movement over in the US, where they dominate Jewish life, at least on paper, with some two million members (in largely Orthodox Israel they may be noisy but their numbers are puny), announced that the Kotel must be open and accessible to all the Jews and men and women must be treated equally there. In other words, why can’t you all be more Reform, like the rest of us.

The fact is that the Bennett solution, while acquiescing that Israelis who are Reform and Conservative have the right to use a state-owned and funded religious facility, resolves the conflict in a peaceful way, which is not something the Reform and Conservative movements want. Since the platform has been erected, it has been standing empty, first because very few Reform and Conservative Israelis have the time or inclination to regularly fight Jerusalem traffic to go pray at the Kotel when most of them hardly ever pray in their own synagogues during the week; and second because without the opportunity to provoke the Orthodox, what’s the point of schlepping all the way to Jerusalem?

Now, the pushback from the Jerusalem Chief Rabbi has revived the non-Orthodox, whose fundraising and membership largely depends on being the victims of Orthodox “repression.” And so, once again, spokespersons for both movements have condemned the aging rabbi, whose salary is provided by the taxpayers, and who attacks the principles of equality, freedom and the American way.

Perhaps the good chief rabbi of Jerusalem should have taken a hint from the fact that he and his followers were the only ones praying on the Reform “sundeck,” because no one else ever prays there on any given day, and even the Baha’i movement in Israel represents a bigger threat to Orthodox Judaism at the Kotel than do the Reform and Conservative.

The best cure for the WOW phenomenon is probably to let them have their way until they get bored with it. The most recent new month celebration of the WOW, a week ago, attracted fewer than 90 women, and the only coverage it received was a provocation by its CEO, who showed local cops at the end of the service that she had “smuggled” a Torah scroll into the women’s section. Otherwise even she couldn’t get arrested by a largely disinterested police, and couldn’t get covered by the media which is inundated with much bigger stories.

JNi.Media

DM Liberman Names New Defense Ministry Chief

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has named Sharon Shalom has his new chief of staff for the Defense Ministry.

Shalom previously served as Liberman’s chief of staff at the Foreign Ministry between 2009 until 2015, when Liberman served as Foreign Minister of Israel.

Shalom is 41 and has 4 children.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Newest MK Yehuda Glick: ‘The Reform Are Jews and the Chief Rabbis Should Meet them’

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

In a surprising interview he gave Haredi radio station Radio Kol Hai, MK Yehuda Glick (Likud), known in the mainstream media as the “rightwing extremist” who advocates Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, used the opportunity to deliver conciliatory messages regarding his position on the relationship between state and religion in general and the Reform movement in particular.

Glick was the next in line on the Likud election list, and when Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon resigned from his office as well as from the Knesset last week, Glick took his legislator seat.

Glick told the Haredi radio listeners that “there’s no need to boycott the Reform, and it wouldn’t be so bad if the chief rabbis had met with them, we need to strengthen everyone. The Reform are Jews, and they deserve their human rights as Jews.” But Glick insisted that “the official body which is responsible for halakhic issues in the State of Israel is the Israeli chief rabbinate. But I believe the rabbinate should be considerate of the entire public, within halakhic limits.”

That part is a bit puzzling, seeing as the chief rabbinate believes it is acting within its halakhic boundaries when it views the Reform movement as an enemy of traditional Judaism and its values. The same chief rabbinate will probably have a hard time complying with MK Glick’s call to “integrate the Reform according to their proportionate presence in the Israeli population,” and his statement, “I believe the Reform movement needs a greater representation in Israel.”

When asked if he believes a Reform rabbi should be allowed to conduct a chupah ceremony, Glick said that, “It isn’t clear why in Israel it is required that weddings be conducted by rabbis. After all, the rabbi has no halakhic role in the chupah ceremony. All you need is the couple and two witnesses.” Glick said “there should be clear instructions as to how to conduct a wedding ceremony, and just as you don’t have to have a rabbi at a circumcision, under the chupah you don’t need a rabbi either.”

Speaking about drafting Yeshiva students to the IDF, an issue which may come up again with Avigdor Lieberman—who believes every young Israeli must serve—taking over the defense ministry. Glick related, “I have two sons who are soldiers and one son-in-law who studies in yeshiva, and I think each one of them contributes his part to the Jewish nation in a dignified way and should be allowed to do so.” Glick said “we should enhance the public’s appreciation of yeshiva students, but anyone who uses his yeshiva as a means for self advancement (meaning cheating the draft and going to work instead of serving) — that’s very serious. Ultra-Orthodox men who are not studying should volunteer in ZAKA or in Yad Sara.”

JNi.Media

New Hezbollah Chief of Staff Declares Truce with Israel

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Mustafa Mughniyeh, who replaced Hezbollah’s slain Chief of Staff Mustafa Badreddine, has reportedly declared that Israel, at least for now, is no longer considered the enemy of the Shiite organization. According to cairoportal.com, citing a source they say is familiar with Hezbollah’s internal affairs, Mughniyeh is planning to carry out a major attack against the Saudis.

The new Hezbollah military chief, whose father was legendary terrorist Imad Mughniyeh—killed in 2008 in a car bomb blast, reportedly said that “while my father and uncle (Badreddine) failed to kill the Emir of Kuwait, I will not fail to kill the king of Wahabia (a reference to the Wahabi faith, Saudi Arabia’s state religion, which is the most viciously anti-Shiite) and cut off the hand of anyone who wishes to turn Syria Wahabi.”

Speaking before a cadre of Hezbollah’s top command, Mughniyeh then declared that Israel is a friend and a strategic ally opposite the Saudi enemy, and therefore, from this day on, there is no more war against Israel.

He also noted that Israel was the only country that liberated the Shiites in south Lebanon from the Palestinian conquest in 1982. The PLO, which had been driven out of Jordan a decade earlier, created an independent state in everything but a name in south Lebanon, and used it as a base from which to harass Israel—leading to the first Lebanon war.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-hezbollah-chief-of-staff-declares-truce-with-israel/2016/05/19/

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