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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘community’

The Close-Knit Communities of Judea and Samaria

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Community is one of the concerns that many people consider when they scout out their potential new home in Israel. They are wondering if they will make friends and find neighbors who speak their language. Who will fill in for the lack of nearby family? Who will they spend their holidays with? Will they find help and support, while adapting to their new surroundings? Will their kids make friends?

Some people choose to start off in a place where they know that many Olim have settled before them. Some towns are known to have a high number of Olim from English speaking countries. Places like Efrat, Raanana and Neveh Aliza are some of them.

Although these are legitimate concerns, there are conflicting opinions on the value of starting off in an English speaking atmosphere. On one hand, it does offer a soft landing into the expected culture shock. Yes, you are coming from Western countries into a westernized Middle Eastern country. You will need some time to adjust to the weather, language, and societal issues – and it is nice to have people nearby who can relate to what you are going though, and who speak your mother tongue.

But do be aware that you might be paying a price for the comfort that you seek. Rents might be higher in some of the towns mentioned, but that’s not the only disadvantage. If you condition yourself to get by in English speaking surroundings, will you be stunting your integration into the Hebrew speaking society around you?

When I was a teen growing up in Maalot, the father of a good friend of mine was a man who had come to Israel from Morocco thirty years earlier, but who was know to all as “Oleh Chadash.” Due to his putting off learning to speak Hebrew for many years, when addressed by someone in Hebrew, he would say “Oleh Chadash” and excuse himself from the need to take part in any conversation. He had already achieved an important position in a local government agency, but still, his earlier procrastination in learning the language was not forgotten. Don’t be afraid to speak – even in broken Hebrew. Israelis will appreciate your effort, and will help you along.

Admittedly, though, community is important. It is one of the factors that has brought many people – Israelis and Olim – to come to live in the small towns of Judea and Samaria. In these places, the concept of community is very real. Everyone knows everyone, and although each family is responsible for our own homes and well being, we hold many common interests. People take an active part in local committees and events.

From the outside, many Yeshuvim in Judea and Samaria might look similar, but actually, each one has its own very special footprint, its unique micro-culture, and you, by making your home there, will be a part of forming that society.

David Ha'ivri

Weberman Found Guilty

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Satmar Rabbi Nechemya Weberman was found guilty of 59 counts of sexual abuse in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn on Monday.

Sentencing is set to begin January 9. Weberman faces up to 25 years in prison for one of the charges and may face even more by the time the sentencing hearings are completed.

The trial hinged on the testimony of an 18-year old girl who said Weberman was abusing her for years while she received counseling from him, starting from when she was 12.

The NY Daily News reported that she testified that “she was forced to perform oral sex and reenact porn scenes during closed-door counseling sessions that started in 2007.”

Weberman was not a licensed counselor.

The two-week trial was said to highlight how the Satmar community enforced its modesty and sexuality requirements.

The victim said she was referred to Weberman for counseling by her yeshiva because she broke modesty rules and asked critical theological questions.

The victim further testified that while she was under Weberman’s supervision, “I wanted to die,” the Daily News reported.

Weberman’s attorney Stacey Richman said the girl was a liar and that he would appeal.

The Satmar community also came under scrutiny throughout the ordeal because community fundraisers were held in support of Weberman and members of the community allegedly approached the victim seeking to pay her off to drop the claims.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Clinton: Significant Reductions of Iranian Crude Oil Purchases

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released the following press statement:

The United States and the international community remain committed to maintaining pressure on the Iranian regime until it fully addresses concerns about its nuclear program. That’s why today I am pleased to announce that China, India, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have again qualified for an exception to sanctions outlined in Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, based on additional reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. As a result, I will report to the Congress that exceptions to sanctions pursuant to Section 1245 of the NDAA for certain transactions will apply to the financial institutions based in these countries for a potentially renewable period of 180 days.

A total of 20 countries and economies have continued to significantly reduce the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran. According to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration report to Congress, Iran’s oil production fell by one million barrels per day in September and October 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. This has reduced Iran’s export volumes and oil revenues, which fund not only the nuclear program but its support for terror and destabilizing actions in the region. The message to the Iranian regime from the international community is clear: take concrete actions to satisfy the concerns of the international community through negotiations with the P5+1, or face increasing isolation and pressure.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Senator Squadron to Host NY After Sandy Resource Fair

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Tomorrow, Sunday, December 9, State Senator Daniel Squadron will host “New York After Sandy,” a resource fair and community conversation that will serve as a one-stop shop for New Yorkers in need of assistance or who want to get involved with recovery efforts and long-term planning.

Brooklyn: 11AM-2PM, Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St (DUMBO)

Manhattan: 3PM-6PM, Murry Bergtraum HS, 411 Pearl St

The resource fair will bring together representatives from government agencies, utility companies, social and legal service organizations, volunteer groups, and others who can help in Sandy’s aftermath. As disaster assistance deadlines near (December 31st in many cases) and utilities remain out in many buildings, this will provide New York residents and businesses with an opportunity to have their questions answered and get direct help or sign up to volunteer.

The event will also include a community conversation on New York City’s long-term recovery and how the city can prepare for future emergencies — allowing New Yorkers to make their voices heard on next steps.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rama Burshtein: A Window Into Her World

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

“Fill the Void” is the title of Rama Burshtein’s film that played to critical acclaim at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and earned seven Ophir Awards — the Israeli Oscars — including one for best film and best director, and has become Israel’s entry into the 2012 Oscars’ foreign language category.

What is this film that has generated so much professional interest?

Amazingly, it’s the story of an average family in a strictly religious, charedi, community in Tel Aviv. It focuses on the family’s 18 year-old-daughter Shira who is in the throws of her first attempts at arranged dating. In the process, unbeknownst to him, Shira spots her intended in the dairy section of the supermarket and a spark is ignited, setting off preparations for the wedding. Then tragedy strikes: Shira’s older sister Esther dies in childbirth, and the family, crushed by grief, delays the wedding. As Esther’s husband, Yochai, is encouraged to remarry a widow living in Belgium, Shira’s mother, desperate to keep her only grandchild in the country, pleads with Shira to marry Yochai instead, and become mother to her older sister’s child.

It is a moving but simple story whose uniqueness lies in that it is a film about charedi life directed by a charedi woman, exposing the true nature of that world for a secular audience. “I felt it was time to tell a story from within, and say something that comes from really living the life,” Rama Burshtein, member of the Tel Aviv charedi community, said. “That’s what I felt was important: to just tell a story that has no connection with the regular subjects that you deal with when you talk about the Orthodox world. People don’t know much about this world, so it’s not a question of celebration or criticism, it’s a window into this world.”

The film offers a rare glimpse into the Orthodox way of life, its customs and traditions, but also deals with the wider themes of relationships and family pressures.

Mrs. Burshtein, a native New Yorker who grew up in Tel Aviv, became religious

at age 25, shortly after graduating from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

“I love this world, I chose it, I was not born in it,” she told reporters.

In preparation for the filming, she spoke with members of her own community – women who had married their sisters’ widowers – and found a surprising phenomenon: the marriages contracted for the sake of fulfilling religious and family obligations evolved into relationships of love.

“At the beginning of the research, it sounded like it was impossible to understand how it works,” Burshtein said. “And then at the end of it, it was like the natural thing to do, to marry within the family.”

With the backing of her rabbi, Ms.Burshtein began production in January 2011 in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, not far from the home she shares with her husband and four children. Her three sons and daughter, all in their teens, are enthusiastic supporters of her work. On all occasions Rama takes time to express her thanks to them and to her loyal husband, a highly respected public figure in the charedi world.

By opening a window to the charedi world I believe Rama Burshtein, even without the predicted Academic Award, has done a great benefit for Jewish life in Israel which is in dire need in improvement.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Melachot, Permanence, And Umbrellas

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Certain activities – such as building, tying, weaving, writing, dyeing and sewing – are not prohibited on Shabbat unless they are made to last. For example, one may tie a knot that is not tied in a professional manner and will be untied within seven days, such as shoelaces or the ribbon around the Torah scroll, on Shabbat afternoon. So too a safety pin may be used on Shabbat since it is not a form of permanent sewing. Similarly, writing or painting with fluid that fades away, or writing on a substance that does not retain script, is not a melachah in the Torah sense of the term (melachah de’oreita), though it is rabbinically prohibited (melachah derabbanan).

When do the above activities become permanent and, therefore, a melachah de’oreita? According to the Rambam, if the product lasts throughout Shabbat it is a melachah de’oreita. According to Rashi, however, it must have the ability to last forever.

May one build a structure on Shabbat if one intends to take it apart on Shabbat shortly after its use? This question is debated between two sages in the Jerusalem Talmud. Rabbi Yosi Bar Nun maintains that it is prohibited because the Mishkan itself, from which we derive the 39 melachot, was a temporary structure. Rabbi Yosah disagrees. He maintains that it is permitted because in his view the Mishkan was, in the eyes of the people, a permanent structure. They never knew when God would require them to move on and until such time they lived their lives in a state of permanence.

Whereas the Jerusalem Talmud rules in accordance with the first view, the Babylonian Talmud rules in accordance with the second and maintains that this type of structure is not considered a melachah at all. The debate is picked up by Rishonim and Acharonim in connection with the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat. According to the Rif, this is a melachah de’oreita. According to the Rambam, it is a melachah derabbanan. And according to Rashi and the Rosh, constructing a provisional tent is permissible in the first place.

Based on the above authorities who prohibit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Noda Beyehudah considered the opening of an umbrella on Shabbat a melachah de’oreita and prohibited its use in his community, even if opened before Shabbat, because onlookers would think it was opened on Shabbat (marit ayin).

Conversely, basing himself on the authorities who permit the construction of a provisional tent on Shabbat, the Chatam Sofer maintains that using an umbrella on Shabbat is not even a melachah derabbanan and he did not object to it in his community in the presence of an eruv.

The consensus of opinion among today’s poskim prohibits the use of an umbrella on Shabbat even in the presence of an eruv. The Chofetz Chaim prohibits it because, irrespective of its temporary nature, it is intended to be used as a tent for protection against the elements. The Chazon Ish prohibits it because it makes Shabbat look like a working day. Rav Ovadia Yosef, after summarizing all the authorities for and against, sides with the authorities who prohibit it.

Raphael Grunfeld

Sen. Hagel Likely Obama Man at Defense, No Friend of Israel

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

President Barack Obama is expected to announce his nominees for secretaries of state and defense in the next two weeks, with former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel on the short list of potential choices to head the Pentagon, senior administration officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Republican Jewish Coalition reminded readers that, in the past, Jewish leaders have made their concerns about Hagel clear. The last time President Obama had to pick a new Defense Secretary, in 2010, a report by the Washington Jewish Week included red-flag quotes from numerous community sources – including pro-Obama Democrats:

Washington PAC Director and former AIPAC Executive Director Morris Amitay said, back then: “Hagel would be in a position to reinforce the worst aspects of the administration’s current Middle East policies, which would be very dangerous for Israel.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sen-hagel-likely-obama-man-at-defense-no-friend-of-israel/2012/12/06/

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