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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘david lau’

High Court Sides with Rabbinate, Rejects AG Push for ‘Alternative’ Kosher Certificates

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday embraced the position of the Chief Rabbinate on the Law prohibiting kashrut fraud, that a business may not present itself in writing as kosher, with or without the use of the word Kosher, unless it receives a kashrut certification from the only legally authorized body — the chief rabbinate, Walla reported. The decision dealt a severe blow to alternative kashrut certification services which have been operating in several Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as food service businesses that keep kosher but do not carry a certification.

The appeal to the Supreme Court came from the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center, in the name of two Jerusalem restaurant owners, Shai Gini and Yonatan Vadi, who argued that the food they serve is kosher despite the fact that they do not carry a kashrut certification from their local rabbinate. According to the appellants, there’s no problem with their presenting their food as kosher because it is. They appealed to the high court after their local Rabbinate levied fines on them based on the common interpretation of the kashrut fraud law, namely that only Rabbinate-certified food is accepted as being kosher.

The former AG, Yehuda Weinstein, reinterpreted the law following the appeal, ruling that the state may no longer fine restaurant owners who present kosher certificates from private kashrut services, and must cancel the fines that have already been issued. The AG only required that the restaurants in question not claim that the alternative certifications for their businesses had been issued by the Rabbinate.

In a rare exception, the Supreme Court permitted the Chief Rabbinate to present its case separately from the AG, and eventually accepted its position in a two to one ruling that the Rabbinate is the only statewide accepted authority on kashrut. The two justices in the majority were Noam Sohlberg and Elyakim Rubinstein. Justice Uri Shoham sided with the AG.

The Justices decided to limit their ruling to the next two years, subject to a system-wide change the court is demanding of the Chief Rabbinate, to reexamine the relationship between the certifying kashrut supervisor and the business he is auditing, so that they do not depend financially on the business they are expected to monitor. Justice Rubinstein suggested that “should this not be resolved in a significant and serious way, the entire subject may be reopened.”

Both Chief Rabbis commended the court’s decision; Rabbi David Lau said that a decision to permit alternative certificates, some of which are fictitious, would have led to a serious misleading of the public; Rabbi Yizhak Yosef said that the Chief Rabbinate regularly goes out of its way to make the kaashrut maintenance easier and cheaper for food service businesses.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) said it was “refreshing to see a conservative approach on the part of the Supreme Court,” and praised the majority justices on overcoming their tendency for activism. The MK said he yearns for a time of “more balance in the relationship between the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.”

JNi.Media

National Religious Rabbi Appointed Supreme Rabbinical Court Judge While Court Facing Shutdown

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Following a six-hour debate, the nine-member committee to appoint religious court judges on Monday agreed on only one judge out of the seven who must yet be appointed, by order of the State Supreme Court. Over the objection of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Rabbi Eliezer Igra, a national religious scholar, was elected by a vote of seven in favor and two Haredi members abstaining, to be a Supreme Rabbinical Court Judge, and serve on the very committee that had just elected him.

But the singular appointment of Rabbi Igra will not fulfill the ultimatum issued by Israel’s State Supreme Court, which back in January ordered all the missing positions on the Supreme Rabbinical Court to be filled by Thursday this week, or else all the temporary appointments on the court would be revoked and the court would cease to operate.

Nevertheless, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) called the vote “a tremendous achievement for Habayit Hayehudi,” adding, “I’m very pleased.” She said that the non-Haredi bloc on the committee, which holds a majority of five members, have been suggesting several candidates for the Supreme Rabbinical Court, and they had all been rejected by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas).

Rabbi Igra studied for ten years at the hesder yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh, served in the IDF Armored Corps and fought in the Yom Kippur War. He was the Talmud study partner of Yoni Netanyahu, the prime minister’s late brother.

The committee ran into several stalemates on Monday, leaving the Supreme Rabbinical Court short-handed, after several of its members have retired. The Haredi committee members were able to torpedo the proposed appointments of Rabbis David Bass and Uriel Lavi to the supreme religious court, and the National Religious members, for their part, were able to block new appointments the Haredim desired to several local rabbinic courts.

The only reason Rabbi Igra received his appointment had to do with the bad blood between the Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis, according to the website Haredim 10. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau joined the National Religious to usher in Rabbi Igra as revenge against Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef for appointing Shas member Moshe Dagan as the Chief Rabbinate CEO over Rabbi Lau’s fierce objection.

David Israel

President Rivlin Joins Thousands at Funerals of Henkin Couple

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Thousands of Israelis, including President Reuven Rivlin and Chief Rabbi David Lau, joined thousands of mourners at the funeral Friday for Palestinian Authority terror victims Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin.

The family requested that the funeral not be broadcast live.

Cabinet ministers and Knesset Members also were present.

The couple, leaving behind four small children from the ages of 8 months to 9 years, was buried at Har HaMenuchot Cemetery in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Henkin’s parents were born in the United States and made Aliyah to Israel. His father was a learned rabbi and author, and his mother founded the Nishmat Torah studies program for women in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Henkin also was a Torah scholar and served in the IDF Golani Combat Brigade. His wife Naama was a graphic artist and the daughter of an IDF officer who served in the elite commando unit.

Rabbi Lau said before the funeral:

You think about the children, you wonder who will bless them Erev Shabbat.

Who will be with them during the celebration of this holiday?

The pain is immense, but despite this pain, perhaps the People of Israel will decide that we are happy on the holiday.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said:

This is a day of celebration of the holiday but also a difficult day for all of the people of Israel. This is a disgrace to the State of Israel. Terror continues in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount, and throughout the country.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘No Intention’ to Dismiss Efrat’s Rabbi Riskin, Says Israel Chief Rabbi Lau

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Israelis from the bottom to the top – storekeepers to government ministers and agency heads – have come out to protect Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s tenure.

Israel Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau told journalists on Wednesday there was “no intention to dismiss Rabbi Riskin. While dealing with this issue we have been hearing statements attributed to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that are inappropriate and inaccurate.

“It troubles me to see that this matter regarding Rabbi Riskin continues to be blown so far out of proportion,” Rabbi Lau told Israel’s Channel 10 News.

The story began two weeks ago, when the issue of tenure for local rabbis was raised at a meeting of the Chief Rabbinical Council. At that time, there was a request to extend the term of office for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. The rabbi is one of the founders of the city in which he serves and lives, located in Gush Etzion, just 10 minutes away from Jerusalem.

Normally the process is pro forma, but apparently there were some on the Council who had reservations about extending Riskin’s tenure due to his views on conversion and a few other issues.

Those issues were reportedly raised at the meeting.

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who joined the Council several months ago, was one of those who supported the extension of Riskin’s term. He asked the Council to postpone any decision on the matter, and it was decided to first invite the Efrat rabbi for a discussion prior to any final move.

News of what went on in the meeting was leaked to the media, however, and a brouhaha resulted.

Education Minister Naftali Minister, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and numerous others all spoke out to defend Rabbi Riskin. All had pointed questions for a Chief Rabbinate that would dismiss a community’s chief rabbi who had helped build a city and was still seen as a hugely popular spiritual leader.

The public power struggle began to deteriorate instead into an issue of who gets to make decisions on Jewish issues in the State of Israel and at which levels of government.

Ultimately, said Lau, “the Rabbinical Council reviews extension of a local rabbi’s tenure in a meeting with that individual along with his relevant documents. An exception is made when the extension of his term comes in the month prior to mandatory retirement – and thus the debate over Rabbi Riskin’s term extension was postponed so as to invite him to meet with the Council to discuss the matter.

“This has been the standard procedure in the past, and it will remain so in the future,” he added. The legal authority to extend the statutory tenure of local chief rabbis rests with Israel’s Chief Rabbinical Council, Lau pointed out. “It is not a ‘rubber stamp’ process, nor does the Council automatically confirm the extension of a rabbi’s term in office, unless it first properly examines his application,” he noted. “We repeat: pressure and threats will not force us to make shortcuts or deviate from what is a necessary process.”

Rabbi Riskin’s office responded to JewishPress.com saying, “We hope the matter will indeed be resolved. Our only objective is bringing Am Yisrael closer to Torah and Mitzvot. Rabbi Riskin is dedicated to continue serving the residents of Efrat.”

Hana Levi Julian

Largest Knesset Delegation Ever Tours Auschwitz

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Dozens of lawmakers from Israel, the United States and Europe convened at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau for ceremonies commemorating its liberation 69 years ago.

The largest foreign parliamentary delegation landed in Poland from Israel on Monday, Jan. 27 — the day that the United Nations in 2005 designated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day — and consisted of 58 Knesset members. Constituting nearly half of the Israeli parliament, it is the largest Knesset delegation ever to have visited the Auschwitz compound, organizers said.

Several Knesset members, including Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, attended a solemn prayer led by Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi rabbi, David Lau, near the famous “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work will make you free”) sign at the entrance to the Auschwitz camp.

The U.S. delegation is headed by Rep. Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican and first Jewish majority leader of Congress. With Cantor are Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). They are scheduled to be joined by 23 lawmakers from 10 European Union member states who came with European Friends of Israel and the Israeli-Jewish Congress.

In Krakow, the Knesset delegation is scheduled to hold a ceremonial inter-parliamentary session with the Polish parliament, the Sejm.

“When we say ‘Never Again,’ we can say it because there is a Jewish state and a Jewish army,” the event’s Israeli initiator, Johnny Daniels, told JTA on Monday. “The presence of half the Israeli parliament in Auschwitz is a powerful symbol for that reason.”

Daniels, a 28-year-old Britton who immigrated to Israel 10 years ago, began producing the event six months ago as executive director of From the Depths, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to Holocaust education.

“Holocaust survivors are dying fast and it was important for us to create a platform where their voice will be heard,” he said. The ceremony at Auschwitz will be attended by 24 Holocaust survivors.

He also said that the attendance of Sejm lawmakers signifies their government’s dedication to commemorating the Holocaust and that “Poles, too, have been victimized by Nazi Germany.”

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Dannon told JTA he viewed the meeting with Polish and other European lawmakers as “a chance to raise issues which cannot be ignored — the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, whose latest examples were a pig’s head at a synagogue in Rome and attacks on Jews in Kiev.”

JTA

Israeli Chief Rabbi Recalls Kristallnacht at Berlin Kindergarten

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi marked the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht with a visit to a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin.

“Connecting Jews in Germany to their roots is the worthiest retort to the darkness that prevailed here 75 years ago,” Rabbi David Lau said during his first official visit to Berlin, where he went to the Chabad-run Judische Traditionsschule Talmud-Thora kindergarten.

Dozens of Jews were killed in rioting that erupted on Nov. 9, 1938 and came to be known as Kristallnacht.

During his visit, Lau is scheduled to attend the General Assembly of the Conference of European Rabbis, which is bringing 200 members from across Europe to the German capital for the first time.

Attendees will mark the 10th anniversary of Germany’s Orthodox Rabbinical Council. They will also attend a Kristallnacht memorial ceremony at the Beth Zion Synagogue in former East Berlin, which survived the 1938 pogrom and is now part of the Rabbinerseminar zu Berlin.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-chief-rabbi-recalls-kristallnacht-at-berlin-kindergarten/2013/11/10/

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