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July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Haredi’

Canada Arrests Seven Lev Tahor Sect Members Arrested In Raid

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

A dozen Canadian border security officials raided the compound of the fringe Haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor Wednesday and arrested seven members believed to be in violation of immigration laws.

Two families in the Lev Tahor community are at the center of an ongoing child custody case, including one family who fled to Guatemala, the Canadian Press reported.

One Lev Tahor man was seen being driven away in handcuffs. One witness said she saw immigration officials trying to enter a building where Lev Tahor children are believed to be housed. “I can hear the children crying and praying,” the source said.

Last month, 14 children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in the care of children’s aid in Quebec. Eight of the children made it to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children taken into custody in Calgary also were removed from the sect.

The rest are in limbo in Guatemala, their original destination.

This week, a lawyer for one Lev Tahor family removed himself from the case.

About 250 members of the community fled Quebec last fall just before officials could seize some of the children. Child welfare officials said they had evidence of abuse, squalid living conditions, underage marriages and substandard education.

Lev Tahor members maintain they are being persecuted for their strict religious beliefs.

Haredi Grandfather from London Assaulted In NY

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A 65-year-old Haredi Orthodox man from London visiting New York for his grandson’s wedding was attacked early Tuesday morning in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park as he left the wedding reception.

The attackers smashed their victim’s face into the sidewalk, and he was treated at a local hospital for a split lip and chipped tooth.

Nothing was stolen, indicating the man was a victim of “knockout punch” attackers, but New York police and a Brooklyn councilman differ on whether that was the case.

A spate of knockout attacks in New York in recent months appeared to target identifiably Jewish people. Other incidents have occurred in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., as well as other states.

“Simply put, there is no place for this type of heinous behavior in our city, as nobody should be afraid to walk the streets of their community at any time of day or night,” New York City Councilman David Greenfield, who represents Brooklyn, said in a statement. Greenfield believes it was a knockout attack.

New York police are not calling it a knockout attack because the victim was not punched as they were in previous attacks, according to the New York Daily News.

Torah Study And The Defense Of Israel

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

I am a platoon sergeant in the IDF. I am a religious Jew. I am a platoon sergeant in the IDF because I am a religious Jew.

Recently, hundreds of thousands of haredim gathered in Jerusalem to protest the idea that they should be drafted into the army like every other Jewish citizen of Israel. This, they claim, is the Torah law and the will of God.

It is nearly impossible to find a precedent in all of Tanach, Talmud or Jewish history where Jews did not go out to defend their country together. There is not one time when Jews were exempt from fighting alongside their brothers because they were learning Torah.

Joshua, the spiritual leader and commander of the first Jewish army in the land of Israel, was commanded by God that “the Torah shall not depart from your mouth day and night.” In the haredi paradigm, we should expect to read about the houses of study Joshua established. Instead, for the next seven years Joshua went out to battle with all his people.

Ironically, that passage in the first chapter in the book of Joshua is the primary textual source for the commandment to learn Torah.

King David, the author of so many of our treasured prayers, also went out to battle. With a Torah scroll by his side he led his men in war and toward peace. The Maccabees were priests in the Holy Temple. Matityahu was the high priest and his son Judah a priest as well. Both led the military revolt against the Greek empire. Later, Rabbi Akiva led his students to war under Bar Kochba against the Roman occupation in Israel.

For those who can’t find value in the Jewish state and therefore refuse to defend it (or to even thank God for its existence on Yom Ha’atzmaut), a religious re-education is in order. There has never been more Torah study in the land of Israel in all our history than there is today. More synagogues, mikvehs, yeshivas and seminaries have been built by the modern state of Israel than ever before. In quantifiable numbers, the amount of people learning Torah in our modern state dwarfs anything that King David, King Solomon, Ezra, Nehemiah, the Hasmoneans and Rabbi Akiva ever produced.

Outside of Israel, the greatest yeshivas like Volozhin and Lublin had no more than 300 students. Even the legendary institutions of Sura and Pumpedita had approximately 1,000 students. Just the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of Torah students in Israel to protest is reason enough to celebrate the country.

Only the modern state of Israel with a trained military could have transformed our shattered and devastated people after the Holocaust into a new spiritual empire. While it is forbidden to rely on miracles, we live as a free people again today because of our brave, dedicated soldiers. Only a few decades ago Jews wore a different kind of uniform – one with stripes and a yellow star.

In this sense, the popular demand “to share the burden” creates the wrong discourse and misses the heart of what it means to be a Jew in our country. Serving in the first unified Jewish army in the Land of Israel since the times of King David is not a burden; it is a privilege, an honor, and a miracle. It is unconscionable for a religious Jew living in the Promised Land, connected to his heritage and his history, not to want to serve in the army.

Although the ultimate Jewish vision aspires to no army, no soldiers and no weapons of war, the story of the modern Jewish army is the next chapter in the ongoing saga of Jewish history.

Six Lev Tahor Children May Remain In Guatemala, Judge Rules

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Six children from the Haredi Lev Tahor sect who fled Canada will be allowed to remain in Guatemala with their parents, but with conditions, a Guatemalan family court judge ruled Tuesday.

The Lev Tahor members from two families can stay in the Central American country, but they must check in with the Canadian embassy within three days, the Toronto Star reported. Sect members must return to the town of Solola, where they settled after fleeing Canada earlier this month, with the proper paperwork from the Canadian embassy, the judge said.

A violation of the order will lead to criminal charges, according to the newspaper.

Fourteen children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada two weeks ago ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in protective custody.

Eight of the children traveled to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children were apprehended in Calgary and also removed from the sect.

Child protection officials in Ontario and Quebec say they have evidence of abuse in the community, including physical beatings, underage marriage and substandard education. The community has denied all allegations and claims it is a victim of religious persecution.

A spokesman for Guatemala’s Ministry of Immigration confirmed Monday that the Lev Tahor members are under surveillance by the country’s national police force, the Star reported.

A Kosher Supermarket is About to Close and the Question is Why

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

The announcement by the 75-year old Crown Market in West Hartford, Connecticut, that it would be closing sent shock waves through the Jewish community.

Mark Bakeoff, who bought the market five years ago, said tough economic conditions and increasing competition have made things difficult, but the biggest blow came with “one of the worst winters on record in a decade.” Despite attempts to save the market, the owner is not optimistic. Sources told Kosher Today that the store did not cater to the community’s small but growing Orthodox community.

Mark Silk, a professor of religion in public life at Trinity College in Hartford, explains that one of the reasons Crown Market is closing  is because “the Ultra-Orthodox did not believe the market was kosher enough and refused to patronize it.” Silk goes on to explain that modern Judaism has seen a decline among what he terms the “Modern Orthodox” and an increase in the number of Ultras. Rabbi Ilana Garber, a Conservative rabbi and a loyal Crown customer, is leading the efforts to save the supermarket.

The announcement of the pending closure resulted in some soul searching by many Jews in the community. One blogger wrote: “I chose to shop at the new neighborhood Wal-Mart because we wanted to save money. What I realize now, much too late, is that if I had shopped at Crown and paid a little bit more, I would have been supporting this important part of the Jewish community that we cherish and love. And now, with a heavy heart, I admit I was wrong. I apologize. I know that isn’t enough. I wish it were. I wish I could promise to shop there for now on. I wish I could get 500 families to pledge to do the same. I wish I had known they were in trouble so I could have done something, anything.”

Other bloggers also shed tears and one vacationer in Turks and Cacos even placed an order long distance. Many markets and even restaurants have opened because of a pledge of community support only to close when the support was not forthcoming. The upscale Le Masada Restaurant in the Hyatt Regency in Chicago was one such case in the late ‘90’s.

Reports: Yeshiva Student Draft Dodgers to Face Criminal Charges

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Haredi Orthodox yeshiva students will face criminal charges for dodging the draft under a proposed law, after the intervention of the prime minister, Israeli media has reported.

Under the proposed military draft law, the Haredi men would be criminally charged for evading the draft, but the penalties would not go into effect until 2017, according to reports. In addition, draft orders for Haredim up to age 26 will not go into effect until up to a year after the law goes into effect.

The Shaked Committee that is preparing the draft law was set to meet Wednesday to vote on the final proposal of the bill, which will likely be brought before the full Knesset in March.

Lawmakers from the Sephardi Shas and Haredi United Torah Judaism parties have threatened to drop out of the committee.

The Tal Law, which allowed Haredi men to defer army service indefinitely, was invalidated by the Supreme Court in February 2012 and expired in August that year. Haredi yeshiva students since then have had their drafts deferred.

Rabbi Ovadia’s Daughter May Bid to Succeed Peres as President

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite as Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and if the Republicans continue to prefer arguing rather than uniting, she will succeed.

In Israel, none other than Adina Bar Shalom, the Haredi left-wing daughter of the late Torah sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is contemplating running for the post that will be vacant with the end of the term of President Shimon Peres this year. The Knesset elects the president.

Bar Shalom, 69,  said last month that she has not talked with anyone about the possibility of running, but she told the Forward this week she might take the plunge. She said she is now talking about the prospect with several key people and supporters who believe she can be a “bridge between religion and the state.”

One of the reasons for her hesitation on declaring herself as a candidate is that she wants to know who else will be running. Another woman, former  Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner whose decisions were left-leaning, said Thursday she intends to run for president.

So far, veteran Knesset Members Reuven Rivlin of the Likud and Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer of Labor have announced their candidacies, as has outsider Dan Shectman, who like Bar Shalom has no  experience in politics. The Technion University scientist  is a Noble Prize winner in chemistry.

The position of presidency had been a ceremonial one until Ezer Weizmann actively pushed political policies during his term of office in the 1990s, and Peres has often acted more like Prime Minister then president.

Bar Shalom might win support from Israel’s popular media, which would promote her because of her leftist views and because she is a woman, considered to be a credential in and of itself by a pro-feminist media.

She told the Forward she firmly believes Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a “partner for peace” and believes his statements that “I won’t allow terrorists and terror” and “I prevent the terror.”

She founded a college for Haredi women in 2000 and which now is also open to men, who learn separately from women.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbi-ovadias-daughter-may-bid-to-succeed-peres-as-president/2014/02/13/

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