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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Haredi’

Bennett’s Jewish Home and Labor Up in the Polls

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

A poll by the Knesset Channel released on Thursday confirms the trend of increased popularity for the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, and lesser support for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

Unlike recent polls, strength in the Likud-Beiteinu party dropped a bit. Labor and Meretz gained backing at the expense of Yesh Atid, and the other parties drew more or less the same support as in recent polls.

If elections were held today, according to the new survey, Likud-Beiteinu would win 30 seats in the Knesset, one less than it has today. Labor, which recently elected Yitzchak Herzog to replace Shelly Yachimovich as its leader, would replace Yesh Lapid as the second largest party, with 19 Knesset Members.

Third in line is Jewish Home with 17 seats, five more than it holds today.

Yesh Atid would drop from its current 19 to only 12. Meretz, as in previous polls, would be the biggest winner in terms of percentage gains. The survey gives the left-wing party 12 seats, double its current strength.

Shas would drop to seven seats, the Ashkenazi Haredi United Torah Judaism would hold its own at seven, and Tzipi Livni’s party continues to be in the dumps, this time with four projected MKS. The remainder of the Knesset seats would be occupied by Arab parties.

Queen Elizabeth to Honor Haredi Israeli Rabbi

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Queen Elizabeth will grant Israeli Haredi Rabbi Yitzchak Shapira one of the Commonwealth’s highest civilian honors with an appointment as Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the British Embassy announced Tuesday.

Rabbi Shapira is the son of former Haredi Knesset Member Rabbi Avraham Yosef Shapira. The Embassy said he will be honored at Buckingham Palace for “strengthening the ties between the UK and the Haredi community.”

The rabbi responded to the announcement  by seeing he is “deeply honored” and that Britain has displayed“ warmth “and a “supportive attitude” towards Haredim.

Rabbi Shapira has “helped us build a friendship and understanding between Britain and the Haredi community,” said British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould. “Isaac ]Yitzchak] has devoted a huge amount of time over many years to helping me and my predecessors get to know this vital and important part of Israeli society.”

The award does not grant him the title of “Sir.”

Playing both sides of the street, Britain also announced it is awarding a similar honor to American-born Reform Rabbi Mark Winer, a British subject and a U.S. citizen.

Winer, 71, received the honor for services to interfaith dialogue and social cohesion in the United Kingdom. He said in a statement that he was “humbled and thrilled” to accept the honor. He is founder of the international interfaith charitable initiative FAITH: The Foundation to Advance Interfaith Trust and Harmony.

British Rabbi Herschel Gluck, founder of the Muslim-Jewish Forum, also received an OBE for services to interfaith understanding.

Another American-born recipient of the OBE award is Brett Wigdortz, 39, for his efforts as founder of the education program Teach First.

Among the other recipients of New Year’s honors from the Queen are several Jews, both born in Britain and elsewhere.

David Kustow, former chair of UK Jewish Film, was awarded an OBE for services to film and for his role in the signing of the British-Israeli film cooperation treaty. Raymond Dwek, an Oxford University professor who co-chairs the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council, was awarded a Commander of the British Empire, or CBE award, for his services to scientific collaboration.

Philanthropist Michael Heller received a knighthood for his charitable services.

An Auschwitz survivor, Mayer Hersh, was honored as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his work in the field of Holocaust education.

Penny Ur, a British-born Israeli who studied at Oxford, was awarded an OBE for exceptional work in English teaching.

In total, more than 1,000 people were honored by the queen in advance of the new year, a British tradition since at least 1890.

 JTA contributed to this report.

Court Orders New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

The Jewish Home party won its day in court on Thursday with an administration court ruling that the October 22 elections for the Beit Shemesh mayor and city council are invalid because of suspected fraud. The court ordered a new vote.

Jewish Home mayoral candidate lost the election by 956 votes to Shas party incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

Shortly before the voting, police raid several homes and found identification cards that were in the hands of impersonators, and investigators said there is evidence of widespread fraud and suspicion of possible organized crime behind the forgeries.

Amazingly, Mayor Abutbul’s attorney told the court that, sure, there were some forgeries, but “you have to prove that all of the votes [separating Abutbul and Cohen] were invalid in order to cancel the elections. This is simple math. The police raided several homes and caught 120 identification cards, 36 of which were used to vote illegally. These are the facts, and the rest is speculation.”

Nice try, but no go, said the court. It is not just speculation; it is evidence that the foul play“went to the roots of the elections,” the court’s judges wrote in their ruling. It noted that “public trust collapsed.”

Shas is not known for clean politics. Neither is the Likud, but Shas’ problem is that it gets caught more often. It does not have the finesse of the Ashkenazi elite to be crooked and get away with it.

Just ask Aryeh Deri, who has returned to head the party after time ran out on his not being able to hold public office by virtue of his conviction and prison sentence for bribery, which politicians, religious and secular, think is not illegal if is a mitzvah.

Thursday’s decision was victory for the Jewish Home party, which already tastes an electoral victory in the re-run of the votes. A date has not yet been announced, but Beit Shemesh residents are anxious to vote again.

The city has been severely divided over religion. A radical Haredi cult has made life miserable for many national religious families. Many secular residents are furious over the increasing Haredi influence, let alone the radicals who want separate sidewalks for men and women.

A relatively large number of Americans live in Beit Shemesh, located a few miles west of Jerusalem. One of them is Dov Lipman, who now is a Knesset Member for the Yesh Atid party.

Singing Haredi Brothers’ Star Keeps Rising (Video)

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

The Haredi Gat Brothers, Aryeh and Gil, have become the first act named to the semi-finals of the popular new Israeli talent show “Rising Star.”

The show, which allows Israeli viewers to vote in real time for their favorite performers using an app on their mobile phones, is designed to uncover the next hot Israeli singing star, which is why the brothers’ rise in popularity among the Israeli public, and the judges is so unusual.

Even judge Israeli rapper Mooke D, who at first refused to vote for the brothers because he did not believe they would be marketable, broke down and voted for them on Sunday night.

In the first of four semi-final shows, the brothers performed three duets with other singers, including a rendition of Eicha, with lyrics from the Book of Lamentations. The brothers faced off against the other top vote-getter in order to become the first act to advance to the semi-finals.

And they did it performing their own arrangement of “Shalom Aleichem,” the song to welcome the Sabbath.

Only in Israel could two guys who look like that, singing a song with those lyrics, make it on a popular talent show.

Kabbalah Rabbi: Storm Is God’s Reply to Arresting Yeshiva Students

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The “snow siege” of Jerusalem is a God’s direct response to the recent jailing of yeshiva students who refused to accept draft orders to report for duty in the IDF, claimed Kabbalistic Rabbi Yaakov Addas Sunday.

“There is a general principle that when there is an evil decree, such as a tsunami, everyone must do some soul searching” he told the Kikar HaShabbat Haredi website.

“No one dies because of others, but this is done by God to awaken the world” he explained. “The same thing applies here. Everyone goes through his own soul searching, am I not going to get into that, but besides that, there is a public decree for which the public must do some soul searching.”

He said “it all fits in” when connecting the dots between the storm and arresting yeshiva students for not reporting for military duty.

“Putting yeshiva students in jail was a public sin based on an evil decree, and this whole business [the storm]” is a response,” the rabbi concluded.

Haredi Voters in Beit Shemesh Admit They Gave ID Cards to Others

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Several Haredi residents in Beit Shemesh have confessed to police investigators that they gave the identification cards to others to vote in their place, Israel radio reported.

On Election Day, police confiscated approximately 200 identification cards and disguises. Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein appealed to the courts to violate the recent elections in Beit Shemesh, and he judges asked for more proof.  The identification card fraud pointed to an “intentional and systematic attempt to alter the election’s results,” Weinstein told the court.

The false voters disguised themselves while in a nearby apartment so they would not be recognized and then arrived at polling stations.

If a new election is held, the Jewish Home party is expecting their candidate, Eli Cohen, will win. Shas incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul beat Cohen by only 956 votes.

New Hope for ‘Agunot’ Women Trapped by Separated Husbands

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

A new independent rabbinical court to address the issue of agunot, so-called “chained women” whose husbands refuse to give them a religious writ of divorce, will be launched next year, the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance announced this week at a conference in New York.

Jerusalem Rabbi Simcha Krauss, a leading Modern Orthodox rabbi and widely respected scholar, will head the court (Beit Din), which will have no institutional affiliation and will begin operating in New York.

Rabbi Krauss told JTA that the court will utilize little-used, obscure resources in Jewish religious law to free agunot, including the ex-communication from communal prayer of their husbands and Sephardic laws that allow for greater initiative from women in divorce cases.

He said he will leave “no door unopened” in his quest to address the plight of agunot.

Eventually, Rabbi Krauss said, he wants to open an affiliate court in Israel. He also is working on attaining approval from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, which is necessary if the court’s judgments are to be upheld under Israeli law.

“The goal of this project is to humanize the Beit Din,” Rabbi Krauss told JTA. “You can’t solve these situations with sleight of hand. But hopefully we can use the right methodology, so that even these situations get solved.”

He acknowledged that the biggest challenge facing any avowedly independent religious court is mainstream acceptance, particularly within the Hared communities.

“Nobody wants agunot,” Rabbi Kraus said. “So hopefully, if [Haredim] see that we are solving these cases, maybe they will come to us. Or maybe they will follow.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/new-hope-for-agunot-women-trapped-by-separated-husbands/2013/12/10/

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