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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘haredim’

Bennett Signs Up UST Global to Bring 10,000 Jobs to Israel

Monday, December 8th, 2014

The giant California-based UST Global will build a cyber-defense center in Israel and will employ up to 10,000 people, including Haredim, Minister of Economy and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett announced from Washington.

In a video (below) that Bennett posted on his Facebook page, UST CEO Sajan Pillai, sounding like Bennett’s election campaign manager, said that one of the reasons his company chose Israel to build the center is “the ability of the government leadership to act quickly.”

UST also is acting quickly. Pillai said he hopes to start working on the new center by the end of March, which just happens to be 17 days after Israelis vote for a new Knesset.

UST Global is a multinational provider of IT services and solutions and specializes in healthcare, retail and consumer goods, banking and financial services, media, entertainment, insurance, transportation and manufacturing.

Bennett and Pillai did not disclose where the center will be built except to see it will be in the “outlying” areas, meaning not in metropolitan Tel Aviv. Bennett said  that the company’s training program for workers will include Haredim.

The Be’er Sheva area is a good guess for the location because several international companies already are establishing high-tech centers in a new industrial park being established in cooperation with Ben Gurion University.

“Today, more companies in the world look at cyber-defense as one of their top problems,” said Pillai, who said the first reason UST is locating in Israel is that it has “the best brand for intelligence and cyber defense, bar none.”

He added, “Number two, 40 percent of all cyber defense companies today are located in Israel.”

The accomplishment of bringing 10,000 news jobs to Israel and to relatively underdeveloped areas will be a big plus for Bennett in the election campaign, in which the economy is a major issue.

The favorable polls for a new party headed by former Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon, who broke the cartel of mobile phone companies and brought down mobile call prices by 90 percent, is a strong indication that voters want action and not talk.

Yair Lapid, who was Finance Minister until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired him last week and called for new elections, has been championing a program of zero Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes, but he failed to bring the bill into law. His proposal earned headlines and was applauded until it became clear that there were so many limitations in the bill that it would help only a few thousand people.

PLO Campaigns to Wipe ‘Temple Mount’ Off the Media Map

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The PLO, to which the Palestinian Authority is subservient, has escalated its campaign to remove all connection between Judaism and the site of the destroyed Holy Temples by appealing to international media to stop using the ”inaccurate term Temple Mount.”

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is not a disputed territory and all other terms, therefore, are null and void,” according to a PLO statement published by the official Palestinian Authority WAFA news agency.

It claimed that the Al Aqsa mosque has been under exclusive Muslim sovereignty and control since the construction of the Dome of the Rock in 692 CE, which is a blatant lie.

During the period of the Crusaders conquest, the site was turned over to the Augustinians, who turned it into a church while the Al-Aqsa Mosque became a royal palace. The mosque building became the headquarters of The Knights Templar during the 12th century

Israel raised its national flag over the Temple Mount after the Six-Day War in 1967, but Defense Minister Moshe Dayan ordered that it be taken down, and he authorized the Muslim Waqf to supervise the site. Jews freely ascended the Temple Mount without any objection for several years after 1967.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, run by Haredim, unwittingly aided and abetted the Muslim campaign to exclude Jews by ruling that Jews are forbidden from ascending the Temple Mount because they might walk over the buried ruins of the Holy Temples. An increasing number of national religious rabbis have permitted and even encouraged vesting areas of the Temple Mount where they say there is no such concern.

WAFA described the entire 36-acre site of the Al Aqsa mosque compound as a Muslim holy site.

The Palestinian Authority over the past decade has tried to eliminate any proof that the Holy Temples existed by removing hundreds of tons of debris that contained artifacts of the Temple period.

WAFA stated for media consumption that the Al Aqsa c=mosque compound is “sacred to approximately 1.6 billion Muslims around the world and [is] a symbol for all Palestinians.”

It added that the compound ”is located in East Jerusalem, an internationally recognized part of the Occupied State of Palestine” and alleged that “since Israel’s military occupation of East Jerusalem in the June 1967 War, several plots by settler organizations and other Zionist extremists to blow up the Mosque were uncovered by the Israeli authorities.”

The PLO strategy is to cash in on the Chamberlain-like appeasement preaching that “settler leaders, with the support of the Israeli government, continue to incite against this sacred site, and consequently provoke Palestinian fears and anger.”

According to the theory, Israel should not do anything that angers the Muslims.

It is no wonder that Iran still frees free to propose peace in the Middle East by annihilating Israel.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei tweeted, “Khamenei.ir ‏@khamenei_ir This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated. 7/23/14 #HandsOffAlAqsa”.

Haredim Claim Delta Overbooked and Falsely Blamed Them for Delay

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

A group of Haredi Jews have claimed that Delta Airlines tried to cover up their own mistake of overbooking and instead blamed Haredim for a 75-minute delay in take-off, according to the Kikar Shabbat Haredi website.

As reported here on Wednesday, several Haredim left the plane after the airline crew refused to allow them to sit in unassigned seats to avoid having to travel next to someone of the opposite sex.

That is not the what happened, claimed travelers who spoke with Kikar Shabbat.

“The airline messed up and threw their mistake on Haredi passengers,” one of the sources said. “Delta overbooked with 25 extra passengers, and when the company realized the embarrassment, they offered people a credit of $1,000 and a hotel room. A number of passengers jumped on the opportunity and disembarked, but it took around two hours before they could get their luggage off the plane.”

The source also claimed that the allegation that Haredim refused to sit in assigned seats is misleading because the overbooking caused a mix-up on where to sit. Yeshiva students on the plane wanted to sit with their friends and probably did not want to sit next to women, but this was no reason for the take-off to be delayed, they argued.

Several passengers who talked with Kikar Shabbat said they were prepared to go to court to defend the Haredim. “It appears that Delta goofed and decided to place all of the blame on Haredi Jews,” they asserted.

The company stated, “Delta Airlines flight 468 from New York, which was expected to land at Ben Gurion Airport at 14:35 pm, arrived an hour and a quarter late due to passengers who alighted from the plane before take-off. We had to delay the departure of the aircraft in order to locate their luggage and return it to them. “

Haredim Delay Delta Flight because of Mixed Seating

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Haredim extremists demanding that men and women not sit next to each on the airplane again have succeeded in creating anti-Semitism as well as delaying a flight, and this time it was Delta and not El Al.

A group of Haredim boarded Flight 484 from New York to Tel Aviv on Tuesday and immediately made a commotion, according to Haaretz.

It can be safely assumed that this was not the first time in their lives they boarded an airplane so it is a bit difficult to understand why they waited to parade into the parade before starting an uproar by refusing to sit in their assigned seats, lest they be smitten on the spot for sitting next to someone of the opposite sex.

Haredi men and women participated in the spectacle. Rather than committing an unforgiveable sin that is shared by no other people in the world except for your neighborhood fanatic Muslim, they did everyone on board a favor by getting off the plane.

Takeoff was delayed for 75 minutes until their baggage could be removed.

It is not known if they will get their money back, but it would be a shame if they do not feel financial pain for their spiritual insecurity.

There is no Jewish law forbidding a man and a woman to sit next to each other in separate chairs. It is easily argued that doing so can lead to immodesty – perhaps one may touch the other when tripping over a sleepy passenger’s legs on the way to the bathroom.

So let’s give the Haredim the benefit of the doubt that they are so cautious about modesty, or so screwed up that they break out in a sweat when they sit next to someone of the same gender.

After all, if that is they want to be Jewish, let them have a good time their own way.

But they know very well that seats are assigned at the ticket counter. All they have to do is tell the airline ticket agent, “I would prefer to sit next to an Ebola patient rather than someone from the opposite you know what.”

So why a fuss on the airplane?

There can be only one answer: They really are not in a hurry to fly anywhere.

And they like creating a bad name for Jews, especially for the majority of Haredim who are normal.

But everyone on the Delta flight really should thank the extremist Haredim. After they disembarked, everyone else had a lot more leg room.

Blood Brothers: Haredim And The War In Gaza

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Under the shadow of the war in Gaza, the members of the Gesher Leadership Course – a diverse mix of secular and religious Jews, including haredim, met one last time before the conclusion of the semester.

Although our gatherings, which help us develop leadership skills and devise new ways to bridge the religious divide in Israeli society, are usually a highlight in our busy schedules, every member of the group arrived to the meeting noticeably upset. Of course, our sour mood was justified.

At that point in time, the war was raging and the number of casualties was growing daily. In fact, a lone soldier (a soldier with no family members living in Israel) was buried that very morning in Jerusalem; it was a heart-wrenching funeral attended by tens of thousands.

Additionally, a member of our group was called up by the IDF to serve in Gaza, leaving his wife and small children at home. It was far from the ideal atmosphere for our meeting, and bridging the gap between haredi and secular Israelis appeared to be the least of our worries.

Still, we pushed ourselves beyond those heavy feelings and convened our meeting to focus on the important task at hand.

With the war as a backdrop, we began discussing secular-haredi relations in Israel. As the conversation progressed, a secular member of the group raised an interesting question: How does a haredi citizen of Israel connect to the hardships and tragedies of war if he isn’t personally connected to anyone serving on the front lines?

Through many shared experiences, the members of our group have gotten to know each other quite well. We have broken down barriers and dissolved stereotypes, opening our minds to customs, perspectives, and values that in no way resemble our own. This has allowed us to discover the true depth of our similarities and our expansive common ground.

As always, our discussion hit a nerve, and we were primed for an eye-opening and thought-provoking experience. Immediately we realized our knowledge regarding the issue of haredi enlistment was based almost entirely on the media’s presentation of the issue. We had been fed a message that blamed Israel’s haredi population for detaching from society, refusing to share the burden, and using Torah study as an excuse to evade responsibility. We knew this wasn’t a fair assessment of the situation, but it didn’t fully register for us until we picked it apart as a group.

The haredi members clarified further that they felt every bit as connected to the state of Israel and the harrowing consequences of war as their secular counterparts, even though they didn’t know anyone on the front lines by name. At least they hadn’t when the war began.

One group member explained that every haredi family in her neighborhood had “adopted” a soldier, praying and performing good deeds on his behalf. A second participant described how her grief-stricken 14-year-old nephew was learning Torah day and night and eating with restraint because he felt a great responsibility toward “his” soldier. He was worried that something terrible would happen to his soldier if he stopped learning Torah for even a moment.

Yet another haredi participant expressed extreme distress at not being able to attend the funeral of the lone soldier that morning. The politics were complicated, and he understood his attendance could be misconstrued, but his feelings were genuine: he wanted to pay his respects to a young man who had given his life for the Jewish state and the Jewish people.

While it will be argued that Israel’s haredi population should do more to contribute to the country’s cooperative atmosphere, my eyes were opened to the fact that we don’t quite know the whole story but rather are always reacting to the information we are fed without digging deeper.

Keeping Haredim Excited About Torah

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Many of us have heard about the books and stories coming from those who grew up haredi (ultra-orthodox), but have since adopted a modern lifestyle. But while we are rightfully concerned when these tales make headlines, in order to change the situation for the better, it is in our best interest to find new ways to infuse life and vitality into observant life; a vitality that is enduring unlike the fleeting temporarily of secular experience.

A Purim Tale

Being both highly sensitive and introverted has made living in major cities challenging. But while each and every outdoor adventure is a “stethoscope to the world” experience, this challenge also carries great potential.

It is because of this sensitivity that a story from Shushan Purim a few weeks back stuck with me. It occurred not long after my family and I moved into an apartment in Jerusalem.

The Happy Collector

When I arrived to pray and hear the megillah Shushan Purim morning, there was a collector there that stood out because of his exuberance. It is a mitzvah to give charity to the poor on Purim* day, so there he was with his basket in hand ready to collect. But there were two things different about this gentleman. The first, as mentioned, was that he was in a happy, exuberant mood. The second was that he was exclaiming that giving charity to him was an ultra-fulfillment of the mitzvah.

Now you can imagine the thought that came to mind: It is a mitzvah to give to anyone who is needy. So how exactly would giving to him be any better?

Then during prayer I received my answer. There he was again, still exuberant as ever, running around with his charity basket and … his son in tow.

That morning a father had two options. Either he could go to synagogue and collect quietly, perhaps even leaving his son at home so he shouldn’t remember Purim as the time when his father asks for charity all day. Or he could inject a healthy dose of folly, a holy spirit of folly, and make sure that even though he still had to collect, Purim should still remain an enjoyable one for him and his son.

Non-Obligatory Novelties

The thought then occurred to me: While technically giving charity to this man fulfilled the obligation like any Jewish person in need, something extra special did come from his happy behavior. That even in the face of adversity and challenge, he found a way to both remain happy himself and bring enjoyment to his son on Purim.

According to the Avnei Nezer, a child who does not know how to perform the hidur (beautification) of a mitzvah is not required to do so. For instance, whereas a child is not obligated to perform the hidur of shaking the lulav (the mitzvah is to hold it); nevertheless it is praiseworthy to teach the child to shake in order to appreciate the inner (non-obligated) life and soul of the mitzvah (see the full explanation here).

While giving charity to this father was legally the same as giving to any other person in need, through his decision to make the day happy for himself and his son, we learn a great lesson in education. Thinking back to that Purim day, his son will remember the fact that he and his father managed to enjoy a Purim during those difficult times, not whether the reasons his father gave were rational.

Teaching Novelty in Education

We started this article on how to market Torah to haredim with this story because it captures the life and exuberance that every educator should have when instructing a classroom of students.

We brought an extreme case to show that even marketing tactics can be praiseworthy under certain pressing circumstances. How much more so then in the case of an established hidur, whereby we teach it (e.g., to shake the lulav) to the child even though he is not yet obligated.

But the life of the mitzvot change from generation to generation. Therefore, a true educator has to be attuned to the new hidurim that give life and exuberance to the act of learning and performing these mitzvot.

For instance, in our generation we have been given the opportunity to learn Torah with its mathematics, the triangles and squares in the Torah. This imparts a tremendous sense of fun and enjoyment to learning Torah. Like a hidur (e.g., shaking the lulav) not knowing the Torah’s math doesn’t detract from the mitzvah of learning Torah. The child could make do with just learning the Mishnah and Talmud.

If the Torah’s math is not learnt in a particular cheder or yeshivah, they don’t have to do strange things in order to introduce it, but it’s certainly too bad, because the hidur, this way of learning, is what gives a lot of life and novelty to the learning, (for example, see our mathematical analysis of the Haggadah song, Who Knows One?).

Difference between Haredi and other Jewish Schools

Presumably both haredi and modern Jewish schools would be interested in learning the mathematics behind the Torah. What then is the difference between the two?

As explained in “When Torah Goes Viral” the marketing for modern environments is to explain the unification that is taking place between the Torah and the wisdom of the world (in our case, mathematics). So whereas the way to market Torah mathematics to haredi schools is to explain this concept of a non-obligatory hidur mitzvah, for more modern environments, the selling point is the unification taking place between these two seemingly disparate worlds.

For example, so far there are over 9,000 views of this class given at a modern orthodox high school on Torah and mathematics. Notice that during the class, Rabbi Ginsburgh assumes that the students already know what algebraic expressions are. The novelty that we present to these children then is that the Torah relates to the algebra, geometry, etc… that they have already been learning. So too, when marketing to modern audiences outside the classroom, we continue along this path by asking whether they would like to know the Torah behind E=MC2, Pythagorean Triples, Pi, Euler’s Theorem, Golden Ratio, and so on …

But haredi audiences don’t know what any of these things are. For example, instead of the Fibonacci sequence, we can begin by calling it by its more accurate name (the “love series of numbers”). While the content is the same, what changes is the approach.

A Call to These “Wayward” Youth

For instance, now that these formerly haredi youths have entered the modern world it may be more appropriate to reach out to them with unifications instead of hidurim. As mentioned, teaching hidurim should begin from a young age, even before they are obligated. But now that this child has presumably entered or passed adolescence, and has studied something in university or from popular books, we should now reach out to them with the second approach.

*For simplicity, I will continue to refer to the day of the story as Purim, even though this was Shushan Purim, the day when the megillah is read in Jerusalem.

30,000 Haredim Receive Their Army Exemptions

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Since the Shaked Haredi Draft bill passed, almost 30,000 Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox), ages 22-28, have received or will be receiving their permanent exemptions from IDF army service, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Until now, Haredim were required to be learning in Yeshiva until age 28, while they were receiving IDF exemptions.

Those 30,000 Haredim are now free to continue learning in Yeshiva, or alternatively, join the job market and support their families. They will no longer need to apply annually for an army exemption.

The ministerial committee that dealt with the draft law is also evaluating what steps can be taken to help integrate those newly exempted Haredim who want to enter the workforce, including salaried training programs and employer incentives to hire Haredim.

Furthermore, due to high demand on the part of Haredi soldiers who did complete their IDF service in one of the Haredi army units, the army is working on creating a second battalion of Haredi IDF reservists for those who want to continue to serve.

On the downside, due to active discouragement on the part of the Haredi leadership and Rabbis, enlistment of those between ages of 18-21 has sharply dropped, and the Haredi draft quotas, of only a few thousand a year, which until now were being met, may not be reached.

A sign in Jerusalem's Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

A sign in Jerusalem’s Ultra Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood against serving in the IDF.
Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90.

The IDF and the Defense Minister recommended to the committee that lines of communications be opened with the Haredi leadership to stop their incitement against Haredi youth serving in the IDF or doing National Service. National Service is the alternative for those who don’t want to serve in the army.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/30000-haredim-receive-their-army-exemptions/2014/04/05/

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