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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘haredim’

National-Religious Rabbis to Participate in Haredi Anti-Draft Rally

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Some big name rabbis in the National-Religious (Dati-Leumi) community plan to participate in the Haredi anti-draft rally on Sunday, to show their solidarity with the Haredim.

Among these rabbis are Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, Rav Shlomo Aviner and Rav Yaakov Shapira.

The Haredim are protesting the Shaked Committee Bill, which will require that Haredim begin serving in the IDF and criminalizes draft dodging. MK Ayelet Shaked is member of the National Religious Jewish Home Party.

The position these Dati-Leumi rabbis are taking is that they will “not let the government divide the Dati-Leumi and Haredi communities… and harm Torah learning.”

Other Dati-Leumi rabbis are against the three rabbis’ participation in the rally.

Haredi MK Moshe Gafni (Yahadut HaTorah) told Makor Rishon that, to avenge the Shaked law, as soon as he is back in power, he will destroy the Hesder Yeshivas — where students both study Torah and serve in elite combat units.

MK Gafni also threatened to end all funding to the settlements, and to dry them out, as soon as he is back in a government role. For the record, his one government role so far has been, during the 12th Knesset (this one is the 19th): Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs.

In the past, in retaliation for budget cuts that hurt Haredi families, MK Gafni, who Chairs the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, also threatened to intentionally create problems the Finance Ministry would have to spend a lot of state money to fix.

Protest of Half a Million Haredim to Shut Down Jerusalem on Sunday

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Approximately half a million Haredim are expected to turn out for a massive “million-man” rally in Jerusalem early Sunday afternoon to protest the pending legislation to jail Haredim who refuse to report for duty in the IDF.

Highway 1, the major highway from Tel Aviv to the capital, will be closed at the entrance to the city from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., as well as Yafo (Jaffa) Road and other main arteries.

The Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut national labor union has issued a call to employers to release all workers from work by 12:30 p.m., with a full day’s pay, so they can head for home before mammoth traffic congestion. At least 1,700 buses are expected to bring Haredim to Jerusalem form all parts of the country for the protest, according to Daniel Bonfiel, director of the Jerusalem branch of the Histadrut.

That works out to more than 120,000 Haredi protesters, not including those from Jerusalem. However, Bonfiel predicted that 600,000 Haredim will attend the demonstration

The number of people who are defined as “Haredi” in the entire country varies from a bit less than half a million to 900,000.

The weather forecast favors the Haredim, with temperatures expected to be higher than usual for this time and no rain in sight.

Given this winter’s drought, one of the worst in recent memory, the Haredi community is wasting a wonderful opportunity to use their physical and spiritual powers to pray for rain.

But why waste prayers for rain that would help Zionist farmers, and anyway, who needs the water from the Kinneret since it may not be Kosher for Passovers, so who cares? The Haredi demonstrators will most probably leave the chore for praying for rain to the less Orthodox Jews and carry on with their protest.

Sunday’s black-hat rally is only the first shot in the Haredi war – and that is the correct word – against the Knesset in general and specifically Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh {arty who paraded through the last general elections on a platform that included getting rid of the rite of exempting Haredi youth from serving in the IDF so they can stay in yeshiva. That includes a large number who are listed as yeshiva students but spend most of their day at home, working for money “under the table” so they don’t have to pay taxes, or catching up on the latest Internet YouTube videos.

A vast number really do learn in yeshivas, supporting their rabbis’ claims that their devoting time to learning Torah is Israel’s real defense.

Let’s leave that issue aside for the reader and God to decide.

Lapid has either climbed up a very safe political leader or has crawled out on the longest limb on the highest tree he could find. There is not way he can retreat, and the Haredi rabbis refuse to compromise. For them, the IDF is treif. There is no middle ground.

Lapid has the support of a large majority of Israelis, who for years have suffered from the Haredi stranglehold on almost every government coalition, the budget and even the future of Jews in Judea and Samaria.

For decades, money for yeshiva has been their platform, which explains why the Sephardi Haredi party backed the Oslo Accords lest the government coalition fall.

Two year ago, Lapid’s success and that of the Jewish Home changed everything. The only way that the Haredi parties will be needed in a government is if the coalition breaks up over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace talk follies, and that is unlikely, much to the dismay of Kerry and his boss.

That leaves the Haredim and Lapid to fight it out.

Haredi Rabbi Warns Lapid Is a Target for Assassination

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

A rabbi-lawyer warned  on radio that an “important’ Torah scholar told him that Yair Lapid is in line to be the first politician to be assassinated since the murder of Yitzchak Rabin 18 years ago.

The host of the radio show in the national religious Galei Israel radio station immediately half-joked that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) was on the way to arrest the guest, Dan Halberthal.

The program, by coincidence or not, is called “Don’t Gag the Mouth.” Since the assassination of Rabin, police from time to time have arrested people for suggesting that someone should be shot, although officials have conveniently ignored outright incitement from Arab and even one or two Jewish Knesset Members.

Halberthal defended his statement and said he feels an obligation to make a public warning as a matter of prevention. For the record, The Jewish Press, like Halberthal, is reporting what was said. Nothing more and nothing less.

The background to the rage in the Haredi community is the work of the “Shaked Committee” that has drawn up legislation for a universal draft that would put draft dodgers in jail if they don’t report for military duty.

The sounds of voices of extremism and for violence are becoming more commonly heard in the Haredi community, according to Halberthal.

“A guest of mine on Shabbat, who is an important figure in the world of yeshivas, told me – and I think there is a lot of truth to it – that “there is going to be a new Rabin assassination. Lapid is going to be killed by a Haredi.”

Shrugging off warnings about the Shin Bet, Halberthal, who also lectures on Jewish judicial law, continued, “When someone tells me something that I think is true, I listen.”

In a subsequent interview with Channel 2, Halberthal said, “Since the murder of Rabin, there has not been such a situation… as with Lapid. He is a marked man in the Haredi community.

“It is not exceptional to hear comparisons between Lapid, Amalek, Haman and Auschwitz when his name is mentioned. On Purim, there definitely will be costumes of Lapid as the modern Haman.

Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that some crazy nut will get up one day and decide to carry out the act [of assassination].” The Haredi street is entirely emotional now, and I feel I must issue a warning.”

Knesset Panel Approves Jailing of Haredi Draft Dodgers

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

A Knesset committee headed by Jewish Home Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked approved on Wednesday a bill that would put Haredi draft dodgers in jail but which also has galvanized Haredi leaders to prepare for all-out war.

The bill faced an immediate challenge by MK Shaked’s party colleague Moti Yogev, who called on the committee to vote on the measure a second time before it is cleared for a vote in the full Knesset.

Haredi leaders warned that they will show that if the bill becomes law, it will be impossible to enforce. Haredi anti-draft rabbis have warned that yeshiva students will overflow Israel’s jails before agreeing to don a military uniform.

Jewish Fashion Magazine Targets Orthodox Women

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The one-year-old, glossy, high-end Hadar Orthodox women’s fashion magazine is capitalizing on Orthodox Jewish lifestyle becoming more upscale and will publish its third edition just after Purim.

The magazine is the brainchild of a Yeshiva University Stern College for Women graduate and the product of hers and a good friend’s creativity and entrepreneurship.

“I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur,” says Bari Weizman, owner and content director of Hadar, who explains that her magazine embodies the essence of the modest Jewish woman while exploring her desire to remain current and fashionable.

The idea came to Weizman one Shabbat when she was schmoozing with her sister about how all the little girls in their hometown of Monsey were wearing the same headbands with big, poufy bows, and the women were dressed in the same black boots on their walk to shul.

“I started thinking about all of these different fashion bloggers and how there is such a big interest in the Jewish community to add more fashion into one’s wardrobe, instead of just putting a Kiki Riki [shell] under everything,” Weizman tells JNS.org.

As she grew more excited about the idea she reached out to a former colleague, Shevi Genuth, and invited her to be a partner. Genuth now serves as editor and publisher of Hadar. The team also recruited Jessica Gugenheim, one of Weizman’s family friends, as fashion editor.

Gugenheim, who lives in Manhattan, describes the magazine as individualistic. “I don’t think our style is trying to follow any certain drum,” she says. Gugenheim looks for a combination of elegance and high-fashion at price points that are affordable for the average Orthodox Jew, who likely has to pay for day school and feed numerous children.

“I love working with pieces from H&M or Target and making them [the models] look like they just walked off the runway,” she tells JNS.org.

The magazine uses the developers’ religious friends instead of professional models, although flipping through its pages of spiked heels, creative layering, and trendy colors, one would never know.

Gugenheim worked previously at Anthropologie, a popular national retailer. There, she says, she “dressed the customers.” While each client had her own concern – a petite figure, recent weight loss – she says finding fashion for Hadar is a more sophisticated challenge. Hadar only features skirts, long sleeves, and high necklines. Gugenheim, who has a degree in art history, works with national brands to get samples that fit the frum bill.

“I just see fashion as a different expression of art,” she says. “As opposed to painting on a canvas, the designers are painting with fabric.”

Her first fashion tip: confidence.

“Anything you wear with confidence will look better,” she says.

But can Hadar Magazine survive the huge transformations occurring in all media sectors, from media owners to modeling agencies, from marketers to advertisers? Media channels are becoming more fragmented and the consumer is more empowered than ever before. Individuals become media in their own right, through blogging and social media. Is there a place for a new print magazine?

In the Orthodox community, says Weizman, the answer is yes. Using an iPad or a Kindle on Shabbat is still—and will likely always be—forbidden. Hence, the Orthodox community turns to print. Hadar reader Yonina Leibowitz of Monsey, NY, is one example.

“During the week, I don’t have time to sit and read a magazine,” Leibowitz tells JNS.org.

“I work full time. On Shabbat, I read all my magazines, the books I want to read. I don’t think print will really go out of style in my community,” she says, noting that she looks to Hadar for clothing trends she can easily put into practice.

Meet the Torah Scholars-Soldiers Who Defend Israel (Video)

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Soldiers in a new IDF company called “Defenders of the Negev” maintain an observant Jewish lifestyle and learn Torah while they work to protect the State of Israel.

Their service reflects an important goal of the IDF –  to help Haredi Orthodox Jews integrate into the army.

The combat soldiers, all “ultra-Orthodox Jews,” undergo six months of special training that focuses on infantry patrol, pinpoint operations and even basic lessons in Arabic that enable them to communicate with the population that lives in the area.

Throughout this process, these soldiers are able to preserve their religious lifestyle. During their basic training and course, they study religion and Jewish tradition with rabbis, just as they would in a traditional yeshiva. The soldiers regularly pray, study Torah and even have a special kitchen that prepares kosher food to an extra-high standard.

“They have everything they were accustomed to here,” explains Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, Chief Military Rabbi to the IDF. “Everything has remained the same, except for maybe spending the night in a sleeping bag.”

The difference between the “ultra-Orthodox” youth in the program and typical Haredi draft dodgers is that they don’t wear black hats and black suits. They are what in Israel is called “Hardal,” an acronym for Haredi national religious.

However, the IDF also has a program for Haredi black hatters to join the army and learn Torah, as some Haredi Zionists do as opposed to the masses who follow their anti-Zionist rabbis.

One of the “Hardal” soldiers is New Jersey native Eliyahu Frankel, whose father told the IDF, “He woke up one morning and decided this is what he wants to do, and we think he has been enormously successful here.”

Solder Eliyahu says, “I have been able to pray three times a day and study Torah. I decided to enlist in the IDF because I wanted to contribute to the country and protect its citizens.” He said his training has helped him “understand the other side and to stick together.”

Haredi black hats are welcome.

Catch a Police Horse by the Tail

Friday, February 7th, 2014

On Thursday, hundreds of Haredim demonstrated in Jerusalem, declaring that they do not recognize the Zionist State and why did the state stop their SS payments just because they refuse to be drafted.

It takes years of devoted learning to come up with an answer to this complicated sugia-issue. Meanwhile they fought the cops, the cops beat down on them, and at one point this Haredi guy, hat covered in plastic against police hosing, grabbed this police horse’s tail.

Classic Man vs. Beast situation.

I have it on good authority the horse was deeply offended.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/catch-a-police-horse-by-the-tail/2014/02/07/

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