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July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hareidi’

Bennett Flexes Muscles and Threatens to Knock Out Coalition

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett used Twitter late Sunday night to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he can forget about a right-wing coalition if he fulfills a pre-election promise to give the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Bennett was in charge of the ministry in the last government and is not willing to leave the national religious community out in the cold and let a Hareidi party reverse a trend to weaken the authority of the Hareidi establishment.

Bennett wrote:

Unilaterally taking the Ministry of Religious Affairs away from the national religious community and handing it over to Shas means the end of negotiations with Bayit Yehudi.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is asking President Reuven Rivlin for another two weeks to form a coalition.

The truth is that if the Prime Minister had run out of extensions, he and the potential coalition partners would have struck a deal now. As usual, everyone uses the clock to play chicken with each other.

Netanyahu knows that Bennett and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri are not prepared to force him into a corner without a coalition. And Bennett and Aryeh know that that if they do so, there always is the option of a national unity government with the dreaded Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni. Going that route would make the last Titanic coalition look like the Queen Elizabeth, so you can count on everyone finding common ground.

But how can Netanyahu get out of this mess created by promising the Religious Affairs Ministry to Shas when Bennett blocks it with a red line?

Easy.

Netanyahu can simply declare himself Minister of Religious Affairs and appoint two deputies – Bennett and Deri.

We wanted a Jewish country, right?

So we come up with Jewish solutions.

Two Jews, three ministers.

Supreme Court: Hareidi Papers Can’t Be Forced to Advertise Hareidi Women’s Party

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Hareidi newspapers can’t be forced to publish elections ads for the first all-female Hareidi (ultra-Orthodox) party, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

A lower court had ruled that the Hareidi daily Yated Neeman was wrong in refusing to publish an ad for the female party U’Bezhutan.

The court found that Yated Neeman had unfairly discriminated against U’Bezhutan by refusing to publish its ad solely because the party’s members are women, while publishing ads for other Hareidi parties.

U’Bezhutan was formed in protest of the fact that existing Hareidi parties exclude women from their party lists.

Yated Neeman’s editors argued that their rabbinic leadership opposes the U’Bezhutan party, and that a paper cannot be forced to print any party’s ad. The courts would not force a newspaper written for the Arab public to run ads for a Jewish nationalist party, they argued.

The Supreme Court accepted their argument and overturned the previous ruling.

U’Bezhutan has faced considerable difficulty getting its message out. Hareidi communities in Israel tend to eschew television and the internet, preferring to get their news from hareidi daily papers – but those papers have refused to give publicity to the women’s party, even in the form of paid advertising.

 

Hareidi Group to Rabbis: Ignore Supreme Court

Monday, January 5th, 2015

The hareidi organization Eida Hareidit has publicly rebuffed an inquiry by the Supreme Court, Reshet Bet reports. The group has issued a statement declaring the Supreme Court unfit to judge in an ongoing case involving courts of Jewish law (batei din).

Courts of civil law have no authority to intervene in matters of Torah law, argued the statement, which was issued by the Eida Hareidit together with Rabbi Shmuel Vozner.

The Supreme Court is hearing a case involving kitvei siruv – statements issued by a rabbinic court denouncing those who ignore its summons. Those publicly condemned for having ignored a rabbinic court summons can face ostracism.

A resident from Elad appealed to the Supreme Court after a court of Jewish law (beit din) in her hometown issued a siruv notice against her after she refused to bring a dispute to it, preferring a local civil court.

Supreme Court justice Salim Joubran accused the beit din of having overstepped its bounds. “A Rabbinic court has no authority to make decisions regarding a case that has been brought to a civil court. Can the rabbinic court be allowed to punish someone for going to a civil court?” he demanded.

The Eida Hareidit urged judges in rabbinic courts to ignore the Supreme Court’s criticism, and to continue issuing kitvei siruv as they see fit. Judges of Jewish law must not fear secular authorities, it declared.

The group reiterated criticism of those who turn to civil courts rather than religious courts. Jews must avoid courts that do not judge by Jewish law, it argued.

A Poisonous Atmosphere

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Yesterday, one of my Charedi critics that lives in Israel accused me of ‘rank anti-Charedi hypocrisy’. That’s because I have been critical of how the Meisels seminary issue was being handled by a Beis Din in Israel and because I disagreed with the 5 American rabbinic leaders who came out in support of that Beis Din. I found it odd that I was so viciously attacked as blatantly anti Charedi and a hypocrite – since I was not siding with anti Charedi forces but with Charedi ones who had a different view.

I don’t know what it is. But the classic sentiment in the Gemarah that Avirah D’Ara Machkim (the very air in Israel makes one wise) seems to no longer be true. It is almost as if the reverse is true. I say this with a heavy heart because I know many American Charedim who live there. They are all lovely people. But their Hashkafos seems to have dramatically changed – and along with that, their tactics.

Dr. Moshe Shoshan who resides in Bet Shemesh emphasizes this for me in his guest post on Cross Currents. It is a heartfelt complaint about the lack of an appropriate response by Charedi leaders to the literal terror tactics by some of the more extreme and radical Charedi elements among their people. Among them were terror tactics aimed at Charedim that joined the IDF. There have been more than a few Charedi personalities in America that justifiably were outraged by this and said so. But in Israel, it is an entirely different story. From Cross Currents:

At the end of last month, an IDF officer in uniform, on leave from combat in Gaza, entered a shul in Ramat Beit Shemesh with his two young sons, to daven maariv. They were almost immediately expelled by a group of kizonim (radical charedim) who proceeded to surround them outside the shul preventing them from entering their car and then smashing its windshield.

Fortunately someone hearing the noise thought it was a terrorist attack and called the police, who soon arrived to rescue the soldier and his children. A few weeks before, a solider was attacked in broad daylight by a mob on a main street in Ramat Beit Shemesh. There were many bystanders but only a religious Zionist women who happened to be in the neighborhood came to the soldier’s defense.

That this happens in is and of itself a terrible commentary on the communal mindset of the Charedi world in Israel. But the lack of outrage by this community is the most troubling of all. As Dr. Shoshan notes:

To the best of my knowledge, until this most recent incident not a single leading Ashkenazi charedi Rabbi or spokesman has stood up to condemn this treasonous behavior. Indeed, while covering an earlier incident in Benei Brak, the respected Israeli journalist Razi Barkai reported on his radio show that his staff had contacted all of the many charedi public figures who appear frequently on his show to articulate the positions of the charedi community and their Gedolim.

But, with the exception of Aryeh Deri, they all refused to comment on the attack against the soldier. Following this most recent attack, Yaakov Litzman, a senior Knesset member from the Yahdut ha-Torah party, at long last issued a perfunctory condemnation of the attack to a local non-charedi newspaper.

More from Cross Currents:

Last year, Chaim Walder, perhaps the most beloved religious children’s author in Israel, wrote an editorial the Hebrew Yated Ne’eman, the official organ of R. Steinman’s faction of the Yahadut ha-Torah political party. Walder’s column unequivocally and unapologetically compared Yair Lapid to Adolph Hitler yemach shemo ve-zichro… (But) no public condemnation or criticism was forthcoming.

New Beach in Ashkelon Gender ‘Separate’

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Hareidi families may have a new option for swimming in the sea this season — but it’s questionable whether they’ll take advantage of it.

A new separate-gender beach has been created in the Mediterranean coastal city of Ashkelon, just in time for the hot summer.

But the Ashkelon city council was forced into a compromise with environmentalists who insisted that a mechitzah (divider) be installed only on land in order to avoid a risk to surfers. More divisions than not are likely to be created by the compromise that was worked out over the divider.

The beach has indeed been set up with separate areas for men and women, with a divider – but the divider ends at the shoreline.

For many observant Jews this is pointless, since men and women can still see each other once they have entered the water.

Tel Aviv to Open Groceries, Kiosks on Shabbat, Holidays

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Groceries and kiosks will be allowed to open on Shabbat and holidays according to an amendment approved by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa (Yafo) city government on Monday.

Before the law reaches final passage, however, it must still win the approval of Israel’s Interior Ministry.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has advocated for passage of the law, which he maintains would allow the city to “keep the Tel Aviv spirit, one that cares for the Shabbat as the day of rest, as a social value in the Jewish State, and also allows for the provision of services and the freedom for everyone to use this day of rest as they wish.”

But city council member Rabbi Naftali Lubert, a member of the Orthodox Jewish community, slammed the statement at a stormy hearing on the matter in city hall. “This is a black day,” he said, warning, “What is about to be carried out is a violation of the law against working and resting hours. And for what? To buy beer?”

The issue also touches upon the problem of employers pressuring Jewish employees to work on the Sabbath – and denying jobs altogether to those who are Sabbath observant.  Such discrimination is illegal in the Jewish State, albeit still perpetrated though rarely discussed.  There may be fears the law could increase the incidence of employer discrimination against Sabbath observant job seekers in the White City.

Orthodox Sweep Elections in Israel!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Fantasy headline? Dream? Fishman gone crazy? The truth is – the only thing preventing it from becoming a reality is the sad and tragic fact that the Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora prefer living as tiny, insignificant minorities in foreign, gentile lands, conducting meaningless studies about saving Diaspora Judaism, when they could be living in the Land which G-d gave to the Jews, where they could play an active part in the Redemption they supposedly pray for every day, by turning the Israeli Knesset into a Beit Midrash of G-d fearing Jews.

Take a look at the numbers. Let’s say that in the coming election, Shas wins 10 seats, the Haredim 6, Jewish Home 15, and Otzma l’Yisrael for a total of 32. Scattered amongst other parties are another 10 Orthodox Jews. That makes 42. There are also another half a dozen or more closet-Orthodox-Jews who would come out of hiding with the appearance of a strong Orthodox trend. But we won’t count them for now. If all 300,000 voter eligible Haredim in Israel who don’t vote would use their brains for one day and vote, that would give the Orthodox another 4 or 5 votes, bringing the total to 48 – but we won’t count them either, because it looks like the miracle of simple, down-to-earth sechel won’t grace their camp within the next two weeks. So out of the 120 Knesset seats, about 43 are/will be Orthodox or from Orthodox parties.

Now, if the 100,000 Orthodox lovers of America who recently filled a baseball stadium in New York to protest against trash on the Internet, and the 100,000 Orthodox lovers of America who filled a stadium in New Jersey to celebrate the siyum of the Talmud, would come to live in the Holy Land and vote, and the other 400,000 plus Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn, Monsey, Lakewood, Chicago, Arizona, Beverly Hills, Boca, Toronto, Paris, London, Manchester, Melbourne, South Africa, Belgium, and everywhere they are hiding, would come out of the closet with them, and act on their prayers and actually say goodbye to the gentile countries they so love and come and live and vote in the Jewish Homeland, then those hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews would translate into potentially another 20 Knesset seats, giving the Orthodox a clear and resounding majority of 63 seats, and the headlines would read:

Orthodox Sweep Election in Israel!

Then we’d call the shots, and won’t that be fun!

You can argue about the numbers, but the truth is clear – if the Orthodox Jews of the Diaspora would take a whiff of smelling salt and play a part in the Redemption of Israel which the Master of the Universe has been bringing about over the last 100 years, miraculously rebuilding Zion, just as our Prophets foretold, in the fulfillment of our prayers, and to the amazement of the nations, already making Israel the clear and uncontested Torah center of the world – if the Orthodox Jews of the Diaspora would worry about building the Torah in Israel, instead of trying to hang on to galut as long as they can, then Israel would have an Orthodox Knesset, an Orthodox government, and Orthodox army, and G-d’s Kingdom would be established all over the Earth due to the towering light of Torah which would shine out from Yerushalayim, as the Prophet declares: “For from Zion will go forth the Torah, and the word of the L-rd from Yerushalayim.”

Yes, we have problems in Israel. After 2000 years in exile, our Nation has been weakened and is seriously ill. But here, we are like sick people who are getting better. In comparison, the Diaspora is like a terminal unit where everyone is on the way to Forest Lawns. The exile is not meant to last. Now that we can return home to Israel, there is no longer a need for it. Building a new yeshiva in Lakewood, and opening a Chabad House in Las Vegas, is like putting a band-aid on the victim of a fire whose entire body is covered with burns.

It’s time for Diaspora Jews to stop deluding themselves, the rabbis, blog writers, and Federation heads. Diaspora Judaism is a dinosaur of the past. It is destined for extinction. Studies about assimilation and drop-out won’t help. And remember, my friends, becoming more Haredi or more Modern Orthodox won’t do a thing when the millions of rifles in America and Europe are turned on the Jews. It’s happened everywhere else that Jews have ever lived, in all of our wonderful exiles, and it will happen in America too.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/felafel-on-rye/orthodox-sweep-elections-in-israel/2013/01/08/

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