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

Posts Tagged ‘Hareidi’

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.

Liberman Buys Time for Coalition, Hareidim Not Buying Idea of Service in Jewish Army

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The fierce political, religious, and sociological debate over whether Hareidi Jews should be mandatorily drafted into the Israeli Army like their Religious Zionist and secular counterparts hit a boiling point on Tuesday, with the Kadima party backing out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition and threatening the stability of the government.  Yet Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman has made it clear that he will continue to pursue the drafting of all Israelis at the age of 18, but will uphold the current administration and keep his party at the center of the action.

“We won’t leave the coalition under any circumstances. We will fight the battle from within,” Liberman said on Wednesday in an interview with Army Radio. “Those who really want universal enlistment must support our bill. You can postpone the end, but you can’t evade a decision forever.”

Yisrael Beytenu has drafted its own version of a national conscription law following Kadima’s departure under the leadership of Shaul Mofaz over the failure of committees to draft a replacement for the Tal law to its liking.

The Tal law, which exempted Hareidi Jews in yeshiva from the military draft was declared unconstitutional by the High Court of Justice earlier this year.  If an alternative law is not drafted, all Hareidim will be subject to the draft beginning on August 1.

On this week’s Jewish Press radio program hosted by Yishai Fleisher, Hareidi tour guide and resident of the eastern Jerusalem Jewish community of Maale HaZeitim, Meir Eisenman, defended the Hareidi position against serving in the army, but also stressed the importance of understanding that despite the disagreements, Hareidi Jews support the IDF.  “I think the first thing we have to do is make a very strong difference [and not lump together Israeli Arabs and Hareidim when ].  The Hareidim are on our side, they support the state of Israel, they support the army, and they are certainly not wishing, G-d forbid, for the army to fail, and we have to make that clear distinction any time we discuss this issue,” he said.

Eisenman cited the Book of Joshua’s emphasis that there is “clear connection of inheriting the Land of Israel through the Torah of Israel” as a case for exempting full-time Torah students from participating in the IDF.  He also tied the last major terror attack – a 2009 attack in Eilat which killed 8 and injured 40 – to the summer “bein hazmanin” yeshiva break, summer vacation for Torah students.  If you look back through the latest 10- 15 years, many of the most horrific terror attacks occurred when the national study level is on a down.” The Sbarro bombing and the Number 2 bus bombing, are among those attacks, according to Eisenman, as well as the Park Hotel bombing which occurred during the Passover break.

Eisenman further said that the success of the IDF is not rational, and that Israelis should attribute at least part of their safety to Torah study.  “To see that the Jewish people, all we need is the soldier that goes and risks his life, however important it is – that he’s the only thing that’s protecting the Land of Israel and the Jewish nation and the Torah of the Land of Israel, you’re just looking at half the picture, you’re not looking at the full picture.”

Fleisher replied by saying the draft is not a threat to Torah study, but rather lets them “fulfill the great mitzvah of being in the Jewish army”.  He said “the best, the most religious” Jews – including Joshua himself – were also the greatest warriors on behalf of the Jewish nation.  “You’re going to mention the Book of Joshua and you’re going to use that as a proof that because he was told to take the Torah with at all times and study the whole time…? He’s the exact example of the Torah student who is the greatest of the generation, he’s the biggest rabbi around, and he’s the number one soldier as well,” Fleisher said.   “To me, what’s missing in this whole discussion is that soldiering and being a Torah Jew in the Land of Israel are one.  Those are connected things.”

But Hareidi leadership has not seen it that way.  In late June, thousands of Hareidi men gathered for an early morning “sack and ashes” prayer service to beseech God to “annul the evil decree” of being forced to serve in the Jewish army.  Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef recommended to cancel the “bein hazmanim” yeshiva break and continue Torah study in order that God would hear their prayers not to be drafted.

PM Rallies Likud MKs to Find Haredi Army Service Solution

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

As the deadline for the renewal of the Tal Law approaches and tens of thousands of people rallied to demand that all citizens of Israel perform national service, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction to discuss ways to include Hareidim in national and military service.  With his party in agreement, the prime minister is on his way to drafting new legislation.

The discussion comes less than a week after the prime minister suddenly disbanded the Plesner committee, a body he established due to the impending time lapse of the Tal Law to advise him on integrating Hareidi Jews into army and national service programs which are mandatory for the rest of Israeli society.

On Saturday night, 35,000 – 50,000 people joined a “Camp Suckers” demonstration to protest what they perceive to be as an unequal application of Israel’s mandatory draft.  Due to the Tal law, which was passed in July 2002, Hareidi Jews can opt out of army service if they are enrolled in yeshiva.  Participants included former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin, former army chief Gabi Ashkenazi, former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and political hopeful and commentator Yair Lapid. Coalition member and Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrived, but was booed and asked to leave.

The Supreme Court deemed the Tal law unconstitutional in February, causing an uproar in the Hareidi community, including an early morning “sack and ashes” protest against being forced to join the army.  At the June 25 rally, Eda Haredit leader Rabbi Tuvia called mandatory Hareidi enlistment the  government’s efforts to “destroy the Torah world.”

At the Sunday morning meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu utilized the recommendations of the defunct Plesner committee to brief Likud MKs.  Soon after the briefing, the group agreed to promote the committee’s findings.  The prime minister will meet with Mofaz to establish a legislation drafting team to replace the Tal Law.  Initial reports indicate that MKs are ready to back the prime minister as long as conscription laws will include drafting into national service of Arabs with Israeli citizenship.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak disagreed with the notion of addressing Arab service at this time. “The main issue is ultra-Orthodox service,” said Barak. “We will have to create a law to deal with Arab inclusion in national service at a later date.”

Regardless, the new law will aim to slowly increase the numbers of conscripts, and provide a lot of incentives and benefits to participants.  It will also enable a certain number of Torah “prodigies” – about 1,500 across the country – to remain exempt and continue Torah study in place of serving in the IDF.

“We are doing this 64 years after the issue was originally mishandled. This is a historic change,” said Netanyahu at the meeting.

The Plesner report calls for enforcement mechanisms to be put into place to prevent draft dodging, including sanctions against yeshivas which keep students from enlisting.

Law makers have until August 1 to put a new law into action.

Tel Aviv Mayor Warns Against Hareidi Majority

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

The mayor Tel Aviv told Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth on Friday that having an “ultra-Orthodox” majority in Israel would turn it “into a fundamentalist state like Saudi Arabia”.

Ron Huldai, who has expressed a strong interest in maintaining the secular nature of Tel Aviv, criticized the government for funding hareidi educational programs without maintaining any control over the curriculum.

He also vowed during his term to begin operation of Tel Aviv’s public transportation on Shabbat.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tel-aviv-mayor-warns-against-hareidi-majority/2012/04/29/

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