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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hareidi’

Shas MK Begins ‘Three Week’s with ‘Senseless Hate’ against Reform Jews

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

 

Minister for Religious Affairs, Shas Knesset Member David Azoulay, ridiculed approximately 2 million Jews Tuesday with the incredible statement, “A Reform Jew, from the moment he does not follow Jewish law…. I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew.”

His vile libel comes on the heels of the Netanyahu government’s rollback of religious reforms passed in the previous administration and which broke the gridlock that the Hareidi establishment has held over the conversion process and the approval for private and public eating facilities to be certified as kosher.

There are tens of thousands of Reform Jews who indeed are not Jews according to Jewish law because of  intermarriage. Jewish law states that if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

But for the time being, most Reform Jews in the United States and elsewhere are Jews by birth, regardless of whether they follow Jewish law.

MK Azoulay’s rant comes during the first week of the “three weeks” of a semi-state of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples on the Ninth of Av, which is observed at the end of the period.

Every year, rabbis preach that the sages teach that the Second Temple fell because of “senseless hate” among Jews,” and that every Jew today must express unlimited love.

And how does the Shas MK express his love? He told Army Radio today he cannot call them “Jews” and added:

These [Reform] Jews took the wrong path, and we need to make sure that every Jew returns to the lap of Judaism and [we need] to receive everyone with love and joy.To my sorrow, most of the Reform Jews in the Diaspora have erred. They are like babies who are hostages, and we want to make sure that every Jew will return  to Judaism according to Jewish law.

The most infuriating part of MK Azoulai’s remarks, worse than refusing to recognize Reform Jews as Jews, is his arrogant pretense that “we need to receive them with love and joy.”

The Hareidi establishment, of which the Shas Sephardi party is a major leader, does everything in its power to turn Jews off from Judaism.

Reform Judaism is not Judaism, and Reform rabbis are not rabbis, no more than alternative medicine is “medicine” and their practitioners are “doctors,” but to publicly say – or even privately think – that they are not Jews is nothing less than a blood libel.

Reform Jews never will be accepted with “love and joy” by the Israeli Hareidi establishment no more than MK Azoulay will accept national religious Jews with “love and joy.”

No matter how much Talmud we learn, and no matter how often we say the same prayers that Hareidim say – except for the addition of the Prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF that are absent from almost all Israeli Hareidi prayer books – it is not good enough for the their establishment.

Unlike the Agudah Hareidi movement in the United States, which practices “kiruv” – reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews to bring them closer to Judaism – the Hareidi  leaders in Israel are interested in power. They don’t accept others who do not dress like them, obey them like robots and contribute to their yeshivas.

There was an unconfirmed claim by the Women of the Wall yesterday that guards stopped a woman at The Western Wall because she was wearing a kippah.

The guards allegedly asked the woman to go with them to the police station, a request she refused.

Instead, she was escorted to a taxi stand outside the Western Wall Plaza.

Rivlin Gives Netanyahu Two More Weeks to Form New Government

Monday, April 20th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two more weeks Monday morning to form a new government coalition after negotiations with different t parties have not produced a positive result.

Rivlin really had no other choice. He would like to see a national unity government with the Likud and the Zionist Union, the euphemism for the merged HaTnuah party headed by Tzipi Livni and Labor, chaired by Yitzchak Herzog.

Herzog and Livni do not want to be part of a Netanyahu-led government no more than he wants them on board.

The term “national unity” sounds terrific, but in this case it would be “national disunity” govern the deep ideological gap between the two parties.

Likud officials are to speak with the Hareidi Shas and Yehadut HaTorah parties today. Shas is the biggest obstacle for Netanyahu because of the threat by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) to ditch the coalition if Shas heads the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-beach-in-ashkelon-gender-separate/2014/05/21/

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