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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hareidim’

Bennett and Netanyahu Clash over Rollback of Religious Reforms

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

 

The Cabinet Sunday morning approved amendments to the conversion reform law of the last administration and returned more power to Hareidim, over the objections of coalition partner Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home).

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett to vote for the changes, alleging that they were part of the coalition agreement with the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties.

Bennett said at the Cabinet session, “I did not agree to this in coalition negotiations,” but the Prime Minister shot back:

All of the agreements obligate everyone.

Likud Parliamentary Group Chairman Ze’ev Elkin stepped into the fray and confirmed that Bennett opposed rolling back the reform, and the Cabinet passed the changes with Bennett and Bayit Yehudi Cabinet member opposing it.

Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party that is not in the coalition, also voted against it.

The amendments wreck all of the efforts in the previous government to take conversion out of the hands of Hareidi rabbis an allow local rabbinical courts to decide on the delicate issue that has the most impact on 300,000 Russian immigrants who are not Jewish according to Jewish law. Hareidi courts generally are far less willing to accept conversions than are national religious rabbis.

The Cabinet also transferred authority over the country’s rabbinical courts from the Justice Ministry to the Ministry of Religious Services, which is headed by another Shas MK, David Azoulay.

Refusal to accept reforms means that it is more likely that all of the children and future generations of the immigrants will not be Jewish. If the woman marry Jewish men, there would be even more non-Jews in Israel and would create complications that could affect their children’s future.

The need for Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a coalition forced him to accept the Shas and UTJ demands to put the conversion process back in the hands of Hareidi courts. Under the new amendments local courts still can process conversions but only with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, is part of the Shas movement that his father founded, so it is no wonder that the Shas party insisted on eliminating reforms.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau also opposed the reforms.

It only is a matter of time before reform once again will undo the Hareidi establishment that never misses an opportunity to forego bridging gaps with the non-Hareidi population and bring people closer to Judaism, simply because they insist on such a rigid approach to religion and concentration of power that pave the way for a backlash that could weaken Orthodox Jewish influence in Israel.

Hareidi Rabbis Warn New Sport Club Will Cause Desecration of Shabbat’

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Hareidi Rabbis of the Committee for Shabbat” will vote against funding for a new Sportek (country club/sports center) in Jerusalem because of fears of “wholesale desecration of Shabbat.”

“For the sake of Zion and Jerusalem, we will not remain quiet,” the rabbis wrote in their statement.

The Jerusalem City Council is set to vote Thursday night on funding the new complex.

A year ago, Hareidi rabbis said they would not oppose the new Sportek center after an agreement was reached with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to change its location from Ramot to Emek Arazim.

Mayor Nir Barkat agreed to move the sport’s club to a new site to avoid offending Hareidi sensibilities, and as a bonus decided to leave the planned Olympic-sized swimming pool in Ramot, for use by the Hareidim — with separate swimming only.

One senior politician associated with UTJ was embarrassed by the situation told the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website, “How can we look the mayor in the eyes? He reached an agreement with us, with the approval of the Rabbis, and now we’re going against it? ‘Did you murder and also inherit?’ The mayor won’t believe us anymore.” But regardless of what the politician personally believes, he “will vote only in accordance with the Rabbis’ instructions.”

Herzog Wants New Elections

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog has called for new elections because it took Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two months to put together a coalition government that he said will cost the taxpayers an additional $250 million.

He told a meeting of the Zionist Union, the merged parties of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah parties, that it would be best to go again to the polls and let the people decide if they really want what they got.

He reiterated that not only will he not join Prime Minister Netanyahu in a national unity government, but he also will do everything he can to topple the new government.

His call for a new election should not be dismissed so quickly.

There is no question that if elections were held today, the Hareidi parties would retain at least the 13 seats they now have in the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties. They probably would win a couple of more from those who made the mistake of voting for Eli Yishai’s Yachad party, which failed to get enough votes to enter the Knesset.

There also is no question that the Likud would lose at least four seats that Netanyahu grabbed from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) in his last-minute blitz. Considering how the Prime Minister mistreated Bayit Yehudi in forming the new coalition, the party’s current strength of eight MKs likely would rise to more than 12 because it would also win back one or two seats that voters gave to the failed Yachad party.

Kulanu, led by Moshe Kachlon, would probably take a couple of seats from the Likud and a couple from Yair Lapid, who has succeeded in proving to voters there is nothing but air inside a windbag.

On the left, Livni is a dead duck, and Labor is not going to get any more votes than it now has unless they take them from Meretz, and vice-versa..

Yisrael Beiteinu also would not win any more than it now has and could even be headed for oblivion.

The Arabs would return with more or less the same 12 seats they now have.

The bottom line is that if Herzog wants new elections, let him have them.

The result will be a stronger national-religious government.

And then Herzog can call for a third round of elections, and a fourth, unit he finally figures it out that he represents a diminishing minority.

Deri Plays Tough, Refuses to Share Religious Affairs Post with Bennett

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Shas’ demand to lock out Bennett from the religious court is forcing a last-minute coalition showdown.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri has refused to allow the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) the post as Deputy Religious Affairs Minister, leaving party chairman Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a last-minute showdown to form a coalition government.

Without Bennett, Netanyahu has only 61 Knesset Members unless he can come to terms with Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman. As it stands now, he has only the minimum needed for a new government, but that number is too fragile to keep a coalition from falling apart.

He has until 8 p.m. Wednesday to put up or shut up. Either he, Bennett and Shas come to terms or Reuven Rivlin asks someone else to form a government. The only other alternative is a national unity coalition, which by all accounts would last for perhaps a day, or a week or month, but not much longer.

The Religious Affairs Ministry is the stumbling block. Deri wants it to himself, lock stock and barrel, knowing that allowing a Tel Aviv Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member to be his deputy would mean slicing money from Hareidi institutions and compromising on religious issues that are the foundation of Shas.

Deri always has proven he can be bought for a price and knows how to make it an expensive one. He might compromise with Bennett if Netanyahu offers him another key Cabinet post, likely at the expense of a prospective Likud minister.

Actually, there is another alternative. It is called “elections.”

 

Shas MK Deri Calls Hareidi Assault on IDF Officer ‘Terror’

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and several Knesset Members expressed outrage on Friday after Hareidim attacked an IDF officer’s car when he ventured into the Jerusalem neighborhood to visit two of his soldiers.

One of them is a lone soldier, without family in Israel, and the other recently lost his grandfather.

The officer, who is from Kiryat Arba, escaped with bruises after the Hareidi attackers smashed the back window of his private vehicle, whose windows were reinforced against Arab rock-throwers on the highway between Kiryat Arba and Jerusalem.

“They had murder in their eyes,” the soldier told his mother, according to Yediot Acharonot. “They were just like terrorists in encountered in Gaza,” he added. The 21-year-old officer saw action in Gaza in the Protective Edge counter-terrorist operation against Hamas last summer.

A rising number of Hareidim who enlist in the IDF has made a minority of extremists even more violent in their opposite to anything that hints of Zionism.

They are subservient to their rabbis, who so far have not taught that there is no mitzvah in physically attacking a fellow Jew.

Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Hareidi Shas Sephardi party, called the attack “terror.” Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) MK Yaakov Litzman said, “Attacking a soldier by extremists is a red line that must be condemned. Use of violence of any kind is sacrilegious.

UTJ Knesset Member Uri Maklev called the incident “terror” and charged that the extremist gang is headquartered in Beit Shemesh. He also accused the police of negligence by ignoring the gang.

He told Kikar Shabbat:

This is a gang of extremists who are more violent to other Hareidim than they are to the general public. It is the same group that once attacked [Hareidi] MK Moshe Gafni and the late Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. The police know the identity of some of their leaders but surrender and do nothing about it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the attack, “This is an outrageous incident, and the lawbreakers who raised a hand against an IDF officer should be prosecuted. Military service is a source of pride. The IDF is the people’s army that protects us all. Population groups from all of Israeli society serve in it – that’s how it was and how it will continue to be.

Not a Bulldozer Attack

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Hareidi Jews block a bulldozer as they protest at a construction site in Jerusalem on January 19, 2015.

They’re protesting against what they claim is the desecration of ancient graves which were discovered at a housing construction site in Jerusalem.

If only these guys would come out when Jewish homes are being destroyed, and not when they’re being built.

Not So Kosher Shemittah L’Mehadrin

Friday, October 24th, 2014

With 5775 being a Shemittah year, that imbues vegetables and fruits from Israel this year with a sanctity that requires some extra attention in the kitchen.

There are various halachic methods that are used to handle Shmittah, or alternatively, circumvent it entirely.

One method is “Heter Mechira” which is similar to selling Chametz for Pesach, where the fields are temporarily sold to non-Jews. This popular method, used by the Israeli Rabbinate, is considered controversial by some, and generally unacceptable by many Hareidim.

A second and preferred method is “Otzar Beit Din”, where a religious court takes control of the field for the year, but then the vegetables and fruits have Shemittah sanctity and extra care must be taken with them.

Hareidim generally prefer a third method, where they simply buy fruits and vegetables from Arabs in Judea and Samaria. It circumvents the Shemittah issue, and makes the fruits and vegetables “Shemittah-free”, though Hareidim miss the opportunity and mitzvah to eat Shemittah food as a result.

Hareidim designate this method “Mehadrin” – though there is a lot of room to disagree with that designation.

(There’s a fourth option, which was made popular by Gush Katif. Vegetables are grown in hothouses, in pots detached from the ground. It’s an expensive way to grow vegetables, but the vegetables don’t have Shemittah status, and it supports Jewish farmers in Israel. Due to the cost, it is not extensively implemented).

Of course, adding Kosher L’Mehadrin to anything guarantees its price will go up, and Shemittah-free vegetables and fruits bought from Arabs are no exception.

Shemittah-free “Mehadrin” vegetables and fruits can easily cost two or three times more than standard “Heter Mechira” fruits and vegetables.

And that leaves room for disreputable people to try and make an easy and illicit profit.

Agriculture Ministry officials accidentally uncovered a major Arab fruit and vegetable ring this week that was taking advantage of the price difference, according to a Makor Rishon report.

Many Hareidim who thought they were buying “Mehadrin” Shemittah-free vegetables from Arabs in Judea and Samaria – simply weren’t.

The Arabs vegetable network was buying both Heter Mechira vegetables from the open market, as well as vegetables from unknown sources, without any health or agricultural supervision or certification.

The Arab network was stamping their products with fake Israeli Rabbinate certificates and selling them as “Mehadrin” to restaurants and stores who wanted or required “Mehadrin” Shemittah-free vegetables.

The vegetables were distributed throughout Israel to the Hareidi market.

At best, the Hareidim have been eating “Heter Mechira”. At worse, they’ve been eating vegetables grown using unpurified sewer water or pesticides from unknown and unsupervised Arabs fields.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/not-so-shmittah-lmehadrin/2014/10/24/

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