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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘High’

High Court Sides with Rabbinate, Rejects AG Push for ‘Alternative’ Kosher Certificates

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday embraced the position of the Chief Rabbinate on the Law prohibiting kashrut fraud, that a business may not present itself in writing as kosher, with or without the use of the word Kosher, unless it receives a kashrut certification from the only legally authorized body — the chief rabbinate, Walla reported. The decision dealt a severe blow to alternative kashrut certification services which have been operating in several Israeli cities, including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as food service businesses that keep kosher but do not carry a certification.

The appeal to the Supreme Court came from the Reform movement’s Israel Religious Action Center, in the name of two Jerusalem restaurant owners, Shai Gini and Yonatan Vadi, who argued that the food they serve is kosher despite the fact that they do not carry a kashrut certification from their local rabbinate. According to the appellants, there’s no problem with their presenting their food as kosher because it is. They appealed to the high court after their local Rabbinate levied fines on them based on the common interpretation of the kashrut fraud law, namely that only Rabbinate-certified food is accepted as being kosher.

The former AG, Yehuda Weinstein, reinterpreted the law following the appeal, ruling that the state may no longer fine restaurant owners who present kosher certificates from private kashrut services, and must cancel the fines that have already been issued. The AG only required that the restaurants in question not claim that the alternative certifications for their businesses had been issued by the Rabbinate.

In a rare exception, the Supreme Court permitted the Chief Rabbinate to present its case separately from the AG, and eventually accepted its position in a two to one ruling that the Rabbinate is the only statewide accepted authority on kashrut. The two justices in the majority were Noam Sohlberg and Elyakim Rubinstein. Justice Uri Shoham sided with the AG.

The Justices decided to limit their ruling to the next two years, subject to a system-wide change the court is demanding of the Chief Rabbinate, to reexamine the relationship between the certifying kashrut supervisor and the business he is auditing, so that they do not depend financially on the business they are expected to monitor. Justice Rubinstein suggested that “should this not be resolved in a significant and serious way, the entire subject may be reopened.”

Both Chief Rabbis commended the court’s decision; Rabbi David Lau said that a decision to permit alternative certificates, some of which are fictitious, would have led to a serious misleading of the public; Rabbi Yizhak Yosef said that the Chief Rabbinate regularly goes out of its way to make the kaashrut maintenance easier and cheaper for food service businesses.

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) said it was “refreshing to see a conservative approach on the part of the Supreme Court,” and praised the majority justices on overcoming their tendency for activism. The MK said he yearns for a time of “more balance in the relationship between the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.”

JNi.Media

High Court OK’s Jerusalem Day Flag Parade Through Muslim Quarter in Old City

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

The High Court of Justice has ruled in favor of the traditional Jerusalem Day Flag Parade marching through the Old City from the Damascus Gate to the Western Wall.

Celebrating Israelis traditionally sing and dance their way through the Muslim Quarter on their way to the ancient remnant of the Second Jewish Holy Temple, waving Israeli flags.

The court decision came in response to a petition by the leftist ‘Ir Amim’ non-governmental organization to bar the parade from marching through the Muslim Quarter.

The court also ruled, however, that the march will begin 15 minutes earlier than planned, and that all Jews must be out of the Muslim Quarter by 7:30 pm.

This measure is to help minimize as much as possible any friction between the Jewish and Muslim populations, because Sunday night is also the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

On this night, most – if not all – of the Old City’s Muslim population will likely head to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount for the prayer service that will launch the holy month.

Together with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot, Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman approved the opening of all of the crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority as well as those between Israel and Gaza, for the duration of Ramadan.

The measures were taken so as to ease the movement of PA citizens who wish to visit family, travel abroad via Ben Gurion International Airport, receive visitors from abroad, or travel to Jerusalem to pray at the mosque on the Temple Mount.

Hana Levi Julian

Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.

The group noted on their Facebook page: “We’re in the #‎HighCourt today and tomorrow about The Labour Party’s Leicester City Council & City and County of Swansea & Gwynedd Council’s #‎Antisemitic #‎Boycott motions. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.”

Several local councils across the UK voted to boycott Israeli goods after 2009, when Israel refused to embrace the Hamas’ need to shoot rockets at its civilian population.

In 2010, Swansea council was seeking contracts with Veolia, a company connected to a project building a light railway in eastern Jerusalem. But then a motion was put before the council stating the project “not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law,” since the UN “has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported.”

Several council members called on the council to not do business with “any company in breach of international law or UN obligations or demands, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.” The motion was approved.

Andrew Sharland, an attorney for Leicester’s council, which in 2014 approved a similar boycott of Israeli goods, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”

“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.

Following the 2014 vote, JHRW issued a statement saying, “Leicester City Council has taken steps down an anti-Semitic path under the guise of helping community relations in Leicester. Frankly this amounts to a get-of-out-town order to Leicester Jews.”

In 2014, Gwynedd council also passed a motion calling for a trade embargo against Israel, condemning the “attacks by the Israeli state on the territory of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.” Just to make sure they did not come across as anti-Semites, Gwynedd council added, “It must be made clear that the proposal condemned the Israeli state and not the Jewish religion.”

The British government earlier this year issued guidelines for public authorities which say these boycotts are “inappropriate” without formal legal sanctions or embargoes by the national government. In fact, the Cabinet Office has said these boycotts “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”

But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been ridding itself of an industrial-size stash of anti-Semitic members in recent days, criticized the government’s warning against BDS as an “attack on local democracy.”

David Israel

The Woman who Corrected the High Priest

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

By Chana Weisberg

The story begins in the year 2830 when Chana’s husband, Elkanah, takes his family on a pilgrimage to Shiloh, the site of the Tabernacle, the temporary spiritual epicenter that preceded the Temple. Elkanah is also married to another woman, Penina. The childless Chana silently suffers humiliation from her more fortunate rival, who has mothered several children.

Solemnly, Chana enters the holy place silently offering heartfelt prayers for a child.

Eli, the High Priest, unaccustomed to such heartfelt, silent prayers “thought that she was drunk.”

“How long will you be drunk? Sober up!” Eli reprimands Chana.

Chana responds: “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor spirits, but have poured out my soul before G‑d.”

Eli concludes: “Go in peace; and may the G‑d of Israel grant your request.”

The following year, Chana’s son, Samuel is born. When Samuel is weaned, Chana brings him to the tabernacle to be taught by Eli. Samuel grows up to become the great fearless prophet who coronated the first kings of Israel, Kings Saul and David.

Do you relate to G‑d as a parent or as a king?

The major theme of Rosh Hashanah is the acceptance and recognition of G‑d’s sovereignty over creation.

This consciousness serves as the basis of all of Judaism. G‑d desires to interact with our reality as Sovereign of the Universe. We, in turn, express our awareness that the very essence of our being is dependent on its Divine origin. “Rule over the entire world in Your glory,” we pray in the Rosh Hashanah Liturgy.

We view G‑d as our King. Though benevolent, He remains at an infinite distance from us, charging us with responsibility and courage to make the right decisions in our lives. He expects us to combat evil and rebukes our weaknesses or fluctuations. He sternly orders us to overcome temptations, to “hearken the commandments” and choose “blessings” rather than “stray from the path” and to realize that all that He does is for our ultimate benefit.

From this perspective, darkness, challenge and want exist only to bypass and transcend, to rouse our innermost strengths and convictions in realizing their true smallness and insignificance in the grand picture of things.

In the haftorah of Rosh Hashanah, we read about the experience and perspective of a woman. Chana, the prophetess, revealed many of the basic laws of prayer and the inner dimension of prayer—the interface between the physical and spiritual realities. She also taught us how to relate to our Creator from an entirely feminine perspective. To view G‑d not only as our King and Sovereign. But also as a Parent.

“You are children to the L-rd, your G-d.”

“Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father, our King, be gracious to us and answer us… “

G‑d acts as both a king and a parent. He displays both modes of love: protecting and helping as well as disciplining and teaching.

Both the King and Parent paradigms are genuine and powerful. Yet they move in opposite directions. A King establishes a definite distance and authority over his subject. Parental love, on the other hand, is characterized by attachment and closeness.

At the same time that G‑d as our King decrees Divine law, G‑d as our Mother, as the Shechinah (Divine Presence or G‑d’s “feminine” expression) provides Divine help. The Shechinah -“the One who dwells with them in their impurity” (Leviticus 16:16) – is always present, ministering to and facilitating for her child. The Shechinah comes down to be together with her children. Nothing, not the material aspect of our world, nor our physical natures, can sever the unshakable bond between Mother and child.

Prayer is a demonstration of how we merge the two paradigms of G‑d as King and G‑d as Parent.

Prayer is a paradoxical activity. On the one hand a basic element of prayer is the acknowledgement of all the undeserved goodness that our King has showered upon us and the articulation of our appreciation, thanks and praise for it all. We acknowledge that as the origin of everything is ultimate Goodness, so, too, everything that happens to us must be entirely good.

In tandem with that, the commandment of prayer is to express our spiritual and material needs and wants. Anytime we feel something is amiss in our lives, we are commanded to pray to G‑d and ask Him to correct those things which, from our perception, have gone wrong.

Yet, if everything originates from our generous King, who is the ultimate of Goodness and He knows far better than us what is good for us, how can we be asking Him to change His plan? Or, how can we “demand” more goodness from our benevolent King while realizing how unworthy we are?

Because prayer is G‑d allowing us to not only relate to G‑d as a transcendental King on a spiritual level, but also as an imminent, caring Parent. Prayer is G‑d saying, show Me how things look from your viewpoint, from within your world. It is allowing us not to bypass our inner emotions, wants, fears, needs and insecurities, but to focus on them, put them in perspective and validate them.

Prayer is realizing that our Creator’s motherly bond and love will shake the very fabric of our world to bring Her child fulfillment. It is realizing that on this level physicality and spirituality do not conflict.

Perhaps this is how we can understand the fascinating exchange read in the haftorah of Rosh Hashanah.

When Eli accuses Chana of drunkenness, his words must be understood figuratively. He did not actually believe that Chana was intoxicated or he would have been required to remove her immediately out of respect for the holiness of the premises.

Eli was asking Chana, “How long will you remain intoxicated by your own desires? How long will you remain so absorbed in your own needs, drunk with your own wants?

“Prayer,” Eli was correcting Chana, “is meant to give you a more spiritual perspective, one in which you can rise above the materialism of our world and express gratitude to your King. Instead, you have become obsessed with your personal wants.

“Rise above your situation. It is time for you to gain a broader perspective, one in which you can appreciate the goodness of your King.”

To this, Chana responds: “No, I am not drunk with personal concerns. I have poured out my soul from the core of my essential being, from the depths of my soul.

“From this deep place, I see my Creator not as a foreign, faraway Being who is only concerned with the spiritual aspect of His subjects.

“But rather as a loving Parent who intimately relates to me, on my level and with my wants. A Mother who shares in my pain, and cries together with me, holding my hand in every time of darkness and distress.

“I do not need to transcend my wants, He yearns to hear all about them.”

Chana, a woman, needed to teach this perspective. She taught us that prayer, the feminine archetype, is empathetic. It is a supplication from our innermost selves, from the very depths of our hearts, connecting with G‑d’s innermost desire to forge a connection with us.

Chabad.org

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-woman-who-corrected-the-high-priest/2013/08/29/

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