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August 21, 2014 / 25 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘issues’

Rich Get Richer: Germany Saves $55 Billion on Crisis

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Germany is profiting from the debt crisis that’s debilitating most of their neighbors to the south and south-east, by saving more than 40 billion euros in interest on its government debt. Meanwhile, German treasury bonds doing fabulously well due to strong demand from investors seeking a safe haven, Spigel reported.

According to the German Finance Ministry, Germany will save a total of €40.9 billion (roughly $55 billion) in interest payments in the years 2010 to 2014, because of the difference between actual and budgeted interest payments.

On average, the interest rate on all new federal government bond issues fell by almost a full percentage point in the 2010 to 2014 period, according to the report, and Germany is a considered a very safe creditor in investors’ circles.

The rule of when it rains it pours seems to be working in Germany’s favor as well: it is seeing unprecedented high tax revenues from its robust economy, which has also led to a decline in new borrowing.

Between 2010 and 2012, the German government issued €73 billion (about $97 billion) less in new debt than it had planned.

On the other side of things, according to the Finance Ministry, the costs of the euro crisis for Germany have so far added up to €599 million, Spiegel reported.

This should be good news to all of us paranoids who fear a reawakening of the sleeping German militaristic giant who would try once more to conquer the world. Who needs to conquer the world when you can buy it for so much less?

Agudath Israel slams NJ Gay Therapy Law

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Agudath Israel of America condemned a New Jersey law prohibiting gay reparative therapy for minors as an infringement on religious freedom.

The statement from Agudah came just hours after Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill barring licensed therapists from providing treatment to help gay teenagers become straight.

“The new law tramples on the rights of mental health therapists to engage freely in their profession, and it unfairly denies teenagers seeking therapy for issues that are troubling them the ability to obtain professional help,” the group said.

“Under the new law, therapists, social workers or counselors who work with minors on these issues risk losing their licenses to practice their professions, and minors who sincerely want to obtain professional help will have nowhere to turn. This is an unconscionable infringement on personal liberty and a trampling of personal rights, including religious and free speech rights.”

New Jersey joins California as the only states with laws barring so-called reparative therapy. The New Jersey bill passed both houses of the state Legislature in June with bipartisan support.

In signing the bill into law, Christie, a moderate Republican who is widely believed to be eyeing a presidential run in 2016, appended a note indicating his reluctance to intrude on parents’ ability to determine the right treatment for their children.

“However, I also believe that on issues of medical treatment for children, we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” Christie wrote. “The American Psychological Association has found that efforts to change sexual orientation can pose critical health risks including, but not limited to, depression, substance abuse, social withdrawal, decreased self-esteem and suicidal thoughts. I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.”

Jewish Home to Likud: Ball in Bibi’s Court

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

The criticism leveled by senior Likud officials against Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, accusing him of violating his promises to his own voters, have received this a quick response from Bennet’s people.

“Netanyahu is the one who cheated his constituents,” said a senior official in the party that won 12 seats in the elections, insisting it is inconceivable that Bennett would compromise his principles. “Anyone who thinks that Bennett will fold just doesn’t know him. He has nerves of steel. There is no chance he will blink first.”

Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked on Sunday attacked the conduct of the Likud party in the coalition negotiations, saying that “If Netanyahu wanted to – he could quickly form a government with us in it.”

According to Shaked, “the Likud statements, as if our understandings with Yair Lapid constitutes a deception of voters, shows contempt for the public’s intelligence.”

Shaked added that “despite the mudslinging campaign against us before the elections, we recommended Netanyahu to form the next government. The campaign is over, stop attacking the Jewish home and just form a government.”

Meanwhile, another senior Jewish Home official has told Arutz 7 that the Religious Zionist movement is not Netanyahu’s pet.

“Since the elections, Likud has been pushing us away and excluding us. Initially, there were those devastating attacks against our rabbis, then Netanyahu’s whole conduct was an attempt to humiliate us. He preferred to meet with Tzipi Livni, Yacimovich and Zahava Gal’on before getting to the Jewish Home.”

Bennett’s relationship with Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, another spot the Likud has been attacking, was described by Jewish Home officials as a strong alliance. “The person who should take pride in forging the relationship between us and Lapid is none other than Netanyahu. He has pushed us there. His actions will keep closer and his actions will push us away. The way they’ve been pulling the rope, they’re just bringing us even closer to Lapid.”

The same sources have estimated that “Netanyahu wanted a leftist government with Livni, Kadima and the Haredim. But the election results forced on him a different government. We have principles, and as long as they’re not met, we will not accept and not even discuss government portfolios. Their entire attitude is derogatory. Not only to Jewish Home, but to the entire National Religious public which has followed Netanyahu for years.”

Rabbi Ben Dahan, Jewish Home: I’ve Worked Hard on Behalf of Women

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, the former director general of rabbinic courts in Israel – a position he held for more than two decades – is running for Knesset in next week’s Israeli election. He is number four on the Bayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) party, which according to polls should win between 12 and 15 seats. The Jewish Press interviewed him in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Press: Tell us a little about your life – family background, education, etc.

Rabbi Ben Dahan: I was born in Morocco in 1954 and immigrated to Israel with my parents when I was two years old. I grew up in Beer Sheva. I am the oldest of five boys, and since my mother worked outside the home, each of us sons had to help with the housework. This was much appreciated by my wife, Tova Taybowitz, a daughter of Holocaust survivors whom I met in the Bnei Akiva youth movement.

I received my BA in business administration from Touro College and my Masters in public affairs from Hebrew University. My semicha was conferred on me by Rabbi Shalom Mashash, zt”l, chief rabbi of Jerusalem and from Rabbis Avraham Shapira, zt”l, and Mordechai Eliyahu, zt”l, chief rabbis of Israel.

I served in the Israel Defense Forces in the artillery corps, rising to the rank of major.

My wife and I were among the founders of the yishuv Chispin in the Golan Heights. At that time we were only eleven families living on the Syrian border. Today Chispin is a thriving village.

We have nine children, six girls and three boys.

How did you launch your career as a public sector rabbi?

When Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was appointed chief rabbi of Israel in 1983, he asked me to manage his office. I moved to Beit El in the Shomron with my family and worked for the chief rabbi. In 1989 I was appointed director general of the rabbinic courts, the batei din, a position directly under the chief rabbi himself. This put me in charge of all batei din in the country. I held this position for twenty-one years.

When I started out in that position, the rabbinic courts were a small part of the Religious Ministry. I turned it into an independent office and eventually succeeded in having it become its own unit in the Ministry of Justice. This gave me the opportunity to make many changes and implement many improvements in how the rabbinic courts were run.

For example?

On the simplest level, when I started there were very few women working in the rabbinic courts. When positions opened, if there was a qualified woman for the job I was inclined to hire her. When I left, more than forty percent of people working in the religious courts all over the country were women.

You’re known as someone who has focused on the problem of agunot.

I want to clarify the terms regarding women who are agunot and women who are refused a get.

In America and elsewhere outside Israel, the term agunah is used to refer to any woman who cannot get a get from her husband, and thus remains chained to a dead marriage.

In Israel, agunah refers to a woman whose husband is missing. He may be dead or he may have just run away and disappeared and no one knows where he is. We use the term mesoravot get for the women whose husbands refuse to give their wives a get even though they are no longer living together.

This difference in terminology has resulted in a lot of misunderstanding and misrepresenting of facts, especially when statements attributed to me are translated.

Concerning my work with agunot, when I entered office there were approximately five hundred women in Israel whose husbands were missing. I felt we needed to hire private investigators whose sole expertise was in finding missing people. Nothing like this had ever been done before, and it was a hard job for me to get the necessary funds allocated for this. But I made the argument that as a Jewish country we had to do whatever it takes to free these women.

We succeeded in finding many of these men and getting gittin for their wives. In my twenty-one years as head of the rabbinic courts, more than one thousand women in this category were freed through our finding their runaway husbands and delivering the get to them.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/my-record-shows-how-hard-ive-worked-on-behalf-of-women-an-interview-with-knesset-candidate-rabbi-eli-ben-dahan/2013/01/16/

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