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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘judaism’

Showers Expected Day after Prayers for Rain

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The first rains of the winter season are expected on Tuesday, one day after Jews around the world begin adding to daily prayers that God “brings the wind and rain.”

The change is made during the prayers on Shemini Azereth, the same day that Simchat Torah is celebrated in Israel. In the Diaspora, the two holidays are marked on separate days, ending Tuesday night.

In Israel, a special request for rain is added to prayers two weeks later, while Jews in Diaspora make the change on December 4.

Precipitation is expected to begin after noon in the north and center of the country on Tuesday and spread to the Negev at night and on Wednesday. The heaviest rainfall is predicted for the Galilee area, in the north.

Weather models indicate another warming trend at the end of the week, but is may be followed by a longer respite from the long hot summer, one of the hottest on record.

Temperatures will rise on Friday through next Sunday, according to longer term indications, but cooler weather is possible from next Monday through the entire week.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Reconstructionist Rabbis Allowed to Marry Gentiles

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) On September 21, the faculty of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC) voted that having a non-Jewish partner would no longer bar qualified applicants from admission to RRC, or from graduating as rabbis, according to the movement’s website, which notes that “the policy change is the result of many years of discussion within the Reconstructionist movement.”

Reconstructionist Judaism, aka Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, which originated in the 1920s as a branch of Conservative Judaism, views Judaism as a progressively evolving civilization. Halakha-Jewish Law is not considered by the movement to be binding, it is only a valuable cultural remnant that should be kept unless one has a reason not to. The movement cultivates communal decision making through a process of education and distillation of values from traditional Jewish sources.

Its website, recruiting candidates for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC), features a page titled “Interested in RRC’s New Entry Standards?” offers the movement’s brass tacks requirements of people wishing to become Reconstructionist rabbis:

Jewish: Born of at least one Jewish parent and raised as a Jew, or a Jew-by-choice. For Jews-by-choice, conversions by all denominations accepted.

Jewish Commitments: Actively demonstrates engagement with God, Torah, and the Jewish people. Models commitment to Jewish community and continuity in one’s personal, familial, and communal life. Engages in Jewish practice thoughtfully and with respect for tradition.

In conclusion, the recruitment page declares: “Age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, ancestry, national origin, handicap and disability will not be determining factors in the considerations of the Admissions Committee.” With that spirit in mind, Rabbi Deborah Waxman, President, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities, sent out an email adding yet another step back from adherence to classical Jewish Law, namely the RRC’s vote “to no longer ban RRC students in good standing from graduating as rabbis, because they have non-Jewish partners.”

Waxman explains:

“Why have we taken this step? We no longer want to prevent very wonderful and engaged Jewish leaders from becoming rabbis. After years of study, research, and discussion with many members of the Reconstructionist community, we have concluded that the status of a rabbinical student’s partner is not a reliable measure of the student’s commitment to Judaism—or lack thereof. Nor does it undermine their passion for creating meaningful Judaism and bringing us closer to a just world.”

The bombshell explodes in the second half of Waxman’s paragraph, as she declares:

“The issue of Jews intermarrying is no longer something we want to fight or police; we want to welcome Jews and the people who love us to join us in the very difficult project of bringing meaning, justice, and hope into our world.”

The email stirred some negative reactions even in a movement that appears to have left most legal Jewish standards behind. Rabbi Lester Bronstein of Bet Am Shalom Synagogue in White Plains, New York, told the NY Times he was very disappointed with the change. It’s one thing to accept intermarried couples—which his community has been doing—but Bronstein sees his job as encouraging intermarried couples in his community who “generally are looking for a very clear model of commitment for making a Jewish home, which you generally see when both partners (rabbi and spouse) are Jews,” Bronstein said.

Waxman begs to differ, as her email states that the decision to accept rabbis with gentile spouses “reflects some of the realities in Jewish communities today. Our congregations have members with non-Jewish partners, and we need rabbis who can provide them with role models for vibrant Jewish living.”

It remains to be seen whether this dispute over whether being intermarried constitutes a proper role model for vibrant Jewish living would bring about another split in a movement that was born from a split and only three years ago, in June of 2012, has restructured itself yet again.

JNi.Media

Deri Backs Down on Shabbat Work Halt on New Rail Line

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A court order overruling Deri’s “stop work” decision allows Israel Railways to continue maintenance and construction work on Shabbat.

Israeli Railways can continue carrying out maintenance work and construction of the new high-speed Jerusalem-to rail line on Shabbat after the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Court out-maneuvered Shas leader Aryeh Deri, who also is Minister of Economy.

As reported here last week by the JewishPress.com, Deri scored his political points with his Sephardi Hareidi constituency knowing that his stop work order would not last very long.

Deri’s has backed down from his order against work on Shabbat following a Justice Ministry petition to the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Economy. The court obliged and overruled Deri, who then withdrew his order.

He stated:

The permits to be given or extended shall be valid until a different decision is made, given the court proceeding.

Deri had claimed that Israeli Railways did not obtain a legal permit for working on Shabbat, and he ordered that work on the rail line be halted. Israel Railways claimed that Deri’s decision would delay the inauguration of the high-speed train by 2 years, which mathematically does not make any sense but at least gave the company another excuse for another postponement in completing the massive and oft-mismanaged project.

One delay earlier this year was caused by tunnel engineers who were off the mark during work from both ends of one of the tunnels. It returned out that the opening from each end did not meet in the middle.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Thousands at Western Wall for ‘Birkat Kohenim’

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Thousands of Jews gathered at the Western Wall (Kotel) Wednesday morning for the “Birkat Kohenim” priestly blessing, and police kept the peace to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount.

Another 13 Arab Muslims, including five minors, were arrested on charges of trying to create disorder and violence. Nearly 200 have been arrested in Jerusalem since the Rosh HaShanah holiday began two weeks ago.

President Reuven Rivlin and Israel’s chief rabbis plan to be at the Western Wall Wednesday afternoon for the once-in-7-years “Hakhel” ceremony

A video of police arresting a Muslim woman Wednesday morning for trying to harass Jews on the Temple Mount.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Firebomb thrown at Rachel’s Tomb

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

A firebomb was thrown at the parking lot next to Rachel’s Tomb on Tuesday evening.

No damage or injuries were reported.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Railways Claims 150 Shabbatot Equals 2 Years

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Shas chairman and Minister of Economy Aryeh Deri sparked a political fire on Friday by ordering a halt to work on Shabbat on the high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line.

The route is supposed to start operating by 2018.

Halting work on Shabbat would mean a delay of approximately 120 days, but Israel Railways charged that Deri’s order will delay the project by up to two years.

Apparently, people who work on Shabbat work at a far faster pace than they do on weekdays.

Work on public facilities and in industries on Shabbat in Israel is allowed if there is a special labor permit, which is issued in areas of public need, such as the water and electric companies and at factories where on-going processes cannot function practically with a weekly shutdown and start-up.

Deri’s order seems to be a ploy for political points with his Hareidi constituency.

The Transportation Ministry said that work permits are issued by the Minister of Economy, but Deri maintained that each minister is responsible for issuing permits for projects under its jurisdiction.

Since no permit for working on Shabbat has been granted for work on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train line, it is illegal for construction to continue on the Day of Rest, according to Deri.

It is very likely that the proper permits eventually will be issued, allowing the work to continue while Deri carries home points with his constituents.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

PA Charges Jews with Wearing ‘Priestly Garments’ on Temple Mount [video]

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The official Palestinian Authority website WAFA has accused “extremist Jewish settlers” with “wearing priestly garments” on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.

WAFA as well as all Arab media inside and outside Israel routinely incite Muslims into a frenzy over Jews “storming” the Temple Mount.

WAFA added that the “settlers,” a term referring to any Jew who ascends the Temple Mount, “attempted to perform Talmudic (Jewish) prayers, however their attempts were foiled by the Mosque guards.”

That statement is probably not true because Jerusalem police stay within inches of all Jews on the Temple Mount and haul them away if they even dare to whisper a prayer.

WAFA also told its faithful that Israeli police were deployed in such large numbers that it made Jerusalem a “military barrack.”

The Palestinian Authority’s official website’s reference to the “priestly garments” could have been part of its strategy of incitement against Jews or could have been plain ignorance and paranoia.

The spokesman for the Jerusalem police did not respond to The JewishPress.com’s request for a response to the accusations by WAFA, but Temple Mount activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick explained that the “priestly garments” were nothing more than the white “kittel.”

The “Kittel” is not a priestly garment. The High Priest indeed were a white robe and trousers during part of the Yom Kippur rituals on the Temple Mount.

However, the “kittel,” which symbolizes purity and is used as a burial shroud for men, is commonly worn in synagogues on Yom Kippur, the Day of Judgment, to symbolize the penalty of death by God for committing sins.

The Orthodox Union explains the ritual on Yom Kippur:

Twice during this exalted day, the Kohen Gadol [High Priest] would remove the eight priestly garments he wore during his service in the Beit HaMikdash [Holy Temple] all year long, immerse in a mikvah and don the four special white linen garments that were used only on Yom Kippur to enter the Kodesh Hakodashim [Holy of Holies].

The only connection between the Kittel and the High Priest’s white robes is that both are white.

The second verse in Chapter of Isaiah states:

Our sins shall be made as white as snow.

Below is video posted on Arab media of Jews, one of them with a ‘Kittel,” on the Temple Mount on Yom Kippur.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pa-charges-jews-with-wearing-priestly-garments-on-temple-mount-video/2015/09/25/

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