It’s official. The 64 year old Israeli newspaper Maariv is officially stopping its daily print edition and will go digital only, with a printed edition only on the weekends.
It’s official. The 64 year old Israeli newspaper Maariv is officially stopping its daily print edition and will go digital only, with a printed edition only on the weekends.
I am beginning to wonder whether Modern Orthodoxy (MO) is already a thing of the past. At least in Israel. Although MO schools in America are not exactly the same thing as Dati Leumi (DL) or Religious Zionist (RZ) schools in Israel, they are in many ways similar.
DL schools generally reflect a more modern outlook similar to MO schools in the US. Mamlachti Dati government supported religious schools are part of the overall educational system in Israel with the same educational standards as their secular schools.
Graduates tend to do army service – some going into Hesder programs; then they go into the work force; and blend quite seamlessly into the culture while remaining religious. By the same token MO Jews in America tend to be religious Zionists as well – many of whom end up making Aliyah.
According to an article in the Times of Israel, RZ schools are about to adopt Tznius standards that mimic those of the most right wing Charedi schools in Israel. From the article:
According to a Maariv report on Monday, six-year-old girls must wear shirts that cover their elbows “even when raising their hands” and skirts that cover their knees “even when sitting.” The little girls must also wear long and loose pants during physical education classes. Girls with long hair must tie it back, while their fathers’ haircuts must abide by the “spirit of the school.” Boys and girls, who are ordinarily learn in gender-segregated classes starting in elementary school, are reportedly now required to remain segregated during recess and after school. Parents applying to have their children enroll in several religious Zionist schools in Israel have reportedly been asked to fill out questionnaires concerning their personal level of religious observance, the level of religious observance in the home, and the presence of a television or Internet connection in the home.
The article goes on to say that this phenomenon is only reflective of a minority of RZ schools. I would add that this is certainly not the case in any Modern Orthodox schools in the US. I don’t think that even most Charedi schools – at least moderate ones – require this standard. Yet. But as has been the case for decades now the move to the right continues unabated.
Why is this happening? I’m not exactly sure. But let us examine the facts as I understand them.
There is a group of Religious Zionist Jews in Israel called Chardalim. These are RZs who retain the overall ideals of Religious Zionism. Which primarily means supporting the State, serving in the army, and settling the land. Otherwise they have adopted most if not all of the strictures of Charedim. Hence the name Chardalim. Which combines the word Charedi with the letters ‘D’ and ‘L’ – the initials of Dati Leumi. Coincidently the word Chardal (singular form of the word Chardalim) means mustard seed, which has nothing to do with their Hashkafos as far as I can tell.
Chardalim feel they must chase down all the Chumros of the right. I tend to believe that the Chardal influence is behind these new rules. I also expect this trend to continue and to spread. Before you know it, “Chardalism” will become the defining mode of Religious Zionism. Modern Orthdodxy as we know it will become obsolete in Israel.
Religious Zionist parents who do not want to adopt these strictures will be marginalized – ultimately not having any place to send their children for a religious education! I know that is not the case now. But the way things seem to be going – who knows?!
One might argue that becoming “more religious” is a good thing. Why complain about a movement trying to adopt stricter standards of observance?
Fact is there is of course nothing wrong with raising standards of religious observance. As long as it is voluntary. But when schools start making new demands along those lines, they completely ignore individual choice. Being Machmir should be an individual choice and not forced upon anyone. These strictrures have nothing to do with basic Halacha. They have to do with image.
I can’t prove it, but I can’t help believing that much of this “move to the right” is being done for that reason. Serious RZs are tired of being looked down upon by the right (i.e. Charedim) for not being Frum enough. That Charedim look down on DL is a fact. I think it’s because there are many DLs that are comparable to what I have called MO-Lite. Meaning their observance is more peer and lifestyle directed than it is religion directed.
This week’s column written with Rabbi Yaakov Klass.
The Daf Yomi Siyum HaShas
The Torah commands that six events be remembered always. Consequently, some halachic authorities maintain that the biblical verses detailing those commandments be recited daily. They are the remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt (Devarim, Re’eh 16:3); the remembrance of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai (Devarim, Va’eschanan 4:9-10); the remembrance of Amalek’s attack (Devarim, Ki Seitzei 25:17-19); the remembrance of the golden calf (Devarim, Eikev 9:7); the remembrance of Miriam (Devarim, Ki Seitzei 24:9); and the remembrance of Shabbos (Shemos, Yisro 20:8).
Those who took part last week in the 5772-2012 Siyum Daf Yomi at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will forever remember it as corresponding to receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai.
MetLife has a seating capacity of 82,500, making it the 30th largest stadium in the world and the single largest in the greater metropolitan New York City area. More than 10,000 seats were added by filling the playing field with folding chairs, making for a total of almost 93,000 seats, all of which were sold.
Despite inclement weather, tens of thousands of Jews converged on East Rutherford. The New York City and New Jersey public transit systems were crowded with people traveling to MetLife. Roadways, highways, bridges and tunnels were teeming with vehicles of every description carrying observant Jews to the Siyum. Thousands flew in from cities near and far (from Mexico, California, Toronto, Montreal, Florida, etc.) to take part in the special event.
Awe is the only word that can describe one’s feelings in seeing the huge electronic SIYUM HASHAS New Jersey highway directional signs, indicating the enormity of the event. Traffic stops gave motorists and passengers an opportunity to look around and see so many others heading in the same direction with the same feeling of wonderment. Well before the scheduled opening, large crowds, impervious to the rain, had already gathered to wait for the earliest possible access.
Many brought along their Gemaras. Some had two Gemaras – the final tractate of Shas and the first – to finish and to re-begin. Thousands brought binoculars in order to have a close-up view of the great Torah leaders on hand.
When the doors to the Siyum opened Wednesday afternoon, Av 13 (August 1), everyone underwent a thorough security screening. Once inside, people rushed to acquire HaSiyum, the oversized booklet that was distributed, as well as HaSiyum Jr. for younger participants.
Fully armed with the coffee table-sized HaSiyum journal, the assembled proceeded to their designated seats. Every seat, even the most inexpensive, offered full views by means of multiple huge digital overhead screens. Of course, the more expensive seats were situated closer to the dais and to the venerated rabbis, rosh yeshivas, and chassidishe rebbes. The HaSiyum journal included the final and first pages of the Talmud and the entire closing Hadran formula, (all courtesy of the Mesorah Heritage Foundation of ArtScroll Publications). It also contained Minchah, Maariv, and chapters of Tehillim that were recited.
Right before 7 p.m., the official starting time, an announcement was made advising that due to the weather, traffic, and transit conditions, tens of thousands had not yet arrived and that Minchah was being postponed until 7:15. But right before 7:15 the same announcement was made, this time deferring Minchahto 7:30. As people filed into their seats, open umbrellas were closed and towels were used to mop up soggy seats. Miraculously, the rains greatly diminished at 7:30 and the weather for the rest of the evening was quite pleasant.
* * * * *
Once settled in, the huge crowd davened Minchah, led by Rabbi Yaakov Levovitz. The tefillah was awe-inspiring, leaving everyone wondering how many – if any – times in recent history so many people had prayed together in one group.
The program included a series of inspirational speakers including Rabbi Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, Rosh Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha Lakewood, who formally closed the 12th cycle of study; RabbiYissocher Frand, Rosh Yeshiva Ner Yisroel Baltimore, who advised Daf Yomi beginners to have a plan to complete the Daf Yomi study cycle (at the last Siyum Rabbi Frand memorably declared that the study of Daf Yomi is “never too little, never too late, and never enough”); and Rabbi Gedalya Weinberger, chairman of the Daf Yomi Commission, who drew sustained enthusiastic applause in beginning his address proclaiming “Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov!”
Despite the commonly accepted view that the meetings of U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, and President Shimon Peres, were generally positive, in private conversations Panetta expressed frustration at the lack of confidence expressed by Netanyahu and Barak regarding the American commitment to stopping the Iranian nuclear program, Maariv reports. An Israeli source told the paper that the Americans believe Israel is being ungrateful. The source even used the term “Chazerai”—which in colloquial Hebrew means selfishness—to describe Netanyahu’s and Barak’s attitude in light of unwavering U.S. support for Israel’s security.
Panetta’s visit to Israel was intended to enhance the image of the Obama Administration’s unquestionable supports for Israel without question. This is how political circles interpreted Panetta’s decision to create a photo-op next to an Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip.
But before Ashkelon, Panetta met on Wednesday with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who lectured him on the futility of diplomacy, sanctions and “tough” statements which to date have not caused the Iranians nuclear program to budge. The PM also reiterated that the time to resolve the issue peacefully is running out.
“Iran is the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism, and we must do everything to prevent Iran—the world’s most dangerous regime—from developing the world’s most dangerous weapons,” went Netanyahu’s lesson on the urgent need for a military option. “Today the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program. This has to change, and it must change quickly, since the time to resolve the issue through peaceful means is running out.”
Standing by the Iron Dome battery, it actually appeared as if Panetta had internalized the gist of the lecture, begrudgingly or otherwise. “The most severe sanctions imposed on Iran ever are now,” Panetta told reporters. “Iran supports the Assad regime, Hezbollah, and other terrorist elements. We have a strong commitment to Israel’s security. Pressure on Iran will continue, but the military option is on the table if diplomacy fails.”
At which point it was Defense Minister Barak’s turn to lecture his U.S. counterpart on the advantages of military force over diplomacy. Barak told the reporters—with Panetta listening—that Israel’s leadership is pessimistic about the possibility that Iran would abandon its nuclear ambitions following the sanctions. “The possibility that the ayatollahs will sit around the table and decide to give up their nuclear option is very low,” Barak explained his government’s position.
Then Barak delivered his punch line: “Israel must make decisions on this matter, and the U.S. Administration understands it.”
It turns out, according to Maariv, that while Panetta, the trained diplomat, is good at concealing his true reactions to being schooled so openly by two Israeli leaders, he was quite expressive in private about their arrogance.
For the record, however, the explosive term “Chazerai” was used by Maariv’s source to represent an equivalent English term used by Panetta, whose parents immigrated from Calabria, Italy, and probably did not speak much Yiddish at home.
Vol. LXIII No. 30 5772
New York City
CANDLE LIGHTING TIME
July 27, 2012 – 8 Av 5772
7:56 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Sabbath Ends: 9:06 p.m. NYC E.D.T.
Weekly Reading: Devarim
Weekly Haftara: Chazon Yeshayahu (Isaiah 1:1-27)
Daf Yomi: Nidah 67
Mishna Yomit: Kesuvos 5:4-5
Halacha Yomit: Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayyim 91:3-5
Rambam Yomi: Hilchos Shemitah v’Yovel chap. 12; Hilchos Beis Ha’Bechirah chap. 1
Earliest time for Tallis and Tefillin: 4:44 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Latest Kerias Shema: 9:25 a.m. NYC E.D.T.
Fast of Tisha B’Av (nidche – delayed one day): The fast begins Shabbos after Mincha at 8:15 p.m. and concludes Sunday evening (August 10) at 9:05 p.m. (NYC E.D.T.).
This Shabbos is Shabbos Chazon. Some have a custom to sing Lecha Dodi at the Friday evening Kabbalas Shabbos service to the melody of Eli Tziyyon (one of the concluding kinos of Tisha B’Av).
Shabbos morning the Haftara, Chazon Yeshayahu (Isaiah 1:1-27), is read to the melody of Eichah (until Ve’shaveha).
As on Tisha B’Av, some restrictions apply regarding Torah study. From chatzos hayom – after noon (1:02 NYC E.D.T.) – we only study matters relating to Tisha B’Av: Eichah and its Midrashim and Perek Hanizakin in Tractate Gittin. Thus we do not study the usual Pirkei Avos, which resume the following week. Following Mincha, which is the usual Shabbos Tefilla except for Tzidkas’cha, we eat the Seuda Shelishis, we may even eat meat and wine at this meal.
We return to the synagogue for Maariv. Following Barechu we remove our shoes and don sneakers. We also remove the Paroches, the curtain of Aron Hakodesh. We sit on low chairs (without leather) and continue with the usual Tefilla, followed by Kaddish Tiskabbel. After Maariv when we view a flame we utter the blessing “… Borei Me’orei Ha’esh” (Havdala in the Shemoneh Esreh – Ata Chonantanu). We then read Eichah, plus several selected Kinos, Ve’Ata Kadosh, Kaddish Shalem without Tiskabbel, Aleinu and Mourner’s Kaddish.
Sunday morning, Tisha B’Av day (delayed), we do not put on Tallis or Tefillin when we daven Shacharis. However, we do put on the tallis katan without a beracha. Others say that we do make a beracha (see Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 555:1). In the Korbanos section we omit Pitum Haketores. In Shacharis only the ba’al tefilla says Anenu in his repetition between Refa’einu and Go’el Yisrael, but he does not say Birkas Kohanim. We do not say Tachanun or Avinu Malkenu. We take out a Torah scroll and read in Parashas Va’es’chanan (Devarim 4:25-40), Ki Solid Banim, and say half Kaddish. We read the Haftara, Asof Asifeim (Jeremiah 8:13-9:23) to the melody of Eichah. We then begin saying the Kinos (a collection of Lamentations). We say Ashrei, no Lamenatze’ach. We say U’va Letziyyon (but we omit Ve’ani Zos Brisi) then Kaddish Shalem without Tiskabbel, and Aleinu. We do not say the Shir Shel Yom at Shacharis. We remain seated on the ground until Chatzos Hayom (midday – we do take into account Daylight Savings Time).
At Mincha we don our Tallis and Tefillin with the appropriate blessings. We then say Shir Shel Yom (others say Kerias Shema as well), followed by Mourner’s Kaddish. We say Ashrei followed by half Kaddish, we take out the Torah scroll from the Ark and read Vayechal (Shemos 32:11-14, 34:1-10); no half Kaddish. We read the Haftara, Dirshu Hashem (Isaiah 55:6-56:80), we return the Torah scroll to the Ark and say half Kaddish. We recite the Shemoneh Esreh, adding Nachem in Boneh Yerushalayim and Anenu in Shome’a Tefilla. The chazzan in his repetition, however, places Anenu between Go’el and Refa’einu. We do not say Avinu Malkenu or Tachanun. The chazzan says Kaddish Tiskabbel, Aleinu followed by Mourner’s Kaddish.
We conclude with Maariv. We then recite Havdala over wine (the one reciting may drink – See Mishna Berura, Orach Chayyim 556, Hilchos Tisha B’Av). However, we continue to abstain from meat and [other] wine until Monday at noon.
Kiddush Levana at first opportunity – until Wednesday evening, 14th Av [or as a last resort, Thursday evening, 15th Av].
Next Thursday evening and Friday is Chamisha Asar B’Av – the 15th of Av, no Tachanun (see next week’s luach).
The following chapters of Tehillim are being recited by many congregations and Yeshivos for our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael: Chapter 83, 130, 142. – Y.K.
Jewish Settlers practicing the self-defense martial arts sport Krav Maga at the Jewish outpost of Ramat Migron.
A summer camp for young women was held this week in Ramat Migron, for the next generation of women in Judea and Samaria.
The three day camp included self-defense classes, painting buildings and lectures.
One of the twenty camp participants was quoted in Maariv as saying “We saw how the connection to the land of Israel connects us all.” Another camper stated that “one who comes here is looking to sacrifice for the land of Israel.”
Muammar Gadhafi’s mother was Jewish, the late Libyan leader’s chief of protocol Nuri al-Samara told Al-Hayat.
Last year, a 76-year-old Jewish resident of Netanya told Maariv that Gadhafi was her cousin.
“My grandmother converted to Islam but never forgot her roots,” Gita Boaron told Maariv at the time. “She would come to visit us, give my mother money and say ‘give to the synagogue, donate to the Jews.’”
Did Ha’aretz purposely twist and selectively use Eli Yishai’s words to make him sound racist, or did they leave out a very important sentence from his talk by accident?
The sub-headline in an English language article in Ha’aretz on June 3rd says:
Interior Minister says migrants do not recognize that Israel ‘belongs to the white man.’
This statement is expanded and the message reinforced at the end of the article in what is supposedly Yishai’s entire quote:
Meanwhile on Sunday, Israeli daily Maariv published an interview with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, in which he stated that most of the “Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man.” “I will continue the struggle until the end of my term, with no compramises,” Yishai continued, stating that he would use “all the tools to expel the foreigners, until not one infiltrator remains.”
This isn’t the entire quote. One very important sentence has been excised from the middle of Yishai’s speech.
רוב האנשים שבאים הנה הם מוסלמים שחושבים שהארץ בכלל לא שייכת לנו, לאדם הלבן. כמה מהם דיברו על כך בגלוי בטלוויזיה. אני הולך להמשיך את המאבק שלי עד סוף הקדנציה, בלי פשרות. אפעיל את כל הכלים לגירוש זרים. שלא יהיה כאן אף מסתנן
The first sentence is better translated as:
“Most of the people coming here are Moslems who think the land doesn’t belong to us at all, to the white man.”
With the more accurate translation above, it is clear that Yishai is not expressing his perspective, but those of the infiltrators.
The subsequent sentence, which Ha’aretz excised, leaves no doubt about whose views he was expressing:
“A number of them have said that openly on television.”
Eli Yishai is not saying Israel belongs to the ‘white man’. Eli Yishai is quoting the infiltrators, and it is the infiltrators who have said that Israel doesn’t belong to the “white man.”
Ha’aretz left out one little sentence. But that sentence dictates whether Yishai was promoting racism. The real question then, is whether Ha’aretz omitted it purposefully or by mistake? Unfortunately, its past record suggests the former over the latter.
In a related note, last week Ha’aretz originally referred to the tent city being built to hold the infiltrators as a “Concentration Camp“, until the description was taken down an hour later.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/did-haaretz-turn-eli-yishai-into-a-racist-white-man/2012/06/25/
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