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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Mea Shearim’

Haredim Allegedly Hurled Rocks at Arabs Violating the Sabbath

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Dozens of Jerusalem Haredim allegedly hurled rocks on Friday night, after the Sabbath began, at Arab vehicles on Route 1 that bypasses Mea Shearim, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

The news agency claimed that the attacks “were racially-motivated assaults targeting Palestinians,” while police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said there had been no reports of complaints.

It could very well be that Haredim targeted the cars, and the drivers did not complain to the police.

In any case, it is doubtful the stacks were “racially” motivated. First of all, the all of the vehicles bore Israeli license plates, and there was no way to distinguish, especially from a distance at night, if the drivers were Jewish or Arab

Secondly, Haredim don’t care about the religion of a motorist driving by their area on the Sabbath.

One Arab told Ma’an that police arrived but did not interfere, which is also likely since some of the more violent Haredim like throwing rocks at them also, regardless of their religion and even if it is not the Sabbath.

Haredi Establishment Gets Fresh Draft Martyr, Expect Noise

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

On Wednesday, hundreds of yeshiva students demonstrated outside Prison Six in Atlit, south of Haifa, where the IDF has placed Moshe A., 19, a yeshiva student dodging the draft.

On Sunday, Moshe came to his Kiryat Malachi home for a short furlough from his Lithuanian yeshiva Nachlat Asher in Petach Tikva. According to his mother, Miri, who spoke to Ynet, the IDF recruitment department called to make sure he was home, and then, at 2:30 AM Monday, some MPs arrived and arrested Moshe.

“Since then I haven’t heard a thing from him,” his mother said, who’s getting the news about her son only through his yeshiva rebbi.

On Tuesday, Moshe A. was sentenced to 14 days in jail for ignoring an invitation from the army. His mother said Moshe was very much afraid of the draft, after hearing that yeshiva boys are “ruined” in the army. She added that on Sunday he called his father to say tearfully that “people are cursing here, dirtying their mouths, I can’t stand it.”

Just to set the record straight, the IDF Spokesperson’s office made clear that Moshe A. was the only yeshiva student arrested, but not because he’s opposed to the draft—they all are, but because he chose to ignore the draft notice. According to the IDF, everybody else who are classified as a draft candidate whose Torah study is his livelihood did show up, register and received a deferment until the Knesset passes the new draft law.

Moshe A. was following the command of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, leader of the Jerusalem Lithuanian Haredim, who declared the effort to recruit yeshiva students “gzeirat shmad,” tantamount to the medieval church’s attempts to convert Jews by force.

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An ad published in a Haredi paper associated with Rabbi Auerbach last week cited him as saying that since the current notices being sent out to yeshiva students of age are only for the purpose of screening and placement—and not actual draft notices—students must not report at all.

So Rabbi Auerbach and his merry band of Haredim needed a pawn to serve their political aims, not the least of which is fund raising for the glorious struggle against the Torah hating Zionisrs, and Moshe A. volunteered.

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Just to make things even more complicated, according to his mother, Moshe A. is scheduled to undergo back surgery next week. “They promised me to release him until then,” she said. “But I’m worried. Meanwhile he’s suffering pain over there. I don’t know what his medical condition is, and I’m afraid they’ll harass him and force him to do things which are contrary to his faith…”

Transportation from Kiryat Malachi, in the northern Negev, to the prison up north presents a problem for Miri, who relies on buses to travel. “In my entire life I never took the bus to Haifa,” she said.

Rabbi Auerbach did show up in front of the prison gates Wednesday, with hundreds of followers, to pray for “the removal of the decree.”

The elderly rabbi visited Moshe A. in his prison cell, gave him a religious seifer-book and a bouquet of flowers. He also asked the boy to bless him.

Now that the first yeshiva student has been punished with a short prison sentence, the fight is bound to intensify. The rally by the jail marked the start of a new campaign, in Israel and abroad, in which the name of the state of Israel will be dragged through the mud and the IDF be compared to Stalin and the Communists.

Outrage over Radical Haredi Mob Attack on Haredi Soldier

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Jerusalem police Tuesday rescued a uniformed Haredi soldier from a mob of more than 100  rock-throwing Haredi attackers in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood, where four people were arrested.

Haredi soldiers have increasingly been attacked by other Haredim – those who are anti-Zionist – but the ferocity of Tuesday’s ambush was unprecedented and drew wall-to-wall condemnation from Israeli politicians.

Of course, there were exceptions to the outrage. Haredi Knesset Members were silent, except for Shas.

A coalition of government ministers from the Likud, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and other parties expressed disgust at the assault on the Haredi soldier, who hid into a nearby building to escape the assault. Riot police, also under attack by rock throwers, took him out of danger. The soldier, who is from metropolitan Tel Aviv and was visiting a relative, was not injured.

“Any attempt to physically or spiritually harm soldiers should be dealt with harsh penalties by the State,” said Yesh Atid Minister Yaakov Peri, chairman of the  Knesset Committee for Promoting Equal Share of the Burden Chairman. He urged Haredi community leaders “to take responsibility before a disaster occurs,” and called the incident an “attempted lynch.”

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, who campaigned in the last election on a platform of eliminating deferment to Haredim, called the attack “appalling.”

A new bill to eliminate Haredi deferments was overwhelming approved by a ministerial committee Sunday and is to be voted on by the Knesset.

Three rabbis of the Nahal Haredi army unit also condemned the attack, which they said was an “embarrassment and a disgrace” to the Haredi community in Mea Shearim.

Aryeh Deri, leader of the Shas party went so far as to say that the attack by “extremist and delinquent youth” violates Torah sages’ teaching that a Jew who harms another Jew is “evil.”

The attack was reported overseas and given headline coverage by Fox News, giving Israel a royal black eye.

Mea Shearim Men Stone Haredi Soldiers

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Residents of the Haredi Mea Shearim neighborhood in Jerusalem hurled dozens of rocks at Haredi soldiers Sunday, according to Jerusalem police. No one was reported injured.

Firemen were called to the scene to put out fires that the attackers set in large garbage containers. When the police arrived, the stone attackers fled.

Toldot Aharon: No Imposed Gender Segregation in Mea Shearim This Year

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The Toldot Aharon hasidic group says it will not enforce gender segregation in the streets of the Jerusalem religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim over the Sukkot holiday.

Thousands of people will stream through the streets during the holiday, as visitors, on their way to other locales in Jerusalem, or on route to the Old City.

The group came to an agreement with Jerusalem police and the city municipality not to impose gender separation, or to put in place ushers to guide men and women to different parts of the street, according to a report in Ynet.  A fence to maintain order will be erected for the large Simchat Beit HaShoeva celebration and water-throwing ceremony, but will not have any impact on the mixing of men and women on the street or in the area.

Gender segregation in Mea Shearim and other Jerusalem neighborhoods has been imposed by religious leaders in the past, including separate entrances to various zones.

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that police must act to prevent gender separation on the streets.

A World Untouched by Civilization

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The woman, wearing a tank top and jeans, has her full attention on the tomato box. The haredi woman touches one of her bare arms. The woman turns around and the haredi woman immediately snaps at her, pointing at her bare arms: “Next time don’t come to the market like this. Next time you’ll come with sleeves.”

The above excerpt from an article in Ynet illustrates one of problems isolationist societies like the one that Charedi woman ‘Tznius- cop” no doubt comes from.

Machane Yehuda (pictured) was overhauled by Jewish merchants very likely in order to compete with the Arab Shuk. The Arab Shuk was opened up to Jews after the 6-day war. And business boomed. Arab merchants of all types selling their wares had a new and booming market in all the Israelis and tourists that came to visit the Kotel. Going through the Arab Shuk was one of the common ways to leave that area. On my first trip to Israel I exited the Kotel Plaza that way. It was (and still is) a sight to behold.

But once the terrorism started, many Jews feared entering that area – although some Jews (mostly tourists I imagine) still shop there. The Shuk was a great place to buy produce at a very cheap price. Sensing a need, a new market for cheap produce was estabished outside the old city for Jews. It is called Machane Yehuda. If I recall correctly it is not far from Meah Shearim. Some people call it the Israeli Shuk.

Meah Shearim residents shop there. But they are not the only ones. Secular Jews are increasingly doing so. And that is where yet another clash of cultures takes place.

Here’s the problem. Meah Shearim Jews have a heightened sensitivity to Tznius violations. A woman wearing a sleeveless top and slacks will be considered inappropriately attired.

While this may not be a Halachicly acceptable way for a Jewish woman to dress in public – most of the rest of the world – religious Jews included – is used to this kind of dress and thinks nothing of it. Even for those who do consider it a problem they simply try not to look at an immodestly dressed woman. In the world of Meah Shearim this intolerable. They cannot handle it.

So to the extent they are able – they try to impose their modesty standards. Hence one will see signs related to female dress as one enters the Meah Shearim neighborhoods. This phenomenon in and of itself is tolerable. The residents of that neighborhood have a right to express their sensitivities to those who enter their neighborhoods. What they do not have a right to do is enforce them. Unfortunately some of the more militant residents of that neighborhood don’t care about whether or not they have that right or not. They enforce it. In some cases using means that the Mafia would be proud of.

There are horror stories of acid or bleach being spilled on innocent passersby if they were dressed in less than Meah Shearim community Tznius standards. They also have Tznius squads that go around checking what people wear and intimidating merchants into carrying Tznius signs throughout Meah Shearim and the nearby Geula neighborhood. They have torched stores, beat up businessmen who sold “inappropriate” technology, and vandalized a religious bookstore for refusing to carry one of their signs.

Until recently their tactics have been limited to their own neighborhoods. But now they have decided to branch out. We all know about the intimidating tactics that took place last year in Bet Shemesh where an eight-year old girl was harassed daily on her way to a religious school and called a whore. But now they are branching out. To places like Machane Yehuda. And instead of men doing the harassing – it is women.

Last year it happened to some women walking in the streets of Jerusalem outside of the Meah Shearim neighborhood.

Here’s the thing. They cannot impose their standards on the world. They do not own the world. Just because they see someone they think is not properly dressed does not give them the right to intimidate them. To most of the civilized world that is a forgone conclusion. But not for them.

Egged Buses Return to Mea Shearim

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

It’s been a year and half since the Israeli bus giant, Egged, has run lines 1 and 2 through the heart of Mea Shearim. That is because Egged officials suspended service on those routes as a response to rock throwing directed at those buses and and road blocks set up by some ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Jews behind the violence claimed that Egged’s lack of consent to “Mehadrin” lines, that is, buses which have separate men/women seating, led to the actions. Israel’s High Court has ruled that “Mehadrin” lines are illegal.

 

Throughout the suspension, other Buses continued to run on the main roads of Mea She’arim, including many lines that use Strauss Street which connects the city center to the direction of the French Hill neighborhood and the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.

 

Tuesday, a year and half later, saw a cautious attempt by the Egged company to return those lines, albeit, with heavy police escort. While most of the ride went off without a hitch, a few youths did hurl stones as the buses drove through the community.

 

However, even the stone-throwing did not dampen the optimism of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat who welcomed the move. ”A good decision” he stressed. “There was violence in the past and this caused Egged bus lines not to pass through the neighborhood - but that’s over now.  We should return the routine for the residents - in Mea Shearim and also for the public as a whole - and I expect the police, and the general public, to allow traffic to flow for all communities in the city” said Barkat.

 

Jerusalem police spokesman said in response that “During the past eighteen months, the we have been in contact with Egged in order to restore its lines to the Mea Shearim neighborhood, promising on our part that trips will be supervised. Recently Egged agreed to return the lines in coordination with the police into the neighborhood of Mea Shearim.”

 

An Egged spokesman said that  in the last year and half “the company did not operate in Mea Shearim as directed by Jerusalem police. This was due to insecurity posed to riders by a handful of Haredi rioters. As the directives change, we will act according to the security recommendations.”

 

Many in Mea Shearim welcomed the return of the buses and claimed that the violence was perpetrated by a non-representative minority. On the other hand, some residents were pleased that exhaust fumes had diminished in the absence of the buses, while still others voiced concern that children had grown accustomed to lessened traffic and could be harmed by the reintroduction of the lines.

Part 2 – Pleasure vs. Happiness in Marriage

Friday, November 28th, 2008

If you would like to know if your marriage is relationship centered or not, the way to find out is to ask yourself about your core values. For example, what is the most important principle of your marriage? Is it your desire for money or pleasure?  Do you dream about being comfortable, being honored by your spouse and having a lot of fun?

 

Experience has shown that couples who place their relationship at the center of their lives have the greatest chance of sharing a successful marriage together. Unfortunately, our society has sold us a distorted image of marriage, which maintains that external factors such as money or comfort are the factors that make marriage work. Just think about how popular culture depicts the perfect couple, who have all the conveniences one could ever imagine. They have all the money, pleasure, and fun they could ever want, but are they happy?  That’s the million dollar question.

 

I believe that there is no real way of telling how happy a marriage is, except for one factor:  ask them how their relationship is doing.  Afterwards, you’ll know if their happiness is real or illusive.

 

Although many people may choose core values such as wealth, pleasure and honor for their marriage, in the long run, experience has shown that these external values are temporal. Happiness in life has very little to do with externals, and those who focus on the external values often find their relationships unsettled, lacking direction, and without the strength to last a lifetime.

 

In fact, over the years, I have witnessed many families who have little financial means, yet have the power of a healthy relationship. Against the conventional wisdom that money alone buys happiness, these families prove that success is dependent on other variables such as spiritual values, healthy attitudes, and high levels of emotional intelligence. Above all, they are dedicated to maintaining and nurturing the most important commodity in their lives, their relationship.

 

As a young yeshiva student, I learned a lesson about true happiness when I spent one of the most rewarding Shabboses in my life volunteering in an old age home in Sanhedria Murchevet, a small ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem. My predicament that weekend was that I wanted to spend Shabbos visiting the old age home, but didn’t have a place to stay.

 

Thinking out of the box, and knowing I was in an ultra-orthodox community that was famous for its chesed and hachnosos orchim, I decided to take a chance by asking some elderly Chassidim, who frequented a small shopping mall in the neighborhood, if they would be kind enough to take me in as their guest for Shabbos.

After waiting for about five minutes in front of the store, an elderly Chassid from the Viznitz community walked by with his younger daughter.  In my broken and heavily American-accented Hebrew, I tried to explain to him where I volunteered and what I needed.  Without blinking, the man said that he would be delighted to have me as his guest.

 

The elderly Chassid met me just before sunset at the local shul and brought me home to meet his wife and family.  At first, when I walked into his home, I felt that I was entering one of Roman Vizniak’s scenes from pre-war Poland. Despite my initial discomfort at feeling out of place, my fears were quickly relieved when I was warmly welcomed and asked to bring my suitcase into the room I would be sleeping in.  After arranging my clothes, I was served a pre-Shabbos treat: a hot cup of coffee and some chocolate rugelach. Just as I finished my last bite, the Shabbos siren blew and I ran off to daven Kabalos Shabbos at the old age home.

 

After davening, I returned to my host’s apartment to sleep in a very comfortable bedroom.  The next morning I awoke and realized that, despite the fact that they had seven children, there were only two bedrooms, and I was sleeping in one of them!  It turned out that they had set up their children’s beds in the living room and the parents had slept in the one remaining bedroom!   Embarrassed and overwhelmed by their generosity, I walked out of the living room to wish a good Shabbos and, once again, my hosts insisted I sit down for another cup of coffee.

 

That Shabbos, we spent hours eating, drinking tea and talking about our lives.  They were devoted members of the Viznitz community.  The father worked as an accountant for the local Chevra Kadisha and his wife was an assistant in the community kindergarten.  They were married during the War of Independence and for many years lived in Mea Shearim. About ten years ago they had bought this apartment, and one of their dreams was to have special guests over for Shabbos.  I happened to be one of the lucky individuals that would benefit from their kindness and hospitality.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/part-2-pleasure-vs-happiness-in-marriage/2008/11/28/

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