web analytics
November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NEED’

Lapid Tells Haredim ‘Go Work’ as Child Subsidy Cuts Go into Effect

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

On Tuesday, the severe cuts in government assistance to large families is going into effect, representing a new peak in Finance Minister Yauir Lapid’s war against the Haredim. What began as an election slogan, touting the need for an equal share in the national burden, is now policy, and as so many things political go, this one is hurting the weakest members of society.

Here’s the list of changes in the amounts paid to families—it is divided into children before and after 2003.

Families with children born before 2003 will receive $39 a month—down from $49—for the first child; $39 a month—down from $74—for the second child; $48 a month—down from $82—for the third child; $94 a month—down from $129—for the fourth child; and $99 a month—down from $109—for the fifth child and on.

The effect on a family of 10, which would be almost certainly religious (or Arab) is a 20% drop, from $988.00 to $814.00.

Israel’s social security administration objected to these cuts, arguing that they expect them to send some 35 thousand new children below the poverty line. In fact, they said the new cuts, sold as part of the “equal burden” package, will actually introduce a huge, new gap between rich and poor, as the percentage of poor children will rise from 4 to 40 percent.

In his Facebook message (today’s politician’s alternative to press conferences, where they might ask you embarrassing questions), Lapid said he was fulfilling one of his key promises to his voters. He also offered the following factoid, possibly something he read in a Maggie Thatcher interview:

“For years upon years it’s been proven that child allowances don’t get people out of poverty, they only make poverty permanent. Only one thing allows families exit the cycle of poverty – and that’s working.”

According to a 2011 report on poverty issued by the Israeli social security administration, 39.3% of Israeli families have been freed from the cycle of poverty due to receiving a variety of subsidies, including child allowances and income tax breaks, and the figure includes 15.1% of the children in Israel. The poverty line before government subsidies are paid out stands at $39.3%, and with the old subsidies dropped to 19.9%, which is still the highest poverty level among developed countries, and highest among all the OECD member countries…

For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year.

Four Haredi families are planning to sue the government in the Supreme Court over the cuts, which they say were made haphazardly and in a manner that does not befit proper legislation. A similar appeal was rejected a month ago by Justice Noam Solberg, on the ground that it was issued too early on in the legislative process. He urged the plaintiffs to come back once the bill becomes a law. Well, today it did.

Minister Lapid received a lot of praise when, during a duel with MKs from the Torah Judaism party, he said from the podium, in response to an accusation that his office was starving children:

“We will not allow any child in the State of Israel to go hungry. It’s our duty to make sure no child in Israel will be hungry, and we will honor it. But I want to remind [you], the institution responsible for caring for children is called their parents. When you bring a child into this world, [you] are the primary person responsible for it. Bringing a child into the world is a heavy responsibility, and so you should bring children into the world not based on the assumption that other people would care for them, but rather based on the assumption that it’s your obligation to take care of your own children.”

But that was many months ago. Today it has become clear that Minister Lapid—continuing his late father’s legacy of Haredi and religious hatred—has declared war on religious Jews in Israel. So far it’s been a three-pronged attack, hitting the issues of draft, child rearing in large families, and the education budget. Granted, in every one of these areas the Haredi public could do a lot to improve its relationship with the state and to create more goodwill between religious and secular in Israel. But to hit them with these three massive jabs all at once is not an act of repair but of destruction.


Why Do Celebrity Marriages Fail?

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Not long ago, he was jumping on Oprah’s couch like a lovesick teen, and now Tom Cruise faces a bitter divorce with Katie Holmes. Why is it that when a couple seems to have everything: fame, fortune, health, and an adorable child, it doesn’t work? It’s enough to make everyone else hopeless. After all, if celebrities have everything and can’t make it, what are the chances for the rest of us?

Don’t worry. The very fact that they have it all is the very undoing of a good marriage.

Fame is dangerous to relationships for at least a couple of reasons. Most troubling is that it demands swaths of time away from each other, as seen by the divorce petition being served while Cruise is in Iceland on a shoot. My research of over 400 married women showed that the number one indicator of happiness in a marriage was the amount of time spent with one’s spouse. Women who were happily married reported spending a daily average of over 30 minutes of uninterrupted time talking to their man. Unhappy women reported a daily average of less than 30 minutes and 24% of those unhappy reported that they spent less than five minutes a day talking to their husbands.

It should come at no surprise that consistent time is necessary to sustain a happy marriage. All relationships need time and consistency. We need to keep up with each other’s lives, look into each other’s eyes, be in the same physical space to feel the mood and emotions from each other. Without that, we might love each other, but staying “in love” demands much more than occasional get-togethers where we catch up. You would never say to your six-year-old for example, “Hey, can’t wait to catch up but right now I’m finishing a project. I can’t wait to talk about first grade and catch up in a month or two.”

Celebrities seem content with the understanding that their work schedule will take them away from each other for long periods of time. However, it is a simple recipe for disaster.

The next problem of having “everything” is the inability to define what is your “couple culture.” A marriage needs to have a sense of meaning and a way to grow together – there needs to be a purpose to the union. Rarely do couples actually discuss what they want their culture to be. Rather, it generally forms as immense collective energy is thrown into career and/or family building. But when you have it all and it seems to come easy, couples often lose their way and life becomes a quick, steady path of self-indulgence.

The individuals no longer truly “need” the other to live happily. Instead, they just like being together. Yet, a couple needs to feel that life without the other is quite impossible. If a spouse does not feel a need to have the other in his or her life on a daily basis, that is a short step away from separation. After all, once separated, what have you truly lost? If you have been living your goals and dreams largely through your own strength and ability, then being married has become the spice instead of the main course.

The beauty of a Torah marriage is in the need for the other person in order to develop the very soul of both spouses. We cannot survive and grow as Hashem intended unless we work to make our marriage meaningful in and of itself. The marriage must be identified by the action it is taking as a collective force to better our world.

For your couplehood, make sure that you are spending regular consistent time with your spouse. Be sure that you are able to chat about the day and talk about things other than the stresses of life. Remind each other what you are building together and if you don’t know what that is – figure it out immediately.

Rabbi M. Gary Neuman is a New York Times best selling author and psychotherapist. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Dateline and GMA. For more information about Rabbi Neuman and his work go to www.mgaryneuman.com and follow him on facebook and twitter @mgaryneuman.

The Rebirth of Jerusalem

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai talks about the absolute need for more land to be claimed by Jews in Israel and to further discuss this matter; he is joined by Aryeh King, the founder and director of the Israel Land Fund. They start off by talking about the situation behind Yishai’s recent assault while driving in Eastern Jerusalem and the background behind it and move on to talk about how with additional Jews moving to the Mount of Olives is creating a whole new feeling in the eastern part of the city. They wrap up by King giving his opinion on the findings of the Levy Report and how it will help extend the borders of the City of Jerusalem.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Let’s Vote For Independence

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

           Much of the world is getting ready to recognize a Palestinian state. The U.S. says it will veto any such measure in the Security Council. Other countries are going ahead with plans to vote for “Palestine” in the General Assembly – to grant “Palestine” embassy space, formal recognition, etc.
 
After years of paying lip service to the need for granting Palestinians a state, Israeli political leaders are scratching their heads about what to do and how to stop this.
 
The best Prime Minister Netanyahu has come up with is giving a speech in that building on the East River near 42nd street. 
 
I have a better idea.
 
The Palestinian statehood movement is essentially a case of local Arabs in and around Israel seeking to gain separatist independence. Arabs already have 22 states, but that’s not enough. Hence the push for yet another one.
 
Since nearly all countries have their own domestic separatist movements, the only reasonable response by Israel to votes by other countries in favor of the Palestinian separatist movement should be to recognize all other separatist movements, granting them embassy space and diplomatic recognition.
 
Here are some examples:
 
If France votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the National Front for the Liberation of Corsica, to the separatist Savoyard League and the Nissa Rebela, to the separatist Arm?e R?volutionnaire Bretonne and Front de Lib?ration de la Bretagne, and to the French Basque separatists.
 
If Spain votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the ETA and other Basques separatists, to the Catalan separatists, as well as to the separatist movements in Castille, Leon, Andalusia, Cantabria, Galicia, Aragon, and Asturias.
 
If Belgium votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to both the Flemish and Walloon separatist movements.
 
If Holland votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the Frisian separatist movement.
 
Turkey, of course, is leading the campaign for Palestine, which is why Israel should recognize the Armenian, Kurdish, Arab, and other ethnic nationalist movements inside Turkey. And let’s hear nothing about Armenians already having their own state outside the Turkish borders. 
 
The UK will probably vote against it, but just in case it votes in favor, Israel should then recognize the separatist movements of Cornwall, Guernsey, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Wessex, Yorkshire, and of course also the independence of Wales, Scotland and Ulster.
 
Russia plans to vote for Palestinian independence. Israel should respond by recognizing all of the separatist movements within Russia, a full list of which is much too long to reproduce here.
 
Similarly, if Italy votes for Palestine, there are so many regional independence and separatist movements inside Italy that could be recognized by Israel. Space simply does not allow for their complete listing. 
 
The Sami independence movements in Norway, Sweden and Finland should be recognized at once. Ditto for the Faroes Islands independence movement in Denmark.
 
If Switzerland votes in favor, Israel should recognize the Jura regional separatist movement.
 
The above list is just for European countries. Most of South America already recognized “Palestine,” even before any UN vote. If Argentina and/or Chile votes in favor, Israel needs to recognize the Mapuche separatists in those countries. If Bolivia votes in favor, the Santa Cruz separatists there should be recognized.
 
If Brazil votes in favor, Israel should recognize the separatist movements in Rio Grande do Sul. Venezuela will certainly vote in favor, which is why Israel must recognize the independence of Zulia and Maracaibo. Mexico is certain to vote in favor, which is why the Zapatista movement in Chiapas needs a nice embassy in Israel.
 
Muslim states have their own domestic separatist movements, and these are deserving of special support and recognition by Israel.
 
In Iran, aside from the obvious Kurdish separatists, there are Assyrian, Baluchi, Azeri, and Arab regional separatist movements, all in need of an Embassy. (And let’s not have any nonsense about how Iranian Arabs have no right to independence because Arabs already have 22 states. Azeris already have a state, you say? Since when does that matter?) 
 
Syria also has Kurdish and Assyrian separatists. Pakistan has Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and Singh separatist movements. Indonesia has oodles of separatists.
 
The number of separatist movements all over the world is so great that Israel would have to build an entire new diplomatic city east of Ariel just to house all the embassies for the separatist movements in countries voting for Palestinian statehood.
 

Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “the Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/lets-vote-for-independence/2011/09/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: