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November 27, 2015 / 15 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodox Judaism’

‘The Blues Is Real’

Friday, August 7th, 2015


Yishai talks further about the integration of Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces. To elaborate, Meir Eisenman, who as one who comes from a Haredi background gives a unique perspective to the situation, joins Yishai. They talk about all aspects of integrating Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the IDF and how it affects both sides of Israeli society. Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Go Canada

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015


Conservative minister of the Canadian Parliament Peter Kent tells Yishai why his country will not agree to lift Iranian sanctions.

Kent, chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defense, explains that, unlike the United States, Canada demands to see true reform within the Islamic Republic before making concessions. This unwavering position places Canada as a leader against turning a blind eye to terrorism.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

How to Cure Israel of its ‘Weakness’ Malaise

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015


JPost op-ed editor Seth Frantzman talks to Yishai about the prosecution of an IDF officer who ordered the shelling of a terror position.

They wonder whether Israel is doing this in order to show the world that “we prosecute our own,” so it won’t have to, and discuss the phenomenon of Israeli self-blame.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Exclusive: First IDF Cyber-Defense Program Opens at Yeshiva

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

For the first time ever, Hareidi religious boys are learning in a four-year Beit Midrash program, while studying cyber defense in preparation for service in the IDF.

Beit Midrash Derech Chaim is a new program approved by Israel’s Ministry of Defense and the IDF; it’s also the first institution in Israel ever to offer such a program. The yeshiva simultaneously features two years of full-day Torah study that lead to expertise in Talmud with a focus on practical Halacha as well as breadth of knowledge and Jewish philosophical thought.

Students at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim also study in a secular curriculum approved by the IDF, the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Ministry of Defense.

Students at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim also study in a secular curriculum approved by the IDF, the Jerusalem College of Technology and the Ministry of Defense.

Boys who graduate Derech Chaim enter the IDF with the ability to become Torah scholars, IDF soldiers and highly employable Israelis upon their discharge from their army service.

“Our second year boys, who will be entering active service in the Cyber Intelligence Unit in November, took the major test for entry this past week,” noted Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Karmi Gross in an exclusive interview this week with JewishPress.com.

“The test is taken by around 4,000 of the brightest boys entering the army (cyber is the highest priority of the army),” he explained. “In groups that take the test it is considered normal for 35 percent to pass. Excellent groups pass at a 65 percent rate. We just received notice that our boys passed at an 80 percent rate; this is an incredible accomplishment.”

Equally important, he said, was the fact that the officers who administered the test had commented they had no idea what to expect from hareidi religious boys.

“In their words, the boys made a tremendous ‘kiddush Hashem,’ going out of their way to thank those who gave the test and act in ways that made the name of Heaven beloved by their actions,” the Rosh Yeshiva added.

“The major general who called me could not stop gushing over their knowledge and behavior. As you can tell from my tone, we are incredibly proud of what they have accomplished.”

Students are expected to use the library often for their studies at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.

Students are busy burning the midnight oil in their studies at Beit Midrash Derech Chaim.

The curriculum was developed and approved by the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev), the IDF Intelligence Unit and the National Cyber Defense Department in the Ministry of Defense.

Also included are one thousand hours of pre-army technology studies, with classes focused on the study of cyber defense (systems security) in accordance with the request of the IDF.

For further information about the program and/or registration, email the Rosh Yeshiva at rkgross@gmail.com.

Shas MK Begins ‘Three Week’s with ‘Senseless Hate’ against Reform Jews

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015


Minister for Religious Affairs, Shas Knesset Member David Azoulay, ridiculed approximately 2 million Jews Tuesday with the incredible statement, “A Reform Jew, from the moment he does not follow Jewish law…. I cannot allow myself to say that he is a Jew.”

His vile libel comes on the heels of the Netanyahu government’s rollback of religious reforms passed in the previous administration and which broke the gridlock that the Hareidi establishment has held over the conversion process and the approval for private and public eating facilities to be certified as kosher.

There are tens of thousands of Reform Jews who indeed are not Jews according to Jewish law because of  intermarriage. Jewish law states that if the mother is Jewish, so is the child.

But for the time being, most Reform Jews in the United States and elsewhere are Jews by birth, regardless of whether they follow Jewish law.

MK Azoulay’s rant comes during the first week of the “three weeks” of a semi-state of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples on the Ninth of Av, which is observed at the end of the period.

Every year, rabbis preach that the sages teach that the Second Temple fell because of “senseless hate” among Jews,” and that every Jew today must express unlimited love.

And how does the Shas MK express his love? He told Army Radio today he cannot call them “Jews” and added:

These [Reform] Jews took the wrong path, and we need to make sure that every Jew returns to the lap of Judaism and [we need] to receive everyone with love and joy.To my sorrow, most of the Reform Jews in the Diaspora have erred. They are like babies who are hostages, and we want to make sure that every Jew will return  to Judaism according to Jewish law.

The most infuriating part of MK Azoulai’s remarks, worse than refusing to recognize Reform Jews as Jews, is his arrogant pretense that “we need to receive them with love and joy.”

The Hareidi establishment, of which the Shas Sephardi party is a major leader, does everything in its power to turn Jews off from Judaism.

Reform Judaism is not Judaism, and Reform rabbis are not rabbis, no more than alternative medicine is “medicine” and their practitioners are “doctors,” but to publicly say – or even privately think – that they are not Jews is nothing less than a blood libel.

Reform Jews never will be accepted with “love and joy” by the Israeli Hareidi establishment no more than MK Azoulay will accept national religious Jews with “love and joy.”

No matter how much Talmud we learn, and no matter how often we say the same prayers that Hareidim say – except for the addition of the Prayer for the State of Israel and the IDF that are absent from almost all Israeli Hareidi prayer books – it is not good enough for the their establishment.

Unlike the Agudah Hareidi movement in the United States, which practices “kiruv” – reaching out to non-Orthodox Jews to bring them closer to Judaism – the Hareidi  leaders in Israel are interested in power. They don’t accept others who do not dress like them, obey them like robots and contribute to their yeshivas.

There was an unconfirmed claim by the Women of the Wall yesterday that guards stopped a woman at The Western Wall because she was wearing a kippah.

The guards allegedly asked the woman to go with them to the police station, a request she refused.

Instead, she was escorted to a taxi stand outside the Western Wall Plaza.

Chief Rabbinate Bows to Pressure to Extend Rabbi Riskin’s Term

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

The attempt by the Chief Rabbinate to oust Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as Chief Rabbi or Efrat is doomed, and the rabbis will extend his term after meeting on Monday, the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website reported.

If the rabbis could have their way, they would vote against Riskin, but they fear a media and public backlash, according to the report.

The issue arose several weeks ago when it was reported that rabbis in the Chief Rabbinate do not like Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion and his liberal attitude towards women.

He has reached the age of 75 and needs permission from the Rabbinate to continue serving.

An argument broke out in the Rabbinate between the majority of rabbis and the legal department, which said that a rabbi’s medical condition is the only grounds they can use to refuse to extend his term.

After the attempt to oust Rabbi Riskin was exposed, Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Naftali Bennett said:

I do not accept the attempt to demote a public servant because of his opinions and then say it is because of his age. Rabbi Risking helped established Efrat, and he has merits that do not allow his being used as a political target.

He is allowed to have a different opinion, and shutting the door to other opinions is prohibited.

The attitude of the Chief Rabbinate can be discerned from a recording of comments by Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, who was quoted earlier this month by Kikar Shabbat as saying:

We say in daily prayers every morning, ‘God has not made me a woman,’ not like someone from Efrat who comes up with all kinds of new ideas makes news and wages wars.

The phrase “”make news and wage battles” is a reference to another prayer in the morning prayers, in which  it is recited that God “brings about new developments and is the Master of wars.”

A senior official in the Chief Rabbinate told Kikar Shabbat:

We estimate that his term will be extended. The rabbis in the council have an interest that Rabbi Riskin will commit himself to be subject to the Chief Rabbinate. There is a strong doubt that he will agreed to do so, but the rabbis will try.”

Legally, they cannot vote to oust Rabbis Riskin without medical proof that he is not fit for office.

Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion and women do not fit in with the Hareidi Orthodox model.

The Chief Rabbinate, still a bastion of Hareidi power, has lost the trust of Israelis who once respected it, especially when Hareidi Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau was in office. The charismatic rabbi never let his opinions get in the way of reaching out to all Israelis with understanding, something that is totally lacking in the Chief Rabbinate today.

Their refusal to accept any other opinion in the Orthodox world only makes them more vulnerable to a collapse of their authority under the weight of pressure from the Reform community.


Below is a video of Rabbi Riskin’s explanation on this week’s Torah reading of Balak:

‘No Intention’ to Dismiss Efrat’s Rabbi Riskin, Says Israel Chief Rabbi Lau

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Israelis from the bottom to the top – storekeepers to government ministers and agency heads – have come out to protect Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s tenure.

Israel Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau told journalists on Wednesday there was “no intention to dismiss Rabbi Riskin. While dealing with this issue we have been hearing statements attributed to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that are inappropriate and inaccurate.

“It troubles me to see that this matter regarding Rabbi Riskin continues to be blown so far out of proportion,” Rabbi Lau told Israel’s Channel 10 News.

The story began two weeks ago, when the issue of tenure for local rabbis was raised at a meeting of the Chief Rabbinical Council. At that time, there was a request to extend the term of office for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. The rabbi is one of the founders of the city in which he serves and lives, located in Gush Etzion, just 10 minutes away from Jerusalem.

Normally the process is pro forma, but apparently there were some on the Council who had reservations about extending Riskin’s tenure due to his views on conversion and a few other issues.

Those issues were reportedly raised at the meeting.

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who joined the Council several months ago, was one of those who supported the extension of Riskin’s term. He asked the Council to postpone any decision on the matter, and it was decided to first invite the Efrat rabbi for a discussion prior to any final move.

News of what went on in the meeting was leaked to the media, however, and a brouhaha resulted.

Education Minister Naftali Minister, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and numerous others all spoke out to defend Rabbi Riskin. All had pointed questions for a Chief Rabbinate that would dismiss a community’s chief rabbi who had helped build a city and was still seen as a hugely popular spiritual leader.

The public power struggle began to deteriorate instead into an issue of who gets to make decisions on Jewish issues in the State of Israel and at which levels of government.

Ultimately, said Lau, “the Rabbinical Council reviews extension of a local rabbi’s tenure in a meeting with that individual along with his relevant documents. An exception is made when the extension of his term comes in the month prior to mandatory retirement – and thus the debate over Rabbi Riskin’s term extension was postponed so as to invite him to meet with the Council to discuss the matter.

“This has been the standard procedure in the past, and it will remain so in the future,” he added. The legal authority to extend the statutory tenure of local chief rabbis rests with Israel’s Chief Rabbinical Council, Lau pointed out. “It is not a ‘rubber stamp’ process, nor does the Council automatically confirm the extension of a rabbi’s term in office, unless it first properly examines his application,” he noted. “We repeat: pressure and threats will not force us to make shortcuts or deviate from what is a necessary process.”

Rabbi Riskin’s office responded to JewishPress.com saying, “We hope the matter will indeed be resolved. Our only objective is bringing Am Yisrael closer to Torah and Mitzvot. Rabbi Riskin is dedicated to continue serving the residents of Efrat.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/no-intention-to-dismiss-efrats-rabbi-riskin-says-israel-chief-rabbi-lau/2015/06/10/

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