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August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodox Judaism’

Report: Rabbinate May Be Plotting to Dump Rabbi Riskin of Efrat

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The Chief Rabbinate met in Jerusalem on Monday to discuss whether to extend the term of Efrat’s Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, but it postponed a decision until he appears personally for another hearing.

An extension of Rabbi Riskin’s term requires a special meeting because he is now 75 years old, but the Kipa website reported, “Senior officials in the Rabbinate plan to hold a discussion on his term of office and not automatically renew it in order to block his re-appointment because of his opinions. If there will be another discussion of the entire Rabbinate, a majority will vote against Rabbi Riskin.”

Rabbi Riskin supports establishing more religious courts to oversee conversions, a move that is stiffly opposed by the Hareidi establishment. He also has been active in promoting women’s rights in the Orthodox world, another move that the Hareidi establishment considers near blasphemy.

Rabbi Riskin’s office told The Jewish Press that it was not aware of the report by Kipa, but previous rabbis over the age of 70 have been asked to retire, regardless of their opinions. The spokesman for the Rabbinate told The Jewish Press that there have been cases where the term of a rabbi over the age of 70 has been extended, depending on his health.

Nevertheless, Monday’s discussion raises several questions to which the spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate said, “I don’t know.”

He said that Rabbis Riskin will be asked to appear personally, probably in the next several weeks, to answer questions about his health.

If that is the case, why didn’t the Chief Rabbinate ask for his medical records?

I don’t know.

Why didn’t the Rabbinate invite Rabbi Riskin today?

I don’t know.

Will Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion be discussed in the upcoming hearing?

I don’t know.

However, the spokesman did confirm that the issue of conversion was not discussed today.

A decision to retire Rabbi Riskin, the founding rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side of New York City, without any other basis than opposition to his views could spur a legal battle in the Supreme Court. The Religious Affairs Ministry is now under the control of the Shas party, which may influence the Rabbinate’s decision in favor of ousting Rabbi Riskin.

Shas party leader Aryeh Deri is close to Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef who founded the Shas party and was its spiritual leader until his death less than two years ago.

Hopefully, this report by The Jewish Press.com will arouse public opinion, influence the Rabbinate, and pave the way for the distinguished rabbis to extend Rabbi Riskin’s term.

Read: TZOHAR’s statement on the upcoming hearing.

Rivlin Tells Bnei Akiva, ‘We Must Not Let This Happen Again’

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin expressed deep concern Thursday over an attack on a Bnei Akiva building containing a synagogue in northern Israel after learning about the desecration from an Arutz 7 reporter who called asking for a comment.

Vandals torched a Bnei Akiva synagogue in the northern Israeli city of Nazereth Illit this week, just before the start of the Shavuot holiday that marks the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.

Siddurim and other holy books were torn apart, burned and desecrated in other ways. Elsewhere in the Bnei Akiva building, Israeli flags were defiled, cabinets were upended, paint was splattered all over the place and flourescent lights were smashed.

Bnei Akiva has long been a source of pride in the community; the religious Zionist movement has maintained a branch in Nazareth Illit for 40 years. Five years ago, a hesder yeshiva for Torah scholars entering army service was added to the program there as well.

According to spokesperson Naomi Toledano, President Reuven Rivlin has expressed his shock over the attack to Bnei Akiva Secretary-General Danny Hirshberg.

Rivlin expressed support for a plan by Bnei Akiva to hold a meeting between the young members of the branch and neighborhood Arabs immediately following the upcoming Jewish holiday of Shavuot, which begins at the close of the Sabbath, on Saturday night.

“Only dialogue will lead to closeness and understanding,” Rivlin said. “We must not let harsh and shocking incidents like this one happen again.”

He praised plans by the branch to hold its traditional all-night Torah study session for the Shavuot holiday despite the attack.

Although it is not yet clear who perpetrated the damage and desecration, there have been numerous incidents of harassment of the Bnei Akiva youths by local Arabs in the past.

New Torah Scroll Gifted to Nevatim Air Force Base

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base was the recipient of a beautiful new Torah scroll this month in a Hachasat Sefer Torah ceremony that lit up the entire base.

At least 60 hareidi-religious IDF soldiers now serve at the base in a special Nachal Hareidi battalion.

The Sefer Torah itself was donated by Victor Abayev, a Jewish business owner and senior member of the Caucasus Jewish community in the United States.

Abayev donated the Torah in memory of IDF soldier Almog Shiloni, z’l, who served in Nahal Hareidi. The soldier was stabbed to death in a terror attack at the train station in Tel Aviv last November.

Participating in the festivities were Shiloni’s parents, as well as base commander Brigadier Lihu HaCohen, who also spoke at the event.

Nevatim is one of the largest Air Force bases in Israel, with the greatest number of squadrons. On the base there are advanced, highly strategic radars as well as various transport vehicles and other equipment used for intelligence and other purposes.

Power Blackouts, Supply Shortages Hampering Rescue Efforts in Nepal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

“It’s 2:30 am and we’ve had a busy day here,” writes Chabad-Lubavitch co-emissary Chani Lifshitz together with her husband, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz from the Kathmandu Chabad House. “After two aftershocks here in the past few hours people are trying to get some sleep in the hope the rest of the night will pass quietly.

“In the morning, God willing, we plan to go out to the villages where Israelis definitely are located, according to the information we have.

“An updated list of the Israelis with whom we have made contact will be posted here at the Chabad House during the morning hours Tuesday. We want to thank all of our dear supporters from near and far; we feel it and deeply appreciate it!!”

The number of Israeli missing has now dropped to 50 who have yet to be tracked down or check in with family and friends, Israel’s foreign ministry has told media.

Chabad has been serving hot meals to all arrivals every hour on the hour. Electricity, phone service and water has been cut off, according to Chani Lifshitz. “Little by little, our staples are [also] running out,” she told Chabad.org. There is an urgent need for donations and supplies.

“Every effort by each and every one of you to help in any way will be greatly appreciated, whether it be materially or spiritually.”

Five of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites crumbled to the ground in Nepal after the worst earthquake to hit the region in 80 years struck the country. The government has issued an urgent appeal for body bags, tents and water as the death toll tops 4,000 locally and nearly 100 in neighboring countries.

There is a desperate need for more helicopters for rescue operations in rural areas, a home ministry spokesperson told AFP.

One Israeli aircraft has already landed in Nepal with 200 IDF Home Front Command officers, medical and rescue personnel. Four more are expected to arrive within the coming hours.

At least 7,935 people more are known to be injured in the wake of two earthquakes that struck the region on Saturday and Sunday. The first registered 7.8 on the Richter scale, the second – an aftershock – was nearly as strong, a 6.7-magnitude temblor. There have been more than 100 aftershocks since.

Hospitals in Kathmandu are overflowing with patients, and rescue teams are bringing in more from the remote areas where they are reaching other inured.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $10 million in relief to help the victims on behalf of the American government. Kerry said he was “shocked” by the “gut-wrenching” images of death and destruction. The United Nations has allocated $15 million in aid.

Chabad Co-Emissary in Nepal Hopes for ‘Only Good News’ in Video

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Chani Lifshitz, co-emissary at the Kathmandu Chabad House, spoke (in Hebrew) Saturday night after the Sabbath in a video message from Nepal, providing details of the growing crisis following two massive earthquakes, the first a 7.9-magnitude temblor that struck during Sabbath morning prayers. The second came as an aftershock, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake that was nearly as bad.

Thus far, nearly 2,500 people have died in the two earthquakes and the avalanches that resulted in Nepal — and as far away as India and China.

“The buildings in Nepal shook, the wind was blowing buildings like paper in the air. Houses are unsafe and the electricity is out,” Chani’s husband, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz told Lubavitch.com. The Chabad-Lubavitch emissary to the country and his wife have become coordinators of a massive refugee/crisis center. “The sight is horrific —- many are walking around with open wounds,” Lifshitz told the website.

Meanwhile, his wife has maintained updates with the “outside” world and tried to keep up the spirits of Israeli families whose loved ones are still missing.

Visit Jewish.TV for more Jewish videos.

Lifshitz said volunteers at the Chabad House are trying to coordinate “all the Israelis who are here – there are several hundred of them” – including “a few who are injured.”

She said, “We are trying very hard to calm them down, many of them are sitting down in places outside the Chabad House, and inside are those who are injured. But outside it’s pretty safe, and we are still pulling together the lists of who has been found so far and who is still missing. We are trying to work as fast as we can to get to everyone, but even as we speak, the situation is still not entirely stable, and things have yet to settle down.

With a smile she added, “We hope to be able to report to you only good things. Up to this point, we are talking about several people with injuries who are on couches here in the Chabad house

Again, the main work at this point is to coordinate all the names of people who are in Kathmandu and those who are in the mountains, and with God’s help we will get to everyone.”

Dozens of Israelis are camping out in the courtyards around the Chabad House, the emissaries said in a post on their Facebook page. “We are trying to provide everyone with sleeping bags and blankets so they can stay warm at night,” the wrote. “We are asking all Israelis currently in Nepal not to sleep indoors tonight because we are still experiencing aftershocks and the buildings are not safe at this time.”

A special “Israeli Situation Room” has been set up on Facebook for families and friends of Israelis who are in Nepal and may have been caught in the earthquake and are still missing.

Although the page is in Hebrew, one can translate it into English on the Google Chrome browser by using the Translate function under Tools on the pull-down menu on the browser.

Another Facebook page has been set up — also in Hebrew — to provide real-time updates on people looking for and finding those still missing. For those involved in search and rescue efforts or who want to be in touch with those who are, click here.

 

Netanyahu Expresses His Sorrow over Death of Rabbi Lichtenstein

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his sorrow over the passing of Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Monday.

“Rabbi Lichtenstein’s knowledge found expression in his literary works. He served generations of students,” said the Prime Minister.

He added, “When I gave him the Israel Prize a year ago, I saw before my eyes a great rabbi, teacher and educator, a Zionist man, sharp-witted and a keen thinker. Rabbi Lichtenstein will be remembered as a Zionist-Torah leader of the highest order, who raised thousands of students at the Har Etzion Yeshiva in the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shvut.

“He loved the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”

A Man Who Brings Students to Israel and a Revolutionary Rabbi Brigadier General

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined in-studio by Momo Lifshitz, the CEO of Lirom Global Education and former director of Oranim Educational Initiatives, the #1 provider of Birthright Israel participants. He shares his dream to bring Jewish and non-Jewish students to study in Israel and get a college degree at a great price, while falling in love with — and in — the country.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Rabbi Avichai Rontzki, former IDF chief rabbi (2006-2010), with the rank of Brigadier General. During his post, Rontzki carried out a mini-revolution in the command, expanding his mandate to allow for a much more active role of rabbis in the army, and creating the “Jewish Awareness Department,” which conducts educational activities in combat units.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/a-man-who-brings-students-to-israel-and-a-revolutionary-rabbi-brigadier-general/2015/04/09/

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