web analytics
November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Orthodox Judaism’

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

Thursday, April 9th, 2015


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

Did the Police Fail or Did the People?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

The death and injuries that happened at Rabbi Shmuel Wosner’s funeral should never have happened.

It’s very easy to blame the police for not properly organizing crowd control for Rabbi Wosner’s funeral, which resulted in the death of Mordechai Gerber (27) and severe injuries of three more people who were trampled by the crowd.

The police will conduct an internal investigation, and they will determine if, where and how they failed at the funeral.

But what about the other half of the equation?

The people who were pushing and shoving everyone around them, rushing to get closer to the casket. The people who stepped on the bodies of their fellow students. The people, who despite the crowds in front of them, continued to push their way forward, leaving over a 100 injured.

At some point, the people at the funeral must investigate their own actions and their own role in the death and injuries.

In the last two years, there were two tremendously large funerals for 2 great rabbis in Israel, Harav Elyashiv and Harav Ovadia. Hundreds of thousands of people participated with dignity and Derech Eretz, and everyone left the funerals sad, but alive and well.

When a bad thing happens in a Jewish community, the Jewish response is to ask what did we do wrong to cause this to happen us.

When a body is found murdered in a field, the leaders from the nearby towns come together, publicly perform the Egla Arufa ceremony and say, “Our hands did not shed this blood.”

Every day that passes without a strong, honest assessment of this tragedy from our Torah guiding lights increases the rule of the darkness.

Thousands Accompany Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Vosner, 102, zt’l, to Rest; 1 Killed, More Hurt in Trampling

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The great Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel HaLevi Vosner (Wosner) passed away a short time after the start of this Passover (Pesach) holiday. A towering Torah personality, the sainted rabbi was laid to rest overnight in a 1:30 am funeral in the Israeli city of Bnei Brak.

As his body was respectfully carried by his broken-hearted students down the street, more tragedy struck as a much younger man attending the funeral died as well.

Thousands packed the streets of Bnei Brak to accompany the 102-year-old Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel Vosner (Wosner ), zt'l, on his final journal past the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva and to his final resting place.

Thousands packed the streets of Bnei Brak to accompany the 102-year-old Shevet HaLevi, Rabbi Shmuel Vosner (Wosner ), zt’l, on his final journal past the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva and to his final resting place.

The father of three, Motti Gerber, 27, joined the saintly rabbinic decisor of Jewish law in death as a result of trampling at the funeral, according to numerous reports. In addition, three others males ages 25, 14 and 40, were seriously wounded when the balcony on which they were standing collapsed while they were watching the proceedings. Eight others were rushed to local hospitals with shortness of breath and bruises due to trampling, Magen David Adom reported.

MDA emergency medical response teams were summoned to attend the massive crowd that accompanied the rabbi’s body through the streets. More than 100 people were treated for “crowding” injuries.

The ‘Shevat HaLevi’ (the Tribe of Levi) was so called after the name of the series of numerous holy books that he wrote as commentaries and response on Jewish law.

Thousands attended the overnight funeral, with several eulogizing the rabbi’s deeds. “The unity of the people of Israel was very important to him, to maintain the friendship and love in the nation,” one rabbi noted.

Rabbi Vosner’s son, Rabbi Chaim Vosner, 78, was immediately appointed to succeed his father as the head of the Chochmei Lublin Yeshiva (Lublin Torah Academy) and as rabbinic leader in Bnei Brak.

May the Shevet HaLevi be a meylitz tov — a strong advocate in the Heavenly Court — for the People of Israel, and his memory be for a blessing.

Supreme Court: Hareidi Papers Can’t Be Forced to Advertise Hareidi Women’s Party

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Hareidi newspapers can’t be forced to publish elections ads for the first all-female Hareidi (ultra-Orthodox) party, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

A lower court had ruled that the Hareidi daily Yated Neeman was wrong in refusing to publish an ad for the female party U’Bezhutan.

The court found that Yated Neeman had unfairly discriminated against U’Bezhutan by refusing to publish its ad solely because the party’s members are women, while publishing ads for other Hareidi parties.

U’Bezhutan was formed in protest of the fact that existing Hareidi parties exclude women from their party lists.

Yated Neeman’s editors argued that their rabbinic leadership opposes the U’Bezhutan party, and that a paper cannot be forced to print any party’s ad. The courts would not force a newspaper written for the Arab public to run ads for a Jewish nationalist party, they argued.

The Supreme Court accepted their argument and overturned the previous ruling.

U’Bezhutan has faced considerable difficulty getting its message out. Hareidi communities in Israel tend to eschew television and the internet, preferring to get their news from hareidi daily papers – but those papers have refused to give publicity to the women’s party, even in the form of paid advertising.


Yeshiva U Threatens to Deny Ordination Over ‘Partnership Minyan’

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The rabbinical school of Yeshiva University is withholding the ordination of a student who held a partnership minyan for his wife in their home.

Rabbi Menachem Penner, acting dean of the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, or RIETS, sent a letter to the student ordering him not to participate in partnership minyans “nor create a public impression that he supports such activities in normative practice,” The New York Jewish Week reported Thursday.

The student, who is identified as Shalom in the letter dated Jan. 13, has chosen to remain anonymous.

The letter indicates that the student will not be a “musmach,” or graduate, of the seminary unless he is able to subscribe to the principles laid out therein, including to “defer, in matters of normative practice, to the opinions of recognized poskim,” or decisors of Jewish law.

In a partnership minyan, women lead many aspects of the Sabbath service and are called to the Torah but maintain Jewish law, such as a maintaining a separation between men and women but still allowing women to lead prayers or be called to the Torah aws well as read from it.

Most halachic sources prohibit the practice of partnership minyans, including Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a rosh yeshiva at RIETS.

The student told The Jewish Week that he is in discussions with seminary officials in an effort to resolve the standoff. The Chag HaSemikhah Convocation, during which the Yeshiva University rabbinical students receive their ordination, is set for March 23.

The student told the newspaper that he is unwelcome in his community’s Orthodox synagogue and has since held other services in his home.

Alternative Group Replaces Orthodox Society at Boston Funeral Home

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

A new non-denominational Jewish burial society has replaced an Orthodox one at a Boston-area Jewish funeral home.

Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, which launched this fall and is part of a growing movement of Jewish burial societies that include non-Orthodox volunteers, began performing tahara – the ritual preparation of bodies for burial – at Brezniak-Rodman Chapel in West Newton, Mass., last week.

Until this month, the Orthodox-run Chevrah Kadisha of Greater Boston, whose membership is by invitation only, had been the sole provider of tahara at Brezniak-Rodman and other area funeral homes.

After Brezniak-Rodman announced that it would provide space for the new group, which has more than 100 volunteers, Rabbi Naftali Horowitz, who is known as the Bostoner Rebbe, sent a letter stating that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston would continue operating there only “if we are the only one using the facilities.” Allowing a nondenominational group to use the funeral home’s facilities would “add great confusion regarding the standards which will be administered,” the letter said.

Last week, Brezniak-Rodman confirmed that the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston had stopped working with the funeral home.

David Brezniak, owner of Brezniak-Rodman, said of Horowitz, “I respect his decision, and he needs to respect mine. I thank him for whatever he’s done over the years, and that’s it.”

Officials from the Chevra Kadisha of Greater Boston, including Horowitz, did not respond to inquiries from JTA.

Brezniak said the new group employs the same standards in conducting tahara as the Orthodox one, and that he has been pleased so far with their work.

“The people doing this are very dedicated,” he said. “They’re not cutting any corners.”

British Rabbis Scold Orthodox Shul for Letting Women Hold Torah

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The British organization of orthodox communities has scolded a London orthodox synagogue for allowing women to hold and pass around a Torah scroll in the women’s section during prayers on Shabbat.

The incident has caused far less sensation than the more extreme and public campaign of the so-called Women of the Wall, a group of approximately 100 women who for years have campaigned to claim that “equality” means they can not only hold a Torah Scroll but also can read it at the Western Wall, adjacent to the Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, and in violation of the desires of most daily worshippers there.

Men, unlike women, have an obligation to pray in a minyan with at least nine other men and to hear the Torah scroll being read on Mondays, Thursday, holidays, Shabbat and holidays.

Women’s involvement in public prayer has become more pronounced in recent years, and orthodox Jewish “women’s only” minyans are not uncommon in the United States.

In almost all orthodox synagogues, the Torah scroll is taken out of the ark for reading and is carried through the men’s section, although women in many synagogues are able to touch it as it passes their sections.

The Golders Green United Synagogue has now allowed it to be handed over to a woman, who then passes it around the women’s section until it is returned for reading or to the ark.

Rabbis could raise the issue of Jewish law that perhaps a man cannot touch a Torah scroll that has been handled by a woman who is not ritually clean because of her menstrual period, but the overwhelming issue is the traditional separation of sexes and involvement in prayers as a matter of modesty. The fear is that once one traditional barrier is broken, all of the barriers will be battered down.

Professor Benny Chain, chairman of Golders Green United Synagogue, said, “People have said what an emotional experience it is and that they feel much more involved in the service,” the London Jewish Chronicle reported.

Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, condemned the practice as “Reform-influenced,” explaining that women handling the Torah and “breaches of this nature” come “from the influence of the Reform.”

The issue in the Diaspora usually arises during Simchat Torah, following the holiday of Sukkot. Women in American communities in Israel and others in the United States hold their own minyan for the holiday, read from the Torah scrolls and dance with them, as men have done for centuries.

The most outstanding aspect of the event of women holding a Torah scroll in the Golders Green synagogue is that is has not captured attention among the anti-Orthodox crowd and media elsewhere.

The New York Times took it on itself this year to sponsor the Women of the Wall campaign on its pages, inciting the American Jewish community to fury over the very idea of women not having the “right” to disturb centuries of tradition  at the Western Wall, all in the name of democracy and not Judaism.

Their claim that the Western Wall is a public place, and therefore open to all, holds not water. The Western Wall is a synagogue and is legally under the authority of the Western Wall Rabbi, misguided or not in not allowing women to hold their own minyan in other areas that would not disturb the public at large.

Unlike the Women of the Wall, the carrying of the Torah scroll by women in an orthodox synagogue is not a political campaign and is far more of a challenge to orthodox Jewry in the Diaspora. It raises a far more serious challenge to Orthodox rabbis throughout the world.

In Israel, where most Jews are “secular” but observe many Jewish laws and are generally respectful of tradition, “women’s rights” is of far less interest, The New York Times and the Women of the Wall notwithstanding.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/british-rabbis-scold-orthodox-shul-for-letting-women-hold-torah/2013/12/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: