web analytics
July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘orthodox’

Runaway ‘Punk Rocker’ Orthodox Mother Caught at LaGuardia

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

An Orthodox Jewish mother who became a punk rocker and disappeared last fall with her 3-year-old daughter, was detained on Thursday at LaGuardia Airport, following an extensive, international search, the NY Daily News reported.

Rochel Kreiman, 23, left her husband, Moshe Yitzchok, and fled England with the couple’s daughter. A UK judge ordered her to return the child.

According to the Daily News, Kreiman was staying with her uncle in upstate New York, but when she had been exposed there she fled to Canada. Then she raised a number of red flags when she used her passport to book five different flights out of Toronto.

“She was throwing decoy flights all over the place,” a source told the Daily News. “She never boarded any of them. It was like the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can.’”

JNi.Media

Analysis: New Pew Report Has Seen the Jewish American Future and It’s Orthodox

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

(JNi.media) The Pew Research Center has issued a further analysis of its 2013 survey of US Jews which, at the time, shattered some people’s long held beliefs about the Jewish community in America. The 2013 survey found that Orthodox Jews comprise 10% of the 5.3 million Jewish adults (ages 18 and older) in the US, but, as the new report puts is, “a survey is a snapshot in time that, by itself, cannot show growth in the size of a population.” What the new report is showing, based on the same findings, is that Orthodox Jews are likely “growing, both in absolute number and as a percentage of the US Jewish community.” In the race to dominate the Jewish community in America, the Orthodox are miles ahead of everyone else:

• The median age of Orthodox adults (40 years old) is better than a decade younger than the median age of other Jewish adults (52).

• More than two-thirds of Orthodox adults are married (69%), compared with less than half of other Jewish adults (49%).

• The Orthodox get married younger and bear at least twice as many children as other Jews (4.1 vs. 1.7 children ever born to adults ages 40-59).

• The Orthodox are more likely than other Jews to have large families: almost half (48%) of child bearing Orthodox Jews have four or more children—a mere 9% of other Jewish parents have this size families.

• Finally: practically all Orthodox Jewish parents (98%) say they raise their children Jewish, compared with 78% of other Jewish parents. Orthodox Jews are much more likely than other Jews to have attended a Jewish day school, yeshiva or Jewish summer camp while growing up, and they are more likely to send their children to the same programs.

That’s a strategy for domination. The numbers may not show it today, but one generation at these respective rates of growth could wipe the distance between the Orthodox and the other denominations.

And as competitions usually tend to go, as the Orthodox “threat” continues to loom, attacks on every aspect of the Orthodox, especially ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, will be forthcoming from a fast shrinking non-Orthodox community, as well as from unaffiliated Jews.

The Pew analysis itself already uses the kind of belligerent language US Orthodox Jews should expect from traditionally liberal to left-wing Jewish publications: “Indeed, in a few ways, Orthodox Jews more closely resemble white evangelical Protestants than they resemble other US Jews,” notes the new Pew report, carelessly blending the religious Jewish tradition with a tradition Jews consider repugnant for some of its “pagan” values.

The new Pew report states: “For example, similarly large majorities of Orthodox Jews (83%) and white evangelicals (86%) say that religion is very important in their lives, while only about one-fifth of other Jewish Americans (20%) say the same.” But the term “religion” means very different things to Orthodox Jews than to other communities: to Orthodox Jews, religion means adherence to a complex set of laws and a lifetime engagement in studying those laws as an intellectual pursuit for its own sake. Also, to many Orthodox Jews, their Jewishness is not so much a religion as a familial connection to their own ilk, to being a link in a historic chain, and to remaining socially isolated from non-Jews. To the evangelicals, “religion” might mean the reverse of that: a literal adherence to biblical law, rather than an interpretive approach; and spreading and expanding their faith among as many strangers as they can. Both communities practice “religion” the same way both gazelles and lions practice running–for very different reasons.

JNi.Media

Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’

Friday, November 28th, 2014

American rabbinical students from the Conservative movement studying in Israel were prevented from holding afternoon prayers with men and women together in the Knesset synagogue, JTA reported.

Haaretz reported that the decision was handed down by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and the students were offered alternative place to pray. Reform and Reconstructionist students also were in the group at the Knesset, where the synagogue is designated as Orthodox.

“A lot of the students were very upset and shocked,” said Rabbi Joel Levy, director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who submitted the request on behalf of the students, told Haaretz. “You’d think that the Knesset would be a place of ingathering of the Jewish people, but actually we learned that it has boundaries that don’t include liberal Jews. Paradoxically, this decision served as an appropriate end to our conversation about religion and state in Israel.”

(One wonders if they are equally as upset and shocked that no Jews are allowed to pray on Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.)

So here we go again. The Knesset implicitly a place that is not for the “ingathering of the Jewish people” because the synagogue is Orthodox.

Not only that, but “liberal Jews” are not allowed.

The minute they throw around the term “egalitarian prayers,” Orthodoxy has three strikes against it.

Once Judaism is defined by secular values, it becomes a monopoly of the liberals, who are tolerant of everyone who accepts them and then close the doors on anyone who challenges their power.

Power is what the argument is all about. It is the same issue that is behind the Women of the Wall movement, which gathered hundreds of thousands of supporters in the United States but which in practice cannot come up with more than a few dozen people –perhaps 100 on a sunny day – to demonstrate,  whoops – pray,  at the Western Wall once a month.

So here comes the Masoriti movement to the Knesset, where it wants their students to have a real spiritual experience and pray – men and women together – in the legislature’s synagogue.

When the Orthodox Jews set the rules, it is called a monopoly.

When the “liberals” set the rules, it is called democracy.

It would be interesting to know if the students at the Knesset have an afternoon prayer service every day, or is it only when they visit the Knesset?

And if they do, why cannot they respect the sanctity of the lace where there is a minyan of Jews every day, three times a day, instead of grabbing headlines for their “egalitarian” agenda that they think is “modern” and superior?

Okay. We gave them their headlines, just like we did with the Women of the Wall.

I wish the students an enjoyable visit in Israel but ask, “Why is it that Orthodox Jews make up such large numbers of those who move to Israel?”

Do the Reform and Conservative Jews visit Israel and go “home” because there is no mixed seating in the Knesset synagogue?

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Swiss Jew Wounded in Hate Crime

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

An Orthodox Jew from Belgium was lightly wounded in an assault in Switzerland, which witnesses called an anti-Semitic attack.

The victim of the Monday evening assault in the Davos area is a 26-year-old tourist from Antwerp, according to a report published Wednesday in the online edition of the Swiss Jewish weekly Tachles.

The victim, identified as A. Wachsstock, was walking toward his car, where his wife and four children were waiting for him, when a man in his 60s began hitting him and shouting anti-Semitic profanities, including “Juden raus,” or “Jews, get out” in German.

Wachsstock entered his car with lacerations on his right hand from the assault and drove away, Tachles reported. The man’s family witnessed the assault.

Wachsstock complained to police about the assault but no suspects are in custody.

In 2011, a man in his 20s seriously wounded a French Jew in the parking lot of Geneva’s Natural History Museum while the victim was putting a baby carriage in the trunk of his car. He was stabbed four times in view of his family.

The man suspected of the attack was declared last year unfit to stand trial for mental reasons.

JTA

Rivka Haut, Women of the Wall Co-Founder and Agunot Advocate, Dies

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Rivka Haut, a foremost advocate for agunot, Orthodox women who have been refused a religious divorce and also a founder of the Women of the Wall founder was buried this week after she succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 71.

At the Women of the Wall prayer service on Tuesday, the worshipers recited Kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, in memory of Haut.

She led a group of women in a prayer service with a Torah scroll at the Western Wall 26 years ago and later helped found Women of the Wall, which continues to hold a monthly morning prayer service at the Kotel.

Haut also was a founder of the Women’s Tefillah Network.

She was the co-author of four books, “Daughters of the King: Women and the Synagogue,” with Rabbi Susan Grossman; “Women of the Wall: Claiming Sacred Ground at Judaism’s Holy Site,” with Phyllis Chesler; “Shaarei Simcha: Gates of Joy,” with Adena Berkowitz; and a forthcoming book about agunot with Susan Aranoff.

Berkowitz in a Facebook post wrote of an encounter she had leaving Haut’s funeral, “I was stopped by an older woman with a sheitel. … With an ache in her voice and soul she said to me, ‘Who will now be there for all the agunot? Rivka is irreplaceable.’”

Haut had master’s degrees in English literature from Brooklyn College and in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary.

JTA

Saying Yes (And No) to Limmud

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Limmud NY, a large gathering of a wide variety of Jews for studying Torah and Jewish topics, will take place next weekend and while there must be an Orthodox presence, there also needs to be an Orthodox refusal to attend.

Recently, British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis made news by attending a Limmud conference in England late last year. While it is widely understood (although unconfirmed) that attendance was an unofficial precondition for the office of chief rabbi, thereby guaranteeing that whoever was appointed would attend, the appearance of so important an Orthodox figure at Limmud generated controversy. Rightly so; his appearance was important and so was the controversy.

I see three main issues with attending Limmud. The first is the legitimacy given to the non-Orthodox teachers. Personally, I would be honored to speak at an event where the chief rabbi is speaking. My name appearing on the same list as his would mean – to me and to the world – that I had made it to the big leagues; that while I may not have his title, his scholarship or his talents, I am still at least within shouting distance of one of the most important rabbis in the world.

In reality, I am not in that league and have not appeared with him. But, speaking personally, doing so would give me great honor.

I do not believe the chief rabbi, or any important Orthodox figure, should be granting that honor to someone who does not share our core beliefs about Torah, regardless of denominational affiliation (affiliation is much less important than beliefs and practice). A non-believer, or for that matter an unrepentant sinner, should not be raised on an Orthodox pedestal (see Aruch Ha-Shulchan, Yoreh De’ah 243:4). The chief rabbi represents the Torah. His honor is the Torah’s and the people whom he honors are the people whom the Torah honors.

(I recognize I am unfairly picking on the chief rabbi. Please keep reading to see a fuller picture.)

Additionally, if Orthodox rabbis widely embrace Limmud, the Orthodox laity will follow in large numbers. Of course, some will come regardless. But when the Orthodox leadership encourages attendance – whether explicitly or implicitly – many more will come.

The nature of Limmud is that teachers (speakers, presenters, I’m not sure what term they use) represent a broad spectrum of Judaism. Many, currently most, base their teachings on beliefs that Orthodox Jews consider heresy. They will speak about the human authors of the Torah, the bias of the Sages, the immorality of halacha and choosing whether to follow even basic biblical laws. Some will do this directly and some only in passing. Even the most sensitive and sincere teachers will often incorporate their non-Orthodox attitudes within their teachings. The most innocuous subject may include subversive theological ideas, often unintentionally (see Rema, Yoreh De’ah 153:1Chelkas Mechokek, Even Ha-Ezer 22:6).

If the Orthodox leadership permits attendance at Limmud, it will effectively be permitting Orthodox Jews to study Judaism under non-Orthodox teachers. It will be encouraging the spread of heresy among the faithful. Of course, many Orthodox Jews will be able to intellectually deflect these foreign assumptions and beliefs, perhaps even growing stronger from the challenge. But ideas have wings; they excite and inspire. This is especially true when the intellectual match is uneven, when the non-Orthodox best and brightest are teaching the Orthodox not-so-best and not-so-brightest. There is a risk, a very real risk, that some Orthodox Jews will become enchanted by the passionate spokespeople of non-Orthodox Judaism.

I am not saying that non-Orthodox scholars have nothing to teach us. Quite the opposite. They offer a fresh perspective that will take us out of our comfort zones and force us to look anew at well-worn texts. It is precisely because they have much to teach us that we have to be very careful about the unconscious and insidious de-sanctification of sacred texts.

Rabbi Gil Student

Pew Survey Indicates Orthodox Growth, Non-Orthodox Decline

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The rate at which America’s Orthodox Jewish population is growing — and the non-Orthodox population is shrinking — is more dramatic than previously thought, according to Pew Research Center survey data.

In a finding first reported Tuesday in the Forward, Steven M. Cohen, a Jewish sociologist, parsed the data from the center’s recent survey of American Jews to show that 27 percent of Jews younger than 18 live in Orthodox households, a sizable increase from Jews aged 18-29, where only 11 percent are Orthodox.

Previously published Pew data did not indicate the proportion of Jewish children in Orthodox homes, the Forward reported, and instead suggested that growth among the Orthodox was tempered by high dropout rates.

For every 100 Orthodox Jewish 50-year-olds, there are 230 Orthodox 10-year-olds, Cohen told JTA. Meanwhile, for every 100 non-Orthodox 50-year-olds, there are 70 non-Orthodox 10-year-olds.

“The Orthodox are moving in one direction and the non-Orthodox in the other direction,” he said, adding that the shift is “equally a function of birth rate and intermarriage.”

Orthodox Jews have far more children on average and intermarry at much lower rates than non-Orthodox Jews.

“We knew from [New York’s Jewish community study in 2012] that the Orthodox were increasing, and I’d been predicting a population decline for the non-Orthodox, but we just had never seen direct evidence of it,” Cohen said. “This is powerful.”

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pew-survey-indicates-orthodox-growth-non-orthodox-decline/2013/11/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: