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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘prayer’

First Jordan, Now Egypt’s Turn to Butt-in on Temple Mount

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

After Jordan butting-in on the matter of the Temple Mount (see here and here), it’s Egypt’s turn.

This week, the Egyptian Ambassador to Palestine Yasser Othman paid an inspection visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque,

during which he was briefed on the recent Israeli practices against the mosque, especially the escalation of daily incursions into him, and repressive measures against the worshipers and terraces of science students and insulting the Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Hussein by his arrest.

Among those conferring with him were the Mufti of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Shaykh Muhammad Hussein, Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab Chairman of the Islamic Waqf, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, a member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah, and Joseph Mukhaimar, Abdullah Siam deputy governor of Jerusalem and Amer Abu Sham.

Ambassador Osman said that:

Egypt has stood and stands all the time with the legitimate national rights of the brotherly Palestinian people, and his today come commissioned by the Egyptian leadership, to emphasize on this matter and to send a message rejection of the unilateral measures taken by the Israeli side…the position of Al-Azhar also was clear about the encroachment of Israeli-Aqsa Mosque, and that Al-Azhar also has warned of sharing temporal and spatial Al-Aqsa Mosque, warning of growing extremism in the Israeli side, according to what was produced by the recent Israeli elections…noting that the Israeli actions last in the Al-Aqsa Mosque was unprecedented and violent against worshipers and students terraces science.The Mufti warned the Israeli government of the consequences of doing these procedures legislation, which aims to initiate the application sharing time at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as a prelude to the split, and perhaps unlock racist extremist ideas which demands remove it.

To remind you: Egypt is run by the Muslim Brotherhood, partners with Hamas.

Visit My Right Word.

‘Jesus Prayers’ in Legislature Upset Florida’s Jewish Delegates

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Jewish legislators in Florida are seeking an end to prayers that often open the daily legislative session with references to Jesus Christ. They want prayers to be “all-inclusive.”

Rep. Jim Waldman told House Speaker Will Weatherford on Friday the “J.C” moment offends them, but Weatherford’s initial reply was that every cleric, whether Jewish, Christian or other, can pray as he wish. Nevertheless, he will consider the request.

A one-page guide to all clerics suggests that they refrain from “preaching or testifying” and that she should “be especially sensitive to expressions that may be unsuitable to members of some faiths.”

Statements about the “father, son and holy spirit” are too much for Waldman, who said that Jewish colleague Rep. Kevin Rader usually enters the legislature only after the prayer is completed in order to avoid a “JC moment.”

“It’s just not non-denominational. I don’t care that it’s optional. That shouldn’t be the limit test. It should be inclusive. And it’s not inclusive,” he told the Palm Beach Post.

The issue has come up before in the Florida legislature, most blatantly in 1997 when an evangelist took the opportunity in his benediction to attack divorce and abortion and cite Jesus as “the true God, the only God.”

Rep. Waldman said, “This year more so than others, every time the prayer comes up, it’s in Jesus’ name. This is my seventh year talking about it, and it’s getting to be too much. It would be nice to have an inclusive prayer.”

Christian News quoted the Speaker as saying, “Every member, Republican and Democrat, has an opportunity to pick a person to come on their behalf. We had a rabbi last week who didn’t pray in Jesus’ name. …We don’t choose the prayers for them…. I hear your concern but I can’t tell someone how to pray.”

Waldman disagrees and says clerics can be told how to pray. “It’s supposed to be non-denominational. I mean, that’s the law actually, it’s supposed to be non-denominational, not proselytizing, and it’s just not been….For Jewish members, it’s an insult.”

One possible way of settling the issue might be for a rabbi to open a legislative session by blowing the shofar. It would be interesting to see how many Christians would stand solemn with their heads bowed during 30 blasts of the shofar, ending with a long “Tekiah Gedolah.”

Is there a Muslim in the crowd?

MK to Visit Temple Mount to Find Out Why Jews Barred from Praying

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Likud Knesset Member Miri Regev announced Wednesday she will visit the Temple Mount to try to understand the problem with Jews praying at the holy site. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf officially controls the Temple Mount, a power granted to it by the Israeli government shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967.

MK Regev, who chairs the Knesset Interior and Environment Committee in the new government, said, “I don’t understand why a Jew is not allowed to pray in his most sacred place.”

After MK Regev’s announcement, Meretz MK Michal Rozin said the idea of a Knesset Member ascending the holy site is “a perverse attempt and cynical use of religion and political measures.”

She said that an appearance by Regev at the Temple Mount with the intention of clearing the way for Jews to pray there would incite Muslims.

The Waqf forbids Jews from praying on the Temple Mount or even carrying with them a prayer book, religious articles or acting as if they are praying.

The Chief Rabbinate has ruled that Jews are not allowed to ascend the Temple Mount because it still is holy despite the destruction of the First and Second Temples and that no rituals can be performed because it is impossible to be ritually pure today according to guidelines set out in the Torah.

Many national religious rabbis permit ascending to certain areas of the Temple Mount.

The Sharansky Option

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Natan Sharansky has come up with a plan that he feels is a workable compromise between Charedim and heterodox movements. It will enable people to attend egalitarian prayer services (where men and women have equal stature in all ritual aspects of a Minyan) at the Kotel (the Western Wall), Israel’s holiest accessible site. I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu supports it.

There has been a lot of controversy at the Kotel in recent times where some women have tried to buck traditional practices at the Kotel by holding unusual services there. The Women of the Wall (WoW) have tried to have a monthly women’s prayer service there that includes such traditional male modalities as wearing a talit, and reading the Torah.

This has disturbed the Haredi world since it is such a wide departure from tradition – which has always dictated practices at the Kotel. They complained to the government. The government responded with new rules about a woman wearing a talit that has resulted in multiple arrests every Rosh Hodesh (new month of the Jewish calendar) when WOW tires to hold its services at the main plaza. It happened again a few days ago.

I have in the past argued against this group because I felt that they were more about demanding women’s religious rights than they were about serving God in ways they choose to do so. There was no rule against their having any type of service they choose at a different location along the Kotel called “Robinson’s Arch.” But they have chosen to do their service at the main Kotel Plaza and thereby upset the traditional worshipers there who feel that at best they are a distraction.

That these women are sincere in their devotion to God is somewhat undermined by their insistence that they use an area used by traditionalists who have always done their prayer services quietly and individually without drawing any attention to themselves.

The argument by WoW and their supporters is that people should have the right to pray anywhere they choose along the main Kotel Plaza and they insist on doing so to make a point of that.

I have come around to the view that these women should be left alone. As long as they are not disruptive – who cares if they are wearing a talit… or reading from the Torah?! At the same time if conflict can be avoided – it should be. If WoW could be given a place that is both free and similar in size to the main Kotel Plaza, I think they should take it and avoid any future conflict.

Sharansky’s proposal addresses another women’s issue – egalitarian minyan. This is not WoW. There are no men in their group. Technically I suppose there are no Halachic issues with WoW – other than breaking traditional non-Halachic taboos.

But feminism has given rise to egalitarianism in heterodox movements. In order to preserve the peace and accommodate both Haredim and those who seek egalitarian minyanim – he has proposed that Robinson’s Arch (which is out of view from the main Kotel plaza) be expanded so that its space equal that of the main Kotel Plaza… and that there be free access to it in the future. This would in essence be the actual realization of separate but equal rights for heterodox movements.

Just to be clear about mixed setting for prayer at the Kotel… I don’t think this is an issue. The only place where there is a requirement to separate the sexes via a mechitza (partition) is where there is Kedushat Beit HaKnesset. That means that only in a synagogue does a woman’s presence interfere with the minyan. Outside of a synagogue, women may be present… as is the case at weddings or banquets in hotels where there are ad hoc minyanim for Mincha and Maariv all the time. Women are present and in view of the men. They are not separated by any partition.

The question about whether the Kotel serves as a Shul has been answered by history. Archival photos show that in pre-state days going back to the 19th century – men and women were not separated when they came to pray at the Kotel. I do not therefore believe that the Kotel area can be classified as having Kedushat Beit HaKnesset.

Western Wall Rabbi ‘Can Live’ with Non-Orthodox Kotel Site

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The rabbi of the Western Wall said he “can live with” a plan presented by Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky for a permanent prayer section at the Western Wall where women can organize minyans, even one for men and women together.

Sharansky briefed Rabbi of the Western Wall and the Holy Sites of Israel Shmuel Rabinowitz on the plan before he left Israel to present the plan to Jewish leaders in New York on Tuesday.

“This re-division of the plaza does not match my worldview, as I believe that there should be one site of prayer according to the place’s customs, but we can live with this solution,” Rabinowitz told the Israeli daily Yediot Acharonot Wednesday.

The proposal, reported here yesterday, would turn an archaeological site adjacent to the main Western Wall plaza into a permanent place of what proponents call “egalitarian” worship.

A women’s minyan now already has been allowed under a Supreme Court ruling that sets certain times, such as Rosh Chodesh, for the women, who can pray on the women’s side of the main section of the Western Wall whenever they want as individuals.

Under the proposal, the plaza would be expanded to encompass the additional prayer space, which is at the southern part of the Western Wall.

Sharansky to Suggest Women’s Kotel Prayers Away from Main Plaza

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky is preparing to suggest that women pray whenever they want, complete with prayer shawls and a Torah scroll, at the southern edge of the Western Wall, known as Robinson’s Arch.

The proposal was reported by the Forward, and afterwards the Jewish Agency released a fudgy statement that “Sharansky will present his recommendations to Prime Minister Netanyahu upon the chairman’s return to Israel from his visit to college campuses in the United States.”

“One Western Wall for one Jewish people,” Sharansky said, adding that he hopes his recommendations will allow “the Kotel will once again be a symbol of unity among the Jewish people, and not one of discord and strife.”

“Strife” is a police war. “Hatred,” ”jealousy” and “stiff-necked” are closer to the truth.

The Women of the Wall argue that the Haredi rabbis in charge of the Western Wall are insensitive to their needs and treat them as second-class citizens.

Although many if not most Orthodox rabbis in the United States have no problem with a women’s prayer minyan, the Chief Rabbinate as well as  and many non-Haredi Orthodox rabbis in Israeli have a problem with it, based on their application of Jewish law.

They charge that a women’s prayer minyan, complete with their own Torah reading, would offend their religious sensitivities.

An unstated but obviously huge difference is that there is no place for prayer in the Diaspora that has the holiness like the Western Wall, and there is no public area for prayer that is attended by both women and men.

The conflict will probably hit the headlines again Wednesday and Thursday, the two days that are the beginning of the Hebrew month of Iyar. The High Court has allowed the Women of the Wall to hold their own minyan at Robinson’s Arch, but the women demand they be allowed to pray at the more widely attended portion of the Western Wall.

Every Rosh Chodesh, they try to break the ban at the Western Wall and frequently are arrested. Pictures in  American media of a policeman struggling with a woman holding a Torah scroll have helped rip to the seams the fragile relationship between the Diaspora and Israel.

Sharansky has come up with a compromise that would give the women half of what they want and would spare the Western Wall rabbi and Haredi worshippers from having to pray at the Kotel while knowing a women’s minyan is taking place next to them, despite a partition, and being exposed to hearing women’s singing, which they consider a violation of Jewish law.

Anat Hoffman, leader of the WOW movement, previously has rejected what she calls a “separate but equal” solution.

Her position has been that having the right to pray in a separate minyan is only part of an overall goal, in her words, “to dismantle the Western Wall Heritage Foundation,” the Haredi Orthodox entity that oversees the Western Wall.”

After Sharansky’s proposal went public, she backed off and said she welcomes the compromise.

The idea is “very ambitious,” Hoffman said. ”You don’t always have to be right; you have to be smart — and compromise is a sign of maturity and understanding what’s at stake here.”

Neither side can get it wants without grossly offending the other, but the Haredi community cannot be expected to accept her agreement without suspicion.  If WOW want to pray as they wish, there is nothing to stop them from claiming they have the right to pray together with their husbands or male friends in a mixed minyan, which is totally prohibited in all Orthodox circles and would offend Orthodox worshippers.

But Hoffman appears to be smart enough to accept the Sharansky solution, putting the Western Wall rabbi in a position that he might as well agree gracefully rather than pitting himself against the entire political establishment outside of Haredi circles.

If he does agree, there is a good chance that the power of prayer can exceed political power.

Feiglin Davens with Minyan on Temple Mount, Arabs Silent (Video)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

MK to be Moshe Feiglin, who made the number 14 spot on the Likud Knesset list, on Monday morning managed to surprise many yet again when he showed up on Temple Mount with a minyan and conducted a prayer service.

For years, Israeli governments, police and, naturally, the Arab Waqf, have been preventing Jews visiting Temple Mount, warning that such an attempt on the part of Jews to connect with their father in Heaven would surely start never-before-seen riots that would sweep the Middle east in rivers of blood.

Nevertheless, despite those apocalyptic warnings, there are no actual laws on the books explicitly prohibiting prayer – because that would be a blatant violation of several Geneva conventions and UN human rights declarations, to say the least. And so the prohibitions against Jews praying at the site of our forefathers’ Temple hide behind ordinances against disorderly conduct, with the cops on the spot empowered to interpret the rules as they see fit.

On Monday morning, as documented by the Channel 10 News camera, Feiglin davened with a minyan on Temple Mount and the world did not erupt in flames. Even the Muslims preferred to keep mum about it.

Feiglin’s statement regarding the event was posted on his Facebook page after his primary election a week ago: “This is just the beginning, until we arrive at building the Temple on top of Temple Mount, and accomplish our goals in this land.”

Looking forward to joining him next time!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/feiglin-davens-with-minyan-on-temple-mount-arabs-silent-video/2012/12/04/

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