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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Shlomo Aviner’

Kerry’s Dream and Abbas’ Nightmare Meet in Biblical Beit El

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

The Israeli government has announced a new step in plans to build 300 new homes in Beit El, in  northern Samaria, just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to convince Mahmoud Abbas to return to talks if Israel slaps a freeze on building for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

Reports from Israeli sources earlier this week stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has buckled under pressure from Kerry, and probably President Barack Obama, to freeze construction to bring Abbas back to the so-called negotiating table.

“Negotiations” in Arab Doublespeak means that Israel must accept Palestinian Authority territorial and political demands or they will be forced down its throat, either by the United Nations or by “resistance,” another Doublespeak word, which means terror.

No government  official has denied the reports of a “de facto” building freeze, and Prime Minister Netanyahu is conveniently in China.

Kerry hosted the government’s unofficial Minister for the Peace Process, Tzipi Livni, in Washington last week and continued discussions with her in Rome this week, where he said he will return to Israel in two weeks.

Journalists covering the State Department asked why he is returning after having been here last month, but the reports of the unofficial freeze provide the obvious answer.

But smack in the middle of Kerry’s Big Momentum – run as fast as you can with the ball so that everyone is too dazzled to see that the ball is a bomb – the government announced the next step for building 296 more homes in Beit El.

The town is not just another community in Samaria. More than 6.000 national religious Jews live there. Beit El is a symbol of the national religious movement in Judea and Samaria. A yeshiva bearing the town’s Biblical name has wide influence across the country. It is home to two of the most prominent national religious rabbis in Israel, Rabbi Zalman Melamed, head of Yeshiva Beit El, and Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, who is widely respected and consulted by many Jews who are not part of the “club.”

After the announcement of the preliminary approval of the homes, the Palestinian Authority immediately said everyone can forget about trying to dig up the bones of the peace process.

As with almost every announcement of building new homes, the one in Beit El refers only to one of several bureaucratic steps before the bulldozers can start digging, not less than a year from now.

Israel has been through this time after time, the most famous incident being the announcement of another bureaucratic stage having been completed for building homes in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

The news broke just as Vice President Joe Biden was landing in Israel, causing high tension between Jerusalem and Washington for a long time.

Coincidental or not with Kerry’s dream for resumed direct talks between Netanyahu and Abbas, the Beit El housing project proves that Israel is trying to “sabotage” Kerry’s efforts, according to senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat.

“We condemn this new decision which is proof that the Israeli government wants to sabotage and ruin the US administration’s efforts to revive the peace process,” he said. “This is a message to the American administration and a blow to the peace process. This aims to drag the region into violence instead of peace and stability.”

Violence.

Erekat did not even have the diplomacy to say “resistance.”

It is out-and-out violence, and obviously Kerry would blame Israel if the Arabs kill more Jews. Otherwise he would have to go back on his statement earlier this year that the proof that Abbas is such a great peace partner can be found in the fact that not even one Jew was murdered by Palestinian Authority terrorists in 2012.

What about 2011? Well, that is history. Let’s look at the present and not the past and talk peace.

And what about the present the year 2013? Uh, yeah, well, sure, a Palestinian Authority terrorist stabbed to death a father of five, but that was an isolated incident, and after all, the murderer was not a member of a known terrorist gang.

Kerry does not have to defend himself. He has Livni to do that for him. Both of them desperately need a peace agreement, Kerry because he wants to be president and Livni because she needs something to justify her being politically alive. The latest polls shows that her party would win zero seats in if elections were held today.

B’nei Akiva Conference Shuns Members Participation in Reality TV

Friday, March 29th, 2013

One of the most pressing issues on the agenda of the National Conference of Bnei Akiva, the largest Religious Zionist movement, which took place during Passover in Gush Etzion, Judea, was: Should the participation of the youth movement’s members and graduates in reality TV shows be encouraged, Ma’ariv reported.

Movement alumni Ofir Ben Shitrit and Rudy Beinsin Weiss participated in Israel’s version of “The Voice,” Akiva and Ana’el Shmueli did the “Race for the Million,” and Elinor Rachamim took part in “Master Chef.” As Israel’s National Religious communities—unlike the Haredim—are open to the influences of the secular culture, more and more of them, both current members of the Bnei Akiva youth movement, and its alumni (who’ve just proven themselves as the most influential voting block in Israel) find their way to the TV screens as contestants in local reality shows.

Following a stormy discussion, the conference members voted on the issue and formulated the following statement: “The movement calls on its members to not participate in reality shows that do not befit the movement’s spirit.”

Some in B’nei Akiva noted that the statement lacks specific indications regarding what does and doesn’t “befit” the movement’s spirit, and so it “leaves the door open,” as one member put it, because “nobody really knows which shows do and which don’t complement the movement’s spirit.”

Among the reasons cited against reality TV shows were personal overexposure and egotism. Interestingly, no one at the debate was concerned with women appearing in public, women’s singing or the kashrut of the food, which would have the top concerns for Haredim. “The assumption was that those issues were already properly within the halachic guidelines,” one moderator explained.

Shlomi Shitrit, from the town of Rechovot, was against participation in reality TB shows. “The reality shows are inherently ‘pasul’ (disallowed),” he argued. “The culture of predatory competition is against Jewish principles.”

Adi Reich, from Givat Shmuel, held the opposite view: “I think that through the reality shows we can influence the country, disseminate our values.”

National Conference of Bnei Akiva is held every four years, and is defined as the superior body of the movement, as each platform decision must be carried out by the Secretary General and the movement activists.

“The movement members spoke out clearly in disgust with the negative aspects of the culture,” said Bnei Akiva Secretary General Danny Hirschberg. “We should encourage the creation of a positive culture in line with the values of the Bnei Akiva movement, in clear understanding of the spirit of the movement by which we educate.”

B’nei Akiva alumni include most of the Habayit Hayehudi MKs, but also MK Rabbi Shai Piron of the Yesh Atid (Lapid) party, Israel’s newest Education Minister, MK Aliza Lavi, also of Yesh Atid, and several Likud MKs.

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the “Ateret Cohanim” institutions, who is associated with the National Religious movement, suggested last year that religious people participating in reality shows commit an offense against the laws of modesty and the general moral values of Jewish life. According to Kippa, Rabbi Aviner said to his disciples these shows are debasing, and that “it’s not the kind of practice that belongs with grownup people”

National Religious Rabbis Support Outsider for Chief Rabbi

Monday, December 17th, 2012

In the past, Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar rabbinic organization and rabbi of the town of Shoham, has announced a number of times that he was considering throwing his hat in the ring, so to speak, for the position of Israel’s chief rabbi. recently, according to the Srugim website, Rabbi Stav has received support from senior National religious rabbis who pointed out that his Torah knowledge, personality and achievements, have led them to recommend him for this high post.

Back in 2010, in an interview he gave Maariv, Rabbi Stav was asked if the very existence of his organization, Tzohar, which is attempting to make up for the perceived failures of the chief rabbinate in communication with the secular Jews in Israel who require its services, might not be an indictment of a bankrupted chief rabbinate.

Choosing his words carefully, Rabbi Stav said that, ideally, Tzohar should have been invented by the Rabbinate, to improve its contact with and influence over the Israeli public at large.

“Sadly,” Stav said, “some elements are viewing us with a jaundiced eye and so they create a dispute between Tzohar and the chief rabbinate. We try our very best to avoid a division. We want there to be a chief rabbinate, but we must remember that the Haredim have no interest in the chief rabbinate, and neither do the secular. The only ones who are interested in it are the national religious, who are able to serve as a bridge between the secular and the religious.”

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, dean of the Ateret Kohanim yeshiva and the rabbi of the town of beit El has written: “Based on my many years’ acquaintance with Rabbi Stav Shlita, I support his candidacy for Chief Rabbi of Israel.”

In his letter, Rabbi Aviner notes that that Rabbi Stav is “a true scholar and a Torah giant,” and “has proven himself in great action on behalf of Torah and the nation.”

In conclusion, Rabbi Aviner writes that “Rabbi Stav understands the temperament of every person, National Religious or Haredi, secular and traditional, which is a dire need regarding the great vision of the chief rabbinate, that it belong to the entire nation.”

Rabbi Aharon Lichtenshtein, dean of the Har Etzion yeshiva, quotes Maimonides’ laws of the Sanhedrin which determine the prerequisite qualities of a member of the high court, from which Lichtenshtein deduces a fortiori that the task of finding a scholar befitting the role of chief rabbi is very difficult.

Rabbi Lichtenshtein concludes: “I view Rabbi Stav – out a deep and diverse personal acquaintance, as well as having worked together in several areas and on behalf of several communities – as most qualified to meet successfully the demands of this high office to the benefit of the public as a whole.”

Dean of Itamar yeshiva and former chief rabbi of the IDF Rabbi Avi Ronsky wrote: “I recommend Rabbi David Stav Shlita to the position of Israel’s chief rabbi. To begin with, Rabbi David is a scholar, an ordained rabbi and judge, serving as the rabbi of the town of Shoham and head of the Tzohar organization, known for its many good works among Israel’s multitudes to bring them closer to the Torah of Israel.

“I am certain that, with God’s help, Rabbi David with his pleasant demeanor will be able to forge anew reality in our nation, of respect and affection for Torah, and consequently a desire to know and keep it.”

An official at Tzohar said that these letters are but the tip of an iceberg in terms of the broad support Rabbi has been receiving from the entire spectrum of Israeli society: “We’ve been getting enormous support from religious Zionist rabbis, Haredi rabbis, top business people, and from the leaders of the Zionist parties who understand that the coming vote for the chief rabbinate is critical to the continuity of Jewish identity in the state of Israel, and if the chief rabbinate does not become the rabbinate of all of israel, including secular, traditional and religious, we’ll see the creation of two separate tribes who won’t share a common identity and culture.”

The election of the next chief rabbis will take place after the 19th Knesset is convened.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/national-religious-rabbis-support-outsider-for-chief-rabbi/2012/12/17/

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