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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’

‘Open Orthodox’ Rabbi Alters Shabbat Prayer for the President to Omit Trump

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Shmuly Yanklowitz, an Open Orthodox rabbi and author, listed by The Daily Beast as one of the 50 most influential rabbis in America, posted on his Facebook page that “starting this week, I can no longer recite or say amen to the Shabbat prayer for the success of the US President.”

The prayer for the well-being of the gentile ruler (His Highness the Kaiser, His Highness the Czar), and in Israel the prayer for the state and its president and ministers, is inserted in most Orthodox Jewish services after the reading from the Torah and before the prayer of Mussaf.

The common text in today’s sidurim (prayer books) goes:

“He who gives salvation unto Kings, and dominion unto princes, He who delivered his servant David from the sword of the Enemy, He that made a way in the Sea, and a path in the strong waters, may He bless and keep, preserve and rescue, exalt and magnify, and lift up higher and higher, our Ruler [insert here: the Pope, Emperor, Kaiser, Czar, King, Duke, President, or any other potentate under whom the Jews are living]. The King of kings defend him in his mercy, making him joyful, and free him from all dangers and distress. The King of kings, for his goodness sake, raise up and exalt his planetary star, and multiply his days over his Kingdom. The King of kings for his mercy’s sake, put into his heart, and into the heart of his counselors, and those that attend and administer to him, that he may shew mercy unto us, and unto all the people of Israel.”

It should be noted that these prayers, which first appeared in the early 14th century, have been served up for some awful rulers, including openly anti-Semitic Spanish kings, Russian Czars, German Kaisers, and even, as documented in Makor Rishon recently, in many German synagogues, for Kanzler Adolf Hitler – at least until 1938.

Is the good Open-Orthodox rabbi suggesting President Trump is worse than, say, Czar Nicholas I, creator of the pale of settlement (never mind AH)?

Yanklowitz, who, clearly, misunderstands the purpose of the prayer of “He who gives salvation to kings,” wrote this week that he had “drafted a new prayer that I will plan to recite each Shabbat morning. If you also feel it’s important to pray for the US government but also feel you cannot pray for the success of this President.”

He noted that he “felt that it was not enough to simply avoid the US President in the prayer for the government but to remind myself of the billions of vulnerable people who are at risk under his rule, and challenge myself each Shabbat to build up the strength for another week of spiritual resistance.”

Yanklowitz’s alternative prayer is lengthy and self-righteous and pompous, just as you would have expected. Read it here and enjoy, if you’re curious. It’s got a lot to say about protecting citizens fortifying the bonds between liberty and justice, and fair treatment under the law, and expanding welfare.

So we searched the text of this socially conscious, alternative prayer, and discovered it has no mention of three words: “Jews,” “Jewish,” and “Israel.”

Nuff said.

David Israel

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson Street

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Israeli Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri revealed a new street sign during the opening ceremony for a new street in Kfar Chabad on January 10, 2017, named after Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

It’s called “HaRabbi Milubavitch Street”.

Menachem Mendel Schneerson Street

Photo of the Day

‘Don’t Put Her Back in the Cage’ – Supreme Court Enjoins Rabbi from Voiding an Aguna’s Divorce

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Supreme Court Vice President Elyakim Rubinstein on Wednesday issued a harsh criticism of the intent of the Supreme Rabbinic Court to reconsider a ruling of the regional rabbinic court in Tzfat granting via an exceptional procedure a get-divorce decree to a woman whose husband had been in a coma for nine years, Walla reported.

The Tzfat rabbinic court employed an exceptional process known as “zikuy get” (awarding a divorce) to circumvent the halakhic requirement that a get be given with the explicit consent of both husband and wife. In this process, the court appoints itself the emissary of the husband who is unaware of his environment. The court acted with the full consent of the husband’s family.

“I don’t like this picture,” Justice Rubinstein said during a Supreme Court debate of an appeal against the Supreme Rabbinic Court’s intent to reconsider the get. The justice added: “What if the petitioner were to remarry in the meantime and had children, everything would reopen?”

On Tuesday, the women petitioning the Supreme Court said: “Almost three years ago, I was given my life back, and all of a sudden a man who doesn’t even know me is demanding to take me all the way back, to be an Aguna again.” She said she felt this was “completely unjust.”

Rubinstein also noted that the petitioner against the get is a third-party without personal connection to the case, saying, “This petition is inappropriate. The petitioner is getting involved in someone else’s fight.”

However, attorney Raphael Schtube, representing the petitioner at the Supreme Rabbinic Court, argued that he, in effect, represents the husband who is in a coma. “The real petitioner here is the husband,” argued the attorney.”

The Supreme Court finally issued an injunction against the rabbinic court, enjoining it from taking up the matter for 21 days, until the Supreme Court rules on the woman’s petition to block the process of withdrawing her get.

Dozens of women demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem in support of the woman, carrying signs saying: “You can’t put a woman back in the cage.”

The Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has said on several occasions that he favors annulling the get, and supported the petitioner despite his lack of personal connection to the case.

David Israel

Some Improvement in Rabbi Steinman’s Condition

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The leader of the Haredi-Lithuanian faction in Israel, Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman, 103, has improved slightly overnight, after being hospitalized Sunday evening with general listlessness and a possible pneumonia, according to Kikar Hashabbat. He has been taking antibiotics starting last week, but the doctors at Mayanay Hayeshua hospital in Bnei Brak, following extensive tests Sunday, decided to hospitalize him.

Rabbi Steinman was apparently well enough Monday morning to pray the morning prayer at the crack of dawn in his hospital room.

The hospital’s medical director Professor Motti Ravid told Kikar Hashabbat that Rabbi Steinman’s improvement is “significant,” adding the “The Rav is already sitting up in an armchair in his room.”

Following the death of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv in 2012, Rabbi Steinman is widely regarded as the Gadol Hador (leader of the generation) of the non-Hasidic Lithuanian world.

Rabbi Shteinman is known for his modest lifestyle. His apartment is furnished sparsely and has not been painted in many years. Until 2014, he slept on the same thin mattress he had received from the Jewish Agency when he made aliyah in the early 1950s.

David Israel

The Tamar Yonah Show – DEATH and REINCARNATION in Jewish Sources [audio]

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
You’re born.
You die.
You come back?

The concept of RE-INCARNATION according to Jewish sources. Learn the Inner meaning and secrets, as well as how it pertains to our deepest selves – OUR OWN SOULS.
Why is reincarnation necessary? Can a person remember who they were in a past life? How does reincarnation affect your current life?

Twelve years ago, Rabbi Pinchas Winston founded and created www.Thirtysix.org . It was to act as a means to share the depth and beauty of Judaism, especially from Torah sources to which many around the world have little or no access.
It is ancient,yet timeless wisdom, and crucial for living a productive and meaningful life.

Rabbi Pinchas Winston has written several books on spirituality, kabalah/Jewish Mysticism, with a special emphasis on the Messianic era and the END of Days.
Rabbi Pinchas Winston’s course ‘The Kabbalistic Understanding of Reincarnation’ can be found here: www.udemy.com/reincarnation/

The Tamar Yonah Show 19Dec2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Soul Talk – How To Free Ourselves From Anger -with Rabbi David Aaron and Leora Mandel [audio]

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Anger is one of those traits that most of us wish we didn’t have. It just seems to be more destructive than productive. How can we better understand where our anger comes from so that we can get a better sense of control over it?
Join Rabbi David Aaron and Leora Mandel on Soul Talk to learn how to free yourself from anger.

We welcome your questions and comments. soultalk@israelnewstalkradio.com

Soul Talk 18DEC2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Tuesday the Rabbi Was Kicked Out for Performing Intermarriages

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

The Rabbinical Assembly of the Conservative movement last month expelled Conservative Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, the spiritual leader of Congregation Adath Jeshurun in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, and president of the Jewish Social Policy Action Network, for performing “interfaith weddings.”

The Torah, which many rabbis are familiar with, prohibits intermarriages: “You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son, for he will cause your child to turn away from after Me and they will worship the gods of others” (Deuteronomy 7:3-4). Granted, the Torah here only forbids intermarriage with the Canaanite inhabitants of the promised land; and, granted, the Bible is full of stories about liaisons between Israelites and non-Jewish spouses; but, in the end, Rabbinical law permits marriage only between a man and a woman whose mothers are Jewish, or who converted to Judaism by embracing the commandments before a Jewish court.

In his op-ed for JTA last April (It’s time to allow Conservative rabbis to officiate at interfaith weddings), Conservative Rabbi Rosenbloom, 72, who admitted to having officiated in many intermarriage weddings, starting with his own granddaughter’s, urged his peers:

“We can no longer stand on the sidelines, piously refusing to involve ourselves in intermarriage ceremonies. If we extend ourselves with acceptance, if we affirm the legitimacy of the loving choices people make by agreeing to be part of their ceremonies, more couples would be inclined to seek the spiritual fulfillment that comes from Jewish commitment.”

The internal contradictions in Rosenbloom’s statement are mind-boggling, down to the point where he suggests that the gentile spouses would somehow enhance their Jewish commitment under the chuppah. “As they plan their interfaith ceremony, they learn more about the elements of a Jewish wedding. They typically choose to have a chuppah, blessings over wine, seven marriage benedictions, a ketubah and the breaking of the glass.”

Alas, embracing the symbols of a religion without the faithful message they represent (in Judaism, an obedience to God through the performance of the commandments) is not spiritual but fetishist, or, as the Torah describes elsewhere, idol worship.

The Rabbinical Assembly’s executive vice president, Conservative Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, told JTA they are discussing how to deal with the growing demand for inspirational intermarriage chuppahs, but for now the Conservative movement’s adherence to Jewish law requires banning the performance of intermarriages.

“We are a halachic movement and Judaism envisions the marriage ceremony as taking place between two Jewish people,” she Schonfeld JTA. “Through the lens and the vehicles offered by Jewish law and tradition, that’s the avenue that’s open to us in terms of a Jewish matrimonial ritual.”

The 2013 Pew Research Center Survey of US Jews reported that 44% of all currently married Jewish respondents – and 58% of those who have married since 2005 – indicate they are married to a non-Jewish spouse.

The same report found that the rates of intermarriage vary considerably among the major US Jewish denominations. Virtually all Orthodox respondents who are married have a Jewish spouse (98%), and most married Conservative Jews (73%) also have Jewish spouses. Only half of married Reform Jews have a Jewish spouse. Among married Jews who have no denominational affiliation, only 31% have a Jewish spouse.

In his op-ed, Conservative Rabbi Rosenbloom suggested that “we need to recognize that even when two Jews marry, there is no guarantee that their children will be dedicated Jews.” That’s no longer true in post-Pew 2013 America. We do know with certainty that children who are raised as dedicated Jews–regardless of denomination in most cases–are by far more likely to become dedicated Jewish adults.

At the same time, as Schonfeld hinted, there is a creeping acceptance of intermarriages within the Conservative movement. An organization named “Big Tent Judaism” which seeks to embrace intermarried families in the Jewish fold (presumably without the expectation of a conversion of the non-Jewish spouse down the road), in 2015 sponsored a survey of 249 Conservative rabbis which found that 38 percent— 95 rabbis, would officiate at the marriage of a Jew and non-Jew if the Conservative movement lifted its prohibition on these unions.

The survey finds that intermarriage is part of the daily reality addressed by Conservative rabbis and Conservative congregations. Eight in ten respondents have an intermarried family member; seven in ten work with an intermarried volunteer leader in their congregation. Four in ten respondents have attended interfaith weddings, usually of close family members; a handful already officiate at interfaith weddings under some conditions.

On the whole, according to the survey, Conservative rabbis will not marry a person of patrilineal Jewish descent to another Jew, citing halacha, but the survey suggests “their views on Jewish identity are nuanced, as many distinguish between Jewish identity and halachic status.”


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tuesday-the-rabbi-was-kicked-out-for-performing-intermarriages/2016/12/21/

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