Hareidim claimed victory by blocking the appointment of three “liberal religious Zionists” to the country’s 12 regional rabbinical courts.
There now are 22 judges, 7 more than in previous years, but only eight of them are from the national religious community.
The other 14 are divided equally between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim
Absent from the national religious sector are three rabbis from the Tzohar organization, which was termed as “reform” by Hareidim in a report by the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website.
Preparations for the voting for judges were made last week with a secret deal that was made between Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is not religious but who has close ties with Hareidim, and Ashkenazi and Sephardi Hareidim.
Kikar Shabbat reported that aides to Steinitz and Hareidim met at a Givat Shaul gas station in the middle of the night last week to close the deal after an understanding that “it would be better to cooperate rather than lose appointment to ‘liberal religious Zionists.’
Degel HaTorah won five judges, and Agudat Yisrael won 2. The voting committee rejected a Chabad rabbi.
In response to the African National Congress’s (ANC) proposed ban on dual citizenship, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein released a strongly worded and heartfelt video statement calling the move a threat to Israel and peace in the region.
Goldstein said the proposal was “insulting” to the 175-year-old community, which has strong ties to Israel and has contributed greatly to South African society and culture. In his video, the Chief Rabbi also rejected claims that Israel is an “apartheid” state, an accusation often aimed at the Jewish State by BDS protesters and pro-Palestinian Arab foreign provocateurs.
”The apartheid accusation against Israel is a lie and without any foundation in reality,” said Goldstein.
In addition to the defamatory nature of this claim, the misuse of “apartheid” diminishes the true meaning of the word and dishonors the ordeal of those who lived under its rule, he noted. “If everything is apartheid then nothing is apartheid,” he stated. The Jewish population of South Africa currently stands at 75,000, according to the Chief Rabbi’s office.
While the citizenship ban would potentially affect millions of people living in South Africa, it is motivated by the ANC’s “obsession” with Israel, said Rabbi Goldstein.
“By targeting the local Jewish community, the ANC is ignoring the country’s ethic of tolerance and dishonoring the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela.” An official appointee, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein holds a prominent and respected position within South Africa. He serves as a senior member of the National Religious Leaders Council and has collaborated on projects with the government. He had the honor being one of those clergy chosen to eulogize the late Mandela at his funeral. His Bill of Responsibilities has been adopted as part of the official South African school curriculum. “The time to act is now,” said Rabbi Goldstein, who called upon ANC to change its course and become a force for peace in the Middle East and the entire world.
“That is the way forward: a dream of peace,” he declared at the conclusion of the video.
Leaders of Judea and Samaria and right-wing politicians denounced Friday’s “price-tag” arson-murder attack, but rabbis have not yet publicly joined the chorus of disgust.
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria (Yesha) and the Binyamin Regional Council stated:
We express our shock of the terrible murder last night in the village of Duma. This is not the path of residents of Judea and Samaria who are struggling with the complicated security situation while trying to remain the fabric of life of our Palestinian neighbors.”
Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member Betzalel Smotritz also denounced the arson-murder and added that regardless of the “hypocrisy of certain extreme left-wing sources and the government mismanagement, it is absolutely forbidden to lose our senses, which is what seems to have happened last night.
“We need nerves of steel and not let ourselves be dragged into such actions that are in themselves evil and also are damaging to ourselves.
There is no doubt that rabbis, especially those of Judea and Samaria, will denounce the terror, but they are taking too much time.
“Yesha rabbis” for years have been too silent in the wake of price tag attacks, which until last night were too easily dismissed as “vandalism” that never came even near to the savage Palestinian Authority terrorist attacks against Jews,
That no longer is true.
It was not true as of last year when three Jews burned to death a Jerusalem Arab teenager in revenge for the kidnap-murders of three Jewish yeshiva youth.
Rabbis have been too silent in cleaning up their own acts of bribery, corruption and sex crimes.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed (Tzfat) showed true leadership last month when he expelled Rabbi Ezra Scheinberg from the city after women complained to him that he had seduced and raped them.
That is the kind of leadership that has been lacking in Judea and Samaria..
No one can justifiably blame Yesha rabbis for last night’s barbaric crime, but no one can say that the rabbis have waged war against Jewish youth who have lost their marbles.
ObamaDeal has turned comedian Jackie Mason, an ordained rabbi by the way, into a big supporter of Donald Trump, which gives the billionaire gadfly at least two Jewish votes. The first one, reported here last week by The JewishPress.com, is one of Trump’s executives and his special campaign counsel Michael Cohen.
Mason ridiculed other Republican party candidates on air Sunday, describing them as Trump’s “perfectly calculated opponents, who study and struggle to protect every word.”
He called Trump a “bombastic powerhouse” and a “colorful, dynamic character.”
He never even prepares what he is going to say and every time he talks he says something wrong that offends everybody, and 10 minutes later he gets more popular.
[Media claim that if Trump] makes another mistake he’ll be wiped out. Then, two weeks later he makes a bigger mistake. This is the most offensive mistake of all time, and everybody is celebrating. ‘Thank God he’s finished.’ Headlines in every paper: ‘It’s all over.’ Two minutes later he’s even bigger.
This is the same Jackie Mason who in 2011 said, as seen in the video below, that Trump is a “professional liar” and “the sickest man that ever lived.”
President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have changed his mind.
Mason told The Hollywood Reporter of Kerry:
This secretary of state, Kerry, negotiated with them [Iran] for a year-and-a-half and accomplished nothing. He ought to give us back for all the trips he made. He cost us millions of dollars in airplane fares and he came back with nothing except a bad foot.
He said that Obama probably told the Iranians, “Listen, could you keep the bomb quiet for a year and a half. Because if you don’t bomb us for a year and a half, I’ll be the big winner. Everyone will see I made a fantastic agreement. If you bomb us after I leave I could always say it’s the other guy’s fault.
First Obama said we can inspect them any time, any place, whenever we please. Now it turns out ‘whenever we please’ except when they don’t allow it. If they don’t want it it’s up to them….
Do you know that in the restaurants of New York, they have an inspection system? You can surprise any restaurant without notice that you can walk in and inspect them…
So we are protected in this city from a bad tuna fish. We’re not protected from a bomb but we’re protected from a bad quality of a tuna fish.
Two violent anti-Semites attacked a 65-year-old Jew in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Monday night in the latest of a wave of hate crimes, CBS-New York reported.
The attackers were teenagers, one of them a girl. They punched the man in the face, leaving him with bleeding while they laughed. A neighbor told CBS that he heard the victim’s screams and ran to help, when the attackers fled.
Late Sunday night, a young Orthodox Jew was hit in the head with a glass bottle, and in another incident, surveillance cameras showed two Hareidi Jews being struck by paintballs. Several minutes later, a paintball hit another Jew.
Police said that the paintball and glass bottle attacks were not linked.
Rabbi David Niederman of the United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg told CBS:
Basically people start thinking, ‘Can I allow my child to be out even during the day?’ And even adults, at night it’s scary.
It is questionable if anti-Semitism really is not on the rise in the United States. It really is the same as it was 100 years ago, but more overt instead of covert.
Police Thursday morning arrested a rabbi from Safed (Tzfat) whom a woman said raped her after giving her spiritual guidance several years ago.
A second woman filed a complaint Wednesday night.
The allegations were presented to rabbis in Tzfat last month, and rabbinical leaders, including Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, asked the alleged rapist to leave the city during the investigation. The rabbis informed the police, who were not able to act until one of the women filed a complaint, which she finally did this week.
The national religious rabbi, who is a Kabbalist, was arrested while he was on his way to Ben Gurion Airport. He has denied the allegations.
The attempt by the Chief Rabbinate to oust Rabbi Shlomo Riskin as Chief Rabbi or Efrat is doomed, and the rabbis will extend his term after meeting on Monday, the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website reported.
If the rabbis could have their way, they would vote against Riskin, but they fear a media and public backlash, according to the report.
The issue arose several weeks ago when it was reported that rabbis in the Chief Rabbinate do not like Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion and his liberal attitude towards women.
He has reached the age of 75 and needs permission from the Rabbinate to continue serving.
An argument broke out in the Rabbinate between the majority of rabbis and the legal department, which said that a rabbi’s medical condition is the only grounds they can use to refuse to extend his term.
After the attempt to oust Rabbi Riskin was exposed, Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Naftali Bennett said:
I do not accept the attempt to demote a public servant because of his opinions and then say it is because of his age. Rabbi Risking helped established Efrat, and he has merits that do not allow his being used as a political target.
He is allowed to have a different opinion, and shutting the door to other opinions is prohibited.
The attitude of the Chief Rabbinate can be discerned from a recording of comments by Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, who was quoted earlier this month by Kikar Shabbat as saying:
We say in daily prayers every morning, ‘God has not made me a woman,’ not like someone from Efrat who comes up with all kinds of new ideas makes news and wages wars.
The phrase “”make news and wage battles” is a reference to another prayer in the morning prayers, in which it is recited that God “brings about new developments and is the Master of wars.”
A senior official in the Chief Rabbinate told Kikar Shabbat:
We estimate that his term will be extended. The rabbis in the council have an interest that Rabbi Riskin will commit himself to be subject to the Chief Rabbinate. There is a strong doubt that he will agreed to do so, but the rabbis will try.”
Legally, they cannot vote to oust Rabbis Riskin without medical proof that he is not fit for office.
Rabbi Riskin’s views on conversion and women do not fit in with the Hareidi Orthodox model.
The Chief Rabbinate, still a bastion of Hareidi power, has lost the trust of Israelis who once respected it, especially when Hareidi Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau was in office. The charismatic rabbi never let his opinions get in the way of reaching out to all Israelis with understanding, something that is totally lacking in the Chief Rabbinate today.
Their refusal to accept any other opinion in the Orthodox world only makes them more vulnerable to a collapse of their authority under the weight of pressure from the Reform community.
Below is a video of Rabbi Riskin’s explanation on this week’s Torah reading of Balak: