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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’

Survey: 95 Conservative Rabbis Say They Would Conduct Intermarriage Weddings

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) 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), 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. This sample corresponds to roughly 15% or the Rabbinical Assembly’s approximately 1,700 members.

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 officiates 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.”

In the hypothetical scenario that the Conservative movement’s policy would change, just under four in ten rabbis would officiate at interfaith weddings. Also, according to the survey, almost half of Conservative rabbis interviewed feel that some discussion of their movement’s position on interfaith marriages, recognizing patrilineal descent, and admitting intermarried rabbinical candidates is warranted.

Respondents in small Jewish communities are more likely (45%) to see themselves officiating in interfaith weddings if RA rules changed, compared with respondents in large Jewish communities (33%). Female pulpit rabbis are almost twice as likely to change their practices if RA rules changed (56%) when compared to male rabbis (35%).

Here’s a counter-intuitive discovery: when comparing respondents by age and ordination date, the survey found that respondents over 50 years old and those ordained before the year 2000 are slightly more likely to officiate at interfaith weddings. The authors suggest that the difference can perhaps be explained by the fact that older, more seasoned rabbis have “softened” their attitude toward interfaith weddings after having had to repeatedly turn away intermarried couples.

The survey’s presentation is rife with opinion, not to the point of skewing the results, but certainly to add spin to the numbers. The line in the above paragraph, explaining why older Conservative rabbis are more likely to conduct an intermarriage wedding, actually says the differences are explained “by the fact that older, more seasoned rabbis have “softened” their attitude toward interfaith officiation after having to repeatedly turn away intermarried couples, many of whom would have created Jewish homes.”

Paul Golin, Big Tent’s associate executive director, says the group isn’t advocating that the Rabbinical Assembly change its policy, but rather that it should open a conversation on it. But God—and advocacy—are in the details.

The section headed, “Half of Conservative rabbis believe discussion of some RA rules is warranted” is dizzyingly biased:

“The survey asked Conservative rabbis for their view on whether three specific issues should be opened for discussion among members of the Rabbinical Assembly: allowing officiating at interfaith weddings, recognizing Jews of patrilineal descent, and accepting intermarried rabbinical candidates to Conservative seminaries. Four in ten (39%) respondents agreed that the RA should open for discussion among its members the issue of officiating at interfaith weddings; a third (33%) agreed that the RA should open for discussion the issue of accepting patrilineal descent; and one in seven (14%) agreed that the issue of admitting intermarried or inter-partnered rabbinical candidates should also be opened for discussion. Half (51%) of the respondents disagree with all three statements and think that none of these issues should be open for discussion.”

JNi.Media

Rabbi Permits Carrying Cell Phone on Shabbat because of Wave of Terror

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, founder and director of the Zomet Institute that is dedicated to the adaptation of technology to Jewish law, has ruled that it is permissible to carry a mobile phone on Shabbat for emergency use.

His ruling is only of several obvious signs that Israelis are preparing themselves for more Arab attacks against Jews.

Police report a surge in the number of daily calls made by worried Israelis to police emergency hotlines. Israelis usually call the police approximately 600 times a day to report suspicious individuals, vehicles, or devices, but that number has soared to 25,000.

Following a terrorist attack in central Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli civilians made more than 5,500 calls to the Tel Aviv District Police, more than 7,000 to the Central District Police, and more than 6,000 to the Jerusalem District Police. The police have taken notice of the spike in calls and have reinforced their dispatch centers with experienced officers to provide constant responses and assistance.

Meanwhile, the outdoor equipment retailer Rikushet reported a 400-percent increase in the purchase of self-defense products, mainly pepper spray. Other similar chains have also reported increases in the sales of pepper sprays, stun guns, clubs, and plastic restraints.

Rikushet CEO Dudi Mantin estimated that in the past week, Israelis have spent about $78,000 on self-defense products, Israel HaYom reported.

Josh Carr, an immigrant from South Africa and former commander at the Israel Defense Forces’ Krav Maga martial arts instructor’s school, has posted a Facebook invitation for Israelis to join “a free self-defense course.”

He wrote:

The course will focus mainly on knife defense but will include basic fighting skills and how to react in an emergency situation. This course will not turn you into a superhero, however, it could save your life or the life of someone else.

JNS News Service

Spiritual Cafe: Secrets of Genesis-Bereshit

Friday, October 9th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Why did God create the world, and what does the word “Bereshit” tell us about creation? And does the Torah teach us about the nature of violence in general and blood in the streets of Jerusalem in particular? As we leave the holiday season behind, we enter a new phase in the Torah and a new phase in our lives – let’s get it started right! Join Yishai and Rabbi Mike Feuer for a very special Spiritual Cafe filled with new beginnings.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Can Peres and Abbas Save ‘Settlers’ Synagogue from Destruction by Israel?

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A Jerusalem area community in Samaria is hoping former president Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas can help them stop the planned government destruction of a 20-year-old synagogue allegedly built on Arab land.

The Supreme Court, which previously accepted leftists’ claims that the synagogue was built on private Arab land, received on Friday a last-ditch petition to stop the destruction, based on arguments that the court and the government did not take into consideration international law concerning the  protection of Holy Sites.

The appeal, filed by attorney Gilad Korinaldy on behalf of Givat Ze’ev regional council rabbi Yosef Toledano, also asked the court to consider aspects of Jewish law, the Hareidi website Kikar Shabbat reported.

The court has ordered Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to answer the petition by next Monday night, the end of Simchat Torah in Israel.

The Netanyahu administration has ordered that the 2-year-old Ayelet HaShachar synagogue, where several hundred congregants have prayed, be demolished immediately after the Sukkot-Simchat Torah holiday.

The petition to the court also explained that the community has appealed to Peres and Abbas to “think outside the legal box” and find a political-diplomatic solution.

Korinaldy, who also represented Gush Katif in efforts to save Gush Katif synagogues from destruction in the expulsion of Jews from Gaza in 2005, said, according to Kikar Shabbat:

Synagogues are the voice of the existence of Judaism for generations. All possibilities must be examined to protect the holiness of Israel and respect for God. There is no greater disgrace than Jews destroying a synagogue.

TheJewishPress.com reported here last month that Givat Ze’ev worshippers already have taken holy books out of the synagogue in preparation for the demolition, which Prime Minister Netanyahu postponed from August until immediately after the holidays.

The  suit against the synagogue followed the pattern of several previous appeals by the left-wing Yesh Din and Peace Now grows, arguing that Jews did not legally buy the land on which they built.

It usually is difficult to prove the legal purchase because it is always done through a third-party. Otherwise, the Arab seller would face death, either by an angry mob or by the Palestinian Authority policy that follows the Jordanian law that selling land to a Jew is punishable by execution.

If the petition is successful, it would prove the seeming impossibilities of life in Israel.

Who would dream that Peres and Abbas would be the intermediaries to stop the destruction of a Jewish place of worship in the “occupied territories?”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hareidim Keep ‘Liberal’ Zionists in Minority on Rabbinical Courts

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

SA Chief Rabbi: Proposed Ban on Dual Citizenship ‘Insulting’

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

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.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Settler’ Leaders Denounces Arson-Murder, but Rabbis Still Silent

Friday, July 31st, 2015

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/settler-leaders-denounces-arson-murder-but-rabbis-still-silent/2015/07/31/

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