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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘rabbi’

‘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.

Jackie Mason Backs Trump 4 Years after Saying He Is a ‘Liar [video]

Monday, July 27th, 2015

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.”

Mason added:

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.

Mason added:

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.

Wave of Hate Crimes against Jews in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Area

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

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.

No kidding?

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.

Safed Rabbi Arrested for Alleged Rape

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

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.

Chief Rabbinate Bows to Pressure to Extend Rabbi Riskin’s Term

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

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:

Jewish Agency for Israel Calls for Special Diaspora Conversion Courts

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

The Board of Governors of The Jewish Agency for Israel is calling for the establishment of special religious courts in the Diaspora to handle conversions outside the State of Israel.

A resolution adopted by an overwhelming majority of the board at its meeting Wednesday (June 24) said that in the absence of such courts, the Agency would send rabbis to assist local communal rabbis in the endeavor.

“In light of The Jewish Agency’s responsibility to help ensure the unity of the Jewish people and in recognition of the existence of many interfaith families in various Jewish communities, The Jewish Agency wishes to facilitate these families’ full integration into the Jewish people via conversion, as well as through the possibility of Aliyah. In the absence of conversion courts able to serve those who wish to convert in many Jewish communities, The Jewish Agency will cooperate with the special conversion courts established for this purpose by sending rabbis to assist local communal rabbis.

“The Jewish Agency will accompany the converts through their process of preparing for Aliyah, for those who choose that option.”

“The Jewish Agency serves the needs of Jewish communities around the world,” said Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Agency.

“This is one of the very real needs voiced by various Jewish communities. The time has come to respond.”

The issue of Jewish conversion both in Israel and abroad is one that is complex, controversial and fiercely debated between individuals as well as communities.

Recently the community leadership position of a major Anglo-Israeli rabbinic figure came under question, it was believed, in part due to the controversy generated over this topic.

‘No Intention’ to Dismiss Efrat’s Rabbi Riskin, Says Israel Chief Rabbi Lau

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Israelis from the bottom to the top – storekeepers to government ministers and agency heads – have come out to protect Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s tenure.

Israel Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau told journalists on Wednesday there was “no intention to dismiss Rabbi Riskin. While dealing with this issue we have been hearing statements attributed to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that are inappropriate and inaccurate.

“It troubles me to see that this matter regarding Rabbi Riskin continues to be blown so far out of proportion,” Rabbi Lau told Israel’s Channel 10 News.

The story began two weeks ago, when the issue of tenure for local rabbis was raised at a meeting of the Chief Rabbinical Council. At that time, there was a request to extend the term of office for Efrat Chief Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. The rabbi is one of the founders of the city in which he serves and lives, located in Gush Etzion, just 10 minutes away from Jerusalem.

Normally the process is pro forma, but apparently there were some on the Council who had reservations about extending Riskin’s tenure due to his views on conversion and a few other issues.

Those issues were reportedly raised at the meeting.

Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern, who joined the Council several months ago, was one of those who supported the extension of Riskin’s term. He asked the Council to postpone any decision on the matter, and it was decided to first invite the Efrat rabbi for a discussion prior to any final move.

News of what went on in the meeting was leaked to the media, however, and a brouhaha resulted.

Education Minister Naftali Minister, Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky and numerous others all spoke out to defend Rabbi Riskin. All had pointed questions for a Chief Rabbinate that would dismiss a community’s chief rabbi who had helped build a city and was still seen as a hugely popular spiritual leader.

The public power struggle began to deteriorate instead into an issue of who gets to make decisions on Jewish issues in the State of Israel and at which levels of government.

Ultimately, said Lau, “the Rabbinical Council reviews extension of a local rabbi’s tenure in a meeting with that individual along with his relevant documents. An exception is made when the extension of his term comes in the month prior to mandatory retirement – and thus the debate over Rabbi Riskin’s term extension was postponed so as to invite him to meet with the Council to discuss the matter.

“This has been the standard procedure in the past, and it will remain so in the future,” he added. The legal authority to extend the statutory tenure of local chief rabbis rests with Israel’s Chief Rabbinical Council, Lau pointed out. “It is not a ‘rubber stamp’ process, nor does the Council automatically confirm the extension of a rabbi’s term in office, unless it first properly examines his application,” he noted. “We repeat: pressure and threats will not force us to make shortcuts or deviate from what is a necessary process.”

Rabbi Riskin’s office responded to JewishPress.com saying, “We hope the matter will indeed be resolved. Our only objective is bringing Am Yisrael closer to Torah and Mitzvot. Rabbi Riskin is dedicated to continue serving the residents of Efrat.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/no-intention-to-dismiss-efrats-rabbi-riskin-says-israel-chief-rabbi-lau/2015/06/10/

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