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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Jewish Groups Back Muslim Woman’s Headscarf Appeal to Supreme Court

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Two Jewish groups joined a friend of the court brief on behalf of a Muslim woman whose right to wear a headscarf in a retail job is under consideration by the Supreme Court.

The court on Thursday agreed to hear the case, Politico reported.

The American Jewish Committee and the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism joined an amicus with Christian, Muslim and Sikh groups. The Anti-Defamation League and the Orthodox Union also are considering amicus briefs.

The federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission brought the suit against Abercrombie & Fitch on behalf of Samantha Elauf, who had been recommended for hiring at an outlet in Tulsa, Okla. The outlet subsequently reversed its recommendation.

A lower court, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, ruled against Elauf, saying that she needed to give “explicit notice of the conflicting religious practice and the need for an accommodation for it, in order to have an actionable claim for denial of such an accommodation.”

That decision described Abercrombie & Fitch’s “Look Policy,” which, the court said, the retailer considers “critical to the health and vitality of its ‘preppy’ and ‘casual’ brand.”

Elauf contends that wearing the headscarf during her interview and communications with managers through a friend who worked at the store was sufficient.

The friend had checked with one manager who, citing the case of an employee who had worn a yarmulke, said there should not be a problem.

Elauf interviewed with another manager who was not certain of the policy and after consulting with her superiors dropped her initial recommendation to hire. Elauf did not explicitly raise her faith as an issue during the interview.

The religious groups argue in their brief that requiring an explicit notice of religious requirements is overly stringent.

“Hiring processes are often technologically structured in a way that precludes the employee from even raising the issue during the application process,” the brief argues.

Obama Decides that ISIS Does not Speak for Islam

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

President Barack Obama has pontificated that the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) does not speak for Islam.

ISIS “speaks for no religion,” said the President, who doubles as de facto Secretary of Islamic Defense.

How does he know ISIS does not speak for Islam? He explains, “Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents.”

America’s expert on religion apparently never learned about the Crusades, nor does he know that leading Christian leaders justify killing homosexuals because they are deemed a threat to Christianity.

“ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings,” Obama continued, taking time off from his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard to explain that ISIS’s radical Islamic ideology is “bankrupt,” an implied assumption that bankrupt ideology does not speak for anyone.

Perhaps Hitler did not speak for Germans?

Responding to the ISIS’s beheading of American photojournalist James Foley, President Obama continued, “ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq & the Levant while ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria. The aims and objectives of ISIS/ISIL are clear – establish an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and eventually a global caliphate. That global caliphate includes The White House. This means purifying Islam. Those Muslims who are deemed insufficiently Muslim will be killed….

“One thing we can all agree on is that a group like ISIL has no place in the 21st century.”

What constitutes someone speaking for a religion? There are no lack of usurpers who challenge the authority of Judaism and Christianity. Each faith has many sects that are not recognized by each other, but who, except for Obama, decides what religious leader speaks for Judaism or Christianity.

The answer, outside of the Vatican and Israel where religion and state are intertwined as a matter of self-survival, lies in valid surveys.

A 9/11/13 Pew Survey revealed that a “median of 57% across the 11 Muslim publics surveyed hold an unfavorable view” of Al Qaeda. That is a polite way of saying that 43 percent of Muslim dis not state an unfavorable view of the terrorist network.

A Gallup poll in 2008 stated that 36.6 percent of the world’s approximately 1.8 Muslims partially, totally, or in some way justified the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

In numbers, that means approximately 600,000,000 Muslims are roaming the world with radical Islamic views.

Not all of them, and perhaps a small minority of them, are ISIS enthusiasts. Many more are big on Al Qaeda, Taliban, Hezbollah the Army of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and its offspring Hamas.

If the definition of ISIS radicalism is beheading and establishing an Islamic caliphate in the Middle East, these groups are not far apart, unless Obama preaches that their ideology is no less bankrupt than suicide bombers who blow up women and children, and Hamas executions who shoot people in the head and the back, drag their bodies in the street and cart off body parts of Israel soldiers as souvenirs or booty for ransom.

Norway Wants to Limit Circumcisions to Hospital Rooms

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Norway’s health minister said Wednesday the countryman no intention of banning religious circumcisions but should restrict the religious practice to be carried out only in hospitals.

“If the children are circumcised in hospitals by competent personnel, we will prevent complications,” Health Minister Bent Høie told the Aftenposten newspaper. “This is the most realistic way to ensure the little guys against damage. All the other proposals risk exposing the boys to injury.”

He said that stories last year that the government would ban circumcision were totally untrue, but Anne Lindboe, Norway Children’s Ombudswoman, said last year, “This is not due to any lack of understanding of minorities or religious traditions, but because the procedure is irreversible, painful and risky.”

“A ban on something that is so common for religious or cultural reasons would not be for the good of the children,” he was reported as saying by Norway’s English-language The Local newspaper.

Jewish boys traditionally are circumcised in a ceremony in the synagogue or in a banquet hall, where a festive meal immediately follows the ceremony.

The health minister’s attempt to make sure that circumcision is carried out under hospital sterility also would turn the rite into a totally sterile ceremony.

There still are voices in Norway calling for banning circumcision of babies or young boys.

He estimated that some 2,000 ritual circumcisions would be carried out in Norwegian hospitals annually, and said that the government had yet to decide who would bear the cost.

Tel Aviv Mayor: Opening Shops on Shabbat ‘Won’t Disturb Anyone’

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

A change in the Tel Aviv law that would allow stores to open on the Sabbath “will not disturb anyone,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai stated in an open and written reply to Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel.

The rabbi said that the proposed permission for stores to open on the day of rest would desecrate the sanctity of the Sabbath.

Mayor Huldai claimed that only one percent of businesses in the city will be able to open on Sabbath and will be in areas where operation won’t bother anyone.

There are flaws in Mayor Huldai’s reasoning. He assumes that Jews in secular neighborhoods will not be disturbed by stores opening on the Sabbath.

He is dead wrong. There are no statistics, but it is safe to say that a sizeable number of “secular” Jews respect and love the sanctity of the Sabbath, even if they don’t observe it.

Moreover, the “one percent” of stores that he says would open on Shabbat, if allowed, is only the beginning. Competitors will be forced to follow suit.

Pro-secular activists always argue that preventing stores from opening on the Sabbath is “religious coercion,” a phrase that always brings out the catcalls for “freedom” from religious influence on the law.

There are laws that prevent business in certain neighborhoods form operating in the middle of the night, but “social coercion” is legitimate.

There are laws that prevent businesses, and residents, from making too much noise, but “environmental coercion” is permissible.

Any law restricts the freedom of some people, and that is allowed, but the secular fundamentalists cannot tolerate the thought of Judaism being an influence on laws in a Jewish state, for the simple reason they do not wan’t a Jewish state.

Hay want a state where Jews can live and practice their religion as they wish, son ,long as the their prayers in synagogues do not disturb the neighbors and so long as not too many people clog the sidewalk when walking back and forth to synagogue on the Sabbath, and so long as the Orthodox Jews don’t dare take affront at parades of homosexuals.

The anti-Orthodox activists don’t admit that they are practicing secular coercion.

Jordan Says Law Prevents Jews from Praying on Temple Mount

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Jordan’s State Minister for Media Affairs warned on Monday that Israel’s allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount and “allowing extremist settlers to violate the sanctity of Al Aqsa Mosque under the protection of the Israeli police and army, will ignite violence and religious extremism in the region.”

Jordan’s official Petra News Agency reported that the minister, Mohammed Momani, pointed “to the religious importance of Al Aqsa Mosque to 1.7 billion Muslims as it is one of Islam’s three holiest sites and Islam’s first Qiblah.”

No mention was made that the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site, and the Jordan Times stated, “By law, Jews are not allowed to pray at the site and although non-Muslim visitors are permitted, such high-profile visits by right-wing government figures are very rare and tend to stoke tensions.”

The statement referred to Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who frequently visits the Temple Mount and did so on Sunday, prompting Arabs to riot and throw rocks at policemen.

“Jordan rejects Israeli escalation in Al-Aqsa as well as measures that allow radicals to violate Al-Aqsa under protection of police and occupation forces,” Momani said.

Contrary to the Jordanian report, there is no law barring Jews from praying at the Temple Mount. The Chief Rabbinate, citing Jewish laws, forbids Jews from ascending to the location where the First and Holy Temples once stood. An increasing number of national religious rabbis allow and often encourage Jews to ascend to certain parts of the Temple Mount, after immersing in a mikveh (ritual bath).

The “law” against praying on the Temple Mount is imposed by the Muslim authorities on the Temple Mount, whose a ”custodianship” was granted by Israel to Jordan, the same Jordan that closed all holy sites to Jews and Christians during its occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria from 1949 to 1967.

The question remains why the Arabs are so afraid that a Jew will pray on the Temple Mount? The standard answer is that they are afraid that Jews will eventually build a synagogue there. The Arab world loves to be paranoia that the Jews in Israel secretly want to undermine the Al Aqsa mosque and cause its collapse, making way for the building of the Third Temple.

That idea is ridiculous, if for no other reason than 99 percent of the construction workers in Israel are Arabs. Can you see Arabs going to work to build the Third Temple in place of the Al Aqsa mosque?

But there is another reason the Arabs don’t want Jews praying there, or anywhere else for that matter. God might listen to the Jews’ prayers.

The Muslims are big on making themselves heard. The loudspeakers at every mosque in the world, especially in liberal Israel, produce enough noise pollution to put a Madonna concert to shame.

The loudspeakers routinely drown out Jewish prayers at the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron and often at the Western Wall. It brings to mind the shouts of the idol worshippers whom the Prophet Elijah challenged to offer sacrifices and bring rain to break a drought.

When the rain did not come, he asked them, “Wha’ happened? Maybe your gods are asleep? Yell a bit louder and wake them up.”

When the idol worshippers gave up, Elijah offered sacrifices, doused the altar with water and prayed to God, Who responded with a holy message – rain.

The Muslim idiots don’t realize that the essence of Jewish prayers are the Shema, recited out loud with the second verse said in a faint whisper that no one except the worshipper and God can hear, and the Silent Prayer, known as the Amidah, which is recited three times day.

God responds to prayers, not noise, and the more noise Jordan makes, the more God is going to hear the whispered prayers of Jews, even those prayers that cannot be said on the Temple Mount because of Islamic paranoia, which is the real incitement to violence.

The video below shows one of those Muslims on the Temple Mount cursing Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was ushered by policemen off the Temple Mount lest his presence “incite violence.”

What Do Catholic Nuns Care about the Book of Esther?

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

A collaboration between an order of nuns and a British Jewish scribe to restore an ancient Hebrew scroll telling the story of Purim is drawing attention as a sign of progress in Catholic-Jewish relations.

Sofer (scribe) Mordechai Pinchas restored a megillah (scroll) of the Book of Esther and returned it to the Benedictine Tyburn Nuns at a London ceremony last week.

The parchment was written in Venice, Italy in the 18th century. It was donated to the order of nuns by Jordan and Lorraine Cherrick from St. Louis, Mo. The scroll is “a biblical artifact symbolizing ever-deepening Jewish-Catholic relations,” said Mother General Xavier McMonagle, according to the British Catholic Herald.

“It all shows something more than academic theological exercise. We get to know each other as real people. You can tell there is something deeper going on,” she said.

The Book of Esther tells the story of how Queen Esther and her uncle Mordechai save the Jews from extermination by Haman, the royal advisor to King Ahasuerus of Persia. Jews around the world commemorate annually on the holiday of Purim, which this year begins after Shabbat on March 15.

According to McMonagle, the figure of Esther “has remained very powerful in Catholic Christian religion, devotion, and spirituality as a symbol, an image, and a model of powerful intercession with God to change the course of human events from bad to good.”

“The need for Esther’s example is ever present in our minds, whether we are Christians or Jews,” McMonagle said. “Esther is a memorial, a living point of confidence that God can change things for the better, and he can do it even by working miracles.”

Formerly known as the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre, the Tyburn Nuns received their nickname due to the location of their motherhouse, which stands next to the site of the Tyburn gallows. Their 105 canonized or beatified Catholic martyrs were executed during the Reformation era.

Dallas Rabbi Sued for Running Home-Based Synagogue

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

A Dallas-area rabbi who uses his home as a synagogue is being sued by a neighbor who says it has lowered his property values.

Rabbi Yaakov Rich told the local Fox affiliate Fox4 in a video posted Wednesday that his 3,700-square-foot home is a synagogue with about 25 members. A website identifies his synagogue as Congregation Toras Chaim, with the tag line, “An intimate space … Grow at your pace.”

The website also announces that the Liberty Institute, a conservative Christian advocacy and legal defense organization, has agreed to represent the congregation in the current lawsuit.

“We just want to have our religious freedom to be able to pray and to study in this house,” Rich told Fox.

David Schneider, who lives across the street from the home-based synagogue, is seeking $50,000 in compensatory damages from Rich, saying that the synagogue has caused a decline in the value of his home.

Rich asserts that property values rise around Orthodox synagogues because adherents have to be able to walk to their places of worship and will pay more to buy a home in the area.

Rich recently filed with the city for a certificate stating that he runs a congregation in the home at the request of the city, which can then ask him to adhere to city and state building codes.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dallas-rabbi-sued-for-running-home-based-synagogue/2014/02/06/

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