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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

There’s Hope for the Left After All

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Sometimes, when all you hear are the radical and loud voices from the extreme left, such as from the No Israel Fund, the Reform movement’s IRAC, and Meretz, you think they exclusively and unanimously represent everyone on that side of the spectrum – all the secular, all the non-Orthodox and all the Leftists.

But now we know they don’t.

A Meretz councilwoman from Raanana tried to initiate a boycott against a popular restaurant in Raanana

The owner recently decided he wanted his restaurant to be closed on Shabbat – and the Meretz city councilwoman went on a rampage, posting her boycott call on the Meretz-Raanana page.

But instead of getting backing and support – she was strongly rebuked by her own constituency, with hundreds of responses from people who were utterly disgusted, repulsed and embarrassed by her actions and anti-religious beliefs.

When you read these responses, you realize that these radical leftwing leaders don’t properly or fully represent their constituencies, and they are very much like the Arab MKs who are obsessed with acting as anti-Israeli 5th columns in the Knesset, rather than working to improve the quality of life of the citizens that voted them in.

It’s responses like these that show me can all live together.

While our society does have many political and religious differences, perhaps those differences are in truth exaggerated and overstated by these radical organizations and their leadership seeking to maintain, fund and promote themselves via a supposed struggle, schism and conflict that no longer actually exists, and which, in reality, has evolved into a straightforward, healthy and respectful diversity of thought among our different sectors.

Today, that is what I’m choosing to believe.

Here are some of the responses:

Nitay Sheinenzon: “As a member of the Meretz party I express objection and repulsion over this shocking post. Every time a place decides to become kosher and offers service to the religious public, it is blessed, every business that decides to rest on the Day of Rest according to our tradition is legitimate, and I wish them a good day of rest and Shabbat Shalom.”

Nir Koren: “Really? Boycotting a restaurant because it’s kosher? As a Meretz voter, activist and member of the Meretz Conference, I am ashamed that this announcement was posted on a page with my party’s name on it.”

Arik Meshulam: “As a complete atheist, I don’t give a hoot which restaurant is open on Shabbat and which is closed. If a person has decided to close his restaurant on Shabbat, it’s his business, why would you force him to keep it open? It’s his private restaurant. You’re just as bad as the religious people who force businesses to close on Shabbat.”

Erez Wohl: “I join the extreme leftists who think this post is embarrassing. We thought we were past the phase of hate for the religious in Meretz L.”

JoeSettler

Rivlin: Faithful Jews Are not Anti-Christian or Anti-Muslim

Monday, December 28th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin told Christian leaders Monday that “a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim.”

He added that “we all have a duty…to show the world that the conflict in this region is not a war about religion; it is a war against hate.”

Absent from his speech was the questing of how to deal with clerics who preach hate in the name of their religion.

Hosting the traditional annual reception for leaders of Israel’s Christian communities to mark the civil New Year, he praised the 50-year-old fifty-year-old Nostra Aetate declaration, which defined the Catholic Church’s policy against anti-Semitism.

President Rivlin added:

I was honored this year, to meet with the Pope in the Vatican, where we spoke about how this relationship has grown stronger over the years….. Pope Francis said, ‘A true Christian cannot be an anti-Semite’.

Let me say – a faithful Jew cannot be anti-Christian or anti-Muslim….

I am proud that Israel protects the freedom of worship and expression for everyone, of every faith. It is not enough for us to only be a safe home for Christians. We want the community to prosper, and play a part in Israeli society.”

He said this mission as President is “to build bridges between our communities, in the Holy Land and around the world…and show that people with different beliefs can live side by side, and even together; in schools and universities, in the workplace, in parliament, and even on the soccer field.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Research Links Being Religious with a Happy Life – but only for Jews

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Observant Jews are happier with life, and Jews living in Hareidi cities can expect to live longer than others, according to a new study by the Taub Center for Social Studies.

However, the researchers cautioned:

It is important to note that the relatively positive self-reports of Hareidim may also be due to a social norm that frowns on complaining, and would particularly disapprove of ‘airing one’s dirty laundry’ in the context of a secular survey.

Previous studies have concluded that religious involvement is a factor in satisfaction with aspects of living, and Taub researchers reported:

Relatively high percentages of Hareidim attest to being very happy with their relationships with family members: 80.2 percent versus 62.7 percent or less in other population groups….

A relatively low percentage of Hareidim report feelings of loneliness. Only 11.4 percent of Hareidim said that they were lonely, compared with at least twice that amount among other groups.

The link does necessarily apply to non-Jews. The researchers stated::

A rise in satisfaction levels moving up the religiosity scale does not appear among non-Jews. About 37.7 percent of non-Jewish respondents in the study who identified as very religious or religious felt lonely – more than the not very religious (30.7 percent) and the non-religious (30.0 percent).

The report also stated that Hareidim can expect to live three years longer than others in Israel.

A direct link was found “between a city’s socioeconomic and the life expectancy of its residents” but the trend is different for Hareidim in Beit Shemesh, Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, according to the study.

The researchers also noted a study carried out in 1996 that showed that national religious Jews living on kibbutzim have a lower mortality write than secular kibbutzniks.

The 1996 study stated:

These findings indicate that, even in closed and highly-structured communities such as kibbutzim, level of religious observance has an impact on health status.

The latest Taub study noted that then-Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s drastic reduction in child welfare payments more than a decade ago, in addition to the global financial crisis in 2008, “hurt Hareidi families financially” but also ” led many Hareidim to vocational study and employment.”

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Haifa Arab Students Heckle Egyptian Lecture as ‘Zionist Collaborator’

Friday, December 25th, 2015

The Egyptian researcher spoke to psychology students at Haifa University on co-existence. One Arab student shouted, “You are dancing on the blood of martyrs.”

Arab students at the University of Haifa face a disciplinary hearing for calling a world-renowned Egyptian religious researcher a “Zionist collaborator.”

Yale University’s Dr. Omer Salem, who also operates peace organization started by California Muslims, Jews and Christians, began to speak to psychology students about coexistence when he was verbally attacked, Yediot Acharonot reported.

One heckler yelled, “Talk to the Dawabsheh family about coexistence,” referring to the arson-murder of  Arab parents and their baby three months ago in a Palestinian Authority village.

Arab students, including from the anti-Zionist Balad party and who are known to the University for their Radical Views, shouted:

The blood of martyrs is spilled and in the end you get a middle finger. They should stop the colonization in Palestine, they are silencing us.

You should be ashamed of yourself, the Zionists are protecting you. You came here to support colonization. You are dancing on the blood of martyrs.

Why do you come here? You have no respect. Go fix the situation in Egypt.

The lecturer who brought Dr. Salem to speak filed a complaint with the university’s disciplinary committee, and the university commented that it “deems this matter to be very serious and the students will be sent to a disciplinary hearing. We will not tolerate such behavior which affects the normal process of study and research.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Byzantine-Era Lamb Sculpture Discovered at Caesarea Port

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

Archaeologists discovered a Byzantine-era marble sculpture of a lamb Thursday morning in excavations at Caesarea port in the Caesarea National Park,

Experts suggested that the lamb served as part of the decoration in the 6th-7th century CE church that was discovered adjacent to the ancient port.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Chief Rabbi Lau Condemns Minister Bennett’s Visit to US Conservative School

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau criticized the visit of Minister of Education and Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party Naftali Bennett to Conservative congregations in the United States and said that it is clear the minister did not consult with a rabbi about those visits.

According to Rabbi Lau, “The visit constitutes a recognition of congregations that are dangerous to the future of the Jewish nation.”

Rabbi Lau told religious Radio Kol Khai regarding Conservative congregations:

We must continue to educate Jews and explain to them the true values ​​of Jewish tradition and the nation of Israel. Don’t forget, in almost every Jewish family you’ll find a religious grandfather, an ultra-Orthodox grandfather, or even a grandfather who is a rabbi. You will not find a lot of families with a Conservative grandfather.

That is, in the end, when we talk about the future, Orthodoxy is the way.

Rabbi Lau said that in his opinion “the Conservatives are certainly Jews but, again, not because of their moral identity. We must tell them clearly: If you continue in this way, you will lose your children and your grandchildren.”

Rabbi Lau opposed Bennett’s visit to a Conservative School and said, “we should ask Bennett if he consulted with a rabbi before this meeting and I very much fear that he didn’t, [and] this behavior is unacceptable to the entire [nation of] Israel. When you speak to a general audience, of course you’re not going to ask whether everyone in the audience is Orthodox, but to plan in advance an appearance before a certain audience and legitimize its path, when this path removes Jews from the Jewish way, it is forbidden.”

The rabbi continued:

If Minister Bennett were to ask my opinion ahead of his visit, I would have told him clearly that ‘you can’t go to a place where the education removes Jews from the tradition, from the past and from the future of the Jewish nation.’

The Office of Minister Bennett’s responded in a statement saying: “Minister Bennett believes public leaders in Israel should bring Jews in, not ostracize them, and is strongly opposed to statements that keep hearts away rather than bring them closer. We are now in a state of emergency for Diaspora Jews, when assimilation reaches millions of Jews.

“As someone who is responsible for the diaspora issues in the Israeli government, Minister Bennett is proud to care for each and every Jew wherever they are, and will continue to meet with every Jew, no matter their denomination.”

JNi.Media

US Evangelists Up in Arms over Entry for ‘Muslim-Only’ Refugees

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

U.S. evangelists are up in arms over the disproportionate number of Muslim refugees who have entered the United States.

However, a Bloomberg poll has shown that two-thirds of Americans don’t discriminate between Christian and Muslim refugees and that they don’t want either of them in the country.

The Christian News Service (CNS) claimed that since the Paris massacres last month, “the State Department has admitted 132 Syrian refugees into the United States, and all 132 are Sunni Muslim.”

It added:

No Christian, Druze, Shi’ite, Alawite, or member of any other religious minority in Syria has been admitted over that period, according to data from the State Department Refugee Processing Center.

The Washington Free Beacon reported, shortly after the Paris attacks, that a grand total of five non-Muslims entered the United States since October 1. Three of the five were Catholics, one was Christian and the fifth was an “Orthodox believer.”

“This accounts for just 1.6 percent of all refugees accepted, far below the 10 percent of the population Syrian Christians comprise,” according to the website. CNS reported this week:

A similar trend can be seen over the entire period of the Syrian civil war, which began in mid-March 2011.

Over that time, a total of 2,296 Syrian refugees have been admitted into the U.S. as of Monday. Of those, 2,137 (93 percent) were Sunni Muslims, an additional 60 were described simply as “Muslim,” and 13 were Shia.

Only 53 (2.3 percent) were Christian (including five Orthodox and four Catholics). The remaining religious breakdown was eight Jehovah’s Witness, six Zoroastrians, three atheists, two Baha’i, one Yazidi, seven ‘no religion’ and six ‘other religion.’

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said in a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday in Iowa that the Obama administration should be more open to admitting Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria because of the persecution they face.

He explained said Christians face rape, slavery and beheading at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) and that if they are able to escape, other Muslims persecute them.

President Barack Obama plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees and has sharply criticized Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz for saying priority should be given to Christians.

President Obama said:

When I hear folks say that, well maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which a person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of the those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful.

Hillary Clinton also has come out against favoring Christians. She said, “Turning away orphans, applying a religious test, discriminating against Muslims, slamming the door on every Syrian refugee—that is just not who we are.”
Since January, 1,875 Syrians have arrived in the United States, but only 30 (1.6 percent) of them were Christian, compared with 1,833 Muslims (97.8 percent).

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-evangelists-up-in-arms-over-entry-to-muslim-only-refugees/2015/12/02/

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