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June 25, 2016 / 19 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘religious’

National Religious Rabbi Appointed Supreme Rabbinical Court Judge While Court Facing Shutdown

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Following a six-hour debate, the nine-member committee to appoint religious court judges on Monday agreed on only one judge out of the seven who must yet be appointed, by order of the State Supreme Court. Over the objection of Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Rabbi Eliezer Igra, a national religious scholar, was elected by a vote of seven in favor and two Haredi members abstaining, to be a Supreme Rabbinical Court Judge, and serve on the very committee that had just elected him.

But the singular appointment of Rabbi Igra will not fulfill the ultimatum issued by Israel’s State Supreme Court, which back in January ordered all the missing positions on the Supreme Rabbinical Court to be filled by Thursday this week, or else all the temporary appointments on the court would be revoked and the court would cease to operate.

Nevertheless, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) called the vote “a tremendous achievement for Habayit Hayehudi,” adding, “I’m very pleased.” She said that the non-Haredi bloc on the committee, which holds a majority of five members, have been suggesting several candidates for the Supreme Rabbinical Court, and they had all been rejected by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas).

Rabbi Igra studied for ten years at the hesder yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh, served in the IDF Armored Corps and fought in the Yom Kippur War. He was the Talmud study partner of Yoni Netanyahu, the prime minister’s late brother.

The committee ran into several stalemates on Monday, leaving the Supreme Rabbinical Court short-handed, after several of its members have retired. The Haredi committee members were able to torpedo the proposed appointments of Rabbis David Bass and Uriel Lavi to the supreme religious court, and the National Religious members, for their part, were able to block new appointments the Haredim desired to several local rabbinic courts.

The only reason Rabbi Igra received his appointment had to do with the bad blood between the Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis, according to the website Haredim 10. Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau joined the National Religious to usher in Rabbi Igra as revenge against Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef for appointing Shas member Moshe Dagan as the Chief Rabbinate CEO over Rabbi Lau’s fierce objection.

David Israel

3 Jews Removed from Temple Mount Wednesday for Religious Crimes

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

Jerusalem police released a statement Wednesday morning saying three Jewish visitors have been removed from the Temple Mount compound because they “disobeyed the rules.” Jews are not allowed to express any kind of religious sentiment on the Temple Mount, from making a blessing on an apple they’re about to eat to shutting their eyes for longer than a prescribed period of time that would enable them to forge contact with the Deity whose emanation resides on the flat mountaintop. The Jordanian Waqf agency officials instruct Israeli police as to which Jews have violated the rules and those are removed in an orderly fashion.

Wednesday’s evictions add the number of religious Jewish criminals to 11, and, judging by past days’ experience, this number will continue to grow, because some Jews continue to harbor illegal faithful sentiments they refuse to repress.

David Israel

Police: Haifa Religious Council Deceived over 100 Couples Seeking Independent Orthodox Wedding

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Employees of the Haifa Religious Council have deceived more than 100 couples who said they wanted to be married through the national-religious rabbinic organization Tzohar, Israel Police announced on Wednesday. A Tzohar initiative has made it possible for couples to register for marriage anywhere, and not strictly in their area of residence as used to be the case in Israel. The idea was to make less stringent Orthodox rabbis available to Israelis who didn’t wish for their wedding to be officiated by a Haredi rabbi. That change was received with great resistance on the part of the Chief Rabbinate, which is concerned for losing its monopoly on Orthodox weddings.

Police launched an investigation following a complaint by Tzohar that elements in the Haifa Religious Council are acting systematically against couples who register to be married by a Tzohar rabbi. Among other things, Tzohar accused the council of entering false information regarding the personal data of registrants. The complaint cites more than 100 such cases.

Police interrogated with a warning two employees of the Haifa Religious Council, one of them senior. Police also collected testimonies, seized documents, and executed a variety of investigative actions. As a result, police are saying they have sufficient evidence showing the alleged violations had indeed taken place because of the council’s objection on principle to Tzohar’s legitimacy. Police believe the senior council employee was aware of and turned a blind eye on the other employee’s mass violations.

Tzohar emailed JNi the following statement in response to the news story:

“Effectively investigating criminal action is critical for our national desire to rid out corruption and restore the public’s faith in those responsible for religious services in our country. It is deeply distressing that the rogue actions of a small group can so negatively tarnish the Jewish spirit in ways that have caused irreparable damage to the people of Israel.”

JNi.Media

No More Lies, Sec. Kerry, There Is No ‘Existential Threat to Israel’

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Is Secretary of State, John Kerry correct, or incorrect, when exhorting “the demographic time bomb” to scare Israel into a retreat from geography (Judea and Samaria), in order to, supposedly, secure demography?  According to Kerry, “There is an existential threat to Israel…. I am referring to the demographic dynamic that makes it impossible for Israel to preserve its future as a democratic, Jewish state without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-state solution.”

Are Jews doomed to become a minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 Israel?

According to the 2013 CIA World Factbook,  Judea and Samaria Arabs  experienced a dramatic decline in fertility rate (the average number of births per woman): from five births in 2000 to 2.91 in 2013.  On the other hand, in 2014, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics documents a 3.04 Jewish fertility rate and 3.42 when both Jewish spouses are Israeli-born.

“A new Palestinian generation opts for fewer children is the title of an article by Rasha Abou Jalal, a Gaza journalist:  While Islam calls for believers to bear many children and prohibits the use of birth control, new Palestinian generations are defying tradition and leaning toward limiting the number of children they have…. The new generation takes into consideration various economic and cultural factors before deciding to have children.  The idea of limiting childbearing has, therefore, garnered more supporters than before…. The more Palestinians become aware and rational, the less they will procreate, as they pursue a level of education and knowledge that suits them and increases their chances of having a better life….

The Westernization of Muslim demographic trends, from Iran (1.8 births per woman), through Saudi Arabia (2.3), Syria and Egypt (2.9) and North Africa (1.8) has also characterized Muslim women in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and pre-1967 Israel. The unprecedented decline in Muslim fertility has been driven by modernity: accelerated women’s rights, urbanization, education, career mentality and family planning (72% of 15-49 year old married Palestinian women prefer to avoid pregnancy).  Thus, contemporary young Muslim women are reluctant to get married at the age of fifteen and start reproducing at the age of sixteen.  They tend to postpone marriage until after the age of 20 and prefer limited reproduction.

On the other hand, in 2014, the Israeli Jewish fertility rate (three births per woman and trending upwards) is higher than in any Arab country, other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.  Jewish demography has been enhanced by a high level of optimism, patriotism, communal responsibility and attachment to roots among religious and secular, hawks and doves, conservative and liberal Israelis, bolstered by economic progress. While the annual number of Arab births – west of the Jordan River – has stabilized since 1995, the annual number of Jewish births has surged from 80,000 in 1995 to about 132,000 in 2013 – a 65% increase!  This dramatic leap occurred despite declining fertility among ultra-orthodox Jews, but due to the substantial rise of secular Jewish fertility.  In 1995 there were 2.3 Jewish births per one Arab birth in Israel; in 2014 – 3.3 births.  In 1995, the number of Jewish births constituted 69% of total Israeli births; in 2014 – 77% and rising.

In 2014, there is a robust 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – compared with a 9% and 39% in 1900 and 1947 – benefitting from a tailwind of fertility and net-immigration.  This contrasts with declining Arab fertility and annual Arab net-emigration (in 2014, 20,000 from Judea and Samaria).  In 2014, Israel’s Jewish population has reached 6.5 million people, next to 1.7 million Israeli Arabs and 1.7 million Judean and Samarian Arabs – one million less than the number claimed by the Palestinian Authority.  The misrepresentation was conceived in the late 1990s, in response to the arrival of one million Soviet Jews to Israel.  It consists of overseas residents, overseas births, by double-counting Jerusalem Arabs as Israeli Arabs (by Israel) and West Bankers (by the Palestinian Authority), etc..

Yoram Ettinger

IDF Creates 2 Haredi Battalions Ahead of New Draft Law

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The IDF has been taking steps to accommodate the anticipated growth in incoming Haredi recruits following the future draft law, currently in committee. The committee, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, is in broad agreement on the principle of “equal burden,” requiring Haredi young men and women to contribute to the state in which they live. There is, however, serious dispute between the two coalition factions most invested in the new legislation over the issue of enforcement.

Jewish Home favors economic sanctions against Haredim who fail to enlist, while Yesh Atid mistrusts the effectiveness of such measures, insisting instead on criminal charges.

Another Yesh Atid argument is that economic sanctions directed only at one part of the population would constitute a violation of their civil rights and could be shot down by the High Court.

Even if the current legislation passes all its hurdles, it is believed that the Haredi draft will not begin in earnest before 2017, when the first full batch of Haredi recruits will be required legally to enlist.

Nevertheless, the IDF is not waiting for 2017, and has already moved to accommodate the new arrivals. According to Haaretz, the army is planning to add a second Haredi infantry battalion in 2014, and a third battalion, designated to serve in the Home Front Command, in 2015.

Some 2,000 Haredim enlisted in 2013, and the army is expecting to enlist 2,300 in 2014 and 2,600 the following year. These figures match the original ones as proposed by the Perry Committee at an earlier legislative phase. They may be adjusted later, according to the ratified version of the law.

In addition to assignments within the infantry and in civilian rescue function, the IDF is also preparing for a wave of older Haredi recruits, mostly married men ages 22-23. They are expected to be integrated into technological and logistical units.

Generally, the IDF prefers its recruits younger, before they get married and have their first few children. Older Haredi recruits will be earning the equivalent salary of entry level professional servicemen, close to $18,000 a year.

The IDF is planning to create a separate recruitment center for Haredim, without female soldiers, as well as a Haredi boot camp, also without women.

That part could also meet legal challenges by various interested parties.

Yori Yanover

Disgraced

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Here’s Rabbi Motti Elon walking away from the Magistrate Court in Jerusalem, December 18, 2013, after hearing his verdict. Elon, former head of Yeshivat Hakotel in Jerusalem, was convicted of sexually assaulting two of his former students, in 2003 and 2005, and sentenced with 6 months of community service, 6 months suspended sentence and a payment of a little under $3,000 to his victims.

Alone he walks into the snow covered street, with his delusions of grandeur, a living lesson about hubris and pride.

He told reporters that he’s happy do do community service, since he’d been doing just that—community service—for 40 years.

In his own head, he’s done nothing wrong. A martyr, persecuted by a repressive system.

I bless him that while he endows his new flock with cleaner toilets, it will dawn on him one day that at some point his path had led him over the cliff.

Yori Yanover

I’m a Feminist and the Women of the Wall Don’t Represent Me

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Ha’aretz reported that a group of activists from the Women of the Wall organization are opposed to an Israeli governmental proposal to permit Reform Jewish congregants to have their own area to pray, independent from where both Orthodox Jewish men and women pray. In other words, these activists rejected a compromise proposal that designates an area of the Kotel where they are permitted to pray as they desire, in order to insist that Orthodox Jewish men and women be forced to conduct their prayers surrounded by individuals who don’t respect their religious customs.

As a modern orthodox Jewish feminist, I am outraged by the behavior of these activists, who dirt the name of feminism by their actions. Just as Reform Jews feel that they should have the right to pray as they are used to at one of the holiest sites in the Jewish religion, Orthodox Jews feel the exact same way. Furthermore, while Reform Jews are religiously permitted to pray in accordance with the Orthodox tradition, Orthodox Jews aren’t permitted to pray in a Reform manner, since their prayer services must follow a certain format according to Jewish law.

Even though nothing bars a Reform Jew from praying at the Kotel in an Orthodox manner, the Israeli government was respectful enough to offer Reform Jews their own location at one of the holiest sites in Judaism in order to pray as they please, without disturbing others. But instead of jumping on the opportunity and saying thank you to the Israeli government, activists from the Women of the Wall organization aren’t content. Why? Because the compromise proposal permits Orthodox Jews to continue praying as they have for thousands of years and this bothers them. While they demand religious toleration from others, they refuse to give others the same favor in return.

While Women of the Wall claims that it is not egalitarian to pray in an Orthodox manner, I would like to remind them that Jews have been praying for thousands of years a certain way and changing the religion is not in the hands of men. We cannot decide in the place of G-d what is Jewish law, based upon modern trends. Even if we don’t understand everything in Judaism, G-d always makes things a certain way for a reason and humans should never question G-d.

Nevertheless, Judaism remains to be one of the most egalitarian religions today, as women are believed to be at a spiritually higher level than men and countless Jewish women have held prominent positions both in the Tanakh and throughout Jewish history. Moses granted Jewish women the right to inherit at a time when women having such rights were unheard of. Even if one doesn’t desire to obey Jewish law due to ones own Reform belief system, the bare minimum that one should be able to do is to respect others that wish to and to do as one likes in a location that won’t disturb others.

I also would like to point out to these individuals that there are many more pressing issues facing feminists today than whether or not Jewish women will be able to wear a Tallit like the men and host a so-called “egalitarian” prayer service at the Kotel. I call upon any one who believes that having “egalitarian” prayer services at the Kotel is the most pressing issue facing women today to take a look at the world that we live in.

Women are getting raped en masse in Syria, either by government forces or by Islamist rebels as part of their sexual jihad. Around 50 percent of Yemen’s brides are under the age of 18. The UN stated that over 5,000 women are murdered each year in honor crimes. 2,500 brides in India are burnt to death each year, primarily due to dissatisfaction over the dowry. One young Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, was almost murdered by the Pakistani Taliban for insisting on young girls in her country having the right to have an education. Around 125,000,000 girls in Africa and the Middle East are victims of female genital mutilation.

Closer to home, hundreds of young underage Jewish girls are seduced by Arab men each year. Many of these cases evolve into abduction, rape, and abusive marriages. This problem is especially acute in Southern Israel, where sexual harassment by Bedouin men is a major issue. Furthermore, according to the OECD statistics, the Israeli police recorded 17.5 cases of rape within the country per 100,000 people within the Israeli population in 2012. There were only 9 OECD members who had worst statistics than these in regards to rape, one of them naturally being the United States. Recently, Jerusalem Online News reported that only two female mayors were elected to serve in the 2013 municipal elections. This means that out of all of the Israeli municipalities, there are only 4 female mayors in the entire country.

Rachel Avraham

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/daughters-of-zion/im-a-feminist-and-the-women-of-the-wall-dont-represent-me/2013/10/31/

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