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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘shabbat’

New Bill Revokes Get-Refusing Inmates’ ‘Mehadrin’ Kosher Food, Boarding Privileges

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The Knesset on Wednesday debated a bill submitted by Habayit Hayehudi Chair MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli revoking the special privileges of prisoners who refuse to grant their wives a get-religious divorce. The bill singles out Orthodox Jewish prisoners who are entitled while behind bars to stay in the prison’s “religious” section, participate in Jewish studies, and eat a stricter-standard “kosher l’mehadrin” meals. The idea is to use the loss of these privileges to force the prisoner to set his wife free.

To be clear, the law does not deprive the Orthodox inmate of his basic Jewish needs, it merely takes away elements of his “ultra-Religious” lifestyle.

Some Orthodox prisoners are actually sitting in jail for their refusal to grant the get, so that by freeing their wives they can set themselves free. But in the case of these Orthodox men, prison often resembles their normal everyday life, and in some cases may be an improvement — in prison they can sit and learn all day with a group of other Orthodox men, celebrate Shabbat and the holidays, and not have to worry about parnossah (making a living). MK Moalem hopes that removing those prisoners’ ability to live a full Jewish life behind bars and inserting them in the general population might help change their outlook on life in prison.

MK Moalem-Refaeli said, “A man who turns his wife into an aguna and refuses to obey the judges’ order to stop abusing her is not truly a man who values halakha and maintaining a Jewish lifestyle. He tramples the most essential Jewish principle, Love your fellow man as you would yourself, only to make his wife’s life miserable. Therefore he is not worthy of enjoying the plethora of privileges prison affords religious inmates.”

JNi.Media

The Minyans – Fountainheads Shabbat

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Video of the Day

Meet the New Secular Israeli: Believes in God, Keeps Shabbat

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Israel’s Channel 2 News and polling service Sample Project Panel, directed by Dr. Ariel Ayalon, have published a survey that may change everyone’s long-held assumptions about the divide between religious and secular in Israel. The survey questioned 500 Jewish Israeli respondents ages 18 to 64, and here is what they had to say regarding a variety of Jewish-related issues:

70.6% don’t eat pig’s meat.

66% believe in God. 20% believe in a higher power, but prefer not to use the G word. Out of those who identified themselves as secular, only 27% said they don’t believe in God.

55.5% have participated in separating the challah.

53.1% were married at the chief rabbinate.

51.4% of women, including secular women, maintain a modest appearance. Out of that group, 28% wear their skirts below the knees, 16% below the ankle, and 56% wear pants.

49.5% fast on Yom Kippur.

45.2% perform Kiddush on Friday night.

43.2% light Shabbat candles.

37.7% don’t drive on Shabbat.

38% keep family purity (avoiding sex during the menstrual period). Incidentally, of the respondents who defined themselves as religious, 9% say they do not observe family purity.

36.5% attend synagogue services on holidays.

29.6% keep kosher.

According to the survey, Israel is definitely becoming more religious. Younger Israelis are more religious than their elders: 80% of respondents ages 18-24 believe in God, compared with 57.5% of ages 55-64. And 25.9% of young Israelis say they are religious, compared with 11.5% of the older generation.

In fact, only Israelis ages 35 and up are majority secular, whereas among ages 24-34 only 48.8% say they are secular, and among ages 18-24 only 37.6% are secular. Out of the younger age group, 50.6% observe Shabbat, compared with 16.1% of their elders. 47.1% of the younger group keep kosher, compared with 21.8% of the older group. 22.4% of the younger Israelis attend synagogue on Shabbat, compared with 14.9% of older Israelis.

In fact, the only area where older Israelis are more traditional than their children is modesty.

On intermarriage, 65% of all Israelis say they would not consider marrying a non-Jew. Among the secular, 42% would not intermarry.

In some areas, however, Israelis are still more secular than religious: 62% of Israelis drive on Shabbat, and 64% use their phones on Shabbat.

JNi.Media

Shlissel (Key) Challah: The Loaf of Idolatry?

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The post was originally published in 2011, but as this is the week some might bake shlissel challah, we are republishing the article.

JUDAIC STUDIES ACADEMIC PAPER SERIES, Authored by Shelomo Alfassa: The Origins of the Non-Jewish Custom Of “Shlissel Challah” (Key Bread) “The Loaf of Idolatry?

You can read it all here, or see the following key point from the research paper:

– Every year Jewish women, young and old, partake in the Ashkenazi custom to place a key (such as a door key to a home), inside the dough of a loaf of bread that they bake. This custom is known as shlissel challah—shlissel from the German language shlüssel (key) and challah or hallah from the Hebrew for bread.

– The baking of a key inside a bread is a non-Jewish custom which has its foundation in Christian, and possibly even earlier, pagan culture. At least one old Irish source tells how at times when a town was under attack, the men said, ―let our women-folk be instructed in the art of baking cakes containing keys.

– Keys were traditionally manufactured in the form of a cross, the traditional symbol of Christianity, a physical item all Christian commoners would posses in their home. On Easter, the Christian holiday which celebrates the idea of Jesus “rising” from the dead, they would bake the symbol of Jesus—the key shaped like a cross—into or onto a rising loaf.

– The modern Jewish custom of baking the symbolic shlissel challah, annually takes place on the shabbat immediately following the holiday of Pessah, when tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of religiously observant Jewish women practice this observance.

– In Christianity, baked goods associated with keys are commonly called “Easter breads,” and in Europe they are also known as ‘Paschals,’ as the holiday of Easter in the East is known as “Pascha” or “Pascua.” This is most likely the reason Christians often call Easter breads baked with keys Paschals.

– While the custom is said to be mentioned in the writings of Avraham Yehoshua Heshel (the Apter Rav: 1748-1825) and in the Ta’amei ha-Minhagim (1891), there is no one clear source for shlissel challah.

And while people will say there is a passuq (Biblical verse) attributed to it, there is not. And, even if there were, a passuq that can be linked to the practice is not the same as a source.

Micha Berger, founder of the AishDas Society, [orthodox] calls this type of logic “reverse engineering,” it‘s like drawing a circle around an arrow in a tree, and subsequently declaring the arrow is a bulls-eye. The idea of baking shlissel challah is not from the Torah; it‘s not in the Tannaitic, Amoraitic, Savoraitic, Gaonic or Rishonic literature.

– Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim19 of Mesora.Org [orthodox] teaches that:

The Torah teaches that Hashem punishes the wicked, and rewards the righteous. It does not say that challah baking or any other activity will help address our needs…When the matriarchs were barren, they did not resort to segulas, but introspected and prayed… Nothing in Torah supports this concept of segula; Torah sources reject the idea of a segula… baking challas with brachos cannot help… segulas are useless, and violate the Torah prohibition of Nichush [good luck charms]. It does not matter if the charm is a rabbit‘s foot, a horseshoe, a challah, key or a red bendel. The practice assumes that forces exist, which do not, and it is idolatrous. – On the far end of the scale, it can be said that shlissel challah observance is a nothing less than “the way of the Amorites.” It is precisely this type of behavior and observance which Jews are supposed to separate themselves from, so it doesn’t go on to influence our thoughts and deeds. Am Yisrael was not created to lose itself in such folklore, and Judaism without disciplined study is nothing but folklore. Judaism allows and encourages the use of our minds. It‘s never too late to realign our path with Torah sources, not blind faith practices which are trendy, in, or cool.

– Educated Jews should help to promote Torah sources to our friends and neighbors, not false practices which are of non-Jewish origin and have nothing to do with Judaism.

100 Amens to that!

Jameel@Muqata

Australia: Update on the Kiddush Herring Dispute and Stabbing

Monday, April 18th, 2016

JewishPress.com received a number of updates and reports (and a lot of jokes) from members of the Australian community regarding the Kiddush Herring Dispute and Stabbing.

The CSG – Community Security Group of Victoria released the following description of the event:

At 12:18pm on Saturday 16 April, one community member stabbed another community member at Rambam Shule on Hotham Street, St Kilda East. The offender was identified but has not yet been apprehended.

It is believed that an altercation occurred inside Rambam between these two community members. The perpetrator then left the Shule, intoxicated, and is believed to have returned to his home to obtain a kitchen knife. He then returned back to the Shule and stabbed a different community member. He left the scene on foot and continued to pose a threat to other community members.

Which implies that perhaps Schnapps was also involved in the Herring dispute.

A number of readers asked, why was herring being served in a Sephardi shul?

A member of the Australian community who wishes to remain anonymous clarified some of the points to JewishPress.com:

1) The incident occurred outside the Rambam Sephardi Synagogue which is directly opposite the Chabad Yeshivah Centre.
2) The incident did NOT happen at the Kiddush or even inside. Synagogue members were unaware of the incident until they came outside.
3) The two who had been arguing and the third person who intervened and was stabbed were not regulars at the minyan. They were there for a Shabbat Chatan being celebrated upstairs in the Ramban Sephardi Bet Knesset.

JewishPress.com will continue to followup on this story as it develops.

Keep those reports and comments coming in, and Refuah Shleimah to the wounded man.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Australia: Man Stabbed at Kiddush Following Herring Dispute

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

During the Shabbat morning kiddush at a synagogue in Melbourne, Australia, one of the men stabbed his fellow synagogue mates, moderately wounding him in the upper body, according to a report in Kikar Shabbat.

The Age reports the attack happened near the Yeshiva Synagogue. Kikar HaShabbat says it happened at the Rambam Synagogue.

According to witnesses, a fight broke out between the two over some herring that one didn’t want to pass to the second. The man then picked up a knife and stabbed the other man, to the shock of everyone else there.

Hatzalah quickly treated the man and he was taken to the hospital.

Thanks to our Australian readers an update to this story can be read here.

Jewish Press News Briefs

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/theres-hope-for-the-left-after-all/2016/01/31/

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