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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘shabbat’

In Heated Debate on Shabbat Law, MK Zohar Questions Left’s ‘Enlightened socialism’

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

(JNi.media) A heated debate erupted in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday over a bill to ban commercial activity on Shabbat, despite an earlier agreement to postpone the vote to a later date.

The bill, introduced by MK Miki Zohar (Likud), would ban all commercial activity on Shabbat, apart from restaurants, bars, places of public entertainment, gas stations and pharmacies—which must apply for permission from the economy minister.

While presenting the bill to the Plenum, MK Zohar said “this law is a Jewish social law, but without the claim that this is a law of religious coercion, why would all the socialists vote against it? We know that the Tel Avivian public supported the Zionist Camp, and the Tel Avivian public has a problem with my law. The Zionist Camp is afraid of [Tel Aviv Mayor] Ron Huldai and is abandoning the values of socialism to gain the votes of Tel Aviv’s residents.”

“We will protect the weaker businesses. Where is your enlightened socialism? Where did it disappear to? Tel Aviv has repeatedly forgotten the Jewish idea… This country will forever remain a Jewish and democratic country, and as such, it obligates us to observe one day of rest a week, and that will be on Shabbat, whether you want it or not. Call me a dark and messianic person who forces religion on people – I will continue along my path faithfully until the end. My victory is the victory of the Israeli people,” he added.

Zohar’s remarks caused an uproar among members of the opposition, and MKs Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp), Michal Rozin (Meretz), Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) and Itzik Shmuli (Zionist Camp) were ejected from the hall after being called to order a number of times.

In the current situation, despite sanctioning Shabbat as the day of rest in the Law of Hours of Work and Rest (1951) and similar legislation, the day’s special status is violated widely, especially by vendors, while enforcement has been completely eroded, according to the bill’s author. The new bill prohibits shopping malls, for example, from staying open on Shabbat, barring specific appeals to the economy minister.

Under the bill, opening a business on Shabbat will constitute a civil offense, and business owners would be able to sue peer businesses that operate on Shabbat for damages incurred by the illegal competition. Violating the new law could result in a minimum fine of about $1,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to one year. In addition, conditioning rental or work contracts on Shabbat work will be prohibited, and it will not be possible to compel a business owner to work on Shabbat as a condition of renting space in a shopping mall, nor will the mall be allowed to fine such an individual for staying closed on Shabbat.

The accompanying notes to the bill state that the lack of enforcement has led to the formation of “enclaves,” particularly in Tel Aviv, where the “rest laws” are ignored completely. “The increasing violations of the law stem from the narrow economic interests of commercial elements, and the lack of proper enforcement,” say the notes. “This reality has a devastating effect on the values which the weekly day of rest seeks to protect, as well as on the rule of law and the public’s trust in the law.”

JNi.Media

Pollard Praying for Miracle of Chanukah in Appeal on Parole Conditions

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard is appealing to the U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday for easing conditions of his parole that make it impossible for him to work and require him to violate Jewish law on Shabbat.

HaModia reported that the presiding judge at the hearing, on the third day of Chanukah, will be Katherine B. Forrest, who was appointed to her current position four years ago by President Barack Obama.

A New York financial institution had offered Pollard a job after his recent release from prison following 30 years in jail.

However, the parole’s conditions require Pollard to remain under house arrest 12 hours a day, from 7 in the evening until 7 in the morning, preventing him from attending synagogue on the eve of Shabbat and Jewish holidays.

Attorney Jacques Semmelman, acting on behalf of Pollard, previously has filed a brief stating that he cannot find work because he is required to wear a GPS bracelet, which needs re-charring at least once and sometimes twice within 24 hours.

Moreover, he has to remain seated for two hours while the battery for the monitoring system is being re-charged.

His parole conditions also require him to violate the Shabbat by answering the phone if his probation officer calls on the Day of Rest.

Turning on the electricity on Shabbat for the re-charging system is a violation of Jewish law, and even if he uses a “Shabbos clock,” he cannot move from his seat for two hours.

Rabbi Pesach Lerner, executive of the National Council of Young Israel, told the court in an affidavit that when there is a two-day Jewish holiday, which occurs four times day and sometimes if it immediately followed by Shabbat, it would cause more violations of Jewish law.

Rabbi Lerner, according to HaModia, also pointed out that the parole conditions disturb the meaning of Shabbat. He explained:

Lest anyone think the Sabbath is merely a collection of prohibitions, that is not the case at all. The Sabbath is a special day which, if properly observed, provides spiritual respite and growth.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Accessibility Shabbat’ Promoting Attention to Handicapped in Synagogue [video]

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) Conceived by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Chair of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization‘s Committed on Jewish Ethics and one of Israel’s leading thinkers on Ethics in Religious Society, the first ever “Accessibility Shabbat” will take place in communities across Israel this weekend. The program—held in coordination with the International Accessibility Day which takes place worldwide on December 3—highlights the need for greater respect for the disabled in the religious community and Israeli society.

“The reality is that the specific challenges posed by the handicapped are all too often overlooked within our religious community and many of our synagogues and community facilities are not made amenable to the needs of this population,” Rabbi Cherlow said in a letter announcing the initiative. “This cannot be the Jewish way of doing things and we must re-examine our approach and make our facilities and communities more accommodating in every possible way.”

Accessibility Shabbat will includie educational elements as well as proactive initiatives intended to enact practical approaches to benefit the handicapped. Tzohar’s website and its network of community rabbis have distributed educational materials stressing approaches to the disabled in the Jewish sources which community members will be encouraged to learn over the Shabbat.

Rabbi Cherlow said that every participating synagogue should review their facilities to find ways to make them more amenable to the physically handicapped as well as providing prayer books and study materials for the blind and sight-impaired and relevant accommodations for the deaf. “Fundamentally, even while we know that we need to pay attention to caring about the handicapped community, we often fail to take the next step to seeing exactly what we can do to be more inclusive and compassionate. This Shabbat will give us that opportunity and hopefully encourage an ongoing dialogue on this topic.”

Tzohar encouraged synagogues to allot a specific budget for the needs of the handicapped with the goal of making as many religious facilities as possible accessible.

Rabbi David Stav, founder and President of Tzohar, said that the goal of the program is to remind every Jew to be more cognizant of the needs of others. “Compassion for those less fortunate than others is an inherently Jewish value, but at times we need to be reminded of specific ways to take that understanding and put it into practical terms.”

Tzohar Executive Vice President Yakov Gaon said that while the program is currently being launched in Israel with participating communities, plans are already in place to take the initiative globally in coming years.

JNi.Media

Thousands to Celebrate Matriarch Sarah this Shabbat at Hebron World Heritage Site

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) Defying the threat of terror and the stormy weather, thousands of Jews are planning to take part in the annual Shabbat Chayei Sarah festivities in Hebron, a celebration of the purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs (Me’arat Ha’Machpela) by Abraham which is recounted in the weekly Torah portion named after Abraham’s wife who was buried there 3,691 years ago, according to Jewish tradition.

This Shabbat, November 6-7, the Jewish community of Hebron and neighboring Kiryat Arba will open their homes to guests from throughout Israel and around the world who will come to Hebron to read the Torah portion recalling the passing of the Biblical matriarch Sarah and her husband Abraham’s purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs as a burial plot. The cave subsequently became the final resting place of Abraham himself, as well as his son Isaac and his wife Rivkah, and their son Jacob and his wife Leah.

“The city of Hebron is proud and eager to host the myriad guests who will be joining us in celebration this Shabbat,” Yishai Fleisher, International Spokesman for the City of Hebron, said in a statement. “Israel has been hit by a plague of jihad, yet it continues to operate everyday with optimism and resilience. We look forward to a fun and festive experience for all the good people, government ministers, rabbis and educators, Jews and non-Jews who will come to pay tribute and join us in solidarity.”

Since Hebron’s liberation in 1967 and the subsequent effort to revitalize the community that had flourished for hundreds of years before the pogroms of 1929, the Machpela Cave has been a site of pilgrimage to millions of Jews and gentiles who come to honor the principal heroes of the Bible and the founders of monotheistic civilization.

Fleisher pointed out that while international bodies like UNESCO are trying to minimize the Biblical and Jewish significance of this world heritage site, and terrorists try keep pilgrims from arriving, by sowing fear and oppression, Israelis and lovers of the Bible worldwide defy those efforts by coming to Hebron on Shabbat Chayei Sarah and proclaiming the eternal connection between Hebron, the Bible, and the Jewish people.

JNi.Media

The Shabbat Rap

Monday, October 19th, 2015

2015 winners of The Kosher Rap competition.

This rap video was created by 11-year-old UK Jewish school kids about Shabbat and peace. It’s featured as the music video for the global Shabbos Project the UK’s project Shabbat UK.

Video of the Day

Rabbi Permits Carrying Cell Phone on Shabbat because of Wave of Terror

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, founder and director of the Zomet Institute that is dedicated to the adaptation of technology to Jewish law, has ruled that it is permissible to carry a mobile phone on Shabbat for emergency use.

His ruling is only of several obvious signs that Israelis are preparing themselves for more Arab attacks against Jews.

Police report a surge in the number of daily calls made by worried Israelis to police emergency hotlines. Israelis usually call the police approximately 600 times a day to report suspicious individuals, vehicles, or devices, but that number has soared to 25,000.

Following a terrorist attack in central Tel Aviv on Thursday, Israeli civilians made more than 5,500 calls to the Tel Aviv District Police, more than 7,000 to the Central District Police, and more than 6,000 to the Jerusalem District Police. The police have taken notice of the spike in calls and have reinforced their dispatch centers with experienced officers to provide constant responses and assistance.

Meanwhile, the outdoor equipment retailer Rikushet reported a 400-percent increase in the purchase of self-defense products, mainly pepper spray. Other similar chains have also reported increases in the sales of pepper sprays, stun guns, clubs, and plastic restraints.

Rikushet CEO Dudi Mantin estimated that in the past week, Israelis have spent about $78,000 on self-defense products, Israel HaYom reported.

Josh Carr, an immigrant from South Africa and former commander at the Israel Defense Forces’ Krav Maga martial arts instructor’s school, has posted a Facebook invitation for Israelis to join “a free self-defense course.”

He wrote:

The course will focus mainly on knife defense but will include basic fighting skills and how to react in an emergency situation. This course will not turn you into a superhero, however, it could save your life or the life of someone else.

JNS News Service

Deri Backs Down on Shabbat Work Halt on New Rail Line

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A court order overruling Deri’s “stop work” decision allows Israel Railways to continue maintenance and construction work on Shabbat.

Israeli Railways can continue carrying out maintenance work and construction of the new high-speed Jerusalem-to rail line on Shabbat after the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Court out-maneuvered Shas leader Aryeh Deri, who also is Minister of Economy.

As reported here last week by the JewishPress.com, Deri scored his political points with his Sephardi Hareidi constituency knowing that his stop work order would not last very long.

Deri’s has backed down from his order against work on Shabbat following a Justice Ministry petition to the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Economy. The court obliged and overruled Deri, who then withdrew his order.

He stated:

The permits to be given or extended shall be valid until a different decision is made, given the court proceeding.

Deri had claimed that Israeli Railways did not obtain a legal permit for working on Shabbat, and he ordered that work on the rail line be halted. Israel Railways claimed that Deri’s decision would delay the inauguration of the high-speed train by 2 years, which mathematically does not make any sense but at least gave the company another excuse for another postponement in completing the massive and oft-mismanaged project.

One delay earlier this year was caused by tunnel engineers who were off the mark during work from both ends of one of the tunnels. It returned out that the opening from each end did not meet in the middle.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/deri-backs-down-on-shabbat-work-halt-on-new-rail-line/2015/09/30/

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