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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘shabbat’

Demonstrators Block Shabbat Mass Conversion Baptism in Rishon L’tzion

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

More than a thousand demonstrators arrived on Shabbat at the Heichal Hatarbut auditorium in Rishon L’tzion, near Tel Aviv, to rally against and try to prevent a Christian baptism ceremony for Israeli converts, planned by the J-Witnesses sect, Israeli media reported. The demonstrators, organized by the Lehava group, succeeded after about two hours to effect the cancellation of the event by police.

“We arrived and managed to block the entrances and break-in seven times,” Lehava Chairman Ben-Zion (Benzi) Gopstein told Hakol Hayehudi. Gopstein, who spent Shabbat in Rishon, reported that “only a few dozen missionaries entered the event, and at one point the police revoked the permit for the ceremony.”

The Lehava action to prevent the mass conversions began on Thursday, when a large group of organization members arranged for their lodging in town for Shabbat, and called for a protest prayer on Shabbat morning.

Three Lehava members were arrested during the demonstration but were released after a few hours.

“We met six women, two of them Holocaust survivors, who had been brought there by their gentile caretakers, and we convinced them not to go inside,” Gopstein related. “One of them said she thought it was an [MK] Tzipi Livni event.”

Gopstein added, “Now police can tell the court in full honesty that it is unable to secure such an event.” He said this had been “an event of true akhdut-unity — many Rishon L’tzion residents arrived, as well as ‘hill youths,’ Chabad, the city rabbis and Lehava activists, and thank God we were successful. Should another such event take place we’ll be there, we’ll go anywhere.”

David Israel

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/australia-man-stabbed-at-kiddush-following-herring-dispute/2016/04/17/

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