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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Shai Piron’

Jewish Youth Battle to Win Israel’s 2014 Annual International Bible Quiz

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

The nation’s eyes are on Israel’s annual International Bible Quiz for Youth, being held today (Yom HaAtzma’ut) at The Jerusalem Theater. Sixteen finalists, boys and girls, are facing off on the stage to win the prize. The contest is broadcast live on nearly all channels, radio and television, in addition to those on Internet, across the country.

Last week 75 contestants from 33 nations met in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Shai Piron.

Questions are announced by the emcee in Hebrew, but appear on the screen in English as well as in Hebrew.

Prime Minister Netanyahu traditionally presents the final round of questions to contestants who are fighting to be the winners of the competition.

At the halfway point, Jewish Agency director Natan Scharansky was asked to present an award to an outstanding student from Or Yehuda, and in his brief address spoke of the importance of strengthening Jewish identity among the youth in the Diaspora.

The contest has been an annual event since its inception. There is also an Israel Bible Quiz for Adults.

Last year’s youth winners were Elior Babian of Beit Shemesh, Israel and Yeshiva University High School student Yishai Eisenberg of New Jersey.

The prime minister’s son Avner won third place in 2010, and the contest has increased in popularity each year.

Minister Shai Piron had Heart Attack on Flight with Prime Minister

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

On the return flight from Poland with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Education Minister Shai Piron complained of chest pains.

He was given medication on the plane, by a doctor on the flight who suspected that Piron was suffering a heart attack.

As soon as the plane landed in Israel, Piron was rushed in an MDA ambulance to Beilinson hospital in Petach Tikvah. He is conscious and stable.

Refuah Shleimah (Get well).

Minister Piron Brought Down by ‘Lethal Joke’

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

A late night debate at the Knesset, about a bill to correct the Prisons code, focusing on the subject of “entering objects into prisons,” was instantaneously turned into a show of irrepressible laughter, to the point of tears, the likes of which has not been seen in the House for years.

Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron took the podium, with the full intent of discussing entering prohibited objects into prison under aggravated circumstances, a seemingly boring topic that makes the late night hour seem even later. But shortly after he began to speak, a few MKs from United Torah Judaism who were all on hand for some reason, cracked a joke—which took Piron by surprise and drove him to uncontrollable laughter. He just couldn’t go on with his comments.

Now, according to a Haredi journalist friend, all MK Gafni did was let out a kind of harrumph sound, making fun of Piron who was about to represent the Netanyahu government on an issue completely outside his field of expertise. He was, basically, saying “here comes the expert…” and that caught Piron off balance.

Peron—a former yeshiva dean—made several attempts to become serious, especially since the deputy speaker, MK Moshe Feiglin, asked everybody present to try and calm down, after all, it’s the Knesset, and people are watching (on Israel’s Channel 99, which is the local version of C-Span) – but the late hour and the fact that the MKs were really tired turned Piron’s desperate attempts to curb his own laughter into even bigger outbursts.

And MK Gafni and his MK buddies—who got Piron in trouble in the first place—continued to giggle and cover their faces with their hands. It was grade school revisited.

Finally, Piron gave up and asked to be replaced by his colleague, Welfare Minister Meir Cohen – who appeared to be struck by the same laughter virus as soon as he had taken the podium.

Jewish Home MK Shuli Mualem took out her smartphone and documented the entire event, possibly planning to use the video as blackmail over future sensitive legislation. But we got our feed from Channel 99…

I’m enclosing the old Monty Python sketch about the lethal joke that brought down the German Army in WW2 – just for comparison. It’s been that kind of a day.



New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Rabbi Piron: Shas’ Election Spot ‘Darkness Judaism’ (Video)

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

The dean of the Petach Tikvah Yeshiva, a major force in the Tzohar movement, and the number 2 candidate on Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid Knesset list “Yesh Atid,” Rabbi Shai Piron, sharply criticized a Shas party election spot which he said “humiliated hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union” and is “an expression of a dark, racist, offensive and invasive kind of Judaism.”

The spot shows a Russian born bride and an Israeli born groom standing under the Chupah, waiting for the bride to receive her instant giur-conversion document by fax. “Just dial star-giur,” she tells her husband to be, who appears devastated by the fact that he is about to marry a gentile.

“If they get to determine who is a Jew, we’d be forced to live in a racist state which chases loyal citizens who shoulder the national burden and serve their country and its values with love and faith,” Rabbi Piron said. “After trying and failing to gather votes by bringing the ethnic demon back to life, the Shas leaders have decided to abuse the immigrant community. The Shas-style Judaism is not our Judaism. Anyone willing to gain a vote and a half more by humiliating kosher and loyal Jews, deserves widespread public condemnation.”

Piron continued: “The moment of truth is here and we all share a duty to decide who will lead Israel in the coming years. Whether we allow Shas to continue to sow seeds of hatred and division that sharpens the old differences between groups, or mobilize together to strengthen a healthy society.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-piron-shas-election-spot-an-expression-of-darkness-judaism-video/2013/01/09/

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