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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tzohar’

Hareidim Keep ‘Liberal’ Zionists in Minority on Rabbinical Courts

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Hareidim claimed victory by blocking the appointment of three “liberal religious Zionists” to the country’s 12 regional rabbinical courts.

There now are 22 judges, 7 more than in previous years, but only eight of them are from the national religious community.

The other 14 are divided equally between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim

Absent from the national religious sector are three rabbis from the Tzohar organization, which was termed as “reform” by Hareidim in a report by the Hareidi Kikar Shabbat website.

Preparations for the voting for judges were made last week with a secret deal that was made between Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is not religious but who has close ties with Hareidim, and Ashkenazi and Sephardi Hareidim.

Kikar Shabbat reported that aides to Steinitz and Hareidim met at a Givat Shaul gas station in the middle of the night last week to close the deal after an understanding that “it would be better to cooperate rather than lose appointment to ‘liberal religious Zionists.’

Degel HaTorah won five judges, and Agudat Yisrael won 2. The voting committee rejected a Chabad rabbi.

Religious Zionist ‘ Tzohar’ Group Launches ‘Listening Together for Shofar’

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

More than 55,000 people will be hosted by members of the religious Zionist movement this year in 55 different locations around Israel to celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.

It is a new project that celebrates the 16th year of the Yom Kippur ‘Praying Together’ program carried out in 295 locations and sponsored by Tzohar, the religious Zionist rabbinical organization in Israel.

After 15 years of successful and expanding Yom Kippur programs, Tzohar will now also host families to hear and learn about the shofar and its importance during the Rosh Hashana prayers.

Over 350 Tzohar volunteers and their families are being placed all around the country to accommodate all those communities who wish to participate. “Going to a religious synagogue can be an intimidating and sometimes off-putting experience for someone who doesn’t regularly attend or associate with that particular community,” said Rabbi David Stav, co-founder of Tzohar.

“We have seen such an outpouring of desire for Jewish connection by the secular community, especially relating the High Holidays, that we knew something had to be done to accommodate them.

“By moving these important Jewish life cycle events to a neutral locations – such as community centers or event halls – it becomes more much inviting and accessible for anyone interested in connecting with their Jewish tradition.” All attendees are provided with the same siddur or machzor to make it easier to follow along, as well as with explanatory pamphlet written by Tzohar about the customs, prayers and meaning of the High Holidays to help guide the participant throughout the services. “Tzohar is continuously adding additional programs to encourage Jewish participation in life cycle events,” said Yakov Gaon, Executive Vice President of Tzohar.

“The powerful reaction to the Yom Kippur program and our other holiday activities showed the excitement and connection people feel. Adding Rosh Hashana programming was a natural next step.”

Troublemakers?

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin of Efrat (R) speaks with Rabbi David Stav. Rabbis Riskin and Stav are part of a group of leading rabbis who decided to establish independent Orthodox conversion courts in Israel, breaking the official Rabbinate monopoly.

What happens next remains to be seen.

Tzohar Rabbinic Group Focuses on Anglo Immigrant ‘Fit’

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Can an English-speaking immigrant ever truly fit in within Israeli society?

This question forms the centerpiece of this year’s summer conference of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization. Planned for July 8 at the Jerusalem Convention Center (Binyanei Ha’Uma), the gathering will feature a dedicated track for English speakers.

Among the subjects to be discussed is the question of whether English-speaking immigrants to Israel have any influence in Diaspora Jewish communities.

Renowned for its work within Israeli society using Jewish tradition to bridge gaps between communities, Tzohar’s Rabbi Reuven Spolter says the organization has identified many unique issues that deserve to be asked.

Within the “anglo” community, many are coping with questions of Jewish identity and practice, he says.

The conference will include a day-long series of sessions and panels on contemporary issues relevant to Israel and Judaism, including the issue of a “good fit” for English-speaking olim.

“Tzohar has proudly shown that Israel’s rabbinical and communal leadership has a voice that deserves to be shared with people of all backgrounds, which of course includes the English-speaking community,” said Rabbi Reuven Spolter.

“At the same time, we need to appreciate that we as Anglos face unique challenges living and raising our children in Israel. This conference will highlight that understanding while creating a dialogue on many of the key issues important to Anglo olim.”

Among the subjects to be discussed are the challenges and opportunities of parenting Anglo teens within a Hebrew-speaking culture, if and how Anglo-Israelis can influence Diaspora Jewry and a session on maintaining intimacy in marriage.

“The Anglo community in Israel is not simply growing in terms of numbers, but also has a large influence on the character and makeup of our country and in particular within the Religious Zionist world,” says Tzohar’s founder and president Rabbi David Stav. “It was therefore important to us to include an English component to our annual conference and we very much hope that this will be welcomed and embraced by many.”

To find out more or to register to attend, click here.

Tel Aviv Synagogue Vandalized with Anti-‘Jewish State’ Grafitti

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

A synagogue led by a rabbi from the Tzohar movement has been vandalized in Tel Aviv.

Grafitti was discovered sprayed on the walls of the synagogue on Sunday, reading among other things, “In a place where a ‘national law’ is legislated – books will burn!”

Near the synagogue lay a pile of books that had been torched, but none were prayer books or any other sacred texts.

The Tel Aviv International Synagogue is a modern Orthodox congregation that is administered under the auspices of the Tzohar organization.

The “national law” referenced in the grafitti is the Jewish nation-state law now being discussed by the Knesset that was brought before the government by the Likud party.

The issue was raised by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who insisted it was time to formally incorporate into national law those principles that are delineated in the declaration of independence signed by the founders of the State in 1948.

 

 

Tzohar Provides ‘Power to the People’ and Their IDF Soldiers

Monday, July 28th, 2014

There are many kinds of power banks — but the strongest of all is the power of love. That’s what keeps a soldier going; it’s why an Israeli soldier never falters when he faces the enemy. He knows he’s defending his family at home. Hearing a loved one’s voice helps to remind him why he’s there. It also helps to reassure those at home that their soldier at the friend is still okay.

The Tzohar organization has come up with a way to provide the essential power bank for soldiers whose batteries need recharging.

It’s been a long few days — or even weeks — for many husbands, fathers, sons and brothers currently serving in Operation Protective Edge stationed on the front lines or in battle. For their families back home it can feel like a lifetime – with many having gone for extended periods of time without speaking with their loved ones.

But a donor-backed initiatve of Tzohar, the religious Zionist rabbinical organization in Israel, has made it easier for soldiers to call home while they’re fighting in Gaza and stationed at the border.

Although safety concerns limit many of the soldiers from making phone calls from within the combat zone, the second problem was the lack of ‘juice — their phones ran out of battery days ago. Access to charging stations is extremely limited and sometimes even those who want to call are unable to, or have to resort to a few seconds on a friend’s phone.

Late Thursday Tzohar bought out the complete stock of some 4,000 chargers after discovering the one Israeli supplier who provides fully charged cell phone stick chargers. Over the course of Friday, the chargers were delivered to soldiers on the front lines from the Golani, Nachal, Givati, Paratroppers, Tanks, Engineering and Artillery Corps, with the intent of reaching them before Shabbat.

“As an active combat reservist, I know the IDF takes full care of any and all needs of its soldiers,” said Nachman Rosenberg, Executive Vice President of Tzohar and the organizer of this operation.

“Nonetheless, we were looking for something practical that could have a meaningful impact in boosting the morale of both the soldiers and their families. We hoped that this would enable families to wish Shabbat Shalom to their sons, husbands and fathers fighting Hamas terrorists on the front lines.”

After receiving his charger, Ophir, an officer in Golani expressed his gratitude to Tzohar and all those who contributed. “Seeing the support from all over the world, we feel like we are not alone. Being able to call home to wish a Shabbat Shalom to my mother not only makes her feel better, but renews my strength in this important mission. You have no idea how much this means to us.”

2 Liberal Orthodox Rabbis Warring over Flipping Fuse on Stormy Shabbat

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Two National Religious rabbis, each a member of different National Religious organizations, have been pushing two radically different views of Shabbat laws following the weekend’s “storm of the century.”

Coordinator of the Beit Midrash (study hall) of the Beit Hillel organization Rabbi Yoni Rosenzweig, who lives in Efrat, in the Judean hills, reported in a personal column in Maariv that at 3 AM, Shabbat, he had woken up to discover that the electricity in his apartment was out.

“I sat down in the middle of the dark living room and was thinking: today is Shabbat. Pushing up the fuse and turning on heat sources in the house is a Torah level prohibition, but, on the other hand, it’s frightfully cold outside, and tomorrow is bound to be cold as well, how will we survive Shabbat without heat?” Rabbi Rosenzweig wrote.

Acknowledging that tens of thousands of Jews in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria had opted to avoid touching their electric systems on that Shabbat, Rabbi Rosenzweig insisted that to him, that choice seemed unreasonable.

“I said to myself: there must be a halachic solution,” the rabbi continued. In the end, he combined two halachic concepts: one – hakol cholim etzel tzina—everyone is considered sick when it’s very cold (Mishna Brura, laws of Shabbat, No. 253 – although the discussion there is regarding asking a gentile to heat the food on Shabbat, Y.Y.); and two – doing the prohibited labor with a change (meaning not the way it is normally done) combined with the concept of Grama (an event caused by another, indirect event) based on the fact that the electricity was not being produced directly as a result of flipping the fuse switch.

In the end, Rabbi Rosenzweig reported, “I lifted the switch with a change, and the heat returned to the apartment. I contemplated for a while if the act was really permitted, but I had no problem falling asleep. I felt that the duty of a posek—halachic ruler is to try and be permissive when it’s needed. We have plenty of ‘chumrot’—severe interpretations of the law, but in an emergency we must know how to go easy.”

Rabbi Rosenzweig’s neighbor in the Gush Etzion region, Rabbi Israel Rosen, of the Tzomet Institute, which, among other things, finds creative halachic solutions to Shabbat issues, and is not known for its strict rulings, published a response in the website Srugim, calling his decision “A Delusional Ruling to Anyone who Understands the Laws of Shabbat.”

Rabbi Rosen laid out a well founded objection to the heter—permission Rabbi Rosenzweig had given himself, starting with the argument that it appeared the children in the house—who are the vulnerable entity in such rulings—appear to have been sleeping comfortably under their covers, which should have at least justified pushing off the decision until morning.

He also suggested that the “indirect” argument is delusional, because there was only one, predictable outcome to flipping the switch on, makes no difference where the actual production takes place.

What I liked most about rabbi Rosen’s well reasoned attack was the fact that, after all had been said, he did not suggest Rabbi Rosenzweig was not within his rights as a halachic Jew to act as he did. What upset him was the fact that he chose to brag about it.

“I was mostly shocked by the atmosphere and the style,” Rabbi Rosen wrote. “It’s evident that the reporting rabbi wishes to aggrandize himself in front of the readers with his great arm that bends halacha with virtuosity.”

“It’s cheapening halacha, using it like playdough,” argued Rabbi Rosen, but, again, his greatest complaint was not the rabbi’s choice, but his turning of a choice that should have remained private into braggadocio.

“If he had ruled this way for his neighbors, I would have kept quiet,” Rabbi Rosen concluded. “But the entire entry emphasizes his own and his family’s interests.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/2-liberal-orthodox-rabbis-warring-over-flipping-fuse-on-stormy-shabbat/2013/12/18/

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