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June 24, 2016 / 18 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘woman’

Israel Rocked by Anti-Semitic Rape of Mentally-Handicapped Woman and Police Coverup

Friday, May 27th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – A horrific gang rape of a mentally-handicapped Jewish woman earlier this month, allegedly committed by three Palestinian Authority Arabs who shouted anti-Semitic comments during the attack, has shaken Israeli society and stirred outrage – including towards the police, who apparently kept the case under wraps for weeks for fear of stoking tensions between Jews and Arabs.

The police announced on Wednesday it had arrested two Palestinian Authority Arabs for the rape of a 20-year-old disabled Israeli woman in southern Tel Aviv on Israeli Independence Day several weeks ago. Imad Al-Din Daraghmeh, 42, is accused of filming as he and two other attackers raped, urinated, and spit on the young woman – all while berating her with anti-Semitic slurs. He also allegedly threatened to murder her aunt and brother if she complained to the police.

The second Palestinian Authority Arab suspect arrested is underage and a third suspect escaped and remains at large.

Meanwhile, right-wing politicians and feminist activists are trading accusations of hypocrisy and selective attention to sexual violence, while the police is under fire for silencing the incident for almost two weeks in an apparent effort to avoid ethnic violence over the emotionally charged crimes.

“It’s an unfathomable horror,” wrote Likud lawmaker Yoav Kisch on Facebook on Wednesday. “The more details of the rape investigation involving the young girl that are revealed, the more I shudder.”

Yet Kisch also rebuked both the police and feminist activists for supposed silence.

“I am horrified at the police’s decision to silence the incident in order to ‘prevent riots,’ but it is mainly the silence that infuriates me. Where are all the heroines of women’s rights? Where are the celebrated feminists?” he asked, accusing his “left-wing colleagues” of not speaking out because the suspected perpetrators are Palestinians.

Michal Rozin, a Knesset member with the left-wing Meretz party, wrote a letter to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday blasting the police’s handling of the case, suggesting that the hush around the case allowed the third suspect to escape.

“This is unacceptable and seriously damages the proper procedure in such cases. I ask you to clarify whether this is a case of police negligence, in addition to the violation of the victim’s rights,” she wrote.

Some activists voiced concern about the politicization of the attack.

“This incident should not be silenced or taken lightly – it’s awful – but such stories also shouldn’t be used to slander a specific group. Those who did it are bad people regardless of their ethnicity,” argued Nitzan Levenberg, an Israeli journalist and feminist activist, in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

“The practice of expressing shock and outrage over violence against women only when the perpetrators are the ‘enemy’ exists all around the world,” she added. “It highlights the view of female sexuality as a tool of war, and such cases are used as a justification for bigoted and racist viewpoints.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, lambasted politicians and the press for not loudly deploring the attack.

“This is a shocking crime that must be condemned across the board. But for some reason such a condemnation hasn’t been heard – not in the press and not across the political spectrum,” Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday night.

Netanyahu then intimated that there is a double standard for Jewish victims as opposed to Palestinian ones – and that had the roles been reversed the public outcry would be much greater.

“One can only imagine what would happen in the reverse case,” he said.

Joshua B. Dermer and Michael Zeff contributed to this article.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Woman Arrested over ‘No Entry for Jews and Dogs’ Sign at Temple Mount

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

A woman, 17, an activist in the Returning to the Mount group, was arrested on Thursday morning on suspicion of violating the public peace, after she hung next to the entrance to the Temple Mount two signs protesting the closing of the site to Jewish visitors on Holocaust Remembrance Day under the guise of a Muslim holiday.

One of her signs read “No entrance to Jews and Dogs,” which was used to bar Jewish customers from businesses in Europe before and during the Holocaust. The other sign compared the closing of the holy site to Jewish visitors to the barring of Jews from public place in Europe in the same dreadful period.

Source: Returning to the Mount

Source: Returning to the Mount

Police arrested the young woman and hauled her to a nearby station where she was interrogated. Her attorney, Rehavia Piltz, from the legal aid society Honenu, said he expected her to be released and ordered not to set foot on Temple Mount and the area near the gate to the compound.

Piltz issued a statement saying, “It is a very serious matter that police do not permit Jews to protest the police own racist actions — preventing Jews from entering the Temple Mount based on their ethnicity.”

Source: Returning to the Mount

Source: Returning to the Mount

JNi.Media

Stabber of Gay Woman in Jerusalem Pride Parade Convicted of Murder

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

by Michael Bachner

Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew from Modi’in Illit, was convicted on Tuesday of the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki in a stabbing rampage during Jerusalem’s gay pride parade last year. Schlissel stabbed several marchers in the July parade, which he deemed “blasphemous,” killing Banki and wounding six others. He was also convicted of six counts of attempted murder.

Judge Nava Ben Or ruled that “it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused killed Shira premeditatively.”

This is the second time Schlissel is convicted of stabbing Jerusalem gay pride parade marchers. He was convicted in 2005 for stabbing and wounding several marchers in that year’s parade, and received ten years in prison. He was released just three weeks before attacking the parade yet again and murdered Banki.

The court blasted the Israeli police for allowing Schlissel to enter the parade with “intolerable ease,” despite his history and clear willingness to attack parade-goers. “The writing was on the wall,” the court said.

Schlissel repeatedly claimed in the past that the “blasphemous” parade desecrated Jerusalem’s sanctity and needed to be stopped at any cost. Schlissel refused to be represented by a lawyer throughout the trial, arguing that the court had no authority to judge him since it was not a religious court.

“He was very quiet while running between marchers and stabbing them, not hollering like you would imagine,” testified Eran Tzidkiyahu during the trial. He said he saw the knife being being pulled out of Banki’s back after the stabbing.

“The defendant was previously convicted of similar offenses for which he served a prison term,” commented the state prosecution after the ruling. “Nevertheless, he was not rehabilitated and has never expressed regret or sadness for his actions. He became even more radical and repeated his severe crimes.”

“This will not be the first time he goes to prison, which is a sign that prison doesn’t work,” commented Noam Eyal, who was wounded by Schlissel during the 2015 parade, after the conviction. “He is dangerous to the public and should not ever see the light of day.”

Another victim, Sheli Bar Lev, said she felt “relieved that he will not be coming to any parade ever again.”

The Tazpit News Agency

Images of ‘the Other’

Monday, September 30th, 2013
Once again I find myself on a plane flying back from yet another wonderful Yom Tov experience in Israel. As I have said in the past, the community in Ramat Bet Shemesh where I spend time with my family is physically and spiritually beautiful… and so are all the people I encountered there.
But I was disappointed at the way the Charedim there see Chilonim (secular Israelis).  And by the same token I am aware of the fact that many Chilonim have an entirely negative attitude about Charedim. A young Charedi teenager I spoke to told me that whenever he passes though a secuar neighborhood, he gets stares and whispers. This young man would not hurt a fly. All he is interested in is studying Torah in his Yeshiva.
Why is this the case?
Images of ‘the other’ are heavily biased by what the media report about them. When the secular media report on the vile actions of extremist Charedim – that is how all Charedim are perceived.  They don’t know about the relatively peaceful nature of the vast majority of Charedim. They only see what the media reports. They see screaming, rabbinic leaders and politicians. They see rock throwers spitters.  The media does not report  about the peaceful lives and good deeds of this community because that isn’t news. Rock throwing and spitting is. Even if it is only done by the few, that is how the Charedim are seen as a whole.
I am reminded of a story I read in one of the Charedi magazines. I do not recall the details but a Charedi woman saw a void in how patients are treated and filled it with tons of Chesed. She does so without discrimination – giving of herself to anyone in need regardless of how religious or secular they are
One time when she was serving a Chiloni woman , she was thanked and then was asked a ‘favor’: “Would she mind telling her people to stop throwing rocks at her?”
The Charedi woman took umbrage at that since she had never thrown so much as a pebble at anyone in her life.  I can understand why she felt that way. But she should have asked herself, why do they hate us so much? And what can be done to change attitudes?
In my view, the problem is that the two communities do not interact with each other. They therefore have no clue what the other side is really like. Their perceptions are driven by a secular media whose job it is to present hard news and not fluff pieces…. And by the rhetoric of by which the Cheredi media characterizes the Chiloni world. Each side rejects thee other and will have nothing to do with each other.
Jonathan Rosenblum had an article in the Sukkos edition of Mishpacha Magazine wherein he tried to make this point. He quoted a Drasha that explains each of the Daled Minim (Lulav and Esrog etc.) as the four segments of Jewry, The Esrog represents those Jews who have both Torah and Mitzvos; The Lulav –those with Torah alone, The Hadassim – Mitzvos alone; and the Aravos – those with neither Torah nor Mitzvos. While this is certainly an oversimplification of reality – one might say that the Aravos apply to the Chiloni world. But God tells us to combine all four Minim for the Mitzvah to be properly fulfilled.
The point is that all segments of the Klal are needed to fulfill the Mitzvah of The Daled Minim.  And this should be the attitude of us all. We all need each other. We ought to interact with each other and get to what we all are really like. We can discuss the issue that divide us and hopefully come to a resolution that will be acceptable to all. But even if we don’t we will have accomplished a very big step toward Achdus.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah .

Harry Maryles

The Woman who Corrected the High Priest

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

By Chana Weisberg

The story begins in the year 2830 when Chana’s husband, Elkanah, takes his family on a pilgrimage to Shiloh, the site of the Tabernacle, the temporary spiritual epicenter that preceded the Temple. Elkanah is also married to another woman, Penina. The childless Chana silently suffers humiliation from her more fortunate rival, who has mothered several children.

Solemnly, Chana enters the holy place silently offering heartfelt prayers for a child.

Eli, the High Priest, unaccustomed to such heartfelt, silent prayers “thought that she was drunk.”

“How long will you be drunk? Sober up!” Eli reprimands Chana.

Chana responds: “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor spirits, but have poured out my soul before G‑d.”

Eli concludes: “Go in peace; and may the G‑d of Israel grant your request.”

The following year, Chana’s son, Samuel is born. When Samuel is weaned, Chana brings him to the tabernacle to be taught by Eli. Samuel grows up to become the great fearless prophet who coronated the first kings of Israel, Kings Saul and David.

Do you relate to G‑d as a parent or as a king?

The major theme of Rosh Hashanah is the acceptance and recognition of G‑d’s sovereignty over creation.

This consciousness serves as the basis of all of Judaism. G‑d desires to interact with our reality as Sovereign of the Universe. We, in turn, express our awareness that the very essence of our being is dependent on its Divine origin. “Rule over the entire world in Your glory,” we pray in the Rosh Hashanah Liturgy.

We view G‑d as our King. Though benevolent, He remains at an infinite distance from us, charging us with responsibility and courage to make the right decisions in our lives. He expects us to combat evil and rebukes our weaknesses or fluctuations. He sternly orders us to overcome temptations, to “hearken the commandments” and choose “blessings” rather than “stray from the path” and to realize that all that He does is for our ultimate benefit.

From this perspective, darkness, challenge and want exist only to bypass and transcend, to rouse our innermost strengths and convictions in realizing their true smallness and insignificance in the grand picture of things.

In the haftorah of Rosh Hashanah, we read about the experience and perspective of a woman. Chana, the prophetess, revealed many of the basic laws of prayer and the inner dimension of prayer—the interface between the physical and spiritual realities. She also taught us how to relate to our Creator from an entirely feminine perspective. To view G‑d not only as our King and Sovereign. But also as a Parent.

“You are children to the L-rd, your G-d.”

“Avinu Malkeinu, Our Father, our King, be gracious to us and answer us… “

G‑d acts as both a king and a parent. He displays both modes of love: protecting and helping as well as disciplining and teaching.

Both the King and Parent paradigms are genuine and powerful. Yet they move in opposite directions. A King establishes a definite distance and authority over his subject. Parental love, on the other hand, is characterized by attachment and closeness.

At the same time that G‑d as our King decrees Divine law, G‑d as our Mother, as the Shechinah (Divine Presence or G‑d’s “feminine” expression) provides Divine help. The Shechinah -“the One who dwells with them in their impurity” (Leviticus 16:16) – is always present, ministering to and facilitating for her child. The Shechinah comes down to be together with her children. Nothing, not the material aspect of our world, nor our physical natures, can sever the unshakable bond between Mother and child.

Prayer is a demonstration of how we merge the two paradigms of G‑d as King and G‑d as Parent.

Prayer is a paradoxical activity. On the one hand a basic element of prayer is the acknowledgement of all the undeserved goodness that our King has showered upon us and the articulation of our appreciation, thanks and praise for it all. We acknowledge that as the origin of everything is ultimate Goodness, so, too, everything that happens to us must be entirely good.

In tandem with that, the commandment of prayer is to express our spiritual and material needs and wants. Anytime we feel something is amiss in our lives, we are commanded to pray to G‑d and ask Him to correct those things which, from our perception, have gone wrong.

Yet, if everything originates from our generous King, who is the ultimate of Goodness and He knows far better than us what is good for us, how can we be asking Him to change His plan? Or, how can we “demand” more goodness from our benevolent King while realizing how unworthy we are?

Because prayer is G‑d allowing us to not only relate to G‑d as a transcendental King on a spiritual level, but also as an imminent, caring Parent. Prayer is G‑d saying, show Me how things look from your viewpoint, from within your world. It is allowing us not to bypass our inner emotions, wants, fears, needs and insecurities, but to focus on them, put them in perspective and validate them.

Prayer is realizing that our Creator’s motherly bond and love will shake the very fabric of our world to bring Her child fulfillment. It is realizing that on this level physicality and spirituality do not conflict.

Perhaps this is how we can understand the fascinating exchange read in the haftorah of Rosh Hashanah.

When Eli accuses Chana of drunkenness, his words must be understood figuratively. He did not actually believe that Chana was intoxicated or he would have been required to remove her immediately out of respect for the holiness of the premises.

Eli was asking Chana, “How long will you remain intoxicated by your own desires? How long will you remain so absorbed in your own needs, drunk with your own wants?

“Prayer,” Eli was correcting Chana, “is meant to give you a more spiritual perspective, one in which you can rise above the materialism of our world and express gratitude to your King. Instead, you have become obsessed with your personal wants.

“Rise above your situation. It is time for you to gain a broader perspective, one in which you can appreciate the goodness of your King.”

To this, Chana responds: “No, I am not drunk with personal concerns. I have poured out my soul from the core of my essential being, from the depths of my soul.

“From this deep place, I see my Creator not as a foreign, faraway Being who is only concerned with the spiritual aspect of His subjects.

“But rather as a loving Parent who intimately relates to me, on my level and with my wants. A Mother who shares in my pain, and cries together with me, holding my hand in every time of darkness and distress.

“I do not need to transcend my wants, He yearns to hear all about them.”

Chana, a woman, needed to teach this perspective. She taught us that prayer, the feminine archetype, is empathetic. It is a supplication from our innermost selves, from the very depths of our hearts, connecting with G‑d’s innermost desire to forge a connection with us.

Chabad.org

Adultery and Marriage: a Jewish Approach to Monogamy

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

It is well known that one of the Ten Commandments is the prohibition of adultery. Extramarital sex has historically been a man’s game, since the male sexual desire is stereotypically assumed to be uncontrollable. A recent survey by the National Opinion Research Center has shown, however, that the number of married American women having adulterous affairs has nearly doubled over the last decade. Today, 21 percent of men admit to having such affairs while 14.7 percent of women now admit to having them.

Sociologists explain that women today are more willing to cheat since they have stronger careers and aren’t as worried about the financial loss they would incur in a divorce. A recent Pew Research Center poll showing that working mothers are now the primary “breadwinners” in 37 percent of American homes (up from 11 percent in 1960) seems to bear this out, as these numbers roughly match the proportion of men and women having affairs. Most of these breadwinning women are single mothers, but 40 percent of them are married and earn more than their husbands. Perhaps it is true that when women began to enter the workforce in greater numbers and rise in the corporate world, they learned from and now emulate corporate male behavior.

In What do Women Want?, Daniel Bergner notes that women may be no different from men in their struggle with monogamy and desires for sexual novelty , although there may be differences depending on the situation. For example, research on rhesus monkeys demonstrated that males initiated sexual relations when the monkeys were kept in smaller cages, but in larger spaces the females initiated sexual relations. Significantly, this and other findings have occurred at the same time that the number of women in scientific research has soared. We hope that science has passed the era when scientists could claim that women suffered from “hysteria” (based on the Greek word for uterus), irrational behavior supposedly caused by disturbances in the uterus.

One might think that monogamy was considered to be against the norms of evolution, since a male biologically wants to have as many offspring as possible. Analysis of various animals living with their brood show that anywhere from 10 percent to 70 percent of their offspring have a father different from the male animal currently staying with the brood. Professor David P. Barash of the University of Washington famously quipped, “Infants have their infancy; adults, adultery.” Even among primates (which include humans), more than 200 species are not monogamous. However, British scientists have found that in the three species of primates in which monogamy evolved, it did so after a period where males had earlier committed infanticide. In reaction, fathers began to remain by their children and mothers to protect them from rival males, thus establishing the monogamous nuclear family. The virtual universality of this system among humans, and its staying power across civilizations, argues for its value.

Even among other species from beetles to baboons, while exogamous sex occurs, one mate will often react with a ferocious jealousy if it observes the other straying. Promiscuity may be necessary among some species for survival, but that does not mean that these creatures like it.

Marriage is one formal marker and arrangement for monogamy. In the Jewish tradition, marriage is a central institution, and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote about this unique commitment:

On the one hand, the great covenant [of marriage] has been compared by the prophets time and again to the betrothal of Israel to G-d; on the other hand, the ordinary betrothal of woman to man has been raised to the level of covenantal commitment. Marriage as such is called berit, a covenant. Apparently, the Bible thinks that the redeeming power of marriage consists in personalizing the sexual experience, in having two strangers, both endowed with equal dignity and worth, meet. And the objective medium of attaining that meeting is the assumption of covenantal obligations which are based upon the principle of equality. Hence, we have a clue to the understanding of the nature of matrimony. All we have to do is analyze the unique aspects of covenantal commitment and apply them to the matrimonial commitment (Family Redeemed, 41-42).

Knowing how hard it is to find the perfect partner, the Rabbis taught: “It is [as] difficult [for G-d] to match up [a man and a woman for marriage] as it is to split the sea (Sotah 2a).” Elsewhere in the Talmud, the Rabbis debate whether the primary goal of marriage is to produce offspring or about the marriage itself:

Rav Nachman said in the name of Shmuel that even though a man has many children, he may not remain without a wife, as it says: “It is not good that man be alone.” But others say that if he does have children then he may abstain from procreation and he may even abstain from taking a wife altogether (Yevamot 61b).

But even those who subscribe to the latter position, that it is not obligatory to get married, must agree that it’s still desirable and good (i.e., not legally required but clearly very good and important) to marry.

Rav Soloveitchik further explains:

Within the frame of reference of marriage, love becomes not an instinctual reaction of an excited heart to the shocking sudden encounter with beauty, but an intentional experience in reply to a metaphysical ethical summons, a response to the great challenge, replete with ethical motifs. Love, emerging from an existential moral awareness, is sustained not by the flame of passion, but by the strength of a Divine norm whose repetitious fulfillment re-awakens its vigor and force. The marriage partners, by imitating G-d who created a world in order to be concerned with and care for it, extend the frontiers for their communal living to their offspring, and by questing to love someone who is yet unborn, defy the power of erotic change and flux. The ethical yearning to create and share existence with someone as yet unknown redeems hedone by infusing it with axiological normative meaning and thus gives it a new aspect — that of faith. Since our eternal faith in G-d is something which defies rationalization, the mutual temporal faith of man and woman united in matrimony is just as paradoxical. History does not warrant our unswerving religious faith; likewise, utilitarian psychology denies the element of faith in the marriage institution (Family Redeemed, 42).

No one claims that monogamy is easy. We know from psychological studies that young people often have cognitive skills that are still evolving, and it is difficult to tell whether two people can grow compatibly over decades. The choice of a partner is a serious matter. Honest and loving marriage is central to the Jewish faith. We must do all we can to collaboratively preserve the holy covenant that strengthens our families and societies.

We must protect our own marriages and the institution of marriage. Adultery, as one of the many causes of failed marriages, must be rejected through ethical conviction and spiritual commitment. We must all have personal moral accountability, legitimate caring for our spouses and children, and Jewish commitment to the pledge of monogamy and shared covenant of love and devotion.

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Internet, Halacha, and Olam HaBah

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

It’s simply not possible. I don’t believe it. Nonetheless it is being reported as fact. Rafi’s blog, Life in Israel, has linked to the Hebrew language website B’Chadrei Charedim that quotes Rav Chaim Kanievsky’s response to a question about smart-phones.

There is a Gemarah in Brachos that tells us that a man will lose his portion in Olam HaBah if he walks regularly behind a woman down a river. Rav Kanievsky was asked if this applies to someone who has in his possession an I-phone or the internet. His one word answer according to Chadrei was ‘ B’Vadai’ – absolutely! Anyone who uses an I-phone or the internet is in a category of losing his Olam HaBah – his heavenly reward in the world to come!

If this is true, then yet again, I think we all ought to all just go over to MacDonald’s and have a cheeseburger… or violate any other Miztvah in the Torah we want to violate. Why bother observing Halacha if you’ve lost your Olam Habah?

I happen to know Gedolei Torah and Roshei Yeshiva  who use I-phones and the internet. Are they all doomed?

Once again we have what appears to be a huge dis-connect between what a great Torah sage supposedly said – and reality. Either Rav Kanievsky does not know the extent of internet use among a great number of devoutly observant Jews, or this is a gross distortion or mischaracterization of his views. I think that both things are true. I don’t believe he said it and meant it to be interpreted as simply as that one word answer indicates.

I would not be surprised if this is yet another instance of Kanoim – religious zealots twisting the views of a elderly rabbinic leader to fit their agenda. I’m sure his position is far more nuanced than the one word answer (B’Vadai) he supposedly gave to a simple question.

The Agenda is obvious. There are people who are eager to destroy other Jews in a fit of self righteousness. They do not have these devices and do not want anyone else to have them either. So they make sure to twist the words of Gedolei Yisroel to assure it.

They may think they are doing the right thing. But they are by far doing far much more harm than good. They may in fact be responsible for pushing more religious Jews out of observance than saving them from using the internet.

By putting people who have smart-phones into a category of losing their Olam Habah, it is not too difficult to see many frustrated Frum people who have so often been put upon with comments like this say, ‘the heck with it!’ I may as well live a life of ease and not worry about violating Halacha. I won’t make to Olam HaBah anyway.

The Gemarah upon which this one word response attributed to Rav Kanievsky was based upon does not forbid the incidental following of a woman down a river. The loss of Olam Habah  that the Gemarah speaks of is only to those who purposely do so with lascivious thoughts and the intent to sin in that regard. And even then only if it is done on a regular basis.

I would add that even if someone regularly does things like that and has some sort of sexual addiction, he can get help… and do Teshuva. I find it very difficult to believe that the Gemarah’s intent is that someone loses his Olam HaBah permanently if he does that. It is also known that the Gemarah sometimes exaggerates to make a point. Which may be the case here.

If there is any comparison to be made between following a woman down a river and the world of the 21st century and the internet – it is in the area of purposely viewing pornography on it. The problem is not the internet. It is the websites one frequents… if those websites are pornographic. That is the comparison that Rav Kanievsky no doubt meant – if he said anything at all.  Accidentally accessing a pornographic website is not a cause for losing one’s Olam Habah.

But the Kanoim who publish stories like this do not want to be confused with the nuances of truth. They want convey the message that I-phones and any other device that can access the internet is so evil that one should not even touch it! For if they do, their Olam HaBah is at stake.

Harry Maryles

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/the-internet-halacha-and-olam-habah/2013/08/20/

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