web analytics
January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘woman’

Jewish Woman Murdered in Turkey

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A Turkish Jewish woman who was married to a non-Jewish Turkish man lost her life after she was run over by a man in Istanbul.

The woman was well known as a successful author, according to the Turkish-language edition of the Daily Hurriyet.

The circumstances of her death are not clear, according to the report, which said that local police have opened an investigation into the murder.

Hana Levi Julian

Redeeming Relevance: Parshat Bereshit: Why Can’t a Man be More Like a Woman?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

When Chava, the first woman, is created, she is immediately described as an ezer kenegdo to Adam, a helper parallel to him (Bereshit 2:18). This is a very confusing description – so much so that many commentators focus on one of these two words at the expense of the other. Some concentrate on the first word, explaining that she is a helper (see R. Y. S. Reggio), while others concentrate on the second word, and explain that she is man’s complete equal (see Kli Yakar). The rabbis (Yevamot 63a) try to take both words into account, saying that they are referring to two possibilities, depending on the righteousness of the husband: If he is righteous he will marry a woman who will help him. If not, he will marry someone who will be at cross purposes with him. While this view is adopted by Rashi as more complete, it seems to deviate from the simple meaning of the verse.

None of the explanations suggest that this new creature could be both ezer and kenegdo at the same time. But perhaps the commentators limit themselves unnecessarily. Perhaps God’s Torah reflects a different perspective – one that sometimes challenges us to stretch beyond our usual way of thinking.

From the moment he was created, Adam was told to subdue the concrete physical world. And in that world that became man’s laboratory, what is black can’t be white, and what is solid can’t be liquid. Seeing the tangible world like this, he has been tempted to think of non-physical reality in the same way: What is good could not be bad. What is heroic could not be cowardly. And what is hierarchical could not be equal.

Some contemporary feminist thinkers claim that women are less prone to think in this way. From a Biblical perspective, this can follow from their not being given the task of subduing the physical world. But maybe even more important is that their very essence is indicated by the paradoxical phrase we are trying to understand. Indeed, all of the commentators who have difficulty explaining this phrase were men.

If we think about it further, however, we would realize that the paradox of the ezer kenegdo is built into our very existence, especially when it comes to understanding God Himself. After all, being both a God of judgment and a God of mercy at the same time also seems like black and white together. Likewise, He is everywhere while inexplicably removing Himself enough for us to have our own distinct and meaningful existence.

When not applied to women, the Biblical term ezer is almost always referring to God. The various usages of the word show that its nearly universal translation as helper is correct. Yet it seems axiomatic that one who helps is following the needs of someone else, thereby making them (the helper) subservient. Of course, in the case of God, the paradox is even greater, since it is obvious that God is actually superior to those that He helps. This alone should make us understand that subservience is really not something that reduces us and makes us inferior. On the contrary, what we see is that by being subservient to others, we actually emulate God. That is to say, by helping and putting the needs of others first, we paradoxically show our true superiority, or – at least – our Divine nature. In fact, this notion is actually embedded in woman. Though she helps her partner and remains his equal, she literally nurtures her children and remains – nay, perhaps thereby becomes – their superior.

It would then seem that by being given a paradoxical nature, woman may be just a bit closer to the image of God than man. If so, it should follow – as many have suggested – that women relate more easily to the spiritual world than men. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that men are shut out from the unity of opposites manifest in the non-physical world. But unfortunately, instead of men adapting a more feminine understanding of the spiritual world, we find just the opposite.

As women have entered the material world that used to be the near-exclusive domain of men, many try to define themselves with male choices and decide to be either subservient or equal – or at least to sometimes be one and at other times the other – but no longer, both simultaneously.

Whatever the reason, mankind is getting further and further way from the spirituality that is at his (and especially her) very essence. And for that reason, it would serve us all well to appreciate the reality of the ezer kenegdo.

Rabbi Francis Nataf

Woman of the Year 5776: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The January 22, 2013 general elections in Israel marked the emergence of two new parties; one, journalist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, was yet another attempt to grab the undecided center among Israel’s voters; the other, Habayit Hayehudi, was a coalition of National Religious parties led by hi-tech executive Naftali Bennett and his long-time political ally, a 30-something computer engineer from Tel Aviv named Ayelet Shaked, who stood out as the only secular Jew in an otherwise Orthodox Jewish party. Both parties did well, although Lapid’s party took seven more seats than Bennett’s (19 vs. 12). Both parties also represent new challenges to the current power status quo in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud leading a right-leaning coalition government over an opposition being led by Labor (a.k.a. Zionist Camp).

At this point in the life of the 20th Knesset, the polls are showing Yesh Atid as the new largest party, siphoning off votes from Likud’s centrist voters and Labor’s more nationalistic supporters, as well as from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party which barely passes the threshold percentage in the polls. At the same time, Likud is also being bitten on its right flank, by Habayit Hayehudi. And, also for the first time, the National Religious leader Naftali Bennett has been speaking openly about his ambition to be Israel’s next prime minister, at the helm of a rightwing, pro-religious, pro-settlements government.

That ambition is a new thing to a party that, since its incarnation as NRP in 1956, has always seen itself as a second banana, always in government, be it with leftwing or rightwing majority parties, but never at the helm. And while Chairman Bennett has been outspoken about his ambition to carve out a new direction for the country in the image of his party’s ideology, another Habayit Hayehudi leader has been giving the nation an idea of how a national religious government would carry out its agenda — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Since the end of the 1990s, it has become clear that Israeli Jews are only going to become more traditional, even religious, and, consequently, the chance for a left-leaning party to receive the largest percentage of the vote will continue to grow dimmer. But while political positions have been given by the voter to rightwing governments, key decisions on issues that are close to the heart of the same rightwing voters have continued to lean to the left. This has been most notable in the liberated territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where evictions of Jewish settlers have been carried out over the past decade and a half by rightwing-led governments, and those same governments have been refusing to implement Israeli civil law in Jewish communities hat have been living under martial law since the 1970s.

This is because the judiciary in Israel has been ruling as a shadow government, unelected and with a leftwing, secular agenda. In addition, Israel has had the most activist supreme court anywhere in the West, a court that has seized for itself powers well outside the norm in countries that uphold the principle of three branches of government. In countless cases, the high court has acted as a legislator, siding with the opposition against a ruling government (the recent vote on exploiting Israel’s natural gas come to mind, when the court torpedoed a government signed contract with US and domestic companies). The judiciary has also had its hand on the executive branch through the Attorney General and the legal counsels who are appointed to every ministry, and who often force the hands of elected officials using the threat of legal action against them.

The appointment of Ayelet Shaked to be the Minster in charge of this judiciary stronghold of the real power in Israeli society was received with a great deal of alarm and trepidation in the leftwing media, which called her “Israel’s Sarah Palin,” and accused her of inciting the mobs against the Supreme Court justices, “as if she were the worst [Internet] talkbacker and not the minister in charge of the holiest holy of every democracy — its separate and independent judiciary.” (Uri Misgav, Haaretz, Aug. 11, 2015).

The attack came in response to the new Justice Minister’s tweet on the same evening the Supreme Court was convening to rule on a law designed to block infiltration of illegal migrants from Africa through Israel’s southern border. Shaked tweeted that the law had already been quashed twice by the court, causing the infiltration, which had been reduced to single digits, to grow to dozens of new border crossings.

“If the law is revoked a third time,” Shaked tweeted, “it would be tantamount to declaring south Tel Aviv an official haven for infiltrators.” She then added that, until the court’s ruling, she would upload every two hours a new video describing the “intolerable life conditions of south Tel Aviv residents,” urging her followers to spread the message.

The court took notice and restricted itself to a few minor corrections, mostly regarding the length of time an illegal migrant could be held in a locked facility until his case is resolved by the Interior Ministry. The court continued to take notice throughout Shaked’s first year in office, and has been noticeably mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary friction with a Justice Minister who is probably the most popular minister in Israel. How popular? In 2013 she was picked by the Knesset Channel as the summer session’s most outstanding MK, and in 2014 as the second most outstanding MK of the winter session. In 2015 the Jerusalem Post ranked her 33rd on its list of the most influential Jews in the world. In 2015 she was ranked by Forbes Israel as the fifth most influential woman in Israel. And in 2016 Lady Globes ranked her second on its list of 50 most influential women.

Most importantly, Minster Shaked has afforded Israelis a view of a nationalist, rightwing politician who can be trusted to run the country’s third most complex system, after Finance and Defense. As Justice Minister, Shaked also chairs the ministerial legislative committee which decides which bills receive the backing of the government. Her role is comparable to that of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, in terms of influencing the legislative process. And the fact that she has been a competent, creative and resourceful Justice Minister might suggest to people in the secular center and right of center that her and Bennett’s party is worthy of their vote.

Shaked and Bennett are in troubled waters currently, over the fate of Amona, a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria that the Supreme Court has slated for demolition by early December, 2016, over claims to ownership of the land by Arab PA residents. The fact is that no one on the right in Netanyahu’s government believes that Amona could be saved, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated openly. Shaked wants to see the residents being relocated to a nearby plot of land, that could turn out to be just as problematic. But both Bennett and Shaked are also interested in advancing new legislation that would compel future claimants to settle for fair market value or comparable land from the Israeli government. At stake are an estimated 4,000 homes, the bulk of which were built as part of a government sponsored settlement program. The Supreme Court has rejected these “arrangement law” initiatives, and the current AG, Avihai Mandelblit, also objects to them, even though he himself is on the record as supporting them in the past.

For now, Shaked and Bennett are under attack by their voters, who cannot believe that a government that is as rightwing as this one would still engage in the forceful removal of Jews from their homes. And the last thing Shaked and Bennet want is to be forced to resign from Netanyahu’s government over this dispute.

Shaked, like Bennett, is a vehement enemy of the two-state solution. But she is also a liberal when it comes to many legislative initiatives. She has fought court activism; she objected to imposing jail sentences on Yeshiva students who refuse to enlist; and she supports a free and open market and reducing state regulations of businesses. She also believes in cutting down on new laws.

Noting that her government legislative committee has processed over the past year and a half no less than 1,500 new legislative proposals, Shaked wrote an op-ed in the right-leaning website Mida, saying that “every time the Knesset puts its faith in a new law intended to serve a worthy cause and solve a social or economic problem, we are, in effect, raising our hands to support a vote of no confidence. … It’s a vote of no confidence in our ability as individuals and as communities to manage ourselves in a good enough manner; it’s a vote of no confidence in the wisdom of the nation and of each person to create and preserve mechanisms that are better than those which are designed artificially by experts; it’s a vote of no confidence in the ability of familial, social and economic communities to run their own lives and strive successfully to reach their goals.”

Spoken like a true, sane Libertarian. And a Libertarian who knows how to combine the principles of freedom with the ideals of nation and Torah — could make one fine prime minister some day. Which is why we believe 5776 was the year of Ayelet Shaked.

JNi.Media

Jewish Woman Who Sealed WW2 with a Kiss Dead at 92

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Greta Zimmer Friedman, the woman in a nurse’s uniform whose kiss with sailor George Mendonsa on V-J Day, shot by Life Magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, marked the end of World War 2, died on Saturday, September 10, in Richmond, Virginia, at age 92.

Friedman’s account of the most memorable day in her life is part of the collection of The Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress. She recalled: “On August 14th, 1945, I was working as a dental assistant in the office of two brothers: Dr. J. L. and Dr. J. D. Berk on Lexington Ave. about 35th St. in Manhattan. Dental assistants then, as now, dress like nurses. The uniform was a white dress, white stockings and shoes, and a little white nurses cap. The cap was usually left off if you left the office for lunch etc. The job is still the same to assist the dentist and make the patient comfortable.

“On the morning of August 14th, 1945, patients came in and said that the war with Japan may be over soon. At 1 PM it was my turn to go to lunch. I immediately headed for Times Square to check on the electric sign on the times building, which reports the latest news. As I stood watching the sign with the message ‘VJ,’ ‘VJ’ going around the building, I was grabbed by a tall strong sailor and kissed. As soon as he let go, I went back to work. I told my bosses what I had seen. They instructed me to cancel the rest of the day’s appointments and close the office.

“On the way home, another sailor kissed me, just one on the cheek and went on his way. The sailors were especially happy. They had seen enough of war in the Pacific. George Mendonsa, the kissing sailor from Times Square, appreciated nurses especially. They had provided comfort and care for the wounded sailors in the Pacific where he had served.

“I was not aware that a photograph had been taken until I saw it in a book called ‘The Eyes of Eisenstaedt.’ I immediately wrote to LIFE and asked for a copy of the photograph since I was the girl in the picture. They did send me the picture and a short letter saying that the woman had been identified. I did not believe that. The girl in the picture looked too much like me, the same hairdo, the same figure, the same uniform and, the same little purse.

“In 1980 LIFE contacted George and me and invited us to come to Times Square for the 35th anniversary of V.J. Day. The famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt was there and he took more photographs. On the Times building, the electric sign said ‘IT HAD TO BE YOU’ Mr. Eisenstaed also autographed the original picture and apologized.”

JNi.Media

Cheryl Saban: A Woman With A Jewish Heart

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Cheryl Saban is a prolific author, a social activist, a popular psychologist, a former U.N. delegate and a famous philanthropist – but above all, she is a woman with a Jewish heart.

Today she is the wife of billionaire media mogul Haim Saban and living in luxury, but her road to success has been strewn with difficult challenges.

She was born Cheryl Lyn Flor and raised in San Diego in a working-class family. Her young adult life evolved into a time of great challenges as her marriage dissolved, leaving her a single working mother in dire circumstances who struggled to make ends meet.

“There are certain seminal experiences that help your personal acorn begin its transformation into the oak tree,” she relates in one of her books. “One of those moments occurred for me in the mid-1980s. It was the day I stepped into the L.A. Free Clinic as a patient.”

As a newly-divorced mother of two daughters, ages 10 and 12, she was desperately looking for a job. Finally she managed to get an office manager job at a design firm. But her salary was just enough to cover basic living expenses – rent, gas, food and incidentals for the kids. It did not include health insurance.

A short time later, Cheryl became seriously ill. She couldn’t afford to go to a doctor; she had to seek public assistance. Although she passed the free clinic each day on her way to work, she regarded it as an institution for the poverty-stricken and in her heart pitied the poor souls who were compelled to line up for healthcare there.

Now she had no choice. She swallowed her pride and forced herself to visit the free clinic. In her eyes, she felt humiliated and believed that the clinic’s staff considered her a loser. But the staff and doctors treated her with the utmost respect – she received excellent care, medication and blood tests – all with her dignity intact.

She left the clinic a changed woman. She had been given an amazing gift – unconditional human love. She recovered from her illness and a short time later, in 1987, she went to work for Haim Saban.  In 1988 he asked Cheryl to become his wife, and life’s opportunities opened for this talented, intelligent, kind woman.

“More than 25 years later, I am gratified that my husband and I are donors to the free clinic. In April 2008 it was renamed The Saban Free Clinic,” she declares with delight.

But her contributions did not end there. The Saban Family Foundation’s major advocacy is for Israel and it heavily supports Jewish causes. Her special project, the Rashi Foundation, provides “education and social welfare for Israel’s young and under-served.” The Sabans’ international focus is strictly on pro-Jewish causes. In 2007, the foundation made a $14-million grant to help complete the children’s hospital at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.

Cheryl Saban, a doctor of psychology, author of fifteen books, a loving wife, mother of four daughters and grandmother of four, is primarily a giver with love and passion. Most of all, she is a role model for her descendants who endeavor to follow her example. And a woman with a Jewish heart.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Philly Jewish Woman Painting Flowers Over Swastikas

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Esther Cohen-Eskin, a Jewish resident of suburban Philadelphia, a week ago, August 19 at 9:39 AM filed this on her Facebook page:

“I walked outside this morning to take out the trash, and on my can someone spray painted a swastika. We have lived here for almost 20 years. I have happily raised my kids and celebrated the openness and safety of this town. I am so saddened by this occurrence. The fact that someone, in 2016, can actually have that kind of hatred and target it at me and my family makes me angry and sad for the ignorant, absurdly uninformed, uneducated asshole that felt it necessary to express his/her thoughts in this way.

“If anyone reading this has any information on who may have done this, or any other similar experiences in the area, please let me know. It’s time to put up cameras. Today.”

But on August 19 at 4:03 PM, Cohen-Eskin wrote this:

“Early this morning or late last night someone targeted me and my family by painting a swastika on our trash can. I was mad, scared and angry, and then our fellow neighbor and one of my dearest friends said, ‘Nothing conquers hate more than love.’ So I am asking you, in this neighborhood, (and beyond if you want to share), paint something positive on your trashcan! We can, in our little way, turn this symbol of hate into something beautiful. A flower, a peace sign, an animal, a doodle… anything your imagination can come up with. The only criteria is to start with this negative symbol, the swastika, and make it positive. Tag me in the photo or PM me after you create your masterpiece. I think when we all put our positivity forward it will make the fear and anger from this action transform into something that will be beautiful.

“Thanks in advance!”

Then she went ahead and painted a big, beautiful flower on her garbage can’s swastika.

JNi.Media

Can A Man Be Motzi A Woman?

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

This week’s parshah, Parshas Vaeschanan, contains the second set of Aseres Hadibros. The fourth dibrah is keeping Shabbos, but there are variations between the text of this dibra in Parshas Vaeschanan and Parshas Yisro. In Parshas Yisro, the dibrah reads, “Zachor es yom hashabbos lekadesho.” In this week’s parshah, it reads, “Shamor es yom hashabbos lekadesho.”

The Gemara (Shevuos 20b) states that Hashem actually said both these pesukim at the same time and that this is a phenomenon which a human cannot do or even hear. It states further – based on this dibrah – that women are obligated in the mitzvah of Kiddush m’d’Oraisa on Shabbos despite the fact that it is a mitzvas assei shehazman grama. The mitzvah of Kiddush is derived from the pasuk of zachor and the pasuk of shamor is the source for the negative prohibitions of Shabbos. The Gemara says that the fact that “shamor” and zachor” were said at the same time teaches us that they are connected, and therefore anyone who is obligated to keep the negative commandments of Shabbos, which includes women, is also obligated to keep the positive comandments of Shabbos, namely to recite Kiddush.

The halacha is that even if a person has already fulfilled a mitzvah he can still be motzi another who has not yet fulfilled it. Therefore, even if a person has already made Kiddush for himself he can still recite it for another person who has not yet heard it. This is known as “af al pi she’yatza, motzi” (Rosh Hashanah 29a).

Rashi on the Gemara explains that a person may be motzi another even if he has already fulfilled his obligation because all of klal Yisrael are areivim for each other regarding their mitzvah obligations. The Ran adds that since we are all areivim for each other, a person has not really fulfilled his obligation (even if he did the mitzvah) as long as another person has not yet fulfilled it. Therefore, he may perform the mitzvah and recite a berachah on behalf of a second person.

But does this apply to a man reciting Kiddush for a woman? Can he make Kiddush for her even if he already made Kiddush himself? The answer to this question depends on whether men share arvus with women.

The Gemara (Berachos 20b) discusses whether a woman is obligated to say Birchas Hamazon m’d’Oraisa or only m’d’rabbanan. If she is only obligated m’d’rabbanan, she cannot recite Birchas Hamazon for a man who is obligated m’d’Oraisa. The Rosh explains that she cannot do so because women are not included in arvus with men. There is a machlokes regarding the correct interpretation of the Rosh’s statement.

The Noda B’Yehudah (in Dagul Mervavah) understands the Rosh literally, and rules that women are not included in arvus with men. Rav Akiva Eiger understands the Rosh differently. He explains that the Rosh made his statement only regarding the opinion that women are not biblically obligated to say Birchas Hamazon. According to this opinion, women do not share an arvus with men because the latter are biblically obligated to say Birchas Hamazon. Generally speaking, though, women do share an arvus with men.

Returning to the question of a man making Kiddush for a woman if he already made Kiddush himself: According to the Nodeh B’Yehuda, a man would not be allowed to do so. According to Rav Akiva Eiger, though, he would. Since both men and women are obligated to make Kiddush, there is arvus between them regarding this mitzvah.

This machlokes is also relevant in regards to making Kiddush for a woman on Friday night if she has not yet davened. According to most opinions, men fulfill their obligation m’d’Oraisa to recite Kiddush when they daven shemoneh essrei. Reciting Kiddush on a cup of wine at home is only a d’rabanan obligation. But if woman has not yet davened, her Kiddush obligation is d’oraisa. How, then, can the man (whose obligation is m’drabanan) motzi the woman (whose obligation is m’d’Oraisa)?

Rabbi Raphael Fuchs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/can-a-man-be-motzi-a-woman/2016/08/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: