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Posts Tagged ‘WOMEN’

New Republic Article on Feminism from Zion Is All About the Stakes

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The new issue of The New Republic cover story (The Feminists of Zion An unlikely alliance between Orthodox and progressive women will save Israel from fundamentalism) is about us. It is about Haredim, modern Orthodox, and women. These are things we discuss regularly online and at our Shabbos tables, and in our coffee rooms. The story is remarkably accurate and balanced, displaying a very deep understanding of the issues in Israel today. I recommend reading the article immediately.

Imagine a spectrum of religious fundamentalism in the orthodox Jewish community. On one end you have extreme Haredi sects and on the other end you have completely secular Israelis. On most things and for most of time the people in the middle, let’s call them modern orthodox, skewed their allegiences toward the Haredi side. Orthodoxy is the great uniter. The assumption is that any two orthodox people will have more common interests than an orthodox and a secular Jew. This is how things were.

In essence, the article argues that while naturally aligned with their fellow orthodox Jews, women from the modern orthodox community in Israel are finding themselves aligned with secular feminist Jews in Israel. The collective pain that is felt due to the oppressiveness toward women in the extreme and not so extreme Haredi world is taking a toll. Women have been attacked physically, verbally, and psychologically for a long time and it is starting to create a negative reaction.

Several times the article mentions signs that tell women how to dress. We have become accustomed to these signs. But the women in the article argue that the signs give license to thugs who want to make a statement to women. To them, the signs mean much more than “Please be sensitive to our religious beliefs.” Part of that is because these standards are entering the public sphere and are no longer just limited to the private insular neighborhoods. But the other part of it is that the signs are somehow justifying the negativity and violence toward women.

What has happened is that women who feel hurt and abused are turning to secular and Reform Jews for salvation. Feminism is a dirty word in many orthodox communities, even in some places within the modern orthodox community. But it’s becoming a necessary evil for modern orthodox women who are not feminists at all to ask for help from feminists. It’s odd when orthodox people are funding they have more in common with secular and very liberal Jews than fellow orthodox Jews. But that is what is happening.

The article also talks about modern orthodox women who sympathize with the Women of the Wall. I wish they would be more vocal but i was heartened to hear it.

Last week I wrote about finding common ground and room for dialogue between modern orthodox and yeshivish Jews in America. (See:
Maybe Rabbi Birnbaum Has a Point: A Solution) I think what we are seeing in the article in TNR is what will happen if we can’t work together. If the people in the middle start to feel like the liberal and secular Jews are more sympathetic to their way of life, the great split that has been predicted for years, will finally happen. Modern orthodox Judaism will become an independent group.

Some might say, what’s so bad about that? Well there are plenty negative consequences to mention. But I will mention the two biggest issues. First, the Haredi institutions will fall without modern orthodox support. Some might say that’s not so bad either. I disagree. Their services are necessary, as is their trap door into engagement with society. On the other side, without a connection the Haredi community, the modern orthodox community will be hard pressed to support its own institutions for lack of qualified teachers and rabbis.

It’s not in our best interests to see a formal split. It might happen in Israel and it might happen in America. I think we should do everything we can to prevent it. The first thing we need to do, is get together and talk.

Visit Fink or Swim.

The Feminists of Zion An unlikely alliance between Orthodox and progressive women will save Israel from fundamentalism

Protesters: Police in Cahoots with Arabs over Jewish Access to Mount

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The Joint Committee of Temple Mount Organizations has announced a protest vigil this Wednesday, August 7, at 7:30 AM, by the Mugrabi Bridge connecting the Western Wall plaza with the Mughrabi Gate of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

According to the organizers, which include journalist Arnon Segal and Women in Green founders Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover, the vigil will be held in response to an announcement last Tuesday by the Police official in charge of the holy sites, Commander Avi Bitton, that the Temple Mount would remain open only to Muslims and closed to Jews and to tourists at least until after the Muslim holiday of Idl-Fitter, next Sunday, the fifth of Elul or August 11.

This is breaking the rules, cry out the organizers, members of organizations promoting Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, warning that Jerusalem Police has already violated the long held status quo by shutting off the Temple Site to non-Muslims throughout the month of Ramadan.

This past month, the vigil organizers complain that on those few days when Jews were allowed to go up to the Mount, they suffered constant abuse by the Muslims and by the police.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin was chased away from the Temple Mount by a crowd of Muslims. According to the vigil organizers, police did not intervene to prevent the “screaming and harassment and threats by the Muslims against Elkin and his family.”

But the biggest complaint of the organizers has to do with the fact that the Arabs have, apparently, discovered the surefire method of keeping the Jews off the Mount – all they have to do is threaten violence, and the police immediately folds, and rather than responding to the bullies by imposing law and order—a fairly basic expectation of our law enforcement agencies—they join forces with them to block Jewish access.

It’s been ten years, the protesters say, since the Temple mount was re-opened to Jewish visitors—not for prayer, mind you, God forbid—and now they fear the permanent sealing off of the holiest Jewish site bar none appears closer than ever.

“It seems the police is throwing a trial balloon,” reads the organizers’ email. “They try to see if the Temple Mount is important to a large Jewish population, or only to some ‘crazies.’ It is obvious that if this passes quietly, it will get worse for the Jews.”

And so the Joint Committee of the Temple Mount Organizations have decided to hold a mass protest vigil to remind the police, the politicians, and—most important—ourselves, that the holiest place for the Jewish People is not the Kotel, with all due respect, but the Temple Mount.

As one organizer put it, according to Matar, celebrating Rosh Chodesh at the Kotel and not on the Temple Mount is tantamount to celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day, in the Knesset parking lot, while the building itself would be chock full of Arabs.

They invite “all to whom a Jewish presence at the Jews’ most holy site in the world is important, to wake up early Wednesday morning and come.”

Wouldn’t it be interesting if, this coming Rosh Chodesh Elus, Wednesday morning, all the Jews will find their way up to the Temple Mount, leaving down below only the Women of the Kotel?

Don’t forget to dip in the Mikvah first, in case they actually let everybody up.

New Film Highlights Israel’s Strengths

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

In Brad Pitt’s latest offering, World War Z, a virus transforms human beings into zombies determined to overtake the world and destroy every country on Earth. In the film, only Israel has the foresight to build a massive zombie-repelling wall. 

One of the film’s central characters, Mossad agent Jurgen Warmbrunn, explains, “In the ’30s, Jews refused to believe we could be put in concentration camps. In the ’70s, we didn’t believe we could be massacred at the Olympics.” Warmbrunn notes that based on these experiences, Israel remains ready for any security threat, maintaining a defense infrastructure that surpasses all other nations.

Some observers see the zombie-resistant wall as representative of the real life Security Barrier that keeps Palestinian suicide bombers out of Israel. In addition to being proactive in security, the movie portrays Israel as a humanitarian country that permits uninfected Palestinians to enter so that they will not be harmed by zombies. “Every human being we save is one less zombie to fight,” remarks Jurgen. He adds that saving Palestinian lives is good for peace. This too reflects an Israel that honors the rights of its Arab citizens, works to save Palestinian lives, and serves as an inspiration to the Islamic world by treating persecuted minority groups, such as Ahmadi Muslims and Bahais, with dignity.

In World War Z, Israel is also portrayed as a country in which women are given equal opportunities. For example, the film features an Israeli warrior named Segen, played by Israeli actress Daniella Kertesz, who saves lives and helps distribute the zombie vaccine.

In reality, Israel is a pioneer in women’s rights, a country where women proudly serve in the Israel Defense Forces. It is also engaged in humanitarian missions that help other countries across the world, including fighting against gender-based violence in South Sudan, sending agricultural and medical assistance to Haiti, rescuing people trapped under a collapsed shopping mall in Ghana, bringing relief to victims of an Oklahoma Tornado, helping Hurricane Sandy Victims, treating victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing, and assisting first-responders at the Newtown Massacre. In a fictionalized form, World War Z highlights Israel’s innumerable contributions to the world and represents one of the most pro-Israel films ever made.

Visit United with Israel.

Beit Shemesh Haredim Riot over Bus Segregation Arrest

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Beit Shemesh extremist Haredim, the ones who libeled Israel last year by spitting on a national religious girl, went crazy Wednesday after police  arrested a Haredi couple for telling a woman to go to back of the bus.

The only injury was Israel’s image, once again blackened by a small but growing number of extremists who have tried to make life miserable for secular and modern Orthodox Jews of the city, west of Jerusalem.

Involuntary gender segregation on public buses is illegal in Israel. Nevertheless, a Haredi couple demanded that a woman passenger move back to the back, prompting a call to police.

The couple was detained, setting off a riot that led to two more arrests of men who blocked a bus from moving. Other rioters smashed the windows of four buses.

One of the drivers told the Hebrew-language Yediot Acharonot’s website, “One of [the Haredim] took out a hammer and began shattering the windows. There were many women and children onboard. I tried to drive forward a little to scare them. After a few seconds they moved and we continued on our way.”

One passenger reported that women and children, on summer vacation, were on the bus as it was being attacked. In December, 2011, a member of a radical Haredi sect, an offshoot of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group, spat on a national religious girl for “immodest dress” as she was walking to school. The family, originally from the United States, has since moved out of the city.

The incident set off a massive protest of religious and non-religious Jews, including American-born Rabbi Dov Lipman, who then was a Beit Shemesh councilman and now is a Knesset Member in Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

However, radical Haredim responded to the protest by throwing stones at city workers removing signs calling for the separation of the sexes on city streets. When Haredi activists put up new signs to replace them, the police who returned to remove them Monday encountered rioting by about 300 Haredi men who threw stones at police and burned trash cans.

Beit Shemesh, with its mixed religious and non-religious population and its mushrooming ultra-Orthodox satellite, Ramat Beit Shemesh, is home to more than 80,000 residents, including hundreds of new immigrant families from North America and Britain.

During the past several years, dozens of Neturei Karta-affiliated families, who could no longer afford Jerusalem’s soaring real estate prices, have moved into a new Beit Shemesh housing complex, adjacent to the neighborhood populated by Orthodox American and British immigrants.

Upon their arrival, the radicals attempted to intimidate both religious and non-religious residents by attempting to impose a strict “dress code” in and around their enclave.

Wednesday’s riot may boomerang against the extremist Haredim and hurt the re-election chances of Beit Shemesh Mayor Rabbi Moshe Abutbul, who is affiliated with the Shas Haredi party. The national religious community is campaigning against him, and the latest  riot will draw more voters to their camp and back a Jewish Home party candidate.

For These We Weep

Monday, July 29th, 2013

I have been searching for the answer to this question…who did they kill…those 104 we are about to release? I know of a mother and her three children; I know of a grandfather stabbed in the back. I don’t know all the names but it is for these we weep today – once killed by Palestinian terrorists, today betrayed again by the government and the justice system in Israel.

Today, for these we weep…knowing that tomorrow…there will be…there will be…others.I got this on Facebook with the following note:

Look Into These Eyes….Men, Women, Parents, Grandparents, Children, Grandchildren, Infants, Soldiers, Asheknazi, Sefardic, Jews and Non Jews, Religious and Secular.

These precious faces haven’t smiled since vicious murderers stabbed, shot, kidnapped and murdered them. The Government has just agreed to release the spineless animals who murdered the people you are looking at. The Israeli Government did this as a prerequisite to have the ‘privilege’ to sit and discuss ‘peace’ with a people who continues to call for our destruction.

Who could demand such an insane request from us? I don’t forget all the good America has done for me and my people, but today… today is a brand new day. Yesterday doesn’t exist and tomorrow isn’t here yet. Today I live in a country that feels humiliated, confused and betrayed.

Look into their eyes… and imagine the agony of those who love them still and forever…

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Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Late, Lost, But Never Lazy? Executive Function Disorder And ADHD In Women

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

“Mommy, did you sign my spelling test?”

“Mommy, do you remember how you told me last week that you would be able to have my blue shirt washed for school today? I really need it for the play.”

“Chanie, you were supposed to pay the phone bill on Tuesday, right? I thought since I was out of town you were going to take care of that.”

“Where’s my lunch bag, Mommy?”

It was a regular morning in Chanie’s house but she felt like she was going to cry. Chanie knew that her kids and husband were not even angry. They were used to her forgetting to sign their spelling tests and pay the bills. They were also used to her forgetting to pack their lunches, mixing up their birthdays, and double-booking their dentist and doctor appointments. It made Chanie sad to think that her children expected her to be unreliable. She always had the best of intentions.

Organizing oneself is a very tough task. Organization requires discipline, time and something else that you might not be aware of – executive function skills. Executive skills allow us to organize our behavior and override immediate demands in favor of longer-term goals. Through these skills, we learn to sustain attention, plan and organize activities, and follow through on a task.

Sometimes, people might think that they are simply disorganized, but in reality, they could be impaired by Executive Function Disorder. Those with Executive Function Disorder lack many skills such as planning, time management, and working memory. This in turn can lead to persistent lateness, impulsive behavior, and the inability to finish any task completely.

It’s very possible that Chanie is disorganized because she simply has never tried to be organized. Considering the pain she feels when she lets down her family, it is unlikely that this is the case. It is possible that she is disorganized because she is missing executive function skills or her lack of executive skills can stem from undiagnosed ADHD.

Many women do not realize they have ADHD until they bring a child in for an evaluation. On occasion, after her child has finished testing, a mother will ask to speak to me privately. Often she will explain that she seems to have many of the same symptoms. It is only then she realizes that perhaps her inability to keep track of her complex life has nothing to do with her intentions and everything to do with ADHD. Together, we then work out a plan to aid her in combating the disorder.

For women, there are specific issues that coincide with undiagnosed ADHD:

Anxiety and depression. Many women with ADHD do not understand why they cannot function in the same way everyone else seems to. This deflated sense of self is often linked to anxiety or depression.

Obesity and eating disorders. Research has correlated women with ADHD and a higher chance of being overweight or having an eating disorder. Since organization is used to plan a healthy diet and make time to exercise, women with undiagnosed ADHD tend to grab quick meals or look to food to provide comfort from their other symptoms.

Addictions. Both men and women with ADHD are at a higher risk for harmful addictions such as substance abuse or gambling. This is because those with ADHD have weaker impulse control causing them to have difficulty in stopping addictive behavior.

In that case, what can you do to help yourself get things done well and in a timely manner? What can you do in order to get your life on track – to either manage your ADHD or Executive Function Disorder?

The Center for Learning Disabilities suggests multiple ways to improve your life and overall organization:

1. Use tools like time organizers, computers, and watches with alarms in order to give yourself reminders to help you get things done on time. Because your brain might not be programmed to give you these repeated reminders, setting up external cues can keep you on track.

2. Create checklists and to do lists. On these lists, estimate how long each activity will take you to accomplish. Then, break the longer tasks into small ones and assign time frames for completing each section. Breaking apart larger tasks will allow you to stay focused the mission at hand.

Nearly 100 Rapes in Four Days of Anti-Morsi Protests

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Mobs protesting the rule of Mohammed Morsi have sexually assaulted nearly 100 women and raped at least 91  in the last four days of protests, Human Rights Watch reported.

Forty-six attacks took  place on Sunday, 17 on Monday and 43 on Tuesday, according to figures attributed to the Egyptian Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault, which operates a hotline for victims of sexual assault. The Nazra for Feminist Studies women’s rights group  reported that there were five similar attacks on Friday.

“The government response has been to downplay the extent of the problem or to seek to address it through legislative reform alone” Al Jazeera reported”

Several women required surgery after the attacks and some were beaten with metal chains and were stabbed.

Al Jazeera noted, “Sexual harassment has long been common in Egypt, but its increasing occurrence and ferocity has shaken the protest movement. A large number of women had fallen victim to gang assaults too in the square – the epicenter of 2011 revolution.”

An American television journalist was brutally gang raped in the protests against Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nearly-100-rapes-in-four-days-of-anti-morsi-protests/2013/07/03/

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