|Not for Everyone|
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Friday, December 15, 2017
|Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach|
Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the leader of the controversial Yerushalmi Faction (Hapeleg Hayerushalmi), was confronted by a haredi man who had previously served in the army Thursday night at a wedding hall in Jerusalem…
Under Rabbi Auerbach’s guidance, the Yerushalmi Faction has launched a series of road-blocking protests in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Shilat Junction near the haredi population center of Modiin Illit, and other locations across the country.
The faction’s hardline has drawn criticism from much of the haredi community, with leading rabbinic figures describing the group as ‘disgusting’, “reckless fools”, and even inhuman.
On Thursday, Rabbi Auerbach was confronted by a haredi man as Rabbi Auerbach was leaving the Zevhil event hall in the Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in Jerusalem.
According to Behadrei Haredi, the man who confronted Rabbi Auerbach had previously served in the IDF.
As Rabbi Auerbach left the event hall, the man shouted at him, calling him, among other things “a murderer”, and an “evil-doer”.
Students of the 86-year-old rabbi who were present at the scene claim that the man had tried to force his way past the rabbi’s followers to physically assault him.
“This enraged young man wanted to attack the dean of the [Maalot Hatorah Yeshiva] and beat him,” a witness told Behadrei Haredim. “We were able to stop him just before [he was able to do so].”
Thursday, December 14, 2017
|Rabba Sara Hurwitz|
When I began working at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale as a congregational intern in 2003, some people were more concerned with the way I dressed than with the way I spoke or taught.
My male colleagues had to adjust to sharing a pulpit with a woman. Some congregants even left the synagogue when I was ordained, despite there being no Jewish law that prohibits women from assuming clergy roles.
My experiences are shared by other ordained Orthodox women in leadership positions, who have told me stories of being marginalized or having crude and insensitive comments directed at them.
(T)he more men are atop organizational pyramids, surrounded by women vulnerable to their decisions and their whims, the more likely that those men will take liberties with social mores and rules.
(O)ver the years, there have been countless times when a woman — or man — has thanked me profusely for being present for them, whether it was to discuss intimate topics of sexuality and mikvah use or more mundane topics of Jewish law and mourning and shabbat.
(T)hough it hasn’t yet been subjected to the same white-hot spotlight, at least not yet, the Orthodox Jewish community is also a male-dominated “locker-room” where women are harassed, demeaned and marginalized.
When women are shut out of leadership positions, silenced — and, worse, made invisible — it is easy to objectify us.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
|Alabama's new Senator Doug Jones celebrating his victory last night|
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
|Scene in Bnei Brak today - hundreds of thousands attended his funeral|
Charedi leaders like Rav Cham Kanievsky knew about him. They realized who this great man was. And as other Charedi leaders started aging Rav Shteinman was urged to become more public. He did so reluctantly and only for the most altruistic of reasons. He never sought it for himself. Never started a party. Never sought adherents. All he wanted to ever do was teach Torah. After the passing of Rav Elyashiv, many Charedi leaders started referring to him as the Gadol HaDor.
But instead of confrontation he chose compromise and cooperation when that opportunity presented itself. Although the Israeli law requiring Yeshiva students to register for the draft was counter to his worldview, he nevertheless urged Yeshiva students to follow the law since by doing so they would be able to continue their uninterrupted Torah study by requesting and automatically receiving an exemption for as long as they remained in full time Torah study.
Peleg has a mission to confront the government with violent protests and has no interest in the kind of compromise Rav Shteinman pursued. And as if that isn’t bad enough, there was some actual violence directed at Rav Shtenman himself by some of the more deranged followers of Peleg.
Monday, December 11, 2017
|Time Magazine 'Person of the Year' - The Silence Breakers (MeToo)|
In the current climate of ‘MeToo’ - where women that have been sexually harassed, molested, or abused are finally telling their stories… stories that have destroyed the legacies of some very powerful men …men who have gotten away with it for decades while retaining their highly regarded reputations and the respect of their colleagues - I have to wonder though, if this is enough to change the way our culture treats interaction between the sexes.
Frankly I’m not sure it will. I believe we need to examine why people – especially those with power take these liberties with women in the first place. I don’t think the answers are too far away.
The message of these stories is clear: Where there is no fear of God—when a society forgets that “God sees,” as the protagonist of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s story “Alone” puts it—primal instincts go unchecked and powerless people are at risk of having sexual violence perpetrated upon them by powerful, unrestrained potentates…
Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, an influential nineteenth century Lithuanian scholar, explains that the purpose of the Book of Genesis is to teach us uprightness [“yashrut”]—ethics, morality, proper values; in short, basic decency. In fact, in rabbinic literature, Genesis is often referred to as “Sefer ha-Yashar,” which translates to “The Book of the Upright.”
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Friday, December 08, 2017
|Reform leader, Rabbi Rick Jacobs|
“(Because of) aggressive” and often misleading “marketing” of Orthodox trip providers and the popularity of low-cost or free Orthodox extension programs after the ten days. These “growing trends,” Ha’aretz explains, have been boosted by the well-funded Orthodox outreach initiative on campuses of “the Diaspora Affairs Ministry – run by the Orthodox, settler-aligned Habayit Hayehudi party.”
(T)he Reform Movement’s trip provider, URJ Kesher, again failed to meet its recruiting quota and lost its status as a Birthright Trip Organizer.
Thursday, December 07, 2017
|Harry Truman with Israel’'s first President, Chaim Weizmann|
I welcome today’s decision by the United States to recognise as the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, whose name means “city of peace.” This recognition is an essential element in any lasting peace in the region.
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
|No Jewish connection to the Temple Mount? Really?|
Shortly after noon today (Central Standard Time) President Trump pretty much followed the above script and announced US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital - while emphasizing that the US has not taken a position on Jerusalem's final status; nor abandoned the peace process or the ‘2 state solution’.
Thank you Mr. President for being the first to keep your campaign promise on this issue - unlike all previous Presidents that made a similar campaign promise but never kept it. It appears that at least on this issue, you are more honorable than them all.