Thursday, August 14, 2014

Religion and State in Israel - Special OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE edition - August 14, 2014

Special OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE edition - August 14, 2014 
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Editor – Joel Katz
Religion and State in Israelis not affiliated with any organization or movement.


Photo credit: Creative Commons

The commander of one of the Israeli army's infantry brigades refused an offer for a free concert for his troops that was scheduled to be performed by female pop star Sarit Hadad for fear that her presence would insult the sensibilities of religious soldiers, according to Channel 10

Col. Ofer Winter, the commander of the Givati Brigade, refused to allow the concert to go ahead, even though Hadad had offered to sing for the troops for free, according to Channel 10. 
The singer was ready to appear at a special brigade event next week, but those plans appear to be off.  

The Attorney General has demanded an explanation after the army asked female singer Sarit Hadad to perform a free concert for Givati Brigade soldiers and then retracted the offer after she accepted. 

... If Hadad was excluded because she was a woman, this would “run counter to the principle of equality to which all public authorities in Israel are bound,” Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber wrote in the request for an explanation. “It would therefore be illegal.” 

Shahar Ilan, VP of Hiddush, reflects on the unifying effect Protective Edge has had on Israeli society, with particular emphasis on the Haredi community’s new-found affinity for the IDF. 

Clearly, even in times of war, the unholy alliance between religion and politics plays a decisive and often damaging role to Israel's Jewish and democratic character.

Hiddush wholeheartedly values the need for national unity during Israel's difficult times, but we must continue to address the challenges and work towards the goal of freedom of religion in Israel. 


In a letter published on Tuesday, Interior Minister Gideon
 Sa’ar instructed the Population and Immigration Authority and the Jewish Agency to grant Israeli citizenship to the spouse of any Jew, regardless of the sexual orientation of the couple.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement to the press that Tuesday’s decision was made following several inquiries made by the Jewish Agency regarding requests for
 aliya rights by non-Jewish spouses of gay Jews. 

The ministry said the decisions was effective immediately and that one such immigration visa had already been granted.

“I do not see a distinction between Jews in heterosexual marriage and those who wed in same-sex marriages abroad in accordance with the law,”
 Sa’ar wrote in his letter to the Population and Immigration Authority. 

“Both fulfill the purpose of the Law of Return according to the principle that ‘The children will return to their land,’” he said, quoting a biblical reference to the return of Jews from the exile.

... The decision is especially remarkable because in recent months it appeared as [Interior Minister Gideon] Sa’ar was re-inventing himself as the defender of the state’s Jewish character.

Though an avowed denizen of downtown Tel-Aviv, known to even moonlight on occasion as a DJ,
 Sa’ar alienated many of that city’s secular residents when he effectively outlawed much of the commerce that takes place in the city over Shabbat. Had Sa’ar suddenly found God? After all, he was rumored to have begun keeping the Sabbath himself. 

The more likely explanation was more political than personal...

See also:  


Tel Aviv local court on Thursday ruled that 21 grocery stores caught violating Shabbat could stay open, postponing further discussion on the issue until November. 

... The 21 stores in questions had all received three fines for operating on Shabbat before the municipality ordered them in front of a judge. 
On Thursday, the court ruled that the municipality had done its duty by bringing the stores to court, but balked at the idea that they should be forced to close. 



The Education Ministry is launching a new program that aims to make the secular community, particularly those aged 25-40, more familiar with the Jewish Bible. 

The program, called “Our Story – a Daily Bible Chapter,” will include a series of activities aimed at effecting “a change of consciousness regarding the status of the Book of Books.” 




… And so I joined WoW while I was in Jerusalem. It was a truly meaningful experience for me, helping me unlock even more holiness from the Kotel.

The sound of one hundred women’s voices rising together was exceptionally powerful. The sense of sisterhood I felt among us – native Israelis, Ethiopian immigrants, American tourists, mothers and daughters praying under the same tallit, Orthodox women in long sleeves and mid-calf skirts – was incredibly strong.

Despite our religious and political differences, we all stood beside each other in solidarity, speaking to the same God, affirming each other’s right to pray in the way she feels most comfortable. 

By Rabbi Rick Jacobs 

President Rivlin addressed me as Rabbi Jacobs – we spoke in Hebrew and he called me HaRav, the same title used for respected Orthodox rabbis.

He pledged as Israel’s new president to work closely with our movement as, together, we face the many challenges before the Jewish State and the Jewish world.

I felt the warmth and genuineness of his words and pledged that he could count on the partnership of our movement. 



Special OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE edition - August 14, 2014 
Editor – Joel Katz      
Religion and State in Israelis not affiliated with any organization or movement.      
All rights reserved.