Category Archives: Israel

Idealogical Head Of Edah Haredit Passes Away, Group Now Seen As Rudderless

The Jerusalem Post reports on the passing of what it terms the "mythological political leader" of the anti-Zionist Edah Haredit, Rabbi Yosef Scheinberger. To me, the most interesting bit of information is the yichus of Rabbi Scheinberger and therefore of his grandson, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the haredi street riot leader turned Zaka founder turned – haredi street riot leader:

Sheinberger’s family was directly related to the Sanz Hassidic dynasty.

Edah Haredit was built on anti-Zionism. All major anti-Zionist haredi leaders are hasidim. Neturei Karta’s theology is largely based on the works of three hasidic rebbes: Yoel Titlebaum of Satmar, the Munkatcher Rebbe known as the Minchat Elazar, and the fifth rebbe of Lubavitch, Sholom DovBer Schneersohn.

By contrast, the origins of Religious Zionism are largely Lithuanian. Even the hasidic founders of RZ were, for the most part, hasidim from the Belarus-Lithuania region. Examples of the latter would be Rav Kook and the lesser known but influential Smargoner Gaon.



Filed under Chabad History, History, Israel

Another Israeli Leader Falls

Last week, Israel’s president, Moshe Katsav, was indicted on rape and sexual harassment charges. Today, its former Justice Minister, Hiam Ramon, one a prime ministerial hopeful, stands unanimously convicted of "indecent behavior," or, in American terms, sexual harassment. He is expected to appeal the conviction.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime, Israel, Jewish Leadership

State Looks To Prosecute Rabbis Who Called For Murder Of Army Commander

We noted two weeks ago that the nut jobs from the new "Sanhedrin" had issued a fatwa against a senior army officer. The State has now decided to open a criminal investigation against these rabbis. Ha’aretz reports:

The State Prosecution on Wednesday decided to open a criminal investigation against a group of rabbis who issued a halakhic ruling against GOC Central Command Yair Naveh for authorizing restraining orders against West Bank settlers. The rabbis ruled that in signing such orders, Naveh was guilty of crimes punishable by death according to Jewish law.

About two weeks ago, a group of rabbis linked to the revived Sanhedrin movement – or high court of Jewish law – ruled that Naveh was guilty of three crimes: "Causing the masses to sin"; being a "moser" – someone who informs against fellow Jews or hands over Jews or Jewish land to gentiles; and terrifying the public in a blasphemous way."

In their decision, the rabbis referred to a ruling made by the 12th century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, according to which "it is permissible to kill a moser everywhere, even in this time when the courts do not rule on capital cases."…

The signatories to the halakhic ruling include Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the head of the Jerusalem Temple Institute; Rabbi Yehuda Edrey, of the movement to rebuild the temple; Bar Ilan Literature Professor Hillel Weiss; Rabbi Rueven Hass and Rabbi Ido Alba.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crime, Haredim, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

The Nuclear Holocaust To Come?

Yossi Klein Halevi and Michael Oren have written a comprehensive, frightening article on Iran.  In it they note that Yitzhak Rabin’s acceptance of Oslo was meant to remove the inner ring threat to Israel, to neutralize it, so Israel could prepare for and face the threat of a nuclear Iran. The US under President Clinton did not believe Iran had a military nuclear program. It did and still does. (The authors note that Israeli defense officials began calling George Tennant’s CIA – which insisted that Iran was peaceable and had no military nuclear program – the CPIA, the Central Politicized Intelligence Agency.)

The main message here besides the threat itself and the potential Israeli response is that Rabin tried to remove the Palestinians from Iran’s orbit. He may very well have succeeded in this if the Clinton Administration had forced the PLO to comply with the agreements signed. It did not do so. That led to increasing chaos, the eventual Israeli-enforced isolation of Arafat, and the anarchy we see now.

But Rabin’s goal was good and his attempt to achieve it understandable. One can only hope fringe elements of Israeli society – especially the settlers and their insane "sanhedrin," Chabad, haredim, and the extreme right – can stop focusing on their parochial concerns and instead focus on the real threat – a nuclear Holocaust launched by Iran.

For his part, leftist historian Benny Morris thinks the end is near. His terrifying take on Iran can be read here.

UPDATE — Bernard Lewis on Iran:

…The Cold War philosophy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), which prevented the former Soviet Union and the United States from using the nuclear weapons they had targeted at each other, would not apply to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran, said Lewis.

"For him, Mutual Assured Destruction is not a deterrent, it is an inducement," said Lewis of Ahmadinejad. "We know already that they [Iran’s ruling ayatollahs] do not give a damn about killing their own people in great numbers. We have seen it again and again. If they kill large numbers of their own people, they are doing them a favor. They are giving them a quick, free pass to heaven. I find all that very alarming," said Lewis.…


Filed under Chabad Theology, Current Affairs, Israel, Jewish Leadership, Modern Orthodoxy

Haredim Steal Woman’s Body To Prevent Autopsy


The riot last May in Ashdod.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Police were conducting searches in Beit Shemesh on Sunday morning for the body of a woman who died overnight Saturday.

Haredi residents of Beit Shemesh have reportedly hidden the woman’s body to prevent the police from taking it for an autopsy, which is prohibited according to Jewish law.

Police detectives questioned the woman’s husband and family to establish the cause of death, but so far there is no suspicion of foul play…

Similar cases in the past include the riots that broke out in Jerusalem following the autopsy in February 2006 of Frida Wiesel, an 89-year old woman who died during a burglary, and the deaths of two babies who were cared for in the same Jerusalem day-care center and died within 13 days of each other in December 1999.…

The haredi parents of the two infants refused to have autopsies performed, and thus health officials never discovered the cause of the infants’ deaths.

Ynet has more:

The corpse of a 40-year-old ultra-Orthodox woman found in Ramat Beit Shemesh Saturday was snatched by residents of the area, preventing the body from being transferred for an autopsy.

The search for the body by the Israel Police continued Sunday morning, and they believe the woman has not yet been buried.

The body was found in an open field and an inspection by a Magen David Adom crew found no marks of violence on the woman, prompting the crew to take her to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute to determine the cause of death.

A few hundred haredim living in the neighborhood arrived at the scene and forcibly prevented police from moving the body.

In the riots, four police officers were lightly injured and three men were arrested for assault.

After successfully keeping police from the body, the haredim carried it away, possibly to one of the neighborhood synagogues.…

Ha’aretz adds:

…"Several hundred members of the ultra-Orthodox community approached policemen at the scene and injured four officers and snatched the body," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

"We did not ask to carry out an autopsy on the woman. They grabbed the body thinking we wanted to carry one out," he said.…

After an extensive police search and lengthy negotiations with rabbis, the ultra-Orthodox community handed the body over to a hospital on Sunday for an external examination to determine the cause of death. The body was later buried.…


Filed under Crime, Haredim, Israel

More Than 50,000 Haredim Got Yeshiva Draft Deferments This Year

Ha’aretz reports on the the stunning news – more than 50,000 haredim took (indefinite) draft deferments rather than serve in the Israeli armed forces. That’s 50,000 this year alone:

In evaluating the Tal Law, other figures are also worth noting: For example, 10 percent of army-age Jewish males receive a deferral instead of being inducted at age 18. This amounts to about 4,500 [new deferments] annually. A Central Bureau of Statistics table of education systems shows that 23 percent of Jewish first-grade boys are enrolled in ultra-Orthodox institutions. In another 12 years those boys will be conscription age. Even if we assume that some are not ultra-Orthodox, and will therefore serve in the army, it is doubtful the IDF can afford a deferment rate of even 18 percent.

In other words, haredim will not only have bankrupted their own communities but they will have endangered the lives of Jews in the process. How bad is this? How much are the haredim opposed to doing their share? This much:

…More than a few ultra-Orthodox rabbis, particularly from the Degel Hatorah movement, strenuously opposed the Tal Law. Most prominent among these rabbis was the head of the Maalot Hatorah Yeshiva, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, who is expected to be an important Degel Hatorah leader in another 10 years or so. At first the Tal Law’s opponents published letters and posters and hounded the law’s proponents. MK Avraham Ravitz (UTJ), however, says that in retrospect, there was practically no need for their struggle.

Few in the ultra-Orthodox public made an effort to realize the [potential benefits of the] Tal Law. One ultra-Orthodox journalist explains that the community’s newspapers never detailed the law’s content, and did not inform their young readers of the decision year option. [The haredi press is controlled by haredi rabbinic leaders. HaModia by the Gerrer Rebe, Yated Ne’eman by Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.] The numbers clearly show that not just the strongest objectors – the Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox – are not taking advantage of the "year of decision." Even the Sephardim and Hassidim, who have a greater tendency to join the work force, are not rushing out of their yeshivas.

The end is near, my friends. I shudder at the tremendous disaster that, God forbid, it seems we are about to live through.


Filed under Haredim, Israel

Israeli Porn Flick Gets Kosher Seal Of Approval?

Well, not exactly. Monsters and Critics reports:

…TMZ, Harvey Levin’s intrepid army of roving reporters has uncovereAssraelisd an Israeli porn flick produced by Tight Fit Productions of Van Nuys, Calif., the purveyors of "Assraelis," shot entirely in Israel with local talent in Hebrew, which has come under attack from rabbis who say their use of a
food-certification symbol on DVD covers must cease-and-desist.

The quit letter from lawyers representing Rabbi Yehuda Rosenbaum of KOF-K Kosher Certification, a New Jersey company that puts its stamp of approval on Kosher goods was sent to the principals of Tight Fit.

The porn DVD cover "claim of Israeli authenticity" is accompanied by the Hebrew letter reserved for rabbi-ordained meats, grains, and other foods.…

Porn producer and owner of Tight Fit, Oren Cohen, is amused, but he’s a good Jewish boy and will comply with the rabbis’ requests. Who needs the aggravation?

Has anyone seen this flick? Will anyone own up to having seen it? Luke?


Filed under Israel, Kosher Business?