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Ruach Hiddush - רוּחַ חִדּוּשׁ

רבנים וחזנים למען חופש דת ושוויון

Rabbis and Cantors for
Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel


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Introduction

Friends,

Years ago, 1969 or 1970, Bezalel Porten, then at the Hebrew University, said, "I don't know why people are so upset that Israel is not secure 21 years after its establishment. In the Book of Joshua settlement took 120 years." (to the best of my recollection)

Nearly fifty years have passed. Israel is more secure militarily, but, the debate over the meaning of a Jewish State seems less settled than ever.

Can a secular Israel live side by side with a Haredi Israel? Who determines educational standards and the meaning of a Jewish life? Are the values of the Founders Israel's enduring values, or something altogether different? And does Israel continue to view itself as truly the homeland of the entire Jewish people, or only those who agree with the current government?

Of course, such cultural battles are not fought simply in the halls of academia, but more, it seems, in the Knesset and on the streets. No other democratic nation restricts the right of its citizens to marry; and when solutions are found for the dilemma, finds ways to constrict and thwart the solution in favor of a single political persuasion. What other democracy forces unhappy couples to remain married, and restricts the right of divorce to the male alone? Where else is the battle of women's appearance in public being fought? And if you answer: Saudi Arabia, we might want to pause for a moment to consider the implications.

On this 70th anniversary week, where are we in determining the nature of a Jewish State? More critically, what is the role of the Diaspora in determining the nature and future of the Homeland of the Jewish People?

Shall male and female students sit separately in public schools in Kvar Saba, women in the rear and men in front? Should the problem of agunot be resolved by giving the Chief Rabbinate legal power over all of world Jewry? Are there multiple legitimate interpretations of halakhah, and may secular Jews in the Jewish State live entirely free of halakhah?

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Write to us at: ruach@hiddush.org

Kol tuv, and what a מחיה to live during the Third Jewish Commonwealth,

Mark H. Levin
Editor-in-Chief,
Ruach Hiddush


Contact us

Email: ruach@hiddush.org
Phone (US):
415-261-3404

Phone (Israel):
054-779-1179

 

May 17, 2018

-5778סִיוָן3



Israeli Bill Would Punish Foreign Jews Who Refuse To Divorce Their Wives

By JTA

(JTA) — The Knesset passed in a first reading draft legislation that would expose to legal action in Israel Jewish non-citizens who refuse to grant their wives a divorce.

... the legislation could lead to the fining and imprisonment of Jewish tourists while in Israel and is part of an escalation in judiciary practices against recalcitrant husbands, which is occurring amid growing criticism over gender discrimination in Orthodox Judaism.

FULL ARTICLE >>>

MORE: (JPost) >>>

MORE: (Library of Congress) >>>



בנים מקדימה, בנות מאחורה: תלמידים בכפר סבא הופרדו בהצגה לרגל יום ירושלים

מאת: אריה אברמזון

A Hebrew description of the convocation in Kfar Saba, and a parent's reaction. "Why do our children have to conform to the religious practices. They can do what they want for themselves, but this is not a 'religious' city."

FULL ARTICLE >>>



Haredi MKs advance legislation to expand rabbinical courts' jurisdiction

by Jeremy Sharon

United Torah Judaism MKs Moshe Gafni and Uri Maklev further advanced legislation in the Knesset on Wednesday that would expand the jurisdiction of the state rabbinical courts and allow them to arbitrate in matters of civil law.

FULL ARTICLE >>>



Will new conversion bill help 400,000 Israelis of ‘no religion’? Not likely

by Amanda Borschel-Dan

Some 600 recent converts to Orthodox Judaism are caught in the crossfire as the Israeli government drafts legislation aimed at outlawing the Orthodox rabbinical court — endorsed by High Court of Justice — that converted them.

A bill drafted by Moshe Nissim, a former justice, finance, and industry minister, would make conversion a uniform process under the auspices of a stringent state-authorized Orthodox body. This law would directly oppose a 2016 High Court ruling that decided that the conversions of private rabbinical courts should be officially recognized by the state.

FULL ARTICLE >>>



Secular Students Segregated by Gender at High School Assembly in Central Israel

By Or Kashti

Students at Kfar Sava school say speakers were almost all religious at event marking anniversary of merger between East and West Jerusalem.

The event, which took place at the municipal auditorium, was for 10th graders from both secular and religious high schools. The gender segregation was organized by teachers from the religious schools, with support from teachers from the secular schools.

FULL ARTICLE >>>



'When in Rome': Ex-chief Justice Speaks at ultra-Orthodox College's Gender-separated Event

By Or Kashti

‘If they would have asked me to wear a skullcap, I would have done so,’ said Aharon Barak about the setup for his speech at ultra-Orthodox campus of Ono College

Barak said at the Jerusalem campus of Ono Academic College. “I was invited to give a speech, and it is another question whether I agree to the separation of men and women, that is a very difficult and complex issue,” he said. Barak added that he told the students that he saw them as “a bridge between their world and the secular world.”

FULL ARTICLE >>>



Behind the Sudden and Surprising Decline of ultra-Orthodox Schools in Israel

By Meirav Arlosoroff

Figures point to more and more ultra-Orthodox opting out of the system amid economic pressures

The growth in the number of students in Haredi schools has slowed from 4.2% between 2000 and 2009 to 3.3%, while state religious numbers went from being stagnant to expanding at 3.1% a year.

The rate of growth in Israel-Arab schools has also dropped from 3% annually to just 0.2%, which is largely attributable to their growing middle class aspirations and the desire to have fewer children that they can raise at a higher standard of living.

FULL ARTICLE >>>



 

רוּ"חַ חִּדוּ"שׁ היא ארגון של רבנים וחזנים הפועל למימוש מלא של הבטחת מגילת הצעמאות לחופש דת ושוויון. מימוש הבטחה זו חיוני לחיזוק זהותה של מדינת ישראל כמדינה יהודית ודמוקרטית ולהמשך השותפות עם העם היוהדי לתפוצותיו.

Ruach Hiddush is a network of Rabbis and Cantors working to fully realize the promise of Israel's Declaration of Independence, which guarantees religious freedom and equality. The fulfillment of this promise is vital for strengthening Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and for maintaining the solidarity of world Jewry.

a project of Hiddush מיזם ש ל חדִּוּ"שׁ




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