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On the Legal Front

On the Legal Front

Recently we received a reminder of how important it is to not merely be able to petition the court in order to correct wrongs, but also to monitor implementation of court rulings and of the actual change in policy. That takes time, perseverance, and patience - a requisite for legal advocacy which by its nature is ongoing and can stretch out over a long period of time.


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The Weekly Scandal: “Blow up the Supreme Court”

The Weekly Scandal: “Blow up the Supreme Court”

There is hardly a week that goes by without a scandal or a struggle over religion and state. The weekly scandal, which accompanied last week's Independence Day celebration, is the video clip in which MK Yitzhak Pindrus, chair of the UTJ (United Torah Judaism, the Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox faction in the Knesset) is seen expressing his desire to blow up the Supreme Court: “You know what my dream is? To bring a D9 [bulldozer] and blow up the building.”

What has not changed in the last year from previous years?

What has not changed in the last year from previous years?

How much has changed (or not changed) since last year in the arena of religion & state in Israel?

Is American Orthodoxy not Orthodox?

Is American Orthodoxy not Orthodox?

We hold that both non-Jewish and non-observant Jewish soldiers have rights that must be respected and that this does not detract from the kashrut status of food provided by the IDF to all soldiers.

Agunot – A Sharp Indictment of Israel’s Rabbinic Courts

Agunot – A Sharp Indictment of Israel’s Rabbinic Courts

“This should have been the mission of the halakhic decisors: to make sure no woman finds herself for even one day or one night without a divorce!”

The conscription bluff

The conscription bluff

I did not come up with the title to this article. This was the title given by a well-known ultra-Orthodox commentator to an article he published this month in the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yated Ne'eman.

54% Israelis: IDF soldiers have right to eat chametz

54% Israelis: IDF soldiers have right to eat chametz

In light of the public and political battle that accompanies the petition Hiddush submitted (on behalf of itself, the Secular Forum, and a group of parents of IDF soldiers) to reduce the sweeping ban against leavened foods during Passover on IDF bases, Hiddush decided to survey the positions of Israel’s adult Jewish public on this matter.

What will the monthly clash over the Kotel be like tomorrow?

What will the monthly clash over the Kotel be like tomorrow?

The executives of the American Reform and Conservative movements, Rabbis Rick Jacobs and Jacob Blumenthal, arrived in Israel for the JAFI board meetings; and they have scheduled multiple meetings with Israeli political leaders from Prime Minister Bennett down.

Why do they do it? Because they can!

Why do they do it? Because they can!

This week, the Supreme Court issued a ‘show cause’ order against the IDF in a petition Hiddush submitted regarding non-observant and non-Jewish soldiers being allowed to possess chametz in their own private domain (or in pre-designated spaces) and consume it during Passover.

Civil Marriage – are we getting closer?

Civil Marriage – are we getting closer?

In Israel, there has been increased attention on marriage rights in general and civil marriage in particular. A significant part of Hiddush’s work is focused on these very issues. This month alone, two Knesset committees have held hearings on the matter.

Depicting Israel's leadership as antisemitic villains

Depicting Israel's leadership as antisemitic villains

The Haredi politicians and media are still focused on posturing as innocent victims that are picked upon by antisemitic Jewish politicians like Avigdor Liberman, crooks like PM Naftali Bennett, and heretics bent on destroying Judaism like the Reform Movement, which masterminds many recent moves aimed at bullying “Torah-true” Jews.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any lower…

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any lower…

Since Hiddush last newsletter, Israel was exposed to two new records in rudeness and hatefulness of expressions by Knesset members’, one from the Chairman of the Agudat Israel faction, Former Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, and his colleague MK Rabbi Moshe Abutbul of Shas. The other was on the part of former Minister MK David Amsalem [Likud]. Litzman's statement from the Knesset podium was an expression of the growing frustration of the ultra-Orthodox leadership with the Government's policies and the presence and influence of MK Rabbi Gilad Kariv, Chairman of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

Haredi leaders employing extortion by threats

Haredi leaders employing extortion by threats

On Tuesday, Hiddush filed a complaint against senior rabbis in ultra-Orthodox Judaism following their declaration that city rabbis who dare to act in accordance with the law after the adoption of a kashrut reform in the Knesset and certify food as kosher outside their city limits will have their kashrut certification banned everywhere, including in their own cities, and they will be considered as " having departed from the congregation of God and transgressing against the will of God." The declaration is signed by Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the spiritual leader of the Shas movement and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky and Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the leaders of the ultra-Orthodox-Lithuanian community.

IDF forcing soldiers to keep kosher for Passover

IDF forcing soldiers to keep kosher for Passover

Next week, Hiddush will submit a petition to the Supreme Court against the IDF, demanding that it change its regulations regarding its policy on chametz on Passover in army bases.

Assault religious freedom, assault democracy

Assault religious freedom, assault democracy

Half of Israel was up in arms earlier this week, when a tape from a political meeting held by Likud MK Dudi Amsalem leaked to the media. When you read the following selection of his outbursts, you will understand why the media and public reaction was so harsh.

Extremism and outright deceit

Extremism and outright deceit

A picture is worth a thousand words. This photo, which was posted by the Women of the Wall, show the Chairwoman of WOW Anat Hoffman and its former director Lesley Sachs sitting on the ground and protecting the Torah scroll, which they intended on bringing into the women’s section of the Kotel so that their fellow worshippers could read from the Torah during this Rosh Chodesh service, which they have been holding, without fail, for over thirty years.

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