Israel clinched a deal on Wednesday to abolish wholesale exemptions from military service for Jewish seminary students, ended a brief crisis that divided the ruling coalition parties.
A recent article by Israeli journalist Yaron London headlined “We Need Fewer Haredim” and two major pieces in The New York Times about the haredi approach to sex abuse cases highlight the challenge and the need to address serious issues emanating from the haredi world without demonizing an entire community.
Israel's parliament gave initial approval on Wednesday to laws to curb public use of Nazi symbols after ultra-Orthodox protesters caused outrage by calling police Nazis and wearing concentration camp garb.
Israeli society could be torn apart if disputes between ultra-Orthodox and less observant Jews continue to heat up, Israel's religious affairs minister said on Wednesday.
It's like a quadruple shot of cheap vodka that you drink quickly on an empty stomach. You feel disgusted and drunk at the same time.
It calls on the government to establish Jewish religious courts that "will base themselves on appropriate moderate and tolerant prior halachic decisions to allow the conversion process to move forward.
In the early 1980s, when Dina and her husband Michael were applying to Los Angeles Jewish high schools, there was only one choice -- YULA (then known as Yeshiva University of Los Angeles). The Los Angeles Jewish community has expanded and matured since then, and its high school scene now offers nuanced choices with differences in overall philosophy, academic approach, religious level and social atmosphere.Because of that range, a steadily growing number of families with teens are opting for Jewish immersion.
On Dec. 19, 2007, the U.S. Attorney General's Office filed an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California naming the Chasidic yeshiva and four other Spinka organizations, as well as eight people, in a multimillion dollar tax fraud and money-laundering ring that stretched from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to Israel and elsewhere.
Is it permissible for an Orthodox family to play host to a Jewish couple if they don't observe laws mandating sexual abstinence in the period surrounding menstruation?
That was among the questions posed to two leading rabbinic authorities in late November at the 85th national convention of Agudath Israel of America, the main umbrella body for ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, Jewry.
The answer: It is, if the room has two beds.
Dressed in black, Shalom Auslander wears three tiny silver blocks on a chain that falls close to his neck, with Hebrew letters spelling out the word "Acher," or other. This was a gift from his wife when he completed his memoir, "Foreskin's Lament." Acher was the name given to Elisha ben Abuya, a learned second-century rabbi, after he adopted heretical opinions.
Many of those holier-than-thous who are bad-mouthing Madonna were once themselves on the wrong side of the tracks before they rediscovered Judaisim
As we walked back from shul on a recent Shabbat, my friend and neighbor David Myers asked me if I was "comfortable" with the service we had just attended.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) want a few good men like Zach Taylor (photo). Actually, the IDF wants a lot of them. Taylor is a 20-year-old volunteer from North Hollywood serving in an Israeli infantry battalion of Torah-observant and predominantly ultra-Orthodox soldiers.
In Israel, where service in the armed forces is every man's -- and most women's -- duty, the majority of Israelis, from secular to Modern Orthodox, have long scorned the ultra-Orthodox "black hats" for avoiding military service by studying in yeshivas. Now, a battalion of ultra-religious young men, known as Nahal Haredi, is seeking to change this image by combining Torah study with the bearing of arms.
I met Oren after watching "Kol Nidrei," a new play by Israeli playwright Yehoshua Sobol. The play is about Charedi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews who lead double lives -- as Bnei Brak yeshiva bochers by day and Tel Aviv bar-hoppers by Friday night.
A key element in Labor Party leader Ehud Barak's strategy tobecome prime minister is to win support from Orthodox andultra-Orthodox (haredi) voters, who backed Binyamin Netanyahuoverwhelmingly in the last election. Now Barak is faced with adilemma: The price of wooing Orthodox votes is apparently his supportfor the Conversion Law, which is fast approaching decision time inthe Knesset.