A New Day In Israeli Politics?

I am a political junkie.  My drug is not domestic, as I prefer to feed my addiction with Israeli politics.  This current round of elections has provided me with a particularly potent dose and it’s one that’s never been concocted before.  Simply put, what’s happening now is unprecedented.

Israeli coalition politics has always been a particularly rarefied specimen of the art of compromise.  No party ever accumulates sufficient seats to form a government.  This always makes the search for bedfellows as interesting as the elections themselves.  It also explains the general weirdness that often ensues once they’ve all piled into bed together. Continue reading

The Atheist Rabbi And The Orthodox Women’s Seminary

As I mentioned in a previous post, I returned last Sunday from a two-week stay in Jerusalem.

The sole purpose of my trip was to visit my youngest daughter who is in an Orthodox gap-year program. (For some odd reason, these are generally called seminaries, even though no one there is entering the rabbinate or priesthood.)

I have not written about my children before, but my daughter has given me permission to write this post. Continue reading

Crime Wave At The Western Wall

I just returned from Jerusalem to news about the latest round of arrests of Jewish women for the crime of wearing a tallit (prayer shawl) and organizing a women’s prayer service at the Western Wall.

I have written before about my antipathy for that place. In my past two visits I haven’t even bothered descending the steps to go see it. This latest appalling arrest is a great example of everything that’s wrong about the site. Continue reading

More Drivel From The Great Rav Ovadiah

Rav Ovadiah Yosef, spiritual leader of world Sephardic Jewry, just attacked one of the major bastions of Israeli democracy.  He has labeled the Israeli courts “a court of gentiles.”  That, apparently, is a very bad thing when you are a loyal Torah Jew like his holiness.

FailedMessiah.com (from Haaretz which has a big ol’ paywall) relates what happened when Yosef was asked about Israeli judges who are Orthodox Jews: Continue reading

Blogosphere Heats Up Over Haredi Internet Rally

The non-Jewish press has taken a great interest in the Haredi internet sobfest held on Sunday.  I guess that’s bound to happen when 40,000 black-suited men take over a baseball stadium on a hot day in May and no bats or gloves are involved.

Over at Jezebel, Katie J.M. Baker and Sam Biddle have a scathing post.  Leaving aside a few of their inaccuracies (not all Haredim are Hasidim), they hit the nail on the head by identifying misogyny at the core of all of this: Continue reading