Four big Israeli mistakes

October 23, 2011
IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren
(center),with General Uzi Narkiss
(left) at the Western Wall, June 7, 1967

(Fresno Zionism h/t Love of the Land) On June 7th, 1967, Israeli Paratroopers liberated the Temple Mount. Although some religious leaders (including, initially, Rabbi Shlomo Goren) favored destroying the Dome of the Rock and building a Third Temple, this idea was never seriously considered. But short of that, what was to be done? There was a debate among the rabbis about how to deal with the prohibition against entering the Holy of Holies. Some proposed simply banning Jews from the entire area. But Rav Goren felt that Jews should be allowed to pray on at least specified parts of it, because otherwise Israel would lose its sovereignty there.

In a confidential memorandum to the Ministerial Committee for Holy Places which he sent shortly after military hostilities had ceased, Goren proposed that

the prime minister should declare that the holy places of the Jews be placed under rabbinic supervision. All the Temple Mount is holy to the Jews and therefore it is in the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbinate even though mosques were built there. Since it is forbidden for Jews and non-Jews alike to enter the Temple Mount the Chief Rabbinate should request the army to close the Temple Mount for everybody. This step should be taken immediately [Goren’s emphasis] before the military curfew is lifted and before free access is given. Now the Arabs are in a state of shock, and their only hope is to stay alive and not be massacred. Now is the moment to set the conditions and basis for the status quo proposed. Through such a step, the exclusive Muslim rule on the Mount will be circumvented. Later it will not be possible to do anything. If this proposal comes from the rabbinate rather than the government it will be seen as a religious matter of holiness rather than a political idea. And since entry will be forbidden for Jews, the Arabs cannot claim discrimination.

Such a ban, which could have lasted years, would have given the Chief Rabbinate time to study the problem including clarifying which areas are permitted to enter and which are not. Goren added that “if the Arabs are suspicious it is possible to give them El Aqsa.”

But Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin overruled him. The Temple Mount was placed under the control of the Jordanian waqf and the Western Wall was left for Jewish prayer. Later, Rabbi Goren tried to change the status quo, but many rabbis opposed him as did most of the political echelon. The Temple Mount in effect remained under Muslim control despite theoretical Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem.
Since then, the waqf has excavated and built illegally, destroying archaeological evidence of a historical Jewish temple, and Israel has done nothing. Jews are permitted to go up to the Mount, but may not pray there — a Jew was arrested (by Israeli police) for trying to wave a lulav (a device woven from the ‘four species’ in observance of Sukkot) this week, and Jews have been reported by waqf officials for moving their lips.

Any Jewish activity in the area is cause for Arab riots. There is constant incitement of the Muslim population in mosques and by the Islamic Movement of Raed Saleh. ‘Peace’ proposals made to the Palestinians have included sovereignty over the Temple Mount — why not, since Israel has long since surrendered it.
Jewish soldiers died to take back all of Jerusalem, not just part of it. Rabbi Goren was right, Dayan and Rabin wrong. Mistake no. 1.


Restrictions on rabbis from conducting weddings removed

September 21, 2011

I’m not sure what the details of this are. Can a Reform, Conservative, or even a Reconstructionist rabbi perform a wedding? How would this apply to say a Gay Marriage?

(JPost) Tzohar rabbis authorized as long as they supply proof of rabbinic ordination, know laws of marriage, currently serve as rabbi, teacher.

The religious-Zionist rabbinical group Tzohar, which provides rabbis free of charge to perform weddings, announced on Tuesday that it has succeeded in gaining approval from the Council of the Chief Rabbinate to conduct wedding ceremonies.
Executive Vice-President of Tzohar, Nachman Rosenberg, said that Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar in particular was critical to advancing the necessary changes for this reform.
“Tzohar praises this decision and especially the work of Rabbi Amar in succeeding to bring about this dramatic change, despite the opposition of some of the extremists on the Council of the Chief Rabbinate who oppose us,” Rosenberg told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Rabbi Amar’s efforts will help many young people and allow them to marry in a Jewish wedding and not run away to get married in civil ceremony in Cyprus,” he added.
Tzohar established a project in 1996 to reach out to secular Israelis who had negative experiences with the Chief Rabbinate and provide them with the opportunity to have a rabbi more sympathetic to their level of religious observance marry them without charge or expectation of any other kind of remuneration.
According to Rosenberg, this led the rabbinate to enact a series of restrictions making it virtually impossible for a rabbi to marry a couple who registered for marriage in a particular city without the permission of the rabbinate of that specific city or a rabbi on the Chief Rabbinate’s payroll.
Opponents of Tzohar claim that the group is too lenient regarding the numerous Jewish laws surrounding marriage ceremonies, and so rabbis from the organization would invariably be refused a license to perform weddings.
On Sunday, the Council of the Chief Rabbinate decided to remove its restrictions and will now instruct local rabbinates and rabbis to permit Tzohar rabbis to perform wedding ceremonies as long as they supply proof of their rabbinic ordination, demonstrate knowledge of the laws of marriage, and currently serve as a rabbi or teacher.
Due to a number of exceptions and ongoing pressure, Tzohar has nevertheless managed to perform 3,000 weddings a year, approximately 20% of all secular weddings.
“There’s no reason why Zionist rabbis in Israel should have to fight so hard to help secular couples interested in a Jewish wedding to get married,” Rosenberg said.
“We hope that this victory will help thousands of secular Jews to get married according to Jewish law and allow many other rabbis to volunteer for Tzohar to further this goal.”

I’d appreciate if someone could leave me a comment and inform me what is going on here.