Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Role Of Judiasm In The Jewish State Further Weakening

THE RIGHT TO REST

 

The High Court issued its ruling after owners of small shops complained that large chains such as Tiv Ta’am and AM:PM had a neat arrangement with the city council: they remained open every Shabbos, happily paying a small fine of 660 shekels ($183), while the city pocketed about two million shekels a month. Secular Jews were happy to have somewhere to shop seven days a week at the expense of small businesses that could not afford the fines or simply wanted a day of rest.

 

“Our rights have been trampled on for years and we have suffered financially. The law provides for days of rest, and we abided by those provisions,” said Koby Bremmer, chairman of the Grocers’ Association that led the fight against the retail chains. “We waged a battle so that people understand that the law is not just an opinion, it’s a matter of principle. We have the right to rest on Shabbos and to travel on weekends, but the powerful are single-mindedly focused on profit. The tycoons stay at home on Shabbos and rest. They would like to have everyone else work on Shabbos, but I don’t want to be a slave.”

 

Many secular Tel Aviv residents attacked the court decision, which would close entertainment establishments at Tel Aviv’s seafront.

 

“People who want to do their shopping on Shabbos should have the option of doing so,” said one of them. “Religion and faith are a personal decision. Those who do not want to open on Shabbos cannot ask others to do the same.”

 

Municipality chairperson Yael Dayan said she had a plan to get around the law.

 

“I will take action to enforce the existing law that enables businesses to be fined without shutting them down, but reduce them so that small businesses can also afford them,” she said. “Also, we will look into giving compensation to businesses that aren’t open on Shabbos.”

 

Aryeh Avneri chairman of the Ometz organization that fights for social justice asked Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation again Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai for contempt of the court judgment.

 

“Huldai has said that the municipality does not intend to use more inspectors on Shabbos and in practice he has shaken off the high court’s judgment and announced that businesses in Tel Aviv will continue to operate on Shabbos as usual,” he said. “Ometz regards his words as contempt of court.”

 

Sadly, a Maariv survey found that most municipality members favor chillul Shabbos. 14, including the mayor, supported sweeping permission to open businesses on Shabbos, 9 favored partial permission, and only 5 opposed the idea. One councilor had no opinion and two others were unavailable during the survey. Legalists say that the Tel Aviv controversy will have a direct effect on other towns that turn a blind eye to Shabbos observance in contravention of their own bylaws.

 

Last year, the Tel Aviv municipality approved public transportation on Shabbos. The plan was not implemented because it conflicted with coalition agreements of the city council.

 

NEVER ON A SUNDAY

 

Meanwhile, there are plans to designate the first Sunday of every month a day of rest for a trial period of one year. Fridays will be designated as full working days. Initially, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom of Likud wanted every Sunday declared an official day of rest. He maintained that this would increase internal tourism by providing Israelis with extra time to get away on weekends. He also wanted to make every Friday a full working day, which, of course, would inconvenience shomrei Shabbos. Currently, Friday is half a work day in many areas, leaving plenty of time for people to shop, prepare and get home for Shabbos. Wherever you turn, Friday afternoons are bustling with people making last minute pre-Shabbos purchases. By the time Shabbos arrives, the city is in Shabbos mode.

 

Two years ago, Shalom told the Globes magazine how his idea would work.

 

“Anyone who claims that Friday won’t be a productive workday vis-à-vis overseas is wrong,” he said. “Part of the objections to the initiative is psychological. People want to go shopping on Friday for their Shabbos meals. So let them do their shopping on Thursday, and some Shabbos hosting will be postponed to Shabbos night. Everything will be different, and we’ll need time to adapt. We’ll also have to reopen collective agreements with public sector workers, but there are a lot of advantages to a long weekend. It will make the capital market more efficient because there won’t be such arbitrage gaps with foreign markets.”

 

His idea had its detractors. Head of the National Economic Council Eugene Kandel opted to have only four work-free Sundays a year. Shalom and Kandel compromised and agreed to try out one vacation Sunday per month. Shalom’s ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office plan to assemble a team to advance the proposition. The idea is widely supported by the coalition. Indeed, during the coalition negotiations, Naftali Bennett considered making the Sundays-off idea a part of the coalition agreement.

 

BENNETT: CONSERVATIVES ARE FAMILY

 

For the first time since Israel’s founding, its minister of religious affairs addressed a group of Conservatives as an equal speaking to equals. President Shimon Peres and Minister of Religious Affairs Naftoli Bennett flattered 200 members of the Rabbinical Assembly, an umbrella group of Conservative rabbis, telling them that they are part of the Jewish family and that the time is ripe for Israel to hold dialogue with Conservatives.

 

“Pluralism is already in process,” Peres assured them. “Every Jew has the right to be a Jew as he sees fit. We’ve always had different streams within Judaism.”

 

Bennett said that “since the assembly at Har Sinai, Judaism had many different streams.”

 

“I don’t have all the answers or the solutions, so we need to form a dialogue as equals and in partnership,” he added. “I’m committed to a roundtable with all denominations and every part of the Jewish people until we can feel like we are one family once again.”

 

Bennett said that Israeli Jews “agree on seventy percent” of the issues but have “a talent for fighting over the rest.”

 

Later, Bennett told a chareidi interviewer, “There is halachah regarding what has to be done, but one has to meet the Conservatives; they are like family.”

 

Executive vice president of the Conservative Movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, was delighted. She said that Bennett’s attitude indicated real progress in the relationship of non-Orthodox movements and the state, and told the Jerusalem Post that “for a head of an Israeli party to talk in terms of roundtable discussions… is real change.” But proof of progress would necessitate concrete actions, she added.

 

Religious and chareidi Jews were horrified.

 

“Once again, for the umpteenth time, we see that not for nothing did Bennett join forces with Yair Lapid,” said Moshe Gafni of UTJ. “It is very important that his religious Zionist supporters should see him for what he really is. Sadly, what he said today is already not a surprise. We do not consider him religious. His words are like those of a secular Jew, but not like all of them. Many secular Jews feel absolutely no link with the reforms and conservatives. He is among the worst of them.”

 

Yuval Cherlow, co-founder of the Tzohar organization headed by controversial chief rabbinate candidate Dovid Stav, supported Bennett’s opinion that there should be dialogue with Conservatives.

 

“Why should I be afraid?” he said. “I don’t recognize their conversion or marriages but I can participate with them in seminars or panels dealing with matters that concern us both.”

 

ADVANCING WOMEN

 

Another issue constantly threatening the role of halachah is the sometimes exaggerated notion of women’s rights. The “Free Israel” organization, which aims to destroy the historic status quo agreement between religious and secular Jews in Israel, was angry to learn of signs at the kever of the Stefenesht Rebbe directing men to enter through the main entrance and women from the side.

 

“This contradicts a circular issued by the Ministry of Religious Services and indicates a discrimination against women under the auspices of a chevra kadisha,” the organization complained.

 

Meanwhile, Emunah, a religious Zionist women’s organization, is threatening to take the Chief Rabbinate to the High Court of Justice unless it officially recognizes 13 women who graduated a hashgochah course last week.

 

“There is no reason in the world, neither halachic nor procedural, to excuse the fact that the kashrus department of the Chief Rabbinate has been shirking and avoiding our repeated requests,” Emunah chairwoman Liora Minka said. “Over an entire year they were unable to find the time to respond to such a basic request that was made through the proper channels.”

 

Although many rabbis of the rabbinate have no objection to women mashgichos, IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz strongly opposes the idea as it could spread to the IDF and have “dangerous repercussions.”

 

“I am afraid that if this is approved in the civilian world it will also reach the IDF, and I am strongly opposed to that,” he said. “Until now, our supervisors have only been men, and the repercussions of employing women supervisors under military pressure are dangerous.”

 

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, who is running for the Chief Rabbinate, said there are several female mashgichos in Tzefas and he sees no problem with the issue. So far, the Chief Rabbinic Council has not reached a decision about whether to accept the female mashgichos. Two weeks ago, Religious Services Minister Bennett sentd a letter to rabbinate kashrus director, Rav Yaakov Sebag, warning that he must accept the women who completed a 160 hour hashgochah course.

 

Eighteen months ago, religious Zionist Jews founded Beis Hillel, an organization that furthers the fight for women’s rights.

 

“We believe in the permanence of Torat Yisroel, and we are absolutely committed to Jewish halachah,” the organization states. “Recent events have presented our holy Torah to the Israeli public in an inappropriately narrow-minded, exclusionary light. We, who are engaged daily in teaching and studying the Torah,believe that this has misrepresented Judaism, and that only the authentic, enlightened, inclusive Judaism, whose ways are pleasant and peaceful, has a true message for Israel today. In that spirit, we believe it is imperative to include women in public leadership roles. It is therefore that we have resolved to establish an Orthodox Attentive Leadership forum to open its ranks to womenTalmidot chachomos.Women scholars and spiritual leaders will find in Beit Hillel a welcoming home alongside community and yeshiva rabbis.

 

Beit Hillel is first cousin of the Tzohar Organization headed by Chief Rabbinate hopeful Dovid Stav. Explaining the difference between the two organizations, its director, Ronen Neuwirth wrote:

 

“Regarding your question, Beit Hillel is not in competition with Tzohar. On the contrary, there is cooperation and coordination between us. Each organization has its own defined goal, which will not be achieved if it spreads in other directions. The goal of Tzohar is to replace the services of the rabbinate, which is distancing Jews from the Jewish religion. The goal of Beit Hillel is to influence public discourse in Jewish matters and stop religious extremism in public discourse.”

 

BUILD TORAH, BUILD MORE TORAH 

 

During a discussion about the IDF crisis, Rav Shmuel Wosner cited the Chazon Ish as saying that the only answer to the dangers posed by the State of Israel is to build more and more Torah institutions. This was in response to the question that the Toldos Aharon Rebbe asked him: what should be done about the draft law?

 

“I was the only person present when the Satmar Rebbe met the Chazon Ish,” Rav Wosner told the Toldos Aharon Rebbe. “The Rebbe asked him what should be done against the dangers that might arise with the founding of the State of Israel. The Chazon Ish’s answer was, ‘build more and more talmudei Torah, more yeshivos, and more shuls. Only to build and to build.’”

 

BROTHERS IN DEATH

 

Somehow, the army never seems to understand that making rules contrary to normative religious practice is not the best way to attract frum Jews to its ranks. The Ministerial Committee on Legislation just approved a proposal to bury non-Jewish soldiers next to Jews in military cemeteries. The law was proposed by MK Eliezer Stern of Hatnuah in response to an incident that occurred on the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel in April, when Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz placed a flag on top of whom he thought was the most recently deceased IDF soldier. It was later discovered that the last soldier to die was actually a non-Jew buried elsewhere.

 

Stern proposes that if the family of a non-Jewish soldier decides to bury him in a military cemetery, he should be buried together with Jews. He claimed that rabbis told him this presents no halachic problem, citing Shlomo Goren, who said that a non-Jew who falls in defense of the Jewish state is on a higher level than chassidei umos ha’olam. Until now, the army required non-Jewish graves to be four amos from Jewish graves.

 

Chareidim pointed out that the army is trying to dance at two weddings.

 

“On the one hand they want religious soldiers in the army while on the other hand they are not enabling them to keep halachah,” said Moshe Gafni. “It is no affront to a non Jewish soldier [to be buried apart]. Each person lives and gets buried according to halachah. This also indicates that many people like Eliezer Stern are fighting a war against Judaism. This is why he came to the Knesset. It will be interesting to see how he explains to families of religious soldiers how they can serve in the army if this means forcing a way of life upon them that opposes their conscience and halachah observance even after their deaths.”

 

CHRISTIAN ARABS ANXIOUS TO SERVE 

 

Unlike Arab Moslems who oppose serving in the IDF and would pose a security risk if they did serve, a small number of Arab Christians are demanding shivyon banetel as part of their desire to integrate with the Jewish state. Greek Orthodox priest Gavriel Nadaf is suffering severe persecution and death threats as a result of this attitude.

 

“We want young Christians to become totally integrated into Israeli society, which also entails shouldering their fair share of the burden of national service,” he said. “Our future as a Christian minority is intertwined with that of the State of Israel. We want to give more to society and to contribute our share just like others do.”

 

Nadaf claims that most young Christians view Israel as their country and Israel should seize the opportunity before it’s too late. Since the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in the Arab Spring, he says, they feel less part of the Arab world and closer to Israel. Moslems have threatened to retaliate against Christian Arabs in Israel and elsewhere if Nadaf and an organization called “Forum for the Enlistment of the Christian Community” persist in their pro-Israel attitude.

 

 CHIEF RABBINATE

 

The 150 person panel required to elect Israel’s chief rabbis was finally selected. It consists of groups of rabbonim, public representatives, and 10 women specially appointed by Minister of Religious Services Naftali Bennett. The women are expected to vote for Habayit Hayehudi’s favored candidates, Rav Dovid Stav and Rav Shmuel Eliyahu.

 

Rav Aharon Leib Steinman said he would support Rav Dovid Lau for Ashkenazi chief rabbi. The three other Ashkenazi candidates are Rav Dovid Stav, Rav Eliezer Igra, and Rav Yaakov Shapira, Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz Harav, who announced his candidacy last week. Although affiliated with the religious Zionist camp, Rav Shapira is regarded as part of the so-called nationalist-chareidi stream and is accepted by several chareidi rabbonim. Rav Ovadiah Yosef has still not decided whether to support Rav Lau or Rav Shapira, and has not announced which two of his sons, Rav Avrohom or Rav Yitzchok, he will select as a contender for the position of Sephardi chief rabbi.

 

Rav Chaim Kanievski has told his family and talmidim a number of times that his main criteria regarding which Sephardi candidate he favors is whether the candidate supports the heter mechirah for Shemitah years.

 

Habayit Hayehudi will support Rav Dovid Stav and Rav Shmuel Eliyahu. As part of the deal, Eliyahu agreed to express contrition or to apologize for telling Jews in Tzefas not to rent out their apartments to Arabs.

 

RAV OVADIAH YOSEF CONVALESCING AFTER SPINE OPERATION

 

In a final effort to relieve the excruciating pain Rav Ovadiah Yosef suffered for the past month after falling down in his Har Nof apartment, doctors operated on his fractured vertebra while he was under general anesthetic. Yeshivos everywhere davened for his refu’ah shleimah and a special tefillah was held in Miron together with cheder children and mekubolim. Initially, doctors were reluctant to operate due to his advanced age, but there was no alternative. All are asked to daven for the refu’ah shleimah of Rav Ovadiah ben Georgia.

 

IT’S OK TO GET TO WORK LATE

 

People who find it hard to daven before work if Israel extends its daylight savings bill for an extra month will be allowed to show up late for work. Deputy Religious Minister Eli Ben-Dahan of Habayit Hayehudi arranged with coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin of Likud that people who cannot daven before work because of late sunrises in the last two weeks of October will be allowed to arrive late at work without penalty.

 

“I welcome extending daylight saving time, which will help the Israeli economy,” Dahan said. “At the same time, I want to make certain that citizens, especially those with low income or those who do physical work, are not penalized and therefore I ask that they be allowed to pray according to their custom. This is a paramount social value.”

 

BENNETT PROMISES TO HELP ZIONIST YESHIVOS

 

Chareidi yeshivos thought they had an ally in religious Zionist yeshivos, which were also threatened by crippling government budget cuts. They may be mistaken. Bennett promised that the cuts made against yeshivos will not affect those of the religious Zionist sector.

 

“The Hesderand Zionist yeshivos will not be hurt,” he said. “We are now working on how to do this, but we can say for certain that they will not be hurt regarding government support, nor concerning how long their bochurim have to serve in the IDF. There will be a cut, but it will be like that of the rest of the country, two or three percent and no more.”

 

He told Zionist roshei yeshiva at a meeting, “Our coalition agreement says that we will not touch Hesderyeshivos. I am personally responsible for this.”

 

The roshei yeshivos sent Bennett a letter of thanks saying, “We appreciate the leadership of Habayit Hayehudi and its leader Naftoli Bennett in their obdurate fight to prevent a reduction and their efforts to strengthen Zionist yeshivos. We call on them to persevere in this effort. The Torah world is the foundation of the Jewish people’s survival.”

 

Chareidi sources say that if Bennett’s plan materializes, they will legally accuse the government of discriminating against chareidi yeshivos.

 

3.8 SHEKELS SALARY PER SHIUR

 

Yisroel Moshe Friedman, director of the Toda’ah Organization that organizes Torah shiurim all over Eretz Yisroel, was shocked to receive a letter from the Division of Chareidi Culture of the Education Ministry saying that the government would be paying his maggidei shiur 3.8 shekels pershiur. Toda’ah would need to supply the rest of the funding. In addition, because the government pays the money as a salary and not as a stipend, Toda’ah would be required to pay 6 shekels tax and national insurance for every 3.8 shekels received. This edict applies to government sponsored shiurim of a large number of non-profit organizations.

 

“This is further proof that the war is against everything that has a whiff of Torah,” said MK Yaakov Asher of UTJ.

 

MKS DECRY CHILD SUBSIDY CUTS 

 

On the positive side, the Finance Committee has considered scrapping a proposed income tax hike on people earning 5,200 shekels ($1,437) a month or more in favor of adding 1.8% income tax on people earning 14,000 shekels ($3,870) or more monthly.

 

On the other hand, tempers soared at the Knesset’s Finance Committee during a discussion of the planned cutting of child subsidies. At present, families get 175 shekels for their first child and they get progressively more until they receive 389 shekels for their fifth child. Accordingly to the new budget, parents will receive only 140 shekel per child regardless of the number, saving the country 2.7 billion shekels annually.

 

Moshe Gafni of UTJ said that children of poor secular families would suffer more than those of chareidi families as plans are afoot to collect money overseas to help the frum families hurt by the government cut.

 

“There will be hunger in the chareidi sector, but we will take steps to deal with that,” he said. “However, there will be no supporting kehillah for the children of the Argazim neighborhood of Tel Aviv and Maalot. The Finance Minister’s plan to stop giving child subsidies in favor of going out to work is a lie. The job market is not ready to absorb chareidim and Arabs. This is a process that leads to starvation and will harm the entire population. Why don’t they cut other subsidies?”

 

Reuven Rivlin of Likud also attacked the proposed plan.

 

“The reduction in child subsidies is one of the harshest and most dramatic items in the present budget proposal,” he said. “For many families, this is a significant part of the monthly income used to buy bread and basic items. I understand the budgetary significance [of doing this to save] three billion shekels and the need to help the populace enter the work market. But a child is a child, even if his parents are not blameless.”

 

He suggested the cut be spread over a longer time and directed only against wealthier families.

 

Zahavah Galon of Meretz said that according to Social Insurance data, there are presently 860,000 children beneath the poverty line and that if child subsidies are cut, another 50,000 will be added to this number.

 

WORK OR PAY

 

There were also long arguments at the Finance Committee meeting regarding a proposal to restrict reductions in municipal taxes only to poor people incapable of working. This is a direct attack against avreichim who can work but choose to study. Deputy Head of the Budget Division Reuven Kugen explained that present reductions in municipal taxes cause Israel a loss of 200 million shekels a year.

 

“People seeking reductions in municipal taxes are from the bottom 10%,” said MK Uri Maklev of UTJ. “It is not easy to get a reduction; one needs to earn very little. There are people for whom the reduction is their children’s bread and milk. You can’t educate them with sanctions. The secret plan is to hurt a certain sector [the chareidim] but while doing this, they are hurting the unemployed, poor families, and one parent families working for two-thirds of a salary who won’t be counted as having earning capacity. Students will not receive reductions. Working parents with children 24-25 years old who are not working will not receive a reduction. This will lead to an increase in municipal confiscation of people’s assets and the collapse of many families.”

 

But MK Ofer Shelach of Yesh Atid was unapologetic. At present, he said, only 40% of chareidi men were working, half the rate of the general population, and this has to be stopped.

 

MK Salary Cut Reduced from 10% to 1%

 

Meanwhile, the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee voted to reduce the pay of Knesset members by only 1%, also approving a measure to postpone a planned 1% wage increase for government employees to late 2015. This was in contrast to a proposal two weeks ago to slash the pay of such officials by 10%. The Israel Judges Association also refused to take a 10% wage cut and only agreed to 1%. In protest, Aryeh Deri of Shas wrote a letter to Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein, asking him to cut his salary by 10%.

 

“In the framework of the arrangements law [of the budget], a proposal that passed its first reading was made to cut the salaries of MKs by 10%…,” he wrote. “Surprisingly, at the end of the week, the Labor and Social Affairs Committee decided to almost completely annul the planned cut and reduce it to only 1%… Clearly, I cannot participate in a decision that only benefits public elected officials while the other cuts remain unaltered with no intent to change them at all.

 

“Esteemed chairman, as the person entrusted with preserving the standing and respect of the Knesset in the public eye, I ask you to act immediately to annul this shocking decision… If your efforts are unsuccessful, I ask you to immediately reduce my salary by 10% in accordance with the original proposal.”

 

TRAINING FOR CHAREIDI WOMEN

 

The Economy and Trade Ministry announced plans for a unique training course for English-speaking chareidi women, designed by the ministry, the Joint Distribution Committee-Israel, and the Temech Association. The eight month course will train women as clinical coders, healthcare professionals who assign codes to clinical statements for the purpose of insurance, archiving, and research.

 

“This pilot program is of national importance and will meet the financial and social needs of a specific sector in the Israeli workforce by offering more employment opportunities,” said Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett. “The Economy and Trade Ministry will continue to invest and promote projects that expand employment opportunities in Israel.”

 

“The employment rate among chareidi men has gone up by 10% over the last decade and by 12% amongchareidi women. It is our duty to support this process,” said Dr. Sigal Shelah of JDC-Israel.

 

FIRST AID COURSE DISCRIMINATES AGAINST CHAREIDIM 

 

Chareidim interested in joining a summer first aid course offered by the Yerushalayim municipality were told that it was “not for chareidim” even though it had separate gender classes.

 

“I phoned…and asked to be registered in one of the three courses,” said Shimi, a yeshiva bochur from Ramot. A municipal representative asked me where I learn and I said I was a yeshiva student. When she asked if it was a chareidi yeshiva and I answered that it was, she said, ‘It’s not for chareidim.’”

 

“What difference does it make what kind of kipah I have on my head?” he challenged. “If the municipality offers a course for Yerushalayim residents everyone without exception should get the same response.”

 

He was not registered.

 

“This incident is one of the signs indicating the atmosphere at the municipality we hope to change in a few months,” said deputy mayor Yitzchok Pindrus. “This is a scandal and we will take measures to stop it by any means. A Magen Dovid Edom course under the auspices of the municipality must be for chareidim as well and yeshiva students cannot be stopped from participating.”

 

It was unclear which officials were responsible for the scandal.

 

WILL LAPID TAKE OVER MERON?

 

The Calcalist financial paper reports that a government committee will advise Finance Minister Lapid to take away the kever of Rav Shimon bar Yochai in Meron from the hekdeshos that control it and hand it over to a government company that will develop it into a tourist friendly site. Some time ago, the government “solved” various arguments between the hekdeshos by saying it would take the management into its own hands, and about two years ago, the previous finance minister Yuval Steinitz signed an order of confiscation. Due to chareidi opposition, the government hasn’t dared to do anything until now. Lawyer Tzvi Shuv, who represents the hekdeshos, warned, “The decision to confiscate the site is likely to spark a social earthquake.”

 

NO MARRAIGE BELOW 18

 

The Knesset rejected the objections of Shas and UTJ against a proposal to raise the legal marriage age from 17 to 18. This law, which already passed its first reading, would require a special permission for a couple marrying below this age so long as there were special circumstances and they were above 16.

 

MK Nissim Ze’ev of Shas said that the law is anti-religious, coercive, and shocking. MK Menachem Moses of UTJ said the law contradicts the basic law of “honor and freedom.”

 

“One cannot dictate to people when to marry,” he said. “There are sectors where parents are interested in marrying off their children at a young age.”

 

The bill, proposed in March, is supported by a report of the Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women’s Status at Bar-Ilan University, which found that 4,500 underage (under 17) people including 4,000 women marry in Israel annually, and 500 girls marry below 16.

 

“Marriage of minors prevents higher education, stymies social mobility and perpetuates the cycle of poverty across the generations,” bill proposer Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel of Likud said in March. “Raising the legal marriage age allows minors to exercise their right to free education until they reach age 18.”

 

LIKE MOSHE RABBEINU?

 

Can anyone compare to Moshe Rabbeinu, chas veshalom? Peres and Lapid think so. Speaking to a group joining the IDF, President Shimon Peres said, “You are different than other youngsters in the world. You are learning something unusual, to serve the people. You are ready to serve and ready to endanger your lives… I bless you for your desire to turn Israel into a wonderful country, as Moshe Rabbeinubegan doing at Har Sinai. We are all his protégés and follow in his path.”

 

In March, Lapid usurped the coveted description for himself, saying, “The story of Moshe is of someone who did the right thing. This is what I am going to do and this is what the Yesh Atid party does.

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