Grapevine: Essence of Judaism

Through the years, Anat hoffman, the director and founding member of Women of the Wall, former member of the City Council and for some years Executive Director of the Center for Religious Action of Israel was arrested by the police with other women, for smuggling a Torah Scroll in prayer Women’s. section of the Western Wall Plaza on Rosh Hodesh, the beginning of the new Hebrew month. They were also arrested for wearing prayer shawls, which are traditionally worn by men and not by women.

If there had been an incident abroad in which a Jew, regardless of whether he was Orthodox, Conservative or Reform, had been arrested for taking a Torah scroll to what is considered a sacred area, there would be an uproar in the Jewish world. . But in Israel, which claims to be the Jewish State as opposed to the State of the Jews, that any Jew, regardless of gender or stream of Judaism, is denied the right to read the Torah and sing Psalms at the Western Wall is a farce. .

How can we even begin to discuss Jewish unity when Jews according to Halacha are marginalized because they have a certain way of practicing their Judaism? Truth be told, everyone sets their own rules, even when they publicly identify with a certain field.

There are so many inconsistencies in Judaism, that at first glance, Judaism is a religion open to all.

For example, anyone who has paid close attention to the weekly Torah portions since we started reading Genesis once again will have noticed that the many men mentioned are the sons of their fathers, but in most cases, their mothers are ignored. However, to be a hereditary Jew, one has to be born to a Jewish mother. When a man is sick and prayers are said for him to regain health, he is his mother’s son. But if he dies, he is the son of his father. It is customary among Jews to engrave on the tombstones of the deceased that they are the sons or daughters of their parents. For centuries, their mothers were overlooked. Only in recent years are both parents listed.

The children of Israel are prohibited from marrying Moabites. However, Ruth, the great-grandmother of King David, from whom the Messiah is believed to be descended, was a Moabite. Today’s Orthodox rabbinate would almost certainly reject his conversion according to the rigors they impose.

Even Moses did not take a wife from among his own people, but married Tzipporah, the daughter of a Midianite priest; however, Moses is regarded in Jewish tradition as the greatest of role models.

As long as the essence of Judaism remains, and it certainly does in varying degrees in all the different streams of Judaism, no one should assume the right to prevent another Jew from praying in the place and in the way that he or she feels is the most spiritual. .

■ OPTICS MAGNATE and real estate developer Laurent levy From time to time he has been criticized in this column for changing the face of the city, simply because his financial means give him the leverage to do so. But this time, he deserves a little praise for reminding passersby of central Jerusalem of days gone by. On a side wall of the large hotel and shopping complex he is building on Jaffa Road, he placed giant replicas of photographs of Jaffa Road and Zion Square taken during the British Mandate period. Some of the buildings shown are still standing, but the businesses they housed long ago are replaced by others, or like Levy’s project, many nearly one-block buildings have merged and are now part of one large project.

The idea of ​​decorating a construction site with old photographs is not new, as anyone passing by the projected Knesset Museum can attest. In fact, the historical photos there are occasionally changed, introducing the public to the ancient shapers of the nation’s destiny, all long dead. While they are interesting, they do not have the impact that those of Levy’s project do at about three meters high.

■ ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY coupled with the strict COVID-19 conditions imposed by other countries regarding entry, almost but they do not take away from the pleasure of traveling abroad. Bureaucracy is a nightmare, but once all the necessary forms are completed and one has been tried within three days of departure, the anxieties caused by bureaucratic hassles begin to fade.

Special congratulations to Magen David Adom, for the Saturday night pre-flight COVID testing, but with all due respect, MDA could have found a more convenient location than outside their Romema headquarters. Romema, as most readers know, is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood that is buzzing with hustle and bustle on Saturday nights as yeshiva boys and seminary girls who have been guests of families in the neighborhood on Shabbat return. to the school programs in which they study. In addition, other guests from the Romema families and from other ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods do not linger after Shabbat is over, especially if they return to their cities and towns by bus. So the narrow sidewalk next to the COVID test vehicle is littered with potential travelers, pushed baby carriages, and rolling suitcases. It is uncomfortable for both those standing in line and those trying to pass them.

And there are the queue jumpers who belong to the “it’s about me” category of the population, who made an appointment and are surprised to see a long line of people who also made appointments but arrived early. Unaware that some people have been waiting patiently for more than half an hour, they push forward. To credit MDA staff, people are processed based on their place in line.

However, the worst is yet to come. Waiting for the result is agonizing, because you don’t really know the test results beforehand; many people with COVID are asymptomatic. But even with good results, there is a gremlin in the works that reports that your personal data is incorrect. One notice will come from MDA and another from the Ichilov Well Center. A third could even come from the Ministry of Health. The messages advise him to instantly call Ichilov. But that office doesn’t open until 9 a.m. The panic increases. Finally, he makes contact only to be told to ignore the message. Try again with another extension and get the same peace of mind with the explanation that everything is automatic and errors are common. Then you are expected to fill out a form for the destination country only to find out towards the end that it is not necessary. You call the travel agency to make sure and receive confirmation that in your case it is not necessary because your medical documents are sufficient.

Now you know why the email response forms confirm that you are not a robot.

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