“The Torah is somehow a bridge between the finite and the infinite.” | cc: flickr by Hitchster
The weekly report of “Rabbis for Human rights”
Shavuot is coming up and we are counting the days. The entire country is preparing for the ‘Tikun’ and we work every day in order to realize the ‘Tikun’ by implementing universal rights. On ‘Tikun leil’ Shavuot we will be all over the country and will connect the Jewish tradition with social work as a part of the concept of our Human Rights Yeshiva. The love of the Torah will continue to be the basis to our work.
One of the clichés of Christian polemics is that Christianity is a religion of love, whereas Judaism is a religion of Law. There are those Jews who accept this characterization and argue that: On the contrary, we accept the “accusation,” but would argue that Law is superior to or preferable to Love. Whereas Love is a subjective emotion, often vague, inconsistent, unclear, and blind to reality, Law is based upon the principles of truth, justice, fairness, and objectivity; that it is Law which enables us to treat each person with true respect and dignity. Rabbi Yehonatan Chipman’s Dvar Torah to Parshat Bamidbar – Shabbat Kallah.
Three different incidents (Yitzhar, Twamine and Bat Ayin), show that settler violence towards Palestinians is increasing. For more than 10 years the residents of 12 Palestinian villages near the town Yata live under the threat of demolition, eviction and banishment. The IDF declared their residential area a firing zone. In 2012, after years of stagnation, a preliminary hearing on the appeal was determined. On Tuesday, May 15th the residents of Safa discovered further destruction to their trees and their grapevines in Wadi Abu Rish. This was the fifth incident this year. Due to the security authorities’ helplessness to defend the lives and the property of the Slibi family, we will file an appeal to the Supreme Court. Read Rabbi Grenimann’s report on what is going on in the OT.
Rabbi Kobi Weiss writes on how the public housing company is repairing a sink in one of the public housing apartments in Beit Shean. We cannot tolerate the disrespect of the public housing companies towards the residents of public housing. Read the RHR response to the Minister of Housing who said that the public housing situation is life threatening. The response was read on the radio: “We think that the Minister Atias is right to warn people about the condition of the public housing apartments. Some of them are indeed life threatening. The Minster should dare to say that this situation is not a mistake, but is the result of a moral decision in which a home is not a basic right for people in the State of Israel and public housing is a service for which the funding should be as minimal as possible. The change of this decision requires Minister Atias to support bills which anchor everybody’s right for a home. Only through this will we return to our moral tradition on the subject of welfare.”
As a part of the activities of RHR and Hillel in the Hebrew University Human Rights Beit Midrash, the Education department of RHR is organizing a tour (together with Breaking the Silence) in Hebron. The purpose of the tour is to expose to the complexity of the life in Hebron.
We invite our supporters to participate in ‘Tikun Leil Shavuot’ of the Solidarity movement. Rabbis Kobi Weiss and Nico Socolovsky from Rabbis for Human Rights will be hosted on Tikun Leil Shavuot in Haifa. We will update you regarding the participation of RHR rabbis in ‘Tikunim’ all over the country.
Adv. Quamar Mishirqi-Asad, the head of RHR legal department, was interviewed on Galei Zahal together with a representative of the extreme right organization “Regavim“, regarding the illegal building in South Hebron Hills. Adv. Asad pointed out that there are no master plans in the unrecognized Palestinian villages in South Hebron Hills, and because the villages are not recognized there is no possibility to apply for a permit to build. All this despite the fact that historical aerial photography show that these villages have existed least since the 19th century. Adv. Asad also said that the Palestinians, as an occupied population have no representation in the planning committees, as opposed to the settlers, so there is no way to compare between the two populations.
Our work to implement human rights in the occupied territories was mentioned in an article written by Amira Has “How didn’t you hear on the injustice in the territories” in Haaretz newspaper. Rabbi Arik Ascerman was interviewed in the German paper Der Spiegel. Rabbi Ascherman pointed out the importance of Jewish activity together with a social activity. He said he is concerned by the increase of attack on Palestinian farmers. In his opinion, in order to protect minorities in the country, Jewish activity is very important. Judaism is what will bring justice in Israel. Rabbi Arik Ascherman was also interviewed by the national radio of Germany in a religious program that was recorded in Köln. Rabbi Ascherman emphasized the Jewish angle in the Israeli left and the close connection to implement human rights. Settlers’ violence was reported by Ohad Hemo on Channel 2 (english article on 972magazine).
Maya Wind teaches us a new meaning to the political understanding of “Solidarity“. She tells about the closeness that was created between her and the women of Sheich Jarrah during the resistance to the expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem. Moriel Rothman brings us 10 Reflections & Vignettes on Jerusalem Day 2012.
Shabbat Shalom and Hag Samech