Parashat Hashavua “Matot” | What Will Be | What Was | Torah Thoughts
Rabbi Isaac Newman z”l
I rush to write a few brief words about my friend and teacher Rabbi Isaac Newman. We are already past our deadline, but how can Parashat HaShavua go out as if nothing as changed when RHR has lost another one of the visionary leaders who shaped RHR?
And so a few quick thoughts and memories of Rabbi Isaac Newman, former Royal Air Force chaplain, congregational rabbi, teacher and twice chairperson of RHR.
- Raise Many Disciples (Pirkei Avot 1:1. To this day the core of our supporters in Great Britain are Isaac’s former students, particular liberal rabbis who studied with him at Leo Baeck College. In Great Britain, as in Israel, many Orthodox rabbis won’t have anything to do with non-Orthodox rabbis. That wasn’t Isaac.
- Isaac was a “hands on” chairperson. On the one hand, I remember my co-director Jeremy Milgrom saying that we needed to bring Isaac to a meeting, because of the dignity and grace he would bring to the occasion. On the other hand, he would come to the office day after day to stuff envelopes. Whether it was going to meet the rabbi of the Susya settlement at 10:00 pm or writing yet another letter to the editor or our “Principles of Faith” or anything else, it was important and Isaac was always the first to step up to the plate and lead by example.
- A man of principle. I once asked Isaac how he survived as a congregational rabbi after hearing that he kept flour in his home on Passover because the fact is that dry flour is not khametz and not forbidden. In Jerusalem, he went through some painful experiences because those he prayed with did not appreciate his views. But, he always stuck to them.
- Isaac believed in God and in human beings. Every time I would ask him if it really mattered whether or not we sent of yet one more letter to the editor, he would repeat one of his favorite sayings, also below as part of the award we gave him on our 20th anniversary, “Said Rabina: This bears out the popular saying, Better is one grain of sharp pepper than a basket full of pumpkins.” (Talmud Megillah 7a) He believed in the power of the word, but that means that he also believed in people. My football coach always used to say that he only shouted at those who had the capability of being good football players. Isaac shouted because he believed in ability of people to change their ways and do justly.
May His Memory Be For A Blessing
Dedication Presented to Rabbi Isaac Newman on the occasion of RHR’s 20th Anniversary:
“הרב ניומן שייך למייסדי שומרי משפט. הוא כיהן פעמיים כיושב ראש העמותה. הרב ניומן ניסח והגשים את עיקרי האמונה של העמותה, ולימד דור של רבנים רדיפת צדק מה היא. הרב ניומן היה אמון על עשיית הטוב והישר, גם במקומות שבהם קולו היה בודד ולעיתים אף בלתי נשמע. הרב ניומן תמיד היה מוכן לכתוב עוד מכתב ולדבר עם עוד אדם כי הוא היה מן המאמינים ללא פשרות בכוחה של האמת, במילה הנכונה הנאמרת במקום הנכון וביכולתם של אלו לגבור על כל המכשולים שבדרך. בפיו היו שגורים תמיד הפסוקים:
- “אמר רבינא: היינו דאמרי אינשי: טבא חדא פלפלתא חריפתא ממלי צני קרי.” (מגילה ז’)
- “איזהו גיבור? מי שעושה שונאו אוהבו” (אבות דרבי נתן, כ”ג)”
Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Parashat Hashavua “Matot” | Rabbi Yehoshua Engelman
Rabbi Yehoshua Engelman examines to what extend can fathers and husbands annulling their daughters/wives vows and what is the rabbis power in annulling vows. Continue reading →
What Will Be
El Arakib – This is a special prayer for the Bedouin unrecognized village of El Arakib.On July 22nd we will hold an interfaith prayer gathering in El Arakib. This prayer is a part of several events to recall the first year of the numerous demolitions of the village. Continue reading →
- Thursday and Friday, July 21st and 22nd, there will be building days in the Bedouin village of El Arakib.
- On Thursday, the building will start at 09:00 in the morning with a break at noon due to the heat. We will continue at 4:00pm.
- On Friday, the building will resume at 09:00 until 12:00. At 12:15 there will be a joint Jewish, Muslim, and Christian prayer. For the people who are coming to the prayer, we will meet at 12:00 at Lehavim Junction. Building may continue at 4:00pm.
- On Wednesday, July 27th, at 08:00pm there will be a torchlight and candle parade. We will meet at 07:45pm on the South side of Lehavim junction.
Beit Shean – On the same topic, we need volunteers to help us make contact outside the Amidar office with the public housing tenants. Our experience is that the vast majority of tenants we have spoken with are not getting the services and treatment they deserve. However, as reported last week, they see the beginning of change/
Training We want to train all those who are interested in housing rights. Those who have done the training will then help us accompany those dealing with Amidar, and ensure that their rights are honored. Sometimes simply the fact of our presence totally changes the way people are treated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Danger of eviction in Ramle – We continue to organize suppot for the El-Aju family, who have an eviction notice good through the end of July (17 Yehezkel St) We need additional volunteers starting this Thursday and next week. As the days pass, the danger intensifies. Come to support and strengthen them. Contact Gill at 052-8688022, email@example.com.
As part of the ongoing series of weekly demonstrations, Tarabut will be demonstrating Wednesday 8:00-10:30 in front of Legal Aid : Henrietta Szold 4 in Tel Aviv.
Volunteers Needed - We need a list of volunteers who can be called on a moments notice if an eviction is taking place, will try to get to the location of the eviction, and will try to delay or prevent the eviction. Experience shows that, when there are many determined people present, the dynamic with the police changes.
The Week that Was
Social Justice Department
Ramle - Pictures from RHR visit to the Public house protest at Ramla.
Non-Jewish life - The effort of Dov Lior and his supporters to adopt interpretations of the Halacha that diminishes the value of a non-Jewish life is political, not religious. Their negative attitude towards the Palestinians encourages them to emphasize discriminating interpretations of the Halacha. Continue reading →
RHR Media Coverage
Messeges from Other Organization
We publish these media links as a service to the community, but they are not our activities and we are not responsible for their content. The links are a mixture of English and Hebrew articles
- Masad, the Social Democratic Camp - Protest vigil in the Rose Garden opposite the Knesset tomorrow (Wednesday 20.7.11from 10:00-14:00 in light of the Knesset debate on creating parliamentary investigatory committees to investigate Israeli human rights organizations. The demonstration is organized “Masad, the Social Democratic Camp,” and includes a group of Israeli public figures, “Ad Kan” (Enough is Enough) who have signed an add protesting the Boycott Bill. They will be protesting with Israeli flags and signs denouncing the Boycott Bill. For more information: Naftali Raz-054-5494172
- BEDOUIN COMMUNITIES IN THE JERUSALEM PERIPHERY FACING IMMINENT THREAT OF FORCED DISPLACEMENT – A new wave of demolition orders, stop-building orders, property confiscations, settler harassment and multiple warnings of imminent eviction by the Israeli Civil Administration has rendered Bedouin communities in the Jerusalem periphery exhausted of alternative coping strategies. They are now appealing for international protection to resist forced displacement and relocation. Groups most immediately at risk due to the recent intensification of pressure include the communities of Khan al Ahmar and Wadi Abu Hindi (both located in the proximity of Maale Adumim settlement). As from May 2011, all structures in Wadi Abu Hindi have stop-building orders and the community was issued with a reminder that the land they locate has been confiscated for the building of the Barrier. This week the emblematic community of Khan al Ahmar has received 4 new stop building orders and notification that final stop work and demolition orders on 10 to 12 residential houses have been issued and will now be executed. Home to the well known ‘rubber-tyre school’ the community of Khan al-Ahmar has hosted numerous visits by senior visiting officials and been the focus of international press coverage. With little further legal protection available to them, the Jahilin community is aware that this latest round of orders may trigger an imminent demolition in their community. They call for your support.
- RECOMMENDATIONS : A. All actors are encouraged to immediately remind duty bearers that all policies and practices which lead to forced displacement of Bedouin from Area C, including demolitions of homes and livelihood structures, should cease immediately. B. All actors are encouraged to mobilise their press/media departments to raise awareness on the imminent threat to the Jerusalem periphery Bedouin communities in the face of settlement expansion, Barrier construction, settler harassment, poverty, food insecurity and lack of access to basic services and natural resources. C. All actors are encouraged to remind duty bearers that any attempts to re-locate Bedouin communities into ‘purpose-built’ villages should only be carried out with the free, prior and informed consent of the Bedouin. D. All actors are encouraged to immediately call upon responsible duty-bearers to recognize and protect the rights of the Bedouin communities in Area C, including access to natural resources and essential services. BACKGROUND – The Jerusalem periphery is one of the most strategic geographical areas of Area C for development. Barrier construction plans and expansion plans for Maale Adumim, Kfar Adumim and other surrounding settlements are currently being hindered by the presence of over 2,300 Bedouin in 20 communities. The execution of the proposed Israeli development plans in an area also strategic for Palestinian development would effectively divide the northern West Bank from the southern West Bank. Recent intensification of pressure by the Israeli Civil Administration on many of these communities comes hand in hand with verbal offers of re-locating the Bedouin into purpose-built villages in semi-urban locations. Such proposals of re-location packages are viewed with caution by the Bedouin population, many of whom have already experienced multiple counts of displacement. Many communities report that current and increasing Israeli practices and policies are making day to day life unbearable in their current Area C locations and could potentially exhaust the communities into accepting the re-location deals. The Humanitarian Country Team in oPt has identified forced displacement and forced population transfer as one of its advocacy priorities. More: UNRWA: Herders Fact Sheet 2010