Tag archive for "Rabbi Idit Lev"

Justice in Israel

Accepting the gratitude of others: A moment of blessing at the Hadera Justice Center

No Comments 18 September 2017

Gratitude is a basic Jewish value, and still it is not easy for us to accept it from others. This is especially true when those are individuals are those who turn to us at the Rabbis for Human Rights’ Hadera Rights Center.  When folks come and wish to thank us for the help they received navigating Israeli bureaucracy, especially those who also bring us something—we feel discomfort. How can we allow a individual who is having such a hard time spend their money on us? We did our job, and our payment is the success we achieved. Rabbi Idit Lev, the direcotor of Rabbis for Human Rights’ social justice program, explains how she learned to accept gratitude: Continue Reading

Parasha / E-Letter

Tisha b’Av 5777: Rabbi Zadok’s prayer

1 Comment 01 August 2017

Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Francesco Hayez, 1867

Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Francesco Hayez, 1867

By Rabbi Idit Lev

In recent years in Israel the eve of Tisha B’Av has become a time to talk about the hatred between brothers that led to the destruction of the Temple. Many tales discuss the blind hatred and disconnect amongst various groups within the nation. We consider the parallel for today: the blind hatred and rifts, and the fact that these days it is considered legitimate to attack anyone who disagrees with you. Continue Reading

General, Legal Work

Our duty as free people once enslaved: Dvar Torah for Passover 5777

No Comments 09 April 2017

Moses_LOC

“As Rabbi Marshall Meyer said: ‘The role of the rabbi is the role of the prophet, to speak truth to power, to voice the conscience of society.'”

Rabbi Idit Lev

The story of the Exodus is a miraculous story of redemption. The people, who did not fight at all to change their condition,were redeemed from slavery when God decided to act. God is represented by Moses, who is a leader, a prophet and a legislator. The life of Moses, who grew up as a free man, is understood to be part of his preparation for leadership. He did not grow up in slavery and later found a way to resist it. Rather he saw the enslavement from the other side and knew he was a part of those people, but he himself lived a different life in the palace of King Pharaoh.

Moses did not seek to be a leader, and when God appointed him as one he bargained with Him fiercely before agreeing to represent God and lead the people.

Moses’s mission to Egypt was twofold: he had to both persuade Pharaoh to let the Israelites leave, and persuade the Israelites that God had the power to extract them from Egypt and bring them to a life of freedom. In Exodus 10:2, in the middle of the story about the plagues, it says: “and that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son’s son, what I have wrought upon Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them; that ye may know that I am the LORD.”

Moses manages to convince the Israelites to exit Egypt and to persuade Pharaoh to let them go. Moses, however, finds that he must constantly reiterate God’s messages and teach God’s laws to the Children of Israel. Over and over, he attempts to educate them and persuade them to follow those laws.

Passover is associated with freedom and the transformation of the Israelites from slavery to redemption in Exodus. During the month of Nissan, we at Rabbis for Human Rights think and speak about our moral duty to repair the wrongs of our society, the wrongs that we commit against all of the disempowered groups among us: people living in poverty, Palestinians, Bedouin, refugees and asylum seekers, the disabled, and women. We seek to learn from the Exodus the lesson of our duty as free people once enslaved, as well as our moral responsibility not to rule over another people, and to care for the orphan, the stranger, and the widow of our times.

When we make these analogies we do not always remember that when the Jewish people changed they did so with the help of a leader who called God forth. Moses’s direct connection with God, and the faith that guided him in his actions, were the basis for his leadership, and I have no doubt that this calling was evident in every step he took.

Now, as Passover approaches, we at Rabbis for Human Rights remember that today we must take on the role of Moses. As Rabbi Marshall Meyer said: “The role of the rabbi is the role of the prophet, to speak truth to power, to voice the conscience of society.” This role is essential in modern Israel and we perform it with humility, conviction, and passion in each and every one of our many projects. In the coming weeks, as we mark fifty years of occupation, we will continue to strive to fulfill the vision of Israel’s prophets as we demand an end to the vile injustices at one of Judaism’s most holiest, and most desecrated cities: Hebron. Over the years, Jewish settlers have sought to undermine the historic and cultural rights of Palestinians living in areas in Hebron under the control of Israel by changing the Arabic names of the streets and replacing street signs with signs in Hebrew and English only. This is done in areas where the majority of residents are Palestinians. Historic placards and mosaics on buildings, walls, and sites now appear without any Arabic, often with new names and in some cases, on privately owned Palestinian property without the owner’s consent. We at Rabbis for Human Rights, as Israelis, Jews, and people of conscience, cannot accept this injustice. We asked the army to take down the signs, but they refused — so together with Palestinian activists, we will do it ourselves. We don’t expect it to be easy — indeed the press and the extremist settler community have already caught wind of our plans — but nevertheless we will persist because human rights are for all humans.

“You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” -Exodus 22:21

Will you show us your support by giving a generous donation in honor of Passover, Moses, and the right of ALL people to live freely and in dignity?

Purim Sameach!-5

Thank you and chag sameach!

Rabbi Idit Lev
Director of Rabbis for Human Rights socio-economic justice programs

Thank you to Rabbi Mauricio Balter for assistance in preparing this dvar Torah

Justice in Israel

How much is left after rent?

No Comments 05 February 2017

At Rabbis for Human Rights’ socio-economic rights center in Hadera, Rabbi Idit Lev sat with two different men. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel, Occupied Territories

Unbelievable! Driver’s Licenses of those who drive for a living revoked due to debts

1 Comment 29 December 2016

According to estimates, hundreds of driver’s licenses are frozen each year by the Bailiff’s Office. For many Israelis, this immediately results in their inability to earn money and pay off the debt they owe.

In a story published in Haaretz on this issue, journalist Lee Yaron interviewed Rabbis for Human Rights’ staff Rabbi Idit Lev and Rabbi Sigal Asher in response to information we acquired at our Rights Center in Hadera, where we provide assistance to economically vulnerable Israelis.

General

November 2016 London Discussions with Rabbi Idit Lev

1 Comment 23 November 2016

Friends in London – do not miss this opportunity to learn about human rights, Judaism, and the struggle for economic justice in Israelwith Rabbi Idit Lev of Rabbis for Human Rights!

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Justice in Israel

The right of single parents to attend university & receive guaranteed minimum income

No Comments 09 November 2016

 The Knesset has enacted a law allowing single parents to pursue academic studies while receiving a guaranteed income, but government regulations are preventing the realization of this right. Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

Difficulties recouping bail hurts the nation’s weakest

No Comments 29 August 2016

An article in Haaretz was published on August 29th in response to a “Freedom of Information Act” request filed by Rabbis for Human Rights coupled with months of assistance trying to recoup the cost of bail for a struggling Ethiopian family.

Read the full article here

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Justice in Israel

Response to passing of Law for the Government Authority for Urban Renewal

No Comments 09 August 2016

Achievements in the field of urban renewal are clear with the passing of a new law in early August 2016 establishing a government body for urban renewal.
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Justice in Israel

Position paper: The Insolvency Law will work against Israelis Living in Poverty

No Comments 26 June 2016

The Insolvency Law will work against those living in poverty while providing preferrential treatment for the more established class

Rabbi Idit Lev at the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Commitee meeting regarding a new law on debt repayment, June 21 2016

Rabbi Idit Lev at the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Commitee meeting regarding a new law on debt repayment, June 21 2016

Rabbis for Human Right’s position paper: A new law regarding the collection of debts  will reinforce the strengthening of the wealthy class and the weakening of the disadvantaged. As a result of the law,  small debt owners will be channeled to traditional debt collection, known for being quite strict, while larger debt owners will be channeled to a debt collection system with a focus on debt rehabilitation. The position paper has been sent to the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

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