Tag archive for "Rambam"

Parasha / E-Letter

Weekly parasha: The 10th Commandment: “Do not covet your neighbors”

No Comments 26 January 2016

What does the Torah mean when it commands us “not to covet”? Are we really expected to close off our hearts’ desires, or is it the acting to get what we covet what is forbidden? In his parasha for Yitro this week, Rabbi Grenimann explores the morality behind the coveting of what others has, drawing powerful parallels to modern Israeli society, where the settler movement seeks to own more and more of what belongs to the Palestinians.  Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

House of my Dreams: Rabbi Ascherman on the Temple Mount

No Comments 01 March 2015

In an effort to reach new audiences and spark dialogue, this  piece by Rabbi Arik Ascherman on the Temple Mount originally appeared in the Israeli publication Makor Rishon. Makor Rishon is  known for its right-wing, religious readership. 

NOTE: Below is not an exact, word-for-word translation of the original Hebrew, but rather represents what Rabbi Ascherman wishes to express in English. 

  Continue Reading

General, Occupied Territories

HR orgs call for immediate arrangement of channel for civilians to escape battle zone

3 Comments 25 July 2014

An urgent letter to Israel’s Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff, RHR joins with a number of other human rights NGOs in a call for an arrangement of a secure area in the Gaza Strip to which civilians can escape from battle zones. This call is in line with the stipulation of the Rambam that when a city is under siege, one side must be left open for people to escapeContinue Reading

Education, General

One law and one ordinance

1 Comment 14 December 2011

the controversial book Torat Hamelech

“One law and one ordinance shall be both for you, and for the stranger who sojourneth with you” (Numbers 15:16)

“Therefore, humans were created singly, to teach you that whoever destroys a single soul, Scripture accounts it as if he had destroyed a whole world; and whoever saves one soul, Scripture accounts it as if  he/she had saved a whole world.” (Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5)

Rabbi Nava Hefetz has written  a theological and political article about the roots of the ideas in the book “Torat Hamelech” and the crime that the rioters committed in the military base of the Efraim brigade. Continue Reading


From Noah in the Ark to Moses in the basket of reeds

10 Comments 25 October 2011

cc: Eric Dowdle, Noah’s Ark, 29×38 inches

From Noah in the Ark to Moses in the basket of reeds: In the two cases the ark and the ark of bulrushes are both saving. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel-Negev Bedouin

Our response to the approval of the Prawer Committee

1 Comment 14 September 2011

Unrecognized village, photo by Sliman Abu Zaid

Rabbis for Human Rights see the approval of the Prawer Committee’s recommendation a continuation of a policy that ignores citizens and communities in Israel, especially minorities. Continue Reading

General, Justice in Israel

A Search in the Jewish holy

No Comments 29 August 2011

In Hatzozra commandment the Rambam broadens the expression ”adversary that oppresseth you,”. He says that everything that bothers the people as drought and locust they cried and blew the trumpet (Halachot Taaniyot 1:1). Rambam portrait. cc: wikipedia

Rabbi Kobbi Weis maintains that a search in the Jewish holy and literary sources proves that every outside confrontation requires a look inside. Continue Reading


Magic and Human Rights

2 Comments 21 April 2011

Tell an Evangelical Christian that you are reading a book about Harry Potter and the magical world of Hogwarts and he will visibly shudder. Jews don’t go that far, but we are forbidden from performing magic. The prohibition appears in this week’s parasha of Kedoshim which principally deals with the obligation to be a holy people; You shall not eat anything over blood, neither shall you divine, nor observe the clouds. (Leviticus 19: 26) What’s wrong with magic and what does it have to do with this week’s festival of Passover and the world of human rights? Continue Reading

Justice in Israel

After Purim and Before Pesach Thoughts

No Comments 22 March 2011

It is written in Megilat Esther: “that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.” (9:22). The Rambam explains: the portions should include two different foods and it needs to be sent to at least to one person, and the Rambam adds that it is better to give more gifts to the poor, widows and orphans  and make them happy, then make big feasts and send portions to friends , because when you make poor people, widows and orphans happy you imagine the Divine spirit as it is written in Isaiah 57:15: “to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones”.

On Friday morning on the way to my son’s school I saw children with huge Mishlochei Manot and the same in my daughter’s kindergartens. I did not hear that either in schools nor in kindergartens teachers speak about gifts to the poor, widows and orphans. It is not an accident that the Megila combines the two kinds of gifts together. It is easy for us to implement the mitzvah of Mishloach Manot, it makes us happy to give our friends and relatives. To give the poor is much more difficult for most of us because we do not personally meat the poor and are familiar with the difficulties of their lives and therefore we intend to forget to give the poor gifts.

For us, who work in Merkaz Hadera and meet poor families on a daily basis who have to choose between paying the for heating and buying food, or buying medicine or paying for the electricity, it is hard to forget this. It is hard to return to a warm home with food and children who do not know what hunger is and to remember the families you know who are poor and need gifts.

I wrote a letter to the headmistress of my son’s school and asked her that next year they will also talk about gifts for the poor, not only about Mishloach Manot.

I pray that there will come a day when there will be not poor people in our country and in the world and everybody will be able to live in dignity.

Justice in Israel

A Summary of the Social Justice Department’s work

1 Comment 01 January 2011

Jewish tradition obliges the community to care for the weak and to provide its members with its basic needs. In the Bible we see the anger of the Prophets concerning economic injustice. On one hand Israel has adopted the international treaty on economic, social and cultural rights.  But on the other hand hunger, poverty and unemployment in the country are growing steadily.

From Jewish tradition we take our values of helping the weak, caring for each other and mutual responsibility between the collective and the individual.  This tradition guides our activities, and similarly according to the international treaties we define our dealings in the areas of social justice.In the last years we have chosen to focus on the right for employment.

We led the struggle against the Wisconsin Plan, and succeeded in canceling the transfer of the State’s responsibility for its weakest to private hands, demonstrating that the plan failed.

Today we deal with the unemployed and workers in part-time or full-time jobs with low wages. We aspire to implement the Rambam’s highest rank ofrighteousness, helping the unemployed in finding work, and giving “a present or a loan” to the unemployed in order to ensure their basic existence.

In addition we are also active in the Knesset, in order to ensure a more just division of  the State of Israel’s resources, particularly since in recent years, time after time, the weak are hurt and the wealthy receive incentives.We assist different groups in Israeli society in their struggle to gain their economic, social and cultural rights. We support groups of: unemployed, single-parent families, the elderly, invalids and others whose urgent needs fall through the cracks.

We use our unique voice as a rabbinical organization,  in order to unite the different groups in Israeli society around the vision of justice and Jewish values in the mutual struggle for social and economic justice.

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