Grapevine: Four rabbis at services

Your weekly grapevine update

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January 25, 2018 15:24
3 minute read.
President Reuven Rivlin at a state ceremoy on Mount Herzl to mark the first anniversary of the death

President Reuven Rivlin at a state ceremoy on Mount Herzl to mark the first anniversary of the death of his predecessor Shimon Peres, September 14, 2017.. (photo credit: CHAIM TZACH/GPO)

JERUSALEM ASHKENAZI Chief Rabbi Aryeh Stern will be one of at least four rabbis attending services at Hazvi Yisrael Synagogue in Talbiyeh this Saturday. He will deliver the sermon during the service.

The other three are Rabbi Avigdor Burstein, emeritus rabbi of the congregation, who retired at the end of last year; the new spiritual leader, Rabbi Yosef Ote, who took up his role at the beginning of this year; and visiting Rabbi Harvey Belovski of Golders Green, London, who will give a lesson on the Torah portion of the week, following a kiddush to be held in Burstein’s honor. The service represents the 57th anniversary of his bar mitzva.

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There are several retired rabbis among the regular congregants as well as men who have rabbinic ordination which they have never utilized because they went into other professions.


THE ARNONA Community Center hosted former Israel Radio news and magazine broadcasters Idele Ross and Steve Linde talking about their radio days. The event was under the auspices of Anglos of South Jerusalem, and the community center was buzzing with other activities, such as a folk-dance group, an exercise group and a group of second- and third-age women sitting around a table and chewing the fat.

Under the British Mandate there were three official languages in the Holy Land – English, Hebrew and Arabic. But in present-day Israel, though widely spoken, English is not an official language, nor is Russian, which is probably more widely spoken, nor is French, despite the fact that it is spoken by the veteran Moroccan community, not to mention the huge influx of French immigrants over the past decade.

Several people in the audience said they miss the early morning and lunchtime broadcasts in English that used to be broadcast on Israel Radio and miss the English news program, IBA News, which was broadcast for 25 years by the now defunct Israel Broadcasting Authority.

One member of the audience, Robby Abrams, spoke of its importance of English in bringing news broadcasts to all English speakers, but especially foreign diplomats and foreign journalists. When a question was put to the audience as to how many of them now listen to English news on Kan 11’s Radio Reka, there were very few who said they do and if so very seldom. The reason is not the quality of the program but the inconvenient hour at which it is broadcast.


JERUSALEMITES WHO care about the environment can join the Jerusalem Green Fund lobby, which urges organizations and individuals to help prepare a list of issues to collectively put forward to potential mayors and city council members standing for election in October, and to grade them on their attitudes to issues such as public transport, development of the city and urban sprawl, conservation of historic sites and buildings, culture, nature, food cycle, equity among urban sectors, sanitation and waste management and bicycle infrastructure.

The lobby is chaired by former Jerusalem deputy mayor Naomi Tsur, a professional environmentalist, who will host the lobby’s first meeting at her home, 4 Pick Street, Kiryat Moshe, on Monday, February 5, at 5 p.m. The discussion will be held in Hebrew. Anyone planning to attend should indicate that intention at https://goo.gl/ n6k6gi/. For more information: www.jgf.org.il


IN COMMEMORATING the 70th anniversary of the killing in January 1948 of the 35 Hagana members of a convoy that tried to reach Gush Etzion by foot in order to bring supplies and arms to the besieged Gush Etzion residents, several of whom were Holocaust survivors, President Reuven Rivlin, speaking on Mount Herzl, reminded his listeners that in the failed battle of Gush Etzion, men and women fought side by side.

Anyone who knows their history, he said, knows that 22 female combatants fell in battle, and of these 20 belonged to a religious kibbutz. Nearly all of them were members of Bnei Akiva. Some had been the last survivors of their families; 86 other female soldiers were captured by the Jordanians and later set free. They are a shining example not only to religious Zionism but to the whole nation of Israel, he said.

The young religious women who fight today are like the young religious women who fought then, said Rivlin, underscoring that their officers do not send them into battle because of one agenda or another. They are sent to battle in order to defend the state. Rivlin was reacting to those rabbis who are campaigning against males and females serving together in the army.


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