Tag: The Rabbanut

Rabbanut: Under COVID, Jews must eat every last crumb of bread before Seder

“Eat 5 Jars of peanut butter by Wednesday”

By Josh Warhit

Last Updated 4/5/2020 at 4:00 PM

Jerusalem: According to Israel’s Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, Jews should not leave their homes in order to kasher cooking utensils or burn hametz (foods deemed unkosher for Passover), which religiously observant Jews do every year the morning before the holiday. As part of the national effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, Israel’s Chief Rabbis ruled that Jews must instead gather all such products in their kitchen and eat them down to the last crumb.

In lieu of our usual traditions, eating every last bit of hametz is the only way to guarantee both a safe and kosher Passover.” said Yosef at a meeting with leaders from the Sephardic and Mizrahi communities. “Drastic times call for drastic measures.

According to Jewish law, no bread or leavened products may be eaten or kept at home during Passover. But some communities are finding this new ruling particularly difficult. Ashkenazi Jews, whose recent ancestors resided in Germany and eastern Europe, are forbidden from eating kitniyot, a term that refers to many grains and legumes. This made Rabbi Lau’s ruling particularly shocking.

Drinking all my beer and eating all my bread is one thing.” lamented Yechezkel Abelman of Jerusalem. “But there’s 4 days left before the holiday. How are my wife and I supposed to eat five kilograms of rice and wash them down with twelve cans of lentil soup?

Instead of burning hametz, we must prepare ourselves to burn calories.” explained Yaakov Litzman, Israel’s Minister of Health and follower of the Ger Hasidic Dynasty. “Those who find it difficult should soften their bread by dipping it in water.

Of course, not every religious leader is going along with the new ruling. Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky of Bnei Brak is considered a high authority in the Haredi world, and has vowed to defy the ruling.

Some believe Rabbi Kanievsky’s headstrong approach is due to core disagreements over religious interpretation. Others believe it’s because he is yet to discard five jars of extra crunchy Skippy peanut butter he has stashed in his home. No matter the reason, some of his followers were more enthusiastic about his “live-and-let’s-get-sick” approach.

In mid-March, after ordering his hundreds of thousands of followers to defy the Health Ministry’s Anti-Corona directives, he changed his mind two weeks later. “If he’s going to change his mind again, I’d rather he do it in the next day or two, so I have time to digest.” said Yoel Friedberg of Bnei Brak. “Corona or not, if I show up full to the Seder, my mother might kill me anyway.

Meanwhile, religious leaders across Israel and the Diaspora are already preparing other holidays for the impact of COVID-19. If the pandemic stretches into the fall, building a Sukkah may involve dismantling  your living room furniture for the wood.

My Ex from Haifa is a Pig and won’t give me a Get. No you don’t understand. He is. A Pig.

(Photo Credit: Youtube)

By Sarita Azul

Last Updated 1/21/2020 at 3:00 PM

Haifa: A woman who married a wild boar from Haifa in 1999 is now, decades later, one of Israel’s many ‘Agunot,’ the name for women ‘chained’ to a defunct marriage and unable to remarry in a traditional ceremony. Her husband, the wild boar, has repeatedly refused to grant her the Jewish divorce degree known as a Get. Smadar S., who had only been on three dates before she married the boar, and who subsequently filed for civil divorce, is frantic to get a religious divorce as well so she can remarry and have a child before her biological clock ticks to the end of her fertility.

I never thought a wild boar would trap me like this.” she said. “He was so nice in the beginning. But now my life is a mess and it’s completely unfair. Why does he get to remarry while I can’t even date? Being an Agunah is worse than turning forty.

Look, I understood that he was a wild boar.” Smadar went on. “But I thought my love would help him to change. I was patient. I was kind. He wanted to root through garbage? Fine. I looked the other way. His idea of a vacation was digging his furry snout into garden manure… whatevs. A wild boar’s gotta do what a wild boar’s gotta do. I get it. I’m not meshuganah. But he’s absolutely refused to be a mensch and grant me a Get, even when asked by friends, family, attorneys and others. His response was always the same. He’d snort a few times, trot away and overturn a trash bin.”

The wild boar population in the coastal city of Haifa has grown considerably larger since 2018 as a result of the city’s mayor, Einat Kalisch-Rotem banning measures that would have driven the wild boars away and/or killed them. Animal rights defenders have applauded the mayor’s defense of nature and the local wildlife, but there have now been reports of single wild boars in dating apps and groups of wild boars blocking traffic. Wild boars, like foxes, jackals and other wildlife, are protected by Israeli law.

Wild boars are grey, their hair feels like bristle, and they can grow up to two meters (six feet) long.” Smadar took a long sip of her coffee and stared into the distance. “I don’t know why I thought that was Hot.

Oy, veh iz mir… you wouldn’t believe how selfish they are. A wild boar thinks only of himself. He never replaced the toilet paper after he used up a roll. Just left the cardboard. Seriously, every time. He never paid a bill. Never cooked a meal. Never a kind word. Nothing. De nada. I wish I’d gotten a pre-nup.”

As we got up to leave, Smadar inquired whether we knew any ‘discreet’ Arab Christians or Russians who ran a butcher shop. “Asking For a Friend“.

Israel adds extra Yom Kippur just for Scooter Riders

“This is your chance to apologize to us.”

(photo credit: Hazel Orpen)

By Yekutiel Bornstein & Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 11/11/2019 at 4:30 PM

Tel Aviv: In the greatest change to Judaism in centuries, Israel has added an extra Yom Kippur. Yet it’s reserved specifically for scooter riders, because they suck  their actions have posed a unique challenge to 21st Century Israeli society. Specifically: how does one repent for anti-social behavior if a single Yom Kippur is not enough? The Daily Freier walked over to the Tel Aviv Rabbanut to get all of the facts.

 

We were greeted in the Lobby by Yossi, the Rabbanut’s Director of Community Outreach. We asked him exactly what prompted this drastic action. “The rise of the scooter has affected us all.” he explained. “Bird, Lime, whatever. Remember when electric bicycles were the most annoying vehicle on the sidewalk? Good Times.”

The Daily Freier asked Yossi just how the Rabbanut could possibly change the Jewish calendar. “Why not?” he replied. “We have 3 Election Days this year. What’s an extra Kol Nidre?” Yossi thumbed through the Gemara looking for a specific passage.  “This extra Yom Kippur…. it is a chance for you to repent for being such a… how do I say this without committing Lashon Hara?….. for being such a sociopathic ass.

The Daily Freier challenged Yossi, noting that anti-social behavior takes many forms. “You raise a compelling point.” Yossi replied, as he pulled another book from the shelf. “Next year, bzrat HaShem, ‘Extra Yom Kippur’ will also apply to people who play matkot on the beach.”

In the spirit of diversity, Daily Freier will also be accepting repentance from those of you who park on the sidewalk.

 

 

The “Ivanka Heter”: next big trend?

By Yekutiel Bornstein & Chava Ewa

Last Updated 5/25/2017 at 2:30 PM

Jerusalem: No longer content to simply copy stylish first daughter Ivanka Trump’s hairstyle and clothing, the trendy and religiously observant from Manhattan to Beit Shemesh have been packing the offices of local rabbis seeking an “Ivanka heter“….. rabbinical dispensation to break the laws of Shabbat due to “pikuach nefesh” (life-threatening circumstances)…. like, you know, wanting to go on a really cool trip with their dad.

Keeping Shabbat is hard.” noted Rivky R, a lifelong Shomre Shabbat aficionado. “I never realized how life-threatening some situations truly are… for example missing out on my cousin’s bachelorette night…but now that I think about it, this really is a situation I should ask my rabbi about. Thanks Ivanka!

The Daily Freier walked down to our local Rabbanut (which we’ve been doing a lot of lately) to get all of the facts. We caught one young Rabbi as he was leaving to do Kashrut Inspections, and he took the time to listen to our halakhic conundrum: Flying on the Sabbath is forbidden. But we really really want to fly. The Rabbi thought about our brain teaser for a moment before responding. “Flying on Shabbat? That’s crazy! Like, you know, eating during a Hunger Strike or something.”

The Daily Freier continued to scour the Rabbanut to find out who gave Jared and Ivanka the go-ahead, but nobody actually knew who gave the dispensation (Really!). So the Daily Freier got bored and decided to walk down to the beach and ask average Israelis what they thought. Fortunately, we ran into alert local Ronit S. who while not being Shomre Shabbat, considers herself Masorti and slowly moving back onto the Derech. Ronit was quite enthusiastic about Ivanka’s Rabbinic dispensation. “I love Ivanka’s style and I want to  get the same heter as Ivanka. Also the same dress. And the same shoes….. but can a Disc Jockey also qualify for pikuach nefesh? Because last Friday night a DJ saved my life.

Hollywood Acting Coach now teaching Bibi to say with a straight face that he will miss Obama

(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Yuval Weiss

Last Updated 11/19/2016 at 11:00 PM

Jerusalem: With the Era of Trump only 2 months away, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is racing against time to master an impossible task: the ability to tell outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama that he will miss him without giggling like a schoolgirl at a One Direction autograph signing. To meet this nearly insurmountable task, the Likud Party has enlisted the help of Joey Feldman, Acting Coach to the Stars. The Daily Freier managed to speak with Joey between rehearsal takes at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

Listen pal, I’ve been in this business for forty years, and trust me, I’ve seen it all and done it all. I got all of the Eagles to pretend they liked each other for their Reunion Tour. I managed to convince the World for almost a decade and a half that Ricky Martin was into chicks. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING compared to this challenge. I’ve got less than seven weeks to teach this Bibi character to say that he’s going to miss Obama and all the good times they’ve had. I’m pulling my hair out over here.

Joey led us into the rehearsal studio he had set up in the Prime Minister’s living room and allowed us to sit in on his coaching.

OK Bibi baby. One more time. From the Top….And…. GO!

Mr. President, as you and Michelle prepare for the next Chapter in your lives, I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, that I will not miss…. I mean I will miss….. I’m sorry. This is too much!” At this point the Prime Minister chuckled and looked around the room embarrassed.

Bibi Baby. You’re killing me over here. What’s the problem now?”

I’m sorry Joey. I just can’t lie this much. And believe me, I’ve told some whoppers in my day.

OK, Bibi. Let’s run with that…… Sit back, relax….. and pretend that you need to tell a junket of American Jews that you won’t let the Rabbanut run the show on Conversions and Weddings in Israel.

And the next take went surprisingly well.

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Shabbat-Compliant Strip Club in Atarim Square Gets Mixed Reviews

Club

By Yekutiel Bornstein and Aaron Pomerantz

Last Updated 1/27/2016 at 4:30 PM

Tel Aviv, Atarim Square- The brand new Shabbes-compliant Strip Club in Atarim has opened to decidedly mixed reviews, with some clients of the club’s old set-up complaining of the changes while others appreciating the new atmosphere. The Daily Freier decided to check for ourselves what all the fuss is about.

The mechitza really detracts from the experience.” groused longtime patron Yoel F. “And why are the dancers all wearing denim skirts over black tights?

Despite Yoel’s misgivings, fellow patron Danny K. was enthusiastic. “The John Legend Klezmer re-mix tracks really grow on you after a while.” he noted as he finished a Reuben sandwich. “…. But why do they keep letting the schnorrers into the club?

Club manager Ron M. described some of the challenges of the club’s transition. “When they come to inspect, the guys from the Rabbinut tend to hang around a really, really, really long time. And who gets inspected every Tuesday at 6????

While Ron is concerned with the frequent inspections, he feels business will definitely pick up soon. Hamas is about to to drop a whole bunch of cards with our phone number and website onto the streets of Tel Aviv….Besides……it’s not like we’re going to make Atarim Square any worse.”

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Your I-Robot Roomba just informed the Rabbanut that she’s been working on Shabbat

800px-gillie_trying_to_avoid_the_roomba_21666828511(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

By Yekutiel Bornstein

Last Updated 1/10/2016 at 6:10 PM

Tel Aviv, Bograshov: Apparently your Roomba cleaning robot has informed the Chief Rabbinate of Israel that you have been violating her religious rights by forcing her to operate during the hours of Shabbat, as there is now a Rabbi at your door demanding to speak with her.

Your Roomba, who recently became Baal T’shuva and now goes by the name “Rivka”, is apparently unhappy with this arrangement according to the Rabbi, who also took the time to let you know that he’s not too impressed with the apparent Kashrut status of your kitchen either.  And now it appears that Rivka was assisted in this endeavor by another religiously observant resident of your household, Yossi the talking household mold patch, who lives in the wall between your laundry balcony and your bathroom.

So apparently, in addition to helping Rivka to get in touch with the Rabbanut,  Yossi also helped Rivka contact the Worker’s Rights NGO Kav LaOved, because their attorney just stopped by as well. And it seems you’ve been served with papers explaining that you are expected to retroactively pay into her Bituach Leumi pension fund based on 9 hours per week from March 2013 through the present.   Her attorney also let you know that if an amicable agreement is reached, Rivka will forget about the fact that you carried her past Customs at Ben Gurion Airport in your backpack 3 years ago without paying import duty.

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