Be informed, be a smart Jew in 5 minutes or less. Here’s the news being talked about by Jews today…
Today’s Skim of the News for Jews
- Conversion controversy in Israel! An orthodox Jewish convert could not certify their conversion, in a request to get married in Israel, according to the agreement between the Israel Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America in place since 2006. (Anyone converted in the U.S. after 2006 gets a special Council certificate, before 2006 needs to go to the Council and request a retroactive certification.) Although the convert’s supervising rabbi is a very well known reliable rav, the Israeli rabbinical court ruled “the process is the process, and we don’t go around individually investigating U.S. rabbis, that’s the Council’s job”. (The rabbinate seems to be backing down on that position, given the pressure.) The big deal was the same rabbi also did the conversion for Ivanka Trump, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump’s daughter – so it was headline news. If you’re an orthodox Jewish convert making aliyah, make sure you’ve got the Council certification in order – the Israeli rabbinate is rigid in it’s process and you don’t need to find that out when trying to get married (or when your children go to get married) in Israel.
- Large terror massacre in south France during national holiday celebration. 84 killed including children and at least 100 wounded as a “man of Tunisian origin” (notice the lack of religious or community affiliation, or that the man was shouting Allah Akbar from a preliminary report – we wouldn’t want to cause Islamophobia) drove a large truck into a holiday crowd in the city of Nice and kept driving people over until police shot him. Reports remain confusing over whether the driver was also shooting people, and whether the truck had grenades and other guns inside or they were fakes (equally weird). 5 Jews are among the injured.
- Parshat Chukat in the U.S., and Parshat Balak in Israel. Torah portion Chukat, read this week in synagogues outside of Israel, is famous for bringing the laws of the Red Heifer, the death of Miriam HaNavia the sister of Moshe Rabaynu, and Moshe’s hitting of the rock to bring water. Parshat Balak is read this week in Israel, and is famous for the story of Bilam the prophet hired to curse the Israelites who ends up blessing them instead – a blessing which remains part of the Jewish prayerbook today. And of course Bilam’s talking donkey! It ends with the incident of Pinchas zealously killing a high-level official who was sinning publically and receiving the covenant of peace. Go to synagogue and hear the Torah!
- Day of Rage planned for Friday in the U.S.? ‘We are calling on a collective day of rage. A day of action centered around civil disobedience and the right to protest.’ “The potential for widespread violent protests in 37 U.S. cities has put the military on guard, with warnings to military personnel to avoid those cities on Friday. The potential protests are in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the victims of police brutality.” This may have started as a hoax but seems to be spreading virally and therefore will possibly come true. Most protests are scheduled to start at 4pm, 5pm, or 7pm. The list includes major and minor cities (Tampa? Oakland? Ann Arbor?) – if you live or work in those cities I’d check the list for areas to avoid (see here). Similarly if you are Jewish and have a synagogue in those areas, Friday night Shabbos services could be in danger and I’d ask the local police for special protection.
…and that’s the news of interest to Jews today…and GOOD SHABBOS!
We do NOT publish on the Holy Shabbos, Friday sundown until Saturday nightfall.