Rav Steinman

Israel News for 11-22-17

Call to Prayer
Haredi rabbinic leaders have called on all yeshiva students to interrupt their regular studies to recite psalms to pray for the recovery of Rabbi Aharon Steinman, the 103 year old sage who is the leader of the Haredi (Lithuanian) community in Israel. The rabbi was rushed to the hospital in Bnei Brak this morning with a high fever and is in serious condition. His full name is Rabbi Ahron Yehuda Leib ben Gittel Faige.

Early today PM Netanyahu called MK Moshe Gafni, the leader of the Degel Hatorah party that represents the Lithuanian Haredi community, to ask about the rabbi’s condition and said that the entire nation of Israel is praying for his full and speedy recovery.

Also this morning Rabbi Steinman’s eldest daughter, who is 72, suddenly passed away as a result of a massive heart attack. She was buried this morning.

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Office Closure
The US State Department has declined to renew the permit for the PLO office to operate in Washington, DC because of Palestinian Authority attempts to bring action against Israelis in the International Criminal Court (ICC). The decision is based on a 2015 Congressional provision directed that the Palestinians may not try to influence the ICC concerning investigations into Israelis.

President Trump now has 90 days to permit the office to remain open if he decides that “the Palestinians have entered into direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel”. A State Department spokesperson said that negotiations are in the process to keep the office open. Meanwhile the Palestinians have threatened to freeze all communications with the US if their office is closed.

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Gaza Infiltration
IDF forces spotted two Palestinians illegally infiltrating into Israel from northern Gaza yesterday and opened fire wounding one of the infiltrators. Both men were arrested and additional armored forces arrived to secure the border area. The IDF is on high alert on the border in response to threats of revenge attacks following Israel’s destruction of a major terror tunnel earlier this month.

Also, Israeli border guards confiscated tons of explosive substances that were attempting to be smuggled into Gaza from Israel.

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Tough Talk
The Lebanese government is talking tough against Israel. First the foreign minister told a Russian newspaper that, “We should not be provoking Israel into a war simply because it is likely to lose it. We should restrain Israel from starting a war exactly because Lebanon is sure to win it.” Now the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Joseph Aoun called on soldiers near the Israeli border to be on “full readiness” and warned that they should be ready to face “threats of the Israeli enemy and its violations.”

Lebanon believes that Saudi Arabia is trying to persuade Israel to take military action against Iranian backed Hezbollah, which for all practical purposes controls the country. Saudi Arabia and Iran are arch-enemies.

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New Airport
The brand new Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport, located 18 kilometers north of Eilat, will be opening in a few months. What’s the big deal? To read 10 reasons to be excited click here.