israel news rabbi Lau

Israel News for August 9, 2016

Chief Rabbi Speaks Out
Israel’s Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi David Lau has issued a public call to parents and educators in the Haredi community to be vigilant and take action against cases of sexual abuse, particularly against children. The call, in the form of a letter to Haredi educators, comes in the wake of several recent highly publicized cases of sexual abuse against minors and women in the Haredi community.

R. Lau wrote, “It is absolutely forbidden to sweep these things under the rug and to evade dealing with these difficult phenomena which, if they are not stopped, could cause numerous other souls to be hurt.”

He wrote, “Unfortunately, we have recently become aware of the terrible phenomena taking place in our courts and communities. Cases in which boys and girls have been harmed in their homes or in educational institutions have taken place recently and they are heart-rending. How painful it is to hear that the places which are supposed to be the source of support and strength for children and teens have become sources of nightmares and fear.”

“At this time, parents, teachers, relatives and all those engaged in the holy work of education must keep their eyes open and assist those who need it in any way possible. Burying our heads in the sand is not the answer to these difficult and painful issues, and everyone must take responsibility, even if these things do not affect him directly.”

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Hero MD Fired
The Arab doctor who treated the family of Rabbi Michael Mark Z”L after they were ambushed by terrorists has been fired from his job by the Palestinian Authority, in reward for his bravery and compassion.

In a show of gratitude for his kindness, the Mount Hebron Regional Council has sent a letter to the Defense Minister requesting that he grant the doctor and his brother Israeli work permits. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is expected to send a letter to the UN Secretary-General to get him to reprimand the PA for firing the doctor.

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Combat Scholarships
The IDF has announced that starting October, every combat soldier completing regular military service will be eligible for a full scholarship for university or professional studies. The scholarship program, which was approved in a meeting at the IDF’s Manpower Directorate on Sunday, will be funded by donations from the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel’s Soldiers (AWIS) and the Friends of the IDF (FIDF).

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot is working on procuring funds from the Finance Ministry to enable the scholarship program to be extended to non-combat soldiers as well.

Estimates put the cost of the program at around NIS 230 million a year for combat soldiers, and an additional NIS 500 million for non-combat soldiers.

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Close Call
Israel came close to winning its first olympic medal, but not close enough. Judoka Sagi Muki lost his bronze medal match to Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili. Muki is the reigning European champion in the 73-kilogram weight class.

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Holocaust Desecration
The Ukrainian town of Kovel was once home to thousands of Jews. In the summer of 1942 the remaining 6,000 were murdered in the Jewish cemetery by the Nazis and their Ukrainian collaborators. This summer the town permitted a traveling zoo to set up shop on the site of the mass murder.

Eduard Dolinsky, the director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, remarked that he wasn’t sure whether the decision by the town was a case of “criminality, cynicism, apathy — or maybe all of the above.”

The local Jewish community has lobbied unsuccessfully for years to erect a monument at the site. The town has responded that the request is still under consideration. Apparently the zoo permit didn’t require as much consideration.

But seriously, why would the murderers agree to erect a monument that perpetuates their crime?

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