During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
The European Commission (EC) held an urgent conference in Brussels titled “Freedom of Religion with Regard to Religious Slaughter” to discuss the challenges for Jews and Muslims in view of ongoing bans on traditional slaughter. Vice-President of the EC Margaritis Schinas and a judge on the European Court of Human Rights were among the participants, which included representatives from Jewish and Muslim communities and various activists for religious freedom and against anti-Semitism. The government of Finland, which is about to pass a law against traditional slaughter practices, was severely attacked in the debate. Some speakers wondered, “How is it possible that Finland, on the one hand, allows hunting for purposes of entertainment and leisure, and on the other hand, prohibits slaughtering?” and some commented that “in Belgium and Finland, for example, the Animal Welfare Law … is about to outlaw the ability of their Jewish communities to produce their own meat.” Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, said that “the emergency meeting of the European Commission is a worthy effort, but as Jews, we need complete religious freedom. We must be able to provide kosher meat according to Jewish law, educate our children according to Jewish tradition, and maintain our way of life. At the moment these freedoms are in danger, and if the attitude is not changed in the next decade, about half of the Jews in Europe will emigrate.”
Yedioth Ahronoth, November 3, 2022
This was an opinion piece regarding the results of the recent Israeli elections, in which the right-wing bloc won a decisive majority. According to the author, “it happened because the left bloc forgot that we are a nation based on many traditions and customs. In the hellish nights of the terrible exile, the Jews had one dream: a day would come when they would return and re-establish a Jewish state – not a state that will allow leaven in its military bases and hospitals during Passover… neither a state whose citizens will be lynched in the mixed cities just like in the Pogroms of Europe… nor a state that waits for a party that calls for the murder of soldiers and settlers to pass the threshold.” It is ironic, added the article, that “the Christian USA has a Jewish political culture that is literally reflected in the American political discourse. Among American politicians, you will easily find biblical phrases relating to the God of Israel and to sublime Jewish ideals. Throughout history, Jewish culture has served as a light unto the Gentiles, but in Israel, the kingdom of darkness was imposed upon us, and … in the last elections, the people of Israel clarified that they are asking their leaders to turn on the light.”
Yated Neeman, November 3, 2022
This was an interview with Rabbi Moshe Gafni, leader of the Ashkenazi Haredi political party, United Torah Judaism, regarding the recent victory of the religious bloc in the Israeli elections. Rabbi Gafni spoke of the campaign, throughout which all the religious parties followed the instructions of their rabbis that, “you’re not voting for the representatives; they are not the issue, but the glory of God, the sanctification of the Name,” commenting that “the vote is indeed not for the representatives but for the Torah and Moses His servant, but … we were sent by the Great Ones of the Torah to act.” Rabbi Gafni spoke about his objection to allowing tax benefits to Christian “missionary organizations,” promising to fight against this in the new government, and about the education system, in which “a program of Jewish studies that isn’t Orthodox was introduced” forcing upon many Jewish parents “subjects of heresy and actual Christianity.”
HaMachane HaHaredi, November 3, 2022
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis will attend the coronation of King Charles III in London on Saturday, May 6, 2023, continuing a 120-year-old tradition set by former Chief Rabbi Hermann Adler, who attended the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. However, since the ceremony will be held on the Sabbath, Rabbi Mirvis and his wife will spend the night at Clarence House, the residence of King Charles and Camilla, to allow the rabbi to attend without violating Jewish law that prohibits driving on the Sabbath.