Sunday, November 25, 2007

Analysis: Left Is Running Out Of Time

(Photo: AP)

Last week a very important, but easily overlooked story was reported in the Israeli media. Arutz Sheva reported it as well. I am pasting it below. I have written about this in the past. In a nutshell, the powers that be on the political and religious left realize they will not remain in power much longer as their population dwindles.

In March 2005 the Jewish Observer quoted a CBS Machon Yerushalyim study that found 50% of the Charadi population to be below the age of 8. The Dati Leumi population was likewise as young and growing just as fast. Simply put that means in 10-18 years, the voting power of these two demographics will double. Actually the hard number of legal voters in this population will double but the voting power may triple or even quadruple when you combine that fact with the statistic that shows non-religious couples were have a birth rate of only 1.2 per couple. A significant power shift in the next generation is obvious.

Fast-forward three and half years. What we see today is the geometric change is in fact occurring. This means not only will the change happen but the rate of the change will increase dramatically as each year passes. Today the latest statistics show just about half the population considers themselves traditional, a third religious, and only one in five call themselves secular - just half of what it was 35 years ago. It is no stretch by any means to say in another 35 years the secular population will consist of less that 10% of Israel, while the religious population will make up well over 50% of the country.

These statistics, nor their clear predictions, are a secret. And so this is why we are finding the left trying to inflict as much "damage" as they can while they can. For they know if their ideological goals are not realized now, today, they most likely will never be - ever!

The Arutz-7 article follows:

Israel Becoming Less Secular
15 Kislev 5768, 25 November 07 02:44
by Hillel Fendel

( An Israel Democratic Institute (IDI) demographic survey finds religious growth and secular decline - but most significant is that the proportion of religious in the public is highest among the youth.

The percentage of Jews describing themselves as secular has dropped sharply over the past 30 years, while the religious and traditional proportions have risen. The annual survey finds that the secular public comprises only 20% of the Israeli population - compared to 41%, more than twice as much, in 1974.

Nearly half the population, 47%, describes itself as traditional, while the hareidi-religious and religious-Zionist together comprise 33% of the public.

The numbers were compiled based on a survey of representative sampling of 1,016 Israelis Jews.

Tradition Reigns
Over the past seven years, according to IDI statistics, the proportion of secular Jews has dropped sharply from 32% to 20% today. The "traditionalists" have traditionally had the lead in polls of this nature - except for one year in 1974, when they trailed the seculars, 41% to 38%.

Other findings show that the Sephardic population is much more traditional and religious than the Ashkenazic sector. Ashkenazic Jews are those originating from European (Christian) countries, whereas Sephardic Jews lived in the Iberian Peninsula (now Spain and Portugal), African and Middle Eastern (Moslem) countries. Only 7% of the Sephardim describe themselves as secular, compared to 36% of the Ashkenazim. At the same time, 56% of the Sephardim are religious or hareidi, compared to only 17% of the Ashkenazim.

39% of those under age 40 are religious - more than those in their 40's and 50's (32%), and much more than those aged 60 and over (20%).

It can be inferred from the numbers that Israel is a traditional society, and that it will become even more so as the years go by.

Country is Right-Wing; the Religious - Even More So
Politically, the religious are more right-wing, but so are the others. Among the religious, many more identify with the right than with the left, by a 71-8 margin; among the traditional, it's 49-21, and among the secular, it's 43-27. In total, 55% of the population view themselves as right-wing, and only 18% are to the left.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Like Straw!

Because of the day you stood aloof, the day strangers plundered his wealth, foreigners entered his gates and they cast lots on Jerusalem - you were like one of them! (Obadiah 1:12)

This is what we read in this past week's Haftorah. You, nations of the world, should not "stand aloof," let alone encourage our enemies to "cast lots" upon Jerusalem.

Indeed the holy city of Jerusalem, herself, rumbles in outrage at such an evil notion. (Three earthquakes in one week!) Jerusalem is stronger than anyone. You can not defeat her. You my try...

But on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, and it shall become holy; and the House of Jacob will inherit its inheritors. The house of Jacob will be a fire and the House of Joseph a flame - and the House of Esau like straw; they will kindle among them and consume them; and there will be no surviver of the House of Esau, for Hashem has spoken! (ibid. 1:17-18)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Shmittah Calendar: Month of Kislev 5768

The month of Kislev begins this coming Sunday!

The following list is not fully comprehensive at all but includes some common everyday produce most people use. It is largely based on Rabbi Marcus's "Shmittah 5768: A Pratical Guide" (which we recommend you order for yourself here) and other sources. For more information on what these dates mean see here.

NOTE: Olive Oil that contains Kedushat Shevi'it can not be used to light the menorah on Chanukah. However this will not really be an issue until next Chanukah (and the Chanukah following that one) as there will be no Olive Oil on the market from the 7th year for almost another whole year.

Kedushat Shevi'it Starts

There are no new items that begin being treated as having Kedushat Shevi'it this month.

Additionally Kedushat Shevi'it for these items remains in effect:

Butternut Squash
Cabbage (Red)
Corn (Fresh)
Peas (in pod)
Pepper (Jalapeno)
Sweet Potatoes
Zucchini (Squash)

Kedushat Shevi'it Ends

There are no items that Kedushat Shevi'it ends this month.
Sefichim Begins

Sefichaim Begin this month for the following:

On 1 Kislev:


On 5 Kislev:


On 20 Kislev:


On 25 Kislev:


Additionally Sefichim remain in effect for the following:

Corn (Fresh)
Peas in Pod
Zucchini (Squash)

Sefichim Ends

There are no items that Sefichim ends this month.

There are no items that will require biur this month.