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Israeli Perfidy? Holocaust Mawkishness? Leader Overreach? Medical Marijuana Kosher? What do You Think?

July 12, 2013 – 9:46 am5 Comments


From the editor:

There is increasing evidence that Israel tricked or forced Ethiopian women to use the long acting birth control, Depo-Provera. When Israel’s behaviour is problematic, is it the place of Australian Zionists to criticise? What responsibility do we have to ensure the liberal democratic nature of the State?

A quest to record every note of music ever composed in a concentration camp draws the ire of James Loeffler who sees the project as an “insult to music.” What is your view of how we commemorate the Holocaust? Are we overly mawkish or do we have it right?

While the RCV has given in principle support to organ donation, it’s still investigating the halachic complexities. Meanwhile The Halachic Organ Donor Society has done a lot of the leg work already. Considering the low rates of Jewish organ donation, do you think the RCV is moving quickly enough on this issue or is this too religiously important to rely on the deliberation of other rabbis around the world?

Meanwhile, Rabbi Efraim Zalmanovich declares medical marijuana kosher, but still advises against recreational use. Is marijuana use in the Australian Jewish community commensurate with use in wider Australian society? Is it a problem?

New Deputy PM, Anthony Albanese gets a pass from from ZFA President, Philip Chester, despite being a founder of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group. Because he doesn’t support BDS and has spoken out against the Marrickville Council’s attempted boycott, Albanese is not coming in for the sort of criticism leveled at Bob Carr last week. What do you think about our leaders’ approach to political figures? Do you feel giving “passes and fails,” alienates and eventually becomes white noise, or do you think it’s an important contribution to promoting Jewish Australian interests?

Thousands of seminary girls prevented Women of the Wall from praying at the Kotel. There is nothing in Australia that can compare with the Western Wall in terms of eliciting extreme emotion; however, is the fabric of our community threatened by some of our religious leaders’ refusing to sit on a panel with those from another denomination?

Are you – or is anyone you know – a child survivor of the Holocaust? If so, please have a look at this important information regarding compensation – from J-Wire

Best of Seek and You Shall Find: Nomi Kal asks how an observant Jew should respond to blessings bestowed by someone of a different religion. How would you respond to such a blessing?

Shabbat Shalom!

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  • R B says:

    Since Australian Jews donate to projects of helping Ethiopian Olim in Israel, then it is their full right to criticize the way these Olim are treated.

  • Ian Grinblat says:

    To medicate people without their knowledge and consent is high-handed and inexcusable.
    Zionism has nothing to do with it – wrong is wrong.

  • R B says:


    Worse things of that type were done in the past in the name of Zionism.

    The most known example taking babies of poor new migrants from Middle-Eastern countries, giving them for adaption without their parents’ consent, and telling the parents that the baby had died. And no, I do not believe all the “committees” that claimed this had never happened.

    I personally know about a case, when a baby of a holocaust survivor was taken from his mother in Europe and sent to a Kibbutz in Israel. His mother was told that he had died. After his adapting parents passed away, he found out the documents which revealed him his real identity.

    So, medicating people without their knowledge is dwarfed comparing to that horrible story.

  • MargB says:

    Anything that can be done to raise awareness that it is halachically acceptable to donate organs should be applauded; I am appalled that it has taken so long for the local Orthodox rabbis to acknowledge the issue. So many Jews, including secular Jews, believe they cannot have a Jewish funeral if they donate their organs. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

    I don’t understand why the rabbis are not standing in the synagogues urging their congregants to sign up for organ donation – saving a life is surely one of the greatest mitzvot possible. Of course the RCV is, as always, moving too slowly. But at least the issue is FINALLY out in the public domain.

  • R B says:


    I am glad and proud to tell you that at my Modern Orthodox shule, your wishful thinking came true about 8 months ago.

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