Jewish Scene
Reserved synagogue seats going for $50,000
Yehudit Yahav
Published: 04.09.07, 10:04
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1. Pimping Torah - shame shame
Josh   (09.04.07)
Yom kippor is about asking for a reduced sentance for sins committed. It is a once a year plee that the jusgements setforth by heaven for sins committed be reduced. It is also for forgiveness amoung men. I have a novel idea. Don't sin in the first place and then you wont need $50000 so that you can feel better about yourself. It is not as if righteous heaven does not see a snake when he sits closer to a Rabbi or dumps a load of money made from oppressive behavior and blood money. Learn to not wait tll the end of the year to say your sorry. Spend the year doing good. Most importantly, dont buy the hype. If you ignored Shabbat, walked all over the rules of Torah and didn't show love for G-d all year - dont expect a reduced judgement. It is between you and G-d - you don't need someone to get Torah for you. Return already.
2. SAD
Sam ,   Jerusalem   (09.04.07)
It is very upsetting that money determines who will go to shul and where they will sit. Dont remember reading in any of the scriptures that this is the way it should be. How many people will not attend services simply because they cant afford TO PAY TO PRAY!
3. This is the living proof
Sagi ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
of just how disgusting religion can be. It is not only a business but it is one run by conmen.
4. Scumbags... all!
Olej Gamur ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
5. ovadia's seat
joe   (09.04.07)
Fifty Thousands $$ for Ovadia?, I would not pay 50 cents.
6. selling religion
there should be more choices; Ashkenazim, Sephardim, five & four stars.
7. $50,000 seat
reserve it for the Saudi king
8. Add the money they get from us
Moshavnik ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
Keep in mind that the members of these Haredi cults also receive money from the government (ie...the Israeli tax payer) to educate their children to evade army service. live on the dole and despise people who don't belong to their specific sect (cult).
9. $$$$ for holiday privileges
Suzie ,   Tel Aviv   (09.04.07)
Gee, am I lucky or what? I have the honor to be asked to read Torah on Yom Kippur because the congregation loves the accuracy and clarity I bring to Torah reading and I get this great honor for FREE!!!!
10. Charges
Jecheskel ,   Munich, Germany   (09.04.07)
Also in Germany jewish communities require a payment to have a seat at a prayer. This is one reason I don't go there. I can't affort paying this fees.
11. ignoramus
Tevye ,   Chelm   (09.04.07)
being called up to the Torah for the opening prayer of the Eve of Atonement (Yom Kippur) service??? As far as i know there is no tora reading at kol nidrei. whi is this Boer who wrote the article?
12. ynet get it wrong
james ,   israel   (09.04.07)
according to your article the seats are not going for $50,000-so why is your headline implying otherwise?
13. #11 Reading comprehension
Suzie   (09.04.07)
Learn to read and think. Torah is read on Yom Kippur - shcharit & ervit. The writer said nothing about Kol Nidre. You just need any excuse to sneer and snipe.
14. Free seats
Conservative Jew ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
I invite you all to your nearest conservative synagogue in Israel where seats are free to all (although donations are welcomed as we receive no governmet support unlike the haredim).
15. sorry for ynet but....
yoni ,   jerusalem   (09.04.07)
i am assuming this made the ynet news to put the religious down but the truth is that there are many causes that this money goes too and it is a very big merit to see people willing to part with their money to support the synagogue and other charity causes. go religious jews!
16. price of seating
Rafi Goldmeier ,   Bet Shemesh, Israel   (09.04.07)
Sorry ynet and all you commenters. It costs a lot of money to run a synagogue and the High Holidays is when memberships are renewed and seating is sold. At no other time of the year is money asked for except donations for specific things which are all voluntary. The cost of seating pays for everything from the salary of the Rabbi to the electricity, the water, the maintenance, etc. Regarding the points on the hassidic stuff - that is related to hassidic culture as far as being close to holiness. After all, you will pay more for box seats at Teddy Stadium for a soccer game than you would pay for seats way in the back. Would you not? Why is that ok and this not? You want a better seat or you want a greater honor (specific aliyas or whatever), you pay more for it. There is nothign wrong with it. Again, this pays for all the needs the synagogue will have during the year.
17. # 15 Joni
Sagi ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
Defending the indefensible.
18. TO NO. 14
david ,   paris, france   (09.04.07)
thanks for the invitation but rather go to a real Shul not a doubtful "place".
19. Come To My YeShA, Community For Free Including Meals & A Bed
Yishai Kohen ,   YeShA, Israel   (09.04.07)
It's crowded in our Beit Knesset for the Chaggim but we'll work it out, and we all gladly host people every Shabbat and Chag. It's a mitzvah.
20. Not as bad as it seems...
Bucky ,   Modiin, Israel   (09.04.07)
I think that most people understand that selling seats is a gimick to raise funds (usually a sizeable portion of a synagogue's yearly operating funds comes from the "sale" of High Holiday seats), and wouldn't fork over all that cash if it wasn't going to a cause they would probably otherwise support.
21. disgraceful practice
rpc ,   modiin, Israel   (09.04.07)
if honors are to be bestowed, let it be to the one who brings the most canned goods for those who have no food, or the most family members who are happy to pray together, or to the most pious who come daily to pray. But to pay to reserve a seat in a state-sponsored synagogue that uses my hard earned taxed shekels to keep me out!? I'm sickened every time I hear rabbis in Israel ask congregants for money.
22. For Suzie #13
G ,   Manchester, UK   (09.04.07)
You show both your ignorance and your lack of reading comprehension. Your ignorance - the torah is read at Shacharit and Mincha, not Arvit! Your lack of comprehension - the article specifically stated "and NIS 30,000 ($7,250) for being called up to the Torah for the opening prayer of the Kol Nidre service."
23. Intended for charity and upkeep
abdullah ,   ashkenaz   (09.04.07)
There is a commandement repeated several times in the torah to love G-d with all your heart where in hebrew the 'beith' in the word for heart is doubled. The understanding is to love G-d with both your 'good' and 'evil' inclinations. So the command is saying tame your evil inclination and use it for good. Ideally, one should give to charity without getting anything in return but it is human nature (the 'evil' inclination) to expect something in return for giving and to compete and for and be willing to pay for something you value. What is happening here is that people are willing to work hard and compete and pay a lot to CHARITY and torah upkeep for the honour of the torah aliyah or getting a good seat to properly observe the miswa. This is a proper use of ones inclinations. Contrat this to paying for satisfying carnal pleasures, even with full knowledge that this money goes towards reenforcing armed gangs, enslaving the most vulnerable people in the world and fueling conflicts, etc. This system in which people compete even with their most valuable resources to perform a miswa, while giving to CHARITY that helps the poor, is certainly to be praised and not criticised.
24. The ultimate test of proving Jewish background
Jonas ,   SAD   (09.04.07)
This can be a test - if you AGREE on this prices, you are not a Jew.
25. Selling of Seats
Zeev ,   USA   (09.04.07)
i go to chabad in the USA. My rabbi would not even think of asking any1 for money to pray. Instead they auction off these privileges before the high holidays. I believe more secular temples in america will not let u in if you dont pay. That my friends anywhere i think it truly against the almighty.
26. #19 a mitzvah paid 4 by my tax shekel at best or some xtian
missionary at worst ,   a Jerusalemite   (09.04.07)
27. #21
ploni aloni ,   yerushalayim   (09.04.07)
Synogogues--especially haredi synogogues--are not sponsored by the state. The state has not given us a penny for any of the synogogues in my neighborhood. They are all being built privately by the residents of our neighborhood, and we pay for their upkeep and maintenance, too. Wake up Ynet readers and realize that a lot of what you read about us is lies designed to divert your attention from more important matters (like all the government corruption, bloated goverment salaries and pensions in the upper government echelons, and all the perks that you and I are financing through our electricity and bank fees). You think that the state is maintaining our talmud torahs, yeshivas and synogogues, but the truth is that most of the expense is shouldered by the community. Calculate how much the state spends on culture, TV and building stadiums and quit complaining about the very small amounts of funding we get.
28. To # 18 David- What's a "Real" Shul?
David ,   Karmiel, Israel   (09.04.07)
Do you really need to go to a Shul, Synagogue, Bet Knesset or temple to do some soul searching and account for the transgressions that you have committed in the eyes of the Lord and then to atone for your sins? Atonement comes from the heart and the soul and is not dependent on where you pray, how much you pay for your seat or where you sit. That is the sin of arrogance and self-glorification! You are judged not by your behavior in the synagogue or on the High Holy Days. You are judged by your behavior during the year and on how you treat your fellow man!
29. Ovadia Yosef cashing in on G*D
Simon ,   tel aviv Israel   (09.04.07)
There are no words than can justify Ovadia Yosef charging $50,000.from those wishing to take part in the opening of the ark ceremony at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Kol Nidre service. This shows the real face of Ovadia Yosef, who self appointed hisself as G*ds spokesman , Not only spewing his venom and hatred upon the secular public but now hes charging $50,000 for the "privellage"
30. Prostituting synagogue seats to pray
Fussion ,   Israel   (09.04.07)
It has always been a pathetic practice to prostitute seats to enable people to pray during the high holidays. Only Jews partake in this abominable practice of selling places in a house of prayer.So what, will lightening strike those that don't ?
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