German synagogue reports shattered window during Yom Kippur services
A broken window interrupted the final moments of Yom Kippur services in Hanover, Germany, unsettling a Jewish community on edge because of prior attacks during the holiday,
It was unclear late Oct. 5 exactly what had happened at the Orthodox synagogue in the northern German city, officials there said. Police are investigating and had learned that there are no video cameras in the vicinity, according to local media reports. No one was injured in the incident.
The chair of the synagogue said he believed someone had entered the synagogue grounds and thrown an object through the window. The synagogue’s rabbi said he believed that the broken window represented an assault on his community.
“I don’t want to play down what happened, but such criminal acts were often our historical companions,” Rabbi Shlomo Afanasev wrote on Twitter, where he posted videos of the broken window. “We will not be intimidated and will continue to build: our communities, our families, and Judaism in Germany.”
Orthodox Jewish groups join an Evangelical Christian mailman’s Supreme Court case
Multiple Orthodox Jewish groups are filing friend of the court briefs on behalf of an evangelical Christian postal worker who is taking his case to get Sundays off to the Supreme Court,
The case, Groff v. DeJoy, seeks to expand the standard the Supreme Court set in a 1977 ruling regarding what constituted “undue hardship” to an employer in providing religious accommodation.
Groff v. DeJoy involves a Pennsylvania mailman who sought accommodations after the U.S. Postal Service started Sunday deliveries on behalf of Amazon in 2013. At first, Gerald Groff was able to work around Sunday deliveries, but as demand for the service grew, USPS disciplined him for declining Sunday shifts. He quit and sued. (Louis DeJoy is the postmaster general.)
Lower courts have ruled in favor of the post office.
Now, Orthodox groups are filing amicus briefs this week in support of Groff. They see the case as a chance to overturn Trans World Airlines v. Hardison, the 1977 decision that ruled for the airline over a member of a Christian sect who sought Saturdays off, rejecting as “undue hardships” three possible accommodations posited by a lower court.
Jewish gun club sues NY governor to allow concealed weapons in synagogues
A group of Jewish gun owners filed a lawsuit against New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s gun laws, saying they infringe on their religious freedom as well as their right to bear arms, New York Jewish Week reported.
The New York State Jewish Gun Club, a Rockland County-based firearms club, funded and put together the lawsuit, which was filed on Sept. 29 in the Southern District of New York. It specifically targets the section of the new gun laws that prohibits the carrying of concealed weapons in “sensitive locations,” including houses of worship.
“New York State has expressed that legal carry in New York is okay, but not for those who observe religious rituals and customs,” a NYS-JGC press release said. “This law specifically targets religious people, by threatening them with arrest and felony prosecution if they carry their firearm while engaging in religious observance.”
In July, Hochul signed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act into law in response to the June Supreme Court decision that struck down New York’s strict concealed carry laws. The CCIA law added multiple checks on gun ownership in New York State.
Netanyahu faints during Yom Kippur services, tested and released from hospital
Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fainted during Yom Kippur prayers and was treated and released from a Jerusalem hospital, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Sha’arei Zedek Medical Center performed multiple tests on Netanyahu and released him the next day after all results came back normal.
“The former prime minister began to feel unwell in the synagogue during prayers,” his office said in a statement. “He underwent a series of tests at the scene that came back normal and is now feeling better. In order to be certain, Netanyahu went to the hospital independently.”
— Compiled by Andy Gotlieb