May 20, 2019

Judaism

"The Germans, the Jews and the Poles Are on the Battlefield Again: The Poles see themselves as the ultimate victims, the Germans repent and pass anti-BDS resolutions, and Israel speaks in two voices..."

"Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, embodied the new postwar possibilities for American Jews and his writing helped normalize Judaism within the larger American landscape..."

"About 10 million people visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City every year, and yet among the questions I am asked most frequently is, “Why do you care so much about the Kotel?”"

"Everyone from Madonna to President Donald Trump's ex-wife Marla Maples dabbled in the mystical religion, but over the last few years, the trend has fallen out of style."

"Chasidic masters such as Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapira in 20th-century Poland developed their own meditative techniques - and now a number of rabbis are teaching them..."

"Shabbat yields“ a seed of eternity,” a night and day filled with song, food, friends, rest, and love—a taste of the world as it should be. Yet there’s a helplessness in surrendering the sense of control we feel..."

"In practice, the Electoral College minimizes the vote of most American Jews, while giving disproportionate influence to a right-leaning minority of us."

"1. Do nothing and allow the trolley to kill the five people on the main track. 2. Flip the switch, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which do you choose?"

"While U.S. Jews have a strong attachment to Israel, they are divided in their assessment of Trump’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, according to a new Pew Research Center survey."

"Growing up, I always assumed anti-Semitism was more of a historical footnote... So much so that my biggest struggle growing up was not dealing with being Jewish at all."

"But what “cultural Marxism” lacks in accuracy, it makes up for in poisonous efficacy. The theory, in one stroke, paints all left opposition to conservatism as an evil plot formulated by Jewish people."

"When I asked my Iraqi grandmother why the Holocaust is significant to us, she answered, “It is a horrible thing that happened to the Ashkenazim,” and that we are one family; we are all Jews."

"When, in 1530, William Tyndale translated the Pentateuch, an offence against the Church for which he would pay with his life, he found there were certain Hebrew words that had no direct equivalent in English."

"I was preparing to give my sermon Shabbat morning, Saturday, which was also the last day of Passover, the festival of our freedom, when I heard a loud bang in the lobby of my synagogue."

"... is “goy” necessarily disparaging? I saw the point being debated on Twitter last week. The writer Ariel Sobel insisted in a tweet, “Goy isn’t a slur. If you think it is, you are a goy.”"

"The nine-page manifesto signed with the suspected shooter's name is structured similarly to the longer manifesto written by Tarrant. That manifesto was also posted to 8chan..."

"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."

"We must ask, “Can Orthodoxy and Judaism exist today WITHOUT Liberalism?” I refer to liberalism not in the sense of the Liberal party or the welfare state. I refer to the idea that everyone has fundamental freedoms (life, liberty and property)"

"The distinct history and identity of the Jewish people — what we’ve endured and what we continue to face at home and abroad — requires special attention."

"Chad Gadya, the enigmatic little ditty about a father and his unfortunate goat, gets little serious attention, although we do relish doing the actions and the animal sounds."

"The purpose of Judaism is to perform Mitzvahs, to surrender to God, and to read the Torah. The Sutra says the same thing. We are supposed to read a biblical scripture, surrender to God, and be of service to others."

"Passover is the decathlon of cleaning. It is hard to believe all the crevices and nooks that crumbs have crept into over the year. It is like a mass migration of chametz, carried out stealthily, to places no normal dust mop can reach."

"When asked what they are willing to sacrifice for, what will our children say? Most will respond: making money, becoming famous or playing fortnite for hours on end. This bond that had held us together is frayed..."

"I would argue that fundamental to any culture is its language: a tool for communication and connection among its members, the vessel that contains and promulgates core values..."

"...the Torah does not want human beings to live alone, and supports a covenantal relationship between parties as they build a faithful Jewish home."

"I]t would seem that [the Talmud] depicts the fetus as wholly without knowledge at some point it in time. But that cannot be, according to the Greek conception."

"Buying new Haggadahs, the Passover Seder guide read from cover to cover is an easy way to spice up your table. Doubling as a prayer book and used throughout the holiday, they contain Birkat HaMazon and Kiddush for Shabbat Pesach."

"The malevolence reportedly displayed by religious Jews at the National Young Israel Council's gala dinner was shameful..."

"The Talmud is not prudish. In colourful stories, and with self-deprecating humour, it tells how even the most devout are subject to temptation."

"How often should a camel-driver have sex? What about a sailor? The bible is rife with confusing references and the rabbis set out to regulate intercourse, not that they agreed on the details..."

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"My fellow progressives actually doubt if I'm still a Democrat just because I won't accept Nicolas Maduro's tyrannic regime in my home of Venezuela."

"One of the particular characteristics of the Trump presidency is the way Trump consistently creates drama – some by design, some not – that makes it hard to see the broader outline of events."

"Israel’s Eurovision entry barely made a dent on the scoreboard but there’s no doubt that the Jewish State was the real winner of the Eurovision Song Content 2019."

"The Saturday Night Live Finale Was a Mishmash of Everything It Needs to Fix: The send-off to Season 44 might end up functioning as a send-off to a particularly toothless era for the show."

"The biggest challenge in measuring real compensation and Americans’ well-being is the extraordinary growth in new products that have brought new benefits not captured in any government consumer price metric."

"...we’ve grown wary of the so-called attention economy, which, in the name of corporate profits, exploits our psychological vulnerabilities in ways that corrode social life, diminish privacy, weaken civic cohesion..."

"Regardless of how healthfully we live or how much medical care we receive, we will all die. Yet, understanding this intellectually is vastly different from truly feeling it; raw confrontation with our own mortality is frightening."

"Power, although hard to handle, is greatly desired. There is no person or group or sect or party or mob that doesn’t want power, convinced that it would know how to use it as no one ever has before."

"It turns out that feminism and faith both have high expectations of husbands and fathers, if for very different ideological reasons, and that both result in higher-quality marriages for women."

"We live in an age of radical diets: Paleo, vegan, low-glycemic, low-carb, low-fat, high fat (keto). Which one’s best for maintaining a healthy weight?"

"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "

"The Germans, the Jews and the Poles Are on the Battlefield Again: The Poles see themselves as the ultimate victims, the Germans repent and pass anti-BDS resolutions, and Israel speaks in two voices..."