July 17, 2019

Judaism

"The incidents now pass without much notice, a steady, familiar drumbeat of violence and hate targeting visibly Jewish people in New York City. Early on the morning of June 15, a Saturday, two men in a white Infiniti drove around Borough Park..."

"Chesterton famously wrote of America that it was “a nation with the soul of a church” and “the only nation in the world founded on a creed.” That is, in fact, precisely what made Israel different — and America’s political culture, as historian..."

"It’s no secret that many Jews are struggling to keep up. More and more, middle and even upper-middle class Jews are finding religion to be an increasingly expensive component of their lives. My husband has a good job and I have a burgeoning..."

"When France’s Yellow Vests began to protest weekly last November, it was about President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to raise fuel taxes. Within a few months, it also started to be about the Jews. Signs that labeled Mr. Macron as a “whore of the..."

"Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (head of the Jewish Home Party), now the head of the United Right, reveals his odious Kahanist identity in stating that the Jewish rate of intermarriage in the Western World is a ‘second Holocaust’, in that..."

"When I heard that Jeffrey Epstein had been arrested on sex-trafficking charges, I cringed. I’m sure I was not the only Jewish person who did, or whose first thought was,Why does this sorry excuse for a human have to be Jewish? And I probably..."

"Mad magazine is on life support, and I can’t say I’m either surprised or all that sad about it. DC Entertainment announced last week that the satirical magazine will stop publishing new content. It was like hearing about a beloved old relative..."

"The year was 2000, and Michael Steinhardt had just dropped a bombshell that nearly brought an otherwise dignified conference to blows. “I tend, in my dourest moments, to consider both the Reform and Conservative Jews as historic accidents in..."

"ON ANY GIVEN FRIDAY NIGHT at the Claremont Colleges, between 15 and 20 Jewish students gather to sing wordless melodies, dive into textual study of Talmud or James Baldwin, or hold workshops on antisemitism. The small, independent Jewish group..."

"It struck me then that throughout history the people who left the greatest mark on the world, and became household names, were not necessarily those who created life-changing inventions, but were those who gave the public access to those life..."

"There is little doubt that Chabad Hasidism constitutes one of the most, if not the most, potent Jewish messianic movements in the 20th century. Messianic movements are complex, organic, bipolar creatures. Their power is generated by a mix of..."

"Since that fateful July 4 when the Second Continental Congress invoked the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to declare independence from King George III, an argument has raged over the Christian roots of the..."

"Most Jews are ignorant of some of the most basic beliefs that define Judaism. This indictment applies to Jews of all sects from the most liberal to the most Orthodox. An over emphasis of Halacha has led our people to think that Jewish belief is..."

"One of the greatest living scholars of the Talmud, Daniel Boyarin ponders the place where the two traditions were born, in brotherly rivalry but with a common biblical origin..."

"Labels are a necessary evil when talking about Judaism. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform denote different religious streams, but they are simply primary colours which hardly do justice to the kaleidoscopic variety of the modern Jewish landscape..."

"Among those participating was Jason Greenblatt, Washington’s Mideast mediator and one of the architects of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop taking place here. Aryeh Lightsone, a top aid to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, gave a brief..."

"But as anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate crimes resurge, is it still funny for us to be our own punching bags? Is it safe? In joking about money, neuroses, and the demasculinized Jewish man, are we subverting stereotypes or playing into them? We..."

"After allowing it to flourish for nine months, Reddit has banned an internet community comprising tens of thousands of members that critics elsewhere on the platform said was associated with the online neo-Nazi movement. The /r/frenworld..."

"In the summer of 1954, Morris Freedman went to camp—a Jewish summer camp. Nothing unusual about that, not at first blush. By the 1950s, American Jewish parents could choose from among any number of summertime options: Massad and Ramah catered to..."

" The news that Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner on antisemitism, “could not recommend Jews wear a kippah everywhere and at any time in Germany”, coupled with a 20 percent reported rise in anti-Jewish crime in the country, is alarming, sad and..."

"Birthright, which has brought over 700,000 young Jews to Israel since 1999, is not a partisan program. It’s not basic training for propaganda wars, Left or Right. It is a Jewish identity-building program offering Israel 101 – a basic introduction.."

"After a protracted siege by the Roman tenth legion, the situation of the Sacarii, the Jewish rebels holed up on the mountain fortress of Masada, became hopeless. The Jewish rebels led by Elazar Ben Yair decided to kill themselves rather than be..."

"The Bible is the world’s most influential book. But books, like people, can be influential because of what they say, or because of what they are thought to have said. With a book as huge as the Bible, readers need some kind of key that will..."

"This past Erev Shavuot, my 18-year old daughter and I were walking together to the Tikkun L’eyl Shavuot at a nearby Modern Orthodox synagogue. For the past five years, my rabbinic colleague at that synagogue has invited me to co-lead a midnight..."

"Is Judaism a tradition linked directly to the Bible, taking us back to Mount Sinai, i.e., the original word of God? Or is it a general code of law that slowly evolved over the years into what it is today? If we delve into the Talmud, we will..."

"A sea change has taken place in American political life. The force driving this change is the digital era style of moral politics known as “wokeness,” a phenomenon that has become pervasive in recent years and yet remains elusive as even experts..."

"Jewish Voice for Peace is neither Jewish nor peaceful. This is its latest episode of promoting blood libels, dating back to its association with an anti-Semitic bigot who claimed that Jews drank blood. Mandel, a chapter leader in a hate group..."

"There is little more important today than how we live the first commandment, even if we don’t believe in God. As a species and civilisation, we have too often behaved as if it said “I, humankind, am the lord and master” of creation. We have acted.."

"The Book of Genesis portrays three vastly different visits to Jerusalem. Abraham first encounters this city after intervening in a raging world war. Years later, an acquiescent Abraham and his son voyage to the mountain to execute the divine..."

"Even more disturbing than witnessing religious Jewish men hiding their kippot under baseball caps is the intensity of security surrounding the synagogues and the Jewish school. All synagogues, I was informed, employ security guards on Shabbat..."

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"As Europe moved toward war in the summer of 1914, two battleships were being built for the Ottoman Empire in British shipyards. Worried about signs of an Ottoman-German alliance, Winston Churchill, then first lord of the admiralty, seized the..."

"For most of this year, Joe Biden has strutted across stages in New Hampshire and Iowa, and at swanky fundraisers in New York and California, as if he were already the Democratic nominee. Questions about attacks from his rivals were, more often..."

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"Big Government lobbyists and entrenched bureaucrats are predictably hysterical about a common-sense congressional push to improve transparency and accountability about wasteful taxpayer-funded monkey experiments. They’re worried that once..."

"The economic summit in Bahrain organized by the Trump administration last month was the latest example of how Israel’s hi-tech industry created new diplomatic opportunities for a country with no apparent natural resources. While Israel had no..."

"The early ‘90s, famously, saw the “End of History,” as it was dubbed by the right-Hegelian political theorist Francis Fukuyama. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and thus the ostensibly final victory of capitalism and liberal democracy..."

"“Almost all books of aphorisms, which have ever acquired a reputation, have retained it,” John Stuart Mill wrote in 1837, aphoristically—that is to say, with a neat if slightly dubious finality. (“How wofully the reverse is the case with systems..."

"While we can easily misjudge, misunderstand, or even avoid a pregnant individual’s experience of miscarriage, we can also forget that the loss of a pregnancy may impact a wide range of other people too. There’s usually one other person..."

"I have never tried psychedelic drugs, but I imagine the experience is a lot like drinking a Starbucks Frappuccino. Strange sensations, unnatural colors, increased heart rate, heightened emotions, paranoia: It’s all there in that plastic cup..."

"Fifty years ago this week, more than a million Americans drove, flew and even boated to Florida’s Cape Canaveral to witness the launch of Apollo 11, which would culminate four days later on July 20, 1969, with America’s victory over the Soviet..."

"The incidents now pass without much notice, a steady, familiar drumbeat of violence and hate targeting visibly Jewish people in New York City. Early on the morning of June 15, a Saturday, two men in a white Infiniti drove around Borough Park..."