November 20, 2018

Judaism

"Our religion evolved slowly. The operative word is evolved."

“It’s rare to find marvelously aesthetic houses of worship in the Jewish world, but there are some exceptions to the rule.”

“Six perspectives on how the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict changed Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and Mormonism.”

“I remember every second of my first Birthright Israel trip… Everywhere we went, everything I saw and did, I felt like I was meant to be there.”

“When the integrity of the court and due process are at stake, the wisdom of Solomon should prevail.”

“Ecclesiastes seems so dour. Why do Jews study it on the joyful holiday of Sukkot?”

“Jewish identity has always been subject to gatekeeping. In classic Jewish form, the question “Who is a Jew?” is always answered with another question: “Who is the gatekeeper?”

On Sukkot we read the book of Kohelet –one of the Torah’s most existentially anguished inclusions. Is the message of Kohelet nihilist? Or does it call us to action?

“In a time when cell phones, email, and other technological advances, combined with economic changes, create situations in which work can pervade all of life, a revival of the Sabbath might be more necessary than ever.”

According to a new book from Jack Wertheimer, American Judaism is embracing universalism in an effort to stay relevant. But this focus on universalism may threaten to undermine the vitality of the Jewish faith.

Jews have had a state for seventy years. It has been just about as long since the end of the Holocaust. Globally speaking, antisemitism is down. But it doesn’t always feel that way.

“In our own time, we have no High Priest and no Temple. There is no perfect setting for our approach to God and we lack the Temple rituals which welded us together at this critical moment in our calendar.”

“A Ukrainian township is home to one of the world’s biggest, and all-male, Jewish pilgrimages. It’s dirty, seductive, raucous, mystical and transgressive. Some rabbis even brand it heretical. But they can't beat it.”

“…heaven is not a place of angels, halos, lyres, pearly gates, or fluffy clouds, or of chariots, smoke, lightning, or thunder. The essence of heaven is an academy—a yeshiva—a place of Torah study.”

“Compartmentalization explains how it is that an otherwise committed Orthodox Jew can, in his workplace, engage in questionable business practices, or mistreat a child or a spouse."

Created by Rabbis, the Noahide Project is a Jewish faith for non-Jews. Take a look at the growing Noahide religious movement and the individuals at work promoting it around the world.

“The ritual of Jewish parents blessing their children is indeed moving, but it is easily misconstrued. Properly understood, it stresses first and foremost not the bond between parent and child, but rather between the child and God.”

In Judaism, the call of the Shofar on Rosh HaShannah ushers in the new year with three sounds – t’ki’ah, sh’varim, and tru’ah. Here’s the surprising history of the Shofar’s unique music.

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JJ Best Of The Web

"Military relations in the transatlantic alliance are humming. Yet an intangible but palpable crisis is shaking the foundations of NATO – and it has brought the organization to a moment of reckoning."

"With the midterm election a week-plus behind us — well, mostly behind us, as Democrats continue to try to steal seats in certain locations — it is time to take a look ahead at what we are facing over the next two years."

"Leaving the ultra-Orthodox community is nothing new in Israel. Everyone, secular or religious, knows someone who used to be on, but is now “off the derech.” But the phenomenon hasn’t been well studied."

"Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side..."

"Having assessed over 2,000 CEOs and over 18,000 C-suite leaders since 1995, we are struck by how often careers of talented executives stall or even derail because of seemingly trivial issues, many of which are utterly fixable."

"While the revelation of an apparent indictment against Julian Assange sets an ominous precedent for news organizations, it also serves as a reminder of his group’s stark transformation."

"Through classes and workshops, men across the United States are attempting to unlearn "toxic masculinity"—for society and for themselves."

"While many books experience sweeping popularity, Ferrante’s novels are part of a subgroup of pop culture that compels people to travel. Tour groups like Looking for Lila and Ferrante Fever Naples have popped up across Naples..."

"E-cigarettes may help tobacco smokers quit. But the alluring devices can swiftly induce a nicotine habit in teenagers who never smoked. This is the tale of one person’s struggle."

"As thrilled as I am to be hosting (and therefore not to have to deal with one of the busiest travel days of the year), I’ll be honest: I’m a little stressed out. "

"Humanity is on the verge of a weighty achievement. On Friday, representatives of more than 60 nations will convene in Versailles, France, to approve a new definition for the kilogram."

"Be connected, be still, and be satisfied -- my 3 essential principles of Shabbat do more for me than all the halacha I learned to be a rabbi."