May 19, 2019

Judaism

"In his book Revelation and Authority, the Bible scholar Benjamin Sommer seeks to harmonize the tenets of Judaism with the current academic consensus that Jewish Scripture [.] were culled together from a number of disparate sources."

"Even if you were able to erase AIPAC from the picture, it’s not clear how much the landscape would change. Israel is a pretty easy sell in the United States."

"There is no such thing as a Jewish nose. There are Jews, and they have noses, just like almost everyone else. Those noses are in no way remarkable or significantly different from the noses of the general population."

"In the early 20th century, the country was home to a flourishing Jewish community. Now one of the last survivors wants to keep its memory alive."

"At JTA, we are testing our own robot reporter, Bert Cyberg, to help us with the kinds of Jewish stories that essentially write themselves. If he plays his memory cards right, Bert might one day be running this place."

"Kondo’s advice made me worry that many Orthodox Jews would take it on board, because as a community we’re never entirely happy with our homes."

"When it comes to getting married in Israel, you don’t have much of a choice: If you’re Jewish, it’s the Chief Rabbinate’s way or the highway."

"Before the advent of modern medicine it was believed that certain mental illnesses were caused by demonic spirits taking control of the afflicted person’s body. In Jewish folklore these spirits were called dybbuks."

"Nishmat, an advanced institute in Jerusalem for women's Torah study trains halakhic advisers on family purity, while the play"Mikva the Musical" sings its songs and tells its stories. A meeting of the Torah's laws and spirituality, just for women."

"The Torah doesn’t outright end slavery, which was ubiquitous in the ancient world, but it does take the first steps toward ameliorating and transforming it."

"We identifiably Orthodox Jews are punched, swastikered, told we oppress women, we're not 'normal' Jews, that we don't 'fit in.' But when progressives debate Jewish identity and vulnerability – we're invisible"

"As the climactic moment of revelation nears, God instructs Moses to gather together all the people—regardless of age, sex, or status—and convey to them the terms of the covenant; only after they accept these terms does God reveal Himself..."

"Prof. Daniel Walkowitz claims the Jewish heritage industry risks obscuring a world that thrived in Central and Eastern Europe before the Shoah..."

"I have never heard a man refuse to carry the Sefer Torah because he is afraid that he will drop it. The fear of holding the Torah is ingrained into Orthodox women throughout their lives..."

"While I was doing research for a book about my great-grandmother’s murder, I discovered stories I’d never heard about my great-grandfather- stories of gambling, wild horses, organized crime, & a forgotten slice of Jewish life on the prairie..."

"Yes, there are Jews who hate Judaism. There are Jews who may hate Israel. There are Jews who may hate other Jews. In a society that values freedom of speech, conscience and expression, this ought to be allowed."

"The conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator, the duplicitous manipulator, the sinister puppeteer is one with ancient roots and a bloody history. "

"I am Jewish and queer. But neither of these identities managed to make an impact on the co-chairs of the Women’s March as I begged them, again and again, to take my pain seriously."

"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"

"In the 21st century, the criteria for identifying a Jew remains contested. In the United States, Robert Mnookin points out, several critical challenges add a sense of urgency to the age-old debate."

"The much-documented anti-Semitism of the British Labor party leader is no accident... Jeremy Corbyn reminds us that anti-Semitism is not just an irrational hatred, harbored by madmen at the fringes of British society."

"Some think the key to unlocking academic success can be found in Jewish approaches to education, leading to the establishment of dozens of chavruta-themed institutions."

"Groundbreaking U.S. Rabbi Angela Buchdahl explains why she changed her mind on Jewish intermarriage, and what it's like to be the face of Judaism for many Americans, while not being kosher enough for Israel."

"...the prayer is not thanking Him for having created the stars, or the sun, or any particular celestial appurtenance. It is thanking Him for staying around and ensuring the job gets done, day after day."

"Myanmar’s Jewish community has dwindled to about 20 people. Most of the Jews had fled when Japan invaded the country in World War II, as the Axis power distrusted them for their perceived political alignment with the British."

"The Charedi community has much better demographic prospects than other denominations. But in the long-term, says Jonathan Boyd, Judaism will be most successful when it figures out how to preserve its particularism whilst caring for society..."

"According to Ethiopian lore, the Ark of the Covenant is hidden in a church in Aksum–a small city in the northern highlands–and guarded by a single monk."

"Almost the very first stories in the Bible are of violence, notes Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild as she investigates it's meaning in religion by looking at two books on the subject."

"If you believe the Torah is relevant today, you'll agree that its laws of damages should apply to forbidding the publication of women's images."

"Most of the immigrants to Israel last year were not halachically Jewish, according to figures released this week by the country’s Central Bureau of Statistics."

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered in heavy rain outside parliament in the capital, Taipei, to watch a live broadcast of the proceedings. Supporters shouted “First in Asia!” after the article was passed."

"It’s increasingly clear that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to choose abortion, is in jeopardy. But what is Roe all about? Privacy? Liberty? Women’s equality?"

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being cautious about engaging Israel in the US-Iran tensions, though he would surely not object to an American attack on Iran."

"Hello. I’m a person who has never watched Game of Thrones. You’re a person who has watched every episode. Here is what I have learned about you through the cultural osmosis..."

"The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?"

"One of the many important facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry is his observation that President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and other mass media could subvert the criminal-justice system."

"Even in a profession where major commissions rarely materialize before a man (and, beginning only recently, a woman) is well past fifty, it is hard for anyone alive today to remember a time when I.M. Pei was not a dominant, commanding figure."

"If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’ve probably wondered why so many young people today seem attracted to socialism. One influence is Howard Zinn, who published “A People’s History of the United States” in 1980..."

"Moms and dads may be new to microdosing, but the trend has been bubbling for years in Silicon Valley. The tech set claim that taking 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD every few days makes them more creative..."

"In 1983, the Italian-Israeli professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow stunned the scholarly world with an explosive article that proposed that Jews introduced pizza to the European diet."

"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? "

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