January 16, 2019

Judaism

"ISIS, in its abysmal stupidity, had not understood that in its midst, converted into a cache for rockets and ammunition, stood a synagogue on par with those found in Kurdish Iraq."

Some Jewish thinkers are eager to reconcile science and religion by reconciling the Torah with the scientific theories. But science and religion are different fields of knowledge and address different concerns.

“It’s interesting that it is actually the Reform community, which is maligned by Conservative Jews, that is preserving Judaism more than the ultra-Orthodox.”

“Perhaps there was something too primal about it, the associations with blood and the female body and sexuality, the act of immersing naked in rainwater.”

“Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work.’”

“There is such a thing as too late, as the terrible legacy of "if only", and the image of a hand which stretches towards a dove - which is no longer there to return.”

In Modern Orthodox Judaism: A Documentary History, Zev Eleff explores an often ignored but very influential Jewish denomination.

A grammatical anomaly in the Torah could suggest a different story about the creation of the world.

“Meet the Rabbis Who Believe the Torah Is on Trump's Side.”

"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 Editor's Picks

"In a bid to create new space for green industries and fossil-free energy production, greater Copenhagen wants to build an entirely new business and infrastructure district on the city’s southwestern edge."

Donald Trump ran for president saying that he would be a shrewd businessman with a propensity for making deals. Why, then, are we in the longest government shutdown on record?

"There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think... In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides."

"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."

"Even if the economy is on a roll, many Americans aren’t feeling the benefit... In fact, when adjusted for cost of living increases, real wages actually declined 1.3% since the end of 2017, PayScale found."

"Cutting ties with Facebook would mean consciously cutting ties with my own community, and I can't bring myself to do it. When I asked my connections on Facebook why they were staying, their answers were very similar to mine..."

Fear of the news; fear of climate change, fear of touch screens... these New Yorker cartoons portray the modern phobias that are driving us crazy.

"Texts replaced authors as the privileged objects of scholarly knowledge, and the performance of critical operations on texts became essential to the scholar’s identity."

"When I speak to parents’ groups about kids who are addicted to Fortnite and other video games, I tell them that it is the parents’ job to limit, govern and guide their kids’ use of video games..."

"Startups like Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Produce say they're helping to reduce food waste in America. Critics say they're deceiving their customers and making the problem worse."

"Scholars are now interested in whether having a vocabulary item for a concept influences thought in domains far from language, such as visual perception."

"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."