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Liberal Rabbis Increasingly Support Officiating Weddings With Non-Jewish Clergy

interfaith - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00am
Ari Feldman for The Forward

Rabbi Lev Baesh has co-officiated a wedding with a Native American chief on the shores of Lake Michigan. He conducted Paris’ first Catholic-Jewish ceremony. One time, he stood under the chuppah with a Hindu pundit; another, with a Shiite cleric. Things finally got tricky with an evangelical preacher — who’d been asked by the Jewish groom not to mention Jesus.

“During the wedding, when he was emoting and speaking off the cuff, it just came out,” Baesh remembered. “I watched [the groom’s] mother gasp for air.”

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How Does the Jewish Calendar Work?

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00am
from bimbam.com

Why Does the Jewish Calendar Change Every Year?

How does Chrismukkah even happen?

Why do Jewish holidays move around on the calendar? Why do we have Chanukah sometimes on Thanksgiving? Find some answers and learn more about how the Jewish calendar works in this video featuring Joshua Mallett.
The Hebrew calendar, or the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar where as the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The Jewish calendar is synced to the moon so the first day of the month is a new moon and the 15th day of the month is a full moon.

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Where in the Torah Do We Learn about the High Holidays? (A Visual Guide)

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00am

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's High Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

By Barbara Mendes for Jewess Mag

Where in the Torah do we learn about the Jewish High Holidays?

In Sefer Vayikra, (the Book of Leviticus), in Parashat Emor! G-d tells Moses to tell the Children of Israel: “These are the Holidays of G-d!”

For a spiritual, visual experience, continue reading.

Welcome Rosh Hashanah with mindfulness, sustainability, and joy

green-living - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00am
From Hazon

The holiday of Rosh Hashanah is the perfect time to let the blasts of the shofar shake you awake to the world around you. It’s a time to open up to new possibilities and be grateful for everything you have.  And more than anything, Rosh Hashanah offers the opportunity for tshuva (returning/repentance) – to return to our best, most full versions of ourselves. As we turn inward, we have the chance to ask, “what impact do our actions have on our friends and family, our communities, and on the earth?”

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Growing Older Beats Getting Old

featured-articles - Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:00am
By Rahel Musleah for Hadassah Magazine

Before Batya Perman parted with the heirloom oak bookcase that stood sentinel in her home for 43 years, she carefully perused its volumes in order to distribute and discuss them with her family. She located a master woodworker to disassemble the bookcase into smaller pieces so it could fit through the doorway of her son Uri’s new home. A legacy from her great-uncle, New York State Supreme Court Justice Harry Lewis, it now holds Uri’s own books and mementos as well as the law and Judaica titles he inherited, including a chumash inscribed to his great-grandfather.

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Ki Teitzei

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19 


Clothes That Make Us Human

Among the many joys of summertime in Manhattan is the chance to see a performance of Shakespeare in the Park. This year’s feast for eyes and ears was the magical romantic comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of the key turns of the plot involves the sprite Puck casting a spell on the wrong young lover, because his only instructions were to enchant one with “Athenian garb.” Judging on fashion alone, poor Puck thought he had discharged his duties. Puck’s comedic error is of course another instance of one of Shakespeare’s favorite themes, the way our clothing becomes synonymous with our identity. Most famously, in Hamlet Shakespeare has the Danish noble Polonius tell his son Laertes that “the apparel oft proclaims the man.”

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Is Shabbat A Way To Combat Millennial Loneliness?

young-adults - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Shira Feder for The Forward

Millennials, the media would have you believe, have both destroyed the nuclear family and the fabric softener industry. These unfortunate adult children are both addicted to social media and terribly, woefully lonely. They’re short on funds but long on anxiety. Is everyone born between between 1981 and 1996 just doomed? What could fix Generation X short of a total clean slate?

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Orthodox rabbis reject colleagues’ letter calling LGBTQ community ‘perverts’

LGBTQ - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
From JTA

Dozens of American and Israeli Orthodox rabbis have signed a letter in support of the LGBTQ community in response to a letter last week from some 200 Orthodox rabbis in Israel that called its members “perverts” and an “organization of abominations.”

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The sale of Azerbaijan’s Jewish community center deals a painful blow to a dwindling community

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Cnaan Liphshiz for JTA

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, or JDC, is closing its Jewish community center in Baku due to changing demographics. A community of formerly 16,000 in 2000 now only has 8,000 Jews and is moving into a smaller space.

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Discovering ‘Little Known Facts’

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Joanne Sydney Lessner for Hadassah Magazine

In the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Lucy sings a song called “Little Known Facts” in which she posits, among other things, that fir trees are so named because they provide “fur for coats.” When Ilana Levine, who played Lucy in the 1999 Broadway revival, began a podcast interviewing colleagues who inspire her, she named it for her character’s signature tune. The title seems inevitable now, but she only settled on it after recording an interview with fellow Charlie Brown cast members Anthony Rapp, B.D. Wong and Kristin Chenoweth before the official launch of the podcast in May 2016.

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Red Wine Braised Beef Brisket

jewish-food - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
From Martha Stewart

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

Slow braising an otherwise tough cut of meat like brisket turns the beef meltingly soft. A wonderful addition to your holiday table this New Year. 

If this recipe isn't to your liking, Martha has many other ways to prepare brisket. Check it out!

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children-and-families - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


by Agnes Hsu for Hello, Wonderful

While this craft is made as a back-to-school idea, you may also adapt it to fit the New Year. Ask your child to fill the pages with thoughts on what each of them can change or work on this year to be a better person. Make one yourself or for each member of your family at share at your Rosh Hashanah table.


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The Biblical Inspirations for My Fantasy Series

jewish-books - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
Jewish Book Council

Noah Beit-Aharon is the nice Jewish boy behind the Godserfs epic fantasy series, published under the penname N. S. Dolkert. With the release of Among the Fallen, the second volume in the series, Noah is guest blogging for the Jewish Book Council all week as part of the Visiting Scribe series here on The ProsenPeople.

The setting of my fantasy series Godserfs is heavily influenced by my reading of the Tanakh, and the world evoked by the many conflicting stories and traditions within that text. While the first two books, Silent Hall and Among the Fallen, are rife with allusions and reimaginings, I want to take the opportunity to discuss three passages in the Hebrew Bible that directly influenced my writing.

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Large Desalination Plant Approved to Bring Gazans Clean Water

israeil-news - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
From VirtualJerusalem, Courtesy of DEBKA

The project, with international funding, will ease the acute shortage of water for the Gazan population of 1.8 million.  

Israel’s defense ministry has approved the delivery of equipment to the Gaza Strip for completing a large desalination plant and eight large water reservoirs.

The project, with international funding, will ease the acute shortage of water for the Gazan population of 1.8 million.

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I Found Religion, My Spouse Left It, What About Our Kids?

interfaith - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Dawn Kepler for BuildingJewishBridges

Dear Dawn: I’m the daughter of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who raised me with no religion. Finding my way into Judaism has been difficult and, at times, painful. My partner, Tom, was raised Christian and is now an atheist. While he has warm feelings for his church, he no longer belongs. When discussing how we would raise children, I mentioned enrolling them in Sunday school and their having b’nai mitzvah. To my surprise, he was resistant to this idea. It turns out the experience of being raised in a religion and subsequently separating himself from it was a lot more of a struggle than I realized. 

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What is the Amidah?

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Rabbi David Wolkenfeld from bimbam.com

The Jewish Standing Prayer

The Amidah includes three distinct sections. The first section includes prayers that praise. The middle section includes 13 requests. These requests focus on practical needs like health, and the ability to make wise choices but also more lofty yearnings for redemption and justice. These requests can change depending on the time of year or holiday. The last section includes prayers of gratitude. You can also include your own personal prayers anytime during the middle or end.

Watch Video.




New laser solution could slow spread of forest fires

green-living - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

Fighting Treetop Fire is developing a system of removing combustible foliage with algorithm-controlled laser beams controlled via helicopter or truck.

Aggressive wildfires are rampaging through many countries this summer, bringing death and destruction in their wake. In California alone, firefighters are scrambling to control 18 separate blazes.

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Tel Aviv on the Black Sea Odessa, the Cradle of Israeli Culture, Enjoys a Jewish Renaissance

featured-articles - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:00am
By Rebecca Greig for Haaretz


The Ukrainian port city of Odessa, once home to hundreds of thousands of Jews, is experiencing a ‘golden age’ - with modern Israel proving an unlikely inspiration

If you know where to look, the ghosts of Odessa’s Jewish past are everywhere, haunting and playful: in the pizza restaurant blaring “Hava Nagila” across from the Potemkin Steps in the forshmak (chopped herring), tzimmes and gefilte fish served in the city’s oldest eating establishments; in the Jewish jokes and Yiddish words that pepper local patois; to the sign above an overgrown courtyard that reads “The State of Israel was born here.”

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Israeli runner wins European Athletics Championships gold

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 7:29am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c

Lonah Korlima Chemtai Salpeter came in first in the women’s 10,000-meter run on August 8 in Berlin.

Last week, Lonah Korlima Chemtai Salpeter made history by becoming the first Israeli to win a gold medal in the European Athletics Championships. Her turn on the podium came as a result of winning the women’s 10,000-meter run, which took place in Berlin on August 8.

She finished the race in 31:43:29, nine second ahead of second-place winner Susan Krumins of The Netherlands.

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weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 08/13/2018 - 12:00am

DEUTERONOMY 16:18–21:9 


The King’s Torah and the Torah’s King

This week’s Torah portion focuses on a wide array of topics, but underlying virtually everything we can see a thematic coherence well reflected in the parashah’s name (“judges”). The sidrah contains one of the most famous lines in the entire Bible, tzedek, tzedek tirdof: “Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deut. 16:20). And throughout the parashah we see the Torah outlining various aspects of the pursuit of justice.


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