Staff of myjewishlearning.com
Jewish educator, songwriter and sacred drummer Shoshana Jedwab trains female spiritual leaders by harnessing the power of rhythm
Shoshana Jedwab is a Jewish educator, songwriter and sacred drummer. Raised in Brooklyn in a traditional Jewish family of rabbis and community leaders, Jedwab began to forge her own spiritual path in her 30s, embracing the rhythmic instinct she had felt since childhood and which she describes as “an act of nature that moves through me.”
Read more and watch the video on Shoshana and the Kohenet movement.
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
Researchers determine that pigeons raised in the south of Israel were prized for their droppings, not their meat.
Byzantine farmers in the Negev desert raised pigeons 1,500 years ago not for their meat but for their excrement.
By Hussein Shobokshi for the Saudi Gazette
THERE is a sensitive issue that does not get enough attention, and I know well in advance that this subject will evoke extreme emotional reactions. The subject, I dwell on here, is the rights of the Jews of the Middle East in their former countries. Irrespective of the immediate cynical responses, or not, the citizens should have their rights in their country first before we care for the others.
Academy for Jewish Religion
“G’d’s Nearness is a Promise”
By Rabbi Elisheva Beyer, RN, MS, JD, ’06
Bechukotai tells us of G-d’s promises for following His commandments and consequences for failing to do so. The parsha opens with, “Bechukotai tale’chu,” which translates as, “If you go in My chukim….” “Chukim” (plural) or “chok” (singular) has several meanings.
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine
‘It is not the college’s practice to follow the personal social media accounts of its faculty or staff members’
Jews behave like Nazis, Zionism is genocide, and the Bible commands the Chosen People to wipe out every living thing.
When the Hillel at Knox College, a prestigious and private liberal arts school in Illinois, discovered the above opinions promoted vigorously on Twitter by Kwame Zulu Shabazz, a visiting professor, they asked the administration to investigate. What followed was a lesson in just how unwelcoming American academia is to its Jewish students and faculty members these days.
by Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Jewish food (particularly Ashkenazi) really gets a bad rap as being overwhelmingly fat laden, obesity-inducing dishes lacking fresh fruit and vegetables.
Here are a few surprisingly healthy, traditional foods to enjoy with none of the (Jewish) guilt.
BY LAUREN EICHLER BERKUN for JTS
As we stand in the midst of Sefirat Ha-Omer, the period of counting 49 days from Pesach to Shavuot, we read the very parashah which contains the instructions for this count. Parashat Emor teaches:
"From the day on which you bring the sheaf of elevation offering–the day after the sabbath–you shall count off seven weeks. They must be complete: you must count until the day after the seventh week–fifty days; then you shall bring an offering of new grain to the Lord" (Lev. 23:15).
This selection from parashat Emor is traditionally recited each night of the Omer before the ritual counting. However, while the biblical text is explicit about our need to count, the reason for counting is a mystery. The rabbis of the Talmud understood this period as a countdown to Matan Torah, God's gift of the Torah at Mount Sinai.
Matt Leonard for Fresh Ink for Teens
Her love of the language planted the seeds of my Jewish roots.
“Zorg zich nit,” she said. “Don’t worry.”
It was in November 2016 that my grandmother started teaching me Yiddish. When she shared those wise words with me, an anxious mess of a teenage boy from San Antonio, I didn’t realize it, but my grandmother had sparked a curiosity and passion in my own culture that I had never felt before — I began the Jewish journey that she embarked on years ago.
by Ben Welch for TheJC.com
The increase has been attributed to the influx of young Jewish professionals working with high-tech U.S. multinational companies
After long-term decline, the Jewish community in Ireland has grown by almost 30 per cent in five years.
According to the 2016 Irish census, 2,557 Jews now live in Ireland, with more than half in Dublin.
By Gabriela Geselowitz for Jewcy
The star of ‘The Band’s Visit’ accompanies herself on violin for “If I Were a Rich Man.”
Ugh, what can’t Katrina Lenk do?
Over the last year, Lenk has appeared on Broadway in Indecent, had a small role on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and currently stars in The Band’s Visit (she’s definitely a contender for a Tony nomination). That’s a lot of Jewish art for someone who isn’t actually Jewish, but Lenk wasn’t content to stop there. At MCC’s annual Miscast Gala (actors perform gender-swapped numbers), she took on that granddaddy of all Jewish American culture— Fiddler on the Roof.
by Shannon Sarna for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Get ready to fall in love with this Iraqi comfort food.
A new restaurant in NYC is reviving a beloved Middle Eastern dish called kubbeh, which hails originally from Iraq, Syria and Kurdistan. Kubbeh are hand-rolled dumplings stuffed with meat or vegetables and encased by semolina or bulgur.
Kids learn all about bikur cholim or visiting the sick.
Bikur Cholim means to visit the sick, and help them to feel better. Watch Gabi and Rafi explain bikur cholim in this episode of Shaboom!
In this second episode, kids learn all about bikur cholim, visiting the sick. Nobody likes being sick and being stuck in bed. Having visitors that help make you feel better can be one of the best medicines. So, while it can be hard to see someone you love feel bad, it is important to visit so they don’t feel alone. Watch this episode in which the Plony family visits their sick grandpa and makes his day.
By Alexander Aciman for Tablet Magazine
Bookworm: Gangsters, kidnappers, a pencil-maker, a Shakespearean actor, a toothpaste magnate, and other 20th-century ghosts in Daniel Wakin’s surprising new account of a section of Riverside Drive
I’d never noticed them. Not in the years I spent visiting friends on 106th Street and Riverside Drive, not on walks with my dad in the 1990s down that same block, not on long meandering runs in the fall. I’ve lived on the Upper West Side almost my entire life. You’d have to be an idiot not to know that the stretch of rowhouses on Riverside is special. But it took Daniel Wakin’s book, The Man with the Sawed-Off Leg and Other Tales of a New York City Block to show me just how special this particular block is.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Tested so far on mice, Dr. Eitan Okun’s vaccine targets amyloid beta protein, which clusters in the brains of people affected by the deadly disease.
Alzheimer’s disease, affecting some 47 million people worldwide, for now remains an irreversible and fatal brain disorder. Taking a proactive approach, an Israeli brain researcher is developing a vaccine against this devastating disease.
By Mara Vigevani for Breaking Israel News
As he walks in downtown Tel Aviv near the trendy Sarona market, Stephane Legar is stopped time after time by adoring teens asking him to pose for a selfie. A model, singer and dancer, Legar is Israel’s latest social media sensation: His first video, “The Step Fun Challenge,” released two years ago received 22 million hits and his Youtube channel has 71 thousand subscribers.
Lag B'Omer is celebrated this year on May 3
Lag B'Omer literally means the 33rd day of the Omer. The Omer is counted for 49 days between the end of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot (derived from the practice of counting the days from the barley offering at the Temple to the day of the wheat offering on Shavuot, in the Torah). The holiday celebrates a break in a plague that is said to have occurred during the days of Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud states that the great teacher of Jewish mysticism Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died on Lag B’Omer, and in modern times the holiday has come to symbolize the resilience of the Jewish spirit.
Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Water announced Monday that two new desalination plants will be built to offset the deficits of an extended five-year drought that has left Israel’s sensitive water sources at their lowest levels in nearly 100 years.
Lyndsey Kilifin for The Culture Trip
Fleeing persecution in Catholic Europe, 16th- and 17th- century Jews fled first to South America with European explorers and then to the Caribbean. We give you the low-down on the history of these intriguing people.
Jamaica’s Jewish Pirates
Having played a key role in establishing numerous successful trading posts in the new colonies of the Caribbean, Jewish privateers found common cause with the British. In 1655, Britain’s Royal Navy captured Jamaica from the Spanish and subsequently turned Port Royal into a naval base. Jewish buccaneers were among the fleet of officially sponsored pirates assembled by the British in Jamaica to take the fight to the Spanish. Leading some of the most successful raids against the Spanish, Jamaica’s Jewish pirates fought their way into the history books.
BY STEPHEN A. GELLER, from JTS
Separation and Union: The Poles of Holiness
These combined parashiyot are complex in their structure and content, yet a careful examination of these chapters reveals a striking and powerful theological insight. In terms of Bible scholarship, they extend across a major divide in the priestly literature: Leviticus 16 describes the detailed rites of yearly atonement that eliminated the taint of sinfulness from the priesthood, shrine, and people. In essence, it is a kind of re-creation of the initial state of purity of the Tabernacle on the day it was dedicated, as described in Leviticus 9-10. The link between atonement and dedication is made subtly, by the reference at the beginning of Leviticus 16 to the tragic deaths of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, at the dedication of the Tabernacle, as recounted in Leviticus 10. The first part of the parashah therefore should be read as a continuation of the first half of Leviticus, chapters 1-15, which describe the establishment of sacrifice and cult. The dominant themes are purity and forgiveness, which are given as the purpose of all the types of sacrifice.