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Shabbat Shuva - Ha’azinu

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 9:15am

Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52 


Adam Rosenthal received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in May of 2007 and is now serving as rabbi of Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, California. 


Remember the Days of Old


The Torah describes an earlier time, when lands were distributed fairly by God.


Among the major contributors to suffering around the world is the inequitable distribution of land and resources. The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth. On a more concrete level, in El Salvador, where I volunteered for 10 days on the AJWS Rabbinical Students’ Delegation, though the land was nominally redistributed in 1992, it was done far from equitably: The poorest people got the lowlands, which are prone to flooding, while the wealthiest held the fertile country, perpetuating the country’s economic inequalities.

In Parashat Ha’Azinu, the Torah poetically describes an earlier time, when lands were apportioned by God to each nation:

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Shabbat Shuva - Ha’azinu

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 32:1-32:52 


Adam Rosenthal received rabbinic ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in May of 2007 and is now serving as rabbi of Peninsula Sinai Congregation in Foster City, California. 


Remember the Days of Old


The Torah describes an earlier time, when lands were distributed fairly by God.


Among the major contributors to suffering around the world is the inequitable distribution of land and resources. The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth. On a more concrete level, in El Salvador, where I volunteered for 10 days on the AJWS Rabbinical Students’ Delegation, though the land was nominally redistributed in 1992, it was done far from equitably: The poorest people got the lowlands, which are prone to flooding, while the wealthiest held the fertile country, perpetuating the country’s economic inequalities.

In Parashat Ha’Azinu, the Torah poetically describes an earlier time, when lands were apportioned by God to each nation:

Continue reading.

What Jewish College Students Really Care About

young-adults - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
BY SARA WEISSMAN for The Jewish Week


Lesson 1: Jewish students don’t exist in a vacuum — or in a separate realm on campus comprised solely of Hillel BBQs and BDS protests.


"What do Jewish millennials want to read?”

“What’s going on in the minds of future Jewry?” 

As the editor of New Voices, a national online magazine written by and for Jewish college students, I field these questions constantly — at conferences, Shabbat tables, blind dates and board meetings.

Thankfully, New Voices has always had a simple answer. And per Jewish tradition, our answer is actually another question: “What do Jewish millennials want to write?” 

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I’m a Queer Jew Living in Germany. I feel Safer Here Than in the US

LGBTQ - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
By Sara Shafer for HeyAlma

 

After I moved to Germany in March 2015, friends on both sides of the pond asked me if I was scared of my new home.

Scared? Why should I be scared? Oh, right. Because I’m Jewish and, as one of my former students put it, “pur-tay queer.” Yes, there are neo-Nazis in Germany, but they don’t have enough political power to be a problem, and they seem to do a good job of making themselves appear silly. I’m also a big girl. I stand 6’1’’ and am a heavily tattooed and pierced former competitive weightlifter. So, while being Jewish and a gender non-conformist would have been two strikes against me during the Holocaust, I don’t think I am going to be the first person the skinheads in Germany would mess with in 2017.

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15,000 people attended largest Israeli Cultural Festival in Europe

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am

eJewishPhilanthropy
 
 

The largest Israeli cultural event in Europe, TLVinLDN, attracted some 15,000 people to the five-day event to celebrate Israeli culture and diversity in London.


The festival, hosted Sept. 7 – 11, was organized under the direction of TLVinLDN Chairman Marc Worth, and realized with the support and partnership of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, as well as other sponsors and private donors.


Some of Israel’s top female singers, including Ethiopian-Israeli Ester Rada, performed for hundreds of locals during Sunday’s celebration, under the theme “Woman in Power,” at the historic Roundhouse Music Hall in London.
“We came from Tel Aviv to bring you love,” said Rada, as she opened the evening before a soul music performance from Maximilian Blumin.


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Why the Internet Is Bad for the Jews

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine 


And what to do about it


Earlier this week, I was walking to work when I heard the loud beat of a drum. I looked up and saw dozens of men and women dressed in white, moving about solemnly. They were holding dinner plates, and their movements corresponded with the kettledrum’s syncopated thuds. A man playing the flute circled them somberly, injecting the occasion with a sharp sense of sadness. You hardly needed to consult the leaflets being passed around to realize that the performance, by the Buglisi Dance Theatre, was a memorial to September 11 and that it sought to provoke a sense of peace and remembrance.

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Sweet Kugel Makes for a Sweet New Year

jewish-food - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am

 

This month we are featuring recipes from our High Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


By LAURA for Mother Would Know


Kugel is the kind of dish that lends itself to endless variations and numerous occasions. A pudding, savory or sweet, it is traditionally served on the Sabbath and for meals during the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur holidays.

But in my family, it’s also a favored dish for weekdays from early fall, right through to the beginning of summer. In fact, my kids used to eat sweet kugel at least once a week and more often if I didn’t groan when they requested it yet again.

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Make a Shofar to Celebrate the Jewish New Year

children-and-families - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
This article is featured in our High Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here

BY CINDY HOPPER for AlphaMom


Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Friday, September 18th and lasts through Sunday, September 20th.  During Rosh Hashanah a Shofar, traditionally made from a hollowed out rams horn, is blown to awake and inspire.  The Shofar is such an important part of this holiday that sometimes Rosh Hashanah is called Yom Teruah, which means “day of the Shofar blast” in Hebrew.

With a few supplies you can make your own Shofar horn. Gather 3 toilet paper rolls per horn, a party horn, masking tape, glue, paint brush, scissors and white and brown paint.

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Five Books That Counter the “Negative” Narrative of Jewish Literature

jewish-books - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
Devorah Baum for Jewish Book Council
 
 

Grace Paley – Collected Stories


Everyone should read Grace Paley. She deals with tough stuff with wit, vitality and grace and she tempers what many would consider tragic storylines with an insistence that where there is life there can always be ‘enormous changes at the last minute’. Unlike the dominant male voices in American Jewish letters, who’ve tended to resist the labeling of either themselves or their fictions as Jewish, Grace Paley showed no such commitment phobia: “I like being Jewish” she once – shockingly – said.


Hélène Cixous – Reveries of the Wild Woman, Primal Scenes


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Restaurants okayed to say food kosher without rabbinate’s approval

israeil-news - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
Times of Israel Staff



Landmark High Court ruling finds informing consumers about food's origins cannot be prohibited, denting monopoly by ultra-Orthodox-controlled state rabbinical body



The High Court of Justice on Tuesday ruled that Israeli restaurateurs are permitted to inform their clientele that they serve kosher food even if they do not have kashrut certification from the Israeli state rabbinate.
The Law Prohibiting Fraud in Kashrut states that “the owner of a food establishment may not present the establishment as kosher unless it was given a certificate of kashrut,” and that only official state or local rabbis may give such certificates.


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Rosh Hashanah Blessings

interfaith - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
This article has been reprinted with permission from InterfaithFamily 

For more great information, visit our High Holiday Guide. 


For those looking for a quick, easy reference to guide them through the home Rosh Hashanah ritual blessings, this resource is for you!

Our handy Rosh Hashanah Blessings, in an easy-to-print PDF format, includes the customary prayers said before the erev Rosh Hashanah (first evening of Rosh Hashanah) meal, all in Hebrew and transliteration, with traditional and alternative translations as well.

Not sure how to pronounce the Hebrew? Read along, in transliteration or in Hebrew, and listen to each blessing:

Continue to listen.

Rosh Hashanah FAQ: All About the Jewish New Year

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
BY MJL STAFF


What is Rosh Hashanah about exactly?


Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) is simultaneously a time of great celebration and subtle trepidation. It is a day to celebrate our creation, but also a day of accounting and judgment for our actions. On Rosh Hashanah, we relate to God as the Ultimate Judge. The Book of Life is opened before the Divine Being and we become advocates for our personal inscription into this book. We review the choices we have made over the past year, our actions and our intentions, as we attempt to honestly evaluate ourselves. You may want to consult this list of questions to help in your introspection.


What is a shofar?

 

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For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 

You've never seen fruit this color before

green-living - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine 


Pigments made from beets can enhance not only the color of your produce, but the nutritional value, too.


What can beets do for you? We already know they're packed with health benefits and make a great addition to lots of dishes, like salads, juices and hummus.

But did you know they can also make other foods healthier?

Researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Israel recently discovered that fruits and vegetables can be genetically engineered to produce betalains, the same pigments that give beets their vibrant red color. Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants can be altered to give off a whole variety of colors without changing the look of the plants they grow on.

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May You Be Inscribed for a Good Laugh

featured-articles - Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:00am
MEIR Y. SOLOVEICHIK for Commentary


Laughter,” writes the the essayist Jim Holt in his book Stop Me If You’ve Heard This, “is our characteristic response to the aesthetic category of the humorous, the comical, or the funny. What is it about the humorous situation that evokes this response? Why should a certain kind of cerebral activity issue in such a peculiar behavioral reflex?”

This is not only a question that is raised every time you watch the Marx Brothers; it is also, you will be surprised to hear, at the very heart of Judaism. Laughter is a central theme on one of Judaism’s most serious days, a fact that makes it clear that for Jews, laughter is no laughing matter.

On Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Awe that begins each new year, we read the passage in the Torah about the miraculous birth of a son to the elderly Sarah, then 90 years of age. This son’s Hebrew name, Yitzchak, means “he will laugh.” This, the Bible informs us, is linked to the laughter that his birth to Sarah provoked: “And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age . . . . And Abraham was a hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”

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Nitzavim-Vayeilech

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 29:9 - 31:30 

Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought and mysticism at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem.


The Song of Humanity


Song can remind us of our authentic selves and our genuine power.


We often read Parashat Vayelekh on Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Fittingly, this Torah portion deals with sin and repentance, with becoming lost on our way and returning to our true selves.

In the portion, God foretells Israel’s future sins and their consequences, how they will turn to other gods and then be overtaken by suffering, leading God to say, “anokhi haster astir panai–I will surely hide my face (Deut. 31:16-18).” The hidden face of God, the classic theological expression of the presence of suffering and evil in the world, here seems to be a response by God to the sins of Israel, a punishment for their misdeeds.

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Teaching Disability Inclusion One Shabbat at a Time

young-adults - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am
Lily Coltoff for newvoices.com


My initial reaction after the fact was relief.

After months of planning, weeks of searching for the perfect readings, and a few crazy days of racing around like a chicken with its head cut off, I had finally crafted my first Friday night Shabbat service. And thankfully, it was a success.

Earlier this year, as part of Jewish Disability Advocacy and Inclusion Month, I helped create American University Hillel’s first ever Disability Inclusion Shabbat. The service and dinner were designed to teach students about the meaning of accessibility, acceptance, and inclusion, and to talk about what we have accomplished as an institution and what we still need to do.

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10 Jewish LGBT Leaders You Need to Know

LGBTQ - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am
newvoices.com


As double minorities, LGBT Jews are small in number but have left a profound mark on the course of history.

It’s not surprising that Jews have played a monumental role in erasing bigotry in all shapes and forms. Inherent in Jewish identity is a drive for social justice, or tikkun olam, the belief in repairing the world. From the initial battle for decriminalization and workplace protections to the fight against AIDS and the pursuit for marriage equality, LGBT Jews have been at the forefront of the equality movement.

In honor of Pride Month, here are ten influential LGBT Jewish leaders you need to know:

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Chinese Self-Help Books Teach Readers How to Be More Like the Jews

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am
BY TAMAR FOX for Jewniverse


Head to the self-help or business section at a bookstore in China and you’re likely to see books with titles like Learn To Make Money With the Jews, and Jewish People and Business: The Bible of How to Live Their Lives. These cringy titles might suggest something weird, or even anti-Semitic, but they’re actually part of a booming philo-Semitic culture in China, where Jews are widely perceived as entrepreneurial and successful, exactly what so many Chinese people hope to become.

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Pomegranate and Honey Glazed Chicken

jewish-food - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am

 

This month we are featuring recipes from our High Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here. 


BY LIZ RUEVEN for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 

Pomegranates, or rimonim in Hebrew, are one of the most recognizable and highly symbolic fruits in Jewish culture.


Pomegranates, or rimonim in Hebrew, are one of the most recognizable and highly symbolic fruits in Jewish culture. Originating in Persia, these reddish, thick skinned fruit (technically a berry) begin to appear in markets at end of summer and are readily available for holiday cooking by Rosh Hashanah.

According to Gil Marks in The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, the abundance of seeds, nestled into a white membrane and encased in a protective and leathery skin, is associated with the 613 commandments in the Torah. They serve as symbols of righteousness and fruitfulness as expressed in the Rosh Hashanah expression, “May we be full of merits like the pomegranate (is full of seeds).”

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Apple Cloud Dough

children-and-families - Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:00am

This project is featured in our High Holiday Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here


From Growing A Jeweled Rose


Cloud dough is such a fun sensory material, and it is so incredibly easy to make.  It is safe for kids of all ages too, which is always a bonus.  Today, we made a new batch of cloud dough perfect for Fall. 

And for the High Holidays.

Apple Cloud Dough Recipe
7 cups of flour
1 cup of vegetable oil 
Apple Pie Spice and/or cinnamon

Method
Combine the ingredients in a sensory bin or container and mix well.  That's it!  Couldn't be easier, right? 

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