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Tazria - Metzora

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am

Leviticus 12:1-15:33 

BY RACHEL AIN for JTS


Abracadabra!


Abracadabra! These words, recited by magicians all over the world, when broken down into smaller words introduce us to the truest mystery-the creation of the world. A'bara K'adabra - I will create as I have spoken. Just as magicians claim to have the power to change the reality that is in front of them with words, so too, when God created the world it was done not with hands, not with tools, but with speech. In Genesis 1:3 the first thing that God does is to speak. This verse reads, "And God said: 'Let there be light'; And there was light." What is it about the power of the spoken word that causes it to transform worlds?

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Israeli 9th-graders learn life lessons from disabled peers

young-adults - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c


Tikkun Olam exposes high school freshmen to kids with disabilities, instilling feelings of empathy, acceptance and inclusion.


Nearly 400 ninth-graders from the Interdisciplinary High School in Hadera accompanied students from the nearby Neve Etgar School for Children with Special Needs on a Tu B’Shvat tree-planting activity earlier this year. The Hadera students decided to organize a music and crafts activity for the special-needs kids a week later.

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IDF won't ask new recruits for their opinion on LGBTs

LGBTQ - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Uzi Baruch, Arutz Sheva


IDF receives order not to ask new recruits for their opinions on LGBTs, whether women should serve in combat roles.


Israelis arriving for a personal interview at the IDF's draft office may not be asked for their opinions on female combat soldiers or the LGBT movement, IDF Ombudsman Major-General Yizhak Barik (Res.) told the IDF's Meitav Unit (Reception and Sorting Base).

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Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
From shiva.com


Following World War II and the establishment of the state of Israel, four new holidays, referred to as ‘modern’ Jewish holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar. Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day), Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day) and Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) are observed as national holidays in Israel, and recognized around the world by Jewish communities.

Yom HaShoah, also known as Yom Hashoah VeHagevurah, literally means the “day of remembrance of the Catastrophe and the Heroism.” It is commemorated on the 27th day in the month of Nisan. The observance is held one week after the seventh day of Passover. It also falls one week before Yom Hazikaron, the memorial day for Israel’s fallen soldiers.

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Who's Afraid of the Museum of the Bible?

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Diana Muir Appelbaum for Mosaic


Critics accuse it of threatening the separation of church and state; in truth, Washington’s new museum makes an invaluable contribution to American (and Jewish) cultural literacy.


The loud noise that you can hear from the National Mall in Washington is the sound of brickbats pelting the glass roof of the city’s new Museum of the Bible (MOTB). The museum houses an enormous display of the history and archaeology of the Bible. Its collections are spectacular. Entrance is free. Christian philanthropists paid for it. Evidently, it is for some or all of these reasons that so many of the nation’s critics are outraged.

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Classic Hummus

jewish-food - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
From ToriAvey.com


Hummus was one of the very first recipes I ever blogged about, and it continues to be a favorite recipe on my site. Making your own hummus is easy and affordable, and the resulting flavor is far superior to those tubs of store-bought dip. When you peel the chickpeas before blending, a light, silky texture emerges that is simply irresistible.
See the full post:https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/classic-hummus/#LkYmPCD0Is3Lep0H.99

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An Encyclopaedia of Mythical Creatures in Judaism

children-and-families - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
From bimbam


This animated short film was produced at Camp Ramah in New England by our 2014 Animation Kishroniyah participants in Magshimim & Bogrim. This program was the result of campers working with a visiting animation specialist.

 

Watch video. 

A Slap in the Face

jewish-books - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By David Mikics for Tablet Magazine


Beate and Serge Klarsfeld’s moving memoirs trace the evolution of a new idea: that Germans were responsible for the Nazi past. Can today’s Europe learn from their moral courage?


Beate Klarsfeld had been saying for weeks that she would slap the chancellor. Twenty-five years earlier Kurt Georg Kiesinger had been Hitler’s assistant director of foreign propaganda in France. Now he was Germany’s head of state, and this ought to be a scandal, Klarsfeld thought. On Nov. 7, 1968, the 29-year-old Klarsfeld rushed across the stage during a meeting of Kiesinger’s Christian Democratic party and struck the surprised chancellor across the face. “Ohrfeige für den Kanzler!” (“A slap for the chancellor!”) the newspapers excitedly proclaimed.

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The Woman Who Fought an Empire

jewish-books - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
From NebraskaPress

Sarah Aaronsohn and Her Nili Spy Ring by Gregory J Wallace


About the Book

Though she lived only to twenty-seven, Sarah Aaronsohn led a remarkable life. The Woman Who Fought an Empire tells the improbable but true odyssey of a bold young woman—the daughter of Romanian-born Jewish settlers in Palestine—who became the daring leader of a Middle East spy ring. 

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A Timeline of 70 Years of Israeli Achievement

israeil-news - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am

By ISRAEL21c Staff

Just in time for Yom Ha'Atzmaut, Israel Independence Day, April 20/5 Iyar

 


Join us on a journey through the last 70 years to discover how Israel has become one of the most creative and innovative countries in the world. Our fascinating timeline of accomplishment is the first part in a special multimedia package we've created to celebrate Israel's 70th anniversary.


View this pictorial and video history from Israel21c.

THE CHALLENGE OF PLANNING AN INTERFAITH WEDDING

interfaith - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Stephie Grob Plante for Tablet Magazine


A ceremony that honored both Judaism and Catholicism without offending our parents proved elusive—until an uncle saved the day


When I got engaged four years ago, some of my relatives asked if my fiancé Chris was planning to convert. The answer was no: I was Jewish, he was Catholic, and none of that would change once we were married. Being an interfaith couple wasn’t something we worried about much. Our thinking, we recognize now, was matter of fact and fairly superficial. At 24 and 25 years old, we’d been together for five years already and lived together since senior year of college. Religion never posed an issue before—why should it now?

We were young. We had much to learn.

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The Jews of Medieval England

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
From BBC History Magazine


Jewish people first began arriving in England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 and their histories can be traced in the country’s major cities today. Through the story of a bronze cauldron known as the Bodleian Bowl, historian Rebecca Abrams explores the experiences of Jews in medieval England, from prosperity to persecution…

Jewish communities spread rapidly throughout the Mediterranean world from the first century AD, but it was not until the 11th century that Jewish people in any significant number began to cross the Channel and settle in England. This magnificent bronze cauldron, from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (pictured), is intimately bound up with the story of how the Jews first came to England in 1070, and what happened to them during the next 200 years before they were abruptly expelled from the country in 1290.

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Israeli summer will be two months longer by 2100

green-living - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By ISRAEL21c Staff


A new study predicts an extended hot season in the eastern Mediterranean that will impact regional ecosystems and human health.


Summer in the eastern Mediterranean is already a brutally hot dry period of four months, with steady temperatures in the high 80s and 90s. Now, a new study says that by 2100, climate changes caused by global warming will extend the region’s summer season by two full months.


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Distorted Memories of the Past: Israeli Discovers Who Really Saved Him From the Nazis

featured-articles - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:00am
By Ofer Aderet for Haaretz


On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Levie Kanes received an email: 'Are you the baby who was taken off a train in mid-journey that departed The Hague on April 23, 1943?'


A year ago, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Levie Kanes of Kfar Haroeh, north of Tel Aviv, received a surprising email with a question that took the 75-year-old lawyer back to his infancy: “Are you baby Jantje de Ridder, who was taken off a train in mid-journey that departed The Hague on April 23, 1943?”

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Shemini

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am


Leviticus 9:1 - 11:47


BY MATTHEW BERKOWITZ, DIRECTOR OF ISRAEL PROGRAMS for JTS
 
 

Silence and Loss
 

 

One of the most enigmatic and painful moments of all of Tanakh occurs in Parashat Shemini. Nadav and Avihu, Aaron’s sons, come before the altar and offer what Torah describes as an “alien fire.” Without any sense of deliberation or warning, a divine fire issues forth and consumes Aaron’s progeny. Clearly shocked by the mystery of their deaths, Leviticus tells us that “Aaron was silent” (Lev. 10:1–3). Though I have often pointed to Aaron and his response as a powerful example of mourning the inexplicable loss of loved ones, Nahmanides gives us pause to reconsider the peshat(Torah’s literal meaning) of this verse. I, and many others, have always understood Aaron’s reaction as a deep, impenetrable silence reflecting the most genuine and profound reaction to tragedy. Ramban is far more nuanced in his reading.


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Are You There, G-d? It’s Me, Tamar

young-adults - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am
by: Tamar Cohen for Fresh Ink for Teens


Judy Blume’s books teach us real-lessons about growing up.


Bildungsroman: the German word for a coming-of-age novel. A prime example of this? Judy Blume's “Are You There, G-d? It's Me, Margaret.” Beloved by angsty teens and middle-aged women’s book clubs alike, Judy Blume seems to have completely mastered the art of coming-of-age in fiction.


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Growing Up Gay in Christian Russia

LGBTQ - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am
By Emma Davis for Jewcy


And finding solace in Judaism.


I met Vladimir Mukhotaev, 28, at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, where he helps low-income New Yorkers access food stamps. After he provided translation for an article I was reporting, I asked him about his path from Russia to the United States. He explained that he had followed his husband to New York and had never planned to leave Russia. I was intrigued: how could he feel so warmly towards his homeland as a gay man? And what had led him to Jewish social work after he was raised Eastern Orthodox? Vladimir’s story is below in his own words.

I was born in Russia in 1989. My native city is Orenburg, which is very close to the Kazakhstan border, but I moved to Moscow when I was 10.

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Teaching Hebrew in Saudi Arabia

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am
By Elhanan Miller for Tablet Magazine 


Hebrew studies are now legitimate in the desert kingdom, but demand is low—so far


A strange post made the rounds on Saudi Arabian social media in recent weeks. It claimed that the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikvah,” included a line lauding Jews for coming to the Land of Israel to intimidate the Canaanites, Babylonians, and Egyptians and chop their heads off.

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Zach Braff’s new show; Camp Ramah on ‘Goldbergs’; Judd Apatow’s new Gary Shandling doc

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am
BY NATE BLOOM for Jweekly.com 


"Rise,” a musical drama based on the nonfiction book “Drama High” (2013) by Michael Sokolove, 61, premiered on NBC on March 13. Sokolove grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, a blue-collar community that has long been in an economic slump. Josh Radnor, 43, plays a character based on Lou Volpe, a Levittown high school teacher who ran an acclaimed theater program for 45 years. Radnor, the former star of “How I Met Your Mother,” is a practicing Jew and a practicing musician. He is currently playing in a band with Australian Jewish musician Ben Lee, 39, and the two released a CD late last year.

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And the No. 1 food trend for 2018 is ...

jewish-food - Mon, 04/09/2018 - 12:00am
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine


From sweet to savory, from halloumi to harissa, the flavors of Israel prevail as a top cuisine this year.


The newest food trend to watch for this year? It's Israeli cuisine. That's according to San Francisco-based consulting firm AF&Co.

This diverse, somewhat hard-to-define cuisine is rich in flavor and depth, marked by dishes like falafel, hummus, shakshuka, shawarma and more.

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