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Shabbat Hazon - Devarim

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am

Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22 


Rabbi Lewis Warshauer teaches topics in Judaism to adult study groups in a variety of venues. Among his interests are family dynamics in the Bible and art as interpretation of Jewish texts. He was ordained at JTS.


Attributes of a Leader


Moses shares his views on leadership.


Much of the Book of Deuteronomy is taken up with Moses‘ farewell address to the Israelite nation. He has served his people as their leader in every sphere: military, administrative, judicial and spiritual. Now, he reviews the events of the 40 wilderness years, and presents, from his own perspective, a report of how he has led the nation.

Moses does not offer a dispassionate review of the past; to the contrary, he rebukes the nation for its failings.

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Would A Trip To Germany Be Off Sides?

young-adults - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
by: Benjamin Marks for Fresh Ink for Teens


The unusual circumstances that brought me and my dad to a Berlin soccer stadium.


Traveling from New York to Berlin for a three-day visit was certainly an out-of-the-ordinary weekend for me. But, then again, it was unusual circumstances that brought my dad and me across the ocean to celebrate the 115th anniversary of Tennis Borussia Berlin (“TeBe” as it is called by fans), the storied sports club and football team that my great-great-grandfather founded in 1902. 

About three years ago, my dad came across several stories about Alfred Lesser, my great-great-grandfather, all of which were posted on the TeBe website. Prior to his Internet search, the only thing my dad knew about Alfred was that he was a successful businessman in Berlin, before Hitler came to power.

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New Dating Site ‘Saw You At Stonewall’ Caters To LGBTQ Jews

LGBTQ - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
BY SHIRA HANAU for The Times of Israel


First-of-its-kind niche dating website focuses on the underserved Jewish LGBTQ dating scene; sliding scales place users on the Queer spectrum.



Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a queer match.


Though finding a Jewish partner is hard as it is, the challenge is intensified if you’re queer and Jewish. That’s why software engineer Joanna Halpern set out to create Saw You At Stonewall, a new matchmaking site for queer Jews.


“There’s tons of dating sites but there’s nothing specific to being Jewish and queer,” said Joanna Halpern, an undergraduate student at McGill University who identifies as a Jewish lesbian. “That’s what’s beautiful about this website. Unlike other dating apps, it has all the perfect questions for being Jewish and all the specific questions for being queer that other websites would be lacking.”


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Egypt reportedly spending $22 million to restore historic synagogue in Alexandria

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
From JTA.ORG


The Egyptian government reportedly has approved a $22 million plan to restore a 160-year-old synagogue in Alexandria.

The Ministry of Antiquities’ Project Sector on Wednesdsay approved the funds for restoring and developing the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, according to the head of the Islamic and Coptic Monuments Department, al-Saeed Helmy Ezzat, The Egypt Independent reported from a translation of the Arabic-language daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The synagogue was forced to close several months ago after part of its ceiling fell down, The Independent reported.

Ezzat said the government will pay for the restoration even though Egyptian law requires the community to cover such work.

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue can seat over 700 people and is considered to be one of the largest synagogues in the Middle East. It is the last active synagogue in Alexandria, which once was home to 50,000 Jews. Estimates today put the number of Jews living in all of Egypt at fewer than 50.

 

Mazal Tov to the First Female Dr. Who! Your Next Mission: Save British Jews

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine  


The iconic TV show was created by a Jew in part as a meditation on the sort of anti-Semitism that now sweeps Britain


Like nerds the world over, I was delighted to learn this weekend that the role of Doctor Who will soon be played, for the first time in the show’s history, by a woman. In case you’ve somehow missed the iconic show’s 36 seasons, you should know that this is a very big deal: the Doctor is a Time Lord, a merciful being who hops across space and time and keeps the universe safe from no-goodniks, occasionally slipping into a new body and a new personality whenever a new actor is ready for the challenge. Twelve have assumed the role so far; all have been men. And now comes, Jodie Whittaker, a fine British actress.

“I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey,” Whittaker said in a statement. “It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be, while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for: hope. I can’t wait.”

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S’mores Rugelach

jewish-food - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
By BRITTANY FISHMAN PAIS for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 


The One Rugelach Recipe You Need This Summer


I am always ready to bake up treats for an outdoor picnic celebration. And Lag B’omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, is a time to celebrate friends, families and the change in seasons. It is traditional to have a bonfire on this joyous day, and so what better to have at around the campfire than s’mores rugelach.

Of course these sweet, gooey rugelach are perfect for any outdoor celebration or summertime gathering, campfire or not. But I must warn you: they are so addictive you may have a hard time sharing.

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Make This a Summer of Jewish learning!

children-and-families - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
From bimbam


Watch Something Jewish


This summer, between all of the camps and trips, make sure that you take a little time to engage Jewishly with your children.  


No matter what their age, BimBam has engaging, high quality, educational content that will meet them where they are, and hopefully spark an interest in Judaism. Your child can learn about:

  • Jewish values and how to practically apply them in our Shaboom! series.
  • Holidays, rituals, and traditions in our Judaism 101 series.
  • The weekly Torah portion and other Jewish texts.

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Quiz: Which Summer Book Should You Read Next?

jewish-books - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
Created by Katie Brown for Jewish Book Council


Which Summer Book Are You?


Answer these questions to find out which JBC summer book you should read next!
 

Small Israeli family firm hits the Target (and Amazon)

israeil-news - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c


It takes chutzpah to compete with housewares giants like Rubbermaid, but Bram Industries leverages Israeli innovation to get prime shelf space.


Whoever said little guys can’t win clearly does not know about Israel’s Bram Industries.

One of #1 global retailer Walmart’s smallest suppliers, the 200-employee company based in the working-class southern city of Sderot also peddles its Life Story brand plastic tableware, housewares and storage products in American and European mega chains such as Target, TJ Maxx, Amazon, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tesco, HomeGoods, Home Depot, The Container Store, GiFi and Carrefour, plus stores in Panama and Mexico.

Bram was on Fast Company’s list of 10 most innovative Israeli companies for 2016 for “bringing sustainability to the plastics market – including a fully biodegradable shopping bag” and disposable cutlery made from cornstarch.

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How My Hindu Husband Became the Favorite Jewish Grandchild

interfaith - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
BY JESSICA MELWANI for Kveller


I’d been dating the man who’d eventually become my husband for about a year when my grandmother sat me down for a heart-to-heart.

“I saw Aishwarya Rai on Oprah last week. You know, the Dollywood [she meant Bollywood] actress? Stunning girl!” Then came the truth bomb: “She told Oprah that your boyfriend already has a bride arranged for him back in India. At some point, he’s going to leave you high-and-dry, marry the girl his parents chose, and move back into their house.”

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Tisha B’Av 2017

celebrating-judaism - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
BY MJL STAFF


Tisha B'Av (the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av) begins at sunset on Monday, July 31, and continues until the evening of August 1.


What is Tisha B’Av?
Tisha B’Av is the major day of communal mourning. First and foremost Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem (586 B.C.E, and 70 C.E respectively), but many other travesties have occured on the same date.

How is Tisha B’Av observed?
On Tisha B’Av Eicha (the book of Lamentations) is read with a unique nusah, a special melody.

As a sign of mourning it is customary to fast, refrain from bathing, wearing leather shoes, and having sexual relations.

To read more about Tisha B’Av rituals and practices click here.
 

Discovering the growing magic of biochar

green-living - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
By Lin Arison & Diana C. Stoll/The Desert and the Cities Sing for Israel21c    


New research by an Israeli scientist shows that biochar-stimulated improvements in plant growth are linked to increased microbial diversity in the root zone.


When scientists and laypeople alike learn about biochar for the first time, they usually are intrigued by the seeming “magic powers” of this black powder. People with gardens and farms want to know how to use it, and scientists want to understand whether the stories they hear about it can possibly be true, and if yes, how does it work?

Biochar is the solid product of treating organic matter wastes by pyrolysis, which is the technical word for burning organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Generally, we are familiar with combustion, that is, burning that takes place in the presence of oxygen.    

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How Modern Hebrew Developed a Full-Blown Slang in Just a Hundred Years

featured-articles - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:00am
Philologos for Tablet Magazine  


In part, it borrowed extensively from the slangs and vernaculars of other languages. Consider the case of de la shmatte.


Adin Eichler writes:

My grandmother had a word takhlis. [Mr. Eichler spells the word in Hebrew/Yiddish characters as טאכלעס.] She’d use it in sentences like, “It’s time for takhlis,” which meant she was about to sit us down and give us a good talking-to. I never understood precisely what that meant. Do you happen to know?

Takhlis is Yiddish for practical matters or for the practical side of something, as in a sentence like lomir redn takhlis, “Let’s talk takhlis,” that is, “Let’s get down to business” or “Let’s get down to brass tacks.” Although, with the stress on its first syllable, it’s pronounced as Adin Eichler wrote it, following the rules of Yiddish spelling, you won’t find it spelled that way in a Yiddish dictionary. This is because it comes from the Hebrew word takhlit, spelled תכלית, with the stress on the last syllable. The rule in Yiddish is that all Hebrew-derived words retain their Hebrew spellings even if that is not how their sounds would ordinarily be represented in Yiddish. And yet in writing takhlis in Hebrew today, it is often Yiddishized as תכלעס (sometimes elided into תכל’ס).

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Matot-Masei

weekly-torah-portion - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am

Numbers 30:2 - 36:13 


BY RABBI DOROTHY A. RICHMAN, Rabbi Martin Ballonoff Memorial Rabbi-in-Residence at Berkeley Hillel, for myjewishlearning.com


Creating Sustainable Freedom

 

All people must know that they have value.


Parashat Masei, the portion of journeys, begins with a recounting of the Israelites’ travels from slavery in Egypt to the borders of Israel. Yet within this re-telling of the Israelites’ trek comes a different journey: the path of a man-slayer into exile.

Powerful Priest and Accidental Killer
An entire chapter of the portion addresses the process by which an unintentional murderer is sent out of the community for his own protection. A person convicted of accidentally taking a life is sent to one of six cities of refuge. He lives there, guarded from his victim’s avenging relatives, until the natural death of the high priest (Numbers 35). If an exiled murderer wants to return home, his only recourse is to pray for the High Priest’s death.

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Millennial ‘Gatherings’ Bridge Cultural Gaps

young-adults - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am
BY AMY SARA CLARK for The Jewish Week


Shabbat pilot program’s DIY vibe speaks to generation’s instincts.


When Ronit Levin Delgado signed up to host a Shabbat dinner that would bring together a cross-cultural group of millennials, she planned to keep it small. Living in a one-bedroom Prospect Lefferts Gardens apartment that realtors would call “cozy,” she figured she could accommodate at most 10 people.

But, being a typical Israeli, when people began asking if they could bring a friend — or two — she couldn’t say no. When the guest list hit 15, the multimedia artist got creative, giving the dinner a picnic theme, and painting several large forest-scapes to set the scene.

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North Carolina Pride organizers promise ‘solution’ so Jews can attend parade set for Yom Kippur

LGBTQ - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am
From JTA


Organizers of North Carolina’s gay pride parade and festival said they would find a solution following complaints from the Jewish community about the event being scheduled for Yom Kippur.

“We’re going to solve that no matter what it takes,” organizer John Short told The Herald-Sun on Thursday. “Exactly how we’ll solve that we don’t know.”

Short said the Durham Pride parade’s volunteer organizing committee had Jewish members but it still had not realized the scheduling conflict. He added that “all the Jewish community will be able to attend” the event.

“We’ll develop a solution that will be able to be carried over in the future,” Short said.

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Here’s why some of America’s top cheese brands are now going kosher

news-in-the-jewish-world - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am

This story is sponsored by the Orthodox Union.


By Ben Hartman for JTA


It’s early morning in the Sardinian countryside and a farmer is milking his sheep while an Orthodox Jewish kosher supervisor looks on.

The supervisor, known as a mashgiach, is sleeping in the farmer’s barn, and he’ll be there all week.

Welcome to the world of kosher cheesemaking.

The weeklong kosher cheese run in Sardinia is just one of a number of methods that artisanal kosher cheesemaker Brent Delman, owner and founder of The Cheese Guy, uses to manufacture products for kosher consumers who have developed a taste for fine Italian cheeses.

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Was Leonard Cohen A Zionist?

jewish-arts-and-media - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am
Matthew Gindin for The Forward

 

The short answer is no. He was a mensch, not to say the two things are mutually exclusive.

The long answer follows.

On May 21st, a celebratory concert in Israel for Yom Yerushalayim featured an English-Hebrew rendition of “Hallelujah,” by far Leonard Cohen’s most misused song (if you don’t count the millions of questionable hook-ups spurred by some dude with a guitar singing “Suzanne”).

Some were not happy with this. Mondoweiss said the song was being used as “an anthem of Jewish exclusivists.” The article claimed (probably wrongly) that Cohen would have approved, mostly on the basis of Cohen’s 1973 visit to Israel during the Yom Kippur war, where he toured Israel with the troops cheering them with his presence and his music.

 

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Pastries, Filled With History

jewish-food - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am
By Leah Koenig for Tablet Magazine 


In Seattle’s Sephardic synagogues, women have come together to bake for more than a century. Will a younger generation continue the tradition?


On a recent Monday morning at Congregation Ezra Bessaroth, one of two Sephardic synagogues in Seattle, Rachel Almeleh was up to her elbows in dough. As a volunteer with the synagogue’s ladies auxiliary group she, along with a dozen or so others, had come to bake, as she does almost every week.

With her easy laugh bubbling over the din, Almeleh sat at a folding table covered with parchment-lined baking trays and bowls of mashed potato, spinach, and cheese. She kibbitzed (or more accurately, “echar lashon,” which means chit-chat in Ladino) with the other women, and the occasional man, while rolling, stuffing, and crimping dough into the savory pastries that are central to Sephardic cuisine. “People are always laughing and joking while we bake,” Almeleh said. “There’s a great camaraderie.”

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How an Anxious Jewish Mother Became a Free-Range Parent

children-and-families - Mon, 07/17/2017 - 12:00am
BY CARLA NAUMBURG for Kveller


I am not built to be a free-range mother. I am anxious and over-protective by nature, and my years of experience as a social worker have only increased my awareness of everything that could happen to my daughters, from sexual abuse to traumatic brain injuries. If I had my way, my girls wouldn’t leave the house without a GPS tracking device, a helmet, a cellphone, and a Taser Jr.

And so I was as surprised as anyone when I realized I had started free-range parenting my daughters, ages 7 and 8.5. The girls will spend weekend afternoons running to the neighbors’ house, and then sometimes the other neighbors’ house, and eventually either my husband or I end up texting the other parents on the block in order to figure out where they are.

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