Benjamin Perlstein The Times of Israel Blogs
The Virtue of Self-Creation
In Parshat Noach we saw how morality and creativity in the Torah begin to be fused through the concept of covenant. In Parshat Lech Lecha we see how the practice of covenant between God and humanity matures into a new tradition of countercultural monotheism. As the Torah proceeds from covenant to covenant, we begin to see in finer focus that the importance of moral relationships entails a rich sense of the complementary creative seriousness of individuality.
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Attitudes have shifted dramatically in recent decades, with sharp differences between the Orthodox and liberal movements.
As social attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have undergone a sea change in North America, Western Europe and Israel, official Jewish views, among the liberal denominations at least, have changed along with them.
By Cnaan Liphshiz
(JTA) — The City of Malmo in Sweden is working with the local Jewish community to resume the sale of kosher meat there following its suspension for technical and food safety reasons, municipal officials said.
The suspension was ordered Sept. 20 during a municipal inspection at the ICA Kvantum Malmborgs Limhamn shop, which had sold frozen kosher meat per an agreement with the leaders of Malmo’s Jewish community of several hundred people.
By Seth Rogovoy for The Forward
Like the cicadas that spend most of their lives underground, emerging only every 13 or 17 years (and how they decide is for you to know and me to find out), the movie musical “A Star Is Born” gets remade every few decades or so. The latest incarnation, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, is scheduled to open on October 5, having premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August and at festivals in Toronto and San Sebastian in September.
By Flora Tsapovsky for Tablet Magazine
Once a staple of street kiosks in Tel Aviv, the sparkling, fruity soft drink is gaining new popularity in Israel and around the world
This past summer, Prince William made a historic visit to Israel. The programming included many highlights, but none as social media-forward as a Tel Avivian encounter with the 2018 Eurovision winner, Netta Barzilai. The two met at a kiosk on the corners of Herzl and Rothschild streets, where, according to historic data, Israel’s very first kiosk was established in 1911, and were documented drinking colorful mason jars of gazoz, described on the Kensington Palace official Instagram account as “a fizzy soft drink.”
Imbuing a ritual with meaning distinguishes it from routine or habit.
Cindy Kaplan of Newton is raising a daughter with significant special needs. Now 16 years old, Mira has become a driving force behind her family’s Shabbat observance. It’s a celebration infused with ritual that Mira has embraced through her participation at Boston-based Gateways: Access to Jewish Education. As a student in the organization’s Sunday school over the past 10 years, Mira has become a bat mitzvah and thriving member of the Jewish community. Like Mira, all of Gateways’ students are nurtured to become full-fledged participants in Judaism.
By Tom Seigel for Jewish Book Council
It was 2003, and Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, had died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. I was struck, as I’m sure many were, by the fact that both Ramon and Judith Resnik, the first Jewish American in space, suffered the same terrible fate in two separate shuttle accidents. It felt like more than just a sad coincidence or very bad luck. It felt like an atavistic curse: “Let there be no escape.” In one of those ineffable moments of unconscious thought we might call inspiration, I remembered the MS St. Louis, the German ocean liner that, in 1939, carried Jewish refugees from port to port in desperate search of safe harbor from the growing menace in Europe. Instead of finding the welcoming light of the Statue of Liberty, they found the golden door slammed shut by the dark and bigoted immigration policies of the era.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Israel started the first day of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires with a gold medal in swimming.
Anastasia Gorbenko, 15, won the women’s 200m individual medley on Sunday while setting an Israeli record of 2:12.88.
By Unorthodox for Tablet Magazine
Unorthodox, the world’s leading Jewish podcast, takes questions from its listeners about all aspects of Jewish life, from the religiously profound to the utterly inconsequential. Every week, we discuss one of these questions in “Ask Unorthodox.” If you have a question, please send it to [email protected].
“How and when,” podcast listener Robin asks our Facebook group, “do you tell your family that you’re dating a goychik? Especially when they won’t see it coming.”
BY: CHRIS HARRISON for ReformJudaism.org
Although we associate prayer with liturgy that our rabbis and sages developed over the centuries, the act of unscripted prayer is equally important and authentic to the Jewish experience.
Hitbodedut (self-isolation), a style of prayer first popularized by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, is the act of open, spontaneous, and direct communication with God, and is accessible to all, regardless of how deeply one is engaged in Judaism.
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
PlantArcBio aims to make the world’s critical crops able to thrive on less water by adding specific genes found in desert regions.
The biblical Joseph foresaw in a dream a seven-year drought and subsequently guided Egypt’s rulers to set aside enough stores of wheat to survive it. Today, climate change has ushered in a new era of drought – and this time there’s no end in sight. The drought of 2012, for example, covered nearly two-thirds of the continental United States and caused some $40 billion in agricultural damage.
By Keren David for The JC
The Jazz Singer, or Son of Saul? A new survey wants to know your favourite Jewish movie
Comedian Matt Lucas, film maker Gurinder Chadha and actress Maureen Lipman have cast their votes in a quest to find the world’s favourite Jewish film.
BY MELANIE LEVAV, JTS
Lessons of Survival
The rain fell on the land for forty days and forty nights. (Gen. 7:12)
One need not look hard these days to read of the devastation brought by floods. In recent weeks, powerful hurricanes have caused destruction beyond belief, completely flooding parts of Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and the entirety of Puerto Rico. Beyond the devastation of land and property, such storms leave a lasting impact on the people who survive the experience. How we respond to such disasters can make a difference in how we continue to live. Survivors of the Holocaust know this well. Introducing Viktor Frankl’s influential Man’s Search for Meaning, Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote, “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation” (2006 edition, x).
By Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt for The Forward
On Thursday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, tried to rape her in 1982. Her testimony, some of which has been public for weeks, sparked a vociferous debate about sexual assault.
By Marjorie Ingall for Tablet Magazine
Traditional rituals have become more inclusive and embracing
“For a long time before I transitioned, I had this dream of being in my body, as myself, in a beautiful clean and light and open space filled with water,” said Mel King, 29, a development manager and writer in Brooklyn. “The first time I went to the mikveh, I felt I’d walked into that dream. And I knew this was something I wanted to come back to.”
By TOI STAFF and AP; The Times of Israel
Arthur Ashkin revolutionized eye surgery with his invention of ‘optical tweezers’ that grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with laser beam fingers
Arthur Ashkin, the Jewish American who on Tuesday became the oldest Nobel Prize laureate in history, said that even at 96 years old, science is still what motivates him each day.
By Rokhl Kafrissen for Tablet Magazine
How Yiddish entered American pop culture, and how American pop culture penetrated the Yiddish vernacular
“On this show we talk about coffee, New York, daughters, dogs, you know, no big whoop, it’s just coffee talk.” If you were alive and owned a TV in the early 1990s you probably have some recollection of Linda Richman, the iconic Mike Myers Saturday Night Live character. She was a New York Jewess with an exquisite collection of “low back chain shift” vowels and an immovable pouf of black curls.
Jamie Geller, The Joy of Kosher
The holiday roast can provoke anxiety in even the most experienced cook, but this roast guide will help you put a fabulous feast on the table without too much drama.
Here is the Ultimate Holiday Roast Guide!
By Mayim Bialik from GrokNation
From her outfit, to the service, to family issues, we have all the details on the festivities
I promised you a report on my FirstBorn son’s Bar Mitzvah which was last weekend, and I will not disappoint. Here it is!
As I wrote last week, my son entered the holy covenant of “adulthood” by becoming a Bar Mitzvah this past Shabbat. And indeed he did! He read the things you read, he chanted the things you chant, he spoke the things you speak, and he completed the ritual.