160 posts tagged with Judaism.
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The 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study

America’s Changing Religious Landscape: The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life has published the results of a new study of the religious affiliations of Americans, and finds a precipitous drop in the share of Christians since the last such study in 2007, along with a massive increase in the share of "nones" (which includes atheists, agnostics, and believers with no religious affiliation) and a small increase in the share of non-Christian faiths. Highlights below the fold. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on May 12, 2015 - 135 comments

Where Shmaltz and Soul Food Meet

Michael Twitty, Black Jewish Foodie, Talks 'Culinary Justice'.
posted by josher71 on Apr 17, 2015 - 20 comments

Aboard Flights, Conflicts Over Seat Assignments and Religion

“The ultra-Orthodox have increasingly seen gender separation as a kind of litmus test of Orthodoxy." A growing number of airline passengers, particularly on trips between the United States and Israel, are now sharing stories of conflicts between ultra-Orthodox Jewish men trying to follow their faith and women just hoping to sit down. Several flights from New York to Israel over the last year have been delayed or disrupted over the issue, and with social media spreading outrage and debate, the disputes have spawned a protest initiative, an online petition and a spoof safety video from a Jewish magazine suggesting a full-body safety vest (“Yes, it’s kosher!”) to protect ultra-Orthodox men from women seated next to them on airplanes.
posted by holborne on Apr 9, 2015 - 265 comments

essay: Evidence for the Exodus

Many are sure that one of Judaism's central events never happened. Evidence, some published in this Mosaic essay for the first time, suggests otherwise. Joshua Berman, Was There an Exodus? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Apr 5, 2015 - 96 comments

"rituals are there to mark important transitions"

Transgender teen comes out in emotional ceremony at Tehiyah Day School
In the middle of the school day on March 13, the community at Tehiyah Day School in El Cerrito gathered to give a boy his name. The boy in question was a bit older than is typical in a naming ceremony. Wearing a white button-down shirt, gray slacks and red sneakers — with red and blue patches dyed into the sides of his buzzed hair — teenager Tom Sosnik stood at the front of the room and explained to his 26 eighth-grade classmates why he was receiving a new name. "I am no longer Mia. I never really was. And now I finally stand before you in my true and authentic gender identity as Tom," he said. "I stand before you as a 13-year-old boy."
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Apr 2, 2015 - 18 comments

IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH

The Heroic and Visionary Women of Passover, a short essay by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt of Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C. [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin on Mar 30, 2015 - 24 comments

"I asked him a very old Jewish question: Do you have a bag packed?"

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 17, 2015 - 181 comments

Baruch Morde... why?

Purim starts Wednesday night. A minor Jewish holiday best described as a cross between Halloween and St. Patrick's Day, Purim celebrates Esther. [more inside]
posted by Ruki on Mar 1, 2015 - 32 comments

Sacred Trash

The Holy Junk Heap: In 1896, a cache of manuscripts -- mostly fragments -- was discovered in the storeroom ("genizah") at the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. The collection outlines a 1,000-year continuum (870 CE to the 19th century) of Jewish Middle-Eastern and North African history and comprises the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world, including Jewish religious texts such as Biblical, Talmudic and later Rabbinic works (some in the original hands of the authors), "letters, wills, bills of lading, prayers, marriage contracts and writs of divorce, Bibles, money orders, court depositions, business inventories, leases, magic charms and receipts" which give a detailed picture of the economic and cultural life of the North African and Eastern Mediterranean regions, especially during the 10th to 13th centuries. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2015 - 16 comments

Every Letter, A Place

SLYT: Jerusalem singer Victoria Hanna's music video - Aleph-bet (Hosha'ana) [more inside]
posted by rosswald on Feb 21, 2015 - 4 comments

Everything You Wanted To Know About Yarmulkes

You can tell a lot about a Jewish male by the type of yarmulke that he wears. Like the jacket and shirt on his back, the absence or presence of peyes, the headgear announces to the world his family’s tradition and his Jewish denomination.
posted by Chrysostom on Feb 6, 2015 - 72 comments

That's a lotta books

Over the past ten years, an organization called PJ Library Has distributed more than ten million free children's books and music with Jewish content directly to children ages 0 to 8 across the United States. The program is modeled on Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Not always without controversy, books contain information about Jewish-American culture, Israel, general values, Jewish holidays, and even occasionally mysticism. In 2014 PJL announced a new program to distribute books to Arab-Israeli preschoolers. Sign up here.
posted by bq on Jan 10, 2015 - 21 comments

“What the hell am I going to do at home?”

Len Berk, 84 years young, is The Last Jewish Lox Slicer at Zabar's.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 29, 2014 - 24 comments

Yeah, the streets are deserted, and that's big news.

Christmastime for the Jews! In a hysterical claymation-style animated short about Jews having free reign over the country on Christmas, Darlene Love [previously] sings about the many benefits of not celebrating the holiday. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Dec 25, 2014 - 19 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 15, 2014 - 86 comments

"...no one talked about the real issue, the victims."

The Shame of Borough Park by Rachel Aviv [The New Yorker] After a child-molestation case, many leaders of the Hasidic community turned against the whistle-blower.
posted by Fizz on Nov 5, 2014 - 27 comments

All in the Family

The World Religions Tree [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Oct 13, 2014 - 65 comments

"a kind of weirdo, a loner, but the most interesting of all"

Some Yom Kippur thoughts from Etgar Keret
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Oct 4, 2014 - 10 comments

“You don’t understand, women are holier than men.”

"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.' I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version at JewFem blog.]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 27, 2014 - 61 comments

Fan Fiction and Midrash

Fan stories, like midrash, give voice to characters who aren't front and center in narratives as we've received them. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, who blogs at Velveteen Rabbi, has published an essay in Transformative Works and Cultures on the parallels between fan works that fill gaps in pop culture stories and midrash used to fill gaps in the Torah.
posted by emjaybee on Sep 17, 2014 - 21 comments

Even the theme to Gilligan's Island? Yes.

Adon Olam is a 12th century Jewish hymn traditionally sung at the end of Sabbath services in both Ashkenazic and Sephardic congregations. Maybe you’ve heard Uzi Hitman’s disco version, which electrified the 1970’s. But what may be most inspiring about the prayer is that it can fit to pretty much any melody. Here it is to Pharrell’s Happy. Here it is to Gilbert and Sullivan's Modern Major General. Here’s the Cups song. Even Amazing Grace. [more inside]
posted by Mchelly on Sep 12, 2014 - 44 comments

This place is full of Raphaels

"I was a nervous wreck because I was about to betray my beloved grandmother and visit her darkest secret. Her secret had a name, and I was going to see him." (SLNYTimes: Modern Love)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 23, 2014 - 14 comments

Jedi is not the 2nd most popular religion in any state? How disapointing

The second-largest religion in each state
Christianity is by far the largest religion in the United States; more than three-quarters of Americans identify as Christians. A little more than half of us identify as Protestants, about 23 percent as Catholic and about 2 percent as Mormon. But what about the rest of us?
posted by davidstandaford on Jun 5, 2014 - 104 comments

"...the most extensive survey ever on anti-Semitism."

In the survey to be released Tuesday, which covered 101 countries plus the Palestinian territories, 26% of respondents agreed with at least six of 11 negative statements—what its sponsor called stereotypes—about Jews. The questions included "Jews are more loyal to Israel than [their home] country," and "Jews have too much power in the business world."
[Anti-Defamation League] Poll Says Anti-Semitism Is Global Matter
posted by griphus on May 14, 2014 - 135 comments

Prayers get a new blessing

The Supreme Court ruled (PDF) this morning that the town of Greece, New York did not violate the Constitution by starting its public meetings with a prayer from a “chaplain of the month." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 5, 2014 - 167 comments

The Jews of Donetsk

On the first full day of Passover, Jewish people in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were handed leaflets ordering all Jewish residents over the age of 16 to pay the new pro-Russian revolutionary authorities $50 apiece for individual registration, otherwise “the guilty ones would be deprived of their citizenship and deported outside the republic; their property would be confiscated.” [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 17, 2014 - 94 comments

"smart, rich, and very cunning"

Scan the shelves in any bookstore in China and you are likely to find best-selling self-help books based on Jewish knowledge. Most focus on how to make cash. Titles range from 101 Money Earning Secrets From Jews’ Notebooks to Learn To Make Money With the Jews. The Chinese Believe That the Jews Control America. Is That a Good Thing?
posted by timshel on Mar 27, 2014 - 87 comments

The Last of the Unjust

In 1941, the Nazis turned the the Czech fortress and town of Terezin into the ghetto of Theresienstadt. The ghetto was a transit center as well as a camp for high-profile people, and was turned into a "model Jewish settlement" in preparation for a Red Cross visit in 1944. The "embellishment" had the desired propaganda outcome - a "positive report."
While researching Shoah, Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last surviving member of the Jewish Council of the Elders in Theresienstadt. That footage is now in a new film, "The Last Of The Unjust." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 16, 2013 - 4 comments

במבי

Bambi's Jewish Roots [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 4, 2013 - 17 comments

Stuffed.

Occurring once before in 1888 and possibly not again for another 77,798 years (really), the two holidays of Chanukah and Thanksgiving will overlap. The result? Chefs, food blogs, and nearly everybody else scrambling to create distinct fusion menus that draw from the delicious traditions of each holiday (NYT). Buzzfeed's massive Thanksgivukkah menu. Gothamist: Four Easy Fusion Dishes. Food 52's recipe challenge (in comments). Serious Eats' response ( Latke-Crusted Turkey Stuffing Fritters With Liquid Cranberry Core and Turkey Schmaltz Gravy) . NY Daily News asks Chef Zach Kutsher for ideas.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 7, 2013 - 61 comments

Points for creativity?

"In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod— two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 10, 2013 - 131 comments

I wear a kippeh because I am Jewish

Women are finally allowed to pray aloud at the Wall in Israel. Women of the Wall have been fighting to be allowed to pray and sing in their tallitot at the women's section of the Western Wall. The first day ended peacefully. They were not allowed to bring a Torah.
posted by jeather on Jun 10, 2013 - 53 comments

"family, nationhood, verbal imperative, and accountability"

"Trading Faith for Wonder: On Judaism's Literary Legacy". The LARB reviews Jews And Words, by Amos Oz and Fania Oz-Salzberger. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 29, 2013 - 6 comments

"I am always the last person to eat."

David Arenberg on being the only Jewish inmate in a state prison.
posted by reenum on May 1, 2013 - 49 comments

"You don’t like it? Find another place to live."

"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools." Also see: A District Divided. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 24, 2013 - 168 comments

We are in the same place now.

Death of a Revolutionary. Susan Faludi on the life, work, and decline of Shulamith Firestone, with some interesting words on the feminist movements of the last century. SLNY.
posted by Currer Belfry on Apr 8, 2013 - 14 comments

The Mazel of the Irish

"[The Loyal Yiddish Sons of Erin]'s biggest event was the annual Erev St. Patrick's Day Banquet. It was a formal gala at the Americana Hotel, complete with a big band, kosher corned beef and green bagels." American-Irish-Jews still celebrate St. Patrick's Day: “It’s an American-Irish holiday, surely not Jewish. It has nothing to do with Jewish people. But I’m Irish, and I have a feeling for it.” [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura on Mar 17, 2013 - 36 comments

The Shuls with Sandy Floors

There are only five functioning Jewish synagogues with sand floors in the world, and four of them are in the Caribbean. How has the tradition been maintained for hundreds of years? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 26, 2013 - 5 comments

Dead Sea Scrolls Go to Court

A brilliant young Harvard Ph.D. faces jail for impersonating a Bible scholar—and rival of his father [more inside]
posted by beisny on Jan 14, 2013 - 16 comments

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings

Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings, early repertory, and modern recordings. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels (at the bottom of the page) and the Songs section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 12, 2012 - 12 comments

Niza Yanay - the ideology of hatred: the psychic power of discourse

"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 15, 2012 - 13 comments

"deconstruction, in French, would be nothing without puns"

What was Of Grammatology about? When Madeleine, the heroine of Jeffrey Eugenides's campus novel The Marriage Plot, asks a young theory-head this question, she is immediately set straight: 'If it was "about" anything, then it was about the need to stop thinking of books as being about things.' That's not so far off. In all three books, Derrida's argument was that Western thought from Plato to Rousseau to Lévi-Strauss had been hopelessly entangled in the illusion that language might provide us with access to a reality beyond language, beyond metaphor: an unmediated experience of truth and being which he called 'presence'.
Not in the Mood by Adam Shatz is an essay in The London Review of Books about a new biography of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. The review does a good job of explaining Derrida's theories in simple language and putting it in the context of his life, from his childhood as French Jew in Vichy-controlled Algeria to his later years as a globetrotting academic star. For a complimentary perspective on Derrida, you can do worse than starting with these thoughts on his relevance for historians and progressives.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 14, 2012 - 36 comments

Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Choose to be Tattooed

Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Choose to be Tattooed Livia Rebak was branded with the number 4559. Now her grandson, Daniel Philosof, has the same tattoo. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Oct 1, 2012 - 115 comments

They should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers

The Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem houses the Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible. Written in the 10th century AD and annotated by Maimonides himself, it was safeguarded by the Jewish diaspora and revered for its linguistic precision and its beauty. "The story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 25, 2012 - 36 comments

Only in Israel

The Dealers is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster was prepared, one which removes all trace of... You guessed it: Women. The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim on Jul 22, 2012 - 47 comments

Circumcision in Germany is now illegal

A German court has ruled that male circumcision is "bodily harm" and that a child's right to "physical integrity" trumps parental or religious rights. Jews and Muslims have reacted strongly to the decision, with some going as far to allege anti-Semitism. Intactivists are generally pleased.
posted by mrgrimm on Jun 27, 2012 - 493 comments

Religion is based on the idea that God is an imbecile.

I talked with Chomsky about his upbringing in a Jewish home in Philadelphia by Cultural Zionist parents who devoted their lives to the revival of Hebrew language and culture, and about some of the strange bedfellows that he has acquired in five decades of impassioned crusading. I left his office with a sense of a specifically Jewish Chomsky that in three decades of engagement with his political writing, his academic work, and a few dozen of his radio appearances had never really struck me before, and now seems obvious and unavoidable.
posted by latkes on Jun 13, 2012 - 31 comments

Gertrude Berg

Winner of the first Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, winner of a Tony Award in 1959, a pioneer for women as writers and producers in radio and television, and the inventor of the situation comedy, Gertrude Berg is - in the words of her film biographer Aviva Kempner - "the most important woman in America you never heard of". [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 3, 2012 - 10 comments

An Unorthodox Controversy

In February, author Deborah Feldman spoke with xoJane's (and Metafilter's own) hermitosis about the backlash she experienced from the Hasidic community in the days leading up the release of her tell-all memoir "Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of my Hasidic Roots." Today xoJane granted another Hasidic woman from the interview post her own rebuttal to the original article, "What Women's Media Needs to Know About Chassidic Women," in which she defends her religion against feminists and "poor Deborah Feldman" sympathizers. Metafilter's own hermitosis responds in the comments.
posted by Avenger on May 22, 2012 - 214 comments

Let my people know.

While Passover is an ancient and rich tradition, the story it celebrates didn't actually ever happen. The people who eventually became the Jews were almost certainly never in Egypt in any significant numbers, were never slaves there, and never made a long journey out of Egypt across the Sinai.
posted by dmd on Apr 8, 2012 - 120 comments

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