"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
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]
Nice Jewish Girl
is an unmarried orthodox Jew. She started a blog six years ago
. She wrote about being Shomer Negiah
(not allowing herself physical contact with men other than relatives or a husband) and being a woman in her mid-thirties that has never kissed a man. Over the run of the blog, she decided to stop being Shomer Negiah
while still looking for an Orthodox husband, kissed a man
, and then broke up with him. For the last three years, she has been silent. Recently, she has returned to discuss the effect of Jewish law on her view of sex
Is Facebook chametz?
An interview with two rabbis about their Facebook group
, encouraging Jews to consider giving up Facebook for Passover next week
. While the word "chametz"
strictly refers only to leavened bread, which is prohibited during Passover, the group is inspired by a Chassidic interpretation that connects the leavening of bread to an "over-inflated sense of self."
“We got a bit excited because we realized that people have collected
lots of dybbuk
stories, but our fragment
describes a real event, where you see how they come together and pray in order to exorcise the ghost from a widow,” [more inside]
A women's prayer group was expelled from the area of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Wednesday for wearing tallitot and reading from the Torah
, in violation of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that restricts these activities to men in the area directly in front of the wall. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the majority of non-Orthodox rabbinical students are female
, with the Reform movement being the most female-dominated, leaving some communities struggling to revitalize men's participation in the religion.
of David Kaufmann
, Jewish scholar extraordinaire. Wonderful illuminations
, inventive typography
and even a little bit of naughtiness
For Orthodox Jewish mothers with small children, the Shabbat
can be challenging
. The answer, for many communities, is the establishment of an eruv
(discussed previously here
, in passing). This San Francisco Chronicle article
details the history behind Berkeley, California's unique instance
. This isn't the first time an eruv
has been attempted in the Bay Area: the failed effort to create one in Palo Alto was covered by the Chronicle
, as well as the Jewish News Weekly
. Berkeley isn't the only United States city with an eruv
—the Boston eruv
maintains a large list of domestic and international eruvim
—nor is it the city with the most unusual eruv
, or even the largest
. Inevitably, perhaps, there's a blog
entirely dedicated to the subject of eruvim
, and vigorous commentary
on the subject from several others
The War For Hasidic Williamsburg:
Immediately after the recent death of the Satmar Grand Rebbe
his two sons went to war over over which one will be the new leader of what is perhaps the largest Hasidic sect in the United States
. This sect is extremely anti-modernist, even compared to other Hasidic groups, and it also strongly anti-Zionist. A former leader of the Satmars once blamed the Holocaust on the Zionist campaign for a Jewish homeland. But this internal battle is not the only threat to the community. The gentrification of Brooklyn (warning: pdf link)
has both driven up the price of land, making it extremely difficult for the large families of the Satmar to obtain additional housing, and made it far more difficult for the youth to escape the corrupting moral values of the outside culture.
"It is absurd to talk about a Judeo-Christian tradition". I had been born in the United States but didn't know any English because none was spoken at home or in the streets. We were a solid enclave of some 600,000 Eastern European, Yiddish-speaking Jews. But I still remember one day that a missionary came to the door with what I still have my copy of: a Yiddish translation of the New Testament. There's a kind of grim joke in that, isn't there? In the mere existence of it.
on religion in America
, God smoking a cigar
, and who really is the King of the Jews
Red, White and Jew
--an examination of 6 issues facing the American Jews of today and tomorrow, religious and non, from the holocaust as history to Israel fatigue to Jewish conservatives.
...We can finally be Jewish and American, but somewhere along the line nobody bothered to figure out entirely what that meant. So it falls to us, the next Jewish generation, to balance the scales. Will we be more Jewish, more American, or a fusion of the two? More importantly, how will we do it?
Ask the rabbi...about storing your ammo.
I love the total randomness of this, including the fact that it's all coming to you from Wisconsin, the Badger State.