162 posts tagged with judaism.
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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

Gray zone, schmay zone

Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.

Dissolution: My life as an accidental Holocaust expert—and why I decided to quit
posted by timshel on Feb 25, 2012 - 13 comments

Netanyahu Government Suggests Israelis Avoid Marrying American Jews

The Netanyahu government has paid for US TV ads saying US Israelis will never understand what it means to be Israeli, and American Jews will lose their religion
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 30, 2011 - 189 comments

"Jews and Christians should be allies; and allies are equals."

In October 1870, as American Jews were observing the High Holidays, The Atlantic Magazine published an article called "Our Israelitish Bretheren." 'At the time, it served as a sort of crash course about a tiny, mystifying minority. Today, it survives as something quite different: a snapshot of a transitional moment in Jewish history.' Written by American biographer, James Parton -- the founder of American Heritage magazine.
posted by zarq on Sep 29, 2011 - 13 comments

"In other words, Judah Maccabee, his father, and his brothers, are like the heroes of every Mel Gibson movie."

Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 9, 2011 - 134 comments

It’s a literally hot-button issue

The practice has become so widespread – some say half of Modern Orthodox teens text on Shabbat – that it has developed its own nomenclature – keeping “half Shabbos,” for those who observe all the Shabbat regulations except for texting. [more inside]
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Jun 24, 2011 - 70 comments

New Reliquaries

Artist Al Farrow uses ammunition, parts from firearms, and selected other materials to build miniature churches, synagogues, and mosques.
posted by gman on May 9, 2011 - 11 comments

"Have friends who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Or New Age?"

Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist, Marty the Mormon, Jenna the Jew, Sid the Satanist, Mo the Muslim and Willow the Wiccan. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones, Halo 3, Brokeback Mountain, Kung Fu Panda and The X Files.
posted by jardinier on Apr 8, 2011 - 299 comments

"We, like you, have problems with hostile neighbors."

The Babylonian Talmud was composed in the historical region of Palestine and in (not surprisingly) Babylonia (modern-day Iraq) between ~70 C.E. and ~700 C.E. Many centuries later, it turns out that "there are more South Koreans with Talmud sets in their homes than Jews in Israel." (Hebrew original) [more inside]
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Mar 28, 2011 - 38 comments

Cover-up

Julia Sherman offers us a glimpse into the sheitel industry and the larger global hair trade. [more inside]
posted by gman on Jan 15, 2011 - 24 comments

Cruel to be kind?

In May 2010, New Zealand introduced a new Animal Welfare Code effectively banning the kosher slaughter of animals, or “shechita”. Agriculture Minister, David Carter, rejected a recommendation from advisers that Jewish ritual slaughter of livestock be exempted from animal welfare rules under the Bill of Rights - which provides for freedom of religious practice. The new welfare code had a requirement that all commercially slaughtered animals first be stunned, and forbade the importation of raw kosher poultry. Carter argued the Code was required on humane grounds, citing a study that said the animals suffered pain. A study which Dr Temple Grandin has subsequently criticised. Jewish law prevents stunning on the basis that this is, in fact, cruel to animals. Halal meat in New Zealand is stunned prior to slaughter. The Jewish community contested the Code through the courts as a direct attack on the freedom to practise Judaism in New Zealand. Bans on ritual slaughter inevitably raise the ugly spectre of anti-Semitism. In November, immediately before the case was due to be heard, Carter made an abrupt u-turn. The practice of shechita on poultry was declared no longer illegal while the Government also agreed to negotiate the ban on sheep. New Zealand Jews will still have to import beef from Australia, where shechita is allowed. The reversal raised the ire of animal rights groups, and raised questions about Carter's motivations in considering the ban. Previously.
posted by szechuan on Dec 12, 2010 - 75 comments

The Truth about Suicide Bombers?

Growing evidence suggests suicide bombers may be just ... well, suicidal. The idea is controversial and contentious, to be sure, but there is a small but growing movement among social scientists that the reasoning behind suicide bombing might be more mundane than religious "fanaticism" or "deluded" ideology. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Dec 12, 2010 - 22 comments

Dentō!

Fiddler on the Roof, in Japanese. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 1, 2010 - 27 comments

My entire life screams that I have a Jewish neshama

"'What are the laws?' he said, explaining his decision to adhere to the Orthodox level of observance. 'I want to know the laws. I don’t want to know the leniencies. I never look for the leniencies because of all of the terrible things I’ve done in my life, all of the mistakes I’ve made.'"
posted by griphus on Nov 10, 2010 - 42 comments

Don't Fold-In on the Shabbes

Chabad-Lubavitch has a long history of trying to make Jewish observance fun for children, a tactic well-documented in a recent book about the history of the movement. Comic strips played a major role, and for more than twenty-five years now, one of the most popular characters has been Shpy, a detective who solves crimes and resolves holiday mysteries. His arch-nemesis is Yetzer Hora, and his assistants include Agent 613. Until now, the strip's author was unknown to the wider world. Turns out, it's Al Jaffee of Mad Magazine.
posted by gabrielsamoza on Oct 5, 2010 - 35 comments

Jewish newspaper: "Sorry for being so inclusive! It won't happen again."

Two weeks ago, a Jewish newspaper in New Jersey, the Jewish Standard, published a wedding announcement for a same-sex Jewish couple. Now they're apologizing for it and saying it won't happen again. [more inside]
posted by Tin Man on Oct 5, 2010 - 152 comments

At the Death Camps, Muslim Leaders Grapple With Jews’ Pain

"We pray to God that this will not happen to the Jewish people or to any people anymore." -- a group of American imams visits Dauchau and Auschwitz.
posted by empath on Aug 15, 2010 - 38 comments

They call him the "Rabbah Rouser"

“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”

The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist and founder of the controversial, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 31, 2010 - 35 comments

Poetry in Hell

Poetry in Hell contains a complete collection of poems recovered from the Warsaw Ghetto's Ringelblum Archives. The project, which took ten years to complete, gives English translations of poems that are shown in their original Yiddish. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 23, 2010 - 9 comments

I Will Survive

Dancing Auschwitz
"Jewish artist defends YouTube video 'Dancing Auschwitz'"
posted by andoatnp on Jul 10, 2010 - 28 comments

People of the (face)book

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."
posted by albrecht on Mar 24, 2010 - 77 comments

Judaism is a science fiction religion

Why there is no Jewish Narnia. [more inside]
posted by valkyryn on Mar 3, 2010 - 136 comments

Holy Night

The little-known Jewish holiday of Christmas Eve. Seriously.
posted by andoatnp on Dec 23, 2009 - 38 comments

Jewish Exorcisms

“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]
posted by ServSci on Dec 21, 2009 - 11 comments

The Diaspora in Big Sky Country

In Montana, a rabbi is an unusual sight. So when a Hasidic one walked into the State Capitol last December, with his long beard, black hat and long black coat, a police officer grabbed his bomb-sniffing German shepherd and went to ask the exotic visitor a few questions. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 7, 2009 - 45 comments

Kotel everybody?

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.
posted by albrecht on Nov 20, 2009 - 51 comments

Der ewige Jude

The day after Kristallnacht, Hitler said: "It was necessary not to make propaganda for violence as such, but to explain certain matters of foreign policy to the German people in such a way, that the inner voice of the people all by itself gradually would call for violence." Towards that end, Goebbels commissioned and closely supervised the production of a propaganda documentary titled Der ewige Jude - "The Eternal Jew". Few if any of the inhabitants of the Łódź Ghetto who appear in its footage survived the war. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 1, 2009 - 11 comments

Open Source Religion

Open to Revisions. "Some religious entrepreneurs have adopted an 'open source' model, where rituals and doctrines can be rewritten as easily as computer code."
posted by homunculus on Jun 11, 2009 - 54 comments

Without Paul

We declare the man Paul of Tarsus [non-ebonite link], the false teacher against the mark of Covenant and God's Torah, to be outside of the Way taught by Yeshua, the anointed, son of Maria and Yosef.
posted by bigmusic on Jun 2, 2009 - 183 comments

Bimah Me Up

"The special moment when the Kohanim blessed the assembly moved me deeply, for it possessed a great sense of magic and theatricality... I had heard that this indwelling Spirit of God was too powerful, too beautiful, too awesome for any mortal to look upon and survive, and so I obediently covered my face with my hands. But of course, I had to peek."--Leonard Nimoy, I Am Spock

Leonard Nimoy discusses his inspiration for the Vulcan "live long and prosper" hand gesture. Rabbi Yonassan Gershom explains its Jewish origins, and discusses Jewish themes in Star Trek. Via Laughing Squid.
posted by mattdidthat on May 21, 2009 - 47 comments

Solar Prayers

Once every month, Jews bless the moon. Once every 28 years, they bless the sun! This custom dates back to the Talmud, but is also found in other sacred Jewish texts, such as The New York Times. Sometimes, there are misunderstandings. [pdf] Previously reserved to a pious handful of observant Jews, it's on the mainstream media radar this time around, possibly because of its environmental implications. Here's an interesting depiction of the ritual in modern American history, which explicitly deals with its connection to solar power.
posted by ericbop on Apr 8, 2009 - 16 comments

Attack on Gaza creates rift with overseas Jews.

The End of the Affair. Like many followers of Judaism around the world, Sir Gerald Kaufman, a British MP and friend of Golda Meir, has gone through an internal battle over their views regarding the State of Israel. Kaufman rejected the Sharon government and later made a remarkably prescient 2002 documentary (.ram) on Israel. Though he has been targeted by zionist webistes, and has repeatedly received death threats, hate mail, and has even been harassed during worship, Kaufman remains outspoken about Israel's attack on Gaza: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszów. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. Madam Deputy Speaker, My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza . . . they're not simply war criminals, they're fools."
posted by markkraft on Jan 19, 2009 - 181 comments

Religious takes on the global financial crisis

The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a decline in spirituality. Hindus blame it on greed. Saudi Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, blames the crisis on ignoring God's rules. Jewish scholars say we could have avoided a crisis by following Talmudic traditions. Pope Benedict sees the global financial system as "self-centred, short-sighted and lacking in concern for the destitute." Is it right to pray for the economy? (a Christian perspective). A Malaysian conference brings together Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and Sikhs to discuss the crisis.
posted by desjardins on Jan 14, 2009 - 93 comments

The True Story of Chanukkah

Chanukkah is the story of a group of warriors (the Maccabees, later the Hasmoneans, led by Mattathias) who rose up against the Greeks (the Seleucids), united the Jews, reclaimed the Temple (Beit HaMikdash), and then lit one day's supply of oil which miraculously lasted for eight days, started a brand new holiday called Chanukkah, and brought Jewish sovereignty and peace to the land of Israel. Except that almost every part of that story is either wrong or completely misleading. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Dec 21, 2008 - 66 comments

Some Jewish Humor

Sadie tells Maurice, "You’re a schmuck! You always were a schmuck and you always will be a schmuck! You look, act and dress like a schmuck! You’ll be a schmuck until the day you die! And if they ran a world-wide competition for schmucks, you would be the world’s second biggest schmuck!" "Why only second place?" Maurice asks. "Because you’re a schmuck!" Sadie screams. Some Jewish humor.
posted by serazin on Dec 7, 2008 - 27 comments

Constantine's Sword

Constantine's Sword (google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
posted by empath on Oct 2, 2008 - 14 comments

Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel, funded by the Israeli government and Jewish philanthropists, provides free all-inclusive 10-day trips to Israel for Jewish young adults. The program's goal is to promote Israel along with general Jewish unity and engagement. The blog Jewlicious has a category about these trips. (Scroll down past many promotional entries for the interesting stuff.) Some question its efficacy and results, while some Jews subvert the program. The trips end with a "Mega Rally" featuring entertainment, giant inflatable Stars of David, and speeches by dignitaries including PM Ehud Olmert. Here is video coverage (FLV) of the most recent rally. There is also a satirical Something Awful report.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jun 26, 2008 - 43 comments

Yachatz!

Nationwide matzo shortage! Competing theories offer possible explanations. If you get desperate, make your own. (Gratuitous youtube matzo themed video.)
posted by serazin on Apr 20, 2008 - 15 comments

Blogging the Qur'an.

Blogging the Qur'an The Guardian's Madeleine Bunting and cultural critic Ziauddin Sardar will blog a different verse or theme of the Qur'an each week. Bunting says its one of the most difficult books she's ever read, which is what a lot of non-muslims tend to think. The idea has been mooted before by those of a very similar political hue. Others are already blogging the the Bible.
posted by MrMerlot on Jan 9, 2008 - 22 comments

Meet the Nazi Cowboy

Billy Jenkins was "The Nazi Cowboy." One of the most popular German western stars of the 1930s, Jenkins (real name Erich Rudolf Otto Rosenthal) was a card-carrying member of the Nazi party. Pre-war Germany was crazy for cowboys, with Jenkins starring in pulp fiction books with titles like "Texasfieber" and "Aufruhr in Laredo" that were influenced by the works of Karl May. The only problem? Under Nazi Germany's racial laws, Jenkins was considered half-Jewish.
posted by huskerdont on Jan 3, 2008 - 6 comments

Merry Christmas, Rabbi!

Inspired by this article, I thought Christmas would be the perfect (huh?) day to introduce the late poet, author, spiritual leader, thinker, and civil rights activist Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.
posted by bassjump on Dec 25, 2007 - 7 comments

Jew - Not a Jew.

Know your musical Jews!
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Dec 10, 2007 - 49 comments

Fiddler on the Prairie

Fiddler on the prairie. The story of a 1970s high school production of Fiddler on the Roof. The school was in Billings, Montana.
posted by joseph_elmhurst on Oct 11, 2007 - 10 comments

... in keeping with the Reform movement's tradition of liberal positions on human sexuality.

Official transgender blessings -- Kulanu -- the newly-revised manual for LGBT issues and ceremonies put out by the Union for Reform Judaism (1.5 million US Jews are Reform) now includes 2 blessings (written by a Rabbi now male) for those transitioning and who have completed the change, alongside the already existing same sex marriage liturgy and other documents and procedures. A first? (blessings text inside)
posted by amberglow on Aug 9, 2007 - 50 comments

Hitler's record collection

Know who else liked tunes by "subhuman" Jewish and Russian musicians? That's right.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 7, 2007 - 36 comments

JewTube

JewTube. It's exactly what it sounds like.
posted by jeremy b on Aug 1, 2007 - 59 comments

Dove of Brutality!

Bible Fight [Flash game]
posted by thirteenkiller on May 7, 2007 - 24 comments

When Ask MetaFilter isn't enough

Got a spiritual question? Ask an Islamic scholar. Or ask a Trappist monk. Or ask a Catholic priest. Or a Lutheran pastor. Jewish? Ask a Rabbi. Jewish and like firearms? Ask a rabbi with a gun.
posted by escabeche on Mar 14, 2007 - 25 comments

Early Zionist propaganda posters

Beautiful early Zionist propaganda posters, courtesy of the Swann Galleries. The first 73 items in this large batch of vintage posters up for auction are related to Israel, Jews or anti-Semitism. [via Paperholic]
posted by mediareport on Feb 6, 2007 - 6 comments

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