Home » August 18th, 2011 Entries posted on “August, 2011”

Rabbi Seeks Young Wife for Cheaper Health Insurance

Rabbi Seeks Young Wife for Cheaper Health Insurance

When I first read the headline of this NPR blog post (“For Love Or Insurance? Rabbi Seeks Young Wife To Lower Health Costs”) I couldn’t even imagine what this was all about. It turns out there’s a rabbi in Florida who needs better health insurance coverage and is looking for a young wife to make […]

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Is David Letterman Jewish?

Is David Letterman Jewish?

No, CBS Late Show host comedian David Letterman is not a Jew. When he was young his mother, who is of German descent, worked as a church secretary for the Second Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis. Letterman is not a particularly religious man. He was married in March 2009 in a civil courthouse ceremony in Choteau, […]

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Chesed Week: Chabad of Folsom California

Chesed Week: Chabad of Folsom California

One of the biggest problems with Northern California is that it’s so prohibitively expensive to live here that no one has a vacation house I go stay at, so when I want to spend time in the high Sierras I have to find a place nearby for shabbos or drive 4 or 5 hours back […]

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7 Habits of Highly Successful BT’s

7 Habits of Highly Successful BT’s

(OK, I’m not a know-it-all, these are just some things I THINK are extremely helpful, certainly not the last word.) 1. Don’t become irreligious. Not even for a short while. Not even to get back with your old boyfriend/girlfriend for one last fling. 2. Cut yourself some slack. You can’t keep the exact same standards […]

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DA unveils Kletzky-inspired Safe Stop program

DA unveils Kletzky-inspired Safe Stop program

It’s been a little more than a month since 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky was killed after getting lost just a mile away from his home in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, a new effort gets underway to help children find a safe haven when they’re lost. Kletzky’s death left such a feeling of hopelessness in the Borough Park […]

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Republicans in Israel – America Stands By Friends

Republicans in Israel - America Stands By Friends

A Congressional delegation visiting Jerusalem says America’s relationship with Israel is “stronger than ever.” U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy, Congressional Republican majority whip, was among the delegation singing “Happy Birthday” Wednesday to President Shimon Peres to mark his 88th year this week. The group sang a special brief tribute version of the song used in Congress […]

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104 would-be soldiers arrive en masse to join IDF

104 would-be soldiers arrive en masse to join IDF

After graduating from high school, Oren Stern, a 19-year-old Jewish- American from Philadelphia, faced a dilemma. He wanted to either join the US Army or the Israel Defense Forces, but couldn’t make up his mind. Stern initially signed a contract with the US Army, but had a change of heart while waiting to be drafted, […]

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Jerusalem scholars trace Bible’s evolution

Jerusalem scholars trace Bible's evolution

A dull-looking chart projected on the wall of a university office in Jerusalem displayed a revelation that would startle many readers of the Old Testament: The sacred text that people revered in the past was not the same one we study today.An ancient version of one book has an extra phrase. Another appears to have […]

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Obama hires former NJDC chief in bid to secure Jewish votes

Obama hires former NJDC chief in bid to secure Jewish votes

U.S. President Barack Obama has selected former National Jewish Democratic Council chief Ira Forman as its Jewish outreach director in a bid to secure Jewish votes for his re-election campaign, a JTA report said Wednesday. “I am truly honored to be able to work toward President Obama’s re-election,” Forman said in a statement. “This President […]

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Is Brooklyn Literary?

Is Brooklyn Literary?

For generations — long before it became fashionable — Brooklyn has taken in writers fleeing from Manhattan’s steep rents and steeper pretensions. In the first sentence of “Sophie’s Choice” (1979), William Styron’s narrator, Stingo, turns out his pockets and says, “In those days cheap apartments were almost impossible to find in Manhattan, so I had […]

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Chesed Week: Help build the Crown Heights eruv

Chesed Week: Help build the Crown Heights eruv

Crown Heights is one of the last major frum communities to not have a wall built around it so people can carry on shabbos, it’s a shame too, because with the amount of beautiful single girls running around, I’m sure they could attract a large single male population looking for some modern chassidic love, if […]

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Painting the Bull’s-Eye Around the Arrow

Painting the Bull’s-Eye Around the Arrow

In more than 2,000 years of published halakhic analysis, it is not surprising that our greatest Poskim imbued with the deepest access to the Torah’s loftiest meanings have published deep thoughts and rulings that sometimes conflict with those of other Poskim. Every student of Gemara has learned of the “Eilu v’Eilu” disputes between Rava and […]

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Moroccan Painted Furniture Inspiration

Moroccan Painted Furniture Inspiration

Morroccan painted furniture caught my eye this week on a little visit to my favorite Moroccan store in Chatzor HaGlilit. The store is huge and packed with Morroccan items of all kinds, so one can get a bit ovewhelmed, as I did on my first few visits. This time I was completely surprised by the […]

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Israel – Study: Judges ‘Looking Down’ on Jewish Law

Israel - Study: Judges 'Looking Down' on Jewish Law

According to a new study by Dr. Aviad Hacohen, Dean of the Shaarei Mishpat College, despite the talk by officials in Israel’s judicial system about the importance of Jewish law and its integration into the Israeli legal system, in practice no use is made of it and those who use it are looked down upon. […]

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The Met nixes Russian art loan over Chabad archive

The Met nixes Russian art loan over Chabad archive

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art reportedly has canceled plans for an art loan to a Russian museum in the ongoing dispute over a Hasidic archive. The Metropolitan Museum had planned to lend 35 items by fashion designer Paul Poiret to the Kremlin Museum in Moscow for a September show. A number of loans between […]

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Israel putting money on a relationship between science and Jewish law

Israel putting money on a relationship between science and Jewish law

The Science and Technology Ministry is this year investing NIS 1.2 million in research and education on the relationship between science and halakha (Jewish religious law). Half the sum will be allocated to promoting enrichment courses on the subject, and the rest will be used to fund applied research on scientific and technological solutions to […]

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Mazal Tov and Happy 88th Birthday, Mr. President

Mazal Tov and Happy 88th Birthday, Mr. President

One Hundred children from the Galilee town of Kfar Tabor will sing Happy Birthday to President Shimon Peres Tuesday night, complete with a birthday cake and candles. His birthday on the English calendar was August 2. The ageing and ageless president works dawn to night on a schedule that would tire out most people half his […]

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Spectacular Hercules statue found in Jezreel Valley

Spectacular Hercules statue found in Jezreel Valley

A marble statue of Hercules from the second century CE has been uncovered in Israel in excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting at Horvat Tarbenet, within the framework of the Jezreel Valley Railway project, directed by the Israel National Roads Company. According to Dr. Walid Atrash of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is a […]

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How Do I Respect My Spouse’s Feelings?

How Do I Respect My Spouse’s Feelings?

Question: I like to put my family first, and rarely participate in simchot in the evenings. My husband feels strange going alone, even though they are all separate seating. Am I wrong for staying home? Do I need to respect my husband’s feelings and make the effort to accompany him? Answer: Kudos for putting your […]

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Is Ralph Branca Jewish?

Is Ralph Branca Jewish?

Yes the Brooklyn Dodger pitcher who achieved notoriety for throwing the home run pitch to Bobby Thomson in a 1951 playoff game against the New York Giants, Ralph Branca is a Jew – technically according to Jewish law – because his mother was born a Jew. Wikipedia recalls that, “Branca entered the game in the […]

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Sway to the Rhythm of Love

Sway to the Rhythm of Love

It can be a rude shock to come home after a dreamy vacation, but it helps when that first Monday is Tu B’Av, the Jewish holiday of Love. And yay! whoopee! goody! That’s today! “Tu B’Av” literally means the 15th day of the month of Av, which corresponds to the full moon that usually wanders […]

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Chesed Week: Shabbat.com

Chesed Week: Shabbat.com

Until a few years ago, I didn’t realize that most people didn’t have the skills or know how to invite themselves over for a shabbos meal. I had always figured that if you grew up frum, hooking up shabbos invites was one of the things you picked up along the way, kind of like learning […]

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The Greatest Jewish Basketball Team

The Greatest Jewish Basketball Team

When I told friends and colleagues that I was researching and writing a book about a Jewish basketball team, I was often met with a hesitation or a stunned look. Why are you writing a book? Well, many people write books, I would often answer, and I wanted to take a crack at it myself. No, […]

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‘Leiby Forever’ song helped me cope with son’s death, Nachman Kletzky says

'Leiby Forever' song helped me cope with son's death, Nachman Kletzky says

Leiby Kletzky’s dad says that a new memorial song about his slain son is helping him cope with the boy’s horrifying death. Nachman Kletzky, 39, called into the Jewish radio show “Talkline with Zev Brenner” on WMCA (570 AM) early Sunday while Hasidic singer Lipa Schmeltzer was on the air talking about his ballad “Leiby […]

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Jews Marry Spouses Closer to Their Age

Jews Marry Spouses Closer to Their Age

The Central Bureau of Statistics released some numbers pertaining to marriage in Israel in honor of Tu B’Av, the holiday considered by Torah sages as one of two happiest days of the year, the other being Yom Kippur. The average age gap between husband and wife in first marriages was 2.3 years among Jews. The […]

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Hamas chief, Israeli negotiator in Cairo for talks on Shalit deal

Hamas chief, Israeli negotiator in Cairo for talks on Shalit deal

Israeli and Hamas officials are due to meet in Cairo on Monday for a second round of indirect talks aimed at securing a deal on abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, the London-based Arab daily Al-Hayat reported. According to the report, the first round of talks took place last week. Senior Hamas official Ahmed […]

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Picture from the Parasha: Funerals and weddings

Picture from the Parasha: Funerals and weddings

This Shabbat, Va’et’hanan – following the fast of the Ninth of Av memorial for the destruction of both Holy Temples (586 BCE and 70 CE) – is called Shabbat Nahamu, from the opening words of the haftara prophetic portion cited above. But when one tries to imagine the enormity of the tragedy – the loss […]

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Parents appeal sex segregation in school

Parents appeal sex segregation in school

A group of parents from Petah Tikva petitioned the High Court of Justice on Monday against an Education Ministry decision to separate between boys and girls in the “Morasha” religious elementary school. The parents’ representative, Dr. Aviad Hacohen, dean of the Shaarei Mishpat College, argued that “this is a serious infringement of freedom of religion […]

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Just Like Comrade Karl Marx

Just Like Comrade Karl Marx

Earlier this week, Michael Levy wrote about Jews and Chinese food and what Chinese people think about Jews. He has been blogging all week for the Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning‘s Author Blog. Central China is a strange place.  Unlike the globalized, westernized cities on the coast, the land-locked, impoverished provinces of the interior rarely get foreign […]

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Chesed Week: Kids of Courage

Chesed Week: Kids of Courage

Dying sucks, it’s one of those things I hate to reminded of and quite frankly like most people I like to think of myself as immortal, but being a kid who knows you’re gonna die soon sucks even more and that’s where kids of courage comes in to try and  improve the lives of terminally […]

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