Home » September 30th, 2011 Entries posted on “September, 2011”

The 60 Second Guide to Rosh Hashanah

The 60 Second Guide to Rosh Hashanah

The foundation of Judaism is that all existence is dependent on G-d who created, supervises and influences both the spiritual and physical realms of the universe. In addition G-d created man who was given the tools and instructions to perfect and unify the physical world and connect it back to its G-dly source. Every year, […]

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Send Obama a Message

Send Obama a Message

The Obama administration considers Israel a sponsor of terror —at least according to Dick Morris, the disgraced ex-advisor to Bill Clinton, and a host of self-styled “conservative” media. The news was shocking—well, maybe not to the clever folks who knew all along that the president is a secret Muslim, but certainly to the rest of […]

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I Just Nullified My Sins, and Now I Can Do Anything

I Just Nullified My Sins, and Now I Can Do Anything

I’ve been going to synagogue every morning this week, which is rare for me. I used to skip synagogue all the time because I slept too late, and then it was because my kids were up too early. I never got to see them any other time because of this full-time-job thing (you know, the […]

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In Brooklyn, a Hasidic Walking Tour Opens Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Life to Outsiders

In Brooklyn, a Hasidic Walking Tour Opens Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Life to Outsiders

When he was 18 and still living in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Beryl Epstein received a call from his older brother, Mordechai, who was about to join the Israel Defense Forces. Mordechai urged his younger brother to come to Crown Heights, a largely ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, where he was studying […]

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El Al to Hasidim: Don’t smoke on plane

El Al to Hasidim: Don't smoke on plane

The El Al rabbi this week issued a leaflet with strict instructions to Hasidic pilgrims flying to Ukraine for the High Holidays, following passengers’ inappropriate behavior on the airline’s planes in recent years – including smoking, refusing to put on their safety belts and destroying equipment.Some 22,000 Hasidim have embarked on the pilgrimage to Rabbi […]

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Erdogan sends Rosh Hashana greeting to Jews of Turkey

Erdogan sends Rosh Hashana greeting to Jews of Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his wishes to the Jews of his country on Thursday, extending his own Rosh Hashana greeting. “There have been a number of different beliefs and cultures living together for centuries in our country,” the Turkish prime minister said in his address. “Special days and holidays add special color […]

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Love thy vampire, kosherly

Love thy vampire, kosherly

The TV series “True Blood” has been so successful that only “The Sopranos” rivals it. “True Blood” is about a world of imaginary creatures. Particularly strange is the vampire world parallel to human society. The series, based on a series of novels by American writer Charlaine Harris, involves a scientific breakthrough: the Japanese invention of […]

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Gefilte Fish Gets Video Game

Gefilte Fish Gets Video Game

I thought something smelled fishy when I received an email from fellow blogger Esther Kustanowitz today. Indeed it was. I was hopeful that the skilled writer had sent me a well-crafted sermon that I could simply deliver on Rosh Hashanah morning, but instead it was only an email to inform me that her friend Asael […]

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New Year’s Noshery and Navelgazing

New Year’s Noshery and Navelgazing

Holy Moses, it’s almost 5772 and I haven’t made my honeycake yet! Life been as twisty as a ram’s horn lately as I recover from another trip out West (Dad’s rehab is going well) and continue to find the groove at the new gig (I launched The Civil Society Column last week. Hope my Marxist […]

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Dvar Torah Rosh Hashana: Heads and Tails

Dvar Torah Rosh Hashana: Heads and Tails

We are taught that we eat the head of a fish so as to enter the year on a positive note, rather than a tail, which would suggest a year of inferior quality.  How is this different from sticking pins into a doll and hoping that my belligerent boss winds up dead as a result? […]

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Marc Maron Hates Williamsburg

Marc Maron Hates Williamsburg

I am not a huge fan of the WTF Podcast by Marc Maron. I listen to it every once in a while, but it’s not one of those podcasts that I anxiously wait to be updated every week. But yesterday, out of necessity—none of my other podcasts were new—I listened to Maron’s latest podcast, which […]

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‘Price-tag’ vandals uproot olive trees near Hebron

'Price-tag' vandals uproot olive trees near Hebron

About 45 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were uprooted in an apparent “price-tag” attack in the West Bank near Hebron on Thursday. On a boulder nearby the words “Price-Tag Infiltration” were sprayed along with a Jewish star. Israeli media speculated that the vandalism was likely in response to a fatal car accident near Kiryat Arba […]

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World Jewry To Mark ‘Rosh Hashanah’, The Jewish New Year

World Jewry To Mark 'Rosh Hashanah', The Jewish New Year

The Jewish People begin the High Holidays on Wednesday evening, ushering in the year 5772 by starting nearly a month of special days: Two days of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday and Friday are this year followed immediately by Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Repentance, and on Sunday by the Fast of Gedaliah. Rosh Hashana is […]

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Rosh Hashanah Greetings From YWN – As It Enters It’s 7th Year

Rosh Hashanah Greetings From YWN – As It Enters It’s 7th Year

On this Erev Rosh Hashanah morning of 5771/72, we would like to thank our tens of thousands of devoted readers across the globe for visiting YWN each day, patronizing our advertisers, and continuing to make our website grow into your #1 stop for breaking news. We started YWN six years ago, and without your participation, […]

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63% of Jews in favor of Shabbat buses

63% of Jews in favor of Shabbat buses

The Israeli society is filled with conflicts and tensions: Between Sephardim and Ashkenazim, between Right and Left, and between rich and poor. But one of the deepest rifts relates to state and religion – public transportation on Shabbat, conversion, marriage and divorce, IDF draft and other burning issues. The past year was also filled with […]

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WATCH / Jewish youth demand peace for the New Year

WATCH / Jewish youth demand peace for the New Year

The youth wing of Jewish Voice for Peace, a grassroots organization dedicated to reaching a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians, launched a video campaign in honor of the New Year on Tuesday, with close to 40 young Jews aged 18-36 demanding a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The members of Young, Jewish and […]

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Do Politics Belong in Sermons?

Do Politics Belong in Sermons?

Like every other rabbi around the world I am currently hard at work on my sermons for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I’ve always enjoyed writing and public speaking, so this exercise is enjoyable rather than stressful for me. However, finding the right words to inspire the congregation during this time of year can be […]

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Rejuvenating Our Bond

Rejuvenating Our Bond

The first Rosh Hashana at the beginning of creation was different than all future Rosh Hashanas. The presence of Hashem descended upon Adam without any effort. It wasn’t a matter of avoda, working to achieve an awareness of Him. Rather it was a complete itaruta dl’eleh, an arousal from above. In the Rosh Hashana davening […]

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Attention Rabbis: Stop With The Rosh Hashanah Mussar Already

Attention Rabbis: Stop With The Rosh Hashanah Mussar Already

I can barely tolerate shul on the best of days, but Elul has got to be the worst. Every Rabbi (ok, 99%) tries to put you in the holiday spirit by telling you what’s wrong with yourself/the Jewish people/the world/etc. Enough already! I don’t want to hear your guilt trips. Give me some encouragement, or, […]

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The Stories that Don’t Make It

The Stories that Don’t Make It

At a certain point in the process, I had to do the cutting. Not the small cutting, the excising of some misplaced lines, the usual reshuffling that revision turns into at the end, everything somehow feeling more surgical than therapeutic. But I had to really cut. To kill some stories. To take them out, shelve […]

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Obama stresses strong bond with Israel in New Year clip

Obama stresses strong bond with Israel in New Year clip

A week after his speech supporting Israel at the United Nations, US President Barack Obama offered his annual Jewish New Year wishes on Tuesday, stating that the US “will will continue to stand with Israel because the bond between our nations is unshakable.” The US president – who made the comments in a YouTube clip […]

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Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, Begins Wednesday Night

Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year, Begins Wednesday Night

The Jewish People begin the High Holydays on Wednesday evening, ushering in the year 5772 by starting nearly a month of special days: Two days of Rosh Hashanah on Thursday and Friday are this year followed immediately by Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath of Repentance, and on Sunday by the Fast of Gedaliah. Rosh Hashana is […]

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U.K. extends Rosh Hashanah greetings, hopeful for Israeli-Palestinian peace

U.K. extends Rosh Hashanah greetings, hopeful for Israeli-Palestinian peace

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague extended Rosh Hashanah greetings on Tuesday to the British Jewish community as well as Jews around the world, expressing hope that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be reached in the upcoming year. “The Jewish New Year traditionally gives us the chance to pause and reflect on the past […]

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Holocaust exhibit opens in Kiev

Holocaust exhibit opens in Kiev

An exhibition focused on the massacre of 1.4 million Jews in Soviet Ukraine opened in Kiev recently, featuring a sobering display of Nazi bullets, photographs of bones and tearful witness testimonies. The exhibit is based on the work of French Catholic Priest Patrick Desbois, who has been canvassing Ukrainian villages on a quest to identify […]

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Over 4 Million Raised at Annual Chabad Telethon

Over 4 Million Raised at Annual Chabad Telethon

The Chabad 31st annual L’Chaim “To Life!” Telethon raised a total of over 4.2 million dollars during an intensely emotional 3 hour extravaganza. Due to the current challenging economic times, Chabad has worked overtime to service communities around the world through their centers, schools, homeless shelters and drug treatment centers. The evening began with an […]

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Book Recommendation: Avodah – Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur edited by Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom

Book Recommendation: Avodah - Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur edited by Michael D. Swartz and Joseph Yahalom

The dead tree edition of the book is $65.95 at Amazon but… the Kindle edition is $9.99. The rich and informative introduction is worth the price of the book. And if you are teaching a course on the “Liturgy of the Days of Awe,” then you must have this book. In the Kindle edition the […]

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There’s So Much I Don’t Know About Jews and Sports

There’s So Much I Don’t Know About Jews and Sports

I have a confession to make. I just took the MJL quiz about Jews and Sports and only got 7/10. I should be embarrassed about that, but the truth is, it’s a miracle that I got seven right. And I won’t even tell you how many I got right the first time I took the […]

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Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online

Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online

After the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a cave in Qumran in the winter of 1946–47 by Muhammed edh-Dhib, a Bedouin boy, and his cousin, it still took two decades until they were placed on display in a museum. Now, about 65 years after their discovery they can now be accessed online. Today, the […]

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Government set to finalize Bnei Menashe aliya

Government set to finalize Bnei Menashe aliya

The government is expected to give final approval in the next few weeks to bring to Israel more than 7,200 remaining members of an Indian community who claim descent from one of the lost tribes of Israel. The decision to allow the last members of the Bnei Menashe to immigrate to Israel is being greeted […]

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Jewish spiritual care: Creating sound spirit

Jewish spiritual care: Creating sound spirit

When Rabbi Mike Schultz met Sharona (alias), she was a young mother of two girls, suffering of terminal cancer, and angry – mostly at God that is not planning to let her see her girls grow up. Schultz, a Jewish spiritual care provider in profession, helped her understand that she can use the illness to […]

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