Home » November 30th, 2012 Entries posted on “November, 2012”

Is Science Fiction Jewish?

Is Science Fiction Jewish?

It’s a fair question. Is science fiction Jewish? Some bloggers say yes, science fiction, is Jewish! The Exploring Our Matrix blog brings up the question in this way, “Is the Oldest Science Fiction in the Talmud?” The basis for the question is this text from the Talmud (b. Menahot 29b) which presents Moses as a […]

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MSU Hillel: If You Build It

MSU Hillel: If You Build It

Like many rabbis I’m often asked why I chose to become a rabbi. People are interested to know if there was a pivotal moment in my upbringing that steered me to the rabbinate. In responding to that question I’ve always cited my years as a student leader at Michigan State University Hillel. A few weekends […]

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Lincoln’s Time Machine

Lincoln's Time Machine

They say the book is always better than the movie, and for the most part that tends to be true. But when it comes to “Lincoln”, Steven Spielberg’s biopic of Abraham Lincoln, I don’t think that’s the case. The most difficult part of truly understanding history is that we inevitably view the historical figures through […]

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Poland Tries to Calm Dispute Over Kosher Slaughter

Poland Tries to Calm Dispute Over Kosher Slaughter

Poland is to draft new laws so that it does not have to stop slaughterhouses from producing kosher meat, a prospect that has angered the Jewish community in the country where Nazi Germany massacred millions of Jews during World War Two. The constitutional court ruled this week that kosher slaughter methods, which involve killing livestock […]

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Menorah Lighting Comes to New Jersey Prisons

Menorah Lighting Comes to New Jersey Prisons

Jewish inmates in New Jersey state prisons will be permitted, for the first time in a uniform policy, to celebrate Chanukah with lit menorahs. Matt Schuman, spokesperson with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, said in the past, the prison system’s policy on menorah lighting during Chanukah was decided on a case-by-case basis. “We wanted […]

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Jewish Federations’ Security Arm Ramps Up Cyber Security Training

Jewish Federations’ security arm ramps up cyber security training

he security arm of the Jewish Federations network is intensifying training to resist cyber-attacks in the wake of a wave of such attacks on synagogue websites. “In the most recent round of cyber-attacks against American Jewish websites on November 23rd, upwards of fifty (50) synagogue websites were hacked and linked to anti-Semitic websites,” said a […]

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Holocaust Survivor Starts Fresh at 87

Holocaust survivor starts fresh at 87

Oscar Phillips, an 87-year-old Holocaust survivor from Deerfield Beach, Florida, made his lifelong dream come true on November 12, when he finally made aliyah to Israel through Nefesh B’Nefesh, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. Phillips, who was 14-years-old when the Germans invaded Poland, was sent to Auschwitz in […]

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30 Course Tasting Menu with 15 Wines: Gluttony or Kedusha?

30 Course Tasting Menu with 15 Wines: Gluttony or Kedusha?

Every once in a while you hear complaints about materialism in the frum media, it usually has to do with lavish yeshiva fundraising banquets, expensive pesach hotels in Hawaii and those marble columns that your neighbor in Monsey decided to adorn their ugly house with. These complaints usually have to do with “how can someone […]

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Is Yale President Peter Salovey Jewish?

Is Yale President Peter Salovey Jewish?

Yes, Yale President Peter Salovey is a Jew. He is also a psychology professor, a bluegrass musician (see article) and a cousin of my rabbinic teacher, Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Hat tip to Billy for bringing this to our attention. Here is an article from the Yale Daily News that describes the president’s rabbinic relationships. […]

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Hebrew U Offers Academic Prep Course for Haredim

Hebrew U Offers Academic Prep Course for Haredim

The Hebrew University launched a special pre-academic preparatory program this week aimed at members of the haredi community wishing to enroll in institutions of higher education. A project of the university’s Magid Institute for Continuing Education, the initiative was created in response to the national challenge issued by the Council for Higher Education in Israel […]

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Merkel Addresses Jewish Council

Merkel Addresses Jewish Council

Chancellor Angela Merkel has become the first German leader to address the Jewish community’s annual council meeting, reassuring members that the government would protect their religious rights, in particular the right to practice rituals integral to their faith. Merkel’s speech comes after what the Jewish Council president called a “summer of discontent” following a controversial […]

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Magnificent Old City Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue to be Restored

Magnificent Old City Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue to be Restored

One of the most magnificent synagogues in the Old City, the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, is to be restored by the Jerusalem Municipality. After the successful restoration of the Hurva Synagogue, the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem Ltd. (JQDC) has undertaken to rebuild the synagogue, […]

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UN Recognizes Palestinian State

UN Recognizes Palestinian State

The United Nations voted overwhelmingly Thursday to recognize a Palestinian state, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. From the AP: The resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member […]

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Stevie Wonder to Pull Out of IDF Fundraiser

Stevie Wonder to Pull Out of IDF Fundraiser

Stevie Wonder is set to pull out of a performance at a fundraiser for the Israel Defense Forces, a source told JTA. Wonder’s representatives will claim that he did not know the nature of the group, the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, and that he believes such a performance would be incongruent with his […]

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Why History is not Just About the Past

Why History is not Just About the Past

A fire blazes through a garment factory. The building has too few exits and not enough fire escapes. Fire equipment cannot reach the fire. More than 100 people—many of them young women—die. Bodies, burnt beyond recognition, line the floor of a government building, awaiting identification. If you’re thinking, “I know that story—it happened at New […]

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Times: Mindful Golf Works

Times: Mindful Golf Works

The New York Times in Keeping Your Eye on the Ball reports on studies that prove what we already knew for years, to wit, if you watch the ball at impact as you drive or swing or putt, you will hit a good shot: Training yourself to keep your eye on the ball — which […]

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Israeli on Saudi Interfaith Center’s Board

Israeli on Saudi Interfaith Center's Board

A Saudi-backed center to promote interfaith dialogue worldwide began work in Vienna on Monday by bringing hundreds of religious activists together to discuss how to promote understanding among different beliefs. Named after Saudi King Abdullah, the center is a welcome boost for bridge-building between faiths in an era of financial austerity but has drawn criticism […]

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European Jews Urge Reversal of Polish Shechita Ban

European Jews Urge Reversal of Polish Shechita Ban

The European Jewish Association (EJA) has called upon Polish and European Union leaders to help reverse a Polish Constitutional Court ruling banning shechita, or kosher slaughter, in the country. “It has been proven scientifically, that kosher butchering does not allow the animal to feel pain?,” asserted EJA Director General,  Rabbi Menachem Margolin, according to the European […]

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Chabad Father-Son Team Looks Toward Expansion

Chabad Father-Son Team Looks Toward Expansion

At the start of their careers, young Chabad rabbis and their wives typically set out for a wilderness to be tamed: a Jewish area lacking a Chabad presence. There they drive in their stakes and go to work. As they push back the frontier, other, younger couples arrive to continue the expansion. That’s what Chabad […]

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French Jewish Students Taking Twitter to Court

French Jewish Students Taking Twitter to Court

France’s main Jewish student union reportedly has petitioned a Paris court to order Twitter to divulge details about users who post anti-Semitic comments. Attorney Stephane Lilti, who represents the Union of French Jewish Students, or UEJF, told the French news agency AFP on Tuesday that a hearing is set for January 8 in a Paris […]

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AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue # 58 – November 28, 2012

AllJewishLinks.com Newsletter Issue # 58 - November 28, 2012

New York yeshiva students received $9 million in state grants during the first half of 2012, thanks to a change in state law that made them eligible for the first time for a state-funded financial aid program. The students previously barred from receiving funds offered by New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program, also claimed $17.2 […]

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Tasty Treat: Talking Shop with Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman

Tasty Treat: Talking Shop with Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman

Just before my favorite holiday last week, I sat down with the prolific food-blogger-turned-cookbook-author Deb Perelman. The founder of the Smitten Kitchen was recently given a spot on the Forward 50 and is currently touring the U.S. to promote her new book, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook. Next […]

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Apparently I Was Supposed to Announce my Temporary Vacation

Apparently I Was Supposed to Announce my Temporary Vacation

In the blog world people need constant content and if they don’t get that content they typically don’t visit your site. Of course, I was surprised last month when my pay per click advertising was at it’s regular rate and so I went into my stats to take a look and it appeared that 2,000 […]

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Our Disproof of Heaven

Our Disproof of Heaven

We read a puff piece in the Times today about “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” by Dr. Eben Alexander III, “Readers Join Doctor’s Journey to the Afterworld’s Gates.” We also read a slam of the book on Salon, “Dr. Eben Alexander’s so-called afterlife. A doctor says he proves heaven’s existence in his bestselling […]

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Jewish Agency Targets Russian-Speaker at Confab

Jewish Agency Targets Russian-Speaker at Confab

In the ancient, cobble-stoned, quintessentially European city of Maastricht, Holland, this past weekend, a gathering of more than 200 Jewish youth was brought together to strengthen Jewish identity and communal associations on the continent. Organized and hosted by the Jewish Agency for Israel, the four-day seminar targeted Russian-speaking Jewish youth from across Europe, and Germany […]

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Norway Police Apologize for Deporting Jews

Norway Police Apologize for Deporting Jews

Norwegian police apologized for the first time on Monday for their complicity in the deportation and murder of over 700 Jews during the Nazi occupation in World War II, just months after the prime minister made a formal apology. “Norwegian police officers participated in the arrest and deportation of Jews,” police chief Odd Reidar Humlegaard […]

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Volunteers Clean Swastikas, Hate Symbols in Bulgarian Capital

Volunteers Clean Swastikas, Hate Symbols in Bulgarian Capital

Volunteers from various ethnic backgrounds in Sofia joined together Sunday to clean up swastikas and other symbols of hate from the walls of buildings in the Bulgarian capital city. The campaign titled “let’s clean away hate” aims “to facilitate the integration of ethnic and religious communities in Bulgaria, to present successful models of multicultural dialogue, […]

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Rube Goldberg Machine Lights Menorah

Rube Goldberg Machine Lights Menorah

Technion students Eyal Cohen and Tomer Wassermann from the Mechanical Engineering faculty and Matan Orian and Dvir Dukhan of Industrial Engineering and Management take on the challenge to build a Rube Goldberg machine that lights the Chanukah menorah. The film was made in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Robotics Laboratory in the William Davidson Faculty […]

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American Jewish JDC Appoints Alan Gill as New CEO

American Jewish JDC Appoints Alan Gill as New CEO

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee named Alan Gill, its longtime executive director of international relations and a resident of Israel, as the organization’s new CEO. Gill will take over Jan. 31 from interim CEO Darrell Friedman, who stepped in after the abrupt resignation of Steven Schwager in June. The JDC, which has an approximate […]

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Should Shuls be Welcoming Places?

Should Shuls be Welcoming Places?

I used to judge a shuls friendliness factor purely based on the amount of meal invites I received during davening. I used to come on in take a seat and literally wait for people to come up to me to say good shabbos and throw some free food my way, but recently I started thinking […]

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