Newsletter Issue # 30 May 16, 2012

Crown Heights is becoming the Hasidic SoHo. The neighborhood  has a spanking-new gallery of Jewish art with $175,000 paintings. There’s a female rock band whose members are frum (religiously observant) and a kosher pizzeria that’s a hangout for chic moms carrying Louis Vuitton handbags. The nabe, is now a place where Hasidic business owners say they feel safe to go SoHo upscale.

An 11-year-old student at an orthodox Jewish day school in Maryland, is a finalist for Google’s annual “Doodle 4 Google” contest. 114,000 kids from kindergarten through grade 12 drew pictures using the search engine’s logo. The theme for this year’s contest was: “If I could travel in time, I’d visit . . .”  Johanna’s illustration, celebrates crafts including crocheting and sewing states, instead many items had to be handmade. If I could travel in time, I’d visit my Hungarian ancestors and receive needlecraft lessons from experts whose homes and livelihoods centered on this unique talent.”

Made of Bronze, and weighs 40 kilograms and is 1.4 meters tall meet the largest mezuzah in the world, which was placed on Monday at the entrance to the emergency Room at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. The parchment rolled inside the mezuzah, which is inscribed with Shma Yisrael and additional Torah portions, is 60 centimeters long when spread out. The oversized mezuzah was donated by Israeli-French businessman Shmuel Flatto-Sharon.

Renowned artist Avner Moriah presented the pope his illustrated version of Genesis, the first book of the Torah, at the Vatican. The work, which juxtaposes the Hebrew text of the Bible with the artist’s interpretative drawings, took Moriah two years to complete, and is the first stage of his larger project to illustrate the entire Torah – the Five Books of Moses – with his unique form of visual commentary.

Is the Internet kosher?  The hot dogs served at Citi Field can be judged kosher or treif. The Internet cannot. It is a medium for communications and hence cannot be kosher or treif. Some rabbis are making a mass rally about the Internet the center of attention for their communities. A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews rented out Citi Field for a meeting intended to draw thousands of men to discuss the dangers of the Internet and formulate a community wide response.

The Akivan view purports that the entire Torah was given to Moses on Sinai with general principles along with all of the particulars, but this appears to come into conflict with the closing segment of this week’s parsha. During a family dispute, a certain man took God’s name in vain and was immediately taken to Moses and sequestered “lifrosh lahem al pi Hashem,” until it would be explained to them through the word of God. According to the Ishmaelian, Moses did not receive the entire Torah at Sinai and that Moses did not know what to do at this juncture so Moses had simply not yet received word from on high as to how to deal with a blasphemer.

Whether we like it or not the government and taxes are two necessary evils . The frum community also has a lot of necessary evils and we will touch upon a few of them today. Some of you may think that certain things are necessary evils, but things like shabbos toilet paper is not necessary and pre-checked vegetables are just plain evil.

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