Newsletter Issue # 49 – September 26, 2012

Dozens of parents whose daughters study in state-religious schools appealed to Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar  in hopes to end to the gender discrimination in Oral Law studies. According to the parents, that boys begin studying the Talmud in the fifth grade, while girls must settle for Mishna studies which infringes on the right to equality.

Nevada has hired a kashrut consultant and is seeking to settle a class-action lawsuit over food served to Jewish inmates in state prisons. The state Board of Examiners have approved a $387,000 contract with nonprofit Scroll K/Vaad Hakashrus to provide rabbinical supervision of food preparation for prisoners.

Close to 80 Danish Jews have traveled to Malmo, Sweden in solidarity with the city’s Jewish community and in protest of anti-Semitic attacks that happened there. In Malmo they met with local Jewish leaders at the synagogue and attended a Holocaust memorial ceremony,

Fasting on Yom Kippur is difficult even for the healthiest person. But for the elderly, infirm, pregnant, or those dependent upon medication, getting through the holiest day of the Jewish year without food and water can be an ordeal. Inspired by an ill friend Yitzchok Fleischer, the founder and executive director of the Bikur Cholim D’Bobov sought to change all that when his friend told him he needed intravenous feeding in order to complete the fast,

Undoubtedly there are more texting in shul this Rosh Hashanah than in past years. Most liberal congregations texting was likely done as discreetly as possible often with a cellphone hidden low in one’s lap. Some congregations texting may have been done more overtly outside in the synagogue lobby or perhaps outside the synagogue building.

The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as The Days of Awe. The basic concept is that during this time, God sits over a big book, writing out everyone’s destinies for the coming year. The prayer we say in synagogue during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the U’Netaneh Tokef, which gets down and dirty with the details.

While watching the Daily Show online over the weekend and I was fascinated with the commercials, two in particular, which was streamed almost back to back. Maybe you saw these commercials too. They’re good. They’re entertaining. I liked the music. It kept me focused for the entire 30 seconds. And it made me think,  about gender, about sex, about the desires and fears that differ between men and women.

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