“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

15 Years Later, Vol. 2 of Letters and the Spirit Published

Now available for the first time is the second volume of the popular Letters and the Spirit book, which was first published some 15 years ago. Rabbi Dr. Nissan Mindel , personal secretary of the Rebbe for over four decades and responsible for his correspondence, describes in fascinating detail in his comprehensive introduction to this […]

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U.S. Jews Laud Supreme Court Ruling in Favor of Gay Marriage Movement

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday handed a significant victory to gay rights advocates by recognizing that married gay men and women are eligible for federal benefits, paving the way for same-sex marriage in California. The court, however, fell short of a landmark ruling endorsing a fundamental right for gay people to marry. The American […]

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The Yenta, the Conservatives and Attorney General Sam Olens at the JEA

Ooooh, nothing like pissing off the alterkockers before 10am. Yesterday, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens came to speak at the Jewish Educational Alliance, and before I could even start asking him annoying questions, I got into it with two extremely conservative members of the community about Edward Snowden, the NSA and President Obama. “Snowden’s a traitor!” groused one […]

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Uri Ariel: Israel Will Always Defend Jews Worldwide

The State of Israel is prepared to “defend the Jewish people wherever they are, without compromises,” Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel declared during a speech in Kiev on Monday. Speaking at a memorial ceremony organized by the Jewish Agency at the site of the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev, Ariel compared the Islamic Republic […]

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Halachic Ruling: Women May say Kaddish

A surprising new halachic ruling issued by Orthodox rabbinical organization Beit Hillel allows women, for the first time, to say the Kaddish prayer in memory of their deceased parents. After probing the issue in the past few months, the organization’s rabbis, both men and women, found halachic sources allowing them to permit an act which has been […]

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New Jewish Memorial to be Built at Babi Yar

Jewish community heads from around the world on Monday participated in a special ceremony in memory of the Jews who were murdered and buried in Babi Yar in Ukraine. The event took place under the sponsorship of top members of the Jewish Agency, which is chaired by Natan Sharansky. The JA’s Board of Governors is […]

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Nightly Gemara Shiur Hold Siyum on Eruvin

Sunday evening, 15 Tammuz, the Crown Heights Nightly Gemara Shiur held a siyum on Maseches Eruvin at Empire Shtiebel. Among the distinguished participants was Rabbi Yossi Paltiel, who spoke about the idea of Eruvin according to Chassidus. Eruvin is one of the tougher masechtos in Shas, and is also one of those that is very […]

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Prince Charles Fears Rise of Anti-Semitism in Britain

Britain’s Prince Charles warned Monday that his monarchy was suffering from an “apparent rise in anti-Semitism, British media reported. In a speech celebrating the retirement of Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s outgoing chief rabbi, Prince Charles said: “Running throughout your time as chief rabbi has been that all-important principle of which this country has long been an […]

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Non-Congratulations to the New Non-Rabbis

Thirty years ago, in 1983 we were happy to start sending our women Jewish Studies major graduates at the University of Minnesota to train to become rabbis in the Reform movement. We told them to go out and become full head rabbis of synagogues, not assistants or educational directors. Some did. We were proud. This […]

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World Forum for Russian Jewry Head Announces New Babi Yar Memorial

A new memorial complex is slated to be built at the site of the infamous Babi Yar massacre in Kiev, Alexander Levin, the president of the World Forum for Russian Jewry, announced. Speaking at the Jewish Agency’s board of governors meeting in Kiev on Sunday, Levin said that the planned complex will incorporate a community […]

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Muslims Mark Jewish Heritage Month

May was Jewish History Month in the Canadian province of Ontario, proclaimed by an act of the provincial government one year ago. The month is dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of Jews, Jewish organizations and the Jewish community to life in Ontario. The government held a significant reception at Queen’s Park, home of […]

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Multilingual TV News Channel to Launch July 1

A new Israel-based 24-hour TV news channel broadcasting in English, French and Arabic is to go on air on July 1, its CEO announced. The new station, based in Tel Aviv’s seafront Jaffa district, is named i24news. “The channel will be launched on July 1, in three languages, including the website,” Frank Melloul told the AFPnews agency. […]

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JETS Students Graduate, 10 Get Semicha

JETS celebrated the many accomplishments of its students and graduates, as well as the ordination of ten Smicha students, at their June Banquet and the year end trip to the Grand Canyon. Now entering its 9th year, JETS is a unique school that caters to the individual needs of each student, enabling him to be […]

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Progressive Rabbi to Head Center-Right Ticket in Argentinian National Election

Rabbi Sergio Bergman will lead the ticket for the center-right PRO Party in Argentina’s national elections. The PRO Party confirmed the decision on Saturday hours before the deadline for parties to present candidates for the October vote. Bergman, a member of the Buenos Aires municipal Legislature, will head the list for the National Lower House. […]

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Crowdsourcing Some Human Decency

Take a look at this dating advice: “decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.” Offended? So were we. And so were a lot of […]

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Why Rabbi Avi Weiss is Wrong

Logic, that’s what it is. Rabbi Avi Weiss explains the logic behind his ordination of women to be halachic authorities and leaders. In this post I’m going to expose the flaws in his argument and prove to you why you should never even consider anything Rabbi Avi Weiss says or does, not even for a moment. Rabbi […]

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Hoenlein: We Need to Engage Jews like Zuckerberg

In cultivating the next generation of communal leaders, America’s Jewish community must “think out of the box and say that the traditional ways are no longer necessarily relevant for today,” an influential American Jewish leader told an audience at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on Thursday. Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive […]

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‘Italian Schindler’ Seen as Ardent Nazi

He has been called “the Italian Israel and declared a martyr by Pope John Paul II for helping save 5,000 during the Holocaust. But the New York Times reported Thursday that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington has decided to remove Giovanni Palatucci’s heroic tale from an exhibition after being informed that he was in […]

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Shalit Visit to Canada Raises Eyebrows

B’nai Brith Canada, using its newspaper the Jewish Tribune, has criticized the Jewish National Fund (JNF) for inviting former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as a guest speaker to address audiences in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver this coming September. Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in June of 2006 during a patrol just outside […]

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Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, An Educator Who Survived the Gulag

Rabbi Moshe Greenberg, survivor of the Soviet Gulag, as well as an activist for Jewish education under Communist rule and when he arrived to live in Israel, passed away on June 18 at age 84. He was the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Bnei Brak, Israel. He was born into a Chassidic family in Kishinev, Moldova, […]

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U.S. Senator Rand Paul Holds Reconciliation Meeting with Jewish Republicans

U.S. Senator Rand Paul had a reconciliatory meeting with the Republican Jewish Coalition in his latest bid to forge ties with the pro-Israel community. “There were some pleasant surprises,” Matthew Brooks, the Republican Jewish Coalition’s director, told the Washington Post’s Thursday edition, speaking of the meeting last week between Paul and the RJC board. “While […]

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Gender and the Art of Car Repair

During this morning’s commute into Boston the car started making a weird whoomping sound*. To my untrained ear it sounded like the car was performing some sort of subtle dance with road, where the slight shimmying of my car was a sure sign that the engine had decided to part ways with the rest of […]

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Foil the NSA with these Kippot

The gedolim were right all along. The Internet should be assur! Nothing good comes from it. It is full of depravity, impurity, and lust-invoking materials. It’s even worse than we thought. According to recent reports, the government knows all the naughty sites you’ve been looking at. And you thought no one noticed.  Deleting your cookies […]

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Was James Gandolfini Jewish?

He was such a powerful acting persona, sure we’d like to claim him as a member of the tribe. But no James Gandolfini was not a Jew. Shockingly, he passed away at age 51. He was a superlative actor who made his biggest hit in the Sopranos on HBO, considered by many critics to be […]

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First Soviet Government was Mostly Jewish

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish. “I thought about something just now: The decision to nationalize this library was made by the first Soviet government, whose composition was 80-85 percent Jewish,” Putin said June 13 during a visit to Moscow’s Jewish […]

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Jews Top Poll of UK’s Influential Refugees

While the word “refugee” may conjure up images such as hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from the Syrian Civil War, a poll conducted as part of Refugee Week 2013 aims to show some of the positive results of forced migration, and it is Jewish neurologist Sigmund Freud who tops the survey as the refugee […]

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BDS ‘Summer Camps’ to Indoctrinate College Students

Three groups with established records of stoking anti-Israel activity are organizing “summer camps” and “summer institutes” in New York and Chicago, where they will attempt to indoctrinate young children with biased narratives of Israeli-Arab history and teach college students to organize campaigns to boycott the state of Israel. The camps raise concerns about the potential […]

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Shliach in Berlin Greets American President

Today Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, Shliach of the Rebbe in Berlin and Rabbi of the Jewish community attended the talk of President Obama at the Brndenburg gate, after talk he shortly greeted and thanked the president. In the talk the President spoke about Colonel Gail Halvorsen who was is a command pilot in the United States […]

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How Ashkenazi are You? Tapping into Genetic Secrets Online

Catherine Afarian calls herself a “love child of the ‘70s.” Her mother discovered that she was pregnant after she had broken off a relationship of less than a year. Afarian has never met her biological father, but her mother always said he came from a big Italian family, and Afarian got a kick out of […]

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Queer Identity: More Questions than Answers

I didn’t realize it would be so hard to be queer after I got married. Seems like it should have been obvious to me, right? Marry a heterosexual cis-man, turn in queer club card, do not pass go, still collect hundreds of dollars of apparently-straight privilege. Is that how it has to be? I had […]

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