“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

Rabbi Ariel: ‘Banks are the Last Place to Borrow Money From’

If you need a loan, the place to get it is at a gemach, a free loan society, that charges no interest, but may include a “usage fee,” according to Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel. Rabbi Ariel was on the “short list” for Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, and is considered a scholar of note by […]

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A Machzor They Won’t Just Pretend to Read

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As the average person’s attention continues to thin together with our ever-slimmer smart phones, engaging teens and adults in today’s fast forward world is becoming increasingly more difficult.  And once great crowd pleasers like the songs ‘Oseh Shalom’ and ‘David Melech Yisroel’ –  have become somewhat outdated, leaving many Shluchim baffled with the task of […]

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Holland’s Largest Hebrew Bookstore Shutters Doors

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One of Western Europe’s largest Hebrew bookstores has closed down in Amsterdam as its former owners prepare to immigrate to Israel. Samech, located in southern Amsterdam, has been supplying Hebrew-language books to members of Holland’s Jewish community for nearly 40 years and possessed a stock of 100,000 books, according to the website of the Dutch […]

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Dear Heshy: Can One Actually be Frum if They Live Out of Town?

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Dear Heshy, I know that you live out of town and consider yourself frum, so I hope that you and your out of town readers don’t take this the wrong way, but I always felt that those folks who moved out of town were sacrificing on their yiddishkeit for a higher quality of life in […]

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Is Steve Lonegan, the Anti-Spanish Former Mayor of Bogota, Jewish?

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No, New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan is not a Jew. He is Catholic and attends St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Bogota. Back on 7/17/2006 here is what we posted on our blog about Mr. Lonegan when he tried to get a Spanish advertising billboard removed from his town… Don’t confuse this town […]

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17 Yemenite Jews Brought to Israel in Covert Operation

The Jewish Agency on Wednesday night helped a group of 17 Jews to move to Israel from Yemen, in a covert maneuver reminiscent of 1949-50’s Operation Magic Carpet, the first mass aliya after the foundation of the state. Citing heightened security concerns and increasing tensions in Yemen, two sets of parents were brought directly to […]

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Top Rabbi Backs Elon Despite Conviction

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Less a week after he was found guilty of indecent assault by force on a minor, Rabbi Mordechai Elon is receiving significant support from one of the most prominent religious Zionist rabbis. Ynet has learned that Rabbi Chaim Druckman, one of the leaders of the national-religious public, invited the convicted rabbi to deliver his weekly […]

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Avraham Fried, ‘Samaria Jews are Our Heroes’

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Popular hassidic singer Avraham Fried made an appearance in Karnei Shomron in Samaria (Shomron) this week, drawing a crowd of approximately 1,300. “The last time I was here was 17 years ago, a long time,” Fried told his audience. “But thank G-d, I’m here with you this evening in Karnei Shomron, praise G-d!” He expressed […]

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Bris Milah Lawsuit Triggers Aggressive City Response

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The much-watched court case challenging New York City’s regulation of bris milah has entered a new phase of litigation known as Discovery. This process, through which both sides request documents from the other, depositions of witnesses and other evidence relevant to the case, precedes the actual trial. The City’s requests have been so massive and […]

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Young U.S. Jews Feel Closer to Israel, Studies Find

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Young American Jews have closer ties to Israel than ever before, while Israelis who have moved to the United States are raising the Jewish consciousness of all Jews in the New World. Such upbeat conclusions may run counter to more prevalent pessimistic pronouncements, but they are bolstered by three new research studies. Results of these […]

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Blame It on the Bossa Nova: Remembering Eydie Gorme

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Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme—never Eydie and Steve.  But theirs was a relationship where she never took a back seat. I am old enough to remember the duet’s appearances on every conceivable variety show in the 1960s and 70s.  (By the way, whatever happened to the concept of a variety show?)  The Hollywood Palace, the […]

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What We Can Learn from Shabbos Davening Times

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I have to be honest, I never gave the times people start shabbos morning davening much thought until I realized that the whole world didn’t just start at 9am. In general the orthodox Jewish way is to start shachris at 9am, but in reality once you start to nitpick you will find that the more […]

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Nefesh B’ Nefesh Flight Brings 330 more North American Immigrants to Israel

Some 330 North Americans making aliya to Israel arrived at Ben-Gurion Airport on Tuesday morning on a flight chartered by Nefesh B’Nefesh. Among the new arrivals were 125 young people making aliya in order to serve Israel in the IDF. This summer, a total of 2,500 olim were expected to arrive in Israel on Nefesh […]

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Temple Mount Reopened to Jews

Dozens of Jews on visited the Temple Mount on Sunday morning as it was opened to tourists for the first time since the end of the month of Ramadan and the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr last week. Temple activists are accusing the police of closing the Mount unnecessarily throughout most of the month of […]

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Talks Could Collapse over Housing

Middle East peace talks could “collapse” due to continuing Israeli settlement expansion, a senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official warned Tuesday, on the eve of the scheduled resumption of the fragile process.   “Settlement expansion goes against the U.S. administration’s pledges and threatens to cause the negotiations’ collapse,” Yasser Abed Rabbo told AFP.   The comments […]

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Chief Rabbis Pledge Support for Chabad

Chabad representatives met with the newly elected chief rabbis of Israel in their Jerusalem offices. Rabbi Yaakov Gloiberman and Rabbi Levi Edri met with chief Ashkenazic rabbi Dovid Lau and chief Sephardic rabbi Yitzchak Yosef. During the meeting, Rabbi Yosef reminisced of the Talmud Torah he attended as a child, “Yavneh,” where he was taught […]

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Non-Jews Hit by ‘Jewish’ Diseases Fall Through the Cracks of Genetic Screening

For three days in April, about 70 families whose lives have been upended by Tay-Sachs disease gathered in San Diego for the annual National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases conference. The event, which attracted families caring for children with Tay-Sachs as well as those who have lost loved ones to the degenerative disease that claims most […]

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Laughing Until I Cried: Hebrew School

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My father always insisted that Hebrew school vitally important, and certainly more important than secular school, which seemed ridiculous. Regular school had its moments of strangeness—why did we spend much of third grade learning how to knit, or take at least three field trips to cemeteries?  Hebrew school, on the other hand, involved more regular […]

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Elul Already?

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This new moon brought more than the end of Ramadan and a little PMS: It marks the beginning of Elul, the last month of the Hebrew year before we repent and do it all over again. Some Eluls I get really hairshirt-y about it and list an alphabet of sins I’ve committed over the past […]

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Beit Shemesh Official: Egged Waging ‘Defamation Campaign’ on Haredim

The Egged bus company is complicit in a “defamation campaign against the haredi public,” Beit Shemesh Deputy Mayor Shmuel Greenberg (United Torah Judaism) stated in an interview with the Chadash Beit Shemesh newspaper published on Friday. Greenberg, chairman of the Municipal Transportation Committee, criticized Egged over an incident last month in which a haredi couple […]

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An Undiscovered Internment Camp Housed 700 Jews during WWII

Deep in the woods of Ripples, New Brunswick, some 700 Jews found themselves stepping into an internment camp during the early months of the Second World War. Now almost 70 years later, The Vancouver Sun enfolds the story of a little known camp that saved many Jews from perishing in the Holocaust. During a relief […]

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Book Lists 1,000 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married

Can dating and fun coincide? For many singles, those two words are polar opposites. Many singles get burnt out, jaded and perpetuate an annoyingly unproductive cycle of “failed” dates. Yet one women is pushing the dating scene into a newly formatted direction. The book, 1,000 Questions to ask before getting married, is an inquisitive question series […]

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Is ‘Yeshivish’ a Language, a Dialect Like ‘Ebonics,’ or Something Else Altogether?

When do distinct dialects become so separated they can be considered separate languages? How would the question, which is often raised in connection to the “Black English” found spoken by African Americans, apply to its Judeo-English cousin colloquially known as “Yeshivish”? The form of English commonly spoken in American Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox communities- replete with […]

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That “Aha” Moment

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Every teacher has a reason why they entered the world of education. Some say it’s because they love working with children, others say it’s because one teacher made a difference in their lives, and some will admit that it’s because they get holidays and summers off. When people ask why I became a teacher, specifically […]

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Divorce from a Jewish Perspective

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As a Man floating in the purgatory between married and single, I am torn.  I am torn between many things.  Between forgiveness and judgment, between sacrifice and greed but mostly between right and wrong.  But mostly I am lost.  There is so much buzz about shidduch crisis yet almost none about the divorce crisis, the […]

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New Olim: IDF, Here We Come!

Ben Yablon, 19, of Portland, has been surrounded by aircraft since childhood. His father is a pilot, two of his uncles are pilots, and even his grandmother was a pilot who took a NASA training course and volunteered in an air defense unit. He himself has been practicing since the age of 16 and received […]

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Thousands Mark 78 Years Since Rabbi Kook’s Passing

More than 3,000 people visited the tomb of Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Hacohen Kook on Friday, to mark 78 years since his passing. Rabbi Kook (more commonly known in Hebrew as ”Rav Kook” or “HaRoe”h” - the visionary, an acronym of his name) was born in Griva, Latvia in 1865. He studied at the prestigious Volozhin yeshiva (religious academy), and […]

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N. Orlando Celebrates Commencement of First Torah

Florida governor Rick Scott declared Sunday to be “Torah Day.” The proclamation honored the North Orlando Chabad community and the inauguration of the congregation’s first torah dedicated by Zvi and Dawn Shamu and Paul Sebag. Scott “extended greetings and best wishes upon” Rabbi Yanky Majesky and wife Chanshy on their commitment “to bringing the joy of […]

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Has the Era of the Kosher Cheeseburger Arrived?

When the world’s first lab-grown burger was introduced and taste-tested on Monday, the event seemed full of promise for environmentalists, animal lovers and vegetarians. Another group that had good reason to be excited: kosher consumers. The burger was created by harvesting stem cells from a portion of cow shoulder muscle that were multiplied in petri […]

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Women and Tallit

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Why do some women wear Tallit? Why shouldn’t women wear Tallit? What’s the big deal? If you’re like me, you probably haven’t spent a lot of time pondering these questions. As someone who falls somewhere outside of regular observance, a tallit, or prayer shawl, isn’t usually on the forefront of my thoughts.  (Even defining a […]

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