“Author Archive”
Stories written by Jasmin Sasin

Selichot are Not Outcries

My teacher, Rav Soloveitchik taught that the selichot prayers are an outcry to God, a form of prayer that is out loud and hence a blatant public event. Outcry prayers he says, are different from more ordinary request prayers, more dramatic and more emotional. The obvious repetition in those liturgies makes sense to the Rav because […]

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China Produces 1st ‘Jewish’ Medals

The Shanghai Mint has struck a limited edition series of Shanghai Memory silver and gold medals to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Designated Area For Stateless Refugees, commonly known as the Shanghai Ghetto or Hongkew Ghetto. That area in Shanghai became a temporary home for an estimated 20,000 Jewish refugees who […]

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PM Turned Down Kosher Food, Preferring ‘Treif’ on Poland Trip

During a state visit to Poland in June, Jewish community members said they witnessed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other government officials eat non-kosher food – and the community is very angry and upset at the Prime Minister’s behavior. Two months after the visit by Netanyahu and his ministers, members of the community told Arutz […]

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Iceland’s Handful of Jews Keep Faith Alive

Iceland has no synagogue, no rabbis, no Jewish community center or organized structure. In fact, Judaism is not even one of Iceland’s state-recognized religions. Still, Iceland has about 100 Jews who call this North Atlantic island home. And last year, roughly 50 of them gathered in a hall downtown on Erev Rosh Hashanah for services […]

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U.S. Rep. Cantor to Lead GOP Lawmakers on AIPAC Israel Tour

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the Republican majority leader in the House of Representatives, will lead 26 GOP lawmakers on a tour of Israel funded by AIPAC’s educational affiliate. Next week’s tour follows on the heels of a similar one this week for 37 Democratic lawmakers led by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the House Democratic whip. […]

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With Children Under Chuppah

Years of expectations to receive the special approval that they have completed their conversion process and can get married according to Jewish Law; several years of fighting for Israeli recognition as conversion seekers, while their children already live in Israel as Jews; and decades of leading a double life: Colombian Jews who know they have […]

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Jewish Advocacy Group Condemns Hateful Remarks at Toronto Rally

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a Jewish Canadian advocacy group, condemned on Tuesday the remarks by a speaker at the annual Al-Quds Day protest in downtown Toronto, who called for Israelis to be killed. Video footage uploaded to YouTube showed the speaker, Elias Hazineh, saying at the rally, “We have to give […]

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Mayoral Race Comes to Crown Heights

On Wednesday, Democratic Mayoral candidate Sal Albanese went to Crown Heights to visit community organizations and small businesses. Albanese started at the Crown Heights Community Council, where he met with Rabbi Eli Cohen. Albanese and Rabbi Cohen discussed public safety, Metzizah BePeh, affordable housing, and other issues facing the community in Crown Heights. Albanese then […]

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The Hazards of Dating while Jewish in Berlin

So you’re Jewish, right?” Tobias asked while we were watching an episode of “Real Housewives” on his couch. “Yup,” I responded. Even though this was our first date after meeting in a yoga class — he was the flexible, relaxed one; I was schvitzing and falling — I let a few more details slip because […]

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Religious Jew is Devout Gay Drag Queen

Just shy of midnight, Shahar Hadar trades his knitted white yarmulke for a wavy blond wig and a pink velvet dress. Cheers greet him in a packed gay bar as he starts to swivel to a Hebrew pop song, his shiny red lips mouthing lyrics that mean more to him than the audience knows: “With […]

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Lloyd’s Offers Million Euro Reward for Leviev Jewel Return

Israeli Billionaire Lev Leviev was “taken” several weeks ago to the tune of 136 million dollars by jewel thieves in a daring daylight heist on the French Riviera – and the insurance company that is footing the bill for Leviev’s losses wants those jewels. Lloyd’s of London, the world famous insurance agency, is offering a […]

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Saving the Face of Mount Zion Cemetery

It’s a spectacle that could frighten just about anyone. Cemeteries can be uncomfortable places, but this one—the Mount Zion Cemetery in East Los Angeles, Calif., and its dilapidated state—brought a rabbi to tears. Rabbi Moshe Greenwald, director of Chabad of Downtown Los Angeles, said he cried the first time he witnessed the conditions there. “Walking through a neglected cemetery […]

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Iceland’s Few Jews Grapple with Faith

Iceland has no synagogue, no rabbis, no Jewish community center or organized structure. In fact, Judaism is not even one of Iceland’s state-recognized religions. Still, Iceland has about 100 Jews who call this North Atlantic island home. And last year, roughly 50 of them gathered in a hall downtown on Erev Rosh Hashanah for services […]

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Facebook Doesn’t Have “Shidduch Requests” for a Reason

“Hi there” Shalom — notice how this is the first conversation I have ever had with this person on Facebook, and mind you, the last time I saw this person panim el panim was probably 6 years ago, and I think that conversation consisted of various ‘hello’ synonyms. “Just putting out the word that we […]

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‘Dry Bones’ Goes to the Seder

Dry Bones has been tickling readers’ funny bones for the past 40 years in The Jerusalem Post and scores of other newspapers. The internationally syndicated editorial comic strip, featuring the affable key character Shuldig, has been ribbing politicos and their constituents for decades, taking a gentle poke at the Jewish world and the human condition. […]

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Haredi Groom Gets Cold Feet, Flees Wedding

A young couple from the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem canceled its wedding recently on the eve of the event, after the groom escaped from the banquet hall just moments before the marriage ceremony. The unusual event in the haredi society spread by word of mouth, reaching social networks in recent days. The […]

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“Auschwitz Birkenau Must Stay Authentic, Untouched”

Arutz Sheva TV‘s Hezki Ezra met the Director General of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation. “The foundation was founded”, explain the founders, “in order for future generations visiting the remains of the Auschwitz Nazi German concentration camp to be able to see with their own eyes the authentic site of the crimes that the Nazis committed during the […]

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Jews in Sports: A Pioneer Passes

Oscar (Ossie) Schechtman, an original member of the New York Knicks, scored the legendary first National Basketball League (called the Basketball Association of America at the time) basket on November 1, 1946 at the old Maple Leafs Garden in Toronto against the short-lived Toronto Huskies. Long before Jabaar, Jordan, Kobe and LeBron, Ossie held the […]

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Kevin Rudd Changes Election Day, Averting Conflict with Yom Kippur

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called new elections for September 7, avoiding a conflict with Yom Kippur. Rudd said Sunday that the clash with Yom Kippur — September 14, the date set by Julia Gillard, his predecessor — was a “massive inconvenience” to Jews. Gillard was ousted in late June from the top job. […]

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Female Panic

You’re a holy yeshiva bochur, you’ve gone 3 days without seeing a woman, now you have to go to CVS for some narishkeiten, what do you do? The life of a yeshiva bochur revolves around controlling thoughts that lead to illegal erections. A quality yeshiva bochur will do everything he can to not see or […]

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Is Google NOW Incredible or Creepy? Is NOW Kosher?

There sometimes is a fine line between incredible and creepy.The Times hints at this in a review of phone app technology that seems to know what you are thinking, especially Google NOW. Case in point. Yesterday I had to go from Teaneck, NJ to Forest Hills Queens, NY to attend the funeral for my sister’s […]

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Peres in Lithuania: Ponar Slaughter is a Warning to Us All

Peres in Lithuania: Ponar Slaughter is a Warning to Us All

On the second and final day of his state visit to Lithuania, President Shimon Peres, escorted by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, visited what is known as the Valley of Slaughter – the Ponar forest where some 100,000 Jews, gypsies, members of the Polish intelligentsia and some Soviet prisoners were mercilessly killed by the Nazis and […]

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Social Media Help Track Shoah Assets

When Cati Holland checked her email a few weeks ago, she was surprised to find a message saying she was eligible for compensation for her grandmother’s Berlin store that was seized by the Nazis more than 70 years ago. It wasn’t spam or a phishing attempt or even a legitimate note from a German official […]

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Anti-Semitic Finnish Paper Promises to ‘Tone it Down’

A freely-distributed Finnish paper notorious for its anti-Semitic content has said it would tone down its editorial line after being criticized by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, AFP reported on Friday. “The contents are to become more commercial and radical articles should be avoided,” Juha Kaarkkaainen, editor-in-chief of the Magneettimedia paper, told the Helsingin Sanomat […]

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What’s Wrong With Being Right? – The Truth About Moral Relativism

In proclaiming that “Man is the measure of all things,” Greek philosopher Protagoras, was quite patent in denouncing any objective standard of morality, and by no means was he alone. The notion that truth is perceived differently from divergent points of view and that no single point of view is the complete truth, has from […]

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NBA Star Amar’e Stoudemire Seeking Israeli Citizenship

Amar’e Stoudemire, the New York Knicks star who claims Hebrew roots and is currently touring Israel, is seeking Israeli citizenship. Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, told New York magazine that the Knicks’ power forward is in the process of becoming an Israeli. “He’s getting citizenship,” Walters said. ”He applied, and he’s there now.” Stoudemire went to […]

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The High Cost of Being Jewish

Serious Jewish journalism consistently laments the high cost of being Jewish. So why is being Jewish such a financial bust? ‘Cause it has to be! It’s God’s will. It says so in the Torah. Take, for example, the command, “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” This command is given three times […]

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My Dear Rabbi Talmudic Advice Column for August

Dear Rabbi, My son, his wife and children have decided to make aliyah to Israel. My husband and I understand their practical and idealistic motivations for this decision. We applaud what they are doing and feel pride in their Judaic and Zionist ardor. We plan to visit them in Israel periodically, but we have no […]

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Jewish Groups Spar Over Representation by Controversial Lawyer in Poland ‘Shechita’ Ban

Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich harshly criticized the European Jewish Association on Tuesday for hiring the former leader of a controversial parliamentary faction to represent the group in legal efforts to overturn a ban on ritual slaughter. Schudrich told The Jerusalem Post last week that Poland’s Jewish community was preparing to go to the country’s […]

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From Talmud to Thai Kickboxing

Every morning, Rabbi Yaakov Lupolianski arrives at the Bnei Akiva Yeshiva at the central Israeli moshav of Nehalim. He teaches Talmud, Torah and religion, and then goes home to change. As the sun goes down, the bearded rabbi turns into a tough Muay Thai instructor, who teaches his students to kick, punch and defend themselves. […]

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