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Lunar eclipse 2010: Moon goes dark red for rare total eclipse on winter solstice

… The Man in the Moon got red-faced as the Earth blocked the sun from its view on Tuesday in a rare lunar eclipse.

Most people on the east coast were asleep for the incredible celestial event, but the moon was turned blood red for more than an hour from around 2:40 a.m. to 3:50, according to NASA.

This was the first time a total lunar eclipse occurred on the winter solstice since 1638. As a result, the moon appeared “very high in the night sky, as the solstice marks the time when …

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Jewish Wisdom on After-Life

… just like that.

The spiritual afterlife is ascribed in Hebrew as Olam Ha-Ba, the world to come. Jewish beliefs on the topic of death and after-life have distinct limits. Even the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew scripture), the most important Jewish text, has meager or no clear advertence to afterlife at all. The concerns of Jewish beliefs focus on the purpose of earthly existence, which is to live life according to the dictates of God (mainly the 10 commandments) and fellow man …

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The Kabbalah Handbook: A Concise Encyclopedia of Terms and Concepts in Jewish Mys

… single-volume reference guide to the terms and ideas of Kabbalah by a longtime teacher of Jewish mysticism -perfect for the serious student and newcomer alike.

People of all faiths and backgrounds are drawn to the inspiration, knowledge, and spiritual insight that Kabbalah offers. But too often writings on Jewish mysticism are impenetrable for the novice, overly simplified for the advanced student, or misrepresent and sensationalize Kabbalistic practice. The Kabbalah Handbook is the …

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Jewish People, Jewish Thought

Jewish People, Jewish Thought

… has faced a unique concatenation of political, economic, and geographical circumstances. And the Jewish historical experience is more unusual than most. Standing both within and without the mainstream of Western culture, Judaism offers remarkable insights into the genesis and elaboration of powerful religious ideas and into the determined survival of a small, vulnerable people repeatedly forced to confront and adjust to conditions beyond its immediate control.

In this work, I have …

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Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion

… the formal development of Judaism from the eleventh through the sixteenth centuries, a robust Jewish folk religion flourished–ideas and practices that never met with wholehearted approval by religious leaders yet enjoyed such wide popularity that they could not be altogether excluded from the religion. According to Joshua Trachtenberg, it is not possible truly to understand the experience and history of the Jewish people without attempting to recover their folklife and beliefs from …

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The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy

… theological speculation, classical philosophers and Christian Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, Jewish thinkers living in Islamic and Christian lands philosophized about Judaism from the ninth to fifteenth centuries. They reflected on the nature of language about God, the creation of the world, the possibility of human freedom and the relationship between divine and human law. This Companion presents major medieval Jewish thinkers in a comprehensive introduction to a vital period of Jewish

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The Deadliest Lies: The Israel Lobby and the Myth of Jewish Control

Abraham H. Foxman

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

The representative of the Jewish community and staunch defender of human rights, Foxman delivers a powerful blow to such ideas as “The Israel Lobby.” He shows how old stereotypes associated with the most virulent forms of bigotry have been resurfacing and taking subtle new forms. From Carter to Mearsheimer, he addresses the public figures who make these beliefs appear credible. He also reveals a disturbing parallel …

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The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time

The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time

Debby Flancbaum

Publisher: Urim Publications

The Jewish Woman Next Door: Repairing the World One Step at a Time is a collection of absorbing essays about contemporary Jewish women – some known throughout the world, others known only in their own communities – who engage in extraordinary acts of kindness.

Although the women featured in this book come from all walks of Jewish life – religious, secular and everything in …

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These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life

Arthur Green

Publisher: Jewish Lights

What are the most essential ideas, concepts and terms that an educated person needs to know about Judaism? What is the basic vocabulary of Jewish spiritual life? Let one of the great teachers of our time take you on a historical and spiritual journey through Judaism.

Judaism itself is a language, a group’s way of expressing beliefs, longings, aspirations and dreams. The …

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Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs and Rituals

… for keeping kosher? How do I light the Hanukah candles? What is in the Hebrew Bible? What do the Jewish holidays signify? What should I be teaching my children about being Jewish?

A landmark reference, here is an indispensable one-volume guide to the religious traditions, everyday practices, philosophical beliefs, and historical foundations of Judaism — everything you need to know about being Jewish. In Essential Judaism, George Robinson has created the accessible compendium that he …

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Ask the Rabbi: The Who, What, When, Where, Why, & How of Being Jewish

… Jossey-Bass

Does God really have a chosen people? Do Jews believe in an afterlife? Why do all Jewish holidays begin at night? When is it okay to tell a lie? What does Judaism say about being gay?

From the mundane to the perplexing, Rabbi Ron Isaacs answers all your questions about the Jewish faith in a manner that is warm, wise, and witty. Isaacs brings his many years of experience as a rabbi and scholar to create a family-friendly resource that you and your children can use again and …

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The Book of Beliefs and Opinions (Yale Judaica Series, Vol 1)

… translation into a modern language of the entire text of Saadia Gaon’s classic Book of Beliefs and Opinions–the first systematic attempt to present Judaism as a rational body of beliefs.

“Saadia Gaon’s Book of Beliefs and Opinions is the oldest surviving specimen of medieval Jewish philosophy. It remains also an outstanding specimen of Kalam interpretation of Judaism. Rosenblatt’s translation is a masterly rendition.”–Gerson Cohen, Jewish Theological Seminary …

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The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions

… Publisher: JPS

How much do you really know about Judaism? After reading The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions, you may be in for a surprise! Did you know that:

· Dividing the Bible into chapters and verses was a Christian innovation · Although a recital of the Ten Commandments was once part of the daily service at the Temple in Jerusalem, Jews elsewhere were forbidden to recite them · The Kaddish, which now closes every Jewish service, as well as sections within the service, was …

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Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult’s Guide to Building a Jewish Life

Tough Questions Jews Ask: A Young Adult's Guide to Building a Jewish Life

Rabbi Edward Feinstein

Publisher: Jewish Lights

What your rabbi probably never told you– about God, belief, the meaning of life, and more– but could have, if you had only asked.

The art of asking good questions is a hallmark of Jewish spirituality. From a very early age, we teach our children to ask and we celebrate their questioning. But for young people, it often feels as if no one is willing to take their questions …

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Jewish Spirit: A Celebration In Stories & Art

… Hasidic tales to Sephardic folklore, the stories reveal the unique heritage and customs of the Jewish community: they are passionate, inspirational, and often humorous tales that speak of origins, ethical dilemmas, exile, and the passing down of cherished beliefs. Illustrating this vast, remarkable anthology is a brilliant selection of art, featuring more than 120 color plates relating to the Jewish experience by such masters as Marc Chagall, Ben Shahn, Max Weber, and Louise Nevelson.

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Russian Billionaire wants Jewish al-Jazeera

Russian Billionaire wants Jewish al-Jazeera

Russian billionaire Alexander Mashkevich plans to establish a Jewish version of al-Jazeera to combat the negative image of Israel portrayed in the media.

“Every day and every hour people get negative information about Israel. Therefore, the most important thing is to represent Israel on an international level, with real information,” The Jerusalem Post quoted Mashkevich saying at a conference of the United Israel Appeal in Washington.

Read more: @ …

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Russian billionaire to found ‘Jewish Al-Jazeera’

Russian billionaire to found 'Jewish Al-Jazeera'

Russian “oligarch” and Jewish philanthropist Alexander Mashkevich announced on Wednesday his intention to found a Jewish version of Al-Jazeera.

“Every day and every hour people get negative information about Israel,” Mashkevich said at the Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal conference in Washington D.C. “Therefore, the most important thing is to represent Israel on an international level, with real …

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Jewish women and the Democratic National Committee

… Schultz as the new chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), making her the first Jewish woman to hold this position. After doing a little research at jwa.org, however, I realized that even though Wasserman Schultz may be the first Jewish woman to chair the DNC, she is actually joining a long tradition of Jewish women who have been active in the organization.

Read More: @ jwablog.jwa.org

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Was Gandhi Jewish?

No, political leader Mohandas Gandhi was not a Jew. He was a Hindu.

A new book described in a review in the WSJ (Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi And His Struggle With India, by Joseph Lelyveld ) reports that Gandhi had a longtime lover who was a Jew and a Zionist.

WSJ: Among the Hagiographers

Early on Gandhi was dubbed a ‘mortal demi-god’—and he has been regarded that way ever since.

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MI5 believed Jewish underground wanted to assassinate Churchill

MI5 believed Jewish underground wanted to assassinate Churchill

A member of one of the Jewish underground militant groups that sought to end the British Mandate in Palestine and establish the State of Israel suggested that then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, should be assassinated, according to the British newspaper Telegraph.

Records of the British military intelligence unit MI5 reveal that a member of the Lehi pre-state militia confessed when …

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Jewish Graves Desecrated in Iran

Jewish Graves Desecrated in Iran

… that was uploaded to YouTube on Friday shows the broken tombstones and desecrated graves. The Jewish cemeteries that were desecrated are located in the Damavand region of Iran. There are two Jewish cemeteries in the area, one in the village of Maranak and the other in the village of Giliard.

As of last December, 25,000 Jews remained in Iran. While Jews in Iran are free to practice Judaism, there is an undercurrent of fear. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, an official …

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Why does L.A. Jewish Federation head want everyone to be like LeBron James?

Why does L.A. Jewish Federation head want everyone to be like LeBron James?

… It’s early January, and Jay Sanderson is talking in his corner office on the 11th floor of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ headquarters about his first year as president of Federation, explaining the versatility and passion he expects of his staff.

“I want everyone to be a LeBron James,” he says, and seems genuinely puzzled when his reference is questioned.

“LeBron James is a great basketball player, because he can score and he can rebound, but he’s also a …

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Confessions of a Jewish infant genital mutilator

In the course of the exhaustive research that preceded the writing of this column ‏(yes, I did a quick Google search‏), I learned a new word. Intactivism. My spell-checker may not yet recognize it but apparently intactivism is a growing movement. Its spiritual and organizational headquarters is in San Francisco but they are spreading globally, or so at least the various intactivist …

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Jewish author Philip Roth nominated for Man Booker International Prize

Jewish author Philip Roth nominated for Man Booker International Prize

American Jewish author Philip Roth is among the 13 authors shortlisted for the biennial Man Booker International Prize which will be awarded on May 18 in Sydney.

The prize is worth 60,000 pounds ($96,000) to the winner, and living authors whose works of fiction are either originally in English or generally available in English translation are eligible.

It honors a writer’s body of work as …

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A Jewish community president who can’t be called to the Torah? Meet Bulgaria’s Alex Oscar

A Jewish community president who can’t be called to the Torah? Meet Bulgaria’s Alex Oscar

… and the Rectorate of the University of Sofia, Alexander Oscar, the young president of Sofia’s Jewish community, issued a blunt message to his countrymen.

The occasion was Bulgaria’s Holocaust remembrance ceremony on March 10, a day meant to celebrate the country’s heroic rescue of its 50,000 Jews during World War II, a feat unequalled in any Nazi-allied country and a rightful mark of pride here.

Read More: @ jta.org

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Is the “Secret” Eliezer Society at Yale University Jewish?

Yes, the secret Eliezer society at Yale University is Jewish, according to Time Magazine.

We don’t like the idea of secret societies, Jewish or not. If you have something of value to offer the world, why not let everyone in on it? Perhaps it’s so your members can feel like special elite people.

Be that as it may, based on our cursory viewing of their videos, we think maybe that Time magazine has been had by a Purim story about a …

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Eating Jewish: Aranygaluska, or “Hungarian monkey bread”

Eating Jewish: Aranygaluska, or "Hungarian monkey bread"

Earlier this month, The Jew and the Carrot published an article by Leah Koenig entitled “Jewish Dishes We Miss: A Top-10 List of Ashkenazi Foods To Bring Back.” Prior to publishing this list, readers were asked to write in with their own suggestions as to which dishes should go on this list and in the end it was made up of the following ten dishes:

schmaltz (rendered poultry fat), gribenes (poultry skin cracklings), schav (sorrel and sorrel soup), tongue, mamaliga (cornmeal …

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JStandard’s Miryam Wahrman Covers Jewish Domestic Abuse and Child Abuse

… its own shortcomings. Teaneck’s JStandard science editor Dr. Miryam Wahrman writes about Jewish domestic abuse and child abuse. Those are sad realities in every ethnic and religious community. These two important articles will raise consciousness and save people from actual misery in the Jewish community.

Confessions and warnings. Project S.A.R.A.H. addresses domestic abuse

…“There’s an enormous shift in the Jewish community, from being in denial that these problems …

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Jewish Studies in Decline?

Jewish Studies in Decline?

… of the humanities in the country’s universities. Especially dispiriting is the report on Jewish studies, once the crowning glory of Israel’s flagship Hebrew University—and, in the report’s inadvertently nostalgic words, “an investment in the nurturing of the deep spiritual and cultural structures of Israeli public and private life.”

That investment has been producing ever smaller returns. While Israel is still the world center of Jewish studies, the field’s decline …

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Does Jewish Meditation Exist?

Yes of course, Jewish meditation exists. We’ve written about it extensively in our new book (forthcoming). And now in our latest teaching (Liturgy of the Days of Awe at the Jewish Theological Seminary) we have extended our explanation and definition of Jewish meditation to subsume more of the classical Jewish prayers and rituals.

We posited in one recent class that the Kol Nidre service was best …

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