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Kabbalah Centre’s Berg Sent Packing from Newsweek’s List of Top Rabbis

Kabbalah Centre's Berg Sent Packing from Newsweek's List of Top Rabbis

When I read  Newsweek magazine’s expose of the Kabbalah Centre and its questionable foundation for a children’s school in Malawi founded with millions of dollars from Madonna, the first thing I thought about was the annual Newsweek list of the top fifty American rabbis (technically: the most “influential” rabbis).

Rabbi Yehuda Berg, the son of the controversial founder of the Kabbalah Centre, has …

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Some Reform rabbis doubt new movement chief’s devotion to Israel

Some Reform rabbis doubt new movement chief's devotion to Israel

NEW YORK – A group of Reform rabbis and activists has launched a campaign protesting the nomination of Rabbi Richard Jacobs as the new president of the Union for Reform Judaism, casting doubt on Jacobs’ devotion to Israel.

Ads taken out by the group in several Jewish weeklies in the United States state that Jacobs “does not represent the pro-Israel policies cherished by Reform Jews.”.

Read More: @ …

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Rabbis slam attack on Reform synagogue

Rabbis slam attack on Reform synagogue

A number of rabbis and public figures from the city of Raanana have signed a letter strongly condemning the  desecration of a local Reform synagogue.

“This act, like other acts of violence, saddens all of us,” the letter said. “We stress that the Torah condemns any act of violence and harm to our fellowman.”

The synagogue’s windows were smashed with stones last weekend, and the writing “It …

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Baptist Minister Mohler Comments on the Time Magazine Rob Bell Cover Story

… on theological topics.

For those who want to know what is a hot topic, just check out Time Magazine. Baptist Minister Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary — the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention, comments at length on the Time Magazine Rob Bell cover story, “ Is Hell Dead ” by Jon Meacham. The Time article starts with a quote from the Bell book about whether Gandhi is in Hell because he was not a Christian. Meacham opines,

Read …

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On Time Magazine: A Tiger Woods Swing Midrash

One of Time Magazine’s top stories this week during the Master’s Golf Tournament is the saga of  “Golf: Why Tiger Woods’ Swing Overhaul May Hurt His Game.”

The gist of the account is that top golfers don’t understand why the great athlete Woods is renovating his swing for a third time.

It’s no great midrash to interpret what is going on with this golfer.

Read more : @ …

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Haredi rabbis: Don’t volunteer in MDA

… by senior haredi leaders, including leader of the Lithuanian faction Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbis Nissim Karelitz, Chaim Kanievsky, Aharon Leib Shteinman, the Sanz and Erlau Rebbes and others.

Read More: @ ynetnews.com

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Rabbis attend burial ceremony of dozens of Holocaust-era victims in Romania

… in the eastern city of Iasi.

The daily Eveniumentual Zilei reported Tuesday that seven rabbis from the United States, Britain and Romania took part in Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

In November, a Holocaust-era mass grave containing the bodies of an estimated

100 Jews was discovered in a forest, offering further evidence of the country’s involvement in wartime crimes.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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Livni named one of 150 ‘women who shake the world’

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni is one of the top 150 “women who shake the world,” according to a list compiled by Newsweek and the website Daily Beast in honor of the “Women in the World” conference taking place this week in New York.

The magazine praised Livni as a leading advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a former foreign minister, and the first woman to serve as Israel’s opposition …

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Media Matters: Glenn Beck says Reform Rabbis are like Radicalized Islam

Glenn Beck says that Reform rabbis are like radicalized Islam because they took out an ad asking for his termination.

(a) Glenn Beck, come to my local synagogue where an Orthodox rabbi talks radical right wing politics every week.

(b) Have you lost your mind making such comparisons? No wait, obviously you have.

Here is the recording, check it out at minute 3:00, and the transcript, courtesy of Media Matters. Thanks …

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US rabbis: Recognize our conversions

US rabbis: Recognize our conversions

New front against Chief Rabbinate over conversions: Dozens of Orthodox rabbis from the United States sent a letter to Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Monday, demanding that he recognize the conversions performed by them and allow the converts to immigrate to Israel.According to the rabbis, the Interior Ministry consults with the Israeli Chief Rabbinate when determining which conversions performed abroad would be recognized under the Law of Return, and usually …

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Rabbis Throw Planned New Jersey Hebrew Charter School Shalom Academy Under the Bus

Rabbis Throw Planned New Jersey Hebrew Charter School Shalom Academy Under the Bus

… a major new school project under the bus is not a very kosher thing to do, especially when the rabbis in question have no visible education credentials or experience.

Read More: @ tvzee.blogspot.com

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Ami Magazine: My thoughts on this frum conspiracy

I recently heard of a new frum magazine called Ami that was set to hit heimishe newsstands sometime around Thanksgiving, I had heard previously that it was supposed to be a magazine for the entire Jewish world, hence the name Ami which means nation, but after reading the second issue cover to cover I have decided that it’s just another yeshivish magazine trying to compete with mishpacha magazine, by being a tad more …

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U.S. Orthodox rabbis avoid ruling on organ donations from brain dead patients

U.S. Orthodox rabbis avoid ruling on organ donations from brain dead patients

Under strong fire, the country’s major Modern Orthodox rabbinic body is seeking to clarify its position on a study by its own authorities that is seen as casting doubt on the permissibility of vital organ donation by Jews who are brain dead, yet upholding the right of Jews to receive such organs.

In a statement released January 6, the Rabbinical Council of America reiterated that it …

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Rabbis take a stand on road safety

Rabbis take a stand on road safety

… on the endless carnage on Israel’s roads and highways during which they decided that Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar would draft a special prayer – which will be recited by local rabbis at locations in their area which have witnessed road accidents.

The committee also decided that committee member Rabbi Yaakov Roza, who serves as the rabbi for the ZAKA organization, would give rabbis updates on accidents within their area.

Read More: @ ynetnews.com

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Recalling an Evil Idealist

Recalling an Evil Idealist

Three days after Pesach in 5721 (1961), the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a top deputy of Adolf Hitler known as “the architect of the Holocaust,” opened in Jerusalem. April 11 marked that day’s fiftieth anniversary on the non-Jewish calendar and yielded an assortment of commemorations, reflections and revelations.

Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, uploaded footage of the entire Eichmann trial to the Internet for public view. Recordings of the Nazi …

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Rabbi: Coordinate Joseph’s Tomb visits

Rabbi: Coordinate Joseph's Tomb visits

Samaria Chief Rabbi Elyakim Levanon called on rabbis and religious leaders this week not to send their students to pray at Joseph’s Tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus, without coordinating the visit with the Israel Defense Forces.

Speaking following Sunday’s  shooting incident at the holy site, which left one Jewish worshipper dead and several injured, the rabbi condemned religious leaders encouraging their followers to pray there. …

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No Entrance!

The sign on the entrance to the main sanctuary of a synagogue in the USA where I spoke several months ago really made me laugh.

Some people mean well, but they flub it when they try to get their message across. The directors of the synagogue probably wanted to convey to the congregants that it’s not respectful to walk in the door in the middle of the rabbi’s sermon. Maybe they also …

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Can you use Marijuana on Passover?

Via Earth Times with a big smile. Is cannabis kosher for Passover?

JERUSALEM (UPI) In Israel, rabbis are trying to determine if hemp and its cousin, marijuana, are on the list of legumes that some Jews must abstain from during Passover.

This year, the Green Leaf Party, which advocates legalization of marijuana, warned its members by e-mail that it may be considered kitniyot, or a legume. Observant Ashkenazi Jews abstain from kitniyot during the holiday.

Read more : @ …

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Remembering Rabbi Stern at Passover

… the story of our freedom.

Rabbi Jack Stern, past president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, passed away a week ago tomorrow after living an extraordinarily full and passionate life.

Rabbi Stern’s passing right before Passover reminded me of when I first met the Stern family, as a student at Hebrew Union College in New York City.  Rabbi Stern’s son, David, had recently been ordained at HUC and came to Dallas’ Temple Emanu El the summer before I left for HUC.  Needing to …

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Peres: Israel’s ties with Egypt are historic

… in Egypt in order to come to the land of Israel.

The president also spoke about the role of rabbis in the “pursuit for peace.”

Read more : @ haaretz.com

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Possibilities for Passover

… like another take on the same, try  the Sipping Seder.  Not so funny for quinoa fans that  rabbis now want a quinoa free Passover. Finally, take a look at the  Tablet Haggadah, you’ll be glad you did.

Read more : @ chron.com

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Top Sephardi rabbi’s aide tied to illegal porn sales

Top Sephardi rabbi's aide tied to illegal porn sales

In early 2005, porn producer and actor Ashley Gasper realized that someone was bootlegging his films. Counterfeit copies of “Jules Jordan’s Flesh Hunter 6” and “Jules Jordan: Feeding Frenzy 2,” among other titles, were showing up among the DVDs being returned to his distributor.

According to a recent decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Gasper …

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Kvetching in a Danger Field

… blogging and writing. Wrogging, I suppose. Or bliting.

That includes my continued pursuit of magazine freelanceing, but in terms of the respect writers get these days, it isn’t a very pretty picture. With blogging, the blogger is pretty much in charge, but with freelance magazine writing, editors and publishers call the shots. That’s where the problems begin. Whether you write, blog, wrog or blite, they’ve become the enemy.

Read More: @ licensetokvell.blogspot.com

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Pesach Inspiration

Pesach Inspiration

Our Rabbis teach us that Yaakov received the brachot from Yitzchak on the night of Pesach. Yitzchak specifically chose this time because on this night the heavenly vaults of blessing are open. On the outside we may appear like Esav, we may feel very far from Hashem, yet the night of Pesach gives us the strength to transform ourselves into Yaakov. We can tap into the profound, inherent, …

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Unpaid bill makes holy site go dark

It’s a lesson that the rabbis who manage one of Israel’s most popular Jewish pilgrimage destinations have now learned the hard way: Even holy sites have to pay the electric bill.The tomb of Moses Maimonides, one of Judaism’s pre-eminent sages, has been plunged into darkness because of a debt to the electricity company totaling $11,500.

Rabbi Israel Deri, one of the managers of the site in the Galilee city of …

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Eichman’s only regret: He didn’t finish the job

Audio tapes discovered by the German magazine Der Spiegel give a glimpse into perhaps the only regret that Adolf Eichmann expressed – that he hadn’t succeeded in murdering all of the Jews.

The recordings, made during meetings between former Nazis who had fled to Argentina following World War II, were released by Der Spiegel in a feature published Friday.

According to the report, among the former Nazis living in …

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Rabbi Run

I haven’t had much luck with rabbis. Or is it that they haven’t had much luck with me? I don’t know. But it’s been an issue. Why else would I be writing about it?

Common sense should tell me that since I’m speaking of perhaps only four or five rabbis, then I’m speaking of much less than one-hundredth of one percent of all the rabbis in the world, and as such, it shouldn’t be much of an issue after all. …

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Manischewitz Cook-Off National Finals 2011

The Fifth Annual Man-O-Manischewitz National Cook Off just finished, and, man, I’m still buzzing. There was some serious high-octane, high-pressure, high-quality cooking, and I don’t think I expected to see any of that. I mean, this is Manischewitz you’re talking about — the matzah and wine people.

But this wasn’t your bubbe’s Manischewitz. Not only was the competition a …

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

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 “secret” Yale social club that …

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Group petitions court to halt vote on Jerusalem chief rabbi

… the weight of the religious services minister in the process.

In a city like Jerusalem, the rabbis are elected by a body composed of 48 people – 24 representatives of synagogues, 18 from the city council, and another six who represent the religious services minister.

Read More: @ jpost.com

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