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  • Ira Glass speaks

    The man behind the NPR program “This American Life” believes in stories, not in God. But, in an interview with Beliefnet, he has interesting things to say about his Jewish upbringing and religion generally: Would you want your kids to bar mitzvah? I don’t know. Culturally I am a Jew. I don’t have a choice… More ▸

  • Feds raid the shochet, but the slaughter continues

    JTA just published my story on yesterday’s raid at Agriprocessors, which the Feds are calling the largest such operation in American history. The plant, the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, was back in business today without the 390 of its employees detained on immigration violations. Criminal charges are expected to follow. The Des Moines Register has… More ▸

  • Don’t throw away your NYT!

    The New York Times had a touching article Wednesday about the story of how a Torah made it from Auschwitz to the Central Synagogue on 55th & Lex. Only one problem: In the photo of the scroll, God’s name (that’s the “Tetragrammaton,” for all you academic types) is clearly visible – which, according to Jewish… More ▸

  • ADL chimes in on Stein’s anti-evolution film

    Anti-Defamation League chief Abe Foxman has spoken out against Ben Stein’s new anti-evolution film, Expelled. In a press release issued just moments ago, Foxman writes: The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory…. More ▸

  • Ben Stein’s anti-evolution film raises hackles

    Did Darwin’s theory of evolution provoke the Holocaust? That’s the claim being advanced by actor/economist Ben Stein in his new film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Called “one of the sleaziest documentaries to arrive in a very long time” by the New York Times, the film, which debuted last week to dismal modest* box office response,… More ▸

  • Debate on Israel prayer moves to blogs

    An interesting spat has broken out over my recent article about how a Brooklyn minyan, Altshul, is grappling with how to pray for Israel. In one corner, wearing the blue and white shorts, is Ariel Beery (of Blogs of Zion, PresenTense Magazine). In the other corner, wearing the shorts of many colors, is Daniel Septimus,… More ▸

  • Old matzah, new matzah

    The Free-Lance Star in Fredericksburg, Va., published an ode to good old fashioned fried matzah: In a holiday filled with ritual foods, matzo is the oldest symbol of salvation in the Passover Seder. In fact, the Seder can’t end until the last piece of matzo has been recovered from its ceremonial hiding place and eaten…. More ▸

  • Whatever happened to that note that I put in the Western Wall?

    You think cleaning a kitchen for Passover is tough? The Associated Press reports on the removal of thousands of notes from the Western Wall: Poking into crevices between the ancient stones of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, a senior rabbi and his helpers on Tuesday removed thousands of handwritten notes placed… More ▸

  • Boot camp for mohels

    “For 19 years, Dr. Bob Levenson, 60, was one of the most sought-after mohels in Greater Boston,” the Boston Globe reports. “But now he is retired and his shoes have not been easy to fill.” The solution? A boot camp for mohels. Last weekend, 21 students from across the country – mostly pediatricians, urologists, and… More ▸

  • What I learned at mosque

    Huffington Post columnist Leora Tannenbaum attends a pre-Shabbat lecture at the local mosque and concludes that “devout Muslims and Jews are not altogether that different, particularly in the worship department.” Just as when I attend my own Orthodox synagogue, located a half-mile away from the mosque, I was separated from the men. After we placed… More ▸