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  • 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 ▸

  • Running on Matzah

    The Associated Press reports on the challenge facing Jonah Pesner, a Reform rabbi: This year’s Boston Marathon is on the second day of Passover, which means running on a full stomach of Matzah (to say nothing of yontif) … Jonah Pesner is looking ahead to his crucial carb-loading, fuel-up meal on the night before running… More ▸

  • Shrek, Haredi style

    Ynet headlines it a Haredi-style “West Side Story” – but it sounds more like Shrek: The bride’s parents objected, rabbis protested and the public took to the streets – but the young couple refused to give up. Against all odds and despite violent demonstrations outside the wedding hall, a young ultra-Orthodox woman from overseas and… More ▸

  • Boteach: Why won’t Muslims speak out?

    Shmuley Boteach wonders in the Jerusalem Post why Muslims aren’t speaking out against last week’s shooting attack at a yeshiva in Jerusalem: The sight of Gazans rejoicing at the cold-blooded murder of eight yeshiva students who had not hurt anyone was particularly jolting for me. I am a religious man and feel an immediate affinity… More ▸

  • Where Haredi women go to look good and keep it modest

    Ha’aretz peeks behind the curtain of a beauty salon where Haredi women come to indulge (modestly) in a guilty pleasure: The Ye’elat Chen beauty salon, managed by Larrie, has been operating for 24 years in Jerusalem, not far from Mea Shearim and Kikar Shabbat. The side entrance on the main street is suited to women… More ▸