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  • Why a chicken?

    Ben Harris filed a report on the feud between animal-rights activists and Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidim over kapparos. Here’s his interview with Rabbi Shea Hecht about why the pre-High Holiday ritual must performed with a chicken. Audio sound funny? Upgrade your Flash player. To subscribe to JTA’s Behind the News podcast, click here. More ▸

  • A few thoughts for Yom Kippur

    Some 63 percent of Israeli Jews plan to fast on Yom Kippur, according to a survey published in Ynet. If fasting merely makes us think about food, doesn’t this detract from the spiritual aspect of the day? Chabad offers an answer. There is no more fitting day than Yom Kippur to ask what is the… More ▸

  • Jews and tattoos

    The spread of Jewish-themed tattoos have some rabbis in a quandary, reports the Kansas City Star: Increasing numbers of younger Jews are embracing tattoos, which have shed many of their negative stereotypes — they no longer are considered the purview of bikers, convicts and drunken servicemen — and have found a foothold in the under-30… More ▸

  • Translating the Bible… into Hebrew

    Ha’aretz reports on an effort underway in Israel to translate the Bible into modern Hebrew: In Israel – which was established 60 years ago as the national home of the Jewish people, which “gave the world the eternal Book of Books” (according to the Declaration of Independence), and whose official languages, alongside Arabic, include that… More ▸

  • Jew, be proud

    In an age of inadequate political role models, one Israeli columnist finds a few points of light. Jews, be proud, writes Judy Montagu in The Jerusalem Post: If only we saw more examples of Jewish “self-respect and stateliness” among our current leadership, instead of dodgy dealings at home and a kowtowing to foreign rulers that… More ▸

  • The writing on the wall

    Is Israel headed toward a religiously extremist future? The latest report about growing religious extremism (having nothing to do with nationalism or politics) in Israel comes from, of all places, Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper: Faced with what they see as the threat of modern culture, sections of the Haredim are demanding a more rigorous… More ▸

  • Agri fends off Obama, Iowa governor

    Presidential hopeful Barack Obama jumped into the fray over Agriprocessors yesterday by slamming the company for hiring underage workers (more on that here). Coming on the eve of the DNC convention in Denver, the comment predictably got a lot of attention. But it followed a far lengthier and more damning appraisal of the company by… More ▸

  • Show me the money!!

    I asked Rabby Fully Eisenberger, one of the sources for my story yesterday about paying Jewish students to study Torah, for a photo to go along with the piece. He sent us this one. Not sure exactly what this is intended to illustrate – perhaps Plan B if the $500 dollar incentive isn’t enough? On… More ▸

  • More on the Andy Neff minyan

    After reading JTA’s column by a Bear Stearns “refugee” that includes a story about a mincha minyan at Bear Stearns moving over to J.P. Morgan when Bear collapsed, the editorialists at The New York Sun note the irony of the once-anti-Semitic “House of Morgan” hosting a daily Jewish prayer service. Andrew Neff’s piece in JTA,… More ▸