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Religion

  • Palestinian Marranos?

    Palestinians and Jews in the Holy Land may be intertwined, but with the level of intermingling and overlapping suggested in this news item about Palestinian Marranos, it’s getting ridiculous:   Four Palestinians from the Hebron Hills contacted a group of rabbis on Tuesday and claimed to be the descendents of Jews who were forced to… More ▸

  • Let there be G-dcast

    From the mind of Jewish t-shirt maven Sarah Lefton comes G-dcast, a new animated series of Torah commentaries as told by a different Jewish celebrity each week. Check out the first episode below, which features Rabbi Lawrence Kushner. New episodes will be posted each Monday at g-dcast.com. More ▸

  • 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:/images/archive/hecht.mp3] 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 ▸