Haredi impunity and autonomy: Tantamount to insurrection?

By VIVIAN BERCOVICI    FEBRUARY 26, 2021

A typical street scene in the bustling modern-day shtetl of Jerusalem's Mea She'arim neighborhood. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

A typical street scene in the bustling modern-day shtetl of Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH

This is the first of an in-depth series of articles in the run-up to the March 23 election looking at key aspects of haredi society and its role in and influence on the country today.

“If we face the choice of transgressing the laws of Moses or the laws of the state, we will violate the laws of the state, not those of Moses.”

– Yitzhak Meir-Levin, haredi welfare minister, addressing his cabinet colleagues at a meeting, July 12, 1950 (more…)

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Modern “Noah’s Ark”

Harvard’s top astronomer to ‘Post’: Alien life could exist. Lightsail technology could allow humanity to achieve interstellar travel. * Modern “Noah’s Ark” could help save, reconstruct life on Earth.

By AARON REICH – JANUARY 11, 2021

If humanity is truly not alone in the universe, how would we go about finding extraterrestrial life, and would they be as advanced or perhaps even more so than we are?

These are the questions that Prof. Avi Loeb seeks to answer, and according to his newest book, Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth, which is set to come out January 26, the clues might already be there.

Loeb, an Israeli-born scientist who has been the longest ever serving chair of Harvard University’s Astronomy department, has long been one of the most vocal advocates for the possible existence of alien life. (more…)

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Wherefore the Hanukkah scroll

Most Jews know only the legend about the miracle of the cruse of oil and very little about the actual military victories of the Maccabees.

TOMB OF the Maccabees near present-day Mevo Modi’im. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

TOMB OF the Maccabees near present-day Mevo Modi’im. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The festival of Hanukkah has many beautiful customs such as the dreidel, latkes and sufganiyot, but there is one custom we would expect to find on Hanukkah that seems to be missing – the reading of a scroll in public. After all, on Purim we read the Scroll of Esther every year in order to publicize the miracle. Why don’t we read a scroll on Hanukkah in order to publicize the miracles that God wrought for our ancestors in the days of Mattathias and his sons? The result is that most Jews know only the legend about the miracle of the cruse of oil (Shabbat 21b) and very little about the actual military victories of the Maccabees. (more…)

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500 drunken elephants: The untold Hanukkah story with no Maccabees

A different kind of redemption from Greek tyranny

By ZACK ROTHBART  – DECEMBER 10, 2020

 

Ptolemy IV Philopator's drunken elephants turn on their masters, by Jan Luyken, 1700. (photo credit: COURTESY THE RIJKSMUSEUM/NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL)

Ptolemy IV Philopator’s drunken elephants turn on their masters, by Jan Luyken, 1700.
(photo credit: COURTESY THE RIJKSMUSEUM/NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL)

Antiochus and his elephants left  Gaza in defeat.

One of the largest battles of the ancient world was over – apparently the first time Asian and African elephants had faced off against one another – though the victor’s herd had been of little help, famously fleeing the war zone in a crazed frenzy. (more…)

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Reinventing Israel’s History

‘Promised Land’ or revisionist history? A former Knesset member weighs in on Barack Obama’s telling of Israel’s story

By Dov Lipman – CT Jewish Ledger – December 11, 2020

(JNS) I have never criticized former U.S. President Barack Obama publicly – neither during my time in the Knesset nor anywhere else – despite my having disagreed with many of his policies. I am of the strong opinion that Israelis should not engage in or interfere with American politics, and I regularly offer a blanket thank you to all American presidents, including Obama, for their economic and military support for Israel.< (more…)

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Bechdel test for Jewish texts is shaking up the beit midrash

The test has adherents among Hillel educators and is spreading among educators at pluralistic institutions of Jewish learning.

By SHIRA HANAU/JTA DECEMBER 9, 2020

When Danielle Kranjec committed to using only Jewish texts written by women and queer people in the classes she taught for Hillel International’s Springboard Fellowship, a program that places recent college graduates in positions at college campus Hillels across the country, she knew she was taking on a challenging task.
After all, for most of Jewish history, women weren’t encouraged to take on religious leadership roles or write commentaries on the Torah or Talmud.
But Kranjec knew that elevating the work of women would be worth the effort, both because doing so would communicate the value of women’s insights to her students and she believes the mismatch between the diversity of the people teaching Torah today and the sources they teach had grown too great. Also, as a Jewish educator and trained historian, she knew there were a plethora of texts that might not be considered “Torah” in the traditional sense but could serve as rich source material.
Much of the time, those who assemble materials for Jewish study sessions — commonly known as “source sheets” — start with the Torah text, working their way to the rabbinic texts, the Mishna and Talmud, followed by commentaries on texts written over a span of more than a thousand years. Men wrote the vast majority of those texts. (more…)

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The opinions expressed on this webpage represent those of the individual authors and, unless clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of TBS.

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Mossad, secrecy and Iran: How Israel reintroduced Persian fallow deer

An odyssey of espionage and revolutions led Israel to bring the once thriving biblical species back home, “one of the most successful cases of the reintroduction of a species extinct in the wild.”

By AARON REICH NOVEMBER 24, 2020 12:24

'Deer #42' was recently spotted, happy and healthy in the Jerusalem hills (photo credit: AMY KATZ)

‘Deer #42’ was recently spotted, happy and healthy in the Jerusalem hills (photo credit: AMY KATZ)

Israel has one of the world’s two populations of Persian fallow deer – but it took a revolution, a clandestine Mossad mission, and a secret and daring flight for this to happen. (more…)

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Why did God let Trump lose?

Trump would not be the first pro-Israel president to be “cursed” by God.

Has God cursed Donald Trump, the man who claimed to bless Israel more than anyone else?

Just days before the election, Trump sought to reawaken and harness the love of his Evangelical Christians constituency for Jerusalem by removing political limitations on research cooperation between the United States and Israel and allowing Americans born in Jerusalem to choose to put Israel on their passports. (more…)

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Nazism on America’s Doorstep

When self-righteousness and moral superiority take the helm—beware!

By: Michael Laitman – June 16, 2017 – Exclusive to World Israel News

 

When cold-blooded murder is committed, and even encouraged, in the name of liberalism, a serious alarm should ring throughout the country. Left unchecked, Nazism will grip the land of the free. (more…)

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