Bible

Efforts To Improve Security At Israel’s Ancient Cemetery

'People are afraid to be buried here, out of concern for their graves and their family members.'

02/23/2011
Israel Correspondent

Jerusalem — Every time Menachem and Avraham Lubinsky, from Brooklyn, visit their parents’ graves at the Mount of Olives (Har Hazeitim) cemetery in east Jerusalem, they feel it necessary to request an armed escort.

“I’ve been going to the cemetery for 25 years and I still feel fearful,” Menachem Lubinsky, a businessman, said in a telephone interview from New York. “One time kids threw rocks at me.

Arab homes have been built right next to — occasionally within — 3,000-year-old Mount of Olives cemetery. Photo: Michele Chabin

Don’t Dismiss the Jewish Character of Cupid

02/14/2011
JTA

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (JTA) -- What’s Jewish about Valentine’s Day?

The day was first released from the purview of the Catholic Church in 1969, when Pope Paul VI declared that Valentine’s Day was no longer a saint’s day for universal liturgical veneration on the Catholic calendar. This restored Valentine’s Day to its original state, a traditional mating day of birds -- and humans -- in the English folk calendar.

But Cupid isn’t exclusively a pagan symbol.

The Rental Controversy In Israel: A Time For Bold, Ethical Halachic Decision-Making

12/23/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Much has already been written about the letter signed by dozens of communal rabbis in Israel proscribing Jewish residents from renting or selling property to gentiles on halachic grounds. It is clear from the context of the controversy that the motivation behind this provocative step is the concern for the demographic makeup of neighborhoods in the north of Israel, fueled by the fear of a concerted effort to undermine Jewish majorities in those locales.

Rabbis' Ban Of Renting To Arabs Must Be Condemned

12/13/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Israel is roiled once again in sad and needless moral controversy. Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, son of former Israeli Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordecai Eliyahu, and with the support of 49 other rabbis, has ruled that it is forbidden by Jewish law for Israeli Jews to sell land or rent property to an Arab.

Abraham’s Children: Alone, Together

‘Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam’ at New York Public Library:
The joy, and the complexity, of text.

10/26/2010
Staff Writer

One approaches “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam,” a new exhibit of religious texts at The New York Public Library, with caution. The animating idea might cause you to roll your eyes at its surface naiveté: at a time of heightened tensions among Muslims, Jews and Christians, the curators suggest we should emphasize what we all share in common.

Or should we?

An Italian marriage contract, or ketubah, from 1782, featuring images of the Abraham’s Binding of Isaac.

You Broke It, You Own It, Own Up to It

10/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Q.  While visiting a friend, I almost tripped on an expensive piece of electronics that was not where it was supposed to be - in fact, it was on the floor, sticking out into the hallway, posing a hazard. When I hit it, I heard an ominous "crack." Obviously I did it some real damage, although it was not immediately visible.

Rabbi Joshua Hammerman

Tyler Clementi's Tragic Suicide: Kohelet was Right

10/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Just about a week ago, on Shmini Atzeret, many of us read in synagogue the book of Kohelet, known more widely to most as Ecclesiastes. People who know the book tend to regard it as more than a little cynical, and clearly, the author of the book- ascribed by tradition to King Solomon in his old age- had been around the proverbial block more than a few times. There was little that he hadn't seen, and he was sure that what he was yet to see would not be new to him. Ein hadash tahat hashamesh, he famously said- there is nothing new under the sun.

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Conservative Judaism's New ‘Context’ For Adult Ed

JTS rolls out ambitious curriculum that resembles the Me’ah program.

09/28/2010
Associate Editor

This fall, the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary expects to enroll several hundred new students, most of whom will never actually walk through its Upper Manhattan doors.

JTS’ Context course is similar to the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School, above, a program that has a loyal following yet is more

Oasis Fruit

Jujubes once took center stage at Algerian Rosh HaShanah celebrations.

Special to the Jewish Week
09/08/2010

The French-Algerian author Albert Bensoussan remembered a clear moment from his childhood during Rosh HaShanah. His mother, busily shopping in the Arab marketplace, let go of his hand for a brief moment. Little Albert was lost, with a cone-shaped news-paper filled with jujubes (pronounced juJOOB) in hand. To the young Algerian boy, jujubes were equivalent with Jews, right down to the alphabetical resonance.

Grosser, Krivoi Rog district, Ukraine, c. 1930. PHOTO: AMERICAN JEWISH JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE

One Prophet, No Gain

08/10/2010
Staff Writer

The “prophet” Murray rails at the excesses of the Jewish community. The targets of the “prophet” Murray are garish bar mitzvah ceremonies, non-Jewish names stuck on Jewish children, and look-alike synagogue buildings. The “prophet” Murray also makes a case against the clannishness of Brooklyn.

The quotes around Murray’s title are more real than Murray is.

Non-prophet venture: Biblical-style book offers gentle satire of American Jewish community.
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