Debunking the Latest “Married Jesus” Hoax

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When these stories start to burble up in my RSS feeds, I always swear I’m going to ignore them and wait for them to go away. Just paying attention to them makes people dumber. This one was an easy call, because the articles had the “tell” of pure BS right inside: the name “Simcha Jacobovici,” mostly [Read More...]

Two Boys Play Chess: Madness Follows

  Matan Poleg (above left) and Omar Eltigani (right) were paired at the World Youth Chess Championships in South Africa last week. They played a game. Poleg won on the 45th move. Outrage ensued. Denunciations were issued. The Sudanese media couldn’t even bring themselves to mention Matan Poleg’s name. The head of the Sudanese Chess [Read More...]

John XXIII and the Jews

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One of the better parts about being a writer is that you get learn things for a living. For example, when Carl Olson asked me to cover a lecture on Pope John XXIII and the Jews for Catholic World Report, I had only a fairly general image of Pope John. I thought he was a [Read More...]

Francis/Netanyahu Meeting Cancelled (Actually, It Was Never Even Planned)

Last week, a report began circulating in the Israeli press that President Benjamin Netanyahu would be meeting with Pope Francis when Netanyahu traveled to Rome this week. The report set off a firestorm in Israel because of rumors that a visit by the pope to Holy Land was contingent upon the return of certain holy [Read More...]

Mysterious Structure Under the Sea of Galilee

I filed this one away in Evernote this summer and forgot to blog it, but it’s too cool to let pass: A huge, cone-shaped monument has been discovered by a team of Israeli archaeologists conducting a geophysical survey on the southern Sea of Galilee. According to a paper published in the International Journal of Nautical [Read More...]

Hopeful Signs? UPDATE #2: Not a Hoax

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The optimist in me says “yes.” The cynic says, “public relations ploy.” I try paying more attention to the optimist. In any case, it’s welcome. From the President of Iran: It’s worthwhile remembering that the Iranian people (particularly the young) tend to have positive feelings towards America, by and large. (They tend to despise the [Read More...]

Apostrophe to Zion: New Meaning for a Dead Sea Scroll?

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I’m still enjoying Slacktacular August with a reduced blogging schedule, but I thought this was a fascinating little slice of the philology world that shows how scholars grapple with ancient languages and shifting meanings. In this case, it’s the Hebrew root “taph-bet-ayin,” which has various modern meanings: “to demand,” “to investigate,” “to prosecute.” The “Apostrophe [Read More...]

Jew-Hating Has-Been Wants You To Pay Attention To Him

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I used to love Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. I collected everything, spent countless hours listening to them, and paid good money to see Waters solo in concert twice (Hitchhiking and Radio KAOS tours).  It’s funny, but I started listening to them less and less–particularly the later, Waters-dominated material–as I got older and recognized the [Read More...]


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