Is this the future Israeli Jewish women are doomed to live?

For a long time Women of the Wall has been a flash point in Israel and it has finally bubbled up and almost over.Anat Hoffman, leader of the group Women of the Wall, was just arrested for carrying a Torah near the Kotel, the Western Wall.These women have been beaten for having strap marks on their arm from Tefillin. Not even people witnessing them wearing it, just the leftover marks. They have been abused verbally, physically, and by the police for minding their own business on their own … [Read more...]

Would a stone by any other name, mean the same thing?

I was struck (no, not literally) by an image I recently came across on Flickr. It was of Palestinian men collecting rocks... well these were rocks on steroids, huge chunks of concrete, to hurl at Israeli soldiers and settlers who might wander down their streets.It occurred to me when I saw this picture that we use rocks for very different purposes. These Palestinians use rocks to hurt and maim. Even in the broader Islamic culture, rocks are used to inflict pain and death. This punishment is … [Read more...]

My Tatti Taught Me A Little Shuckel…

Okay, I admit it... I don't have the best memory in the world but there are a few things from my childhood that stick out clearly. I have mentioned some of them before, here in this blog, but with Father's Day rapidly approaching, I have asked my team to write about their father's and how they shaped their Jewish life. And so, I thought I would talk about the memories from my childhood of my dad.The men in my life have always figured prominently. Not sure why. Maybe because I was the first … [Read more...]

Gimmel Tammuz – Lubavitcher Lore & Holy Days

Today marks an auspicious day on the Chabad Lubavitcher's calendar. Today is Gimmel Tammuz (the third day of the month of Tammuz).On this day in 5754 or 1994 in Gregorian years, the Lubavitcher Rebbe passed away. This dealt a hard blow to the community. He and his wife were childless and he did not appoint a successor. This divided the community, some believing that he was the Moshiach (messiah) and some not believing in that. It is a topic that still divides Crown Heights today.A newly … [Read more...]

How do you find the words when they are spit back in your face?

I am emotionally exhausted. Since the boats with "peace activists" heading to Gaza was intercepted I have fought and fought this issue round and round with my friends and acquaintances. Emotionally, I am drained. My head hurts. I can't think of the permutations any more. I want to just say that this is how it is, no more conversation.But nothing is ever so simple or easy.Here are some basic facts of the issue. I promise you, honestly, I am being as unbiased as possible here.The flotilla … [Read more...]

Lacking Something…

I have been a very, very bad portal manager these past few weeks.It has been incredibly hard for me to focus on our Jewish Portal Blog and for that I apologize. And on that note, I am looking for bloggers. If you are interested in contributing to the Jewish Portal here at Patheos, drop me a line at JewishPortal@patheos.comBeyond being busy with Patheos work and my personal thesis for my Masters, there have been a couple other things going on. This year the Omer was particularly poignant. The … [Read more...]

National Day of (Christian only) Prayer?

So I there has been a lot of conversation about the National Day of Prayer and all that hoopla. Officially, today is the "National Day of Prayer." Initially, sounds cool, right? It's like National Badge Day where all the Panhellenic Sororities get to show off their membership to the world...Actually, maybe it is more like badge day than I initially thought. The National Day of Prayer, it turns out is pretty exclusive. Now on one hand I was a proponent because I felt it was cool, get everyone … [Read more...]

Week 5 of Counting the Omer, Keep Up!

I really love the Omer... okay, rather, I have a love hate relationship with counting the Omer. I love the spiritual lift I get, but I sometimes get annoyed at one more thing to do before sleep... hence why I need to count the Omer nightly.I use a wonderful book that asks you questions and gives you great thoughts for each day that relates to the sepherot (like the chakras). Here is their online version for week 5 - Meaningful Life. The book is called “Counting the Omer – A … [Read more...]

Protesting with Prayer

A certain so called "church" group was in Denver last weekend. I am not going to mention their name because I do not believe in giving them free publicity to fuel their hate. I was going to go to their protest and all the counter-protests and I was going to video tape it and take pictures for Patheos. And I was going to write about the experience and the hate these people spread. I was really motivated to go and write about it.Of the like 20 places they were going to protest, 15 of them were … [Read more...]

New article on the Shoes at the Danube

Check out my latest article about the memorial of shoes on the Danube river in Budapest.This was one of the places where Raul Wallenberg was desperately trying to save lives.Read it here - Shoes … [Read more...]


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