Jewish Literature

Deception and Desire: An Overview of Genesis January 6, 2012 10:53 am

Deception and Desire: An Overview of Genesis

Based on a series of lectures by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach At the core of the book of Genesis...

A Titanic Victory and a Small Cruse of Oil December 25, 2011 6:14 pm

A Titanic Victory and a Small Cruse of Oil

David Brooks, in an engaging but superficial article on Hanukah in the New York Times (The...

The Rebellious Man of Faith December 14, 2011 5:26 pm

The Rebellious Man of Faith

The patriarch Jacob, my namesake (Jacob Shmuel) of whom we have read the past few weeks in...

Vayishlach – Success Is No Substitute for Familial Harmony December 11, 2011 12:09 pm

Vayishlach – Success Is No Substitute for Familial Harmony

Whole “Jacob arrived whole to the city of Shechem,” the Torah states in this...

Vayeitzei – The Battle of the Stones December 5, 2011 7:20 pm

Vayeitzei – The Battle of the Stones

The Quarrel The rabbis in the Talmud focus on an apparent grammatical inconsistency in the...

The Sandy Path to Inspiration November 25, 2011 10:47 am

The Sandy Path to Inspiration

Free Plowing Back in the ’40s, a Jewish guy was arrested for smuggling guns into Israel,...

Abraham Vs. Gaddafi November 4, 2011 3:41 pm

Abraham Vs. Gaddafi

The Genesis of a Faith The unfolding dramatic events in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and other countries...

Korach: Korach and John Lennon June 24, 2011 3:06 pm

Korach: Korach and John Lennon

Wise or Boorish? This week’s portion, Korach, relates the tragic story of the mutiny...

Korach: The Spiritual Narcissist June 24, 2011 2:50 pm

Korach: The Spiritual Narcissist

This week’s Torah reading deals with the rebellion of Korach, a cousin of Moses, who contends...

Emor: How to Speak – The Secret to Influencing Others May 6, 2011 3:34 pm

Emor: How to Speak – The Secret to Influencing Others

To Rebuke or to Ignore? To Fight or to Accept? When witnessing a transgression our first...

Mishpatim: Shoveling the Snow January 28, 2011 1:36 pm

Mishpatim: Shoveling the Snow

Who’s Digging Out of What? A Snow Shoveling Meditation As I was digging out of the snow...

Bo: The New Moon January 7, 2011 7:13 am

Bo: The New Moon

This new moon (Ha’chodesh Hazeh) shall be to you the head of...

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  • Arts and Culture Middle East Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    Hamas Commander Reportedly Urges Hezbollah to Join Forces Against Israel

    JNS.org – Five months after Israeli forces tried to assassinate Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif in Gaza, Deif appears to have signed a letter that the terrorist group claims he wrote in hiding. The letter, addressed to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, expressed Deif’s condolences for the death of Hezbollah terrorists during Sunday’s reported Israeli airstrike in Syria. Deif is said to have survived multiple assassination attempts, but he has not been seen in public for years. According to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Manar [...]

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  • Jewish Identity Theater Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    Shlomo Carlebach Musical Has the Soul to Heal Frayed Race Relations

    JNS.org – The cracks that had been simply painted over for so long began to show in Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014, but in truth they had begun to open wide much earlier—on Saturday, July 13, 2013. That is when a jury in Sanford, Fla., acquitted George Zimmerman of culpability for the death of a 17-year-old black man, Trayvon Martin. The cracks receded from view over time, as other news obscured them. Then came the evening of Aug. 9, 2014, [...]

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  • Theater US & Canada ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    ‘Homeland’ Season Finale Stirs Controversy After Comparing Menachem Begin to Taliban Leader

    A controversial scene in the season finale of Homeland sparked outrage by comparing former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to a fictional Taliban leader, the UK’s Daily Mail reported. In the season 4 finale episode, which aired on Dec. 21, CIA black ops director Dar Adal, played by F. Murray Abraham, justifies a deal he made with a Taliban leader by referencing Begin. He makes the remarks in a conversation with former CIA director Saul Berenson, a Jewish character played by Mandy [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Placing Matisyahu Back Within a Life of Observance

    Shining Light on Fiction During the North Korea-Sony saga, we learned two important lessons. The first is that there are two sides to this story, and neither of them are correct because ultimately we should have neither inappropriate movies nor dictators. The second is that we cannot remain entirely fixed on the religious world, but we also must see beyond the external, secular view of reality. It’s important to ground our Torah-based thoughts into real-life activism. To view our act [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    Nine Decades of Moses at the Movies

    JNS.org – Hollywood has had its share of big-budget biblical flops, but until now, the Exodus narrative has not been among them. Studios have brought Moses to the big screen sparingly, but in ways that defined the image and character of Moses for each generation of audiences. The first biblical epic In 1923, director Cecil B. DeMille left it to the American public to decide the subject of his next movie for Paramount. DeMille received a letter from a mechanic [...]

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  • Arts and Culture Blogs Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    Exodus on Screen (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – The story of the Exodus from Egypt is a tale as old as time itself, to borrow a turn of phrase. It’s retold every Passover, both at the seder table and whenever “The Ten Commandments” is aired on television. But the latest adaptation—Ridley Scott’s epic film, “Exodus: Gods and Kings”—fails to meet expectations. Scott’s “Exodus” alters the source material to service the story and ground the tale, but the attempt to reinvent the biblical narrative becomes laughable. Moses [...]

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  • Jewish Identity Lifestyle ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    ‘Jewish Food Movement’ Comes of Age

    JNS.org - In December 2007, leaders of the Hazon nonprofit drafted seven-year goals for what they coined as the “Jewish Food Movement,” which has since been characterized by the increased prioritization of healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and food-related activism in the Jewish community. What do the next seven years hold in store? “One thing I would like to see happen in the next seven years is [regarding] the issue of sugar, soda, and obesity, [seeing] what would it be like to rally the [...]

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  • Blogs Education Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    Seeds of ‘Start-Up Nation’ Cultivated by Israel Sci-Tech Schools

    JNS.org – Forget the dioramas. How about working on an Israeli Air Force drone? That’s exactly the kind of beyond-their-years access enjoyed by students at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) industrial vocational high school run by Israel Sci-Tech Schools, the largest education network in the Jewish state. More than 300 students (250 on the high school level and 68 at a two-year vocational academy) get hands-on training in the disciplines of aviation mechanics, electricity and energy control, and unmanned air [...]

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