Expanding Minds and Grappling with Pluralism in the Arava

This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post "Metro" section on February 26, 2016. Reprinted with permission Expanding minds and grappling with pluralism in the Arava By Hannah Katsman Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dan Shechtman, former education minister Shai … [Read more...]

Okay So This is the NaBloPoMo Test

It's  11:00 PM. It's NaBloPoMo. I made a Facebook Page for CookingManager.Com. Not only did I create it, I even followed a video tutorial to make an interactive sidebar. The sidebar isn't much, but according to Facebook none of my friends uses that application. My Facebook fan page is the cutting … [Read more...]

The Parent’s Prayer

This prayer of the SheLa"h is supposed to be said by parents before Rosh Chodesh Sivan (new month of Sivan) this Sunday.  Yesterday and today were the days to say it, as prayers making specific requests are usually not said on Shabbat. If you know of another translation, please send it along. In … [Read more...]

Pre-Shavuot Shabbat

Glossary below. Two holidays are so special that the preceding Shabbat has special significance: The Shabbat before Pesach is known as Shabbat Hagadol, and the Shabbat before Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Shuvah. The rabbi always gives a special shiur on the other two special sabbaths. Tomorrow he … [Read more...]

Pesach and Wasting Food

Cross-posted on DovBear. Jonathan Bloom at Wasted Food writes about throwing out food in advance of Passover: I can’t criticize religious or cultural practices that cause food waste, but I will say that not all Jews throw out or burn their leavened foods each spring. There are different levels … [Read more...]

Rabbi Ovadia’s Surprising Ruling: Women Can Read Megillah for Men

The secular newspapers like to report on the weekly talks of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leading rabbinic arbiter of the Sephardi/Mizrachi community in Israel. Occasionally he says outrageous things, but this time he made a ruling likely to please a more liberal readership. On the upcoming holiday of … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Jewish Girls and Prayer

See below for background information and glossary. Commenter Abbi sent me her response to a discussion about prayer for girls in a mixed school. Should girls pray in the minyan alongside the boys, or as a separate group? What should be our goals for educating girls about tefilla and minyan, … [Read more...]

A long speech and a double-duty Torah reading

Chanting the Torah takes skill and preparation, so traditional synagogues assign someone to chant the weekly biblical portion. Sometimes members take turns, while some synagogues hire a professional. Lion of Zion is one such professional who often writes about the intricacies of the cantillation … [Read more...]

Israeli Army Chaplains and Sabbath Observance

Our Shiputzim posted a letter about army chaplains accompanying soldiers to the Gaza front. The letter's author, YAR, and YAR's brother, one of the chaplains, are relatives of "Our Shiputzim."I'll wait while you read it.On Shabbat, our rabbi spoke about this incident and the question of Sabbath … [Read more...]

A Light for Greytowers: Movie Review

Yesterday I did three things that I almost never do: Drive to Jerusalem, take my teenage daughter alone on an outing, and watch a movie from beginning to end. But this was a special occasion--we went to see "A Light for Greytowers" produced by Robin Garbose.The Israeli screenings received extra … [Read more...]