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Jewish on Earth

After 300 repetitive years, things can get boring

SABERS have been rattling in Persia for nearly 3000 years, so this latest Iran flare-up looks boringly repetitive.

Jews have spent most of their existence around warring empires — it’s where our “You tried to kill us/We survived/Let’s eat!” holidays all come from — beginning with Pesach, the celebration of our birth as a People, escaping from the Egyptian empire. Jewish visions of a better world (e.g., “Nation will not take up sword against a nation, nor will they train for war anymore”; Isaiah 2:4), haven’t stopped anyone from making war, or creating cultures that glorify it.

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Is the Earth approaching its doomsday?

If the world as we knew it was going to end, what would you tell your loved ones? Religious fundamentalists might find the End of Days prospect comforting: foretold in holy books, it promises a better scenario than earthly toil and woe. But if you’re not part of that group, you might not want to sit this one out — especially as you can do something to slow, stop or reverse the end. Survival is part of Jewish DNA. The Torah commands it:  “ . . . I have put before you life and death, bless...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:02 )

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Purim: The Book on Renewable Energy

WHAT if everything you “knew” about something was wrong?  Would you cling to what you “knew” anyway, even in the face of new information? Here’s the news:  fossil fuels will be virtually obsolete by 2030. As of 2002, no significant, easily-accessible new oil has been discovered, and world oil production began declining. US oil demand has been dropping since 2006, the US has become a net fuel exporter, and analysts at Deutschebank and elsewhere predict that by 2030 in industrialized...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 01 March 2012 13:19 )

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Tu b’Shevat and the environment

It’s cheaper to buy local, organic foods than industrially produced ones — except the savings are invisible.  Invisible, that is, to anyone who doesn’t buy, handle or grow them.  Local and organic was all our ancestors ever knew — even up to our grandparents’ time. Then came farming’s “Green Revolution” of the 1950s, with “miracle” chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and “factory” farming.  And with it, a host of hidden costs that you don’t pay with local, ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )

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Hey Buddy: Can you spare a zuz?

Next holiday season, you might consider buying your presents without US dollars. When you decide to buy something, you can also choose what you buy it with. It’s legal in the US to create our own currencies and exchange systems, and use them for trade — as long as no one confuses the created currency with US Federal Reserve Notes, and any taxes owed from transactions can be paid in US currency. There’s a historical precedent.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:41 )

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JTA News

Argentine investigator to review evidence suggesting Nisman was murdered

Cnaan Liphshiz Review follows independent report about the mysterious death of the former prosecutor who said the government was covering up Iranian involvement in a deadly attack on local Jews. ... [Link]

BBC journalist defends claim that Netanyahu used ‘Holocaust card’

Cnaan Liphshiz Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen said suggestions that he was anti-Semitic were offensive and untrue. ... [Link]

Report: Netanyahu considered withdrawal on basis of 1967 lines

Cnaan Liphshiz Israeli PM considered agreement that included land swaps and allowing settlers to remain in ‘Palestine’ if they choose to do so, document said to reveal. ... [Link]

Many Muslim pupils resist Holocaust education, Dutch lawmakers hear

Cnaan Liphshiz A Holocaust survivor is no longer willing to tell her story in some Dutch schools that are heavily Muslim, a party leader reveals. ... [Link]

In Jerusalem, seven wounded in suspected terror attack

Cnaan Liphshiz The alleged perpetrator was shot and injured after ramming his car into a crowd of people and exiting the vehicle while holding a knife. ... [Link]

Cardinal Egan, former archbishop of N.Y., dead at 82

Anthony Weiss Egan’s relationship with the largest Jewish community in the country was cordial but cool, at least when compared with his predecessor and successor. ... [Link]

PLO votes to cut security cooperation with Israel

Gabe Friedman It is not clear whether PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will confirm the move, which is the latest in a series of escalatory actions by Israel and the Palestinians. ... [Link]

Nisman’s ex-wife: Late AMIA prosecutor was murdered

Gabe Friedman Citing independent forensic tests, Alberto Nisman’s ex-wife said the late AMIA case prosecutor was murdered. ... [Link]

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