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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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Shabbat Times

JTA News

The kosher Super Bowl halftime show

Gabe Friedman For those looking for a more family-friendly (or a more Jewish) alternative to the usual halftime show, Orthodox radio host Nachum Segal provides a solution. ... [Link]

Hezbollah chief says group is not afraid of war with Israel

Gabe Friedman The leader of Hezbollah said that his group does not want a war with Israel but will take immediate action against any Israeli aggression. ... [Link]

B’nai Brith Canada’s weekly to suspend print edition

Cnaan Liphshiz If it becomes permanent, the 13-week stop in printing of The Jewish Tribune would leave the Canadian Jewish News as the country’s only publication of its kind. ... [Link]

Letter circulating among House Dems urges postponement of Netanyahu speech

Ron Kampeas A letter urging Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to postpone a planned March 3 speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is circulating among Dem... [Link]

ADL slams lawmaker who asked for pledge from Muslim visitors

Ron Kampeas The Anti-Defamation League condemned as “antithetical to American values” a Texas lawmaker’s comment that Muslim visitors to her office should be requested to pledge allegiance to the United... [Link]

Israeli conductor dies during Switzerland concert

Cnaan Liphshiz Witnesses said Israel Yinon, 59, fell off the stage in Lucerne. ... [Link]

Conservative flagship to finance capital improvement by selling dorms, air rights

Julie Wiener The Jewish Theological Seminary plans to sell two dorms, some of its air rights and potentially part of its library building to finance an ambitious campus redevelopment project. ... [Link]

IDF nabs 2 armed Palestinians on Gaza border

Cnaan Liphshiz The infiltration was thwarted shortly after Islamists killed 27 in four attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. ... [Link]

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