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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

Kerry: U.S. will use ‘all tools’ to confront Iranian destabilization

Ron Kampeas Kerry says he outlined security plans for the region in letter to Congress. ... [Link]

It’s Jew vs. Jew (and rabbi vs. rabbi) in fight over Lithuanian site

Cnaan Liphshiz Lithuania’s chief rabbi has been fired, a British rabbinic group is being accused of corruption and a $25 million renovation plan is at stake in a dispute over the Jewish cemetery where the Viln... [Link]

Netanyahu orders reexamination of IDF open-fire orders on rock throwers

Marcy Oster The order came during a discussion in the Prime Minister’s Office of the security situation in Jerusalem and along the main highway into the city, as well as the West Bank. ... [Link]

Israel’s real-life national cop drama, explained

Andrew Tobin 40 percent of the Israel police’s top brass have been forced out in recent years over corruption or sexual harassment scandals. Now, there may be a new sheriff in town, but he has a history of h... [Link]

Who’s behind Broadway’s hip-hop hit ‘Hamilton’? Jewish biographer Ron Chernow

Lisa Keys ‘The last thing I would have expected,’ admits the award-winning Jewish biographer, who served as a historical consultant for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s unprecedented smash. ... [Link]

Looking back at 5775

Uriel Heilman From the highest highs to the lowest lows, a month-by-month look at last year. ... [Link]

Sources close to Netanyahu indicate he’ll keep fighting Iran nuclear deal

Julie Wiener Netanyahu won’t quit the Iran deal fight even with Obama having the votes he needs to assure Congress can’t stop it. ... [Link]

‘Jewish Schindler,’ amid skepticism, insists his Yazidi rescue efforts are for real

Julie Wiener Is Steve Maman’s Yazidi rescue story for real? Skepticism is rising about the Montreal businessman’s efforts. ... [Link]

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