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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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Palestinian rioters attack IDF outpost in Hebron

Marcy Oster Dozens of Palestinians attacked an Israel Defense Forces outpost in Hebron. ... [Link]

Flyers call on Ukrainian Jews to register with pro-Russian separatists

Cnaan Liphshiz Pro-Russian separatists from Donetsk in eastern Ukraine denied any involvement in the circulation of flyers calling on Jews to register with separatists and pay special taxes. ... [Link]

Paris court dismisses racial hatred charge against Bob Dylan

Marcy Oster A civil court in Paris dismissed a case of incitement to hatred against American singer Bob Dylan for remarks he made in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine. ... [Link]

Passover supplies arrive in Nepal in time for massive seder

Marcy Oster A large shipment of Passover supplies arrived in Kathmandu just in time for seder. ... [Link]

West Bank shooting victim laid to rest at Mount Herzl

Marcy Oster Hundreds attended the funeral for Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, who was killed near Hebron while on his way to a Passover seder with his family. ... [Link]

Suspected Kansas City JCC shooter charged with murder in state court

Marcy Oster The suspect in the shootings of three people at two Jewish institutions in suburban Kansas City was charged in state court. ... [Link]

State Dept. voices support for peace talks as negotiators postpone meeting

Marcy Oster Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators postponed a scheduled meeting, as the U.S. State Department reiterated its support for the talks. ... [Link]

Temple Mount closed to Jewish visitors following Arab rioting

Marcy Oster The Temple Mount was closed to Jewish visitors on the second day of Passover following rioting at the site by dozens of Arab youth. ... [Link]

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