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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

Jewish teens stabbed on way to Western Wall

Marcy Oster The teens were attacked near the Damascus Gate late on Saturday while walking to the Western Wall for a night of Torah study in honor of the Shavuot holiday. ... [Link]

Polish home that hid Jewish family from Nazis to become museum

Marcy Oster The house in southeastern Poland, in which a Jewish family of 13 hid from the Nazis, was recently purchased by the businessman Maciej Piorkowski. ... [Link]

Israel thanks United States for blocking resolution at nuclear conference

Marcy Oster The Egyptian-led effort — rejected by the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada — would have convened a regional conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone. ... [Link]

Lawsuit against Sheldon Adelson to be heard in U.S.

Marcy Oster Adelson had sought to have the wrongful termination suit brought by Steven Jacobs heard in Chinese-administered Macau, where his company operates several casinos. ... [Link]

Olmert sentenced to prison in Talansky case

Marcy Oster Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to eight months in prison for accepting cash-filled envelopes from an American-Jewish businessman and using the money for personal gain. ... [Link]

Obama learns his lesson about Jewish toddlers

Ron Kampeas Or maybe Shabbat’s a lot more fun than the seder when you’re 4. ... [Link]

Obama: I have same high expectations of Israel as I do of U.S.

Ron Kampeas President Obama says his criticism of Israel is born of the high regard with which he holds Israel — and the expectation he has that Israel live up to the values it shares with the United States... [Link]

Lady Gaga accepts ADL award on behalf of her Born This Way Foundation

Gabe Friedman Pop star Lady Gaga accepted an award from the Anti-Defamation League on behalf of her nonprofit Born This Way Foundation. ... [Link]

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