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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

Netanyahu meets with House Armed Services members

Ron Kampeas Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened Hamas to radical Islamists in Iraq and Syria in a meeting with members of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. ... [Link]

Sinai terror group beheads four accused of spying for Israel

Marcy Oster Four Egyptian men were beheaded by a Sinai-based terror group for allegedly spying for Israel. ... [Link]

Holocaust memorial erected in Polish Jewish cemetery

Marcy Oster A Holocaust memorial was erected in the Jewish cemetery in Serock, Poland. ... [Link]

Wishing Joan Rivers a speedy recovery

Julie Wiener Comedian Joan Rivers is in the hospital after going into cardiac arrest. ... [Link]

Joan Rivers hospitalized, critical but stable

Ron Kampeas Joan Rivers is in critical condition, reportedly after stopping breathing during throat surgery. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: Israel’s Burning Man fest, Tinder’s Jewish founders, Gaza border fears

Talia Lavin JTA sums up noteworthy items from the Web. ... [Link]

Football broadcaster suspended for Jewish joke

Marcy Oster San Diego Chargers radio analyst Hank Bauer was suspended from announcing the team’s final preseason game for using a Jewish stereotype in an exchange with his on-air colleague. ... [Link]

Body found in Jerusalem Forest reportedly confirmed that of missing N.J. yeshiva student

Marcy Oster Israel Police reportedly confirmed that a dead body found in Ein Kerem near the Jerusalem Forest is that of Aaron Sofer, a yeshiva student from New Jersey who went missing in the area a week ago. ... [Link]

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