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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

Buoyed by haredi growth, Jewish school enrollment in NY up by 4.4 percent in one year

Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA) — Enrollment in New York State’s Jewish day schools and yeshivas increased by 4.4 percent last year. According to data compiled by the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council from st... [Link]

Undercover video of Hasidic principal handling boy prompts sex abuse probe

Uriel Heilman NEW YORK (JTA) – The story is an all-too-familiar horror tale: An adult in a position of power – in this case a Hasidic school principal – is accused of sexually abusing a child in his care. But... [Link]

Sheldon Silver, NY power broker, sentenced to 12 years for corruption

Julie Wiener NEW YORK (JTA) — Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on corruption charges. Silver, 72, an Orthodox Jew who for two decades was amo... [Link]

Michelin criticized for not publishing Israel guide

Julie Wiener (JTA) — The president of the World Jewish Congress is taking the Michelin travel company to task for not including Israel in its repertoire of prestigious travel and dining guides. In a letter to th... [Link]

Prominent Connecticut rabbi from ‘Yale 5′ case accused of sexually abusing boys

Julie Wiener (JTA) — A former student of a Connecticut rabbi has claimed the Orthodox leader and yeshiva principal raped and molested him hundreds of times. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court, Eliyahu M... [Link]

8th-grader who drew swastika on Boston-area school football field won’t face charges

Marcy Oster (JTA) — A 13-year-old boy who allegedly drew a swastika on a Boston-area school football field will not face criminal charges. The teen, an eighth-grader at the Georgetown Middle/High School, dr... [Link]

Jewish Israeli sentenced to life plus 20 years for revenge murder of Palestinian teen

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Jewish-Israeli man convicted of the revenge murder of a Palestinian teen was sentenced to life plus 20 years in jail on Tuesday. The sentence for Yosef Ben-David, 31, of Jerusa... [Link]

3 Israeli soldiers injured, 1 seriously, in West Bank car-ramming attack

Marcy Oster JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three Israeli soldiers were injured in a car-ramming attack on pedestrians in the West Bank. One of the injured is in serious condition following the attack near the settleme... [Link]

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