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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

Emergency transfer denied in kosher prison food case

Anthony Weiss A federal judge rejected a request by a Venezuelan Jewish detainee for an emergency transfer from an Alabama prison over complaints that it was not providing kosher meals. ... [Link]

Israeli soldier killed in Gaza firefight

Marcy Oster An Israeli soldier was killed in a “fire exchange” in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces announced. ... [Link]

Rockets discovered at second U.N. school in Gaza

Marcy Oster Rockets were discovered in a second United Nations school in Gaza. ... [Link]

J Street delineates why it pulled out of Boston pro-Israel rally

Ron Kampeas J Street withdrew from a pro-Israel rally in Boston because it did not feel the rally would address all the group’s concerns. ... [Link]

Amid France synagogue attacks, support for Jewish self-defense group on the rise

Cnaan Liphshiz France’s Jewish Defense League, a a controversial group with a history of vigilantism, is enjoying growing support amid fears that police cannot protect Jewish institutions. ... [Link]

Cease-fire or reoccupy? Israeli leaders split on Gaza endgame

Ben Sales As Operation Protective Edge enters its third week, some are calling for Israel to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. ... [Link]

Shalom to the enshrined: Cooperstown’s mayor, Hall of Fame chief greeting baseball’s elite

mbrodsky Decade-long friends Jeff Idelson and Mayor Jeff Katz run the show as the New York State village celebrates the Hall of Fame’s induction weekend. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Finding unity in a bomb shelter

Ami Eden As people take cover from incoming rocket fire, the varied streams of life in Israel converge, writes Rabbi Aaron D. Panken, president of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. ... [Link]

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