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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

Israel falls to Argentina in relocated Davis Cup match

Marcy Oster Israel lost in the Davis Cup to Argentina in a match that was moved from Tel Aviv to Florida due to the conflict with Hamas in Gaza. ... [Link]

Belarus museum opens exhibit about native son Ariel Sharon

Cnaan Liphshiz The National History Museum of Belarus inaugurated an exhibition about Ariel Sharon. ... [Link]

Auschwitz guard, now 93, charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder

Marcy Oster German prosecutors have charged a 93-year-old man with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for his service as a Nazi SS guard at Auschwitz. ... [Link]

Limmud volunteers listed among UK’s top Jewish movers and shakers

Marcy Oster Volunteers for Limmud UK were among the top 10 on the Jewish Chronicle’s Power 100 list of movers and shakers in the United Kingdom. ... [Link]

Imperiled U.N. peacekeepers leave Syrian Golan for Israel

Marcy Oster All United Nations peacekeeping forces and support staff have been relocated from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to Israel. ... [Link]

5774: Top 10 Jewish entertainment moments

Anthony Weiss Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and the power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z (we’re not kidding) are among those on the list. ... [Link]

Ahead of historic vote, many Scottish Jews wary of independence

Ben Sales Scotland’s intense criticism of Israel’s recent war with Hamas has pushed some Scottish Jews to support remaining in the United Kingdom. ... [Link]

Philly kosher butcher shop vandalized with swastikas

Marcy Oster A kosher butcher in Philadelphia was defaced with anti-Semitic graffiti. ... [Link]

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