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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

U.S., Israeli security advisers pledge ‘coordination’ on Iran talks

Ron Kampeas The United States and Israel will maintain “unprecedented coordination” as nuclear talks go forward with Iran, the White House said after a summit of the two nation’s security advisers. ... [Link]

U.S. officials banned from Old City on Friday

Ron Kampeas U.S. government officials are banned from entering Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday. ... [Link]

Haaretz stands by its explosive Bibi cartoon

Julie Wiener Haaretz, often described as Israel’s New York Times, didn’t do itself any favors Thursday when it published a cartoon featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flying a plane into the World Trad... [Link]

Peruvians arrest alleged Hezbollah operative

Ron Kampeas Israeli media reported that he allegedly was planning an attack on Jewish targets in Peru. ... [Link]

Top U.N. official urges Security Council to address Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ron Kampeas His remarks could signal a readiness by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to champion a Palestinian bid for statehood in the wake of collapsed peace talks. ... [Link]

Kerry: Netanyahu slur is ‘disgraceful’

Ron Kampeas The secretary of state said the derogatory reference by an anonymous White House staffer is damaging and does not reflect the president or himself. ... [Link]

Temple Mount to reopen, but with restrictions

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration called on Israel to reopen the area to Muslim worshippers after it was closed in the wake of an assassination attempt on a Jewish activist. ... [Link]

Nathaniel Melnitsky gets real-world medical training in Guatemala

Raffi Wineburg The Florida teenager not only helped set up a clinic for poor people in Guatemala, he even gave eye exams and ran some tests like an EKG. ... [Link]

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