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The end of the human race

THE END of the human race as we know it might be upon us. I refer not to some very distant, natural evolution of the human species — perhaps possible, perhaps not; in any event, unknowable to us. Rather, I refer to three prospective human interventions in the nature of humanity that, if let to proceed unfettered, will have farreaching consequences, namely, an end of the human race as we know it.

These three interventions are a radical tethering of humans to computers, a radical change in genetics, and a redefinition of gender. What each of these interventions have in common is speed. It takes far less time to effectuate radical change than at any time in history.

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National Jewish Health: Not too big, not too small

DR. MICHAEL SALEM, president and CEO of National Jewish Health, identifies a Catch 22: In contemporary medical facilities, you can’t get too small, and you can’t get too big. If you get too big, you can attract quality faculty for research, but can’t provide the opportunities for the intimate exchange of ideas, for natural interaction and cross-fertilization. And you can’t provide personalized medicine. If you get too small, you don’t have the resources for either the research or th...
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Why I keep kosher

KASHRUT. It’s objective. Laid out. With boundaries. Defined spaces. Places you enter. Or don’t. If you define the spaces and places your own way, you do not enter. Do not get to the sanctification. On its face, sanctification is restrictive. Limiting. Dismissive of human struggle, human initiative, human achievement. On its face, sanctification is narrow.

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 March 2015 09:13 )

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Drunk on Purim?

“Did you get drunk on Purim?” “I can fake not being drunk better than anybody.” “No, really, did you?” “I cannot confirm or deny.” A little fun has been ruined by a lot of fun. It used to be that one could get drunk on Purim. Jewish law advises that one reach a state in which it is impossible to distinguish between “Cursed is Mordechai” [the hero] and “Blessed is Haman” [the villain]. OK. The dullards will advise, go to sleep. Then you won’t be able to tell the dif...
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Faces

When I was a child I found it common that pictures of deceased parents hung on the walls of homes I visited. It seemed natural to remember these distant figures that way. When my own Dad died in 1972, I couldn’t look at his picture. It was too painful. I did not hang a picture of him on the wall. Even now, 42 years later, all I can bear is a glance.
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

U.S. Jewish hikers in Nepal contact families

Marcy Oster They reportedly are at the Mount Everest base camp awaiting evacuation. Meanwhile, the earthquake’s death toll topped 4,000. ... [Link]

U.N. inquiry finds Israel fired on its schools, Hamas hid weapons in its buildings

Marcy Oster Some 44 Palestinians sheltering in the schools bombed by the Israelis were killed and Hamas also fired at Israel from U.N. buildings, the inquiry found. ... [Link]

Alan Pollack, activist for Israel, dies at 77

Marcy Oster Pollack, a leading Zionist activist from the 1960s to the 1980s, joined the JTA board in 1979. ... [Link]

Haredi Orthodox neighborhood has NYC’s highest birth rate

Julie Wiener Borough Park, an area in Brooklyn known for its sizable Orthodox Jewish population, has 27.9 births per 1,000 residents, making it “easily the city’s baby capital.” ... [Link]

Holocaust survivor criticized for urging end to prosecution of SS officers

Julie Wiener Eva Mozes Kor, who had been one of 50 Auschwitz survivors bringing charges against Oskar Groening, made her remarks on German television. ... [Link]

Nicki Minaj made this kid’s bar mitzvah legendary

Gabe Friedman What was the famous hip-hop artist doing at a bar mitzvah? ... [Link]

The world’s smallest Bible, now on view at the Israel Museum

Gabe Friedman You’ve never seen the Bible like this before. That is, if you can actually see this version. ... [Link]

Why Israeli couples have surrogate pregnancies in Nepal

Ben Sales Israeli couples unable to get pregnant are choosing surrogacy abroad. For same-sex couples, Nepal is one of the only options. ... [Link]

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