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The personality of Miriam

The personality of Miriam

JUST when you thought that a burst of creativity in Biblical exegesis became the final word in the field, a subterranean paradigm shift unfolds. With its development the earlier creativity is seen as encased within a certain methodology, such that the new burst in creativity is not a departure from, or a quarrel with, the earlier mode. It is simply something new.

Given that the Hebrew Bible is the eternal book, its layers of meaning accumulate not just one layer upon the other. Not just another take on a verse or a passage; not just another read on an ambiguous or amphibolous Hebrew word or phrase; not just another angle of vision on a Biblical theme. Rather, an entirely new field is discovered within the Biblical text.

Last Updated ( Friday, 06 June 2014 01:46 )

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Liberal Lens

Big money behind a big merger

THERE are plenty of reasons to worry about the proposal to combine Comcast, America’s largest cable and broadband company, with Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable firm and third-largest broadband provider. For one, there’s ever more consolidated control over content. There’s also the possibility of certain types of content being given special (or worse) treatment based on the provider’s relationship with Comcast and Time Warner Cable. And there’s the prospect of even higher p...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:06 )

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View from Central Park

Ruth-less society

WHEN we read the Book of Ruth next week on the holiday of Shavuot, we are reminded that all Jews are in essence converts. Some of us go back further than others, literally to Mount Sinai, when a mass conversion of the Jewish people took place. Others of us trace our Jewish heritage and identity to more recent times. As a people, we cherish Ruth so much. Our love for her unexpected act of kindness, a game changer in the Book of Ruth, is real. Yet in our daily Jewish life sometimes there is cogn...
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View From Denver

‘And they established their genealogy’

‘And they established their genealogy’G-D counts the Jewish people because he loves them. Each person is important to Him. Each census has a more specific reason, too. The census at the start of the portion — and book — of Numbers is for military purposes, writes Nachmanides. The Jews were on the threshold of entering the Land of Israel. It would need to be conquered. It would need to be known how many fighters in each tribe were available. After the conquest, the land would be divided by tribe, and the population of each tr...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 01:34 )

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View from Central Park

Numbers

Numbers have been on my mind lately. This coming week’s Torah portion inaugurates the reading of the next book of the Torah, Bamidbar, literally, “in the desert.” However, it is known as the book of Numbers. Rabbinic Judaism refers to the book as such, “Sefer Ha-Pikudim,” the book of censuses of the Jewish people. In fact, the census is commanded twice, the first time in the beginning of Bamidbar. Since Passover, we have been counting the Omer. A meditation assigns a theme to each p...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Rabbi Harold Schulweis — spiritual leader, author and activist — dies at 89

Julie Wiener Schulweis led Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Calif. — one of the largest congregations in the United States — for nearly 45 years, authored nine books and helped found several Jewish organizations.... [Link]

North American immigration to Israel rose 7 percent in 2014

Marcy Oster Some 3,762 olim arrived in Israel this year from the United States and Canada. ... [Link]

Research team using imaging to study Holocaust killing sites in Ukraine

Cnaan Liphshiz With funding from Germany, experts are trying to demarcate Holocaust-era mass graves without violating religious laws. ... [Link]

Harvard president calls for probe into halting of SodaStream purchases

Marcy Oster Protests by Palestinian students and their supporters led to the move by the university’s dining service over the water machines made in a West Bank factory. ... [Link]

Palestine resolution submitted to U.N. Security Council

Marcy Oster The resolution calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem by the end of 2017 and for a negotiated peace between Israel and the Palestinians within one year. ... [Link]

Record-breaking French aliyah dwarfs immigration from North America

Cnaan Liphshiz In the first 11 months of 2014, Israel saw the arrival of 6,655 people from France, which tops the chart as source for Jewish immigrants to Israel, ... [Link]

Sydney menorah lighting canceled following siege tragedy

Marcy Oster The public ceremony at Sydney’s Martin Place was canceled for the first time in nearly 30 years due to the deadly attack at a city cafe. ... [Link]

Gross’ release, and changes in diplomatic ties, signals new day for Cuban Jews

Ron Kampeas The island nation’s Jewish organizations can be much more in the open with the historic deal that freed Alan Gross and reopened U.S. ties to Cuba. ... [Link]

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