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Prague chief rabbi retires for a literary career

Prague chief rabbi retires for a literary career

PRAGUE — When the novel Altschul’s Method hit the shelves in Czech bookstores this March, it was hailed as a brilliant political and psychological thriller combining elements of science fiction, alternate history and Jewish mysticism.

But it became a true literary sensation when it was revealed a week later that the book’s supposed author, Chaim Cigan, was a pseudonym for Karol Sidon, the longtime chief rabbi of Prague.

Sidon had explained that he was writing under a pseudonym mainly to draw a distinction between his literary work and his duties for Prague’s Jewish community.

“Such writing does not befit a rabbi,” he told a Czech news website.

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 02:48 )

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Features

Report from the Israel that Americans never see

Report from the Israel that Americans never seeI walked into the synagogue, as I have on hundreds of other Friday nights throughout my life. Except this time, I was quickly approached by an elderly man wielding a six-foot staff who immediately questioned whether I was in the right place, or whether I was looking for another synagogue. After confirming that this was the Ethiopian synagogue, I affirmed that indeed, it was my intended destination. I was then asked my name, origin and purpose in being there. After explaining I merely desired to ...
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Features

Camp Be’chol Lashon restores pride

Camp Be’chol Lashon restores pridePETALUMA, Calif. — On a cool Sunday evening, Jewish campers with nervous smiles took to the stage one by one to perform poems they had composed on the theme of identity. One girl riffed on being taunted for having “fuzzy eyebrows” and “bushy hair.” Another rhymed about being told “You don’t look Jewish” too many times to count. If this doesn’t sound like your typical summer camp fare, it’s because Camp Be’chol Lashon has a markedly different mandate than most Jewish camp...
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Features

What I saw in Israel during war

What I saw in Israel during warTHERE are many good reasons for a Jew to spend time in the Land of Israel, some of them religiously oriented, some social, others historical. There is an entirely independent reason, however, what I would call being together with Am Yisrael, living in sync with the nation of Israel. While I had experienced this element of Israel in previous stints there, this summer it acquired a whole new meaning. Allow me to share some of these moments in which I experienced Am Yisrael. Landing in Israel onl...

Last Updated ( Friday, 15 August 2014 05:01 )

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Features

In Boston, Riverway reaches ‘high priority’ Jewish millennial generation

In Boston, Riverway reaches ‘high priority’ Jewish millennial generationBOSTON — One recent Tuesday evening, a group of about two dozen Jews in their 20s and 30s huddled around wooden tables poring over the text for the week’s Torah portion. A rabbi prodded them with questions about the petition that Zelophehad’s daughters submitted to Moses to inherit their father’s estate. Why do they petition at this juncture? Why does Moses refer the question to G-d? Members of the group raised hands, offered theories, debated. The learning session took place not in a...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Iran unveils monument to Iran-Iraq War Jewish ‘martyrs’

Ron Kampeas Iran unveiled a monument to Jews who died during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War. ... [Link]

Freundel-related lawsuit adds RCA as defendant

Ron Kampeas A lawsuit arising out of allegations of voyeurism at a Washington D.C. ritual bath added the Rabbinical Council of America as a defendant. ... [Link]

Suspected Kansas City JCC shooter found competent to stand trial

Marcy Oster Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. said as he left the courtroom, “I had a right and a duty to do what I did.” ... [Link]

Causing stir, prominent Conservative rabbi considers breaking intermarriage ban

Uriel Heilman Rabbi Wesley Gardenswartz of Temple Emanuel in Newton, Mass., proposed a new synagogue policy that would have him officiate at interfaith weddings for couples who commit to a “Covenant to Raise Jewi... [Link]

Mossad spy reached Hezbollah’s upper ranks, Arab media report

Ron Kampeas A Lebanese businessman arrested last week succeeded the slain operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, the reports say. ... [Link]

Despite menorah confiscations, women kindle lights at Western Wall

Marcy Oster Security guards said they were acting on orders from the Kotel rabbi, Women of the Wall said. ... [Link]

Swedish lawmaker: Jews must assimilate to become true Swedes

Marcy Oster Far-right lawmaker Bjorn Soder angered Jewish leaders with his call on Jews and other minorities “to adapt to the Swedish and assimilate in order to become Swedish.” ... [Link]

Near major oil spill, a solar field grows in Israel

Ben Sales In the southern region where the country’s largest ever oil spill befouled a 3.5 mile stretch of desert, Israel hopes to become a leader in renewable energy. ... [Link]

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