We were actually busy at work (!) putting the final touches on our brand new IJN e-Edition, which launches today. Of course we also found some time to surf the net, and we came across a few stories that explored a few intersections of Judaism and Independence Day, some of them rather unexpected and even peculiar. Here’s a small selection of “holiday” reading for you:
- Can Orthodox Jews watch fireworks? Huh, why not? Well, July 4th falls during the mourning period of the Three Weeks, when Jews are meant to abstain from celebratory events, specifically those with live music, which most firework shows are accompanied by. Read more
- In true Talmudic fashion, some rabbi propose a logical solution: watch the fireworks on the telly, but just hit the mute button first. Read more
- Orthodox Jews may choose not to listen to music during the Three Weeks, but that rule didn’t stop this group of chasidic Jews from singing on July 4th. Check out the Star Spangled Banner, chasidic-style!
- Did a Philadelphia rabbi influence the Gettysburg Address? Rabbi Marc Saperstein has done some digging and discovered that a Sabbath morning sermon delivered in Philadelphia on July 4th, 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg contains some key phraseology and concepts heard in Lincoln’s speech a few months later. Read more
Hope everybody had a wonderful day celebrating America!