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Jewish Identity

Religion and State in Israel Religion and State in Israel
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 by Moshe Koppel | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

I want to make an argument for limiting the role of the Israeli state in maintaining Jewish institutions. I do so, however, as one who wishes to see an expansion of the influence of traditional Judaism in the Israeli public square. Read in full on Mosaic.
Orthosexuality Orthosexuality
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Addressing a trend toward greater openness about sexuality in the Modern Orthodox community, Elli Fischer reminds us, in an article first published December 19, 2011, that Judaism has never treated sex as a taboo subject.
High Concept in Dialogue With Tradition High Concept in Dialogue With Tradition
Thursday, May 9, 2013 by Diane Cole | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The artifacts of Jewish cultural history have never looked so freshly inviting or unexpectedly contemporary as in a provocative new exhibition at New York's Jewish Museum.
Going Home Going Home
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 by Judah Bellin | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his new book, Rod Dreher insists that communities are difficult to forge in America’s largest cities.  But for traditional Jews, the demands of modern capitalism and community are not as incommensurate as Dreher assumes. 
The Black-Hat Underground The Black-Hat Underground
Monday, May 6, 2013 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The likely closure of Aderaba, the magazine by, for, and about frustrated Israeli ba’alei teshuvah, demonstrates that the mainstream haredi community is too great to overcome—for now.
The Last Books The Last Books
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 by Jonathan Brent | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The invisible structures created by the Jewish people of Eastern Europe over a thousand years were given shape and transmitted through the books and the documents collected by YIVO.  These structures still move us.  If we do not know what they are, we do not know ourselves.
Faith and Matrimony Faith and Matrimony
Friday, April 19, 2013 by Dana Evan Kaplan | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

An initiative to admit intermarried students to Reform rabbinical schools is yet another indication that Reform Judaism is swiftly becoming not so much a religious movement as a Jewish activities club.
Enigmas of Modern Jewish Identity Enigmas of Modern Jewish Identity
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 by Stephen J. Whitfield | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Over the course of a lifetime facing modernity's conflicting demands, how might Jewishness affect the struggle to sustain identity, and how might this struggle mark the contours of Diaspora history?
Eizenstat on the Jewish Future Eizenstat on the Jewish Future
Friday, March 15, 2013 by Jerome A. Chanes | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his new book on the Jewish future, Jewish diplomat Stuart Eizenstat sees Jewish destiny evolving in the friendly competition between the sovereignty of Israel and the pluralism of America.
The Voice That Speaks in My Soul The Voice That Speaks in My Soul
Friday, March 8, 2013 by Susan Taubes | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Echoing Kafka in this 1949 letter of protest to a domineering male, Susan Taubes writes: "I can no more keep to the laws of the Bible than I can cross myself or take the sacrament."
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Editors' Picks
Star and Stripes Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post. Theodor Herzl had proposed a white banner with gold stars as the Zionist flag.  But David Wolfssohn disagreed: "The tallit with which we wrap ourselves when we pray: That is our symbol."
Israel's High Holidays Donniel Hartman, eJewish Philanthropy. Once scorned as a representation of the Old Jew's weakness, Yom Hashoah is now as much a Zionist commemoration as Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha'atzma'ut.  But is that right?
Purim vs. Passover Yossi Klein Halevi, Hartman Institute. "'Passover Jews' are motivated by empathy with the oppressed; 'Purim Jews' are motivated by alertness to threat."
Evading the Synagogue Tax Rachel S. Harris, Sh'ma. Young Jews are increasingly reluctant to pay synagogue membership fees.  But they are paying for other kinds of Jewish affiliation.
Unifying Three Communities Jonathan Sacks, Algemeiner. "To preserve the diversity of a tsibbur with the unity of purpose of an edah–that is the challenge of kehillah-formation, community-building, itself the greatest task of a great leader."
On a Mission to Save Kaifeng Anson Laynter, Algemeiner. After centuries of decline, Kaifeng’s Jewish community has been rejuvenated by an American Christian philanthropist.  Is he a benefactor—or a missionary?
The Indonesian Temple Mount Zakir Hussain, Jakarta Globe. His mother is Muslim, his father Protestant.  But Yaakov Baruch, who runs Indonesia's only Jewish community, says, "I feel like I'm in Jerusalem."
Access Denied Daniel Estrin, Atlantic. Israel's Russian immigrants must prove their Jewish ancestry to obtain marriage licenses from the government.  But Russia is making it increasingly difficult to access the Soviet archives.
The Conversion Crisis Marc Angel, Haaretz. "The halakhic Jewishness of an Orthodox convert is not decided by the Rabbanut—but by God.  The Rabbanut has no right whatever to question or deny the validity of halakhic conversions."
Who Is A Jew? Gil Student, Torah Musings. In 1958, David Ben-Gurion consulted with Jewish scholars and leaders around the world in hopes of finding a universal definition.  He received 45 different answers, of course.