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The End is Nigh The End is Nigh
Friday, July 6, 2012 by Allan Arkush | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Richard Landes tells us on the very first page of Heaven on Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience that he isn’t going to confine himself to the usual suspects. 
Hukkat: Wise Blood
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 by Shlomo Zuckier | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

The red heifer, which we read about in this week’s portion, serves to purify those rendered impure by contact with a dead body. This process is traditionally known as the hok par excellence, the archetype of an inexplicable statute in the Torah.
Killing Rathenau Killing Rathenau
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 by Carole Fink | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Walther Rathenau was neither a typical German Jew nor a traditional German statesman. Born into a wealthy industrialist family that had disowned its Jewish beliefs and practices and gaining political office late in life, Rathenau was the quintessential outsider.
Brandeis and Zionism, In and Out of Love Brandeis and Zionism, In and Out of Love
Tuesday, June 19, 2012 by Evan Moffic | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

The Supreme Court is once again poised to define the role of government in American society; and Louis D. Brandeis, the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, would have recognized the terms of the debate.
The Chained Wife The Chained Wife
Thursday, June 14, 2012 by Micah Stein | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Yafa Friedman lives in a modest, two-story townhouse in Brooklyn. This past Sunday, the shades were drawn as a group of 30 protestors marched outside the house chanting, "Yafa Friedman—stop the abuse!"
Steal This Siddur Steal This Siddur
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

If anyone might be poised to understand how a project of decentralized authority and radically distributive ownership could operate in a market-based economy, it would be the treasurer of a kibbutz.
Sleepless on Shavuot Sleepless on Shavuot
Thursday, May 24, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Two practices long associated with Shavuot, the "time of the revelation of the Law" (z'man matan Torateinu), are the enrolling of children in religious school and the marathon all-night study vigil (tikkun leyl Shavuot).
Aquarius in Zion Aquarius in Zion
Thursday, May 17, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the great crazy quilt of Israeli religious and spiritual life, the cluster of ideas and practices called "New Age" (in Hebrew, 'Idan Hadash) is increasingly visible. Love it or hate it, it's around, in books, festivals, newspapers, the pronouncements of tycoons, and growing networks of popular Kabbalah.
Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On Gershom Scholem, 30 Years On
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by Yehudah Mirsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Thirty years after his death at age 84, Gershom Scholem casts a long shadow. The field he created, the modern study of Jewish mysticism, has grown beyond him, yet his work remains the indispensable foundation.
Mumbai Wedding Mumbai Wedding
Friday, May 4, 2012 by Joseph Mayton | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

As the afternoon sun hit its peak, Haran and I pulled up to his small one-and-a-half-bedroom flat on the outskirts of East Mumbai, India, some 20 minutes from the airport. The building's shiny tin roof showed that money was in short supply. But inside the apartment, with Indian hospitality, Haran's wife Geeta served me perfectly spiced hot tea.
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Editors' Picks
How Drunk Should You Be? Ari Enkin, Torah Musings. "One who suspects that his drunkenness could lead to murder or other unacceptable conduct should not drink, though all others are indeed required to intoxicate themselves on Purim."
Costume Customs Akiva Males, Tradition. For Purim, Renaissance halakhist Moshe Isserles justified a custom breaching the prohibition on wearing clothes combining wool and linen.  Where did this custom come from?  That's what Mordecai wore.
Why Are We Fasting? Chaim Lindenblatt, Torah Musings. Megillat Ta'anit, the Scroll of Fasting, prohibits fasting the day before Purim.  So, why do we observe the Fast of Esther?
Why Are We Still Fasting? Daniel Pinner, Arutz Sheva. Both Purim and Pesach celebrate the deliverance of the Jewish people.  But the fast preceding each festival reminds us that "to achieve redemption, we first have to go through a measure of suffering."
When the Sun Stood Still Natan Slifkin, Rationalist Judaism. Copernicus' heliocentrism, though embraced by many Jews, threatened Judaism—not by displacing man from the center of the universe but by elevating him to the heavens.
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."
The Bible, for Non-Believers Hayyim Angel, Tradition. In his commentary on the Torah, Leon Kass does not begin from the premise that the text is divinely revealed.  But he makes a strong case that man cannot live by reason alone.
The Talmud, Not for Non-Believers Gil Student, Torah Musings. Ruth Calderon's inaugural speech to the Knesset advocated secular study of the Talmud.  Yet the Talmud warns against students who don't intend to put what they learn into practice.
The Problem with Gay Marriage Gilles Bernheim, First Things. "All the affection in the world will not suffice to produce the basic psychological structures that address the child’s need to know where he comes from."
The Pope's Jewish Legacy Brad Hirschfield, Washington Post. Pope Benedict XVI antagonized some Jewish leaders.  But he confronted the Holocaust and the Church's historic persecution of Jews with honesty and integrity.