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It’s All in the Angle It’s All in the Angle
Friday, February 1, 2013 by Jack Riemer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In his new collection of essays, ultra-Orthodox rabbi Avi Shafran disputes the scientific worldview on its own terms.  But he refuses to acknowledge scientific challenges to Judaism.  
<i>Shabbat Shirah</i>: Song Takes Wing Shabbat Shirah: Song Takes Wing
Monday, January 21, 2013 by Jerry Friedman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Complementing the Song of the Sea, which will be read this Shabbat in synagogue, the Rabbis suggested a home-based ritual to celebrate Shabbat Shirah: feeding the birds.
When Prayers for Rain are Answered When Prayers for Rain are Answered
Friday, January 11, 2013 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Israel is, in most minds, an arid land bereft of water, not cursed with its superabundance.  But a look at geography and history suggests otherwise.
A Jewish View of Hurricanes A Jewish View of Hurricanes
Thursday, November 1, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

With school closed, transportation suspended, and the local park off limits, I cast about for something other than “work” to fill the day.  My thoughts turned to the weather, and I asked myself whether Judaism has anything instructive to say about hurricanes.
The Harshness of Creation The Harshness of Creation
Wednesday, January 13, 2010 by | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Like the 2004 tsunami that devastated southeast Asia, yesterday's catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, a poverty-stricken country with a legacy of home-grown violence and suffering, inevitably provoked the terrible question: where was God? One answer derives from Jewish religious sources, and specifically from the teachings of the Kabbalah. It has to do with tzimtzum, or contraction: that is, God's own contraction and limitation of Himself in order to make space for the finite—and invariably flawed—worlds of physical nature and human action. The idea was most famously developed in Safed, Palestine by the 16th-century kabbalist Isaac Luria as part of a complicated, esoteric myth...
Editors' Picks
Wandering Jew Philologos, Forward. How did Tradescantia zebrina, a purple flower native to Mexico, acquire the nickname "Wandering Jew" in Europe? And, "should we be complaining to the Anti-Defamation League?"
A Partridge Among the Pigeons Michael Orbach, Tablet. Conservationists have ignored the poor Philby's Partridge, a Yemenite bird on the brink of extinction.  But an American rabbi is working to save it—because it might be kosher.
On Vulture's Wings Natan Slifkin, Rationalist Judaism. God told the Children of Israel, "I carried you on the wings of nesharim," translated as "eagles."  Would we feel differently if we learned that the proper translation was "vultures?"
Manna From Heaven? Natan Slifkin, Rationalist Judaism. Are miracles supernatural or naturalistic phenomena?  Maimonides seems to give contradictory answers—particularly on the subject of manna.
Rosh Hashanah, But Not Yom Hadin Ari Enkin, Torah Musings. "Many people mistakenly attribute Tu Bishvat as being the day of judgment for trees.  However, trees are judged on Shavuot, not on Tu Bishvat."
Jerusalem's Pleasant Pastures June Glazer, ISRAEL21C. After decades of struggle between developers and environmentalists, Jerusalem is about to break ground for Israel's first urban wildlife nature park, where herds of gazelle will roam free.
The $100,000 Tree Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times. Mindful of the Torah's prohibition against chopping down fruit trees unnecessarily, one man in Brooklyn has avoided uprooting a mulberry tree by building his house around it.