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People & Places


Slaughterhouse Rules Slaughterhouse Rules
Friday, July 29, 2011 by Elli Fischer | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Pending approval by its upper house of parliament, the Netherlands will join Switzerland and a handful of other Western countries in mandating that animals slaughtered for food must first be stunned unconscious, generally by a hammer blow to the skull.
No Room in Zion? No Room in Zion?
Thursday, July 28, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Tent camps are appearing across Israel in protest over the high cost of housing. The high cost of everything in Israel (recall the cottage cheese boycott earlier this year) has led to widespread economic and social dissatisfaction, with otherwise serious commentators making overheated analogies to Tahrir Square and the Arab Spring.
Minorities in the IDF Minorities in the IDF
Wednesday, July 27, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Recently, while driving by the Israeli settlement of Nokdim (where Avigdor Lieberman lives), I picked up a hitchhiking soldier. We started chatting, and I asked the soldier his name. "Mustafa," he said. "You're a Muslim?" I asked. "Yes," he answered, "from Haifa."
The State of the Arab State The State of the Arab State
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the Mashriq to the Maghreb, one end of the Arab world to the other, people are contemplating where the six-month-long upheavals that began with the Arab Spring are fated to deliver them. Those with longer memories may recall an earlier experiment at reshaping the political contours of Arab governance.
The New Biblical Archeology The New Biblical Archeology
Monday, July 25, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Every summer, the Israel Antiquities Authority holds a reception for foreign archeological teams excavating in Israel. This year's reception was attended by over 200 archeologists, who are investigating sites ranging in age from the Paleolithic through Islamic periods.
The Loyalties of the Sephardim The Loyalties of the Sephardim
Friday, July 22, 2011 by Aryeh Tepper | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In a recent Haaretz column, Gideon Levy, the radical leftist polemicist, sounded the warning that Israel's religious Zionists—"the knitted skullcaps"—have joined hands with the ultra-Orthodox and the Sephardim to form "a united tribe of zealots."
Fueling Israel’s Future Fueling Israel’s Future
Thursday, July 21, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Are abundant natural resources a blessing, or a curse? Israel, thus far burdened with a crippling dependency on imported oil and gas, has had astonishing success in developing its human resources—so much so that it has flourished economically even in the current global recession.
The Good Fence The Good Fence
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by Elliot Jager | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Just about anything that makes Israel more secure is opposed by someone: either by its enemies and their enablers, or by its fair-weather friends in the international arena, or by dissident elements within the Jewish community—and sometimes by all three. A case in point is Israel's West Bank security barrier.
Meet Sholem Aleichem Meet Sholem Aleichem
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 by Nahma Sandrow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

In the 1880's, the Ukrainian Jew Solomon Rabinowitz began his literary career under an assumed nameā€”assumed because he was writing in Yiddish, rather than a respectable language such as Hebrew or Russian. The pseudonym he chose was Sholem Aleichem.
David Mamet’s Homecoming David Mamet’s Homecoming
Monday, July 18, 2011 by Alex Joffe | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

A new book by the playwright, director, and author David Mamet is by definition a significant literary event—but to judge from its critical reception, The Secret Knowledge is not only a bad book but possibly an evil one. Why such heat?
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Editors' Picks
Rabbinic Malpractice? Josh Yuter, Yutopia. Why did it take forty years for Orthodox Judaism to go from the "Lieberman Clause" to the strikingly similar "Halakhic Prenup"? It seems it was more concerned with delegitimizing Conservative Judaism than with addressing the agunah problem.
Fantasy Diplomacy Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Phillip Smyth, Haaretz. In the wake of the Arab Spring, many Israelis are hoping for a regional alliance between Israel and repressed minorities in Arab countries. But a hope it will remain.
Translate Thy Enemy Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post. A translation of the Talmud into Arabic seems motivated less by historical interest than by a desire to understand what is considered to be "the main source of Jewish iniquity."
Notes on Camp Jason Miller, Huffington Post. Across denominations, statistics show that Jewish summer camps have a significant effect on children's lifelong Jewish involvement. But can Jewish camps keep up with secular alternatives?
Philanthropy Nation? Suzanne Last Stone, Hartman Institute. For a philanthropic culture to develop in Israel, the traditional American-Israeli partnership model requires serious retooling.
Why U? Helen Chernikoff, Jewish Week. As secular universities offer kosher food and religious students opt for more traditional—and cheaper—colleges, Yeshiva University risks losing not only its market share, but its raison d'etre.
Wingate's War Matti Friedman, Times of Israel. For the British military establishment in Mandate Palestine, Orde Wingate's disdain for uniform—indeed for clothes in general—was highly unorthodox. Small wonder, then, that he also supported the Haganah.
From Enemies to Friends Ephraim Mirvis, Jerusalem Post. Medieval Britain originated the blood libel and was the first European country to expel Jews. Yet in 1942, it was Britain that created first national interfaith organization between Christians and Jews.
National Anthem Philologos, Forward. Israel wouldn't have to abandon "Hatikvah" to have an anthem which Muslim and Christian citizens would be proud to sing: just restore some of Naphtali Herz Imber's original lyrics.
J Street: A Dead End? Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post. With minimal—and falling—support in the U.S. coupled with complete divergence from Israeli public opinion, J Street looks irrelevant. But it may yet find an audience in the White House.