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Religious Life

The New Jewish Leaders The New Jewish Leaders
Friday, April 5, 2013 by Hal M. Lewis | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Distinguished scholars profile the new generation of American Jewish leaders, from the ages of 22 to 40, and ask how they differ from the leaders of the generation past.  But who counts as a Jewish leader?
<i>As a Driven Leaf</i> As a Driven Leaf
Thursday, March 28, 2013 by Phil Cohen | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Milton Steinberg's As a Driven Leaf is no literary masterpiece.  But the novel, with its story of a notorious 2nd-century, C.E. heretic, has been in print for 75 years.  What accounts for the book's appeal to generations of modern Jews? 
Happy Yom Kippur to You? Happy Yom Kippur to You?
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 by Shlomo M. Brody | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

"Happy" is certainly not the first word that comes to mind for most of us when we describe our Yom Kippur experience.  After all, the Torah commands us to afflict ourselves on this day (Leviticus 23:26-31).
Yeshiva Revolution Yeshiva Revolution
Friday, September 7, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Shaul Stampfer, one of Israel's foremost experts on Eastern European Jewry, is the most unlikely of iconoclasts.  A thin, quiet, unassuming man, he gives the impression that he would have been happy as a simple melamed (elementary school teacher) in the shtetls he describes.
Are Day School Vouchers the Answer? Are Day School Vouchers the Answer?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Moshe Sokolow | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Is Jewish education a parental or communal responsibility?  The privately funded heder, with its melamed, or tutor, emphasizes the parental aspect.  The publicly maintained talmud torah, or congregational school, emphasizes the communal obligation.
Jewish Studies, Once and Future Jewish Studies, Once and Future
Thursday, August 23, 2012 by Adina M. Yoffie | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

It’s that time of year again—not just the High Holidays but the time when Jewish college students pore over online course catalogues and make their choices for the fall semester. Will they take Jewish Studies courses? If so, does it matter which ones?
New York Jews: Growing in Numbers, Growing Apart New York Jews: Growing in Numbers, Growing Apart
Thursday, July 5, 2012 by Leslie Lenkowsky | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Ever since the first 23 Jewish settlers arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654, New York City has been the economic, cultural, religious and, not least, demographic center of Jewish life in North America.  
Balak: Abraham and Balaam
Tuesday, July 3, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

Two biblical figures both saddle their own animals to get on with their task—and that's not the only thing they have in common. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:11:06
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.
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Editors' Picks
A Contract Is a Contract Michael Helfand, Center on Law and Religion. A Connecticut state court has ruled that it may enforce the support provisions of an Orthodox prenuptial agreement without intruding on First Amendment religious protections.
Memorializing the Rav David Shatz, YU News. On the occasion of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik's 20th yahrzeit, some thoughts on how his thought will be conveyed to a generation that did not know him.
Mimouna: Gold and Leavened Bread Ari Enkin, Hirhurim. The traditional post-Pesach celebration by Moroccan Jews may commemorate Maimonides’ father—or the Egyptian gold that washed up on the shore of the Red Sea.
Elijah's Newfangled Cup Eliezer Brodt, Seforim. Opening the door to Elijah and inviting him to drink a cup of wine is a widespread Seder custom today.  But there is no record of this custom anywhere before the 17th century.
Is Journalism Just Lashon Hara? Pinchas Landau, Institute for Jewish Ideas. Halakhah has yet to confront the gamut of prohibitions violated by modern mass media, from the sin of rekhilut to the greater sin of motsi shem ra, or slander.  
Beards Peter Berger, American Interest. The beard as a sacramental symbol is a visible sign of an invisible ideology. This need not be religious.
Swedes Wear Kippot—with Police Protection Ilya Meyer, Jerusalem Post. Sweden recently saw a striking event: Swedish Jews, normally invisible, demonstrating by wearing kippot en masse.  They needed the police guard to protect against Islamic extremists.
The Talmud in Dutch, a Tribute Cnaan Liphshiz, JTA. Holocaust survivor Jacob de Leeuwe has finished translating the first tractate into Dutch, in a tribute to a vanishing community and a work of "tikkun."
Don’t Know Much ’bout Orthodoxy Yair Rosenberg, Tablet. New York media think an Orthodox woman running for political office is an anomaly among females who are cloistered, uneducated, and subservient. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
'Round Olympic Village Ivor Davis, Jewish Chronicle. “We slept in our back-garden bomb shelter . . . we were weaned on ration books, powdered eggs, and cod-liver oil”: Not long ago, now-chic East London was a hub of immigrant Jewish life.