May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Don't know much about divinity . . .
The real knowledge you need to understand the Jews --- just kidding
First the good news: When it comes to knowledge of other world religions, Jews score highest on questions about all religions other than Christianity, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Here’s the bad news: According to the survey, “large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history, and leading figures of major faith traditions — including their own.”
For example, 45 percent of Catholics missed the question on the meaning of the Communion bread and wine, and about half of Protestants couldn’t identify Martin Luther as the inspiration of the Protestant Reformation. As for knowledge of other religions, only 47 percent of Americans know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist (apparently the survey did not ask, “Is the pope Catholic?”). Fewer than 8 percent of adults know that Maimonides was Jewish.
Of course, simple facts about beliefs and customs don’t tell you the whole story about any religious group. That’s what I’m here for. I can’t help my non-Jewish friends with knowledge of other religions, and if they want to know the basics of Judaism there are plenty of good sources out here. What I can help them with is a deeper understanding of Judaism and the Jewish people, and to answer the kinds of questions Pew should be asking:
Which is the least appetizing Jewish food?
• Gefilte fish
• Pickled herring
Which of the following people do not show up in synagogue on Saturday mornings at the scheduled start time of 9 a.m.?
• The rabbi and the cantor
• The gentile bar mitzva guests
• Everyone else
What is the least common complaint heard in a synagogue?
• The rabbi’s sermon was too short
• There weren’t enough new melodies!
• They’re serving meat at Kiddush again?!
What is your favorite episode from the Bible?
• When everyone thought Moses was an Egyptian
• When Abraham bought his ancestors a burial place in Hebron
• When the Divine convinces Pharaoh to let His people go
What is your favorite episode from Seinfeld?
• When everyone thought Jerry was a Nazi
• When Jerry bought a van from “Fragile” Frankie Merman
• When Kramer convinces Jerry to get illegal cable
What is the significance of the number 18?
• In Hebrew numerology, it spells “chai,” or life
• It takes 18 minutes to bake a kosher matza
• In many states, it means a kid can drive the other kids to soccer practice
Which of these is not an actual Jewish custom?
• Swinging a live chicken to expiate one’s sins
• Shaking a citrus fruit to celebrate the harvest
• Aiming a firearm to obliterate a quadruped
Is it okay to do yoga if you’re Jewish?
• Yes, as long as the physical poses are isolated from the spiritual meditations
• No, except if it is being sponsored by Sisterhood
• Maybe, but please check with your chiropractor
Which of these important sayings is not from the Mishna?
• “Who is wise? One who learns from all.”
• “Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.”
• “Who is coming? And will we need to put the leaf in the table?”
There you go, my non-Jewish friends: The real knowledge you need to understand the Jews. As for the meaning of Communion, you’re on your own.
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JWR contributor Andrew Silow-Carroll is the editor in chief of the New Jersey Jewish News.
© 2010, Andrew Silow-Carroll