(JTA) – Rebecca Scoggin lived in a lot of places growing up: Juneau,
Nome, Fairbanks, Homer, Anchorage. But except for the two years she
lived in Seattle after high school, she never lived outside Alaska. At
least she hadn’t until a few months ago. Inspired by a Birthright trip
she took at age 19, Scoggin decided to pick up and move to Tel Aviv.
JERUSALEM (JTA) – In the midst of a grinding war in Gaza, a sometimes
near-empty Knesset gallery was packed recently for an uplifting moment:
what probably was the final political act of Israel’s elder statesman.
Shimon Peres – former Israeli prime minister, defense minister, foreign
minister and now former president – stood before the Knesset for the
last time as a public servant on July 24, just prior to the inauguration
of his successor, Reuven Rivlin.
Most scholarly books about the Bible focus on dating the different
sections of the work and debating whom the authors might have been.
Michael L. Satlow, a professor of Religious studies and Judaic studies
at Brown University, addresses a different question in his fascinating
and provocative “How the Bible Became Holy” (Yale University Press):
When did the biblical text attain sacred status as the word of God?
For those who try to get in better touch with their Ashkenazi Jewish
heritage by studying Yiddish at the college level, there are challenges –
but those can be outweighed by the nachas (pride or pleasure) of rediscovering the nearly lost language.
My wife, Suzy, and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just
the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark.
Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests
informed and shaped our lives from that day forward.
The wider world of traditional Judaism is moving in fits and starts
toward a renegotiation of the terms of halachic observance. At question
is the importance of social change in the understanding and application
of the legal logic of the sages of old. In the last several years,
voices from within the Orthodox fold have raised a formidable challenge
to certain established norms of Jewish life and law, especially
regarding the possibilities of female religious leadership.