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From Jewish Book Council
The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
Watch a short video with Ludwig Sokolov, the real man whose life inspired this novel.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
The Israeli humanitarian NGO is sending volunteers to assist in the wake of the latest round of devastating natural disasters.
On September 30, IsraAID: The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid sent a six-member emergency response team to North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence caused large-scale damage.
A second team of about six will fly out this week to help the local community in home recovery and debris removal, and assessing long-term needs as the area recovers.
By Richard L. Eisenberg for Tablet Magazine
As a rabbi, I didn’t want Jewish rituals in my daughter’s interfaith wedding
When friends heard that our daughter was marrying a non-Jew, some of them assumed that she would include some Jewish traditions in her wedding. After all, my wife and I are observant Jews, and I was a pulpit rabbi for 35 years. Surely, they may have thought, even if our daughter was marrying outside the fold, we would take every opportunity to make her wedding as traditional as possible. They were surprised, then, to hear that her wedding ceremony was secular, devoid of Judaism. “Why wasn’t there a hora?” they asked. “No breaking the glass?” “You didn’t want a chuppah?” “Why didn’t you do the ceremony?”
And what does chosenness mean anyway?
The idea that the Jews are the “chosen people” and have a special relationship with God is ubiquitous in Jewish sources. However, the nature of this relationship is not without complication and ambiguity.
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
Israel's rhino herd is the largest of 78 participating zoos in Europe.
It's a girl!
Israel's Ramat Gan Safari, a 250-animal reserve, just announced the birth of a healthy female baby rhinoceros. The new calf, born three weeks ago, has not yet been named. It's the 30th birth of a rhino baby in the safari since its creation on the outskirts of Tel Aviv back in 1974. Their first baby rhino – named "Shalom" – was born exactly 40 years ago today.
By Melanie Thernstrom for Tablet Magazine
Two thousand years of suffering and exile help an Israeli NGO teach Syrian and Iraqi refugees to build new lives in Europe
For more than three millennia, the Yazidi people had lived clustered around the sacred Sinjar Mountains in Northern Iraq. It was there, in the small hours of the morning of Aug. 3, 2014, that Maia’s life as she had known it ended.
by Jaime Bender for FromtheGrapevine
And the taste? More like thin oatmeal than the crisp, refreshing brews we enjoy today.
Have we been drinking beer longer than we've been eating bread?
That's the question emerging from an exciting find in a cave near Haifa, Israel, from a team of archaeologists from Stanford University, the University of Haifa and the Polish Academy of Sciences. The team, led by Chinese archaeology professor Li Liu, found a 13,000-year-old stone mortar that "accounts for the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world,” Liu said.
By Rabbi Stephen S. Pearce, Ph.D. for ReformJudaism.org
Eden Defines the Truth About Responsibility
What could have possibly have been so bad about taking just one bite from a piece of fruit? But in Parashat B’reishit, the fruit Eve served to Adam was not just any fruit; it was fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. Adam ate and did not ask any questions about where that delectable morsel came from. Consequently, that feast turned out to be Adam and Eve’s last supper, their last free meal, because they were expelled from the Garden of Eden immediately following dessert.
By Nicky Blackburn for Israel21c
Students from across the US arrived in Chicago to take part in ISRAEL21c’s 2nd Ambassadors Retreat, collaborating to come up with exciting new ideas.
There’s always an element of the unexpected when ISRAEL21c’s Digital Ambassadors get together for a retreat. You’re never entirely sure what ideas will emerge, but one thing you can count on is that they will be wildly creative.
BY JTA in the Jerusalem Post
The booklet in some cases employs Torah values to show the school leaders how to teach students to deal with the issue, such as not speaking ill of others.
Britain’s chief rabbi published a guidebook for Orthodox Jewish schools to help them provide support for LGBT students in the Jewish community.
The guide by Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis calls for a zero-tolerance approach to homophobic or transphobic bullying, despite a biblical prohibition against homosexual acts.
PJ Grisar for The Forward
40 years ago David Fantle and his writing partner, Tom Johnson, saved up enough money from their summer jobs to fly to Los Angeles for interviews with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. They were 18-years-old Minnesotans with no credentials other than chutzpah and a love for Golden Age cinema. They had never done anything like it before and all it took was a snail mail request for sit downs with the two titans of cinematic dance.
BY JERRY JAMES STONE FOR FROMTHEGRAPEVINE
A one-of-a-kind baked breakfast starring your favorite Mediterranean street food.
If you thought you can't have falafel for breakfast, think again! Here is a delicious muffin tin falafel recipe where I bake the eggs inside. It's a great brunch idea or for breakfast on the go. It is all topped off with a spicy sour cream sauce.
This recipe is featured in Jvillage Network's Sukkot & Simchat Torah Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
Using an on old bed pillow cover for each child, cut a hole for the head in the end opposite the opening and two arm holes near the top of each side. Let each child use a variety of materials to decorate their mantle. Wear them to march with the Torahs.
By Amos Oz for Hadassah Magazine
The Jews as a people are not disposed to obedience. Never have been. Moses could tell you how unaccustomed the Israelites are to being obedient. God Himself complains throughout the Bible that the Israelites are insubordinate: The people argue with Moses; Moses argues with God; Moses hands in his resignation and eventually backtracks, but only after negotiating with God, who gives in and accepts his main demands (Exodus 32:31-33). Abraham bargains with God over Sodom like a used-car salesman: Fifty righteous men? Forty? Thirty? Twenty? Would you settle for ten? And when it turns out that there are not even ten righteous men in Sodom, Abraham does not beg God to forgive him for his impudence. On the contrary. He utters what might be the boldest words in the Bible: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly?” (Genesis 18:25). In other words: You may be the judge of this entire land, but you are not above the law.
By: By: Leoni Jesner, Israel21c IN WIN/World Israel News
Groundbreaking digital eyewear now under development in Israel projects images only onto the healthy parts of eyes with retinal damage.
Israeli company ICI Vision has developed digital eyewear with the potential to give millions of legally blind people the ability to see.
The company’s Orama high-tech glasses are the brainchild of Haim Chayet, an Israeli optic physicist who was originally creating augmented-reality goggles for motorcyclists.
This organization is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Have you thought about starting a similar organization in your area?
Last week we had a powerful discussion about parenting in a multiracial Jewish family. I was struck by a young Black Jew who said he wants his white parents to talk with him about racism. We heard about slips of the tongue, misguided statements, things that we, the white majority can learn to do better. One mother in a multiracial family said, “I wish I’d brought all my white friends.” We hear the ways in which parents anticipate difficulty and work to disarm it before it hits their children. I really wish we’d taped it. I’ll have to do that next time.
On Simchat Torah we rejoice with the Torah. We celebrate the joy of being a Jew—the joy of a life defined by and permeated with the divine wisdom and will communicated to us at Mount Sinai.
But where is the Torah?
Where is the all-embracing wisdom of the Five Books of Moses, the inspiration of the Prophets, the music of the Psalms? Where is the brilliance of the Talmud, the guidance of the Shulchan Aruch, the mystique of the Kabbalistic writings?
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
Israel’s Senecio is testing its high-tech system for sorting, packaging and delivering sterile male mosquitos in the millions over infested areas.
Mosquito-borne illnesses, responsible for up to 750,000 deaths a year worldwide, include tropical killers such as malaria and dengue, along with terrifying upstarts like Zika, which can cause birth defects and have invaded parts of the southern United States.
by Kitty Zeldis for The Lilith Blog
The idea for my novel Not Our Kind was born at Vassar College, where I was a student in the 1970s, where there was enough visible diversity to make a Jewish girl feel she was not alone. I encountered plenty of Jews, both students and faculty. Yet while I didn’t experience much overt anti-Semitism, I felt keenly aware that Vassar had historically excluded people like me—I was the “not our kind” of my eventual novel’s title.
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
North Dakota fairway is first in nation to offer the automated concierge service.
Waiting until you finish your round of golf to enjoy some food from the clubhouse restaurant is so 2017. Why is that? Because on Aug. 18, guests at the King's Walk Golf Course in Grand Forks, North Dakota, experienced what was being called the first-ever food delivery service via drone on a golf course.
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