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By Brian Blum for Israel21c
The cost to treat obesity in the United States alone is expected to rise from $325 billion in 2014 to $555 billion per year by 2025.
Raziel Therapeutics wants to be the Botox for obesity.
Whereas an injection of Botox smooths out wrinkles, this Jerusalem medical startup is developing an injection that doesn’t just smooth, but literally melts away fat cells. Unlike Botox, though, Raziel’s fat-burning approach has the potential to do a lot more than simply make you look better.
WATCH: This Journalist Turned Rabbinical Student is Creating Entertaining Arabic Videos to Explain Judaism to Muslims
By Yair Rosenberg for Tablet Magazine
Elhanan Miller hopes to broker Middle East peace, one YouTube subscriber at a time
Several months ago, high quality animated videos explaining Jewish religion and practice began popping up on YouTube. This would have been unremarkable except for one fact: they were in fluent Arabic. Tackling such subjects as kosher food and prayer, the informative and often entertaining clips detailed how these rituals compared and contrasted to Islamic practice. Here, for example, is the video on prayer:
The YouTube channel, called “People of the Book” after the Qur’anic category for Jews, has quietly garnered thousands of views. It is the brainchild of Elhanan Miller, a Jerusalem-born intelligence soldier turned journalist (and Tablet contributor) turned rabbinical student who hopes to use the explainers to foster regional understanding and peace.
BY ILANA KURSHAN for myjewishlearning.com
How to participate in the longest-running Jewish book club (even if you can’t read Hebrew).
Are you interested in joining the world’s largest book club?
Daf yomi (pronounced dahf YOH-mee) is an international program to read the entire Babylonian Talmud — the main text of rabbinic Judaism — in seven and a half years at the rate of one page a day. Tens of thousands of Jews study daf yomi worldwide, and they are all quite literally on the same page — following a schedule fixed in 1923 in Poland by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the founder of daf yomi, who envisioned the whole world as a vast Talmudic classroom connected by a global network of conversational threads.
By Brian Blum for Israel21c
An Israeli company is marketing its intelligent date code labels that monitor the temp and time interval of food products on their way to consumers.
“The milk is past its expiry date. We have to throw it out.”
“No, we don’t. It smells fine.”
“But it says so right on the carton.”
It’s an argument that’s been heard in households around the world: Does the expiration date on the package really mean the milk or the chicken or the eggs are bad?
By Daniel Gordis for Mosaic
It’s not about what Israel does. It’s about what, to their minds, Israel is.
All told, the two Jewish communities of the United States and Israel constitute some 85 percent of the world’s Jews. Although other communities around the globe remain significant for their size or other qualities, the future of world Jewry will likely be shaped by the two largest populations—and by the relationship between them. For that reason alone, the waning of attachment to Israel among American Jews, especially but not exclusively younger American Jews, has rightly become a central focus of concern for religious and communal leaders, thinkers, and planners in both countries.
True, other concerns have lately encroached: concerns in both countries, for instance, over the Trump administration’s still-developing stance toward the Israel-Palestinian conflict and, in the U.S., over a seemingly homegrown series of anti-Semitic acts of vandalism and bomb threats against Jewish institutions (most of the latter exposed as the work of a disturbed Israeli Jewish youth). But the larger worry—American Jewish disaffection from Israel—remains very much in place, and its reverberating implications were underscored during the waning days of the Obama administration, when by far the greater portion of American Jews stayed faithful to the president and his party even after his decision to allow passage of an undeniably anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations.
By RAPHAEL AHREN for The Times of Israel
Guatemala played a key role in the Jewish state's creation and has enjoyed Israeli security assistance ever since. It doesn't hurt that its leader is deeply religious
On Sunday, Guatemala became the first country after the US to announce its intention to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a move seen as tantamount to recognizing the city as Israel’s capital, though President Jimmy Morales’s statement included no explicit recognition.
Predictably, the Central American nation’s decision was castigated by the Palestinians and other Arab states and hailed in Israel as an act of deep friendship that marked the beginning of a new trend. Neighbor Honduras is said to be next in line. Like Guatemala, it also voted last week against the United Nations General Assembly resolution condemning the US’s December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move its embassy there.
Exodus 6:2 - 9:35
Dr. Sharon Koren for myjewishlearning.com
The Shechinah: A Supernal Mother
A Kabbalistic interpretation of the suffering of the Jews in Egypt and their ultimate redemption.
The signs and wonders (or “plagues”) described in Parashat Vaera must have been extremely frightening for both the Egyptians who suffered and the Israelites who bore witness to God’s might for the first time. Thirteenth-century Kabbalists believed that when the Children of Israel braved the agonies of slavery and the ten displays of divine might that devastated Egypt, they did not do so alone. Rather, the Israelites knew that the Shechinah, the pre-eminent feminine aspect of God, dwelled alongside them in Egypt. Medieval Kabbalists often portrayed the feminine Shechinah as a loving mother who suffers along with her children Israel in exile. She toils with her children while they are slaves in Egypt and protects them in the wilderness after they are liberated.
BY BEN SALES for The Jewish Week
A flagship liberal Orthodox synagogue in New York will stop congratulating same-sex couples on their weddings following a complaint by the Orthodox Union.
The Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in the Bronx will no longer announce the weddings of its LGBT members in its newsletters in accordance with a policy dictated by the O.U., the largest association of Orthodox synagogues in the United States. The policy was set out this month in response to complaints from other member synagogues, which take a harder line on opposing same-sex marriage.
BY ARI SHANE WEITZ for The Jewish Week
Same-sex marriage, homophobia and an Orthodox shul bulletin.
The “mazal tov” in the shul bulletin was unremarkable. It was the second of seven such congratulations in the Nov. 3, 2017 issue of Hebrew Institute of Riverdale’s Bayit Bulletin, sandwiched between one to the parents and grandparents of a bar mitzvah boy, and one to the parents of a new son (and to the newborn’s big sister). It was the same point size and type face as all the others, and there was no rainbow flag next to it.
In May 2016, JQY launched the only Drop-in Center for at-risk Jewish teens and young adults. This unique program, based at Congregation Bet Simchat Torah in Midtown Manhattan, is a space in which teens and young adults, ages 13 to 23, can:
Check in with licensed social workers
Meet others they can relate to
Participate in support groups
Have access to health and safety resources
Enjoy a hot kosher meal
Be part of an affirming community
Our participants come from Jewish communities across the Orthodox spectrum- from Borough Park to Teaneck, Staten Island to Riverdale, Cedarhurst to New Rochelle.
Many struggle with depression, anxiety, abuse, homelessness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, isolation, loneliness, or despair.
You are not alone.
BY SONYA SANFORD for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com
Jewish and Vietnamese comfort food meet in one delicious bowl.
Growing up in Seattle, it’s easy to fall in love with pho. Nearly as ubiquitous as coffee shops or teriyaki spots (yes, teriyaki), pho restaurants seem to be just around every corner of the city. They welcome you in from the cold and the rain with their steamy glass windows and equally steamy giant bowls of soup.
Pho (pronounced fuh) is a traditional Vietnamese soup that was popularized around the world by Vietnamese refugees fleeing the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Pho Ga is the chicken noodle variety of the soup. For me, pho is the perfect meal: a big bowl of rich aromatic, sweet, salty broth filled with satisfying rice noodles and tender meat, and balanced by toppings of fresh herbs, crispy bean sprouts, and tart lime juice.
BY DEBRA FERTIG for Kveller
In our home, we talk about God as if He is a member of our extended family, like Zeydie or Uncle Maury. We also talk about the soul. Our boys, who are 6 and 9, ask questions that are impossible to answer:
“Mom, how do you know God is real? Does He talk to you?”
“Mom, how do you know there is a place we go to when we die?”
“Mom, how do you know that my soul will always be alive?”
“I don’t know exactly how,” I respond. “It’s more of a feeling than anything else.”
This seems to be enough for my kids. At least for now, at these ages.
Jewish Book Council
Aside from the book and your friends, asking questions about what you’ve read is, obviously, a key to any good book club. The right questions can keep your book club lively and engaged (and avoid any awkward silences). And since no one wants to sit through a book club discussion that is halting and uninspiring, we have discussion questions available for all of the titles below, plus some general questions that you can use to start a conversation on any book. CLICK BELOW for the complete selection of discussion questions.
Rachel Lynn Solomon for Jewish Book Council
Growing up, I only saw Jewish protagonists in Holocaust literature. The kind of books I loved—realistic YA—occasionally had a main character with a Jewish friend, but that was it.
While I don’t believe we should ever stop writing about the Holocaust, for a long time, that was the only narrative I thought we had as Jewish people. People like me didn’t get to be protagonists. For a while, this stuck in my mind: the first four manuscripts I wrote before my debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, had no Jewish characters.
But there is so much richness to explore in a modern setting that hasn’t been explored nearly enough. The following novels feature my favorite representations of Judaism in contemporary realistic YA.
By Liel Leibovitz for Tablet Magazine
History, too, recognizes the city as the Jewish capital
Earlier this week, Israeli archaeologists revealed a recently discovered 2,700-year-old clay seal impression, unearthed not far from the Western Wall and belonging, according to the inscription, to one of the governors of Jerusalem mentioned in the bible.
About as big as a small coin, the seal carries an inscription in Hebrew that reads “belonging to the governor of the city.” Having studied it, Hebrew University professor Tallay Ornan and Tel Aviv University Professor Benjamin Sass described the image it depicts: “Above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised. Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment.”
From economist.com. This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline "Shalom alaykum"
A moment of religious harmony
Essaouira sets an example for the rest of the Middle East
ONCE a year the little seaside town of Essaouira, in Morocco, reclaims its lost Jewish community. Sephardic trills echo from its whitewashed synagogues. The medieval souks fill with Jewish skullcaps. Rabbis and cantors wish Muslims “Shabbat Shalom” and regale them with Hebrew incantations. “It’s our culture,” says a merchant from Marrakech, who travelled 200km (124 miles) to hear them this year.
The revival is the initiative of André Azoulay, a 76-year-old Jew from Essaouira (one of just three) and a former counsellor to Morocco’s kings. Each autumn he stages a colourful festival of Andalusian music aimed at bringing hundreds of Jews and Muslims together for a weekend of concerts and dialogue. Locals pack the small stadium to watch Hebrew cantors and Koran-reciters sing arm-in-arm. Israelis and Palestinians flock there, too. “Essaouira is what the Middle East once was and might yet be again,” says Mr Azoulay.
Philologos, for Mosaic
It’s not why you think.
Viktor Kappel, a reader of Mosaic, writes:
I am a Christian who happens to believe that the Jewish people are indeed God-chosen. Please explain to me, though, why it has become so important to a part of this people to replace AD and BC with CE and BCE. I believe that this is not helpful to the Jewish cause.
As a Jew, I must say that I sympathize with the Jew in the story who, while reciting the words “Thou has chosen us among all people” in the holiday kiddush, stops, raises his arms to heaven, and asks in exasperation, “Why don’t You pick on someone else for a change?” Still, I welcome Mr. Kappel’s question. Since, between this column and my next, 2017 CE or AD will become 2018 AD or CE, it couldn’t have been timelier.
By Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c
Ben-Gurion University launches company to commercialize the unique underwater vehicle for research, security, communications or military uses.
Under the surface of waterways across the globe, small remotely operated submarines are busy checking pipelines, mapping underwater minefields, taking geological and biological samples, scouting locations for communication cables, and searching for sunken vessels.
A group of 20 undergraduate and graduate engineering students from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev saw that existing autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) have several limitations and they worked with Prof. Hugo Guterman in BGU’s Laboratory for Autonomous Robotics (LAR) to build a better model.
MIDBAR-the Swiss Society for the Revival of Desert Areas embarks on a tour of the Negev with KKL-JNF to learn how the organization combats desertification in Israel.
Combating desertification is one of the central values KKL-JNF has championed under its banner. Friends the world over aid KKL-JNF in combating desertification, and one of the most prominent among them is MIDBAR - the Swiss Society for the Revival of Desert Areas.
Over the past several years, MIDBAR has supported several projects including planting a grove of trees in the green belt surrounding Beersheba, plantings in the Duda’im Forest and soil conservation and tree plantings along the Karkur Stream.
“When I see the trees grow here in the middle of the desert, I draw strength from them”, said Armand Rudolf von Rohr, CEO of MIDBAR, during a study tour of the Negev with KKL-JNF. “I believe that trees are the natural solution to global warming.”
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An Interfaith Program with Rabbi Isserow
REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL
Sunday, February 25 at 4:00 PM
brotherhood interfaith dinner
Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30 PM
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"Shattering Switzerland's Neutrality Myth: The Inside Story of
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During the Holocaust"
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Saturday, March 31, 6:00 PM
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