Why They Stay - The Jews of Iran

Posted on January 21st, 2019
By Roya Hakakian


The horror and hope undergirding Jewish life in post-Revolution Iran


Among the world’s endangered minorities, Iranian Jews are an anomaly. Like their counterparts, their conditions categorically refute all the efforts their nation makes at seeming civilized and egalitarian—and so they embody, often without wanting to, all that is ugly and unjust about their native land.

But Iran’s Jewish community does something more. It also embodies the nation’s hope, the narrative of its resistance and struggle for a better future—one that has been on the brink of arriving ever since the revolution in 1979. To understand why Jews continue to remain in Iran is to understand the tortured tale of Iran. Nowhere else can the stubborn continuity of a minority stand as a metaphor in the elegy of a nation’s downfall.

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Why We Eat the 7 Fruits on Tu B’Shvat

Posted on January 14th, 2019

This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, 


By Jo Ann Gardner for The Forward


The seven species are pomegranate, grapes, dates, figs, olives, wheat and barley.

Why do we eat fruit of the Seven Species on Tu B’Shvat?

The Seven Species of the Bible are a central feature of the celebration of Tu B’Shvat, which this year occurs in late January. The reason usually given for eating foods from this group, especially its fruits, is that they are symbols of God’s creation, and that by eating them we give thanks to Him and reaffirm our ties to the Land of Israel.

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Top 10 Jewish stories of 2018

Posted on January 7th, 2019
From religionnews.com


(RNS) — The brutality of anti-Semitism in several forms dominated the top 10 news stories related to Jews and Judaism this year. But there were important and even happy developments as well.

 

1. The Tree of Life synagogue shooting


The “slaughter of the innocents” in a Pittsburgh synagogue in October was the single worst anti-Jewish attack in U.S. history, with 11 worshippers killed (among them were two of my cousins, Cecil and David Rosenthal). The swift public revulsion and denunciation of the massacre cut across all religious, ethnic and racial boundaries and resulted in a vast outpouring of support for the American Jewish community.

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The Mysterious Childhood of King David

Posted on December 31st, 2018
By Ushi Derman for Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People


You can tell a lot about religions by their archetypal protagonist. Generally speaking, Christianity is fond of pure, untarnished guys, those who turn their other cheek. The Muslims adore men who sacrifice their lives to reach paradise, whereas the Buddhists respect he who can live an entire life doing one thing – avoiding. Avoiding over eating, uninhibited sex, alcohol and drugs, and life in general.

And Judaism? Well, it certainly resents the character of the agonized martyr. Jewish protagonists are deliberately portrayed full of flaws, bursting with drives and passions, just the opposite of saints. Abraham is manipulative, Isaac is limp, Jacob is hypocritical, Moses stutters, Joseph is arrogant and vindictive, Samson is impulsive and Salomon is a hedonist.

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Finding a Safe Space on a Kibbutz

Posted on December 24th, 2018
By Sara Toth Stub for Tablet Magazine


Israel’s kibbutzim start taking in African asylum-seekers and their families


L. left her home in Ethiopia more than a decade ago, when she was still a teenager, hoping to find work in neighboring Sudan. But instead she was kidnapped, taken into the desert of the Sinai Peninsula by human traffickers, and finally apprehended by Israeli officials on the border with Egypt.

“I am still haunted in my head from this whole ordeal, everything that happened in the Sinai,” she told me, declining to give more details.

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