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The Nation of Islam's historic role as a bridge between American blacks and Islam ended in 1975 when W. Deen Mohammed followed his father, Elijah Muhammad, as leader of the Nation and immediately disavowed his father's folk religion, bringing his followers to normative Islam, the Islam of the Middle East. From then on, despite the theatrics of Louis Farrakhan, the Nation has been in a long downward trajectory. Now comes evidence, thanks to Tony Ortega in the Village Voice and Eliza Gray in The New Republic, of a jaw-dropping turn by Farrakhan, 79, to Scientology; as Gray's subtitle puts it, "America's two weirdest sects join forces."
Why is there so much animosity between Charedi and Dati Leumi/Religious Zionist factions? I can't fully answer the question. But I do have some thoughts about it. I think it is because Israelis are far more idealistic about their religious values - especially those who make Aliyah.
There are many people who are born frum that have issues that are similar to ba'alei teshuva. We shouldn’'t be singling them out. But then the Rav went right into bashing Modern Orthodoxy Although he didn't label them outright it was clear from the context that the Modern Orthodox Jew is, according to him, the one with the real problem.
We need to understand that a universalist civilization will not survive a contest with a tribalist one. If we don’t value our civilization, who will?
Politicians take for granted that education is the road to empowerment and equality. Obama has read poems off his teleprompter about the wonders of education as the only means of ensuring "our" children's future. There is nothing revolutionary about that. Every politician takes it for granted that education means empowerment. But does it really?
The slogan under which Obama hopes to win the next four years is "Forward". "Forward" is the quintessential progressive slogan, progressives being people who are so forward-thinking that they want to remake the 21st Century in line with their 19th Century ideas. Progressivism, like so many other flavors of futurism, is so new it's old.
Our current political grammar, which leans heavily on ideas such as moderation and extremism, was crafted by the left. Like Orwell's Newspeak, the meaning of such words is relative and varies unpredictably. That relativism has given us the moderate Taliban and the moderate Muslim Brotherhood. Before long, it might give us the moderate Al-Qaeda member.
Jewish Voice for Peace invited other haters of Israel to sign a letter to Mitt Romney, lambasting him for his "racist" and "ignorant" statements about Palestinians.
Since Palestinian Authority leaders want to discuss culture, here’s one out of thousands of examples. Recently, at a cultural performance whose audience included the PA minister of culture, the songs and poetry spoke of how the main priority of raising children is to make sure they were ready to use guns—not computers—against you-know-who.
So today there is a Palestinian culture which defines itself by opposition to Israel and Jews. Its heroes are Arabs who kill Jews because that is the culture’s highest value. It can express itself in religious terms, as in the Hamas charter‘s inclusion of a Islamic injunction to kill Jews “wherever you find them,” or in pan-Arab or Palestinian nationalist ones.
Doing my best to copy Sholom Aleichem’s gifted portrayal, and adding a bit on my own, I transformed the downtrodden Jew of galut into a proud pioneer in the Holy Land and a brave fighter for Jewish freedom. It’s a saga that I am sure you and your children will love. And now, thanks to The Jewish Press, it’s free!
Now, only months after the artist’s death, is no time to be coy. Moshe Givati’s work is a revelation: dynamic, throbbing with life, pulsating with meaning. The exhibition “Equus Ambiguity – The Emergence of Maturity,” is up for only a few more days but I urge you to hurry to the Jadite Gallery and familiarize yourself with this under-recognized artist.
When we are on our own land we are commanded to keep every seventh year as the shemittah year, and at the completion of seven shemittahs to add an additional shemittah year – the yovel. During this year, all land lays fallow. Homesteads return to their original owners, and all Jewish slaves are freed.
Omar Epps, on his second visit to Israel with America's Voices in Israel, explained that it was the country's "rich history, culture, people and energies" that drew him back. "For me personally, the spiritual significance of this place hits me to the core. The fact that the world's three ancient religions meet in one place makes the holiness of this land so unique," said Epps. "I'm bringing my kids here next time to experience this land together with my wife."
Egyptian intellectual Tariq Hagi speaks frankly and openly about the many deep flaws that exist in Arab cultures. His message is different from that of most Arab spokesmen, because most Arab spokesmen strive to cover up the flaws in their societies, to conceal them and repress them - mainly because of the shame and the feeling of inferiority that these flaws arouse in them.
For the past several weeks I have been focusing on hashgachah pratis – personal, individual and national guidance that comes from heaven. Sadly, in our secular, high pressured, very often decadent society, many voices assail us and we have difficulty hearing the still small voice of G-d leading and prodding us.
"Under the Prayer Shawl - Secrets of the Priestly Blessing", was shot on location at the 2011 annual massive blessing by the Jewish Priests...
This reality show we'll watch. Producer Noah Scheinmann has been pitching to the networks (with some early interest) a new reality TV show with the working title "The Unchosen Ones." He says it's less about religion and more about the culture shock that the main characters—two men and two women—face after leaving the insular Ultra Orthodox Jewish community.
Bird’s Head Haggadah Revealed The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative & Religious Imagination By Marc Michael Epstein, Yale University Press, New Haven and London 2011