Category Archives: israel

DRBR 8: In which Jews stay up till midnight

I photographed this one (DR5-L8) because the first line of English at the top made me laugh: IT IS THE DUTY OF ALL JEWISH PEOPLE, TO BE INSPIRED — yes, this does correspond rather directly and unfortunately to the way a lot of Jewish leaders think. The full English is IT IS THE DUTY OF […]

Mazel tov Hanna

Dear everyone, Thanks for all the emails. No-one else needs to send me the article about Hanna, okay? Yes I know her, yes I’ve seen the article(s), we’re good. Hanna recently started her first complete sefer Torah; she works in Israel, which makes her braver than me, given how hard it is in Israel for […]

Israeli Masorti responsum on sofrot

Been meaning to write about this since 2009…one of my colleagues in Israel asked the Masorti movement for their official position on lady scribes. Their response is here. It’s in Hebrew, so I’m posting a summary of the main points: * The Gemara and many major halakhic decisors say it’s a problem for women to […]

Sifrei Torah captive and mutilated

This eBay item makes me want to cry. It’s advertising a “Torah Scroll 400 Years Old Approx 10.8 Feet Long” and you can see from the picture that something’s seriously, seriously wrong. People have been selling pieces of sifrei Torah on eBay for years. They get old sifrei Torah, hack them into pieces, and sell […]

הגויה של תשעה באב

MarGavriel points us to a little Agnon story. A story appropriate for the season: סיפר לי ר’ אהרן פריימן ז”ל משמו של ר’ אליהו פלנסר ז”ל. ר’ איציק אייכל וחבריו מצאו להם נכרית אחת שבישלה להם לתשעה באב. שבאותו הדור קשה היה ליהודי בברלין למצוא תבשיל בתשעה באב. היו קוראים לאותה נוכרית הגויה של תשעה […]

yom hazikaron

I wrote this bit today. Very appropriate. I don’t plan it this way, you know. When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with […]