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Archive for December, 2010

Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel online

Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel online: ‘The monumental 19-volume Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel was compiled and published by David Tidhar (1897-1970) over the 23 years from 1947 until his death. His varied careers as British policeman, private detective, author, and communal leader made Tidhar ideally suited to compile […]

Stalinism is Alive and Well

I once heard Prof. Moshe Samet say that ultra-orthodoxy is one of the last Stalinist societies on Earth. I would change his statement a bit and say that many ultra-orthodox rabbis, not all of them, and surely not all ultra-orthodox Jews, would like it to be this way. Here is more evidence. Control what they […]

Sephardic Moderation-A Dissenting View

AIWAC has posted a translation of an op-ed by Dr. Ariel Picard on Sephardic moderation. Rav Ovadia is Haredi in that he sees modernity as the enemy. He does indeed come from a tradition of moderation, and therefore his halahic rulings are more moderate, but it is important to be careful and avoid confusing halachic […]

A Book on Talmud Makes a “Best of 2010″ List

Inside Higher Education asked a number of people “what book they’d read in 2010 that left a big impression on them, or filled them with intellectual energy, or made them wish it were better known.” Here is the answer of Adam Kotsko. “My vote,” he said, “would be for Sergey Dogopolski’s What Is Talmud?: The […]

Shabbat and E-Readers

The Atlantic Wire has a good post discussing the issue of Shabbat observance, e-readers, and modern technology, “People of the E-Book? Observant Jews Struggle With Sabbath in a Digital Age.” So how are Jews responding? Some are thinking of ways to accommodate emerging technology within the structure of traditional Sabbath observance while others wrestle with […]

American Grace

Last night I stumbled across a TV interview with Robert Putnam, the author of the well-known book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community . He has a new book out that was written with David Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. It seems like a very interesting book. Here […]

AJS 2010-Update 2

I am on the bus home from AJS, so I’ll take advantage of the Wi-Fi and write a second update about the conference. The following session was standing room only, accompanied by quite a bit of excitement. THE BABYLONIAN TALMUD IN ITS SASANIAN CONTEXT: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION Chairs: Yaakov Elman (Yeshiva University) P. Oktor Skjaervo […]

The Valmadonna has been sold

David Stern writes in the Forward about the recent sale of the Valmadonna Trust Library. Here is Stern’s description of when the library was on display at Sotheby’s. The exhibition was the closest one could ever come to seeing the entire Jewish people in its generations gathered in a single enclosed space. There is a […]

AJS 2010-Update 1

AJS 2010 is going very well. I have gone to some very good sessions, had a chance to (re)meet some great people, and spend time with friends and strangers. Here are a few comments on what I’ve heard so far. Sunday, Session 1-“CLASSICAL RABBINICS AS A PRISM FOR JEWISH HISTORIOGRAPHY”: The conference started off with […]

Long Interview with Rabbi Haim Amsalam

Here is a long interview with Rabbi Haim Amsalam that was broadcast on Galei Tzahal. Thanks to Yehudah M. for the heads up.

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