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Archive for Religion

New Book: Between State and Synagogue

In Moment Guy Ben-Porat writes about his new book, Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel. Ben-Porat discusses secularization in Israel not as reflective of less religion, but of the weakening of religious authority. The expansion of commerce on the Sabbath, a thriving non-kosher culinary culture, marriages performed outside the Orthodox rabbinate, civil […]

The Spiritual Life of Rav Kook

In Haaretz Tomer Persico reviews a new book on Rav Kook. As the subtitle of Smadar Cherlow’s book attests, her work presumes to expose a hidden and secret dimension of the life and importance of the figure known popularly as Rav Kook: his mission as a tzadik yesod olam, literally, a righteous man who serves […]

Interview with Tomer Persico

Anybody who wants to stay abreast of trends in religious life in Israel should be following the work of Tomer Persico. Tomer’s two blogs are required reading and often include lively debate and discussion. Below is a recent interview with him that was broadcast on Galei Tzahal. (Hebrew)

Sculpture of a Surfer Girl is Too Immodest

Mynet is reporting (Heb) that in the town of Yehud a sculpture of a female surfer is going to be replaced because some religious politicians claimed that the sculpture is offensive. The following was a short Q/A with a town council member from Shas. Q: We’re talking about a female surfer who is wearing a […]

Israeli Celebs and the Shabbat

NRG has an article (Heb) about Israeli celebrities who observe and sanctify Shabbat in different ways. I think that there are two important take aways from the article. The first is that religious observance and identity in Israel is much richer and complex than is understood by most Diaspora Jews. The second is that the […]

Film-The Rabbi’s Daughter

The Rabbi’s Daughter, בת הרב, is a documentary about three daughters of three different national-religious rabbis in Israel who have chosen to live a life that is different from the house in which they were raised.  There is no connection between this film and the book, The Rabbi’s Daughter. HT: FB

The Rise of the Nones

The most recent poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has been released. (here) Most reports have been emphasizing the rise of the “nones.” The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of […]

Insulting the Prophet

With the latest interest in some quarters about insulting religious figures, here is a link to a post of mine from a few years ago about a Jew who wanted to learn from the Muslims and punish those who insulted cohanim (priests). Also, see the end of this post by Marc Shapiro about an article […]

Walking on the Moon vs. Walking in Jerusalem

This story about the late Neil Armstrong is found in Thomas Friedman’s book From Beirut to Jerusalem:

Jews Lead the List in Irreligiosity

From a new Gallup poll: Of the religions surveyed in the poll, Jews were found to be the least religious: Only 38 percent of the worldwide Jewish population considers itself religious, 54 as non-religious and 2 percent as atheists. In comparison, 97 percent of Buddhists, 83 percent of Protestant Christians and 74 percent of Muslims […]

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