Saturday, April 19, 2014 Nisan 19, 5774
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The fate of Hungary's Jews during the Holocaust stands out as particularly tragic. I characterize it as such, knowing that there were millions of Jewish tragedies throughout Hitler's Europe, simply because, for so much of the war, Hungary's Jews had an odd, protected status, albeit through a confluence of quirks, both historic and haphazard. But following the German defeat at...
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The Jewish literary world -- from time immemorial -- has been a primarily male province. There were exceptions throughout history, of course, but these were also always exceptions that proved the rule. Only recently -- meaning within the last 35 or 40 years, with the feminist movement that had its roots in 1960s activism, and flowered in the '70s and...
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Beginning last year, Sir Jonathan Sacks -- Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth and a well-known and remarkably prolific author -- began a Torah commentary project that's shaping up to be a significant event in the Jewish world. Published by Maggid Books and the Orthodox Union, Exodus: The Book of Redemption has just appeared, having...
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Mussar can show the way
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Mussar -- a tradition of religious instruction, developed in 19th-century Lithuania, that assists Jews in working toward a more ethical life -- has had a minor resurgence in recent years, both locally and nationally. Right here in the area, Rabbi Ira F. Stone of Center City's Temple Beth Zion-Beth Israel has been at the forefront of reintroducing the tradition to...
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Considering the importance of the Aleppo Codex as a religious text, it's remarkable to realize how many Jews know little about it. Granted, its origins and fate are shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, which may explain why this central and resonant version of the Hebrew Bible doesn't loom as large in the general consciousness of Jews. That problem,...
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