Summer is hard to take seriously with nobody in the office, and everybody running around half-dressed. No wonder High Holidays fall when school resumes and the air grows brisk — when life starts taking itself seriously again.
Thirteen-year-old Eli Clarke was so moved by the plight of Joplin, Mo. tornado victims, that he took to his string instruments. The Montclair, New Jersey native and Bnai Keshet synagogue member will be a bar mitzvah in November, and for his tikkun olam service requirement, he wrote a song to raise funds to rebuild Joplin. One of the deadliest tornados in U.S. history tore through the town at the end of May, killing more than 100 people and demolishing much of what was the birthplace of Langston Hughes. Clarke knew no one in Joplin, but he still felt moved by the tragedy.
Areleh Harel is not your average matchmaker. The Orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem sets up marriages between Orthodox gay men and Orthodox lesbians. The goal is to allow Orthodox Jews to fulfill their desires to marry and have children with partners who understand what it’s like to be gay, and who can keep the secret.
The Huffington Post is out with its list of the top 10 women religious leaders, and one is a rabbi, another a Jewish activist and a third is a spiritual guru with Jewish roots.
Tu B’av is the Jewish love fest, so what better time to promote hooking up? To solar energy, that is.
Like much of what’s great about New York, I ended up at my first clothing swap completely by accident after passing it by on the street. The community space where the swap was being held was a block from my apartment and inside I saw the organizer and a clump of women laying out and trying on each others’ clothes. I said hi and that I’d be back, and dashed home to get the ready bags of stuff I had been meaning, for months, to give away.
Life expectancy has risen steadily in recent years, with the average American now living for close to 80 years. But that’s nothing compared to the lifespans of people mentioned in the Bible. According to Genesis, Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, lived the longest, at 969 years of age, with others, including Adam and his kin, not far behind. But even lesser biblical lifespans are astronomical by today’s standards. Abraham reportedly lived to 175; Moses to 120.
Slutwalks — the organized marches of mostly women to combat “slut-shaming” and sex crime “victim-blaming” — are happening all over the world.
Israeli writer Evan Fallenberg has now twice asked readers to sit inside the heads of difficult people and give them the unconditional love that their most intimate relations struggle to fully provide. In both of his novels — the critically acclaimed and prize-winning “Light Fell” (Soho Press, 2008) and the new, just as beautiful, “When We Danced on Water” — central characters are introduced in their present states of hunger and numbness, before a carefully engineered plot circles back through their pasts to illustrate the reason these characters’ realities are so desperate.
The head of Wimbledon, which began this week, is asking for less grunting from female tennis players during their matches. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, conveyed that tennis umpires were becoming more uncomfortable with the increasing length and volume of the sounds accompanying tennis serves, called grunts. He believes greener players have an “education problem” about the issue.