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In Search of the Meaning of Life

By Howard Smith

I love being an astronomer, especially at times like the midnight of Shavuot when, according to mystical tradition, people who look skyward are rewarded with a taste of the revelation that occurred at Sinai.Read More


In the Beginning, 13.73 Billion Years Ago

By Howard Smith

Since the start of the Hebrew month of Elul in late August, Jews have been examining the year past in search of lessons to apply to the year ahead. Now, as the holiday season winds to a close, the weekly cycle of Torah readings offers another opportunity to examine the past as we return to the study of the very beginning: Genesis and the story of creation. This year, modern science has something new to add.Read More






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    • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
    • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
    • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
    • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
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    • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
    • This is the face of hatred.
    • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
    • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
    • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
    • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
    • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
    • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
    • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
    • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
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