Noah Shachtman


Welcoming the Sabbath, Pistols And Machine Guns at the Ready

By Noah Shachtman

They are a minyan, just barely. Half of them come to pray with guns.The rabbi, Mitchell Schranz, would rather his congregants leave their Berettas and their M-4 rifles at home than bring them to this nondescript alcove, not far from a former palace of Saddam Hussein. But this is Camp Victory, the American military’s main headquarters in Iraq —Read More


Israeli Sites Sate Thirst For Middle East News

By Noah Shachtman

Nothing happens in Israel but suicide bombings and bulldozers leveling homes in retaliation. At least that’s the impression the mainstream American press often gives.Although American interest in Israel continues to be high, domestic media coverage has been monotonic, focusing only on the bloodiest details of the latest, stomach-churningRead More


Alternative-Ritual Site Nabs Webby Award Nomination

By Noah Shachtman

In the Talmud, there’s no ritual for going on welfare. For having sex for the first time. For recovering from a mastectomy. Or for going to a gay pride march.But today, some people wish to infuse these events with religious and cultural significance. By the thousands, they’ve been turning to the Web site, Ritualwell (www.ritualwell.org), forRead More






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    • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
    • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
    • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
    • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
    • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
    • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
    • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
    • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
    • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
    • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
    • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
    • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
    • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
    • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
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