Category: Judaism

Israel rabbi says it’s kosher to sleep with the enemy

Jewish law allows women to sleep with the enemy in order to get intelligence vital to Israel’s security, a rabbi was quoted as saying in a Israeli newspaper Monday, AFP reports.

The mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted an academic article by Ari Shvat, an expert in Jewish law, in which he said it was acceptable to have sex with “terrorists” in order to obtain information leading to their arrest.

The advice appeared to be directed at Israel’s Mossad spy agency, and is an exception to the traditional religious prohibition of deception and sex outside of marriage.

Alleged Bomber of Christian Boy in Israel to Stand Trial

Yaakov Teitel ISTANBUL, September 3 (Compass Direct News) — An Israeli man accused of planting a homemade bomb that almost killed the son of a Messianic Jewish pastor in Ariel, Israel has been declared competent to stand trial.

Jack Teitel, 37, who in November was indicted on two charges of pre-meditated murder, three charges of attempted murder and numerous weapons charges, is expected to enter a plea on Sunday (Sept. 5).

Rise of independent groups influencing Judaism

Dozens of “independent minyanim” — unaffiliated Jewish worship communities — have sprung up in the past decade, mixing elements of the mainstream denominations while answering to none of them.

Ten years ago, the United States had two independent minyanim, plural of minyan. Today, there at least 70 involving about 20,000 people, said Rabbi Elie Kaunfer, who wrote a book on the independent minyanim, “Empowered Judaism.”

The number involved is a small percentage of the estimated 5.2 million Jews in the U.S. But Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, said the movement is driven by the most devout and educated Jews, and its ideas on worship, prayer and what defines a community will inevitably cross into mainstream practice.

“What happens in American Judaism over and over is that the margins influence the mainstream,” Sarna said. “I don’t expect many of the independent minyanim themselves will be long lasting. But I think we will look back and say that they had long-lasting influence.”

Jews pressured into adopting ‘French-sounding’ surnames fight to change them back

Shamed by the deportation of Jews during the Second World War, France sought to integrate and protect Jewish emigres by urging them to change their names to sound more French.

But more than a half-century later, French Jews wishing to reclaim their original names have come up against an administrative brick wall thanks to an obscure law banning people from changing their names to “foreign sounding” ones.

Bloom’s restaurant, symbol of Jewish London and grumpy waiters, shuts down

Bloom’s restaurant, symbol of Jewish London and grumpy waiters, has shut down.

To emphasis its beginnings among the unrefined Jewish poor of London’s East End, it employed a hilarious cadre of the grumpiest waiters whose irascibleness could prick any puffed-up pretensions of the upwardly mobile clientele.

It was so quintessential that for non-Jewish friends it was the place to literally give them a taste of Jewish London. But, calling it “the kosher icon that got marooned in the past,” the Jewish Chronicle quotes celebrities who wax nostalgic about Bloom’s but agree that the poor food and bad service had lost its charm.