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How much do we really know about Jewish burials? What effect are they having on the environment? Is this an important conversation for us to have? A few things really struck me from Richard Conniff’s recent opinion piece in The New York Times, titled “This Is How I Want to Be Dead.” The author writes […] Read More

I’ve greatly enjoyed the first couple of episodes of Simon Schama’s “Story of the Jews” currently airing on BBC-2. Schama is a wonderful storyteller and he knows how to make his subject matter compelling and memorable. This is always very impressive given the constraints of the documentary medium with the need to summarize, simplify, splice […] Read More

Every year, during the Islamic month of Ramadan, Muslims fast for 30 days. Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year because it was the month in which the Quran was revealed. The fast of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and an essential observance for all devout Muslims. Every year, […] Read More

Jews receive and merit attention, in this case 12 pages of it in a “Special Report” in the Economist. According to the report, there are 13.58 million Jews in the world, which is fewer than there are Southern Baptists (15 million to 16 million) in the United States, where there are 5.275 million Jews. Both […] Read More

Generalizing about American “people,” which includes ethnic, racial or class lines, is chancy when one throws in and observes the religious factor. Certain features of any ethnic group are so prominent that the generalizer usually does not have much at risk when generalizing. Odds are good that a person without a doctorate in anthropology and […] Read More

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), alongside Gallup and Pew and other polling agencies, scored big this month. Right in the midst of the treated-as-cosmic discussion of “same-sex” marriage, a not-unnoticed media fest – PRRI released a poll on Jewish values in the United States. Many of the findings were unsurprising to those who regularly […] Read More

We Jews are in the early weeks of our fall holy day period. There are three parts to this season that are of spiritual interest: Selichot, Yamim Noraim and Sukkot. The month of Elul is the final month of the Jewish liturgical calendar and is devoted to the practice of selichot, seeking forgiveness. While Jews […] Read More

Editor’s note: The remarks below are excerpted from a speech given by Bruce Prescott at a peace conference Sept. 14 in Ames, Iowa. Peace (shalom) in the Hebrew Bible means more than the mere absence of conflict and strife. It speaks about the joy, prosperity, well-being and wholeness of a life that exists when men […] Read More

I returned to Israel this month in the good company of David Coffey, now our BMS global ambassador, to join with Israel’s Baptists and celebrate their centenary. When I came here last year, most of my time was spent with Arab Christians and Muslims, both in Nazareth and on the West Bank. The visit made […] Read More

(RNS) An ultra-Orthodox Jewish newspaper in Brooklyn deleted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton from aWhite House photograph of top officials monitoring the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. The Yiddish-language Der Zeitung removed Clinton and Audrey Tomason, a top counter-terrorism adviser, from the photo, which is quickly becoming an iconic image. The photo shows […] Read More