Three Great Reads from the Jewish Journal

Check out these fantastic new offerings from Jewish Journal writers on the topics that matters most to our readers:

The Saudis’ takeover of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) is just the latest in a series of attempts by dictators to use sports to divert attention from human rights abuses… The phenomenon now called “sportswashing” debuted nearly a century ago, at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Adolf Hitler exploited the games to dazzle the international community and distract from his persecution of Germany’s Jews.

Since most women naturally want to be admired and desired for their beauty, it’s a precious gift to teach girls that their highest beauty is internal, and that the beauty of their bodies is not meant for crude public consumption. Embracing this truth is where true female empowerment lies.

Ever notice the curious shift in Hebrew wording in the exquisite Song of the Sea poem, often sung in shul as “Mi Chamocha”? While the usual translation, “Who is like You, Adonai, among the mighty; Who is like You, adorned in holiness, revered in praise, working wonders,” suggests identical words for the repeated phrase “Who is like You,” there is a subtle difference in the Hebrew between the two instances. The first time it reads “mi chamocha”; the second time it says “mi camocha.” A khaf has become a kaf, as a dot (a dagesh), missing in the first line, suddenly appears in the second.

Three Great Reads from Around the Web

Every week, we scour the web for the best takes to feature in the Roundtable. Here are some of our favorite articles that we found along the way:

Apple’s recently unveiled Vision Pro presents an all-screen future, but generative AI’s growth in recent months has also hinted at ways we might move toward the opposite experience. What will our tech look like in 50 years?

While a focus on tikkun olam is a worthwhile cause, it is important to remember that it is only one part of the equation. Tikkun adam, or “repair of the individual,” is also essential. We must first work to improve ourselves if we are to truly make the world a better place.

…charisma has been used to explain everything from Marilyn Monroe to anticolonial uprisings, New Age gurus and corporate CEOs. When the Sunni jihadist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki — whose YouTube videos were linked to numerous terrorist attacks around the world — was executed by drone strike by the Obama administration in 2011, some observers suggested that his main threat had been his “charismatic character.”

Commentary on Parashat Beha’alotcha

In Parashat Beha’alotcha, Aaron is commanded to light the menorah. A second Pesach is instituted. The people demand that Moses supply them with meat. Moses appoints seventy elders to assist him in the burden of governing the people. Miriam speaks ill of Moses and is punished.

Whether it was for two days, a month or a year, that the cloud lingered to hover over the Mishkan, the children of Israel would encamp and not travel, and when it departed, they traveled. – Num. 9:22

David Brandes: Was God playing a game of “Simon says” with the Israelites? When the cloud lingers you stay in place. When it lifts you march. No negotiations. Why would God treat his chosen people this way?

I don’t get it. If the manna could taste like anything they wanted, why were they tired of it? They could have gone through every gourmet cookbook and still get a new taste every day. You can have everything from fillet mignon to ice cream and you’re still not happy? Talk about human nature…

Menachot 43b more famously says tekhelet—the bluish string we are to include with the white ones, whose identity was lost for centuries but, thank God, seems to have been found in our times–is similar to the sea, the sea to the sky, the sky to the kisei ha-kavod, I think usually translated as Throne of Glory.

Three New Jewish Podcasts

Just in time for the weekend, three new podcasts about Judaism, Jewish culture, and Israel:

The new secular religion of anti-racism is conquering America, says JNS editor-in-chief Jonathan Tobin. And its governing creed is the woke catechism of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). But rather than being a force that is spreading equality and racial harmony, it is doing the opposite. That’s the thesis of guest Heather Mac Donald’s new book, When Race Trumps Merit: How The Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty and Threatens Lives.

Are there any compromises that will contain Haredi power or will the rise of the Haredim necessarily come at the expense of mainstream Israel? Will the Haredi community’s surging population mean the inevitable end of liberal Israel?

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to returning guest Moshe Koppel—a computer scientist and Talmud scholar—about Torah and its intersection with artificial intelligence.

Today’s Hot Issues

Three Great Reads from the Jewish Journal Three Great Reads from Around the Web Commentary on Parashat Beha’alotcha Three New Jewish Podcasts