Three Great Jewish Journal Reads

How was Hanukkah celebrated behind ghetto walls?

Who are the modern day Maccabees?

Why do Jews feel a connection with the IDF?

In 1940, Chanukah arrived just a few months after the ghetto walls were completed, and before the Nazis had fully implemented all their suffocating regulations. “Never before in Jewish Warsaw were there as many Hanukkah celebrations as in this year of the [building of the] wall,” Kaplan wrote.

…we also need to recognize that our story of overcoming persecution and oppression is not a unique one. Every culture has its own Maccabees, and being willing to hear those similar stories from others might make them more willing to hear ours.

Do those around the world who identify as French or Francophile, but who don’t live in France, attend events in support of the French army and embrace French soldiers as their own children? Are Korean Americans moved to tears upon meeting young Korean soldiers in Los Angeles?

Three Great Stories from Around the Web

How did the seven-day week take over the world?

Is it time to rethink the act of translation?

What’s the meaning of “ethical kashrut?”

Weeks serve as powerful mnemonic anchors because they are fundamentally artificial. Unlike days, months and years, all of which track, approximate, mimic or at least allude to some natural process (with hours, minutes and seconds representing neat fractions of those larger units), the week finds its foundation entirely in history.

I have spent decades translating books and advocating for international culture. I am proud of this work, especially my part in bringing Clarice Lispector from Portuguese into English. This project, sustained over decades, corrected an injustice: she now stands in her rightful place among the great writers of the twentieth century. Yet even while I was doing this work, I was growing more skeptical of my assumption that an international culture can exist…

Increasingly, Jewish institutions are voicing concern and taking action on ethical food practices—beyond traditional notions of kashrut. Citing animal agriculture’s contribution to worker injustice, climate change, and pandemic risk, more than 200 Jewish clergy and organizational leaders say that kosher certifications, as they currently stand, do not meet Jewish ethical standards.

Commentary on Parashat Miketz

This week at the Jewish Journal, Parashat Miketz is under discussion. Parashat Miketz (Genesis 41:1-44:17) – features the second part of the story of Joseph and his brothers. The parasha begins with Joseph interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream and continues to tell us about Joseph’s rise to power, about the seven years of famine, and about Joseph’s first re-encounter with his brothers who come to Egypt to purchase grain.

When Joseph finally marries, however, Mann writes the following: “What had once been evil and dared not happen, was now to be good.” That is to say that sex, once a sin to be resisted, was now an act of holiness between the groom and bride. Joseph is mystified and thrilled by this transfiguration.

So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon, and he had his hair cut and changed his clothes, and then he appeared before Pharaoh.

-Genesis 41:14

Aliza Lipkin: It’s perplexing that this week’s Parsha refers to the dungeon Joseph was released from as bor (pit) when in the previous Parsha it is called Beit Hatzohar (prison) no less than eight times. 

The lessons from this week’s Torah Portion, Miketz, are an important economics lesson… We often begin teaching our children to save, not to spend everything, but, we often forget about that lesson as we are buying cars and homes and other items that are deemed essential and we forget to put away money for when times may not be as good in the future.

Three New Jewish Podcasts

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

Listen to the full episode on any of your favorite podcast platforms!
In this new episode of “Conversations with Shanni,” David and Shanni can’t decide what to talk about, so they try everything.

Shmuel Rosner and Eliezer Tauber discuss his book: “The Massacre That Never Was: The Myth of Deir Yassin and the Creation of the Palestinian Refugee Problem.”
Eliezer Tauber is the Director of the Menachem Begin Institute for the Study of Underground and Resistance Movements.

Zack Bodner, CEO of The Oshman Family JCC and author of Why Do Jewish? A Manifesto for 21st Century Jewish Peoplehood, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about his book. They also explore together what makes West-Coast Judaism distinctive, along with whether the digital world is itself a new kind of geographic “coast.”

Today’s Hot Issues

Three Great Jewish Journal Reads Three Great Stories from Around the Web Commentary on Parashat Miketz Three New Jewish Podcasts