Judaism


Although there are very few distinguishing characteristics of Jewish people, (e.g. European Jews are almost entirely of European genetic stock with a few distinguishing esoteric alleles) due to the Jewish diaspora across many different…










This New York Times Magazine story by Ronen Bergman reads like a real-life Dan Brown novel (the background parts where our hero laboriously explains the significance of an historical artifact, anyway): One…



This year Passover begins in the evening of Friday, April 6, 2012, with Easter Sunday falling on April 8, 2012. While many people celebrating the religious holidays this weekend think they know…




Theo Haser & FamilyVia BBC News:

As a child, Theo Haser was a loyal member of the Hitler Youth. But decades later, haunted by the horror of the Holocaust, he converted to Judaism.

As a young boy, growing up amid the nationalist frenzy of Nazi Germany, Theo Haser idolised Hitler.

When the fuehrer came to his hometown of Munich to visit, Theo and his father were at the front of the crowd reaching out to touch his hand.

“I know if I was able to shake his hand I probably wouldn’t have washed for a few months,” he recalls.

Seventy years later, in a bid to come to terms with his Nazi past, Theo has become a Jew.

“I wanted to be part of a community, this was something I had never felt in my life,” he says. “I wasn’t running away from something, I was joining something entirely new.”



Pigs Smoking?The Daily Telegraph reports:

Cigarettes may contain traces of pig’s blood, an Australian academic says with a warning that religious groups could find its undisclosed presence “very offensive”.

University of Sydney Professor Simon Chapman points to recent Dutch research which identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig — including the use of its hemoglobin in cigarette filters.

Prof Chapman said the research offered an insight into the otherwise secretive world of cigarette manufacture, and it was likely to raise concerns for devout Muslims and Jews. Religious texts at the core of both of these faiths specifically ban the consumption of pork.

“I think that there would be some particularly devout groups who would find the idea that there were pig products in cigarettes to be very offensive,” Prof Chapman said.


Forward has an article on a centuries-old document which provides evidence concerning a little-known phenomenon — Jewish exorcisms: The ghostly document details the prayers that were performed on Qamar bat Rahmah to…