Jewish law

Introducing the halachah of hurricanes

By Hadas Haimov, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy has not just caused damage to buildings and amenities in the New York Jewish community, it has also raised religious questions about how Jews should deal with a severe storm.

The Crown Heights Beth Din in Brooklyn has published a set of halachic rules for those currently sitting out the hurricane, which has already killed 17 in North America.

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Gay affair: Charedi jailed until he grants divorce

By Sahar Zivan, October 18, 2012

In a landmark decision, a Charedi man who has refused to grant his wife a get for the past ten years, since she caught him cheating on her with another man, has been sent to jail by the rabbinical court until he relents.

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Germany approves law allowing ritual circumcision

By Toby Axelrod, October 11, 2012

Germany’s cabinet this week approved a law that will protect the right of Jews and Muslims to have their sons ritually circumcised.

The law can now go to the German parliament for debate and final approval, which is expected this autumn.

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Must we always 'choose life'?

By Jonathan Wittenberg, September 28, 2012

"Who shall live and who shall die; who by fire and who by water?" These frightening words at the heart of the High Holy Days remind us that our life and fate are not within our control.

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You can run but you can't hide

By Jennifer Lipman, September 21, 2012

As I have written before, if there is one area involving women and Judaism that seems stuck in a ghastly status quo it is divorce, and the requirement for a man to grant his former wife a get to free her from the chains of a failed marriage.

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Chained to an outdated system

By Jennifer Lipman, July 5, 2012

The Altneu shul in Prague's historic Jewish quarter is famous for several reasons, not least as the home of the golem. It's also the oldest active synagogue in Europe; an imposing, gothic structure that could be mistaken for a church if you didn't know better.

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Congressman urged to challenge aide on 'chained wife'

By Jennifer Lipman, February 28, 2012

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition calling for a senior aide to a US congressman to grant his wife a religious divorce.

Aharon Friedman, who works for Michigan Republican congressman Dave Camp, split up with his wife for good two years ago.

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Oprah Winfrey goes to the mikvah

October 28, 2011

Oprah Winfrey made quite a splash during her trip to New York this week when she dived head first into Jewish life by visiting a mikvah.

But the talk show host managed to stay dry during her tour of the Brooklyn Heights mikvah which she was visiting during the filming of her new show, "Oprah's Next Chapter."

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Israeli writer now 'without religion'

By Anshel Pfeffer, October 6, 2011

Dozens of Israelis have requested the deletion of the word "Jewish" from their Interior Ministry registration this week, following a court ruling last week allowing writer Yoram Kaniuk to do so.

Mr Kaniuk, 81, an Independence war veteran, boulevardier and chronicler of Israel's first years, has been fighting a legal battle for the last six months to change his "religion" status with the Interio

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A barmitzvah with liver (not chopped)

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2011

A man has celebrated the barmitzvah of his liver.

Toronto academic Frank Bialystok underwent a liver transplant in 1998.

Thirteen years later, he decided to mark the organ's birthday with a traditional Jewish coming of age ceremony.

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