Strange but true

Orthodox prisoner barred from beard behind bars

By Jennifer Lipman, July 20, 2011

A bearded Orthodox Jewish convict has lost a second legal challenge to New Hampshire State Prison's grooming policy.


Lady Gaga and Bette Midler in wheelchair mermaid war

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2011

Bette Midler has mounted a challenge to Lady Gaga's claim of originality after the Just Dance singer performed a routine perfected by the Beaches star 30 years ago.

The spat developed after Lady Gaga, who is known for her eccentric outfits, performed a Sydney show dressed as a wheelchair-bound mermaid.


Couple face jail for 'kidnapping' man who wouldn't give wife religious divorce

By Jennifer Lipman, July 19, 2011

A New Jersey couple appeared in US federal court on Monday on charges of kidnapping a man who would not grant his wife a religious divorce.

David and Judy Wax were released on bail but if they are indicted by a grand jury they could face life sentences. Their lawyers said the parents of eight would both plead not guilty.


Beckham baby name: inspired by Seinfeld?

By Jennifer Lipman, July 12, 2011
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Rumours abound as to the reason behind the name given to new Beckham baby Harper Seven.

But could it be that Posh and Becks are just really big fans of Seinfeld? Was David just going back to his Jewish roots? Watch the clip for more.


Mila Kunis to go on date with YouTube suitor

By Jennifer Lipman, July 11, 2011

The Golden Globe-nominated actress Mila Kunis has agreed to accompany an American soldier to a ball after he posted a video plea for a date with her on YouTube.

The Jewish star, who was born in the Soviet Union and moved to the US after the fall of Communism, has said she will attend a Marine Corps ball in November with Sgt Scott Moore.


Jellyfish menace threatens Israeli power plant

By Jennifer Lipman, July 6, 2011

Israel has been faced with a new threat from the sea – a swarm of jellyfish.

The sea creatures have managed to interfere with the running of a power plant in Hadera.

Several tonnes of the slimy creatures have been sucked in to the machinery of the plant, which uses sea water for cooling down. A number of workers at the plant have also reported being stung.


Four-legged chicken for Friday night dinner?

By Jennifer Lipman, June 29, 2011

George Orwell's famous statement "Four legs good, two legs bad" is facing a challenge in a strictly Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

A four-legged chicken had caused consternation amongst Mea Shearim residents as rabbis debate whether such a creature is properly kosher.

According to rabbis, the 12-toed bird must be slaughtered before its kosher status can be determined.


'Gay Girl in Damascus' blogger accused of second hoax

By Jennifer Lipman, June 27, 2011

A married male blogger who posed as a lesbian writing from Damascus in order to criticise Israel is alleged to have used a second false account to defend his behaviour.

Tom MacMaster made headlines around the world with his site "A Gay Girl in Damascus", which included comments about shooting Jews and Christians and used rumours "to inflame views of Israel".


'No dog stoned to death in Jerusalem court'

By Jessica Elgot, June 20, 2011

No stray dog was condemned to death, or stoned by a rabbinical court in Jerusalem, the Beth Din have insisted.

Israeli’s newspaper Maariv reported that a stray dog has wandered into a Beth Din financial court in the strictly Orthodox area of Mea Shearim and refused to be moved, which a judge decreed was a reincarnation of a secular lawyer who died 20 years ago.


No feet - but he's suing over a pedicure

By Ellen Tumposky, June 16, 2011

A wheelchair-bound Chasidic Jew has filed more than 80 lawsuits in the past year over handicapped access, including suing a pedicure salon in Manhattan - even though he has no feet.