Miriam Shaviv

Help! I’m an internet addict

By Miriam Shaviv, October 7, 2012

I realised that I had a problem straight after Yom Kippur went out. I had spent the last two hours of the fast with a splitting headache and was desperate for something to eat. So, as soon as the clock struck 19.37, I ran to the kitchen - to find my mobile phone and check my email. After 25 hours, supper could wait.

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Are all eyes on Meir Soloveichik for Chief?

By Miriam Shaviv, August 30, 2012

When Rabbi Meir Soloveichik delivered the blessing at the opening of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, all eyes in America were on him - as were, probably, quite a few eyes in United Synagogue HQ in London.

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Shuls that are too big to manage

By Miriam Shaviv, August 17, 2012

This is a painful and unusually personal column, because it concerns the complete breakdown of management at my shul and the partial breakdown of community relations.

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Stop this teachers’ brain drain

By Miriam Shaviv, July 15, 2012

Has Britain got Jewish educational talent? Yes - but it is slipping away and no one seems to care.

I reached this conclusion after interviewing Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, JCoSS headteacher, who is departing for a community school in Australia next month.

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Don’t push our dutiful daughters

By Miriam Shaviv, June 6, 2012

It feels silly, on the Jubilee weekend, to be discussing women's roles in Orthodox Judaism. This country and its church have been headed by a woman for 60 years, and the public seems perfectly pleased. Yet here we are, still debating whether a woman can be president of her shul. It's ridiculous.

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Chasidic woman's flight from New York Orthodox life

By Miriam Shaviv, May 25, 2012

Unorthodox is an account of Deborah Feldman’s Chasidic upbringing in New York, her unhappiness at what she sees as her oppression, and ultimately her escape into secular society. Inevitably, the Satmar community in which Feldman grew up has responded aggressively, accusing her of mistakes, omissions and outright lies.

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Pollard the spy is no Zionist hero

By Miriam Shaviv, April 19, 2012

Early this month, Israeli President Shimon Peres sent a personal missive to Barack Obama, asking for clemency for convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. The very next day, Obama rejected the plea, practically by return mail.

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Time to rethink the Tanach?

By Miriam Shaviv, March 8, 2012

How much of the Tanach is literally true?

This was the focus of a talk at the London School of Jewish Studies last week. The panel - Menachem Leibtag, Shmuel Klitsner and Jonathan Bailey, all leading American-Israeli modern Orthodox scholars - was in agreement. The Torah is God-given, but not all the stories necessarily happened exactly as written.

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Israel's real Charedi revolution

By Miriam Shaviv, January 26, 2012

Is Israel really in danger of being overrun by Charedi religious extremists?

It certainly feels like it.

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What are the Orthodox afraid of?

By Miriam Shaviv, November 14, 2011

It would be easy for those of us who belong to the Orthodox community to be angry at the furore surrounding the Big Tent.

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Meet my daughter, Jonathan

By Miriam Shaviv, September 28, 2011

With 10 weeks - perhaps less – to go before I have a new baby, it's hard to say I've done much to prepare.

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This was a morally repulsive argument

By Miriam Shaviv, September 8, 2011

Let us give Larry Derfner the benefit of the doubt that he does not wish to see terror attacks inflicted upon his fellow Israelis. That much is clear both from the original blog post and from his subsequent apology.

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Not rioting, just dreaming

By Miriam Shaviv, August 22, 2011

After a month in Israel, I'm about ready to join a demonstration against the cost of living here myself. Even armed with pounds (admittedly not worth as much as they used to be) this is a really expensive country.

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Drop-outs can repair the rifts

By Miriam Shaviv, July 8, 2011

Since the 1960s, the Orthodox world has been justifiably proud of the ba'al teshuvah movement - the large numbers of assimilated Jews who have become frum, bolstering the observant community.

Until relatively recently, however, the flow of people moving the other way, out of Orthodoxy, has been the movement's dirty little secret.

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Banished - the female face

By Miriam Shaviv, May 27, 2011

Contrary to popular mythology, Jewish women in the Middle Ages were not confined to the role of home-maker, powerless in a male-dominated world. According to Avraham Grossman's modern classic, Pious and Rebellious, a survey of Jewish women's lives in Europe between 1000 and 1300, many women worked and their economic power helped improve their position in their families.

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Yes, Hamas is already taking over

By Miriam Shaviv, May 5, 2011

Should the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement be welcomed or opposed? This depends on which of the two parties ends up dominating the other.

For the moment, the factions may have agreed to co-operate for domestic reasons and to help smooth the way towards the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state in September.

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Let us vote for next chief rabbi

By Miriam Shaviv, April 11, 2011

It is still two and a half years until the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, retires, but the process of choosing his successor is already in full swing.

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New ways of wishing 'gd Shbs'

By Miriam Shaviv, January 28, 2011

It is 11 years since a number of Israeli rabbis came out against their followers using the internet, and at least half-a-decade since they attempted to ban internet-enabled mobile phones.

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Left-wing criticism is not right

By Miriam Shaviv, December 20, 2010

What is really behind the objections to Jewish Leadership Council chief Mick Davis's criticism of Israel? Is it what he said? To whom he said it? Or is the real issue, perhaps, who said it?

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Rabin's legacy sits to the right

By Miriam Shaviv, November 4, 2010

Fifteen years after his murder, Israelis don't care much about Yitzhak Rabin.

None of the main television channels planned to cover the commemoration ceremony for the slain leader this year - the state broadcaster, Channel 1, only reversed tack following a Facebook campaign. Last Saturday night, the organisers of the memorial could not even fill Rabin Square, the site of Rabin's murder on November 4, 1995. They will most likely have to move to
a smaller location next year.

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