Miriam Shaviv

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.


Mr Ahmadinejad, throw that stone

By Miriam Shaviv, October 7, 2010

According to the Arab press, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to end his tour of Lebanon by symbolically lobbing a rock at Israel over the border fence.

The thinking, presumably, is that this would be a great PR coup - that the image would cement Mr Ahmadinejad's reputation as the Islamic world's foremost opponent of the Jewish state. But would it really?


Street life is never comfortable

By Miriam Shaviv, October 7, 2010

It was miserable timing. Two weeks ago, the JC revealed that a number of activists in the UK were trying to establish a left-leaning Israel group, which would support Israel but not shy away from criticising its government. The initiative, which is being spearheaded by Hannah Weisfeld, formerly of the Jewish Community Centre for London, was directly inspired by the liberal American lobby group, J Street, which, since it was founded in 2008, has increasingly challenged the more conservative Jewish establishment.


Leaving the Jewish Chronicle

By Miriam Shaviv, October 6, 2010

That's it, folks... this is my last day at the Jewish Chronicle. After five years, I am moving to the Times Higher Education magazine, where I will edit the features.

But fret not. I will still be blogging, back at my old blog home (2004-2006), http://www.bloghd.blogspot.com. Please bookmark and visit often!


Stuxnet conspiracy theories are getting ridiculous

By Miriam Shaviv, October 4, 2010

Whoever invented the Stuxnet virus, which is supposedly targeted at the Iranian nuclear programme, must be rolling around laughing at the increasingly far-fetched speculation over who created it. Most of the "proof", of course, points to Israel. Now, I'm not saying that the Israelis didn't do it - they certainly have the motive and the capability - but the so-called "evidence" is really moving into the realms of the ridiculous.


'Jewish flotilla' captain returns home, nobody cares

By Miriam Shaviv, September 29, 2010


Oh, dear. Supporters of the so-called Jewish flotilla sent out tweets today encouraging people to welcome home Glyn Secker, its captain, as he flew into Heathrow. And in the event? Only eight people, including the usual suspects, cared enough to turn up. As for the sign encouraging Jews to boycott Israeli goods - let's just note that Secker was flying home El Al (possibly not by choice).


Simchat Torah trivia

By Miriam Shaviv, September 29, 2010

For the basics on the festival of Simchat Torah, Tablet has a nice run-down. But here are some other facts you might not know, from Avraham Ya'ari's classic history of the festival, 'Toldot Chag Simchat Torah' ('The Origins of the Festival of Simchat Torah,' pub. in Hebrew by Mossad Harav Kook).


Jews and pork

By Miriam Shaviv, September 29, 2010

The New York Times has a longish piece on Israel's first pork cookbook, which even the article admits "has not caused much of a stir so far".

Nevertheless, it has sold over 1,000 copies. And:

At Yoezer, a high-end restaurant in Jaffa, the chef Itzik Cohen has held dinners for as many as 90 customers exclusively with the book’s pork recipes.


Samuel Pepys goes to shul

By Miriam Shaviv, September 29, 2010

OK, ok, I know I post this every year before Simchat Torah, but I just love it.

On October 14, 1663, diarist Samuel Pepys made a visit to a London synagogue at Creechurch Lane (later Bevis Marks). It was Simchat Torah, but he had no way of knowing that what he was witnessing was not typical. Here is his horrified description of the goings-on:


Ahmadinejad's rocky PR plan

By Miriam Shaviv, September 28, 2010

Next month, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is planning to visit Lebanon. After political meetings in Beirut he will travel south, tour the areas damaged in the war with Israel in 2006 – and, according to reports, lob a rock at Israel over the border fence in a symbolic gesture.


Who owns Meah Shearim?

By Miriam Shaviv, September 27, 2010

A row is brewing in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Meah Shearim over the right of women to walk in the street. (I feel like I'm writing about Afghanistan and can hardly believe this isn't satire.)