Today is Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks — one of the three big holidays, hagim, when Jews journeyed to Jerusalem to make a sacrifice at the Temple. It was in the first instance an agricultural festival, marked out by biblical injunction as 50 days from the barley harvest at Passover to the wheat harvest.
Among the institutions of higher learning that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would like to provide with state funding are the Princeton Theological Seminary, a school dedicated to training Presbyterian clergy, and the Beth Medrash Govoha, one of the largest haredi (ultra-Orthodox) yeshivas in the world.
Twenty years ago, I paid a visit to Michael Broyde in his Emory University Law School office, to ask him to help me understand the Jewish legal doctrine of lashon hara–telling bad things about someone. I was interested in the relationship between this proscribed behavior and the practice of journalism.
Although Jewish law forbids working on the first two days of Passover, there is something appropriate about the Supreme Court’s using them to hold its two-day oral argument on the same-sex marriage cases.
Bill Donohue is up in arms against the New York Times for giving the business to bad Catholic priests while shielding bad rabbis. I fear Bill has overlooked some important coverage.
So if Purim is not, as Lauren Markoe reports, the Jewish Halloween, what is it? The Jewish Mardi Gras.
That would Rabbi Debra Cantor, who presides over B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom in Bloomfield, Connecticut. She was participating in the monthly gathering of Women at the Wall (WOW), an organization dedicated to the proposition that adult Jewish women have the right to wear prayer shawls and read from the Torah (a liturgical practice traditionally reserved to adult Jewish men) at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.