Archive for the 'Torah' Category

The Jewish Surya Namaskar

Regular practitioners of Yoga do a Surya Namaskar—sun salutation every day.

Practitioners of Judaism have their own and completely different sun salutation—Birkat Hachammah. It is recited every 28 years and its next occurrence is in two weeks’ time.

So go find yourself a synagogue to attend, now. If you aren’t Jewish, ask a Jewish friend about a gentile-friendly synagogue. I can’t promise that the ceremony will be very interesting if Halakha and Yiddischkeit is not your cup of tea, but hey, will you forgive yourself if miss something that will happen again in 2037?

(A slightly scary thought: In 2037 i’ll be 57.)

Reality – Women Singing

sinners only

sinners only

Some food products in Israel carry the mark “Kosher Dairy (Gentile powdered milk)” (אבקת חלב נוכרי). This means that the kashruth supervisor of the factory that produces this food considers it kosher, but duly warns practicing Jews who adopted stricter dietary laws for themselves and don’t eat powdered milk which was prepared by non-Jews. Most secular Israelis hardly know what it means—if they notice it at all—, and some laugh at it, but for some religious Israelis it is quite important. Some practicing kosher Jews are not strict, others adopt strictures for themselves.

Now this came to music, too. Some religious Jews avoid listening to the singing of women, because it is considered non-modest, due to the saying from the Talmud “a voice in a women is shame” (Brachot 24). Rabbis argue about the meaning of it. A tiny minority are so strict that they completely forbid listening to a woman’s voice (except one’s own wife). Many forbid listening to a woman’s singing; some of them argue that listening to recorded woman’s singing is allowed. Some rabbis allow listening to a woman singing as long as the woman and the song are modest.

This is the first time that i saw a CD marked this way. It was sold by a vendor of Jewish traditional music in Jerusalem, who added the sticker himself, knowing that some of his customers may dislike woman singing.

It is good that it is done voluntarily. I hope that the kashruth of music won’t become obnoxious, corrupt and commercialized, like that of food.


OK, i just can’t believe this. I just can’t believe this.

Mr Gaydamak,care of Amir Aharoni,


My name is …

… And he goes on to explain that some sporting bodies in Israel conduct competitions from which representatives of this country are then selected to compete overseas on Shabbat. So his son can’t be accepted to the Israeli all-star team, because he is religious and he doesn’t roll on Shabbos. So he wants Mr. Gaydamak to help him with this thing. And i think that his plea is perfectly fair.

P.S.Yes, i didn’t write for a lot of time because i moved to a new apartment, then went to a lovely trip in Catalonia and then started working at a new company. So i don’t have any time for anything, not even for my crumbling academic career.

P.P.S. To the people from NDS who found this humble blog of mine: Hi. I love you all. Life is good.


BBC finally noticed that Israeli civilians die in this war too.

My father works right there in the chemical factories at the Haifa Bay. I couldn’t talk to him, but mama said that they are busy transporting dangerous chemicals to a safer place or something. Maybe she’s making it up.

I wonder: Nasrallah must know that we can wipe him and most of his army off the face of the Earth minutes after our government decides about it. Well, i think we can. Anyway, he must also know that he can’t destroy Israel with Katyusha’s only. Then why does he do it? Does he feel that we’ll be too nice and won’t have the guts to destroy him?

My religious friends say that it’s very simple – it’s the war between good and evil that must go on because that’s how the world works and the Torah says it.

Just yesterday i heard a Joan Baez bootleg that was recorded in Israel in the eighties. Joan is a well known pacifist and adherent of non-violence. At the recording she says just that – humanity doesn’t have to accept the idea that bullets solve everything. I believe that it’s true, it just has to happen.