Female Reporter Infiltrates All Male Hasidic Jewish Rally Agaist the Evils of the Internet

Ace tech reporter Adrianne Jeffries “in a pair of $15 Payless loafers, my brother’s dress clothes, and a donated kippah. Oh, and the white duct tape around my chest, G.I. Jane style,” dropped in on a Jewish rally at Citi Field in New York on the subject of the evils of the Internet:

There wasn’t much I could quibble with in the speech. The Internet is about instant gratification? It’s “fleeting and empty”? It causes us to waste productive hours? It threatens the preservation of isolated communities with strong traditions, such as the ultra-Orthodox Jews? Well, yes, but…

“Children are being turned into click-vegetables!” Rabbi Wachsman declared.

Some Jews are already enslaved, as if caught in a spider web. “The webbed mind has to struggle to understand Torah,” he said. ”There are those who sit at home and click and click into oblivion.” […]

The second cause of objection is more damning. Last week, the New York Times wrote about child sexual abuse in Orthodox communities, and the group’s policy that such allegations be vetted through a rabbi before being routed to city authorities. A group organized a small protest outside the rally under the shibboleth, “Not the problem.” The group’s Facebook page read: “We are fed up with rabbinical leaders’ dismissive attitude towards sexual and physical violence against children. The internet is not the biggest problem we face. Protecting children and bringing molesters to justice should be our number one priority.” The issue of child sex abuse was not discussed at the rally, although the health and success of children was invoked repeatedly.

Betabeat: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me)

See also:

How Many Dead Babies Does It Take to Make a Debate?

In the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth is correct translation says academic

Professor Ellen van Wolde, a respected Old Testament scholar and author, claims the first sentence of Genesis “in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” is not a true translation of the Hebrew.

She claims she has carried out fresh textual analysis that suggests the writers of the great book never intended to suggest that God created the world — and in fact the Earth was already there when he created humans and animals.

Prof Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia.

She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb “bara”, which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean “to create” but to “spatially separate”.

The first sentence should now read “in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth”

Telegraph: God is not the Creator, claims academic

(via Satan a victim of bad PR, professor says

Judaism, Meditation and The B-Word

A review of three books dealing with the issues of Judaism, meditation, and Buddhism.

Many today are worried about Buddhism because they’re worried about assimilation, fearing that Jews are leaving Judaism. But “assimilation” has a second meaning, as well: to incorporate or absorb something into oneself. In this deeper meaning, the Jews always have been a people of assimilation. And from Aristotle to goulash, Temple pews to Moroccan maqamat (melodic modes), foreign influences enliven our experience of ourselves. Likewise, Slater’s meditations end with a surprisingly traditional truth: that “pursuing the mitzvot, living fully in God’s presence, may actually be the way home.”

Full Story: Forward: Judaism, Meditation and The B-Word

New translation of the Torah


A professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Alter says since he has never found a biblical translation that he liked or could recommend to his comparative literature students, he decided to do his own, starting with the story of Genesis and ending with the death of Moses.

Al Jazeera: Revised English translation for Torah

(via Disinfo)

A Few Catch-up Links…

Sorry about the lack of updates folks, just been busy as hell in the “real world.” Check out the following: Shamans set up code of ethics to fight shams (link via Plastic), Nanotech looms large for meds (link via Disinfo), and the new Douglas Rushkoff book will be open source (link via the Barbelith Underground). [Update: The book, Exit Strategy had “open source” annotations, but the text has since been taken down]

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