Turning Aside: Rambam’s Test

Is My Theology Truly Jewish (Or Jewish Enough)? Liberal Jewish denominations officially reject the Orthodox contention that, in order to be a good Jew, one must embrace a traditional cosmology and accept the whole of halacha.  Nevertheless, I think it incumbent upon liberal gerim to take both theology and halacha seriously; we should know what it is that we selectively accept or reject (and why).  In this “Turning Aside” post, I address my relationship to a traditional Jewish … [Read more…]

Grow and Behold Foods: Ethical and Kosher

I don’t typically shout out specific businesses in my posts here on the JBC.org site, but I thought this story was definitely worth making an exception. The Forward published an article about a new ethical kosher meat producer that is open for business.  The piece, written by Leah Hoenig, features the company Grow and Behold Foods, which is beginning to offer free-range kosher chicken in New York and New Jersey in July.  According to the article the proprietors of Grow and Behold, Naftali … [Read more…]

Fishy Business and Not Overdoing It.

Shalom all, Shmarya over at Failed Messiah posted on a really interesting story for those interested in the evolution and development of halakha, particularly with respect to kashrut.  The issue under discussion involves a tiny parasitic worm that is found in several species of kosher fish, and the brouhaha this little critter has started within the kashrut-observing Jewish communities in general and within the Ultra-Orthodox world in particular.  I was initially interested in this story … [Read more…]

Huh? Rav Ovadia Yosef Recognizes Conservative/Masorti Converts?

Hi all, I ran across an interesting piece in the Jerusalem Post this evening in Rabbi Andrew Sacks’ blog “Masorti Matters.”  Rav Sacks calls to attention recent comments made by former Israeli Sephardi Chief Rabbi and current Shas Party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.  Rav Yosef is know for making repulsive statements from time to time about Non-Orthodox Jews in general and egalitarian-practicing women in particular, and he has often appeared to suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome with … [Read more…]