Jennifer Garner Consoles Grief With Torah & Other Orthodox Jews in the News


Many Orthodox Jews Had Their Phones Off During the Sabbath. Then They Learned of a Massacre.
Many of America’s most observant Jews refrain from using phones, television or the Internet on the Sabbath. On Saturday, it resulted in a shock.

How an Orthodox Businesswoman Rose in the Ranks at the NSA
Forty-two-year-old Anne Neuberger, an Orthodox Jewish woman, was tapped by the National Security Agency as its first chief risk officer, a senior slot if ever there was one. The job was created specifically for her in 2014 in the wake of Edward Snowden leaking classified NSA information to the world, thus throwing the Pentagon, along with pundits of all political stripes, into a tailspin.

Prohibition on Electronics Left Many Orthodox Jews in Dark About Pittsburgh Shooting
As the world watched the news Saturday morning about a shooting that left 11 people dead at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, many Jews across the country were left largely in the dark. That’s because some traditional Jews, like the Orthodox, don’t use any forms of electricity for about 25 hours from Friday night to Saturday night, the Jewish Shabbat. That includes cellphones or TV.

A Secular Prayer for My Neighbors in Squirrel Hill
My wife and I moved to the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Squirrel Hill from Paris in the fall of 2015. Technically we are Jewish, but we never went to synagogue and had not been bar or bat mitzvahed. We didn’t even realize Squirrel Hill was a Jewish enclave until we met our first Orthodox neighbor, Rochel, a hippie-ish mother of three who swept up her chestnut hair in fluorescent headscarves. “Welcome to the shtetl!” she said and invited us to our first Pittsburgh Shabbat dinner.

Israel Chief Rabbi Didn’t Dismiss Progressive Synagogues. Stop Twisting Words To Sow Division.
Several news organizations jumped on an interview with Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi rabbi, Rabbi David Lau, in response to the Pittsburgh shooting. Supposedly, Lau refused to acknowledge that the massacre in Pittsburgh was carried out in a synagogue. The story sparked outrage, some calling to abolish the Israeli rabbinate while others wondering if Lau even acknowledges non-Orthodox Jews as fellow Jews. But Lau’s quote was grossly taken out of context — not a single news report actually quoted the full interview, in which the rabbi mourned the victims and emphasized that a conversation about denominational differences is irrelevant.

Jennifer Garner Teaches Torah
In a viral Instagram video, actress Jennifer Garner puts together a poster with quotes from Michah and Pirkei Avos in response to this week’s tragedy. Urging others to not be daunted by the “enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now, and walk humbly.” The quote ends with the saying, “You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Pro Hoops Player Talks About Journey to Orthodox Judaism, Feeling ‘Unstoppable’ Wearing Tzitzit
Professional basketball player Chris Smith opened up about the role Judaism plays in his life in a new YouTube video uploaded on Wednesday. In the clip, posted by the website Jew in the City, the former NBA player said he started playing basketball at a very young age as part of a league in Lakewood, NJ, alongside his older brother J.R., who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Show Up For Shabbat
A new campaign is encouraging Americans of all faiths to visit synagogues for Shabbat services Friday and Saturday as a show of strength and love against hate. Launched by the American Jewish Committee, a global Jewish advocacy organization, the #ShowUpForShabbat campaign is a reaction to last Saturday’s massacre, when 11 worshipers were gunned down at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Dramatic Upset as Aliza Bloch Ousts Abutbul in Beit Shemesh
In a stunning upset, religious-Zionist mayoral-candidate for Beit Shemesh, Aliza Bloch, has won the race to city hall and narrowly beat her haredi rival and incumbent Moshe Abutbul by just over 500 votes. The result constitutes a veritable revolution in the city whose population has become majority haredi in recent years, and where strong inter-communal disputes have arisen due to mismanagement by the mayor and his administration and the actions of extremist haredi elements in the city.


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