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Rabbi Detained for Singing at Auschwitz

His group sang songs their grandparents sang as they were led to their deaths

(Newser) - Is singing appropriate at a memorial site, where it might bother other visitors? What if it's not just any singing, but an homage to relatives who sang those very songs as they were led to their deaths at Auschwitz? An Israeli rabbi who was there guiding a group of... More »

Christie Aides Wanted to Punish a Rabbi, Too

They joked about a traffic jam near his house

(Newser) - A big batch of emails among current and former Chris Christie aides is out, and while no bombshells appear to be in the mix, one exchange in particular is getting a lot of attention. Weeks before bridgegate , Christie's then deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly , joked with former... More »

Rabbi Botches Bris, Cuts Off Penis

Orthodox ceremony in Pittsburgh goes horribly wrong

(Newser) - An orthodox rabbi in Pittsburgh is being sued for accidentally severing a baby's penis during a traditional bris ceremony, CBS Pittsburgh reports. Rabbi Mordechai Rosenberg allegedly botched the bris eight months ago, forcing the baby to be hospitalized for almost two months and undergo six blood transfusions. But doctors... More »

Rabbis Accused in Kidnap, Torture Plot to Gain Divorces

FBI says their business forced husbands to agree to Orthodox breakups

(Newser) - It sounds like the premise of a bad movie or a worse joke: A Jewish husband won't agree to a divorce, so a couple of tough rabbis make him an offer he can't refuse. FBI agents arrested two rabbis today and accused them of plotting to kidnap and... More »

Just in Time for Passover: Kosher Cigarettes

Israeli body gives 3 brands seal of approval

(Newser) - It's Passover and for the first time, Israeli smokers can puff away on rabbi-approved cigarettes, the AP reports. The group that certifies foods and other items as kosher for the week-long holiday approved three brands of cigarettes after determining that their ingredients had not come into contact with grains... More »

Case Against Brooklyn 'Killer' Falls Apart 23 Years Later

David Ranta expected to be set free this week

(Newser) - David Ranta has been in prison since 1991 for the murder of a Brooklyn rabbi in a high-profile city slaying. Ranta is now packing up his cell, however, because prosecutors plan to ask a judge this week to set him free, reports the New York Times . No physical evidence tied... More »

Rabbi Who Targeted Sex Abusers Hit by Chemical Attack

Says acquaintance threw bleach in his eye

(Newser) - More woes on the streets of New York : A rabbi and outspoken advocate for victims of sex abuse was injured in an apparent chemical attack as he was walking in Williamsburg yesterday, reports the New York Times . Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg runs a website and hotline that make public accusations of... More »

Matchmaking Rabbi Pairs Gay Men With Lesbians

... so they can become parents

(Newser) - It might well be the most unusual matchmaking service in the world: An Israeli rabbi specializes in setting up Orthodox Jewish gay men with Orthodox lesbians for marriage, reports the AP . The idea is that they can raise a family together while still adhering to religious laws. The spouses could... More »

Rabbis Demand Stoning of 'Reincarnated' Dog

They thought he was a lawyer

(Newser) - Israeli rabbis went rabid over a local dog because he was acting like a lawyer. A Jerusalem rabbinical court ordered the stoning death of the stray because they believed it was the reincarnation of a troublesome, foul-mouthed attorney who clashed with the court. The beast entered the Jerusalem financial court... More »

Rabbis Rebury 60 Jews Killed in WWII Romania

Remains were discovered last year in mass grave in the forest

(Newser) - The remains of some 60 Jews killed in 1941 by Romanian troops and discovered last year were buried yesterday in a Jewish cemetery in the country’s east. The bodies, including those of women and children, were found in November in a Romanian forest. The mass grave was added evidence... More »

Rabbis Urge Murdoch to Rein In Beck, Fox News

Coalition slams constant use of Holocaust, Nazi imagery

(Newser) - A coalition of 400 rabbis have had enough of Glenn Beck's use of Nazi and Holocaust imagery and attacks on George Soros . The group is urging Rupert Murdoch to sanction Beck and Fox News chief Roger Ailes. It has bought a full-page ad in one of Murdoch's own papers, the ... More »

Stop Citing Jewish Ethics Against Health Reform!

Senator backed Medicare buy-in 3 months ago, and still should

(Newser) - “A hallmark of Judaism is disputation,” writes David Gibson, and it shows—Joe Lieberman is in a pitched battle with his home state coreligionists over health care reform. Rabbis from across Connecticut, in tones both dulcet and shrill, are lobbying the senator to drop his opposition to anything... More »

Mumbai Marks First Anniversary of Terror Rampage

Candlelight vigils held throughout city in memory of 166 dead

(Newser) - Candlelight vigils and other memorial remembrances are underway in India to mark the first anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks. The three-day rampage left 166 dead, plus nine Islamic militant gunmen. Particularly poignant was a ceremony at the city’s Jewish center, where a rabbi and his pregnant wife were... More »

Crocs Too Comfy for Yom Kippur: Rabbi

Sandals don't inflict sufficient suffering for holiday, religious leader rules

(Newser) - A Lithuanian rabbi has ruled that Crocs should not be worn during Yom Kippur because the sandals are too comfortable, Ynet news reports. Rabbi Elyashiv based his judgment on a prohibition against leather sandals, saying they were banned because they fail to provide an appropriate level of suffering for the... More »

NJ Mayors, NY Rabbis Busted in Corruption Probe

Syrian Jews accused of money-laundering

(Newser) - In a huge corruption bust, FBI agents arrested 30 people today, including the mayors of Hoboken and Secaucus, the deputy mayor of Jersey City, a New Jersey assemblyman, and several Brooklyn and New Jersey rabbis, the Star-Ledger reports. The arrests stem from a 2-year money-laundering probe centered on New York’... More »

US Gets Its First Black Female Rabbi

'I will not be boxed in,' says newly ordained Stanton

(Newser) - Last week Alysa Stanton was ordained as a rabbi at the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, one of the country's oldest synagogues, and a little history was made—the US had its first black female leader of a Jewish congregation. Stanton, born a Pentecostal Christian, converted in 1987, enduring hostility... More »

Jews Eat Up Kosher 'Koogle' Search Engine

(Newser) - Orthodox Jews have long been discouraged from searching the Internet due to rabbinical restrictions on viewing immodest content. No longer, Reuters reports. Enter Koogle—the name is a mashup of Google and a traditional Jewish noodle dish—a Hebrew-language search engine that filters out non-kosher content and appears to meet... More »

Rabbi Seeks Boycott of 'Revolting' Mannequins

Stores could lose kosher certification

(Newser) - An Israeli rabbi has called for a boycott of shops that display scantily clad mannequins, AFP reports. Mannequins and "obscene photographs" of models wearing swimsuits or underwear "elicit sorrow among the passers-by," said the rabbi. Stores in the northern city of Tiberias that keep their racy displays... More »

Israeli Army Rabbis Preached Hate During Gaza Assault

(Newser) - During Israel’s recent Gaza offensive, an increasingly influential corps of military rabbis cast the conflict as one to “expel the non-Jews” from Israel, the Los Angeles Times reports. “This rabbi comes to us and says the fight is between the children of light and the children of... More »

Pope Must Hide Cross at Jerusalem Site: Rabbi

'I wouldn't go into a church wearing Jewish symbols,' Rabinovitch says

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem next month as a show of mutual understanding and sensitivity between Catholicism and Judaism—but a request from a prominent rabbi almost ensures he’ll offend someone, Time reports. Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said the pontiff should remove the cross... More »

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