Judaism

Recent Happenings

345 days ago

The worldwide Jewish population is 13.3 million Jews. Jewish population growth worldwide is close to zero percent. From 2000 to 2001 it rose 0.3%, compared to worldwide population growth of 1.4%.

In 2001, 8.3 million Jews lived in the Diaspora and 4.9 million lived in Israel. Just about half of the world’s Jews reside in the Americas, with about 46 percent in North America.
Approximately 37% of worldwide Jewry lives in Israel. Israel's Jewish population rose by 1.6% the past year, while the Diaspora population dropped by 0.5%.
Europe, including the Asian territories of the Russian Republic and Turkey, accounts for about 12 percent of the total. Fewer than 2 percent of the world’s Jews live in Africa and Oceania.
Metropolitan Tel Aviv, with 2.5 million Jews, is the world's largest Jewish city. It is followed by New York, with 1.9 million, Haifa 655,000, Los Angeles 621,000, Jerusalem 570,000, and southeast Florida 514,000.
In 2001, 8 countries had a Jewish population of 100,000 or more; another 5 countries had 50,000 or more. There is not a single Diaspora country where Jews amounted to 2.5 percent of the total population. Only 3 Diaspora countries had more than 1 percent. Gibraltar (24.0 per 1000), United States (20.1), Canada (11.9), France (8.8), Uruguay (6.7), Argentina (5.3), Hungary (5.2), and Australia (5.1)[1] had the highest ratios.*

Islam is on the rise, mainly because they happen to live in countries with little birth control. Atheism is also on the rise. Christianity is holding steady(ish) and Judaism is not growing much at all. If this trend continues it could be a problem for the worlds remaining Jews. Fewer synagogues, fewer husbands or wives for those who wish to marry within the religion, harder to find kosher deli's etc. This could mean anything from minor inconvenience to major hassle.
Some fear that world Jewry is in danger of dying out.
Then again, I think every generation of Jews has had that fear and so far (and despite the best efforts of some) they're still here.



*copy and paste job from http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/world-jewish-population.htm

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434 days ago

The prevalence of child sex abuse in the Hasidic community is the same as any other community. What's unique is that the whole community, not just religious leadership as with Catholics, is involved in a cover up.

Parents and others are forbidden from reporting abuse to police without the approval of a rabbi. If they go directly to the police, they are branded as traitors to the community. Other members harass the victim and parent, urging them to drop the charges. Parents lose their jobs, are evicted from rental units, expelled from synagogues, their children expelled from school, and shunned on the street. Sometimes they are offered money to drop the charges and be silent.

Parents are forced to decide between a child's safety and their God, their child's future and their community. These children must face an unspeakable amount of guilt and shame on top of what they already have in being raped. Hasidic communities are sending a message to pedophiles that they will not be punished in secular courts. Why? To save face and preserve the rabbis' authority.

Religious leaders should be mandatory reporters, same as teachers and doctors. If they "reasonably suspect" abuse or know of evidence of it, they should be legally required to report it. Morally, they should then lead the community to support victims instead of rejecting them.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-shun-their-own-for-reporting-child-sexual-abuse.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

The cover up is not limited to members of the Hasidic community. This story says the Brooklyn district attorney, who is paid to be the public's representative, refuses to divulge the names of 85 Hasidic Jews charged with sex abuse. Charges are supposed to be public record. He fears the Hasidic community will vote against him next election.

http://forward.com/articles/147922/brooklyn-da-refuses-to-name-child-sex-abusers/?p=1

Even Amish and American Indians cooperate with law enforcement on criminal matters. If Haredis want religious law to be supreme over secular law, they need to start their own country.

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592 days ago

One of my "Uncles" was my Dads best childhood friend,who happened to be a non-observant Jew.He was sceptical about any and all religion,being a pretty intellectual guy,but MAN,did he love Christmas.He was,in fact,fat & jolly & very generous with gifts for my family.We used to call him the "Jewish Santa".

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598 days ago

Its those guys in Africa. Go back to school, Carl.

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610 days ago

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616 days ago

There is some disagreement between the Orthodox and the more liberal denominations concerning the conversion process. The controversy arises over the need for the convert to accept the yoke of the commandments which means making a lifelong commitment to Orthodoxy.
The Orthodox believe the convert must accept the Torah's commandments (kabbalat ol mitzvot), be immersed in a ritual bath (tevilah) in front of witnesses, and the men must be circumcised (milah) in front of witnesses.
The Reconstructionists official movement policy requires a course of study, a beit din (Rabbinical Court), mikveh (ritual bath), and hatafat dam brit (ritual circumcision or, if already circumcised, a ritual removal of a single drop of blood). In actuality, however, many Reconstructionist converts do not undergo all of the requirements. Also, most Reconstructionist synagogues accept conversions performed by rabbis outside of their own movement.
Reform rabbis are not obligated by their movement to perform conversions in any one way.
In practice, the overwhelming majority of Reform Rabbis today require study, hatafat dam brit and immersion in a mikveh. Some Reform rabbis, however, will make exceptions in certain cases. (For example: when circumcision may be unhealthy.)
The process of conversion that is accepted by the conservative movement has three parts.
-Learning and growth towards observance of the commandments (Mitzvot).
-Immersion in the mikveh.
-For the man, the additional requirement of circumcision (Brit Milah) or symbolic hatafat dam brit.

The differences of opinion between the different branches would all be well and good had not Israel become a state in 1948. Israel is now run by and made for Jews. Israel's Law of Return automatically granted Israeli citizenship to anyone anywhere in the world who is a Jew. This law amplified the need to distinguish the difference between Jew and gentile. This issue gets muddled in the classification disagreement among the branches.

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802 days ago

Apparently the sixth commandment doesn't apply to dogs.

An ultra orthodox rabbinical court in Israel sentenced a dog to death by stoning--on grounds that it was a reincarnated lawyer who once insulted Rabbi's.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110617/od_afp/israelt rialreligionanimalsoffbeat

How they figured that the dog was the reincarnated person is beyond me. Maybe that's what happens to all lawyers upon death. Of course, that's if you believe in reincarnation, which I don't.

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863 days ago

The ones I've been with Warrant five stars.


The ones I haven't been with-- well, I'm still Relatively young and in good Health.

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961 days ago

I've had several Jewish girlfriends,one of whom I lived with for years.That myth about them being frigid was (I suspect) invented by the Jewish men who wanted to keep them all to themselves !

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986 days ago

My Jewish Exes were both great. Don't believe those anti-Semitic yarns about them 'saving it for a doctor', that is not only completely wrong, but just a rude thing to say!

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