OU Staff

Patents … There’s a Great Future in Patents.

July 6, 2015, by

If you try to keep the Jewish Sabbath, you might have heard of KosherSwitch, which is supposed to allow observant Jews to flick switches without violating Shabbat. KosherSwitch looks like the clever brainchild of Rube Goldberg and Erwin Schrödinger. When you flick it, you’re raising a tiny plastic gate inside, which had previously separated a

Lipa Schmeltzer Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop.

July 6, 2015, by

It is amazingly hard not to love Lipa Schmeltzer. The former Skverer chasid  has been banned, blacklisted and almost banished; but that doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves and producing some of the best Jewish music out there. Tablet Magazine’s Joe Winkler spent a day with the pop star, whom the Daily News

Sir Nicholas Winton, British Schindler, Dies at 106

July 1, 2015, by

Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler,” died today at 106. Winton, a stockbroker, ferried 669 Jewish children out of occupied Prague as “the one-man children’s section of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia.” He organized eight trains and then found homes for all of the children in England. As the BBC notes, his death

Jerusalem Family Finds 2,000-Year-Old Ritual Bath Under Living Room

July 1, 2015, by

Home renovation usually entails picking paints, buying furniture, and dealing with contractors. For the Shimshoni family living in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, it meant calling in archaeologists after stumbling upon a perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old ritual bath under their living room. Last week the Israel Antiquities Authority finished excavating the subterranean bath, which archaeologist Amit Reem

The Stories Behind South Korea’s Love of the Talmud

June 25, 2015, by

If only yeshiva and day school students were as enthusiastic about the Talmud as South Koreans. The New Yorker’s PageTurner blog has a fascinating article about the popularity of the Talmud in South Korea. It’s kinda wild and corroborates what many of us heard as rumors. The writer, Ross Arbes, also does his homework and traces some

The World’s Betrayal of Israel

June 24, 2015, by

It was the month of January 2005. That Saturday night, a 17-year-old girl, by the name of Ayala Abukasis, was walking home with her younger brother, Tamir, in the southern city of Sderot in Israel. As they were walking, Ayala heard the shrill of an incoming Qassam missile fired from Gaza unto her city. She

One Country That Loves Jews? Kurdistan

June 22, 2015, by

Here’s some good news amidst all rising anti-Semitism across Europe and the Middle East. One place that likes Jews? Kurdistan. The autonomous region in Iraq seems to be quite fond of Jews and Israel, according to this interesting (but all too short) op-ed in the Forward by Seth Frantzman. “Old peshmerga fighters cradling AK-47s reminisced

Jews in France Say Adieu

June 22, 2015, by

Jews are saying goodbye to the homeland of Rashi and his descendants at a higher rate than ever. In the wake of the horrific terrorist attack that killed four in a Paris kosher supermarket, 25 percent more Jews left to make Aliyah than the year before at this time. In 2014, 4,000 Jews left France

What’s in a Name? Ancient Inscription Discovered in Israel

June 17, 2015, by

We may never know who Eshba’al Ben Bada was but his name, recently discovered on a 3,000-year-old piece of pottery, provides us with a link to the distant past. The pottery, painstakingly rebuilt after being discovered in Khirbet Qeiyafain in the Valley of Elah in 2012, contains Eshba’al’s name in an ancient Canaanite script. Scholars

An Orthodox Gift of Life

June 16, 2015, by

Leukemia had almost killed Leya Parker, a 48-year-old mother of four from Florida. “You have no idea (how hard it is) when your brother tells you you’re 10 days away from dying, your doctors tell you you have the worst form of leukemia anyone could ask for at your age, and you need a transplant

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