Jerusalem U Blog

Adam Mallerman

Adam is Jerusalem U's social media Coordinator. Before moving to Israel, he spent over 25 years in informal Jewish education in the UK & California. He is also an experienced radio broadcaster and today lives in Jerusalem with his wife and twin sons.

15 Awesome Things You Didn't Know About Israel

Most people know that The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and that Israel is a world leader in hi-tech and medical innovation, but the surprisies don't end there - read on!

1. Israel led the world by banning size Zero models before any other country.

 

2. More Israelis graduate from college than any other country (per capita).

 

3. Israel has more museums than anywhere else in the world.

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Tisha B'Av - Why You Should Care

One of the most difficult, profound and ignored days on the Jewish calendar falls this Sunday - Tisha B'Av (the Ninth of the Jewish month of Av). Outside of the Orthodox ciommunity Tisha B'Av rarely gets a mention and I'd guess that for the majority of Jews, it will once again come and go almost unnoticed, which is really sad, because no other date in the Jewish calendar (other than perhaps Passover) has had such a profound impact on the Jewish people, one that is still felt to this day - you know the expression "whatever doesn't break us, makes us stronger"? Well that's Tisha B'Av.

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Parshat Masai - Health & Safety Really Does Matter ! 

In the final chapter of The Book of Numbers - Parshat Masai, (read in synagogues worldwide this Shabbat), the Torah talks about the death of a person caused through negligence of another. Generally when a person "sins" through negligence (e.g they accidentally eat non Kosher food) he or she isn't punished. However, if that error leads to a death, the transgressor has to flee to a designated "City of Refuge" which were scattered around Israel, and would remain there, essentially under house arrest, for what could be many years. 

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Pinchas - A Righteous Zealot Who Taught Us That Zealotry Isn't the Jewish Way

This week in synagogues outside of Israel, the Jewish people read the story of Pinchas the Jewish Zealot. Zimri, of the tribe of Shimon, took a Midianite woman as a lover, and had the audacity to have sex with her right in front of Moses & the gathered Jewish people.  Pinchas, who was Aaron's grandson and Moses's great-nephew, was so enraged by the actions of Zimri that he thrust a spear through Zimri, and into his lover, killing them both while they were "in the act"! 

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Gun Control: Jewish Thoughts on a Loaded Subject

The terrible events in Orlando over the weekend, and the horrific shooting attack in Tel Aviv a few days before that, have once again shocked America and the western world. Such incidents of terrorism on our own democratic soil invite profound soul-searching as to how we can prevent such evil from happening again. They have also brought the issue of gun control back into the headlines and presidential campaigns - there are those who would ban all guns, making it harder for terrorists, criminals  and homicidal nut jobs to get their hands on weapons, and there are those that believe ordinary citizens should have the right to bear arms, in order to defend themselves from the gun toting terrorists.

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Passover, Slavery and the World Cup

The main part of the Passover Seder isn’t bitter herbs or cups of wine, it is called "Maggid" -  the telling of the story of the end of Jewish slavery in Egypt and we’re not just supposed to read a few details or historical facts, we are supposed to go into great detail - the Haggadah tells us that the more that we dwell on our historical experience of being slaves in Egypt, the more praiseworthy we are. But it happened 4000 years ago! What value today is there for us in 2016 in an ancient tale of enslavement and freedom?

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