Some interesting links I’ve stumbled across recently:

Should you set up a not-so-observant-but-Orthodox guy with a really frum Conservative girl? As much as I enjoyed the question, I think the best part was the disconnect between admitting that the Conservative girl was more religious than the Orthodox guy and this paragraph:

That there are so many Conservative Jews who are serious about their observance should be seen as a challenge to us. It is all too easy to say that our Kiruv efforts should be geared to those whose knowledge of Torah Judaism is negligible. That’s what the NCSYs and Aish HaTorahs do. But what about this young woman and others like her? Can we afford to just leave them alone? Should we perhaps be interacting more with them? Can we entice them away from the heresy that is the Conservative movement into the Emes of an Orthodox one? Is there Kiruv for them? And how would we do it? Is there anyone or any group doing it?

I fully agree that the existence of frum Conservatives challenges Orthodox assumptions and positions. But what’s funny is that Harry Marlyes (the author) completely misses that the person needing kiruv is not the frum Conservative, but the disaffected Orthodox!

[From Emes V’emunah]

Best Fatwah Ever!

Reconstructive hymen surgery for women who lost their virginity before marriage is halal (religiously permissible), said to Aly Gomaa, the Grand Mufti of Egypt.

Gomaa, the highest authority with the power to issue a fatwa (religious edict), appeared the popular terrestrial Channel Two’s talk show El Beit Beitek, where he condoned the controversial fatwa, released by Soad Saleh, the ex-dean of the faculty of Islamic studies at Al-Azhar University and noted scholar.

Shiekh Khaled El Gindy, an Al-Azhar scholar and member of the Higher Council of Islamic Studies told The Daily Star Egypt that he agrees with the new fatwa.

“Islam never differentiates between men and women, so it is not rational for us to think that God has placed a sign to indicate the virginity of women without having a similar sign to indicate the virginity of men,” El Gindy said.

“Any man who is concerned about his prospective wife’s hymen should first provide a proof that he himself is virgin,” he added.

[From the Daily Star Egypt]

The Rebbe’s partying with Elvis, but 770 lives on – check out this exhibit of various 770-clones around the world. There was an exhibit of many of these photos at the Jewish Museum a year or two ago, but it’s gone now. [Hat tip – Kottke.org]

Supposedly, there’s a native Jew who is blogging from Mogadishu, Somalia. I hate to sound cynical, but I have my doubts as to whether it’s the real deal or not. In some places the writing sounds juvenile, while in others it is strangely fluent. Dunno. I leave it to you to to judge.

A question to ponder: The Torah tells us, and the Haggadah repeats for us, that the Jews made matzah on their way out of Egypt because they had no time to allow their bread to rise:

 
ט וַיֹּאפוּ אֶת-הַבָּצֵק אֲשֶׁר הוֹצִיאוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, עֻגֹת מַצּוֹת–כִּי לֹא חָמֵץ: כִּי-גֹרְשׁוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם, וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִתְמַהְמֵהַּ, וְגַם-צֵדָה, לֹא-עָשׂוּ לָהֶם. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.

Exod. 12:39

However, a few verses prior, in the very same chapter, God tells Moshe that the Jewish people should select a lamb for slaughter on the 10th of Nisan, and that they will eat it five days later with Matzah! If there was enough time to prepare a lamb barbecue with matzah and marror, surely there was enough time to bake some bread for the journey out of Egypt! What gives?

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