National News

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For observant Jews, owning Farfel, Mitzvah and Matzo Ball raises halachic questions, concerns
BY Maayan Jaffe
July 3, 2013

Purchasing or rescuing a sweet little puppy is a day of adulation. The kids have been begging for a dog for months, and even you look forward to the idea of snuggling up with a pup or having him fetch the newspaper in the morning. But if you are a Torah observant Jew, as a CONTINUE »

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Some dog lovers celebrate their pets’ 13th birthdays by holding “bark mitzvahs®” — bar and bat mitzvah ceremonies for their animals
BY Marc Shapiro
July 3, 2013

It is arguably the most significant moment in a Jewish teenager’s life, marking adulthood, accountability and the ability to lead religious services. The bar/bat mitzvah is a rite of passage for which boys and girls spend months (sometimes years) preparing. But is this something our furry friends can do too? Enter the bark mitzvah®. Some CONTINUE »

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Jewish community reacts to Supreme Court decision to strike down DOMA
BY Maayan Jaffe
July 3, 2013

>> “Societies’ morals may shift and crumble, but eternal verities exist. One is marriage, the union of a man and a woman. Its sanctity may have been grievously insulted by the High Court, but that sanctity remains untouched,” Agudath Israel said in a statement. >> “Loving families across our nation have been made whole. … CONTINUE »

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BY Uriel Heilman, JTA Wire Service
July 2, 2013

In his letter announcing he was stepping down as Yeshiva University’s chancellor and rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Norman Lamm acknowledged his failure to respond adequately to allegations of sexual abuse against Y.U. rabbis in the 1980s. Lamm, now 85, became the school’s third president and head of its rabbinic school, the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, CONTINUE »

BY JTA Wire Service
June 30, 2013

 Andrew Pochter, the American student stabbed to death Friday during a protest in Egypt, was active in Hillel and motivated by a desire to encourage peace and democracy in the region. “He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of CONTINUE »