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Weird Jews
Disrupting Yeshivas since 2002
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Hello, fellow weirdjews! I just joined this comm and wanted to offer my greetings and a Chag Sameach wish for everyone's Chanukkah!
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A short post of the laws of Halloween, things like an olive's worth of candy (but an egg's worth is preferred)or that a scary costume is preferred but a notscary is okay :)

The comments are even better.

http://jewbellish.com/hilchos-halloween/
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What the Jewish world has been waiting for: a $50 app that enables you to halachically use your smartphone on Shabbat :-> Be sure to read the comment stream and description at their Kickstarter draft.

After I encountered this story, further research revealed that there is now a phenomenon called "half-Shabbos" among Orthodox teens where they keep Shabbat other than using electronic devices!
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I recently got the urge to try to track down others who were with me on a three-week AZYF Leadership Summer Tour to Israel in 1976. Unfortunately, AZYF no longer exists as an organization. If anyone has any idea how to go about tracking down this information (or miraculously knows someone who was on this tour), please let me know!
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Yashar Lachayal is an organization that provides supplies directly to soldiers in addition to helping needy and lone soldiers. They have been getting phone calls from commanders asking for supplies of basic items such as shirts, socks, and underwear. You can donate to their Gaza Operation Emergency Fund at https://www.yasharlachayal.org/campaigns/gaza-operation-emergency-fund/


שַׁאֲלוּ שְׁלוֹם יְרוּשָׁלִָם Pray for the peace of Jerusalem
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Happy Passover (Okay, halfway through). I saw KLP Cream Of Wheat (ish) at Safeway yesterday, and personally think KLP beer is similarly problematic, but here's a guy who might get it to happen, and in the process get a big boost for a gluten free beer that's said to be well worth drinking regardless:

http://israelbrewsandviews.blogspot.co.il/2014/04/kosher-for-passover-beer-maybe-for-next.html

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Enjoy this holiday-themed video from College Humor. Chag sameach!
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....and here is the NPR article about Rosa Mexicana's Mexican Passover menu. Sounds yummy!
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/04/11/300596835/pass-the-chipotle-marrow-matzo-balls-its-mexican-passover

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An entertaining answer to the question "Which holiday is better?"
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Macy's has announced that they will be including in their Thanksgiving Day Parade a giant dreydel!
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Just saw this Chassidic family drama as part of a Jewish Film Festival here in Melbourne - if it comes your way, I highly recommend it. (It was the Israeli submission to the Academy Awards this year and the lead actress won the Best Actress award at the Venice Film Festival.) A pregnant woman dies giving birth and her grieving family encourages her younger sister to marry her brother-in-law so he won't leave the country with the baby to marry someone else. The film was directed by a BT Chassidic woman and is very sensitive and nuanced, with an insider's view of the community.
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Hello weirdjews! I come to you with a question and discussion point. I learned how to blow the shofar when I was little and my dad (a rabbi) taught me that Teruah was wailing or moaning, three up and down notes. Shevarim was broken, shivering, a broken sound of 7-9 notes. I have always blown the shofar like that in synagogues. However in pretty much every other place where I have heard the shofar blown it is the other way round.

What say you all? Are there different traditions or have I just been doing it wrong my whole life? I have also lived in various different countries, so maybe that is a contributing factor?
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The Rabbinical Council of California has certified a range of personal lubricants as kosher :-)
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So I had already noticed that the list of kitniyot seemed to be getting longer over time; a friend told me the other day that at least the MO rabbis in New England kept expanding the list of "home cooks can't possibly inspect this well enough to find any bugs- you can only eat these things packaged and frozen, with hexure." I had been familiar with that concept for broccoli and such, and learned a few days later from someone else that the derivation of Israeli salad is the cucumbers and tomatoes aren't the leafy greens that would usually be considered similarly problematic.

My first friend told me that a bunch of berries have been more recently included in this list - the raspberry and blueberry bushes were hence jokingly referred to as trayfberries. Is this more of a regional thing or is it everywhere? How many people hold to it? Are maschgiach (sp?) that lacking for work that they need their realm expanded, or is there another reason to expand proscripted fruits and vegetables after many hundreds of years of them being fine?

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This Spanish Inquisition era teapot has numerous ritual objects hidden within. The workmanship and design are spectacular - you really have to see it!
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Not exactly an app, but now there's Leviticus! The Video Game
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Amusing column for Yom Ha'Atzmaut. Chag sameach, everyone!
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An uplifting photo collection for Yom Hashoah, which includes links to some of the background stories
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Happy Chametz, everyone!

Random question: I've heard that nobody in Britain prints hekshers on their food labels, so everyone who wants to buy kosher food wanders around with little booklets that list kosher-certified brands/products (I hope y'all have an app for this now!). This seems to me like a horrible move on the part of food manufacturers--why would you make it harder for your customers to choose your product, to pioneer new certified products, and simultaneously reduce the number of non-Jewish people who seek out a kosher product (in the US, a large portion of the kosher market is non-Jews who are allergic to, say, dairy, and like being able to buy parve things, or who have some silly notion that kosher food is "better for you")? The only company I know of doing something like this in the US is Kellog, which is under supervision by some Vaad in MA but insists on printing only a K on their boxes. So I suppose my questions are:

1. Why don't they print hekshers and make everyone's life easier?
2. If you're a kashrut-observant Jew in Britain (or anywhere else that has a similar practice vis a vis labeling kosher food), what do you think about this?
Does it bother you? Do you like it, and if so, why? Do you think everyone Stateside is crazy for having printed hekshers on our food?
3. What are the packaging labels for things like halal/vegan/gluten-free/non-GMO food like in Britain? Are those clearly labeled, or do you have to look that up, too?

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