April 29th, 2013
12:48 PM ET
Editor’s Note: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was Elie Wiesel’s idea to make this an institution of learning rather than a simple memorial. Michael Schulder, host of the "CNN Profiles" radio show, sat down with Wiesel to talk about a range of issues, including how a sense of humor survives in so many survivors. This story, though, is about faith.
By Michael Schulder, CNN
(CNN) - “They called him Moishe the Beadle, as if his entire life he had never had a surname.”
This is the opening line of the most widely read memoir of the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel’s "Night."
I had the opportunity to ask Wiesel about Moishe the Beadle recently when we sat down for an in-depth CNN Profile, which you can listen to here.
When Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize, the committee that chose him called him a messenger to mankind.
April 16th, 2013
12:12 PM ET
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) – A top-tier rabbi and expert in Jewish law and ethics is now under the microscope for what many see as his own ethical transgressions.
Rabbi Michael Broyde was outed last week for having created a fake identity that he reportedly used for about two decades.
Broyde has long served on America’s highest Modern Orthodox rabbinical court and was said to be a finalist to become the next chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. FULL POST
April 13th, 2013
02:38 PM ET
Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.
By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN
(CNN) - School officials in Albany, New York, are racing to control the damage after a teacher at Albany High School gave students a persuasive writing assignment that challenged them to defend the proposition that “Jews are evil.”
After studying Nazi propaganda and rhetoric, sophomores in three English classes were instructed to imagine that their teacher was “a member of the government in Nazi Germany” and to prove that that they were “loyal to the Nazis.”
But this unidentified teacher is now caught up in a propaganda swirl of his or her own.
April 12th, 2013
04:03 PM ET
By Sara Sidner, CNN
Jerusalem (CNN) - A group of women in Israel is again expressing outrage after police detained some of its members for doing two things they say should be perfectly normal and legal: praying out loud and wearing a prayer shawl at the holiest site for prayer in Judaism.
The women who were detained on Thursday are part of a group that calls itself Women of the Wall. For more than two decades, its members have been defying traditionalists and the Israeli government.
The women say they should be able to pray as they wish at the Western Wall and be given the same rights as the men who pray there. The idea - and trying to make it true by just doing it - has outraged some of the ultra-Orthodox who pray at the wall, where a partition separates men and women. FULL POST
April 12th, 2013
12:01 PM ET
By Sara Sidner, CNN
Sea of Galilee (CNN) – When I am visiting the United States and tell people I live in the Middle East I generally get one of two responses:
“Seriously? Isn’t it dangerous? Stay safe out there.”
Or some version of:
“Wow. There is so much Biblical history there. I have always dreamed about going to the Holy Land but doubt I’ll ever get the chance.”
I never thought I’d be able to give the latter this option for a visit.
April 4th, 2013
03:46 PM ET
(CNN)–Curator Michal Friedlander of the Jewish Museum in Berlin defends a controversial exhibition titled "Jew in a Box."
March 26th, 2013
12:31 PM ET
(CNN)– In the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Sha'ari, Joe Liebovitz explains why Jews burn bread for Passover.
March 25th, 2013
10:22 AM ET
By Kat Kinsman and Steve Kastenbaum, CNN
(CNN)–Plenty of traditional foods pack an emotional whallop, but few of them back it up with a sensory punch as strong as horseradish's. The pungent root is a key part of a Passover Seder plate (along with salt water-dipped vegetables, a shank bone, a hard boiled egg, a sweet paste of apples and nuts called charoset, and a bitter vegetable – often lettuce) and symbolizes the harsh lives of the Israelites before they were delivered from slavery in Egypt.
Growing horseradish is a tradition for the Schmitt family. Phillip Schmitt's grandfather moved the family's farming operation from New York's borough of Queens to the Eastern end of Long Island in 1929, under protest from his own father who couldn't believe that anyone would want to set up shop in that then-desolate region. Schmitt Family Farm found a permanent home in Riverhead, New York in the 1970s, and now Phillip and his son Matt grow 164 acres of greens (mostly spinach, collards and kale), herbs, beets and flowers – and a single acre of horseradish.FULL STORY
March 22nd, 2013
10:39 AM ET
By Kat Kinsman, CNN
(CNN)–All over the world, people gather to celebrate Passover – the holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt. For seven or eight days (depending on where you live), families and friends come together for festive seder meals packed with ritual foods and a few dietary restrictions (for instance, no leavened grains).
And while many traditions remain the same the world over, favorite regional recipes can bring communities closer together. Here, families from Israel, Estonia and India share a few of their favorites, courtesy of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, to make your celebration a little larger in spirit.
February 21st, 2013
09:31 AM ET
By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
Atlanta (CNN) – According to Jewish tradition, a boy becomes a man at 13, when he's called before his community to read from the Torah and become a bar mitzvah, meaning “son of the commandments.”
In the case of Daniel Blumen, who will make this rite of passage in May, this homestretch of childhood has suddenly become a viral event.
Rather than send out simple save-the-date cards or e-mail announcements, Daniel busted out and did something different. A fan of rap music, this only child and “clever little guy,” as described by his father, made a music video – for which he wrote most of his own lyrics – playing off Jermaine Dupri's “Welcome to Atlanta," featuring Ludacris. FULL POST
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team and frequent posts from religion scholar and author Stephen Prothero.