October 27, 2019
Alan Jay Gerber ● The Jewish Star
In his 2011 book, “Intergalactic Judaism” (Urim Publications), Rabbi David Lister of the United Kingdom presents a Jewish view of space travel.
Much of the theological discussion in this book is based on the teachings of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch whose “advocacy that one sublimate secular learning and culture into opportunities to serve G-d … “has had a major influence on my life and work,” according to Rabbi Lister.
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November 5, 2018
Rabbi Ari Kahn • Explorations
Compassion and Healing
Jewish medical ethics is a robust field, which quickly grows as the medical and scientific inquiry advances. While many volumes have been written on Jewish medical ethics, Jason Weiner’s Jewish Guide to Practical Medical Decision-Making is unique. Rabbi Weiner has written an excellent and important work from a perspective unlike others who have addressed this topic. While previous studies have been published by experts in Halacha, or experts in medicine, or experts in ethics. Rabbi Weiner may, in fact, be all of the these, but first and foremost he is a chaplain; he works in a hospital, and deals with patients on a daily basis. While I have studied, taught, and even given psak(halachic rulings) in many of the areas discussed in this book, my involvement is often theoretical. Reading actual cases, and learning from Rabbi Weiner’s experience, sensitivity, and wisdom, is both instructive and invaluable.
One powerful example begins on p.93: Rabbi Weiner describes his interaction with the parents of a child suffering from what turned out to be a terminal illness. These parents asked if they were permitted to pray for their son’s recovery, and Rabbi Weiner answered in the affirmative. When the illness took their son’s life, the devastated parents criticized the rabbi for allowing them to foster false hope.
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June 3, 2012
The Oxford University and Vatican libraries are to jointly digitise 1.5m pages of ancient texts and make them available free online.
The libraries said the digitised collections will centre on three subject areas: Greek manuscripts, 15th-century printed books and Hebrew manuscripts and early printed books.
The areas have been chosen for the strength of the collections in both libraries and their importance for scholarship in their respective fields.
With approximately two-thirds of the material coming from the Vaticanand the remainder from Oxford University’s Bodleian libraries, the digitisation effort will also benefit scholars by uniting materials that have been dispersed between the collections for centuries.
“Transforming these ancient texts and images into digital form helps transcend the limitations of time and space which have in the past restricted access to knowledge,” Sarah Thomas, director of the Bodleian Libraries, said on Thursday.
“Scholars will be able to interrogate these documents in fresh approaches as a result of their online availability.”
The initiative has been made possible by a £2m award from the Polonsky Foundation.
“The service to humanity which the Vatican library has accomplished over almost six centuries, by preserving its cultural treasures and making them available to readers, finds here a new avenue which confirms and amplifies its universal vocation through the use of new tools, thanks to the generosity of the Polonsky Foundation and to the sharing of expertise with the Bodleian libraries,” Holy See librarian Cardinal Raffaele Farina said.
The original article appeared in The Guardian.