NEWS FEATURE: Madonna, Other Celebrities Promote `Jewish’ Kabbalah

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Singing icon Madonna, who lately refers to herself by the Hebrew name Esther, publicly touts her devotion to Kabbalah, a mystical Jewish philosophy. But traditional Orthodox Jewish leaders say this popular spirituality is a religious imposter. With fashionable “red string” bracelets said to ward off evil, a book that […]

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NEWS FEATURE: Alternative Jewish Minyans Promote Equality but Keep Tradition

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) When Jill Levy, 28, stepped off the plane three years ago after studying in Israel, the first place she went was Central Park for a Friday evening service at Kehilat Hadar, a vibrant alternative prayer community in New York City. Hadar, as it is known, is one of a […]

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COMMENTARY: The Ethereal Girl’s Cheap Grace

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) As Madonna soared out of Israel on her private jet earlier this week, she left behind her trademark trail of controversy and chaos. Secular Israelis were intoxicated by her five-day trip to the Holy Land; Orthodox Jews were repulsed. Palestinians protested. And Israeli police arrested two of her brawling […]

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NEWS FEATURE: Ministries Care for Hurricane Caregivers

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) In the wake of Hurricane Ivan, Pastor Lloyd Stilley of Gulf Shores, Ala., helps members of his congregation pick through rubble and voices thanks that felled trees landed in his yard instead of on his house. What he has not done is tend to his emotional health. “To be […]

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NEWS STORY: Jewish and Muslim Voters Motivated by More Than Middle East

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) If the Nov. 2 presidential election is as close as the 2000 election was, Jewish and Muslim groups could determine the outcome in some states. So it’s no surprise that the campaigns are courting these religious groups seemingly at odds with each other. What may be a surprise is […]

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COMMENTARY: Sukkot, a Weeklong Jewish Holiday, Teaches Joy in the Darkness

c. 2004 Religion News Service (Judy Gruen is a feature writer and humorist. Read more of her columns on http://www.judygruen.com.) (UNDATED) One evening three years ago, I sat alone at my mother’s dining room table, ushering in the Sabbath by singing a traditional hymn. Meanwhile, my mother slept in the next room, terminal cancer ravaging […]

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NEWS STORY: Powell Adds Saudi Arabia to Religious Freedom Watchlist

c. 2004 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ The U.S. State Department on Wednesday (Sept. 15) for the first time included Saudi Arabia on a list of eight “countries of particular concern” for not allowing religious freedom, a potential stumbling block for relations between the United States and its Persian Gulf ally. The department’s sixth annual […]

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RNS Weekly Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Poll: Teens More Likely to Ask Friends Than Clergy for Ethics Advice (RNS) Teens are far more likely to seek out their friends for help with ethical decisions than to ask a member of the clergy, a poll shows. Eighty-three percent of teens said they would turn to their friends […]

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NEWS STORY: Slavery Lingers in Mauritania

c. 2004 Religion News Service NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania _ In the rigid caste system of her Kunta tribe, Ghoive Mint Sabahr knew her place. From dawn to dusk, she tended cattle and goats on the sandy plains of central Mauritania. School was a luxury for privileged children. Once a year, her owners _ nomadic Moors belonging […]

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RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Imam of Ohio’s Largest Mosque Sentenced for Lying About Jihadist Group AKRON, Ohio (RNS) Fawaz Damra, called an interfaith peacemaker by some and a fund-raiser for terrorists by others, has been sentenced by a federal judge for lying on his immigration papers. The leader of Ohio’s largest mosque was sentenced […]

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