BETHLEHEM, West Bank (RNS) “We estimate that in the past dozen years at least 3,000 babies have been born to mothers who prayed in the grotto,” said the Franciscan brother who guards it.
Author Archives: Michele Chabin
About Michele Chabin
RNS Middle East correspondent Michele Chabin has covered events in the region for 18 years. In addition to her work at RNS, Chabin writes regularly for the New York Jewish Week and National Catholic Register and is a contributor to USA Today and numerous other publications. She has won several awards from the American Jewish Press Association for Jewish journalism (including one for a first-hand account of the evacuation of Jewish, Muslim and Christian residents from war-torn Sarajevo) as well as first-place honors from the Catholic Press Association. A graduate of Brandeis University, Chabin was awarded a British Chevening Scholarship and Press Fellowship at Cambridge University, England. The home she shared during the fellowship contained a Hindu, a Sikh, two Muslims, a Jew, an Orthodox Christian and a Catholic, “a harmony that deepened my love for religion-based reporting,” she says.
JERUSALEM (RNS) For decades, the site’s sole menorah has been lit on the men’s side of the wall, a fact that has angered Israeli and American women’s rights activists.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Until now, the burial societies in Israel have ignored 2013 directives from the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the attorney general banning gender segregation in cemeteries.
JERUSALEM (RNS) The incident was the latest violent event in the tense city where relations between Arabs and Jews have been deteriorating for months over a contested shrine holy to both Jews and Muslims.
JERUSALEM (RNS) The resolution should enable many of the 364,000 Israelis who are not Jewish to find Orthodox rabbis more welcoming than the 33 rabbis picked by the rabbinate to head conversion courts.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Because Jewish law requires witnesses to conversions to be above reproach, some have questioned whether the conversions that accused Rabbi Barry Freundel oversaw were illegitimate.
JERUSALEM (RNS) Bar mitzvah boys are encouraged to read from the Torah at the Western Wall, but the state-supported Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which is run by Israel’s Orthodox establishment, prohibits girls and women from doing so.
JERUSALEM (RNS) In her Change.org petition, which had more than 2,300 signatures, a Chicago woman asks El Al why its staff permits female passengers “to be bullied, harassed, and intimidated into switching seats for which they rightfully paid.”
JERUSALEM (RNS) The sabbatical-year prohibitions include sowing, planting, pruning, reaping, harvesting and improving the land. But many Jews have found loopholes and workarounds.