Friday, May 02, 2008

Interesting Posts and Articles #26

  1. Orson Scott Card on JK Rowlings lawsuit:
    "Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender's Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.
    A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.

    This paragraph lists only most prominent similarities between Ender's Game and the Harry Potter series. My book was published in England years before Rowling began writing about Harry Potter. Rowling was known to be reading widely in speculative fiction during the era after the publication of my book."
  2. Some have a custom to make shlissel challah this shabbos. See this post at The Muqata, and my post on it from last year.
  3. As Hirhurim notes, Judith Rosenbaum, director of Jewish Education for the Jewish Women's Archive, has a letter in the Jewish Week blasting the silly (and it is indeed silly) men's Seder:
    Ain reinforces the alarmist claims that Judaism has been “feminized.”
    As a historian, I find this claim maddeningly familiar. A similar call for alarm has been heard in every generation since the 19th century.
    What bothers me even more than the historical ignorance of these claims is their underlying misogyny, which this article fails to address. If men are “alienated” from Jewish life by the increasing presence and participation of women, it is due to a lingering sexism that devalues anything in which women are involved.
    She may be right that the claim Judaism has been "feminized" appears in every generation since the 19th century. I don't know anything about this topic, and she is surely in a better position to know. Though she does not define what "feminized means."

    What I think is different is not the presence of women participating, but rather the presence of women in leadership positions who freely accuse men of "lingering sexism" as a cause for alienation, and of "underlying misogyny." In other words, not Judaism incorporating and promoting the feminine, but rather incorporating and promoting the radical feminist ideology. Blasting patriarchal institutions, and all that, and making that formal Judaism is going to drive men away. I don't think that this is something that has been happening since the 19 century. But then, maybe the claim is that it is just the feminization that is driving men away.
  4. Follow-up to KosherVillage, mentioned by ARPEH. It is exactly as I suspected. I don't this was a scam at all. Perhaps some inept marketing.
  5. I don't agree with his positions, and many of the things he says in this post, but take note of this portion of a post on MysticalPaths:
    The Israel Internal Security Service, the Shabak, has interrogated me nightly, all night, every night, ALL WEEK, on the revolution that Breslov and the Tzaddik of Meah Shearim are setting up. The one called Moshiach and the Geulah.

    My house is literally being watched, my phone has literally been tapped.


    My friends, I'm asking for your help. First, if you don't hear that I'm safe, published here at least once a week, please assume I'm not. I have a wife and children, I'd like to be around to take care of them.

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