Tag Archives: Judaism

New Gospel Speaks of Jesus’ Wife



The Gospel of Jesus' Wife, Courtesy of Martin G. Conde

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief Last Modified: 15:42 PM EDT, 19 September 2012 On Tuesday, 18 September 2012, Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts announced the existence of a fourth-century fragment that alludes to Jesus being married. The announcement contradicts the assertion which has been assiduously advanced by the Catholic […]

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Happy Ethiopian New Year 2012



Enkutatash Card 2012

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief Last Modified: 00:48 AM EDT, 7 September 2012 ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – As we near the end of the religious year for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and Jews, both communities are welcoming the New Year on September 11th and September 16th respectively. As we have every year, we once again honor our readers […]

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Feast, Fete, Dead Guests



Famadihana, Dancing with the Dead, Madagascar, Photo by Distrait 1979

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-Chief Last Modified: 22:24 PM EDT, 16 March 2012 AMBOHIMIRARY, Madagascar — When people think of dancing with the dead, they usually picture the New Orleans Carnival pre-Hurricane Katrina. Carnival in that city was an admixture of ghosts, ghouls, scantily clad women and men dancing through aged alleys full of shops selling haints, […]

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Melkam Gena | Ethiopian Christmas 2011


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Ethiopian Tapestry 2

The Ethiopian church places a heavier emphasis on Old Testament teachings than one might find in any of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, and its followers adhere to certain practices that one finds in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered. Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Rabbinical Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat.

Women are prohibited from entering the church during menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, per 1 Cor. 11. As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). (Women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in church houses officially is common to some Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christians, as well as many conservative Protestant and Anabaptist traditions; it also is the rule in some non-Christian religions, Islam and Orthodox Judaism among them.) Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Christmas is a public holiday in Ethiopia, and on Christmas Eve’s night (Christmas Eve is on January 6, Christmas on January 7), Christian priests carry a procession through town carrying umbrellas with fancy decorations. (Christmas is called Ganna in Ethiopia) Then the procession finally ends at local churches where Christmas mass is held. (Christmas mass can also be held on Christmas morning). Then on Christmas morning, the people open presents and then they play outdoor sports (that are native to Africa) to celebrate. Usually the wealthy shares a medium-sized feast with the poor and a large feast with their family and friends.

Dishes include Doro Wat and Injera. Most people usually put up decorations that symbolize something relating to Christmas, like a male infant to represent the birth of Christ, or a small Christmas tree to represent Christmas decorations. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Friendship? Palestine and Israel…..


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Mona Sbouh and Yaara Tal, 'Unlikely Friends', Photo Courtesy of RNW

“A fresh start is nearly impossible wherever there’s a history of violence.” Radio Netherlands Worldwide began the new year with a “program that shows people around the world can make new beginnings with old enemies. Stories include: a Palestinian and an Israeli teenager who overcame their fears to become best friends; a Muslim and a Hindu filmmaker whose relationship was tested and strengthened while working in conflict-torn Kashmir; a man in Zimbabwe who now preaches against the intertribal violence he once took part in. We also feature an essay from Sri Lanka about overcoming caste divisions, and another from a survivor of Sarajevo with her reflections on the war crimes trial of Radovan Karadzic.” Source: The State We’re In, 2 January 2010

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