Professor Foxy, Antony and the Johnsons at Shul, and Winning Chicken Soup

Things have been pretty busy at MJL this week, so I haven’t been able to blog about some of the best religion-related stories I read this week. And there have been some doozies. So here’s an abbreviated look at some of my favorites.

Over at Feministing they’ve started a new advice column called Ask Professor Foxy. Since I’m a Fox, I was bound to find this a great post, but it has merits other than sharing my last name. The couple that wrote in have never successfully had sex despite being married for 18 months. They were virgins until marriage for religious reasons and are having trouble figuring out what to do. Both the question and the answer are fantastic. Check them out. feministingright.gif

In the same vein, Time Out New York another advice column in which a man writes in about dating a woman who is shomer negiah, and wonders whether or not he can hold out until they get married. Also fascinating.

For those of us who have a hard time getting ourselves to shul on a regular basis, perhaps we’d be encouraged if our favorite bands happened to be playing non-religious concerts in the same buildings we go to for Bar Mitzvahs and awkward Kiddush conversations. The All Songs Considered blog tells me that Antony and the Johnsons, a great indie band, played at the Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington DC. You can listen to the entire concert online. Turns out the historic shul is a great venue for concerts. I hope they bring more bands to shul–that would definitely get me in the door on time.

This week we saw the release of a new wide ranging survey of American religion that found that the percentage of atheists has gone up in every single state.
“No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state,” the study’s authors said. Meanwhile, the number of mainline non-Catholic Christians has gone down, and so has the number of Jews who call themselves religiously observant.  Check out the survey here.

A guy named Michael Cohen won the “Better Than Your Bubby’s” chicken soup contest sponsored National Jewish Outreach Program with a recipe that includes English cucumber, eggplant, allspice, turmeric and cumin. Just after he won the prize (glory, recipe distributed as part of Shabbat Across America and a free trip to Israel) someone tried to set up with a nice Jewish single girl.

A Judaica scribe has found a Torah written in the Spanish calligraphic style before 1492. The scroll was probably written between 1272 and 1302, and could be connected to a famous Spanish scribe, Shem-Tob ben Abraham ibn Gaon. So far, it’s not clear who is going to purchase the Torah.

And finally, in a bizarre story out of Queens, a Jewish doctor proved that she was shomer Shabbat, except when it came to buying a spy camera to make sure the relative she had hired as a hit man to kill her husband would not turn on her. On Tuesday a jury found Mazoltuv Borukhova, and her cousin by marriage, Mikhail Mallayev, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy in the death of Daniel Malakov, Mazoltuv’s former husband. The religious acrobatics performed in this case are positively Talmud. Check it out.

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