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General articles written by David, either on this site or other sites

Who’s Got Moshiach?

By Articles, Galus Australis One Comment

Below are two articles on messianism in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement: Simon Holloway argues that since the passing of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, messianism and fervour in the Chabad-Lubavitch movement have actually led them away from traditional Judaism. In contrast, David Werdiger argues that since the Rebbe’s death, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement has remade itself and continues to thrive, moving forward despite their profound loss. A New World Disorder: Messianism and Fervour in Chabad-Lubavitch by Simon Holloway In the 12th…

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Face-off: the Schools Debate

By Articles, Galus Australis One Comment

Earlier this week, we published an article by Almoni calling for the abandonment of the private school system. David Werdiger has written a strident reply. We present the two views, side-by-side: Almoni’s view: It is time to reconsider the rationale for not only Jewish schools, but all forms of private schooling in Australia which exist to support particular religious or ethnic boundaries as a guard against ‘assimilation’ or intermarriage.   This includes mainstream Protestant, Catholic, Islamic,…

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Obama’s Cairo Speech

By Blog 2 Comments

You’ve probably heard a lot about Barack Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week. Plenty was said before and after, and it may come to be a watershed moment in US-Muslim relations. Now some of you might’ve read the speech, or watched it (it’s quite long), but for those who haven’t (and those who have), here is an abridged version that will give you the gist of what all the fuss was…

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Voice of Inequity

By Blog 2 Comments

Jason Koutsoukis’s profile of Palestinian MP Haneen Zoubi’s fight for “equality” is so riddled with irony, I could barely contain myself. It starts from the subheading, “a female Palestinian MP in Israel’s Knesset”. Are there any female Palestinian MPs in either of the Palestinian governments in the West Bank or Gaza? In the former, perhaps. In the latter, the repressive Islamist regime of Hamas, most definitely not! The world claims that Israel should talk to…

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Jewish communal appeal?

By Blog No Comments

The topic of a Melbourne Jewish community appeal has been debated for several years now, and discussed at many levels and amongst different stakeholders. Fundraising poses huge challenges to not-for-profit organizations of all sizes, and while we often think of ways to make the system more efficient, more equitable, and with greater foresight, the proposed solutions aren’t always the panacea they are made out to be. The situation reminds me of a classic Chassidic story…

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To refer, or not to refer

By Blog One Comment

The test series about to begin between South Africa and Australia looms as being significant not just because the winner will end up as the world number one ranked cricket team. The introduction of the new referral system (also here) promises to add further intrigue to an already absorbing contest. Over the recent home series, the Australians struggled to come to terms with tactics for the batting power play that was used in the one-day…

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A fiery blame game

By Blog 2 Comments

The bushfires that have ravaged the state of Victoria are all the news here. Everyone is struck by the sheer magnitude of the loss: the loss of perhaps hundreds of innocent lives, the loss of some 1800 homes and families literally left with nothing, and the loss of huge parts of our beautiful countryside. It is hard to believe that entire towns have been wiped out. This is surely the greatest single loss we have…

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Jetstar scrapes the barrel

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I am totally blown away by Jetstar’s madness. This weekend, their online booking system will be down for an upgrade (see also here). For the whole weekend – from Friday afternoon to Monday morning! Anyone in IT will tell you that airline reservation systems are one of the classic “highly available” computer systems. This particularly applies to a customer-facing online booking system. These systems are the kind that have many servers, lots of redundant components,…

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Superbowl XLIII Preview

By Blog 4 Comments

For the last few years, there has been a two week break between the Championship games and the Superbowl. There might be a few reasons for this: to give players time to recover from injury, to allow for more preparation, or for still more interviews and media hype. I actually preferred the previous schedule, where Superbowl weekend and Australia Day weekend coincided, because here, the Superbowl is played on Monday at 10:30am. This year, I’ve…

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Backman’s Vitriol

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I am disgusted at the anti-Israel vitriol spewed forth by Michael Backman, and strangely hidden away in the business section of The Age (note: the article was subsequently removed by The Age from their web site, but can still be found here). According to his inverted world view, it seems the onus is upon Israel to “transform” the Palestinians from enemies to friends, and their fault if they are unable to. He thinks the entire…

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