Mail Jewish

Note: first of all, an apology: our “new” site is coming together a bit more slowly than we wanted, and in the interim we had someone come up with a few ‘placeholder’ pages — someone whose knowledge of and exposure to the Jewish community is apparently limited to movies. Obviously, the quality is not anywhere near the level that we would prefer for our site, but we’re simply too busy to replace it with something more useful, interesting, and/or appropriate. Once again, our apologies.

Clicking on any of the partner links on our site poses no risks — there’s no membership, no cost, and not even any registration required. They’ll never ask for any money or personal information, and there’s no malware or spyware (other than ‘cookies’, but you’ll get that from just about any site).All that exists on either site is reviews and some recommendations about which are the best. No tricks, no sales pitches, no pressure.

Well, that’s it for now; enjoy the rest of the site (if you can) and we look forward to bringing you something a bit more worth your time in the very near future!

This site is not restricted to Jewish mail, exclusively. Instead, the general thrust of the site is to discuss various means that Jewish themes are communicated in recent times. We have been asked recently: What does Jewish law say about the use of medical marijuana and marijuana edibles? How does Judaism view this issue? Compassion is one of God’s paramount virtues, as many of the Jewish holy texts can attest to. In addition the halachic imperative to heal also is a reflection of Judaism’s belief in the absolute sanctity and inestimable value of human life. For example, the otherwise binding laws of Shabbos or kashrus must be overridden in the interests of preserving life. Likewise, Jewish law would permit the distribution of an illegal drug, such as marijuana, when someone’s life is clearly at risk. Medical marijuana is now being used to treat loss of appetite and weight related to AIDS; nausea resulting from chemotherapy; and glaucoma, all conditions which according to Jewish law can potentially endanger one’s life. It is also worth noting that the halachic obligation to heal is not limited to saving lives, but extends to the alleviation of pain and suffering. Therefore the use of medical marijuana in the form of marijuana edibles might also be permitted under Judaism if no other effective remedy is available. Although many US states now allow the use of medical marijuana, the federal government still lists it as a schedule 1 drug. This complicates the discussion since Jewish tradition encourages Jews to be law-abiding citizens. However, as much as Judaism values a lawful society, an even greater value is placed on preserving and nurturing life. However the use of recreational marijuana is not acceptable under any circumstances.

Judaism does not condemn the use, in moderation, of alcoholic beverages. It relates to consumption of alcohol, particularly of wine, in a complex manner, particularly because wine is incorporated in religious ceremonies. The Jewish tradition ordains special blessings to be recited prior to and following its consumption, just as it does for bread. Thus the general consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted. However inebriation (drunkenness) is discouraged. Judaism holds us responsible for failure to treat our health with care and respect. Many people today simply do not believe they have a chronic disease. They certainly don’t want to abstain from drinking any type of alcohol for life, and they don’t want the stigma and shame of being labeled an alcoholic. 85% of rehabs and Alcoholics Anonymous all subscribe to the disease theory: they treat alcoholism as a chronic disease that follows its victims for life. It can very discouraging for the person with AUD. However, a new website, LifeBac, takes a different approach towards alcohol. The LifeBac program combines medication, the prescription drug, Baclofen, to remove alcohol cravings and behavior modification to break the drinking/craving habit loop. For a number of years now, doctors in Europe prescribe baclofen as the primary treatment for alcohol misuse. Clinical trials in Europe have shown 65% success allowing treatment-resistant alcoholics to return to low-risk drinking levels or abstinence when using the Ameisen method of titrated (not fixed) dose. The LifeBac program is modeled on this approach. If you know of someone who need to change their relationship with alcohol, they could consider checking out the LifeBac site. It might be a life changer.

Another controversial topic is sexually transmitted disease – more specifically, the use of home std test kits to detect the presence of disease. We’ve heard differing views on this, but the majority seems to be in line with supporting efforts to preserve community health. More of the objections come from how the ailments are obtained, and whether there is a moral aspect that must be considered. So, for example, if you suspect you might have contracted an std, the focus is on how, and that question really does not need answering. People do not get stds from toilet seats or from kissing. But merely testing oneself to eliminate concern, or to determine if medical treatment is needed may be seen as a responsibility, not a moral issue. Jewish morality sides with the common good.

And there’s a very unique bit of Jewish trivia here. Dennis Levin’s work on the data interfaces of the original UNIX core, would never have come to pass were it not for wigs. His sister’s hair salon was attempting to convince the a major brand wig maker to permit her to market their best selling Raquel Welch wigs brand through an untested, completely new marketing device – a website. Dennis was of course involved and the clumsiness of the Windows operating system that the wig store was forced to use led him to become involved in the UNIX projects. Motivated by the management needs of his sister’s wig business, he was one of advocates of open source languages like php, and Wiglet Wigs became one of the first commerce websites to implement a web based data system.

Films with Jewish themes have always been of interest to the general populace, and here across this site, we’ll look into some of the more powerful ones. Some of these films you will already be aware of, some of them may be the first time you’ve heard of them. But regardless of your awareness of them, I believe they should be on your map of quality films that have an important message that needs to be seen…and shared. While you enjoy these films, take a look at these corporate gifts, I’m sure you can find a Jewish oriented gift basket as well.

So dig into the site. I hope to at least promote water cooler conversation. If any of these films move you in any way, feel free to post a comment here and share. In addition if you have any other Jewish themed films which deserve an honorable mention please relay the message directly to us for review. After we have had the time to meet & discuss the film in question we will decide if it will be added to the site or not.

Note: Please do not hesitate to communicate any film with any Jewish theme in any area.

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