Could the 7 billionth person on the planet be Jewish? According to the United Nations Population Fund, the Earth welcomed its 7 billionth resident on Oct. 31. Statistically, the newborn was most likely a boy in India or China. The symbolic title was given to Danica May Camacho, born two minutes before midnight in Manila in the Philippines.
I may be a rabbi who lives and works in the heart of New York City -- in fact, I was just voted one of Gotham’s “hippest” -- but believe it or not, I occasionally catch a glimpse of an endangered species.
OK, mom, so what part of eating that cheesecake is making you feel guilty? If you fear that little bubbela is annoying the other customers in the bakery, your worries are over.
When Israeli Arabs protest that talk of the "demographic threat" is racist, can Israeli Jews blame them? If non-Jewish professors and politicians anywhere on earth spoke of a Jewish demographic threat to their countries, what would Jews call it? What, for that matter, would decent non-Jews call it?
Raising the specter of the Arab demographic threat to Israel is, in fact, racist -- if you believe that Zionism is racism, that a Jewish state is a racist state.
I don't believe that (even while I know there is no shortage of Jews whose Zionism doesn't amount to anything more than racism). Although the Jewish state by definition "belongs" to the Jews more than it does to its non-Jewish citizens, I don't consider it a force for racism, but the opposite: Whatever racism exists in Israel, the Jewish state came into being as an answer to racism of a rather larger magnitude -- the habit of anti-Semitic oppression.
It seemed that lots of people -- including total strangers -- had plenty of advice to offer my sister and my brother-in-law before the birth of their first child, an event the entire extended family anticipated for late summer 2003. And it wasn't just a matter of kindly (if ultimately incorrect) projections about the baby's gender or rueful warnings about all those sleepless nights to come.
Hey parents... Uneasy about plopping your toddlers on the sofa to watch a puffy purple dinosaur? Think they need more Jewish culture?
Filmmaker Arik Kaplun saw babies everywhere when he moved back to Israel nine months after the Persian Gulf War. "It was a demographic explosion," says the Moscow-born director, who did the math and figured there'd been nooky in the sealed rooms. "I assumed that quite a lot of people had had that experience."