Five for Friday: Jewish Intermarriage, Eight-Minute House, Sterilizing Inmates

CHICAGO, IL (July 21, 2017) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

Is Intermarriage Destroying American Judaism?

A small but vocal growing number of rabbis in the Conservative movement are calling for an end to the prohibition of marriage between Jews and non-Jews. The denomination is less traditional than Orthodox Judaism but more traditional than the Reform and Reconstructionist movements, both of which allow their rabbis to decide the intermarriage question for themselves.

From the article: “The question of whether Jews should be able to marry non-Jews has been a barely contained crisis for roughly as long as there have been Jews in America. The issue picks at the religion’s most sensitive scabs: Fears of assimilation mix with anxiety that Judaism is becoming irrelevant. The American traditions of self-determination and acceptance clash with Judaism’s ancient legal code. And calls for fidelity to Jewish tradition can seem hollow in the face of a young couple hoping to stand together under the chuppah, or Jewish marriage canopy.”

Self-Deploying Building Can Deploy in Eight Minutes

The owner of the structure just presses a button and the house unfolds using a counterbalance system. When the owners want to move it, they just press the button, and the structure folds up.

Ten-Fold Engineering, a housing startup based in the United Kingdom, says the structure costs $130,000. A new HGTV series can’t be far behind.

From the article: “The buildings each measure approximately 689-square-feet, and could have a variety of uses, from medical clinics to offices to camping shelters.”

The World’s Plastic Waste Could Bury Manhattan Two Miles Deep

The amount of plastic people around the world use and throw away continues to grow—and so does the threat to the environment. An official from a U.S. trade group says, however, that the plastics industry is working to develop more recyclable plastics but for now, plastics are still better for the environment than other containers such as glass or aluminum.

From the article: “(Study authors) calculated that of the 9.1 billion tons made (since 1950), nearly 7 billion tons are no longer used. Only 9 percent got recycled and another 12 percent was incinerated, leaving 5.5 billion tons of plastic waste on land and in water.”

White County Inmates Given Reduced Jail Time If They Get a Vasectomy

A local judge in White County, Tennessee, has signed a standing order that county inmates can have 30 days automatically shaved off their sentence if they agree to participate in birth control procedures done free of charge. Women agree to have Nexplanon implants, which helps prevent pregnancies for up to four years, and men are given vasectomies. The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups are challenging the practice as unconstitutional.

From the article: “I hope to encourage them to take personal responsibility and give them a chance, when they do get out, to not to be burdened with children. This gives them a chance to get on their feet and make something of themselves,” General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield said in an interview.

PCA Pastor Explores What Tattoos Say About the Self and the Soul

And you thought a tattoo was just a tattoo. After reading this story about what a Presbyterian pastor learned interviewing 300 people about their tattoos, check out The Covenant Companion article in which Covenanters share the meaning behind their tattoos.

From the article: (Allan) Dayhoff believes that “the subconscious, or the image of God, is speaking through the tattoo. The human soul asks three questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? And what happens after I die? Tattoos are asking those things.”

 

 

 

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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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