Your daily spiel for Tuesday, April 19

Halachic authority in Orthodox community says it's ok to consume marijuana during Passover FILE PHOTO
Halachic authority in Orthodox community says it's ok to consume marijuana during Passover FILE PHOTO

Your Daily Spiel is The CJN‘s daily roundup of trending stories in the Jewish world


The Jewish Defence League of Canada is launching a Calgary chapter to fight against ‘rabid Jew-hatred’ and anti-Semitism. The group’s national director Meir Weinstein said that Calgary needs a JDL presence, referring to an incident in July 2014, during the Israeli offensive in Gaza, when hundreds of pro-Palestinian supporters gathered outside Calgary City Hall and members of a family who came to show their support for Israel were assaulted.

Protestors arrive at anti-Israel rally in Calgary, August 2014 FILE PHOTO
Protestors arrive at anti-Israel rally in Calgary, August 2014 FILE PHOTO

More than 150 people came out this weekend to break ground and lay the cornerstone for Chabad’s $9.5-million Bayview Centre for Jewish Life in Toronto. The new building will house a mikvah, nursery, Hebrew schools and be available for life-cycle events.


Hillary Clinton linked her policies to the “ancient lessons” of Passover in an essay sent to Jewish media yesterday (in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, no less). “I didn’t grow up celebrating Pesach. But over the years, I’ve attended seders where I was inspired by the remarkable story told in the Haggadah,” she said.

U.S. vice president Joe Biden called out Benjamin Netanyahu for moving Israel in the “wrong direction” in an address to left-wing Jewish organization J Street. “I firmly believe that the actions that Israel’s government has taken over the past several years — the steady and systematic expansion of settlements, the legalization of outposts, land seizures — they’re moving us and more importantly they’re moving Israel in the wrong direction,” Biden said.

Meanwhile, U.S. president Barack Obama has announced that he’ll be hosting a Passover seder (albeit a week after the holiday starts, since the president will be travelling through Saudi Arabia at the time). Who else thinks he should just host the seder there? It certainly would be a showing of solidarity with the Jewish people of the Middle East.


A 12-year-old Israeli girl discovered an ancient Egyptian amulet believed to be at least 3,200 years old, an official said Tuesday. The amulet was discovered in the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an effort to locate artifacts from the biblical era. The pendant bears the name of the Egyptian ruler Thutmose III.


After yesterday’s bus bombing in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas condemned “all forms of terrorism” during his visit to Germany. After meeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Abbas told reporters that Palestinians “want to achieve an end to the occupation and the building of settlements through diplomatic means, and through peaceful resistance by the Palestinian people.”

Thousands of Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to support the ‘Hebron shooter’ now identified as 19-year-old Elor Azarya, a day after he was charged with manslaughter.

Here’s good news for those of you who like to get inebriated during Passover: an Israeli has created a gluten-free beer that will go perfectly with matzah, while Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a halachic authority in the Orthodox community, says that marijuana is kosher for Passover and can be eaten, or smoked. Your pick.


Italian soccer club Juventus has been punished after its fans chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a recent game.

So apparently a Polish man that serves as his city’s rabbi is not actually a rabbi, nor does he speak Hebrew, have a basic understanding of Jewish customs, or had even visited Israel. The ‘rabbi’ said he was from Haifa and had a son in the IDF. Last week he finally admitted that his identity is a sham.


If you still haven’t seen Julia Louis-Dreyfus reprise her role as Elaine Benes in the SNL debate sketch that (again) featured her former colleague Larry David as Bernie Sanders, then get on that already. Friends’ own Rachel Green also makes a cameo.

A video of a young Mark Zuckerberg talking about the future of ‘The Facebook’ (while drinking a red cup filled with what I assume is beer) has resurfaced and is going viral online.

Doris Roberts, the beloved actor who played Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond, has died. She was 90 years young.

Jewish super-director J.J. Abrams is reuniting with his Star Wars pal Daisy Ridley for an adaptation of a 2003 Israeli film called All I’ve Got. Abrams’ version of the film will be dubbed Kolma, and follows a woman who passes away but is given a second chance at life.

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