Friday, Oct. 03, 2008

Judaism 101 (Jokes included)

Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg readily admits that the more than 28,000 hits that he has gotten for his "Tallis 101" — an instructional video in which he describes how to put on a prayer shawl, or tallis, as well as "what it's about in Judaism and a few jokes thrown in" — vastly outnumbers the 100-person audience he gets for Saturday services at his Conservative temple near Skokie, Ill. Thousands have viewed his clips explaining everything from Jewish funeral practices to the high holy days. "We're in the marketplace of ideas with everyone else," he says of religious leaders. "And this [medium] puts us on equal footing. You can watch me, a Reform rabbi, a Muslim cleric, a Christian evangelical and a Unitarian, and it really opens up the learning in a huge way."