WEEK IN RELIGION

The Israeli government recently approved a bill into law that defines Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people.” On July 19, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) passed the bill in a 62-55 vote despite differing opinions over the relies and democratic character of the country. The bill states that Jerusalem is the “united” capital of Israel and recognizes the Jewish Shabbat as the official day of rest. The law will allow non-Jews to observe their own Sabbath. Israel’s Independence Day is now an official holiday with the passing of the bill and Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day have been recognized as days of mourning. Although the law cements day-to-day practices, it also states that the Jewish people “have an exclusive right to national self-determination.” The self-determination clause makes Israel’s vow to not allow Palestinian descendants of refugees the ability to settle en masse, which could make Jews a minority in the Jewish state, according to government officials.

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STUDY SAYS

Americans divided on Trump’s Supreme Court pick

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, Americans are divided on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy’s U.S. Supreme Court seat. Overall, 41 percent think the U.S. senate should confirm Kanvanaugh, while 36 percent said they should not.

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GOOD BOOK?

“Proud: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream” by Ibtihaj Muhammad and Lori Tharps

Growing up in New Jersey as the only African American Muslim in hijab in town, at school, and on the playing fields, Ibtihaj Muhammad always had to find her own way. When she discovered fencing, a sport traditionally reserved for the wealthy and white, once again she had to defy expectations and make a place for herself in a sport she grew to love. Even though Ibtihaj would start fencing later than most, at 13-years-old her talent was undeniable. From winning state championships with her high school team to three-time All-America selections at Duke University, Ibtihaj was poised for success, but the fencing community wasn’t ready to welcome her with open arms.

— Hachette Books

THE WORD

cantor: In Judaism, a synagogue official who leads the musical part of a service.

— ReligionStylebook.com

RELIGION AROUND THE WORLD

According to the CIA World Factbook, the religious makeup of Hong Kong is:

— Buddhist or Taoist: 27.9 percent

— Protestant: 6.7 percent

— Roman Catholic: 5.3 percent

— Muslim: 4.2 percent

— Hindu: 1.4 percent

— Sikh: 0.2 percent

— Other: 54.3 percent

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