Rabbi Yaacov Israel Ifargan is known as the 'X-ray' rabbi for what his followers say is his ability to "see right through" a person. According to <em>Forbes</em> in Israel, he is worth about $23 million, which makes him the country's sixth-richest rabbi.
Credit Tsafrir Abayov / AP
Ifargan, right, sits next to businessman Nochi Dankner, center, at an annual gala in Netivot, Israel, that honors the rabbi.
Over the past year, Israelis have taken to the streets to protest the country's high cost of living. They've also directed their anger at a small group of business moguls who have used their close ties to government officials to gain control of large chunks of the Israeli economy.
Now, the Israeli edition of Forbes magazine has shed light on a surprising category of Israelis who have quietly also climbed to the top rung of society: multimillionaire rabbis.
In the middle of Charlotte, N.C.'s toniest historic neighborhood, a pond in a local park has become the city's unlikely fishing hole.
Many residents consider Freedom Park one of the city's prettiest, and when summer arrives the fishermen come out, hoping to catch "the big one."
A tiny bream wriggles on the end of 11-year-old Ciarra Carella's line. She's fishing with a piece of hotdog, her line dangling off the edge of a lovely stone bridge. It's a popular spot for wedding photos and for bringing your kids to feed the ducks.
As fighting between the Syrian military and rebel fighters rages, concerns are growing about how the regime of President Bashar Assad might react if it becomes convinced it's about to lose power.
One theory involves the establishment of a breakaway region dominated by Syria's Alawite minority — which includes the Assad family — in the northwestern coastal mountains. Analysts say this would be a disaster both for Assad and the region, but it can't be completely ruled out.
Democrats are on the path to including an endorsement of same-sex marriage for the first time in their official party platform.
NPR's Ari Shapiro reported Monday that the proposal has made it through an important Democratic committee.
The 15 Democrats who serve on the party's platform drafting committee voted unanimously to endorse same-sex marriage in the party's official agenda, says Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who serves on the committee.
In a hotel ballroom in New York City, a couple hundred flu researchers watched with interest Monday as a government official ran down a list of seven kinds of experiments that could raise special security risks.
The official noted that one item on the list was any experiment that could make an infectious agent more transmissible, or contagious. "It wouldn't take long for this audience to come up with an example of that," he noted wryly.
Yannick Agnel of France has won the 200m men's freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics, beating a field that included American Ryan Lochte and German world record holder Paul Biedermann. Sun Yang of China and and Tae-Hwan Park of South Korea finished with identical times of 1:44.93 — which means that both of them will receive silver medals.
We'll be updating this post with more results from today's action.
Fortune calls it "the patent trial of the century." And based on money alone, it might as well be: Apple and Samsung are accusing each other of infringement. Samsung wants higher royalties on some technology and Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages.
A jury will decide which, if any, company is right. With jury selection, Reuters reports the trial begins today in San Jose, Calif.
Boomers, New York Times columnist Bill Keller has a message for you: It's time to bite the bullet and cut spending on Social Security and Medicare. In an op-ed, Keller writes, "It's not our fault that there are a lot of us, but we have resisted any move to fix the system."
Calls continue for boycotts of Chick-fil-A, while supporters are organizing a national "buycott." But Chick-fil-A is far from the only business to incorporate political or religious values into their business — or to stumble or jump into the culture wars in the process.
In college, study of American history is often broken down into two chunks. Professors pick a date to divide time in two: 1865, after the Civil War, say, or 1900, because it looks good. So for those who teach courses on the first half, their purview is fairly well defined.
Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:22 pm
James Holmes, the former neuroscience student accused of killing 12 people and injuring 58 others in the Colorado movie theater massacre, has been formally charged with 24 counts of murder. The case will likely involve questions about Holmes' psychiatric condition and competency to stand trial.
Originally published on Tue July 31, 2012 12:48 pm
An outbreak of the Ebola virus has emerged in western Uganda.
Twenty cases were reported by the World Health Organization yesterday. At least 14 people have died. The number of Ebola infections is expected to rise in the next few days, as more patients are admitted to hospitals.
The outbreak began in a rural district of Uganda about 125 miles west of the Uganda capital, Kampala.
U.S. gymnast John Orozco runs through his pommel horse routine, in the Olympic men's team final at the 02 North Greenwich Arena in London. The Americans fell short of the promise they established in qualifying rounds.
Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 12:52 pm
The U.S. men's gymnastics team had an excellent day of qualifying this weekend, putting it in first place entering today's team finals. But the Americans struggled in the final, which does not carry points over from the earlier rounds.
Update at 2:12 p.m. EDT: The U.S. team has taken fifth place in the competition, despite early struggles that put them in last place. Great Britain surged to win the silver medal behind China — but Japan is reportedly now disputing the score one of its gymnasts received on the pommel horse.
In recent years, the Chicago-based R&B singer R. Kelly has alternated between elaborate ballads and and the more erotic collection of songs and videos for his series Trapped In The Closet. His new album, Write Me Back, may be relatively chaste in its sentiments, but it's by no means without passion.
You'll probably recognize many of the women featured in the new HBO documentary About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now.They are some of the most famous and photographed models from the 1950s through the 1980s. Carol Alt and Beverly Johnson are two of the supermodels featured in the film. They are joined by director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders to talk with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about growing up — and growing older — in an industry obsessed with youth.
Actress Lupe Ontiveros died Thursday of cancer at the age of 69. She was most famous for her role in the 1997 film Selena, but Ontiveros also acted with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, played a strict mother in the independent film Real Women Have Curves and had a recurring role in the television series Desperate Housewives.
Prosecutors in Colorado today charged James Holmes with 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder in the July 20 deaths of 12 people and wounding of 58 during a shooting rampage at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora.
Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 11:52 am
It's a diagnosis nobody in grad school would ever expect.
Arijit Guha, who's working on a doctorate at Arizona State, felt sick after coming back from a trip to India in early 2011. His severe stomach pain, which he thought was probably from a bug he caught on the journey, turned out to be caused by colon cancer. He was 30.
Genealogists at Ancestry.com have two surprises for us today: After years of studying President Obama's family tree, they have concluded that he was likely John Punch's 11th great-grandson. Punch is considered the first documented American slave.
The second surprise: The experts connected President Obama to Punch not through his African father, but through his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was white.
In a mostly empty Olympic Stadium, Austin Playfoot lights the Olympic cauldron Monday morning. The cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved to one end of the stadium. Click the enlargement to see a close-up view.
Just when the discussion over the London Olympics' opening ceremony was finally being overshadowed by actual sporting events at the Summer Games, news emerges Monday that the Olympic cauldron was extinguished Sunday night, so it could be moved.
Voter I.D. laws have been hotly debated this election season. Now, a Pennsylvania case is challenging that state's new Voter I.D. law. The Justice Department also announced that it will investigate whether the law is discriminatory. Host Michel Martin speaks with Columbia Law Professor Nathan Persily for more on the case.
Judo is a sport of leverage, strength, tactics and cunning. These attributes can appear to the uninitiated to be two people attempting to grab each other, without success, for five minutes. And then when no points are scored, they try to grab each other for another three minutes of overtime.
One of these gripping contests — the men's quarterfinals at 66 kg — has become the source of international indignation over a perceived injustice. But with the sport of Judo, an apparently firm set of circumstances can flip in an instant.
Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 12:00 pm
Reports that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said at a fundraiser in Jerusalem that "culture" is among the reasons Israel's economy is much stronger than those in "areas managed by the Palestinian Authority" have led a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accuse Romney of racism.
Good morning. Here's a roundup of London 2012 Olympics news stories that have caught our interest. We also have a highlight list of today's upcoming events, in a different post. You can also check out our main schedule. Here's what's been happening already today: