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Sep 20th
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View from Central Park

Sderot

On the road leading to the now famous, embattled city of Sderot in Southern Israel, trees line the road. There is talk in the van of this “linear forest” of trees intentionally planted, as in France where trees were planted to block the invading Germans and prevent them from moving forces. Here too the trees are to block the enemy in Gaza.

I am with Chanan Elias of Face of Israel and Council of Jewish Organization (COJO). We are nearing Kibbutz Alumim — an organic farming kibbutz — beyond Sderot.

As we are driving closer and closer, the startling proximity of Gaza to Sderot becomes crystal clear. It feels like it is right there outside the window of the car, because it is. Only one kilometer from Sderot, the story of these two cities has become intertwined.

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View From Denver

Something new on repentance

Something new on repentanceIF repentance is strictly a matter between me and myself, or between me and G-d — the likes of introspection, resolution and renewal — probably most of us have already traveled this route. We know its difficulties and rewards. If repentance is a matter of fixing our relationships with other people, then we know that drill, too. This does not make it any easier, but the idea is clear. What if, however, repentance is something else? Rabbi Chaim Walkin sets forth a larger and different context...
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View From Denver

What’s the question?

What’s the question?THIS week’s Torah portion opens with a very beautiful passage about first fruits. The Torah predicts that the Israelites will be successful in conquering, settling and farming the Land of Israel, and obligates them to bring a portion of their first fruits as an offering to G-d. It also obligates them to make a statement upon presenting these fruits. Part of this statement may be familiar from the Passover Haggadah — the part about the Aramean trying to destroy our forefather. In reading th...
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View from Central Park

Magen David Adom — Israel’s Red Cross

THROUGHOUT the conflict this summer in Israel, we all cheered and supported the amazing IDF soldiers. In time of war and tension, working in coordination with the IDF was an important organization, Magen David Adom (MDA); specifically, the Southern MDA, located in Ashdod. It needed to contend with the tense rocket situation that Southern Israelis were living with day to day. This MDA serves as the dispatching headquarters for cities of Ashdod, Sderot, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Ofakim, Netivo...
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View From Denver

What is the worth of a theoretical teaching?

What is the worth of a theoretical teaching?IT’S odd. Judaism’s basic book, the Torah, is known for specifics. Laws. Practices. Details. Moral examples. Role models. Pathways to godliness. Yet, in a few instances, these laws or teachings are strictly theoretical. They never have been applied and never will be. Why should the Torah present a strictly theoretical teaching? Perhaps the most famous case is also, perhaps, the most interpreted passage in all of Scripture: the binding of Isaac, in the 22nd chapter of Genesis. G-d never inte...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

From the Archive: Suriname’s Jewish settlement and non-settlement

Raffi Wineburg In 1948, Suriname — then a Dutch colony in South America — backed out of a plan to settle 30,000 European Jewish displaced persons. ... [Link]

South African president vows to fight anti-Semitism

Cnaan Liphshiz Representatives of South Africa’s Jewish community commended President Jacob Zuma’s pledge to combat anti-Semitism. ... [Link]

House unanimously approves anti-Semitism condemnation

Ron Kampeas A bipartisan congressional resolution urging increased action by the United States and other countries to address resurgent anti-Semitism passed unanimously. ... [Link]

Senate approves enhanced U.S.-Israel cooperation bill

Ron Kampeas The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a bill that would further enhance U.S.-Israel ties. ... [Link]

Elsewhere: The separation myth, diplomatic delusions, tasting Hitler’s food

Raffi Wineburg JTA rounds up noteworthy news items from the Web. ... [Link]

U.S. officials ‘not optimistic’ going into Iran talks

Ron Kampeas U.S. negotiators are not entering the latest round of nuclear talks with Iran with optimism, a top U.S. official said, citing Iran’s insistence on maintaining its uranium enrichment capability. ... [Link]

In the kitchen with Joan

Raffi Wineburg Joan Rivers may have been famous for fat-shaming, but according to a forthcoming cookbook, she liked to eat rich Ashkenazi dishes. ... [Link]

This Week in Jewish Farming: Season of abundance

Ben Harris With winter storage crops harvested and summer crops still in the ground, September is a special moment for the seasonal eater. ... [Link]

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