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Reflections

What makes Jewish time tick?

I grew up in a home where time was always a stressful issue. Mom was usually dressed and ready to go to a party at least 24 hours before it started.

Before any vacation, you could find her suitcase sitting proudly by the back door — at least two days before we were scheduled to leave.

Then there was Dad, who had this annoying habit of sauntering into the house after a sweaty game of tennis about five minutes before company was expected. Before any car trip, you would find Dad poring over road maps while we waited in the hot car, crammed into the back seat with bags of food and melting crayons.

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What death can teach

By her own account, my mother is not a religious woman. She does not read the Bible, know Hebrew or put much stock in Jewish observance. She has been known to comment on my own degree of commitment to Judaism in anxious, hushed tones, the kind she uses when someone in our family is seriously ill. My brother once told me she told him about the “weird tent with hanging fruit” in our backyard (our sukkah) and the cleaning frenzy I engage in before Passover as evidence that I’ve gone off the ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:48 )

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Countering racial slurs with clarity

I was ecstatic when our dear friends Barry and Bonnie called to tell us they were coming for a visit. Like most people, my husband and I rarely make time to do the wonderful “touristy” things in Tucson that others travel thousands of miles to see. So I immediately rushed to the phone to reserve a spot for the four of us for a tour at the world-renown caves located in southern Arizona. It was a glorious day and as we waited on the patio for the tour group to gather, our guide asked each of...
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A deeper way to honor our parents

America is big on holidays, especially those that relate to family. There’s a holiday for mothers in May, a special day for dads in June and a grandparents day in September that usually includes a pancake breakfast at pre-school. But what inspires these holidays is more than a positive earnings statement for Hallmark. We honor our parents and grandparents because they have given us life. The Jewish tradition teaches that there are three partners in the creation of a human being: G-d, a fathe...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 May 2014 03:32 )

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The day my mother stopped playing G-d

“MY dear friend Helene died last week,” my mother informed me sadly as if consoling us both. “I’ll miss her terribly. She really changed my life and the way I viewed the world.” I turned and looked into my mother’s face, aged not so much by years as by the losses and disappointments she has endured. She is not prone to “waxing philosophical” so her statement intrigued me. “What do you mean, mom?” I asked, quietly taking her hand. “Do you remember when you told me that yo...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Family of N.J. yeshiva student missing in Jerusalem offers reward

Marcy Oster The family of a yeshiva student from New Jersey who went missing in the Jerusalem Forest has offered a $28,000 reward for his return. ... [Link]

Zara clothing chain apologizes for selling striped shirt with Star of David

Marcy Oster The international clothing chain Zara has apologized for offering for sale a blue and white striped shirt with a six –pointed yellow star on the chest. ... [Link]

IDF officer on Golan hit by Syrian bullet as farmers warned away from border farmland

Marcy Oster An Israel Defense Forces officer in the Golan Heights was injured by gun fire from Syria’s civil war and farmers in the north were told to stay off farmland near the border. ... [Link]

Palestinian indicted for assisting escape of accomplice in teen’s murder

Marcy Oster A Palestinian resident of eastern Jerusalem was indicted for assisting the escape of an alleged accomplice in the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens. ... [Link]

City hall in Sweden to play ‘Schindler’s List’ theme for neo-Nazis meeting

Marcy Oster The town hall of a Swedish city will play the theme from the Holocaust film “Schindler’s List” before and after a public meeting of a neo-Nazi party. ... [Link]

Cease-fire marks end to Israel’s longest, bloodiest war in Gaza

Ben Sales After 50 days of missiles, airstrikes, ground operations, tunnel incursions, truce talks, cease-fire proposals, death and destruction, Israel and Hamas agreed to an open-ended truce. ... [Link]

Kerry to Israel and Palestinians: Comply completely with cease-fire

Marcy Oster U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Israel and the Palestinians to “fully and completely” comply with the terms of their latest cease-fire. ... [Link]

Using seismic vibrations, Israeli tech firm aims to detect Gaza tunnels

Ben Sales The Israeli defense firm Elpam Electronics says its system of sensors can detect underground activity and identify its location. ... [Link]

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