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View from Central Park

Shavuot

As we celebrate Shavuot and receiving the Torah, it’s worth remembering that it almost didn’t transpire. In tractate Shabbat 88b, many of the famous narratives surrounding the giving of the Torah are found.

One of them recounts that when Moses went up on high to receive the Torah, he encountered opposition. From whom? From none other than the angels. These celestial creatures felt that it was below the dignity of the Torah for mere human flesh and blood to receive the treasured Torah that had been kept and sealed for generations.

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Exile — with a caveat

It’s interesting to study the haftorahs, the Prophetic scriptures added to weekly Torah reading. If you first scan the portion of the week and then read the haftorah, inevitably there is a common motif or connection. Sometimes it is more obvious than at other times. But it is always there. The rabbis designed it this way. And it’s a good way to see the Torah in its organic flow. I’d like to share a small aspect of this symbiotic relationship between Torah and Prophets via one idea from th...
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Israel is not Baltimore

When I was a young girl in Israel, Operation Moses came to Israel. I can still remember the electric atmosphere that took hold of our country and community. “Kibbutz galuyot,” people kept saying, an ingathering of the exiles. The social pressure of my circle was who could knit the most kippas for the new Ethiopian immigrants. It was exciting. You felt like you were living Jewish history — with a new “tribe,” so to speak, discovered and redeemed back to Israel.
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Emergency experts

I keep hearing this phrase: “When the tallest mountain trembles, the smallest mountain comes to help.” As if the friendship between the people of Nepal and the people of Israel was not already so strong. Now it will be stronger. Israelis are no strangers to Nepal. As has become the ritual over the past decades, many IF soldiers travel to Nepal and India upon termination of their service.
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Commemoration

They stood side by side, the liberated and the liberators. The formal, brass-decked young uniformed military men and women from Colorado’s National Guard — from the same 157th infantry that, 70 years ago, were among the liberators of the Dachau concentration camp — and the elderly, tattered yet strong and proud Holocaust survivors. One held an accordion in his hands as part of the Colorado Hebrew Chorale. It was the 70th anniversary of the end of WW II, an emotional Holocaust commemoration...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Hungarian man arrested for shouting anti-Semitic curses at Israeli diplomat

Marcy Oster The man, a resident of Budapest, began shouting anti-Semitic invective in Hungarian after hearing Israel’s Consul to Hungary Motti Rave quietly speaking Hebrew with a companion. ... [Link]

Rolf Bloch, who negotiated with Switzerland for survivor compensation, dies

Cnaan Liphshiz Bloch represented the interests of the Swiss people and Jewish communities in negotiations with the government over compensation for assets that Swiss financial entities seized after receiving them fo... [Link]

Rabbi Byron Sherwin, Jewish scholar and ethicist at Spertus, dies

Marcy Oster He served as Distinguished Service Professor and Director of Doctoral Programs at the Spertus Institute and had been on its faculty since 1970. ... [Link]

Report incidents of sexual assault ‘without delay,’ British chief rabbi says

Marcy Oster Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis called on the Jewish community to report allegations of sexual abuse in the wake of the conviction of a well-known teacher at British Jewish schools. ... [Link]

Ethiopian-Israeli soldier beaten by officers sues Israel Police

Marcy Oster Damas Pakada filed the approximately $100,000 lawsuit with the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, accusing the police of “institutionalized racism and violence.” ... [Link]

Report: Hamas killed rival Palestinians under cover of conflict with Israel

Marcy Oster The Amnesty International report highlights the extrajudicial execution by Hamas of at least 23 Palestinians and the arrest and torture of dozens of others, during last summer’s conflict in Gaza... [Link]

Israel strikes Gaza targets in retaliation for rocket attack

Marcy Oster The Israeli military believes Islamic Jihad was responsible for firing the rockets on southern Israel. ... [Link]

Whooping cough warning issued in Brooklyn’s Orthodox communities

Gabe Friedman The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has issued a warning about an increase in cases of pertussis, or the “whooping cough,” in the Orthodox communities of Williamsburg and Bor... [Link]

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