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View from Central Park

The three kidnapped teens

What really is there to say at such a painful time? My heart is broken along with all of yours.

I feel consumed with worry. I am holding my breath along with the anguish of the entire Jewish people.

All the Israeli friends I have spoken with are consumed. From “What more can Am Yisrael suffer?” to “Don’t worry, G-d is big.”

We are strong.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 June 2014 01:50 )

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Reflections

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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View From Denver

Is prayer an attempt to manipulate G-d?

Is prayer an attempt to manipulate G-d?AS we go to press, people around the world are praying for the safety and release of the three boys apparently kidnapped in Israel on June 12. What do we expect to happen from these prayers? If the boys are released, does that mean that we manipulated  G-d? If the boys are not released, does that mean that G-d does not listen to our prayers? What is prayer, exactly? In this column, I concentrate on petitionary prayer, leaving for another time prayers that constitute praise of G-d and grati...

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 June 2014 02:30 )

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View From Denver

The mission of the 12 spies — a metaphor

The mission of the 12 spies — a metaphorJUST as the opening chapters of Genesis are not meant to be a science book (though Genesis does contain scientific data), the middle chapters of Numbers are not meant to be a history book (though they contain historical information). The Torah intends to teach its readers the meaning of things more than the things themselves. Even so, what could be the meaning for us of the failed mission of the 12 spies? This took place more than 3,000 years ago. Spies were sent to scout out the land of Canaan...
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View from Central Park

A Jew is a Jew is a Jew

THE news that Cardinal John O’Connor of New York was born of a Jewish mother surfaced a while ago. This week there was an extensive article about it in The New York Times. Not only was the cardinal born of a Jewish mother, but her father, the Cardinal’s grandfather, was a rabbi and a shochet. His mother converted to Catholicism when she was 19 and never spoke of her Jewishness. She died a devout Catholic, while sitting in a chair praying with the rosary. The theory and consensus are that th...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 June 2014 01:56 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Iran talks extended, but uranium enrichment remains stumbling block

Ron Kampeas Tehran and the major powers have agreed to keep talking, but progress remains elusive on the core issue of Iranian centrifuges. ... [Link]

Protesters arrested after ‘die-in’ at Friends of IDF office

Miriam Moster Nine protesters against Israel’s Gaza operation were arrested inside the Manhattan offices of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces. ... [Link]

For two Americans, service to Israel ends in tragedy

Daniel Treiman Sean Carmeli and Max Steinberg, young immigrants to Israel, lost their lives in Gaza warfare. ... [Link]

Emergency transfer denied in kosher prison food case

Anthony Weiss A federal judge rejected a request by a Venezuelan Jewish detainee for an emergency transfer from an Alabama prison over complaints that it was not providing kosher meals. ... [Link]

Israeli soldier killed in Gaza firefight

Marcy Oster An Israeli soldier was killed in a “fire exchange” in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces announced. ... [Link]

Rockets discovered at second U.N. school in Gaza

Marcy Oster Rockets were discovered in a second United Nations school in Gaza. ... [Link]

J Street explains pullout from Boston pro-Israel rally

Ron Kampeas J Street withdrew from a pro-Israel rally in Boston because it did not feel the rally would address all the group’s concerns. ... [Link]

Amid France synagogue attacks, support for Jewish self-defense group on the rise

Cnaan Liphshiz France’s Jewish Defense League, a controversial group with a history of vigilantism, is enjoying growing support amid fears that police cannot protect Jewish institutions. ... [Link]

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