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Oct 22nd
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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

British man gets jail time for sending lawmaker anti-Semitic tweet

Julie Wiener The tweet to Labour’s Luciana Berger carried the hashtag “Hitler was right.” ... [Link]

Poll: Majority of Denmark citizens want circumcision banned

Julie Wiener The survey was released on the eve of a parliamentary hearing to discuss a possible ban on circumcision, something that two parties support. ... [Link]

Palestinian-American student alleges anti-Muslim assault at Brooklyn arena

Marcy Oster She claims the group of assailants included the executive director of the Kings Bay YM-YWHA, who was punched outside the Barclays Center after the game. ... [Link]

Op-Ed: Rabbis bearing witness in Ferguson

mbrodsky A Minneapolis rabbi went to the anguished Missouri city with the intention of teaching protesters and police a new path for justice, a promise of racial healing. But once there he realized he had the ... [Link]

Netanyahu slams Abbas over deadly rail attack in Jerusalem

Marcy Oster The driver of the car that crashed into a train station, apparently intentionally, was a Hamas member, the Israeli prime minister’s spokesman said on Twitter. ... [Link]

Infant killed, 8 hurt in suspected terror attack on Jerusalem light rail

Marcy Oster The driver of the car that crashed into a train station attempted to flee the scene on foot and was shot by police. ... [Link]

Hagel, meeting with Yaalon, reaffirms U.S. commitment to Israeli security

Marcy Oster U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reaffirmed the “deep commitment” of the United States to Israel’s security at a meeting with his Israeli counterpart. ... [Link]

Haredim’s refusal to sit next to opposite sex delays Delta flight

Marcy Oster A Delta Airlines flight to Israel was delayed after haredi Orthodox men and women deplaned rather than sit next to members of the opposite sex. ... [Link]

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