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View from Central Park

Chimes of peace

ON our way to meet Rafi Babayan, chief security officer of Sdot Negev Regional Council, we kept passing signs — “Warning: Missile Area — Your Life is in Danger.”

This was my introduction to Kibbutz Alumim within the Green Line, an organic farming kibbutz bordering Gaza.

When the news reported the very real danger of tunnels being dug into kibbutz dining halls, with terrorists popping out, this is one such kibbutz. In fact, at one point while our small group was loitering, Rafi turned to us smiling, “let’s get out of here before terrorists pop out of a tunnel.”

Alumim is so close to Gaza, the two places practically graze one another.

Rafi is a veteran IDF paratrooper who, right before we arrived had seen, with no Code Red warning, the brief silvery flash of three rockets light up the sky.

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Conservative Lens

Islamic State (ISIL) is ‘non-Islamic’?

PRESIDENT Obama declared in his recent address to the nation that “ISIL is not Islamic.” How does he know? On what basis did the president of the US declare the group of Muslims that calls itself “Islamic State” is “not Islamic”? Has he studied Islam and Islamic history and concluded that ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group which slaughtered 166 people in Mumbai, most especially guests at the Taj Hotel, and which to...

Last Updated ( Sunday, 28 September 2014 02:56 )

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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 — beyo...
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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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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Cruzing for Jewish support

Ami Eden It was a big Jewish week for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The Republican presidential hopeful headlined the annual ZOA dinner and, while in New York, held private meetings with Jewish machers. ... [Link]

Why did Israel’s president just oppose a government-backed bill?

Ben Sales The matter is of such gravitas that Reuven Rivlin decided it merited wading into the political fray, even though that’s not part of what the largely ceremonial president of Israel is supposed to... [Link]

Sarkozy calls for no vote on Palestine motion

Marcy Oster The French Parliament is scheduled to debate the nonbinding motion on Nov. 28, and to vote on the motion on Dec. 2. ... [Link]

Rabbis condemn N.J. rabbi Steven Pruzansky’s anti-Arab rhetoric

Uriel Heilman The Orthodox Union said it “cannot countenance a response to terror that resorts to wholesale demonization, advocates for the collective punishment of Israeli Arabs, or calls for the destruction... [Link]

Swedish lawmakers nix bill requiring parents to pay for circumcision

Cnaan Liphshiz Attempts to compare practice to female genital mutilation drew heated opposition during the country council debate. ... [Link]

Israel revokes residency permit of Jerusalem synagogue attacker’s wife

Marcy Oster Interior Minister Gilad Erdan announced that Nadia Abu Jamal will be required to leave Israeli territory and will be stripped of any financial benefits she receives from the state. ... [Link]

Polish town reconsidering plan to turn Jewish cemetery into apartment complex

Marcy Oster The mayor of Grodzisk Mazowiecki has suspended action on the plan pending clarification of the cemetery’s boundaries. ... [Link]

Police: Terrorism behind deadly fall of Israeli construction worker

Marcy Oster Nathaniel Arami fell 11 stories from the side of a high-rise building where he was doing exterior work when both of his rappelling cables snapped; police initially called it an accident. ... [Link]

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