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‘Covenant’ — the foundation of Jewish theology

‘Covenant’ — the foundation of Jewish theology

IF one had to sum up Jewish theology in a single word, it would be covenant.

This is grasped instinctively. When Jewish German immigrants on the Lower East Side of New York established a Jewish fraternal and service organization 171 years ago, they choose the name B’nai B’rith, “Sons of the Covenant.”

The bris (“covenant”), that is, circumcision, is one of the three most observed Jewish rituals (the other two being Passover and Yom Kippur).

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View from Central Park

We remember them all

In tribute to this Sunday’s Yom Hazikaron — Israel’s memorial day for fallen soldiers — a lot of articles on the topic are circulating. One, by Israel National News, is titled “Families, ‘Ashamed of Haredi War Dead.’ ” The gist of the article is that a group of hesder yeshiva students has taken the initiative to search for and map out the graves of their fellow comrades, fallen haredi soldiers, whose families buried them in civilian cemeteries, shunning military funerals at Mt. ...
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View from Central Park

I was floored

WALKING through Crestmoor Park the other Shabbat, a couple, the guy’s head covered with a yarmulke and tzitzit (four-cornered tassles) protruding from his shirt, the woman at his side dressed in a long skirt and her head completely wrapped in a scarf — greeted me with “Shabbat Shalom.” I naturally responded warmly in kind, with my own “Shabbat Shalom.” Ah, a lantzman. Denver Jewry used to have that small village kind of feeling in which everyone knew everyone, at least when it came ...
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View From Denver

Trembling, awe, ethics: ‘Fear of G-d’

Trembling, awe, ethics: ‘Fear of G-d’THERE is no word for “accountability” in Hebrew, which, it has been suggested, is why Israeli bureaucracy runs amok, stopping people from accomplishing the simplest tasks, like getting an appointment to see a doctor. Perhaps the ultimate translation of “accountability” would be “fear of G-d” — fear of punishment and embrace of reward. Especially in an age of ersatz “self-esteem,” fear of G-d in the sense of fear of punishment is often dismissed or derogated. Love of G-d is alm...
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View From Denver

Dayyenu is enough — really?

ONE of the most popular parts of the Passover seder is Dayyenu. Jews love it and sing it over and over. For many children, it is their earliest memory of the seder. There is a problem, however. The words of Dayyenu seem to make no sense. Take this stanza: If He had given us the Egyptians’ wealth and had not divided the sea for us, it would have been sufficient. Really? We would have stood at the shores of the Reed Sea, the armed chariots of the Egyptians in hot pursuit. Our new found wealth...
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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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