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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

Tampa-area agency head dead in murder-suicide

Anthony Weiss A Florida Jewish agency head who had been deeply involved with caring for migrant children was found dead with her longtime partner in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide. ... [Link]

A military miracle: Hanukkah care for U.S. armed forces personnel

Raffi Wineburg For the last seven years, Kosher Troops has been sending care packages to American-Jewish servicemen and women across the globe. ... [Link]

Behind every great ‘Serial’ podcast host, a Jewish studies professor

Gabrielle Birkner In the series finale of the podcast sensation “Serial,” a certain Jewish studies professor got a shout out. It was Sarah Koenig’s husband, who directs the Jewish Studies program at P... [Link]

French far-right mayor’s city hall menorah sparks controversy

Cnaan Liphshiz National Front candiate also placed a nativity scene in public space despite concerns this violate church-state separation. ... [Link]

Jesus comes to the Hanukkah party

Ron Kampeas The Christian savior keeps insinuating himself into Hanukkah festivities. ... [Link]

For Cuban Jews in U.S., rapprochement with Castro regime cause for concern

Uriel Heilman For those old enough to remember the most brutal years of the Castro regime, there is deep concern that rapprochement with Washington will extend the life of a dictatorship whose crimes can be neither... [Link]

Washington Institute names former Palestinian negotiator as fellow

Ron Kampeas The Washington Institute for Near East Policy named a former Palestinian negotiator to its think tank team. ... [Link]

Tunisian Jewish leaders endorse secularist’s presidential bid

Cnaan Liphshiz Contacts made by candidate Beji Caid Essebsi make him the best choice for president, Tunisan Jewish leader says. ... [Link]

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