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Jan 27th
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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 this passage, I ask you to see whether there’s a point missing in the narrative, almost a logic chop. See if you can spot it.

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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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View from Central Park

In the presence of a legend

WITH rockets flying overhead, I spent one day traveling the South of Israel meeting organic farmers, ‘kibbutzniks’ living at the border of Israel and Gaza, residents of Sderot, the MDA (Israel’s Red Cross) of Ashdod and an IDF representative. Never before have I felt more inspired and proud to be Jewish. Never before have the “amcha” of Israel — the people who make up the fabric of this society — touched me so deeply. This week, I will share a glimpse into only just one of those m...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2014 12:11 )

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Liberal Lens

Journalists on the government’s blacklist

As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street, and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, a study released earlier this month revealed that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “serious limitations on access to records” that they say have “impeded” their oversight work. The data about ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2014 12:08 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Democrats in Senate delay backing sanctions until March 24

Ron Kampeas Ten Senate Democrats told President Barack Obama they would not push for an Iran sanctions vote until after a midway deadline in Iran talks. ... [Link]

What Jewish ethics tell us about ‘Deflategate’

mbrodsky Rabbi ethicists offer some insights into the national controversy over the Patriots’ victory that sent them to the Super Bowl. ... [Link]

David Landau, Haaretz editor and JTA’s longtime Israel bureau chief, dies at 67

Julie Wiener The British-born Israeli journalist, who died of brain cancer at 67, held top positions at several English-language publications. ... [Link]

Ariel Kleiman back at Sundance with feature debut, a dark drama

Anthony Weiss “Partisan,” co-written with longtime collaborator and girlfriend Sarah Cyngler, is the story of a paranoid man who walls himself off from the wider world. ... [Link]

Hollande tells French Jews ‘France is your country’

Gabe Friedman The French president’s remark follows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for French Jews to emigrate to Israel in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. ... [Link]

Netanyahu’s planned speech roils Jewish lawmakers, pro-Israel community

Ron Kampeas Even stalwart Washington allies quietly said that the Israeli prime minister would have done better to consult with them before accepting an invitation to address Congress. ... [Link]

Survivors return to Auschwitz determined to share their stories

Gabrielle Birkner Some 300 Holocaust survivors — most in their 80s and 90s — traveled this week to Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, where 1.1 million people were sent to their de... [Link]

Politician who said Greek Jews don’t pay taxes tapped defense chief

Gabe Friedman Panos Kammenos of the ultranationalist Independent Greeks joins the new coalition of the far-left Syriza party. ... [Link]

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