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“Hatikva” — hope

This past week, as celebrations of Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israel’s 66th Independence Day, swelled, a feeling of Jewish pride and thankfulness could be felt. Between the festive prayer services, parties, especially song and dance parties, and most modern Israeli item of all, “The Mangal,” the BBQ, there was a lot to celebrate.

As Andrea Lowenstein, originally American, now a long time resident of Jerusalem put it:

“I can’t imagine who I would be if I just stayed on the ‘easy path,’ and didn’t get to witness the craziness that is Israel first hand.

“If you blink your eye, you’ll miss another new neighborhood, a bunch more start-ups, a bunch more millionaires, a LOT of babies, and a moment of glorious weather. Even when it’s bad weather, it’s glorious.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 May 2014 03:24 )

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View From Denver

May the entire land of Israel be sold?

May the entire land of Israel be sold?WHAT makes the land of Israel special? It’s not just that the history and identity of the Jewish people are rooted there. It’s not just that the land is holy; that, for example, the Tabernacle stood in Shilo for 369 years or the two holy Temples stood in Jerusalem. It’s not just that Israel is the “Promised Land.” It is also this: Certain agricultural laws in the Torah are observed only in Israel. Two primary ones figure prominently in this week’s Torah portion, with an unusual ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 May 2014 03:24 )

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Conservative Lens

What have you said in private?

A PRIVATE recording of racist remarks by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling, in a telephone conversation was released last week. That his comments are racist and therefore contemptible goes without saying. But the incident raises other issues that are not so clear as the racism in Sterling’s comments, yet they are at least as important. One is the increasing release — and the acceptability thereof — of private recordings and videos. Take the video released last month...
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View From Denver

‘Covenant’ — the foundation of Jewish theology

‘Covenant’ — the foundation of Jewish theologyIF 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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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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