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Numbers

Numbers have been on my mind lately.

This coming week’s Torah portion inaugurates the reading of the next book of the Torah, Bamidbar, literally, “in the desert.” However, it is known as the book of Numbers. Rabbinic Judaism refers to the book as such, “Sefer Ha-Pikudim,” the book of censuses of the Jewish people.

In fact, the census is commanded twice, the first time in the beginning of Bamidbar.

Since Passover, we have been counting the Omer. A meditation assigns a theme to each particular day’s number.

Yet, in the book of Samuel, when King David takes a census of the Jewish people, he is criticized and punished heavily.

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Conservative Lens

Dealing with bad economic news

MOST conservatives, and just about all independents, have a huge misperception of the left. They think that the gulf between conservatism and leftism is primarily about means, not goals. This perception is wrong. It is the goals that are irreconcilable. And until conservatives, independents and the Republican Party understand this, it will not be possible to defeat the left. Take economic indicators. Most conservatives talk and act as if bad economic news disturbs the left as much as it distur...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 01:17 )

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Liberal Lens

Is journalism losing its nerve?

WHEN I went into journalism, one of the first things I was told as a freshman is that journalism is different from stenography. It is supposed to be — or at least has been — about using rights granted under the First Amendment to be a check on government and corporate power. Yet, the hedge in that last sentence is deliberate — and appropriate. That’s because a new survey from the Indiana University suggests things are fast changing in the news industry — and not for the better. The l...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 01:49 )

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View from Central Park

Holyland

The following joke is sadly funny: “Today is 2,190 days, which is 314 weeks, which is 6 years of Olmert” — a parody on the counting of the Omer between Passover and the holiday of Shavuot, substituting the mathematical formula for  the jail sentence of former Jerusalem Mayor and Israel PM Ehud Olmert. All kidding aside, how sad a day, or era, is this for Israel? I keep hearing the conviction and sentencing of Olmert praised. What a victory for Israel’s legal system! How strong justi...
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View From Denver

Doug Seserman’s Jewish journey

Doug Seserman’s Jewish journeySPEAKING at a public victory rally in New York City right after the end of the Six Day War, the late Arthur Hertzberg declaimed with unparalleled emotion: “I will provide peace in the land, and you will lie down with none to make you afraid . . . ” (Leviticus 26:6). The sword of extinction had hung over Israel (Nasser of Egypt’s infamous threat to “drive Israel into the sea”), but Israel vanquished its enemies. “Five of you will pursue a hundred,” continued Hertzberg, “and a h...
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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Hungary’s Orban pays tribute to fallen WWI Jewish soldiers

mbrodsky The prime minister visited Budapest’s largest Jewish cemetery to mark the renovation of WWI graves. ... [Link]

Texas woman suing for pregnancy discrimination alleges anti-Semitism

Julie Wiener A Jewish sales rep for a pharmaceutical distributor in her lawsuit claimed her supervisor used an anti-Semitic remark when he called her a “whistleblower.” ... [Link]

Autism self-advocate Ari Ne’eman recognized for work on inclusion of people with disabilities

Julie Wiener Ari Ne’eman said he learned early on that “if people with disabilities, including autistic people, were going to have opportunities in society, we needed to become politically active.̶... [Link]

Boston Jewish day schools receive $11 million challenge grant

Ben Sales The gift from George Krupp, chief executive of Berkshire Property Advisors, and wife Liz will support long-term tuition assistance for middle-class families. ... [Link]

Israeli left resurgent as campaign rhetoric escalates ahead of March elections

Ben Sales Israel is no stranger to heated political rhetoric, but this election is shaping up to be a fierce one, with the leading parties taking aim not merely at their rivals’ policies but at their Zion... [Link]

World Zionist Congress elections: a voter’s guide

Uriel Heilman World Zionist Congress elections began earlier this month and run through April 30. Here’s a primer on what the congress is, how (logistically) to vote, who’s on the ballot, and why you ju... [Link]

Foxman: Obama and Hollande won’t name Islamist threat

Cnaan Liphshiz At a Prague Holocaust commemoration, the ADL national director said the leaders’ language means they are closing their ‘eyes to a reality.’ ... [Link]

Survivors gather for historic anniversary at Auschwitz

Ben Sales Some 100 survivors from 19 countries are expected to attend official ceremonies in Poland at the site of the former concentration camp. ... [Link]

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