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Jul 23rd

Editorials

Happy Birthday, er, Shavuot

If Rosh Hashanah is dubbed “birthday of the world,” then Shavuot would be the birthday of the Jewish people.

That’s major.

Sometimes relegated to minor holiday status, it is anything but, ranking right up there with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Passover and Sukkot.

Shavuot marks the most pivotal point in the history of the Jewish people — the beginning. Even though Shavuot has agricultural connotations as the festival of the first harvest in the Holy Land, the true and original meaning of the festival is to commemorate G-d’s giving the Torah (His law) to the Israelites through his proxy Moses on Mount Sinai.

At that moment, when the Israelites accepted the responsibilities of adhering to G-d’s laws, they went from being the Israelites to being the Jewish people. Our identity was born.

Shavuot is a day of Torah appreciation, even more than every other day of the year. Just as on our personal birthday we are grateful to our parents for giving us life, on Shavuot we are grateful to G-d for giving us our Jewish lives. Happy Birthday to us all!

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

 

When honor is dishonorable

Farzana Parveen, 25, married and three-months pregnant, was savagely beaten to death on May 27 outside a court building in Lahore, Pakistan. Rejecting an arranged marriage to her cousin, Farzana married Mohammad Iqbal, her fiance of three years. Free will and love were her undoing — the reason why 20 members of her family, including her father, brothers and family-approved fiance smashed her head with bricks in full sight of a paralyzed urban public. The onlookers did not help Farzana. Perhaps...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 May 2014 11:39 )

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Did Pope Francis get Israel’s security fence?

As Hitler’s propagandists learned, if a Big Lie is repeated often enough, it will be believed. If the lie is repeated over and over that all Jews are no more than vermin and no less than the oppressors of humanity, thus worthy of extermination, it will be believed. If so, then it behooves us to repeat a certain Big Truth over and over. The truth to which we refer is the impetus for and the nature of the security fence that divides pre-June, 1967 Israel from the West Bank of the Jordan River. ...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 29 May 2014 12:34 )

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Numbers

If anniversaries mean something, 2014 is a bonanza. The most momentous anniversary in 2014 is, of course, the 100th anniversary of the start of The Great War, subsequently called World War I. This year is the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the 40th anniversary of the defeat of the US in Vietnam, the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. Alas, some will leave these somber anniversaries alone and focus on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ coming to America. Didn’t the group...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 May 2014 01:39 )

Lucie Prenzlau, 1917-2014

Where to begin? Where to end? What was inside the circle of life, the fullness of Lucie Prenzlau? If this circle were a wheel, each of its spokes would likely define the totality of another person, but not Lucie Prenzlau. One spoke might say, fundraiser, activist, visionary. Another spoke might say, gardening, barbecues, fabulous birthday parties. Still another: aristocratic and dignified; also accessible and empathetic — listener and adviser. And another spoke: Europe, Palestine, America. An...

Last Updated ( Thursday, 12 June 2014 02:07 )

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Shabbat Times

JTA News

Obama administration presses for $225M addition to Iron Dome funding

Ron Kampeas The Obama administration asked Congress to fast-track Israel’s request for an additional $225 million for the Iron Dome anti-missile system. ... [Link]

Former Auschwitz guard dies before extradition to Germany

Marcy Oster Johann Breyer, the 89-year-old Philadelphia man who served as a guard at Auschwitz and was scheduled to be extradited to Germany, has died. ... [Link]

Police: Murdered Florida State prof Dan Markel was target

Marcy Oster Dan Markel, the Florida State University law professor who was murdered in his home, was shot in the head by someone who wanted him dead, police said. ... [Link]

Three IDF soldiers killed in Gaza home explosion

Marcy Oster Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a Gaza house rigged with explosives. ... [Link]

Brooklyn man must pay $522,000 in Israeli charities scam

Julie Wiener A Brooklyn man who pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud in an Israeli charities scam was ordered to pay more than a half-million dollars in a civil suit. ... [Link]

The Israel-Hamas war through haredi Orthodox eyes

Miriam Moster Was a gay pride parade to blame for the kidnapping of three Israeli teens? Can modest garb and ice cream save civilian lives? ... [Link]

FAA extends Ben Gurion Airport ban another 24 hours

Ron Kampeas The Federal Aviation Administration extended for another day its ban on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv. ... [Link]

Survey: Half of U.K. Jews not overly concerned by rising anti-Semitism

Julie Wiener Nearly 70 percent of Jews in the United Kingdom believe anti-Semitism is on the rise, a new survey found, but half of the respondents are not overly concerned. ... [Link]

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