“Anti-Semitism is best understood as a virus. It has no logic. Jews were hated because they were rich and because they were poor; because they were capitalists and because they were communists; because they held tenaciously to an ancient faith and because they were rootless cosmopolitans, believing nothing. Hate needs no logic. It is aContinue Reading »
The sound of the lock clicking into place echoed through our apartment with a thump of unfamiliar finality. My husband and I stood rooted to the spot, staring at the door we’d just closed behind us. Without saying a word, each knew what the other was thinking: “That door will only open again in twoContinue Reading »
Coffee drinkers in Israel love a good café hafuch, the Hebrew word for cappuccino that literally means “upside down.” But Israelis say the word applies to more than coffee. In general, they claim, life itself is often hafuch in Israel. At the time of this writing, Israelis are in COVID-19 lockdown, confined to their homesContinue Reading »
Although the phrase, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has not been credited to a rabbi but rather to an American philosopher of the early 1900s, it could have been. The idea of taking something bitter, an adversity or difficult circumstance and bringing good out of it is a very Jewish way to lookContinue Reading »
When work began on the Fifth World Holocaust Forum to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz–Birkenau death camp, organizers planned for 10 world leaders to be in attendance, 15 if the heavens smiled down on the event. Yet on January 23, 2020, delegations from 49 countries converged on Jerusalem for theContinue Reading »
Over the past few months, Iranian provocation in the Middle East topped headlines worldwide. Tensions have been high since the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord a year ago—and then instituted harsher sanctions in a bid to force Tehran to abandon its nuclear ambitions and toe the line. As the economic vice grip tightened,Continue Reading »
Historian Paul Johnson has said, “What strikes the historian surveying anti-Semitism worldwide over more than two millennia is its fundamental irrationality. It seems to make no sense, any more than malaria or meningitis make sense.” It goes by many names: bigotry, discrimination, prejudice, intolerance. Most often, it falls in that broad category of “racism,” whichContinue Reading »
As Jewish people around the world celebrate the festival of Rosh HaShanah (Jewish New Year), the streets of Israel resound with joyous shouts of “Shanah tovah u’metuka (have a happy and sweet new year),” with family, friends and perfect strangers wishing one another a sweet and prosperous new year. Sunset on Sunday, September 29, ushersContinue Reading »
In 1945, the Western world was horrified to discover the full extent of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were slaughtered. Adding to the shock was the fact that the atrocity originated and often played out in the heart of Europe, largely perpetrated by educated Europeans. At the same time, Americans and Canadians weren’tContinue Reading »
The covert mission had all the makings of a spy thriller: international intrigue, daring and danger. Yet it wasn’t the fictional plot of a novel or movie. It really happened. The actors? The Israeli intelligence service (the Mossad). The stage? A fabricated resort on the Sudanese shores of the Red Sea. The plan? To rescueContinue Reading »
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