In April 2020, the unthinkable happened—as it always does in Israeli politics. Former Israel Defense Forces chief and Blue and White party leader Benjamin (Benny) Gantz agreed to a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that will see both serve as prime minister on a rotating basis. The Benjamins, answering the cries of theContinue 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 »
There is a saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Israel has learned a lot from its history and has overcome many tests and trials so that they aren’t repeated. While the coronavirus pandemic has created unprecedented challenges, Israel tragically has lots of experience in dealing with unimaginableContinue 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 »
There are Jews in the Diaspora (the Jewish population outside Israel) that have remained virtually hidden for over 500 years, some secretly preserving their Jewish traditions through the generations, and some having never known their roots were Jewish. Now, these Sephardic Jews are emerging from the shadows and into the light. Jews in the IberianContinue Reading »
The Jewish connection to the Land has ancient roots, first birthed when Abraham came to the place where God led him, and then thoroughly established the moment Joshua and the Children of Israel set foot on Canaan’s soil. God placed His name upon the Land and marked it as His own. Then He gave itContinue Reading »
How the Revised View on Judea and Samaria Set the Stage On January 28, 2020, the United States under President Donald Trump formally announced a Middle East peace plan in which they acknowledged that the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria—which some call “settlements”—would remain part of Israel. While some elements of President Trump’s “DealContinue Reading »
Since its rebirth 72 years ago, Israel has navigated a grim reality. “If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed up the situation. For this reason, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) exists. At any given time, tens of thousands of Israelis form part ofContinue 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 »
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