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A History of “No”

You could hear a pin drop as the two judokas stepped onto the mat. Tensions had been mounting for days before the match as Egyptian Islam El Shahaby faced a floodgate of criticism from fans for failing to withdraw from the first round of the heavyweight judo tournament in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics

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Up and Away: Floating Above the Jezreel Valley

The early morning stillness broke with the sound of a propane burner flame penetrating the air. A small crew worked skillfully at their task, tugging at the mounds of colorful fabric piled in the field. Gleeful anticipation mounted in our group as we watched the fabric take the shape of a balloon that grew larger

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Racial Equality: A Jewish Legacy

Racism is an issue that has long been a matter of critical importance to the Jewish people. Since their origins in the ancient world of the Middle East, they have been persecuted, hunted, dispersed and murdered—often erroneously in the name of righteousness. It has created in them an awareness of discrimination that few others have.

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2020: A Bad Year for Iran

The year 2020 has been a tragic and challenging year for the world—from the coronavirus pandemic to protests to political battles. But it’s been an especially difficult year for Iran. The economy has struggled under sanctions imposed by the US, the leader of Iran’s top terrorist spy agency was assassinated and then mysterious explosions hit

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Aliyah Boom

Despite the global challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Jewish people making aliyah (immigrating) to Israel in 2020 is set to top 50,000—almost double the figure in 2019. That figure is anticipated to double again in 2021, with predictions of 90,000 new immigrants making Israel their new permanent address. Israeli Minister of

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Israel and the Bible

Israel is often called “the Land of the Bible.” The land itself brings the Bible to life. Modern cities and towns have ancient biblical names. The plants, trees, birds and animals are talked about in the Bible. Father Bargil Pixner, a Catholic priest, described the land as the “fifth gospel.” Everywhere you turn in Israel,

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Convenient Scapegoats

“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 a

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The Bible, the “West Bank” and Peace Plans

Thousands of years ago, Abraham was given a divine promise that his descendants—those who came from his son Isaac and eventually were known as Israel—would possess the land of Israel. In more recent history, Abraham’s other descendants—those coming from his son Ishmael and eventually known as Arabs—have laid claim to much of that very same

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Culture of Rescue

There was a moment in the 20th century that signaled the point at which a people who had gone through the slaughter of the Holocaust without much resistance became a valiant, determined people who fought for their place in the world. The newborn State of Israel had promised to champion every Jewish person no matter

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Elul—Preparing to Meet the King

Life’s special occasions call for extra preparation. We make the effort to study for the important test, train for the marathon, dress up for the big anniversary and bring out the good china when special guests come for dinner. The more extraordinary the event, the bigger the effort and the more intense the preparations. An

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