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A Ray of Hope

Dispatch from Jerusalem

Israel Opens Border With Syria to Deliver Humanitarian Aid

The Israeli government has authorized the delivery of humanitarian aid into war-torn Syria through the nations’ shared border, an American-Israeli activist who spearheaded the initiative told The Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem agreed to transfer medical, educational and food aid to its northern neighbor, Moti Kahan said. While Israeli activists have sought to help Syrians in the

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Saudi Delegation Visits Israel in Latest Sign of Growing Ties

A retired Saudi general visited Israel in May for a series of meetings, in what is the latest sign of increasing dialogue, public appearances and quiet cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Anwar Eshki, who previously served in senior positions in the Saudi military and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led a delegation of Saudi academics

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Rosh HaShanah Menu

Rosh HaShanah, also known as the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah in Hebrew), is the beginning of the new year in Israel. It is also the first of the autumn biblical festivals. The two-day festival begins on the evening of the new moon that occurs on Tishrei 1 and 2 on the Hebrew calendar during

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Unexpected Family

Mishpocha is a charming Yiddish term which in its essence means family. It also describes the unforeseen, yet delightful, sense of family one witnesses among the residents of Jerusalem. Despite numerous differences within the Jewish community, there remains a strong sense of oneness. The various heartwarming incidents that take place in the colorful communal spaces

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To Kippah or NOT to Kippah

“Cover your head in order that the fear of heaven may be upon you” (Shabbat 156b). In the religiously, culturally and ethnically diverse regions of the Jewish Diaspora (the Jewish population outside Israel), kippot (plural of kippah) are often worn simply as outward symbols of Jewishness. On the other hand, Jewish sages teach that the

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Beersheva—a Cyber Star Is Rising

It started with the vision of one man—David Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel, who declared prophetically, “the future of Israel lies in the Negev.” From that pivotal moment, who would have guessed that, in a mere seventy years, Ben Gurion’s Negev desert would blossom into the fruitful exporter of 60% of Israel’s

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Gems of Jerusalem

I often think of the city of Jerusalem as a delicious box of chocolates. I would pick through a box of colorfully wrapped chocolates, enjoying the distinct taste of each one, when suddenly I become overwhelmed by the taste of a particularly exquisite chocolate. Likewise, walking the streets of Jerusalem and interacting with its diverse

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Second-Class Citizens? Israel’s Legal Realities and Responsibilities in Judea–Samaria

What to do when nearly 400,000 of your people are legally disenfranchised from other citizens? That is the question that faces Israel regarding those living in Judea and Samaria (commonly referred to as the West Bank). Currently Judea and Samaria are not considered part of Israeli territory to which Israeli civil law applies. At the

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Tisha B’Av—the Saddest Day on the Jewish Calendar

The calendar in the Land of Promise is marked with days set aside to remember. Some are joyous, celebrating the triumphs, miracles and bravery on which Israel was built. Others are solemn, commemorating the tragedies, heartaches and sacrifices woven into the chronicles of the Jewish people. Tisha B’Av—literally the 9th day of the biblical month,

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Friendly Firefighting: Israel Returns Favor to Help Cyprus

Six years ago, with Israel’s Carmel Forest ablaze and the Jewish state needing help, Cyprus sent their lone firefighting aircraft to assist. When Cyprus faced their own blaze in June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered three Israeli firefighting aircraft to join efforts to put out the blaze, which was already the biggest in recent

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