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Crisis Deepens for Ethiopian and Ukrainian Jews

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Revering the Name of God

Studying Jewish worldview and culture has greatly enriched my life on many levels. For instance, when I see the reverence that Jewish people have for God’s name I am often challenged. It is a deeply held precept often referred to as Kiddush HaShem—Sanctifying God’s name. This is usually done in two main ways: by living

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Arabs Want Peace with Israel, but Palestinians Do Not

Peace in the Middle East is more than just a dream. For multiple Arab nations and Israel, it’s already something of a reality—or at least close enough for now. That’s the opinion of Dr. Jonathan Spyer, a Middle East expert who told The Mideast Update that secretive relations between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United

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Rejoicing with Jerusalem

2017 will be remembered as the year of unforgettable anniversaries. In 1917 the Balfour Declaration was penned and General Allenby liberated Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire. The first Zionist Congress met 120 years ago and issued a united declaration to establish a Jewish homeland. This was pivotal for the next milestone which came 70 years

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2017: Anniversaries Tell the Story

Despite the serious issues today’s world is constantly facing, 2017 is proving to be quite the amazing year. A close look at this year’s calendar reveals over two dozen anniversaries of historical events that have significantly impacted civilization in one way or another. And there really is something for everyone. For the lighthearted among us,

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To Deal or Not to Deal, the Trump Question for Israel

A quiet chuckle and a smile from Donald Trump stood out during his first face-to-face press conference with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in February. Of course, laughter can be the joint expression of joy or a false effort to appear humored—and relationships between Israel and the United States have sometimes felt like just that dichotomy

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The Western Wall: Behind the Bricks and Mortar

It is a sight singular to Jerusalem. Friday afternoons, when the sun starts its descent, the shops shut their doors tight, the hum of peak traffic quiets to a hush and the sidewalks in the City of Gold fill with people heading in one direction. Fathers with sidelocks walk in step with their young sons,

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Light that Seeps Through Evil

Gracia (Hannah) Nasi and Hannah Senesh lived their lives during two of the darkest periods in history for European Jewry, the Inquisition and the Holocaust, when rampant persecution ran amok and threatened the very existence of the Jewish people. Though separated by centuries, our heroines’ lives were united by more than just their first names—both

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Egged, Riding the Bus

Since I first came to Jerusalem as a volunteer ten years ago, I have been fascinated with Egged, Israel’s largest public transportation system. To explain, I grew up in Alaska, in an area where you were more likely to spot a moose grazing alongside the road than a public bus, so maybe the novelty hasn’t

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Festivals of Summer

Celebrating life to the fullest and maximizing the opportunities to have fun, are two of the things Israelis do best. Israel has cultivated a few unique festivals which are hosted during summertime, catering to a wide variety of tastes. From festivals you can actively participate in, like the Karmiel Dance Festival; to those that tickle

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Living Next to Gaza

Israel is a tiny nation whose citizens all live short distances from her borders with neighboring countries. Of course, some live closer than others and two of those borders—Gaza in the southwest, and Lebanon–Syria in the north—are very hostile. What is it like to live within sight of the Gaza border? This autumn, the Bridges

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