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Israel & Jerusalem

Indoctrinated for Hate and Death

The Palestinian powers-that-be are masters of doublespeak, adapting their message to stir the emotions of the audience they happen to address. When the audience is the United Nations, international funding agencies, the world media or English-speaking college students, the message is one of harmony, painting the Palestinian people as a victimized, misunderstood group yearning for

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Unpacking the Abraham Accords

Most people would agree we are living in pretty remarkable times. However, some might not recognize that one of the hallmarks of life today is a very short collective memory. Yesterday’s news seems to disappear in the clamor of today’s headlines, and somehow, as important as it might have seemed when it was read yesterday,

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Sweet Treats and Family Fun: The Delightful Traditions Surrounding Hanukkah

During the season when daylight is short in Israel and sheets of rain are accompanied by frigid winds, the holiday of Hanukkah (Festival of Lights) offers a welcome reprieve. For eight days, this lively holiday is filled with the warmth of light, the sweetness of festive foods and the joy of family time. Join me

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What Was Meant for Evil

Nearly 4,000 years ago, a Hebrew boy turned slave turned second-in-command of Egypt came face-to-face with the architects of the evil that tore him from everything he’d known. Facing the brothers who had sold him into slavery, Joseph could have lamented the loss or rehashed the heartbreak. Instead, Israel’s favorite son rejoiced in the blessing

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Shabbat

“Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Genesis 2:3 Shabbat. Sabbath. In Israel, it’s as if simply saying the word has a calming effect. It’s a holiday that comes around faithfully every week, as prescribed by God to the

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All Eyes on Israel

Calling 2020 an unusual year would be quite the understatement. This was, after all, the year of a global pandemic without cure sweeping the world, shuttering the nations in isolation, grinding health care systems, international travel and everyday life to a halt and bringing business, economies and livelihoods to their knees. Israel was far from

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The Changing Face of Jerusalem

From the window at Christ Church Guest House, I watched the ancient sandstone streets swell at all times of the day and night as pilgrims went about celebrating Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). Just like the Jerusalem conjured in my imagination—a city lost in time, an eternal city, untouched by the winds of modernity—my first stay

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Israel’s Extraordinary Family Dynamic

Nowadays when we travel, especially internationally, we are warned to be careful of strangers. Beware of pickpockets, chancers and cheats. Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t wear your wallet in your back pocket or carry an open purse. Keep your valuables close to keep them safe. Don’t trust strangers on the street. This is wise

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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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