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Israel & Jerusalem

The Blessings We Would Not Choose

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 two

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The Joint List: Unpacking Israel’s Unity Bloc of Arab Parties

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 homes

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Aliyah: The Call Upwards

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be

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Beauty from Destruction: Repurposing Rocket Shrapnel

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 look

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“Hidden” Jews Come Out of the Shadows

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 Iberian

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Christians Blessing Israel in Times of Crisis: A Legacy Continues

During the Six Day War of 1967, the founder of Bridges for Peace, Dr. G. Douglas Young, and his wife, Georgina (affectionately known as Snook), closed the lecture halls of the Israel–American Institute of Holy Land Studies (today Jerusalem University College) to help their Jewish neighbors beat the enemy. Young used the school van as

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The Prequel to the “Deal of the Century”

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 “Deal

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The Lone Soldiers Guarding Israel

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 of

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The Fight Must Go On

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 the

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Israeli Celebrations—Expressions of Joy, Sorrow and Hope

Israel’s Independence Day, Jerusalem. It is well past midnight, but the capital is more alive than ever. From the Old City to Jaffa Street—and all across the country—Israel celebrates. Standing on the crowded streets amid a thousand other revelers, it is easy to be swept up in the merriment. Foreigners and natives alike dance together

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