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A Ray of Hope

Life in Israel

The Forgotten Exodus: Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries

I knew Hannah Behar was extraordinary the first time she cupped my cheeks in her age-gnarled hands and called me habibti (Arabic term of endearment). At 86, Behar—a friend’s grandmother who welcomed me in her home as a daughter—was the picture of vitality and spunk. Her exceptional character, I learned, was forged in the fires

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Fighting the Good Fight: Israeli Athletes Facing Discrimination

“I think not going is losing.” — Gili Cohen Gili Cohen first hit the judo mat when she was four years old. An Israeli citizen from Ra’anana, just 20 minutes north of Tel Aviv, the 26-year-old is now a leading judoka who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In October, she climbed the podium at

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Israel’s New National Aquarium

What’s it like to be a fish? As human beings we are dependent on the air we breathe, so unless we scuba dive or snorkel, avenues to enter a watery environment are quite limited. Therefore, the underwater world is a mystery to most of us. Aquariums, large and small, give us a chance to see

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A Dry and Thirsty Land

Thursday, 14 December 2017 | This winter’s first rainfall appeared on schedule—during the week of Sukkot, the second week of October. At that time, Arutz Sheva published an article with this quote from Water Authority spokesman Uri Shore, “If God forbid the coming winter is similar to the previous four, then our water sources are going

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Israel Desperately Needs a “Season of Rain”

Friday, 08 December, 2017 | Wednesday morning there were dark gray clouds on the horizon in Jerusalem. Rain had been in the forecast and as I walked to the bus stop, I wondered how much would fall? I had optimistically put my umbrella in my bag but it wasn’t raining yet. However, when I got

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Send the Rain

Friday, 01 December 2017 | Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, Moses spoke to them about many things. One of them was specifically related to water—they would have to depend upon rainfall for their agricultural needs. “For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you

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Welcoming the Rain

Friday, 24 November 2017 | 365 Fascinating Facts about Israel contains this nugget of information: “It is a remarkable fact that Jerusalem and London share the same average rainfall of 22 inches (55 cm) per year! The difference is that in Jerusalem it all falls within about 50 days in heavy downpours, whereas in London

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Aliyah as an Act of Faith

Wednesday 22 November 2017 | As they emerged from the plane at Ben-Gurion Airport, exhausted yet suffused with excitement, the latest batch of 82 Bnei Menashe immigrants from northeastern India to arrive in Israel marched toward passport control and suddenly burst into song. Invoking the verse in the Book of Jeremiah (31:16), where the Creator

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Waiting for the “Former Rain”

Friday, 17 November, 2017 | When planning an outdoor summer activity in Israel, we do not consider whether or not it will rain. With very few exceptions—and those are seen as specific acts of God—rain does not fall between May and September. When the Bible refers to the “former” and “latter” rains, the timing for

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Hidden Life of the Dead Sea

The turquoise blue waters of the Dead Sea shimmer in the sunshine like an exotic jewel set between the Judean Hills of Israel and the Moab Mountains of Jordan. For millennia, this natural wonder has cast its allure over people who have come to seek the healing properties of its mineral-laden waters and nutrient-rich black

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