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Life in Israel

Something Old, Something New

One of my favorite things about living in Jerusalem is the seemingly never-ending layers of history that coexist with the style and energy of the modern capital of Israel. This city is a treasure trove of ancient history ever present amidst the contemporary everyday hustle and bustle of life. Let’s take a look at a

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A Sanctuary for Birds and Birders in Jerusalem

In the heart of the bustling city of Jerusalem, nestled between Israel’s Knesset (Parliament) and the Supreme Court, lies a serene nature sanctuary. The Nili and David Jerusalem Bird Observatory (JBO) rests on an acre-and-a-half (0.6 hectares) of lush land that provides a safe haven for some 200 species of birds and other wildlife within

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Second Temple Period Remains Unearthed at Gethsemane

Wednesday, 23 December 2020 | One of the first pieces of archaeological evidence of Second Temple-period activity at Gethsemane was unearthed near the modern church during archaeological excavations conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority [IAA] in collaboration with scholars from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum. A 2000-year-old ritual bath discovered at the site dates from the

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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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The Fruits of Peace: Moroccan Schools to Teach Jewish History

Monday, 14 December 2020 | Starting next term, the curriculum for Moroccan primary school students will include Jewish history and culture—a significant first in the region. On Thursday, Morocco made headlines around the world, as US President Donald Trump announced that the kingdom was the fourth Muslim-majority nation to normalize ties with Israel since August.

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Ben-Gurion Letter Outlining Vision for Israel Discovered after 69 Years

Thursday, 10 December 2020 | A previously unknown letter written by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, describing his vision for the nascent state was recently discovered, approximately 69 years after it was first sent. The 1951 missive to a Swedish journalist was kept by the recipient’s granddaughter, who is the current Swedish ambassador to

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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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WHO Meeting Deviates from Coronavirus to Lambaste Israel

Friday, 13 November 2020 | Deviating from its focus on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual assembly of the UN’s [United Nations] World Health Organization [WHO] held a four-hour session focused on Israel, which saw itself condemned in speeches by some 30 delegations, including Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba, Malaysia, Lebanon and

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