These weeks before Passover are in one coincidental way like the ancient Jews’ exodus from Egypt: everything is done in a hurry. There’s chametz to remove, boxes of dishes to shlep, food to buy, seder guests to invite, etc.
With time at a premium, who has the leisure to prepare for the spiritual purpose of Pesach — removing the chametz from us, imagining ourselves as part of the throng of ex-slaves entering an unknown wilderness? If your meals are ready for yom tov but you’re not, what have you accomplished?
More is at stake in D.C. meeting for Netanyahu than for Obama, observers say.
The smart money (is there such a thing when it comes to American presidents and Israeli prime ministers?) says, No friction.
The atmospherics (the Israeli prime minister won’t utter the words “two-state solution” and his foreign minister wants to ignore prior accords, while the American president wants an end to settlement building) say, Friction galore.
Obama’s Iran deadline bought some time in his relationship with Israel and its leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.
While President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu halfway on the volatile issue of Iran during their inaugural meeting in Washington this week, gaps between the two allies on the issue remain wide — and could get wider still as the administration begins dealing with a palate of unattractive policy options.
Maimonides scholarship is thriving. But there has always been a healthy interest in, and veneration of, the life and works of Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon — in his Hebrew acronymic, “the Rambam.” Jewish philosopher, jurist and halachist nonpareil, physician, communal leader — Moses Maimonides looms larger than any other figure in Jewish intellectual, social, and religious history.
Soccer and basketball are Israel’s most popular sports, so what is U.S. Ambassador Dan Kurtzer going to discuss at an event called “A Celebration of Jews in Baseball” — alef-beisball?
No, Kurtzer tells The Jewish Week, he plans to use baseball as a mirror on American culture.
In medieval times in the Middle East, translators in synagogues would render the reading of the weekly Torah portion from Hebrew into the vernacular Arabic or Aramaic.
Something similar took place in Manhattan this week.
Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Some think that Israel’s settlements have done nothing for Israel politically. In fact, the settlements have given Israel something to give away. “Land for peace” – in the mouths of most Arabs, the most cynical phrase since Arbeit Macht Frei — requires land. If Israel didn’t have West Bank land, it would be asked to give up other land instead.
As he visits Israel this week for the second time in four months, President George W. Bush has scaled down his expectations for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
Instead of the optimism he displayed late last year when he spoke of the creation of a Palestinian state before he left office, Bush told Israeli journalists Monday that he was hoping the two sides could “get a state defined by the end of my presidency.”