Before there was a Jewish People, there was a Jewish family, and what a family it was.
It started with Abraham, who had marital strife caused by a jealous wife, parenting problems because his sons didn’t get along and he favored one over the other, and issues with his nephew Lot, who got in with a bad crowd in Sodom and Gomorrah.
A sobering statistic: Israel has averaged a war every eight years since statehood.
With that in mind, and with the memory of frightened civilians in the north left on their own while under rocket attack from Hezbollah in the summer of 2006, a small group of Israeli strategists started thinking about how to better prepare and mobilize the population before the next war, or natural disaster.
There is much I admire about Barack Obama, including his intellect, vision and ability to connect with people, personally and globally. Rarely have I seen a public figure so comfortable within his own skin, regardless of its color.
The Orthodox Union is set to name Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, a widely respected Baltimore spiritual leader, Torah scholar and psychotherapist, as its top professional next week, according to several sources.
Jerusalem — How do you explain to an American Jew who hasn’t visited Israel how safe one feels being there? Or that many Israelis really do enjoy their lives, despite the constant tensions they live with every day?
And how do you make an Israeli who has not spent much time abroad understand what “Jewish identity” means to an American Jew? It’s an alien concept to large numbers of people in the Jewish state who have no need to parse the Jewish and Israeli aspects of their DNA, and see themselves simply as Israelis.
One of the frustrations Israelis feel about the recently released Winograd Commission report is that it was too general in its stinging criticism of the Israeli government and army in their conduct of the 2006 war with Hezbollah. By blaming everyone — from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his cabinet to the commanders of the Israel Defense Forces — in a sense, it allowed everyone to remain blameless. Or more practically, it allowed each of the key figures to explain away his own actions and cast responsibility on someone else.