Torah scrolls from the New York area are writing new chapters in the lives of Israeli soldiers and of a struggling Ethiopian congregation in the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh.
From the National Council of Young Israel (NCYI), which has donated dozens of Torah scrolls over the years, to the East Midwood Jewish Center, which made its maiden Torah run two weeks ago, this is the summer of the celebratory dance with Torah held high, a trans-Atlantic act of kindness, many times over.
With the return Wednesday of the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed by Hezbollah terrorists in 2006, Israelis turned their attention to negotiations to free Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured two years ago by Hamas and its allies.
But a new round of negotiations mediated by Egypt that were to begin this week in Cairo was unexpectedly called off by Hamas Monday, reportedly to try to force Egypt to reopen the Rafah crossing connecting Egypt and the Gaza Strip before coming to the bargaining table.
by Larry Cohler-Esses |
Editor At Large
With some 53,000 residents in the state’s rural north-central flatlands, Monroe, La., is not the kind of town that would normally expect to play host to the mayor of Jerusalem. But in October 2002, Ehud Olmert came to the county seat of Ouachita Parish to urge 500 to 1,000 Evangelical Christians to give, and give generously, to support victims of terrorism in the Holy City he then governed.
The summit conference of Mediterranean leaders in Paris this weekend will offer Syrian President Bashar Assad and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert a chance to advance peace talks. The two men will be in the same room, among a group of 40 leaders, for the first time. And though no direct meeting is scheduled between Assad and Olmert, there is speculation that it might take place.
Analysts in Israel disagree, though, over whether that would be a good thing.
Gary Rosenblatt |
Editor and Publisher
Sderot, Israel — There’s far more to Sderot than the almost daily Kassam rocket attacks and the victimized, stressed-out residents we read about in the headlines.
There is all of that, for sure, but there are also stories to be told of people here who are as in love with this mostly poor town of about 20,000, about a mile from the Gaza border, as they are frustrated with and deeply pained by a government that has allowed them to be targeted by Palestinian militants’ rockets for more than seven years.
By staving off early elections this week through a last-minute deal with the Labor Party, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has given himself more time to try to negotiate peace deals with both the Palestinian Authority and Syria. But opposition leaders warn that any such deal would surely bring down the government.