Gary Rosenblatt’s column, “An Inconvenient Truth” (Sept. 26), arguing that Jews should be concerned about Israel and terrorism threats as well as climate change, is reinforced by the following considerations: The Israeli Union for Environmental Defense projects that climate change will cause Israel to experience a temperature increase of 2 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit, a 20 to 30 percent decrease in average rainfall, severe storms when rain does occur, increased desertification, and an inundation of the coastal plain where most Israelis live by a rising Mediterranean Sea.
Contributing Editor Nathan Jeffay got it exactly right when he said that “the order of the day needs to be cohesion within Israeli society” (“Israel’s New Language Barrier,” Sept. 26). In the aftermath of heightened Jewish-Arab tensions surrounding the Gaza conflict, the last thing Israel needs is a renewed legislative effort to strip the Arabic language of its official status.
Mahmoud Abbas took a bit of the pressure off of Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli prime minister’s speech to the United Nation’s General Assembly on Monday. As least some of those who had hoped Netanyahu would make a bold gesture toward renewed peace negotiations understood that after the Palestinian president’s slanderous accusations against Israel in his own UN speech last Friday, Abbas was making the case for Jerusalem’s reluctance to proceed along the same old, unsuccessful path toward reconciliation with the Palestinian Authority.
Jewish life is dependent on accurate weights and measures. We have minimum and maximum sizes that determine the height of a sukkah, the appropriate amount of matzah to constitute the mitzvah and the length of a Shabbat enclosure that ensures it’s kosher. We believe that articulating and being honest about weights and measures helps us have a life that is more rewarding and satisfying because it is quantifiable and, we hope, more honest. This is straight from Deuteronomy: “You must have accurate and honest weights and measures, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (25:15).
Why is the confessional on Yom Kippur in the plural? There are many answers to this question, because on some level it seems inappropriate to take upon ourselves sins we have not committed. Why should admit to things of which we are guiltless?
In a new book, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen asks if Israel is good for the Jews?
Editor and Publisher
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Illustrating his assertion that Israel “is a tough sell” because of its policies toward the Palestinians and its negative image internationally, longtime Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, 73, observed the other day, “You couldn’t get Paul Newman to play [an Israeli war hero] in ‘Exodus’ today, people would laugh at it. It’s a pity.”
What is the purpose for which the Jewish people have been placed in the world? The answer is to be found within the Massif of Rosh HaShanah: the three blessings of Malchuyot (kingship), Zichronot (remembrances) and Shofarot (the essence of the shofar), each punctuated by the sounds of the shofar; each containing the essence of our faith.
With Arab-Jewish tensions running high in wake of Gaza war, a fresh attempt to downgrade status of Arabic.
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We all want to draw a line under this summer of upheaval in Israel, and it is easy to get the impression that the country is now back to “normal.” But the reality on the ground doesn’t match this assessment.
Ten years ago, my children, Ellen and Stephen, and their spouses, Andrew Hauptman and Claudine Blondin Bronfman, gave me the most unbelievable gift. They founded and endowed The Charles Bronfman Prize, which annually recognizes a humanitarian under the age of 50 who is changing the world, guided and informed by their Jewish values.