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.
Becoming a family caregiver can mean a gradual assumption of responsibilities, punctuated by episodes of acute illness, falls, lapses in judgment or other warning signs. Or it can be, as in my case, a catastrophic event that changes everything from Day One. My first Day One began at 8:18 a.m. on Jan. 15, 1990, when my late husband Howard and I were in an automobile accident that left him severely brain-injured and quadriplegic. I walked away with no physical injuries; the psychic shock came later.
Times of crisis can push societies to their extremes, inspiring solidarity, courage and compassion on the one hand, and straining capacities for resilience and tolerance on the other. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in Israel, where the conflict with Hamas galvanized a powerful sense of national community and, at the same time, increased tensions and acts of incitement between the country’s own Arab and Jewish citizens, deepening societal divisions.