A group of local pro-Israel activists got together a few weeks ago and discovered they shared a distaste for the way Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, was being portrayed by much of the media in this country.
For traditional Jews, the Three Weeks are the darkest period on the Hebrew calendar. The period, which starts on the 17th day of Tammuz and ends on the ninth day of Av (Tisha b’Av, next Tuesday) when both Holy Temples in ancient Jerusalem fell, to the Babylonians and Romans, respectively.
Not yet. But four years after the sport that developed as a military training exercise among indigenous residents of the United States and Canada centuries ago was introduced in Israel, Israel’s men’s national lacrosse team ended its first appearance in last week’s World Lacrosse Championship with a seventh-place world ranking.
For 40 recent years, half in the last days of communism and half in freedom, the modest two-story, Classical-style synagogue building on Na Potoce Street in Brandys nad Labem, in central Czech Republic, had no signs of Jewish life. The town, which had a Jewish population of 380 in 1893 and nearly 140 in the early 1930s, had no known Jewish residents after the Holocaust; the synagogue was used for a time as a pharmaceuticals warehouse and as a repository of Prague’s Jewish Museum.
Many weeks during the year, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein finds himself in rural, impoverished areas of the former Soviet Union, delivering food packages and good cheer to aging members of the Jewish community.