Yom Ha'atzmaut

Reform Leader Lights Independence Torch

04/20/2010

(JTA) – Israel included a Reform rabbi for the first time in launching its Independence Day celebrations.

Rabbi Richard Hirsch was one of 14 Israelis asked to help light the torch Monday evening marking the start of Israel’s 62nd Independence Day.

The committee naming the honorees, working out of the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recognized Hirsch for strengthening ties between the Reform movement and Israel.

Israel At 62

04/20/2010

The skies over Israel were clear on Monday night, clear enough for the annual fireworks on the eve of Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Independence Day.

But for some Israelis, the celebration of the country’s 62nd birthday was overcast.

“62, Under a U.S. Cloud,” a headline over an editorial in the Jerusalem Post declared.

The newspaper said the current chilled relations between Israel and the Obama administration because of the pace of Middle East peace negotiations, added to the threat of a nuclear Iran, cast a pall over Independence Day.

Photo by Getty Images

Reform Leader Lights Independence Torch in Israel

04/20/2010

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israel included a Reform rabbi for the first time in launching its Independence Day celebrations.

Rabbi Richard Hirsch was one of 14 Israelis asked to help light the torch Monday evening marking the start of Israel's 62nd Independence Day.

The committee naming the honorees, working out of the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recognized Hirsch for strengthening ties between the Reform movement and Israel.

Conflict of Interest: Making Room For New Traditions

04/16/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

It must be nice to live in a world of Jewish absolutes. Denizens of the black and white Jewish world experience no discomfort. For them life is simple. Neither the extreme left nor the extreme right has any doubts. Their belief system permits no dichotomies, allows for no flexibility, and frowns on compromise. This is especially true of religion, and politics. More so when they are combined.

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