Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It’s Never Too Late To Atone

Even if the person you wronged doesn’t remember what you did, it can still make a difference to ask for forgiveness. Maybe.

By Etgar Keret for Tablet Magazine

Never Too LateYom Kippur was always my favorite holiday. Even in nursery school, when all the other kids liked Purim because of the costumes, Hanukkah because of the latkes, and Passover because of the long vacation, I was hooked on Yom Kippur. If holidays were like kids, I once thought when I was still a boy, then Purim and Hanukkah would be the most popular in class, Rosh Hashanah would be the most beautiful, and Yom Kippur would be a kind of weirdo, a loner, but the most interesting of all. When I think about that now, “a kind of weirdo, a loner, but the most interesting of all” is exactly how I saw myself then, so maybe the real reason I loved Yom Kippur so much is that I thought it was like me. The thing is that even though I’m not a kind of weirdo anymore, definitely not a loner, and grown-up enough now to understand that I’m not the most interesting, I’m still in love with that holiday.

Maybe it’s because Yom Kippur is the only holiday I know that, because of its very nature, recognizes human weakness. If on Passover, Moses and God settled accounts with the Egyptians, on Hanukkah Judah Maccabee beat the crap out of the Greeks, and on Israeli Independence day we fought bravely against the Arabs and won our country, on Yom Kippur we’re not a heroic dynasty or a people, but a collection of individuals who look in the mirror, are ashamed of what demands shame, and ask forgiveness for what can be forgiven. And maybe that was actually the quality that attracted me to Yom Kippur from the very beginning, that it is the most private of all our holidays, a day when you stand alone before your deeds and their consequences without TV, without bustling caf├ęs and restaurants, without stores crammed with merchandise, without all the rest of the day-to-day noise that makes them more palatable. It’s the holiday when you come face to face with your life as it is, and there’s no stupid reality show to divert your attention, no news updates, no chocolate-chip ice cream cone to offer you some consolation.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Meet Israel’s Warhead-laden ‘Suicide Bomber’ Drone (VIDEO)

From The Algemeiner

Several months after Iran revealed what it said was a “suicide drone” – which military experts later deemed a fake – Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) recently showcased its own version of a UAV that dive bombs into its target, Israel’s Globes business site reported on Sunday.

Publicly displayed at a Tel-Aviv-area exhibition last week, the 8 ft (2.5 meter) long, 51 lb (23 kilo) HAROP reportedly has a 1,000 kilometer range, and can loiter over a battlefield for six hours, according to IAI.

First revealed in 2009 at the Aero India trade show, the camera-laden, folding-wing HAROP can fly unassisted, or be guided by an operator, who is also able to abort a mission at the last moment before the explosive charge in the device hits the target.

India purchased some 40 of the aircraft in a $100 million deal in 2009, according to Globes, and other nations have also purchased hundreds of the drone.
Watch a video of the HAROP in action:

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Achieve a High Holiday Breakthrough

You are the CEO of your life. It’s time to start acting like it.

by Rabbi Shraga Simmons for aish.com
CEO of your lifeHigh Holiday BreakthroughEvery human being possesses unlimited potential for greatness and a unique ability to impact the world for good.

So why isn’t life a constantly pulsating, runaway success?

Because to some extent we don't take life seriously. We get distracted, lulled into a game of how many Facebook likes and retweets we score.

Taking life seriously means justifying each moment on Earth.

Brand CEO

In today's social media world, our posts paint a particular self-portrait. Our lives are broadcast for everyone to see – how we spend our time, what arouses our attention, and what values we hold dear.

As such, each of us represents a unique "brand."

The CEO of your brand is, naturally, you.

As CEO, you have bottom-line responsibility for your life.

That means you need to define your unique purpose and contribution to humanity. You can do this by asking key questions:

• What is my unique skill set and circumstances?
• What are my core values?
• What fuels my passion?
• At the end of my life, how will this all add up?

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Jewish Mothers Cooking: Healthy Rosh Hashanah Apple Cobbler

I love apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, but since we have so much fruit left over this time of year, I try and get a little more creative while trying to stay healthy.

By Another Rachel for Jewcy

Apple CobblerThis recipe comes to us thanks to Susan Kohen from Virginia, with a note that read: “I love apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, but since we have so many apples this time of year, I try and get a little more creative while trying to stay healthy.”

- However many apples you have in the fridge
- Sugar
- 1 Lemon
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, etc.
- Vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: Any other fruit you might have can work too–raspberries, plums, peaches, etc.

- Do you have Quaker Oats? Not fancy oats. Just regular Quaker Oats.
- Some sort of chopped nut
- Any bits of cereal that are left at the bottom of the bag that might be too small a portion for a full bowl of cereal
- Butter/Margarine
- Stevia packets
- Cinnamon/Nutmeg
- Salt

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Mother of Murdered Israeli Teen: A Rosh Hashanah Message

Rachelle Fraenkel's inspiring message to the Jewish people.

from aish.com

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The End of American Jewish Literature, Again

What role does America play in Jewish life, and by extension what kind of Jewish literature can be created here?

By David Bezmozgis

End of American Jewish LiteratureThe title of this talk is “The End of American Jewish Literature, Again.” It alludes to an oft-cited and, for some, provocative essay written by the late American Jewish scholar and critic Irving Howe. The essay was in fact his introduction to an anthology he edited, Jewish-American Stories, published in 1977. The anthology assembled stories by many of the writers responsible for what is considered to be the golden age of American Jewish writing: Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, Grace Paley, Bernard Malamud, Henry Roth, Stanley Elkin, and others. Usually when the essay is invoked it is for the lines that appear near its conclusion. I’ll quote them for you in full:

There remains the question, worth asking if impossible to answer with certainty: What is the likely future of American Jewish writing? Has it already passed its peak of achievement and influence? Can we expect a new generation of writers to appear who will contribute to American literature a distinctive sensibility and style derived from the Jewish experience in this country?

Howe continues:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Half a Million Jews will Participate in Rosh Hashanah Tefilos but a Million & a Half Jews Hide their Jewishness

From TheYeshivaWorld.com

Hiding JewishnessData gathered from more than 800 rabbis and members of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCA), together with the European Jewish Association (EJA), indicates that about half a million Jews will this year attend Rosh Hashanah tefilos held in 1353 synagogues across Europe, to mark the Jewish New Year next week.

Recent data of Jewish weddings in Europe, also indicates that there is 80% intermarriage among Europe’s Jewish communities, when compared with the total number of Jews.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, General Director of the European Jewish Association and of the RCE revealed that, according to data gathered from more than 800 European Jewish communities in the lead-up to Rosh Hashanah, about 40% of Europe’s Jews choose to hide their Jewishness and about 75% of Jewish children in Europe are not enrolled in Jewish schools. In addition, whilst twice as many Jews are reported to attend shul on Yom Kippur as on Shabbos throughout the year, 70% of Europe’s Jews choose not to go to shul during the Yomim Nora’im.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why journalists say Israeli-Arab reporting is ‘rigged’

By Dafna Maor for Haaretz, part of an article in Mosaic by Tom Gross

Arab-Israel Reporting RiggedThe Israeli-Palestinian conflict receives a disproportionate amount of attention in relation to its size and importance in the world; journalists follow the herd and suffer from groupthink; and there is fear of Palestinian censorship, backed up by threats.

These are just a few of journalist Matti Friedman’s claims against the foreign media and its coverage of Israel.

“As a former insider, and as an Israeli with left-wing opinions that are not radical, I think the decisions that the bureaus of the large global media outlets in Israel make are politically motivated and disguised as motivated by journalistic considerations,” says Friedman, a Canadian-born journalist who immigrated to Israel in 1995 and worked as a reporter for the Associated Press.

During his career he has worked as a reporter in Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Moscow and Washington, D.C.

In 2013 he published “The Aleppo Codex: In Pursuit of One of the World’s Most Coveted, Sacred and Mysterious Books” (Algonquin Books).

His article about press coverage of Israel, entitled “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” which appeared in Tablet magazine in late August, was shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and made a good many waves.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

NY artist watches his language at the Jewish Museum

The raw sensory meaning of words is explored in new exhibit, ‘Mel Bochner: Strong Language’

By Cathryn J. Prince for The Times of Israel

BochnerNEW YORK — Awesome! Heart-stopping! Gaga! Meshugga! They’re just words. Or not. The Jewish Museum’s exhibit “Mel Bochner: Strong Language” explores the meaning of words. More than 70 works fill the first floor gallery space. Each one explores the tension between the visual and the verbal through the words themselves and the colors Bochner chose to paint them.

“It looks at the way your brain processes language,” said Norman Kleeblatt, the Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator of The Jewish Museum.

Born in 1940, Bochner is considered a pioneer of incorporating language into visual art. Growing up in an observant Jewish household, Jewish thought, wordplay and the way in which text can be manipulated have long intrigued Bochner. For Bochner, the thesaurus is a “warehouse of words.”
Kleeblatt said.

The Jewish Museum decided on an exhibition of Bochner’s work some years ago. Kleeblatt, who curated “Strong Language,” was working on acquiring a Bochner for the museum.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What Does Israel Education Look Like NOW?

By Dan Finkel for eJewish Philanthropy

Israel EducationJewish educational networks buzzed all summer with questions about how to handle returning to school in the wake of the conflict in Israel and Gaza this past summer. Educators are still looking for ways to process their own (often conflicted) thoughts and emotions, and continue to discuss what approach to take in handling these complex current events in school settings. I am no different – I spent the summer worrying about family, friends, and colleagues in Israel, sickened by violence, dismayed by the persistence of what feels like a hopeless cycle, and shocked by suddenly open displays of anti-Arab racism in Israel and anti-Semitism all over the world. I was also overwhelmed by the thought of helping faculty members, parents, and students learn something from these events once school started. Yet, when I began reaching out to colleagues, many educational strategies began to crystallize. Last week, I entered the school year with great clarity of purpose. Here is some of what we are doing at the Ronald C. Wornick Jewish Day School in Foster City, CA to help students process this summer’s events.

School Position & Guidelines

When we ask our teachers to enter the classroom, we ask them to check most of their own emotional baggage at the door, so that they can support and care for their students. This means that the classroom is not a place for them to put forth their own personal political views. So how are they supposed to talk about Israel? We have a few guidelines for teachers for this specific situation, as well as an official school position (below) on the current conflict. The guidelines below provide a strong framework in which substantive discussions and learning occur:

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Oh, Looky there, Saudi Arabia is Building a Fence to Keep Out the Riff-Raff

Saudi Arabian Fence

Saudi Arabia is about to build its second hundreds of miles long security fence, this one on its northern border.

By: Lori Lowenthal Marcus for The Jewish Press

On Friday, Sept. 5, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced that the kingdom is about to build a fence to protect its northern border from infiltration by “infiltrators and smugglers,” according to Saudi media.

The fence will cover approximately 560 miles. It will include five layers of fencing, reinforced by surveillance by watch towers, night-vision cameras and radar.

Iraq is Saudi Arabia’s northern neighbor, and relations between the two Arab Muslim countries have been, well, less than neighborly. According to the Saudis, outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki is to blame for the jihadist insurgency in his country. Al-Maliki is responsible, so the Saudi line goes, because he marginalized the Sunni minority, which enraged them to such a pitch they became homicidal genocidal bloodthirsty brutal murderers. As if al-Maliki is singlehandedly responsible for the birth and spreading contagion of ISIS.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Europe's Alarming Push to Isolate Israel

This article first appeared in Newsmax.com in March and is worth revisiting now.

By Alan Dershowitz

Alan DershowitzWhen President Barack Obama warned of "international fallout" if Israel fails to embrace the latest U.S. Middle East peace proposal, Newsmax asked noted author and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz to comment on the growing talk of a European boycott against Israel.

Why are so many of the grandchildren of Nazis and Nazi collaborators who brought us the Holocaust once again declaring war on the Jews?

Why have we seen such an increase in anti-Semitism and irrationally virulent anti-Zionism in western Europe?

To answer these questions, a myth must first be exposed. That myth is the one perpetrated by the French, the Dutch, the Norwegians, the Swiss, the Belgians, the Austrians, and many other western Europeans: namely that the Holocaust was solely the work of German Nazis aided perhaps by some Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian collaborators.


The Holocaust was perpetrated by Europeans — by Nazi sympathizers and collaborators among the French, Dutch, Norwegians, Swiss, Belgians, Austrians and other Europeans, both Western and Eastern.

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