Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Kotel decision: A Sephardic Jew responds

by Rabbi Daniel Bouskila for JewishJournal

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Kotel had no barrier separating the sexes. It was an open place of prayer, spirituality and meditation for all Jews. Those were the days when Jews were not branded by denominations. Somehow, this ancient, sacred space was transformed into a shtetl-style ultra-Orthodox synagogue, a commercialized bar mitzvah factory and a focal point of tension, violence and divisiveness among Jews of various modern-day denominations.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Yes, Many Journalists Choose Sides in a Conflict—and Often for the Worst Reasons

Zenobia Ravji for The Tower

It’s important to remember that journalists are human beings, too—and just like everyone else at work, they can often be overwhelmed, underprepared, bought with kindness, and subject to unconscious bias.

People always ask me if I’m pro-Israel. No one has ever asked me if I am pro-America or pro-Canada or pro-Kenya, where I was born. What does it mean to be pro-Israel? The question even seems vaguely offensive, as if it questions the legitimacy of Israel itself.
I am sure that the concept of a Jewish state has always made sense to me. Perhaps because I myself come from an ancient ethnic and religious minority, the Zoroastrians, who continue to live in a diaspora outside of what was once our homeland, Iran.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

3 maps that explain the Western Wall compromise

By Ben Sales for JTA

The Western Wall compromise passed Sunday by Israel’s Cabinet represents a landmark interdemoninational consensus at what many consider to be Judaism’s holiest site.  But describing the deal can be confusing: One worship area will expand, the others will remain untouched and the site’s entrance will change.

So here are three maps, appended to the deal and obtained by JTA, that show what will be built, what will stay the same and how it all fits together.

The non-Orthodox section expands

The deal’s core provision is a dramatic expansion of the Western Wall’s non-Orthodox section, modeled here. The non-Orthodox section lies immediately to the south of the main Orthodox plaza, next to an archaeological park called Robinson’s Arch.

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Bahraini princess had life-saving surgery in Israel, deputy minister says

By Raphael Ahren for The Times of Israel

Member of royal family chose Israel over the US, says Likud’s Ayoub Kara; claims he will now meet with officials from Gulf nation

An Israeli hospital recently provided life-saving treatment to a Bahraini princess, Israel’s Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara said Monday.

Kara refused to name the princess or disclose the nature of the surgery. He also refused to specify when it took place, though he said she had the treatment at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center. In its aftermath, he said, he will now meet with officials from the tiny Gulf nation, and intends to use the opportunity to strengthen Jerusalem’s unofficial alliance with Sunni Arab states in the region.

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