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Tu b’Av Love and the Power of “Shema”
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Posted on: July 7th, 2010

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Regarding the positive Torah commandment to pray, Rambam writes, "This commandment obligates each person to offer supplication and prayer every day and utter praises of the Holy One, blessed be He; then petition for all his needs with requests and supplications; and finally, give praise and thanks to God for the goodness that He has bestowed upon him - each one according to his own ability" (Mishneh Torah 1:2).

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Posted on: June 16th, 2010

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One Jew. One lonely Jew. Our brother. Our sister. Our neighbor. Our friend. Frustrated. Bewildered. Alone.

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Posted on: June 9th, 2010

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Many are puzzled by the widespread support in European democracies of Palestinian groups and Arab states that promote genocidal anti-Semitism. After all, Palestinian and broader Arab anti-Semitism draws heavily, in its anti-Jewish propaganda, on Nazi models, and Western Europe and the European Union are supposed to be opposed to everything touching on Nazism and its genocidal policies.

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Posted on: June 2nd, 2010

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In 1939, when Reb Sholom Halberstam, brother-in-law of the saintly Bobover Rebbe Shlomo Halberstam, and some other Jews were fleeing from the approaching German armies, they came to a Polish town where the sexton of the synagogue, upon hearing their story, told them to stop running because the arrival of the Messiah was imminent.

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Posted on: May 26th, 2010

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In the summer of 1993, shortly before I was to participate in an international conference on the concept of the hero in Jewish history, I began researching how Israeli society had perpetuated the memory of the Yishuv (Jewish community in pre-state Israel) parachutists from World War II.

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Posted on: May 18th, 2010

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Lo Signov - You Shall Not Steal. On the surface, it sounds quite uncomplicated. (Aren't even young children taught not to help themselves to something - anything - that is not theirs?) If we are honest with ourselves, however, we'd have to agree the myriad ways this commandment is breached render it less straightforward than the two simple words might at first glance imply.

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Posted on: May 12th, 2010

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Jews have been accused of harming and murdering of non-Jews since the 12th century in England, when the Jewish convert to Catholicism Theobald of Cambridge proclaimed that European Jews ritually slaughtered Christian children each year and drank their blood during Passover season.

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Posted on: May 5th, 2010

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Shame wells up in me as I thread my way through the cluster of young wives standing near my home, animatedly talking with one another as their children play at their feet. Four shopping bags dangle from one arm, five from another, and I shift them uncomfortably as I carry them from my car, practically bent over from their weight.

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Posted on: April 28th, 2010

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Thirty years ago - Friday evening, May 2, 1980 - in Hebron. Inside Me'arat HaMachpelah, the massive 2,000-year-old Herodian edifice above the tombs of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people, the Shabbat service had just concluded.

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Posted on: April 21st, 2010

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"There is a thin line between love and hate," the saying goes. Two opposite emotions, yet one can so easily transmute into the other.

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Posted on: April 14th, 2010

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Editor's Note: Monday, April 19 (5 Iyar), is Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day. To mark the occasion, we've excerpted portions of an address by then-Israeli Ambassador Abba Eban to the UN General Assembly's Special Political Committee on November 17, 1958.

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Posted on: April 8th, 2010

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It was evident, in the years preceding World War II, that humanity had no desire to throw a saving rope to the drowning Jewish people.

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Posted on: March 24th, 2010

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It is a story that should serve as the ultimate cautionary tale for any Jewish community tempted to mistake a period of vibrancy for a guarantee of immortality.

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Posted on: March 17th, 2010

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Late last year, I was flying from Los Angeles to San Jose - a trip I have made many times in the course of my professional career. Over the years, I have watched the San Jose airport transform itself - from a one-building terminal with rental cars parked on the curb to an international airport with rental car facilities much larger than the entire airport I first visited many years ago.

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Posted on: March 10th, 2010

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A few months ago, football's New York Jets willingly accommodated Jewish fans by moving their home opener from the evening to the early afternoon of the same day. That evening - Yom Kippur - would have presumably found thousands of the Jets faithful in synagogue and not at the Meadowlands or glued to their television sets.

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Posted on: March 3rd, 2010

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The city of Haifa is still recovering from the trauma of the summer of 2006, when it, along with the rest of northern Israel, was targeted by thousands of Katyusha rockets, fired from southern Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. Haifa has also been targeted by several suicide bombers who carried out mass murders against civilians in buses and restaurants.

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Posted on: February 24th, 2010

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Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B'Simcha scream the colorfully illustrated posters hanging in Jewish homes and synagogues all over the globe during the month of Adar, in literal affirmation of our escalating sense of joy.

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Posted on: February 10th, 2010

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It sounds like a contradiction in terms. An oxymoron. If only it were. Jewish anti-Semitism is a modern disease. The world is experiencing an explosion of it. Among the most malicious and venomous of all bigots, Jewish anti-Semites are at the forefront of just about every smear campaign against Israel and other Jews.

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Posted on: February 3rd, 2010

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There are only a handful of mitzvot about which the Torah hints to their reward and even fewer about which we are told precisely what the reward will be. One of these is kibbud av va'em, honoring our parents, the fifth of the Ten Commandments given at Sinai.

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Posted on: January 27th, 2010

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I see him now in my mind's eye. He is sitting at his desk in his office at The Jewish Press, a Gemara open before him, other scholarly tomes on the side, engaged in what he loved best: learning Torah.

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