This year, the second day of Chanukah will coincide with the 144th anniversary of the worst official act of anti-Semitism in American history.
"Making the Desert Bloom" is one of the axioms of David Ben-Gurion's remarkable legacy - one that has fired the imagination of Israeli farmers, international donors and the Zionist movement for more than half a century.
For almost three decades I have represented women in the rabbinical courts of Israel. While divorce is almost always an unpleasant business, many couples find a way to dissolve their marriage with a minimum of acrimony and vindictiveness. The hundreds of women whose divorces I have handled, however, were victims of greedy, abusive husbands who refused to free their wives, demanding exorbitant financial and other payments. In a system based on justice and fairness, such men would have been exposed and rejected.
After three years of nearly non-stop effort - years spent speaking to rabbis, getting Knesset members to motivate their colleagues, reaching out to Muslim clergy, to the pope, and ultimately to the heretofore uninformed masses of haredim and datiyim - the cholent I cooked up together with a handful of activists such as Jerusalem Councilwoman Mina Fenton, activist Efrayim Holtzberg, and Dr. Daisy Stern finally came to a boil.
Concluded in mid-September, the sixth annual International Conference on Global Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel, underscored the growing threat of mega-terror. To a large extent, this existential threat to Israel is made worse by the always-deliberate insertion of terrorist personnel and assets in the midst of civilian populations.
One moderate Muslim voice, a brave Bangladeshi journalist, has withstood years of unfair persecution in Dhaka for supporting Israel. He's been jailed and beaten, and as he now prepares to stand trial for his life, it's time for the world community to act.
"I don't want to learn and that's it! I go to yeshiva all week and I need a break!" Your son storms off and slams the door. All you had done was innocently ask him to learn on Shabbos afternoon. Your son, however, felt like a parolee asked to go back into solitary confinement. This is, to say the least, a painful experience for both father and son.
Israel is trying to reinvent itself. Two weeks ago, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni hosted a conference where she launched a new multi-million dollar project to "rebrand" Israel. As Livni put it, since coming into office, she has been struck by the disparity between the vibrant, liberal, free Israel she knows and Israel's image abroad.
The landmark meeting of the first Global Rabbinic Task Force on Agunot, scheduled to be held in Jerusalem this week, was the culmination of a decades-long struggle by the International Council of Jewish Women (ICJW) to facilitate such a rabbinical summit. Its last-minute cancellation by Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar has disappointed all of us, but is most devastating for the world's agunot - those women who remain trapped in broken Jewish marriages because their husbands refuse to give them the necessary halachic divorce document (get).
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has reportedly asked Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to free imprisoned terrorist Marwan Barghouti. Her argument, it would appear, is that the Tanzim leader remains very popular among the Palestinians, and that he is the only Fatah representative who could successfully supplant the Hamas-led government.