Israel

Aliyah Diary Post #2

Aliyah Diary Post #2

Chance encounters and profiling Walking to synagogue for morning prayers, I approached a spot where a scrubby-looking man, perhaps in his 50s, very unkempt gray beard, dressed in what appeared to be very old Israeli army khakis, was hunched over a dirt area, busily doing something with his back mostly turned to me.  I initially thought ...

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May 04
Posted in: Israel

Playing Catch-Up

Playing Catch-Up

Shalom from Jerusalem! This morning in synagogue, I gave a D’var Torah (short teaching) regarding Parashat (Torah Portion) Emor (Leviticus 21:1-25:23). I look forward to sharing it with you next week.  Why not this week?  Because whereas it is Shabbat Emor here in Israel, everywhere else in the world it is Shabbat Acharei Mot – Kiddoshim (a double portion), which we here read last week.  This difference in reading cycles occurs only for a few weeks every couple of years. Why?  The reason, like much of Jewish practice, combines historical, pragmatic, and “religious” considerations.

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Independence Days: 1840 and 2012

Independence Days: 1840 and 2012

The Jerusalem (N.Y.) Gazette

July 4, 1840

Strike Up the Band! Our glorious nation is 64 years young today!  It’s a day to celebrate and to reflect in amazement and gratitude on the miraculous feat wrought by God through our brave predecessors!  With  unmeasured sacrifice and valor, the Greatest Generation rose up against tyranny, defeated the mightiest army on earth, and established a new republic conceived in liberty. 

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Aliyah Diary

Aliyah Diary

For nearly 2,000 years, including at each Passover Seder, our people prayed: “Next year in Jerusalem!”   Of course, we didn’t mean, “May we be able to vacation there next year!”   We meant, “May our people’s ancient homeland be restored to us, and may we once again live and thrive there as we can nowhere else.”  Yesterday, the 2nd of Iyar 5,772, corresponding to April 24, 2012, I fulfilled this dream of redemption on behalf of my ancestors, my current family, and, G-d willing, future generations of my family, by “returning” to Jerusalem.  Not as a tourist but as a full citizen of Israel.   (I also retained my American citizenship, another precious legacy from my more recent ancestors that I will pass on to future generations).  This “Aliyah diary” is intended to record and share some of my thoughts and experiences of “coming home” to Jerusalem.   I hope that others will be inspired to claim their birthright and/or support the miraculous rebirth of the Jewish state. 

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Apr 24
Posted in: Israel

Keeping Israel in Perspective

Keeping Israel in Perspective
Back in the seventies, I spent a summer living and working in New York City.  I remember thinking that NYC was “like any big city, but much more so.”  It had just about anything that you could want...and much that you wouldn’t.   ... Continue Reading »
Feb 22
Posted in: Israel

Sh'mot: A "Shameful and Foolish" Policy?

Sh'mot: A "Shameful and Foolish" Policy?
D’var Torah; Shabbat Sh’mot Rabbi Art Levine, Ph.D., J.D.   January 13-14, 2012 – 18 Tevet 5772 A “Shameful and Foolish” Policy? This week the world’s news media has reported the assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist. Many... Continue Reading »
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He who guards his mouth preserves his life
Proverbs 13:3