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Brian Blum

10 Reasons I Still Love Jerusalem

November 15, 2007, by

Israelis love to get down on Jerusalem. Every time new statistics are published, pundits bemoan the steady decline of the city and how much better other cities in the country are – particularly those in the Greater Tel Aviv area. The most recent depressing numbers come from the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies (JIIS). While

With Pleasure

June 7, 2007, by

I was leaving a meeting at about 9:00 PM on a Thursday night when I heard my cell phone beep. It was a text message from my wife Jody. It read: “Did you get my other message?” And I thought: uh oh…that meant I had missed something important. I saw that there was indeed another

Locusts and Lentils

March 22, 2007, by

Rachel just doesn’t get it. I’ve explained it again and again. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A chance to become a part of Jewish history. To not just live as a minority in some other culture’s history, but to make our own. How can someone who feels such a connection to the Jewish people –

“Go Back to Brooklyn!”

February 15, 2007, by

I’m still not sure how the fight broke out. Eight-year-old Aviv and I were out in the courtyard in front of our apartment on Shabbat afternoon, throwing a ball around, when this man who I don’t know started yelling at our neighbor Yossi, something about an altercation between their kids. Yossi tried to calm his

A Fallible Nation

January 3, 2007, by

Nicholas Goldberg, editor of the Los Angeles Times’ op-ed section, published an article in that paper portraying Israel as a nation exhausted and suffering from a deep malaise. The summer’s failed war in Lebanon, the inability of the Israel Defense Forces to stop the Kassam barrage coming from the Gaza Strip, and ongoing corruption and

The Power of Positive Hamstering

November 16, 2006, by

It was the seventh week of Merav’s latest illness. Sharp and constant pains still pierced her abdomen. She felt dizzy and weak, no doubt in part a result of self-imposed starvation as the very thought of food in her current condition nauseated her. Her head pounded and her joints ached. As we headed to the

Facing Our Fears

September 14, 2006, by

With his older brother and sister gallivanting around California presumably having a grand time on an extended summer vacation with their grandparents, we knew we had to spend some extra quality time with our seven-year-old Aviv who had been “left behind” in Israel. This need was made abundantly clear during a phone call Aviv had


June 15, 2006, by

We were on the first day of a two week car trip through Europe. My wife Jody and I and our three kids had packed the rented Nissan Almera full of our gear and were settling in for the three hour drive from the Milan airport to our bed and breakfast in Italy’s picturesque Lake

Munich in Florida

May 10, 2006, by

I almost didn’t go to see Steven Spielberg’s latest film “Munich.” I wouldn’t have been alone in that decision; many of my friends had already refused to attend. The film was biased against Israel, bordering on anti-Semitic at worst; difficult and violent at best, they’d heard. In the end, journalistic and Zionist curiosity won out.