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Summer in Kibbutz: A First Meeting with the Land

March 2, 2006, by

The fields were on fire with the afternoon light. I stood on a bluff and watched how it spread all the way down to the sea where the light flickered blue. Every afternoon I went alone to the library and read the English books I found there. On the way, I would stop, and sit

Tipping the Scales

February 15, 2006, by

I met her in the park in Bayit Vegan last week and she told me the story. I saw the glad look on her face and knew she had good news for me. “We’re staying,” she announced, as she sat down next to me on the green, wooden bench. “Shulamis, that’s wonderful. I’m so pleased

A Tu B’Shevat Prayer

February 8, 2006, by

Sometimes I think I’ve been endowed with an overabundance of feelings. Things often seem to affect me more deeply than they do other people. I used to think this heightened sensitivity was a blessing, a gift to be treasured, but lately I’m beginning to have my doubts. It often seems to bring more suffering than

Will Peace Ever Come?

January 24, 2006, by

Every day there are at least thirty warnings for a terrorist attack in various areas of Israel. This is not 2002, the height of the intifada. This is today. Thank G-d, every one of these warnings are thwarted, but perhaps for a few each year. Israelis live in relative quiet because of the serious and

Baruch’s Birthday

December 28, 2005, by

Magdu and Ambat Eyob grew up in neighboring villages in the Quara district of northern Ethiopia. “Even though the Jewish community was small, we made sure not to marry cousins,” says Ambat, serving soft drinks in the family’s apartment in Jerusalem’s Neveh Ya’acov neighborhood. “The men farmed, and women stayed home with the children.” The

Adi’s Angel

November 23, 2005, by

Adi Huja, 16, observed the second anniversary of the terrorist bombing which almost took her life at Hadassah Hospital, preparing to undergo her 26th operation. On that fateful Saturday night two years ago, Adi and her friends had gone to eat ice cream sundaes at a cafe on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall. Two Arab

A Family’s Last Shabbat in Gush Katif

August 26, 2005, by

Through a Father’s Eyes I’m sitting in my son’s house in Neve Dekalim. It is Erev Shabbat, perhaps the last “normal” Shabbat in this very cozy Yishuv of 750 families, the ‘capital’ of Gush Katif. Outside, the wind is kicking around the sand, as if it has nothing else to do, perhaps in despair. In

My Son, the Tank Driver

August 4, 2005, by

From the Pages of Jewish Action You wrote that Meir will soon be stationed in Aza. We could not find Aza on the map. We wonder if Aza is in Gaza. Is it? We hope  not. Such e-mails from my in-laws in the United States were common last year, when my son Meir served as a tank driver in the Israeli

Eikev: Plowing in the Land of Israel

January 18, 2005, by

The Mishna in Shabbat enumerates 39 distinct archetypical labors, or melachot, according to a number of series. The first is the series of making bread, which begins with sowing and is followed by plowing (Shabbat 73a). The gemara objects that in practice plowing precedes sowing; why does the Mishna reverse the order? The answer: the