On April 1st, Rabbi Avichai Rontzki passed away. Rontzki was 66 years old. He is survived by his wife, six children and his grandchildren. It was in 2016, when he went for medical preparations to altruistically donate a kidney that he discovered that he had colorectal cancer. Rabbi Avichai Rontzki served in the position of … More Last request from Rabbi Avichai Rontzki
Jerusalem is a city of surprises. You never know what you will see, who you will meet, what you will witness or experience. Sometimes it is the smallest incidents that are the most meaningful. The last time I was there, it was a child. It was at the Kotel. Every time we visit Jerusalem, we … More He’s a just a little emotional because…
I’ll admit that it has been a while since I have thought of Martin Luther King Day. In Israel, Dr. King is known and highly respected but while there is (at least one) street named in his honor, there is obviously, no national holiday. As part of my work for the Israel Forever Foundation, I … More Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
When I lived in America, I loved Christmas. In Israel, not so much. Actually, I hate it. In America, Christmas was the holiday of my non-Jewish friends, my neighbors, the majority of the people around me. It was their holiday and I enjoyed the by-products: beautiful lights, an atmosphere of excitement and celebration and, my … More The Occupation that Stole Christmas
Have you ever turned the corner and found yourself in the middle of a street party? Men dancing in the street, women carrying babies standing, smiling and watching, loud music and vehicles lit up all colors of the rainbow… happy people, celebrating. What a beautiful thing. It was the last night of Hanukah and we … More The light that should have died but didn’t
My American Hanukah’s were tainted by Christmas. Without even realizing it, the way my family celebrated Hanukah was a reflection, not of our Jewish holiday or it’s true meaning but rather of the holiday that our Christian friends and neighbors were celebrating. The homes of our Christian friends were covered in Christmas decorations. Our home … More My diaspora Hanukah vs my Israeli Hanukah
Hanukah is not a holiday of the Jewish religion, it is a holiday of the Jewish people. Although not really considered a religious holiday, it is a holiday of miracles. We’re complicated that way. The Hanukah miracle most people focus on is that of the oil that lasted eight days when it should only have … More A small Hanukah tradition, a lot of Jewish defiance.
“Go forth from your country, from the land of your birth and from the home of your father to the land that I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1) Land. God’s first commandment to Avram (who would later become Avraham the father of the Jewish people) was about land. In the bible, description and order is … More To the land that I will show you…
Over and over I keep hearing the word “narrative”. Most often it is spoken by people who insist on the importance of understanding and respecting the “Palestinian narrative.” How many people have actually paused to consider what “narrative” means? More importantly, how should we respond to a narrative that is not our own? As a … More Unravelling the “narrative”
There is a dirty little secret the pro-Israel lobby doesn’t want you to know. It’s not really a secret, it’s out there for anyone to see but they distract from the issue, hoping to “maintain the peace.” Of course, this doesn’t work. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist will not make it go away, in fact, … More Ending apartheid in Israel