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Torah for this Hour | May 16, 2024

Posted on May 16, 2024

Five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes. Five hundred, twenty five thousand moments so dear. Five hundred, twenty five thousand, six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? Those are the opening lyrics of the song I like most from the musical, “Rent.” How do you measure, how do you count, and […]

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From Darkness to Light: Israel’s Journey of Remembrance and Resilience

Posted on May 14, 2024

BACKGROUND – TALKING POINTS – ACTIONS – DISPELLING LIES – VOICES – STORIES Every year on Israel’s Memorial Day, national sirens sound heralding a moment of silence to honor the Israelis who lost their lives in wars past and present, or from acts of terror. Israelis stop what they are doing wherever they are, and […]

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On Independence Day, do not take Israel’s existence for granted

Posted on May 13, 2024

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, Southern Front Commander Yigal Allon (to his right) and Yitzhak Rabin (between them) on the southern front during the 1948 War of Independence. (IDF / Wikipedia) Listen to an audio version of this article by clicking here. by Rabbi Alan Silverstein, PhD My parents were born in the second decade of […]

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Summarizing Hamas’ ‘battle plan’: Promoting Islamist ideology

Posted on May 10, 2024

by Rabbi Alan Silverstein, PhD Muslims in the Middle East live in an increasingly religious environment. In contrast to groups of secular pragmatists like Fatah, Hamas promotes an Islamist message — via mosque sermons, radio and television broadcasts, social media, schoolrooms, youth movements, summer camps, and by honoring as civic heroes the “shahid,” the “martyr,” who […]

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Antisemitism Awareness Act before the U.S. Senate

Posted on May 10, 2024

MERCAZ USA is a signatory on this statement issued by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America. Members of the United States Senate, We write to urge immediate passage of the Antisemitism Awareness Act. The purpose of this legislation is to assist the Department of Education in determining whether investigations […]

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How to Mark Israel’s National Days This Year

Posted on May 10, 2024

This year, in the aftermath of the devastating October 7 attacks and ensuing war, the act of honoring our fallen IDF soldiers and terror victims carries new weight. Tragically, our list of individuals we must remember and pay tribute to this Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, has grown much longer. The recognition of Israel’s establishment […]

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Torah for this Hour | May 9, 2024

Posted on May 10, 2024

They who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” (Ps. 126:5) Somehow that statement lacks of full comprehension of the depth of the pain. Sometimes sorrow simply colors everything, to the point that there is no joy in the outcome. In the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Ta‘anit, the Rabbis explained the verse as referring […]

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Shadows of Fear: Jewish Students Branded as Outsiders

Posted on May 7, 2024

BACKGROUND – TALKING POINTS – ACTIONS – STORIES Israeli and Jewish communities around the world solemnly commemorated the 6,000,000 Jews killed in the Holocaust on May 6 – Yom HaShoah. They also honored the heroism of survivors and rescuers. This year’s theme of destroyed Jewish communities resonates with the Israelis traumatized by the Iran-backed 10/7 Hamas attack and American […]

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Torah for this Hour | May 2, 2024

Posted on May 2, 2024

“The world is in sorrow from Pesaḥ to Shavu’ot because of the crops and the trees. Therefore the Blessed Holy One commanded us to count those days…” (Abudraham). As long as the ripe crops were not harvested there was good reason for concern! Every moment was put to use to get to the end of […]

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Tribute to a Historic Jewish-American Figure: Sen. Joseph Lieberman

Posted on May 1, 2024

by Rabbi Alan Silverstein, PhD Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Rabbi Alan Silverstein (1995). The recent, tragic passing of Sen. Joseph Lieberman leaves a void in Jewish advocacy. As recently as mid-March, the Senator published a column criticizing Chuck Schumer’s interference in the Israeli election process. Then, at the very end of his days, Lieberman joined […]

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