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The opinions expressed on this webpage represent those of the individual authors and, unless clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of TBS.

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Does obsession with disproportionality compromise responsible warfare?

If Israelis are unable to perceive the paradigm shift in discourse, they will never be able to challenge it.

Samson and Delilah by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (photo credit: DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Samson and Delilah by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni
(photo credit: DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

To some, power is all that matters. It is not simply something to be obtained, but a lens through which to see the world. During the recent  Gaza conflict , such a worldview began to dominate discussions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Israel has power. And to some, this is wrong.

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Turn On The Lights

I would be willing to bet that most people, when asked what the symbol of the state of Israel is, would respond “the Magen David – the Star of David.” But while the Star of David adorns the flag of Israel, the fact is, it is not the symbol of the state of Israel! The symbol is found in the Book of Numbers, in the Torah portion, Behaalotecha – “to kindle,” kindling the menorah in the Tabernacle. (more…)

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What does archaeology tell us about the origins of Judaism?

“I’ve looked for a period of time when we know that something called Judaism exists, when we have clear evidence that ancient Judeans knew about the Torah and were keeping the laws of the Torah.”
By ROSSELLA TERCATIN JUNE 10, 2021

Dr. Yonatan Adler, senior lecturer at Ariel University, speaks to The Jerusalem Post
When did ancient Jews start keeping mitzvot? What kind of evidence do we have of observance of dietary and purity laws, or practices like wrapping tefillin? The Origins of Judaism Archaeological Project, a new project directed by Dr. Yonatan Adler, a senior lecturer at Ariel University, aims to shed light on some of these questions. (more…)

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Israel Matters! – July/August 2021

There Are Judges In Jerusalem

A lot has happened in Israel since we took you on a river ride down the Hetzbani river last month. Hamas indiscriminately fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system prevented the vast majority of those rockets capable of causing civilian casualties from landing, and Israel’s air force punished Hamas with civilian-casualty-minimizing strikes that degraded Hamas’s rocket and tunnel infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. (more…)

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The Message of the Pandemic

The earth does not belong to us. It belongs to G-d. This is what the Torah teaches us. We are but temporary sojourners on this earth.

Now think about the corona virus and the terrible pandemic that turned our lives upside down. People ask me on a regular basis, “Rabbi, why is this happening? Why is G-d doing this to us?. What is the message of the pandemic?” I have heard the same answer from numerous people. “G-d is trying to tell us something about our relationship to the earth, and our relationship to nature. Stop!” (more…)

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Sheikh Jarrah, Shimon Hatzadik: A tale of two gravesites in Jerusalem

The current dispute surrounding the Sheikh Jarrah area has deep roots, stretching back to the first years of Arab and Jewish settlement outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City, in the 19th century.

Security forces clash with protesters during a protest against a visit of right wing politicians and against Israel’s plan to demolish some houses of Palestinians in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021 (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Security forces clash with protesters during a protest against a visit of right wing politicians and against Israel’s plan to demolish some houses of Palestinians in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on May 10, 2021
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

 The current conflicts in Jerusalem are not traceable to a single source. The always charged period of Ramadan, the cancellation of Palestinian elections, the attacks on ultra-Orthodox Jews and the response to these by Jewish far-right activists, the placing of barriers at the Damascus Gate, and the frustrations born of a year of lockdowns are all important contributory factors. 

The long dispute over housing rights in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, however, forms a prominent ingredient in the incendiary mix. The Supreme Court this week was due to rule on the appeal of three Arab families seeking the overturning of an eviction order against them. The ruling has now been postponed.

What is the background to this “real estate dispute between two private parties,” as the Foreign Ministry website refers to it? And why has  “ Sheikh Jarrah ” become a rallying cry for Arabs and their supporters both in Jerusalem and with echoes far beyond it?  (more…)

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TBS Social Action Committee June 2021

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Thank you to those who donated to the Diane Kaplan SocialAction Fund!

Please note that we cannot accept donations of items at TBS at this time.

Only monetary donations please!

Thank you for your generosity. Together, we are all making a difference!

Ongoing Programs: (more…)

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