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“The Israel We Knew” is not gone …

From Daniel Gordis from Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis

So it is with some hesitation that I respond, however indirectly, to Friedman’s recent Op-Ed in the NYT, in which he argued, post Israel’s elections, that “the Israel we knew is gone.” I’ve got no interest in joining the “jump on Tom Friedman fray.” That said, I don’t think it’s gone at all.
Neither, apparently, does Dennis Ross:

Dennis Ross@AmbDennisRoss
Not sure Israel has changed. The Bibi-led bloc won fewer votes.Just as the Democrats can win the popular vote and lose in the electoral college,in Israel a party must win 3.25 percent of the vote to be in the Knesset. Fall just short, as 2 left parties did, lose all those votes.
Nov 5, 2022 (more…)

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November 2022: President’s Message

High Holiday Message 2022 – How Can I Help?

I have a confession to make…I watch way too much television. Between attending meetings and events, and, of course, reading books for the monthly book club, you can always find me at home watching game shows, any Marvel Series, all of the home renovation shows, and every…single… Hallmark movie.

But one of my favorite shows is a medical drama called New Amsterdam. It’s about Dr. Max Goodwin, a medical director who provides his patients with the care they require, no matter the cost. (more…)

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Israel Matters! – November 2022

Know Your Israeli Sports Teams!

Sports are a very big deal in Israel, and Israeli sports fans are very passionate supporters of their favorite clubs. The top sport in Israel without question is soccer (or kadoor regel in Hebrew, which literally is foot ball), but basketball (kadoor sal in Hebrew, literally basket ball) is a close second. Both soccer and basketball are played professionally in Israeli leagues which themselves follow the familiar European model of organized competition with a top flight league followed by secondary leagues with promotion and relegation taking place at the end of each season to keep the competition tight. There are also volleyball, handball, and even baseball, hockey, and American football leagues, though these are not close to the scale or skill level of the soccer and basketball competitions.
One thing that does look different about Israeli sports clubs compared to their American counterparts is the team naming convention. Unlike American teams that feature an entire menagerie of animal names (Lions and Tigers, and Bears, oh my!) let alone fashion peculiarities (Red Sox or White) and regional identifiers (Yankees) including some that no longer reflect current team location but stuck for historical reasons (Dodgers), with very rare exceptions Israeli teams tend to have only one or two different names across all of the team sports. Why is this the case? (more…)

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Leonard Cohen Says “Here I Am”

Oct. 6, 1973. It’s Yom Kippur. Even non-religious Israelis are in shul. After the Six-Day War in 1967, six years earlier, a fantastic and one-sided victory against its enemies, Israel has become complacent.
And all of a sudden, on this holiest of days, Israelis start to hear that the Syrian army is attacking on the Golan Heights where there are very few Israeli troops and it looks like they can charge through right to Tel Aviv. Egypt is crossing the Suez Channel. Israel is being overrun. Its very existence hangs in the balance.
On that day, Jewish people in Israel and around the world were chanting the prayer Unetana Tokef: “Who will live and who will die? Who will reach the end of their days and who will not?” This prayer is supposed to be a wake-up call to think about life itself. This prayer is meant to call us to reflection. (more…)

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Trouble With The Curve

There are a lot of great sports movies but the one I’m going to tell you about isn’t one of them. The one I want to talk about is a nice, warm film called “Trouble with the Curve”. It stars Clint Eastwood as a veteran baseball scout who has always had an eye for great players in the making but now his eyes are failing, and he is having trouble. (more…)

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October 2022: President’s Message

I’m writing October’s message after three back-to-back Shabbats in August/September that included a bat mitzvah, a morning b’nai mitzvah and afternoon bat mitzvah, and a bar mitzvah. Mazel Tov to Saraya, William, Carly, Leah, and Joshua! About 25 years ago, I sat in the same chair that you sat in next to Rabbi Scolnic, and I just want to remind you that your TBS Family will always be here for you. We invite you to return in 25 years to take on a leadership role at TBS, such as President. (more…)

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Israel Matters! – October 2022

Split Decision – The 2022 Israeli Election

If it seems like you’ve seen an Israeli election column before in Israel Matters, there’s a reason for that: the May 2021 issue covered last year’s Israeli Knesset election. That election, which took place on March 23, 2021, took almost three months to resolve as the new government was not established and sworn in until June 13. Uh, that was June 13th of last year; the government lasted just over a year until the Knesset was dissolved on June 20 of this year. So, once again Israelis get to experience the highs and lows of their nearly-impossible-to-comprehend electoral system where parties (and party leaders) come and go amidst the horse trading that takes place as one or the other “bloc” attempts to secure enough seats to establish a majority in the 120 seat Knesset. (more…)

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DNA analysis solves mystery of bodies found at bottom of medieval well

By Katie Hunt, CNN  Tue August 30, 2022

Construction workers breaking ground in 2004 on a shopping mall in Norwich, England, found 17 bodies at the bottom of a 800-year-old well. The identity of the remains of the six adults and 11 children and why they ended up in the medieval well had long vexed archaeologists. Unlike other mass burials where skeletons are uniformly arranged, the bodies were oddly positioned and mixed — likely caused by being thrown head first shortly after their deaths. (more…)

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