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70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE U.N. VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE PARTITION PLAN: THE UNTOLD STORY

The Jewish People are characterized by dualities: exile and redemption; slavery and liberty; Holocaust and revival; calamity and heroism; restraint and uprising; Memorial Day and Independence Day. This duality was, in fact, the historical backdrop behind the United Nations’ final vote in favor of the Partition Plan for Palestine on November 29, 1947 in the […]

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The World’s Most Isolated Jewish Communities

Different estimates show the number of Jews living in the world between 14.4 and 17.5 million – about half in Israel and more than half of the rest in the United States. But the bond to Judaism is not about strength in numbers.Here are five small and distant Jewish communities in the far corners of the […]

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SCHUND LITERATURE: THE YIDDISH PULP FICTION

The renowned author Shalom Aleichem thought Schund was trash literature and called for casting it entirely out; the critic Simeon Dubnow claimed that Schund characters are all flat and cheesy; and I.L. Peretz, the founding father of Yiddish literature loathed it altogether. But the more the refined intellectuals scorned upon Schund, the more young authors such as […]

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The Great Speeches – the Six Million Accusers by Gideon Hausner

It was a cloudy morning on April 11th 1961, when a gaunt, thin haired man in a suit and dark glasses entered the shielded glass booth at “Beit HaAm” auditorium in Jerusalem. The audience was rustling. The man sat down with a slight twitch in the corner of his lips. Television cameras focused on his […]

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Sigd – The Ethiopian Jewish Day of Covenant

The origins of Sigd, the unique holiday of the Beta Israel community, are vague. One version dates back to the 6th century and the ending of the Jewish-Christian war during the reign of Gebre Mesqel, King of Eritrea and Northern Ethiopia. But the earliest mention of Sigd in writing is from the 15th century at […]

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“HINENI” – when Leonard Cohen and Martin Buber Met in Heaven

“You want it darker” was Leonard Cohen’s last album, released shortly before the great musician’s death. The album’s theme song is “Hineni” in which Cohen added extracts from the Kaddish prayer. In the dramatic peak he cries: “I’m ready my lord. Hineni! Hineni!” He passed away 17 days later, on November 7, 2016, at 82. […]

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The Japanese Wallenberg – Chiune Sugihara

In the years since World War II several diplomats have been honored as Righteous of the World for their effort to rescue Jews from their inevitable death and the hand of the Nazis. Visas and travel documents were the most obvious survival methods for many Jews. But the story of Japanese vice consul to Lithuania Chiune Sugihara […]

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Three Political Assassinations in Jewish History

While most of us remember the 1995 murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Jewish history’s earlier political assassinations may be less familiar. A politically-motivated murder in the biblical era and two during the British mandate still have consequences that are felt to this day. Gedaliah ben Ahikam Filled with massacres, rape and bloodlust, the Bible […]