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This Normal Life

Friday Jul 25, 2014
  An article a few weeks ago in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz questioned why someone would ever want to make aliyah from a comfortable country like the US especially these days – with the murders of the Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Shear and Eyal Shach still on our minds, the revenge killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khaider stinging at our collective conscious, followed by hundreds of Hamas missiles from Gaza and the thunderous...
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Friday Jul 11, 2014
  A rabbi friend of mine had major surgery last month. Thankfully, he made it through OK and has now begun a long recovery process.   Before, during and after the surgery, my Facebook Wall was flooded with posts asking me to pray for my friend. Impromptu minyans were formed online as well as at his congregation in St. Louis. Individual prayer was requested…the tone was concerned yet strident. The message seemed to be: if enough...
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Sunday Jun 15, 2014
  Ever since we moved to Israel 20 years ago, I’ve always felt like I don’t quite fit in anywhere. I’ll never be truly Israeli, since I didn’t grow up with all the pop culture references someone born in the country knows intuitively. And I’m not fully American anymore either, since I haven’t resided in the US for more than a month at a time for nearly two decades.    Now, it turns out, there...
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Monday May 26, 2014
  The Jacob’s Ladder music festival, held twice a year at the Nof Ginosar kibbutz along the Sea of Galilee, and which just concluded its spring session this past weekend, has been quietly transforming itself from a groovy environment in which to hear interesting and enjoyable music into a growing platform that cultivates and helps launch local indie acts.   At the most recent Jacob’s Ladder, three bands that played smaller...
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Tuesday May 13, 2014
   I was nearing the end of an interview with an Israeli business executive for an article I was working on when there was a surprise guest at the door: Ehud Olmert. This was after the point when Olmert, one of Israel’s most veteran politicians, a former prime minister and mayor of Jerusalem, was convicted on bribery charges connected to the Holyland development project, but before today's sentencing of the once world leader to...
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