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Reflections from Israel

People in my Neighborhood: Netanel

Coming of age. Rites of passage. This brings to mind images of a boy in a loincloth, holding a sword in one hand and a sack of grain in the other, going off into the woods to kill his first bear. Or someone breaking out a bottle of bubbling champagne and drinking to a young […]

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People in My Neighborhood: Shalom

February 2012 He’s our car mechanic.  His garage is conveniently located in the Industrial Area right outside Karnei Shomron.  But Shalom is also my neighbor, his house on the block parallel to mine.  Shalom is an interesting personality.  When you go to drop off your car, you may get an earful of male chauvinism, with […]

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Reflections on Adar

The month of Adar always keeps me on an emotional roller coaster. Usually coinciding with the month of March, it is a natural time of happiness. The jolly, festive holiday of Purim falls in the middle of Adar, and for weeks beforehand, schools, kinder- gartens, synagogues, and entire neighborhoods enlist to join in the celebratory […]

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Reflections on Yeshiva High Schools

December 2009   We had parent teacher conferences on Sunday for my 14 year old son Avraham. Avraham’s our first boy after four daughters, so choosing a high school for him had been a new experience. Dormitory schools are pretty standard, especially for boys, and I tried not to be insulted that my independent son […]

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Reflections on the Torah Portion of the Week

January 2008    The weekly Torah portion that is read in the synagogue every Shabbat morning is actually a section of the Five Books of Moses that becomes part of a Jew’s entire week. Even Elitzur, still in nursery school, has a Rabbi come in every week to give his group of 4 year olds […]

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Reflections on The Shema

August 2010     Yesterday, my daughter Avigayil came by with my 21-month-old grandson Amit, for a visit. He was being especially cooperative in letting her “run him through his paces”, happily showing off his latest learned tricks. As soon as she started singing “The Wheels on the Bus”, he called out ‘beep beep beep’, […]

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Reflections on the Passover Service

April 2011   Just last night, Jews from all over the world sat down to the Pesach Seder, the festive meal that opens the Passover holiday. It is a culmination of weeks of preparation and anticipation. Everyone—young and old, religiously observant and secular—sits down at their holiday table, whether at a communal Seder at a […]

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Reflections on the Kaddish

January 2011   My neighbor and friend, Ofer, died suddenly and unexpectedly last week from flu complications. He was a good man and had touched many lives. The funeral Friday morning started outside our community synagogue, an institution which plays a very important role in the Amir family. The eulogies were beautiful and when they […]

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Reflections On The Elderly

September 2011 There’s been an emptiness in my life recently and I tried figuring out why. At first, I thought it was because my household recently emptied out dramatically. My daughter and son-in-law moved back to their own house after living with me for two weeks with their two-year-old and their brand new baby… my […]

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Reflections on Torah Study

August 2009   I went more than three weeks ago, but it’s still so fresh in my mind and it was such a glorious day, that I wanted to share it with you. On Thursday, July 23rd, I joined thousands of men and women of all ages flooding the campus of the Herzog College of […]

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