Sunday, April 25, 2004

Yom Hazikaron - Remembrance Day

Today is Israel's Remembrance Day. Unlike Memorial Day in the United States, where the focus is on a day off of work, picnics and parades - in Israel the focus is on those who have died, their families and their loved ones. When I lived in Israel and attended the National Ceremony, it was a powerful and moving time. Because of the small size of Israel and the fact that nearly every Israeli serves in the military, most families in Israel have an extended family member within the current and past generations have lost someone. One of the more poignant moments is the 3 minute siren. A siren is blown and the whole country stops. Everyone rises where they are seated and thinks of the too many who have sacrificed their lives for the State of Israel and its freedoms. Cars and buses stop and pull over, their occupants getting out or rising in their seats. All are acutely aware of the sacrifices made and the numbers lost. So powerful that even though the last time I heard the siren was years ago, it still stands out in my memory. Still I remember the warm tears on my cheeks, tears which glistened on the faces of many.

Israeli Government official Site for Yom haZikaron/Remembrance Day, including a link to the prayer in remembrance of the fallen soldiers, read aloud in Hebrew (and fully vocalized).
Letters to the families of the deceased soldiers throughout the years.

The Knesset (Israel's parliament) website on Memorial Day has a prayer and information.

Resources, lesson plans, readings, prayers, and more can be found on the Jewish Agency site.
Yom Hazikaron at My Jewish Learning.

Programming ideas for Yom Hazikaron can be found at Hillel's site.

You can read about the day and day's events at Ha'aretz and Ma'ariv.

This year the lives and deaths of 20,196 soldiers are remembered since the birth of the State of Israel, especially remembering the 184 soldiers who died in the past year.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Shavuah Tov & Activism

Shavuah tov, a good new week to each and all of you.

This week an important march will occur in Washington, DC. the March for Women's Lives, a march in
"support of reproductive freedom and justice for all women. Threats to these rights have never been so systematic and coordinated, and the lives and health of women have never faced such peril. On April 25th, in our Nation’s Capitol we march to uphold – Choice, Justice, Access, Health, Abortion, Global and Family Planning. Please join us for the March for Women's Lives." (From March for Women's Lives website.)

If you can't go to the march, then learn about the issues and voice your opinion locally.

Are you wondering what the various Jewish organizations say about abortion, choice and reproductive freedom?
Union of Reform Judaism and their participation in the March for Women's Lives
Reform Judaism's view of abortion, choice etc...
United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism and their participation in the March for Women's Lives
Conservative Judaism's view of abortion, choice etc...
Hadassah's participation in the March for Women's Lives
National Councial of Jewish Women (NCJW) & the March for Women's Lives, NCJW Benmarch Campaign to Save Roe
Jewish Women International (JWI) & the March for Women's Lives

There are many more resources available. Let me know if you have a link to suggest.
Go, learn and do!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Some new links

Hi. Just a quick update - look in the right side column for new links: new ring, new blog and a counter for the refuseniks. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Weekly Torah Portion Study

Shalom l'kulam (hello, everyone). This week's Torah Portion is Tazria Metzora. I have chosen a study link which has an awesome collection of sermons and essays named Torah from Dixie.

Now go and study!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Encouraging Project of Dialogue between Israeli Jews and Israel Arabs

Duet is an encouraging project of journalism, sharing, learning, listening and reading between Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish journalists.

This seems encouraging. Every bit of learning, talking and growth contributes to dismantling stereotypes and hatred.

[Thanks to Kesher Talk for the tip.]

Tuesday, April 13, 2004


Thank G-d, this Passover has been relatively quiet in Israel. Of course, that is largely because the West Bank and Gaza are completely sealed, meaning no movement of the Palestinians. Such tough choices to make. Yet, the attacks which were stopped were horrific. Take a look at this story from JTA, which I am quoting below from their javascript short news windows:

"Ten attacks foiled over Passover
A bombing meant to spread AIDS was among 10 Palestinian terror attacks foiled by Israeli security forces over Passover. The Shin Bet said on Tuesday a captured terrorist linked to Yasser Arafat´s Fatah faction had confessed to planning a Passover bombing in which the explosives would be laced with HIV-infected blood in the hope of spreading the disease among the casualties. According to the Shin Bet, the plot was held up by the Palestinians´ failure to find tainted blood in viable quantities. Of the nine other attacks foiled, two were to have been carried out by women, the Shin Bet said. In a new sweep, Israeli forces arrested 17 terror suspects in the West Bank overnight."

Thankfully, the terrorists weren't successfull.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Some new links in Jewish blogging

One of the goals of this blog is to promote learning and discussion and in that vain, here are more Jews and Israelis who blog.

Protocols, a blog maintained by a group of writers (as is Kesher Net).
Sitting on a Fence, subtitled "Reflections on politics, ideas, culture, and other serious distractions 'He has sat on the fence so long, the iron has entered his soul' -- Lloyd George on Sir John Simon"
This Woman's Work
Yutopia, subtitled "The Sometimes Updated Blog of Rabbi Josh Yuter"
Zackary Sholem Berger who has a blog with the subtitle, "Yiddish, poetry, science, vegetarian Indian food, and the Ineffable. In no particular order." You can find links to blogs in Yiddish at his site.

[Updated throughout today's surfing.]

Friday, April 09, 2004

Biblical texts for Passover

There are many texts which we read during Passover. Here is a website with the texts and some information on them.

Go and study!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Passover Links

Passover begins tonight at sundown. I hope you have a wonderful and freedom-filled seder.

The web is full of many excellent Passover/Pesach links. Here are just a few:

Food sites for Passover:
Food for Passover

recipes from ShalomBoston

General Passover Information
Basics of Passover - the Seder Plate, Hosting a Seder...
Calling out in the Dark (article on Passover)
Cleaning for Passover - removing the hametz
Definitions of Passover terms
Jewish Agency Passover Resources - many links
List of Passover Sites (Jacob Richman)
Maven Passover links
NFTY Resources on Passover
Nurit Reshef's Passover Site
Parent Page about Passover
Passover on the Net - many links
Passover at the Supermarket
Pesach information
Virtual Seder Plate

Haggadot/Haggadahs for your Seder:
Haggadah exhibit online
Miriam's Cup
Passover - a Season of Justice
Telling the Story
Reading about modern day slavery
Uncle Eli's Fun Haggadah

Kids sites for Passover:
Hanukkat Passover site
Kid's Domain Passover Site
Pesach Project
Sesame Street Charoset activity/recipe

Songs for Passover (traditional, fun, parodies and more)
Songs from Congregation Beth Or
Passover Songs Old and New (pdf)

Teaching/Lesson Plans for & about Passover
Craft -make a matzah cover
Definitions of Passover terms
Jewish Agency Passover Resources - many links
Parent Page about Passover
Passover - a Season of Justice
Plagues - early childhood lesson plan (from Melton)
Plagues - Cards (pdf)
Teacher outlines from JAFI
Tearing through Passover (4th grade lesson plan)
V'shinantam teacher's newsletter full of Passover ideas

Counting the Omer
All about the Omer (from Aish)
Count the omer with Homer Simpson (from Jvibe)

Women's Seders
Miriam's Cup - background, ritual and more
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly Story on a Women's Seder

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Powerful Story from a Survivor of a Suicide Bombing

Jerusalem Post reporter Erik Schechter was on the bus bobmed by a Palestinian Policeman on January 19th. His story of survival and recovery is a powerful one. Read his Memoirs of the moderately wounded for his story.

[Thanks to Harry, The View from Here]