Articles by Teddy Weinberger


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Summer fun in Israel

The school year in Israel runs from Sept. 1 through June 30. Israeli kids especially look forward to hahofesh ha-gadol (“the big vacation,” as summer break is universally called here), because they go to school six days a week. So during the school year they seldom get a chance to sleep over at a friend’s…

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A spiritual check-up

A free translation from the work of Rabbi Lior Engelman As part of the spiritual accounting that characterizes the period of the High Holidays, we are invited to survey ourselves and ask honestly: In relation to last year, has our spiritual condition improved or worsened; were the hopes that we expressed during last year’s High…

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Spring holidays in the Holy Land

Jews around the world are familiar with the fall holidays: a three-week period beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Simchat Torah. However, only in Israel is Passover the beginning of another three-week holiday period. A few days after the end of Passover, Israel observes Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), which this year is on Thursday,…

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Kosher for Passover in Israel

We were at Sachne one day last Passover. Sachne, also known as “The Park of the Three Pools,” is located near Beit Shahn in the Lower Galilee. It was a beautiful day, and the place was packed with both Jews and Arabs, religious people and non-religious. The kids had a lot of fun going in…

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Should America WIDEN the tent of Jewish camping?

Since 1993 the Jewish Agency has been running a network of summer camps in the former Soviet Union. The agency describes these camps as “a cultural lifeline to Jewish identity.” These summer camps in the FSU are supported by several Russian-Jewish philanthropists and by Jewish federations in cities such as Phoenix, Tucson, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland…

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Marrying Mores in Israel

Very few American Jews marry before they finish college. And even high school sweethearts are usually prepared to wait – or are convinced by their parents to do so – until they turn 21. In Israel, with university coming after a lengthy post-high school period (including army service, travel, making up for screw-ups in high…

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Life without Thanksgiving

Everyone knows why Thanksgiving is so dear to American Jews: Here is a holiday that all of America’s Jews can fully and actively enjoy. Spiritually, of course, giving thanks is praiseworthy in Judaism (“hakarat hatov,” acknowledging the good, is the traditional Jewish term for this), and the ecumenical element of the holiday provides Jews with…

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New Year in the Fall

What does it mean to live in a country where the New Year is Rosh Hashanah rather than Jan. 1? Of course, if you are Jewish and care about Jewish traditions, Rosh Hashanah in Israel will provide you with a powerful sense of “group feeling” that comes from living in the only country in the world where…

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Trial by Fire: Lag B’Omer

As soon as the Purim holiday ends, Israeli children start preparing for their next big day. It’s a different sort of holiday, one that “fires” their imaginations for weeks. Of course, we’re not talking about Passover here. What kid is going to get all excited by holiday preparations that chiefly call for the cleaning of…

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