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There’s No Place Like Home

Binyamin Rose

It was a deal that some say never should have been made and it may well be the last of its kind, but the prisoner swap that sprung Gilad Shalit from captivity to freedom after more than five years in a Hamas dungeon in Gaza uplifted and unnerved a nation that is no stranger to the trauma of trying to reconcile opposing and often highly emotional views. What cannot be forgotten is that the hardest of adjustment of all belongs to Gilad Shalit himself.

 

Ocean of Glass

David Damen, Belgium

It was to have been a day of rejoicing with the Torah. Instead, the dazed members of Antwerp’s Portuguese Israelite Synagogue awoke to discover their shul in ruins, destroyed by the blast of a powerful bomb. Thirty years later, members of the kehillah recall both the pain of that horrifying day and their subsequent efforts to rebuild.

 

The Wizard of Words

Barbara Bensoussan

While Jews are rarely at a loss for words, not many of us can rattle off an obscure word’s definition, etymology, and pronunciation. But Sol Steinmetz, who passed away last fall, was such a person — a true “lexical supermaven” who also never forgot what it meant to be a mentsch.

 

A Tale of Art and Faith

Tamar Levine

Master artist Shimon Levi is a familiar figure in his Bucharim neighborhood, where he embosses the images of our gedolim in shades of gold and silver in his modest studio. But though his artwork is well known, few know the details of his life — a fascinating story that began in a town in Spain and took him on a voyage on the deep blue sea, before planting him firmly in the city he loves best of all, Jerusalem.



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Do You Know Where You’re Going?
Rabbi Moshe Grylak If Mrs. Esterhazy hadn’t gotten sick
Birthright Drops Reform
Yonoson Rosenblum The numbers tell the sad story
With Fresh Eyes
Eytan Kobre Members of an ever-tying people
Gift-Giving Guide
Yisroel Besser There’s a skill to giving a teacher a gift
Time for a Career Change
Jacob L. Freedman “How can a bochur even afford to smoke?”
Today I Am a (Learned? Committed?) Jewish Man
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are bar mitzvah celebrations good for the Jews?
Major in Mothering
Faigy Peritzman “How do you picture marriage? Discussing quantum theory?...
When Parents Disagree
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Connecting heart-to-heart when you don’t see eye-to-eye
En Route: Food for Thought
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The bread we eat today also comes from heaven
The Twins: Part II
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer “Bead,” she says again, with a little smirk
Dear Acquaintance
Your Possible Friend at the Clinic Why do you make it harder for me — and for you?