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It is a very rare occurrence in America — where the separation of church and state is enshrined in the Constitution — that religious theology should become a hotly debated political issue. However, many tenets of Islam’s sharia law system clash with US and Western law, and the intent of some Islamists to insinuate sharia into the American justice system has set off amber warning lights among intelligence and legal experts, who sense a new, insidious threat to the American way.
Ghajar, a sleepy village along Israel’s pastoral northern border with Lebanon, is one of many towns in today’s Eretz Yisrael whose land is claimed by both Israelis and Arabs. This town is populated exclusively by Arabs who would prefer to retain their Israeli citizenship. Prime Minister Netanyahu submitted a plan to the U.N. to hand Ghajar over to Lebanese rule as a gesture to President Obama, Mishpacha visited the village whose residents fear being handed over on the altar of the peace process.
Thirty years ago, Zohar Sharon was a top Mossad operative who lost his sight on a secret mission. Today, he’s the world’s best blind golfer, defending a string of world championships, even though he’d never even been on a golf course before. Yet, his trophy-lined living room is more than just a showcase for the number-one man on the green. It’s become a place for nurturing the growth of Torah in an apathetic, secular community.
American citizens may have been wary of the recent census, but not nearly as wary as their Chinese counterparts. With many worried about penalties they will have to pay for violating laws, census workers in China face a difficult challenge, and often resort to unconventional methods of counting the countries estimated 1.3 billion people.
Over three decades ago, a group of men descended into the underground caverns of Mearas HaMachpeilah, approaching what they assumed to be the actual burial plots of the patriarchs. They discovered the opening to the original caves in the Yitzchak Hall, built around the markers for the graves of Yitzchak and Rivka, whose burials we read about this week. The underground entryway has since been cemented shut by the Arabs, but that didn’t stop six of the original team from coming to reenact their adventure.