22
May

IDF Reservist in US Happy to Serve the Holy Land

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

In Israel, young people are required to serve in the IDF. For many, their service does not end there, though. Writing at The Times of Israel, an IDF reservist who lives in the U.S. tells why he looks forward to serving the Holy Land:

One moment I’m procrastinating – scrolling through my Facebook feed when I should be working, munching on a killer glazed donut – the next, I’m frantically searching the web for a reasonably priced gym. It all started with an unassuming red blot that lit up my inbox.

The note came from my close friend, Yaniv, who also happens to be the lieutenant to whom I report in the reserves. “Hey Izzy, what’s up with you over the next two weeks? Any chance you’re visiting DC? I’ll be there for work.” Almost…

   
Posted in: IDF / Israel / Izzy Ezagui
20
May

Jerusalem and the Prophet Samuel

(Photo: flickr/Seth Frantzman)

(Photo: flickr/Seth Frantzman)

Sunday was a glorious day for Israel. It was Jerusalem Day – the day on which the Holy City was reunited with the Jewish people after nearly two thousand years of separation, after its Jewish population had been driven out, persecuted, and terrorized for simply being Jews.

Instead of venturing into Jerusalem for the day’s celebration, I decided to visit the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet on a hilltop overlooking the ancient city of Jerusalem like a guardsmen. It’s not that I was trying to avoid the large crowds in Jerusalem; there were thousands of worshipers at Samuel’s tomb, as well, because the date of Jerusalem’s reunification and Samuel’s day of passing coincide. I made my decision because I simply felt moved to pay a visit to the Prophet’s grave.

It is no coincidence that Samuel’s…

   
Posted in: Ami Farkas / bible / Israel
19
May

An Israeli College Prof’s Baby-Friendly Policy

(Photo: facebook)

(Photo: facebook)

So much of the time, our modern digital world brings us stories that are sad, shocking, and unsavory. But this story from CNN – about an Israeli professor’s caring touch – will surely put a smile on your face:

In the past week, Jerusalem psychology professor Sydney Engelberg has gained Internet fame, fielded interview requests from all over the world and earned devotion from parents of infants everywhere, all because of a simple gesture: Holding a student’s fussy baby while continuing to teach class.

Engelberg, 67, became a viral sensation last week after a former student went onto an Israeli social media site and shared a photo of the professor in front of a white board mid-lecture, holding a baby in star-covered footie pajamas.

Engelberg’s daughter, Sarit Fishbaine, saw the photo and proudly…

   
Posted in: CNN / College / Facebook
15
May

Jerusalem: Then and Now

(Photo: wikicommons/Snapshots of the Past)

(Photo: wikicommons/Snapshots of the Past)

As Israel prepares to celebrate Jerusalem Day this weekend, photographer Noam Chen takes us on a historical journey through the Holy City, sharing both photos from more than a century ago, as well as those that show Jerusalem today, from the Damascus Gate to the Western Wall to the Mount of Olives:

Jerusalem Day commemorates the unification of the city in 1967 under Israeli sovereignty, when IDF soldiers liberated the Old City from Jordanian occupation.

Only then were Israelis able to return to the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people, the Western Wall, after 20 years during which they had been denied access to the site.

I decided to celebrate 48 years of the unification in a special way, by inviting you to join me on a journey through…

   
Posted in: Israel / Jerusalem Day / Jerusamel
14
May

Palestinian Official Jailed for Social Media Incitement

(Photo: facebook)

(Photo: facebook)

In today’s digital world, messages can be spread to many thousands of people around the world – messages that are good, as well as those that are bad. The Times of Israel’s Marissa Newman reports that Israeli courts have convicted a Palestinian official for doing the latter – praising terrorists and inciting violence on Facebook:

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Tuesday sentenced the secretary general of Fatah’s Jerusalem branch to nine months in prison for using his personal Facebook account to incite violence and support terrorism against Israeli civilians.

The sentencing of Omar Shalabi, 44, a resident of the West Bank village of Eizaria, marks the first time Israeli courts handed out a prison sentence for incitement on social media…

The indictment against him referenced 10 Facebook statuses written between July and October of last year,…

   
Posted in: Facebook / incitement / Israel