“Honorable Woman” Maggie Gyllenhaal Learns She Has a Hebrew Name

(Photo: wikicommons/ Mutari)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Mutari)

Maggie Gyllenhaal – the star of The Honorable Woman, a Sundance/BBC spy thriller about an Israeli woman – recently learned that her first name is not really Maggie, but rather a Hebrew one:

Maggie Gyllenhaal, who recently —at the age of 36—discovered that her real name is Margalit.

Margalit is Hebrew for pearl, and it is used in Israel as both a first and a last name …

She discovered that her name was actually Margalit when she asked her parents to find her birth certificate so she could take care of bureaucratic requirements involved in her legally taking on the last name of her husband, actor Peter Sarsgaard.

Gyllenhaal, who currently stars in “The Honorable Woman,” a BBC and Sundance spy thriller miniseries about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,…

Posted in: American Jews / entertainment / Hebrew

Tisha B’Av



The summer is never an easy time for the Jewish people. Two fast days, separated by the “Three Weeks,” are observed as the mourning period for the first and second Temples that once stood gloriously on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The second of the fasts, known as Tisha B’Av, or the Ninth of the Jewish month of Av, begins at sundown tonight, and is the day on which the first and second Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed.

It is no coincidence that both Temples were destroyed on the same day, since according to Jewish tradition, the Ninth of Av was also the day on which the calamitous episode of the Twelve Spies occurred. Moses had sent the twelve spies to scope out the Land of Canaan prior to entering the Promised…

Posted in: Ami Farkas / Fast of Av / Israel

God’s Light in a Dark World

(Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

(Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

These are difficult days for the Jewish people. Our home, Israel, is being attacked by vicious terrorists, and Jews around the world – particularly Jews in Europe – are being threatened by a growing Muslim population which is extremely and violently anti-Semitic. To add salt to this wound, many of Israel’s allies in the West are holding the Israeli army to an impossibly high standard, stating that our forces “could and should” do more to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza – even though the Israel Defense Forces does more than any other military in the world to avoid those casualties.

And yet, despite all the turmoil and hardship Jews are experiencing these days, we must not ignore the many miracles we’re seeing. For example: Last Friday,…

Posted in: Ami Farkas / Ashdod / Israel

The Ceasefire Debacle

The Future of the Middle East: John F. KerryIsraeli politicians on the left rarely agree with their political opponents on the right; the chasm between their respective ideas makes finding common ground an unusual occurrence. This is not the case in Israel today, where the military operation in Gaza is supported by close to 90 percent of the population, and where the only disagreement is whether Operation Protective Edge should continue until Hamas is completely destroyed, or whether it should end once the terror tunnels have been obliterated.

There is one area in Israeli society where the ideological gap between the left and right is even more boisterous than the Knesset during election season, and that’s in the media. So this week’s unanimous rejection of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal by both the security cabinet and the media…

Posted in: Ami Farkas / ceasefire / Hamas

Anti-Israel Rioters Attack Israeli Soccer Players in Austria

As Israel continues to defend itself against Hamas terrorists with Operation Protective Edge, anti-Semitic sentiment and violence have continued to grow across the globe, most notably in Europe. This video shows such an instance, when anti-Israel rioters at a soccer game between Israel’s Maccabi Haifa team and a French squad attacked the Israeli players:

A pre-season friendly match between the Israeli Maccabi Haifa and French Lille OSC soccer teams in Bischofshofen, Austria, on Wednesday was interrupted when anti-Israel protesters burst onto the field and attacked the Israeli players.

Throughout the second half, the demonstrators—which included Turkish immigrants—cried out anti-Israel slogans. At the 85th minute of the game, they rushed the field and began beating the Maccabi Haifa players, including defender Dekel Keinan and midfielder Idan Vered. The players defended themselves, and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic, a Serb, pushed three of the protesters.

Posted in: Anti-Israel Bias / Anti-Semitism / Austria