U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill Declaring Israel a ‘major strategic partner’

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A bill declaring Israel a “major strategic partner” of the U.S. passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously on Wednesday and now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature. The bill enhances Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing; increases cooperation on energy, water engineering, research and development; and expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in the Jewish state. “Israel is a bright light in a very, very dark region,” Democrat Eliot Engel said in the House shortly before the vote on Wednesday, The Jerusalem Post reported. He said the bill aimed in part at helping Israel maintain a “qualitative military edge” over its adversaries. “We must always be working to ensure that our support for Israel keeps pace with the threats proliferating against the country—from Iran to Hamas,” House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce said in a statement.

The declaration of Israel as a …

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The New TSTI Website Is Live!!!

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Dear Friends,

Almost a year ago, we set out to build a new TSTI website from the ground up. I’m excited to announce that our brand new website TSTI.org is online!
The new website has a clean look, will always be up-to-date and is a powerful way to deepen your connection to Temple. Here are a few of the state-of-the-art features:

A comprehensive Calendar that will make it easy and efficient to find out what is happening. It is also directly linked to event registrations.

Online Registration for Events and, if there is a registration fee, Online Payment.

Direct Bill Payment and Donation opportunities.

Two Integrated Blogs. One (TSTI Blog) will have a variety of posts and links from the various clergy and TSTI departments. The other (Rabbi’s Blog) will allow me to share important articles I recommend, my writings, and more.

Our Facebook page and Twitter feed …

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An Interesting Interview Of Richard Cohen by Charlie Rose

 

Charlie Rose interviews columnist Richard Cohen in this video clip. Cohen wrote an Op Ed in the Washington Post a few years ago that  drew a great deal of criticism. That column prompted him to begin doing more reading no research. That resulted in a new book

The video is worth reading….

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/-israel-is-it-good-for-the-jews-charlie-rose-10-20-HcBQW2HYSrCBQWjd8Huxhw.html…

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The War on the Israeli Home Front- by Yossi Klein Halevi

This piece by YOSSI KLEIN HALEVI appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal and is worth the read…

Nov. 18, 2014 7:03 p.m. ET
On the morning of Feb. 25, 1994, the Jewish holiday of Purim, Baruch Goldstein, a far-right activist living in the West Bank town of Kiryat Arba, entered the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and gunned down 29 Muslim men at prayer.

The horror within Israeli society was overwhelming and unequivocal. Speaking from the Knesset podium, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin excommunicated Goldstein from the people of Israel. The country’s two chief rabbis denounced the attack as a desecration of God’s name, the ultimate Jewish sin. The official publication of the West Bank settlement movement, Nekudah, denounced Goldstein, a settler, as a stain on its camp. Only a radical fringe sought to justify and explain the massacre as a response to Palestinian provocations.

Tuesday’s massacre by two Palestinian …

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Horror In Jerusalem

The news to which many of us awoke was nothing short of horrifying. Jews who came to the synagogue to worship in Jerusalem were murdered in cold blood as they prayed. All four men were killed simply because they were Jews.

Ours is a tradition that teaches the value of each and every life. Because of that, each death- particularly of an innocent person- is tragic. When the innocent murdered are members of our extended Jewish family, it becomes personal.

Our tradition teaches, “all members of the community of Israel are responsible for one another.” No matter how we may differ in our political views or religious observance, we are connected. And when one of us suffers, we all suffer. Today we all suffer. Today we all grieve.

Let us be clear. This was cold-blooded murder. It was not a crime perpetrated by crazed killers, but was an intentional act …

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Yom Kippur Morning Sermon – 5775

Yom Kippur AM 214 – 5775

This past July it was reported that ISIS had destroyed the Tomb of Jonah in Iraq. My surprise was not around the fact that ISIS would destroy a holy place… after all, one cannot expect a group that beheads people to respect sacred space. No, I was surprised because I didn’t even know there WAS a Tomb of Jonah. And I was only learning about it after it was gone.

Thanks to an online search and some study, I received a bit of an education. I learned that within present-day Mosul is the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, where the Prophet Jonah preached.

This prompted me to go back and reread the Book of Jonah.

For those of you who do not recall the story:

God tells the prophet Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah and warn the people there that they …

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Yom Kippur Morning Sermon – 5775

This past July it was reported that ISIS had destroyed the Tomb of Jonah in Iraq. My surprise was not around the fact that ISIS would destroy a holy place… after all, one cannot expect a group that beheads people to respect sacred space. No, I was surprised because I didn’t even know there WAS a Tomb of Jonah. And I was only learning about it after it was gone.

Thanks to an online search and some study, I received a bit of an education. I learned that within present-day Mosul is the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, where the Prophet Jonah preached.

This prompted me to go back and reread the Book of Jonah.

For those of you who do not recall the story:

God tells the prophet Jonah to go to the city of Ninevah and warn the people there that they need to change their evil ways …

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Rosh Hashannah Morning Sermon 2014 / 5775

“How I spent my summer vacation” By Daniel Cohen

That’s the title of this sermon.

Now, I don’t typically give my sermons titles, but this morning’s sermon is far from typical. It is, in fact, different from any sermon I have previously given here at TSTI.

As many of you know, I had the opportunity to spend part of July in Israel as a participant and co-leader of the very first rabbinic mission for progressive rabbis sponsored by AIPAC’S educational foundation. There were twenty of us on the trip, with Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis represented. The goal of the mission was to give us — all committed Zionists in our own right — a broader understanding of and appreciation for Israel’s complexities and challenges.

We arrived in Israel on Tuesday afternoon, claimed our luggage, got on the bus, and headed toward Jerusalem. As we left the airport, our tour …

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