Jewish Journal

Israel and the world Pt. 17 - weekly news from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

August 27, 2012 | 12:00 pm

*25 Israeli athletes left several days ago for London, to compete in the 2012 Paralypmic Games. The athletes, all carrying a physical disability, will compete in nine sports: athletics, equestrian, road cycling, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, and wheelchair tennis. Israeli sports experts claim that this time, the chance for us to hear the Israeli anthem is bigger than during the Olympic Games earlier this month. Good luck!

*For the past three weeks, 29 talented Jewish singers from across the world, got to take a part in the Hallelujah- a worldwide singing contest. Recently, thousands of Jewish singers from all around the globe, submitted videos of themselves performing. The top 20 selected by judges were invited to Israel and competed for the chance of becoming the next big thing. In this special contest, the young singers worked on their Hebrew, received vocal training, travelled the country, lived amongst Israelis the performed on national television. On August 18th, the finals took place, in which Evan Malach from Canada came in first place. Courtney Simmons, from the US came in second, and Polina Zizak from Russia came in third.

*In the 16th century, Rabbi Meir Benbenishti created the “Seder Nashim” siddur. It was meant especially for women, and was written in Ladino as most of them did not know Hebrew at the time. Now, almost 500 years later, the first feminist siddur had been issued in Hebrew, in an edition published by the Ben-Zvi Institute. At that time, women were usually prevented from praying because men were concerned that they would neglect taking care of their children, for the prayers were too long. Because of that, perhaps, they had little access to learning how to read and write in Hebrew. Thus, Rabbi Benbanishti wrote this special prayer book. Besides being in Ladino, this siddur carries a very feminist nature: Along with the regular Halachot regarding women, this siddur also features Halachot showing women how to conduct a Jewish lifestyle by themselves, especially when it is not present in their life.

*Austrian authorities are investigating what is claimed to be an anti-Semitic cartoon, posted on the Facebook page of a political leader. The cartoon is showing a fat, bald banker with a large nose and what the critics claim to be Star of David pattern on his cufflinks. Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the Freedom Party, and the owner of this Facebook page, denies the allegations and said the shape is not a Star of David and that there is no anti-Sematic idea behind this cartoon.

*Kevin Youkilis, Chicago White Sox third baseman, was approached by members of the Israeli national baseball team’s staff to play for the Israeli team at the World Baseball Classics in March 2013. The Jewish all-star agreed, and said he would represent Israel if the team qualifies for the tournament this September, and as long as he is healthy. Currently, the Israeli national baseball team is ranked 57th in the world.

Evan Malach, the winner of the 2012 Hallelujah contest


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My name is Noga Gur-Arieh, and I’m an Israeli Journalist, currently studying for my B.A degree in Media and Political Science, at Tel Aviv University.

I am very socially...

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