A great many of us are consumed by the nasty war of existence Israel has been fighting, by the international diplomatic backlash against the Jewish state, and by the renewed chutzpah of an enemy intent on destroying us. It is natural that we should do anything we can to help, whether through charitable donations, public demonstrations or even prayers at weddings. But in our zeal to do something, in our all-consuming anger at a cowardly and unjust enemy, it is easy to fall into a trap of putting other important things on hold, like our Jewishness.
Is this simply Israel's war to win or lose?
Ilan Halimi's barbarous murder in France should awaken all Jews to the most significant truth of our times: Today, every Jew in the world is on the front lines of war.
For The Kids
In these portions, the borders of Israel are drawn in two different ways.
We call it the Festival of Lights, but Chanukah starts in a very dark place.
It is the Ides of March and the week before Purim. We know who Agag, King of Amalek -- the enemy of the Jews -- is, but are not sure who should beware.
The luncheon menu reflected the confusion this week at the Washington policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group better known as AIPAC. The main course was hummus, falafel and baba ganoush, a Mediterranean medley that seemed to symbolize Israel's integration into a New Middle East. Dessert, however, was hamantaschen -- the Purim pastry that recalls Israel's eternal battles against sworn enemies.