Revival in Green

Revival in Green

Writing about the Holy Land after his 1867 visit, Mark Twain described it as “rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary…with hardly a tree or shrub anywhere… a rocky, barren, hopeless and heartbroken land.” The first wave of pioneers from Europe in the late...
From Mountaintop to Mountaintop

From Mountaintop to Mountaintop

Dean Chariker was born and raised in a typical Daati Leumi (Modern Orthodox) family in Israel. They kept the laws of Kashrut, they strictly kept Shabbat, they went to synagogue and prayed three times a day. Wearing a kippah and tallit katan was a given for the men....
A Persian Purim

A Persian Purim

The story of Purim dates back to the 4th century BCE during the Babylonian exile of the Jews from Israel. Most people are familiar with the dramatic tale of Queen Esther and how she and her Uncle Mordechai rescued the Jews from imminent destruction under King...
Hanukkah in Israel

Hanukkah in Israel

Growing up in an Ashkenazi Orthodox Jewish family in suburban Maryland, and then moving to Southern California, I thought I was the expert on Hanukkah. Then we made Aliyah to Israel nine years ago, and I was totally proven wrong. The eight-day “Feast of the...