The Sunny Side of the Wall

The time of our joy

The time of our joy

  2020 may have been the first year since the advent of modern Israel, perhaps since the days of Nehemiah, that Israeli Jews were not allowed to celebrate Sukkot as their hearts desired. “We cannot all be under the sukkah together this year,” blogged The Times of...

The Jerusalem Fire of ’21

The Jerusalem Fire of ’21

Early Sunday afternoon, the light streaming through the window beside my desk changed from a common, pale blue to an eerie golden glow. The Jerusalem Fire of ’21 was about to introduce itself.

Ulpan and Tough Love

Ulpan and Tough Love

  In Israel, it’s a good idea to get out of the house as least as often as we hold national elections. An opportunity to do so arose for my wife Marcia recently between outbreaks of COVID variants, and she went shopping with a friend. I won’t pretend to...

Above the Iron Dome

Above the Iron Dome

  A friend, call him Reuben, rang us up from Ashdod a few days ago. Ordinarily, receiving a phone call from 30 miles away would seem unexceptional, but Ashdod was under attack at the time. Hundreds of Hamas missiles had fallen in and around his hometown when...

Sirens sound on Jerusalem Day, 2021

Sirens sound on Jerusalem Day, 2021

  In the past, before and after missile attacks, Israeli civil defense sirens would first send out distinctive variable warning tones, meaning “take cover,” and follow them with a steady, single tone to indicate “all-clear.” But all-clear tones have not been used...

“I will whistle for them”

“I will whistle for them”

  There is faith and there is unshakeable faith. Renowned Bible teacher Derek Prince once said of scripture, “Every word of it is true.” The creation story, the flood, the prophet Elijah’s ascension to heaven in a flaming chariot and Zechariah’s apocalyptic...

Beyond phone apps and deep breathing

Beyond phone apps and deep breathing

  The day after Israel’s third coronavirus lockdown ended we got a call from our good friend Eli. Eli had worked for years in Israel’s booming tourist trade but is now completely out of work. “We’re not far from your place,” he said on the phone. “We have the...

Americai?

Americai?

  A Russian-born Israeli friend asked us recently, “Is there going to be civil war in America?” As odd as that question seemed to my wife and me, two American expatriates living in Israel whose entire childhoods passed under an umbrella of seemingly unshakeable...

Hark! How all the welkin rings

Hark! How all the welkin rings

  Suspiciously Christmas-like decorations have begun to appear again in Jerusalem neighborhoods, parks and malls, though fewer than in the recent past thanks to the world’s most pervasive virus. But one will not typically hear Christmas music in public,...

Jerusalem Thanksgiving, 2020

Jerusalem Thanksgiving, 2020

  Thanksgiving morning in Jerusalem, 2020, with our turkey properly stuffed and roasting in the oven, Marcia and I got a call from a British expat in town with whom we were doing business. “Good morning!” he began, “why don’t you chaps come down to the office...

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