There’s the Kotel, the Western Wall, in 1859, not much different than it is today. There are tourists outside Jerusalem in 1867. There are Polish Jews staring into a camera in 1867, while their counterparts from Yemen do the same in 1900.
These photographs and dozens of others, culled from the Library of Congress online collection and the digital collections of many other libraries and institutions, are the heart of “American Interests in the Holy Land Revealed in Early Photographs From 1840 to 1940.” It was cobbled together by Lenny Ben-David, former deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington.
Many of the photographers were American Christians who benefited from two 19th-century inventions — the steam-powered ship and photography — enabling their trips and their documentation of life in the Holy Land.
Yankees in Zion
A series of essays examines a century of curious photos of the Holy Land, revealing a complex weave of relationships among Americans, Arabs, and Jews.
Written by Elka Weber, Segula Magazine
Americans have long been fascinated with Israel (if not always enamored of it). In the 19th century, many American Protestants saw the return of the Jews to the Holy Land as a prerequisite of the Second Coming. At the same time, Jewish immigration to the land increased, buoyed by the nationalist fervor sweeping Europe and by anti-Semitism around the world.
This mass immigration coincided with Read the rest of this entry »
Reviewed by Ben Rothke in The Jewish Press
For many Americans, when thinking of chief Sephardic rabbis, their list may consist only of one whom they know: Rav Ovadia Yosef, zt”l. As chief Sephardic rabbi of Tel Aviv, R’ Haim David Halevy, zt”l, is not as well-known as R’ Ovadia Yosef, but was certainly in his league.
In Rabbi Haim David Halevy: Gentle Scholar and Courageous Thinker, Rabbis Marc Angel and Hayyim Angel have written a masterful biography of this fascinating sage. Halevy was a man of myriad talents. Be it a noted author, significant talmid chacham, master Read the rest of this entry »
Arutz 7 • Originally featured on “Walter’s World”
“How a tormented soul returned to its Jewish home. The extraordinary story of Tova Mordechai…. You will be both amazed and spellbound by this sometimes harrowing, sometimes comical, powerful account of Tova Mordechai’s incredible journey to rediscover her Jewish heritage after she had succeeded to reach the highest rank as minister of her church.”
Available for purchase from www.urimpublications.com
Hear Rav Shmuly Yanklowitz explain why you should read A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leFVDubJIlU&feature=youtu.be
A Torah Giant: The Intellectual Legacy of Rabbi Dr. Irving (Yitz) Greenberg
Edited by Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz
Foreword by Rabbi Avi Weiss
Introduction by Rabbi Joseph Telushkin
I suppose that within every adult there are the memories of childhood living inside, struggling to get out. If the childhood has been a healthy one, then the adult and the child within live together in peace. If the childhood has been horrible, then the struggle never ends.
This is a book of poems by an adult, who lives with the constant presence within her of an unimaginably awful past. These poems describe what life was like for a child who lived in the Warsaw ghetto where you had to hide every time there was a knock on the door, and you were not allowed to sneeze or cry or make a noise until it was quiet outside. These poems describe what it feels like to be an adult who, when she was a child of three, was given away for safekeeping by her mother to a Polish neighbor, and whose mother taught her how to pretend to be a Christian before she left. These poems recall what it was like after the war to be the only Jewish child in a Polish school, and then what it was like to be a foreigner in an Israeli school at a time when the other children in your class simply could not understand what it was like to come from a world so unimaginably different from theirs. Read the rest of this entry »