Shlicha’s/Shaliach’s View

Israel at 65: Remembering the price of Israel’s freedom

Guy Gelbart

During the recent Passover holiday, we celebrated the ending of our slavery and becoming a free people. After fleeing Egypt, we were liberated but not yet free. Even after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, we were not yet free. It took more than 40 years, a full generation,… Read more »

The great debate: Is Judaism a religion?

Guy Gelbart

Is Judaism a religion or is it not? This is the question I posted on my Facebook page, Tucson Shaliach Guy Gelbart, with the intention of creating a thought-provoking discussion. I shared a link to a YouTube video of a talk by my friend Avraham Infeld, president of the… Read more »

Gelbart: What kind of Palestinian state can we expect?

Guy Gelbart

Is creating a Palestinian state truly in the best interest of hu­man rights? This fundamental question is often ignored. Many, including myself, refer to a two states for two peoples solution as the best possible option. I personally tend to support this approach, yet I have some significant concerns.… Read more »

Israel’s election process explained … in brief

Guy Gelbart

Israel’s elections are approaching, so it seems like a good time to explain the complex, confusing and often awkward process that constitutes the heart and soul of Israeli democracy. In 1948, when the state of Israel was declared, it was decided the Jewish state would be a multi-party parliamentary… Read more »

Shaliach’s view: Avoiding collateral damage — your moral choice scenario

Guy Gelbart

Imagine the following horrible scenario: an armed group of 100 snipers takes over a main building in downtown Tucson; they shoot people walking on the streets. The entire downtown area is shut down; people are locked in their offices across the city and can’t go home. Assume that you… Read more »

‘Language of the Hebrew Man’ lyrics pose poetic question

  Speak up, the language of the Hebrew Man,” says a song by popular Israeli singer/songwriter Ehud Banai. Of course we all know what the language of the Hebrew man is — but do we really? Does Banai refer to the current, updated, slangy Israeli Hebrew? Or does he… Read more »

Fun and education a winning combination

Guy Gelbart

More than 250 Tucsonans attended the Weintraub Israel Center Heartbeat of Israel series second Sukkah Shake on Sept. 27. This successful event was cosponsored by the PJ Library and the Tucson Jewish Community Center. Normally I would not write about a past event, but this case is different. Not… Read more »

Anti-Israel cynics led Rachel Corrie to tragic death

Guy Gelbart

After nine long years in which self-appointed “peace activists” used Rachel Corrie’s tragic and accidental death to bash Israel and Israelis in any way they could, the saga came to an end on Aug. 28 with a very clear court ruling: Rachel Corrie negligently ignored ongoing warnings from both… Read more »

Standing up against Arab terror not just Israel’s issue

Guy Gelbart

It’s been a long hot summer! My summer began on May 18 on the way to Israel, waiting for the special security checks for an El Al flight to Israel from Los Angeles. I couldn’t help wondering why is it that only flights to Israel are required to go… Read more »

TIPS projects are oasis of hope in Kiryat Malachi

Guy Gelbart

As I entered Ki­ryat Malachi last week, I was shocked at the slumlike appearance of the city: dirty old walls, peeling paint, broken signs. The last several weeks had not been easy for Kiryat Malachi. The city’s mayor, Moti Malka, was arrested on the severe charge of rape. I… Read more »

Creating modern Israel didn’t come easy

Guy Gelbart

The state of Israel,” “Israel independence,” “the Israel Defense Forces,” “the prime minister of Israel” … it seems, nowadays, we tend to take all those for granted. We refer to the existence of a Jewish state as a solid fact. Young Jewish adults are focused on the Arab-Israeli or… Read more »

Surprise: Israel ranks 7th on happiness index

Guy Gelbart

The month of Adar is here, “Mishenichnas Adar marbin b’simcha!” — It’s Adar, be happy! The month of Adar is considered the month of joy in Jewish tradition. As my grandmother used to say, “That’s the way we are; you need to tell us to be happy.” It seems… Read more »

Shaliach’s view: Haredi attack highlights growing tensions

Guy Gelbart

What does it mean to be a Jewish and democratic state? This question came to light with the story of Na’ama Margolis. Na’ama, an 8-year-old modern Orthodox girl, was the victim of an offense by a small radical haredi (ultra-Orthodox) group called the Sicricim (Latin: Sicarii, the dagger man).… Read more »

Shlichim explore issues of identity, priorities

Guy Gelbart

I recently came back from a four-day conference held by the Jewish Agency for Israel, with 250 of its shlichim (emissaries) posted across North America. Each year, hundreds of shlichim from Israel are sent to work with Federations, youth movements, Hillels on college campuses, Jewish community centers, people interested… Read more »

Israel so much more than conflict, politics

Israel is right,” “Israel is wrong,” Israel should do this or that … wherever I go, whatever I do, it seems many American Jews try to keep their engagement with Israel on a political basis. Sometimes it feels as if the only connection to Israel is through the Israeli-Arab… Read more »

Despite price, Gilad’s freedom brings joy

I am writing this several days after Gilad Shalit was released, Muammar Gadhafi was killed and the Jewish people worldwide have celebrated Simchat Torah, which marks the end of Torah readings for one year and the start of Torah readings for the new year. First there was darkness, the… Read more »

‘Protest about hope’ evokes Herzl vision

“Mr. Prime Min­ister, I know you are watching us now — I recommend you take a good look: What you see now, this enormous crowd, here and all across Israel, is not the public you know. This is no longer the public that agreed with any decision the governments… Read more »

Will P.A. challenge mute social justice cry?

In the last several weeks Israel has been going through one of the biggest waves of protest ever. The people in the street are calling for social justice. Most protestors define themselves as middle class. They’re raising a cry over the high cost of living and the unequally spread… Read more »