The Book of Vayikra (Leviticus), which we recently began, focuses on ritual matters, primarily, the details of offerings, including burnt offerings, sin offerings (separate ones to atone for deliberate transgressions and inadvertent failings) and guilt offerings … and what is usually translated as the “peace” offering.

Now, the “peace offering,” of course, doesn’t have to do with a cessation of hostilities, but comes from the root shin-lamed-mem, which denotes both shalom — peace — and shlemut, a character of wholeness. Wholeness is especially relevant to us in these times, when a moment of hope for the other kind of peace presents on the horizon a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: March 17, 2014

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This week, Alpher discusses how critical Monday's meeting between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama is likely to be; why it took Obama and Kerry all this time to recognize just how far apart the two sides are; what the strategic ramifications of last week's firing of more than 70 rockets into Israel Islamic Jihad are;  and what it means at the national level that last week, Israel's parliamentary opposition boycotted three key Knesset debates and votes regarding highly controversial measures of national importance.

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I KNOW where you live: A Purim message from Sara Ehrman, APN Board member

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I know where you live: A Purim message from Sara Ehrman, APN Board member

 

Our Jewish tradition assigns meaning to many milestones in life. At 12 or 13 we have a bat/bar mitzvah. At 15, it’s time to start studying Talmud. Forty is when you can study kabbalah.

But when you turn 95? Bupkas. Judaism has nothing to say.

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APN Condemns Rocket Barrage on Israel

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In response to today's rocket barrage into Israel from Gaza, APN President and CEO Debra DeLee stated:

"We unequivocally condemn the heinous attacks carried out today against Israel, apparently by Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. This firing of rockets into Israel, threatening Israeli civilians, is terrorism, pure and simple. We support Israel's right to defend itself and its duty to defend its citizens in the face of such attacks. In exercising this sovereign right of self defense, we urge Israel to pay attention to past experience, seeking both to avoid harming Palestinian civilians and to avert a potentially disastrous cycle of escalation. Our thoughts are with Israel's citizens living in the shadow of these rockets, as well as with Gaza's civilians, whose welfare, too, is being treated with callous disregard by violent Palestinian extremists."

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APN Press Release: APN Mourns the Death of Ambassador Samuel Lewis

Americans for Peace Now (APN) mourns the death of Ambassador Samuel Lewis, a distinguished American diplomat and a leading expert on US Middle East policy, a staunch supporter of Arab-Israeli peace, a true friend of Israel and an influential activist for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

APN's President and CEO Debra DeLee said: "Sam's passing is a terrible loss to the peace movement and to those who knew him and deeply appreciated him as a human being. He was a man with a big intellect and a big heart, whose pro-peace positions were guided by a moral compass and by a deep commitment to the national security of the United States and to the wellbeing of the state of Israel.

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On Purim, this year let's take off the masks..

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On Purim, we play dress up, we wear masks, we pretend to be people we are not. Leaders of nations that need peace like we need oxygen for breathing don’t have the privilege to play with masks. But here we are, at the end of the nine-month period allotted for the peace process to bear fruit, and politicians are still playing games of chance with their peoples’ future.

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Press Release: APN to Netanyahu: Don't Establish a New Settlement in Hebron

In response to today's ruling by Israel's High Court of Justice (Supreme Court) regarding settler claims to ownership of a large house in Hebron, Americans for Peace Now (APN) joins its Israeli sister organization Shalom Achshav (Peace Now) in calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon to use their legal authority to prevent the creation of another settlement stronghold in Hebron.

The Supreme Court today rejected an appeal by two Palestinians of a lower court ruling that the property was bought legally by Jewish settlers. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the settlers could move into the house, if the Minister of Defense approves it.

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Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher: March 10, 2014

This week, Alpher discusses how serious Netanyahu's reported sponsoring of a study of the existence of Belgian and Dutch sovereign enclaves in each other's territory with a view to proposing a similar model for Israeli settlements that remain inside Palestinian territory under a two-state solution; the similarities and differences of Israeli operations: the Israel Air Force reportedly destroying Syrian-supplied strategic weaponry at a Hezbollah base and the Israel Navy captured a ship in the Red Sea carrying Syrian rockets sent by Iran to Islamists in Sinai or Gaza; was there anything unique about the circumstances of the alleged IAF attack against a Hezbollah base; why all the publicity on the Red Sea operation.

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APN's Ori Nir in Haaretz: When will the U.S. Jewish community talk peace?

How will the U.S. Jewish establishment, such as AIPAC, confront the prospect of peace for Israel when it is mired in an echo chamber of self-righteous axioms and simplistic thinking?

At the entrance to the enormous hall at the Washington Convention Center, where some 14,000 chairs were lined up for AIPAC’s conference participants, stood a television reporter holding a microphone, seeking interviewees.

"How’s it going?" I asked. “Not so good,” he replied. “I was sent to do a story on what AIPAC members have to say about prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace and nobody is willing to talk about it. All they want to talk about is Iran.”

He was right. Hard-line statements on Iran elicited long standing ovations, time after time, while hopeful comments on the possibility of peace were all but ignored. It got so bad that two prominent Israelis – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and legendary Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi – had to urge the armada of pro-Israel lobbyists to applaud comments they made about peace. And when Howard Kohr, AIPAC’s executive director of eighteen years, addressed the crowd with a speech that typically sets the policy agenda for the conference, all he spoke about was Iran.

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OriGhaithJ Street U will host Ori Nir (Americans for Peace Now) and Ghaith al-Omari (The American Task Force on Palestine) at Clark University for a talk on the current status of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

4:30 PM
March 13, 2014
Clark University (Worcester, MA)

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