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Nicole Bem
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New home in our Jewish land
Her bedroom is empty. The bed is stripped, the shelves bare, the dresses that were once slumped on a chair are replaced by a single zipped bag hanging on a hook. It's her wedding dress: retired and out of
service. My daughter just had her one-month wedding ...

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Bride to Be
Dresses are slumped over a chair, hangers dangling. I sit with my coffee looking at these clothes. And then it
hits me. My daughter is moving out, leaving home. And she’s not coming back. Today, these clothes will be moved to a new home that my
daughter wil...

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Spotless and Sneezy
There are several signs that spring is in full bloom – a
chorus of sneezing, a chamber of stuffed garbage bags and, hopefully, an
empty pantry. Here in Israel come late March, every plant that can bloom is
announcing its presence. Even my lemon tree, still ...

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“The mountains are calling and I must go” John Muir Two weeks ago, we finally completed the Shvil Israel, the
1,000-kilometre-long trail that wanders from the Red
Sea to the foot of Mount Hermon. This adventure started when four friends from Ra’anana hit th...

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If Ra'anana Were Rivendell...
  I’ve heard it said that Israel is a dangerous place. People
from abroad have visions of a war-torn country, of simmering conflict, of
injustice. They imagine a barrage of gunfire, thunderous tanks and shattering
explosions. Well, this is not exactly a pre...

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More than meets the eye
It was 3:30 in the morning when our alarm went off. We quickly dressed, made a coffee and jumped into the car. It was still pitch black outside, but the roads were clear as we drove north to Tsfat.  We were quiet, in disbelief, feeling heavy and sad. A frie...

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What makes the desert beautiful?
"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well." Antoine de Saint Exupery School vacationing in Israel corresponds with family time. For
those who stay home, the go-to place is the mall where parents stuff their kids
with fast food and s...

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This is the place
“This is the place. Time to get out.” I looked out the window of the jeep. Craggy rocks, red,
towering mountains. I opened the door and hopped out.  Rocks crackled as the car
pulled away, disappearing in a cloud of dust. And here I was. Alone. Utterly alone...

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Letting Go
Facing each other and clutching
a plate between our hands, we hold our arms out, lift gently, then lower. I
take a deep breath. My partner lets go and I hold on firmly, lowering the china
plate to the floor. “You have to let go,” she says
gently. “Let’s try...

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Love Your Neighbor As Yourself
Boca Raton? Nope. Ra'anana.  (photo credit:Brauner Properties)  People in Israel tend to be polarized, be it religiously,
politically, socially or culturally. So here we are, a Canadian family living in Ra’anana, a suburban town that resembles Boca
Raton mo...
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