832 629 Blog

Feldenkrais: The Man Who Stood Ben-Gurion on His Head

He was an engineer and physicist who struggled with chronic physical pain, when he developed a unique theory of movement which attracted masses of practitioners and trainers around the world. One of these was Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who succeeded in doing a headstand for the first time in his life, at the age of 70. This is the story of Moshe Feldenkrais.

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The Hope or the Glory? Herman Wouk Writes About the State of Israel

The award-winning Jewish-American author lived a secular life in his early years and claimed that one of the greatest influences on his life and work was the US Navy. What made him spend years writing a pair of thick novels telling the story of people whose culture was far removed from the one he grew up on, and for whom he had quite a bit of criticism to offer?

832 629 Blog

Hollywood in the Holy Land: The Story of the First (and Last) “Matzah Western”

The Israeli film industry has known its share of successes despite a whole range of challenges. But the dream of setting up an international film studio producing Hollywood-level movies in the Holy Land never really got off the ground. This is the story of the plan to transform the resort city of Eilat into Israel’s filmmaking capital and its connection to Gregory Peck and the first “Matzah Western.”

Space Left Behind: Ilan Ramon’s Diary Has Arrived

He was the kind of guy everyone wants to be. Ilan Ramon’s story began in Be’er Sheva in Israel’s Negev desert and came to an end somewhere beyond our planet. But before he became the first Israeli astronaut, he was just Ilan – a husband, father, son, and brother. Miraculously, the diary he kept aboard Space Shuttle Columbia survived. This diary, containing his personal feelings as well as descriptions of the historic event he was a part of, somehow landed relatively intact in Texas. It later underwent complex restoration processes and recently received a warm welcome at its new home – the National Library of Israel, where it is on extended loan.

832 629 Blog

The Prime Minister’s Stuttering Speech

In the lead-up to one of Israel’s greatest-ever military victories, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol took to the airwaves to address the nation. It didn’t go well, and the national crisis became significantly worse as a result. Despite his failure in a critical moment, today Eshkol is often viewed as one of Israel’s greatest leaders.

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Freedom Under Siege: The Last Seder in Kfar Etzion

How can one celebrate the festival of freedom, with the clear knowledge that your life or liberty will be taken from you in just a few days? The Seder night of 1948 was one of the last nights of freedom for those in besieged Gush Etzion, but this fact did not prevent the isolated group of men from creating the most celebratory atmosphere possible under the circumstances.

Who Is the Empty Chair at the Passover Seder Intended for?

Along with the ancient tradition of leaving an empty chair on the Seder Night for Elijah the Prophet, a modern Zionist tradition has developed in which we leave an empty chair for our loved ones who have not yet returned from captivity. In the 1970s-80s, these were the “Prisoners of Zion”. Today these are the hostages of October 7. “Let my people go,” Moses commanded Pharaoh in the name of God, and thousands of years later the same call is carried in Passover celebrations around the world, and with it we leave an empty chair and a glass of wine waiting for every single one of them to return