Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Articles written by Jonathan Feldstein

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Noah, the Flood, Rebuilding, and Tribalism

Last week, Jews around the world read the Torah portion about Noah (Genesis 6:9-10). Noah is fascinating. God doesn’t say he was a great guy. What happens after the ark comes to rest, after the floodwaters subside, planting a vineyard and getting d...

 

Saving Soviet Jews in Rekjavik long distance

This week in 1986, U.S. President Ronald Regan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev met at a summit in Rekjavik, Iceland. With the nuclear threat of Vladimir Putin today, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had world leaders who could sit down and...

 

The miraculous return of the red heifer to Israel

Jonathan Feldstein was one of the first people who reported about the arrival of the five red heifers in Israel just over two weeks ago. His initial Facebook post drew hundreds of comments and was shared over 13,000 times. He also was the first to...

 

Book review: 'The Book of Jewish Knowledge'

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. As far as I know that’s not a Jewish adage, but is one that’s accurate and which the publisher of “The Jewish Book of Knowledge... Full story

 

On the death of two Arab journalists in Israel

News this week in Israel included the death of two Arab journalists, in different locations, under different circumstances, and unrelated. But the circumstances, accusations, and double standards are glaring and need to be discussed. This week,...

 

We should never think human trafficking is normal

(JNS) — Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion once famously said, “When Israel has prostitutes and thieves, we’ll be a state just like any other.” Ben-Gurion’s vision of Zionism was to “normalize” the Jews. His “normal...

 

Living modestly in a hyper-sexualized world

I can’t count the number of pastors who had confided in me about issues relating to modesty in their churches. Many will tell me how distraught they are when they see their members out at the mall or in some other setting, dressed in ways that...

 

Book Review: 'Hijack for Freedom' - a true story that motivated Soviet Jews to flee Russia

I'm relaxing on the beach in Tel Aviv reading a book that I've been enjoying. More than enjoying, it's an important piece of our history as a people, specifically related to the struggle to free the...

 

Zelensky's antisemitic battle won't win his war

Speaking to students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem recently, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a foolish, unnecessary, and strategic mistake of opening an antisemitic battle as another front distracting from his very real war against...

 

Celebrating Israel's independence with biblical significance

The United States was founded by deeply religious Christians, and its tradition is rooted in what’s known as Judeo-Christian values. Other countries also are founded on, and embrace, biblical values as well. It should go without saying that...

 

Time to burn my passport

My wife and I, and five of our children, had a discussion over Shabbat dinner recently about giving up our U.S. citizenship. Five of my six children were born in the U.S. On my father’s side, I’m a second generation American. On my mother’s...

 

Ending Holocaust distortion through education

Earlier this month I was watching a U.S. report about the war in Ukraine, which I have been following with a degree of obsessiveness. It’s hard to imagine that an unprovoked war is happening at all, much less destroying entire communities. The...

 

Israel's Arabs deserve better

If there was ever proof that Israel is not an apartheid state actively discriminating against its Arab minority, all one needs to do is look at the recent statement of Israeli Arab Knesset member Ayman Odeh. Not only does this reflect the reality...

 

Why it is OK for Arabs to kill Israelis

I had not even left the parking lot of Ben Gurion airport Thursday when I learned there had just been another terrorist attack that morning. The fourth in a week. This one took place near my home, on a bus that my kids use often. A Palestinian Arab...

 

Infuriating Ambassador Nides

Perhaps it’s a coincidence that I just finished reading Richard Heideman’s new book, “The Bloody Price of Freedom” last week, the same week in which U.S. Ambassador Thomas Nides said that he was “infuriated” by settlement growth....

 

Israel: Open for tourism

A hopeful and dominant topic of conversation at this week’s National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville has been the re-opening of tourism to Israel for all, vaccinated and unvaccinated...

 

Complicated thoughts about Ukraine

As Russia has invaded Ukraine my feelings are mixed, contradictory, and contradictory to that of many others. For me, and many Jews, anything regarding Ukraine brings with it thought of our history and persecution there. In modern times we recall...

 

Turning history upside-down in Ukraine

You’re aware of the phrase “history repeating itself” but I want to share a story of how history is being turned upside-down as millions of Ukrainians try to flee the Russian siege of their country. It’s especially appropriate to do so from...

 

Committing hate crimes in Jesus' name is warped

A New Jersey evangelical minister and Orthodox Jew walk into Congress …. It sounds like the beginning of a quirky joke, but in fact it’s how we developed a close, warm friendship. Years ago, for a number of years in a row, we participated...

 

Israel's apartheid failure

As I was checking out of the grocery store on Friday morning and thanking a Palestinian Arab worker for helping to bag my groceries so efficiently and quickly, then wishing him and the Palestinian Arab cashier a Shabbat Shalom, I was pulled aside by...

 

'The Voice of Silence' brings to light how our history is intertwined

I visited Ephraim Kholmyansky in Moscow in October 1987. It was my second trip to the USSR to help encourage Jews, bringing hope, make personal connections, and smuggle in a small amount of things to...

 

Theological antisemitism at home in the Presbyterian Church

In a recent statement published on the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, not only misrepresented and defamed Dr. King’s...

 

The rise and fall and rise again of Gush Etzion

In a country whose biblical and modern history are intertwined and covered with dramatic events taking place at locations everywhere, Gush Etzion is among the most significant. Gush Etzion is the Jude...

 

Rand Paul's very bad optics

Last week, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul blocked what would have otherwise been unanimous passage of the Iron Dome funding bill, HR5323, providing Israel with $1 billion to replenish its Iron Dome system following the war Israel endured with...

 

Ilhan Omar's backpack

Recent reports have slammed Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert for comments that were offensive to her colleague, Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Boebert shared a security-related incident in the U.S. Capitol, quipping that she saw...

 

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