Michele Chabin, Religion News Service

Michele Chabin writes for Religion News Service.

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For Some, U.S. Embassy’s Move to Jerusalem Fulfills Divine Prophecy

Image via Michele Chabin / RNS

“For evangelical Christians the embassy move is part of eschatology,” the expectation of what will transpire at the end of times,” explained Rabbi David Rosen, director of the American Jewish Committee’s Department of Interreligious Affairs. “The return of the Jewish people to their ancestral homeland and the reestablishment of Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem is seen as a stage ultimately leading to the full messianic era.”

At Auschwitz, Thousands Join the March of the Living to Honor the Dead

People take part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, in Oswiecim, Poland, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

“Being here made me realize how important my Judaism is. I’m a link in a long chain that the Holocaust tried to break. People my age are the future.”

Experts Seek to Educate Young Arabs About the Holocaust to Combat Anti-Semitism

Image via Rafael Ozen / Yad Ben-Zvi Institute

“There are hundreds of web pages of Holocaust denial” in the Arab world “but almost nothing in Arabic that combats this denial,” Saadoun said. “We’re teaching Arabs about their own history.”

Jerusalem Tax Spat Pits Heaven Against Earth

A worshipper holds a cross during a protest in front of the closed doors of the Church of the HolySepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City, February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
 

“It is absurd for Jerusalem residents to fund municipal services for the churches … on their own, and for the municipality to be prevented from collecting enormous sums that could significantly improve the city’s development and services,” Barkat said.

Neither Muslim nor Jew: Samaritans in the Middle East

Image via RNS/Michele Chabin

“The Muslims see us as Jews and the Jews see us as fanatics. They’re wary of us. It’s difficult."

Trump Trip to Middle East, Vatican Offers Religious Opportunities and Pitfalls

 Image via RNS/Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

There is concern that Trump’s team will be too even-handed and that he and his advisers lack understanding of the region. On Monday a senior U.S. Consulate official coordinating Trump’s visit told Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank.” The wall is in East Jerusalem.

Some Rabbis Fear Expanding Women’s Roles in the Israeli Army Could Lead to Sin

Image via RNS/Israel Defense Forces

A year and a half after joining the Air Force, Ofir is halfway through her stint as a flight simulator instructor. Despite the rigors of military life she continues to keep kosher and observe the Sabbath.

Ofir is one of a growing number of Orthodox Jewish women who see no contradiction between serving in the military and maintaining a religious lifestyle – a trend that some Israeli rabbis hope to end.

Orthodox High School Girls Bused to Western Wall to Drown Out Feminist Prayers

Image via RNS/Reuters/Michal Fattal

An Orthodox Jewish organization opposed to female-led prayers at the Western Wall bused in between 1,000 and 2,000 Orthodox high school girls to prevent a feminist group from praying.

Liba, an organization whose goal is to prevent pluralistic prayer at the holy site, instructed the girls to fill up the women’s section so the feminist group, Women of the Wall, could not enter to perform their monthly prayer on Feb. 27.

Why Can't Women Pray at the Western Wall?

Photo via Reurters/ Michal Fattal 

If the High Court ultimately rules that women can read Torah in the women’s section of the Western Wall, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers in the Israeli Parliament may try to pass legislation to criminalize the practice, not only at the traditional wall but also at Robinson’s Arch. 

Donald Trump Writes a Prayer for Western Wall Crevices

Image via RNS/Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Hoping for divine intervention – or Jewish votes – Donald Trump wrote a short prayer to be inserted in between the stones of the Western Wall.

Trump’s team photographed and sent a copy of the handwritten prayer to Ynet News and Yedioth Ahronoth, Israeli sister publications. The original was handed to David Faiman, a Trump advisor, who was heading to Israel, the news outlets reported.

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