Colors: Cyan Color

I am in Israel, which is moving towards its third election in less than a year. This year, we too will have the opportunity and the responsibility to vote early and often. There will be five elections for us to participate in this year, and all are of major significance.

Last week, President Trump delivered his annual State of the Union (SOTU) address. As in previous years, acute onset Trump Derangement Syndrome fell upon members of the Democratic Caucus, who remained firmly in their seats throughout most of the speech. New York voters who witnessed the galling behavior of their Representatives have the opportunity to have their voices of disgust heard at the ballot box this November, when all Members of the House are up for re-election.

Donald Trump’s long-awaited “Deal of the Century” was finally revealed last week and has received mixed reception everywhere in the world. Prime Minister Netanyahu was ecstatic, but quickly backtracked from his initial promises of applying sovereignty after confusing signals emanated from the White House. The British government has shown support, the French government has announced that it was going to study it, and the German government has said that the plan raises questions it wishes to discuss with its European partners. The representative of the European Union for foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, accused the plan of undermining the “1967 borders” and hinted that it was not in accordance with international law. The Gulf countries, for the most part, welcomed a plan that will take the Palestinian burden off their shoulders. Finally, the Israelis back at home are as divided as always – and rightfully so, because the plan is, at its core, a lot of déjà vu.

A life-changing event has the potential to inspire individuals to rethink how they live. For nonobservant Jews, a birth, bar/bas mitzvah, wedding, or death is often a rare moment when Jewish custom is brought into the picture. In my extended family, there are no Orthodox Jews. The men who attended cheder and leined their bar mitzvah parshah in the prewar years are gone.