Arlene Kushner

Arlene from Israel – *WAR*

It took a long time in coming, but it’s very serious now.  The military action, called Operation Protective Edge, was announced in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. As I write, well over 140 sites in Gaza have been hit by the Israeli Air Force and some 14 people have …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Answering to Ourselves.

Motzei Shabbat (After Shabbat) Shabbat has now ended, but I carry with me the messages of an incredible Shabbat afternoon, during which Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell spoke on “Faith in the Face of Tragedy.”   The Mandells lost their son Koby to terrorists 13 years ago, and devote themselves to …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Obscene Rush to Judgment

On Tuesday night, according to eye witnesses, a black car stopped near Mohammad Abu Khdeir, 16, from the upscale Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem and then took off with the boy inside.  Some time later, the family reported him missing. By early Wednesday morning, his burnt body had been found …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – The Tears of a Nation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu called it “A Day of National Mourning,” and that is precisely what it was, as Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were laid to rest. The families first had individual services in their respective communities.  I was going to say “private,” but in fact they were …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Baruch dayan haemet.

Blessed is the righteous judge. This is the first order of business.  We accept the horror of the Hamas murder of three innocent Israeli students: Naftali Frenkel, 16, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrach, 19. These boys did not die in vain.  We have witnessed for many days now an …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Prayer and Positive Energy.

That is what that amazing woman Rachel Frankel, mother of Naftali, is asking of all of us. Not coincidentally, this dovetails with what I wanted to ask today as well. Investing energy in anger about the boys’ kidnapping, focusing on fear for them and other negative thoughts is not constructive …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Information Revealed

  June 27, 2014 Late yesterday, Israeli security released the names of the two men who are believed to be the abductors of the three kidnapped boys.   The two are members of Hamas.  As is often the case, Hamas involvement has been a family affair for them: Marwan Kawasme’s …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Agonizingly Slow.

The days move on, and still no word on recovery of the kidnapped students, Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shayer and Naftali Frenkel.  The IDF continues to operate on the assumption that they are alive and hidden somewhere in Judea and Samaria (most likely but not necessarily in the Hevron area) – …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Awful and More Awful

June 23, 2014: The Middle East, with the singular exception of a stable, prosperous, democratic Israel, is in a state of turmoil and transition – with enormous violence and instability the norm.  We are seeing Sunni-Shia tensions, increasing radicalism, and the break down of borders. And the situation is only …

Read More »

Arlene from Israel – Real but Painful Progress.

A couple of very significant pieces of information have been uncovered in the extensive IDF/Shin Bet operation for the rescue of the three kidnapped students (emphasis added): “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting with dramatic revelation over the kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students, saying that the …

Read More »

News & Views from ‘Arlene in Israel’ – National Anguish.

June 14, 2014: National Anguish. Motzei Shabbat (after Shabbat) And fear.  And fury.  And a terrible sense of déjà vu. Late Thursday evening, three boys disappeared.                                       Eyal Yifrach 19.          Naftali Frenkel 16.         Gilad Sha’ar 16. At this point in time, it’s impossible to piece together …

Read More »

‘Arlene in Israel’ – Dark Clouds

  In my last posting I wrote about “rays of light,” and indeed they do exist.  But I would be remiss indeed if I were to convey a simple-mindedly optimistic message.  The somber truth is that we are facing down some exceedingly tough situations. For starters, there is Hezbollah.  I’ve …

Read More »

Arlene in Israel – Rays of Light

More and more it seems, the nations of the world are arrayed against us:  Israel is criticized for not accepting a Fatah-Hamas unity government, for building in Judea and Samaria, etc. etc.  But there is one turn-around that, while modest, is significant. The government of Australian Prime Minister “Tony” Abbott …

Read More »