Judy Lash Balint

After Pesach

Israelis take their Passover holiday seriously., 4/27/2008, 11:30 PM

Winter in the Middle East

Jerusalem winter days don't seem gray and endless., 1/22/2008, 11:50 PM

Sukkot Pain and Gain

Generations have waited: Jerusalem is packed., 10/1/2007, 11:33 PM

Remembering Our National Tragedies

Tisha B'Av descends on Jerusalem., 7/24/2007, 11:01 PM

Enough Ceremony

Yom HaShoah was never commemorated in my home., 4/16/2007, 11:06 PM

"We Overcame Pharaoh..."

This year, there's a different feeling in the air., 4/5/2007, 9:09 PM

A Purim Bus Ride

Judy's raucous ride through Jerusalem on Purim. , 3/5/2007, 11:00 PM

Moving On in Sderot

Many teachers from the the yeshiva and from Ella's AMIT high school showed up, too. The respect and warmth they elicited from the students would be the envy of teachers anywhere. Maybe it's the simple solidarity born from the terrifying experiences they've shared over the past six years, ever since Sderot has been under Arab bombardment., 1/30/2007, 11:22 PM


One thing is certain about life in Israel - there are countless fascinating people and uplifting events that have the ability to restore the spirit., 11/13/2006, 8:48 PM

Sleepless in Sderot

At his press conferences with world leaders last week, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert barely mentioned the suffering citizens of Sderot. Mr. Olmert shouldn't expect a quiet homecoming., 6/18/2006, 10:09 PM

Not Your Typical Hebron Supporters

Several hundred kibbutz members, secular professors and members of secular labor Zionist youth movements took part in a first-of-its-kind solidarity conference in Hebron yesterday. But this ground-breaking confluence of secular socialists and religious settlers took place with absolutely no media coverage., 2/1/2006, 10:41 PM

Don't Let the Spirit Get Washed Away - Part II

Here at Yavul, dozens of prefab buildings sit in the muddy, sandy soil in varying states of completion. Pre-teen kids ride around on bikes and play in the sand. Inside the industrial-size tent that serves as a meeting place, dining hall and shelter from the rain, Drora Visner and Tzurit Yarchi describe their lives here., 11/27/2005, 10:26 PM

Don't Let the Spirit Get Washed Away - Part I

It rained heavily this week all over Israel. Not particularly notable for late November, unless you happen to be one of the 8,500 people who were evicted from their homes last August as part of the Gaza withdrawal plan., 11/24/2005, 2:48 PM

The Real Reasons for Making Aliyah

Besides the well-worn ideological Zionist reasons that compelled many of us to make <I>aliyah</I> from advanced, civilized, democratic, organized, calm, tidy, clean and polite Western countries, there are a few not-so-well recognized, but important, factors that Diaspora Jews might want to consider., 10/11/2005, 9:06 PM

Something Strange in the Air

Strange things in the air over the Holy Land. Not too much time to write these days. It's enough to try to keep up and take part in what feels like some momentous ground-shifting in this country., 8/11/2005, 11:13 PM

Off to the South

How are you getting there? How are you getting back? Are you taking your kids/letting your kids go? Is there any point in going? How will the police and border police react to us? Are you staying for all three days?, 7/18/2005, 5:07 PM

Forgotten Hero?

Mendelevich is one of 15 Jews from the former Soviet Union who attempted to hijack a small Soviet plane in 1970, in a crazy scheme to dramatize the longings of Jews to leave the Soviet Empire., 4/14/2005, 10:48 PM

Holy Work in the Holy City

Life in the holy city of Jerusalem can sometimes be so intense that you have to shield yourself from the power of the emotion blasted your way in order to keep things in perspective., 2/24/2005, 12:03 PM

Look Who's Dreaming Now

Ezra announced that soon, masses of tourists would be flocking into places like Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah and Ariel. Bethlehem and Nazareth got mentioned too by Ezra, who also serves as Israel's Minister of Tourism., 11/25/2004, 11:41 PM

Only in Jerusalem

The locked gates that greet us at the entrance to almost every cafe don't even register any more. We've long ago grown used to the long wait at the entrance to every parking garage while security guards rummage through the trunks of our cars., 10/18/2004, 9:18 PM

You Know It's Sukkot in Jerusalem...

<I>Sukkot</I> of every size and description can be seen on balconies, rooftops and in courtyards. Every kosher restaurant in town has one and boasts bigger and better holiday specials to entice customers., 9/29/2004, 12:36 AM

The Walk: Reviving a Tradition

As the marchers moved off following a huge banner proclaiming a slogan of allegiance to Jerusalem, organizer Nadia Matar reminded the crowd that this is not a demonstration or a rally, nor is it a social event. In fact, no reminder is necessary, as the restrained mass of Jews soberly sets out to encircle the gates of the Holy City., 7/28/2004, 4:15 PM

Can <I>Mashiach</I> Be Far Behind?

A packed auditorium is totally quiet as the audience listens intently to the words of a slight figure on stage. Clad in a long black coat, a round black hat covering salt and pepper hair, <I>payot</I> (sidecurls) coiling down to his chest that barely miss his graying beard as he sways and speaks, Rabbi Shalom Aroush reads a tractate from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov., 7/13/2004, 7:19 PM

And English Was Heard in the Land

Last Saturday night, dozens of English-speaking tourists wandered in and out of those stores proud to be counted among the brave. Many teenagers and twenty-somethings stopped to take in some of the really good bands playing along the street, as they munched on falafel or shwarma. Unlike most students here during the year on one year programs, these summer travelers have no restrictions on coming i, 7/8/2004, 11:54 PM

Mistrial, Israeli Style

The soldier, son of a poor Bedouin family from the north of Israel, is accused of manslaughter in the death last year of British International Solidarity Movement (ISM) agitator, Tom Hurndall., 6/13/2004, 9:37 PM

Palm Beach East

At Palm Beach there are no sun umbrellas, no crowds and no traffic jams to impede a drive on a sunny spring day alongside the bright blue waters and the pristine sand. , 4/26/2004, 6:00 PM

Full Cycle

It wasn't planned that way, but at precisely 10:00am, as the siren sounds and the nation of Israel stops in its tracks to mark Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Day, Asher Yablok, 25, finds himself in the midst of explaining how he and his wife Shira had chosen the name of their first-born son., 4/20/2004, 6:46 PM

Pesach is Coming to Jerusalem

Street scenes change every day according to what's halachically necessary: For the week before the holiday, yeshiva students wielding blow torches and tending huge vats of boiling water are stationed every few blocks and in the courtyard of every mikveh. The lines to dunk cutlery, kiddush cups and the like, start to grow every day, and, at the last minute, blow torches are at the ready to cleanse , 4/4/2004, 11:25 AM

Cafe Hillel Delivers

About an hour after the #14 bus blew up at the corner of Bethlehem Road and King David Streets just below the Inbal Hotel this morning, a delivery arrived from Caf? Hillel, a few bus stops back on Emek Refaim., 2/22/2004, 10:23 PM

Morning Coffee

Morning coffee on Rechov Hapalmach in Jerusalem - you'd think it would be a banal event. But little about life here could be described as banal or routine., 2/18/2004, 7:19 PM

All Together Now

It was another one of those uniquely Israeli evenings, when overwhelming joy and energy is tinged with sadness and remembrance, with a good measure of resolve and <i>"davka"</i> thrown in., 1/19/2004, 6:31 PM

A Few Things

There's an odd atmosphere around Jerusalem these days. , 1/5/2004, 5:54 PM

ISM <i>Chutzpah</i>

International Solidarity Movement member Radhika Sainath is getting ready to leave Israel in a few days. But before she goes, she?s decided to slap Israel with a $4,000 lawsuit., 11/30/2003, 3:32 PM

<i>Acharei Ha-Chagim</i>

It's arrived ? the return of the mundane, the day-to-day, the routine of work, school, family and bank balance woes. For the past three weeks, Israel has been on a high. The period of the high holidays followed by the week-long Sukkot festival is the longest stretch of days away from reality in the calendar. Anything that can be put off is cast aside with the simple accompanying expression, <i>"ac, 10/20/2003, 5:53 PM

All in a Jerusalem Morning

It's a sight I never thought I'd see ? the student body of an entire yeshiva waiting patiently to ascend the Temple Mount early on a sunny morning between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur., 10/3/2003, 10:57 AM


"There's been hardly any publicity about it here," wrote one of my west coast US correspondents about the latest Jerusalem cafe bomb attack. I was stunned. , 9/16/2003, 6:59 PM

The Valley of the Giants

September 10, 2003 ? Instead of placing the ring on the finger of his beloved, 20-year-old Hanan Sand reverently laid the gold band on the shrouded body of his fiancee Nava Appelbaum as she was buried this morning., 9/10/2003, 10:10 PM

A Strange Day

Jerusalem ? It was supposed to be a day of celebration of the 36th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem, a day traditionally marked by formal ceremonies, fireworks, speeches, concerts and marches through the city. But this year, events and nature conspired to make the day feel slightly off target. , 6/1/2003, 7:18 PM

Serving the Country

At the funeral, Cheryl managed to gather the strength to speak about her son and the responsibilities he had taken on himself. "Daniel fell so we could have a peaceful <I>chag</I> (festival)," she said. It was not difficult for any of us standing there to understand the meaning of her words. The memory of last Pesach and the massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya was fresh in our minds. , 5/6/2003, 7:30 AM