Marcy Oster covers the Middle East for the Cleveland Jewish News from Karnei Shomron in the West Bank.
Last month, a Palestinian man who worked as a janitor in an elementary school in a haredi Orthodox settlement in the West Bank was arrested and indicted for the rape of a 7-year-old girl.
There is plenty of political excitement going on here in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still could not muster a majority government as of early this week, and Madonna used a Palestinian flag to promote a political message on stage at Eurovision.
As I wrote this at least 700 rockets had been fired from Gaza at civilians living in southern Israel and four Israeli civilians had been killed by the rocket-fire. Several were seriously injured, dozens more less seriously injured and the residents have been seriously rattled.
Purim is just around the corner. When we say the blessing for the new month of Adar (this year the second month of Adar) in synagogue on Shabbat, I know I have to start thinking about who will be on my mishloach manot list this year.
Last month, during their weekly Shabbat activity, our local Bnei Akiva youth group made its annual pilgrimage to the open-air mall near the entrance to the settlement.
The Shalva Band, a musical group made up of Israelis with disabilities, gave up its chance to possibly represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest because of a required dress rehearsal on Shabbat.