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Ruby red pomegranates hang from trees around the city, some in private gardens, others in squares of soil on public sidewalks. One such tree stands in Kehillat Yedidya’s garden, the site of the 40-person Shabbat minyan we attended in the spring. 

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Speak to policy analysts or policy makers about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and you’ll frequently encounter a series of truisms. For example, that Jordan is both a friend of the West and a vital, respected component of the Arab world at the same time. Or that Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel in 1994 has helped save the region from an all-out war in the face of global Islamist terrorism and Iranian expansionism. Or that the overthrow of the ruling family – in situ since the early part of the 20th century, thanks to its alliance with the British Empire – would be a catastrophe for the country and for the cause of moderation in the region, with immediate shattering effects in the West Bank to boot.

The High Holy Days season is one where the Jewish people take stock, look forward and move forward. We do tzuva, or repent. That word literally means to return. We return to ourselves in order to remove the blockages that hold us back from improving ourselves spiritually, becoming the people of which we are capable and aspire to become.