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“Last month, the first section of a new high-speed rail line opened in Israel. When it’s fully operational a few months from now, passengers will board fire-engine-red carriages in Tel Aviv and be whisked on electrified track over the country’s longest bridge, then over its highest, and through the longest tunnel, and finally into a new station 260 feet under Jerusalem. The trip, about 35 miles, will take less than 30 minutes, making it, by a wide margin, the fastest way to get between the country’s two most important cities.
The line, more than a decade and many delays in the making, is the new Israel. Or at least what Israel would like to be: a place that can look any Western country in the eye. The Israeli train of 2018 is shiny, fast and travels in a straight line.
But progress has its victims. And here it’s the old country — a small, inefficient but compelling place that Israelis call the “good old land of Israel.”
The old Israel is represented in this case by the main casualty of the new train: the historic Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line, which has been running on and off since 1892 and isn’t likely to run much longer.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."