What did we want to read about in 2016? Judging from a look at the most popular posts on The Times of Israel Blogs, it was Trump, Trump and Trump. But, in this high-stakes, superheated election year, it wasn’t only Trump.

On The TOI Blogs, we connect with emotions — the full range. On the dark side, this year, once again, we mourned the tragic outcome of terror attacks in Israel. We were vulnerable, and we wanted to hear words of understanding from unexpected voices, like those of Nadiya Al-Noor, a self-described Muslim Zionist; and Lebanese American Carol Jahshan through her nuanced account of a long visit to Israel.

We sought light in the darkness and went crazy for a story about a post-Holocaust mother-son reunion in 1951. We were passionate about women’s issues in Judaism, and incensed over abusive relationships.

And we cared a lot about stories of living as newcomers in the State of Israel, whether these experiences were terrible or wonderful.

Thank you to all those who blogged, taking time and daring to put yourselves — your ideas and stories and views — out there. Every voice is deeply appreciated. Newcomers are welcome (you can apply here). And thank you to The Times of Israel  readers who keep our marketplace of ideas alive and kicking by taking the time to read, share and comment.

Here’s the list of popular posts. Have a look.

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1. Alarmism saved my family from Hitler: Why I won’t tell anyone to calm down about Trump

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hugo-schwyzer2Hugo Schwyzer
I look like my father’s father, Georg. I’ve been told that since I was a teen, and having studied the old black and white photographs, I can see it is so. I am older now than he was when he died, so the resemblance has started to fade. …keep reading

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2. Palestinian terrorism and Muslim hypocrisy: An open letter from a Muslim woman

hallel-in-blacktext2

Nadiya Al-Noor
nadiya-al-noor-headshot-medium“While millions of children got out of bed on the morning of June 30, 2016, excited for summer vacation, one child did not. A young Israeli girl, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffe Ariel, was brutally murdered in her own bed by a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist. He broke into her house and stabbed her to death. …keep reading

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3. Miracle on Dan Bus #4

mamamama2

Esor Ben-Sorek
esor-ben-sorek-mediumIt was a very hot day in July 1951. I was in Tel Aviv and too hot to walk. I boarded Dan bus #4 on the corner of Ben Yehuda and Gordon streets. The bus was very crowded and there was no available seat. I had to stand next to a Yemenite woman holding a live chicken under her apron..…keep reading

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4. Dear Jared Kushner

gop-2016-trump-kushne_horo-1-e1465463335554

Elie Jacobs
elie-jacobs-mediumDear Jared,
First off, allow me to congratulate you on your father-in-law’s victory in the presidential election, along with the influential role you reportedly played in the campaign. …keep reading

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5. Why No Jew Should Vote for Donald Trump

ap16247621572991-e1473402018781-635x357Marc Schulman
marcschulman-mediumI have avoided writing this article for some time. Anyone who carefully reads my articles in Newsweek or on my blog knows I have a political leaning. Though since I maintain a website on the History of American Presidential elections…I try to be as publicly apolitical as possible. However, at this point, …keep reading

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6. Reflections of a Lebanese woman in Israel

Beirut-OrashalimsCarol Jahshan
carol-jahshan2-mediumAs a Lebanese woman who grew up in Beirut and made the move to the United States at age 22, I think it is fair to say it was an unusual choice to spend a 3-month sabbatical in Israel at the end of 2015. Add that my father was born in Haifa in 1948 and left with his family for Lebanon at that time. …keep reading

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7. My friend Taylor Force is dead

screen-shot-2016-03-09-at-12-38-43-am-635x357
David Simpkins
david-simpkins-mediumHe laughed and smiled a lot in the classes at West Point. He sat behind me, next to me, or across from me during our first two years at the United States’ premier institution. He was very mild-mannered, sharp, and professional. I couldn’t think of someone who was more of a model of “America’s finest” …keep reading

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8. My aliyah dream turned into a nightmare

f140812gm02-635x357Jay Engelmayer
jay_engelmayer-400x399-mediumMonday, January 11th, 2016 will forever be equated with the day that our Aliyah ended. After ten years of building a life for ourselves, ingraining our family into a community and integrating into Israeli life, one miserable eye-opening day made us question our decision to live out our lives in Zion…keep reading

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9. An Open Letter to Florida Jews

trump-protests-florid_horo-635x357Jan Uhrbach
jan-uhrbach-mediumDear fellow Jews,
I write as a rabbi, an American, and in memory of my parents, z”l, proud Floridians who did not live to vote in this election. Almost everyone longs to make a difference, to leave the world a better place. Most of us do it in small ways…keep reading

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10. A Trump presidency means a safer Israel

trump2-e1481343679804-635x357Jason D. Greenblatt
jdgphoto-mediumAs the Six Day War in 1967 came to an end, Golda Meir famously said, “The only alternative to war is peace. The only road to peace is negotiation.” A decade later, toward the end of her life, she met Anwar Sadat, who had traveled to Jerusalem along that very road. The Egyptian president introduced himself …keep reading

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And 10 more…

11. Letter from an Arab to a Jew who supports BDS by Fred Maroun

12. The fear that propelled Donald Trump requires no logic by Maajid Nawaz

13. Why I rescinded my shul membership by Jeremy Stern

14. A voice for Gafni’s victims, from one who was there by An Ex-Wife

15. Open Letter to My Anti-Semitic Professor by Cindy Seni

16. Spare me your shock by Eylon Aslan-Levy

17. The women bringing down Orthodoxy by Shoshanna Keats Jaskoll

18. Applause, applause, applause: Donald Trump isn’t the problem, we are by Menachem Creditor

19. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in San Francisco by Aaron Parker

20. 68 more things I love about Israel by Benji Lovitt