Podcast: Meir Soloveichik on What Jews Believe and Say about Martyrdom https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/israel-zionism/2023/10/podcast-meir-soloveichik-on-what-jews-believe-and-say-about-martyrdom/

A leading rabbi looks at the theological significance of the honorific given to a Jewish martyr, and explains how it differs from the typical honorific given to the Jewish dead.

October 13, 2023 | Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic, Meir Soloveichik
About the author: A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture. Meir Soloveichik is the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel and the director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. His new website, containing all of his media appearances, podcasts, and writing, can be found at meirsoloveichik.com.

Mourn at the funeral of Valentin (Eli) Ghnassia, 23, killed in a battle with Palestinian militants at Kibbutz Be’eeri, on October 12, 2023 at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images.

Podcast: Meir Soloveichik


Jews typically honor the dead by saying the phrase zikhrono li-vrakhah, “may his memory be a blessing.” But when a Jew is murdered because he is a Jew, he is considered a martyr, and his name is then honored by the use of a different phrase, hashem yikom damo, “may God avenge his blood.” Today, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik joins Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to discuss his 2018 essay in Commentary on this subject, and to share his first thoughts on one of the worst weeks in modern Jewish history.