Jews’ Special Obligation to Defend the Story of the American Founding

When the Mayflower arrived in what is now Massachusetts, its passengers knelt on the ground and recited Psalm 107inspired, it seems, by a British Hebraist’s citation of Moses Maimonides, who instructed that this chapter be recited by those who have safely completed an oversea journey. This episode leads Meir Soloveichik to contemplate Judaism’s role in the American founding:

In an excellent reflection in Jewish Ideas Daily on the first Thanksgiving of the Mayflower’s passengers, Moshe Sokolow correctly notes that “this vestige of Jewish influence on the religious mores of the U.S. is worth our acknowledgment and contemplation—and, of course, our thanksgiving.” But I would add that it also, rightly understood, obligates American Jews to safeguard the story of America’s past and thereby its future. For we find ourselves concluding a summer of discontent, experiencing, as Commentary has rightly put it, a “great unraveling” that [calls into question] the greatness of America and its Founders. This follows the “1619 Project” launched by the New York Times, which insisted that America itself was created in order to preserve slavery. The project’s premise was roundly derided as entirely ahistorical by prominent historians such as Sean Wilentz, James McPherson, and Gordon Wood. . . . It was nevertheless awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a reminder of how swiftly and spinelessly the cultural elite has fallen in line.

In the face of these many assaults on the American idea, a number of American scholars have proposed a “1620 Project,” linking the Pilgrims to the preservation of American history. The anniversary of the Mayflower’s sailing reminds us what Jewish ideas have given to America and the obligation that Jews who care about the Bible owe this remarkable country in defending its story.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American founding, Christian Hebraists, Judaism


Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security