The Pilgrims, the Rabbis, and the Bible

When the journalist-turned-banker-turned-historian Nick Bunker began exploring the ways in which Puritans turned to rabbinic commentary in their effort to understand the Hebrew Bible, he was reminded of his time as a student at Columbia University in the 1980s. Then, an Englishmen pursuing his studies on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, he first became familiar with—and fascinated by—the Jews he encountered and their religious traditions. His experience, perhaps, was something like that of English Protestant Nonconformists exiled in the Netherlands who, for the first time, came into contact with living Jews. Bunker discusses these topics and much else in conversation with Ari Lamm. (Audio, 62 minutes.)

Read more at Good Faith Effort

More about: American history, Christian Hebraists, Hebrew Bible, Jewish-Christian relations

Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security