How the Jewish Calendar Became the Israeli Calendar

Sept. 28 2022

While Israeli Jews vary greatly as to how, and even if, they observe the series of holidays that mark this time year, it is impossible for them to be unaware of them. From pre-Rosh Hashanah traffic patterns to headlines about a possible holiday chicken shortage to questions for celebrities about how they plan to repent in advance of Yom Kippur—these sacred days are part of everyday life. They also take on a national and communal element that has no precise parallel in the Diaspora, contend Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi. Elana Stein Hain finds a precedent for this discussion in the book of Nehemiah’s description of the Rosh Hashanah celebrated by Babylonian exiles returned to the Land of Israel. (Audio, 35 minutes.)

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More about: Jewish calendar, Jewish holidays, Judaism in Israel, Nehemiah

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship