In one of the most famous moments in his prophetic career, Elijah challenges his pagan antagonists to a contest that results in a dramatic demonstration of God’s superiority; the Israelites present declare their loyalty to God, and slaughter the prophets of Baal. Elijah, however, quickly learns that the wicked queen Jezebel now seeks his head and retreats to the wilderness in despair. In the following chapters, God gives Elijah a final assignment and then whisks him to heaven in a fiery chariot. This dénouement is often read as the ultimate commendation. Shai Held suggests it is something else:
Was the Prophet Elijah Promoted . . . or Fired?
The Attack on the Colleyville Synagogue and the Battle of Narratives
In the aftermath of high-profile, violent incidents in the U.S., there is virtually always a national attempt to blame one or the other major political party. Dominic Green, considering the recent hostage-taking at a Colleyville, Texas synagogue, notes that while political discussions of this type may not matter much to the victims of any given attack, they have an invidious effect on our politics. For Jewish parents worried about whether to send their kids to school, he suggests,