The Jewish Tradition of Caring for the Body of the Deceased

According to halakhah, a Jewish corpse is to be treated with the utmost respect. It may not be left alone in the interval between death and burial, and it must be methodically washed following a prescribed procedure. The group, entirely voluntary, that performs these rituals is the ḥevra kadisha, or “holy society.” In the Jewish communities of prewar Europe, membership in such a society was considered a privilege and a sign of status. Daniel Troy revisits a 1992 article he wrote about his own participation in a ḥevra kadisha, and what its traditions teach about life. (Interview by Jonathan Silver. Audio, 31 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

Read more at Tikvah

More about: Death, Halakhah, Judaism, Religion & Holidays

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