Having recently returned from a year spent at a Hindu university in India teaching Judaism and comparative religion, Alan Brill shares some reflections on the relationship between the two faiths. He notes that some medieval rabbis, dating back to at least the 9th century, were aware of Hindu beliefs and practices, and even read sacred Hindu texts that had been translated into Arabic or even Hebrew. He also compares the two religions’ preoccupation with rules and regulations, purity and contamination, and forbidden and permitted food and considers the question of whether Hinduism should be considered idolatry by talmudic standards. (Audio, 77 minutes.)
Everything a Jew Ever Wanted to Know about Hinduism but Was Afraid to Ask
Iran Brings Its War on Israel and the U.S. to the High Seas
On Sunday, the Tehran-backed Houthi guerrillas, who have managed to control much of Yemen, attacked an American warship and three British commercial vessels in the Red Sea. This comes on the heels of a series of maritime attacks on targets loosely connected to Israel and the U.S., documented in the article below by Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg. They explain that Washington must respond far more forcefully than it has been:
President Biden refuses to add the Houthis back to the official U.S. terror list—a status he revoked shortly after taking office. And [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei keeps driving toward a weapon of mass destruction with the UN’s nuclear watchdog warning that Iran is increasing its production of high-enriched uranium while stonewalling inspectors.
Refreezing all cash made available to Iran over the last few months and cracking down on Iranian oil shipments to China are the easy first steps. Senators can force Biden’s hand on both counts by voting on two bills that passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Next comes the reestablishment of U.S. military deterrence. America must defend itself and regional allies against any attempt by Iran to retaliate—a reassurance Riyadh and Abu Dhabi [also] need, given the potential for Tehran to break its de-escalation pact with the Gulf Arab states. By striking Iranian and Houthi targets, Biden would advance the cause of Middle East peace. . . . Tehran will keep attacking Americans and U.S. allies unless and until he flashes American steel.