Two Astronauts and Two Kinds of Jewish Sacred Time

The Sabbath represents God’s decision to rest on the seventh day after creating the world; it therefore exists outside of history, Judaism’s other holy days, for their part, are rooted in the experiences of the Jewish people. Meir Soloveichik compares these two conceptions of sacred time by comparing two astronauts: Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon—the celestial body that determines the Jewish calendar, and that the ancient rabbis compared with the people of Israel—and Ilan Ramon, who famously celebrated Shabbat in outer space. (Video, 21 minutes.)

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Read more at TIk

More about: Ilan Ramon, Jewish holidays, Judaism, Moon, Religion & Holidays, Shabbat, Space exploration

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank