In the Face of Hatred, Jews Must Reject Despair and Cling Tightly to the Keys of the Past

Earlier this year, construction workers laying the foundation for a new apartment building in the Belarusian city of Brest, known in Yiddish as Brisk, discovered a mass grave holding the bones of over 1,200 people—the ghoulish evidence of a Nazi massacre of local Jews. Upon a recent visit to Brest, Meir Soloveichik—whose great-great-grandfather, the pathbreaking talmudist known as Ḥayyim Brisker, as well as his father, were rabbis in the city—recited kaddish on behalf of the dead. He writes:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: East European Jewry, Ezekiel, Holocaust, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Kaddish, Menachem Begin

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