Understanding the Jewish Romance with the Law

Psalm 19 states that “the precepts of the Lord are just, bringing joy to the heart; . . . the laws of the Lord are true, righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold; sweeter than honey, than drippings of the comb.” To the Christian writer C.S. Lewis, the notion that laws and rules—necessary as they may be—could be a source of joy and sweetness was instead a source of puzzlement. Jews, by contrast, take this view of the law for granted. Torah is celebrated with not one but two festivals: the holiday of Shavuot (which concluded last night) as well as the raucous Simḥat Torah in the fall. To explain the meaning of Shavuot, Meir Soloveichik draws on rabbinic texts, the Yiddish writer Y.L. Peretz, and Christian thinkers who struggled to understand this peculiar Jewish attitude. (Video, 35 minutes.)

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Read more at Tikvah

More about: I.L. Peretz, Jewish law, Judaism, Shavuot

The Real Palestinian Refugee Problem, and Mahmoud Abbas’s Indifference

Of the millions of so-called Palestinian refugees the world over, most are in fact not refugees by any standard definition, but are properly speaking the descendants of refugees, often kept in a permanent state of segregation and dependency by Arab regimes. But as a consequence of the Syrian civil war, numerous Palestinians living in Syria have become actual refugees, fleeing to countries like Lebanon. Khaled Abu Toameh explains their current discontent with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas:

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Joseph Biden, Lebanon, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian refugees, Syrian civil war