In the Same Barren Holy Land, Mark Twain and Nahmanides Saw Very Different Things

Aug. 21 2019

In 1867, the journalist Samuel Clemens visited the Land of Israel with a group of American pilgrims; he described what he saw there in The Innocents Abroad, published two years later. The place described as so lush in the Hebrew Bible appeared to him to be barren and dispiriting. The nearer he and his fellow travelers came to Jerusalem, “the more rocky and bare, repulsive and dreary the landscape became.” As Meir Soloveichik notes, the exiled Spanish rabbi Moses Naḥmanides formed a strikingly similar impression when he arrived there 600 years prior. But with a difference:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: Land of Israel, Mark Twain, Nahmanides, Six-Day War

 

The Sinister Attacks on Israeli Offers of Aid to Lebanon

Aug. 10 2020

“The only encouraging thing” about the deadly explosion in Beirut, wrote the former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt on Twitter, “is that even Israel has been quick in offering humanitarian aid.” Had Bildt been better informed, he might have known that there is nothing new or unusual about the Jewish state offering humanitarian assistance to its Arab neighbors—or to more far-flung nations. Yet his bizarre comment was less hostile than the reactions of those who rushed to dismiss the offer as a meaningless public-relations stunt. Lahav Harkov writes:

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israel diplomacy, Lebanon