To One Great Hasidic Thinker, the Shofar Was a Tool to Loosen the Divine from Its Corporeal Shackles

Sept. 26 2019

Rabbi Moshe Ḥayyim Efraim of Sudilkov (ca. 1740-1800) was a grandson and disciple of the founder of Ḥasidism, Israel Baal Shem Tov, and an innovative thinker in his own right. Published in 1810, his collected sermons would become, in Eitan Fishbane’s words, “one of the most popular and influential works of ḥasidic thought.” In a sermon for the Sabbath preceding Rosh Hashanah, the rabbi explicates Psalms 89:16, the verse recited in the synagogue immediately after the holiday’s central ritual, the blowing of the shofar: “Happy is the people who know the blast, Lord; they will walk in the light of Your countenance”—the word rendered here as “blast” (t’ruah) being the standard term for the  trumpeting of the shofar. Fishbane explains the theology animating the homily:

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Read more at Jewish Review of Books

More about: Hasidism, Judaism, Kabbalah, Rosh Hashanah, Shofar

How Israel Can Readjust Its Diplomacy for a Changing Europe

In recent years, Jerusalem has developed good relations with a group of Central European countries that have proved far more sympathetic than those of the West, and whose governments have sometimes stopped the European Union from issuing anti-Israel statements. But Europe, both East and West, is now in a state of political flux, and this approach may soon be obsolete. Emmanuel Navon proposes a new direction for Jewish state that capitalizes on its economic ties with Western Europe. Take, for instance, post-Angela Merkel Germany:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Emmanuel Macron, Europe and Israel, European Union, Germany, Israel diplomacy