At the Heart of the Days of Awe Is Not Sin, Guilt, or Punishment but the Human Relationship with the Divine

While the phrase “High Holy Days” refers in English to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the equivalent Hebrew terms means “Days of Awe” or “Dread,” evoking the belief that God sits in judgment at this time of year, weighing individuals’ (and nations’) good deeds and sins, and determining their fates for the coming year. Rachel Gruzman notes that, in ḥaredi circles, there is a tendency to focus on the “severity and even terror” of this literally awe-filled period. But, she argues, such an emphasis can obscure its true significance, which is not about the Creator extracting punishment for misdeeds, or forgoing punishment, but about repairing the relationship between Israel and God—one most often likened, from the Bible onward, to that between a son and a father or between a wife and a husband:

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Read more at Tzarich Iyun

More about: High Holidays, Idolatry, Judaism

The U.S., Israel, and Their Arab Partners Should Work Together to Create the Next Generation of Defensive Weapons

Jan. 18 2021

Last month, Jerusalem and Washington announced the successful testing of jointly developed, sophisticated systems for knocking incoming rockets and missiles out of the air. This technology, writes Michael Knights, is not only of strategic importance to both countries, but can be of use to the Gulf states, which also are under the growing threat of Iranian missile attacks. Further improvements are necessary, however, and the Abraham Accords may be the best tool for advancing them:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Abraham Accords, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology, U.S. Security, US-Israel relations