At the end of this week’s Torah reading of Mishpatim (Exodus 21–24), Moses reads the terms of the Sinaitic covenant to the Israelites, who then proclaim, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do and we will obey.” Surveying some of the various rabbinic interpretations of this statement, Jonathan Sacks focuses on that of the 15th-century Spanish scholar Isaac Arama, who reads the word usually rendered “obey” (literally, “listen”) as “understand”:
Judaism Can Only Be Understood by Living Its Commands
Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily
Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.