What Makes Jewish Law Different from Both Ancient and Modern Law—and Other Reflections of a Bible Scholar

In the American legal system, punishments meted out in criminal cases almost never involve compensation for the victim—often leading victims or their families to follow up criminal prosecutions with civil suits. By contrast, notes Jeremiah Unterman, biblical and talmudic law make both punishment for the wrongdoer and restitution for the victim priorities in the sentencing of criminals. Just as stark is the contrast between Jewish law and its ancient competitors: Unterman notes that Hammurabi’s code of 282 laws contain not a single statute for the protection of the poor, while the Pentateuch constantly cites the needs of paupers, widows, orphans, and strangers.

In a wide-ranging interview by Dru Johnson, Unterman discusses these subjects, along with his own career, his experiences in the Six-Day War, and much else.

Read more at Center for Hebraic Thought

More about: American law, Ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Jewish law, Judaism

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology