Both Rage against God, and Acknowledgment of His Justice, Are Appropriate Responses to National Tragedy

July 29 2020

Sundown tonight marks the beginning of Tisha b’Av, the day of the year that commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples, the concomitant exiles, and many other catastrophes that have befallen the Jewish people over the centuries. Of the many kinot (liturgical dirges) recited in synagogues tomorrow morning, some of the best known were written by the great Spanish philosopher-poet Judah Halevi (1075-1141). Yosef Lindell focuses his attention one of Halevi’s less famous dirges, which he interprets as grappling with the problem of theodicy—of how a just God could have allowed such terrible suffering to befall His people—in a way that captures the stance of the day as a whole:

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Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Book of Lamentations, Judah Halevi, Judaism, Theodicy, Tisha b'Av

UN Peacekeepers in Lebanon Do More Harm Than Good

Aug. 12 2020

With its size, budget, and remit greatly expanded following the 2006 war between Israel and Hizballah, the United Nations International Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is tasked with keeping both sides’ forces out of the southern portion of the country. While the IDF has indeed abided by the armistice, UNIFIL has failed spectacularly at compelling Hizballah to do the same. Eugene Kontorovich argues that, unless the peacekeeping force can be reorganized so as to be effective, it would be better to scrap it, or at the very least reduce its size:

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Read more at Kohelet

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Peacekeepers, U.S. Foreign policy, United Nations