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

Hizballah Bears Responsibility for the Beirut Blast

According to the Lebanese government, the explosion in its capital city on Tuesday that left over 100 dead and many more injured or homeless was caused by the accidental detonation of some 2,750 of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer often used for making bombs. (Less than one-thousandth of that amount was used by Timothy McVeigh to destroy the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.) Previously, police have discovered Hizballah warehouses in London and Germany storing many tons of the same explosive. Hussein Ibish comments:

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Read more at Bloomberg

More about: Hizballah, Lebanon