The Hebrew Bible Never Speaks of Religion, Belief, or Even Law

In biblical Hebrew—indeed in any ancient language—there is no word that corresponds to “religion.” Moreover, argues Joshua Berman, the very concepts of religion and belief were foreign to ancient peoples, Israelites included, even though their lives were often filled with ritual, and they saw the hand of the divine all around them. Berman explains that only by reading the Bible on its own terms and free from such anachronisms can one appreciate that Judaism can never be reduced to intellectual abstractions. (Interview by Dru Johnson. Audio, 45 minutes.)

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Read more at Center for Hebraic Thought

More about: Ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible, Judaism

What Palestinians Want

July 10 2020

In an extensive report on a major survey of Palestinian public opinion, David Pollock sums up his key findings. Above all, the results suggest that large numbers of Palestinians are willing to make compromises with Israel in the short term, but tend to harbor maximalist, even militant, long-term goals:

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Palestinian public opinion, Palestinians, Two-State Solution