In 1942, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik—who a year before had succeeded his father as one of the chief Talmud instructors at Yeshiva University—delivered a speech at a large communal dinner celebrating the educational institutions of the Lubavitch Ḥasidim. The speech, delivered in Yiddish to an audience made up primarily of Lubavitchers, was an encomium to their leader, Rabbi Joseph Isaac Schneersohn. Besides their first name, the two sages shared much else: both were born in the Russian empire (in what is now Belarus) to distinguished rabbinic dynasties, both became revered figures in American Orthodoxy, and both spent much of their lives trying to root the religious traditions they had inherited on new soil—aiming to adapt to modernity without sacrificing the integrity of Judaism as they understood it. At the same time, they represented opposite poles: Soloveitchik was an exemplar of study-focused, cerebral, non-ḥasidic “Lithuanian” Judaism, while Schneersohn led one of the world’s largest ḥasidic movements.
When One of America’s Leading Non-Hasidic Rabbis Praised the Lubavitcher Rebbe
In Yemen, Iran Is Preparing for Its Next War with Israel
In the past few weeks, Houthi rebels backed by Iran have escalated their attacks on Saudi and Emirati positions in Yemen. On September 4, they also launched multiple ballistic-missile and drone attacks on several Aramco facilities within Saudi Arabia. The U.S. removed some of its anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia a week later, rendering the kingdom even more vulnerable. The Houthis—who mark every missile and drone launch by chanting their slogan, “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam!”—are part of the network of militias and proxy groups Tehran dubs the “axis of resistance,” which also operate in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. Michael Segall writes: