Crowning God and Defeating Sin on Rosh Hashanah

Sept. 3 2021

While everyone knows that Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, the main themes of the day’s elaborate liturgy are divine judgment and divine kingship. In a sermon on the day’s significance, the great 20th-century sage Joseph B. Soloveitchik focuses on the latter, especially the image of the Jewish people crowning the Ribono shel Olam, the Master of the Universe, as their King. He then proceeds to connect divine kingship to Amalek, the archetypal enemy of Israel who attacked the Israelites as they were leaving Egypt, as described in Exodus 17:8-16. Next Soloveitchik quotes the Zohar, the central text of Jewish mysticism, which refers to Amalek as toldin d’tohu—the offspring of formlessness, using the same word that describes the primordial chaos of Genesis 1:2: “And the earth was without form (tohu) and void (va-vahu).” He weaves the texts together in a remarkable fashion. (Yiddish with English subtitles. Video, 6 minutes.)

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Read more at Ohr Publishing

More about: Amalek, Judaism, Repentance, Rosh Hashanah

How Israel Can Readjust Its Diplomacy for a Changing Europe

In recent years, Jerusalem has developed good relations with a group of Central European countries that have proved far more sympathetic than those of the West, and whose governments have sometimes stopped the European Union from issuing anti-Israel statements. But Europe, both East and West, is now in a state of political flux, and this approach may soon be obsolete. Emmanuel Navon proposes a new direction for Jewish state that capitalizes on its economic ties with Western Europe. Take, for instance, post-Angela Merkel Germany:

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Read more at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

More about: Emmanuel Macron, Europe and Israel, European Union, Germany, Israel diplomacy