Visiting the Arch of Titus on Tisha b’Av

After defeating the insurgents in the tiny province of Judea, and burning down Jerusalem and with it the Second Temple, the emperor Titus held a triumphal procession in Rome. His brother and successor Domitian would then commemorate the victory with the Arch of Titus, which still stands today. In 1926, on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av—the anniversary of both Temples’ destruction—Rabbi Leib Fishman Maimon visited the arch, and had his picture taken with two of his comrades. He then mailed it to his father with the following note:

On my journey to the congress of the Zionist General Council on the day of the destruction of our holy Temple, I went to the Victory Arch of Titus—and I send my greetings to you from there. We won! Am Yisrael ḥai! [The People of Israel live!]”

Shulamith Berger identifies the other two men in the photograph as the distinguished rabbis Meir Bar-Ilan and Shmuel Ḥayim Landau, and observers:

These three men were key figures in Mizrachi, the Orthodox Zionist movement; they were on their way to the Zionist General Council meeting in London in August 1926. . . . All three fathers of Mizrachi were born in Eastern Europe; by 1926 all were living in British Palestine. Their decision to visit the Arch of Titus on 9 Av, the day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple, is symbolic. They were on their way to a Zionist conference, and wanted to make the statement that the Jewish people have outlived the ancient Romans: Jews are eternal. They made sure to photograph the event and record it for posterity.

Read more at Yeshiva University Library

More about: Religious Zionism, Rome, Tisha b'Av, Zionism

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus