Why the Modern Sukkah Needs Wireless Internet

“Dwell in booths [Hebrew, sukkot] seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths.” The Talmud understands this commandment as requiring that one eat and conduct everyday activities in this hut-like structure. Gil Student explores a modern-day implication of this requirement:

A sukkah needs to be usable. Rabbi Moses Isserles (16th-century Poland) writes that a sukkah in which you cannot do certain basic things is an invalid sukkah. . . . According to Isserles, [then], does a sukkah today need WiFi?

I ask this because many people cannot take vacation from work for all of Sukkot. They have to work on some or all of ḥol ha-mo’ed [the last six days of the holiday, during which work and other activities are permitted]. However, particularly since the changes to work habits caused by COVID-19, many people will work from home during Sukkot. Do they need to work in their sukkah? If they do, they probably need WiFi in their sukkah so they can work. If so, a lack of WiFi might raise questions about the validity of the sukkah of someone who needs to work.

Therefore, it would seem that if you have to work from home, you should set up a workstation in your sukkah. If that requires WiFi, then you should make sure your WiFi extends to your sukkah and use it only for things that are permissible in a sukkah. It might even be true that according to Isserles, your sukkah is invalid if you cannot work inside it. . . . However, according to the Mishnah Berurah, [a highly regarded early-20th-century halakhic compendium], even though you should be able to work from your sukkah, if you for whatever reason you cannot, your sukkah is still kosher.

Read more at Torah Musings

More about: Halakhah, Internet, Sukkot

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security