Writing the Story of the Exodus on the Souls of the Next Generation

In rabbinic texts, the fundamental religious obligation of the Passover seder is to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik observes that the word sippur, used here for “storytelling,” derives from the Hebrew root for a book (sefer) or a scribe (sofer). Drawing on the ancient mystical text Sefer Yetsirah (the Book of Creation), Soloveitchik explains that the term refers neither to literal writing nor to mere narration, but to an injunction to parents to inscribe the story on the souls of their children—to “take a living person and turn him into a book.” (Video, Yiddish with English subtitles, 34 minutes.)

Read more at Ohr Publishing

More about: Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Judaism, Passover

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security