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.)

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More about: Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Judaism, Passover

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria