How the Hebrew Bible’s Revolutionary Political Wisdom Shaped the Modern World

In the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, God makes His covenant not with particular individuals, but with the Jewish people as a collective whole. Joshua Berman sees this as evidence that religion cannot be properly understood or experienced as an entirely individual affair, but only in the context of community and social relationships. Thus, explains Berman in conversation with Ari Lamm, religion—even in a liberal, pluralistic society—must not be confined to the private sphere, but should instead inform public and political life, as indeed it has in the American republic. (Audio, 56 minutes.)

Read more at Good Faith Effort

More about: American founding, Biblical Politics, Hebrew Bible, Religion and politics


Hamas’s Hostage Diplomacy

Ron Ben-Yishai explains Hamas’s current calculations:

Strategically speaking, Hamas is hoping to add more and more days to the pause currently in effect, setting a new reality in stone, one which will convince the United States to get Israel to end the war. At the same time, they still have most of the hostages hidden in every underground crevice they could find, and hope to exchange those with as many Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, planning on “revitalizing” their terrorist inclinations to even the odds against the seemingly unstoppable Israeli war machine.

Chances are that if pressured to do so by Qatar and Egypt, they will release men over 60 with the same “three-for-one” deal they’ve had in place so far, but when Israeli soldiers are all they have left to exchange, they are unlikely to extend the arrangement, instead insisting that for every IDF soldier released, thousands of their people would be set free.

In one of his last speeches prior to October 7, the Gaza-based Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said, “remember the number one, one, one, one.” While he did not elaborate, it is believed he meant he wants 1,111 Hamas terrorists held in Israel released for every Israeli soldier, and those words came out of his mouth before he could even believe he would be able to abduct Israelis in the hundreds. This added leverage is likely to get him to aim for the release for all prisoners from Israeli facilities, not just some or even most.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security