Noah: The Silent, Ambiguous Hero

This week’s Torah reading, the second of the year, tells the story of Noah, the deluge, and its aftermath. Examining the biblical account, and various ancient and medieval rabbinic commentaries, Sruli Fruchter tries to make sense of the sometimes-critical light in which tradition casts this flawed savior of mankind:

Throughout the bulk of the story, Noah utters not a single word. He acts in silence, following God’s instruction with mechanical devotion. . . .

Noah’s silent obedience suggests more than a reserved personality. It hints at complicity. Destruction breathes into his ears, humankind’s extinction cries from below, and God anticipates objection. Nothing. Noah cannot approach a single person to warn him, nor can he articulate a single word, a single expression, of dissatisfaction. [Scripture] almost paints him as an unwilling actor, a slave to God, incapable of harnessing independence, of fulfilling his call for heroism—before God or man.

But upon leaving the ark and entering a new world, Noah becomes someone new. “And Noah built an altar for the Lord, and he took from every pure animal and every pure bird, and he offered whole burnt offerings on the altar” (Genesis 8:20). Action of this kind is unprecedented for him.

Read more at Lehrhaus

More about: Genesis, Hebrew Bible, Noah

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