The Life, and Afterlife, of Job

Few biblical books have engendered as much analysis or philosophical discussion as the story of Job. A recent “biography” of the title character, by Mark Larrimore, examines the various interpretations to which he and his experience have been subjected, from the apocryphal Testament of Job to Elie Wiesel. Shalom Carmy reviews Larrimore’s book and highlights some of its shortcomings:

In particular, there is no space [in this treatment] for either analytic philosophy or the traditional kind of literary criticism, practiced by Robert Alter or Harold Fisch, that concentrates on the poetic imagery and the narrative contours of the book. . . . These omissions are regrettable, because detailed literary analysis may afford the best opportunity of redeeming the full register of voices and moods in Job from the temptation either to attribute to the book a uniform message or to reduce it to a series of obscure fragments.

Read more at First Things

More about: Bible, Elie Weisel, Job, Philosophy of Religion, Theodicy

The Diplomatic Goals of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Visit to the U.S.

Yesterday, the Israeli prime minister arrived in the U.S., and he plans to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, but it remains uncertain whether he will meet with President Biden. Nonetheless, Amit Yagur urges Benjamin Netanyahu to use the trip for ordinary as well as public diplomacy—“assuming,” Yagur writes, “there is someone to talk to in the politically turbulent U.S.” He argues that the first priority should be discussing how to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. But there are other issues to tackle as well:

From the American perspective, as long as Hamas is not the official ruler in the Gaza Strip, any solution agreed upon is good. For Israel, however, it is quite clear that if Hamas remains a legitimate power factor, even if it does not head the leadership in Gaza, sooner or later, Gaza will reach the Hizballah model in Lebanon. To clarify, this means that Hamas is the actual ruler of the Strip, and sooner or later, we will see a [return] of its military capabilities as well as its actual control over the population. . . .

The UN aid organization UNRWA . . . served as a platform for Hamas terrorist elements to establish, disguise, and use UN infrastructure for terrorism. This is beside the fact that UNRWA essentially perpetuates the conflict rather than helps resolve it. How do we remove the UN and UNRWA from the “day after” equation? Can the American aid organization USAID step into UNRWA’s shoes, and what assistance can the U.S. provide to Israel in re-freezing donor-country contributions to UNRWA?

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Gaza War 2023, U.S.-Israel relationship