The Mysterious Fast on the Tenth of Tevet

The tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet (this year, January 1), is one of the more obscure and poorly understood dates on the Jewish calendar. The best-known explanation is that it commemorates the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, eventually leading to the destruction of the First Temple in 586 B.C.E. and the dissolution of the Judean kingdom. Jeffrey Woolf analyzes the significance of the event in light of the biblical prophets:

[The prophet Ezekiel] knew what was going to happen, for he himself had a vision of the catastrophe for which the people were headed. But when the day [of the Babylonian attack on Jerusalem] actually arrived, he found it difficult to assimilate what was happening and therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, had to tell him emphatically, time and again, that this was indeed the reality. Little wonder, therefore, that the rest of the people were even more deeply traumatized when Jerusalem was put under siege. The stern lesson of the tenth of Tevet—that Jerusalem was vulnerable on account of the nation’s corruption—was what led the people to include the day on which the siege of Jerusalem began among the days of mourning and commemoration for the destruction of the First (and later also the Second) Temple.

Read more at YU Torah

More about: Babylon, Ezekiel, First Temple, Jewish holidays, Prophets, Tenth of Tevet

 

Using the Power of the Law to Fight Anti-Semitism

Examining carefully the problem of anti-Semitism, and sympathy with jihadists, at American universities, Danielle Pletka addresses the very difficult problem of what can be done about it. Pletka avoids such simplistic answers as calling for more education and turns instead to a more promising tool: law. The complex networks of organizations funding and helping to organize campus protests are often connected to malicious states like Qatar, and to U.S.-designated terrorist groups. Thus, without broaching complex questions of freedom of speech, state and federal governments already have ample justifications to crack down. Pletka also suggests various ways existing legal frameworks can be strengthened.

And that’s not all:

What is Congress’s ultimate leverage? Federal funding. Institutions of higher education in the United States will receive north of $200 billion from the federal government in 2024.

[In addition], it is critical to understand that foreign funders have been allowed, more or less, to turn U.S. institutions of higher education into political fiefdoms, with their leaders and faculty serving as spokesmen for foreign interests. Under U.S. law currently, those who enter into contracts or receive funding to advocate for the interest of a foreign government are required to register with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). This requirement is embedded in a criminal statute, and a violation risks jail time. There is no reason compliance by American educational institutions with disclosure laws should not be subject to similar criminal penalties.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American law, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus