Jewish Martyrdom: Part 1

Eleazar Avaran dies while killing Seleucid war elephant.

ZS wrote this two-part overview of Jewish martyrdom in 2018. We post it now with consideration of those who joined the ranks of kedoshim on October 7, 2023. The concept of martyrdom within Judaism wrestles with several issues. Martyrdom carries different functions within Judaism, often changing with historical context. Judaism tries to set clear determinations for situations in which a martyr’s death is preferred, although this tends to be a difficult task with gray areas. A martyr receives rewards in haolam haba (“the world to come,” or the afterlife). Unlike Christian martyrdom, Jewish halakhah arguably focuses more on the action … Continue reading “Jewish Martyrdom: Part 1”

Fourth of July Special

I understand that people across the nation are concerned, and it’s good to lighten the mood in abysmally dark times. So today, in celebration of the Fourth of July tomorrow, I want to highlight the good in America. For obvious reasons, the United States was never mentioned in the Bible, but the United States encompasses a lot of what Israel was intended to be. The nation of Israel was part of God’s covenant with Abraham, that He would make an innumerable nation through his servant, but the excuse presented to Pharaoh for the exodus of the Israelites was “that [God’s … Continue reading “Fourth of July Special”

Why and How to Keep Up with World News

When Americans look around the world, we often see more of ourselves. America boasts massive influence in the international community. From America come many of the world’s top academic institutions, the greatest inventions of the past century, and the power behind general global peace and economic prosperity. In spite of the millennia-old musical traditions of the Old World, people look to Carnegie Hall, the Met, and Julliard as the hosts of the world’s greatest musicians. People from all over the world make up America’s diverse population. It’s easy to look at the US and assume that we know everything we … Continue reading “Why and How to Keep Up with World News”