During the week covered by this review, we received 7 articles on the following subjects:
Bible / Biblical Scholarship
Gilui Da’at, January 17, 2020
This was a column about the common division of the bible into chapters and verses. The author argued that the current division model has been handed down from Christianity rather than Judaism. The division was first undertaken by the English Cardinal Stephen Langton (1150-1228). Langton’s division mostly followed rational criteria, but was sometimes motivated by theological concerns. Jews were forced to embrace the same division in order to be able to effectively engage with Christian apologists and interlocutors. When the printing press was invented in the fifteenth century, Langton’s division became standard amongst Christians and Jews.
Iton Shacharit, January 21, 2020
This article reported that “Machon Shitim”, a center that provides guidance for soldiers, and is approved by the IDF, promotes the New Testament and other activities that encourage missionary work.
Hadashot Haifa VeHaTzafon, January 22, 2020
An interfaith conference tackling sexual violence was to take place in Haifa. In attendance were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Druze leaders. They gathered to acquire training and tools in order to better fight against sexual violence in their respective communities.
Israel Hayom, January 24, 2020; The Jerusalem Post, January 23, 2020
Forty-nine world leaders gathered at Yad Vashem to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and to commit themselves and their nations to the fight against anti-Semitism. The first article noted that this is significant, since the “old anti-Semitism” still abounds, within both the radical right and left, within Christianity and Islam, and within both educated and uneducated communities.
The second article was written by John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), which Hagee said is concerned about the rise of anti-Semitism in the US and in Europe. Hagee wrote that anti-Semitism is fueled by ignorance, noting that 40% of millennials believe that “substantially less than 6 million Jews were killed (two million or fewer) during the Holocaust”. Furthermore, half could not name a single concentration camp. In response, CUFI is producing a documentary entitled “Never Again?” which will confront anti-Semitism and seek to educate a new generation.
Israel Hayom, January 24, 2020; Haaretz, January 24, 2020
Nine months after Naama Issachar was jailed in Russia for smuggling marijuana, a deal has been reached. Russia has agreed to release her and let her return to Israel, and Israel has agreed to allow for an internal transfer of the ownership of the Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in the Old City. Israel has also agreed to postpone a court case to do with the Russian Orthodox Church’s municipal tax payments. Moscow had also asked to stop the transfer of two hotels in the Old City from the Greek Orthodox Church to Settler group, Ateret Cohanim, but this request has apparently not been included in the deal.