Courtesy of Mordechai Beck

ON THE COVER: Blinded by the Philistines, weakened by Delilah’s haircut, Samson prays to God for strength: “Lord God, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes” (Judges 16:28). In this etching by contemporary Israeli artist Mordechai Beck, Samson receives divine assistance as he presses against the pillars of a Philistine temple, collapsing the building around himself and the Philistine leaders gathered behind him. In “Portraits in Heroism: Esther and Samson,” Naomi Harris Rosenblatt reminds readers that although Samson may be best remembered for his strength, and Esther was favored for her beauty, both underwent spiritual transformations that left them willing to die for their people.