Several recent events—the Olympic Games and the proposal to work on the railway line construction on Shabbat—are excellent opportunities to start a conversation on the role of halacha in the Jewish State. The question is: what form should the conversation take? It should not, I believe, primarily take the form of a formal halachic argument.
I must confess that this year’s Tish’ah be-Av, a few days ago, was the first time in 54 years (since I was 16) that I did not go to synagogue to hear Eichah (the reading from the Scroll of Lamentations) and recite kinot (elegies written by famous sages throughout the centuries regarding the destruction of both Temples and the many later tragedies that befell the Jewish people).
This year’s Yom Ha’atzmauth commemorates the 68th anniversary of a marriage that has lasted more than 3,500 years. This may sound like a paradox, but it is the inescapable truth about the Land of Israel and the Jews. No marriage has lasted so long, been so deep in its commitment and so overwhelming in its […]
The think tank discusses whether the founding of the State of Israel has changed how we approach Halacha and its mode of development, as well as what kind of changes can be made to the halachic system.
We will soon have to expand our borders far beyond our wildest dreams – this time at the request of millions of Europeans, Americans and possibly many others who will wish to come on Aliyah.
Israel is summoned to remind the world of God’s existence, not only concerning religion but also as a historical reality. There is no security for Israel unless it is secure in its own destiny. We must shoulder the burden of our own singularity, which means nothing less than fulfilling our role as God’s witness. And we must draw strength from this phenomenon, especially in times like these when Israel’s very existence is again at stake. Once Israel recognizes its uniqueness, it will, paradoxically, enjoy security and undoubtedly be victorious.
When one carefully studies Jewish history from the early biblical days to our own times, one can only conclude that, in spite of the many pogroms, the Inquisition and the Holocaust, Jews were constantly accompanied by highly unusual events, large and small. The fact that Jews survived these atrocities, outlived all their enemies throughout the millennia, and made it back to the Land of Israel is unprecedented and a vexing conundrum for historians and sociologists. It is indeed miraculous.
With a few significant exceptions, the world population, governments, media, and the UN bureaucrats became inhabitants of an Orwellian universe. They stopped thinking, inverted victim and aggressor, and began to rewrite history with one goal in mind: to delegitimize biblical morality as carried through history by the Jews. It is time for the nations of the world to realize that if they deny Israel’s right to survive, they will set the stage for a Holocaust. This time, however, it will consume the gentiles. And not even their prince, or angel, will help them.
Impartial observers of the Middle East will realize that these are extraordinary times. Tens of thousands of Jews from many different countries are returning to their national and historic homeland after thousands of years.
As Israel was once again bombarded with short-range mortar shells, Grad artillery rockets and, Hamas’s latest addition, Iranian long-range Fajr-5 missiles, forcing nearly a million people to hide in shelters for over a week, it is understandable that many wonder whether this will ever end.