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Archive for Israel

The Students of the Gra and Messianism

For a number of years there has been an ongoing disagreement between Immanuel Etkes and Arie Morgenstern, with David Assaf later entering the fray, about the role of messianism in the aliyah of the students of the Gaon of Vilna (Gra) to the Land of Israel in the early nineteenth century. Etkes does not think […]

Rabbi Zvi Tau and the Future of Religious Zionism

It is common for people to speak about Religious Zionism as if it is a monolithic ideological group that shares common assumptions about the State of Israel, secular studies, the army, etc. Religious Zionism is actually made up of numerous smaller groups, some more dominant than others, which all together make up what insiders call […]

Two Interviews with Hamas Expert Shlomi Eldar

This summer I am in Israel, so the current situation is occupying me quite a lot recently. If you are interested in reading more politically oriented commentary of mine, you can follow me on Twitter. That being said, I decided that politics had to make an appearance on this blog at the present time. There […]

Parashat Hashavua in Israel

Below is a news segment (Hebrew) from Israel Channel 2 News on Parashat Hashavua in Israeli society. It reports on the numerous study groups from different sectors of Israeli society and now the uses of SMS and Twitter. HT to Amihai Bannett who is featured at 1:48 for his #פרשה on Twitter. Post by ‎סיון […]

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef on the Peace with Egypt

One of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s most discussed responsum is his one on withdrawing from territories captured in war in the framework of a peace accord. I have discussed this responsum here, and now a new document has been published that further sheds light on Rav Ovadiah’s opinion on the issue. Itzik Sudri, whose sister is […]

The Israel Prize 2014

At yesterday’s Israel Prize ceremony many outstanding individuals were honored. Three of the honorees were Prof. Shamma Friedman, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, and Rabbinit Adina Bar Shalom. To learn about Prof. Friedman and his contribution to the study of Talmud, read this interview with Yitz Landes. See these articles about Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein by Yair Rosenberg and Elli Fischer. […]

Purim in Israel Under Austerity

While Israel as a start-up nation is the latest rage, people shouldn’t forget that for a number of years after the founding of the state, Israeli citizens lived under a regime of austerity and rationing, in Hebrew the צנע (Tzena). The amount of food and clothing that a person could buy was limited and determined […]

War on Torah Brings Missiles

Just in case you were wondering why missiles are being fired at Israel, the Lithuanian Haredi newspaper Yated Neeman’s front page has the answer: “War on Torah: War in the South.” From Walla.

No Women Blessing Hanukkah Candles at BGU-Updated

Israel Channel 10 broadcast a segment on how at the official Hanukkah candle lighting ceremony for Ben-Gurion University no women were allowed to either light candles or sing. The rabbi of the university was the authority that decided that this would be the policy and he was supported by the administration. After protests the administration […]

Arik Einstein z”l

There have been many good pieces written about Arik Einstein in the past day. A few that I liked are here, here, here, and here. Below are a few videos that I would recommend to get a taste of who he was. Here is video from the wedding of his ultra-Orthodox daughter to the son […]

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