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Yair Rosenblum’s Unetaneh Tokef

Unetaneh Tokef is one of the central prayers for the Yamim Noraim, and one of the most familiar tunes for it is that which was written by Yair Rosenblum. Rosenblum is one of the most important figures in the history of Israeli music and in 1990 he was living on Kibbutz Beit Hashitah in the […]

Shabbat Pamphlets Make the Evening News

In almost every Israeli synagogue you can find alonei shabbat, pamphlets or handouts on the weekly Torah portion. In the past few years things have gone beyond pamphlets that just discuss the parashah, and there are now available what amount to small magazines that targeted towards the religious public. See here (Hebrew) for a comprehensive […]

Tisha B’Av in the Historical Israeli Press

Rafi Mann has posted (Hebrew) a nice selection of articles from Israel newspapers about Tisha B’av observances and commemorations going back to the 1940s. He also addresses the changes that occurred post-1967.

How Many Reform and Conservative Jews in israel

Tomer Persico brings (Hebrew) some interesting numbers from a recent poll by the Knesset TV Channel. People were asked “Do you feel attached to one of the denominations in Judaism? If so, which one?” The answers may surprise some people: Reform 6%; Conservative 6%; Orthodox 35%; no denomination 45%. A previous poll from 2009 put […]

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. […]

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