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Archive for Politics

Torah Scrolls and Talmuds from Iraq

Every once in a while there is a news item about archival or antiquities that were taken out of Iraq. One thing that has been mentioned a number of time is the reported transfer of Torah scrolls, Talmud manuscripts, and archival material related to Jews out of Iraq. Some of the reports have been comical. […]

Studying Agnon and Ibn Gabirol in Gaza

The New York Times has an article on the study of Hebrew in Gaza. “Through the Hebrew language we can understand the structure of the Israeli society, the way they think,” explained Mahmoud Matar, director general of the Hamas-run Ministry of Education here. “The Arabic language is a basic thing for the Israelis, and they […]

Kenes Ramleh

The following advertisement is from Monday’s Makor Rishon. The conference is about the Jewish majority of Israel and migrant workers, illegal aliens, etc. The speakers seem to be a strange mix of serious scholars, politicians, and people, among them rabbis, whose ideas could probably be described as xenophobic. Kenes Ramleh

Matzav ha-Umah: Season Finale “All of Israel is a Mass Grave”

The Israeli comedy show Matzav ha-Umah (The State of the Nation) had its season finale on Saturday night. Matzav ha-Umah is Israel’s version of Jon Stewart and Jay Leno combined, although a bit harsher than what is accepted in America. The final show came down hard on Kadimah, especially Tzipi Livni. There were also numerous […]

Yediot Aharonot-Yosef Family Legal Troubles

Friday’s Yediot Aḥaronot published an article about potential legal troubles for the family of Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef. The article describes how a close family member sent a letter to the Attorney General describing how the Yosef family has been trying to take over positions within the Chief Rabbinate through the appointment of family members. There […]

The Lapid/Deeri Factor

A new poll (Hebrew) released in Israel shows the potential of Yair Lapid and Aryeh Deeri to upend the makeup of the Knesset. Without Lapid or Deeri heading a party, the Likud wins 38 seats, Yisrael Beiteinu 16, Kadima 15, Labor 13, and Shas 8. With Lapid and Deeri running, Likud wins 25, Lapid 20, […]

Mayor of Beit Shemesh Blames Police and School for Problems

This morning, the mayor of Beit Shemesh, Moshe Abutbul, gave an interview (Hebrew) on Galei Tzahal.  Why was there rioting the other night?  The police didn’t know how to handle the situation.  Why are some fanatic ultra-orthodox attacking little girls?  It’s an unnecessary provocation to put the school in their neighborhood.  What he doesn’t get […]

Jonathan Rosenblum Needs to be Updated

In a recent column in the Jerusalem Post that called for greater tolerance among secular and religious groups in Israel, Jonathan Rosenblum wrote the following: Jews, unlike Moslems, have a millennia-long history of living as a despised minority. Minority status has also imbued us with an appreciation of prudence. Satmar Chassidim in Williamsburg, for instance, […]

Rabbi Dov Lior and Freedom of Speech

The limits that a democratic society can place on the freedom of speech is a difficult question. During the past few days this question has been in the headlines in Israel. The reason for this is that the police detained Rabbi Dov Lior after he refused the be investigated regarding the approbation that he wrote […]

The Talmud and Foreign Policy

On Sanhedrin 17b there is a discussion about the עיר הנידחת (“an idolatrous city”) that was to be destroyed. The Talmud addresses how many cities can be destroyed within a specific time period and geographic area. One of the reasons given for limiting the number of cities was to minimize the desolation of the Land […]

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