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Archive for Religion

Laws Against Witchcraft in Israel

While listening to an episode of the always interesting podcast the Tel Aviv Review that addressed neo-paganism in Israel, I found out that performing witchcraft for benefit is against the law in Israel. The interviewee, Shai Feraro, pointed out that in the Israeli Penal Code par. 417 it is written (Hebrew): Witchcraft 417. (a) If […]

Prioritizing Treatment of the Wounded-The Israeli Experience

A few months ago there was a lot of discussion in Israel about comments made by the Director General of Magen David Adom. Eli Bin said that When I see my enemy wounded I no longer treat him as a terrorist, but as a human being. He has surrendered; he no longer poses a threat, […]

Terror, Tragedy, Theodicy, and the Media

Tomorrow’s Daily News have a fairly provocative front page: Since the recent terror attacks in Israel there have been a number of similar articles/op-eds in Israeli papers, although none with a front page like the Daily News knows how to do.   “Wondrous Are the Ways of God? Always?   A number of the victims […]

The Latest on Conversion in Israel

The last week has seen a major development in the area of conversion in Israel. As has been reported, a new and independent religious court made up of national-religious rabbis has begun to convert minors outside of the framework of the Chief Rabbinate. I am not going to rehash the issues, you can read the […]

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 […]

Video of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in discussion with Tomer Persico

Recently Tomer Persico held a public discussion with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks at Tel Aviv University. The questions are in Hebrew and the answers in English. Below is the video:

Israeli vs. Diaspora Judaism: Micha Goodman vs Shai Held

Take time out of your day to listen or watch this discussion between two of the most important Jewish thinkers today. (HT to Life in Israel)

Israeli News Program on Religious Zionism

Israeli Channel 10 has been broadcasting a series of broadcasts on the current state of religious zionism in Israel. During each episode, the reporter, Roi Sharon, focuses on a different issue. All of the broadcasts are in Hebrew. 1. Episode 1-Focuses on the tensions between the “Hardal” and more liberal religious elements within religious zionism. […]

New Book: Between State and Synagogue

In Moment Guy Ben-Porat writes about his new book, Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel. Ben-Porat discusses secularization in Israel not as reflective of less religion, but of the weakening of religious authority. The expansion of commerce on the Sabbath, a thriving non-kosher culinary culture, marriages performed outside the Orthodox rabbinate, civil […]

The Spiritual Life of Rav Kook

In Haaretz Tomer Persico reviews a new book on Rav Kook. As the subtitle of Smadar Cherlow’s book attests, her work presumes to expose a hidden and secret dimension of the life and importance of the figure known popularly as Rav Kook: his mission as a tzadik yesod olam, literally, a righteous man who serves […]

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