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Dec 2, 2022, 8:31 AM
A state of compassion and kindness
“There are three distinguishing marks of this nation: merciful, shamefaced, and they perform acts of kindness.” (BT 79A) The image of a state is the pattern of the landscape of its citizens, a reflection of the people living within it....
Nov 6, 2022, 4:01 PM
There is no ‘halachic state’ in Jewish law
Theocracy is simply not a Jewish legal concept – the halachic legal system applies its authority only to those who accept it
Oct 19, 2022, 2:56 PM
Abortion is not murder. Sometimes it’s a mitzvah
Sweeping bans on pregnancy termination undermine rabbis' authority to provide religious guidance to observant women seeking their advice
Mar 17, 2022, 9:52 AM
Is the Scroll of Esther holy scripture?
The Jews undertook and accepted upon themselves… קִיְּמוּ וְקִבְּלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים עֲלֵיהֶם The Book of Esther is a court story. There is not a single spiritual expression let alone a religious expression from the beginning to its end. Do not look in...
Jun 27, 2021, 4:06 PM
‘Zionist’ chief rabbi? Not necessarily
What if the best choice for chief rabbi does not come from the national religious camp? Rummaging through a candidate's Zionism credentials is bad precedent
May 26, 2021, 2:26 AM
A brief history of antisemitism
Jews in Israel and in communities around the world are watching with discomfort, surprise and anxiety at the outbreak of antisemitic waves in the countries we so love to travel in and enjoy living in. "Why is this happening...
Mar 25, 2021, 7:37 AM
Faith and freedom
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Ex. 20:2) In these few words (only nine in Hebrew) the first of the Ten Commandments lays the basis...
Sep 29, 2020, 8:32 AM
The etrog has disappeared in the golden box
The 4 species as a social parable: "The etrog who thinks he does not need the other species represents liberalism, enlightenment and pluralism. Without him, he thinks, there is no tolerant and democratic society. He has a hard time...
Aug 2, 2020, 11:40 PM
Celebrating love on Tu B’Av
Tu B'Av is regained as a holiday of love in large parts of Israeli society. This phenomenon raises hope that we are in the process of renewing a Jewish holiday of love that speaks to all social frameworks: the...
Jun 2, 2020, 8:39 AM
Nature is not ‘trying’ to say anything. Neither is God
World Plague. Humans are sick and some are dead. The human routine was canceled. Staying home. The economy is in deep crisis. Most public and private sector decision makers lack prior knowledge, are limited in predicting developments, and operate...
Rabbi Naftali Rothenberg is the rabbi of Har Adar township, Israel, and a senior research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute