“One Law You Shall Have for the Foreigner and the Native Alike:” Social Justice in the Teachings of the Tannaim

The challenge placed before the Jew who truthfully and wholeheartedly believes in the possibility of having a Jewish State that belongs to all its citizens, is to honestly confront the sources that form the Jewish view of the status of the non-Jew in the Jewish State. At the core of the research presented here lies a dispute between two main schools of thought: of Rabbi Ishmael and of Rabbi Akiva, and extending to the generations of their students, during the compilation of the Mishna.

Do “Repentance, Prayer and Tzedakah Avert the Severe Decree”?

last September, I explained one difficult word – kivinumeron – in the High Holiday poem Unetane Tokef .[note]Insight Israel , Volume 5, Number 1 (September 2004).[/note] This year, I would like to tackle a much tougher topic: the theology of Unetane Tokef.[note]This article is based on a lecture which I gave to the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel, September 5, 2004 and to 450 rabbis via the United Jewish Community’s “Torah from Jerusalem” video conference on September 8, 2005.[/note]

The Jewish Attitude Towards Non-Violent Protest and Civil Disobedience

During the past twenty-five years, Israel has experienced a number of periods of civil unrest, including the evacuation from Sinai and Yamit, the War in Lebanon, the Oslo accords and, more recently, the security fence. These events have led to protests, civil disobedience, and refusal by soldiers to serve in certain areas or to fulfill certain duties.