Issue 7.2: Israel and Zionism

Israel and Zionism

Editor’s Thoughts: Old-New Land: Israel’s Intertwined Past and Present

Sefer Melakhim ends with a scene of terrible disaster. The Jews have been starved, beaten and exiled, their former king now a vassal, totally reliant on the King of Babylonia for food, clothing and freedom.[i] But there is consolation at the end of this exile, as Jeremiah promises, there will ... Read more →

Rav Soloveitchik’s Bold Stance on Kedushat Erets Yisrael

One aspect of R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s philosophy that distinguishes him from other prominent Orthodox Jewish thinkers is his boldness in challenging conventional ideas while remaining true to halakhic principles. In one such instance, the Rav breaks away from a prominent opinion among ... Read more →

The Har ha-Bayit Dilemma

From my spot in the Beit Midrash at Yeshivat Hakotel, I looked out upon a clear view of Har ha-Bayit each day. I could see the giant, golden dome dominating the mountain, where kohanim and leviim once served, and I gazed out at a mosque where the mizbeah once stood. However, I remained an ... Read more →

Exploring the Connection Between Yitzchak and Shimshon

Do Yitzchak and Shimshon have anything to do with each other? [i] At first glance one would surely think not, considering that the two live several hundred years apart and that their life paths are  polar opposites. Yitzchak lives before the Jewish Nation existed. He leads a fairly quiet life ... Read more →

The Missing Mitsvah: Rambam’s Omission of Yishuv Erets Yisrael

Rambam is famous for his love for the land of Israel, but his omission of the mitsvah of yishuv erets yisrael from one of his most important works is glaring. In his Sefer ha-Mitsvot, where he lists the 613 commandments, Rambam leaves out the mitsvah of yishuv erets yisrael, a mitsvah we would ... Read more →

Lessons in Mishnaic Moderation from R. Benny Lau

Reviewed Book: Binyamin Lau, The Sages, Vol. III: The Galilean Period (Jerusalem, Israel: Maggid Books, 2013) The Sages: Part III is the third installment of Binyamin Lau’s fascinating attempt to paint the lives and deeds of Hazal through descriptions found in the oral tradition. The first ... Read more →

Interview with R. Yosef Blau: Religious Zionism Today

R. Blau serves as a Rosh Yeshiva at RIETS, and is the senior Mashgiach Ruchani at both Yeshiva and Stern colleges. R. Blau is also the current president of the Religious Zionists of America, the American branch of the World Mizrachi movement. AS: What does being a religious Zionist mean to you? ... Read more →

Jerusalem: A City Which Turns to Gold

Jerusalem is considered a sacred city by members of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. Its history is rich, filled with ancient artifacts from all eras and cultures. Jerusalem is the epicenter of multiculturalism. However, it has also been the sight of destruction for thousands of years, a ... Read more →