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Soloveitchik the Zionist

Rabbi, if only I knew our suffering was paving the way for the Messiah,” cried a Jewish refugee to R. Hayyim Soloveitchik of Brest-Litovsk shortly before his death in World War I–era Warsaw. R. Hayyim rebuffed him, questioning whether it was self-evident that the advent of the Redeemer justified . . . . Continue Reading »

BDS Has Failed

I am a rabbi who is often asked how to improve Christian relations with Jews. I’m grateful that so many are concerned with continuing the positive changes of the recent generation. But I also follow the ups and downs of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which since 2004, . . . . Continue Reading »

Political Supersessionism

Last spring I attended a conference at the newly established St. Olaf Institute for Freedom and Community, which is dedicated to “free inquiry and meaningful debate of important political and social issues.” The institute invited four professors to talk about religious conflict: a well-known . . . . Continue Reading »

The New Christian Zionism

Now in its thirty-sixth year, the annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy (ICEJ—the J stands for its headquarters in Jerusalem), attracts thousands of Pentecostal Christians from around the world to Israel. Timed to coincide with the Jewish . . . . Continue Reading »

King David

In a provocative and profound essay in this magazine (“A King in Israel,” May 2010), the late Michael Wyschogrod proposed that the Jewish state define itself as a democratic, constitutional monarchy. Israel, Wyschogrod suggested, should rename its head of state—the president elected by its . . . . Continue Reading »

The Breath of Mercy

A mother shouldn’t have favorites, but I have often observed that she inclines more to the child who is sick or more vulnerable than the rest. The more fragile the child, the fiercer the love of the mother. The strong and healthy ones outgrow her solicitous nurturing, and she can do no more for . . . . Continue Reading »

Mirror of Magistrates

For Christians, 1 and 2 Samuel are “history.” For Jews, they are among the writings of the “Former Prophets.” But the books can also be read as wisdom literature, especially when we recognize that biblical wisdom is royal wisdom. What follows is a sampling of the many lessons about good and . . . . Continue Reading »

Burning Churches in Israel

Earlier this summer, in the spot on the Sea of Galilee traditionally hailed as the site of Christ’s feeding of the five thousand, the Roman Catholic Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, Israel, was torched in an arson attack. And as of Thursday, three young right-wing Jewish men—Yinon Reuveni, twenty, Yehuda Asraf, nineteen, and Moshe Orbach, twenty-four—have been indicted on suspicion of responsibility. Continue Reading »

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