Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch on the Parsha: What about Non-Jews?

by Dr. Elliot Resnick

Both followers and enemies of Judaism sometimes claim that the Torah cares only about Jews. Yet, the first substantive (i.e., non-introductory) word of Sefer Vayikra indicates that all people – Jews and non-Jews – can bring offerings to the Beit Hamikdash, the holiest place on earth:

"Adam ki yakriv mikem korban laHashem – If any man brings an offering near unto Hashem" (Leviticus 1:2). "Adam," according to Rashi and others, includes non-Jews. Thus, amazingly, "at the very portal of the laws given for the Jewish Temple, an inscription is made that opens this Temple to all men – not exclusively to Jews," writes Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch. "Every human being can bring his offering here."


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Monday, March 6, 2023

The secularity of the early Zionists

 “Benny Morris on “A New Look at the 1948 Arab-Israeli War,” Wilson Center, 43:15

“The war was definitely not a jihad or a religious war on the Israeli side. On the Israeli side, the Jewish population in Palestine, the yishuv, was 90% secular at the time. And the leadership of the yishuv was almost totally secular. The military leadership, the political leadership. It was a very secular society. You get an optical illusion when you look back from 2016 when Israel has become much more religious or a larger part, segment of its population is religious. But in 1948 the people who counted and actually the vast majority of the population was of course non-religious. In fact they were children, or actually the people themselves, who had rebelled against religion. This is what Zionism was all about, partly, against rebelling against the old world of their fathers, which was a religious world. They rebelled also against God. So they didn’t approach the war at all as a religious war, not the generals, not the politicians, not Ben-Gurion, not Sharet, not Allon, not Dayan. They were irreligious people, maybe even they were anti-religious, so the religious people saw them.”

Benny Morris is one of Israel’s leading historians.