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The Withdrawal and Divine Intervention

In response to feedback I have received to the previous post (Withdrawal from Gaza), I wish to clarify my remarks about the dangers of declaring that it was the will of God not to withdraw from the settlements: My position is based on the Gemara in Sanhedrin 87b. Rabbi Shmuel ben Nahmani said in the name of Rabbi Yehonatan, “May…

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Withdrawal from Gaza

There have been so many different reactions from all over the world to the withdrawal from Gaza and parts of Samaria, focusing on different and often totally opposite perspectives. This is my personal response and, as usual, it is concerned primarily with the religious aspect. If one is going to take a religious position, then I stand fair and square…

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Conversion American Style

The evacuation from Gaza is still going on as I write so I’d rather let the dust settle before I deal with it. I am returning to the issue of conversion because the refusal by the London Beth Din and Chief Rabbinate to accept conversions carried out in Israel and elsewhere continues to rumble on and get worse. We Jews…

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Jogging in the Parks

These have been heavy weeks, out there in the open world as well as in our own navel-gazing community. Despite the imminent arrival on Sunday of the fast of Tisha B’Av when both our Temples were destroyed, a little voice inside me tells me its time to lighten up. Besides, the relentless battle against age, flab or the poisons we…

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Rabbi Kook’s Legacy

The huge Jerusalem yeshiva, Merkaz HaRav Kook, is nowadays the Alma Mater of the religious Zionist movement and is associated with the settlers and those demonstrating against the planned removal from Gaza, more than any other (and there are, of course, others). The yeshiva was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook (1865-1935), but it was his son, Rav Zvi Yehuda…

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