Joseph B. Soloveitchik’s Theological Case for Zionism

Dec. 24 2018

On Israel’s independence day in 1956, as Egypt seemed increasingly likely to attack the fledgling Jewish state, the great 20th-century sage Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik gave a lengthy lecture on Jews’ obligation to support Israel. The lecture, later published in English as “Fate and Destiny,” appeared first in Hebrew as Kol dodi dofek—“the voice of my beloved knocks”—a verse from the Song of Songs. Soloveitchik’s exegesis of this verse forms the basis of his argument that Jews are obligated to respond to the divine “knocks” manifested in recent history. In conversation with Jonathan Silver, Soloveitchik’s student Jacob J. Schacter explains the historical and theological context behind this argument. (Audio, 29 minutes. Options for download and streaming are available at the link below.)

Schacter’s entire online course on Soloveitchik’s thought can be found here.

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More about: Israel & Zionism, Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Judaism, Religion & Holidays, Religious Zionism

 

A Lesson from Moshe Dayan for Israel’s Syria Policy

Dec. 11 2019

In the 1950s, Jerusalem tasked Moshe Dayan with combating the Palestinian guerrillas—known as fedayeen—who infiltrated Israel’s borders from Sinai, Gaza, and Jordan to attack soldiers or civilians and destroy crops. When simple retaliation, although tactically effective, proved insufficient to deter further attacks, Dayan developed a more sophisticated long-term strategy of using attrition to Israel’s advantage. Gershon Hacohen argues that the Jewish state can learn much from Dayan’s approach in combating the Iranian presence in Syria—especially since the IDF cannot simply launch an all-out offensive to clear Syria of Iranian forces:

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More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Moshe Dayan, Palestinian terror, Syria