Pesah as Zeman Simhateinu: What Does it Mean to Rejoice Over Victory?

Judah Kerbel discusses why we say an abbreviated Hallel on the last six days of Pesah and contemplates what that says about the war in Israel; self-defense is a must, as is gratitude toward God, but we also hold space for the losses on the other side.

Purim and the Joke of Jewish Sovereignty

Zach Truboff argues that Purim reminds us of our vulnerability even with the State of Israel.

Civilian Casualties in the Light of Halakhah and Ethics: Revisiting Rav Shaul Yisraeli’s Analysis

Aryeh Klapper analyzes Rav Shaul Yisraeli’s classic work on civilian casualties in Halakhah.

The Child at this Moment, the child that Could Become: A Torah Meditation in...

Dan Ornstein examines the rabbinic interpretation of the phrase "ba-asher hu sham," and applies it to the current conflict in Israel.

Put a Mirror on Your Seder Table

Leah Sarna argues that this is the Passover to tell the stories of enslaved Jewish women: of the victims of October 7, who were and likely still are subjected to sexual violence, and of the heroic women in the era of the Exodus, who fought to ensure the perpetuation of the Jewish people.

My War Diary

This war diary, presented by Susan Weingarten, relates her experience in a kibbutz on the Gazan border on October 7th and the days following her return to Jerusalem after the Hamas massacre.

Of Warriors and Wolves

In these difficult times for Israel, Aharon Frazer of Alon Shvut is thinking about the fundamental sanctity of human life and the long game. Can war and weapons really take us toward the messianic age?

Separation of Powers and Majority Rule: Insights from the Talmud, Maimonides, Spinoza, and Mendelssohn

This article was written and accepted for publication in the summer of 5783/2023 and scheduled to appear after the holidays. Because of the outbreak of Israel’s “Iron Swords” war with Ḥamas following the murderous attack on Israel on Shabbat/Simḥat Torah (7 October, 2023), we agreed that publication needed to be postponed. Now, five months into the war with no end in sight, we are nevertheless witness to renewed political tensions, public demonstrations, disagreements and paralysis in appointing judges and the President of the Supreme Court, together with resumption of talk of the “judicial reform.” Despite the continuing tragedy of the war in the south and warfare in the north, a review of how our sources treat the separation of powers and majority rule may help us avoid repeating some of the mistakes of the pre-war political and ideological divisions in Israel and contribute to a more reasoned consideration of the issues.

Thoughts on Aliyah and the Akeidah from Israel at war

Alan Jotkowitz looks at the current situation in Israel through the lens of modern interpretations of the Akeidah.

Is Reciting Tehillim and Avinu Malkeinu after October 7th Enough?

As we near 150 days since the murderous attack by Hamas, Chaim Trachtman wonders whether continuing to recite Tehillim and Avinu Malkeinu is the best way to keep Israel front-and-center in our prayers.