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Israel is an incredible place, where it is not uncommon for contemporary events to evoke fundamental human questions and fundamental questions about the nature of Judaism. One such event is the opening of Shalem College, the country’s first liberal arts college, which not only puts such great questions front and center in its curriculum but also represents, itself, a statement about Jewish national identity and the vexed question of the universal and the particular.

Princeton Alumni Weekly just ran an excellent profile of Shalem, its history, and its goals.

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Is it possible to justify the existence of a Jewish state? This question, raised with increased frequency in recent years, is not just a theoretical one. Israel will endure as a Jewish state only if it can be defended, in both the physical and the moral sense. Of course, states may survive in the short […]

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One winter after an unusually heavy run of funerals, the rabbi of our Montreal synagogue reminded the congregation that in traditional Judaism, dying was only a minhag (custom); it was not a mitzva. I would like to extend this excellent observation to political catastrophe, which is likewise not a Jewish obligation. Like many other Jews […]

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The novelist Saul Bellow is fond of recalling a political incident from his youth. Saul, then an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, was, like so many of us in the 1930s, powerfully attracted to the ideologies of socialism, Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, as well as to the idea of “the Revolution.” He and a […]

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Adapted from the Zalman C. Bernstein Memorial Lecture in Jewish Political Thought, hosted by the Shalem Center and delivered by the author in Jerusalem on January 19, 2006. I know of no other country in the world whose existence as an independent, sovereign state has been called into question for so long and in so […]

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Over the past few years, as the Israeli army has become the world’s foremost anti-terrorist fighting force, great numbers of American servicemen and servicewomen have come to Israel to learn from our experi­ence and to apply it in America’s own war on terror. It has been my privi­lege to host many of these officers at […]

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Evangelicals and Israel

December 3, 2013

At a time when the state of Israel lies under existential threat from jihadist Islam, and under ideological and diplomatic assault in foreign ministries, international organizations, churches, universities, editorial offices, and other circles of advanced Western opinion—and when even some Jews in the Diaspora seem to be growing disenchanted with the Zionist cause—millions of evangelical […]

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Zionist Politics Revisited

December 1, 2013

From 1996 to 2012, the Tikvah Fund, under the auspices of the Shalem Center, published Azure: Ideas for the Jewish Nation. The Tikvah Forum will be a place to rediscover some of the excellent content from that magazine. In this Azure piece from Summer 2005, Natan Sharansky argues in favor of Theodor Herzl’s vision of a state that enables its various communities to give voice to their unique heritage and culture, on the one hand, but carefully preserves their shared Judaism on the other.

At the Tikvah Center, we just completed a study of various aspects of Herzl’s thought and legacy in a week long course taught by Allan Arkush and Ran Baratz entitled “Herzl, His Critics and His Successors.” This course is part of the Advanced Institute entitled “Moments of Decision, Great Debates.” Stay up to date on more institutes and events that explore the roots of Zionism and their impact on the current dilemmas of the Jewish State.

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