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Ruth Wisse and Moshe Halbertal – Jews and Power

August 13, 2014

What is the proper relationship between Jews and political power? To what extent should Jews eschew worldly power for the sake of piety? How Machiavellian can Jews allow themselves to be? Two of the Jewish world’s most esteemed intellectuals, Ruth Wisse and Moshe Halbertal, examined these questions for participants in the Tikvah Fund’s Summer Fellowship and Advanced Institutes. Wisse, an American expert on Yiddish literature generally associated with the right, and Halbertal, an Israeli expert in Jewish philosophy and ethics generally associated with the left, engaged in a discussion marked by passion, wit, nerve, and collegiality. About halfway through the panel, the moderator, Allan Arkush, opened the floor to audience questions on everything from the possibility of anti-Semitism in America to the Israeli Defense Forces’ Code of Ethics.

Filming took place on July 28, 2014.

All Tikvah videos are available as podcasts. You can subscribe and download this recording in the iTunes Store, stream via Stitcher, or download it directly.


More about: America, Israel, and the Middle East  • Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism  • Jewish Political Thought  • Zionism